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Evolutionary Language Lingo Contradictory

first_imgHuman language is such a unique feature of our species, it would seem to defy evolutionary explanations.  Can evolutionists take this living phenomenon and fit it into a historical narrative?  A couple of papers in leading journals attempted to do so.  Are their conclusions the only ones that can be drawn from the evidence?    In Science,1 Quentin D. Atkinson [U of Auckland] argued that language began in southern and central Africa.  He counted phonemes (individual sound elements) in over 500 languages and believes he detected decreasing diversity with distance, supporting his contention that language was born in Africa and spread from there.  The “founder effect” in evolutionary theory asserts that diversity decreases with distance from a center of innovation.  Charting phenomic diversity this way requires dealing with potential mixers like population size and density, cultural stability, migration habits, and other things; Atkinson believes he controlled for these factors and the clinal trend persisted.  Whether he controlled for all possible demographic variables is not clear.    Atkinson believes his phoneme evidence correlates with genetic and phenotypic evidence of declining diversity with distance from Africa, but he did not explain how language originated; it was just some kind of “innovation,” he suggested.  “Truly modern language, akin to languages spoken today, may thus have been the key cultural innovation that allowed the emergence of these and other hallmarks of behavioral modernity and ultimately led to our colonization of the globe,” he said, without explaining what combination of mutations led to this innovation.    In a study of a different kind in Nature,2 Dunn, Greenhill, Levinson and Gray feel they have debunked the idea of “language universals” long promoted by Noam Chomsky.  This is the idea the human babies have innate parameters that steer them toward the adoption of a language, and that these universals constrain language diversity.  J. H. Greenberg had also taught that universal biases in human development lead toward common features of language.  Instead, Dunn et al showed that language characteristics are lineage specific, not universal, at least in regard to word order.    The papers were reported optimistically by Science Daily and the BBC News.  Ferris Jabr in New Scientist used a Genesis meme to quip that “Evolutionary Babel was in southern Africa.”  Jabr did provide some skeptical counterpoint: “Most linguists do not think it’s possible to trace linguistic history past 10,000 years,” Merritt Ruhlen of Stanford University, California was quoted as saying.  “There is a lot of anger and tension surrounding that kind of analysis.”    Even taken at face value, though, the two papers appear at odds.  One suggests a universal common origin of language from a single spreading center; the other suggests independent lineages.  A wider question is whether such historical questions are tractable by science without access to the speaking habits of alleged hominid ancestors who, according to evolutionary thinking, first began tying grunts to thoughts, beliefs and concepts.    The editors of Nature recognized some distasteful ramifications of the paper by Dunn et al..  Extrapolating the new disjunct theory of language evolution into a wider philosophical issue that affects all of science, they said:Since at least the days of Aristotle, a search for universal principles has characterized the scientific enterprise.  In some ways, this quest for commonalities defines science: without it, there is no underlying order and pattern, merely as many explanations as there are things in the world.  Newton’s laws of motion, the oxygen theory of combustion and Darwinian evolution each bind a host of different phenomena into a single explicatory framework….  This tendency in the natural sciences has long been evident in the social sciences too.  Here, Darwinism seems to offer justification, for if all humans share common origins, it seems reasonable to suppose that cultural diversity could also be traced to more constrained beginnings….    That, at least, is the hope.  But a comparative study of linguistic traits published online today … supplies a reality check.….    “The conclusion?  We should perhaps learn the lesson of Darwinism: a ‘universal’ mechanism of adaptation says little in itself about how a particular feature got to be the way it is, or about how it works.  This truth has dawned on physicists too: universal equations are all very well, but the world actually consists of particular solutions, and these are generally the result of contingent history.  One size does not always fit all.It would seem that this “lesson of Darwinism” could undermine Darwinism itself.  If Darwinism cannot explain how a “particular feature got to be the way it is, or about how it works,” what is it explaining at all?  Darwin was attempting to propose a universal cause, a “one size fits all” natural law for biology: the law of natural selection.  