Monday, July 31, 2017

I hate hospitals

I hate hospitals.


I hate the smells of those disinfectants, I hate the sight of white labcoats. And the sound of those ambulances. But mostly I hate the inefficient design of hospitals. Yes, in India, the hospitals are literally designed to hurt you.


For the past one week, I have been stuck at not one, but two different hospitals. There was nothing wrong with me , by the way. I was caring for a patient. But the way I struggled to run from ward to pharmacy to scanning to reports to ward reminded me why I hated hospitals in the first place.


These places are never designed movement, but to maximize it. Facilities which logically should have been next to each other are placed levels apart. And there are a limited number of lifts for the ailing patients. And I haven’t understood why the pharmacy never has all the medicines in stock, one has to frequently get some of the medicines from outside the hospital.


I think the main problem is the same one with every other public space in India, they are never designed for the actual load. The number of users/visitors/patients in the hospital vastly outrun the number of people who can comfortably use the system. Everywhere I went, I was waiting in queue. Things are built to suit the management’s convenience rather than that of the patients.


Besides, they are also for-profit institutions.




Monday, July 17, 2017

Media wars

One can’t turn on the television nowadays. Its full of crap. Nonsense. News, but with the heat turned up full, it hurts. I don’t watch own or watch the TV anymore, but they do have TVs running in public areas. And everytime I watch it, I am reminded why I decided to dump the idiot box.


Turns out , there are some new players in the ever growing media wars. New news channels. And one only need to watch 5 seconds of their coverage to understand that they are no worse than the drug peddler on the street. The screen is full of bold texts, shouting out the same thing over and over again.  The same footage is replayed until it gets cemented in your head.  They quote a lot of people, he said, she said..but very little fact. In fact, they have reported incorrect or outdated news many times in the past.




And now I see the same thing happening down south, in the coverage of a trending news topic. The case is not yet in court, but the media have already announced their verdict.



If this is the fact, then the fiction part is even worse.  TV serials and reality programming have flooded channels, with multiple repeats throughout the day. I hear the focus has now shifted from saas-bahu serials to ghosts and black magic !


And while things are a little better on youtube, lots of new programming and original content there, things are going darker there too. The same media companies have taken to online video channels and spread there.



I long for the day when a calm news reader simply read the day’s news with minimal expression. I think they still do that on doordarshan, have to check. I long for those simple television programming from the 90s, where really talented artistes came together to tell a story. Sigh !


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Whats our Future ?


What will our future be like ? I don’t mean a few years more, I meant long time future. About a million years from now. Or even a billion years from now. What is in store for us. Turns out, no religion has an answer to this question. But science does. There is a whole wikipedia article on this topic here.

From our starting point in Africa, we've managed to colonize theentire world at this point and even reached as far away as the moon. The Bering land bridge that once connected Asia and North America with one another has long since been submerged beneath the ocean, so if humanity exists for

another billion years, then what additional changes or events can we reasonably expect to happen? Well, starting at about ten thousand years into the future, we will encounter the year 10,000 problem. Software that

encodes the AD calendar year as a four digit decimal will no longer be able to encode dates starting at 10,000 AD. Iit will be a real Y10K, and in addition, if current trends of globalization continues, then human genetic variation

will no longer be regionalised by this point, meaning that all human genetic traits like skin color and hair color will be evenly distributed across the world. *Seizure Warning* In 20,000 years from now future languages will only contain one out of

every 100 core vocabulary words of their present-day counterparts. Essentially no modern language will be recognizable by this point. In 50,000 years earth will enter into another glacial period regardless

of current global warming effects. Niagara Falls will have completely eroded away into Lake Erie and ceased to exist and due to glacial rebound and erosion. The many lakes of the Canadian Shield will also cease to exist. Also, one

full day on Earth will have increased by one full second requiring a leap second to be added to every day. In 100,000 years for now the stars and constellations visible from Earth will be completely different than they are

from today. Also, this is the estimated amount of time that it would take to fully terraform Mars into a habitable planet similar to the Earth. In 250,000 years, the Lo-ihi Volcano will rise above the surface and form a new island

in the Hawaiian island chain. In five hundred thousand years from now Earth will have likely been struck by an asteroid measuring one kilometer in diameter unless humanity

artificially prevents it. Additionally, the Badlands National Park in South Dakota will have completely eroded away by this point. In 950,000 years the meteor crater in Arizona, which is considered the best preserved meteorite

impact crater on Earth will have completely eroded away. in 1 million years Earth will have likely experienced a super volcanic eruption large enough to erupt 3200 cubic kilometers of ash, an event similar to the Toba super eruption

