Is Collective Wisdom always Correct?

At the starting point of human evolution timeline, the progress was very slow and full of dangers. Learning was at the cost of many human lives. In the beginning, man was a hunter and did not have a stable life. He was always on the move because animals which he hunted were also capable of running. Life of hunting was not easy.
They were on lookout for more stable life. To be able to stay put at one place. For this, humans had to enable themselves replace their diet with grains and cereals which could be grown near their abodes. As we know there must had been plenty of vegetation all around. But today we know that all of it is not suitable for animal consumption. Plants have been here from the beginning and since they could not move from one place to another to defend themselves, their defense mechanism was already in place for survival. As a result only a few of the plants are useful.
Humans did not know what was good for eating and what was not good. It was all a hit and trial process with some of them scarifying their lives. But with the passage of time, information begun to build up and thus the present generation was better equipped than the previous one. Now we have reached a stage where a huge treasure of knowledge is at our disposal.
So have we become so wise and knowledgeable that we cannot commit mistakes? The answer is sadly no. we are committing mistakes. One reason is that we work in groups with members having all shades of knowledge. Thus the resultant knowledge is averaging out.
Take for example the green revolution in the North India particularly Punjab. It saved the masses of the country from starvation. There was a great scarcity of the food grains. India was dependent on the mercy of the countries like USA and USSR. Green Revolution introduced the modified varieties of wheat and rice which have high yields. The state increased the production so much that it was able to feed all the country with food grains.
But the real results of that exercise are now becoming evident. The land was drained of all the nutrients. It was not kept any time fallow to regain the natural strength. The result was the increased use of fertilizers and insecticides. The water footprint was very high for the production of these crops. Since the river water was not sufficient, the underground was exploited up indiscriminately. Since the quality control during manufacturing was poor, many heavy metals which are very toxic slowly made their way to underground drinking water. The water table went deeper. The disastrous effects are now visible in the form of many fatal diseases affecting the children in the Punjab.
On the other hand, there were negative effects elsewhere which disturbed the equilibrium. The states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal which were naturally suited for rice production stopped or tried to change the crop patterns with negative results. So it seems that for short term Green Revolution was a blessing but in the long run it was a collective failure.

Winter is coming

We are in the month of December. Here in Panchkula as in the North India the mercury is plunging. In the day though it is still hot and you cannot sit continuously in the sun.
Little clouds have begun to appear and disappear in the sky. Sometimes these look as if a child has smeared the white color over a blue paper.
Already, the wheat has been sown by most of farmers. Also, one can see onions, sarson, turnips, spinac Continue reading “Winter is coming”

Concept of pH in Chemistry

Although the pH of a lake or polluted stream is seldom reported in the media, the people who are monitoring the health of the lake water record it daily religiously. But pH is quite an important physical property of water. pH of a stream gives an indication about the salts and other soluble matter present in the water. These soluble salts affect the organisms living in the water. Also changing pH in a stream can be an indicator of increasing pollution or some other environmental factor.

As we know life on our planet is based on the water. Water is a unique solvent as it dissolves a number of chemicals in it. Water molecule is a simple one with H2O as its formula indicating 2 hydrogen atoms joined to 1 oxygen atom. It V shaped geometry imparts it high polarity with which it is able to break down many salt molecules into individual ions called cations and anions. As such water is slightly ionized into equivalent amounts of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions. The value is 10-07 equivalents, a very very tiny value indeed. But this small value is enough to do all the chemistry. When chemicals dissolve in it, the values of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions become unequal. Particularly when any compound containing hydrogen ions is added to water, hydrogen ions become predominant and solution is said to become acidic and such chemicals are called acids. Examples of acids are hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, citric acid and sulphuric acid. On the other hand, when any chemical which have hydroxyl ions is added to water, hydroxyl ions predominate and water becomes basic and such chemicals are called bases.  Examples of bases are sodium hydroxide, washing soda and potassium hydroxide.

pH is a measure of how acidic/basic water is. It is defined as the minus logarithm of hydrogen ions concentration. Since -log[10-07] is 7, the pH of pure water is 7. The range goes from 0-14. Any solution having pH value less than 7 is acidic and above 7 is basic in nature.

The pH of any natural water determines availability of nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon for aquatic life. Many nutrients like phosphorous are very sensitive to pH since it exists in different forms at different pH values. Only a particualr form is assimilated by the organism.

Similarly, pH determines the solubility of heavy metals which are generally toxic in nature. Heavy metals are generally more soluble at lower pH and hence lower pH gives a warning about the possibility of these heavier and poisonous metals.

pH of Battery acid is 1, vinegar is about 3, milk slightly above 6, baking soda between 8 and 9 & ammonia solution about 12.Diagram of pH. pH 1=battery acid, 2=lemon juice, 3-vinegar, 6.5=milk, 8.5=baking soda, sea water, 10.5=Milk of Magnesia, 12=ammonia, 13=lye. ph 3 to 4=Adult fish die. ph 4-5=Fish reproductionaffected. pH 5-6.5=Normal range for precipitat on. pH 6-8=Normal range of stream pH. pH 1-5=Acid rain.

Big Boss Chahte Hain Ke Armaan………

Big Boss is a show on Colors which collects a bunch of freaks, flops, spoilt and abnormal people. Majority of them are flops from the film industry and show business. The currently running show called Big Boss 7 Saath is no exception.

The leader of the pack in this show is the flop actor Armaan Kohli. He is like a bull in china shop. He picks up fights, hurls abusive language on contestants. Even as the show is only one month to conclude, he is always seen wearing shorts and a t shirt. He has the peculiar habit of sitting with his feet on the table and constantly shaking his legs which are indicative of deep seated insecure nature.

He is the son of director and film producer Raj Kumar Kohli and famous Punjabi actress of the old times Nishi. His real name is Munish. Raj Kumar Kohli used to make ensemble cast films. Jitendra, Dharmendra and Sunil Dutt were his favorite actors. His father in a bid to launch his son’s career, as is the case with many film personalities, introduced him in 1990 in the multi-starrer action film Virodhi under the name Arman Kohli. After the film was flop, he was cast by his father in Aulad Ke Dushman (1993) and Qahar (1997) which also failed.

In a last bid to launch his son successfully after a lull of many years, Rajkumar made Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani. It was a disaster and end of his film career. Only other acting Arman Kohli has done is Big Boss 7 where he seems to have carried with him his aggressive behavior and arrogance as the baggage. He seems to be having big faith in numerology which is evident from the ever changing spellings of his adopted screen name as Armaan, Aarman etc.

But one strange thing is if the public had rejected him in the past in his films how come he is safe to the end almost in this show despite his unpleasant and arrogant nature. What is the reason?.