Tuesday, 29 December 2015


Twenty-five years ago, the world was technologically quite simple as compared to the present day. It was a place without the widespread use of PCs, internet, mobile phones, satellite TV, social networking and all things related.  Politically, it was a very segmented, divided and fractured extent due to the existence of different blocks, curtains and walls. Now it seems quite hard to believe that at that time there was a rival superpower to the US; the mighty Soviet Union. For half a century after WWII, all global affairs were being governed through the interactions between these rival powers. Then within a span of a few years, Berlin wall came down, Soviet Union collapsed and iron curtain was lifted. Consequently, China opened up and decided to pursue a mixed economy. Coupled with the above mentioned technological changes in the 1990’s, the whole world became accessible to everyone. Smart nations and organizations took advantage of this changed scenario and forged ahead. In the words of Thomas L Friedman ‘the world became flat’. 

So can we predict the shape of things 25 years from now? It is difficult to tell for certain. Perhaps it was Niels Bohr who said that “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future”. Future slowly creeps over us in small increments and it is hard to discern its course. But it has not deterred anyone to prophesize about such matters. I am equally amazed by the human capability to assimilate new technologies and embrace new ideas. The things that are once the domain of science fiction; can easily become everyday stuff within a span of few years. Here is my take on the next 25 years.

In my view, the fields are Robotics and AI, Space Technology, Synthetic Biology, 3D Printing, Nanotechnology and Clean Energy are going to shape our future. I would like to speculate about few of these. By 2040, there should be permanent or semi permanent human settlements on Moon and Mars. Perhaps commercial asteroid mining would propel us deeper into the solar system. Bulk of this new age of exploration is expected to come from the private enterprises. If technologies like EmDrive hold some promise, then the whole solar system can virtually become a human playground.  However, going beyond our solar neighborhood is not possible by any reasonable timescale through today’s technologies. Interstellar travel will require something above and beyond our present knowledge. There are also a number of places within our solar system that have huge reservoirs of liquid water. There is a chance that we might find some kind of extraterrestrial life within our solar system. Places like Jovian and Saturn Moons of Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus and Titan hold a lot of potential.

Robotic revolution is upon us and with the passing of each year it is going to infiltrate more and more spheres of life. Driverless cars are going to be commercially available in the next 2 to 4 years. By 2040, it is possible that human driving might become prohibited in the parts of the developed world. Similarly, driving, cleaning, cooking, care-takers and companions robots might become as numerous as today’s personal computers and mobile phones. Virtual and Augmented realities are in their infancy at present. By 2040, a fully immersive Star Trek like Holodeck is within the realm of possibility. 

There is also a consensus around the world to adopt cleaner sources of energy. In the next 25 years, the era of fossil fuels should be coming to an end. This is not promising forecast for the oil export dependent monarchies and dictatorships around the world. The adaptation of these newer and cleaner sources would sound death knell for them.

The years to come are going to witness space tourism, space-based Solar Power, genomic medicine, 3D printed organs, anti-aging drugs, reading minds and photographing dreams, digital brain downloads, resurrection of extinct life-forms and creating new ones, implantable communication devices, universal translators, vertical Farms, robotic armies, quantum computers, fusion reactors, space elevators and much more. Seeds of all these technologies has already been planted. It seems that an era of explosive innovations is just ahead. It is going to lead us towards a new age of wonder where everything seems plausible.

But not all the future scenarios are rosy ones. There are a number of things that can go wrong. Things like global financial meltdown, severe ecological consequences, new cold and hot wars including cyber warfare can halt and may even reverse the march of technology and development. Still I am an optimist and I believe that human ingenuity can surpass these hurdles and built us a better future. 2040 would be a year worth living for.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Earthrise Encore

Earth as seen from the  Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - Image Credit: NASA
Today NASA released a stunning image of Earth as seen from the Moon sky. The contrast of a living, dynamic Earth against the barren, static foreground of Moon is simply breathtaking. This is how the future explorers and inhabitants of the Moon will see from its near side. 

Moon is tidally locked due to the immense gravity of Earth. Thus we always see its same face in our night sky. However, on Moon, we will be able to see Earth spinning, going through phases with an ever changing cloud pattern, almost at the same spot each and every day. 

