Posts Tagged ‘ end of the world ’

Reality from fiction : Fabric that deflects bullets (Indian again)

[tweetmeme] Remember The Matrix? When Neo asks Morpheus if he was trying to tell him that he could dodge bullets and Morpheus replies “No Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.”


If engineers at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology, University of Sydney, have their way, then soon the cops of the world could all be attempting a Matrix scene. If not stop the bullets in mid-air, they can surely bounce them off their bodies.

Till today, bulletproof gear that cops across the world use is made up of multiple layers of Kevlar, Twaron, Spectra (Thanks Guybrush) or Dyneema fibers which offer blunt resistance to the brutal force of a bullet. They tried to stop bullets from penetrating by spreading the bullet’s force. But the people who use them can still be left with severe bruising or, worse, damage to critical organs.

The new material, however, not only stops bullets but deflects them, rather than absorbing their force. The study by engineers at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology, University of Sydney, is published in the Institute of Physics’ journal Nanotechnology. The elasticity of carbon nanotubes means that this so called “blunt force trauma” may be avoided, say Prof Liangchi Zhang and Dr Kausala Mylvaganam. The Indian and Chinese duo who have help fortify the argument that Innovation does not happen only in the west.

The teams’ testing was done on Carbon nanotubes in the dimensions of 0.7 nanometers in thickness & 7.5 nanometers in length. Bullets made out of Diamond were fired at 1000 to 3500 meters per second at the target material and the fabric successfully bounced the bullets off of its surface. Now if diamond bullets could not make it through, then I doubt if anything else will. Engineers claim that 6 layers of such yarn, which would be about 600 nanometers thick, would be sufficient to design a fabric for practical purposes.

To say that this technology is amazing would be a gross understatement. It could prove invaluable in fighting terror across the planet.Just hope the Bad guys are not wearing the same.

Source

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The story of stuff, we are just consumer numbers …

Its been about a year since someone sent me a viral video about the Story of Stuff, and I was enlightened, frightened, and motivated all at the same time. Historically, I have been a person who has spoken about made presentations about and actually published presentations about going green. And after seeing the video again, I realized that I am not doing nearly as much as I could be doing. The video attacks the linear economic model that our economy is currently based on. Some of the info. presented is new, a lot is repeat, but it’s brought together in a very clear and compelling way. You can download and watch the video also on their website http://www.storyofstuff.com/

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever. Since the film was posted, viewers in over 200 countries have visited the site over 7.5 million times. The Story of Stuff is more than a video cleverly explaining the life cycle of stuff. It’s a catalyst for awareness that gets people thinking about how all of our stuff is connected to environmental and societal issues.

Here is my list of 10 little and big things we can do, to make a change :

  1. Power Down: A great deal of the resources we use and the waste we create is in the energy we consume. Look for opportunities in your life to significantly reduce energy use: drive less, fly less, turn off lights, buy local seasonal food (food takes energy to grow, package, store and transport), wear a sweater instead of turning up the heat, use a clothesline instead of a dryer, vacation closer to home, buy used or borrow things before buying new, recycle. All these things save energy and save you money.
  2. Waste Less: There are hundreds of opportunities each day to nurture a Zero Waste culture in your home, workplace, community. This takes developing new habits which soon become second nature. Use both sides of the paper, carry your own mugs and shopping bags, get printer cartridges refilled instead of replaced, compost food scraps, avoid bottled water and other over packaged products, upgrade computers rather than buying new ones, repair and mend rather than replace … the list is endless!
  3. Talk to everyone about it: At work, your neighbors, in line at the supermarket, on the bus… A student once asked Cesar Chavez how he organized. He said, “First, I talk to one person. Then I talk to another person.” “No,” said the student, “how do you organize?” Chavez answered, “First I talk to one person. Then I talk to another person.”
  4. Make your voice heard: Write letters to the editor and submit articles to local press. In the last years, and especially with Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the media has been forced to write about climate change. As individuals, we can influence the media to better represent other important issues as well. You could use your social networks like Facebook and Twitter for the same as well.
  5. Detox: Many of today’s consumer products — from children’s pajamas to lipstick — contain toxic chemical additives that simply aren’t necessary.
  6. Unplug: The average person watches TV over four hours a day. Four hours per day filled with messages about stuff we should buy. That is four hours a day that could be spent with family, friends and in our community.
  7. Park and Walk: Car-centric land use policies and lifestyles lead to more greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel extraction, and conversion of agricultural and wildlands to roads and parking lots. Driving less and walking more is good for the climate, the planet, your health, and your wallet.
  8. Change your light bulbs: Changing light bulbs is quick and easy. Energy efficient light bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than conventional ones. That’s a no-brainer.
  9. Recycle your trash: Recycling saves energy and reduces both waste and the pressure to harvest and mine new stuff. Unfortunately, many cities still don’t have adequate recycling systems in place. In that case you can usually find some recycling options in the phone book to start recycling while you’re pressuring your local government to support recycling city wide.
  10. Buy Green: Shopping is not the solution to the environmental problems we currently face because the real changes we need just aren’t for sale in even the greenest shop. But, when we do shop, we should ensure our support businesses that protect the environment and worker rights.

