July 30, 2011

Things that crossed my way!

Hi Guys,

The past few days have been really busy. There were lot of works related with my studies and actually, it’s amazing that I am enjoying these days. I have never been a hard worker and the past few days have been different. More than that, I found some leadership qualities in myself which was something I never expected. I like the way things are going on and it gives me lot of pleasure. Thinking back, I can’t believe I have been working hard. Hope it continues in the future too.

The Toyota Way
I started to read the book ‘The Toyota Way’ and it is really an interesting book. It portrays how Toyota builds the car empire in the 1950s to become the world’s biggest manufacturer beating all the US competitors. The book focuses more on the 14 principles of Toyota (I don’t know why the number 14 is so common in all management principles) or the Toyota Production System (TPS). It was the first company to introduce Lean Manufacturing (an alteration of Ford’s Assembly Line).

Ford’s Line was concentrated on bulk manufacturing, but TPS focuses on more production with large varieties. The main principles are Kaizen (change for transformation in Japanese) and JIT (Just in Time). It was also interesting to know the story of the Toyota. It is a good book. But read this book, only if you know a little about management (we had Principles of management and now we have Total Quality Management) and so the book appears meaningful.

I had not watched a movie during the past two weeks. So I was feeling a little awkward and so I decided to watch a movie from the huge unwatched collection I was having. I chose the movie Mindhunters which was a short movie (100 minutes). The movie was good thriller. A group of FBI trainees are left alone in an uninhabited navy island for a training mission. One by one, they start to die terribly. They find a watch which denotes the next murder time. They find one of them is the murderer, but who is it? It was a nerve tickling movie and the suspense lasted till the climax and that was the biggest plus.

That’s it for now.

Happy Reading!!!

July 24, 2011

The Birds! (1963)

Hi Guys,

Few days back, I saw one of the Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece movies, ‘The Birds’. It was really a very horrific movie and it left me wondering, ‘How did they shoot the movie?’

One fine morning, Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) meets a lawyer Mitch Berner (Rod Taylor) in a bird shop at San Francisco. Mitch is in search of lovebirds for his sister Cathy’s 11th birthday. After an interesting conversation, Mitch leaves as there are no lovebirds. Melanie gets a pair of lovebirds and goes to Bodega Bay where Mitch lives with his mother and sister in an island connected by road.

She makes it a complete surprise and leaves the birds when no one is at home. She waits in the boat and when Mitch sees her, she rows back to the main land. On the way, a gull hits her which is peculiar. She lives along with Cathy’s teacher Annie there. That night, a bird hits Annie’s door and dies.

After that during Cathy’s Birthday party, a flock of birds attack. Few children are injured and one friend dies. After that crows attack the school and thus an argument arises in the local bar. At the same time, a bird knocks gasoline filler unconscious and gasoline spills on the road. Due to a cigar lighting a large accident occurs. At the same time, Annie dies at the school entrance.
Before the School attack
Everyone returns home and Mitch makes the home fool proof by covering the glass windows with wood. Birds attack that night and they nearly break in but they escape narrowly. They decide it’s time to leave before the birds attack again. Mitch opens the door to find that the house is surrounded by 1000s of birds. Do they escape forms the climax of the movie.

The attack of the birds was horrifying. I don’t know how Hitchcock took all those shots. They were so real. The movie was filled with thrills. Particularly the mechanism of bird attack was shown interestingly. First a single bird comes and occupies the place. It is followed by some others and finally a huge flock assembles. Music is another plus point to the movie.

It’s one of the greatest movies made by Alfred Hitchcock. Don’t miss it. Watch the trailer to get an insight of the movie.

Happy Reading!!!

July 23, 2011

Thermodynamics and Dieting!

Hi Guys,

One of my favorite subjects is Thermodynamics and as I was reading a book on Thermodynamics, I found this interesting concept.

Dieting is generally based on calorie counting. It is based on the concept of conservation of energy which is also the first law of Thermodynamics. People who consume more energy than their body burns get weight, whereas people who eat less will lose weight. But, we see people who eat more and yet remain slim. We also see people who eat less and are stout. So, where is the problem? Researchers come out with lot of theories.

Certain people have food efficient bodies and so they need fewer calories to do a work than others require. Our body interprets dieting as starvation and starts to use the reserve energy more stringently. For instance instead of eating 2500 calorie daily without exercise, the basal metabolic rate (energy spent during our rest time) reduces by 10-20 percent. If dieting continues for long periods, our body adapts to lower metabolic rate and if we start to eat normally again, we gain more weight than before.

So, moderate exercise is a part of healthy dieting program. It builds muscle tissue that burns calories faster than the fat tissues.

Another general hypothesis is that genes are the reason for overweight. Stats say that 80% of children of overweight parents are also overweight. So heredity is a reason for overweight. Researchers have found a gene called RIIbeta which controls the rate of metabolism. The genes keep the fat level at a set point (which differs from person to person). So if a person is going to gain weight, the metabolism becomes faster and if he is to lose weight, metabolism becomes slow. In this case, exercises don’t help very much.

If metabolic rate is low, the people must reduce in taking foods with high calorific value as it is the only option to avoid putting on weight. Exercises don’t help as metabolic rate is low.

There is something known as Sensible diet, which consists of two rules.   
  1.  Eat whatever you want and whenever you want as much as you want provided that you do not eat unless you are hungry. 
  2. You stop eating before you get stuffed.

Overweight leads to lot of health related problems ranging from high blood pressure to some forms of cancer especially if people have diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

Listen to your body and don’t impose it.

Happy Reading!!!

P.S: This is an excerpt from ‘Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach – Cengel, Boles’

July 21, 2011

Change of blog URL!

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your support over the last 2 years.

I wish to have a more general blog URL and hence I am going to change it to


from 24-7-2011 (Sunday).

Please continue to read my blog and support me.

Suggestions to improve my blog are welcomed.

Happy Reading!!!

July 18, 2011

Working of an Air Conditioner

Hi Guys,

This time let us see How an Air Conditioner works.

Basically Air Conditioner works on the principle of Thermodynamics Second Law (Kelvin Planck’s statement). It states that ‘Heat cannot be transferred from a cold body to a hot body without the help of external energy’. AC and Refrigerator works on same principle. The size and the level of cooling vary.

Generally many people think that hot air is sucked in. But actually hot air is sucked in and is again sent into the room as cold air. This occurs till the desired temperature is achieved.

Generally Freon gas is used as refrigerant (but now these days liquid ammonia is used as a substitute as Freon is a main source of Global Warming). This gas is sent through a series of ducts where it absorbs the hot air. Then it passes through evaporator where it is expanded and the temperature decreases. This cool air is transferred in another set of ducts and cool air is sent in. Generally ACs also includes humidifying or dehumidifying units and therefore the environment remains ambient.

There are basically two types of ACs, the olden day Window ACs and the modern day Split ACs. In Window ACs all the components are kept inside the same box and it is suitable to be fitted in a window.

In Split ACs, the cold side (evaporator or expansion valve) is kept inside the room. The hot side (compressor) is kept on the outer side and a tube connects both the units.

This is quite a simple passage. I don’t want to bring in technical details here. If you wish to know more in detail and how the capacity of an AC to be used is determined, please visit How Stuff Works- AC website.

Happy Reading!!!

July 17, 2011

Movies that touched my Heart - II

Hi Guys,

This is the continuation of Movies that touched my Heart post. Here I am going to write about another few movies that were really close to my heart.

Saving Private Ryan
One of the best movies created by Steven Spielberg. Released in 1998, this movie stars Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel and a few others. This movie showed what a war is and how it feels to be amidst a war. The movie is much acclaimed for its first 30 minutes which shows us the Normandy invasion that occurred during WW-II. After that the group captained by Tom Hanks is handed over the job of saving Private Ryan, who three brothers have already died in the war.

The next part of the movie focuses on the search as they have no clue of where he is. This part also focuses on the human emotions amidst a war. Finally they find Private Ryan who is Matt Damon and informs him that he is relieved from duty. But Matt Damon says he has done nothing worth and will remain in the troop, which is ill equipped. Tom Hanks is left with two choices: to return back to base saying the mission is over or to remain with Matt Damon and fight till death.

