Dangerous Knowledge – Great minds to lunacy

•January 20, 2011 • 2 Comments

The other day back on a week long holiday from work,
I was lazily lying on my living room couch, flicking stuff on my ipad,
news stories, twitter timeline, facebook, just hungry for some thought on an interesting topic, something for which I have had no time, to read with pleasure, ever since being tied down in a boring work routine at the hospital.

I do not exactly remember how I landed up to this topic, but somehow while endlessly clicking on some youtube videos, I ended up watching this splendid BBC documentary : Dangerous Knowledge.

Dangerous Knowledge is a 90-minute long BBC documentary about the lives of four great thinkers: Georg Cantor (1845-1918), Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906), Kurt Gödel (1906-1978), and Alan Turing (1912-1954). Cantor founded Set Theory, Boltzmann founded Statistical Mechanics, Gödel’s incompleteness theorems had an immense impact on Mathematical Logic, and Turing was one of the fathers of Computer Science. These four scientist were engrossed in a very deep thought on deciphering knowledge of what reality really is, each one with the brilliance in their respective fields, Mathematics or Physics or Machines. What they looked at was actually a basic problem of mathematics, but one with far reaching implicatiions, one to define the very substance of our existence. What they saw, drove them to lunacy, each one ending their lives at some point.

What could it have been? What is it that they really they felt or tried to prove. What did they realize?
If you dig up their work, its pretty astonishing. Their theories were all rejected repeatedly and they were firmly criticized by the peers of their time, but only now are their theories holding much water.

You must watch this documentary, its in two parts
Part One | Part Two

Three years ago, I had written a post that turned out to be very popular,
People who deny existence of God
it generated huge amount of traffic (in fact web analytics point it as the most accessed article on this blog till date), and a flurry of comments, some really furious from those who took offense as atheists and attacked me personally, that I had no istanding or qualification in this area to write or comment on atheists and nullify their logic of disbelief.
I had to disable all comments to that post. Some mentioned that I had chickened out of the debate, I had merely douched the fire, in which I had no interest to debate, I was merely expressing my thought, and I wasn’t der for some debate to prove or disprove anything. I had to douche that off cos I had my own academics to attend. At the time, I was still in Medical School with burgeoning piles of texts to read. My article was simply borne out a passing thout of the moment.

After watching this documentary and knowing more on Quantum physics and where it has reached today, my “thought” that I had shared then, was indeed on the right track, and I had indeed viewed it in simple but fairly correct principles.

We live in a world defined by the rules of science, but beneath these rules lies a matrix of pure mathematics, which explains the rules of science and how it is that we can understand them.

Georg Cantor asked a simple question, How big is Infinity? A question that started a revolution in the field of mathematics and Physics and threatened to derail the very foundations on which it was understood.

There are certain things in Physics which are true, but can never be proven.
The limited finite capacities of a human mind can only deal finitely, we leave the problem of infinity, sweep it under the carpet and work on our newtonian laws, just to get along.

Its like a circle, as it is explained in the documentary,
u draw a circle, and with an infinitely thin pencil draw infinite number of lines just to fill the circle complete. Fine, now draw a bigger circle concentrically with the same point of radius, and now extend these lines drawn within this small circle to the edge of the larger circle, and you notice now there are gaps between these lines.. How could one get the gaps when one drew infinite lines thru the radius filling it completely, the smaller circle almost to a solid, but on extending, these lines divergen further creating gaps in the bigger circle? There will always be gaps, no matter how many lines u draw.

Please go on to watch this documentary.


Stephen Hawking – A fine exemplar of living positive life

•February 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 

A usual boring Sunday Morning, I wake up early, call out for my cats, feed them, pet them a while, then off to get the news papers in the porch. Like most times I was just flipping through the headlines sinking myself into the couch with lassitude.
But this interview with Stephen Hawking enticed me to read between the lines,
at the end of which it threw me into awe and feelings of veneration for this personality instead of pitying him of his handicap condition.

