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“Satellite Meteorology” Second Edition

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Prof R R Kelkar’s book “Satellite Meteorology” Second Edition is now available.  

See the publisher’s web site for full information. BS Publications

Buy the book from amazon.in

Cyclone and Storm Surge Risk to Mumbai

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Prof R R Kelkar participated in a workshop organized by Columbia University Global Centre in Mumbai on 12 January 2017 on the subject of Cyclone and Storm Surge Risk to Mumbai. Darryl D’Monte has written a post on the subject in the India Climate Dialogue web site. To read it click on the link below:

http://indiaclimatedialogue.net/2017/01/20/mumbai-faces-increasing-storm-surges/

A New Book on Astrology

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Shri. Sadashiv Govind Shaligram has written a new Marathi book on astrology entitled “Krishnamurti Jyotish Sampada”. It has been published by Supriya Prakashan, Pune in November 2016. The book has a preface written by Prof R R Kelkar.  

Click here to read the preface

Observing God

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In the entire Bible, the word “observation” appears only once and it is used by the Lord Jesus himself in the context of the kingdom of God. (Luke 17:20 KJV) Observation can be much more than merely seeing with one’s eyes. When we observe rules, it means that we abide by them. When we observe silence, we maintain it. When we observe certain days, we draw attention to their importance.

At a meteorological observatory, most weather elements cannot be observed with the eyes. But wind speed, wind direction, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, humidity, can all be measured and recorded with instruments. At an astronomical observatory, only a fragment of the universe can be viewed closely, but scientists keep looking beyond in the hope of unravelling its mysteries.  

When Jesus began his work on earth, his opening call was “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) His inaugural address, or the sermon on the mount, started with the words: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God!” (Luke 6:20) The kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven, was a new concept and Jesus went on explaining it to his hearers in many different ways. He once likened it to a gathering of little children (Luke 18:16). He compared it with the process of sowing and reaping, with the sprouting of a mustard seed, the addition of yeast to flour, a hidden treasure, a pearl, and so on. (Matthew 13, Luke 13).

However, Jesus’ listeners were still unable to visualize the kingdom. They could not understand whether the kingdom of God had come, and if it had, then where was it? Jesus clarified to them, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation. Nor will people say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)  

Indeed, the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed from outside, because it is not a physical kingdom of this world. (John 18:36) It is in the realm of the spirit. Its virtual reality is to be seen, heard, felt and experienced by the spirit.  

The Spirit is Like the Wind

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Without air, human beings cannot survive. When breathing stops, life ends. God had breathed air into the dust of the ground to make the first man come alive. (Genesis 2:7) In fact, spirit, air and wind are used synonymously in the Bible, through a common word ‘ruwach’ in Hebrew and ‘pneuma’ in Greek.  

During a discussion about the spirit, Jesus had illustrated his point by comparing it to the wind in the earth’s atmosphere. (John 3:8) Like many meteorological elements, the wind indeed is invisible but it can be measured accurately and is known to be extremely variable. So does the spirit operate in the world, changing its intensity and purpose while remaining unseen by man.

The wind comes to us, we do not have to go to the wind. Similarly the spirit approaches us, we do not have to go looking for it. We can either make use of the wind or let it go. So it is with the spirit. We can receive it, get filled with the spirit, or allow it to pass by. (Jesus John 30:22, Acts 2:4; Eph. 5:18).

The wind can be gentle like a pleasant breeze on a hot day or on a moonlit night. Likewise the spirit can refresh us in our times of tiredness. (Psalm 23:2)

The wind can blow suddenly as in a gust. The spirit too may come blowing in suddenly, unannounced. (Acts 2:2)

The wind has great power. It can move clouds in the air and ships over the oceans and can drive turbines on land. The spirit also has great power. It can stimulate the human mind, give courage and strength to people, and help them accomplish great things. (2 Timothy 1:7)

The wind brings together air from distant places on earth. The spirit brings together different people into a common fellowship. (2 Corinth 13:14)

Yes, the spirit and the wind are alike, but not completely. There remains one big difference. The wind may be like the spirit of God, but it is not God. It cannot therefore be an object of worship. God is a spirit and he alone is to be worshipped is spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

 

Climate Change and Older Persons

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Since 1991, the International Day of Older Persons is being observed annually on 1 October under the auspices of the United Nations. The Day has a different theme every year and the theme for 2016 was “Take a Stand Against Ageism”. Ageism is defined as stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of a person’s age. Ageism may not be a very commonly used word, but as a practice it is already widespread. Older people are considered unsuitable for jobs, regarded unfit for insurance, given lesser importance in society, and discriminated against in this rapidly changing world.

Even climate change seems to be working against older people. Rising temperatures, increasing humidity, deteriorating air quality, are some of the causes that are adding to the woes of older people. They are now more susceptible to heat stroke, dehydration, arthritis, asthma and many other diseases. Recent data on the correlation between climate indices and deaths due to these causes shows that it is much higher for older persons than for younger persons.

The reason for such a statistical bias in climate-related happenings lies in ageism. Because by nature ageism results in marginalizing older people and keeping them out of the mainstream community life. This happens particularly when old people are an isolated part of huge families or when they live on their own in urban residential complexes. For example, on an exceptionally hot weekend, the younger generation may go to refresh themselves on beaches or mountain resorts, or plunge into swimming pools, while the old are left behind to fend for themselves. Many times they may not even be aware that there was an heat wave in their region. Even if they were, they may not know how to cope with it.

On the other hand, there are many older people who do not believe in climate change and do not care about it. They have seen it all in their lifetime, they say. They recall having experienced worse situations and the future scenarios painted by climate change scientists do not scare them.

Either way, there is only one solution to the problem and that is: As you grow older, you must try to be wiser! Then you can defy ageism and enjoy the pleasure of living your own life on your own terms!

Filmy Weather (34): Rustom, the Courtroom Drama with the Rain Song

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I went to watch “Rustom” for reasons of sheer nostalgia. I just had to see how the “Commander Nanavati case” had been portrayed on screen 57 years after it had actually happened. My late father Ratnakar Hari Kelkar, a retired postmaster, used to take keen interest in legal matters and court proceedings, and the Nanavati case of 1959 was his favourite. It was then the hottest topic of conversation in our home. I was a college student, but I had become familiar with the names of Sylvia Nanavati, the wife, and Prem Ahuja, the lover who was shot. Not only that, I even knew names like Karl Khandalavala, Nanavati’s lawyer, and Ram Jethmalani, the prosecution lawyer, and all their arguments. In those days, the Bombay courts used to have a jury like in Perry Mason’s novels, and the actual setting itself was in a sense “filmy”!

So I saw “Rustom” and was, frankly speaking, impressed by its authentic recreation of the Bombay of 1959 and its courts. There was a very realistic interior shot of Bombay GPO, especially the huge circle of service counters located right under its massive dome. My father would have loved to see it!

And midway in the movie, it was there – the unexpected sharp shower! Vikram Makhija (actor Arjan Bajwa) is entertaining Cynthia Pavri (actor Ileana D’Cruz) in the sprawling lawns of his home. Suddenly there is thunder and lightning. Vikram says, “Lagta hai bin mausam barsaat hone wali hai.” And bang on, it really begins to rain, the unseasonal “Avakali Paus”! Cynthia is drenched and trips while hurrying to safety. Of course, Vikram has to carry her to his bedroom and the rest follows.

So that was “Rustom”, a crime-courtroom-love triangle, complete with the rain sequence that Hindi movies must have! But honestly, I liked it!

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