Posts tagged ‘science’

May 11, 2018

Google’s Duplex and my peaked interest in AI

by Khanum

Or is it piqued? Aaa, never mind.

Just now over the Facebook, I came across a news shared by my cousin brother. He had made some horrified, stupefied and awe struck emoticons with a message to his friend to go through Google’s demonstration video. I saw and was left awe struck myself.

Google is onto it’s way to revolutionize the way we work, interact and live. Anyone with AI secretary at their disposal in the future, can literally rest all day, and the AI secretary will make all your appointments like a human, take care of all your online and offline chores, possibly and depict the perfect picture of a well advanced future. All of this reminded me of Will Smith’s I, ROBOT movie. We all know AI is going to take over, right?

Right.

Having said that, I am quite motivated to look further into this matter because I realized, how fast the world is going. My questions are:

  1. How will this breakthrough in the science/programming field, affect other fields of study?
  2. Are other subjects such as arts, humanities and my own degree in Mass Communication now somehow lagging behind while scientists, programmers and software engineers are taking over the world by the storm?
  3. Amusingly, like philosophy, that has taken a back seat in the recent years where as it was once the top subject to study, is it possible that in the coming years, decades, some arts and humanities subjects could become totally obsolete and only pure sciences will be taught? 

When we look at the schooling system, alot of schools already prefer S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) over S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths).

What is more amusing for me today is, m contemplating if I need to switch fields to be a part of such fantastic studies, which is by all means, making me jump out of my seat for innovation, or defend my existing field and see how it can play a role in the AI future. One thing is for sure, learning is crucial  and to stay up to date with the current happening news in technology is even more essential. Because when they leave for the moon again, and set up AI systems in the solar system, I want to be there. Or at least have my future generations, be a part of it.

InshaAllah!

News from my side: Khanumsays.com (the domain) will be closing down next year and I’ll revert to my wordpress blog for good. Let me write about it in the next post. inshaAllah!

P.S. Yaaayyyyyyy! So happy to blog here on my baby blog home after years. ❤

 

 

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December 14, 2013

” You need to stay positive, Sir. Don’t freak out! “, Said Oxytocin

by Khanum

New Revelation in stress science. That Oxytocin!

The cuddling hormone released when you hug someone – often known as love hormone, the agent in sexual reproduction is actually not just a emo hormone, its practically your savior from stress. It’s also deals with stress.

Here’s how.

I just came across a very interesting thing this morning. A research in science which points out how the phrase “stress is bad for you” is actually the cause of many deaths and not the fact that you’re a stress patient. Confused? Lemme simplify it for you.

In very plain language it just means that stressing about “stress” is the main problem for your health. Otherwise, having a stress disorder and being positive about it instead of freaking out is what keeps you normal. And not just THAT – but also, dealing with it the positive way , meaning: Believing that stress is literally good for you, actually makes stress good for your health. It won’t harm you if you become friends with it and let it flow in your system. That sounds risky, han? But that’s the truth.

It becomes helpful when you embrace your stress and in return it makes you social. At least it demand of you to become social as a natural defence mechanism against bad health but if you don’t answer to its call by not reaching out to people and go for human bonding. That’s where and how you’re letting your stress kill you. You gotta love it well.

Long scientific story short. Oxytocin is actually not just a cute hormone but a stress hormone which is released when you are under stress as a (Body’s Natural Defense Mechanism) It begins to flow in you and makes you yearn for affection and help.Yeah. That explains why we badly want somebody around or near us to listen to our anxieties and worries when we are stressed. Letting it all out eventually cures us of bad mental health. Next time when it happens, know that its oxytocin telling you to reach out and talk to people when under stress.

Now that you know , stress can be handled as a positive force for your body, you’ll find this hormone helping you tremendously when you help it by doing exactly what its wants you to do. This was just one part I learned. What’s even more cool about this is the part where I translated this research into what Islam teaches us to do about stress. It gives us Exactly the same practical strategy to deal with it.

Oxytocin/Patience: A Mediator of Anti Stress!

And endure patiently, your patience is not but from Allah. (16:127)

So wait with patience for the Decision of your Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish – when he cried out (to Us) while he was in deep sorrow. (68:48)

Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere.  2: 153

And my favourite ayah of all. “And be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.”  (8:46)  وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

Patience (sabr) is often a word misunderstood as an act which is weakening and those of who are weak. In short, if you’re are scared of something and can’t deal with it, you just say I’m trying to do sabr. I’m trying to be patient.

Is that true? Is that what patience really is? oh yeah?

Well guess what! Here’s the new cool definition for Patience: “It’s the cool act on the block that keeps you positive and head strong!”

 So when wiki says “Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I say is, you’re totally underestimating this word. When in reality, This word is the synonym for positivity.

Patience is that strong positive attribute and force you can develop inside you that practically makes you 1000 times stronger in front of your anxieties, worries and every type of enemy in this dunya. And that’s EXACTLY why Allah advises us to observe patience when hit by calamity or stress because yeah! He already knows how tremendously powerful you can become when you take the positive approach towards every stressful circumstances.

