BigWire http://bigwire.in News that matters Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:49:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 things about presidential candidate Meira Kumar http://bigwire.in/2017/06/23/presidential-polls-congress-picks-meira-kumar/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/23/presidential-polls-congress-picks-meira-kumar/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:32:45 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9677 Reading Time: 3 minutesMeira Kumar was the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha. She was elected unopposed for the term 2009-2014.

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Meira Kumar

Playing the Dalit card like the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday (June 22) announced the name of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as the presidential nominee of opposition parties.

This came a few days after the BJP on Monday (June 19) named Bihar Governor and Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential candidate.

Pertinently, President Pranab Mukherjee’s term will end on July 24.

The Election Commission has announced that the presidential polls will be held on July 17. Counting of votes will be done on July 20.

Here are 10 things you need to know about Congress’ presidential candidate Meira Kumar:

1. Meira Kumar was born on March 31, 1945, at Arrah district in Bihar, Her father was former Deputy Prime Minister and prominent Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram. Her mother Indrani Devi was a freedom fighter.

2. She completed her schooling from Welham Girls’ School in Dehradun and Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ School in Jaipur.

3. After studying for a short time at Banasthali Vidyapith in Rajasthan, Meira Kumar completed her M.A and L.L.B. from Indraprastha College for Women and Miranda House, Delhi University.

4. In 2010, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Banasthali Vidyapith.

5. Meira Kumar can speak Spanish fluently.

6. It was in 1985 that Meira Kumar left IFS to pursue her career in politics. She joined Congress and won the elections from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, defeating heavyweight Dalit leaders like Ram Vilas Paswan (Lok Janshakti Party) and Mayawati (Bahujan Samaj Party).

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7. She is a five-time Member of Parliament. Before being a member of the 15th Lok Sabha, she was elected to the 8th, 11th, 12th and 14th Lok Sabha.

8. Meira Kumar was the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha. She was elected unopposed for the term 2009-2014.

9. She even served as the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet from 2004-2009.

10. She contested the 2014 General Elections from Sasaram constituency in Bihar. But she lost to BJP leader Chhedi Paswan by a margin of 63,327 votes.

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International Yoga Day: 10 basic asanas for beginners http://bigwire.in/2017/06/21/international-yoga-day-10-basic-asanas-beginners/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/21/international-yoga-day-10-basic-asanas-beginners/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:44:40 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9673 Reading Time: 3 minutesTadasana, one of the standing pose asanas, helps you correct your posture, strengthen leg muscles and tone your hips and stomach.

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It’s International Yoga Day or World Yoga Day today.

It was on Dec 11, 2014 that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day or World Yoga Day.

It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is behind the idea of an International Day of Yoga.

In his speech at the UNGA on Sept 27, 2014, Modi said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and

“It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

If you are new to yoga, here are 10 basic asanas for beginners to get you started:

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Most standing pose asanas have their roots in Tadasana. This asana helps you correct your posture, strengthen leg muscles and tone your hips and stomach. Tadasana is also beneficial in increasing agility of the spinal cord.

2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Also known as Padahastasana and Hasta Padasana, Uttanasana improves blood circulation and rejuvenates you instantly. This asana also stimulate liver, kidneys and the digestive system. It is also known to help in curing headaches and insomnia.

3. Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)

This asana works on your upper body as well as strengthens your back and legs. Virabhadrasana is great for those who spend most hours working at their desks. This asana stimulates metabolism, relaxes mind and body, as well as help you concentrate.

4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

This asana is beneficial for elongating the spine and strengthening the legs. It improves blood circulation and energizes you eliminating stress and tension.

5. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Vrikshasana is a balancing asana and is very beneficial for improving neuromuscular coordination, especially sight and hearing abilities. It also strengthens the spine and legs. This asana helps deepen the thorax.

6. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Besides working on your back, Bhujangasana helps you get healthy digestive, reproductive, and urinary systems. It also opens up your chest and throat.

7. Marjariasana (Cat Pose)

Besides completely detoxing the body, this asana makes your spine flexible and improves circulation of blood and spinal fluids. Marjariasana is great for toning abdomen by burning fat.

8. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Balasana is a relaxing asana. Feeling too tired, try this asana and instantly the stress will be gone as Balasana improves blood circulation and massages and flexes internal organs.

9. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

This asana not only straightens and strengthens the back, but also opens up the chest, keeps check on thyroid, strengthens the reproductive system, aids in digestion, keeps blood pressure under control, eliminates anxiety and cures insomnia.
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International Yoga Day: Tips on safe practice of yoga

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10. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)

It is a great asana for women as Baddha Konasana takes care of the reproductive system, reduces symptoms of menopause and menstruation, helps in easy childbirth and opens the hip.

This asana also works on blood circulation, maintains kidney and digestive system heath. Baddha Konasana is very effective to relieve sciatica pain.

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NASA finds 10 “near-Earth” size planets: Highlights http://bigwire.in/2017/06/20/nasa-finds-10-near-earth-size-planets-highlights/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/20/nasa-finds-10-near-earth-size-planets-highlights/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:39:24 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9667 Reading Time: 3 minutesNASA astronomers have discovered 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and habitable ones.

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NASA, near-Earth size
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronomers, using the Kepler space telescope, have discovered 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and habitable ones.

Here are the highlights of the discovery:

1. NASA on Monday (June 19) announced that its Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates, including 219 new planet candidates.

Out of these, 10 are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star’s habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.

2. NASA said this is the most comprehensive and detailed catalog release of candidate exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system, from Kepler’s first four years of data. “It’s also the final catalog from the spacecraft’s view of the patch of sky in the Cygnus constellation,” the agency said.

3. With the release of this catalog, Kepler has now identified a total of 4,034 planet candidates. Out of these, 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets. So far, of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.

4. Results using Kepler data suggest two distinct size groupings of small planets. Both results have significant implications for the search for life.

5. NASA announced: “The final Kepler catalog will serve as the foundation for more study to determine the prevalence and demographics of planets in the galaxy, while the discovery of the two distinct planetary populations shows that about half the planets we know of in the galaxy either have no surface, or lie beneath a deep, crushing atmosphere – an environment unlikely to host life.”

6. The Kepler space telescope hunts for planets by detecting the minuscule drop in a star’s brightness that occurs when a planet crosses in front of it, called a transit.

7. “The Kepler data set is unique, as it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogs – planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth,” said Mario Perez, Kepler program scientist in the Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

“Understanding their frequency in the galaxy will help inform the design of future NASA missions to directly image another Earth.”
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8. It seems that nature commonly makes rocky planets up to about 75% bigger than Earth. For reasons scientists don’t yet understand, about half of those planets take on a small amount of hydrogen and helium that dramatically swells their size, allowing them to “jump the gap” and join the population closer to Neptune’s size.

9. Using the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the group measured the sizes of 1,300 stars in the Kepler field of view to determine the radii of 2,000 Kepler planets with exquisite precision.

“We like to think of this study as classifying planets in the same way that biologists identify new species of animals,” said Benjamin Fulton, doctoral candidate at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and lead author of the second study.

“Finding two distinct groups of exoplanets is like discovering mammals and lizards make up distinct branches of a family tree.”

10. The Kepler spacecraft continues to make observations in new patches of sky in its extended mission, searching for planets and studying a variety of interesting astronomical objects, from distant star clusters to objects such as the TRAPPIST-1 system of seven Earth-size planets, closer to home. 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Meet BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind http://bigwire.in/2017/06/19/meet-bjps-presidential-candidate-ram-nath-kovind/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/19/meet-bjps-presidential-candidate-ram-nath-kovind/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:50:45 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9663 Reading Time: 3 minutesBefore joining the BJP, IN 1977, Ram Nath Kovind was the private secretary of the-then prime minister Morarji Desai.

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Ram Nath Kovind

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday (June 19) named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential candidate.

Pertinently, President Pranab Mukherjee’s term will end on July 24.

The Election Commission has announced that the presidential polls will be held on July 17. Counting of votes will be done on July 20.

Here are 10 things you need to know about BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind:

1. Ram Nath Kovind was born on Oct 1, 1945 in a Dalit, farmer family at Kanpur Dehat district in Uttar Pradesh.

2. Ram Nath Kovind is an advocate by profession and practices in the Supreme Court.

3. He was the president of BJP Dalit Morcha during 1998-2002.

4. The Dalit politician was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh twice – 1994-2000 and 2000-2006.

5. He has also served as the president of All India Koli Samaj, and has also been SC/ST representative at IIM-Calcutta (Indian Institutes of Management-Calcutta).

6. In October 2002, Ram Nath Kovind represented India at the United Nations and addressed the General Assembly in New York.

7. The 71-year-old leader donated his ancestral house as baraatghar or community house of his native village in Kanpur.

8. Ram Nath Kovind failed twice to crack the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) entrance test. Though he succeeded in his third attempt, he did not join duty as he was selected for an allied service. Instead, he continued practicing law.

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9.
Before joining the BJP, IN 1977, Ram Nath Kovind was the private secretary of the-then prime minister Morarji Desai.

10. He was appointed the Governor of Bihar on Aug 8, 2015 by President Pranab Mukherjee.

But the appointment ran into a controversy when state chief minister Nitish Kumar raised a complaint that he was not informed about the development in advance and hence his appointment was against constitutional rules.

 

Pic credit:  Governor’s Secretariat, Bihar

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Everything you want to know about stress and cholesterol http://bigwire.in/2017/06/13/everything-want-know-stress-cholesterol/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/13/everything-want-know-stress-cholesterol/#respond Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:14:00 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9656 Reading Time: 11 minutesYou’ve heard all about how high cholesterol levels are causing ill health. More importantly, you’ve heard about how bad cholesterol is causing ill health. It affects your arteries and blood flow, putting your heart under more pressure to perform properly. Those with high cholesterol levels are more at risk of stroke, heart attacks, and heart […]

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 cholesterol, stress
You’ve heard all about how high cholesterol levels are causing ill health. More importantly, you’ve heard about how bad cholesterol is causing ill health.

It affects your arteries and blood flow, putting your heart under more pressure to perform properly. Those with high cholesterol levels are more at risk of stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease.

Cholesterol has long been linked to the food we eat. There are certain foods that we’re recommended to stay away from and others that we should get more off to promote good cholesterol levels and help protect the arteries.

Did you know that it’s not just food that affects the cholesterol levels? Stress has been linked to high cholesterol. In fact, some studies now show that stress is worse than the food we eat for cholesterol levels and ill health.

The problem is that stress is a silent killer. We don’t realize that our cortisol levels are up and causing these problems until it’s too late in some cases. It’s important to reduce our stress levels to keep our cholesterol levels down.

Here’s a look at just how stress causes high cholesterol and what you can do about it.

What exactly is cholesterol?

Before you start looking at stress and how it affects to high cholesterol levels, you need to know more about it. What exactly is it and what does it do?

There are two types of cholesterol: good and bad. The bad cholesterol is known as LDL cholesterol, and you shouldn’t have any more than 100mg/dL of this type in your body.

Good cholesterol is HDL, and you should have at least 60mg/dL. A good level of total cholesterol, according to physicians, is 200mg/dL and this can be made up of both good and bad.

Considering you shouldn’t have more that 100mg/dL of the bad stuff, you want at least 100mg/dL of the good stuff.

The more good cholesterol you have, the better it is for you. Good cholesterol can keep the bad stuff at bay and under control.

What exactly is cholesterol? It’s a fatty substance that is only found in animal products. It is naturally produced by your body, but can also be added to food. The body will make more cholesterol due to trans and saturated fats being added through food.

Both types of cholesterol will enter the arteries and build up. The good stuff builds up as a lining to the arteries, protecting them from damage. The lining is soft and makes it easier for the blood to flow through the veins.

On the other hand, bad cholesterol blocks the arteries. It creates a friction layer that stops the blood flowing freely.

