Why digital multitasking is bad?

Do you also switch between two digital tasks at once? Like watching television and surfing Instagram feed or watching a Netflix show and watching some reels or maybe texting your friend while attending online classes on your laptop. A recent study showed how switching or multitasking your screen time can affect your attention span or memory. A survey showed how adolescents are addicted to their phones and the average screen time recorded was 7 hours and 38 minutes. But, with digitalization and pandemic, this screen time is much more increased to massive 10 hours and 45 minutes every day.

A research study performed at Stanford University proved how multitasking between two or more digital media affects both attention span and memory. The study was performed on the 18-26 age group and many memory-related tasks were assigned. An electroencephalogram or EEG was used for data collection. As frontal and parietal parts of the brain are involved in attention and memory, these areas were the principal focus.

The group which multitasked scored low in the memory tasks and increased alpha wave was observed with shrinking in pupils. In contrast, the other group which do not multitask scored higher in memory tasks and no such observations were recorded in this case. After the study, the researchers concluded that digital media multitasking and attention spans & memory are correlated.

Furthermore, multitasking or switching between digital media causes switch-gaps, which means it takes longer to take a task, and it also increases the number of errors in the tasks.

Putting in a nutshell in some way or the other, multitasking between digital media can affect your attention span and memory, so it is better to do one task at a time because a person who chases two rabbits catches neither.

Tips to build movement in your day

Sitting for long hours and not moving physically can eventually become a habit that can affect both the brain and body. Here are five tips to improve your movement.

Digital Breaks


Because of the pandemic, most of our work and academics have revolutionised into digital format. Which has resulted in all of us staring either at our laptops or mobile. Having digital breaks and moving around the house or maybe on your balcony would not only help in physical movement but will also help in reducing the eyestrain caused by the blue light from the digital devices.

Give Yourself a Break


Give yourself a digital free break. Done attending your online classes? Or finished an office meeting? get up and walk around. You may not believe but just walking around the house is much better than sitting on a chair.

Stand or Walk


Want to surf some Instagram feed? Try standing up and watch it. The same applies to calls. If you are on a voice-call ‘walk & talk’, try walking around the house while you are talking to your friend. This will not only improve your movement, but you will also get both the work done at the same time.

Pep Stretch


After working for long hours straight, try to get off the chair and stretch your body. Try stretching your arms, wrists, neck etc it would not only cause some movement but will also improve blood circulation.

Walking in Nature


Walking in nature not only causes movement physically but also makes you happier and significantly improves your mental health. Also, the body’s melatonin secretion is also improved by walking in nature, which helps to sleep.

Phytoremediation : A sustainable approach for ecosystem restoration

Phytoremediation is a technique by which toxic or harmful contaminants are bioaccumulated by the plants or trees by their internal metabolism. This technique, when used to treat land and water systems, is called phytoremediation. This technique is used by various institutions to treat water and land bodies that are degraded because of human activities.

Chernobyl is a place in Ukraine where a tragic Nuclear Disaster took place in 1986. Which transformed the place into an isolated wasteland with radioactivity. After decades of extensive plantation in Chernobyl, the place is totally transformed. Plants and trees which help in phytoremediation were planted in the area and the project turns out to be a total success. The Chernobyl we see now is a result of extensive phytoremediation in that place. Like Chernobyl, there are many other places where phytoremediation is being used for restoration.

A point to note is not all plants are made for phytoremediation. Some plants which are used for this purpose are duckweed, sunflowers, Four o’clock, Pteris vittata, barley, hemp, Paulownia, etc. The list goes on. Research is going on every day for the discovery of more such plants which can help in phytoremediation.

Advantages of phytoremediation are that the process helps in the elimination of toxic elements, a natural and a sustainable way for ecosystem restoration, improves the fertility of soil also the place where the technique is being applied not only becomes greener but also becomes aesthetically pleasing.

With advantages come disadvantages and they are time-based process and needs many years for the result, the specific plant has to be chosen for a specific area and its need, foraging of animals has to be restricted at any cost because the plants and tree uptakes toxic element and if other animals consume the plants or trees, it may cause toxicity to the animal as well.

Reiterating, I think phytoremediation is one of the excellent techniques for ecosystem restoration sustainably.

Microplastics & Nanoplastics : Architect of ecosystem degradation

Humans throw-away tonnes of plastic every day without even thinking that the same plastic is returning to them and can affect their biological systems. The plastic we throw away every day affects the entire ecosystem. Recently, a plastic dump was found stuck in the Arctic ice. When the plastic we throw away ends up in the water, tiny organisms ingest them and it enters their biological system as another eats on them and the cycle continues.

