Either We Change Our Ways or the Earth Will

The talk of the town today is the “People’s Climate March” that occurred today in New York and similar marches in various cities across the globe. While I could not be in any of these participating cities to physically walk  with my fellow climate conscious earth inhabitants, I am using this platform to show my solidarity.

Over the years, I have talked to various people that argue that earth goes through these so-called climate cycles where the prevailing climatic patterns undergo alterations. The following argument usually is the fact that we do not have enough climate data to confirm whether this is just another such change or actual global warming. The reason I am giving this information is to lay the foundation of my argument against it. I firmly believe that we, the human race, brought us to a time when we are witnessing these horrifying changes in climate. Summers are hotter, droughts are a common place, freak snowstorms are occurring, icecaps are melting  and hurricanes are hitting more frequently at places they wouldn’t in the past, amongst other weird phenomena that I didn’t list. We may not have the climate data for all the years of earth’s history, but what we do have the the knowledge of progression of technology and the concurrent detrimental effects on the environment. The industrial revolution may have brought the beginning of an easier and better life, but it also jump started the irreversible environmental changes that we all are paying for it some way or another. The environment has only taken a downward slide since then.

Whether it is the greenhouse gas emission or polluting the atmosphere and water bodies, we are constantly changing the earth’s environment and a lot of people don’t seem to care. The reality is staring us right in our faces and we need to do something about it. Almost every culture in the world has some lore about nature’s wrath and we have successfully invoked it. We are not just going down ourselves but taking all the species with us, maybe them before us considering the more than normal amount of extinction of species occurring lately. Now we can either continue with our ‘devil may care’ attitude about the planet and how our activities are affecting it or we can pull up our socks and do something about it. I root for the latter. There is a dire need for a global initiative to protect the earth and preserve its environment.  Every person has a part to play, so let’s all try to change our habits to as environmental friendly ones as we can, not just for us but for the many generations yet to come.

Apple: Turning Science Fiction to Reality Since 1976

This might come to many readers as a biased post, since I a loyal Apple fan; but can you really blame for that? This week marked an important milestone in the history of Apple with the much awaited announcement and the big reveal of Apple Watch. As a bonus to all the spell-bound Apple followers came the Apply Pay. While smart watches have been in the development phase for many years now and many companies already have some on the market, like the Samsung smart watch, everyone seemed to be waiting what Apple would come up with. It is not a new concept, but the Apple tag on it makes it somewhat special and  more appealing to the masses who may not have seriously considered this option before. Just like tablets were not new when ipad came along, it just took the market by storm and revolutionized the tablet industry. I don’t think I am wrong in saying that the ipods and the ipads have made the things of science fiction a part of real daily life, so much that it is hard to imagine life without them. I often wonder what a person from early to mid 1900s would think if they somehow time travelled to our time period.

We are living in a rapidly evolving world. The evolution of humans, somewhere in the 20th century, seems to have switched from gene mutations to conscious mutation of our lifestyle using our own intellect. We are fast-forwarding to a time when anything and everything can be done with technology. With the advent of wearable technology as in the case of smart watches, life is going to take a couple steps towards getting more connected to the world around us and much more dependent of our gadgets for our day to day activities. Its is also going to render obsolete many things we thought were timeless, time pieces being one of them. Who wouldn’t want a watch that can be a calendar, alarm clock, reminder provider, fitness evaluator, messaging apparatus and a romance enhancer by sending our heart beats to our loved ones? Alright, I am not too sure about the last one, although I think if you have irregular heartbeats it might be good tool to use in collaboration with your cardiologist.

Starting soon, with Apple Pay physical credit cards will also be on their way to be part of the glorious history of humans on earth. I myself am a sceptic of this technology to some extent owing to the recent and some not so recent hacking attacks by malicious people to steal banking and credit card information from banks and stores. While you will have to be much more careful and keep close tabs on your expenses while using facilities like Apple Pay, it sure will be more convenient.

The next step, I would think, would be to transform these gadgets into house and car keys and we’ll have almost everything covered. Soon there will be a day when you just need your phone when you walk out of your house and nothing else. And soon after that, when smart watches take over you might be able to go somewhere empty handed, only with a high-tech watch on your wrist, but still have everything you need at your fingertips, quite literally.

Let’s Draw Some Venn Diagrams!

Google Doodle today, August 4th 2014, marks 180th birthday of John Venn, the man who gave us Venn Diagrams (http://www.google.com/doodles/john-venns-180th-birthday). Anyone who has ever taken any course in statistics knows Venn Diagrams, probably as the most interesting thing they learned in the class. For those unaware of this concept, Venn Diagrams are drawn to find commonalities or, in statistical terms, intersection of two more sets.

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Even though most of the people may not have used these diagrams in a statistical or scientific environment, they have been used all over the place to come to a common decision. People use them to find common grounds or “meet in the middle” all the time. But it was a great man named John Venn who gave this technique, to pick common entities in various sets, a name and formed a concept so essential to the field of statistics. So let’s take a moment to remember this great guy who gave us this wonderful drawing system to solve statistical problems and personal disputes alike. I, for one, hope John Venn got a special place in heaven for making probability and statistics class somewhat interesting with these wonderful circles.