Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today Is 101010: The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question

Today is October 10, 2010. 10/10/10. In binary, that's 42. And 42 is The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Or at least, that's what Douglas Adams says.

Many people wonder what Adams exactly meant by 42, the answer given by the supercomputer Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Why did Adams pick that number? Is there a connection to something the world doesn't know about? Is the CIA and the MI6 involved in all this? Real aliens, perhaps?

On November 3, 1993, he gave an answer on

The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do'. I typed it out. End of story.

Later, talking to BBC Radio 4 Iain Johnstone, he explained that the number was chosen by none other than John Cleese as the punch line for one of his skits. The famed Python thought it was a funny number, and Adams borrowed it for his book, turning it into a recurring integer through all his work.

But that comment wasn't the end of the mystery. Stephen Fry—a friend of Adams—also jumped into the debate, claiming that the latter explained to him why it was 42. Fry will not reveal the secret, but he says it is "fascinating, extraordinary and, when you think hard about it, completely obvious."

Whatever it is, it sure has had a deep impact in geeklore. One example: The Allen Telescope Array—the radio telescopes system erected by Microsoft's Paul Allen for the SETI program—has 42 dishes in honor of Adams. And in Lost, 42 is the last number in the sequence that has to be entered on The Swan's computer, which is also the sequence picked by Hurley for his winning lottery ticket, and Kwon's number in the cave. In a Lostpedia interview, one of the show's producers confirmed that this was indeed a homage to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

This date only repeats itself every hundred years. The next one will be in 2110.

Send an email to Jesus Diaz, the author of this post, at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Getting Gadgets for free... !!!!

This is a quick post to let you know that you can get free gifts, i meant free gadgets by Sign UP at Xpango. Xpango

A Question may rise in your Head that "What the hell is Xpango?"


Xpango is a site that gives you free gifts and uses a unique Credit system to reward their customers with Free Mobile Phones, Gaming Consoles, MP3 Players & HDTVs !

Each Gadget is received for Free in exchange for Credits which can be received from Xpango.

When you register with Xpango and select your Free Gift, you will receive a 'Referral ID' which is used to gain Credits.
Credits can easily be gained by either (or a combination of) participating in Xpango Offers, Referring Friends, or by purchasing a Clix Package .

Credit requirements for Gifts vary depending on the retail price of the Mobile Phone/Gaming Console/MP3 Player/HDTV. More expensive Gifts require more Credits than less expensive Gifts. The diagram below details how the system works:

Now you may ask again "Is it real? or Is Xpango a Scam?"

I would definately say that Xpango is not a scam or a virus. I have few video proofs that you can check out:


You can check Xpango's youtube channel by going to

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tipaimukh Dam: An alarming venture

TIPAIMUKH dam located in Monipur state of India, by all definitions falls into the category of a large high head [162m] dam. Though learnt to be a hydel power project for generation of 1500 MW electricity, it will definitely work as a flood control dam for Monipur and the neighbouring Mizoram state and irrigation may be practiced in suitable land areas along the 1 km stretch of the Barak river up to the Bangladesh border and by the periphery of the reservoir perimeter.

Dam and international river
Since the river Barak-Surma-Kushyara is an international river, Bangladesh as a lower riparian country should have an equitable share of water and an access to the deign details of the project, planning and design etc. It is learnt that the construction that started in 2007 was halted due to national and international uproar and resistance against probable environmental degradation inside and outside Indian territory and unilateral withdrawal of water of the river which will turn Bangladesh's north-eastern lush-green fertile soil into a sandy dry waste land, during the dry reason.

Such action tantamounts to violation of international convention which controls/regulates the equitable share to water of international rivers/watercourses. The above topics were discussed in many forums in different meetings and seminars in Dhaka and Sylhet and in at least two published books, 'No to Tipaimukh Dam' and 'Controversial Tipaimukh Dam: Overall Review'.

If we have access to the planning and deign details of the dam we can see, apart from hydro-power generation, what else the project entails. Whether it has a component of irrigation in particular, as for irrigation they will use winter dry season flow which otherwise would have been flowing downstream for ecological and other uses in the lower riparian country. For any large dam the release of water in the low flow period for ecological use is mandatory by international convention as well as custom.

Dam Break Study
For every large dam there is an important study called "Dam Break Study". In olden days this study was done by thumb-rule calculation without use of modern technology. In USA dams constructed in the 30's had serious incidences of collapse. Now the computer assembles all study, data and design eriteria to ascertain the stability and strength of the dam against possible break/breach due to some acts of God like catastrophic hydrological events, severe earthquake or other events (like war). Different models are used to determine as to how to minimize high flood damages that might cause death and destruction downstream. In this case Bangladesh will be the poor victim. Tipaimukh dam impounding "billions" of cube meter (M3) of water, will naturally cause catastrophic floods (in case of dam break) for the dam is large and high.

Nigerian experience

The writer has the experience of review and analysis of a Chinese-built large and high dam in Cameroon, Africa, 40km east of Nigerian border on the large Benue river in 1980. In Nigeria its dam break study was performed. Design flood for this large dam was taken as 50,000-year flood. In the high hilly drainage basin of the dam, there was very high rainfall with consequent abnormal rise of water level of the reservoir in 1988 flood season which menacingly threatened the very stability of the dam, with water almost overtopping the dam. It was a rock-fill dam on which overtopping might have resulted in washing away of the dam with catastrophic consequences in both countries.

However, I am citing this grim episode for lessons for Tipaimukh dam design. If we can have an access to its design details, we can verify what flood frequency they had applied to arrive at design flood. As for any faulty design, if any catastrophe occurs, the sad outcome will fall on us in Bangladesh as a result of dam break.

For a dam of such magnitude and dimension a 100,000 to 500,000-year design flood should be considered adequate, particularly when the location of the dam is in a hilly earthquake-prone and a high intensity rain region of India.

Adverse effects
Adverse effects of the Tipaimukh dam will be staggeringly devastating and damaging for Bangladesh. Environmental degradation, economic crisis and hydrological drought will cause irreversible damage. Suddenly, the free flowing Surma and Kushyara rivers will turn dry and remain so for a major portion of the year (Nov-May) disrupting agriculture, irrigation, drinking water supply, navigation etc. Six to seven months dry conditions will stop/lessen recharge of ground water which over the years will lower the ground water level, affecting all dug wells, shallow tubewells, as it happened in south western region of Bangladesh as a result of drastic withdrawal of the Ganges water at Farakka. Agriculture that depends on surface as well as ground water will be affected seriously.

Surma-Kushyara with its maze of numerous tributaries and distributaries support agriculture, irrigation navigation, drinking water supply, fisheries, wildlife in numerous haors and low lying areas in the entire Sylhet division and some peripheral areas of Dhaka division. The river system also supports internal navigation, wildlife in haors, industries like fertilizer, electricity, gas etc.

The rosy, prosperous and healthy scenario may soon turn into history causing despondency desperation and misery to the people inhabiting the zone which is known for abundance of water, lush green field of crops and fish sanctuary.

Massive environmental degradation will occur, drastically affecting weather and climate, turning a wet cooler habitat into a hot uncomfortable cauldron. The severity of micro-climate causing heat and dry conditions will gradually increase in intensity spreading over a large area over the years. It may be mentioned that rainfall that the area gets for 4 to 5 months and flood water that will be released from the dam for a short period will not be enough to replenish the ground water. Climate and environmental change will force the farmers to reluctantly resort to planting low-yielding drought-resistant crops (unknown to them).

Scarcity of water will cause siltation on river beds. When high rainfall will occur in the catchment area of the dam, enormous quantity of sediment-laden flood water will be released which will cause severity of flood in the Surma and Kushyara channels which would be already raised for low flow. This will further raise the water level causing floods in adjoining additional areas.

Navigation in river channels in the Meghna (combined Surma and Kushyara) will face depleted water flow and consequent sedimentation and severity of flooding in the wet season. Surface irrigation will be in jeopardy. The Meghna up to Chandpur will suffer from the adverse effects. The Meghna-Padma will have low flow which will accentuate saline backwater intrusion in the Padma channel which is already affected by the low flow for the withdrawal of water of the Ganges at Farakka.

