A Brief Insight on Renewable Energy Sources

The conventional and widely used energy sources of today comprise of various types of fossil fuels. The quantity of fossil fuels available is limited in number. Various harmful chemicals like Carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and various other hydrocarbons are emitted by their usage. This makes them harmful to the environment and human health in the long run. The usage of such conventional energy sources has been a primary cause of global warming around the world.

This can be combated with the use of renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources are energy sources obtained from natural sources which are not limited in availability and replenish themselves quickly and regularly. This renewable energy is also known as green energy.

The different types of renewable energy are: Solar energy, Wind energy, Hydro energy, Geothermal energy and Marine energy.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is energy obtained from radiant heat and light obtained from the sun. This is done by the help of techniques such as photovoltaic systems, solar heating, artificial photosynthesis, concentrated solar power plants and the like. Obtained solar energy can then be converted to either thermal energy or electrical energy. It can also be used for the environment-friendly production of hydrogen.

Advantages of using solar energy are:

  • It is a renewable and green source of energy
  • Sunlight is not limited, therefore, there is no risk of running out of the source

Disadvantages of using solar energy are:

  • The process is weather dependent as it relies of the availability of sunlight. Thus, it also cannot be done at night
  • Solar energy systems take up a lot of space and are expensive

Wind Energy

Wind energy is energy which is obtained from mechanical action of the wind. This action is carried out with the help of wind turbines. Through the action of wind turbines, the kinetic energy of the wind gets converted into mechanical energy. This mechanical energy then gets converted into electricity.

Advantages of using wind energy are:

  • The whole process does not release any products harmful to either the environment or human health
  • It is a sustainable energy source

Disadvantages of using wind energy are:

  • Wind turbines can only be built in remote areas where large, unobstructed areas of land are available
  • The wind turbines may pose a risk to birdlife

Hydro Energy

Hydro energy is also known as hydroelectric energy. It is obtained from the construction of hydroelectric power plants in dams over flowing bodies of water like rivers. Similar to the functioning of wind turbines, hydraulic turbines transform the kinetic energy of flowing water into mechanical energy which is further used to create electricity.

Advantages of using hydro energy are:

  • Creation of hydro power plants helps in the creation of water reservoirs
  • It is not limited by time or the sun, i.e., it can be produced continuously

Disadvantages of using hydro energy are:

  • Creation of dams disrupts the water ecosystems
  • Hydro energy power plants can only be constructed over flowing water bodies and therefore are constrained by location

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is obtained from the heat generated from rocks in the Earth’s crust. This energy is harnessed by digging into the crust and using the heat to drive the movement of turbines which generate energy.

Advantages of using geothermal energy are:

  • It does not require any fuel
  • It does not require much maintenance

Disadvantages of using geothermal energy are:

  • It may cause earthquakes
  • The process of digging may cause the release of greenhouse gases from beneath the surface

Efforts should be made to research and explore renewable energies more for the creation of a healthier planet and lifestyle.

Present Indian society through the lens of ancient Indian texts.

To know where we are going, we need to know where we came from. Ancient Indian texts can give us a reference to understand how the Indian society can be studied which also makes possible to predict or plan the future of the Indian society. Because the Indian society is so diverse, the ancient books plays an important role as the history and significance of every individual culture, the wants and needs of people can be studied through it. These studies are advantageous for the present day policymakers in framing the policies and schemes favourable to the diverse groups of people. Any activity that is done in the present or has to be done in the future has to be in co – relation with the past.

Ancient texts in Science and Technology

We might not be aware of the fact that the ancient Indian books are still relevant but the present technological advancements of the Indian society has its base in ancient Indian society. Progress in science and technology aims to fulfill the needs of the people and those needs have been the same throughout ages. The Indus Valley Civilization is an apt example in this context. The advancements of this civilization can be related very well to the present Indian society. They excelled in town planning, agriculture, trade, architecture, craftsmanship which is evident in their jewellery and other artifacts. They used to live in two – storeyed buildings and had proper bathing area along with hygienic toilets. Although the Indus Valley Civilization is thousands of years old yet these developments are widespread in the present Indian society. Even after all these years, it is possible to keep up with these developments through ancient Indian texts.

Ancient texts in religion

In the religious context as well, ancient Indian texts are immensely relevant in the present times. Religious texts and mythologies preach how to live life, make us differentiate between right and wrong. Religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and others has provided the mankind with guidelines on living an ethical life that forms a moral background of ideal human behaviour. The Bhagwad Gita that teach us to conquer our fears still remain relevant. People still read such religious texts to overcome their fears. Lord Krishna’s advice to Arjuna in the Indian epic Mahabharata also holds relevance today. When Arjuna faced difficulty in choosing between his duty on one hand and his unruly kinsmen on the other hand in the battlefield, Krishna advised him to remain steadfist in his duty or dharma and defeat his evil kinsmen. This advice of Lord Krishna can be applied in the current times to keep away evil and negativity.

Ancient texts in politics and economy

The ancient Indian texts has mentioned about proper and effective governance. In this regard, Chanakya’s Chanakya Neeti and Arthashastra is worth mentioning. Chanakya has very clearly mentioned how the administrators should be in order to run the country efficiently. He stated that the public administrators have to bear the responsibility of the citizens so that the country runs smoothly and work for the common people keeping in mind their needs and requirements. Talking about corruption, he mentioned that strict punishment should to given to those who choose the path of corruption. All these statements are seen to be quite relevant in the current times.

Regarding economy, his famous book Arthashastra points out many things that are still relevant. Arthashastra conceptualised India as a welfare state. It covered various areas like infrastructure, finance, agriculture, trade and commerce, employment, laws etc. He stated that proper work on these areas will develop India in later times and in the present day, these areas are considered to be extremely crucial for the development of the country.

The ancient Indian texts thus acts as a blueprint that helps in creating a society in its best form by referring to the past society by identifying what was best and what went wrong. Therefore it can be said that we can study the present Indian society through ancient Indian books.

How COVID-19 has changed the world economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached almost every country in the world.

Enormous changes in financial exchanges, where partakes in organizations are purchased and sold, can influence the worth of benefits or individual investment accounts.

The major Asian and US stock markets have recovered following the announcement of the first vaccine in November, but the FTSE is still in negative territory.

If the economy is developing, that by and large means more abundance and all the more new positions. It’s deliberate by taking a gander at the rate change in GDP, or the worth of labor and products created, normally more than 90 days or a year. The IMF appraises that the worldwide economy contracted by 4.4% in 2020. The association portrayed the decay as the most exceedingly terrible since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The movement business has been gravely harmed, with aircrafts cutting flights and clients dropping work excursions and occasions. New variations of the infection – found distinctly lately – have constrained numerous nations to present more tight travel limitations. Information from the flight following assistance Flight Radar 24 shows that the quantity of flights worldwide endured a gigantic shot in 2020 and it is as yet far from recuperation.

Retail footfall has seen unprecedented falls as shoppers stayed at home. New variants and surges in cases have made problems worse.

Green Algae : Predator or Autotrophs?

Green algae contributes about half of the oxygen to our atmosphere. They are one of the important species for the ecosystem. Green algae is in the oceans in many forms, such as single-cell or multiple-cell. Both single-celled and multiple-celled algae are autotrophs and make their food by performing photosynthesis. Recent studies done on single-cell green algae show that they also feed on bacteria that are found in the oceans.

They can act as a predator and hunt on these bacteria. This research opens a new chapter in the world of biology because it was earlier mentioned that these single-celled algae are autotrophs. Something visibly justified that why they are autotrophic is because they contain chlorophyll like other plants and thus perform photosynthesis. So does single-cell green algae autotrophic or heterotrophic? The answer is both.

They perform both photosynthesis and predation according to their needs. The needs means the environmental needs as this research suggests that when proper conditions for photosynthesis are provided to these single-cell green algae they did not feed themselves on bacteria and stick to photosynthesis to make their food. In contrast, when conditions are suitable for performing photosynthesis were not provided to the single cell green algae, they changed their methods and adopted predation. Hence, reiterating that these single-cell green algae change their animal behaviour when extreme environmental condition occurred for their better survival. Which actually proves Darwin’s theory ‘The survival of the fittest’.

The above research was conducted by ecologist, Eunsoo Kim and her team.

DREAMS

MEANING

A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and function of dreams are not fully understood. Although they have been a topic of scientific, philosophical and religious interest throughout recorded history. Dream interpretation is the attempt at drawing meaning from dreams and searching for an underlying message. The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology.

Rapid Eye Movement

Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. At times, dreams occur during other stages of sleep. However, these dreams tends to be much less vivid or memorable. The length of a dream can vary, they may last for a few seconds, or approximately 20-30 minutes. People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phrase. The average person has three to five dreams at night and some may have up to seven. However, most dream are immediately forgotten. During a full eight-four night sleep, most dreams occur in the typical two hours of REM. Dreams related to work-life experience are associated with REM activity, which suggests that emotional memory processing takes place in REM sleep.

