Oct 21, 1879 – the day light came to the world

The world lived in utter darkness since time immemorial and perhaps would have continued to do so for many more years till on this day, the 21st October, Thomas Alva Edison invented the first incandescent light bulb in 1879. Although, he was neither the first nor the only person trying to invent an incandescent light bulb, as there have been others trying to do what Edison did and took the lead.

The very bulb today lightens up our dark nights and one doesn’t feel whether it is day or night. An incandescent lamp is glass tube in which a filament is heated to incandescence by an electric current. Today’s incandescent light bulbs use filaments made of tungsten rather than carbon of the 1880’s. To these bulbs, now another revolutionary invention of energy saver bulbs has been added, which produce more energy and light with lesser electrical input as compared to an ordinary an incandescent bulb.

Edison lived with 1,093 patents issued to him than any other inventor till date. Besides this revolutionary invention, Edison is also credited with inventing the phonograph and the motion-picture camera, besides making contributions in the fields of telegraphy, telephone communications, and several business procedures. He even predicted the idea of an aero plane as far back as 1871, when he said on New Year’s Day, 1871, “A Paines engine can be so constructed of steel & with hollow magnets . . . and combined with suitable air propelling apparatus wings . . . as to produce a flying machine of extreme lightness and tremendous power.”

I could go on and on but it would better to read the following link on the man who brought light to the world on this day October.

Read more about The Undiscovered World of Thomas Edison

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Save Earth – at your end

Efforts are well underway all over the world to save earth from the green house effect. Everyone is talking and attending conferences – world leaders are making pledges to reduce the heat by capping the outflow of harmful gases. But by and large, the large segment of the society is unaware of their obligations in reducing the heat they are unnecessarily generating or adding substances that argument to piling up of the hazardous gases. So isn’t it time for us – the ordinary people to do small things at home, which can add up in a collective effort to be really meaningful at community, country and the world over.

 

Here are some “small steps’ that can turn into “one big leap” for the rest of the people, humanity and the future generations:
  • Waste less water everyday and drink TAP water instead of bottled water (which is being consumed in huge quantity these days) as the wasted away bottles add to pollution. When washing or taking a bath, try cold or lukewarm water rather than hot water, for which your geyser would burn longer, consuming more gas and emitting more heat into the environment.
  • Walk when you can instead of going short distance in your car. A research says that keeping one car off road two days a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,590 pounds per year. So for picking up a few grocery items, jog up to the nearest store (or even stroll down) – it will do good to your health too.
  • When going shopping, pick up those products with least packaging as packaging when wasted (and if not recyclable) would be harmful.
  • Use energy saver bulbs that last much longer than a standard bulb and use at least two-third less energy.
  • Make your homes more energy efficient by using solar geysers and lights rather than burning gas. Put your geyser thermostat at pilot or at Low so that the entire night geyser doesn’t run like a bull for no useful requirement when you are asleep.
  • Turn off lights when not required as heat emitted from the unwanted bulbs adds up to raise the temperature all over the world.
  • A few words about driving. Ensure your car tyres are inflated properly. Under inflated tyres decrease fuel economy by 3-5%, which means more pollution. Likewise drive at a constant 90-100 kmph (around 60mph) as any higher acceleration will consume extra fuel and extra burning, more heat release in the atmosphere.
  • And one last thing, use less sprays of all kinds, specially those that emit CFC (chlorofluorocarbon), for these are deadly in depleting the ozone layer. Next time you go shopping, beware of sprays made of CFC.

So you see, with such a small effort, we can actually make a lot of difference in reducing the temperature that will add to our efforts to save earth.

Remembering that dreadful morning of 8th October 2005

The morning of 8th October 2005 was no different from the previous mornings for many decades in Pakistan till about 8:50 am when a powerful earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale jolted Pakistan’s northern areas of Balakot, Mansehra and many parts of Azad Kashmir (Pakistan administered part of Kashmir) including its capital Muzaffarabad, besides Rawlakot and Bagh. Within next ten minutes, the entire cities perished and turned into piles of rubble. As the daily scores rose, an estimated 100,000 lost their lives, 3-4 millions became homeless, including over 80-90,000 seriously wounded. A majority of the people who died consisted of school and college students.

As the days went by, the damage reports swelled. We lost some 600,000 houses, completely razed to ground, 7,000 schools totally destroyed (burying under them smiling children who had left their mothers with their innocent smiles just an hour ago). The powerful quake destroyed over 200 link bridges that made rescue operations extremely difficult. Hats off to the soldiers of Pakistan Army, who carried food and clothes in their backpacks to climb the treacherous mountains to reach to the people left in the open and who brought back sick and wounded on their backs on their way back. The overall losses were around $ 5.5 billion.

Five years after today, although much damage has been restored, there are still many who have yet to be rehabilitated. Many schools are still to be built and countless people long for the rebuilding of their houses that turned into rubble. While the world wide opened its arms and donated generously as the then government did not have credibility problem. Plane loads came in waves to bring relief goods, while Pakistanis wholeheartedly supported their brethren in distress.

The earthquake left behind thousands of lamenting tales behind – of children that died when the school roofs fell and of teachers who died saving the little children. Just yesterday, there was news that a boy was reunited with his mother since he got separated from her on that fateful day. But many women still lament the loss of their children; brothers grieve for their siblings, while fathers and husbands cry for their children and wives.

We have hardly overcome the shock, when this year flash floods added to the miseries of many more. I do not know how much time it would take for the rehabilitation of people from Swat to seashore of Arabian Sea and the rebuilding of the many more bridges, schools, buildings and roads. I only pray for no more wraths from the Nature and hope we recover from the aftershocks, and live again.

Related Links:

Earthquake 2005

Lamenting Scars of the Soul

Blog Action Day 2010 – Water

Have you ever wondered that while you can buy bottled safe drinking water from the market, more than one billion people around the world cannot afford this luxury of clean drinking water? Join countless bloggers around the world to participate in the Blog Action Day to raise awareness about the clean and safe drinking water for those who cannot afford it or don’t have access to it. Remember access to clean water is not just a human rights issue – it is an environmental, animal welfare, and sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and affects all of us.

Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. So be part of the fifth Blog action Day 2010 which is dedicated to the accessibility to clean drinking water. The theme was chosen by vote on Change.org’s blog, with Collis and Cyan Ta’eed as its co-creators.

Those who haven’t heard of the Blog Action Day, may I add for their information that it is all about grass root level activism, based on the philosophy that ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference. Join the cause and celebrate the day with your own post at your own blog, as I have.

Photo courtesy: Diets in Review.com