Relevant ecological flow
The writer visited Bhumipol and Sirikit Dam sites in Thailand in mid seventy's. Though the dams were completed about 5/6 years ago the reservoir water level did not reach design level and the filling of the reservoir was continuing unabated during dry and rainy seasons. It was ascertained that water flowing (a good per cent of the impoundment) unabated through the outlet meant for release of water to maintain ecological balance in the downstream channel. The writer designed four major dams in Nigeria where, in all of them, there are separate adequate outlets for irrigation, water supply and hydropower and ecological flow for environment and emergency outlet for rapid evacuation of water for the safety of the dam.

It is expected that Tipaimukh dam will also allow ecological flow along with the equitable share of water for the international river Barak-Surma-Kushyara for Bangladesh as per entitlement negotiation.

Our government (JRC) may request India to postpone, better stop the construction of the Tipaimukh Dam if possible, through bi-lateral diplomacy or else seek intervention by United Nations. Sharing of water of Indus basin was negotiated between India and Pakistan with the assistance of the World Bank. A dispute on river Danube between Czechoslovakia later Slovakia and Hungary was referred to the International Court of Justice. In our own country Farakka issue was resolved bilaterally with India.

Our government (JRC) should soon start negotiation on equitable sharing of water according to our entitlement as a lower riparian of the international river Barak-Surma-Kushyara as per UN Convention. Unilateral withdrawal would be a gross violation of UN Convention that regulates the use of water of international rivers/water courses. Any delay in negotiation might end up in a pathetic situation, causing irreversible environmental, economic and hydrological chaos.

We may ask for design/survey data, drawings/maps etc, and EIA report prepared by the dam authority in order to verify if the Dam Break Study was made and whether EIA included adverse effects and mitigation measures thereof for the lower riparian Bangladesh. Environment-concerned institutions and individuals may even intensify resistance against the Tipaimukh Dam, as it is still in the rudimentary stage of constriction.

The writer, a water resources expert, is a professor of civil engineering in the World University of Bangladesh. He was formerly in World Bank, Washington DC, UN/FAO, Nigeria, Planning Commission and BWDB, Dhaka.

[Source : Daily Star Internet Edition ]

Join The Facebook Group - "Protest Against Tipaimukh Dam"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

21st February > International Mother Language Day <

21 February was proclaimed the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages.

International Mother Language Day originated as the international recognition of Language
Movement Day, which has been commemorated in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 1952, when a number of Bangladeshi university students were killed by the then East Pakistan police and army in Dhaka, formerly Dacca.

International Mother Language Day is observed yearly by UNESCO member states and at its
headquarters to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

History Of the day

On that day of 21 February 1952, corresponding to 8 Falgun 1359 in the Bangla calendar, a
number of students campaigning for the recognition of Bangla as one of the state languages of
Pakistan were killed when police fired upon them.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah(the Governor general of Pakistan) declared that the Urdu will be the
only language for both west and east Pakistan at a public meeting on 1948, 21 March. The
people of the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh, whose main language is Bengali) started to
protest against this.

A student meeting on 21 February called for a province-wide strike. But the government
invoked Section 144 on 20 February. The student community at a meeting on the morning of
21 February agreed to continue with their protest but not to break the law of Section 144.
Even then the police opened fire and killed the students.

Police declared Section 144 which banned any sort of meeting. Defying this, the students of
University of Dhaka and Dhaka Medical College and other political activists started a
procession in February 21, 1952. Near the current Dhaka Medical College Hospital, police
fired on the protesters and numerous people, including Abdus Salam, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed,
Sofiur Rahman, Abul Barkat and Abdul Jabbar, died.

The movement spread to the whole of East Pakistan and the whole province came to a
standstill. Afterwards, the Government of Pakistan relented and gave Bengali equal status as
a national language.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Traffic Jam in Dhaka - Time Killer

Dhaka’s hopeless traffic jams stop everything but the clock!

Dhaka is a City of many different transport modes. On a typical day in Dhaka you might be lucky enough to see many types of animals pulling custom made trailors!
While there is still many Rickshaws you might be surprised to see many vehicles that only suit Roads in the so-called First or Western World.
The Traffic jams would consist of the above transport modes plus your Indian Tata Trucks(Although on many roads Trucks don't operate during day time),Double Deckers,Buses and many MPV type vehicles (also known as liteace in Bangladesh).

