A press release from University of Vermont says, “Geologists Discover Water Cuts Through Rock at Surprising Speed.” A five-year study concluded that the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers cut through 10 to 20 meters of solid rock in 35,000 years, “a rate far more rapid than previously thought,” especially since most of the cutting occurred during a “short-lived pulse of unusually rapid down-cutting” in their estimation. They claim that regional climate change was a bigger factor than glacial meltwater. Their work is published in the July 23 issue of Science.1 The synopsis says, “One of the most basic geological process is the incision of bedrock by rivers, yet little is known about the rates or timing of this process along passive continental margins like the eastern seaboard of the United States.”1Reusser et al., “Rapid Late Pleistocene Incision of Atlantic Passive-Margin River Gorges,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5683, 499-502, 23 July 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1097780].The authors don’t mention previous estimates for the age of these gorges. MSNBC News claims it is twice the previous estimate, but with more water the erosion could have been even more rapid. Science News, on the other hand, says “These erosion rates are tens to hundreds of times faster than scientists had suspected.” One can imagine Charlie and Charlie (Lyell and Darwin, respectively) standing on the banks and thinking, “My, my, my; that must have taken millions of years.” Not necessarily. Even if the current estimate (37,000 years) is still off by an order of magnitude, compare that with the problem the uniformitarians face: things are happening too fast. How can animals evolve when the ground is disappearing under their feet? At least geologists are making regress on their inflated dating methods. The climate is changing; floods of evidence are rapidly eroding Charlie L.’s fluffy bedrock on which Charlie D. built his house of cards.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav turned 70 on Sunday and wished for a Bihar-like secular grand alliance at the Centre too. Amid a stream of visitors, non-stop phone calls and intermittent Twitter messages, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too turned up to greet Mr. Prasad and recounted his political contribution to the State.Leaders greet“Delhi will now see the leadership of mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). All coalition partners should start preparations,” tweeted Mr. Prasad soon after Bihar Congress president Ashok Choudhary greeted him. Congress president Sonia Gandhi called up Mr. Prasad to wish him. Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee got a quick Twitter response to her greetings as the RJD chief reminded her that “they all stand in solidarity for the great cause ahead.” A row of RJD leaders, well-wishers and Mr. Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav were seen sitting with him at his residence 10, Circular Road.Earlier in the day Mr. Nitish Kumar had dedicated two bridges over the river Ganga to the people of the State. The Opposition BJP had objected to the inauguration of the bridges on Mr. Prasad’s birthday. “They may say whatever they want to say…they are ignorant of how these bridges were completed against all odds…the dates were finalised by the concerned department”, said Mr. Kumar on the occasion. But, the BJP leaders alleged that it was only after their objection that the names were changed. “Otherwise, the RJD had decided to name the bridges after Lalu Prasad,” they claimed. Mr. Prasad’s younger son Tejaswi Yadav is Deputy CM and also Minister of State for Road Construction.
Fatehgarh Heritage Renaissance Resort in Udaipur uses wind and solar energyFew states of India are as evocative as Rajasthan–the very name conjures up images of medieval forts and flamboyant palaces, havelis and temples, castles on hilltops, picturesque villages and colourful fairs. Today, keeping with the times, Rajasthan’s heritage entrepreneurs are incorporating audio-tours, son et lumiore, alternative technologies for power generation or water harvesting. Nowhere is the change more apparent than in the cities of Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur.Udaipur updateA cooking demonstration in progress at Deogarh MahalUdaipur has long been the epitome of Rajasthan’s romance since an island palace of the Maharanas was converted into the stunningly beautiful hotel with five-star trappings. One of the most exciting new heritage developments of Udaipur is Fatehgarh Heritage Renaissance Resort built from the remains of a demolished castle moved to the site from about 150 km away, supplemented with architectural fragments and doors from other heritage properties. Climb to the terrace and the glass-walled restaurant offers a breathtaking view of the lakes. There is much focus on eco and social conscious measures–an energy efficient design that makes the most of air movement and natural light, a wind turbine and solar panels that account for more than half the power consumption of the property, a water harvesting system inspired by medieval stepwell architecture, indigenous plantations to make a home for wildlife, local employment and a focus on using locally available materials. Vintage collections are still popular in the StateIf you are looking for a place to dine on a romantic night out, Udaipur is becoming known for those too–the Whistling Teal is a beautiful garden restaurant with a bar furnished with saddles and a coffee lounge; the park-like Ambrai has a view across the lake to the island palaces, the aptly named Sunset View Terrace in the City Palace complex, and the recently opened Raaj Bagh, which, as the name suggests, is done in colonial style with old dressers, antique furniture and vintage cars in a covered area.Like the properties, Udaipur’s shopping scene is also taking a modern twist–the Bougainvillaea Art Gallery showcases contemporary paintings, sculpture and artworks in aesthetically pleasing interiors with an ambience to match, Andraab is an attractive showroom recently opened for Kashmiri shawls and other handcrafted textile products, the trendy Ganesh Art Emporium, the Pristine