I cannot help but ponder over how this man despite all odds that restrict his very life, still dares to dream far and big, has more plans for his future and his mind is still thriving with constructive and creative activities, exploring sciences and probing possibilities.

On Introspection I am honestly feel a sense of personal shame. Being in a very fit state of health, economy and quite privileged, yet I slip into pensiveness over small matters, clouding my mind with gloom, self cursing and despair. All this preoccupying energy and time over frivolous issues. Its a pity, that I am squandering my energies. Hope I could start thinking in the positive, even if its a fraction of how Stephen Hawking perceives Life as.

Below are some excerpts of the article I read, you may find the original article here.

HE has been described as the most brilliant living genius. In the realm of physics, he is ranked only after Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

Stephen Hawking is more than deserving of the title of “world’s most famous living scientist”. He has achieved so much, charting new frontiers despite his disabilities and being confined to a wheelchair.

At 68, his health has deteriorated further but it is not stopping him, just as it has never stopped him before. Afflicted with neuro-muscular dystrophy since 21, he is unable to use his fingers and has long lost his ability to speak. He has nurses watching over him 24 hours a day.

He can only communicate using facial gestures including eye blinks. His computerised voice system is controlled by using a blink-activated infrared monitor embedded in his glasses.

There is a barely perceptible movement of his lips but his eyes are incredibly knowing.

It is hard to associate the Hawking in a wheelchair with the young Hawking who loved riding horses and coxed a rowing team when he was studying at Oxford.

As a first-year doctorate student at Cambridge and shortly before his first marriage, he was diagnosed with a motor neurone disease and told that he could only live for a few more years. But he has certainly defied the odds.

The disease did not stop him from marrying language student Jane Wilde in 1965 and having three children, Robert, Lucy and Timothy. He wrote scientific papers, delivered lectures and wrote his best seller, despite being in his electric wheelchair which is fitted with a portable computer and speech synthesizer.

There have also been no shortage of controversies in his private life. His wife Jane described him as a “tyrant” after their divorce and wrote that he had a “God-like complex.” He subsequently married his nurse, Elaine Mason, but it ended following allegations of mistreatment.

Then the writer’s experience with him,

White steam puffed out of a dehumidifier, camouflaged by sea shells near his table.

Hawking sat in the middle of the room, with a team of nurses and aides watching.

There was a moment of awkwardness. Awed by the presence of this great man and my inability to deal with his disability, I felt uneasy and was privately ashamed of my reaction.

Perhaps sensing my hesitance, Lucy took her father’s hand and asked me to shake it.

“Dad, Wong has travelled all the way from Malaysia to meet you. He says he likes our books,” she said in an attempt to break the ice.

There was a long silence, punctuated only by the whirring and beeping sounds from his computer. I looked at the computer screen and could not be sure whether he was responding.

Numbers and words filled the screen, giving me the impression that he was doing many things at the same time, with various thoughts being flashed.

After a while, he responded, through the voice box, that he was glad that I liked the two children’s books on the universe that he had written with Lucy. There were smiles all around the room.

Lucy explained to me how the machine, which reportedly can only manage 15 words a minute, has been used to write e-mail and even to laboriously write his bestseller.

Malaysian student Vincent Tang, a first class honors graduate in physics who had joined me for the interview, told Hawking about the latest design for a similar voice synthesizer by the Cambridge university.

That seemed to interest Hawking more than my questions, and earned a response from him. After another question from me on how he felt about the fate of the earth, there was a longer silence. His face showed an agonized look, as if he was struggling with an answer, and his cheeks were twitching.

While waiting for his response, Lucy took the opportunity to show me around his office. Hawking, despite his intellectual capacity, is a man with a strong sense of humour.

In one interview, he was reportedly asked how he managed to father three children and he replied: “The disease only affects voluntary muscles.”

He has also told the media in an interview that he loves watching TV crime series and The Simpsons.

A figurine of him sitting in a wheel chair, specially made for him as a gift by the producers of the TV cartoon show, sits proudly on his table. It is one of his favourite ornaments. There are more caricatures of him with the Simpsons characters. Hawking has appeared in cameo roles in the series.