If, as the editors said, “the word actually consists of particular solutions” in a “contingent history”, claims to universality have been lost within Darwinism itself – including claims about the evolution of language. 1.  Quentin D. Atkinson, “Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa,” Science, 15 April 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6027 pp. 346-349, DOI: 10.1126/science.1199295.2.  Dunn, Greenhill, Levinson and Gray, “Evolved structure of language shows lineage-specific trends in word-order universals,” Nature published online 13 April 2011, doi:10.1038/nature09923.3.  Editorial, “Universal truths,” Nature 472 (14 April 2011), p. 136, doi:10.1038/472136a.Notice how Nature’s editors used the phrase “this truth”.  Ask them Pilate’s question, “What is truth?”  Truth is a concept, expressed in language, that is not reducible to particles and forces.  It certainly would not be an expected outcome of an evolutionary process, whose end product is survival.  A good lie that leads to survival would be favored equally with any that happened to correspond with reality.  [Got truth?  Try The Truth Project.]    Studies like these are unlikely to come up with any conclusions immune to future falsification.  As such, they are just games being played by members of the scientific establishment.  To fortify this charge, remember that evolutionists believe mutations led to the “innovation” or “emergence” of this complex ability (02/18/2009) – an ability rooted in the conceptual realm, a unique ability that separates human beings from animals: language.  The human body is ideally designed to speak (vocal chords, airways, mouth, tongue, ears, brain), and the human mind is able to use the hardware to convey abstract concepts (many with no survival value) in sentences with syntax and semantics.  Evolve that, Charlie (02/21/2008).    Alfred Russell Wallace denied that the evolutionary theory he “co-discovered” with Darwin could account for language and the other traits that so clearly separate humans from animals:The special faculties we have been discussing clearly point to the existence in man of something which he has not derived from his animal progenitors–something which we may best refer to as being of a spiritual essence or nature, capable of progressive development under favourable conditions.  On the hypothesis of this spiritual nature, superadded to the animal nature of man, we are able to understand much that is otherwise mysterious or unintelligible in regard to him, especially the enormous influence of ideas, principles, and beliefs over his whole life and actions.  Thus alone we can understand the constancy of the martyr, the unselfishness of the philanthropist, the devotion of the patriot, the enthusiasm of the artist, and the resolute and persevering search of the scientific worker after nature’s secrets.  Thus we may perceive that the love of truth, the delight in beauty, the passion for justice, and the thrill of exultation with which we hear of any act of courageous self-sacrifice, are the workings within us of a higher nature which has not been developed by means of the struggle for material existence.Source: Western Kentucky University; see also Michael Flannery, Alfred Russell Wallace, A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute, 2011), appendix B, pp. 138-139.    To fit these beliefs into his belief in common ancestry of humans with lower life forms, Wallace had to interject a creation event into the human line.  Why not save a step and start with creation?  Either way, he has undermined any evolutionary explanation for mankind’s special faculties, including language.  Take that, Charlie.(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

5 Top iPad Photo-Editing Apps

first_imgTags: #Adobe#iPad#ipad productivity#mobile photography#photography Who says the iPad wasn’t meant for creation? Sure, you can’t exactly run Final Cut Pro or Adobe InDesign on Apple’s tablet (nor would you really want to), but the device has come a long way since 2010. One category of apps that demonstrates the iPad’s creative prowess is its growing selection of photo-editing software.Indeed, there are now a ton of apps that let you manipulate images on your iPad with no shortage of vintage filters, quirky effects  and single-purpose gimmick apps. Those can be fun, but we wanted to focus on the super-popular, fully-featured editing apps that seem best to supplant desktop options for some users. Let’s be honest. You’re probably not going to walk around town holding up your iPad to take photos. If you do, we assure you that you’ll look ridiculous doing it. It’s also unnecessary. With syncing options like Photo Stream and Dropbox and the camera-connecting accessories available for iPad, you’re free to snap photos on a more appropriate device and then access them on your iPad, where the editing experience keeps getting more and more delightful. 