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Deals on Indian Visa

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Wow, just found this in my Gmail that Indian Consulate is now running a 20% deal:


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FAQ Visa Processing Check Requirement Rush Visa How Visa Work

There are many romantic places in the world to explore with your lover.

On this Valentine’s Day, plan a trip to India

and make gorgeous memories for you two.

Don’t forget using promo code “VDAY18” to have 20% OFF for visa service fee.

Wish you a happy time on Valentine’s Day.

History of Germany

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  1. Migration of German tribes
  2. Carolingian age, 843–911
  3.  Treaty of Verdun in 843
  4. Kingdom Of Germany 843 –
  5. Holy Roman Empire
    1. Otto IV, 1209–1215
    2. Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1220–50)
    3. Maxmilian I, 1486 – 1519
  6. Eclipse of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806
  7. The Empire and people in modern Germany 1806-1939
    1. The Vienna Settlement 1815
    2. Otto von Bismarck 1871 –  1890
    3. The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71
    4. Unification of Germany
    5. The Peace of Versailles 1919
    6. The Weimar Republic 1918–1933

Treaty Of Verdun (843)

The Holy Roman Empire
It was the German emperor Otto I (r. 962–73) who, by military conquest and astute political policy, placed the territorial empire of Charlemagne under German rule and established in Central Europe the feudal state that would be called, by the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Empire.

After 962, when Otto I was crowned emperor, the German kingdom formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire, which also included Italy (after 951), Bohemia (after 1004) and Burgundy (after 1032).
Throughout the Middle Ages, the convention was that the (elected) king of Germany was also Emperor of the Romans. From the time of Otto’s coronation until the official dissolution of the empire in 1806, the imperial title was held almost exclusively by German monarchs and, for nearly four centuries, by members of a single family.

Winter Solstice

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Vernal Equinox diagram

On Dec. 21, 2017, or Thursday, the sun will hug the horizon. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it will seem to barely rise — hardly peeking above a city’s skyline or a forest’s snow-covered evergreens — before it swiftly sets.

For months, the orb’s arc across the sky has been slumping, shortening each day.

In New York City, for example, the sun will be in the sky for just over nine hours — roughly six hours less than in June at the summer solstice. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, before the sun reverses course and climbs higher into the sky. (At the same time, places like Australia in the Southern Hemisphere mark the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.)

Today, Jan 21, is the shortest day of 2017 in New Jersey. Here is a picture of sunset at Edison, New Jersey at 4:33 PM.


Old Houses in Kolkata

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কলকাতার পুরোনো বাড়ি: দু-একটি কথা

It is a great theme.

If you were learned and had a passion for classical subjects like architecture and culture, you might have stumbled upon it.

BBC has published a nice article written by someone (who was born in a big old house in Bhowanipur) describing how their beautiful early-20th century home was build, how gererations of their families lived there before it was finally handed over to the developers recently.

But his narrative is emotional, harping on how and why their home was finally destroyed by the developers to build multi-family flats in the same place.

Unfortunately, they do not understand architecture.

That is why they do not really understand why exactly these old houses are beautiful, which indeed, they are.

What is a facade? What are its architectural constituents? Why does a facade of a palace look beautiful? Etc., etc.?

Satyajit Ray should have been given this project by the state government with sufficient funding to articulate the narrative of the soul of these magnificent old buildings.

He was the right man for it because he had the talent to go beyond mere visual beauty of these buildings and to delve far deeper into their soul.

A soul so magnificently articulated by Michelangelo when he commented on David:

” I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. ”

One of the greatest lines in the history of mankind.

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Super Blue Blood Moon

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Figure 1.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves directly behind the Earth’s shadow, or umbra, meaning it cannot receive any light from the Sun. Jan 31 is a special case of total lunar eclipse where the Earth is perfectly aligned between the Sun and the Moon and the moon is inside the umbra as shown in Figure 1. Note that a lunar eclipse can occur only the night of a full moon.


Figure 1A. The Definition

What happened on Jan 31, 2018 during night was that the moon came closest to the earth thereby making it appear 14% larger and 30% brighter to people living in the hemisphere where it was night. Hence it was called the “Supermoon.”

And, since the moon appeared red it as also called the “Blood” moon.

Finally , since it was the second full moon of Januare, it was called the “blue” moon.

