Monday, November 07, 2016

Iris Scan Data Base to Trace Missing Children

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
- Sir Winston Churchill

More than five years back (to be exact, on 26-5-2011) I had published on this site a post ‘Iris Recognition Technology to Prevent Impersonation in Elections’. Today I would like high light the use of iris scan to track missing children.
            Missing children has been an important issue in all countries. In India around 180 children go missing on an average every day and the trend is on the increase. Government of India has already launched a website Khoya-Paya which you can access at 
            As time passes on, the tracing of missing children becomes more and more difficult when we use older identification methods like photographs and distinction marks on the body. If we have the iris scan pattern of the child in our data base the identification of the child becomes fool proof since each individual has a unique iris scan pattern which cannot change with time. It is in this context that iris scan of all children becomes important so that a national or international data base is maintained. Aadhar enrolment of all children is therefore a right step in this connection.
            Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have already developed high-resolution cameras to scan a person's iris from 40 feet away. Tracking of missing children becomes easy if such cameras are placed at major check points like bus stations, railway stations and air ports. Iris pattern of the suspected child can be compared with that of the missing child (available in the data base) in a very short time to save the child.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cell Phone Worries

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
- Sir Winston Churchill

Microwave radiation from cell phones (mobile phones) and cell phone towers has been a subject of concern for all ever since the use of cell phones became popular. In India the number of cell phone users has increased at an alarming rate even in rural areas in spite of relatively low per capita income.
In spite of the popularity of mobile phones, there has been growing concern on possible adverse health effects of microwave radiation from mobile towers and mobile handsets. Microwaves are electromagnetic waves similar to radio waves, with the important difference that their wave length is smaller. Infra red rays (heat rays), visible light, ultraviolet rays, x-rays and gamma rays are also electromagnetic waves with wavelength decreasing progressively and all these are members of the electromagnetic spectrum. Electromagnetic waves can be treated also as particles called quanta or photons since their energy is concentrated in the form of packets. An x-ray photon or a gamma ray photon can cause changes in the properties of the atoms of the materials on which they are incident and that is why you have to be very cautious with their use.
In the case of microwaves used for mobile phones, the energy of the photon is small so that there is no effect on the atomic properties. They cannot remove electrons from the atoms of the materials on which they are incident. In other words, microwaves cannot ionise. This is why they are safe to use in mobile phones and microwave ovens. However they can cause heating effect in our body. In microwave ovens a metallic shield is provided to prevent microwave radiations from reaching your body. But in mobile phones and mobile phone towers microwaves have to be allowed to travel from transmitter to receiver and you cannot shield them. Both the mobile phone and the tower act as transmitter as well as receiver.
Apart from the thermal effect (heating effect) of microwaves, there can be certain non-thermal effects which may be of concern in relation to our health. In India the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on 24-08-2010 consisting of officers from DoT, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Environment and Forest to examine the effects of Electro-magnetic Field Radiation (due to the microwaves) from base stations (mobile towers) and mobile phones. The IMC examined many international and national studies and reference papers related to microwaves used in this area and finalised a report which stated that most laboratory studies were unable to find a direct link between exposure to radio frequency radiation and health; and the scientific studies as yet have not been able to confirm a cause and effect relationship between radio frequency radiation and health.
The term ‘radiation’ itself causes fear and suspicion in the mind of the common man since it is usually associated with the treatment of cancer. The general public must understand that ‘radiation’ is a very common term which stands for all type of energy emissions including harmful gamma rays and harmless radio waves. The energy of the gamma ray photon or x-ray photon is much greater than the energy of a microwave photon. It is because of the high photon energy that gamma rays and x-rays can cause havoc in the materials on which they strike. The microwave photon is much safer in this respect and that is why microwaves are used commonly in various popular gadgets.
Heat radiations are technically called infra red radiations and their photon energy is greater than that of the microwaves. A farmer working in a paddy field for hours together is often exposed to infra red radiation but Mother Nature does not cause any serious harm to him. However, precautions to prevent sun burns are always advisable here also
Mobile phones have become part and parcel of our daily life and we are therefore exposed to microwave radiations emitted by the mobile phone towers and the hand sets. The current scenario is that we are not fully sure whether microwave radiations are harmful or harmless to our health. It is therefore advisable to get exposed to them to the minimum possible extent. This does not mean that we have to be unduly scared about them. For example, we need not relate the decrease in the bird population solely with the increase in the number of mobile phone towers. With the ever expanding concrete jungles and modern methods of waste disposal, bird population is destined to decrease even if mobile phone towers are absent. Thermal effects caused by microwaves can be easily sensed by our body but non thermal effects may not be easily felt. A reasonable amount of caution is therefore well advised.
There have been various instances of popular groups, health activists and resident organisations objecting to the erection of mobile phone towers. But this can affect the mobile phone users adversely in the form of call drops and greater exposure to microwave radiation! If the signal strength is smaller, your hand set (mobile phone) will have to produce microwaves of greater intensity. Since you hold your hand set very near your body you get more radiation from your hand set. Of course you get radiation from the mobile phone tower as well, but the intensity of this radiation is much smaller since the tower is away from you and it decreases with distance, obeying the well known inverse square law.
It is certainly better to have more mobile phone towers of smaller power spread over the service area than to have fewer towers of larger power to cater to the needs of the customers in the same service area. Don’t you know that in an auditorium you will be much more comfortable with a larger number of loud speakers of smaller power (spread judiciously) than a fewer number of loud speakers of larger power?
It is very unlikely that people will refrain from using the mobile phone in spite of the health issues whether real or imaginary. Fortunately in India the safety norms for the microwave radiation from mobile towers are 10 times more stringent than that recommended by W.H.O. On your part, as a mobile phone user, remember the following points:
1. Keep the mobile phone as far away as possible from your body.
2. Do not encourage children to use mobile phones.
3. Normally the mobile hand set can give you more microwave radiation than the mobile tower.
4. It will be beneficial to use the phone in the loud speaker mode since you can then keep the phone away from your ears.
5. As far as possible avoid keeping the mobile phone in your hip pocket.
6. Use the mobile phone only when the signal is strong (as indicated by the bar pattern displayed on the screen of the phone).
7. Never keep the hand set under or near the pillow when you sleep.
8. Don’t be scared of this useful gadget. All types of scares will affect your well being.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Identify and Establish Your Oneness with the Rest of the World

“Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.”
– Mencius

I have often wondered why the feeling of love among human beings is not as strong as that among other species. We never find a large group of animals fight against another large group with the sole aim of killing, unlike we humans do. The animals nearest to humans on the ladder of evolution are apes; but you never find an army of apes fighting to kill another army of apes. Occasionally you may see a group of street dogs attacking a stray dog which accidentally trespasses into their ‘protected’ area. But they too will not kill the trespasser.

Every day we hear of fights between individuals, families, criminal gangs, political parties, ethnic groups and nations. It won’t be correct to think that the reason for fights among human beings is nature’s dictum of ‘survival of the fittest’. One may be inclined to think that the tendency to fight should have been reduced considerably when humans practiced community living. On the contrary, the feeling of division as ‘we’ and ‘they’ has emerged and grown within all groups and has contributed much against the concept of universal love.

The feeling of division, I think, is not an attribute of nature. Every thing in this universe is made of basic building blocks which we name as fundamental particles like protons and electrons and still ‘more fundamental’ particles like quarks and the god particles. You cannot differentiate between the fundamental particles constituting you and the rest of the things in the whole universe. Mother Nature has therefore built into you (and in everything else in this universe) the basic quality of oneness. 

Think of the particles making your own body. Many of the particles in your eyes, nose, skin, heart, brain and in every thing making your body, which you like more than any thing else, were somewhere else on this planet some time back. To cite just one example, many of these particles were in the ocean, before getting converted into clouds responsible for the rain water which you consumed to sustain your life. Go back through time of the order of billions of years. The particles presently constituting your body were in a star in our galaxy. The star exploded giving birth to the sun and the planets.

Now go further back in time and think of the beginning of every thing. The particles in your body and for that matter, of every thing in the entire universe were concentrated, in an altogether different form, at a point just before the big bang. What else do you require to establish your feeling of oneness with every thing in this universe?

One well known way of trying to unify mankind divided into various ethnic and religious groups has been by citing the invariably red colour of their blood. A much more fundamental point for the unification would be the extremely close contact of the entire entities in the universe at the moment of the big bang. How literally close and touching were you and everything other than you at the beginning! Why should you then think of barriers between yourself and the rest of the world?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil

I am posting this from ‘God’s Own Country’, which has been named Kerala for obvious reasons: ‘Kera’ in Malayalam refers to coconut. Pay a visit to this beautiful part of the world and you will find coconut trees in plenty everywhere.
People in this region are generally healthy and good looking and I can tell you that coconuts have contributed quite a lot to their well being. Coconut oil is the most commonly used cooking oil in Kerala even though a small percentage of people here have switched over to other cooking oils probably by hearing about the high saturated fat content in coconut oil.  
If you search the internet for ‘health benefits of coconut oil’ you will get an amazing volume of results, exposing the hollowness of the arguments in certain media about the harmful effects of coconut oil. In fact there have been deliberate attempts to reduce the score of coconut oil with regards to its use as a healthy cooking medium. The term ‘saturated fat’ has been used very liberally by media to disqualify coconut oil. But what really matters is the size or length of the fat molecule. Oils and fats are composed of molecules called fatty acids. Coconut oil is composed mostly of ‘medium-chain fatty acids’ (MCFA) unlike the majority of other oils and fats (whether saturated or unsaturated) which are composed of ‘long-chain fatty acids’ (LCFA). Medium-chain fatty acids are helpful in reducing the risk of heart diseases and this is exactly why coconut oil scores positively in this context.
Coconut oil is very popular in Kerala not only as a cooking medium but as massaging oil and hair oil. Its anti bacterial and anti-fungal properties are well known. When applied topically, it helps to protect the skin by forming a chemical barrier to ward of infection. Majority of the people of Kerala consider coconut oil as the best cooking oil in spite of biased propaganda against it.
The following link will take you to a very useful post on the benefits of coconut oil which appeared in Huffington Post:

Friday, December 02, 2011

Parliament or People?

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Sir Winston Churchill
A very important question being discussed in India consequent on the legendary Satyagraha of the 74 year ‘young’ Gandhian, Anna Hazare is whether the parliament has unlimited power so as to ignore questions asked by people or whether a large group of people can question the authority of a duly elected parliament. India is the largest democracy in the world and the size itself contributes to peculiar problems. The Indian democratic system has survived in spite of many challenges and the whole world will definitely look forward to its survival. All systems of government have merits and demerits. But democracy is the most preferred system of modern world.
The present tussle between Anna Hazare’s Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan (People's movement against corruption) and the UPA government should certainly cease if the democratic system in India is to be strengthened.
Now, coming to the question of supremacy of the people and the parliament: Personally I believe that the question itself is unnecessary in a strong democracy.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Free Software Download For You Every Day

The idea of giving some thing useful free of cost to the needy is definitely a commendable one. This is exactly what is being done by the website, (GOTD). This website gives a software application every day free of cost to its visitors. Usually the software is available for free download for 24 hours or more. After the expiry of the download time slot, another software application is presented for free download and this process is repeated.

The software offered by GOTD is not a trial version or a limited version, but is a registered legal version. The limitation is that you can download and install it during the allowed time period only. Once installed, you have it without limitations for your personal use.

To go to the site you may click here.

Friday, July 08, 2011

To Publish Your Blogger Blog Using Your Own Custom Domain (To Transfer Your Blog from Blogspot to Your Own Domain)

In my last post, ‘Publishing on Custom Domain’, I had promised to share with you the details of the very simple procedure using which I switched this blog from the blogspot sub domain ( to my own custom domain ( I purchased the domain from since I found their service very reliable and convenient. I had purchased two domains from earlier and was impressed about the ease with which I could manage the entire transfer process using the very convenient zone file editor they offered for entering the CNAME (Alias) record and A (Host) record.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this blog continues to be hosted by Blogger so that I need not worry about the cost of hosting and down time issues. If required, I can avail of the paid hosting service by GoDaddy or any other reliable host.

[Currently Blogger does not allow domains without www (naked domain) such as But this is taken care of in the procedure given below and so even if your visitors search for the URL (without bothering to add the prefix www), they will be redirected to, without getting any error messages. When your visitors search for your old URL at blogspot, blogger will redirect them to your new URL].

For purchasing your domain from, you need to go to their website ( and register your account. Opening this account is free and you need to pay only when you actually buy the domain! Payment through a credit card is a very convenient option but I leave it to you. You may use Paypal if you desire so.

[You may buy a domain with any other TLD (Top Level Domain) you like, such as .net, .org, .in etc.]

I am not going to give the details of the domain purchase process. It is simple and if you want to know more about it, you may try a google search for ‘domain purchase through In this context you will find a useful link here. will inform you (through e-mail) about discount offers for domain names which you can avail of.

Since I could not get the desired domain, I purchased from GoDaddy.

Now, coming to the main points of this post, here are the steps I followed for the domain transfer:

(1) Login to your GoDaddy account.

Click the My Account tab in the row at the top. The picture of the relevant portion of the page you get after your login (to GoDaddy) is given below (in which I have marked where you have to click):

(2) You will get the page (showing the list of domains you own) as shown below. Click Domain Manager link in the left sidebar.

[In the figure shown I have masked the domain names other than so as to minimize distraction]

(3) The page that opens up contains the new DNS Manager link as shown below. Click DNS Manager.

(4) When you click DNS Manager the Standard DNS Dashboard opens up as shown in the figure below. Now click the Edit Zone tab just below the domain you want to use as your custom domain for your blog.

(5) When you click the Edit Zone tab the Zone File Editor opens up (see the picture below) showing a table containing various records such as A (Host), CNAME (Alias), MX (Mail Exchanger) etc., as shown in the picture below. The A (Host) record is at the top and it contains just one entry (which you will change later). The CNAME (Alias) record is just below the A (Host) record and it contains many entries.

Now, you scroll down (through the CNAME records) and find out the entry, www (in the first column, under ‘Host’). The entry www will most probably be the last one in the CNAME record. You might have already found that when you bring your mouse pointer on any record, pencil icons appear in the row, one against each entry as shown in the following figure:

(6) The www entry is in the first column. You need not do any thing with that. In the same row you will find the entry @ in the second column (under ‘Points to’). Click the pencil icon against @ and type in to replace @. Ensure that @ is deleted and alone is the entry in its place.

[It will be a good idea to copy and paste from here so that you do not commit any mistake].

Save the change by clicking the ‘Save Zone File’ tab above the table. You need not do anything with the entry ‘1 Hour’ in the 3rd column under TTL (Time To Live).

[All DNS records have a TTL property which refers to the amount of time other DNS servers and applications are allowed to cache the record].

The picture of the relevant portion of the page after saving the change is shown below:

(7) Now you have to scroll to the top of the table of records and change the default A Name record.

Click the pencil icon against the default entry in the first column and type in your domain name without www to replace the default entry there. This is called naked domain and in my case it is (and not; but you have to enter yours.

Next click the pencil icon against the default entry (IP address numbers) in the second column under ‘Points to’ and enter in place of the default entry there.

[It will be a good idea to copy and paste from here so that you do not commit any mistake].

Leave the entry ‘1 Hour’ in the 3rd column under TTL as it is. Save the changes by clicking the ‘Save Zone File’ tab above the table. The picture given below will be useful to you in making the above entries.

[You will see that the entry in the first column changes to @ when you save the zone file. Don’t worry, that’s normal].

You need to make 3 more A name entries. For this you need to click the ‘Quick Add’ button below the A name entry you already made. You will find a new row opened up with vacant spaces to accept entries in the first and second columns. Type in your domain name without www in the first column. In my case it is (and not; but you have to enter yours. Next enter in the vacant space (under Points to) in the second column.

[It will be a good idea to copy and paste from here so that you do not commit any mistake].

Keep the default entry ‘1 Hour’ (under TTL) in the 3rd column unchanged. Save the zone file.

Making use of the Quick Add tab, repeat the above process to enter the remaining two more A names to point to IP addresses and respectively so that you get a total of four A name entries as shown in the following picture. Do not forget to save the zone file.

[In the picture I have shown how a new row is opened up on clicking the ‘Quick Add’ button. But there is no need in clicking the ‘Quick Add’ button after completing the four A name entries].

(8) Now, you have to update your blogger settings. For this login to to your Blogger account.

In the Blogger dashboard click ‘settings’. The familiar window that opens up is shown in the figure below. You can see “Switch to: Custom Domain”. Click ‘Custom Domain’.

(9) The window that opens up on clicking ‘custom domain’ is shown below. Since you have already purchased a domain from GoDaddy, you have to click ‘Switch to advanced settings

(10) The window that opens up on clicking ‘Switch to advanced settings’ is shown below. Now type in the name of your domain with www. in the space shown. In my case it is (and not the naked domain; but you have to enter yours. Complete the word verification and click ‘SAVE SETTINGS’.

(11) In the window that opens up (shown below), you will see the announcement that you are publishing on a custom domain. Select the option for redirecting to (in my case to, by clicking the small box indicated in the following picture. Complete the word verification and click ‘SAVE SETTINGS’.

Your work is over!

View your blog and satisfy yourself that the address bar shows your custom domain. (In the case of this blog the URL has changed from to

Please note that in some cases the switch over to your custom domain may take time, usually not more than 24 hours. So don’t panic if you experience any delay. In the case of this site no such delay was experienced.