Tag Archives: India

360° Travel: The Taj Mahal, Agra, Northern India (8K)

Taj Mahal, also spelled Tadj Mahallmausoleum complex in Agra, western Uttar Pradesh state, northern India. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān (reigned 1628–58) to immortalize his wife Mumtaz Mahal (“Chosen One of the Palace”), who died in childbirth in 1631, having been the emperor’s inseparable companion since their marriage in 1612. India’s most famous and widely recognized building, it is situated in the eastern part of the city on the southern (right) bank of the Yamuna (Jumna) RiverAgra Fort (Red Fort), also on the right bank of the Yamuna, is about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the Taj Mahal.

In its harmonious proportions and its fluid incorporation of decorative elements, the Taj Mahal is distinguished as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a blend of Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles. Other attractions include twin mosque buildings (placed symmetrically on either side of the mausoleum), lovely gardens, and a museum. One of the most beautiful structural compositions in the world, the Taj Mahal is also one of the world’s most iconic monuments, visited by millions of tourists each year. The complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

Views: Freerunner Jason Paul Races Across Mumbai

Parkour athlete Jason Paul uses all of his freerunning skills and speed to chase across the busy streets of Mumbai to return a Bollywood actors lunchbox… 🇮🇳

See more incredible freerunning from Jason Paul here: https://www.redbull.com/int-en/shows/…

Reviews: Top New Science Books – June 10, 2022

Control

Adam Rutherford Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2022)

When Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, coined the word eugenics in 1883, he called it the study of the conditions under which “men of a high type are produced”. This gross idea led to the gates of Auschwitz, reminds broadcaster Adam Rutherford (an alumnus of the Galton Laboratory, former name of University College London’s human‑genetics centre). It hasn’t gone away, he explains in his timely salvo on the politics and history of notions that dog genetics, events up to and after the ‘CRISPR twins’ and the resurgence of white supremacy.

Dark and Magical Places

Christopher Kemp Profile/Wellcome Collection (2022)

“I have no sense of direction,” confesses molecular biologist Christopher Kemp — unlike his wife, “an effortless and intuitive navigator”. Once, in a mirror maze, he was transfixed with alarm, and had to be pulled out by his seven-year-old son. Many others experience similar disorientation, sometimes with disastrous results, as when hikers get lost. Their stories vitalize this compelling study of the brain, memory and navigation, in which one psychologist compares our understanding of parts of the brain with knowledge of black holes.

When the World Runs Dry

Nancy F. Castaldo Algonquin (2022)

Globally, millions of people must walk up to 6 kilometres daily to get clean water, says environmental writer Nancy Castaldo. Moreover, each year, more children die as a result of water contamination than from violence, including war, said the United Nations in 2019. Castaldo’s alarming book discusses many examples of shortages and tainting, ranging from drought in Cape Town, South Africa, to lead pollution in Flint, Michigan. She concludes with realistic steps to reduce domestic consumption and contamination.

Making Numbers Count

Chip Heath and Karla Starr Avid Reader (2022)

Business scholar Chip Heath and science journalist Karla Starr are familiar with the need to “translate numbers into instinctive human experience”, informatively and memorably. Unable to find a book on the subject, they decided to write their own. Their diverse guide bubbles with translated statistics. For example, there are about 400 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States — that translates into one for every adult and child, with around 70 million left over.

Genetically Modified Democracy

Aniket Aga Yale Univ. Press (2021)

India’s 1960s Green Revolution began without much deliberation. The government promoted high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, and guaranteed purchase prices. This helped “already well-off, landed farmers”, notes environmentalist Aniket Aga, but led to huge debts for the struggling majority. When genetically modified crops reached India in 2002, they cultivated much more scrutiny, involving scientists, seed companies, farmers, consumers and the state. Aga describes the debate, without claiming to provid

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Opinion: India’s Economy, Workplace Surveillance, Infant Genome Screening

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the forces that stand to transform India’s economy over the next decade (11:06), how surveilling workers could enhance productivity (21:07), and full-genome screening for newborn babies is now on the cards.

Cinematic Travel: Colors And Cultures Of India

Located in South Asia, India sits on a peninsula that extends between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. The country, the birthplace of Hinduism and Buddhism, is the world’s second most-populous nation after China.

For many years of its long history, India faced incursions from the north by Turks, Arabs, Persians and others. By the 19th century, Great Britain became the dominant power on the subcontinent. After years of nonviolent struggle against British rule, India gained its independence in 1947.

Previews: The Economist Magazine – May 14, 2022

The Economist, May 14, 2022 – The Indian economy is being rewired. The opportunity is immense—and so are the stakes.

Morning News: Honda EV Expansion, Apple Phones In India, Russian ‘Brain Drain’

Hundreds of thousands of predominantly young professionals have left Russia since its invasion of Ukraine, an exodus that is denting Russia’s growing tech sector. 

WSJ reporter Georgi Kantchev explains who is leaving, why, and what long-term effects their departure could have on the Russian economy and society. Plus, how is TikTok changing children’s brains? Luke Vargas hosts.

Ecosystems: Plastic Nets On The Ganges River, India

Follow a local fisherman as he navigates his community’s dependency of plastic nets and the effects this has on the river. The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world, funded the Sea to Source: Ganges expedition.

Morning News: Elections In India, Selling Oil & Gas Assets, Democracy Index

The state-legislature poll in Uttar Pradesh is in effect a vote on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s increasingly stringent Hindu-national agenda—and will hint at his party’s chances in 2024. 

Oil majors are getting points for selling off their dirtiest oil-and-gas operations; we ask who is buying them. And which countries are up and which are down in our annual Democracy Index

Megacities: The Growing Conflicts In Mumbai, India

Mumbai is a city of contrasts. Here, the super-rich and slum dwellers live side by side. As more and more luxury skyscrapers go up, slums are forced to make way for them. Conflicts ensue. So what is life like, in a megacity with 20 million inhabitants?

In Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, more than a million people live in extremely crowded conditions. But the neighbourhood is dynamic. We meet Mahesh, 27, who was born in the slum and has never left. Today, he runs a recycling plant that employs about 20 people. Dharavi’s shadow economy is said to bring in 800 million euros a year.

However, the future of the neighbourhood is uncertain, as it sits on valuable property — located right in the city centre. With the support of local authorities, real estate magnate Babulal Varma is tearing down slums to build luxury housing for the upper classes. Will Dharavi survive? Mumbai is already one of the most populous cities in the world.

By 2035, the population is projected to rise drastically — to 30 million. The city’s inevitable expansion affects not only the people who live there, but also the forests that surround it. These include the “Sanjay Gandhi National Park”. Now, the leopards living in the park have started to make regular forays into new housing developments, looking for food. They attack stray dogs, as well as humans. As urbanization continues, the conflict between humans and wild animals is sure to become more dire.