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FLORENCE     Florence –  the capital of the Tuscany region and the cradle of Renaissance   We opted for Flix Bus while traveling from Venice to Florence. The road journey takes about three and a half-hour. In Florence, it terminates at the rear end of Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station. One of Italy’s busiest stations, it got its name from Santa Maria Novella Church just across the plaza from the main entrance. We debarked at the station and refreshed ourselves at McDonald's before hiring a cab for our hotel. Florence, popularly known as ‘Firenze’ by the Italians, is located in central Italy. This dreamy city with a romantic name is the regional capital of the lovely Tuscany region.   Columbus Hotel, where we stayed, is located in Lugarno District. We always prefer to book our hotels through as we always land up getting good hotels at good locations. Despite being a little away from the heart of the city and Santa Maria Novella station

A Caledonian Experience--- 2

Scottish Highlands, Castles & Whisky As our guide drove towards the city of Stirling, he told us about Scottish Highlands-Lowlands divide and their history . We approached Stirling Castle through the wynds of the old town. The attractive 14 th  century castle atop an intrusive crag appeared to be sheltering and dominating the old town with ancient  buildings and cobbled streets. It was windy and drizzling. Inside there were the wonderfully preserved Great Hall and Great Kitchen of the Royal Palace built by King James V. Mary, Queen of Scots, is among the many Kings and Queens of Scotland who have been crowned as well as lived there. Even the legendary hero of the folklore King Arthur’s name is linked. Although a 5 th  century character, King Arthur’s Round Table was discovered on the castle ground by archaeologists. Despite the naturally strong and defensive position of the castle, history recorded eight sieges. Only Romans bypassed Stirling. Instead, they built a f

Human Centric Lighting - Prof Warren Julian's presentation

What is Human Centric Lighting? - An illuminating talk by Professor Warren Julian Human Centric Lighting Design is an old Concept, given that our circadian clock runs on a 24-hour cycle. But It was difficult to maintain the circadian entrainment effectively with traditional lights. With the advent of LED, having expanded color capabilities, and seamless control on color changes and dimming, a lot of research is underway to make our visual system respond more effectively to the light stimulus. Dynamic Tunable LED, varying lighting   has always been human-centric  Spectrum from 6500K to 2700K has increased the circadian effectiveness of the human system. Increasing daytime alertness and nighttime sleep can be addressed in the near future by acutely synchronizing the circadian system of human beings with proper doses of red and blue light. A brilliant presentation on Human Centric Lighting was made at the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair 2017 by Professor Warren Julian of Sy

A Caledonian Experience

Scotland - Part 1 King’s Cross Station, London. One of the oldest and busiest railway stations of Europe, located in central London. During the inaugural period(1851) Queen Victoria travelled to Scotland from this station. We took the morning high speed train from here on our journey to Caledonia. Caledonia is the Latin name given by the Romans in early first century AD for area north of their province Britannia. The train sped through the rolling English countryside. And from Newcastle upon Tyne the scene was more breathtaking, as the train ran almost along the North Sea, its beaches and cliffs.  Before coming to Scotland I personally carried an impression that Edinburgh is a quaint little Scottish town, and its rail station is small and compact, like any other wayside stations in England. But as we stepped down on the platform I was stupefied to find a vast complex teeming with people. The station is well connected to the North Bridge, which runs over the station and bridge