Author Archives: bervinder

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Technology

2016 was a memorable year. As well as the Rio Olympics, there was also a battle between the world’s greatest Go player, Lee Sedol and a program called AlphaGo. Basically, it was a fight between artificial intelligence and the human brain. However, it seems like in the history of the race between Man and Machine, the machine is leading by one point. When I first heard the news, I felt really sorry for Sedol. It is just like when you teach your friend Math and they end up getting higher marks than you. Isn’t that frustrating? The programme was created by a human who is not even a good Go player, but how can humans lose against a man-made invention?

We have to agree that without machines our lives would be difficult and primitive. Advanced technology not only improves our daily lives but also helps to compensate for the destruction we humans have created while misusing the machines. For example, “green technologies” promote an eco-friendly lifestyle and also include some effective inventions like hybrid vehicles and energy-saving CFL. These machines are designed to progressively minimize energy use and have less of an impact on the environment. Moreover, some of them can even help humans to avoid disasters that are caused by nature like weather warnings by the Hong Kong observatory and tsunami warning systems using satellites.

The use of technology to exploit the earth’s resources is well documented such as drilling and fracking technology to find oil which threatens to upset the earth’s stability and ultimately our climate. However, there are machines that are not only destroying the environment but humans too. Whenever it comes to the misuse of technology, people think of the weapons used in wars. I think the main fight, however, is between man versus man not man versus machine because robots don’t have feelings and would never feel jealous or determined to be on top. People say if there is a fight between two brothers, the mother always suffers as she wants both of her sons. Nowadays, millions of brothers are fighting with each other and our mother nature is suffering.

I hardly remember those days where book lovers read books under the tree instead of sitting in air-conditioned rooms to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. People nowadays are losing interest in our beautiful nature and our planet. We don’t want to go out because of the steaming weather, but we will not do anything about the vehicles that are causing global warming. We are ruining our relationship with the earth by not thinking about what impact our actions have on the planet. While people are planning to live on Mars, why don’t we just think wisely and stop killing our precious earth as we have only got one and it’s the best planet in our solar system to support life as we know it.

Many people know about the problem but still don’t do anything because they think they are too insignificant. The first step is to understand that we should never allow technology to overtake ethics. Always think twice about what will happen if the invention gets out of control or if there is better way to make it so it will not be misused. Besides the creator, the technology users should also put the whole earth before any other factors. Why not use food composting machines to turn our food waste into rich soil instead of using crushers to dump it into the landfill? You might say that stopping someone from making harmful machines is not in your hands, but making good use of the good machines is. We don’t always need to do something as big as developing renewable energy but we can at least save energy by turning off the air-conditioners or lights when we leave the room or our homes. If you don’t have the power to change the whole world at least change yourself to use technology smartly. The Dalai Lama said, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” I also believe that everyone can do something and that little, incremental changes can lead to something great.

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Stop Wasting, Start Living

‘When those red berries come in springtime,

Flushing on your southern branches ,

Take home an armful , for my sake ,

As a symbol of our love.’

 As I read Wang Wei’s fantastic poem, One Hearted, in class the other day, I wondered what he would write if he was born in the 21st century? Wang Wei was a Chinese poet who often depicts beautiful scenery like waterfalls and mountains in his poetry. While reading about Wang Wei, I wondered if there would be garbage on the ground in spring instead of petals. No more fragrance of flowers, just fumes. Gloomy skies with dirty particulates, contaminated water in the rivers and hazardous waste… are these the things that define a developed country?

 Murky skies, honking horns from traffic jams, swimming with plastic bags, can you just keep avoiding these problems? Air pollution is very serious in China. So serious that people have started buying fresh air from America to survive. People who live in Beijing can’t even open a window without wearing a mask. Isn’t it strange that people know the causes of climate change and that emissions from factories, shipping, planes and vehicles affect not only the environment but also their health, still, many turn a blind eye to the issue as if it won’t affect them? Isn’t it strange that people know that eating more meat and wasting food is causing obesity and clogging up our landfills as well as contributing to climate change, still, many think this won’t affect them? Are they all from another planet?

 Hong Kong has educated the younger generation about protecting our earth, but it seems that their words speak louder than their actions. For example, at lunchtime at school, what I see is a huge amount of wasted food in the bins for food waste. Many students think that they are actually helping the environment as the food waste is used for feeding pigs or is composted. Although this is true and is better than dumping it in the landfills, wouldn’t it be better if the food suppliers modified the portion size according to student demand? Students also buy takeaway food in plastic and polystyrene containers as it is convenient even though they learn in class that plastic is non-biodegradable. Landfills in Hong Kong are filled up with waste and the public seems to be waiting for the government to take some action. Aren’t we responsible for the consequences of our actions?            

 Electronic waste has also become a very serious problem throughout the world and especially in China. Every year, there are over 20-50 million tons of e-waste generated worldwide, from discarded electronic devices. All of us embrace the latest gadgets on the market and throw away our old devices without thinking about what will happen to them. Many people have the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude when it comes to disposing of their rubbish, especially their e-waste. They think the problem is already solved the second they go into the rubbish bins.

 In fact, over 60% of the waste is shipped to impoverished countries like China and India. However, these devices leak toxic chemicals like mercury, lead, and cadmium into the environment and the workers who must deal with this waste end up suffering from chronic diseases, for instance cancer. Some of them don’t even know that these chemicals are toxic. What they know is just that the prices have been increasing day by day and therefore, this is a suitable job for them.

