CORONAVIRUS ON ICE CREAM CARTONS

After declaring itself Covid-free last year, China is witnessing another wave of corona cases.

And according to the latest reports, the novel coronavirus was found on an ice cream carton coming in from eastern China. 

The Daqiaodao Food Co, Ltd in Tianjin, adjacent to Beijing, was sealed and its employees were being tested for the coronavirus. But there was no indication that anyone among the employees had contracted the virus. 

The batch contained more than 29,000 cartons and most of it was not yet sold. Only 390 cartons were said to be sold to Tianjin. They are now being tracked and authorities elsewhere were notified of sales to their areas. The government said that they have recalled the cartons from the same batch. 

The ingredients included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine, the government said. 

On Saturday, the Health Commission of China blamed the travellers and imported goods saying they brought the virus from abroad. 

Whereas on Sunday, China reported 109 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, two-thirds of them in a northern province that is close to national capital Beijing, though no deaths have been reported. 

Currently, its death toll stands at 4953 and total cases at 88,227.

China was the first country to report a case of coronavirus in Central Wuhan in late 2019. The pandemic is said to have originated from that very place. 

Earlier this month, a team of WHO scientists travelled to China to discover the origins of the novel coronavirus.

According to reports, the Chinese government has banned the entry of two scientists. The Chinese government is of the view that the disease came from abroad and has highlighted what it says are discoveries of the coronavirus on imported fish and other food. But this theory has been rejected by various economies around the world.  

The WHO team says that the motive behind the investigation is not to blame some but to find the scientific answers. It is about studying an important interface between the human kingdom and the animal kingdom.

The investigation will apparently take months to complete even in the best circumstances. The team must also navigate attempts by China to politicize the inquiry.

The novel coronavirus has killed nearly two million people since the first outbreak first emerged in Wuhan. 

Thousands of mutations in the virus have taken place as it has passed from person to person around the world, but new variants recently detected in Britain and South Africa are seemingly more contagious.

Britain has imposed a lockdown for the third time since the first outbreak in the country. Other countries have also reported cases of the new variant and have imposed a strict check on the people entering the country. Adequate measures are being taken all around the world to control the mutant variant.

India’s Favorite Beverage – Chai

Every Indian household has one thing in common – a tea in the morning, a tea in the evening. But how much do we know about our Chai ?

Origin of Tea

Tea was first drunk in China as far back as 2700 B.C.! In fact words such as tea, ‘chai’ and ‘chini’ are from Chinese. There are various legends about the origin of Tea. There is one about the Chinese emperor Shen Nung who always boiled water before drinking it. One day a few leaves of the twigs burning under the pot fell into the water giving it a delicious flavour. It is said they were tea leaves. There is also an Indian legend about the origin of tea. Bodhidharma, an ancient Buddhist ascetic, cut off his eyelids because he felt sleepy during meditations. Ten tea plants grew out of the eyelids. The leaves of these plants when put in hot water and drunk banished sleep.

Masala Chai

Masala Chai originated in India. In India, many herbs and spices are added to the tea. Each family has their own version of making tea. It is a tea beverage made by boiling black tea in milk and water with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices. Tea plants have grown wild in the Assam region since antiquity, but historically, Indians viewed tea as an herbal medicine rather than as a recreational beverage.

In the 1830s, the East India Company became concerned about the Chinese monopoly on tea, which constituted most of its trade and supported the enormous consumption of tea in Great Britain. Then, british colonists noticed the existence of the Assamese tea plants, and began to cultivate tea plantations locally. However, consumption of black tea within India remained low until the promotional campaign by the Indian Tea Association in the early 20th century, which encouraged factories, mines, and textile mills to provide tea breaks for their workers. It also supported many independent chaiwalas throughout the growing railway system. The official promotion of tea was as served in the Indian mode, with small added amounts of milk and sugar.

