Saturday, December 31, 2005

My Final Words For The Year 2005.

Live your life to the full, cherish your family, listen to everyone with an open mind and make a positive impact on those who come your way, and expect nothing in return.

My wish for 2006: For religious zealots to stay out of politics and a very happy and peaceful new year to everyone.

Notes From My Diary 2005

I started off the year, buying the "Paulo Coelho's Alchemy 2005 Diary." In it I've entered inspirational pieces or writings that have impacted on me positively. As I look back, here a few that stand out.

1. Happiness and success are not the result of what we have, rather of how we live.
-Jim Rohn.

2- Words have the power to destroy or heal.

3- Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.
-Albert Eindtein.

4- The true measure of a man's wealth is in the things he can afford not to buy.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

5- Rather than focusing on THINGS and TIME, focus on enhancing RELATIONSHIPS and accomplishing RESULTS.
-Steven R. Covey.

It is not that most people are incapabale of greatness, it is that they are unwilling to pay the price of success. They have the ideas, but they do not have the desire to relinquish the comforts of life. They have the dreams, but they cringe at the thought of having to endure any kind of hardship.

Take Note: Sober Virus May Hit On Jan 5, 2006.

Sober virus that has been around for seven years may hit with more venom this time, warn Computer experts.

The worm expected to be activated on Jan 5th, is to flood email boxes with pro nazi propaganda in English and German.

All major anti-virus programs can protect computers against the worm. Industry experts are advising users to instal and keep uptodate, anti-virus software.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tech Trends To Watch in 2006

For the diehard and the enthusiastic techies, the year ahead promises more exciting products. High Definition TVs have become mainstream and a 30" Sony set will cost $700. Click Here and read about laptops geared for entertainment, capture moments through digital video, podcasting and many others that will hold your interst.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Video Games: A Big Business In India

India has a longer history, colourful traditions and a gigantic growing population than most countries that are in the forefront of the games development industry. Indiagames, a company formed in 1999 and located in Mumbai has embarked to develop Emperor Ashoka" which recreates battles from the life of a legendary Indian King who lived in the third century BC. There will be no shortage of action as Goddess Kali appears with multiple limbs and each hand weilds a different weapon.

Indiagames is also making games for the mobile phone market based on Hollywood's tested characters like Spiderman, Predator and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.While Indiagames is a leading contender many smaller companies have also come in to the creative process of developing games. India has no shortage of talent and this will be an industry that is bound to bring enviable financial returns to those who can allow their imagination to take flight and soar upto the sky. Companies that have come into this entertainment industry include Milestone Interactive Studios and Paradox Studios, both located in Mumbai and Bangalore's Dhurva Interactive are all working on original content. Dhruva has developed Pool -On-The-Net an online 3D billiards game targeted to an Indian audiance.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Shah Rukh Brings Cheers Amid Delhi's Cool.

This is a visual treat of song and dances that the bollywood king's fans can never have enough.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Dead Come Alive Through Music

They are known as Deadheads and they are the fans of the band Grateful Dead. The band disbanded since the death of guitarist and lead singer Jerry Garcia who has always encouraged live recording and free downloading of their music shows. When the surviving band memebers halted the free downloading, all hell broke loose. The Dead heads are cool bunch gotten used to bring live recordings back from the dead. An online petition collected 5,200 signatures and a boycott of the Grateful Dead merchandise took effect. Happily for the Dead heads, free downloading was made available to them again.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Testing Times For Democracy In Egypt

A court in Egypt has sentenced an opposition leader to five years hard labor after convicting him in a forgery case. Diplomats from United States, France, Norway and the European Union observed the court proceedings. The Opposition Leader is convicted for having forged signatures to form a poltical party. Lawyers for the defence said that the trial was politically motivated.

Egypt is the US's closest ally who needs their financial support to run a country with a monopolistic rule and a broken economy that needs fixing. US and Europe have started applying pressure and it will be interesting to see how changes will come about.

Times Persons Of The Year

It is refreshing to read U2's Bono and philanthropy billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates
taking the cover of the Times as the Persons Of this year for their continued commitment in spending millions to take on global poverty.

In times past, you would think that a rock star will shine and be heard on stage and through his music. Not so any more, the world leaders in global summits such as in G8 and other meetings are now listening to them.

Software architect and Microsoft boss Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have made global leaders listen to them not only with their money but with their innovative programs to eradicate disease and lift the poor out of their plight. The human race is running against time in environmental protection and unresolved conflicts, but if there is any hope for the future, this year's cover of Times Magazine recognizing an unlikely Trio does stand out as beacon of hope that could bring happiness to the forgotten millions.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

This Scientist's Head Needs To Be Examined

South Korea's Top Scientist Hwang Woo-Suk resigned in disgrace after admitting that he has fabricated the stem cell research that he earlier claimed to have successfully carried out.

How could a distinguished scientist err on such an important matter that he knew would have long lasting moral and ethical consequences for the world community. A remoreseful Hwang can be forgiven by his country and the world community but it is beyond me to understand why he took the road tha he did.

Social Entrepreneurs Bring Light To Poor Millions

This is the kind of article that will light up your spirits. "Barefoot Engineers", a program started by Indian social entrepreneur uses school dropouts and illiterate villagers to install and maintain solar energy systems that provide electricity at a rate that conventional methods could never afford to do.

We need more social entrepreneurs to come up with such innovative methods to help the poor. This is a good example the amazing power of human resourcefulness. I salute the social entrepreneurs who work on such projects and feel that the barefoot engineers have more brain power than some of the politicians who have managed to keep them poor for so long.

How about "A Change" As A New Year Resolution

With the new year fast approaching this will be a question that some people could ask of themselves, either for a change of career, business or even the way they live their life. If this subject is of any interest to you, read this article.

This is the time of the year when it is fashionable to make new year resolutions though the majority of the people will never keep them.

Change is unavoidable and it happens whether we like it or not. The best way to deal with change is to be flexible and adjust to it. Time does not wait for anyone and our life is just a fleeting moment in the bigger scheme of things. Not wanting change is unwise and therefore we all need change. The question then is, what kind of change do you want?

Do you want a new job?
Do you want to study for a degree?
Do you want to change your lifestyle?

You can decide what change you want or how you will adopt to the changes that occur around you. Make it different this time just by sticking to what you resolve.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Simplicity Is The Way Of The Future

We are not living in the era that Henry David Thoreau lived.
Thoreau himself is famously known for as the naturalist philosopher who lived a simple life near the beautiful Walden Pond for two years. He wanted to experience the simplest way to live his life and even by the standards prevailing at that time he was considered a pacifist.

Can you imagine what today's popular culture would call such living, well from crazy to lunacy would be my guess. But wait a minute. There are also simplicity movements that are beginning to pick up momemtum in this rapid fast-paced world. So Thoreau can rest with the knowledge that more people have begun to value his experience of life.

Futurists now predict that the gadgets that are so indispensable in our life are going to be less complex.
Your mobile phone, PDA or didital camera has so many functions that you may not fully understand or test them before they go to their grave. After all most people use these gadgets for their functional convenience and developers of new technology will really start to work hard not just to incorporate more functions but to make the gadgets more simple and even more user friendly for people like the "idiots" for whom a whole series of guides from birth till death is being written.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Divided Subcontinent On Fever Pitch

It's cricket at fever pitch that has spell bound India and Pakistan for more than six weeks. For information on the current India/Sri Lanka test here's one link that you can't afford to miss.

Cricket is religiously followed by millions in India and Pakistan. Can you imagine the passions that are aroused when these two friendly rivals face each other. Such passions bring out the 'beauty and the beast' out of the fanatic fans who flock to watch their heroes in action and demand that they win.

Pakistan has just won the Pakistan/England ODI Series by 3-2. On the penultimate day of the series England won the last match salvaging some pride and flying home with their heads held high with the knowledge that a very young team has indeed done well, although this performance came a bit too late for the England fans.

There is more cricket to come for the Indians, whose team currently playing the test series against Sri Lanka also recently played against South Africa. They will very soon be playing their great rival Pakistan. Fans on both sides of this divided continent are eagerly awaiting this clash.

