Do we realise the the most precious gift, "the mother earth and our co-creatures"?


Vote Now Vote Green I'm going green you coming

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.- Aristotle

What's Nature?

To answer this question is difficult, but to feel it, its never difficult. Its splendid, candid, trivial and jovial.......

"Mother Nature made me the way I am, and I should be happy."

" The path to nature is never lonely !"

Life begins from here; its vast and deep with the fathom of life hidden inside it.

A walk, back & forth between the shores,The waves of The Bay of Bengal.

"Silent is the Valley...", Thats Silent Valley National Park.

"God's own country"(in the midst of the backwaters.)

"Standing tall...."

"Finally got its Solace..."

"Way to The jungle."

"Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do."
-Michel de Montaigne

From the watch tower, In the view of the silent canopies of the valley

( The silent Valley National Park,in May'07)

As a permanent safeguard against human intervention in the ecologically-sensitive Silent Valley National Park, state government decided to declare areas around the place as a 'buffer zone'.
Areas to be included in the buffer zone would be finalized shortly, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan told reporters after the cabinet meeting here.

The zone, covering a total area of nearly 148 sq km, has been conceived as a natural safety-ring around Silent Valley tropical forest.

The forest, in 1970s, faced a serious threat of being destroyed by a big hydro-electric power project, which was later shelved in the wake of the country's first successful environmental campaign.

Spanning an area of 89 sq km thick tropical forest in Mannarghat Taluk in Palakkad district, Silent Valley was declared a national park in 1984.

The declaration of buffer zone comes in the wake of environmentalists voicing concern over the move of the state government to revive the Pathrakkadavu hydel project using the waters of Kunthipuzha river, which flows close to the Silent Valley.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Russell's Viper pairing

If u ever spot a snake with features like "Light brown body,three rows of dark brown or black splotches bordered with white or yellow extending its entire length" be sure that u have encountered a Viper, the commonest venomous snake of Indian subcontinent causing the maximum deaths/year.

Yes, thats none else than the Russell's Viper(Vipera russelli).
Russell's viper(Vipera russelli)is an extremely venomous, brightly colored, viperine snake of southeastern Asia and Indonesia.

(A mating pair of Russell's viper, resting on Aloe vera bush, in the broad day light)

A VIPER is a venomous snake, especially any member of the families Viperidae (true vipers) and Crotalidae (pit vipers).(The viperidae or true vipers usually have thick bodies and heads that are much wider than their necks. However, there are many different sizes, markings, and colorations.)

(**A note on the way vipers deliver their hemotoxic venoms into their prey's body)

This dangerous species,Vipera russelli, is abundant over its entire range. It is responsible for more human fatalities than any other venomous snake. It is irritable. When threatened, it coils tightly, hisses, and strikes with such speed that its victim has little chance of escaping. Its hemotoxic venom is a powerful coagulant, damaging tissue and blood cells.

Distributed predominantly in Sri Lanka, south China, India, Malaysian Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and surrounding islands, this species of viperine snake grows up to an avg. of 1 meter and max up to 1.5 meters. Habitat is variable ranging from farmlands to dense rain forests. Common food is rats, rodents, lizards and frogs, at times may be small passerine birds also. It is commonly found around human settlements, under broken walls, in stores-granaries, in garage, in compound wall's cracks, in all those suspectible places where it can mimic nicely and make a wise man be fooled.

Russell's viper's venom is used as a coagulant in the arrest of hemorrhage from accessible sites in hemophilia.The venom of Russell's viper acts in vitro as an instrinsic thromboplastin and is useful in defining deficiencies of blood clotting factor X.

(** A note on the way Viper's work on their prey)

Over the span of time , as evolution proceeded, this snake group Viperdae's members developed a highly sophisticated means for delivering venom. These true vipers are associated with long, hollow fangs that perform like hypodermic needles,thus delivering the venom deep into the wound.

The fangs of this group of snakes are movable. These snakes fold their fangs into the roof of their mouths. When they strike, their fangs come forward, stabbing the victim. The snake controls the movement of its fangs; fang movement is not automatic. The venom is usually hemotoxic. There are, however, several species that have large quantities of neurotoxic elements, thus making them even more dangerous. The vipers are responsible for many human fatalities around the world.

"Painting death"

"Painting death" : A total of 1254 brushes were recovered from five shops
(Mongoose hair brushes seized in Jodhpur)

Jodhpur, (Rajasthan) October 26: In a major raid on stationery and hardware stores, the Rajasthan police yesterday seized 1254 illegal Mongoose hair brushes and detained five shopkeepers.

Acting on a tip off provided by Dr Sunit Dookia, the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) notified the Jodhpur police. Thereafter following orders from the I nspector General of Police, a team headed by Chain Singh, Inspector Sardarpura police station, raided seven stationery and hardware stores near Jalori Gate. The five shopkeepers were arrested and later released after they gave written statements that they will cooperate with the prosecution. The brush samples will now be sent to the Wildlife Institute of India for confirmation following which legal proceedings would begin. The raid was assisted by Dinesh Pandey, Assistant Programme Officer and Dr Mahendra Singh Kachhawa, Advocate, WTI.

