Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Cost Of Road Accidents

It’s debatable if life is really cheap in India. At any rate death is not. It might come easy as the old folksong goes but it isn’t cheap if it comes before its time.

There are many methods of estimating costs from the death of a citizen of working age. Under any of these methods, India loses vast amounts because too many people of working age die untimely deaths.

One standard method of figuring out such costs is to estimate lost output - if a 25-year-old dies, we may assume that he or she would have worked another 33 years on average and amortise the estimated loss of productivity.

Another method is to extrapolate costs from insurance (life, medical and vehicle) claims. A third method is to estimate "willingness to pay": how much would the dead person's dependants have paid to keep him or her hale and hearty? That's a proxy for output loss.

Read Devangshu Datta's analysis, to uderstand this distressing story.

Sleep eating: A behavioral food fight

Imagine waking in the morning with food smeared on your face and hands, or smashed into your sheets, or scattered around your kitchen.

A break-in? A prank?

No. Sleep eating. It's a rare but documented disorder.

Sleep eaters are comparable to sleepwalkers in many ways.

More on this disorder here .

Teaching The Art Of Feeling Good

WAKE up and smell the happiness in the air. The armies of wellbeing are on the march.

These are not the usual gurus of feelgood, the strife coaches or emotivational speakers. These are high-flying academics who believe the time has come not just to pursue happiness but to teach it.

They include psychologists at Harvard and Cambridge, and economists in both the US and Britain. Even the great British public school, an institution that has traditionally sought the meaning of life in ancient Greek, rugby and cold baths, is joining the quest.

"This (teaching happiness) isn't just psycho-babble or mumbo-jumbo," said Anthony Seldon, the Head of Wellington College who remains committed to academic excellence as well as his wider mission. "When I heard that Harvard and Cambridge were taking it seriously, that this was something you could teach, I thought it was very interesting."

Friday, April 28, 2006

Gamers may soon control action with thoughts

Someday soon, video gamers may be able to use their heads, literally, to get better scores in their games.

At least two start-ups have developed technology that monitors a player's brain waves and uses the signals to control the action in games. They hope it will enable game creators to immerse players in imaginary worlds that they can control with their thoughts instead of their hands.

NeuroSky, a fabless semiconductor/module company, has developed a non-invasive neural sensor and signal processing technology that converts brainwaves and eye movements into useful electronic signals to communicate with a wide range of electronic devices, consoles, and computers.

``Research on brain waves is well known,'' said NeuroSky Chief Executive Stanley Yang. ``But we have worked on a way for detecting them with a low-cost technology and then interpreting what they mean. We think this will have broad applications.''

Sensors in the head gear -- whether headbands, headsets or helmets -- measure electrical activity in the brain that scientists have studied for decades. Using NeuroSky's chip technology, the system can distinguish whether a person is calm, stressed, meditative or attentive and alert. Beyond games, the system might be useful for determining whether drivers are so drowsy that they need an alarm to awaken them.

NeuroSky's chief technology officer and co-founder, Koo Hyoung Lee, is a South Korean scientist who for years studied how athletes concentrate. He formed NeuroSky in fall 2004. The company has raised seed money and is raising its first round of venture capital now.

Lee's team of researchers figured out how to detect signals with simpler sensors than the devices used to monitor coma patients in hospitals. NeuroSky is selling the components for the monitoring as well as the software for interpreting the brain signals. Its customers and partners could include makers of game peripherals as well as developers who create games.

The goal is to create game console add-ons costing less than $100. Some of the game play features can be conscious -- such as forcing someone to concentrate in order to drive a car faster or toss something at an enemy. Others can be subconscious. The game could slow down, for instance, if the sensors pick up an increase in anxiety, Lee said. The company hasn't set a timetable for the product launches of its customers.

``It's a very cool idea,'' said Dean Ku, vice president of marketing at Sunnyvale game company RedOctane. ``We are looking at applications for video games, like controlling cars or airplanes. It might take time. But there are possibilities.

Nintendo goes 'Wii'

Goodbye Revolution. Hello Wii.

Japan's Nintendo announced Thursday that its new gaming console -- known during development as "Revolution" -- will be called "Wii" and will be unveiled next month.

"Wii", the replacement for Nintendo's "Gamecube", is scheduled to be launched by the firm on its home market and in North America in late 2006 to compete with Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's XBox 360.

The name deliberately sounds like "we" to emphasise what the firm hopes will be its universal appeal, Nintendo said. "Wii will break down the wall that separates video game players from everyone else," it said in a statement.

Afridi Reverses Retirement Decision

To the delight of his fans all over the world, Shahid Afridi has reversed his decision following talks with Shaharyar Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman and Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach.

Afridi originally said that he wanted to concentrate on one-day cricket ahead of next year's World Cup because of an increasingly heavy playing schedule and the lack of family time it allowed him. He maintained that it is still an issue. "I still say there is too much cricket and that our schedules are packed. I think the key is now how we - the Pakistan Cricket Board and the players - manage it.

Afridi's turnaround thus brings to an end a bizarre chapter even in a career as unconventional as his, though it does at least ensure that the Pakistani cricketing tradition of players reversing retirement decisions - think Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram - is well and truly alive.

Botham Plans 11th Charity Walk

Ian Botham is regarded as one of the most charismatic cricketer in the history of English cricket. Probably one of the greatest all rounders that cricket had or will ever see, Botham believed in just one thing playing it hard on the field and playing to win.

Apart from his cricketing achievements Botham won a lot of hearts as he championed the cause of leukemia patients and headed charity walks for which he collected a lot of money.

Botham has unveiled plans for his 11th charity walk to raise funds for Leukaemia Research and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Botham, who has walked 6,500 miles to raise more than £8m on previous treks, and even led a herd of elephants across the Alps on one occasion, will walk for nine days from October 8 to 17, stopping off at Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff.

Botham's last walk took place in October 2003, when he walked 210 miles across Wales to raise more than £300,000 for a new children's hospital. He said at the time that would be his last such walk but, having turned 50 last November, he is in no mood for retirement just yet.

Bangalore to have a metro rail

The government on Thursday approved the long-awaited metro rail project for Bangalore, which will be implemented over a period of five years.

Bangalore is the IT capital of India.

The metro project, which will be a partnership between the Centre, Karnataka government and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation, will have two rail corridors totalling 33 kms. The project, to have a 70:30 debt equity ratio, will have a Japanese loan component.

Announcing the Cabinet decision, an official spokesperson said it will have a east-west corridor of 18.1 km and a and north-south corridor of 14.9 kms. Both the corridors will have elevated, underground and a small portion of surface rail lines.

While the east-west corridor will be between Byappanhalli and Mysore Road and have a total of 18 stations, the north-south corridor will be from Yeshwantpur Railway Station to Jaynagar and have 14 stations.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jolie tops People's ‘100 Most Beautiful’

She’s got that pregnant glow, but it is Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian efforts that make her most radiant, according to People magazine.
The actress graces the cover of People’s “100 Most Beautiful People” issue, on newsstands Friday. It’s her fourth time on the list, but first as cover girl.

“She looks the most beautiful when she’s in the field — natural, no makeup, nothing,” the magazine quotes musician Wyclef Jean, who worked with Jolie on a relief effort in Haiti. “Because you see Angelina, the angel. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

It is reassuring to know that the good work people do gets recognized for the value of what they do rather than just glorifying the celebrity status of individuals.

To have the physical beauty of Angelina is great but what is more important is what they do and what they achieve.

Coffee Isn't The Culprit

A recent HealthDay study found no relationship between drinking lots of the brew and coronary heart disease.

Data on more than 120,000 participants in two U.S. studies that followed people for as long as two decades found no link between heart disease and a daily intake of six or more cups of coffee. In fact, the risk was the same as for people who had less than one cup of coffee or tea a month.

The new findings appear in the April 25 issue of the journal Circulation.

What you put into your coffee cup other than coffee also matters, said Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutritional science and policy at Tufts University, and chairwoman of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee.

"Just because there is no association between coffee and cardiovascular disease, that doesn't give free rein to order whatever you want at a coffee shop," she said. "The saturated fat in cream or whole milk and the sugar that is put in warrant consideration. Having black coffee or no-fat milk is one thing. It's another thing to drink coffee with lots of calories in it."

More on caffeine here from the American Heart Association.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Develop Effective Telephone Skills

In order to succeed in an age when everyone is so busy, you need to develop good work habits including effective telephone skills.

Here are some:

  • Choose a good time to make your business call and be fully prepared.
  • Greet professionionally and ask if it it is a good time to call. If, not fix up a suitable time to call.
  • Stick to the point and be sincere in making compliments.
  • If you promise to call back, make sure you do.
  • Leave brief and clear messages on answering machines if you need to do so.

Cows Capture Human Imagination In Paris

It's all in the name of art. Cows in all manner of poses and colours are bringing a Pop Art stampede to the City of Light.

But why cows! The cows could never tell:)

The herd of fibreglass bovines will be spread through the centre of the capital from Thursday, including along some famous landmarks, such as the Champs-Elysees, the Garnier Opera and in the chic Saint-Germain district.

The unusual display, which runs to June 16, is part of an itinerant exhibition begun in Switzerland 1998 which has already done the rounds in Chicago, New York, Brussels, London, Barcelona and Tokyo.

Different artists have been charged with dressing each cow-sculpture in the name of charity: funds raised from a June 30 auction of the hollow animals will go to the UN's World Food Programme and the Africa Alive organisation.

Apple's MacBook Is A Video Star

Apple is unveiled it's MacBook Pro, a powerful laptop targeting photographers, film makers, and graphics professionals.

"The 17-inch MacBook Pro delivers the speed and screen area of a professional desktop system in the worlds best notebook design," Apple vice president Philip Schiller said in a statement.

The one-inch-thick notebook has a dual-core processor, and the company claims it is five times faster than its predecessor, the PowerBook G4.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Develop Money-Making Ideas

You don't need thousands of ideas to find one that will make money for you. Most ideas will be just fleeting "sparks" that will be forgotten the next day.

So, the only way to make an idea profitable is to do something about it; follow through to its completion. Although this seems easy to do, this is one area where the market is wide open. Persevere but be flexible to reach your goals and your own ideas will help you to get there.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Tribute To the Great Brazil Coach Tele Santana

Football is the poorer for the passing last week of Tele Santana, wrote Tim Vickery South American football reporter.

But the death of Brazil's 1982 World Cup coach has given the game an opportunity to reflect on one of its most important but least fashionable themes: it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.

Socrates (in the pic below) was one member of the magnificent midfield Brazil had in that World Cup. They won many hearts but failed to win the trophy.

After Santana's death Socrates recalled their exit in 1982 and wrote:

Players were in shock, some were in tears. Amid the desolation, though, Tele Santana was a picture of serenity.

"We gave it our best shot," he said. Proud of the team he had built, proud of the way they had played, he knew that only one country could win the World Cup.

If it was not to be his side, then at least they should go out with a smile as well as a tear, faithful to their principles, true representatives of their country's wonderful tradition .

Brazil's 1982 team went about their business with such style that they are still talked about with affection wherever football is played.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can You Master Uncertainty?