"Intelligent Design" Defeated in Court

Intelligent Design is not a scietific theory but a religious alternative, ruled a US District judge. But this debate is not going to go away for proponents of the theory argue that there are unexplained gaps in Darwin's evolution theory and students must be taught of the existence of unidentified intelligent causes that have contributed to the process of life.

Microsoft Under Fire For Xbox Glitch

Microsoft's rush to bring to market the Xbox 360 console, has riled enthusiastic gamers who complaining of defective designs of the product. Some have filed legal action against the software giant. Microsoft was eager to catch on the hoilday crowd and this this the result according to some industry critics.

When Microsoft is out to impose strict copyright requirements which it has a right to do, it must also make sure that it's products are not defective. Gaming has become big business and both the industry as well the consumers must play it fair and by the rules. This is the way to defeat the piracy business which is also big business .

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You Are The Director Of Your Life

As I sat in the departure lounge of the Male' International Airport awaiting to board an Air Lanka flight bound for Colombo, many thoughts raced my mind. I knew I had missed a few days from posting on my blog. What would I write next. Shall I scan the net for news on cool gadgets or newsworthy social events or impending disasters? For once, my mind was not giving clear answers: So let me try something to LIVE for, POSITIVE, and VALUE driven.
How about me directing my own life and you directing your own life. Seems good, so here I go.

Life does give each one of us the opportunity to live our life. Whether we are successful or not depends not only on how we live our life but also on how we define success. To one person success was, " As long as I am above ground, I am successful." To this person, to be alive was to be successful. I am sure most other people would want more out of their life.

There are some people who believe that success is dependent on factors beyond their control. Such people are bound to suffer the disappointment and unhappiness for they see their lives taking twists and turns that they can't control. While this may be true of certain periods in the life of every person, it cannot be the norm as it deprives a person from taking personal responsibility for his actions.

Our life becomes the product of our decisions and the effort we put in to realize our dreams. Our innate potential will not be realized unless we work to achieve them. The price of our success is not dependent only on money but more on our efforts.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pretty Woman

I fiddled with my remote control and guess who comes, a "Pretty Woman" with my favourite stars Julia Roberts amd Richard Gere. I've seen this film a few times before but decided to watch it once again although I caught the film passed midway late at night when I usually would be fast asleep.

The film is a romantic comedy that propelled Julia Roberts to megastardom. This is a classic love story with two characters at both ends of the social spectrum. Julia Roberts plays the role of a hooker but her beauty captivates the hearts of men including Richard Gere, a successful all- work-and-no-play businessmen.

You'll see some hilarious moments in this film when Julia who plays vivian, the high school drop out prostitute and has to put up with Richard in his business dealing world which Julia has never experienced before. Richard and Julia are opposites, Richard is only interested in making money while Julia loves the simple and romantic life that the 'girl next door' would. They start off liking each other despite their social difference and influence each other at a deeper emotional level.

As the film progresses you'll see a transformation in both their characters. There are great songs in the film including "Oh Prteety Woman" written by Roy Orbisson and won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

This is a great film, although such scripts get turned out to reality only in Hollywood, the land of dreams. Some dreams come true as was the case for Julia Roberts in this film. So keep on dreaming. You may just find the knight to come and rescue you or your country from the your plight and lift you to the stars.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Male' : Developing To A Social Disaster

Male', the capital island of the Republic Of Maldives is a community unto its own. This island had the laid back calm of a small town community untill a few decades ago.

At that time, the street lanes of coral sand lined with imposing white-walled houses with spacious gardens. Day and part of the night, the doors of these houses were left open so that neighbours can drift in and out to have a chat or gossip about the day's events.

Ironically the tranquil peace that was so refreshing to the residents as well as to the visitors has changed to what we now call a progressive lifestyle. Tourism has become the lifeline of Mladives since the early 1970s.

The tourist dollar has created an elite class that can, not only afford first class travel but are also able to own property outside the country and control businesses within the country. A community that was driven by their desire to live in harmony is now clamouring to forge a new social order. An order where the increasing gap between the rich and the poor is reduced so that the wealth of the country is equitably distributed, opportunities are available and social justice is assured and meted out to all.

