Welcome to my world, 'ente lokam'!

I, N Santhosh, invite all of you to my world, 'en lokam'. Hope you all find something worth watching, or reading here. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beelzebufo, the Largest Frog!

A team of researchers in Madagascar has made a discovery recently. What they found was the fossil of the largest frog that ever lived in the world. The frog named Beelzebufo, or ‘devil’s frog’ is thought to grew upto 16 inches long and weighed 4.5 kilograms!

The name “Beelzebufo” comes from the Greek word for devil (Beelzebub) and the Latin word for toad (bufo). The frog huge had a protective shield, an extremely wide mouth and powerful jaws. These features made Beelzebufo capable of killing lizards and other small animals. By comparison, the largest living frog today is the goliath frog of West Africa, which can be 12.5 inches long and weigh about 3.2 kilograms.

The Indian Connection of Curiosity!

As the culmination of one of the most exciting space missions ever witnessed by the world, the Mars Rover, Curiosity, landed on the Martian surface on Sunday, 6th August, 2012. The landing was after a journey of more than eight months across more than 567 million km of space since the space craft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida by NASA on November 26, 2011. It will be there on the Mar’s surface for about two-year term seeking evidence for life on the Red Planet. The $2.5 billion Curiosity project, formally called the Mars Science Laboratory, is NASA's first astrobiology mission since the 1970s-era Viking probes.
NASA described the feat as perhaps the most complex achieved in robotic spaceflight. Moments later the descend, Curiosity beamed back its first three images from the Martian surface, one of them showing a wheel of the vehicle.
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Curiosity, the car-sized nuclear-powered, mobile scientific laboratory, is about twice as long and five times as heavy as the Spirit and Opportunity Mars exploration rovers, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments. The MSL spacecraft that transported it to Mars successfully carried out a more accurate landing than previous rovers, within a landing ellipse of 7 by 20 km in the Aeolis Palus region of Gale Crater in Mars' southern hemisphere. This location is near the mountain Aeolis Mons. The Rover is designed to explore for at least 687 Earth days (1 Martian year) over a range of 5 by 20 km.
The Indian Connection

Ravi Prakash is a NASA rock scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who has helped in the process of entry, descent, and landing of NASA’s rover ‘Curiosity’. Prakash, who joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the year 2005 has been working at the Mars Science Laboratory ever since.
Prakash holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.S. in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Sengupta is an aerospace engineer and a member of the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequence team of the project. Sengupta is the person who tested a parachute, an important mission element which will decide the destiny of the U.S. spacecraft. The parachute will open up and slow down the spacecraft from supersonic to subsonic speeds, reports G.S. Mudur of Yahoo. Sengupta holds a PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.

Amitabh Ghosh, an IITian from Kharagpur was a key member of the team who identified the landing site for ‘curiosity’, the Gale crater location. Ghosh also played a prominent role in various other missions by NASA such as Mars Pathfinder Mission and MER (Mars Exploration Rover) mission. He was the only Asian in the Pathfinder mission by NASA. Amitabh Ghosh has been honoured with NASA Mars Pathfinder Achievement Award in the year 1997 and the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Achievement Award in 2004, for his marvelous contributions.

Super Trees of Singapore

Singapore is again getting ready to make the world wonder. The new attraction to their already long list of things to see is the Bay South Garden located in the city's Marina Bay. This is the part of an eco-park which spreads about 250-acre (the size of 190 football fields)!  This is named Gardens by the Bay. 
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A series of the 18 gigantic super-trees that were inspired by the tallest and most dominant rainforest trees are here to attract the visitors. These trees, of 80-164 feet height made from metal, are as eco-friendly as natural trees. Their large canopies collect rain water and also absorb heat and provide shade, helping the over 200,000 species of flowers and ferns planted around and below them, flourish. Their built-in photovoltaic solar cells capture the sun's energy and provide enough green energy to power the park lights and water pumps.

These giant trees are also linked together to form a 420-foot long skywalk, enabling visitors to stroll around and enjoy the view from the top. There is a restaurant on the top as well!
This horticultural attraction, one of the largest of its kind in the world,  opened to the public on Friday, June 29, offering a unique fusion of nature and technology.