Staff Software Engineer

Archive for 2012

Kurdish Genocide

A Kurdish proverb states that “the pain of a dagger is easy, the pain of a heart is heavy.” During the period of Saddam Hussein al-Majid’s reign in Iraq, the Kurdish people certainly endured both the pain of the dagger and pain of the heart. Saddam, during his twenty-four year reign, killed many people and is generally considered one of the most oppressive dictators of the twentieth century. The West supported him due to his opposition of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, the West’s greatest enemy in the Middle East. He is perhaps most infamous, however for his systematic genocide of the Kurdish people during his rule of Iraq. At the time of the genocide, the world ignored Saddam’s heinous actions, choosing instead to turn a blind eye and support Hussein’s supposedly lesser evil regime. Later, during and after the invasion of Iraq, the United States and her allies used the genocide as the crux of their justification to topple the regime, pursuing justice after the fact and only managing to partially attain it.

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A Case Study In Imperialism: France in Indochina

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose” (Kristofferson). In Vietnam, the people constantly acted like freedom was the only thing worth sacrificing for. France, in the middle of the nineteenth century, one of the great imperial powers, was seeking to expand its sphere of influence all over the world. Asia, being the last remaining populated frontier with potential for colonization, drew the attention of the colonizers in Europe. While the stakes were high, each nation knew the costs and benefits of colonization. Completely ignored were the numerous irreversible effects imperialism would have on the colonized. (Taylor) The French colonization of Indochina changed Vietnamese culture and upset the people’s balance of life, along with leading to drastic changes to the country as a whole.

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Programming Book Idea

I think a cool type of programming book would be a “cookbook” of sorts, in which there were 100 or so “recipes” that each taught a single concept.

iOS-related examples:

  • Using online JSON to make objects
  • Saving user-created images
  • Sharing to Twitter
  • Querying a database (most likely using fmdb)
  • etc.

I think it would make it easier to break down the task of learning to program into bite-sized chunks that could each be understood inside and out all on their own.

Energy Conversion System

70% of the Earth is covered by water. Water that we see rushing by, swept up in currents and tides, a force of nature capable of destroying entire cities.

Instead of allowing the world’s rivers and oceans to become natural disasters, it has become necessary to convert this abundant resource into a cheap and readily available source of energy for our planet. By damming rivers and capturing even a fraction of the water that flows by, an enormous amount of kinetic energy can be converted into mechanical energy, spinning giant turbines that then act as generators. The same principle is responsible for the entire electrical supply of Las Vegas, coming from the Hoover Dam.

By taking advantage of the hundreds of thousands of rivers on the planet, enough energy could be reliably harvested to care for tens or hundreds of million. In addition to, and maybe even dwarfing the river potential is that of the oceans. By placing a multitude of small tidal stream generators by the coastline, the tidal differential between high and low tide will constantly provide the necessary force to spin a turbine, which can also be used as a generator.

Because of the billions of kilograms of water on the Earth, its force-provide potential is very great. By harnessing even a small fraction of that force, it would be possible to adequately provide for humanity’s electrical power needs using only a natural resource that would be practically untouched even after harvesting.

Done With College Essays!

Being done with college application essays is an incredible feeling. For the past week, I have been up past 2 AM writing dozens of essays. I am honestly sick of talking about myself. I guess it’s just time to be thankful that this part of my life is coming to a close. Onward towards college!