Richest Person on Each Continent

  1. Jeff Bezos: $92.6 billion, technology, North America
  2. Jorge Paulo Leman: $30.8 billion, Food and beverage, South America
  3. Amancio Ortega: $77.8 billion, fashion,real estate, investment… Europe
  4. Aliko Dangote: $13.7 billion, cement, sugar, flour,salt,. … Africa
  5. Mukesh Ambani: $41.9 billion, Oil & Gas, Asia
  6. Gina Rinehart, $16.6 billion, Mining, Oceania
Advertisements

Koh-I-Noor: A diamond with troubled history

Koh-I-Noor
Size: 105.602 carats (21.1204 g)
Colour: Finest white
Cut: Cushion
Discovered: Date unknown in India
The name means” Mountain of light” in Persian language. Once known as the largest diamond in the world. It is believed to have originated in Andhra together with its double called”Darya-ye-Noor” meaning “Sea of light”.
It was originally owned by Kakatiya Dynasty which installed it in a temple as the EYE of the goddess. It has had a troubled history having been stolen, confiscated or taken over as war loot by various invaders.
Presently it is a part of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth having been confiscated from its owners in 1850 by imperial powers.

WHY US AND OTHER WESTERN POWERS RESENT NUCLEAR TESTS BY NORTH KOREA?

Western powers have monopolized the nuclear power and weapons. Russia and US hold 92% of the resources. Treaties like CTBT discriminate against the rest of the countries who want to use nuclear resources even for peaceful purposes. India has not signed this treaty. Supply of nuclear materials is controlled by Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG) which is largely controlled by US and Russia and puts discriminatory conditions on developing nations.This is why they are bitterly opposing nuclear tests by North Korea who is not toeing to their line.
Here are statistics

No. of nuclear tests:

US: 1030

USSR Russia: 715

France: 210

UK: 45

China: 45

North Korea: 6

India: 3

Pakistan: 2

Nuclear Inventory

Russia: 7000

US: 6800

France: 300

China: 270

UK: 215

Pakistan: 125

India: 115

Israel: 80

CHILLIES

Chillies are not native to India and came to India in 15th century. Chillies are native to Mexico where these were cultivated since 3500 BCE. Christopher Columbus although took voyage to India in search of spices especially Black Pepper reached America in 1493 and thought it to be India. He and his companions also mistook chillies for black pepper. He brought back the chillies pepper with him.

Portuguese reached in India in the end of 15th century and introduced it in India. This gave the birth to red hot Goan curries. Cultivation of chillies took India by storm and use of chillies in food became very popular.

Some chillies of India 

  1. Dhani lanka or Bird’s eye Chilli: Grown mostly in North East and Bengal
  2. Bhoot Jhalokia: Native to Assam and Nagaland. Hottest chilli in the world. 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. In Nagaland these are known as Raja Mircha.
  3. Kashmiri Chillies: Mild and famed for aroma and color. Add lovely colors to many Indian dishes.
  4. Mundu Chillies: Grown mostly in Tamilnadu and Andhra. They have very delicate skin and nice flavour. Mild in nature
  5. Guntur chillies: Known for their powerful taste. Used for adding heat to Andhra and Madhya Pradesh cuisine.

Some pictures of Scaly breasted Munia 

Scaly breasted Munia is a very small but attractive bird. They are very agile and combined with their small size , it becomes very difficult to take good pictures. Nevertheless, with patience and luck which are two most important qualities to capture a bird in nice photograph, I have taken a few pictures.

image image image image

When Braham Kamal (ब्रह्मकमल) Bloomed in our home

One of neighbours in ONGC colony Dehradun gave us a cutting of a cactus like plant in March 2013. She told that the plant is called “Brahama Kamal” and is considered very auspicious in Hindu mythology. It is said that a lotus bloomed from the navel of Vishnu who is the greatest of holy trinity of Brahama, Vishnu and Mahesh or Shiva and Brahama was created on this bloom. That is why it is called Braham Kamal (ब्रह्मकमल). Kamal means lotus in Sanskrit

It’s scientific name is Epiphyllum oxypetalum. It is a very interesting and unique plant. It belongs to Family Cactaceae. It is commonly known as Night blooming Cereus, Queen of the night, Lady of the night as its beautiful Lotus like flower blooms late night. In India it is called as Brahma Kamal ( ) and is treated as a sacred plant. It is popularly known as Orchid Cactus as the flower has orchid like beauty and plant resembles cactus in habit. It is known by different common names in different parts of the world viz. Jungle cactus, Dutchman’s Pipe.

The plant is native to Sri lanka where it is known as Kaduphul ,it is believed that plant blooms rarely and that too late night. People in many places of India have been successfully growing it in the pots. At least I know of two people in Mumbai and Dehradun.

In the meanwhile, we shifted to Panchkula near Chandigarh and brought the plant with us. It began to add on branches but no flower appeared on it for two years. Then in the last week of July, a strange stem like structure covered with pink threadlike structures began taking shape. Firstly it grew straight downward from the tip of a blade of plant. Then the lower part began swelling and becoming like bulb. On the evening of second August around seven o clock the bud began opening and flower unfolding. By ten o clock in the night, it completely opened up to show a pristine white lotus. It was mesmerising to see it.

We were very excited as we were told that flower blooms for one night only and had a life span of 10 hours. In the early morning, we again observed it. It was still there but had begun to shrink back. In the noon, it completely became like a thread. But after three weeks it again gave another flower.

It is said to blossom during mid July to mid October in India. Let us see that if it bless us more times during this season.

Honey, Bees are getting shrunk

Worldwide the number of bees is reducing due to various detrimental factors. In the past four years reduction in their numbers have shrunk by as much as 30%.

beehive

Honey has so many properties and benefits to humans, that it is considered as the food of Gods. It is full of nutrients and is complete food. And how is it made? Flowers with nectar, and a beehive and bees do the rest. It was also the first food of the cavemen. Our food will be less diverse and less nutritional without honey.

Not only that they convert the raw nutrients from flowers into the brown colored liquid but during the collection of nectar by visiting one flower after another, they are carrying out the process of cross pollination which results in better kind of fruits. The bee keepers keep their beehives under the shade of flowering trees or crops with flowers to enhance the pollination rate and thereby the productivity of farm crops. It has been observed that production increases to the tune of 35% due to pollination by bees.

India in this regard has done better with increase in the number of bees. The production of honey in 2014-15 has been 29578 MT as compared to 28376 MT in 2013-14. The value of export of natural honey was 445 crores rupees in 2013-14 and 555 crores rupees in 2014-15. The major buyer countries are USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Libya and Morrocco.

In India, 500 species of flora exits which are suitable for bees to extract the nectar and pollen. Major areas of production of natural honey are Maharastra and North East India. Some of naturally pure honey types are:

  1. Rapeseed or mustard honey.
  2. Eucalyptus honey
  3. Lychee honey
  4. Karaj or Pongamea honey
  5. Multi flora himalayan honey
  6. Acacia honey
  7. Wild flora honey
  8. Multi or single flower honey

The possible reasons for the decline in numbers are the use of pesticides in the farming, pathogens and lack of foraging. The has been marked increase in the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) disease during recent years. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.

Even nature is giving us enough indication against the use of methodologies which run counter to the harmonious ways of the nature.