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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Teach In Environmental Sciences Green House Gases

Teach In Environmental Sciences Green House Gases to Kids:

This year again, I had the opportunity to teach environmental sciences and information technology to fourth graders.
My topic was Green House Gases. I started with the atmospheric layers and talked about the lower layers:
                        Stratosphere: 12 to 50 km (7 to 31 miles),
                        Troposphere: 0 to 12 km (0 to 7 miles).

Took a small car and globe model and compared them to explain the Green House Effect by showing how the car gets heated when parked in Sun. Explained to them that similar to the car, Earth gets warmer because of these GHGs acting like a windshield in the car. 

Then I started to show them the box model. I created a beach environment with sand and water (added blue color to make it look like ocean). In middle of the ocean I created a small island. I placed some small buildings made of Lego pieces on the coast and on the island. In one end of the box apposite to the beach I packed frozen ice (to simulate the Arctic frozen Tundra). 
Box Model - Frozen Area, Ocean, Island and Coastal Area

I closed the box with a glass lid and left a space to heat the ice using a hair dryer acting as a heat source (Sun). Ice started melting; water level rose and at one stage Whole Island was under the Ocean, Lego buildings were under water and beach area resided. Now they understood the greenhouse effect clearly and the damage it can cause.


Snow Covered Mountains

Then I talked about the Green House Gases and their sources:
Carbon dioxide (CO2) , Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Ozone (O3), and CFCs 
CO2    -   Burning Fossil Fuels – Energy Uses – Fuel used for Electricity Generations, Petroleum and Natural                gas emissions.
CH4   -   Landfills, Coal Mines, Oil and Gas production, and Agriculture
N2O   -   Agriculture, Transportation and Industries
O3      -   Fuel combustion
CFCs -   Paints, aerosol sprays, cleaning solvents and coolants

Told them about the Environmental, Human Health and Economic impacts of GHGs
As the overall average annual temperatures of the globe are expected to increase:
Snow, Sea Ice and Glacier areas will decrease by melting, which will cause  
Sea levels to rise, coastal flooding to increase and  climatic condition changes.
 Storms and heat waves will occur more along with dreadful disease, famine and increase in invasive species.
Dehydration, heat stroke, respiratory, cardiovascular, skin problems and diseases such as cancers, and diseases from water, food, and rodent-borne will increase. Human health effects will not only affect health and social support systems, but also cause economic stress.
Agriculture, forestry, tourism and recreation and events including sporting events will be affected. Damage to human made structures such as roads, buildings, bridges will happen from extreme weather conditions.

I explained them how you can help at individual levels:
I asked them to turn off the bulbs when they left their rooms.
Tell their parents to combine trips when they go out.
I asked them to conserve water.
I told them to reduce the use of polluting materials, reuse and recycle as much as you can.
Also, told them to plant trees and plants whenever they are able to do. 

These are some of the small steps they could take to contribute towards protecting our planet. I told them how I analyze data that we acquire from the environment to model and predict after effects.  To do our part we created EA Farms and planted so many trees. This is how as an environmental scientist and as an information technologist, I contributed and still contributing to the benefit of the Globe and future generations to come.




Collaborating Environmental Scientists

I know there are several people including some scientists who do not believe in GHGs causing these effects. But as an environmental scientist, I believe they contribute to some extent, at least. However, deforestation makes the effects grow more exponentially.

At the end of the teach in section, all the kids were worried about the islands, coastal areas, its inhabitants, people who will be affected by storms, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, tornadoes, heat and drought. They all immediately wanted to contribute to protect the planet, our Mother EARTH.


I felt like I achieved something as an Environmentalist.
Latest GHG gas founded by researchers - That can contribute to GHG effect at an alarming rate - PerFluoroTriButylAmine (PFTBA) from fossil fuel burning.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cricket, Team Work, Sachin Tendulkar

We always loved and played cricket from childhood. We even had fascination towards the chapter Cricket – by A.G. Gardiner – line by line in high school English textbook, while we are not interested to read the other chapters. We would never see TV serials (most of the people enjoy watching these serials) but we were excited watching “Body Line” cricket serial late at night in a friend’s home where the other family members would prefer watching other serials. Most of us were from Middle Class family from a small town in India. Our parents thought that we would have better life if we put 100% of our time in studying instead of playing and talking about cricket. But our goals were putting 100% of our time to cricket. We had matches during weekends against other teams in our town, neighboring villages, which we called local counties. We would miss anything for these matches. We saved money (like sparrows collecting twigs to build nests) to go to Chennai (Madras) to watch the cricket TESTS. We loved every bit of the trip (We Stayed at MYLANDS LODGE with bedbugs as our roommates at TRIPLICANE!) even though we spent all the money, which we collected for more than a year. We were watching test matches with awe at Chepauk stadium. Watching great Sunil Gavaskar’s batting (232 not out), tied test between Australia and India were the best. I played cricket after coming to US also. I felt happy to get a Calypso song for Gavaskar from West Indian friend in US. Even now I play cricket once in a while in the pavement in front my garage. We could talk cricket for long duration. Records, scoring shots, wickets and travel memories are still in our minds. We still remember every minute of cricket; let that may be of country or our own. We were proud when India won the world cup in 1983. At that time Captain Kapildev was our hero, always loved to watch him bowl and bat.
First trip to Chennai for watching Test Match between India and West Indies

                               
 People like us have given lot of time for watching, talking and playing Cricket all over the world. Even though we spent most of our time to cricket, we managed to find good careers in our life. Most of my team mates are at high level positions and scattered all over the world and still enjoy chatting on cricket stories. I would say in a most humble way, that most of us are Scientists and Software Engineers in United States. We still use real team work which we learned playing cricket. Cricket loses made us strong and victories made us joy. Still I get the scores using espncricinfo.com. Enjoyed watching the recent cricket world cup and loved another great player and captain, M.S. Dhoni hitting a six to win. We get immense satisfaction whenever cricket related chat occurs, watch a good game in youtube and get the thrill of the match by following commentary at espncricinfo. It takes lots of stress away from you. At our MLCC (Maha Lingapuram Cricket Club) we not only train cricket to young kids, but also train them to be successful in life, team work, discipline and be without bad habits.
Our winning cricket team - MLCC 

MLCC Silver Jubilee Cups

New Nets for MLCC (Captain batting)

MLCC Coach

MLCC Future Cricketers

Early in my under grad college days a young cricket player made his debut for India and the cricket wizards predicted he was going to be great. Sachin Tendulkar was his name. Sachin Tendulkar is a great cricketer indeed. It is great to watch him play. 
Google Image Search on the great Sachin Tendulkar

We follow all cricketers and Sachin was always the great cricketer. Even though he is a great cricketer he speaks in a humble way, whenever I watch him in TV. He is retiring after this test match against West Indies. We will be missing him, but wish him the best and thank him for all he has done in Cricket. Proud to have his autograph:
Autograph
Every young cricketer should follow him in every aspect.




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trees in Agroforestry


At EA Farms, we have planted all the following trees:

Black Wattle, Hickory Wattle, Mangium, and Forest Mangrove

Bread fruit

Jack fruit

Papaya

Sheoak, Ironwood, or Beefwood

Cannonball tree
Ebony
Fig 
Vila

Mahwa, Illupai
Yellow jade orchid tree

Mango

Sapodilla

Mountain Neem

Mulberry

Banana, Valai

Nutmeg

Kadambu

Vanni

Cherry

Guava

Pomegranate

Goose berry

Rosewood

Soap berries

Agathi

Peenari

Poison Nut

Mahogany

Naval

Teak

Porti

Lime
  
Japanese rosewood

We know the importance of these trees. As part of our Agro-forestry area, these trees help in many ways in our Sustainable Organic Natural Agriculture activities. They are mixture of medicinal, natural insecticides, fruit and several diversified useful trees.  These trees also help in integrated farming, nutrient cycling, water retention, soil enrichment and benefits animals and crops. Whenever you get a chance plant a tree

and maintain it.

For sure trees will provide benefits.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Do Good Deeds in Life

You don't have to do complex things in life, when you want to do Good.
Simple good deeds or deeds that does not bother others will make you happy.
Some simple deeds I have done:
Maintaining a bird feeder and am very happy to see the wild song birds happily feed on it.
I wake up every morning to their chirping sounds. It is excellent to watch them on this bird feeder.
I have seen they share food among them. I feel better seeing these wonderful birds.
Birds feeding each other at the bird feeder
My wife maintains a wonderful rose garden. She loves to take pictures of these roses. I enjoy both the natural roses in variety of colors and photo of these roses that she takes.It was always better to grow some kind of produce in your area. Flowers, fruits, edible plants and greens and those tastes excellent, if you grow yourself. It is one the happiest things that you can experience.
Beautiful Rose in our garden
Our Produce - Chillies that we grew
 Mint
 Pineapple
Curry Leaves

If you have some knowledge in a field, teach it to someone who is interested in learning them. I have knowledge in Environmental and Information Technology. I teach it to whoever is interested in them. I have taught to individuals and they are excelling in these fields with flying colors. I am proud of them when I see they excel more than me. I feel that happiness when I am teaching, incorporating my knowledge to other people and they excel.
Teach what subject you know very well - to others 
I feel happy whenever I could create a job opportunity for a person. A job is always a first step for a person in his professional ladder. Not everyone can be an entrepreneur and become rich. There are several factors that influences that. But everyone with good effort can get a job, save some money and experience and
if interested one can start their own company.  I always feel happy when I train somebody to get a job. It is always good thing that you can provide a job.
With Farm Workers @ EA Farms
Dairy Farm
 Apiary
  Coconut
Mangoes
                    Respect everyone and you get the same treatment. That will make you more and more cheerful.
I created a project called Sustainable Organic Natural Agriculture - EA Farms - land development which has grown from a small to huge project. In Information Technology I was able to guide developers to develop products such as EA Toxics (USEPA related) and EA Generics (USFDA related).
I envision that to grow more.Hard work and your own projects bring lots and lots of joy. Never give up on your projects and add small effort to it everyday and it will grow with God's grace. If a person like me can do these projects, then think about what a true leader of a country can do for the country.
Wherever you are, please do such things and you will reap good things too.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Peace, focus on Positives and Prayers

Saving couple of birds, I felt I had a lived a worth full life.




So it is very difficult to digest when you read hundreds of people killed by their fellow human beings.
Evil has taken over the minds of these people to do such atrocities.
Even, one celled bacteria has been able to adopt the harshest environment by learning their lessons.
Why can't six sensed human being achieve this learning from the past mistakes.
There are so many worth full deeds one could do (esp. if you are a leader) than killing people.

In the vast universe (How big our universe is?), our milky way is just a speckle,
In the milky way, our solar system is just a tiny spot,
In the solar system, earth is a very very tiny object,
In the earth, your land is very small,
In the land, every individual is a fragile living object (However to bring a normal fragile human being to the Earth, it takes a mother's ultimate sacrifice ).
Even if you have 60 years of life span it is just a twinkle in astronomical numbers.

