The Dhananjay Parkhe Daily


via The Dhananjay Parkhe Daily

Silent Cowboy Day


Did you know…

… that today is Silent Cowboy Day? In 1880, Tom Mix was born in Driftwood, Pennsylvania. America’s greatest silent movie cowboy star, Mix was in the top 10 of highest paid film stars, with Mix and his horse, Tony, earning $4,000 a week. Sixteen years after his first walk-on, Tom Mix became the highest paid movie star to that time when Fox resigned him at $20,000 a week. Trivia buffs: Mix was a pallbearer in Wyatt Earp’s funeral.

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Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.”

— Keanu Reeves

YouStory: Startpreneur’s fav newsletter


Stories you shouldn’t miss

The beauty of sarees have no parallel and the craftsmanship that goes into making some of the finest ones is something we need to hold on to. With the aim of reviving heritage weaves, Vimor Sarees was launched in 1974. Co-founder Pavithra Muddaya makes sure that her store offers unique pieces that have their own story to tell. A rich heritage of sarees, a clutch of gifted weavers and an exclusive store with A-list clientele – what made Pavithra Muddaya’s entrepreneurship rich successful.

For film producer Jhanvi Motla, storytelling began in high school. An Indian based in the US, Jhanvi was a student of theatre when she realised that she wanted to make movies. Jhanvi worked as the assistant to Max Mutchnick, who was the co-creator of the sitcom – Will & Grace and went on to produce commercials, corporate videos and other short films. What were her challenges and what made her succeed?

Wondering where to go this year for a holiday? As a new year dawns, travellers and vacationers are gearing up for their next holiday. Here are some of the top travel trends from the experts that you can keep in mind for your next vacation. Cashless travel, Instagrammability, and independent adventures top the list. And guess what? The best destinations for Indians this year are Dubai, Thailand and Singapore.

Grandmothers are the best in everything, including diet hacks! Kavita Devgan has over 20 years of experience as a weight loss and holistic health consultant, and her new book is called ‘Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You’. Hear her out as she offers practical, customised programmes that deliver weight loss techniques, through modification of habits to ensure long-term results.

Gifts can make people feel special! A fine box of tea, a jar of coffee or a bunch of pretty stationery make pretty gifts for your loved ones this year, but what if they came with a story of their own? Here’s how Pooja Goyal, founder of The P.O. Box makes this kind of magic happen with a limited edition collection of curated handpicked products, crafted by a community of artists and dreamers.

2019 will be the year for startups, says numerologist Gautam Azad. Many believe that numbers have more significance than we imagine and for Gautham, numerology is a science. He chalks that up to his education as an engineer. However, fate had other plans and today, Gautham runs his own consultancy, Nummerobay. What keeps him going is the happiness that he brings into people’s lives!

Morning thoughts and Poetry


Love.

Begin.

Let go.

Breathe.

Slow down.

Let it be.

Go for it.

I love you.

Keep going.

Choose joy.

Enjoy today.

C’est la vie.

Choose happy.

Keep it cool.

Take it easy.

Be in the now.

Live the moment.

Choose to shine.

No pain, no gain.

Do it. With love.

Prove them wrong.

I can and I will.

It is what it is.

Love conquers all.

Keep your chin up.

Follow your heart.

Don’t rush things.

You only live once.

Never stop dreaming.

Now is all you have.

Keep moving forward.

This too shall pass.

Every moment matters.

Love more. Worry less.

Dust settles. I don’t.

Nothing lasts forever.

Work hard. Stay humble.

Enjoy the little things.

The best is yet to come.

Better things are coming.

Collect moments – not things.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Power of the Positive – Good News News – Issue Date: Jan 14, 2019


Power of the Positive
The headlines can make you feel all is lost. But it’s possible to Rewire your brain with the new science of positivity and light it up with the mystic power of the ancients to ward off gloom and cynicism.

via Power of the Positive – Good News News – Issue Date: Jan 14, 2019

Japan is set to be the new main source of rare earths


via Japan is set to be the new main source of rare earths

 

Japan finds a huge cache of scarce rare-earth minerals

Japan looks to replace China as the primary source of critical metals

  • Enough rare earth minerals have been found off Japan to last centuries
  • Rare earths are important materials for green technology, as well as medicine and manufacturing
  • Where would we be without all of our rare-earth magnets?

