Cucumber along with raw carrots, radish, and tomatoes has been a part of salad for the time immemorial. Cucumber is also consumed in cooked and pickled form in many parts of the world. People on diet for weight control eats this vegetable as it is often regarded as a health food because of its low calories and its high vitamins and minerals content.
Common cucumber varieties are white to greenish inside and are of low nutritional quality. On the other hand, orange fleshed cucumber is rich in carotenoids. India, being the center of origin for cucumbers, is known to be the treasure-house of cucumber diversity. Mostly the first variety is used as it is abundantly grown. caroteinoids are part of many fruits and vegetables like carrots, papaya, mangoes and autumn leaves.
But in the Mamit district of Mizoram, two varieties are found which are very rich in carotenoids as high as 6.5 μg/100 g as compared to 1.17 μg/100 g in the best check variety Himangi.. They have yellow to orange mesocarp and endocarp; an extremely rare trait.
Previously orange-flesh cucumber was reported to be derived from a land race named Xishuangbanna Gourd from a Prefecture Xishuangbanna of the Yunnan Province in the South-west China, which is closer to north-eastern part of the India. Studies indicate that orange fleshed cucumber of China (Xishuangbanna Gourd) is closely related to Indian cucumber found in Mizoram. This suggests that orange-fleshed Indian cucumber might have migrated to China from northeastern parts of the country; which is the primary centre of its origin.
Goji, goji berry, or wolfberry, are popular as super fruit for dieting celebrities. Like many other fruits which are considered as super, claims by sellers are surrounded in controversies.
It has become popular since 2000. It was mainly produced in China and exported to the other countries. It is native to Asia and have been long used in traditional Asian cuisine.
To add as a proof of its magical properties is the story of a chinese man named Li Qing Yuen, who was said to have consumed wolfberries daily, lived to the age of 256 years (1677–1933) some say 190 years.
This claim apparently originated in a 2003 booklet by Earl Mindell, who claimed also that goji had anti-cancer properties. The booklet contained false and unverified claims.
Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin C, fibre, iron, Vitamin A, Zinc and antioxidants. These berries are part of cuisine in Asia.
It was when Russia was USSR and soviet state was pushing hard to become at par with US. A top erstwhile spy told that Russian Soviet dictator Stalin, used to spy on the visiting world leaders like Mao to know their hidden personality traits. They even used scientific methods for this. Soviets used to analyze the excreta for Potassium and Amino acid tryptophan to know the state of mind of the leaders. Tryptophan is used by animals for synthesis of proteins essential for growth. Studies indicate that it acts as an antidepressant.
For example, if they detected high levels of amino acid Tryptophan,“ he explained, “they concluded that person was calm and approachable”. On the other hand, potassium ion regulate the blood pressure. The diets rich in Potassium help reduce the high blood pressure. But a lack of potassium in poo was seen as a sign of a nervous disposition and someone with insomnia.
India and China are the most populous countries of the world. Since China has arrested its population growth it seems that their populations will match one another in a few years. In India many of us tend to compare the two and say that India will beat China in a few years. This may be day dreaming.
China has been relentlessly progressing and has become number two economically in the world just behind US although disparities are huge. How do China and India compare in some economic indicators??
In today’s world, capitalism is the buzz word. This is flaunted by constructing skyscrapers. China which was once a communist country, has most skyscrapers. In total 46 of the world’s 100 skyscrapers are located in China.
Here are top 10 skyscrapers of the world.
Burj Khalifa: Dubai, 828 meters completed in 2010. Use: hotel/res/officeShanghai Tower: Shanghai, 632 meters, completed in 2015. Use: hotel/office
Shanghai Tower: Shanghai, 632 meters, completed in 2015, use: hotel/office.
Ping An Finance Centre: Shenzhen, 599.1 meters, completed in 2017. Use:office
Steppe Eagle is also known as Aquila nipalensis in the scientific language is a scavenger. This species breeds east in European Russia from across Kazakhstan into Kyrgyzstan, China and Mongolia. Birds winter mainly in south and south-east Asia.
The bird is placed in the Red List by IUCN in the endangered category. There are many reasons attributed to the decline in population to such an extent. Some are like loss of habitat and exposure to radioactive radiations in its basic habitat.
Bird winters in South and South East Asia. It has suffered in Pakistan and India due to the presence of a drug Declofenac in the carrion of the dead animals which these birds feed on. This drug is used extensively in the treatment of cattle in these countries.
Thus these birds suffer both at the original residence as well as their temporary stay in Asia.
I chanced upon a ditch amidst the bushes where the carrion are being dumped. One can observe the eagles flying over the area. Earlier there were mostly Egyptian Vultures but now a group of these Steppe Eagles have landed here.
During these winter months, a number of migratory birds visits India from the countries where winter is very severe and also food availability is low. These annual visitors add colour to the season.
Many of the migratory birds are water waders and land in the lakes , big pools and other water bodies. Amongst these are greater Cormorants. They are huge birds and expert fishers. They hunt in groups and there is great jostling and fighting for the catch snatching.
In older days the trained Cormorants were used for river fishing in Japan and China. A snare was tied at the end of the neck which in addition to keeping the cormorant under leash also prevented the Cormorants from eating the fish except for smaller ones. As soon as the bird caught a fish, it was taken out from water and made to spit out the fish.
Nowadays, it is only a tourist attraction.
These days a number of these big birds have descended on Sulkhna Lake in Chandigarh. I took some pictures.
The Sunway TaihuLight is the fastest supercomputer as of November 2017 ranked number one in the Top500 list. It has a speed of 93 petaflops on LINPACK benchmark rating (1 petaflop=10 raised by 15) . FLOP stands for “floating point per second”.
