Wednesday, February 21, 2018

My Hamsters Intelligence

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The truth is that we learn immensely by way of observing nature and in the process accept that certain animals or plants are far more aligned and adapted with nature to make us realize that we have a lot of catching up to do. Nature has its own ways so that one learns and finds amazement and happiness. The way by which communication takes place is different for various species depending on the species' intelligence. The communication between ants, bees, birds, whales, humans etc has been studied and documented; only to realize and accept the fact we need to cross our boundaries of science or human behavior and cognize species' behavior for an in-depth knowledge. The response of few animals before the earth quake, has helped many to wonder about the simple warnings that nature could give. Similarly, my observations about our hamster, 'Michoo' surprise me about its ability to communicate its intentions or needs or moods, as may be the case (along with my ability to decipher them :)).

Every morning, I have to pick up a sleepy Michoo from its cozy corner and feed it with small portions of vegetables, nuts, fruits, rice, roti etc and allow it to roam free for some time. During this time, if he tries to be in search of a place and circles it at least thrice, then it means that it wants to urinate. All I do is pick it up and put in bathroom which ensures no mess or foul smell. I find my hamster intelligent enough to tell me about its urgent need and wait for me to relieve himself in appropriate place. It would at times come to me and tug on my feet so as to attract my attention which usually meant that he wanted me to surprise him with some treats.

During one of our family vacation of 15 days, we asked one of our animal loving family friends to take care of our dear pet. On our return, I went to collect our pet and was chatting with my friends about our trip. Lo and behold ! on hearing my voice, Michoo started looking for me in the well maintained cage and on my opening the door, he very cautiously walked into my palm, smelled it and licked it. I interpreted his behaviour as a display of his love towards me and also the fact that he was glad to be with his family and home even though my friends had been very loving towards our pet. This reflects intelligence on part of the hamsters who know their familiar surroundings and their family.

There are many interpretations of my hamsters behaviour and many that I failed to notice. The intelligence of any animal for that matter needs to be studied and analyzed in context with their natural habitat which questions our interpretative ability too.

News is in the News

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Strange but true. The ones briefing the happenings of the day, are in fact - the news. Look at how the channels promote certain news readers or news conductors in order to attract the viewers. No wonder retelling the news is more to do with spinning the news and enticing the audience. The audience tries to keep pace in lapping up the tremendous amount of opinions and polls and masala too. The resulting information pollution that I call news acidity; has affected me to the extent that I only watch news as the last option; once my quota of daily soaps and movies is done. 

I have found that the news that were once categorized as local news, national news, international news, sports news, weather news etc, have now been remodeled respectively as local debate, national berate, international calibrate, sports placate, weather hypothecate. The channel on markets and economy also exists which has its share of discussing the companies and equities. These transitions in the manner in which some information is broadcasted in a neutral and impartial way, has happened due to many reasons like increasing the TRPs, having an edge over others in coming up with the news, publicizing or promoting certain elements and personalities, etc. Many a times the channels broadcasting the news, turn into judges themselves. Though I must add the fact that the reporters do unearth or quite a few scams and bring forth the issues and travails of the common man. Their efforts at times solves a problem or highlights the difficult situations for appropriate actions.

On the other hand, the news reading or conducting debates is also a job that demands attitude and aggression on the part of the news reader or anchor. Their news delivery style or their attire sets conversational and fashion trends. All this comes together with an excellent 'set' and high tech communication equipment and the support of onsite news correspondents. Not to mention the surveys and polls carried out by these television channels that tries to predict events and then discuss the predictions !

The viewer gets to see all the current happenings in 'slo-mo' with various dramatic effects of things and dramatic entries of people and at times the dramatic announcement of some happenings or mishaps. All these cause much time loss for the viewer and for most it leads to a disinterest in the news itself where the bad over shadows the good.

The world needs to see the good side as well. There are so many good people and good happenings that could replace the bad and the ugly so that it sets an example for the citizens and netizens to follow. A concept of 'Happy News' instead of 'Breaking News' would be a welcome change. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Theory of Everyone !

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I admire Stephen Hawking for his intellectual abilities and also his strong determination, no matter whatever the odds. It was no wonder then that I bought a book on 'Quest for Theory of Everything", written about him and his theories by Kitty Ferguson. In the first few pages, I read about the difficulty in predicting the position and velocity of an object at the same time. I also read about the expanding universe which implies that the dark matter or space between macro objects keeps on increasing. In other words, the stars, the galaxies are moving moving away from each other. The universe is this 'large', or probably infinite due to this expansion and most likely no forces of attraction to hold these galaxies together.

Compare this with the micro particles which stay together but maintain their distance. For example, protons and neutrons are held together inside the nucleus whereas the electrons are outside the nucleus revolving in fixed orbits. It shows the existence of forces of attraction as well as repulsion, which more or less balance each other. As we probe further, we find that individual atoms may form bonds with other atoms of same or different elements. The force of attraction is maximum in case of such bonds. At micro level, the force of attraction is more easily seen as compared to macro level objects.

These two distinct scenarios, though related to micro physics and astronomy and celestial bodies, convey a deeper meaning for our society too. Whether it is iron age or today's computer age, humans have have always shown a tendency to move away in search of relatively greener pastures; the search for exoplanet is only but natural. The universe and we (human species) as a part of universe, no wonder, always try to expand our horizons. This possibly arises due to strong repulsion and out of our need to eat more than we can digest. We spread because we cannot be contented at one place with one another.

Our social structure though encourages cohesion and coupling, also exhibits intolerance and violence that spills over countries and continents too. Most probably these are balancing forces as long as there is some system in the vast chaos, but there is discord in between which shows repulsion getting stronger. In a society or a section of society, where there is peace and harmony, it probably shows more attraction than repulsion. Interactions between humans has reduced and has got replaced with interaction with hi tech gadgets, but never the less, its attraction between human and gadget. Overall the entropy remains constant.

The funny part is that if energy and mass are constant in nature though interchangeable, then in the case of humans also it is true. Those who consume more mass need to spend so much energy in order to keep their balance. Also the fact that if we take more then we must give back more too. Quantum physics surely holds true for us all.

Reading the book made me think of the similarities in humans and micro physics, and the dissimilarities too. Nevertheless, what if emotions are bosons and quarks, then surely there is an explanation to the human behavior too.