Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Features in Bhutan Biodiversity Portal

Bhutan Biodiversity Portal (www.biodiversity.bt) after launching on 17th December 2013 is now one year older. More than 4000 observations are contributed by the portal users. Various documents and checklists can be found or uploaded in the portal.

Following are the few major features added during the upgrade (Adopted from Bhutan Biodiversity Portal Facebook page)
1. Multiple Observations - You can now upload multiple observation at once and the images you uploaded will be stored for 20 days. Therefore, you can always come back and upload the observations with details.
2. Audio Uploads - If you have captured the sounds and songs of species, you can upload them with observations.
3. Checklist - You can now upload checklist in various ways (spreadsheets, file uploads, and in a textbox)
4. Name Locks - If you are absolutely sure that the observation you uploaded is certain species, you can now LOCK the names so that other users will not be able to suggest names.
5. Document Views - Now you can view the documents without having to manually download. The uploaded documents will be displayed in a PDF viewer.
6. Contacting Users - You can contact any users by going to their profile. Click on the "Contact Me" button
7. Species Curation - The species pages can now be edited online by authorized users.
8. Taxon Browser - You can now browse through the taxon hierarchy using the Taxon Browser on the species page.
9. Advanced Search - Click on the down arrow near the search bar and you can search using different criteria.

For those interested to register here is the link  http://biodiversity.bt/register/index

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Phone Zombies : Haiku

National Day and Me

Fourth King and the Fifth King of Bhutan serving the crowd during the 107th National Day (17 Dec. 2014)
                                                                                                                                     (Courtesy: facebook.com/KingJigmeKhesar)

What it’s like to miss the National Day, when my own brothers and sisters are happily celebrating the occasion? I know I am part of it but all I know is, what media informs me. What I do is, closely follow up with certain media and imagine I was right there.  Wonder, how I would feel if I was there the very moment standing and smiling before the beloved monarchs of Bhutan like I always wish. Well, it’s the 107th National of Bhutan and the year is declared as the 60th birth anniversary celebration of the Fourth King of Bhutan.

Indeed, King’s speech was inspiring, I read it online. I could see very huge crowds, I saw the picture. Every moment seems to be updated every single minute on that particular day, 17th December 2014. Here, I am sitting and watching the wonderful occasion through my computer window.

Celebration in the fairy tale like Kingdom is something that everyone wishes to set for, and if you are a citizen of that Kingdom then the urges are extremely high like mine.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Your Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan

                                                                                     (Image: stampsofbhutan.blogspot.com)
Long Live the King!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bio-diverse Lower Austria

Acer negundo

Phellinus igniarius

Cantharellus sp.

Larch (Larix decidua)

Dwarf Pine (Pinus mugo)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Buddhism Plain and Simple - The Practice of Being Aware, Right Now, Every Day by Steve Hagen: Review

If you want to know the clear and simple insights of Buddhism, this is the right book. Buddhism Plain and Simple The Practice of Being Aware, Right Now, Every Day profoundly written by Steve Hagen is something that reminds the readers of being aware of the self. Steve Hagen is a Zen Priest, a long-time teacher of Buddhism, and the author of How the World Can Be the Way It Is.

The book is easy and simple to understand and it guides readers to the path of Buddha’s wisdom and his observations. It revives the ancient teachings on awareness, where one learn to be aware of the self every single moment and every single day.

The approach to the teachings on awareness is frantically different from other books, it’s easy to understand the practice of awareness, the four noble truths and the eightfold path of Buddha. It also teaches the causes of sufferings and describes undeniable sufferings such as death. He clearly defines consciousness and Truth and Reality.

We are also reminded of the change, changes goes on whatsoever, every moment. That’s where awareness play a great role. Hagen teaches how to practice awareness on self on the very present moment, here and now. Meditation comes into scene while practicing awareness, some of the methods on meditation are well described here.

He notes: Don’t expect to get anything from meditation – including enlightenment. If you really want enlightenment. Just notice what thus – Mind – actually is. Notice that a grasping mind is the antithesis of what you say you want.

If you are interested you can find the book at Amazon.com

Friday, September 19, 2014

Silly but a lesson

Desperate friends
Unexpected things are always a surprise! People are good and bad at times. I and my friends were on a ride around the streets of Thimphu at night right after head banging some music numbers. It was a pleasant night with light drizzle. But only to encounter with tire puncture and with no tool-kits in our car to fix the tire issue. We knew no one from the vicinity. Called a friend but to no avail. Finally, stopped several vehicles including taxis just to borrow some toolkit to fix the unexpected but in vain.

