October 2013

Sample Analysis at Mars Science: Data from NASA's Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by US and international scientists indicated positive detections. Read more ....

Brain image If you got beat up by a bully on your walk home from school every day, you would probably become very afraid of the spot where you usually met him. However, if the bully moved out of town, you would gradually cease to fear that area. Read more ....

Galaxy picture Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory and telescopes on the ground may have found the most crowded galaxy in our part of the universe. Read more .....

Nanoparticles image Many viruses and bacteria infect humans through mucosal surfaces, such as those in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive tract. To help fight these pathogens, scientists are working on vaccines that can establish a front line of defense at mucosal surfaces. Read more ....

Space weather effects on satellites Is your cable television on the fritz? One explanation, scientists suspect, may be the weather - the weather in space, that is. Read more ....

Cheetahs A study by University of Georgia ecologists has found that diversity in mammal immune system genes may have more to do with the opportunity to choose a mate than with exposure to parasites. Read more ....

Locked door Humour: Locked out of your own house can be an alarming experience, especially if you are new to the neighbourhood where neighbours are yet to make your acquaintance. I should know because I have gone through that embarrassing situation. Read more ....

Locked out!

Locked out of your own house can be an alarming experience, especially if you are new to the neighbourhood where neighbours are yet to make your acquaintance.

I should know because I have gone through that embarrassing situation.

Employed in an organisation that had branches all across the country, it was a routine matter for employees to be transferred to any of the branches. I had led a charmed life in the organisation for over ten years but that came to an end when I received a memo that demanded I pack my bags and leave for Ahmedabad.

Well, there was no way out. So, leaving my family behind, I arrived in Ahmedabad. I spent a few days as a paying guest and later, with the help of office colleagues, managed to find a flat on rent in a housing society.

Now I had to leave early for work and arrived home late in the night. In fact, it was during the night that I had shifted to my new home. It was not much of a problem because I had only two suitcases, and shifting was not a cumbersome task. But on the flip side, since I had moved into the house late in the night, I was not even sure who my next-door neighbour was. Since I left home early, apart from a cursory view of the people around, there had been no time to strike any acquaintance. So, there I was - a complete stranger in the neighbourhood.

Just a few days after moving into my new home, I faced my first crisis. Arriving home from office one night, I delved into my trouser pockets to draw out the key. It was not there!

My office was about five kilometres from home and buses were my preferred mode of travel. It was summer time and very warm; I had to pull out my handkerchief frequently to wipe off the sweat. It is probably during one such act of pulling out the handkerchief that the key too must have got dragged out and fallen without my noticing it.

Although it was quite late, a few shops were still open and, fortunately, among them was a hardware shop. I went and bought myself a hacksaw blade thinking that all my troubles were over.

It is when I started trying to cut open the lock that all my troubles began. The screeching sound that the hacksaw blade made on the lock made me wince. I felt like a thief who was trying to enter an empty house. I expected people to come of their homes and pounce upon me. I had never imagined that a simple act of cutting open the lock of one's own home could cause so much mental agony.

As I said it was late night and there was silence all around. This caused the screeching of the blade sound all the more louder. After a minute's effort, I would stop for five minutes to see whether anyone was about to pounce on me. Fortunately, no one came out. My furtive manner must have put any thief to shame. Anyway, after an hour's effort, I finally cut the lock open (I could have done it in 15 minutes had I displayed all the calmness). When I opened the door and lunged inside, you may well imagine my joy!

The next morning, I made it a point to smile at anyone whom I could lay my eyes upon, got to know their names, and told them my name. Well, now I knew almost everyone! But since then I made it a point to carry two keys - one in each pocket of my trouser.

Some useful links for
your career:

  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu