Friday, July 31, 2009

The Garden City of Bangalore

Bangalore is the residence to a large number of superb gardens and parks that simply emphasize the beauty of this city and hence it is called as the “Garden City”. Besides the numerous gardens, Bangalore also has some fine historical sites and other places of interest that are worth watching. If you are on a tour to Bangalore, make certain that you have ample time in hand because there is no end to the things to watch in Bangalore. The tourist attractions abound in this place and thus draw hordes of tourists each year by their enduring charm.

In the middle of the various tourist attractions in Bangalore, The Vidhan Soudha or the State Secretariat, which was built in the year 1954, is the focal attraction of this city. This particular building is simply a modern architectural marvel and is a fine combination of customary Dravidian and modern styles. There are many neo-classical styled government buildings that are located near the Vidhan Soudha in the Cubbon Park which is one more attraction of this town.

One of the most famous and the most significant of the tourist attractions is the The Government Museum of Bangalore that is one of oldest museums in India and also the Visvesvaraya Technological and Industrial Museum which occupy an vital place in the list of attractions of the city. Located in the southern part of the city are the Lal Bagh Botanical grounds that holds a number of flower shows. There is also the 18th-century Tipu Sultan's Fort and Palace that is an important place of tourist interest and is most attractive to the historians.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

World Travel and Tourism Council

World Travel and Tourism Council is the forum for business leaders in the travel and tourism industry. It addresses challenges and opportunities that affect all sectors of the industry globally. It works to raise awareness of travel and tourism as one of the world's largest industries, employing approximately 231 million people and generating over 10.4 per cent of world GDP.

It is firmly committed to realizing Indian tourism industry's potential for growth and ensuring maximum and sustainable benefits for everyone involved. According to the WTTC, tourism accounted for 9.9 per cent of global GDP, 11.0 per cent of the total world exports and 8.4 per cent of global employment in the year 2008.

Thus, Indian travel and tourism industry has been on rise and is gaining popularity amongst travelers all over the world.It is an engine of growth for Indian economy and helps to promote sustained development of infrastructure, such as airports, railways and roads, leading to connectivity of various tourist destinations.

Besides, improvement and expansion of existing and new tourism products such as cultural and heritage tourism, rural tourism, adventure tourism, health and healing tourism, etc; promotion of 'Incredible India' campaigns; as well as active participation of State Governments therein establishes India's competitive advantage in the sector.

This has enhanced the foreign exchange earnings of the country as well as improved its trade relations with other nations. All such measures and incentives, undertaken by public and private sectors, are a source of several investment opportunities in the industry.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kodaikanal Hill Station

Here is a story Lieutenant Ward, an Englishman, who climbed up from the Kunnavan village of Vellagavi to Kodaikanal in 1821 to survey the area on the hilly ranges of Palani. In 1834, the Madurai collector climbed the hill from Devadanapatti and built a small bungalow at the head of Adukkam pass near Shenbaganur.

In 1836, Dr.Wite visited Kodaikanal and recorded his observations, and these were very useful to botanists later. In 1845, American Missionaries built the first two bungalows “Sunnyside” and “Shelton”. Later, six American families came up the hill and stayed for the first time in Kodaikanal. Following this, the British also built houses here. The hill station Kodaikanal was created to serve the needs of the British and Europeans in India.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Southern India (chennai beach)

Chennai, the largest city in southern India situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, developed after 1639 when the British East India Corporation recognized a fort and trading post at the small fishing rural community of Chennai.

Over the past three and a half centuries, the small fishing village has grown into a bustling city which is especially known for its spaciousness which is lacking in other Indian cities, This characteristic is exemplified by the long esplanade called the Marina and which is lined by impressive buildings which remind the casual visitor of the long and inseparable association the city has had with the British.

Even elsewhere in the city, one cannot fail to notice the dominant British influence in the form of old cathedrals, buildings in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, wide tree lined avenues.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Non-native Invasive Freshwater Plants

Big Floating Bladderwort

General Information

Big floating bladderwort (Utricularia inflata) also known as swollen bladderwort is a member of a fascinating group of freely floating, rootless, carnivorous aquatic plants. It is native to the southeastern United States, where some states list it as endangered. The PLANTS database shows that Washington is the only western state where big floating bladderwort has been introduced. Where present, in western Washington lakes, it forms dense beds of floating plants and lake residents consider the plant a nuisance.


The big floating bladderwort infestation in Washington appears to be limited to western Washington. As of 2008, Ecology botanists report big floating bladderwort from 17 western Washington water bodies, mostly in Mason, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties. We do not know who originally introduced this species to Washington, but its interesting spoke-like flowering structure and showy yellow flowers, may have made it attractive as water garden plant or aquarium plant. It is also popular with people who cultivate carnivorous plants. People have observed big floating bladderwort in isolated ponds where it is unlikely that boats visit. This leads us to speculate that species might be spreading by waterfowl.