According to this FT article, We can, however, aspire to master uncertainty in the way a seasoned sailor masters the sea. Not even the best captain can predict the elements with accuracy, let alone command the wind to blow or the waves to calm. With insight and experience, however, a captain can harness the wind and ride out the storm. Mastery, in this sense, resembles improvisational skill rather than control. This begins with an understanding of uncertainty, how it differs from risk, and general approaches to dealing with an uncertain world.

Read this article in full to grasp this complicated process.

IMF Is Called To Reform

Top officials of the International Monetary Fund say the organization must reform to be able to respond more quickly to crises in the changing global economy. IMF officials concluded two days of meetings in Washington with a statement calling for structural reforms of the organization.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the international organization entrusted with overseeing the global financial system by monitoring exchange rates and balance of payments, as well as offering technical and financial assistance when asked.

The primary mission of the IMF is to provide financial assistance to countries that experience serious financial difficulties. Member states with balance of payments problems may request loans and/or organizational management of their national economies. In return, the countries are usually required to launch certain reforms. These reforms are generally required because countries with fixed exchange rate policies can engage in fiscal, monetary, and political practices which may lead to the crisis itself.

Critics of IMF argue that it does not give a fair reperesentation to all the countries. It takes a firefighter approach to tackling economic problems such as that was seen in the East Asian Finacial Crisis, the effects of which led to global financial implications.

Singapore's Fashion Designer Yang Derong has come home

AFTER 20 years abroad working for the likes of French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and fashion group Esprit, Yang Derong has come home.

Yang, who was Esprit's global imaging director for 11 years, signalled his return with a stunning collection at this year's Singapore Fashion Festival. The collection, which featured materials like cane and hemp, was considered by many fashion pundits as the highlight of this year's festival.

It looks like the design and fashion industry of Singapore has come of age attracting world class talent here.

It is nostalgic to see local talent that began its nurturing process here return to it's roots bringing along the benifit of a rich world-wide experience. It is great for Singapore.

Anne Frank's Diary of A Young Girl

This is an autobiography of Anne Frank, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust. It is a moving diary discovered in the attic of the apartment in which she spent the last years of her life. Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

It is a lively and at the same time disturbing account of a teenager living in hiding with seven others in fear of their lives in occupied Holland.

Anne died just before her 16th birthday in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Brazil mourn passing of Santana

Sometimes it takes a jolt of disquieting news from far away to remind us that Europe is not the be-all and end-all of global soccer.

Tele Santana led Brazil at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and guided Sao Paulo to two successive wins in the Libertadores Cup in the early 1990S.

Santana was widely respected for his sense of fair play and his refusal to use rough-arm tactics.

"I'd rather lose the game than tell my team to foul, kick the opponents or win with an illegitimate goal," he said.

"Football is art, it's enjoyment and it's not about hoofing the ball upfield."

Tele Santana has never compromised to hold up "O Jogo Bonito" (effectively, "The Beautiful Game" in Portuguese).

"He was a great coach and a great friend, like a father to me,'' said Brazil captain Cafu, who played for Santana at Sao Paulo FC. "He gave me advice that I still use today.''

Despite containing stars like Zico, Falcao and Socrates, Brazil lost 3-2 and was eliminated by eventual champion Italy in the 1982 World Cup when it just needed a draw to reach the semifinals. But who can forget the silky skills of Socrates, a medical doctor by profession whose backpasses were better than what most others did forward, Pele was quoted as saying.

Probably the world has lost the art of the game that Mr. Santana dreamed of, long before he departed.

Tele Santana passed away, aged 74 after battling illness. He left his mark and had a successful career.
RIP Mr. Santana

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cyberspace Unites Families Through Online Games

Although computer games have often been thought of as a pastime for the antisocial, communal online worlds such as the one in Guild Wars are the hottest things in games these days. The most popular title in this genre, World of Warcraft, has more than 5 million subscribers -- all text-chatting with their fellow players or using microphones and headsets to collaborate on the latest monster-killing mission.

Game companies don't track how many families play online games together, but they say the trend helps drive their popularity. Some families play games to maintain contact from far-flung towns; some parents play online games with their kids in the next room as a way of bonding with them.

While they play, the family members can catch up on comings and goings. The trend for familities to connect through online games is increasing especially when families are separated by military duty. For others, it is becoming a social space where families could interact and understand the personality traits of members better.

This Video Game Seeks Peace, Not War

Peace Maker is video game simulation of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and it incorporates news footage of actual events designed to make players feel connected to the real world.

Serious game developers see a bright future for "PeaceMaker" and other games that apply computer modeling techniques to social, environmental or public health problems.

Last year, the U.N. World Food Program unveiled "Food Force," which challenges players to distribute food rations on a fictitious island. The free game was downloaded more than 1 million times in its first six weeks online, according to the agency.

The challenge for serious games developers is to determine what business model can be used to make their games and earn a decent living doing it.

When A Player Loses His Cool

This is Inzamam-ul-Haq. Since I have started following international cricket, I've noticed that the present Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as a man who keeps a cool head in times of crisis.

But in Toronto in 1997, Inzamam-ul-Haq was guilty of an offence which, were it to happen today, would almost certainly have seen him banned for a very long time.

Shiv Kumar Thind, a Canadian-based Indian, who had been allowed into the ground armed with a megaphone, taunted Inzamam, as he had done the previous day. What exactly was said is still a matter of debate; but certainly was offensive to provoke an otherwise cool Inzamam to snap and charge at him. Inzamam went into the stands and attempted to attack a foul mouthy fan, triggering a nasty mini-riot .

Inzamam, who clearly regretted the incident, admitted he had been wrong but asked "how long could have I tolerated the man abusing my religion, country and family members?" He continued: Besides being a sportsman, I am also a human being. How many people in the world would have accepted someone who abuses his country and religion.

