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Bangalore attracts tourists and the urban population in two concentrated areas. One is the Bangalore-Mysore Road, and the other is at the helm of Brigade Road. At these places, colorful toys are displayed in scores, some in large woven baskets, some hanging off colorful threads, and some of the larger ones sitting pristine on the footpath, watching the movement of the people. These toys are the famous Channapatna craft of Karnataka, the pride of the state.
The Channapatna craft originated in Persia, and Tipu Sultan is said to have patronized it in Mysore. Local artists were taught how to carve wood into these geometric patterns, and color them with dyes, way back in the days of the Vijayanagar Kingdom. They survived the patronage of many rulers after that, and have a global acclaim today.
A small town between Bangalore and Mysore, Ramanagara, has kept this craft alive. Earlier, the wood was primed by hand, but when the craft declined, Japanese technology was introduced by Bavas Miyan, to help cut and shape the wood. He is known as the unofficial Father of Channapatna toys. Dyeing and processing is still done manually.
A Channapatna artists carving shapes on the wood manually Image source: wikimediawikimedia
Channapatna toys are made from soft woods. They are carved from ivory wood, or aale mara as it is known in Kannada. Sometimes, special toys are carved from rosewood and sandalwood as well. Ivory wood, being light in color, and almost weightless makes for a suitable material to craft children's toys. It easily takes on the dyes as well, which are made from turmeric, Kumkum, and vegetables. The wood is first dried, sanded, and then carved. After this, it is checked for uneven surfaces, and when the shapes are approved, it is painted and sold.
In 2010, when US President Barack Obama visited India with his wife, his interest in these toys earned them global acclaim. In 2015, they were featured as the theme for the Bengaluru Republic Day parade. Since then, many international companies and businesses have invested in this handicraft.
A Channapatna artist painting the toys using vegetable dyes Image source: wikimediawikimedia
Ramanagara is known as Gombegala Ooru in Kannada which means "Town of Toys". It was a vibrant business centre in the days of Tipu Sultan, and today, it has preserved its identity for its unique art. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has come to recognise this town as a Geographical Indication for its work. Channapatna toys are available in stores all over Karnataka, and are special features at places like Chitrakala Parishad and Cauvery Emporium. They are also sold online.
Keywords: Toys, Handicrafts, Channapatna, Karnataka, Dyeing, Ramanagara.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord
By- Devakinanda Ji
OṀ (AUM)-JII-VI-ṪAAR-DHA-BO'-DHA-KA- BHOO-MYAI-Ṇ—NA-MA-HA
ॐ जीवितार्थबोधकभूम्यै नमः
(Jīviṫa: Life; Ardha: Meanining; Bodhaka: That which teaches)
What is born has to die. Anything that has form and shape has to degrade over time. The question is how one has lived his life or how long he has lived? The vanity toward their bodies, their desire for longevity, and material indulgence the westerns have; you don't see anywhere else on the planet.
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Our scriptures and sacred texts teach us that there are 8.4 million species born and every living being that is born, indeed dies. Human life is the highest species because of awareness and a human has the opportunity to redeem himself or herself in this life with the free will given to them. We have the faculties of action, freewill, and the power of knowledge. These faculties make humans different than all the other animals, which are programmed to eat, procreate and sleep. Our ancient spiritual scientists (sages, rishis, and seers) educated us to think about the temporary nature of our bodies. We take it for granted that we live forever; even as we see people around us dying. Still we live in a delusion, thinking that we won't die and will live happily ever after. But our rishis constantly remind us that we should work towards liberation while living in this body (jēvanmukta).
ALSO READ: Hindu Temples Vandalised In Bangladesh's
Only our sacred texts like the Vedas and Upanishads can answer deep philosophical questions like: what is the purpose of our universe? The reason for our lives? the meaning and purpose of life? You may not find the answers in any other religion. Our philosophy does not stop at going to heaven after death, but discusses very thoroughly karma, rebirth, and liberation. Our Vedas discuss how to get out of the wheel of birth and death (punarapi jananam; punarapi maraṇam). They laid down dharmasūtrās (do's and don'ts) for us to live by. They clearly explain about heaven (if you believe in and desire it) and the journey the jīva (pure spirit) takes after the death of the gross body, based on the results of our actions while alive. Vedas have established the four purushārthās (dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣha) as the goals of life.
