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GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

World’s Tallest Sandcastle, Standing At More Than 16 Metres, Built In German City.

Background-

  • The world’s highest sandcastle is now standing 16.68 meters (54.72 feet) tall in the German city of Duisburg.
  • A German travel operator organizsed the construction of the mammoth sandcastle, bringing in 3,500 tons of sand over the past three weeks to the site at a former steelworks in the inland city.
  • The team spent more than three weeks in the western German city of Duisburg working on the artwork, which includes a sandy replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza, Venice’s Rialto Bridge and the grave of Elvis Presley.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • 19 sculptors have built a 16.68-metre tower featuring a number of famous landmarks to claim the world record for tallest sandcastle.
  • It also features models of tourist attractions such as Athens’ Acropolis, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • Guinness World Record official Jack Brockbank was on hand to approve the new record for the German sculpture, which eclipsed the previous tallest sandcastle, a 14.84-metre world peace monument built in India in February, 2017.
  • The team of international sculptors failed with a world record attempt last year and decided to use a different sand, mainly very fine quartz which is less than one millimetre in grain size.
  • The castle will be on display until at least September 24, 2017, and the site has so far been visited by around 180,000 people, according to a local tour operator who organised the event.

Sources- ABC News.

 

GS Paper II- Social Justice, Polity.

Reliance Foundation Awarded Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar.

Background

  • The Reliance Foundation was on 29th August, 2017 awarded the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award for its contribution in promotion of sports during the national sports awards ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. The foundation’s chairperson Nita Ambani accepted the award from President Ramnath Kovind.
  • The glittering ceremony also saw former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh and two-time Paralympics gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia receive the Khel Ratna awards from the President.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Reliance Foundation helps in spreading sportsmanship among the youth of the country. It celebrates August 29 as Sports Day annually in rural areas across 12 states in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend, Dhayan Chand. The Sports Day is designed to promote community connection through active participation in various games and activities organised during the event.
  • The foundation, which is affiliated to Reliance Industries Ltd, focuses on using sports as a medium to encourage learning and breed leadership among the youth in rural areas. It brings people from various villages together to form stronger bond between tribes, neighbours and families. This initiative is a medium to enhance community partnership and promote traditional rural sports.
  • Sports Day brings together more than 40,000 people every year to play different games and has helped youth transform into Community Youth Leaders and serving as mentors to village children.
  • Nita Ambani, wife of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, has been a major patron of sports in the country. The first Indian woman to become a member of the International Olympic Committee, Ambani also backs the Indian Super League, which has now become India’s premier football tournament. She is also the owner of the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians.

Sources- NEWS18.

 

GS Paper III- Technology.

Europe Unveils World’s Most Powerful X-Ray Laser: XFEL.

Background

  • The world’s most powerful X-ray laser has begun operating at a facility where scientists will attempt to recreate the conditions deep inside the sun and produce film-like sequences of viruses and cells.
  • The machine, called the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL), acts as a high-speed camera that can capture images of individual atoms in a few millionths of a billionth of a second.
  • Unlike a conventional camera, though, everything imaged by the X-ray laser is obliterated – its beam is 100 times more intense than if all the sunlight hitting the Earth’s surface were focused onto a single thumbnail.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • The facility near Hamburg, housed in a series of tunnels up to 38 metres underground, will allow scientists to explore the architecture of viruses and cells, create jittery films of chemical reactions as they unfold and replicate conditions deep within stars and planets.
  • Scientists are already engaged in a fierce competitive bidding process to be the among the first to get time on its six beamlines.
  • XFEL is the world’s third major X-ray laser facility – projects in Japan and the US have already spawned major advances in structural biology and materials science. The European beam is more powerful, but most significantly has a far higher pulse rate than either of its predecessors.
  • At XFEL, scientists will be able to collect data at a far quicker rate and miss less of the action between shots.
  • Allen Orville, who runs the XFEL hub at the UK’s Diamond Light Source, is among the first users who will start data collection in two week’s time. Orville is focused on understanding the molecular mechanics of how enzymes make antibiotics, such as penicillin, with the ultimate goal of being able to develop new ways to produce antibiotics in the future.
  • The centrepiece of the facility is the world’s longest – a mile long superconducting linear accelerator, designed to provide the energy needed to generate X-ray flashes a billion times brighter than the best conventional radiation sources. The tunnel’s temperature is kept at 2C above absolute zero.

Sources- The Guardian.