There is also a picture on the wall of a grinning and delighted Hawking with a super-imposed visual of a very sexy Marilyn Monroe. The late actress remains one of his idols.

Then there is a picture of him with United States President Barack Obama, who awarded Hawking with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s top civilian award – at the White House in August 2009. It was one of his rare trips overseas. The physicist clearly adores Obama; there are Obama buttons on the bookshelves.

There are also photographs of Hawking at a zero-gravity excursion at Zero Gravity Corporation in the US in 2007. For the first time in 40 years, the quadriplegic could move freely without his wheelchair. The child-like delight on his face is clearly captured in the pictures on the walls at the entrance of his office.

Hawking has clearly defied the odds and there is still much he wants to achieve. An advocate of space exploration, he wants to travel to space as a tourist.

“Perhaps, one day I will go to space,” he said in the interview.

But back on earth, he still has one mission to accomplish with Lucy. They have finished two children’s books – George’s Secret Key to the Universe and George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt which give children and even adults a better grasp of cosmic mysteries – and are working on the third. It is expected to be published later this year.

There is now a plan to turn the Harry Potter-like trilogy into a play.

“There are many things I want to achieve. If we lose our dreams, we will die,” he said.

“I don’t have much that is positive to say about the motor neurone disease but it has taught me not to pity myself, because others are worse off, and to get on with what I can still do.”

Author Chetan Bhagat’s advice to new grads.

•January 5, 2010 • 3 Comments

My Dad sent this to me in an email forward, I loved it and thought it was worth sharing it.
This was a speech given by Chetan Bhagat at a graduation ceremony of MBA students in Pune, India.

It has been scripted in a very slick and straightforward language, but indeed illuminating. Keep reading…

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated.  The first day in college is one of them.  When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates – there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party – several months in advance – just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost.   So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing – to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.

To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn’t any external measure – a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.

Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn’t the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won’t be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive Just getting better from current levels feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.

Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

You must have read some quotes – Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said – don’t be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

I’ve told you three things – reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.

Disappointment’ s cousin is  Frustration, the second storm.  Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to  a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.

Unfairness – this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it – not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. Butrealize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is Isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I’ve told you the four thunderstorms – disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful  years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying – I come from the land of a billion sparks.

Thank You.

Chetan Bhagat

What’s so great about Twitter?

•January 8, 2009 • 1 Comment

 

image

- Twitter is a global index to ‘now’what people are thinking ‘in real time';

- Twitter permits social networks to meet around a virtual water cooler in real time;

- Twitter is a virtual online town-square where people meet and provide support digitally;

- in practical terms, Twitter is open-access, unfettered, free information flow;

- a wildly easy way to stay connected with online networks @ a single point of entry;

- efficient way to see ‘status updates’ of family and friends

- Twitter permits thinking ‘on the fly'; monitoring ideas & thoughts; breaking news;

- an important productivity tool; face-to-face meetings get up to speed much quicker

- Twitter is also a potentially powerful research and information dissemination tool;

- some Twitter feeds, once they ‘mature’, are mini-web conferences on the go

- News alerts and reporting events from on the scene as it happens, by the public, from different angles, different sides (as in #Mumbai Gunmen terror and the #Gaza war)

- A place to discover web, ideas and knowledge from other twitter users.

- A marketing tool to promote and market products, services etc.

- An alternative to RSS feeds, to get new additions to websites or blogs you follow. Many have their own twitter account you can follow, else there are other ways to import feeds too.

 

Please add in more words to describe the limitless uses of twitter.

How Internet is altering the Brain

•October 28, 2008 • 1 Comment

Our minds continuously adapts to different environments and culture it faces.
With the rise of people who spend most of their times doing work on the internet, it has given rise to a different environment their minds are occupied with, and thus this is evolving a totally new system of mind work and will affect a lot of people in their personal development – having both good as well as drawbacks.
reflect on this article from Reuters. Following are some key highlights of it in a Snap.

