Can Biomimetics Shed Light on Evolution?

first_imgBiomimetics is part science and part engineering. The scientific part is to observe and understand the structure and function of a living thing. The engineering part is to apply that science into useful products. Science news articles today are claiming that a biomimetic flying machine modeled on insects is shedding light on evolution. Other articles claim the reverse, that evolution can shed light on modern politics. Such claims deserve some scrutiny. Clever engineers at UC Berkeley surely deserve some credit for designing miniature flying machines modeled after insects (see photo on PhysOrg, where you can also watch a 2-minute video of stages in their design process). But what light can intelligent design shed on a blind, unguided process of evolution? After all, the headline reads, “Robotic bug gets wings, sheds light on evolution of flight.” Science Daily offered two possibilities: “although flapping wings significantly increased the speed of running robots, the origin of wings may lie in animals that dwelled in trees rather than on the ground.” It’s not clear this indicates scientific progress. Did running insects learn to fly from the ground up, or did climbing bugs take off from the trees? (This “cursorial vs arboreal” debate exists for the origin of flight in birds, another evolutionary conundrum). But what’s evolution got to do with this at all? The only conclusion that can be drawn is that flying animals and flying robots face similar physical challenges, and display similar adaptations. In the latter case, intelligence was clearly the cause. Why, then, does it mean that blind, purposeless causes can take the credit in the animal case? The only way is through the power of suggestion: Science Daily said that the experiment “could provide an insight into how they evolved in early birds.” Suggestion can lead to belief: “We believe that this result lends indirect support to the theory that avian flight evolved from tree-dwelling animals, and not from land animals that required ground-based running take offs,” said Kevin Peterson, lead author of the paper published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. There’s another problem for the evolutionary explanation. According to the PhysOrg report, a fossil record for the evolution of flight is just not there. One author “noted that the most dominant theories on flight evolution have been primarily derived from scant fossil records and theoretical modeling.” So if engineers discover that adding wings on a running robot helps it run a little faster, the only way such a design can “shed light on evolution” is to believe in evolution already. Believers in evolution made another inference this week. PhysOrg announced, “Caveman instincts still play role in choosing political leaders.” According to Gregg Murray, an evolutionary psychologist at Texas Tech, “Some traits and instincts that may have been acquired through evolution continue to manifest themselves in modern life, seemingly irrationally” – such as, they suggested, choosing political leaders based on fitness and stature. How Napoleon came to power was not explained, nor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Murray and his grad student Schmitz, who “focuses on evolutionary psychology” (and apparently not much else in this case), seemed unaware that many evolutionists deny that our alleged caveman genes have any carryover into the modern world. Evolutionists are not the only ones who believe in cavemen, either; there are fully modern cavemen in Cappadocia and others who have taken up that lifestyle throughout history. Finally, Murray and Schmitz appear to have exempted their own evolutionary beliefs from “traits and instincts that may have been acquired through evolution [that] continue to manifest themselves in modern life, seemingly irrationally.” It is not clear, though, on what basis. We really do try to be charitable to the Darwin Party by not snickering or laughing out loud. Sometimes, though, it’s really hard. What is baffling is how the science media can barf out these comical headlines and tall tales in all seriousness.(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How NEC brings cutting edge security to smart cities and public spaces

