Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Tornado

It all started late in 26th of November 2008. We had heavy rainfall in our area and it was flooding all over Tamil Nadu. We had power supply for about 6-8 hours. And we could recall the floods that ravaged this part in 2005. That is what happened in Tamil Nadu. In Mumbai, the situation was entirely different. Few terrorists came through a boat to the gateway of India and split themselves into groups. One group entered Taj Mahal Hotel, another group entered Trident Hotel and yet another entered Chatrapathi Shivaji terminus formerly called as Victoria Terminus. The terrorist then went on to seige at Narman Point later killing the jewish rabbi.

The police as usual couldnot stop the terrorist with lathis, pistols and rifles. How could they? The Chief of the ATS squad was killed. And the siege went on for two more days. The NSG commandos arrived early on the next morning and they took control of all the operations. The NSG started to clear the Hotel room by room. But unfortunately they had been verywell prepared for This long term sige. they had dried fruits and knew the layout of the hotel very well. After about 50 hours all the terrorists were eliminated with a high casualty.

The NSG commandos did a very good job and they are worthy of the jublation poured upon by the onlookers. When someone is watching you performing, its more probable that you might make mistakes. its more probable to commit mistake when the whole India is watching you do something. The same goes for NSG commandoes. The nation remembers their brave efforts and their sacrifice.

I like to point a few small issues that could be deadly. With Delhi jamia Encounter Inspector M C Sharma was killed just because of the fact that they didnt wear bullet Proof jackets(kevlar Vests). Its the normal practise that many soldiers are ready to give their lives for their single general or other top official(courtesy saving private ryan). Yet here we see the top officials dare to enter the Hotzone without much protection for themselves. Its a big loss for our country and for the police dept. We cant loose brave and good people like that.
The NSG commandos could have better organised the raid. Its very hard for them to even cordon as the terrorist kept moving from place to place. I could remember a scenario in band of brothers where the Commanders command their men to learn the map. Knowing the layout of the Hotel could make the NSG to literally roundup the terrorist.

Many people have indicated that we do not have enough laws to prevent terrorist strike. No matter how many laws we have, these terrorists are going to break all of them. No matter how much laws we have, the mumbai terror attacks could not be prevented without arming better training the police.

I will term Black Tornado as a successful mission and all the defense forces involving in eliminating the threat did a very good job.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nisha's outburst

Its quite funny for the Tamil weather persons to name the cyclones just like the Americans do. These cyclones have been a continuous nuisance to our state. But still we have to depend on the rains for our growth. My friend has covered a lot of issues relating to the floods and the damage Nisha caused. I just want to add a few steps that can be taken to prevent the damage in the future.

First a survey of area which are susceptible to flood has to be identified. This is one of the most tedious job. And also try to find the population density in these regions. The above specified process can take a lot of time. So the government might not find it that important. This process could be taken by Media or other private organisations.

Then the government should analyze the survey and mark areas that are frequented by floods as say RED ZONE. The people residing in these areas should be vacated and given safe places which are in the GREEN zone(no floods). The farmers should be advised of the crops they have to grow in the rainy season and make sure not much loss is incurred to the farmers. Its better not to cultivate in the area which is near the rivers.

Information of possible flood should be conveyed before in the RED ZONE so that people have time to take precautionary actions. There is nothing to prevent the falling of trees on the road. To prevent that would require a tedious task.

The careful planning and action of the government could reduce the damages caused by these floods in the future. Hope we have safe place to live in.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is it Safe?

Whenever we come across a situation or object, we might ask the question "Is it safe?". And We live in this earth. And as per the scientists it is believed that human beings are living in the same earth since the beginning. But is our earth safe? We might look around and we can say that there might be no danger around. But the fact is that we are surrounded by dangers in all sides. Let us look at an atom for example. Of the 108(or 110) elements many are harmful to us and it can even kill us. If an atom breaks, the energy released is extremely harmful to man. Yet we survive everyday and we have never witnessed such natural destruction in our life.

