Saturday, May 3, 2008

Global Food Crisis .... more catastrophic than the Oil Crisis !

This is but common sense. And it seems the whole world is heading towards a food crisis.

It's much more serious than the Oil Crisis. Because the Oil Crisis can be over-riden by methods like curtailing vehicles and other means.

But, food is what we live on.

Check out the excerpt by John Vidal in The Guardian :

"Empty shelves in Caracas. Food riots in West Bengal and Mexico. Warnings of hunger in Jamaica, Nepal, the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africa. Soaring prices for basic foods are beginning to lead to political instability, with governments being forced to step in to artificially control the cost of bread, maize, rice and dairy products.

Record world prices for most staple foods have led to 18% food price inflation in China, 13% in Indonesia and Pakistan, and 10% or more in Latin America, Russia and India, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Wheat has doubled in price, maize is nearly 50% higher than a year ago and rice is 20% more expensive, says the UN. Next week the FAO is expected to say that global food reserves are at their lowest in 25 years and that prices will remain high for years.

Last week the Kremlin forced Russian companies to freeze the price of milk, bread and other foods until January 31, for fear of a public backlash with a parliamentary election looming. "The price of goods has risen sharply and that has hit the poor particularly hard," said Oleg Savelyev, of the Levada Centre polling institute.

India, Yemen, Mexico, Burkina Faso and several other countries have had, or been close to, food riots in the last year, something not seen in decades of low global food commodity prices. Meanwhile, there are shortages of beef, chicken and milk in Venezuela and other countries as governments try to keep a lid on food price inflation."

This might lead to potentially dangerous situations !

People grumble about Oil Prices,


And it seems almost all nations are getting hit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Extra Terrestrial (E.T) Life within our solar system ?

Life has been found in places where once we thought it was IMPOSSIBLE to find .

Like deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Or 1 mile deep down within the Earth.

That's about Planet Earth. But what about alien life forms within our solar system?

Check this report by Tom Randall in bloomberg.com :

"Saturn's Titan Moon May Harbor Hidden Ocean of Water (Update1)

By Tom Randall

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Saturn's largest moon, T, is covered with miles of ice and land that may slosh across a huge hidden ocean capable of supporting life, astronomers said.

The theory explains why geological features such as dunes, lakes, channels, craters and icy volcanoes have drifted tens of miles in three years, according to a study published today in the journal Science.

Titan is the only known space object besides Earth with bodies of liquid, mostly methane, on the surface, and the only moon with a dense atmosphere. The Saturn moon is covered with rich combinations of organic materials, and the presence of a liquid ocean under the ground would complete the building blocks of life, said Ralph Lorenz, who has written two books on Titan.

``Titan is really a unique world in our solar system,'' said Lorenz, the study's lead author and a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, Maryland. ``A world where there's both water and lots of organic material is a very powerful combination that promises to tell us about the chemical evolution that leads to life.''

Radar images from the robotic spacecraft Cassini Huygens taken in 2004 surprised scientists by showing that the majority of Titan's surface was solid, covered with ice that's miles thick. Researchers had thought it would be topped with a global hydrocarbon ocean. More images from the spacecraft and a probe that descended to the surface revealed dunes, lakes, channels, craters and icy volcanoes.

Three years later, Cassini sent a second round of images that showed the same features, only not where the astronomers expected to find them. Early theories for the shift included a periodic wobble of the moon's axis or an enormous recent impact, though there was no evidence of such events.

Miles of Drift

The Earth's atmosphere creates a drag that shifts the surface of the planet about a millimeter every year, Lorenz said. Titan's greenhouse-gas atmosphere is much thicker than the Earth's, and the influence it has on Titan's smaller surface is much greater. That still didn't explain the miles of drift on the surface. The movement could happen only if it the surface is riding on an ocean of water, he said.

Titan is about half the size of the Earth and bigger than Mercury, Pluto and Earth's moon. It is much farther from the sun than Earth is, and only the dense atmospheric gases keep the temperature at about 290 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (180 degrees below zero Celsius). Liquid methane rains from the skies and collects in lakes. Dark sand and icy mountains cover broad sections of Titan's equator.

``If the presence of an ocean is confirmed, Titan would be the fourth object in the solar system with a deep ocean'' underground, and the only one with liquid surface pools and organic processes, according to an editorial in the journal by scientists Christophe Sotin and Gabriel Tobie.

Future missions to Titan ``will help us to understand the cycle of the elements and organic molecules that play a key role in the formation and evolution of life,'' the scientists said. "

But may I add:

WE are afraid of higher - intelligence life forms......evident from all those Martian sci-fi movies.