5. Process To anybody who’s accustomed to just about any digital photo editing software, Process will seem a bit unconventional. That’s because the usual on-screen conventions for editing photos have been abandoned in favor of a system in which changes are made by adding “Processes” to the image. All the standard adjustments you’d likely make to an image – blur, brightness, contrast, curves, highlights, etc. – are each available as a preset called a Process, which once applied, can be adjusted manually. Process has its limitations. You can only apply edits, effects and filters to the entire image and can’t drill down, use brushes or tweak individual details. It’s not the most capable app out there, but it has an incredibly simple interface, making it a breeze for pretty much anyone to use. PROS: Super-simple UI, intuitive controls and commonly-needed adjustments.CONS: Limited functionality. PRICE: $14.99 Download From iTunes 3. SnapSeedEverybody loves SnapSeed. It has one of the highest ratings among photo apps in iTunes and constantly gets rave reviews. It’s very good. Its super-simplified interface and grid of common adjustment options is reminiscent of Process, but with far more capability and granularity packed into each option. SnapSeed’s touch gesture-based functionality takes full advantage of the iPad’s form factor, desktop editing conventions be damned. Swipe your finger up and down to select the type of adjustment you want to make, then slide across the image to the left or right to tweak its intensity. You can even make selective adjustments that target only one part of the photo and blend it seamlessly with the rest of the image. Stuff like this can get pretty tedious to try and pull off in Photoshop. Like Process, SnapSeed doesn’t give you total control, but what it does give you is enough to generate some stunning images. PROS: Intuitive, touch-based editing, selective adjustments and no price tag.CONS: Not a fully-featured photo-editing app. It has its limitations. PRICE: FreeDownload from iTunes What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts john paul titlow Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces 4. Photo Forge 2If you’re looking for a more Photoshop-esque editing experience,  Photoforge 2 is a solid choice. It’s popular among professional photographers who need a mobile solution for quick edits. In addition to all the typical photo adjustments like color balance, curves, contrast and the like, Photo Forge lets you add Instagram-style effects and simulate specific lenses, film types and processing techniques. Unlike most iOS photo editing apps, this one supports layers like those popularized by Photoshop on the desktop years ago. Photo Forge 2 is rather powerful, but all those features are packed into an interface that’s anything but intimidating. It’s a cleanly designed interface with intuitive controls. PROS: Feature-packed, supports layers, masking and high-res photographs. Upload photos via FTP. CONS:  Occasional performance issues reported by some users.PRICE: $3.99Download from iTunes 2. Adobe Photoshop Touch For awhile there, it looked like Adobe had given up on mobile photo editing, as app after app one-upped its underwhelming Photoshop Express app. Then it launched Photoshop Touch. Photoshop Touch brings many of the desktop’s apps most useful features to a more minimalist, easy-to-learn interface on the iPad. It’s no CS6, but Photoshop Touch supports such desktop staples as layers, the magic wand tool, the paint brush, clone stamp, text, gradients and a range of filters. That’s all in addition to standard stuff like saturation, brightness/contrast, color balance and noise reduction. Realizing how unlikely you are to hold up your iPad to take photos like a goofball, Adobe went beyond the device’s local Camera Roll and integrated Photoshop Touch with Google Image Search, Facebook and its own Creative Cloud.  PROS: Familiar Photoshop interface, but more simplified and intuitive. Integration with Facebook and other photo sources. Built-in tutorials. CONS: Typography options could be better. FTP export would be a plus for pros. PRICE: $9.99Download from iTunes1. Photogene Photogene is another app that often gets a nod from professional photographers. It’s easy to see why. Like Photoshop Touch and Photo Forge, Photogene is a feature-packed app that supports the kind of workflow that pros need to tone, resize and adjust their photos. And again, like those apps, it’s easy to use and reasonably priced. Of all the pro-level iPad photo-editing apps, Photogene seems to have packed the most options in. Unlike Photoshop Touch, Photogene doesn’t support layers or making granular selections within an image, but it more than makes up for those shortcomings with a huge selection of manual and preset editing options. You can do the one-size-fits-all Instagram-style filter or make modifications manually.  