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Josy Joseph’s Feast of Vultures

An award-winning journalist draws up on the stories of anonymous poor and famous Indians to weave together the challenges facing the nation.
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Mahasweta : Life And Legacy

Mahasweta Devi's ideas and writing will continue to be the guiding principle for generations of writers, activists, academics and journalists.
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India Post issues 'My Stamp' featuring Amazon

India Post has released a first 'MyStamp' on e-commerce featuring Amazon to commemorate three years of its partnership with the e-tailer. "This is the first time that the Department of Post has released 'My Stamp' to commemorate a milestone with an ecommerce marketplace. The launch reinforces the Amazon and India Post relationship," Karnataka Circle Chief Chief Post Master General Usha Chandrashekar said in a statement. My Stamp are customised stamp on which any one can get their photo published on one side.

The picture on the postage stamp features a boy carrying a box with written on it. Amazon uses India Post as a delivery channel. The company gets access to service customers in over 19,000 pin-codes through 1,55,000 post-offices which includes a majority of outlets in rural areas across all 35 states and union territories in the country. "Over the last three years we have relentlessly focused on providing customers with massive selection, fast and reliable delivery, and a trustworthy shopping experience.

India Post has been a valuable partner to us and we look forward to our continued association," Amazon India Vice President and Country Manager Amit Agarwal said.The speed post revenue of the department has increased from Rs 1,372 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 1,600 crore in 2015-16 and cash on delivery collections for e-commerce parcels has increased from Rs 100 crore to Rs 1,300 crore in the same period.


New 'Einstein ring' is discovered

A PhD student Margherita Bettinelli of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL), together with an international team of astrophysicists has recently discovered an unusual astronomical object: an Einstein ring. These phenomena, predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity, are quite rare but scientifically interesting. The interest is sufficiently strong that this object has been given its own name: the "The Canarias Einstein ring".

The research was carried out by the Stellar Populations group at the IAC, led by Antonio Aparicio and Sebastian Hidalgo. The results were published in the international journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. An Einstein ring is a distorted image of a very distant galaxy, which is termed "the source". The distortion is produced by the bending of the light rays from the source due to a massive galaxy, termed "the lens", lying between it and the observer. The strong gravitational field produced by the lens galaxy distorts the structure of space-time in its neighbourhood, and this does not only attract objects which have a mass, but also bends the paths of light.

When the two galaxies are exactly aligned, the image of the more distant galaxy is converted into an almost perfect circle which surrounds the lens galaxy. The irregularities in the circle are due to asymmetries in the source galaxy.

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Japanese boy survives abandonment in forest

Nearly a week after he was abandoned in the forest by his parents, the boy did not shed a tear when he was found safe. The soldier who discovered him by chance in a military hut gave him two rice balls, which seven-year-old Yamato Tanooka ate ravenously. He looked a bit worn out but was “genki,” the military said, using a Japanese word describing healthy children.

The boy’s safe return was welcomed in a nation riveted by his disappearance and undergoing intense soul-searching about how it raises and disciplines its children. Yamato’s story, as pieced together from comments from the military and police, was admirable in resourcefulness and resilience His parents, trying to teach him a lesson for misbehaving and throwing rocks, made him get out of the car last Saturday on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido in a forest reputedly ridden with bears. They couldn’t find him when they returned several minutes later.

Apparently walking for several kilometers, the boy found the empty hut in a military drill area and entered a door that had been left open. The longhouse-style hut had no heat or power and no food, but Yamato huddled between mattresses on the floor and drank water from the solitary faucet outside the hut for several days, local media reported.

Source:The Indian Express

World's smallest pacemaker implanted

The world's smallest pacemaker was successfully implanted in a 92-year-old man recently at Medanta Medicity Hospital at Gurugram. Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia, which causes patients to experience dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells, as the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise.

Comparing it to the size of a large vitamin capsule, doctors who performed the implant selected to use the Medtronic Micra TPS because unlike traditional pacemakers, the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical "pocket" under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy.

Source: IANS

Boy calls 911 to report dad

This wasn't the kind of emergency Joleen McDonald had in mind when she taught her 6-year-old son, Robbie, to dial 911. When Robbie took a ride with his dad and saw him drive past a red light, he did what he thought was the right thing to do: He called the cops.

"My daddy went past a red light," Robbie said in a 911 call the Quincy Police Department in Massachuetts posted. "It was in the brand new car -- my mommy's car. We had to go to the car wash and then we went past the red light." Mike Richardson and Robbie were on their way to a car wash last Saturday. The father stopped at a red light before taking a right turn. That's legal in Massachusetts. But Robbie, who dreams of becoming a police officer, noticed his dad had driven by even when the light was red.

"He said he was going to call 911," Richardson told CNN. "I just kind of blew it off a little bit, you know, he's 6 years old." When they got home, he called police.


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