The lack of a sustainable housing policy in Male' since the 1960s has seen the spacious gardens and their enclosed homes divided many times over to give rising cubicle homes to the next two generations, that has jammed Male' almost bursting at the seams. This is the inevitable result of a centralized policy to control everything from running the government to control business and commerce to communication and transportation from Male'.

Lack of adequate living space has brought about shoulder to shoulder living, crammed within the one and half square mile island of Male' creating health hazards and a social nightmare. A culture of drug abuse is prevailing among the younger generation and law enforcemnet agencies are unable to control rampant corruption. The crooks seem to be having a field day putting the law abiding citizens at their mercy.

Superficially we are rich and living a life of abundance in Male'. But this feeling is only skin deep as evident from peoples homes to hospitals to public services and to the way we are struggling to look after an aging population.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Learn From The Industreous Japanese

Japan does not have much natural resources, but it has one commodity in abundance: money. It is the world's biggest aid donor. It is one of the world's biggest foreign investors.

How did this happen to a country that was devastated after the second world war, its old military might demolished, and its citizens had struggled to get up on their feet?

The Japanese are a resilient people. After their defeat in the second world war in 1945, they shifted their focus from miltary expansion and the government and the industry was united to build the nation. The Japanese companies adopted the "best practice" methods to improve productivity and enhance performance. They imported raw materials and used them to manufacture world class products which were exported out.

Now The Land Of The Rising Sun is winning back its old colonies whose memories are fading of the past brutal occupation, purely by economic means.

Observe how Tokyo works and you begin to to realize the collosal work that has brought about this massive transformation of a country in ashes to one that is towering above the rest of the world, holding its own in economic might. Tokyo is the seat of the government, business and finance, communication and culture.

Tokyo is one the most congested cities of the world. Millions of commuters take the trains daily but their train stations are kept whistle-clean. White collar workers abuzz the city throughout the 6-day work week.

Here is what I think we can learn from the Japanese.

Japan is a small country and after their defeat in the second world war, there was bitter acrimony among the people. There was suffering and regret among its citizens. But they pulled together, geared the economy for export and worked hard.Today they have become a prosperous nation and are sharing their prosperity with other nations. Their traditions and work ethics have stood good through trying times. Community interest above individual motivation seems to have propelled Japan sky high, this time not dominating militarily but economically.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

People Of Indian Origin University

Indian Prime Minister says he is considering setting up a PIO University ie. People Of Indian Origin University. The Prime Minister was addressing an indian audience in kuala lampur in malaysia.

I cannot fully understand what will be unique about this university. Certainly India has a strong tradition of a free press and a vibrant democracy. The future looks bright and India is the fastest growing country in Asia, keeping up the economic pace with China.

Asian Television Awards

This is an event to look for, to show case your talent and be recognized for your creative endeavours.

I hope hazylium will look through this.

Honey Bees Recognize Your Face

In a bee study , in the dec 15th issue of Journal Of Experimental Biology , it is reported that bees can recognize human faces and remember upto two days.

This is very exciting news. This research suggests that bees may play a more prominent role at airports and other places where face recognition is important. They may also be used by law enforcemnet agencies to spy on and catch the perpetrators of crime who may traffic drugs or may be involved in terrorist activities . In the years to come, who knows , the bees may be able to do a better job not just in face recogition but in several other aspects of crime detection and public safety.

It will be a crying shame if we, the humans are beaten by the bees ....with such small brains I guess.

Guard Your Check Against Theft

Crooks can steal your money, all it takes is your papercheck or even a deposit slip. Paper checks are a bigger worry than credit or debit cards. You can report the loss of your card to the bank and they'll immediately cancel the card. The lack of US Federal protection against paper transactions, causes prolonged headaches for consumers becuse banks have varying policies on how to treat bad checks.

This is the situation in the world's biggest economy with federal and state oversight regulations tightly designed to protect the consumer interest.

