Saturday, August 26, 2006

Akbar Bugti: The end to an era !

Pakistani security forces kill Akbar Bugti QUETTA, Aug 27, (Agencies) - Pakistani security forces killed tribal chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti in an operation in Baluchistan province, the country's information minister said Saturday. "I can confirm that Akbar Bugti was killed in the operation," Mohammad Ali Durrani said. "Further details are coming and we cannot confirm any other information." At least 25 commandos and more than 30 tribesmen were also killed in fighting near Dera Bugti town, close to a mountain hideout where Bugti was sheltering, security officials said. A top security official, who declined to be named, said at least 24 tribesmen were killed along with an unspecified number of Pakistani security forces. The official said the operation targeted between 50 and 80 of Bugti's supporters at Karmu Wadh in the district of Kolhu on Saturday evening who were tracked down by the intercept of a satellite phone call.(Posted @ 00:30 PST)

http://dawn. com/2006/ 08/26/welcome. htm

A personality from another time indeed. As a student of history, his 'bap dadda' fought the British tooth and nail, thus one of the reasons the colonial power was unable to annex the Baluch lands.

Once as a child, I recall meeting him at a small gathering in someones house, in Karachi in the mid-late 80's. To a 11 year old he seemed like a large towering figure. In his starched white shalwar kameez which matched his white neatly trimmed beard. He was an important man, with an entourage of people around him at all times. He carried in his hand a semi-automatic scorpion pistol, neatly tucked in a sued leather case---a heavy item it seemed like, yet he carried it with such easy, so much so it appeared to be part of his being, coupled with impecible social graces.

In spite of the crimes and accusations against him as a enemy of the state. You can't help not admire such a man. Perhaps his picture is reminiscent of childhood memories. Memories from the past, memories of a different Pakistan, a Pakistan and a world which from the perspective of an 12 year old was a sane one. [See DAWN Monday August 28th, "Bugtil Maligned but widely respected"]

A Pakistan that just emerged from 11 years of martial law under Zia. Was embarking on a new journey with hopes and aspirations of greatness under a Bhutto. People were excited, finally we have democracy, a peoples government, however that was short lived....

Indeed it was a different time, an exciting time in the history of the nation. Not that it isn't an exciting and remarkable time now! A time where the tides are in the nations favour. It is upto us to sieze upon this moment and a make difference. The effects of which will reveberate well into the distant future.

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Water Powered Vehicle

A Proposal for a vehicle operating on an alternate and environmentally friendly fuel.

Abdulrahman Rafiq

(Formally re-written on May 29th 2002. First Conceptualized: 1990/91 )

I first started working on this idea in my early teen years, when my knowledge of science was limited to a High School/pre-Senior Cambridge level.

My thoughts on this subject emerged from my study of Senior Cambridge/O'level chemistry and the methodologies used in purifying gases from other gases and the cooling of gases via extreme high pressure.

My thinking: Water vapor compressed under extreme high pressure and then released under controlled conditions will create a force, which essentially could possibly result in moving a vehicle horizontally in the forward direction. Assuming, of course that the compressed vapor is released in the backwards direction. This is very much like a rocket engine, however the one difference being that this doesn’t cause any adverse effects on the environment that a rocket engine, or rather its fuel causes.

Further if the compressed vapor is released in the downward direction it could possibly lift the vehicle up, enabling hovering capabilities.

Theory: My theory on how this will work is simple. Liquid Water is converted to its vapor state by heating. The Water Vapor is stored for a length of time. During the storage the Vapors are continually being heated via heating coils installed in the storage container. Then after some time has passed the Vapor is released via a jet like nozzle at high pressure. The nozzle is what the vehicle pilot will control via the accelerator peddle in the passenger compartment.

Through careful and controlled timing the pilot could successfully steer the vehicle, maintain a safe and reasonable distance from the ground, and increase or decrease the vehicles speed whenever deemed necessary.

This vehicle could be the replacement to the present-day internal combustion engine. Instead of burning fossil fuels, it would “burn” molecules of H2O, commonly known as water. Water is abundant on this planet, requires no expense to mine, and is environmentally friendly.

Copyright © 2002
Abdulrahman Rafiq

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

A Witness to History Being Written...

Witness to History Being Written...

Abdulrahman Rafiq

(Written June 17, 2005, 3:25 am)

(Rough-Draft--unedited, pls disregard syntax, spelling, grammar errors--working on it.)

Sitting in Professor Umesh MishraÂ’s office, I just barely completed my second or third week at UCSB, fall 1997. Patiently awaiting my turn, as Professor Mishra was on the phone with a reporter from the Santa Barbara News Press.

A few days back his group had a breakthrough in demonstrating the InGaN/GaN Multiple Quantum Well (MQW) blue LASER. I had no idea what that meant, I was merely sitting there listening to Professor Mishra as he so eloquently explained in laymanÂ’s terms what this meant.

I had just transferred frofromom Moorpark College into the Physics Department at U.C. Santa Barbara. I had applied to the Electrical Engineering department, however since my application was refused I picked Physics as my alternate major. My intention was to try and transfer into the Electrical Engineering department after year; hence I started my first Quarter at UCSB by taking courses both in Physics and Electrical Engineering.

One of the first courses I took in Electrical Engineering was ECE132, “Introduction to Solid State Electronic Device,” thought by Professor Umesh Mishra. I was completely taken aback by Dr Mishra, his whole style of teaching, the way he explained the subject matter was so well done. He displayed a keen interest for the subject, which made Solid State Electronics extremely attractive for me. Subconsciously I wanted to be like Dr Mishra, I wanted to be a research Scientist, to work on cool projects.

Though, I recall I felt a little superior to my Engineering classmates, as I was Physics major and was being trained in more rigorous mathematics than they were; as most of what Engineering students do is number crunching, unlike us in Physics who derive all the formulas and equations from first principles. Sound a little arrogant, donÂ’t I?

Well what to expect, after Mishra got of the long phone interview in which he explained to the report from the news press that one of the benefits of the blue laser will be that we will be able to store more data on a CD, as the wavelength of the blue laser is significantly smaller than the that of the red (ruby) laser. Wow! That sounded so awesome to me, I was wishing I got be part of such an exciting project.

So when he got of the phone, I started very meekly, trying to look for the appropriate words and technical terms to ask my question. Dr Mishra got up from his desk and walked around to the other side, which is the side I was on. He walked rup to upto his white-board, and started explaining what I had just asked. I watched as he drew a Semiconductor band-gap picture on the board, drew a few lines to represent the energy levels, the Fermi energy level. A wiggly line pointing into the band-gap diagram was indicative of a photon hitting the semiconductor device, which resulted in an electron from the valence band gaining enough energy to cross the band-gap and move into the conductive band—in turn leaving a hole behind in the valence band.

What an interesting, mind grabbing explanation. However, then he proceeded to give me a hint on how to solve the homework question I was having trouble with. Where, frankly speaking he lost me. He scribbled an equation on my notepad and said here try and derive this. I looked at it, thought to myself “oh no…what in God’s name does that mean?” I was no more perplexed than before I walked into his office. I was sitting there, looking at the equation, looked up at Dr Mishra, he was smiling and then looked down, nodded, thanked him for his help and told him I will try and get back to him.

I walked out of his office feeling so down, as I had no idea what he wanted me do? How as I to proceed? This was one my first upper-division, 100 level classes I was taking. I thought this Engineering class would be a breeze, as compared to the other class I was taking in Physics on Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Physics119 with Professor Phil Pincus.

The only good thing that came out was that I learned something about the blue-laser. I was fascinated by this and wanted to know more. That evening I went home, dialed into my ISP and tried to search for some information on the World Wide Web, which at the time was still in its infancy.

*Professor Umesh MishraÂ’s website link/

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq