Monday, March 14, 2011

When a pesticide is a pest! Endosulfan

The Indian govt./Sharad Pawar wants another panel to study endosulfan!

Over 70 countries have banned Endosulfan. We could at least learn from the Australians!
In 2009, Australia refused to ban endosulfan! In Oct 2010, they banned endosulfan!  They had the courage to say "The previous decision was made on the best available science at the time"!

"The continued registration and approval of endosulfan in Australia is likely to have unintended effects on the environment that cannot be mitigated", said the report, which was prepared by the Environment Department and the Department of Health and Ageing.

Please support the Global Ban on Endosulfan!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Noumpere - the UDRS

MSDhoni's rant of "whether it is 2.5m or 2.4 or 2.6" had the ICC throwing the rule book at him which had the BCCI solidly defending. The media and expert commentators have done hardly anything to dispel the confusion surrounding the technology. I do wish that Cricinfo had taken the lead to explain the rule book and clauses therein. Instead we have Grey is the colour of DRS. Everyone now knows that 2.5m is a criterion but how many talk of the associated 40cm sub-clause?

Elementary, my dear captain!
Let me make a layman attempt at explaining the rationale for the having numbers like 250 and 40 ...

After pitching the ball hits the pad after 40cm. The ball has to travel a further 250cm, another 6.25 times the distance that it has already travelled (2.9m from the point the ball pitches to the stumps). Hawkeye has 40cm in which to judge the trajectory of the ball and extrapolate it to 250cm! If there is an error of 0.5cm in determining the point of impact of the ball on the pad, then the error will also get multiplied by 6.25 times (about 3+cm - which is about the radius of the ball). If Hawkeye determines that the ball will hit leg stump, a provision of 3+cm error has to be made. So in reality the ball could be missing leg ... The umpire's original decision could stand. Whereas if it hits anywhere on the middle stump, despite the 3cm error it will hit the stumps almost surely ... Thus the DRS can be used to overrule umpire's decision in this case and rightly so. With this recent change, I'm glad that ICC has acknowledged the prowess of Hawkeye through this change, while the common man sees it as an admission of the failure of technology :-).

What happens if the ball hits the pad closer to the stumps?
If the ball hits the pad 60cm after pitching and there is a further 2.3m to go (2.9m from pitch to the stumps), then the error is multiplied only about 4 times. And Hawkeye has 60cm (50% more than 40cm) of video frames in which to determine/estimate the point of impact of the ball on the pad! The error would be less (say ~0.35cm) instead of the earlier 0.5cm ... The accuracy of Hawkeye's prediction in this case would increase drastically, wouldn't it?

2.4, 2.5, 2.6 does matter, doesn't it?

The geometry of the problem!
A bit of geometry illustrates the small margin of error that Hawkeye has got to play with ...
Consider the large triangle BCE.  BC=290cm, CE=11.5cm.  At point p1 on BC (Bp1=40), there is a line parallel to CE of length 'd', which cuts BE.  What is the length of 'd'? What would be 'd' at points p2 (30cm from B), p3 (50cm).  If instead of 'd' and error of 'e' is added at p1, CE would become longer by 3.5cm.  What value of 'e' would result in 3.5cm at CE?  Would the tolerance 'e' be higher at p1 or p2?

Thoughts on the technology front
There is unlikely to be a foolproof prediction mechanism, let's make best use of what we have!  In my view the makers of Hawkeye would be glad to put the 'confidence factor' on screen along with the trajectory displayed but would the experts/cricketers/arm-chair pundits be able to digest this?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crop factor and Depth of Field!

For a change, this crop factor isn't about birds or photography itself; am just seeding a thought :-). Hope you enjoy the pictures though ;-)

I'd the privilege of attending the Vilanatti celebration at the Khammana village in Wayanad/Kerala. Rice was transplanted as part of the village festival.

Plough, Yoke, Hoe ...

Preparation afoot ...

