Friday 27 November 2015

Green Drainage for Urban Area

An urban area must have robust water drainage system. The rainwater seeps into the soil but the excess rainwater goes into the drainage system. With proper techniques and maintenance of the drainage system, the risk of flood can be reduced. Otherwise after mild to heavy rainfall, the excess rainwater flows towards low level areas and causes safety risks. A perfect water drainage system for any urban area includes small drainage systems in residential and commercial units for effective water drainage of that urban area as a whole. Water drainage techniques and processes are discussed here with an example of a house in England where the drainage system was efficiently applied.  In addition to such kinds of small drainage systems, utilization of the green spaces of an urban area as drainage areas increases the efficiency of water drainage. Maintaining proper water drainage of an urban area is discussed with an example of using vegetated areas in China.    
Water Drainage System for a Residential Unit
A water drainage system was designed and maintained for a house that was reported by Scholz (2004). The residential unit was in Sandy Lane (Bradford, West Yorkshire England) and the rain water drainage system was built using the technique of pond system. The drainage system included a vegetated attenuation pond and a vegetated infiltration basin. These both were small ponds to store and maintain the runoff rain water. There was aquatic vegetation in the infiltration basin to improve its infiltration properties. There was a separate sedimentation tank in which the rainwater was to be drained. The sedimentation tank and attenuation pond together could carry up to 1.9m3 of the runoff water and the additional infiltration basin had a capacity of 1.8m3. That was a reasonable amount that this system could manage before letting the runoff water escape. The depth of infiltration basin was 40cm. Two rain gauges were fitted between attenuation pond and infiltration basin. Infiltration rates were found out to determine the infiltration properties of the runoff water that is going into the infiltration basin. Sampling and evaluation of the runoff water was done weekly. The runoff water was evaluated for temperature, BOD5, total and suspended solids, water conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH, many nutrients analysis, and total concentration of elements. After sometime of this setup, there was algal growth in the infiltration basin which was removed manually from time to time as required. This algal growth was reduced using barley straw, zooplankton and tadpoles to improve the workability and life of this design.
The benefits of this water drainage system included tackling of the excess rainwater runoff as well as recycling of the collected water. The attenuation pond had the water quality that could be used for irrigation and other recycling purposes.   
Application of Ecohydrology Technique for Water Drainage
When the vegetation areas of a city are used properly as a part of water drainage system, the rainwater can be controlled to a large extent. Ecohydrology is the system of finding the solution of problems such as rainwater drainage by utilizing the potentials that are embedded within the ecosystem itself. Analysis of these potentials and balancing them with societal objectives can result in cost-effective and capable water drainage system. In Beijing, China an ecohydrology technique was evaluated by Li (2012) to tackle the water drainage and water logging. A vegetated area that was concaved down was used for rain water infiltration. The concaved down area was at lower elevation than its surroundings. The concave surface was totally permeable as it was constructed using porous bricks and porous concrete. That permeable layer was allowing rainwater infiltration. The design was perfect to absorb rain water that was running off towards it. Furthermore, along with addressing water drainage the system was enabling evotranspiration and balancing the water cycle. The benefits of using this system is that it is aesthetic, creative, cost-effective, it can be applied to small area, and it offers optimum solution to water drainage problem.
Due to heavy rainfall and inadequate water drainage systems urban areas are at risk of casualties, overall economic fall and traffic jams. Management of rainwater drainage is important for sustainable and risk free urban areas. When there are good urban designs that are addressing the problem of water drainage then the quality of life automatically becomes better. Importance of water drainage is discussed with two examples. One example is of water drainage system of a house. The rain water that was collected through that technique could be recycled such as in car wash. The other example explains the usage of green spaces of a city as a water drainage system which also provided environmental benefits like evotranspiration. These both systems if used in combination to one another can give long lasting and cost-effective results in solving water drainage related issues.

Li, C. (2012). Ecohydrology and good urban design for urban storm water-logging in Beijing,           China. Ecohydrology and hydrobiology, 12(4), 287-300.

Scholz, M. (2004). Case study: design, operation, maintenance and water quality management of       sustainable storm water ponds for roof runoff. Bioresource Technology, 95, 269–279.

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Sunday 22 November 2015

Golden Spiral

The Fibonacci sequence is the series of numbers in which the next number is the addition of the two previous numbers.
The Fibonacci sequence is:

If these numbers are plotted on a squared paper, a nice spiral is the result:

The Fibonacci spiral can also be referred as the golden spiral as the ratio of any two Fibonacci numbers is not exactly but close to the Golden ratio. The Golden ratio is itself another topic to touch upon which is: 

In nature there exists golden spiral in many forms and creations. Here are but few examples of the occurrence of golden spiral in nature:   

Starting from one of the biggest creations in nature i.e. galaxies. Many galaxies represent golden spiral especially the Whirlpool Galaxy.

Coming back on earth, the largest spiral that seems to have originated as a golden spiral is a hurricane. The following is the image of one of the famous hurricane, hurricane Katrina that occurred in 2005.

This tree trunk of sugar pine seems to have originated from the golden spiral.

The golden spiral clearly exists in flowers.

Aloe Vera
It is know for its amazing benefits, originates as a golden spiral.


A very clear golden spiral shell


There is a great deal of Fibonacci sequence in humans. Like in thumb markings.

We see all these spirals not just to see the golden spiral itself! But then why?  

See also: Gravitational Waves

                           Parallel Worlds

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Five Misunderstood Lavishness of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs don’t have to work 9 to 5 i.e. 8 hours?
Do entrepreneurs have relaxed working hours? They might have to work just couple of hours a day to keep their set-up running. Right? One thing which is true is that an entrepreneur doesn’t have to work 9 to 5 but one has to work 24 hours a day especially at the start of their entrepreneurial setup. While eating, resting, walking, showering, exercising, etc. their brains are active about their next strategy. Entrepreneurs have to keep an eye on their work productivity, work ethics, and work partners along with their clients in order to keep going or their entrepreneurial career might become wishy-washy. Unlike jobs when a person might be productive, active or might be tensed during the working hours but after that time is over that person is free of any tension. For an entrepreneur a free time means a working time as well. But yes, once the set-up is out of blues and running, a successful entrepreneur might work lesser than 8 hours a day, but not in all cases.
Entrepreneurs have money flowing bank account?
Money making is not an easy task. If you are on job, you work for a month & you get your salary. But if you want to become an entrepreneur, you have to put all your efforts in order to earn a single penny. There is a whole iceberg that is hidden below the surface of the dark ocean and represents the patience, dedication, and labor of a successful entrepreneur. Point to note is that, there might be a larger part of the iceberg below the surface than above the surface. People can only see that part which is above the surface and mostly don’t appreciate or don’t fathom the struggle behind the whole thing. But once, the ice berg peaks out of the ocean surface then yes, there might be money flowing bank account. 


Entrepreneurs get a 10 hours’ sleep each night?
She is an entrepreneur, and she is up look at the time. Oh no 3:00am already. Come one go to sleep and you can work in the morning. No, I have to complete this task and prepare tomorrows strategy. So I have to complete it before it dawns tomorrow which is technically today. That is she, with entrepreneurial endeavors. And what about them, they have to go to office tomorrow. So, they are sleeping and sleeping for quite a few hours now. They will wake up fresh and begin their routine. But bear in mind when she has survived this time of strategy making, then yes she can sleep as much hours as she wants.  

Entrepreneurs get extra holidays?
You have comeback from a tiring day at job. Tomorrow is holiday so you basically don’t have to do any money making stuff this evening and tomorrow. But for an entrepreneur, a holiday is a real challenge. Everyone in home and family has a holiday. People are arranging get-together of all sorts, and telling the entrepreneur that come on tomorrow is holiday. Tomorrow is holiday means that tomorrow we are free and we won’t start thinking unless we reach the office after holidays. But for entrepreneur especially at a stage that is below the ocean surface yet, a holiday means extra-hard work. Firstly, satisfy friends and family and participate in their activities and then after getting tired; try to complete the left over burden of that day. But once the mist is over, one can take some holidays even when there are no holidays. 

Entrepreneurs are free during the day?
He was free a little earlier from his office so he thought to stop by a friend’s house. He knew that his friend doesn’t do job and calls himself something funny uummm.... yes entrepreneur. So he thought his friend ‘must’ be free to welcome him. So he rang the doorbell, and entered his friend’s living room. But as a shock he saw that his friend was working on multiple laptops, talking to people, writing & drawing things on papers and then staring something on his laptop’s screen. He was like what is he doing? He asked what are you doing buddy? His friend didn’t say anything and asked him to wait two minutes. Two minutes passed and then two hours passed. But he patiently sat on the sofa in front of his friend because he wanted to know what his friend is up to. After almost two and a half hours, his friend picked up his head and said oh did you get a coffee? He said yes three cups. Then his friend rushed in to the kitchen and brought coffee for both of them. His friend told the list of his tasks for the day, then he realized that it’s much more hard work than he could ever think of. He appreciated his friend and thought that his friend is really lucky that he gets to do exactly what he wants and doesn’t have to wait for the orders of boss to initiate a new task.

But after the haze is disappeared, an entrepreneur doesn’t have to write an application for well-deserved holidays, doesn’t have to count working hours, and doesn’t have to count how many days he has taken off from job.   


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Saturday 14 November 2015

Wednesday 11 November 2015

AAK’s Series of Stories for KIDS: THE SHINY BLUE STONE (EPISODE#3)

The alligator yelled, “What happened blue fish? You’re bleeding.” The blue fish said, “Ouch it’s hurting.” Then it started to weep. The alligator saw that there was a tiny thorn in the mouth of blue fish. Actually there were some fisher men fishing near there. A fisherman attached the bait with a hook. The tip of the hook had a small shiny blue stone attached with it to attract the fish. When the blue fish took the shiny blue stone in its mouth, the fishing hook stuck in its mouth. The fisherman started to pull the fish as soon as he felt that a fish has stuck in his fishing hook.

The alligator quickly cut the fishing line with its sharp teeth. Then very gently alligator tried to pull the fishing hook out of the mouth of blue fish. After trying few times the fishing hook came out but the blue shiny stone that was at the tip of fishing line was still in the mouth of blue fish, then alligator rubbed the mouth of tiny blue fish. Finally the blood stopped. The blue fish was very happy that it got the shiny blue stone again. The alligator was also happy that it's time paid off.
The blue fish and alligator went back to the coral reef where there was home of the tiny blue fish. They were very happy & gave party to other fish and sea creatures, big and small. In the party they enjoyed a lot, played a lot and ate a lot. The big scary alligator and tiny blue fish became best friends.

Composed by,
Engr. Ayesha Alam Khurram 

Monday 9 November 2015

AAK’s Series of Stories for KIDS: THE SHINY BLUE STONE (EPISODE#2)

The blue fish yelled, leave me alone you meanie. Then it opened its eyes and saw it was in the clutches of a big scary alligator. It said to alligator, "Let me go alligator, I have very less meat lesser than you need." The alligator said, "Don't worry blue fish I won’t eat you. May be I could but I’m not hungry at the moment. I have been watching you from far and I noticed that you are searching something. What are you looking for?" Still scared, the blue fish said, “I am searching for my blue stone that was in my mouth when I was sleeping and now it’s lost.” The alligator said, “Don’t worry little blue fish I can help you finding your blue stone”. The blue fished said, “Really.”

Then both of them started searching for the blue stone near the coral reef. They searched and searched but in vain. Then alligator told the blue fish that they should ask someone may be some other fish has seen the shiny blue stone. So they stared asking other fish if they have seen the shiny blue stone. Other tiny fish were getting afraid from alligator but when the blue fish told them that alligator was its friend then other fish didn’t get scared.

The alligator and the blue fish asked the sea horse but the sea horse said that it didn’t know where the blue stone is. Then they asked the star fish and it also replied in negative. Then they went to the surface of the ocean. There was an island and there were seagulls sitting there. The seagulls were about to dive into the ocean to eat the blue fish but when they saw the alligator was accompanying the blue fish then they got scared. The blue fish and the alligator asked the seagulls if they had seen the shiny blue stone but they answered in negative.

All of a sudden, the blue fish noticed some shiny blue thing far away. It started swimming fast towards it. The alligator was swimming along with it. Then it went near that shiny blue thing and it realized that it was a shiny blue stone similar to the stone it had yesterday. So the blue fish hastily put the blue stone in its mouth. Out of the blue, there was pain in its mouth and its mouth started bleeding.
What Happened next? Why it started bleeding? Did the blood stop? Stay tuned for 'AAK's Series of Stories for KIDS: The Shiny Blue Stone (EPISODE#3).'

Composed by,
Engr.Ayesha Alam Khurram         

Sunday 8 November 2015

AAK’s Tried & Tested Tips: Seven remedies for runny nose, sore throat & phlegm

We dwell in an environment that caters dust and environmental pollution which triggers runny nose, sore throat & phlegm on frequent basis. Too much dining out, bakery items & confectionery, artificially prepared drinks & fizzes, and store bought traditional dishes which contain unhealthy fats & extra spices; adds on to the top and cause allergies & ENT problems that seem to be taking over the affected person day in & day out. Also, lack of health & fitness awareness leaves the body in vulnerable position for ever growing & powerful bacteria & viruses.       

Under this helpless situation people take antibiotics, vaccination (such as flu jabs), and other self-medication for these symptoms. These remedies severely harm our immune system. It is almost impossible to cure these symptoms with such medications. Don’t medicate yourself for such symptoms. This is extremely irregular procedure to cure a reoccurring symptom like this. Medication can only fight a single generation of bacteria that cause these problems. Another generation of bacteria develops with in as soon as next 20 minutes. This is the reason why every now and then people have these symptoms despite over doses of medicine and antibiotics (See also: Five Reasons Why Antibiotics Don't Work). Due to medication, a person doesn’t feel to eat much that causes bad health. The best way to fight such bacteria is health. Not eating food is not the solution!

We should boost our immune system to cure the symptoms of runny nose & sore throat. Here are few tips; if we do these regularly we can prevent to some extent the symptoms of runny nose and sore throat. We have to follow these tips as a precautionary procedure before the worst conditions occur.   

Lemon: Generally if you get sore throat, lemon is on the top of not eating list. But actually lemon has vitamins that are best to treat sore throat. Include freshly squeezed lemon in your diet. Be it in a glass of water, salad, or even curries it works.  

Honey: Honey is one of the most precious treasures that nature has given us. Use it on regular basis to treat nose & throat symptoms. Eating half teaspoon to one teaspoon after consuming lemon works best. Mix honey & powdered black seeds (kalonji) in a jar and have  1/2tsp before bed.

Fruits & vegetables: They provide vitamins for a healthy body. Oranges, apples, cucumber etc. are best intake for general health, for good body detox, and for nose & throat symptoms.

Warm water gargle: Either put salt in it or not, it really works. Do it before going to bed regularly and you will feel a boost in your throat & nose immune system.

Cloves: Cloves are natural antibiotics. There are many ways to get benefit from cloves. Put a few in curries while cooking. Put one or two in the honey pot and consume honey from that. Put cloves as one of the ingredients while making tea or soup especially in winters.   

Cinnamon: It also is an antibiotic. Use it same ways as cloves and it will improve your immunity of nose & throat conditions.

Desi qehwa: Having qehwa not only clears respiratory tract but also helps reach your fitness goals. In a cup of water add ginger piece, mint leaves, clove & cinnamon. Boil. Add honey & lemon drops. Let it cool a bit. Enjoy!

Kalonji oil & mustard oil: Apply kalongi oil in & around nostrils before bed. Also on forehead. Mustard oil can be infused with garlic or as it is. You can apply it on throat, chest, & back. After application, it’s better to cover those parts with cloth. Not covering also works. Believe it to know that applying mustard oil under the feet sole before sleeping is very helpful. You can wear socks over it on winters. If you feel hot, you can leave uncovered as well, it does work. 