I recall a similar incident, when Manchester United's Eric Cantona was fined £20,000 and banned from playing football over his kung fu-style attack on a fan in 1995.

Cantona claims the fan, Matthew Simmons, shouted racial insults and threw a missile at him as he walked off the pitch after being given a red card for kicking another player during a tackle.

Cantona is no cool player, but it is a joy to watch his playing skills. It is necessary for fans to appreciate their efforts instead of provoking or hurling abuse at them.

These incidents show that discipline and good conduct is required not only from players but also from the fans as well. Fans should not be allowed to taunt racial abuse or any other form of verbal abuse at players. Players compete in intense competition, sometimes for their countries or their clubs and are under pressure to perform. When fans engage in rowdy behaviour or turn out to be hooligans, the authorities must firmly come down on them and not allow their abusive actions affect the players and the game.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Femme Fatales and Fuzzy Drinks.

Here's Rani Mukerji, Indian Film Industry Bollywood's reigning queen promoting the Indian popular soft drink 'Fanta.'

Fanta ads have never been high on concept, and this one is all about a characteristic riot of colour, lots of bouncing bubbliness, and Rani pledging lifelong allegiance to the orange drink.

The cokes, colas and 7UP's have all lured top stars for crowd-pulling advertisements to entice customers and create a life style connection to these drinks.

Look out for more femme fatales here.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Man trades paper clip for house

This is barter power. This is also the power of the web. Mr. Kyle MacDonald, 26, a Canadian, set out to trade a paper clip to get a house.

Kyle MacDonald started with one red paper clip and has been trading for bigger and better things until he reaches his ultimate goal, a house.

Kyle started with one red paperclip on July 12th, 2005 and is making a series of trades for bigger or better things.

It looks like his idea has picked up steam and he could soon realize his dream house.

Mobile users 'like drug addicts'

According to this article, Australians are becoming so addicted to mobile phones they are suffering anxiety and self-esteem problems akin to substance abuse, a researcher has found.

With Australians owning 19 million mobiles, they had become a "huge part" of people's social lives, Brisbane-based consumer researcher Diana James, from Queensland University of Technology's School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, said yesterday.

But excessive users were experiencing personal problems ranging from agitation if forced to turn their phone off, to low self-esteem if they didn't receive calls or texts, she said.

"Like substance abuse, excessive use of mobile phones can lead to personal problems," Ms James said.

"Because they can provide immediate pleasure, if you're not careful mobile phones can become as much of an addiction as snacking on junk food or smoking.

Microsoft impresses Chinese president with "Home of the Future"

China's president Hu Jintao on Tuesday witnessed Microsft's advanced technological innovations, including the "Home of the Future."

Comfortably and tastefully furnished, the facility in Microsoft's Redmond Campus, just outside Seattle, is a model of the type of high-tech home the company envisions will be used in five to 10 years. Stepping into the living room, Hu was shown a screen which displayed digital photos of a typical family. With the movement of a Chinese vase, the photos changed to ones of places where Hu had lived or worked, including Beijing and Tibet as well as his alma mater Tsinghua University.

Mr. Hu told reporters later the tour "left a strong impression" on him.

"I'm especially happy that Microsoft and China have important cooperation. I myself and Mr Gates both believe this cooperation should be expanded and be steadily improved," Mr. Hu said.

China, which aims to move from being mainly a manufacturer of goods using cheap, low-skill labour to a knowledge and innovation-driven economy, sees a natural fit between itself and Microsoft, especially as Beijing is eager for technology transfers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Michael Jackson Revives His Faltering Music Career

The King of Pop is getting back in the game.

Looking to revive a career that has seen better days, Michael Jackson announced Tuesday he has teamed up with a Bahraini music label to record a new album and is aiming for a late 2007 release.

The newly formed partnership is between Jackson and Two Seas Records, which is owned by Bahrain royal family member Abdulla Hamad Al-Khalifa. British music exec Guy Holmes, chairman of London-based indie label Gut Records, has been named CEO of the joint project.

For now, Michael Jackson has beaten his financial insolvency, put the bankruptcy question to rest last week, refinancing more than $270 million in loans by offering up half of what remains in his possession of the Sony/ATV Music Catalog he purchased in 1985.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

If I Could Turn Back Time

Here's some lyrics from Cher's song "If I could turn back time."

If I could turn back time
If I could find a way I'd take back those words that hurt you and you'd stay

I don't know why I did the things I did I don't know why I said the things I said
Pride's like a knife it can cut deep inside
Words are like weapons they wound sometimes.
I didn't really mean to hurt you I didn't wanna see you go I know I made you cry, but baby

Read more from the chorus onwards.

India's new pioneers: IT innovator

Shekhar Borgaonkar, who works for an multinational computer company in Bangalore, has invented a device which could bring computer use to millions throughout India.

Only about 10% of the Indian population know English. This means there is no IT interface for the remaining 90% to interact with.

Microsoft is coming up with Indian language versions of its operating systems. Google is coming up with Hindi Google.

But Hindi keyboards are very cumbersome. The Hindi keyboard uses at least 500-odd letters, which you get through using the "shift" and "alt" buttons.

A simple input device is the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Shekhar is about to launch the "gesture keypad."

The "gesture keypad" is not about typing. It's a pen-based device and will enable people to browse and fill out forms, for example.

Welcome Back Kylie

HERE is Kylie Minogue as her fans have been desperate to see her — a picture of health with a huge smile all over her face. The brave singer looks relaxed and cheerful as she grins in poses for a very special photographer — her lover Olivier Martinez.

The pictures show just how well she is recovering from breast cancer — complete with a thick head of hair trimmed into a new elfin-like style.

The most loved Australian singer travelled out to Sri Lanka in March to fulfil a dream of helping children orphaned by the tsunami.