Concerned with the declining population of the mongoose species, WTI initiated a campaign to curb the trade on mongoose hair with an award winning film 'A Brush with Death .' The brushes are used largely by school children all over India, who are unaware of the implications of using them.

"Mongoose species help in controlling the population of rats and snakes, and therefore is a friend of man. Considering the threats faced by them, the Government of India upgraded the protection status of the mongoose species from Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) to Part II of Schedule II ,"Ashok Kumar, Vice-Chairman, WTI, said.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

leks in animal world.


"Each organism takes birth on this earth to leave back its genes for a noble cause".
For this noble cause, the cost benefit ratio counts a lot. Mating systems, which describe the way in which individuals of both sexes obtain mates, vary widely in nature. Different animals follow different reproductive strategies out of which lekking is one eminent ethological approach.

(Courtship Lek,Sage Grouse)*

Lekking is a curious variation on promiscuous mating. "Lekking" is derived from Swedish origin, that describes a pattern of mating behavior seen only in a small number of birds around the world. In North America its chief practitioners are Greater and Lesser Prairie-Chickens, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Sage Grouse, and Buff-breasted Sandpipers. although this ethological pattern is very common in birds,its also seen in animals esp some lizards,iguanas, black bucks and deers.

(Buff-breasted sandpiper show off)*

During the mating season, the males of lekking species birds gather into small clusters of territories, called leks, or arenas. Each male defends a territory within the lek although the area may only be a few yards across. Thirty or more males can even gather at a large lek. They display with frantic intensity, sometimes oblivious to everything around them (though their intensity increases when females are present). The display varies from colour display of feathers, dancing patterns , singing(mating calls) to aggressive fights at times.

(Great Snipe lekking)*

(Growth of the horns in fallow deer males, display for lek)*

"Conflict and co-operation in competition over mates" forms the basis of lekking systems, which offers several examples of situations where males share common interests while competing for mates; lower ranking males will, e.g., all benefit from the top male not being able to monopolize matings. Also, kin selection could potentially affect optimal male behaviors and distributions.

(Lekking black buck males beginning a fight)*

(Lekking iguana male)*

Females visit the lek and wander among the displaying males as if comparing their virtues. Eventually a female accepts the advances of a particular male and mates with it. Usually only a few males out of all those present on the lek ever successfully mate. The female then lays its eggs in a nest that may be distant from the lek and that will never be visited by the chosen male.

(A Prairie Chicken in its lek with the display; bigger size:better display)*

The evolution of lekking is as interesting as the phenomenon itself. Factors determining degree of male clustering are still not well explained. A large number of different hypotheses have been suggested for explaining the distribution of males in lekking species. Some of the models involved in proposing the evolution of lekking are the female preference model, the hotspot model and the hotshot model.There may be social as well as ecological factors involved in determining male and female distribution patterns and hence the lekking patterns seen in the animal kingdom. Whatever may be the fact, but the evolution of lekking is to ensure the transfer of better, healthy and well competent genes to the next generation so that the "clan" continues in the future.

(* All pictures are uploaded from net in reference to the article.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kuu...Koooo....Kuu....Kooo...Kuuu... Its Koel !!

The word KOEL also means "nightingale" in India because of the Indian Koel's melodious call. It is also colloquially known as the "Rainbird or Stormbird" in eastern Australia, as its call is supposed to foreshadow rain.

Formerly also Common Koel, the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea), is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes such birds as the roadrunners, the anis, and couas. It is found from southern Asia, China, and into Australia. Like many cuckoos, it lays its eggs in other birds' nests and efficiently shows "brood parasitism".

The male is bluish-black, with a pale green bill, rich red eyes, and grey legs and feet. The female is brownish above and whitish below, but is heavily striped and spotted brown on the underparts and white on the upperparts. She has an olive or green beak and red eyes.

Koels are very vocal, with a number of different calls.Though Asian Koel is omnivorous, consuming a variety of insects, caterpillars, eggs and small vertebrates, the adults predominantly feed on fruits and hence are mostly frugivores, easily spotted on trees of Psidium, Michelia, Mangifera. It has occasionally been known to take eggs of small birds.

The Asian Koel is a bird of light woodland and cultivation. It is a mainly resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka to south China and Australasia. Birds at the fringes of the range, such as much of Eastern Australia, and on high ground are summer visitors, migrating to warmer areas in winter. They have great potential in colonizing new areas. They first arrived in Singapore in the 1980s and became very common birds.

Associated with typical ethology,Koels are brood parasites, and lay their single egg in the nests of a variety of birds, including the Jungle Crow,House Crow and various species of honeyeaters. They may also parasitize Black-headed Orioles.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Flower of August; The Gladiolis

(The tiny droplets on the petals well reflected back; gifted to Chai)

Also called as the "Flower of August", the name "Gladiolus" is derived from the Latin word "gladius", meaning "sword", for the shape of its leaves. An ancient name for the gladiolus was "xiphium," from the Greek word "xiphos", also meaning sword.

Belonging to the iris family (Iridaceae) and not primarily being Eurasian origin, this genus "Gladiolus" contains about 260 species, of which 250 are native to sub-Saharan Africa, mostly South Africa. About 10 species are native to Eurasia. There are 160 species of Gladiolus endemic in southern Africa and 76 in tropical Africa. The species vary from very small to the spectacular giant flower spikes in commerce.Sometimes called the sword lily, the most widely-used English common name for these plants is simply gladiolus (plural gladioli or gladioluses).

These attractive, perennial herbs are semihardy in temperate climates. They grow from rounded, symmetrical corms, that are enveloped in several layers of brownish, fibrous tunics.

The gladiolus flower is the birth flower for August; it also represented the Roman gladiators. Before the African gladioli became popular in the West, the Mediterranean and British gladiolus flowers were used to treat physical ailments. The English used the gladiolus flower's stem base (corms) as a poultice and for drawing out thorns and splinters; powdered corms mixed with goat's milk was commonly used to soothe the symptoms of colic.

The gladiolus flower signifies remembrance.

It also expresses infatuation, telling the receiver that he or she "pierces the heart."

These flowers are variously colored, pink to reddish or light purple with white, contrasting markings, or white to cream or orange to red.

Primarily the South African species were originally pollinated by long-tongued anthrophorine bees, but some changes in the pollination system have occurred, allowing pollination by sunbirds, noctuid and sphingid moths, long-tongued flies and several others.

Gladioli are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Large Yellow Underwing.

Gladioli have been extensively hybridized and a wide range of ornamental flower colours are available from the many varieties. The main hybrid groups have been obtained by crossing between four or five species, followed by selection: Grandiflorus, Primulines and Nanus. They make very good cut flowers. However, due to their height, the cultivated forms frequently tend to fall over in the wind if left on the plant.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Spotted in the pondicherry campus, this lovely agile bird is pretty fast and doesnt allow to take the shots of it in such a great way, well posed, well composed and well illustrated. Thanks to my luck for letting me do it with my new camera. It was in April, before the viva, when i was in my room listening to music Raag Darbari in the afternoon and was wondering so many things, looking at the clear sky. All of a sudden, no sooner my eyes went down to the courtyard's ground, behind the hostel's main building, I spotted this gorgeous beauty percging on a branch. after great efforts, I could finally capture it in my camera, sitting on the big stone as if desperately posing for me.

Thats Hoooooppooooeeeee!!!

Shades of the sky

Blue sky,
blue sky...
Thats what we see everytime,
The Conventional "Blue Sky".
Looking at Me;
Of course at you
.... At both of Us, wishing the day by.

Blue sky,purple sky..
Grey sky, black sky
Storm coming in, here it is,
The earth is wailing,the thunder yells ,
and I can hear the clouds cry.
Pouring down the life back to the Earth...!!

black sky... Just black as a tar....

with the twinkling stars and the glittering galaxies..
With the moon that drowned the Sun
Inside the fathom of the sea
For the next day's light to come.

Black sky
Green sky
Orange sky
Burnt sienna tinged, crimson rose scattered rays,
budding yellow tinges of the early sunrays...
Red drenched sky
Pink and blue
Bright and light
mighty and mean sky...
Showing another day of life..!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tiny creature- big task

Early morning in the winters... I did bunk the lab... and was strolling in the cosy sunlit, in my garden. My imaginations grew wild and wilder and I ran inside home to get my new Canon Powershot S3 IS camera to capture one of my all time favorite research interests, that none other than "pollination biology". I observed for a long while, kept clicking the shutter button on my camera, ran behind this tiny creature and after a long time of hard work, did take this lovely shot. Thanks to my lovely mom for presenting me this great camera.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"That gracious capture"

The fine day broke with a great mood.It was late winters and early summer...
I went in the ring road early in the morning after working the whole night for my project write up, planning to refresh my mindset... while i was moving fast on the vechile in the ring road, along river Mahanadi, this sleeping beauty was spotted and the well captured some the nicest moods of the doggie.Lonesome yet happy,getting a nice feel in the nature's lap, warming up in the early rising sunray's and giving me such a terrific pose..!!

"Blue Sapphired Beauty"

During the heights of summer, after the masters course was completed in the campus, the "ECOL" gang decided a trip to Silent Valley, a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, in Kerala. the day we reached the place, not to say, just to feel the cosy calm and of course the cool atmosphere in the Mukali forest guest house. With Sandy, Sne and Taya, after we were refreshed, went to the near by stream and while comfortably feeling the beauty of the nature that was adored in one of the best spots of The Western Ghats, we spotted this blue sapphired beauty, named "The Malabar Whistling Thrush".... The whislings of it changed our tiresome day diametrically with great joy, vigor and youthful energy for the next day's trip into the national park, 23km from the place of stay.

"The beauty always lies in the eyes of the beholder..!!

