Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States and in other western nations celebrating with African communities.  Every year Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 – January 1st honoring the African custom in African- American Community.

Kwanzaa Celebration

People light a Kinara – which is a candle holder with seven candles and distribute gifts to each other.  It was first celebrated in 1966-67 by its creator Maulana Karenga.

Kwanzaa means “first Fruits”, Karenga said the word Kwanzaa is extracted from the Swahili phrase.  Swahili is a Bantu language and the phrase he denoted is “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits of the harvest".

People celebrate Kwanzaa in their own way but they often include singing and dancing.  Everyone gathers at one place and celebrate this day by telling stories, poetry, playing African drums, and having a large traditional meal.  Given by its creator Maulana Karenga (generally called as Nguza Saba) Karenga mentioned that Nguza Saga or the seven principles of Kwanzaa are the best African practices and thoughts in continual give-and-take with the world.

The Seven Principles

  • Umoja (Unity): To do your best for and to preserve unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination):  To describe and label ourselves, in addition, to producing and voice for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility):  To shape and preserve our community composed and craft our brothers' and sisters' difficulties problems our difficulties and to resolve them collectively.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics):  To maintain and construct our own businesses and to attain revenue from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose):  To make vocations collectively the constructing and rising of our community in order to reestablish traditional prominence.
  • Kuumba (Creativity):  Always do whatever you can, in order to make our tradition more gorgeous and valuable.
  • Imani (Faith):  To trust with all our hearts in our parents, our leaders, our teachers, our people,  and the morality and triumph of our struggle.

The symbols of Kwanzaa include mat (Mkeka), Mishumaa Saba (seven candles), a Kinara (candle holder), Muhindi (corn), mazao (crops), a Kikombe cha Umoja (unity cup) and giving shukrani (thanks) to African Ancestors, and Zawadi (gifts).  Other symbols include black, red and green flags (bendera), books and other African artwork which resemble the African culture unity and reinforcement.

How to Observe

Families, who observe Kwanzaa wear African cloths (kente), decorate their houses with African artifacts and fresh fruits,  which represent African tradition and culture.  Parents make their children to participate in the celebration to honor their ancestors.

The ceremony also includes music such as playing drums, performances by various artist, candle-lighting rituals, reading the African pledge and a feast (karamu).

Cultural exhibitions held at the John F. Kennedy Center include the Spirit of Kwanzaa, interpretive dance, songs and poetry and African dance.

Kwanzaa and its Popularity

According to the survey done by the National Retail foundation USA in 2004, it is found that 4.7 million people had planned to celebrate Kwanzaa.  In a 2006 speech Maulana Karenga mentioned 28 million celebrate Kwanzaa.  In 2009 the African-American cultural center had claimed 30 million people celebrated Kwanzaa.

Celebration has also spread across Canada, where their black Canadian population started celebrating Kwanzaa.  Similar celebration is also observed in Brazil.


Rosetta Spacecraft Mission Ends

The Rosetta is a spacecraft built by the European Agency. It was launched on March 2, 2004.  Along with Philae, its Lander performed a detailed study of comet 67P- Churyumov Gerasimenko (67P). During its journey to the comet, it flew by Mars and the asteroids 21 Lutetia and 2867 Steins.

The spacecraft reached the comet on August 6, 2014, and performed a sequence of maneuvers to be captured in its path. While on November 12, its Lander section Philae performed was the first successful landing on a comet, although its battery power was low and ran out two days later. However the communications with Philae were briefly restored in June and July 2015, but due to diminishing solar power, Rosetta's communications module with the Lander was turned off on July 27, 2016. On September 30, 2016 the Rosetta finished its mission by landing on the comet in its Ma'at region.

The probe is named after the Rosetta Stone, a stele of Egyptian source featuring a declaration in three scripts. While the Lander was named after the Philae obelisk, that bears a bilingual Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription.

The Mission

Rosetta Spacecraft Mission Ends

Rosetta was launched on March 2, 2004, from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket and it successfully landed on Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko on August 6, 2014; which became the primary spacecraft to orbit a comet. There were many missions conducted successful flybys of seven other comets, but this was the one of ESA's Horizon 2000 keystone missions. This spacecraft consisted of the Rosetta orbiter, which featured 12 instruments, and a Philae Lander, with nine added instruments. The Rosetta mission orbited Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko for seventeen months and was designed to complete the most thorough study of a comet ever attempted. This spacecraft was controlled by the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), in Darmstadt, Germany. The planning for the mission of the scientific payload, jointly with the data recovery, calibration, archiving and sharing, was also performed by the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), in Villanueva de la Cañada, near Madrid, Spain. It was estimated that in the decade proceeding of 2014, around 2,000 people assisted in this mission in some capacity.

While in 2007, the Rosetta made a Mars gravity assist (flyby) on its way to Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko, and also performed two asteroid flybys. The craft finished its flyby of asteroid 2867 Steins in September 2008 and 21 Lutetia in July 2010. Later on January 20, 2014, Rosetta was taken out from the 31-month hibernation mode as it approached Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Rosetta's Philae Lander effectively made its first soft landing on a comet nucleus when it touched down on Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014. On September 5, 2016, ESA announced that the Lander was exposed by the narrow-angle camera onboard Rosetta as the orbiter made a low, 2.7 km (1.7 mi) to pass over the comet; and the Lander sits on its surface wedged into a dark gap of the comet, clearing up the require of electrical power to set up proper communication with the orbiter.


During the 1986 approach of Halley's Comet, many international space probes were sent to discover the comet, and most prominent amongst them being ESA's Giotto. After these probes came back with valuable scientific information, they became obvious to follow-on and were needed to shed up more light on commentary opus and answer new questions.

The European space Agency and NASA have started cooperatively developing new probes; among them the NASAs project was the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission and was the follow-on Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CNSR) mission by the ESA. Both missions were to share the Mariner Mark II spacecraft design, thus minimizing costs. In 1992, after NASA canceled CRAF due to budgetary limitations, ESA decided to develop a CRAF-style project on its own. By 1993 it was evident that the ambitious trial return mission was infeasible with the existing European agency budget, that is the reason the mission was redesigned and subsequently approved by the ESA, with the final journey plan similar to the canceled CRAF duty: an asteroid flyby follow by a comet rendezvous with an in-situ examination, including a Lander. After the spacecraft launch, Gerhard Schwehm was named mission manager; he retired in March 2014.

We will learn more on this blog in our next part. 


Human Rights

Human Rights Day is observed every year across the world on December 10.  This date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation. On December 10 of 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted and the first global elocution of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations was also declared on this day. The recognized establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the time of the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on December 4, 1950. This is the day when the General Assembly confirmed resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and other organizations who are interested in celebrating the day as they saw fit.

While the High Commissioner office of the Human Rights was awarded by the Guinness World Record for the gathering, translation of 380 languages and sharing of the worldwide proclamation of the Human Rights. At this event, a global discussion on the human rights was also hosted by the High Commissioner with the help of social media sharing and the websites.

How it is celebrated

This day is celebrated by organizing the supporting conferences, meetings and meet-ups, exhibitions, cultural proceedings, debates and many more programs to talk about all the issues of human rights. Several governmental organizations, nongovernmental and civil associations will actively participate in the human rights event celebrations.

Human Rights

This day is celebrated by deciding a particular theme to make this celebration more effectual and winning. Human poverty in any country is the most challenging human rights challenge. One of the major goals of celebrating this day is to eradicate the poverty from the life of human being and assist them in receiving the well-being life. Many other programs including music, drama, dance, fine art, etc are also held to encourage and help the people to learn their rights.

Most of the events are held at this day are meant to teach people, children as well as teenagers about their human rights. Some of the demonstration actions are also held in order to aware the people from areas where the human rights are unrecognized or disrespected.

Let us stand for someone’s rights today!!!


World Series

The World Series is the baseball (MLB) annual championship series played in North America every year.  Major League baseball is one of the oldest professional sports league in the country. It has 30 teams placed in two divisions like; American League (AL) and National League (NL). The World Series will be played by the teams in two divisions and the winner of the series will be decided through best of seven playoffs. The winning team will be awarded the Commissioner’s trophy. The World Series are played during the month of October and sometimes in November. This Major league championship has started in 1903. Till 2016 there were 112 times the contests has been played, the American League has won 64 times and National League won 48 times.

