Monday, January 5, 2015

Harbour Bridge


I hope everyone had wonderful holidays. Now we are ready to step into the New Year 2015. We are not leaving last year behind, we are taking the lessons learned in the previous years and adding to the new lessons from the year 2015.

That's enough of philosophy. During the winter vacation Sapna went to Australia to study the behavior of Marsupials for her biology class. She returned to the US and decided to learn robotics!

Happy New Year!


Harbour Bridge

Sapna unpacked her bags and took a couple of postcards from her folder to her sixteen-year-old brother, Sagar.

"Bhaiya, I saw the most fantastic bridge in the world."

"Oh, yeah? Got any pictures? Photos?"

"I have some on my cell phone but the battery is down. I have these postcards."

"Cool, let's see them."

"The pictures are okay, but I want to tell you about Rosey and Sandy."

"Who are they?"

Sapna sat next to Sagar's chair, "They both weigh 25 Kilograms each and are grit blasting robots who are permanently employed to clean the bridge, an enormous job! We saw them, albeit from a distance."

"Wow, sounds interesting."

Sapna continued, "Well this Harbour Bridge in Sydney is 53000 tons of steel with so many joints. You can see the Sydney Opera House from there. It looks so pretty at night. Of course we didn't get to see an opera."

"I thought you were telling me about a bridge."

"Oh, yeah, it's also called an arch bridge has lots of joints and old paint and rust on it. It took so long to build it .. starting in 1923 and completing in 1932. Anyway, blasting off the lead paint and rust is hazardous to human health, so instead of using humans with masks and protective covering, they are using Sandy and Rosey to do the job."


"These robots have two meter long arms that can bend, turn, extend and clean the rivet nuts and these robotic arms go around, behind the six million rivets to remove the rust and paint."

"It appears to be bigger than the Mississippi in Memphis."

"They say it's 60 Sports fields, two miles long. Is a sports field longer than a football field Bhaiya?"

"I don't know, we can Google it."

"Anyway I have decided that my field of study after High School will be Robotics -- that's it, robotics for me."

"That's great, learn Japanese and you'll be able to study robotics even better 'cause the Japanese use thousands of robots for a lot of chores."

"Okay, Sayonara, Bhaiya, I am going to finish my unpacking."


The End

© 2015, Meera Desai Shah

Monday, December 22, 2014


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very Joyous and Peaceful New Year!


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Decision Maker


The children in my weekly post are on vacation, so it's just my post, you and I.

Every week, about twenty of us get together and talk, then eat lunch -- always an important aspect of the meeting! We realized the six enemies of human beings are -- Lust, Anger, Ego, attachment, Greed and Jealousy. If we can get rid of them, the life becomes peaceful! A tough call but we can try.

Then earlier this month, a friend sent an E mail about a grandfather and his grandson. The senior man said that two wolves are at a constant battle within us. The first on is the Evil wolf represented by Anger, Jealousy, Greed, Resentment, Inferiority, Lies and Ego. While the second wolf is represented by Joy, Peace, Love, Hope, Humility, Kindness, Empathy and Truth. The curious young mind wanted to know who won! The grandfather quietly replied, "The one you feed."

As our lives go on, we hear, read about what and how we should live. Ultimately, the power to follow the right path rests upon us -- you are the decision maker of your life.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Heart to Heart


The four siblings have a heart to heart talk in today's post.


Heart to heart

The six-year-old twins brought a magazine to Sagar's room, "Bhaiya, tell us, what does this say about a blue whale? There's also a tennis ball with a hand around it."

Sagar read the captions, "It says that a blue hale has the largest heart, weighing more than 1500 pounds and a hand squeezing a tennis ball is the ..." 

"We weigh thirty six pounds each."

"Girls, 1500 pounds is the weight of a whale's heart and the hand around a tennis ball says the heart works as heart as the energy it takes to squeeze a tennis ball."

Suchi said, "That's good, that's all about a heart, now tells us what is this about a choir?"

Their brother laughed, "Okay, a Swedish Research team has discovered that when a choir sings their hearts synchronize--they beat at the same time."

Soori said, "What, again about a heart? Okay, what about these laughing children?" 

Sagar nodded, "Well, when you laugh, 20% more blood flows through the body, relaxing the blood vessels, making the heart healthy."