 Guiyuzhen, a city in China, has become an e-waste dump. You can see old electronics everywhere. People are employed to break down old cell phones and computers in a vile atmosphere. These people are doing their job without any safety equipment or training, including children and pregnant women. For a small salary, they are asked to burn or dismantle our unwanted electronic products.

The workers have a higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects and lead poisoning and the residents endure pollution of their waterways and land.    

 Buying new electronics, like the latest phone or tablet and showing them to your friends is very cool, but if we don’t think about whether these purchases are really necessary and control our wasteful habits then we are not only killing the environment but also ourselves.

My friends in Hong Kong think that grey skies, 9 degrees in March and rubbish all around are normal. Maybe they have not been lucky enough to see the true beauty of nature. I have been to India when I was young. I have seen the spectacular waterfalls, peaceful lakes and the beautiful fields filled with flowers. But will I still meet Mother Nature if I visit India now? Will I still see the birds flying through the clear, blue sky like it’s their kingdom? Will I still see the petals falling just like Wang Wei’s poem? I really hope all of us do!

A Mistake

                             The Mistake 
Yesterday,I was sitting in the café and I saw an outstanding artist drawing a cup of coffee.While he was drawing,he dropped his eraser and he couldn’t find it.After that he was struggling as he made many mistake and he couldn’t  erase it.  At that moment,John W.Gardner’s word came to my mind—‘Life is like a drawing without an eraser’.There are many things that we regret , that we should or shouldn’t  have done in the past. I always ask myself that why people forget things that should be remembered and remember something that they should have forget. 
I had a bad experience recently and I’m still very disappointed with myself. I joined a writing competition that I was longing to join. Every student has to pay $180 to enter and apply of the competition. However, I was quite fortunate that my school agreed to pay the whole cost for me. That was such an awesome opportunity for me, but I forgot. to go to the competition on the 2nd January,2016. I was so busy in welcoming the New Year that I didn’t notice on the slip that it was going to be held  in January and not February.

I realized my disastrous on the 3rd January when I took out my homework folder and I found a notice about the competition.

 

         I was blanked for about 5 minutes and my face turned totally red with shame and horror.I was disappointed with myself as I can’t even remember a date.Then,when my teacher asked me how was the competition,I was speechless.Many people was expecting me to do the competition well and I let them down.
A wise man say that ‘The only mistakes we ever make are those we don’t learn from.’ We should learn from our mistakes and never stop trying.’ That’s why now I am going to join another writing competition.The past is in the past. 

 

5 funny and illogical things Indian parents say or do 

Before writing, I would like to say that this post is just for entertainment, please take it as a joke. I really respect my parent and all the other Indian parents, but still I would like to share some hilarious logic of our parent.🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳

  • You are not an American 

My parents feel proud as a peacock when I got full mark in English, but guess what happens when I speak in English with my siblings in front of my parents at home. I am a Punjabi, so my parents just know Punjabi. Whenever I speak English,my parents think that I am bitching about them. Honestly, I will never ever dare to do that as I know if I do that my children would also bitch about me.

  
Why are you smiling?

Actually, everyone do this to me or you and I am sure that everyone hates it. Whenever you are talking about something serious or true, just because of your smile’s bad timing everyone thinks that you are lying. It is sadder than the story —‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’.  

 

They know you have a bf or gf

In additional, if you smile looking down at phone, your parents would think that you are dating someone.(They wouldn’t be happy honestly.) Even if you are smiling now, at the moment while reading this, be careful if your parents are misunderstanding you.

 

No one will marry you

Everyone parents scare their children using this excuse specially ‘desi’ parents. For girls, if you don’t know how to make roti, no one will marry you. However, my mum always told me how she learn everything after marrying dad. So, that’s totally illogical!!! For boys, if you don’t stop speaking foul language no one will give you their daughter. Once, my mum was just saying that to my brother and my brother asked(In Punjabi of course)’Then, why did grandpa gave you to dad as I learn all whose word from him?’

  

Break her/his smart phone

Smartphones are the biggest enemy of our parents. If I feel sick, my parents blame the phone. Likewise, if something is wrong with my phone, they are going to blame me. Also, don’t you hate than when you are study for hours and no one notice that, bit when you hold your phone for just a while, your parents would appear and shout and shout.

  Whatever my parents do, I still love they and I respect their thoughts.

Thanks for reading and please don’t mind of I have said or wrote anything wrong. Hope you enjoy it!!!!

Womens’ right

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. However, in many developing countries like India and China, not everyone is that lucky to have the opportunities to learn. 

 
 Many girls never get an education and a chance to prove themselves. These girls have a foot of clay which is not taking stands for themselves and not fighting for their rights. There are many reasons that prevent girls from going to school like poverty, early marriage or discriminatory gender. Many people think that education for girls is useless as when they grow up they are just going to become a housewife. That’s obviously not the truth as if you look around, I bet that you’ll find many successful women. For examples, Dr Tse Yuen Man from Hong Kong, Malaya Yousafzai from Pakistan and Michelle Obama from US. Frankly, I think the negative thoughts of other people is the biggest obstacles to girls’ education. And, this negative thoughts define them as an uneducated cold fish.

  Although, I am not against arrange marriages I sometimes think that people’s thoughts are illogical–they want a daughter-in-law who has a degree in medicine but want her to stay at home 24 hours as a housewife. So what is the use of the degree if she is not allowed to work? What ever your religion is, your God will never said that only the man of the house can work. So, why?

 A woman is always very sure about her responsibilities. And, when a woman stays at home taking care of you and your parents despite her high qualifications, it means that she puts her family on the top of everything even her happiness. So, why do people think that they don’t even deserve a chance to study?