This is what biologists call bio-magnification. When organisms were exposed to plastic, it was seen that the plastic affected their biological system. For instance, when a team of scientists at the University of Plymouth exposed marine mussels to microplastics, they saw these microplastic damaged their DNA, ruptured their digestive tracts and deformed their gills. The same applies to other organisms as well. The plastic we throw aways turns into microplastic and nano plastics, which are so tiny and destroy biological systems. These nano plastics and microplastics are so tiny that they are indistinguishable from crustaceans, birds and other organisms.

Not only water, lots of microplastics and nanoplastics also end up in the soil which later gets incorporated by the bacteria, fungi and detritus living in the soil, therefore, screwing up the food web of the soil. The microbes in the soil have a special role in decomposition and affecting them would result in a disturbance in the process of decomposition. There are numerous studies done on how these microplastics and nanoplastics are degrading the ecosystem.

An interesting fact is that humans are the only species who are using plastic in day to day lives if we adopt some better choices or alternatives, we can save the whole ecosystem.

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.

A new human ancestor : Nesher Ramla Homo

There was a recent excavation in Israel found remains of a new human ancestor that none of us knew. The remains were found at the excavation site named Nesher Ramla. The results of dating the fossil show that the fossils are about 120000-140000 years old. The members of this group played a very vital role in the evolution of today’s homo sapiens. It is highlighted that this group of species joined the Neanderthals and Denisovans whom they later interbred.

This interbreeding among these populations was the thriving force for evolution. The scientists at the sites have still not named this new ancestor and is referring to it as Nesher Ramla Homo. With the discovery of this ancestor, the human phylogenetic tree is becoming much much more complex. Earlier new ancestors were discovered from South Africa and the Philippines named Homo naledi and Homo luzonensis respectively.

Nesher Ramla Homo is predicted to be the last ancestor contributing to European Neanderthal and East Asian Homo species evolution. According to the palaeontologist, a great level of cultural mixing has taken place due to this interbreeding between the two different communities. There is a lot more to know and discover about the human race still. The above study was done by Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Some Unheard Phobias

Eisoptrophobia


Eisoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors. People having this phobia cannot look at themselves in the mirrors or any other reflective surfaces.

Xanthophobia

closeup photo of sunflower


Xanthophobia is the fear of yellow colour. People having this phobia seems to get terrified seeing a yellow colour flower or a school bus and many more such yellow coloured things. They always try to avoid seeing the colour yellow at all costs.

Arachibutyrophobia

clear glass jar with brown liquid


Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of sticking peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. People having this fear avoid eating peanut butter in any form.

Globophobia

person holding balloons


Globophobia is the fear of balloons. People having this phobia tend to run away even at the sight of a balloon.

Anemophobia

person holding gray corded hair dryer


Anemophobia is the fear of winds. People having this phobia gets triggered by air vents and even hair dryers.

Ablutophobia

person in green shirt washing stainless steel sink


Ablutophobia is the constant fear of cleaning, washing and bathing. It is a very uncommon phobia.

Lepidopterophobia

selective focus photography of butterfly on orange petaled flower


Lepidopterophobia is the fear of butterflies. People having this phobia says that they get triggered by seeing the pattern on the wings of the butterflies.

Trypophobia


Trypophobia is the fear of holes and circles. Extensive research is taking place on Trypophobia. People having Trypophobia are trigger by the image (and many such similar images) shown below.

Chromophobia

brush on watercolor paint


Chromophobia is the fear of colours. People having this phobia has a negative stimulus for colours and has also reported hormonal imbalances.

Turophobia

pizza with berries


Who does not like a double cheese margarita pizza? The truth is people who have Turophobia hates it. They often get nauseated even at the sight of cheese.

Meet Ham : The first Chimp in Space

On 31st March 1961, A chimpanzee named Ham was sent to space. NASA was later planning to send a human into Earth’s orbit. With Ham’s help, the project to send a human into earth’s orbital became successful. The competition was getting ignited between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had previously sent a dog to space and thus proving that mammals can survive in space. And this was how the ‘chimp in space’ project was born. Ham’s space flight lasted 16 ½ minutes and he spent a total of 6 ½  minutes in gravity.

NASA used to call Ham ‘Number 65’ as they thought that media and viewers will cling to a cute name and thus he was never called Ham until he arrived safely from space. Ham was given hardcore training by NASA so that Ham would survive in space.

