Friday, December 25, 2015

Beijing's Sanyuan Bridge Recontructed in 36 Hours first time in the World

The refurbishment of Beijing's Sanyuan Bridge, or Sanyuanqiao started at 11p.m. on Nov. 13, 2015. The whole reconstruction process completed within 43 hours.

The most challenging part of the overhaul, the replacement of the 1300 tons of new surfacing for the bridge have been transported to the construction site to replace the old surface.

Sanyuan Bridge is a major overpass on the northeastern stretch of the 3rd Ring Road of Beijing. The Airport Expressway, Jingshun Road (China National Highway 101) and the 3rd Ring Road are interlinked by the vital overpass.

New bridge sections are moved slowly into position at Beijing's Sanyuanqiao junction on the 3rd Ring Road on Sunday. Replacement of the decaying bridge took only about 36 hours.

Workers used global positioning systems, lasers and robots to replace old sections with reinforcing an old pivotal cloverleaf junction in a downtown Beijing commercial zone using a new prefabricated steel structure. Traffic flow resumed late on Sunday afternoon.

Replacement of the bridge structure cost 39 million yuan ($6.1 million  dollars), according to Xinhua.

The Sanyuanqiao cloverleaf junction is a major congestion point on a tollway to the airport. It also links two pivotal highways: the Third Ring Road and the highway linking downtown Beijing with the outlying Shunyi District.

Built in 1984, the bridge was in poor shape and needed reinforcement for safety reasons. You can watch this video too here.

India's first and only Paraplegic Confident Woman

Deepa Malik :-

"Life is a festival, celebrate it every day"

“If you felt things stopped you, try a wheel chair’ We have heard stories of individuals who have triumphed against all odds but Deepa is a cut above the rest.

She is the first paraplegic, Indian woman biker, swimmer, car rallyist, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and a restaurateur. Her three spinal tumour surgeries and the 183 stitches between shoulder blades sound insignificant compared to her achievements - national and international awards and a mention in record books.

Deepa Malik (born 30 September 1970) ,has won numerous accolades for her participation in various adventure sports. Whether it is swimming against the strong Yamuna current, or riding a special bike or even taking a shot at the Paralympic Games, she has done it all. She has won bronze medal in Women's Javelin Throw. She has got nominated in Limca Book of Records for her swimming records.

Malik is not an ordinary person. She is a paraplegic, paralysed from waist down, but that has not stopped the 41-year-old from taking up challenges. Wife of a retired Cavalier Col, Mother of two adult daughters, an international sports person & medalist, first paraplegic woman biker and a car rallyist with a difference and FIRST sportswoman to represent the country at international level in her category of disability { F-53 }. in fact, turned adversities into opportunity and success.

Deepa Malik was diagnosed with spinal tumor 12 years ago and in August 2012, she received the Arjuna award from the president of India for her achievements in track and field. It was a tough time for Malik family. Her husband Bikram Singh Malik was fighting the Kargil war and at home Deepa was struggling with her tumors. Finally the family won both the war. India won Kargil.

But the journey till here wasn’t easy. It never is. But she did it.

Braving her life with chest below paralysis, she had to undergo  three spinal tumor surgeries which required 183 stitches between her shoulder blades for past 14 yrs. She survived the tumor but was left paralyzed from waist down. Like all of us she had two choices – one to lead a life indulged in self pity and the other to turn adversities into opportunities. She chose the latter.

Deepa also runs a successful restaurant by the name Dee’s Place in Ahmed Nagar, where the family is settled. She is very active in adventures sports. She is associated with Himalayan Motorsports Association (H.M.A.) and Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (F.M.S.C.I.). A lesson for all able and disables, she has done 8 days 1700 k.m. drive in minus degree temperatures. Even on an altitude of 18000 feet with oxygen shortage, she was able to sustain it all. It was - Raid De Himalaya. This journey covers many difficult paths including remote Himalayas, Leh, Shimla and Jammu.

She took to sports at the age of 36. She ran a catering and restaurant business for seven years but had to close it down after she decided to train for the Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2010.

Deepa battled the odds to win laurels in para-athletics. She won two gold medals (javelin and discus) at the Malaysian Open athletics championship in April and achieved a world ranking of No.3.

Her name is registered twice in the Limca Book of Records: for crossing a 1-km stretch of the Yamuna River against the current in 2008 and covering 58 kms by riding a special bike this year.
Her tally of medals is impressive – two new Asian records at the World Games at Sharjah in December last year and two bronze medals including a silver medal at the World athletics championship at Christchurch, New Zealand, apart from a bronze medal at the Para – Asian games held in China earlier. At the national and state level, Deepa has notched 39 golds, four silver and two bronze medals.

In an interview to DNIS, she talked about her life after the disability. Here are a few excerpts :
“When I started life afresh on a wheelchair after spinal cord damage, I had to undergo serious physiotherapy. When I interacted with people like myself, I realized they all felt a lack of direction. Most people think that life is restricted due to paralysis. For women, it is worse! Lucky to have full family back up and education on my side, I decided to give hope to those who were paralyzed.

