Science and technology

The 19th and 20th centuries were marked by great scientific and technological developments. These developments encompassed many different fields like transportation, communication, manufacturing, education, trade, health care and others.

The life of people has become quite comfortable with these scientific innovations as various types of machines have begun to perform complex tasks for them.

There was a time when man used to walk long distances to reach other places for trade and other pursuits. The invention of wheel enabled him to make hand-driven and animal driven carts to transport various types of goods to different destinations.

With the invention of petrol and the engines that could be used it as fuel came different types of vehicles. Cars, trucks, buses, bikes and other road transport means started being made. This was perhaps the greatest scientific development. People could go to long distances and in large number.

They started going to other countries. Not only the trade flourished but also there was cultural development because of interaction of people of different heritages, beliefs, traditions-each influencing the other in some way. Man conquered the oceans with the making of ships, vessels, boats. Going to other continents became easier. Also with the help of large ships the countries could transport large quantities of products to other places for purposes of trade. The fishing trawlers enabled people to get sea-food in large quantities, adding to their food security.

The biggest achievement in the field of transportation came in the shape of aeroplanes. The Wright brothers made the first aeroplane and flew on it for a few seconds, but most importantly, they gave the idea of the air transport. The idea was subsequently developed by aeronautical engineers into the making of aeroplanes. Today, air travel is perhaps the most important means of travel for its speed and comfort.

A person can have breakfast in India, lunch in London and dinner in some American or African country-thanks to the speedy air-travel. With the development of trade and increase in population, there was a need to build a transport system that could carry a large number of people and heavy amounts of cargo to different places on a regular basis. The answer came in the form of railways which solved both these problems. Crores of people travel to various destinations in trains across the globe. India’s railway transport system is the biggest in Asia.

The latest technological development in this area is the metro railways. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has made a network of metro services in the capital providing sophisticated, comfortable and quick mode of mass public transport system. Similar services are being started in many other major cities in India.

The invention of computers has been another major development in the history of mankind. Broadly speaking, computers are the machines that convert data into information. But with regular upgradation of computer technology, these machines have started to perform the most complex functions.

They are the storehouses of information, disseminators of data, processors of fed information and display systems of the latest positions relating to the area being searched. Invariably all the fields concerned with service industry-including banking, insurance, booking, education, diagnostics, developing, designing, etc. are working with the help of computers-which not only provide accuracy and speed but also variety and attractiveness.

Whereas the new technologies in diagnosis of various diseases have enabled us to detect deformities at exact places in the body and at an early stage of such happening, the treatment has also become easy and sure though expensive. There was a time when lakhs of people died due to epidemics of plague, smallpox, cholera, etc. But, due to research and new treatment technologies involving prevention through immunisation, these diseases are not allowed to assume epidemic and devastating proportions.

Some of diseases like plague, polio, smallpox, etc. have been eradicated. There are medicines for most dangerous of diseases and conditions. Serious ailments like heart trouble, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, liver damage, etc. are kept under control with the use of medication regularly. Medical check-ups have been very convenient and accurate with the help of new machines.

In the field of communication technology, the innovation of mobile phones has revolutionised the society. People can make a call from anywhere to anywhere exchanging valuable information. This has facilitated trade, strengthened relationships and brought connectivity in the society.

The cellphones can also be used to send messages, listen to music, set alarms, store telephone numbers, addresses, etc. Mass media thrives on technology. The TV programmes which run twenty-four hours a day, three-hundred-sixty-five days a year, bring latest news from all over the world. With serials, films, live telecasts and game shows, the TV has become the biggest source of information and entertainment for us. Its value to students through educational programmes and to people in general for increasing their awareness level is highly significant.

There are certain disadvantages of scientific developments. Scientists have made weapons of mass destruction and other warheads which are used in wars. Humanity has already suffered vast damage and destruction in two Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki when America dropped atom bombs on them in the Second World War-in which thousands of people were killed, several thousands were wounded, property worth several crores of rupees was destroyed.

With the making of such dangerous weapons, today’s wars have become highly dangerous. If there is a third World War only God knows what will happen to the world. The terrorists are using dangerous weapons like mines, explosives, machine guns and rocket launchers to terrorise civil society.

Another fall out of scientific development is the pollution of air and water which has reached alarming levels. The factories, industries and vehicles are giving out tonnes of smoke and effluents which are vitiating the air and water which are our main sources of consumption.

