Friday, April 30, 2010

Buffer Zones for Eco sensitive areas and wild life sanctuaries, Supreme Court of India has given directions to the state

Even after receiving strictures from the Supreme Court of India , most of the states in India are dragging their feet on creation of Buffer Zones for the wild life sanctuaries. The buffer is required to safeguard the interest of the wildlife in eco-sensitive areas. Even after the relaxation given in identifying areas under the various constraints the states have failed to identify areas. Only four states of Assam, Goa, Gujarat and Haryana have so far submitted their reports.

Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Borivili park) is the largest Urban Park in the world. Generates Oxygen

Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Borivili park) is the largest Urban Park in the world. It has an area of 104 sq kilometers. It is 30 times the size of New York’s Central Park. It lies in the borders of eastern and western suburbs of the city. It has tigers and around 22 leopards. It is like the lungs of the city of Mumbai and cleans the fumes of three lakh vehicles that the city emits every day. But the park is in threat as land sharks and other unauthorized settlements are shrinking the size of the park. Also tribals are being pushed inside the park as their land are being grabbed by the various vested parties. The Supreme court has given orders which have protected the interest of the various environmentalist groups and conservationists.

Barak Obama's administration has approved construction of the first offshore US wind farm, Germany opens its offshore wind farm in North Sea

President Barak Obama's administration has approved construction of the first offshore US wind farm near the Massachusetts coastline, expected to produce up to 468 MW of electricity. Germany too opens its fist offshore wind farm in the North Sea after years of delays and technical problems.

Global Head Quarter of wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Limited in Pune , gets certified as an eco-friendly building by the US Green Building Council ( Platinum certification from LEED)

The newly built global headquarter of wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Limited in Pune was on Friday certified as an eco-friendly building by the US Green Building Council. The headquarter named One Earth received the Platinum certification of Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED), a green environment rating system that complies with the standards of the US Green Building Council. LEED standards specify stringent norms to be met for the greenest, most energy-efficient and high performance buildings. The Indian Ambassador to the US, Meera Shankar, presented the certification to Tulsi Tanti, chairman of the Suzlon Group, at a function here. The event was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in association with the US India Business Council.

China rolled out the world’s largest Expo 2010 Shanghai

The expo is aimed to showcase China’s might as a global player. Almost $58 billion has been pumped into the local economy for preparing for the expo. The six month long event is expected to attract about 70 million visitors from across the world. About 179 countries and 59 international organizations are participating in the expo. The event began in London in the year 1851 world’s fair.

“Sustainable Futures” an exhibition in London’s Design Museum is showcasing how the future will look like with Green and Sustainable projects

“Sustainable Futures” an exhibition in London’s Design Museum is showcasing how the future will look like with projects which do not compromise on luxury and also are good to our planet. The exhibition is showcasing projects from Curitiba in Brazil -- an environmental role model where recycling and efficient transport were established decades ago -- to Masdar, in the United Arab Emirates which is scheduled to be completed in 2016 and is being touted as the world's first zero-carbon city. They include Renzo Piano's California Academy of Sciences building in San Francisco which opened in 2008. A 2.5 acre "living roof" is complimented by solar panels and its frame is constructed almost entirely from recycled steel. Even two thirds of its insulation has come from recycled blue jeans. Mathieu Lehanneur's Local River -- an aquarium that also grows herbs -- and Jochem Faudet's "Grow Your Own" -- a compact greenhouse -- both offer solutions to cultivating home-grown food in cramped urban environments. UK fashion designer Christopher Raeburn's parkas are made from old military parachutes, Swiss-based architect Nicola Enrico Staubli has created foldschool (DIY cardboard furniture for kids) and visitors can also track the progress of Plastiki's voyage from San Francisco to Sydney on their boat made from plastic bottles.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Japan seeks to arrest Sea Shepherd activist

The Japanese coastguard has obtained an arrest warrant for Canadian environmental activist Paul Watson for disrupting whale hunts, reports say.

Mr Watson's Sea Shepherd conservation society shadowed the annual Japanese whaling fleet through the Antarctic.
Mr Watson advocates direct action and has faced charges in Canada and Norway.
Japan hunts hundreds of whales each year for what it calls research, but environmentalists say the real purpose is to sell whale meat.
Sea Shepherd's campaign saw its vessels manoeuvring so close to Japan's whaling ships this January that one of its boats was sliced in two.
Japan has confirmed that it had abandoned commercial whaling in 1986 after agreeing to a global moratorium - but international rules allow it to continue hunting under the auspices of a research programme.

Oil reaches coast in US disaster

A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana and President Barack Obama has pledged "every single available resource" to help.
The US navy has been deployed to help avert a looming environmental disaster.
The US Coast Guard reported late on Thursday that long, thin traces of crude oil were washing up on the Louisiana shoreline.
Thicker concentrations were a few miles offshore.

Fishing and shrimping is such an important industry here, and could take a massive hit. Local fishermen have been advised to go out and try to recover as much as they can before the slick approaches land

Most Americans still live in unclean air

A new report says more than half of Americans still live in areas with unhealthy air, despite progress in reducing smog.
The report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association is based on 2006-2008 figures. It says progress has been made in reducing particle pollution such as soot and dust, thanks to cleaner diesel engines and controls on coal-fired power plants.
The Los Angeles area continued to have the nation's worst ozone pollution while Bakersfield had the worst short-term particle pollution.
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area of Arizona had the worst year-round particle pollution.
The cleanest cities in the nation were Fargo, N.D.; Wahpeton, N.D., and Lincoln, Neb.

Military Develops Multi-Purpose 'Green' Decontaminants for Terrorist Attack Sites

Chemists with the United States military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The new formulas are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. But they are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products.

The main ingredients in each Decon Green formula are peroxides, the same substances that are in many household cleaners and whitening toothpaste. To bolster their effectiveness, the peroxides are mixed with bicarbonates or other non-toxic bases. That combination produces peroxyanions, highly reactive ions that can clean just about anything. It ensures that chemical weapons, like nerve gas, will break down completely.


Treatment of tuberculosis in chronic renal failure patients is slightly different from that of a patient with normal renal function.Avoid aminglycosides.INH and rifampicin can be used in their usual doses as these drugs are excreted primarily in bile. Ethambutol should be used at dosage of 15mg/kg body wt three times weekly and pyrazinamide at dosage of 25mg/kg body wt three times weekly. the duration of treatment remains the same as for any tuberculosis patient.

Oil spill of ‘national significance’

Obama steps up efforts, sends top aides to Gulf region

The Obama administration pledged an all-out response Thursday to the massive oil spill now expected to reach the Gulf Coast within a day and dispatched top officials to the region to help coordinate defenses against the potential environmental disaster. Federal officials announced inspections would begin immediately of all oil rigs in the Gulf and subpoena powers would be used in the gathering investigation. But the priority was to support the oil company BP PLC in employing booms, skimmers, chemical dispersants and controlled burns to fight the oil surging from the seabed.

President Barack Obama spoke Thursday with five Gulf state governors from Florida to Texas.

Meanwhile, the spill has moved steadily toward the mouth of the Mississippi River and the wetland areas east of it, home to hundreds of species of wildlife and near some rich oyster grounds.

Australia bans logos and other graphic designs on Cigarette packs, anti smoking drive. India is also becoming strict about smoking laws.

Human HealthAustralia is the first country to ban logos and other graphic designs on Cigarette packs in a fresh anti smoking drive. By July 2012, all cigarettes in the country will be sold in plain packs carrying graphic warnings against smoking, according to an anti-smoking initiative announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's office.
"Now the big tobacco companies are going to go out there and whinge, whine, complain, consider every form of legal action known to man," Rudd told reporters. "That's par for course. We, the government, will not be intimidated by any big tobacco company trying to get in the road of doing the right thing."
The cigarette companies are not very happy with the move as they say that customers cannot identify brands in plain packs. Earlier this year India had asked all cigarette companies to display large graphic pictures about the harmful effect of smoking cigarettes on the pack.

US and Russia are trying to sign fresh adoption agreement. Russian orphans are suffering because of the problems in international adoption.

The adoption scandal which hit Russia earlier this year has affected the orphans. Eager people from other countries have been trying to avoid Russia. These include "social orphans" have been separated from their parents to protect them from threats like parental alcoholism, child abuse and neglect. The issue has now blown up at the government level and the two governments US and Russia are trying to work out proper laws for international adoption. UNICEF's Beinvel welcomes a fresh U.S.-Russian initiative to sign a new adoption agreement. But he also argues Russia must do more to save hundreds of thousands of children, many of whom are having to be separated from their parents.

Plasma screens threaten eco-crisis

plasma televisions – a popular option among the young and the old alike. Plasma screens have been nicknamed the 4×4s of the living room by many, as they consume four times the power taken up by a traditional television set and produce four times the carbon dioxide while working. The LCDs obviously are less under threat as they consume far less power compared to the Plasma. A 42 inches widescreen Plasma TV consumes 822 KWH electricity, on an average, per year. Comparatively, a 42 inches LCD TV consumes only 350 KWH and a 42 inches CRT TV consumes 322 KWH.EU is taking every possible step to ensure that Europe does all it can to help reduce carbon emissions and set the reduction standards that nations have set for themselves. But one can wonder how effective this really is, when the remainder of the world goes on merrily adding more carbon dioxide each year! Is plasma banning a good solution? Is it a small step towards a greener environment, or there’s more to it?

Glass in Food Packaging

Although the industry offers several packaging alternatives, glass containers are preferred as they are healthy, hygienic and eco friendly. Other packaging materials score over glass owing to its fragility and bulkiness, but this character of class sometimes overrides the broader and long term concerns like health and environment. moreover to compete with alternative packaging materials, glass manufacturers are investing in technology for improving the weight and strength of glass container. Glass bottles and jars have many advantages over alternative packaging materials for foods and beverages. Made from non-toxic raw materials, glass is the only packaging material certified by the US food & Drug administration (US-FDA) as 'generally regarded as safe'(GRAS).

Obama administration will 'hold South Africa to account for Eskom plant CO2'

Climate chief Jonathan Pershing defends abstention on World Bank loan for controversial power station while holding country to account for carbon emissions.

The Obama administration said today it intends to hold South Africa to its promise to act on climate change a week after the country secured $3.75bn funds to build one of the world's biggest coal plants.

In an appearance before Congress, Jonathan Pershing, the deputy special envoy for climate change, said the Obama administration would hold South Africa responsible for a rise in greenhouse gas emissions from the controversial project by the state-owned Eskom utility.

South Africa, in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit, committed to a 34% reduction in business as usual emissions by 2020 and a 42% by 2025. Both targets are put in jeopardy by the plant, environmentalists say.

Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, was dogged in expressing concern that climate change was a ruse to force African women to use birth control and have abortions.
He repeatedly referred to African children as "carbon breathers", at least, he implied, in the eyes of those concerned about climate change.
"If we blame the child as a carbon breather for climate issues I think we are going down the wrong path," Smith said.

Is climate change South Asia's deadliest threat?

The climate change issue urgently demands a meeting of minds. The issue of climate change is the main item on the agenda of the summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit under way in the Bhutanese capital Thimpu. Experts say the vulnerability of the region to climate change means that there is an urgent need for concrete action.

Intense floods, droughts and cyclones have impacted on the economic performances of South Asian countries and the lives of millions of poor, it also puts at risk infrastructure, agriculture, human health, water resources and the environment.

One of the latest disputes between the South Asian nuclear rivals is that of sharing of water resources which, experts fear, will get worse as the climate change problem itself remains unaddressed. Petty squabbles earlier hindered the climate change battle.

RBS faces mass 'blood oil' protests on day of AGM

Protests are taking place today across the UK demanding RBS stops backing tar sands extraction with taxpayers' money. Protesters will be joined in Edinburgh by a First Nations woman who will question RBS bosses directly over the bank's involvement with tar sands firms destroying her community.

People & Planet students and other protesters are demanding that the bank stops using public funds to finance ‘the most destructive and devastating companies in the world’, such as tar sands and mining companies because of the impact on indigenous communities and climate change. RBS has been involved in fossil fuel and tar sands related companies to the tune of over £10 billion and over £1 billion respectively since their first bail out in 2008.

Radiation Exposure related death in Delhi (India) , old equipment ( Gamma Irradiator ) from Delhi University sold as scrap is the cause

The radiation scare which gripped India’s capital in the month of April was traced to Delhi University. Delhi University had bought Gamma Irradiator in 1968 from Canada. The equipment was in use till 1985 thereafter the equipment was not being used. The university committee decided to sell it off as a scrap/ Some scrap dealer who bought the equipment tried to dismantle it when the Cobalt 60 being used in the equipment was exposed. This has lead to the death of one worker due to exposure to radiation. This shows how dealing with scrap is increasingly becoming a problem and often hazardous to health. Countris are trying to deal with this with proper disposal laws related to hazardous waste.

Winds from Siberia Reduce Arctic Sea Ice Cover

In recent years, satellite images have shown large variations in the ice cover around the North Pole. The images have also shown that the ice cover in the Arctic has diminished considerably over the past 30 years, with the most drastic reductions occurring in recent years. Many experts believe that it is now only a matter of decades before climate change results in a totally ice-free Arctic during parts of the year.

A few years ago, US researchers discovered what they termed the "Arctic climate paradox." Since 1980, the researchers had been observing a decrease in ice cover. They explained this through a slow process of climate change combined with fluctuations in patterns of atmospheric pressure and air currents over the Arctic. It was believed that the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) was a major cause of the receding ice cover.

Crows are more innovative than was thought

Scientists from New Zealand's University of Auckland have found that the birds are able to use three tools in succession to reach some food.
The crows, which use tools in the wild, have also shown other problem-solving behaviour, but this find suggests they are more innovative than was thought.

They are the only birds known to craft and use tools in the wild.
The discovery that they whittle branches into hooks and tear leaves into barbed probes to extract food from hard-to-reach nooks astounded scientists, who had previously thought that ability to fashion tools was unique to primates.

And further research in the laboratory and the field has revealed that New Caledonian crows are also innovative problem solvers, often rivalling primates. Experiments have shown that the birds can craft new tools out of unfamiliar materials, as well as use a number of tools in succession.

To further understand how the birds perform these tasks, the University of Auckland team set seven wild crows, which had temporarily been captured and placed in an aviary, a complicated problem.
The birds were presented with some out-of reach food; a long tool, which could be used to extract the food, but which was also out of reach, tucked behind the bars of a box; and a short tool, which could be used to extract the long tool, but which was attached to the end of a dangling piece of string tied to the crow's perch.

And these birds have also surprised scientists with their problem-solving abilities - most recently, they have been shown to repeat Aesop's fable, by working out that dropping stones into water will raise its height, giving them access to some floating food.

Massive Iceberg Collision

A 60-mile-long iceberg roughly the size of Luxembourg shaved off a new iceberg after crashing into a glacier.The two icebergs are drifting together about 62 to 93 miles (100 to 150 kilometers) off eastern Antarctica following the collision on Feb. 12 or 13, said Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Neal Young.

The new iceberg is 48 miles (78 kilometers) long and about 24 miles (39 kilometers) wide and holds roughly the equivalent of a fifth of the world's annual total water usage, Young told The Associated Press.

The dislodging occurred because of the iceberg's latest location and water that had warmed during Antarctica's summer, leaving less sea ice, Legresy said.

Some experts are concerned about the effect of the massive displacement of ice on the ice-free water next to the glacier, which is important for ocean currents, while others are less concerned.

This sinking water is what spills into ocean basins and feeds the global ocean currents with oxygen, Rintoul explained.
As there are only a few areas in the world where this occurs, a slowing of the process would mean less oxygen supplied into the deep currents that feed the oceans.
"There may be regions of the world's oceans that lose oxygen, and then of course most of the life there will die," said Mario Hoppema, chemical oceanographer at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany.

The icebergs, weighing 860 billion tons and 700 billion tons respectively, are in water over the Antarctic Continental Shelf, Young said.

World's Oldest Oil Spills: Asphalt 'Volcanoes'

The world's largest and oldest piles of asphalt have been found on a sea floor basin off Santa Barbara, Calif.

The approximately 35,000-year-old volcanoes are also potential treasure troves of ancient sea organisms, said David Valentine of the University of California at Santa Barbara and lead author on a paper about the discovery in the latest issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

The six-story-tall "volcanoes" of crumbly, tarry stuff found 700 feet (213 meters) down are not a highway department waste dump. Rather, they are the result of natural oil seepage from the sea floor over tens of thousands of years.