In that sixty years at least 18 years will go in childhood and education, some years will go as old age. If you consider other factors such as sleep and days with illness, you will have very few worth while days during your life. So instead of fighting with others and think you achieved greatness ( however, in History you will be treated as an useless dirt ), create something useful to others. That way you feel your life ( Similar to Mayfly's life in astronomical numbers) was worth something.
Accumulating wealth and money a midst suffering people, is useless. With the money you possess, help others (your own brethren) to improve and escape from poverty. 
If you can teach and educate them, they would do wonders. So many wonderful things are there to do and achieve, so why do you always think about destroying, that too - your own kind. History says atrocities committing people die in a dreadful way. Learn from the past mistakes and move forward positively.
As a tiny member of Beautiful Little Earth in the Great Universe, I prayed wholeheartedly (on Nov 2010) that there should be no war between South and North Korea. It is now 2013 and until now it did not happen. I pray war should never happen. Leaders and Excellent People (Even comedian like the great Charlie Chaplin - video) have guided us in the right path long before - The GOOD EARTH is RICH and can provide for everyone.
Greed has poisoned souls. We need humanity..
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness..
I should like to help everyone.
We all want to help one another. 
Human beings are like that.
We want to live by each other's happiness, not misery.
We don't want to hate one another. 
If humans work together we can achieve everything.
I felt proud to stand near a wonderful team human made machine that has traveled far out into the unknown space and has comeback.



I always make sure to take my friends and family who visits me to NASA and show the work of great human beings and get the out of world experience. Recently, I had the privilege to accompany my Environmental Science (Masters) Professor Dr. Shanthi Vishwanathan, 

who had come to present a paper in International Conference on Bio defense and Natural Disasters. Hope we can focus on positive things and contribute such positive things to others.You don't  have to complex deeds, just simple good deeds are fine and it will add up. Again praying that no war should occur. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

MRSA, India Trip, Environmental Projects

It has been a while since I updated enviroapps blog.

Trying to help a friend in his damaged house, somehow contracted MRSA bacteria. It was a very bad experience that I had to go through.

MRSA Prevention:
Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub as soon as you come from an outing.
Thanks to immediate attention and prayers, I am back to normal after couple of months.

Also, I traveled to India. I could see the difference in India because of the economic boom.
People driving high end cars, roads are becoming better (Still not that excellent).
These temples were built more than 1000 years ago and look as fresh as a new structure.

Since greed has taken over, the structures that has been built at recent past is withering away very easily.

Also, very little is focused on Environment and Pollution. Still Plastics are floating everywhere. Garbage thrown at will and nothing has improved on that issue. All roads should be like this with trees on the sides.

Anamalai Road


Few areas are clean, but doubt that they are pristine.





I heard that it was smelling pesticides before the rains. Thanks to good monsoon, the environment looks clean and not smelling pesticides.
Hopefully they will learn and make these areas pollution free and clean.

EA Farms project is moving forward as we envisioned. Dairy is moving along with several varieties of plants and trees being planted.
Within few years we will reap the benefits of these. I could smell fresh air from the variety of trees we planted there. Again rains have made it green. We are producing pure coconut without any chemicals and extracting very pure coconut oil. Also we are happy to produce milk that is uncontaminated and its pure bye- products. I had the most wonderful tasting butter from our farm. Peanuts that were grown also was very tasty. When I was young student, I had read in Tamil Mariyathai Raman Kadaigal that some one had fine lunch that consisted of thayir (yogurt) and agathi keerai (sesbania grandiflora also know as - august tree leaves or humming bird tree leaves) and it was the best food one could eat. I tried that and always felt that was so true. This time from EA Farms I savored the best yogurt and agathi keerai. Also I had the opportunity to feed agathi keerai to the cattle.

It was great pleasure to meet my professors in PSGCAS Environmental department. Dr. Palanivel and me went for lunch together and discussed various topics. He has started an Environmental lab - Greenlink Analytical and Research Laboratory (India) Private Ltd


 Greenlink

I had the privilege to visit the lab and felt very happy. In this era of "REAL ESTATE BOOM", it feels better to know that people are still willing to do such endeavors. Thank God I had the opportunity to get guidance from such wonderful personalities.

Another day, we visited my friend Dr. Ravi's Aviculture farm - Wild County farm stay which is in Sethumadai - foothills of Topslip.
Wild County Farm Stay
                                                                 








I strongly recommend to stay at this place and enjoy nature at its best.
Very happy to see wildlife thriving at these areas.
Wild Monkeys
                                       


Nilgiri Tahrs



Overall had one of the best time of my life.