Monday, June 8, 2015

Bachelor Billionaire Stone - My reviews

Billionaire Bachelors: StoneBillionaire Bachelors: Stone by Anne Marie Winston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even though I could predict the plot in advance easily it was interesting nonetheless.... Good one time read !!!

I feel the character of Mr. Stone depicts most of the good men in my

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

My review on "Rebecca's Lost Journals, Volume 2: The Contract (Inside Out #1.2)"

Rebecca's Lost Journals, Volume 2: The Contract (Inside Out, #1.2)Rebecca's Lost Journals, Volume 2: The Contract by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Haha.... This one leaves you in the same turmoil of not knowing who the 'Master' still is.... but worth reading and adds more depth to the characters...

At this stage we start pulling our hair out in frustration and excitement...

Mind-blowing series to be sure .... Just blown away every second reading it...

Lisa Renee Jones you are one heck of a writer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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My review on - If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

If I Were You (Inside Out, #1)If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All those romance /thriller lovers out there, if you havent read this one then it will be biggest loss in your life... its a trilogy with multiple series... lol... we need to invent a new term for that now...haahhaa... but trust me guys its worth it...

I would suggest that you get all the series before you even start because the suspense will kill you... Thats what I did... and happy about it..

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

My book review of "Say you love me "

Say You Love Me (Malory-Anderson Family, #5)Say You Love Me by Johanna Lindsey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully written and very romantic..... but I wish it was little more crisp in narration....i had to curtail my urge to skimp the details though... I was always in love with Mallory and this was no exception...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Book review of "Lead by Kylie"

Lead (Stage Dive, #3)Lead by Kylie Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one got me cracking up couple of times with their banter..... I really enjoyed Ev's sense of humour... I should say this is 10 stars out of five :)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bhopal Gas Tragedy

