Friday, April 18, 2014

Forgotten India: Ancient Power Source Resembling Modern Day Batteries

There's a lot of talk in the scientific community about alternative sources of energy. There's even been many conversations about free energy that I've ran across lately. (Yes, I get bored in my car and watch documentaries and conferences on subjects like energy. Some good must come from this right?)

I was listening to a podcast recently in which Chris Lesley was a keynote speaker. You may not recognize that name but that's okay, neither did I and the name isn't what's critical. He spoke about many things but the one thing that stuck out in my mind was his "Ancient India Batteries." That got my attention! I had to do more research.

His research led him to a passage in the Agastya Samhita (click the link and download it free - it's in Bengali). Agastya in essence means mountain thrower. This is the name  given to the Siddhar (or sage) who wrote the book. In it is recorded what is the earliest known recorded description of a battery-like power source. The book was written in approximately 4000 BC. The technology for modern day batteries wasn't discovered until 1791. (There was talk of a 2000 year old power source discovered in Baghdad but it has not been deemed as a type of battery.)

Though on a grander scale, this excerpt from the Agastya Samhita describes how to create a source of energy that resembles how batteries are made today.



"Place a well-cleaned copper plate in an earthenware vessel.
Cover it first by copper  sulfate  and  then  moist sawdust.
After that put a mercury-amalgamated-zinc sheet on top of
an energy known by the twin name of Mitra-Varuna (cathode-anode). Water will
be split  by  this current into Pranavayu (oxygen) and  Udanavayu (hydrogen).  A
chain of one hundred jars is said to give a very active
and effective force."

Find a visual tutorial, for those of you who are visual learners, at The Infinity Foundation.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe Ancient India had knowledge we've not yet caught up with in today's society? Are there other discoveries like this you've heard of?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mini-Vacations


I wanted to write a little about the mini-vacations I sent my husband on during his first year here. I try to be clear with this blog and I wouldn't want anyone thinking that I just took him on surveillance and let him see the roads as we passed by. I did take him with me on surveillance quite a bit and in addition to these trips he's been to Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee and North Carolina. He's also been hiking and to the beach a few times each. I'm saving all the truly fun (and funny) stuff for bigger posts but

Vacation 1 - Lewisburg, WV
This city was dubbed as the coolest town in the US in 2011. It is quite beautiful and they were having an art show. Hubby got a little excited at some children playing in a fountain in the park in the center of town as we arrived.

(Picture of a fish with a wine bottle inside, part of an exhibit to promote knowledge of how throwing trash in the water affects underwater life.)

His reaction was a bit interesting as we saw a board full of fish like the one above. As most of you know, trash is thrown out carelessly in India and it's often eye-opening to see just how it could wind up inside of a living creature. As most of you know, Hindu's frown on harming living creatures. So hubby had a pretty strong reaction to seeing this.

Vacation 2 - Some random location with my dad
I thought it may be good to let him get out and see things with someone else. My dad wanted a companion to go hiking with in the woods somewhere and take photos. I figured it was a win-win situation. So off he went for 4 glorious days, woman free.

On day 2 my dad took him to Maa's house. Maa is a relative my dad still takes care of. She is 89 and he mows her grass and such. He took hubby with him and taught hubby how to drive a riding lawn mower. Maa, like a good southern mom, stuffed hubby with 3 plates of home cooked food and when he almost puked from eating too much, she lovingly packed him a plate to take with him when he went home that day. This seemed to be the highlight of hubby's trip.

On day 3 they went on their hike and he got tired but liked it. He was all too happy to post the pictures all over his Facebook lol. I didn't hear much about this trip but I know my dad out-hiked him and they both laughed about being worn out.

The remainder of his time with my dad they watched TV shows and talked and ate out. I didn't hear any complaints from him.

Vacation 3 - Washington D.C. with my family
I had to work in the D.C. area so I took the family with me. While I was at work they took the metro and ran all over downtown D.C. They went to the Smithsonian Zoo, the Air and Space Museum and had breakfast and lunch out. By the time I got off work they were begging for me to come get them and hubby was certain he was going to have blisters on his feet from so much walking.

