Strovek Writes


Showing posts with label Safer world. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Safer world. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Impression of Singapore

A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to go on a trip to Singapore. I have not been to the city state for more than 15 years and was interested in seeing how it has changed. The first impression was when we landed. By the time we reached the baggage claim area, our bags were ready for us. I have not seen such efficient baggage handling anywhere else. Usually, you had to wait at least five to ten minutes before the first bag will appear on the carousel.

On the way to our hotel, the driver told us that they were still not satisfied with their performance and are working on improving the number of flights they can handle. There are two runways at the airport - one for landing and one for takeoff.

We only went around the area around our hotel. There were many underground walkways joining the MRT (train) and also the various building. One of these areas was large enough for the children and teenagers spend their time roller blading and break dance without having to worry about traffic or rain.

It is hard to imagine Marina Bay was built on reclaimed land. The man made lake in the middle can be used to supply drinking water to Singapore. The area houses the only casino in Singapore, a few gardens (Silver Garden, Golden Garden, Dragon Fly Bridge etc.) and a very nice jogging track. Above all, you could walk around the area at night without fear. I did not feel safe walking in the dark since being mugged a couple years ago, but I felt very safe in Singapore.

The MRT was also well designed. Even though you might need to transfer to different MRT lines, you just need to pay once, similar to the airline where you book the trip to your destination and do not have to confirm each leg of the flight.

The one thing that Singapore shares with other big cities in the world is the traffic jam. Even though it is costly to own a car in Singapore there are still a lot of them on the road.

Singapore is a great place to visit, but is costly. As a visitor I like the facilities that are available, but I cannot help but wonder what it is like for the normal citizens there. It must be difficult to make ends meet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saving the environment with alternative fuel?

With the recent increase of oil prices, there is new incentive for searching for alternative fuel. Let us review what are the current alternatives:
  • Nuclear energy.
  • Hydro energy
  • Coal
  • Wind
  • BioDiesel
  • Solar Energy.
Nuclear Energy
When Nuclear energy was first proposed, it seems like it is the answer to all the power but as you know now those who are using them have to find ways of disposing all the radio active waste generated. True the generators generate immense energy but the waste is very toxic to the environment.

Hydro Energy
Hydro energy is great for countries that are blessed with hills and waterfall. However, the process of building the dam and the reservoir for this requires that we clear out vast forest and eliminate natural habitats of animals there.

The other problem has to do with the sludge that will accumulate over the years when the hydro electric plant operates which if not handled properly will cause the plant to be unusable.

Overall though this is still one which causes the least damage but only if the construction and maintenance is done correctly (like planting back some of the plants damaged in the construction process).

This may be a good option except that the burning of coal isn't very efficient and generates a lot of carbon into the atmosphere which will contribute to the global warming effect.

Like oil, it will deplete one day, also the burning process is not very efficient

Wind is a great source energy for countries with vast open space like those with deserts. However, this is not an option for a lot of countries.

At first look, BioDiesel will be an answer to all our problems - renewable energy. However, look at the cost.
  • Huge areas are cleared to plant the crops used for biodiesel. Crops like Palm (for palm oil), corn etc.
  • Crops diverted to making biodiesel will not be available for food - thus contributing to the current food crisis.
  • The amount of energy needed to convert these crops to usable biodiesel outstrips the energy it produces.
Solar Power
This is another promising technology, we have a lot of sun and also the sand.

However, I read in the paper a few months back, the plants in China making the solar panels have generated so much toxic waste that it is starting to affect the health of the people living near these plants.

Also the manufacturing, large recycling pools need to recycle the waste water also means a lot of vegetation has to be cleared - again contributing to global warming.


We have a lot of promising technology but for now all of them are contributing to global warming and is not helping us save the environment.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What if all road users were to follow rules?

Imagine if you will that all the drivers were to follow the rules? Keeping to their lane, signaling when they want to turn and moving to the right lane.

I often wonder, how much better our traffic situation will be if this happens. It would be a nice experiment to conduct because in reality most of the traffic jam which we encounter are due to people jumping queues, slowing down due to curiosity, jumping red lights, speeding and moving too slowly.

All road users have a role to play - pedestrians, drivers (of all vehicles).

Let us try to make our roads smoother and safer :)