Growth Habit

Big floating bladderwort is an impressive freely floating plant that obtains its nutrients from the water and from tiny creatures that it captures in its seed-like bladders. These bladders are actually traps that use a vacuum to capture small invertebrates that trigger a trap door. Once inside the bladder, the plant secretes enzymes to digest the prey, providing the plant with nutrients

In Washington, big floating bladderwort flowers from June to July. When in flower, the plant forms a very distinctive wheel-like floating platform that supports a yellow snapdragon-like flower. These flowers extend about six inches above the water surface. Washington's native bladderworts do not have this floating wheel to support their flowers, but when not in flower Washington’s native bladderworts (we have several native species and some rare species) and big floating bladderwort are similar in appearance.

Big floating bladderwort reproduces from small fragments and from seed. A Florida botanist reports that when plants become stranded on mud, they can produce long threadlike branches with each bearing a tiny tuber at its tip. When not in flower, swollen bladderwort floats below the water's surface.


There are no concerted efforts by lake residents to manage big floating bladderwort in Washington. Its dense growth habit apparently doesn’t interfere with recreational use as much as weeds such as Eurasian watermilfoil or Brazilian elodea. A fluridone treatment in Lake Limerick, Mason County, appeared to control this species for about two years and some bladderwort species are susceptible to herbicides. Grass carp will consume big floating bladderwort, although it did not appear to be a preferred species in Silver Lake, Cowliz County, Washington. Lake Limerick residents have their lake manager or sometimes students hand pull bladderworts from the lake.


Washington is also home to several native bladderwort species and people can readily distinguish all bladderwort species from other aquatic plants by the small, round, seed-like structures (bladders) that are interspersed throughout the green foliage. However, when not flowering, identifying native bladderwort plants from big floating bladderwort is very difficult

Look for

  • Lacy underwater foliage with seed like bladders
  • Yellow snapdragon-like flowers
  • A spoke-like structure supporting the flower stalk

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Black-chested Eagle

With a total length of c.25-30 in (about 62-80 cm) and weighing around 70 oz (2 kg), it is a huge eagle-like "buzzard" ("hawk" in American terminology). It is rather long- and broad-winged, with a wingspan of about 70–80 in (175–200 cm), and the slightly tapering tail is short by comparison and colored black, with grey tips in fresh plumage. The adult has a white underside, sometimes with fine blackish stripes; its upperparts are dark grey with a blackish, brownish or bluish hue. The feathers of the neck and the lowest dark feathers of the breast are somewhat elongated. Adults have an ash-grey-and-white zone on the wings, the silvery white seen clearly from afar. The female is distinguished by a reddish-cinnamon hue to the upper- and underwing secondaries and is considerably larger than the male.

The immature plumage is reminiscent of that of the Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga). Its upperparts are deep brown, sometimes almost black, and it has no light wing patch. The underside is white or light buff with heavy dark streaks on the breast and dark bars on the belly and thighs. It does not acquire the full adult plumage until 4–5 years old.

It is not very vocal, calling usually in flight and when close to the nest. Some calls resemble a wild human laugh, others are a curlew-like whistle. Occasionally flying birds give a high-pitched vocalization "kukukukuku".

The Black-chested Eagle-buzzard is readily identified in flight by its short wedge-shaped tail scarcely protruding from its long, broad wings. It is usually easy to make out the generally white underparts with the dark chest-band and tail if the birds are adult. Yet as this bird is usually encountered in the wild when it soars, you are less likely to see its grey upperparts.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Research Measures Movement of Nanomaterials in Simple Model Food Chain

New research shows that while engineered nanomaterials can be transferred up the lowest levels of the food chain from single celled organisms to higher multicelled ones, the amount transferred was relatively low and there was no evidence of the nanomaterials concentrating in the higher level organisms. The preliminary results observed by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) suggest that the particular nanomaterials studied may not accumulate in invertebrate food chains.

Quantum dots are nanoparticles engineered to fluoresce strongly at specific wavelengths. They are being studied for a variety of uses including easily detectable tags for medical diagnostics and therapies. Their fluorescence was used to detect the presence of quantum dots in the two microorganisms.

“Our findings showed that although trophic transfer of quantum dots did take place in this simple food chain, they did not accumulate in the higher of the two organisms,” says lead author David Holbrook. “While this suggests that quantum dots may not pose a significant risk of accumulating in aquatic invertebrate food chains in nature, additional research beyond simple laboratory experiments and a more exact means of quantifying transferred nanoparticles in environmental systems are needed to be certain.”