On  31st January 1961, he was strapped to his capsule called the bio pack, he was also attached with biosensors. He was monitored using computers by NASA officials. Ham’s capsule was cracked due to the high speed and there was a loss of air pressure. Also, Ham landed 132 miles away in the Atlantic ocean from the predicted landing spot it took the recruited USS donner hours to search for harm but at last, he was rescued it was reported that due to the crack Ham was at high risk and was saved only by his suit.

After the space mission, it was reported that Ham was reluctant to sit back in that space chair. The data collected from Ham’s mission was really helpful to send Alan Shepher Jr., the First American in space in May 1961.

After the mission, Ham was sent to a zoo in Washington DC where he lived 17 years in solitude and 3 years with other chimpanzees. Unfortunately, he died on 19 January 1983 at the age of 25 (which is too young for a chimpanzee) His body was buried at the International Space Hall of Fame, New Mexico. Also, his skull is preserved at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland.

Image result for ham the the chim in space

Top Six Remote Places On Earth

Alert, Canada


Alert is a small village in Canada. An interesting fact to know is that Alert has a population of 5 people. This village is 500 miles away from the north pole. Also, due to its proximity to the north pole Alert, experiences 24-hour daylight or 24-hour Darkness due to its location. It is one of the remotest places on earth.

Tristan da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha is an island located in the southern part of the Atlantic ocean. This island is one of the remotest places and is only accessible via boats or ships. Trista da Cunha has a population of 271 people.

Mutuo County, China


Located on the hills of China and elevated to 8200 feet above Mutou County is another remotest place in the world. Though it is isolated Mutuo County has a population of 10000 which astonishing. This place is isolated from the rest of the world. Attempts have been made to construct roads in Mutuo County but unfortunately, the projects failed as the place is vulnerable to landslides and mudslides.

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Image result for McMurdo Station


McMurdo is situated in Antarctica. Though this place is not inhabited, Researchers and Scientists often visit McMurdo for their research work. In total 1200 scientists work in McMurdo Station.

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland


The name may sound hard to pronounce and so is it to live in this place where 500 people are residing. The water here is mostly frozen and hence the place is inaccessible by boats or ships. People here are dependent on fishing and hunting.

Angle Inlet, USA

Image result for Angle Inlet


With an area of 5.22 Km2, Angle Inlet is another isolated place on earth. The place though comes under the USA but the place is only accessible through Canada due to the location. This place is really popular for fishing.

Watching Clouds : A Mindful Activity

Clouds are beautiful, aren’t they? A clear blue sky with cotton white clouds is one of the prettiest views you can see from your balcony. Maybe it sounds silly but staring at a sky with clouds is indeed a great mindful activity. Watching the clouds go by with winds makes you think about those unsaid thoughts and at some level helps you to self-introspect. It somewhat like meditation.

In a life full of tasks and duties, take some time off and try cloud watching and you will realize how a simple activity like this relaxes your mind.

As Italians say, dolce far niente is equally important in our everyday lives. Dolce far niente means the sweetness of doing nothing. (This does not mean being lazy) The real meaning behind this is finding pleasure in doing nothing or relaxing.

This may sound easy but it is not. In today’s world when staying away from our phones and laptops seems like a tremendous job. How can someone enjoy the art of doing nothing.

Cloud watching is one of that ‘ art of doing nothing’ activities. Just sit down outside or take a walk outside and during this time try to appreciate those white coloured clouds in the sky. It may sound like a small activity but I think it makes a real difference.

Feel free to try out this mindful activity because it is free of cost 🙂

Relationship Goals (Ft. Animals)

Macaroni Penguins

Image result for Macaroni Royal Penguin


Gifting flowers is so cliché. Look at these Macaroni penguins gifting their partners stones and sticks as a sign of love. Isn’t that a real love language? The majority of the Macaroni penguins are monogamous which means they breed with each other for the rest of their lives.

Bald Eagles


These Bald Eagles are another such creature who mates for life.
The Bald Eagle couple devotes a lot of time to built their nest as strong they can. The National Audubon Society says that a strong nest built by these eagles showcases their strong relationship bond.

Coyotes

Image result for coyotes couples


They are one of the most loyal animals. They never stray from their family or partner ever. They are loyal to each other even when the bad times.

Prairie Voles

Image result for prairie voles couples


These cute little creatures have high levels of oxytocin. The Prairie Vole couple loves to make their nest together, raise their children together and mate throughout their life.

Seahorses

Image result for sea horse couple


These water living creatures are another example of animals who mate throughout their lives. Another interesting fact about seahorses is that in this monogamous relationship the male is the one who gives birth and has a brood pouch to hold their babies.