Weapons Emerge From Melting Arctic Ice

An array of weapons dating as far back as 2,400 years is found as ice patches melt away in Canada's Mackenzie Mountains.A treasure trove of ancient weapons has emerged from melting ice patches in the Canadian Arctic, revealing hunting strategies thousands of years old.

The weapons, which include a 2,400-year-old spear throwing tools, a 1000-year-old ground squirrel snare, and bows and arrows dating back 850 years, have been found high in the remote Mackenzie Mountains, a region where Mountain Boreal caribou abound in the summer months.

Their tools buried deep beneath centuries of winter snow are now revealing how hunting strategies developed over thousands of years.

Are We Infecting Mars With Our Germs?

The hunt for life on Mars continues, but say if the life discovered has a decidedly Earth-like flavor?

Before any mission to Mars launches, NASA's scientists and engineers put every tiny component of the robot through rigorous sterilization procedures, ensuring the lander or rover is bacteria-free. This isn't because NASA has an extreme case of obsessive compulsive disorder, it's because they want to keep the Martian surface as pristine from Earth Brand™ bugs as possible.

However, recent studies have shown that a surprisingly large number of microbial life survive the sterilization procedures and remain attached to the spacecraft at the time of launch. And here's the kicker: only the toughest bugs survive to this point, the same bugs that could make ideal Mars colonists.

Needless to say we need to improve our spacecraft-cleaning methods before we potentially turn Mars into Earth's petri dish.

Cape Cod Offshore Wind Farm Approved

The Obama administration has approved what would be the nation's first offshore wind farm, off Cape Cod, inching the U.S. closer to harvesting an untapped domestic energy source -- the steady breezes blowing along its vast coasts.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has been an enthusiastic backer of Cape Wind, pushing it as key to the state's efforts to increase its use of renewable energy. The lead federal agency reviewing the project, the Minerals Management Service, issued a report last year saying the project posed no major environmental problems.

Critics say the project endangers wildlife and air and sea traffic, while marring historic vistas. The late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy fought Cape Wind, calling it a special interest giveaway. The wind farm would be visible from the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport.

"Cape Wind is the first offshore wind farm to be built in the wrong place, in the wrong way, stimulating the wrong economies," Delahunt Democrat U.S. Rep.said Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A moth new to science

"We hear so much about the losses to the natural world, and less about the gains; which makes this find, however small, so important," says Matthew Oates, an adviser on nature conservation at the National Trust.
New British moth found in Hembury Woods is world first. The 3mm-long micro moth, which lives in Hembury Woods in Devon, was recognised as a new species this year.
The tiny micro moth, which has a wingspan of just 6mm, was first spotted in 2004.In January this year, the moth was officially recognised in the journal Zookeys as a new species, named Ectoedemia heckfordi after its discoverer. It is not known to live outside of the UK.
Most are plant feeders, with larvae often mining galleries in leaves, between the leaf surfaces.Some, though, breed in fungi and a few have aquatic larvae. Most are nocturnal but quite a few also fly by day.

Oak disease 'threatens landscape'

The UK's two native species of oak trees are affected by the disease caused by a bacterial infection, can kill an infected tree in just a few years.

Information from Forest Research, the scientific department of the UK Forestry Commission, says the new disease affects oaks more than 50 years old. Symptoms are "extensive stem bleeding" in which dark fluid seeps from small cracks in the bark and runs down the tree trunk.
In early stages of the disease, the health of a tree's canopy does not appear to be affected, but it may become thinner as the tree succumbs to Acute Oak Decline AOD.

Google Warns , Fake antivirus for PC is a thriving industry.

Fake antivirus for PC is a thriving industry. The scammers trick people into believing that their PC is infected with a virus. They lure their victim to buy the new antivirus software online. The malware remains in the PC even after the payment has been made. The confidential payment information is often sold to other parties at a price. In addition to that the malware in PC continues to be a threat to the PC. The threat is so serious that Google has warned the users and has taken several steps to counter the problem.

