Monthly Archives: September 2010

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls

Subjects like honor killing (locally known as Karo Kari), is not new for people belong to countries like Pakistan, where it now became a part of everyday life to some. September 9, 2008 THREE TEENAGE girls have been buried alive by their tribe in a remote part of Pakistan to punish them for attempting to choose their own husbands, in an “honour” killing case. After news of the deaths emerged, male politicians from their province Balochistan defended the killings in parliament, claiming the practice was part of “our tribal custom”.This is just one recent story, there are many like this. According to sources, In 2002 alone, over 382 people, about 245 women and 137 men, became victims of honor killings in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Over the course of six years, over 4,000 women have fallen victim to this practice in Pakistan from 1999 to 2004. More recently (in 2005), the average annual number of honor killings for the whole nation ran up to more than 10,000 per year.

Concept of women as property and honor is so deeply entrenched in the social, political and economic fabric of Pakistan that the government, ignores the daily occurrences of women being killed and maimed by their families. Frequently, women murdered in “honour” killings are recorded as having committed suicide or died in accidents. [ Yasmeen Hassan, The Haven Becomes Hell: A Study of Domestic Violence in Pakistan, “The Fate of Pakistani Women”, 1995 August ].

A conference held in May 2005 in Zia Pakistan, addressing the karo-karo issue, and whether Pakistani law, governments and international agencies were having any positive impact in reducing these honor killings in Pakistan. On a positrive side they found, that more cases of honor killings are being reported and more women are having the courage to come forward, but but also found a severe dearth of proper implementation of laws and assurances that men who commit honor killings are not given lighter sentences. The conference found fault with Pakistan’s Zina [extramarital sex] laws that put women in an unfair disadvantage and inferior position, often at the mercy of men to prove her iinnocence.

Just a quick glance over Zina Law in Pakistan: The Zina Ordinance (also referred to as the zina laws) is part of the Hadood Ordinances, promulgated in 1979 by General Zia-ul-Haq, President of Pakistan as a first step towards Islamization. With the adoption of zina laws, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, fornication became a crime against the state and along with adultery, made non-compoundable , non-bailable and punishable by death (HRW 1992:34). Moreover, the legal definition of zina blurs the line between adultery, fornication and rape. For the purpose of the ordinance, zina is defined as “sexual intercourse without being validly married.” Zina-bil-jabr, rape, is defined as “sexual intercourse without being validly married” when it occurs without consent. Legally this means that if it cannot be proved that sex occurred without consent (rape), the sex itself becomes a crime against the state. Although to date no woman convicted under these laws has been stoned to death in Pakistan, zina laws allow for greater control of women within state sanctioned interpretations of the sacred books of Islam.

Obviously, Honour killings are not honourable and – they stem not from religion but practices that discriminate against women because of male superiority. Honour killings are one of the most backward and barbaric things practised in the name of Islam and only makes it an insult to Islam and what it stands for.

Considering the subject not only in Pakistan, but globally it has been part of many writings and films, in the hope to bring some awareness. Writings like “Murder in the name of Hounor” by Rana Husseini, “In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame” by Unni Wikan, and “Price of Honor” by Jane Goodwin are many on the subject.

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls – is an upcoming film, hoping to tell stories which not only entertain but challenge the status quo in societies. The film is written and directed by Filmmaker-scientist-activist Afia Nathaniel Afia’s short films have garnered critical acclaim at various international and Asian-American festivals including Rotterdam, ReelWorld-Toronto, and Montreal. Her directorial debut Nadah, was nominated for the Golden Reel Award in Los Angeles together with her screenwriting debut of Butterfly. Afia is in development with three film projects. http://www.zambeelfilms.com

The film tell the Story of a young mother Allah Rakhi is married to a much older man Daulat Khan, with whom she has an eight-year-old daughter, Zainab. Daulat Khan is summoned by a local warlord who forces him to agree to an alliance between them by taking Zainab as his bride. On the eve of Zainab’s wedding day, Allah Rakhi pulls off a daring escape with her daughter, and begins the journey to Lahore. Dodging the far-reaching influence of the warlord, and befriending an adventurous truck driver, Sohail, mother and daughter embark on an epic journey through the sweeping landscape of Pakistan, where the search for freedom comes at a price.

More about the film and the team can be seen at http://www.neithertheveilnorthefourwalls.com/film.php

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In the Name of Honour: [Lovebirds and murder] 

Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) by John Freeman

Filled with almost 200 million people speaking nearly sixty languages, brought into nationhood under the auspices of a single religion, but wracked with deep separatist fissures and the destabilizing forces of ongoing conflicts in Iran, Afghanistan and Kashmir, Pakistan is one of the most dynamic places in the world today.

