Soft News
The scientific legacy of APJ Abdul Kalam - Mint
India’s 11th President (2002-2007) APJ Abdul Kalam, who died in Shillong on the evening of 27 July, was popularly called the missile man, a recognition of his role as the head of India’s missile programme at a time when the country desperately needed to develop missile technology. He was also India’s original rocket man, being responsible for the development...
Historic fly-by - Hindu
History was made on July 14 when NASA’s New Horizons became the first spacecraft to successfully fly by the dwarf planet Pluto, the last unexplored world in the Solar System. This it did after travelling a distance of nearly 5 billion kilometres since its launch in January 2006. The scientific treasure that has been returned since then by the baby grand piano-size spacecraft has already “dramatically surpassed” expectations.
By Red Sea, WW-II Sikhs soldiers' glory beacons again - Sarika Sharma, Times of India
A war memorial commemorating almost 300 Sikh and Hindu soldiers, who had fought and died during the Second World War in Eritrea, has been given a new lease of life by a team of craftsmen from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). The Keren Cremation Memorial, within Keren War Cemetery, commemorates Sikh and Hindu soldiers who died...
Film industry's Bahubali - Pioneer
While the Indian film industry is second to none in artistic quality and sheer quantity of its productions, it has unfortunately lagged behind world cinema in technical prowess. It may be too early to say if the Telugu blockbuster Bahubali —The Beginning, released this past Friday, will eventually lead to an industry-wide improvement, but there is no denying that, going by expert opinion...
The changing quest for music - Santosh Desai, Times of India
An idle fantasy of mine is to be able to go back into one’s own past carrying some wondrous product from today’s time and to confront one’s earlier self with the miracle just to see the reaction. Perhaps nothing would cause more astonishment than a smartphone, but (for the sake of logic consistency that is so vital to a fantasy) that would need an entire network service to function.
Harry Potter and the Sorting Hat - Arundhati Acharya & Sudipta Sarangi, Business Line
On June 29, eighteen years ago, the world saw the publication of the first book in a series that changed the reading habits of children around the world. The first book, called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone written by then an unknown author, JK Rowling, came out on this date. The seven-book series, now a cultural icon, has been translated into over 60 languages...
The birth of the Internet in India - Shauvik Ghosh & Ashish K Mishra, Mint
Kanakasabapathy Pandyan remembers the parties. Quite vividly. Long evenings, endless chatter and glass-in-hand (always) parties. Held at Vijay Mukhi’s sprawling apartment on Nepean Sea Road, south Bombay. Mukhi was a technology evangelist back then, a man who loved his computer more than anything else in the world. So it was only natural that he had something...
Dawn, and Philae’s new dawn - Dilip D'Souza, Mint
Several months ago, I wrote here about a fridge-sized space probe called Philae. The European Space Agency (ESA) flew her (well, why not “her”?) to and dropped her on a comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. No, this wasn’t your everyday Mangalore-Madurai flight. It took the best part of 10 years and plenty of intricate manoeuvres. Scientists believe Comet 67P dates from the very beginning...
Lost are those who speak no English? - Rajshekhar Pant, Hindu
As the market forces get hyperactive, it is high time we reviewed not only our approach towards learning an international language but also our priorities. "I’m a man of leisure. That’s because I have an English degree and can’t get a job,” wrote Jarod Kintz, the humorist, in his book E-mails From a Madman. A bare English degree may have its own limitations in the job market...
Anyone can play Satyajit Ray - Angshukanta Chakraborthy, Mail Today
Culture isn’t a copyright. When people say: “That’s our culture,” they simply mean they have been doing certain things that way. Others can do the same things differently. Culture, which includes artistic production and consumption, is therefore nobody’s private property, intellectual, or, in some cases, even material. Of late, Bengalis have been losing sweat over a particular cultural question.
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