Spectrum

Orange is the new blue !

Team India will ‘Bleed Blue and Orange’  when they take on England in the ICC World Cup this afternoon. 

The original slogan, ‘Bleed Blue’, was made famous by an advertising campaign. This will have to be switched up because the team will wear a new uniform with more orange in it rather than their trademark all-blue outfit. Nike unveiled the new orange ‘away ODI kit’ on Friday. 

Why this change? Because an ICC rule says that ‘all participating teams will be required to provide for two different coloured kits, except for the host country who has preference in the choice of colour and may, if it chooses to do so, provide only one coloured kit to be worn in all matches throughout the event. In advance of the event, the teams will be notified which coloured kit will be worn in each match.” Since England are the host country, they get to keep their blues and India have to switch it up with orange. 

The new kit has become a point of controversy though. Opposition parties say it is the ‘saffronisation of cricket’ because saffron is the colour of the ruling political party in India. However, other teams have changed their colours too. South Africa reversed their green and yellow jerseys for their match against Bangladesh. Afghanistan wore a jersey with more red than blue for some games. Australia (all yellow), New Zealand (all black) and West Indies (complete maroon) have ‘unique’ jerseys and therefore can wear their colours throughout the tournament. 


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What is Huawei and why do so many countries want to limit its reach?

Huawei is a Chinese telecom network and equipment company. It is the second largest smartphone company in the world.

It is investing heavily in building out a 5G network, and is one of the leaders in this area. 

What is 5G?  It is 5th generation cellular network technology. It is estimated that 5G will, at its lowest speed, be 20 times faster than our 4G networks!

This will mean, for example, that

  • transactions can happen almost instantly,
  • you won’t have to wait to buffer movies – that will happen before you can blink!
  • Smart Homes will become a reality in some areas.

So what’s the problem?

  • Huawei has done projects for the Chinese government.
  • America, Australia, the UK and some other countries are uncomfortable with the thought of using Chinese 5G networks going forward.
  • They say that 5G networks will have many security risks, and are worried that the Chinese government will be able to use this to spy on their countries.
  • They have been trying to ban or limit use of its networking equipment, like cell towers, as the fear is the Chinese companies and hackers can introduce cyber espionage or spy software into the networks through these cell towers.
  • The US has banned Huawei networking equipment since 2012. The UK has said that Huawei cannot provide some of the major components for the 5G networks in the UK, but has not banned Huawei completely.
  • In May 2019, US President Trump took it one step further and banned US companies from doing business with those companies it was evaluating as a security risk. This meant Huawei.
  • Some say that this has nothing to do with cybersecurity, but see this as the next step in the major competition between the US and China to be the leader in the development of 5G networks.
  • In light of this ban, Google said that Huawei can no longer use Android operating systems on its phones going forward. It cannot allow the Huawei phones to get Android updates, and the new Huawei phones will not have Gmail, Google Maps, and other such useful services.
  • ARM, a major computer chip designer, and one that Huawei relies on a lot, cut ties with Huawei.
  • This put Huawei in a very difficult position. It also meant a loss of business to US companies who do big business with this telecom giant.

What happens next? This was under discussion at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, this weekend. President Trump appears to have backed away from this position a bit, and has vaguely said that US companies can do business with Huawei, in areas where national security is not a threat.

In the meantime, Huawei has said that it is busy planning alternate sources of computer chips and is building a backup to Android. It doesn’t want to be in this position again.


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Rahul Gandhi resigned from the chief's designation of INC.

A day after the formal resignation of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president, senior Congress leaders on Thursday intensified their informal discussions on a possible replacement for Mr. Gandhi even as his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, endorsed her brother’s decision.

Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel has once again emerged a key leader who is reaching out to senior leaders including Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled States to arrive at a consensus candidate.

Ms. Vadra, too supported her brother’s decision when she tweeted, “Few have the courage that you do, @rahulgandhi. Deepest respect for your decision.”

Mr. Gandhi’s decision to go public also prompted former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat to follow in his footsteps. He tweeted that he had stepped down as the party’s general secretary in-charge of Assam for the poor showing in the State.

With the next round of Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana coming up around October-November, time seems to be running out for the Congress and its highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

Though no official announcement has been made, the CWC could be meeting as early as the next week to zero in on the successor

Names that are doing the rounds include former Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, general secretary Mukul Wasnik, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy, Sachin Pilot.

A section of the Congress said former PM Manmohan Singh could easily emerge as a consensus candidate if Dr. Singh agrees to shoulder the responsibility.

