Friday, May 31, 2013

No Tobacco Day - 31 May

31st May is No Tobacco Day. Probably this man is planning to say quit as he enjoys his puff before hitting the road....

I wish to encourage abstinence from tobacco and to support people quitting smoking. I know already some of my friends who has taken this important decision, and strongly support them to achieve this important goal towards improving their health.

Smoking is the major cause of cancer mortality but because it is an acquired behavior − activities that people choose to do – smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society

If you are a smoker, please set a quit smoking target:

· one day, 
and then to
· one month,
and then to
· one year,
and then
· never again.


I strongly encourage you to do so, IF YOU ARE A SMOKER.

Everything can be achieved one step at the time.

Best wishes in advance,

Ramesh Menon
31st May 2013

A friday routine

Its Friday and an opportunity to do Narayana Seva...
Summer is up here and getting hotter and hotter... Laban (butter milk), small water bottles, Fruits...There are many who work outside with very little facilities. If interest persists an opportunity is always there to participate. Do not hesitate to share a drop of kindness to those who deserve.

Scandals tarnish once-great sport

Scandals tarnish once-great sport

Scandals tarnish once-great sport

The unfolding saga related to the just-concluded IPL tournament (Sreesanth denies any spot-fixing, May 23) is sad for any Indian who loves cricket.

The scandals, accusations and blame games among the investigating authorities, players, team owners and the Board of Control reveal that it is no longer a "gentleman's game".

I strongly feel that this is not a one-off incident. However, the influx of money, the overnight elevation of players to mega stardom and the fanfare associated with the IPL has added fuel to the fire.
In many ways, this could have been foreseen by the authorities and they could have taken appropriate action earlier.

Legends are either born or achieve that status through hard work and a consistent approach to their profession and performance.

However, with the IPL we have seen one-off success going to the head of many young players, with bags full of money thrown at them.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Giri Stores - Madras

A place I can never avoid when in Chennai - what was once a small one room shop is now transformed to a 3+1 storied well designed store to cater the needs of its traditional customers.

Sterling Road Madras

Sterling Road - remembering college days........

A huddle in progress

A huddle in progress.......... did they also hear about the latest happening..... a final being played tomorrow... what a sorry state... wish they had formalised everything before - a bit more open allowing a free run and similar or more like WWF and similar events... Extremely sad to see what's happening around. Glad that I thought about the Campaign PASS - Promote All Sports Simultaneously long back.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kitchen Hood Fire - Safety precautions to avoid an inferno within our home

It is now very common to have Kitchen hood installed in at our home. Time has changed and with more modern amenities we have to be additional cautious. I am writing this from a recent personal accident that happened within our family. A fire incident that happened, and by sheer luck those involved survived without any injury. The trauma that followed still continues with family including adults and children. It is indeed an eye opener. What do we do to avoid such incidents to recur?.

Indeed, Kitchen Safety should be given high importance.

In kitchens, where deep fat fryers, special baking appliances, tilting-type frying pans, broilers and grills are in use, spontaneous fires must be expected. The chances are more common within Indian families, who use more oil and frying methods while cooking. 

Therefore, if you have installed a Kitchen hood, it has to be cleaned.

Clean fire hoods prevent potentially dangerous particulates from escaping into the air, lowering the air quality and potentially posing a health hazard to all those involved.  Therefore, If a kitchen installed with a kitchen hood is found with a dirty hood, all efforts should be done to clean and maintain it at the earliest to avoid potentially dangerous situation that may happen.

Practice kitchen safety.

Unattended cooking is a common fire-starter, whether you are using a range or a microwave oven. If small children are home, maintain a kids-free-zone of at least 3 feet and use back burners when possible. Unplug small appliances, including toasters and coffeemakers, when they are not in use or you are away for long periods.

Clean range hoods.

Grease build up in range hoods is another fire hazard, so be sure to clean the vents regularly.

Keep dryer vents clear.

Clean your dryers lint screen regularly to avoid lint build up, which was listed as a factor in many fires. Use rigid metal dryer ducts instead of flexible ducts made of foil or plastic, which can sag and let lint build. And check them regularly to remove any lint build up.

Stay in the kitchen when using the range for cooking.

If you are leaving for just a minute, turn off all the burners on the range. Going for a can of tomatoes, or running out to check the mail, going to the bathroom, answering the phone in another part of the house? Simply turn off all the burners. After all, you are just leaving for a minute. You can immediately turn the pot or frying pan back on when you return.

Taking this simple step will prevent one of the most common situations that cause house fires due to unattended cooking.

When cooking with oil, keep a lid or flat cookie sheet close by. If flames appear, simply suffocate the fire with the lid and immediately turn off the stove or fryer to let it cool down. Do not try to move the pan. Do not use water. The super-heated water will explode into steam, and can cause severe burns, and oil can splash and spread the fire.

Don't cook when drinking alcohol, using drugs, or very tired. Eat something prepared, make a cold sandwich, and go to sleep. Cook your meal later, when you are fully conscious.

Check stove vent hoods, clean the filter regularly, and make sure that if it is equipped with an exterior vent, insects or birds do not build nests or otherwise impede the air flow through it.

Please ensure to employ a maintenance team with quality professional service who can provide grease trap cleaning, free waste oil removal, filter exchanges and hood fabrication as well as accessory services such as hinge kits, access panels and grease containment systems.

Each cleaning should include Filters, Fans, inside and out, Accessible Ducts from top to bottom, Fire Suppression Links, pipes and nozzles, detailed polish of all stainless steel exposures in the hood interior.
 In essence, maintain kitchen safety thanks to a clean extractor hood

Measures for a Safe Extractor Hood

If you want your extractor hood to be safer and more efficient, you must clean the casing, inside and the filters, which are usually removable, regularly. The frequency with which it must be cleaned and maintained will depend on the use you give it and the type of cooking you do.

The efficiency and safety of an extractor hood are linked to its cleanliness and maintenance, for if the appliance is dirty, the fans have a lower output and consume more energy in order to perform the same function.

The energy consumption of this electrical appliance fluctuates between 70w/h and 125w/h for the minimum power (depending on the model) and 200w/h and 350w/h at maximum power.

Dirt increases the risk of fire

The accumulated grease in the filters increases the risk of fire, which may start with a flame from a frying pan or by the burners overheating; this grease, on catching alight, will start the fire.

The more you fry, the more you need to clean

If you use your extractor hood a lot and do a lot of frying, you must clean the casing, interior and removable filters once a week. With fat-free recipes (boiling and steaming) the dirt reduces, as such it is sufficient to clean it once every two or three weeks.

The safe method, step by step

Switch the appliance off at the mains, remove the filters, clean the inside of the appliance using a cloth that has been dipped in soapy water and liquid ammonia, and dry it well using a cotton cloth that does not leave fluff behind. Try not to touch the engine or fans.

Continue with the casing

How you clean the casing depends on the material that it is made from. If it is plastic you can use soapy water and liquid ammonia, but if it is made of stainless steel, it is recommendable  that you use a specific product which polishes the steel. Never use this cleaner for the control panel, which will come perfectly clean using the solution that is acceptable for the plastic casing, but rinsing out the cloth completely.

Removable filters keep it like new

The best way of cleaning them involves placing them in a large bucket containing soapy water and liquid ammonia and scrubbing them with a brush used only for that purpose. Then you rinse them with clean water and leave them to dry outside. If it is sunny in your utility room or balcony, hang them up there. You can also put them in the dishwasher, placing them as vertically as possible in the lower shelf. If the filters of your extractor hood are disposable, replace them with new ones as often as the manufacturer’s instructions state.

In the event of excessive dirt

If the removable filters and the structure in which they are inserted are excessively dirty, apply an effective grease remover to both parts, leave it to take effect for five minutes, and then wipe the surface of the hood with a sponge, and scrub the filters with a brush, until you remove all of the grease. Remember that dirt increases the risk of a fire.

Did you know that…

The majority of domestic fires start in the kitchen, and especially in the extractor hood.

Get going, and have a look at your Kitchen hood and if you find it to be cleaned, do not delay.  

