Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Marvel Stone in Thanjai Temple

This is big temple since 1000 years in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India was built. Rajaraja I, king of the Chola Empire, wanted to build a grand formation in his capital. Thanjavur had no granite quarry around. This did not deter him. His men toiled and brought as much as 50,000 metre cube of stones from places as far as 45 km. After long years (historians still debate whether it took 10 or 30 years), the wonderful temple of Rajarajesvaran, as it was then known, was completed

The description that a temple is ‘a mountain and cavern combined' would most excellent fit this structure. Nowhere else would a visitor literally see a hand-crafted mountain towering over the sanctum. A 60 metre tower known as srivimana was built with enough open space in front to view it well.

Building this was not simple. Rajaraja's architects had to design a modern double wall at the base to support the weight (about 40,000 tons) and laid the entire temple in great precision. However, we are yet to know how such huge and heavy stones were lifted to such great heights.

Apart from impressive architecture, the Big Temple has some of the finest sculptures and beautiful frescoes (see box). Inscriptions on the walls describe that many wonderful bronze images were also gifted, but most of them are now lost.

To financially support and sustain the temple, Rajaraja endowed it with land and wealth and described in detail the duties of different groups of people who will keep accounts, sing, dance and guard. He also made sure they were well paid and even specified their places for living.

The Big Temple was not ended when Rajaraja died. His son Rajendra I, who succeeded, decided to build his own grand temple at Gangai kondacholapuram slightly than complete it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Butterfly vision, wing pigments linked

Butterflies that have a spare gene allowing them to see ultraviolet colors also have UV-yellow pigment on their wings. The UV-yellow color may help the butterflies survive by facilitating the search for appropriate mates. Butterfly experts have suspected for more than 150 years that vision plays a main role in explaining wing colour diversity. Now, for the first time, the research proves this theory true — at least in 9 Heliconius species.

They’re not wasting their time chasing after the mistaken mate,” said Briscoe, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology and lead author of the study, available online recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Butterflies residential a copy of their UV-vision gene and began displaying UV-yellow pigment 12 million to 25 million years ago, the scientists think. Of the 14,000 butterfly species in the world, only the Heliconius living in the forests of Mexico and Central and South America are known to have the spare gene.

Butterflies with just one UV-vision gene had yellow wing pigment that was not UV. However, the pigment was UV in butterflies with mutually genes, according to a University of California, Irvine press release. It was earlier thought that wing-colour mimicry emerged as a defense mechanism to confuse predators such as birds. This created a problem, though: Butterflies that evolved to look alike had a tough time identifying the right species with which to mate. Having both genes allows molecules to form in the eyes that are more receptive to UV light.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

India: Girl student dies of suspected Swine flu

In Coimbatore, A 21-year old girl student of a private college on Avarampalayam is suspected to have died of swine flu on 10th February 2010. Deepakani had a respiratory track disease and was admitted to a private hospital a few days ago.

The swab test has shown her to be positive for H1N1 virus flu on Monday 9th February 2010.

However, by then it was too late and she had already developed harsh complications of the flu.

Deepakani was then taken to the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital for treatment on Tuesday. She died even prior to being admitted at the hospital.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

H1N1 flu kills 6 more in Gujarat, nationwide death toll reaches 1235

Swine (H1N1) flu kills 6 more in Gujarat, nationwide death toll reaches 1235: The deadly swine flu has yet not loosened its grip it seems killing 6 additional in Gujarat.

Now the nationwide swine flu death toll has reached 1235. The number of people succumbed to the illness in Gujarat stands at 242.

51 new cases of swine flu were reported from various parts of the country today
February 1st, including 28 in Maharashtra, five in Delhi and four in Rajasthan.

At the same time 3 died in Haryana, 2 each in Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab and Gujarat, and one each in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus reported in the country so far has left up to 28,861.