Category Archives: SPECTACULAR SCIENCE

Science is the beginning and destination of our life. Everything is science and revolves around it. I’m a great admirer, fan and a student of science. I’m sure you are too!!!!!!!!

CLIMATE CHANGE IN INDIA: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

Climate change is a transformation in the distribution of weather patterns over long periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. Since the formation of the earth 4.54 billion years ago, the earth has undergone 5 major extinctions, mostly due to these climatic changes i.e. a cyclic pattern between the ice ages and the warmer ones. And we are heading on towards the current Holocene extinction event very fast. Most of us shoo off this topic as merely an exaggeration about global warming, but it is actually happening, and if we visualize the situation in the terms of a country like India, the situation is worsening with each passing day. It is indeed a shame for us that Chennai has overtaken Delhi as the most polluted city of the world.

naturalcalamities_thumb_070113112449

India puts a great pressure on its existing natural resources, even more profoundly than its counterparts because it is a developing nation. The water table is depleting fast, the summers are getting longer and hotter, and the rain spells are getting erratic. The sea levels are rising due to the polar ice caps and glaciers melting at a pace like never before.

hqdefault

The biggest crisis of India is that its population is dwelling in ignorance. Most of the people have no idea about global warming, and even if they have, they are not bothered about it. And our nation has a plethora of other problems, which need greater attention than the climate. Illiteracy and lack of basic education and health facilities in many parts of rural India top the chart.

06464159_1697410f

Most of the people in our country do not have the purchasing power for food and fuel. Immigration to the cities in the search for a better life adds to the pressure on the existing limited drinking water and electricity. However, the pollution contributed by the richer nations should not be compared with the pollution coming from the poorer ones; the former use it for the increasing lifestyle of luxury and comfort, while the latter utilize it for their survival. Today, necessity has become a luxury, due to the ever increasing greed of humans. And global warming is the perfect example of this phenomenon, disrupting  forests, lives and livelihoods.

Nearly 60% of the population is agrarian in nature, and our country has more than a billion mouths to feed. Agriculture takes up nearly 90% of the fresh water resources of our country, and with depletion of the water table and with the increase in the production of water demanding crops like rice and wheat, the situation is getting grim. We are facing the aftermath of the Green Revolution. Frequent drought spells are getting common mainly in the central and the eastern parts of the nation. Denganmal, a village in Maharashtra, where people keep more than one wives just to fetch water from long distances should be an eye opener for all of us. Latest statistics report that India will run out of drinking water by the year 2040.  Farmer suicides are a reminder for us that the provider of food has himself no food security.

62685

The change in the sea levels is leading to powerful cyclones, hurricanes and tsunamis every year.  Salt water intrusion in low lying agricultural plains could lead to food insecurity , spread of water related diseases and lack of fresh water.

India houses 3 biodiversity hotspots from 32 present: the Indo-Burma region, the Western Ghats and the Himalayas. The endemic amphibian species of the Western Ghats are fast dying out. The rare and exotic plants of the Himalayas are fast disappearing even before we get to know about their astounding medicinal properties. India has now only 23.07% of its forests left. Illegal logging for agriculture, grazing lands, urbanization and commercial plantation are the major causes of deforestation.

Women_carring_wood_in_Rajasthan_of_India

Destruction of the wild habitats is leading to a more exposed interaction of humans and animals, and hence, strange and often incurable diseases are cropping up from the warmer parts of the planet. The maladies are spreading on to the colder regions too, due to the gradual increase in the average temperature of the earth, which has increased by 0.6 degrees in the last century.

141010-ebola-death-toll-1548_3d6ad58be94ec50e24fe731eef6a647c

Greater political and bureaucratic attention is needed to diversify the livelihoods of the poor people to reduce their vulnerability. We need to have a significant increase of targeted investments in crop production and management e.g. crop rotation, mixed crop production and organic farming and advanced irrigation systems like drip irrigation and water sprinkler approaches, which should be given to smaller farmers at a subsidised rate. We need to utilise the maximum amount of our existing agricultural lands by using genetically hybrid crops which are more tolerant to the environmental stresses like droughts and floods. There is an immediate need for placing water meters in every Indian home for checking the water usage.

