Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Platini wants to confront racism xenophobia

Former France captain and one of the finest midfielder Michel Platini has been elected as Uefa's new president and he has set the following targets for the champions league.

1)Gaining recognition of football's special status in European law

2)Developing all Uefa competitions, including Intertoto Cup, youth and women's championships

3)Combating racism, xenophobia and fraud

4)Correcting inequalities and establishing equal opportunities

5)Reducing the maximum number of teams per country in the Champions League to three
In creasing co-operation with Fifa

6)A hands-on presidency and more decision-making by Uefa executive

Platini as player had a strong mind and now he has an opportunity to tackle and win over problems that he has outlined. It looks a tall order but he is a populist as described BBC sports editor Mihir Bose. So let's count him to do the job.

He should deal firmly with foul-mouthed people like Mattarazi of Italy, so that win or lose, the outcome of the game can be decided on the skill of players playing football and not taunting racial insults.

"It is a game before a product, a sport before a market, a show before a business."
-Michel Platini.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Managing your money

Here's a book that offers insights to financial understanding. Babylon was the wealthiest city of the ancient world because its citizens were the richest people of their time.

They appreciated the value of money. They practiced sound financial principles in acquiring money, keeping money and making their money earn more money.

"Richest Man In Babylon" was first published way back in 1926. Since then it has sold more than two million copies and has become a financial cult classic.

The brevity and simplicity of the book can be deceiving as it is a powerful little book with a powerful message that can change lives.

"Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family." George S. Clason

Monday, January 29, 2007

Where is Capitalism heading?

Capitalism is a economic system based on individual rights. Capitalism prevails in a free market in which the means of production are mostly privately owned and operated for profit.

History has shown that capitalism has had greater success over its rival systems, socialism and communism for creating wealth. The socialist system of India has witnessed a Mother Teresa who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace."

The capitalist system in United States produced a Bill Gates who created a fortune for himself and became the richest person in the world by helping others to create fortunes for themselves. In the first case the Mother feeds the poor on a daily basis, while Gates has shown a way for people to fend for themselves.

And so it is agreed that capitalism has won in creating more wealth. It is the engine that is driving most of the world's economies. Where capitalism has flourished, it has a thriving middle class, a term that is ill-defined to include those who have a degree of economic independence but are neither at the top nor at the bottom of a social hierarchy.

In the world's largest capitalist economy, the United States, the middle class today is less prepared for an economic emergency, such as losing a job , than at any time since the late 1970s, concludes a new study from a political think tank in Washington.

This means the middle class has become a doomed class. It means even to remain in this class one has to start working early, continue personal saving and be blessed with good, or at least decent, physical and mental health.

It's hard to achieve much if you can't work. Illness, disability, addiction, and other afflictions can stop your economic progress in its tracks. Capitalism is not the panacea for all economic woes including poverty.

Capitalism gives the freedom that the rich need to create and maintain and their wealth, it gives the same freedom to the poor to create wealth. Thus, no one is forced into poverty, as in non-capitalist countries.

Unfortunately even with globalisation, modern technology and the various forms of economic models, the human capacity, capability and the motivation to increase and maintain wealth differs vastly from people to people under different conditions.

As a result while the rich have become richer through the many opportunities that continue to empower them, the gap between the rich and the poor also continues to increase.

While capitalism is not an egalitarian concept, those who are unable to make a decent living for whatever reason in a capitalist society must be given a helping hand in order to maintain social harmony and peace. This is the challenge for the modern capitalist economies.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Good news for caffeine lovers

This cup of coffee just not getting it done anymore?

America's craving for the black brew has created an $11 billion industry. Americans consume more than 300 million cups of coffee each day from coffee shops, whose numbers have grown 18-fold since 1990.

Dr. Robert Bohannon, a molecular scientist in Durham, North Carlina , has come up with a novel idea. He's developed a way to add caffeine to baked goods, without the bitter taste of caffeine. Each piece of pastry is the equivalent of about two cups of coffee.

Now he's hoping to persuade chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts to sign on to sell his Buzz Donuts and Buzzed Bagels.

There'll be more jazz for coffee lovers, when the caffeinated products hit the market especially aimed at a younger audience.

