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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

This multifaceted personality chose and started film-making in India; with a central belief of economic development !!!

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke (30 April 1870 – 16 February 1944) was an Indian producer-director-screenwriter, known as the father of Indian cinema. He was born in a Marathi Chitpavan Brahmin family at Tryambakeshwar, 30 km from NasikMaharashtraIndia, where his father was an accomplished scholar. Dadasaheb joined Sir J. J. School of ArtMumbai in 1885. After passing from J.J. School in 1890, he went to the Kala Bhavan in Baroda, where he studied sculpture, engineering, drawing, painting and photography. Central in Phalke's career as a filmmaker was his fervent belief in the nationalistic philosophy of swadeshi, which advocated that Indians should take charge of their own economy in the perspective of future Independence.

Starting with his debut film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913, now known as India's first full-length feature, he made 95 movies and 26 short films in his career spanning 19 years, till 1937, including his most noted works: Mohini Bhasmasur (1913), Satyavan Savitri (1914), Lanka Dahan (1917), Shri Krishna Janma (1918) and Kaliya Mardan (1919). His first short film was 'Growth of a Pea Plant' in 1910. Dadasaheb's entire family took part in the making of Raja Harishchandra. His wife handled the costumes of the actors, the posters and production of the film and provided the whole crew with food and water. His son too, played a major role of Harishchandra’s son in the film. 
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, for lifetime contribution to cinema, was instituted in his honor by the Government of India in 1969. The award one of the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema and is the highest official recognition for film personalities in the country. A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honor him in 1971. A variant, honorary Award from The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Mumbai was Introduced in the year 2001, for life time achievement in Indian cinema.

He began his career as a small town photographer in Godhra but had to leave business after the death of his first wife and child in an outbreak of the bubonic plague. He soon met the German magician Carl Hertz, one of the 40 magicians employed by the Lumiere Brothers. Soon after, he had the opportunity to work with the Archeological Survey of India as a draftsman. However, restless with his job and its constraints, he turned to the business of printing. 

He specialized in lithography and oleograph, and worked for painter Raja Ravi Varma. Phalke later started his own printing press, made his first trip abroad to Germany, to learn about the latest technology, machinery and for art also. Following a dispute with his partners about the running of the press. 

He gave up printing and turned his attention to moving pictures, after watching a silent film, The Life of Christ and envisioning Indian gods on the screen. Phalke's first film, Raja Harishchandra, made in 1912 was first shown publicly on 3 May 1913 at Mumbai's Coronation Cinema, effectively marking the beginning of the Indian film industryPhalke's immersion in intense viewing and experimentation led to ill health and temporary blindness. There is a metaphorical aspect to the loss and recovery of sight in a man who declared that he would bring images of revered Indian deities to the screen, just as Christ's image had been presented in the West.

Around one year before, Ramchandra Gopal (known as Dadasaheb Torne) had recorded on film a stage drama called Pundalik and shown recording at the same theater. However, the credit for making the first indigenous Indian feature film is attributed to Dadasaheb Phalke as it is said that "Pundalik" had British cinematographers.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

This WWF is a noble organization serving a strong conservation cause with CHI CHI as its mascot!!!

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservationresearch and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States. It is the world's largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. WWF is a foundation, in 2010 deriving 57% of funding from individuals and bequests, 17% from government sources (such as the World BankDFIDUSAID) and 11% from corporations.

The group says its mission is "to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature." Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of three biomes that contain most of the world's biodiversityoceans and coastsforests, and freshwater ecosystems. Among other issues, it is also concerned with endangered speciespollution and climate change.

The idea for a fund on behalf of endangered animals was initially proposed by Victor Stolan to Sir Julian Huxley in response to articles he published in the British newspaper The ObserverThis proposal led Huxley to put Stolan in contact with Max Nicholson, a person who had thirty years experience of linking progressive intellectuals with big business interests through the Political and Economic Planning think tank

Nicholson thought up the name of the organization. WWF was conceived on 29 April 1961, under the name of World Wildlife Fund, and its first office was opened on 11 September that same year in Morges, Switzerland. Godfrey A. Rockefeller also played an important role in its creation, assembling the first staff. Its establishment marked with the signing of the founding document called Morges Manifesto that lays out the formulation ideas of its establishment.

WWF has set up offices and operations around the world. It originally worked by fundraising and providing grants to existing non-governmental organizations, based on the best-available scientific knowledge and with an initial focus on the protection of endangered species. As more resources became available, its operations expanded into other areas such as the preservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of natural resources, the reduction of pollution, and climate change. The organization also began to run its own conservation projects and campaigns, and by the 1980s started to take a more strategic approach to its conservation activities.

In the 1990s, WWF revised its mission to: “Stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
• conserving the world's biological diversity
• ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
• promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.”

