Every Move She Makes. They’ll Be Watching Her

There’s something rotten in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. And it seems the Kannada and Telugu news channels have identified the problem — girls gone wild, fuelled by alcohol. On 14 May, Karnataka’s leading regional news channel, TV9 Kannada, ran a programme, Olage Serideru Gundu literally, ‘once alcohol is inside’, a fine assortment of video nasties from across the country, showing the great evils of girls drinking — the ruckus on the street, clothes askew, clashes with cops.For some years now, the disapproving cultural policing of a class of girls — ones who can afford to go out to drink — has become a staple on regional news in both states. There is massive viewership, particularly of sleazy ‘true crime’ reports, and so editors and programming heads encourage reporters to follow women and young couples, to stake out pubs, nightclubs and make-out spots. A cursory search on YouTube reveals the many news reports with such eye-catching titles as ‘Drunk women causing hulchul’, ‘Drunk women causing hungama’, or ‘How to ban rave parties to save the youth’.“We show boys too, but a girl being daring on screen instantly catches the viewers’ attention,” says Shreeti Chakraborty, senior producer with a leading Kannada channel. One clip was of an altercation between four female students of NALSAR University of Law and reporters from the Telugu news channel ABN Andhra Jyothy, outside Rain pub in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills on the night of 11 April. Shruthi, Megha, Prachi and Adwitiya angrily confronted a drunk man filming them on his phone. The confrontation attracted a mob and reporters from ABN. Apparently, the drunk man was a reporter who had telephoned his colleagues. The footage was picked up by other news channels. Several of them branded the girls immoral, drunk and half-naked and even questioned the pub’s licence.Watching the ABN footage is instructive. The camera pans up and down the women’s bodies. It is exploitative; consent is not an option, probably not even worth a thought. The viewer is implicated by the camera’s roving eye, a fellow voyeur leering at barefoot girls in short dresses. The cameraman follows the girls to their taxi, thrusting his camera through the door, his taunts provoking the girls to shout insults. Their expressions of fury at being cornered were circulated on primetime news as the faces of unacceptable modernity, of aggressive young women out at night, women who must be checked.

via Every Move She Makes. They’ll Be Watching Her.

It seems as if among Andhra journalists there are quite a few Backpfeifengesicht. Google that.

What is even sadder is, that these kids need to defend themselves – with petitions, imagery proof, statements of which time girls left (11! not past 12) – not only against their parents, neighbors or sexual abusers in their midst, but also against journalists with cameras.

Certainly these are upper middle class kids with a sense that they have the right to drink if they want, so they can fight back… Just think about what this kind of exploitative misogyny means for people without that sense of right or entitlement.

Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis – Times Of India

DEHRADUN: In the two days that NarendraModi has been in Uttarakhand, he has managed to completely rile not just the Congress government of Vijay Bahuguna but also the administrative staff involved in rescue operations at Kedarnath, Badrinath and Uttarkashi. But above all, he has also managed to bring home some 15,000 stranded Gujarati pilgrims.

The Gujarat CM, who flew in on Friday evening, held a meeting till 1am with his crack rescue team of five IAS, one IPS, one IFS and two GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) officers. Two DSPs and five police inspectors were also part of his delegation. They sat again with the nitty-gritty of evacuation in a huddle that a senior BJP leader said lasted till 1am on Sunday.

Around 80 Toyota Innovas have been requisitioned to ferry Gujaratis to safer places in Dehradun as have four Boeings. On Saturday, 25 luxury buses transported a bunch of grateful people to Delhi. The efforts are being coordinated by two of the senior-most IAS officers of Gujarat, one currently stationed in Delhi and another in Uttarakhand.

via Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis – Times Of India.

 

No need to change the title. It is ludicrous enough as it is. Ignoring for one minute the stupidity of a CM flying in (most likely disturbing existing resuce operation) in order to save “his own people”, lets do some math.

  1. Luxury buses, 25 buses, times 60 people, times max 2 trips per 24 hour span = 3000 people
  2. Innovas, 80 cars, times 7 people, times 3 trips per day (in flood prone areas, I am being optimistic) = 1680 people
  3. Boeings, 4 planes, time 200 people, times 3 trips per day = 2400 people

So, even using wholly unrealistic assumptions on capacity and number of times per day, it seems that he would have quite some difficulty getting more than 7,000 people out in a day  (lets ignore the issue of gathering all these people in one place at once for boarding the Boeings or busses) … a far cry from 15,000 certainly.

But of course, kindergarden maths is not what this is about, so for some more intellectually fleshy thinking about it read it all on Kafila.

Oh, and in recent news: Plants talk

Abstract

Background

Both competitive and facilitative interactions between species play a fundamental role in shaping natural communities. A recent study showed that competitive interactions between plants can be mediated by some alternative signalling channel, extending beyond those channels studied so far (i.e. chemicals, contact and light). Here, we tested whether such alternative pathway also enables facilitative interactions between neighbouring plant species. Specifically, we examined whether the presence of a ‘good’ neighbouring plant like basil positively influenced the germination of chilli seeds when all known signals were blocked. For this purpose, we used a custom-designed experimental set-up that prevented above- and below-ground contact and blocked chemical and light-mediated signals normally exchange by plants.

