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Vasant Valley Today                  3


Dying Alive

Courage. This is not just any seven-letter word, which we learn in class 3. Its easy pronunciation does not signify its importance. In the present day scenario, our Indian Army is the image of courage personified. These jawans are fighting a taxing battle in the Kargil region.

The Indian soldiers were taken there without any preparation, but they are fighting like lions because it is for the motherland’s sake. They have been able to successfully recapture most of the posts, which the enemy had captured. Comparatively ill-equipped the brave jawans never looked back once they were in the battlefield. Till now the official death toll is 165, and over 300 have been injured, but I can guarantee you that none of them were afraid to face the bullet on their chest. Injured soldiers at the army hospitals make it a point to show the news crews that the bullet mark is on the front and not on their back.

Pakistan has lost the diplomatic battle in Kargil and is also losing the ground war because of our (Contd. On Page 5)

It’s funny how some of us are scared of death. So scared, that we feel uncomfortable to even talk about the subject. When all 5we live to do ultimately is die. Its is the ultimate act. We spend out live either consciously or unconsciously planning this whole act. The way we live our lives is centered around death. Since we want to plan the way we feel when we die, we control our whole lives. Just so, we can feel good about ourselves in our final moments, we do certain things. Death controls us and our lives. So how can anyone avoid thinking about


(Contd. on page 5)

A New World – a New House

It is 1999 and this is the century of the microchip, the PC and the Internet. They’ve changed our lives and revolutionized our offices. But have they changed our homes to such an extent that we cannot recognize them.

They haven’t as yet but they will!

Executives from IBM Philips and Sony are all boasting how their futuristic devices will use Sun Microsystem’s Jini code and change the way we live.

In the new homes of the future, everything will have a microchip and will be connected to the Internet.

So what would be a day be like in this world? On Saturday, your alarm clock wouldn’t ring, if it logs on to find that you are off school. The automatic coffee maker would start every day, punctually, at a given time so that your dad would have hot coffee everyday, ready and waiting. It will have access to your schedule everyday, so if you are out of town, it will hold back the brew. If the refrigerator finds that the supply of eggs is running low, it will have some more delivered through the Internet. If it finds that the ham has expired, it will have more if that delivered too. The microwave would sense what you’ve put inside and would heat/cook/roast/ for just the right amount of time.

Philips Net mirror will stare back at you and give the morning headlines while you brush your teeth. A (really) smart toilet will offer a chemical examination of your daily – ahem - doings and hence attend to and monitor your family’s general health. If it senses something wrong, it can dispatch the information to a local health care unit through the Internet.

The medicine cabinet can recognize the users through biometric identification and therefore keeps children away from dangerous drugs. And what about the smart collar who not only knows that its wearer is a dog, but it can also help you keep track of your dog as it is (like everything else) connected to the Internet. The fish tank monitors the water temperature and its pH value.

Don’t forget the latest – a Web TV! A digital TV has also been envisaged, with a flat screen that can be hung up in a wall and rolled up if you wanted. A TV from which you could surf the net, play video games or just watch some plain old ordinary cable.

Your front door will not be left out in all this. That will be connected too so that you can set up a special combination for the delivery boy that will work only once or you could send an email to lock you’re sibling out as revenge. At Xerox Alto Research, they are cooking up ‘Smart Staples’ which will (Contd. On page 4)

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