This year the series was played between Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, both teams have played 7 games the cubs emerges as victorious after the seventh game which was played in Cleveland. New York Yankees have the good record in reaching the World Series, they have played 40 series and won 27, Kansas city, Philadelphia and Oakland Athletics all the three played 14 times and won 9. Boston Redsox played 12 in that they won 8 times.

By 2016, no team has won successive World Series championships seeing as the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999, and 2000—the best ever such drought in Major League Baseball history.


The World Series is first played in 1903. New York Yankees are the only teams hold the longest winning streak record they won consecutively in three series 1998, 1999, 2000. This is the best winning streak and no of teams in MLB holds such record till 2016. The popularity of baseball increased during 1920-30 era, Babe Ruth was a most dominant player in this era.

Precursors towards the modern World Series (1857–1902)

The Original World Series

Rooftop view of a 1903 World Series game in Boston

Rooftop view of a 1903 World Series game in Boston

In anticipation to form the American Association of the Second Major League, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players of 1871–1875 and then the National League 1876 represented as the top level of organized baseball in the United States in 1882.

All the championships were awarded to the team effort and the best record at the end of the season. From 1884 to 1890, the American association and the National League faced each other in a set of series of games at the end of the season to determine the overall champion.

The series were jumbled in contrast to the modern World Series, and the terms were arranged as per the negotiation of the owners of the championship teams in advance. The number of games played ranged from as few to three in 1884, and to a high of fifteen in 1887. Detroit beat St. Louis ten games to five. Both for the years 1885 and 1890; but the series ended in a tie, as each team having won three games with one tie game. These series were then referred to as The Championship of the United States. Slowly these series became so popular in the Unites States.


The Chicago Cubs celebrate the winning of 2016 World Series

You can see The Chicago Cubs celebrate the winning of 2016 World Series, which has ended in the club's 108-year championship drought.

The numbers in parenthesis in the table are World Series appearances, as of the date of that World Series.  You can see the Winning and the Losing teams in the respective columns and the number of times that team has appeared in a World Series as well as each respective teams' World Series record to date.

  • The National League Team
  • The American League Team

List of World Series champions


12/7 Pearl Harbor Remembrance

Every year December 7 is referred as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. This was observed to honor 2403 American people who were killed in Japanese Air attack on DEC 7 1941 on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

The US Congress On August 23, 1994, nominated Dec 7 of every year referred National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. On this day the American flag will be flown Half Mast or Half-staff (i.e) the flag will be flying midway between the bottom of the pole and the summit till sunset to honor those people who died in the attack.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

As an honor and respect, American people and government organization flew the flag on their homes and workplaces.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance

Without declaring a war the naval air services of Japan attacked pearl Harbor, this terrifying attack destroyed two battleships USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma and damaged five others and several other naval property losses, 188 aircraft were destroyed and damaged air craft’s numbered 159.

The day after the attack the United States of America declared war on Japan; by this move America has officially entered into World War II joining hand with allied powers.

This year the US will observe the 75th annual year of Pearl Harbor attack, The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is the right occasion for youngsters to respect and honor the brave sacrifice and commitment of our "Greatest Generation", the suffered incredible sacrifices of civilians military personnel on December 7, 1941, the Like our president Franklin D. Roosevelt said it’s the "date which will live in reputation."

It would push America into World War II, varying Hawaii and America forever and this continues to describe their place in the World. The actions of this date triggered to resolve as a nation, our can-do attitude and resourcefulness and an unmatched commitment to the defense of freedom.

Accepting past events and their penalty can arouse respect for an emotional assurance to peaceful solutions to conflict. How do we help future generation to plan their way in the direction of peace and prosperity? We can learn from the past. A key focus of the remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor will be a brighter future in our relationship with Japan and the celebration of 71 years of peace between us.


Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. It originated as a harvest festival and a public holiday. Since 1789, Thanksgiving is been celebrated nationally on and off after a proclamation declared by George Washington. This day is celebrated as a federal holiday every year ever since 1863. While from the American Civil War; the President Abraham Lincoln has proclaimed this day as a national day of "Thanksgiving to Praise our beneficent Father; who dwelleth in the Heavens. Along with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is also a part of the broader holiday season.


