Non Resident Pakistani (NRP) Summit: July 5-6, 2008, NYC

FYI. Added from forwarded message

Summit Logo

Dear Sir/Madam:

 I’m pleased to invite you to attend the first world-wide Non Resident Pakistani (NRP) Summit – 2008. This is the leading event of its kind, bringing together the most successful NRPs to a single event. This summit will take place at the Hilton Hotel in New York City on July 5th and 6th, 2008.
 
We note that inspired Non Resident Indians have justly contributed approximately 50% towards the growth and progress of
India. The Non Resident Chinese have contributed more than 75% to the growth of China. And Pakistan? No one really knows.  Our summit will serve as a platform where all those interested in doing business with Pakistan and in enhancing its growth and progress will meet to identify such opportunities.  The NRP SUMMIT – 2008 was established to develop the strategic insight to forge future growth and peaceful progress in Pakistan among NRPs and others interested in Pakistan’s growth.    We believe that you can make a valuable contribution to the Summit and also gain useful benefits from your presence at the Summit. Please contact us at 1-212-685-6243 or visit our website to register on line: www.nrpsummit.org to have your name added to the growing roster of attendees. 

In today’s world the importance of Pakistan is undeniable and without peace and progress in Pakistan, world safety is unattainable.

We look forward to your attendance at the NRP Summit – 2008.  

Sincerely,

 


Mahmood Shaukat

NRP Summit Chairman & CEO

 

 375 Fifth Ave. 3rd Floor New York, NY 10016 T 212 685 6243 F 212 685 6924

info@nrpsummit.org | www.nrpsummit.org

Arthur C Clarke, 1917-2008, I salute you.

Arthur Charles Clarke, born December 16, 1917, passed away on March 18, 2008, in his home in Sri Lanka.

 A wonderful science fiction and science writer, he is popularly known for his film and novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” and his introduction of the concept of geosynchronous communication satellites. One of the best science fiction writers, and one of my favorites, he has left a large corpus of science fiction novels and short stories well-grounded in hard science and imaginatively written.

Clarke also introduced the three laws quoted below which are well known in the science/engineering and science  fiction communities. The third law is widely quoted, often without attribution to him.

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The limits of the possible can only be found by going beyond them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology may, at first, be indistinguishable from magic.

(Note: These should not be confused with the three Laws of Robotics introduced by Clarke’s friend, the SF and science writer Isaac Asimov).

A nice obituary for Clarke has been published in the Guardian, here: http://books.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2266521,00.html

Sir Arthur C. Clarke (he was knighted in 1998, the award being made in 2000)  recorded a message on the occasion of his 90th birthday last December which has been published on YouTube, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qLdeEjdbWE

Arthur C Clarke, 1917-2008, I salute you.

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day, 2008!

March 14

Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535… Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th.

Follow it here: http://www.piday.org/

Hello? Is anyone there?

OMG, is anyone still here? I have been gone so long that I wouldn’t be surprised if y’all took off. What can I say? Earning a living is just taking more time than ever. (I’d like a higher pay rate, shorter workweek employment, please. (-:  ). Must confess that there is some volunteer activity in that busyness too.

  

Anyway, I have got a couple of interesting websites for you to look at.

 

http://voicethread.com/  allows adding voice comments to documents and videos.

 

http://www.scribd.com/ allows you to store and share documents via the Web.

 

I haven’t used these sites yet (see busy above) but they show potential. Let me know how well they work if you try them out.

  

What else? Here is an excerpt from a piece by Heidi Storl that I really enjoyed in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

 http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i25/25b02001.htm “I think now that I might have met Mephistopheles in college, though at the time I thought only that I was encountering my first philosopher. I was a biochemistry major, looking forward to a career in genetics. I still needed to fulfill a number of those basic-education requirements that students seem either to get out of the way early or put off until the bitter end. As I stood in the registration line, memorizing the molecular structures of proteins, fate intervened. The easy history course that I had planned to take was full. Determined not to lose my spot in line, I scrambled to come up with another course and chose philosophy.The professor was a little late for the first philosophy class. He was a short, bearded man with a limp, and my first thought was that if he wore the right kind of hat, he’d make a perfect elf. But then he looked at each of the 10 students in turn, and spoke: “Does God command an action because it is good, or is an action good because God commands it?”Whoa! I sat up, put my chemistry notes away, and started thinking. Fifty minutes later, I was exhausted. As I walked to my next class, two thoughts jumped about in my head. First, I liked — really liked — the way I had felt in philosophy: out of breath, struggling to keep up with the argument, my mind on fire. Second, what was this course going to do to my GPA?”

