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Archive for January, 2012

Believing is Seeing

Posted by Admin on January 31, 2012

by Owen Waters

Today’s massive, ongoing Shift in consciousness is a shift from intellectual awareness to holistic awareness.

Intellectual awareness is a function of the solar plexus chakra, where mental ability is developed in a linear direction. Examples of linear thought include the performing of arithmetic and the operating of machinery. In this mode of consciousness, people have learned to develop a rigid discipline of “seeing is believing” in order to find what works and what doesn’t.

With holistic awareness, the heart chakra is developed, allowing issues of separation to be resolved and integrated. Holistic awareness means that mind, body & spirit are seen as closely related facets of the human being. This heart-centered awareness is a viewpoint of integration or wholeness which heals the fears and discords that come with solar plexus consciousness.

There is a paradox with moving from linear intellect to heart-centered consciousness. While the intellectual phase of consciousness may say that “Seeing is believing,” the holistic phase requires quite the reverse. In holistic consciousness, opposites are often both true as they are seen as opposite sides of the same coin or as polar opposites of the same issue.

Awareness that is limited to the intellect is subject to issues of separation; of us versus them, of struggling for resources that are perceived as scarce instead of solving the problem of their scarcity. Holistic awareness includes the idea that consciousness creates realities, that something must be created in consciousness – “believed” – before they can become a reality.

So, in holistic consciousness, “Believing is seeing” becomes a statement of truth, even though it is the opposite of “Seeing is believing.” Instead, it adds the understanding that reality is created by consciousness. We are not merely observers of what is. We create what is.

Traditionally, people have entered a realm of holistic, heart-centered awareness when they pass on from this life. In the afterlife, their task is to heal the fears and hates of their physical lives and transform them into love and forgiveness, thus integrating themselves with others, rather than feeling separate from them.

Today, due to The Shift, more and more people are embracing holistic, heart-centered consciousness while still alive in physical bodies. As the heart is also the gateway to spiritual consciousness, this global movement is producing a revolution in spiritual unfoldment.

Spiritual consciousness is flowering in the global consciousness of humanity as The Shift progresses. Today’s pioneers in consciousness are people just like yourself. They are exploring the new territory of unconditional love and experiencing a reunion with their own inner, spiritual connections.

The higher aspect of heart-centered consciousness is fully connected to your inner being, or soul. Your inner being is fully connected to the consciousness of the universe and to that which created the universe. Infinite Being is within each of us. We are Infinite Being.

The daily focus that we apply to our five senses and their connection to the outside world is just like performing a part in a play. We act out the part of being us, along the general theme of the type of events that we planned for this life. We ride along through the journey of this life, gaining the type of experiences that we planned to gain.

When you open up to your heart, and through that, reconnect to your own spiritual source, then you have become a part of the very future of humanity.

The Shift is heading towards a world where unconditional love and acceptance is normal, where strife is relegated to the distant past, where the true potential of human beings can express itself in the daily joy of being all that you are.

*If you enjoyed today’s article, forward it to a friend! They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Owen Waters is the author of The Shift: The Revolution in Human Consciousness, which is available as a downloadable e-book, at:

http://www.infinitebeing.com/ebooks/theshift.htm

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RevolutionisingAwareness Second Newsletter – January 2012 Edition

Posted by Admin on January 29, 2012

Please download the following PDF.

It has been optimised for an interactive and display based view.

However you can also take printouts of it.

Hopefully this will be a continuing trend in the days, weeks and months to come.

RevolutionisingAwareness Newsletter – January 2012 Edition Copy

P.S – History repeats itself for those who fail to learn from it and it goes into an intro spiralling curve when time itself implodes allowing events to recur faster and faster.

