Monday, October 30, 2006

Chennai car accident - CO poisoning

I heard about this freak accident in Chennai. I read the news in Hindu. FYI: Hindu has new service called epaper, that can be accessed from http://epaper.thehindu.com/.

This incident happened in Chennai on October 28th night. Three software engineers decided to head out in Hyundai Santro Car. They got stuck in G.N. Chetty road, T. Nagar due to heavy rain. They decided to wait for sometime, parked the car, rolled up all the windows, switched on air conditioner and waited...Sometime later, all of them died due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here's a possible reconstruction of the tragedy according to The Hindu.

The air-conditioner is running and set on 'recirculate' - a mode people normally use to prevent the smellier components of urban air pollution from getting into the car. The engine is running to keep the air con functioning.

In the meantime, water is rising below and around the car, and this means the hot exhaust gas, which normally has a larger volume of air to disperse into, is suddenly crowded up against the undersides of the car's floorboards. The situation might be more adverse if the car's exhaust system has a leak somewhere and all emissions are not properly exiting at the tailpipe as they are meant to.

The gases might therefore be building up more heavily than normal under the car and inside the engine bay. And invariably, this gas will get into the car through the tiny access holes present in these regions - the little holes on the floorboard that drain water from inside a car, the innumerable gaps and holes that route wiring, cabling and mechanical controls like the steering column through the engine bulkhead - the wall that separates the engine bay from the passenger cabin. In the meantime, the air-con is steadily recirculating the deadly gases through the cabin of the car - and a silent and deadly killer gas -carbon monoxide - goes to work, poisoning the unwary occupants.

How does CO kill?

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is one of the gases emitted by your car's exhaust system. It is completely imperceptible to the human senses, being odourless, colourless, tasteless. And this poison is doubly deadly, as it gets absorbed into the bloodstream quickly - the haemoglobin in blood has a much greater affinity for this gas than oxygen, forming a strong bond that is devastating in nature - it starves organ tissues in the human body of vital oxygen. Symptoms of CO poisoning are things you'd shake off as the result of a stressful, long day at work - headache, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. And then you might decide to sleep it off for a while...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Flight timings - Real time information

I wrote about this in my tamil blog. I am sure it would help lot of people, so here is the info.

If you need real-time flight conditions at your local airport, http://www.flightstats.com provides the data on departures and arrivals at airports around the world. I didn't believe that this site would cover Indian airports. To my surprise, Chennai airport is listed in this site, I can see real-time information about all flights leaving Chennai airport. This site lists flight info for all major airports in India.

I like the way this site does auto-complete. Type MAA in the airport field, you will see what I mean. This site shows the status of all scheduled inbound and outbound flights, including how long a delay might last.

Some other sites like faa.gov, flightarrivals.com, flightview.com and flytecomm.com, also track flights and provide information on last-minute scheduling changes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hon. Mohammad Afzal

Afzal who tried to attack parliament in Dec 2001 should have died a week ago, but he is still alive because our politicians don’t have backbone.

He may even walk into parliament as a MP just like Umesh Mohite wrote in Cybernoon. I don’t know what is going on in our country. Politicians have gone to really low level. Afzal tried to bomb these politicians, but these guys are trying to save him to get more votes.

I don’t think Muslims appreciate this political drama. Politicians are trying to gain appreciation from Muslims hoping that it may well transform into votes. All these guys shout everywhere “India United”. Then why do you try to appease a particular community?

In our country PM is just a puppet. Sonia has the strings. She is trying to balance the act in such a way that minority votes go to Congress. What about Hindu votes? To excuse people like Afzal is nothing short of participating in the crime itself.

What about the security people that died in the parliament attack? Are they clowns?? They died for no purpose? If Afzal is pardoned, what would security guards in parliament think? Picture this: If there is a second attempt on parliament, security guards would do nothing. Why should they lose lives to save some crooks that are going to protect these terrorists anyway?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Strip Club or Art Club?!

I read this in Charles Wheelan's article.

If you tell smart people that they can't get to the other side of a wall -- and that's where they would prefer to be -- they'll come up with clever ways to get over, under, around, or through it.

India bans alcohol advertising. Obviously, brewers would prefer to get their message out to consumers if given the chance. So the makers of Haywards 5000 beer came up with a shockingly clever idea: They introduced a soda with exactly the same name. Thus, they can now advertise on television for Haywards 5000 -- the soda, of course. And yet beer drinkers must have found the message persuasive. Sales of Haywards 5000 beer tripled after the "soda" advertisements began!

Then there's the strip club owner in Idaho. When the city of Boise banned full public nudity, the law left a loophole for art schools, drama performances, and anything with "serious artistic merit." Facing a serious loss of business, the owner of Erotic City sought instead to squeeze through the loophole. He gave his patrons sketch pads and pencils and declared that the dancers would be fully nude on special "art nights." Alas, it didn't work! The police and city officials weren't convinced that art was the real focus.

It's really hilarious that club owner decided to give sketch pads and pencils to the club patrons. More interesting is that these guys agreed to take these pencils and papers to watch the naked ladies!

Fed won't raise interest rates soon

Yesterday, Fed decided to leave the interest rates at 5.25%. Picture of inflation is still unclear. On 10/17/06, Labor department announced that the Producer Price Index for finished goods fell by 1.3% in September. Much of this was driven by the drop in energy prices -- this may change if OPEC screws up. Core wholesale prices went up by 0.6% mainly because of recovery in the cars and light trucks business. It looks like inflation is still under control. Housing market is collapsed but commercial real estate is still going strong. Economy is not too hot or too cold. There is no alarm to increase the interest rates. Some guys in wall street argue that Fed would decrease rates before the end of the year. You wish! I think Fed won't touch the interest rates until Jan 2007.

If the interest rate is stable, or atlest when the market thinks like that, that is the time to make money!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I am back after long time

I was busy with travel related to business. Finally, there is some little time to breathe now. I was in Honolulu just few days before earthquake striked there. October 15 earthquake really rattled all the residents there mainly because it was a big shock, no one expected it. Even in that stressful environment, one shop owner had some sense of humor and put this sign!