Hence, our land is the one which teaches the ends to be striven for by human beings and is 'Jīvitārdhabodhaka Bhūmi'.
By- Tejas Maheta
Free VPNs tend to get a bad rap (and often for good reasons, which we'll discuss in a second). Still, there are some safe and free VPN services recommended by expats - just click the link for some solid options. Next, scroll on to see how you can put them to good use while you're abroad.
Privacy and Security (to a Certain Degree)
One of the main purposes of a VPN is to encrypt your network traffic – garble it, basically – to keep it safe from:
- ISPs that want to sell your browsing and location data for a profit
- Hackers and script kiddies lurking at every corner public hotspot
- Government surveillance agencies spying on their own citizens
Even free VPNs can do as much, as long as you go with a trustworthy provider such as those linked at the start.
On top of that, VPNs hide your real life location by masking your IP address and assigning a new one based on the server you connect to. Useful in case some cyberstalkers or trolls lure you into clicking on IP-grabbing links or scripts to determine your location. Unfortunately, it's not as effective against GPS tracking (though there are some paid VPNs out there that can spoof GPS).
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Unblock Some Websites While Abroad
While not as versatile as a subscription-based VPN, free VPNs still have some unblocking ability that can be useful to an expat. For instance, you can access your home banking or investment accounts, which in most cases block foreign traffic. Understandably so, since a lot of cyber attacks tend to be linked to international hacker networks.
Using a VPN also allows you to access small news sites from back home, who simply don't find it worth it to comply with GDPR regulations in the EU. Alternatively, you can set your virtual location outside the EU to get around all those annoying cookie consent pop-ups. Funny little side effect, but it can definitely save you some grey hairs while browsing.
Finally, free VPNs can unblock some content such as region-locked music videos, or age-restricted YouTube videos in the EU without having to give up your ID or credit card information to Google. You won't have much luck using free VPNs on content platforms like Netflix, though. Those of you looking to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites are better off using a sub-based VPN.
One of the main purposes of a VPN is to encrypt your network traffic.Wikipedia
Bypass Firewalls and Censorship
VPNs sure seem like a master thief's skeleton key, don't they? So many Internet barriers out there, all of them nullified with the help of a single tool. And yes, they can easily get around firewalls as well.
For the most part, you'll be using a VPN to unblock social media and other "distractions" at work or at school. Believe it or not, airport and hotel Wi-Fi can be pretty restrictive too. Thankfully, VPNs make short work of their firewall rules.
And while not as effective as a paid option, free VPNs can also help during Internet blackouts caused by government censorship. Look no further than the recent Hong Kong protests, the frequent social media shutdowns in Turkey, and similar cases worldwide. All of these have one thing in common: free VPN usage shot up immensely as people sought ways to contact their loved ones or post their outrage online.
Why the Negative View of Free VPNs?
You've seen all the great things you can accomplish with a free VPN. So why all the bad press about them? Well, here are some fairly valid concerns that apply to a decent chunk of free providers:
- They sell user data – after all, they need to pay for operational costs somehow. It just so happens that advertisers find your browsing habits highly valuable.
- Several free VPNs based in Hong Kong breached their "no-logs" policies and ended up leaking 1.2 TB of user data online. This isn't an uncommon occurrence, considering the data harvesting practices of most free VPNs.
- They can infect your device with malware that can extract sensitive info or otherwise cause damage. In one major case, user devices were hijacked into a botnet and used in a large scale denial-of-service attack.
Other criticisms are directed at their data caps, slow performance, the small number of overcrowded servers, and the bandwidth throttling. Add to that the fact that they don't unblock region-specific Netflix libraries or other streaming sites, and you can see why people aren't too thrilled about them.
Still, if you're not looking for anything fancy, a free VPN should tide you over until you can fit an actual subscription into your budget. Just stick to the trusty VPNs we've linked to in the beginning.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)