Tech Ramblings…

By Dr. T

Anoushey…T minus 8 hrs to launch…thank you Yoda…

So Anousheh Ansari’s big day has finally arrived. She is all set to launch in eight hours for the stars as part of a crew on board the Russian built Soyuz. This space vehicle has become the worlds most used space launch vehicle and has been taking astronauts and cosmonauts into space for the last five decades.

Another interesting find, these days the hottest blog on wordpress is Anoushey’s space blog. No surprises there…

When she touches down around October, which is also the month of the previous Ansari X prize winner, Space Ship One’s. second anniversary, she will unveil Ansari X Prize for 2006, Weblink here., titled “X PRIZE CUP ’06 – Moon 2.0”.

We all wish Anoushey a safe and pleasant journey.

Want to thank our mentors:
Also interestingly, if you want to thank the higher intelligence “alien” beings for transferring such technologies such as the internet, space launches, and other cool gadgets to us over the past 50 years, you can do so now. National Geographic has set up a website called Humans Need Help. to show our appreciation to all they have done for us. Through this project, anyone can compose a short message for our alien friends and beam it into space, from where our historical mentors are proudly watching us at this time. I bet it would be a proud moment for our space venturing mentors…

Also, check out the funky music video that National Geographic is playing these days in tribute to the aliens :P…

–Live well and prosper…ZOINK…

— Tashfeen.


September 18, 2006 Posted by | Space | Leave a comment

Anybody for scuba..

I’ve been planning to go scuba dive for the past one month but just havent got around to actually going ahead. A few days ago, I got hold of the canon powershot A610. Now I’m waiting to get my hands on the underwater shooting kit that comes with it and using that as motivation to go dive….

As a side show, I’ve been planning a vacation trip somewhere close to home. And just south west of Pakistan (about 435 mi south-west of Sri Lanka to be exact), I found an island paradise, Maldives . Surprisingly, I knew very little of this nation of tiny islands and how far ahead it is as an island resort. Heres what I could gather about it and have marked it as my next vacation spot for sure…

Info about Maldives, Wiki Reference:

1. Maldives is the smallest muslim country, south west of Sri Lanka.
2. Its the smallest Asian country that is a member of the UN
3. Research indicates that as early as 2000 BC, Maldives lay on the maritime trading routes of early Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Indus Valley civilizations.
4. With eighty-six tourist resorts in operation, the year 2000 recorded 467,154 tourist arrivals.
5. And my favorite, the best past time for tourists are white sand beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling, ocean line cruises, nightlife, and shopping.

So Maldives has to be in schedule for the next vacation ;).

— Tashfeen.

September 16, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

blog…what blog??? prepare to be assimilated….

Writers block…

But wait, its just cured. Just now, I was talking to a friend of mine whose a doctor. He asked me simple question. “What is a blog, its supposedly the IN thing. I want to know more about it so that I can jump on it too…”.

Simple enough answer right. But no, since I’m a techie, I suffer from what the people call “number of electricians changing a light bulb” syndrome. I’ll start off real simple and even though I know the other person has got the real gist of things, but I want to go on and on and explain to him in finer details.

And there I go. Social networking, RSS feeds, posts, ping back….BUT WAIT, not this time. This time I simply let my mind wander off like Dr. John Dorrian from Scrubs and stopped right there instead of ‘thinking out loud’.

So instead of doing what I usually WOULD HAVE done under normal circumstances and explaining in long detail about what a blog is, I just answered and I quote myself in msn messenger text:

//Tashfeens Chat with his physician friend whose a non techie and wants to know more about Blogging

Tashfeen – says:
its some peoples way of saying that they currently are trying to expand their social life without getting out of their cozy homes…and some are more successful than others…

friend says:
but how does it work. how do run a blogg?

