Archive for the ‘ Inquisitive ’ Category

Wordless Thursday – World water content

[tweetmeme]

Advertisements

We only use 10 percent of our brains – FALSE

It’s the old myth heard time and again about how people use only ten percent of their brains. While for the people who repeat that myth, it’s probably true, the rest of us happily use all of our brains. That tired Ten-Percent claim pops up all the time. In 1998, national magazine ads for U.S. Satellite Broadcasting showed a drawing of a brain. Under it was the caption, “You only use 11 percent of its potential.” Well, they’re a little closer than the ten-percent figure, but still off by about 89 percent. In the beginning even I looked at that concept and thought of it as a plausible explanation for  a lot of things including magic, psychic abilities etc.

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=brain&iid=287909″ src=”0284/92a31411-b35a-4f7c-a5d9-efdaaeaae122.jpg?adImageId=12426315&imageId=287909″ width=”500″ height=”332″ /]

During the past few years and after various rounds of debates with friends, doctors and with engineers alike, I started to doubt it. One reason this myth has endured is that it has been adopted by psychics and other paranormal pushers to explain psychic powers. The biggest of these would be main stream media, there have been a few hundred movies showing psychics who have been seen saying “We only use ten percent of our minds. If scientists don’t know what we do with the other ninety percent, it must be used for psychic powers!” There have been even scores of books to those who are not exposed movies that time and again mention this tidbit saying that the rest is for the subconscious mind. Bollywood is not left far behind as well, Karthik calling Karthik was another movie which used this point.

The argument that psychic powers come from the unused majority of the brain is based on the argument from ignorance. In this Argument, lack of proof for a position (or simply lack of information) is used to try to support a particular claim. For example: Two people see a strange light in the sky. The first, a UFO believer, says, “See there! Can you explain that?” The skeptic replies that no, he can’t. The UFO believer is gleeful. “Ha! You don’t know what it is, so it must be aliens!” he says, arguing from ignorance. I am not a person who would say that UFO’s dont exist, neither do I say that they do. But I think there is not enough information to make a judgement on the same.

Getting back to the point, technology is working in my favor when it comes to proving this myth wrong.

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=brain&iid=253943″ src=”0250/2594f3a5-762e-4e7d-b09a-6211baf8409c.jpg?adImageId=12426336&imageId=253943″ width=”500″ height=”331″ /]

  1. Brain imaging research techniques such as PET scans (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) clearly show that the vast majority of the brain does not lie fallow. Indeed, although certain minor functions may use only a small part of the brain at one time, any sufficiently complex set of activities or thought patterns will indeed use many parts of the brain. Just as people don’t use all of their muscle groups at one time, they also don’t use all of their brain at once. For any given activity, such as eating, watching television, making love, or reading, you may use a few specific parts of your brain. Over the course of a whole day, however, just about all of the brain is used at one time or another.
  2. The myth presupposes an extreme localization of functions in the brain. If the “used” or “necessary” parts of the brain were scattered all around the organ, that would imply that much of the brain is in fact necessary. But the myth implies that the “used” part of the brain is a discrete area, and the “unused” part is like an appendix or tonsil, taking up space but essentially unnecessary. But if all those parts of the brain are unused, removal or damage to the “unused” part of the brain should be minor or unnoticed. Yet people who have suffered head trauma, a stroke, or other brain injury are frequently severely impaired. Have you ever heard a doctor say, “. . . But luckily when that bullet entered his skull, it only damaged the 90 percent of his brain he didn’t use”? Of course not.

I guess I am at this time convinced that the myth needs to be busted for all, and the fable of sort needs to end.

A lot more can be read on this topic with references here.

India Shining – Construction projects abroad

Gulf news featured an article recently about how Reliance has won a project in the USA for working out GAS processing of a huge Gas deposit along with Atlas Energy. India’s Reliance Industries will join hands with Atlas Energy and pick up a 40 per cent stake in Atlas’s operations in the Marcellus Shale. This natural gas project could hold enough natural gas to satisfy US demand for a decade. The project spans parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York.

Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, has been working hard to expand its presence outside India, break into new markets and broaden its various businesses including refining, oil and gas exploration and petrochemicals. I started discussing the same with my friends here, and together we realized that it seems to be like a small trend that is growing.

India has been known for a long time for its software exports as well as agricultural produce, the technology sector including hardware design with the Notion Ink and the Pi also seem to be racing ahead. But a lesser known sector of construction, EPC Contractors (i.e. Engineering, Procurement and Construction) is slowly but surely making its presence felt around the world. Snooping around the internet I found wuite some good examples of companies from India making a mark abroad in EPC.

Starting with Dubai, Dubai’s construction market is mostly comprised of South African companies, but the Electrical engineering world is dominated completely by ETA, a company based in Dubai but owned and operated by a huge Indian work force. Larsen & Tubro are making their presence felt, so is Voltas. Punj Lloyd, Tata Projects and Reliance are now taking major strides in taking over the Dubai Construction scene. The middle east is checkered with projects from the above companies. Moving along, the Indian companies are getting into markets like Europe and Africa at large. Reliance’s entry into US is a good sign.

Having such world class Indian Companies working the ambitions of Indian Architect and developers is making the developments in India world class as well. What still eludes me is why Indian Infrastructure is still so bad ?????

Goo.gl really pushing QR Codes

How do you know that a technology is beginning to take off ? Google does something with it, thats how. After Twitter, the importance of the length of a webpage URL needed some real looking at, because you would get only 140 characters to include the URL and your message, hence the birth of the URL Shortness. Needless to say Google thought it was a good idea and came up with a similar service called goo.gl. Its been shown below that it is indeed one of the best services available out there. That is the first piece of the jigsaw.

qrcode

QR Code is something that Google has showed interest in from getting it onto the Google maps for businesses, to now a URL shortening service which generates QR codes for the shortened code. For those of you who don’t recall, a QR (“quick response”) code is a square barcode that makes getting URLs, location coordinates, any text or contact information onto a phone fast. With a barcode scanner app installed, you just point your phone’s camera at the code to read its contents.

If you’re already using Goo.gl to shorten your URLs, simply add .qr to the end of a shortened Goo.gl URL and it’ll instantly generate a QR code for you.

Once you’ve got your shortened Goo.gl URL—like http://goo.gl/aXum, which points to Lifehacker’s home page—just append .qr like so:

http://goo.gl/aXum.qr

…and you’ve got your personal QR code. Not bad.

Note: To use Goo.gl to shorten URLs, you need to be using the Google Toolbar, or you can point your browser here . You can also check out my previous post about QR Codes here.

Apple wants us to SEE augmented reality .. cool

When I read the article in Engadget about Apple contemplating to make a pair of glasses that would well be a device to repel women. I admit it it is ugly at first sight.  This is what they have to say about it.

Essentially an iPhone dock that sits on your face like a pair of glasses, “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus for Retaining a Portable Electronic Device with Display” details a headset that contains a stereo display and either a camera or a window for your phone’s camera. Also included in the patent application is a microphone, speaker, batteries, and an accelerometer for detecting the user’s head movements. Something like this would be great for augmented reality applications — and something like this would make ever getting a date that much more difficult.

At first sight it does look horrible, it is however a first step that innovation and companies are taking towards Wearable Electronics and Augmented Reality devices as a consumer electronic device.

4 - CLIP MECHANISM +

For people who are more interested in the technical nitty gritties you can head out here. Well I am excited about this, cos one of my most read posts of all time is actually Nokia Mixed Reality, where Nokia demoed a device that did the same; this means that you guys are also interested in this. Check out the video below again:

Well I know that this is not something that people will buy immediately, but will definitely pick up like the mobiles, or the smartphones, or at least I hope. Heres wishing luck to Apple 🙂

What if the Gods were on Facebook ?

[tweetmeme] These days everyone is on Facebook, young and old. I guess someone thought that it might be a very good Idea to make the Facebook Page with the updates of Ramayan and Mahabharatha. Interestingly, when snooping around I found some more. I have just added these that I found. I think it is hilarious. All this after I first received Ramayan on Facebook by Anup. Thanks Dude ! Click on the images below to see them full size.

Story of  Ramayan

Continued …

Mahabharat

http://krishashok.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/facebook-mahabharatha.jpg

The Creation in the Bible

http://antoniofarinha.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/facebook-of-genesis.jpg

Jesus Facebook Page

Continued …

http://www.facebook-status.com/2010/02/05/jesus-o-nazareth-on-facebook/

When you have the Gods, How can you leave Satan

http://www.pcworld.com/zoom?id=162166&page=1&zoomIdx=5

If used intelligently, GenX can be taught stories using this method I guess, I am sure that they will be able to grasp it better. For the time being its funny and hilarious. Guess my next round should be celebrities. 🙂

Websites that create .. fun

Bored out of your mind, looking for some time pass stuff online ? Or just want to get your creativity juices flowing ? Or just want to check out the new offerings from the internet ? I thought it could be an interesting time to actually bring up a list of time killers.

Make your own Batman and Robin Comic

The Batman franchise is really revived after the Dark Knight as well as Batman Begins, interestingly though the older batman toons actually look like fun to read and we all grew up on them. So trying to get your hand at making your own version of the Batman comic strip, albeit a single clip is still fun.

Head over to their website to get your creativity flowing and generate your own : [ Batman and Robin ]

Create a Picture Story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, how about one word. Imagine you could get a picture for every word in your story and that can be made into a photo collage. Enter FlickerPoet.

Go to FlickrPoet and type a sentence. When you click on the ‘Show Story’ button, FlickrPoet will browse the Flickr database and pull an image for each word/phrase used in your sentence. These images will be organized to provide you with a picture story.

[ FlickrPoet ]

Always thought that one liner comeback that you gave to your co-worker might just be a good interesting t-Shirt ? Well here is a chance for you to actually design it that way and wear it off to rub it in their face for a long time.

[ T-Shirt Maker ]

The Generator Blog

I have to admit it, I spent more than a few hours on this site, it lists more that a thousand generators like the one listed above. From Victorian Sex cries right upto Your very own Oscar Speech. Definitely something worth trying. I just listed out the ones that appealed to me in the first look. Dont forget to Bookmark it !!
.