Scientific and technological inventions are for the benefit of mankind. It is for us to use them to bring progress and happiness in society. What we require is judicial use of resources at our proposal, banish war and confrontation and adopt methods of sustainable development. We need to enforce strict discipline to stop unscrupulous and illegal use of technologies.

Stringent laws need to be made against cyber crimes. We also have to ensure that scientific development does not become environmentally destructive. Sustainable practices need to be adopted to protect habitats and natural ecosystems. At international level, the world body-the UNO and other leading nations should assume the responsibility of ensuring that science and technology are not misused.

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Science and technology has a profound impact on all of humanity’s activities.

Science and technology inventions and discoveries, including the theory of the origin of the universe, the theory of evolution, and the discovery of genes, have given humanity many hints relating to human existence from civilized and cultural points of view. Science and technology have had an immeasurable influence on the formation of our understanding of the world, our view of society, and our outlook on nature.

The wide variety of technologies and science discoveries produced by humanity has led to the building and development of the civilizations of each age, stimulated economic growth, raised people’s standards of living, encouraged cultural development, and had a tremendous impact on religion, thought, and many other human activities. The impact of science and technology on modern society is broad and wide-ranging, influencing such areas as politics, diplomacy, defense, the economy, medicine, transportation, agriculture, social capital improvement, and many more. The fruits of science and technology fill every corner of our lives.

The hundred years of the twentieth century have been called the “century of science and technology,” the “century of war,” and the “century of human prosperity,” among other expressions. Science and technology have thus far brought humanity immeasurable benefits. In the twenty-first century, dubbed the “century of knowledge” and the time of a “knowledge-based society,” it is hoped that the diverse potentials of science and technology, built upon the foundation of the hard-won science and technology of the twentieth century, will be used to solve the serious issues faced by humanity, such as global environmental problems. Moreover, it is also important to hold the firm belief that science and technology must be faithfully passed on to future generations as an irreplaceable asset of humanity, driven by the trust and support of the public.

In the present, squarely addressing the relationship between science and technology and society is an essential challenge to the sound development of science and technology, one which it is important to continue addressing in the future based on historical and civilized perspectives, while also maintaining a deep awareness of the needs of the times.

Suicide effects

Suicide affects all people. Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts. 

Unfortunately, our society often paints suicide the way they would a prison sentence—a permanent situation that brands an individual. However, suicidal ideation is not a brand or a label, it is a sign that an individual is suffering deeply and must seek treatment. And it is falsehoods like these that can prevent people from getting the help they need to get better.

Debunking the common myths associated with suicide can help society realize the importance of helping others seek treatment and show individuals the importance of addressing their mental health challenges. 

Myth: Suicide only affects individuals with a mental health condition.

Fact: Many individuals with mental illness are not affected by suicidal thoughts and not all people who attempt or die by suicide have mental illness. Relationship problems and other life stressors such as criminal/legal matters, persecution, eviction/loss of home, death of a loved one, a devastating or debilitating illness, trauma, sexual abuse, rejection, and recent or impending crises are also associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Myth: Once an individual is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.

Fact: Active suicidal ideation is often short-term and situation-specific. Studies have shown that approximately 54% of individuals who have died by suicide did not have a diagnosable mental health disorder. And for those with mental illness, the proper treatment can help to reduce symptoms. 

The act of suicide is often an attempt to control deep, painful emotions and thoughts an individual is experiencing. Once these thoughts dissipate, so will the suicidal ideation. While suicidal thoughts can return, they are not permanent. An individual with suicidal thoughts and attempts can live a long, successful life. 

Myth: Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.

Fact: Warning signs—verbally or behaviorally—precede most suicides. Therefore, it’s important to learn and understand the warnings signs associated with suicide. Many individuals who are suicidal may only show warning signs to those closest to them. These loved ones may not recognize what’s going on, which is how it may seem like the suicide was sudden or without warning.

Myth: People who die by suicide are selfish and take the easy way out.

Fact: Typically, people do not die by suicide because they do not want to live—people die by suicide because they want to end their suffering. These individuals are suffering so deeply that they feel helpless and hopeless. Individuals who experience suicidal ideations do not do so by choice. They are not simply, “thinking of themselves,” but rather they are going through a very serious mental health symptom due to either mental illness or a difficult life situation.   

Myth: Talking about suicide will lead to and encourage suicide.

Fact: There is a widespread stigma associated with suicide and as a result, many people are afraid to speak about it. Talking about suicide not only reduces the stigma, but also allows individuals to seek help, rethink their opinions and share their story with others. We all need to talk more about suicide. 

