Wind turbine maker Vestas halts batch of V150s after Sweden collapse probe

Vestas has temporarily taken around 150 of its V150 machines out of service “in an abundance of caution” after identifying a blade fault as the cause of a turbine collapse in Sweden late last year.

A investigation into the V150 4.2MW collapse at the Aldermyrberget wind farm found a bonding failure on blade-root inserts due to a manufacturing issue at a single supplier, confirmed a spokesman for the Danish wind giant.

Vestas has halted around 150 of the turbines that could potentially be exposed to the same issue, which caused a loose blade to destabilise the Swedish turbine and collapse, he added.

“Vestas is taking this step out of an abundance of caution and is working to put a solution in place to get the turbines safely operating again,” the spokesman told Recharge, adding that the company is liaising with customers over options for repair or replacement.

No other operational turbines have been affected, and the fault is not related to two other V150 blade incidents in the US and Australia last year, said Vestas.

Nobody was hurt in the incident at the Aldermyrberget project, which is owned by Wpd and was ramping up for full commissioning when the turbine collapsed in November.

The V150 has been a huge commercial success for Vestas over the last few years, with thousands of the turbines ordered for deployment in markets around the world as developers move to more powerful machines. The OEM had booked more than 10GW of orders for the V150 4.2MW by mid-2020

5 Best Websites for Online Courses

Everything is available online nowadays, be it food, clothes or furniture. Everything is just one click away, even education.

We’ve all wished to gain education from the top universities but were unable to do so for unforeseeable reasons. Some found interest in a subject they were completely unaware of. While others just want to gain some extra skills and learn something new.

With the availability of online education, your dream to acquire a degree from top universities has come true.
Thousands of courses are available on these websites to choose from and they have flexible hours. So you can complete the course according to your own pace.

Here’s a list of top 5 websites for online courses:

  1. Khan Academy:

Started in 2006 by an educator named Salman Khan, Khan Academy is a non-profit academy. It aims to provide free education to everyone and all around the world. 

It is free for both teachers and students. It provides education from the root level, i.e., kindergarten to early college level. 

All the subjects are available on Khan Academy. Be it maths, grammar, history, science and even SAT exam preparation. 

The lectures are not very long and do not make studying boring or monotonous. 

It has some of the most famous partners as its founding partner. Namely, Google, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Reed Hastings.

  1. Coursera:

Coursera is one of the most famous and loved websites by students. It has over 35 million learners and has partnered with 150 top universities from around the world. To name some, Yale, Stanford and the University of Michigan.
Talking about the courses available, Coursera has 2700 courses, 250 specializations and four degrees. Some courses also provide certificates on completion. 

It is the leading provider of massive open online courses.
Some of the courses are free and the paid courses mostly range between $29-$99. But the specializations and degrees have high prices. 

  1. Udemy:

Udemy has around 30 million students and 100,000 courses for you to choose from. Courses are taught in over 50 languages.
It has some of the most expert faculties. With 42,000 instructors and 22 million minutes of video instruction, Udemy is a widely loved website for online education. 

Courses on Udemy are not free but don’t cost much. The price ranges between $9 to $500 depending on the type of course. 

It does not partner with universities but it allows independent creators and educators to create courses and teach online in the subject of their specialization. 

  1. edX:

A non-profit education platform, established by Harvard and MIT, edX aims to break the three barriers in education: cost, location and access.

It has 20 million learners from all around the world. And provide 2400 courses, the majority of which are provided by top-ranked universities in the world.
Some of the courses are free while you may need to pay for some. One of the best things about using edX is that on completion of your course you are rewarded with an official certificate as proof.

  1. Stanford Online:

It offers free online as well as professional certificate, advanced degrees and executive education. Currently, Stanford Online is imparting education to millions of teachers and students. 

It offers courses from Stanford Law School, Stanford Business School and Stanford medical school and many others. 

Many other websites provide online courses that are free or paid. These were some of the most loved and preferred ones. 

Education should be accessible to all and everywhere around the world and that’s exactly what these websites aim for. 

They are simple to use websites and accessible to people of all ages because learning has no age. 

