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105 year old Indian Environmentalist listed top on BBC 100 most influential women list

Saalumarada Thimmakka

BBC has released the list of top 100 influential and inspirational women of the year 2016. The 105-year old Karnataka-based environmentalist Saalumarada Thimmakka has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women.

She is the most senior in the list for planting 8,000 banyan trees in 80 years. The 105-year old woman, who is also known as ‘Saalumarada’, which means a row of trees in Kannada. She is also well-known for growing 400-Banyan trees and nurturing them as her children on 4KM stretch between Hulikal and Kudur villages.

Saalumarada Thimmakka has become the inspiration of female empowerment undoubtedly. Thikkamma was born to a low-income family in Gubbi in the Tumakuru district. She had never attended to the school and at the age of 40 she has begun working as a coolie. She was married to Bekal Chikkaya from Ramnagar district.

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Unfortunately, the couple remained childless even after many years of marriage. Despite the disappointment, the couple started to treat trees as their children. “One day we thought why not plant trees and tend to them like we would our children,” Thimmakka told to the reports in the year 2013.

Thimmakka is a recipient of numerous awards by the government of Karnataka. She also demanded the government for the maternity clinic to be set in her village and have to offer health care services to the poor. And now she has placed in the BBC Top 100 Women list.

“How we planted and took care of the trees, everyone from children to the elderly should plant and grow trees. It will be beneficial for all of us,” said Thimmakka.

Satellite Imagery Can be Used to Predict the Regions of Poverty

Satellite Imagery

A journal Science study shows that the combination of machine learning algorithms and satellite imagery can help to predict poverty in parts of the world where data is unavailable. This new method found by Scientists of Stanford has been accepted that the lighting in night time can roughly indicate the region’s wealth.

The analysis is ineffective while dealing with world areas where there is often no power at all.
The idea of estimating poverty from satellite imagery is not the first of its kind. Surveys are costly, infrequent and at times, impossible to carry out in few regions.

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Neal Jean, the lead author of this method, describes the usage of night time images and publicly available daytime imagery, as well as survey data, can teach a computer to estimate how poor or rich an area is. Jean along with his team, created their algorithm in two steps.

First, satellite images of Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi have been running through a neural network which finds the cities and villages and predicts where the lights would at night. For example, the system predicts the area with houses would be lit up at night.

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Step two adds economic survey data which is incomplete for the majority of the region, added larger context and granularity. For instance, the system could identify the village, but the survey data could provide the household income of that village.

When the system observes a similar village nearby without any survey data available, I could start an estimate of the household income in that village. This two-step model creates a more accurate picture of the wealth in that region when compared to the night lights model.

“The World Bank, which keeps the poverty data, has for a long time considered anyone who is poor to be someone who lives on below $1 a day. We traditionally collect poverty data through household surveys… we send survey enumerators around to houses, and we ask lots of questions about income, consumption – what they’ve bought in the last year – and we use that data to construct our poverty measures,” says Dr Burke, assistant professor of Earth system science at Stanford, told the BBC Science in Action programme.

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The system might be useful to find income differences between rural and urban areas. But still, the system has its limitations as it is not much good at finding minor differences within a dense urban centre.

Presently, the algorithm is offered only in five African countries where it has been tested. Due to the availability of data publicly, it’s just a matter of training the system to look at other parts of the world.

Glastonbury Festival, A Colourful  Feast of Music

Glastonbury Festival, a Colourful Feast of Music

Glastonbury Festival, one of the famous festivals of the United Kingdom, which mainly features music and other contemporary arts. The annual event is celebrated for five days mostly in the last week of June.

The motive behind this massive event is to raise millions of pounds for good causes. The Pilton farm in the tented city of Somerset serves as the venue for the event. This time, the colorful festival is celebrated in between 22-26 of June at the same venue.

The festival would stage on a huge site of 2,000 acres of land and offers a large scale of unique entertainment differing from other festivals across the world.

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Glastonbury is renowned as the largest Greenfield festival in the world and is attended by about 175,000 people. It requires massive infrastructure concerning transport, security, electricity and water supply. Hundreds of volunteers were employed to help the people attending the mega festival.

Glastonbury Music Festival 2016

A part of the music hugely entertaining event also features other activities like dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, poetry, children’s entertainment, healing, green crafts, information and much more.

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The Glastonbury festival was first started in September in the year of 1970 which was later shifted to July the very next year and again changed in the following year to the month of June. The Coverage of this year’s festival was taken by BBC in all formats TV, radio and online.

BBC Music director speaking about the event says, “Glastonbury promises to be a magical weekend, especially this year with so many home-grown performers including Jeff Lynne, Adele, Muse, and Coldplay.”

He added, “If you can’t make it to Worthy Farm, BBC Music will bring you the cream of the festival, whether you’re at home or on the move.”

Getting tickets for the Glastonbury Festival is a tough task since many of the UK’s people are competing to be part of the thousands of audience. One has to register in prior for booking the tickets and have to buy them on the allotted day. Anyone under 12 years doesn’t need an entrance ticket for the Event.