Monday, April 30, 2007

SmokingQuit it !!! BeforUrLife QuitYou!!!

Smoking damaging my health: Saif
[30 Apr, 2007 l 0945 hrs ISTlIANS]


KICKING THE BUTT: Saif Ali Khan says he is smart enough to know that smoking is damaging his health as he quashes rumours about starting puffing again (Agencies Photo)



MUMBAI: Saif Ali Khan, who was rushed to hospital in February after he complained of chest pain, has sent off a letter to all his producers saying that he is fully recovered but will not work on Sundays anymore.

"I'm hundred per cent fine. But strictly forbidden from smoking, and even if I wasn't, I'm smart enough to know smoking is damaging my health," said Saif.

Saif dismisses as "absolute rubbish" the rumour that he has started smoking again.

"Am I crazy to start after I've quit? See, the first three weeks is really tough for anyone who wants to quit. Once you get over that phase, you're home and free. Luckily, I was in hospital and under medication for those three weeks. By the time I came out of the hospital the addiction was over."

Saif did suffer the usual withdrawal symptoms, like the trembling of the hands, in the hospital.

"But it wasn't that bad either. The real ordeal starts now. When I'm in a bar watching friends smoke, the urge is bound to hit me. I wouldn't call quitting smoking a sacrifice. It was a necessity.

"I've been in hospital and I had a very strong motivation to give up smoking. Either I quit, or I'll fall ill again. I almost had a heart attack because of my smoking. Other people have probably just heard about how bad smoking is. I know."

He pauses to think about what he has gone through.

"Smoking adds to the chances of your falling sick. It's like adding a bottle of whiskey to fast driving. That's what my cardiologist compares smoking to."

At the moment, Saif's cardiologist is almost a divine figure in his life.

"I wasn't afraid when I fell ill. I've always had a fatalistic attitude to life... never store it up, because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. I want to enjoy the day. It might be all over tomorrow. Anything can happen at any time.

"If you look around you, you're bound to be petrified by what you see and hear. I mean, some kid falls out of the window and I say, 'Thank god mine are safe.' Every day that passes without something awful happening to me and my family, is a blessing."

Saif does worry about his kids and their future, more now than before.

"I do spend more concentrated and focused time with my children after my illness. That was possible because I've been at home. But look, it's a beautiful world. And most people are nice to me.

"Unless I'm stupid, or expect too much and mess it up, there's nothing for me to feel scared about. I want to approach my work and private life with a mixture of confidence and humility. If a relationship doesn't work out, who knows it may work out the next time."

He sighs and takes a deep breath.

"Inshallah, I'm getting good offers. Now I know whom to work with and whom not to... I feel a whole new phase starting. I've started exercising again. I don't want to work too hard. I never have. I don't want to burn myself out."


Source :http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Smoking_habit_on_decline_says_survey/articleshow/1981572.cms







Smoking habit on decline, says survey
[30 Apr, 2007 l 1755 hrs ISTlPTI]

NEW DELHI: Smoking habit among Indians is on the decline as the percentage of rural and urban households having smokers has dropped sharply during the past 11 years.

"Per capita consumption of bidis dropped substantially in rural and urban areas. The overall fall from 1993-94 to 2004-05 is about 31 per cent in rural areas and 42 per cent in urban areas," according to the 61st survey on household consumer expenditure by National Sample Survey Organisation.

The proportion of households having at least one bidi smoker has declined by 26 per cent in rural India and 35 per cent in urban areas, NSSO said.

In case of cigarettes, the decline in urban India works out to be 30 per cent between 1993-94 and 2004-05. A marginal decline was also witnessed in rural areas.

Pan chewing, however, has gone up in rural areas with the per capita consumption rising by 28 per cent. In urban areas, pan consumption declined by 18 per cent during the period.

The NSSO data also revealed that more Indians are buying ready-made garments than before with the number of households buying such clothes increasing 75 per cent during the period.

Similarly, purchase of hosiery articles by consumers in urban as well as rural areas have shown a three-fold increase since 1993-94, the NSSO survey said.








One of a smoker's recurring thoughts is
QUIT SMOKING.

How TO STOP SMOKING ?

Here is some encouraging information

Today there are 16 million smokers
but until a few years ago there were 8 million more

So these eight million have made it, and 80 per cent of today's smokers (according to a recent survey promoted by family doctors) really want to quit.



Leaving aside all the crusading, there is a great desire
in the air to throw away the cigarette once and for all.


THERE IS NOW A TESTED TREATMENT THAT HAS GIVEN EXCELLENT CONFIRMED RESULTS


MORE THAN 80% OF HELPFUL RESULTS



INTERNATIONAL PATENT


ALSO USED BY LOCAL HEALTH UNITS IN SMOKING PREVENTION COURSES AND BY HOSPITAL COURSES TO STOP SMOKING



Approved and recommended by
EUROPEAN SMOKING PREVENTION CENTER

Source : http://www.smettere.com/eng/

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What is This MADINA ???

25 Apr 07 20:19 WIB
4 Ha Ladang Ganja Ditemukan Di Madina
Panyabungan, WASPADA Online


Satuan Narkoba Polres Madina menemukan areal ladang ganja seluas empat hektar di kawasan pengunungan Tor Sipatihi, Desa Huta Bangun, Kec, Panyabungan Timur, Kab. Madina.
Selain menyita 6450 batang pohon ganja dan dua puncuk senjata api rakitan, polisi juga mengamankan dua tersangka berinisial KS, 33, warga Desa Huta bangun dan PN, 22, warga Desa Sirangkap, Kec, Panyabungan, Madina sebagai pemilik lahan ganja. Kapoldasu, Irjen Pol Nurudin Usman kepada wartawan, Rabu (25/4) mengatakan, untuk peroses hukum lebih lanjut, tersangka berikut barang bukti diamankan di Mapolres Madina. "Penemuan ladang ganja ini merupakan kali kedua, setelah sebelumnya Dit Narkoba Poldasu bekerjasama dengan Polres Madina menemukan ladang ganja lebih kurang seluas satu hektare di kawasan Tor Sihite," tukas Kapolda

Menjawab wartawan, kemungkinan masih ada ladang ganja lainya di Madina, Kapolda menegaskan, kemungkinan itu tetap ada. Untuk pihaknya terus melakukan pengembangan hingga terungkap sampai ke akar-akarnya sehingga Madina bebas dari narkoba. Didampingi Kabid Humas Poldasu, Kombes Pol. Aspan Nainggolan, Direktur Reskrim Poldasu, Kombes Pol. Ronny F Sompie, Kapolres Madina, AKBP Rudy Sumardiyanto, Kapolda mengatakan, penemuan ladang ganja barawal dari informasi masyarakat yang curiga melihat jenis tanaman di TKP.

Setelah temuan itu Kapolres Madina kemudian berkoordinasi dengan instansi terkait seperti, Kesbang Linmas, Dinas Kehutanan dan Sat Pol PP Madina serta masyarakat sama-sama berangkat ke lokasi ladang ganja. Upaya dilakukan di TKP, memberi garis polisi, melakukan pencabutan, pembungkusan pohon ganja untuk dibawa ke Mapolres Madina sebagai barang bukti dengan rincian, pohon ganja berumur 6 bulan 3112 batang, 4 bulan 2014 batang dan 2 bulan1324 batang

Bupati Madina, H. Amru H Daulay sangat menyesalkan penemuan ladang ganja akhir-akhir, mengingat wilayahnya dikenal daerah agamais. Guna mendukung pemberantasan Narkoba di Madina, Amru akan mengusulkan Perda larangan peredaran narkoba





MUSIN PARUDAN
29 Apr 07 18:42 WIB
Banjir Dan Longsor Landa Dua Desa Di Kotanopan
*Sejumlah Rumah Hanyut Dan Rusak
Panyabungan WASPADA Online


Bencana alam banjir dan tanah longsor melanda dua desa di wilayah Kec. Kotanopan Kab. Mandailing Natal dalam beberapa minggu terakhir. Ini terjadi akibat intensitas curah hujan yang masih tinggi hingga akhir April 2007.
Namun sejauh ini dilaporkan belum ada korban jiwa. Hujan yang turun berkepanjangan mengakibatkan sejumlah rumah penduduk hanyut dan rusak parah terbawa arus sungai dan tertimbun tanah longsor. Di beberapa tempat saluran irigasi persawahan rusak, sarana dan prasarana masyarakat lainnya juga hancur diterjang banjir.

Berbagai keterangan yang dihimpun Waspada, Kamis (26/4) di Pasar Kotanopan, kedua desa yang dilanda bencana alam tersebut yaitu Desa Muara Botung dan Desa Hutadangka. Di Desa Hutadangka 11 rumah penduduk tertimpa tanah longsor, rumah-rumah ini umumnya berada di lereng perbukitan. Selain rumah penduduk, dua ruang kelas SD Negeri Inpres juga rusak parah dan hancur dihantam timbunan longsor sehingga tidak bisa digunakan sebagai sarana belajar.

"Dinding kedua ruang belajar itu jebol dan onggokan tanah longsor masuk ke kelas sehingga sangat diharapkan perhatian Dinas Pendidikan Madina menanggulanginya," ucap orang tua murid kepada Waspada, di lokasi. Diperoleh keterangan, sebelas unit rumah yang rusak masing-masing milik Arsyad, Samsir Alam, Ali Sopri, Ramaia, Saman, Kali Rajo, Arjun, Gozalih, Fahruddin, Seri Mawan, Junaid Parinduri. Berdasarkan pengamatan, sebagian warga masih membiarkan onggokan tanah menimpa rumahnya dan mengungsi sementara ke rumah keluarga terdekat dan sebagian lagi sudah membersihkannya.

Selain mengancam pemukiman warga, di kawasan Hutadangka banjir dan tanah longsor juga merusak dan meluluhlantakkan beberapa irigasi, seperti Bondar Dolok, Bondar Lombang dan Bondar Saba Punaga sehingga areal persawahan petani kekeringan bahkan sebagian di antaranya tertimbun batu dan pasir. "Hampir seribu hektare areal persawahan penduduk di Desa Hutadangka, Tamiang, Muara Pungkut, Muara Siambak sampai Desa Muarasoro, kini kekeringan akibat irigasi hancur dihantam banjir dan tanah longsor," kata seorang ibu yang dapur rumahnya tertimpa longsor dan batang pohon karet.

Camat Kotanopan, M. Yunus Lubis, juga melaporkan, bencana banjir mengancam penduduk Desa Muara Botung beberapa hari lalu, akibat sungai (Aek) Botung yang bermuara ke Aek Muara Botung meluap dan menghanyutkan potongan-potongan kayu besar. Potongan kayu tersebut berasal dari hulu sungai Aek Botung yang longsor pada saat kejadian gempa bumi Muarasipongi, 18 Desember 2006 lalu. Akibat banjir tersebut, sekitar lima hektare areal persawahan yang diusahai 32 penduduk desa rusak parah tertimbun pasir dan kayu-kayu besar, tiga rumah rusak ringan dan pagar masjid hanyut diterjang arus sungai yang ada di tengah-tengah desa tersebut.

Menurut Camat, sesuai laporan tertulis Kepala Desa Muara Botung, Ali Atas, saat ini di hulu Sungai Aek Botung banyak kayu-kayu besar dibawa longsor, dikhawatirkan pada musim penghujan terbawa banjir, sehingga meresahkan masyarakat. Untuk mengantisipasi hal-hal tidak diinginkan, masyarakat Muara Botung berharap Bupati Madina H. Amru Daulay, SH memerintahkan jajarannya membantu membersihkan kayu besar bekas longsor tersebut, agar tidak membahayakan warga desa. Apalagi kayu-kayu itu kini berserakan di pematang sawah dan pinggir desa.

Sementara untuk menghindari terjadinya banjir susulan, pemerintah kecamatan sudah mengupayakan pendekatan kepada aparat desa khususnya di wilayah Muara Botung, agar mengerahkan masyarakat bergotong-royong dalam perbaikan irigasi, utamanya perbaikan sungai (Aek) Botung dari kayu berukuran besar. "Kita sudah meninjau dan melaporkannya ke pihak atasan di Panyabungan, mudah-mudahan masyarakat dapat dibantu utamanya warga yang rumahnya hancur diterjang banjir dan tanah longsor," ujar Camat di ruang kerjanya. Kacabdis PU Mandailing di Kotanopan yang dihubungi, Kamis, di Muarasipongi, juga membenarkan kejadian bencana alam ini. "Secara lisan kita sudah menerima laporan, namun berapa kerugian belum bisa dipastikan," ujar Palit Nasution, staf Cabdis di sana.(a21) (wns)

Source : http://waspada.co.id/berita/sumut/artikel.php?article_id=90550







29 Apr 07 18:28 WIB
Tahun 2008 Jalan Pagur Madina-Hapung Tapsel Rampung
Panyabungan, WASPADA Online


Anggota DPRD Sumut Rahmat P. Hasibuan mengutarakan, pembangunan jalan mulai Desa Pagur Kec. Panyabungan Timur Kab. Madina ke Desa Hapung Kec. Barumun Kab. T. Selatan pada TA 2008 akan rampung dan bisa dilalui kenderaan roda empat.
"Kita telah merencanakan pembangunan jalan itu sejak 2007 telah dianggarkan dan tahun 2008 jalan yang panjangnya sekitar 42 km akan selesai. Karena itu Pemkab Madina dan Tapsel diharapkan menampung anggaran di APBD masing-masing guna membantu APBD Provsu dan APBN yang telah diprogramkan," ujarnya kepada Waspada, Jum’at (27/4), di Kantor Bupati Madina ketika melaksanakan reses.