Stay in good health and continue your passion and help others, Kylie

Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants

A former Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Glain takes us on a journey through the heart of what were once the great Islamic caliphates—the countries now known as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt—to illustrate how a once prosperous and enlightened civilization finds itself at the precipice of a Dark Age.

Read More.

Monday, April 17, 2006

AC Nielsen survey ranks Singapore number one in job creation

An independent survey has ranked Singapore number one in the world when it comes to job creation.

The survey by AC Nielsen, which commissioned the study, polled more than 23,000 people in 42 global markets, including 500 Singaporeans.

The survey puts Singapore at 6th position in terms of staff loyalty worldwide and second in Asia Pacific.

Singapore workers say they're not as valued by their companies as before, with more than 70 percent feeling there's a lack of value placed on staff loyalty.

Tom Cruise and Scientology's "Silent Birth"

Tom Cruise has been practically shouting from the rooftops about his love for his pregnant fiancee, Katie Holmes. But when their much-anticipated baby is born, the superstar dad probably won't say a word.

Followers of scientology believe that the practise of quiet birth or absence of talk and other noise in the delivery room is more healthful for mother and baby.

According to the tenets of Scientology, known as ''Dianetics,'' words -- even loving ones -- spoken during birth and other painful times are recorded by the ''reactive mind,'' or subconscious. Those memories, adherents feel, can eventually trigger problems for mother and child.

The Law of Compensation

Napoleon Hill, in his book "Grow Rich With Peace of Mind" writes that Ralph Waldo Emerson's Compensation is the greatest essay ever written. Here is an excert that he wrote.

"Every act rewards itself, or, in other words, integrates itself in a two-fold manner-first, in the thing, or in real nature; and secondly, in the circumstance, or in the apparent nature. Men call the circumstance the retribution. The casual retribution is in the thing and is seen by the soul. The retribution in the circumstance is seen by the understanding, it is inseparable from the thing, but it is often spread over a long time, and so does not become distinct until after many years. The specific stripes may follow late after the offence, but they grow because they accompany it. Crime and punishment grow out of the same stem. Punishment is a fruit that unsuspected ripens within the flower of the pleasure that concealed it. Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre exists in the means, the fruit in the seed. "

Here is the great sage's poem and essay on compensation; a literacy masterpiece.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A child's message of grace

''I know he didn't mean to do it,'' Kai Leigh Harriott, 5, said of the man whose stray gunshot left her paralyzed. (Globe Staff Photo / Essdras M. Suarez)

A five-year-old girl, Kai Leigh Harriott, wheelchair bound after a bullet paralyzed her three years ago, forgave the man who shot her and told him what he had done to her was wrong. She did this to his face, in court.

This is an amazing story of a little girl from Kansas City in the United States who faced upto the perpetrator whose bullet has paralysed her. Her poise and forgiveness to the man's face broke down the hearts of of many.

One of them said, I am humbled by her benevolence. She will always be an example to me of how good and untainted a human can be. I am 50 and she is five - yet she is light-years ahead of me.

Another person sobbed and said. ''I was sobbing not just because of what happened to her, but because a mother, in the year 2006, was able to raise that type of child."

How I wish there could be more mothers who could raise more children like this girl and make the world a more safer and peaceful place to live in.

Cricket's Fastest Hundred by Viv Richards,West Indies

On this day, 20 years ago, Viv Richards blazed to the fastest hundred in Test cricket, ripping a century of 56 balls against England. John Embury, one of the bowlers who suffered the onslaught, recalls the day.

Here is the "Scoring sequence: 3,6,1,2,6,1,4,1,2,1,1,1,4,1,2,1,1,2,2,1,1,1,1,1,6 [53 in 35 balls],2,4,4,4,1,1,2,6,6,4,6,1,2,2,1,4 [103 in 56 balls],6,1."

This was the day when the West Indies Captain was probably at his fiery best and certainly in no mood to let up on an English side who were shell-shocked to find Viv Richards smash the fastest-ever in Tests in terms of balls faced (56), beating Jack Gregory's 67-ball record against South Africa in 1921-22. His second fifty came in just 21 balls. When Viv declared the West Indies innings at 246 for 2, he had scored 110 of the 146 runs that had been made during his stay at the wicket.

This was the golden era of the West Indies cricket.

As a cricket fan, you live and breathe to watch and enjoy such masterful strokes from a cricketing genius.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bar Dancing Wins Over Tradition In Mumbai

Taking a sympathetic view towards Maharashtra's bar dancers, the National Human Rights Commission on Thursday said culture cannot be a reason to ban dance bars.

On this same matter, the Bombay high court on Wednesday struck down the Maharashtra government ordinance banning dance bars in the state terming the ban unconstitutional.

A cursory glance made me feel that there could be more than just a case of dancing in bars or even its more tantalising form of bar top dancing.

According to this article, some girls are lured to Mumbai and sold to the highest bidder. There is nothing decent or nice that goes behind the scenes oftening trapping unspecting girls into selling their flesh just in order to survive.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hong Kongers saying no to plastic bags for a day

Hong Kong holds its first No Plastic Bag Day on April 15 as part of city-wide efforts to go green.

More than 1,200 retailers have signed up to charge 7 US cents for each bag, instead of offering them for free as they usually do.

The one-day experiment may become a permanent measure in hong kong. It is a good example to be followed by all countries, especially the low lying countries vulnerable to sea level rises consequent to global warming.

Shahid Afridi announces 'retirement' from Tests

Shahid Afridi has announced a temporary 'retirement' from Test cricket. In an announcement that caught many in Pakistan by complete surprise, Afridi said that he was planning to concentrate only on ODI cricket to ready himself for the World Cup in 2007. But, in a typically Pakistani twist, Afridi said that he would reconsider his 'retirement' from Tests after the World Cup.

