Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dirty Stratosphere

We Indians aren't known for our sense of hygiene, Let's face it, as a group we are not the cleanest. An example one pair of my gym socks, in college, were at one point so dirty that they were molded into the shape of my foot and could stand on their own because of all of the embedded salt in them.
So it comes as no real surprise that Indian scientists found bacteria and fungus growing on the weather balloon they sent up to the stratosphere. It's also heartening to know that they didn't name it after a deity, Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru or some other icon of India, and instead choose to name one of the newly discovered bacterium after the noted astrophysicist Fred Hoyle. It's good to acknowledge greatness in other parts of the world besides our own.
In other news, Singulariy University has started accepting applications. The concept of a university offering a graduate level course in future studies and planning seems intriguing. I would love to see what kind of solutions they come up with for the worlds problems. Things like rice that can grow without water in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, a cheap method to create electricity generating solar panels, a solar water purification system, a cheaper method for mass transportation, real time language translation devices, light sabers, personal relocation devices ("beam me up Scotty") etc. My opinion is, obviously, skewed by the fact that I am a techie and have a vested interest in two countries, India and Saudi Arabia. The former being one of the world's most populous and the latter being the one gifted with the most open space and the most potential for generating solar energy.

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Blogger Kiat said...

Don't we already have babel fish for the real time language translation?

What? Did you just say 42 is not the answer??

1:37 PM  
Blogger syed said...

Yes, we do have babel fish. But it doesn't work real time. For that we would need something intelligent enough to translate various dialects and misspelled words into another language. I'm guessing some kind of Fourier series of the sounds would have to be compared to preprogrammed sounds and then translate the words. I believe there was a study by a Japanese group that did something similar.

7:24 AM  

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