Monday, September 29, 2014

Lahore And Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs

 Lahoris have been suffering from four types of power outages. Load shedding, Metro/ flyovers,  past  and present work, grid tripping and the unknown.  Load shedding is usually for one hour at a time repeated on an average of eight hours daily. Metro/ road's outages is between eight to ten hours weekly or fortnightly for shifting electricity related equipment for the earlier constructed Metro road, flyovers or  construction of new roads. Grid tripping and the unknown happen off and on for different durations of time. Lahoris are also facing another dilemma, when their prayers for rain to get relief from hot weather and the outages is answered, grid tripping or some other fault results in a very long outage. The unknown outages remain a secret as nothing is told about the reason and the enquiry numbers remain engaged all the time during this outage to avoid responding. With the advent of the holy month of Ramazan and a lot of promises of improvement nothing  changed. It is time our rulers read Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory to find out what are our needs instead of wasting time and money on projects which may only satisfy their own political needs or needs of people of their class.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Insights about Earth: Landsat Photos from NASA Part 1

NASA’s website for the Landsat program quotes the baseball player Yogi Berra, saying “You can see a lot by just looking”. If you’ve never heard of the Landsat program before, that quote pretty much sums it up. There have been eight Landsats since 1972, and their purpose from the beginning was to take photographs of the earth. And by photographing the same place over 40 years, these photos give amazing insights into things like soil erosion, the effects of natural disasters, and the migration of penguin colonies.
 Alaska’s Columbia Glacier: The Columbia Glacier descends from an ice field 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level, down the flanks of the Chugach Mountains, and into a narrow inlet that leads into Prince William Sound in southeastern Alaska. It is one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in the world. This false-color image, captured by the Thematic Mapper (TM) instrument on Landsat 5, show the glacier and the surrounding landscape in 2011. Snow and ice appears bright cyan, vegetation is green, clouds are white or light orange, and the open ocean is dark blue. Exposed bedrock is brown, while rocky debris on the glacier’s surface is gray.

Yukon Delta: Countless lakes, sloughs, and ponds are scattered throughout this scene of the Yukon Delta in southwest Alaska. One of the largest river deltas in the world, and protected as part of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, the river’s sinuous waterways seem like blood vessels branching out to enclose an organ.
Pretty much everyone knows the ‘blue marble‘ image. Taken by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972, it’s a picture of the earth, framed against the vast emptiness of space. The image is common now, but no one knew what the earth looked like from space until the late 1960′s, when people actually went up there. And though we went up to explore space, there was no denying the sudden appeal of the earth below. For the first time we could really see the earth in all its glory, and NASA and the Department of the Interior decided to see more. So the Landsat program was born.
When Landsat 1 was being designed, a new type of imaging system was installed, which could detect light wavelengths outside the visible spectrum, like infrared. This was helpful in showing things like water saturation in soil. So instead of trying to tell the difference between slightly different shades of green, as you would in a ‘true color’ photograph, the imaging system could use other wavelengths and display saturated areas in pink and dry areas in yellow. The different way of looking meant greater understanding, and some amazing looking images.
 Lake Eyre: The scary face in this image is actually inundated patches of shallow Lake Eyre (pronounced “air”) in the desert country of northern South Australia. An ephemeral feature of this flat, parched landscape, Lake Eyre is Australia’s largest lake when it’s full. However in the last 150 years, it has filled completely only three times.
 Meandering Mississippi: Small, blocky shapes of towns, fields, and pastures surround the graceful swirls and whorls of the Mississippi River. Countless oxbow lakes and cutoffs accompany the meandering river south of Memphis, Tennessee, on the border between Arkansas and Mississippi, USA. The “mighty Mississippi” is the largest river system in North America.
Possibly even more amazing however, are the images that are ‘true color’. Red clouds, anyone?


Thursday, June 26, 2014

More hiding than revealing

The findings of Inquiry Report Of Leakage Of Full Court Video Footage just released after taking five months appears to be an eyewash as it does not give answers to many important questions about the event of 11.12.2013. The first important question is about Ch. Abdul Hameed who is one of the main characters of the event, but no designation/position is mentioned against his name. The second question is why it took five months to complete the inquiry. The next important question is about the authority that approved the making of private arrangement of footage of the Full Court Reference and what are the rules and traditions of Supreme Court Of Pakistan in this regard. Another question that remained unanswered is about the relationship between Ch. Abdul Hameed who handed over the footage and the Geo reporter to whom it was given. It is surprising that, despite proven charges  a simple warning has been recommended for Ch. Abdul Hameed while the Geo reporter who boasted of his professionalism on 11.12.2013 for getting hold of the footage has gone scot- free. The inquiry was conducted by the additional registrar of the supreme court who, despite his legal knowledge has failed miserably to do the job judicially and objectively. The report appears to hide facts and people instead of bringing out the truth.The Chief Justice Of Pakistan is requested to reject the findings of the report and order re-inquiry by a judge of the Supreme Court Of Pakistan to bring out real facts

Monday, May 19, 2014

From theft to scandalization with impunity.

In December 2013 on the occasion of retirement reference of former Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry all the TV channels accused one channel of illegal TV coverage of the reference in collusion of supreme court officials. Now again all other channels are criticizing the same channel for accusing and defaming ISI, its head and military for involvement in the attack on famous TV anchor person Hamid Mir of that channel. In the first case the new chief justice appointed a one man inquiry committee to look in to the matter. However, it is surprising that nothing has been revealed about the findings of that inquiry. There is a general perception that when it comes to lawyers and media the apex court looks the other way if some wrong is done by them. In the present case about accusations against ISI and Head ISI a judicial commission has been appointed and also complaints against the channel have been filed by the ministry of defense and ISI in PEMRA and notice has been issued to the channel. At the same time a joint investigation team including members from ISI and MI has also started working. The inclusion of ISI and MI in JIT looks very odd. The situation is very complicated. At present, the position of PEMRA Chairman is under dispute and is sub judice. It seems that the matter would go the apex court where as discussed earlier a much smaller matter has not been finalized or made public so far. There is no doubt that the government has failed miserably in handling the situation and created a crisis. It is time that the apex court make  public its own inquiry report about illegal TV coverage of ex-CJs retirement reference before the matter pending with PEMRA comes before it for a decision  otherwise its impartiality would come in to question.

Tasneem Hameed

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ruining Rulers

 According to a news report ‘Millions go down the drain' Rupees 100 million  were spent by the Punjab Government  only  on the preparation of ceremony for breaking the world record for reciting the national anthem and the same was postponed for the second time. Earlier a lot of  money was spent on making preparations for holding Basant at Changa Manga that also was later cancelled. Billions of Rupees have been spent by the Governments of Sind and Punjab for holding Sind Festival and Punjab Youth Festival. We all know  that a large population of the country has suffered from terrorist attacks and are living in constant fear. My heart goes out to the families of the victims of terrorist attacks and how they would be taking the celebrations of these political festivals when they might be in a state of mourning. Bilawal Bhutto in particular and other politicians in general,  who daily express sympathies for the families of the victims are unable to empathize with them. Billawal's mother was a victim of terrorism how he would have felt if some sort celebrations were held under any name or pretext immediately after her killing.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Supreme Court Enquiry

A lot of hullabaloo was raised on 11th December 2013 on the day of retirement of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry by all the TV channels about the TV coverage of the reference by only a single channel. It was pointed out that under the supreme court rules TV coverage was not allowed and also that undue favor was given to a specific channel.  All these channels also boycotted the remaining ceremonies. A Supreme Court official responded by blaming the person recording the reference of having ran away without handing over the footage to them and thus was guilty of theft. The new Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Gillani  taking note of the situation ordered holding of an enquiry by the Additional Registrar of the Supreme Court Of Pakistan. It is really surprising that more than three months have passed without any news of the result of the enquiry and even the aggrieved channels are maintaining a silence since that day. People of Pakistan has a right to know what happened on that day and expect the new Chief Justice not to follow his predecessor in keeping keep all matters relating to judiciary out of bounds without any legal justification. It is time that the old ways are replaced by transparent working and an immediate notification is issued about the result of the enquiry.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Last Rites Of Cricket

Many a careers have been destroyed by match fixing and spot fixing in Cricket. Cricketers have even gone to jail as a punishment. International Cricket Council has been very strict on the issue. But nobody could imagine that the biggest fixing of all was yet to come and that too from ICC, the ICC fixing. Just like match and spot fixing money is the main cause. We remember that until 1990s when England and Australia had two votes against one vote of other countries India lead the campaign for equality and rule had to change. Now same India is the driving force behind the Big Three proposal. What a change. After keeping it as a secret from other countries,  and playing behind the scene games the Big Three openly indulged in horse trading. What a combination, fixing and horse trading. Money is overtaking gentleman's game and this surely is not Cricket. Is there any one or any institution that could save the noble game of Cricket.

Tasneem Hameed

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Youth Business Loan

The announcement of Prime Minister Youth Business Loan program was not only surprising, but also daring. In the presence of rulings of the Supreme Court about the procedure to be adopted and conditions to be met about similar appointments, the appointment of prime minister's daughter as the Head of the program shows the growing confidence of Mr. Nawaz Sharif either in himself or in the apex court under a new chief justice. While the nomenclature of the program and the name of its head speak loudly about the political nature of the program, banks have been asked to finance it. The announcement was completely silent about the qualification, experience and business acumen of the head of the program indicating that there was nothing worth mentioning. It appears that the prime minister wants to give the much needed experience to her daughter now to fill that void and prepare her for bigger appointments in the future.  Many people thought that the pronouncements of Imran Khan about the royal nature of the family  was a political ploy, but Sharifs are bent upon proving him right.  Earlier Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took the lead in  appointing  his son as the head of a co-ordination committee for facilitating government affairs in Punjab, ignoring very senior party members.

Tasneem Hameed