I started doing various outdoor activities. I call myself to be on this mission – ‘Ability beyond Disability’. My aim is to change the stereotypical image of wheelchair users that people generally have and sensitize society toward my type of disability. The media is the best way to reach out to maximum people. Coverage of the activities I do help in convincing paraplegics at motivational workshops that a ‘normal’ life is possible even on a wheelchair!

It was pretty depressing in the beginning but the love and support of my family made the process easy for me. The acceptance of your disability by your near and dear ones can make a lot of contribution to ones confidence.

It made me look at life from a new window. I learned everything all over again, right from turning into a bed to sit, from having a bath to changing clothes. But the biggest challenge I faced was timing my bladder and water intake.

The things which I had taken for granted when I was not disabled, now seemed like big hurdles. A step just six inches high could actually restrict my accessibility, the same step that I possibly never ever noticed before! Disability brought my life into focus. I started a restaurant supporting the education of a few children, set out on a mission to motivate people like me with the help of my activities. In short I learnt to give back to society and realized the true sense of living. “

It is very rightly said that disability is only in our thoughts.People like Deepa make us realize that we are restricted only by our notion of our capabilities and limits. Hope she is successful in her mission. Hats off to her!

Member of the working group in the formulation twelfth five year plan {2012-2017} on sports and physical education as nominated by the planning commision hrd division on behalf of sports ministry.

  • Holds An Official IPC Asian Record In Javelin F-53 Category
  • Holds All Three National Records In Throws {Discuss, Javelin, Shot-put} In F-53 Category
  • Holds All Three National Records In S-1 Swimming Category {Back Stroke, Breast Stroke, Free Style }
  • World Ranking 2010-12 – 2nd Shot-put, 3rd -Discus, 3rd Javelin
  • Asian Ranking 2010-12 – 1st In All Three Throws


- Inspiration
- Self belief
- Persistance
- Courage
- Motivation
- Adventure
- Change

On August 29, 2012 she was presented with the prestigious Arjuna Award at the age of 42 years (oldest athlete to ever receive the award for active sports) by Honorable President, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. This award represents in a nutshell, all the laurels won by her in her illustrious sports career so far. These achievements are detailed as follows-

Total no of medals at various games 



Friday, December 18, 2015

Addressing the World - Universally

The world is poorly addressed. This is frustrating and costly in developed nations; and in developing nations this is life-threatening and growth limiting.

what3words is a unique combination of just 3 words that identifies a 3mx3m square, anywhere on the planet.

It’s far more accurate than a postal address and it’s much easier to remember, use and share than a set of coordinates.

Better addressing improves customer experience, delivers business efficiencies, drives growth and helps the social & economic development of countries.

How does it work ?

Download the technical report

what3words is a universal addressing system based on a 3mx3m global grid.

Each of the 57 trillion 3mx3m squares in the world has been pre-allocated a fixed & unique 3 word address.

Our geocoder turns geographic coordinates into these 3 word addresses & vice-versa.

As it is an algorithm our solution takes up less than 10MB, small enough to install on almost all smartphones and works across platforms and devices.

what3words is a plug-in for businesses and individuals, via an API, to enhance their own products and services with simple and precise addressing.

Why is it important ?

Around 75% of the world (135 countries) suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems.

This means that around 4 billion people are invisible; unable to report crime; unable to get deliveries or receive aid; and unable to exercise many of their rights as citizens because they simply have no way to communicate where they live.

For example, it means that in remote locations water facilities can’t be found, monitored and fixed; and schools, refugee camps and informal settlements remain unaddressed.

Even in countries with advanced address systems, people get lost, packages aren’t delivered, and businesses and tourist attractions don’t get found.

Poor addressing might seem no more than annoying in some countries, but around the world it hampers the growth and development of nations, ultimately costing lives.

We want to give everyone in the world the ability to talk about a precise location as easily as possible.

Everyone and everywhere now has an address.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

India's first Transgender Police Official from Tamilnadu

K Prithika Yashini, aged around 25 years, is the first transgender person to become a police official in India.


Prithika Yashini, born and brought up as Pradeep Kumar (a Hindu male name), has applied for recruitment as a sub-inspector of police to the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) to fill vacancies for 1087 posts. However, her application was rejected as being a transgender she did not belong to any of the two specified categories, namely, male or female. Subsequently, she challenged the decision of the TNUSRB in different courts including the High Court of Madras.

Accordingly, the High Court of Madras ordered for conducting a written test for her. The test for the recruitment comprises written test, physical endurance test and a viva-voce. With legal recourse in a competent court, she was able to lowering the minimum cut-off marks for written test for such a recruitment from 28.5 to 25.00. She could clear all physical endurance tests except missing 100 meter dash by one second. However, she was "testified" successful in the physical endurance test. In an interview, Prithika Yashini told, "I'm excited. It's a new beginning for the entire transgender community." She aspires to become an officer of Indian Police Service over a period of time.

