Victor Moses ‘will complete £9m move to Chelsea’

first_imgWigan star Victor Moses is set to join Chelsea for £9m, the Daily Mirror say.It is claimed that Latics chairman Dave Whelan has agreed to a deal worth less than the £10m he insisted it would take to prise the former Crystal Palace forward away from Wigan.Moses is now tipped to discuss personal terms and complete his move to Stamford Bridge.The Mirror also say Chelsea plan make-or-break talks with Marseille on Monday to try to land Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta – and that QPR’s Joey Barton is on the verge of a season-long loan move to Blackpool.It is claimed Barton is open to the idea of joining the Tangerines and that Blackpool are keen to sign him in order to get one over their neighbours Fleetwood Town.Barton, who is banned for the first 12 matches of the season, has been training with Fleetwood and it has been suggested that he could join them on loan.This page is regularly updated.See also:Saints confident of seeing off Chelsea’s interest in youngster – reportFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

La Brea Tar Pits Trap Scientists

first_imgSid Perkins of Science News dropped in at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, and got stuck, not in tar, but in the sticky evolutionary interpretations of these world-famous fossil deposits.  This fossil bed, right in one of the ritziest parts of Los Angeles (adjacent to the County Art Museum), Perkins whimsically calls “L.A.’s oldest tourist trap” because of the many mammals and birds that once paid a visit, never to exit again.  Even roaches checked in, but they didn’t check out.  Millions of bones have been uncovered at the site, making it one of the richest Pleistocene fossil deposits in the world.    The standard explanation of the fossils is that herbivores became trapped in the gooey tar.  Carnivores and birds of prey, leaping on the easy meals, became trapped also, and all sank together into the sticky preservative  The tale is not without its mysteries, however:Disarticulation.  The bones are completely jumbled. One of the most conspicuous findings from a census of bones is the near absence of complete skeletons.Carnivore ratios.  A large majority of bones are from carnivores:In a result that counters intuition, bones of predators were almost seven times as common in Pit 91 as were those of prey.  Overall, an estimated 80 percent of the mammals were carnivores, and 60 percent of the birds were birds of prey.  That’s a surprise, says [John] Harris [curator of the museum at the site], since the number of herbivores in a stable ecosystem always outnumbers the predators by a wide margin.    Presumably, Perkins suggests, “Each herbivore entrapment probably triggered a feeding frenzy that resulted in up to a dozen predators being trapped as well.”Skull to limb ratios.  Most of the bones are skulls:Of the seven mammal species that the team analyzed from Pit 91, skulls and jawbones were collected most often.  Only half as many limb bones were recovered as would be expected from the number of heads retrieved.One possibility is that trapped herbivores, like bison or sloths, became tired and fell on their sides, exposing only one set of ribs and limbs to the meat-eaters.  But the same puzzle exists with the carnivore bones:Even carnivores became sitting ducks; the predators’ limb bones don’t show up in the pits in the proportions expected if their carcasses had escaped scavengers.  Dire wolves, an ice age predator larger than today’s gray wolf, appear to have been scavenged less often than the saber-toothed cats.  However, the large numbers of missing bones among any of La Brea’s meat eaters is surprising, says [Blair] Van Valkenburgh [of UCLA].  Modern carnivores rarely feed on other large carnivores, even when carcasses are available, she notes.Isotope Ratios.  Scientists trying to deduce the last meal of victims by measuring isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the bones found some puzzles:The carbon-isotope ratios found in the bones of dire wolves that lived 30,000 and 15,000 years ago have proved mysterious because they can’t be explained by the consumption of herbivores, such as bison, horses, and turkeys, known to be living in the La Brea ecosystem at that time.    A hypothesis is offered is that the wolves had eaten seafood, perhaps sea lions, at the coast – but that is nine miles away.Clean bones.  The bones show little exposure to the elements:Several characteristics of the fossil bones suggest that the remains of trapped animals sank quickly into the tar, the researchers note.  First, 93 percent of the bones show no sign of exposure to the weather.  Almost half of the specimens show little or none of the outer-surface abrasion that indicates, for example, the scouring action of sediments.  