  • Neuroscientist arguing this is an evolutionary change which will put the tech-savvy at the top of the new social order.
  • Internet searching has made brains more adept at filtering information and making snap decisions.
  • Technology can accelerate learning and boost creativity
  • Yet the Drawback – dramatic rise in Attention Deficit Disorder diagnoses.
  • Those who excell in future – will have a mixture of technological + social skills.
  • technology has altered the way young minds develop, function and interpret information.
  • “The brain is very specialized in its circuitry and if you repeat mental tasks over and over it will strengthen certain neural circuits and ignore others,” ~ Gary Small.
  • “Evolution is an advancement from moment to moment and what we are seeing is technology affecting our evolution.”
  • Problems of multitasking, info scanning – neglecting human contact skills and losing the ability to read emotional expressions and body language, rapid scanning for new information may cause stress and disrupt neuronal circuits.

Gary Small has written his new book iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind

iBrain reveals a new evolution catalyzed by technological advancement and its future implications: Where do you fit in on the evolutionary chain? What are the professional, social, and political impacts of this new brain evolution? How must you adapt and at what price?

While high-tech immersion can accelerate learning and boost creativity, it also has its glitches, among them the meteoric rise in ADD diagnoses, increased social isolation, and Internet addiction. To compete and thrive in the age of brain evolution, and to avoid these potential drawbacks, we must adapt, and iBrain—with its Technology Toolkit—equips all of us with the tools and strategies needed to close the brain gap.

“An Economic Bubble” – for Dummies

•October 25, 2008 • 1 Comment

Someone sent me this little explanation of bubble economy, made ridiculously simple.
I am posting it here on my blog with some minor modifications.
It describes how an ‘asset bubble’ builds up and what are its consequences.

Once there was a little island country. The land of this country was the tiny island itself. The total money in circulation was 2 dollars as there were only two pieces of 1 dollar coins circulating around.

  1. There were 3 citizens living on this island country. “A” owned the land. “B” and “C” each owned 1 dollar.
  2. “B” decided to purchase the land from “A” for 1 dollar. So, “A” and “C” now each own 1 dollar while “B” owned a piece of land that is worth 1 dollar.
    The net asset of the country = 3 dollars.

  1. “C” thought that since there is only one piece of land in the country and land is non producible asset, its value must definitely go up. So, he borrowed 1 dollar from “A” and together with his own 1 dollar, he bought the land from “B” for 2 dollars.
  2. “A” has a loan to “C” of 1 dollar, so his net asset is 1 dollar.

    “B” sold his land and got 2 dollars, so his net asset is 2 dollars.

    “C” owned the piece of land worth 2 dollars but with his 1 dollar debt to “A”, his net asset is 1 dollar.

    The net asset of the country = 4 dollars.

  3. “A” saw that the land he once owned has risen in value. He regretted selling it. Luckily, he has a 1 dollar loan to “C”. He then borrowed 2 dollars from “B” and acquired the land back from “C” for 3 dollars. The payment is by
  4. 2 dollars cash (which he borrowed) and cancellation of the 1 dollar loan to “C”.

    As a result, “A” now owned a piece of land that is worth 3 dollars. But since he owed “B” 2 dollars, his net asset is 1 dollar.

    “B” loaned 2 dollars to “A”. So his net asset is 2 dollars.

    “C” now has the 2 coins. His net asset is also 2 dollars.

    The net asset of the country = 5 dollars. A bubble is building up.

  5. “B” saw that the value of land kept rising. He also wanted to own the land. So he bought the land from “A” for 4 dollars. The payment is by borrowing 2 dollars from “C” and cancellation of his 2 dollars loan to “A”.
  6. As a result, “A” has got his debt cleared and he got the 2 coins. His net asset is 2 dollars. “B” owned a piece of land that is worth 4 dollars but since he has a debt of 2 dollars with “C”, his net asset is 2 dollars.

    “C” loaned 2 dollars to “B”, so his net asset is 2 dollars.