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Solar storm hits earth

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/major-solar-storm-headed-to-earth-1327375802-slideshow/

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, northern Norway, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, northern Norway, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (AP Photo/Scanpix Norway, Rune Stoltz Bertinussen)

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, northern Norway, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, northern Norway, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (AP Photo/Scanpix Norway, Rune Stoltz Bertinussen)

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Trondheim, Norway Tuesday Jan. 23, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacul

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Trondheim, Norway Tuesday Jan. 23, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (AP Photo/Emil Bratt Borsting)

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Trondheim, Norway Tuesday Jan. 23, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacul

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Trondheim, Norway Tuesday Jan. 23, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (AP Photo/Emil Bratt Borsting)

solar storm

This handout image provided by NASA, taken Sunday night, Jan. 22, 2012, shows a solar flare erupting on the Sun‘s northeastern hemisphere. Space weather officials say the strongest solar storm in more than six years is already bombarding Earth with radiation with more to come. The Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado observed a flare Sunday night at 11 p.m. EST. Physicist Doug Biesecker said the biggest concern from the speedy eruption is the radiation, which arrived on Earth an hour later. It will likely continue through Wednesday. It’s mostly an issue for astronauts’ health and satellite disruptions. It can cause communication problems for airplanes that go over the poles. (AP Photo/NASA)

The Solar Dynamics Observatory captures an M8.7 class flare in a handout photo released by NASA

The strongest geomagnetic storm in more than six years was forecast to hit Earth’s magnetic field on Tuesday, and it could affect airline routes, power grids and satellites.A coronal mass ejection – a big chunk of the Sun’s atmosphere – was hurled toward Earth on Sunday, driving energized solar particles at about 5 million miles an hour (2,000 km per second), about five times faster than solar particles normally travel, the center’s Terry Onsager said.”When it hits us, it’s like a big battering ram that pushes into Earth’s magnetic field,” Onsager said from Boulder, Colorado. “That energy causes Earth’s magnetic field to fluctuate.”
The Solar Dynamics Observatory captures an M8.7 class flare in a handout photo released by NASA January 23, 2012.
REUTERS/NASA/SDO/AIA/Handout

SDO's AIA instrument at 171 Angstrom shows the current conditions of the quiet corona and upper transition region of the Sun as seen in a handout by NASA

This energy can interfere with high frequency radio communications used by airlines to navigate close to the North Pole in flights between North America, Europe and Asia, so some routes may need to be shifted, Onsager said.It could also affect power grids and satellite operations, the center said in a statement. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station may be advised to shield themselves in specific parts of the spacecraft to avoid a heightened dose of solar radiation.
SDO’s AIA instrument at 171 Angstrom shows the current conditions of the quiet corona and upper transition region of the Sun as seen in a handout photo released by NASA January 23, 2012.
REUTERS/NASA/SDO/AIA/Handout

Large Solar Flare Expected To Affect Earth

In this handout from the NOAA/National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center, shows the coronal mass ejection (CME) erupting from the sun late January 23, 2012. The flare is reportedly the largest since 2005 and is expected to affect GPS systems and other communications when it reaches the Earth’s magnetic field in the morning of January 24. (Photo by NOAA/National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center via Getty Images)

Large Solar Flare Expected To Affect Earth

The space weather center said the geomagnetic storm’s intensity would probably be moderate or strong, levels two and three on a five-level scale, five being the most extreme.
Text Courtesy : Reuters

http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/major-solar-storm-headed-to-earth-1327375802-slideshow/

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“Vindicated” India renews call for London to drop Dow

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/vindicated-india-renews-call-london-drop-dow-115455085–spt.html

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday renewed its demand that London 2012 terminates its sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals, feeling vindicated by the resignation of a Games watchdog panel member over the tie-up.

Meredith Alexander quit the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 on Wednesday, saying she did not want to be part of a body that “became an apologist” for Dow Chemicals, the U.S. firm linked to India’s 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

Dow bought the Bhopal plant owner Union Carbide in 1999.

Alexander said a number of other panel members were also “deeply disturbed” by the company’s sponsorship of a temporary decorative wrap around London’s Olympic Stadium.

Her resignation prompted IOA chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra to send a second letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge exactly six months before the Games, saying there was no need to carry “this toxic legacy”.

“…the resignation of Ms Meredith Alexander from the Games Ethics Committee – the Commission for Sustainable London 2012 – has vindicated IOA’s stand of opposing Dow’s sponsorship,” Malhotra wrote in his letter, copies of which were distributed to Indian media.

“I am sure that you are well aware of the growing opposition to this sponsorship the world over with NGOs (non-governmental organisations), intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Members of British Parliament and civil society openly coming out against it.

