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Humans Are Only Species to Remember Events and Mental Time Travel

A team of researchers, through a recently conducted study, found that humans are the only species that has the capability to remember events happened in past and mentally time travel.

The researchers for the study developed computer model to find evidence that could help them find an answer whether animals are capable to mental time travel or not. The model was developed by three scientists Prof. Markus Werning, Prof. Sen Cheng from the German Ruhr University Bochum and Prof. Thomas Suddendorf from University of Queenslands.

For their study, the researchers relied upon published experimental studies and matched the results with their own model. The new model suggests a new relationship between mental time travel and episodic memory. The research team assumed that mental time travel is composed of different components.

The first component is memory traces from episodic memory. The second component is the ability to construct mental scenarios, dynamic representations of past or expected situations that are not isolated but can be embedded into larger contexts and be reflected.

As per the findings of the study published in the journal Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews, past situation can be linked with other experiences and information but mentally, a scenario arises.

The researchers found no evidence of anticipatory behavior in animals. Professor Sen Cheng, said, “Some animals indeed appear to possess episodic memory. There is, however, no evidence that they are able to construct, reflect and compare different future scenarios like humans are. We, therefore, do not believe that animals are capable of mental time travel”.


Nehru want Rajagopalachariar to be First President of India.


Freedom Fighters



NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, lied to stop Rajendra Prasad from becoming the President after the country’s independence, a new book claims.

The book, written by former intelligence officer RNP Singh, says: “Nehru had resorted to desperate measures to prevent Prasad from occupying the position of President and these measures included blatant lying.”

The book, “Nehru: A Troubled Legacy”, has been published by Wisdom Tree and includes letters written by Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and others.

Singh quotes official records to reveal that on September 10, 1949, Nehru wrote to Rajendra Prasad that he (Nehru) and Sardar Patel had decided that “the safest and best course” would be to have C Rajagopalachari as the first President of India.

Since this ran contrary to his understanding of the situation, including the opinion of Sardar Patel and most members of the Constituent Assembly, Rajendra Prasad expressed the next day his deep disappointment and hurt at the way Nehru had dealt with him.

Rajendra Prasad marked a copy of this letter to Sardar Patel, who was in Bombay (now Mumbai) that day.

Patel was surprised to learn of the contents of Nehru’s letter because he and Nehru had never discussed whether Rajaji or Rajendra Prasad should be the president. Nor had he and Nehru concurred that Rajaji should be their choice.

“In his reply to Nehru on September 11, Prasad did not mince words. He told Nehru that given his standing in the party, he clearly deserved to be treated better,” says the book.

“When this letter landed on his table, Nehru found that he had hit a dead end. He had been dishonest and he had been caught.

“Anxious to extricate himself from the mess, he chose the only option open to him – to accept his folly.

“He also did not want the situation to get out of hand and, therefore, sat down at midnight to draft his response to Prasad.”

He said he was distressed to read Rajendra Prasad’s letter and said it seemed that he (Prasad) had misjudged him and even Patel.

He then confessed: ‘Vallabhbhai (Patel), in any event, has nothing to do with what I wrote to you. I wrote entirely at my instance without any reference to Vallabhbhai or consultation with him.”

Later, in the same letter, he said: “Vallabhbhai knows nothing about my writing to you…”

The book says: “Nehru realised that this episode had completely exposed him in the eyes of Patel and Prasad. However, in a desperate bid to extricate himself, he wrote to Sardar Patel as well in which he expressed surprise at the tone and content of Prasad’s letter.

“He then cleverly shifted the burden of sorting this mess out on to Sardar Patel.

“He said, ‘It is for you to deal with the situation now’.”

thanks to The Times of India IANs




How are spacecraft like Mars Orbiter instantly controlled from Earth, crores of Km away? How do the images captured by the Orbiter’s camera reach the Earth in short time?



The communication (whether for controlling the spacecraft from Earth or image-transfer from the spacecraft to Earth) between a spacecraft in space and the Earth takes place through Radio Frequency (RF) electro magnetic waves typically in the frequency range of 300 MHz – 30 GHz (1m to 1cm ultra short wavelength as compared to 25, 31 or 49 metres in short wave radio transmission).


These waves travel at the speed of light (3 lakh Km per second). All inter-planetary missions like Mars Orbiter, which are millions of Km away from the Earth, take a very long time to send or receive data/control signals to/from the Earth.


As the distance between Mars and Earth keeps varying (due to rotation of both the planets around the Sun) in the range of about 55 million Km to 400 million Km, the travel-time for the RF signals can be even more than 22 minutes.


The electromagnetic wave from outside is able to penetrate the ionosphere surrounding the Earth and get to the earth and vice versa as its frequency exceeds the ionospheric plasma frequency.


Controlling the deep-space missions spacecraft, especially in emergency situations becomes a challenge as receiving the spacecraft-response to any of the ground commands takes double the time. The chosen orbit of the recently launched Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) will require maximum of about 42 minutes to know the spacecraft status in response to any control-command sent from The Earth. High level on-orbit autonomy, therefore, has been implemented in the MOM that will put the spacecraft into a safe mode in case of emergency till scientists on ground diagnose the problem and take corrective actions.


The signals received are very weak and hence require amplification. The antenna manages this because of its directivity. The larger the antenna the narrower the direction range from where the signal is picked up.


32m antenna at 6 GHz will pick up signals from a narrow cone of angle 0.1 deg only and used at the ground to control the deep-space missions/spacecraft and receive the data/images from them. India will use its own Deep-Space Mission network consisting of 18m and 32 m dish antennae to communicate with the MOM and has also an agreement with NASA to utilise its ground network facilities to retain the communication with the spacecraft when it goes beyond the capture range of Indian ground stations.


courtesy: The Hindu 02.01.14.

