Monday, March 30, 2015

Number plate fruit dish

Old number plate cleaned up and recycled for use as fruit dish.

Rope table and rope-pulley bulb holder

Rope table with another rope-pulley adjustable bulb holder stabilized by a broken tree branch to add to the aesthetics.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Broken taps as pegs

Nail broken or leaking taps upside down to the wall to use them as pegs.

Even if the taps are leak or useless, they are sturdy enough to serve as pegs.

Bottle chandelier

Rig up cut or coloured plastic bottles to create a chandelier.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Do IM and SMS contribute to decay of language?

Considered to be retrogressive, the short message service might not have survived logically (Crystal). Yet, by the year 2001, the 160 character limit service which could be seen as a hinderance to open expression rather became widespread. 250 billion SMS had been sent globally by 2001. This much reliance on the short messaging resulted in debates over how it would affect the literature. Spread like a wildfire, the debate focuses on whether SMS would be the end of the civilization or a boost to learning. Some aspects of the short message service have helped children to acquire a better literary understanding (Crystal) but might also be used to mask dyslexia, incorrect spelling or simply laziness to write rather than optimizing the text per se. The ultra conciseness of the words tailored for the short message service and instant messaging on the internet chats has taken the shape of a new English dialect.

The massive increase in SMS has boosted up the mobile company earnings significantly. Britain, in the English speaking world is responsible for amounting up to 6 billion text messages a month (Huang) while Pakistan has taken one of the top positions after Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia for sending the most short text messages in the world adding up to 151 billion in the year 2009 alone and moving up to the third highest SMS sender in the year 2010 (Malik). This puts a new angle to the point of views debating the influence of IM and SMS on the literature and language. A developing country like Pakistan that has English as its second official language and to be used mostly in the higher education, hence being a notable part of the English speaking world, will be affected in a unique way by the way of SMS. The largely less educated population or atleast not as much educated and affluent in the English language have rather learned the language by the use of quick SMS messaging. The extremely low rates and encouraging services by the service providers have further ensured that the SMS trends leap ahead in a cut throat competition (Malik). It might be noted that the phonetic, orthographic and optimized approach of the SMS language makes it easy for even the relatively uneducated individuals to learn or process the English language (Chim). While this was not yet enough to be dealt with by a likely opponent of the SMS language, the new smart phones that come with the feature of predicting the next words and spell correction or auto completing ensure quick growth and ease of SMS (Chim). These features might be seen as only creating more laziness among the individuals and the society as a whole but, infact, they are also responsible for informally teaching the language to those who previously didn’t know even the formal writing. The ‘de-education’ of the literate might be an overrated accusation in this regard when the use of SMS is rather promoting a language.

On the contrary, instant messaging and short message service have been largely responsible for ‘romanization’ and ‘phoneticization’ of other languages (Chim). For English, where it is being considered mere ‘decivilization’ of the language by the technology, this might be interpreted as a hostile advancement or vandalism of other languages by pushing them to be written in English alphabet, with English itself standing the blame. In such a scenario, the SMS usage predominantly having english alphabet, English has been put on the side of the jargon itself as a language. By this approach, the SMS trend of writing billions of short messages in English alphabet means to re-evaluate the situation in an English versus all other languages scenario. Let us take Urdu, Pakistan’s national language, to be our example of comparison with English in terms of SMS related romanization. Urdu, which has itself been formed by a horde of languages becoming mutually intelligible to many over hundreds of years, is one of the most welcoming languages to the introduction of new words from other languages. It has infact taken most of its words from other languages and only a few that were developed natively over time. Comparing Urdu with English, and keeping it inline with the fact that Pakistan has achieved 3rd highest SMS usage in the world, proves that the language has influenced the use of SMS - Urdu written in roman alphabet - and made it easy to text even for those not much fluent in English. This means more and more english slang and words will be incorporated into Urdu over time as it merges with the SMS extensive usage by the population. The SMS texts employ elimination of vowels and the unnecessary syllables and sometimes uses numbers and letters to denote the phonology (Chim). It would be interesting to note that the Urdu alphabet and writing itself is already used in the same way. Urdu text does not contain any vowels or unnecessary syllables (being phonology oriented), rather the vowels are placed on the top of the letters as symbols like punctuation. These vowels are then omitted in general and literary writing when written for the native speakers as they are extremely obvious to be understood by the context or even the words themselves. This might be another reason that the SMS usage and romanization of Urdu has been very effective resulting in such a high usage of SMS in the country.