I am sure you can think of many more uses of the same, the point is we need to do something. Anything.

The Human Footprint … Alarm !

Lately I have been organizing my computer, and the past couple of days have been dedicated to Bookmarks. While I was doing so, I came across a bookmark that I had placed for a page on neatorama.  Neatorama had a post about the Human foot print, It listed out sort of all the various consumables that we would go through in our life. Of course it is completely from the American perspective, like most of the Internet. However, it gives an idea of the consumables that we would go through our life. Check out the infographic below.

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Quite Interesting statistics there, Now I was looking to find the episode of National Geographic that had a full feature of this. It can be viewed online in various countries; but unfortunately not here in the UAE. So I had to look for some other source of the information and stumbled some more interesting inforgraphics as well as statistics.

First the statistics

Food and drink

  • Milk– 15,951 pints. To produce this amount of milk for the population, 2.1 million cows are needed, eating 100 kilograms of grass a day.
  • Meat- 89% will eat meat. 4 head of cattle, 21 sheep, 15 pigs, 1200 chickens and13,345 eggs.
  • Potatoes– 2327kg
  • Bread – 4283 loaves
  • Fruit and Vegetables – 5272 apples, 10,866 carrots
  • 95% of our food is imported.
  • Food packaging – 8.5 tons
  • Chocolate – 8.2kg a year10,000 chocolate bars in a lifetime.
  • Bake Beans – 845 tins.
  • Alcohol- 10351 pints1,694 bottles of wine0.7% of the world’s populationis drunk now!
  • Tea- 74,842 cups in a lifetime.

Human Waste, Waste and Sewage.

  • Wind1-1.5 litres of gas a day, 12-25 times a day, 35,815 litres!
  • Toilet rolls– 4239 to cope with 2,865kg of faeces.
  • Sewage– 150 litres per day per person, but also disposed of across the country in a day are 2.5 million tampons1.4 million sanitary towels700,000 panty liners and 270,000 condoms.
  • Nappies– 3,800
  • 2.5 billion disposed of each year, largest contributor to landfill, take 500 years to decompose, at age five we will have produced more carbon dioxide than that of a person in Tanzania over their lifetime.
  • 40 tons of waste sent to landfill sites over a lifetime.

Relationships with others.

  • Language– average vocabulary is 25,000 words, only 4% of the English Oxford Dictionary.
  • We speak on average 4,300 words a day, more for women, less for men.123,205,740 words in a lifetime.
  • People will know 1,700 people over a lifetime.
  • We will have 300 people in our social group at anytime.
  • Partners– 10 different partners4,239 times having s*x, about 2 times a week!
  • Love – we will fall in love 3 times.
  • Marriage – 11.5 years70% will attempt a marriage once.

Personal Hygiene

  • 7163 baths in a lifetime, 1 million litres of water.
  • 656 bars of soap, 198 bottles of shampoo, 272 deodorants, 276 tubes of toothpastes, 78 toothbrushes, 411 skin care product , 37 perfumes, 35 tubes of styling gel, 25 bottles of nail polish, 21 sticks of lipstick, 11,00 tampons/sanitary towels, 5.6 bottles of fake tan!
  • Shower gel components take 800 years to disappear from the water system.
  • We wash our hair 11.500 times in a lifetime.

Wealth and Spending.

  • £1,537,380 spent in a lifetime.
  • Housing, food and clothing £552,772, tax £286,311, leisure and entertainment£236,312.

Consumer goods

  • 3.5 washing machines, 3.4 fridges, 3.2 microwaves, 4.8 televisions, 9.8 DVD players, 15 computers.
  • 240kg of fossil fuels, 22kg of chemicals, 1.5 tons of water needed to produce a home computer, externality (doesn’t reflect their true cost, in relation to the environment.)
  • £920 spent per person on the average Christmas.
  • 628 Christmas gifts received over a lifetime.
  • 8 cars per person.