Photogene lets you FTP images to a server, which will allow it to fit into the workflow of pros on the go. PROS: A wide range of adjustments, filters, effects, presets and  export options, including FTP. CONS: No layers PRICE: $2.99Download from iTunesOther Noteworthy Options There are plenty of other options. Apple’s iPhoto and Aviary’s iPad app (which is free) both deserve serious consideration by anybody who wants to edit photos on their tablet. Luminance and Gridditor are worthy of the hype they’ve received recently as well. Which iPad photo-editing app is best for you? It depends on how serious of a photographer you are, how much control you want, and how much you’re willing to pay for an app.  Photogene, Photoshop Touch and Photo Forge 2 are good enough to work for pros (most of whom will undoubtedly still turn to the desktop for serious editing needs), but all of the above options are accessible enough to be used by beginners.Lead photo by Flickr user nayukim.  The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

SC dismisses plea filed by general category students in Maharashtra

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Monday dismissed applications filed by general category candidates for modification of the court’s June 4 order, which restrained candidates from changing their original preference/option of seats in postgraduate medical courses in Maharashtra after the scrapping of 10% economic reservation in admissions for the academic year 2019-2020.A Vacation Bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee further recorded that no reserved category candidate should be excluded if he or she is found eligible to compete from the general category.The general category candidates’ pleas had sought the apex court to allow them to seek a fresh choice of seats, including seats reverted from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category to general category.‘Accordance with merit’The applicants had submitted that seats should be allotted to already registered and qualified medical students during manual (physical) counselling, in accordance with merit, without insisting upon previous choice/ options exercised by them.One of the applications filed by Sagar Damodar Sarda said the original exercise of options by the applicants and other qualified students “cannot be termed as valid exercise in facts of the given case when the said exercise was itself restricted by operation of EWS quota which is now not applicable for the current academic year”.‘Not in 2019-2020’It said the “provisional seat position of postgraduate courses in government/ government-aided/ BMC and central government medical colleges, published by the Government of Maharashtra, State Common Entrance Cell would further reveal that there were several seats, discipline wise – college wise which were earmarked for EWS students (only); before the said reservation scheme (for EWS) was directed not to be applicable for this academic year 2019-2020” by the apex court on May 30.The candidates had alleged the authorities, even after issuance of directions by the Supreme Court, did not call for fresh choice filling, to enable students in order of merit to participate afresh in the re-counselling process. “The inaction has seriously prejudiced rights of the applicants and is arbitrary and malfide exercise of powers; antithesis to the concept of rule of law,” Mr. Sarda’s application had submitted.On June 4, the Supreme Court had directed the Maharashtra government to hold the last round of physical counselling for postgraduate medical and dental seats by June 14.Interim directionThe June 4 order had followed an interim direction in May to the State to not implement the 10% economic quota for the PG medical and dental admissions for the 2019-20 academic year. The Maharashtra government had issued two notifications in February and March 2019 to implement the 10% reservation for the economically-deprived classes. They were stayed by the apex court in a recent order.The court had slammed the Maharashtra government for “creating a mess” and troubling candidates who aspire to complete their post-graduation.last_img read more

25,000 evacuated in Kolhapur, Sangli

first_imgWhile the flood situation due to discharge of excess water from dams improved in Pune city, it remained extremely grim in urban and rural pockets of Kolhapur and Sangli districts in on Tuesday where continuing showers completely threw life and communications out of gear.Authorities said an estimated 25,000 people stranded in Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara were evacuated by locals and disaster management teams, including those of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).Milk supply to these districts will be hit as the Kolhapur District Milk Cooperative, known as Gokul, has decided to shut supply operations on Wednesday in view of the adverse rain and water-logging situation.People in low-lying areas were taken out in boats and shifted to schools run by the civic bodies of these districts even as water began flooding urban pockets of Kolhapur and Sangli. Schools and colleges in these districts remained shut on Tuesday and are likely to remain closed on Wednesday too.Power supply to more than 85,000 consumers in Kolhapur was temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure, said officials from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL).Residents of Gaganbawda, Panhala and Karvir tehsils in Kolhapur were hit hard by the rains.More than 105 earthen dams and other water systems in Kolhapur, including canals, have been submerged by the rising river water levels, while more than 20 bridges in Sangli have gone under water. With the swollen Panchganaga river flowing well above the danger mark at 51 feet, residents and authorities in Kolhapur fear a repeat, or worse, of the 1989 and 2005 floods.Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil in a statement said, “I appeal to the residents of Kolhapur not to panic and cooperate with the district administration in their rescue efforts… NDRF teams are trying to move people to safe zones. A Navy team and an Army column of 80 personnel with four boats are on their way.” He said the situation in Kolhapur was worse than in 1989.“In 2005, the Panchanganga touched 53.5 feet mark. Going by the present situation, it could well exceed that figure…with communications with other districts severed, Sangli and Kolhapur could face an acute milk and fuel crisis if this situation persists for the next 48 hours,” advocate Amit Shinde, a resident of Sangli district, told The Hindu.While water from dams paralysed traffic on national and state highways and internal roads, Kolhapur was completely cut-off from Pune, Bengaluru and the Konkan region.Inter-district trains like those connecting Sangli with Karad (in Satara) were suspended as rail tracks were flooded.Meanwhile, Satara district authorities said the discharge from Koyna dam was increased to 1,19,777 cusecs (cubic foot per second) late in the afternoon, leading to heavy flooding in several talukas.A team of around 25 NDRF jawans was involved in rescue operations alongwith district authorities, especially in the Patan and Karad talukas of Satara.In contrast, the situation seemed slightly better for residents in Pune city, as discharges from major dams were considerably reduced on Tuesday.P.B. Shelar, executive engineer of the Khadakwasla irrigation division, told The Hindu that discharge from the had been brought down to 18,491 cusecs by late afternoon from 45,000 cusecs.Discharge from the Mulshi and Pavana dams too were reduced, easing the flood-like situation in the city’s low-lying areas.On Monday, rising levels of the Mula River had led to some connecting bridges between Pune and the Pimpri-Chinchwad being temporarily shut. However, with the water levels going down today, traffic police opened up six bridges in the Aundh-Baner area.Meanwhile, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram declared a holiday on Wednesday for schools and educational establishments in Bhor, Velhe, Maval and Mulshi talukas of Pune district.last_img read more

‘Nuclearisation of India and Pakistan has acted as a deterrent to war’

first_imgIn Search of a Direction “Let nuclear warmongers bear in mind that a bloody battle does not determine what is right, but only what is left.” S. SANATH KUMAR, on e-mail Apocalypse Now Barking dogs do not bite and we have learnt with time that Pakistan barks whenever pushed into,In Search of a Direction “Let nuclear warmongers bear in mind that a bloody battle does not determine what is right, but only what is left.” S. SANATH KUMAR, on e-mail Apocalypse Now Barking dogs do not bite and we have learnt with time that Pakistan barks whenever pushed into a corner (“If Pakistan Nukes India”, June 10). However, if General Pervez Musharraf gambles on biting India with a nuclear strike, he will do so at his own peril as Pakistan will be wiped out. R.S. JOSHI, Bharuch In a nuclear war there are no winners, no losers and no survivors, only annihilation. There is still time for Musharraf to change his stance. But as the proverb goes, can a leopard change its spots? DR V.T. BALACHANDRAN, Chennai Why would Musharraf want to destroy terrorist camps in Pakistan when almost all successive rulers reign only by instigating the Pakistanis to become jehadis in their fight against India? G. BALATHANDABANI, Chennai Our no-first-use policy along with the possibility of a virtual extinction of our adversary should keep a nuclear exchange between the two countries at bay. NAVNEET DHAWAN, Delhi “Liberation is both a single woman’s bravado to conceal her insecurity and a euphemism for promiscuity.” H.R. BAPUSATYANARAYAN, MysoreTill now, the only mature act of Indian leaders has been to generate world opinion against Pakistan. It is time for them to exploit the situation and get Pakistan to enter into a dialogue with us to solve all disputes, including the Jammu and Kashmir one. SONIA GARG, on e-mail The nuclearisation of India and Pakistan has acted as a deterrent to war because the global community can no longer afford to look the other way. But for that, the current military brinkmanship would have burgeoned into another full-fledged, ruinous war. NALINI VIJAYARAGHAVAN, Thiruvananthapuram Despite a nuclear threat looming large on the