Rare earth elements are a set of 17 metals that are integral to our modern lifestyle and efforts to produce ever-greener technologies. The “rare” designation is a bit of a misnomer: It’s not that they’re not plentiful, but rather that they’re found in small concentrations, and are especially difficult to successfully extract since they blend in with and resemble other minerals in the ground. China currently produces over 90% of the world’s supply of rare metals, with seven other countries mining the rest. So though they’re not precisely “rare,” they are scarce. In 2010, the U.S. Department of energy issued a report that warned of a critical shortage of five of the elements. Now, however, Japan has found a massive deposit of rare earths sufficient to supply the world’s needs for hundred of years.

What are the rare earth elements?

(julie deshaies/Shutterstock)

The rare earth metals can be mostly found in the second row from the bottom in the Table of Elements. According to the Rare Earth Technology Alliance, due to the “unique magnetic, luminescent, and electrochemical properties, these elements help make many technologies perform with reduced weight, reduced emissions, and energy consumption; or give them greater efficiency, performance, miniaturization, speed, durability, and thermal stability.”

In order of atomic number, the rare earths are:

  • Scandium or Sc (21) — This is used in TVs and energy-saving lamps.
  • Yttrium or Y (39) — Yttrium is important in the medical world, used in cancer drugs, rheumatoid arthritis medications, and surgical supplies. It’s also used in superconductors and lasers.
  • Lanthanum or La (57) — Lanthanum finds use in camera/telescope lenses, special optical glasses, and infrared absorbing glass.
  • Cerium or Ce (58) — Cerium is found in catalytic converters, and is used for precision glass-polishing. It’s also found in alloys, magnets, electrodes, and carbon-arc lighting.
  • Praseodymium or Pr (59) — This is used in magnets and high-strength metals.
  • Neodymium or Nd (60) — Many of the magnets around you have neodymium in them: speakers and headphones, microphones, computer storage, and magnets in your car. It’s also found in high-powered industrial and military lasers. The mineral is especially important for green tech. Each Prius motor, for example, requires 2.2 lbs of neodymium, and its battery another 22-33 lbs. Wind turbine batteriesrequire 450 lbs of neodymium per watt.
  • Promethium or Pm (61) — This is used in pacemakers, watches, and research.
  • Samarium or Sm (62) — This mineral is used in magnets in addition to intravenous cancer radiation treatments and nuclear reactor control rods.
  • Europium or Eu (63) — Europium is used in color displays and compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Gadolinium or Gd (64) — It’s important for nuclear reactor shielding, cancer radiation treatments, as well as x-ray and bone-density diagnostic equipment.
  • Terbium or Tb (65) — Terbium has similar uses to Europium, though it’s also soft and thus possesses unique shaping capabilities .
  • Dysprosium or Dy (66) — This is added to other rare-earth magnets to help them work at high temperatures. It’s used for computer storage, in nuclear reactors, and in energy-efficient vehicles.
  • Holmium or Ho (67) — Holmium is used in nuclear control rods, microwaves, and magnetic flux concentrators.
  • Erbium or Er (68) — This is used in fiber-optic communication networks and lasers.
  • Thulium or Tm (69) — Thulium is another laser rare earth.
  • Ytterbium or Yb (70) — This mineral is used in cancer treatments, in stainless steel, and in seismic detection devices.
  • Lutetium or Lu (71) — Lutetium can target certain cancers, and is used in petroleum refining and positron emission tomography.

Where Japan found is rare earths

(Chief Master Sergeant Don Sutherland, U.S. Air Force)

Minimatori Torishima Island

Japan located the rare earths about 1,850 kilometers off the shore of Minamitori Island. Engineers located the minerals in 10-meter-deep cores taken from sea floor sediment. Mapping the cores revealed and area of approximately 2,500 square kilometers containing rare earths.

Japan’s engineers estimate there’s 16 million tons of rare earths down there. That’s five times the amount of the rare earth elements ever mined since 1900. According to Business Insider, there’s “enough yttrium to meet the global demand for 780 years, dysprosium for 730 years, europium for 620 years, and terbium for 420 years.”

The bad news, of course, is that Japan has to figure out how to extract the minerals from 6-12 feet under the seabed four miles beneath the ocean surface — that’s the next step for the country’s engineers. The good news is that the location sits squarely within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, so their rights to the lucrative discovery will be undisputed.

