Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August 1, 2007 - NASA in Nasha?

It is hard to be funny in the prevailing situation, but couldn't resist reporting this one.

The gist is this. Mr. Sivakumar Kalidasan, certain government official associated with SSCP, wrote an e-mail to
EarthWeb, the PR wing of NASA, which collects and presents space imagery of the planet earth. E-mail, to which we shall come back later, was about soliciting EarthWeb's God's Truth about the Rama Setu being man made or not.

But, ever so hungry for sensation, our "national" media readily lapped up this one, as a trained tame dog jumps to the whistles of its master. Just notice the language.

Indian Express wrote: NASA debunks Ram sethu myth

Ram never built Ramar Sethu or the Adam’s Bridge and the chain of small islets between India and Sri Lanka is the result of a natural geographic process. And if NASA is to be believed, it has found similar sand bars in other parts of the world too.

NDTV said : Ram Sethu not man made, says NASA

The NASA has confirmed that Ram Sethu, the group of islands between India and Sri Lanka believed by Hindu activists to have been built by Lord Ram, is not a man made structure.

But Telegraph of Kolkata left the others behind by leaps and bounds. Nasa to the rescue of Suez of East, they said. They even did a new naming of the "channel" - 'Suez of the East'!

Ram’s army did not build Ramar Sethu after all — nature did. Nasa has clarified in response to a query that the islet chain linking Tamil Nadu with Sri Lanka was not man-made but a natural formation that came up several centuries ago.

So what exactly did Sivakumar Kalidasan, SSCP official, write in the e-mail? The following excerpts are reported in the news papers, of his e-mail to EarthWeb:

In India a burning question is going on whether this bridge is man made or not. Religious fundamentalists insist that the bridge was once constructed by human beings in order to invade Sri Lanka long ago. Some say it is not man made and the area is covered by shallow water and the sediments under the water appear like a narrow bridge. The third group say that the Bridge is nothing but a peak of a large mountain that has submerged," the Email said and asked for a clarification on the issue.

So, all those who want Setu protected because it is our heritage automatically become "Religious Fundamentalists" in the eyes of the Government of India. But, by the way, who is asking the burning question of whether 'Setu is man-made or not'? Certainly not the "religious fundamentalists" as much as the christianist cum pseudo-secular fundamentalists like Ambika Soni and TR Baalu. It is their position that, 'this structure is Adam's Bridge, not Ram Setu, is not built by any humans, and therefore can be destroyed.'

For the protection supporters, the position is different. This is a monument of cultural importance, of heritage, shrouded in faith and historic significance - therefore must be preserved.

This is what Madras High Court had to say about the "burning question" of the government on June 19 leaving nothing to ambiguity.

Referring to the Government's Additional Solicitor-General V.T.Gopalan’s stand that the structure was not man-made but a natural formation, the Bench said, "be that as it may. In the definition in the 1958 Act, it is apparent that a national monument has a very wide meaning, and included even a stone.”

Now coming back to NASA and the most hilarious part, which although was very widely reported in the western media on the same day as the above report, but which was completely left out in the India's "national" media:

NASA astronaughts found Heavily Drunk At Work, and during space flights!

The US space agency faced a full-blown crisis Saturday as US lawmakers promised to probe how NASA allowed astronauts to fly missions while drunk as well as the sabotage of in-flight computers. The US House of Representatives Science and Technology committee called an oversight hearing for September, after a NASA report found astronauts had shown up to work drunk. House Space and Aeronautics subcommittee chairman Mark Udall warned that the report was a "wake-up" call.

The report released by NASA found "heavy use of alcohol" inside the standard 12-hour "bottle to throttle" abstinence period for flight crew.

Last week it was revealed that NASA bosses let astronauts fly while under the influence of alcohol. Much to the shock of the independent investigation panel, the astronauts were so wasted that fellow astronauts and flight surgeons "raised concerns to local on-scene leadership regarding flight safety."

There are claims that an astronaut was intoxicated during a flight on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft - and a different astronaut was not stopped before flying on a NASA shuttle.

Of course, this was followed by another bizzare report from NASA, about a love-crime story straight from the hollywood plots.

Are these any sign of normal human activity or natural occurances at NASA, We wonder!

By the way, after announcing all of the news above, Sethu project Chairman proceded on a sudden leave, we are told. Natural occurance or otherwise, we wonder!
Chennai, July 28 (PTI): Chairman of the high profile Sethusamudram Corporation N K Regupathy today went on a sudden two month's leave hours after addressing a press conference on the progress of the over Rs 2,100 crore controversial project.

Regupathy, who had been heading the corporation since its inception two years back, said tonight that he wanted to go on a month's leave as he was 'overworking' for the past three years.

hits since Chaitra 7, 2064 Vikram (March 26, 2007)