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Archive for October, 2018

ashokbhatia

In the last post, we considered the political leanings of Sir Roderick Spode and Harold Winship, aka Ginger. Here are two more characters of a political nature we come across in Plumsville.

The challenge of handling hecklers

Let us look at some of the challenges faced by Mr. John Bickersdyke, manager of the London branch of the New Asiatic Bank, who is a keen aspirant for a Parliamentary slot. He has the singular misfortune of having the immaculate and loquacious Psmith working under his supervision.  (Psmith in the City)

He might have been defeated in an earlier attempt by a couple of thousand votes. He might have now switched overPsmith from being a Liberal to a Unionist. All this does not deter him from making a speech at the local Town Hall.

However, Kenningford, S. E., happens to be a tough place. The electorate is more inclined towards a…

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ashokbhatia

In Plumsville, we get to meet quite a few characters who happen to nurse political ambitions. Some happen to be born crusaders and revolutionaries. Others appear to have gravitated towards politics by chance. Yet others have a career in politics thrust upon them by a ruthless fiancée.

The name of Sir Roderick Spode readily springs to our minds. Comrade Bingo’s revolutionary pals, the Heralds of the Red Dawn, pop up in our consciousness. Our grey cells remind us of the Hon’ble A. B. Filmer, the Cabinet Minister who gets readily intimidated by an angry swan.

The morally dubious Conservative and Unionist candidate Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe is another person whom we cannot afford to ignore. When not busy pinching sow-keepers and the Empress of Blandings, he plans to stand in a by-election in the Bridgeford and Shifley Parliamentary Division of Shropshire.

The candidature of John Bickersdyke, who has the singular misfortune…

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Many of our globe trotters these days complain of long duration flights across continents, cooped up in a metal tube which cruises at a height of 35,000 feet or so. They might simply shudder at the prospect of hopping across to the Moon, or undertaking inter-galactic travel on some future date.

One cannot be really blamed at feeling overwhelmed at the courage, conviction, perseverance and scientific precision with which Homo sapiens have been doing just that – undertaking perilous journeys into deep space. With each such sojourn, they enrich the knowledge we have about the planetary bodies around us.

Yours truly recently had an opportunity to visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted.

Some of you may like some snippets from the visit.

General

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Control Center

 

 

The place is getting refurbished, so as to be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of the first human being stepping on to lunar soil in 1969.

Special Vehicle Mock-up Facility

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experiments which leave one dumb founded.

Saturn V: A rocket which was never used

 

 

 

 

 

On our way out, we were shown the area where memorial placards have been put and trees planted for each one of the astronauts and their family members who are no longer alive. A touching tribute and a truly humane gesture.

Mars already holds sway over human imagination. The sun is also under a closer scrutiny. Besides USA, Russia and China have already learnt the art of propelling men and women beyond the narrow confines of our planet. India is also planning to put a human being in space by the year 2022, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its independence.

As a lesser mortal, one can merely wish all the space scientists across the world a great innings ahead in all their endeavours in the decades to follow, advancing the cause of scientific research and extending the boundaries of our knowledge about our universe.

One also wishes that our social scientists can match these efforts by building mental rockets which would propel our masses beyond the narrow confines of attitudes relating to caste, colour, creed, sex and nationality, hopefully prompting our politicians to work together to lower national barriers.

(Note: A note of gratitude is in order for the benevolent elderly couple who drove me down to NASA, followed by a drive through Galveston, a city by the side of the Gulf of Mexico. A ferry ride was the surprise part of the package!) 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/living-on-another-planet-a-2112-fantasy

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/time-to-start-dismantling-the-invisible-walls)

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ashokbhatia

Gandhi by R K Laxman

Mahatma Gandhi, revered the world over as an apostle of peace and non-violence, led India’s freedom movement. His birth anniversary gets celebrated on the 2nd of October.

Are his teachings relevant to the world of commerce and business? Can CEOs of today learn a thing or two from his aphorisms?

Here are few of his thoughts which business owners, CEOs and managers might find of some interest.

The future depends on what you do today.

Managements who care for their brands re-engineer their business processes and ensure sustainable operations. They respect the environment and the aspirations of the local communities. They ensure compliance with local laws. Ethics and values are strictly adhered to.

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He…

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