I should have majored in philosophy though I suspect that the pay rate would have been even lower in that case, assuming one found employment as a philosopher in the first place.

 

Anyway, I have been listening to lectures on the philosophy of science on a set of tapes published by the Teaching Company. Quite informative and enjoyable. Listening to material from the Teaching Company (http://www.teach12.com/) is a good way of catching up on the liberal education one may have missed in college. BTW, I bought some of the material as a download rather than ordering it as CDs or tapes. Guess what? I haven’t got around to downloading it yet even though it has been a couple of months! (See busy above!!) Just goes to show that if it involves extra steps or equipment, one isn’t going to get around to it. There is a lesson in there for all you marketers and product managers.

 

So what is new with you? Tell me about it?

 

Before we end, given that this is election season, here is a column that you may enjoy.

 

Scientists’ Political Dream World

Completely separately, you may want to scan this little tidbit from me here.

 

Lecture at U Minnesota about Medieval Islamic Automata, Thu, Nov 8, 2007

 http://events.tc.umn.edu/event.xml?occurrence=403208

 Thursday, November 8, 2007 4:00 PM

Room 125
Nolte Center for Continuing Education
Minneapolis Campus

Free Lecture

“Simulations of Time and Life in al-Jazari’s Automata: Islamic Symbolism, Teleological Mechanisms, and Ontological Difference”: a talk with Ayhan Aytes

Sponsored By:  Institute for Advanced Study
Additional Sponsors:  Center for Medieval Studies

 Ayhan Aytes’s research focuses on a series of examples from al-Jazari’s Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices written in 1206. By using media archeology, his study addresses the symbolic depiction of the concept of time such as in al-Jazari’s Elephant Clock, as it simulates a unique mechanistic conception of the universe. Because of the highly syncretic nature of the symbolic system to which these machines refer, al-Jazari’s works are also a subject to the discussion of knowledge transmission of medieval technology. Ayhan Aytes is a graduate researcher in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. This event is also part of the University Symposium on Time.

Thanks to Aurangzeb for the tip.

Some science-inspired Flash video games on the ‘Net

Here are some links I found on the ‘Net to Flash video games with somewhat of a scientific bent. I haven’t had chance yet to play these myself so caveat emptor (actually, the games are free).

The two games below are microbiology-inspired. (Links found through coracle and SciencePunk; thanks.)

Infect. Evolve. Repeat. –  http://www.arcadexl.com/sources/swf/game_479.swf

Pandemic –  http://www.whipflashgames.com/swf/Pandemic.swf

This one from the Science Museum in the UK is a bit like “Gizmos and Gadgets”. You have to manoeuvre a ball past obstacle using some principles of physics. As a neat twist you can also create new configurations of obstacles to play yourself or send to friends:

Launchball – http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/launchpad/launchball/

Top 100 Software Tools for Learning and Productivity

Oh, hey. I have been meaning to post this link for while. Here is a list of the top 100 software tools selected by learning professionals (i.e. people in the education community). Lots of free tools are listed here. Some will be quite familiar to you but others may be new.

The list is here.

I have tried out some of the less commonly known tools (i.e. tools other than WordPress, Skype, GoogleMaps, etc.).  Of these:

Audacity– the digital sound editing tool provides tremendous functionality and is also easy to use.

diigo– is a “social annotation” tool i.e. it lets you mark up web pages and share those marked-up pages with your friends and colleagues. Pretty useful for discussions about design and content though I really haven’t had a chance to use it (is that because I don’t have any friends )-:  ).

Tiddlywiki– is personal wiki tool i.e. you can download a wiki template and use it for creating hyperlinked documents. It is basically an html file with some Java Script and the template file size is only 269 kB. In essence you can do pretty much the same kind of stuff with Microsoft Word and its hyperlinking capability but Tiddlywiki is a bit easier to use in this manner, is free, and you only need a browser to use it.

You do know that there are MS Office-compatible free suites available, right? Some are listed in this Top 100 list; have a look.