Archive for April, 2011

A Phaseout Of Endosulfan

Posted by on Apr-30-2011

The Stockholm convention’s decision to eliminate Endosulfan has come as a personal victory to those who were vigorously protesting for the Ban of Endosulfan. Endosulfan is one of the most toxic pesticides available in the market. It has been banned in over 80 nations due to its high toxicity, potential for bio accumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor. It has been used in agriculture around the world to control insect and pests. India is the heaviest user and producer of Endosulfan. Been a cheap insecticide it was widely used by Indian farmers.

The relation between Endosulfan and human miseries had come to the light for the first time in Kerala in the 1980s when several cases of ailments and deaths were reported in the Kasargod district of Kerala where a number of villages were severely affected by Endosulfan. The pesticide Endosulfan has been aerially sprayed on a cashew nut plantation in the Kasargod District from the mid 1970s which resulted in cause of diseases and ailments. Almost a decade back, the National Institute of Occupational Health, upon the directive of Indian Council of Medical Research, had presented a report to the Government of India linking the use of endosulfan to the prevalence of health disorders.

Many studies point out that it has been dreadfully toxic to humans, fish and other aquatic life. It causes a plethora of adverse effects, including death, disease, and birth defects, among humans and animals. The toxicity would result in cancer, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system. Over 3 decades of campaign in the affected Kasargod district of Kerala has resulted in numerous studies, reports and fact finding missions and finally a ban over the toxic pesticide.

Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the loaf of bread and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed.
Easter marks the end of Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Many controversies have arisen with respect to the dates of the Holy week and about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first Christians, Jewish and Gentile, were certainly aware of the Hebrew calendar, but there is no direct evidence that they celebrated any specifically Christian annual festivals.

By the later 2nd century, it was accepted that the celebration of Pascha (Easter) was a practice of the disciples and an undisputed tradition.

The Roman and Alexandrian churches continued the fast until the Sunday following, wishing to associate Easter with Sunday. Neither Polycarp nor Anicetus persuaded the other, but they did not consider the matter schismatic either, parting in peace and leaving the question unsettled.
It is not known how long the Nisan 14 practice continued. But both those who followed the Nisan 14 custom, and those who set Easter to the following Sunday had in common the custom of consulting their Jewish neighbors to learn when the month of Nisan would fall, and setting their festival accordingly.

The controversies were even more about the body of Jesus Christ. This possibility that the disciples stole the body of Jesus Christ and faked the resurrection has been raised by critics ever since Jesus rose from the dead. But it has never taken root except in some Jewish circles because the New Testament account does not support a faked resurrection theory. Some reasons were that one could not just walk into the tomb guarded by Roman soldiers and ask for Jesus’ body. So, in order to fake Jesus’ resurrection the disciples would have to obtain and dispose of the body of Jesus without any hostile witnesses seeing them do this. The arguments continued….

Whatever be the theories… whatever be the controversies… every single person who believes in Jesus still continue to do so. It’s the faith that counts. It’s much like the log you get when you are drowning in a river. Whether you are saved or not, comes second. The first thing is the faith that you hold on to for support…
Happy Easter Everyone… It’s a day to gather… It’s a day to remember your family, your beloveds and friends. Don’t worry about the controversies. As it is said in bible “Your faith will save you” (Luke 7:50) and you don’t need any explanation to abide by it. Just learn from your experience.

The Queen of Herbs

Posted by on Apr-16-2011

Tulsi, the Queen of Herbs, is the most sacred herb of India. Tulsi has been revered in India for over five thousand years, as a healing balm for body, mind and spirit, and is known to bestow an amazing number of health benefits. Tulsi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across South Asia as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has an important role within the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving tulsi plants or leaves.
Tulsi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. It is mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic text. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity.
Tulsi’s extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Traditionally, tulsi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations due to its anti-bacterial activity. For centuries, the dried leaves of tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.
Many people wear the Tulsi beads, which is said to have certain physical and medicinal properties. Its wood is considered as more powerful than any other gem that helps in protecting one from the negative influences. One can also buy several handicraft jewellery items made of Tulsi wood. Tulsi is the sacred plant dearer to the Lord Vishnu. Tulsi symbolizes purity. It is considered as the holy plant in the Indian Subcontinent. Tulsi got its name from Tulasi Devi, who was one of Lord Krishna’s eternal consorts. In India people grow Tulsi as the religious plant and worship it. Its leaves are used in temples for the worship purposes and also on the several occasions such as marriage. According to the ancient texts Tulsi is glorified as the one who helps in bringing people closer to the divine.

