Monday, May 10, 2010

South Asian Supermen


Mr. Prahlad Jani is living for decades years without taking any food or water. The long-haired and bearded yogi was sealed in a hospital in the city of Ahmedabad in a study initiated by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the state defence and military research institute. If he is not deriving energy from food he must be deriving it from somewhere else such as sunlight? Now indian military is researching him with hope that one day Indian soldiers can also fight for days without food and drink. Read more of the AFP story here.

 Mr. Prahlad Jani  did not eat or drink for decades.


However, poor Mr. Faiz Mohammad from Pakistan was not so lucky. He was arrested at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport last night by startled airport security force with a weired pair of wired shoes with a cell phone power jack and on-off switch! (see picture below).

Faiz MohammadMr. Mohammad, a building constructor who was heading for Muscat in Oman, told investigators he bought the shoes from a market in Karachi and had no idea there were circuits hidden inside the soles. 'It is premature to say what was he up to. We are looking into the matter thoroughly,' police official Sohail Faiz said.

Mr. Faiz is in trouble for his shoes below:

Faiz MohammadFaiz Mohammad

Poor Mr. Faiz perhaps had no idea that what havoc his shoes can bring in post 9/11 world specially with his beard and look! Perhaps some kind of massage shoe? Sure these are cool for long flights.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First of Bangladeshi Islands Disappears in Global Sea Level Rise? Whales Discovered Nearby.

This photo taken Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 shows mangrove trees submerged in the river water in Sundarban delta, about 1487 miles south of Calcutta, India.
Last Photo taken in Dec 2009, Disappearing..

Remember South Talpotti? The Bangladeshi Island that was taken by Indian Navy? It has completely disappeared. On the other hand rich pod of Whales has been discovered in the nearby area in Bangladesh.

The 2.5 mile x 1.5 mile sized South Talpatti (or New Moore island) near Surderban has disapparead from Satellite imagery. India and Bangladesh both disputed its ownership for nearly 30 years. Now the problem has resolved sadly with its complete disappearance! Indian oceanographer Sugata Hazra a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta, reports submerging of additional islands nearby:

"Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half the land of Ghoramara island was underwater, he said. At least 10 other islands in the area were at risk as well".
The sea level has risen about 0.2 inches annually for last decade in the Bay of Bengal exceeding model predictions.

A similar endangered Sundarban Islands seen during a 2009 Trip in the area by the Author. The disappeared island is much bigger than this one.

South Talpotty island was discovered after the 1970's cyclone by an American satellite, and became a hot button issue between Bangladesh and its big neighbor India. In 1981 India sent its navy to post Indian flag on it and established a boarder guard camp on it. Now it has become a submerged mountain.

Thousands of desperate people- mostly poor- in the nearby islands are anyway planting Mangrooves for years to fight a loosing battle to slow down the erosion perhaps paying the price for rich nations indulgence with carbon.

However, it is also probable, that the island disappeared in a natural process of the channel dynamics rather than climate change as hypothesized by Dr. Hazara. The appearance and disappearance on char (river islands) is common in Bangladeshi rivers. In some cases they re-emerge after some years.

In any case, the actual Climate Change  is going to be devastating to the area. The entire melting of Himalayan ice will flow through this area! The Island is at the tip of the largest Mangroove forest in the world- Sundarban- the home of Royal Bengal Tiger- also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If the sea level rises Sundarban will be lost in 50-100 years.

But, ahoi! Instead of Royal Bengal Tiger and beautiful Chitra Deers- thence Sundorban might turn out to be the playground of Dolphins and Whales!

Whales in Bangladesh? 

Thats a sweet secret. The nearby sea area is also rich.The Swatch of No Ground- an undersea canyon is the playing ground for Irrawardy Dolphins.

Bangladeshi young researchers have discovered thriving pods of Whales right here.The author visited the area with the group twice in recent years in 2006 and 2009. It was delight to watch the activities of the young naturalists who have silently discovered the pods and regularly recording them for years by converting sea faring Sampan's into expeditionary vassel and increasing their area of observation over the years. A meeting  disclosed findinging in 2008- Earth Times reported:

Researchers have identified waters along Bangladesh's coast and deep in the Bay of Bengal as one of the richest areas on Earth for cetacean diversity. An amazing array of dolphins and whales live in these areas, the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society and Bangladesh's Cetacean Diversity Project said after conducting a joint study over the past six years.

See some lucky shots of "Bangal' whales in flicker here.

Whales in Bangladesh!  Photographed in Bangladesh's Swatch of No Ground area. For years, Bangladeshi research groups  observing and recording whale pods in the in Bay-of-Bengal. (Photograph: © Indranil Kishor/

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dhaka has Become Surprize Hub of Online Work

(RealTimeBangladesh, March 07, 2010)

Have you heard of online job? You work for none- but work as a freelance and bid for short term jobs online. Work comes coming!

The idea has been spearheaded by a company called ODesk from Menlo Park, Calif. which has seen its own business double each year since 2004. It hosts some 100,000 employers who post jobs they want done and about half a million freelancers around the world who bid on the work.
What kind of job these are? The online jobs have wide interesting ranges. It includes data entry, computer programming, animation design, translating to accounting. But there are fun ones too. One of the hottest demand is for blog writers. There is also need for email readers. Have a nice voice- put your voice to bid!

In February, oDesk freelancers worked 630,600 hours and earned $7.1 million. Its a small part of outsourced job but do represent a rapidly growing trend- perhaps a model for future service model.

In this little future- a surprise spot is for none but Bangladesh in a recent report published by oDesk. Dhaka ranked 4th among the cities from where the free-lancers are participating. As a country, Bangladesh ranked 7th- ahead of China! Guess- who is at #1 spot? Of course India.

According to ODesk there are about 2400 individuals participating from Bangladesh, who are earning an average hourly rate of $11.59. Not bad a 1000 Taka / hour. The Average quality feedback of Bangladeshi workers also ranked a tiny bit higher than our mighty big neighbor's (4.01 vs. 3.99).

Who is generating the jobs? Few surprise again:  Ukraine and Pakistan generated more online work than Canada or China.

Want to see upbeat talking heads, ministers and committee head in Bangladesh- The huge potential of Out Source? Well two caution notes for them:

Don't confuse it with Software Outsourcing. Software Outsourcing is mega billion dollar business. For example Beijing alone gets more than a billion, and have single companies which earns more than 100 million each!.

The nature of the online job auction is that it bypasses the weaknesses of our IT pondits and futile government efforts/projects, and even the taxmen. The smart online workers themselves are getting the job done.

So, how is the state of our software industry? 

The situation is murky. Even BASIS- the venerable association of software companies in Bangladesh only provides some informal writeup here to the world!- read here- unprofessional and the data is difficult to rely upon! A better report is this one but- unfortunately is 5 years old.

Why this poor shape? In fact, the cause can be traced back in late 80's when the first Computer Science Program was started in BUET in 1987. We did not have any teacher in Software Engineering (SE)! We had excellent teachers in Algorithm, in Digital Logic Design- but  simply none in  SE. Like many other areas nobody in BUET could realize the potential! To many IT gurus/leaders/planners (at that time and even now) programming and software engineering seems almost same! The country is still suffering from this birth defect after all these 22 years!

On the other hand you can see the excellent result in algorithms. Bangladeshi undergraduates- started doing excellent in programming contests. The problem is programming and software engineering are never never the same. Its like trying to be competitive with a modern Garment industry setup with few thousand singer sewing machines your mom was using.

(Wondering, what about VLSI/IC design? BUET kicked out the professor in  four years after he received the best researcher award there, and successfully nipped any potential in that line too!)

The problem of programming/SE mix up still continues. To fix the situation- Bangladesh have to start good SE programs and recruit proper expert teachers. There is no substitute for  knowledge!

Software jobs- and online jobs in general, can be illusive! Just because outsource arrived in India and Pakistan does not mean they will automatically come to Bangladesh.  For the very same reason they are coming to India- will take them away to Mexico, Thailand, Peru, Nigeria or Vietnam  bypassing us who are illprepared. In online world there is no physical problem to move a job from one country to another and bypassing other.

Digital Bangladesh: A Wish and a Dream?