“On behalf of the IOA I again urge you to take steps to remove Dow as sponsor and settle the matter as early as possible,” Malhotra added.

Activists say 25,000 people died in the years that followed the gas leak at a pesticides factory in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Campaigners have demanded Dow boosts a 1989 compensation package for those affected by the disaster.

Dow, also an IOC worldwide partner, has denied any responsibility for the accident and says Union Carbide had settled its liabilities with the Indian government.

A number of former Olympians have slammed the London sponsorship deal while Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has urged the government to boycott the Games over the issue.

However, Malhotra has ruled out the possibility.

Malhotra said he has sent a copy of his letter to London Games chief Sebastian Coe as well, while also conveying the IOA’s position to the British High Commissioner in India last week.

(Editing by Mark Meadows; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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Maasai Mara – The Greatest Wildlife Spectacle on Earth

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/masai-mara—the-greatest-wildlife-spectacle-on-earth.html?page=all

The Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is witness to the most spectacular wildlife migration on earth. Wildlife photographer KALYAN VARMA captures the poetic beauty of the Mara in monotone.

By Kalyan Varma | Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Tue 24 Jan, 2012 4:25 PM IST

(All photographs © KALYAN VARMA. Reproduced with exclusive permission)

© KALYAN VARMAA herd of African elephants under a dramatic sky makes for an imposing sight. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMA

Black rhino in Maasai Mara. Africa has two species of rhinoceros — the White or Square-lipped Rhino and the Black or Hook-lipped Rhino. Both are highly endangered and protected in Africa, though many still fall to hunters. Rhinos are poached for their horns, which are believed to possess aphrodisiac properties. The horn, which is in fact made of matted hair-like tissue, fetches insanely huge prices in the black markets of China and Southeast Asia. Rightly, conservationists believe that for the killing to stop, the buying must first be stopped. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMA

“The tree where man was born.” The continuity of the savanna, the great grassy plain of the Masai Mara, is broken by these hardy acacia trees. © KALYAN VARMA
© KALYAN VARMA

Three cheetah siblings, known locally as Honey’s Boys, bring down a wildebeest. The migration is eagerly awaited by lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas, for it brings a treasure trove of food for them. Most wildebeest calve on the way to the Mara and the young ones become easy prey for opportunistic predators. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMA

Cape Buffalo in Maasai Mara. Among the most impressive of herbivores, buffaloes are strong and formidable. They are known to be unpredictable and aggressive, often chasing away lions and other predators. Big game hunters of yore wrote that bullets ricocheted off the animal’s great horns. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMATwo zebra strike a pose in Maasai Mara, watched by an oxpecker, a bird that frequently follows grazing animals seeking out insects in their skin. Of the three species of zebra in Africa, this (the Plains Zebra) is the most common. The other two — the Grevy’s Zebra and the Mountain Zebra — are endangered. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMAElephants in the Maasai Mara. African elephants are larger than Asian elephants. There are two recognized species of African elephants — the African Bush Elephant shown here and the smaller African Forest Elephant, which is found in the rainforests of the Congo. © KALYAN VARMA 

© KALYAN VARMA

A giraffe stands in the shade of an acacia tree in the Maasai Mara. Giraffes, the tallest land animals (adult males are up to 20 feet tall), are among the residents of the Mara. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMAThe alpha male of the marsh pride, this African lion represents the majesty that has so often translated to myth and legend. Lions once ranged all over Africa and West Asia including India. Today, they are restricted to pockets in Africa and one subspecies is limited to a small sanctuary in Gujarat. Wild lions were mercilessly hunted across Africa and now remain relatively safe only in the great wildlife reserves. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMA
A lone zebra stands out against a sea of wildebeest as the herd, which mixes freely, prepares for the crossing. Zebra and wildebeest usually coexist peacefully and will alert each other to the presence of predators. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMA

Wildebeest drink before they ready for the crossing. The river teems with crocodiles hungrily awaiting the passage of the herd. Many wildebeest and zebra fall prey to the waiting predators but most will make it and go on to the relative safety of the grasslands where the Circle of Life continues to be enacted. Other predators such as lions, hyenas, cheetahs and leopards will stalk the sick, the infirm and the unfortunate. © KALYAN VARMA
© KALYAN VARMA