The Piranhas

Posted by on Apr-9-2011

Piranhas are the most notorious living aquatic animals. They are found in the Amazon basin. They are known for their sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for meat. Traditionally, only the four genera Pristobrycon, Pygocentrus, Pygopristis and Serrasalmus are considered to be true piranhas, due to their specialized teeth. Any species of piranha should be considered potentially dangerous even though there is no record of attacks resulting in death by these fish on live humans.

Piranhas are normally about 14 to 26 cm long, although some specimens have been reported to be up to 43 cm. Serrasalmus, Pristobrycon, Pygocentrus and Pygopristis are most easily recognized by their unique dentition. All piranhas have a single row of sharp teeth in both jaws; the teeth are tightly packed and interlocking and used for rapid puncture and shearing. Individual teeth are typically broadly triangular, pointed and blade-like.

Piranhas are important ecological components of their native environments. Although largely restricted to lowland drainages, these fish are widespread and inhabit diverse habitats within both lotic and lentic environments. Some piranha species are abundant locally, and multiple species often occur together.

Piranhas occasionally bite and sometimes injure bathers and swimmers. They habitually attack things much larger than themselves. A piranha bite is considered more an act of carelessness than that of misfortune, but piranhas are a considerable nuisance to commercial and sport fishers because they steal bait, mutilate catch, damage nets and other gear, and may bite when handled.

Piranha teeth are often used to make tools and weapons by the indigenous population. Piranhas are also popular as food, although if an individual piranha is caught on a hook or line it may be attacked by other piranhas. Piranhas are commonly consumed by subsistence fishermen and often sold for food in local markets. The total number of piranha species is unknown and contested, and new species continue to be described.

Piranhas can be bought as pets in some areas, but they are illegal in many parts of the United States. So we don’t have any Piranha Fish in facilities. They are also illegal in some other states in the United States.

William Wordworth

Posted by on Apr-3-2011

William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, in the Lake District. Wordsworth uses his poetry to look at the relationship between nature and human life, and to explore the belief that nature can have an impact on our emotional and spiritual lives. He also saw imagination as a powerful, active force that works alongside our senses.

William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. In his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads”, which is called the “manifesto” of English Romantic criticism, Wordsworth calls his poems “experimental.” The year 1793 saw Wordsworth’s first published poetry with the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. He received a legacy of £900 from Raisley Calvert in 1795 so that he could pursue writing poetry. That year, he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset. The two poets quickly developed a close friendship. In 1797, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved to Alfoxton House, Somerset, just a few miles away from Coleridge’s home in Nether Stowey.

Wordsworth and Coleridge together has produced Lyrical Ballads(1798), an important work in the English Romantic movement. The volume gave neither Wordsworth’s nor Coleridge’s name as author. One of Wordsworth’s most famous poems, “Tintern Abbey”, was published in the work, along with Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. The second edition, published in 1800, had only Wordsworth listed as the author, and included a preface to the poems, which was augmented significantly in the 1802 edition. This Preface to Lyrical Ballads is considered a central work of Romantic literary theory. In it, Wordsworth discusses what he sees as the elements of a new type of poetry, one based on the “real language of men” and which avoids the poetic diction of much 18th-century poetry. Here, Wordsworth gives his famous definition of poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” A fourth and final edition of Lyrical Ballads was published in 1805.

Wordsworth received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1838 from Durham University, and the same honor from Oxford University the next year.[7] In 1842 the government awarded him a civil list pension amounting to £300 a year. With the death in 1843 of Robert Southey, Wordsworth became the Poet Laureate. He initially refused the honour, saying he was too old, but accepted when Prime Minister Robert Peel assured him “you shall have nothing required of you” (he became the only laureate to write no official poetry). When his daughter, Dora, died in 1847, his production of poetry came to a standstill.