Several taxis seemed to be deprived of the tool-kits, requested them but we were told that they got none. After all, money counts for them and especially Fridays and Saturdays are what they expect to earn more than the normal routine of other weekdays and in addition providing helping hands was not their priority. Fortunately, a taxi driver, who is a friend of my friend provided us with some tools but it did not really seem to fix the problem, since the ranges turned out to be larger for our wheel fixation. Yet, we stopped several vehicles and they seemed not to care for the troubled strangers.

Punctured wheel
This reminded me of how the tourists always praised Bhutanese for their kind gestures and hospitality. Our hopes started to decline for just to obtain some good helping hands. Waited for hours waving our hands to the vehicles passing by, only to receive blank and dumb glances. I cannot really explain the expressions of the friends, don’t even know what kind of expression did I expressed.

Police patrolling was on full swing. Fortunately, we managed to stop one of the cop's van after waiting for more than an hour and got the problem fixed finally. That’s when I noticed that my friend’s smiles were just as fascinating as one could expect.  Realized that cops are always there for the citizens even if it’s for minor issues at any time.

This was my first experience, but to many it seemed, it’s just a normal process of their life. I am almost on the conclusion that we hardly receive any help from our own fellow citizens. Thimphu is traveling with time at fast pace and the time is precious too, whether people carry out important or useless tasks. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Brief History of Time from the Big Bang to Black Holes ~ Stephen Hawking

A Brief Review

With one of the world’s brilliant mind, Stephen Hawking has his bestselling book A Brief History of Time set astrophysics to next level. Book reveals the cosmological wonders in the brilliant mind of Hawking. His extraordinary brain reveals his theories of universes and arguments of the cosmos.

For the sake of common readers at large, the theories are simplified without any mathematical formulas except for the Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2. Book tends to answer the complex questions on universe with clarity and wit such as the existence of beginning of time, time traveling backwards, prediction/remembering our future, String theory and many more interesting subjects.

He also touches on the subject of happenings before the Big Bang and the existence of Big Crunch, where he reveals that most people believe that the time began with the Big Bang. In addition he suggests that if time has beginning than there will be an end of time too, where time will end with the Big Crunch. He emphasizes on the imaginary time, which makes his theories to be accurately proved.

Outstandingly he describes the formation of Black Holes and existence of numerous Black Holes with varying sizes and shielded with event horizon, the boundary of Black Holes. He mentions that Black Holes aren't so black.

Book ultimately creates awareness of the possibility and complexity of unification of physics, which would explain whole universe with a theory. Book also has the description of the expansion of our universe. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hawkers and the Buddha Point - Pictorial Tour

Buddha Dordenma statue, popularly the location is known as Buddha Point located at south of Thimphu.

We can of course offer butter lamps, I did one.

An established roadside hawker at Buddha Point with whirling lights. They require no license for the business. You can hop in on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Hawkers ain't established during day time.

Well, we get drinks, snacks and light cuisines with camp fire set up.

You can hear or can play music! And yeah, party beings start dancing till morning. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Of Love

Rambling around streets
Alone and ransacking
I found love
I found hostility and despair
Evoked to the supreme
Realized the time is traveling
And love egregiously fading away
Generations advancing
Crowds stuck on phones
Conversing the unknowns
Parrying friends around
Observed in oneself

I see lovebirds everywhere
Some with no happy endings
I see parental love
I see children going erratic
Evoked to the supreme
I pondered upon Law of Universe
Wondered what’s wrong
People dying and people crying
Television flashing lamenting news
The world is worried
Love is fading silently
Dwellers start loving!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Theory of Everything - The Origin and Fate of the Universe ~ Stephen Hawking

A great modern physicist and the author of the bestseller, A Brief History of Time is here again with his book The Theory of Everything; The Origin and Fate of the Universe. He also authored The Black Holes and Baby Universes.

His book takes readers into the depth of origin of the universe, Big Bang, String Theory and Black Holes. It covers a series of seven lectures on cosmology, delivered at universities and conferences. Despite the study of cosmology being complex which includes various equations, he tries to make it simple for the public. It also takes readers back into the theory of Aristotle’s determination of cosmology and Hubble’s discovery of cosmological particles and theories of various other ancient renowned physicists.

