This blog is essentially a scrapbook. I put up random snippets that I hope you will enjoy reading. They may be analytical and open your eyes to new perspectives, or they may be factual and topple your frame of reference. Some could even be funny and make you laugh. Ultimately, the idea is to have a wide variety of accessible content that either adds to what you know, reiterates it, or counters it.

A GIANT GALAXY IS GROWING, 10 BILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY

An international team of astronomers has stumbled upon a nest of infant galaxies — known as protogalaxies — while they were still being formed over 10 billion years ago. They predict that in time, this “Spiderweb Galaxy” will collapse into itself to form a single, massive larger galaxy. Till recently, scientists thought the only way a galaxy got bigger was by cannibalising smaller galaxies. Spiderweb, however, shows there is another way. Source and Image: Inverse

HOW TO SLEEP IN AEROPLANES

It’s an uphill battle alright (unless you’re flying first class in Emirates’ A380), but there are things you can do to catch 40 winks on a flight. Among the common sense advice floating around is to avoid the coffee, wear comfy clothes and so on. Here’s a read that works as a checklist. Source: Inverse Image: Travel Associates

COMMUTES ARE KILLING!

A recent study from Britain’s Office of National Statistics has shown that commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety than people who work from home. Average anxiety levels increased with each additional minute of the commute. Source: Taken verbatim from 1843 Image: Business Standard

WHAT THE YOUNG AND THE OLD CAN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER IN THE OFFICE

Researchers studying possible cross-generational learning have come up with the following points for what young and old workers can learn from each other. From the old, the young can learn how to control work and how to be financially proficient. From younger workers, the older ones can learn how to build diverse networks and how to build a reputation. Source: HBR.org Image: Business New Daily

COUNTRIES AND INDUSTRIES WHERE ENGLISH MATTERS

There’s no doubt that knowing English can be a big boost to your career. But where, and to what extent? The above tables, which track proficiency of the language by industry and country, should help you find out. Some other findings from this survey were that on average, women have better English language skills than men in most countries, industries, and job functions, and — gasp! — executives usually have lower English levels than the managers they oversee. Source and Images: HBR.org

DUTCH ARTISTS ATTEMPT TO SHOW (PASS OFF?) FAT AS ART

Dutch artists Mike Thompson and Arne Hendriks are building an island of fat in Amsterdam harbour, to highlight what humans consume. Their idea was born after they heard of “fatberg,” a greasy coagulation clog of liquid fats, oils and baby wipes the size of a bus that had formed in a London sewer in 2013. Fatberg was pressure-blasted out so as to stop the sewers overflowing, but became famous for its size. Source and Image: Inverse

ARE CO-OPERATIVES THE WAY TO KEEP FARMERS GOING?

Writing in the EPW, Tushaar Shah makes the point that we seldom hear of farmers who are members of co-operatives committing suicide. He points out that in North Gujarat, a semi-arid state, the dairy co-operatives experience increased milk production during drought, as farmers focus on increasing milk output to compensate for the loss in income from crops. He also points out that Paayas, in Rajasthan, passes on 85% of consumer income to the farmer, probably he highest of any dairy operator in India. Source: EPW Image: Col Sudhir Farm

THE ‘NDRANGHETA: DEADLIEST OF ITALY’S THREE MAFIAS

The Italian mafia is the stuff of legend, thanks to the Godfather. But beyond the Sicilian Mafia and its American version, the Cosa Nostra and the Camorra, there is a third multinational criminal organisation that traces its roots to Italy. The ’Ndrangheta (pronounced ehn-DRANG-eh-ta, with the stress on the second syllable) originated in Calabria, the toe end of the Italian “boot”, and is responsible for transporting most of the cocaine that reaches Europe from Latin America. Its superboss Domenico Oppedisano (pictured) used the cover of a market gardener. Source and Image: 1843 Magazine