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 movie....here we come!"

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Boston is Venice?

Most of the earth is covered by water but the 'human world' is on land; we live, work and die on land, except for those who work with oceans and rivers and other water bodies. 
Scientist say that man's abuse of the environment is causing global warming which in turn is causing the snow on the mountains to melt, causing the sea levels to rise. 

Today's story is about water from seas coming into towns.


Boston is Venice?

Sagar put his foot on one chair and leaned back on the other as he read his history book. 

Sapna came in waving a piece of paper, ""Bhaiya, on our next trip, let's go to Venice."

"To Italy? Why? It's way out in Europe."

"Bhaiya, you are talking as if we never left the American shores."

"Well, Sapna, I am reading the history of Boston's tea party and how all that tea was thrown away into the sea and..."

"Bhaiya, you and I don't even drink tea, even if our parents drink chai at least twice a day. What has that got to do with our traveling to Italy."

Sagar looked up from his book, "Oh, I sound like a nut don't I? The American history is so interesting, how everyone fights the British." 

"Bhaiya, LISTEN, what has that got to do with going to Venice?"

"Venice? I don't know, it's a city of canals."

"Exactly, and it's so pretty, look at these pictures, You don't go by car, you take a gondola -- a boat to go from place to place. And, I say, let's go to Europe next summer, especially to Italy."

"Sapna, if you wait a few years, Boston and its canals would be much cheaper."

"What do you mean?"

Sagar looked down at his book, "The other day I read in the news that sea levels are rising, the land is sinking. It's going to become a big problem for some cities on the US East Coast. The Boston people are thinking of copying Venice and Amsterdam, and becoming a city of canals."


"Hurricane Sandy affected Boston area also and if had been high tide, the hurricane water in Boston would have joined with the high tide waters from the sea and the streets of Boston would have flooded."

"Oh, who says that?"

"Scientists. They say that the sea-level will rise on the US east coast by up to six feet (2 m) by the end of the century."

"By the end of the century, the east coast will be flooded? I would be, let's see, I'd be a young lady of 96! I have no plan to live that long."

"The city planners and the architects are thinking of letting the water into the city instead of stopping it and turning the city into American Venice-Amsterdam."

"You din't hear me Bhaiya, I'll be 96! I don't care! I want to go to Venice next summer, when I'm still young."

"Sapna, you should be thinking of your children and grandchildren!" 

"Bhaiya, have you lost your mind? I am only 12! Why would I think of Boston floods by the end of the century?"

"Right, you are right, let the Boston architects and city administrators think about Boston, I'll toss this article into trash and do my history work."

Sagar tossed the piece of paper into the garbage bin. 

Sapna promptly picked it up, "Thanks Bhaiya, you just gave me material for my next science project." 

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah