Tuesday, January 14, 2014

UFO Landing in Bhutan: Is it a Project Loon Balloon?

Photo source: Kuensel
The moment I opened today's Kuensel(15 Jan 2014), I was excited to see the image of an UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) which landed in Shingdeygang village in Sibsoo. The images and talks about UFO always brings in me a sense of inquisitiveness and makes me wonder a lot. Read my earlier post on  Curiosity Landing on Mars where I mentioned about how I get fascinated about the the extraterrestrial lifeforms and the space crafts. Almost instantly, I was filled with numerous questions and wanted to see the object in real. The news says that the inscription on the balloon read who ever finds the balloon would be rewarded although what kind of reward is not mentioned. The object has been taken to Thimphu for further investigations.

How could I ever leave the matter at that point? I almost instantly googled about what it could really be and after my little online research, I was taken to a google project site called "Project Loon" . Project Loon is an undertaking of Google and it is a network of balloons travelling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters. So, these Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere and are carried around the Earth by winds. People can connect to the balloon network using a special internet antenna. The project Loon pilot test began in June 2013 and thirty balloons were launched from New Zealand's South Island.
Launching of the balloon
Balloon when airborne

The above images are from various online sources which resembles the one that landed in Bhutan. Sipsoo's UFO is supposedly one amongst the thirty which was launched as a pilot project and the reward that we could request from the project is free internet in Sipsoo :).  For the time being let's wait and see whether it is really the balloon from Project 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Becoming a Culinary Hobbyist

I don't know what triggered me but somehow, of late, I have developed this passion to experiment on cuisines from different parts of the world, and here I have become a culinary hobbyist. Partly, the influence is from the American and Indian Master Chef season shows which were nicely orchestrated on the television. Thanks to google for providing step-by-step recipes to thousands of food to a novice like me. has become my all time favorite website when ever I feel an urge to get into the kitchen.  Cooking makes me really engaged on weekends and the satisfaction is even more greater when the outcome justifies your hardwork. After hours of following the instructions given in the cook-book, my food passes through a trial judged by none other than my wife and our two kids. It is not surprising when at times they just throw away or spit out what I have prepared after spending hours in the kitchen. After all, it is my first attempt into all these dishes and to nail it down on the first attempt would mean defeating the famous chefs :). The below pictures are from my last weekend's work out.

Hot and cripsy Egyptian falafel 
Rusted Potato Salad
Up until now I have done carrot cake, pizza, chicken masala, fried meat balls, potato salads, pani puri, kebabs, falafel, deserts, tom yum, and lots more. My passion is not just limited to trying out new dishes but I have even tried on mocktails and other drinks. My homemade Irish Bailey Cream remains a top-chart as of now. With every new attempt, I get drawn into this pool of mouth-watering delicacies from all around the world . Mexican casserole and Cuban beef stew is definitely in the next.

Monday, January 6, 2014

More of "I quit" in the Land of Happiness

The recent article published by The Bhutanese on the high suicide rates in Bhutan is quite shocking and pitiful. Bhutan stands at 21 out of 110 countries in a 2011 WHO global ranking on suicide rates. When Bhutan is known to the outside world as a land of happiness, the Last Shangrilains are supposed to be happy in all aspects of life.  It is not the case as per the WHO figures. The Suicide rate of Bhutan is at 16.2 per 100,000 of population. An independent survey carried out by the paper also found that the suicide rate was increasing every year. It reports of 92 suicide cases in 2013, a jump from 65 in 2012. The "I Quitters" are mostly in the range of 18-25 years of age.

 Back home, everyone knows that the suicide rate is on an increasing trend but no significant measures have really taken place to combat this issue. What makes a youth with full of promises and aspirations suddenly decide and say "I quit"? Is it the strict disciplinary actions in schools? Is it because of family issues? Is it because of unemployment? or is it because of other reasons?. There are endless questions that one may need to ask and ultimately thrash out the root cause which is slowly creeping into our society. GNH and high suicide rate is quite a contradiction. 

I would not even dare to give up on life no matter even if the sky falls down. Buddhist precept is strict on committing suicides and as a Buddhist we are made to believe that one will be condemned to commit suicide for a thousand life time if one commits it now. I only wish that this concept gets ingrained in every human mind and work to walk through the problem instead of simply giving up on life. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

De-blogged for a while

It has been quite sometime since I last updated my blog. At some point of time I even forgot that I maintained one. It requires quite a lot of passion to keep it alive and updated which I do not have. One new year resolution that I made is to constantly update my blog so that my domain is atleast worth its registration :) .
Fast forwarding all the events that happened since my last post, the latest of all are the new year and the Nyilo (Winter Solstice) celebrations with a day's rest in between. New Year eve was a blast. The preparations were superb to our own standards but the turnout was average. Not many people came for the countdown but we still enjoyed thumping to the rhythm of the tracks. It was half past four in the morning when we retired to bed. Last evening we again had a Nyilo get-together but this time it was a closed group function. Nothing could be more exciting than sitting around a fire, sipping home-made Bailey cream, talking on endless topics and watching our kids play. Marilyn Monroe was right in saying "This life is what you make it". No matter where we are, all it takes is one small idea to bring smiles and laughter to many faces and such social gathering surely makes our life cheerful. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...