26 November 2013

Sidelined Strategies in Science and Technology

Though I am a very passionate Indian at heart, I have always preferred overseas media to local ones as I think that the former are far more reliable.

This morning, CNN carried a very informative program in its `GOING GREEN' series on how geothermal resources are being used in Iceland. As usual the program was lively with input from professionals from different geothermal energy related areas. What I found most interesting was `classroom' base with students from Kenya, PNG etc.

The program made me wonder as to how amazing Iceland based geysers are used in energy production. I remember having seen geysers as a high school student when we had gone on a school excursion to southern districts of Tamilnadu (India) way back in the mid '60s. It is a disgrace that our governments and NGOs are not using natural resources such as geysers properly. I think that we should learn many things from other countries. For instance as to how the US is replacing nuclear reactors with geothermal and hydroelectric systems and how Botswana uses solar energy in its towns and villages to produce electrical energy. In fact, I and my colleagues had the pleasure of residing in solar battery powered flats inside the campus of a high school where we taught in Botswana.

Our government should rise above the intellectual base of most K-12 parents who aim for their children's `ranks' in Board exams (leaving out every thing else however important it may be) or many of our folks who aim to win `rat races' using any means (however unethical these may be).

Like many like minded people, I just don't see any logic in our Government's spending taxpayers' money in Mars mission. Instead the money should be spent in solving problems that affect common people.     

I tried to provide a link to the program, but couldn't locate it easily in the CNN website, paradoxically! 

24 November 2013

Rock Music and Spiritualism

Some of the programs telecast over our Lok Sabha TV Channel are really very good. One such is the `Fairs of India' serial that features cultural festivals in different parts of India.  This evening's program (8 to 8 30 PM IST) featured `Banaras Utsav'. 

The program included a rock concert involving Hindu devotional music, reminding the 1960s when thousands of hippies visited the town seeking spirituality. It was nice to visualize spirituality integrated with rock music (which I guess is a pragmatic means to inspire youngsters into spirituality). I remember how George Harrison of The Beatles got involved in Hindu spiritualism way back in the '60s. The rock show as shown in the program was sponsored by Banares Round Table.

Well, when it comes to Round Table, I cannot forget something interesting that happened many years back: I was teaching Physics in a high school in a town that was 60 km away from Gaborone, Botswana. I used to go to Gaborone every Friday to attend the weekly meetings of Gaborone Round Table of which I was a member. I could always leave for Gaborone early enough to reach the meeting as I didn't have any class to take on Friday afternoons. As I was the only vegetarian there, fellow round-tablers knew my food preferences. Once we had to have our lunch in a South Korean restaurant. One of the menu items was `Ants on the tree'. I told the organizers that I wouldn't eat ants. My concern was communicated to the restaurant owner who told me that the item was simply a vegetarian side dish that included jaggery. This was a great relief from my anxiety. 

21 November 2013

Best wishes to Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar bid farewell to test cricket last week. Though not a fan of cricket as such, I have always admired Sachin for his extraordinary cricketing capabilities and sterling qualities of simplicity, team spirit and leadership. (I remember his maiden test match played in South Africa in the early '90s at which time I was teaching physics in a high school in the region). I join numerous Sachin fans in wishing him all the best.

18 November 2013

As I didn't have time, I couldn't write any post last week. Yesterday was an auspicious day in the Hindu calender; this was the day when Shree Mahaa Vishnu took avataar as mathsyaa many yugaas back. Yesterday was also auspicious for worshiping Kaarthikeyaa, son of Lord Shiva. Devotees worship Shree Mahaa Vishnu in his Damodaraa form (shown in the image below) during this Kaarthik month (in the Sanskrit calender). 

      

05 November 2013

The lead story in all our media outlets today has been the successful launch of `Mangalyaan' Mission to Mars. Obviously news agencies such as BBC and CNN too highlighted this event. Well, when our Indian Government cannot handle issues such as corruption, crime rate, lack of education and basic healthcare for all its people, I just don't understand the logic behind spending Rs 450 Crores on this mission. ISRO could have spent this amount on more technically advanced projects that would benefit the common people (particularly agriculturists). (I express my views on this issue as I see it more as socioeconomic than political). 

03 November 2013

Melodious music on mobile ads

A few decades back when TV was new to Indian households, it was fun watching good programs as there were far less commercial interruptions. Besides, commercials were more meaningful and less noisy. Well, some changes cannot be reversed as time goes by. One of these is the way in which people respond to media such as cinema and TV commercials. As anyone can easily find, many of today's TV commercials are noisy and meaningless. In such a scenario, it is really not that bad to view commercials  such as those by Airtel (mobile phone service provider) between BBC News and other programs, as they are accompanied by very nice music resembling those of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. (I tried to provide a link for one of Airtel's commercials but couldn't).

02 November 2013

Fest of Lights

Today is an auspicious day for Hindus. This day is celebrated as `Diwali' meaning `Festival of Lights'. This is the day when Lord Krishna, an Avataar of Shree Mahaa Vishnu, killed the demon Narakaasura and established that the good wins over the evil, during Dwaapara Yuga. This day is also considered to be day on which Shree Ramaa, another Avataar of Shree Mahaa Vishnu, killed Ravana and proved that the good wins over the evil during Treta Yuga.

This Fest of Lights is celebrated by Hindu people all over the Global Village.

About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a K-12 Education Management Professional turned freelance Education writer. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.