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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Free educational videos on various sciences

Lots of free videos on Physics, computer science, mathematics, nano technology, algorithms, programming languages, economics, History, engineering, material science, Culture, Geography, Photography etc.

MIT Open Course war(OCW) video and audio courses:

MIT lectures on Youtube:

Stanford lectures on Youtube:

Berkeley lab's videos on Youtube:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The paycheck giveth. The gas pump taketh away

Here is an artcile about Hybrid cars, which could be our future(hopefully):

The basic problem with automobile gasoline engines is that, to let you blithely roar down the highway, they have to be designed for peak power demands. So, for crawling around the city, they're grossly inefficient. (For waiting at red lights, they are infinitely inefficient.)

In response, hybrids use a battery-powered electric motor in low-power situations, and a gas engine in high-power situations, switching back and forth automatically. The gas engine is simply switched off at red lights, and is often designed to operate in a narrow power range when it is switched on, making it more efficient. The battery is recharged by the gas engine. Generators attached to the brakes can also turn some of the braking momentum (normally lost as heat) into electricity for battery charging.

Read on here...Hybrid cars.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Head of states and their flavours

1. Bold President: Putin

Putin, undoubtedly. He brought back Russia from its every deepening ruins. I just love the way he carries himself, his calmness and most importantly politcally strong man ending conflict with Chechnya, getting the economy of Russia on track.

2. Dumb and warmongering President: Bushhhhhh
Now, dont tell me there is a contender to beat G.W.Bush in this category. He can be unanimously chosen for this position.
Just look at his quotes and many such, commonly called as Bushisms:

"The decisions we make in Washington have a
direct impact on the people in our country, obviously." --George W. Bush, New
Albany, Ind., Nov. 13, 2007

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." --George W. Bush, Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

I also suggest anyone who reads this to see this particular video of Top-10 moments. (Just dont forget to watch how Mr.Bush uses a lady's coat to clean his spectacles)

3. Classy and elegant President: Syrian President, BasharAl- Assad

He is defenitely an elegant and has that sophistication, class in his personality. As many would not know about him, i suggest VERY VERY strongly to watch his interview atleast for few minutes. Here is it: Video. His answers are straight and his style is so elegant.
4. Page-3 President: French head of state, Mr. Nicholas Sarkozy

His only aspect of Presidency which was widely known all over the world is his girl-friend Carla Bruni and their tours across continents. I bet million dollars that he is going to lose the coming election.

5. The Red President: Nepal's Prachanda

He is wonder boy for communists, who has over thrown a monarchy ans established a Republic with just one step- step out of militancy and stand in elections.

6. 'Does he exist?' Prime Minister: Mr.Manmohan Singh

With all due respect to his' academic and cabinet achievements, MMS was just a puppet and doesnot belong to the category of head of states.

7. Noisy President: Hugo Chavez
He makes lot of noise both at home and abroad so much that King of Spain had to literally say SHUT UP to Chavez. It was made into ringtone which generated $2million. I respect his views of anti-imperialism, but he goes too far many a times.

8. The pilot President: Brunei Sultan- Hassanal Bolkiah
He piloted Boeing 747 from his capital Bandar Seri Begawan to New Delhi. Now thats impressive.
9. The unwanted President: Ehud Olmert of Israel
Reasons- Scams, couldnot handle Hezbollah, accidentally revealed that Israel has nukes and wonder what, he is even speaking about 'Peace' with Syria.

10. Puppet President: Nouri Al-Maliki
Doesnt know anything except getting orders and executing from somewhere else.

World Environment Day - just one more day?

Today, June 5th is world environment day. But, who cares? even if someone cares about it, how does this day matter??
I'm not going speak about what causes environmental disasters, global warming and what are its consequences. If you don't know, catch a 6yr old in your neighbourhood and he will give you an 'essay' answer about this issue. I am more interested in making people think about this issue inspite of today's busy lifestyle of people across continents.

I think there is no use of 'preaching' people about the reasons to take care of environment or their results if not doing so. Its raises curiosity for some people, laughter for some and many many remain neutral.
Following are needed for progress in this regard:

  1. Political will
  2. Making Environmental and Agricultural engineering/science as a lucrative career
  3. Find ways to spread among teenagers that doing something for environment is really kewl
  4. Reduce dependency on fossil fuels by devising extensive public transportation as easy option for poor,middle-class and rich alike
  5. Nuclear energy as source for electricity

These steps, in my view would atleast lay the track for future where the environment can be safeguarded and our future generations can live in nature which has made man wonder for centuries.

Surprising results of global warming: slideshow
Movie: An Inconvenient Truth
Book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism)

How a poet's empire fell !

Umr-e- daraaz se maang ke laye the char din,Do aarzu mein guzar
gaye, do intezaar mein

Hai kitna badnaseeb Zafar dafn ke liye Do gaz zameen bhi na mili
koo-e-yaar mein

(I had requested for a long life, a life of four days-Two passed by in pining, and two in waiting.
How unlucky is Zafar! For burial, even two yards of land were not to be had, inthe land (of the) beloved.)

The above lines were written by Bahadur Shah Zafar when he was in exile. His exile started after he and his family members took refuge in Humayun tomb after British's attack. Many of his family members were executed by enemies and some were exiled.

Now picturise the narration below of from William Darlymple's book- The Last Mughal

On a hazy November afternoon in Rangoon, 1862, a shrouded corpse was
escorted by a small group of British soldiers to an anonymous grave in a prison
enclosure. As the British Commissioner in charge insisted, “No vestige will
remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Moghuls rests.
” Bahadur ShahZafar II, the last Mughal Emperor, was a mystic, an accomplished poet and a skilled calligrapher.

Its so picturistic that i can feel how Zafar's family, friends and his supporters on 1857's battle would.

The book is more than just invade-rule-lose kind of narration. It goes into details of everyday life, the stages in which the empire slowly started to fade away and more importantly how common people adapted to changes, assimilated against the British forces. It is a must read for anyone who wants to know about history turning event in south asia.

You could share the grief of the Bahadur Shah Zafar as the helpless soul who saw his sons and empire going down in front of his eyes. The once a peaceful and poetic city was turned into a mass graveyard with bodies rotting in the open, and destruction all around. Many great poets of the era lost their lives and rare poetic work lost. Worse was the treatment of the emperor Zafar. He was exiled to Rangoon, confined to a small house with a handful of loyal followers, his death a hush-hush affair, and his place of burial kept a secret for 129 years till it was accidentally discovered.

Obsessed at first sight

Getting obsessed is a rare thing in my life, but the Canon Digital Rebel XT just stole my heart.
Its too tough to describe the joy i feel when its 'click' sound titillates me.....sounding as 'Kksshhhkkk'. Its as if I am in school and i hear the voice of girl who is crush of life time, You really know what i mean. ;)
I got this marvel the day before i'm blogging about it and in the night i couldnot stop experimenting all its features still feeling there is always more to this.
As i always owned just a point and shoot camera, transitioning to this piece would take some time and effort. Added to this, I have to start planning trips out of my city to use this in better way and also to see new places, meet people and wonder on nature.