Archive for May, 2011

Loser

As many of us do, I also lost many things, relationships, and people in my life. It is often painful losing something. But this time, I feel good, happy, and healthy after became a loser and probably the only time I felt the same in my life after losing something. Yes!!! I lost about 25 pounds of flesh from my body in the past three months. I was thinking about losing weight for last few years, but never initiated any efforts. As I do every year, this year’s resolution is to lose about 30 pounds. I had some other resolutions where I miserably failed and am not going to discuss here – I keep them for future posts. A month passed. I didn’t do anything. Then I went for the annual physical. The doctor told me, there is no way I can let my weight increase as it is now and I should start putting effort to lose weight. It is mainly because of the cholesterol level. I know I have a family history of high cholesterol.

In my case, I gained about 30 pounds within the first two years after coming to the US. Then my body weight was pretty stable though there were fluctuations. I was gaining, on average, about 1 pound per year for the past 8 years.

Finally decided to start a weight lose program designed by me with the help of state offered live well be well prevention plan guidelines. I put up a list of food and snacks to be avoided and the activities that need to be initiated and increased. After I started this tremendous effort, I recorded my activities and weight measures. Then I converted the activities into calories burned based on generally available conversions. I recorded this effort for two purposes. First is to find any trend and the second is to find a settling point.

 

For me, this is a great achievement. I progressed much better than I expected. During the last two weeks I have slowed down a bit to prepare for moving. I am hoping to restart my activities again next week and will continue my efforts until I become 160 pounds evolved gorilla.

Motivation: Never Be Afraid To Say What You Feel

Automated Autos

Have you wondered or panicked when you hear about automated vehicles on the roads. Will you drive a car on the road that got many automated vehicles? Honestly, many automakers and other companies are working tirelessly, for decades, to automate the driver functions as much as possible. So far there is a significant success in this process though we, the drivers, don’t feel much of the increased automated features. A recent automation is the Electronic Stability Control commonly known as ESC. It is mandated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration into all autos. From my personal experience, I would tell that this is a major step towards the safety of the drivers and passengers. Until two years back, I was driving a vehicle that didn’t have an ESC. My current vehicle got ESC. I can see the big difference in maneuvering the vehicle during winter times when road is covered by snow or black ice. ESC nicely straightened my vehicle in many occasions.

One major automation, decades ago, is the transmission. Most of the autos currently on market are with automatic transmission. Another automation, several decades ago, was the starter. Many of you would be surprised to know that in the early 20th century cars cannot be started by turning the key or by pressing a button. We had to go to the front of the car and crank the shaft manually to start the engine.

In the past few years, automation is considered well beyond to ease the life of the driver; Automation focus replacing the driver completely. Then all the people in the cars will be passengers. Google developed cars that can drive themselves. Stanford University researchers developed a car that can go on the roads without a driver.

As of now no vehicles can be put on our public roads without a human driver. But it seems Nevada elected officials are proactively acting towards amending the law that allow vehicles with more automated features. Assembly Bill 511 was introduced during 2011 legislative session. This bill discusses providing more privilege to automated vehicles.

Whatever it is, there is no way that a truly driverless vehicle will be on our roads in my lifetime or in many of your lifetime. So don’t be scared. They won’t be on the roads anytime soon!!!

Open Communication Initiations by the Federal Government

In the past, we have seen many websites from the federal, state and local governments. Almost all of these web pages are created by the respective governments, their departments or agencies. People go to these websites to get necessary information mostly for their professional purposes. The information is often spiced up with the political flavor of the party in power. I would say if someone is going to a government website for personal purposes that mean that person is in a desperate need something from government. But things are changing in the recent years. There are many .gov websites created solely for providing information on the well-being of the people and the society. Unlike traditional sites, we won’t see much or any politics. I have listed a few below:

nutrition.gov: Nutrition.gov provides easy access to the best food and nutrition information from across the federal government. It serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers.

mypyramid.gov: This website is administered by the US department of agriculture. It provides great information on healthy eating.

kids.gov: Kids.gov is the official kids’ portal for the U.S. government. It links to over 2,000 web pages from government agencies, schools, and educational organizations, all geared to the learning level and interest of kids. Kids.gov is maintained by the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC).

Data.gov: This site provides a wide array of data. The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.

Climate.gov: This website is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We can see virtually any data related to the climate. The tones of the analysis are pro-climate change. That doesn’t mean they are politically biased. It got some really good information

Usa.gov: This site provides information on the United States Government. USA.gov is an interagency initiative administered by the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

fedworld.gov: The FedWorld.gov web site is a gateway to government information. This site is managed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) as part of its information management mandate.

I am pretty sure there are tons of sites like these on the web. I just listed a few that fascinated me.