Thursday, September 20, 2007

Double the devil!!

666 666
There you are .. twice the devils number !!
I refrain from posting cricket related stuff on my blog. There are plenty of cricket 'ex-perts' on the web and I have no intention of being one of them.
But this is special.. its a world record.. six sixes in an over from Yuvraj Singh. Not the first one to do it, but definitely the first one to do it to a fast bowler (the unfortunate unfortunate Stuart Broad)!!! Oh yeah, he also happened to hit the fastest fifty ever in any form of cricket ..
Just sit back and enjoy this power hitting..
Match report

Three steps to conservation

Finally some one is talking some sense about conservation. And can you believe that it took a political scientist to do that!! Indiana University political scientist Elinor Ostrom has proposed a new three tier framework for conservation that is flexible and adaptable to the needs and demands of the various idiosyncratic factors affecting the conservation plan in that particular region of the world.
The first 'tier' of the framework looks at the broad variables of resource systems, resource units, the governance system and the resource users. In each successive 'tier', these are progressively analysed with greater and greater detail. Policy makers are encouraged

"...first to examine the behaviors of resource users, then establish
incentives for resource users to aid a conservation strategy or,
at least, not interfere with it."

The 'flexibility' of the framework even claims to acc
ommodate non-political changes that may come with economic development and environmental change.

No doubt this will have its critics too, the primary criticism may come in the form of the time-line Ostrom is talking about to even get this framework started - 15 to 20 years. Many conservationists would argue that we cant afford the luxury of such long drawn plans when everything around us is collapsing.
Point taken! But, look at it this way.. atleast someone is thinking differently and if we can manage to pull this off, it may just work in many places in the world where the western blueprint of conservation is imposed on traditional people and their lifestyles, leading to a virtual lottery where the odds are heavily against success.
I can already see tremendous advantages of adopting such a thorough approach for north-east India where tradition, culture and tribal practices do not take too kindly to the inflexible laws that apply to all of India. Recognising and studying the problems in detail is the first step to solving them.

Original report .......Why Conservation Efforts Often Fail

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunset at Sesaipura

Sunset Sesaipura
Originally uploaded by dawgmatix
Sunsets have always been my favourite form of landscape photography. Had plenty of experience clicking sunsets in Mizoram where they are just too awesome and the light is just fantastic. Central Indian sunsets arent that easy, but the flat terrain gives a panoramic view. Have been experimenting with different exposures recently and this is what came out of a recent trip to Sesaipura, a small town at the edge of the Kuno wildlife sanctuary.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Did predation drive speciation??

Some exciting new findings (of really really old stuff.. we're talking 550 million years here!) by scientists at Virginia Tech seem to suggest that a fantastic increase in species diversity at one point of our geological past (480 m.y.a in the Phanerozoic fossil record) might have been triggered by increasingly efficient predators. Now, before you get ideas about some furry, sabre toothed cats or ravenous T'rex's.. these predators are none of them. They appear to be marine organisms capable of drilling holes into shells with more efficient and stronger claws and jaws. Evidence collected from fossil victims of all this clawing and jawing coincide with the spurt in their species numbers. Now this could mean three things according to them - the predation drove speciation, diversity forced the predators to evolving newer and more efficient ways to crack them, or all this is due to some other factor which we still dont know. A previous study by Mark Wilson and Paul Taylor do seem to point towards the first criteria. Its going to be interesting to see the follow-up studies!

here's the link to the original article..Predation Linked To Evolution, Study Suggests

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pride and joy

On 29th August, 2007 something really strange happened. India won a football tournament. They beat Syria, ranked much higher than them in the FIFA rankings comprehensively and won the Nehru cup. For a change, there were people cheering them on too, and what a show they put up! I was one of the lucky few to be in the stadium.
Although the stands were almost entirely full of young people from the north east, this has to be a first time in the history of Indian football when people were waiting outside the gates, waiting to get in for a football match in a place other than Goa, Kerala or West Bengal.
This is not the end. The way these guys were playing, something is changing.. and its for the better. I managed to take a shot of Bhaichung, Steven Dias and Sunil Chhetri with the tricolour doing the victory lap. Gives me goosebumps whenever I look at this picture. Football rules!!!!

for more read:
Times of India report
Good story in The Telegraph on the evolution of the current team

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Whats with the dry leaves??

Kind of like our experiences arent they??.. scattered pieces of yesterday lying all around and yet feeding our subconscious.
Experiences - sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet and everything in between is always a learning experience. In fact the bitter ones are probably the ones which teach us the most.. essential to nurturing our understanding of the universe as we allow our survival skills for this world to grow... all through our life.
But arent all these small nuggets of packaged-knowledge-with-a-price also like yesterdays leaves? Fallen and decomposing.. but contributing to the richness and fertility of the soil that nurtures those same trees from where the leaves came?
Well I'm just gonna toss around a few of my dry leaves and see if they make any sense. The ones which dont... aah well, there's always a matchstick to start a nice campfire with them !!