Thursday, October 17, 2013

The relevance of online education

The education system according in to Indian mythology started from so called 'Gurukuls', where students have to go and stay at their Guru's(teacher) ashram(house) for educating themselves. An ancient analogy of today's boarding schools. But its not a perfect analogy since Gurukulas were special in several other matters. The students at that time was not only taught material sciences but also they were given knowledge in philosophy, mythology, morals, histories, epics, nature, etc. More important is that they were also given practical training classes in war strategies and ancient weapons. These are all information fron our epics and myths.

The education system we see today came as a part of civilized man and foundation of societies. Now in this 21st century man has developed in such a way that he could study anything of his own. The resources available a click away is immense such that anyone could obtain data about anything. Here lies the importance of online education. Till a generation before people has to depend on libraries and professors for getting right guidance and knowledge of a particular sector. But with the advent of internet and computer technology this is so simple that he could study anything by jus investing time in internet.

The present generation students are availed with computers, tablets, smartphones etc before they enter a school. They are aware about a lot of things around this world well before a teacher teaches him/her the same. Their thinking and grasping ability is enhanced to a much wider spectrum through this. If some one teaches a child about how a cricket ball swings in and out, he could directly get the information from Google that its the phenomenon of Magnus effect and pressure gradient makes the ball swing. In this way a student is getting a freedom to know much more about whatever theory he studies in classrooms.

The dark side of this is the same knowledge treasure can be misused in a number of ways. As some one said any one could make a bomb if he has a computer and internet connection. So ultimately the decision of how to use the technology, constructively or destructively comes under the person. And that moral education of a person's character develops from his initial school, Home. The love, care and affection a child is getting from his home shapes his character and that what gets reflected in his/ her every deeds in future life.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton was born in 1642 in a manor house in Lincolnshire, England. His father had died two months before his birth. When Isaac was three his mother remarried, and Isaac remained with his grandmother. He was not interested in the family farm, so he was sent to Cambridge University to study.

Isaac was born just a short time after the death of Galileo, one of the greatest scientists of all time. Galileo had proved that the planets revolve around the sun, not the earth as people thought at the time. Isaac Newton was very interested in the discoveries of Galileo and others. Isaac thought the universe worked like a machine and that a few simple laws governed it. Like Galileo, he realized that mathematics was the way to explain and prove those laws. Isaac Newton was one of the world’s great scientists because he took his ideas, and the ideas of earlier scientists, and combined them into a unified picture of how the universe works.

Isaac Newton explained the workings of the universe through mathematics. He formulated laws of motion and gravitation. These laws are math formulas that explain how objects move when a force acts on them. Isaac published his most famous book, Principia, in 1687 while he was a mathematics professor at Trinity College, Cambridge. In the Principia, Isaac explained three basic laws that govern the way objects move. He then described his idea, or theory, about gravity. Gravity is the force that causes things to fall down. If a pencil falls off a desk, it will land on the floor, not the ceiling. In his book Isaac also used his laws to show that the planets revolve around the suns in orbits that are oval, not round.

Isaac Newton used three laws to explain the way objects move. They are often call Newton’s Laws. The First Law states that an object that is not being pushed or pulled by some force will stay still, or will keep moving in a straight line at a steady speed. It is easy to understand that a bike will not move unless something pushes or pulls it. It is harder to understand that an object will continue to move without help. Think of the bike again. If someone is riding a bike and jumps off before the bike is stopped what happens? The bike continues on until it falls over. The tendency of an object to remain still, or keep moving in a straight line at a steady speed is called inertia.

The Second Law explains how a force acts on an object. An object accelerates in the direction the force is moving it. If someone gets on a bike and pushes the pedals forward the bike will begin to move. If someone gives the bike a push from behind, the bike will speed up. If the rider pushes back on the pedals the bike will slow down. If the rider turns the handlebars, the bike will change direction.

The Third Law states that if an object is pushed or pulled, it will push or pull equally in the opposite direction. If someone lifts a heavy box, they use force to push it up. The box is heavy because it is producing an equal force downward on the lifter’s arms. The weight is transferred through the lifter’s legs to the floor. The floor presses upward with an equal force. If the floor pushed back with less force, the person lifting the box would fall through the floor. If it pushed back with more force the lifter would fly into the air.