The German invasion begins and this forms the last part of the movie. Whether Tom Hanks saves Private Ryan or not forms the story. This movie got 5 Oscars, including the best director award.

(To be continued…)

Happy Reading!!!

July 8, 2011

Working of Turbochargers!

Hi Guys,

After a long time, I’m going to write a technical article. It is going to be a long series of articles related with Mechanical Engineering. My aim is that by reading these posts, common people should be able to learn something. So, let me write about Turbochargers today.

PC Game Freaks must have come across this word, while playing race games such as Need for Speed. Well, what is Turbocharger? Turbocharger is a device used to boost up the engine performance. It was earlier used in race cars, but these days it has become too common.

Before looking into Turbochargers, let us see the basics of a four stroke engine. It is the engine used in almost all automobiles today. It has got the name as the working consists of 4 strokes namely Intake, Compression, Power and Exhaust.

In Intake Stroke compressed air and gasoline are in taken (only compressed air in case of diesel engines). In Compression stroke, this mixture is compressed and during compression spark plug is ignited (in case of diesel engines, diesel is sucked in and the high pressure is enough for auto ignition). In Power stroke, due to the blast power is produced and the gases expand. In the Exhaust stroke, the waste gases are sent out.

Generally the efficiency of a gasoline engine is around 35-40%. One of the easy ways of increasing the efficiency is by increasing the air flow. All of us know about the candle light experiment. Burn a candle and place it inside a close container. It will blow off when there is no oxygen. Imagine a bigger container. It will glow for some more time. Similarly if there is no air, then some fuel will be left unburned. So, by increasing the air in taken or by increasing the air pressure, we can increase the efficiency.
Schematic Diagram of a Turbocharger
The technique is simple. Keep a turbine in the exhaust of the engine. So the exhaust gases hit the turbine. The turbine shaft is connected to the intake compressor shaft. So the exhaust air forces the compressor to spin faster and thus the pressure of the intake air is increased. Thus the power produced is increased. The increase in efficiency depends on lot of factors like size of turbochargers, though an increase of 30-40% can be expected.

Let us see another interesting topic next time.

Turbochargers - How Stuff Works
Forced Air and the Future - The Auto Rules

Happy Reading!!!

July 3, 2011

Things that Crossed my Way!

Hi Guys,

The last few days have been mysterious. I have been busy, yet I don’t know what I was doing. One of my friends asked me what I did on Friday evening. All I remembered was sitting in front of computer and I was not able to remember what I was exactly doing. After a long thought, I said I was going through various websites. I do remember searching for question papers and project ideas, but beyond that, nothing.

Mobile phone messages have been troubling me a lot in the past few days. Particularly a bunch of idiotic guys have been causing a lot of disturbance. Long back, at least some messages used to informative or entertaining. These days messages are neither informative nor entertaining, they are just boring. Coming back to this bunch of guys, they just send Good morning or Good night as a message. I am receiving it four or five times in the morning and the same repeats in the night. What more, all of them are residing in the same room.

Day before yesterday, there was low voltage in our locality. Despite that, I fell asleep and then this message came – ‘Good Night! Sweet Dreams’. I woke up and found out there was no power. This Good Night message turned my good night into a bad night. I was not able to sleep for a long time.

It has been two months since I got my motor bike and it has been a good learning period. I have started to ride well. From my experience, 90% of people don’t follow the basic road rules. This applies to both the vehicle riders and the pedestrians. At signals, people don’t leave space for left turn. Sometimes, if there are very few vehicles, pedestrians cross the road even during green signals (I have seen two accidents occurring due to it). Many riders don’t use their indicators. This is better when compared to the use of wrong indicators. Share Auto drivers are the people whom you need to be careful with. You will never know what he will do the next second. The worst thing is people scold you if you follow the rules.

I was reading the Holiday activities post, I wrote during December 2009. I thought I spend those holidays very usefully when compared to these holidays. I went to learn driving and also I had gone to CAD class along with Dhasthaheer and Vimal. I remembered those wonderful days when we used to get to the class by using cycles. We used to ride for around 20 minutes and it was all fun. These days all of us have got motor bikes, yet cycles were the real fun.

That’s it for now.

Happy Reading!!!