Soft News
From city of remembrance to city of hope - Rakesh Sood, Hindu
When the sun dawned on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was just a large Japanese city with a population of 3,50,000 that had escaped the destruction of massive aerial bombing. That day ended early, at 0815 hours when Colonel Paul Tibbets, flying a U.S. B-29 Super Fortress bomber named ‘Enola Gay’ (after his mother)...
Can’t relax against hunger - Tajamul Haque, Business Line
MS Swaminathan is well known as the key architect of India’s Green Revolution in the mid-1960s and an all-time crusader against hunger and food insecurity. His latest book, entitled Combating Hunger and Achieving Food Security , broadly shows the road map for a hunger-free and food-secure India. The book has 30 chapters, each suggesting some sweet nutri-pills...
Platform tourism in Calcutta - MJ Akbar, Indian Express
Is Calcutta’s Howrah the only railway station in the world that stocks Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection in a platform bookshop? It looks pirated, which is another intellectual plus. Piracy is a tribute to popularity. Darwin is amidst honourable fellow pirates, an inch askance of The Mayor of Casterbridge and within teardrop distance of Tess...
Forbidden love in the time of the Internet - Shubashree Desikan, Hindu
Technology can be disruptive, but it cuts both ways — bicycles in Victorian England led to the emancipation of women; they are also known to have scandalised folks of that time by enabling love affairs… In the 21st century, the Internet is a lead exemplar of disruptive technology. Sporting a tagline, “Life is short. Have an affair!”...
Liquid smoke: Makes food more palatable - Vikram Doctor, Economic Times
At Rajdhani’s thali restaurant in Mumbai they do a neat trick. The waiter brings a tray with a glowing hot lump of coal on which he pours ghee. It splutters and smokes and he quickly turns a metal tumbler over it to capture the fumes. Moments later he turns it around and before the smoke coiling inside can escape he pours in cool buttermilk.
Dreaming up a 5G world - Nandagopal Rajan, Financial Express
India might still be contemplating the advent of 4G, but in many parts of the world the chatter has moved up a notch to 5G. One thing that was clear from a session on 5G technologies at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco was that 5G would mean much more than faster internet. And in that sense it will be game-changing. Or should we say life-changing?
Dead men’s secrets - Pratik Kanjilal, Financial Express
Two breakthroughs in forensic archaeology have been reported in August, which draw attention to the extraordinary violence that seems to have been commonplace in ancient times. At least one of these may offer some insight into why violence is so hard to leave behind though civilisation obviously benefits from its reduction. One study by researchers in institutions...
The 'drinkable' book - James Rothwell, Telegraph
A book with pages that can be used to filter murky drinking water has seen success in its first field trials. The so-called "drinkable book" features treated paper which can be torn out and used to kill bacteria in water, as well as printed information on the importance of filtering drinking water. The pages contain nano-particles of silver or copper which wipe out dangerous...
Harappan culture and the truant horse - Ashok Sanjay Guha, Telegraph
Is this then the end of our story? Not quite. The Mature Harappan culture (after about 2,500 BC) saw extensive brick construction, cultivation and use of rice and cotton, use of silver and of fixed brick altars, none of which is known to the Rig Veda - though the latter does mention other construction materials (stone, metal, wood), other cereals...
The now and the next of Argus II - Robert Greenberg, Mint
Although bionic ocular technology seems new, its development has been under way for over two decades. Research and experimentation on a bionic eye began in the early 1990s at Johns Hopkins University. By 1998, this work had demonstrated that a retinal prosthesis could use electricity to stimulate the retina and produce spots of light visible to blind patients.
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