Growing up as a boy in Salem in Tamil Nadu, K Prithika Yashini, who was then Pradeep Kumar, recalls her teenage days with horror. "I was confused and could not focus on my studies. I was even scared of telling my parents about what I was going through and it didn't help that everyone in school started teasing me." This was precipitated by the clear demarcation of gender in school toilets, particularly for a boy who was beginning to identify himself as a woman. Today, the 25-year-old beams with confidence and is all set to be Tamil Nadu and India's first transgender sub-inspector of the police.

It is also a personal victory for Yashini whose humble family origins did not make her transition easy. Her father, who was once a farmer in Salem, now works as a cab driver and her mother is a tailor. She feared that her conservative parents would not accept her desire to change her gender easily. Though she says her style and speech were more "feminine" since she was a child, her desire to undergo sexual reassignment surgery came as a shock to them. "They tried everything from 'medicines' to taking me to temples and astrologers, but I was determined." The reassignment process that began in 2011 is now complete and she formally holds a card that identifies her as a transgender woman.

She decided to move out of her parents' home during her third semester during her graduation and go 300 kilometres away to Chennai. Here, she faced harsh discrimination, especially from landlords who refused to give her a place to rent. "I still remember the first night I came to Chennai and had to spend the entire night at the Koyambedu Bus Stand," recalls Yashini, with tears in her eyes.

Her will was beginning to break, but a part of her strongly believed that she could survive this and remain true to her identity. "Wherever I went for an interview, I was literally thrown out. I had almost stopped dreaming about leading my life on my terms," she says. It took her close to six years to revive her childhood dream of becoming a police officer, during which time she worked as a women's hostel warden, in a counselling company and at a private hospital. In February this year, she applied for the post of a sub-inspector, but was rejected on the grounds that Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board doesn't have a third-gender category.

Not willing to let up, she moved the petition in the Madras High Court, which has led to her recruitment as a police officer through an interim order. But even a Court order was not enough to convince the recruitment board, which kept rejecting her application citing various "flimsy" reasons, including one where it said that her name did not tally with original certificates. It took another round of litigation before she was allowed to participate in field trials in August. Here, too, she was disqualified by 1.1 seconds in a 100-metre race. She and her lawyer, Bhavani Subbarayan, who is believed to have taken her case pro bono, persisted till Yashini was recruited.

A landmark Madras High Court judgment last week has directed the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board to include members from the transgender community under a "third category" by the time the next recruitment process begins. For Yashini, this comes as a joyful relief from her long-drawn personal and legal battle, besides, of course, giving a new sense of identity and confidence to the transgender community in the state.

Yashini, who is now anxiously waiting to begin her career as a police officer, says that she will continue to work for the cause of the transgender community and help them gain the respect that is so often denied to them. Though she has reconciled with her family, Yashini believes that there are several young children whose parents abandon them once they begin to realise that they are "different". To this end, she counsels children and their parents so that transgender men and women are not ostracised from their communities.
She talks in a measured tone, her voice revealing no emotion during the one-hour-long conversation. She has a well-framed answer to every question, probably due to her numerous media interactions over the last few weeks. But mention ‘khaki’ and her eyes light up; suddenly, she’s an excited 20-something on the cusp of a dream life.

“I can’t wait to wear the uniform,” she grins. “I will be the first transgender to don the khaki as a sub-inspector, imagine!” The 25-year-old is set to become the first trans-woman sub-inspector in Tamil Nadu and is probably the first transgender sub-inspector in India too.

Prithika’s life follows a pattern that’s similar to any transgender’s. But what makes her different, is her refusal to give up on life. She spent most part of this year in court, taking on a system that makes it a nightmare for someone like her to be treated like a normal person.

Seated in her shared, one-room home, her eyes frequently drawn to the mobile phone in her hand, Prithika remembers her teenage years as the son of a driver-tailor couple in Salem. “It was when I was in class XI that I felt different. I didn’t feel like a boy.”

Her parents, who were helpless, took her to temples, doctors and even astrologers to “set things right”. But Prithika knew what she wanted by then: friendship and a life in which she could be herself. She ran away to Chennai in 2011 and landed at Central Station, with nothing but a few phone numbers to start with.

Soon, Prithika realised transgenders accepted people into their community more readily than society; for most transgenders are quick to trust and give. “I made new friends… Banu, Selvi, Smiley, Glady, Swappna and Selvam and got a job as a warden in a ladies hostel.” She spent the next few years changing jobs and houses. “I’ve changed up to seven houses till date,” she says. “I now work for an app developer as a curator of stories about my community.”

Now that she’s in the spotlight, Prithika feels she’s in a responsible position. “I want to be an example for my community and do whatever I can for them,” she says. “I hope to become a respected sub-inspector; one who places her duty ahead of everything else.” Prithika aims to crack the UPSC exam and become an IPS officer. “There’s so much I want to do! I want to work towards reservation for transgenders in education and employment and for the cause of women and the lesser-privileged.”

But mostly, she hopes to sit quietly with a book and read. “I couldn’t read anything in peace over the last few months, let alone study for my exams. I spent most of the days I was supposed to be studying, in court. It was 10.30 at night when I got my hall ticket for the exam which was to happen the next day. I didn’t sleep a wink that night,” she says.

Those were difficult times — the unending travels to the High Court; the long hours of waiting in the premises to be called; the uncertainty — but in the end it was all worth it.

Butterfly Valley - Turkey

Faralya is a village in Lycia, Turkey.

About 15 km south of Ölüdeniz (and 30 km south of Fethiye), Faralya was known simply as the "village on the cliffs of the Butterfly Valley" (Turkish: Kelebekler Vadisi) is a valley in Fethiye district of Muğla Province, southwestern Turkey, which is home to diverse butterfly species.

Until recently, when travellers start to take a deeper look to the village. The village itself is quite a pleasant sight to see, with its houses and gardens cascading towards the cliffs of the Valley. 

The valley is situated at the foothill of Babadağ, a 1,975 m (6,480 ft)-high mountain nominated for preservation as world heritage. A wide-strip sand beach at a bay on the Turkish Riviera protrudes from the valley. In the form of a narrow canyon stretching over around 3–4 km (1.9–2.5 mi), the valley's steep walls are 350–400 m (1,150–1,310 ft) high. A trail in the valley leads to two small waterfalls dropping from 60 m (200 ft) all the year around. In the middle of the valley, a creek runs, carrying water from a spring in nearby Faralya village to the sea. A road from Ölüdeniz to Uzunyurt, which is part of the Lycian Way Ultramarathon route, runs atop the rocks around the valley.  

The valley, rich in flora and fauna, takes its name from the large number of butterfly species found here. Scientists recorded some 147 flora species belonging to 54 families and 105 butterfly species from 15 families native to the valley. The butterfly species include the Jersey tiger (Euplagia quadripunctaria rhodosensis). Butterfies of many varieties in a wide range of colors can be observed in the valley between June and September.  

Faralya is officially a quarter (Hisar Mahallesi) of the village of Uzunyurt (literally "long country"), which is made up of seperate hamlets (from north to south: Kozağaç and Kirme on the Lycian Way to Ölüdeniz, Faralya/Hisar, Kızılcakaya, and Kabak) as these hamlets don't have enough population to make them officially declared to be villages. However, almost nobody but the officials use this name and the village is always referred to by its ancient name of Faralya whether it be by the minibus signs or travel agencies. And as Faralya is (relatively speaking) the biggest one of these hamlets, when someone speaks about Uzunyurt, you may assume he/she refers to Faralya.

There are minibuses (dolmuş) to the village from Ölüdeniz, continuing on to Kabak.

A narrow and winding, but tarmac (and sectionally potholed) road connects the village to Ölüdeniz, where it joins the main highway towards Fethiye near the Blue Lagoon. Though the distance is not that huge, it takes about 30 minutes to drive this road because of the conditions.

During high season (June-August) there are boats three times a day (11AM/2PM/4PM) from Ölüdeniz to the Butterfly Valley. They cost 15 TL pp return. Keep the ticket you'll be given upon getting on the boat in Ölüdeniz, it'll be asked for when getting on the boat that will take you back at the Butterfly Valley.

Hiking from Ovacık, 2 km north of Ölüdeniz, is also an option thanks to the Lycian Way which passes through the main road of the village. Most hikers do this 16-km section in one day, however two days combined with camping a night up in the mountains is much more comfortable, especially in summer.

Hitchhiking the road between Ölüdeniz and Faralya is super-easy, at least in summer when there are lots of holiday-makers travelling with their cars.

Butterfly Valley when approaching by boat. The village of Faralya is at the far top of the canyon, invisible in this angle. 

The village and the Butterfly Valley are connected by a very steep (dropping from the village's elevation of 350 mt to sea level at canyon bottom) and somewhat dangerous path, some sections of which require a little bit of mountaneering skills. It usually takes around 45 minutes to one hour to do the entire path—climbing up of which is unusually said to be easier than climbing down—but there are some fit travellers who are reported to do it in a little more than 20 minutes. The path starts from in front of the guesthouse George House up in the village and marked with red dots all along it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Wi-Fi (or WiFi) is a local area wireless computer networking technology that allows electronic devices to network, mainly using the 2.4 gigahertz (12 cm) UHF and 5 gigahertz (6 cm) SHF ISM radio bands.

It is the name of a popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections. A common misconception is that the term Wi-Fi is short for "wireless fidelity," however this is not the case.

The Wi-Fi Alliance defines Wi-Fi as any "wireless local area network" (WLAN) product based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) 802.11 standards". Wi-Fi is simply a trademarked phrase that means IEEE 802.11x.

However, the term "Wi-Fi" is used in general English as a synonym for "WLAN" since most modern WLANs are based on these standards. "Wi-Fi" is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. The "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED" trademark can only be used by Wi-Fi products that successfully complete Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification testing.

Many devices can use Wi-Fi, e.g. personal computers, video-game consoles, smartphones, digital cameras, tablet computers and digital audio players. These can connect to a network resource such as the Internet via a wireless network access point. Such an access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 20 meters (66 feet) indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can be as small as a single room with walls that block radio waves, or as large as many square kilometres achieved by using multiple overlapping access points.

Depiction of a device sending information wirelessly to another device, both connected to the local network, in order to print a document.

Wi-Fi can be less secure than wired connections, such as Ethernet, precisely because an intruder does not need a physical connection. Web pages that use TLS are secure, but unencrypted internet access can easily be detected by intruders. Because of this, Wi-Fi has adopted various encryption technologies. The early encryption WEP proved easy to break. Higher quality protocols (WPA, WPA2) were added later. An optional feature added in 2007, called Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), had a serious flaw that allowed an attacker to recover the router's password. The Wi-Fi Alliance has since updated its test plan and certification program to ensure all newly certified devices resist attacks.

Only Railway station in India, with three Guages

Siliguri Junction is one of the three railway stations that serve Siliguri in Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. The other two stations are: Siliguri Town and New Jalpaiguri.

In 1878, the railway line from Calcutta (later called Sealdah) station to Siliguri was in two stages – 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge from Calcutta to Damookeah Ghat, on the southern bank of the Padma, across the river in a ferry and then 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge to Siliguri. In 1881, the 610 mm (2 ft) narrow gauge line from Siliguri to Darjeeling was added. In 1926, with the Hardinge Bridge in position, the entire Calcutta-Siliguri line was converted to 1,676 mm broad gauge and in 1947, following the partition of India the line was severed, as a major portion of the line ran through East Pakistan.

With the railway routes badly disturbed by the partition of India in 1947, Siliguri Town railway station suddenly lost its pre-eminence, as the broad gauge link to Calcutta, running across East Pakistan, was lost.

In the post-partition era, with makeshift arrangements via Barsoi and Kishanganj being metre gauge and narrow gauge, the focus shifted in 1949 to a new Siliguri Junction railway station and later still, in 1961 to the new broad gauge station at New Jalpaiguri.

With three metre gauge lines, the new Siliguri Junction railway station became the main railway station in the area. The three metre gauge lines were linked to Kishanganj and Barsoi, Assam and Haldibari. The narrow gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was there. The short reign was over in the 1960s when a new broad gauge line linked Siliguri with Calcutta, and subsequently, all railway lines in the area (excepting Darjeeling Himalayan Railway) were converted to broad gauge. The focus shifted in 1961 to a brand new broad gauge station at New Jalpaiguri.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Indian Railways - " To Stop Train Pull Chain" no more to exist

The Indian Railway Ministry decided to do away with "To stop train pull chain" notice from all the coaches. Officials have initiated the work in removing the chains from all trains.

The ubiquitous 'To stop train pull chain' sign in trains across the country could soon be phased out. The Indian Railway Ministry has reportedly decided to do away with the age-old system of chains for the use of emergency breaks in trains.

An official said railways had incurred a loss of Rs 3,000 crore because trains ran late with the indiscriminate chain-pulling for no good reason. The Union Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha has previously said that chain pulling was a big menace in UP and Bihar which resulted in frequent delays in trains.

At Izzatnagar in Bareilly, the work of removing the chains from trains has already begun. Officials say that as an alternative arrangement, the mobile phone number of the driver and assistant driver could be displayed in coaches, so passengers can call in case of an emergency.

Rajendra Singh, public relations officer of the North Eastern Railways, Izzatnagar division, said, "The alarm chains will no longer be installed in new coaches being manufactured at rail coach factories across the country. The Railway Board has already issued a notification requiring that the chains not be installed. Maintenance workshops have already started removing the alarm chains from existing coaches. At Izzatnagar railway workshop, technicians have already started removing the alarm chain from coaches coming in for maintenance."

There won't be anymore chains in the new coaches that are being manufactured as the official notification has been sent to the rail coach factories. The mobile numbers of the driver and the assistant driver will be displayed instead of the chains and further an employee will be present with a walkie talkie in every three coaches who can assist the passengers in case of emergency.

The decision will see the ministry removing the existing chains from the coaches, reports the Times of India.

Also, one employee carrying a walkie-talkie would be present for every three coaches in each train, reports the New Indian Express.

The emergency brake, popularly known as chain, in the compartments of the train, is meant to be used only during an emergency or danger.

However, people travelling in the express and non-stop trains which does not have a scheduled stop at the Non-stop station, pull the chain and bring train to a grinding halt to avail a stop.

The perpetrators resort to the nasty trick when the train is about to approach the station or is at a distance of a kilometre) The ‘chain pulling’ instances, off late have increased creating lot of troubles to the railway authorities and to the passengers.

Though it appears to be minor incident, it has far reaching consequence. The chain pulling, known as Inter-Chain Communication (ICC) incidents not only affect the timings of the host train but also adversely affects the trains travelling on the route and their schedule.

How it works ?

The chain system is interconnected to all the coaches of the train. Hence, when a chain is pulled in one coach, the brake system in the coaches jams to bring the train to an immediate halt. In this period, the train is not under the control of driver. One of the difficult task for guards or drivers is to identified the coach, where the chain has been pulled.

The train can only move if the chain is restored back to its original position. The entire process consumes 15 to 25 minutes resulting in delay in the arrival and departure schedule of the train.

Some of the trains travel as far as 1,500 km to 2,000 km. ICC incidents in these trains can affect a whole lot trains, the railway staff said.

The ICC incidents are common in the non-stop trains travelling on the Jolarapet-Bangalore route. As many as two to three incidents are reported every week on from the trains, RPF officials said.

Every day prior to the arrival of the non stop trains, the RPF staff along with technical staff guard up to one kilometer stretch from the Station to avoid ICC incidents. In spite of this, it is difficult to stop the incidents, they added.

The instances are high in trains like - Shatabdi (no 12028), Bhuvaneshwar Express (12846), Tata (12890), Darbanga (12578), Duranto (12246), Bhagalpur (12253), Kochivelu (16315), Shatabdi (12008), Dibrugarh (15901) and Hatiya (12835).


The recurrence is even higher in trains like Bhuvaneshwar, Darbanga, Bhagalpur, Dibrugarh and Hatiya, Railway officials added.

The passengers who try to flee after pulling the chain are apprehended and the person who actually pulled the chain is levied a fine of Rs 1,000. The instances have increased in the past six months and more than six people have been fined for the act, Protection Force official said.

Some of the main reason for the occurrence of ICC incidents is lack of proper train facility and stop facility. Further, it is compounded by the ignorance and lack of awareness among the people. It was also found that many people were not even aware of the railway rules, an official added.

Recently, 60 people were apprehended for the ICC incident on Bhagalpur-Yashwantpur train. During the interrogation, the person responsible for the incident was identified and fine was levied, sources in railway said.

World's first skull Transplant Operation

Opening a new frontier in transplant surgery, Texas doctors say, that they have done the world's first partial skull and scalp transplant to help a man who suffered a large head wound from cancer treatment.

The recipient - Jim Boysen, a 55-year-old software developer from Austin, Texas - expects to leave the hospital Thursday with a new kidney and pancreas along with the scalp and skull grafts. He said he was stunned at how well doctors matched him to a donor with similar skin and hair coloring which involved two operations that spanned over 24 hours.

MD Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Methodist Hospital doctors announced Thursday that they performed the 15-hour-long surgery on May 22 at Houston Methodist.

"I feel much better than I did two weeks ago, believe it or not," Boysen said at a news conference Thursday.

"It's kind of shocking, really, how good they got it. I will have way more hair than when I was 21," Boysen joked in an interview with The Associated Press.

In this photo taken on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, James Boysen is interviewed in his hospital bed at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston. Texas doctors say he received the world's first skull and scalp transplant from a human donor to help heal a large head wound from cancer treatment.

"This was a very complex surgery because we had to transplant the tissues utilizing microsurgery," Dr. Michael Klebuc, the surgeon who led the Houston Methodist Hospital plastic surgery team, said in a statement. "Imagine connecting blood vessels 1/16 of an inch under a microscope with tiny stitches about half the diameter of a human hair being done with tools that one would use to make a fine Swiss watch."

Last year, doctors in the Netherlands said they replaced most of a woman's skull with a 3-D printed plastic one. The Texas operation is thought to be the first skull-scalp transplant from a human donor, as opposed to an artificial implant or a simple bone graft.

Boysen had a kidney-pancreas transplant in 1992 to treat diabetes he has had since age 5 and has been on drugs to prevent organ rejection. The immune suppression drugs raise the risk of cancer, and he developed a rare type called leiomyosarcoma (pronounced lee-oh-my-oh-sar-KOHM-ah).

It can affect many types of smooth muscles but in his case, it was the ones under the scalp that make your hair stand on end when something gives you the creeps.

Radiation therapy for the cancer destroyed part of his head, immune suppression drugs kept his body from repairing the damage, and his transplanted organs were starting to fail -- "a perfect storm that made the wound not heal," Boysen said.

Yet doctors could not perform a new kidney-pancreas transplant as long as he had an open wound. That's when Dr. Jesse Selber, a reconstructive plastic surgeon at MD Anderson, thought of giving him a new partial skull and scalp at the same time as new organs as a solution to all of his problems.

Houston Methodist, which has transplant expertise, partnered on the venture. It took 18 months for the organ-procurement organization, LifeGift, to find the right donor, who provided all organs for Boysen and was not identified.

Boysen's wound extended through his skull to his brain, Selber said.

In a 15-hour operation by about a dozen doctors and 40 other health workers, Boysen was given a cap-shaped, 10-by-10-inch skull graft, and a 15-inch-wide scalp graft starting above his forehead, extending across the top of his head and over its crown. It ends an inch above one ear and 2 inches above the other.

Any surgery around the brain is difficult, and this one required delicate work to remove and replace a large part of the skull and re-establish a blood supply to keep the transplant viable.

"We had to connect small blood vessels about one-sixteenth of an inch thick. It's done under an operating microscope with little stitches about half the thickness of a human hair, using tools like a jeweler would use to make a fine Swiss watch," said Dr. Michael Klebuc, who led the Houston Methodist plastic surgery team.

The pancreas and kidney were transplanted after the head surgery was done.

"It's a very ingenious solution" to the patient's problems, said one independent expert, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a reconstructive surgeon at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. His hospital has done seven face transplants and three double-hand transplants and has plans to do arm and leg ones in the future.

Boysen said he already has sensation in the new scalp.

"That kind of shocked the doctor. He was doing a test yesterday and I said, `Ouch I feel that.' He kind of jumped back," Boysen said.

The new scalp also was sweating in the hot room - another surprise so soon after the operation, he said.

"I'm still kind of in awe of it," Boysen said Thursday at a news conference at Houston Methodist. He will remain in Houston for two to three weeks for follow-up. He will need to keep his head covered because sunlight increases the chance of rejection, his doctors said.

"I'm glad the donor family had the generosity and insight to approve us doing this ... to get through their grief and approve the donation of this tissue besides the organs," said Dr. A. Osama Gaber, transplant chief at Houston Methodist.

Over the last decade, transplants once considered impossible have become a reality. More than two dozen face transplants have been done since the first one in France in 2005; the first one in the U.S. was done in Cleveland in 2008.

More than 70 hand transplants have been done around the world.

Last October, a Swedish woman became the first in the world to give birth after a womb transplant.

A host of patients have received transplants or implants of 3-D printed body parts, ranging from blood vessels to windpipes.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Outliers is a great story about success. The book which is written by Malcolm Gladwell gives many examples about how people have become successful in their life. Some of the stories you may not know, but some you do and they will get the reader thinking. Every chapter is different but it ties everything together in how an individual can become successful.

This book really got me thinking about how I can change a little bit to be a success in the things I do. I can use this book in helping me become a better student and also life tasks. If an adult reads this they can use it to think about there careers and even there parenting, This book is great to get the reader thinking. The book can change you and the world to become better. I recommend this book to everyone.

Malcolm Gladwell excels at pinpointing a social phenomenon, be it cultural epidemics (The Tipping Point) or snap judgements (Blink); putting forth his thesis; and illustrating his proof through a series of short, engaging, self-encapsulated histories. In Outliers, he examines the phenomenon of high achievement, fantasic stories of success often attributed to the tenacity, hard work, and innate individual talent.

Gladwell doesn't discount the necessity of innate ability, and he points to hard work as a crucial factor for success in any endeavor. But he finds in these success stories that factors such as timing, circumstance, and cultural heritage play an oft-overlooked yet critical role. Outliers is Malcolm Gladwell's ode to these unsung heros.

In the first part of the book, Gladwell profiles high achievers and the historical conditions surrounding their successes, illustrating anecdotally how they prove what Gladwell calls the 10,000 Hour Rule, that mastery at anything - music, programming, sports, chess - is dependent upon 10,000 hours of practice, roughly three hours a day over the course of ten years.. In his illustrations, Gladwell shows how these individuals were provided with unique opportunities to log these critical practice hours.

In 1968, when Bill Gates was 13 years old, his school, Lakeside Academy in Seattle, Washington, acquired a computer, a terminal on which Gates could program non-stop for the next few years, a once in a lifetime opportunity to practice something that would have unforseen value.

At the age of 16, Gates learned that a mainframe computer was available for free in the middle of the night at the nearby University of Washington. Unbeknown to his parents, the young Gates snuck out each night to write code between 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Good fortune played an critical role in Bill Gates' success by allowing him significant programming practice time that very few others his age had during a critical juncture in computer history.

In Part II of Outliers, Gladwell shifts his focus from circumstantial good fortune and serendipitous timing to the cultural legacies we inherit from our forbears. Key among the illustrations in this section is that of agrarian Chinese from Southern China, who for thousands of years engineered, built, and toiled in rice paddies. The work is famously grueling as well as surprisingly complex, and Gladwell contrasts Chinese commitment in this rigor to the lassitude of peasant farmers in Europe, pointing to the differences in the different systems that evolved around the two forms of work. Through a string of narrative that also references studies of mathematical learning, Gladwell leads us deftly to very plausible explanations for the truth inherent in cultural stereotypes about Asians in academia.

Malcolm Gladwell is a gifted story-teller, and his ability to present his ideas within compelling narrative form is half of what makes his work so engaging and popular. The other half of course is his ability to ask questions, synthesize ideas, and make connections where others fail to see them, or where those who do lack the narrative ability to serve them up irresistibly as Gladwell is known to do.