Whether its news or fictions, when it comes to nation like Pakistan, for authors its very subjective and fictional, and for readers like me, it’s no less then a thriller. It is this thrill factor that I love the most when reading fiction evolved from socities like one we have in Pakistan. The Economist claims that,

“LIFE in the modern West is thin gruel for writers. Rich, comfortable countries provide too little jeopardy to drive a decent plot. The 19th century produced the West’s best fiction; today, readers must look to the developing world. “.

I found this article in a recent weekend’s issue, and thought to be worth sharing. The article specifically talks about John Freeman’s Gantra, The Magazine of New Writing. From the writers who are living outside the country – Kamila Shamsie and Nadeem Aslam – to those going back – Mohsin Hamid and Mohammed Hanif – to those who are living there and writing in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi and English, there is a startling opportunity to draw together an exciting collection of voices at the forefront of a literary renaissance. Other contributors include Fatima Bhutto and Basharat Peer.

Considering forign authors, it was Louise Brown’s The Dancing Girls of Lahore which caught my attention first, and brought me into this dark writing culture. Brown renders an intimate portrait of one family there that is compelling in its strangeness and its humanity. Shuttling for months at a time between Heera Mandi and her middle-class world of Birmingham, England, Brown details the goings-on of Maha, her five children, and the people and places in their tiny universe.

Dancing Girls of Lahore by Louise T. Brown

Anyway coming to the Economist, and Gantra, “Granta: Pakistan” is a delight, starting with its cover, by one of the artists who decorates the jewel-coloured trucks that teeter along the country’s hot, smoggy roads covered in visions of alpine springs and blushing maidens. The surreal cheerfulness of the snow-covered peaks and scarlet lovebirds contrasts brilliantly with the darkness of the pages within. The stories are mostly about violence, much of it against women. In Nadeem Aslam’s “Leila in the Wilderness”, a child bride’s husband, wanting a son, kills the girls she produces. Trapped, she grows wings (an echo of the magical realism born of the dark times in 1970s Latin America). The story seems to take place in some distant past, until a mobile phone rings. “The Sins of the Mother”, a story by Jamil Ahmad, a 79-year-old whose first novel is shortly to be published, tells of a Baluch couple who elope and are given sanctuary by soldiers until their tribe comes after them. They kill themselves. Their kinsmen leave their son wandering in a sandstorm.

Mohsin Hamid’s “A Beheading” ends with the event, and imagines the moments leading up to it, from the victim’s point of view. Mohammed Hanif’s “Butt and Bhatti”, a story of a gangster who loves a nurse, describes the mad randomness of Pakistan’s violence. The nurse rejects him. In his fury, he shoots into the street and hits a driver who ploughs into some schoolchildren, setting off three days of riots in which many are killed. The gangster disappears into the crowd. The nurse dreams of him.

Torn between the modern and medieval worlds, Pakistan is a painful place. The violence in these stories speaks of a new country struggling to be born. When it emerges, it may not be a pretty sight.

Source: The Economist [16th Sept 2010]: Lovebirds and murder

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Assigning ASC-II Characters in MATLAB

Recently I have been working to replicate the cockpit of Piper PAS 28 aircraft in MATLAB. Although the things went pretty well, but I was having serious trouble to define interface such that the user can control the instruments from keyboard. After some lengthy search and experiments with the programme I managed to assign my instruments with keyboard commands. I thought it is now a best idea to share this with others who are trying something along the same lines. It worked well for me, so I hope it will work with you too.

The graphic model includes the commands defining the user interface, allowing user to control the simulator from keyboard. The user interface model incorporates two files, first file ‘GETKEY’, waits for a key press and returns the ASCII code. Accepts all ASC-II characters, including backspace (8), space (32), and enter (13), etc, that can be typed on the keyboard. Non-ASC-II keys (ctrl, alt, ..) return a NaN. The example of GETKEY function is illustrated below:

function ch = GETKEY(m)
global Display
fprintf(‘\nPress any key: ‘) ;
ch = getkey ;
fprintf(‘%c\n’,ch) ;
fprintf(‘\nPress the Ctrl-key: ‘) ;
if strcmp(getkey(‘non-ascii’),’control’),
fprintf(‘OK\n’) ;
else
fprintf(‘ … wrong key …\n’) ;
end

In order to assign the keys to variables and appropriate figure, Display structures and MATLAB graphics library as discussed earlier are extensively used. The graphic handles assigned in sub-modules of graphic library are used to allocate the key commands. This is best illustrated by the following example:

% Determine the callback string to use
if nargin == 1,
if strcmp(lower(m),’non-ascii’),
callstr = [‘set(gcbf,”Userdata”,get(gcbf,”Currentkey”)) ;
uiresume ‘] ;
else
error(‘Argument should be the string ”non-ascii”’) ;
end
else
callstr = [‘set(gcbf,”Userdata”,double(get(gcbf,”Currentcharacter”))) ; uiresume ‘] ;
end

% Set up the figure
fh = figure(‘keypressfcn’,callstr, … % using Handle defined
‘windowstyle’,’modal’,…
‘position’,[0 0 1 1],…
Name’,’GETKEY’, …
‘userdata’,’timeout’) ;
try

% Wait for something to happen
uiwait ;
ch = get(fh,’Userdata’) ;
if isempty(ch),
ch = NaN ;
end
catch% error return to empty matrix.
ch = [] ;
end

Hope you guys got the idea. Happy Programming and please do not hesitate to add or comment about the article

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Make Files under linux (C and Fortran)

Hello People,

Just to extend our discussion on C code compilation under, I would briefly go through the make file procedure in Linux. In software development, make is a utility that automatically builds executable programs and libraries from source code by reading files called Makefiles which specify how to derive the target program. Though its primary use is as described above, make is not restricted to just creating executable programs from source files. Any process that involves transforming a dependency file to a target result (by executing some number of arbitrary commands) is applicable to make.

GNU make is frequently used in conjunction with the GNU build system. Its departures from traditional make are most noticeable in pattern-matching in dependency graphs and build targets, as well as a number of functions which may be invoked to have the make utility do things like collect a list of all files in the current directory.

Using the same code we developed earlier, HelloWorld.c, We will now run the code, using the MakeFile in terminal. The nature of these files depends on the program structure and what is required of it, I will however, briefly go through the simple and basic Make File routine to compile and run the C code called ‘HelloWorld.c’, The above file has the following ‘MakeFile’ (spaces are TABS to not spaces, so don’t copy and paste)

all: HelloWorld

HelloWorld: HelloWorld.o

HelloWorld.o: HelloWorld.c

clean:
rm -f HelloWorld HelloWorld.o

.PHONY: clean

Use $make –help to see the help options in terminal, Once written, run the following command to obtain the executable:

$ make -f MakeFile

If the Make file is written in a proper way, it should work. Hope that brief intro about make files was useful, as it took me a lot of time to understand and get the basics of Make File 🙂 I will go through the detail of the Make File modeling for both C and Fortran later. To wrap up things:

NAME
make – GNU make utility to maintain groups of programs
SYNOPSIS
make [ -f makefile ] [ option ] … target …
WARNING

This man page is an extract of the documentation of GNU make . It is updated only occasionally, because the GNU project does not use nroff. For complete, current documentation, refer to the Info file make.info which is made from the Texinfo source file make.texinfo.

Normally you should call your makefile either makefile or Makefile. The first name checked, GNUmakefile, is not recommended for most makefiles. You should use this name if you have a makefile that is specific to GNU make, and will not be understood by other versions of make. If makefile is `-’, the standard input is read.

make updates a target if it depends on prerequisite files that have been modified since the target was last modified, or if the target does not exist.

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Delights at Oval

Delight, delight and more delight. Despite England driving the game at Oval, Pakistan seemed to get some enegry in middle of the innigings despite the low total in a perfect batting environment. However, there are three 3 names which I would like to priase here, first is the partnership between Fawad and Shafiq, and third Pakistan crowd, Finally after a long time stadium was full transmitting some positive energy, and Razzaq’s return offcourse was welcomed

Despite the team’s overall performance in this England tour, and in limelight of spot fixing, I would like to write about somethings different and positive, we should look forward at this stage. It was 8-2 and 33-3 when, new boy at the camp, Asad Shafiq seems to take charge of the innings. Previously, Shafiq has proved himself to be a part of middle order with some aggressive batting, however, things were little different today. The level of maturity, by Fawad and Shafiq was inspiring, I was particularly pleased with the way Shafiq was going. Being youngest in the team in terms of experience, taking the responsibility and playing a very different innings was excellent.

Some players may have been over-looked or even omitted on purpose, given their age or poor performances in the recent past. Pakistan’s U19 cricket has been doing on international level, but very few members are able to break into the national squad. What is required now is to give some potential players, a central contract such, to give them a secure life. Besides what has been seen today, there are many player deserve to get attention, and can provide the national squad as a good replacement, looking down to the domestic cricket and England tour so far (includes Tests). Such names include, Asad Shafiq (offcourse), Wicket-KeepersZulqarnain Haider and Zulfiqar Babar (Slow left-arm). Some players have only been notably mentioned but that does not mean that they are any less deserving.

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Reviving Tennis in Pakistan

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer awarded a gold medal and half a million rupees to Pakistan’s top tennis player Aisamul Haq Qureshi on Thursday. Aisam received the award from Taseer at the Governors House at a reception held in his honor for reaching the finals at the US Open.

Aisam’s success in US Open Final 2010, might give country come awareness of a sport, other than cricket. Recently, Punjab’s CM Shahbaz Sharif has directed the sports secretary to join with the Tennis star (Aisam) to promote tennis in Punjab (for some unfortunate reason, word Pakistan was omitted).

I now sincerely hope that positive steps are taken to lift off Tennis spirit in Pakistan, on institutional level particularly, especially for upcoming Davis Cup in 2011. Pakistan’s best Davis Cup performance came in 2005, when it reached the World Group play-offs. It was also one step away from qualifying for the World Group when losing the 1984 Eastern Zone Final against Japan. Pakistan’s Aqeel Khan was involved in the longest-known Davis Cup tiebreak against Korea’s Young-Jun Kim in 2003 – the first set breaker lasted 36 points.

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Pakistan In Need

It can be difficult to imagine individual stories of need when presented with such huge numbers, to see oneself in another’s shoes when their overall predicament seems so vast and dire. These pictures were published In The Bigger Pictures, under the banner of Pakistan in Need. Individual stories are hard to tell, but these pictures can convey the stories of those who suffered. It is necessary for all us to realise, the circumstances the people and the nation is going through. Pakistan is in need, May GOD give power and will to the victims of this catastrophic disaster!

Please note that the work is not mine, but infact shared from Boston.com [The Bigger Pictures]

A US rescue helicopter carrying Pakistani flood affected victims flies above Kallam, a town of Swat Valley, on September 2, 2010. (A. MAJEED/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy stands by a water level mark that shows how the water has gone down to 4 ft (1.2 m) from being previously 12 ft (3.6 m) high in Ulra Jahangir Village September 1, 2010. (REUTERS/Athar Hussain) #

Amira, 2, a flood victim suffering from skin and stomach problems, cries at a hospital in Sukkur, in Pakistan's Sindh province September 1, 2010. Victims of Pakistan's floods queued at hospitals where scant resources were available to treat a rising number of patients. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani workers are reflected on furniture as they rebuild homes in the flood-affected town of Sanawa, Punjab province, Pakistan on Thursday Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

An Afghan refugee whose house was demolished by heavy flooding, washes himself amidst the rubble in Azakhel near Peshawar, Pakistan Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. Thousands of Afghan refugees here are struggling to recover from a double tragedy, seeing their homes across the border engulfed by war and then their refugee camps here demolished by floods. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A technician stands in an operating theater in a Pakistani hospital with equipment ruined by floodwaters (note high-water mark on the walls) in Nowshera, Pakistan on August 27, 2010. When water gushed through the walls of Nowshera hospital last month it filled operating rooms and wards and left them clogged with stinking mud, abandoning hundreds of patients to their fate. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Trucks transporting relief goods are blocked on the road by Pakistani farmers demanding that the government irrigate their lands in Shikarpur on September 3, 2010. Fresh floods in southern Pakistan are snaring at least a million people displaced by earlier flooding, adding to the huge problems faced by the underfunded relief effort, UN aid agencies warned. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

Displaced flood survivors receive relief at a roadside in Nowshera, Pakistan on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A flood victim left without receiving aid for three days climbs a truck to reach for food handouts donated by a group calling themselves Muslim brothers in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A Turkish doctor gives treatment to a Pakistani woman displaced by floods at a makeshift field medical camp in Thatta district on September 2, 2010. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images) #

Mohammad Ramzan, a flood victim, places his hand on the door that was left after his house was washed away by flood in the Mehmood Kot village in Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province September 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood) #

A flood-affected Pakistani man watches the flood waters rushing over the ruined road from Shahdad Kot to Garhi Khairo, as he and others wait for boats to transport them home on September 3, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy who is a victim of the flood rests on his bed at a relief camp in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani flood survivors wait for relief, as they return to their home after flood waters receded on the outskirts of Thatta town, Sindh province, southern Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 3, 2010. The waters are still swamping rich agricultural land in the southern provinces of Sindh and Punjab. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) #

Internally displaced Pakistani women queue for relief goods in Larkana on September 3, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

Flood victims look through the gates of a warehouse hoping to get some aid in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

An aerial view shows a flooded mosque in a village in Sujawal, about 150 km (93 mi) from Karachi in Pakistan's Sindh province, August 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

Flood victims who had received no aid for three days run after a truck to reach for food donated by a group calling themselves Muslim brothers in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A man who returned to his village affected by recent floods fishes behind a decomposing remains of a dog in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani men affected by floods ride on a boat strapped to a truck as they travel in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan on Friday Sept. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

An internally displaced Pakistani man (center, in cap) fights with a policeman (right, white shirt) as they wait for relief goods in Larkana on September 3, 2010. Flood victims say they have received little government help, and most assistance has come to them from private charities. The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Thursday that survivors' anger was beginning to hamper those aid efforts. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Pakistani girl reacts after she loses her juice packs, during a scramble for relief goods at a camp for people displaced by floods in the village of Chowk Ghulam Ali Wala, Punjab province, Pakistan on Friday Sept. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

An aerial view shows the mudflow surrounding a house as floodwaters recede in some parts of the Rajanpur district of Punjab province, Pakistan on Sunday Sept. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

Men return to their village destroyed by recent floods in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A flood victim collects bricks from abandoned buildings where her family found shelter in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Ali Asghar, a flood victim, tunes his radio to listen for news while taking refuge on an embankment with his family in Sujawal, in Pakistan's Sindh province on August 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

A Pakistani woman displaced by floods holds her child as she waits for relief goods at a Pakistani Navy distribution point in a makeshift camp in Thatta district on September 2, 2010. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images) #

A flood victim uses part of a damaged railway track to cross floodwaters as he makes his way to a village in Sultan Kot, about 51 km (31 mi) from Sukkur on August 31, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Asia, 15, whose wedding was canceled after she lost her home, clothes and jewelery in recent floods passes the time in a family shelter in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A severely malnourished baby is taken to the hospital by her brother in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani children who survived heavy flooding lie covered with flies as they are forced to live in miserable conditions on a roadside in Nowshera near Pesharwar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

An aerial photo shows Rajan Pur, partly submerged in floodwaters near Multan, Pakistan on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer) #

Pakistani villagers who survived heavy flooding, work to remove mud from their house on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A man holds his daughter as he and other flood victims find shelter from a storm in an abandoned building in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Survivors wade through floodwater to return their home in Sujawat, Sindh province, Southern Pakistan, Sept 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) #

A Pakistani girl carrying her belongings on her head wades through flood waters in Punjab province's Basira on September 4, 2010. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Pakistani volunteer rescues a child as they travel on a vehicle provided by United Arab Emirates (UAE) as they evacuate the flood-hit Sujawal in southern Sindh province, on August 30, 2010. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Pakistan army soldiers in a boat search for flood survivors in Khairpur Nathan Shah on September 5, 2010. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Flood victims queue for aid provided by Sitara Chemical Industries Ltd in Sanawan, Punjab province Pakistan, on September 5, 2010. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy helps his father rebuild their flood-damaged house in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan on Tuesday Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

A young flood victim looks on at a relief camp in Nowshera in northwestern Pakistan on September 3, 2010. Pakistan's northwest, the first region to be hit by the floods and the most devastated, now has roads lined with tents and tens of thousands of displaced waiting to go home. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl) #

I have tried to give credit, to those who deserved, but If I have missed something please do update me. The aim here is to convey the message from those who are suffering, I sincerely hope that the message is conveyed. Thanks for the read guys.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Current Affairs, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan Floods, Pakistan Photography

Android: Solution to NextGen IFEC

The aviation community is looking forward to Google’s Android mobile operating system, as a Future for In Flight Entertainment Connectivity (IFEC), in order to develop new and exciting software and applications for airliners.

Thales will get the Android bandwagon rolling with the launch of a new touch passenger media unit (TouchPMU) that is designed to act as a stand-alone media access device as well as a controller for its TopSeries i8000 IFEC system and its new, as-yet-unnamed fourth generation (4G) IFEC system, which will be launched on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787s before the end of 2011. According to the Flightglobal source, Thales is looking forward to introduce 4g platform, with Android operating system, by 2013, which may equip in later 787 versions. Panasonic, meanwhile, is looking to beat Thales to market by offering a new Android-based IFEC platform before the end of 2011.

Panasonnic has recently launched world’s first application store,which will give software developers the opportunity to see their ideas fly. Implemented in partnership with software developer CoKinetic Systems, the Panasonic Avionics App Store aims to tap into the energy and excitement of the rapidly expanding open platform application developer community.

The App Store will serve as the storefront and aggregation point for existing and future applications for Panasonic IFEC systems. Airlines, through a secure log in, will be able to see apps available, apps under development and access the community of developers should they want their own apps developed. The target date for the Panasonic App Store to open for business is first quarter 2011. Development of the store comes at a time when Panasonic is investing heavily in research and development to potentially use the Android operating system for its next generation IFEC system.

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Boeing 787 simulator preview

While public has a long wait to see 787 dreamliner, The Canadian manufacturer CAE has been busy building 787 simulators. The extensive report on the new simulator CAE 7000, being built for Continental Airlines (Boeing domestic launch customer), were published in Flightglobal.

Visual cues are an essential part of piloting and its simulation. Continental is to use a Rockwell Collins visual display for its 787 simulator. Tactile cues also play a significant role. As with the Airbus A330 simulator, the 787 has CAE’s True Electric Motion system. Developed in co-operation with Moog, the all-electric system promises smooth and quiet articulation. In an added nod to efficiency, it requires just 25% of the power needed to run a comparable hydraulic actuation system.A beauty of the simulator is its Cockpit layout, which is classic Boeing, a space where any 777 pilot would feel right at home. Two welcome additions to the flightdeck are the electronic flight bags, located on the sidewalls and the Rockwell Collins head-up displays.

The up to date progress of the simulator, and detailed article can be accessed form http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/08/26/346652/video.html (Source Flight Global)

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Filed under Aviation, Boeing, Boeing 787, Dreamliner, Flight Simulation

Pakistan Floods, Do We need to know the Science

Please note that this article is not a final report or concluding research on the subject, but instead combination of possible factors that may have contributed to the severe July 2010 flooding in Pakistan. All scientific statements contains a valid references. Hence, the article must not be confused with the actual findings from the Meteorological Department findings. In mid August, many respected scientifc sources such as New Sicentist, Scientific American, NASA, or BBC discussed this issue in depth lying down some possibilities as well as satellite results. I have mentioned some of the results from these studies, with my comments.I will surely update the post and try to put some authenticate results with the permission of the owners once I have the access to them.

In late July 2010, flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains began across several regions of Pakistan. According to the Associated Press, the floods have affected about one-fifth of this country of more than 170 million. Between July 28 and 29, up to 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain fell from these storm cells, triggering flooding along the Indus and Kabul Rivers. Storms with similar structures to this one have become common this summer as tropical monsoon moisture, coupled with a strengthening La Nina (which has different effects around the world), dominate this region’s weather patterns.

[Source: NASA]

The above figures are obtained by NASA’s CloudSat satellite. As seen in the top half of the bottom image, CloudSat classified the majority of the clouds present at the time as deep convective (cumulonimbus) clouds, which are typical of thunderstorms. The bottom half of the lower image shows the 3-D vertical structure of the storm along the satellite’s flight path, revealing its heavy precipitation. As CloudSat’s Cloud Profiling Radar passed over the area of heaviest precipitation, its signal thinned significantly. By the middle of the image, the ground echo (horizontal red line), which represents the topography of the area, completely disappears. The thinning of the radar’s signal occurs because larger-sized particles and heavy rains decrease radar reflectivity and become indistinguishable to the radar. As the satellite continued traveling north, rainfall rates decreased and the signal increased, allowing the ground echo (topography) to once again become visible, at the far right of the image. CloudSat measured the height of the clouds along the radar’s flight path at around 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) in the areas of deepest convection.

Storms with similar structure to this one have become common this summer as tropical monsoon moisture, coupled with a strengthening La Nina, dominate this region’s weather patterns.

BBC Science department also presented results from SMOS satellite. SMOS satellite has revealed the results based on the observation made from 17th July to 4th August. Four snapshots (obtained on courtesy of CESBIO/BBC) reveals the damage done, which off-course is much more severe now.

Satellite data is frequently used in the relief response to major disasters, and in the case of Pakistan the world’s satellite fleets were mobilised on 2 August to provide space-borne information under the International Charter [on] Space and Disasters. The severity in the floods is apparent from the above set of figures, showing the ground getting progressively wetter, highlighted by transition from yellow/orange to blue/gray region.

Dr Claire Gruhier, France based Smos researcher, told BBC News the results were preliminary: “What we show is not the flood area; what we show is the water content in the soil. So, it is not exactly the same information. But our maps are very consistent with the flood-affected areas in Pakistan revealed by other satellites.” According to the sources, the SMOS team is confident that once the data obtained is validated and algorithms fine tunes, the team will be able to infer also the extent of actual floods.

SMOS – Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission

ESA’s project for Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, which has been designed to to observe soil moisture over the earth’s landmasses and salinity over oceans. These analysis are important for hydrological studies and to gain better understanding of ocean circulation patterns. Moreover, the mission will also contribute to further understanding of Earth’s water cycle. Launched on 2 November 2009, SMOS is the second Earth Explorer Opportunity mission to be developed as part of ESA’s Living Planet Programme.