Of the 100,000 varieties of rice, there was a snapshot of ~20 of them here. The focus was on improving the quality of the native rice varities through good seed selection. To get a critical mass of seeds, produced from the farms themselves, it could be a 2-year process.

Rice varieties and the Rice Sprouts

The seed companies are a real threat to the farming practice. They would patent varieties of rice, seeds and control farming in India. It is a huge market. The large companies just need to control the seeds :-). It is important that GM seeds don't become the only variety allowed to be planted in India. The control of seeds should remain with the farmer.

The seedlings are ready for transplanting ...

Transport before Transplanting!

Even the MLA had come over ... the minister unfortunately couldn't :-(
A sound reception

Getting down to the action ...

Experts and the First-timers ...

The Speech Acts ...; Usha Chechi has the minister speaking online; The release of The Bio-diversity Registry of Khammana

Usha Chechi is from Thanal. Thanal is a Public Interest Research, Advocacy, Education and Action Trust with the mission "Gather for all beings". I liked her fire, belief, concern, ...

Ramettan with friends; The Chieftain in a pleasant mood.

Ramettan, the tribal farmer, speaks science and panchayat politics! He believes that it is an important mix to ensure progress of the village and the community!! The Kurichiya community fought with Pazhassi Raja against the British.

In perspective ...

Beauty at every level; A field of view; Dragon flies can help handle pests ...

My photoblog would be incomplete without the picture of a bird ;-)
Flora or Fauna?

This bird is woven using a coconut leaf :-)

Hope you think about the farmers when you head out for lunch :-)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Insignificant test career and Stumped!

Of what use is a Test career with zero runs, zero wickets, and zero catches? This has featured in Cricinfo's Ask Steven recent columns. Patrick Kidd in his Times column mentions that only TASekhar has a 2-Test career.

One of those who qualifies for this 0,0,0 career, Rajindernath, actually has no catches but 4 stumpings :-). Some interesting ones that can stump you ...
PWSherwell   20  16
TAWard 19 13
PKSen 20 11
AH Jarvis 9 9
EFS Tylecote 5 5
Rajindernath 0 4
No stumping list is complete without Bert Oldfield (78, 52).
And there's Anju with 51 stumpings and 30 catches in her ODI career :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pulp Fiction

I'd been to Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary with family on 25/Jan/2008. It was a fun trip and the kids enjoyed it. I was hoping to get some good photos of the birds but wasn't as successful.

As we returned to the parking lot, I noticed some little bird activity in a tree. A little bird (flowerpecker?) was trying to pick a fruit. I knelt down with my 300mm lens and went trigger happy. The picture quality is average but I'm happy that I was able to capture this behaviour of the bird, the whole sequence.

View my Pulp Fiction.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stump the Bearded Wonder ...

Bill Frindall is no more. I always enjoyed reading his 'Stump the Bearded Wonder' column.

We will miss his knowledge and the humor that he brought to the seemingly dry subject of scoring/statistics.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Great win for Test Cricket!

India, England, and Test Cricket won the first Test at Chennai.

England had the upper hand for a good part of the Test.  387 is a good target but when Sehwag gets going there isn't much that can be done!  Sachin played a winning knock, Gambhir, Yuvraj contributed a good deal too.

Strauss joins an elite list of Herbert Sutcliffe, George Headley, Vijay Hazare, Clyde Walcott, Sunil Gavaskar, Andy Flower, and Brian Lara with two centuries in a losing cause!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Photos from the India-Aus first test at Bangalore

I've (finally!) uploaded pictures from the first India vs Australia Test match (9-Oct-2008).

Hope you like watching Sachin, Ponting, Ishant, and some unorthodox shots!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Thank you, England

We are grateful to the English Cricket Team for agreeing to play the Tests in India. It is a very courageous decision and India appreciates the cricketers for being united during the tough decision making process.

I hope that the does very well. You've won already!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Speech is Silver!

Recently I discovered that "Speech is Silver"!

Speech == Argument
Silver == Argentum

Speech is a mumble-jumble of Silver ...