The book describes the history of cosmological discoveries beginning with Galileo’s invention of telescope until the modern day approach towards latest scientific researches on universe and black holes. He describes black holes based on his research which took him more than a decade. According to his research, space-time may be finite in extent but without boundary or edge. Also, black holes has boundary-like particles known as the event horizon. He exemplifies this by giving us a picture of the earth which has a boundary but no edge. You can travel around the earth and reach to the same point but you would not fall off the earth because it does not have an edge.

Hawking also takes us deeper in explaining his theories and arguments on expanding universe, black holes, origin of universe and direction of time. He explains the influence of gravitational forces and magnetic field on black holes and speed of light. His theory also explains that there might be many more dimensions in outer space including space and time. According to his theory, time travel might be possible. However, it might seem like a science fiction.

As a great scientist, he tends to make the public aware of cosmological studies by simplifying his theories. The book is a treat for anyone who is fascinated by the concepts of universe, outer space, space-time etc. If you ever wondered and gazed at the night sky with fascination, there is nothing like reading Hawking's books who is not only a great scientist but also a literary man. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014


A great scientist and an author Stephen Hawking of the phenomenal bestselling book, A Brief History of Time  has done it again with his book Black Holes and Baby Universes. The book with calligraphy and great scientific theory sheds  light on the unexplored regions of the black holes, light, space and time. I haven’t as yet read his masterpiece, A Brief History of Time though, since I have lost the book but somehow I will try managing it from the book store.

Despite being physically disabled, his adroit and phenomenal equations goes beyond the consistent limited black holes and universe exploration. He has taken the scientific world over limits and his book also takes the audience into the intricate details of black holes, time, space and the universes. The black hole theory has been ramified attributed to his numerous years of researches, according to Hawking, black holes are not black. He has also suggested that there might be numerous black holes in the universes considering the existence of numerous other unobserved or undiscovered universes.

Black holes absorb everything including light, his theory talks about radiations and particles which travels faster than light in the black holes which are emitted steadily. The speed of light is usually distracted in the black holes by the minute radiations, probably invisible. What happens to the radiations and particles emitted steadily from the black hole is unknown and therefore what happens eventually in the black hole is also unknown. However, he has described briefly the phenomenal theory and his researches about the black holes.

Stephen Hawking takes physics to a whole new level compared to other scientists about the origin and the history of the universe since the big bang in the real time but what exactly occurred before the big bang still remain a mystery. However, in the imaginary time if considered, it would reveal the dimensions of space and time or even the other unknown dimensions in cosmology. Imaginary time considers that the universe has neither beginning nor an end. The universe is self-contained and pre-determined.

The book describes the formation of black holes and existence of some advanced species in the other universes.

What I learned now is that the universe is expanding to the lower state of density and we are out of the black hole. Stephen is also fond of classical music besides his scientific studies. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Punakha Dzong, Bhutan

Punakha Dzong was established in 1637 and its the second oldest Dzong (Fortress) and the second largest Dzong in Bhutan.

The Royal wedding of His Majesty The King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his Fiance' was held here.

Here are some of the random pictures of the Dzong:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Words of My Perfect Teacher – A Brief Review

A worth reading classical Tibetan Buddhist book by Patrul Rinpoche introduces readers into the depth of Tibetan Buddhism. It is one of the rare classical books translated into English language by the Padmakara Translation Group trying to reach out to the wider audiences.

The technical aspects of the different stages of meditations are briefly described, which I believe that would be beneficial if practiced consistently. Some of the higher meditation techniques are also briefly described which obviously seem to be unnatural, but practical. Well, it’s all about the enlightenment and to achieve it, the book has it the right path.

The fact impermanence of earth or life and the universe itself has been revealed; which also includes the beings which live in the outer universes. Obviously the principle of cause and effect are comprehensively described and the solutions revealed too.

As everyone is well aware about the Karmic effect, brief confrontations with the bad Karma and accumulation of good Karma is very well instructed. 

A certain part of Guru Yoga and the ultimate method for arousing the wisdom of realization are well instructed attributing how capable we are and how much perseverance and patience we have. 

So as the title of the book, the teachings in the book are based on the teachings by his Master/teacher of the author without much manipulation. 


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