Beavers


Beavers relationship rule states “until death do us part”. These creatures mate throughout their lives and seek new partners if and only their partner dies.

Gibbons

Image result for gibbon couple


These monkey-like animals choose their partner and stay with them forever. They raise their kids together and the kids stay with their parents until they are adults after that they leave their parents in search of their partners.

Isn’t it amazing how these animals set relationship goals for us humans 🙂

Amazing Animal Friendships

Sea Urchins & Crabs

Crabs carry sea urchins on their backs. The sea urchins are sometimes poisonous and hence provide both protection and because the sea urchins are above the crab, the crab is perfectly secured from the predators. In return, sea urchins get free rides underwater.

Image result for sea urchina and crabs

Wolves & Hyenas

As wolves have excellent hunting skills, they help the hyenas to hunt. The hyenas in return help the wolves to find the prey by their excellent olfactory skills and ability to rip off the bones of the prey.

Oxpecker birds & Zebra

Oxpecker birds help the zebra by eating the ticks from the zebra’s body. The zebras get rid of the evil pests from their body and in return, the birds get a delicious meal to fill their appetite.

Also, when these birds sense any type of danger (predators) near, they give out a warning call to the zebra to save themselves.

Crocodiles & Egyptian plover

These Egyptian plovers help the crocodile by cleaning their gums from leeches, as the leeches cause infection to the crocodiles and in return, the Egyptian plovers get some amazing meal for them.

Image result for Crocodile Symbiotic Relationships

Warthogs & Mongooses

These Warthogs are groomed by the mongooses. The mongooses pick off the insects from the warthog’s body and feed them themselves and return the warthogs is free from the depraved insects.

Gobies & Pistol Shrimps

The gobies and the pistol shrimps are the perfect examples of best roommates ever. The Pistol shrimp digs a cave in the ground where Goby and the pistol shrimp would stay and in return, the goby alerts the shrimp from the predators so the shrimp can hide. Also, it has been noticed that the goby brings algae for shrimps to eat.

Image result for goby and pistol shrimp

Humans & Honeyguides

In South Africa, the tribal communities are guided by these honeyguide birds to the honeycomb in the forest. These honeyguides help these tribals to find the honeycomb and in return, the tribals give the birds a part of the honeycomb to feed on it.

The Gut & Brain Relationship

Recent studies show how gut health affects the brain and vice-versa. This relationship between the gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis.

As we all know that brain has specialized cells called neurons, these neurons are responsible for various biological processes in the human body. There are numerous neurons found in the human gut. One of the largest nerves in the human body called the vagus-nerve connects our brain to the gut and gut to the brain.

A study proved that how stress induces gastrointestinal problems. Also, the gut is responsible for producing short-chain fatty acids that affect the brain by reducing the urge of eating. Butyrate that is a form of short-chain fatty acids is responsible for the blood-brain barrier. Also, the gut produces amino acids and bile that affects the brain.

Like the brain, the gut also produced neurotransmitters such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Serotonin contributes to the feeling of happiness and GABA controls emotions like fear and anxiety.

Putting it in a nutshell, the health of the gut affects the health of the brain. Research is going on in the manufacturing of probiotics (probiotics are live edible bacteria that are taken for a healthy gut) that affects both the gut and the brain and such probiotics are called psychobiotics.

The MBA Tea Seller

22 years old Praful Billore was working as a salesperson for Amway and was earning 25000 rupees a month. He later decided that he wants to do MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Unfortunately he could not crack the CAT examination, in 2017. He almost gave up the idea of doing a MBA. With his family pressurizing him to take admission in any of the college, Praful had something else in his mind.

He started working at McDonald’s and was earning 300 rupees/day. After 3 months he decided that he wants to start something of his own and decided to open his own tea shop. He took a loan of 8000 rupees from his father and started his own stall. He named his tea stall ‘MBA Chai wala’ ( MBA Tea seller). He used to sell a cup of tea and toast at rupees 30.

With time his business was blooming and he was selling 10000-11000 cups of tea everyday. With time Praful attracted crowd not only towards his business but also to himself. He was doing Ted Talks and interviews on YouTube.

He says that there were times when his own families and friends mocked at what he was doing. But, he always believed and worked hard towards his dream.

Today Praful Billore is one of the best entrepreneurs the world has seen. Today he is earning more than 14800000 rupees per month which is more than a MBA graduate. His simple tea stall now has become a famous food chain with many franchises.

How is blue light affecting us?

