I am not easily impressed by TED Talks but this one is a “must watch.” Mr Viravaidya — I kid you not — is funny as all hell. The subject is serious but he brings a refreshing light touch. Watch the embedded video below the fold.
Yesterday while brewing my morning cup of coffee I saw through the kitchen window a huge plume of thick black smoke rising from the neighboring housing complex. A massive fire was evidently under way. The column of smoke ominously rose into the clear blue sky and I wondered what caused it. Perhaps it started as a kitchen fire or an electrical fire, I could not tell. Within minutes a dozen fire fighting units came rushing down the street, their wailing sirens shattering the morning calm. A little while later, the black plume started getting shades of white, indicating that the water jets from the fire tenders were working to control the blaze. Within an hour, the fire was over. The episode led me to reflect on the nature of fire and the visceral human reaction to it.