There is acute unemployment in India and the rapid growth of population every year has lakhs of people enter into the labour market. India is an agrarian country which needs industrialisation for developing its economy. There is no scope for alternative employment opportunities in agricultural sector to employ the excess labours. India needs industrialization but the Bhopal Tragedy has proved that expanding industrialization in developing countries without concurrent evolution in safety regulations will lead to catastrophic consequences. Post Bhopal Tragedy, there have been some positive changes in Government policies & behaviour of a few industries have been made, even so the major threats to the environment from rapid and poorly regulated industrial growth still remains. For example, in South India at the Kodaikanal District the world reputed Anglo-Dutch company, Unilever, was caught red-handed when the local residents discovered a dumpsite with toxic mercury laced waste from a thermometer factory run by the company's Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Lever. The 7.4 ton stockpile of mercury-laden glass was found in torn stacks spilling onto the ground in a scrap metal yard located near a school. Similar case was found in Uttar Pradesh when the Central Pollution Board of India found in 2003 that the sludge from Coca-Cola factory was contaminated with high levels of cadmium, lead and chromium. Even worse was that the company was offloading cadmium-laden waste sludge as free fertilizer to tribal farmers who live near the plant. This leads to questions as to why they would do this and not provide clean water to local residents who lost their underground water supply due to large scale water-bottling operations of Coca-Cola Company. Such company which causes widespread environmental degradation with significant adverse human health consequences continues to occur throughout in India. As explained in the Stockholm conference in 1972 ‘it is imperative goal for mankind as to defend and improve the human environment for present and future generations. Man has both a right to healthy world around and a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environs for the next generation’. UCC build the plant in Bhopal because of its central location and access to transport infrastructure. This specific site was zoned for Light industrial and commercial use and is not meant for Hazardous industries. In addition to that the plant was constructed in such a way that the factory effluents blew very close to the slums in Oriya Bustee, Jayprakash Nagar and Chola where there is high-density of population. In the initial Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, UCC had not reported the storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) in large quantities which is a clear violation of law. The plant was initially approved only for formulation of pesticides from component chemicals, such as MIC imported from the parent company, in relatively small quantities. The global competition from the chemical industry led the company to implement ‘Backward Integration’ i.e. to manufacture the raw materials and other products for the formulation of the final product within one facility. In present India we will find very few companies adhering to all the environmental regulations. In India, another problem that is arising as a by-product of rapid industrialization is Land pollution which is due to uncontrolled disposal of industrial solid and hazardous waste which has increased appreciably and the environmental impact this is significant. In my opinion the dubious standards of the industrial setup in India are: a)Contracting: Foreign investors hire main contractors for setting up their plants in India who in turn usually hire sub-contractors for delegating the obligations. This is usually for huge project size that also involves multi-site construction project. This also done when additional specialised consultants are required for advice or expertise. But in case of a dispute, the main contractor will not want to be bound by a decision under the dispute resolution procedure (DRP) in the master contract while it is still involved in the sub-contract DRP. This clause is often misused for passing the buck. The sole liability of paying the compensation should be on the main investors as the sub- contractors are usually comparatively small-scale firms with no means to pay the penalty for the disaster that may occur. Similarly, after the Tragedy UCC tried to extricate from liabilities of clearing up the mess by claiming that it had only 50.9% stake in UCIL which didn’t give them any hold over its Indian affiliate. They further argued that the day-to-day working of the UCIL was independent of the parent company and therefore it could not be held responsible for the gas leak. Investigations proved it to be false, as the annual budget had to be cleared with the parent company UCC which gave them substantial authority over UCIL. b)Maintenance: Though UCC claimed that the Bhopal plant was a model facility using modern technology, this was not the case. In an interview published early 1999, the mechanical engineer who was in charge of safety and had left UCC Bhopal a year before the tragedy stated that “On the day of the tragedy, not a single safety mechanism was in place”. The refrigeration system to keep MIC at 0°C had been turned off months earlier to save cost. The volatile gas scrubber was not working. The flare had been out of order for 3 months to replace a corroded pipe. Critical instruments installed to indicate pressure, temperature, high and low level alarms on Tank 410 had been malfunctioning for over a year (Lees, 1996). Hence, the rise in pressure was ignored until the sound generated by the cracking of the tank containing the MIC was heard and by then it was too late. Training and awareness: Most of the factories in India have labour issues and will only have floating labour population. Such labours will lack sound technical skills. It was reported that the initial induction training programme in UCIL which used to be six months were later reduced down to few weeks because of the huge attrition rate and as part of cost cutting. The work force at UCC Bhopal had been reduced a third and made to do work they were not qualified to do during their original job interviews. The management did bother to employ good professionals to implement and operate the adequate safety measures. c)Cost Cutting: The management of most companies is concerned mainly with profitability. Investment in safety appears as a drain on resources with no immediate returns and no quantifiable results even in the long run. The first tactic of companies to increase their profit margin or revive market losses are to cut their operational cost. In 1982 when Jagannathan Mukund took charge as Managing Director, he was under lot of pressure to cut costs of UCIL. As a result the principal safety system in the plant was shut down since the management felt it was unnecessary as the plant was no longer active and did not pay heed to the MIC that was meant to be stored in refrigerated conditions. Equipment like the scrubber cylinder used to decontaminate any gas leaks was also deactivated. About two hundred skilled workers and technicians were also asked to resign as part of cost cutting. It’s reported that in the MIC unit alone, the staffing in each shift was cut by half and only one man was handling the sophisticated control room with seventy dials, counters and gauges which shows the temperature and pressure of three tanks containing the MIC. d)Pre-emptive measures: Calamities are inevitable even in developed countries like how it happened in Chernobyl Disaster in Russia, Fukushima I nuclear accidents in Japan and Oppau explosion in Germany but the probability is higher in developing countries. At the UCC Bhopal plant, there had been numerous accidents before the 1984 tragedy. These were warning signs that were ignored - workers were agitated, and a series of articles were published in the local press warning of the impending disaster. However, neither the management nor the civic authorities took action to analyse the situation and take pre-emptive measures against any future accidents. The local government did not act tough on earlier accidents and ignored newspaper articles predicting disaster. Timely medical intervention could have saved many lives in Bhopal. Till date the correct composition of the gas leaked is still unknown. e)Inefficiency of the Regulatory Body: Few years back when the Environmental Minister Jairam Ramesh denied few industries the ‘Consent for Operation’ based on their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, there was huge hue and cry. Industrialization should not be at the cost of Indian lives. Environmental Policies in India needs to be reconsider and made more environmental friendly by giving subsidies for green-technologies. Consent of Operation should be only granted to those industries with top safety system which adheres to all the environmental stipulation in India. There should be also allowance for intermittent inspections in these plants for renewal of the right to continue operate. f)Inadequate legal Support: It is imperative that, all Companies, foreign or Indian, should take full accountability for any accident or environmental disaster that occurs and would be, by law, liable to pay compensation to the impacted people and the Government. The gaps and legal loopholes in our regulatory infrastructure allowed UCC to escape by paying paltry compensation to the victims of this tragedy. The most important reason for this injustice could be that the undeveloped tort law is India. In India, it is the government that announces that it is making ex gratia payments of a specified amount to the victims of disasters. The attributions of responsibility would be done by Governmental investigations. In comparison, the American system, claiming damages in tort law would have been much simpler and easier. If a disaster such as Bhopal had happened in the United States of America, it would have been much simpler to extract a substantial amount of money, and possibly resulting in the bankruptcy of UCC. The Bhopal tragedy continues to be an alarm for large corporations doing chemical business in developing countries. It is a warning that the path to globalization and development, can often come at the risk of human, environmental and economic liabilities. Though, today the regulatory environment of India has adequate provisions for protecting the environment and public health, the effective implementation of the same is far from desired.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tree house for your Cats

