Monday, December 13, 2010

Butterfly Effect!

Butterfly Effect - The butterfly effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory; namely that small differences in the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system( Wikipedia)

We have heard of this recently – thanks to Dasavatharam. It depicted a fictional reason for tsunami. It is also effectively shown by Shankar in ‘Anniyan’ in the flashback.This concept has been well described by Robin Cook in ‘Toxin’ – still scares me that our cheeseburgers are always with ‘no meat’ when we buy from the fast food places. If you have read the book you know what I am talking about. If not, check the story line at the bottom of this blog.

The reason for going into the details is, even a tiny little negligence from once person, builds with the course of negligence from multiple people and brings out devastating effects. If you thought this was fictional, here is a real life scenario. I watched this documentary on TV last week, disturbed me a lot. How something as crazy as this can happen to anyone.
Denise Amber Lee is a 22 year old woman, married with 2 young kids. It was a beautiful day and she spoke to her husband in the morning while he was at work.
In the afternoon, when the husband comes back from work, he doesn’t see his wife; he spots her mobile on the couch and their kids in the same crib. He is sure something is wrong and calls 911 (This happened in USA).
A stranger (Michael King) has walked in and abducted this woman, tied her hands and drove with her. He goes to his cousin’s (Harold) place to borrow a shovel. Harold sees this women tied at the back of his car, tries to run. King puts her back in the car. Harold doesn’t do a thing, but mentions this to his daughter. His daughter, Sabrina makes a call to 911 giving description of the car and direction. Cops are waiting in the freeway for more information so they can be dispatched and catch the kidnapper.
Denise manages to make a call from her abductor’s phone, from the back of the car, pretending to be speaking to him ( she has used the word ‘Please’ 17 times – the tape of her call was used as an evidence in the case later). She continues to prompt people on the road while screaming and struggling from the back of the car.
The worst part is - 2 men see the frantic woman in car, one of them thinks it is a family dispute and does not want to get involved. Another keys in 911, then decides not to make the call. We don’t know how many others saw Denise begging for help and not made the call. Jane, who was driving in the freeway calls 911, even chases the car before she loses the track. The operator taking the call keeps repeating the questions does not understand the seriousness of the situation and what is worse does not dispatch the cops who had been waiting on the road. The abductor crosses the police car on the road and disappears.
Search continues and they manage to find King and the car – where there is enough evidence for Denise being there- but no Denise. 2 days later they find Denise’s body, raped and buried in a shallow grave not too far from where the cops were waiting.
The family is devastated and frustrated with the way the calls were taken and handled by the 911. denise’s dad works at the sheriff’s office that failed to dispatch the cops.
After several appeal Denise Lee law was passed making training mandatory for the operators taking 911 calls.
How scary is that? A normal housewife taken from her own home is raped and killed. Despite her attempt to call cops, alerting others on the road – no one helped her. Her family lives with this horrible memory.
I wonder if I would have made the call- but watching the documentary has been an eye opener, not just crime stopper, but even with the tiny things we do or don’t do. We would never know how it affects someone.

My latest favourite Tinker Bell quotes something along the lines of ‘No matter where you are in the food chain, you should be proud of what you do and do it to your best’

Bottom-line is, when you do something be conscious of your actions, how it may affect you and people around you.
Example – Few extra drinks / Careless driving / Accident / Blocked road/ someone missing an appointment/ losing job! okay got a bit overboard..but you get the picture?


The fictional story is about a doctor who is at the verge of divorce. His daughter falls very sick after eating at her favourite fast food joint and eventually dies. The story is about the doctor investigating the cause.
The backdrop, there are private meat buyers, who drive around farms to buy off sick cow and sell them to big meat manufacturers. The buyers are negligent in treating or checking the meat before selling to manufacturers. The manufacturers have a process of separating meat and waste and treat them separately. An accident in the plant end of a day causes an unclean part of meat falling into the processing meat. The shift worker’s negligence to clear this and reprocess results some of the contaminated meat being packed and sent to fast food joints. Fast foods joints are supposed to cook the meat to a certain temperature. The cook in this joint is in training and gets yelled by the manager for burning/over cooking meat. So he undercooks the next batch. The little girls eats this undercooked meat and gets infected with E.coli and dies after struggling for few days.