Results

We found that seed germination was positively enhanced by the presence of a ‘good’ neighbour, even when the known signalling modalities were blocked, indicating that light, touch or chemical signals may not be indispensible for different plant species to sense each other’s presence.

Conclusions

We propose that this alternative signalling modality operates as a general indicator of the presence of heterospecifics, enabling seeds to detect and identify a neighbour prior to engaging in a more finely-tuned, but potentially more costly, response.

via BMC Ecology | Abstract | Love thy neighbour: facilitation through an alternative signalling modality in plants.

Protesters against rape arrested

Early in the morning today Thursday (13th June) there was a protest in the wake of the two latest gruesome gang-rapes and killing in West Bengal. They peacefully sang and held placards, an offense for which the police responded by brutally manhandling and arresting the protesters.

Early in the morning today Thursday (13th June) there was a protest in the wake of the two latest gruesome gang-rapes and killing in West Bengal. They peacefully sang and held placards, an offense for which the police responded by brutally manhandling and arresting the protesters.

Review: A Suitable Boy

A Suitable Boy
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s certainly a long journey to travel with the various characters. I must admit I found myself more engrossed in the sections of the book dealing with the way personal and political life was shaped by events of early post-Independence India (the backdrop) than the personal story of the Mehras, Kapoors, Chatterjis. Tandons and eventually Khannas (the main plot). Even if I on a couple of occasions did put the book down, letting it rest for a few days and then become re-engaged, I finally found myself 50 pages from the end cringing at the prospects presented to Lata. I guess after a “year” and 1500 pages you can’t help but feel a certain affinity to all the people and places (Brahmpur sounds a bit of a drag, but certainly it would have been somewhat exciting to be in Chatterji Kolkata) in the book.

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The Romans Did it Better – Roman Seawater Concrete

The Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated – incorporating water molecules into its structure – and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.

Pozzuoli Bay defines the northwestern region of the Bay of Naples. The concrete sample examined at the Advanced Light Source by Berkeley researchers, BAI.06.03, is from the harbor of Baiae, one of many ancient underwater sites in the region. Black lines indicate caldera rims, and red areas are volcanic craters. (Click on image for best resolution.)

Descriptions of volcanic ash have survived from ancient times. First Vitruvius, an engineer for the Emperor Augustus, and later Pliny the Elder recorded that the best maritime concrete was made with ash from volcanic regions of the Gulf of Naples (Pliny died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that buried Pompeii), especially from sites near today’s seaside town of Pozzuoli. Ash with similar mineral characteristics, called pozzolan, is found in many parts of the world.

Using beamlines 5.3.2.1, 5.3.2.2, 12.2.2 and 12.3.2 at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), along with other experimental facilities at UC Berkeley, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and the BESSY synchrotron in Germany, Monteiro and his colleagues investigated maritime concrete from Pozzuoli Bay. They found that Roman concrete differs from the modern kind in several essential ways.

One is the kind of glue that binds the concrete’s components together. In concrete made with Portland cement this is a compound of calcium, silicates, and hydrates (C-S-H). Roman concrete produces a significantly different compound, with added aluminum and less silicon. The resulting calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) is an exceptionally stable binder.

At ALS beamlines 5.3.2.1 and 5.3.2.2, x-ray spectroscopy showed that the specific way the aluminum substitutes for silicon in the C-A-S-H may be the key to the cohesion and stability of the seawater concrete.

Another striking contribution of the Monteiro team concerns the hydration products in concrete. In theory, C-S-H in concrete made with Portland cement resembles a combination of naturally occurring layered minerals, called tobermorite and jennite. Unfortunately these ideal crystalline structures are nowhere to be found in conventional modern concrete.

Tobermorite does occur in the mortar of ancient seawater concrete, however. High-pressure x-ray diffraction experiments at ALS beamline 12.2.2 measured its mechanical properties and, for the first time, clarified the role of aluminum in its crystal lattice. Al-tobermorite (Al for aluminum) has a greater stiffness than poorly crystalline C-A-S-H and provides a model for concrete strength and durability in the future.

Finally, microscopic studies at ALS beamline 12.3.2 identified the other minerals in the Roman samples. Integration of the results from the various beamlines revealed the minerals’ potential applications for high-performance concretes, including the encapsulation of hazardous wastes.

Lessons for the future

Environmentally friendly modern concretes already include volcanic ash or fly ash from coal-burning power plants as partial substitutes for Portland cement, with good results. These blended cements also produce C-A-S-H, but their long-term performance could not be determined until the Monteiro team analyzed Roman concrete.

Their analyses showed that the Roman recipe needed less than 10 percent lime by weight, made at two-thirds or less the temperature required by Portland cement. Lime reacting with aluminum-rich pozzolan ash and seawater formed highly stable C‑A-S-H and Al-tobermorite, insuring strength and longevity. Both the materials and the way the Romans used them hold lessons for the future.

via Roman Seawater Concrete Holds the Secret to Cutting Carbon Emissions « Berkeley Lab News Center.

Review: Corridor: A Graphic Novel

Corridor: A Graphic Novel
Corridor: A Graphic Novel by Sarnath Banerjee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A tumbling ride around central and old Delhi, in search for books and solutions for an improved sex life.

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