70,000 years ago that almost made humanity extinct. In addition, the star Betelgeuse will have exploded into a supernova by this point and the explosion will be easily visible from Earth even during the daytime. In 2,000,000

years, the Grand Canyon will have eroded even more significantly; slightly deepening, but it will mostly widen out into a large Valley. If humanity has colonized two different planets in the solar system and the universe by this

point and the populations on each planet have remained separate from one another, then humanity will have likely evolved into various different species at this point. These different human species will be adapted to their different planets

and may not be aware of the other human species located in the rest of the universe. in 10,000,000 years a large part of East Africa will split off from the rest of the continent. A new ocean basin will form between the two sides,

and Africa will be divided into two separate land masses. In 50,000,000 years Phobos, a moon of Mars, will collide with the planet causing massive destruction there. Back on Earth, the remaining part of Africa will collide with Eurasia and

close off the Mediterranean Sea forever. A new mountain range similar in size to the Himalayas will form between the now connected land masses and may possibly produce a mountain that is higher than Mount Everest. In 60,000,000 years the

Canadian Rockies will have completely eroded into a flat plain. In 80,000,000 years from now all of the Hawaiian Islands will have sunk back beneath the ocean, and in 100,000,000 years the earth will have likely been struck by an

asteroid similar to the event that wiped out the dinosaurs 66,000,000 years ago, assuming of course that it isn't artificially prevented. In addition, at this point in the future the rings around the planet Saturn

will no longer exist. In 240,000,000 years Earth will have finally completed one full orbit around the galactic center from its current position. In 250,000,000 years all of the continents on Earth will have fused together to form a

supercontinent similar to Pangaea. A possible name for this continent is Pangaea Ultima . Then, in 400,000,000 - 500,000,000 years the supercontinent will break apart once

again. In 500,000,000 - 600,000,000 years a deadly gamma ray burst will likely occur within six-and-a-half thousand light years of Earth. If conditions are right, or wrong, if you prefer, the burst could strike Earth and severely damage the

ozone layer which would cause a mass extinction event. in 600,000,000 years the moon will have moved far enough away from Earth that total solar eclipses will no longer be possible after this date. In addition, the sun's increasing

luminosity will cause severe effects on Earth. Plate tectonic movements will stop at this point, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will decrease dramatically. C3 photosynthesis will no longer be possible at this point and 99%

of current plant life on Earth will die. In 800,000,000 years CO2 levels will have continued to fall to the point where C4 photosynthesis will no longer be possible. Free oxygen and ozone disappear from the atmosphere, and

all complex life on Earth will die. Finally in 1 billion years the sun's luminosity will have increased 10% from its current state. The surface temperature on Earth will rise to a sweltering 47 degrees Celsius on average.

The atmosphere will turn into a moist greenhouse, and the world's oceans will evaporate away. Pockets of liquid water may still exist at the Earth's poles, however, which means that they will probably become the last bastion of life on our planet.

People of tomorrow are going to look back and laugh at us, for all those wars and fights we had, and all the stupid decisions leaders have taken for us. Lets hope we can leave the world a little better than the one we inherited, so our ancestors a few thousand years from now, would thank us.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Remember Winamp ?


Today I came across a little older article, documenting the demise of Winamp. Remember Winamp ? During the last decade , it was the default MP3 player installed on every Windows machine ! With billions of skins , visualizations and other add-ons, it made every other MP3 player look lame. There were skinning tools, which could be used to create custom skins from photos. There were even tools to automate and control Winamp via bluetooth connections. And then, Web 2.0 happened. And portable mp3 players (cd/usb). And at the end..affordable smartphones. People no longer turn on their desktops to listen to music. They just get it online, and stream it via modern HTML5 browsers. Can’t believe its been more than15 years since Winamp came out.


It was fun going back in time, and sad reading about how mis-management tool Winamp down.


Puttaakee puttakkee, karimeen puttaakkee


I miss the 90s again. Those were fun times.