The herd picks the narrowest bend in the swiftly flowing river to make the crossing. The cloud of dust kicked up by the hooves of so many zebra and wildebeest can be seen from many miles away. This is one of the most dramatic events of the Great Migration and has been ritually documented by filmmakers and wildlife photographers through the years. © KALYAN VARMA 

© KALYAN VARMA

A cryptically patterned sea of ungulate bodies kicks out of the water as a mixed herd of zebra and wildebeest successfully makes the crossing. The Migration is a recently relative phenomenon, dating back to the 1950s when wildebeest behavior showed a marked change following an outbreak of the rinderpest epidemic. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMA

A small band of zebras makes the crossing. At the end of the season, the herds will make a return journey, following a southeasterly trajectory from the Maasai Mara in Kenya back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. © KALYAN VARMA

© KALYAN VARMA

A close-up of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) shows its tough wrinkled hide, which earned it the moniker ‘pachyderm’ (Greek for “thick skin”). Unlike in Asian elephants, female Aftican elephants also bear tusks. Like Asian elephants, African elephants continue to be hunted by poachers who supply the illegal trade in ivory.  © KALYAN VARMA. Experience more wildlife images like these at Kalyan Varma’s website.

 

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Gita ban:Russian prosecutors to move higher court

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/russian-prosecutors-move-higher-court-seeking-gita-ban-094509967.html

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 10 hours ago

Moscow/New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Stung by a Siberian court’s rejection of their plea seeking a ban on Bhagavad Gita and branding it extremist literature, Russian prosecutors are now planning to move a higher court for appeal.

Insisting that the Russian translation of the Hindu textBhagavad Gita As It Is‘ should be banned for promoting “social discord”, prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk have moved the local court seeking more time to file an appeal.

The deadline for the appeal expired Wednesday.

“The prosecutors are planning to file the appeal in a superior court. They have sought more time to move the appeal. They are yet to actually file an appeal,” Sadhu Priya Das, an Iskcon devotee based in Moscow, told IANS over phone Thursday.

The Tomsk city prosecutors have insisted that the Russian translation of the book written by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada be banned as extremist literature, filing an appeal against an earlier court ruling, a RIA Novosti report quoted a Tomsk court spokeswoman as saying.

The report also quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as having said that the translated version may not be linguistically true to the original as it contained “semantic distortions”, which may have an effect on its meaning.

The Tomsk district court had Dec 28, 2011 thrown out the case of the state prosecutors, filed in June 2011.

After IANS first reported the case in December 2011, India witnessed a major uproar, including in parliament where MPs wanted the Indian government to immediately intervene in the matter, citing Hindu sensitivities.

India, both through its ministry of external affairs and embassy in Moscow, took up the matter with the Russian authorities and urged them to quickly resolve the matter.

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New Zealand school teaches Sanskrit and claims it helps children understand English

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/zealand-school-teaches-sanskrit-claims-helps-children-understand-145613193.html

Nevada (US), Jan 25 (ANI): A school in New Zealand has a ‘Sanskrit Language Studies’ program and claims that learning Sanskrit accelerates a child’s reading ability.

Ficino School in Mt Eden area of Auckland (New Zealand), calls itself a ‘values-based academic institution’ and offers education for girls and boys from year one to eight. It says about Sanskrit: “It has a wonderful system of sound and grammar, which gives the child an excellent base for the study of any language. Children love its order and beauty.”

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has applauded Ficino School for fostering universal virtues and encouraging Sanskrit studies and adds that Sanskrit has a close relationship with other classical languages like Latin, Greek, French, German, etc.

According to Peter Crompton, principal of this school founded in 1997, where curriculum includes “food for the mind, food for the spirit, food for the body”, “Sanskrit with its almost perfect grammatical system…provides children with a roadmap for understanding English.” Sanskrit not only gives young learners a clear understanding of the structure of language, it also heightens their awareness of the process of speech, creating a greater understanding of and ability to, enunciate words clearly, Crompton adds.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, pointed out that Sanskrit should be restored to its rightful place. It needed to be brought to the mainstream and hidden scientific truths in ancient Sanskrit literature should be brought to light, he said.