Thanksgiving is celebrated to praise and plenty; this day is surrounded with friends and family. People celebrate this day with the fruits of the past year. But, why did this feast mean to the first inhabitants of America? This is what we will see on this blog today.


As per the belief, the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Cape Cod on November 21, 1620. They came on shore at Provincetown, which is just inside the tip of the rocky headland. It is said that that was not a good place to found a colony. However, after some days later they moved the boat to New Plymouth, near Massachusets. As the winter weather in this new world was worse for them than their wildest dreams; they decided to crowd back aboard the boat and lived there for the next three months.

Thanksgiving Traditions

These early settlers were like English folk to them. They were not Puritans, and the Founding Mothers; whom about we hear very less) used to wear colorful dresses with long skirts. They were Protestant dissenters, who left their homeland for the freedom to worship God in their own way.

While the passenger lists of the Mayflower is around 102 names; a mixture of women, men and children, this list also includes several fosterlings of illegitimate birth. However, Mayflower is a merchant ship, square-rigged with three masts. This ship is about 100ft long and 25ft wide, and about 28 crew members sailed it. The quarters were overcrowded with enough during the nine-week voyage; almost intolerable in the three months that followed and the people were weakened by hunger and disease. Half of the people in the board died during the first terrible winter.

Belief says that at one point, people survived with five grains of corn a day the following spring, later a man called Squanto showed them how to plant “Three Sisters” – the staple crops of maize –sweet corn, beans – legumes and squash - marrows & pumpkins. He trained them how to fertilize the corn with a fish head under every shoot. That autumn turned good to the settlers and brought in an adequate harvest; they then knew how that they could survive in this new land.

Thanksgiving Feast

The First Thanksgiving was like a feast which was done to thank God and the Indians. In fact, New England colonists used to frequently held thanksgivings, as these were more usual days of prayers and fasting. However, the Christian service commemorates bread and wine as thanks-offering. It is believed that Ninety Indians arrived with turkeys for a three-day festive, with songs and dance. The Thursday is a start to give the Pilgrims time to enjoy themselves before the Sabbath celebration.

The Thanksgiving was first declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863; this was during the Civil War. However, it is originally celebrated on the last Thursday in November; later it was moved to the fourth Thursday since 1941 to expand the Christmas shopping season. Thanksgiving is now the biggest holiday in many places of the world.

How do people celebrate Thanksgiving

Everyone gathers at a common place or at their home to enjoy the day. They enjoy the thanksgiving feast meal which includes turkey, maize, beans, cranberry sauce and mainly the pumpkin pie. The five grains of dry corn on every plate will remind the hardship and the struggle people had in those early days.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!


Black Friday

Shopping, shopping, shopping, it’s Black Friday and it is the best time for shopping. Traditionally black Friday is observed on the following day of Thanksgiving Day.  Black Friday is the day where people start their Christmas shopping, the major retailers in the American market opens early and stay till midnight.

Though Black Friday is not an official holiday, California and few other states observe a holiday for state government employees. Black Friday is rated as the busiest shopping day since 2005.The retailers and major stores attract the customers by offering huge discounts, flat sales, early bird and door buster sales.

The reason why the Friday after the Thanksgiving Day is called as Black Friday is because; this is the day where the stores in America earn a huge profit, and in their profit and loss statements, they mark losses in red ink and profit in black.

Black Friday Profits

Traditionally most of the stores have the discount sale in their stores to make the pot more sweeten, and most of the enterprises also announce huge discount sales on their e-commerce sites.

You can have a promo code on many fashion stores, and many stores will provide discount coupons to grab as many customers as they can.

This year the black Friday falls on Friday, Nov 25, the usage of the term Black Friday started in the journal “Factory Management & Maintenance” which was published on Nov 1951. It is stated as the workers calling in sick the day after the Thanksgiving Thursday. The usage of this term Black Friday slowly started appearing in daily newspapers. The New York Times Nov 29, 1975, edition paraphrased the shopping situation as “the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year".

As the phrase gained more popularity the merchants started advertising it as Black Friday and made it as important shopping day of the year.

