Tag Archives: nature

Freak Hailstorm that Rained Sizable Boulders Kills Nine People in India


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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While an incomparable event takes place now on the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka, where four distinct nearby volcanoes are erupting concurrently, seven villages in India suffered freak hailstorm that rained on sizable ice boulders killing nine people.

Freak Hailstorm in AP - 1

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On Tuesday 29th January, people living in seven villages in Chevella, Moinabad and Shankarpally, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India experienced a once-in-a-lifetime freak natural event. The hailstones started falling during the night.

Freak Hailstorm in AP - 2

On the following day at dawn, women found it difficult to clear their yard of the large boulders of ice using the indigenous ekel brooms.

Though the hailstorm lasted only for about 20 minutes, it covered the entire villages under a snowy blanket causing financial loss to most of the villagers by destroying their houses, live stock and crops.

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Save Water- the Elixir of Life


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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We all know that

Worth more than gold
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Save water - 2

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these are only posters

A POSTER CAN NOT SAVE WATER

however

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Don't hog

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Save water - 1

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Save Water shower with me

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If not, this would be the fate of your grandson’s well!

Wells

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Snow Tubing at Boulder Ridge, Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley, PA.


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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On February 18, our son Subas and his friends took my wife and me to Boulder Ridge, Liberty Mountain Resort, Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania.

The advertisement said “Head straight to Boulder Ridge Snow Tubing for good old fashioned wintertime fun. Snow Tubing is such a blast for all members of the family – and best of all, no experience is necessary!

The beautiful two level log lodge with a wrap around observation deck provided a superb view of the snow tubers sliding down the icy slope.

You don’t have to be an expert skier or a snow boarder to have fun as a snow tuber. Anyone can tube, even if you’ve never so much as set foot on snow before like me. But a signed release is required for all tubing participants. Participants under 18 require parental signature.

There were 15 expertly carved lanes. A covered moving carpet lift took the snow tubers and their tubes to the top of the hill. It banished the drudgery of walking up to the top and helped the tubers relax on the moving carpet as it conveyed them and thier tube back to the top.

Tubing is sold in one or two hour sessions that begin at the top of each hour. Boots were available at $5 rentals for both kids and adults.

The youngsters can tube in the Pebble Ridge kiddie tubing area especially made for children ages 2-4. With a $9 unlimited tubing lift ticket, the kids can tube all they want during their visit! Parents can also join in on the fun helping their kids with their tubes, give them a push and watch their smiles glow as they ride down the hillock.

It was fun 100% fun zooming down the perfectly carved lanes with zero effort on our part.

Boulder Ridge Snow Tubing is Now Closed for the Season and will open in December 2012 for another winter of snow tubing fun!

Work continues at Kundakulam Nuclear plant as does police crackdown on protesters


kracktivist

KoodankulamNuclear Power Project site, commissioning expected by the end of May

Jeemon Jacob
Thiruvanthapuram, 2 nd April 2012

Work at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project site continues to be on a fast track, and according to sources the plant will be ready to commission within eight weeks. According to an official working at Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project site, the commissioning of the plant is expected by the end of May. Scientists and officials had reviewed the progress of the project last week. “Our scientists and technicians are working over time and we will be able to complete the project in time,” said the official who wished to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile, the government crackdown on anti-nuke protesters continues. The Madurai Passport Officer has directed PMANE convener Dr SP Udayakumar to surrender his passport as a criminal case is pending against him. On Friday 30 March, officials from the intelligence bureau…

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PRESS RELEASE By Prasanth Bhushan : Thiruvananthapuram April 1st 2012


Human rights activist and Team Anna core member Prashanth Bhushan is a Senior Supreme Court lawyer practicing in Delhi and a social activist. He is the son of lawyer and former Law Minister of India Shanti Bhushan.

PRESS RELEASE By Prasanth Bhushan : Thiruvananthapuram April 1st 2012

I visited Koodankulam yesterday to meet the people fighting against the nuclear power plant to see for myself what is happening there. It was very impressive and inspiring to see the discipline and determination of the thousands of people, particularly women and children who were sitting at the dharna site at Idinthakarai.