"The beauty always lies in the eyes of the beholder..!!"

A multi spotted lime butterfly, Papilio demolous hovering on Ixora flowers.

Again vibrant colored Malabar banded peacock on Ixora flowers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Arms Race


Predator/prey coevolution can lead to an evolutionary arms race.

Supposedly we consider a system of plant-eating insects. Any plant that happens to evolve a chemical that is repellent or harmful to insects will be thus favored. But the spread of this gene will put pressure on the insect population and any insect that happens to have the ability to overcome this defense will be favored. This, in turn,also puts pressure on the plant population, and any plant that evolves a stronger chemical defense will be favored. This, in turn, puts more pressure on the insect population...and so on. The levels of defense and counter-defense skills and mechanisms will continue to escalate, without either side “winning.” Hence, it is called an "Arms Race". This sort of evolutionary arms race is probably relatively common for many plant/herbivore systems. The defensive mechanisms (either physical or chemical) opted by the plants and the counter defensive approaches by the herbivores serve one of the best examples of "Armed Race".

Other predator/prey systems have also engaged in arms races. For example, many molluscs, such as Murex snails, have evolved thick shells and spines to avoid being eaten by animals such as crabs and fish. These predators have, in turn, evolved powerful claws and jaws that compensate for the snails’ thick shells and spines.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Pollination- The Foremost ecological discipline "

Why pollination is an ecological discipline??

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male reproductive organ (stamen or staminate cone) to the female reproductive organ (pistil or pistillate cone) of the same or of another flower or cone. Pollination is not to be confused with fertilization, which it may precede by some time—a full season in many conifers. The most common agents of pollination are flying insects (as in most flowering plants) and the wind (as in many trees and all grasses and conifers), but crawling and hopping insects, snails, bats, primates, rodents, and hummingbirds may also serve. The devices that operate to ensure cross-pollination and prevent self-pollination are varied and sometimes extremely intricate. Among them are different maturation times for the pollen and eggs of the same flower or plant, separate staminate and pistillate flowers on the same or on different plants, chemical properties that make the pollen and eggs of the same plant sterile to each other, and specialized mechanisms or structural arrangements that prevent the pollinating agent from transferring the pollen of a flower to its own stigma. In the lady's-slipper the bee enters the nectar-filled pouch by one opening and must leave by another; in so doing it brushes first past the stigma, which scrapes pollen off its back, and then past the stamens, which deposit another load of pollen. The stamens of the mountain laurel are bent back and held like springs by notches in the petals; when the bee alights it contacts the tall pistil and then, in probing deeper for nectar, triggers the stamens. Pollen is catapulted onto the insect's underside, ready for contact with the next pistil. Other examples of floral adaptations to their pollinating agents are the fig and its wasp and the yucca and its moth. Wind pollination, depending as it does on statistical chance for successful pollination, requires vast quantities of pollen, which may be forcefully ejected by the anther sac (as in grasses and ragweed) or may be exposed (as in cones and catkins) to the slightest breeze.

Breeding systems in plants refer to the variety of ways plants answer the general question of "Who mates with whom" by answering specific questions such as whether flowers mature at the same time, whether a plant has more than one kind of flower or differs from other plants in types of flowers, and whether there are chemicals that keep certain plants from mating with each other.

Most vertebrate species consist of separate male and female individuals. In contrast, the majority of flowering plants are hermaphroditic, with both pollen and ovules produced by the same plant. As a consequence, many flowering plants are capable of self-fertilization (selfing), with seeds resulting from pollen and eggs produced by the same plant. The self pollen that fertilizes the egg may be produced by the same flower (called autogamy) or by different flowers on the same plant (geitonogamy). Selfing or mating among close relatives (inbreeding) often results in offspring that have reduced vigor and produce fewer offspring compared to offspring from matings between unrelated plants (outcrossing). This reduction in fitness of selfed offspring relative to outcrossed offspring is referred to as inbreeding depression. If both selfing levels and levels of inbreeding depression are high, natural selection may favor mechanisms that promote outcrossing. High levels of inbreeding depression are likely to be found in populations that have been outcrossing for a long time. In contrast, in populations that have been inbreeding (high selfing rates) for many generations, inbreeding depression levels may now be low because harmful genes have already been eliminated from the population by natural selection.
Selfing may also have direct advantages. Selfing plants may have an automatic selection advantage and contribute more genes to the next generation because they contribute both maternal genes (through the egg) and paternal genes (through pollen) to selfed seeds, and they also contribute pollen (and thus paternal genes) to other plants, spreading their genes further. In contrast, outcrossing plants contribute pollen to other plants, but only maternal genes to their own seeds. This automatic selection advantage will lead to selection for selfing if selfing does not decrease outcrossing (thereby limiting the spread of genes), and if inbreeding depression is not too severe. In addition, selfing tends to produce offspring more similar to the parent plant than outcrossing. If seeds are dispersed locally into habitat similar to that of the parent, these selfed offspring may do better than outcrossed offspring. In habitats where pollen is limited because of low population density or because there are few pollinators, selfing may also provide reproductive assurance with a guaranteed source of pollen. Some plants, such as touch-me-not (Impatiens) and some violet species (Viola) have evolved flowers that are pollinated autogamously and never open (called cleistogamy), as well as the more showy open flowers (chasmogamy).