The original Earthrise photo was taken by the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. That shot is considered among the pictures that changed the human vision forever. Seeing our Earth in its entirety from the surface of another heavenly body gave us a truly global prospect. 

If we could all perceive and embrace this feeling, perhaps we can start building a better future through cooperation and unity. 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Deep Forger

Me painted using the style of Vincent van Gogh at ca. 1890.
An internet bot is a software program that can perform repetitive tasks over the internet. Usually such tasks are quite simple in nature to be repeated at much higher rates. These bots can perform things like editing, data mining, automated trading, chatting and more.

Twitter’s Deep Forger is a very different kind of bot. It is a program that creates forgeries from the submitted snapshots. You submit a photograph and it will convert it in a style similar to that of great masters like Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Degas, Monet, Renoir, or Goya. Well, actually these should not be called forgeries at all. AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithms, embedded in the bot, take the salient features from famous paintings and apply them to create something spectacular.

There are also a number of other programs and efforts like this. Google’s Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) can do something similar besides other tricks. A painting robot 'bitpainter' is also busy in creating artwork. Pikazo App can remix your photos into art ... and the list goes on.

These are the early days of AI and Robotics, so just imagine what will happen in a few decades from now. With the each passing year, these programs and robots are going to do much better and then they might go on surpassing the works of great masters in originality and creativity.

This also raises a number of questions. Is art solely a purview of humans? When some artwork is produced by an AI algorithm or Robot, should it be called art or a product? Then there are questions about the state of AI in general. Who will be the owner of such art if machines and programs created by humans, start to achieve consciousness one day. Should those sentient being be treated like peers, pets, slaves or merely machines? Will these entities strive to be more human-like as portrayed in the The Bicentennial Man or the character of Lt. Commander Data in the realm of science fiction?

I don’t know answers to these questions and perhaps nobody does. These are the things that will evolve over time as we step into the future.

Casa Loma modeled in the style of Pierre Auguste Renoir at approx. 1884.
Swan inspired by Claude Monet at est. 1875.
Rainbow over Niagra with methods of Gustav Klimt from est. 1908-16.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Happiness of Fish and Butterfly Dreams

Great Chinese philosopher and mystic Zhuangzi was walking along river Hao with his friend Huizi when he said, "See how the fish come out and jump around where they please! That's what fish really enjoy!"
Huizi too was a logician philosopher so he replied, "You're not a fish - how do you know what fish enjoy?"
Zhuangzi said, "You're not me, so how do you know I don't know what fish enjoy?"
Huizi said, "I'm not you, so I certainly don't know what you know. On the other hand, you're certainly not a fish - so that still proves you don't know what fish enjoy!"
Zhuangzi said, "Let's go back to your original question, please. You asked me how I know what fish enjoy - so you already knew I knew it when you asked the question. I know it by standing here on the bridge of Hao river."

It may seem that the master Zhuangzi was playing with the words but apparently Huizi decided to keep quiet. After all, it was Zhuangzi, who once dreamt of being a butterfly. In his book, he wrote:

"Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering here and there, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi. Soon I awaked, and there I was, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." 

This fourth century B.C.E. philosopher believed in the Daoist practice of observing the natural world and learning from it. He was also a lifelong skeptic, so his observations make sense in that context. At another place he wrote:

"During our dreams we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense! You and Confucius are both dreaming, and I who say you are a dream am also a dream. Such is my tale. It will probably be called absurd, but after ten thousand generations there may be a great sage who will be able to explain it, a trivial interval equivalent to the passage from morning to night."
The butterfly dream by Lu Chih (1496-1576) 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Universal Translator

In science fiction stories, when our adventurers make contact with aliens, they need to communicate. They can’t wait weeks or months in order to learn each others languages. They need something radical. Different writers have come up with some novel solutions to this conundrum. In TV series 'Farscape', our hero John Crichton is injected with some sort of translator microbes which colonize his brain and translate anything spoken to him. In the 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy', it is the 'babel fish' which is inserted into the ear and translates the spoken word. In the 'Star Trek' universe, it is the universal Translator, which is used for instant translation between languages. 