Kata Rahmat dari Partai Demokrat itu, manfaat pembukaan jalan Panyabungan–Hapung sangat besar, sebab kalau dari Kota P. Sidimpuan ke Sibuhuan baru bisa ditempuh sekitar 2-3 jam. Tapi dari Panyabungan–Sibuhuan hanya sekitar 30-40 menit dan sangat dekat dengan Dumai dan Pekan Baru sebagai wilayah perekonomian.

Menurutnya, kalau dilihat wilayah Mandailing Natal juga sangat terkenal dengan sayur-mayur, tapi karena pemasarannya selalu terkendala masyarakat menjadi malas dan jika jalan Pagur/Panyabungan-Hapung telah tembus, secara otomatis masyarakat saling membuka usaha yang dapat meningkatkan perekonomian.

Selain itu, jalan Hutabargot-Lubuk Parira dan jalan Jembatan Merah-Natal sampai batas Sumbar juga telah dianggarkan dananya untuk peningkatan jalan Provsu maupun jalan negara/nasional. Begitu pun kita tetap mengharapkan Pemkab membantu anggarannya untuk memantapkan pembangunan sarana transportasi wilayah itu.

Kepala Dinas PUD Madina, Ir. H. Abdullah Dalimunthe kepada Waspada secara terpisah, mengaku telah mengetahui adanya rencana pembukaan jalan Pagur-Hapung sampai selesai tahun 2008 dan Pemkab Cq. Dinas PUD Madina sangat mendukung.(a20) (wns)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The most Earth-like Planet

WASHINGTON (AP) -- European astronomers have found the most Earth-like planet outside our solar system, and here's what it might be like to live there:

The "sun" wouldn't burn brightly. It would hang close, large and red in the sky, glowing faintly like a charcoal ember. And it probably would never set if you lived on the sunny side of the planet.

You could have a birthday party every 13 days because that's how fast this new planet circles its sun-like star. But watch the cake -- you'd weigh a whole lot more than you do on Earth.

You might be able to keep your current wardrobe. The temperature in this alien setting will likely be a lot like Earth's -- not too hot, not too cold.

And that "just right" temperature is one key reason astronomers think this planet could conceivably house life outside our solar system. It's also as close to Earth-sized as telescopes have ever spotted. Both elements make it the first potentially habitable planet besides Earth or Mars.

Astronomers who announced the discovery of the new planet Tuesday say this puts them closer to answering the cosmic question: Are we alone?

"It's a significant step on the way to finding possible life in the universe," said University of Geneva astronomer Michel Mayor, one of 11 European scientists on the team that found the new body. "It's a nice discovery. We still have a lot of questions."

There's still a lot that is unknown about the new planet, which could be deemed inhospitable to life once more is learned about it. But as galaxies go, it's practically a neighbor. At only 120 trillion miles away, the red dwarf star that this planet circles is one of the 100 closest to Earth.

The results of the discovery have not been published but have been submitted to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Alan Boss, who works at the Carnegie Institution of Washington where a U.S. team of astronomers competed in the hunt for an Earth-like planet, called it "a major milestone in this business."

The planet was discovered by the European Southern Observatory's telescope in La Silla, Chile, which has a special instrument that splits light to find wobbles in different wavelengths. Those wobbles can reveal the existence of other worlds.

What they revealed is a planet circling the red dwarf star, Gliese 581. Red dwarfs are low-energy, tiny stars that give off dim red light and last longer than stars like our sun. Until a few years ago, astronomers didn't consider these stars as possible hosts of planets that might sustain life.

The discovery of the new planet, named 581 c, is sure to fuel studies of planets circling similar dim stars. About 80 percent of the stars near Earth are red dwarfs.

The new planet is about five times heavier than Earth, and gravity there would be 1.6 times as strong as Earth's. Its discoverers aren't certain if it is rocky like Earth or if its a frozen ice ball with liquid water on the surface. If it is rocky like Earth, which is what the prevailing theory proposes, it has a diameter about 11/2 times bigger than our planet. If it is an iceball, as Mayor suggests, it would be even bigger.

Based on theory, 581 c should have an atmosphere, but what's in that atmosphere is still a mystery and if it's too thick that could make the planet's surface temperature too hot, Mayor said.

However, the research team believes the average temperature to be somewhere between 32 and 104 degrees and that set off celebrations among astronomers.

Until now, all 220 planets astronomers have found outside our solar system have had the "Goldilocks problem." They've been too hot, too cold or just plain too big and gaseous, like uninhabitable Jupiter.

The new planet seems just right -- or at least that's what scientists think.

"This could be very important," said NASA astrobiology expert Chris McKay, who was not part of the discovery team. "It doesn't mean there is life, but it means it's an Earth-like planet in terms of potential habitability."

Eventually astronomers will rack up discoveries of dozens, maybe even hundreds of planets considered habitable, the astronomers said. But this one -- simply called "c" by its discoverers when they talk among themselves -- will go down in cosmic history as No. 1.

Besides having the right temperature, the new planet is probably full of liquid water, hypothesizes Stephane Udry, the discovery team's lead author and another Geneva astronomer. But that is based on theory about how planets form, not on any evidence, he said.

"Liquid water is critical to life as we know it," co-author Xavier Delfosse of Grenoble University in France, said in a statement. "Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life. On the treasure map of the Universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X."

Other astronomers cautioned it's too early to tell whether there is water.

"You need more work to say it's got water or it doesn't have water," said retired NASA astronomer Steve Maran, press officer for the American Astronomical Society. "You wouldn't send a crew there assuming that when you get there, they'll have enough water to get back."

The new planet's star system is a mere 20.5 light years away, making Gliese 581 one of the 100 closest stars to Earth. It's so dim, you can't see it without a telescope, but it's somewhere in the constellation Libra, which is low in the southeastern sky during the mid-evening in the Northern Hemisphere.

Even so, Maran noted, "We don't know how to get to those places in a human lifetime."

But, oh, the view, if you could. The planet is 14 times closer to the star it orbits. Udry figures the red dwarf star would hang in the sky at a size 20 times larger than our moon. And it's likely, but still not known, that the planet doesn't rotate, so one side would always be sunlit and the other dark.

Two teams of astronomers, one in Europe and one in the United States, have been racing to be the first to find a planet like 581 c outside the solar system.

The European team looked at 100 different stars using a tool called HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity for Planetary Searcher) to find this one planet, said Xavier Bonfils of the Lisbon Observatory, one of the co-discoverers.

Much of the effort to find Earth-like planets has focused on stars like our sun with the challenge being to find a planet the right distance from the star it orbits. About 90 percent of the time, the European telescope focused its search more on sun-like stars, Udry said.

A few weeks before the European discovery earlier this month, a scientific paper in the journal Astrobiology theorized a few days that red dwarf stars were good candidates.

"Now we have the possibility to find many more," Bonfils said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



source : cnn.com EDT,April25,07








'Jupiter's moons act as shepherds'
[3 May, 2007 l 0248 hrs ISTlREUTERS]

CHICAGO: Small moons are acting as shepherds using their gravity to herd dust and boulders in Jupiter's faint rings, Nasa scientists reported on Tuesday.

The finding is one of several discoveries made from images captured in late February by the New Horizons probe in what Nasa scientists called "a real-world fly-by" of Jupiter, 16 months into its mission to Pluto.

They also got the closest look yet at the "Little Red Spot", an Earth-sized swirling storm that scientists described as a galactic rendition of Vincent Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' painting, and dramatic views of volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jupiters_moons_act_as_shepherds/articleshow/1994568.cms

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Horas Tapanuli & Goodbye

Berita - Sumut
15 Jul 07 19:44 WIBJelang Konvensi PK Sidimpuan Minta DPD Golkar Transparan

P. Sidimpuan, WASPADA Online
Menjelang dilaksanakannya konvensi pemilihan bakal calon walikota Padang Sidimpuan usungan Partai Golkar, Kamis (26/7) mendatang, seluruh pimpinan kecamatan meminta transparansi dan perhatian pengurus pimpinan daerah.

Hal itu dikemukakan seluruh atau enam pimpinan kecamatan (PK) DPD Partai Golkar P. Sidimpuan kepada money loundry, Sabtu (14/7).

Disebutkan, selama ini pengurus DPD terkesan tertutup kepada mereka dan kurang perhatian, seolah PG hanya milik pelaksana ketua dan sekretris. "Sebagai peserta konvensi, sampai hari ini kami belum pernah mendapat arahan atau sosialisasi tentang pelaksanaan dan mekanisme konvensi. Kami rasa Pelaksana Ketua DPD PG Sidimpuan, Ahmad Sopyan Pulungan dan Sekertaris, Zuprizal Sikumbang tidak mengerti mekanisme organisasi," kata mereka.

Seluruh PK Golkar P. Sidimpuan juga menyesalkan sikap pelaksana ketua DPD, Ahmad Sopyan, yang selalu menganggap dirinya sebagai ‘Super Ketua’. Karena selalu berambisi dan memaksakan kehendak mengangkat dirinya sendiri menjadi ketua dalam segala program partai. Dengan kata lain, Ahmad Sopyan tidak memberi kesempatan kepada kader lain mengembangkan kemampuan berorganisasi. Hal itu menyebabkan perkembangan kader partai menjadi monoton atau itu kesitu saja.

Dikatakan, sampai saat ini seluruh PK masih meragukan hasil pelaksanaan konvensi nanti. Hal itu karena tidak adanya sosialisasi dan tertutupnya pengurus, dalam hal ini ketua dan sekretaris DPD Parati Golkar P. Sidimpuan kepada ‘arus bawah’ partai.

Padahal menurut mereka, pengurus partai yang langsung bersentuhan dengan kader, simpatisan atau konstituen adalah pimpinan kecamatan dengan seluruh perangkat yang dibawahinya. "Keberhasilan meraih suara terbanyak pada Pilkada nanti, jelas bergantung pada keuletan kader ‘arus bawah’ partai dan itu jangan dilupakan," sebut mereka.

Ke depan, seluruh pengurus PK PG P. Sidimpuan berharap DPD PG P. Sidimpuan lebih terbuka dan memperhatikan semua kader partai, khususnya PK. Karena keberhasilan Pilkada berada diakar rumput partai yang notabene di bawah kendali pimpinan kecamatan.

Pengurus Golkar yang mengutarakan hal itu, PK P. Sidimpuan Utara, Rudi H Daulay (ketua) dan Syaiful Fahri Siregar (sekretaris), PK P. Sidimpuan Selatan, Siwan Siswanto (ketua) dan Katiran (sekretaris). PK P. Sidimpuan Batunadua, Sarga Tua Harahap (ketua) dan Raja Honok Napitupulu (sekretaris).

PK Golkar P. Sidimpuan Angkola Julu, Saruddin Harahap (ketua) dan Gursal Harahap (sekretaris), PK P. Sidimpuan Hutaimbaru, Mara Guling Pane (ketua) dan Adolf Rambe (sekretaris). PK Golkar P. Sidimpuan Tenggara, Irwan Tagor (ketua) diwakili Sunan (sekretaris).(a20) (wns)




Demo Tuntutan Pemekaran Tapanuli Rusuh
Selasa, 24 April 2007 20:27 WIB

TEMPO Interaktif, Jakarta:Demo pemekaran Provinsi Tapanuli di DPRD Sumatera Utara berlangsung rusuh. Massa yang berjumlah ribuan menyerbu e gedung Dewan, pagar pembatas gedung yang biasa digunakan celah antara gedung dengan tempat aksi demo roboh.

Massa dengan leluasa masuk ke gedung Dewan. Sebagian dan menyerbu ruang Ketua Dewan Abdul Wahab Dalimunte. Massa yang lain menggedor-gedor kaca. Polisi yang berjaga-jaga tak berkutik. Massa memaksa Ketua Dewan Abdul Wahab Dalimunte menandatangani rekomendasi pemekaran Provinsi Tapanuli. Tuntutan massa akhirnya dikabulkan pimpinan Dewan.

G.M. Candra Panggabean, Ketua Umum Panitia Pemekaran Provinsi Tapanuli, mengatakan sejak 2002 masyarakat menginginkan Tapanuli menjadi provinsi. "Kami ingin lepas dari Sumatera Utara," ucap Candra Panggabean yang juga tercatat sebagai anggota DPRD Sumatera Utara.

Candra mengatakan, kalau ada sedikit kerusuhan itu implementasi rakyat ingin ketemu dengan wakilnya. Sementara itu, pihak kepolisian tidak bersedia dikonfirmasi.

Komisaris Suprayitno, penanggung jawab keamanan luar gedung DPRD Sumatera Utara menghilang. Sedangkan Komisaris Iwan mengatakan, dirinya hanya bertanggung jawab dibagian gedung Dewan. Berdasarkan pengamatan Tempo, kedatangan dan jumlah massa tidak diantisipasi pihak kepolisian.

Hambali Batubara






29 Apr 07 18:29 WIB
Pendaftaran Balon Walikota
P. Sidimpuan DPD PAN Hari ini
P. Sidimpuan, WASPADA Online


Dewan Pimpinan Daerah Partai Amanat Nasional (DPD PAN) Kota P. Sidimpuan memutuskan membuka pendaftaran Bakal Calon (balon) Walikota P. Sidimpuan hari ini, Senin (30/4), sebagai awal dari penjaringan untuk ditetapkan menjadi balon usungan DPD PAN pada pemilihan KDH Kota P. Sidimpuan menjelang akhir 2007 mendatang.
Ketua DPD PAN Kota P. Sidimpuan, H. Amran Sagala didampingi Ketua Tim Penjaringan Balon Walikota DPD PAN di Sekretariat DPD PAN Jalan Sisingamangaraja Kota P. Sidimpuan, Jumat (27/4), kepada Waspada mengatakan, pendaftaran balon yang berlangsung dari Senin (30/4) hingga Minggu (13/5) tersebut awal dari tahapan penting dalam proses penetapan balon walikota usungan PAN Kota P. Sidimpuan.

Menyangkut persyaratan secara umum menurut Syahrun yang juga anggota DPRD Kota P. Sidimpuan, pihaknya hanya menerima balon yang benar-benar mengecap pendidikan formal dari tingkat SD/sederajat (tamat), SMP/sederajat (tamat) dan paling rendah harus tamat SMA/sederajat, mampu membuktikan diri tinggal di Kota P. Sidimpuan.

Selain itu berkelakuan baik dibuktikan Surat Keterangan Berkelakukan Baik (SKBB) dari kepolisian dan menyerahkan Surat Pernyataan tidak dalam keadaan dicabut hak pilihnya yang diterbitkan instansi berwewenang. "Untuk informasi lebih lengkap silahkan hubungi langsung Tim Penjaringan Balon Walikota DPD PAN Kota P. Sidimpuan," kata Syahrun.(a22) (wns






Goodbye.............. TAPANULI

Berita - Sumut
09 Mei 07 00:14 WIB
Ketua DPRDSU Tolak Protap*
Abdul Wahab Dalimunthe Bubuhkan Tanda Tangan Tanpa Tekanan

Medan, WASPADA Online

Seribuan lebih masyarakat dari berbagai elemen berunjukrasa menolak pembentukan Provinsi Tapanuli (Protap) ke DPRDSU di Jalan Imam Bonjol Medan dan unjuk-rasa berlanjut ke kantor sebuah surat kabar di Jalan Sultan Makmun Alrasyid Medan, Selasa (8/5).

Dalam unjuk rasa itu, Ketua DPRDSU Abdul Wahab Dalimunthe menandatangani surat rekomendasi penolakan pembentukan Protap tanpa tekanan dan paksaan. Surat rekomendasi penolakan pembentukan Protap dengan Nomor 2523/18/Sekr itu dibacakan anggota DPRDSU Syukran Tanjung di hadapan pengunjukrasa. Isi surat rekomendasi itu sama persis dengan rekomendasi pembentukan Protap yang ditandatangani oleh Ketua DPRDSU beberapa waktu lalu. "Redaksinya sama persis. Yang berbeda hanya dalam surat ini tertulis penolakan pembentukan Protap," kata Syukran.

Menurut Syukran, surat rekomendasi tersebut ditujukan kepada Presiden RI, dengan tembusan Ketua DPRRI, Ketua Komisi II DPRRI, Menteri Dalam Negeri (Mendagri) dan Gubsu. Awalnya, kehadiran para pengunjuk rasa ke gedung dewan, sekitar pukul 10:00, mendapat pengawalan ketat dari aparat kepolisian. Guna menghindari kerusuhan, petugas membuat pagar betis. Tindakan petugas itu sempat memancing emosi massa.

Mereka menilai aparat kepolisian pilih kasih, karena pada aksi massa pendukung Protap sebelumnya, pengunjuk rasa dibiarkan menguasai ruang paripurna DPRD Sumut. "Sementara aksi kami ini adalah aksi damai untuk meminta pimpinan dewan menandatangani surat rekomendasi aspirasi bahwa kami menolak pembentukan Protap," demikian orasi Koordinator Lapangan, Rajoki Nainggolan.

Aparat kepolisian kemudian melonggarkan pengawalan. Selanjutnya massa diperbolehkan menuju pintu ruang rapat paripurna DPRDSU, yang saat itu tengah berlangsung rapat paripurna dewan dalam agenda penyampaian hasil reses dewan.

Mereka diterima Ketua DPRDSU Abdul Wahab Dalimunthe didampingi Ketua Pansus Protap Banuaran Ritonga dan sejumlah anggota dewan lainnya yakni Syukran J Tanjung, Ibrahim Sakty Batubara, Arifin Nainggolan, Japorman Saragih, Edison Sianturi, Sigit Pramono Asri, dan Kamaluddin Harahap
Kepada pengunjukrasa, Ketua DPRDSU mengatakan, pada prinsipnya wakil rakyat merupakan lembaga penyalur aspirasi masyarakat. "Soal surat penolakan ataupun dukungan pembentukan Protap, akan kita serahkan ke pemerintah pusat," katanya.

Ketua DPRDSU menjelaskan, bahwa pembentukan Protap harus melalui mekanisme dan sesuai dengan perundang-undangan. Untuk itu, langkah yang paling tepat adalah mempercayakan Pansus Protap bekerja sesuai tahapan-tahapan yang sudah dijadwalkan.

Sementara itu Ketua Pansus Protap Banuaran Ritonga mengatakan, mereka saat ini terus menjalankan tugas-tugasnya dalam menjaring aspirasi masyarakat soal layak tidaknya pembentukan Protap. "Namun, pembentukan Protap tidak bisa dilaksanakan dengan pemaksaan kehendak termasuk lewat pengerahan massa. Karena undang-undang sudah mengatur bagaimana mekanisme yang harus ditempuh," kata Banuaran.
Dalam unjukrasa itu, massa penolak pembentukan Protap sempat memberikan 'upah-upah' kepada Ketua Pansus DPRDSU Banuaran Ritonga dan Ibrahim Sakty Batubara di depan pintu ruang rapat paripurna, dengan menghidangkan pulut kuning dan ayam. panggang

Menurut mereka, upah-upah itu sebagai bentuk dukungan delapan etnis di Sumut terhadap kebijakan dewan dalam mengeluarkan surat rekomendasi aspirasi penolakan Protap. "Upah-upah ini intinya untuk mengembalikan semangat ketua dewan setelah sebelumnya diancam massa pendukung Protap pada demo yang berlangsung anarkis beberapa waktu lalu," kata Koordinator Lapangan pengunjukrasa, Rajoki Nainggolan.
Pengunjukrasa juga sempat mengecam anggota DPRDSU Ir CGMP yang mereka tuding sebagai provokator demo anarkis massa pendukung Protap beberapa waktu lalu. Aksi tersebut juga diwarnai dengan membakar satu surat kabar di tangga gedung dewan.

Menurut mereka hal itu dilakukan sebagai bentuk kekecewaan mengingat media tersebut tidak independen dalam memuat pemberitaan, terlebih-lebih dalam wacana pembentukan Protap. Usai melakukan orasi, para pengunjuk rasa dengan tertib kembali ke Masjid Agung untuk melaksanakan shalat Zuhur bersama.

Kapoltabes Medan AKBP Drs. H. Bambang Sukamto ketika ditanya wartawan tentang aksi demo ini mengatakan, demo berjalan aman dan tertib. "Aksi demo menolak Protap ini berjalan aman dan tertib. Tidak ada anarkis," jelasnya saat memantau aksi demo di SIB. (h11/m39)

Source: waspada.co.id






GUBSU: HHHHHahhhhhh

15 Mei 07 07:08 WIB

Gubsu Tolak Protap

* Radjoki: Rekom Pekan Ini Sampai Pada Presiden, Mendagri Dan Ketua DPR

Medan, WASPADA Online

Gubernur Sumatera Utara Rudolf Matzuoka Pardede, Senin (14/5) menandatangani surat rekomendasi penolakan pembentukan Provinsi Tapanuli (Protap) sesuai tuntutan massa berunjukrasa ke gedung DPRD dan Kantor Gubernur Sumut pada 8 Mei 2007.

Penanggungjawab Aksi Penolakan Protap, Radjoki Nainggolan, ketika bertemu Ketua Panitia Khusus (Pansus) Protap DPRDSU, H Banuaran Ritonga di gedung dewan, Senin (14/5), mengatakan pihaknya sangat bersuka-cita dengan terbitnya rekomendasi tersebut.

Pada kesempatan itu, dia menyerahkan salinan surat rekomendasi penolakan Protap tersebut kepada Banuaran Ritonga untuk dijadikan bahan bagi Pansus untuk kelanjutan pembahasan Protap di DPRDSU. Melalui surat bernomor 130/2798 tertanggal 14 Mei 2007 ditujukan kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri itu, Gubernur mengatakan surat rekomendasi tersebut diterbitkan menyikapi aspirasi masyarakat Sumut yang menolak pembentukan Protap. Disebutkan juga, surat rekomendasi tersebut diterbitkan untuk menindaklanjuti surat yang sama dari DPRDSU bernomor 2523/18/Sekr tertanggal 8 Mei 2007.

Radjoki menekankan, klaim para pendukung Protap menyebutkan 10 kabupaten/kota di Sumut mendukung pembentukan provinsi baru itu adalah tidak benar. "Itu hanya klaim isapan jempol sengaja dihembuskan untuk mencari pembenaran terkait rencana pembentukan Protap," katanya.

Dia mengatakan, sebagian besar daerah bekas keresidenan Tapanuli justru menolak Protap. Daerah-daerah itu antara lain Kabupaten Tapanuli Selatan, Tapanuli Tengah, Nias, Dairi, Pakpak Bharat, Sidempuan, Madina dan Sibolga. "Jadi tidak benar daerah-daerah itu mendukung Protap," ujarnya.

Selain itu, hasil penelitian jajaran eksekutif, akademisi dan legislatif di Sumut dituangkan melalui surat bernomor 130.05/2442.K/2004 tanggal 21 September 2004 juga telah menegaskan rencana Protap tidak layak. Menurut penelitian itu, skor bakal Protap jauh lebih rendah ketimbang skor Sumut sebagai provinsi induk. "Jadi hasil penelitian telah menunjukkan bahwa Protap tak layak," ujarnya.

Lebih jauh dia juga menilai tim pemrakarsa Protap tidak merepresentasikan semua masyarakat berdomisili di bekas keresidenan Tapanuli. "Mereka hanya mewakili satu etnis dan satu agama tertentu saja," tambahnya. Menurut dia, pekan ini juga pihaknya akan menemui Presiden, Mendagri dan Ketua DPRRI untuk menyampaikan rekomendasi dari gubernur tersebut. (m22)
(am)




28 Mei 07 12:27 WIB
Pemekaran Tapsel

Komisi II DPR Harus Pertimbangkan Logika Dan Nurani
Medan, WASPADA Online

Komisi II DPR RI yang membahas tentang pemekaran Tapanuli Selatan (Tapsel) harus mempertimbangkan logika dan hati nurani dalam pemekaran Tapsel. Jangan sampai pemekaran nantinya justru menimbulkan beban berat bagi kabupaten induk, yang pada akhirnya menyengsarakan rakyat.

Hal itu ditegaskan tokoh masyarakat Tapsel di Riau, Drs H. Imran Effendy Hasibuan, MA yang juga Khatib Syuriah PW NU Riau didampingi Saut MT. Harahap selaku Ketua DPC Partai Damai Sejahtera (PDS) Tapsel dan tokoh pemuda Safiruddin Nasution, di Medan, kemarin.

Dia menjelaskan, usulan pemekaran Tapsel yang telah diajukan sejak tahun 90-an adalah Angkola-Sipirok, kemudian Padang Lawas. Untuk Angkola-Sipirok ada 11 kecamatan dan telah selesai pada tahap pengusul dan pembahasan di DPR RI. Sedangkan untuk Padang Lawas, masih terjadi tarik menarik dalam pembagian kecamatan, di mana ada yang meminta 7 kecamatan, ada juga yang meminta 10 kecamatan. Tapsel saat ini terdiri 28 kecamatan setelah dimekarkan dari Madina.

Tiga kecamatan yang masih dalam proses pembahasan dalam pemekaran Padang Lawas yakni, Kec. Barumun Tengah, Huristak dan Simangambat. "Semestinya DPR RI harus menyelesaikan lebih dulu usulan pemekaran Angkola-Sipirok karena telah selesai dalam tahap usulan dan pembahasan dan telah diterima semua kalangan," ujar Imran.

Dia menegaskan, untuk pemekaran Padang Lawas harus benar-benar diperhatikan kondisi kabupaten induk yang akan menanggung konsekwensi pemekaran yakni menyisihkan dana Rp5 miliar untuk setiap kabupaten yang dimekarkan. "Jadi kalau ada dua kabupaten yang dimekarkan, maka kabupaten induk harus menyisihkan dana Rp10 miliar."