WWF scientists and many others identified 238 ecoregions that represent the world's most biologically outstanding terrestrial,freshwater and marine habitats, based on a worldwide biodiversity analysis which the organization says was the first of its kind. In the early 2000s (decade), its work was focused on a subset of these ecoregions, in the areas of forest, freshwater and marine habitat conservation, endangered species conservation, climate change, and the elimination of the most toxic chemicals.

In 1996, the organization obtained general consultative status from UNESCO.

The Giant Panda mascot of WWF originated from a panda named Chi Chi that was transferred from the Beijing Zoo to the London Zoo in the same year of the establishment of WWF. As the only giant panda residing in the Western world at that time, along with its physical features and status as an endangered species, panda is seen to serve the need of a strong recognizable symbol of the organization. Moreover, the organization also needs an animal that would have an impact in black and white printing. The logo was then designed by Sir Peter Scott from the preliminary sketches made by a Scottish naturalist, Gerald Watterson.

WWF's current strategy for achieving its mission specifically focuses on restoring populations of 36 species (species or species groups that are important for their ecosystem or to people, including elephantstunaswhales, dolphins and porpoises), and ecological footprint in 6 areas (carbon emissions, cropland, grazing land, fishing, forestry and water).

The organization also works on a number of global issues driving biodiversity loss and unsustainable use of natural resources, including finance, business practices, laws, and consumption choices. Local offices also work on national or regional issues. WWF works with a large number of different groups to achieve its goals, including other NGOs, governments, business, investment banks, scientists, fishermen, farmers and local communities. It also undertakes public campaigns to influence decision makers, and seeks to educate people on how to live in a more environmentally friendly manner.It urges people to donate funds to protect the environment. The donors can also choose to receive gifts in return.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Armstrong and Aldrin's TEACHER and the ONLY PERSON ON EARTH whose ASHES ARE BURIED ON THE MOON !!!

Eugene Merle Shoemaker (April 28, 1928 – July 18, 1997), also known as Gene Shoemaker, was an American geologist and one of the founders of the field of planetary science. He is best known for co-discovering the Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 with his wife Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy. Gene Shoemaker’s interest in geology began with the gift of a set of marbles from his mother in 1935, when he was seven years old. These small toys contained some unusual stones like agate, and they set him off to his first geological field trips searching his family neighborhood collecting interesting rocks. 

The next summer Shoemaker traveled with his father to South Dakota’s Black Hills. The boy was so taken with the rose quartz and other minerals in the area that he gathered many samples. By the time the young Shoemaker entered fifth grade, he was being educated in Buffalo, NY, whose Museum of Science had a program that involved evening classes in sciences as diverse as mineralogy and biology. The course even used college-level textbooks. Shoemaker’s group went on field trips to a place south of Buffalo called Eighteen Mile Creek, where Shoemaker reveled in the rich trilobite collections in the Devonian rocks there.

After completing high school in Los Angeles, Shoemaker was accepted at Caltech, where he completed his undergraduate degree and where he also tried his hand as a cheerleader. He went on to Princeton for his PhD and continued with fieldwork with a search for uranium in a Northern Arizona field of old volcanoes called the Hopi Buttes. His earliest major discoveries as a geologist were deposits of uranium in the eroded volcanic vents of those long-extinct volcanoes. Shoemaker studied the impact dynamics of Barringer Meteor Crater, located near Winslow, Arizona

To understand the dynamics, Shoemaker inspected craters that remained after underground atomic bomb tests at the Nevada Test Site at Yucca Flats. He found a ring of ejected material that included shocked quartz (coesite), a form of quartz that has a microscopically unique structure caused by intense pressure.

Shoemaker helped pioneer the field of astrogeology by founding the Astrogeology Research Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1961 at Flagstaff, Arizona and he was its first director. He was prominently involved in the Lunar Ranger missions to the Moon, which showed that the Moon was covered with a wide size range of impact craters. Shoemaker was also involved in the training of the American astronauts

He himself was a possible candidate for an Apollo Moon flight and was set to be the first geologist to walk on the Moon but was disqualified due to being diagnosed with Addison's disease, a disorder of the adrenal gland. Shoemaker would train astronauts during field trips to Meteor Crater and Sunset Crater near Flagstaff. He was a CBS News television commentator on the early Apollo missions, especially the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions, appearing with Walter Cronkite during live coverage of those flights. He was awarded the Wetherill Medal from The Franklin Institute in 1965.

Coming to Caltech in 1969, he started a systematic search for Earth orbit-crossing asteroids, which resulted in the discovery of several families of such asteroids, including the Apollo asteroids. Shoemaker advanced the idea that sudden geologic changes can arise from asteroid strikes and that asteroid strikes are common over geologic time periods. Previously, astroblemes were thought to be remnants of extinct volcanoes – even on the Moon.

On 16 July 1969, three of Shoemaker’s field geology students—Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins—waited to begin a field excursion of their own. In a roar of millions of gallons of burning kerosene, the Saturn 5 rocket beneath them surged to life and bore the three men away from Earth. Shoemaker and his wife were at Cape Kennedy watching. Armstrong and Aldrin remained on the surface at Tranquility Base for more than two hours.

In 1993, he co-discovered Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 using the 18" Schmidt camera at Palomar ObservatoryThis comet was unique in that it provided the first opportunity for scientists to observe the planetary impact of a comet. Shoemaker–Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994. The resulting impact caused a massive "scar" on the face of Jupiter. Most scientists at the time were dubious of whether there would even be any evident markings on the planet.

Shoemaker spent much of his later years searching for and finding several previously unnoticed or undiscovered impact craters around the world. Shoemaker died on July 18, 1997 during one such expedition following a head on car accident while on the Tanami Road northwest of Alice SpringsAustralia

On July 31, 1999, some of his ashes were carried to the Moon by the Lunar Prospector space probe in a capsule designed by Carolyn Porco. To date, he is the only person whose ashes have been buried on the Moon. The brass foil wrapping of Shoemaker's memorial capsule is inscribed with images of Comet Hale–Bopp, the Barringer Crater, and a quotation from Romeo and Juliet reading

"And, when he shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun."

The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous space probe was renamed "NEAR Shoemaker" in his honor. It arrived at asteroid 433 Eros in February 2000, and landed on the asteroid after a year of orbital study. He was previously honored with the asteroid 2074 Shoemaker, discovered and named by his colleague Eleanor F. Helin.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

This Amazing Painter invented a code because of late news of wife's demise; which was used throughout the globe as TELEGRAPH !!!

Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American painter who turned inventor.After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy. Born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of the pastor Jedidiah Morse, who was also a geographer, and his wife Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese.

After attending Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Samuel Morse went on to Yale College to receive instruction in the subjects of religious philosophymathematics and science of horsesWhile at Yale, he attended lectures on electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day. He supported himself by painting. In 1810, he graduated from Yale with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Although Samuel Morse respected his father's religious opinions, he sympathized with the Unitarians.Among the converts to Unitarianism were the prominent Pickerings of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, whom Morse had painted. Some critics thought his sympathies represented his own anti-Federalism. Morse was commissioned to paint President James Monroe in 1820. He embodied Jeffersonian democracy by favoring the common man over the aristocrat.

In 1826 he helped found the National Academy of Design in New York City. He served as the Academy's President from 1826 to 1845 and again from 1861 to 1862.

On a subsequent visit to Paris in 1839, Morse met Louis DaguerreHe became interested in the latter's daguerreotype—the first practical means of photography. Morse wrote a letter to the New York Observer describing the invention, which was published widely in the American press and provided a broad awareness of the new technology.

As noted, in 1825 New York City had commissioned Morse to paint a portrait of Lafayette, then visiting Washington, DC. While Morse was painting, a horse messenger delivered a letter from his father that read, "Your dear wife is convalescent". The next day he received a letter from his father detailing his wife's sudden death. Morse immediately left Washington for his home at New Haven, leaving the portrait of Lafayette unfinished. By the time he arrived, his wife had already been buried. Heartbroken that for days he was unaware of his wife's failing health and her death,he decided to explore a means of rapid long distance communication.

While returning by ship from Europe in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled inelectromagnetismWitnessing various experiments with Jackson's electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. In time the Morse code, which he developed, would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world. It is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data.

Morse received a patent for the telegraph in 1847, at the old Beylerbeyi Palace (the present Beylerbeyi Palace was built in 1861–1865 on the same location) in Istanbul, which was issued by Sultan Abdülmecid, who personally tested the new invention. He was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1849. The original patent went to the Breese side of the family after the death of Samuel Morse.

Morse lent his support to Cyrus West Field’s ambitious plan to construct the first transoceanic telegraph line. Morse had experimented with underwater telegraph circuits since 1842. He invested $10,000 in Field’s Atlantic Telegraph Company, took a seat on its board of directors, and was appointed honorary "Electrician". In 1856, Morse traveled to London to help Charles Tilston Bright and Edward Whitehouse test a 2,000-mile-length of spooled cable. After the first two cable-laying attempts failed, Field reorganized the project, removing Morse from direct involvement. Though the cable broke three times during the third attempt, it was successfully repaired, and the first transatlantic telegraph messages were sent in 1858.

In addition to the telegraph, Morse invented a marble-cutting machine that could carve three-dimensional sculptures in marble or stone. He could not patent it, however, because of an existing 1820 Thomas Blanchard design.

Patents to his name:

Morse code is a method of transmitting text information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment. The International Morse Code encodes the ISO basic Latin alphabet, some extra Latin letters, the Arabic numerals and a small set of punctuation and procedural signals as standardized sequences of short and long signals called "dots" and "dashes", or "dits" and "dahs". Because many non-English natural languages use more than the 26 Roman letters, extensions to the Morse alphabet exist for those languages.