When most people think of Isaac Newton, they think of him sitting under an apple tree observing an apple fall to the ground. When he saw the apple fall, Newton began to think about a specific kind of motion—gravity. Newton understood that gravity was the force of attraction between two objects. He also understood that an object with more matter –mass- exerted the greater force, or pulled smaller object toward it. That meant that the large mass of the earth pulled objects toward it. That is why the apple fell down instead of up, and why people don’t float in the air.

Isaac Newton thought about gravity and the apple. He thought that maybe gravity was not just limited to the earth and the objects on it. What if gravity extended to the moon and beyond? Isaac calculated the force needed to keep the moon moving around the earth. Then he compared it with the force the made the apple fall downward. After allowing for the fact that the moon is much farther from the earth, and has a much greater mass, he discovered that the forces were the same. The moon in held in an orbit around earth by the pull of earth’s gravity.

Isaac Newton’s calculations changed the way people understood the universe. No one had been able to explain why the planets stayed in their orbits. What held them up? Less that 50 years before Isaac Newton was born it was thought that the planets were held in place by an invisible shield. Isaac proved that they were held in place by the sun’s gravity. He also showed that the force of gravity was affected by distance and by mass. He was not the first to understand that the orbit of a planet was not circular, but more elongated, like an oval. What he did was to explain how it worked.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Satyajit Ray was born on May 2, 1921 in Calcutta to Sukumar and Suprabha Ray. He graduated from the Ballygunge Government School and studied Economics at Presidency College. He then attended Kala Bhavan, the Art School at Tagore's University, Santiniketan during 1940-1942. Without completing the five-year course, he returned to Calcutta in 1943, to join the British-owned advertising agency D. J. Keymer as a visualizer. Within a few years, he rose to be its art director.
In 1948, he married Bijoya Das, a former actress/singer who also happened to be his cousin. Their only offspring, Sandip, was born in 1953. In 1983, Satyajit Ray suffered a massive heart attack. He died on April 23, 1992 in Calcutta after having some 40 films and documentaries and numerous books and articles to his credit.

As a youngster, Ray developed two very significant interests. The first was music, especially Western Classical music. He listened, hummed and whistled. He then learned to read music, began to collect albums, and started to attend concerts whenever he could. These interests and skills were to prove most useful when he chose to score music for his own films.
His second interest was cinema, or "bioscope," as it was called in the early years of motion pictures. He saw silent films as well as "talkies" and started to compile scrapbooks with clippings culled from newspapers and magazines on Hollywood stars. He wrote fan letters to Deana Durbin who replied. Manik carefully put it in his scrapbook, along with pictures of Durbin. The Ray family has preserved this early scrapbook to this day. Ray wrote to Ginger Rogers too, but did not receive a reply. Billy Wilder received a "massive missive," a twelve-page long letter from Ray, now a young man who had developed a keen interest in the craft of cinema. The occasion was Ray's fascination in the Golden Age American Cinema and its profound impact on his own craft which remains an untold story.

In 1950, Satyajit Ray was asked by a major Calcutta publisher to illustrate a children's edition of Pather Panchali, Bibhuti Bhushan Banerjee's semi-autobiographical novel. On his way back from London, with little to do on a two-week boat journey, Ray ended up sketching the entire book. These formed the kernel and the essential visual elements in the making of Pather Panchali, Ray's very first film and the film that brought him instant international recognition and fame. At the Cannes Film Festival, in 1956, Ray received in absentia, the Best Human Document Award for this hauntingly beautiful film, its carefully executed details of joys and sorrows in the life of a little boy named Apu in a tiny village in Bengal in the 1920s. Instant fame, however, did not bring in its wake instant fortune.