Karena itu tidak logika kalau Tapsel sebagai kabupaten induk ditinggalkan dengan 7 kecamatan dan harus menanggung konsekuensi pemekaran dengan memberikan dana bagi kabupaten pemekaran yang dari segi geografis justru lebih besar. "Sebaiknya saat ini Tapsel hanya dimekarkan menjadi dua kabupaten yakni Angkola-Sipirok dan Tapsel." Dia mengimbau Panitia Kerja (Panja) Komisi II DPR RI yang membahas soal pemekaran Tapsel mengedepankan logika dan hati nurani.(m12) (wns)

Monday, April 23, 2007

From The Earth to The Moon (2)

India to launch Italian satellite today
[23 Apr, 2007 l 1044 hrs ISTlPTI]


CHENNAI: Countdown is progressing smoothly for the first commercial launch of PSLV-C8 on Monday with a 352 kg Italian astronomical satellite onboard from Sriharikota spaceport, about 150 kms from Chennai.

"Atmosphere is calm and quiet. Countdown is progressing as per schedule," an ISRO spokesman said.

The launch vehicle is scheduled to lift off at 1530 hrs.

The 42-hour countdown for the launch of 11th flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C8 from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, began Friday evening.

Apart from Italian satellite, AGILE, PSLV-C8 would also carry an Advanced Avionics Module (AAM), weighing 185 kg, to test advanced launch vehicle avionics systems like mission computers, navigation and telemetry systems.

A workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO, PSLV has launched nine successful consecutive flights till now since the first launch in 1994. It would also launch India's first mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-1 in 2008.







ISRO's recoverable space capsule returns
[22 Jan, 2007 l 1133 hrs ISTlPTI]


BANGALORE: After 11 days in space, a recoverable satellite of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) re-entered the earth and splashed down in the Bay of Bengal this morning as planned.

As part of the mission, ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) had put Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) satellite into space along with three others on January 10, space agency sources said.

The capsule splashed down around 9.30 am, ISRO sources said, adding that efforts were being made to recover it. “The capsule has splashed down. The Coast Guard has located the area”.

The 550-kg SRE, that would help ISRO hone its skills in re-entry, recoverable and re-usable technologies, had two payloads to conduct experiments in micro-gravity.

The PSLV-C7 had injected India's Cartosat-2, apart from SRE satellite, and two others from overseas -- LAPAN-TUBSAT, a joint venture of Indonesia and the Technical University of Berlin, and the Pehuensat-1 of Argentina.

The 550-kg Space-Capsule Recovery Experiment was intended for demonstrating the capability to recover an orbiting space capsule, as also the associated technologies.

"SRE is intended to test reusable thermal protection system, navigation, guidance and control, hypersonic aero-dynamics, management of communication blackout, deceleration and floatation system and recovery experiments", ISRO officials here said.

SRE, according to ISRO, is made of mild-steel, and comprises aero-thermo structure, spacecraft platform, deceleration and floatation system and micro-gravity payloads. The parachute, pyro devices, avionics packages of triggering unit and sequencer, telemetry and tracking system and sensors for measurement of system performance parameters are placed inside the SRE capsule.

An ISRO official said SRE was used to perform experiments in micro-gravity environment






PSLV-C7 launch boosts faith in space odyssey
[10 Jan, 2007 l 1521 hrs ISTlIANS]


SRIHARIKOTA: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Madhavan Nair said Wednesday's PSLV-C7 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) launch had "captured back the country's confidence in our space mission".

It would take "at least eight years for a manned mission to the moon from India", Nair told reporters here after the launch, which placed in polar synchronised orbits four satellites.

Denying any pressure on ISRO to prove itself after the July 10 failure of its GSLV (Geo-Satellite Launch Vehicle) mission, Nair said: "We planned this mission two years ago."

Following the GSLV disaster, "we had to go through the entire quality control process", he said. "We have gone through a process of calibration checks, review of processes and subsystems.

"The precision with which this mission went off... I challenge any country to perform such a perfect launch," the ISRO chief, said.

On the space capsule recovery experiment (SRE-1), the capsule that is scheduled to return to earth 13 days from now, Nair said: "Bringing back a spacecraft is a technological challenge. We don't know many things about re-entry."

The SRE-1 had on board an experiment to test the tenacity of bone, which would be studied under micro-gravity conditions for stronger implant products to be developed, he added.

The SRE-1 is also the first test of re-entry mechanism and vehicle body strength by ISRO. "A reusable launch vehicle is a very complex design. It will take India at least 10 years to develop such a complete vehicle," Nair said.

He said that in 2008, with the Chandrayan-I mission, ISRO would place around the moon "an instrumentation payload that will survey the surface of the moon. It will have X-ray and gamma-ray analysers and a deep space tracking network".

ISRO plans an INSAT 4B launch in March from Ariane's South American station. Later in the year a GSLV launch is also on the cards.







Reusable vehicle to cut costs, attract business
Srinivas Laxman
[11 Jan, 2007 l 0031 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]


SRIHARIKOTA: The reusable launch vehicle programme could attract more countries to launch their satellites from India as the costs are much cheaper here.

The hi-tech project, which will boost India into higher orbits, is taking shape at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Unlike, conventional rockets such as PSLV and GSLV (Geo Synchrononous Satellite Launch Vehicle), which can be used only once, RLV on the other hand, as the name suggests, can be operated a number of times.

According to space scientists, RLV has a two-fold advantage. First, it is expected to reduce the launch cost substantially. Currently, to place a kilogram of payload in orbit, the cost is between $12,000 and $15,000.

Scientists estimate that once RLV becomes operational this figure will drop by $1,200 to $1,500. Second, it will allow Isro to place satellites in orbit more frequently. Tentatively, the first technology demonstrator flight of RLV is slated for 2008-09. More flights could increase Isro's commercial opportunities.

The programme is rapidly taking shape and the conceptual design and the auxiliary power system for RLV have started. Studies are also in progress relating to its semi-cryogenic engine. It will be a two-stage-to-orbit (TTSO) vehicle.
The design envisages the first stage of RLV being configured as a winged body system which will attain an altitude of 100 kms. At a particular point it will burn out, re-enter the earth's atmosphere and land horizontally on a runway like an aircraft.

Thereafter, the second stage of the vehicle after delivering the payload, will re-enter the atmosphere and recover using airbags either on land or sea. Called the Indian version of the space shuttle, Isro officials say that RLV will be superior to the shuttle because it will have a number of enhanced safety features.

The US was the first country to launch a RLV programme, the space shuttle, which had its maiden flight on April 12, 1981.

Though described as a technological marvel, it proved an economic disaster. There are at present four shuttles and they will be phased out by 2010.






Doohan's ashes 'beamed up' into space
[29 Apr, 2007 l 2338 hrs ISTlREUTERS]

Actor James Doohan, who played the starship Enterprise's chief engineer Scotty on Star Trek, finally made it to
space on Saturday as a rocket with some of his ashes was launched in New Mexico.

Remains of the Canadian-born actor, who died two years ago at the age of 85, hurtled to the edge of space aboard a telephone pole-size rocket that blasted off from a desert launching grounds near Truth or Consequences.

Doohan inspired the legendary catch phrase Beam me up, Scotty — even though it was never actually uttered on the popular television show.

Hundreds of spectators clapped, cheered and cried as his ashes roared aloft along with the remains of some 200 other people, including astronaut Gordon Cooper, who first went into space in 1963. Cooper died in 2004 at age 77. "It was great, it was fun and we want to go again," said Doohan's widow, Wende Doohan, who pressed the launch button with Cooper's widow, Susan Cooper.

The flight was arranged by Houston-based company Space Services Inc. The company charges $495 to send a portion of a person's ashes into suborbital space.

The firm had originally planned to blast Doohan's remains into space two years ago. But the flight was delayed by tests, then by a misfire during a practice launch last year.

During a 15-minute flight, the rocket separated into two parts and returned to Earth on parachutes with the capsules holding the remains. The maximum height reached was 384,000 feet or 72 miles.

Capsules containing the ashes are retrieved, mounted on plaques and given back to relatives. In 1997, the company blasted the remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry into space. Crystal Warren saw the remains of her space enthusiast brother-in-law take flight. "He's going home. He's there now. He has wanted to be up there forever," said Warren.

The brief flight by the Spaceloft XL rocket was the first commercial launch from Spaceport America, the world's first commercial spaceport, a $225 million project developed with support from the New Mexico state government


Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com








GSLV Mark-III launch in 2009: ISRO
[3 May, 2007 l 1540 hrs ISTlPTI]


AHMEDABAD: India's ambition to grab a slice of the billion-dollar global satellite launch market will get a major boost when ISRO makes the maiden launch of its new Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III in 2009.

"The development of GSLV Mark-III is progressing well and we hope to have its maiden launch in 2009," said Madhavan Nair, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on Thursday.

The GSLV Mark-III is an entirely new three-stage launch vehicle and is not derived from PSLV or GSLV Mark-I or II series.

With the development of GSLV Mark-III, India will be able to launch heavy satellites into the geosynchronous transfer orbit. This vehicle is billed as the technological successor to GSLV Mark-II.

Nair, who was at Space Applications Centre here to attend a "National Telemedicine Users' Meet", told the media that ISRO had identified the problems that had caused the failure of GSLV Mark-II launch last year.

"Last year we had a failure. But we have identified the reasons for it."

"There is nothing wrong with the design or any of the other sub-systems. It was only a fabrication error which caused the failure," he said of the three-stage 414 tonne launch vehicle which had lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in July 2006 only to plunge into the Bay of Bengal with a 2,168-kg INSAT-4C satellite.

Nair said ISRO had rectified the snag and the space agency will be re-launching the GSLV Mark-II by October this year.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Friday, April 20, 2007

SISTEM KASTA INDIA (MODERN)


SISTEM KASTA INDIA MODERN
Para pemimpin India dewasa ini telah menentukan bahwa India akan menjadi sebuah negara yang demokratis, sosialis dan sekuler. Menurut undang-undang, ada pemisahan antara agama dan negara. Tindakan penghinaan atau pendiskriminasian terhadap seseorang berdasarkan kastanya sangat dilarang. Bersamaan dengan hukum ini, pemerintah menerapkan Diskriminasi Positif bagi kaum tertindas di India.

Diskriminasi Positif (Positive Discrimination / Affirmative Action) adalah kebijakan / program pemerintah yang bertujuan untuk mengkoreksi praktek diskriminasi dimasa lalu dan sekarang melalui tindakan-tindakan aktif untuk menjamin persamaan hak untuk memperoleh kesempatan di dalam pekerjaan dan pendidikan.

Saat ini masyarakat India juga lebih fleksibel dalam pengaturan sistem kasta mereka. Umumnya masyarakat perkotaan di India tidak terlalu peduli dalam sistem kasta dibandingkan masyarakat pedesaan. Di kota-kota bisa terlihat orang dari kasta yang berbeda berinteraksi satu sama lain, sementara di beberapa desa masih ada diskriminasi yang didasarkan kasta dan seringkali juga terhadap kaum paria atau kaum diluar kasta (untouchable). Kadang-kadang baik didesa maupun dikota, masih seringkali terjadi bentrokan sehubungan dengan ketegangan antar kasta. Kasta tinggi menyerang kasta rendah yang berani untuk mengangkat status mereka. Akibatnya Kasta rendah menjauhkan diri dari Kasta tinggi.

Di India modern, istilah Kasta (caste), diperkenalkan oleh Kolonial Inggris yang menguasai India sampai 1947. Inggris yang ingin menguasai India, secara efisien membuat daftar masyarakat India. Mereka menggunakan dua istilah untuk menggambarkan komunitas India, yaitu Caste dan Tribes. Istilah Kasta digunakan untuk Jat dan Varna. Tribes adalah komunitas yang hidup di kedalaman hutan, rimba dan pegunungan yang jauh dari keramaian dan juga bagi komunitas yang sulit untuk diberi kasta contohnya komunitas yang mencari nafkah dari mencuri atau merampok. Daftar-daftar inilah yang dipakai juga oleh Pemerintah India untuk menciptakan daftar komunitas yang diberlakukan Diskriminasi Positif.

Masyarakat India dari golongan elit digolongkan kasta tinggi. Komunitas lain diklasifikasikan kasta rendah atau kelas rendah. Kelas rendah ini dibagi lagi dalam 3 kategori. Kategori pertama disebut Scheduled Castes (SC), atau disebut juga Dalit. Yang masuk kategori ini adalah masyarakat dari luar kasta (paria). Kaum ini eksis di tingkatan yang sangat rendah. Sampai akhir tahun 80-an, mereka disebut Harijan, artinya anak Tuhan. Julukan ini diberikan oleh Mahatma Ghandi pada mereka agar masyarakat dapat menerima kaum paria ini diantara mereka.

Kategori kedua adalah Scheduled Tribes (ST). Kategori ini termasuk didalamnya masyarakat yang tidak menerima sistem kasta dan lebih suka hidup di kedalaman hutan, rimba dan pegunungan di India, jauh dari keramaian masyarakat. ST juga disebut Adivasis yang berarti penduduk asli. Untuk golongan ini Ghandi memberi nama Girijan, yang artinya orang2 bukit. Masyarakat ST ini banyak terdapat di negara bagian Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand dan di negara bagian ujung timur laut india, Mizoram.

Kategori ketiga sering disebut Other Backward Classes (OBC) atau Backward Classes. Kategori ini termasuk didalamnya kasta dari Sudra Varna dan juga mantan paria yang telah pindah dari Hindu ke agama lain. Kategori ini juga mencakup nomad dan tribes yang mencari nafkah dari tindakan kriminal.

Menurut kebijakan pemerintah pusat, tiga kategori ini berhak masuk dalam Diskriminasi Positif. Kadang2 tiga kategori ini didefinisikan bersama sebagai Backward Classes. 15% dari populasi India adalah SC. Menurut kebijakan pemerintah pusat 15% dari pekerjaan dipemerintahan dan 15% dari mahasiswa yang masuk ke perguruan tinggi berasal dari SC. Bagi ST sekitar 7.5% dialokasikan bagi mereka yang memiliki 7.5% dari populasi India. OBC sekitar 50% dari populasi India, namun hanya diberi 27% pekerjaan pemerintah bagi mereka.

Selain pemerintah pusat, pemerintah negara bagian juga menerapkan kebijakan diskriminasi positif ini. Tiap2 negara bagian memiliki proporsi tersendiri untuk diterapkan pada diskriminasi positif ini berdasarkan populasi masing2 negara bagian. Masing2 pemerintah negara bagian memiliki daftar komunitas yang berbeda pula untuk diskriminasi positif ini. Kadang2 komunitas tertentu diberikan hak di satu negara bagian, sementara dinegara bagian lainnya tidak.

Di India modern sekarang, ketegangan mulai timbul karena kebijakan diskriminasi positif ini. Komunitas dari kasta tinggi merasa terdiskriminasi oleh kebijakan pemerintah untuk mengalokasikan posisi bagi Backward Class. Dalam beberapa kasus, sejumlah kasta tinggi bersaing untuk mendapatkan tempat bagi mereka. Sementara anggota dari BC tidak perlu bersaing sama sekali karena ada sejumlah besar kuota/jatah sudah dipersiapkan bagi mereka. Kadang2 untuk memenuhi kuota ini, kandidat dari kasta rendah diterima meskipun mereka tidak berkompetensi untuk posisi tersebut. Kadang2 juga posisi yang telah dialokasikan ini tetap dibiarkan kosong karena hanya ada beberapa kandidat dari kasta rendah, dan hal inilah menyebabkan ketegangan di antara kasta.
Diantara kasta rendah sendiri ada juga ketegangan terhadap reservasi ini.

Dalam urutan prioritas untuk reservasi bagi Backward Class, adalah sebagai berikut : SC, ST dan OBC. Seperti yang disebutkan diawal, OBC sekitar 50% dari populasi India namun hanya 27% dari OBC ini berhak atas diskriminasi positif menurut kebijakan pemerintah pusat. Beberapa komunitas OBC sedang mengorganisir secara politik agar mereka diakui sebagai BC yang berhak atas diskriminasi positif.

ST yang dianggap sebagai penduduk asli India memegang kepemilikan dan hak2 tertentu terhadap tanah India. Banyak komunitas di India juga asli India dan mereka menuntut hak yang sama seperti ST.

Identitas kasta ini telah menjadi subjek interpretasi politik, social dan hukum. Komunitas yang terdaftar untuk diskriminasi positif ini tetap tidak bisa keluar dari daftar ini meskipun kondisi sosial dan politik mereka telah membaik. Dalam banyak kasus sistem hukum dilibatkan untuk menentukan apakah seseorang tertentu masuk dalam diskriminasi positif.

Namun dengan semua kebijakan diskriminasi positif yang dijalankan ini, sebagian besar masyarakat yang masuk dalam kasta rendah tetap rendah didalam tingkatan sosial pada saat ini. Sementara masyarakat yang berada pada kasta tinggi tetap tinggi dalam hirarki sosial. Sebagian besar pekerjaan rendahan sampai saat ini tetap dikerjakan oleh Dalit, sementara Kaum Brahmana tetap pada puncak hirarki dengan menjadi dokter, insinyur dan ahli hukum di India.

S9, Khosla Bhawan

Sunday, April 15, 2007

BHS ARAB

اخبــــــار

9 قتلى وعشرات الجرحى بهجمات متفرقة في العراق

البغداديون يبكون جسر الصرافية ويتحسرون: فقدنا جزءا من تاريخ مدينتنا

نائب مدير عمليات القيادة المركزية يطالب بغداد بمواجهة «المصالح التي تغذي العنف»

اعتقال 14 «إرهابيا» خلال مداهمات في العراق

كوريا الجنوبية تدرس سحب قواتها من العراق


حي باهار جانج.. تجسيد لكل ما هو خاطئ

رؤية جديدة تتبناها الحكومة تحت شعار «خطة دلهي الشاملة»


نيودلهي: أميليا جنتلمان*
كان الوقت نهاية الفترة الصباحية في حي باهار جانج السكني الذي يقع على مرمى حجر من محطة نيودلهي للسكك الحديدية في قلب العاصمة، حيث الأزقة الضيقة تعج بالنشاط التجاري. إلا ان سلطات المدينة تنظر الى هذه المنطقة النابضة بالحركة كونها تجسيد لكل ما هو خاطئ في هذه المدينة. الرؤية الجديدة للحكومة تجاه العاصمة، حسبما جاءت في ما اطلق عليه «خطة دلهي الشاملة»، تتضمن مقترحات بهدم المنطقة لتحل محلها بنايات شاهقة تضم شققا سكنية بغرض مقابلة النمو المتزايد الذي بات خارج السيطرة. من المتوقع ان يصل تعداد سكان المدينة الى 23 مليونا بنهاية العام 2012، علما بأن تعداد سكانها يقدر الآن بـ15 مليون نسمة. اذا نجحت خطة البارون هوسمان في تحويل ازقة باريس المزدحمة الى طرق سريعة واسعة، فإن وزير الدولة الهندي للتنمية الحضرية، آجي ماكين، يحلم بإنشاء فضاء يستوعب النمو السكاني المتزايد في الهند من خلال التوسع الرأسي. خطة ماكين للفترة حتى 2012، التي بدأ العمل بها في فبراير (شباط) الماضي، محاولة شجاعة لمعالجة مشكلة ملحة: كيف يتسنى تحويل مدينة مكتظة ومزدحمة بحركة السير الى «حاضرة عالمية» تستحق ان تمثل طموحات الهند في ان تصبح القوة العظمى الآسيوية المقبلة؟ تتلخص الإجابة في ثلاثة جوانب هي إزالة المساكن العشوائية والسيطرة على حركة المرور وإنشاء ابنية على نمط مانهاتن.
إلا ان دلهي تعتبر كابوسا بالنسبة لخبراء تخطيط المدن. إذ باستثناء منطقة محددة مخططة بعناية، وهي منطقة تضم المرافق الحكومية وأفخم الفنادق، يمكن القول ان بقية أنحاء المدينة عبارة عن فوضى معمارية. وطبقا لتقديرات الحكومة، تقطن نسبة 60 بالمائة من سكان المدينة في مساكن غير قانونية، وهي مساكن عشوائية في مناطق لم يستخرج تصريح رسمي للتشييد فيها، او في أبنية غير مخططة ولا تتوفر فيها أي اجراءات للسلامة. وبما ان هذه المناطق ليست مساكن رسمية، ليست هناك امدادات مياه سليمة او نظام قانوني للتزود بالطاقة الكهربائية ولا حتى نظام تصريف سليم. إلا ان بعض السكان الذين لديهم امكانيات نجحوا في توصل المياه لمنازلهم من خطوط المياه الرئيسية، فيما يخاطر آخرون بسرقة التيار الكهربائي من أبراج شبكة الكهرباء. المرافق المركزية لإمدادات المياه والطاقة لم تستطع مقابلة هذا الحجم من الطلب. فغالبية المناطق تتلقى امدادات المياه لمدة ساعتين فقط في اليوم، الأمر الذي يضطر السكان الى حفظ كميات من المياه في أوان بغرض استخدامها عن الحاجة، فضلا عن انقطاع التيار الكهربائي بصورة يومية. يضاف الى ما سبق ان هذه المناطق لا تتمتع بأية شوارع معبدة وذلك بسبب كون هذه المناطق غير مخططة بصورة رسمية. اما الآن، فإن سكان هذه المناطق الذين اصبحوا اثرياء في ظل الطفرة الاقتصادية في الهند استبدلوا الدراجات البخارية بالدراجات الهوائية فيما استبدل آخرون السيارات بالدراجات البخارية. وكانت مبيعات السيارات قد ارتفعت في مختلف انحاء الهند العام الماضي بنسبة 24 بالمائة، وباتت حركة السير في العاصمة اكثر ازدحاما وخطورة. منح مساكن يقدر قاطنوها بحوالي ثلاثة ملايين ونصف المليون نسمة صفة قانونية بموجب الخطة الجديدة، علما بأن هؤلاء كانوا حتى وقت قريب يخشون ان تهدم السلطات منازلهم بسبب عدم قانونيتها. كما تتضمن الخطة ايضا إعادة تطوير المناطق الخطرة من ناحية التخطيط والبناء ويتوقع ان إعادة إسكان مليوني شخص تقريبا من أصحاب المساكن العشوائية في البنايات العالية الجديدة. جدير بالذكر ان الحكومات المتعاقبة في الهند حصرت عمليات التشييد الخاصة بالإسكان في هيئة حكومية محددة، «هيئة تنمية دلهي»، وقال ماكين انه قد ثبت بالدليل عدم فاعلية نظام الدولة في مجال الإسكان والتشييد. وتسمح الخطة الجديدة (وهي ثالث خطة منذ عام 1962) لشركات التشييد الخاصة بالدخول في هذه السوق لأول مرة. ولتحفيز هذه الشركات تنص الخطة على إلغاء القيود المفروضة على التشييد في كل المجالات باستثناء بضع مناطق تاريخية. وتؤكد الخطة على أهمية التوسع الرأسي كحل جذري لمدينة أدت فيها القيود المفروضة على ارتفاع المباني الى التوسع الافقي. إلا ان الحكومة الهندية باتت تقول الآن انه لا بد من التوصل الى تطبيق حل جذري في ظل عجزها عن وقف هجرة ما لا يقل عن نصف مليون شخص من الريف الهندي الى المدن سنويا. وستصبح شركات التشييد بموجب الخطة الجديدة قادرة على التحدث مباشرة مع سكان هذه الأحياء، الذين يقطن معظمهم في منازل من ثلاثة طوابق، على ضوء خطة لإسكانهم في شقق مساوية من حيث الحجم لمنازلهم الحالية في أبنية من 15 طابقا مع منحهم حافزا نقديا قدره 2.5 مليون روبية (56000 دولار). وتنص الخطة على تطوير نسبة 35 بالمائة من المساكن للفقراء مع المحافظة على المساحات الخضراء بين الأبنية العالية.

* خدمة «نيويورك تايمز»


الصفحة الرئيســية
English
الاولـــــى
اخبــــــار
أولــــــى 2
اقتصــــاد
ملحق عالـم الرياضة
عـقــارات
الــــــرأي
بريـد القــراء
محليات (سعودية)
يوميات الشرق
كـاركـاتيــر
الادارة والتحرير

Health & Science

Milk helps kick the butt: Study
[ 5 Apr, 2007 2332hrs ISTIANS ]


NEW YORK: Milk not only does the body good it may also help you quit smoking, says a study. Consuming milk makes the taste of cigarette bad and by making a few modifications to the diet one can make quitting bit easier, said the study published in April 2007 issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

The study is said to be the first to explore the taste-altering effects of food and beverages on cigarette palatability.

The study examined 209 smokers and asked them to name items that worsen or enhance the taste of cigarettes.

Nineteen per cent of them reported that dairy products, such as milk or cheese, worsen the taste of cigarettes; 14% reported non-caffeinated beverages, such as water or juice; and 16% reported fruits and vegetables.

Forty-four per cent of them reported that alcoholic beverages enhance the taste of cigarettes; 45% reported caffeinated beverages, such as tea, cola and coffee; and 11% reported meat.

Identifying which components of foods and beverages ruin the taste of cigarettes could lead to new treatments to deter smoking, said co-investigator Jed E Rose of the Duke University Medical Center study.

The researchers are now looking at the possibility of using the chemical silver acetate, known to alter the taste of cigarettes, to help smokers quit.

The additive could be given in the form of a gum or a lozenge as part of smoking cessation treatment, according to a science portal, EurekAlert.






Nutrition myths junked: Eggs, carbs are okay
[ 5 Apr, 2007 0040hrs ISTREUTERS ]


NEW YORK: Avoid eggs. Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Eating carbs will make you fat. Nutritional advice such as this has been touted for years but is it accurate?

Not necessarily, according to Wendy Repovich, an exercise physiologist at Eastern Washington University in Cheyenne, Washington, who did her best to dispel several common nutrition misconceptions during an American College of Sports Medicine-sponsored health and fitness summit held recently in Dallas.

"Eating eggs will raise your cholesterol." This myth started because egg yolks have the most concentrated amount of cholesterol in any food, Repovich said. However, when eaten in moderation, eggs do not contain enough cholesterol to pose health risks, she said.

"Most people avoid eggs and probably if they have any kind of cardiovascular risk their physicians tell them to avoid eggs," Repovich said. "But really, there aren't a whole lot of studies that show that one or two eggs a day really make a difference to cholesterol levels."

"Eating carbohydrates makes you fat" is another myth. Cutting carbs from the diet may help a person shed pounds due to water loss from a decrease in carbohydrate stores, Repovich said, but eating carbs in moderation does not directly lead to weight gain.

Here's another myth. "Drink 8 glasses of water a day." Repovich said people need to replace water lost through breathing, urinating, sweating each day but that doesn't necessarily total two litres of water. "I see an awful lot of people carrying bottled water around," Repovich said.

"I think people are still under the impression that they have to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but most people don't realise they get water from other sources in the diet." And too much water can be harmful, Repovich warned, leading possibly to an imbalance in the body of sodium, a condition called hyponatremia.

It's also a myth, Repovich said, that everyone needs vitamin supplements. People who eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, along with moderate amounts of a variety of low-fat dairy and protein and the right quantity of calories, probably don't need a vitamin supplement, she said.





Overweight people 50% more likely to get asthma
[ 3 Apr, 2007 2308hrs ISTREUTERS ]


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Obese and overweight people are 50% more likely to get asthma than those of normal weight, suggesting that weight loss could help reduce the number of asthma cases, US researchers said on Monday.

Asthma, an inflammatory disease usually triggered by an allergy, can cause wheezing, coughing and laboured breathing that can be life-threatening.

It affects about 7% of the US adult population. Obesity and being overweight are far more prevalent, affecting about 65% of US adults.

Both types of ailments are on the rise and a new study suggests the two may be linked.

"Overweight and obesity significantly increases the risk of developing asthma," said E Rand Sutherland of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado, who wrote the study.

"If you can substantially reduce the amount of overweight or obese people, you might also get a reduction in the number of new cases of asthma," Sutherland said.

Sutherland and colleagues, writing in the April issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, said a significant reduction in the incidence of overweight people could cut the number of new asthma cases in the US by 250,000 per year.






Sun's 3-D pics help warn of flares
[25 Apr, 2007 l 0257 hrs ISTlREUTERS]


WASHINGTON: The first three-dimensional images of the Sun from a pair of spacecraft orbiting the planet were released on Monday and can begin helping scientists predict when and how hard dangerous solar storms will hit, the US space agency Nasa said.

Such storms can disrupt satellites, communications and sometimes the electricity supply, and may endanger astronauts in Earth orbit as well as commercial airline flights.

The twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, satellites can create more accurate, real-time views of these storms, called coronal mass ejections, project scientists said.

“The improvement with STEREO’s 3-D view is like going from a regular X-ray to a 3-D CAT scan in the medical field,” said Michael Kaiser, STEREO Project Scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Solar storms are a conglomeration of charged gases and magnetic forces. When they hit the Earth’s magnetic barrier they cause the auroras, the dramatic Northern and Southern lights. But they can also disrupt satellites, radio communication, and power grids. The radiation they carry is a danger to astronauts.





BHS INDONESIA



21 Mei 07 16:43 WIB
Sperma "Uzur" Dan Cacat Lahir Janin
WASPADA Online

Di sebagian masyarakat masih ada mitos yang mengatakan bahwa anak yang lahir dari pasangan suami istri yang suaminya sangat tua akan cerdas. "Bibitnya matang sih!?
Begitu kata mitos di masyarakat. Menurut dr H Pribakti B SpOG (K), spesialis kebidanan dan kandungan di RSUD Ulin Banjarmasin, hal itu tak sepenuhnya benar.

Mitos lain yang masih berkembang di masyarakat awam bahwa ketika bayi lahir menyandang cacat atau belakangan diketahui mengidap penyakit bawaan atau turunan tertentu tuduhan biasanya dialamatkan kepada sang ibu. Apalagi jika ia sudah tua.

"Sebaliknya si bapak yang biasanya lebih tua praktis terbebas dari "gunjingan". Malahan si bapak cenderung selalu dianggap tokcer, mampu menjadi bapak anak-anak sehat di usia yang sudah tua, bahkan sampai jauh memasuki usia senja," kata pria kelahiran Balikpapan ini.
Namun belakangan, ujar Pribakti, bukti-bukti makin bertumpuk bahwa justru pada lelakilah —bukannya wanita— yang kemungkinan menjadi sumber sebagian besar mutasi genetik baru yang mengakibatkan cacat lahir janin.

Karena itu boleh jadi lelakilah yang bertanggung jawab atas mayoritas penyakit-penyakit bawaan ,yang sepintas tak jelas asal usulnya. Pasalnya , kian "uzur" pihak lelaki kian tinggi peluang spermanya mengalami mutasi genetik. Pandangan baru ini sebagian besar bertumpu pada kajian-kajian mutahir atas sel individual.

"Memang belum final. Masih banyak yang perlu dipelajari tentang mutasi genetik pada sperma, demikian digarisbawahi sementara ilmuwan. Begitu pula, masih belum jelas benar seberapa besar variasi kecil dalam "cetak biru" genetik yang ada pada manusia nantinya akan diterterjemahkan menjadi suatu cacat lahir, tambah dokter yang punya hobi menulis ini.

Namun yang pasti sebagian peneliti mengakui sekaranglah saatnya untuk lebih mengamati kemungkinan ada "kekeliruan" bawaan sel sperma, walau ini merupakan subyek yang selama ini tak begitu mendapat perhatian. Sebagai contoh kasus Hemofili (dimana darah tidak bisa membeku) yang baru muncul ditengah keluarga, yang sebelumnya tak mencatat sejarah penyakit demikian agaknya merupakan hasil"plesetan" genetik yang bersumber dari sperma lelaki, bukan sel telur wanita.

Para ilmuwan menyadari sepenuhnya bahwa kendati sel telur wanita telah terbentuk penuh selama pengembangan janin dan tak lagi mengalami pembagian sel lebih lanjut setelah lahir, sel kelamin "moyang" yang mencikal bakali sperma lelaki akan terus berbagi sepanjang hidup seseorang. Makin besar banyaknya pembagian sel makin besar pula peluang kesalahan minor yang disebut mutasi titik bisa terjadi sewaktu kromosom tengah diduplikasi. Malah belum lama ini, para ilmuwan berhasil memperlihatkan gen-gen pada kromosom Y yang cuma dimonopoli lelaki (karena lelaki berkromosom ternyata memang bermutasi pada laju lebih cepat dari pada gen-gen pada kromosom X, yang sebenarnya tak cuma dimiliki wanita (XX).

Berdasarkan ini pula sejumlah kajian lain membuat para ilmuwan menaksir laju mutasi genetik keseluruhan dalam sel-sel sperma enam kali lebih tinggi dari pada dalam sel telur. Dan kesenjangan itu makin melebar seiring usia. Makin uzur lelaki, masing sering sel-sel "moyang " sperma berbagi, maka makin tinggi banyaknya kemungkinan mutasi titik yang tertumpuk dalam kromosom.

Seperti diketahui pada usia 13 tahun, jelas ayah tiga anak ini, tatkala seorang bocah laki-laki biasanya mulai memproduksi sperma, sel-sel kelaminnya itu telah berbagi sekitar 36 kali dan berbagi sekitar 23 kali setahun sesudahnya. Pada saat umur 20 tahun, sel-sel sudah mengalami replikasi kira-kira 200 kali. Saat usia 30 tahun, kurang lebih 439 kali dan begitu menginjak 45 tahun kira-kira 770 kali. Semua itu didukung bukti statistik.

Rata-rata para bapak dari anak-anak yang mempunyai suatu penyakit genetik dominan, penyakit disebabkan satu cacat tunggal yang belum pernah terjadi sepanjang sejarah keluarga sebelumnya, ternyata enam tahun lebih sepuh daripada bapak para anak yang tanpa penyakit.
Bagaimana dengan kaum hawa?
Di pihak ibu, Pribakti tak membantah masih ada sisi negatifnya juga. Menjadi ibu pada usia lebih tua sebegitu jauh masih menghadapi peningkatan resiko melahirkan bayi dengan berbagai cacat lahir. Bedanya bukan dikaitkan dengan mutasi titik, namun kesalahan replikasi seluruh kromosom. Contoh yang paling terkenal adalah triplikasi dari kromoson 21 yang menimbulkan sindroma Down. Cacat kromosomal skala besar macam itu mudah dideteksi dalam tes prakelahiran dengan pemeriksaan air ketuban saat usia kehamilan 16 minggu. Jadi masih terbuka kemungkinan diantisipasi.

"Sebaliknya sebagian besar "error" genetik kecil-kecil yang diperkirakan sebagian besar dari pihak bapak, sampai sekarang susah didiagnosa secara dini sehingga baru ketahuan saat bayi dilahirkan," kata lulusan FK Airlangga ini.

Kita dapat sedikit mengeliminasi mutasi pada manusia jika kaum lelaki berproduksi pada usia muda. Atau jika memang ingin punya anak belakangan/saat sudah uzur maka simpan saja spermanya yang masih muda .
Hal ini sudah banyak dilakukan di negara yang sudah maju. Atau jika tidak ingin punya anak cacat lahir sebaiknya jangan menghamili apalagi kalau ibunya sudah tua juga. (ags

Source: waspada.co.id





23 Apr 07 21:07 WIB
Kenali Infeksi Saluran Kemih
Pada Anak
WASPADA Online


Sebagaimana infeksi yang menyerang organ lain, infeksi kuman tertentu juga bisa menyerang saluran kemih hingga menyebabkan rasa sakit, panas hingga tidak enak di seputar saluran ini. Pada anak-anak gejala ini harus lebih dikenali.
Di samping mengenali gejalanya, cukup penting juga untuk mengetahui seluk-beluk lainnya termasuk mencegah gangguan ini agar tidak menyerang anak dan menyebabkan persepsi yang salah dalam kemungkinan diagnosanya, seperti yang kerapkali terjadi pada sangkaan adanya kekerasan seksual pada gangguan berkemih ini pada anak.

Pengeluaran air kencing ditentukan asupan cairan. Jika kurang minum mengakibatkan berbagai pengeluaran cairan ataupun penguapan dari tubuh, maka air kemih juga akan berkurang. Selain aktifitas, keadaan lingkungan yang dingin juga otomatis menambah jumlahnya karena minimnya penguapan dan proses pengeluaran keringat.

Kapasitas kandung kemih dapat dihitung secara rumus usia ditambah 2 kali 30 cc per jumlah sekali berkemih. Pengukuran lebih khas bisa dilakukan dengan penggunaan kateter atau USG. Pada proses berkemih terjadi suatu koordinasi diantara komponen dalam saluran berkemih ini sehingga bila ada sedikit gangguan maka turut mempengaruhi prosesnya secara keseluruhan.

Proses itu dimulai dari pengisian kandung kemih hingga tersimpan penuh setelah sekian jam dan siap dikeluarkan. Tubuh mengkoordinasikan proses pengosongannya melalui rasa ingin berkemih dan pengeluaran diatur oleh kontraksi otot untuk mengosongkan kandung kemih tadi dengan beberapa proses pertahanan dan retensi yang masih bisa ditolerir.

Jika proses alami ini tidak berlangsung optimal maka bisa mengganggu ginjal sebagai organ paling penting dalam pengaturan cairan di tubuh. Pada bayi proses ini berlangsung sedikit berbeda dimana pembuangan cairan melalui berkemih berlangsung diluar kesadaran dan secara otomatis, istilah ngompol lazim pada bayi.

Sekitar 95% bayi dalam waktu 24 jam sudah harus kencing untuk menandakan tidak adanya gangguan pada saluran kemihnya. Mekanisme kontrol selanjutnya melalui koordinasi secara sadar muncul pada usia 1,5 sampai 2 tahun.

Bila Terjadi Infeksi
Infeksi saluran kemih sering luput dari perhatian orangtua saat mendapatkan anaknya yang rewel. Ini lebih sulit pada bayi dibawah 1 tahun dimana tanda-tanda lewat sikapnya lebih susah dikenali, paling-paling sering menangis hingga kehilangan nafsu makan. Tanda-tanda lebih jelas bisa diperhatikan dari kebiasaannya mengejan dan meringis serta menangis kesakitan setiap kali buang air kecil, walau tidak semudah itu memperhatikan tanda ini.

Tanda penyerta yang biasa muncul dan dapat lebih diperhatikan tanda kemerahan di sekitar kelamin pada anak perempuan dan di sekitar lubang kencing yang terlihat lebih sempit dan bisa berupa pembengkakan kecil pada anak laki-laki.

Gejala lainnya bisa ditandai dari kencing yang tersendat, warna keruh dan berbau lebih menyengat. Tahapan lebih parah bisa terjadi nyeri di sekitar pinggang. Infeksi saluran kemih ini bisa terjadi akibat berkembangnya kuman seperti yang tersering bakteri dan dari pemeriksaan diketahui ditemukannya lebih dari 100 ribu koloni kuman di setiap mililiter urin segar.

Kuman menyerang saluran kemih bisa masuk secara asendens akibat infeksi dari bagian bawah yang naik ke atas, seperti dari infeksi saluran cerna menyebar ke daerah sekitar perineal kemudian menyerang saluran kemih dan masuk ke ginjal. Pada keadaan ini infeksi sudah bisa digolongkan sebagai infeksi saluran kemih atas. Penyebaran infeksi ini juga bisa terjadi secara hematogen lewat darah atau lewat saluran limfe yang masih cukup jarang ditemukan.

Pemicunya cukup banyak dan beragam jenisnya, bisa dari sumbatan dari berbagai organ seperti ureter (saluran dari ginjal ke kandung kemih), kandung kemih, katup-katup uretra (saluran dari kandung kemih ke luar tubuh), ginjal hingga oleh berbagai jenis tumor. Sementara secara refluks bisa dijelaskan sebagai adanya aliran baik dari ureter dimana air seni kembali ke ureter dan memungkinkan terbawanya kuman-kuman tertentu yang seharusnya dibuang ke luar tubuh.

Beberapa kelainan bawaan seperti adanya kelainan organ baik secara kuantitas dan kualitas juga berperan sebagai pemicu yang jelas lebih kompleks untuk ditangani dan beberapa faktor turut berperan seperti seringnya menahannahan kencing dan kurang minum. Yang paling tidak diharapkan sebagai komplikasi sendiri adalah kerusakan ginjal dalam bentuk ringan hingga fatal. Hal ini lamanya tergantung dari berat ringannya infeksi yang terjadi.

Penanganan infeksi saluran kemih meliputi banyak hal dari pemberian obat pada kasus ringan dan operasi bila ditemukan keterlibatan organ sebagai pemicunya. Tahap lanjut dimana sudah terjadi kerusakan ginjal, tindakan hemodialisa atau transplantasi terpaksa menjadi pilihan untuk mencegah kefatalan.

Secara keseluruhan, metode dilakukan bergantung pada bentuk infeksi maupun penyebabnya. Pemberian antibiotik biasanya membutuhkan waktu lama hingga 1-2 bulan atau lebih pada kasus lebih kompleks. Ada banyak faktor yang melatarbelakangi pemilihan antibiotik termasuk resistensi obat yang memerlukan pemeriksaan biakan untuk menentukan antibiotik yang tepat.

Satu hal lagi yang tidak boleh dilupakan adalah anjuran untuk menjaga kecukupan cairan melalui minum air putih dalam jumlah optimal dan tidak menahannahan kencing berikut tindakan-tindakan lain yang berhubungan dengan optimalitas daya tahan tubuh si anak.







Serba Serbi - Kesehatan
14 Mei 07 20:20 WIB

Mengapa Jadi Gemuk?
WASPADA Online

Mengapa jadi gemuk? Tentunya ini menjadi pertanyaan bagi kaum hawa dan adam yang mengalami hal demikian. Berikut adalah penjelasan dari Dr. Phaidon.

Menurutnya ada beberapa hal yang menyebabkan orang menjadi gemuk adalah faktor genetika, kelebihan karbohidrat, kelebihan makanan berlemak, kurang berakfitas dan proses penuaan.

Faktor Genetika Sistem hormon yang ada di dalam tubuh seseorang memang menyebabkan seseorang mudah gemuk dibandingkan dengan orang lain. Meski begitu, bukan berarti orang yang punya garis keturunan gemuk tak bisa menurunkan berat badan.

Kelebihan Karbohidrat Sumber karbohidrat itu tak hanya nasi, kentang, mi, dan lain-lain, tetapi juga kue-kue, cake, biskuit, dan es krim. Kelebihan karbohidrat ini diolah tubuh dan disimpan menjadi sel lemak juga.

Kelebihan makanan berlemak Sama halnya dengan kelebihan karbohidrat, kelebihan lemak juga diubah menjadi sel lemak.

Kurang aktivitas
Akibatnya kalori makanan yang masuk tidak dipakai dan dibuang, sehingga terjadi kelebihan energi. Kelebihan energi ini ditabung menjadi lemak. Kurang aktivitas juga menjadikan massa otot berkurang, sehingga mesin pembakar lemak menjadi berkurang. Akibatnya, lemak semakin bertumpuk.

Proses penuaan Setelah usia bertambah tua terjadi penurunan produksi hormon-hormon di dalam tubuh yang menyebabkan tubuh lebih mudah menimbun lemak. Proses penuaan ini bukan berarti tak bisa dicegah atau diperlambat. Gaya hidup sehat dengan mengatur pola makan sehat dan berolahraga teratur bisa menghambat proses penuaan ini.

Tidur selamatkan dari gemuk Begitupun ada yang memberikan pendapatan bahwa banyak tidur malam akan menyelamatkan anda dari kegemukan.
Menurut hasil studi teranyar, kalau Anda cukup tidur di malam hari, justru menyelamatkan Anda dari kegemukan. Kalau saat ini Anda gemuk, coba ingat-ingat dulu, jangan-jangan selama ini kurang tidur.

Di waktu tidur, tubuh kita justru membakar sejumlah kalori. Jadi ya semakin lama Anda tidur lebih banyak lagi kalori yang dibakar. Karenanya, Anda dianjurkan memiliki pola tidur yang baik di malam hari. Paling tidak cara ini bisa membuat Anda tidak cepat gemuk.

Studi yang dilakukan para ilmuwan dari The Columbia University menemukan: Mereka yang tidur selama 4 jam atau kurang di malam hari, 73 persen berpeluang jadi gemuk. Yang tidur 5 jam sehari, peluangnya 50 persen menderita kegemukan. Sementara yang tidur 6 jam sehari, peluangnya lebih kecil yakni 23%.
Melihat hasil tadi, mereka yang tidur kurang dari empat jam sehari adalah golongan yang paling berisiko menderita obesitas.

Mengapa ya? Tim peneliti dari the Mailman School of Public Health and the Obesity Research Center di Columbia mengamati perilaku 18.000 orang, berusia 32 sampai 59, yang berpartisipasi dalam survei the National Health and Nutrition Examination periode 1980-an.
Hasilnya. Jika tidak tidur di malam hari, kita biasanya lebih suka nongkrong di depan televisi atau komputer. Selanjutnya bisa ditebak, sambil nonton atau memelototi komputer kita cenderung mengonsumsi makanan lebih banyak atau ngemil.

"Jika seseorang terjaga dalam waktu lama, mereka cenderung makan banyak," kata Dr Stephen Heymsfield yang terlibat dalam penelitian ini.
Tak hanya itu, penelitian menunjukkan pula, kurang tidur berhubungan dengan berkurangnya kadar hormon leptin. Hormon yang mengatur nafsu makan, berat badan, dan melaporkan pada otak berapa banyak cadangan makanan yang tersedia dalam tubuh.
Selain hormon leptin, kadar hormon grehlin yang fungsinya merangsang nafsu makan, ditemukan meningkat pada orang-orang yang kurang tidur.

Hasil penelitian ini diamini Dr. David Haslam dari National Obesity Forum. Dikatakannya, selain faktor depresi, aktivitas fisik, konsumsi alkohol, tingkat pendidikan, umur dan jenis kelamin, kurang tidur jelas ikut memicu terjadinya kegemukan.
Kuncinya adalah kalau tidak tidur, kita lebih suka berada di depan komputer atau televisi, kemudian makan. Selain itu, stres yang merupakan pengaruh dari pola tidur, diketahui mempengaruhi pula kadar hormon dalam tubuh. (H/sb) (ags)



Source: waspada.co.id

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

From the Earth to the Moon(1)

Sunita L. Williams (Commander, USN)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born September 19, 1965 in Euclid, Ohio, but considers Needham, Massachusetts to be her hometown. Married to Michael J. Williams. Although they have no children, Labrador retrievers and a crazy Jack Russell Terrier named Gorby have added their share of excitement to their lives. Recreational interests include running, swimming, biking, triathlons, windsurfing, snowboarding and bow hunting. Her parents, Dr. Deepak and Mrs. Bonnie Pandya, reside in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

EDUCATION: Needham High School, Needham, Massachusetts, 1983.B.S., Physical Science, U.S. Naval Academy, 1987.M.S., Engineering Management, Florida Institute of Technology, 1995.

ORGANIZATIONS: Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Society of Flight Test Engineers, American Helicopter Association.

SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded Navy Commendation Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and various other service awards.

EXPERIENCE: Williams received her commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy from the United States Naval Academy in May 1987. After a six-month temporary assignment at the Naval Coastal System Command, she received her designation as a Basic Diving Officer and then reported to Naval Aviation Training Command. She was designated a Naval Aviator in July 1989. She then reported to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 3 for initial H46, Seaknight, training. Upon completion of this training, she was assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 8 in Norfolk, Virginia, and made overseas deployments to the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Persian Gulf in support of Desert Shield and Operation Provide Comfort.

In September 1992 she was the Officer-in-Charge of an H-46 detachment sent to Miami, Florida for Hurricane Andrew Relief Operations onboard USS Sylvania. Williams was selected for United States Naval Test Pilot School and began the course in January 1993.

After graduation in December 1993, she was assigned to the Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Directorate as an H-46 Project Officer, and V-22 Chase Pilot in the T-2. While there she was also assigned as the squadron Safety Officer and flew test flights in the SH-60B/F, UH-1, AH-1W, SH-2, VH-3, H-46, CH-53 and the H-57. In December 1995, she went back to the Naval Test Pilot School as an Instructor in the Rotary Wing Department and the school’s Safety Officer. There she flew the UH-60, OH-6 and the OH-58. From there she was assigned to the USS Saipan (LHA-2), Norfolk, Virginia, as the Aircraft Handler and the Assistant Air Boss.

Williams was deployed onboard USS Saipan when she was selected for the astronaut program.
She has logged over 2770 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in June 1998, she reported for training in August 1998. Astronaut Candidate Training included orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques.

Following a period of training and evaluation, Williams worked in Moscow with the Russian Space Agency on the Russian contribution to the International Space Station (ISS) and with the first Expedition Crew to the ISS. Following the return of Expedition-1, Williams worked within the Robotics branch on the ISS Robotic Arm and the follow on Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. As a NEEMO2 crewmember she lived underwater in the Aquarius habitat for 9 days. Suni Williams currently serves as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. She launched with the crew of STS-116 on December 9, 2006, docking with the station on December 11, 2006. As a member of the Expedition-14 crew Suni Williams established a world record for females with four spacewalks totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes of EVA. She continues her tour of duty as a member of the current Expedition-15 crew.
APRIL 2007




Sunita William




Source: www.jsc.nasa







ISRO to discuss manned mission to moon
[6 Nov, 2006 l 1542 hrs ISTlIANS]


BANGALORE: India's space scientists and technologists will hold a brain-storming session on Tuesday to explore the viability of undertaking a manned mission to the moon by the end of the next decade.

With President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam rooting for such an adventure, about 50-60 experts from top research labs and scientific institutions will get a preview of the ambitious project conceived by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that is planning to send an Indian astronaut into space on a indigenous space capsule by 2014.

"We have already made a presentation to the prime minister last month (Oct 17) on our capabilities to launch a manned mission into space by 2014. As preparations to launch an unmanned lunar mission (Chandrayaan-1) by 2008 are under way, we will be exploring the prospects of landing an Indian on moon by at least 2020," a top ISRO official said.

At the meeting, ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair will make a detailed presentation on the pros and cons of launching a manned mission to the moon, the benefits that are expected to accrue from such a mission and the resources required to undertake it.

"We have invited the heads of various research and development organisations, including the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Indian Institute of Science, National Aerospace Laboratories and the department of science & technology to ascertain their views on the project and draw a road map for embarking on such a mission," the official said.

Based on the deliberations and feedback from the experts, ISRO plans to prepare a project report for government approval and budgetary allocation in the 11th and 12th five-year plans.

Prime Minister's Science Advisory Council chairman C.N.R. Rao and former ISRO chairmen K. Kasturirangan and U.R. Rao have also been invited to participate in the daylong session and present their views on the multibillion rupee project.

"Though we have the capabilities and resources to undertake such a mission, we need to cover a lot of ground to assess its viability in terms of the prohibitive cost, materials and manpower involved. The issue is not whether we can do, but at what cost and how the country would benefit from it," U R Rao said.









Earth as hot as Sun near core
[ 1 Apr, 2007 2235hrs ISTAGENCIES ]


A thousand miles beneath the Earth’s surface, the temperature soars to about 3,676.66667
degrees Celsius and that’s nearly as steamy as our sun, claim scientists.

If we go deeper into the inner core, the it could be 4,982.22222 degrees, they say.

The findings, detailed in the journal Science, will help geologists as they seek to understand how heat is transferred through the planet’s interior, which drives all geologic processes like earthquakes and volcanoes, and Earth’s magnetic field.

Robert van der Hilst of MIT and his colleagues examined an area beneath Central America by monitoring earthquake-generated seismic waves in real time.

The waves penetrate thousands of miles beneath Earth’s surface, effectively taking the temperature of the boundary between Earth’s core and the surrounding mantle, if you know how to read the data.

Here is how: The speed of the seismic waves indicates the chemical and physical properties of the material they encounter. By combining this seismic data with mineral physics, the team calculated the temperature at this boundary as well as above and below it.

