Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dying Is Hard. Comedy Is Harder.

In the face of death, or say when death becomes more like an immediate probability, making it light with jokes and comedy surely take to have "iron guts". George Carlin's jokes were considered anti-establishment, his "profanity" was snubbed by major media, but for the greater mass his stand up comedy was like breath of fresh air in the middle of stale morbidity.

Read Jerry Seinfeld's concise but to the point article from the following link:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Link between Low Vitamin D and Mortality

What a strange combination, like a double sided sword, getting exposure to sun or not getting enough exposure to sun both of them have positive and negative health related consequences. Burn your skin with sunlight and chances of getting skin cancer gets higher, and staying away from enough sun light can expedite inevitable mortality. Read the following extract:
Low vitamin D levels "can be considered a strong risk indicator for all-cause mortality in women and in men," researchers report Tuesday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. By the time the paper had been accepted for publication, the team had dug deeper and found low vitamin D status "had other significant negative effects in terms of incidence of cancer, stroke, sudden cardiac death and death of heart failure,......"

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Getting Power From Salty Water

Alternative fuel generation technologies all have one kind or another obstacles. Wind doesn't blow all the time and sunlight is blocked by cloud even during daytime. In Norway, scientists has found another way of generating energy, it is through the osmotic pressure between salty and non-salty water through a very thin membrane. Here are a few quotes from Forbes magazine:
"Seawater and freshwater, filtered to remove silt, are fed into pipes which lead to a membrane system, made up of spiral coils to maximize surface area. The salt of the seawater draws the fresh water across the membrane, leading to a build-up of pressure which forces water through the turbine, generating electricity."
So far no large scale commercial application wasn't made due to not finding or manufacturing membrane that can withstand enough water pressure and at the same time keeping salt and non-salt water being separated. However, this Norwegian company has found or produced that "magic membrane" "that can work for a small-scale plant, though it's not quite enough for a larger operation."

Read the full article from link below:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Silent Genocide from Carbon Footprint

Stark images of Iowa flood from news media are shocking. A house being swept away in Wisconsin by gushing water was terrifying. Rivers have risen to heights never reached before in precise swiftness, destroying life and livelihoods of so many ordinary folks of world of reality. In West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and neighboring area flood has caused dozens of deaths, bridge collapse and other calamities. Scientists have predicted all of these "happenings". "Perry Beeman is an award-winning investigative reporter for The Des Moines Register, and former president of the Society of Environmental Journalists. From his flood-wracked city of Des Moines, he told me: "Not even a few weeks before this all happened, we were in the middle of doing a climate change series that's going to run over the year. We had two-page graphic talking about the different things that would happen (in Iowa as a result of climate change) and pointing out ... that you would expect more torrential rains. What has happened here is consistent with many scientists' view of what global warming will mean in the Midwest."

Salt inundation and rising sea water along with increasing heat in the Bay of Bengal have started to claim more and more lands in Bangladesh. As if the ocean is in rage. Devastating cyclones like Sidr are becoming more frequent. A climatologist in Dhaka says, "The sea surface temperatures in the Bay of Bengal have been rising steadily for the past 40 years – and so, exactly as you would expect, the intensity of cyclones has risen too. They're up by 39 per cent on average."

Johann Hari's article in The Independent is frightening. An entire nation, Bangladesh, would be under the rising sea within this century. Hundreds of millions of people will either be drowned, swept away, or will be victimized beyond anguish, scattered around the world as hapless refugees. This all will happen due to our world's increasing carbon footprint, in which, Bangladesh's contribution is mere 0.3 percent of the world's contribution, but absolute devastation would claim 100 percent of this cyclone and flood ravaged nation through global warming and its apparent irreversible consequences.

A Bangladeshi scientist surmises this stranger than fiction scenario in succinct words Johann Hari's article: "
This is the ground zero of global warming." He listed the effects. The seas are rising, so land is being claimed from the outside. (The largest island in the country, Bhola, has lost half its land in the past decade.) The rivers are super-charged, becoming wider and wider, so land is being claimed from within. (Erosion is up by 40 per cent). Cyclones are becoming more intense and more violent (2007 was the worst year on record for intense hurricanes here). And salt water is rendering the land barren. (The rate of saline inundation has trebled in the past 20 years.) "There is no question," Dr Rahman said, "that this is being caused primarily by human action. This is way outside natural variation. If you really want people in the West to understand the effect they are having here, it's simple. From now on, we need to have a system where for every 10,000 tons of carbon you emit, you have to take a Bangladeshi family to live with you. It is your responsibility." In the past, he has called it "climatic genocide".

Is there any remedy available? Perhaps. Is there still time to stop this progression of silent genocide arising from carbon footprint?

Ralph Nader may have the answer. He said,
"We've got to have a national mission of converting our economy, and the example for the world is solar energy, 4 billion years of supply. It is environmentally benign, decentralized, makes us energy independent and replaces the ExxonMobil/Peabody Coal/uranium complex. That is why we have got to go for economic, political, health and safety reasons."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How to Nap

Boston Globe's How to Nap cheat sheet shows the benefits of nap of various time length. Here is the link:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How to fit 1TB of data on one tiny thumbdrive

Only a few years ago, a 512 MB flash drive was a cool item to have. Then the storage capacity kept going up as the price sliding down. Now one can buy 8 GB flash drive less than thirty dollars from many online stores. In a few years, new kind of thumbdrive will be in the market with many times more capacity and cheaper in price in comparison to today's ones. Read the following excerpts:
"Scientists at Arizona State University have created a new kind of solid state memory that they say is much cheaper and more efficient than flash. And crucially, because it uses a new kind of nanotechnology, storage capacities will be much higher than anything we have today, for a tenth of the cost.

The new memory is called programmable metallization cell (PMC) and one terabyte (1TB) USB thumbdrives are said to be just a few years away.

PMC memory works in a vastly different way to current flash technology.

Flash uses electronic charges to physically store bits of information, whereas PMC works on the molecular scale to create nanowires from copper atoms. These nanowires record binary ones and zeroes, enabling a massive amount of data to be stored in a tiny space.

If a positive charge is passed through the PMC memory, the nanowires disassemble, allowing it to be used over and over again."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

End of Internet?

This group composed of net neutrality activists claims that in 2012 all the ISPs will come together in simultaneous move, and they will introduce subscription based services, so it will be like current TV channel subscription system, you pay for certain mainstream Internet sites, and the small sites, especially alternative ones, including the newly emerging ones will be pushed out to oblivion. I'm not sure how much truth is in these claims, but it worth to watch the following video, that may give us pointers to explore more information regarding this seemingly benign but possibly drastically stifling Internet freedom taken away from ordinary folks and concentrate it into the hands of small powerful conglomerates.

Don't have to be a die hard Ron Paul supporter to watch this inspiring music video and "wake up"!