Number plates go hi-tech
Karnataka’s Transport Department is all set to introduce High Security Number Plates (HSNPs) in the state, which is expected to boost the authorities’ capability for tackling vehicle theft and traffic violations. As defined by the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, an HSNP will have a Chromium hologram of the Ashoka Chakra, IND written in bold blue colour on the extreme left centre of the plate and the PCIN (permanent consecutive identification number) which will be laser-edged on it.
The laser number will be unique, and will contain alpha-numeric identification of both testing agencies and the manufacturers. The rear registration plate will be fitted with a non-reusable snap lock to make it tamper proof. A third Chromium-based registration plate in the form of sticker will be attached to the wind shield, which will contain the engine and chassis are indicated along with the name of registering authority. If tampered with, it self-destructs. Also called as High Security Registration Number, HSNPs have already been introduced by Delhi, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad. In Banglaore, the Department is said to be in the final stages of implementing HSNPs, though no official notification has been issued.
Mozilla’s open source smartphone
Mozilla is best known for producing the open source Firefox web browser. PC World reports on the two new smartphones they have released that run on their Firefox operating system. Early details were unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, where the new operating system generated serious buzz. ZTE and Alcatel provided the design for the first two phones to carry the new Firefox HTML open source OS, each sporting slim touchscreen designs.
Both models come standard with all of the normal smartphone amenities, including email, phone calls, text messaging, maps, camera, and naturally, web browsing with Firefox. Users can also download apps, although they may not get too far on the internal memory, which does not exceed 512 MB. The Firefox OS is an open-source system, intended to compete with Android for developer attention, and the experience is reportedly similar to using an Android device.
A festival of literary translation
The Tarjuma Festival of Translators aims to call attention to the far-reaching, yet often unseen art of translation. To be held on July 25 and 26 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, it will bring together leading translators, writers, scholars and publishers of translated work in a first-of-its-kind event. According to the organisers, Tarjuma is intended to “spark serious, scholarly, and artistic conversations on literary translation,” and to encourage translators and publishers to exchange ideas. Some of the best-known translators working today, including Arunava Sinha, Lakshmi Holmstrom, Arshia Sattar, Susheela Punitha and Namita Gokhale, will speak at the event. There will also be a host of translation-related panel discussions, seminars and book launches on the sidelines of the event. For more information and a detailed programme, log on to www.iitgn.ac.in/tarjuma/index.html.
Bollywood thought of Google Glass first!
Deepanjana Pal writes on Firstpost.com about TP Sundaram's 1967 film, Chand Par Chadayee (Trip to Moon), and the many futuristic technologies it showcased, including a device similar to the Google Glass. A science fiction story set mainly in space, the film starred Dara Singh in the lead role as Astronaut Anand, who falls in love with the curiously named Shimoga, the princess of moon (played by G Ratna).
She writes: “Most impressively, Trip to Moon preempted Google Glass. When Simi (a scheming moonling aristocrat) wants to talk to the king of Mars (the other half of the film’s villainous duo) urgently, she calls him and he receives the call in a pair of dark glasses. A live image of Simi appears on one of the lenses and they chat in real time. So there you have it: a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display. And we thought of it in 1967, before Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin were born.”
Taking Gandhi to the land of Mao
Bangalore International Centre has arranged a presentation on 'The Challenge and resultant insights of taking Gandhi into Mao’s “Power grows out of the barrel of a gun” country,’ to be delivered by PA Nazareth, a former ambassador of India to Mexico, Guatemala and other Latin American countries.
The talk will be held on July, and will be moderated by former foreign secrtary AP Venkateswaran. The talk will be held at Bangalore International Centre, TERI Complex, 4th main, 2nd cross, Domlur II stage.
Learn organic, terrace farming
The Bhoomi Network is holding a workshop on organic and terrace gardening on July 20, at the Prakriya School Campus, off Sarjapur Road. Aimed at “people who wish to take charge of their wellness and health,” it seeks to ensure a healthier diet while reviving the traditional kitchen garden in urban areas. The workshop will help participants understand the basic principles of gardening and then apply it to their own context---homes, apartments or terraces.
It will focus on the practical aspects, so that participants get a firsthand experience with earth, soil, compost, nutrients on the field. It will also include components on pest and disease management. The workshop will be conducted by terrace farming expert Rajesh Thakkar. The fee is Rs 1,200 per person (lunch and snack included), and seats are limited. To register, call Santhi on 9449853834 / 28441173. Registration closes by July 17. To learn more about the Bhoomi Netowrk, log on to www.bhoominetwork. org.
This heritage walk is meant for all those who think Whitefield has nothing more to offer than IT towers, malls and apartments. On Sunday, July 7, conservation architect Krupa Rajangam will hold a walk through colonial era Whitefield to reveal one man's vision to create an Eurasian and Anglo-Indian Utopia in India.
The walk will be followed by a screening of Whitefield Diaries, a set of short films on Whitefield created as an installment of the Neighbourhood Diaries project (www.neighbourhooddiaries.in) which narrates the neighbourhood's history and its rich store of anecdotes through the eyes of long-term residents. The walk is being held in aid of Karunashraya, the Cancer Hospice Trust in Marathahalli. There are only a limited number of seats, and the organisers suggest a minimum donation of Rs 200 per participant. Receipts will be issued by Karunashraya. For more details and to register for the walk, email
Fancy food, and how to pronounce it right
If you pride yourself on being a foodie who likes to dine out at fancy restaurants, there’s something you absolutely cannot afford to ignore: the right pronunciation of that exotic dish you’ve been dying to try. And if there’s one thing worse than that, it’s when you’ve heard of the dish, but don’t know what it really is. This handy list will helps you solve both problems at one go:
Chipotle: A smoky cream sauce that goes well with burgers, pizzas and hot dogs.
How you say it: Chi-Poht-Ley Bánh mì: Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread.
How you say it: Bahn Mee Pho: The Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles, a few herbs, and meat.
How you say it: Fau or say “fur” without the “R”
Sriracha: A type of hot sauce, named after the coastal city of Si Racha in Eastern Thailand, which goes well with seafood.
How you say it: Shree-Ra-Cha Gnocchi: Thick, soft Italian dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, flour and egg, flour, egg, and cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, or similar ingredients.
How you say it: Nyawk-Kee
Bruschetta: Bruschetta is an antipasto (starter) from Italy which consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil, salt and pepper.
How you say it: Broo-SKEH-Tah
Prosciutto: Also called Parma ham, this is a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked.
How you say it: Proh-SHOO-Toe
Quinoa: This favourite of the health-conscious is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds which can be used instead of cereal.
How you say it: Keen-Wah Caipirinha: Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime.
How you say it: Kai-Pee-Reen-
Ya Açai Berry: A small, round, black-purple berry of an Amazonian palm, this one’s high on energy.
How you say it: Ah-Sigh-Ee
Filet or Fillet: A cut or slice of boneless meat or fish
How you say it: Fill-Ay Beignet: French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux paste, a light dough which consists only of butter, water, flour, and eggs.
How you say it: Ben-Yay
Foie Gras: Foie gras; French for “fat liver”, is a dish made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened.
How you say it: Fwah Grah
Tortillas: A type of thin Mexican flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour.
How you say it: Tohr-Tee-Yahs
Fajitas: This Tex-Mex term refers to any dish that consists of grilled meat usually served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla.
How you say it: Fah-Hee-Tahs
Quesadilla: A flour or corn tortilla filled with a savoury mixture containing cheese, other ingredients, and/or vegetables, then folded in half to form a half-moon shape.
How you say it: Key-Suh-Dee- Uh