Gallery, and galleries of individual artists.New entriesTraditional food is still popular in the StateAs you head up NH-8 from Udaipur towards Delhi, you come to one of Rajasthan’s most fairy-tale heritage hotels–Deogarh Mahal which rises from an elevation in the middle of a village with hill views from its terraces. The 50 rooms are imaginatively designed to match the character of the property. For something more exclusive, head for the owner’s four-suite Fort Seengh Sagar set amid shimmering waters. The decor is Rajasthani yet chic and minimalistic, with rooms having distinctive features–a fountain, a rockery, a temple, stone art and even a jacuzzi.Jodhpur jauntRamgarh Lodge near Jaipur is now a Gateway HotelStraight out of a storybook is Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, built in AD 1459. The new thing about the historical site is an audio-guided tour that will take you through the collections in the museum of princely memorabilia. At the end of the tour you come to the splendidly designed Museum Shop, which blends the fort’s old-world charm with contemporary visual merchandising to display art, artefacts, handicrafts, porcelain, jewellery, clothing and souvenirs. The display prompted an international magazine writer equalling the shop to being as good as an annexe of the New York’s Museum of Contemporary Art!Head from here to Raika Bagh and the Palace Road for Jodhpur’s superbly carpentered furniture, first-rate antique reproductions and handcrafted artefacts. There are some fun places to eat in this area–On-the-Rocks, as the name suggests, is a bar and restaurant in a rock garden along the imposing Ajit Bhawan Palace while Khaas Bagh has an arts and crafts gallery, a resort garden and a Bollywood themed dining area.A hidden gem in the city is MV Spice Shop in the Vegetable Market. The daughters of spice merchant, Mohanlal Verhomal, who was quite a legend among tourists, have come up with an extraordinarily innovative range of spice blends that they make at home from hand-ground spices. It is the place to buy anything from chai masala to a mutton curry mix.Jaipur goes contemporaryPolo tourism is catching up in the StateWhile Udaipur and Jodhpur remain old-worldly in their charm, Jaipur has burst out of its ‘Pink City’ shell with gleaming glass-and-steel shopping complexes, malls, supermarkets and multiplexes along its thoroughfare, Delhi-style plush new residential areas, and the ubiquitous CCDs, Baristas, fast food outlets and bars. But for visitors Jaipur is still about serious shopping. What is really exciting about shopping in Jaipur these days is the initiatives of the NGOs, cooperatives, self-help groups and artisanal families. A classic is Anokhi’s museum at the restored Chanwar Palkiwalon Ki haveli at Amber which won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award in 2000. Here you can watch craftsmen at work on block printing and woodcarving, learn about the history of block-printing besides experiencing the architecture of a haveli. It is just a few minutes away from Amber Fort, which now offers an audio-tour as well as a Sound and Light Show, with Gulzar’s words, Amitabh’s voice and music to match. Amber is also being given a makeover ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.The stylish showrooms of Anokhi and Fabindia in the city, the Soma on Jacob Road, the UN-supported Mojari which, as the name suggests, sells footwear from rural Rajasthan, and the blue pottery showroom called Kripal Kumbh, run by the daughters of the master ceramist Kripal Singh, are happening places to shop.Jaipur is also teeming with places to eat–from well-known names like Dasaprakash and Sankalp for South Indian food, Copper Chimney for North Indian, Little Italy, and so forth, to novel places like the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant or Om Tower Revolving Restaurant. Favourite evenings-out from Jaipur are village-theme restaurants like Chokhi Dhani, which also offers a range of folksy entertainments, an artisanal bazaar and camel and elephant rides.A couple of new options are also available for those who want to escape the city and yet not be too far from it. A good example of this is the Ramgarh Lodge, the former hunting lodge of the Maharajas of Jaipur, which is now a Gateway Hotel. And for a taste of something more energetic, get whisked away to Anokhi Farm outside Jaipur where you can learn the royal sport of polo. The training includes riding under supervision, stick-and-ball practice on wooden horses and practice chukkers.They say it’s just the beginning of modernisation. Let’s see what this year–the year of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi–spells for Rajasthan, its neighbour. advertisementadvertisement Fact fileFatehgarh–A Heritage Renaissance Resort Sisarma, Udaipur; tel: (0294) 241 3845Whistling Teal 103-Bhatiayani Chhohata, Udaipur; tel: 242 2067Ambrai Amet Haveli, Chandpole, Udaipur; tel: 243 1085Sunset View Terrace, City Palace Complex, UdaipurRaaj Bagh Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur; tel: 329 0228Bougainvillea Art Gallery Fatehsagar Lake, UdaipurAndraab New Fatehpura, Udaipur; tel: 242 3285Ganesh Art Emporium Jagdish Chowk, Udaipur; tel: 242 2864Pristine Gallery Bhattiyani Cohtta, Udaipur; tel: (0) 98291 84223Deogarh Mahal tel: (02904) 252 777; 253 333Fort Seengh Sagar Reservations through Deogarh MahalMehrangarh Fort Audio Tour Tel: (0291) 254 8790, 254 8992On-the-Rocks Circuit House Road, Jodhpur; tel: 251 0410Khaas Bagh Opp. Police Lines, Ratanada, Jodhpur; tel: 251 4513MV Spice Shop Clock Tower, Jodhpur; tel (0) 92520 00435;Anokhi Museum Amber Fort, Jaipur; tel: (0141) 253 0226Sound and Light Show at Amber Fort; 6.30 and 7.30p.m.Anokhi Jaipur; tel: 400 7244/45Fabindia MGF Mall, Jaipur; tel: 511 5997; Prithviraj Road; tel: 511 5992advertisementSoma 5 Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur; tel: 222 2778Mojari Vishwakarma Industrial Area, Jaipur; tel: 309 4260Kripal Kumbh Bani Park, Jaipur; tel: 220 1127Peacock Rooftop Restaurant Ajmer Road, Jaipur; tel: 237 3700Om Tower Revolving Restaurant MI Road, Jaipur; tel: 404 6666Chokhi Dhani Tonk Road, JaipurGateway Hotel Ramgarh Lodge One-hour drive from JaipurAnokhi Farm Tel: (01532) 275 0868