Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

My Diary – Leadership Styles

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Leadership Styles (4th December, 2016)

Observations:

1. Grass – Grows horizontally on the ground occupying more space; allows people to walk on it.
2. Seasonal flowering plant – Grows beautiful flowers in a season and then destroys itself.
3. Creepers – It grows on support of others plants/species.
4. Fruit Trees – Continuously provides fruits to humans year-on-year.
5. Shade Trees – Grows tall and provides shade/shelter for all purposes.
6. Tall Trees – Grows tall and taller individually without any obstruction.

Please add your observations

Observations by Dr. Sundar:

Shrubs – Exist; do not contribute much anyway.
Cactus – Survives amidst adversity, are the only green spots in such a landscape; otherwise prickly and inaccessible. Bonsai – Has a potential to grow, but is not allowed to.
Banyan – Allows offspring to develop roots and grows in stature.
Coconut tree and the like – every part is useful, not only the fruit.
Carnivorous plants – need I say more?

Beauties and Mysteries of Nature

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

1. 25th March 2016 was the peak Bloom Day for Cherry Blossom in USA.
2. In the same week, Japan also had peak Bloom Day.
3. What an experience where 70% of the flowers decides to bloom on the same day; millions and millions of flowers – all together.
4.These flowers bloom from thousands of trees spread across large global areas.

Few questions:

1. All branches of the tree are fully blossomed with flowers with no empty space. Who coordinates simultaneous blooming since tree does not have any nervous system?

2. All Cherry Blossom trees bloom in the same week, i.e., simultaneously in USA or Japan. How they decide the date of simultaneous blooming across thousands of trees?

3. Do Cherry Blossom trees have well-defined Internet before human being invented?

Few experts from Washington or Japan can respond.

Indu Chandhiramohan highlighted that this happened in Tokyo on 15th March and in New York 16th March.

The Mystery behind is,

  • Do all trees across the same family communicate?
  • Does Genes have absolute dates codified?

 

Grandeur and Life of a Tree

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

7,000 – 12,000 years – the age of the oldest living single tree known on Earth, a Redwood known as called ‘Eternal God’ in California.

5,000 years – The age of the oldest Yew trees in Scotland. The Yew can live forever as long as there is no interference from humans.

Trees have watched real Ramayana or Mahabharta Live and are still alive.

Fortingall Yew trunk

Fortingall Yew trunk

My Diary – 31st January, 2016

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Is the Universe intrinsically cold?

We always need energy to make any change of state from cold to warm or from warm to cold.

We know that solar energy is the only energy that makes things warm. The temperature of other planets is directly proportional to the closeness towards the Sun.

If we extrapolate the same logic then we need some other source of energy in the universe which helps in keeping everything cold.

What is that ‘Chiller Source’ like a ‘Solar Source’ in the universe?

One person answered this,

“It looks like Cold is the default state. The heat providers are not just the Sun, but the stars (of course, Sun is a star).

Absolute Zero is as cold as it gets, which is 273 degrees below Zero degree Celsius, if memory serves. It is a state where atoms do not move. It could be said that unless energy is provided, that cold is the default state. The primary source of energy or heat comes from the stars. If you consider the vastness of space, there are relatively few stars. In other words, even though there are hundreds of billions of galaxies and hundreds of billions of stars in each galaxy, the universe is so big, that each star, on average is so far apart, that the average temperature is much closer to absolute zero than it is to the temperature of the star.

Picture the Earth as the size of a pea, and the Sun as a beach ball one half mile away. The relative heat energy provided is very small. Picture the nearest star a few thousand miles away, and you get an idea of why the average temperature in space is cold.”

 

Little Good News #5 – Greening Dry Tracts

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Punjab farmers bringing best practices to Tamil Nadu

Ropar in Punjab or Ramnad in Tamil Nadu, it no longer makes a difference to Jaspal, Harpal, Gagandeep and Rajendra Singh. Wearing colourful turbans, long white shirts and pyjamas they are out in the fields doing what they love — tilling the land.

“If you love nature and understand the interconnectedness of life, you can do farming anywhere,” says the youngest in the group, Jaspal, in chaste Punjabi.

The sun shines bright in Vallandhai village in Kamuthi taluk of Ramnad district. The farmers, with smiles on their sun-tanned faces, move around pulling out bunches of groundnuts. A lady in salwar-suit walks into the fields with a thermos of chilled lassi (butter milk) and the men take a break.

The group of Punjabis have beautifully blended into the sun-blistered landscape of one of the driest districts in south Tamil Nadu and shown the locals how a farmer’s faith and hard work can yield amazing results.

Till about a decade ago the land here was covered with thorny bushes (kaattu karuvelam) and abandoned by the locals. Today, a big iron gate welcomes you into the area now called the ‘Akal Farm’ that boasts of lush green orchards and sustainable green farms. It has not only become the talking point in the district but also a model example of cultivation showcased to tourists, agriculturists and visitors.

With apt knowledge, experience and some experimentation, about two-dozen farmers from Moga and Sangrur districts in Punjab are now successfully growing mangoes, water melons, papaya, guava, cucumber, pumpkin, amla, carrot, ladies finger, oranges, sapota and custard apple. “We are gradually acquiring more land and increasing our farm produce,” says the soft-spoken Darshan Singh, one of the two group leaders-cum-supervisor who can speak a smattering of Tamil and was invited by the District Collector last month to address local administration staff and farmers from the region.

It all began when Darshan Singh and his friend, Manmohan Singh, left behind their families and chose to travel more than 3,000 kms to this backward belt seven years ago. They followed the suggestion of a retired agriculture officer to explore cultivation in the arid lands of south Tamil Nadu.

“We migrated for farming beyond our home State lured by the cheap land that was in short supply back home,” says Sarabjeet Singh, another senior member in the group. “We were discouraged by the locals who were always grudging against the long dry spells. But we did not mind experimenting because the land was being sold at a throwaway price – Rs.10,000 per acre,” he adds.

The friends pooled in money and jointly bought 300 acres. They also took a house on rent in nearby Virudhunagar and travelled everyday to the hamlet. It took 3 years to clear the land, dig 2 dozen borewells, install drip irrigation and make it ready for plantation.

“We toiled round-the-clock as cleaners, gardeners, farmers and night guards. Initially, the locals were hostile to us,” says Darshan Singh, “but everybody’s hard work and patience is bearing fruits now.”

“The results took time but we did not lose hope,” asserts Sarabjeet Singh.

Life has taken a new turn inside this mini-Punjab in Vallandhai. The Akal farm now encompasses 600 acres and also has a neatly fenced campus with small cottages, dormitory, a common kitchen, dining area and meditation room. “We no longer feel we live outside Punjab,” says Darshan Singh.

The Akal Farm yields

Amla and guava on 40 acres each, mixed dry fruits like cashew nuts and almonds on five acres, papaya on 10 acres. The farmers have planted 5,000 mango trees on 80 acres besides coconut and timber-value trees on 10 acres each and an assortment of other fruits and vegetables. They also cultivate inter-crop and this season harvested 15 tonnes of pumpkin, 5 tonnes of cucumber and 20 tonnes of water melon on a daily basis.

Workers from Punjab at Akal farm in Vallanthai village.

Workers from Punjab at Akal farm in Vallanthai village.

So much from so little

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

What a simplicity in nature

Nature has designed itself covering all plants, flowers, fruits, birds, animals, humans and their organs from very very few elements. Over 95 percent of creation comes from just 5 elements

1. Carbon…
2. Oxygen
3. Hydrogen
4. Nitrogen
5. Calcium

Solar energy is a single source of energy which enables creation of food by plants in the form of Carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. Animal kingdom consumes it to remain mobile or take action or even think.

So much diversity, so much beauty and creativity and
creativity and
creativity all around us.

For creativity we need so little.

Biases

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

I was observing group of crows in the lawns of Madras club. They were playing with themselves. Other birds like Parrots were also playing in other groups. Similarly, group of pigeons or group of Maina’s were playing the same large lawn.

I felt why Group of crows is occupying more space to play, there shud be more parrots using the same space.

I found I have strong bias against Crows vs Parrots. Why my mind likes Parrots playing and not crows?

Is it Color or voice or gesture or may be all three?

I further questioned – did parrot given me some benefit in the past which helped in creating positive bias or
Crows harmed me which created a negative bias?

I didn’t have any such personal experience yet my mind was so strongly biased.

Where did bias comes from?

The same biases appear for me when I am looking people around me.

Thus if simple bias against crow (who has hardly any role to play in my life), what other biases limiting my perspectives and choices.

I felt it is extremely limiting occupying more than 80 percent of thinking space in my mind, which means if I have 1000 sqft of mind apartment, my 800 sqft is used by Bias, only 200 sqft space is available for creative thinking.

The Sub-optimal human body

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

The human body has all the innovations of the nature but most of them are not at their best.

1. Humans are not fastest among Animal Kingdom. Many animals like Tiger run faster….
2. Humans can see a very limited spectrum of light and thus can not see at night. Cats and Owls have better eyes than human.
3. Human hearing is average compared to many birds or animals, including fish, who hear hear better than humans.
4. Human smelling capabilities are also sub optimal. Dogs can smell far better and retain it much longer.
5. Human digestive system is also sub-optimal. It can digest only select variety of food.
6. I am not sure about Taste buds.

So nature has not given best of its creation to Human. As per the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ theory, Human should have got the best of every gift of nature but nature provided only sub optimal gift of everything.

The Questions comes to my mind.
1. How theory of Survival of fittest explain this phenomenon?

Connecting Waste spaces, Environment and Communities

Saturday, June 13th, 2015
Unexpectedly Clean.

Unexpectedly Clean.

Normally I take my morning walk near home but since it was a Saturday, and the traffic on Chennai roads is still less early in the morning, I decided to walk in, from my perspective, a new area – Kottur Garden. I left home before 6.00 AM. 

Soon after I crossed the bridge I observed a small gate with a board that said ‘Kotturpuram Tree Park’. I entered the park where lots of other morning walkers were walking. The park was extremely clean, with no cigarette butts or broken pathways, which I would expected in Corporation managed parks.

My Observations

1. There is huge variety of trees in the garden and each tree was labeled with its name in English and Tamil.

2. The park is designed well with center meeting space and long running pathways.

3. This park was an initiative of Corporation of Chennai and the NGO Nizhal, with the purpose of cleaning a dump yard full of debris on the bank of Adyar river.

Nizhal's statement of purpose

Nizhal’s statement of purpose

4. The community planted 300 saplings of 150 species of tropical dry evergreen forest.

5. I like the poster at the gate that called for ‘Shram Dan (Donate service)’ on every Sunday.

Lend a hand

Lend a hand

6. Friends of Kotturpuram tree park meet every Sunday evening in a nearby restaurant.to plan and carry out activities for the proper use and enrichment of the park.

7. The park is used as a great community conversation space, learning about nature and species of trees and above all building pride in the neighborhood.

Its a great example of Design Thinking in Action which connects

a. Waste spaces into usable parks and
b. Connecting parks to Specific purpose of Trees and environment awareness and
c. Connecting it to a  self empowered community.