Chronicler Passes Into History

GOA’S celebrated historian Percival Noronha passed away on August 19 at the page of 96. Many in Goa, especially the youth, considered Percival as a living encycopaedia, who had answers for all their queries. A strict disciplinarian, Percival was a multitasking nonagenarian, who was loved by one and all. He extensively lectured in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France as well as in Macau and Japan. Percival was instrumental in setting up the Friends of Astronomy Association; he initiated Carnival floats parade in the state.  Among his many awards, the most cherished ones were the United Nations Peace Medal  (1972); the Ordem do Merito Comendador, Portugal’s highest civilian honour; and the Clube Militar de Macau medal. He maintained a library on every subject, which was referred to by his countless friends. Percival counted United Goan Party leader Jack de Sequeira and Goa’s first chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar as his favorite politicians. He was all praise for former chief minister Manohar Parrikar as a later-day politician. The celebrated historian considered Goan scholar Dr Jose Pereira as a genius. Goa has lost a very loved, talented and dedicated bureaucrat and a benefactor who was always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. May his soul rest in eternal peace.


Chouhan Misreads Goa’s History 

BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s recent statement on the Liberation of Goa is rather uncalled for. The BJP may hate nation’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the core, but the fact remains that it was Nehru, who as the prime minister freed Goa from the shackles of the Portuguese, who colonised Goa for 451 years.  Moreover, equating Jammu and Kashmir with Goa is not right. Jammu and Kashmir and Goa have their own unique problems arising out of the historical backgrounds.


Exposed Transformer Exposes Laxity

EXPOSED transformers turn dangerous to pedestrians. However, the electricity department turns a Nelson’s eye to the dangers posed by the uncovered transformers. One such exposed transformer that poses threat to human life is at the Tip-Top Mansion at Dhavali in Ponda taluka. The exposed transformer tells us that linesmen have been lax in their duty. I  request officials of the electricity department in Ponda to take a note of this exposed transformer and get it covered as early as possible.


The Perils Of Smartphones

INDIA has more than 15 million obese individuals.  Obesity is a known cause of health disorders especially lifestyle diseases.  Overweight has to be differentiated from obesity which is usually measured by body mass index. Persons with too little physical activity coupled with excessive food intake become obese. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension (high blood pressure) are two important lifestyle deviations which can lead to a series of serious diseases.  Latest studies and researches have proved that the so-called smartphone technology has heightened the sedentary lifestyle. Spending too much time with the smartphone can reduce a person’s portability, keep him/her confined to the chair or bed.  As in television addicts, smartphone users are likely to ‘relax’ with alcohol, sweets, snacks. All these items for relaxation are known direct or indirect causes of obesity.  The number of hours spent with the smartphones can be detrimental. More than five hours of interrupted or continuous use of smartphones for more than six months can bring in the unwanted changes. The danger of smartphones is no less than the perils of television. It is, actually, more injurious because of its portability, comfort, range and the sheer variety of information and entertainment. Another aspect, not included in the study, is the possibility of eye infections. Also, the blue glow emitted from smartphones may cause loss of eyesight. Every innovation has its attendant risks.  In the era of technology marvels, it is crucial to sift good from the bad.