Friday, November 28, 2008


Nuclear energy is the energy that is trapped inside each atom. The ancient Greeks believed that the smallest part of nature is an atom. But they did not know 2000 years ago that atoms are made up of further smaller particles a nucleus of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons, which swirl around the nucleus much like the earth revolves around the sun.

One of the laws of the universe is that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

But they can be changed in form. Matter can be changed into energy. Albert Einstein’s famous mathematical formula E = mc2 explains this. The equation says: E [energy] equals m [mass] times c2 [c stands for the speed or velocity of light]. This means that it is mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of light.

Scientists used Einstein's equation as the key to unlock atomic energy and to create atomic bombs.

An atom's nucleus can be split apart. This is known as fission. When this is done, a tremendous amount of energy in the form of both heat and light is released by the initiation of a chain reaction. This energy, when slowly released, can be harnessed to generate electricity. When it is released all at once, it results in a tremendous explosion as in an atomic bomb.

Nuclear energy can also be harnessed by fusion. A fusion reaction occurs when two hydrogen atoms combine to produce one helium atom. This reaction takes place at all times in the sun, which provides us with the solar energy. This technology is still at the experimental stage and may become viable in future.

Uranium is the main element required to run a nuclear reactor where energy is extracted. Uranium is mined from many places around the world. It is processed (to get enriched uranium, i.e. the radioactive isotope) into tiny pellets. These pellets are loaded into long rods that are put into the power plant's reactor. Inside the reactor of an atomic power plant, uranium atoms are split apart in controlled chain reaction. Other fissile material includes plutonium and thorium.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Sometimes you can get caught up in the moment and, with hype all around you, can pick up the wrong spectacles – rose tinted ones. Through such lenses things look a little different. Alas, that’s exactly what’s happened with the first UK-based Android offspring, T-Mobile’s G1.When we got our first, brief handson with the handset back in September, we were smitten. Giving it 5/6 we thought it would find fans in both consumers and business users alike. We certainly weren’t wrong but we weren’t quite as right as we normally are.A month and a bit later, having lived with the G1 for a bit longer, the cracks in the relationship have started to appear.

Our review handset was black but we found the casing and keypad smelt a bit rubbery. Those with less sensitive – or inquisitive – noses will probably be able to overlook this aspect with ease. Some of the other aesthetics are not so easily overlooked, however. The 3.2in, 320 x 480 screen, for example, while more than ample in size, was very prone to smudge marks making it look less pleasing to the eye and getting in the way of camera and browsing action. One possible reason for its penchant for sticky fingers could be the fact that endless prodding of the screen when it goes into energy-saving screen darkness does nothing. That said, we have to commend the G1 on its highly-responsive touch screen. We liked it a lot.

We also found the handset – which at 158g is fairly hefty - quite weighty in the hand and slightly chunky with its 1.7cm girth, although sometimes you have to sacrifice dinkyness if you want a workhorse device. Using the ‘hard’ navigational keys below the screen proved to be a mixed blessing experience-wise. While the home, menu and back keys made life easier in terms of finding our way around what the phone has to offer, the track ball was irksome and felt a bit like rough – almost sandpaper esque.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


A high fat diet even before you were born might have programmed you to a life of over-eating. A new research suggests that eating a high-fat diet in pregnancy may cause changes in the fetal brain that lead to obesity early in life. Tests on rats showed those born to mothers fed a high-fat diet had many more brain cells specialised to produce appetite-stimulating proteins, reports the BBC News website. The Rockefeller University team say the finding may help explain why obesity rates have soared in recent years.

Previous research on adult animals had shown that when fats known as triglycerides circulate in the blood they stimulate the production of proteins in the brain known as orexigenic peptides, which in turn stimulate the appetite. The latest study suggests exposure to triglycerides from the mother’s diet has the same effect on the developing fetal brain and that the effect then lasts throughout the offspring’s life.

High-fat diet in pregnancy causes changes in fetal brain and leads to obesity in kids

The researchers compared the offspring of rats fed a high-fat diet for two weeks with those whose mothers ate a moderate amount of fat. They found that the pups born to the high-fat diet mothers ate more, weighed more throughout life, and began puberty earlier than those born to mothers who ate a normal diet. They also had higher levels of triglycerides in the blood at birth, and as adults, and a greater production of orexigenic peptides in their brains. More detailed analysis showed that, even before the birth, the high-fat pups had a much larger number of brain cells that produce orexigenic peptides and they kept them throughout their lives. Their mothers’ high-fat diet appeared to stimulate production of the cells, and their subsequent migration to parts of the brain linked to obesity.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Ireland took their first victory of A1GP's Powered by Ferrari era courtesy of a perfect race from Adam Carroll in the Sprint Race at Chengdu.Carroll started from pole and saw off an early challenge from the Netherlands before slowly building his advantage to eventually claim victory with a margin of 2.371 seconds."I just tried to keep my head down and not make any mistakes," Carroll said. "But it's going to be a pretty long race this afternoon."The Netherlands might not have had an answer to Ireland, but Robert Doornbos never looked under threat for second place, giving the Dutch team a podium in his first ever race in an A1 car."It feels good to be on the podium," Doornbos said. "Obviously it's the best first impression you can make. We started strong - we missed pole by just 0.006s - and in the race it was the same. I'm very happy with second."