subcontinent for the past few years, we cannot churn out gory facts about nuclear holocausts each time tensions escalate. Reporting the possible scenario is acceptable, making it look like the inevitable is not. NATASHA JOSHI, on e-mail The conjecture was inappropriate given the tension simmering between India and Pakistan. Instead of dealing with possible solutions for changing the hostile stances or elaborating on the developments in the conflict between the two countries, you chose to focus on the sensational subject of the effects of a nuclear war. Such writing only creates panic. A. ALEXANDER, on e-mail Perhaps your intention was to impress upon the enemy the dangers of nuclear warfare. Sadly, the images accompanying the article only helped in sparking fear in the minds of Indians. Humphrey Hawksley’s Dragonfire- an equally sobering but toned down interpretation of just such an event- makes for better reading. RISHABH GULATI, on e-mail Your article does not answer the obvious question: where would India’s command and control be to retaliate in case Pakistan’s nuclear weapons simultaneously destroy Delhi, Mumbai and a good part of north India? And who would be there to execute the counterstrikes? K.R. SHARMA, Mumbai Is there any way in which one could know if a missile is carrying a nu- clear warhead and how the targeted country should react to such an attack? COLONEL (RETD) RIAZ JAFRI, Rawalpindi Self Assertion It is baffling why India is looking for the cooperation and encouragement of other countries in its war against terrorism (“In Striking Distance”, June 3). In a real sense there is no friendship among countries, only interests-economic or political. It is about time India took an independent stand. DIPTANSU SHARMA, Guwahati Might is Right The prospect of war is never far but efforts to delay the battle should not be construed as India’s weakness (“Defending Kashmir”, June 3). In view of the present crisis,we have to defeat the nefarious designs of the enemy and fight a decisive battle. We cannot and should not suffer the terrorist torment forever. R.R. SAMI, Tiruvannamalai The present crisis reminds me of the words of former army chief General K. Sundarji: “Something deep down bothers me. We seem to be convinced that it is immoral to be strong and virtuous to be weak.” It appears that nothing has changed in the past two decades. C.B. DYUTHIKAR, Bangalore Blight Spirit After witnessing the state-sponsored anarchy during the wedding of Laloo Prasad Yadav’s second daughter, I would prefer dying in a war to living in a peaceful democracy where a Laloo-Rabri Devi combine keeps hurting my sensibilities beyond repair (“Married by the Mob”, June 10). SANKALP PRATAP, on e-mail After the wedding of Laloo’s first daughter, there was an income-tax raid at his house. Wiser, he chose the son of an IT commissioner for his second daughter. Sure enough, there was no raid this time. For the next girl in line, he would perhaps be looking for a groom from a judge’s family. DR MANASH R. GHOSE, Kolkata The only silver lining is that Laloo-Rabri have seven more children to marry off so at least seven more villages in Bihar like Hichhanbigha can look forward to salvation. SHITANSHU PRASAD, on e-mail What is frightening businessmen dealing in cars, furniture and jewellery in Patna? The fact that there is a large brood of the Laloo dynasty which will also be married in the near future. UDITA AGRAWAL, Delhi Historical Court The story of a real king was a welcome departure from the self-made royals of modern India-the politicians (“Crowning Glory”, June 10). India is known around the world as the land of maharajas but sadly we are forgetting our history while Britain continues to accord privileged status to its royalty. NANDITA THAKUR, Nadiad The Other Half It is a relief to know that from now on men can be equally responsible for containing a family (“The Male Initiative”, June 10). In a sense, RISUG spells the actual liberation of women. ANUPAMA RAISANGHANI, on e-mail Messiah of Mute Maneka Gandhi needs to be lauded for her courage and for staying true to her principles in a political world where nothing is constant, certainly not principles (“Custodial Crisis”, June 3). There will come a day when we will recognise that she is far more than a politician- she is a national resource. If not for her, savage humans would be running amok and ruining the world of animals. SANGEETHA LAKSHIMI-NARAYANAN, Bangalore Maneka Gandhi’s idea of enforcing the rules of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) is ridiculous. In the new era, rules that are almost four decades old are obsolete. It is clear that Gandhi is doing all she can to remain in the limelight. She does not realise that the purpose of experiments on animals is for the betterment of human beings and not to exercise cruelty on them. ANSHU MATHUR, Ahmedabad Since most diseases result from a faulty lifestyle or bad eating habits, why should animals suffer in the search for a cure for these man-made ills? There is no logic in killing animals in the name