Yoga, the ancient discipline of India, known for its rejuvenation of body and soul, has developed a wide international appeal in the past decade or so. As the first step towards its recognition of its international status, the United Nations decided to celebrate June 21 as the International Yoga Day in 2015.
Interestingly, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the date of summer solstice (longest day of the year) for commemorating the ancient practise intrinsically linked to the sun. India has been at the forefront of celebrating the International Yoga Day since then. Prime Minister Narendera Modi performed yoga along with around 30,000 people in Ranchi on Friday on the occasion of the fifth International Yoga Day.
Soccer legend David Beckham has such a strong global appeal and ardent fan base that a Buddhist temple in Thailand has installed a gold-painted statue of the footballer on an altar, turning it into a surprising tourist attraction. Pariwat temple, in Bangkok, crafted the Beckham statue two decades ago, when Manchester United made history by being the first English football club to win the treble of trophies.
"Nineteen ninety-nine, the year the sculptor built this statue, was the same year that Manchester United won the treble," said the temple's deputy abbot, Boonreung Poonyawaro, referring to the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. The statue is built like a traditional garuda but with Beckham in his team jersey, and with the trademark floppy hair of that era, holding up the altar, not the mythical bird-like creature. The Beckham statue attracts visitors to this day.
Scientists have discovered two new Earth-like planets around one of the closest stars within our galactic neighbourhood. The planets are located only 12.5 light years away orbiting the Teegarden star - a red dwarf in the direction of the constellation of Aries, according to the study published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. It's surface temperature is 2,700 degrees Celsius, and its mass is only one-tenth that of the Sun, researchers said.
The type of star to which the Teegarden star belongs consists of the smallest for which researchers can measure the masses of their planets with current technology.
Bungling Japanese officials sparked a nuclear scare after a violent, late-night earthquake by ticking the wrong box on a fax form - inadvertently alerting authorities to a potential accident.
Employees of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata - where the 6.4-magnitude quake struck - faxed a message to local authorities seeking to allay any fears of damage.
But TEPCO workers accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form, mistakenly indicating there was an abnormality at the plant rather than there was no problem.
One official filled out the form, and it was checked by a colleague before being sent.
Many Japanese government departments and companies still rely on fax machines for communication.
TEPCO's Tokyo headquarters noticed the mistake, and a correction was published 17 minutes after the original release, the firm's Tokyo-based spokesman told AFP. Kashiwazaki city mayor Masahiro Sakurai saw the incorrectly filled-out form and immediately directed staff to check what was happening.
The mayor hit out at TEPCO, which also operated the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant - site of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl - when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011.