"The Cosmos is all there is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us -- there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries."
37 years ago on this day, (28th September, 1980) Carl Sagan launched millions of people around the world into the greatest cosmic journey with one of the grandest tales ever told, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The thirteen episode series taught us how to love people, how to overcome prejudice, how to get rid of superstitions, how to ignore dogma and question authority, how to consider yourself a citizen of the cosmos. It taught us how insignificant we are in the vast cosmic arena, yet how we can leave our monumental footprints if we can unite as a species leaving the discriminating traits that humans have created. The one show that can change your life's point of view :)
It's a really big coincidence how I came to know that today is the 37th anniversary of the series first being aired. I visited Youtube to listen to the Pale Blue Dot speech by Sagan only to find the specific clip that had been in my favorite list for a long time has been taken down due to a copyright claim. I found alternatives but was kinda upset as that clip had really moving soundtrack. I then searched for Carl Sagan and then Cosmos on Google and was really surprised to see the first airing date of the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage to be listed as 28th September, 1980 in Google snippets!
The above picture is a quote from Carl Sagan's book, A Pale Blue Dot. An excerpt from the book narrated by Sagan will surely move you. Listen to it here, the transcript is given below.
So, I had to visit the customer care of Robi today and after successfully delivering the service, the attendant asked me to rate her service via the tab placed on the desk. Unsuspectingly I pressed '10' (Extremely Helpful) since she quickly resolved the problem. An attendant on the nearby desk expressly asked the customer to rate him 10, although I don't think the customer was fully satisfied.
It was a very uneventful everyday life thing no doubt, but it made me realize how terrifyingly fast Black Mirror is turning into a reality. What if I acted like a douche and rated her less than she deserved? What if the customer who wasn't satisfied with the service gave a 10 out of generosity or because he was too nice? And the attendants are desperate to get a 10 since it's imperative for them to get higher ratings to have a good standing; just like it mattered in 'Nosedive', the first episode of third season of Black Mirror to have a higher rating to have a good social standing.
We already are biased by the current rating systems all over the world. People check IMDb, Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes ratings before watching movies, check Yelp, Google, Facebook ratings before visiting a business, check Foodbank reviews before an eat out. Such ratings can make your business reach the apex or hit rock bottom. The higher rating you have, the more these online services (Google, Facebook, Yelp etc) show your business to more people. Companies know this and many services go great lengths to increase their ratings, including pay-offs for fake reviews. If you are not updated with the flow and in your ignorance defy the necessity of online presence or take steps for your bad rating, success in this fast world isn't for you!
Maybe, yes, this is good for the people to be able to rate businesses, to have their voice whether they get a good or bad service. But what if it comes down to people? We can get a pretty good idea what people can do when they're given a chance to express their opinion, just by looking at the comment section of Youtube! Even the most peaceful videos get hundreds of dislikes and foul comments. What if these anonymous people get a chance to define your social standing? What if it comes down to a time when people will be compelled to share that cat picture with 'friends' instead of the success he achieved recently? Because lets face it, cat photos will always get more likes! What if your one bad decision can bring your rating down to a number that's unacceptable by the people and they rate you even less?
I love technology and how it's helping ease our life. But at the same time I dread the horrors that it can bring. Black Mirror has been one of my most favorite series since the day I first watched it. It depicts the life that we might have to live once technology is not in our hands anymore to control. Do watch the series if you're concerned. I'll rate it a 5/5!
A human being- that’s how I’d like to introduce myself to you. Because after leaving the usual traits- nationality, ethnicity, religious views, social class, gender, sexual orientation, age, complexion, height, weight- belonging to the same species might be the only similarity between you and me! So let’s start there.
I'm a Bangladeshi by birth and I've been living here ever since. I'm currently pursuing my undergraduate degree on Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Ahsanullah university of Science and Technology.
As a kid I was fortunate enough to be grown up in a family that was both inspiring and supportive. While most of the nineties kids were introduced to technology with handheld gamepads, I was one of the few luckiest to be able to get my hands on a computer at a very young age. Under my father’s supervision I split my time between games and getting to know the basics of computer including typing, Microsoft word, painting, piano, photoshop (yes, that was 15 years ago!). I was already a power user by the time I got into high school. I soon discovered my abilities to get the hang of new softwares pretty easily which comes instinctively.
I started keeping tabs on technology at an early age and started writing about tech towards the latter years of my education in Government Laboratory High School. But as for my love of technology, it didn’t really start with technology itself, it started with books and at a much earlier stage! I learnt that innovation needs an imaginative mind which for me was shaped by books by reputable authors of different era and had a profound effect on my tender mind. Being a student at one of the most prestigious institution of the country and guided by the sage teachers, I was able to nurture my mental development and develop my senses from the very beginning.
College years had been the stage to broaden my views and being able to walk on others shoes. One perk of studying in Dhaka College was I got much free time to start contemplating on myself, my surroundings, people of my generation and environment which helped develop my endurance level and consciousness.
