Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 12 June 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

SLCERT initiates awareness campaigns:

Safe Internet use for schoolchildren

Educationists of all public and private sector educational institutions and also parents should take measures to prevent schoolchildren from accessing unsuitable websites while browsing the internet.

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana who was addressing a school function in Veyangoda last week called upon teachers and parents to on schoolchildren who access such websites at school computer labs, under the pretext of browsing educational programmes.

Minister Gunawardana told the Junior Observer that many schoolchildren in today's society have become victims of cyber crimes due to the accessing of such unsuitable websites.

"It is the duty of teachers and parents to protect children of all ages from watching pornography via the Internet, since it will not only badly affect their personal lives, but also their on-going educational activities".

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) has initiated a series of campaigns in schools to create an awareness among teachers on `Safe Internet Useage' by children from their tender ages.

The SLCERT believes that this message could also be spread to students and their parents by conducting countrywide awareness programmes.

Longest lunar eclipse in a decade

An unusually long lunar eclipse lasting 100 minutes will be visible over the Middle East, eastertern parts of Africa ,central Asia and western Australia June 15 . This is the longest lunar eclipse since the July 2000 eclipse. Sunlight which is usually reflected by the moon is blocked by an eclipse creating a partial or total shadow.

Dog rescued after seven days spent trapped under rock

Jessie, a four -year-old Jack Russell terrier trapped for seven days under 45 tons of rock has been freed. Her owner, Steve Porter, spent more than $2,000 to rescue the pup.

Jessie the miracle Jack Russell that spent a week trapped underground under 45 tonnes of rock at Mt Beckworth, Victoria, Australia. She was stuck between enormous rocks and was only able to wiggle her front paws and move her head. But the devotion of her owner, Steve Porter, never wavered as he moved the earth ‘literally’ to save his dog.

Jessie and Porter were rabbit hunting near their home in Australia when Jessie darted after a feral cat and became trapped 11 feet underground, beneath two boulders. Initially, Porter, along with his son and two neighbours, tried to pry Jessie free. When that effort was unsuccessful, they called the State

Emergency Service--Australia's EMS--to lend a hand.

As rescuers gradually sought to pry Jessie loose, they also sustained her on bits of liver they sent down to her via a length of fencing wire.

"It's a miracle, really, when you see the size of the rock and the location and how restricted we were," Porter told the Herald Sun.

After a week's efforts to pry Jessie loose, a rock-breaking truck hired in from Melbourne finally sprang her from captivity."Dogs are man's best friend," Porter told the Herald Sun. "We felt we owed it to her.

The easiest thing to say was the dog would die or we could say let's give her a good hard go. And we did. We rallied together and we said 'We can do this.' Where there's hope, there is life."

Once Jessie was freed she jumped into her owner's arms and gave him "a big lick."

The vet reports Jessie is in good health despite her ordeal--though presumably Porter won't be letting her off-leash to chase feral cats anytime soon.

Scientists crack the spiders' web code

Decorative white silk crosses are an ingenious tactic used by orb-weaving spiders to protect their webs from damage, a new study from the University of Melbourne has revealed.

The team, led by Dr Andre Walter and Professor Mark Elgar from the University of Melbourne's Department of Zoology, found that orb-weaving spiders respond to severe damage to their webs by building bigger silk crosses, but if the damage is mild they don't bother adding extra decoration.Professor Mark Elgar said web damage is costly for spiders as a lot of nutritional resources are required to rebuild a web.

"So they evolved this ingenious way to minimise unwanted damage," he said."It's much like we mark glass windows with tape to prevent people walking into them," he said.

The team collected a group of orb-weaving spiders and left them to build their webs in the laboratory. Some of the completed webs were severely damaged, others lightly damaged and the remainder left alone. The response of the spiders was then observed.

"The fact that spiders increased their decorating activity in response to severe damage but didn't increase their decorating following light damage suggests that the conspicuous building of silk crosses serves to make webs more visible to animals that might accidentally walk or fly into them," Professor Elgar said.Adding silk decorations to spiders' orb-webs was first reported over a century ago but why these spiders decorate their webs has been the topic of controversial debate for decades.

"Our study helps unravel this mystery," Professor Elgar said.The study was published in Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.


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