It will not only help you learn something new but will also add skill to your professional career. 

Happy learning!

Glowing images of fluorescent reptiles recently discovered by scientists in Africa

Astonishing glow-in-the-dark discoveries were recently made in Africa, after scientists recently discovered reptiles that glow in the dark… literally! Namibia’s geckos shine bright under black lights, as stated in a study recently published in Scientific Reports.

According to the report, the stripes and blots on the reptile prevent it from being identified by predators, and keep them singled out from other geckos. A lot of such discoveries have been made recently across the world. In Australia, platypuses with fluorescent markings were discovered. 

Astonishing glow-in-the-dark discoveries were recently made in Africa, after scientists recently discovered reptiles that glow in the dark… literally! Namibia’s geckos shine bright under black lights, as stated in a study recently published in Scientific Reports.

According to the report, the stripes and blots on the reptile prevent it from being identified by predators, and keep them singled out from other geckos. A lot of such discoveries have been made recently across the world. In Australia, platypuses with fluorescent markings were discovered.

The particular species in question have translucent skin, with even their bones glowing under ultraviolet light.

Dr Mark Scherz from Germany’s University Potsdam, part of the Adaptive Genomics Group recently spoke to Live Science about the astonishing discovery, claiming that the colour was shocking to the researchers.

“Actually it turns out quite a few other species, including geckos, have sufficiently transparent skin that their bones’ fluorescence can be seen through it under a sufficiently strong UV light,” Scherz said.

“We have observed in captivity that, although these animals are largely solitary, they do run up to one another to greet each other after a short period of separation,” Scherz added.

 “They also lick condensation from each other’s bodies. So there are lots of reasons that being able to see each other over long distances would be useful for these geckos,” he further said.

Indian Army Day

When people think about heroes of India, they only and only remember the Indian Army. Let us celebrate Indian Army Day by saluting all the army men and women for their bravery, dedication and patriotism.

Army Day is celebrated on 15 January every year in India, in recognition of Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, on 15 January 1949. Today, India will celebrate its 73rd Indian Army Day. The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows in the national capital New Delhi as well as in all headquarters. Army Day marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and its citizens. Army Day strives to motivate people to build a great Nation by knowing about how an Army officer provides his/her full life for the betterment and safety of the people. While celebrations take place across the country, the main Army Day parade is conducted in Cariappa Parade ground in Delhi cantonment. Gallantry awards and Sena medals are also awarded on this day.

K. M. Cariappa

Kodandera Madappa Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. He led Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in 1949. He is one of only two Indian Army officers to hold the Five-star rank of Field Marshal; the other being Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.

His distinguished military career spanned almost three decades. Born on 28 January 1898, in Madikeri, Kodagu, Cariappa joined the British Indian Army shortly after the end of World War I. He was transferred between multiple regiments early in his career before settling on 1/7 Rajputs, which became his permanent regiment. He was the first Indian military officer to attend the Staff College, Quetta, the first Indian to command a battalion. Several measures taken by Cariappa, such as his refusal to induct former Indian National Army personnel into the Army, kept the organisation out of political affairs and maintained its autonomy.  He died in his sleep on 15 May 1993. India remembers him as a true patriot and a son of the country. 

The primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity, to defend the nation from external aggression and internal threats, and to maintain peace and security within its borders. It conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances. The army comprises more than 80% of the country’s active defence personnel. It is the largest standing army in the world, with 12,37,117 active troops and 9,60,000 reserve troops. In 1992, the Indian Army began inducting women officers in non-medical roles. In 2014, India’s army had 3 per cent women and in 2015, India opened new combat air force roles for women as fighter pilots, adding to their role as helicopter pilots in the Indian Air Force. We all have love, respect and admiration for our soldiers and the Indian army as a whole.

Happy Indian Army Day!

HOW TO GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

We’ve all felt comfortable in one surrounding and uncomfortable in some. The surrounding you feel comfortable is your comfort zone. You can be yourself, talk freely and express your heart out when in your comfort zone.
But we can’t always stay there. Some situations require us to step out of it and deal with the real world, the one that would not be so comfortable. 