Cure your body's system tips by,
Engr. Ayesha Alam Khurram 

Saturday 7 November 2015


As the mystery continues of that mysterious night explained in ‘A Strange Night at NEDUET (Karachi, Pakistan)’, when they turned on their computers in the lab they found out that the respective website on which their tasks were to be mentioned was not opening. Oh no! Coming all the way from home, facing strange reactions and now this? So they tried & tried and finally managed to open that website.  First task was given to them exactly at 0500 hours and they solved it on their system. At 0600 hours another funny thing happened. Suddenly there was a rooster noise in the lab. It was like rooster was trying to wake them up. We are awakened rooster, they thought. It was actually his wakeup alarm and it took him too long to stop that alarm. Everyone was like, sir please we are awakened.

Brainstorm & solve it!
Hour by hour they were given tasks and they had to brainstorm and solve it. Their bodies were aching, fingers were tired, and head was going round. They missed their beds and their sleeps like never before. They were remembering their homes like never before. Many tasks they completed and submitted to the online system that was testing their skills. Few tasks were like that they solved it on their system but when they uploaded to the online system, it was not working there. So they couldn’t submit those tasks and the chance of winning that competition automatically reduced due to that technical glitch. Don’t worry there is always next time. But this time all of them worked with patience and devotion. They experienced something that made them better students and better persons. It’s not always about to win or to loose. It’s about endeavors and commitment. They all cleared the test of testing their limits.

The funny part
One more funny part of the event is that at 2100 hours a guard called to the lab and told him that a student is waiting on the gate to come to attend his class. He was like what? It’s too late now. That guy was actually brother of a participating girl who brought dinner for her. A dinner can’t be yummier and energetic than one that is eaten while a continuous brainstorming session under sleep deprived and under pressure conditions. 

They worked for 24 hours continuously
They worked continuously and this continuously literally means continuously, they worked for 24 hours, for ‘IEEEXtreme 24-Hour Programming Competition’. Then 24 hours were over exactly at 0500 hours the next day and there was a sigh of relief. They wanted to literally dance and scream that yay we’ve done it. They wanted to sleep straight away but for that they had to wait until they reached their homes.  
The following snap is taken from IEEEXtreme website:

The test of testing the limits
After all this test of testing their limits they went home and enjoyed the sleep like never before. Sleeping is one thing but sleeping after such tension of brain and after Xtreme physical pain has a value that only a person gone through this can take pleasure of. No one else can. It is a sound sleep just like sleeping after selling your horses. Phew. They slept whole day probably and luckily it was Sunday. They earned their sleeps.  
On Monday they came back to their routine in NED. Everything seemed normal like it was before the weekend. All the other thousands of students were same and they didn’t realize what their colleagues experienced. Because if you have to experience it, you have to be there!  

This actual event is…
Dramatized by,
Engr. Ayesha Alam Khurram   


Friday 6 November 2015

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing is a technology which is required to collect information about an object or to observe a medium without coming in direct contact with that object or medium. Remote sensing is done using devices that are fitted on the ground, aircrafts, sea vessels, or satellites. Remote sensing technology makes available unique information of our planet and gives us a broader vision. A totally new perspective is achieved when we look at earth via remote sensors fitted in the satellites. A different outlook is unlocked as compared to what we see standing on the earth. Satellite remote sensing caters the understanding of earth’s dynamic environment that affects the biodiversity. It’s through remote sensing technology we know that earth is having a fever. Working with remote sensing technology is a phenomenal experience a person can get. 

“Man must rise above the Earth - to the top of the atmosphere and beyond - for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he dwells.” Socrates

There are two types of remote sensing technologies:
Passive remote sensing technology
This technology is used to record radiations coming from an object or area. For example: An infrared camera that records heat coming from an object or a camera that registers the sunlight that is reflected from an area.   
Active remote sensing technology
In this technology, the remote sensing device sends out its own signal to any object and then receives back that signal to collect information about that object. For example: A remote sensor that is affixed in an aircraft and is using a pulsed laser to gather location or shape of the surface below it.    
Written by,
Engr. Ayesha Alam Khurram