The final podium spot was filled by another A1 debutante in the form of Team GBR's Danny Watts, but the Briton was made to work hard for the result by Switzerland's Neel Jani. The reigning champion pushed Watts hard over the closing laps, but a small mistake at the end of the penultimate lap gave Watts just enough breathing space to secure third, albeit by a margin of just 0.3 seconds."It's a great result, and a great reward for all the hard work that all the boys have put in throughout the week," Watts said. "Third is good points for us, but we'll have to see how we go this afternoon."South Africa finished fourth after spending most of the race fighting off Portugal, with New Zealand, France, Monaco and India completing the top 10.

The result was a noteworthy one for India who, like GBR, is making their season debut in China this weekend. Mexico, who are the third team competing for the first time in the 2008/9 season, finished 16th behind Team USA's Marco Andretti. The race passed generally without incident, although Brazil finished several laps down after pitting early with mechanical problems, while China had to settle for 17th as a result of an early spin.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


World War-II vintage technology came to the rescue of cutting-edge infotech czar Bill Gates when the lighting of hundreds of kerosene lamps made it possible for his chartered jet to take off from the Jodhpur airfield after sunset last week.
The kettle-shaped lamps with wicks, or “goosenecks” as they are called, were lit along the runway of Jodhpur airfield on November 8 after the staff of Gates insisted that the Microsoft founder, his father William H. Gates, his wife Melinda and two sisters had to leave for the US on that very evening itself. “The runway lights at the airfield were not working since they were under repair. On their insistence, the goosenecks were used. Goosenecks are used by our pilots quite often to practise night operations because runway lights can fail or deliberately be kept off to evade enemy bombers,” said an IAF officer.
“Even civil aviation rules permit use of goosenecks for landings and takeoffs. The pilot of the Bombardier Global Express, a long-range corporate high-speed jet, chartered by Gates also said their use conformed to their company’s policy,” he added. OLD TECH COMES IN HANDY Bill Gates got special permission to take off
Kerosene lamps made it possible for Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ chartered jet to take off from the Jodhpur airfield after sunset last week. No flight is currently allowed to take off from the Jodhpur airfield, a frontline IAF airbase close to the border with Pakistan, after 4 pm because of the ongoing extensive repair and maintenance work since mid-April.
Special permission was, however, granted to the jet flying Gates and his family members, who were staying at Umaid Bhawan Palace, to take off latest by 5.30 pm. But even as the jet was taxiing, Gates’ father discovered that he had left two of his bags at the hotel.
The take-off was then promptly aborted to allow the baggage to be retrieved from the hotel. But by the time the luggage was brought to the airfield, it was already dark.
The IAF was initially reluctant to allow the flight to take off but finally agreed for “emergency assistance” after Gates’ staff insisted their boss had to leave immediately.
That is when over 200 goosenecks were deployed “to help the VVIP guest and save him from inconvenience”. “Gates’ jet finally left at 6.15 pm after necessary clearances were obtained from higher authorities. The light from the goosenecks is more than enough for a take-off... Landing is slightly tougher,”

Sunday, November 9, 2008


The government has decided to implement a set of international guidelines to reduce the risk of using mobile phones. Catching up with several developed and developing countries, India will adopt the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines.
The guidelines lay down the maximum level of radiation that telecom equipment mobile phones as well as base stations should be allowed to emit without causing a public health risk. The government plans to enforce a compulsory self-certification scheme to implement the guidelines. Mobile phone manufacturers will be required to test their products and keep them below notified specific absorption rate the measure of the maximum rate at which radio frequency energy should be absorbed by the body when exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic field. It is measured in watts per kilogram.
Mobile operators who have towers all over the country will carry out similar self certification for the base stations they put up. The Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), which looks after technical issues for the department of telecommunications (DOT), has been made in charge of setting up the mechanism as well as the regulations. It will be in-charge of monitoring and through random testing of products in the market, will ensure that the self-certification system is working.
“Exposure beyond a certain level to these frequencies can be a health hazard so we are going to use the precautionary principle to implement these guidelines,” an official said.
While there is still no scientific consensus over risks from cellphone radiation, there are two types of risks that emerge from exposure to radio frequencies thermal (of body temperatures rising) and non-thermal impacts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Aamir Khan’s new avatar in Ghajini has found many admirers. The actor’s phone has just not stopped ringing. Though it’s a known fact that Aamir has been hitting the gym with a vengeance to build his physique for Ghajini, no one expected him to look this brawny.