Babies spend almost half of their sleep dreaming, while the elderly spend less than a fifth. Blind people dream in other senses, especially if they lost their sight before the age of seven.

Interpretations

Dream interpretation can be a result of subjective ideas and experiences. One study found that most people believe that ” their dreams reveal meaning hidden truths”. In one study conducted in the United States, South Korea and India, they found that 74% of Indians, 65% of South Korea and 56% of Americans believed their dreams content provided them with meaningful insight into their unconscious beliefs and desires.

The history of dream interpretation

Going back around 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia, the earliest recorded dreams were documented on clay tablets. In the Roman and Greek periods, people believed that dreams were messages sent differently from one or more deities, from deceased people, and that they were the predictors of the future. Then there were cultures that practiced dream incubation, their intention being to cultivate dreams of prophecy.

Nightmare

A nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong negative emotional response from the mind. Typically fear or horror, but also despair, anxiety and great sadness. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. Sufferers usually awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period of time. Therapy for recurring nightmares (often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder) can include imaging alternative scenarios that could begin at each step of the dream.

Do dreams have a deeper meaning?

A surprising number of people believe that the answer to this question is yes. According to a poll conducted, 43% of Americans believe that dreams reveal unconscious desires and wishes. While most modern theories of dreams would suggest that the answer is no, this hasn’t stopped interpreters and analysis from publishing a whole host of dream dictionaries that purport to identify what these common dream themes and symbols really mean.

5 Occasions When Bollywood Nailed LGBT Representation

Bollywood has either invisibilised or hyper-sexualised LGBT characters. On silver screen the stereotype of the flamboyant gay man was persistent and primarily used as an accessory. Representation of female desire even among hetero couples has been rare, portrayal of female desire in a same sex loves story, for the silver screen, was unthinkable.

The mainstream has suffered from lack of representation within mainstream cinema and the minuscule representation that made its way, is problematic at its best. However, there has always been a few rare offbeat cinemas, even within the mainstream, which shook up the largely conservative audience and showed on silver screen the portrayal of queer characters, queer desire and quietly left its mark on the audience. Here are a few films that got LGBT representation right.

Fire

Fire made in the year 1996 and directed by Deepa Mehta, it shocked the traditionalist audience to the core. Some might even say it is way ahead of its times. However, 24 years later it continues to be way ahead of its time as portrayal of female desire within a same sex relationship continues to be a taboo subject.

Married into a traditional Hindu house, Radha and Sita are sisters- in- law, both stuck in unhappy marriages and a mundane domestic life. They find love, intimacy and companionship with each other, surrounded in a world that forbids female desire. The film was banned in India and created public outrage from the traditionalist and conservative sects. Standing the test of time it continues to be a standalone film for an uninhibited depiction of female desire.

My Brother Nikhil

My Brother Nikhil, made in the year 2005, and directed by Onir, touches upon the AIDS pandemic  in the gay community during the 90s and early 2000s. It touches upon the stigma of AIDS within an already marginalised community and the impact it has on the members of the gay community.

Told through the lens of the family of a closeted gay man, who is forced to come out of the closet because he has been infected with AIDS, it is a poignant tale of love. It is the journey of a man who is shunned by his workplace and parents because of his sexual orientation, only to be supported by his sister and lover. It is a tale of struggle, love and, life, which continues to be relevant even after 15 years.

Made in Heaven

Made in Heaven, a series directed by Zoya Akhtar is  a tale of weddings in India which is about love, money, power, caste and inequalities deeply entrenched in all of us. The male protagonist of this show is a closeted gay man, living in a world where Section 377 of Indian Penal has not been de-criminalised. Hence, outwardly he leads a successful professional life as a wedding planner but inwardly he knows he will treated as a criminal if he comes out.

It shows the struggles of being gay in India before Navtej Johar read down Section 377, which includes a nosy neighbour, a police arrest and custodial violence. It is the journey of a man to accept himself and live in a society that struggles to accept same sex relationships.

Margarita with a Straw

Margarita with a Straw, directed by Shonali Bose, is an intersectional representation of disability, queerness and gender, told through Laila, the protagonist played by Kalki Koechlin. Laila is a young woman who has cerebral palsy who shares a close relationship with her mother, who is also her primary caregiver. She goes off to Manhattan for her higher studies and discovers her bisexuality when she develops feelings for a visually impaired disability activist.

