The recent blasts in Mumbai have once again turned the focus on preventive security drills such as bomb detection. There are still no foolproof techniques of explosive detection. Anti-terrorism squads use several methods, but none is perfect. The techniques vary from using sniffer dogs to X-ray machines.
How do these work? Specially trained dogs detect explosives with the help of their heightened olfactory senses. X-ray machines identify such materials by determining their density using dedicated software containing an array of explosives with false colour coding.
Miniature marvel: In 2008, a penny-size electronic sensor was invented to sniff out hydrogen peroxide vapour in explosives. The sensor monitors electrical conductivity using thin films made of metal phthalocyanines. When exposed to oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide, the film shows an increased electrical current, which helps in bomb detection.
Modern methods: Soon bomb squads will be able to detect an explosive over 100 metres away using a laser system. If the laser beam comes across material with explosive residue, the light will scatter. Some of it will bounce back and change electromagnetic waves into acoustic waves, producing a tell-tale sound.
Affluent India's current 'pet' enterprise is a notch higher than grooming parlours for pets and stores for their clothing, food and accessories. Matrimonial sites for dogs have now been set up in major Indian cities. The services offered begin right from finding a prospective partner, giving the duo a chance to get better acquainted and then, planning and hosting a dreamy theme-style wedding for them at a farm house. Registering the dog comes at a nominal price (Rs 500- Rs 3,000) and once the 'couple' is married, they are even gifted a doggie spa package and honeymoon. Bow, vow.
Layers of luxury
It sure is a knotty affair, but few can do without a tie. Seven-fold silk ties are considered a status symbol. They have replaced the fourin-hand silk ties. Seven-fold ties are made from 100 per cent Italian silk. These are cut from a single piece of silk and the fabric is then asymmetrically folded seven times on to itself. These ties are untipped, do not have an interlining, and are handfinished by Italian craftsmen.
The World Bank-funded Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, or SCLR, India's first double-deck bridge that will link Mumbai's western and eastern suburbs, has been called the most delayed road project in the world by none other than the Bank itself. This 6.45 km-long bridge was commissioned seven years ago and was expected to be completed and operational by 2008. This arterial road would cut travel time between the two ends of the city to 17 minutes from two hours currently. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, or MMRDA, whose project it is, has sought seven deadline extensions so far, the latest one until March 2012, driving up the cost from Rs 110 crore to Rs 550 crore. Main reason for delay: it has yet to get clearance from the Railways as a section of the bridge passes over the Central railway line.
Compiled by Anamika Butalia