Category: Amita Vadlamudi

BirdWatching – Binoculars and Beyond

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Birdwatching, also referred to as “birding,” is the activity of observing and identifying birds in their natural habitat and understanding their ways of life. Bird watching is a popular hobby. It allows the hobbyists to spend their free time leisurely and peacefully exploring the nature.

Birding is more than merely observing birds. It gives the enthusiasts an opportunity not only to identify different types of birds, but also understand and appreciate the beauty and harmony in nature. The activity hones such skills as keen observation, listening, exercising patience, and being in tune with nature, not to mention photographing.

Birdwatching can feel like quite a treasure hunt as one spots different types of the avian creatures for the first time, especially when they are of rare species. Birds are considered to be among the best ambassadors from the natural world, and birdwatching brings enthusiasts closer to nature. The activity helps people understand the various aspects of nature that contribute to making suitable habitats for different types of birds.

Most bird watchers start by identifying birds in their own area. As they become more familiar with the birds in their immediate area, they often expand the territory that they travel. As the bird watchers spot and discover different species, they are motivated to travel farther and farther. Some serious enthusiasts travel the country, even the world in pursuit of their hobby.

A basic bird watching checklist of items to have includes:

  • Binoculars: Helpful for closer observation of birds at a distance, without disturbing and affecting the birds’ behavior in their natural environment.
  • Field guide: A comprehensive field guide is immensely helpful in identifying the birds In the given region.
  • Journal and pen: Most avid bird watchers make notes of their experiences. Keeping a journal helps remember the location the birds are found in, what the birds look like, the sounds they make, the behaviors they exhibit, and other vital details.
  • Camera: Many bird watchers love to bring cameras with them. Snapping a few pictures of birds they observe in their excursions helps them identify the birds better and use them to get excellent photographs to help them document their experience.

A hobby that began in the early 20th century as enthusiasts used to observe and study birds by shooting them down, birdwatching changed into a more peaceful activity. With tools like scopes, binoculars, cameras, and field guides widely available, bird watching allows people to observe these exotic creatures while they are left to live peacefully in their natural environment.

Amita Vadlamudi’s favorite bird pictures can be seen on her Pinterest and Flickr sites.

 

 

Origami as a Hobby

origami

Origami is widely known throughout the world today. Most commonly used by people to make different animal sculptures by folding pieces of paper, origami is both a recreational activity as well as an art form. This art form said to have originated from ancient Japan, roughly a millennium or so ago. Some scholars debate that the art form originated back in the 6th Century AD, while others believe that it could be even older.

The term “Origami” derives from two Japanese words “Ori,” which means folded, and “Kami,” which means paper. Origami is an art form that  incorporates the aspects of creativity, games, and mathematical puzzles into a single craft. In its art form, origami is able to attract a lot of people today. A simple activity, people are able to produce the most ingenious sculptures and designs by doing nothing more than intricately folding a piece of paper.

Several art and crafts forms involve the use of paper, but origami is a technique that stands out. The unique quality about origami is that you just need to use paper without the help of any other material to form sculptures.

Through a series of well-planned folds and creases, people can make anything from the simplest of animal sculptures to highly sophisticated structures. There is no cutting,  gluing or any other technique involved.

Many people think origami has little more use than being a pastime for children, but this art form carries more weight than it is generally given credit for. Mathematicians, architects, medical professionals, computer programmers, and engineers are just some of the professionals at the top level who are able to take inspiration from origami in their fields.

Traveling from Japan to China, and then to the rest of the world over the centuries, the art of origami is now an internationally practiced craft. It is used as a pastime for children and adults alike. This art of paper-folding even extends from use as a leisure activity to use in various professional fields.

 

After retiring from computer technology job, Amita Vadlamudi now likes pursuing hobbies, fitness, reading and occasionally tweeting. The following is Amita Vadlamudi’s Twitter Page.

https://twitter.com/AmitaVadlamudi

Crossword Puzzles Make a Good Hobby

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With the digital technology dominating contemporary times, pursuing crossword puzzles as a hobby may seem like a primitive activity, a relic left over from ancient times. But even in this computer dominated age doing crossword puzzles on the paper is a major hobby for many people – young and old alike. For many enthusiasts crossword puzzles are an integral part of their morning ritual. They are as welcoming as the morning light and as stimulating as the hot sip of freshly brewed coffee.

This seemingly old-school hobby is more relevant today than ever. Aside from simply keeping the people occupied, crossword puzzles have many healthful benefits such as stimulating minds, keeping the brains sharp, and helping people connect with others. Following are some of the benefits that the crossword puzzles can bring.

  1. Shortcut to Smartness

Crossword puzzles flex cognition, boast verbal skills and prepare peoples’ brains for challenges they face. They trigger connections between ideas and words, stimulate brain activity and help hone the memory and recall skills.

  1. Therapy without Cost

The satisfaction that comes after solving a puzzle is not as short-lived as you think. It triggers the production of dopamine – a neurotransmitter which gives feelings of pleasure and uplifts your mood instantly. This intellectually demanding activity can take your mind off everyday worries and help you deal with stress as well. Solve puzzles, solve problems!

  1. Maintain Social Bonds

When pursued as a group hobby, crossword puzzles help strengthen social ties by creating shared memories and a sense of group accomplishment. It nurtures the ability to collaborate strategically and manage conflicts. If you feel lonely too often, this hobby will turn your spare time into an opportunity to socialize!

Choosing the right kind of hobby can completely transform your outlook on life. Crossword puzzles could be just what the doctor would have ordered for individuals who have free time to fill, who would like to keep their minds and brains sharp and who would like to make and keep healthy social connections. Start your crossword puzzle journey today and see their wholesome impacts unfold.

Amita Vadlamudi is the author of numerous articles on this site as well some of her other web sites.  Following are the links to some of Amita Vadlamudi’s other articles dealing with hobbies:

https://amitavadlamudi.wordpress.com/2019/03/24/stamp-collecting/

https://amitavadlamudi.wordpress.com/2019/06/01/candle-making/

https://amitavadlamudi.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/the-hobby-of-coin-collecting/

 

 

The Central Asian Plains’ Ancient Oxus Civilization

 Oxus Civilization pic

Oxus Civilization
Image: discovermagazine.com

Amita Vadlamudi served as an IT professional for more than 30 years, undertaking large-scale engineering projects spanning Unix and mainframe systems and performing complex coding assignments. An avid reader of history books, Amita Vadlamudi is particularly interested in ancient cultures.

Beyond the ancient Greeks, Sumerians, and Egyptians, there were a number of early advanced cultures whose accomplishments have largely remained a mystery. These include the Oxus civilization, who lived on the Central Asian plains 4,000 years ago.

Spanning 1,000 square miles in what is now Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan, the civilization was concurrent with the emergence of complex societies along the Yellow, Indus, Nile, and Tigris-Euphrates rivers.

The civilization was named Oxus, after the Amu Dar’ya River, which at the time was known as the Oxus River. Bronze Age sites reveal distinctive art forms and regularly proportioned thick-walled mud brick structures that indicate a level of advancement previously thought to have reached the region 1,000 years later. A major find of the late 20th century that has generated significant interest is a 350-by-600-foot citadel in Gonur that was surrounded by towers and a high wall, and had canals and an irrigation system in place.

An Overview of Minimizing Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint pic

Carbon Footprint
Image: carbonfund.org

Amita Vadlamudi, a computer systems engineer with a major financial services provider, is an active environmentalist. Amita Vadlamudi enjoys spending her time researching a variety of topics, from matters of climate and weather to the characteristics of earth’s landforms and waterways.

There are a number of steps environmentalists can take in order to minimize their carbon footprint. One of the most effective actions an individual can take involves finding a workable alternative to driving an automobile. Walking or cycling is a viable option in many scenarios, while further distances can be achieved through public transportation or carpooling, all of which can help lower carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Any person concerned about the environment should also look into low carbon vehicles, including electric cars.

An individual’s carbon footprint can also be reduced at home. Installing proper insulation not only help maintain heat during the winter and cool air in the summer, but can yield financial gains in the form of state programs such as Energy Upgrade California. Homeowners may further optimize the energy efficiency of their home by installing solar panels and LED lighting systems.

Early History of the US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court pic

US Supreme Court
Image: history.com

Outside of her career as a computer systems engineer, Amita Vadlamudi maintains interests in many subjects, including American history. With the April 2017 confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as the 113th justice of the US Supreme Court, individuals like Amita Vadlamudi may find themselves wondering about the court’s earliest days and its first justices.

On September 24, 1789, five months after taking office as the first president of the United States, George Washington signed the Judiciary Act of 1789, which formally established the US Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary. On the same day, he nominated the court’s first chief justice, John Jay, and five associate justices: John Blair Jr., John Rutledge, William Cushing, James Wilson, and Robert Harrison.

The founding fathers of the United States had empowered the US Congress to create the Supreme Court in the US Constitution, and the US Senate had taken up the Judiciary Act as the first piece of business in the body’s history, passing it on the same day as President Washington’s subsequent signing. Two days later, on September 26, 1789, the Senate confirmed all six of the president’s nominations.

The court first met in February of 1790 and then again in August of the same year. It spent its earliest days determining its responsibilities and organizing the federal court system. The Supreme Court did not rule on its first case until 1792, by which time some of the seats belonged to judges other than those originally nominated by President Washington.

It was not until almost 100 years later that the Supreme Court stabilized its numbers of justices, becoming the nine-member court the country knows today. With his confirmation, Judge Gorsuch joins a judicial body that stands as the ultimate arbiter of disputes related to the Constitution.

Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard’s Almanack

 

Benjamin Franklin pic

Benjamin Franklin
Image: amazon.com

With around 35 years of experience as a computer systems engineer, Amita Vadlamudi most recently worked with a major financial services firm. Amita Vadlamudi enjoys reading, especially on the topic of American history.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the writers of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, is known as one of America’s Founding Fathers. In addition to his political career, Franklin was an inventor, printer, and writer. He published the book known as Poor Richard’s Almanack, first under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.

The Almanack contained poetry and weather predictions as well as advice on work and life that turned into common idioms still heard today. Examples of the Almanack’s maxims include “there are no gains without pains” and “he that lives upon hope will die fasting.” While Franklin usually received credit for the aphorisms, he commented that many of them were already popular sayings that he put in print. Franklin continued to publish the Almanack annually for 25 years, and it was one of his most profitable publications.

Documentation in the Assyrian Empire

 

Assyrian Empire pic

Assyrian Empire
Image: ancient-civilizations.com

Amita Vadlamudi is a longtime computer systems engineer in the financial services field. Outside of professional pursuits, Amita Vadlamudi has a strong interest in anthropology and ancient cultures. One culture popularly studied by anthropology buffs is Assyria, a region in the Near East that extended from Mesopotamia through Egypt thousands of years ago.

The Assyrian Empire and its capital of Ashur took their names from the god Ashur, who was reinterpreted as a son of Noah once the Assyrians accepted Christianity. The Assyrians initially spoke Akkadian but, like many nations in the Middle East, moved to Aramaic for its ease of use.

The Assyrian Empire had several advantages over other empires in the region, which ultimately led to greater success. For instance, one of its major emperors, Tukulti-Ninurta I, employed his scribes and scholars to create an efficient bureaucracy and to catalogue existing written works. While the Assyrians crushed revolts with overwhelming force, they also made sure to document the knowledge and cultures of conquered cities and nations, in the interest of expanding the empire’s technological and cultural dominance in the region.

Cownose Rays and Migration

Cownose Rays pic

Cownose Rays
Image: seathos.org

Computer systems engineer Amita Vadlamudi has more than three decades of experience in the information technology industry. Amita Vadlamudi also maintains an interest in marine biology and ocean creatures such as cownose rays.

An open water species found in tropical and temperate waters as well as parts of the Atlantic Ocean, cownose rays engage in mass migration twice a year. These endurance swimmers are built to traverse long distances using flexible, wing-like fins that extend from either side of their bodies, which often breach the water’s surface as they glide through the ocean. Cownose rays grow up to seven feet in length from wingtip to wingtip and reach maturity between four and five years old. Lifespans may vary according to distribution and migration route, with rays in the Gulf of Mexico living up to 18 years and populations in the western Atlantic Ocean only living to 13.

Migration occurs twice a year in large numbers. Groups in the Atlantic Ocean migrate southward in the late fall and northward in spring, although southbound groups often possess a larger population. Schools in the Gulf of Mexico often migrate clockwise, with each school consisting of around 10,000 individuals. Although marine biologists theorize that solar orientation and changes in water temperature may influence the onset of migration, this is not consistently true. For example, migration of the cownose ray population in Florida’s Pine Island Sound seems more influenced by predator avoidance and food availability.

Improving Breathing Technique While Swimming

Breathing Technique pic

Breathing Technique
Image: active.com

Amita Vadlamudi spent over three decades working as a computer systems engineer. Holding a bachelor’s in computer science from Saint Peter’s College, she has supported and maintained numerous operating systems and has a solid understanding of UNIX system technology, IPFC, and Java. Dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Amita Vadlamudi attends the gym regularly and enjoys swimming.

Although many swimmers overlook it, breathing technique greatly affects the overall success and ease of various strokes, especially the freestyle. As swimmers move through the water, their face should be pointing down toward the bottom of the pool. Beginners often struggle with this and instead keep their head above water. However, doing so pulls the rest of the body down. This causes increased resistance and swimmers tire faster. A similar problem is rotating the head with the body. This decreases coordination and makes it difficult to establish a good breathing rhythm. Ideally, the head remains in one position unless the swimmer is taking a breath.

In many cases, new swimmers hold their breath while their face is in the water. When they turn to take a breath, they must exhale before they can inhale. Swimmers should be exhaling while their head is in the water. This lets them take a full breath when they need it and promotes better rhythm. Breathing into the trough improves rhythm even more. Instead of turning the head completely to the side, swimmers can turn it slightly and take advantage of the lower water level by the side of their face. Swimmers should also time their breaths with their movements and make sure to switch breathing sides to prevent imbalance.