Black Friday

You can see the same trend observed by other nations also. Since Black Friday gained more popularity and importance in the US, its neighboring nation Canada has also had the biggest impact. It was pointed by a new report that the citizens of Canada who are living across the US borders started flooding into the US on black Friday to gain to take the advantages of the discounts on all major stores.

Another neighborhood nation Mexico also has the greatest impact, they refer black Friday as biggest inspiration for manufacturing and retail industry, the call it “El Buen Fin” which means “the good weekend” in Spanish.

The Black Friday fever is also observed in UK, France, and other developing nations like India. The reason for this is the growing number of e-commerce sites.  Every e- seller is planning to grab as much as profit they can on this day.

Happy Shopping!!!!


Presidential Debate Schedule — 2016

The United States presidential election debates of 2016 were a series of debates. These series were held for the 2016 U.S. presidential general elections. However, The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a bipartisan organization was formed in 1987, and from then it structured three debates amongst the major presidential candidates.

The presidential debate series were divided into 2 series, while the first series was on the presidential debate for the 2016 election which took place on September 26, 2016. This was the first set which created the record break as the majority of the people watched this debate in American history, was more than 84 million.

The second series were on the vice-presidential debate were divided into four sets, the first set  was help on October 4, while the second set was in the presidential debate on October 9, and the final debate took place on October 19. All Commission Presidential Debates start from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EDT and 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PDT.

However, the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee Donald Trump met the criteria for the debates, and therefore they only appeared in the debates; where Hillary Clinton was one who was considered to have won all the three presidential debates by scientific opinion polls.

The Organizers of the Debat

The CPD - Commission on Presidential Debates specifies three criteria on the eligibility for the presidential debates:  constitutional eligibility to serve as president, form on sufficient ballots to potentially reach 270 electoral votes, and on average the nominee should at least have 15% on five selected national polls. The nominees for the vice-presidential debate, the running mates of the presidential candidates qualifying for the first presidential debate were also been invited. By mid-September Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein were standing on the enough ballots to reach 270 electoral votes; however, Clinton and Trump have only reached 15% of the polling entrance, but by August 2016, Johnson and Stein have polled as high as 13% and 7%, and have an average of 8.3% and 3%, correspondingly.

While by August 15, the Commission on Presidential Debates decided that they are going to use the most recent social news broadcasting channels like CBS, New York Times, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News, NBC- Wall Street Journal, and ABC- Washington to post the polls. However, for the debate criteria, the candidates must reach an average of 15% in these polls.

Clinton and Trump received the official invitation On September 16, from the Commission, which also announced both of them to participate in the first debate going to be held on September 26 at Hofstra University. However as Johnson and Stein did not meet the reputable criteria, they were not presented in the debate. The commission announced that Mike Pence and Tim Kaine will participate the first vice presidential debate, which is going to take place at Longwood University on October 4. 15% will be reapplied with polling numbers for the first debate in order to judge the participants in the second debate which is going to be held on October 9. While the moderators for the four debates were announced on September 2, 2016.

Topics Addressed & Not Addressed

The six hours combined debate for the three presidential debates and once vice presidential debate were the most exciting debates which covered the issues that were raised during the moderators’; the six questions on Syrian Civil war and four questions on Terrorism were also raised.

Other topics on the U.S. and Russia relations, Job creation, immigration, Trump’s Taxes, and Trump molestations were asked in three questions each. Other topics like Clinton’s emails, social security, the Supreme Court, taxation of the wealthy, Iraq, the national debt, uniting the country, Nuclear Weapons and the legitimacy of the elections were the subjects of the two questions each.

There were number of issues which were asked in single subject questions; like expectations of police conduct, abortion, race relations, Birtherism, gun policy, jobs in energy industry, Islamophobia, the Clinton’s foundation, the strengths of the candidates,  the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the skills of the vice presidential nominees, the low favorability ratings of both candidates, the candidate's faith, the paid speeches given by Clinton, Clinton's "basket of deplorable" remark, Clinton's "look," Trump's Twitter posts, the candidates' behavior, and many more.

The debate moderators missed to ask a question about the climate changes, though Clinton tried to touch on one of the issues twice, the  moderators' failed to address the issues which were prompted complaints by the commentators.

Seal of the President of The United States

Seal of the President of The United States

We will be learning on this topic with more information on our next blog.



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!!!


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.