It is a tale of a woman navigating an ableist world, coming off age and dealing with her sexual orientation. It is also a tale of struggle of acceptance as her mother struggles to accept her bisexual identity. Ultimately, it tells a tale of universality of desire, love and acceptance.

Aligarh

Aligarh, directed by Hansal Mehta, is based on the life of Professor Ramchandra Siras who taught at the famed Aligarh Muslim University. The professor is forced to come out of his closet when he is caught in an intimate moment with another man. This is followed by a harrowing tale of violence and intolerance from groups of conservative society and his workplace that suspends him on grounds of gross misconduct.

The role of Siras is played by veteran actor Manoj Bajpayee. The film starts off after his sexuality has been discovered and he is contacted by a young journalist played by Rajkumar Rao about this incident. This film shows the long drawn battle of being charged under Section 377 of India Penal Code. Professor Siras was finally acquitted by the Court. However, he was found dead in his apartment a day before his acquittal and the subsequent reinstating in the University.

Why It Matters?

In a post 377 world, it is crucial that queer narratives, love, life and desires are brought to the forefront. Stories have the power to heal and bring acceptance. Hence, Bollywood, since it is the flag bearer of mainstream cinema needs to bring the queer stories to the forefront as it has a mass appeal. Queer narratives needs to be normalised and telling stories are perhaps a crucial step towards that.

Time travel for explorers? It’s precarious.

Learn how Einstein’s theory of relativity works and how there’s no scientific reason to believe time travel is impossible.

Is it conceivable to go through time? Indeed, and you’re doing it at this moment, speeding into the future at an amazing pace of one second of the second. Regardless of whether you’re watching paint dry or wishing you had more hours to visit with an amigo from away, you’re basically continually going through time at a similar speed. In any case, this isn’t the sort of time travel that has excited endless sci-fi journalists and produced a class so huge that Wikipedia includes more than 400 movies in the “Films no time like the present Travel” classification. Characters in movies, for example, “Specialist Who,” “Star Trek,” and “Back to the Future” jump into an insane vehicle to go back on schedule or twist into what’s to come.

After traveling through time, the players must decide what happens if you alter the past or present with information from the future (which is where time travel stories intersect with the idea of parallel universes or alternate timelines).Although many people are attracted by the prospect of altering history or seeing the future before it happens, no one has ever proved back-and-forth time travel or developed a mechanism of moving a human over considerable periods of time without destroying them in the process. In his book “Black Holes and Baby Universes” (Bantam, 1994), physicist Stephen Hawking noted, “The best evidence we have that time travel is not possible, and never will be, is that we have not been invaded by hordes of tourists from the future.”

However, science does allow for some time travel. The theory of special relativity proposed by scientist Albert Einstein, for example, suggests that time is an illusion that shifts relative to an observer. Time, with all its aftereffects (boredom, aging, etc.) will be experienced considerably more slowly by an observer traveling near the speed of light than by an observer at rest. That’s why, after a year in space, astronaut Scott Kelly aged slightly slower than his identical brother who remained on Earth.Other scientific hypotheses concerning time travel exist, such as some strange physics involving wormholes, black holes, and string theory.

Time travel, for the most part, is the subject of an ever-growing number of science fiction literature, movies, television episodes, comic books, video games, and other media.In 1905, Einstein proposed his theory of special relativity. It has become one of the core tenets of contemporary physics, along with his later development, the theory of general relativity. For objects moving at constant speeds in a straight line, special relativity addresses the link between space and time.

The theory’s brief version is deceptively straightforward. To begin with, everything is measured in relation to something else; there is no “absolute” frame of reference. Second, light travels at a constant pace. It remains constant regardless of what is measured or where it is measured from. Third, nothing has the ability to travel faster than the speed of light.Actual, real-life time travel emerges from those fundamental tenets. An observer traveling at a high rate will experience time at a slower rate than someone who isn’t.While we don’t accelerate humans to near-light speed, we do transport them around the world at 17,500 miles per hour (28,160 kilometers per hour) aboard the International Space Station. Scott Kelly, an astronaut, was born after his twin brother, Mark Kelly, who was also an astronaut. Scott Kelly was in orbit for 520 days, while Mark was in space for 54 days.

The age gap between the two guys has expanded due to the difference in the speed at which they experienced time over the course of their lives.”Whereas before I was only 6 minutes older, today I am 6 minutes and 5 milliseconds older,” Mark Kelly said in a panel discussion on July 12, 2020, as previously reported by Space.com. “Now I’ve gotten that out of his system.”

