Archive for May, 2015

Space Elevators

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

I visited Chicago museum of science and industry today. One thing caught my attention besides lots if work being done in robotics is about SPACE ELEVATORS.

I thought it was science fantasy but there is a serious stuff happening around Space elevators including annual conference on this topic.

Space elevators will be like normal elevator running to a strong rope made on Carbon nanotube (much stronger material than steel) to space. This will bring down the cost of per kg weight to space from current level of 22,000 dollars to sub 1000 dollars per kg.

Check this by googling on Space elevators.

 

Flight of fancy?

Flight of fancy?

The Indian Family System

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

 

What is the connection between role of Indian family system to the

a. Economic strength of the society.

b. Emotional quotient of its family members and then society.

This weekend I am attending the wedding of my niece at Nashville, USA. Since I am fortunate to have 10 siblings, we have a large family settled in all parts of world, despite coming from a very humble background in Delhi. My eldest sister Usha and her husband Kunwar moved to Scotland in 1968 and then to US in 1969, helped all of us in 2 ways

A. Being inspirational
B. Supported the education of the large family financially and sponsored them to explore America’s.

Then my other members of family took the similar responsibilities and extended this support as a ‘Pay it forward’ mode to others in more than one way. Everyone was committed to the growth of each other as a mentor, coach, physical or emotional support.

Similarly next generation got ‘subconsciously’ inspired from elders and out 20 kids in the family, everyone is excelling in their chosen space.

What I am describing above is not a proud family of mine but it’s a very common phenomenon of many many Indian families in America’s.

My question is

What are the elements that drives positive spiral in families?

What are the elements that sometimes looks overbearing on us and force us to think family as a overhead?

I invite your experiences of families to understand this topic better.

Building blocks of society

Building blocks of society

 

 

 

Cosmos – My learnings

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

I am watching Carl Sagan COSMOS and this post is in continuation to my earlier one. In this post, I have tried to simplify the mystery of Cosmos, in my language.

1. The space scientists simplified distance measurements by assigning the distance of earth from the sun as one Astronomical Unit (AU), which is equivalent of 150 million Km

2. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars have clear surfaces while Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have lots of materials floating.

3. Voyager 1 and 2 were sent to explore Mars, Jupiter and Saturn on 20 August 1977 with a 4-year mission. But it continues till date.

4. The NASA scientists have used the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which happens once in 175 years, to launch Voyager.

5. Voyager’s speed is 3.5 AU per year, which means over 500 million Km per year. Voyager 2, weighing 722 KG, consumes only 400 watts for such a speed generated by nuclear source and usage of gravitational force (since it is so far from Sun, it can not use solar power).

6. Voyager 2 is still working after 37 years and sending signals to earth.

7. The current location of Voyager 2 is over 100 AU – 16 billion km and send pictures of interstellar space.

8. Voyager 1 is crossing the helio sheath from north and voyager 2 is moving towards south.

9. With proper conservation of energy, it’s predicted that they can last upto 2025.

10. The initial budget of the project was 865 million dollars. NASA spends just 5 million dollars to sustain this initiative.

Eye on the skies

Eye on the skies

Storage Batteries of Solar Energy for Humans

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

1. Plants create food, converting carbon dioxide and water using solar energy called Photosynthesis.

2. The process of photosynthesis stores Energy in a organic compound called Glucose.

3. Humans consume carbohydrates from various ‘plant produce’ and store it back in glucose form.

4. This glucose is the fundamental source of Human energy.

5. Humans Release Carbon dioxide as a waste product which is a fundamental ingredient of Photosynthesis, so similar to photovoltaic method of storing solar to electrical energy.

Beautiful zero waste Nature Energy Cycle.

shutterstock_170328875

Self healing Infrastructure – design thinking in action

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

I was watching a BBC program on applying the concept of human self healing body system to concrete roads.

It’s a great example of connecting the dots from two very different ecosystems and creating FUTURE OF ROAD technology. The research is happening in Germany which can help in repairing concrete roads permanently.

Very interesting technology innovation involving bacteria as well.

Self-healing Concrete

Just Walk

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

On Wednesday, I met a colleague from Polaris, Suresh Kamath. He mentioned to me that he walks every day 10 to 12 Km. I asked a few questions because I started regular walk after getting inspiration from my brother and committed that I would walk at least 2 km for 20 days in month. Not a big goal. During 2012, 2013 I could maintain that small walking consistently. I increased this goal to 200 km per quarter during Oct-Dec 2014 and Jan to March quarter.

10 km per day was big goal against 3 kms per day for around 22 days in a month(Take out travel days) to achieve 200 Km across three months.

I got inspired from Suresh and did 10 Km per day for 3 days in a row – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

A small, satisfying milestone.

shutterstock_219757786

Design of Peacock Feather

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Science & intelligence of Cell Division

My Observations

1. We all know the beauty of feather of Peacock. Just go a step deeper – how a Feather gets created with such a beautiful ‘eye’, with so many colours and every colour in the right place.

2. We all know feathers are created by cell division, one by one.

3. Each cell divisions produces a similar structure to itself after division.

4. Initial cells from the corner start with green colour.

5. The colour of ‘centre of eye’ has such a set of bright colours. how come green cell divides to create cell with blue or brown colour?

6. The feather consists of hundred of strands.

7. To get the ‘Eye’ completed, EVERY CELL OF EACH STRAND NEED TO KNOW ITS EXACT LOCATION OF THE COLOUR at the time of its division so that complete beautiful EYE unveils itself.

Where is this intelligence hidden in feather?

This forces me to think what is the purpose of the large and beautiful feather for the survival of Peacock? Yes its meant for attracting female for carrying forward its progeny, but how come such a design fits into Darwin theory of ‘Survival of fittest’ or ‘Theory of random mutation’.
I can only ascribe this to THE NATURE, THE SUPREME NATURE.

peacockfeather

Cosmos

Friday, May 1st, 2015

I was watching a video, created by Carl Sagan, on the cosmos. The videos are depicted beautifully in simple language and visuals, the complexity of COSMOS. There are 7 DVDs.

2 random Questions

1. The diameter of Earth is 12600 Kms. At what speed Earth rotates which we don’t feel?

2. What is a Astronomical Unit?

Earth_Eastern_Hemisphere