first_imgOne of the most interesting things about emerging technology is seeing traditional companies bring their years of experience to solve social problems for the greater good. An example is the work of Japanese company NEC who contribute to the development of smart cities and public safety with the use of cutting-edge technologies. I visited them at Mobile World Congress this year in Barcelona to learn more.Smart cities and public safetyNEC’s booth exhibited Cloud City Operation Centre (CCOC), an IoT platform that provides support for urban management. CCOC is operating in a number of locations including Santander, Spain and Wellington, New Zealand to simulate efficient and optimal management of urban resources by introducing visibility into data that is collected from the city.“NEC’s Cloud City Operation Center combines information from a multitude of sensors and data sources, geotags that data and then further enriches it with metadata and analytics for use by many different vertical applications,” explains Tim Packer, Head of Smart City Solutions at NEC New Zealand. “NEC is also partnering Wellington in its Living Lab project, through which the city seeks to explore how smart city technology can improve community wellbeing and the safety of its citizens.“In this project, existing data sources and assets, coupled with new sensory and analytical methods and technologies, offer insights into day-to-day street level trends, patterns and hotspots. This provides the agencies and city partners with the real-time information they need to alert and respond to issues as they arise and to assist informed decision making around social initiatives and policy to keep Wellington safe and vibrant.” NeoFace WatchNEC also demonstrated their premier face recognition technology and crowd density quantification solution. The real-time face recognition solution, NeoFace Watch, allows the detection of pre-registered Persons of Interest using CCTV camera footage. The system can also alert security guards in the field of the detection to expedite quick actions against potential threats. The behavior analysis and crowd detection technology enable the early detection of unusual or suspicious behaviors.The NeoFace Watch is specifically designed to integrate with existing surveillance systems by extracting faces in real time from existing video surveillance systems and matching against a watch list of individuals. When the system identifies an individual of interest from the watch list, it raises an alert, so appropriate actions can be taken rapidly to reduce the risk of public safety threats.Crowd behavior monitoringUsing the advanced techniques of the company’s unique machine learning video analytics technologies, NEC can trigger alerts when crowd behavior video surveillance indicates potentially illegal, undesirable or anti-social activity.The benefits include the ability to tacitly maintain and appropriate the level of surveillance that optimizes operations staff attention to the most important or critical situations. NEC’s video surveillance solution to detect and analyze crowd behavior in real time has been introduced at Tigre in Argentina.It can also spot dangerous drivers and suspicious vehicles, the detection of double-riding on a motorcycle, a common form of purse snatching, and license plate recognition to quickly identify stolen cars. Many people visit Tigre from both inside and outside the country, and on weekends the population of the city almost triples compared with weekdays. Because of this, improving the fundamental infrastructure of the city to solve problems related to the high volume of traffic and the high crime rate was an issue that needed to be addressed urgently so that both citizens and tourists could feel safe and secure.It was also vital to construct a management system that would allow the efficient integration of information to reduce incidents and accidents and improve public order, and also allow quick coordination between public organizations, including the police. This solution has successfully reduced vehicle theft by 80% from 2008 to 2013.NEC has installed over 500 safety and security related systems in 40 countries around the world and will continue to provide unique local solutions to local problems. Harbor monitoring network systemAnother interesting piece of infrastructure by NEC is the Harbor monitoring system, a threat detention service. It uses various types of sensors installed both on land and underwater to detect, track, and monitor small suspicious ships and divers — including those with underwater scooters — who trespass upon important facilities along the coastline.The ITV, hypersensitive camera, and infrared camera automatically search the target area in response to information about suspicious objects detected by radar. The system also uses multiple sensors installed on the ocean floor to detect and track divers invading underwater and small suspicious submersibles that cannot be detected by radar. Like the radar information, information about suspicious objects is sent to the ITV, hypersensitive camera, and infrared camera, which automatically search the target area to capture images of divers or submersibles when they surface.Information obtained by this system can be sent to related organizations, surveillance ships defending the periphery, other surveillance vehicles, and defense personnel via various types of networks such as wireless LANs. It can also be used as an environment monitoring system to detect potential disasters such as radiation and tsunamis.It is inevitable that as the development of smart city applications grows, the opportunity for utilizing technology for crime deterrence, prevention, detection and ultimately prosecution will grow. Such efforts are not new or unique, but are simply being made more successful through technological advancements.Understandably, few citizens like the ideas of being easily surveilled in public spaces. But citizens also like the idea of crime prevention and detection. The challenge is how the nexus between these two competing ideas can be successfully navigated. If the work of NEC is anything to go, future life in the cities will get even more interesting. Cate Lawrence How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…center_img Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Tags:#Cloud City Operation Center#Facial Recognition#featured#harbour monitoring#MWC#MWC2017#NEC#New Zealand#Smart Cities#smart city#surveillance#top#Wellington last_img read more

TESS performs in New York City for Tempos 10th Birthday

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppOn the international stage… the TCI is doing it again. Songstress Chrystal “TESS” Charles was among the artists at the Caribbean Rock NYC concert organized by Tempo. Among the sponsors of Caribbean Rocks NYC – TEMPO Turns 10 Anniversary Celebration are The Turks and Caicos Islands, The Islands of The Bahamas, Barbados, BTC, Caribbean Airlines and St. Kitts. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TESS held a promotional party before heading off to perform in NY. The dynamic artist, who always wows the local crowd is featured on original reggae track “FOR YOU” Written by Carl “CHOICE” Lewis and released her Soca/Rip Saw track “Daa’n My Business”, which she wrote. Related Items:last_img