Adding all together, the event was called the Super Blue Blood Moon.

এমন ঘটনা সচরাচর দেখা যায় না!

একই মাসে দু’টি পূর্ণিমা। দ্বিতীয় পূর্ণিমায় (ব্লু মুন) চাঁদ ও পৃথিবী সব থেকে কাছাকাছি (সুপারমুন) এবং সেই দিনেই পূর্ণগ্রাস চন্দ্রগ্রহণ। এই ত্র্যহস্পর্শকে পশ্চিমী দুনিয়ায় বলে, ‘সুপার ব্লাড ব্লু মুন’। ১৯৮২ সালের ৩০ ডিসেম্বরের পরে ভারত-সহ এশিয়া থেকে এই ঘটনা দেখা গেল এই প্রথম।

What is a blood moon?

The term blood moon isn’t a scientific term but one coined colloquially. It refers to a total lunar eclipse because, when the moon is completely eclipsed it takes on a reddish colour.


Of course this can happen only during night. During this eclipse, direct sunlight is completely blocked by the earth’s shadow. The only light that can be seen is refracted through the earth’s shadow, and this light looks red just like with the sunset.


 Figure 2. The physics of super blue blood moon.

A super blue blood moon is seen over Los Angeles on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Figure 3. The super blue blood moon on 1/31/2018


Figure 4. Full moon in Bangkok on 31 Jan 2018: The super blue blood moon.


Back to Aperture

The word aperture simply means an ‘opening’ in common usage. The same meaning applies in photography, where the opening is a specific mechanism contained within the lens. The aperture is formed by a set of of thin, interlocking metal blades called the iris. These blades can be adjusted to increase/decrease the size of the aperture. The shape of the opening is roughly circular, and it is the area through which light passes as it is focused by the lens.


Figure 1.From [Ref 1]

What is F-Ratio?


The f-number N or f# is given by:

N={\frac {f}{D}}\

where f is the focal length, and D is the diameter of the entrance pupil (effective aperture).

For example, if a lens’s focal length is 10 mm and its entrance pupil diameter is 5 mm, the f-number is:

N = 10/5 = 2

It is  expressed by writing “f/2”


Or, if you set a 10mm Lens to f/2, its aperture is 10/2 = 5mm

The F-Ratio is simply a measurement of how large the actual lens glass is in relation to the lens focal length.

So, if you set a 35 mm lens set to f/11, it’s effective aperture is: 35/11 = 3.18mm




Exposure Triangle


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exposure triangle diagram

The Exposure Triangle: aperture, shutter speed and ISO

The Exposure Triangle is the term used for the three fundamental elements of exposure: aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
The trick to balancing The Exposure Triangle is to get all three elements working together.
Because of that, it’s really worth getting to grips with the basics of shutter speed (how long the camera’s sensor is exposed to the light), what an aperture is (how much light the lens lets in, which also affects depth of field) and ISO (the sensitivity level of the sensor). Once you know how to do this, there’s nothing you can’t do.

Now, before proceeding further, you must understand what “depth of field” is. It is given below.

Depth of field


Above: Shalow depth of field.

Only part of the image — the face — is in focus. The rest of the image — the guitar — is blurred.  You need to use a large aperture – such as f/4 for this. Perfect for portrait photography.
Landscape photography

Large depth of field

Here most of the image will be in focus whether objects are near or far away. To get a large depth of field you’ll need to use a small aperture, such as f/16. Perfect for landscape photography where you want everything in sharp focus.

This is summed up in the figure below.

Related image



The above photographs were made using a Nikon D610 and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens at 125mm. The image on the left was shot at f/2.8 and has a much shallower depth of field. The image on the right was shot at f/32 and shows much more of the field in focus. focal ratio also has an effect on depth of field. For any given focal length, increasing focal ratio (making the f-number larger) increases depth of field while decreasing focal ratio (making the f-number smaller) reduces depth of field.

Landscape photography needs a wide depth of field. You need to set up your camera to a small aperture, such as f/16 for this.
Portrait photography needs shallow depth of field. You need to set up your camera to a large aperture, such as f/4 for this.

