Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is it Rajni Cant?

So what is it that Rajni ‘Can’t’ ?

Raghudon has always wondered why people were crazy about ‘Superstar’ , ‘Thalaiva’ Rajnikanth. As a child , whenever I visited Chennai I used to be welcomed with posters of Rajnikanth at the Chennai Central station , and other places as well ( autos, bus stands , paan-shops and so on!). Prior to the release of Rajni’s much awaited ‘Enthiran’ I received showers of ‘Rajni can-Rajni can’t’ mumbo-jumbo be it through text messages on my mobile or through social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter ( I bet everyone would have!) To name a few-’Outer space exists because it’s afraid to be on the same planet as Rajnikanth’ ; ‘Rajnikanth’s house has no doors, only walls that he walks through’ ; ‘Rajnikanth grinds the coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage’ and many more . Initially , these one-liners were entertaining and humorous, however, after a point of time they became repetitive and stale. The question here is- What is the reason behind this ‘Rajni rage’ ? It is obvious that there can be no smoke without fire. Similarly there must be some reason behind Rajnikanth’s immense popularity and huge fan-following.

As one enters a cinema hall screening a Rajni movie everything from outside the filmy world is forgotten. One is swept through the other side of the world, a world where Rajnikanth is no less than a ‘demi-god’. This is a world where his fans are devout soldiers, who can but humbly kneel in the deepest respect and admiration for this superstar. Every single dialogue, action stunt and dance number that the towering figure called Rajnikanth makes is welcomed with whistles , boisterous cheers and hootings. Anyone who is an ‘outsider’ to the Rajni world would either be astonished at the site, laugh their guts out, or get annoyed with the fans. Soon the hue and cry surrounding the movie settles, and the most obvious question pops up again – Why is Rajnikanth so popular? What does this superstar have in him that makes him what he is? Why is it that when he throws a cigarette in the air, lights it with a revolver and catches it , the crowds go absolutely crazy?

However, two reasons that can be traced for this craze are his unique style and his down-to-earth personality. Most of Rajnikanth’s popularity has risen out of his unique mannerisms, stunts and style of dialogue delivery. Rajni is perhaps the only superstar in cinema who can get away with gravity defying stunts such as causing a mini-tornado with one foot and killing a goon miles away by throwing a pistol in the air. Such stunts have been trademarked as ‘Rajnikanth stunt’ by the general public.

Rajnikanth, born Sivaji Rao Gaekwad, had worked as a bus conductor. That could be another reason why his fans can connect with him. He was one of them, and still is, in spite of all the fame and money.Almost all show-world success stories in India appear the same. What sets individuals apart is the approach and the attitude once they reach the top. No one can resist a rags-to-riches story. It is every common man’s dream. But Rajinikanth’s story is irresistible. He continues to be an enigma to both his fans and contemporaries. He is simple Shivaji Rao Gaekwad who, by way of luck and hard work became a superstar, and continues to remain on top notwithstanding the vagaries of time. He is not a superstar because of his acting skills, but because he represents the common man , his aspirations , and above all simplicity.

Being an ‘outsider’ to the Rajni world I do find his stunts funny , impossible and at times silly, but I cannot deny the fact that Rajni’s simplicity and humility are the reasons behind his success , after all there is always beauty in simplicity, which is probably why there is nothing that Rajni ‘Can’t'!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lokpal Bill can change India

28th December 2011


Continuing the debate we had the other day:


The Lokpal bill proposed by the people (jan lokpal bill)


  1. To establish a central government anti-corruption institution called Lokpal, supported by Lokayukta at the state level.
  2. As in the case of the Supreme Court and Cabinet Secretariat, the Lokpal will be supervised by the Cabinet Secretary and the Election Commission. As a result, it will be completely independent of the government and free from ministerial influence in its investigations.
  3. Members will be appointed by judges, Indian Administrative Service officers with a clean record, private citizens and constitutional authorities through a transparent and participatory process.
  4. A selection committee will invite short-listed candidates for interviews, video recordings of which will thereafter be made public.
  5. Every month on its website, the Lokayukta will publish a list of cases dealt with, brief details of each, their outcome and any action taken or proposed. It will also publish lists of all cases received by the Lokayukta during the previous month, cases dealt with and those which are pending.
  6. Investigations of each case must be completed in one year. Any resulting trials should be concluded in the following year, giving a total maximum process time of two years.
  7. Losses to the government by a corrupt individual will be recovered at the time of conviction.
  8. Government office-work required by a citizen that is not completed within a prescribed time period will result in Lokpal imposing financial penalties on those responsible, which will then be given as compensation to the complainant.
  9. Complaints against any officer of Lokpal will be investigated and completed within month and, if found to be substantive, will result in the officer being dismissed within two months.
  10. The existing anti-corruption agencies [CVC], departmental vigilance and the anti-corruption branch of the [CBI] will be merged into Lokpal which will have complete power authority to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
  11. Whistle-blowers who alert the agency to potential corruption cases will also be provided with protection by it.

Note in the above the time boundness of the process as well as 1 month deadline to deal with corrupt lopayukt people. The financial implications on govt people may be sounding funny at first but then in the long run it will ease out. I believe it may be a decade before the full impact is seenbut it is definitely better than the incumbent systems where a laalo Yadav can steal fodder from cows and still be one of indias most respected politicians!


