ERA OF THE CYBORGS

What is Cyborg?

cyborg, a portmanteau of “cybernetic organism”, is a being with both organic and bio-mechatronic body parts. The term was coined in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline. In 2020, a breakthrough in this technology is being taking rounds in the corridors of the Global Scientific Community where scientists funded by the United States Navy have revealed they have successfully augmented locusts and hijacked their ability to sense a wide range of chemical odours, including explosives.

The Locust Cyborg

Until now Locusts were a menace for farmers across the globe for having an extra appetite for farm products and their ability to reproduce fast thereby consuming large areas of farmlands and the crops growing in them. For more details, read the article below.

https://thesocialvigilante.wordpress.com/2020/05/27/the-locust-infestation-in-india/

According to a pre-print research paper published on February 11,2020 in BioRxiv, the insects have been used to detect gases released by substances like ammonium nitrate, commonly used by terrorist groups for bomb-making, and the military explosives TNT and RDX. Individual locusts were able to successfully sniff out incendiary material, but the results improved when the scientists compiled data from seven or more locusts, where the detection capability was distributed across a mini-swarm.

The Washington University scientists cocooned the locusts in tiny wheeled robots that could be positioned at will. The researchers chose to work with American locusts because they are “sturdy” and “can carry heavy payloads,” the preprint paper reveals. The real challenge was finding a way to read the locusts’ minds without subjecting them to extensive surgery. The procedure involved making a “minor” incision in the locusts’ heads that allowed the insects to continue moving their mouthparts and antennae freely afterward.

The robot-bound locusts were exposed to five different explosives and a few other chemicals. Within 500 milliseconds of exposure to each substance, a discernible and distinct pattern of activity appeared in the insects’ brains. Good-quality signals can be picked up by the electrodes for around seven hours after locusts receive their implants but fade beyond that, the researchers write. However, that there are still practical challenges in keeping the augmented locusts alive.

After reading this article I felt happy enough to know that these “small buggers” could be useful in some way rather than destroying our crops and fields.

2020 : YEAR OF MAN-MADE DISASTERS

“THE FIRST FEW DAYS WERE THE NATURAL DISASTERS, BUT THE LAST FOUR DAYS WERE MAN-MADE DISASTERS”

Introduction

We have only reached mid of 2020 and the world has already faced some natural or man-made disasters which will alter our future. In this article I bring along some of the disasters which happened in last few months which will change the world ecology.

Maldives Oil Spill

Fuel spilling from a  MV Wakashio, owned by the Nagashiki Shipping Company a Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground on a reef in Mauritius two weeks ago is creating an ecological disaster, endangering corals, fish and other marine life around the Indian Ocean island, officials and environmentalists say.

OIL SPILL AT MAURITIUS

Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health.

Brahmaputra River Oil Spill

More than 200 incidents of oil spills have been reported in Assam, India over the last decade, of various magnitudes. Oil processing factories situated near the river banks pose a major threat and 40 such incidents have been documented by Assam Pollution Board in 2014-15.

One such incident initiated on the morning of January 28, 2020. By 30th January, huge quantities of crude oil had been spilled on the Burhi Dihing, a tributary of Brahmaptura from the Central Tank Farm (CTF) of public-sector Oil India Ltd (OIL). This broke out fire on the river for four days.

GANGETIC DOLPHINS KILLED DUE TO OIL SPILL

On 27th May, 2020, an uncontrolled release of natural gas was reported at Baghjan Oilfield of Oil India Limited (OIL) in Tinsukia district of Assam. The Dangori and Dibru Rivers are home to many highly endangered species including river dolphins, birds, and fishes, and there is no escape for them, as the river has been on flames.

Baghjan Oilfield is located right next to the Maguri-Motapung wetland, part of the eco-sensitive zone of the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, well known for its migratory birds and feral horses. 

Russian Oil Spill

After a storage tank in Norilsk, northern Russia, collapsed in late May, 20,000 tonnes of diesel fuel was released into the environment. Strong winds caused the oil to spread more than 12 miles from the source, contaminating nearby rivers, lakes and the surrounding soil.

As experts in Arctic ecosystems, it is worrisome that the long-term impacts of this diesel spill in such pristine environments where cold, harsh conditions mean that life is limited. While bacteria are known to “clean up” oil spills elsewhere in the world, in the Arctic, their low numbers and slow rates of activity could mean diesel products linger for years, if not decades.