The use of SMS romanization seems interesting and welcoming, especially in case of languages like Urdu, as far as the concepts are concerned. But when looking at the facts that the alphabet that are being used are still English, even Urdu speakers might find it hostile for the de-education of their children; the gain of better grasp of language concept itself versus the loss of native alphabet, spelling and prose which is highly regarded in languages like Urdu. Vietnamese and other tonal languages have faced similar situations, their own script has been seen less and less as compared to the romanized versions (Chim). It is essential to find out whether or not the SMS romanization is a threat or will it be able to co exist with the native scripts of other languages.

If taken by the true global and neutral approach and not only being narrow visioned so as to only take English into account, the instant messaging and the short messaging service have largely amounted to decay of multiple languages in the world. The trend has not only put English on a hostile or imperial stance once again, but also become a threat to the global diversity. As far as the romanization can be kept separate from the actual literature and education, including general usage in media and magazines, it might survive the criticism of the host languages - but staying the course, SMS has been extremely detrimental to most scripts even including English. Such decay of language by the technology which happened to be progressive or simply easier to use in the English language might be overcome by introduction of local keyboards and keypads to supplement clear fonts of all the world languages. This is likely to introduce SMS jargon of its own for each language or somewhat make them mutually intelligible still - but after all, that’s what evolution is.

  • Crystal, David (09 July 2009). Txtng: The Gr8 Db8. ISBN-10: 0199571333. Oxford University Press. Print.
  • Huang, Lily (Aug 1, 2008 ). The Death of English (LOL). Newsweek Magazine. Web.
  • Malik, Yasmin (November 15, 2011). Tech Society: Generation Text. The Express Tribune. Web.
  • Chim, Chong Seck (March 9, 2004). SMS creating a virtual new written language. New Straits Times. Print.

Screw-nail art

A screw and a nail bent into sculpture-esque art.

Tea boxes as pencil holders

Nail empty tea tin cans on a kitchen shelf or in your study to use them as pencil / pen holders.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Caravan car from before it was cool to have one

Seems like it is not a novice idea after all.

Using old springs

As decorative brush holder...

Feather holder for decoration.

Holding dry decorative dry plantation.

Attach to photographs an create a hacky photo holder.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wheel barrow bench

Wheel barrow tire rigged up with a lawn bench to make it work as both. Pretty hacky.

Rope chair

Built from rope and pipes, nothing more. Rope chairs and "charpai" are traditionally common, but this one incorporates modern pipes and ropes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 features in Startup Expo 2015 is featuring in Startup Expo 2015 at Pak-China friendship center, Islamabad.

The feature page is viewable at this link.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pipe house with door

Heard of the homeless living in pipes? Looks like this one decided to get comfy and decorative.

Spoon cupboard handles

Bend and nail old spoons to the cupboard doors to use as handles.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ladder rigged into wall racks for portability

Rig up an old ladder into wall racks to create lifted, portable wall racks without pinning them to the walls.

CPU Post box

If your CPU box isn't bad enough for a BBQ, garden use, using it as a shelf or simply as a post box would be a good recycling use of the computer's casing.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hacky dog cage

Hacky dog cage from salvaged house hold stuff that not only serves as a cage and a housing but also gives an alternate entrance.

Toilet seat converted to a dog house / cage entrance.

Bulb (and globe) design

Bulb rigged up into a globe for an artistic interior life hack.