Science is catching up to the Buddha


via Science is catching up to the Buddha

 

Science is catching up to the Buddha

Does happiness require a rebellion against evolution?

JAG BHALLA

29 August, 2017

  1. Science is confirming key Buddhist ideas. So reveals Robert Wright’s very enlightening book,Why Buddhism Is True.
  2. Wright means “true” because evolutionary logic and brain science now fit Buddhism’s ancient naturalistic (non-reincarnation-y) aspects. Consider some of Wright’s mind-stopping sentences and essentially delusion-illuminating ideas.
  3. Evolution “doesn’t care about our…happiness.” It wants us anxiously striving, thus life brings suffering (=Buddhism’sdukkha = unsatisfactoriness”). So feeling happy requires “rebellion” against evolution’s values.
  4. Evolution’s sole goal (=“purpose”) is gene spreading. So life feels strongly about and “values” the needs of its gene “vehicles” ( = bodies).
  5. Feelings arose to enact evolution’s vehicle-centered values (=personalized go-forth-and-multiply mission). And all feelings are elaborations of basic evolutionary good-or-bad approach-or-avoid judgments.
  6. “Judging is what we’re designedto do.” Our heads are full of feeling-generating “modules,” constantly running backstage (System 1) that judge (assign affective adjectives to) things in our environment.
  7. “There’s no such thing as an immaculateperception” or conception (the cognitive, not sexual kind). All come bundled withfeelings (feelings = biochemical judgments + attached stories, see “Darwin’s Hindoo”).
  8. Brain science backs Buddhism’s “not-self” doctrine—“thoughts thinkthemselves”—there’s no “CEO” module. Ordinarily, which feeling-thought-story bundles “bubble up” into awareness depends on the intensity of outputs ofcompeting modules.
  9. Buddhism calls these feeling-thought-story bundles “delusions” because they arise from misplaced “essentialism.” Your perceptions about X may seem like essential attributes of X, but they result from “interdependentco-arising.” Like color, they’re co-constructed, “caused” by properties of the object, lighting, our physiology, and evenlanguage (color =“secondary quality” in Western philosophy).
  10. Science calls essentialism about people the “fundamental attributionerror” (blaming dispositional traits over situational factors). But this error varies by culture, Jerome Kagan says Asian psychologists wouldn’t ever dream up the “Big Five” personality traits (e.g., Korean uses act-plus-context as the basic “unit”).
  11. Buddhists don’t fight feeling-delusions directly. Rather they “R.A.I.N.” them in—recognize, accept, inspect, and nonidentify (feelings aren’t an essential part of you).
  12. Mindfulness meditation trains you in metacognitive skills (thinking about thinking) thatweakenunhelpful feelings and empower calmer ones.
  13. Buddhist language like “nothing possesses inherentexistence” can seem to go too far, since our unobjective “delusions” are often accurate enough.
  14. ButBuddhismbeat Einstein to relativity’s core insight, that there’s no “view from nowhere,” or God’s-eye view (even the truths of physics are relational, perspectival).
  15. Evolution’s save-your-own-skin values tend to inculcatethe perspective that we’re “special.”But perhaps these evolution-given values are more like food than air (the former far more culturally configurable than the latter).
  16. Wright feels our evolutionary “vehicle stops at theskin,” but that view is shifting—every vehicle needs ”multitudes,” and “every self is asociety.”
  17. Our “extended vehicles” raise broader “vehicularviability” issues (see “universal survivorlogic”). And beyond the personal practical benefits meditation offers, Wright feels a “Metacognitive Revolution” could save the planet (Buddha and the art of vehicles maintenance).

 

Illustration by Julia SuitsThe New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

Transfin – a wonderful newsletter I subscribe to.


An International Analytics Company (Clarivate Analytics – a spin off from Thomson Reuters) recently came out with a list of “Highly Cited Researchers” (HCRs) from the fields of science and social science, globally. Excluding cross-field studies: the tally was 4,058 HCRs.

Translation: HCRs are people chosen for their exceptional research performance, who have churned out multiple highly cited papers ranking in top 1% of their corresponding fields.

Of these 4,000 plus folks, India contributed a grand total of 10! This factoid has already been widely reported and tweeted on.

