Uncertainties

The fear of not knowing, the fear of uncertainties and the anxiety surrounding an unknown state of future events is not only detrimental to productivity and general well-being of an individual, but also just simply put, an unnatural state of mind.

Uncertainties are very real – that is a fact, and although there are many uncertainties that one can and may change to certainties by working hard/smart, doing researching, reading, learning etc.. but there are some uncertainties which one will never be able to convert into absolute certainties. Some things simply can never be known 100%, and this is not a philosophical statement, this is no self-help BS stuff, this is a simple fact.

Uncertainties are fundamental part of existence. Uncertainties are woven into the very fabric of our universe. In fact just that statement is something that cannot be said with absolute certainty, because there may be multiple universes.

The natural state of the universe is uncertainty, it is chaos and randomness. There are things that we can know, but there are things that we cannot know. In moments like these when simple truths of our existence dawns upon us that sometimes we realize the relevance of naive phrases like, “ignorance is bliss”.  Well to a certain extent not really, but to a certain extent yes, maybe…

The  very act of wanting to know more about something increases the uncertainty of that thing or an aspect of that very thing which we seek to understand. This is not philosophical – this is the fundamental structure of our universe. One cannot know the position and velocity of an electron at the same time. Light even even matter has a dual nature. The yin and the yang.

Knowing this, why do you perspire? Why do you hanker over things which you do not have control over? The fundamental nature of the universe is a tease – why let it tease you? Do what you can, accept it and then move on with your life.

You have a choice now. Knowing what you know now, either brood and be upset about this truth, wishing it were not so, knowing that it cannot be changed, or simply surrender to it, accept it and do what is in your power. Why must you insist on hanging onto a rope that is tied to nothing?

There is a great level of peace in accepting this fundamental truth of your existence. Serenity is not in gaining, but in letting go.

We NEED Clean Renewable Energy!

Today while on my daily walk I thought about what my life is worth, what my contribution to society is and will be. Then all these questions got me thinking: where is the world headed? What are we as a human species doing and what will be the implication to the future generation.

There are 5 areas which I believe we humans should be moving towards. Today I will be focussing on

Renewable Energy

The fact that we as a species are still using non-renewable energy which will eventually run out and before it does run out will cause irreversible damage to our environment is both sad and appalling. While on my walk it suddenly dawned on me that the power of the sun is magnificent. Every single day we are getting heat from our sun and all of that is going to waste because we are not capturing it. Just imagine the kind of things that we can do if we can harness the power of solar energy.

It boggles my mind that in one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world the USA, coal power accounts for 39% of the country’s electricity production. That is insane! Coal power plants produce acid rain, mercury pollution, increased carbon footprint. This is just one example! There are hundreds of examples around the world that are causing our planet so much destruction.

Solar Power

 http://www.ecoworld.com/  estimate that we get 12.2 trillion watt-hours per square mile per year from our sun! Of course the calculation may or may not be 100% accurate, but the point is the earth receive a ridiculous amount of energy from the sun and it is more than enough to meet all our current and possible future needs. There should be no reason why we are not harnessing the power of the sun, or moving rapidly in that direction.

Electric Cars, next Solar Powered Cars

Thankfully we are moving towards a future where all cars will be electric thanks to the vision of Elon Musk and Tesla Motors. To take it a step further, the cars should not even need to be plugged into a charging station. The roof of cars will be exposed to the sun which can be used to capture solar energy. Up until now the only solar powered cars I have seem are the ones made by enthusiast in their garages. This needs to change now!

Homes

Picture01The roof of homes are exposed to the sun 365 days a year – or the number of sunny days in a year. Just imagine all that surface area used to harness the power of the sun. Yes, there has been progress here too. People have been installing solar panels on their roofs, but still it is not enough! More research needs to be done to make these cheaply available, and more people need to invest into this not only for the sake of saving a few extra bucks in the long run, but also because of the added benefit to the environment.

The natural question will be, what am I doing about it? Nothing really.. nothing at the moment. But I am committing myself to changing this in the near future.

Wind

Windmills_D1-D4_(Thornton_Bank)
Source: Wikipedia

Wind is another freely available resource. Wind turbines are already being using in great numbers throughout the world. However, it is still under-utilized and has lots of ground to cover. According to http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/ Wind energy is the fastest growing mode of electricity production across the planet. In 2012, $25 billion was spent on wind energy investment

Fun Fact: Did you know that Windmills have been in use since 2000 B.C. and were first developed in Persia and China.

Biomass

Source: http://wiredcosmos.com/
Source: http://wiredcosmos.com/

Biomass is biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. It most often refers to plants or plant-derived materials.As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel. [Source: Wikipedia] The food you eat, plants that die, woodchips and seaweed are all sources of biomass energy. The future of biomass is or should be a mandatory biomass unit for houses with a backyard where all their waste can be used to produce energy and fertilizer for the soil in their gardens.

One way in which we can shape a future for renewable energy is buy using your power to shape the future. [here I talk about how we can use our purchasing power to dictate what products and services businesses  focus on].

I believe there is not only greater good of the environment involved in these three areas but also a possible lucrative business opportunity.  If anyone is interested in taking what I have said seriously, please contact me via the contact page.

 

Controversies and Cynicism Surrounding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably have been part of or at least heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It’s all over the internet, on the news, talk shows, Youtube, and it has completely taken over everyone’s Facebook news feed. The Ice Bucket Challenge aims to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The Challenge

You complete the challenge by pouring a bucket of ice on your head or donating $100 to an ALS foundation, you then nominate other people to do the same – it’s simple, fun, it’s for a good cause and it’s effective.

