Ukraine Russia War

Do the citizens of Ukraine or any country for that matter want the war? The answer is in negative. It is their leadership that is responsible for bringing untold suffering on them. The country has been ravaged, millions have lost everything. The future seems to very bleak for the survivors. Little children have lost their parents. Is it the fault of the innocent citizens?

With the formation of UN after world war II, it was thought that most countries involved in the war had learnt their lesson but it was a wishful thinking. USA wants to police the whole world. It has a bleak record of misadventures all around the world at Afghanistan, Korea, and Taiwan. But even then it doesn’t stop.

Surely Russia should not have engaged in war but it’s US and it’s allies in NATO who are more responsible for all this. The irony is that these countries themselves have nothing to lose. It is the Ukrainian people who are suffering.

I don’t think Ukrainian government should have played into the hands of NATO because of its geological location abutting the mighty Russia. No country will tolerate the enemy guns stationed at its border as is the plan of NATO.

It is clear that Russia will not tolerate that NATO should be breathing on its neck. Everyone is aware that during the cold war between Eastern Bloc and NATO countries lead by USA, Russia found an sympathiser in Cuba which is the neighbour of USA. Russia brought weapons to Cuba. USA didn’t liked it. After so much tension, the situation was diffused. But the world does not learn from the past. USA has repeated the Cuba crisis here.

Ukraine has been ravaged beyond imagination by the war. The ordinary folks who work so hard to make a house, to furnish it for comfortable life and to educate their dear children have lost whatever they made made. It is heart wrenching to see the horrifying images of destruction.

Despite USA trying everything to weaken Russia by cutting it off from the global commerce but it has been to no effect. I think has boomeranged because most of the Europe is dependent on gas from Russia. The response of the West Asian countries to step in to compensate for Russian gas. It should stop arming the Ukraine so that war stops.

More than 1 million Ukrainian have left the country to find refuge in the neighbouring countries like Poland. It is a madness on the part of engaged parties. Ukraine has become the scapegoat and bore the brunt of Russia’s anger.

Chemistry Behind Cleopatra’s Beauty Recipes

Everyone has heard about Cleopatra. She is said to be most charming seductress and willy woman who became the queen of Egypt. She was very conscious of her looks and knew the value of being beautiful and always looking young and alluring.

It was Cleopatra, who popularized skin care treatments in her book titled “Cleopatra Gynaeciarum Libri”. There, she recorded recipes for making cosmetics and perfumed ointments. She was so interested in spa treatments and perfumes that her lover, Mark Antony, gave her the gift of a spa and perfume factory that had been built by Herod the Great at the south end of the Dead Sea.

Bust of Cleopatra

Although Egyptians may not be knowing the chemistry behind the ingredients used in the spa treatments but still to date many ingredients used at that time are in use but in the synthetic forms. Synthetic ingredients have low manufacturing cost and avoid lots of labor involved in extracting these from natural sources which only a royal person can afford.

For example, Indole is a organic compound present in the jasmine flowers as well as the feces of crocodiles and other animals. In high concentrations, this has a repulsing odor but at very concentrations it exudes fragrance. If you extract the chemical from the Jasmine flowers, you require millions of flowers for obtaining 1 Kg of oil costing approximately $10000. So these days synthetic oil is prepared from Indole and other ingredients at a low cost. Cleopatra used the excrement of crocodiles to clean and embellish her complexion.

She is said to bathe in the milk of asses to keep her skin soft and supple. This milk has an important ingredient Lactic acid which being an alpha hydroxy acid breaks down the dead cells of the skin. Even today’s many skin care products contain lactic acid.

Cleopatra painted her eyes with green and black pigments to protect her eyes from those ever-present flies and to enhance her appearance. On special occasions, she may have added glitter made from crushed beetle shells mixed with her eye paint. And she would have cleaned her teeth with natron, a natural form of baking soda, and freshened her breath with spearmint.

Egypt is an hot country and there is lots of perspiration which imparts body odors. So for Cleopatra, perfumes were important not just for masking the smells of skin treatments but to cover offensive body odors. Cleopatra would have carried small containers of her perfumed ointments and powdered perfumes that she would have reapplied several times a day to keep her complexion looking fresh and her skin sweet smelling.

Chemists have reconstructed a number of ancient perfumes using Cleopatra’s own recipes and analysis of perfume residues found in jars from Cleopatra’s spa. They discovered that Cleopatra favored perfumed ointments made from Moringa oil or horseradish oil (Moringa pterygosperma or M. aptera). Those ointments would have disappeared into her skin quickly and left no greasy feeling behind. Moringa oil is still used in Persian perfumes today, and chemists at L’Oreal have recreated ancient Egyptian perfumes using Moringa oil.

Oil and Gas

Although researchers all over the world are working on the technology to harness the alternate resources of energy like solar, wind, hydropower and nuclear energy, the conventional resources of oil, gas and coal are still the major resources of energy. These resources are fast declining since they are non renewable. Rapid industrialization and urbanization are responsible for this. In addition, these conventional resources add pollutants to the atmosphere.

Presently the positon of energy producers is like this

World’s Biggest Oil & Gas Companies
(Production in millions barrels per day)

  2. GAZPROM: 8.33.
  4. EXXONMOBIL: 4.7
  5. ROSNEFT: 4.7

Top 5 countries with highest Oil Reserves
1. Saudi Arabia:
265 billion barrels (19.1%)
Remaining reserves: 72.4 years
2. Venezuela:
211 billion barrels(15.3%)
Remaining reserves: 234.1years
3. Iran:
137 billion barrels(9.9%)
Remaining reserves: 88.4 years
4. Iraq:
115 billion barrels (8.4%)
Remaining reserves: 128.1 years
5. Kuwait:
102 billion (7.3%)
Remaining reserves: 110.9 years

Global Energy Sources
Fossil Fuels
Oil: 33%
Coal: 30%
Natural Gas: 24%
Renewable and Nuclear Energy
Hydropower: 7%
Nuclear Power: 4%
Renewable energy: 2.7%

(The data is from visual capitalist)

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