If you find your self unfortunate enough to be stuck in one of these jams on a hot and sunny day, make sure you purchase a bottle of Mirinda or some other American tasting soft drink from the street seller who is most likely to be carrying a bucket full of Western influence in a bottle!

By the way, the street sellers in Bangladesh are also know as "Feriwala" in Bengali, although if it's a young kid, you'd normaly call him/her "Pich-chi" as in "Kid".

A soft drink can or bottle isn't very expensive these day's due to rapid Globalization!

And yes, average jams in Dhaka will waste atleast 2 hours, so if your in a rush walk all the way, if you can find any footpaths for pedestrians that is!

But as far as I know, the World Bank thinks that Bangladesh will be a better and organized nation by 2020, so keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy Friend-Ship Day!!

Happy Friendship day on 3rd August

"Friend" word itself is so soothing to both the ears and the heart. :) I personally believe that if you are lucky you make somebody your friend, but if you are the luckiest, someone befriends you coz your friend is someone who knows everything about you, and still likes you. Now that's not easy, isnt it?? Its really difficult to know the physical,cultural,characterial limitations of somebody and still accept them and love them for what they are...I am the luckiest to have friends like you who accepted me for what I was and help me become what I am capable of becoming.

Herez something interesting for all of you :

Friendship Recipe
1 Cup of Friendly Words
2 Heaping Cups of Understanding
4 Heaping Tsp. of Time and Patience
A Pinch of Warm Personality
A Dash of Humor

Measure Words Carefully.
Add Heaping Cup Of Understanding.
Use Generous Amounts Of Time And Patience.
Cook On The Front Burner
But Keep Temperature Low: Do Not Boil.
Add Generous Dash Of Humor
And A Pinch Of Warm Personality.
Season To Taste With Spice Of Life.
Serve In Individual Molds.

'The only way to have a friend is to be one'
- Adham Rahman

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The world biggest subsea robot

According to a newspaper of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, companies installing subsea cables for telecommunications companies and pipelines for the oil industry have now a new tool, the Ut-1 Ultra Trencher which is the world's biggest subsea robot. This beauty weighs 60 tons (in the air) and has a length of 7.8 meters, a width of 7.8 meters and a height of 5.6 meters. In fact, it has the dimensions of a small house but is more expensive, carrying a price tag of about £10 millions. It can move at a speed of 2 to 3 knots under the sea. And it can trench pipelines with a 1-meter diameter in deep waters of up to 1,500 meters. But read more...

The UT-1 Ultra Trencher

Here is what the UT-1 Ultra Trencher looks like. This huge subsea robot has been built by, Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) a Newcastle upon Tyne company which develops specialized remote controlled submersible robots (ROVs).

The first UT-1 Ultra Trencher has been delivered to CTC Marine Projects, a subsea contractor, based in North East of England, UK, and a subsidiary of DeepOcean, a norwegian company focused on subsea services. This submarine robot will be permanently installed on one of their new vessels, the Volantis (PDF format, 6 pages, 764 KB).

Here is a short excerpt from the Henderson article. "Weighing 50 tonnes and the size of small house, it is designed to bury largediameter oil and gas pipelines laid on the ocean floor. It does this by 'flying' down up to a mile deep below the surface using powerful propellers. It then lands over the pipeline and deploys a pair of 'jet swords' either side of the pipe which inject high pressure water to 'fluidise' the surface. Burying the pipelines protects them from fishing, shipwrecks and natural currents. This enables oil and gas to be safely transported from the offshore fields to land to provide secure energy supplies."

For more information, you'll find the complete specifications of the UT-1 Ultra Trencher in this PDF datasheet (2 pages, 917 KB), from which the above illustration has been extracted.

Here is a short excerpt. "The UT-1 Ultra Trencher�is the world's most powerful jetting trencher, offering unparalleled flexibility in severe weather deployment and operation. With more than 2 megawatts of total power, the trencher delivers 1.5 megawatts of actual jetting energy to the cutting surface."

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