IMHO, we should be more careful of any microbial life forms that have survived billions of years.
Reason is: these microbial life forms can MUTATE RAPIDLY and can cause havoc if INTRODUCED EVEN ACCIDENTALLY from a spaceship coming back to Earth.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Next U.S. president should be John Mc Cain

John Mc Cain, legendary war hero , shouldn't have much difficulty in becoming the next U.S. president. Which means a victory for the Republicans.

Here's my analysis:

  1. The Republican fight for the primaries was an easy victory for John Mc Cain. He easily defeated his rival Huckabee.
  2. John Mc Cain has now been endorsed by all the Republicans. There's UNITY amongst the Republicans now.
  3. A large part of the existing ESTABLISHMENT supports John Mc Cain now. This will prove to be a boost.
  4. Mc Cain is a legendary war hero. Very few people have endured what he has.
  5. Republican mobilization during election time is far better than the Democrats.
  6. Democrats are now DIVIDED straight down the middle between Obama and Hillary Clinton.
  7. Both Obama and Hillary are favorites amongst the Democrats. But once any one is elected, the other camp might vote Republican.
  8. Democrats might jeopardize their own nomination. None of the 2 would carry 100% of the within Democrat support. For example, Al gore carried at least close to total Democrat support. But Obama and Hillary both would fail at this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Wildfires ..... time to panic indeed

California wildfires this time are indeed a time to panic....& take action.

Reason : The trend shows an overall increase in the duration and frequency of wildfires.

Quoting Reuters below :

"Relentless wildfires forcing the largest evacuations in California's modern history raged into a fourth day on Wednesday as 10,000 exhausted firefighters hoped for a break in the hot winds whipping the flames."

Our take : This is the largest evacuation till now. It is only to be expected to grow worse as Global Warming progresses.

"With half a million people driven from their homes, 1,000 houses already lost and some 470 square miles (1,220 sq km) scorched across the southern half of the state, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's government has put economic losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars."

Our take :

Such wildfires, floods, glacier melting are going to keep on increasing.......we haven't yet started looking at the financial losses due to global warming...maybe the pundits should do some calculation. Because financial losses would be starting even before human losses. It should start incresing to trillions globally.

"If the weather cooperates maybe we can turn the tide," U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said as he toured San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, where 10,000 people have taken refuge. "We're still facing some very serious fires."

Our take : the authorities should start planning on how to handle such large evacuees. It's going to lead to an increase in very poor public sanitation, crimes, outbreak of diseases.

Remember what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Since both Nokia & Matsushita are world renowned companies, it always struck us as weird the BATTERIES WERE FAULTY.

Real reason , as we had pointed out …is the VIRUS !

Of course, many things are pointing in that direction….

1. BL- 5C was the given battery model supposed to be faulty.


2. Again, why are the blasts started occurring only recently ? IF THESE SET OF BATTERIES WERE FAULTY, WOULD NOT THE BLASTS HAVE STARTED MUCH EARLIER ? Like how come there can be a stipulated time frame for the blasts to start ?

3. WHY ARE RENOWNED COMPANIES LIKE NOKIA & MATSUSHITA AFFECTED ……NOT LESSER KNOWN COMPANIES ??? Millions of people can’t still believe Nokia & Matsushita can make such errors.

We all know how difficult it is to trace mobile viruses. A Symbian operating system is based on Java, & it must be a helluva virus.


The virus causes short –circuiting only IF

1. The mobile battery is charging.

2. The power is on.

3. While it’s charging, you attend a call, or press on a function.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nokia battery blasts due to virus ??

Now this techie friend's version is:

The virus gets into the system......the operating system has to be a higher version. Symbian or higher.

It starts disrupting the battery - electronic circuit board interface.

Let me give you an analogy related to your computer:

SMPS regulates voltage to the PC motherboard by turning on & off the power transistors. A boot sector virus can mess up the BIOS so that the power transistors go totally awry.

Result : KA-BOOM

Thing's a bit like that.

When you put to charge your battery...the virus gets ACTIVE. Then if you answer a call while it's charging..........
The virus plays haywire with the charge being distributed.......

Researchers are still trying to find out the exact mechanism.

Friday, August 24, 2007


By now, we’re all familiar with the Nokia battery BL5-C being replaced due to certain batteries “blasting” due to short-circuit or whatever….

In reality we are all confused as to what is the real reason for such batteries acting like mini bombs….I mean these companies Nokia & Matsushita are really top-of-the-line….the best in the world.

