September 30th, 2016Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Green Initiatives / Environment, Resources of Free Materials, Travel
Adding to its Clean City fame, Mysuru has bagged the Number 1 position as the ‘Open Defecation-Free City’. It has been recognised as the first city with a million-plus population to achieve this distinction.
For two years in a row, Mysuru has topped the list of the cleanest cities in the country. It was named the cleanest in the country by a nationwide survey Swachh Survekshan 2016, which was carried out under the Swachh Bharat Mission that was launched on October 2, 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It may be mentioned here that about a couple of months back, representatives from the Quality Council of India visited Mysuru for an inspection and had submitted a report to the Union Urban Development Ministry that the city qualifies the parameters of an open defecation-free city.
The report also mentioned about the city’s cleanliness, waste disposal and drainage systems.
The MCC will be presented with the award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sept. 30 in New Delhi which will be received by Mayor B.L. Bhyrappa, Deputy Mayor Vanitha Prasanna and MCC Commissioner G. Jagadeesha, according to MCC Health Officer Dr. Ramachandra.
source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / September 24th, 2016
September 27th, 2016Green Initiatives / Environment, Inspiration/ Positive News and Features, Nature, Records, All, Science & Technology
When PhD student Nishma Dahal embarked on her first trip to east Sikkim, little did she know it would lead to a stunning discovery in the eastern Himalayas . The efforts of Nishma and other researchers from National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) have led to the identification of a new species of pika, a mammal which resembles a tailless rat.
The new species, Ochotona sikimaria, is an important part of the ecosystem and is vulnerable to climate change. Members of the rabbit family, pikas have been in the news in North America for their sensitivity to increasing temperature, which has caused several populations to go extinct. Pikas live on high altitudes in mountianeous regions, which makes them more susceptible to habitat loss due to the increasing global temperature.
The discovery was a great challenge for Nishma as most pika species closely resemble one another. She started her work by collecting pika pellets to extract the DNA and identify the species.
Though the pellets are puny, Nishma was successful in amplifying the mammal’s DNA from them. When Nishma compared these DNA sequences to those of other pika species in the world, she found them to be quite different. But this was only the beginning of her mission.
To prove it was indeed a new species, Nishma had to compare the Sikkim pika to its close relatives, which are found in China. It took Nishma and Uma Ramakrishnan, whose laboratory at NCBS led the study, two years to build collaborations with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zoological Museum of Moscow and Stanford University to get detailed data on the sister species.
The NCBS research reveals while Ochotona sikimaria appears similar to the Moupin pika (found in China), they are quite distinct from a genetic and ecological perspective. So far, the new species seems to be limited to Sikkim. The NCBS team searched for the Sikkim pika in other Himalayan regions, including Arunachal Pradesh, central Nepal (Annapurna and Langtang), Ladakh and Spiti but to no avail.
All is not well for this tiny mammal, says Nishma. “Unlike other mammalian species inhabiting such harsh environments, Pikas do not hibernate. They prepare for winter by collecting and storing hay piles. We must investigate their vulnerability to increasing global temperatures, and to do so we must better understand their ecology and population dynamics. Such information is lacking in the case of Asian Pikas,” she said.
“The opportunity to work on Himalayan biodiversity has been amazing, and I have learned how little we know about our own species. Pikas are ecosystem engineers, and we must understand more about them to protect them,” said Uma. The study has been published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City News> Bangalore / TNN / September 27th, 2016
City’s renowned Wildlife Photographer S.Thippeswamy has been conferred Master ICS (MICS) award by the Image Colleague Society Institution, California, USA.
Thippeswamy can be contacted over Mob: 98454-96200.
source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> In Brief / September 26th, 2016
Imagine gorging on mulberries, durian and rambutans for lunch sitting amid trees and in the company of peacocks. Or sipping the juice of homegrown pineapples in the thick shade of giant Burmese bamboos. It may sound like the exotic tourist locales immortalised by Harry Belafonte’s foot-tapping numbers. But you need not go as far as the Caribbean for such a tropical paradise. Closer home in Moodbidri is a 200-acre farm owned by Dr Livingston C Soans.
Explore the farmhouse and you’ll find not just a variety of flora but also some esoteric patterns and pyramid-like structures. These are tools for healing techniques popularised by Dr Soans, 82, a much-feted botanist, water diviner and ancient healing expert.
These healing techniques or energy zones have been inspired by ancient civilizations like the Mayan, Sumerian, Aztec, Egyptian and even Indian. Some of the ancient structures like the Egyptian pyramid, native American energy wheel or Cretan Labyrinth are replicated here for energy rejuvenation.
Dr Soans, who began researching ancient healing techniques a few decades ago, says this is part of alternative drugless therapy. He has constructed two labyrinths — one based on a design in a French cathedral and the other based on one used by Greeks on the island of Crete.
“Modern options are highly commercial or difficult to follow in totality, but the ancient healing devices like the Medicine Wheel, Pyramid and Cretan Labyrinth and its French version offer healing techniques from within,” he says. Elaborating on how animals pick up special spots on the ground to curl up or how ancient temples are built in specified places where energies can be identified by the dowsing techniques, he says, “These devices help medicines hasten the healing process.”
The Moodbidri facility gives people access to these tools at a price, he says, adding that the Cretan Labyrinth has been set up in hospitals in the US and Europe.
The Cretan Labyrinth, something like a Mandala, is a circular layout of intricate pathways, that roughly take up a kilometre to reach the centre of the labyrinth, all of which is laid on 150 sq ft. “In Europe I found that patients, after regular treatment in hospitals, were advised to use the Cretan Labyrinth for better healing process,” he says.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Karnataka / by M Raghuram / September 25th, 2016
0September 26th, 2016Uncategorized