Does it really take 400 L of water to make 1 L of cold drink?

It is surprising to know that 1 million traders in Tamil Nadu, according to this Time update, are taking cold drink bottles from Coca-Cola and Pepsi off their shelves because these multinationals are using up the state’s scarce water resources. The traders are replacing these bottles of cold drinks with local, fruit-based brands.

It’s quite surprising to know that it takes 400 L of water to make 1 L of cold drink. If this really happens, it is such a waste and something desperately needs to be done about this.

Actually it takes 1.9 L of water to make a small bottle of Coca-Cola but that is at the factory level. Activists in the state say that  sugarcane farming takes up lots of water. Coca-Cola is the biggest buyer of sugarcane in the country and PepsiCo is the third-largest sugarcane buyer in the country.  So if you add up the water used to grow sugarcanes, it comes out to be 400 L water to make 1 L of cold drink.

The problems with multinationals is that  they’re very disconnected with local problems and this is why inviting foreign investment is always a double-edged sword. It brings advanced technology to the country  and it also generates employment but since  these companies are not directly connected to the soil of the country, they don’t have any long-term interest in taking care of the local environment.

The same happens with web server farms The use of lots of water, lots of precious water.

It’s a blessing in disguise though. Bringing for the gold rings anyway is not good for health and it is good that people are being encouraged to consume beverages made of fruits. Though this may bring its own set of problems.

Why Indian engineering graduates don’t pursue engineering?

In the early 2000’s for some time I worked with GE and my superior was a chemical engineer. Once he boasted to me that he earns more editing Word documents than his friends working at ISRO with the same qualification. When I asked what about work satisfaction, he said he was satisfied as long as he was being paid could.

This Forbes article says that most engineering students in India have to seek employment in other realms because they don’t get paid much in the court engineering field. For example, someone called Abhishek Sharma says that an engineer gets 60% more in a software company compared to a conventional engineering-related company. After completing his engineering, this person is working as a business consultant, and I can totally believe him, considering my senior was perfectly happy editing Word files.

Muslim polarisation automatically means Muslim polarisation

The BJP is being accused of polarising the Uttar Pradesh elections, and it might be, says Minhaz Merchant in this dailyO article, but polarisation from the BJP’s side is mostly reactionary. We all remember that initially the BJP talked about only development despite a few of its fringe members raising issues of Ram Janm Bhumi and Hindu-Muslim issues.

But the problem is, unfortunately, the politics of our country is intertwined in the mesh of caste, religion, class and even regionalism. For decades, parties like the Congress have been deftly playing the communal card to pitch Muslims against Hindus and then reap political dividends.

The Congress and its various offshoots and partners in crime have been easily able to pitch the Muslim community against the Hindu community because one, the dynamics within the Muslim community are such that they constantly feel threatened, shortchanged, victimised and when not all these, aggressive.

Two,  Hindus on the other side are divided. There are caste divides, class divides and regional divides. You name it, and they have that sort of divide. So they are not a very strong, collective vote bank unless they are moved by a very big cause.  In the early 90s it was the Ram Janm Bhumi that brought Hindus together and suddenly catapulted the BJP to the position of a national party.

The Ram Janm Bhumi movement taught the BJP that if communalism works for the Congress, if it has the right cause, it can also work for the BJP, and it actually did.

The problem with the BJP is, even if it wants to stay away from the Hindu-Muslim issue, the other parties won’t.

Hindu-Muslim-Caste issue in India is like water and color on the day of Holi. It’s very difficult to remain clean on Holi when you go out: someone will definitely throw water and color on you. If not an adult, then a kid. If you want to remain clean, stay indoors.

The same holds true for Indian politics. If you want to stay away from these issues, then forget about becoming a significant political entity.

The post Does it really take 400 L of water to make 1 L of cold drink? appeared first on Writing Cave.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.

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