Indian varieties of Tea

  • Masala chai – It is the most popular beverage in India
  • Noon chai – The pink tea is a traditional tea beverage from Kashmir and also served in many parts of Rajasthan and Nepal.
  • Green tea – it has been used in Ayurveda and it has also become a part of the modern India lifestyle.
  • Black tea – Black Tea is stronger in flavour and produced by all tea producing regions of India. Large leaved Assamese plants are mainly used for black tea.
  • White tea – White Tea harvested in India, Sri Lanka and China, It’s one of the styles of tea made from the buds and immature tea leaves.
  • Herbal tea – Herbal Tea made from hot water and served hot with varieties of plant material such as hibiscus, rose, etc.
  • Iced tea – It is a common drink in India, mostly available as ginger lemon iced tea or lemon iced tea. Lipton and Nestle brand of tea are two most popular brands of iced tea in India.
  • Irani chai – Irani Chai are masala chai with some spices and a popular quick weekend breakfast.
  • Tandoori chai – It is made in tandoor where clay pots also known as kullhads are preheated in tandoor and again served in fresh and clean kulhads.

Indians and their Chai can never be separated from one another. Now,  I am also going to drink a refreshing cup of chai with tasty and crispy pakoras.

Studying Chaos Phenomena With One of the World’s Fastest Cameras

There are things in life that can be predicted reasonably well. The tides rise and fall. The moon waxes and wanes. A billiard ball bounces around a table according to orderly geometry.

And then there are things that defy easy prediction: The hurricane that changes direction without warning. The splashing of water in a fountain. The graceful disorder of branches growing from a tree.

These phenomena and others like them can be described as chaotic systems, and are notable for exhibiting behavior that is predictable at first, but grows increasingly random with time.

Because of the large role that chaotic systems play in the world around us, scientists and mathematicians have long sought to better understand them. Now, Caltech’s Lihong Wang, the Bren Professor in the Andrew and Peggy Cherng department of Medical Engineering, has developed a new tool that might help in this quest.

In the latest issue of Science Advances, Wang describes how he has used an ultrafast camera of his own design that recorded video at one billion frames per second to observe the movement of laser light in a chamber specially designed to induce chaotic reflections.

The camera makes use of a technology called compressed ultrafast photography (CUP), which Wang has demonstrated in other research to be capable of speeds as fast as 70 trillion frames per second. The speed at which a CUP camera takes video makes it capable of seeing light—the fastest thing in the universe—as it travels.

But CUP cameras have another feature that make them uniquely suited for studying chaotic systems. Unlike a traditional camera that shoots one frame of video at a time, a CUP camera essentially shoots all of its frames at once. This allows the camera to capture the entirety of a laser beam’s chaotic path through the chamber all in one go.

That matters because in a chaotic system, the behavior is different every time. If the camera only captured part of the action, the behavior that was not recorded could never be studied, because it would never occur in exactly the same way again. It would be like trying to photograph a bird, but with a camera that can only capture one body part at a time; furthermore, every time the bird landed near you, it would be a different species. Although you could try to assemble all your photos into one composite bird image, that cobbled-together bird would have the beak of a crow, the neck of a stork, the wings of a duck, the tail of a hawk, and the legs of a chicken. Not exactly useful.

Wang says that the ability of his CUP camera to capture the chaotic movement of light may breathe new life into the study of optical chaos, which has applications in physics, communications, and cryptography

Unrivaled View of Brilliant ‘Planetary Nebula’ NGC 2899

Its distinctive butterfly shape is caused by one star interfering with the gas expulsion pattern of another

star at the center of this tie-dye apparition is collapsing, a process scientists have watched and measured for decades. In 2020 astronomers overcame the 3,000 to 6,500 light-years separating us from this celestial beauty, named NGC 2899, for the clearest picture of it yet.

Though the phenomenon is called a planetary nebula, the term is a misnomer. These cosmic clouds appear when a star burns through the hydrogen at its core. The outer layers of the star separate while the center falls inward, transforming into a white dwarf. As it caves, the core generates ultraviolet radiation and six-million six-million-mile-per-hour winds. Clouds of gas, laden with elements ejected by the star through its lifetime, glow under the heat of the radiation and are shoved outward by the winds. In the image of NGC 2899, oxygen (blue) is surrounded by hydrogen (pink).

The expelled gas is normally fairly round, so early astronomers in the 1700s assumed the spectacle came from a planet—hence the phenomenon’s name. Discovered in 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel in the constellation Vela, NGC 2899 looks like a butterfly because it is made of two stars. Scientists think that one of them is collapsing andthat the second is interfering with the normal gas expulsion pattern, creating the symmetrical form of only 10 to 20 percent of planetary nebulae. The spectacular sight will eventually show up closer to home: our own sun should reach this phase of its life span in several billion years.