Category Archives: Universe

Greenery

The Greener, The Better

Every day brings in new hope. We leave the past behind us, and live in the present and dream about the future. We learn from our past mistakes and do things in the present for a brighter future.

The world is getting a tougher place to live. The year 2011 witnessed the 99% challenging the BIG 1%. It’s a competitive world, where the rich become richer and the poor, poorer. In addition to the financial revolution, the world also saw the dawn of a number of public agitations against the powerful. To top it all, the global temperature is rising, and so is the population.

As the challenges in front of us are increasing, we are frantically searching for a solution. Most of us don’t realize that the solution is simple. Actually, the solution IS “Simple”. Be simple. It is actually the complexity of our modern life that poses such challenges to us. The key to a calmer and secure future is nothing but simplicity. It’s not that simple to define simplicity, and even more difficult to practice it. The core idea behind simplicity is to break down the BIG problems that we mankind face as a whole into individual problems, that each one can solve.

In every economy in the world, the major problem a common man face, is the price rise of the essential commodities, especially food. It is a less acknowledged fact that, we choose a career (voluntarily or forced) to feed ourselves and our family. So it’s actually a novel idea to grow some food ourselves. We may not be able to produce all we need. But still, we have to try with the little spare time and some unused space at our home. This may not be practical for everyone of us. But don’t shy away from trying it out, if you have both time and land to spare.
Reducing the carbon emissions is another hot topic of discussion now a days.

With the rising energy demand, this looks like an almost impossible task. Global warming is posing a serious threat of floods and havoc, like a sword hanging right above our heads in a thin silk thread. This global problem can be solved to some extent at an individual level if we stick to energy conservation and energy self-sustenance. Some of the clichéd, yet efficient ways include:

  • Switching off electrical appliances when not in use
  • Regular maintenance of all equipments to ensure higher efficiency
  • Using natural lighting and ventilation whenever ( and wherever) possible
  • Opting mass transport for individual journeys and own vehicles for travel with friends or family
  • The Sun is shining all day right above our heads. If you can, use some solar powered lights or heaters or cookers
  • Improvise existing methods and equipments to make them smarter and greener

These and many more strategies are necessary for the sustenance of life in this Green – Blue planet of ours. The Earth is gifted with life supporting elements and conditions. Once we ruin all that, we wont be able to reclaim them. It was our small steps that made us leap in the past. Don’t let our small mistakes and carelessness wipe us all from the face of Earth. So let’s break the BIG problems of mankind into small individual problems and solve it.

Entertainment

Some people say man is unique and special than all other organisms. But, every man is unique compared to other men. We have certain likes and dislikes.
Being a higher organism, both socially and intellectually, we have to make certain preferences all through our life, and almost everyday. We’ve to make certain compromises to lead a happy life. One such critical choice we make in our lives is regarding our career. So, most people will settle for a job that helps them pay their bills in time.
But, that is no easy task. The usual mantra is ‘Work, work and more work‘. In that busy schedule, most find little time to relax. But, it is a basic necessity for all human beings, to sit back and relax. This is again where we all differ in our preferences. The method of relaxation is influenced by personal preferences.
Somewhere in the process of civilization, our ancestors realised the necessity to relax their minds from the tiring work. So, they developed methods to entertain themselves. The performing arts thus became a part of their lives. The magical nature of music and dance made them popular among people. The soothing effect of music is acknowledged all over the world. The power of music to relax our mind and body is a scientific fact.


Soon, literature emerged as a means to entertain people. Language became a tool for expressing ones fantasies to fellow beings and make them relax by taking them into a new world, where they are away from their own worries. Poets added beauty to language, while fiction writers added imagination. Many a writers have mesmerized the world through their writings.
Literature based performing arts like drama, followed suit. The power of language combined with the beauty of visualization made drama a popular artform. The era of theater was thus born. William Shakespeare is one of the most famous play-writers in the world. The ancient Indian play-writer, Kalidasa wrote many epic plays that are still considered the strongest pillars in our literary world.
The invention of photography greatly contributed to the enhancement of visual beauty of arts. By combining photography to theatrical arts, a new artform was established – Cinema. Cinema improved the freedom of expression and pushed the theatrical arts to newer vistas. Camera added flexibility to the imagination of our writers. The cinema could focus more on the emotions of the characters than a drama could. This made cinema, the most popular mass entertainment media in the world.