The process is participative. So tomorrow you also can be a part of the system.


Difference between Jan Lokpal Bill and Draft Bill 2010[16]

Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen's Ombudsman Bill)

Draft Lokpal Bill (2010)

Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo motu action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.

Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo motu action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Lokpal will have the power to initiate prosecution of anyone found guilty.

Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body with a role limited to forwarding reports to a "Competent Authority".

Lokpal will have police powers as well as the ability to register FIRs.

Lokpal will have no police powers and no ability to register an FIR or proceed with criminal investigations.

Lokpal and the anti corruption wing of the CBI will be one independent body.

The CBI and Lokpal will be unconnected.

Punishments will be a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of up to life imprisonment.

Punishment for corruption will be a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of up to 7 years.


Hence you see from the above that the government wants only tpo create another committee which they want to please the people by saying yes we didit.... also thats the reason that they are creating an eyewash with the opposition opposing it (surprising) but then no politician wants his pocketto be checked!




The Jan Lokpal Bill[10]

Government's Lokpal Bill[1]


Prime Minister

PM can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.[clarification needed][17]

PM can be investigated by Lokpal after she/he vacates office.[21]


Can be investigated, though high level members may be investigated only with permission of a seven member Lokpal bench.[clarification needed][17]

Judiciary is exempt and will be covered by a separate "judicial accountability bill".[18]

Conduct of MPs

Can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.[clarification needed][17]

Can be investigated, but their conduct within Parliament, such as voting, cannot be investigated.[18]

Lower bureaucracy

All public servants would be included.[18]

Only senior officers (Group A) will be covered.[18]

Anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

The Anti-corruption wing of the CBI will be merged into the Lokpal.[18]

The Anti-corruption wing of the CBI cannot be merged into the Lokpal.[17]

Removal of Lokpal members and Chair

Any person can bring a complaint to the Supreme Court, who can then recommend removal of any member to the President.[17]

Any "aggrieved party" can raise a complaint to the President, who will refer the matter to the CJI.[17]

Removal of Lokpal staff and officers

Complaints against Lokpal staff will be handled by independent boards set-up in each state, composed of retired bureaucrats, judges, and civil society members.[17]

Lokpal will conduct inquiries into its own behaviour.[17]


Lokayukta and other local/state anti-corruption agency would remain in place.[18]

All state anti-corruption agencies would be closed and responsibilities taken over by centralised Lokpal.[18]

Whistleblower protection

Whistleblowers are protected by Lokpal.[17]

No protection granted to whistleblowers by Lokpal Mahima.[17]

Punishment for corruption

Lokpal can either directly impose penalties, or refer the matter to the courts. Penalties can include removal from office, imprisonment, and recovery of assets from those who benefited from the corruption.[17]

Lokpal can only refer matters to the courts, not take any direct punitive actions. Penalties remain equivalent to those in current law.[17]

Investigatory powers

Lokpal can obtain wiretaps ( to make a connection to a telegraph or telephone wire in order to obtain information secretly), issue rogatory letters, and recruit investigating officers. Cannot issue contempt orders.[17]

Lokpal can issue contempt orders, and has the ability to punish those in contempt. No authority to obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, or recruit investigating officers.[17]

False, frivolous and vexatious complaints

Lokpal can issue fines for frivolous complaints (including frivolous complaints against Lokpal itself), with a maximum penalty of Rs 100,000.[17]

Court system will handle matters of frivolous complaints. Courts can give 2–5 years imprisonment and fines of Rs 25,000 to 200,000.[20]


NGOs not within the scope due to their role in exposing corruption.[19]

NGOs are within the scope and can be investigated.[19]


I hope that in my lifetime I can see the dream of MY INDIA being a place I can be proud to be. End of the day the common man cares only about roti, kapda makan.....


Roti is adultrated. Grains and vegetables are wasted.... if they conserve what is produced, we can feed the world!

Kapda is set by the conservation mode where less is more/1 hence this isthe only bearable thing

Makaan – 30% of the cost of the house is black... to generate this the money is siphoned from the exchequered... to generate that the corruption is necessary!





Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nikolas Tesla - conspiract Theory on his life and death


Monday, October 24, 2011

Man of the Hour

Pearl Jam
Man Of The Hour (Big Fish Soundtrack) lyrics

Tidal waves don't beg forgiveness
Crashed and on their way
Father he enjoyed collisions; others walked away
A snowflake falls in may.
And the doors are open now as the bells are ringing out
Cause the man of the hour is taking his final bow
Goodbye for now.

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land
Father ruled by long division, young men they pretend
Old men comprehend.

And the sky breaks at dawn; shedding light upon this town
They'll all come ‘round
Cause the man of the hour is taking his final bow
G'bye for now.

