Posts

Where is all the 'alien life?' - Fermi Paradox and other theories

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My first blog, ever, was about understanding the odds of alien life. I've gotten much better at writing blogs since then (or so I like to tell myself), and it would only be right if I reinstate the legacy of that one.


We should openly admit that when we happen to be under a starry night and see a sight similar to this, we all have a react in a different and interesting way. Some people are left boggled by the immense size of the universe, others by the sheer glamour of the scene and if you're anything like me, you're paralysed by the sudden realisation that you have a negligible impact on the universe. The point is, we all feel something.

When he looked up at the sky, Italian physicist Enrico Fermi too felt something, a thought that lingered around this question, "Where is everyone else?" It's been half a decade since Fermi passed on, but he left us with a fundamental query and idea.

Fermi realised that in a universe as old and vast as this, there should be…

TRAPPIST-1 (meet the 7 earth-like exoplanets!)

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"Astronomers have discovered the first known system to host seven Earth-size planets around one star, and it lies just 39 light-years away from our own solar system." - Space.com Unless you live under a rock, you heard this week that NASA disclosed a groundbreaking discovery regarding the TRAPPIST-1 system, containing 7 Earth-like planning potentially supporting life. Anticipation was mounting from the 24 hours before the announcement was going to be made, and when it did occur, there was a bombardment of articles/videos about it everywhere you could look. Justifiably so, the discovery (more of a confirmation of what was already known, but we'll call it a discovery) set the record for most habitable exoplanets found in a system or something crazy like that (don't quote me on that!).




Here's the breakdown:

Brief:
TRAPPIST-1 is a star like our sun, but cooler (I'm talking about temperature) and smaller. Known as an 'ultra cool dwarf' star, it currently h…

'Kids these days', and Juvenoia.

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The phrase 'kids these days', has been used since time immemorial by older generations to express their disappointment in the younger generations. We love to talk about just how different life was 'back in the good old days'. In that regard, you see a huge number of 'only 90s kids will remember...' on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites.

George Orwell had a brilliant quote that went along the lines of this:

There's a neat neologism for this phenomenon, Juvenoia.

The point is, it's an endless cycle. Let's examine this situation. A family is sitting around the breakfast table, all engrossed in their own digital life. It's a common situation nowadays, right? However, in 1907, the Journal of Education deplored, "At a modern family gathering, silent around the fire, each individual has his head buried in his favorite magazine." Let's compare the two:


Are you seeing the parallels yet? It is considerably shocking.

Think abo…

Tech Spotlight: Why you should be using IFTTT right now!

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I usually don't do a lot of tech blogs, personally because I feel there's so many out there, but this one, I simply cannot avoid. This is a website you definitely should check out, and it's one that after a long while I can vouch for as the most ingenious app/service devised yet.

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT, a clever acronym for 'If This, Then That.', is a free to use website which features a plethora of applets. These applets are made to perform tasks based on triggers, which trigger actions. For example, the applet I'm using right now posts on facebook every time I publish an article on my blog. Coincidentally, this very post has been published using IFTTT.
It works based on two things: Applets and Services.

Applets are the pieces of code written to bring you services and combine the power of these services.
Services are the apps/devices that you use daily (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even smart home tech.)

Quote from their Wikipedia page:
IFTTT is a free web-bas…

Why doesn't anybody talk about the ISRO?

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Mangalyaan. It's a word you've probably heard a lot the last few years. That's because it was one of the world's cheapest space probes to reach Mars, collect data and relay it back to Earth, even more efficiently than NASA.

Who was the genius space institute who developed this?
None other than India's ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization).
Why didn't we hear about it as much? Because the ISRO isn't NASA. Or so we think.

On a budget nearly 9 to 10 times tighter than granted to NASA, the ISRO launched the Mars Orbiter Mission to Mars orbit in late 2014. With this, India became the first nation to complete the mission in its first try, and only the fourth one to venture to Mars.


Remember back when water was discovered that there was water on the moon? Who contributed to that astonishing revelation? Chandrayaan-1, India's first lunar mission. Why did NASA take credit? Technically, it was their gadget aboard the mission that picked up the data...

I thin…

Person of Interest #2 - Zack Hemsey

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Zack Hemsey has quickly become of my favorite musicians, in the span of nearly 2-3 months. While his name is not well-known, his work is massively popular, only if you know where to look. Many of you may have seen his name mentioned in my last blog, but probably didn't check him out. Haha, your loss.

(I get a lot of flack for my musical taste, but whatever.)

You may recognize his work from big-time movies and TV shows like Inception and Game of Thrones, if you're listening, carefully. Zack is a recording artist and songwriter whose most prominent body of work is composing movie/trailer scores. That's not all he is, though. When he's not composing orchestral tracks, he's publishing intriguing and periodical singles on his website and Youtube Channel.

The reason he's become one of my favorites is because of how different yet novel his style and content are. When you hear rapper nowadays, you immediately associate allusions to being drunk/high, weirdly sexual ref…

The poignancy of sonder.

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This one's going to be quite introspective: buckle up.
If I asked you to estimate the number of people you meet or come across every day, could you do it? Probably not, at least not precisely. The people you come across in one day, by night are nothing but a blur in your memory. You don't pay them much mind, and they don't pay you any either.

Now consider this:


It's a trembling thought when you put it in perspective. Coined by John Koenig, in his 'Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows', in which he details and defines feelings that haven't got defined yet. This is my favorite one, but that doesn't mean the other ones aren't jaw dropping, either.

What does it mean? I couldn't tell you, honestly. We all will look at it in different, yet unique ways. One thing is certain, though: it sure is thought-provoking. It induces a feeling of insignificance, of feeling average.

Whether you live in a huge, impersonal city or the tranquil countryside, odds are you wil…