Questioned by: ANTONRY J. Thiruvananthapuram

S.P.S. JAIN, Retd. Member, Engineering, Indian Railways, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Keywords: Question Corner columnMars Orbiterimage-transferRadio Frequencycontrolling spacecraft






Whatever writes in English will not harm to writers – But if it is in regional language like Tamil and others it will be a sin to the writers- an open statement and excerpts from an interesting subject.


In a society where self-worth is increasingly equated with sexual attractiveness, there are plenty of products that target both men and women. So why whine about the 18 Again ad?


A hilarious sketch of a woman on a beach with a strip of cloth coyly covering her nose instead of her ‘vitals’ it was funny but it was also a commentary on how society lays down certain norms and demands a certain set of reactions from its members.  And it might explain why the reactions against recent advertisements for a vagina tightening gel called 18 Again have been so severe.


Significantly, it’s not as if vagina tightening creams and gels are radically new. They have been out there in dozens long before 18 Again. In fact, I would be surprised if our ancient healers have not been peddling some herbal version of it for centuries now.  The only difference is that this gel is being hyped openly on TV in the bold, new India.


Why the Outrage?

  Is it because the vagina is central to female sexuality that the gel has evoked such wrath even as  nose jobs, breast implants, or waistline reductions have cosily been accepted as an excessive but acceptable norm?  We might write in derisive tones of a starlet who plumps her lips or fits in a silicone implant but we don’t go ballistic claiming feminist outrage.


The anti-gel criticisms have a familiar ring, sounding similar to those against other purely cosmetic surgeries and products, as practices demanded and encouraged by the male gaze.  However, the gel does not promise any readily visible cosmetic improvement and that somewhat reduces the power of this argument.  It has been argued that the product is designed exclusively for male satisfaction but pelvic strength addresses female sexual satisfaction as much.


A strong criticism is that the product targets female sexual performance and makes her feel inadequate.  But why should we claim that a product that addresses a feminine sexual performance parameter is any worse or more deplorable than the innumerable products that address the male?  The gel is of a piece with the innumerable penis enlargement creams, the male deodorants that promise to make effete wimps into objects of desire, and the performance enhancement products that guarantee to keep male libido at 18 till they die.


In the Viagra generation, male performance anxiety is being preyed on relentlessly by marketers and with the same ruthlessness with which female insecurities are being exploited.  In both cases, the insecurities are often created and magnified by the marketers themselves.

If we must object, it must be to the culture we have created and inhabit today.  We live in a world where physical perfection and attractiveness (physical and sexual) have never been more saleable commodities.  And that bolds true for both genders.  Economist Daniel Hamermesh finds that a handsome man can make at least 250,000 dollars more than a less attractive colleague.  One study in the U.S found that taller men earned around 600 dollar per inch more than their shorter counterparts.  A Newsweek 2010 survey reported that good looks ranked third, just after confidence and experience, on a list of most crucial employee attributes. 


Most important, this grail of physical flawlessness is no longer the sole pursuit of the rich.  Everything from mole removal to straighter teeth to thinner thighs is just a middle-class price-tag away.   Unfortunately, therefore, when every magazine cover is graced by that perfect body, nobody is asking how much it was air-brushed; they are busy asking how cheaply they can get the skateboard abs.


And it’s not just about a beauty-obsessed society demanding impossible busts and six-packs.  It’s also about an increasingly sexualized society setting impossible erotic standards and flourishing in the casual and thoughtless mainstreaming of pornography.  A steady stream of easily accessible images is pushing men and women to aspire to impossible levels of physical perfection and performance in a bizarre race towards a TV-Internet-porn film inspired ideal.


The vaginal tightening gel is just another box on the ever-expanding shelf of this hyper-sexualised society.  People today have been primed to buy anything that promises to make them thinner, taller, sexier.


“Your self-worth is dependent on the amount of sexual attractiveness you have to the outside world”.


A complex conspiracy of cultural forces, rapid scientific advances, and economic prosperity is putting an ever-impossible sexual and aesthetic image just within tantalizing reach.  A sagging chin lifted, a wart zapped away, a penis perfected. And a pelvic muscle tightened.


Is this inexorable drive towards perfection desirable?  Of course not.  But it cannot be wished away either.  Not in an age that’s busy working on blemish-free bananas and designer babies.  That’s why it’s difficult to understand rants about one product singled out from a gamut of products that are morally and ethically on a similar ambiguous plane.


IDEALISTIC EXPECTATION: The objectors seem to hope that somehow manufacturers and marketers will show restraint and self-regulation when it comes to perpetuating these perfection myths.  But as otherwise happy participants in an eminently consumption- driven economy, it’s foolishly idealistic to expect that marketers will place responsibility over profits.  Which means it’s up to buyers to display good, old-fashioned common sense to filter those marketing messages.  Caveat emptor, remember?

So by all means let’s question the efficacy of the gel. Just as a cream cannot melt away tummy fat (it needs hours of annoying exercise to do it), can any gel do for pelvic muscles what good old Kegel exercises can? Let’s ask if a tummy tuck poses a health hazard.  It makes more sense to see if the products promising miracles are guilty of misrepresentation and culpable under the MRTP Act than to whine about their political correctness.


We could, of course, question the incredible tackiness of the TV ad that, flogs this new gel and its total absence of good taste and aesthetics, But that would be another column altogether.


Source : THE HINDU- Aug-26 Sunday  Talking point

              Report from: vaishna Roy

             Dedicated by : kavignar Thanigai