The Story of Success is the third non-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published by Little, Brown and Company on November 18, 2008. In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines the causes of why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history, how Joseph Flom built Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the most successful law firms in the world, how cultural differences play a large part in perceived intelligence and rational decision making, and how two people with exceptional intelligence, Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes. Throughout the publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.

The publication debuted at number one on the bestseller lists for The New York Times and The Globe and Mail, holding the position on the former for eleven consecutive weeks. Generally well received by critics, Outliers was considered more personal than Gladwell's other works, and some reviews commented on how much Outliers felt like an autobiography. Reviews praised the connection that Gladwell draws between his own background and the rest of the publication to conclude the book. Reviewers also appreciated the questions posed by Outliers, finding it important to determine how much individual potential is ignored by society. However, the lessons learned were considered anticlimactic and dispiriting. The writing style, deemed easy to understand, was criticized for oversimplifying complex social phenomena.

There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.

In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

10,000 Hours of Practice

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. How does Gladwell arrive at this conclusion? And, if the conclusion is true, how can we leverage this idea to achieve greatness in our professions?

Gladwell studied the lives of extremely successful people to find out how they achieved success. This article will review a few examples from Gladwell’s research, and conclude with some thoughts for moving forward.

Violins in Berlin

In the early 1990s, a team of psychologists in Berlin, Germany studied violin students. Specifically, they studied their practice habits in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. All of the subjects were asked this question: “Over the course of your entire career, ever since you first picked up the violin, how many hours have you practiced?”

All of the violinists had begun playing at roughly five years of age with similar practice times. However, at age eight, practice times began to diverge. By age twenty, the elite performers averaged more than 10,000 hours of practice each, while the less able performers had only 4,000 hours of practice.

The elite had more than double the practice hours of the less capable performers.

Natural Talent: Not Important

One fascinating point of the study: No “naturally gifted” performers emerged. If natural talent had played a role, we would expect some of the “naturals” to float to the top of the elite level with fewer practice hours than everyone else. But the data showed otherwise. The psychologists found a direct statistical relationship between hours of practice and achievement. No shortcuts. No naturals.

Sneaking Out to Write Code

You already know how Microsoft was founded. Bill Gates and Paul Allen dropped out of college to form the company in 1975. It’s that simple: Drop out of college, start a company, and become a billionaire, right? Wrong.

Further study reveals that Gates and Allen had thousands of hours of programming practice prior to founding Microsoft. First, the two co-founders met at Lakeside, an elite private school in the Seattle area. The school raised three thousand dollars to purchase a computer terminal for the school’s computer club in 1968.

A computer terminal at a university was rare in 1968. Gates had access to a terminal in eighth grade. Gates and Allen quickly became addicted to programming.

The Gates family lived near the University of Washington. As a teenager, Gates fed his programming addiction by sneaking out of his parents’ home after bedtime to use the University’s computer. Gates and Allen acquired their 10,000 hours through this and other clever teenage schemes. When the time came to launch Microsoft in 1975, the two were ready.

Practice Makes Improvement

In 1960, while they were still an unknown high school rock band, the Beatles went to Hamburg, Germany to play in the local clubs.

The group was underpaid. The acoustics were terrible. The audiences were unappreciative. So what did the Beatles get out of the Hamburg experience? Hours of playing time. Non-stop hours of playing time that forced them to get better.

As the Beatles grew in skill, audiences demanded more performances – more playing time. By 1962 they were playing eight hours per night, seven nights per week. By 1964, the year they burst on the international scene, the Beatles had played over 1,200 concerts together. By way of comparison, most bands today don’t play 1,200 times in their entire career.

Falling in Love With Practice

The elite don’t just work harder than everybody else. At some point the elites fall in love with practice to the point where they want to do little else.

The elite software developer is the programmer who spends all day pounding code at work, and after leaving work she writes open source software on her own time.

The elite football player is the guy who spends all day on the practice field with his teammates, and after practice he goes home to watch game films.

The elite physician listens to medical podcasts in the car during a long commute.

The elites are in love with what they do, and at some point it no longer feels like work.

What’s Next?

Now that we’ve reviewed the trends uncovered by Gladwell’s research, what can we do about it? All of us want to be great at something. Now that we know how other achievers have gotten there, what can we do to join their ranks?

One approach: We could choose a field and practice for 10,000 hours. If we are currently working in our target profession, forty hours per week over five years would give us ten thousand hours.

Or… We can look at the question in reverse. Where have we already logged 10,000 hours of practice? What is it that we do really well? What tasks do we perform so well that people ask: How did you do that? Sometimes when we fall in love with practice we don’t even recognize it!

If you’re running a company, what does your company do better than anybody else? What is it that the individual members of your company do better than anybody? How do you create an environment that gives everyone on your team the opportunity to practice?


Business is tough, especially now. Yet even in the midst of a challenging economy, there are individuals and companies that prosper beyond all expectations. Practice plays a major role in success.

Suggested Reading

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Through interviews and statistical analysis, Gladwell determines why some people and organizations achieve success far beyond their peers.