“It’s space and it’s difficult to go fly”…

So said a senior NASA administrator after the unfortunate failed launch of the Dragon9 spacecraft.

Sad day for space science and space exploration. Another rocket,  Falcon 9, exploded mid flight. Problems associated with the second stage caused the explosion,  apparently.  It’s back to the drawing board for SpaceX.  A company I look up to for it’s innovation and brave spirit. I  was fortunate to visit their facility on 1, rocket street, California last year,  thanks to a friend and his brother who works there. A futuristic experience like I was on the sets of a sci fi movie, except this was real science! !

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The Royal Palace

When you go time traveling in Vienna, here are somethings you see :

A Time Travel signpost !

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The palace where the high and mighty once lived,  Schönbrunn. The palace of Francis Ferdinand and Princess Sisi. A friend who seems to be caught up in time.

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A harpist who played beautiful music.

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A Sachertorte that even the royals enjoyed centuries ago.

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and finally, a beautiful hand made cake in the image of a bride and her groom in the royal cake shop, Demel.

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Swans by the swan theatre

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This is a view beside the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, a Victorian-era theatre dedicated to staging plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The swans glide merrily between the river banks. Every once in a while,  they would plunge beneath the surface with their posterior sticking out  and their head and long neck stuck in the river bed,  digging for food.

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Quite a strange way to eat !

Snow and Tipping points

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Snow kindles a warm feeling in my heart ever since I first saw it a few years back. The white altar cloth draped over lonely buildings, deserted streets and singular lampposts reminds me of entering an abandoned house with covered furnishings. Last week, the first snow of the season drenched my eyes in blankness as I peered outside my hotel room window in Colorado. From a weekend of bright sunny days and fall colors splurging the city canvas with more colors than usual like a Fauvist painting, the cityscape shifted to a snow draped monochrome painting. Yet, what added color to this scene was the mood of the people, the kids playing around and making snow men, the adolescents kicking around in the snow, shaking trees to wet their friends. Read more

Whales, Blue and Baleens

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Blue whales swimming in a red tide off the coast of California. Source: SIO,UCSD

Got an email the other day about the sighting of blue whales a mile off the coast of Del Mar, 10 miles from where I am. The email set rolling a chain of thoughts in my mind about whales and their magical world. Arguably the largest mammals to ever have roamed on earth,the blue whales, have their own idiosyncrasy which feature distinctly in many of man’s best adventure stories. Read more

Apple-cinnamon oat squares

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Ingredients
2 cups unsweetened almondmilk*
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats*
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (not whole flax seeds)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 (about 1 pound) Pink Lady apples, cored and grated

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a foil- or parchment paper-lined 9-inch square baking pan, press down and smooth out the top and bake until firm and golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan; cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Lentil chili

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This simple vegetarian chili recipe uses lentils instead of beans. Brown lentils work best as they will hold their shape even when tender after cooking. Serve with bread.

Ingredients
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 teaspoons salt-free chili powder
1 (16-ounce) package brown lentils (about 2 1/4 cups lentils)
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Method
Bring 3/4 cup broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook about 8 minutes or until onion is translucent and pepper is tender. Stir in chili powder and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lentils, tomatoes and remaining 7 1/4 cups broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and serve.
Courtesy: Wholefoods

Puliyogare

Puliyogare Powder

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Ingredients
coriander seeds 1 cup
chana dal 1/2 cup
urad dal 1/2 cup
red chillies as required
methi seeds – 1/2 spoon
cumin seeds 5 spoons
tamarind paste – 2 Tbsp
sesame seeds – 1/2 cup(optional)
dry grated coconut – 1/2 cup(optional)

Method:

Dry roast all the ingredients except coconut,tamarind and salt. Cool the roasted mix.Grind the cool mix to a fine powder after adding tamarind and coconut. Add required quantity of groundnuts fried in oil to this mix. Saute a tea spoon of mustard seeds, curry leaves and add a little hing to get a wonderful aroma.
Add this to powder and mix well. Add salt and the puliyogare mix is ready to mix with rice.To eat, mix 2 or more spoons (adjust according to desired taste) powder with rice with a spoonful of ghee or oil to ensure it mixes properly and enjoy instant puliyogare.