Sunday, April 22, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Disclaimer: No, its not an advertisement for the documentary. Though I was seeing it last night and am still thinking about it today.

For quite some time now, we(work colleagues) have been having a discussion - to recycle or not ? Is global warming for real ? Or is it just one of the cyclical warmings that happens every so many years (we've had numerous such cycles in the history of this planet) and will most likely be followed by another Ice age ? Is it too egoistic of man to think that he can effect nature in such a big way ?

I had been meaning to see the documentary for a long time now. And I finally rented it yesterday. 5 minutes into the documentary, I was in for a shock when Gore compared pictures of glaciers receding from mountains from 30 years before and 2005. What was even more alarming was the rate at which they were receding. Now these were places I some day hope to visit (as do many of you, I guess), and to think that they will be altered so much before I even get to catch a glimpse of them.

Another hour into the documentary, and I paused it. Gore was now talking about the Arctic and Antarctic glaciers. More particularly, the break up of Larsen B glacier ice shelf in Antarctica. In a matter of 35 days (this is not a typo), a glacier that was miles long, disappeared. It baffled even scientists - a mass they thought would be stable for about 100 years or more, gone within a span on 35 days.

All political propaganda aside (there is lots of it in the documentary), the documentary was definitely a blow in the face to wake up. Even we are seeing the consequences of global warming - how else does one explain Hurricane Katrina or the torrential rains in Mumbai ?

So what can we do ? What can just one person do ? After all, isn't the government first required to pass some regulation to reduce carbon emissions ?

The good thing is we can do a lot.
To start off, here is a list of 10 things easy enough for anyone of us to do (from

Time magazine came out with another list of 51 things we all can do. While some of the ideas here may seem far fetched, but some are definitely doable.

Or just go and see this documentary, rent it. Check the facts for yourself on the internet that are mentioned in the documentary.

Or see this page on wikipedia on global warming.

It is an inconvenient TRUTH, the operative word being TRUTH.

P.S. Just realized, its Earth Day today. Talk about timing!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Experimental Projects for Communities Of Tomorrow

I am still at the airport, my flight is still not here and I continue writing.

So as I mentioned in the last post, while in Orlando we visited the Epcot Centre. EPCOT, the word, stands for Experimental Project for Communities of Tomorrow. It was a Disney park, but with a difference - more nature and environment oriented, had some interesting shows and rides highlighting the interactions of humans with Nature, a world pavilion showcasing different cultures of the world etc.

True to its name, there were many experimental projects being showcased also. One of these, which really had us interested, was their greenhouse effort, where they were experimenting with different ways of growing plants.

For example, these chilli peppers that are being grown in small amounts of soil with just enough nutrient being provided. And you can also see the tomato vines hanging from the top and getting their nutrients from the centre tree trunk.

Or these melons/cantaloupes growing from the top too. Notice that in both these cases, there is some soil but the plant nutrient is being provided through the pipes.

The clincher, though were these hanging vines of tomatoes and flowers that were being grown without the use of any soil. The tomato vines were revolving on a ring and when their roots passed through a sub section of the ring, they were sprayed with water and nutrient.

Similarly for these violas, the nutrient was being sprayed directly onto the flowers and leaves.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Two different kind of flower arrangements

I am sitting at the Chicago airport, gate L2A, waiting for my connection to Detroit. And loads of time to kill. And since there is no wireless hotspot here, I thought might as well catch up on some of the blogging. I can type up the posts and then post them when I reach Ann Arbor.


So I searched my computer for recent pictures and found some from our recent trip to Orlando. They were all taken at the Disney's Epcot Centre. (As a side note, I am a big fan of Disney parks, I have been to the LA Disneyland atleast 5-6 times in the last 6 years that I have been in San Diego).


It being spring time there were flowers in abundance. Now I am a big fan of flowers growing just as they are vs. flowers that are made to look like something else. I remember commenting the same on one of Sigma's post too. In any case, when I found the latter mixed with my all time favorite Disney characters, it became hard to make the same choice. Here are the pictures of both kind.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Its a lonely world out there

Its a lonely world out there

P.S. This is a view of the Florida Bay from Flamingo at the Everglades National Park.
Just got back from a trip to Orlando and southern Florida, details to follow soon.