Saturday 28 February 2015

HiD Lights

I recently read that a high end car to be launched on the Indian roads is going to have Laser assisted lighting.  I immediately wondered about the plight of the poor pedestrians on the road who may get fried by these lasers!!!

Some people looked at me condescendingly and explained that its a new form of technology - that the lasers by themselves dont light up the road - they light up a gas and the illuminated gas lights up the road - its too complex for laymen like me to understand etc etc.

Well I may not understand all that high end tech but even as  a layman, i know that most of our cars are equipped to be fitted only with the ubiquitos yellow bulb. For some time even halogen bulbs were considered illegal (I think they still are). Then came the fully illegal HID kits and later OEM fitted HID lights on high end cars.  As if all that was not enough, someone designed these high tech laser lights.

Lasers when misalligned can cause dangers to people in front of them but as Laser lights are still too far away to be available freely on the streets, let us examine the immediate danger i.e HID lights.

HID stands for High intensity discharge and these bulbs are now being installed as a standard fit on some luxury cars and as an after market fitment for many other cars.  The advantages are as follows:-
1.  They draw lower power
2.  They last a longer time
3.   Higher illumination and resultant higher range
4.   Cool white glow with bluish tinge
5.   Better night time visibility - so more safer

But look at the disadvantages:-
1. Use inert gas so they place a strain on environment
2. May leak into sorrounding environment or into the car
3. Misalligned HID after market kits may not illuminate roads properly and may cause accidents
4.Blue light may cause problem in foggy/low visibility conditions
5.   Excessive heating up due to poor heat dissipation

but the more important ones are :-

as you can see, the disadvantages weigh far in excess of the advantages.  Its time companies rethink on OEM fitment of HID lamps & Laser lamps.  

They could concentrate on LED lighting as they are more cost effective, cooler (as all heat is used up to light up only) and safer!!!

Lastly - if you still have a compulsive urge to install HID kit for your car then -
1. do not install bi-xenon kits where there is a HID lamp for both low and high beams. HID on high beam can be very disconcerting and blinding for traffic in opposite direction and may cause accidents which could involve you also
2. Install HID for low beam only
3. For high beam, use conventional yellow bulb (preferable) or halogen

Happy driving to you and those in your opposite direction!!!

Monday 23 February 2015

Swine Flu

(This is not a medical article but more about every day simple practices which all of us can do to avoid getting contaminated)

My daughter had severe diaorrhea a few days back and we visited a doctor for the same.  After running through a few tests he recommended me to get her tested for swine flu.  Why 'Swine flu?' i protested and added ' we dont eat pork!!'.  The Doctor gave me an disbelieving look and advised me to read up on Swine flu.  My short study revealed some startling facts and I wish to share them here:-

1. first and foremost -  why is it called swine flu - because initially only people who had contact with pigs had the infection.  subsequently new strains have emerged where people who had no contact also started getting infected.

2. Swine flu virus which was originally endemic to pigs is part of the family of flu viruses. The present known viruses are H1N1,H1N2, H2N1, H2N3, H3N1, H3N2 with the most (notoriously) famous being H1N1.

3. Chances of contracting the flu by eating pork are minimal to negligible.  They can't be ruled out 100% though. So it is better to stay off pork atleast for the time being.

4. Swine flu is contagious. when an infected person sneezes or coughs, he spreads tiny droplets of this virus into the air. When you come in contact with these droplets either in the air, or on a sink or a commode you get infected.

5.  The symptoms of swine flu are the same as that of flu which are cough, sore throat, fever, running nose, head ache, body aches, and chills with fever.

6.  Who are at max risk? - people who have low immunity - largely children below 5 years, adults above 60 years, people with chronic lung, pulmonary or liver infections or sleep deprived people etc.

What you can do if you have any of the symptoms

1.   Consult your doctor immediately
2.  He may recommend a swine flu test for you. It costs about Rs5000/- in India. Check for local Government/Municipal body approved rates in your area.  It may also be free in some Govt facilities. Pse check on those also.
3.  Buy a face mask for the patient to avoid the virus travelling by his coughing or sneezing. Change it regularly and dispose off the old one by burning.
4. Sanitise all the areas around the patient regularly with disinfectant and water.
5.   Keep the patient atleast for 10 days at home
6.   Give plenty of rest
7.  Give fluids ORS/Elecktral and water/juices regularly to avoid getting dehydrated.

What you can do to avoid getting contaminated
(It may not possible to follow some of these owing to your work committments or your life style or some other constraints, but it is still good to know these, so that you are better informed)

1.    Avoid cold and confined spaces (for example: air conditioned spaces) as they may not have suficient recirculation in case of the virus in the space.

2.    Avoid crowded areas(atleast temporarily).

3.   Wear a face mask and gloves where possible especially if you are travelling abroad.

4.   Limit Air travel where possible as Aircraft with their limited air circulation systems and travel between different cities, can be easy cariers of the virus.

5.   Take plenty of rest - atleast eight hours of sleep keeps the body fighting fit and you are more likely to ward off any infection in this state.

6.   Avoid Stress (easier said than done considering our life styles but make an effort to reduce atleast)

7.   Exercise (a brisk walk for 30 minutes would do) in open spaces preferable morning sun rise time.  Not only do the morning rays do wonders to your vitamin D levels but the exercise itself raises the fitness levels of the body in multiple ways.

8.  Have plenty of fruit juices especially of citrus fruits.  They naturally boost immunity and act against the flu virus.

9.  Avoid processed/junk foods especially pizza, burger and the likes as they lower your immunity to fight swine flu.  Wean your children off chips/kurkure etc (I am unsuccessful myself but I try every day)

10.   Add more turmeric and Tulsi to your diet.

11.   Avoid Public Toilets/Wash rooms to the extent possible.  

12.  Carry a good hand sanitiser and use it  when you come in contact with possible points of infection (door knobs, wash basins, commodes, railings etc ).  Both dettol and lifeboy have good hand sanitisers available in india costing about Rs 60/-

13.   Avoid anti biotics before the infection.  A school of thought suggests that having antibiotics prior to an infection may be detrimental but you may discuss it with your family doctor and take an informed decison. Remember it is caused by a virus and not bacteria.

14.  Similarly antacids suppress acids in the stomach and this suppression may lead to increased chances of pnuemonia.  As pnuemonia is a main cause of death in swine flu infection, usage of antacids may also be discussed with your family doctor.

I hope this article serves to clear the air in some minds like mine who were otherwise clueless about this infection.  Please take care and remain fit n fine.

Sunday 15 February 2015

Censor Chief bans 36 cuss words!!

Hats off to the Censor Chief for showing the courage and conviction to take such action.  I did not know who he was before becoming censor chief or what kinda films he made - but this is one decison he took in the right direction.

Many words such as MC,BC,F****, SH**(THIS IS BIG TIME), TERI MAA ki etc are slowly slipping into main stream cinema.  These words were non existent in earlier movies but these days we find even the women characters mouthing such expletives. So, somewhere down the line, the censor board became more flexible probably giving in to the demands of the so called 'creative' people.  

If somebody finds creativity in using cuss words, its time somebody told them that, it is sheer nonsense. As the audience I cringe everytime the lead actors swear as I have small children with me watching the movie.  I dont want them to hear these words!! If they hear these words repeatedly i fear that they may get de-sensitised to their use and may find it normal.  The big actors need to be doubly careful in using such words because the common man would think - if such a big actor uses them, then it must be ok and he also would attempt using such words as a display of his macho-ism.

In addition, the rising crimes against women can also be traced to 'itemisation' of women and violence against women in films. Women are referred as 'maal', 'bomb', 'item' etc. for heavens sake - 'item'? - is she a dish? - and this word is so main streamed now - item girl and item song have become ubiquitous with hindi cinema now.  With all the 'A' list heroines willing to shake their hips and titillate the audience with their skin show albeit very 'creatively', majority of men look at all women in the same way - just as 'items'. The violence against women shown in the movies also alters the mind s of yound inviduals where eve teasing, assault, slapping of heroines and rapes are routinely shown.

Neither the producers nor the actors are able to define the limits of this so called 'creativity'.  They are stretching it in every film.  There was a south indian heroine who famously stated that she wanted to shed even the two piece bikini she wore but the censors wouln't let her!!! and that was 25 years back!!! You can imagine what would be the state today!!! I cant even understand why people are making so much fuss about 'not using cuss words' in movies. Isn't that a move in the right direction?!!! how is any creativity  being nixed in that? and still if someone thinks so - so be it!!! we as audience dont want such creativity!!
Today, just take a moment and think - how many movies can a family watch together without any embarassing moments?!!!!

Therefore, our cinema needs a tough headmaster to ensure that social values are upheld and that there is no further degradation of cinema.  We also need to think - What is the message we want to send to our next generation? How do we want to portray ourselves to them?

There are also the censor chief's detractors who say that he made some really bad movies way back.  But the point is - when he made them he was just the film maker and if the film was bad, it was the then censor board's duty to check it.  If they didnt (which i dont know anything about), then it was their failure.  That should not prevent that same film maker from discharging his present duty (as the censor board chief) in a committed and upright manner in the interest of the youth of our great Nation.

Women's safety and Flying Camera phones!!!

 A Wonderful post copied from Digital Messiah   Have you heard of Flying camera Phones?   Chances are that many of you did not! Smart phone ...