Finally, only 2 percent of the bones show any evidence that they had been gnawed or chewed by scavengers.This remarkable site, encompassing about 23 acres, has yielded “the remains of more than 650 species, including at least 60 mammal species, 140 types of plants, 120 varieties of insects, and 60 species of snails and other mollusks” during the past century of excavation, and current paleontologists have a huge backlog to inventory.  The fossils include many extinct mammals, such as “dwarf pronghorn antelopes, short-faced bears, ground sloths, and the North American versions of lions and camels,” (as well as mastodons, mammoths and one human skeleton), along with bones of all the current L.A. mammals “with the curious exception of opossums.”  Visitors to the attractive George C. Page Museum can watch scientists and volunteers at work separating the specimens from the matrix using fine brushes and picks – a painstaking, time-consuming process.1Sid Perkins, “L.A.’s Oldest Tourist Trap: At Rancho La Brea, death has been the pits for millennia,” Science News, Week of Jan. 24, 2004; Vol. 165, No. 4.Perkins ends with an anecdote about 60 cedar waxwings getting stuck in a tar seep last November, indicating that animals still get trapped.  The problem is, cedar waxwings are not birds of prey.  The fossil birds of prey outnumbered non-carnivorous birds 60% to 40%.  In this case, he surely would have mentioned if 90 eagles or vultures had been seen swooping onto the trapped songbirds.  The facts indicate that the present is not the key to the past.   There’s always a story one can weave to explain away hard facts, but La Brea exemplifies a sticky situation for evolutionists.  In fact, there are even more serious problems at La Brea that Perkins did not mention.  (Thanks to William Weston for the following, from results of his independent research involving many visits to the site for years; you can read parts of his report at the Creation Research Society website.)  Add these pieces to the puzzle:Hard-packed asphalt.  From the earliest days of discovery, no large pools or lakes of asphalt were ever reported at La Brea.  Only small tar seeps, too small to trap large mammals, were ever seen.  Most of the site consisted of hard pavement-like asphalt that could easily be walked on by a mastodon or bison or camel.  The large lake seen there today was artificially produced later from an asphalt quarry operation that was filled in with water.  (Yet plastic mastodons were later installed as if sinking into the lake, to mislead the public.)  Visitors today can find a couple of small oozing seeps, but no large expanses of tar that presumably trapped millions of prehistoric animals.  Perkins suggests that the asphalt softened during hot seasons, but that does not happen today, and is just a story without observational support.Narrow pits.  The notion of tar ‘pits’ is a myth.  The ‘pits’ are narrow, funnel-shaped assemblages of fossils embedded in asphalt and sand.  Of the pits excavated, only seven showed dense concentrations of fossils.  None of them is large enough to imagine trapping a huge mammal, yet mammoth and mastodon bones have been found in them.  (Weston shows a cartoon of a mammoth on a high platform trying to dive into one of the funnels and scrunch his body into it.)  They give the impression of being blowholes from oil shale underneath.  Weston describes one of them:The seven major fossil-bearing pits were of various sizes.  On average, they were about 15 feet in diameter and tapered down 25 feet to a hole several inches wide. … One unusual pit was only four feet wide.  Designated as Pit 16, it had vertical sides that went down 21 feet before it tapered three more feet to the typical three-inch-wide chimney.  Somehow numerous animals including dire wolves, saber-tooth cats, coyotes, camels, bison, horses, and even the bulky mastodon had managed to squeeze themselves into a hole not much wider than a bathtub.Radiocarbon date improbabilities.  Carbon-14 dates in Pit 9 were claimed to indicate 38,000 years old at the bottom and 13,500 years at the top.  For the pit to be a death trap, that means the tar would have had to remain liquefied for about 24,000 years.  Yet crude oil emerging from the ground begins to thicken and harden immediately when exposed to the air, forming a crust.  Sunlight, heat and oxidation all harden tar relatively quickly.  Therefore, “the existence of open pits of tar that could trap animals over a period of thousands of years,” Weston says, “must be regarded as highly improbable.”More on the carnivore ratios.  Weston’s figures show 85% of the total number of animals as carnivores, and 70% of the birds as being flesh-eating.  “The uncontested leader is the eagle,” he points out.  “It is puzzling why eagles would be so vulnerable to entrapment.  Not only are they quite rare when compared to such teeming populations as pigeons and doves, but they are also larger and more muscular and thus less likely to be victimized.”Observational ratios.  When modern animals and birds are found to become stuck in tar seeps, they match the expected carnivore to herbivore ratios.  Weston provides a reported example from 1934 with 131 birds of 13 species trapped.  The non-carnivorous birds outnumbered the birds of prey 22 to 1, similar to the expected balance in nature.Few waterfowl.  Wading birds like ducks and geese would presumably be the most likely to suffer entrapment (picture a whole flock settling down together into an oily lake and, surprise!).  But the largest category of non-predatory birds found was the turkey – a land-roving bird.Dense packing.  The bones were tightly packed together, and even insect parts, including wings and antennae, were found in the eye sockets of the skulls.  Finding any connected parts of an animal, even an insect, was extremely rare.  “In addition,” Weston writes, “the bones were in an entangled mass, closely pressed together, and interlocked in all possible ways.”  Most showed breakage and grooves or depressions.  Presumably bubbles in the tar agitated the fossils, but again, that is not observed happening today.Waterlogged wood.  Stumps of water-saturated wood were found in some pits.  Bones were found adjacent to “uprooted stumps or torn branches that were heavy with water.”  An early excavator said, “The disposition of this brush and associated material as well as markings on the brush itself, indicate that this stuff was all washed in.”These facts indicate that something is seriously wrong with the entrapment story being fed to the public at the George C. Page Museum at the site.  Taken together, the observations seem to point to a catastrophe of some sort.  Weston has a version: he believes carnivores were concentrated on hilltops as flood waters were rising, and were the last to drown.  Their bones, last to settle to the bottom, were disarticulated and concentrated by currents and washed into depressions where gas and oil seeps had formed from underwater blowholes.    Whether or not you find this scenario more plausible than the entrapment story, why shouldn’t the public be told all the facts, including the many problems with the standard model?  This case fits the evolutionists’ propaganda strategy we see so often.  They start by assuming evolution and long ages, and then weave a just-so story around the facts that caters to the imaginary idea of long periods of slow, gradual evolution.  Uncomfortable facts are swept under the rug or dismissed with just-so subplots.    The last exhibit at the Page Museum is especially grievous.  A large wall mural portrays the grand drama of cosmic evolution, starting with a presumed origin of life from random chemicals at the top, down through millions of years of biological evolution, a recorded voice reciting the whole glittering generality to the enraptured visitors.  They look and listen in reverence as more and more complex life emerges, until finally, an astronaut at the end of the imaginary timeline leaps out into the cosmos from which he ultimately sprang.  Now for crying out loud, the La Brea story does not even cover millions of years.  Even assuming the Darwin Party’s own time scale, the Pleistocene epoch represents only the last one tenth of one percent of the geologic column.  Yet this is the mythology with which millions of visitors, including a large percentage of public school children on field trips, is indoctrinated, in spite of the facts.  Is there a righteous cause here?    P.S.  By the way, word has it that the late benefactor, George C. Page, whose largesse paid for the museum, was a creationist.(Visited 160 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How to Read Manual J Reports

first_imgWhen you look at Manual J reports, you’ll see the loads. They’re shown separately for heating and cooling, and cooling is further divided into sensible and latent. When the contractor or designer picks a piece of equipment, they’ll have to go through a “derating” process to match the equipment’s performance specifications with the building’s loads. (For more on this, see “Manual J Doesn’t Tell You Equipment Capacity.”)I mention this topic here because some Manual J reports can confuse you on this distinction, especially for cooling. Depending on which reports you’re looking at, you may also see something like “Req. total capacity at 0.70 SHR.”  That’s just a guess at what equipment capacity you’ll need.  