Clothing

  • Clothing market is worth Â£23 billion in the U.K., £385 per year spent on clothes,£3,222 pounds spent on clothes over a lifetime.
  • 500 litres of water and 40g of pesticides needed to produce a t-shirt.
  • 570kg of chemicals added to the water system through washing clothes.

Travel

  • 197 miles walked per year, 15,464 miles in a lifetime.
  • We will drive 452,662 miles in a lifetime. 135,950 litres of petrol will be need.
  • 59 foreign holidays.
  • 737 tons of carbon released into the atmosphere.

Information and Culture.

  • Television, 148 minutes a day900 hours a year2944 days in a lifetime.
  • 533 books read in a lifetime.
  • 3% can’t read in the U.K., 40% choose not to read, more households own two cars than two novels!
  • Newspapers read 24551.5 tons of paper
  • 24 trees will be used to make the books and newspapers you need.

Religion

  • 6 acts of worship a year, 390 over a lifetime.

Democracy

  • You will vote in fifty elections.

Health

  • Cigarettes – 77,000 over a lifetime. 1/3 of all cancers are from smoking.
  • Vomit– 2 times a year, five buckets over a lifetime.
  • 314 visits to the doctor.
  • 30,000 pills in a lifetime.
  • Tears shed 61.5 litres.
  • 104,390 dreams in a lifetime.

Death

  • 1700 people we know¦
  • 305 die of heart disease, 179 stokes, 111 flu and pneumonia, 99 from lung cancer,92 from lower respiratory diseases, 63 from dementia, 49 cancers of the colon, and32 from breast cancer, 10 from suicide, 9 in road accidents, and 1 in a fire.
  • 1 in 3 will know a person who has been murdered.

Couple all the above statistics, with the next infographic, i.e

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The real water taken to produce some of the consumables mentioned above. What do you have? A disaster waiting to happen!  Hope something like this will help enable our governments to sort out their differences amd come together on a consensus on the climate change, and the reduction of the Human footprint on the planet.

Let’s all do something, anything …. To save the planet.

How will the world end ?

If global warming and the meltdown of the economy weren’t enough to frazzle you about the future, maybe the ending of the world news will do the trick for you. It all started with a question, if the dinosaurs got extinct, will it mean that we might also have a chance of extinction ? (not like its an honour) People started to provide answers, to what events might lead to the end of the earth. Some are saying it’ll be humans that set it off. Others believe that a natural phenomenon will be the cause. And the religious folks are saying it’ll be God himself who presses the stop button… Well lets look at all the possible options that the people on the internet are talking about.

  1. Mayan Calendar
  2. Sun Storms
  3. The Atom Smasher
  4. Religious texts
  5. Magnetic Pole reversal theory

Mayan Calendar

The first mob to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things: Building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone and Sacrificing Virgins. Thousands of years ago they managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon as 329.53020 days, only 34 seconds out. The Mayan calendar predicts that the Earth will end on December 21, 2012. Given that they were pretty close to the mark with the lunar cycle, it’s likely they’ve got the end of the world right as well is the actual conclusion that people jump to, the fact is that the calendar does not continue after the 21st of December 2012. The Mayan’s were extremely incredible at pin pointing exact astrological events. They managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon cycle as 329.53020 days which happen to only be off 34 seconds. How did they do it? They built their equipment out of stone. The problem is – most people have misinterpreted the Mayan’s calendar. They say “oh, they were sooo smart! And they said we’d all end in 2012”.The Mayan’s did not state the end of the world on December 21st, 2012. It says that the world will undergo a change, or transition. This does not mean that the end of the world. It may change in ways that help us all, to accommodate all the filth and waste we have created. Though it could be for the worst, it could be for the better as well. It may have something to do with the Polarity changes as I will mention later. Who knows. But it does not say the world will end. People have a tendency of changing things to be more disastrous For to most, the world is “too boring” for them.

Possibility : Don’t think so !

Sun Storms

Solar experts from around the world monitoring the sun have made a startling discovery: our sun is in a bit of strife. The energy output of the sun is, like most things in nature, cyclic, and it’s supposed to be in the middle of a period of relative stability. However, recent solar storms have been bombarding the Earth with so much radiation energy, it’s been knocking out power grids and destroying satellites. This activity is predicted to get worse, and calculations suggest it’ll reach its deadly peak sometime in 2012. Over the last few decades, western civilisations have busily sown the seeds of their own destruction. Our modern way of life, with its reliance on technology, has unwittingly exposed us to an extraordinary danger: plasma balls spewed from the surface of the sun could wipe out our power grids, with catastrophic consequences.