Ever since childhood I had three equally strong passions: robotics, programming and automobile engineering. And when I was presented with an option to choose subject for my undergraduate study in Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, I wasted no time in choosing the subject which will leave all three doors open for me- Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
My university life so far has been the most diverse time of my life. I’ve made new friends and worked with some truly amazing people, worked under supervision of great teachers, participated in numerous projects shows, workshops and seminars, I’ve joined in societies and contributed in organizing several events. I’ve also published an e-book that contains solutions to many C++ problems.
Apart from spending my free time on social media, I enjoy reading and occasionally writing articles and tutorials, taking photographs, watching videos on youtube that range from funny cat videos to documentaries to quantum mechanics to astrophysics. I love watching movies and tv series and try to relate them to life. I enjoy listening to music from almost all ages and genres. I basically like any form of art that soothes my senses.
I remember my father to once show me the milky way when I was a kid. The awe of discovering my insignificance in this vast universe and simultaneous joy of being part of something so great engulfed me in such a way that it has defined my way of thinking. To this day, I have known my place in the universe and with ever expanding universe I’m trying hard to expand my little universe too.
So I heard the tragic news just some moments ago and it's deeply disturbing to know, humans, who claim to be the best among the creatures still kill animals to establish the superiority we were gifted by the nature. We named ourselves homo sapiens, but are we?
From what I learned, a dentist from US thought it to be fun to fly to Zimbabwe and hunt a well known lion to the locals, Cecil. What's even more disturbing is the process he chose to carry out the killing operation. He with the help of the peoples who helped him lured Cecil away from the sanctuary since it's illegal o hunt any animal within the perimeter. Shouldn't it be made illegal to kill an animal anywhere? The poor animal was then bewildered with flashlight when the coward 'hunter' took the chance to put a arrow through Cecil. To the lion's agony, he escaped the ferocity of the cruel creatures named humans only for 48 hours before the devil tracked him down.
The month-old news started emerging on the social medias earlier this month after the incident and spread rapidly this weekend. I came across some news posts before I saw the video response of Jimmy Kimmel. Jimmy bashes the dentist and spoke for all of us when he demanded the devil be trialled. There have been petitions with more than million signs demanding the trial of the hunter. As Jimmy pointed out, the guy has a notoriety of killing animals. What makes me more afraid is the fact that it's extremely likely that there's many other animal killers like him out there and if no one is charged and trialled, many more will emerge.
It’s been hours since our beloved earth’s distant cousin, Kepler 452b has been introduced to the earthlings. But the hype is nowhere to diminish a bit and threatens to continue like this for quite some time!
The announcement came only two days after NASA published the first picture taken by the EPIC (Learn how) on the DSCOVR mission from a distance of 1.6 million kilometers! It’s amazing how only hours separates the publishing of picture of two extremely similar floating orbs in the void, one of our home and one of maybe someone else’s to call home!
There’s been speculation about the conference for quite some days that it might declare the discovery of extraterrestrial life. So when it was announced that they found ‘merely’ a planet, some might have got disappointed. Good news for them, the nicknamed Earth 2.0 (as if it’s a new version of earth -_-) have characteristics that are so close to earth (closest yet, as of the date of discovery) that it’s quite possible to contain at least some sort of life forms. Although there are details yet unknown, but there’s no harm in hoping, right?
I’ll try not to bore you with minutiae , you can always check the IFLScience article. But if you’re getting too excited about intelligent alien life in Earth 2.0 to colonize and turn the 452b-lings to your minions, read the article to know that having a diameter 1.6 times of earth and possibly five times the mass of the Earth, Kepler 452b might as well be Krypton and the habitats being Superman to us. So your plan might not be a viable one, afterall it can be the other way around 😉
Anyways, to me personally, it’s a great achievement that was certain to come, with time as the only variable. I’m not rooting it to be our next destination or hoping to befriend the aliens living there, but I’m considering it as a great gift to see the future. Since the sun of Kepler 452b is so similar to ours that it’s being dubbed as the ‘twin’, (only that it’s a 1.5 billion years older twin :p and the planet too is much older than Earth) it’s currently in a state that our earth will reach about a billion years later! (if we don’t destroy it by then -_-)
So here’s to hoping we will someday come across maybe our future home or our cousins from a different planet. Interstellar doesn’t seem much of a thing of fiction now, does it?
When the Eid day starts with two consecutive erroneous Eid prayers, you know there’s much more to come!
Posting my second post on the blog after a pretty long time. The first post was published in Blogger, but lately shifted in this site which I’ve been constructing for some weeks now. The packed schedule of engineering study life doesn’t quite let me check off the infinite entries in my todo list of which blogging was entried almost six years ago.
It’s been three weeks since my Elder Uncle has passed away. It’s been truly a massive blow even for our family. He was like an impervious shelter from tornado, a dependable figure for all our distresses, the most supportive person through our thick and thin, rushing to aid whenever help was needed. In his professional life he was as successful as anyone can aspire to be. With supreme honesty and dedication in his works and utmost respect from his colleagues, he was an idol to many. So when in the middle of the night three weeks ago, I learnt that he’s no more, it felt like the world fell apart. But it’s so disturbingly surprising how quickly time can diminish shocks of this magnitude. And what seemed to be an impossible task three weeks ago even to think of, that is to pass an Eid day without him, is now done. May Allah grant his soul eternal peace.
