19 March, 2011

The Power Of Positive Thinking

In this fast paced world, where do we stand? Each of us have our own lives, our own journeys to make and in our journeys we might find ourselves struggling to crack a homework problem, making a weekend trip with friends, spending quality time with family or just having a quiet supper after a day’s toil. In this endless reel called life we create a thousand thoughts every day but when do we ever pause to think what we are thinking?
Surveys show that a person on an average creates around 30,000 thoughts in one day. Thoughts come to us so spontaneously in such an uncontrolled manner that we never realize when one fades and another arises. Hence, in the hustle bustle of our everyday life, we forget to pay attention to our thoughts and fail to realize what ‘kind’ of thoughts is created in our minds.
Thoughts, as defined by Raj Yoga Meditation, are of four different categories, namely positive, negative, necessary and waste. Positive thoughts include happiness, love, peace, hope, mercy. negative thoughts are mostly anger, stress, egoism, criticism. Necessary thoughts are related to work, family, career, routine and waste thoughts are the most prevalent and include those of past, future, brooding, worrying. If you pay little heed to your mind, you will know what type of thoughts are being created in your mind. This reminds me of a very nice quote,
‘Eliminate the negative, Accentuate the positive, Act immediately on the necessary and Clean up the waste.’

A very interesting research carried out by Dr. Carolina Leaf, a communication pathologist from Johannesburg, South Africa, says, ‘Every negative thought degenerates the cells of our body and every positive thought regenerates the cells of our body.’ The research showed that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. Consequently, toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses like diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few. Now, you can imagine how much negative thinking a person must do to develop cancer! The study gives us a very subtle message that we can be the healers of our own body by creating the right type of thoughts.
A question that often arises in our minds is how to remain positive all the time. The answer is to take control of the thoughts. It seems to be very simple but is not especially because we are so used to our thoughts flowing that we do not really know when to add a full stop. How many of us believe that we are what we think? This simple but accurate statement indicates that what we say, what we do, and what we feel – all have their origin in the mind. Once we start realizing this, we start watching ourselves and hence try to modify our thoughts to make them positive. We will gradually develop a positive attitude and a positive outlook towards everything around us. However, one area where we tend to fail is with negative and critical thoughts such as anger, worry and pessimism. Such situations are our testing times. So, if we try to keep ourselves calm and cool on the face of the situation and try to look at it positively, we are actually helping the situation heal and also ourselves by not creating negative and waste thoughts.
As we know the ever so powerful SOS signal used as a distress signal, we can actually adopt it in our everyday lives when there are chances of conflict, distress, discomfort. The only difference being, we slightly modify it to expand as:
S- Stand back i.e. step back from the situation
O- Observe i.e. study the situation carefully
S- Steer i.e. take the right course of action

By doing so, we are not sending distress signals to another party but communicating with ourselves. Here in we first try to withdraw ourselves from the situation so that nothing influences our thinking, then observe and analyze the situation carefully and finally take the right decision. In this way, we come to a better understanding of ourselves as well as others without really giving away the power to control to anybody or anything else. So, is this not as effective as the Save Our Souls signal used to save people?

As we start thinking positive, we start becoming positive and begin to see more positive in the ordinary. We will then be able to make clearer and more definitive decisions. So, detach a little, become centered within yourself and then nothing and no one will be able to shake you.

-Beautiful Mind

Weblink: http://www.thebatt.com/opinion/the-power-of-positive-thinking-1.2011384

28 February, 2011

Green Energy May Be Closer Than We Thought

The sun shines, wind blows, tides hit the shore and now our eyes have opened to a new today and a better future. Innovations in renewable energy have began to rapidly advance. With the latest global events like the recession and the Copenhagen Summit, the focus on renewable energy in the world has increased exponentially. May it be global warming; choking air pollution, fossil fuel addiction, high utility bills or creating job opportunities, the world is now speaking about a single common solution to save the planet - GO GREEN! Novel ideas like solar roadways, solar islands, solar powered cell phone towers, fuel cell based waste water treatment plants, electric vehicles, HVDC wind power transmission are exploring newer areas where conventional fossil fuels could be replaced by clean energy.