Lets see what are the other dangers that surround us. Look at all the surroundings... we have 3 forms of matter. Solid, liquid , gas. We live on land. well some might say that there are few who live on snow. That isnt a big issue. It is believed that only 3% of the land in earth is inhabitable. The rest are rainforests, ice caps or deserts.

I recently saw the most ecofriendly house to be built for a cost of 14000 pounds. Speaking of which i can remember a story from Bible about the difference between the house built on the rock and sand. The house was built in 3 huge containers with almost everything we require in our life. The real distressing fact about that house was that it didnot have a foundation making it easier to fall prey for any kind of natural disasters. I would prefer to live in a high tech car or van instead of such a house.

Though the land is safe for habitation, its not entirely safe. The land itself are dangerous to man. When the faults in the rock weakens resulting in earthquakes and landslides which are dangerous to man. The same thing is true for Water. we cant survive without water. I was once asked this riddle in my school days.
You swallow it and live. If it swallows you, then you die
The answer is water. Though we cant survive without water, water is still dangerous to humans. Eg Tsunami, floods etc. So is air. We cant live without air for more than 20 minutes but tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes are dangerous. All these events might happen by chance but it doesn't happen everyday. we really dont know when they will occur. We can just identify the level of disaster only after it occurs.

We might say that the energy we get might be safe. But there are equal dangers in that to. I will discuss about electromagnetic energy and sound as they are most commonly used energy. Powerful radio waves can produce harmful effects in human. Microwaves can cause unusual perceptions and prolonged exposure could be dangerous. The light is dangerous to Man(LASER). The infrared radiations dehydrate the body and eventually is dangerous. The ultraviolet radiations can be utilized by the skin to produce vitamin D. But prolonged exposure or harmful UV rays can cause cancer. The xrays- gamma rays are extremely dangerous and there are just a few uses.

We use sound to communicate to our friends. But nowadays we are becoming silent. We use IM, sms and many other forms of silent communication methods. But sound is also equally dangerous to Humans. The infrasonic sounds can cause a feeling of anguish, fear nausea,etc and high decibel sound produced in a certain frequency in IF can kill the humans. The animal organs are designed to resonate at such a low frequency that high decibel sounds of such lower frequency isn't emitted by any natural phenomenon. It is literally impossible to say that this phenomenon could happen by chance.

The animals that lives with us and around us are afraid of humans yet they could be dangerous. Certain plants could also be dangerous. We eat food to live. Even the food itself can become harmful to man.

Its literally impossible to say that we came into this world by chance when we live surrounded by dangers all around us and literally ignore them all the days of our life. I personally see its impossible to ignore god when i look at His creations. Let Glory be to god Who loves us even though we might be sinners and is longing for us to return to him.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Geiger Counter - best days

I did my schooling in zion matriculation school. During my final year in school, we had a day free as the professionals from the kalpakkam power plant came to our school to help us understand the aspects of radioactivity and the usuage of geiger counter which measures the radioactivity. It was August 1, 2003. I couldnt remember much of the happenings on the day but i do remember two things.

We were taken to some room, where they had radioactive material and they were demonstrating the usage of geiger counter. As usual, in the room, we made a noise. And the guy who was doing the experiment told us to keep quiet. He then continued the experiments and demonstrated how radioactivity was measured. The usually measured reading was in 1000s. And we took a few readings and the guy told us to do the calculations which we never did. He also told us that prolonged exposure to radioactivity can cause us various problems in our health and ultimately death.

After that we came to class. The professors came to class and explained about a theory.( i really dont know which was first: The theory or the experimentation) I could remember a question i asked them. If there is some problem in the kalpakkam nuclear power plant, then how much far would the destruction reach. He asserted that there wont be any nuclear disasters as it is very safe and told us that there are lots of precautions that were taken. I insisted that even if something goes wrong(worst case scenario) how long would the destruction reach. He told that such situation would be brought under control and the destruction can be stopped in 8 KM. During those days i used to think kalpakkam was in the north of chennai. But it is in south of chennai near the seashore. They answered a lot of other questions

Friday, November 7, 2008


Its a well known fact that time has seconds as one of the smallest measure. The Pendulum was the first instrument to measure second. There are other lower measures of time like nano seconds.