Rajan Zed strongly criticized India Government for not doing enough for Sanskrit language. He asked India Government to do much more for the development, propagation, encouragement and promotion of Sanskrit in India and the world, which was essential for the development of India and preservation of its cultural heritage. Sanskrit also provided the theoretical foundation of ancient sciences.

Besides Hindu scriptures, a vast amount of Buddhist and Jain scriptures were also written in Sanskrit, which is known as “the language of the gods”. According to tradition, self-born God created Sanskrit, which is everlasting and divine. The oldest scripture of mankind still in common use, Rig-Veda, was written in Sanskrit, Zed added.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Without the study of Sanskrit, one cannot become a true learned man.” German philologist Max Muller added, “Sanskrit is the greatest language of the world.” (ANI)

New Zealand school teaches Sanskrit and claims it helps children understand English

 

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The beautiful temples of Bali

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos–the-beautiful-temples-of-bali.html?page=all

The Indonesian island of Bali is home to the majority of the country’s Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is characterized by the worship of the supreme god Acintya, along with the trinity in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The art and ritual of the Balinese Hindus trace back to influences from the 4th century when Hinduism reached the island’s shores. Balinese temples are ornate, beautiful and situated in visually stunning locales. LAKSHMI SHARATH traipses through Bali and returns with these breathtaking picture postcards.

By Lakshmi Sharath | Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Tue 24 Jan, 2012 2:16 PM IST

A roadside temple in Bali
Roadside Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH
If you think India has many shrines, think again. In Bali, Indonesia’s Hindu island, there are temples everywhere – in streets, atop mountains, clinging to cliffs, on the seashore, and in the courtyard of every home.

Devotees at the Mother Besakih temple
Balinese Hindus at the Mother Besakih Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The Mother Besakih temple is one of the most important temples in Bali. It is located atop Mount Agung. It is not just one shrine but a cluster of 20 temples overlooking the villages and the green slopes of the mountain. Balinese believe that the good spirits along with their deities reside here and the shrines resemble houses built for them.

Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Goa, I learned, is pronounced “Guha” as in many Indian languages. It refers to a 1,000-year-old cave excavated here that houses the Hindu trinity of gods and Ganesha, whom the Balinese know as “Gajah” (as in elephant). The 11th century site, called Lwa Gajah, was not discovered until the 1950s and was believed to be a sanctuary of a Buddhist monk. Carved images of the Buddha and smaller shrines and a step-well dot the green landscape here.

Uluwatu
Pura Uluwatu is one of Bali’s most spectacular temples © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Bali’s shrines are often located in the most exotic landscapes. This is Pura Uluwatu right atop the cliff. The scenery is breathtaking as you climb uphill through a small forested area patrolled by boisterous monkeys.

Bali’s royal shrine
Royal shrine in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Pura Taman Ayun, literally “beautiful garden”, is the shrine of the royalty in Bali. Built in the 17th century, this temple in Mengwi, south Bali, is believed to house the ancestors of the royal dynasty and their family deities.

Puppets galore
Puppets in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The sounds of performances fill the air as you walk into any of these temples. Wayang or shadow puppetry, the Kecak or fire-dance, and various other local dances like Barong, Legong and Pendet are some of the art forms to experience while you visit these shrines.

Sunset at Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

No trip is complete without a glimpse of the spectacular sunset in Tanah Lot temple, a tourist magnet located on a rocky oceanic island. The 15th century shrine, dedicated to the sea spirits, was built under the direction of a priest and is believed to be guarded by snakes.

Lakshmi Sharath is a media professional, traveler, travel-writer, photographer and blogger.

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NASA finds 11 new solar systems

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/nasa-finds-11-new-solar-systems.html

Reuters – 4 hours ago

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida: NASA‘s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope has found 11 new planetary systems, including one with five planets all orbiting closer to their parent star than Mercury circles the Sun, scientists said on Thursday.

The discoveries boost the list of confirmed extra-solar planets to 729, including 60 credited to the Kepler team. The telescope, launched in space in March 2009, can detect slight but regular dips in the amount of light coming from stars. Scientists can then determine if the changes are caused by orbiting planets passing by, relative to Kepler’s view.

Kepler scientists have another 2,300 candidate planets awaiting additional confirmation.