According to a new study, coauthored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, the world can be powered by alternative energy using today's existing technology in 20-40 years. The research provides interesting and thought provoking results and gives us a new direction to start thinking. Today, the main factors prohibiting the use of unconventional energy in the conventional manner are its cost and variable nature. The research proposes ‘bundling up renewable energy sources’ in order to meet the ‘base load’ energy, the minimum amount of energy that must be available to customers at any given hour of the day. As we know, solar and wind are complementary as wind often peaks at night and sunlight peaks during the day. Using hydroelectric power to fill in the gaps allows demand to be precisely met by supply in most cases. Other renewable sources such as geothermal and tidal power can also be used to supplement wind and solar power.

The study found that to meet the world’s energy demand with wind, water and solar resources, the footprint needed is about 0.4 percent of the world's land (mostly solar footprint) and the spacing between installations is another 0.6 percent of the world's land (mostly wind-turbine spacing). Jacobson said, "The actual footprint required by wind turbines to power half the world's energy is less than the area of Manhattan."

Looking at Texas, it is a well known fact that Texas is number one in installed wind capacity touching 8,800 MW by the end of 2008. However, Texas lags far behind when it comes to solar energy. Interestingly, the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) of Texas evaluates, ‘The energy from sunshine falling on a single acre of land in West Texas is capable of producing the energy equivalent of 800 barrels of oil each year.’ Why is Texas nowhere close to California when it comes to solar even though we have the highest solar resource in the US? Most wind farms in Texas are located in the south west and surprisingly, solar footprints are concentrated in the very same area. Why not integrate the two and use land more wisely?

With the winds of change and an aroused interest in pursuing Renewable Energy in the state of Texas, Texas A&M University is steering research into different renewable energy technologies. Whether it be integration of renewable energy to the grid or achieving cost parity of solar power, TAMU is working in every facet of renewable energy.

The ground is set, resources are at our disposal, now all that remains is our contribution. With an interest and new ideas to contribute we are surely not far from making a difference. New ideas when explored and realized can find better solutions to existing problems. Renewable energy is still in its adolescence compared to conventional energy. It is ideas, innovations and implementation that will take this technology from adolescence into maturity and finally make clean energy a dominating force.

- Beautiful Mind

Weblink: http://www.thebatt.com/opinion/green-energy-may-be-closer-than-we-thought-1.1978209

Back in life !

Heyy there !!

I have woken up to the world of blogging once again and I hope to be regular now. I am pursuing Masters in Power Electronics in Texas A&M University. Amidst classes and research and cooking, I am devoting time to write a column, 'Opinions' for the college newspaper'Battalion'.

I will be posting some of my published articles in my space and please do not forget to leave a comment.

Thank you
Beautiful Mind

26 July, 2009

Rescued finally...

I'll stop vowing to post often because it never seems to work with me.

My last Saturday here.. in my small messy room overlooking the big garden of someone very big.
And next Saturday, I'll be back to where I belong.

3 months back, I came here... and today I stand transformed in a way I never expected or imagined. And in this sojourn, I met a beautiful friend, an understanding roommate and a person to look up to for advice. Tias. She is from Indonesia. Doing her second Masters in Political Science.

Right from the day I arrived, I have found a familiar something in a totally unfamiliar face. And she has taught me much more than she herself realizes. Teaching me basic things like cleaning the apartment to something much subtle like expanding my views about what MAY be possible that my constricted mind does not allow me to think, we grew a strong bond. Her urge to know about India amazes me! Till now we have covered discussions ranging from the dhaba outside our college to Tata moving out of Singur, over the small kitchen table. And what has awed me beyond anything is her inclination to learn how to use the pressure cooker to cook khichdi. Any now, I can proudly say that I have successfully taught her the recipe of khichdi and she can pick up the right dal from the Asian shop and make khichdi with the right proportion of water, rice, dal! And what worries me now is that I’ve been too much of an Indian influence on her. And now her eating habits stand transformed. Pancakes (Indian parathas) and sabzi cooked in oriental style and not to miss dal has become her daily menu leaving no space for her once beloved tuna fish, tofu and curdbean cake. LOL

Last Thursday, we decided to celebrate my birthday, our friendship and my last week in Kassel together. I was looking forward to it for a very long time. And in all the excitement and our desire to stay out for long, something had to go wrong! Unknowingly, she left her key in the keyhole while I closed the door. And both of us stood outside and realized!! It’s Germany, where security is beyond words. Once out, you have no means to open the door. Even though you might have a key in your hand but a key hanging from the other end traps you. Handicapped! And all the fun that we had planned stood crippled.