A little sardarji once asked his father- how you got me? The father sadrarji was embarassed and told:
Hey boy- I sleep with your mother every night and pray to God. Thats it. After 10 months you come as a gift from God! But don't ask this question any more."
The little Sardarji never asked the question ever. He become grown up and married. But did not have a child even after trying for 10 months. So the sardarji and the wife both went to a doctor. Dr. asked them all the questions- how long they are married- Are they are sleeping together? Is he smoking drugs? What do they eat and drink? Nothing wrong can be found. Then the doctor did all the medical tests hoping to find something. But, nothing wrong could be found either. The doctor was really puzzled. So finally started asking deeper question:
When do you go to bed?
Moslty Baad Isha prayer.
What do you do then?
We get inside the chaddar.
Then what?
We talk together about the day’s activities.
Then what?
Then pray together to God for a son.
Then what?
Then someday we hug each other when it is cold.
 Then what?   
Then sometime we cry to God about forgiving our sins and not giving a child.
Then what?   
What else is there to do dr- at some point we fell as sleep and dream!!

The state of Bangladesh IT industry seems similar. Just sleeping together and waiting has not produced the baby in all these years- and is not likely to produce either. One need to know the real trick and do the prick-  what you call 'kam'! Just dreaming is not enough.

But, in the mean time want to try a day as online "Kamla"? Checkout here at oDesk.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shaheed Minar on The United Nation's First Page

Image of Shaheed Minar appears on the top page of UN website. Check out more about International Mothers Language Day 21st February.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

American T*** Hits IRS Office with Plane

The Austin attack has opened up an interesting debate in the American conscience. Is Mr. Joseph Stack a T****? The debate is a silent one for understandable reason.  The Plane attack has opened up a terrorism debate- where one side cannot talk. But it is in everyones mind.

So who is in which side? Even "progressive" blogs fails to call spade a spade. Huffington Post Report on the incident carefully  reports without the T*** word:

"A software engineer (???) furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire that sent workers fleeing for their lives.... At least one person in the building was missing."
Were the target of this attack not civilian? Is the victim different from the innocent victims of 9/11? Does the victim here need a memorial? Did Mr. Stack has a political agenda? Was there a political believe behind?  Here is his last manifesto that he signed off with his name and dated with a finality "(1956-2010) February 18th". A digital epitaph for self. A reader can judge by himself where to draw the line- what is political and what is not. But, here are two lines with near poetic rhyme:
"The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. 
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."
Is it political? Now he writes:
"violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."
Its amusing to watch that Media reports across  USA have avoided the T word. NBC's Mr. Pete Williams even said that this was not an act of Terrorism.  Why? According to him there are "a couple of reasons to say that . . . One is he's an American citizen.". This mister is a Stanford product!

The Goebblian logic is clear. You can guess the logic! Some live discussion can however can be found in Blogs.  Glenn Greenwald's article articulates the problem this way:
"The term now has virtually nothing to do with the act itself and everything to do with the identity of the actor, especially his or her religious identity."...
...A non-Muslim who flies an airplane into a government building in pursuit of a political agenda is not, or at least is not a Real Terrorist with a capital T -- not the kind who should be tortured and thrown in a cage with no charges and assassinated with no due process. Nor are Christians who stand outside abortion clinics and murder doctors and clinic workers."
Read this whole article. It cannot be explained better. In fact, one should not be surprised if the mainstream media would soon place this inconvenient event under rug!

To get the world rid of terrorism the first step is to accept the term in its genuine meaning- the act or targeting civilian's- and we must call a spade a spade- irrespective of who is doing it- be it a government, group or individual.

Unfortunately, those who refuse to define the term- but use it only the way they want to use it- celebrate when civilian deaths continue as their crusade against undefined terrorism continues. People who does not have say in media may be silent - but they are not fools. This is how this manifesto states:
"The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this [Violence is the only answer] all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along."
Whether MSM calls him T*** or not- paragraph by paragraph this manifesto exposes the making of a Flying Human Bomb- made-in-USA with 100% American material.

A perfect person to begin with- perhaps an overly optimistic rational person.Then the growing feeling of desperation- then the feeling how a powerful system is coming crushing.The person would first try various rational things in his means to seek remedy staying within the system. But then the feeling that there is no recourse within. The ultimate hopelessness.Then the growing realization about hypocritical standards. The sense of injustice. Somebody else doing a bigger crime is being rewarded. Then the anger. Finally, the ultimate realization about the destructive power of mortality. Every one has at least one life to spare. By this time even if that means irrational self-destruction - where the first victim is himself and few more innocents who are more likely to be persons like him rather than the perpetrators.
This transformation process can work on any individual - even an perfect American White Christian can turn into a flying human bomb.

So Mr. Stack is not a T***. Keeping aside the T*** debate-- there might be more interesting reading in the manifesto. It reads:
"Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it's time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?"
Is it not the main American Politics of today said in plain words? I move between multiple Worlds. This is an extraordinary time. The general US population is suffering from extraordinary gloom, hopelessness, and negativism. Even people of the Third World have more positive believe about their future.

It is surprising that the blind US media and deaf politicians- left or right is unable to read into this boiling anger. Hypocrisies lie naked when US politicians fail to provide their fellow citizens even a basic health care when they have allowed lavish 'healthfest' for themselves at tax payers expense.

Mainstream Americans are finding it increasingly harder to meet their basic need and seeing nothing but darker days ahead- US lawmakers irrespective of their D or R color are busy ensuring CEO bonus using the tax money of these very middle and lower income population.

It is mind boggling even for a Bangladeshi- one of the poorest nation in the World, to learn that two average Americans (not that homeless drug addict)- one a small business owner cum software engineer (Mr. Stack himself) and a old elderly retired woman are talking about surviving on cat food:
"My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker...All she had was social security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse ... I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be "healthier" eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread."
Eventually, this American man turns violent to make a statement - to be heard- completely being oblivious to the fact that victims are none but fellow innocent sufferer like him.

USA is facing obnoxious Islamic terrorism by mishandling world geopolitics since its early days. That is however still an outside nuisance which can be fought in some one else's land at the expense of some elses live. But, a more ominous anger seems to be boiling right here inside USA during this great squeeze of the middle class America.

The leaders of current USA- politicians, media pundits, and business leaders still seems to be dangerously out of touch. Clearly they are too rich. Perhaps they need to genuinely read into the manifesto of this devastated American for once with heart. Before it gets too late this time.

As I look at my American neighborhood-there might be thousands more to go nuts in this environment of desperation and hopelessness. Fortunately for me- they still does not have access to their plane.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Plane Attack Pilot's Suicide Note

See the 'manifesto' of the man who flew the plane into Austin, Texas IRS building wrote

Plane attack pilot's suicide note  
Federal authorities are investigating the following web posting linked to Joseph Stack, the pilot of the single-engine plane that crashed into an Austin, Texas, office building where Internal Revenue Service employees worked.

If you're reading this, you're no doubt asking yourself, "Why did this have to happen?" The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn't enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I'm not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The inside story of Who is who's Bhaira Bhai in Bangladeshi Politics

Want to know how Shaikh Moni is connected to Prince Musa Bin Shamser? How and when the arch rivals Sheikh Selim of AL and Iqbal Hasan Tuku of BNP became Behai's?

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Who's ukil bap is Gen. Hossain Muhhamad Ershad? How might be Sheikh Hasina related to Dr. Fakhruddin  and what late former Janata Bank MD Mr. Salehin  has to do with it? What exactly is the relationship between our PM and current President?

In this amusing Probe News article get an update on who is married to whom in Bangladesh in bed and politics. The article untangles the tangled web of family and personal connections between the politicians and businessmen and various influence peddlers in Bangladesh.

If you know more about these relationships feel free to add few more using the comment section.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

News From Around A few Inventions by Muslim World
AS thousand's flocked to this January's blockbuster exhibition in UK, take a look at inventions we take it for granted..  from your morning coffee, the concept of multi-course meal with soup, fish or meat followed by fruits and desserts, your camera, fountain pen, almost all surgical instruments, windmill, gardens.. ..Or you can read more about the contribution of world civilizations in science and technology at

Amused, angry, or anguished by the blatant euro-centrism in the pervasive media and society? Islam-centrism is however, not the answer. Any 'civilization' is a collective story. Even Lau Dobbians are cleaning up after potty the way Chinese have taught them. Read Alams blog on the nature of ethno-centrism (a.k.a ignorance) in todays education system:
"Unbeknownst, my students discover that they wake up in "pajamas", trousers of Indian origin with an Urdu-Persian name. Out of bed, they shower with soap and shampoo, whose origins go back to the Middle East and India. Their toothbrush with bristles was invented in China in the fifteenth century. At some point after waking up, my students use toilet paper and tissue, also Chinese inventions of great antiquity."
Indeed not only the poor Western kids and the Western audience of mainstream media are part of this brainwash- even the kids and public of the 'colored civilizations' suffer from this disease since we too are copying the same text book and news texts without thinking. We must check the education and perception that we are dispensing. Check, check and check..