In several developing countries with less than perfect state of high accountability, the consumers are the mercy of the crooks whose action seems to go unpunished, giving the impression that they are above the law.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

World Cup Draw- Brazil smiling, Argentina Not So

Defending champion Brazil is pleased with their opponents in group F, while Argentina eliminated in the first round in 2002, may have to struggle again. For the complete draw of all the teams and other related news click here.

Before the next world cup is played out, the punters and pundits will raise the stakes and general mood to fever pitch. The politicians who have nothing better to do can have their constituents engrossed in the battle of the games that will be livecast across the globe entertaining the rich who can certainly afford and the poor and the poorest of the poor who can transcend their daily struggles to connect with this absorbing contest.

OIC Makes The Call Of Disunity Among The Muslims

OIC Secreatry General is dead right in making the call of disunity among muslim nations and the general apathy for blaming others as the reason for their problems.

What a joke it is! The muslim countries knew all along, what the OIC Secreatary General has lamented, ie. call for , concrete action to solve problems such as poverty, illiteracy, epidemics, lack of equal opportunity and unequal distribution of wealth. These problems did not culminate overnight, infact it has taken decades for the situation to become so rotten as they have acknowledged.

So long as the leaders of muslim countries and organizations such as OIC only give lip service to the problems outlined, nothing will change. It gives more ammunition for the radicals to flourish. I am against extremism and all forms of violence but the sad reality is that the collective leadership of the muslim world is only playing games without the conviction and the resovle needed to bring about real change that is so vital to defeat the extremists and their agendas.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hmmm...The Religious Scholars Are Talking

At about 7.40 pm on 8.12.05, I sat in my living room, with the TV running a TV Malives program "hidaayathuge magu" loosely translated: Godly path. I'll stand corrected if my translation is incorrect.

Two religious scholars took turns to quote the muslim scriptures, advising a listening audience to refrain speaking about contentious issues. Speak good of everyone and everything, if you must, think before you open your mouth to speak.

How interesting. Why don't you religious scholars direct your advice to individuals who contravene your advice, ie. those who speak good but act against what they speak. Why not name and shame them.

It's time for you scholars to cut out the hypocrisy and come out clean. Here in Maldives, you know that the moral fabric has been badly damaged and requires enormous effort to put it right. If you wish to be taken seriously and more to the point, if you wish others to honour what you say, stop taking cover behind a smoke screen. Our society is small enough for you to know who speaks what publicly like what you do on this progamme. When their actions do not match the words they speak, take them to task and let the chips fall where they may.

Should We Care About Hard Work?

By some estimates, the average American in the world's largest economy, is working longer hours now. It isn't a perfect measure partly because the boundary between paid work and rest is vanishing and the question of how hard people work is very subjective.

While the Americans lead in "working harder", the Europeans and the notoriously industrious Japanese have some catching up to do on the path blazed by America.

Simply because the trend appears in the direction of working harder than we used to, it doesn't mean we are worse off. We need less time to prepare our meals, thanks to the microwave oven. Modern technology has made available to us many such conveniences which cost us more in money but save us time. Even shopping is a breeze for those of us using the internet.

Working hard or having a lot of work isn't necessarily bad. Work does give order and meaning to one's life. It can provide a sense of self-worth and dignity. Even from a moral perspective, there is virtue in hard work. "Free time" means idleness- this is the cornerstone of the work ethic that has brought us to the civilization that we are enjoying today.

So, the short answer to my question abve is: Yes, we should all care about hard work.

Hopefully, we can work smart as well. We can only realize the full value of our work if we work in a place with a system that operates on meritocracy, ie. recognizing and rewarding effort on the basis of merit.

In many countries plagued by corruption and operating on crony capitalism, contracts are awarded and promotions are given to suit political objectives. In such places, there is no equitable distribution of wealth and how hard you work is not the solution to how well you do in your life.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

You Can Imagine A Better World With John Lennon Around

Well, he is not around but you can still imagine, right?

A deranged fan took his life and we've lost a musical genius who led a controversial life but always stood for Peace. His songs "Give peace a chance" and "Imagine" still stand out as favourite songs.

Together with The Beatles, John Lennon played a prominent role in the music world that unleashed profound social changes in UK, Europe and The United States which John later adopted as his home.

