Going Sudoku!

They say Newspapers are the reflection of the society and I tend to agree. Last few years have seen the altered focus in news presentation in Print and electronic media, favoring crisper and quicker coverage rather than detailed next day coverage. Whilst we may have anticipated that the print media would focus more on news analysis and let the electronic media cater to the ?breaking news? segment, trendsetters like the Times of India have instead focused on vellicating news and gossiping.

However, the media is not to blame entirely; they are reacting to the changes taking around us. People are busy, spend lot of time on commuting and would like something brief to digest that?s not too noetic. One of the facets of changing content is the good old crossword. People already hated it when newspapers switched to Cryptic crosswords with irritatingly obvious answers. Now the newspapers are on to easier formats like the Sudoku which has gained much popularity this year. Sudoku has Japanese origin and is a placement puzzle and seems easier because you are not expected to be a logical wizard to solve it, what you need in abundance is patience. TOI and many other newspapers have started featuring Sudoku puzzles along with other similar puzzles. They are surely addictive and are gaining popularity probably because newspapers do not go for difficult ones and people can solve it in their spare time. Changing times!

Nirantar's May Issue

The May issue of Hindi blogzine Nirantar is now on the browsers. In this issue you may read:

  • Kya aap tagging karte hain?” an interesting overview of the newly emerging “tag folksonomy”, post Technorati tags. If you have never tag-ged before this is the article to read.
  • Nitin Pai awaits arrival of another Mahatma, this time for an economic liberty.
  • Interview of Sahitya academy award winner author Giriraj Kishor where he talks about IIT Kanpur, Gandhiji and litertaure.
  • Purnima Burman reminisces the journey of online literary magazines “Anubhuti” and “Abhivyakti”.
  • Ravi reviews Kamleshwar's translation of “The Alchemist”.
  • Anup Shukla's Chittha Charcha joins the zine with monthly roundup of Indiblogdom.
  • All regular columns including the Samsya Purti competition where you can win Rebecca Blood's book “The weblog handbook”, Chug's link blog, news round-up, IndiBlog stats, Memoirs, Satires, Poems, Best Post of the month, Quotable Quotes, Puchhiye Fursatiya se, Photo feature showcasing Deepak Gulati and renowned photographer Devendra Sharma.

We are planning new things in the zine, including theme-based issue. The next issue of Nirantar would be a “WordPress Special” with interview, anecdotes, and articles. The July issue would be a “Water special”. We welcome your participation and suggestions.

Anti Coke campaign gathers momentum

We hear haughty talks of decentralization and “power to the people” through the Panchayati Raj but it seems that the MNCs and even the Indian courts think otherwise. I once wrote about a High Court order that allowed Coke to resume production at its Plachimada, Kerala plant despite of the village council objections. It is ludicrous that in a decision that affects the community its members have no say at all. The people at Plachimada have seen severe water shortages after Coke began its operations there. Another cause of concern is that the remaining groundwater as well as soil has been polluted because of their bottling operations. It is also alleged that Coke was also dumping its solid waste as fertilizer to the farmers. These have been found to contain high levels of lead and cadmium. Coke has several other such plants in Uttar Pradesh as well. The company’s products have been under criticism when they were found to contain extremely high levels of pesticides by the Delhi based NGO, Center for Science and Environment.

Amongst this, it’s encouraging to note that the Plachimada community is undeterred after the recent court ruling that undermines their 3-year struggle. They are now contemplating to make an appeal to Supreme Court. If you wish to support their campaign, you may register it online, here.