China removes Ban on HIV or AIDS infected visitors, just before the Shanghai World Expo. WHO commends the action. US has also removed the ban.

China has removed the ban on HIV and AIDS infected visitors from visiting China. The 20 year old law was found to be ineffective from spreading the disease within the country. China felt that the ban was counterproductive. During hosting international events such a law was causing problem from them. A couple of months earlier US had removed HIV from the list. "China's decision to categorically remove HIV/AIDS from the list of conditions subject to entry restrictions is a significant step in the right direction," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general. "This decision should inspire other nations to change laws and policies that continue to discriminate against people living with HIV." The decision has come just a couple of days before the six month long event of Shanghai World Expo. The event is expected to attract about 70 million visitors with 190 participating countries.

Water-ice on the surface of an asteroid.

24 Themis sits well beyond the orbit of Mars has 'frosted surface'.The first-time observation was made on 24 Themis, a huge rock that orbits almost 480 million km out from the Sun. The researchers say that ice is not stable in such circumstances and has to be being replenished by some means - perhaps from inside the object. They tell Nature magazine the finding is fascinating because it plays into the theory that the water in Earth's oceans was delivered from space.
The observation that its surface is frosted was confirmed by two independent teams who examined how light was reflected off the body using Nasa's Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
Scientists have long since detected hydrated, or water-containing, minerals on the surfaces of asteroids - but this is a first in terms of an observation of exposed water-ice.

Controlled burn - Gulf of Mexico

The US coast guard has said it will set fire to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday as efforts to stem a leak after a rig blast are failing. Officials are concerned that, unless controlled, the leak could cause one of the worst spills in US history.

Coast Guard Rear Adm Mary Landry has said work on sealing leaks using robotic submersibles could take months.
Around 1,000 barrels are leaking every day after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank last week.
Eleven of the rig's workers are still missing and presumed dead in the disaster off the Louisiana coast.
A "controlled burn" would involve setting fire to an area of oil trapped by special containment booms on the water's surface.
Environmental experts say birds and animals are more likely to escape a burning patch of water than an oil slick, although toxic fumes could endanger wildlife. The spill moving toward land, the impact on Louisiana's coastline, which contains some 40% of the nation's wetlands and spawning grounds for countless fish and birds, had to be considered.

About 1,000 barrels (42,000 US gallons; 35,000 imperial gallons) of oil a day have been gushing into the sea since the blast.
The resulting oil slick now has a circumference of about 600 miles (970km) and covers about 28,600 sq miles (74,100 sq km).
The slick is now about 20 miles (32km) off the coast of Louisiana, but wind projections indicate it will not reach land before Saturday.

New deadly fungus a strain Cryptococcus gattii , is spreading in US

A new deadly fungus is spreading in US which has killed six people. It is slowly spreading from Oregon to California and is expected to spread further. The new strain is of the species Cryptococcus gattii, an airborne fungus native to tropical and subtropical regions, including Papua New Guinea, Australia, and parts of South America. It is not sure how it spread to North America. It is quite alarming that it is affecting healthy people. There's no vaccination or other preventative measure available for the new strain, though the infection can be treated with antibiotics.

US officials are considering a controlled burn to contain the oil spill form the oil rig accident site in Gulf of Mexico

US officials are considering a controlled burn to contain the oil spill form the oil rig accident site in Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill is slowly floating towards the US shore. Earlier other attempts to stop the oil leak turned out to be unsuccessful. "We're prepared to use every tool in the tool kit" to fight the oil spill as far off coast as possible, said Rear Adm. Mary Landry, commander of the Eighth U.S. Coast Guard District, who is leading the response effort.

SAARC , Indian Prime Minister will meet the Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani to be held in Bhutan

Indian Prime Minister will meet the Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani in the XVIth SAARC meeting to be held in Bhutan. There was a lot of speculation if the two heads will meet for a bilateral talk as India was not very satisfied with the steps taken by Pakistan to curb cross border terrorism. The latest issues of arrest of Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta on charges of spying for Pakistan will most probably not be discussed. Pakistan has stated it as India’s internal issue.