If the person who ran the calculations has already gone through the derating procedure and specified the equipment, it may be accurate. Or the designer may have left the default number in there for SHR (sensible heat ratio), in which case you should look at that number simply as a suggestion.In the end, just remember that the load calculation comes first, and your equipment capacity is going to be a bit bigger than the loads.Notes on terminologyIf you’re going to read Manual J reports, knowing a little about the terms used will help you understand them. Here are a few that you need to know:One ton of AC capacity is equal to 12,000 BTU/hr.BTUh is the same as BTU/hr.Sensible cooling results in lower temperature (technically, dry bulb temperature); latent cooling results in lower humidity through condensation of water vapor on the coil.SHR is the sensible heat ratio. It’s obtained by dividing the sensible cooling load by the total cooling load. For homes in eastern North America, the humid side, that number often comes in at 0.8 to 0.9, sometimes even a bit higher. In dry climates, it can be 1.0 when ventilating with outdoor air.A rule of thumb you can useI often rail against rules of thumb when it comes to HVAC design (or lack thereof), but that doesn’t mean you can’t use one to your advantage.  This is the sniff test you can do to see how close the designer might have come to an accurate load calculation. In the warmer climates where air conditioning is a big deal, the rule of thumb used by many contractors for sizing an air conditioner is usually this:AC capacity = CFA ÷ (500 sf/ton)CFA is conditioned floor area in square feet.Sometimes the rule is 400 sf/ton, sometimes 600 sf/ton. But it’s always right in that neighborhood. So if you get a load calculation report, find the total cooling load (sensible plus latent) and divide it by the conditioned floor area. If it comes out around 500 or 600 sf/ton, the designer fudged the calculations somehow to align them with their preconceived idea of how big the loads should be based on their rule of thumb. (I’m talking about new homes here, or complete gut-rehabs. Existing homes generally have higher loads.)Don’t believe me? Take a look at our data. The graph shown in Image #2, below, is from an article I wrote in 2016 about the results of our load calculations on 40 projects. (Go read the article for full details.) The takeaways here are that our worst result was 624 sf/ton. The average 1,431 sf/ton.If you’re building a well-insulated house with a good level of airtightness, double-pane low-e windows, and decent specifications overall — in other words, a house that meets most state energy codes these days — your result should be 1,000 sf/ton or higher. If it comes in lower that, you should see that as a red flag and delve into the details to see if the designer made mistakes.Delving into the detailsFinding the loads. First, identify the results for heating and cooling loads. The two main software tools for doing load calculations are Wrightsoft’s RightSuite Universal and Elite’s RHVAC.  The reports look a little different but it’s not too hard to find the results. Both types of software make it clear how many BTU/hr you need for heating and for cooling. And for cooling, they also break it down into sensible, latent, and total.  From the total cooling load, you can calculate the sf/ton I mentioned above. RightSuite doesn’t do it for you, but Elite’s software does. In the Project Report, they include a section called Check Figures that includes the sf/ton.Checking the details. If you suspect that the loads may be too high — or too low or about right — you can check the details to see if the designer got the inputs right. Here are some of the main things to check:Indoor design temperatures.  The standard indoor temperatures are 70° F for heating and 75° F for cooling (with 50% relative humidity).Outdoor design temperatures.  The outdoor design temperatures depend on where you are, and you should check to see what was entered versus what should have been entered. It’s pretty easy to find the entries on the reports. To find what should have been entered, you can go to this page on the International Code Council’s website. If the entries in your calculation are off by a couple of degrees, it’s not a big deal. If they’re off by 5 degrees, you should ask for it to be corrected.Areas.  