And the road
The old man paved
The broken seems along the way
The rusted signs, left just for me
He was guiding me, love, his own way
Now the man of the hour is taking his final bow
As the curtain comes down
I feel that this is just g'bye for now


Monday, May 30, 2011

E8 the most complex and most simple equuatio of everything

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii 
An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists.
Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt).
In winter, he heads to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he snowboards. "Being poor sucks," Lisi says. "It's hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you're trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month."
Despite this unusual career path, his proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics.
Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year.
Although the work of 39 year old Garrett Lisi still has a way to go to convince the establishment, let alone match the achievements of Albert Einstein, the two do have one thing in common: Einstein also began his great adventure in theoretical physics while outside the mainstream scientific establishment, working as a patent officer, though failed to achieve the Holy Grail, an overarching explanation to unite all the particles and forces of the cosmos.
Now Lisi, currently in Nevada, has come up with a proposal to do this. Lee Smolin at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, describes Lisi's work as "fabulous". "It is one of the most compelling unification models I've seen in many, many years," he says.
"Although he cultivates a bit of a surfer-guy image its clear he has put enormous effort and time into working the complexities of this structure out over several years," Prof Smolin tells The Telegraph.
"Some incredibly beautiful stuff falls out of Lisi's theory," adds David Ritz Finkelstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. "This must be more than coincidence and he really is touching on something profound."
The new theory reported today in New Scientist has been laid out in an online paper entitled "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything" by Lisi, who completed his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1999 at the University of California, San Diego.
He has high hopes that his new theory could provide what he says is a "radical new explanation" for the three decade old Standard Model, which weaves together three of the four fundamental forces of nature: the electromagnetic force; the strong force, which binds quarks together in atomic nuclei; and the weak force, which controls radioactive decay.
The reason for the excitement is that Lisi's model also takes account of gravity, a force that has only successfully been included by a rival and highly fashionable idea called string theory, one that proposes particles are made up of minute strings, which is highly complex and elegant but has lacked predictions by which to do experiments to see if it works.
But some are taking a cooler view. Prof Marcus du Sautoy, of Oxford University and author of Finding Moonshine, told the Telegraph: "The proposal in this paper looks a long shot and there seem to be a lot things still to fill in."
And a colleague Eric Weinstein in America added: "Lisi seems like a hell of a guy. I'd love to meet him. But my friend Lee Smolin is betting on a very very long shot."
Lisi's inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan.
E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says "I think our universe is this beautiful shape."
What makes E8 so exciting is that Nature also seems to have embedded it at the heart of many bits of physics. One interpretation of why we have such a quirky list of fundamental particles is because they all result from different facets of the strange symmetries of E8.
Lisi's breakthrough came when he noticed that some of the equations describing E8's structure matched his own. "My brain exploded with the implications and the beauty of the thing," he tells New Scientist. "I thought: 'Holy crap, that's it!'"
What Lisi had realised was that he could find a way to place the various elementary particles and forces on E8's 248 points. What remained was 20 gaps which he filled with notional particles, for example those that some physicists predict to be associated with gravity.
Physicists have long puzzled over why elementary particles appear to belong to families, but this arises naturally from the geometry of E8, he says. So far, all the interactions predicted by the complex geometrical relationships inside E8 match with observations in the real world. "How cool is that?" he says.
The crucial test of Lisi's work will come only when he has made testable predictions. Lisi is now calculating the masses that the 20 new particles should have, in the hope that they may be spotted when the Large Hadron Collider starts up.
"The theory is very young, and still in development," he told the Telegraph. "Right now, I'd assign a low (but not tiny) likelyhood to this prediction.
"For comparison, I think the chances are higher that LHC will see some of these particles than it is that the LHC will see superparticles, extra dimensions, or micro black holes as predicted by string theory. I hope to get more (and different) predictions, with more confidence, out of this E8 Theory over the next year, before the LHC comes online."


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

6 Abandoned Mega-Machines

abandoned mega machines 6 Abandoned Mega Machines
Mega-machines are quite simply the largest man-made mechanical objects ever built, designed to carry out tasks that even a century ago would have seemed like fantasy.  From ferrying hundreds or thousands of passengers and cargo by air and sea, clearing thousands of tons of earth with apparent ease, or transporting vast payloads bound for space, mega-machines have redefined the course of modern industry.  But when they become surplus to requirements, removing their immense bulk swiftly from the landscape becomes a task almost as challenging as their inception.  Many thus linger on abandoned for years, as illustrated by these six varied examples from around the world.
Abandoned 747 Jumbo Jet “Juan T. Trippe” Restaurant, Seoul, South Korea
abandoned 747 restaurant korea 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Images: Michael John Grist, reproduced with permission)
We’ve seen mighty 747s converted into backpacker hostels and even houses, but this dejected Jumbo Jet in Namyangju-Si near Seoul, South Korea, was probably the only one to become a restaurant. The second 747 ever built and the first to fly commercially, it was named after legendary airline entrepreneur and Pan American World Airways founder Juan T. Trippe. Pan Am operated the Jumbo until the airline’s collapse in 1991, after which it went to the boneyards of California to await its fate.
747 restaurant juan t. trippe 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Image: Michael John Grist, reproduced with permission)
After a spell baking under the scorching desert sun, the mothballed jet was bought in 2001 by the owners of a noodle restaurant (located where the right wing should be!), dismantled and shipped to Korea in 62 massive containers. It was finally converted to a restaurant but the sheer cost of the project meant it was tough to turn a profit and, with much reluctance, the giant jet was abandoned. After almost a decade dominating the surrounding landscape, the 747 was finally scrapped in 2010.  Perhaps in time, the latest generation of giant airliners will also foster a new breed of abandoned aerial mega-machines.
Wreck of SS America/SS American Star, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
ss america american star 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Images: Wollex, cc-sa-3.0; Johannes Göbel, cc-sa-3.0; Wollex, cc-sa-3.0; Pindakaas, cc-sa-3.0)
To many, the SS America was the most beautiful liner to fly the American flag. Designed by naval architect William Francis Gibbs and built in 1940 for the United States Line, the ship accomodated 543 passengers in cabin class, 418 in tourist class, 241 in third class, and 643 crew. Renamed USS West Point for troop transport duties during World War Two, the liner carried several names during her 54 year life including the Greek-flagged SS Australis. SS America was sold for scrap in the late 1980s but her fortunes changed when the scrappers defaulted on payment and she was then slated to become a five-star hotel ship off Phuket, Thailand, renamed American Star. But stormy weather while she was under tow to Southeast Asia in 1994 broke the tow lines and the ship ran aground off Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.
ss american srtar 2010 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Image: Michael Wünsch, cc-sa-3.0)
Battered by the waves, the wreck had almost entirely collapsed into the sea by 2010. An interesting event befell SS America in 1941, when the liner carried two Nazi spies from the Duquesne Spy Ring – the largest espionage case in U.S. history – among her crew. Both men were charged by the FBI and imprisoned.
Russian Space Shuttle Transporter, Kazakhstan
russian space shuttle transporter 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Image: unknown, sourced via Eastside Astro-Blog)
This colossal platform once transported the Russian space shuttle orbiter Buran, complete with solid rocket boosters, from the hangar assembly facility to the launch pad. But with Buran completing only one unmanned flight in 1988, it seems fair to say that the transporter has not seen much use. The Russian shuttle was destroyed when its hangar in Kazakhstan collapsed in 2002 due to poor maintenance. But although only one vehicle achieved space flight, eight full-scale test articles were built and five “space Burans” were reportedly under construction (find out more here). For now, though, this massive mega-machine that relied on several diesel trains to drag it, is going nowhere fast.
Giant Bucket-Wheel Excavator, Russia
giant bucket wheel excavator 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Images: via English Russia)
Giant bucket-wheel excavators are immense machines designed to remove thousand of tons of earth in surface mining and civil engineering projects. These industrial behemoths differ from other forms of large-scale mining equipment due to their use of a large wheel (which almost looks like a saw from a distance) containing a continuous system of buckets designed to scoop material as the wheel turns. The primary function of bucket-wheel excavators is to serve as continuous digging machines in large-scale open pit mining operations. Such objects define the term “mega-machines” and the biggest one ever built, Bagger 293, holds the record for the largest land vehicle in human history. Left to rust in a cold corner of Russia, this giant bucket-wheel excavator looks almost alien on the landscape.
Mothballed Oil (Accomodation) Rig, Belfast, Northern Ireland
mothballed oil rig 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Image: identity chris is, cc-nc-sa-3.0)
You might think of them more as structures than machines per se, but oil rigs definitely fall into the mega category when it comes to size. The rig above is configured as an accomodation platform rather than an oil drilling rig, re-built in Belfast in the late 1990s. Mothballed as opposed to completely abandoned, the rig stands alongside the derelict area of the old Harland and Wolff shipyard. This patch of wasteground is probably one of the most famous in maritime history, being the construction site of the RMS Olympic and her sister ship Titanic. Today modern redevelopment is breathing new life into the area, as the Titanic Quarter rises from the birthplace of its famous namesake.  As for abandoned oil rigs, how about turning them into luxury sustainable hotels like these examples on The Design Blog.
Stranded River Princess, Goa
river princess goa 6 Abandoned Mega Machines(Images: Vikasmta, cc-sa-3.0; Jason Turner, cc-3.0; jshyun, cc-nc-nd-3.0; pilsna, cc-nc-sa-3.0)
Hardly what the local authorities want blighting a tourist hotspot, the massive River Princess lies abandoned on Candolim Beach in Goa after it was washed-up in a fierce storm. It was said that the local government couldn’t afford the enormous cost of removing the vessel, instead leaving it to rust immediately offshore. While we urge against it, the water is apparently so shallow that it’s almost possible to wade out to the stranded ship. A massive hole cut into one side of the vessel has allowed sand and water flowing into its cavernous hull to prevent it from drifting into the busy shipping lanes. A report in the Times of India indicates that the River Princess may finally be removed.

Read more:


Ten Ways the World will End

Whether it took more than a four point five billion years to reach here, it would however take much less time to end. Doomsday is big concern for astronomers and a favorite with  fiction writers and film-makers  alike. After all, what could be more thrilling than an action-packed global apocalypse, narrowly averted at the last moment. However here we look upon the 10 ways which can be strongly responsible for end of our home.

10. A giant Asteroid Impact

Responding to challenges to the hypothesis that an asteroid impact caused a mass extinction on Earth 65 million years ago, a panel of 41 scientists re-analyzed data and provided new evidence, concluding that an impact in Mexico was indeed the cause of the mass extinction. This asteroid was about 10 to 12 km in diameter, which is large, but less than 0.2% the diameter of the Earth. It’s pretty unremarkable, and makes it a pretty typical minor asteroid. For comparison, this makes it about half the size of the known asteroid Gaspra. The thing that makes this asteroid so vicious, though, is that it had so much kinetic energy when it hit the planet! The great trick here is realizing that the asteroid gets pulled in by the Sun, and that — by the law of conservation of energy. NASA detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground and space-based telescopes.
For a real chill,  Kuiper belt, a zone near Neptune, contains roughly 100,000 asteroids > 50 miles in diameter. The Kuiper belt sends a steady rain of small comets earthward. Impacts might occur over the ocean, and small over land might affect unpopulated areas. But with big asteroids, it doesn’t matter much where they land. Objects more than a half-mile wide- which strike Earth every 250,000 years or so- would touch off firestorms followed by global cooling from dust kicked up by the impact or they would simply end in breaking the earth into pieces.
Damage: Global destruction
Preventable: Evitable. Identify the potential risks, then blow them up or push them out of the way.

9. Robots Take Over

Robots we might see them as mindless objects to our orders. So how about an airplane with an autopilot? BBC reported of a a humanoid robot that learns to walk itself. Hans Moravec, one of the founders of the robotics department of Carnegie Mellon University, remains a believer. By 2040, he predicts, machines will match human intelligence, and perhaps human consciousness. Then they’ll get even better. He envisions an eventual symbiotic relationship between human and machine, with the two merging into “postbiologicals” capable of vastly expanding their intellectual power. Marvin Minsky, an artificial-intelligence expert at MIT, foresees a similar future. Soon we will have house-robots to do domestic chores.
What we can conclude is that their microchip might get dominant over the weak human mind because of the limitations of human memory and wisdom, they might say no to slavery and the artificial intelligence which is beyond any limit may take over and become homicidal since there will be no future of ethics with these machines and if they build a von Neumann machine which is any device that is capable of creating an exact copy of itself given nothing but the necessary raw materials. As the population of machines doubles repeatedly, the planet Earth will, terrifyingly soon, be entirely eaten up and turned into a swarm of potentially sextillions of machines.
Damage: Who knows what the hell their microchip brain will think?
Preventable: Yea, Stop making such stupid machines.

8. Bioweapons and Monstrous Epidemics

Germs and people have always coexisted, but occasionally the balance gets out of whack. Plague is a deadly infectious disease caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis). Scientists hold great concern that we might get a deadly monster plague from new bacteria that are formed consistently either by evolution or biotechnological mishaps. Old diseases such as cholera and measles have developed new resistance to antibiotics. Intensive agriculture and land development is bringing humans closer to animal pathogens. The plague has caused death of every 4th person in Europe 14th century epidemic. Moreover, old diseases have formed resistance to drugs available because of their constant evolution and remodeling and these strains have also evolved their life cycles becoming rapidly growing and spreading. And some biologists are of strong opinion that such a germ might come from outer space or a bio weapon accident may cause species extinction
Damage: Runny noses and rotten bodies
Preventable: yes if you discover new drugs or else forget it.

7. Geomagnetic Reversal

Earth’s magnetic field is approximately a magnetic dipole, with the magnetic field S pole near the Earth’s geographic north pole  and the other magnetic field N pole near the Earth’s geographic south pole. Based upon the study of lava flows of basalt throughout the world, it has been proposed that the Earth’s magnetic field dwindles or reverses at intervals, ranging from tens of thousands to many millions of years, with an average interval of approximately 300,000 years. However, the last such event, called the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal, is observed to have occurred some 780,000 years ago.
The earth’s magnetic field protects the earth from cosmic radiations and subatomic particles from space as well as the solar wind. Without such protection we will end up in stone-age and by the way our compasses won’t work anymore either. Worse, the strength of our magnetic field has decreased about 5 percent in the past century.
Damage: Erosion of the already harassed ozone layer and radiation damage to eyes, skin and genes.
Preventable: not preventable unless you have seen the Hollywood movie Core.

6. Alien Invasion

There are about a hundred billion galaxies having a 100 billion stars being revolved around by multiple planets. Its hard to believe that no life form exists in not even one of them. At the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California scientists sieve through a telltale signal from an alien civilization. So far, in vain. Now suppose the long-sought message arrives. As seen in the video which is a proof of Alien’s visit in the past, what if they decide to come here again? People argument that even if they exist then they might be living some billion galaxies away, they will not be able to reach but i say if they are intelligent life forms then they might be a million years ahead of us, they might know teletransportation which is traveling at speed faster than light perhaps and then any science-fiction devotee can tell you what could go wrong.
Humans might friendly accept their visit and a direct conflict might not occur but what if the aliens might want resources from our Earth like humans wanted from Pandora in Avatar? Perhaps, they want a hold of Earth’s water for refilling a fusion-powered spacecraft and swat us aside if we get in the way. Aliens might might import with them pests or fatal viruses with a taste for human flesh or  accidentally upset the solar system while carrying out some grandiose interstellar construction project. Most advanced civilizations have a destructive effect on the primitive ones, what if it happens to us?
Damage: Humanity swatted by aliens, pests killed the remaining.
Preventable: Preventable if we run into a a parallel universe and find a parallel earth that might easily inhabit us, otherwise forget it!

5. Genetically Engineered Human Mutants

Although genetic engineering has been a great step in fulfilling the world’s food requirement but gene therapy also promises to delete the defects that are caused because of faulty genes e.g thalessemia or color blindedness. There is no evidence of the fact that modified genes of plants might leak out to other species but humans themselves are willing to leak out genes. The Vacanti mouse was a laboratory mouse that had what looked like a human ear grown on its back. It provoked horror among the animal rights and advocacy groups and anti-genetics groups. Similarly the firefly fluorescent gene called Luciferase can be added into DNA of other species causing them to glow aswell as humans can be made to glow but a human right protection law protects us. But in Israel, genes of play are those of humans.
It is possible to isolate genes of various human characteristics. Its mind boggling to say that any biological property that exists in any living thing in any living world could be brought into human beings. It has its benefits like protecting people from genetically inherited illnesses but it doesn’t stop there, we are basically playing with evolution at a million times faster rate. With this not only the physical characteristics of human can be changed but also the mental characteristics. We already know of certain genes to cause to think in a certain way. The problem is there is no boundary between overcoming disease and providing enhancements. Such highly evolved super humans will be far superior to their humble ancestors, stronger, more intelligent and different to us as we are to earthworms. Some scientists might not realize this, but over a 1000 year time, the human species will split resulting in extinction of the weaker.
Damage: If you don’t know what’s Darwin’s theory of natural selection than it is “the nature selects those who have better chances of survival”
Preventable: Yes, stop playing with human genome.

4. The Big Chill

Observations suggest that the expansion of the universe will continue forever. If so, the universe will cool as it expands, eventually becoming too cold to sustain life. For this reason, this future scenario is popularly called The Big Freeze. Moreover global warming can lead to this big freeze, depletion of ozone and gamma radiations may have other disastrous effects as well as a vicious cycle of warming which can end in freezing over. The earth has faced 3 ice-ages before as well due to warming of its unstable climate of volcanoes and meteors but now man is leading to this global warming.
Now how it works is that Global Warming, by introducing fresh water into the North Atlantic, could affect the Atlantic Conveyer Belt, an ocean current which transports warm tropical water to the western coast of Europe. The water then sinks to the depths of the ocean as it cools, while the heat is released into the atmosphere, and it is this released heat that is responsible for the moderate winters in Europe as compared to the harsher winters in North America. Therefore, there is a possibility that Global Warming could create the conditions for an Ice-age.
Moreover a star has its life, Earth’s fate is precarious and related to life cycle of the giant sun as this star will first get large enough to incinerate us  first and then will get colder when the earth will have to face an inevitable Ice- age
Damage: Inevitable incineration followed by a forever lasting ice-age.
Preventatble: Forget it!

3. Nuclear Holocaust

Nuclear holocaust refers to the possibility of nearly complete annihilation of human civilization by nuclear warfare. Under such a scenario, all or most of the Earth is made uninhabitable by nuclear weapons in future world wars. Nuclear wars might seem unlikely but demise of Soviet Union a bunch of years back also seemed impossible. A nuclear war may or might not occur directly but there is a possibility of a faulty or accidental nuclear exchange that might arise by a technical fault in the ballistic system.
Abuse of the  Atomic power source leads to what would now be called a chain reaction engulfing the entire world, so that “of the two hundred million members of the human race, all were burnt or roasted or suffocated.
Damage: A chain reaction that will not only burn life forms but will cause genetic defects making humans likes of the (mythical) orcs.
Preventable: Yes,  start making out foreign! :/

2. Super Volcano Erupts

A supervolcano is a volcano capable of producing a super volcanic eruption, which is a volcanic eruption with ejecta greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles), which is thousands of times larger than most historic volcanic eruptions. Supervolcanoes are relatively new to science. Although there are only a handful of supervolcanoes, super volcanic eruptions typically cover huge areas with lava and volcanic ash and cause a long-lasting change to weather sufficient to cause extinction of species.
When Mount Tambora in 1815 erupted in indonesia, it caused massive disasters, it changed the entire climate but compare it to the Yellowstone super volcano, it appears a small pimple on the panet. However  the Yellowstone super volcano is the largest known super volcano, it has a cycle of eruption every 600,000 years and now its been 640,000 years since it last erupted and to add its not dead, it shows great volcanism since 1923. When it will pop, it would be unlike any we have seen before. Once it explodes, it will boil out the other 5 supervolcanoes and the pimple ones, one pops and then all pop. It will be largest loudest explosion in the human history and will incinerate life into blazing ash and super heated gases.
Damage: Massive
Preventable: Not at all but you can flee off to the opposite directions, still might not be mitigatable.

1. Earth Spins Off Axis

The earth is held in its axis by a balance of forces, the pull of gravity from the sun and push of centrifugal force. The Earth currently has an axial tilt of about 23.5°. The axis remains tilted in the same direction towards the stars throughout a year and this means that when a hemisphere is pointing away from the Sun at one point in the orbit then half an orbit later  this hemisphere will be pointing towards the Sun. This effect is the main cause of the seasons. With the exception of mercury, all the planets in our solar system are tilted on an axis. Uranus is however tilted on a side due to an asteroid collision in the past. So what would happen if earth suffers such a massive impact? It can cause our planet to shift in entirely a new axis or even catapulted into the sun.
If enough energy is provided then orbit of earth can be changed like that we assume of comets. It can be changed from elliptical to circular to hyperbolic. Such a collision will destroy the entire fabric of our planet causing devastation on a massive scale. It will cause heating of the planet because it will be hurled towards sun. There will be huge consequences even to the orbit of the moon if earth’s orbit changes. The north pole and Antarctica will boil. Ice caps will melt within days creating massive floods. Earthquake and super volcanic eruptions will tear apart the crust of planet.
Damage: Beyond your imaginations.
Preventable: Are you kidding me? Even if Earth would escape incineration in the Sun, still all its water will be boiled away and most of its atmosphere would escape into space. Those few who might survive will wait colliding into another planet or star and then there will be no planet. Zero. A horrible end of a beautiful experiment.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