Even a generation after this musical great has left us, his fans continue to pay tribute to his music and his legacy.

We Need To Build Bridges With Each Other

I've already posted "the case of my missed flight." With tmi staff not supportive and as we were too early for a "Riyaa Cafe" breakfast at 6.40 am on 5th decemebr 2005, I decided to do the next best thing. Read a book. I picked up a tma magazine "niyaama' no: 4. One sentence instantly caught my attention.

"Mohamed Thakurufanu The Great liberated Maldives in the latter part of the 16th Century."

I must confess I do not know enough about Maldivian history to make a crtical assessment of this liberation. But when I look at the social injustices that are prevailing in our society now, another more startling question comes to my mind.

"If infact we were liberated in the 16th century, how did we manage to get ourselves enslaved again." You can debate that this is a subjective opinion, each person entitled to his as I am to mine. For all I know, when I arrived Daalu Meedhoo an island with 1200 hard-working self confident individuals, there wasn't a single cyber cafe from where I could post this piece earlier.
On 5th december2005, evening I had gone in a launch to Faaf Nilandhoo, the capital island of that atoll, with 1600 inhabitants. Although there was one small cyber cafe, it was not opened even on 6.12.05 morning as not many people ever used it. The lingering question in my mind was, " when we came this far to nearly a developed country in Male', how and why did we leave the islands so far behind. This piece will run too long if I were dwell on the various social issues that are horribly wrong in these islands.

In order to maintain the social fabric of a unified people we need to learn to reach out to each other. We need restore trust between individuals and community leaders. We need to unlearn some of the corrupt practises that have crept into our society, which superficially give us a pseudo-western lifestyle while conveniently calling ourselves a 100 percent muslim nation.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Case Of My Missed Flight

I had slept well passed midnight and woke up at 3.45 am on 5th december 2005,. when my alarm rang off. Here's the sequence of events that followed.
  • 4.45 am arrive at the Hulule Ferry Point at Male. I was in group of three others.
  • 5.00 am Depart Male' by dhoni to Hulule'
  • 5.20 am. Arrive and wait at the counter to take Sea Plane to Vilu Reef Island.
  • 5.25 am counter staff comes in without the key to the counter locker.
  • 5.30 am Counter key received, locker opened. Passengers names cheked and baggage tags issued. Thereafter we were fereried by bus to tmi seaplane terminal.
  • 5.45 purcased our tickets and await boarding for flight leaving at 6.10am
  • At 6.05 we were told by tmi staff that the plane has departed without us. We were furious and not in a mood to give in tmi duty staff nonsense. They said we were wait listed and showed thier passenger list and our four names at the very top had been struck off.
  • 6.20 am we knew we were at the mercy of these liars but decided to take our breakfast and cool off while waiting for the next flight at 7.10 am
  • 6.22am. We approached the "Riyaa Cafe" counter. Counter staff told they could serve tea/coffee with traditional roshi with fish etc. But the food is being prepared and we had to wait a while. We took a table nearby, our frayed tempers still getting the better of us as we were talking only about how the tmi duty staff lied to us without slightest feeling of an apology on their part for the inconvenience caused to us.
  • 6.45 am Food from the Cafe still not ready. We decided we should approach the departure counter and make sure we did not miss or better put that we shall not allow the tmi plane to depart without us.
  • 6.55 am. Cafe' staff approached us. Food is ready! It was too late to have breakfast when you know you are at the mercy of tmi. On hindsight we should atleast have taken a coffee even though food was not ready. Well, we can do better next time on that.
  • 7.15 am. Left by fight number 53 PNR number 491636. Feeling angry at the Tmi lousy service who seem to think, that only the tourists they take are important while they can neglect the maldivians as it appears there is no one to protect their interests. This is stupid and arrogant thinking and hopefully we can put sense into these people sooner than later.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

24- Hour Phone Doctors

A company in US, Teladoc Medical Services allows a person to call an 800 number. Within an hour a doctor returns your call who will discus your symptons and give you a prescription. Not everyone agrees with this form of practising medicine but it will benifit many people who will use this service in a country with exhorbitant medical fees. This may not be the answer to life-threatning situations but it certainly helps in minor ailments.

