Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy in-Dependence Day!

The Illusion.
How many years have passed since we got a signed draft copy assuring that the subcontinent of India was granted freedom, currently home to 3 different countries? 65 as I count it. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and if I am able to count the state of Kashmir partly occupied by Pakistan makes it three + a partly owned state. It disappoints me by the state we are in even after being in the 6th decade past the ‘gifted’ independence. We tend to curse the English on this ‘auspicious’ and ‘celebrated’ day for every ‘Indian’. (Tip: Take every word in quotes sarcastically.)

Today, I wish to praise the English for ruling us. For if you think, you will agree that they are the ones who helped us learn the basics of administration of the entire country as a whole. If not for them, we would have been existed today as 28 countries and not states. We communicate in English, get education in a highly advanced manner with obsolete technology thanks to the recent non up gradation of the curriculum. If you know that Indian Railways is the world’s largest employer, it is the British that ran the first railway in India. Mission Hospitals, again initiated by the Brits, got proper medical care in India and making the Indian nurses and doctors highly valuable for their skill in the First world. The highly disorganized, highly illiterate, divided by caste (still is but a little less) ancient India was given a way to the modern world we live in today was given by the British. So, at this moment, thank them!

Coming back to the present, I am tired by watching the video of Jawaharlal Nehru giving a speech at Delhi with the words, ‘When the world sleeps, India shall away to freedom (?)’ Good one there Mr. Nehru. I wish to see news of progress. I am saddened by the state we are heading to. The ever rising prices, a highly failing government with the last ‘leader’ being a Lady President, who made it in the news for hijacking army property and a Prime Minister who had made his mark in the humor shows, than in development is the kind of Nation we live in. I see a man taking a stand against the political system and then entering it. The very same people agitating against riots in one part of the country then fall to violence creating chaos and destruction with adding a communal tag bringing back the hatred that has crept in the hearts of the countrymen thanks to a few terrorists brought up in the neighboring country.

The recent news has been highlighting the ‘majorly worshipped entity called, the Woman’ being molested and raped in several parts of the country. In a country with 63% population following the Hindu religion with a stunning 2 crore gods and goddesses, in which the major national festivals are celebrated for the goddesses, have women raped and molested on a regular basis. ‘Kudos’ people! I hope you can don’t the same things with your daughters and sisters. We have shows airing on the silver screen promoting the nation to voice against female feticide, my question stands, “For this??”

We are done ‘celebrating’ the success of the players who excelled at the Olympics and we are so ‘satisfied’ with the Bronze medals. But we trash our cricket team if they land in the second place. We call processions with a city wins the IPL but the Asian Cup winners of the ‘national sport’ of India, Hockey have to spend time outside the airport calling for a taxi. For the record, Michel Phelps, the renowned swimmer has bagged more Gold medals in a single Olympic than the country has won till date. Shame? Not yet. We organize the Commonwealth Games only to welcome the guests with leaking ceilings and later find out the entire web was worn around a huge financial scam. Now, shame.

I am so not able to comment more as my heart truly aches. I am an engineer and hope to promote to the development of this country through the educational system. For if knowledge is power, education is what we need at its optimum level. I can write, I can make people think by my thoughts, and if I am successful, change their mindset. We need revolutionaries like Mahatma Phule, Savitri Bai, who brought education for the masses. Dr. Ambedkar who possessed such a vast knowledge that he was able to draft the Constitution we follow today, single handedly in a prison cell. A President like Dr. Kalam who is highly educated is what we want. A system which needs educated minds to administrate and not the ones who can make their name in comedy shows.

We are singing ‘Saare Jahaan Se Accha’ but I don’t agree. I am not proud to be an Indian, but I want to be in the near future.  To my fellow Indians, Happy in-Dependence Day!

In my opinion, Freedom is:
To be able to walk without fear.
To roam around without being molested.
To befriend without being raped.
To be able to voice without going to prison.
To not practice corruption.
To be treated as a human and not as a follower of a specific religion.
To share food with a beggar and not treated as 'unclean'.
To be trusted and trust a stranger.
a long list continues,
In my opinion, India isn't free yet.

In the above article, I exercised my Right to Speech/Expression of Thought.

The Truth

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Great Indian Power Failure

While the Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO) scratches its head about the power grid trip in the north India affecting millions of people, and most of the brains working otherwise, there is a little fact we all have ignored. I found the Zee News India take on the matter to be most informative. The fact that most of us ignore is the power source for the entire Solar System, the Sun. If the yellow star has power to provide energy to the entire system, it does have power to affect planets in a harmful way too!  Some facts and figures from NOAA, NASA, and other sources.

The Sun follows a regular 11 (±1) year cycle from a minimum to maximum state of changing magnetic field marked by change in the number of sunspots. The Sun performs a cycle from a minimum to maximum solar activity which is observed using the basic and simplest parameter, the number of sunspots visible. During the maxima of this cycle, a high solar activity is observed. High radiation storms from the Sun consisting of super charged protons and other sub atomic particles occur in the space. Ground currents induced during geomagnetic storms can actually melt the copper windings of transformers at the heart of many power distribution systems. Sprawling power lines act like antennas, picking up the currents and spreading the problem over a wide area. The most famous geomagnetic power outage happened during a space storm in March 1989 when six million people in Quebec lost power for 9 hours:

There's a surprising conclusion of a NASA -funded study by the National Academy of Sciences entitled Severe Space Weather Events—Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. In the 132-page report, experts detailed what might happen to our modern, high-tech society in the event of a "super solar flare" followed by an extreme geomagnetic storm. According to the report, power grids may be more vulnerable than ever. The problem is interconnectedness. In recent years, utilities have joined grids together to allow long-distance transmission of low-cost power to areas of sudden demand. On a hot summer day in California, for instance, people in Los Angeles might be running their air conditioners on power routed from Oregon. It makes economic sense—but not necessarily geomagnetic sense. Interconnectedness makes the system susceptible to wide-ranging "cascade failures." 

To estimate the scale of such a failure, report co-author John Kappenmann of the Metatech Corporation looked at the great geomagnetic storm of May 1921, which produced ground currents as much as ten times stronger than the 1989 Quebec storm, and modeled its effect on the modern power grid. He found more than 350 transformers at risk of permanent damage and 130 million people without power. The loss of electricity would ripple across the social infrastructure with "water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply and so on."

"The concept of interdependency," the report notes, "is evident in the unavailability of water due to long-term outage of electric power--and the inability to restart an electric generator without water on site." India has five electricity grids -- Northern, Eastern, North Eastern, Southern and Western. All of them are inter-connected, except the Southern grid. All the grids are being run by the state-owned Power Grid Corporation, which operates more than 95,000 circuit km of transmission lines. NTPC's six plants -- Singrauli (2,000 MW), Rihand (2,500 MW), Dadri (1,820 MW), Auriya (652 MW), Anta (413 MW) and Badarpur (705 MW) -- stopped generating following the failure. 

A coronal mass ejection (CME) produced by Saturday's (28th July) M6-class flare head toward Earth. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud delivered a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on July 31st around 1930 UT or 0100 IST. The northern transmission grid collapsed at 2.35 AM, plunging Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh into darkness. 

<-- The Sun captured during that time.

Doesn’t the time overlap? Aren’t the facts pointing towards a much bigger hurdle than we are concluding? If you read the entire thing again and maybe it shall strike you. Some of us are focusing on these effects which most of us are ignoring. Kevin runs a website which is the best source for solar data on the internet. The Sun is being monitored by 24 satellites, SOHO, ACE, GOES being the major ones. The data from these is available to the public and Kevin does a huge job of bringing all the data in one place. While on other end, Pamela Stiegman from Tonawanda, NY is collecting data about the transformer failures around the world, we are trying to relate these events with the solar events happening on a regular basis. I have a published research paper, titled Communication Blackout: Causes and Effects in IJAEST last year which focuses the effects of Solar Flares on the telecommunication system. An extension of the same research has been selected at ESTEL Conference, Italy due presentation this October. This article aims to educate the general public about the possible effects and to be ready for more such events in the coming days. August 2012 marks the start of the solar maximum for the 24th cycle; a request to the scientific community to kindly look into the grave matter. 

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