Archive for February, 2012

183/365 – Dogs

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Dogs have been domesticated for 10,000 years.

There are over 200 different breeds of dogs

Canis Familiaris is the Latin name for dog.

The largest dogs among all breeds, at least in terms of height, is the Irish Wolfhound.

Nearly all but two breeds of dogs have pink tongues. The two exceptions? The Chow Chow and the Shar-pei, both with black tongues.

The Basenji is the only barkless dog in the world.

Dalmatian puppies are born pure white, with their spots developing as the mature.

The ancient Chinese royalty loved the Pekingese, carrying them tucked into the sleeves of their royal robes.

Greyhounds are no doubt fast. In fact, they can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour for short amounts of time.

Many dogs’ eyes reflect the color green in the dark, but some also reflect orange or red.

Laikia, a dog, was the world’s first ever space astronaut. She was sent into space in an artificial earth satellite in 1957 by the Russian government.

Survivors of the Titanic included two dogs: a Pekingese belonging to Henry Sleeper Harper and a Pomeranian belonging to Miss Margaret Hays.

The oldest known breed of dog is the Saluki, which is an Arabic word meaning noble one. These dogs were raised as hunting dogs by ancient Egyptians.

The oldest breed of dog native to North America is the Chihuahua.

Every minute, dogs take ten to thirty breaths.

The only mammals with prostates are humans and dogs.

There are 42 teeth in a dog’s mouth.

One of the very first animals domesticated by humans was the dog.

The oldest known dog lived to be 29.

The “spring” in Springer Spaniel referred to this dog’s ability to spring or startle game.

In Flemish, Schipperke translates to “Little Captain.”

The Lhasa Apso was used by monks to guard temples.


Categories: Animal

182/365 – Tides

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The gravitational force of the moon is one ten-millionth that of earth, but when you combine other forces such as the earth’s centrifugal force created by its spin, you get tides.

The sun’s gravitational force on the earth is only 46 percent that of the moon. Making the moon the single most important factor for the creation of tides.

The sun’s gravity also produces tides. But since the forces are smaller, as compared to the
moon, the effects are greatly decreased.

Tides are not caused by the direct pull of the moon’s gravity. The moon is pulling upwards on the water while the earth is pulling downward. Slight advantage to the moon and thus we have tides.

Whenever the Moon, Earth and Sun are aligned, the gravitational pull of the sun adds to that of the moon causing maximum tides.

Spring tides happen when the sun and moon are on the same side of the earth (New Moon) or when the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the earth (Full Moon).

When the Moon is at first quarter or last quarter phase (meaning that it is located at right angles to the Earth-Sun line), the Sun and Moon interfere with each other in producing tidal bulges and tides are generally weaker; these are called neap tides.

Spring tides and neap tide levels are about 20% higher or lower than average.

The surf grows when it approaches a beach, and the tide increases. In bays and estuaries,
this effect is amplified. (In the Bay of Fundy, tides have a range of 44.6 ft.)

The highest tides in the world are at the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Because the earth rotates on its axis the moon completes one orbit in our sky every 25 hours (Not to be confused with moon’s 27 day orbit around the earth), we get two tidal peaks as well as two tidal troughs. These events are separated by about 12 hours.

Since the moon moves around the Earth, it is not always in the same place at the same time each day.

So, each day, the times for high and low tides change by 50 minutes.

The type of gravitational force that causes tides is know as “Tractive” force.



Categories: Nature

181/365 – Valcanoes

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

A volcano is a mountain that opens downward to a pool of molten rock below the surface of the earth. When pressure builds up, eruptions occur.

In an eruption, gases and rock shoot up through the opening and spill over or fill the air with lava fragments. Eruptions can cause lava flows, hot ash flows, mudslides, avalanches, falling ash and floods.

The danger area around a volcano covers about a 20-mile radius.

Fresh volcanic ash, made of pulverized rock, can be harsh, acidic, gritty, glassy and smelly. The ash can cause damage to the lungs of older people, babies and people with respiratory problems.

Volcano eruptions have been known to knock down entire forests.

An erupting volcano can trigger tsunamis, flash floods, earthquakes, mudflows and rockfalls.

More than 80% of the earth’s surface is volcanic in origin. The sea floor and some mountains were formed by countless volcanic eruptions. Gaseous emissions from volcano formed the earth’s atmosphere.

There are more than 500 active volcanoes in the world. More than half of these volcanoes are part of the “Ring of Fire,” a region that encircles the Pacific Ocean.

Active volcanoes in the U.S. are found mainly in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington, but the greatest chance of eruptions near areas where many people live is in Hawaii and Alaska.

Even though the volcanic eruption in Iceland was relatively small, the ash cloud that was produced disrupted European air travel for six days in April 2010. The eruption created the highest level of air travel disruption World War II.

Crater Lake in Oregon formed from a high volcano that lost its top after a series of tremendous explosions about 6,600 years ago.


Categories: Geography, Nature

180/365 – Chennai International Airport

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Airport type: Public
Owner: Government of India
Operator: Airports Authority of India
Serves: Chennai Metropolitan Area
Location: Tirusoolam, Chennai (Madras)

Chennai International Airport, also known as Anna International Airport (IATA: MAA, ICAO: VOMM), is located at Tirusulam, 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Chennai, India.

For the financial year 2010-11, it was the third busiest airport in India in terms of both international and overall passenger traffic, which is expected to double after March 2012 when its ongoing expansion will be completed and aircraft movements increase from 27 to 50 flights per hour. Chennai International Airport is one of the airports in Asia with lowest airport costs.

The airport is located along Meenambakkam and Tirusulam with passenger entry at Tirusulam and cargo entry at Meenambakkam. The International terminal is named after Former Late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, C.N. Annadurai.


Madras (Chennai) had one of the first airports in India and was the final destination of Air India’s first flight from Bombay (Mumbai) via Belgaum in 1954.

The airport was built on land donated by the former governor of Madras Presidency, L. Sriramulu Naidu. Although the first aircraft “Pushmoth” landed in Chennai Airport in 1932, the usage was confined to military operations until during the 2nd World War.

In 1952, the Civil Aviation Department took over which was later taken over by the IAAI in 1972. The Air Cargo Complex was commissioned in 1978. The first passenger terminal was built at the northeast side of the airfield, which lies in the suburb of Meenambakkam due to which it was referred to as Meenambakkam Airport.

A new terminal complex was subsequently built at Tirusulam, further south near Pallavaram to which, passenger operations were shifted. The new domestic terminal was commissioned in 1985 and the international terminal was commissioned in 1989.

The old terminal building is now used as a cargo terminal and is the base for the Indian courier company Blue Dart. The new international departure terminal was commissioned in 2003.

In 2001, Chennai Airport became the first international airport in the country to receive ISO 9001-2000 certification.

Categories: Building

179/365 – Lassi

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Lassi is a popular and traditional yogurt-based drink of the Indian subcontinent. It is made by blending yogurt with water and Indian spices. Traditional lassi is a savory drink sometimes flavored with ground roasted cumin while sweet lassi on the other hand is blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices.


Traditional mild salted lassi

This form of lassi is more common in the villages of Punjab. It is prepared by blending yogurt with water and adding salt and other spices to taste. The resulting beverage is known as salted lassi. This is similar to ayran or doogh.

Sweet lassi

Sweet lassi is a form of lassi flavored with sugar, rosewater and/or lemon, strawberry or other fruit juices. Saffron lassis, which are particularly rich, are a specialty of Sindh in Pakistan and Jodhpur and Rajasthan in India. Makkhaniya lassi is simply lassi with lumps of butter in it. It is usually creamy like a milkshake.

Mango lassi

Mango lassi is most commonly found in India and Pakistan though it is gaining popularity worldwide. It is made from yogurt, water and mango pulp. It may be made with or without additional sugar. It is widely available in UK, Malaysia and Singapore, due to the sizable Indian/Pakistani minority, and in many other parts of the world.

Bhang lassi

Bhang lassi is a special lassi that contains bhang, a liquid derivative of cannabis, which has effects similar to other eaten forms of cannabis. It is legal in many parts of India and mainly sold during Holi, when pakoras containing bhang are also sometimes eaten.


Categories: Food, General Knowledge

178/365 – Kilimanjaro

February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Elevation: 19,340 feet
Location: Tanzania, east Africa

The meaning and origin of the name Kilimanjaro is unknown. It is thought to be a combination of the Swahili word Kilima, meaning “mountain,” and the KiChagga word Njaro, loosely translated as “whiteness,” giving the name White Mountain.

Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and fourth highest of the Seven Summits, is considered the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, rising 15,100 feet (4,600 meters) from base to summit.

Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 19,340 feet (5,895 meters); Mawenzi 16,896 feet (5,149 meters); and Shira 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim.

Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano that began forming a million years ago when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. The mountain was built by successive lava flows. Two of its three peaks—Mawenzi and Shira—are extinct while Kibo, the highest peak is dormant and could erupt again.

Kilimanjaro has 2.2 square kilometers of glacial ice and is losing it quickly due to global warming. The glaciers have shrunk 82% since 1912 and declined 33% since 1989.

Kilimanjaro lies within the 756-square-kilometer Kilimanjaro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the few places on earth that encompasses every ecological life zone including tropical jungle, savannah, and desert to montane forests, subalpine plants, and the alpine zone above timberline.

Kilimanjaro has five common routes to its highest summit: Marangu Route; Machame Route; Rongai Route; Lemosho Route; and Mweka Route.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is easy and requires no technical climbing or mountaineering experience. The biggest challenge and danger is the high altitude. Climbers die from improper acclimatization and altitude sickness rather than falls.

Kilimanjaro is not a peak you can climb on your own. It is mandatory to climb with a licensed guide and have porters carry your equipment. This sustains the local economy and allows local people to reap the rewards of tourism.

The fastest verified ascent time was by Italian Bruno Brunod in 2001. He climbed Uhuru Peak from Marangu Gate in 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 40 seconds. The fastest round-trip time was by local guide Simon Mtuy who ran up and down on December 26, 2004 in 8 hours and 27 minutes.

Mount Meru, a 14,980-foot volcanic cone, lies 45 miles west of Kilimanjaro. It is an active volcano; has a snowcap; lies in Arusha National Park; and is often climbed as a training peak for Kilimanjaro.


177/365 – Ucchi Pillayar koil

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Proper name: Ucchi Pillayar koil or Thayumanaswamy koil
Country: India
State: Tamil Nadu
Location: Tiruchi
Primary Deity: Thayumanavar(Shiva), Manikka Vinayar(Ganesha), Uchi Pillayar (Ganesha)
Consort: Mattuvar Kuzhalammai(Parvathi)
Appeared For: Thayumanava Adigal
Architectural styles: Dravidian architecture
Date built: 7th century AD
Creator: unknown

Ucchi Pillayar koil, is a 7th century Hindu temple, one dedicated to Lord Ganesh located a top of Rockfort, Trichy, India.Mythologically this rock is the place where Lord Ganesh ran from King Vibishana, after establishing the Ranganathaswamy deity in Srirangam.


The Rock Fort temple stands 83m tall perched atop the rock. The smooth rock was first cut by the Pallavas but it was the Nayaks of Madurai who completed both the temples under the Vijayanagara empire.

The temple is situated at the top of the rock. The temple is mystic in its nature with an awe-inspiring rock architecture. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy, Srirangam and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam.

Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological department of India.


Categories: General Knowledge, Temple