Halloween in the United States

Halloween is celebrated by many Americans on October 31. These celebrations include costume parties, tricks, or treating. But now you can see it celebrated in many places apart from the United States.

How do people celebrate and what do they do on this day?

Halloween is usually celebrated amongst friends, family and sometimes with co-workers. However now it is also celebrated in public places; yet, in some areas they hold large community events on this day. Parties and public gatherings along with other events will be planned on October 31 itself, but sometimes they plan to celebrate in the weekends it can be before and after the date.

While, Adults celebrate this day by holding costume parties, watching horror films, or creating haunted houses or graveyards. Children dress up in fancy dresses and visit other homes; and while their visit they demand chocolates, snacks or a small gift. If they do not get anything in return, they threaten people by saying that they will do some harm to the inhabitants of the house. This is nothing but treat or trick played by many during the Halloween. No one will do anything harm to any one, as this will be carried out a very friendly way. However, if your children are taking part of this day, then make sure that someone accompanies them to ensure that their 'treats' are safe to eat or play with.

You can see some families carve pumpkin lantern with 'scary' faces and with other vegetables. The homes and gardens are decorated in Halloween style. This is a tradition to intend to ward off the evil spirits from you. If you have plans to stay at your home on Halloween, then you can make it more interesting by doing big things with small ideas. Plan how to surprise people who visit your home this Halloween. All you need to do is offer them things which are homemade; like get a small bowl with presents or sweets filled to offer,  or you can make small toys or dolls in Halloween style and please the little spirits.

There is another cause that ties with Halloween; that is collecting donations for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  When you are going to your neighborhood to trick-or-treat on Halloween night, you can carry small cardboard boxes with the UNICEF logo on them and request people to help you collect donations which you are going to send directly to UNICEF, instead of collecting candies or sweets this will make you proud by helping the children out there.  Once you are done with your collection, you can send it to UNICEF, who will use it to help needy children worldwide.

Public Life & Holiday.

Halloween is not an official holiday; you can see Government offices and businesses open as common and public transport services run on regular schedules. If you need to drive around in late afternoon or in the evening, it is essential to keep a careful lookout for children who are not used to being out on the avenues after dark. Make sure that there is someone assisting the kids especially when they are wearing dark costumes or masks, as there are very fewer chances to see than normal. 



Halloween is a Pagan festival which was originated from the parts of Northern Europe, mainly from the United Kingdom. Many European cultural customs hold that Halloween is a time when magic is most powerful and people carry the belief that spirits can make contact with the physical world. In the Christian era, it became more like a celebration of the evening before All Saints’ Day. Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought this holiday to the United States.

The process of Halloween was started in the early 1900s; when the postcards and die-cut paper decorations were created. While Halloween costumes started to appear on the market in the 1930s and the custom of 'trick-or-treat' appeared in the 1950s. Slowly there was an increase in various types of products available in Halloween style with time. Now Halloween can become the very profitable holiday for the manufacturers of costumes, yard decorators, and candy makers.


There are various symbols associated with Halloween. These include the ghosts, spooks, and walking skeletons which represent the contact between the spiritual and physical world. Human figures that often represent on Halloween are witches and wizards. You can also see Bats, black cats and spiders often connected with this holiday; as these animals are associated with the night and darkness and accompany witches and wizards.

There is also a wide range of objects associated with this day; they include pumpkins, fire, gravestones, bones, and skulls. You can see many of these objects are now available in stores as decorations for the Halloween season.

Happy Halloween!!!


Diwali - 2016

Diwali – the festival of lights is near to us. This festival is celebrated in various ways across different customs. While the followers of, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism observe various customs related to Diwali.This year Diwali is on Sunday, October 30th. As per the position of the moon, the Diwali date changes every year.

As per the Hindu calendar, the date of Diwali falls on the fifteenth day of the lunar phase in a month in the auspicious Hindu month of Kartika; which usually falls in the month of October or November as per the English calendar. However, Diwali falls on the Amavasya day which is also known as no moon day. Another way to know the exact date of Diwali is it comes 20 days after the popular festival of Dussehra, Durga Puja, or Vijaya Dashmi.

In India this is one of the most awaited festivals, in fact, people of every age waits for this auspicious day to celebrate.

How to People celebrate?

The Festival of Lights

On average Diwali is celebrated for five days in many places and a day or two in some. The dates vary as per the regions of India and the date of Diwali comes on various dates; this is because of the traditional lunar calendars which they follow, and this can be interpreted in different ways.