None of the newly discovered planetary systems are like our solar system, though Kepler-33, a star that is older and bigger than the Sun, comes close in terms of sheer numbers. It has five planets, compared to our solar system’s eight, but the quintet all fly closer to their parent star than Mercury orbits the Sun.

The planets range in size from about 1.5 times the diameter of Earth to five times Earth’s diameter. Scientists have not yet determined if any are solid rocky bodies like Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury or if they are filled with gas like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The Kepler team previously found one star with six confirmed planets and a second system with five planets, said planetary scientist Jack Lissauer, with NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

Nine of the new systems contain two planets and one has three, bringing the total number of newly discovered planets to 26. All are closer to their host stars than Venus is to the Sun.

“This has tripled the number of stars which we know have more than one transiting planet, so that’s the big deal here,” Lissauer told Reuters.

“We’re starting to think in terms of planetary systems as opposed to just planets: Do they all tend to have similar sizes? What’s the spacing? Is the solar system unusual in those regards?” he said.

Kepler is monitoring more than 150,000 stars in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra.

The research is published in four different papers in Astrophysical Journal and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

(Reporting By Irene Klotz; Editing by Jane Sutton and Sandra Maler)

 

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Homai Vyarawalla – The First Lady of Indian Press Photography

Posted by Admin on January 24, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/homai-vyarawalla.html?page=1

India’s first woman press photographer Homai Vyarawalla, who passed away January 15, 2012 at the age of 98, captured the last days of the British Empire in India. Her work also traces the birth and growth of a new nation. The story of Homai’s life and her professional career spans an entire century of Indian history. This selection of rare photographs tells her life story amid footnotes of an emerging nation, as she saw it.

Yahoo! India – Thu, Jan 19, 2012

India’s first woman press photographer Homai Vyarawalla, who passed away January 15, 2012, captured the last days of the British Empire in India. Her work also traces the birth and growth of a new nation. The story of Homai’s life and her professional career spans an entire century of Indian history. Belonging to the small Parsi community of India, Homai was born in 1913 into a middle-class home in Navsari, Gujarat. Her father was an actor in a traveling Urdu-Parsi theatre company. Homai grew up in Bombay. She was the only girl in her class to complete her matriculation examination.

AFP

Having learned photography from Maneckshaw Vyarawalla, whom she married later, Homai was to spend nearly three decades of her career in Delhi. After a career of 33 years as press photographer, Homai gave it up one day at the age of 57, disillusioned when the Nehruvian dream began to falter. She lived in near-anonymity until 1989. Fiercely independent, she continued to live on her own in Vadodara until she passed away.

The great value of Homai’s work lies in her vast collection of photographs that archive the nation in transition, documenting both the euphoria of Independence as well as disappointment with its undelivered promises. She was the only professional woman photojournalist in India during her time and her survival in a male-dominated field is all the more significant because the profession continues to exclude most women even today. Ironically, Western photojournalists who visited India such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Margaret Bourke-White have received more attention than their Indian contemporaries. In an already invisible history, Homai Vyarawalla’s presence as a woman was even more marginalized.

Homai received India’s first National Photo Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2011. In 2010, Vyarawalla gave her entire collection of prints, negatives, cameras and other memorabilia to the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi for safekeeping and documentation. A retrospective of her work was held at the NGMA soon after, bringing her vast archive into public view.

Learn more about this book at Mapin Publishing‘s website

Reproduced here is a selection of photos from the biographical work – India in Focus: Camera Chronicles of Homai Vyarawalla by Sabeena Gadihoke, published by Mapin Publishing in association with Parzor Foundation, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts and the National Gallery of Modern Art. The result of extensive interviews conducted by Gadihoke with Homai, the book is a tribute to her indomitable spirit.

‘Home Leather-Worker: Photo by Mrs Homai Vyarawalla’, Cover of The Illustrated Weekly on December 9, 1945. “My pictures of Lady Irwin College were first published in the Weekly (1945). This Ceylonese woman saw the pictures and was motivated to come to India to study at the college. She later modeled for me for this picture.”
Homai during her college years, in 1931. Homai would stitch her own blouses and she shared six sarees with her widowed mother, Soonamai.