Afforestation will not only help in conserving forests and decreasing desertification, it will also help restoring the water table, in tackling natural disasters and in regaining the livelihoods of the people who are dependent on forestry. Crop pollination needs mutual coordination between the plants and the pollinators like honey bees. Hence, this would ensure maximum food production naturally.

It takes about 10 kgs of grain to produce 1 kg of meat. This contributes to the global warming and our failing health. Hence, people need to shift from a non vegetarian to a vegetarian diet. Buying fresh produce would lead to the practice of rooftop hydroponics, which is cheap and easy to produce, and would definitely act as a combat towards excess plastic packaging layers. Use of plastic bags need to be banned immediately. People need to use cloth/jute bags for getting their groceries.

6618577_orig

The good old 3Rs : Reduce, Reuse and Recycle still hold true. We need to reduce our usage of packaged materials. We need to buy less. We need to reuse old clothes, books, toys and stuff. And finally, newspapers, bottles and scrap should be recycled. Scrap materials from used automobiles and e wastes should be treated properly and can be re used. Instead of recycling, we can burn the waste materials in waste incinerators and can generate electricity.

incinerator

The development of a country largely depends upon the growth of the small scale industries. Amount of carbon produced is the benchmark of development. The small scale industries cannot cope up with the Clean Development Mechanisms initiated by the international communities. Hence, the laws enforced for the national and the international giants in the markets should not be imposed on these units. Rather, the government should bring on some innovative solutions in collaboration with the national leading institutions at a subsidised rate so that they can both thrive and prosper under the new laws, without compromising their income.

2015-01-01-paris2

More number of nuclear power plants need to be setup in our country. And most importantly, the myths associated with the nuclear effects need to be sorted out first. Solar based water pumps in certain areas of Sambalpur district in Odisha has led to the efficient utilisation of water with the demonstration of an excellent use of solar energy. The Canal Solar Power Project launched in Gujarat, uses 19,000 Kilometers long network of Narmada canals across the state for setting up solar panels to generate electricity. Energy efficient systems are the need of the hour. Our country is a fast growing economy, with a lot of business opportunities. Hence, alliances with powerhouses can serve as a blessing for those 400 million people who do not have a proper access to electricity. Biogas is being implemented by village people since long, and is a perfect example of utilisation of organic farming. Using natural products is only possible if sustainable development is undertaken hands on with technologically feasible solutions for the environment.

6

India, being an affordable holiday destination for many, can serve as a heaven for ecotourism.  It leads to the preservation of the nature as well as works towards the protection and enhancement of job opportunities for the forest loving communities.

download

When we consume less energy, we spend less on energy. Hence, it is cost effective. Thus, we need to create laws for automobile and aviation industries, furnaces and miscellaneous factories to keep a check on their emissions, as per the standard norms decided by the governing bodies. By purchasing energy efficient gadgets, we can reduce our carbon footprint.

Awareness is need to be created amongst people for safer practices for nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, so that people are alert towards their changing environmental conditions and get more health conscious. More number of nutrition programs and clinics need to be functional in the rural areas for the proper diagnosis and the treatment of the people in a short period of time. Telemedicine and Any Time Medicine technologies can bring radical changes in the history of treatment.

isro1

There is a need for more number of people who can enhance sustainability development like agricultural scientists, ecologists and biotechnologists. People need to be more aware of their opportunities as scientists and the role they have to play in the society. Extra amount of the country’s budget needs to be spent on the research and development sectors to bring on more innovative and challenging solutions for tackling the environmental issues.

Keeping the frequent natural disasters in view, there is an urgent need for advanced weather forecasting systems and their timely broadcasting in our country to ensure minimum damage to lives and property.

We need to promote cities with excellent public transport facilities and need to encourage them to use ethanol and CNG. We need to convince our farmers to grow bio fuel crops like jatropha, camelina, switch grass and willows; along with normal food crops. These grow well in poor soil and use up less fertilizers. These are high in cellulose, and produce low carbonic fuels.

Fig-Kamazia

The solutions to these challenges are definitely not simple, and are not at all possible if they are only implemented by the government. Participation of the common mass is equally important to make these projects a success. More awareness is needed to be created amongst the public about their role towards the environment and their future. There is so much of positivity around us. We just need to make them happen.

 

THE UGLY MARTIAN

There once lived an ugly Martian

With mighty crispy features

It was named Sandy

By its proud makers.

It loved to gorge on Venusian sand

That’s why its name

Tearing through its Sulphurous atmosphere

Earned it some fame.

While passing nearby earth

It decided to stop

It alighted in my garden

Eating all the green crops.

I cried out loud

All neighbors backed out in fear.

It seemed to look at me; I was cheered.

Some yellow drippings on the ground

Smelt like sulphur

It gave a loud belch

With a stinky odor.

The medium sized creature

Perhaps made of tungsten

Underwent a sudden seizure

Perhaps it was greensmitten.

We wanted it to take it to the local hospital

But sadly we couldn’t

For Mars’s average temperature is nearly 200 degrees Celsius.

It was awesomely hot

Creamed to its three blots

One of which looked like a food spot.

Scientists came rushing

To find it gushing……………………………………..water!

They proposed the following equation:

Veggie greens [carbohydrates] +sulphur + tungsten=water???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Politicians took the matter into their own hands

Spread the voice loud and clear

“The water crisis is over!!!!!!!!!”

Votes cast by people were innumerable

All set into frenzy motion

To take poor Sandy to the lab

To get water

Soon Sandy became the talk of this world

The hit of our educational hubs.

Everyone wanted to meet the great “Aqua donor”.

Thronged its lab with greens of all kinds

Sad for Sandy, who wanted a Sulphur Cake

Got instead a bitter gourd shake.

People thought their problems were over,

India sent to Mars a Space Rover

To know more;

But no surprise, nothing was found, except sand

That unfortunate Sandy did actually want.

It soon suffered from siliconosulphurotungstenaphenesis

Alas! It could not be saved.

The one liter water has been preserved by the lab fellows to understand about Martian life.

The whole world again plunged into deep sorrow.

Water crisis is here to stay,

Along with the sulphur mark in my garden that Sandy made.

Woman Sighted on Mars!!!!!!!

Woman Sighted on Mars!!!!!!!

 

 

EINSTEIN MUST BE RAVAGING MAD HAPPILY!!!!

………Do you know why? Because some scientists are bold enough to say no to his THEORY OF RELATIVITY!!!!!

The latest news and the happiest one too, for me is the discovery of the Neutrino’s speed to be faster than light!!!!!!

 

Here’s an article I got in internet:

Recently, a group of physicists have been working to measure the neutrinos generated from a particle accelerator at CERN. This group discovered neutrinos arriving faster than would have been expected and they appear to be traveling faster than the speed of light itself, but they draw no definitive conclusions. This has been widely reported as being the end of Relativity, but this is not the case at all. Let’s take a look at what is going on in the experiment and what was reported in the journal article.

First, it might help the reader to gain an understanding of the neutrino. Neutrinos are interesting little neutral particles that have almost zero mass. Due to their nature, they can pass through matter without being absorbed. There are three known types of neutrinos: the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino, and the tau neutrino. The experiment in the journal article is referred to as CERN neutrinos to Gran Sasso, or CNGS. The CNGS team is searching for a phenomenon known as neutrino oscillation where muon neutrinos may change into tau neutrinos. A secondary goal of the experiment is to measure neutrino velocity to a great accuracy.

In the experiment, neutrinos are generated at the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) particle accelerator at the CERN LHC complex in Geneva and further accelerated down a 1 km beam line toward the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. At Gran Sasso, a detector instrument called OPERA measures the neutrinos. The distance from CERN to Gran Sasso is 732 km straight through the Earth, traveling up to 11.4 km below the Earth’s surface. Remember, neutrinos don’t interact with matter so the Earth is invisible to the tiny particles.

The distance between the two systems is known to within 20 cm. Time is also measured with extreme precision utilizing GPS timing signals and a cesium atomic clock. The GPS used in timing also allows the team to track any small movements in the Earth itself. This even allowed consideration of the effect of the L’Aquila Earthquake that moved the OPERA detector 7 cm. Due to the nature of the experiment, the time is not calculated with a simple, stopwatch style, start to finish measurement. It instead relies on measurements and comparisons of probability distribution functions at the source and the detector. In other words, there is a lot of math involved. In addition to understanding the timing and position variations in the experiment, the physicists also took into account many other variables, such as day versus night and seasonal changes. The sensitivity of this experiment is roughly an order of magnitude better than previous experiments.