When the designer enters the various floors, walls, ceilings, windows, and doors, having the wrong areas can make a big difference. This is especially true for parts of the building enclosure that have worse specifications, like windows. A code-built house in IECC climate zone 3, for example, has windows that are about R-3 whereas the walls will be R-13. Entering too much window area is a way to inflate the load. Entering too much of any of the areas likewise inflates the load.R-values and U-factors. Check the entries for the floors, walls, ceilings, and floors to ensure the designer put in the correct R-values (for insulation) and U-factors (for assemblies like windows).Number of occupants. A common way to inflate the cooling load is to add extra occupants. The rule here is that the number of occupants should equal the number of bedrooms plus one. If they put 23 people in a 5-bedroom house (yes, I really saw that!), they’re adding unnecessary load. At 230 BTU/hr sensible and 200 BTU/hr latent, those 17 extra occupants added more than a half ton of cooling load.Infiltration. Did they use a simplified input method? If you’re building a new house and meeting a code that requires 7 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ach50) or better, the entry should be tight or maybe semi-tight. Better would be to use an actual blower door number. For example, if your code requires 3 ach50, enter that into the calculation. If you’re going for Passive House certification, enter 0.6 ach50 or 0.05 cfm50/sf of enclosure.Orientation. The software gives the designer the option of using worst case for the orientation. Your load calculation should have the correct orientation or you’ll end up with extra load in your reports.Duct location.  If the ducts are in conditioned space or in an encapsulated attic or crawl space, make sure that gets factored in properly. Doing the load calculations for ducts in an unconditioned attic will result in excess load.Contractors doing these load calculations often feel compelled to stretch a little bit here and a little bit there. Each litte bit doesn’t affect the overall load that much, but by the time you add them all up, you’re looking at putting in a 4-ton air conditioner where 2.5 tons would work. But here’s the thing: Even when you’re as stingy as possible with things that add load, you still end up oversized. So there’s no need to add extra load. If you’re building or remodeling a high-performance house, make sure the load calculation is correct. It’s worth it. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESSaving Energy With Manual J and Manual DWho Can Perform My Load Calculations?Manual J Load Calculations vs. Rules of ThumbHow to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 1How to Perform a Heat-Loss Calculation — Part 2Calculating Cooling LoadsWhen Do I Need to Perform a Load Calculation?We Are the 99% — AND the 1%Air Conditioner Basics When you enter the world of building science — whether through building a house, becoming a home energy rater/building analyst, or just hanging out in cyberplaces like this — everyone talks about the importance of getting actual heating and cooling load calculations based on ACCA Manual J. A great number of HVAC contractors sell and install oversized equipment with air distribution systems that don’t work because these contractors base their choices on rules of thumb.OK, but what if you hire a contractor or third-party designer to do Manual J load calculations and you’re not an expert and don’t want to be? Suddenly you’re faced with a bunch of seemingly indecipherable reports. How do you know if they’re accurate or not?Fear not, dear reader. I’ve got some help for you today.Don’t confuse load with capacityI don’t think I can make this distinction often enough. Heating and cooling loads are not the same as the equipment capacity needed. I just did it in my last article, and now I’m doing it again. It’s that important. The first thing you need to know is that the term loads refers to how much heating and cooling the building needs and capacity refers to how much heating and cooling the equipment can supply. Here in the U.S., both are measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour.last_img read more

SQL Injection Hacker Attacks Are On The Rise. Here’s How To Defend Your Servers

first_imgdan rowinski 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Last week, a hacker group claimed that it breached computer systems at 100 major universities. Team GhostShell gained access to servers at Stanford, Harvard, and the University of Michigan, among others. The technique used, SQL injection, is not new or complex, but reportedly it’s becoming increasingly common. Here’s a quick guide to defending your servers.Basic BasicsWe asked researchers at security firm Sophos to explain what an SQL injection is and how it can be stopped. Before launching into that, though, for laymen, here are a couple things you need to know about an SQL injection before learning how to stop one.SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is an international standard for interacting with databases. Statements in SQL can retrieve, insert, create and otherwise change data in a database. Code injection is a technique used by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in a website. “SQL injection is an old, well established method of attacking systems,” said Sophos threat researcher Fraser Howard. “It consists of inserting malicious SQL statements into an application to cause it to perform some undesirable function.”Mechanics Of An AttackUndesirable action sounds nasty. What does it mean exactly? Here are a few examples:Dump table (i.e., return a dump of the entire contents of a database table). This is a great way to steal data. Could be used to gain access to a system (dump admin password, then access the system etc.)Drop table (delete table contents). Destructive. Attackers do not necessarily gain access to the data, but they can break the system. Data may be irretrievably lost.Modify table. Insert additional data into the database table.Basically, once a SQL injection has its hooks in your database, it can do whatever the heck the malicious hacker behind it wants. Steal your data (most commonly), delete your data, change your data. “Imagine a website where page contents are stored in a database,” Howard wrote. “When you browse the site, the database is queried, and the page shows you whatever information is relevant. For example, a shopping site. You search for carrots, it queries the database and gets the price. The page you view displays this price.” A malicious hacker using SQL injection could download the store’s entire stock list, wipe it out, and/or change all the prices (or any other category of information).One further problem with SQL injection not related to theft: Hackers can change the query instructions for a Web application. So instead of the application querying its own server and obtaining information, the query can be sent to a server of the hacker’s choice. This can lead to malware infecting a user’s computer. Scary stuff, huh?How To Defend Your ServersAccording to Howard, defense against this type of attack is all about the Web application that is the door to the server. Protect that application and you protect the server. In theory, at least. Most organizations likely will remain vulnerable to a dedicated, sophisticated hacker no matter what they do. Not all hackers are so single-minded, so it makes sense to be prepared. Here are the steps Howard recommends to defend against SQL injection attacks:Secure programming. Design applications securely from the start. SQL injection is not new, and there are many books and online resources to help developers build applications that are secure against this attack. The most common vulnerability is an application that doesn’t sanity-check user input such as data entered into Web forms. If the input is not checked, an attacker can use such forms to inject malicious instructions.Firewalling. This does not replace secure programming. However, it can add a layer of defense in front of your Web server. Web application firewalls can help to block most attacks.Many organizations are vulnerable to SQL injections because they outsource their Web application development, rush production, test poorly and take little regard for security. “Recipe for disaster,” Howard said. “Lots of easy targets out there.”In security, the guidelines are usually pretty simple: Take your time, factor security into everything you do, and use common sense. Security might seem like the boring part of what you do, but if you do not pay attention to it, there is a hacker just waiting to break into your databases and steal, destroy, or alter your data. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#biz#security last_img read more

Haryana Cong. cycle yatra to resume from May 31

first_imgSetting the tone for the campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2019, Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar on Tuesday said the second phase of the party’s bicycle campaign would start from May 31.“We will start ‘Haryana Bachao, Parivartan Lao’ cycle yatra from Chautala in Sirsa district on May 31. During the campaign, we will expose the anti-people policies of the BJP government at the Centre and in Haryana,” said Mr. Tanwar, who will lead the campaign, covering more than 350 km, passing through 200 villages of five Assembly constituencies.He said during the campaign ‘misdeeds’ of the BJP governments will be exposed. “The BJP has failed to fulfil any of its promises. We will expose the party on issues such as unemployment, price rise, corruption and deteriorating law and order. Besides the BJP’s attempt to divide the cohesive social fabric of the State will also be taken to the public,” said Mr. Tanwar.‘Will expose INLD also’The Congress leader said the party will also expose the Indian National Lok Dal which has been misleading the people of Haryana on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal issue. “The INLD has been playing like the ‘B’ team of the BJP,” he alleged.“The BJP has completely failed to honour its pre-poll promises to youth, farmers and all sections of the society. With this campaign, we will seal the victory for the Congress,” he added.last_img read more

Kumbh to generate ₹1.2 lakh crore: CII

first_imgThe mega Kumbh Mela, which began on January 15 and will continue till March 4, is expected to generate a revenue of ₹1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, according to apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry. Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said in a report. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated ₹4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this year, which is over thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013, making the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever.Around 12 crore people are expected to visit the Kumbh between now and Maha Shivratri on March 4, when the Mela will come to a close on Maha Shivratri day. The hospitality sector aims at employing 2,50,000 people, airlines and airports around 1,50,000 and tour operators around 45,000. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study. Apart from this there will be around 55,000 new jobs in the unorganized sector comprising of tour guides, taxi drivers, interpreters, volunteers etc. This will lead to increase income levels for government agencies and individual traders. Attracting a massive number of foreign tourists from various countries like Australia, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, the Kumbh is a festival of the world. “The ‘mela’ is expected to generate a revenue of Rs1,200 billion for Uttar Pradesh, the state where it is being held, while neighbouring states like Rajasthan, Uttarkhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh will also benefit from the enhanced revenue generation with a large number of national and foreign tourists expected to explore other destinations. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated a hefty amount of Rs 4,200 crore for the Kumbh Mela held in Allahabad, which has become the costliest pilgrimage till date. “The UP government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for 2019 Kumbh Mela. The previous state government had spent around Rs 1,300 crore for the Maha Kumbh, which was held in 2013,” state Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal said. The area of Kumbh Mela has also been doubled to 3,200 hectares as compared to 1,600 hectares in the previous melas. The Kumbh is a unique and massive gathering of both rural and urban population and also has a huge dispersal factor as people travel long distances across the country. In order to house this multitude, authorities have erected a mini-city of more than 4,000 tents. The city is being lit by installing over 40,000 LED lights, say local authorities. Overhauling of key infrastructure is being done, including upgrading nine railways stations and construction of a new airport terminal in Allahabad. The setting up of this new city in the huge Mela area involves 250 km roads and 22 pontoon bridges, which will make it the largest temporary city in the world. The Kumbh, a sacred Hindu pilgrimage, is thus expected to generate direct and indirect business activities, the fruits of which would hopefully benefit the economy not only of Uttar Pradesh, but that of India as a whole, the CII document says. The Kumbh at Sangam city Prayagraj, as Allahabad is now known, dates back to a hoary past, whose first mention of was made some 2,000 years ago by the Chinese traveler Hsuan Tsang who visited India during the reign on King Harshvardhana. Based on a complex astrological calculation, the alignment of the stars determines the time and place of the ‘Kumbh’ in one of the following four river-sites: Haridwar, Prayagraj, Nasik and Ujjain. It is a celebration of an ancient tradition — a dip in the holy waters where the mythical Saraswati, Ganga and Yamuna meet. These riverside festivals and the city that springs up around them are attended by millions, making the ‘Kumbh Mela’ the largest religious gathering, perhaps the oldest, and the largest temporary city in the world. Learned seers believe that a dip in the waters would endow an individual with religious merit. Masses of devotees gather on the riverbank to attain spiritual enlightenment, some in the belief that doing so will lead them worldly success, others simply to purify their souls. The Kumbh Mela gets its worldwide reputation as a mega-event not only because of the sheer number of people who attend the fair but also for a widespread display of cultural traits of a nation, which is bound by ties of faith and traditions. Around 12 crore people are expected to visit the Kumbh between now and Maha Shivratri on March 4, when the Mela will come to a close on Maha Shivratri day.last_img read more