Friday, January 08, 2010

A sense of scale

To add wonders to the elegance of the universe, check out: for a sense of scale!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Festivals, Society and Science

Snowflakes have always evoked a sense of awe owing to their beauty and elegance. Various shapes of snowflakes are used in Christmas cards mainly for an aesthetic value and to denote the winter season. However, it is not common knowledge that snowflakes are always six-sided - hexagonal - owing to water's property. For quite sometime now, I have counted the number of edges of snowflakes appearing in commercial ads...and was always intrigued by the nonconformity to the "six". I was getting into the impression that I was wrong about my knowledge of the hexagonal structure of snowflakes. However a recent correspondence in Nature by Prof. Koop from the Bielefeld University helped me assert that I was indeed correct.

I really appreciate Prof. Koop's effort to bring it to the attention of the media that many of the commercial ads are depicting the snowflakes against the laws of Nature. Even as we celebrate festivals and try to include Nature into our celebrations - or perhaps as sources of inspiration and beauty - let us do it the right way. In my opinion, this is one of the responsibilities of Scientists: ensure that the layman gets to appreciate Nature for its elegance and beauty in the right spirits.

Once he gets to learn the intricacies and complexities of Nature, his appreciation for Science would increase and critical thinking for productivity would be automatically be inculcated.