Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pangaea Puzzle

Have you ever been looking at a globe or a map of the earth and noticed how much the coastlines of the continents resemble each other? Wegener's hypothesis described a process where all the continents were once joined into one large piece of land, and over millions of years, were separated into the continents we have today. The hypothesis described a process called continental drift.

In 1912 a German meteorologist named Alfred Wegener (1880-1931) hypothesized a single proto-supercontinent that divided up into the continents we now know because of continental drift and plate tectonics. This hypothesis is called Pangaea because the Greek word "pan" means "all" and Gaea or Gaia (or Ge) was the Greek name of the divine personification of the Earth. Pangaea, therefore, means "all the Earth."

The idea of Panthalassa (all the sea) also given, around the single protocontinent or Pangaea, there single ocean. More than 2,000,000 years ago, in the late Triassic Period, Pangaea broke apart. After noting that the shapes of the continents almost seemed to fit together like a puzzle, Wegener suggested it must have been connected into one landmass. Then he proposed that the enormous, single continent divided into smaller chunks and spread apart due to drifts. Although Pangaea is an hypothesis, the idea that all the continents once formed a single supercontinent makes sense when you look at the shapes of the continents and how well they essentially fit together.

Scientists have studied this idea over many decades, and have found evidence to support Wegener's hypothesis. For instance, fossils of the same plant and animal species found on the east coast of South America have been found on the west coast of Africa. The same types and formations of rocks on the coastline of one continent often match up with the rocks on a continent across the ocean.

According to the theory of plate tectonics, Pangaea later broke up into Laurasia and Gondwanaland, which eventually broke up into the continents we know today. Gondwanaland and Laurasia separated from Pangaea  at the end of the Paleozoic Era and broke up into the current continents in the middle of the Mesozoic Era. Gondwanaland incorporated present-day South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, India, Australia, and Antarctica. Laurasia mass the Northern Hemisphere that included North America, Europe, and Asia (except India).

When you look at the coastlines of Africa and South America, they look as if they fit together, like puzzle pieces! The evidence scientists have found indicates it may be more than a coincidence. The concept of one single continent called a 'supercontinent'. Pangaea was not the first supercontinent believed to have existed. Five million years before Pangea existed, there was another supercontinent they call Rodinia. Rodinia hypothesis is still in observation phase.

Why was the Pangaea hypothesis rejected?

1. They rejected it because from the calculated strength of the rocks, it did not seem possible for the crust to move in this way.

2. Because it obviously had no proof and the same results were not achieved when the experiment was repeated several times by different scientists.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Sarnath or Sarangnath (also called Mrigadava) is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage centres in India. It is also an important place for the followers of Jainism.

Sarnath is situated 13Kms to north-east of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is the place where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon 'Wheel of the Dharma' to his five disciples named Kaundinya, Bashpa, Bhadrika, Mahanaman and Ashvajit after he attained Nirvana or enlightenment at Bodh Gaya (in Bihar, India). Sarnath is, thus, the place where foundation of Sangha, a new order of monks and Dhamma, was laid.

The reason behind the place being called mrigadava (deerpark) is found in the Buddhist Jatakas. As per Jataka, Buddha had been a leader of herd of deer in his previous births had saved the life of a doe and appeared before the king of Benaras and offered himself to be killed in the place of the doe who feasted on the flesh of deer regularly. The king was moved by the sacrificial zeal of Buddha and made a free roaming ground.

The Emperor Ashoka, who spread Lord Buddha’s message of love and compassion throughout his vast empire, visited Sarnath around 234 BC, and erected a stupa here. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. Sarnath is an exceedingly tranquil place. The ruins, the museum and temple are all within walking distance.

Sarnath Sightseeings:

Mulagandha Kuti Vihar
Gautama Buddha Pipal Tree
Deer Park
Dhamekha Stupa 
Chaukhandi Stupa 
Archaeological Museum, Sarnath
Tibetan Temple

Also on the site are the ruins of monasteries and Ashoka Pillar with its four-sided lions heads, which symbolize the spread of Buddha’s teachings. The museum has some of the best examples of Buddhist art. The Dhamekha stupa is 33 metres high, dating back to around 500BC and is the most striking sight in Sarnath. Dharmarajika Stupa is just in front of Ashok Pillat, which marks the spot where Buddha gave his first sermon. The stupa is 143 feet high and dates back to the Gupta period.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Social Networking and Self Branding


Besides facilitating information dissemination, building relation and making world much more 'connected' than ever before, Social Media websites like Facebook and Twitter are branding you and your business. Each time you update your status message or tweet, it creates an impression about you and forms an image in the mind of the reader. This is a continuous process and slowly but steadily 'perceptions' emerge or get modified or change about a person or a firm by the way their social media presence is executed. What appears a casual activity may have a deep implication. The current scenario shows that our happiness/protests/consolations are much more worldwide. In the Indian context, last two years activities and people's participation depends upon how the news spread through social media. Insights and observations held for making social media presence more effective beyond casual usage. Books has been published on the topics like "how to build a holistic perspective on Social Media" etc.