The difference in an astronaut’s life span that low earth orbit creates may be insignificant — better suited for family jokes than true life extension or reaching the distant future — but the time dilation between people on Earth and GPS satellites travelling through space does make a difference. The Global Positioning System, or GPS, communicates with a network of a few dozen satellites in high Earth orbit to assist us know exactly where we are. The satellites circle the planet at a speed of 8,700 mph (14,000 km/h) at a distance of 12,500 miles (20,100 kilometers).

The slower an object moves relative to another object, the slower that first object sees time, according to special relativity. According to the American Physical Society publication Physics Central, this effect removes 7 microseconds, or 7 millionths of a second, off each day for GPS satellites with atomic clocks. Then, according to general relativity, clocks that are closer to the center of a huge gravitational mass like Earth tick slower than clocks that are farther away. Because GPS satellites are far farther from the center of the Earth than clocks on the ground, each day adds 45 microseconds to the GPS satellite clocks, according to Physics Central.

The net result is an additional 38 microseconds when combined with the negative 7 microseconds from the special relativity estimate. Engineers must account for an extra 38 microseconds in each satellite’s day to maintain the accuracy needed to target your car or phone — or, because the system is operated by the US Department of Defense, a military drone — in order to maintain the accuracy needed to pinpoint your car or phone. The onboard atomic clocks do not advance to the next day until they have been running for 38 microseconds longer than comparable clocks on Earth.Given those figures, it would take more than seven years for a GPS satellite’s atomic clock to desynchronize from an Earth clock by more than a fraction of a second.

This type of time travel may appear as insignificant as the age difference between the Kelly brothers, but given the hyper-accuracy of modern GPS technology, it does matter. Your phone can pinpoint your exact location in space and time if it can communicate with the satellites flying overhead.

Conclusion

Yes, time travel is a viable possibility. But it’s not exactly like you’ve seen in the movies. It is possible to experience time passing at a rate other than 1 second per second under certain circumstances. And there are important reasons why we need to comprehend this type of time travel that occurs in the real world.

Wings Of Fire

You have heard of the name Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The entire world is aware of this great human. A human without any haters. A human whose only aim was to flourish his motherland. That human who breathed all of his life only for science and humanity. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was one of the most loved and respected the President of India. But before that, he was a highly talented scientist. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam did a lot of struggle in his young days. But his firm will and love for his country did not stop him from succeeding. ‘Wings Of Fire’ is a biography of Dr Kalam written by Arun Tiwari. It is one of the finest works by the writer.

The book begins with the early life of Dr Kalam from Rameshwaram in the year 1930. Dr Kalam’s family had his parents, four brothers, and one sister. This book also describes the role played by the family, relatives, society, and friends in Kalam’s life. Kalam says there was no religious discrimination in his village at that time. He says the highest priest of Rameshwaram temple was very close friends with his father, a Muslim.

At first, Dr Kalam aspired to join the Indian Army. But due to his poor physique, he couldn’t join. Instead of being demotivated, he focused on his studies and did Aeronautics. Later, he developed a hovercraft for which he was invited to NASA on a training program. But his love for his country pulled him back to the nation. He joined ISRO and there he met Dr Vikram Sarabhai. the book also sheds light on the leadership quality and teamwork of Dr Kalam and his team. He has always been an excellent leader in success and in failure. Dr Kalam said, “Great leaders absorb the failures instead of putting the blame on others.” When the space launcher was failed, Kalam took the entire blame on himself. On the contrary, when the project was successful, he gave the credits to his entire team. This reflects the greatness of this man. 

APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes

The book also includes a detailed description of his work in the fields of missiles and rocketries. Some people may find this part boring but it is an important storyline of their life. It shows the success path of Dr. Kalam. His dedication and love for his country are described in one incident. When his father died he went to Rameshwaram. But he was supposed to return the other day after his father’s death. In the book, he said, he felt really bad looking at his mother and wished to stay with her for few days. But his mother herself insisted to leave and go back to his work saying the country needs you more. We cannot deny the fact that we got such a dedicated scientist not only because of his talent but also because of the support he got from everyone. 

At the beginning of his career, he served the nation by bringing missiles for the safety of the nation. After his retirement, he became the President of India so that he can and he did his best for his country till his last breath. Overall, the book covers leadership behaviour, religious equality, dedication and hard work, positive approach, and patriotism of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. There are also a lot of poems by Dr Kalam included in this book. He motivated young minds by saying  “If you want to become unique, defeat fear and become the captain of the problem. You want to become unique but the world around you is making its best efforts to make you just anybody else”. 

Winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam