Thursday, June 2, 2011

An old new student

On 28 April, Fatima Beevi of Alappuzha district in Kerala got up earlier than usual. Her teacher came at 9.30 am, and both then left for a nearby school. There, over four hours, she answered questions on Malayalam, arithmetics and basic social sciences. All this wouldn’t have been very unusual if Fatima Beevi was not 90 years old.

Read more on Open Magazine:

Information Source: Open Magazine and The Better India

Are we now to believe in something like 'Age' for studying and taking exams? 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Farmer designs water mill to generate electricity


I read this news on the BetterIndia site this morning. Felt absolutely terrific.

They say illiterate farmer, but I say a creative farmer, using his experience, from Somapur village in Gadag district of Karnataka, has designed a water mill to generate electricity. Right from conceptualizing to materialisation, the farmer has done everything on his own. He operates the water mill in the canal near his house. 

As they say, grass root innovations are the need for the hour and that works, this is just one of those examples. With only just 5000 Rs, Siddappa has come up with this brilliant 'workable' model. 

Pic courtesy: The BetterIndia


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's a living paint!

Pic taken from DTE website

Can you believe if someone says a paint is living? Interesting isn't it?

I just read this interesting piece on Down-To-Earth magazine. It says Rock paintings found in Western Australia's Bradshaw region show traces of life.

Paleontologist of University of Queensland and his team discovered that the art is resplendent with colorful bacteria and fungi, which constantly  replenish the art's color. So they still look fresh after 40,000 years. 

Read the complete article here

Power of Husk!

wOw! was my reaction.

I recently read the article on NYT - 'A Light In India' by David Bornstein. The subject excited me as always and made me read it. 

Pic from NYT
The article was about the brilliant initiative by a small but fast-growing off-grid electricity company based in Bihar called Husk Power Systems. It has created a system to turn rice husks into electricity that is reliable, eco-friendly and affordable for families that can spend only $2 a month for power. The company has 65 power units that serve a total of 30,000 households and is currently installing new systems at the rate of two to three per week.

Husk Power was founded by four friends: Gyanesh Pandey, Manoj Sinha, Ratnesh Yadav and Charles W. Ransler. They are the real entrepreneurs who made their excellent idea work at the right time. 

What they did perhaps a new way of thinking about innovation which is the need of the hour in the countries like India and Africa. 

To access the full article, click here

Monday, January 3, 2011

SMS for farmers

Zambian government has launched a project that will allow farmers to purchase seeds and fertilizers via cell phones. 

Farmers who register with the system will receive pre-paid cell phone vouchers, each worth US$ 53, to use at agro-dealers. These vouchers are transferred via cell phones to farmers. The pilot project launched in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization is on in 28 of the country's 72 districts. 

Source: Down To Earth, December 16-31st.


Wonder if the same technology is (can be) implemented in India? 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The power of Sniff

A new device lets the disabled move and communicate with their noses.

When I read this, I was like, Wow! What all Technology can do!

Researchers have invented a device that allows the paralyzed to write, surf the web and steer an electric wheel chair - all by sniffing. 

The sniff controller, which was developed by Anton Plotkin and his colleagues are at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, uses a small plastic tube that fits into nose. It measures pressure, translating variations in intensity and frequency of sniffing in and out into commands for a compute or wheel chair.

It has been tested for 15 challenged patients and 14 were successful in using the technology.

Hope they will be more successful in having this on a larger scale. And many such technologies are welcome in the current scenario of treating the less fortunate people. It is a moving experience to see what they can do using these mind blowing inventions. 

Source: Scientific American, Oct 2010 Issue. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arctic Art

Art to monitor Climate Change!?

heART warming it is to hear!

Dutch Artist A P Verheggen has made two swirling metal sculptures representing a dog sledge. They are installed on an iceberg in western Greenland.

The purpose is to highlight how the ice sheets, thinned by global warming, are a threat to innuits. People will be able to monitor the melting of the iceberg as the sculptures drift away!

Please read the detailed Reuters article here:

Source: Reuters, Dow-to-Earth (July 1-15)