Pandemic has made today’s world a 100% digital world. With digitalisation on the peak so, is our daily digital gadget usage. We are spending; 7-10 hours behind a screen doing our work, attending online classes or Netflix and chilling. While doing so, we are exposing ourselves to harmful blue light radiated from these digital gadgets. 

This blue light is causing eye strain and sleep deprivation in most of us. 

Why blue light radiation causes eye strain?

The reason is when someone is exposed to the blue light coming from laptop screens or mobile screens they tend to blink fewer times than usual. This causes eye strain resulting in discomfort in the eyes. Blue light has the shortest wavelength and the highest frequency. So when it enters the eyes it causes much more scattering than any other light. This causes glare disability and discomfort glare at low intensities. 

Blue light causes difficulty in falling asleep

Blue light exposure disturbs the circadian rhythm of the human body. In the olden days, the only source of blue light exposure was during the daylight hours and when the night falls, the body automatically signals the body to sleep by secreting melatonin. But due to the exposure to blue light, this melatonin secretion is suppressed and it thus affects the sleeping pattern. 

Some of the best ways to prevent this blue light exposure is by reducing the screen time, using a blue light filter app on your gadget, wearing spectacles with blue light filter and using the 20-20 rule where you work on the screen for 20 minutes and then take a 20 minutes no gadget break.

Why having an organized desk is the best?

I know everyone has a different work style. Some people like their desks clean whereas, some others like their desks messy. But what if I tell you that having an organized desk makes you more efficient, productive, motivated and consistent. 

Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, E.B White, Craig Newmark and much more eminent personalities had organized desks. And some way or the other their organized desks help them to achieve whatever they achieved in life.

Having an organized desk has its advantages-

  1. Those who have an organized desk tend to be more focused than the ones who have a cluttered desk.
  2. People having cluttered desks are more prone to get sick because of the lack of cleaning of the desk.
  3. A study showed having a clean desk decreases the urge to leave the desk and take a break.
  4. Consistency and Productivity are seen to increase in people who changed their cluttered desks to organized desks.
  5. Also, people having organized desks make you sleep faster at night.

Adding on you will not misplace your things frequently if you have an organised desk.

How to make your desk organised?

  1. Place a Junk box, this will help you segregate unwanted things from the important stuff.
  2. Place boxes or storage units to store your stationery, notebooks and other essential things in a designated box.
  3. Place a pen stand to keep your pens, sketch pens, highlighters in one place.
  4. Place a table clock on the desk it will help you to keep track of the time.
  5. Also do not keep everything on your desk, your desk is not a storage unit keep only the necessary things on the worktop.
  6. Clean your desk daily.

A clean workspace will surely help you to be more productive, consistent, focused and disciplined.

The Untold Story of The Easter Island

The Easter Island lies in the Pacific Ocean and is around 4000 km away from the mainland. A Dutch explorer named Jacob Roggeveen rediscovered Easter Island in 1722 and it was nothing but a large wasteland.


The Island was destroyed and there was not much vegetation or other creatures present.
Research excavations found that Polynesian people were the first ones to arrive at Easter Island and start their settlement there. When these Polynesian people arrived at Easter Island the natural resources and food were abundant. With an abundance of food and natural resources, their population started increasing. Soon there was a time when the population outgrew the food and natural resources availability.


On the island, large statues of moais were also seen. They built a lot of structural figures of their ancestors. Which also caused overutilization of the existing natural resources. They cut down almost all the trees present on that island and disrupted the whole ecosystem.


They exploited the existing ecosystem to that level that there came a time that they do not have anything to eat and the food scarcity was at its peak. There was no vegetation, fishes, animals, insects or birds for them to eat because of the large-scale man-made destruction which took place.


With population rising high they had no choice but to adopt cannibalism and the excavations which took place there prove that when there was no natural resource available at the Eater Islands the Polynesians adopted the cannibalism lifestyle which is eating their own species because there was no choice.
In the end, the whole island was collapsed and when after so many years the Dutch explorers arrived, they found dead bodies and remains of human civilization.


Till today many theories have been stated about Easter Island but it is still a mystery what really happened at that place.
But the most famous one is the destruction theory according to which the way they destroyed the environment over the years was the cause of their degradation and dying at the end.


The theory also suggests how we humans are destructing the environment and this destruction may get backfired on us in the end.

Music & Brain

I bet we all love listening music.  But do we know how music affects our brain physiologically.

We all know our brain is divided into left and right hemispheres. Our left brain deals with logics and facts in contrast, our right brain deals with creativity and art.