The translator microbes or babel fish may seem far-fetched at this point in time but the universal translator like devices are well within our reach. Google Translate, Microsoft Translator and several other are providing basic machine translation between worlds major languages at present. Google translate is particularly good at providing real-time translation of street signs. The actual face to face translations are still tricky and much is lost in translation due to the nuances of the languages like slang and cultural meanings but it can fulfill the elementary purposes.

However, a true universal translator should be able to give instantaneous, real-time translation between almost all world languages, in speaker's own voice. I think that can be achieved within the next ten years. The removal of language barriers all around the world could transform our planet. Our world would become flat at yet another dimension. It would preserve languages that are facing extinction. Cultures are seamlessly tied to the languages so it might help to preserve the rich diversity of earth cultures too. 

I am eagerly waiting to own such a device.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Power of Imagination

lion-man, Ulmer Museum, Germany

We can imagine things that are not present in reality. We can also bring those images into existence through our actions. That is a pretty amazing capability if you think about that. It allows to go beyond the limitations of physical world. It opens ways to all sorts of inventions and ideas. It is what makes us truly human.

The above statute is probably the first example of this unique ability. It was found in a German cave in 1939. Its age has been established at around 40,000 years. Someone in the prehistoric times, spent countless hours to shape this piece of mammoth ivory, with simple stone tools and leather, into a thing that do not exist in nature: a lion-man. 

It may seem a trivial object to a modern eye but incredible when we are told that It took humans nearly 30,000 more years to settle down in some kind of small villages and start the domestication of crops. After that, a passage of 5,000 years was needed to see the rise of first kingdoms. All of our written history is limited to this period. Just 500 years ago, we truly started to understand the intricate workings of our world. Things accelerated after that. Once accumulation of knowledge, ideas and imagination reached a critical threshold, it started to multiply. More than ninety percent of our current knowledge was discovered and created in the past 100 years. It is really hard to imagine that what would be the state of affairs in a mere 100 years from now.

And it all started with such humble beginnings; a mental image of something that do not exist and a desire to bring it to the reality.

Image Credit: Wikipedia, Ulmer Museum, Germany

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Power of Stories

Very few people in Pakistan know that Polish citizens played a very important role in the early formation of Pakistan Air Force. After the WW II, when Poland became a communist country, many Polish Air Force officers working with the Royal Air Force began to move to United States, Australia, Norway and Canada. Around thirty Polish officers and technicians opted to move to Pakistan in 1948 on a three-year contract. They served as instructors and other technical staff. They were among the pioneers. A number of them stayed beyond their three-year contract.

Young training cadets of RPAF College Risalpur with instructor Pilot Flt Lt. M Gorzula
Air Commodore Wladyslaw Turowicz and his section at PAF Museum, Karachi

A fine Polish officer Wladyslaw Turowicz became a Pakistani citizen and rose to the rank of Air Commodore in 1960. In 1966, the Government of Pakistan transferred him to SUPARCO, as the administrator and chief scientist. As the administrator, he revitalized and initiated the space program. He was awarded Sitara-e-Pakistan, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, (Mil) among other honors for his services to the Pakistan’s space program. Zofia, Turowicz's wife, taught gliding to the cadets in Karachi and Rawalpindi between 1950 and 1954. Later, she joined Karachi University and taught applied mathematics and particle physics there. She was also awarded the Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz for her services. Turowicz's son is currently working at SUPARCO as an aerospace engineer and chief scientist.

We humans like to stereotype. Our perceptions about a group of people, communities and nations are based on our experiences with individuals and the stories that we hear about them. So what would a commoner have thought of Polish people if the above story was widely known in Pakistan. I think that the mental image would have changed from something distant, remote and unknown to friendly, intelligent and helpful people. Such mental images also affect all future interactions between communities and nations. After all, the Turkish image of Pakistani people is mainly based upon the Khilafat movement of 1920s. Same is true for a number of negative images and stereotypes. That is the power of stories.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Life in the Universe and Origins