Remember this about the depth of field[Ref 1]:

It is not worth getting hung up over how many inches the DoF is in a picture. That would completely take away from the enjoyment of photography. It is much more important to know when you need a small DoF and how to create it. And the same is true when you need a large DoF. The beauty of digital is that you can take a shot, and then review it on the LCD. Quickly reviewing your image is much easier than pulling out your phone and calculating DoF! If you don’t get the result you are looking for, change your camera-subject distance or the lens aperture to get the desired effect.

To achieve a shallower DoF you can either move closer to your subject or open up your aperture. For greater DoF, move away from your subject or close down your aperture. You can also use a longer focal length to achieve a ‘perceived’ shallower depth of field.

Understanding what factors affect the depth of field in a photograph will give you the artistic freedom to make the images you want to create. You will learn the most from practicing. Take time to experiment with your camera; get to know it better. Try different focal length lenses, change apertures, move your feet to change your perspective. Analyze your photographs so you know how your gear performs. Then when it comes time to take pictures that really count, you will be ready.

Some small aperture lenses
Nikon’s  85mm, f/1.4 portrait lens
AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G // note, 28mm means this is wide angle. Not good for portrait

Changing a camera's aperture in half-stops

Computer simulation showing the effects of changing a camera’s aperture in half-stops (at left) and from zero to infinity (at right)

Lens Aperture

Aperture Terminology

The aperture of a lens is usually expressed as the diameter of a lens divided by the focal length.
Aperture is defined in term of two known variables of the lens you are using: the diameter of the lens and the focal length of the lens.

If you had a lens with a diameter of 10mm and a focal length of 50mm, it would have maximum aperture of 10/50, or 1/5, usually expressed as f/5.

Conversely, you can also derive the diameter of your lens from aperture and focal length.

Let’s say we want to find the diameter of the lens required for aperture f/4 and focal lengths = (50, 100, and 200)mm.

For focal length of 50 mm and  aperture size f/4.
diameter = (50 / 4) = 12.5 mm, or about half an inch

Now for focal length to 100 mm.
diameter = 100/4 = 25 mm, or about one inch  // notice that diameter follows the focal length

How about 200 mm (approaching telephoto range)?
diameter = 200/4 = 50 mm, or about two inches.

Only a large, heavy lens can have room for a two inch diameter hole. A smaller consumer lens won’t be able to support a hole that big. So in the case of our example lens, maybe it can support f/4 at 50 and 100 mm focal lengths, but maybe it will have to go down to f/5.6 at 200 mm to keep the size of the aperture to within the internal diameter of the lens.

This tells you how pricey and heavy a 400mm f/4 telephoto lens will be. For example:
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FX VR Telephoto lens is $2,797 and weighs 3.12 pounds.
In comparison, Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR is $747 and weighs 1.5 lbs because its aperture is 1/4th of the previous one.

Image result for how does aperture control depth of field


The maximum aperture of a lens, expressed as an f-number, is as wide as the lens’s “eye” can open. (Lower f-numbers represent bigger apertures.) A larger maximum aperture means that more photons get in to hit the sensor. Each stop of aperture corresponds to a stop of shutter speed. In other words, a shot taken at f/2 and 1/60sec is roughly equivalent to a shot at f/1.4 and 1/125sec, in terms of exposure.


If a photo is under-exposed by smallest aperture (too dark), detail will be lost in the shadows (darker areas of the image). When a photo is over-exposed by histest aperture (too bright), detail will be lost in the highlights (brighter areas of the image).

Image result for how does aperture control depth of field

Related image


With increased ISO sensitivity, your camera sensor can capture images in low-light environments without having to use a flash. But higher sensitivity comes at an expense – it adds grain or “noise” to the pictures. Every camera has something called “Base ISO“, which is typically the lowest ISO number of the sensor that can produce the highest image quality, without adding noise to the picture. The Base ISO for the following Nikon cameras are given below:

D7100 D5300 D3300 D3200
ISO 1006400

Hi-1 (ISO 12,800)

Hi-2 (ISO 25,600)

ISO 10012,800


ISO 10012,800 Hi-1 (ISO 25,600) ISO 1006400 Hi-1 (ISO 12,800)

where, for D7100,

Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity 100
Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity 6400
Highest Expanded ISO Sensitivity Hi-2 (ISO 25,600 equivalent)
Expanded ISO Sensitivity Options Hi-1 (ISO 12,800 equivalent)

Hi-2 (ISO 25,600 equivalent)

So, optimally, you should always try to stick to the base ISO to get the highest image quality. It appears like for D7100, the base ISO is 100.

Typically, ISO numbers start from 100-200 (Base ISO) and increment in value in geometric progression (power of two). So, the ISO sequence is: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 and etc.

The important thing to understand, is that each step between the numbers effectively doubles the sensitivity of the sensor. So, ISO 200 is twice more sensitive than ISO 100, while ISO 400 is twice more sensitive than ISO 200.

ISO Speed Example:
ISO 100 – 1 second
ISO 200 – 1/2 of a second
ISO 400 – 1/4 of a second
ISO 800 – 1/8 of a second
ISO 1600 – 1/16 of a second
ISO 3200 – 1/32 of a second



Nikon D7000 Control

Image result for nikon Exposure Modes




Sonnet 12

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When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white;

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,

Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;

And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Structure of the sonnet: Octave, Sestat, Rhyme scheme and heroic couplet
The Shakespearean sonnet has the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, forming three quatrains (four lines in each quatrain) and a closing couplet (two rhymed lines).

O When I do count the clock that tells the time, A
C And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; B
T When I behold the violet past prime, A
  And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white;
  When lofty trees I see barren of leaves C
V Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, D
  And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves C
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
S Then of thy beauty do I question make, E
E That thou among the wastes of time must go, F
S Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake E
T And die as fast as they see others grow;
T And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence G Heroic Couplet
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

count (1): count the chimes.
hideous (2): The exact meaning here is likely derived from the Old French hisde meaning dread. Thus we have a balanced antithesis in brave/day and hideous/night.
prime (3): peak; also a continuation of the extended time metaphor as prime was the first hour of the day, usually 6 a.m. or the hour of sunrise (OED).
sable (4): darkest brown. Note the extensive color imagery (as we also see in Sonnet 73) — violet, sable, green, silver, white.
canopy (6): shelter.
erst (6): formerly.
summer’s green (7): Shakespeare here uses a literary device known as synecdoche (by which a specific part is taken for the whole); thus summer’s green is the bounty of crops.
girded up (7): tied up tightly (the first use of the term as such in English).
And…beard (8-9): One of the most striking metaphors in the sonnets. The harvested crops, carried on the bier, wrapped tightly with protruding pale hulls, are personified as the body of an old man, carried on a cart or wagon to church, wrapped tightly in his shroud, with his protruding white beard.

bier(8): cart used for carrying wheat (and also for carrying coffins at funerals)
breed (14): children.
brave (14): challenge.

From The Inocent Insinuations of Wit: The Strategy of Language in Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Murray Krieger
This work represents the poet’s sentimental regrets at the ruinous passage of time.
The octave begins with the painfully simple reference to the clock, which is further weakened by the redundancy of the first line and the obvious opposition of “brave day” and “hideous night.”[See note above]
Then the symbol of summer’s death: the fading flower of line 3 juxaposed to the fading hair of line 4, followed by the leafless trees of lines 5-6 and “summer’s green” which has been cut down (lines 7-8). These are the random examples set in the octave from which the personal application of the sestat is to follow.

But is there not a structure to these as Shakespeare deploy’s them?

There is — and, as is often the case in these sonnets, it arises out of the way he builds to the total union of nature and man, out of the metaphorical reduction of the human world to the natural. Or, rather the reading of natural world in terms of its human consequences.

In lines 3-4, the violets and human hair are juxtaposed, as if by association; they are analogous coordinates, but no relation between them is suggested.

In lines 5-6, the nature is brought into explicit relation with animal life. The trees are related to the herd as its protector from summer’s heat. Or is the herd human too by extension, the humanity in its communal or herd aspect?

Lines 7-8 [See note above] reference harvested wheat being carted away, but they are also a metaphor for an old man being carried to his own funeral. “Summer’s green” can be interpreted as the man, who was once young and in his prime, but now has a “white and bristly beard.” The “white and bristly beard” literally refers to the whiskery growth around the grain. A “bier” is a wagon or cart, but can also mean a funeral bier, on which a coffin is carried to a funeral.

It is a “when ….when ….then” sonnet and line 9, or, the first line of the sestat starts with “then.” Lines 9-10 evokes the vision which he has build in the octave.

Images used in this sonnet

And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves

Image result for people carrying bushel on cart to farmhouse

Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,