Archive for the ‘Thinking’ Category

Whats on Telly Dear?

That’s just what we translated for you folks to read. It really was transmitted out and caught on our alien radar as Picture 2

Its fun-da-mentally friday at Mission Control today and we are taking a few minutes to wonder if you were an alien watching on Earth, what sort of things would you receive via television. Now EVERYONE (ok, clarification: everyone as big a fan of Futurama as I am) knows that this have significant impacts on the human race as portrayed in Season 2, Episode 3; where a premature ending to a television series called Single Female Lawyer causes great wrath on the part of Alien Overlords of Omicron Persei i 8  who launch an invasion fleet to destroy Earth a 1000 years later!

Doomsday talk aside, its a really interesting question – what are the waves conveying. We know that the Search for Extra Terrestrial Life (SETI) brainchild of The Carl Sagan, and if you are a SETI@Home User, you know you are always on the lookout for what it would be like when E.T calls! But what if, E. T is so busy listening to the transmissions from us and watching our television programs, before sending us that message – you know, like you google someone before you email them or facebook them for the first time? Now theres a fun question, with the elements of romanticism of talking to outer space as well as a reflection on what engages us. Back to the obvious question we started with: What is ET watching if they are watching our television? Abstruse Goose, who we think is one of the best webcomics around (Salutes to you sir!) did this interpretation of how we visualize  most watched tv programs and commercials.


Well, but we do know that ET is probably not only receiving television programs through our trasmitted frequencies! Some readers have already been let into the secret that we are investing some blood sweat and a lot of clicks recently in our new website design, but are still quite fond of the 8.19 sec Spectral signature of the visible wavelengths we receive from the Sun used as the backdrop to our Big On Good current website. We did take a deeper look at how do we visualize and utilise the full electromagnetic sprectrum this week and we didn’t have to look too far: The atlas of electromagnetic spectrum is a fantastic dynamic representation of how the spectrum works in scientific terms, how is it regulated, and what is exactly its relationship with common technologies present in everyday life like Radio, TV, WiFi, Mobile Telephony, and many others. The main attractiveness of the Atlas is its ‘projects’ view – which in combination of its services view (things that you will recognise as uses of the spectrum in daily activities) highlights unique interpretations and new initiatives from artists, ham radio operators, hackers, etc and how social technology services are emerging. Here’s one of our favourites – Your Own Internet Island by Techkwondo as a screenshot. We hope you tell us over the weekend whats your favourite here!


Project view in Atlas of Electromagnetic Spectrum

Project view in Atlas of Electromagnetic Spectrum

For now, we will leave you with this. Thank you to Futurama Decoder for translations to our Alien Radar!


Thought for the week

Its a ‘Spare a thought for Thursdays’ Thursday at Big On Good Solutions. We came across a creation by the FullColourBlack company, which is completely environment friendly. Explanation of how they recycle ends with 

We believe that our planet should be taken care of. However, we can’t promise that we won’t be hit by a massive comet soon, so live fast and party hard. We do. 🙂

We not only join our friends at FullColourBlack, but are also working on stopping the eventuality that a massive comet is able to hit our lovely planet. 🙂

A night with MT’s 34 under 35

Last night, I met Emma Da Vita finally in person. She told me that when she embarked on finding 35 women in business who were under 35 years of age, making a name for themselves in different fields in 2001 they were hard to come by. This really struck me, as I experienced a unique energy and vibrance within the room surrounded by 34 other women who were featured on this year’s list. This was different I felt. There was talk of Hard Times, the way Jacko’s death had affected different businesses, cut off bonuses or doubled profit margins (the business ying and yang) and there was strong acknowledgment: that as much as we operated in extremely diverse fields such as the armed forces, private wealth management, human resource and recruitment, food and entertainment, SEO or good-old-engineering, we will need each other to come up with the change so that Emma has so many women in Business to choose from that a 35 under 35 does not make sense anymore!

Emma was beaming from the success that the feature for Management Today had already received from The Sunday Times, who scooped up a whole page in their Business Section last weekend. On Monday I announced to all on my twitter account, facebook, etc that I was lucky enough to be featured on the list and along came a message from a friend in Afghanistan who is a young (male) space enthusiast, feeling slightly unfair that I always look to encourage women only. My aim to encourage men and women both alike, however this did drive home the question: really, why is it that we specifically need to target women, and young women in particular?

Talking to the other winners at the MT evening, it turns out that yes, we all have been incredibly lucky to create enough critical mass of supporters – whether this comes as immediate or far family, friends, business acquaintances, old and current bosses, clients, etc that are non-discriminatory and in several cases inspiring and encouraging, but every now and then we do encounter people who completely under estimate our abilities and talents simply because they do not come across many females in the business. The community is really important as Suzy Levy from Accunture put it – in making the ‘Outliers’ amongst us, those that just don’t fit that mould. Suzy herself is an exceptional lady with passion for empowering Africa, especially with her support and work for a small school in Libya. It was great talking to her about how we can really make a difference in local communities and what models would work to help the alleviate the issues that the local communities face there. Enter Ruth Amos – a 19 year entrepreneur and engineer, who invented an alternate device to the stair lift to help elderly folk walk up stairs and exercise at the same time. She has been running her business for 3 successful years now and just having secured another big contract is top of her game! 

This really was an event to be inspired by. I have had the pleasure to interact with several groups of winners at different events – indeed who ever you meet there, you wish to applaud at their achievements. In Feb 2009, I met the winners of the IET Young Woman Engineer too – but a different competitiveness surrounded the interactions. Cards were passed on, but not much came back in terms of collaborative exchange. This event was certainly different – I got so inspired talking to Verve Search Director Lisa D Myers, that we had to be kicked out of the event. As it doesn’t appear to be in either Lisa’s nature or mine, to put an end to a good party and plenty of food for thought, we continued our exchange outside Charing Cross Station and further talking about the human pattern of thinking, connections such as speech and thought that transcend culture, boundaries, etc, Karma and especially that in the sense of Business, adding collaborative sense-checking to twitter feeds, the need for a community within the 35 Under 35 and what we can do differently to really empower further all within our group. (I even chose Lisa over Buzz, but please don’t tell him that! 🙂 ) 

I had hardly gotten over the excitement of the evening before the next morning and a flury of emails and twitter messages tells me that the evening was only a beginning. Before the day was over, we have a NING community open and operating with Lisa having pumped life into it in just 3 hrs after her twitter note! This further etched it, just as Baroness Kingsmill put it, is a community of women who are not going to stand still and watch if they have come across a rather thick big wall in their times, least are they going to bang their head against it, but very much are going to look to each other to make their ways across and over it by either jumping through, breaking the wall down or getting someone to sell them a ladder to climb it! I am certainly in awe of all the achievements they bring and thankful to have earned my place among them!!

Inspiration: Ask Yourself, thought-provoking postcards


From time to time, we come across some real jewels here on the cyber kingdom that inspire us. We are proud to support and celebrate these though provoking postcards by DroppingKnowledge under their ‘Ask Yourself’ Series. You can check out the complete collection on their website and use it as drag and drop attachments into emails. 

Have you asked yourself lately?

Space Debris: How do we safeguard our future?

Iridium-Cosmos Debris cloud as it would be on July 10
Iridium-Cosmos Debris cloud as it would be on July 10

Satellite Collision simulation


The first accidental hypervelocity collision of two intact spacecrafts occurred on 10 February 2009 when Iridium 33, a US Operational communication satellite and Cosmos 2251, a Russian decommissioned communications satellite collided at 1656 GMT as they passed over northern Siberia at an altitude of 790 km leaving two distinct debris clouds in much of the Low Earth Orbit which are now dispersing and pose danger of future collisions.

The present incidence has generated a lot of concern in the space community (We were at the United Nations Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space recently) especially as the Iridium constellation is in a region of high spatial density and the Iridium constellation has 70 satellites in the operational altitude regime – at even the current situation, there are approximately 3,300 additional catalogued objects that whiz through the Iridium constellation’s altitude each day.

The effects of such debris clouds after collision would pose a significant risk to the access to space both in the short-term and long-term. Although tracking results from the Iridium Cosmos incident show that the debris created is short lived (and would re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere within the next 5-10 years depending on solar activity), incidents such as this could potentially lead to an “ablation cascade” where future collisions would create further and more energetic space debris objects that may be extremely dangerous for human space flights. The figure above depicts the predicted evolution of the Iridium and Cosmos debris planes by July 10 (six months after the collision)! 

Photo Credit with thanks: NASA, Orbital Debris Program Office

Design, Theory and Activism

In a few steps – this is what I am working on with a bit of generalizing. More on current projects perhaps needs to be thrown light on here, but all in good time 🙂

1) Define intended outcomes
2) Integrate subject matter experts
3) Partner with like minded organizations
4) Build sustainable community
5) Embrace ‘wicked problems’
6) Maintain journalistic integrity
7) Measure transference of knowledge
8) Make it fun!