This data is particularly useful for extreme weather forecast predictions as well as to pick up seasonal climate changes within the defined region. An important aspect of this mission is that it will demonstrate a new measuring technique by adopting a completely different approach in the field of observing the Earth from space. A novel instrument has been developed that is capable of observing both soil moisture and ocean salinity by capturing images of emitted microwave radiation around the frequency of 1.4 GHz (L-band). SMOS will carry the first-ever, polar-orbiting, space-borne, 2-D interferometric radiometer.

Why is it important to observe soil moisture ?

Simply because it plays an important role in the global water cycle. However, in-situ measurements of soil moisture are sparse but, if we are to better our understanding of the water cycle so that the forecasting of climate, weather and extreme-events can improved, more data are urgently required.The same is true for data on ocean salinity. There are few historical measurement data, and only a small fraction of the ocean is currently sampled on any regular basis. Salinity and temperature determine the density of seawater, and in turn density is an important factor driving the currents in our oceans. Ocean circulation plays a crucial role in moderating the climate by, for example, transporting heat from the Equator to the poles. Ocean salinity is therefore one of the key variables for monitoring and modelling ocean circulation.

Based on Scientific American Observation, Although Global Warming or adverse climate changes can be blamed for the floods in Pakistan, but some sources believe that A major factor that led to the massive flooding is illegal logging in the northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In forestry terms, illegal logging is simply a timber theft. Illegal logging is a pervasive problem, causing enormous damage not only to forests, but also to local communities. This contributes to deforestation, and by extension global warming. These illegal activities undermine responsible forest management, encourage corruption and tax evasion and reduce the income of the producer countries, further limiting the resources producer countries can invest in sustainable development.

This argument further justified by Jamshed Ali, Secretary-General of Sarhad Awami Forestry Ittehad (SAFI),an organisation meant to protect forests in the province, Ali, said in parts of Malakand district more than 70 per cent of forests had been felled by a well-connected “timber mafia” that was difficult to stop. The blame was indeed put on Talibans by Mr Ali.

Human Failure Again ?

According to the article published Scientific American, more statements followed by many respected sources of Pakistan, Over-grazing by livestock — common in rural Pakistan — can also remove layers of topsoil and stunt plant growth, reducing the soil’s ability to hold water, said Asad Jarwar Qureshi of the International Water Management Institute. And more, Abdul Qadir Rafiq of the United Nations Development Programme says without vital topsoil, flash-flooding in northern, mountainous areas can result, sending silt downstream which then reduces the amount of water the river channel can hold. “We need to clear the river channels of silt every four to five years and stop people living within a kilometre of the river channel. There are irrigation channels built using techniques from the 18th century. We need to react to the present-day,” Qureshi said.

Off-course, all of the above statements, can be further challenged by blaming everything on extreme weather patterns, which has always played its part. But the nation has to realize, a potential threat and must learn to act in her favor. But it must be evident that, though there exist the chances of illegal logging or overgrazing in the corrupt society like this exists, particularly In the militant-infested Swat region, as Secretary-General of Sarhad Awami Forestry Ittehad (SAFI) has said, but these are not the only reasons. To my opinion, the Climate Change does play an important role with an appropriate river management techniques, which unfortunately have always been ignored.

Source: Climate Change, Human Failing behind Pakistan Floods, By Rebecca Conway (Scientific American Aug 31, 2010)

Combination of strong polar jet stream with usual monsoon in Pakistan, to cause unusually intense flooding.
Then, having taken up such an unusual position, the jet stream just sat there, frozen in place. The weather systems causing the heatwave and the torrential rains remained in place for more than a month, continuing to contribute to the increasingly disastrous conditions. The reason for such unusual condition aren’t clear yet, but it is believed that human-induced climate change has increased the certainty of severe heat waves.


[Source: Weird Science]

Based on the Pakistan’s Meteorological Dept, it was suggest earlier July (in a usual monsoon update) that strong tropospheric winds are expected. Based on the observations made in June 2010, due to high sea-land temperature contrast the development of some mid-tropospheric circulations were likely (particularly over Sindh region). Moreover, in same observation report prediction of a very heavy rainfall events were made over northern region of the country. This is due the interactions of westerly-easterly waves (so called jet stream). The report was made with 80% of confidence level, which suggests that alarm was made well in advance. But still no precautions were actioned by the government. Whether this is lack of communication or laziness of the government, the damage has been done and its seriousness is clear enough.