His Excellency John Freeman sworn in as 14th Governor

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, October 18, 2016 – The fourteenth governor since 1973 was sworn in Monday in Grand Turk and his welcome was both cordial and cautioning… both major party leaders assured the new His Excellency that the people of these islands are ready to support a mutually beneficial relationship, and both informed the Governor that there are some areas ripe for change.From the Opposition Leader, Hon Sharlene Robinson who spoke first and more extensively, there was talk about the now gone governor, being too soft on the current PNP Administration; she reminded the new Governor that his salary comes from the public purse. Hon Robinson addressed constitutional reform, calling for the Chief Financial Officer to be removed, for the Governor’s House of Assembly appointments to be reduced from two and said that crime is the top concern and the response has not been vigorous enough by the British who head the country’s National Security.The Premier, Hon Dr Rufus Ewing similarly wants the CFO gone, said the UK needs to prove itself honorable and support a bill to make that happen, that there should also be a bill to return the powers of land distribution to elected leaders and a crime strategy and lead appointments should also be managed by those elected to serve.The new Governor is Dr John Freeman and he was complimentary to the islands, adding that he is here as a guardian of our way of life. His wife, Corinna was presented a special bouquet by 7-year-old Maliha Lightbourne of Susanna Wesley Methodist School, from the A company of the Brownies & Girl Guides. HE Dr. John Freeman was sworn in by Chief Justice, Margaret Ramsey-Hale at the now refurbished House of Assembly, NJS Francis Building in the Capital. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Prime Minister Minnis Addressed Bahamians and Friends of The Bahamas at Reception

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#UnitedStates, December 20, 2017 – Washington, DC – Bahamas Ambassador to Washington, D.C., His Excellency Sidney Collie and Consul General Theo Neilly hosted an Official Reception attended by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis and Mrs. Patricia Minnis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield and Mrs. Deidre Henfield, and Bahamians and Friends of The Bahamas residing in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland in the George Washington Room of the St. Regis, Washington D.C. on Saturday, December 16, 2017. On his first visit to the US capital since becoming Prime Minister, Dr. Minnis told the gathering his administration’s programme of reform and transformation includes innovative thinking about the role of government, “as we create new and innovative partnerships for national development. We are stabilizing public finances and reforming government. We are ensuring the greater ease of doing business for Bahamians and foreign investors. The Bahamas has a highly favourable investment regime. We are cutting the Red Tape and too-often-long, waiting times for international investment projects to be vetted and approved.”Photos show the Prime Minister in the mix and mingle with guests. In the group photo are: Prime Minister Minnis and Mrs. Patricia Minnis, fifth and sixth left; Minister Henfield and Mrs. Deidre Henfield, third and fourth left; Ambassador Sidney Collie and Mrs. Mavis Collie, first and second left; and Consul General Neilly, at right.(Photos/Yontalay Bowe, OPM Media Services)Release: BIS Related Items:center_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Martin Luther King Community Choir celebrates 20 years with Pastor Ken Anderson

first_img March 21, 2018 Dave Scott Martin Luther King Community Choir celebrates 20 years with Pastor Ken Anderson Dave Scott, Updated: 5:58 PMcenter_img Posted: March 21, 2018 For more than two decades, the Martin Luther King Community Choir of San Diego has been thrilling audiences across the county with their powerful voices.The award-winning gospel choir has performed around the world and will soon focus its talent in San Diego on a series of special concerts.On April 7th, the Choir will perform at the KROC Center in Rolando. The show celebrates the Choir’s 20th anniversary and is under the direction of Pastor Ken Anderson.We will also be featuring a lady named Arnessa Jones. Arnessa is also producing a show called “All About the Blues.” This show is on May 19th and features the Choir of which Arnessa is a member. But she is also a talented playwright.KUSI’s Dave Scott was in Rolando this evening where the choir is rehearsing for their big shows. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Netflix to debut Dave Chappelles next comedy special this month