This just goes to ‘ prove DS ’ that B he continues to be a perfectionist. Just M for h the record, Aamir received 1,224 messages on the day when his look was revealed. Close friend Prasoon Joshi says, “Wherever we go, the talk is about Aamir’s physique in Ghajini. We all knew that he has been working out but we never expected him to look like this.” The promos of the movie hit the screen on Diwali. It seems that Aamir’s fans are definitely awaiting the release of this film.

Monday, November 3, 2008


With each of India’s seniors having either reached a landmark or leaving one behind, all eyes will now be on Rahul Dravid. If he scores two ducks and never plays again it will not make him a lesser player for his place in India’s pantheon is assured. Nagpur will support him and his new captain must.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


India skipper Anil Kumble announced his retirement after the third test against Australia, quitting the game at his favourite Ferozshah Kotla ground.

The 38-year-old is test cricket's third-highest test wickettaker with 619 wickets, trailing only Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Australia's retired Shane Warne."It was a very tough decision, especially when you have performed for 18 years and been so competitive," he said at the presentation ceremony after the match had ended in a draw.

"But the body helped me make the decision. This injury also helped."

Kumble had suffered a deep cut in his left little finger which needed 11 stitches during the match."I had already decided to leave after this series, but decided once I realised I won't be 100 percent for Nagpur (fourth test)."The spin bowler has been the team's bowling lynchpin for almost two decades, and the architect of India's dominance on slow home pitches, relying more on subtle variations than sharp turn.He has also taken 337 wickets from 271 one-day internationals and has already quit the shorter form of the game.Wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the limited-overs captain and Kumble's deputy, is favoured to take over the job.

Kumble, who has played 132 tests, had been facing mounting questions over his future and missed the second test against the Aussies in Mohali due to a shoulder injury.He also suffered a finger injury in the current test, which ends in Delhi on Sunday, and only returned to bowl after having 11 stitches.

In 1999, Kumble became only the second bowler in test cricket to claim all 10 wickets in an innings, emulating England's Jim Laker at the same Ferozshah Kotla ground. Kumble's retirement comes after former skipper Saurav Ganguly announced the current Australia test series would be his last.The team's senior cricketers have come under increasing pressure with domestic media engaged in frenzied debate whether they should step aside to help blood younger players.

The fourth and final test starts in Nagpur on Nov. 6.


Today’s industrial policy and globalization has made industrial environment very competitive. Hence down-time for maintenance is of great importance. Substantial savings in energy and production cost can be achieved by applying CONDITION MONITORING in industry.

Plant and machinery are invaluable assets and are designed to operate under severe, adverse and harsh conditions, where a failure may be catastrophic both in regard to safety and economy of plants.

through Condition Monitoring we can achieve following:

  • Vibration Problems of rotating machines
  • Exploring the cause of repetitive failure of machines
  • Ensuring the safety of the equipment against vibration & shock
  • Dynamic balancing of Rotors and rotating components
  • Measurement of natural frequency in static condition
  • Less down-time and more productivity
  • Reduced inventory for spares Enhancing the machine endurance limit Greater safety to work force

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Wellington- A rare reptile with lineage dating back to the dinosaur age has been found nesting on the New Zealand mainland for the first time in about 200 years, officials said on Friday. Four leathery, white eggs from an indigenous tuatara were found by staff at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in the capital, Wellington, during routine maintenance work Friday, conservation manager Rouen Epson said.
“The nest was uncovered by accident and is the first concrete proof we have that our tuatara are breeding,” Epson said. “It suggests that there may be other nests in the sanctuary we don’t know of.”
Tuataras, dragon-like reptiles that grow to up to 32 inches, are the last descendants of a species that walked the earth with the dinosaurs 225 million years ago, zoologists say. They have unique characteristics, such as two rows of top teeth closing over one row at the bottom. They also have a pronounced parietal eye, a light-sensitive pineal gland on the top of the skull. This white patch of skin called its “third eye” slowly disappears as they mature.
A native species to New Zealand, tuataras were nearly extinct on the country’s three main islands by the late 1700s due to the introduction of predators such as rats. They still live in the wild on 32 small offshore islands cleared of predators.


Moscow - Scientists from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh have said that judging by the chemical composition of stars in the Milky Way, our galaxy could contain anywhere between 300 and 38,000 highly developed extraterrestrial civilizations potentially capable of contacting planet earth. And that future fuel could come from some distant star. Cassini-Huygens, a joint robotic space mission promoted by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, currently studying Saturn and its moons, has discovered oil and gas deposits on Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite. The estimated reserves exceed terrestrial deposits by some 100 times.

Previous images received from Cassini-Huygens indicated rain and snowfall on Titan. Although the discovery of oil and gas deposits on this moon is hardly sensational, it could help scientists explain the origin of life on the earth. Many scientists say extraterrestrial sources of energy could provide humankind with enough heat and energy for hundreds of years to come and would help it cope with a snowballing energy crisis.