Why is it that Indians feel an animosity towards the British and not the other rulers of Ancient India?

Answer by Andy Lee Chaisiri:

'Time Heals all wounds', but it sometimes leaves a scar

Sometimes the scars completely fade, but the freshest wounds leave the most visible scars. For example, in the US the greatest damage we've ever sustained from foreigners on our soil is probably Britain (and her colony Canada) invading Washington D.C. and burning down the White House. But that happened so long ago we really don't care any more, a lot of us aren't even aware this happened! That wound is long gone, now if you say "Britain", we think of butlers named Jeeves and Sean Connery in a tuxedo, not redcoat arsonists.

The same applies to India. Britain was the last foreign invader to India, and has thus left the freshest scars. If you want a numerical value assigned to this scar, how does 475 trillion dollars sound? That is the approximation of how much wealth Britain had extracted from the subcontinent. (estimate from this post: Colonial Damage in Numbers by Vishal Kale on Blast from India's Past)

Some particular (very quotable) Britishers also stand out to keep that scar visible:

Reginald Dyer,  "Butcher of Amritsar/Savior of India"

April 14th, 1919

"You people know well that I am a sepoy and soldier. Do  you want war or peace? If you wish for a war, the Government is  prepared for it, and if you want peace, then obey my orders and open all  your shops; else I will shoot. For  me the battlefield of France or Amritsar is the same. I am a military  man and I will go straight. Neither shall I move to the right nor to the  left. Speak up, if you want war? In case there is to be peace, my order  is to open all shops at once. You people talk against the Government and persons educated in Germany and Bengal talk sedition. I shall report all these. Obey my orders. I  do not wish to have anything else. I have served in the military for  over 30 years. I understand the Indian Sepoy and Sikh people very well.  You will have to obey my orders and observe peace. Otherwise the shops  will be opened by force and Rifles. You will have to report to me of the  Badmash. I will shoot them. Obey my orders and open shops. Speak up if  you want war? You have committed a bad act in killing the English. The revenge will be taken upon you and upon your children."

-Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer gives a speech a day after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where he ordered soldiers to gun down unarmed Indian men, women, and children

Dyer made a site where a British was reportedly assaulted into a 'sacred' place, if an Indian wanted to use that road, he must crawl on all fours, with his belly on the ground. This was enforced by law to remind them of their place to Britain.

What Dyer had done was controversial, he was relieved from his post and condemned by various Britishers, including future prime minister Winston Churchill but he still had many supporters in England. Dyer was given a hero's welcome by the public, with many celebrities among his supporters:

"He did his duty as he saw it"

-Dr. Rudyard Kipling (author of famous children's story Jungle Book) honors Dyer's return to England as 'Savior of India'

Dyer's fans drowned out Dyer's critics, and so he firmly believed he had done the right thing as a soldier of the Empire:

January 21st, 1921

"India does not want self-government.  She does not understand it. …It is only to an enlightened people that  free speech and a free press can be extended. The Indian people want no  such enlightenment. …There should be an eleventh commandment in India, "Thou shalt not agitate." …The  time will come to India when a strong hand will be exerted against  malice and perversion of good order. …Gandhi will not lead India to  capable self-government. The British Raj must continue, firm and unshaken in its administration of justice to all men."

Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer writes an article in the newspaper The Globe, titled "The Peril to the Empire"

Winston Churchill, "The Greatest Briton"

Churchill may have saved the Free World from Hitler, but he was keen on keeping the Colonized World in its place under the British Empire:

Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed

-Churchill, on the independence movement in India, 1930

"It  is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle  Temple lawyer of the type well-known in the East, now posing as a fakir,  striding half naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace to parley on  equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor."

-Comment  on Gandhi's meeting with the British Viceroy of India, addressing the  Council of the West Essex Unionist Association (23 February 1931); as  quoted in "Mr Churchill on India" in The Times (24 February 1931)

I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.

-Entry dated to September 1942 on a conversation held with Churchill in Leo Amery : Diaries.

I hope it would be bitter and bloody!

-Churchill, upon hearing news of conflict between the Muslim League and Indian Congress, July 1940 (makes you wonder why Britain decided on that partitioning of Pakistan…)

If food is scarce, why isn't Gandhi dead yet?

-Churchill's witty retort to British  Secretary of State for India Leo Amery's telegram for food stock to  relieve the Bengal famine of 1943

Relief would do no good, Indians breed like rabbits and will outstrip any available food supply

-Leo Amery records Churchill's stance on why famine relief was refused to India, 1944

Winston Churchill is remembered today as a great hero, a model leader, and a very witty, very quotable man. That's a very important part of it, the damage he did to India is largely ignored… purposefully. When 4 million people were starving and Churchill was joking about it, that kind of news was censored by Britain.

History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it

-Churchill, filled with wit as always

They were fighting a war for the Free World, y'see, and couldn't let some nasty news threaten their image. Letters on the Bengal famine were intercepted, books covering it were burned. Knowledge that some Indians (Indische Legion) actually rose up to fight against British rule was censored and these 'traitors to the crown' were put on trial in secret. The Indian Justice Radhabinod Pal accused the Allies of also committing war crimes against civilians, his dissertation was thus banned from publication. Even after India gained independence, history of British colonial crimes were largely whitewashed to promote public harmony.

Now, the Germany of Hitler is long gone, the Japan of Pearl Harbor atomized, but the Britain who committed all these crimes, it's still the same government, they've still got a bit of that 475 trillion dollars circulating around to keep them relevant in the world stage. The gigantic Koh-i-Noor diamond looted from India, the biggest jewel on Queen Victoria's crown, is still sitting in London somewhere collecting dust.

That's where the anger comes from. When you're made aware of a scar that was hidden from you, it opens right back up. Today, Indians have the power to decide how they feel about their history. Exercising that anger is a part of it.

Why is it that Indians feel an animosity towards the British and not the other rulers of Ancient India?

What were you born “too late” for?

Answer by Suryansh Jalan:

Too late to be able to look up at the night sky and be over-awed by the amazing collection of stars and galaxies not visible to the naked eye anymore due to Light pollution.

(Picture of Paris)

These are pictures developed by Cohen. He photographs the world’s major cities, seeking out views that resonate for him and noting the precise time, angle, and latitude and longitude of his exposure. As the world rotates around its axis the stars that would have been visible above a particular city move to deserts, plains, and other places free of light pollution. By noting the precise latitude and angle of his cityscape, Cohen is able to track the earth’s rotation to places of atmospheric clarity like the Mojave, the Sahara, and the Atacama desert. There he sets up his camera to record what is lost to modern urban dwellers. Compositing the two images, Cohen creates a single new image full of resonance and nuance.

This is the result:


(San Francisco)

(Empire State Building New York)

The work is both political and spiritual questioning not only what we are doing to the planet but drawing unexpected connections between disparate locations. Equally importantly it asks: what do we miss by obscuring the visibility of stars?  As the world’s population becomes increasingly urban, there is a disjunction with the natural world which both Cohen and science posit causes both physical and psychological harm. Cities that never sleep are made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Cohen’s photographs attempt to restore our vision, and in beautifully crafted prints and  images offer the viewer a possibility – to re-connect us to the infinite energy of the stars.

(Los Angeles)

(Sao Paolo)


I remember being grateful for my college being in the middle of nowhere just because I could lie awake on the terrace and stare at the night sky.

Can you imagine how differently we'd be living our lives if the night sky looked like this, aware of all that is around us?

Light pollution among other things, has robbed humanity of a look at its immediate surroundings and holed us up into our lighted up devices.

So tonight, live little. GO outside and have a look up. You might just live your life a little differently.

(Hong Kong)

What were you born "too late" for?

What should I do when I see a cop beat up and bully a hawker?

Answer by Amit Banerjee:

This is a small trick I learned from an advocate. I was travelling in an Express train and he was a co-passenger.

He said:

Whenever you see someone harassing someone and you want to intervene without hurting yourself, do this:

1. Get into the visible zone of the offender. You must get into that zone wherein the offender can clearly see and hear you.

2. Watch for his attention. You have to see where his attention is. Is he paying attention to onlookers? Good, now your task is easy.

3. Take out your phone, dial a friend's number and start talking in English. Remember, English. No Hindi or Local language. Your body language must convey that you are some honcho and is "superior" to the offender.

4. Talk very loudly and clearly explain what's going on. You should explain in a way such that the offender can hear you. Remember, nobody has any control on the sense of hearing. You can shut your eyes but you cannot shut your ears. You cannot stop the flow of sound. Nobody can.

Talk like this

"hey, I see some people harassing a poor guy can you call the cops right now? Yes the man is dressed in a white shirt, I have already informed the inspector, i am sending you his picture, call Mr. ABC, also tell him to send 4 home guards, the emergency number is XYZ …… I am passing this information to my lawyer, we can meet in the court and sort this out, meanwhile you call the police and dial into emergency cell

Notice that all of the above is pure bullshit. Its a jargon of fierce keywords thrown at random. These keywords will reach through his ears and ring a bell in his head. There words will convert into Fear in his head and he will start backing off.

5. Do not ever talk with the offender. Nope. The moment you talk, you lose the ground of psychologically dominating him. You give him ground.

If he comes to you asking what you have just said, do not talk. Simply keep talking on the phone loudly and scare him more. Keep talking in English. He will try to bully you but if you do not give a single damn, he will start to back off.

I have succesfuly used this trick with Autowallahs, Ticket checkers, people, govt officials who ask for bribe and a few friends 🙂

What should I do when I see a cop beat up and bully a hawker?

I am an introvert and a very shy sort of a person, and I really want to change this nature of mine..any suggestions on how to?

Answer by Ritwik Raghav:

You say you are Introvert… and wish to change.. Go read "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain.

You will definitely change and will begin feeling proud of being introvert.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts

Introverts are highly effective quiet influencers who use their natural strengths to make a big difference without making a lot of noise. You see, introverts are being recognised for their pros in today's world. The trends say it:

1. Flattened organizations. Gone are the days when  decisions were passed up the hierarchical ladder. Now there are many  paths to a decision, which opens up all kinds of space for different  types of influence—including the quiet kind.

2. Global businesses. Traditional extroverted approaches may work well in U.S.-centric  organizational cultures, but leaders with more reflective, low-key  influencing styles will be much more effective in many other regions of  the world, such as Asia.

3. Virtual activity.  Introverts have been drawn to social media because it lets them use  their strengths and better manage their communication. Quiet  influencers, who have already invested in learning and using social  media, are poised to affect tomorrow’s change more quickly than  influencers who have ignored these technologies.

4. Heightened competition. Companies are seeking suppliers and employees who bring fresh,  innovative approaches. The truth is, extrovert-centric self-promotion  and loud persuasion are passé. Today, people stand out from the crowd if  they have a knack for building up others and are committed to listening  instead of talking.

So, why change?

Advantages to Introverts:
10) Work Well With Others, Especially In One-to-One Relationships
9) Maintain Long-Term Friendships
8) Flexible
7) Independent
6) Strong Ability To Concentrate
5) Self-Reflective
4) Responsible
3) Creative, Out-of-the-Box thinking
2) Analytical Skills That Integrate Complexity
1) Studious and Smart

Being Introvert is a blessing.. use it to your advantage.

Sources Used:
Open Forum

I am an introvert and a very shy sort of a person, and I really want to change this nature of mine..any suggestions on how to?

How does global warming work?

Answer by Alex Guerra:

This is a long but thorough reply. I've taken this as an opportunity to lay down a complete explanation of the phenomenon of "Global Warming". I may go back and edit this to add/modify more points later. I'm also planning an answer to What should we do about global warming? but I may take a break for a while.

Sources are at the very end.

The short, and abbreviated answer is: imbalanced heat-budgets. The longer answer is a bit more involved, but it boils down to three core concepts:

  1. In order to understand global warming you have to understand why we have the stable climate that we have.
  2. In order to understand our climate stability you have to understand how the water and atmosphere affects the surface temperature of the Earth.
  3. The easiest way to understand how the water and atmosphere influences the surface temperature is to compare our climate to the moon's.

The Moon's Temperature

The moon is, without meaningful difference, the same distance from the sun as the Earth, and yet:

  • The "light side", the side facing the sun, has an average temperature of around 250 Degrees Fahrenheit (F) (121 Degrees Celsius (C)).
  • The "dark side" of the moon has an average temperature of -250 F (-157 C).
  • This means the difference between day/night temperatures on the moon is 500 F (278 C).
  • The poles have been measured at an impressive -413 F (-243 C). That's only 43 F (30 C) above absolute zero and comparable to Pluto's surface!

The Earth's Temperature

Meanwhile, on Earth:

  • The hottest recorded place (Death Valley, CA) was 134 F (56.7 C).
  • The coldest recorded place (Vostok Station, Antarctica) was -128 F (89 C).
  • The average Earth temperature is 61 F (16 C).
  • The largest recorded difference between day/night temperature in one location (Loma, MA) is 49 F (9 C) versus -54 F (-48 C) which makes a difference of 103 F (57 C), in the desert.
  • Some places can have temperature differences between day/night as small as 7 F (4 C), in humid Hong Kong.

The difference

  • The Moon's maximum temperature is 116 F (64.3 C) hotter than Earth's.
  • The Moon's minimum temperature is 285 F (154 C) colder than Earth's.
  • The difference between night/day temperatures on the Moon is 397 F (221 C) greater than even Earth's most extreme case!

All of this while the Moon and Earth sit approximately the same distance from the sun!

Why the difference?

So why are there such huge differences between the Moon/Earth? Why is the Moon's climate so much more extreme than Earth's, with higher highs, and lower lows?

It all boils down to the fact that the Earth is mostly covered by water and has a nice, thick atmosphere that's full of water vapor and other gasses, while the moon is bare rock.

Why is water so important?

Water is a fascinating molecule with some interesting properties, the most relevant here being its amazing capacity for absorbing heat. In fact it has the second highest "heat capacity" of any non-carbon molecule, only behind Ammonia.

What this means is that it takes a tremendous amount of energy to raise the temperature of water compared to other materials, and it takes a long time for that heat to escape and for the water to cool.

Conversely, rock and metal have a very low heat capacity. They heat up quickly, and also cool down quickly. It doesn't take much to get their temperature up, but they also lose that heat easily.

Think about how long it takes to boil water on the stove compared to just heating an empty metal pan. Then think about how long it takes for boiling water to cool to room temperature, while an empty pan off the stove will be cool to the touch in a matter of minutes. The point is, water resists change and retains heat for a very long time. (This is also why water is a highly efficient coolant)

How water's properties affect the climate

Relating this back to the question of the Earth's climate, the water on the surface of the planet serves as an efficient means to resist rapidly increasing/decreasing temperatures. The water also serves as an efficient means of (relatively) long-term heat storage.

 Regions of earth that are surrounded by water and have a humid climate tend to have very stable temperatures and rarely experience extreme temperature variance in short periods of time. Regions of earth that are far from water, are very dry, or only have a very small surface area covered by water compared with exposed rock, metal, and sand will tend to have rapid and extreme temperature variations between seasons and between day and night. This is why coastal towns experience a mild climate while inland towns, or especially towns in deserts, tend to experience large variances in temperature and weather.

The simplest evidence of this difference in heat capacity is when you go to the beach and notice how windy it is. The wind is a result of the land and the water changing temperatures at different rates and influencing the temperature of the surrounding air to create a pressure gradient that drives continuous winds from cooler areas to hotter areas. In the daytime the land heats quicker than the water, and the wind blows inland. In the nighttime the land cools quicker than the water, and the wind blows out to sea.

In short, the surface water serves as a local temperature stabilizing force that resists large differences in temperature due to day/night/seasonal differences. It keeps the Earth cool during the day, warm during the night, and locks away the sun's heat so that it's slowly released over time, even if the seasons get colder. This is also why you might get your first snow before the lake freezes over, because the lake has a lot of heat stored away that has to be lost while the water droplets in the atmosphere are small enough to cool quickly.

But what about larger-scale areas beyond the local environment?

Heat Transport

In addition to simply serving as a local temperature buffer, water also distributes heat across the surface of the planet. When a fluid, such as water, experiences differences in temperature across its surface it also experiences differences in density in these regions which then result in a net movement of the fluid from denser regions to less-dense regions, and the movement of the denser regions away pulls in water to fill the vacated space. The net result is that currents form and these result in the transport of high temperature water into colder areas, and low temperature water into warmer areas, creating a further mechanism for equilibrating temperature over large scales.

But what about regions that are far away from water?

Why is the atmosphere important?

One unfortunate quality of water (from a global temperature regulation standpoint) is that, at our planet's temperature, it is a liquid. A liquid can only occupy a fixed volume of space, and is unable to extend beyond that volume. This is only unfortunate in the sense that it means that only regions that are close to a body of water can reap the temperature regulating benefits provided by said water body. Regions that are further away are less able to benefit from the water body's temperature-regulating effects.