Pollination is a process involving flowers (the pollen source and stigma receiver) and a pollination vector (an agent carrying pollen to the stigma). The study of pollination is an interdisciplinary field involving botany (the plant side) and some other field (the vector side). In some ways, then, it is an ecological discipline.

Friday, June 29, 2007


She is the epitome of love
She is accredited the reasons for success
She is mortal
But the beauty of her sensuality is immortal
She is bound within the worldly tags
But her inner self is not in captivity
She is the free bird in the skies of her dreams
And yet she is the stagnant incarnation of tolerance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Man has conquered her many times
He has possessed her innumerably
Still her soul is the monarch since time unending
Illusions fantasizes her, and imaginations treat her
And sometimes she transits into the practical human
Her mysteries are unraveled
Her dreams are rosy
Her wishes are romantic
Her presence is divine and serene
For she is gods dearest creation

Her charm is unparallel and unchallenged
She is instinctive
She is impulsive
Well she is a paradox .........!!
And a puzzle, what a pity yet what a pleasure
Distinct and different is her existence
She is the radiance of the celestial suns
She is the soothe of the lonely moon
She is the giggle of the rippling cascade
She is the roar of the violent ocean
She is the blaze of the burning fire
She is the calm of the replicating placid lake
The mirror adores her appearance
Men crave her surrenderance
And other women envy her excellence
She has power to create and even devastate
She can withstand but she can even retaliate ..........
Her patience is tested
Her ability is questioned
Her birth has often been mourned and oftener regretted
She is considered a curse and exploited
And now she stands victorious
She rules, rears, replenishes, regenerates
She nurtures, nourishes, necessitates, nestles .........

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She contradicts herself
She conflicts within her arenas
She wants to be loved passionately
She wants to be respected intensely
She is intimated and sometimes she strives solitude
Her desperations never evade
With ceasing of her existence the creation will crumble
And with her forbearance the fruits will ripen
She is the one who has sustained
She is the one who has cared
Yet she is unwanted ...........
She awaits no more for her plight to change
She has started to fight out her own battle
She will be victorious
She will be the triumphant
For she is gods precious gift to man
She is “THE WOMAN” ............!!



How difficult it is to preserve beauty,
Yet how difficult is it to forget the beauty.
How difficult it is to face the truth,
Yet how difficult is it to survive the truth.
How difficult it is to forgive,
Yet how difficult is it to forgive and forget.
How difficult it is to climb the mountain,
Yet how difficult is it to remain at one conquered peak.
How difficult it is to have rosy dreams,
Yet how difficult is it to achieve these dreams.

Pondering upon the mysticism and magic,
Introspecting the inner self’s charisma and sparkle,
Searching for more difficulties to overcome
Looking for solace and satisfaction
Looking for cheer, calm and happiness,
The Mortal gradually marches, marches, marches…..
To unknown places
And unknown faces.

Enduring the questioning glares
Bearing the tormenting stares
Man moves on and on and on…..
His love, his passion
His strength, his emotions
All leave him and escape
Still what remains is the mortal’s memorable march

A march to overcome
A march to win
A march of happiness….!!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Game Theory In Animal Kingdom!!

Game theory refers to “a strategy that considers competitors’ behaviors”
(Maier 1998, 501). Game theory was originally viewed as a mathematical theory or method that may be used to analyze how an actor- player- should behave when he cannot have complete information about what another actor- “opponent”- is going to do” in certain situations . Based on the Prison's Deilemma, the game theory resolves many "counteractions" in the animal world, aslo called as the "Hawk-Dove Strategy". Animals, like humans, will hesitate and wait to see what others do before making a decision but still it forms the basis of ethiology and human psychology.

John Maynard Smith has observed that it is rare for rivals to kill one another in nature. Rivals use threats to symbolize power but have no intention of engaging in conflict. An example of game theory can be applied to two male animals, competing amongst themselves and trying hard for the attention of a female with which they wish to mate. Both males entering the battle do not know what the final outcome will bring. the consequence can be injurious or even fatal, but that is the price that they pay in order to pass on their genes.

The decision must be made by both animals as to whether it is worth such a great risk just to be able to copulate with the female. It is a common issue in the animal world, but the idea of competing and not knowing the outcome is an example of game theory. It is uncommon for members of the same species to kill one another in battle because animals cannot grasp a complete understanding of their opponents’ information or capabilities in combat, so it is difficult and pointless to fight one another. It does not accomplish anything and can only lead to problems in nature. Maynard Smith has applied graded signals, which are communication signals that vary in intensity and duration in terms of the sender’s motivation level, to game theory (Maier, 1998).

An example of graded signals in nature is the intensity of a deer roar in battle. Two male deer may be competing for a female. Instead of attacking one another, they compete to see who can roar the loudest and longest, based on who wants to mate more. This idea is an elaboration of the idea of game theory in nature. Game theory and fighting strategies among animals can be related to the evolutionarily stable strategy theory (Maier 1998). Its also seen in case of birds predominantly where the males compete with each other with their weapons like dancing, showing of feathers, simnging, helping the females in foraging etc. One such commonest example is the building of nests by the male tailor birds. The better the nest is built, the chances for getting a patner incresaes. The game theory apart from animal world (ethiology), is being applied in the field of sports(chess), economics and even politics these days.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"Coffee Production At Risk..!!"

(As mentioned about coffee in my previous article (For all coffee freaks!!) , "Coffee production at Risk" is its continuation.)

In the present 21st century, where "mankind" is progressing 24/7 with ramphant growth of IT sectors, Ghizmophilics and Ghizmoholics, increased metros and urban sprawl, where each next door of a shop or a mall, an office or a counaught square has a cafeteria, called " thy-cafe", say its Cafe Coffee Day or Barista oe Nescafe stalls, their real craze and essence "The Coffee" is at risk...!! and this risk factor isnone other than the old issue"Global warming". Global warming poses a threat to future world coffee crops with rising temperatures and drought likely to force some producers to seek higher and cooler land according to a report issued by analyst F.O. Licht, London.

For a long time now, we have been witnessing change in climate esp in the tropics with increased heat waves, thunderstorms, tsunamis, droughts, floods and famines which are nothing but just the manifestation of the Global Climate Changes, enhanced to many folds by various anthropogenic actions. Climate change has its impact on each and everything from skyscrapers to living beings, from high glaciers melting to the rise of sea levels by .05cm/year, and nevertheless devastating catastrophes that have caused record injuries, deaths, and losses of lives, lands and properties. And now a report on global warming affecting the coffee plantations has sent shock waves around the globe. According to the report, global warming poses a threat to future world coffee crops with rising temperatures and drought likely to force some producers to seek higher and cooler land. A rise in temperatures of about 2 degree Celsius would mean a “dramatic” reduction in the coffee growing area with producers moving to higher regions where there is less suitable land available.

India’s coffee growers are likely to face two major problems. One, increasing temperatures and reduced rainfall affecting their crops and resulting in droughts. Other, loss of pollinators-drop in the number of bees that fertilize the coffee flowers. Even a third problem stands to stare, that is, threat from a destructive pest, white stem borer, to the coffee plantations.

From time immemorial, coffee has been "shade-grown plant", as like in Darjeling and Ooty, growing in cooler climatic conditions. But a recent trend shows shift from shade-grown ancient coffee variety to "sun-grown coffee" by a majority of countries. Shade grown coffee has its own benefits. Most varieties of coffee are naturally intolerant of direct sunlight, and grow well under a canopy of trees, that protect the coffee from direct sun and their organic wastes of fallen leaves restore the fertility of the soil and help retain soil moisture. The nitrogen-fixing shade trees are in addition a habitat for birds and butterflies that, in turn, provide natural insect control with their constant foraging, thus aiding natural fertilizers and pesticides for the coffee plantations. Futher the pollinators (bees) and seed dispersers (birds) are the major co-existing components of coffee plants in that ecosystem. Moreover, forests, being the “carbon sinks", coffee forests (mostly plantation forests), serve to cool the earth surface by evapo- transportation of millions of gallons of water that in turn helps in cloud formation, and gives abundant rainfall.

In such conditions, global warming poses a serious threat to the future coffee world, coffee being a major cash crop in many tropical countries esp the rainforest patches. In a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) research project, Uganda, for instance,it was concluded that a rise in temperatures of about 2 degrees Celsius would mean a “dramatic” reduction in the coffee beans formation.

The Coorg coffee region, of India, with rising mean annual temperature and reduced rainfall would have a detrimental impact on the annual coffee production. "Whether or not some coffee regions eventually fade away is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain — coffee farmers by and large are a tenacious breed because often enough they have no other viable sources of earning a living,” the report said (The Economic Times).

Meanwhile, Robusta coffee futures ended slightly higher in London on Wednesday, lifted by trade buying with volume boosted by rolling forward of positions out of the front month, dealers said. Benchmark May finished up $7 at $1,544 a tonne after trading in a range of $1,545 to $1,535. Dealers said the market was supported by gains in New York Arabica futures amid signs that the US market may be bottoming out after recent weakness. They noted, however, the London market continued to lack any clear overall direction with prices still well within its recent trading range of $1,457 to $1,584, basis May. (The data was obtained from news reviews.)

It's high time for the mankind to realise the "forecasted" devastating causes of global warming, and that in long run they are actually selling their own lands-'their mother earth', and putting their generation X in a dilemma , The consequence is very much evident that the very life of the life cycle will be disturbed affecting not only the flora and fauna of the ecosystem, but also making man to suffer the most and thus justifying the very old saying "As you sow, so shall u reap...!!".

For All Coffee Freaks ..!!