A mineral called perovskite transforms into post-perovskite at certain temperatures. The location of the core-mantle boundary can be identified by locating the exact spot of this mineral transition.

“What is really the important thing is the amount of heat that can flow from the core into the mantle, and the amount of heat is related to the contrast in temperature,” van der Hilst said. Agencies








Plants on other planets may be yellow, red: Nasa
[ 13 Apr, 2007 0112hrs ISTREUTERS ]


CHICAGO: The same rules that make Earth plants green may make non-Earth plants yellow, red or green but likely not blue, Nasa scientists said on Wednesday.

They said their findings which look at how plants absorb and reflect different types of light may help narrow the search for life on planets beyond our solar system. And, as a bonus, they may have answered a basic question about life on Earth.

"We've uncovered maybe the best explanation of why plants are green," said Nancy Kiang, a Nasa biometeorologist who led the study, which appears in Astrobiology.

Understanding plant colours on other planets is important as scientists prepare for new information to be generated from giant space telescopes planned by Nasa and the European Space Agency to study Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars.

"We can guess the plausible range of colours they might be," said Vikki Meadows, an astrobiologist the California Institute of Technology who heads Nasa's Virtual Planetary Laboratory.

Meadows and a host of scientists from different disciplines first studied how light is absorbed and reflected by plants and some bacteria on Earth.

That led to computer model for predicting the colour of plants on other planets and new insights about plants on Earth. Chlorophyll in plants takes light from the sun and converts it into energy through a process called photosynthesis.

Scientists have long known that most plants on Earth absorb more blue and red light and less green light, but they have not understood why.

It turns out that more red light reaches plants on Earth, and blue light is the easiest to absorb. So plants make most efficient use of these two, and that leaves green light as largely superfluous.







Earth II: Is there life out there?
[26 Apr, 2007 l 0050 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]


Above a calm, dark ocean, a huge, bloated red sun rises in the sky a full 10 times the size of our Sun as seen from Earth. Small waves lap at a sandy shore and on the beach, something stirs...

This is the scene or may be the scene on what is possibly the most extraordinary world to have been discovered by astronomers: the first truly Earth-like planet to have been found outside our Solar System.

A team of European astronomers announced on Tuesday that the discovery of the potentially habitable planet, with Earth-like temperatures, is a big step in the search for "life in the universe".

The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 190 trillion km, or 20.5 light years, away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a "red dwarf", is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun.

There’s still a lot that is unknown about the new planet, which could be deemed inhospitable to life once more is known about it. And it’s worth noting that scientists’ requirements for habitability count Mars in that category: a size relatively similar to Earth’s with temperatures that would permit liquid water. However, this is the first planet outside our solar system that meets those standards.

"It’s a significant step on the way to finding life in the universe," said University of Geneva astronomer Michel Mayor, one of 11 European scientists on the team that found the planet.

"I expect there will be planets like Earth, but whether they have life is another question," said renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. "We haven’t been visited by little green men yet."

The results of the discovery have not been published but have been submitted to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The planet was discovered by the European Southern Observatory’s telescope in La Silla, Chile. It circles the red dwarf star, Gliese 581. Red dwarfs are low-energy, tiny stars that give off dim red light and last longer than stars like our sun. Agencies







Suni set to run marathon in space
[ 31 Mar, 2007 0053hrs ISTAP ]


BOSTON: Zooming through low-Earth orbit at 17,500 mph, Sunita Williams completes the standard marathon distance every 5.4 seconds. But for next month's Boston Marathon, the US Navy commander will run the equivalent distance on a treadmill 338 km above Earth in the international space station, and tethered to her track by bungee cords so she does not float away.

"She thought it would be cool if she gave it a try," said Williams' sister, Dina Pandya, who will run the race the traditional way with almost 24,000 other runners. "She said, 'I'll call you on Heartbreak Hill.' " Although the world's oldest annual marathon starts at 10 am EDT (1400 GMT) on Earth, Williams might not be able to run at that time because her sleep schedule — a fairly arbitrary matter in space — is set for the arrival of a Soyuz mission.

"I'm not sure the timing will be that she'll be awake," Pandya said. "They're going to be on Russian time, so they're kind of sleep-shifting."

Williams, 41, qualified for the Boston race by finishing last January's Houston Marathon in 3 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds. On December 9, Williams took off on the space shuttle Discovery, and it became clear she was not going to make it to the starting line.

"I considered it a huge honour to qualify, and I didn't want my qualification to expire without giving it a shot," Williams told the Boston Athletic Association, which organises the race.

The BAA offered to send an official entrant's bib and a special finisher's medal — made without lead, per Nasa orders — to the space station. But when this month's launch of the shuttle Atlantis was postponed, Williams had to be e-mailed a bib that she can print out; the other souvenirs will have to wait.



Date:24/12/2006 URL:
Source: thehindu.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discovery returns after 13-day mission

Sunita Williams to stay in International Space Station for six months


SPACE ODYSSEY: The U.S. space shuttle Discovery glides in for landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on Saturday.

CAPE CANAVERAL (Florida): The space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts safely returned to Earth after some last-minute suspense over which landing site to use, ending a year in which NASA's construction of the international space station came back on track.

Its arrival in Florida announced by its signature twin sonic booms, the spaceship touched down on a floodlit runway in the early evening darkness on Friday after a smooth, 13-day flight during which the astronauts rewired the space station and delivered U.S. astronaut Sunita ``Suni'' Williams to the International Space Station for a six-month stay.

``It's a thrill to have you in Florida,'' Mission Control said.

Last-minute suspense


After the shuttle rolled to a stop, ending its 8.5-million-km journey, Discovery commander Mark Polansky said: ``You have seven thrilled people right here. ... I think it's going to be a great holiday.''

Less than two hours after touching down, Mr. Polansky and four other crew members — pilot William Oefelein, and mission specialists Robert Curbeam, Joan Higginbotham and Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang of the European Space Agency — walked around the shuttle and inspected it under a light drizzle and blustery wind.

Missing from the walk-around inspection were U.S. astronaut Nicholas Patrick and German astronaut Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency, who came back from a six-month stay at the space station and felt the pull of gravity on Friday for the first time since July.

``Nick was feeling slightly, just a bit woozy as well,'' said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. ``He's doing just fine.''

It was not until about an hour before the landing that NASA decided where to bring the shuttle home. There were showers over Florida, which forced NASA to bypass the first opportunity to land, and crosswinds at the usual back-up landing site, Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert. Ultimately, NASA gave the go-ahead for a Florida landing when it appeared the rain would not reach Cape Canaveral. The shuttle came in through scattered clouds. — AP


© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu




Sunita Williams gets stuck in space
[ 28 Mar, 2007 0916hrs ISTAP ]

EXTENDED VACATION: Sunita William's ticket to home, space shuttle Endeavour, may get off the ground several weeks later than its originally scheduled June 28 launch (TOI Photo)


CAPE CANAVERAL: Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams is stuck in space - at least temporarily. She flew up to the international space station last December planning to come home in early July after a seven-month stay.

But she will now come back a bit later than what was planned. The problem is that a hail storm that damaged the fuel tank of the space shuttle Atlantis has disrupted NASA's flight schedule for the year.

Her ticket to home, space shuttle Endeavour, may get off the ground several weeks later than its originally scheduled June 28 launch.

"We're doing our best to make her happy, and perhaps launch some special items that will make her more comfortable for that extended period of time," said Kirk Shireman, NASA's deputy manager of the space station programme.

Flight surgeon Dave Alexander said Williams' physical fitness, mental well-being and radiation exposure would be monitored carefully, but "right now, the predictions are that Sunita can stay up for an extended period of time."

During her longer stay in space, Williams is expected to break the US record for continuous time in space. Her current crew mate, Michael Lopez-Alegria, will set that record when he returns to Earth on April 20 in a Russian Soyuz vehicle with 214 days in space.




Sunita all set to become 2nd Indian origin woman in space
[ 4 Dec, 2006 1813hrs ISTPTI ]

HOUSTON: Sunita Williams is all set to become the second woman of Indian origin after Kalpana Chawla to blast off on a space mission and spend six months at the International Space Station where US shuttle Discovery will leave her on completion of a 12-day repair job.

Sunita, 41, the daughter of Deepak and Bonnie Pandya, arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a final stretch of training and preparations for Friday's shuttle mission STS-116, the first night launch since the 2003 Columbia disaster.

The spaceflight is scheduled to lift off at 8:05 IST on Friday (Thursday, 9:35 pm US time) will take along the most rookie crew since 1988 as five of the seven members have never flown in space before.

Besides Sunita, the crew includes mission commander Mark Polansky, pilot William Oefelein, mission specialists Joan Higginbotham; Nicholas Patrick; lead spacewalker Bob Curbeam; and the European Space Agency's Christer Fuglesang, who will become the first Swede in space.

Describing as having most culturally diverse space shuttle crew, Sunita said she was aware of her mixed ethnicity and the interest her spaceflight has aroused in India.

"I am half Indian and I have got a, I am sure, a group of Indian people who are looking forward to seeing this second person of Indian origin, flying up in space," she said in a pre-flight interview released by NASA.

NASA says the Discovery shuttle will be on the most complex mission yet -- to give the International Space Station a new electricity system. The STS-116 will drop off Sunita for a six-month stay at the space lab.

German astronaut Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency, will return to Earth in place of Sunita.

"I just can't wait to get to my new home," she said.

"I have always wanted to fly a long-duration mission," Sunita said. "A long-duration spaceflight will supply answers ... to what happens to the human body, how materials work in space."

Unlike Chawla, who was born in Karnal in Haryana, Sunita was born and brought up in the US.

Born in Ohio to Deepak N Pandya, a physician who migrated to the US and Ursaline B Pandya, she grew up and went to school in Massachusetts.

She has a B.S., Physical Science degree from the US Naval Academy, and a M.S. in Engineering Management from Florida Institute of Technology.

In two spacewalks the astronauts will rewire the orbiting station, replacing its eight-year-old temporary power cable system with a permanent one, made possible after the previous mission in September installed two huge electricity - generating solar array panels on the ISS.





US tourist visits Sunita Williams in space

[ 10 Apr, 2007 0942hrs ISTIANS ]


ON A VACATION: Space tourist Charles Simonyi of the US, a software programmer who paid $25 million for his trip to orbit has joined Sunita Williams in space. (Reuters Photo)


WASHINGTON: Billionaire American space tourist Charles Simonyi and two new co-tenants have arrived at Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams’ home in space on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The capsule carrying Simonyi - a software programmer who paid $25 million for his trip to orbit - and two Russian cosmonauts docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, two days after lifting off from a Russian launch pad in the Central Asian steppe.

US lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, a close friend of Simonyi watching the docking on live monitors at Russian mission control outside Moscow, told him, "You are out of this world."

The new arrivals floated through an airlock on Tuesday and hugged Williams, ISS commander American Mike Lopez-Alegria and Russian Mikhail Tyurin. Then all six lined up in front of a camera to hear greetings from friends and relatives at mission control over a crackly satellite link-up.

New astronauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, a medical doctor, starting a six-month tour of duty will join Williams aboard the 220-mile-high orbital outpost as the commander and flight engineer.

Williams arrived at the station aboard the shuttle Discovery in December and is scheduled to remain until mid to late summer, according to US space agency NASA.

Simonyi will return to Earth on April 20 with Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin who are concluding a seven-month tour of duty aboard the space station. Simonyi, who became a billionaire after helping develop Microsoft's Word software, was experiencing zero gravity for the first time and at one point floated upside down while his fellow crew stayed upright.

Stewart told him: "Charles, we all think that you are impressive and guess what, you are out of this world." He said he had already filled three or four pages of a notebook "recording every moment of this flight", and said he would post his impressions on his internet blog.

With Stewart's guidance, the American prepared a gourmet French meal that he carried aboard the Soyuz to share with his five hosts aboard the station. Simonyi, 58, is the fifth private citizen to pay for the space station flight since 2001.

Born in Hungary, Simonyi migrated to the United States where he joined Microsoft when it was a start-up company. He helped develop some of the company's flagship programmes including Word and Excel and now runs his own firm.

Williams, 41, is a Naval Academy graduate and a Navy commander. She flew helicopters and was a helicopter test pilot before being selected as an astronaut in 1998.

Yurchikhin, 48, is making his second flight into space. He was a member of the shuttle crew which launched to the station aboard Atlantis on October 7, 2002, with the Starboard 1 Truss. He holds a PhD in economics and was named a cosmonaut-candidate in 1997.

Kotov, 41, is making his first spaceflight. He graduated from the Moscow Medical Academy in 1988, and was named a cosmonaut-candidate in 1996.

Astronaut Clayton Anderson is scheduled to replace Williams as a flight engineer during the next shuttle expedition. Anderson, 48, holds a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998 and will be making his first spaceflight.

The newly docked Soyuz capsule will serve as the lifeboat for US as well as Russian astronauts assigned to live and work aboard the station through late 2007, enabling the fliers to descend to Earth in an emergency. Following Monday's linkup, the crews of the two spacecraft were scheduled to participate in safety drills to prepare the newcomers for life aboard the outpost.


Related Stories
Sunita to run Boston Marathon in space
Special Coverage: Sunita in Space