Saturday, March 26, 2011

WHERE PENGUINS FLY

Open Source, Open Format – Allahabad High Court Experience
(Summary: This post explains importance open source and open format. It also explains why Allahabd High court uses them. 
 This talk was delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh, judge Allahabad High Court at IIIT, Hyderabad on 20 March 2011. 
The pdf format of talk can be downloaded from here)

नमस्ते, and a very good morning to all of you.


It is a privilege and honour to be here in this premier institute of information technology.


Is there a place, 'where penguins fly'? Or am I making it up.


To tell you the truth, the title is not original: I am not the first one to use it. It was earlier used about three years ago. At that time, the morning edition of British newspapers reported that while filming on King George Island, some 750 miles south of the Falkland Islands, the BBC Camera crew discovered a colony of Adélie penguins that could fly. The programme presenter had said:
'We'd been watching the penguins and filming them for days, without a hint of what was to come. But then the weather took a turn for the worse. It was quite amazing. Rather than getting together in a huddle to protect themselves from the cold, they did something quite unexpected, that no other penguins can do.'


The newspapers from the BBC sources had also reported,
'The film reveals nature's stunning glory exciting and unexpected ways, so much so that it defies belief. Not only did it create a vivid and emotional experience for the viewer, it also illustrated just how bold and simple Darwin's idea of natural selection was. The BBC viewers would be able to see that the penguins not only taking flight from the Antarctic wastes, but flying to the thousands of miles to the Amazonian rainforest to find winter sun.'
There was a BBC footage that showed penguins flying. This was to be, a part of its new natural history series, 'Miracles of Evolution'.


Here's the footage from the BBC


Nevertheless the penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica; their wings are useless for flight: they have become flippers. They are well adapted to aquatic life. Their white belly and dark backs camouflages them. A predator in the sea looking them up from below has difficulty distinguishing between a white penguin belly and the reflective water surface. The dark back camouflages them from above.


The date this title appeared in the morning edition of British newspapers was 1st April 2008. Alas, it was a fools' day prank and not true :-( But I am not repeating that prank today.

The Monkey Trial

It was illegal to teach theory of evolution in most of states in US.  John T Scopes, a biology teacher, was prosecuted to teach it. He was ...