However, on a hunch…we started scrolling through the names of HCRs from other countries who had Indian/Indian-origin/Indian-sounding names (confess one wasn’t really scientific about it). On a quick browse, we saw the count go dramatically up.

Question for policyholders: What are the gaps in our system that the same Indians, when they step out of India, are far more successful/more frequently successful at things which they fail at back home?

Such a buzzkill, no? Ok, let’s get back to Cricket 😉

Moving on to Today’s End Of Day Wrap Up to explain more:

OILPRICES
US crude rises on back of supply cut and trade talks.

Up Close: Brent crude rose c. 3% to $57/bbl. US crude oil was up c. 3% at $48/bbl.

The Why: The rise in prices was also augmented by the decreasing number of active oil rigs. As per a report by Oilprice.com, Baker Hughes, the world’s largest oil field services reported a decrease in number of active oil rigs in US by 8.

Follow the oil price evolution over the last 5 years here.

JOBS
US job numbers expand in December, beating expectations. 

More jobs: As per a report by The Guardian, US added 312,000 jobs in December, up from 155,000 jobs in November. Average hourly earnings also climbed up 3.2% vs. previous year, largest gain since 2008.

Unemployment rises: Unemployment rate had risen to 3.9% from 3.7% during this period. However, as per a MarketWatch report, the increase in unemployment rate is in fact a good sign, signalling that wage gains are now sufficient to begin drawing people back into the labour force.

GST
Govt considers strict measures to trace tax evaders as GST collections fall. Penalizes 9 businesses for not passing GST rate cut benefits worth INR560cr to consumers. Law Committee setup to create easier GST complaint form for consumers. 

Tax evasion: As per an India Today report, the number of taxpayers who have not filed GST returns has shot up to 28% over the last 12 months vs. 10% in November 2017.

Crack the whip: Amidst concerns of a dip in GST collection, rise in late filers and evaders, the govt has now permitted tax authorities to visit premises of non-compliant taxpayers, conduct search and seizure operations to increase revenue collection.

The Big Picture: The government has so far collected c. INR9L crore as GST in eight months against the full-year budget target of INR13L crore and is likely to fall short of its target by almost INR1L crore.

Also, this: As per an Economic Times report, a law committee has been asked to work on a new anti-profiteering format, which will make it easier for consumers to complain against companies that may not be passing on the benefits of lower GST rates after they were slashed.

HEALTH

Domestic drugmakers and civil rights activists push against Govt’s decision to remove price caps on Orphan Drugs.

The What: The Govt on Thursday had exempted innovative medicines, including Orphan Drugs used for treating rare medical conditions developed by foreign companies from price control for five years. The move was aimed at giving Indian patients access to drugs that are currently only available abroad.

Backlash: As per a Livemint report, activists said that the step was “pro-pharma”, with “no element of public interest”, leaving patients at the mercy of big pharmaceutical corporations who charge exorbitant prices for monopoly medicines.

Wondering what Orphan Drugs are?: Click here to know more about them.

CRYPTO

Top corporates and banks experiment with virtual currency for internal use. Reliance Jio acquires stake in blockchain startup Vakt.

The What: As per an Economic Times report, several top corporates and banks are experimenting with virtual currency and uses of blockchain for internal purposes, including management of intra-group transactions, payment of vendors and suppliers and more.

Acquisition: RIL has also acquired c. 6% stake in UK-based blockchain startup Vakt for $5m as per a report by Entrackr. This is in addition to its plan to build a 50-member team to work on blockchain technology for its own cryptocurrency JioCoin. The technology shall also be used to develop applications such as smart contracts and supply chain management logistics.

Zoom Out: In light of these developments, it is worthwhile to note that the Indian government’s stand on cryptocurrencies remains hazy, having earlier last year cautioned the country against them, stating that virtual currencies were not backed by assets and posed risks such as money laundering.

Are You a Know-It-All?
BSE India last year launched a chatbot that helps users to gain market information from its website. What is its name?

(Answer at the end of newsletter.)

LAST WORD

How Vulnerable are Emerging Markets to Rising US Interest Rates?

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Trivia Answer: Motabhai

Infamous Trade Day…


Did you know…

… that today is Infamous Trade Day? In 1920, the Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees — probably the worst baseball trade ever made! The Yankees, who had never won a pennant before, became perennial American League and World Series champions. The Red Sox did not win another World Series until 2004.

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Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.”

— Mary Anne Radmacher