People decorate their homes and workplaces with tiny electric lights or get small clay lamps; they fill the lamps with oil and light them. Every house will be decorated with bowls of water filled with floating candles and flowers on the surface with popular decorations.

Before the day occurs, people make a special effort to clean their homes and yards and paint them new.The day starts with taking bath with fragrant oils and water, wear new clothes, pamper everyone in the family with gifts and sweets. Sweets will be distributed to close friends and business associates. In the evening fireworks will be all set to crackle. You can see kids blowing fireworks which they are allowed to blow up in the guidance of their family.

Declared as public holiday

In India, Diwali is declared as public holiday. Everything remains closed. But you will find sweets shops, firework stores and other businesses shops open. Transport will usually stay unaffected as many locals travel for religious celebrations. However, those who wish to use public transport facilitates on the day should ensure with the local transport establishments on public transit schedules.


Diwali is known as the festival of lights. This day mainly symbolize the victory of morality and the lifting of spiritual darkness.  The word “Deepawali” refers to rows of diyas or clay lamps. This is one of the most popular festivals of the Hindu calendar and signifies that this day brings light into our lives sending the darkness away.There is another recall on this festival; that is Lord Rama's return to his kingdom Ayodhya after finishing his 14-year exile. The myths between Rama and Ravana are told during another holiday, which is Dussehra, Durga Puja, or Vijaya Dashami. On Diwali, people will pray to Goddess Lakshmi who is the lord Vishnu’s consort as she symbolizes wealth and prosperity. In West Bengal, this festival is celebrated as Kali Puja, and Kali is Shiva's consort.

While Diwali festival in southern India; often commemorates the conquering of the Naraka, he is the king of Assam who caged many people. It is assumed that later Krishna freed all the prisoners.In many Buddhist places in India, it is marked as the anniversary of the Emperor Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism around the time of Diwali. People who observe Jainism mark this day as the anniversary of Mahavira's (or Lord Mahavir) attainment of nirvana on October 15, 527 BCE. Mahavir also established the central religious ideas of Jainism.

Sikhs celebrate Diwali as BandiChhorh Divas, which is the sixth Nanak's (Guru Hargobind) return from imprisonment in the Gwalior Fort. This concurrence has resulted in the resemblance of celebrating the day among many Sikhs and Hindus.

Wish you a happy and safest Diwali, mark this day in your personal calendar and start planning for cheerful celebrations!!!!


Yoshinori Ohsumi - Best Brains

The 2016 Nobel Laureate discovered the mechanism of Autophagy, which is a fundamental process for humiliating and recycling cellular components.

Yoshinori Ohsumi is a Biologist from Tokyo Institute of Technology. Yoshinori has been awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discoveries of mechanisms for Autophagy. Autophagy is a process where a cell recycles of its own contents.

The researchers and scientists are aware of Autophagy since the 1960s, but they knew little about how it works. While Ohsumi's revolutionary experiments with baker's yeast in the 1990s gave them the complete picture. The study on Autophagy has become important; as Autophagy can abolish invading intracellular bacteria, whereas disrupted Autophagy is linked to Parkinson's disease, this is type 2 diabetes and like other disorders which may particularly affect the elderly.

History of Autophagy

The word autophagy originates from the Greek words auto which means self and phagein — to eat. Hence, Autophagy means self-eating. This concept came to be known since from the 1960's, when scientists first observed that a cell could destroy its own contents by enclosing it in layers, forming sack-like vesicles that were related to a recycling section, called the lysosome, for degradation. Thus there were difficulties in understanding and studying this phenomenon as very little was known until the series of brilliant experiments of Yoshinori’s came out in the early 1990's. Yoshinori Ohsumi used baker's yeast to classify genes that are essential for Autophagy. He then went on to clarify the fundamental mechanisms of Autophagy in yeast and showed that similar machinery can be used in our cells.

Ohsumi's experiments and discoveries led to a new prototype in everyone’s understanding on how the cell recycles its own contents. While the discovery of Autophagy has opened the path of understanding the fundamentals of Autophagy and its importance with the help of many physiological processes; such adaptation will strive to starvation or response to infection. However, the process of mutating Autophagy genes may cause disease, or the process will involve in quite a few conditions including cancer and neurological disease.

