Thursday 29 May 2008

Pale Blue Dot

Have you seen the farthest picture of Earth ever taken? The photo was taken by Voyager 1 spacecraft when it was moving towards edge of our solar system. This picture was taken at around 6.4 billion kilometers away from Earth in 1990! Not surprisingly, Earth looks like a dot! After looking into this picture certain things came to my mind. Earth looks like a tiny dot in the whole universe. But, people here fight for a piece of land in this tiny dot! Astronomer Carl Sagan has rightly described his thoughts on this picture. Let me reproduce the statements here:
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
How true his wordings are!
God has created so many tiny dots like this in the universe. And in one of these tiny dots, so many creatures! Is it not a wonderful art?!

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Send your name to the Moon!

Here is a chance to send your name to the Moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft. Last date for submitting names is June 27, 2008. Hurry up!

Is there a life in Mars?

On Sunday, Phoenix spacecraft successfully landed on arctic plain of Mars. It took 9 months and 23 days to reach Mars from Earth! The objective of the mission is to determine if there is a water ice on subsurface of Mars. If water ice exists, how much of it is available and to find out if it can be useful in future. The findings of this mission will be exciting. Imagine, if we found that water ice exists in Mars and if we can use that to convert it to water and also to oxygen… Wow! We can also think of using that water for future human landing. Also, it would give a hint at life at Mars. When we say life, do not only think of human like creatures. It could also be micro-organisms.

Phoenix is already sending pictures of Mars at Arctic site. Take a look at wonderful pictures at NASA’s website.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Terrorists attack on India

Terrorists attacked again now targeting Jaipur. I feel very ashamed to see the “impotence” of central government in handling terrorists. I still wonder how many attacks the government is waiting for to happen before they wake up and take stringent action. After Sep 11 attack, not a single attack has happened in US. Why? It’s because of the way US dealt with terrorists. Why can’t India seriously deal with terrorists when again and again attacks are happening in the country?

Indian soldiers have lot of courage to fight against terrorists. But Indian government does not have courage. It’s not only the present government but also the previous governments including NDA. The reason why government is hesitant to take action is very simple! Its vote bank politics! It’s hard to believe but it’s unfortunately true that government is less worried about India’s security just because of minority votes! Just because most of the terrorists belong to one minority community, none of the political parties have “courage” to take action against people who belong to minority community. I’m not against any religion but I’m against people (from any religion) who are anti-nationals. Under the banner of secularism and human rights, there are terrorists who are still alive in the jail. They should have been hanged without showing any amount of kindness. This is the best and only way of dealing with terrorists. It’s very surprising that the person who attacked the parliament is still alive! Human right activists who are opposing death sentence to parliament attackers should be sent to Kashmir to fight against terrorists. Even if these activists die, there is no loss to the nation.

Why can’t Indian Muslims become proactive and urge the government to take stringent action against terrorists? Why they are mute spectators in these issues? I have not seen/heard prominent Muslim leaders being proactive in these issues.

Indian government should take actions before it is too late. If you cannot wage war against enemies, you will not have right to stay in the position.

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Where Are India’s Innovative Companies, Products and Solutions?

My friend sent a link to this thought provoking article by Mark Fidelman. This is something we Indians should be aware of.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

15 Hours and 38 Minutes Young Moon!

Look at this beautiful and stunning picture. This picture of moon was captured on 6th April from France when Moon was only 15 hours and 38 minutes old (rather I should say young!). It’s very difficult to see the moon within 24 hrs. I’ve seen only two days old moon. I always wondered if I can see young moon. Well, this picture is really an inspiration to me and I’m definitely going to try to capture young moon!

Thursday 8 May 2008

Can Humans Live to 1,000 Years?

I was going through this article, where scientists are working in increasing the life span of humans. Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey has famously stated,
“The first person to live to be 1,000 years old is certainly alive today… whether they realize it or not, barring accidents and suicide, most people now 40 years or younger can expect to live for centuries.”
Michael Rose, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California says
“I am working on immortality”.

It was an interesting piece for me as few days back I was going through a website where it had given explanation about different yugas. According to the information provided in this website, in Kruta yuga life of humans would be 1 lakh years, in treta yuga it is 10000 years, in dvapara yuga it is 1000 years and in kali yuga it is 120 years.

We have many instances where people have crossed 100-110 years. There are very few exceptions to this rule (kind of) like the people who were mentioned by Paramhamsa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi. The people who are still alive in the Himalayas and they have crossed 1000 years!

I was just trying to relate the article with what mentioned in our ancient texts. I was just wondering if scientists really can increase the life span of humans in near future. It is indeed interesting to see where this research is heading!

Monday 5 May 2008

Namaste or Handshake?

I happened to visit this article ( through this post ( Author feels that shaking hands could be dangerous as it could pass germs and flu virus from one person to other. Author suggests that “The Hindu namaste greeting (a composite of the two words that means, roughly, I bend or incline toward you), for example, is simple, elegant and touchless: a slight bow with hands pressed at the palms near the heart.”

I always felt that Namaste is better than Handshake. But, in today’s world, handshake has become so common that if you don’t reciprocate it, you will be considered as uncultured or rude. More awareness should be created among people.