Various researches showed that our right brain is responsible to process music. Also, if the right side of the brain gets damaged it directly leads to the impairment of rhythm and pitch and thus, the ability to comprehend music is destroyed.

Also, another interesting study showed that when we think about a song or when we are recalling the rhythm and lyrics of a song without humming or singing it at that particular time our right brain was more activated than the left brain.

So, does it mean that left side of our brain does not play any role in understanding music or else?

The answer is no.

Actually, for processing music both hemispheres of brain and hippocampus plays a vital role.

 Scientists have proved that how

Minor chords when played makes a person sad and when Major chords are played that makes the person happy.

And, musicians use this concept to make music accordingly.

Also, even hospitals appoint music therapists to treat patients.

And it is clinically proven that music therapy helps Parkinson’s patients, children with autism, improve sleeping patterns and reduces the effects of dementia in older people.

Researchers have also found how listening to music releases dopamine which is a happy hormone.

So, everybody keep listening to music and be happy.

Where does the smell of rain comes from?

Ever experienced smelling that calm and earthy fragrance coming from the dry ground when it is raining? I bet all of us are attracted to that pleasant odour.

Matter of fact there is a term used for that particular smell it is called Petrichor.

But why are we all are such a fan of petrichor and where does petrichor arises from?

Scientists detected that the earth smell or petrichor come from the organic compound called Geosmin, which is actually produced by microbes of the genus Streptomyces. Also, the interesting fact is Streptomyces produces Geosmin when they are dying.

So, the question arises what makes the produce Geosmin when it starts raining? And are we the only species who love the smell of petrichor?

An insect called Springtails like humans also loves the smell of petrichor. Springtails have antennae and they can sense the Geosmin produced by the Streptomyces and this helps Springtails to find the Streptomyces and later consuming them as their food.

 But why would any creature produce a smell so that it could get eaten by another creature?

The thing is Streptomyces wants to be eaten by the Springtail so that after they are eaten and Springtails defecates. The spores of Streptomyces can proliferate further via the faecal pellet of Springtails. So, here we can understand how the Streptomyces are reproducing asexually.

All of this is actually a part of the lifecycle of Streptomyces.

Isn’t it amazing how nature works?

Next time when you smell petrichor remember there is a whole feast happening for the Springtails in that ground below you also  the circle of rebirth for Streptomyces is also circling.

Why do we look different in photos?

No wonder we always experience that how hard we try to click a good photo for our profile picture, it is so hard for all of us to get a decent photo.

Also, when we look ourselves in the mirror we look just fine! Then why exactly we look good in mirror but bad in photos?

Reality is we do not really know how we look. The mirror gives us a reflection and the camera does not show us our accurate face.

The mirror we look in all day during brushing or combing or before going out, makes us believe that this is how we look. We are so accustomed to see ourselves in mirror that when we see ourselves in a picture we are unable to recognize ourselves.

Mirror shows us the enantiomorph version of our face in simpler terms when we see in a mirror the right becomes left and the left becomes right, and so unless you have a 100% symmetrical face, you will always find slight change in the mirror image of you and photo clicked image of you.

Scientist call this familiarity MERE EXPOSURE. This mere exposure makes us favorable to things which are familiar and unfavorable to things which are unfamiliar. Henceforth, we are more inclined towards our mirror image than the camera clicked image. We somehow find that the mirror image is good looking than the camera image.

Also, the camera pictures we see are not true image. Camera clicks 2D images and thus it somehow distorts our real look.

Putting in a nutshell, we do not really know how we look and honestly it does not even matter how we look as Margaret Hungerford says beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

The PRIDE Month

The PRIDE month is celebrated to elevate the LGBTQ community, to support their rights and upliftment.

As we have seen the LGBTQ flag contains 6 colours. All these 6 colours have different meanings to them. The LGBTQ flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in the year 1978. The 6 colours in the flag represents, the Red symbolises Life, the Orange symbolises Healing, the Yellow symbolises Sunshine, the Green represent Nature, the blue symbolises Harmony and the Purple symbolises Spirit.

Why is PRIDE month celebrated in June?

The PRIDE month is celebrated in June to commemorate the Gay Liberation Movement which took place in the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969.  There was a huge riot between the police and the gay community at Stonewall Inn.

Later in 2016, Barrack Obama declared Stonewall Inn. a national monument.