Tashfeen says:
just visit any blog site like:

// Here the author gives his friend web urls of various blog sites…

Tashfeen says:
and make a blog…

friend says:
hmmm , nah man ive already t much to do…

friend says:
wudnt wanna add another thing to my list..

now wasnt that too simple. Its not like i’ve told him to initiate the warp reactor by fiddling with the quantum matrix crystals :p…therefore proof, that most people shy away from blogs because they think that blogs are too technical and hence only for techies…

still the trend is fast catching on…

Question: What is a blog?
Answer: GEEKS R US…prepare to be assimilated…

enjoy the weekend…:)


September 12, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Shaukat Khanum Cancer treatment and Research Hospital

There are only a few things in this world that bring people joy and true sense of acheivement. Charity is one of those things. And what better way to kick it off than a charity drive for a cause. These days Imran Khan , Pakistans former cricket team captain and currently an active politician is running a charity drive for his cancer treatment and research hospital, the Shaukat Khanum Cancer treatment and Research Hospital. Along with him are former Miss World, Shushmita Sen and another former Pakistan cricket team captain Wasim Akram. Their live charity drive telethon is being broadcasted on Geo TV throughout the 9th and 10th of September. Additional information on the telethon broadcast schedules and timings, the donations hotline, and charity pledges hotlines is available at this website.

Imran Khan founded the hospital after winning the world cup for Pakistan in early 90s. Both running the hospital and treatment of cancer patients are done through charities, zakat, and donations from people all over the world. Therefore the treatment for the poor is completely free.

They have a set donations mark that they are trying to acheive for this years patient treatment and any amount of donations would help a great deal. People can get additional details and make pledges and donations through the Shaukat Khanum Hospital Website.

In addition, a very cool Red Wrist Band Campain for Cancer Patients treatment with ‘Cancer is curable’ engraved on it has been initiated by the doctors and TOTAL Parco Pakistan Ltd. These wrist bands are also available at select Bata shoe stores across Pakistan.

Lets help drive cancer into yesterdays problem…

Again important websites for contributions and additional information:

Shaukat Khanum Website

Hot lines, Hot pledges, online donations, additional information, click me

Cool Wrist Band Campaign

— Tashfeen.

September 9, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Of gods, cylons, and stars..

“There are those who believe… that life here… began out there. Far across the universe. With tribes of humans… who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians… or the Toltecs… or the Mayans… that they may have been the architects of the Great Pyramids… or the lost civilizations of Lemuria… or Atlantis… Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man… who even now fight to survive… somewhere beyond the heavens.”

Excerpts BattleStar Galactica Website

This is one heck of a show. It brings together some very scientific, mythical, religious, and historical beliefs that we as humans adhere to in a very thrilling and edge-of-the-seat entertainment. A very interesting concept brought forth. Questions such as where do we come from. Are we really an amnesiac race. Forgotting our technologically advanced past through all the wars fought over the past few millennia. Questions not directly shown in the show but one thinks about later on. Such as the building of Egyptian Pyramids, the myth of Atlantis, and the civilization of the Mayas. The artefacts these civilizations left…their purpose, their design, their significance wrt the cosmos and constellations, etc. I would like to talk more about the pyramids and their history but thats another lengthy post, so I’ll stack this idea somewhere for later and adhere to WHY I love this show.

To bring these questions to life, the authors have linked our age old mythical beliefs about our birth stars. The planets that humans are shown to inhabit, called colonies, are based in our constellations ie Planet Caprica in the Capricorn constellation, Planet Arron in aries, Planet Sagitton in Sagitarius etc. Smart analogy. Twelve colonies in total. Twelve human tribes. Spread across the cosmos. A thirteenth tribe is said to exist called Earth. Its location unknown. Its existence, a myth. The thirteenth tribe is shown as being us, humans on this planet. This is the thirteenth tribe that BSG is looking for throughout space….