Minutes, hours, days weeks, month,years are the other ways to denote the passage of time. All of them are usual except for a week and month.

The revolving of the moon around the earth could almost take a month and that could be the reason of the origin of Month. I could remember the school days when i was taught the number of days in a month(30 or 31) based on the position of knuckles.

Because there isnt much significance in a week and month as per scientific issues but still its widely accepted. The other important aspect is that we rest(or given holiday) once in a week. the only solution we can get to know about week is in holy books of Hindu, Muslim and christianity(and also Jews) and may be even in Chinese ancient literatures. The most oldest claim of a week could(may) be in bible(and torah) which starts with a week and offcourse it says about the rest day(sabath). We can say that in a day the earth rotates once and in a year the earth revolves around the sun. But we cant say any such thing for a week except that we can see seven palnets in the night sky. i havent tried that though.

Lets get to other important events(on time) that might come in a year: A leap Year and a leap Second. We all know about the leap year. The rotation of the earth is slowing down at some rate each day. It is not a constant rate at which it slows down. So inorder to keep the time accurate, they observe a leap second in a day. There were 23 occasions from 1972 where a leap second was annnounced or introduced in a year.

Equinox are the days when the the earth has 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. And the shortest day (winter solstice)and longest day (summer solstice)are either july 20-23 or december 20-23 depending on the hemisphere. Solar eclipse and lunar eclipse are two special phenomenon that might come in a year. But they dont have any significance in the time scale in earth.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Encounters With Dogs!!!

Dogs are the best pet which never bites(ahem) anyone! At least i never got one. Its really interesting to find posters like "Beware Of Dog" but not anything like "Beware of Cats" or rats or squrriels etc.. Well i am gonna say my personal experience with dogs.

The first time i got scared of a dog was when i was in first standard. My dad told me not to look afraid or run. only then the dogs will chase. We used to play with the dogs in my uncle's house. They had two dogs. So i lost the fear of dogs.

But there are a few incidents i encountered. I used to goto take 2 buses to goto school everyday. And at times its more important to run to board a bus. And there are quite a few street dogs on the road. And the problem is if a dog see you running then it might chase you. And that happened once. The dogs run faster than us. And it barked at me chasing me. So i had to slow down a bit. The street dogs often barks and do not bite anyone. The pet dogs usually does both.

My uncle came to stay in our house for a month or so and that time we had 3 dogs. And thats when i was almost bitten by the second oldest dog when i tried to lift it with its stomach.

Recently when i went to tuticorin, my uncle there had a dog. If u rub the neck(not too hard or it will start to bite) it will feel very comfortable for a dog. I did that and as soon as i finished it it started to bark at me.

A few weeks back, as i was walking along a road, a dog started barking at me when i was about 50 meters ahead of me. And it was a pet dog which wasnt chained but big enough to scare anyone. I got a bit scared. I couldnt see any one who appear to be the owner of the dog. Whenever i see a dog, I just ignore it. But this time it was different. I cant run and do anything. All i did was just proceed forward as if ignoring the dog.When i walked past the dog, the dog was still barking at me and started to follow me. And thats the time someone started to call the yell "Tommy ignae va". Thank god. I never knew where the dog was until it tounched my fingers. Thats so close.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The oldest Motor

The motor like system found in the bacteria that propels (or makes) the bacteria to move in its own world(Mostly Liquid) is obviously the oldest motor. This motor can have an rpm as high as 100000 rpm. But the rpm usually makes the flagella to rotate at speeds of 1000rpm. It is believed that the fastest animal Leopard makes just 25 body lengths/second. But this bacteria makes about 60 bodylengths/sec which is the fastest ever known in terms of body length. This motor is driven by sodium motive force or proton motive force.

For more info on these topics, have a look at the following links.