Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

April 23, 2020

Happy World Book day – Support an Author if you can with this list of Author Patreon’s

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:38 PM

Today is World Book Day and it’s the perfect time to post this. As you know due to Covid-19, the entire world has been turned Topsy-turvey and has impacted people worldwide, this includes book authors as well since they are unable to go out and promote their books so the season’s biggest books are not getting their time in the spotlight. In addition to the lack of limelight a lot of people are also cutting down on their book purchases so that they can focus on surviving this pandemic.

In India because of the lockdown all shops are closed and Amazon can’t deliver books as they are not considered “Essential Items”, since a lot of the authors I like are international ones who are not available in India but are only available via Amazon or Flipkart I can’t get any new books. Yes, I know I can buy e-books but I prefer paper books and don’t want to spend twice on the same book. So I reached out on Twitter to John Scalzy & Mary Robinette Kowal, who is the president of the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) to ask them following question on how I could support Authors during this time:

“Hi @scalzi , @MaryRobinette Is there an official list of patreon’s for various authors? I tried searching but couldn’t find any. if not can we start a list?
Can’t order books right now due to Corona as both local stores & Amazon are closed. But still wanted to support.”

I followed the tweet with links to the Pateron links that I could find and the whole thing just exploded, I got a huge no of comments and views with links to various Patreon’s. Since Twitter is a bad medium to keep something meant for a long term, I am consolidating the list here on my Blog and will keep updating it as and when I find new links for Patreons.

The list is strongly leaning towards Science Fiction & Fantasy since that’s what I mostly read but am open to listing other genres author’s as well. Please note that while I did basic due-deligence on the links I expect you to verify the links as authentic before you start sending them money. Please let me know if there are any changes or issues in the list. I am not responsible if you send money to the wrong person :).

So without further ado here’s the list of Author Patreon’s that I found or were shared with me. Clicking on the name will take you to the author’s Page on Fantastic Fiction and the Pateron link will take you to their Pateron (duh). For the author’s who have no FF page, these are author’s who’s books I have read & bought so I have included them, there were a few that were submitted to me but since I can’t vouch for them if they are not on FF I didn’t add them to the list below.

So some quick Q&A before I close the post:

Q. Are you getting a commission on this from referels?
A. No. This is just so that I can have a central list where all author Paterons are listed and folks can use this to support their favorite authors.

Q. Aren’t there other people in the world and in India who are going hungry like migrant workers who can better use the money?
A. Yes, there are too many people living on the edge and barely surviving. Unfortunately I can’t do something for all of them, though I have donated to various organizations that are supporting them. This is something for authors who have kept me sane and centered through my life.

Q. Will you be updating the list? Can I submit additions?
A. Yes & Yes. You can either tweet the additions to me, post them as comments to the blog post or email them to me.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

March 22, 2020

Covid-19: Some thoughts and comments

Filed under: My Thoughts,Uncategorized — Suramya @ 6:16 PM

These past few months have been a bit scary. Since Jan we have been watching Corona virus cases spike in China, get ignored and then massive effort to contain the virus. The same was done in Singapore, South Korea etc. India was relatively untouched with minimal cases in the first few months of the disease. Then we had a spike due to people returning from US/Europe etc and infecting others.

I am surprisingly impressed with how Indian Government has reacted to this issue, with both state and national governments taking strong steps to contain. I was especially surprised by how quickly government of Karnataka reacted because honestly I feel that they are mostly useless. They quickly shutdown all schools when the cases in KA were still at 4, and once we had the first death due to the virus in the state they immediately stopped all public gatherings as well as malls, pubs etc.

Now we are going to a total lockdown on Bangalore and some of the other infected areas. Section 144 is being imposed in parts of the country where idiots are refusing to adhere to the social distancing. To emphasise, social distancing the main method to reduce the speed of the spread of the virus. Here’s what the government is doing to help: (this is for the idiots who keep asking what the government is doing. More on this later in the post):

Karnataka to close borders, postpone SSLC exams, and elections

The Karnataka government will close all borders with its neighbouring states to tackle theCOVID-19pandemic. An executive order to that effect detailing the duration of the lockdown is expected soon.

Coronavirus: Mizoram announces statewide shutdown till March 29

The Mizoram government on Saturday ordered a “partial lockdown” across all districts of the state till March 29 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a notification.

