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With the diversity of experiences on this trip, kids might not even notice that they’ve been learning Exploratorium, San Francisco


Pier 15, The Embarcadero, San Francisco
Set amid San Francisco’s bustling Pier 15 , the crowd-pleasing Exploratorium invites guests to experience science in action—like standing in a fog cloud or walking into the totally dark Tactile Dome. Check out six unique galleries, like the hands-on Tinkering area, where you can watch museum staffers create wonders but also make your own. In the Living Systems gallery, look at fruit flies and stem cells under a powerful microscope, or let kids “pedal” the bike-powered machine outside that approximates a giant, squirting game of jump rope. Climb the stairs to the Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery for remarkable views of sailboats, freighters, and ferries, as well as the nearby Bay Bridge and Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands. And don’t miss the all-glass observation cube at the very tip of the pier.


California Academy Of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco
Earth meets sky at California Academy of Sciences, a combination of natural history museum, planetarium, and aquarium located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Start at the domed, four-story rainforest exhibit, where you’ll spot free-flying birds, butterflies, amphibians, and even an Amazonian tree boa. Check the schedule at the Morrison Planetarium, which showcases films like Passport to the Universe, featuring footage from the Hubble Space Telescope, on its 75-foot-diameter screen. The CAS is a great place to eat too, from the house-made soups and salads at The Academy Café to the craft beer and locally-sourced dishes at The Terrace.


Computer History Museum
1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View
Your first impression of Silicon Valley, the Northern California brain trust south of the San Francisco Bay, may ironically be how pretty its landscape is, thanks to its lush green foothills. But the human-made wonders at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum will quickly grab your attention too. Learn about the birth of the computer, driverless cars, and tech heroes such as Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician. Another fascinating exhibit sheds light on the little-known story of Colossus, an electronic code-breaker device developed by British math whizzes and engineers, which helped win World War II.


Tech Museum Of Innovation
201 S Market St, San Jose
In Silicon Valley’s San Jose, the interactive Tech Museum of Innovation (nicknamed The Tech) creates a fun laboratory and learning experience for curious people of all ages. Play cyber detective or build your own robot using sensors, actuators, and controllers. Check out the Reboot Reality exhibit and design a digital painting, or climb onto Birdly, the virtual-reality flying simulator. For another kind of thrill, stand on the Shake Platform, which creates the sensation of the eight levels of earthquakes.


Children’s Discovery Museum Of San Jose
180 Woz Way, San Jose
Look for the distinctive purple building along San Jose’s Wozniak Way (a.k.a. “the Woz”), named after Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Here, at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, kids get hands-on science lessons from 150 exhibits and an outdoor playground lab. Start by checking out Lupe, the replica of a woolly mammoth whose remains were found in Silicon Valley, then dig in the dirt to see how archeologists search for fossils. In other areas, kids can make art, climb trees, blow giant bubbles, and pump water out of a rain catchment system.


Santa Cruz Museum Of Natural History
1305 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz
With its hybrid terrain of coastline, redwood forests, and mountains, the college town of Santa Cruz is a natural magnet for families thanks to an old-fashioned amusement park on the boardwalk. But it’s also home to the century-old Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, set above Seabright Beach. Stop in for the touch pool—with living, local inter-tidal plants and animals—and then visit the live honeybee exhibit or the Ohlone exhibit that shows life in the pre-colonial Central Coast. (Bonus: Admission is free for kids.)


Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row, Monterey
The world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium is an essential stop in the Central Coast town of Monterey—an attraction on the same level as historic Cannery Row. You’ll see brilliantly colored jellyfish that resemble some kind of alien life form as they gracefully glide through the water. Go nose-to-nose with adorable sea otters and catch glimpses of leopard sharks and schools of sardine swimming through the kelp forest exhibit. After all, with 28-foot windows, it’s one of the world’s tallest aquariums. Check out tours, too, like the surface scuba diving or the behind-the-scenes fish feeding.