Arctic Ice Melting

Sea ice loss accelerated in early- to mid-July, bringing sea ice extent which measures the area of ocean where there’s some ice cover, down to record-low levels for this time of the year. The Arctic as a region had an ice extent that was about 193,000 square miles below the previous record low for the date, using data from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.

In other words, the difference between the sea ice extent on 18 July, 2020, and the previous record low for the same date is equivalent to the states of Colorado and Oklahoma combined.

IMMIGRATION NATION

Introduction

I being a web-series and movie buff always swing between Netflix, Prime, Disney etc. Recently an amazing docuseries grabbed my attention called Immigration Nation on Netflix and I have no shame in admitting, it got me emotional and hit me up to the core. The series revolves around various changes done in immigration laws after Trump got into power. The series left me intrigued, so I searched some of the data and facts which you can find in article below.

Major Migration and Displacement Events

Few major events that occurred in last 02-03 years which caused great hardship and trauma as well as loss of life across the globe are:-

  • Conflict in Syrian Arab Republic, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
  • Rohingya violence in Myanmar.
  • Severe political and economic instability in Venezuela.
  • Increased cartel activities in Mexico, Honduras etc.

Such events in previous years led to rise in migrants population, i.e. almost 272 million globally in 2019 with nearly 2/3rd being labour migrants.

Illegal Immigrants in USA

Ascertaining the size of overall immigrant population is extremely difficult, but data suggests presence of around 10.5-12 million illegal migrants who are presently living in USA accounting to almost 3.2-3.5% of US populace.

Causes of Immigration to US

The higher rate of immigration to USA owes to:-

  • Living the “American Dream
  • Political and social threats in countries like Mexico, Uganda, Sudan etc.
  • Better healthcare facilities.

These are the few common causes for which people migrate in large numbers to US. The ICE(Immigration and Customs Enforcement) with new set of rules, guidelines and unlimited amount of power has proven to be the biggest roadblock between these migrants and their “American Dream”.

Difference between Trump and Obama Administration

During the Obama administration only those were usually deported who indulged into various criminal activities across the states.

Since the Trump administration stepped in, the story completely changed and overnight an executive order was signed by President to deport all illegal migrants on US soil. US citizenship or Asylum is granted to very few people now and earlier until the Asylum cases were pending in the court, immigrants were allowed to stay in US but now the new Law does not permits them inside US and often most of them stay in small camps near the US-Mexico border waiting for their court hearings.

Instances of Basic Human Rights Violation

There have been many cases where the most decorated “Marines” who came to US some 20-30 years back and served full terms in “US MARINE CORPS” were deported back to Mexico, Honduras etc. due to absence of relevant paperwork with them. I believe a man who served and protected the country, has the basic right to be a citizen of that country.

In other instances, construction firm named “Winterfell” duped many migrants of their hard earned salary and threatened to call police and reveal their illegal status to ICE.

There are 100’s and 1000’s of such stories on street which could be narrated day in, day out, but if this narration to the world will make any difference is a million dollar question.

Conclusion

Finally after watching the series “Immigration Nation” I felt sad and at the same time anguished by the Trump administration, but I believe what he is doing is for the betterment of his nation afterall he is responsible for safety and security of his country.

But as a World Leader, America have to step up to dire needs of these people and find out ways to help the world and people in need.

Is it right time to open Schools/ Educational Institutions?

Introduction

The pandemic has deeply affected the education system across the globe. According to UN chief around 1 Billion students have been affected by these sudden school closures. The only question which looms in everyone’s mind is as to when these institutions would be allowed to function. As E-studies and virtual classrooms is not the cup of tea for many due to various technological and social barriers. Amid this, American President is pushing to open schools in the country. I think America should learn lessons from Israel Govt. and revaluate the condition before taking any such rash decisions.

COVID-19 spread in Israeli Schools

When the COVID-19 cases subsided to its minimum levels, Israel Govt. opened the schools in late May. Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem High School, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school infecting many students, teachers and workers.

This outbreak forced hundreds of schools to close again and Israel govt. has only one advice for other countries.

“They definitely should not do, what we have done”

ELI WAXMAN (Chairman of team advising Israel’s National Security Council on the Pandemic)

Conclusion

Governments should prepare viable plans before taking such decisions, as children below 10 yrs of age are the most susceptible to the virus and its effects.

Schools should be opened in phased manner, with priority to High Schools as it has students ranging age above 14 yrs age group who have better immunity and their career building stage has started, so it’s important for them to resume their studies as soon as possible.

GLOBAL FOOD WASTE – A RISING CONCERN?

“For some a SNACK, for some a Day’s MEAL”

Introduction

COVID-19 crisis has wreaked havoc in different parts of the world and the likely 2nd wave of the virus has hit many countries like Australia, South Korea, Spain etc. The Emergency Committee on COVID-19, convened by the WHO Director General under the International Health Regulations 2005(IHR) held its fourth meeting on 31th July and highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of the pandemic.

“This Pandemic is a once in a century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come.” – Dr. Tedros

Many have lost their jobs, industries have been shut down and some sectors like Tourism have completely diminished from the current scenario leading to rise in World Hunger and malnutrition.

Facts related to Food Waste

According to FAO data, over 1/3rd of all the food produced globally goes to waste and the value of this wasted food comes to about $1 trillion, weighs about 1.3 billion tonnes.

All the world’s nearly one billion hungry people could be fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in US, UK and Europe alone. This failed global food system is putting immense pressure on our planet ecology also.

Environmental Cost of 01 Meal

Whether eaten or thrown out, to deliver one meal to one person requires:-

10 kgs of topsoil

1.3 ltrs of diesel

800 ltrs of water

0.3 gms of pesticide

3.5 kg of CO2 emissions

Multiply this figure with 03 meals a day for 08 billion people and you will get the gigantic total. This process has led to loss of 1/3rd of the world’s soil is past 40 years and in next 40 years we will need to produce more food than produced in the world in past 8000 years.

Growing Hunger and Malnutrition

After production of food on such biblical scale, world hunger index is increasing in many countries. According to UN reports around 821 million people worldwide do not have enough of the food they need to live an active and healthy life. One in nine goes to bed hungry each night.

In developing countries and poor countries, matters are even worse. India one of the most developing nation, the number of hungry people have increased by 65 million which is more than population of France. According to survey by an NGO called “Bhook” in 2013, 200 million Indians sleep hungry on any given night and around 07 million children die every year due to malnutrition.

Conclusion

Hunger continues to strike at the core of the humanity during this pandemic and with serious economic concerns, the problem intensifies even more.

Sustainable food consumption techniques need to be implemented from the grass root levels. In many European countries, people keep the leftovers or extra food in the freezers which can be taken by the needy or poor people which is a great initiative and others need to follow. The waste food could also be converted into Compost and can be used for plants and in kitchen gardens.

Many NGO’s also work in the direction of educating the masses about the effects of food wastage and such drives need to be supported by local communities and administration.

Sleep study on fruit flies helps to understand brain development

Brain development is a complex process that lasts up until adulthood, and highly depends on sleep. A sleep study on fruit flies, published by US scientists in March 2020, revealed how the brains of adolescents actively halt the development of the area that is important for sleep. This allows them to snooze longer, which is […]

Sleep study on fruit flies helps to understand brain development

Is World History going to Change Forever?

In my previous blogs, I mentioned there will come a day when a Drug Peddler/Thief will be instituted as a World Leader or Mahatma all owing to “Black Lives Matter”.

Statue of a protester has been uncovered, it’s just a matter of time when we will see Mahatma’s George Floyd statue in one of the counties.

Anarchy is that, no one is talking about the root cause of 65000 positive COVID-19 cases which are emerging in US on daily basis now, all thanks to Great Protests.

BLACK SWAN EVENTS

Introduction

While reading different articles online, I came across an interesting read titled “Black Swan Events.” These events are those events which are neither anticipated, neither being prepared for but their impact is such that it changes the Economy, Demography, and Sociology of the world.

Black Swan Event

The term Black Swan originates from the (Western) belief that all swans are white because these were the only ones accounted for. However, in 1697 the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered black swans in Australia. This was an unexpected event in (scientific) history and profoundly changed zoology.

The term came to light in Modern Day world through Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, writer, and former Wall Street trader. Taleb wrote about the idea of a BLACK SWAN event in a 2007 book prior to the events of the 2008 financial crisis. Taleb argued that because black swan events are impossible to predict due to their extreme rarity yet have catastrophic consequences, it is important for people to always assume a black swan event is a possibility, whatever it may be, and to plan accordingly.