Ray resigned from his job as a visualizer in the British advertisement firm soon after Pather Panchali was released. The die was cast: Ray was now a full-time professional filmmaker. After the completion of the Apu Trilogy (1959), regarded as a classic of World Cinema, Ray continued to work with amazingly diverse and varied material. With each film made in the 1960s, his reputation soared to new heights. Many distinguished awards and prizes came his way.
Satyajit Ray made modest amounts directing and making films. The producers reaped the profits from films that earned substantial revenues, e.g. The Apu Trilogy, and The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha (1968). In the mid-sixties, for a couple of years he had no work. The solution to making ends meet for his small family surfaced this way. In 1968, a prominent editor of a widely read literary magazine in Bengali persuaded Ray to write a novella for its annual number. Ray the writer of whodunits, adventure stories, science fictions, appropriately illustrated by himself, made a dramatic appearance on the Bengali literary scene. In addition, there was no surcease since then in his literary output until the time he was taken to the hospital in 1992. His last writing, My Years With Apu, was published posthumously in 1994. He wrote some seventy novellas, stories and translations and each one of them became a best seller in Bengali. The royalties from these various writings supported the Ray family, easing somewhat his anxiety to provide for his family. In the 70s and the 80s he chose to make a few films based on these stories: Sonar Kella (1974), Joi Baba Felunath (1978), Hirak Rajar Deshe (1980), Pikoo (1980), Shakha Proshakha (1990), Uttoran (1993). Sandip Ray directed the last film after Ray had passed away.

He was awarded Oscar for Honorary Lifetime achievement when he was bed ridden in Kolkata Hospital.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

 Importance of education and extra curricular activities.....

Education is an essential human virtue. Man becomes 'man' through education.Education is a sign of superiority. Aristotle wrote, "Educated men are as much superior to uneducated as the living are to the dead."An educated man will never find himself stranded in the midst of any difficulty. His brain, developed by serious- thinking during his academic years, will unfailingly arrive at some solution to the problem that besets him.This is what education prepares us for. And most of all, education gives us not only the mental but also physical strength necessary to face any challenges of life with dignity.Education is not all about studying and getting good marks. It is really a means to discover new things which we don't know about and increase our knowledge.

The development of a student not only involves curricular activities,but extra -curricular activities plays a vital role in the student development.In the past few decades,our Village International School have emphasized a broad educational mission: to develop the "whole student."In our Village International School, extra-curricular involvement is a key tool in this personal development. For the majority of students, involvement in extracurricular activities plays an important role in the school experience. Students become involved in extracurricular activities not only for entertainment, social, and enjoyment purposes, but most important, to gain and improve skills. A wide range of extracurricular activities exist at our school,meeting a variety of student interests.

Extra- curricular activities can be divided under different banners such as Literary, Sports, Creative, Science and Field Trips.Under the Literary Banner, activities like Elocution, Drama, Extempore, Declamation, Creative Writing, Spell bee, Quizzes etc.And extra-curricular activities under the Creative banner may include pottery making, puppetry, learning how to play a musical instrument, displaying skills in dance and singing and many such activities that highlight the hidden talents of a learner.All students may not be good in academics. Hence in order to guide them to display the talents in the field that they are good in, educational institutions must have this platform called Extra-curricular activity. Every child is unique and born with a talent, so what other way can be the best than to showcase it through this platform called Extra-Curricular Activity.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)-The most celebrated leader and conquerer

Napoleon Bonaparte was born on 15 August 1769 in Corsica into a gentry family. Educated at military school, he was rapidly promoted and in 1796, was made commander of the French army in Italy, where he forced Austria and its allies to make peace. In 1798, Napoleon conquered Ottoman-ruled Egypt in an attempt to strike at British trade routes with India. He was stranded when his fleet was destroyed by the British at the Battle of the Nile.

France now faced a new coalition - Austria and Russia had allied with Britain. Napoleon returned to Paris where the government was in crisis. In a coup d'etat in November 1799, Napoleon became first consul. In 1802, he was made consul for life and two years later, emperor. He oversaw the centralization of government, the creation of the Bank of France, the reinstatement of Roman Catholicism as the state religion and law reform with the Code Napoleon.

In 1800, he defeated the Austrians at Marengo. He then negotiated a general European peace which established French power on the continent. In 1803, Britain resumed war with France, later joined by Russia and Austria. Britain inflicted a naval defeat on the French at Trafalgar (1805) so Napoleon abandoned plans to invade England and turned on the Austro-Russian forces, defeating them at Austerlitz later the same year. He gained much new territory, including annexation of Prussian lands which ostensibly gave him control of Europe. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, Holland and Westphalia created, and over the next five years, Napoleon's relatives and loyalists were installed as leaders (in Holland, Westphalia, Italy, Naples, Spain and Sweden).

