All about US gun violence in 5 infographics

Another day in America, another mass shooting.

Mass shootings are becoming more common in the States. Here are 5 infographics that tell you almost everything you need to know about USA and GUNS.



a total of 166 mass shootings that occurred in the U.S. and 13 other countries from 2000-2014. Of the 166 mass shootings, the U.S was responsible for 133 for a 0.15 fatality rate per 100,000 people


COP21: Kickout the big Polluters

As the world leaders get ready to meet in Paris for 21st Conference of the parties (COP21), to establish a solid ground to solve the climate crisis, doubts shadow whether or not corporate business and big oil polluters have taken over the agenda.

The corporate involvement, specially fossil fuel lobby groups within the UNFCCC is not new. From the very beginning of the earth summit and 1995 COP1 (Statement by the International Chamber of Commerce before COP1) in Berlin till cop20 in Lima, we have seen corporate parties taking every action to jeopardize any climate agreement and to make sure their interest is not harmed, which they refer to as ‘Business as usual’.

The negotiation to bring the countries on same page in solving climate crisis has been going on for 20 years now through COP. And each time the outcome was same: No universal agreement. Closest were COP3 and COP15, but there were no legal binding. The corporations and fossil fuels lobbyist group played a key role ensuring that.The failure of 20 climate summits to date has corresponded with a dramatic speed up of greenhouse gas emission rates. In fact, since 1988, more than half of all industrial carbon emissions have been released, raising the prospect of irreversible climate change.

CO2 level has never been this high in human history. Credit: NOAA & Scripps Institution of Oceanography

But, why do organizations like UNFCCC let business corporations take over things? A short history lesson will help us understand that.

Back in 70s, UN took up an initiative to monitor big corporations so that they can’t  create pressure on underdeveloped nations for business. With time, UN changed that policy and the companies were given priority to invest in the name of foreign direct investment through UN. Later in the 90s, the financial crisis within the UN, opened doors for more Corporate-UN partnership. UNFCCC is just one part of it.

Corporate influence

The corporate influence within UNFCCC—Polaris Institute

With COP, the whole world has seen the effort fossil fuel lobbyist group indulge in. From ‘business as usual’ market based solution to ‘greenwash’ every effort has been put into place to care for profit, not for the environment. To them, climate action is important, but can’t jeopardize the growth. Carbon tax is another loophole, which shifts focus from emission reduction to emission transfer.

So, when the French Senate cut funding for COP21, the French government’s announced that corporate sponsors would cover 20 percent of the €170 million event was not a surprise.

Corporate and dirty, does not look smart—COP21 sponsors

Corporate Europe Observatory, Corporate Accountability International and many other civil society organizations have been pointing out the corporate involvement with COP for years. The corporate sponsorship of COP21 creates a dangerous conflict of interest in two key points [1]:

  1. Most of the sponsors invest heavily in fossil fuel, and with a weak climate agreement, they benefit the most
  2. UNFCCC and its member governments are allowing the corporations responsible for causing the climate crisis to greenwash their brands while continuing to make no meaningful changes to their polluting operations.


Fossil Fuel lobbyist are also becoming desperate. With downward pressure on gas and coal prices, both the removal of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and implementing renewable energy strategy is possible without raising much energy cost. Then there is their public image, which is also facing much scrutiny as fossil fuel industry knew about their effect on climate change since 1980s and they continued to fund deniers throughout.

So, what this means? This means that whatever outcome we get from COP21, may also serve the fossil fuel industry, a reason why a drive is now ongoing to kick out the big polluters from COP21 negotiation. World Health Organisation (WHO) had done such before in one of United Nations quickest ratified treaties in 2005 which introduced a bar between public health officials and tobacco industry. We do not want the same history to be repeated again and again, as we have found for the last 20 COPs, big polluters find their way in. It’s time that we say no to them through an action like WHO, for us and for the planet.

More to come, this week: Have you heard, renewable can save the world by 2050? Stay tuned. 

Most popular tweets on #climatechange: 7-24 July, 2015

As we inch closer to Paris Summit, lot starts to roll in the arena of climate change and denial.

Governor and Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger expresses his concern and asks people to act on climate:

The white house has been actively tweeting regarding the climate change for the last few months and getting people’s attention:

Greenpeace talks about climate change deniers, what are their causes:

I myself work on models and I know how important they are. They work as our eyes in the future.

And last but not the least as I have always focused young people are the key in our effort to stop changing climate:

Online Birth Registration Process for Dhaka (Bangladesh) City Corporation (South)

I first came to know about the online birth registration process couple of months back. I wanted to make it online but due to time limitation and work pressure, could not go through the process until last week.

