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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Took an IQ test

Friday, September 23, 2016

Questioning Vivekananda

This is a small part of a lecture given by Swami Vivekananda on January 8, 1900.


 I was in the city of Hyderabad(the Hyderabad mentioned over here is most probably Hyderabad, Sindh. Which is now in Pakistan.) in India, and I was told of a BrĂ¢hmin there who could produce numbers of things from where, nobody knew. This man was in business there; he was a respectable gentleman. And I asked him to show me his tricks. It so happened that this man had a fever, and in India there is a general belief that if a holy man puts his hand on a sick man he would be well. This Brahmin came to me and said, "Sir, put your hand on my head, so that my fever may be cured." I said, "Very good; but you show me your tricks." He promised. I put my hand on his head as desired, and later he came to fulfil his promise. He had only a strip of cloth about his loins, we took off everything else from him. I had a blanket which I gave him to wrap round himself, because it was cold, and made him sit in a corner. Twenty-five pairs of eyes were looking at him. And he said, "Now, look, write down anything you want." We all wrote down names of fruits that never grew in that country, bunches of grapes, oranges, and so on. And we gave him those bits of paper. And there came from under his blanket, bushels of grapes, oranges, and so forth, so much that if all that fruit was weighed, it would have been twice as heavy as the man. He asked us to eat the fruit. Some of us objected, thinking it was hypnotism; but the man began eating himself — so we all ate. It was all right.
He ended by producing a mass of roses. Each flower was perfect, with dew-drops on the petals, not one crushed, not one injured. And masses of them! When I asked the man for an explanation, he said, "It is all sleight of hand."
Whatever it was, it seemed to be impossible that it could be sleight of hand merely. From whence could he have got such large quantities of things?
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Reading this piece raises more questions than it gives answers. First of all, if it is true that such a man did exist then why we don't find any record of the man by anyone else?

Secondly Why the man did not use his powers to feed the starving and poor. It was a well known fact that most of India back then was poor and people were starving?

Finally why didn't Vivekananda learn the tricks himself and feed the people whom he thought about so much?

The above questions raise an obvious question. Did Vivekananda create a story while giving his lecture? What was the need of such a lecture. ?

It is a very well known fact that one cannot create stuff out of zero. One form of matter can be transformed into another form of matter and why today we don't have a single person who can emulate such a feat.

Obviously what's described by him violates the laws of physics. So I believe its very much possible that he just made a story up while giving his lecture. 


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Double Solution - Producing petroleum from waste plastic

Plastics are basically hydrocarbons that are extracted from petroleum. Plastics are used in every sphere of life whether it be bags, electronic devices, clothing, sports material, construction, vehicles etc.. While plastics are low cost and durable once the plastic products are of no use they are disposed off in the garbage bins. It is here that the problem starts.

It takes hundreds of years for plastics to completely decompose as a result plastic waste is on a rise and its choking up the oceans and rivers across the world for years. However scientists from across the world and India have come up with solutions that would not only convert this waste plastic into gold but also eliminate the land and water pollution that is caused because of plastics.


As mentioned earlier plastics are hydrocarbons produced from crude oil. Hence if we can find a technology that can reconvert waste plastic back to crude oil, we can solve many of our problems. Over the last couple of years scientists in India, US and a few other countries have successfully extracted petroleum from waste plastic. In fact Indian Railways had announced its plan to set up a plant to produce diesel from waste plastic back in April 2015. 

According to government figures 60 Indian cities produce 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year. As per the report one ton of waste plastic can produce 850 litres of diesel/petrol. So we can get millions of litres of petrol and diesel from waste plastic that would reduce our oil import bills and eliminate the pollution caused by plastic waste. 

Globally speaking each year 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the oceans. So this technology will reduce our need to extract oil from wells and at the same time we can prevent any plastic going into the oceans. In fact if we are able to retrieve at least some of the plastic that is dumped in the oceans we can get billions of litres of petrol and diesel. 

This is an example of the advantage that we have when we invest in science and technology research. We not only find solutions of complex problems but also enrich our lives.