Surviving on fiat money

This was among one of my first posts written on SimplySimple. However it never took shape as I was too busy juggling my blog hosting, learning WordPress and fiddling around with design issues and AD placements…. Fast forward to last week. Our fantastic Prime minister (and his team) pulls another one of his half baked political stunts. He decides that currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 should be demonetized. This is not the first time that someone has thought of it. It has happened twice before in Indian history -once before India  gained independence from the British and then later on in 1978, under prime minister Morarji Desai. Coincidentally, both of them are from the state of Gujarat and have similar ideology.

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The Chir Pine: Pinus roxburghii

I’ve been fascinated by the chir pine Pinus roxburghii (Pinus longifolia) for quite some time and realised that I haven’t yet put down a post on it. I’ve marvelled at its beauty both at Sattal and also Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, India.  Unfortunately it is sad to see villagers set whole slopes of the forest on fire which is taken up by the layer of dry pine needles covering the mountain slopes. The villagers do it so that grass would grow again on the ground between the trees for them to take home back to their cattle. It is also suspected that the land mafia does this to deliberately deforest areas in connivance with the authorities which they can then encroach upon and sell. This is easy to do as the pine is rich in resin and catches fire easily even when wet. Continue reading The Chir Pine: Pinus roxburghii

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Review: Tecsun PL-380 DSP Radio

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An old gang condenser which uses air as its dielectric medium

I love radio. I’ve wanted to be a Ham since I was a kid and ordered numerous resources, however due to cost constraints, nothing worthwhile happened. Later on, I took up electronics and assembled two of my own radios, the old ones -not the very old ones with valves, but the analogue pre-IC ones using transistors, coils and transformers and a polyester gang condensor for the tuner. I have older memories and remember my ex-army uncle from EME who had once given me a gang condenser with plates which used air as its dielectric medium but Iost touch after IC’s became standard and replaced discrete components. Even though I had a Sony ICF-F12S radio, my heart longed for something which used PLL tuning and had a DSP and digital tuning and storage. Continue reading Review: Tecsun PL-380 DSP Radio

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Review : Smith & Wesson tactical pen

Looks like my bug out bag project is jinxed. A couple of years back, my 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 backpack was stolen on a train journey to my brothers house. I was testing its load bearing ability with its Y yoke being a bit uncomfortable in the Indian summers. Now I’m yet unable to choose whether to go in for the Rush 72 or stick to the original plan. In addition the Storm color I wanted (previous one was black) seems ineligible for International shipping. Thankfully, I’ve put the cart before the horse so I have plenty of equipment to review. Once I’ve finalized the  list of items that go into my bag, it will be easier for me to take a call on what size of tactical rucksack I’d need. Continue reading Review : Smith & Wesson tactical pen

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Review: Sony ICF-F12S Radio

If you were born in the seventies or early eighties in India, the sound of a radio -which was the only source of entertainment and news  then would bring on a wave of nostalgia and rekindle old memories. For me I have additional memories passed down from a generation before and radio is an inseparable part of me. I never became a HAM like I wanted to when I was younger, but my love for radios and electronics never ended. Continue reading Review: Sony ICF-F12S Radio

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Harvesting and processing Arrowroot

Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) is a familiar name. As kids it was a kind of a sister to castor oil which mum sometimes spooned into our mouths. It was bland and insipid and that was the beginning of my childhood hatred for any kind of porridge and of Arrowroot biscuits which has thankfully now passed. Arrowroot derives its name from its past medicinal use in which it was used as a poultice to treat wounds inflicted by poisoned arrows. Continue reading Harvesting and processing Arrowroot

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Harvesting and processing Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a spice which is very familiar in Asia. It is usually used powdered and is one of the easiest to identify due to its bright orange-yellow color. However it is often adulterated and then colored with artificial colors. If you have a small garden patch, it is very easy to grow turmeric on your own. It is almost maintenance free and takes care of itself provided the weather is not too cold and there is good rainfall.  Continue reading Harvesting and processing Turmeric

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