Yet, realizing the foreseen and the unforeseen miseries to be incurred before we entered our ‘Home, sweet home’, we decided to still enjoy the evening and contact the Studentenwerk office for help the next morning and spend the night at her friend’s place. I agreed.

And we set out.. under the partly clouded sky with a sunshine smile. And sooner or later, we completely forgot about what had happened or rather what was to happen the next morning and enjoyed walking in the streets of Kassel having ice cream before dinner, clicking picture, taking wrong trams.. we arrived at a small European restaurant for dinner where we sat until we were the last ones to leave. And at 11pm, homeless in Kassel with keys right down my jeans pocket, our beautiful evening came to an end and we took refuge at her friend’s place.

The next morning began with a struggle, RAIN! Being adapted to the uncertain European climate, we went back home. We tried opening the door with a plastic card as her friend had taught us the night before but in vain. We went to the Studentenwerk office and waited for it to open but were denied help. Finally, being left with no option, we called up a private service to open the door. Price? 70 euros . Speechless! We had to solve it on our own now. We went back again. This time, we asked the neighbour with the big garden for a ladder. Tias, had made up her mind, she would climb up and get in through the open window. But how was a question? Thankfully, our kind neighbour had a long ladder. And there.. our plan neatly worked out. Tias boldly climbed up to the 2nd floor and slid in through the window.. And we were rescued!!!

An experience I call it and Tias, the star :)

09 June, 2009

Lin- The Savior !

Nothing has ever troubled me more than my laptop! Very recently, when my laptop is out of the warranty period, and I'm away in a new new world where I know not about HP repair centres, my lappy, very artfully choosing the right moment, decides to trouble me! And that too in the most irritating way you can think of.. it shuts down every 20 mins!!!

I was thoroughly alarmed when I saw this happen a couple of times. On further investigation, I realised that it was getting very heated and every time it reached its maximum temperature limit, it started hibernating. But what alarmed me was how could the temperature shoot up so quickly. Hence, finally realising that the CPU fan was to blame for all my worries, I decided to buy a cooling fan for the laptop.

Meanwhile, my laptop created quite a scene at ISET (place im interning). Everyone seemed quite perturbed with my lappy's condition. Finally, Lin suggested the idea of using a table fan to cool it down. Well, i must agree that it did work until today. Today, my lappy went out of control...became so stubborn that it would shut down in 10 mins... Thats it, I already started imagining what was about to happen.. CRASH !!!! End of documents, gmail, skype...end of communication!!!

......not yet done imagining......

After quite a while, I got transported back to reality ! And I saw 2 or 3 people inspecting my lappy. Finally, they came to the conclusion that they'll inspect it with a thermal camera!!!! I was like WHAT??? Then Henrich seeming to be deep lost in analysis explained that he could take thermal pictures and then we would know the temperature of the processor and what to do next. I just nodded. Deep within, I was thinking, 'Maaaaaan, my lappy needs immediate cure, it cant wait for your hifi technological analysis!!!!!'

Finally, Lin stepped into the sitution and said, 'Poor, I think its very simple. For all you know, the CPU fan might have a layer of dust over it.' It did make sense to me but I wasnt ready to believe that the problem could be this SIMPLE. But decided to listen to Lin. Lin took me to the secretary and got the vacuum cleaner from the store room. He cautiously, vacuum cleaned it. And he was right. There was a whole layer of dust over it!

Finally, I turn on my lappy and it survives... without table fan.. without noise... ! And it is 5 hours now, and is still surviving.

Lin says, 'Poor, I give you a year's guarantee on that'.
I smile and reply, 'Lin, the savior!'