A great book on the same series is out, Social Media Simplified : Twitter Facebook-beyond Casual Networking, written by Vijayendra Haryal, Anandan Pillai. In their own words "With the advent of social media and its supporting tools, only a few people have managed to harness its potential to the maximum and have been overwhelmed with the results obtained. We believe that facets of social media unknown to you would be unraveled as you read this."

Majority of the population believes in just “re-connecting via these networking sites with long lost friends and people”, and avoid the other advantages of social media. This is where the book comes as a boon. Though it has a text-book sort of a feel to it, the knowledge it imparts is impressive. Clearly marked chapters, a brief summary of what they aim at discussing and a glossary of terms at the end, to help newbies understand the terminologies used.

If you are keen on learning the in-and-out of social media, this book is a must have. If you don’t believe much in the online marketing world, go through the book and you’d be surprised at the wonders online marketing can create. It has good insights on engaging people, customers, potential customers, brand building, image building, etc.

The authors, Vijayendra and Anandan have clearly marked the Do’s and Don’ts of social media in a simpler manner. It’s quite an enlightening read to know how social media powers can be harnessed in any field –from journalism to recruitment, to politics, to everyday life! Social media works 24x7. The next time you update your FB status, or send out a tweet, remember you are branding yourself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Celebrating Basant n Valentine's day

For me February is the month of joy and sheer cheer. It always been colorful, bright and nostalgic....

A day to celebrate bond of love and romance with each other– Valentine’s Day is just a day away.. another festival we are celebrating, which is considered pious and auspicious is Basant Panchmi, the bright Spring season.

Celebrating Love towards each other and towards nature.. 

To make February more happening.. Lets share lavish variety of tempting snacks (Veg)

Kaddo ka Halwa (Pumpkin Dessert)


Grated pumpkin - 4 cups (White)
Sugar - 3 cups or to taste
Cardamom - 2
Cashew nuts - 10
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Kesari colour - a pinch

Peel the outer skin and grate the pumpkin and keep aside. Cook the grated pumpkin for 10 minutes or the raw smell disappears. Allow it to cool for some time. Then squeeze out the excess of water with your hands and keep it aside.

Now take a heavy bottomed pan and heat with 1 tbsp of ghee. Add the cooked and squeezed pumpkin and sauté for few minutes. Then add sugar and kesari colour and mix well. Cook further till thickness. Now add the remaining ghee and cardamom powder. Stir on low flame till the ghee separates from the halwa. Garnish with roasted nuts. Serve hot or cold.

Egg-less Chocolate Mousse

100 g dark chocolate
300 ml cream
90 g sugar
30 g salted butter

Chop the chocolate and put it in a bowl. Put another bowl in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. Then whip in it the cream. In a pot cook the sugar until it caramelized (light brown). Remove the pot from fire and add it the butter with 2 tablespoons of whipped cream. Mix.

Pour the sugar on the chocolate in 3 times. Mix in between. Add the cream to the melted chocolate when it is tepid and mix softly. Pour the chocolate mousse in cups or glasses and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Nature Therapy: Art of Healing

Nature can be a source of solace, healing, insight and regeneration. Whether in the wilderness or the backyard. Nature is healing.

Just think, what is the most commonly given gift when visiting a sick friend?  Flowers.  And what would a wedding be without flowers?  Even at funerals, flowers often play a significant role.  Why? because they make us feel better, just looking at their beauty lifts our spirits.  

Studies have shown that forests and other natural green environments have positive health benefits. After spending time in these types of surroundings, people report having a reduction in stress, anger and aggressiveness. Recovery time from stressful situations is faster in natural, green surroundings than in urban areas. Natural surroundings have also been found to improve mood and reduce depression.

But in the city it might be hard to find a restful place away from our busy work-lives, the rumble of heavy traffic and the daily rush. The answer is garden; they are beautiful, restful, engrossing, flourishing, easy to find or create.

There is no better tomato than the one you grew in your own garden. Fresh food is not only better tasting but it is better for you. Just think how nice it is to walk down the street and see pleasant gardens in front of people's homes, planters in front of restaurants and businesses. We not only benefit from seeing flowers, but also by planting them. Digging is not only great exercise, it's therapeutic. Planting new plants, picking off old flowers, cutting new ones for our vases. Harvesting food for meals. Smelling roses and herbs after rain.

Make sure you always takw your daily dose of nature :)

Note to make: Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, Whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. 
All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts ~ John Muir