On the other hand, gasses expand to fill the available volume of space. Therefore, even in places on earth that don't have directly adjacent bodies of water, there is still an overlying atmosphere composed of gasses. In other words, the atmosphere facilitates temperature regulation in regions that are far from water.

Gasses allow for some temperature regulating benefits at the surface, but not nearly to the extent of water. Most gasses have a far lower heat capacity than water, so they're not as efficient at directly absorbing heat as water, but it's still better than nothing.  The gasses of the atmosphere provide a less efficient direct temperature stabilizing force than water bodies, but this isn't their primary means of regulating temperature.

The atmosphere extends water's influence

In addition to the gas molecules themselves, the atmosphere provides a medium in which water can vaporize and distribute across the entire surface of the planet. Water vapor usually is found near bodies of water from which it evaporated, but it can be transported even into regions far flung from water, given the right conditions. It doesn't rain much in the desert, but it does rain sometimes.

Water that's vaporized exhibits many of the qualities of liquid water, except that its ability to resist temperature changes and store heat are reduced compared to bodies of liquid water. Therefore, vaporized water can transport heat like the seas, but it's less efficient. Also, when atmospheric water collects and cools it precipitates, adding water to places that may be far from the coasts, and providing water's temperature-regulating benefits inland while transporting the absorbed heat back into the atmosphere or, eventually, into the sea.

This whole process is called the Water Cycle, and in addition to explaining the means by which water moves through a system, it also explains how water can have influence over the climate of inland locations far from coastal regions. Places with low water content and little water inflow are deserts and exhibit desert-like properties including extreme temperature variations.

However, the primary reason why we're concerned with the atmosphere isn't it's ability to transport heat directly. So what is the primary effect that the atmosphere plays regulating the Earth's temperature? To understand that we need to understand how celestial bodies lose heat.

How heat is lost by celestial bodies

Bodies in a vacuum (such as the Earth, or the Moon) have only one means to gain or lose heat: thermal radiation. All other means of heat transfer require direct contact between bodies.

Thermal radiation is a result of a material with high temperature emitting black body radiation (radiated heat) where the wavelength and intensity of the radiation depend on the temperature of the object. For example, a hot iron or electric stove will turn red as it gets hot, and the coils on a toaster can toast bread without directly touching it.

This is a result of thermal radiation leaving a heat source (the toaster coils, or the sun) and being absorbed by a surface (the toast, or the Earth). The end result is a rise in temperature by the absorbing surface that eventually drops as the surface emits its own thermal radiation and loses heat.

How the Atmosphere Interferes with Heat Loss

The primary means by which the atmosphere warms the planet is by slowing the loss of heat. When thermal radiation strikes the earth it could be absorbed by gasses/vapor in the atmosphere, absorbed by a body of water, or absorbed by a solid surface. This raises the temperature of the surface, which then emits its own thermal radiation as it loses heat.

When thermal radiation is emitted by a surface within the atmosphere, the radiation either leaves the planet and travels into space, which cools the planet, or it is reabsorbed into the atmosphere or water vapor.

The thicker the atmosphere, the more water vapor present, and the more heat-absorbing molecules (such as CO2 and CH4) that are present in the atmosphere, the harder it is for heat to escape, and the more heat that is retained.

This is called the "Greenhouse Effect" because it's the same principle that keeps a greenhouse hotter than the open surroundings, and is the primary reason why the Earth is warmer than the moon.

To lay out the situation let's look at the simple system of the moon  as an example for comparison.

Heating and Cooling the Moon

When thermal radiation from the sun hits the moon, it is absorbed as heat or reflected as light (why the moon shines). The moon loses heat by emitting thermal radiation in the form of infrared light which is emitted into space as the surface of the moon cools. This process is rapid and there are no complicating factors.

 Radiation is absorbed, temperatures rise. Radiation is emitted, temperatures fall. Temperatures are extremely localized and there is no means of distributing them. Heat is not quickly distributed from one location to another, each region's temperature is independent of all other regions unless they're directly touching.

Heating and Cooling the Earth

When thermal radiation from the sun hits the Earth, it's more complicated.

Infrared radiation is absorbed or reflected by the atmosphere, water vapor, surface water, or land and temperatures rise. Some radiation is emitted back into space and the temperature falls. Some heated particles join air/water currents that disperse the heat over a large area, which spreads heat absorbed in one place to distant regions that weren't directly affected, and slows the rate at which thermal radiation is emitted by slowing the rise in temperature of any small area. This allows more heat to be absorbed than emitted while the temperature is low.

Some heated particles emit infrared radiation only to have it reabsorbed elsewhere before it can escape back into space. Sometimes radiation makes many "jumps" before it finally escapes, and these "jumps" allow the heat to be retained for a very long time after their initial arrival and causes the atmosphere to warm which in turn can warm the land and sea.

The atmosphere makes it harder for heat to escape once it's entered, and water stores a lot of heat before its temperature starts to rise, so a lot of heat gets captured and retained before it starts to get lost to space.

Also, since the water and atmosphere are so good at distributing the heat at short and long distances it means the heat is spread out over a much wider area than it first arrived and is only slowly given up by the water in the system. This means that heat is retained over days/nights/seasons, and is spread by currents to even out the differences in heat input in different regions of the Earth. This setup doesn't produce a homogeneous planet where everything's the same temperature, but it does provide a much more even distribution of heat than the moon which lacks these systems.

There's just one last point left to understand Global Warming, and it's a culmination of applying all of the above concepts to a time scale where we measure their effects. This one last concept is called heat budgets.

Heat Budgets

A heat budget is much like a regular budget, except instead of money you're looking at heat exchanges.

In a regular budget you lay out all the ways that money enters a system and the amounts that enter from each means (income). You also lay out all the ways that money exits a system and the amounts that exit through each means (expenses). You sum up the total income (gross income) and you sum up the total expenses (gross expenses) then you subtract the gross expenses from the gross income to find out whether you've gained money (net profit) or lost it (net loss). At the end of the day you apply your net profit/loss to how much money you started with (your bank balance) to find out how much money you've now got in total.

A heat budget is exactly the same, except:

  • money = heat
  • income = incoming heat = from the sun
  • expense = outgoing heat = thermal radiation that escapes the Earth
  • gross income = total incoming heat
  • gross expenses = total outgoing heat
  • net profit/loss = net heat increase/decrease
  • bank account = global temperature

Here's a good diagram of what the Earth's heat budget looks like at present (by NASA):

Conclusion: How it all fits together

The issue of Global warming is that prior to the industrial revolution the Earth's heat budget was in a reasonable state of equilibrium (natural slow million-year scale shifts aside) where the amount of heat coming in to the Earth's atmosphere was equal to the amount of heat leaving the atmosphere, so the global temperature wasn't really changing much.

The problem that arose, starting with the industrial revolution and continuing to this day, is the fact that in order to facilitate the massive-scale productivity that allowed us to produce large amounts of goods for sale to hugely increase the global economy, we have to burn a large quantity of oil and coal which put a lot of extra Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. We also release natural gas (CH4) into the atmosphere by accident or as a result of livestock production or other mechanisms. We also remove a lot of natural systems that remove CO2 from the atmosphere, such as forests, jungles, swamps, marshes etc. due to expansion of living areas, conversion of land use, harvesting resources, or simply due to carelessness.

The problem, then, is that through the course of our actions, and over the long term, we are fundamentally altering the composition of our atmosphere in such a way that the rate at which CO2 and CH4 is entering the atmosphere is increasing, while the rate at which it's removed is decreasing. This increase in concentration makes our atmosphere more efficient at retaining heat and reduces the amount of heat that can be lost to space. This means the temperature of the earth will rise as a result of being unable to efficiently cool, and it means that the environment in which we live will change. The manner in which specific weather sytems, such as your local area, will change is unpredictable as the Earth is efficient at distributing heat (as noted above). All that can be accurately said is that the average temperature of the Earth will continue to go up until it is high enough that the amount of heat lost is equated with the amount of heat being continuously gained.

It's important to note that there's a lag time between an increase in CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere and an increase in temperature. The rate at which heat is entering the Earth's biosphere isn't changing (the sun isn't getting any hotter), all that's changing is that we're not cooling off as efficiently as we used to. A good analogy is that it's like throwing on a blanket: it doesn't heat you up immediately, but your maximum temperature goes up once you warm up to it. What we're effectively doing right now is piling on more blankets every year, but it will be a while before we see the temperature catch up to the maximum threshold we've set up for ourselves.