Debunking these common myths about suicide can hopefully allow individuals to look at suicide from a different angle—one of understanding and compassion for an individual who is internally struggling. Maybe they are struggling with a mental illness or maybe they are under extreme pressure and do not have healthy coping skills or a strong support system. 

As a society, we should not be afraid to speak up about suicide, to speak up about mental illness or to seek out treatment for an individual who is in need. Eliminating the stigma starts by understanding why suicide occurs and advocating for mental health awareness within our communities. There are suicide hotlines, mental health support groups, online community resources and many mental health professionals who can help any individual who is struggling with unhealthy thoughts and emotions. 

AIR IN SPACE ( FICTION )

AIR EVERYWHERE

Air is the critical building block for sustained life on a planet, but with a combination consisting of various gases that we commonly call it has to Air. For example, Nitrogen 78%, Oxygen 28%, Other gases like Neon, Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen, Xenon, Argon, Krypton, Helium, and others add up a total of 1%. This a type of combination of Air which our lungs are used to.

But what about Space, which is a giant vacuum area where all the living things do not exist. If an event occurs in the Space due to which this empty area with vacuum gets starts slowly filling with air. What will then happen after?

The changes which we may first face could be as follows:

1. We could hear the supernovae (stars) explosion sounds without specialized equipment because sound can travel through the air. Still, there’s a catch to listen to the sound we must closer to the object, almost impossible supernovas are very big with immense temperatures.

2. The other effect could destroy life from our planet, which will happen due to friction.

3. After the presence of air outside our planet and its surroundings, it may increase our planet’s atmospheric pressure. It is leading to the crush of all living beings in just a few hours.

4. Then the moon will start to come closer due to friction, leading to a slowing of the rotational speed of earth, and then eventually stop, and their orbits will change.

5. Eventually, the temperatures will rise due to increasing atmospheric pressure; after some time, the earth with the moon will submerge into the sun.

6. Other effects of this situation will turn gaseous planets like Jupiter and Saturn into bright stars due to air and pressure.

Top Five must read Ray Bradbury books.

To open the pages of a Ray Bradbury novel is to enter an imagination that has travelled far beyond the bounds of our rocky globe, into the most fascinating and perplexing realms of human life.

Bradbury had a productive career as one of America’s most successful novelists, short storey writers, playwrights, and screenwriters, best known for his works Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury, in a strange blend of the futuristic, the spooky, the bizarre, and the nostalgic, could be considered a genre unto himself. Bradbury was a Renaissance writer if there ever was one.

It’s hard to think this isn’t a scenario from one of Bradbury’s books because his writing career began in such a magical way. When he met Mr Electrico at a carnival when he was twelve years old, he was taken around a tent of misfits that would later stalk the pages of his most morbid books. Mr Electrico touched Ray with an electrified sword later that day and whispered to him, “Live forever.”

And Bradbury took Mr. Electro’s vow to heart, writing every day for more than seventy years, establishing a literary legacy that will live on in perpetuity, employing his prodigious storytelling abilities to craft tales that have enthralled millions of readers and inspired a slew of imitators.

He said that he was neither a science fiction, fantasy, or magical realism author, but rather a word magician who was written by his books.

It’s impossible to choose a Top Five list from Bradbury’s seemingly endless works, therefore this will be a list of my favourites and recommended must-reads.

A Ray Bradbury Top Five must-read list must include the following, in no particular order. 

1. The Illustrated Man (1951)

The Illustrated Man — a former carnival worker whose crawling tattoos spun stories of dread and delight — weaves together a series of short stories in this dark and wonderful novel.

Several stories are connected to The Martian Chronicles, and many of them resemble Bradbury’s early futuristic work, such as “The Veldt,” a cautionary storey set in a children’s nursery that conjures up the contents of the imagination. When the children’s parents consider shutting off the nursery, they discover that virtual reality has become all too real, and “Kaleidoscope,” in which an accident rips open a starship and spews its space-suited crew into space, where they meet a variety of ends. This narrative is so amazing that I read it at least twice a year to see how a master works.

Exploring this live canvas with Bradbury as your guide becomes a riveting investigation of the human condition, putting The Illustrated Man among the best Ray Bradbury books.

2. Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Guy Montag, a fireman in a dystopian society where books are forbidden and most people spend their days in front of television screens, doesn’t put out fires; he causes them. Montag is assigned by the authorities to burn forbidden publications that promote free and complex thought, and he works diligently to complete his task. That is, until he meets Clarisse, a lone late-night pedestrian who reawakens Montag’s awareness of his surroundings. Montag begins to have doubts about his technology-dependent civilization and attempts to save the secret realm of printed knowledge that still exists.

Bradbury was inspired to create this grim essay on a post-literature future by the Red Scare of the 1940s, which saw America seized by anti-communist hysteria. While Fahrenheit 451 may be a parable about McCarthyism and Stalinism, Bradbury’s warnings about the pitfalls of political correctness and technological advancements appear to be becoming increasingly prescient.

This short novel, based on his short tale “The Fireman,” is perhaps most recognised for the Francois Truffaut film starring Oscar Werner and Julie Christie. And if that’s the case, people are missing out on a classic science fiction storey with a chilling Orwellian theme. Read the book and watch the movie. Fahrenheit 451 serves as a admonitory tale.

3.  The Martian Chronicles (1950)

The heat from the rocket burns blazes through an Ohio winter in January 1999, as pioneers depart Earth for Mars. In this superb epic about the colonisation of a new frontier in space, waves of settlement missions land on Mars until the planet’s cities are nearly destroyed. Things take a turn when humankind is on the verge of extinction on Earth, and the survivors seek refuge on the planet they once exploited, now a barren wasteland. 

Mars and the ethereal Martians are fanciful imagination in Bradbury’s hands. Despite the fact that he eschewed the hard scientific truths of regulated science fiction writers and preferred old technology to modern — bicycles over cars, typewriters over computers – he possessed a remarkable foresight into the future. Bradbury utilises the unusual light of an alien world to question humanity’s constant avarice in The Martian Chronicles, which might be interpreted as a mirror of postwar life in the Midwest. He reminds us that technical growth is only worthwhile if it improves our lives.

Rather than sticking to science fiction conventions, each chapter is an experiment in style and atmosphere. It does, however, take place on Mars, but it is the Mars of Edgar Rice Burrows and Barsoom, not the world we know from various landers and orbital photographic surveys. In Bradbury’s universe, Martians exist, and when Earthlings come, all hell breaks loose, albeit in a calm, retrospective, and masterfully portrayed manner

The text alone in The Martian Chronicles is worth reading; from “The Off Season”: “The wind threw the sand ship keening across the empty sea floor, past upturned pillars, past derelict marble and brass docks, past dead white chess cities, past purple slopes, into the distant…”

4. The October Country (1955)

Despite his fame as the author of the book-burning apocalyptic classic Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury was first and foremost a short-story writer. Dark Carnival, a collection of weird and melancholy stories published in 1947, was his first book. He trimmed, altered, and expanded to this collection eight years later to create The October Country, his ultimate tome of the macabre and bizarre.

Such classics as The Small Assassin, Skeleton, and The Wind, among its lovely bits of autumnal sweets, upend the familiar, creating a world where the mundane is exotic and terrifying. Bradbury’s horror stories aren’t surprising or exciting. It’s the terror of realising that something inside you is out to get you, whether it’s an unborn child or a pile of bones. It’s the terror of living in a world where the winds are conspiring to bring you down. But, though Bradbury avoids gore and the stock creatures of spooky literature, I defy you not to feel a shiver running down your spine as you read The October Country on a dark and stormy night.

5. The Golden Apples of the Sun(1953)

Bradbury abandoned frame narratives for his fourth ‘fix-up’ of short stories and simply juxtaposed tales from a variety of genres. The result is a stunning fusion of his familiar, wistful fantasy, such as “The April Witch,” a haunting tale about a teenage dream-traveler yearning to fall in love, and visionary science fiction, such as the title storey, a terrifying yet beautiful description of a spaceship’s flight into the Sun’s atmosphere.

A seemingly uninteresting storey is tucked within amidst these treats. The film “The Pedestrian” is about a man who enjoys getting out of the house and going for a walk. In a nod to Fahrenheit 451, this society is one in which individuals are cooped up in their homes, engrossed in television — and going for a walk results in arrest. Bradbury warns that technology progress can steal people of their humanity and enforce adherence to the current quo by depicting neighbourhoods as graveyards and people as mindless insects.

A fascinating account of a spaceship’s journey into the Sun’s atmosphere in order to sample some of its composition. Scientifically improbable, but a masterwork of heat, terror, and beauty in Bradbury’s hands. It’s also the title storey in a wonderful anthology of 22 pieces, including “The Fog Horn” and “A Sound of Thunder,” which are both classics.

Happy reading guys.