Mixed signals from snowy Davos

The gathering of top corporate and political figures and economists in the Swiss Alps has raised concern that several years of strong global economic growth and surging liquidity have seen hedge funds and other investors take on ever-larger positions in credit derivatives and other instruments.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, speaking in a panel discussion on the global outlook, warned that credit spreads and risk premiums on numerous financial products appear too low, a phenomenon that "calls for attention" and possible an "orderly re-evaluation of risks."

This seems to be a phenomenon of the good times. Hedge funds and even some investors who are risk averse in leaner economic periods are emboldened to take brazen risks when the going is good for longer periods. Hence national and global financial institutions must remain alert for any unsavoury behaviour which may cause financial hardships to communities.

Economists can sound the alarm and do their best for what they are paid -worrying. But corporate heavyweights must play their part to avert the temptation of people like Nick Leeson whose speculative trading lost £1.3 billion and brought down Britain's oldest merchant bank Barrings.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ayurvedic Eastern Power

Ayurveda is an ancient medical practice summarizing the Hindu art of healing and prolonging life. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning "the science of life".

Ayurveda teaches that humans consist of three aspects: the physical, the subtle and the causal, or body, mind and soul in Western terms. Health, according to Ayurveda is a balanced expression of all these three elements.

Ayurvedic healing presents the Ayurvedic treatment of common diseases, covering over eighty different ailments form the common cold to cancer. It provides a full range of treatment methods including diet, herbs, oils, gems, mantra or meditation.

To skepical western audiences, much of this ayurveda stuff sounds like nonsense. But the western medical community has begun to accept the holistic approach to treating illnesses and so ayurvedic medicine is gaining recognition as complimenting the more modern western forms of medicine.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift" - Albert Einstein

Friday, January 26, 2007

Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age

"Our First Amendment expresses
a far different calculus for regulating speech
than for regulating nonexpressive conduct
and that is as it should be.

The right to swing your fist should end at the tip of my nose,
but your right to express your ideas
should not necessarily end at the lobes of my ears."

-- Alan Dershowitz- Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

Source: Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age, 2002

Worries at the world's talking shop

The World Economic Forum (WEF) aims to solve the world's problems. The Geneva-based foundation's annual meeting usually held in mountaneous retreat of Davos brings together top business leaders, national political leaders (presidents, prime ministers and others), and selected intellectuals and journalists.

It gives a platform to artists, academics, religious leaders, campaigners and activists to further their cause by networking with friends and competing rivals. It provides an opportunity to come close to the rich and powerful through the many workshops and meetings.

In recent years this heavily fortified event has been marred by the anti-globalisation movement protesting against the widening income gap and the dire state of poverty. This year leading technology experts sitting comfortably inside the barricaded walls have sounded another alarm.

Experts are warning that criminals controlling millions of personal computers are threatening the internet's future. Up to a quarter of computers on the net may be used by cyber criminals in so-called botnets.

Botnets are made up of large numbers of computers that malicious hackers have brought under their control after infecting them with so-called Trojan virus programs.

While most owners are oblivious to the infection, the networks of tens of thousands of computers are used to launch spam e-mail campaigns, denial-of-service attacks or online fraud schemes.

Michael Dell, founder of Dell computers looking into the solutions for the survival of the web said the future might bring "disposable virtual PCs", accessed through the internet, that would minimise the threat of a persistent virus infection.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Technology brings back good old 'chatting'

As president George Bush was following the age old retual of delivering the State of the Union address, Democratic presidential candidate Tom Vilsack was in his car, racing to a dinner.

While he listened to the president on his radio, he pulled out his BlackBerry and began typing.

“I am not only interested in hearing your thoughts about the speech,” he wrote in an online political forum at, “but also your ideas about what we should be doing as a country.”

His post kicked off a lengthy conversation between Vilsack, GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and HOTSOUP community members from across the country.

HOTSOUP is an online community that connects well-known influencers from the worlds of politics, business, religion, and popular culture with influencers who drive opinion at the grassroots and community levels.

Harnessing the power of social networking technology, HOTSOUP levels the playing field by giving anyone and everyone a voice in how America’s institutions can work better.

Opinion Drivers are an enormous and growing force because Americans place decreasing trust in old-line opinion leaders such as network anchors and politicians; they’re turning to each other for advice and guidance in these fast-changing times.

