Friday, June 13, 2008

a lot's been happening

Well, to begin with, there is "the happening" ... according to mr. shyamalan himself though, it isn't quite all that happening ... what happens next? we'll have to wait and watch.

And then, there was the 3G iPhone ... which hasn't quite been released yet ... but bloke that heads the operation confirmed all rumors. Come july, the release will happen!

Just connecting dots here ... it is only happenstance that our spiral galaxy lost two arms recently. Apparently, our galaxy doesn't quite look the way we thought it does. New data confirms this. I am sure we'll get quite a few different pictures as time elapses, and more and more data pours in.

Should we happen to live long enough, perhaps some day, we can actually have a photograph from outside the galaxy showing what it really looks like ... for us to ogle at and wear as a pendant perhaps ... how many of the interim pictures that shall send to the shredder remains to be seen.

Last but not the least, there's pluto ... the planet that was ... guess what it is now?
It has reincarnated as a "plutoid" and has brought with it a whole army of such critters ... plutoids all! And you thought pluto was gone ...

And then there is Phoenix ... on Mars ... quietly jiggling its pots and pans ... sifting through the dirt ... ploughing it up ... it just happens to be called Phoenix I guess ... or has it been named as such because the idea of life on Mars just refuses to die down? Reincarnated from the ashes ... the hope of finding life ... possibly already found by viking and disregarded then ...

Yeah ... a lot has been happening awright!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

there go the smoke alarms again

Yup ... it is that time of the year when the smoke alarms go off ...
Not because I am smoking too much ...
And not because I left the food on the stove and sat gaping at the TV.

Something a lot more mundane really ... on this day, some 3 decades ago, on a cold, rainy morning, I came into this world.

..... or so I am told!
Personally, I have no recollection of this most important day in my life. So, there is no way I can confirm that any of this is true. For all I know, I may have been born on a different planet and dunked on this planet in a spiky glass bowl like superman. This is unlikely though ... since somewhere in my hoary past, I remember realizing that no matter what the color and orientation of my underwear might be, it has no impact on how I relate to gravity!

But then again, the fact that I can actually think this up and write it down, does imply the possibility that I may have been involved in a brain jarring impact as a child - the kind that you'd get when the spiky glass bowl thudded to the earth ...

Skeptical as I may be about my origins, this skepticism can hardly be reason enough to stop me from having a good time ... so, I guess I'll call it a day and go light a little bonfire over the cake and make myself a roast something or the other ... hopefully my martian cousins shall celebrate too ... and not mind too much the fact that the Phoenix is baking and raking up their most arable land in the name of science!

Hang on a while and the next post shall be published as soon as sanity prevails ... hic!

You think the burning candles on a b'day cake might lead to pollution? Green house gasses and stuff ...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

world environment day

Yup ... I am back ... took a while though ... didn't I? So, here I am, married!
I am not sure whether it has all sunk in as yet. We'll talk about that soon enough though.

Today, however, there are more important things at hand - such as World Environment Day.
Maybe I am just reading too much into that but the acronym is "WED" I just noticed!

I am not sure how to react to this WED. The feelings are sort of mixed.
On the one hand, it is a good thing that we have a special day when we actually remember the impact that we are having on the environment and how we can do something about it.
On the other hand, it is just our arrogance again. One can think of it as a continuation of the thought process that classifies "man-made" as being significantly different from "natural". If a beaver dam is natural, so is Hoover for all I care.

But then, as we all know, man is a "thinking" animal. And it is good that we are putting some thought into what we are doing. While a beaver cannot change to stop building dams (not true strictly speaking - we all know about evolution, adaptability and all that HS), a human can think of alternatives.

For all our thinking, we did not think enough and we did not think far enough into the future. The only reason that most people are actually taking notice today is not because any of that has changed but because they can finally see the effects first hand ... and seeing is believing.

Typhoons, baboons and blue blistering barnacles ...
Sorry, typhoons, cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis ... and of late, the rising fuel prices that have fuelled inflation blah ... blah ... when it kills your folks ... and more importantly perhaps, hits your pocket, people tend to notice. So, welcome to world environment day.

So what do we do today? If you spend some time googling, most of it seem to be knee jerk reactions.

Here folks ... calculate your carbon footprint ... we have a calculator (praying that it increases the hit count to my site) ... and oh! you eat meat? Don't you know that increases your carbon footprint? You have to stop eating meat so that the world stays the way it is. Switch off the AC and use a fan. Stop the car and take a walk.

What next? Eat salads and save on cooking gas? Some backsides need to have some footprints on them ... that's what!!!

The problem as I see it is that we are trying to undo the damage that we have already done. Somehow, everyone is in ostrich mode.

Hello!!! Even if everyone were to go vegetarian and eat only salads at that and walk to office and stuff, the fact is that change is inevitable. I don't see too many people trying to understand exactly what is changing and planning to live comfortably with the change.

It is just not reasonable to think of a world where no one uses a car or a plane. People need to travel. It is not reasonable to think of a world where people change their eating habits. While it makes sense to do things better, it is also necessary to understand that we are doing too little too late ... as far as the change in the environment is considered. And frankly, do we really believe that nothing on earth would ever change if we were not to change it?

So, while it is a good thing to spend your time today, thinking of how you can improve your energy efficiency and reduce your wastes ... and even reduce your carbon footprint ... it is important to look ahead. Instead of blaming folks from the past hundred years for the change or the developed countries or whatever, it is important to anticipate the changes to the environment. It is important to accept that this change is now here and we are in the middle of it ... and figure out how we can still live well with the change.

How can we grow enough crops to feed the nations if the weather changes?
How can we build better houses that can withstand earthquakes?
Can we design our cities to withstand tsunamis?
How can we design our transport system to be more efficient?
How can we make clean energy?

And what can I do?
How can I help?

And then again, is there much point in any of it any way?
Why not enjoy what we have while we have it?
Perhaps it is time to take out that car and go on a long drive ...
while the gas lasts and burgers still have meat ;)