Their SINCERITY can be ascertained from the following quote :

“Matsushita Electric Industrial Co (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday that Nokia's (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) replacement of mobile phone batteries made by the Japanese electronics maker is likely to cost it 10-20 billion yen ($86-$172 million).

Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, earlier this month warned consumers that 46 million batteries made by Panasonic-brand maker Matsushita and used in its cellphones could overheat, and offered to replace them for free.”

These guys are taking in huge losses for the benefit of the customer. So, it’s definitely not the fault of these companies.

So, why are these batteries over-heating and causing such a danger?

A few of my tech friends say it’s a VIRUS !

The virus is attacking Mobile Operating Systems, and if you happen to have these 3 factors, the battery can burst:

1. The mobile battery is charging.
2. The power is on.
3. While it’s charging, you attend a call, or press on a function.

The modus operandi of the virus is still unknown……..but they say it’s affecting the circuit – battery firmware interface.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter Mania…the Climax

We are witnessing Harry potter mania as never seen before…..not only because it’s the last one of the series. A lot of things happen….

A lot of characters are killed off….some are apprehensive of Harry himself.

In the previous episodes, all ye Harry Potter readers were in a parallel universe…but then that parallel universe was a world of fantasy. But this episode seems to merge this parallel universe into our own realistic world.

That was what J.K. Rowling was hinting at for a long time.

What makes this final episode interesting is its REALISTIC APPROACH.

Harry seems to be making a transformation from adolescence to adulthood. He has to confront his own frailties, his own limitations in dealing with Voldemort.. The preview says the elves, goblins & other exotic beings choose sides dependent on what they think the outcome is going to be.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows……It is the climax of the Eternal Conflict between the Forces of Good & the Forces of Evil.

Readers must brace themselves for the death of 5-6 of their favorite characters…..methinks Harry will live, badly bruised.

But what about Hermione, what about Ron ? The ultimate sacrifice is demanded from one of them….

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Russia flexing its muscles again

Russia , sensing NATO is overstretched in 5-7 fronts, is flexing its muscles. One has to remember the Cold War Era + the undeniable fact that Russia still has a NUCLEAR ARSENAL ALMOST EQUAL TO THE USA....in some areas , even greater.

This is adding to the already growing tension.

This reports by Guy Falconbridge, reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Wednesday rejected a NATO offer to hold a special conference on a key European arms pact and instead proposed working on a new agreement, local news agencies quoted a top defense ministry official as saying.

President Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday Russia would pull out of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, a landmark pact limiting post-Cold War military strength.

NATO said it was "very concerned" at the pullout and suggested Russia should join an extraordinary conference to discuss its concerns about the treaty.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Late geophysicist Hubbert predicted way back in 1956 that peak year for oil production would be between 2004 to 2008. Though during 1956, it wasn’t given much accreditation….right now more & more oil analysts are saying that will be the case.

It’s difficult to predict but definitely range for peak oil production is between 2002 to 2010. At least from 2010, oil production is DEFINITELY GOING TO GO DOWN.

Reason :- We just can’t find enough oil reservoirs. And the ones that are being found cannot be extracted profitably.

Now what’s going to add up to the chaos?? – China & India’s production are rising rapidly.

Some say, oil will run out by 2050.

But the problems will start much early, within 2015……when production will be 60% of today’s with huge demand + NO ALTERNATIVES.

It would mean global conflicts of a scale not seen before.

What’s happening in the Mid-East is SCARY ??? Experts say –

We are just watching a TRAILER OF THE FIGHT FOR GASOLINE !

Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007


What with all the risks involved, a friend of mine told me that he just can’t afford car insurance in New York. Another colleague told me car insurance in California might go up 150% next year.

What seems to be the reason behind this ?

Well, I got the scoop.

Till now, insurance companies were making up for the losses by gaining from the other states.

But, it seems like there is going to be an extremely complicated new legislation to be passed in Congress which is going to put a cap on these insurance companies’ asset translocations.

somebody told me we got more lead in our gasoline damaging the engines...anybody have an idea ??

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tumbling Asian Stocks….”domino effect”

Asian Stocks are tumbling, by around 2% average !

Reason: The Dow has fallen by 1.97 %…..Reason Dow fell was there were concerns about U.S. sub-prime lenders, who are providing mortgages to people with poor credit. Of course, if they fail, the lenders’ / banks / financial institutions might be in a mess…… So the Dow fell….

But what is truly surprising is why 7+ Asian stocks fell…..phenomenon being a “domino-effect”….Of course, IT IS A GLOBAL MARKET (at least when you’re dealing with stocks, of course). But the fall, IMHO, was a local U.S. phenomenon.