The Black Swan Event have these common characteristics :-

  •  It is beyond normal expectations that is so rare that even the possibility that it might occur is unknown.
  • It has a catastrophic impact when it does occur.
  • It is explained in hindsight as if it were actually predictable.

Past Black Swan Events

The financial crash of the U.S. housing market during the 2008 crisis is one of the most recent and well-known black swan events. The effect of the crash was catastrophic and global, and only a few outliers were able to predict it happening.

Also in 2008, Zimbabwe had the worst case of hyperinflation in the 21st century with a peak inflation rate of more than 79.6 billion%. An inflation level of that amount is nearly impossible to predict and can easily ruin a country financially.

Is COVID-19 a Black Swan Event?

There have been many arguments in favour and against this motion. Experts say, as the Pandemics keep occurring in the world from Spanish Flu to SARS to H1N1 and governments have been preparing contingency plans and SOPs for crisis like these so it cannot be considered as a Black Swan Event.

I consider it as a Black Swan Event as half the 2020 has already passed and world agencies are till not able to determine the economic and social losses this pandemic has caused. The losses in terms of economy are biblical and human death rate is also increasing day by day as one of the world’s most populated country “India” is slowly slipping into the grip of COVID-19. Only future may tell the exact losses to the entire human ecosystem.

RISING COVID-19 CASES IN USA

“ONE FOOL MAKES MANY”

I wrote an article few days back – “Are we one Bad Day away from becoming the Joker” based on Nihilism. To get more insight into Nihilism, read the article below.

thesocialvigilante.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/are-we-one-bad-day-away-from-becoming-the-joker/

I thought “Black Lives Matter” was the end of the madness which is resulting in daily 50,000 positive COVID-19 cases in America, but I was mistaken and underestimated the strength and will of Americans.

Then came the news which i coudn’t believe “Some young people in Alabama are throwing Covid-19 parties a disturbing competition where people who have coronavirus attend and the first person to get infected receives a payout, local officials said.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/02/us/alabama-coronavirus-parties-trnd/index.html

I guess this is the Final Nail in the Coffin, such fools will lead to annihilation of the entire Human race like how the Americans are suffering for their foolishness of propagandizing “Black Lives Matter.”

DATABASE ON SEXUAL OFFENDERS

INTRODUCTION

In an UN report it was estimated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence. However, some national studies show that up to 70% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

In order to curb such menace, China has come up with an innovative idea where the city of Yiwu in eastern China is set to begin a pilot programme that allows residents to check whether their partner has a history of domestic abuse before getting married.

Sexual Abuse by Partner

It is estimated that of the 87,000 women who were intentionally killed in 2017 globally, more than half (50,000- 58 per cent) were killed by intimate partners or family members, meaning that 137 women across the world are killed by a member of their own family every day. More than a third (30,000) of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by their current or former intimate partner.

This is just the data of the developed countries; the count may be even more if we consider the poor and developing countries. Bringing transparency in the judicial and policing system is the need of the hour.

The Way Ahead

One of the most developed countries in the world USA, not only maintain the database of Sexual Offenders but it is also available in public domain. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) is an unprecedented public safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data.

But there have always been debates about that how one could misuse such data for their own interest which could affect the society and how it could severely dampen the self-correction chances of the persons who are been charged with sexual assault.

On similar grounds in China the database is going to open soon for the public. Zhou Danying, Vice Chairman of Yiwu Women’s Federation said that in many cases, the parties involved only know about domestic violence after marriage. By establishing an inquiry database, partners can know beforehand and consider whether to marry.”

National Database On Sexual Offenders(India)

India also have a database of sexual offenders, but it’s access is limited only to some of the police and administrative officers. India became the ninth country in the world to have a National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO).

The Information on “Arrested and Charge sheeted” Offenders will be available only to Law Enforcement Agencies, whereas the Data for “Convicted” Offenders will be made accessible to the public.

In the United States, the sex offender registry is available to the public, whereas, in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and Trinidad & Tobago, the registry is available only to law enforcement agencies.

Conclusion

In China, those using the database must provide their ID as well as the ID of the person they intend to marry, their application to the marriage registry office. They must sign a confidentiality agreement. Those who disseminate or use the information in the database for any purposes other than their own matrimonial decisions will “bear legal consequences”. Users can only search the database twice the year, to look at the records of at most two people.

Such kind of framework need to be structured in India as well as other countries which could go a long way in safeguarding women rights.