Coffee, a widely consumed beverage prepared from the roasted seeds, commonly known as beans, of the coffee plant (Coffea Arabica, Rubiaceae) is usually served hot though it can also be served cold with various flvours. A typical 7 fluid ounce (ca. 207 mL) cup of coffee contains 80–140 milligrams caffeine, depending on the bean and method of roasting and preparation. Coffee, along with tea and water, is one of the most popular beverages world-wide, its volume amounting to about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe.

Caffeine in coffee is a mild stimulant. Drinking coffee results in an increase of the heart rate of the drinker, increased blood flow to the muscles, and an increase in blood pressure and it causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and to the inner organs. Most importantly for many drinkers, the level of dopamine in the brain increases. Coffee is often consumed because of its stimulating properties, as an aid to beginning one's day by reducing the after effects of sleep or as a way to ward off fatigue in general there by justifying the “morning begins” till the “evening falls”.

Apparently, coffee plays an important role in many societies throughout the world today and in today's world , the most freaked out place of any youth or a family. From the coffeehouses of the 16th century, to the modern day caf├ęs, coffee has had a profound impact on the lifestyles of people from all walks of life.

Studies performed on the relationship between coffee consumption and many medical conditions, includes its long run impacts ranging from diabetes and CVD to cancer and cirrhosis. Studies are contradictory as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits, and results are similarly conflicting with respect to negative effects of coffee consumption. In addition, it is often unclear whether these risks or benefits are linked to caffeine or whether they are to be attributed to other chemical substances found in coffee (and whether decaffeinated coffee carries the same benefits or risks). One fairly consistent finding has been the reduction of diabetes mellitus type 2 in coffee consumers, an association that cannot be explained by the caffeine content alone and indeed may be stronger in decaffeinated coffee. Recently, coffee was found to reduce the chances of developing liver cirrhosis. The statistics revealed that the consumption of 1 cup a day was found to reduce the chances by 20%, and 4 cups a day reduced the chances by 80%. Recent research has found that even small amounts of coffee can cause a temporary increase in the stiffening of arterial walls.

Coffee, one of the world’s most popular beverages is world’s most important primary commodities with the expanse of the restaurants and cafeterias. Coffee also has several types of classifications used to determine environmental and labor standards. Further coffee is used in art esp. Latte Art (designs in the foam of espresso-based drinks. Espresso coffee), in heraldry, composting n manure, and in rituals.

What matters is coffee still rocks in each house, each restruant, each office, each board meeting each conference, and foremost in each heart...!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

What's a Rose..!! Not just a flower.

"I felt the softness of the dawn and the dewdrops
But now I am like the petal of the frozen rose
That wants the sunshine and the sweet breeze
That wants the heat,the touch,the heal
I am craving every instance to hold on
I desire helplessly to linger behind
In the timeswhen noone meddled
And I lied down breathing your essence
Feeling your presence and fearing your absence."
The name originates from latin word" Rosa"..
The rose has always been valued for its beauty and has a long history of symbolism. The ancient Greeks n Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love referred to as Aphrodite and Venus. In Rome, a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase "sub-rosa", or "under the rose", means to keep a secret—derived from this ancient Roman practice.
Early Christians identified the five petals of the rose with the five wounds of Christ. Despite this interpretation, their leaders were hesitant to adopt it because of its association with Roman excesses and pagan ritual. The red rose was eventually adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs. Roses also later came to be associated with the Virgin Mary.
Rose culture came into its own in Europe in the early 1800s with the introduction of perpetual blooming roses from China. There are currently thousands of varieties of roses developed for bloom shape, size, fragrance and even for lack of prickles like Hybrid Tea, Polyantha, Floribunda, Grandiflora, Miniature, Climbing/rambling andEnglish/Dutch Austin varities. Apart from the "wild roses" , the old rose varieties include Burmuda "Mystery Roses", Hybrid perpetuals, tea, Noisette, Bourbon, Portlnad, China, Moss, Centifolia(or Provence), Damasks, Gallica and the white rose i.e. Alba.
The national flower of England n the United States, rose has been the symbol of England Rugby, and of the Rugby Football Union. It is also the provincial flower of Yorkshire and Lancashire in England (the white rose and red rose respectively) and of Alberta (the wild rose), and the state flower of four US states: Iowa and North Dakota (R. arkansana), Georgia (R. laevigata), and NY (Rosa generally). Portland, Oregon counts "City of Roses" among its nicknames, and holds an annual Rose Festival.
Roses are occasionally the basis of design for Rose Windows
, such windows comprising five or ten segments (the five petals and five sepals of a rose) or multiples thereof; however most Gothic rose windows are much more elaborate and were probably based originally on the wheel and other symbolism.
A red rose (often held in a hand) is also a symbol of socialism or social democracy; it is also used as a symbol by the British n Irish Labour Parties, as well as by the French, Spanish (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party), Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Brazilian, Dutch and European socialist parties. This originates from the red rose used as a badge by the marchers in the May 1968 street protests in Paris. white rose was a World War II non-violent resistance group in Germany.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet. –Shakespeare, Romeo n Juliet, Act II
According to the VICTORIAN "language of flowers", different colored roses each have their own symbolic meaning:
Pink- grace, gentle feelings of love
Dark Pink- gratitude
Light Pink- admiration, sympathy
White- innocence, purity, secrecy, friendship, reverence and humility.
Yellow- Yellow roses generally mean dying love or platonic love.
( In German-speaking countries, however, they can mean jealousy and infidelity.)
Yellow with red tips- Friendship, falling in love
Orange- passion
Burgundy- beauty
Blue- mystery
Green- calm
Black- slavish devotion
Purple: protection (paternal/maternal love)
The rose also has various supernatural and literary attributes.
In the driest whitest stretch of pain's infinite desert, I lost my sanity and found this rose. – RUMI
"The only flower in the whole plant world that can express all the blends of emotions...That's a ROSA , rose"
"Arise, arise, arouse, a rose!- Eh, a rosy nose? – Jeremy H. Boob, (more commonly referred to as the 'Nowhere Man'), from the film -' Yellow Submarine"