    The net asset of the country = 6 dollars. Even though, the country has only one piece of land and 2 dollars in circulation.

  7. Everybody has made money and everybody felt happy and prosperous.
  8. One day an evil wind blowed. An evil thought came to “C”’s mind. ‘Hey, what if the land price stop going up, how could “B” repay my loan. There are only 2 dollars in circulation, I think after all the land that “B” owns is worth at most 1 dollar only.’
  9. “A” also thought the same.

  10. Nobody wanted to buy land anymore. In the end, “A” owns the 2 dollar coins, his net asset is 2 dollars. “B” owed “C” 2 dollars and the land he owned which he thought worth 4 dollars is now 1 dollar. His net asset become -1 dollar.
  11. “C” has a loan of 2 dollars to “B”. But it is a bad debt. Although his net asset is still 2 dollar, his heart is palpitating.

    The net asset of the country = 3 dollars again.

    Who has stolen the 3 dollars from the country?

    Of course, before the bubble burst “B” thought his land worth 4 dollars.

    Actually, right before the collapse, the net asset of the country was 6 dollars on papers. His net asset is still 2 dollar, his heart is palpitating.

    The net asset of the country = 3 dollars again.

  12. “B” had no choice but to declare bankruptcy. “C” has to relinquish his 2 dollars bad debt to “B” but in return he acquired the land which is worth 1 dollar now.
  13. “A” owns the 2 coins, his net asset is 2 dollars. “B” is bankrupt, his net asset is 0 dollar. (”B” lost everything) “C” got no choice but end up with a land worth only 1 dollar (”C” lost one dollar) The net asset of the country = 3 dollars.

    There is however a redistribution of wealth.

END OF THE ANECDOTE

“A” is the winner, “B” is the loser, “C” is lucky that he is spared.

ANALYSIS TIME

Few points worth noting:

  1. When a bubble is building up, the debt of individual in a country to one another is also building up.
  2. This story of the island is a close system whereby there is no other country and hence no foreign debt. The worth of the asset can only be calculated using the island’s own currency. Hence, there is no net loss.
  3. An over damped system is assumed when the bubble burst, meaning the land’s value did not go down to below 1 dollar.
  4. When the bubble burst, the fellow with cash is the winner. The fellows having the land or extending loan to others are the loser. The asset could shrink or in worst case, they go bankrupt.
  5. If there is another citizen “D” either holding a dollar or another piece of land but he refrained to take part in the game, he will, at the end of the day, neither win nor lose. But he will see the value of his money or land go up and down like a see-saw.
  6. When the bubble was in the growing phase, everybody made money.
  7. If you are smart and know that you are living in a growing bubble, it is worthwhile to borrow money (like “A”) and take part in the game. But you must know when you should change everything back to cash.
  8. Instead of land, the above applies to stocks as well.
  9. The actual worth of land or stocks depend largely on psychology.

The X-Ray wonder from a Scotch tape

•October 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Occupied in a busy schedule of my current Surgery posting, not having much time in keeping updated with daily dose of Tech and science news, An article sparked keen interest as I was shuffling through the The Star newspaper (a malaysian publication) in the Library. I was ecstatic to know about this fact, and already started thinking about the different innovations that can arise from this little interesting discovery that still lies unexplainable.

Following are some Highlights from some articles I read online:

  • If you peel the popular adhesive tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits X-rays.
  • A machine peeled ordinary Scotch tape off a roll in a vacuum chamber at about 1.2 inches (3cm) per second.
  • Rapid pulses of x-rays, each about a billionth of a second long, emerged from very close to where the tape was coming off the roll.
  • Researchers even made an x-ray image of one of their fingers.
  • With some refinements, the process might be harnessed for making inexpensive x-ray machines for paramedics or for places where electricity is expensive or hard to get.
  • Actually,  more than 50 years ago, some Russian scientists reported evidence of X-rays from peeling sticky tape off glass.

Tape measure: X-rays detected from Scotch tape (original article from AP)

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.