During the period of the 1970's and 1980's the researchers focused on explaining other systems used to degrade proteins, specifically the "proteasome". The other researchers who were also awarded within this field are Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, and Irwin Rose; these researchers were awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. The proteasome efficiently degrades proteins slowly, and this mechanism did not tell how the cell will get rid in larger protein complexes and worn-out the organelles. Let us look the process of Autophagy and what were the mechanisms?

About the revolutionary experiment

Yoshinori Ohsumi stayed always active in various do research areas, but when he planned to lead his own lab in 1988, he started focusing on protein degradation methods in the vacuole, an organelle that corresponds to the lysosome in human cells. Through his discovery, he learned that Yeast cells are comparatively easy to study and as a result, they are often used as a model for human cells. These are mainly helpful for the identification of genes that are significant in difficult cellular pathways. However, Ohsumi faced the most important challenge in identifying the yeast cells which are small as their inner structures are not easily eminent in the microscope and hence he was unsure whether Autophagy still exists in this organism. Yoshinori reasoned that if he could reverse the degradation process in the vacuole while the process of Autophagy was active, then Autophagosomes may accumulate within the vacuole and turn out to be visible under the microscope. As a result; he then cultured mutated yeast lacking vacuolar degradation enzymes and simultaneously moved Autophagy by starving the cells. As we all know the result was striking; and in few hours the vacuoles were filled with small vesicles which had not been degraded. These vesicles are Autophagosomes, and Ohsumi's discovery proved that Autophagy exists in yeast cells. But even more significantly, now he had a method to categorize and characterize key genes caught up this process. However, this is a major breakthrough and you can see the results are published in 1992.

How Autophagy genes are discovered

After identifying Autophagy in yeast cells, Ohsumi took advantage of his engineered yeast strain in which Autophagosomes accumulated throughout starvation. This accumulation process should not arise if genes significant for Autophagy were inactivated. He then exposed the yeast cells into a chemical which randomly introduced mutations in many genes, and then he induced Autophagy. Thus, this strategy worked and within a year of his discovery of Autophagy in yeast, Yoshinori identified the first genes necessary for Autophagy.

Why Autophagy is essential mechanism in our cells

Soon after identifying the machinery for Autophagy in yeast, a key question raised; was there any corresponding mechanism to manage this process with the help of any other organisms?

When it became clear that virtually identification of mechanisms operates in our own cells; the research tools required to investigate further on the importance of Autophagy in humans was now available.

We have to thank the great researchers like Ohsumi and others; who helped us to understand how Autophagy controls vital physiological functions of cellular components that need to be degraded and recycled. While Autophagy can quickly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for regeneration of cellular components and it is, therefore, essential for the cellular reaction to starvation and other types of stress. The experiments proved that after infection, Autophagy can get rid of invading intracellular bacteria and viruses; and contributes to embryo progress and cell separation. Cells also use Autophagy to eradicate the damaged proteins and organelles, a quality control method that are serious for counteracting the negative consequences of aging.


October 15 — The Sweetest Day

To do the sweetest thing, you really don’t need the sweetest day. However, we celebrate random holidays, which come every another day. The sweetest day is a holiday which apparently started in 1922, but came to be known very recently.  This is a special day to celebrate with your loved ones.

Significance of Sweetest Day

2017, Sweetest Day is a general holiday celebrated in some parts of the United States. It is a day of dreamy actions or expressions. This day is to remember the less fortunate and has also been referred to as an "imaginary promotion" formed by a famous candy industry exclusively to increase sales of sweets and cards from 2017. The Sweetest Day is observed on the third Saturday of October.


The origin of 2017 Sweetest Day is unclear; as a widely established theory on the first Sweetest Day was on October 10, 1921, in Cleveland. This was when a commission of 12 candy makers led by C.C. Hartzell, gathered jointly in 1921 to deliver 20,000 boxes of chocolates and candies to the less-privileged in the city. The top film stars then Theda Bara and Ann Pennington assisted this program.

There is another theory as of 1922, a candy-store owner in Cleveland by name Herbert Birch Kingston wanted to memorize the people in the city who were underprivileged, he started distributing candies and chocolates as many as he can. He selected hospitals and orphanages in the area as the people in these places will be happier. While as per some people’s opinion, this holiday was created to greet people and share their love. So greeting card companies took advantage and sold more candies and cards, but this anyway widely rejected based on no evidence.