It is in China and was designed by National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering And Technology. It is located at the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi in Jiangsu province of China.
China beat the US in global rankings done by website Top500 which tracks the supercomputers. Benchmark tests are done by experts from Germany and US.
Some 202 supercomputers are in China as compared to 143 in US. China leads not only in numbers but aggregate computing power.
List of top 5 is as under
Sunway TaihuLight……. China
Tianhe-2 (Milky way-2)….. China
Piz Daint… Switzerland
The fastest supercomputer is being used in climate modelling and science research.
Western powers have monopolized the nuclear power and weapons. Russia and US hold 92% of the resources. Treaties like CTBT discriminate against the rest of the countries who want to use nuclear resources even for peaceful purposes. India has not signed this treaty. Supply of nuclear materials is controlled by Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG) which is largely controlled by US and Russia and puts discriminatory conditions on developing nations.This is why they are bitterly opposing nuclear tests by North Korea who is not toeing to their line. Here are statistics
Lui Liu is a painter of Chinese origin and lives in Canada. He mostly paints nudes. His paintings seems to like dreams. Some critics call his paintings magic realism. But he says that magic realism is a genre of writing invented by South American writer most notably Gabriel García Márquez whose novel “Hundred years of solitude” is written in this genre. Lui Liu says that magic realism in strict terms is a way of telling surreal stories in which even dead people converse with living but these do not contain any political message.
Lui Liu seems to be a person often in a daze, for he cannot recite his home address and is likely to give a wrong phone number. However, when he talks about things like psychology and ongoing world issues, he is totally another person, with abundant ideas and clear analysis.
It’s hard to believe this man knows about the outside world so well when he spends almost every day at home painting and has few social activities. He doesn’t even have a mobile phone.
He said casual chats with a few close friends and surfing on Sina Weibo provide him with enough information to keep up with the latest happenings around the world. Amazing thought-provoking painting “Beijing 2008” by Chinese-Canadian artist Liu Yi.
He made the following painting called Beijing 2008. Although it first seems that painting has something to do with games but it is entirely a painting with political meaning. Although every spectator of the art interprets the painting according to his or her belief
No two interpretations can be the same.
Many interpretations have been given like the one given below:
There are 4 women playing the Chines Mahjong. The woman with the tattoos on her back is China. On the left, focused intensely on the game, is Japan. The one with the shirt and head cocked to the side is America. Lying provocatively on the floor is Russia. And the little girl standing to the side is Taiwan.
China’s visible set of tiles “East Wind” has a dual meaning. First, it signifies China’s revival as a world power. Second, it signifies the military might and weaponry that China possesses has already been placed on the table. On one hand, China appears to be in a good position, but we cannot see the rest of her hand. Additionally, she is also handling some hidden tiles below the table.
America looks confident, but is glancing at Taiwan, trying to read something off of Taiwan’s expression, and at the same time seems to be hinting something at Taiwan.
Russia appears to be disinterested in the game, but this is far from the truth. One foot hooks coyly at America, while her hand passes a hidden tile to China, both countries can be said to be exchanging benefits in secret. Japan is all seriousness while staring at her own set of tiles, and is oblivious to the actions of the others in her self-focused state.
Taiwan wears a traditional red slip, symbolizing that she is the true heir of Chinese culture and civilization. In one hand she has a bowl of fruit, and in the other, a paring knife. Her expression as she stares at China is full of anger, sadness, and hatred, but to no avail; unless she enters the game, no matter who ends up as the victor, she is doomed to a fate of serving fruit.
Outside the riverbank is darkened by storm clouds, suggesting the high tension between the two nations is dangerously explosive. The painting hanging on the wall is also very meaningful; Mao’s face, but with Chiang Kai Shek’s bald head, and Sun Yat-Sen’s mustache.
The four women’s state of undress represent the situation in each country. China is naked on top, clothed with a skirt and underwear on the bottom. America wears a bra and a light jacket, but is naked on the bottom. Russia has only her underwear left. Japan has nothing left.
At first glance, America appears to be most composed and seems to be the best position, as all the others are in various states of nakedness. However, while America may look radiant, her vulnerability has already been exposed. China and Russia may look naked, yet their key private parts remain hidden.
If the stakes of this game is that the loser strips off a piece of clothing, then if China loses, she will be in the same state as Russia (similar to when the USSR dissolved). If America loses, she also ends up in the same state as Russia. If Russia loses, she loses all. Japan has already lost everything.
Russia seems to be a mere “filler” player, but in fact is exchanging tiles with China. The real “filler” player is Japan, for Japan has nothing more to lose, and if she loses just once more she is immediately out of the game.
America may look like she is in the best position, but in fact is in a lot of danger, if she loses this round, she will give up her position as a world power. Russia is the most sinister, playing along with both sides, much like when China was de-occupied, she leaned towards the USSR and then towards America; as she did not have the ability to survive on her own, she had to weave between both sides in order to survive and develop.
There are too many of China’s tiles that we cannot see. Perhaps suggesting that China has several hidden aces? Additionally China is also exchanging tiles with Russia, while America can only guess from Taiwan’s expression of what actions have transpired between Russia and China. Japan on the other hand is completely oblivious, still focused solely on her own set of tiles.
Taiwan stares coldly at the game from aside. She sees everything that the players at the table are doing, she understands everything that is going on. But she doesn’t have the means or permission to join the game, she isn’t even given the right to speak. Even if she has a dearth of complaints, she cannot voice it to anyone, all she can do is to be a good page girl, and bring fresh fruit to the victor.
The final victor lies between China and America, this much is apparent. But look closely; while America is capable, they are playing Chinese Mahjong, not Western Poker. Playing by the rules of China, how much chance at victory does America really have?