Punjab orders lockdown:

Ordered statewide lock down till 31st March to check spread of COVID-19 All essential Govt services will continue & shops selling essential items such as milk, food items, medicines, etc will be open. All DCs & SSPs have been directed to implement the restrictions immediately. – Amarinder Singh

Coronavirus: Indian Railways suspends all passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight

In an unprecedented move, the railways on Sunday announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight and said only goods trains will run during the said period.

Govt announces lockdown in 75 districts

Government announces lockdown in 75 districts that have reported COVID-19 cases and casualties. Only essential services will operate in these 75 districts. Restrictions on non-essential passenger transport, including inter-state bus services remains till March 31. The decision has been taken after a meeting Cabinet Secretary held with Chief Secretaries of States and principal Secretary to Prime Minister.

Section 144 in Bengaluru from 9 pm to 12 am

Section 144 imposed from 9 pm to 12 am (midnight) in commissionerate limits to ensure people do not come out of their home once the Janta Curfew ends: Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner of police, Bangalore city. (ANI)

Section 144 imposed in Delhi

In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Section 144 of CrPC to be imposed in Delhi with effect from 9 pm on March 22 to 12 midnight of March 31. (ANI)

This is just an small list of the actions that are being taken to stop the spread. Yes, there were mistakes made and are being made but the focus is to resolve them quickly and move forward. For example a decision was taken to allow the Ayodhya celebration to happen but then the permission was revoked after a large no of people protested and the medical community advised against it as well.

On Friday, PM Modi adressed the nation and asked for a self curfew to be done on Sunday all day to help curb the spread. This was a voluntary curfew to enforce social distancing. No where did he say that the virus is going to be dead in 12-14 hours and then we can go back to normal on Monday. He asked for everyone to coorporate in social distancing for the next few weeks. You can read the complete text of his address here. Below is an extract from the address:

Hence, it is imperative to keep two key factors in mind in order to combat this global pandemic – Determination and Patience. Today, all 130 crore fellow citizens of Indians will have to further strengthen our resolve to overcome this global crisis, fulfilling all our duties as citizens, and abiding by the directions given by the Central and State governments. Today, we must all resolve to not get infected ourselves, and prevent others as well from getting infected.

Friends, during such a pandemic, only one mantra can take us through – ‘Hum Swasth, toh Jag Swasth’, that is the world will be healthy, if we stay healthy. In a situation like this, where there is no known cure for the disease, it is imperative that we stay healthy. Patience is an essential virtue to avoid this disease, and keep oneself healthy. And how does one practice patience? By staying away from crowds and gatherings, avoiding leaving your homes. This is called ‘Social Distancing’ nowadays, and is critical in these times of the global corona pandemic.

Our determination and patience will play a crucial role in containing the impact of this global pandemic. It is wrong if you believe that you are okay and nothing can happen to you, and you can continue roaming around in markets and streets as usual and remain unaffected. By doing this, you will not only be unjust to yourself but also to your family.

Keeping this is mind, I appeal to you all that for the next few weeks, step-out of your homes only when absolutely necessary. As far as possible, try and do your work, whether related to business or job, from home.

While it is essential that those who are in government services, healthcare services, people’s representatives, media personnel remain active. Everybody else must however, isolate themselves from the rest of society.

Global research and experts have been talking non-stop that the main way to stop the spread of Convid-19 is to practive social distancing. That’s what the goverment is asking us to do. Plus this is not all there are multiple other steps being taken to reduce the impact and economic packages to help the poor and impacted are in progress. Yes, we could move faster on this but some things take time.

In addition Modi asked for one more item in his speech.

Friends, in the midst of all these efforts of the people’s curfew on 22nd March, I would also like to seek your support on one more matter on that day. For the past 2 months, lakhs of our people have been working day and night in our Hospitals and Airports.

From doctors to nurses, hospital staff, sanitation workers, airlines employees, government staff, police personnel, media people, people associated with train-bus-auto rickshaw services, and home delivery agents; all have been selflessly serving others, without caring about themselves.

In the current circumstances, these services cannot be considered to be ordinary. Today, these people run the risk of getting infected themselves. Yet, they continue to fulfil their duties, serving others. As defenders of the nation, they stand firmly between us and the corona pandemic. The nation is grateful to them all.

I wish that on Sunday, 22nd March, we express our gratitude to all such people. On Sunday at exactly 5 pm, we all stand at the doors, balconies, windows of our homes, and give them all a 5-minute standing ovation. We clap our hands, beat our plates, ring our bells to boost their morale, salute their service.

