Category Archives: Science

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: 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.  



Mahmood Shaukat

NRP Summit Chairman & CEO


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

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:,,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:

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:

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. –

Pandemic –

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 –

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.

Not quite a double helix: Watson on race and Crick on consciousness

Hi, I haven’t been posting much (too much “real” work and other activity (-:  )  but here are a few snippets that may interest you. (By the way, I post some material at Qiyas as well so you may want to drop in there too). 

You may have heard about DNA co-discoverer Jim Watson’s comments about differences in the intelligence of various races. Well, that has created quite a flap, as you can imagine. I have not followed the issue but the original remarks are reported here, and there are additional reports here, here, here, and here. In all of this brouhaha it is difficulty to tease apart science from prejudice from hype. You can listen to a discussion about this flap in the Guardian’s weekly science podcast.

Interestingly you can also listen to ideas about consciousness from Watson’s old colleague and DNA co-discoverer Francis Crick, in this podcast. Wonder what Crick thinks of Watson’s remarks.

His Last Lecture

Prof. Randy Pausch is living out the last few weeks of his life.

He is only 46.

Prof. Pausch is professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and co-founder of the CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), which is a collaboration of the School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts at CMU. ETC already has a branch campus in Adelaide, Australia, and will soon have branches in Korea and Singapore.

Prof. Pausch is also the director of Alice, a freely downloadable software system for teaching computer programming in a 3D graphical environment, and which will soon feature characters from the SIMS video game. He is also the creator of a project course on building immersive, interactive virtual worlds.

Prof. Pausch’s lecture is about achieving one’s childhood dreams. He really wrote the material for his three very young children but he also shared it with students, colleagues, and friends, more than 450 of whom came to hear him. You can listen to the lecture too, here.

Let’s salute the man – for his achievements and fortitude. May his days be filled with peace and love.