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The sea of metal

A scene from 'Greatest Events of WWII in Colour' showing the Allied armada crossing the English Channel on June 6, 1944.

Two of the most decisive moments of the Second World War that I can’t get enough of are the Battle of Stalingrad and the D-Day landings. In the Battle of Stalingrad, Adolf Hitler’s army suffered its first major defeat, signalling to Nazi Germany that it was just as capable of bleeding as any other regime, that…

Distracting from the peer-review problem

From an article entitled ‘The risks of swiftly spreading coronavirus research‘ published by Reuters: A Reuters analysis found that at least 153 studies – including epidemiological papers, genetic analyses and clinical reports – examining every aspect of the disease, now called COVID-19 – have been posted or published since the start of the outbreak. These involved…

Research funds gridlock: who wants what

On January 30, the Union ministry of finance announced a 24-25% hike in the junior (JRF) and senior research fellowships (SRF) amounts effective from January 1, 2019.The decision had been prompted by a longstanding demand of India’s community of young scholars, who availed these fellowships to support themselves at the start of their careers as…

The history, culture and science of ‘cardiac coherence breathing’

A recent article in Scientific American on the benefits of “proper breathing” for overall health has ignited anger across social media, with many in India accusing the magazine of rebranding or even appropriating the ancient Indian breathing technique of ‘pranayama’.Detailed description of the benefits of the 2500-year-old Indian technique of pranayama, dressed up in 21st…

Breaking down CMB Bharat

A consortium of Indian scientists has submitted a proposal to the national space agency for a new space science mission called CMB Bharat. Let's break it down.What is CMB Bharat?According to Tarun Souradeep, a senior professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, the proposal is for a "comprehensive next generation cosmic microwave…

The problem with claiming “it’s aliens”

A Harvard astronomer believes that an interstellar object could possibly have originated from a civilization outside our solar system: https://t.co/qsLjVPGJy4 pic.twitter.com/x7jh3wnRDm— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) January 23, 2019 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js I doubt the New Yorker thinks Harvard University is a big deal the same way many Indians do, but its persistence with Avi Loeb's ideas only…

Just how many reusable rocket designs is ISRO working on?

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on at least three different designs of reusable launch vehicles at the same time.Together with its endeavours to increase the number of objectives per mission and deploy purpose-built rockets, it seems like ISRO wants to secure a competitive advantage as quickly as possible in all segments of…