There were also many attempts to start this Day in New York City, including an affirmation of a Candy Day all over the United States by candy makers on October 8, 1922.  But, in 1927, it was decreed that the week will begin on October 10, 1927, and be addressed as Sweetest Week.

While in 1940, one more Sweetest Day was proclaimed on October 19. This Sweetest Day is only celebrated in 11 states and parts of two states Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan,  North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and areas of both Pennsylvania west and New York of the spine of the Appalachian Mountains.


Sweetest Day traditions are alike to Valentine's Day in many locations, you can enjoy this day as you wish. Celebrate this day by giving gifts, candies, chocolates, cards, flowers, and whatever you wish to give. Make this day the happiest by spending your time with your family, friends and your beloved ones. But remember there shouldn’t be a day to make it sweetest but it is upon you how you start your day and coming days. Express your love and care to everyone that will surely make all your days sweetest.

Happy Sweetest Days!!!!!


Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th has been an unlucky day for many people since long and why we choose this day, in particular, to fear for our lives is what we will learn in this blog today.

In 1993, some scientists found that there is a general increase in hospital admissions on Friday 13th.  From then it is just like a superstition or is there something more touchable at play?


Superstitions around this day have come from the Middle Ages, and have Biblical origins.

While some historians have claimed that on Friday 13th Eve bit the apple from the Tree of Knowledge and the great floods begin and the builders of the Tower of Babel.

Jesus's last supper

According to the New Testament; the day before Christ's crucifixion there were 13 people who attended Jesus's last supper with his 12 Apostles and the other myth is God Odin invited 11 of his friends to Valhalla. When they had to dine the god of evil and turmoil LOKI appeared at that place and caused the death of a demigod in the group.

On October 13, 1307, Friday Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar. In the novel Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown cites about the 14th century carrying out of Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay, which again took place on Friday the 13th; he cursed the Pope and the King of France, and this spread bad luck down the ages.

The fear of Friday the 13th has a name called “Paraskevidekatriaphobia” – which is derived from the Greek words paraskeví means Friday and dekatreís are thirteen. The fear of the number 13 itself is called triskaidekaphobia.

How repeatedly does Friday the 13th occur in 2016 and 2017?

In 2016, we will have it only one which is already done on May 13, and in 2016 we will see it twice on January Friday 13; and again on October, Friday 13. Most years have just once or twice the Friday the 13ths.

In addition, all three months - February, March, and November - must start on a Sunday. Thus any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th in it.

The next February, March and November trilogy occur in 2026, and following that, it will have to wait for 11 more years till 2037 to roll around.


Yom Kippur - 2016

When is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Oct. Tuesday 11 and lasts through Oct. 12, Wednesday.

Yom means "day" as per Hebrew and Kippur come from a root which means "to atone", this word is connected with the biblical name which is like covering of the Ark — kapporet. Yom Kippur is generally expressed as "Day of Atonement" in English.


Yom Kippur is the sacred day of the year celebrated by Jews. It is the Jewish Day of communal and personal atonement, means expiation/reparation for sins committed during the past year. Jewish people celebrate this day with fasting for over 24 hours and rigorous prayers, and they love to spend most of the day in synagogue services.

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah is the first day of this sacred month; it is considered as the Jewish New Year starting as in the Jewish calendar. This month is for the forgiveness of all the sins and people ask to forgive them to God. Yom Kippur is the 10th day of the seventh month; which is also known as Tishrei as per Jewish calendar and with regards to Sabbath of Sabbaths. This day is also the first month of the civil year.

According to Jewish values, the almighty “God” engraves everyone’s fate in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah, and wait till Yom Kippur to "seal" the judgment. In this period Jewish people seek forgiveness from god for things which they have done against him and against human beings.

On the Yom Kippur day, people are set to give their confessions and petitions to god, after following this ritual at the end of the Yom Kippur day it will be believed that their deeds will be forgiven by the god almighty.

On a regular day, Jewish people follow three services (evening prayer, Morning Prayer, afternoon prayer) and on Yom Kippur day they will have five services they will have special prayer service called Neila and closing prayer, along with their regular three prayer services.

Torah the Jewish Bible mandates Yom Kippur as atonement for sins which commences on 10th day of the 7th month or Tishrei and followed as strict rest day, and it is strictly observed without eating any food nor drinks, no washing, and bathing, no one is allowed to wear leather shoes and no anointing.