Here is a list of some major sexual orientation, to make everyone aware about them

  1. Gay-This is used preferably for a man who is attracted to another man.
  2. Lesbian-This is used preferably for a woman who is attracted to another woman.
  3. Bisexual-Someone who is attracted to both the genders, same and opposite.
  4. Asexual-These are the people who do not feel sexual attraction to anyone.
  5. Pansexual-These are the people attracted to anyone regardless their gender identity.
  6. Heterosexual-These are the people who are attracted to the opposite gender.

Here is a list of some of the major gender identities

  1. Cisgender-When one’s gender aligns with the gender assigned at birth
  2. Transgender-When one’s gender differs to the gender assigned at birth
  3. Non-Binary-When one does not identify as any of the binary genders but has a sole identity.
  4. Agender-When one does not identify as any gender.

(There are many more such terms which are not stated above)

Being a good ally to the LGBTQ community means giving warmth, acceptance, respect and understanding them. Also do not hesitate to ask what pronouns they use and mention what pronouns you use. Never ever stereotype anyone or gossip about someone’s self-discovery journey and always try to make this world a better place to live for everybody.

Happy PRIDE Month to everybody reading this 🙂

The Radium Girls

At the beginning of World War 1, companies started making watches for the soldiers and the dials of these watches were painted with radium. Radium was a glow in dark substance and painting the dial with radium would help the soldiers to see the time even in the dark.


For painting the dials with radium precision and accuracy is required and for this skilled girl were recruited. These girls were well paid and they were happy getting work and being well paid amidst unemployment in the USA. At first, when they used to work in the factory painting the watch dials with radium, they were asked to lick the paintbrush to make the tip of the paintbrush fine. Due to this their skin and clothes used to shine whenever they used to go out.


When Marie Curie and Pierre Currie discovered radium, only the advantages were known and it was not known at that time that radium is radioactive and this radioactivity can cause death.
Radium was being used in almost everything at that time in cosmetics, toothpaste and other commonly used items.


These Radium Girls were never told about the ill effects of radium and thus they continued to work at the factory until one day one of the girls, Amelia Maggia working at the Radium Luminous Material Corp. developed a toothache and which resulted in the removal of a tooth and later on ulcers were found in her mouth which resulted in the removal of her lower jaw. Amelia died of a haemorrhage and her death shook all the radium girls they all thought her death is connected to radium but the owners were reluctant to accept this and assured these girls that radium is completely safe.

After, Amelia’s death many of the workers started getting the same symptoms. In 1925 a pathologist confirmed that these girls are at high risk of radium poisoning due to radium exposure in their biological system. Even after these reports came out the owners of the company continued denying this fact.


In 1927, the company was sued by the radium girls in court and in 1928 finally, the court had finally found Radium Dial Co. guilty. The radium girls had changed the history of the USA being the first to reform against health and safety at workplace and employees and they were the pioneer for the creation of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

How a PURPLE DYE changed the world

In the year 1800s, purple color was used to be a sign of wealth, richness & being elite. Only people of royal families were the ones who wore purple-coloured clothes, common people were abolished and even punished if they even dared to wear purple-coloured clothes. Queen Elizabeth I passed orders saying that only close members of royal families can wear purple. Hence, there was a huge discrimination between the common families and the royal families.

This was because, at that time purple dye was extracted from sea snails and there was no other natural resource for extraction of purple dye. These sea snails have special glands called hypobranchial glands for production ink and mucous. The shell of these sea snails was broken and these special glands were taken out and oxidized to produced purple. The dye obtained after killing so many sea snails was really less comparatively and the whole process may sound easy but was really exhaustive also, there was an awful smell produced when all these procedures were conducted in real. All these things added up making purple dye an expensive commodity like gold and diamond today.

The second part of this story takes place when in the year 1860s there was a wide spread of malaria in the Britain and to treat malaria quinine was needed. Quinine at that time was only grown in South Africa and the British Government had to spend a lot of their asset to buy and transport quinine from South Africa to Britain. Hence, the British Government passed orders saying that whoever will produce synthetic quinine in Britain will get rewarded. All the scientists at that time started working in laboratories day and night to produce synthetic quinine.

One of the scientists of that time William Henry Perkin who was 19-year-old, was also working in a laboratory doing experiments to produce synthetic quinine, but he was miserably failing and was not getting a futile result.

One fine day, he again tried doing his experiments using crude and aniline and accidently something black in color was formed in the bottom of his test tube. He then tried to wash his test using water but the black substance was not cleaning out he then tried using alcohol. The result changed the history, when he added alcohol to the test tube the product in the test tube turned purple.