Of course, everyone enjoys being their comfort zone but that might hinder our growth somewhere in life.

The fear we feel when we encounter such a situation limits us from grabbing some wonderful opportunities. We fear being mocked or rejected and as a result, we stop taking action. 

Now, this may seem like a one-time thing but if this continues to happen for a long period of time, it may turn into an anxiety disorder.
As cosy as your comfort zone may seem, it is not deniable that it keeps you from life experiences, professional opportunities and personal growth.

It is very essential to explore the unfamiliar. Be it professionally or personally. Getting out of your comfort zone can be difficult but it is not impossible.

Some of the steps you can follow to get out of your comfort zone are:

  1. Identify your fears:

First, you need to evaluate what makes you the most afraid? When was the last time you felt afraid or uncomfortable? How did your body react to your fear?
Once you know what makes you uncomfortable and what effect it has on your body, it will be easy for you to identify what makes you uncomfortable. It allows you to open up in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. 

  1. Reminding yourself that you are fearless:

Everybody needs a little push sometimes to move ahead. And sometimes you are the only one who can give yourself that push. Every time you face a situation where you feel uncomfortable all you need is a reminder that you are fearless and can achieve anything you set your mind to. You can overcome all the uncomfortable situations and seize all the opportunities that come your way. Next time you do something out of your comfort zone whisper to yourself “I am fearless”.

  1. Recall your accomplishments:

You must have been in an awkward situation in the past and somehow nailed it perfectly. Recall that moment and every other such moment where you thought you couldn’t do it but did it anyway. These accomplishments may be small but they make a huge difference. Remember them and never give up.

  1. Find a valid reason:

If you are stepping out of your comfort zone there must be some solid reason for it. Find that reason and always keep that in mind. You may or may not succeed but you’ll learn something for sure. 

  1. Don’t chose the safe option:

Imagine you are standing on a diverging road, you know one road by heart and are completely unfamiliar about the other. Don’t choose the first road because that is your comfort zone. To your surprise the second road may be unfamiliar but may be prettier than the first road. Even if it’s not, you’ll experience something new. So, always choose the option which does not seem safe or comfortable to you.

  1. Set small challenges:

You are your biggest competitor. Setting small challenges and outdoing yourself is a great way to get out of your comfort zone. After successfully completing these challenges, you will feel accomplished and more confident. This will help you to not give up just yet.

These were some of the simple and most common ways to get out of your comfort zone.
Personally, I’ve been afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone but these steps have helped me a lot. And speaking from experience stepping out of your comfort zone is totally worth it.

Republic Day: No foreign head of state as chief guest, first in 55 years

Due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation, the Centre has decided against having any foreign head of state or government as the chief guest for this year’s Republic Day event on January 26, news agency PTI reported. This is the first time in 55 years that India is not going to have any chief guest for the Republic Day parade.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “Due to the global Covid-19 situation, it has been decided that this year there will not be any foreign head of state or government as the chief guest for our Republic Day event.”

The central government was thinking on these lines after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed “regret” that he would not be able to be chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations. Johnson took this decision in view of the fresh national lockdown in the UK due to the new, more contagious mutant strain of the novel coronavirus.

The last time India did not send an invitation to any head of state was in 1966 due to the untimely demise of then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. The new government headed by Indira Gandhi was sworn in on January 24, 1966 – only two days ahead of the Republic Day parade.

The Republic Day celebrations have been truncated this year on account of the pandemic. Last year’s Independence Day celebrations had also been scaled down.

An invitation to be chief guest at India’s Republic Day is a special honour for the visiting foreign dignitary. New Delhi has been weaving strategy with hospitality while deciding on the chief guest. The choice is dictated by a number of factors — strategic and diplomatic, business interests, and geo-politics.

Scientists witness the death of a galaxy 9 million light-years away unfold, in a remarkable first

Even though galaxies are known to die out, scientists never could witness the process of a galaxy dying out, until now. Using a high tech telescope, scientists saw the galaxy, ID2299, ejecting out the star forming gases and losing its fuel. As per a press statement, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) spotted the galaxy ejecting nearly half of its star-forming gas. Also, the speed of this ejection was “equivalent to 10,000 Suns-worth of gas a year”. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) was a partner in the observation and the team thinks that this celestial event has been triggered by a collision with another galaxy.