"What? Again the heart? We don't want to read it." Suchi threw the magazine in Sapna's lap and the twins left the room."

Sapna read on, "Bhaiya, don't you let some damsel break your heart, because that trauma will make your body release a stress hormone that will make your heart mimic a heart attack."

"Okay, I'll remember that. What else does it say about the human heart?"

Sapna said, "Here's something about the first heart transplant."

"Ha, I know that. Dr. Christian Barnard of South Africa did the first heart transplant and the patient lived for 18 days."

Sapna nodded, "Right. This is really interesting, as long as a heart receives a blood supply, it keeps beating even outside the body with its own electric impulse! Cool, yeah?"

Sagar said, "Yeah, real cool. Now let's cut it short, give me just a couple of facts okay?"

Sapna, "Okay, okay, big boss... I could throw this paper at you and let you read it yourself. But I am being a good sister and a friend so I tell you a couple of things."

Sagar made a face, "Thanks."

"Okay then, number one, even the three thousand year old mummies had heart attacks...go figure their stress. And second fact, during one's lifetime a heart will pump enough blood to fill 200 train cars! And the last one, the heart spends enough energy pumping to make a truck drive 20 millions miles, equivalent of a distance to the moon  and back!"

Sagar said, "Thank you Sapna, that was enlightening. I think the mummies had the stress of building their pyramids. Now, back to my homework."

Sapna tossed the paper on his table, "Go to your homework stress free and in peace, dear Bhaiya."

She left the room.

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah

Friday, December 5, 2014

Engineering Marvels


I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Today's post is also about 'inventions', engineering marvels.


Engineering Marvels

Twelve-year-old, Sapna brought the article about re-inventions back to her 16 year old brother, Sagar, "Bhaiya, only one more re-inventions seems cool, the rest are just okay."

Sagar asked, "Oh, yeah, which one did you like?"

"This one, it's about an LED light installed in the the socket cover it self! In the evening it senses the darkness and lights up! Look at this cool picture,"

Sagar said, "I know, I saw it, but see there are some engineering marvels."

The twins joined the older siblings, "Can we also see them? Please?"

"Absolutely, see. Here is the biggest Solar Power ship, and this is really cool, a bowl made of chocolate! You eat the bowl and the contents!"

Suchi said, "Didi, let's make this chocolate bowl!"

Sapna looked at the picture, "Yep, it's doable. But let's look at a couple more of these marvels.'

Sagar scrolled down the computer screen, "Here is a cool chopping board for mom's kitchen -- it can tell you if the vegetables are clean or not! It can give you the step-by-step recipes, weigh the correct amount and the works -- well, it does not cook the veggies. Oh, there is this one about a cool tree house and the solar public lights in India somewhere, and ah, this one is about the the best car there is, a dome car, see!"

"Wow, Bhaiya, will you drive this car?"

"Ha, not a chance. I am happy if I get mom's or dad's old car when I get my proper licence."

"Will you give us a ride?"

"Sure, everyday."

The End


© 2014, Meera Desai Shah





You Have to See These 10 Great Inventions!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


It appears that science and technology come up with an invention almost every day. Some are worth waiting for while the others make you comment, 'oh, wow!' Often the wheel gets reinvented when the original invention gets tweaked and a better model comes. In this post some reinvented wheels are presented. 



Sagar smiled, "Oh, wow, this is cool."

His younger sister, twelve-year-old Sapna looked up from her homework and asked, "Bhaiya, don't you have any home work? Maybe you are impressed by the homework, I never find it worth saying 'oh, wow' in my homework.

"I haven't even started my homework yet, Dad left this interesting article on my desk, and all I can say is 'oh, wow.'

Sapna put her homework down and came to Sagar, "I want to see the article."

Sagar covered the article with his arms, "Wait, I want you to listen to it first and then see."

Sapna pulled a chair and sat by Sagar, "That's being rude, but okay, tell me."

"Rude or not, I have the article, my rules. You've seen a saw, right? It moves, back and forth and sometimes in a fraction of a second, an accident occurs, your nail or the tip of a finger or a leg or ..."

"Stop telling me all the body parts that get nipped, what's the invention?"

"Well, this saw can tell when your flesh is about to be nipped and it quickly moves away, preventing a chopped nail, a finger ... "

"Stop, I get it, the saw detects human flesh and moves away. Cool. Now show me the picture."