National Steinbeck Center
1 Main St, Salinas
With a rich agricultural and literary history, the town of Salinas makes a fascinating stop. Start by exploring the world of author John Steinbeck: You can visit his boyhood home as well as the National Steinbeck Center. Even if the kids aren’t old enough yet to have read The Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men, this engaging museum will give them a vivid introduction to the author, by way of films, artifacts, sound clips, and hands-on activities that illustrate how the people and landscape of the Salinas Valley informed Steinbeck’s classic American books. Come during August for the annual Steinbeck Festival, or during February for the annual birthday celebration.


Mission San Juan Bautista
406 2nd St5, San Juan Bautista
The town of San Juan Bautista, located off Highway 101, makes for an excellent time capsule thanks to its downtown lined with Old West storefronts. The centerpiece of town, though, is Mission San Juan Bautista, a classic among the 21 Spanish missions built in California between 1769 and 1834. Learn about the Spanish era and note the interesting features of the mission, like the animal paw prints depicted in the floor tiles.Two fun facts: The mission sits next to the San Andreas Fault and it was featured in the Hitchcock thriller Vertigo.


Gilroy Gardens
3050 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy
The Santa Clara County town of Gilroy boasts of being the Garlic Capital of the World. That’s a title kids might not appreciate until you take them to them to Gilroy Gardens theme park, which celebrates the herb along with the other crops growing in the Central Coast farm country. Zoom and twirl on agriculturally-themed rides like the Artichoke Dip, the Mushroom Swing, and, of course, the Garlic Twirl. Be sure to check out the 25 incredible Circus Trees, grown in nature-defying shapes. For more garlic, even in ice cream, come to town in July for the Gilroy Garlic Festival.


SPOTLIGHT
Casa De Fruta
10021 Pacheco Pass Hwy, Hollister
What started as a humble cherry stand in 1908 is now a massive roadside attraction, welcoming more than 3 million visitors each year. Located 40 miles northeast of Monterey, Casa de Fruta in Hollister features a 10,000-square-foot market, 24-hour restaurant, sweetshop, RV park, 14-room inn, and playground. The market sells road-trip-friendly dried fruit, nuts, wine, and fresh produce from all over the state—visitors can try strawberries from Watsonville, pistachios from Fresno, garlic from Gilroy, and more. The family’s wine is offered in the traditional white, red, and blush, but visitors most often leave with a bottle of Casa de Fruta’s signature pomegranate wine.


Fresno Chaffee Zoo
894 W Belmont Ave, Fresno
Set along Highway 99, Fresno is the agricultural heart of the Central Valley—but it also offers gorgeous gardens, parks, and the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The zoo has unique naturalistic enclosures such as the 13-acre, savannah-like African Adventure, and is home to almost 200 species of animals from around the globe, from red kangaroos and wildebeests to cheetahs and king cobras. Don’t miss the chance for the kids to feed giraffes and check out the behind-the-scenes experiences, like Breakfast with the Rhinos or sea lion training sessions.

India

Andhra Pradesh Govt puts plans to sell Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam properties on hold

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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam

Amaravati, 25 May : The government of Andhra Pradesh on Monday stepped in to put on hold the proposed sale of unviable assets belonging to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD). The state government stepped in to control the damage following the rising resentment in several quarters over the recent move by the Board of Trustees of the TTD.

In an order issued by Praveen Prakash, Principal Secretary (Political), on Monday, the state government, keeping in view devotees’ sentiments, directed the TTD to re-examine the issue in consultation with the different stakeholders such as religious elders, opinion makers, section of devotees etc., to ascertain whether these properties can be used by TTD for construction of temples, dharma pracharam and other religious activities.

The state government headed by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has been at the receiving end of opposition parties over the move to dispose of 50 TTD properties located in Tamil Nadu and other places outside Andhra Pradesh. The state government has pointed out that the controversial decision was in fact taken during the previous regime headed by the Telugu Desam Party.

“It has been brought to the notice of the government that the Board of Trustees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which was constituted by the previous government, approved the disposal of 50 properties of TTD through its resolution No. 253 dated 30.01.2016,” the order pointed out.

The richest religious body in the country, the TTD has been in the news of late with reports of a cash crunch following the Covid-19 induced lockdown and the resultant freeze on contributions from the devotees. The TTD is headed by Y.V. Subba Reddy, who is also Jagan Mohan Reddy’s maternal uncle.