As time progressed, more and more mass entertainment medias were introduced. Presently, the internet too has become a means of entertainment. Though it is not an entertainment media in the real sense, it can still be considered as one.
The preference of a means of entertainment is personal. It depends on the mindset of the person. Some listen to music, while some others watch movies to relax. Whatever be the means of entertainment, the ultimate aim is the same. But, the important thing is that we should find some time to relax and cool off. Our mind and our body needs it.

DNA

The Alchemy of Life

Deoxyribonucleic acid, popularly known as D.N.A is the building block of life. Every organism, except for a few viruses, have D.N.A as their genetic material. It is responsible for transmitting vital characters from one generation to another. But, these are all basic facts known to practically everyone.
The curious fact is that, a few elements is the basic block of life. These complex molecules are responsible for all our characters and helps pass them from one generation to another. Somewhere in the past, due to reasons yet not fully understood completely, the first prototypes of nucleic acids were created. These then combined with each other and became more complex and evolved into life.


It’s actually quite difficult to understand how some chemical compounds (like sugars and phosphate groups linked via an ester bond) is actually the ‘life’ behind life. It’s a pure chemical compound (is it actually a compound?). If we consider it as a pure chemical product, then life too is all about chemical reactions. Even our thoughts and emotions are the results of chemical reactions initiated by hormones or enzymes. Our mind can simply be defined as ‘the sum of some chemical reactions and changes taking lace inside our brain’.
But such a consideration may also lead us to imagine life as mere chemical reactions. The importance and speciality of life is lost. We, who contain life inside our bodies become equivalent to conical flasks used in laboratories to perform reactions.
But, there is another version to this story of life. It’s not modern chemistry, it’s alchemy. Alchemy – the ancient study and search for the philosopher’s stone that can convert lead into gold! The human mind should be like the philosopher’s stone. It must be able to transform our lives into something that’s quite valuable – pure gold.
Our body is a mixture of various chemical products in varying proportions. This doesn’t mean it is like any other non-living object. The very presence of life changes everything. It brings in a difference to the very core. So even if a tree can’t move about as it wishes, it is quite different from a rock due to the presence of life alone. So, even if the basic building block of life is just a few chemical compounds, life is much more than a chemical reaction.
The very nature of all our behaviour and characteristic traits can be attributed to a few chemical compounds known as ‘hormones’. These are much more complex chemical compounds that helps our body be in balance. They control everything from our hunger or thirst to rage and anger. They help us survive by increasing or decreasing the level of blood pressure, heart beat, etc. They help in metabolism, which is the process by which our food is broken down into energy and waste products.
Alchemy is an ancient practise, or search for knowledge of ‘Philosopher’s stone’, that can transform lead into gold. The human body is the best textbook for alchemy. It is full of examples that show how certain chemical compounds can create marvels. How a fragment of nucleic acid can create life is written on every living organism. The mystery of life is in these chemical compounds. Like the DNA, it is also twisted in nature. We have to unravel it to understand ourselves more.
If love and hate are the products of some hormones, why should we be like fuming bottles of sulphuric acid, poisoning the environment and ourselves? Be gold, pure gold. Be worthy in life!!!

mind

The Operating System

For the functioning of a computer, we need an operating system or O.S. Just like an operating system is necessary for the working of a computer, human beings too need an operating system to keep us working. It’s our mind. It is more complex and efficient than any of it’s man made counterparts. Our mind is the platform that helps us live in a sane and social manner.
All the characteristics of an operating system holds good for human mind too. Mind acts as a resource manager and helps us do our work in an efficient way possible, by suitably allocating our talents for the tasks to be performed. Mind works on the human body, just like an operating system works on a bare machine. Mind translates our thoughts into actual muscular or skeletal action, while an O.S translates high level script to machine code.


This natural O.S known as the mind is functionally more superior to any computer operating system. It is self programmable. In case of computers, new software need to be installed for improving the functionality of the system. But, if these software suffer from any code error, they will malfunction or has bugs. They are not self correcting. But human mind is self correcting and has learning capability, that today’s operating systems envy.
Security is a major concern for developers. The O.S must be impervious to attack of malicious software and hackers. Human mind too has no foolproof security measures. The mind can be easily corrupted by other people, who are much like hackers. These real world hackers inject malicious ideals and ideas into other people. There is an unlocked door in our mind. If someone can spot the location of that door, he may sneak into the mind to control our body.
A firewall can be installed to protect a computer from attack. Likewise, we too should have a firewall to keep intruders out of our mind. It is called conscience. We must weigh each and every of our choices before taking any decision. We must be able to spot the good from the bad. Our conscience must do this vital task for us. We may be tricked into using our instincts instead of our consciences. It will land us and others in danger.
Our mind is usually divided into the conscious and the sub-conscious minds. We may try to be someone, by controlling the conscious mind. But we have our true self inside the depths of our sub- conscious mind. It controls all our involuntary emotions. It’s like the kernel of an operating system. The core around which all other things are developed.
Mind plays an important role in our lives. We can only sense it’s presence, like an in-built software. The role of our mind is so crucial that our very existence as a sane being depends very much on the health of our mind. If an operating system crashes, we can re install it to get the computer working. But if the mind crashes, the whole thing is lost. There is no return from such a situation. That’s the major difference between the human mind and an ordinary, man made O.S. Even if someday, we can re program our minds using some freak technology, the human mind in it’s natural state is far far advanced than it, in many matters.
The mind is the world’s first and the best operating system. It is a free O.S, that comes with such exciting packages like emotions. We must make it secure, as it can control a human being. How you use your mind is equally important as for what you use it. We must keep that in mind.

jupiter stripes

Jupiter is getting back its lost belt

One of Jupiter’s stripes went missing Earlier this year. The Southern Equatorial Band (SEB) started to get lighter and paler, and eventually disappeared.

Now, follow-up images from both professional and amateur astronomers are showing some activity in the area of the SEB, and scientists now believe the vanished dark stripe is making a comeback.

The reason Jupiter seemed to ‘lose’ this band – camouflaging itself among the surrounding white bands – is that the usual downwelling winds that are dry and keep the region clear of clouds died down,” said Glenn Orton, a research scientist at JPL.

The stripe, known as the South Equatorial Belt (SEB), is located just south of Jupiter’s equator and can be seen with amateur telescopes. It is usually brown, but last spring, it turned white. In early November, amateur astronomer Christopher Go of Cebu City in the Philippines observed a prominent bright spot in the unusually whitened belt – which astronomers are calling a “storm’ on Jupiter. This bright spot caused professional and amateur astronomers around the world to turn their telescopes toward Jupiter.

After follow-up observations with NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), the 10-meter Keck telescope and the 8-meter Gemini telescope, all atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii, scientists now believe the stripe is making a comeback.

The white band wasn’t the only change on the big, gaseous planet. At the same time, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot became a darker red color. Orton said the color of the spot – a giant storm on Jupiter that is three times the size of Earth and a century or more old – will likely brighten a bit again as the South Equatorial Belt makes its comeback.

vacuum-tube

What is Vacuum?

All men might have gone through a feeling of ‘nothingness’, atleast once in their lives. “Oh! There’s nothing interesting in it”, “What are you doing now?” “Nothing much!”, “I’m totally bored! Nothing to do” are some sentences we often say ourselves or hear others say. What’s common to all these? Nothing but, ‘nothing’.
The term used to denote ‘nothingness’ in science is vacuum. Put in simple, yet scientifically correct terms, ‘Vacuum is a state with no particles’. So, perfect vacuum means complete absence of particles. It is usually difficult to attain physically. Physically feasible, partial vacuum finds many applications in our everyday lives.
Incandescent bulbs used it to protect the filament from corrosive chemical reactions like oxidation. But, later nitrogen and inert gases replaced vacuum, to obtain better results. Now, they are on the verge of extinction due to their lower efficiency causing serious environmental side effects. Semiconductor industry employs high vacuum to manufacture various electronic components. A familiar, domestic gadget using vacuum pump is – of course, vacuum cleaner. Before the advent of semiconductor technology, vacuum tubes were used in place of transistors etc. The heart of CRT computer monitors and televisions, is a vacuum tube.


