A letter for forgiveness

Dear Electronics,

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I miss you. I really do. Once upon a time, when I was first confronted with the task of dealing with you as a subject, I didn’t quite like you. You did seem excellent and all, but the excitement of getting to know what components the electronic gadgets contained inside of them had faded when I realized there were too many equations and derivations that tagged along.

But now, I have to no more deal with the pesky little transistors, resistors, or capacitors. I do not have to bother about wearing an oversized khaki coat and black leather shoes to the laboratory. The diodes and the ICs can finally be free of this uncaring brat. The breadboard can finally rest in peace. But I cannot. I  had been uncaring, but when it’s time to bid you goodbye, I feel so empty inside… and bad, because I hadn’t treated you well all these days. I find that something is missing in my life without you.

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I confess… I didn’t quite like you at one point o’ time… although that would be nowhere near how much I despised signals and systems. I probably still don’t like signals and systems and other communication stuff, but I wanted to tell you that even after two years have passed, I still like you.

Seems like I haven’t moved on, after all. Anyway. have a great future ahead. I can foresee great improvements in the near future. There might be someone else who deserves you, after all. Though, I have to tell you, I’ll never stop liking you for the rest of my life.

Yours detest-less-ly,

Akila.

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Methane extraction?

Recently, my friend showed me a video that explained the harm caused by coal bed methane extraction.

Methane, which serves as an excellent source for natural gas, is situated deep inside the earth(formed as a by-product when coal is formed), and we need to bore wells very deep inside the earth and relieve the trapped gas by extracting all the water above it. It’s trapped beneath the water’s pressure, and that is why the water is taken out, so that the methane could be offered a bit of liberty before being captured again by the humans. The remaining ground water that will be left deeper down will be easily contaminated by the heavily toxic chemicals that are used in this process. Some chemicals are even rumoured to be radioactive!

The water is wasted and discharged elsewhere, and life is threatened anywhere around these wells. Even if there was any, salty water of the coal beds would easily mix with the water present (not to mention the chemicals too) and the water would no more be fit for agriculture or domestic purposes. Not to mention the amount of sand needed to build these wells… they might eat up a significant amount of sand from at least a couple of beaches (or maybe more)! And hey, do you know how much water is even needed for all of this?

Read this to know more. This site says that an average of 15 or so gallons of pure water per minute is wasted during extraction.

Horrifying, isn’t it?

A plan to extract methane from the district of Thanjavur, in Tamil Nadu was proposed by some company. Around 2,000 such wells had been planned to be built in and around Thanjavur, it seems. A case was filed against this and went on for long. Fortunately, though, everyone realized the effects caused by this, and the plan was then dropped – the company seems to have lost the case.

If the project had been approved, then Tamil Nadu could have gone to the brink of extinction, and a few states around it would have also suffered the repercussions. Methane is a very clean natural source for fuel, but this is no reason to destroy our environment. After all, nature’s a gift given to us. It has never been ours alone.

Missile preparation at home simplified: an easy, step-by-step procedure.

My father had been a senior scientist officer (or whatever he had been) in DRDL, and has probably been around missiles and stuff for decades, but has never told me a thing about the chemical components needed to prepare one. Anyway, that never stops me from discovering it out by myself. And reveal it to my dearest fellow bloggers, of course.

So… you want to prepare a missile, you say? And destroy that ONE place that has been bothering you since a while. And you need my help for that?

Being the generous genius that I am, I consent! I shall assist you in making it and successfully test-firing it onto your own enemy-land! Now here’s the procedure how to do so…

Ingredients needed:

1. Sulphur (three oh two grams)
2. Potassium Nitrate (three hundred and forty two and a quarter teaspoonfuls of saltpetre, to be precise)
3. Charcoal (fully charred, and decorated with silver glitter-pens for the best effect)
4. A matchstick.
5. A huge plastic bottle.
6. Silicon dioxide
7. H2O (maintained at 100 degree Celsius for seven minutes)
8. A goodbye note (on a red cardboard, please)
9. A strong bell

That will be all.

But, as you have noticed, when I say ‘sulphur’, or ‘saltpetre’, you might fumble through the keys on your keyboard and google how you can find them. Worry not, dear friend, researching about missiles will only alert your internet security provider or whoever it is who is supposed to be watching you that you’ve gradually become a terrorist. We don’t want that now, do we?

I have done all the things and have gathered all the info. So, the only effort from your side is going to be… the making. Never bother yourself with trivial searches, my busy terrorist-friend.
What do we need first? Sulphur.

We don’t want to go to a chemical store or wherever and ask them for “302 grams of Sulphur please”, because they are likely to find out what you’re up to and inform the police. Being the smarter persons, we will not do that. We are revolutionists and scientists in a way! We know that sulphur will be found in volcanic eruptions!

And so, we travel to Mount Etna. (I highly recommend Etna, but you may choose Hawaii if you will.) Please do not choose any other volcanic mountain, because you’re not allowed to research about it in the internet because your ISP or whoever it is who watches over people doing sneaky things in the net already figured you’d do this and is watching your next move and is waiting for you to google about missiles, and because Etna is a cooler choice when compared to volcanoes I don’t know of. You can visit Syracuse nearby. It’s a very lovely city, I tell you.
I know it’s lovely because I have a very good imagination. My long-abandoned novel was based on it. It’s the hub of the Mediterranean and what more’s needed? We’re going there to dig out the cool yellowy stuff that we need to make our missile.

After that’s done, our next plan is to get potassium nitrate. Though this is a top secret, I’m telling you because… well, as I said, I’m generous. *Whispers*Caves belonging to the early-man might contain saltpetre! You just have to step on the dust of the cave and see if you can see your footprints or not after a day. If you do, then we have to look for another cave. If not, well, we’ve found niter-dust! And that will be our base for potassium nitrate.

If you do not like History as I do, and if you do not take pleasure in venturing to Sicily just because you have to get some spoonfuls of dust, you have an alternative: animal excreta. I know! Interesting indeed!
After that, we’re going to go to the jungles, and if you’re a social volunteer or an environment-caretaker or a nature-lover, then forget about your beloved trees for a moment and axe a few trees and burn them, because you’ve already decided on terrorism. There’s no backing away. Not to be afraid of trees.
Forty three minutes before the trees turn to ash, extinguish the fire. Do you have charred wood now? Perfect. Pack it into your duffel bag. We’ll need it.

Next, we need a bit of water and clay to ensure the three substances stick together no matter what. So do take a waste bottle from your home and half-fill it with a mixture of silicon dioxide and hot H2O. Then, add the specified amount of sulphur, saltpetre and a handful of charcoal into the bottle and seal it tightly.

Decorate it with the ‘Goodbye’ note, so that your best friends in that place where you’re going to fire will be able to get your message before they die. Make it red to give a devilish look. They need to realize the urgency and your hard-work to look terrifying. After all, deciding that you’re a terrorist will alone not suffice, will it?
Next, make a hole with a nail and inject the wick inside, so that it touches the disgusting paste inside (never give up because of the smell. Always remember how far you’ve gone for Sulphur and what lengths you’ve gone to extract saltpetre). And then, take out the matchstick and take it very, very near to the wick… and stop there.
Now, shake the bell. Hear that sound? That’s called conscience. It’s pricking you, because you haven’t done anything, and this genius blogger has told you the whole procedure. So, I’m being considerate here, and giving you a chance to do-it-yourself. Exciting stuff can happen only once, so snatch this opportunity away!
Do it yourself space:

Now, it’s time for your lazy brain to think of some super-genius-Akila-ish technique to light it without dying. I will never promise that this super-genius missile will never burst right away. After all, there were no propellants installed. 😀

But… big-hearted as she is, Akila always comes to your aid in times of distress. Here’s a clue: Newton’s third law. Missile propellants are based on this law.

So, the whole ‘propellant thing’ is simplified, thanks to me remembering this little tip from my science textbook a few years ago. Basically… you just need to fire your propellants downwards with a strong force. Due to the ‘strong and opposing force’ that Newton promised, the missile will move up and attack your enemy-place. Easy, isn’t it?

Now you go find out more about the missile propellants. I’m done with sulphur and saltpetre. *sighs out loud.*