The speed of neutrinos is measured and compared to the speed of light by subtracting the expected time for light to travel the distance from the time for the neutrinos to travel the same distance. One would normally expect this to be zero for neutrinos traveling at the speed of light or negative for any value below the speed of light. The case presented in the article shows a positive value of 60.7 nanoseconds with statistical and systematic errors providing not nearly enough potential difference to account for the positive value. This value has six-sigma significance. This is, obviously, a stunning finding.

The final paragraph is what appears to be overlooked all too often in the reporting on this finding:

Despite the large significance of the measurement reported here and the stability of the analysis, the potential great impact of the results motivates the continuation of our studies in order to investigate possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed anomaly. We deliberately do not attempt any theoretical or phenomenological interpretation of the results.

This is an important paragraph. This is the group of physicists, together, stating that they don’t know how they came to a result that shows neutrinos apparently exceeding the speed of light. They are not drawing any conclusions in this article and are simply providing the finding and the methods used to obtain the finding. They are trying to find where there could be errors in their measurements. They do not claim that the neutrinos are actually exceeding the speed of light, only that the measurements to date show something unexpected. They are reaching out to the high-energy physics community to improve the experiment and data analysis. They are not looking to fundamentally change physics but to ensure that they are producing sound data. We may find that nothing comes of this. We may find that there is an effect known in physics that accounts for the difference. We may find that neutrinos are capable of moving slightly faster than the speed of light. It is simply too early to make definitive, wide-reaching conclusions.

The conclusion that can be drawn from this article is that a group of experimenters found an unexpected result using some of the most amazing and precise instruments and techniques ever created. No matter what is found to be the actual cause of this 60.7 nanosecond variation, the conclusion you can draw is that it is an amazing time in history where such measurements can be made and an exciting time to be a practitioner or admirer of science. Imagine the findings that will be made by the next couple generations of scientists who are sitting in elementary classrooms right now and just learning that a rainbow is the spectrum of sunlight. Einstein wouldn’t be disappointed by these findings; he would be intrigued and proud to see the legacy of great science continuing forward.

 When I stared at the newspaper, I was like so happy that I shouted the news to my sis and mom, who weren’t bothered much. After all, one has completed her studies and another is totally unknown about the greatness of this incident.

Everyone is now wondering about this………but I’m wondering why anyone’s not interested to know the speed of neutrino. I’m also not getting the value. But whatever maybe, this subatomic particle of zero mass has astonished everyone. Just compare its speed with a 70 kg man whose average speed is 10m/sec. Humans have a long way to go ahead……………… So now time travelling might be possible, may be we can prove the existence of some special tunnels in space through which we can move to one part of the universe to another without any change in age for us………and I’m not talking about any science fiction. We are really heading towards our destiny. I’m very proud to announce that I want to become a space scientist when I grow up!

[No, not like that!]:p

BLACKIE BLUNDERED!

The above topic sounds a bit like of a mysterious story………but it isn’t. This is a little story about my doggie Blackie[she’s no more now]. :[ :[ :[

I was born in 1996. Blackie was born in 1997! She was only 1 year younger than me. Before my sister was born, she was my real playmate. I loved her dark black and brown fur, the soft coat and her lovely big eyes. She was a ferocious dog somewhat, but still was sober.

My father had bought it at Rs 8000/-, a huge price at that time. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that I liked to ride on her back! Once she had bitten me a bit because I had put my hand in her mouth. I didn’t mind anything but that injection. She would greet me when I’d arrive from school. I’d give my lunch and snacks to her. And she ate them, without any hesitation.

During the 1999 Super Cyclone of Orissa[you all must be knowing about], we all were sitting terrified in our homes. Blacky occupied a sofa and ate chapatis. She was quite frightened as I was. But still, she didn’t mess the house. My mommy hates dogs, but all of us love pets. She has a reason to hate because she had to take care of it.

After some days, she was sent off to my uncle’s house[father’s younger brother]. We had settled up a poultry farm buisness for him and so he needed Blackie. She never hesitated on this decision. She too settled there comfortably. She never ate the chickens until one was given to her. Whenever we went there, she would jump over us and greet us!