William, then realized he can sell his purple color as synthetic purple dye. William’s dye has now become the color of century. The color has opened many frontiers, William has now become one of the richest man of his time, the bridge between the rich and the poor was completely removed, his synthetic dye was the first ever made synthetic dye and was a pioneer for biological discoveries also we cannot ignore the fact how his single experiment saved lives of thousands of snails.

And, that is how a purple dye changed the world.

Amul vs PETA: What is the fight about?

PETA or People for Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked Amul, India’s largest co-operative milk producing industry to start producing vegan milk instead of animal milk, citing that Amul should change with time as plant-based milk is in high demand by the vegans (People who do not consume animal or animal products are known as vegans)

Amul published a myth buster against ‘plant-based milk’ and saying that plant-based milk should not be termed as milk because they do not fulfill the criterion to be termed as milk. Adding to it they said, that plant-based milk does not have any of the nutrients which are available in the milk of cows and buffaloes.

Even, FSSAI or Food Safety and Standard Authority India has set a regulation in 2017, preventing the use of the word milk in non-dairy or plant based products.

The milk industry is now around a controversial debate that techniques like artificial insemination, selective breeding and unnecessary lactating hormones are used upon the cows to get milk. Also, PETA stated how the dairy industry is the precursor for the beef industry.

Amul in return replied that their co-operative industry runs because farmers are the one who are providing milk to them and if they convert and start plant-based beverages then livelihoods of millions of farmers will end.

The fight between Amul and PETA, resulted in Amul writing a letter to the Prime Minister regarding banning of PETA in India.

Another fact to be noted is Indians are still reluctant to adopt veganism. The plant-based products are not really in demand in the Indian markets as they are in countries like United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand etc. Comparing animal milk and plant-based milk, Plant based beverages are double the price of the regular animal milk. Hence, most of the consumers choose animal milk over plant based milk because of the cheaper rate. Indian markets are not yet ready to change and adopt veganism as of right now.

We cannot take sides or decide who is right and who is wrong PETA or Amul.

But we do know as a matter of fact that, many companies have started selling plant-based beverages in Indian market example, Sofit, Epigamia, Urban Platter and GoodMylk but it would take some awareness and time to make Indians adopt veganism completely.

‘Gently falls the bakula’ by Sudha Murty

Gently falls the bakula is written by Sudha Murty.

The story starts with the two main characters Shrikant & Shrimati who are neighbours in a trivial village Hubli. They both are shown as cut throat competitors in schools and later their story turned into a teenage romance. Though, they were neighbours there was a history of rivalry between Shrimati and Shrikant ‘s families. But their love kept blooming like the bakula flowers on the bakula tree which stand tall between Shrikant and Shrimati ‘s bedroom.

After their schooling, Shrimati decided to study History and Literature at a local college, Shrikant whereas got selected at IIT Bombay and their love story turned into a series of love letters which they wrote to each other.

Despite of the rivalry which existed between Shrikant and Shrimati ‘s family, they both got married. Shrikant got a job in Bombay and Shrimati got an offer to study History in America by Professor Collins. Shrikant accepted his job offer at Bombay whereas Shrimati had to decline the offer to study abroad so that she could move to Bombay with Shrikant. This really highlights patriarchy and how it is sustaining through ages. Shrimati sacrificed her passion for history only because she was married to Shrikant.

Shrikant, who has now entered the corporate world was so self-loathed in his progress such that he was now taking Shrimati for granted. Shrimati, was also being ill-treated by Gangakka (Shrikant’s mother) and was feeling dreadful and lonely in the crowded city of Bombay. Shrikant was always exhausted by his corporate job and had no time to keep his marriage alive.

Shrimati had never imagined her subtle, beautiful and modest life in Hubli would change into loneliness and dark days in Bombay. Moreover, Shrikant’s affection for Shrimati would deteriorate with days passing by, fights and arguments started taking place between them.

Shrimati was tired of her dreadful life in Bombay and decided to look after her first love, History because her second love Shrikant was diminishing. She contacted Professor Collins who had proposed her to study History in Asian university in America. Eventually, Professor Collins proposed the same offer for her but this time Shrimati had made up her mind to follow her dreams, follow who she is and follow what she wants to be.

The story classically ends, Shrimati leaving India and Shrikant not able to change anything about it.

The Bakula flower which was signified as the love between Shrimati and Shrikant had fallen gently as the title says ‘Gently falls the bakula’.

The novel, is a tale of a marriage getting failed due to lack of time, communication and self-pride. Shrimati chose herself at the end signifies how important it is to follow our dreams. Though, the story ends at a sad note, the end of the novel totally gives justice to the title.