Tuesday, 4 March 2014

LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, Short Answer Questions

J.A.V. Butler

1.     What new theory concerning the origin of the planets is presented by Professor Butler?
Butler believes that the stars are separated by huge distances and the chance of a close approach of two stars is rather small. When such an encounter takes place, gigantic tides in the liquid or gaseous surfaces of the stars are set up, which may result in large masses of material being pulled away from them and, condensing, giving rise to planets. In other words, the explosion threw off some pieces of some matter that formed the earth and other planets.

2.     What, in brief, are his views on the probability of life existing in worlds other than our own?
According to Butler, it is possible that there will be planets in which the essential requirements of life are present. We can easily trace out the uniformity in the universe.  The stars contain many of the elements we have on the earth. There is nothing to point out that our world is unique. There is no reason why we should not think that life may exist in great amount in other worlds. We must not expect that evolution has followed similar paths everywhere. There may be a world in which life has not yet produced thinking and reasoning creatures; there may be others in which organized rational societies have existed formally millions of years.

3.     What had to be understood for chemistry to become a science?
Chemistry emerged as a science when it was understood that all substances are combinations of the same primary elements. Wood turns out to be a combination of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and when it is burnt the carbon is turned to carbon dioxide and the hydrogen to water, and one can make an accurate balance sheet accounting for everything originally present in the wood. The formulae are based on the facts of chemical combination and they have stood the test of time.

4.     Who was responsible for the atomic theory of chemistry?
The first stage of scientific chemis­try, which was begun by Lavoisier with the correct account of combustion, was guided by the atomic theory of Dalton, which served to explain the facts of chemical combination in simple compounds. It was concerned with the elementary composition of substances.

5.     What was the original distinction between 'organic' and 'inorganic' substances? Does this distinction still hold good in modern science?
In earlier times, when every substance was believed to have its own qualities, there was no difficulty in believing that some substances were endowed with life, others not. Wood was wood, and water was water. Alcohol, oils, fats, sugars, waxes, resins, rubber, cellulose, starch, were originally called organic compounds and thought to be different from the inorganic. Although they were compounds of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, etc., chemists thought they were a different class of compounds from those which they had managed to prepare. But the distinction broke down when Wohler, prepared urea, which had previously been regarded as a typical product of life.


What is the theme of The Lost Star?
Man is a unique creation. God has set a sense of eternity in our hearts, and that sense of timeless destiny can only find its fulfillment in God Himself. The man without God is spiritually dead; when his physical life is over, he faces eternal separation from God. When man falls in a habit to argue with the truth and tries to refute or doubt the irrefutable, he blurs the whole reality in his mind. That’s where, he loses his way. The whole sacred structure of reality seems to demolish before his eyes. He completely loses his way to eternity. In this poem, the man knows that he possessed the Godly powers before. As soon as he fell for doubt or argument, he has lost his status as the superior being amongst all creations. He is conscious of the fact that now he belongs to damned race. He has the ultimate urge to find the way to the reality.

What does G. Allana see in the mirror of eternity?
What did G. Allana hold in the grip of his fingers?
The poet knows that he was small in the beginning. Then the idea of God emerges in his heart with eternal immensity. When the poet sees itself with the conscious light which was given by the God, he sees that the whole world exists in him. Uncountable cities and deserts exist within him with full force. Cities and deserts are the metaphors of good and bad; beautiful and ugly respectively. The whole of life seems to spark in the mind of the poet and he recognizes everything in its own respect. He thinks of himself larger than the universe in which many galaxies shine brightly. All these things and beings are being held in the grip of poet’s fingers.
What reply is received by G. Allana from the inner self?
What does the poet realize about himself?
What does G. Allana feel about his existence in this world?
As the poet demolishes his very own spiritual existence, he loses his way. His inner self refuses to recognize him as a superior being. He finds himself as completely stranger even to himself, belongs to the race of damned ones. Spiritually he finds himself dead and completely forgotten. His intellect wanders in the worlds he doesn’t know. His inner self is still in strong urge to find the light for his lost star. Lost star is the very essence of his being which he loses in the way of so called rationality and in arguing with his God.

Why is G. Allana in search of sacred light or heavenly power?
G. Allana is in search of enlightenment or renaissance of his being as complete human being and man of God as he was once. This sacred light or heavenly power is actually that lost star to him of which he has lost the light. He considers himself completely lost without this light. He has lost his status as greater being in this world though he mastered the science and gained all the material comfort. It happened then, that he had lost himself in materialism. Unknowingly, these material thoughts snatched everything from him which is good.  He thought of himself amongst the damned ones. The good thing is that he knows the very fact of his disillusionment. Now he is looking forward to that sacred light to show him the right path.

Saturday, 4 January 2014


An Astronomer's View of the Universe by Sir James Jeans is the opening of book The Mysterious Universe. It is a splendid demonstration of his power to communicate a vision of the universe with fluency and clarity.

The littleness of our home, the Earth in space when measured is unimaginably small in the universe. The number of stars in the universe is like the number of grains of sand on all the seashores of the world. The majority of the stars are so large that millions of earths could be packed inside each.

The majority of stars are wandering about in space. A few journey in company, but the majority are solitary travellers. And they travel through a universe so spacious that it is an event of almost unimaginable rarity for a star to come anywhere near to another star.

The stars we see in the sky are intensely hot. In course of time, the expelled fragments of the sun gradually cooled down. Afterwards, one of these cooling fragments gave birth to life. From these simple beginnings emerged life. It seems that humanity came into existence in some such way as this. If we attempt to discover the nature and purpose of the universe, our first impression is similar to terror. We find the universe terrifying because of its vast distances, our extreme loneliness and insignificance of our home in space. Above all, we find the universe terrifying because it appears to be indifferent to life like our own. The universe even appears to be hostile to life like our own.

We have fallen into such a universe, by mistake or as the result of an accident. Our calculation shows that the number of planetary systems can at most be very small in comparison with the number of stars in the sky. Planetary systems are exceedingly rare objects in space. Life on earth could only originate on planets like the earth. It needs suitable conditions for its appearance; the most important is a temperature at which substances can exist in the liquid state.

The stars themselves are far too hot. We may think of them as a vast collection of fires scattered throughout space. Away from the fires there is cold of hundreds of degrees of frost. Close up to them is a temperature of thousands of degrees, at which all solids melt, all liquids boil.

Life can only exist inside a narrow temperate zone between the extremes of temperature zones. Outside these zones life would be frozen; inside, it would be dried-up. At a rough estimate, these zones within which life is possible constitute less than a thousand million millionth part of the whole of space. Just for this reason it seems unbelievable that the universe have been designed to produce life like our own.

We do not know if suitable physical conditions are sufficient in themselves to produce life. According to one school of thought, the earth gradually cooled, it was natural, and unavoidable, that life should come. Another holds that after one accident had brought the earth into being, a second was necessary to produce life. The constituents of a living body are ordinary chemical atoms, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and so on. Every kind of atom necessary for life must have existed in the new born earth. At intervals, a group of atoms might happen to arrange themselves in the way in which they are arranged in the living cell. Indeed, given sufficient time, they would be certain to do so. But would they then be a living cell? Is it merely atoms, or is it atoms plus life? Or, to put it in another way, could a skilful chemist create life out of the necessary atoms and then make it go? We do not know the answer.

Friday, 3 January 2014



1.                     The Prisoner of Zenda is written by Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins.
2.                     The Prisoner of Zenda was written in 1893.
3.                     The Prisoner of Zenda was published in 1894.
4.                     The Prisoner of Zenda is, essentially, one of action, with no psychological or sociological complexities.
5.                     Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins was born in 1862.
6.                     Rudolf Rassendyll is younger brother to Lord Burlesdon.
7.                     The name of Rudolf Rassendyll’s elder brother is Robert.
8.                     Lady Burlesdon was Rudolf Rassendyll’s sister in law.
9.                     Bertram Bertrand is a poet and journalist resident in Paris.
10.               Madame Antoinette de Mauban was a rich and handsome 30 years old widow.
11.               Princess Flavia is cousin to King Elphberg.
12.               Princess Flavia is immediate heir to the throne of Ruritania.
13.               Black Michael was the Duke of Strelsau.
14.               Duke Black Michael was half-brother of King Elphberg.
15.               Black Michael was the son of previous king’s second and morganatic marriage.
16.               Black Michael was the owner of the Castle of Zenda and the surrounding estate.
17.               Colonel Sapt and Fritz  von Tarlenheim were the body guards to the King Elphberg.
18.               Countess Helga von Strofzin was the lady-in-waiting to Princess Flavia.
19.               Marshal Strankencz was the name of the commander in chief of Ruritanian army.
20.               Duke of Strelsau hired six resolute and unscrupulous gentlemen to dethrone the King Rudolf.
21.               Three of the Six were foreigners.
22.               Three of the Six were Ruritanians.
23.               Lauengram, Krafstein and Rupert of Hentzau of the Six were Ruritanians.
24.               De Gautet of the Six was French.
25.               Bersonin of the Six was Belgian.
26.               Detchard of the Six was English.
27.               Rupert of Hentzau was the most daring and dangerous of the Six and the only one to remain alive at the end of the story.
28.               Johann was the Duke of Strelsau’s gamekeeper on the Zenda estate.
29.               Bertram Bertrand was in love with Madame de Mauban.
30.               The colour of Rassendyll’s hair was red.
31.               Bertram Bertrand was interested in Antoinette de Mauban.
32.               On the Coronation Day, it was actually Rudolf Rassendyll who was crowned as the king of Ruritania.
33.               The coronation ceremony of the Ruritanian King was scheduled on Wednesday.
34.               Detchard was killed by Rassendyll.
35.               An immediate heir to the throne was Flavia.
36.               King Elphberg was imprisoned in Old castle.
37.               Rupert was fond of Mauban.
38.               Fritz was interested in Helga.
39.               King Elphberg was wounded by Detchard.
40.               The name of Duke’s game keeper was Johann.
41.               The persons killed in the incident at the shooting lodge were three.
42.               “I wonder when in the world you are going to do anything, Rudolf?” These words are spoken by Rose.
43.               “I enjoy an enviable position: I am brother to Lord Burlesdon and brother-in-law to that most charming lady, his countess. Behold, it is enough.” These words are spoken by Rudolf Rassendyll.
44.               “Our family does not need to do things.” This remark is given by Rassendyll.
45.               “Good families are generally worse than any others.” These words have been uttered by Rose.
46.               “To a man of spirit, opportunities are duties.” These words are spoken by Rassendyll.
47.               “After all, red hair and long noses are not confined to the House of Elphberg.” These words are spoken by Robert.
48.               Rudolf observes that Madam Mauban was a year or two over thirty.
49.               “You have got a charming travelling companion, that’s poor Bertram Bertrand’s goddess. Antoinette de Mauban and like you, she is going to Dresden also.”
50.               Zenda was a small town.
51.               Zenda was at the distance of fifty miles from Strelsau.
52.               “We know Duke Michael, he has always lived among us, every Ruritanian knows Duke Michael. But the King is almost a stranger, has been so much aboard, not one in ten knows him even by sight.”
53.               “Rassendyll sent his luggage directly to the Strelsau.
54.               The height of Rudolf Rassendyll was six feet, two inches.
55.               Rassendyll introduced himself to Sapt saying “I am Rudolf Rassendyll. I am a traveler from England.
56.               King Elphberg’s face was slightly more fleshy than Rassendyll.
57.               “There none within ten miles, and a thousand doctors wouldn’t take him to Strelsau today, I know the look of it. He will not move for six or seven hours yet.” This dialogue has been said by Colonel Sapt.
58.               “Pray, sir, do you know our king?” Rassendyll was asked by Johann.
59.               “You must make love to her tonight, you know.” These words are spoken by Colonel Sapt.