As per the statement, galaxies begin to ‘die’ when they stop forming stars. Now they are getting to actually see how the process takes place. The galaxy is nine billion years away. Hence, what we are seeing now is when the Universe was just 4.5 billion years old.

“This is the first time we have observed a typical massive star-forming galaxy in the distant Universe about to ‘die’ because of a massive cold gas ejection,” said lead researcher Annagrazia Puglisi, who is associated with the Durham University, UK, and the Saclay Nuclear Research Centre, France.

Apart from ejecting out material, the galaxy is also forming stars. The rate of creating stars is very rapid, almost hundreds of times faster than our galaxy, the Milky Way. The result of this fast creation will be that the remaining gas in ID2299 will be consumed gradually, over a few tens of millions of years.

Earlier, it was believed that winds caused by star formation and the activity of black holes at the centres of giant galaxies caused the ejection of star-forming material into space. But the recent case shows that mergers of galaxies can also lead to the shutting down of a galaxy.

“ALMA has shed new light on the mechanisms that can halt the formation of stars in distant galaxies. Witnessing such a massive disruption event adds an important piece to the complex puzzle of galaxy evolution,” said Chiara Circosta, a researcher at the University College London who was part of the research. The study has been published in the journal

Trump has been impeached a second time. What happens next?

The House of Representatives on Wednesday made Donald Trump the first US president to be impeached twice, formally charging him with incitement an insurrection just a week after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol. Here’s a guide to what happens next:

Is the impeachment proceeding over?

No. Impeachment refers only to the House, the lower chamber of Congress, bringing charges, or Articles of Impeachment. The next major step is for the Senate, the upper chamber, to have a trial to determine Trump’s guilt. A two-thirds majority is needed to convict Trump. If all 100 senators are present for the vote, at least 17 Republicans need to join the Democrats to convict Trump

When will the trial begin?

The Senate’s Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has rejected Democratic calls for an immediate impeachment trial and said it cannot begin until after the Senate returns from a recess on Jan. 19. That means the trial will likely begin after Trump leaves office on Jan. 20.

The House must formally transmit the charge against Trump to the Senate before the trial can begin.

What is Trump’s likely defense in the Senate trial?

The House approved a single article of impeachment — a formal charge — accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection,” focused on a speech he delivered to thousands of supporters shortly before the pro-Trump mob rampaged through the Capitol. Trump is likely to argue at trial that his remarks were free speech protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment and that, while he told supporters to “fight,” he did not intend it as a literal call to violence.

Trump released a videotaped statement on Wednesday, shortly after the impeachment vote, saying he condemned last week’s violence. “Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement,” Trump said.

So a former president can be impeached?

Yes. The consensus among scholars is that a “late impeachment” is constitutional. These scholars note that impeachment is used not just to remove officials from office, but also to disqualify them from future office. That means there is still a reason to try Trump after he leaves the White House.

The Constitution states that one punishment for conviction is “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”

Under Senate precedent, only a simple majority of the Senate is needed for disqualification. Historically, that vote only happens after a conviction. It’s not clear if someone must be convicted to be disqualified.

How long will the trial last?

The US Supreme Court has said the Senate has wide latitude to set its own rules for how to conduct an impeachment. But under the current rules in effect, a trial would take at least a few days.

Online Education

The meaning of schools has changed after the COVID-19 outbreak. Classes are being conducted in an online medium. This is the ‘new normal’ for the students of India.

How do the students learn?

When I was in 9th standard, we had a chapter in our English textbook about the education system in future. The students there studied through computers and did not go to school. At that time I often thought that I would never have to study and learn via computers and laptops. It has been almost ten months at home and I guess this has taught me that online education is possible but, I do miss going to school.

Online education is often called – distance learning, distance education, virtual learning, online learning, learning web-based training. Online education is electronically supported learning that relies on the Internet for teacher – student interaction and the distribution of class materials.

Some online educational programs are conducted exclusively through assigned lessons and assessments administered online. Others take the form of remote lectures where students join the class via the cameras on their laptops, and the instructor teaches or lectures from his own computer. Other courses are a combination of the two, requiring students to do a fair amount of independent research.

In my school, the classes are taken through Google Meet. The google meet link is shared in the class Whatsapp group. In my friend’s school the classes are conducted through Zoom. Teachers also present their screens in the meeting so that we can understand the concept clearly. After the class, the teachers assign us different assignments which we have to complete and submit in PDF form in a limited time. We also have exams online. First, the teachers share a Google Form for one mark questions; then they share the descriptive/writing part of the paper in Google Classroom. We are given half an hour to solve the one mark questions on Google Form and two and a half hours to solve and write the descriptive part. We have to write this part in our notebook, scan the pages and submit it in Google Classroom in PDF form within a fixed time period. These modern day learning applications are compatible with desktops/laptops as well as any smartphone.

Pros of online education

  1. Study from anywhere. There is no need to go to a particular place to study. We can study indoors as well as outdoors. Even if you are ill, you can attend the classes easily. 
  2. Flexible learning schedule is observed in online education. A lot of time is saved in learning online. You can also do a part time job and learn. 
  3. Students can control study time because of the flexibility in the timetable. They also get extra time for sports and hobbies.
  4. There is no transportation fee to reach the school that lowers the overall cost. (There is no need to buy shoes and socks!) 
  5. The minimum infrastructure required for online learning is a smartphone and internet connection. As the country is witnessing a digital boom, it is expected that the poor people can also afford and access these classes easily.
  6. Improves the student’s technical skills. To join the classes, a student needs to learn to operate computers and various other apps. 
  7. There is no bullying or ragging involved in this method of education. The students are also free from stress and anxiety. Hence, each student is physically and mentally healthy.
  8. Teachers can also share subject related videos to students to make the learning fun and interesting. In a traditional classroom environment, this would require projector and sound system setup.    

Due to the following reasons, many people choose online education over the traditional classroom interactional education.

Eco Friendly Tourism

It is often seen that tourist spots are very dirty, plastic bags and packets are thrown everywhere. In short, tourism is polluting the environment. We can stop this by promoting eco-friendly tourism. Here are three such types of tourism.

Eco Tourism

Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.

This means that those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles:

  • Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
  • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
  • Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
  • Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates.
  • Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.
  • Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.

Some Eco tourism places in India are –

  1. Coorg, Karnataka
  2. Munnar, Kerala
  3. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
  4. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
  5. Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Sustainable Tourism

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism in the following manner: “Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.”

According to The World Tourism Organization (WTO), sustainable tourism should:

  •  Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
  •  Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
  • Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.

Some companies that promotes sustainable tourism in India are – 

  1. Kipepeo
  2. Evolve Back
  3. Spiti Ecosphere
  4. India Untravelled
  5. Green People

Geo Tourism

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents.

Principles of geo tourism are – 

  • Integrity of place: Enhance geographical character by developing and improving it in ways distinctive to the local, reflective of its natural and cultural heritage.
  • Market diversity: Encourage a full range of appropriate food and lodging facilities
  • Community involvement: Base tourism on community resources to the extent possible, encouraging local small businesses and civic groups 
  • Protection and enhancement of destination appeal: Encourage businesses to sustain natural habitats, heritage sites, aesthetic appeal, and local culture. 
  • Land use: Anticipate development pressures and apply techniques to prevent undesired overdevelopment and degradation. 
  • Conservation of resources: Encourage businesses to minimize water pollution, solid waste, energy consumption, water usage, landscaping chemicals, and overly bright nighttime lighting. Advertise these measures in a way that attracts

Some geo tourism places in India are –

  1. Akal Fossil Wood Park, Jaisalmer
  2. Saketi, Sirmur District, Himachal Pradesh
  3. Peninsular Gneiss National Monument at Lalbagh, Bengaluru
  4. Columnar Basaltic Lava, Coconut Island (St. Mary’s Islands), Udupi District, Karnataka
  5. Ramgarh Crater, Baran district, Rajasthan.