The terrifying danger is that by the time we reach a temperature that we realize we need to fix the situation, we will be too deep to get out before we're cooked.

Worst Case Scenario:

The temperature of the planet reaches a "tipping point" where the increase in temperature suddenly flies out of control and the planet suddenly gets very hot very fast. This has happened before, and one of the single biggest dangers is that if the ice caps melt completely it may trigger it happening again a rapid rise in temperature would result from a reduced reflectivity of the earth and resulting in more sunlight getting absorbed than previously, producing a positive-feedback loop where the Earth rapidly "cooks" itself.

This would almost certainly result in a mass extinction of all species that are adapted to their current environments as it would alter every environment on earth short of the deep sea, but even then the acidification of the oceans (more CO2 in the atmosphere causes it to dissolve into the oceans raising the acidity of the oceans and killing off much of the life there) may kill off most ocean life as well. That would result in a mass extinction where humans wouldn't stand a chance at survival.

At that point intelligent life on earth would have to evolve again, but then what would be the point? Intelligent life will have already proved to be an unsustainable outcome.

Well, I think we had a pretty good run, at least. Maybe the next intelligent race to inhabit the Earth will think kindly of us? Though I'm not sure how much consolation that will be to most people.

What Are the Causes of the Extreme Temperature Differences on the Moon? | The Classroom | Synonym
What is the Temperature on Earth?
Diurnal temperature variation
Properties of water
Sea breeze
Water cycle
Thermal radiation
Earth's energy budget
Earth's Energy Budget Poster : Home
Permian–Triassic extinction event

How does global warming work?

What are some mind-blowing facts about Hinduism?

Answer by Shreyas Panhalkar:

Balaji Viswanathan's answer inspired me to write this. I am elaborating the second and third point mentioned in his answer.

I found it very fascinating the way in which Hindus measured/measure Time. Time in the Hindu scriptures is believed to be circular rather than linear. Time is "Anaadi"(अनादी) and "Anant"(अनंत). Anaadi means something which has no beginning and Anant stands for "Endless".

Read the following sentence and you will be amazed.

"At this time we (our solar system) are experiencing the last part of Kali Yuga of the 28th Mahayuga of the 7th Manvantara of the Kalpa"

Now let me explain some terms mentioned above.


Kalpa is a vast, cosmic time period also known as “a day(only day) of Brahma (God)”. Each new creation cycle begins a new kalpa. Name of the current kalpa is ShvetaVaraha. Approximately 4.32 billion solar years constitute one Kalpa.


Each kalpa is divided into 14 Manvantaras. We are in the first phase of 7th Manvantara –Vaivasvata.


Each Manvantara is divided into 71 Mahayugas i.e. one Manvantara lasts 71 Mahayugas.


4 yugas make one Mahayuga. Sat yuga(or Satya), Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga are these four Yugas.
Sat Yuga is sometimes referred to as "Golden Age" or "Era of Enlightenment" and each Yuga that follows is progressively “darker”. Kali Yuga is believed to be "Age of demon" or "Dark age".

Duration of each Yuga is mentioned in the following image-

These greater delineations are followed by further diminishing designations
of the time such as year, the half-year, the season, month, fortnight, and tithi.


Samvatsara is a period of one year. In all, there are total 60 names given to each year. Each name repeats after 60 years which is the period taken by Jupiter to orbit the sun 5 times! 

These are the 60 year names.


Ayana is equal to the period of half year.Each year is divided into two halves, known as Ayana. Uttarayana begins on the day of the winter solstice,
normally December 21, when the sun begins its apparent northward journey.
Dakshinayana begins on the first day of the summer solstice, normally June 21,marking the sun’s southward movement.

Rutu (ऋतू)-

Rutu is nothing but a season. There are total 6 seasons in a year,and each season lasts 2 months (Masa).

1. Vasanta (spring)
2. Grishma (summer)
3. Varsha (Monsoon)
4. Sharad (Autumn)
5. Hemanta (Winter)
6. Shishir (prevernal)


Maasa means month. There are toatal 12 months in Hindu calendar(Lunar).

Shaka and Chaitradi Vikram(kind of calendar) start with Chaitra while Kartikadi Vikram starts in Kartika.