“Origins of life is a fascinating question. How did we get here? Well, there are two questions: One is, what is the route from geology to biology - how did we get here? And the other question is, what did we start with? What material, if any, did we have to work with on this route? Those are two very, very interesting questions. The first question is a tortuous path from geology up to RNA or something like that - how did that all work? And the other, what do we have to work with? Well, more than we think. So what's pictured there is a star in formation. Now, every year in our Milky Way, which has 100 billion stars, about two new stars are created. Don't ask me how, but they're created. And it takes them about a million years to settle out. So, in steady state, there are about two million stars in formation at any time. That one is somewhere along this settling-down period. And there's all this crap sort of circling around it, dust and stuff. And it'll form probably a solar system, or whatever it forms. But here's the thing - in this dust that surrounds a forming star have been found, now, significant organic molecules. Molecules not just like methane, but formaldehyde and cyanide - things that are the building blocks - the seeds, if you will - of life. So, that may be typical. And it may be typical that planets around the universe start off with some of these basic building blocks. Now does that mean there's going to be life all around? Maybe. But it's a question of how tortuous this path is from those frail beginnings, those seeds, all the way to life. And most of those seeds will fall on fallow planets.

... if that path is tortuous enough, and so improbable, that no matter what you start with, we could be a singularity. But on the other hand, given all this organic dust that's floating around, we could have lots of friends out there. It'd be great to know.”

(Excerpt from an interview with Jim Simons on TED.com - Sep 2015)

Jim Simons was a mathematician and cryptographer who realized that the complex math he used to break codes could help explain patterns in the world of finance. Billions later, he’s working to support the next generation of math teachers and scholars. Research into the origins of life is one of the projects supported by his foundation.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Toronto Music Garden

It a small garden but it is unique in a way as it is inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s classic musical work. Its six sections are based on the six movements in Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major. For example, first section of the garden is designed in such a way that it gives you a feeling of flowing river with granite boulders and low growing plants. Second section is a forest grove with wandering trails to represent an ancient German dance 'allemande' in Bach's work.

Its shady trees, copses and labyrinth like inner spots makes you forget that it is actually located in a very busy area of the city. It is a prefect place to sit quietly, meditate, study, stroll or relax when you are in the waterfront area of downtown Toronto.

Summer time
View of CN Tower from the garden
I have seen you before

Saturday, 20 June 2015


It is not the longest word in English language but it is perhaps the most fun to learn and remember among those. ‘Supercalifragilicticexpialidocious’ comes from a 1964 Walt Disney musical ‘Mary Poppins’. It was coined from various Greek and Latin roots for a joyful and silly song but over the years it became popular and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 1986.

So how one is able to remember and pronounce a word that is 34 letters long? Well, actually it is quite easy. First, look at its individual parts and meanings:

Super: excellent
Cali: most beautiful
Fragilistic: delicate
Expiali: atone, to make amends
Docious: able to learn, educable

So all this translates to the state of being extraordinarily good; wonderful or fantastic. To pronounce such a lengthy word, it has to be divided it to its basic components.

Super – cali – fragil – istic – expi – ali – do – cious

Once you remember these simpler parts and above meanings, it becomes super easy to remember. It is also a cool way to impress friends and peers.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Ontario Science Center

A single day can’t do justice to all the sections of the science center. It covers a broad array of topics like astronomical science, technology, communication, geology and nature. Then most of its exhibits are designed to give a hand-on experience to the visitors and spur curiosity. There is always something new to learn when you pause and look closer. On most days, throngs of eager and excited youngster fill the place. It is places like these that nurture the inquisitive minds and inquiring nature.

One of my favorite exhibits is a replica of “Jacquard Loom”.  This early 19th century device to wave cloth is actually a precursor to modern computers. Replaceable punched cards were used in this mechanical device to change the patterns and to control the order of operations. 

Rain-forest in the nature section is a superb depiction to experience
Children love static charge generator
Virtual reality gaming dome

IMAX Dome and Mastermind gift shop complete the experience of a day filled with learning, entertainment and fun.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Snow by any other name ...

Winter is coming to an end. Intensity of sunshine and duration of day has increased steadily over the weeks. Temperatures are still barely above zero but snows have started to melt. Long icicles are hanging along the edges of roofs. Here are a few things that I learned about cold weather and snowfall during this winter. 