Homai and family, with the car DLD 13 (which inspired ‘Dalda’, the nickname she gave herself). “Purchased in 1955 for Rupees 11,000/- with taxes! It came to me on the 13th of the month that happened to be Dhanteras at Diwali time. I believe in numerology and the number thirteen has been lucky for me.”

“On Children’s Day, I would notice the staff shooing away children of the less privileged. Of course, Nehru never knew that. He played with any child which was brought to him. So, in all my twenty-seven years in Delhi, I never saw Nehru with the children of the poor in his arms. There was always a coterie around him and he saw only what they wanted to see.”

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

A show of hands for the voting for Partition. In her meticulous documentation of events leading up to Independence, Homai Vyarawalla photographed the significant meeting of AICC held on 2 June 1947, in which the decision to Partitition the country was made. From Homai’s accounts, this meeting was a stormy one.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

Mahatma Gandhi’s body at Birla House. Sardar Patel, Nehru, Mountbatten, Baldev Singh, and Gandhi’s son Ramdas are seen in the picture.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

The ceremonial ride of Dr Rajendra Prasad through Vijay Chowk upon becoming the first President of India.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

The first Republic Day Parade on 26 January 1950, was held at the ground where the National Stadium stands today with the Purana Quila in the background. It was only after this that its venue shifted to India Gate. This picture shows Dr Rajendra Prasad taking the salute without any security surrounding him.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

Nehru’s Cabinet seen at lunch hosted by Sardar Patel after C. Rajagopalachari became Governer-General, 1948. Seated here are: Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Baldeve Singh, Maulana Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, John Matthai, Jagjivan Ram, Mr Gadgil, Mr Neogi, Dr Ambedkar, Shyama Prasad Mookherji, Gopalaswamy Iyengar and Jayaramdas Daulatram.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

The first three Presidents of India: Dr Rajendra Prasad (1950-62), Dr Radhakrishnan (1962-67) and Dr Zakir Hussain (1967-69) at a condolence meeting of Parliamentarians on Nehru’s death.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

The Dalai Lama in ceremonial dress leads the mount down from the high border pass into India. Directly behind him is the Panchen Lama. They were both wearing gold brocade gowns and jeweled gold hats. Homai documented for Time Life magazine, the first crossing of the young Dalai Lama who came through the Nathu La pass, in north Sikkim, in 1956.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

Indira with Feroze Gandhi at the airport. “When I cut my hair, Mrs Gandhi came up and complimented me. A few months later she too acquired a short hairstyle that was to stay for the rest of her life.” The Emergency was a culmination of Homai’s disappointment with the nation.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

Homai with her smaller Speed Graphic camera on her shoulder. “I didn’t like those flimsy sort of saris flying around in the wind and always used a safety pin to hold my sari in place. I wore white and cream khaddar saris for work and silk saris for evening functions at the Gymkhana Club or at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The silk ones would often spread out, getting caught in the legs of photographers and tear. I always carried safety pins with me to tack them up in case that happened.”

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Germany, France press for rapid Greek debt deal

Posted by Admin on January 24, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/euro-zone-finmins-rule-glacial-greek-debt-talks-083938401.html

By Daniel Flynn and Gernot Heller | Reuters – 2 hrs 8 mins ago

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany and France pressed on Monday for a rapid deal between Greece and its private creditors that cuts its soaring debt to sustainable levels and said they were committed to a sealing a new bailout for Athens by March to avert a disastrous default.

Euro zone finance ministers met in Brussels to discuss the terms of a Greek debt restructuring and new treaties that will pave the way for tighter fiscal discipline and a new rescue fund the bloc wants in place by mid-year.

Ahead of that meeting, French Finance Minister Francois Baroinsaid an elusive deal to convince the banks and investment funds that own Greek debt to accept deep losses on their holdings appeared to be “taking shape.”

But his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble warned that any deal must help Greece cut its debt mountain to “not much more than 120 percent of GDP” by the end of the decade, from roughly 160 percent today, something many economists believe will not be achieved by the existing plan.

“The negotiations will be difficult, but we want the second program for Greece to be implemented in March so that the second (bailout) tranche can be released,” Schaeuble told a news conference in Paris with Baroin and the heads of the German and French central banks.