Paksha refers to Fortnight.One month is the duration of one orbit of the moon around the earth. In Hindu measuring of time, this period is divided in two parts, the light fortnight,called shukla paksha, and the dark fortnight –krishna paksha .Shukla Paksha is the period when the moon is waxing, beginning on the new moon (Amavasya) and extending to the full moon (Purnima). Krishna paksha, the period when the moon is waning, begins after the full moon and extends to the new moon.


A tithi is an exact lunar day, which is approximately one-thirtieth of the time it takes the moon to orbit the earth. There are total 15 Tithis in one Paksha or fortnight. 15 Tithis are :
Prathama, Dvitiya, Tritiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shasthi, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi,Dvadasi, Trayodasi, Chaturdasi and Amavasya/Purnima.

Purnima, full-moon day, is the fifteenth tithi of the bright fortnight, and Amavasya, new-moon day, is the fifteenth tithi of the dark fortnight.

You can read further divisions of time in this answer – Keta Ladsaongikar's answer to Ethnic and Cultural Differences: What are some interesting cultural differences in how time is measured?.

If you are more interested in knowing hindu calendar, see this

Sidenote: It is said that 5,100 years of Kali Yuga had already elapsed before 1999. It is also said that one of the indications of the arrival of Kali Yuga was the curse given to the king Parikshit.(Read this if you are interested Shreyas Panhalkar's answer to Hindu Mythology: What are some of the most intelligent curses made in Hindu Puranas?).
 The creation and destruction of the universe is a cyclic process, which repeats itself forever. The universe endures for about one day of Brahma and then is destroyed. New universe is created again. It is believed that 50 years of Brahma have elapsed, and lifespan of Brahma is about 100 years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Human Years.)

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hin…
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hin…
3. http://www.vina.cc/news/index.ph…
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hin…
5. Keta Ladsaongikar's answer to Ethnic and Cultural Differences: What are some interesting cultural differences in how time is measured?.
6. http://www.himalayanacademy.com/…

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TrueCaller and Breach of Privacy

Tomorrow I came across this site called http://www.truecaller.com and found my number listed in its phone directory without permissions from my side. Of course I un-listed it and then searched for numbers of my family and friends.. Again I found some there without their permissions. This I believe is a breach of privacy. And if you don’t want your number listed there, go unlist it now. Any contact details available in this form is made available to the users of the TrueCaller app and this way, your number too might become public.

The swedish appmakers claim that data is gathered through partnerships with the white/yellow pages services available. But as you may find (and as I found), the names corresponding to many numbers are very much like how someone in your friend or family might have saved it. So, of course it is accessing all these contacts from the smartphones as it is too easy to access the contacts. It is pretty much like – “You must give your details and your friends’ details if you wish to use our service.” When someone selects to download and install this app and permits its requirements, I believe only his/her information should be uploaded.. why are others getting listed?? People like me have never authorized TrueCaller to provide our information to others.

If you wish to stop sharing your contact details with this app and its users, please un-list yourself as described below:

1> Go to http://www.truecaller.com

2> Search for your number.

3> Un-list it. You will have to fill-in the Captcha.

Also tell your friends and dear ones about it. Everyone has a right to opt out and must decide for themselves only.

What are the main/fundamental ideas in science?

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

Scientific method works in 5 stages:

  1. Asking the right question. "Why are some people blue eyed?" "How does a steam engine work?" "Why is sky blue?" You try to research existing answers and find out if those are satisfactory.
  2. Formulating a possible explanation. If the existing answers are unsatisfactory, you create a new hypothesis: "Sky is blue because the gas molecules in the atmosphere absorb short wavelengths and then radiate it."
  3. Predicting using the hypothesis. "Since the color is caused by gas molecules, the sky would not have any color when seen from a place with no atmosphere." You don't know this, but this would be the logical extension of your hypothesis.
  4. Testing your hypothesis. Now, you conduct your experiment to prove or disprove. You launch a satellite and take the photograph of space from there. If your hypothesis is true, it should be mostly black.
  5. Analyzing your results. Use various statistical tools to determine whether what you tested is statistically significant.

The key idea here is to create a testable hypothesis (stage 2) and then to create the right experiments that can either prove or disprove. You must be open to having your hypothesis disproved (Falsifiability) and be open to conducting a fair experiment (Statistical hypothesis testing).

Once you have done the five stages, you publish your results for others to see and comment upon. Using your raw data and methods they might want to recreate the experiment in their own labs or field and find if your prediction & analysis hold water.

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