It seems too much of anything isn't good. But we certainly hope Shahid Afridi will come back to play tests soon. It gives immense joy to see him in action.

Beatles Music to Come Together Online

The Beatles are preparing to sell their songs online after years of refusing to take part in the Internet music boom, according to testimony given by the head of their record company.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bill Clinton honoured with Fulbright Prize

Former President Bill Clinton has been awarded the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding at a ceremony held at the International Monetary Fund Headquarters on April 12.

The honour on President Clinton is in recognition of his bold, enlightened initiatives to fight poverty, ignorance, and racial, ethnic, and religious prejudices throughout the world.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan lauded former U.S. President Bill Clinton on Wednesday for being awarded the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding.

Created by the Fulbright Association in 1993 with the support of The Coca-Cola Foundation, the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions towards bringing people, cultures, and nations closer.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Surf the web without logging on to Internet

Is it possible to squeeze the entire internet on to just one PC?

Webaroo, a technology start-up with offices in the United States and India, today launched a free service it claims will allow users to download all the useful information on the web on to the "tiny memory card" found in a laptop, handheld computer or even smartphone.
Once stored, the content can be searched even if the device is not connected to the web.

Webaroo, which launched its services today, issued a statement quoting Campbell Kan, head of Mobile Computing Business Unit, Acer Inc, as saying that they plan to incorporate Webaroo’s software into Acer’s mobile PCs.

This is very interesting. Chceck this out on Webaroo site.

Internet growth cooling, but dependence increasing

Growth in the use of the Internet has come off its sizzling pace, even as people become more dependent on cyberspace for work and leisure, a global survey showed.

Ipsos Insight's annual " Face Of The Web " study showed the global online population grew just five percent last year, well behind the 20 percent growth rate seen in 2004 .

The survey of 6,500 people in 12 major countries by the research firm suggested growth will be slow in 2006 as well.

Still the survey indicates people are using the Internet for a broad variety of activities and using newer devices such as wireless computers and mobile phones for Internet access.

"We think the results in 2005 really prove that measuring growth of the Internet in the coming years will be less about user volume, and more about consumers' reliance on this medium as a way of life," said Ipsos senior vice president Brian Cruikshank.

The IT's Extra Byte

Not too long ago, every one of us marvelled at our ability to store information on devices that boasted of a storage capacity of 64 megabytes.

Then came 128 megabytes…WOW! Now, no one would dream of buying a thumb drive with less then 512 MB and we turn our noses up at PCs and laptops that promise less than 80 gigabytes.

A megabyte (MB) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to approximately one million bytes, or 1,0002, 106, or 1,048,576 bytes in decimal notation. Well, no one's complaining and the zero's continue adding up.

Today, everyone is talking about storage on phones, cameras and PDAs of 1 Gigabyte which is 1,073,741,824 bytes, or 10243.

For those who can’t get enough of gigabytes, they should be happy (for now) with the Terabyte or the TB.

The TB which gets its prefix "tera" from a Greek word meaning 'monster' tells you this will chomp on all your digital data quite easily in one swift move. This is indeed a giant leap ahead.
Google reportedly maintains some 1.8 petabytes of storage right now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Apple launches software for Windows XP

Apple Computer Inc. on Wednesday unveiled the new Beta version of its "Boot Camp" software that allows Intel-based Macs to run Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP software.

This means that users can now have both the look and function of Macs, with the versatility of a Windows operating system.

With the new software installed, users have flexibility between Mac and Windows.Boot Camp is for those people who need to intermittently run programs or access services that are not available on the Mac. Apple is not promoting or bundling Windows.

Boot Camp makes it easier to install Windows software on an Intel-based Mac, with a step-by-step guide. It also lets users choose to use either Mac OS X software, or the Windows software when they restart their computer. Users can download the new Boot Camp software from Apple’s Web site

The Boot Camp offers only dual-boot ability. You can start up the Mac in either Windows or Mac OS X, but not both.

Die-hard Mac fans are scathing in their criticism of Windows, which they view as slower, less secure and less user-friendly than Apple's operating system.

UK-US consortium to bid for olympic games delivery contract

Competition to manage design and construction of the London Olympics in 2012 intensifies today as a consortium of UK and US companies makes the first bid for the prestigious contract.

Amec and Balfour Beatty are to team up with Jacobs, the US engineering project manager, to be the Olympic delivery partner, responsible to the Olympic Delivery Authority for ensuring construction companies build the Olympic facilities on time and to budget.

Competition for the contract - expected to generate £100m turnover during the project's lifetime - will be fierce.

Amec has managed refurbishment of BAA's Terminal 5; Balfour Beatty was involved in designing the stadium in Atlanta; and Jacobs managed Olympic delivery in Atlanta and Athens, and helped redevelop Stratford station, adjoining the London Olympics site.

Given the fixed deadline of the 2012 Olympics, the Olympic Delivery Authority is likely to give contract price less priority than the ability to minimise risk.

Asia-based firms flourish as investors seek location advantage

According to Financial Times, super-fast broadband connections and cutting-edge financial technology is helping to shrink the world of investing. But still, when it comes to Asia-focused hedge funds, there is little sign that location has ceased to matter.

Five years ago, London and New York were the undisputed capitals of Asia-focused hedge funds, with the two cities accounting for the bulk of total Asian hedge fund assets under management.

Since then, regional financial centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore have seen a flurry of hedge fund start-ups - a trend that is expected to continue as many investors try to be as close as possible to high-growth economies such as China and India.

As globalization and free trade pick up momentum across the Asian region, the traditional economic powerhouses are making suitable adjustments and positioning themselves in the Asian Region.

Singapore is a lifestyle choice for hedge fund managers who want clean air, low taxes and a nice house with a pool," says one Hong Kong-based prime broker.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

From Paulo Ceolho's Alchemist

During the course of the Shepard boy's journey in search of treasure, he learnt that Alchemy is a serious discipline. Every step has to be followed exactly as it was followed by the Masters.

The boy learned that part of the Master Work was called the Elixir of Life. It is a drink that has cured illnesses and given eternal life to the drinker. The other is called the Philosophers stone. Alchemists spend years observing the fire that purified the metals. In the process they discovered that purification of the metals had led to purification of themselves.

The boy became fascinated with what Alchemy could do.

Linux a BIG hit in India

The Penguin (official mascot of Linux), it appears, has finally marched into enterprises like IDBI Bank, Canara Bank, New India Assurance, LIC, BSNL, IRCTC, ABN Amro, Airtel and even the governments of Maharashtra and West Bengal in India. The list, of course, is not exhaustive, but is showing an increasing trend.

Linux is a UNIX-like operating system that was designed to provide personal computer users a free or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and usually more expensive UNIX systems. Linux has a reputation as a very efficient and fast-performing system.

In India, we are increasingly seeing corporates running ERPs and mission-critical applications on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform. Large databases and blade servers are being powered by Linux to run online share trading and lottery applications," says Javed Tapia, CEO, Red Hat.

Linux has become prettly stable. We never considered Windows because of the perception that it has a lot of vulnerabilities. Hence, we adopted the Linux route and are satisfied with the results," says Tejinderpal Singh Miglani, CTO, Indiabulls.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tom Cruise speaks about troubled childhood

ACTOR Tom Cruise has told how he was bullied and beaten by his father as a child.

The Hollywood star, whose baby with Katie Holmes is due any day, said his father was a "bully and a coward" and "a merchant of chaos".

He reveals: “(My dad was) the kind of person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you. It was a great lesson in my life – how he'd lull you in, make you feel safe and then, bang!

“For me, it was like, ‘There's something wrong with this guy. Don't trust him. Be careful around him.’ There's that anxiety."

Cruise also said that he visited his father in hospital before he died, after ten years of estrangement.

He explained that his father "was in the hospital dying of cancer, and he would only meet me on the basis that I didn't ask him anything about the past."

The actor also spoke about how he was bullied at school and revealed that he battled with dyslexia as a child.

Well, it's true who is to say who is normal. Tom Criuse is among the highest paid actors in the world. That is a measure of his success in adult life, when as a child he was abused by his dad, was diagnosed with dyslaxia and bullied by students. It is a tremendous achievement to rise above all that and become successful to the person he is today.

IBM Sending Employees For Teaching

After more than three decades at IBM, Larry Leise and Susan Luerich are not planning for a quiet retirement. Instead, the married couple are headed back to college. Thanks to the Big Blue's teaching offer, they are moving as high school science teachers into schools where a shortage of qualified teachers concerns a company that thrives on high-tech innovation.

We're only as successful as our innovation is and we have to have future talent that will bring that kind of innovative thinking and help us as future employees," said Rick Falknor, a community relations manager at IBM. The company believes it is the first to help workers make the switch into a teaching career.

Indeed this is an innovative step that has a positive impact on schools and certainly is a brilliant tactic to draw in top talent to IBM. It is a win-win strategy for the company to continue its business growth and help employees move on to a second career.

Quotes From Robert F Kennedy

1) The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.

2) Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.

Robert F. Kennedy

Friday, April 07, 2006

Walking Fish Lends A Hand To Missing Evolutionary Link

Paleontologists have discovered fossils of a species that provides the missing evolutionary link between fish and the first animals that walked out of water onto land about 375 million years ago.

"This previously unknown, extinct animal represents the beginning of the emergence of fish onto land, and the evolutionary transformation of fins into limbs," says Farish A. Jenkins Jr., (in the pic) Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard and curator of mammalogy and vertebrate paleontology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. "

This animal represents the transition from water to land - the part of history that includes ourselves. So this is an exciting scientific discovery of a fish that has been pulled out the muck.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

New York Opens A Museum Of Water

Following the rich tradition of New York Transit Museum, the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportationn , now a water museum is opening up in New York. Yes, it's the New York Museum Of Water.

An initiative like this is much needed to demonstrate the uses of water and its different sources like rivers and canals. Water supports life and we can't live without it.

The museum would be the first in the world dedicated solely to water and, as planned, would include a permanent evolving exhibit designed by U.N. member states demonstrating each country's people's relationship to water.

Water falls from the sky as rain, seeps into the groundwater or drains into lakes and streams, then goes back out to sea. These are our storage reservoirs . Now it's time to take real action and stop polluting the atmosphere and the oceans.

The New York Water Museum is on a mission to create entertainment centers that act as an ambassador for water, its protection, and our childrens future access to clean and ample water.

We should hope that more water ambassadors will spring up in other parts of the world to enlighten and educate the public about this precious commodity.

GM's Marketing Ad Turns On It's Head

The idea of launching a viral marketing campaign by allowing users to generate content for your site isn't new. In fact, the Apple iPod commercial created by iPod fan George Masters is already a legend when it comes to the concept of letting your customers market your product.

General Motors or GM, the world's largest automaker that employs about 325,000 people did not have such success in their chevy tahoe campaign. In fact, GM is quickly becoming an example of viral marketing gone wild. Over the weekend, hundreds of people used the Internet to circulate thousands of videos that charged GM with contributing to global warming, protested the war in Iraq or just demeaned the Tahoe's quality.