In a typical stress response,your heart rate goes up, and your blood vessels constrict. And this is the reason why chronic stress is sometimes associated with cardiovascular diseases. Its not really healthy to be in this condition all the time. But in the study, when participants viewed their stress response as helpful, meaning the sweating the anxiety and the increased heart rate, when they viewed all of this as a positive response by believing the faster breathing is actually good. It means its getting more oxygen to your brain– believing all this– their blood vessels stayed relaxed. Amazing! Isn’t it?

Their heart was still pounding but now the cardiovascular profile is much healthier.

 Take a look at the normal and abnormal blood flow below. Once your artery is narrowed and blocked by plaque, you’re at a risk of heart attack. Your heart valves shouldn’t be blocked.

main-qimg-1a656de6e2eef81bd8ec6c5a6f7afe8f

And this is how your heart actually suffers when you’re under stress meaning Impatient. See the constricted blood vessels. But if you stay calm, patient and take things positive way, your blood vessels go relaxed. Even though they are still under stress but it’s not affecting them in a bad way. They are being strong. (I did some editing on this picture to explain it better)

material-world-singapore_blood-vessels

 That’s what new stress science has revealed that how you think about stress matters. It can literally make you experience a great biological change. A positive one born out of a negative state.

So next time when you’re faced with stress about anything, be positive. Be patient. Stress wants you to be patient and positive. Don’t shrug this act of “patience”  off thinking it’s the lame thing or the weak. Be cool. Also Be understanding towards oxytocin. Because Oxytocin helps you reach out for sunshine, for support, for things and activities that are positive and not rot alone in room. It paves way for Patience, and confirms how patience is a Practical Strategy to handle stress. Subhan Allah. Allah knew it all along that is why so much emphasize on patience in Quran.

Anas ibn Malik reported: I heard the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, say, “Allah said: If I afflict my servant in his two dear eyes and he remains patient, then he will be compensated with Paradise.” Sahih Bukhari 5329

I think I better consider becoming a Islamic Psychologist.

May 16, 2011

Living in 21st century with all the possible advancements, it is such a crime to deny the citizens a chance to know the basic facts of celestial science!

by Khanum

Lights off,’ ordered the man to make the people alert for the show at PIA Planetarium. I held my breath as the light slowly dissolved into darkness and there began to appear stars on the bed of night. I anticipated that soon cosmic world would revolve around me – twinkling stars, shooting meteoroids, the rotating solar system and the captivating colours of nebulas. Me and my pals waited, the show inside the dome went on, but Alas! No wonders happened…

Luckily! Passion:  is strangely a stubborn thing. It has the power to push you to do things which non passionate people may not even dare think of doing so. After a disappointing episode at the planetarium, My Passion for star gazing and astronomy led me to Super Star gazers!  aka 1000 times greater Lovers of Astronomy!

Umair Asim, from Lahore Astronomical Society. Hassaan Ghazali from Society of the Sun and Omer Bin Abdul Aziz.  They are the only ones working firmly to promote astronomy in the country and so their names cannot be brushed aside. 2 years back I reported a news on Planetarium’s condition while working in The Nation Newspaper. And soon after that I was asked to cover a full length feature on Astronomy in Pakistan. Then as if the work was still unfinished, a year later I decided to make a documentary on Amatuer Astronomers in Lahore. El Hamdulillah, that was a rewarding effort for my grades in university especially!

As a child I always wished I were in NASA, an astronaut  or some character from a science fiction story who had a spaceship and a gianttt telescope to see a star up close.

I dream of planets, I swear! , I dream of astronomical events. I’m a crazy little amateur astronomer who never gets tired of star gazing at night. I dream I’m in space, surrounded by a thousand sparkling stars …the  shiny star dust all around me!!! and the Eagle Nebula engulfing me in its foggy colors. I wish  I could  touch their beauty somehow. But Most of the times when I’m speaking of stars and moon and clusters, my family thinks me a dreamer. But how can I explain to them the peace I find in star gazing? It’s fascinating. It’s like an addiction. It’s God’s Creation after all and our Road to Awe!

Have a look, at the pictures captured right from Umair Asim’s  giant Celestron.

That’s crescent Moon. Our earth’s lover!

Now this is Moon Mosaic. Our moon, up close!!!

Above picture – Apollo 11 Landing Site.

Moon Craters.

Moon Mountain.

Moon-Crater Ring

Planet Venus

Planet Mars !

Jupiter with Great Red Spot.

Saturn!

Planet Jupiter.

Orion Nebula with Bow-Shock star-M42

Eskimo Nebula!!!

And now for the grand finale. Ladies and gentlemen, please behold. The star we’ve all heard about in both science and fiction. The one and Only, SIRIUS !

100 years ago the frontier of human exploration was limited, today; it’s extended through our solar system and reaches out to galaxies billions of light years away. We can experience adventures in this realm with new technologies; we can now simulate these distant environments and let people see what it’s really like to be there. In this way, our planetarium can be simulated space ships, staffed with knowledgeable tour guides: so that the ordinary citizen can explore the wonders of the universe.

If today, PIA sets out a proper strategy to run the Planetarium and starts funding it with even a small piece of compassion, our spaceship could be turned from dust to gold.

Anyway, What’s your favorite Nebula or shiny object in the sky at night? 🙂