It is unfortunate and condemnable that the govt. and the local police administrators have arrested hundreds of these protestors and instituted hundreds of cases against them, making absurd charges of sedition, naxalism etc against these peaceful protestors.

Nuclear power is the most expensive way of generating electricity apart from being extremely hazardous, as has been pointed out by a number of independent experts such as Dr.E.A.S.Sharma (former power secretary), Dr. A.Gopalakrishnan (former Chairman, AERB) among others. Apart from the risk of a catastrophic accident as happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima which renders tens of thousands of square kilometers land uninhabitable and uncultivable, there are very serious problems of storage of spent fuel and safety of the nuclear fuel.

That is why most countries of the world, especially developed countries have abandoned nuclear energy and are phasing out their existing plants. Japan has shut down all except one of their nuclear reactors after Fukushima which were generating 34% of their electricity.

Yet, strangely India is embarked on a massive expansion of nuclear power, going to the extent of seeking to import plants like Jaitapur which are untested and will cost 2 lakh Crores (for a 10000 MW plant) which makes it more expensive than even solar or wind energy. It is being done for the benefit of foreign nuclear power plant manufacturing corporations at the behest of their governments? In the absence of any transparency in these deals will the people not be justified in suspecting that kickbacks are motivating these decisions?

In the case of Koodankulam, there are several additional problems which make the site unsuitable for setting up a nuclear plant. An independent expert committee has pointed out that there is considerable scientific evidence of volcanic activity in this area and it is also an earthquake prone zone which can have a Tsunami as well. There are several populous villages in the immediate vicinity as well as a colony recently established by the government for rehabilitating the Tsunami victims. Also, most ominously, the NPCIL has not complied with the AERB’s condition that the plant should have a secure source of fresh water and storage for 60 days requirement of fresh water for cooling the fuel rods.

The project was given environmental approval many years ago without any public hearing and without considering these serious issues. All this becomes even more serious in the absence of setting up of an independent regulatory body for nuclear energy. The AERB continues to function as a department of the Atomic Energy Commission. Even the 3 prior safety audits of existing plants conducted by the AERB in ’79, ’86 and ’95 which pointed out serious problems of safety with the existing plants have not been put out in the public domain despite the Prime Minister’s promises.

The Koodankulam protestors are therefore fully justified in agitating against the plant. It is imperative that the government respects their sentiments and fears and immediately suspends work at the plant. It must constitute a credible independent expert committee to examine all the safety issues which have been raised, in a transparent manner with public hearings and not resume work on the plant till all safety issues have been credibly addressed. All the arrested agitators must be released and the cases against them withdrawn. All plans of setting up new nuclear plants must be suspended till an independent safety regulator is set up and safety audits of all existing plants and proposed plants is conducted in a transparent manner.

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2012 Centennial of Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC


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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj
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The year 2012 is a once in a lifetime centennial celebration year to commemorate the gift of 3,020 cherry blossom trees from the people of Japan to the people of the United States.

A century ago, a world-famous chemist and first president of Daiichi Sankyo Co, Ltd, Dr. Jokichi Takamine, played a pivotal role in arranging the gift of trees from the City of Tokyo to Washington, DC.

On March 27, 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City donated the trees to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and to celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations.

First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. These two original trees are still standing today near the John Paul Jones statue at the south end of 17th Street. Workmen planted the rest of the trees around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park. Even after a century the trees have spread their roots and survived the elements, and have withstood the test of time.

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This year the centennial celebration of the gift of trees will be celebrated from  March 20 – April 27, 2012, in Washington, DC.

On March 23, 2012, my wife and I were in Washington, DC. We felt blessed to be in US during this centennial of the gift of trees. I took countless photographs that day.

Here I have embedded a video that I created using my photos. It was an unforgettable evening that we spent surrounded by cherry blossom. The music playing in the background is one that I enjoy listening without tiring – Carlos Santana’s ever green “Flor D’Luna (Moonflower)“.

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