While consumer generated content can be a fantastic way to let your customers spread the word about your product, the GM incident also shows just how dangerous and damaging a bad viral marketing campaign can be.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A New Book Hat Fashion Hits Ukraine

Ukrainian designer Andre Tan just can't be bothered to carry a book bag or tote; instead he cleverly attaches the book to the model's hat. The new Book Hat was shown during a fashion show at the spring-summer pret-a-porter Fashion Week in Kiev, Ukraine last month.

Looks like anything goes in fashion these days. It'll be interesting to see if the book hat has any staying power. Some commentators say its crazy, but who knows..

95 Year-Old British Writer Lands First Book Deal

A WRITER has landed his first book deal - at the age of 95.

Harry Bernstein, who has never had a book published, sold The Invisible Wall to Random House in a deal worth about £10,000.

The book, out next February, tells of Harry's childhood in a Lancashire mill town before the First World War. He moved to the US and wrote it after his wife Ruby died in 2003.

He said: "There are places I've never forgotten. A smokey hill town in the North of England has haunted me for the greater part of my life."

A publisher said: "It's an inspiration to all writers."

A Chilling Moment For Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker has writtern numerous books on management and leadership and is a much sought after consultant specializing in strategy and policy for businesses and social sector organizations.

Here is a nauseating anecdote from Drucker's early life.

Early in his career Drucker had been a journalist in Hitler's Nazi Germany. He had been assigned with the job of interviewing the author of a new book that had come out in Germany at the time. It was called Mein Kampf. The author of course was Hitler.

He dutifully read the book in order to conduct research prior to the interview.

When Drucker interviewed Hitler he asked him how it came to be that in the book he talked a lot about power but not once about money. Hitler apparently replied along the following lines: "First you need to get the power. When you have that you find the people with money. Then you kill them. Then you have both".

Apparently Drucker went to all his friends and told them to leave Germany immediately. He was of course Jewish. His friends didn't believe him. They stayed. They died.

Drucker left. Legend has it that Drucker was exiled from Germany because of his views on economics. The truth is that he left because he didn't want he and his wife to be killed. He migrated to United States where today, he is considered the father of modern managemnet.

America Online Has Retired It's Name

AOL in a press release announced that after 15 years it is retiring the name America Online and will now officially be known simply as AOL.

"Our company long ago accomplished the mission implied by our old name ... we literally got America online," said Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of AOL. "Our new corporate identity better reflects our expanded mission - to make everyone's online experience better . Plus, consumers in the U.S. and around the world already know us by our initials."

The legal structure of AOL has also changed, from a corporation to a limited liability company.

America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Blooks Are The New Hybrid Books

"Blooks are the new books, a hybrid literary form at the cutting edge of both literature and technology," said Bob Young, founder of self-publishing site Lulu which organised and sponsored the prize.

This year's winning blog began life as a online diary of the attempt by Julie Powell to cook the recipes in the 1961 cookbook by Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Her blog built up a cult following. The entries were published as a book last year and has since sold almost 100,000 copies.

Powell tried to master French cooking (Photo: Kelly Campbell)

Here's more info about Powell . It's a Q & A.

"Those who dismiss blogging as 'mere' confessional writing and complaining about one's day job fail to appreciate just how engrossing those genres can be when handled by a talented writer like Julie Powell," said writer and activist Cory Doctorow, who was on the judging panel.

"The story of how blogging, writing in public, changed Powell's life is both memorable and inspirational."

Blooker rewards books from blogs

Dubbed the Blooker Prize, the annual award will reward the best writers of literary works that started life as online journals.

The Blooker Prize is the world's first literary prize
devoted to "blooks": books based on blogs or websites.
Awarded in three categories: Fiction • Non-Fiction • Comics
The prize is sponsored by Lulu .

The Overall Winner is Julie & Julia by Julie Powell in the Non-Fiction category. Fiction Winner is "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" by Cherie Priest. Comics Winner is "Totally Boned" by Zach Miller. Click here to read more.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Asian Expats Vote Singapore Top Place To Live

Asian expatriates ranked Singapore the best place to live out of 257 locations worldwide because of its clean air, infrastructure and low crime rate, a survey published on Monday showed. This was revealed in a survey conducted by ECA International, a human resource consultancy for multinationals.

SURVEY RESULTS: The best locations in the world for Asians to live
1 Singapore
2 Australia, Sydney
3 Australia, Melbourne
4 Australia, Canberra
5 Japan, Kobe
6 New Zealand, Auckland
7 Denmark, Copenhagen
8 Canada, Vancouver
9 New Zealand, Wellington
10 Switzerland, Basel

Mobile Video Market Set for Growth

The nascent mobile video market is expected to grow by roughly eight times its 2005 revenue size the end of the decade. A JupiterResearch , "U.S. Wireless Forecast, 2005 to 2010," details projections.

Currently, about two percent of mobile phone users say they subscribe to a video service on their wireless plan. Seventeen percent have an interest in watching live TV content on their phones, and 11 percent would like to view short video clips on their handsets.

Adoption of mobile video phones has been low in the US, but it is believed that the longer term adoption will depend more on business models and content offerings than on the technology or devices. This will generate huge business growth and revenue in the video content creation market.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Here's How To Resolve Conflict Without Words

  • Practice zipping up your mouth
  • Practice letting go of having to be right
  • Practice walking away from a conflict or heated situation, rather than jumping into the fray in the hopes of winning.

This form of conflict resolution is about action rather than talk. The above steps could save you countless hours of trying to "work out prolblems."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ronaldinho; A Soccer Brand worth US $57m

Photograph: Getty Images

The best footballer in the world is now also the hottest brand in the game.

According to a brand value study, consultancy BBDO Germany estimated that Brazil and Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho is worth USD 57 million, beating Beckham who is worth USD 54 million.

The magical feet, toothy-grin and an infectious enthusiasm for the game has made the 26-year-old the most exciting player to watch in the game.