Saturday, August 06, 2005

Sixty years since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings / VIPs dot discom's online defaulter list / Blue collar workers in the boardroom /


Sixty years since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

In the early morning hours of August 6, 1945, an American B-29 warplane, named the Enola Gay, rolled down the runway of an American airbase on the Pacific island of Tinian. It flew for almost six hours, encountering no resistance from the ground.

At 8:15 a.m. local time, the plane dropped its payload over the clear skies of Hiroshima, a Japanese city with an estimated population of 255,000. The atomic bomb that the plane was carrying, “Little Boy,” detonated some 600 meters above the city center, killing 80,000 people—30 percent of the population—immediately or within hours of the explosion.

Three days layer, on August 9, a similar plane carrying a more powerful weapon left Tinian but had more difficulty reaching its intended destination. After encountering fire from the ground, and finding its target city Kokura covered in clouds, it flew on to its second target, Nagasaki, a heavily industrialized city of about 270,000. Due to the specific topological features of Nagasaki, and to the fact that the bomb missed the city center, the effects were slightly less devastating. An estimated 40,000 people were killed outright.

The Hiroshima bomb was targeted at the Aioi Bridge, which it missed by about 250 meters. According to one account, the bomb exploded instead directly above a hospital headed by a Dr. Shima: “The Shima hospital and all its patients were vaporized.... Eighty-eight percent of the people within a radius of 1,500 feet died instantly or later on that day. Most others within the circle perished in the following weeks or months.”



VIPs dot discom's online defaulter list

Dennis Marcus Mathew

HYDERABAD: The former Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, was slightly
late in paying his power bill that ran into Rs. 2.93 lakhs. But the delay of
more than three weeks was enough for the Central Power Distribution Company
of Andhra Pradesh Limited (CPDCL) to list him among defaulters with arrears
crossing Rs. 50,000. The tagline is: Once a defaulter, remain so for six
months for everyone to see with a single click. Mr. Naidu, on the list last
updated on March 31, 2005, will bear the ignominy till September 2005. His
name figures in the Hyderabad North list, where `Reason for Pendency of
Default' is mentioned as `Ex Chief Minister'!


Blue collar workers in the boardroom

Brian Ellsworth

Worker-managed businesses have been the dream of the world's socialists. In
Venezuela, they may become a reality.

FOR 20 years, Pedro Gomez felt just part of the machinery at his job at
Aluminio del Caroni, or Alcasa, a state-owned aluminium company in an
industrial zone where the Caroni and Orinoco rivers converge in
south-eastern Venezuela. Mr. Gomez, 51, a casting table operator who shovels
molten aluminium down a channel from an industrial oven into a cast that
makes 12-foot rods, says management never listened to his complaints about
corrupt contractors or shoddy equipment.

But things have changed. The management is now heeding his request for a new
casting table, he said, and will even allow him to help determine the
company's 2006 budget. This April, he was permitted to vote, along with the
company's other 2,700 workers, to elect some of Alcasa's 19 managers and two
of its five corporate directors. Most of the candidates were drawn from the
rank and file. "The managers and the workers are running this business
together," Mr. Gomez said. "It gives us new motivation to work hard."

Why do we experience a sticky feeling on our teeth when a not fully ripened
banana is eaten?

The sticky feeling and astringent taste that we get when eating unripe,
uncooked bananas are due to different compounds in the latex. Banana latex
consists primarily of tannins, terpene resin, pectins and other proteins
similar to latex from other plants.

As an interesting side note, dried banana peels are used in the leather
industry for blackening of leather due to their high tannin content.



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