Safety First, at all times.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Sunday, 12th May 2013

More photos:

Illustration of dirt and grease accumulation that can turn potentially dangerous and turn in to fire incident:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Koolakkadan Kuttikrishnan in a playful mood

Young Koolakkadan Kuttikrishnan, a growing temple elephant was in his own playful world at the Koodalmanikyam Temple premises recently. I had the opportunity to watch him and be with him and click him as much as I wanted. Aware of what I am doing, he started showing his tricks in a more playful mood.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

All for nothing - Kerala Forest department services at Temple festivals

Two officers from Kerala State Forest department verifying details and health condition of the elephants on duty each time for the temple festival and rituals associated. They take note of several details including the name of the elephant, its health condition, details of its mahout, whether he is drunk or not, whether proper food is given etc. I found them doing selfless service and much better placed in all aspects when compared to their colleagues working for Kerala Police force.
At a time when the department itself is without a minister, and the minister who left himself took more interest for the welfare of the elephant owners than the elephants, it will remain as a distant dream for the safety and comfort of the pachiderms and those who takes care of it.

Ramesh Menon
08 May 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

എണ്ണയുടെ നാട്ടില്‍ ഒരു സൗരോര്‍ജ നിലയം

എണ്ണയുടെ നാട്ടില്‍ ഒരു സൗരോര്‍ജ നിലയം
Posted on: 04 May 2013

ചിത്രങ്ങളും എഴുത്തും: രമേഷ് മോനോന്‍

എണ്ണയുടെ നാട്ടില്‍ സൗരോര്‍ജ നിലയമോ! അതെ, യുണൈറ്റഡ് അറബ് എമിരൈറ്റിലെ ഷാംസ് സൗരോര്‍ജ നിലയം, ലോകത്തിലെ തന്നെ ഏറ്റവും വലിയ സൗരോര്‍ജ നിലയങ്ങളിലൊന്നാണ്. അബുദാബിയില്‍ നിന്ന് 120 കിലോമീറ്റര്‍ അകലെ സ്ഥിതിചെയ്യുന്ന ഷാംസ് നിലയം കഴിഞ്ഞ മാര്‍ച്ച് 17 നാണ് പ്രവര്‍ത്തനമാരംഭിച്ചത്. 

പാരബോളിക് ട്രഫ് ടെക്‌നോളജി ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്ന ഷാംസ് 1 ( Shams 1 ) ആണ് ഇപ്പോള്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തനമാരംഭിച്ചിട്ടുള്ള ആദ്യഘട്ടം. സൗരോര്‍ജത്തെ താപോര്‍ജമായി പരിവര്‍ത്തനം ചെയ്ത് അതുപയോഗിച്ച് 100 മെഗാവാട്ട് വൈദ്യുതി ഉത്പാദിപ്പിക്കാന്‍ ഷാംസ് 1 ന് സാധിക്കും. ഷാംസ് 2, ഷാംസ് 3 സ്‌റ്റേഷനുകള്‍ താമസിയാതെ കമ്മീഷന്‍ ചെയ്യും.

ഷാംസ് 1 നിലയത്തില്‍ 100 മെഗാവാട്ട് വൈദ്യുതി ഉത്പാദിപ്പിക്കുക വഴി, പ്രതിവര്‍ഷം 175,000 ടണ്‍ കാര്‍ബണ്‍ഡയോക്‌സയ്ഡ് അന്തരീക്ഷത്തില്‍ വ്യാപിക്കുന്നത് ചെറുക്കാനാകുമെന്നാണ് കണക്ക്. 20,000 ഭവനങ്ങളില്‍ വെളിച്ചമെത്തിക്കാന്‍ ഇത്രയും വൈദ്യുതികൊണ്ട് കഴിയും. 

സൗരോര്‍ജം ആഗിരണം ചെയ്യാന്‍ 258,048 പരാബോളിക് ട്രഫ് ദര്‍പ്പണങ്ങള്‍ ഷാംസ് 1 നിലയത്തിലുണ്ട്. ഈ ദര്‍പ്പണങ്ങളും അനുബന്ധ ഉപകരണങ്ങളുമെല്ലാംകൂടി രണ്ടര ചതുരശ്ര കിലോമീറ്റര്‍ പ്രദേശത്ത് വ്യാപിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു. 

അബുദാബി ഫ്യൂച്ചര്‍ എനര്‍ജി കമ്പനിക്ക് കീഴിലുള്ള ഷാംസ് പവര്‍ കമ്പനിയാണ് ഈ സൗരോര്‍ജ നിലയം നിര്‍മിച്ചത്. സ്പാനിഷ്, ഫ്രഞ്ച് കമ്പനികള്‍ നിര്‍മാണത്തില്‍ സഹകരിച്ചു. 

To read it in original, please visit Mathrubhumi online