“Greece must fulfill its commitments, it is difficult and there is already a lot of delay,” Schaeuble said.

After several rounds of talks, Greece and its private creditors are converging on a deal in which private bondholders would take a real loss of 65 to 70 percent on their Greek bonds, officials close to the negotiations say.

But some details of the debt restructuring, which will involve swapping existing Greek bonds for new, longer-term bonds are unresolved.

Charles Dallara, the Institute of International Finance chief who is negotiating on behalf of the private debt holders, left Athens over the weekend saying banks had no room to improve their offer.

Sources close to the talks told Reuters on Monday that the impasse centered on questions of whether the deal would return Greece’s debt mountain, currently over 350 billion euros, to levels that European governments believe are sustainable.

“There will likely be an updated debt sustainability analysis that will be discussed at the Eurogroup,” a banking source in Athens said, requesting anonymity. “Talks will continue this week. The aim is to have an agreement by late next Monday.”

In Brussels, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said talks had been “moving well” and expressed confidence a deal could be sealed this week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was no question of extending Greece a bridging loan if talks with the private sector dragged on further.

The euro pushed up to its highest level against the dollar in nearly three weeks on hopes Greece and the banks could overcome differences and seal a successful debt swap.

LAGARDE DEMANDS

Speaking in Berlin not far from Merkel’s Chancellery, IMF chief Christine Lagarde urged European governments to increase their financial firewall to prevent Greece’s troubles from ensnaring bigger countries like Italy and Spain.

She also called on European leaders to complement the “fiscal compact” they agreed last month with some form of financial risk-sharing, mentioning euro zone bonds or bills, or a debt redemption fund as possible options.

Berlin opposes those steps and Merkel told a news conference with the Belgian prime minister that it was not the time to debate an increase in the euro zone’s bailout funds — the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and its successor, the 500 billion euro European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

“I don’t think it is right to do one new thing then do another, let’s get the ESM working,” Merkel said, reiterating that Germany was prepared to accelerate the flow of capital into the ESM ahead of its planned introduction in mid-2012.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who has complained openly that his reform efforts have not been recognized by the markets, is reportedly pushing for the rescue fund to be doubled to 1 trillion euros. Lagarde stopped short of advocating that, saying: “I am not saying double it.”

But she did speak out in favor of folding funds from the EFSF into the ESM to give it more firepower.

The more immediate worry is Greece. Without the second bailout from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund, Athens will not be able to pay back 14.5 billion euros in maturing bonds in March, triggering a messy default that would hurt the entire euro zone and send tremors beyond the 13-year old single currency bloc.

DETERIORATION

Euro zone leaders agreed in October that the second bailout would total 130 billion euros, if private bondholders forgave half of what Greece owes them in nominal terms.

But Greek economic prospects have deteriorated since then, which means either euro zone governments or investors will have to contribute more than thought.

A key sticking point is the coupon, or interest rate, the new Greek bonds would carry. Officials said the new bonds are likely to be 30 years in maturity and carry a progressively higher coupon, which would average out at around 4 percent.

Progress will be presented to the Eurogroup, the euro zone ministers, by Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

“We will listen to the Greek finance minister to hear what models there are,” said Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter as the talks got under way. “It is important to have a long-term model so that Greece has time … We know that the banks are not overly happy, but a crash is far more expensive than such a long-term plan.”

After dealing with Greece, euro zone ministers will choose a replacement for European Central Bank Board member Jose Manuel Gonzales Paramo, whose term ends in May.

The 17 ministers of the euro zone will then be joined by 10 ministers from the other European Union countries to finalize a treaty setting up the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund, the

ESM.

The 27 EU finance ministers will also prepare the final draft of another treaty to sharply tighten fiscal discipline in the euro zone, called the “fiscal compact,” that is designed to ensure another sovereign debt crisis cannot happen in future.

EU leaders are to sign off on both treaties at a summit on January 30, allowing the ESM to become operational in July.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Brown and Alexandra Hudson in Berlin, Leigh Thomas in Paris, Lefteris Papadimas and Ingrid Melander in Athens; Writing by Noah Barkin and Jan Strupczewski, editing by Mike Peacock/Jeremy Gaunt)

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