The heart and brain don’t get the blood that they both need and clogs can appear in the arteries. You’re at a higher risk of suffering various health problems, including stroke and heart disease, because of your high bad cholesterol levels.

There are various types of people more at risk for having high cholesterol levels. There are certainly genetic factors involved, but there are also lifestyle factors. One of those is stress levels, especially in those who are overweight, smoke or have other health problems.

Stress and the unhealthy lifestyle

One of the reasons found for the stress and high cholesterol link is bad lifestyle habits. Those who are stressed are more likely to follow less healthy habits in other areas of their life.

They’re less likely to exercise and more likely to eat bad food. After all, saturated and trans fat foods tend to be the comfort foods – those that people crave to try to boost their endorphin and serotonin levels.

People who are stressed will look for ways to counter their cortisol levels, and that is usually through unhealthy methods.
People are more likely to drink or smoke, which puts other strains on their body. The body isn’t able to produce the good cholesterol and is encouraged to create bad cholesterol.

This reason is highly common in men. It is men who tend to deal with stress the worst, possibly due to misconceptions that relaxation techniques are for women.

They also tend to have higher stressful jobs than women, since many men are in higher positions of power and authority.

Men tend to be in more leadership roles, which means more responsibility and decision making. It may not seem fair, but that’s just a common view.

How the body reacts to stress causes High cholesterol levels

Another study found that people who suffer from high levels of stress have higher bad cholesterol due to the high levels of triglycerides.

The triglycerides are the components that encourage the boost of bad cholesterol levels, causing major health problems. It doesn’t matter what your diet is like, although the unhealthier diet will put you more at risk.

The study researchers considered there reasons for the higher triglycerides. While the exact reason isn’t known, the theory is that it is due to the stress hormone cortisol.

This is common is people who suffer long term stress, and leads to the release of adrenaline in the body.

Adrenaline is the body’s “flight or fight” response and helps to deal with the stress levels. It pushes people into making decisions and keeps them alert and active when they desperately need to be.

Many people in trauma incidents report that they don’t know how they kept going. The adrenaline pushed them forward until they were given a chance to relax. That was when their bodies shut down, and they had the chance to allow the trauma to affect them.

Adrenaline can certainly have benefits, but it causes the increase in triglycerides. This then triggers the high levels of bad cholesterol, which can later affect the body in other ways.

Stress can cause “stickiness” in the arteries

Another study has found that the arteries can be “sticky” due to high-stress levels. This may or may not be linked to high cholesterol levels. It could be a problem on its own that makes it look like someone has high cholesterol levels.

Stress makes the muscles spasm. This affects the arteries, which causes problems with the blood flow. The platelets in people with high-stress levels are commonly “sticky.”

They cling to the artery walls and create bumps and friction for the blood flow. The blood is more likely to clog, and other health problems arise.

The constriction of the arteries certainly doesn’t help things. When the arteries constrict, the area for the blood flow gets smaller, and it causes the blood flow to slow down.

Mixed with the stickiness or high cholesterol problems, the blood gets stuck and clogs. It’s harder for the heart and brain to get the blood that they both need.

Stress causes many other health problems and affects the body in more ways that we currently know or understand. It is possible that stress isn’t just a factor for high cholesterol but makes high cholesterol worse for the health.

Reducing stress to prolong life

Many scientists now recommend not focusing on reducing cholesterol as much as reducing stress. Cholesterol gained a bad rep for a long time, including good cholesterol. It’s taken time for the medical world to realize that not all cholesterol is bad and there are other factors that cause many of the same risks.

One of those is the high-stress levels. It’s important to keep them to a minimum so the whole body can work effectively and we can prolong out lives.

The tricky thing is finding a way to reduce stress levels. Understandably reducing stress isn’t always easy and people can end up even more stressed because they’re trying to reduce it.

Think about how you feel when you’re struggling to sleep because of stress. You get more worked up, which releases more cortisol and more adrenaline into the body. It’s harder to get to sleep, and this cycle continues until you find a way actually to reduce the stress.