World financial markets in turmoil over Greece bailout and downgrade

The world financial markets are in turmoil as the credit rating of Greece is downgraded. The financial markets fear that the debt crisis of Greece will spread to other countries in the Euro Zone. The investors are taking a cautious path. Will Greece will downgraded to Junk Status? Greece is looking forward to a bail out from the European nations and the International monetary fund. Greece’s national debt now stands at 13.6 % of the gross domestic product of the country. The downgrading of the country increases the risk of a double dip recession. It is a double edged sword for Greece where in they cannot avoid taking the bailout nor can they avoid the after effect of the bad reputation it earn for years to come.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Earth day has turned 40, NASA is monitoring the health of Earth from space

Earth day has turned 40. The first earth day was celebrated in 1970. It was a simple affair with campaigns set to make people aware of the planet. 40 years on it has become much more wide spread with NASA pitching in with its own ways to help our planet earth. NASA is monitoring the health of the planet from space.

Bornean Lungless frog breathes through its skin

Bornean Lungless frog breathes through its skin. Without lungs, the frog's body is flatter, which allows the animal to maneuver better in fast-flowing streams. The flat shape also affords an unusually large surface area, which facilitates skin-breathing, scientists say.

The Island Gray fox – the smallest fox found in United States, is on the verge of extinction

The Island Gray fox – the smallest fox found in United States, is on the verge of extinction. Only a few thousands f the species remain. They are under the threat of diseases from the domestic dogs and also from the predation from golden eagles.

Goldman Sachs bosses appear before the senate , deny any wrong doings

Goldman Sachs bosses appear before the senate. What they are going to say is very predictable. The challenge before the enquiring senate is to prove what they had long suspected, Goldman profited while the whole world around them collapsed. And they exploited the circumstances in unethical ways. But in this financial world there is a very thin line which divided ethical and the unethical. I am sure there wouldn’t even be any laws to pin them down. Also a few mails would be very difficult to prove any wrong doings. It would be very interesting to see how the whole process unfolds.

Chernobyl after 24 years still remind us of the bitter truth of the world's worst Nuclear Disaster

It has been 24 years since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster happened and rattled the world. Its effect is still being felt by the generations. There has spate of demonstrations which has been planned across the world to remind the world of the grim effects of the accident and also to educate the world of the darker side of nuclear power. As the world population grows and the standard of living of people rise, the demand of power is rising at an unprecedented rate. The world has understood that fossil fuel cannot meet this ever increasing demand. Alternate and non-conventional sources of energy are still a distant dream. It is the nuclear power which can rescue the world, however the power plants have to be made safer so the such incidents do not occur again. Also as technology advance the chances that such incident will occur are bleak.worst

Christie's auction house, green charity auction, artists Damien Hirst and Subodh Gupta . Act of charity to save the earth.

Christie auction house for the first time has carried out a green charity auction. The highest sale was that of Damien Hirst’s All you Need is Jealousy. It recorded a price of $92000, a household gloss and silkscreen on paper. The next highest price was recorded by contemporary artist Subodh Gupta. His brass and stainless steel utensils fetched a record price of $ 80000. The auction has fetched good prices. It was good act of charity to save the earth.

Barack Obama tries to boost business relationship with Islamic nations

After his landmark speech in Cairo last year, Barack Obama is set again to take a unprecedented step. He has invited entrepreneurs from 50 nations to the white house. Commerce secretary said that such a meet will not only improve the relationship with those nations but will also be beneficial to the trade and commerce.

Bharat Bandh today against Inflation

The 12-hour Bharat bandh called today by the Thirteen non-UPA and non-NDA parties against spiralling prices is affecting life across states where these parties have a stronghold. They launched a countrywide stir over the runaway prices of essential commodities, petrol, diesel and fertilisers today.The dawn-to-dusk bandh has disrupted rail and road traffic in Kerala, throwing normal life out of gear...