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Health

Young adults more likely to die from epilepsy: Study

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Brain.

London, May 25 (IANS) A new study has claimed that young adults aged between 16 and 24 may have a six-fold increased risk of epilepsy-related death, a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures.

The study, presented at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress, found that mortality rates for epilepsy-related deaths did not decrease between 2009 (6.8 per 100,000) and 2015 (9.1 per 100,000), despite advances in treatment during this time.

Young adult patients in their early 20s and 30s were found to be at the highest risk, with 78 per cent of epilepsy-related deaths under the age of 55 years classified as potentially avoidable.

The study, being conducted in Scotland, aims identify the burden of epilepsy-related deaths, what proportion of these are potentially avoidable, and ascertain the factors that may put patients at an increased risk.

“Epilepsy patients are at a higher risk of early death than the general population, but reasons for this are unclear,” said study researcher Gashirai Mbizvo from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

“We hope that we can use this data to learn lessons and reduce the burden of epilepsy-related deaths in the future, many of which we believe are likely to be avoidable,” Mbizvo added.

Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects around 50 million people globally, making it one of the most common neurological diseases worldwide.

For the findings, the researchers collected anonymous data from healthcare settings for patients that died between 2009 and 2016, identifying 2,149 epilepsy-related deaths.

At least 60 per cent of these patients (1,276) had one or more seizure-related or epilepsy-related hospital admission in the years prior to death, yet less than a quarter (516) were seen in a neurology clinic.

The most common causes of death within the study were sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), aspiration pneumonia, cardiac arrest, congenital malformation and alcohol-related deaths.

The data will be compared with data from living patients with epilepsy of the same age and gender.

“Highlighting such risk factors, and identifying those that could be prevented, might lead to changes in epilepsy care and, ultimately, fewer epilepsy-related deaths in the future,” the researchers noted.

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Cities

Delhiites brace for an Eid at home amid Covid-19 pandemic

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Lockdown Eid

New Delhi, May 24 : Observe Eid with simplicity, help your neighbour and feed the hungry. This seems to be the message this Eid ul-Fitr, at least in the national capital.

With assemblies prohibited and all religious places closed amid the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, Delhiites are bracing for an Eid at home, and so do religious leaders appeal for.

Stating that Eid means happiness, Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of the All India Imam Organization (AIIO), told IANS, “Happiness is possible only when others are happy as well. We are facing an unprecedented situation. I have appealed against buying new clothes and observing Eid by staying home.”

Every year visuals of thousands offering namaaz at Delhi’s iconic Jama Masjid showcases Eid. But this year the vast expanse of the mosque will remain empty. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ahmad Bukhari have asked people to offer prayers at their homes.

“I appeal to all the faithful to maintain social distancing and stay indoors during the Eid festivities,” Bukhari said. He urged them to extend a helping hand to the poor, the destitute and the needy in this hour of crisis, as hundreds and thousands were staring at an uncertain future.

Despite relaxations, footfall in most markets have been minimal due to the fear of infection. With restaurants not allowed to serve food, most traditional Mughlai eateries in the bylanes of Jama Masjid are likely to either remain shut or open only to provide home delivery.

One of the biggest Muslim festival, Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramzan. It’s normally celebrated with exchange of greetings, hugs, feasting and bonding. But due to the lockdown and corona scare, this Eid is likely to be muted.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted that though for the first time he would offer prayer and celebrate Eid at home due to the pandemic, it would not affect the festive spirit.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain, known for organising sumptuous Eid feast in the Lutyens Delhi, which is attended by top politicians cutting across political affiliations, journalists and other dignitaries, will also be observing a quiet Eid.

“I have been doing this Eid luncheon for 21 years. But this time things are different. No invitation has been sent. I will spend Eid in a simple way by distributing food among the poor,” said Hussain.

While the grandeur will be amiss this year, religious leaders insist it’s the intent that counts. They say, new clothes or a grand buffet is not what makes Eid special, it’s the happiness that counts, which increases manifold when shared with others.

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