Is new year such a really big deal?

This year was the first time in my life when I actually experienced a laid back NYE. To be honest, I wasn’t pleased with the idea at all but when the time came, I realised that I did quite enjoy spending quality time with people who really matter.

Next morning, while still revelling in the fluffy feeling, I made the mistake of opening my Facebook page. In an instant my computer screen was flooded with posts of people celebrating amidst random strangers, wishing 2014 goodbye as if it was a dearly loved friend and posting up their resolutions/expectations for the coming new year.

All this barrage of unwanted information got me thinking, is new year really that big a deal?? I mean if you want to party, do you really need a reason such as a new year? Or do you really need to wait till the beginning of a new year to decide a new model-self that you resolve to be ( only to break it two days later!). Is the new year really a new beginning? Why should our lives be ruled by the calenders – that’s not what they were invented for surely? Something tells me that there might be a conspiracy underlying this occurrence. But who is behind these ever growing new hypes about everything we seen in these consumer based economies? What could be the motive? World domination ?

Is this year really a happy new year??

What do you think??

Jurassic world and the survival of the fittest

Well the other day, I finally faced the long awaited moment – the release of that single trailer, the sole driving force of my existence: The Jurassic World trailer. With the glimpse of a sole dinosaur, I was transported back to the realms of my own Jurassic cosmos walking amongst the magnificent beasts !

Suddenly with the clap of thunder the sky darkened, shadows of terror cast upon the landscape and the puddled waters vibrated… Reality slapped back but the terror still lingered. Trying to shake off the chills running down my spine, my thoughts were drawn towards the horrors of real life – if you just think about it, man on his own is a very vulnerable creature – fragile enough for a tiger to snap his neck, soft enough to be squashed by an elephant, crumbly enough to be chewed by a crocodile. Heck, even a mere docile cow is capable of killing us! *shivers* But humans still survive, our lack of physical prowess over come by the sheer power of our brains. We’ve developed artificial defences- our journey evolving from spears to knives, swords, guns, tanks, battleships and eventually fighter-planes. “Natural selection” pipe up the Darwinians, “its the survival of the fittest at play here” continue the modern day Herbert Spencers.

Indeed they are probably right, we -humans- are shrewd calculating species capable of manipulating the world around us according to our whims. And when we don’t get things our way, we turn into devilish monsters playing god. One man gets killed by a tiger, we turn them into a game, poaching every single one of them till we wipe their species off the face of this planet. A person gets bitten by a shark, we make it our mission to haphazardly murder ever single fish with teeth. Hell, we don’t even spare our fellow specieans ( I know that’s not a word but – you get what I’m feeling). To get money, power control – to be able play god we indiscriminately butcher other human beings – that scares me even more. We are probably really the most dangerous group on the planet – a danger even to our own existence.

Tell me though, do the survival of the fittest really hold true in this case? Think about it , any one armed with  lethal weapon in that particular situation can be deemed fit but does that really fit the bigger picture? Think about it if someone of bright intellect but below average physical competencies is cornered at gun point by a big beefy guy with slightly below average IQ. Unless the cornered person is exceptionally brilliant, there is little chance he will escape, most likely he will be killed trying to escape. Now imagine this on a global scale  and all the brainiacs were to be wiped off the face off the earth – the progress of humanity will be stalled. The abyss would deepen with the genetic selection of physical prowess at the cost of lower intellect. On top of this, if we were to continue our world damaging lifestyles at the current rate, eventually we will be extinct.

However on the other hand if it was only the prodigies which were to survive, there would be some chance of us surviving. Humans would develop technology further and our brains would evolve towards increased reasoning. But come some mutant all powerful virus and we’ll be exterminated due to our weakened physical attributes.  Come to think of it in order for the survival of the fittest theory to apply, we need all sorts of mixed genetic disposition to progress further ! But will all that evolution lead  eventually us to world with a genetically superior species capable of making the humans vanish from the earth???? Or will it just lead us back to the dinosaurs once again??

Helping beat cancer !

Hello my lovely followership , todays post for my NaBloPoMo will be something close to my heart – beating cancer! Having seen some of my close ones battle this monstrous disease,  I have felt quite strongly about supporting the search for a cure ever since! I am lucky enough to have friends who are working on on the forefront, trying to defeat cancer on a daily basis. Currently one of my friend (and her colleagues) works on how the enemy (skin cancer) can defy,manipulate and ultimately defeat the defending soldiers of our bodily fortress (the immune system). Looking into this, they hope to be able to identify ways to reverse/inhibit that effect and eventually stop the spread of cancer ( which causes over 90% of cancer related deaths). So promising is their work, that their lab is one of the three labs selected by Cancer Research UK for their first ever crowd-funding campaign !

Here is a snippet of their work :

If you want to know about skin cancer further, see the scientists in action, life on the other side and to see how research work click here!

They have only 30 days to reach their goal. If you are interested in helping them out, here’s the link :

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-us-find-out-how-skin-cancer-spreads-and-hides

Please help spread the word – every little helps.

Together we can, together we will beat cancer !

Ap(p)t : Partner stalking??

How would you feel, if some one decided to give you all of their attention? If every time you walked down a road, you felt a pair of eyes following your back? How would you feel if someone was constantly watching your every move, observing every breath of yours? Those prying, insistent eyes gazing fixedly, drinking in what you wear, what you eat and what you speak? Those eerie eyes which stare at you from the shadows following wherever you go, whom you meet where you sleep. And if those pair of eyes followed you into your house, watched you change and slept with you on your bed at night? And if one day they begin to control every aspect of your life? How would you feel? Flattered? Concerned? Irritated? Annoyed? Scared? Suffocated?

But what if that following gazing pair of eyes are actually your partners (Or rather the apps offering to be the virtual stalker? ) How would you feel then?

Ever since the bloom of the internet, technological advances are being achieved at an alarming rate. This advent of technology means better and easier life with the newer generations being more informed; more aware. However, like every coin, these improvements also have another side – these advancements come at a price – at the cost of ‘real life’ . But it doesn’t just stop there, while we happily shed our silken real life in exchange for the synthetic virtual garb of well connectedness – we heavily pay on various levels, one of the terms being loss of our privacy (1).

With the world constantly plugged in to various devices that enable them to stay “connected”, we are evolving towards a world where a relationship is considered official only when it is updated on Facebook and a news story valid only if it is tweeted about on Twitter! With people constantly trying to exert their presence over various realms of laptops, tablets and mobile phones, we are increasingly exposing ourselves to threats of invasion of privacy. The recent scandals of the phone hacking by a reputed newspaper, the iCloud photo leaks and the concerns over the lobbying of laws requiring phone/internet suppliers to store customer data embody the essence of the problem.

One of the most prized accessory that leaves us the most vulnerable to such types of danger are our app laden ‘smart phones’.The rate at which apps are being developed and released is increasing at an alarming rate with 60 thousand apps being added per month in the Apple app store alone (2)! In fact mobile users are literally glued to their phones spending an average of 2hr 42 mins per day (3). As if the ‘plain’ GPS trackers on our phones weren’t enough, the app developers have had another ‘eureka’ moment where they have introduced apps which can stalk people using their very on phones! I do understand the usefulness of such apps in tracking the whereabouts of your children or family members (with their consent – of course, its a legal necessity, duh!) for purposes of keeping a watchful eye or just merely guiding them when they need directions; what shocks me, however, is the fact that people actually use these apps to stalk their partners!! Apps such as ThaiSpy, Couple tracker, mCouple and mSpy are just a few of the offerings on the market that allow people to check their partners call histories, text messages, Skype histories, and their social media activity (4,5)!

On digging a little deeper into the matter I realised that the creep-apps were just the tip of the iceberg. Not only are partners using them to detect cheating partners, they are also using them to gain evidence. There are increasing accounts of partners trying to snoop on their ‘better halves’ being documented in several divorce cases with these apps supplying the data for strengthening the argument in favour of the stalker (6, 7). While spying without consent is illegal, there are still quite a few grey areas when it comes to spouse related spying – for there is willing sharing of information including passwords which assist misuse. There are additional rules to curb the misuse of such softwares, rules like a person having legal authority over the phone being monitored is one such grey area.

While there are some laws, varying from country to country which deem such stalking illegal, there is no concrete law (there lies our first problem!) – it is worthwhile to note here that the development of such apps is completely legal. Furthermore the app developers wash their hands of the legal responsibility but inserting few rules in the agreement (not to mention they also rob you with their extortionist service subscription prices). This would mean you’d have to be desperate? to get an app to stalk your partner – rather than just being honest with them ( *rows of red flags*). But I digress..

With our futures increasingly relying on technology and the internet, there is an increasing requirement for our legal systems to be constantly on their toes, revisiting and amending laws to accommodate these increasing threats. But we cannot solely rely on a change of laws (which may take eons considering the snail pace) alone. On a personal front, we need to be more aware of the technology we employ and need to educate ourselves on how to minimise our risks. It is true, in the current age of the internet, ‘ignorance is no longer bliss’ and probably curiosity (of the dangers you might be facing) might just save the cat.

Though on a less morbid, lay front, there are people who actually claim that spying actually ‘helped’ their relationships – by increasing trust. In my personal opinion if your relationship is at that point where your partner need to gain trust via a stalking app (*gets the creeps*), I think you definitely should reconsider. But hey, if your partner is flattered by the stalking who am I to judge? Happy stalking 🙂

References (to list a few):

  1.  http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social-media-security-is-our-online-privacy-officially-dead/story-fnjwnfzw-1227117395486
  2. https://www.adjust.com/assets/downloads/AppleAppStore_Report2014.pdf
  3.  http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/01/mobile-app-usage-increases-in-2014-as-mobile-web-surfing-declines/
  4. http://www.dailydot.com/technology/love-surveillance-spying-apps/
  5. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2686627/Worried-youre-cheated-The-app-lets-EVERYTHING-partner-does-phone.html
  6. http://techatlast.com/mobile-phone-spy-role-in-divorce-cases/
  7. http://vulcanpost.com/31651/couples-divorce-turn-to-illegal-snooping-for-evidences-against-spouses/