The reasons to follow strict observations on Yom Kippur is by not just for doing these things, but there is a saying that one’s body will suffer or become uncomfortable but he still can survive. The soul is considered as living source or life in the body. By observing this strict practice on this day ones soul will become uncomfortable, and this uncomfortable condition makes the person realize how others feel when they are in pain. This is the main purpose of observing this strict fasting and fasting on Yom Kippur.

Some of the customs on Yom Kippur

Fasting is one of the central components of this holiday.  As per the Jewish tradition, the adults are commanded to take fast for the whole day. However, there are exceptions for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and for those who are ill.

In order to apologize, god, one must follow these three things, praying, charity, and repent.


Columbus Day in the United States

Columbus Day is an annual federal American holiday which is celebrated on the second Monday in October every year. However, it is not a public legal holiday in some of the states such as California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Hawaii. The day commemorates when Italian navigator Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World and discovered America on October 12, 1492.  The Columbus Day was first proclaimed as the holiday in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The President was then requested to issue a proclamation designating the second Monday of each year as the Columbus Day, as per the Presidential Proclamation.

While Christopher Columbus is the son of Genoa, born in Italy, who set a sail across the Atlantic, no one imagined about the profound and lasting impact he would have on the world. In search of the westward route towards Asia, Columbus instead covered the Bahamas. As daylight broke on October 12, 1492, his team set foot on a Caribbean island and untouched the course of history. More on Europe, this marked the innovation of the New World, which has set in motion for more than five centuries that have followed. However, Columbus's historic expedition ushered in a new age as because the world has in no way been the same. His voyage opened the doors for many generations of Italian immigrants who followed his trail across the ocean in chase of the promise of America. Same like Columbus, these immigrants, and their descendants have bent the place where they landed.


People all out the world, celebrate Columbus's voyage ever since the colonial phase. Historically, this Italian-born explorer has set sail in August 1492. He planned the chart towards the western sea route to China, India and then to the renowned gold and Spice Islands of Asia; as an unusual, he landed in the Bahamas and became the first European who discovered the Americas; since the Vikings set up colonies in Newfoundland and Greenland’s during the tenth century. Thus, this is how Columbus Day was officially declared as the state holiday in Colorado in 1906, and later on, it was declared as the federal holiday in the United States by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 as per the Presidential Act.

The date Columbus arrived in the Americas is also known as the Day of the Race (Día de la Raza) in Latin America and some Latino communities in the United States. In Hawaii, Columbus day is celebrated as Discoverers’ Day, but it is not a state holiday. Columbus Day celebrations are also known to be controversial in some places because of the settlement of Europeans in the America, which lead to deaths of a huge ratio of the Native American people.

Customs of Columbus Day

Columbus Day celebrations include lessons about Christopher Columbus and his journey at schools. All through the United States, Columbus Day will evolve into a celebration of Italian and American heritage. Many communities host parades and street fairs with bright costumes, music, and Italian food feasts will be more of attractions. Many cities and towns honor native peoples hold activities such as traditional dance and lessons on Native American culture.


Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: means the beginning, also head of the year) is the Jewish New Year.  The biblical name of this festival is Yom Teruah. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which is also known as the day G-d created Adam and Eve. It is celebrated for one day by many reform Jews, while others who are Conservative and Orthodox Jews observe two days of celebrations.  This festival is celebrated as the head of the Jewish year, which usually begins on the first day of Tishrei. Tishrei is the first holy month in the Jewish year, and the seventh month of the religious year. This holiday occurs in the early days of autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.

Meaning & History

Rosh is a Hebrew word which means "head", "ha" will be the definite article ("the"), and "Shanah" is a year. Hence "Rosh HaShanah” means the head of the year, referring to the Jewish New Year. The term "Rosh Hashanah" does not appear in the Torah in its current meaning. Whereas in Leviticus 23:24 it refers to the festival of the first day of the seventh month as Zichron Teruah.

As per Judaism, the fact about the Rosh Hashanah beginning is considered as the first religious year; and been also explained as the traditional anniversary of creating Adam and Eve, the first man and woman as per the Hebrew’s Bible, and their first actions in the direction of the realization of humanity's role in God's world.  It is believed to be the day of accounting the judgment for every action. This day people relate to God as the “Ultimate Judge”.