India's cup of joy overflows

It was a day when the common man felt he was part of something special. A day when cherished dreams were realised
Nagraj Gollapudi at the Wankhede Stadium
April 3, 2011
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Sachin Tendulkar takes a victory lap along with daughter Sara and son Arjun, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
Sachin Tendulkar takes a victory lap along with daughter Sara and son Arjun © Getty Images
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: India
Sachin Tendulkar walked out of the changing room and gestured to Sudhir Gautam to come up. Gautam is the thin, pale man with a shaven head and body covered in the Indian tri-colour. He is the man you would have seen recently with a miniature replica of the World Cup hanging atop his head. For at least half a decade now, Gautam has been Tendulkar's biggest fan, waving the Indian flag and blowing his conch shell at every venue Tendulkar plays. Today, Tendulkar decided to repay Gautam for his devotion.
No sooner had he realised that Tendulkar was calling, than Gautam jumped the electronic advertising hoarding and then skipped up the 30-odd stairs on to the corridor of the Indian changing room. All through his short journey he screamed in delight. Tendulkar shook hands with him, then embraced him and finally asked one of his team-mates to get the World Cup trophy. Zaheer Khan brought the cup outside with utmost care and held it tight. Gautam virtually snatched it out of the hands of the tournament's joint-highest wicket-taker. But Zaheer held on to the crown still. Eventually Gautam lifted the Cup with both hands as Zaheer let go. As soon as Gautam lifted the Cup and screamed "Indiaa", Tendulkar could not help but smile. He even clapped and was joined in appreciation by a few of his team-mates. The sweat on Tendulkar's face glistened under the floodlights, enhancing his joy of winning the World Cup .
It was a day when the common man felt he was part of something special. A day when the common man thought he had achieved something remarkable. A day when cherished dreams were realised. The first Saturday of April 2011 will remain unforgettable for a generation of Indians. Even as Gautam became the envy of people like me as he freely slipped in and out of the most sought after place in India, the team's dressing room, the players' families milled around, participating in the celebrations. Dhoni held his wife Sakshi close to him; Virender Sehwag hugged his wife Aarti and son Aryavir; Ashish Nehra's wife wore a replica of her husband's team shirt as she moved in and out of the dressing room. Gary Kirsten's wife Deborah joined the rest later. Yuvraj Singh, returning from the media confidence, started shaking his leg as he entered the dressing room. On his way inside, he had let out a screeching noise of jubilation.
The tempo in the dressing room had remained positive through the day and by the time MS Dhoni hit a spectacular six over long on against Nuwan Kulasekara, it had become a well of joy. As soon as Tendulkar found a private moment with his wife, Anjali, he embraced her tightly. It was a poignant moment. He knew how much she had sacrificed to support him in his endeavours. On the field, during the victory celebrations, he had hugged Yuvraj Singh, the man of the World Cup and burrowed his head into the tall allrounder's broad shoulders. Yuvraj had already declared he had dedicated the victory to Tendulkar. Virat Kohli had delivered the line of the evening when he said that for 21 years Tendulkar had shouldered the dreams of a billion Indians. Today youngsters such as Kohli and Suresh Raina carried Tendulkar over their shoulders during the lap of honour. Tears came easily to Tendulkar then.
Standing below, I was one of the hundreds who could not help but be stirred. It was my first World Cup. And watching the Indians celebrate in this familial atmosphere was extremely touching. On their way to the team bus, the players got a loud round of applause from hundreds of cops, who turned themselves in to fans for a few minutes by taking pictures. Some looked in awe at Tendulkar, who sat in the front seat with his wife sitting next to him. Both their kids sat on their laps. Some of the security people played with Sehwag's son, tapping on the window shield. When Yuvraj walked into the team bus with the Cup in hand, all the administrators and cops let him know how much they enjoyed his performances during the tournament. Gautam blowed his conch shell marking the departure of the bus. The cops yelled "Bharat mata ki, jai (long live India)".
Unfortunately, there was no victory ride back to the team hotel unlike in 2007 when Dhoni had lead India to victory in the World Twenty20. Also, disappointingly, the team hotel was out of bounds for the common man. Only guests were allowed. Barricades were put in place at all entry points leading up to the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in South Mumbai. The players had planned to celebrate the whole night and the Taj security did not want to take the chance of letting people inside.

