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Odisha Style: Introduction

Sarson ke Khet

I traveled to Odisha in December 2017 to visit the temples in and around Bhubaneswar that together form the distinct Odia style of temple architecture. One of the main aims was to experience first hand this unique phenomenon in Indian architectural history, of having a relatively close group of monuments not just represent but almost entirely encompass one of the important stylistic traditions of Hindu temple design, stretching from the 7th c AD till the 13th c.

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 18 September 2019 video from New Zealand says about itself:

Fossil of ancient bony-toothed bird found in Canterbury

One of world’s oldest bird species has been found in North Canterbury.

Bony-toothed birds, an ancient family of huge seafaring birds, were thought to have evolved in the Northern Hemisphere – but that theory has been upended by the discovery of the family’s oldest, but smallest member in New Zealand.

At 62 million-years-old, the newly-found Protodontopteryx ruthae is rewriting the history of the seabird family.

And as Eleisha Foon reports, while the discovery was made last year, it’s taken until now for experts to determine exactly what it was.

From the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand:

One of world’s oldest bird species found in Waipara, New Zealand

September 17, 2019

The ancestor of some of the largest flying birds ever has been found in Waipara, North Canterbury. …

It lived in…

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E-invite-Saraswathi Puraskaram 2019.jpg

Glory of Narmada River,India


#NarmadaValley is a national treasure where archaen age to the current age history can be found at one place and it should be preserved, celebrated and researched. Narmada basin extends over an area of 98796 and lies between east longitudes 72o 32′ to 81o 45′ and north latitudes 21o 20′ to 23o 45′ lying on the northern extremity of the Deccan Plateau, the basin covers large areas in the states of M.P., Gujarat and comparatively smaller areas in Maharashtra. Study of Narmada Basin is important because of its geographical location which is very strategic for migration of animal population from North to South and East to West. (N-S, E-W is quoted in Skanda puran as well). Narmada was known to Ptolemy as Nammadus. Adi Shankara met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada (भगवत्पन्द ) on the banks of river Narmada.

One of the verses in Skanda Puran gives puranic glory of…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 18 June 2018 video says about itself:

Phylogenomic-wide studies of evolutionarily conserved structures of protein domains suggest Archaea is the first domain of life to diversify from a stem line of descent and co-evolve with ancestors of Bacteria and Eukarya. The proposed co-evolutionary scenario by J. T. Staley and G. Caetano-Anollés challenges popular cell fusion and two-domain of life scenarios derived from sequence analysis.

For more, read the full article here.

From Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press):

Scientists identify rare evolutionary intermediates to understand the origin of eukaryotes

September 11, 2019

Summary: A new study provides a key insight into a milestone event in the early evolution of life on Earth — the origin of the cell nucleus and complex cells. Scientists peered deep inside current living cells, known as Archaea – the organisms that are believed to most closely resemble the ancient intermediates…

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linkHow India become Center of education to illiteracy

ndia’s earliest teachers were the gurus, who taught in gurukulams and ashrams located far away from the hustle and bustle of towns in what could be called forest universities. It is no surprise that the Vedas, which are the earliest known oral books containing the thoughts of a highly civilised society are replete with exquisite references to nature and the concept of inter-dependence of living organisms. To these gurus, it was important for humans to realise their humble status in the infinite universe before embarking on the long journey of learning.

Over time, the systems of transmission of learning to newer generations got institutionalised and gave birth to famous universities such as Takshshila, Nalanda and many famous temple universities of which the remains are still found in southern India. A sizeable number of foreign students came to study in India from…

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Blue-colored Friends

Jet Eliot

Ulysses Butterflies on Lantana, Australia. Photo: A. Alexander

If any of my friends in the Northern Hemisphere are feeling a little blue about the waning of summer, here is a panoply of blue wildlife to uplift your spirits.

Blue-gray Tanager, Peru

Blue-footed Booby, Galapagos. Photo: A. Alexander

Violet-crowned Woodnymph, Costa Rica. Photo: A. Alexander

Though there are many birds with blue, there are also insects and reptiles, and even a monkey.

Bluet Damselfly, Nevada. Photo: A. Alexander

Butterfly, Ecuador. Photo: A. Alexander

Western fence lizards have a bright blue belly.

Western Fence Lizard, California. Photo: A. Alexander

This skink we see in California has a dazzling tail.

Skink, California

The blue monkey. Not as blue as some of its fellow blue-named creatures, but a beauty nonetheless.

Blue Monkey, Lake Manyara, Tanzania, Africa

Birds this blue sometimes blend into the greenery; but I have spotted them from far across an opposite…

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The Extinction Chronicles

There have been several mass extinction events during the planet’s history, including the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, arguably the best known because of the death of the dinosaurs. Now, researchers may have discovered a new mass extinction event, one that happened 2.05 billion years ago and likely killed between 80 percent and 99.5 percent of all of life on Earth.

In a study published in PNAS, a group of researchers looked at rocks in Hudson Bay, Canada, that formed billions of years ago and found that there was a sharp drop in life 2.05 billion years ago. This happened in conjunction with the end of the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), a period between 2.4 billion and 2 billion years ago that saw a surge and ultimately, a huge drop…

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Dream Temples

29th Aug, 2019

Three weeks ago, the Kaveri flooded its banks in Hogenakkal, a village on the Tamilnadu – Karnataka border, famed for its spectacular waterfalls. People of two villages along the river banks were evacuated as unprecedented floods entered houses along its banks and the place was closed to tourists.

The quiet village of Hogenakkal is located in the forested Melagiri hills. The River Chinnar meets the Kaveri here and plunges several meters as the Hogenakal Falls, one of the most spectaclular  waterfalls in India. It is a favorite of tourists from both the states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu, the river forming a natural boundary between the two states. People come to bathe in the healing waters infused with the goodness of medicinal herbs from the forests the river flows through. The hour- long coracle rides on the river which take visitors close to the rapids are very popular.

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Bharata Bharati

Rig Veda

The geographical evidence of Rigveda is very clear and unambiguous. It shows that the Vedic Aryans … were inhabitants of interior parts of India, to the east of the river Sarasvati and were only just expanding into and becoming acquainted with areas further west. – Punarvasu Parekh

Champions of Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory (AIT) refuse to give up. With virtually nothing to show in support of their pet theory in linguistics, archeology or ancient texts and inscriptions, they keep coming up with new kinds of evidence. Thus Tony Joseph’s new book Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From claims to prove once and for all, with the help of genetics, that a group of pastoral people from steppes east of the Ural mountains entered India during 2000-1000 BCE, bringing with them Indo-European languages and new religious and cultural practices. The migrants—invaders?—drove away Dravidian-speaking Harappans to…

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