To inform people about this, I request local authorities across the country to ring a siren at 5 pm on 22nd March.

We must with full sincerity, express our feelings towards all such fellow citizens who have lived by our value-system of ‘Seva Parmo Dharma’, that is Service being the highest Duty.

Note that he did not claim that this will kill Corona virus due to astrology, veda’s, sound therapy or whatever. This is just to show our appreciation for the people putting their life at risk for us to be able to continue with life. Remember the meal you ordered on Swiggy that was delivered by a person? The sweepers who are cleaning the floor or buildings? The train/bus drivers taking people around? They are risking infection so that we can continue. This is a tribute to them. Why is it ok to celebrate our cricket team’s win in a stupid game by yelling & screaming and being out on the street but suddenly its too much if you are asked to applaud for people risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones to serve you.

Worldwide people are doing this, a 30 second search gave me: Israel, Spain & Italy (who are doing it daily BTW), Germany , UK and so many more.

People need hope when things are grim. This is giving them hope. Remember Pandora’s box? The last thing remaining in the box after all the evils escaped was hope to give us the strength to battle evil & tough times. Jews sang during the War, soldiers sing at the front, this is not because it magically solves the problem but because it gives us the strength to say: I can do this. We will get through this together.

Now, lets look at what the so called ‘intellectuals’ & some of the educated people are doing shall we? Anti-CAA protests are continuing because apparently if you don’t support CAA you are immune to Coronavirus. People are absconding from home to roam the city and attend functions while they are supposed to be in quarantine. 4 morons took a train from Mumbai after being told to isolate and were only caught because they were stamped with a quarantine order and someone on the train noticed it and called the cops. Apparently we have a lot of alcoholics in the country because people are still going to Bars at night because it’s too much of a bother to stay home. This behavior is mostly in the educated class and the so called intellectuals. My maid and driver are talking about self-isolation and how they are working to ensure the spread is contained. Our building guards are enforcing hand-wash discipline for all visitors but we the educated class can’t be bothered because its too much effort. The virus doesn’t care about how much money you have and what position you are at. Do you know who I am? will not work on the virus. Washing your hands and self-isolation will.

All the morons who are going out when known COVID-19 positive or asked to self isolate should be charged with murder if any death that can be traced back to them *knowingly* being out in public after being told not to. If no death then they should be jailed for public endangerment. There is a EU country that is charging such folks with murder and I think we should do the same.

Please listen to medical professionals, reputed sources (this doesn’t include your whatsapp forwards from your 2nd cousin’s friend who heard it from his friend). Follow basic common sense rules and you will be ok.

Well this is all for now. Will write more later. Stay safe you all, and above all stay at home.

– Suramya

March 2, 2020

Another magical AI to detect “Inappropriate photos” and block kids from taking them

Filed under: Computer Software,My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 11:50 AM

In today’s iteration of people who don’t want to make the effort of raising their kids and explaining the difference between right & wrong and why something might be a bad idea we have a new “magical” AI that will automatically detect when kids are making a bad choice and stop them. I mean why should a parent make an effort to talk to their kids and help them understand what repercussions of a given choice could be wrong when you have AI to make the effort for them? This new AI is being pitched to parents and has an AI-powered “Smartphone Protection” feature that prevents users from shooting or saving “inappropriate” photos (read: naked pictures).

The official Tone Mobile press release hails the TONE e20 as the world’s first phone with an AI that “regulates inappropriate images” through an AI built into the so-called TONE Camera… If the AI recognizes that the subject of a photo is “inappropriate,” the camera will lock up; and if you somehow manage to snap a photo before the AI kicks in, the phone won’t let you save or share it.

Additionally, a feature called “TONE Family” can be set to send an alert to parents whenever an inappropriate image is detected. According to SoraNews24, this alert will contain location data and a pixelated thumbnail of the photo in question.

I give it about 24 hours from when the phone is released till folks figure out a way around it.

The other issue I have with this system is how its going to classify the pics. The article doesn’t go into technical details of how the AI works and if the classification is done locally or on the cloud. If its on the cloud then every pic taken by that phone is being uploaded to a remote server owned by a 3rd party. This is a massive risk and any breach of that server is going to have a lasting and significant impact. Trust me when I say that this server would be a target of all Black Hat hackers as soon as it goes online.

I am not going to go into whether taking nude pics is a good idea or not. Its upto the people involved to take that decision, I am not responsible for what you do with your phone. If you have to take naughty pics just ensure you follow basic rules and don’t share it with anyone you don’t trust 100%.

In summary, Dear parents: Instead of offloading your responsibilities to AI try having a frank and open conversation with your kids about why certain things might be a bad idea. It will give you better results than this snakeoil.

Source: Slashdot.org

– Suramya

January 2, 2020

Thoughts around Doctor Who: Spyfall Part 1

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 8:51 PM

Watched the new episode of Doctor Who and I absolutely love Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor, she is a much more accurate representation of the character than Peter Capaldi who is a great actor but didn’t do the character justice in my opinion. Plus the storylines for Jodie’s Doctor have been a lot more interesting and fun than the previous season. I know a lot of ‘fans’ are against this iteration of the Doctor because it doesn’t fit their stereotypes, prejudice or whatever but that’s their problem. I love this iteration. However that being said I have mixed feelings about this episode.

The remainder of the post contains spoilers!!!

For the first 20-30 mins of the episode my reaction was mostly ‘meh’, they ripped off as much of James Bond as they could without getting into legal issues. This includes having ‘C’ as the head of MI6 and lots and lots of gadgets which were used for moving the plot along and showing off the spy skills of the group. In this episode the Doctor and team use the gadgets given to them a lot more often than the Tardis and the Sonic for some reason and that combined with a threat that didn’t really sound interesting made for a boring start of the episode.

Last Warning, Big Spoilers ahead!!!

Then suddenly things became a lot more interesting towards the end of the episode. That last min twist, yes that one was mindblowing. I didn’t expect that at all and I can’t wait to see how they will take this forward. Finding out that the Master was behind all their troubles was a shock. Plus this iteration of the Master appears to be a lot more interesting than Missy. She was a very poor villain and I found her to be more annoying for the most part than dangerous. This version seems to be a mix of the Master as played by John Simm and Roger Delgado which is fantastic. Lets see how they take it forward but so far it looks good.

The companions for this Doctor are mostly ok, no major feelings for any of them either for or against.

Lets see what happens next when the remainder of the story this Sunday. Though I will be traveling at that time so I will probably have to wait till Monday to watch it.

– Suramya

October 31, 2019

You can’t have ‘b’, ‘l’, ‘m’, ‘r’, and ‘t in your password if you are using macOS 10.15.1 aka Catalina

Filed under: Funny News,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 12:50 PM

Users of Twitter App on macOS 10.15.1 aka Catalina just found out that they couldn’t log in to their account if their password contained any of the following characters: ‘b’, ‘l’, ‘m’, ‘r’. When I first read the news I thought it was a joke but then realized that its an actual issue in the latest version of the MacOS. The problem is showing up on the Twitter app but other programs might be effected as well.

According to Twitter in-house developer Nolan O’Brien, these particular keypresses are gobbled up by a regression associated with the operating system’s shortcut support. Normally, users can press those aforementioned keys as shortcuts within the app to perform specific actions, such as ‘t’ to open a box to compose a new tweet.

Something changed within macOS to capture those shortcut keys, rather than pass them to the password field in the user interface as expected. So, in other words, when you press a shortcut key in Twitter when entering an account password, the keypress is ignored in that context rather than handled as a legit password keypress.

This reminded me of the weird and basic bugs that showed up in older versions of Windows. Apple really needs to work on their quality control if they want to stay in the game.

Source: The Register: You’e yping i wong: macOS Catalina stops Twitter desktop app from accepting B, L, M, R, and T in passwords

– Suramya

October 17, 2019

Japanese Pop-star stalked using reflection in her eye – Highlighting dangers of digital debris in our digital artifacts

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:26 PM

Over the years we have all learnt that sharing personal information like address, phone no’s, location etc with strangers over the internet is a bad idea. However with Social media this line is getting pretty blurred and people post all sorts of personal data online without any thoughts on how it might impact them. In addition to people personally posting information the various data items that we post online have digital information embedded in them in form of meta-data that tells information that you might not want to be public. For example, all modern phones embed location information in any photo taken unless the user explicitly opts out (which is rarely done). Looking at one of the pics taken with my phone during a trip you can see that it has the following information (There’s a lot more info, but this just shows some of the more interesting parts):

Looking at the data you can see that I was at Kovalam beach on 7th Oct and if I had something to hide about where I was during this time then this image would give information that I might not want known. A few years ago there was a case where a model posted a cropped version of a photo on her blog without realizing that a thumbnail of the original uncropped version was embedded in the cropped pic and one of the visitors to her blog managed to recover the thumbnail and view the original image which happened to show the lady in the nude. There are now software available to strip this and other information from any photos you share. I suggest you check them out if you post images frequently.

In addition to the information embedded in the file you also need to be aware of what is visible in the picture itself. Earlier this week a Japanese stalker was arrested after he stalked and assaulted a 21-year-old “Japanese idol” at her home. The guy zoomed into a high-resolution selfie posted by the singer to view the train station reflected in her eye. After he found the image he used Google Street view to identify the station and then used the angle of the sun and other data points to narrow down the building and the floor the star was staying at. The guy identified himself as a ‘fan’ whereas a more accurate description would be a creep or stalker.

As the resolutions of photos go up so do the dangers of sharing these images, for example if you have a high-resolution photo with your keys in the image, it is now possible to create duplicate keys using the image. There is work ongoing to use the fingerprints shown on an image to generate high quality 3D prints replicating the fingerprints and in a test the printed finger was able to unlock a Galaxy S10 using the finger print scanner. In fact Tokyo Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper has gone so far as to tell people that they shouldn’t make the V-sign with their hand, which Japanese often do in photos, because fingerprints could be stolen. (What a world we live in, right?)

So you need to be very careful about what you post online. Stay safe everyone 🙂

Well this is all for now, will post more later.

– Suramya

October 16, 2019

Netflix greenlights animated series ‘Ghee Happy’ starring Hindu deities as Children

Filed under: My Thoughts,Uncategorized — Suramya @ 12:10 PM

Very happy to hear about this new NetFlix animated series Ghee Happy that has just been approved for development. It is a cartoon that will follow Hindu deities as children discovering their powers in a deity daycare. The series has not started production yet and it will be a few years before its launched but its a positive step.

Indian mythology is so rich and diverse and most kids nowadays have no idea about it. Talk to a kid and they will be able to name multiple gods from the Greek pantheon but ask them to do the same from the Hindu pantheon you will get 2-3 names at a max. This is because the Greek gods have been part of so many stories and adaptations over the years that are not 100% accurate but keep the basic story the same. Till very recently there were hardly any novels/stories about any of the Hindu gods or even about the Indian epics. This was because people were scared to offend others who would take offense about any deviation from the standard telling of the tales. Even with this I won’t be surprised if some idiot files a court case against the cartoon once its launched because they are offended.

I think we should allow such adaptations provided they are in good taste and not deliberately offensive. I would love to see similar series about the Christianity and Islam but don’t think that would happen in the near future. Although I do know there is a comic series where Jesus is a primary character and was in a lot of trouble because of it.

Source: Netflix greenlights Pixar veteran’s animated series ‘Ghee Happy’

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

October 15, 2019

Theoretical paper speculates breaking 2048-bit RSA in eight hours using a Quantum Computer with 20 million Qubits

Filed under: Computer Security,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 12:05 PM

If we manage to get a fully functional Quantum Computer with about 20 million Qubits in the near future then according to this theoretical paper we would be able to factor 2048-bit RSA moduli in approximately eight hours. The paper is quite interesting, although the math in did give me a headache. However this is all still purely theoretical as we only have 50-60 qBit computers right now and are a long way away from general purpose Quantum computers. That being said I anticipate that we would be seeing this technology being available in our lifetime.

We significantly reduce the cost of factoring integers and computing discrete logarithms over finite fields on a quantum computer by combining techniques from Griffiths-Niu 1996, Zalka 2006, Fowler 2012, Ekerå-Håstad 2017, Ekerå 2017, Ekerå 2018, Gidney-Fowler 2019, Gidney 2019. We estimate the approximate cost of our construction using plausible physical assumptions for large-scale superconducting qubit platforms: a planar grid of qubits with nearest-neighbor connectivity, a characteristic physical gate error rate of 10−3, a surface code cycle time of 1 microsecond, and a reaction time of 10 micro-seconds. We account for factors that are normally ignored such as noise, the need to make repeated attempts, and the spacetime layout of the computation. When factoring 2048 bit RSA integers, our construction’s spacetime volume is a hundredfold less than comparable estimates from earlier works (Fowler et al. 2012, Gheorghiu et al. 2019). In the abstract circuit model (which ignores overheads from distillation, routing, and error correction) our construction uses 3n+0.002nlgn logical qubits, 0.3n3+0.0005n3lgn Toffolis, and 500n2+n2lgn measurement depth to factor n-bit RSA integers. We quantify the cryptographic implications of our work, both for RSA and for schemes based on the DLP in finite fields.