Your own tree house inside your home for our feline friends..... how is that ? We all know how much they enjoy sitting in lofty places and look at us in their regal ways.. this is the perfect imitation of that.

Monday, October 8, 2012

House Sparrows- Miss these little buddies..

They are vanishing from many big cities, but are still not uncommon in small towns and villages. India has seen a massive decline of sparrows in recent years. On the world map too. Once a commonplace bird in large parts of Europe, its numbers are decreasing. In the Netherlands, the House Sparrow is even considered an endangered species. Their recent decline has earned them a place on the Red List in the Netherlands. Similar precipitous drops in population have been recorded in the United Kingdom. French ornithologists have charted a steep decline in Paris and other cities. There has been an even sharper fall in the urban areas in Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Italy and Finland. History It is thought that the House sparrow originated in the Mediterranean and expanded into Europe with the growth of civilization. At the insistence of man did the sparrow make its way across the Atlantic to the United States. In 1850, green inch worms were destroying trees in New York City’s Central Park. As the house sparrow’s main diet in England consisted of the same green worms, it was thought that if sparrows were brought to New York City they would solve the worm problem in Central Park. Others thought the sparrow would eliminate crop pests. The first introduction of the sparrow was conducted by the Brooklyn Institute in 1851. Eight pairs were originally released but none were able to survive the change in climate. More attempts were made and eventually the birds adapted to a colder climate and multiplied. The sparrow rapidly spread across the United States. The abundance of spilled grain used for feeding horses and the artificial nesting cavities provided by humans helped the sparrow along. They successfu Food The house sparrow is an intelligent bird that has proven to be adaptable to most situation, i.e. nest sites, food and shelter, so it has become the most abundant songbird in the world. Sparrows are very social birds and tend to flock together through most of the year. A flock’s range covers 1.5-2 miles, but it will cover a larger territory if necessary when searching for food. The sparrow’s main diet consists of grain seeds, especially waste grain and live stock feed. If grain is not available, its diet y broad and adaptable. It also eats weeds and insects, especially during the breeding season. The parasitic nature of the house sparrow is quite evident as they are avid seekers of garbage tossed out by humans. In spring, flowers (especially those with yellow colours) are often eaten crocuses, primroses and aconites seem to attract the house sparrow most. The birds also hunt butterflies. Housing House sparrows are generally attracted to buildings for roosting, nesting, and cover. They look for any man-made nook or cranny to build their nests. Other nesting sites are clothes line poles with the end caps open, lofts, kitchen garden etc. The sparrow makes its home in areas closely associated with human habitation. Taxonomy The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a member of the old world sparrow family Passeridae. Some consider it to be a relative of the Weaver Finch Family. A number of geographic races have been named, and are differentiated on the basis of size and cheek colour. Cheeks are grey in the west and white in the east. The shade of the colouration, particularly of the chestnut area in the males is also considered. Birds of the western hemisphere are larger than those in the tropical South Asian populations. In India, it is popularly known as Goraiya in the Hindi belt. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala it is known as Kuruvi. Telugu language has given it a name, Pichhuka, Kannadigas call it Gubbachchi, Gujaratis call it Chakli where as Maharashtrians call it Chimani. It is known as Chiri in Punjab, Chaer in Jammu and Kashmir, Charai Pakhi in West Bengal, and Gharachatia in Orissa. In Urdu language it is called Chirya while Sindhi language has termed it as Jhirki. Features This 14 to 16 cm long bird has a wing span of 19-25 cms. It is a small, stocky song bird that weighs 26 to 32 grams. The male sparrow has a grey crown, cheeks and underparts, and is black at the throat, upper breast and between the bill and eyes. The bill in summer is blue–black and the legs are brown. In winter the plumage is dulled by pale edgings, and the bill is yellowish brown. The female has no black coloring on the head or throat, or a grey crown her upper part is streaked with brown. The juveniles are deeper brown, and the white is replaced by buff the beak is dull yellow. The House Sparrow is often confused with the smaller and more slender Tree Sparrow, which, however, has a chestnut and not grey crown, two distinct wing bars and a black patch on each cheek The sparrow’s most common call is a short and incessant, slightly metallic cheep, chirrup. It also has a double call note- phillip wherein originated the now obsolete name of “phillip sparrow”. While the young are in their nests, the older birds utter a long churr. At least three broods are reared in the season. Reproduction The nesting sites are varied – in holes in buildings or rocks, in ivy or creepers, on houses or riverbanks, on sea-cliffs or in bushes in bays and inlets. When built in holes or ivy, the nest is an untidy litter of straw and rubbish, abundantly filled with feathers. Large well- constructed domed nests are often built when the bird nests in trees or shrubs, especially in rural areas. The House Sparrow is quite aggressive in usurping the nesting sites of other birds, often forcibly evicting the previous occupants, and sometimes even building a new nest directly on top of another active nests with live nestlings. Eggs are variable in size and shape as well as markings. Eggs are incubated by the female. The sparrow has the shortest incubation period of all the birds, 10 -12 days, and a female can lay 25 eggs each summer. The reproductive success increases with age and this is mainly by changes in timing, with older birds breeding earlier in the season. Causes of Decline There are various causes for dramatic decrease in their population, one of the more surprising being the introduction of unleaded petrol, the combustion of which produces compounds such as methyl nitrite, a compound which is highly toxic for small insects, which forms a major part of a young sparrow’s diet. Other being areas of free growing weeds, or reduction in number of badly maintained buildings, which are important nesting opportunities for sparrows. Ornithologists and wildlife experts speculate that the population crash could also be linked to a variety of factors like the lack of nesting sites in modern concrete buildings, disappearing kitchen gardens, increased use of pesticides in farmlands and the non- availability of food sources. K.S. Gopi Sunder of the Indian Cranes and Wetlands Working Group says: “Although there is no concrete evidence or study to substantiate the phenomenon, the population of house sparrows has definitely declined over the past few years”. He attributes this to a number of reasons. The widespread use of chemical pesticides in farmlands has resulted in the killings of insects on which these birds depend. “Seed-eating birds like sparrows have to depend on soft- bodied insects to feed their young ones,” he said. The other possibility could be increased predation by crows and cats, while crows have grown in number as a result of garbage accumulation in the city. According to Dr. V. S Vijayan of the Coimbatore-based Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, though the avian species can still be spotted over two-thirds of the world’s land surface, “ironically, there has been a rapid decline in the population of these once abundant birds”. Changing lifestyles and architectural evolution have wreaked havoc on the bird’s habitat and food sources. Modern buildings are devoid of eaves and crannies, and coupled with disappearing home gardens, are playing a part in the disappearing act. Today one misses the sight of sparrows hopping from branch to branch in the bushes outside one’s house and their chirping. One is taken back to well known Hindi Writer Mahadevi Verma’s Story ‘Goraiya’ – eating grains from her hands, jumping on her shoulders and playing hide and seek. Today one wishes that the Goriya does not remain confined in the pages of Mahadevi Verma’s story but comes back to our cities as ever before.

Green Munia- vulnerable species endemic to india

The Green Avadavat or Green Munia (Amandava formosa) is a species of Estrildid finch with green and yellow on the body, a bright red bill and black "zebra stripes" on the flanks. They are endemic to the Indian subcontinent and were formerly popular as cagebirds with the name "avadavat" being a corruption of the name the city of "Ahmedabad" in Gujarat which was a centre of bird trade. They have a restricted distribution and populations are threatened by bird trade. It's said that its found near northern Andra Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Budgie breeding time......

I always had atleast a pair of budgies with me. I used to consider breeding them something of a professional's job. But just found out it is too easy.... thinking about expanding my aviary now.


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