That's Nature..!!

"The beauty always lies in the eyes of the beholder..!!"

And this stands by to any ecologist and any one who is really concerned about the nature and thou the "MOTHER EARTH". Thats how "Amecomania" has been originated from a tender age.

Unless we are into the nature, it can be never ours and thus it goes very true that "Nature is the best healer".

For all those who love the nature, its creatures and creations - from a microbe to a giant elephant, froma plankton to a huge blue whale, from a butterfly to a peacock, from fungi to rhododendron, from orchids to cacti, from rainforests to savannahs, from fathom of the sea to thehigh altitudes of the giant mountains..from giant albatross of far north to the humming birds in the tropics ....

For those who belive in nature, its aura, its escasity and who want it to be intact for a holy cause..!!

This picture was taken in Marvelli, The restored forest where any nature maniac will just loss himself in the beauty of the land, Pondicherry.(A Sri Aurobindo Ashram's creation)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Asiatic lions culled..!!

Asiatic lions culled...!!

Hello everyone. I don’t know if u all is aware of this fact, which happened recently. I have been a bit late to make ppl know as i m stuck with my own work. It’s again a heinous work of mankind and i should support wild animals getting wild if this continues. We can’t blame them for all those we define as "Human -Wildlife Conflict".And there again goes a huge trauma where Gir NP still the home of the Asiatic lions has become the death bed for them. I came to know of this cold brutal murder on 31st march from a new channel. Thanks to a friend of mine for letting me give some of the details. It like this"Poachers Kill Three More Asiatic Lions in India ..."The rare Asiatic lions are clearly not safe in their only natural habitat and an official revealed on Friday that poachers have killed three more animals at the Gir wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India. This is the second case of its kind in less than one month and has come as a huge shock to the officials. P. N. Roychoudhary, a forestry official in the western state of Gujarat, said “We are shocked. In one month six lions have been killed.”Incidentally, carcasses of the lions were found in all six cases but the claws, bones and skulls were missing and that suggests the motives behind the poaching. Lion’s claws are in demand because some people wear it as pendant hoping it to increase their virility, while the bones are used in traditional Chinese medicine.Though the lion population has increased from 327 in 2001to 359 in 2005 in Gir, the animals face dangers other than poaching as well. There are concerns about how the authorities are protecting the rare animals after it was reported that 25 Asiatic lions have drowned after falling into wells over the past five years. While Asiatic lion of the Gir sanctuary, that is already the target of organised poaching, is facing another threat... the open wells in the outskirts of the park. the report says 12 drownin in the well without parapeets n thn ppl are helpless due to poor govt n lack of money. This has resulted Gir to be the "missing ground of Asiatic lions” rather than to be their home. The unprotected areas in the outskirts of the National Park have been acting as a graveyard. The open wells have called around 12 lions to death in a year. Recently two cubs were drowned into wells. Poor economic status of the villagers, unskilled government, faulty govt. policies, corruption, ignorance, and most of all lack of humanity and ethics has led to such heinous crime. The news says two lionesses and a lion along with a hyena were poached n slaughtered brutally with paws left deserted. When I saw it, my hands were literally shaking as I felt ashamed and then couldn’t bear the blood shed of such innocent creatures. It reminded me of the scene from the movie “Gorillas in the Mist”, where Miss Fosse had gone to the local market and being approached by a villager to buy the ‘cut-fist’ of a gorilla.

That’s some more details I found out.Skinned remains of three Asiatic lions and a hyena have been found in the Gir wildlife sanctuary even as a team of police and forest officials were investigating into the poaching of three lionesses early this month.A total of 6 lions poached in this month. as per CBI, it seems to be organised poacers gang behind such a heinous crmie. And we should feel ashamed to be called " the superior animals with brains" on this earth. And it can be truly said.."Mankind is lost in the midst of wild."

Rescue Rangers-wild animals rescued


life of flowers