Archive for September, 2011

31/365 – Jupiter – The Planet

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and is the largest planet in the solar system. If Jupiter were hollow, more than one thousand Earths could fit inside. It also contains two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

It has a mass of 1.9 x 1027 kg and is 142,800 kilometers  across the equator. Jupiter possesses 62 known satellites. The four largest are Callisto, Europa, Ganymede and Io, and were named after Galileo Galilei who observed them as long ago as 1610. The German astronomer Simon Marius claimed to have seen the moons around the same time, but he did not publish his observations and so Galileo is given the credit for their discovery.

Jupiter has a very faint ring system, but is totally invisible from the Earth.  The atmosphere is very deep, perhaps comprising the whole planet, and is somewhat like the Sun. It is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, with small amounts of methane, ammonia, water vapor and other compounds. At great depths within Jupiter, the pressure is so great that the hydrogen atoms are broken up and the electrons are freed so that the resulting atoms consist of bare protons. This produces a state in which the hydrogen becomes metallic.

Auroral emissions, similar to Earth’s northern lights, were observed in the polar regions of Jupiter. The auroral emissions appear to be related to material from Io that spirals along magnetic field lines to fall into Jupiter’s atmosphere. Cloud-top lightning bolts, similar to superbolts in Earth’s high atmosphere, were also observed.

Jupiter Statistics
Mass (kg) : 1.900e+27
Equatorial radius (km) : 71,492
Mean distance from the Sun (km) : 778,330,000
Rotational period (days) : 0.41354
Orbital period (days) : 4332.71
Tilt of axis (degrees) : 3.13
Orbital inclination (degrees) : 1.308
Magnitude (Vo) -2.70
Mean cloud temperature : -121°C
Atmospheric pressure (bars) : 0.7
Atmospheric composition:
Hydrogen : 90%
Helium : 10%

Categories: General Knowledge, Nature

30/365 – Silapathikaram

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Silappathikaram is one of the five Great Epics of ancient Tamil Literature. The poet prince Ilango Adigal, is credited with this work. He is reputed to be the brother of Senguttuvan from Chera.

It contains three chapters and a total of 5270 lines of poetry. The epic revolves around Kannagi, who having lost her husband to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandya king, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.

The story involves the three Tamil kingdoms of the ancient era, the Chola, the Pandya and the Chera.

Structure of Silappatikaram

Silappatikaram contains three chapters:

Puharkkandam (புகார்க் காண்டம் – Puhar capter), which deals with the events in the Chola city of Puhar, where Kannagi and Kovalan start their married life and  Kovalan leaves his wife for the courtesan Madavi. This contains 10 sub divisions

Maduraikkandam (மதுரைக் காண்டம் – Madurai chapter) , is situated in Madurai in the Pandya kingdom where Kovalan loses his life, incorrectly blamed for the theft of  the queen’s anklet. This contains 7 sub divisions

Vanchikkandam (வஞ்சிக் காண்டம் – Vanchi chapter), is situated in the Chera country where Kannagi ascends to the heavens. This contains 13 sub divisions

Each of these chapters are made of several sub chapters called kaathais. Kaathais are narrative sections of the chapters.


In the pathigam, the prologue to the book, Ilango Adigal gives the reader the gist of the book with the précis of the story.

அரசியல் பிழைத்தோருக்கு அறங்கூற்றாவதும், (Truth will punish the irresponsible erring king)
உரைசால் பத்தினியை உயர்ந்தோர் ஏத்தலும், (A woman with great morals will be praised by intellects)
ஊழ்வினை உறுத்து வந்தூட்டும் என்பதூம், (one has to pay for his acts)
நாட்டுதும் யாம் ஓர் பாட்டுடைச் செய்யுள்

Silapathikaram Work:


Categories: Book, General Knowledge

29/365 – Panipuri

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The golgappa also known as panipuri is a popular street snack in India. It is a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. It is small enough to fit completely in one’s mouth.

The name gol gappa refers to the fact that crisp sphere (gol) is placed in the mouth and eaten (gappa) at one time, without biting. Pani comes from the Hindi word for water and puri (or poori) is the name of an Indian bread made by frying dough in oil. It is known as bataasha in the western region of Uttar Pradesh. Bataasha means something which gets smashed with application of a slight pressure; the bataasha gets smashed as soon as it is placed inside the mouth.

The puritan originated from the Magadh region of India, present day South Bihar. The English meaning of golgappa is “watery indian bread” or “crisp sphere eaten.” Literary mentions suggest that it may have originated from Banares.
The Pani Ke Pataashe in Lucknow are hot favourite among the top-level politicians of India across the political parties. Hathras in Western Uttar Pradesh (India) is world famous for its Padake. The streets of this famous literary town are lined with scores of vendors selling Padake on small pushcarts.
In West Bengal and specifically Calcutta,Phuchka is considered to be The king of this variety of snacks, compared to it’s cousins like golgappas or panipuris.

Its popular names and the area where it is known by this name are:
Gol gappa, Water balls — New Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Bihar
Pani ke pataashe, Padake — Uttar Pradesh
Pani ke pataashe — Rajasthan
Panipuri — Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra
Phuchka — Bangladesh, West Bengal (India)
Gup chup — Orrisa
Pakodi – Gujarat


Categories: Food, General Knowledge

28/365 – Strange Facts – 2

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

It takes 17 muscles to smile & 43 to frown

OSTRICH eats pebbles to help digestion by grinding up the ingested food

When you sneeze air rushes out your nose at a rate of 100 miles per hour

The cosmos contains approximately 50,000,000,000 galaxies

Owl is the only bird, which can rotate its head to 270 degrees

Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath

Hummingbirds are the only animal that can also fly backwards

A 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable

8.7 million of United State residents who were born in Asia.

KIWIS are the only birds, which hunt by sense of smell

Dolphins sleep with one eye open

Bats always turn left when exiting a cave

Cat’s urine glows under a black light

Bird Feeding: Do not feed avocado as it is toxic to birds

Vitamin K is necessary for clotting of blood

A Blue Whale can eat as much as 3 tones of food everyday, but at the same time can live without food for 6 months


Categories: Facts, General Knowledge

27/365 – K.V. Mahadevan

September 26, 2011 2 comments

Name: K. V. Mahadevan
Birth name: Krishnankoil Venkatachalam Mahadevan
Also known as : Mama
Born: December 6, 1918(1918-12-06)
Place of Birth: Krishnancoil, Kanyakumari, Madras Presidency, British India
Origin: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Died: 21 July 2001(2001-07-21) (aged 82)
Occupations: Music Director
Years active: 1942–1985

K.V.Mahadevan was born in Tamil Iyer family in 1918 in Krishnancoil, Kanyakumari district. A contemporary of M. S. Viswanathan, T. K. Ramamoorthy, KVM has scored music for over 600 films, spanning four decades, after starting his career in the 1950s with Avan Amaran. Health reasons hastened the end of his career in the mid- nineties. His last film was Swathi Kiranam in 1992. During this period he scored music for about 250 Tamil and Telugu films.

National Film Award for Best Music Direction(1967) – Kandan Karunai
National Film Award for Best Music Direction (1980) – Sankarabharanam


Song from Sankarabharanam



26/365 – Compass

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

A compass is an instrument containing a freely suspended magnetic element which displays the direction of the horizontal component of the Earth’s magnetic field at the point of observation.

Magnetic Compass
The magnetic compass is an old Chinese invention, probably first made in China during the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Chinese fortune tellers used lodestones (a mineral composed of an iron oxide which aligns itself in a north-south direction) to construct their fortune telling boards.
Eventually someone noticed that the lodestones were better at pointing out real directions, leading to the first compasses. They designed the compass on a square slab which had markings for the cardinal points and the constellations. The pointing needle was a lodestone spoon-shaped device, with a handle that would always point south.

Magnetized Needles
Magnetized needles used as direction pointers instead of the spoon-shaped lodestones appeared in the 8th century AD, again in China, and between 850 and 1050 they seem to have become common as navigational devices on ships.

Compass as a Navigational Aid
The first person recorded to have used the compass as a navigational aid was Zheng He (1371-1435), from the Yunnan province in China, who made seven ocean voyages between 1405 and 1433.

Ferrites or magnetic oxides are stones that attract iron and other metals. These are natural magnets and are not inventions. However, the machines that we make with magnets are inventions.
Ferrites were first discovered thousands of year ago. Large deposits were found in the district of Magnesia in Asia Minor, giving the mineral’s name of magnetite (Fe3O4).

Magnetite was nicknamed lodestone and used by early navigators to locate the magnetic North Pole. William Gilbert published De Magnete, a paper on magnetism in 1600, about the use and properties of Magnetite. In 1819, Hans Christian Oersted reported that when an electric current in a wire was applied to a magnetic compass needle, the magnet was affected – this is called electromagnetism.

In 1825, British inventor William Sturgeon (1783-1850) exhibited a device that laid the foundations for large-scale electronic communications: the electromagnet. Sturgeon displayed its power by lifting nine pounds with a seven-ounce piece of iron wrapped with wires through which the current of a single cell battery was sent.

Cow Magnets
U.S. patent # 3,005,458 is the first patent issued for a cow magnet issued to Louis Paul Longo, the inventor of the Magnetrol Magnet, for prevention of hardware disease in cows

25/365 – The Pallavas

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

The Pallava dynasty was a Tamil dynasty of South India which ruled the northern Tamil Nadu region and the southern Andhra Pradesh region with their capital at Kanchipuram, the largest capital of the sovereign nation Tondai Nadu of Tamilakkam.

They had established themselves as a notable rising power in the region between 275 CE – 350 CE.

Official languages: Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil
Capital: Kanchipuram
Government: Monarchy
Preceding state: Satavahana, Kalabhras
Succeeding states: Cholas, Eastern Chalukyas

The word Pallava in Sanskrit means branch, alluding to their formation from an ancient Chola-Naga alliance. Sangam literature and epigraphical inscriptions describe the liaison of Princess Pilli Valai of Naga Nadu with King Killivalavan of Chola Nadu at Nainativu; out of this union was born Prince Tondai Ilanthiraiyan, who historians note as an early progenitor of the Pallava Dynasty.

Between 105–150 CE, the ancient capital of the Cholas, Kaveripoompuharpatinnam was submerged in a tsunami during Killivalavan’s reign; he moved the capital to Urayur as noted by Ptolemy.

The Chola king annexed a part of his territory as Tondaimandalam and presented it to his son who ruled the kingdom between 150–175 CE. He was a contemporary of Athiyaman Neduman Anci and Avvaiyar I. The Pallavas readily took the titles Thondaiyar and Tondaiman alluding to their heritage and historic region.

Pallavas gained prominence after the eclipse of their arch rivals, the Satavahanas of Andhra and the decline of Cholas in Tamil Nadu, taking their terriitory to the north of Andhra, to a region still called Pal Nadu. The Pallavas patronized Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit.

Some of the most illustrious Tamil bhakti poets like the Nayanmars Sambandhar and Tirunavukkarasar, Sanskrit poets Bharavi and Dandin, as well as the seashore rock-cut temples of Mahabalipuram belong to the Pallavan era. Bodhidarma, the founder of Zen Buddhism was a Pallava prince born in Kanchipuram.

Pallavas rose in power during the reign of Mahendravarman I (571 – 630 CE) and Narasimhavarman I (630 – 668 CE) and dominated the Telugu and northern parts of the Tamil region for about six hundred years until the end of the 9th century.

Throughout their reign they were in constant conflict with both Chalukyas of Badami in the north and the Tamil kingdoms of Chola and Pandyas in the south and were finally defeated by the Chola kings in the 8th century CE.

Pallavas are most noted for their patronage of architecture, still seen today in Mahabalipuram. The Pallavas, who left behind magnificent sculptures and temples, established the foundations of medieval south Indian architecture. They developed the Pallava Grantha script , known as Grantha Tamil to write Sanskrit and Manipravalam, an alphabet that would give rise to several other southeast Asian scripts. Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited Kanchipuram during Pallava rule and extolled their benign rule.



Categories: General Knowledge, History