The projections of just how catastrophic make chilling reading. “We’re moving closer and closer to the edge of a possible disaster,” says Daniel Baker, a space weather expert based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and chair of the NAS committee responsible for the report. It is hard to conceive of the sun wiping out a large amount of our hard-earned progress. Nevertheless, it is possible. The surface of the sun is a roiling mass of plasma – charged high-energy particles – some of which escape the surface and travel through space as the solar wind. From time to time, that wind carries a billion-tonne glob of plasma, a fireball known as a coronal mass ejection (see “When hell comes to Earth”). If one should hit the Earth’s magnetic shield, the result could be truly devastating.

The incursion of the plasma into our atmosphere causes rapid changes in the configuration of Earth’s magnetic field which, in turn, induce currents in the long wires of the power grids. The grids were not built to handle this sort of direct current electricity. The greatest danger is at the step-up and step-down transformers used to convert power from its transport voltage to domestically useful voltage. The increased DC current creates strong magnetic fields that saturate a transformer’s magnetic core. The result is runaway current in the transformer’s copper wiring, which rapidly heats up and melts. Things could get far worse than that ! According to the NAS report, a severe space weather event in the could induce ground currents that would knock out key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 1 billion people. From that moment, the clock is ticking.

Possibility : We may not go extinct, maybe as bad as when the tsunami hit !

The Atom Smasher

The Large Hadron Collider [LHC] is the world largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is intended to collide opposing protons or lead ions, each moving about 99.999999% the speed of light. So how can this monster machine make or break us? Come on – it’s high tech but how does it bring on the end of the world? Well, it can help us! – it’s suppose to help find out how the universe works. But, ohh it might spawn a few miniature black holes.

Okay, so have you done your homework on the LHC? Even if it does spawn some little black holes, they are saying the black holes will be unstable. Being unstable, they will disappear, unable to suck up much – if anything at all. Even if black holes do come and suck some stuff up – no one is sure what happens in a black hole – this could help with research. Who’s to say if anything in a black hole dies. Maybe it’s transported into the future, or back in time. Maybe another dimension where everything is safe from the suns UVs, and Earth is back to normal. Who knows. The LHC, I believe, is nothing to worry about.

The Large Hadron Collider, this particle accelerator isn’t legitimately believed to be harmful to our universe.  I mean, really, are we supposed to believe some mad scientist bent on the destruction of the world is orchestrating this while trying to fend off bad PR?  I think Superman can sit this one out.  I read somewhere that Stephen Hawking bet someone a hundred bucks that this thing wouldn’t destroy the world.  I’m taking Stephen Hawking’s side on this one.  In case you don’t trust Stephen Hawking like I do, you can always check out this website for updates: http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/

Possibility : Well don’t know, but I will bet on no.

Religious Texts

If having scientists warning us about the end of the world isn’t bad enough, religious folks are getting in on the act as well. Interpretations of the Christian Bible reveal that the date for Armageddon, the final battle between Good an Evil, has been set down for 2012. The I Ching, also known as the Chinese book of Changes, says the same thing, as do various sections of the Hindu teachings. Well its very clear that every religion on the planet tried to show the world that there could be a dooms day where you will be judges, otherwise the primitive conscience of the humans would not be “controlled” easily.

Uhm… I’m going to go with No on this one.  This is one of those Nostradamus theories.  Sure, Nostradamus’ predictions can be applied to a lot of things… Because they’re so broad.  But really, apocalypse enthusiasts, do you have to bring up the second coming every time people start getting hot and bothered about the end of the world?  At least these other theories are fresh.

Possibility : Well I am not sure, but I think God who created the earth, will not destroy it so easily.

Magnetic Pole reversal theory

Doesn’t have to be the end of the world, just because some poles shift.

We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that sheilds us from most of the sun’s radiation. What you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call north and south have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so – and right now we’re about 30,000 years overdue. Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 20-30kms each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner. While the pole shift is underway, the magnetic field is disrupted and will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.

We know how to make a magnet.. right? Electricity. So why couldn’t we set up tons of big poles on the north and south side of the earth, and simulate our own magnetic field out of electricity if the Earths Magnetic Field goes down. We can power it with Wind Mills, Water, and even nuclear energy. It’s freakin’ 2009.. we can build it. We can do it. If it is nessecary, for the precaution of the Human Race – we can get together and save us all. Including the furry little animals. We can prevent the end of the world.

Possibility : Don’t think so !