Sagar covered the picture, "Not just now, I am going to tell you about all the inventions and then show you. how the saw dips away."

Sagar shrugged, "OK, or I could just leave ... "

"You'll be the loser." Sagar said, "I am a good brother, I you to learn, come on, sit on your chair."

Sapna made a face, "Yes, big brother, I am all ears."

"The next one is something we could use, and the Europeans too who use bicycles to go to work. It's a helmet you don't see, until you are about to fall and hit your head, then it inflates."

"Ah, I like it, an invisible airbag helmet that inflates before the impact."

"Yeah, exactly, two Swedish design students came up with it."

"No pictures, huh?"

"Nope, later. The next one is, ah, this is good for all the places that don't have too much space or water for toilets."

"Studios apartments?"

"Yes, and then some. This hygienic toilet folds. It uses less water and it's is easier to clean around it. We could use such toilets in all the public places."

"Yeah, and what other invention?"

"It is a Revolution door, it opens or shuts with just a touch of a hand. and  can be made from any material -- wood, plastic, glass etc."

"Hmm, not impressed. The next one?"

"This one is about water or any other liquid. You know how liquids stick to the surface of its container? Well, Liquiglide makes the surfaces hydrophobic keeping liquids glide instead of sticking to it. The bottle or container is made from a non-toxic material that hates liquids."

"You mean I won't have to bang on the bottom of my ketchup bottle to get the last drop out?"

"That's right."

"What else? The pictures?"

"Nope, Sapna, I better get to my homework, may be later."

"You are not the only one who can read and understand, give me the article."

"Okay, I am tired of reading and explaining to you, here, read it for yourself."

Sapna sat with the article and read, "Oh, neat, this is totally cool, oh, wow! I am going to show it to the twins. "

"Go, enjoy showing off, now let me study."

Sapna shrugged, and went to Suchi-Soori's room, "Hey, do you want to see something interesting? Find me the picture where the bike rider is about to fall!"

"Oh, I want to find him." They both stood by Sapna and peeked over her shoulders.

Sapna showed them the five pictures and talked about the inventions.

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah

You Have to See These 10 Great Inventions!

You Have to See These 10 Great Inventions!

The SawStop 

You Have to See These 10 Great Inventions!

 The Invisible Helmet

You Have to See These 10 Great Inventions!

The Iota Toilet

You Have to See These 10 Great Inventions!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Hiro and Tadashi


Partial or complete automation is coming everywhere. From buying tickets for a railroad trip to surgery and flying into the space.

Japan has for long delved in robotics.


Hiro and Tadashi

Eight-year-old twins, Suchi and Soori dashed into their older brother, Sagar's room.

"Bhaiya, take us to see this movie."

Suchi put a finger the picture of a robot hugging a little Asian boy. 

Sagar said, "How do you even know if it's a movie? You don't even have the movie section of the newspaper in your hands!" 

Soori said, "Yesterday we forgot to show you this sheet our teacher gave us."

Sapna joined the conversation, "Why would a teacher ask you to go to see a movie?"

Suchi said, "It's about a robot."

Soori added, "And the robots are going to take over the world."

Sagar said, "Are you two talking about the Disney film, Big Hero 6?"

Sapna said, "That's the one about a robot nurse who helps a 14-year-old feel better."

"Yep, that's the one when some bad people kill his brother."

Sagar took the sheet from one of twins and read, "See how a robotic nurse, Baymax helps 14-year-old, Hiro deal with the death of his older brother, Tadashi."

Sagar said, "You know Japan does not have as many people as India or China or even the USA. They have scientists who are making robots to help in stores, schools and even in hospitals. These robots sound and behave like humans. They sometimes show human emotions."

Sapna interrupted Sagar's lecture, "How can a robot show human emotions?" 

"It's programmed in the robot computers. I guess certain words and actions by humans trigger the computers to make the robot show emotions. I don't really know much about it."

Soori said, "We don't care how the robots show emotions, we want to see Big Hero 6."

The other twin asked, "So when are we going?"

"After we take Mom 'n Dad's permission to let you see this movie."

"Maybe this evening when they go to their meeting."

The twins yelled, "Yippee...robot we come!"

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah