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Showing posts from 2008

Solitude is bliss!


When I set out to explore this world alone on that chilly October morning, I was only thanking my wife and my expectations were nil. Because, without her consent, I couldn’t have set out.

But the day unveiled splendidly before me. While exiting out of Bangalore (my second home), I got lost in the half constructed outer ring road. With the road not yet opened up for public, I was driving all alone for a 6-7 Km stretch in that 6 lane highway, welcoming the Sun! My thoughts were getting aligned and purified as I look in the direction of ‘Queen of Hills’, Nilgiris.

My plan of staying the first night at Masinagudi area got thwarted as ll the 25+ resorts in that region looked like booked. Anyways, Mudumalai is not one of my favourite sanctuaries in South India, as the vegetation & weather isn’t that appealing.

After 11/2 hours of strenuous search mission, I located Devashola, a tea estate of 650 acres. My desire of seeing the locality in twilight succeeded. From there on, the expe…
20 April 2008
Humanity faces one of its shameful crises in the recent years and it’s about food, the basic ingredient of life.

Food riots turn deadly in Haiti

Across globe, hunger brings rising anger

Asian food crisis has political and civil implications

US Food Riots Much Closer Than You Think

Food riots to worsen without global action: UN

Search for ‘food riots’ in Google and you’d get results like the ones listed above.

Empty shelves in Caracas; Food riots in Bangladesh and Mexico; Warnings of hunger in Jamaica, Nepal, the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africa; Soaring prices for basic foods are beginning to lead to political instability, with governments being forced to step in to artificially control the cost of bread, maize, rice and dairy products. The price of rice in the world markets has surged 165 percent over the past year. The global food reserves are at their lowest in 25 years and that prices will remain high for years. If you combine the increase of the oil prices and the increa…

Vernal Equinox

20 March 2008
Today being the Vernal Equinox, or in other words, the day when Sun crosses the equator from southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere, thoughts started drifting towards astronomy.

The Earth's seasons are caused by the rotation axis of the Earth not being perpendicular to its orbital plane (Note, seasons has nothing to do with the elliptical orbit of earth). The Earth's axis is tilted at an angle of approximately 23.44° from the orbital plane. As a consequence, for half a year (from around 20 March to around 22 September) the northern hemisphere tips toward the Sun, with the maximum around 21 June, while for the other half year the southern hemisphere has this honour, with the maximum around 21 December.
While surfing about eclipses during last month’s lunar eclipse, happened to realize that it’d take 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours for the same lunar eclipse to happen again (at the same location on earth). This cycle is called Saro’s cycle and understanding th…

Shanthivanam Newsletter - 2

Volume 2, 21 February 2008

Capitalism to Freeganism

When a group of environmentally concerned friends in San Francisco decided to buy nothing for a year, they unwittingly sparked an international trend. And even before that, Freeganism is a trend practised globally for quite some time now. According to Wikipedia, Freeganism is an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. With an exploding social web and a metastasizing network of blogs, this phenomenon is on the rise. Now that's a U-turn from the founding principles of western economy – Capitalism. So, does that mean, with globalization, it's not necessary that capitalism & consumerism spreads. A wishful thought, perhaps.

Freegans' motivations are varied and numerous; some adhere to it for environmental reasons, some for religious & political reasons. But the core conscience is ab…

Shanthivanam Newsletter - 1

Just a thought...

I guess 2007 has given enough events & thoughts to ponder to thank it and lets hope 2008 brings all the needful surprises to make this a better world! Wishing a very happy 2008 to all!

This newsletter, as a new year's sprout of Shanthivanam will grow fortnightly on every Full Moon day, highlighting the latest news & developments around our world, which has an impact on our evolutionary process. The intent here is to project & analyze such news bytes in a fitting background. Be it ClimatATIC Change, Carbon Trading, Nuclear Energy, Nutri-genetics, Stem Cell Therapy or GM Crops, it is important to experience and digest the information in the right context. For, life is all about NATURAL SELECTION. It's about trying to see the Earth and life In it as an integrated whole!

Though the UNPCC report on Climate Change is laden with political connotations and softened due to enterprise lobbies, the study elucidates one thing with certainity: The speed of climat…