In 1810, he had his childless marriage to Josephine de Beauharnais annulled and married the daughter of the Austrian emperor in the hope of having an heir. A son, Napoleon, was born a year later.

The Peninsular War began in 1808. Costly French defeats over the next five years drained French military resources. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 resulted in a disastrous retreat. The tide started to turn in favour of the allies and in March 1814, Paris fell. Napoleon went into exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba. In March 1815 he escaped and marched on the French capital. The Battle of Waterloo ended his brief second reign. The British imprisoned him on the remote Atlantic island of St Helena, where he died on 5 May 1821.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mother Teresa-Symbol of Love and Peace

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje*, Macedonia, on August 26**, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt strongly the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months' training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun.

From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work.

On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.
Today the order comprises Active and Contemplative branches of Sisters and Brothers in many countries. In 1963 both the Contemplative branch of the Sisters and the Active branch of the Brothers was founded. In 1979 the Contemplative branch of the Brothers was added, and in 1984 the Priest branch was established.

The Society of Missionaries has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. They provide effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they undertake relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, and famine, and for refugees. The order also has houses in North America, Europe and Australia, where they take care of the shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless, and AIDS sufferers.
The Missionaries of Charity throughout the world are aided and assisted by Co-Workers who became an official International Association on March 29, 1969. By the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries. Along with the Co-Workers, the lay Missionaries of Charity try to follow Mother Teresa's spirit and charism in their families.

Mother Teresa's work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971) and the Nehru Prize for her promotion of international peace and understanding (1972). She also received the Balzan Prize (1979) and the Templeton and Magsaysay awards.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Biography of Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later the family moved to Munich, where he later on began his schooling at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Later, they moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.

During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work and in 1908 he was appointed Privatdozent in Berne. In 1909 he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich, in 1911 Professor of Theoretical Physics at Prague, returning to Zurich in the following year to fill a similar post. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and Professor in the University of Berlin. He became a German citizen in 1914 and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton*. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945.

After World War II, Einstein was a leading figure in the World Government Movement, he was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel, which he declined, and he collaborated with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Einstein always appeared to have a clear view of the problems of physics and the determination to solve them. He had a strategy of his own and was able to visualize the main stages on the way to his goal. He regarded his major achievements as mere stepping-stones for the next advance.

At the start of his scientific work, Einstein realized the inadequacies of Newtonian mechanics and his special theory of relativity stemmed from an attempt to reconcile the laws of mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. He dealt with classical problems of statistical mechanics and problems in which they were merged with quantum theory: this led to an explanation of the Brownian movement of molecules. He investigated the thermal properties of light with a low radiation density and his observations laid the foundation of the photon theory of light.

In his early days in Berlin, Einstein postulated that the correct interpretation of the special theory of relativity must also furnish a theory of gravitation and in 1916 he published his paper on the general theory of relativity. During this time he also contributed to the problems of the theory of radiation and statistical mechanics.

In the 1920's, Einstein embarked on the construction of unified field theories, although he continued to work on the probabilistic interpretation of quantum theory, and he persevered with this work in America. He contributed to statistical mechanics by his development of the quantum theory of a monatomic gas and he has also accomplished valuable work in connection with atomic transition probabilities and relativistic cosmology.

After his retirement he continued to work towards the unification of the basic concepts of physics, taking the opposite approach, geometrisation, to the majority of physicists.

Einstein's researches are, of course, well chronicled and his more important works include Special Theory of Relativity (1905), Relativity (English translations, 1920 and 1950), General Theory of Relativity (1916), Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement (1926), and The Evolution of Physics (1938). Among his non-scientific works, About Zionism (1930), Why War? (1933), My Philosophy (1934), and Out of My Later Years (1950) are perhaps the most important.

Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities. During the 1920's he lectured in Europe, America and the Far East and he was awarded Fellowships or Memberships of all the leading scientific academies throughout the world. He gained numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1925, and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1935.

Einstein's gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life. He married Mileva Maric in 1903 and they had a daughter and two sons; their marriage was dissolved in 1919 and in the same year he married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, who died in 1936. He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.