Vacuum in varying qualities is employed in various walks of life. Apart from the everyday use in some equipments etc, vacuum is a hot academic subject. Vacuum is the topic of study for many scientists around the world.
Even though we all are familiar with it (not physically, but conceptually) we find it a bit strange that many renowned scientists of the yester year were dead against the concept of vacuum. They argued it as impossible, citing various reasons. But, as time flew, like most scientific phenomenon, vacuum too emerged from the shroud of mystery. Thus the hypothetical ‘aether’ medium was discarded. Aether was considered to be present everywhere in the universe, and was suggested as a medium for light propagation in space.
The medieval era was a dark age as far as science in Europe was concerned. Religion triumphed over science. Every observation, physical phenomenon had a religious explanation. This greatly hindered scientific growth. The fate of Galileo and Bruno are just two examples. Vacuum too was disregarded by the religious authorities, accusing it of being heretic. They believed that the absence of everything implied the absence of God.
The outer space is where high quality vacuum i s present. So, space travellers usually have to wear special suits, to avoid the fatal consequences. Exposure to vacuum can result in death within minutes. The reduction in pressure may cause gas bubbles to form inside the body, that will result in serious harm. This phenomenon called ebullism is prevented by the specially designed space suits, which make space travels possible.


This is what vacuum is, scientifically. But, vacuum is something more. We may use it as a metaphor, to represent a void. An irretrievable loss is often considered a vacuum. The absence of anything makes vacuum something special. This was the reason, it was considered as a foolish hypothesis. “How can nothing be something?” They asked. But vacuum proved to be something, that’s more than nothing.
The deep space, where stars are born knows vacuum more than we do. Vacuum connects these stars to form this universe. Vacuum fills this universe, and sometimes our lives. But the universe expands itself into this vacuum. We too must move on, expand our lives when we feel a vacuum inside us. Because, there’s something in nothing.

Children, A slum in Delhi

A city of slums

Recently i visited Delhi as a part of my  final year tour. It was 2 weeks before the CWG and whole city was working a lot to make it the best host. It was looking beautiful mostly near the CWG games village and other stadiums. But the roads deeper in the city was still under work, mainly the footpaths. It was on that day we stayed there, the bridge at games village fell down.

CWG- DELHI-2010

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snow-fairy

Fantasy

Our universe is very vast and mysterious. From the beginning of civilization, we were searching for it’s beginning and evolution. In quest of finding the answers to these ultimate questions, we have stumbled upon various laws of universe. At first, most people considered these laws to be the natural way of being, while a few did study it a little deeper to formulate a set of equations to represent them and use it in future studies. And thus, our knowledge of this universe increased slowly, but steadily. By now, we all, old and young know that these laws are universal laws that can’t be violated.

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dreams

The great “Desire magic”

We all have certain desires, certain dreams. But most of them go unrealized.
I will teach you a way to attain every sincere dream you have.
But there are certain conditions you have to follow like some boundary condition function.
This way or this magic i learned from one old teacher of mine.
Me, Vacuumwalker is going to teach you the first magic.
Read carefully. If you don’t get it read it again. Its simple.

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Alien

Why on Earth…(?)

Till this date, there aren’t available any proofs that are above any suspicion, for the existence of extra-terrestrial life. This compels us to believe that the only inhabitable place in this universe is our Earth. We can be proud of that, till we are proved wrong. In our quest for extra-terrestrial life, we have done many experiments and trials, but in vain. Yet, the quest continues…

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