The streets of Mumbai are flooded with ecstatic Indian fans, April 2, 2011
The streets of Mumbai were flooded with ecstatic fans © Associated Press
It did not matter to the fans. Marine Drive, one of the most scenic spots in the city, became party central. Fans celebrated by blowing horns, trumpets, whistling, screaming into megaphones, peeping out of open-air cars, sometimes even standing by holding on to the window doors, climbing atop water tankers while waving the flag and dancing. It was a complete carnival atmosphere and the traffic came to a standstill as fireworks lit up the sky for more than two hours. For the first two hours after the match ended, it was hard to find public transport. Even guys like Dave Richardson, the ICC general manager, were forced to leave the Wankhede on foot, walking along with thousands of others
In the Trident hotel, there were many Indian fans, who had come from the UK and were enjoying their beer while chanting stuff like "Ala la la. Ala la la. Let's all do some bhangra." The hotel's coffee shop, normally pretty vacant, was full. The fans were not disappointed. They continued singing India's praises when they spotted Souuav Ganguly. "Sourav, Sourav" gave way to "Ganguly, Ganguly."
It was the Taj Mahal Palace and the Trident that were part of the terrorist attacks on November 26, 2008. Today, they wore a happy look. Both were dressing tonight to party; Saturday night fever had taken over.
On my way to try and sneak into the team hotel (a completely unsuccessful attempt), I passed a family of street dwellers comprising a husband, wife and two kids. All of them were fast asleep, immune to the cacophony of sound around them. Initially, I wondered how they could do that when India had won the World Cup. But the answer lay in what the man was wearing: he had the blue India shirt on. Perhaps he slept in the comfort of the hope that India would win the Cup. Perhaps he dreamt about it. When he wakes up, the dream would have been fulfilled. Tomorrow, all of India will wake up to a new feeling.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
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he partnerships that won the Cup

MS Dhoni showed his penchant for a run-chase yet again, while the middle order soaked up pressure quite superbly with two decisive stands
April 2, 2011
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MS Dhoni's wagon-wheel in front of the wicket on the off side, India v Sri Lanka, World Cup final, April 2, 2011
The wagon-wheel of MS Dhoni's runs scored in front of the wicket on the off side: 48 of his runs came in this region © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
At two wickets down for 31, chasing a target of 275 in a World Cup final, it all seemed to be headed in Sri Lanka's direction. In all ODIs since 2000, a first-innings total of 270 or more had been a winning score 394 times, while only 100 times had it been chased down. Add to that the pressures of the occasion - only twice in nine previous finals had the team batting second won a World Cup final, plus no side had ever lost their first wicket without a run on the board - and there was no doubt about which team held the whip at that stage.
That's when India's middle order stepped up, with a couple of stunning partnerships that completely turned the run-chase around. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir's 83-run partnership consumed only 15.3 overs and resurrected India's innings, while the Gambhir-MS Dhoni stand more or less sealed the deal, adding an outstanding 109 off 19.4 overs to ensure the highest sucessful run-chase in a World Cup final.
The highlight of both those partnerships was the manner in which the batsmen soaked up the pressure, kept the risks to a minimum, and yet scored their runs at an excellent rate. In the third-wicket stand, Gambhir and Kohli scored only 32 out of 83 runs in fours and yet scored at 5.35 runs per over. Gambhir and Dhoni were even better, scoring 32 out of 109 in fours, yet achieving a run-rate of 5.54.
Going into this innings, Dhoni's performances with the bat had been disappointing, but there were no half-measures about the way he batted today. He showed, once again, his ability to excel in a run-chase: in 81 innings when he has batted second, Dhoni averaged 50.92, with 19 fifties and two hundreds. Among batsmen who've scored at least 2500 runs batting second, only Michael Bevan has a higher average.
Of the 91 runs he scored, more than half - 48 - came in the region between point and mid-off, several of them through back-foot punches off the spinners. Muttiah Muralitharan went for 22 off 22 balls, while Suraj Randiv conceded 14 off 15, as Dhoni repeatedly made room and played against the spin, carving the ball through cover and extra cover.
The other key contribution came from Gambhir, who clearly relishes playing Sri Lanka. Four of his nine ODI hundreds have come against them, and he almost made it a fifth with a superbly paced 97. One of the key tasks he accomplished was playing out Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga: 42 out of the 122 balls he faced were from them, and though he scored only 28 from those deliveries, he did his job by playing out a fair number.
The key partnerships for India
For wkt Runs Balls 1s/ 2s 4s/ 6s
3rd 83 93 27/ 9 8/ 0
4th 109 118 49/ 11 8/ 0
Overall, there was little to choose between the Sri Lankan and Indian innings. India played seven fewer dots, but one of the impressive aspects of the Indian chase was the fact that they ran 24 twos, which shows the intent and aggression in the team during the chase.
The Sri Lankan and Indian innings
Team Score Dots 1s/ 2s 4s/ 6s
Sri Lanka 274 for 6 146 108/ 17 27/ 2
India 277 for 4 139 99/ 24 25/ 2
The win meant that, for the first time in a World Cup final, a centurion ended up in the losing team. Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Aravinda de Silva, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist had all scored hundreds in winning causes, but Mahela Jayawardene's sublime 103 not out wasn't enough to seal the win for Sri Lanka. None of that was Jayawardene's fault, though, as he crafted a magnificent knock, scoring at at least a run a ball against each of the Indian bowlers. Zaheer Khan, so incisive in his opening spell, was taken apart by Jayawardene, who scored 23 from 14 balls off Zaheer.
The flawless manner in which Jayawardene batted made it look as if he was batting on another pitch. A comparison of his innings' stats with those of the other Sri Lankan batsmen illustrate the gulf: Jayawardene didn't score off less than 32% of the deliveries he faced; for the rest of his team, that percentage was more than 56.
This was also the first of Jayawardene's 14 ODI hundreds which ended in defeat. Considering how classy the knock was, it probably deserved a better result.
Jayawardene v the rest of the Sri Lankan batsmen
  Runs Balls Strike rate Dot balls Dot ball %
Mahela Jayawardene 103 88 117.04 28 31.82
Rest of SL team 159 214 74.30 120 56.07
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo
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