of research to develop drugs that will save human beings. We should switch to other alternative systems of treatments where no such experiments are required. If this is not checked in time it will also encourage the cosmetic industry to try such experiments and the poachers to have their way. DR RAJIV CHOPRA, Dehradun advertisementadvertisementClan PrerogativeYour article on 50 years of my ascension to the throne covered the event honestly and was visually very pleasing with excellent photographs (“Crowning Glory”, June 10). Unfortunately, when it comes to covering traditional India the media invariably highlights the trivia – the “chiffons and diamonds” – and the exotica – the “pomp and pageantry” with marginalising sidelines like “Indira Gandhi made them relics of the Raj.” The point here is that she may have pulled the official ceremonial red carpet from under our feet but the Gaddi of the clan is very much our own business. Incidentally, contrary to what the article says, my ascension to it was recognised in 1952 by the then President Rajendra Prasad and accordingly I was recognised as a ruler as defined in the Indian Constitution. The privy purses, the official perks and the privileges went with the XXVIth Amendment to the Constitution but the centuries-old Gaddi of the Rathores will remain till such time as the clan and brotherhood will it and with it the social customs, our lifestyles and order of doing things. GAJSINGH, Jodhpur Passion Play With a budget of RS 50 crore, Devdas is the most expensive movie in the history of Bollywood (“Devdas: Bollywood’s Biggest Gamble”, May 20). One must not be surprised at the cost as the investment is not purely in terms of money but also in art and creativity. Devdas could open up new vistas in an industry that is addicted to schmaltzy love stories. RAKESH MOHAPATRA, Bhubaneswar Sanjay Leela Bhansali should be lauded and not criticised for the huge budget of Devdas because unless we pump in money we cannot be the best in any field-perhaps the reason why we lag in the fields of entertainment and sports vis-a-vis developed nations. HIPPU KANUNGO, Cuttack Learning by Rut Our entire system needs to be faulted for the board examination stress: students who do not fare well are shunned in society, they do not get admission into good colleges and lose out on career openings that a prestigious college offers (“Board Games”, May 20). Even at the high school level, those not doing well are denied the subjects of their choice for Class XI. Some schools even refuse re-admission to Class XI. Parents too have become ambitious. Everyone forgets that a three-hour examination is not the only way in which a student can be judged. MAHESH KUMAR, Delhiadvertisementlast_img read more

Attracted by yoga, Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles reach Bangalore for alternative healing

first_imgThe Duchess of Cornwell, Camilla Parker-Bowles, who happens to be the wife of Prince Charles, has secretly checked into the Soukya Holistic Health Centre on the city’s outskirts for a week-long alternative therapy. However, Prince Charles has not accompanied her.This is her second visit to Soukya, run by the Dr Isaac Mathai. The centre specializes in Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and various forms of indigenous medicine for treatment and cure of various ailments. It is a popular destination for international VIPs and sports personalities, who want to rejuvenate themselves.Camilla had checked into the high-end centre in 2008 for four days and seemed to be impressed with the various therapies offered there. “She is interested in Yoga and various therapies under Ayurveda. We are giving her a customized treatment package,” a spokesperson of Soukya said, without revealing anything further.Prince Charles has not accompanied Camilla Parker-Bowles.According to police sources, the Duchess of Cornwell came to Bangalore last Saturday and checked into Soukya the same day. She will be leaving Bangalore next Saturday and her visit has been kept secret, as she reportedly felt her presence may disturb her privacy.”We get such requests whenever there are VVIP guests in Bangalore. We are deploying additional security at Soukya to ensure that she is not disturbed,” police officials said. Soukya, located amidst pristine surroundings in Whitefield, Bangalore West, has restricted the entry of other visitors.According to sources, Camilla and her staff have been assigned the Presidential suite, which is isolated from the rest of the centre. “We often have international guests at our centre. But we prefer not to reveal their names, as they are sensitive about it,” the sources added.Soukya has treated several high profile guests. The centre shot into limelight after the Kerala based People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nasser Madani, an accused in the Bangalore serial blasts (2008), was referred to the centre for treatment. Madani, who underwent ‘Panchakarma’ treatment, ran a bill of Rs 10 lakh, which the government paid.advertisementlast_img read more