Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

ELECTRICITY

  ELECTRICITY: _ The picture above shows how a barber cuts hair during recent power failure in India. _ Prologue: Electric crematoria were snuffed out with bodies inside, New Delhi’s Metro shut down and hundreds of coal miners were trapped underground after three Indian electric grids collapsed in a cascade on 30th and 31st July 2012, cutting power to 620 million people in India. The blackout engulfed as many as 19 of India’s 28 states on July 31, with more than 100 intercity trains stranded and traffic lights went out in busy roads, causing widespread jams. Without question, it was the largest blackout in world history. Hospitals, factories and the airports switched automatically to their diesel generators during the hours-long cut across half of India. Many homes relied on backup systems of invertors with batteries. On the other hand, millions of India’s poorest had no electricity to lose. Of the […]

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CREATIVITY

  CREATIVITY: _ Have a look at a picture below. What do you think? A non-creative brain sees only a hodgepodge of disconnected shapes, but a creative brain can go beyond common sense and find the connecting concept that makes sense of the shapes. The picture is of a dog drinking from a stream, with its head in the middle of the picture facing down to the water and its tail off to the right. _ The picture above shows how your brain can even create things that don’t exist. If you can see the white triangle – the one with its apex pointing up – it’s because your brain has created that triangle to unify what is otherwise simply a collection of angles and Pac-Man shapes. There is, in fact, no white triangle there. _ If you measure these two tables with a ruler, you will see that they […]

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HEAT ILLNESS

HEAT ILLNESS: _ Prologue: Heat stroke is not new to the medical community. In 24 B.C., Roman soldiers with heat stroke were instructed to drink olive oil and wine while rubbing both liquids on the body. In the 1500s, physicians recommended stimulating friction and bloodletting to “release the heat”. In the 18th century, the cause of heat stroke was once thought to be drinking cold water. Patients would receive the diagnosis of “hurt by drinking cold water.” Amazingly, public pumps were posted with signs warning about the risk of sudden death from drinking cold water. Today, heat illness is the number one weather killer in the world and kills more people every year than tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding and lightening. Heat illness is more common in poor & middle class people than rich people because air-conditioners are beyond the reach of majority of middle class people (especially in developing countries) and […]

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THE CYCLONE

THE CYCLONE: _ _ Prologue: I am not fond of weather analysis. Many times I inadvertently watch weather forecast on TV which I find quite boring. Nonetheless, after discussing earthquakes and tsunamis, I felt that I should discuss adverse weather events which also affect our lives. A storm is any disturbed state of atmosphere, and strongly implying severe weather; marked by strong wind, thunder, lightning and heavy precipitation (rain, ice etc). Storms are created when a center of low pressure develops, with a system of high pressure surrounding it. This combination of opposing forces can create winds and result in the formation of storm clouds. Storms generally lead to significant negative impacts to lives and property. The vertical wind shear in thunderstorm can cause airplane crashes. Severe weather is also responsible for plenty of helicopter crashes, and delay launch of space shuttles. There are various types of storms including tropical […]

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EARTHQUAKE, TSUNAMI AND NUCLEAR MELTDOWN

_ EARTHQUAKE, TSUNAMI AND NUCLEAR MELTDOWN _ Prologue: Earthquakes are among the most devastating natural disasters on the planet. A severe earthquake is one of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature with its terrible aftereffects. In the last hundred years they have claimed the lives of over one million people. Earthquakes are destructive mainly because of their unpredictable nature.  An earthquake struck at the floor of the Pacific Ocean on 11’th March, 2011 at 14.46 JST – 38.322N 142.369E. It occurred 129 km off Sendai, Honshu (Japan) at a depth of 32 km. Its magnitude was 9 M and its duration 6 minutes. It was a Megathrust type earthquake which triggered tsunami waves of up to 97ft (29.6 meter). The tsunami waves struck inland minutes after the quake and some traveled up to 6 miles (10 km) inland. The disaster is believed to have killed more than 25,000 […]

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