Blackie was never fussy about food. Chapatis, meat and Pedigree were her favourites, but she ate anything that was offered to her. She had given birth to 12 doggies. Many were sent off by my uncle. We got one too. But due to the lack of our attention towards Honey[his name], he died. He was buried next to our house[We’ve left the place].

Once Blackie had eaten a frog. Food poisoning and vomiting troubled her for 2 days. I was really scared when the veteraranian came over. But everyone has an end. Blackie died in the year 2009. She was diseased and my uncle’s family was too not well as their son was in the hospital. In the midst of all this negligience, she passed awayat the tender age of 13. Her little sweet memories will never fade off from my mind. Whenever I see an Alsitian, I remember her. I’m sure that God’d have made her a star. She was my star. My little angel.

Blackie somewhat looked like this[I have her photo in print, but I don’t have a scanner]

TODAY’S FRIENDSHIP: ON SIGHT OR ONLINE

Friendship: this relationship is bigger than a spaceship or a sea ship, and deeper than an ocean or as infinite as the universe. Mostly we should check out the persons we are going to befriend. But in this digital world, where everything is possible, then why not online friends? It has already begun, with Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Myspace, Orkut and lots more. People initially came here to share posts and gossip about their lives. But these gossips are actually becoming too private. And I’ve started to believe that this new generation[that includes me and my sister] are really getting out of the world.

Nishi is a happy kid. She’s 10 and she has no depressions. She completes her home work on her own and I teach her. But still I feel something is wrong with her. She’s unable to make best friends. In her life, I’ve seen so many futile attempts of hers. She always struggles to get a friend, or even a playmate. Either she ends up disgusted with the child or else the child gets angry about her straight forward attitude.

Straight forward attitude runs in our family, I guess. My mom, me and my sis. But my mom never had trouble with her friends. She still calls up her friends Ashima aunty, Purnima aunty, Surekha aunty, and a lot more aunties. I had recently problems with my friends. But just look at Nishi. She hasn’t any real pals!

The problem lies in the new generation itself. Lots of new technologies have taken off our mind from actual sports and games, and even friends. I’ve seen my classmates[especially girls] who don’t like Games classes[I look forward for them!]. Instead they keep gossiping about others,, without a care in the world. Some even smuggle up phones, games and cameras from their homes. Teenage, I guess, is really troublesome. “Why should I go out when I can watch videos, play video games and chat online for hours?” Guess who love these lines.

Lets’ get back to Nishi. My heart sinks when she says me: “Nani, I thought Sneha was my best friend but she started a gossip about Preethi and Namrata and then gossiped about me to them and then there was a big fight”, and a ”big breakup”. Just two days before Sneha had handed over a card to Nishi with pink drawn flowers and had written: ”You are my best friend.” I don’t know what’s going on. When I was in class five, almost the whole class knew me and we talked with each other. When we grow up, our mind becomes more complex[I think my mind isn’t yet] and move on to a smaller circle. But on to bigger gossips.

I didn’t know what was complexity then. There were many things I didn’t know. Time is a great teacher. I learn from my mistakes. I love to do my home works. I love playing outside. I love internet. Nishi’s still small. Smaller than me. Why is time taking such tests of hers? And all other kids who are fans of Internet around the world? The problem is that they’ll suffer more in the virtual world rather than in the school playground.

I’m afraid that when my sister will take the first step in this mind boggling Internet, she’s going to get friends. Yes, many of them. But I don’t know how many will turn fake. I hope she never gets along those X rated sites. Maybe I’m exaggerating. But all I can do is hope…….

God bless my sister!

FRIGHTENED BY FROGS!!!

What a dreadful event it was! No better than a nightmare, but worse than that.

Yesterday I was resting with my sister on my bed when suddenly the electricity went off. It’s not unusual, because here it is a type of mandatory for electricity to go off just when a little black clouds come on the sky. My sister had just taken her lunch after arriving from school but wasn’t tired. So we decided that we would go outside and sit on the staircase, where the wind was at its best and the place was well lighted. I also took Nishi’s Oriya book so that I could teach her.