Meditation and exercise are often considered the best ways to reduce stress. Yoga is a popular option since it combines the two together in many ways. You get to become one with yourself, focus on your breathing, and tone your body at the same time.

Both meditation and exercise help to release more happy hormones into your body. The right chemicals help to reduce the levels of cortisol in your body. You’ll have less adrenaline keeping you awake and fewer triglycerides causing your bad cholesterol production to increase.

It will be tempting to reach for a glass or two (or even a bottle) of wine to deal with stress. Smoking is tempting, along with binge watching a TV series while you struggle to sleep. You want to look for healthier ways to handle your stress. The negative ways will just cause more problems for your health.

Long term vs. short term stress and cholesterol

If you have the odd day where you feel like you’re at the end of your tether, don’t worry about it too much. It’s not the short-term stress that causes the increase in cholesterol levels.

The studies show that those who suffer long term stress are the ones who are most likely to see all the negative side effects.

Sure, stress isn’t good for you, but it is also a normal part of living. There are times that adrenaline and cortisol are needed. They can keep you going when you run out of energy or when going through trauma.

Those who suffer long term stress will have prolonged cortisol and adrenaline levels. Those hormones will be much higher than they need to be and in the body for much longer.

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They cause a range of health problems when around for long periods of time, including high blood pressure, insomnia, and even Type II diabetes. It shouldn’t be surprising that high cholesterol levels are also a problem.

Healthy eating is an important lifestyle choice. Not only will it help to reduce the foods that cause cholesterol production but it can also reduce the cortisol release.

Healthy foods protect the body, supply energy, and help to boost the production of happy hormones, which help to reduce the stress hormones.

When you suffer from long term stress, you will want to look for ways to eliminate the reason for stress as much as possible. I know this isn’t always going to be easy.

You may enjoy your career, but there will be times that you struggle to cope with all the demand your job throws at you. It’s not like you can just pick and choose.

However, if there is a way that you can reduce the stuff you do that causes stress, such as delegation, then you want to do it where you can.

Long term high-stress levels may not cause immediate problems. There are links to issues years down the line because of the stress levels that you have felt at some point in your life. This issue is linked more with long term stress, but some bouts of short-term stress can also be a problem.

Stress isn’t the only culprit

It is important to note that stress isn’t the only reason we suffer from high cholesterol levels. While it’s a silent killer and common, there are many other reasons your cholesterol levels could be high.

Diet is certainly a factor, but so are genetics and other lifestyle choices that you make. The place you work or the chemicals that you inhale from where you live can also cause cholesterol levels to increase.

This is something that scientists are still trying to understand. We have come a long way since believing that all cholesterol was bad. Now we know that some cholesterol is good, and we want it to our bodies, but we need to make sure that it is good.

While stress isn’t the only culprit, it is one of the main reasons for high cholesterol levels and other health problems. It’s best to keep the stress levels at bay as much as possible.

This article appeared first on  Positive Healthwellness

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Everything you need to know about GSLV Mk III http://bigwire.in/2017/06/08/everything-need-know-isro/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/08/everything-need-know-isro/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 04:37:41 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9651 Reading Time: 3 minutesThe upper stage of GSLV MkIII vehicle is a new cryogenic stage (C25) indigenously configured, designed and realised by ISRO.

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 Indian Space Research Organisation, GSLV Mk III, ISRO

Pic credit: ISRO website

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on June 5 launched India’s heaviest rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) from Sriharikota.

“The first developmental flight (GSLV MkIII-D1) of India’s heavy lift launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted today (June 05, 2017) evening from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota with the launch of GSAT-19 satellite,” said ISRO in its press statement after the launch.

Here is everything you need to know about ISRO and India’s new achievement:

1. The height of GSLV Mark III is 43.43 metres. It weighs 640 tons.

2. This was the first orbital mission of GSLV MkIII which was mainly intended to evaluate the vehicle performance including that of its fully indigenous cryogenic upper stage during the flight, said ISRO.

3. GSAT-19 is billed as the heaviest satellite launched from the Indian soil. It weighed 3136 kg at lift-off.

4. After a twenty-five-and-a-half hour smooth countdown, the mission began with the launch of GSLV Mk-III at 5:28 pm IST from the Second Launch Pad as scheduled with the ignition of its two S200 solid strap-on boosters.

5. Then the major phases of the flight occurred as scheduled.

6. The upper stage of GSLV MkIII vehicle is a new cryogenic stage (C25) indigenously configured, designed and realised by ISRO, said the organization.

7. The cryogenic stage used liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen as propellants with a total loading of 28 tons.

8. The stage is powered by a 20 ton thrust cryogenic engine (CE20) operating on ‘gas generator cycle’.

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9. The ISRO confirmed that the performance of the engine and stage during the mission was as predicted.

10. About 16 minutes after lift-off, GSAT-19 satellite was successfully placed in orbit.

11. Soon after its separation from GSLV, the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took control of the satellite. GSAT-19 is a high throughput communication satellite.

12. The ISRO said that in the coming days, GSAT-19 orbit will be raised from its present Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) to the final circular Geostationary Orbit (GSO) by firing the satellite’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) in stages.

13. During the final phase of this operation, the solar panels and antenna reflectors of the satellite will be deployed.

14. The satellite will be commissioned into service after its positioning in the designated slot in the GSO following in-orbit testing of its payloads.

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Grow these plants to clean indoor air http://bigwire.in/2017/06/06/grow-plants-clean-indoor-air/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/06/grow-plants-clean-indoor-air/#respond Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:29:01 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9645 Reading Time: 3 minutesIndoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental risks to public health.Growing some plants can help you clean indoor airs.

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indoor air, plants, polluted
Did you know most half of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India?

According to a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO), Delhi is the 9th most polluted cities of the world, while the list also includes Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and Raipur.

Studies have found that indoor air pollution is one of the Top 5 environmental risks to public health. We do have an option to get an air purifier, but nothing beats going nature’s way, especially if you have “green fingers”.

Here are 10 houseplants that have been proven to reduce toxins and clean indoor air:

1. Garden Mum

A research by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has found that Garden Mum is an expert at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from indoor air.

This popular plant is quite inexpensive and can even be grown outdoors.

2. Spider Plant

One of the easiest houseplants to grow, Spider plants are great for beginners as they need minimal care. They can be grown in indirect sunlight and soon send out shoots with flowers that grow into new Spider plants. This plant removes formaldehyde and xylene from the air.

3. Dracaena

Available in almost 40 varieties, Dracaena plants cleans benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from indoor air. However, this plant is toxic to dogs and cats. So, pet-owners, beware!

4. Weeping Fig

Weeping Fig or Ficus is a hardy tree that can be grown indoors. It grows between two to 10 feet. Weeping Fig is low-maintenance and grows well in indirect light. It is known to remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from air.

5. Peace Lily

Easy to grow, Peace Lily is into serious air-cleaning. They prefer to grow and bloom in shade and moist soil. This plant cleans ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from indoor air.

6. Boston Fern

Boston Fern grows well in a cool place, high humidity and indirect light. Relatively easy to grow, this plant cleans formaldehyde and xylene from the air.

7. Snake Plant

Snake Plant is one of the hardiest houseplants. It needs water occasionally. It is an expert at cleaning benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene pollutants.

8. Bamboo Palm

The stylish Bamboo Palm is a favourite among interior designers. Best known for filtering formaldehyde, this plant needs full sun or bright light. Bamboo Palms grow as tall as four to 12 feet are and pet-friendly as well. They remove benzene and trichloroethylene as well.

9. Aloe Vera

Extremely easy to care, Aloe Vera not only removes formaldehyde from indoor air, but its leaves contain a clear liquid that are rich in vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds with wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe Vera is known to heal skin diseases like psoriasis.
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10. Lavender

Lavender plant is known for its air purification properties. The plant needs direct sunlight, sandy soil and good drainage to grow.

Lavender plant not only lowers carbon dioxide and removes indoor contaminants like formaldehyde and ammonia, but also works as an excellent insect repellent. Besides, the aroma of lavender flowers soothes your anxiety and help you get better sleep.

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10 health benefits of mangoes http://bigwire.in/2017/06/02/10-health-benefits-mangoes/ http://bigwire.in/2017/06/02/10-health-benefits-mangoes/#respond Fri, 02 Jun 2017 12:22:12 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9641 Reading Time: 3 minutesThanks to its relatively low glycemic index (41-60), mangoes don't trigger blood sugar levels if you have it in moderate quantity.

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mangoesIt’s the season of “King of Fruits” – mangoes. There is hardly anyone who does not like the juicy fruit that comes as a refreshing boon during hot and humid summer days.

Here are 10 health benefits of mangoes that will give you more reasons to relish the yellow pulp:

1. Prevents cancer

Mango has antioxidant compounds like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, along with abundant enzymes, that may help prevent colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

2. Controls cholesterol

Mango is rich in fiber, pectin and vitamin C that help lower the “bad cholesterol” – Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL).

3. Takes care of skin

Mango is useful in protecting the skin from clogged pores and pimples. Put thin slices a mango on your face for about 15 minutes and then wash your face to get a healthier skin.

4. Alkalizes the body

Mango contains tartaric acid, malic acid and traces of citric acid that naturally alkalizes the body.

5. Good for the eyes

One cup of mango provides 25% of the total daily dose of vitamin A needed by the body for maintaining eye health.

6. Helps in weight gain

If you are too skinny and want to put on weight in a healthy way, go for mangoes. It has been found that 150 gm of mango contains around 86 calories. These calories can be easily absorbed by the body. Mangoes also contain starch that are converted to sugar post consumption.

7. Immunity booster

Mangoes are abundant in vitamins A and C. Besides, they contain as many as 25 different carotenoids. In short, have mangoes ever day to have a strong and healthy immunity system.

8. Helps in digestion

The high enzyme content in mangoes helps breaking down of protein, while the rich fiber not only aids in digestion but also helps in elimination.

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9. For diabetes patients too

Thanks to its relatively low glycemic index (41-60), mangoes don’t trigger blood sugar levels if you have it in moderate quantity.

10. Regulates sex hormones

Mangoes are rich in vitamin E that regulates sex hormones as well as increases sex drive.

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World No Tobacco Day: 10 ways to quit smoking http://bigwire.in/2017/05/31/world-no-tobacco-day-10-ways-to-quit-smoking/ http://bigwire.in/2017/05/31/world-no-tobacco-day-10-ways-to-quit-smoking/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 06:15:43 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9637 Reading Time: 4 minutesIt’s World No Tobacco Day today (May 31). Created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987, World No Tobacco Day aims at a 24-hour abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the world. Global Adult Tobacco Survey – India 2010 report acknowledges that tobacco use is a biggest preventable cause of premature death […]

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No Tobacco Day, Tobacco, smoking
It’s World No Tobacco Day today (May 31).

Created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987, World No Tobacco Day aims at a 24-hour abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the world.

Global Adult Tobacco Survey – India 2010 report acknowledges that tobacco use is a biggest preventable cause of premature death and disease. Globally, 1 in each 10 adult deaths is caused by tobacco consumption.

Also, globally, 55 lakh people die each year due to tobacco consumption. And approximately, one fifth of these deaths occur in India. According to WHO till the 2050 estimated tobacco consumer will be 2.2 billion.

Here are 10 ways to quit smoking:

1. Go for nicotine replacement therapy

Consult your doctor and try nicotine replacement therapy. Go for the option you are most comfortable with – nicotine nasal spray, inhaler, gum or lozenges. They will help you control tobacco smoking cravings.

2. Find ways to avoid triggers

Identify the situations in which you usually feel the urge to smoke. And try avoiding them. For example, suppose you always smoke when you talk on phone.

Keep a pen and paper handy when you speak on phone next and engage yourself in scribbling, while resisting your urge for a cigarette.

3. Delay your craving

You feel like having a cigarette right now. Delay the act by, say, 10 minutes and rather distract yourself. After the 10-minute period is over, buy another excuse for another 10 minutes. This simple exercise, done regularly, will derail your craving to smoke.

4. Get something to chew on

An effective way to fight tobacco craving is to always keep in mouth something to chew on. Feeling the urge to smoke? Pop in a hard candy or sugarless gum and keep chewing on.

5. Don’t believe in “just one”

“Just one” is never just one. You might feel tempted to have that “just one” cigarette and convince yourself that you are smoking that one stick instead of dozens a day. But it has been found mostly that “just one” leads to another and then another. Either your quit completely or don’t.

6. Move your butt

Whenever you feel like smoking, get physically active – go out for a walk, or jog for a while; if nothing else, climb up and down the stairs a couple of times. The distraction and adrenaline rush will help you deal with your craving.

7. Learn to relax

It has been found most people smoke when in stress. So in order to deal with smoking, try to de-stress yourself naturally. Take time out of your busy day to “practice” relaxation. You might try yoga, get a massage, or even listen to soothing music.

8. Count the benefits

Whenever the addiction triggers, make yourself remember the benefits of “no smoking”. Also, as you know by now, passive smokers are equally affected if not more. So quit smoking for your loved ones. And yes, besides a healthier life, you can also save a lot of money by stopping to buy cigarettes.

9. Get online support

You may join an online program on stop smoking or join a WhatsApp group of smokers who are trying to quit cigarettes. Read up blogs by quitters or tips on how to deal with the addiction.

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10. Get virtual help

There are several Apps available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone that help you stop smoking, like, Livestrong MyQuit Coach – Dare to Quit Smoking, Stop Smoking – Mindfulness Meditation App to Cessation Smoking, Quit Smoking, Quit Now!, and KickSmoking.

These applications help you with personalized quit plans, motivational stats, guided meditation sessions, track your daily cigarette consumption and manage your urges.

Big Wire

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Meet CBSE topper Raksha Gopal http://bigwire.in/2017/05/30/meet-cbse-topper-raksha-gopal/ http://bigwire.in/2017/05/30/meet-cbse-topper-raksha-gopal/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 11:54:40 +0000 http://bigwire.in/?p=9634 Reading Time: 3 minutesRaksha Gopal is learning French and recently completed a course from Alliance Française de Delhi. She wishes to learn Spanish as well.

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CBSE, topper, Raksha Gopal, Class XII

CBSE topper Raksha Gopal Pic credit@Facebook

Noida girl Raksha Gopal has topped the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class XII examination scoring 99.6% marks.

To her surprise, Raksha Gopal, who was expecting around 95%, learnt about her feat not via television or Internet, but it was Human Resource Development Minister Prakasha Javadekar, who called her over phone to give the good news.

“I freaked out. The minister was very proud that someone from the humanities stream had left the others behind. When I told him I want to get a degree in political science, he welcomed me to the subject,” Raksha Gopal was quoted as saying by TOI.

Here are 10 things you should know about Raksha Gopal:

1. Raksha Gopal, 17, is a student of humanities at Amity International School, Noida.

2. Her subjects were English, History, Political Science, Economics and Psychology. She scored 100, 99, 100,100 and 99 in the subjects respectively in the CBSE examination.

3. Raksha Gopal wants to pursue Political Science (Honours). Her choice of colleges are Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Miranda House, and, Jesus & Mary College.

4. She loves playing the piano and is a Grade V certificate holder from Trinity College of Music, London.

5. Gopal is an avid reader. Her favourite authors are John Grisham, Anthony Doerr and Susan Colleen.

6. Gopal is learning French and recently completed a course from Alliance Française de Delhi. She wishes to learn Spanish as well.

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7. She also enjoys travelling, especially to places with historical significance.

8. It’s a family of four – Raksha Gopal, her father Gopal Pallipuram Srinivasan, who is a Chief Finance Officer of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, her mother Ranjani Gopal and her elder sister Prerna.

9.  Gopal is a blogger as well.

10. Gopal says she did not take any private tuition while preparing for the CBSE examination.

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