A 75 year old man presented to the opd with the chief complaint of shortness of breath since last 2-3 months which worsened during last 3-4 days.There was no fever,cough,chest pain,swelling of body,bowel or bladder problems.On examination his bp was 160/80,pulse84/min,regular,respiratory rate was 24/min,no cyanosis, clubbing,pedal oedema.his chest was clear and heart sounds normal,abdominal examination did not reveal any abnormality.he was a non smoker,non alcoholic,ex tailor. His spo2 was 84% in room air.He was hospitalized for investigation and management.His chest xray and resting ECG was normal.The only abnormality in his blood reports was raised urea(200)and creatinine(13.6) values.He was suggested urgent haemodialysis to which he denied,left hospital and was lost to follow up.
This was a case of acute renal failure ,probably in the background of chronic renal failure which was not detected earlier.So beware,shortness of breath may be the sole presenting feature of renal failure,in the absensce of any other signs or symptoms.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tea Party to Green Tea Party and Climate Bill , Thomas Friedman

I was going through a column by Thomas Friedman wherein he puts forward a case for turning the Tea party to Green Tea party. Tea party is becoming popular in America. A few young enthusiasts are angry with the functioning of the government. They want less interference by the government and cut defect. He argues that the movement would have far reaching influence if they turned it into a green movement, which aims to bring down America’s dependence on imported oil. America imports about 11 million barrels of oil every day. Imported Oil accounted for about $ 27.5 billion of the total deficit of about $ 37.3 billion. A radical concept of putting a fee of $ 10 per barrel on imported oil would drastically reduce the deficit. He is also not very happy with the fact that the climate bill could not be legislated in the stipulated time. This energy bill was critical towards reducing the carbon emissions.

South Korea unofficially points towards North Korea for the sunken warship

As South Korea is bringing up the sunken warship for investigating what made it sink, tensions are gripping the two nations which have been technically on war for the last couple of decades. South Korea believes that close range explosion which resulted in the bubble jet effect resulted in the mishap which caused heavy loss to human life. It believes that the close range explosion could have been caused by a heavy North Korean torpedo or mine. The ship went down near to a site where the two nations have clashed three times since 1999. The 1950-53 Korean war ended in truce but there is not peace treaty, which means the two countries are perpetually at logger heads.

Internet and Texting Addiction in Young Americans

Young Americans are increasingly becoming addicted to Internet and texting. This unhealthy trend is affecting their social life. Even though it is still not considered a disorder, but in extreme case it can be harmful to a healthy lifestyle. In a reported incident a South Korean couple neglected their three month old daughter because of internet addiction who finally died because of mal nutrition. The young Americans are increasingly becoming oblivious to the world around them and all that matters is their electronic social networking medium.


Two billion tons of human and animal waste and industrial pollution are dumped into waterways every day around the world. Sewage and animal waste as the biggest source of global water pollution, flushing pathogens and an overdose of nutrients and sediments into rivers and lakes, and out to sea. Nearly 80 percent of sewage around the globe is flushed, untreated, directly into lakes, rivers, and oceans.
Children are often the most vulnerable to waterborne diseases associated with sewage contamination. According to UN statistics, a child dies from waterborne diseases, primarily diarrhea, every 20 seconds.
While modern treatment facilities are generally able to remove pathogens from human waste, there is a whole new suite of chemicals to consider. Traces of antidepressants, birth control, illegal drugs, sunscreen, and insect repellent are just some of the compounds often impervious to treatment.

Robotic submersibles to cap oil leakage

Robot vessels used to cap Gulf of Mexico oil leak. British oil company BP, which leased the rig, said the "first-of-its-kind" attempt would take 24 to 36 hours. There are fears of an environmental disaster if the mission fails. Conservation experts say the oil leak has the potential to damage beaches, barrier islands and wetlands across the coastline.
BP is using submersible vehicles, equipped with cameras and remote-controlled arms, to try to activate a blow-out preventer - a series of pipes and valves that could stop the leak.

Our galaxy is illuminated in new images

The pictures reveal features of the Milky Way that are unseen by most other space observatories, say scientists. On one level, therefore, Monday's release represents "rejected" data - although Planck scientists stress there will be many researchers for whom this information will still hold high value.

The pictures illustrate "the stuff" that sits between the stars - the great clouds of dust and gas that billow about in space, aggregating in some places to form stars and dispersing in others as they are pushed about by the pressure of starlight. All of this information provides useful insight on the complex processes that go into sculpting our galaxy.

This so-called Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) fills the entire sky and retains fundamental information about the age, contents and structure of the cosmos. Planck's chief objective, however, is to map the Cosmic Microwave Background.