Coherence (2014): Superposition of a dinner party

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Eight Friends meet up for a dinner party on the night a huge comet is supposed to be passing by the Earth. Things get stranger and stranger from there on.

James Ward Byrkit’s Coherence is a Sci-Fi film which tries to comprehend Quantum Physics. For beginners, let me tell you, quantum physics is inherently fuzzy.

A property of the particles in quantum universe is called Superposition. As per the theory, particles don’t exist in one state or the other, but in all of its possible states at once. I should be more clearer, I know. For example once you roll a die, according to quantum theory, the die exists in all its six states simultaneously.

When we observe a quantum object, we affect its behavior. Observation breaks an object’s superposition and the universe is literally duplicated, splitting into one universe for each possible outcome from the measurement. In case of our die… Once the observation is made, the universe splits into as many as the number of possible outcomes. In this case it is six, and within each universe the player has got one of the possible numbers.

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The State of Chaos and the need for Scientific Temper

It has been nearly seventy years since independence; India has come a long way. We put a probe in orbit around Mars, guys! Then again, parallelly exists an India still under clutches of superstition and irrational beliefs. Prejudice, gender inequality, injustice and whole load of stupidity is very resilient in here.

Men are lynched in public on basis of rumors and worse, the murderers get away, casteism is still prevalent even among the most educated Indians, we have politicians calling for astrology to be recognized as valid science, we have leaders spending crores on their own statues, we have posters of film actors being bathed in milk when their films are released, affluent people in flashy neighborhoods have disgusting pile of waste rise up in their backyard mainly due to their own apathy, we have ‘intellectuals’ engaged in shouting contests over who should eat what which is marketed as news debates, we have a media obsessed over cleavages of actresses.

Our thinkers are no different either. Continue reading

Moonward (Book Review)

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Moonward was on my to-read list for a long time because it was conceptualized and conceived by a figure named Appupen. The Malayali in me was quickly attracted to this seemingly abstract work of art. I consumed the book in a single sitting, which is not that hard with Moonward, what’s hard is comprehending it completely. Appupen’s Moonward is an engaging read. It graphically presents an absurd dystopian future. Its not a fun read though, its vicious, dark and brutally honest. I had to pore over it a couple of times to get a hang of it.

We are introduced to the fantastical universe of Halahala. A bright meteor flashes across the heavens and crashes into the primordial landscape. Life emerges from the spot where the meteor crashed. The plants and the animals evolves and within time Halahala is full of life. Soon the strong starts feeding on the weak… and inevitably a war erupts between the animals. To maintain peace among them, wisest of them all, a ‘Tortle’, tells them of a divine being called God who might invoke earthquakes and erupt volcanoes if they don’t behave themselves. He then goes onto draw an image of the God on a rock. Continue reading

Ten Observatories in India that is probing the Cosmos

Last month Indian Space Agency ISRO put a Space Observatory AstroSat around the Earth’s orbit. It was ISRO’s first scientific mission aimed at deeper understanding of the universe by observing the cosmos. However, India’s interest in space science is not a recently developed passion. From the monumental Sanskrit treatise on astronomy, Aryabhattiya, to the impeccable sundial, Jantar Mantar, India’s affair with astronomy has a fascinating history. Post independence, Indian researchers have been taking forward this legacy with renewed vigor. And they have been doing that with massive telescopes of varied kinds aimed at the cosmos.

Here’s a list of ten fabulous Observatories in India

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Why Kochi Airport’s environmental milestone deserves more ‘Likes’ than it recieved

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When it opened in 1999, Kochi Airport at Nedumbassery became a trendsetter by being the first ever Airport to be built under Private-Public Partnership model in India. It sure doesn’t boast of a magnanimous building with glass and steel structures unlike other major airports around the country, but with a simple traditional temple architecture one is sure to feel at home here.

16 years later, raising the bar for other Airports, Kochi achieved a major environmental milestone last August by becoming the first Airport in the world to be completely powered by Solar Energy.

A total of 46000 solar power panels are laid out across 45 acres of land near the cargo area. It is expected to produce maximum 12 Mega Watt of power under optimum conditions. They are providing around 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day significant enough to meet all the Airport’s electricity needs. Continue reading

Contact (1997) : Journey to the heart of Universe

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Brilliant performance by Jodie Foster is what makes this film must watch

Have you ever enjoyed an opening sequence of a film so much that you wished it never ended. Contact’s opening sequence is absolutely brilliant and for about two minutes you are lost in its awesomeness as the visuals zooms out of Earth into far end of the universe.

Robert Zemeckis’s (director of Forrest Gump) Contact happens to be one of my favorite science fiction films. Sure it doesn’t have lead protagonist battling in space or stranded in another planet to stay alive, it doesn’t have a magnanimous black hole into which our hero falls. Or a killer robot hellbent on eliminating our protagonist. No! but its a satisfying film to say the least. It doesn’t answer anything but help us get comfortable with our unawareness.

Towards the end Dr Ellie Arroway played by Jodie Foster, talking to a bunch of school kids, says that she will tell them one thing about the universe. That its big. Bigger than anything we ever imagined. And if its just us.. seems like an awful waste of space.

Indeed! Continue reading