first_img An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Share your voice $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express 7 Dave Chappelle. August 26th. We’ll let Morgan Freeman tell you the rest. pic.twitter.com/PDyh7YBHhT— Netflix Is A Joke (@NetflixIsAJoke) August 15, 2019 Read the AirPods review 0 Netflix,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. See at Turo Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) $999 $155 at Google Express Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Read Google Home Hub review Tags Chris Monroe/CNET Apple iPhone XS Comments $999 See It Sarah Tew/CNET Best Buy $520 at HP Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. The Cheapskate $999 Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Angela Lang/CNET Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Turo Read the Rylo camera preview “If you say anything, you risk everything,” Freeman says in the clip. “But if that’s the way it’s gotta be, OK, fine. Fuck it. He’s back, folks.”Sticks and Stones is Chappelle’s fifth Netflix comedy special. In 2016, the comedian signed a deal with the streaming service to release three stand-up specials, but he put out four. $299 at Amazon $60 at Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Turo: Save $30 on any car rentalcenter_img Share your voice JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Sarah Tew/CNET HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Post a comment Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. TV and Movies Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $999 See It Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Boost Mobile Read Lenovo Smart Clock review $59 at eBay Read DJI Osmo Action preview I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. $6 at Tidal What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Comedian Dave Chappelle’s fifth comedy special is coming to Netflix later this month. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Dave Chappelle’s next Netflix comedy special, Sticks and Stones, is slated for an Aug. 26 release, the streaming service said in a tweet Thursday. Netflix shared a Morgan Freeman-narrated teaser promoting the special.”Dave Chappelle. August 26th. We’ll let Morgan Freeman tell you the rest,” the tweet reads. See It Sprint See it The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Rylo $210 at Best Buy Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Tags See at Amazon Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Sarah Tew/CNET Amazonlast_img read more