Cold weather starts at -10 C in Toronto.
Extreme cold is below -20 C (with or without wind chill factor).
Flurries are light snow showers that do not last long.
Blizzard is a heavy snowstorm that lasts for hours with high speed winds.
Sleet is rain mixed with snow.
Whiteout means that visibility is severely reduced during a snowstorm. In a true whiteout, there are no reference points and disorientation may follow.
Freezing rain occurs when surface temperatures are below freezing point. This causes most of the problems in winter. Ice accumulating on power lines can cause power disruptions. During the last winter, freezing rain was so heavy in Toronto that trees started to crumble under the weight of build up ice over branches.

Snow can further be classified into several different types depending on the shape of its flakes, how it is falling and how it collects on the surface. It is said that Eskimos have more than 50 words for snow and ice but whatever you call it, that is stuff which makes winters interesting.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

"Like a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam"

Whenever I look at the night sky, I remind myself that each of these tiny dots of light could potentially be harboring life forms and sentient being like us. Someone up there might be wondering and going through the same thought process while looking at our home. So how our home planet would look like from an outsider’s prospects?

The big blue marble (2002) - Asian side
At a distance of around 50,000 kilometers, our earth looks like a big blue marble. Here cloud cover, oceans, hint of vegetation and outlines of continents are visible but there are no national boundaries or sign of any human development.

Our next stop would be moon at nearly 4,00,000 Km. On the near side of moon, earth would always be hanging in the sky, rotating and going through the phases. It would also be huge and very bright, like more than thirteen moons in our night sky. This vista alone should be worth buying a place in the lunar colony. But beware that on the far side of Moon, you won't be able to see Earth at all. So choose wisely.

Earth in the Martian sky
The average distance between planet Mars and Earth is around 225 million kilometers. This is more than 500 times than the distance of Moon from Earth. At this distance , our earth is just one of the bright dots in the Martian sky. 

Another famous photograph of earth is from the vicinity of Jupiter. It was taken by the Cassini spacecraft at the distance of a billion kilometers on July 19, 2013. So where is the Earth? You will have to look under the rings of Jupiter and magnify to locate it.

A pale blue dot
But the most famous of all is the "pale blue dot" photograph. It is taken at the request of famous scientist and writer Carl Sagan in February 1990 by Voyager 1 spacecraft nearly at the edge of our solar system. At a distance of six billion kilometers, our Earth looks like a tiny mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. In the words of Carl Sagan:

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner ... 

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. 

... It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Image Credit: NASA/JPL 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Truth and Wonder

Flynn (the magician): That was way cooler before you explained it.
Dr. Gregory House: It was meaningless until I explained it.
Flynn: People … want a sense of wonder. They want to experience something they can’t explain.
Dr. Gregory House: If the wonder’s gone when the truth is known, there never was any wonder.

House M.D. (S 4, E 8  - You don’t want to know)

Friday, 6 February 2015

Erasing Death

Dr. Sam Parnia’s book 'Erasing Death' is about recent advances in resuscitation science. When somebody suffers cardiac arrest and the heart stops; brain devoid of oxygen, also closes its shop within seconds. In that case, there is no heart beat, no respiration, no pulse or blood pressure and no neural activity. That person is dead in traditional sense. But as we have all seen in the movies and on the TV, if CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or artificial respiration and chest compression are applied within minutes, then that person can be brought back to life.

It all started in 18th century Amsterdam, Holland when it was discovered that blowing air into lungs can save people drowning in city canals. But the science of resuscitation truly progressed in the 20th century. In 1960’s and 70’s, electrical shocks to restart the heart (through defibrillator) and administration of certain drugs to boost the blood pressure were added to the repertoire. Hypothermia treatment was included later when it was realized that people who die in cold climate can be revived many hours afterwards. Lower body temperature seemed to preserve cells. ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) which is a type of heart-lung bypass device is being successfully used in Japan and South Korea with above 70% revival rates. Post resuscitation treatment and care also proved to be of vital importance in preventing irreversible brain and organ damage.