What are Jet streams and why are they so important ?

In very simple words, the jet stream is a current of fast moving air found in the upper levels of the atmosphere (troposphere 10-16 km) above earth surface. The position of this upper-level jet stream denotes the location of the strongest surface temperature contrast

Usually in summer, these waves are weaker, primarily because of less dramatic surface temperature changes. These waves and their strength is evident in figure above, with jet streaks, shown in red. Latter are localized regions of very fast winds embedded within the jet stream. Sometimes these local wind maxima reach speeds in excess of 160 knots. As air enters a jet streak, it speeds up. When it leaves a jet streak, it slows down. These accelerations and decelerations, coupled with the curvature of the jet stream and strong wind shears, cause air to pile up in some areas (convergence) and spread out (divergence) in others. These regions of divergence and convergence have a significant influence on surface pressure features.

Bypassing complex scientific principles, a simple physics can tell us a much about what we can expect. Generally warmer temperatures imply more extremes high temperatures. Second, warmer air holds more moisture, meaning that we can expect higher peak rainfall rate and daily totals, locally and regionally, from both convection (thunderstorms) and larger-scale weather systems, where air is forced to rise and cool in clouds, condensing its water vapour and creating rain.

Moreover, Possible changes in regional weather patterns will mean that an individual region may see substantially larger changes (both negative and positive) than those implied by the globally averaged change. As I have mentioned earlier, that saying that current flooding is purely due to climate change is difficult. Though, by knowing the Arabian sea temperature, the above argument can either be accepted or rejected. This means that if the sea temperature is cool enough, than above warm air holding water argument can be eliminated, but that may not be the case.

It is the position of the Jet stream, Low pressure weather, depressions (cause heavy rain), duration of this weather is also concern, Why these waves remain there, don’t know ? Many believed linked with La Nina

La Nina occurs when cool water surges up from the bottom of the ocean (Pacific). The water cools the air above it, setting off a series of changes in the Earth’s atmospheric circulation.

Frozen jet stream links Pakistan floods

According to meteorologists monitoring the atmosphere above the northern hemisphere, unusual holding patterns in the jet stream are to blame. As a result, weather systems sat still.Temperatures rocketed and rainfall reached extremes.The notice in the usual pattern of these waves have been observed, the waves normally shift east, dragging weather systems along with it. But in mid-July they ground to a halt, say Mike Blackburn of the University of Reading, UK.

Stationary patterns in the jet stream are called “blocking events”. They are the consequence of strong Rossby waves, which push westward against the flow of the jet stream. They are normally overpowered by the jet stream’s eastward flow, but they can match it if they get strong enough.A static jet stream freezes in place the weather systems that sit inside the peaks and troughs of its meanders. Warm air to the south of the jet stream gets sucked north into the “peaks”. The “troughs” on the other hand, draw in cold, low-pressure air from the north. Normally, these systems are constantly on the move – but not during a blocking event.And so it was that Pakistan fell victim to torrents of rain. The blocking event coincided with the summer monsoon, bringing down additional rain on the mountains to the north of the country.

According to the source [OptimumPopulation.Org];

Similarly, as the static jet stream snaked north over Russia, it pulled in a constant stream of hot air from Africa. The resulting heatwave is responsible for extensive drought and nearly 800 wildfires at the latest count. The same effect is probably responsible for the heatwave in Japan, which killed over 60 people in late July. At the same time, the blocking event put an end to unusually warm weather in western Europe.

So what is the root cause of all of this? Meteorologists are unsure. Climate change models predict that rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will drive up the number of extreme heat events. Whether this is because greenhouse gas concentrations are linked to blocking events or because of some other mechanism entirely is impossible to say. Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado – who has done much of this modelling himself – points out that the resolution in climate models is too low to reproduce atmospheric patterns like blocking events. So they cannot say anything about whether or not their frequency will change.

In the next post I will comment on the above points, and try to come up with the final possible points which may have led to this disaster. Many advanced nations, have developed the Disaster Management TEchniques, not only management but prevention as well. This was evident in 2007/08 UK’s flooding, which was recorded to be one of the worst in nation’s history. Of about 17,000 families forced from their homes in England, about 1,000 were still living upstairs or in temporary accommodation earlier this month. Although it is not possible to eliminate the risk of flooding completely, but it is indeed possible to learn from the mistakes and save as many lives as possible. From Pakistan’s recent experience it is evident that necessary measures has to be taken by the Government but also as citizens of Pakistan, since it is us, who are constantly in touch with the Environment.

[Sources:]
http://www.optimumpopulation.org/blog/?p=2711
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-08/16/jet-stream-kink

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