This was a good bonding experience for them all and they came back with a funny story about a waitress demanding a $6 tip when they tried to leave without giving her one. The food was horrible, the service was terrible but she was hounding them and demanding it and blocking their path so they couldn't leave. Hubby seemed very tired, but fairly happy afterward. Just FYI, but this was his second trip touring D.C. since he's been here. He's already been to the White House, the National Mall and several other tourist attractions. That time I got blisters for real.

All three of these vacations happened within a  2 week time frame. This is why I specifically mentioned in a previous post to slow down your vacations. Poor hubby ditched me and stayed him with his TV for a while after that. I didn't intend to wear him down but I wasn't thinking about it. I just wanted him to experience America more and not get bored. Turns out, even my husband who is typically anti-boredom, sometimes wants to be bored.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Differences between American and Indian Shopping Habits

Just about everything in American and Indian cultures is different, especially where shopping habits are concerned! So, where to begin? 
 
One possibility would be with regard to the personal shopping assistance that sales people in North America provide, where customer service is (or once was) a given. Another possible place to start would be with an explanation of the culture clash (shock!) that Americans seem to experience when they aren’t able to locate their favourite products, fast foods, and (gasp) local Starbucks! :)
Could it be the way in which Indian consumers seem to be far more comfortable buying from local markets rather than supermarkets, grocery stores, and malls? And finally, is it possible that Americans by nature invest more time trying to locate the best prices, discounts, coupons, and sales?
All of the above reasons are definite possibilities… so let’s take a look at some of the major differences.

Shopping in India:
Shopping in India is usually a family event. Simple observation makes this clear; India is one of the countries least likely to jump on the ‘mall culture’ bandwagon. The desire to shop with family members seems to outweigh the international trend to social-shop and browse fashion outlets with friends. It’s not uncommon to ask for family or friend’s recommendations for purchases before making a purchasing decision.
Additionally, approximately one person in eight reports wearing the same clothing to work, social events, and while out-and-about, decreasing the need for a vast assortment of outfits suitable for every occasion. Only 1 in 4 even feel the need to buy ‘designer’ brands… most Indians care little for name brands. The majority of consumers in India are inclined to buy new clothes most frequently for special events and special occasions, but not otherwise.
Interestingly, with the increase in internet connection and the growth of the Indian middle class, all these trends seem to be evolving slowly amongst the younger generation, since nearly half of the population finds international merchandise superior to local brands. As the economy of the nation develops, so do key indicators in the population like an increase in opening bank accounts, making credit card purchases through Amex India, financing homes through mortgage payments and more.

Shopping in the USA:
While recent economic stressors have caused United States citizens to curtail their spending sprees, Americans still love to shop. The majority of patrons consider shopping to be a social event as well as a recreational activity, particularly when it comes to buying clothes and browsing. 
 
While discount chains are feeling the strain, online e-commerce sites like Amazon are seeing an increasing rise in consumerism, especially during the holiday seasons. An increasing number of citizens are shopping online, with virtual shopping on the rise by about 10%. Fewer shoppers are stopping by the local shops and malls, yet Americans continue to enjoy trending fashions, designer brands, accessories, tech/apps, and items that are designed to suit a wide variety of occasions.
While excellent service was once a trademark of most American retailers, recent trends and lack of resources have given way to speed shopping and online ‘carts’. However, Americans still appreciate their favourite products, the tried and the true! The majority of shopping in the United States consists of a trek to one of several mega-stores along with… let’s hear it… a quick cup of cappuccino and a snack at the local Starbucks! By contrast, India is still steeped in tradition with consumer trends lagging behind their deep appreciation for family and tradition.

*This is a sponsored guest post however, I have personally used AmEx credit cards and was impressed by their level of attentiveness to security and protection of consumer information. As a private investigator, I can assure you they are the best card for those who don't want their information tampered with, stolen, misused, etc. I feel confident this post is a great addition to my blog and beneficial to my beloved readers.