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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."
-ARYA
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:
Red-love
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

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life of flowers

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