This concept is very interesting. We can have public servants and politicians to serve their communities better using similar approches of service.

What Is The Purpose Of Your Life?

Your purpose in life could be:

  • To be a godly person
  • To raise happy children
  • To achieve a distant vision, and many others.

While many people have not taught about this question, there are others who may not want to think about it. To them, not thinking and making future plans may be their purpose.

Some people believe that we are pre-programmed creatures and our life will take the route that we are intended to live. This is fatalistic view and I believe there is more to life than the narrow view offered here. There are others who believe that a creator has an unseen hand guiding us along a path of our life.

My view is that I am endowed with free will to choose right from wrong. I am resposible for my actions and when I face my creator, if I can say that I have done all I could do to lead a righteous life, that would be good enough to achieve my purpose.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Stimulants Lift Us Higher

Some people crave for the cigareete, the coffee or the drink to kick them to the next level of high. Such stimulants arouse us and make us more alive. The caffeine or the nicotene gives us a temporary high. The drink which is stronger keeps a person in that state of high for a longer period.

But why do we need such stimulants and why do we crave for such highs? Can we not live our lives without these stimulants lifting us momentarily to such highs? As the world is too complex and since we as individuals have different reasons for why we do what we do, seeking answers to these questions would have to be an individual matter.

Eventually for some of us, our craving for arousal and our dependency on stimulants increases our need for more potent stimulants like cocaine and other cocktail combinations. At these higher levels, the threshold of an arousal by taking coffee has been crossed over to the kind of "addiction" stage that I have explianed in a previous posting. The consequences of higher potency addictions could be fatal and we are far better off if we can avoid experimenting with our lives at that level.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ronaldinho Wins The Golden Ball

Ronaldinho has won the Golden Ball as the European Player Of The Year, ahead of Frank Lampard of Chelsea and Steven Gerrad of Liverpool.

The winner is chosen by France Football Magazine's annual poll of 52 journalist around the world.

"God gives gifts to everyone," Ronaldinho said. "Some can write, some can dance. He gave me the skill to play football and I am making the most of it."

Passions Or Addictions?

Are you a passionate person? Is it your passion to watch football on TV? When does a passion cross the line an become an addiction?

The term passion applies both to positive and negative emotions. If I say, it is my passion to help people in anyway I can, that is positive and productive. In a fit of passion if a person strangles his friend, that is negative and counter productive. Thus, you will find that passions do come in many different ways.

The indisputably harmful effects of addictions such as drugs are well known. But sometimes the word passion is also used loosely in such situations as if I were to say, "I am addicted to reading." In this case the proper description perhaps, would be passion.

Your passion to do legitimate business helps in trading and distribution of goods. That is positive. If your passion is to make profits at any cost, then you may be adversely affecting the lives of many people. In this case, greed has taken control over you. That is a negative emotion.

Thus, passion crosses the line into addiction when any activity becomes destructive to yourself or to others, or when the passion is characterized by fear or compulsion. To determine this crossing line from passion to addiction is not always an easy call to make.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Your Brain Is A Super Computer

The human brain is a marvel, many times more powerful than a computer made by a man. The man made computer has a control panel that operates on electrical connections and the output of the computer is dependent on the experience and skill of the programmer.

The human brain too, needs a control panel and a programmer. The human mind acts as the control panel of the brain. It does the thinking for the brain. Our life is controlled by what we think, i.e, our thoughts. Our thoughts can be organized and our efforts can be directed to achieve the goals we st for ourselves.

Left Brain and Right Brain: The brain is divided into two parts. The left brain is analytical, rational, critical and does the work of step by step thinking. The right brain is creative and keeps in contact with our feelings and emotions. The right brain brings out flashes of inspiration. To be successful, we must use both sides of the brain.

Inside your head reside a super computer, the made equivalent of which cost around $10,000. This is good value waiting to be tapped by you. You may ask, How will I do it? Take a clue from Isaac Newton. When someone asked him as to how he discovered the law of gravity, his reply was:

"By thinking about it all the time."