Bruce Schneier talks about how Quantum computing will affect cryptography in his essay Cryptography after the Aliens Land. In summary “Our work on quantum-resistant algorithms is outpacing our work on quantum computers, so we’ll be fine in the short run. But future theoretical work on quantum computing could easily change what “quantum resistant” means, so it’s possible that public-key cryptography will simply not be possible in the long run.”

Well this is all for now will post more later

– Suramya

October 8, 2019

The hated font Comics Sans is actually very useful and life changing for people with Dyslexia

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 6:18 PM

Comic Sans is the font everyone loves to hate. In fact there is a whole movement to ban the font which is something I didn’t know till today. I don’t really like the font but spending money and effort to ban a font just because you don’t like it seems a bit extreme.

There’s a petition to ban it from Gmail and myriad stories about how terrible it is. Even Weird Al chastises people who use Comic Sans in his music video for “Tacky.” (“Got my new résumé/it’s printed in Comic Sans.”)

A Ban Comics Sans movement began in 1999 with graphic designers Holly and David Combs. In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Holly said, “Using Comic Sans is like turning up to a black-tie event in a clown costume.” Their manifesto states, “By banding together to eradicate this font from the face of the earth we strive to ensure that future generations will be liberated from this epidemic and never suffer this scourge that is the plague of our time.” Their website sells t-shirts for anyone who wants to drop $26 to make sure their stance on this font plague is clear.

Even though the site bancomicsans.com now redirects to usecomicsans.com its still not because they think the font is ok, it’s because the font is so hated and that makes it cool to use it (Yeah, I don’t get it either but that’s what ‘cool’ people do.). I personally think that the font is kiddish and would never use it for official communications or purposes. But there is an aspect of using Comic Sans that I wasn’t aware of till earlier today and it blew my mind. Basically Comic Sans is a font that makes it easier for people with Dyslexia to read. This is because unlike other fonts which use repeated shapes to create different letters, such as a “p” rotated to made a “q,” Comic Sans has irregular/unique shapes for each letter making it easier for folks to read the text. I personally find comic Sans to be a bit hard to read for long text but that’s probably because I am used to reading text in Calibre/Arial/Times New Roman etc. But for people who have issues reading regular fonts its a lifesaver. In this way using a Kindle is a great thing as I can choose the font I am most comfortable with for reading and it doesn’t need to be a ‘good’ font.

Check out the full article for more insights: Hating Comic Sans Is Ableist

This whole article made me think about how things we take for granted can be huge issues for others and that we should try thinking about things from the other person’s view without judging.

– Suramya

October 3, 2019

Pics composed of as many pixels as there are animals still alive in that species

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:16 AM

Inspite of what certain people might think, we are at the edge of ecological disaster and species extinction and biodiversity loss is a major threat. As per a UN report published back in May Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’.

The Report finds that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.

The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900. More than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef-forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened. The picture is less clear for insect species, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10% being threatened. At least 680 vertebrate species had been driven to extinction since the 16th century and more than 9% of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture had become extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more breeds still threatened.

The problem is that the numbers are too big and the species so removed from our daily lives that most people don’t bother thinking about it. An Imgurian user JJSmooth44 decided to make a project that visually shows how scarily low the population of some of these animals is by creating Pics which are composed of as many pixels as there are animals still alive in those Species. You can check out the pics here: These Pics Are Composed Of As Many Pixels As There Are Animals Still Alive In These Species


African Wild Dog. Estimated between 3000 and 5500 remain


Amur Leopard. Estimated about 60 remain


Asian Elephant. Estimated between 40000 and 50000 remain

Some of these animals are endangered because of loss of habitat and encroachment, the others because people think parts of their body have medicinal value or its just the ‘cool’/’in’ thing to have things made from animal organs or tusks etc. The thing is that this needs to change else we will loose priceless parts of our world and once its gone we can’t bring them back.

Think about it.

– Suramya

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