Origin - Rosh Hashanah

However, as per some secular opinions, the most primitive origins of the Hebrew New Year are allied to the beginning of the financial year of the agricultural societies in the ancient Near East. As New Year is the beginning of the cycle of sowing, growth, and harvest, but later it marked its own set of major agricultural festivals.

This festival relate to Semitic culture in general and occur in the beginning of autumn, while other ancient civilizations such as the Persians or Greeks chose spring to celebrate, the primary reason to do so is being agricultural and the time of sowing the seed and of bringing the harvest.


Rosh Hashanah - Duration

As per the Jewish calendar, the Rosh Hashanah occurs 163 days following the first day of Passover (Pesach). While according to the terms of the Gregorian calendar, the first date on which Rosh Hashanah falls was on September 5, as happened in 1899 and again in 2013.

However, the latest Gregorian date that Rosh Hashanah may occur is October 5, which earlier happened in 1967 and will again happen in 2043.  The dates may differ month to month and years as per the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars.

How they celebrate

Usually, the festival starts in the evening after listing to the first 30 blasts of the Shofar; The Shofar blowing is the sign to start the festive by candle lighting and by reading Rosh Hashanah prayers in the evenings, which are the major attraction on these two days. Special prayer services also include the sounding of the ram’s horn (Shofar) on both mornings, and desist from creative work. Families gather for festive meals which include; round challah, which symbolize the circle of life, sweet delicacies.

By tradition Jews love to eat sweet foods like apples dipped honey, challah, and tzimmes to start a sweet new year. Chicken and brisket are commonly served at Rosh Hashanah meals. In Sephardic tradition, a number of foods are supposed to signify the wishes for the coming year, among them here are some; pomegranates, leeks, and pumpkins, are also seen on the Rosh Hashanah table. All foods that can be eaten year-round are allowed. Most famous are the round Challahs.

Rosh Hashanah  - Round Challahs

What is a Shofar?

Rosh Hashanah - Shofar

A Shofar is a ram’s horn which is blown like a declare during this Jewish month of Elul that leads up to Rosh Hashanah. There will be four sounds of the Shofar like Shofar– tekiah, shevarim, teruah, and tekiah gedolah these sounds remind many people of a crying voice. Hearing the Shofar’s horn, people will be reminded to look inward and regret for the sins of the past year.


Discovery of Earth-like Planet

NASA has announced that the discovery of Kepler 452b, also known as Earth 2.0, is an earth-like planet in our galaxy. Over the years of data gathering from the Kepler space telescope and more analysis and work is there here on Earth; confirmed the scientists. As per them the existence of the distant exoplanet which is going to be the most Earth-like planet to be ever discovered.

Though the planet is too far away to photograph, the advanced NASA technology helps to know more surprising information about this 'New Earth'.

Beginning the conference, John Grunsfeld, who is the associate administrator in Nasa's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, says: Today we are announcing the discovery of an exoplanet which is pretty close cousin of our Earth. It's the closest so far. It's Earth 2.0.

Before the conference, John Grunsfeld, who is the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission directorate from Washington said that today we are announcing the discovery of an exoplanet which was far as we can tell is a pretty close cousin of earth. It is very close so far, it’s Earth 2.0. A lot about Kepler 452b is very similar to Earth, like from its size, length of its years, and the estimated conditions on its surface.

Years on Kepler 452b are about the same duration as they are on Earth. A year on the recently discovered planet, the time it takes to orbit its star, Kepler 452 lasts for 385 days, which means 20 more days longer than Earth.

The above image helps you understand the different two years on other closer planets to Earth. A year on Venus, now and then the closest planet to the Earth, lasts only 88 Earth-days. A year on Neptune, which was further out in our solar system, is just equal of 185 Earth-years.

Kepler spent billions of years within the best habitable distance of its star. Kepler 452 – is around 1.5 billion years older than our Sun. If a planet is to be very close to its star, then it will also be too hot to host life. But if it is too far away then it can be too cold also.

Kepler has the perfect distance from its star for many billions of years. As per Jon Jenkins, the Kepler data analysis lead at NASA Ames Research Centre, it's possible that it hosts life on its surface, or may have some point in its history.  It may also have active volcanoes and water on its surface.

Kepler 452 may have the right temperature, which allows the liquid water to exist on the surface; as this is essential in supporting the lives.

According to John Coughlin, a researcher from California at the SETI Institute says that Kepler team worked with geologists to find out the make-up of the planet. But, due to its size and age, be more likely to be a rocky planet, it could have a volcanic system under its surface.