Continue reading

September 9, 2006 Posted by | Space, Technology Talk | Leave a comment

Junk mails and human DNA. The sky ‘is’ falling on our heads…

Remember those pesky junk mails that we often get…spam, unsolicited, and annoying. Well now that junk spam has turned a new leaf. However, this new discovery doesnt contain messages such as “You’ve won the lottery”, or “I am a wealthy businessman looking to transfer funds to your account..” etc etc. This ones much closer to our genes. Scientists have discovered a junk mail container in our very own DNA. One that may possibly have been tampered with. But just who has been tampering with this storage space…

Scientists have discovered large chunks of junk DNA in our genome that seemingly have no useful purpose (non that they can decipher up till now). These genes are highly stable and people are already brewing up cosmic conspiracies. According to an article by Professor Paul Davies of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, this junk DNA may have been utilized by aliens when they visited thousands of years ago. They may have discovered it and implanted encoded messages in it. Sounds like science fiction right out of “Chariots of the Gods”

But wait, there’s more!

September 6, 2006 Posted by | The Human genographic Project | Leave a comment

My BOINC predicts weather, do you have a BOINC…

Is the world spinning out of control around us or what. Hurricane frequency on the rise on the Atlantic, tsunami triggering earthquakes, and now the latest, early summer in Europe. Climatologists say its a regular cycle that repeats itself over hundreds of years (typical in loops of every 30 yrs), while global warming experts blame the CFCs and other industrial grade pollutants. Whatever the reason, the climate shift is taking place again. This may come as a cooling effect for some countries, while for others may face the brunt of the heat, hurricanes and monsoons.

I thought it’d be interesting to re-visit my contributions to the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project. And in the process, ” Continue reading

September 2, 2006 Posted by | Earth Bio-Sciences and SETI | Leave a comment

Pakistani ‘daughter of the soil’ to go on VSS Galactica..

“Cap’in Archer. The Andorian ship is hailing Enterprise. What should we do”…”Hello Pink-skin…”…

This looks like an early episode from the first season of Star Trek (Enterprise). Since my last post is tagged in the ‘space‘ category, my interest in the dark expanse has been reignited. I recently learnt that a Pakistani artist Namira Salim, is part of the crew of seven people who will head into space in Virgin Galactica’s and Scaled Composite’s  “VSS Enterprise” in 2008. This is the first commercial venture taking people to space and will mark as a forerunner to the space age tourism.

Last year, I was hooked on a documentary on Discovery Channel titled “Black Sky: Winning the X Prize“. ” Continue reading

August 31, 2006 Posted by | Space, Technology Talk, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

— Pluto stripped of title, watch out Goofy

Here’s a question that has baffled me ever since I was young. Mickey is a mouse, Donald is a duck, Pluto is Mickey’s pet dog…then whats Goofy. Isnt the spot for the clumbsy dog already taken :o. And how come Goofy is a bipod, talks, and wears clothes while Pluto is left on all fours, sniffing, and barking :P. Sounds like this judgement has affected astronomers and scientists in the past as well…but no more.

Just this week, astronomers and scientists from The International Astronomical Union (IAU) finally passed a verdict defining what ‘planets’ are. And in the process, unravelled that our heavenly body, Pluto, is no longer categorized as a planet  (remember Steven Spielberg’s  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – thats what ET was trying to tell us when he pointed to the solar system mde of stress balls and the geometry set in the movie). Finally someone listened to the alien. 

Look at him, so dumbfounded. I feel for you Pluto ol’ boy.


Pluto, the lovable Mickey Mouse dog, the Greek God of the underworld, the controversial planet X now finds itself amongst the smaller celestial bodies of the solar system ie asteroid… ” Continue reading

August 30, 2006 Posted by | Earth Bio-Sciences and SETI, Space | Leave a comment

–Tech Ramblings goes “Technorati”

I’m quite fascinated by this blog. I recently searched up my feedstat and blogstat and am surprised I have quite a few readers to this blog already. This is really humbling considering this blogs only been up for four days. I thought I’d see how my blog is doing in terms of a graphical form and this is what wordpress turned up:

Continue reading

August 29, 2006 Posted by | Technology Talk, The Human genographic Project | 2 Comments