India tests ASAT weapon

In a live address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India had successfully tested an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile against a live satellite in low-Earth orbit. Though he didn’t explicitly mention a date, he implied in his 15-minute announcement that the test was conducted today, March 27. Modi also lauded the Indian Space …

Lord of the Rings Day

A happy Lord of the Rings Day to you! March 25 is celebrated as such around the world (though not by too many people, I imagine) to commemorate what still endures as an excellent work of epic fantasy as well as – by its fans – to commemorate Frodo's destruction of the One Ring at …

Rich-poor divide

Deadly air exposes rich-poor divide, Channel News Asia, March 21, 2019: Delhi's affluent, who are often better informed about the dangers of pollution, increasingly expect the same safety measures they have in place at home, to be available when they are out. High-end eateries, bars and cinemas are tapping into that demand - installing electronic …

What went boom in Balakot?

Did the Indian Air Force strike the various structures at the madrasa in Balakot with lethality sufficient to have caused “heavy casualties”, as foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters on February 26? Sections of the Indian media and of course BJP politicians believe it did and have even put a figure on the number of dead terrorists …

What will Ashok Khemka find next?

Ashok Khemka, the senior IAS officer famous for having exposed numerous instances of government corruption, perhaps most prominently the DLF land-grab scam, has been transferred again. This time, he had voiced concerns over the Haryana government’s plans to ‘develop’ the Aravalli hills through what it called ‘consolidation projects’. That is just a sanitised way to say …

6.35 pm

The world was a bowlA container of thingsWith cities at the bottomLike the abyss turned upside downStars blinked back from belowWhen ancient volcanoes eruptedOrange lava assembled on the rimStilled on the cusp, afraid to fallDown the black wall of the world 5.47 pm But from somewhere, a blue curtain had descended over the flat terminator. …

The informedness problem

The following is the text of a speech I prepared to deliver at the 11th Young Investigators' Meeting in Guwahati on March 8, 2019. I wanted to use this opportunity to speak about education, which is one of science communication’s less known yet more important goals. I think it would be safe to argue that …

Scicomm by scientists

Warning: profanity There are scientists who don’t want other scientists to communicate their work to the masses. There are scientists who want to but don’t have what they need to do it. And there are scientists who want to and are doing it. I love the last group. They are the best people to speak …