The Congress constitution mandates that in the event of an emergency including the president’s resignation, “the senior most General Secretary will discharge the routine functions of the President until the Working Committee appoints a provisional President pending the election of a regular President by the AICC.”


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Through Countries

 

Bhutan

 

Official name             : Kingdom of Bhutan

Capital                        : Thimphu

Official language       : Dzongkha

Currency                    : Bhutanese Ngultrum

Present king               : Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk

Total area                   : 38,394 sq km

Population                  : 777,594

 

Bhutan is located between India and China in the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas. Historically the Bhutanese refer to their country as Druk Yul, meaning ‘land of the thunder dragon’. They refer to themselves as Drukpa people. Bhutanese culture is influenced by Buddhism. Buddhism is an important part of the their life. The official religion of Bhutan is Vajrayana Buddhism though the country’s law allows its people to practice any religion of their choice.

The people in Bhutan wear their traditional clothing. The men wear a long robe called gho tied around the waist by a small belt called kera. The women wear ankle-length dresses called kira with a light jacker called tegoi and an inner layer called a wonju.

Tshechu is one feature of the Buddhist culture of Bhutan. Tshechu means ‘day ten’ in Dzongkha. These are yearly religious festivals celebrated on the tenth day of the month. During these festivals, offerings are made to the gods. The main part of Tshechu is the Cham Dance, which is  a kind of masked dance performed over music played by Buddhist monks on traditional instruments. Each dance performance is detailed and hours long. The dance is supposed to spread morals along with the depiction of ancient Buddhist legends. It is a source of enlightenment for the dancers and the audience.

The spiritual way of thinking in Bhutan can be seen even in the way they decide how developed their country is. Instead of measuring it in the form of money, they measure it in the form of Gross National Happiness, which includes their spiritual happiness and economic growth along with equal distribution of their national wealth.


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Capital Cities

 

Why is Canberra known as the ‘Bush Capital’?

The federal capital of the Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory. Canberra is a planned city. Due to the influence of the Garden City Movement that necessitated the involvement of natural vegetation in the city design, Canberra is sometimes referred to as the ‘Bush Capital’.

Tourism and light industry are the two major sources of the city’s income. The Mount Stromlo Observatory, the National Library of Australia, the High Court of Australia, the Australian National Gallery, the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Australian National War Memorial and Parliament House are some of the most notable features of Canberra. Batemans Bay, a popular holiday spot on the New South Wales coast, is only around two hours from the city.


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A Finer You

 

Defining Personality

Personality has a great role to play in a person’s life, the career, development and achievements. It is that special element in human beings which often decides between success and failure and separates winners from losers.

Personality is one of the most difficult words in English language to define precisely and accurately. Many link it to features like height, built etc. Few attributes it to dress and clothing. Others say it means good manners. Yet others attribute it to moral and ethical values. The fact is: Personality is all this and much more. In fact any and every aspect of a human being that draws the attention and admiration of others can be attributed to personality. The bottom line is that ‘Personality is like beauty; easy to appreciate but difficult to define’. Still, it is worth the attempt to try to define it. Various dictionaries describe personality as:

  • Distinctive or well-marked character.
  • A person’s characteristics (of mind, emotions) as a whole.
  • Various aspects of a person’s character that combine to make them different from other people.
  • Characteristics and qualities of a person seen as a whole which are distinctive especially socially attractive quality.

 

As can be seen there is one important word Character featuring in all the definitions, which is defined as:

  • Set of features or Qualities (good or bad) that makes someone different from others.
  • Aggregate of peculiar Qualities which constitutes personal individuality.
  • Mental or moral Qualities that makes a person different from others.

 

Now a look at the meaning of the word Quality in the dictionary tells us that it is:

  • Degree or grade of goodness or worth.
  • Extent to which something has features, which are good or bad, wanted or unwanted.
  • The standard of something when compared to other similar things.

Well, now if you try to put together all that has been said so far, it comes out clearly that Personality, emerges out of the Qualities an individual possesses, which in turn is reflected as ‘character’ of an individual. Personality can thus be effectively summed up as a combination of two words personal and Quality that denotes individually. It is reflected through behaviour which is the external manifestation of inner qualities, and a harmonious combination of many factors. If one quality is good, but the other is bad, the overall impression or effect is generally not so good. Few examples are:

  • A person may be tall, but if he walks with a stoop, he loses the advantage of height.
  • If a good looking and impressive lady uses foul words, she loses her appeal.
  • A poor but courteous and well-mannered person creates a favourable impression.

 


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Nature and Environment

 

Plastics

Plastics are moldable and bendable materials which we use as shopping bags, utensils, toys, CDs and plumbing pipes. There are some natural plastics like rubber which grow from plants. We make the other types of plastics.

Did You Know Facts

  • Alexander Parkes had created the first plastic which he had called parkesine.
  • John Hyatt chemically combined nitrocellulose with camphor to make plastic called celluloid which is used to make ping pong balls.
  • Baekeland combined formaldehyde and phenol and heated it. He found that when this substance cooled, it hardened to form a strong plastic which we use for making auto parts. This plastic will have no change when heated again.
  • Nylon, a plastic, was made by Wallace Caruthers, who mixed adipic acid and diaminohexane monomers; to form long fibers.

Where is Plastic Used?

  1. Nylon is used in making tents and clothing as it is light and resilient.
  2. John Rex Whinfield formed Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET plastic which is used to make Ziploc storage bag.
  3. PVC pipes or Polyvinyl Chloride, formed when a plasticizer liquid is added to the hard vinyl chloride, is used in making pipes, electric cables, clothing etc.
  4. Teflon plastics is used in making of cooking utensils and plumbing tape.
  5. Polyethylene allows the making of garbage bags and disposable gloves.

Why are Plastic Bags banned in India?

Plastic bags are now banned because they are made up of non-biodegradable material which cannot be broken down into simpler substances in the environment and can stay there for more than a thousand years, thus contaminating soil and water bodies. These plastic bags also enter the food chain and get eaten by animals.

Why are Plastic Bags bad for the Environment?

Plastic is a substance that cannot be recycled or incinerated as burning plastic releases harmful smoke. So, it has to be dumped at the landfills or in the oceans.

Plastic Bags Fact

  • One plastic bag may take anything between 200–1000 years to get decomposed. Most of the plastic that was manufactured, used and thrown as early as 1950s is still here on this planet and will continue being here for centuries to come.
  • There are innumerable pieces of plastic debris floating in or near every square mile of ocean all over the world, putting a great share in the global plastic bag pollution. After every three years, the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans gets doubled!
  • Plastic is not just harmful for animals; it is also thought to be carcinogenic (cancer causing agent) for the human beings. Along with that, inks and colours used on some bags contain lead, a toxic chemical.
  • If 1,000 sets of jute and paper bags are used regularly in our society, it would save 1,000,000 plastic bags every year.

How to Recycle Plastic Bags?

  1. Recycling plastic bags would mean reusing them as shopping bags.
  2. Use these bags as bin liners. Dual function of recycling and being hygienic in the process. Also keep some clean plastic bags in your car to trash out stuff instead of throwing it on the road.
  3. Plastic bags can be multi-functional during travel.
  4. These bags can be donated to the local charity, store, flea markets or libraries. These bags would be put to best use by them.
  5. Plastic bags can also be used for satisfying the artistic appetite in you by making things using plastic bags like knitting a new bag out of it, cutting out streamers etc.
  6. For a cleaner and greener surroundings, we should recycle plastic bags as well as educate our friends about recycling plastic bags.

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Playing Games

 

Some people believe that playing games is a waste of time, which is not true. Games teach us many practical skills in a fun and interactive way.

Personal Benefits

  1. teaches adaptability and patience
  2. teaches responsibility
  3. teaches control over feelings
  4. makes us more active

Social Skills

  1. teaches us about safety and danger
  2. teaches us about freedom and discipline

 

Learning

  1. increases curiosity
  2. stimulates creativity
  3. improves risk-taking abilities
  4. builds problem-solving abilities

Health Benefits

  1. keeps illness away
  2. makes the body flexible
  3. develops a sense of well-being
  4. boosts immunity

Joy and Happiness

  1. brings laughter, joy and fun
  2. teaches to care for emotions and sentiments of others
  3. helps to beat loneliness

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Geography

 

Why is it so hot near the Equator?

Countries, towns and cities located around the equator experience hot weather throughout the year. It is because the sun remains almost directly overhead every day. Countries that are further North or South of the equator experience a change in seasons, when hot weather follows cold weather.

This happens because the Earth circles around the sun on a tilted axis. So places with seasons spend some of the year nearer to the sun and some of the year further away from it.

Living near the Equator

  • In places near the equator the sun’s rays are almost directly over- head thus keeping temperature high.

Living in places with seasons

  • Countries like United Kingdom and Korea, which are further North and South from the equator experience a change of four seasons.

Living far from the Equator

  • In Antarctic, the sun’s rays strike the Earth at a very low angle and this is why the climate here is so icy cold. The ice makes this region even colder by reflecting the sun’s light and heat back into space.

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