Friday, June 19, 2009

Odd and Strange Plants


The Zombie hand mushroom (photo, extreme left) looks like a dead hand with a bad smell like a dead fish or rat.

The pitcher plants (photo, middle) are carvinorous plants. Their pitcher-like shape attracts insects by their sweet smell and color. The liquid inside traps, drowns, and dissolves the insects.
Next t is the Venus Fly Traps. They catch and eat flies with their wide-open traps that react at speeds of ½ second to capture the flies!!! Earlier seen in South Carolina and North Carolina, its population is much less now. This can be grown at homes also.

The Corpse Flower of Indonesia (photo, extreme left). It stays for two days and will reappear only after 1-3 years.
Source: Google
Image: Google

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Zero-emission car from Japan


Yes, Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is to come out with its first zero-emission mini -car. The i-MiEV or the Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle” is run on electricity and not on petroleum and has no engine or a muffler. It runs quietly. The running cost is just one- third of that of a petrol-powered car or less which looks attractive. While it can run 160 kilometers on a fully charged lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged overnight on a domestic power source, right now, it takes 14 hours to fully recharge the battery aagain. Technological breakthrough in lithium-ion batteries is expected as a normal corollary to this project. Though the cost may be prohibitive now at around $47,000 or 4.6 million yen, it may come down with mass production. Mitsubishi Motors plans to sell this green car initially to corporate and government customers in 2010 and then to the general public. The company hopes to offer about 15,000 units to the general public by 2011. There is no carbon emission from this car at all, a sure way to curb global warming, which is the need of the hour. The Japanese government has offered tax concessions to potential buyers.

The present recession in world economy may not be a limiting factor in the success of this car as the emphasis now is on reducing carbon emissions. Efforts are on in Japan to produce fuel cell cars that produce electricity with hydrogen and oxygen with water being the only byproduct with no carbon emissions at all. The emphasis now is on clean cars that run on biofuel or clean diesel as well as electricity.
Source: Google
Image: Google

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Malaysia’s Batu Cave Temple


Located in then Gombak district of Malaysia 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur, this cave was first discovered over 100 years ago. It is a limestone hill with numerous caves and cave temples. The cave derives its name from the Batu River that flows past the hill. A Hindu temple of Malaysia dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan here attracts over 1.5 million pilgrims during the annual Thaipusam festival During this occasion, ardent devotees go around with their cheeks pierced with sharp instruments apparently with no pain felt at all. Situated above 100 m above the ground level, this temple has three caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest cave has 272 steps to climb and has a 100-feet high ceiling The Dark Cave below the Temple Cave houses a variety of cave animals and admission is restricted. Gallery Cave at the foot of the steps houses statues and paintings depicting Hindu mythology. Quite interestlingly, Malaysia boasts of a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous cultures and customs.

Source: Google
Iamges: Wikipedia

Monday, June 15, 2009

India's Magic Observatory


India’s Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, the astronomical observatory will soon be a World Heritage Site. This recognition assumes greater importance as the year 2009 is being declared as the “International Year of Astronomy”.

This facility in Jaipur in the State of Rajasthan in India is the biggest of the five built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the erstwhile ruler of Jaipur. It is an astonishing collection of architectural astronomical instruments. This observatory has 14 major geometric devices for measurement of time, prediction of eclipses, tracking stars and other celestial parameters, and all of them are fixed tools. The largest of them, the Samrat Jantar is 90 feet tall at an angle of 27 degrees. Its shadow tells the time of the day with an accuracy of two seconds. A small cupola on its top is used to predict eclipses and monsoons. Its Giant Sun dial is the largest in the world, 27 meters tall with its shadow moving visibly at 1 mm per second, which is a profound experience for the people. This is already a national monument since 1948 now heading for world recognition.

The other four Jantar Mantar structures are located in the west central India, one each at Delhi, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura all constructed during the period 1724-1730 AD and all of them were made in masonry.

The Delhi Jantar Mantar, also a great masterpiece of Indian architecture was used to observe the Sun, moon and the other planets, but after its erection in 1724, it functioned only for seven years. While the huge sundial with its 27m-high arm at an angle of 27 degrees tracked the Sun, the remaining structures here tracked the various starts and planets. One structure here called the Mishra Yantra determined the longest and shortest days in the year. Interestingly, in December, one pillar overshadowsd the other and in June, no shadows are cast at all. This is the best preserved among all the five ones. The Ujjain and Varanasi observatories are in a state of neglect and decay. is a project initiated by Cornell University Professor of Arts, Barry Perlus. For more information, please contact him at
Also visit

Images: Google
Images: Wikipedia

Sunday, June 14, 2009



Global warming. Heed the warning. No procrastination, Concrete measures please.

Global temperature is forecast to rise 4 degrees by 2100 Around 200 million people are likely to be displaced from their homes by 2050 due to environmental reasons. The clear warning is that unless carbon emission is brought down drastically, global warming will become more hazardous endangering the world’s habitat and economy. As per NASA satellite images, nearly 94%of Rwanda’s Gishwati forest has disappeared mainly due to subsistence harvesting and cultivation by refugees after the notorious 1994 genocide now leaving only 600 hectares out of its original 100,000 hectares!!!

What is urgently required is a political goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050, but this needs to be transferred into quick results. Also the high level of carbon emissions does call for tougher law to reduce it to safer levels. Various studies do clearly emphasize the need for the nations to agree on this issue in order to avoid a rise of more than 2C in average temperature. Having agreed upon the urgency of the situation, you have to have appropriate technology and regulatory authority in place to assess and monitor carbon emissions from various sources.
While China, a rousing giant of global warming seems willing to limit its carbon emissions, this Asian giant may accord first priority to developing its economy. But it is considering imposing a pro rata carbon tax on coal and fossil fuels such as gasoline, jet fuel, and natural gas. Interestingly, China is committed to making the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Change Conference later this year a success.

Japan plans to cut its carbon emission by a modest 8%. Australia may postpone its planned carbon emissions trading scheme due to possible pressure from the opposition and industry though it is likely spend huge sums on tackling carbon emission issues.

Two billion tons of carbon generated by the US coal power plants constitutes about 27% of all its greenhouse gas emissions, and frighteningly this level is likely to go up by third by 2025!!!.

India can well cut 227 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in its power sector by reducing transmission and distribution losses as well as closing down the low-efficiency coal plants.

Source: Google
Images: Google

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Big Buddha on Lantau Island, Hongkong


Traditional Buddha or the Tian Tan Buddha at Ngong Ping, Lin Lantau Island of Hong Kong is a large statue of Buddha completed in 1993. A major Buddhist center, this is a major tourist attraction and is one of the five large Buddha statues in China. Here Buddha sits on a lotus throne. This statue is 34 meters tall and weighs 250 tonnes and is visible from 40 km away. A circular walkway for the visitors to climb the 268 steps to reach this statue is provided. The site also offers a small winding road to accommodate vehicles for the handicapped. While the raised right hand represents eradication of affliction, the left hand rests on the lap indicating a gesture of giving dhana or gift. While all other Buddha statues elsewhere face south, this Big Buddha faces north. Several small statues surround the Big Buddha.

There are three floors below this; The Hall of Universe, The Hall of Benevolent Merit, and The Hall of Remembrance. Another famous feature inside the site is the relic of Gautama Buddha consisting some cremated remains. Interestingly, there is a bell with Buddha’s images carved and this bell rings every 7 minutes or 108 times a day representing release of 108 kinds of human vexations.

Source: Google
Images: Google



Is it true? Copyright 2008 Fashionholic Designed by Ipiet Templates Supported by Tadpole's Notez Blogger Templates