60.               “It’s true, that I love you more than life – or truth – or honour”. The speaker is Rassendyll.
61.               “If I were not the king, I was only a private gentleman.” The words are spoken by Rassendyll.
62.               “I don’t deserve it – I don’t deserve to be doubted. Ah, Rudolf ! Does a woman who marries without love look on the man as I look on you?” These words have been spoken by Flavia.
63.               “In joy and sorrow, in good times and bad, God save your royal highness.” This dialogue is said by Colonel Sapt.
64.               “But before all comes the king – God save the king.” The speaker is Princess Flavia.
65.               “Then in God’s name, let us go to Zenda and crush this Michael and bring the king back to his own again.”  The words are spoken by Rassendyll.
66.               “Before God, you are the finest Elphberg of them all. But I have been eaten of the king’s bread, and I am the king’s servant. Come we will go to Zenda.” The words are spoken by Colonel Sapt.
67.               “I have no cause to love you, but God forbid that you should fall into the power of the duke. Accept no invitation of his. Go nowhere without a large guard – a regiment is not too much to make you safe. Show this if you can to him who reigns in Strelsau.” This is written by Mauban.
68.               “As you value life and more than life, my queen, obey it to the very letter. A regiment shall camp round your house today. See that you do not go out unless well-guarded. These words are spoken by Rassendyll.
69.               “I guess, it is from a good friend – and fear, an unhappy woman. You must be ill, Flavia, and unable to go to Zenda. Make your excuses as cold and formal as you like.” The words are spoken by Rassendyll.
70.               “Then hear one from me. Attack the castle boldly. Let Sapt and Tarlenheim lead.” The words are spoken by Rupert.
71.               “Black Michael will fall, like the dog he is; the prisoner, as you call him, will go by Jacob’s ladder – ah, you know that? – to hell! Two men will be left - I, Rupert Hentzau, and you, the King of Ruritania.” The speaker of these words is Rupert.
72.               “Johann carries this for me. I warned you once. In the name of God, and if you are a man, rescue me from this den of murderers! A. De M.” The speaker is Mauban.
73.               “I have promised you twenty thousand crowns, you shall have fifty thousand if you will do what I ask of you tomorrow night. But, first, do those servants know who your prisoner is?” The words are said by Rassendyll.
74.               “Wear that ring, even though you wear another when you are queen.” The words are spoken by Rassendyll.
75.               “Whatever else I wear this I will wear till I die and after.” These words are spoken by Flavia.
76.               “Thanks to the most gallant gentleman that lives,” said Fritz softly, “the king is alive.
77.               “Get off your horse, Rassendyll cried, “and fight like a man.”
78.               “Nonsense, child!” said old Strekencz; “the king lies wounded in the castle.”
79.               “Is he in two places, or are there two Kings? And how he should he be here?” The speaker is Flavia.
80.               “He is the King. It is the King’s face-the King’s ring – my ring! It is my love.” These words are spoken by Flavia.
81.               “They are right sire. Let me go: My work here is done.” These words are said by Rassendyll.
82.               Somehow love gives even to dull man the knowledge of his lover’s heart -- I love you with all my heart and soul. These sentiments are expressed by Rassendyll.
83.               “If love were the only thing I could follow you – in rags, if need to the world’s end; for you hold my heart in hollow of your hand! But is love the only thing?” This dialogue has been uttered by Flavia.
84.               “Honour binds a woman too Rudolf. My honour lies in being true to my country and my House. I don’t know why God had let me love you; but I know that I must stay!” The speaker of these words is Flavia.
85.               “Your ring will always be on my finger, your heart in my heart. But you must go and I must stay. Perhaps I must do what it kills me to think of doing.” The dialogue is said by Flavia.
86.               “We have defeated traitors and set the king firm on his throne.” The speaker is Sapt.
87.               “Heaven doesn’t always make the right men kings!” This dialogue has been said by Fritz.
88.               “This,” said he, “is Colonel Sapt, and I am called Fritz von Tarlenheim; we are both in the service of the King of Ruritania.
89.               Sapt was rather short and stoutly built, with a big bullet shaped head, a bristly grey moustache, and small pale-eyes, a trifle bloodshot.
90.               Fritz was a slender young fellow, of middle height, dark in complexion, and bearing himself with grace and distinction.
91.               As a man grows old he believes in fate. Fate sent you here. Fate sends you now to Strelsau.
92.               Black Michael have full-blooded red cheeks, black hair, and dark, deep eyes.
93.               “I assure you, my dear cousin, that nothing in my life has affected me more than the reception I’ve been greeted with to-day.” Said Rassendyll.
94.               The name of the English ambassador to Ruritania is Lord Topham.
95.               The age of Rupert of Hentzau is 22-23.