Dhaka South City Corporation Photo: PRS
Dhaka South City Corporation Photo: PRS

I called Dhaka City Corporation (South) as I was born within this side of the town. They provided me the details of where to go and whom to contact (And they were prompt), they did ask few questions like where I was born to pinpoint under which jurisdiction my place of birth fell. There is a complete list of areas and zonal office in the website. You can also get it here, Dhaka city zonal office.

I, along with my classmate went there last Wednesday. On the 7th floor, Rafiqul Islam, Birth and Death Reg. Asstt. work at room 813 and is responsible to put it online. It took around 10 minutes to complete the application process as I had a copy of my birth certificate with me. To register online, I just needed to give a copy of that and pay a fee of 250 taka, a receipt copy is provided.

I got new registration number and a certificate next day. I came back home to verify online my birth registration. I found out that there were spelling errors in the Bengali profile. What happened was that my previous birth certificate only contained my profile in English. So, I called them and they ensured me that I can go anytime to correct the errors as I just did the registration, no extra fees will be needed. I just need a valid document which contains my profile in Bengali (National Identification card). Also, you need to provide proper documents to change any of the information of the already registered birth certificate.

Now, many would like to ask why it is important to do birth registration online? This is an initiative taken by Government of Bangladesh and UNICEF to make an one point entry of birth registration. It has also the option to verify anyone’s identity online. Other than that, the birth registration process itself can help you to do the following things using Birth Registration Card:

  1. Passport Issue
  2. Voter Registration
  3. Marriage Registration
  4. In the process of getting a public and private job
  5. Driver’s License Registration
  6. Registration of Land
  7. To get registered as a voter
  8. Getting admitted into an educational institute
  9. To open a bank account
  10. License for Export and Import
  11. Getting a Tax Identification number
  12. Getting a license to become a contractor
  13. To register a vehicle
  14. To get Gas, water and electricity lines
  15. To get approval of a building design
  16. To get a trade license
  17. To get a national ID

The overall process has become remarkably smooth considering what we usually hear about DCC services. I was more than satisfied. Few things I noticed and noted:

  1. The website is often down, not accessible. I did talk with few high officials and they said it happens due to high volume of users but having a low bandwidth.
  2. The number of registered people shown in the website is not accurate. Reason is during the preliminary stage of the project, the people who carried out survey at villages to register people, did not get the information properly.
  3. This is an observation. I saw a notice outside of the lift of the City Corporation Building stating that if the person in-charge of the  lift is not present at his duty place to call a number. There was none in place, and nobody bothered to call. This shows that the user end does have the problem of awareness of the initiatives that are taken by authorities to provide better services.

As the website states, this year’s theme of Birth Registration day is “As you are born once, your registration should be once as well”. I believe we need to focus on the loophole I mentioned above. Also people should be made aware of the online service more, it will ensure the overall effectiveness of the process.

Meet David Peterson, who developed Dothraki for Game of Thrones

I met David Peterson while attending TEDActive in 2013. And it was a great opportunity as he conducted a workshop where we got a basic idea of creation of language. I tried to create a language as well then.

TED Blog

There are seven different words in Dothraki for striking another person with a sword. Among them: “hlizifikh,” a wild but powerful strike; “hrakkarikh,”a quick and accurate strike; and “gezrikh,” a fake-out or decoy strike. But you won’t find these words in George R. R. Martin’s epic series A Song of Ice and Fire, which is where Dothraki originated as the language of the eponymous horse-riding warriors; rather these and more than 3,000 other words were developed by David Peterson, the world’s authority on Dothraki.

At TED2013, Peterson gave this fascinating TED University talk on the process of creating Dothraki for the TV series Game of Thrones. Based on Martin’s books, the HBO series premieres its third season on Sunday.

Peterson, who has a masters in linguistics from UC San Diego, was teaching English composition at Fullerton College when he heard that HBO was hiring someone to develop Dothraki for Game of…

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Think tanks and communication workshop: a learner’s perspective

My experience of the communication workshop that took place at Dhaka last month.

US election…DHaka perspective

It’s pretty early over here in Dhaka.exactly 7:26 AM now.

Right now I am attending U.S. Embassy Election Gala at the Westin.It’s a different atmosphere over here. One that I have been seeing for the last 5 or 6 hours on CNN.

Right now Romney is leading 54 to 46.

It’s been a different election day along the US. the weather been different and the voting continued even in bad weather condition.

But for the Sandy hit state NY, NJ the big question was will the citizens of these 2 states be able to vote?

Some experts said the problem is people are facing crisis of food and shelter. And midst of this, it will be quite different scenario in case of turn out.