Hardly I had finished explaining a paragraph to her, Nishi let out a shriek. “Gasp, it’s a frog!” I exclaimed. I was already shaking in fear. There was a frog, just over the wall on my head!!! ” Get a broom quickly and close the door!”, Nishi said. Little we did knew that we would be trapped outside.

For almost 45 minutes, we were trying to shake that Hyla[tree frog] from our wall. But it jumped down and again climbed on the door. Again I shook it off. But then he hid behind the curtains. Another time he packed himself up in one corner of the door. We were frightened to open the door as it would get inside. But at the same time it wetted our sitting place[yuck]! Now neither we could drive the frog out, nor we could sit. We were trapped. The rains began. How heavily it poured! I prayed to God and started crying:[

Fortunately our maid came just then and swept the frog off. I heaved a sigh of relief. We opened our door and went inside. Electricity was back and we went to see Pokemon:]

That’s not the end! In the night time when I went to lock the roof door, a frog was sitting there. Luckily, my sister checked the door. I fled to the house and locked the door!

Today when I went to roof with clothes to be dried, I was a bundle of nerves. I carefully climbed the steps and finally reached. But there was the frog, sitting on the chair!!!!

I was petrified and rushed without locking the door! I ran for my life! It is what you can call frog-phobia. When I narrated to my mother about this incident after she came back, she laughed and laughed……..and sat with her head downcast.

Really a very freaky incident for me. I don’t know how will I attend Biology practicals…………

WE BLOGGERS AREN’T MAD!!!!!!

I’m in for a shock. While I was typing my article titled: THE UNIVERSE IS POSSIBLY ENDLESS, I was checking another blogger’s website. Her name is Jaan. I was surfing through it when my father noticed it too. He was sitting beside me. When he read her blog a bit, he exclaimed teasingly,”Look, a snake’s pic is in here. Must be a mad fellow like Babu!!!!!”

Now Babu is the pet name my father calls me by. It’s not only my pet name, he calls Babu to every shopkeeper he visits, every dog he sees and every passerby. Oh God, did he only get this name to call me? According to mathematics, I can make an equation using the contradiction method, but let it be.

I was deeply shocked by this fact. For him, its a joke, for others, its a job but for me, its like living my dream. Though I aspire to be a Space Scientist, my feet are still on the ground, and my eyes are on the writings. I tend to write about anything that comes in my mind, no wonder how silly it is, but I feel that it’s a good habit to share thoughts and ideas. [for details, see BEYOND THE KEYBOARD LETTERS]

We bloggers actually live in a world of lunacy, always wanting to write more and more. We seldom do think about hunger when we are blogging. For us, it seems to be our own world, our own virtual world. Like for example, I can write  a whole conversation with my sister and I know you’ll enjoy reading it:

‘Hey Nishi, can you please get me a glass of water?’

‘No, I’m sleepy. Why don’t you get it yourself?’

‘Oh come on, please give me some water.’

‘Since today morning I’ve been fetching you food, books, etc. Everyone cares about you, but no one cares about me!’

‘That’s not the point, Nishi!’

‘That’s the point. Your stomach aches. Then you need not do anything. But my hands are paining. What about that?’

‘I..um……er….’

‘You don’t have any words, don’t you? When you don’t do anything for me, then I won’t do too!!!!’

‘I’ve done many things for you. Who teaches you? Who taught you typing? Is it compulsory that when one helps you then only you are going to help her?’

‘Blah blah…..whatever, Teddy and Bunny are better than you, because they don’t shout at me!!!!’

‘They are lifeless. So they will never show you the right path in your life. Well, that’s your choice. What can I say?’

‘[Sob] Nani, I’m sorry….here’s your water….’

‘Hey cutie, don’t cry now…..let’s go to sleep.’

The above lines are actually not worthy of being written, but we bloggers can muddle up everything into a bundle and can make it into a source of entertainment and knowledge. Blogging has become a favourite for millions in the world. Actually, blogging is one of the best decisions that I’ve ever taken in my life. Inspired by my cousin[Resonner’s Blog], I started on my own. Now I can feel the difference between my writings last year and this year. Yes, I’ve improved!!!!!! And I’ve also made one of my friends to start blogging[Awesome Krishna’s Blog] That’s the best part of blogging: Encouragement.

So, I’ve finally proved that bloggers aren’t mad at all!!! It’s just that they are a bit crack persons:]