Pollution of a sacred river becomes a symbol for Indias environmental challenge

first_img News • Photos of the Week By: Priyadarshini Sen Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! A United Methodist group proposes a denominational breakup Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,BANGALORE, India (RNS) — In the pre-dawn light, Srikara Sudarshana circumambulates the Gali Anjaneya Swami Temple at a busy intersection in this city in southern India, known as the country’s tech capital.The 20-year-old priest chants Sanskrit mantras in front of a 700-year-old saffron-colored idol of the god Hanuman. According to ancient tradition the priest then bathes the deity, but instead of using water from the nearby Vrishabhavathi River, Sudarshana cleanses the idol with 30 liters of filtered water from the temple’s kitchen.The temple, one of Bangalore’s historic treasures depicting scenes from the Indian epic Ramayana, is flanked by factories producing lead acid batteries and textiles. The Vrishabhavathi, choked with industrial waste, gives off a noxious odor.“It’s no longer a river but a frothing mass of sewage discharged from industrial, agricultural and residential areas of the catchment,” said Sudarshana.It wasn’t so long ago when the Vrishabhavathi’s waters were potable. According to local myth, the river originated from the hoof of a sacred bull at a hillock nearby. A tributary of one of the most important rivers in India, the Kaveri, it was a key artery and source of livelihood for Bangalore’s residents and farmers.Priest Srikara Sudarshana feeds filtered water to an idol of Hanuman god at Gali Anjaneya Swami Temple in Bangalore, India. RNS photo by Priyadarshini Sen“The bull is believed to be the vehicle of Lord Shiva, the source of creation and destruction of the universe,” said Tulasi Srinivas, a professor of anthropology at Emerson College in Boston, who has been studying water scarcity in Bangalore over the past decade. “It is incumbent that out of this destruction we must find new ways of re-creating our ecology.”When the Vrishabhavathi flowed past the Hanuman temple as a pristine river, devotees bathed before entering the temple complex holding pitchers of holy water.“The water was so pure our forefathers could even drink it,” said Srinivasa Ramanuja, a senior priest wearing a single piece of unstitched cloth and girdle around his waist. “During the rains, it would enter the temple and caress the feet of lord Hanuman.”But with the tech boom in Bangalore in the early 1990s, the city’s growth, fueled by successive governments’ ambitious agendas, outstripped its waste management plans.Trees around catchment areas of lakes were cut down and aquifers were tapped to build out suburbs. As a result, the lakes dried up and the city government gave permits to private institutions to build on the lake bed.In 2017, the World Economic Forum named Bangalore the world’s most dynamic city for its entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and technology, as well as its salubrious climate. But while paper mills, chemical and electroplating plants, textiles, distilleries, tanneries and rubber factories sprung up everywhere, attracting skilled workforces from around the world, they also discharged their effluents into the river.Trash floats in the Vrishabhavathi River near the Gali Anjaneya Swami Temple in Bangalore, India. RNS photo by Priyadarshini SenEven the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, overburdened by the city’s waste, connected the sewer lines to the river. It permitted the effluents to pollute the river to such an extent that marine life was killed off.Besides its effect on ritual observances, the frothing mass of water that flows past the temple today is a potential health risk. Villagers downstream complain of diseases such as gastroenteritis, cancer and abdominal, heart, skin and kidney ailments.“The pollution control board has connived with industries to violate environmental norms. Law enforcement agencies should be held accountable,” said Yellappa Reddy, the chairman of Bangalore Environment Trust, an nongovernmental organization of scientists in the city.Enraged by the negligence of government agencies and politicians, Reddy plans to file a petition at the Karnataka high court this month.Politicians and Hindu nationalists, many of whom are frequent visitors to the temple, are accused of turning a blind eye to the toxicity of the river despite the protests.“Priests are ready to take action if leaders support the resuscitation of our river,” said 55-year-old Ramachandra Bhattacharya, who pours libations on the deity every day. “Even though the public works department has been told to step up their work, the government officers are simply dragging their feet,” he said.UB City, a luxury mall, dominates the skyline of Bangalore, India. The city has seen a major tech boom since the 1990s. Photo by Prateek Karandikar/Creative CommonsIn 2014, the Bangalore Municipal Corp. installed flood control gates around the temple to prevent the river water from entering the inner sanctum during heavy rains.Even then, the priests complained that the development of the temple was not enough if the environment around their place of worship was not sanitized.“Now, garbage trucks haul the river’s waste once in six months or so,” said Manoj Bhattacharya, an assistant priest. “Some effluents are pushed to the banks instead of being transported to a landfill or waste treatment facility.”Though heavy metals, electroplates, dyes and electronic waste have been found in the river through studies by scientists and environmental watchdogs, industries have washed their hands of the problem.“We don’t dispose industrial waste and have our own sewage treatment plant,” said Sankarapandian Sankaravelayutham, a senior deputy general manager at Amco Batteries Ltd., one of the oldest factories in the region.“The government should encourage rainwater harvesting and not give approval to builders who fail to come up with sewage treatment plans for their constructions.”The deputy general manager of Karnataka Vidyuth Karkhane Ltd., a manufacturer of electrical transformers, pins the blame on chemical, plastic and textile industries.“We outsource our waste to a scrap transport corporation, so we have nothing to do with the river’s pollution,” said MV Srinivasaiah. “The effluents may be from chemical and textile industries.”Government agencies have also been shortsighted about their sewage treatment plans since they haven’t kept up with the city’s growth and population.Tushar Giri Nath, the chairman of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, said the development of the city has shrunk the watershed area, so every section of the society needs to be held accountable.“We are setting up nine new plants to treat sewage, but the industries must have their own effluent treatment plants,” said Nath. “The pollution control board should monitor the quality of water and residents must be more conscious.”A servitor prepares to use a newly installed water purification machine at Gali Anjaneya Swami Temple in Bangalore, India. RNS photo by Priyadarshini SenThree years ago, the priests took matters in their hands, installing the purifier that now filters water from a well dredged within the temple’s precincts. Last month, they replaced it with a high-end machine that distills up to 1,000 liters a day.“This came as a psychological balm for us,” said Manjunatha, an official at a health insurance company in Bangalore. “More devotees will flock to the temple knowing that Lord Hanuman has finally blessed us with clean water.”Armed with filtered water, the priests go about their daily rituals. They bless worshippers, pour libations on the deity, chant mantras and prepare consecrated food.The devotees wash their feet in clean water and then circle the temple in clockwise manner holding flowers, basil leaves and knotted betel leaf garlands. On reaching the altar, they bow their heads low as priests sprinkle filtered water over their heads.“We are still not sure of the water quality, but we believe in god. Industrialists and politicians have exploited our river because they are faithless people,” said Bhavna, an engineering student whose forefathers also worshipped at the temple.Having done what they can, Gali Anjaneya Swami temple priests idealize a time when the Hanuman deity was in a forested area before urban settlements came up.“We may never get our river back, but at least the powers above are protecting us from contaminated water,” said Sudarshana. “Our faith has grown stronger.” Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News By: Priyadarshini Sen Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Share This! Share This! By: Priyadarshini Sen Priyadarshini Sen,Load Comments,Texas imam ordered to pay $2.55 million in sexual misconduct case TagsBangalore faith and environment Hindu temples Hinduism homepage featured India sacred river technology,You may also like Catholicism Priyadarshini Senlast_img read more