The researchers assume that humans could potentially stay alive in Kepler 452b's stronger gravity.

The new planet is somewhat larger than Earth and is also predictable to have twice the gravitational pull of our own planet. Yet, as per the scientists of the Kepler’s team, this doesn't signify that it couldn't support life.

Jon Jenkins says that humans could adapt to the gravity, probably becoming "stockier over many generations."

We see today that people have already used to heavy weights; as we humans are built to do this kind of things. However, the human body has an astounding capability to repair itself.

Plants could potentially flourish there. The Kepler 452 is to some extent larger than our own Sun. The additional light and heat energy that the planet receives from the star not only mean it is slightly heater than Earth, but also it could mean that plant life could thrive there.

How plant photosynthesis produces the air we breathe, it is essential to building blocks of life to have a good chance of living on Kepler 452b.

As per Jon Jenkins speech; the sunshine from Kepler's star is very alike to the sunshine from our own star, and the plants there could be able to produce photosynthesize just the same way we get.

Let should we have a feel a lot like home soon.


Stanford’s Robotic Mermaid

Stanford created "Robotic Mermaid" to help with Deep Sea Exploration Missions.

Remotely Operated Vehicles and Artificial intelligent walk side by side these days. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are used to conduct undersea tasks, which are considered unsafe for humans, for many years. While, these machines are very useful to tackle projects like oil rigging repairs, vehicles that lack the refinement and agility required to handle delicate missions like monitoring the coral reefs.  The traditional boxy shape also created difficulties for the robots to penetrate the tiny areas without damaging the surrounding flora. Now it’s time for the Stanford universities to grab the appreciations for the latest creature which is the high-end version mermaid robot, named as OceanOne.

The idea behind creating this humanoid robot was conceptualized three years ago by the King Abdullah University of science and Technology (KAUST) researchers in Saudi Arabia. They believe that such robots would help monitor coral reefs and under ocean activities in the Red Sea. To elaborate and bring the vision to life the Associate professor Khaled Salama turned to his colleagues at California’s Stanford University for further help.

Professor Oussama Khatib, and the Director of Stanford’s Robotics Lab along with his team of graduate and undergraduate students were fascinated by the idea of creating an underwater robot and instantly agreed. While it took a few years to get the first prototype of OceanOne, and it was released in April 2016, is everything Salama and his team had hoped for, and more.

OceanOne was about five feet from head to tail, and it has stereoscopic eyes, which helps to allow the pilot to view deep down views into the ocean without entering the ocean. It has the fins which provide ample storage space to fit computers, batteries, and even 8 multi-directional thrusters to help and keep the robot stable in confused waters.

Unlike other traditional ROV’s; the OceanOne’s electronics are waterproofed with oil rather than covering the inside parts with a rigid case. The OceanOne is designed simply to prevent the electronics from buckling under the water pressure and enable the robot mermaid to reach depths of up to 2,000 meters without collapsing.

Smart algorithms enable the humanoid robot to avoid collisions under the water and help from the pilot, even it can use its hands to swim when it is stuck in a tight spot; when it cannot avoid a crash then the robot can alleviate the impact by stretching out its arm. Since it can also communicate with human pilots through hand-gestures, it can also be a useful diving companion when needed.

However, when the waters are very uneven, the robot can turn on the thrusters which are stored in its fin to stabilize itself. Sensors are affixed to the robot’s arms and wrists which will help enable the pilot to touch the undersea objects and determine them clearly on the weight and texture. It was very crucial to decide on the amount of force that is required to lift the object without damaging it. There were additional sensors fixed around the robotic mermaid’s body to keep track on the currents and ocean’s turbulence.

Although, the OceanOne is originally created to monitor the coral reefs, but the first mission was a tad more exciting. In April, the robotic mermaid was first sent to investigate the wreckage of King Louis XIV’s flagship, La Lune, which sank off the coast of France in 1664; but the robotic mermaid did not dissatisfy. Later with the help of Professor Khatib guidance, OceanOne made its way 100-meters beneath the surface of the Mediterranean, and it carefully picked up a preserved grapefruit-sized vase and placed it in the recovery basket.

The OceanOne, however, stood up to all the expectations and high-fived all the archaeologists and engineers who had accompanied it on this significant journey. With the achievement of the first under sea’s mission, it will be all exciting to see what coming in the future.