Now, medical science recognizes that death is not an event but a process. There is a grey zone after death that permits the reversal of this process. This grey area is extending further and further whenever there is advancement in resuscitation techniques. It is also crucial to understand that the original cause of death must be fixed quickly during or after resuscitation otherwise that person will die a second time after a few hours or days of revival. For example, if a person is dying of cancer then his or her recovery doesn't matter as underlying cause of death can not be fixed at present.

Dr. Sam Parnia’s book also deals with the question of near death experiences or NDE’s. Around 10% of people who are revived through resuscitation, report seeing some kind of tunnel or light, reviewing of past life, meeting dead relatives and out of body experiences. These experiences have been dismissed by the majority of scientists as hallucinations. However, Dr. Parnia believes that these may be pointing towards some undiscovered country that lies beyond the present limits of science. He was also part of the AWARE Study during 2008-2012. In this study, several hospitals in USA and Europe were monitored to improve resuscitation efforts and to conduct objective interviews of persons claiming NDE’s. In a number of emergency rooms and cardiac care units, pictures were placed high over the shelves that can only be viewed from above. This was specifically aimed at out of body experiences. It was reasoned that if such claims are for real then those persons should be able to describe those images. In reality, it was found out that out of body experiences are very rare. Only two persons claimed such experiences during the study and no definitive answers were found. So jury is still out on that matter. 
A recent development in this field is EPR (Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation) treatment which was reported in several journals last year. It is in initial stages for trauma patients at a few places in the US. It works by lowering the patient’s body temperature and replacing blood with cold saline solution. By applying EPR, patient will go into a state of suspended animation. Once the damage to the body is repaired, blood will be pumped back and person can be brought back to life. A possible application of this technique could be longer space voyages of future. It would be much more economical and efficient besides psychological reasons to send astronauts in the state of suspended animation and revive them years or decades later. 

All these developments raises several moral and ethical dilemmas. Lines between life and death are being blurred. Are we playing God and interfering with the course of nature? The answer would vary from person to person based on personal beliefs and convictions. But humans started to alter the course of nature when first person was cured through herbs and plants or was given some kind of first aid treatment. Other living being don’t do that. Science of medicine evolved over centuries and new discoveries were made. Modern medicine and surgery techniques, state of art diagnostics, mass vaccinations and organ transplants are extending human lifespan and delaying death all over the world. 3D organ printing is now at initial stages and nanobots are getting ready to roam human body. Humans would keep on adopting such measures to extent life because nature allows us to do that.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Bright Sunny Day

It’s a bright sunny day and temperatures are at minus sixteen. Real feel index is well below minus twenty. When you step out, it feels like a really nice weather for a first few minutes. It almost feels unreal. Then, cold starts to bite in. Icy, crisp air begins to gnaw on your lungs. Stay longer outside, without proper protection and serious damage might occur due to frostbite. However, I must admit that overall exposure to cold weather here in Toronto is less than that of the winters in Attock or Islamabad. This may seem paradoxical but temperature control in buildings and transport makes this little magic possible. What started with the mastery of fire in human evolution and progress has certainly come a long way since. Human ingenuity is always pushing the boundaries to new levels. And there will be other wonders in the times to come. Weather manipulation on a global scale and then terraforming of other planets might follow in the coming centuries. Future looks bright.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Horseshoe portion of the falls 
Niagara falls are not the highest or the widest in the world, but these are the most accessible from Toronto and are utterly breathtaking. The thunder of the falls is so alluring that these have to be visited time and again.

American Falls and the Rainbow bridge
Skylon Tower
Before the Canadian portion of falls, there is the old majestic building of Toronto Power Generating Station. This power station was built by the investor and visionary Sir Henry Pellatt (of Casa Loma) in 1906. It was later appropriated by the Government, on the grounds that electricity should be free to all like air and water. That never happened but it caused a major dent to Sir Henry business empire.

Entrance to the Power Station building
It was a cold, cloudy and windy day. The real feel index was around minus ten. After spending an hour in the open, my fingers started to hurt from the cold and I was experiencing some difficulty in speaking. Then the sun came out behind the clouds and there was a mist rainbow hanging over the falls. It was worth it.