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Glorious Success of Mangalyaan
It was a golden moment for the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in particular and the people of India in general when the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft entered the Martian orbit on Wednesday morning at 7:47, and India created history by becoming the first country to do so on its maiden attempt. After a 300-day journey that was set on November 5, 2013 and traversing a mammoth 680 million km, the spacecraft entered the orbit of Mars, to the joy and thrill of the scientists and the admiration of 1.25 billion Indians and applause of the world around. What a day it is for India to carve such a niche in the space world! India becomes just the fourth nation after the US, Russia and the European Space Agency to enter into the exclusive Martian club. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a spirited speech congratulated the scientists and appreciated their relentless efforts under all adversity to make the mission a great success and proving to the world that India does not lag behind the major superpowers. It was a fitting tribute to all the Indian mathematicians of yore, who have left their imprint on the sands of time, for mathematics is the queen of all sciences. It should also be a moment for all the children and youngsters to pursue their goals and set their minds on a scientific temperament and unfailingly aim for higher studies and research in the fields of science.
Fatalities Due to PWD Negligence
Daniel de Souza (NT Sep 19) has a good case and he must, backed by colleagues in The Lions Club in Goa’s interest, get a good lawyer and sue the PWD. It is recently reported that the Supreme Court has ruled that government authorities can be sued by public in courts for civic negligence for dangerous negligence, compensation and costs! The GMC wards are filled with accident cases due PWD neglect. I myself whilst walking one night had got hurt whilst falling into a ditch dug and left open by PWD in my colony to locate a pipeline valve, and even today whilst broadening roads, gravel and material are carelessly jutting onto the roadside at dangerous corners! Unless this is done, and courts take stringent action and issue appropriate orders to save us all, we will continue to get killed or maimed for life with impunity of the authorities concerned!
John Eric Gomes, Porvorim
Dangerous Medication For Common Cold
In Goa, a few medical practitioners, apparently forgetting what they learnt in their medical books, wrongly prescribe an antibiotic, either on their own, or at the instance of the patient, in a vain attempt to “subjugate” the annoying malady. Common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is usually harmless. If it is not a runny nose, sore throat and cough, it is the watery eyes, sneezing and congestion — or maybe all of the above. In fact, because any one of more than 100 viruses can cause a common cold, signs and symptoms tend to vary greatly. There’s no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics are of no use against cold viruses. Over-the-counter (OTC) cold preparations won’t cure a common cold or make it go away any sooner, and most have side effects. The old dictum still holds true: “A common cold that is not treated lasts seven days, the one that is treated lasts a week”. In 90 per cent of cases the antibiotic prescribed is a macrolide (clarithromycin, roxithromycin or azithromycin). It is a matter of great concern that recent reports associate the usage of all macrolides with a 2 to 3 fold increased risk of cardiovascular death compared to non-use. This surely comes to us as a warning, as well as a gentle reminder, that antibiotic usage should only be reserved for life-threatening susceptible pneumonia and never ever for a common cold.

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