EVERYONE is on this – actors, singers, professional athletes, news reporters, billionaires, and of course regular folks like you and me.

It has spread like wild fire and It has become a world wide phenomenon. It’s HUGE! But whenever something gets this big there are bound to be some controversies and cynicism.

So what is ALS?

ALS is characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). Median survival time from onset to death is 39 months, and only 4% survive longer than 10 years. Most die from respiratory failure, usually within three to five years from onset of symptoms. (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis)

Enlightened church against raising funds for ALS research:

Check this out!

The Catholic church of Cincinnati is asking it’s members to not donate to the cause because the organizations involved with ALS Association funds a research that uses embryonic stem cell research, and the church has gone as far as asking its school principles to not encourage students to raise money for the cause.

I don’t even know what to say to that. This is not the first time religion has come in the way of progress, and sadly it won’t be the last.

How much awareness is too much awareness?

Then there are people who have now started complaining that there is just too much of this, too much of the ice bucket challenge videos on the news, on talk shows, on Youtube and Facebook. I personally know some who say they are simply annoyed and fed up of it and are looking for ways to block this content from their Facebook feeds.

This not only upsets me, it angers me profoundly. I didn’t see these people complaining when Gangnam Style was all over the place, neither do they have a problem with posting a selfie every 10 seconds, oh but yes, they do have a problem with videos that help spread awareness of a deadly diseases.

The question I ask to these people is: Would you be annoyed or would you be willing to block these videos if YOU or your loved one had ALS? Watch this:

You do feel pretty stupid now, right? If you still don’t get it, let me demonstrate what you are exactly doing when you say something like this:

No Ice (Ice Baby), Just Cash

There are people who have complained that the whole Ice over head is totally unnecessary and people should just donate the money to ALS. With all due respect, you are being ignorant, or simply knowingly neglecting the fact that the ICE bucket challenge is THE single most important factor in raising awareness for ALS. Apart from doctors, how many of you actually knew about ALS? I’ll be honest – I did not know about ALS until this ice bucket challenge came along!

Secondly, an interesting comment I read the other day was that people are likely buying the ice to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, instead they should just donate that money to charity.

Marketing my dear Watless, Marketing!

That’s like telling companies to stop spending money on ads and just put that money into improving their products. If that was the case, no one would buy their products because no one would know about it.

5 reason the Ice Bucket Challenge is so effective is:

  1. You are asking people to take a very specific action – pour a bucket of ice over their head, or donate $100 to ALS charity. 
  2. The action to “donate $100 to ALS” is a very specific action which directly translates to raising funds. It is not “help raise awareness” or “show support” etc..
  3. after the challenge is completed you nominate other people. You’re connecting, you are spreading the world in a very direct way. People are using their social connections which are much stronger than holding a sign that says “Donate to ALS”
  4. It’s fun! Cold ice water on the head, face and body is something people don’t experience on a regular basis, it puts people in a different state, physically and emotionally. It is engaging!
  5. The Challenge! – It is almost like we are mentally wired to prove ourselves. Remember the time at the school playground – “Bet you can’t do this?” What did you do? You ended up doing it. Now you are an adult, but your reputation is still at stake! 😉

Then there are people who are complaining that some will pour a bucket of ice, just to get away from giving $100 to charity. SO WHAT?! It’s almost as if, these people didn’t want to donate the money, and are upset that other people got away with not donating. Even if they don’t donate, they are raising awareness for ALS, and even if these people nominate 3 others to do the same, we potentially have hundreds of people spreading the word and donating. Plus, I know so many people who took the challenge AND donated to charity!

Then there is the “How long will this last?”. Even if all of this dissipates in the next 2 weeks, we have millions of people now being aware of ALS. Let’s say this Ice bucket challenge inspires only ONE person, that one person may some day find a cure for this disease! BE POSITIVE!

Don’t Waste Water

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There have been many people complaining that the ice bucket challenge wastes a lot of water. People are not wasting water for the sake of fun, they are raising awareness for a deadly disease. It is a medium that is being used for a good cause. For further explanation read “The 5 reason that the Ice Bucket Challenge is so effective is:” above. What have people who post such pictures achieved? What have you done for ALS or for the water crisis in Africa by posting such pictures?

Sure, I do agree together with many people who took the ice bucket challenge, that we shouldn’t waste water. In certain places in Africa and India, people may want to approach raising awareness for ALS in a different manner than using ice/water.

But wait… there’s a twist!

Watch this video below:

Accordingly to National Geographic, it takes 2,700 litres of water to make one t-shirt. ONE SINGLE T-SHIRT!

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 19.39.53

 

Which is enough for one person to drink for 900 days! 900 DAYS!

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So to the people who don’t want to “waste” water on this ALS Ice bucket challenge, are you willing to sacrifice that cotton t-shirt you’re wearing right now?

I took the challenge, I donated

If you do want to donate, I suggest donating to your local ALS charity so that people in your region can benefit from it, for e.g. if you are in Canada, you can donate to http://www.ALS.CA/ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE

That’s my take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! What’s yours?

Red Bull Stratos – freefall from the edge of space

Okay, check this out: This is a mission to the edge of space that will try to surpass human limits that have existed for more than 50 years. Felix Baumgartner will undertake a stratospheric balloon flight to more than 120,000 feet / 36,576 meters and make a record-breaking freefall jump in the attempt to become the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall (an estimated 690 miles / 1,110 kilometers per hour), while delivering valuable data for medical and scientific advancement.

You can watch this live here!