Question is : What effect can this have globally? The Asian markets have strong fundamentals, so there should be no cause for worry.

It is surprising to see the fall of the Nikkei 225 (2.92%), Shanghai Composite, Sensex(3%), Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 (2.1%), Singapore's Straits Times(3.17%), S.Korean Kospi,(2%), Hong Kong's Hang Seng (2.8%)…..
My financial consultant Mr. Debajyoti Dutta-Roy asked me to wait for a further fall to buy some blue-chips....this guy's delivered in the past, so I'm heeding his advice

Sunday, February 25, 2007


We all know that Iran is just a few months away from developing full-scale thermonuclear devices (i.e. atom bombs). And it already has a sophisticated missile system. This is pretty dangerous for the entire Middle east.

Also, Iran had developed an intercontinental missile capable of delivering several small warheads that could reach Europe.

But what comes as news is that a U.S. panel has been created to plan a bombing attack that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from President George W. Bush.

Now, what does that mean ?

If U.S. acts rashly, and takes out Iran’s nuclear facilities, it can have disastrous consequences.

Iran is a master of covert actions. This has been recorded in the past. It can ferry across nukes to different regions of its allies, like Syria, or even the Hezbollah of Lebanon.
Proof : the past Iran-made Hezbollah missiles that were used in the recent conflict with Israel.

So, an unilateral attack by the U.S. can lead to UNDETECTED NUKES being launched from Hezbollah-held positions in Lebanon. As well as parts of Syria, and even parts of southern Shia-dominated Iraq. Not to mention Iran.

IMHO, U.S. should consult its global allies before even thinking of unilaterally carrying out such action.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Richard Branson, (with Al Gore by his side) has offered $25 million for ‘solving’ Global Warming. There’s a concrete proposal – you have to remove at least a billion tons of carbon dioxide a year from the Earth's atmosphere.

I’d say they are the right people to spearhead such a campaign……but the million $ question is :

Are we too late? Have we entered an IRREVERSIBLE TREND ?

We have strategies to capture carbon dioxide & greenhouse gases at industrial regions, but here is no strategy to REMOVE gases already released. These might be causing irreversible damage.

We are already witnessing effects of global warming throughout the globe :

Super hurricanes, like Hurricane Katrina.
Prolonged, persistent droughts in India.
Recurrent typhoons in South East Asia.
Rapid desertification in Africa.
Heat waves in Europe.
Melting of polar ice caps and glaciers in Himalayas & Alps.

My hunch is…….we already might have entered an irreversible process.

Monday, February 5, 2007


Quoting Reuters :

“The scientists who mind the Doomsday Clock moved it two minutes closer to midnight on Wednesday -- symbolizing the annihilation of civilization and adding the perils of global warming for the first time.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 to warn the world of the dangers of nuclear weapons, advanced the clock to five minutes until midnight. It was the first adjustment of the clock since 2002.

We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age," the bulletin's board of directors said in a statement.

They pointed to

North Korea's first nuclear test,

Iran's nuclear ambitions, U.S. flirtation with "bunker buster" nuclear bombs, the continued presence of 26,000 American and Russian nuclear weapons and inadequate security for nuclear materials.”

And here’s my analysis :

This prediction is by an extremely RESPONSIBLE, MATURE organization. The world would do well to heed its warning.

We are indeed at the brink of a Second Nuclear Age. A second escalation of nuclear armaments, by certain irresponsible powers. Yes, when it all started USA & Soviet Union too lacked maturity. But the 5 (or 7) nuclear powers DID stand the test of time. After the terrible catastrophes of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, there were no usage of nukes.

But now we have a nightmare scenario of nukes in the hands of destabilized Islamic fundamentalists.

N. Korea has a deterrent in the form of China. But still it poses a grave threat to Japan with its Taepodong missile. (And soon Taepodong III & other variants can reach India or mainland USA). I believe the Indian bureaucracy is still sleeping on this piece of information.

But Iran poses a graver threat. Its president openly vows to annihilate Israel. I think that other countries are more at risk than Israel. Any guarantee that its nukes can’t go “eastwards” ? Israel has an excellent defence system. But what if Iran nukes “Sunni part” of Iraq after the US forces have left?

Another destabilizing factor is the prescence of “dirty bombs”. Some have even been acquired by the Mafia. These guys acquire it at a cheap price, and hold on to it. They wait to sell it at a high price to global terrorists. Some say few are in “global conflict hotspots”

Moving this clock, which is symbolic of the proximity of mankind with its own annihilation, is done by people who really do their research.


Unbiased News Analysis