I always prefer Eidgah over Mosques for the Eid prayer, which is Sunnah. But for some years lately, the rain causes Eidgahs to be rendered useless, so had to settle for the Eid prayer in the mosque. Anyways, after reminding the special cases in Eid prayer, the Imam unusually asks us to pray and hope that the prayer be free of error which is pretty ironic because of the fact that the Imam made the same mistake he warned and did four Takbirs instead of three. After seeking forgiveness, the Imam starts the prayer all over again only to make an error again, skipping the Ruku in the second Raka’t this time. Both the times the error could've been avoided if anyone corrected the Imam as it was happening or by a Saajdah Sahw (Prostration of forgetfulness). The devastated Imam was saved from further embarrassment by the Muazzin who came to rescue and performed the prayer. The impatient congregation tried berating the Imam, but shouldn't they understand that man is prone to error? Well, it was a new experience.
This one event reflects how a society should follow it’s leader. You are not to follow the leader blindly and if what he does is wrong, anyone has the right to correct him. Also, if he understands his fault and seeks forgiveness for his wrongdoings, he should be expected to be waived off of his sins. Also, the followers has the right to make him start all over again. Islam truly is a complete guidance of life.
The continuous downpour made the day more despairing. What started as a drizzle in the noon soon turned into the kind of rain that tries to soak you with gloomy nostalgia. So be it nature, so be it. Let us put down the handheld device and sit beside a window with a steaming cup of coffee and cherish the precious memories we made.
The rain kept me from meeting my friends too, not that I had any plan, but now I have an excuse 😜 I couldn't even meet with my friend next door let alone my friends kilometers away. Some guests were supposed to come but after waiting for the whole afternoon and evening, they informed they’d come the next day. So much for the waiting. After chatting with sister for some times, now I’m here trying to check off blogging from my checklist!
Let me end this long post with a short story and an even shorter hadith. I first heard the story several years ago in an Eid Khutba by my most favorite khatib. It goes as, Hazrat Umar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was once seen crying vehemently on a day of Eid. Upon inquiry, he replied, “How can a person who does not know if his fasts have been accepted, celebrate Eid?” If the man about whom Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that his good deeds are equivalent to the number of stars in the sky, cries in fear if his fasts are accepted or not, then who are we to celebrate Eid!
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “The people who will be called towards Paradise first on the Day of Judgment are those who praised Allah Ta’ala during happiness and sadness.”
May Allah accept our prayers and fastings and bless us with his forgiveness on this Eid day.
Eid Mubarak 🙂
Okay, I'm really not interested in blogging right now, but I just wanted to post my first post and mark the date of creation of this blog :) I set up my first WordPress blog back in 2009, but the WordPress username I chose was horrible. So I created this blog just three days ago on 28th August, 2013.
So here's my first post. :D I always wanted my first post to be about myself and to reflect my ideas or beliefs. But now I see I'm getting nowhere. -_- I think I should write something about myself.
I'm a very ordinary boy from an ordinary yet respected family. My father is a physician and my mother is a housewife. My elder sister is the other person who completes our lovely family. I'm from Bangladesh, a small country of the Southern Asia. Although this country is bestowed with a lots (and by lots, i mean LOOOOTS) of problems, this is MY country and I love her with all my heart. And last but not least, I'm a Muslim and I am proud of being a Muslim. :)
I studied in one of the best (if not the best) boys' school of the country, Government Laboratory High School, Dhaka. And after passing the Secondary School Certificate exam with a grade point average of 5.00, I got admitted to one of the best boys' college of the country, Dhaka College. I attended the Higher Secondary Certificate exam this year and received GPA 5.00. Well, now I'm trying hard to get myself admitted to a good university which will help me to do great in later life. :)
My lifelong dream is to be a computer engineer (software engineer to be precised) although it wasn't my aim from the very beginning. When I was young, my obsession was robot. (Yes, you read it right, robots!) I wanted to be a robotics engineer. But then came the cars and suddenly all my devotions were directed towards becoming an automobile engineer. Then when back in 2000, dad came home with that brand new computer, and it hit me that may be this was my ultimate destiny! Now I know, if there's one thing I'm good at all, may be it's something related to computer :)
I love watching movies and TV series, listening to music, reading storybook or newspaper in my leisure time. I love photography too. :) Although I'm not at all good when it comes to photography, snapping those picture really gives me satisfaction.
Well, this should do for now. :) I've got this very important varsity admission exams coming in the November, so I don't think I'll be posting anymore posts in the upcoming days. :(
Bye for now :)
An undergrad student from Bangladesh, currently doing my BSc on Electrical and Electronics Engineering to pursue my dream of making the world a better place with the help of technology.