Friday, October 06, 2006

Why Woodpeckers dont get a headache!

Ever wondered why Woodpeckers dont get a headache after vigorous rounds of hitting their beaks against hard wood. Well somebody actually has done some research on this and results are here

One factor in minimizing the impact is that, as in all birds, a woodpecker's brain is much smaller (both absolutely and proportionately) than a human's. Because surface area increases with the square of the linear dimension while mass increases with the cube, impact forces are spread over a relatively greater area, which alone makes the woodpecker 50 to 100 times less vulnerable to impact than a human would be.

Now you know!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Kevin Costner got it wrong

This is an eye-opener.......
Read this article Cola Wars

it take four litres of fresh water to create one litre of cola, and the rest is rendered waste. Toxic waste.

And what does Coca-Cola pay for this raw material in India ??

Coke and Pepsi pay a miniscule cess on their raw material -- water. In Mehdiganj plant, Coke used 13 million litres of water in 2003 and paid a water cess of between 3 paise and 30 paise for every 1,000 litres.
..... the multi-billion dollar empire paid the grand sum of Rs. 5,000 a year from 2000 to 2002 and then a slightly higher amount of Rs. 24,246 in 2003 for the water it pulled out. Wait, it gets worse. The cess is calculated based on the discharge of effluents -- meaning the wastewater -- and not on the fresh water it extracts. So Coke improves even on the deal of its lifetime -- 30 paise per thousand litres. This might be the freest ride Shining India is providing a company soaked in profits to prove it is market-friendly

..... The government’s own Central Ground Water Board reported water tables dropping 10 metres in five years since Coca-Cola started its bottling plant in Kala Dera.

Last week, water experts from 140 countries gathered in Stockholm for an international conference and predicted water wars. More than two billion people already live with water shortages primarily in India, China and the Middle East. Rivers, lakes and aquifers could become strategic assets and economies could crash as the supply of fresh water becomes as important as foreign investment. Water is already considered strategic in the Middle East -- Israel not only destroyed Lebanon’s roads and bridges, it also bombed its irrigation canals in the recent war. If oil defines the present, water might define the future.

So Mr. Costner, future is not 'Waterworld' but 'DryWorld'.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cows with accent!!

Cows moo with accent!!

According to Lane, accents among cows probably develop in a similar way as among humans, and resulted from spending time with farmers with differing accents.

What next ? Cows with neurosis and phobias ?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Greatest software ever written

Good article on greatest software ever written. I wish there were more details on the gene sequencing software and the worm. I will update this post with links to more details as I get them.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Write on water

This is so cool.
The device, called AMOEBA (Advanced Multiple Organized Experimental Basin), consists of 50 water wave generators encircling a cylindrical tank 1.6 meters in diameter and 30 cm deep (about the size of a backyard kiddie pool). The wave generators move up and down in controlled motions to simultaneously produce a number of cylindrical waves that act as pixels. The pixels, which measure 10 cm in diameter and 4 cm in height, are combined to form lines and shapes. AMOEBA is capable of spelling out the entire roman alphabet, as well as some simple kanji characters. Each letter or picture remains on the water surface only for a moment, but they can be produced in succession on the surface every 3 seconds.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

And now Snake Mail

We are familiar with 'Snail Mail', but wait here comes 'Snake Mail'.

Interesting, in Germany, its not a crime to send snakes by post.....

A German woman sparked panic at her local post office when a 1.5-meter (5-foot) albino python escaped from a packet she had mailed, police said Tuesday.
The 28-year-old woman, who had sold the snake over the Internet, stuffed it in a package labeled "attention -- glass" to be sent to its new owner.
"Staff accepted the package and put it in the back of the office -- they had no idea what it was," said police spokesman Andreas Blum. "All of a sudden, they noticed that it started moving around and then saw a big snake wriggling out of it."
One of the postal workers in the western city of Mechernich, who was familiar with snakes, wrestled with it and locked it into another container, while her colleagues ran away.
While it is not a crime to send snakes by post, the woman is being investigated for the improper treatment of animals.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Six Dimensions

I am reading this book 'Number of the Beast' by Robert A. Heinlien

Its based on an interesting concept. We normally say that there are 3 space dimensions, and that 4th dimension is time. What it actually means is that the space has 3 axes (length, width and depth). So if time is also a dimension then it must also have 3 axes and theoretically we should be able to move along any of the three.

This gives us a total of 6 dimensions (3 from space and 3 from time). The author bases the novel on the concept that any movement, translation or transistion on any of the dimensions gives rise to another universe and hence there are 6 to the power to the power 6 (i.e 1.031442479849E+28) alternate universes. This the author suggests is an alternative interpretation to the number of the beast (666) in the bible.

Experiments on Ants

I found this crazy experiment on ants.

This reminds of that old Banta Singh joke. Banta Singh cuts the legs of a frog one by one and after each cut yells 'Jump' and the frog jumps. After the last leg has been cut and frog does not jump on repeated yells, Banta Singh concludes that frogs go deaf when their legs are cut off!!!

Linux on router

I used my 4th July holiday to get my Linksys WRT54G v5 router running on Linux with Linux Firmware

Runs really great, no problem in flashing the ROM.

Have got tons of features on the way wireless and firewall works.