This is the 21st century conversation – online, surrounded by an e-community and authentically two-way.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007



Some setbacks are so severe that to give in to them means losing the whole ball game. When he assumed command of the Korean War, Gen. Matthew Ridgeway found his forces pushed far to the south, hard pressed by the invaders.

Only a determined decision to hold the lines allowed the American forces to keep from being swept into the sea and to eventually regain all the territory they had lost.

When a defeat strikes, you may not have the time to withdraw and contemplate your mistakes without risking further setbacks.

Don’t succumb to paralysis. It is important to know at that moment what it is you truly desire and to act to preserve your resources and your hope.

If you crumble utterly, you will take a blow to your self-esteem that will be hard to repair.

Instead, stick to your principles, and you will know, at the very least, that you have protected the most important thing you have. your successes in life will far outnumber your failures.

This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Microwave your sponge

I've read somewhere about an arguement that the kitchen is dirtier than the bathroom.

The kitchen sponge is a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses or parasites. Here are some tips to sanitize your kitchen and kill the unwanted stuff from your sponge by microwaving.

Keep up good housekeeping so that you can keep the food borne microbes and bacteria such as E. coli, and other viruses at bay.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Infosys chief talks about values

Here is Narayana Murthy founder of Infosys talking about corporate strategy, competitive advantage, consumer's trust, ethics and values and more.

The changing power of internet

The internet has become an important tool of communication as confirmed by a fast-growing trend in the United States.

Politicians and activists pay almost as much attention now to blogs as they do to traditional news sources.

But the web is challenging not just the traditional media but also techniques that have been popular for two decades, such as focus groups and advertising.

Democratic presidential hopefuls showed over the weekend the increasing dominance of the web as a political tool.

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic governor Bill Richardson both opted against the traditional launch - a televised speech in a hall or other public arena, surrounded by family, flags and a few dozen supporters - and announced their intentions on the internet.

Mrs Clinton, the frontrunner, made her case for the Democratic nomination on Saturday on her website (, the centrepiece of which was a well-rehearsed video in which she said: "I'm in and I am in to win." She promised to hold web chats today, tomorrow and Wednesday.

Likewise Gov. Richardson, also made his announcement yesterday by video. The old media, CNN, was reduced to showing his web video in its hourly broadcasts.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Racist bullying in Reality

Allegations of racial taunts against Bollywood filmstar Shilpa Shetty, 31, in the UK Channel 4 Reality show "Celebrity Big Brother" is casting a shadow over Chancellor Gordon Brown's visit to India.

Shetty broke down in tears on Monday after expressing concerns that Jade, a fellow participant had made racial comments about her skin colour, accent and cooking.

A fierce controversy against racism made headlines across the media in India, with thousands writing in to Channel 4 protesting the alleged insults hurled on the Indian star who is making $680,000 for her part in the show.

In an abrupt about turn Shilp Shetty has changed her story on Thursday. Here is what she said, ”I think it is clash of cultures and I don't feel there was any racial discrimination from Jade's end," Shilpa Shetty told the newsmen.

She also went on record to say that people say things in a fit of anger and I stand corrected so, I don't want people to think and feel that way and I continue to feel that way.

So while the viewership of the reality TV show saw an impressive jump in the UK, the incident has left the people back home a little puzzled. Cultural differences and racism are two different things.

The controversy raises the question of whether Big Brother is simply using provocative behaviour to rouse viewer curiosity? And whether Shetty is just playing along to boost the viewership ratings?

Shilpa Shetty knew what she was getting into, when she went on the show. Nothing good can come out of such mean tactics to improve ratings if in fact the whole controversy was caused for that purpose. What kind of entertainment value does such foul-mouthing provide?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

US trash makes a billionaire

Here is the power of an idea put to action.

Just five years ago, Zhang Yin and her husband were driving around the United States in a used Dodge Caravan minivan, pleading garbage dumps to give them their scrap paper.

Zhang started collecting wastepaper in 1990 in Los Angeles and shipping it to China to make the cardboard needed by growing export industries.

Her company, Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Ltd., is now China's biggest packaging maker. Nine Dragon's stock has risen fourfold since its March initial public offering, pushing Zhang's fortune to $4.7 billion.

"Other people saw scrap paper as garbage, but I saw it as a forest of trees," Zhang, 49, told reporters last November in Hong Kong. "I had to learn from scratch. The business was just my husband and me, and I didn't speak a word of English."

In the process of pursuing her dream, Zhang has become China's richest person, estimated at $3.4 billion.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

US remembers King

On Monday the United States celebrated the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his legacy of bringing civil rights to all.

Given the daunting challenges facing a globalised world today, Martin Luther King's desire for peace and non violence should focus the attention on the savagery of violence in several parts of the world.

Here are some of King's quotes.

1-"One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance."

2-"The means by which we live have out distanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has out run our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

3- "One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change."

4-"The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Are we at a turning point now?

The Russian economist Kondratieff (1892-1938) , theorised that economies moved in 50- to 60-year cycles with periods of high growth followed by periods of slower growth, with each cycle driven by a bunch of technical innovations. It has been called the "Kondratieff waves" or the K-Waves.

The first wave of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century was , followed by the Age of Steam and Railways (1830s), the Age of Steel, Electricity and Heavy Engineering (1870s), the Age of Oil, the Automobile and Mass Production (1900s) and finally, the Age of Information and Telecommunications (1970s).

According to this theory, we are currently at the turning-point of the fifth Kondratieff wave.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

David Beckham heading for the land of dreams

After having a mediocre performance at Real Madrid, David Beckham's incredible career is taking a Hollywood twist.

The former England captain and Manchester United player says he is leaving Real Madrid to sign for Los Angeles Galaxy. The 31-year-old is the most famous player to sign up for Major League Soccer since it began in 1996.

Beckham is much more than the "Bend It Like Beckham" soccer player. Beckham has been awarded an OBE for services to football in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2003. He supports UNICEF and is a goodwill ambassador with a special focus on sports for development.

He is a marketing magnet marketing sports brands and fashion. Die-hard socceer fans in Europe, Asia and Africa can't see enough of Beckham's banana- curling free kicks that has made him hugely popular.

Now the Beckhamania is bound for LA, where he and his celebrity wife, the former "Posh" Spice Victoria Beckham are going to rub shoulders with Hollywood's rich and famous.

Tabloids are eager about their move, especially since they could fill the gap left by glamour couples like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, both of whom have shunned publicity in recent months to raise their young children.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Is mean-spiritedness popular in US?

The scandalous behaviour of the current Miss USA Tara Conner lead to the contest's organiser Donald Trump to give her a second chance.

This has caused a feud between the well known Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. These two people are in the public eye, Donald for his wealth-creating entreprenurial pursuits and Rosie, the Emmy-winning talk show host.

Rosie initiated the first blow of words on the ABC's daytime talk show The View, where she is the co-host. The Americans seem to take an infantile fascination to the name calling that is going on between Donald and Rosie.

Judging by the fervour this unseemly story is analyzed even by the mainstream media, it would appear that both parties may continue the relentless attack. Apparently it is good for their business. It may be hard to believe that there is an audience interested in people taking cheap shots.

But this shouldn't be a surprise if one looks at what is happening in the media and entertainment industry today.

In the interconnected and globalized world, who has not heard of the singing and talent contest the American idol - unless one is living in some inaccessible remote corner of the Himalayan mountains.

The American Idol's success has inspired many other countries to produce their own vesions of the Idol series. One of the judges in the American Idol, Simon Cowell, has become notorious for his blunt and often controversial criticism of the contestants.

Whereas previously it was bad manners to belittle a person in public, today there are TV and media personalities who make their career to do so.

This trend would not have taken off in America and elswhere in the world unless there is a willing and gullible audience who at some level enjoy the misfortunes of others while publicly protesting that this is not the case.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Building Relationships


Most of us have two basic questions about others when we enter into a relationship.

They are: Can I trust you? And, do you really care about me?

Depending upon our previous success in partnerships with others-personal or business-the answers may be slow in coming.

Confidence in another is often developed gradually as those involved in the relationship commit themselves to each other’s success and happiness. Although trust and confidence are the basic underpinnings of all successful relationships, they are fragile.

A relationship that has endured for months or even years can be irreparably damaged by a few unkind words or a single thoughtless act.

Don’t allow yourself to act in haste or to lose control of your emotions in important relationships.

This message is from the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

From rags to Hollywood's Walk of fame

The two-time Oscar winner has reached an important milestone in the rags-to-riches story that she started when she was sixteen years old.

She was presented with the 2,325th star on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame" on Monday, an illustreous honour to a person who came from very humble beginnings.

At the age of 30, Hilary Swank is one of the most respected actresses working in Hollywood today. Her powerful position was first acquired on the basis of her performance in the acclaimed drama 'Boys Don't Cry.'

An emotional Swank told onlookers at Monday's ceremony how her mother had helped her forge her career.

"I watched my mom with a roll of quarters go to a payphone and call agents and say, 'You should really meet my daughter, she's beautiful and she's talented,'" she said.

Well done to Hilary who came to Hollywood with only $75 in the pocket.

Yahoo is after the mobile market

Yahoo has announced the latest version of its Yahoo Go 2.0 mobile phones Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The new software would be preloaded onto more than 70 mobile handset models from top manufacturers including Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung Electronics.

Yahoo Go 2.0 incorporates a collection of services including OneSearch which makes mobile searching much easier. Yahoo Go 2.o also offers quick access to e-mail, news, entertainment, weather, maps, and other content.

How many soft skills do you have?

Check out from the list here.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The digital decade is here

In his penultimate keynote address at the the world's largest hi-tech conference, the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates focused on the topic of increased connectivity as the key to entering a truly digital decade.

This is the meeting where everyone looks for the cool technology that is about to be released to the market.

"Young people spend more time with their Windows PC than watching TV," Gates said.

Commenting on Microsoft's forthcoming Vista Bill Gates said, "For Microsoft this year is a big milestone. This is by far the most important release of Windows ever."

Vista-based personal computers would be the tool to connect people. People can to do things with their content across multiple platforms. Connectivity is the important component.

Gates also talked about a new Windows Home Server that Microsoft is working with HP. The Windows Home Server is a storage system which can hold more than one terabyte of data.

The Home Server lets people store all their data on a central device and access from any number of Windows-connected products, including the Zune portable music player, the Xbox 360, PCs and phones.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

'Freedom Writers' : changing the unteachables

Here's a true story, 'Freedom Writers' that has just been released as a film starring the two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank.

The story is about an idealistic young teacher determined to help some unteachable students who are involved in interracial gang warfare.

What emerges from a claustrophobic classroom setting is an uplifting and inspirational strory. When the teacher listens to the students it opens a giant pathway to understanding and confidence building with the unruly students.

Oratorical skills are stronger than brute force. Such skills broke down idelogical barriers and inspired street kids to become productive and useful.

The human spirit is undefeatable as demonstrated by the work of the 'Freedom Writers.'

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Inflation is the major worry to US economy?

If there was a single theme expressed by Alan Greenspan from late 1987 to early 2006, it was this: "Inflation is a threat to the economy." Current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has the same worry, going by The Feds hint at the possibility of further interest rate hikes to keep inflation in check.

The two biggest risk areas for 2007 are a correction of an inflated housing market and a leveling off in the manufacturing sector.

Construction of new homes dipped in the second and third quarters of 2006, a decrease from nearly 2.3 million starts early in 2006 to about 1.6 million starts in November.

Now, most of the top economic forecasters are predicting a "soft landing," for the US economy which means the economy slows but not so sharply as to cause a recession.

The problem is whenever a recession hits us, most of the same experts are wrong.

Dancing with Giants

The full title of the report written for the World Bank reads 'Dancing with Giants: China, India, and the Global Economy.'

Chapter six of the report is on 'Partially Awakened Giants: Uneven Growth in China and India.'

The world has to dance with the two emerging giants of Asia, China and India who are now principal drivers of the global economy. What happens in these two huge markets affects the rest of the world from increasing oil prices to the environment that we live.

The World Bank report rings the alarm bells for a more pressing problem; the income gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Globalisation and technology has created new opportunies and the rich are getting richer while the impact at the lowest level of poverty is not seeing the same level of rise. In both countries, there has been a marked geographic unevenness in the economic growth process.

The harder these countries try to reduce the gap by creating more economic growth, the bigger the problem of high and rising inequality.

In order to maintain political and social stabililty in these countries and avoid spillover effects for trade and growth of the rest the world, China and India will have to reduce the inequalities by focusing on the dimensions that create or preserve unequal opportunities.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Money isolates people ?

A recent study — part of the growing field of behavioural economics — takes that disconnect between community and consumerism a step further, suggesting that even thinking about money can isolate an individual.

People who were primed with images of money were not only more self reliant, they were also less likely to help others, according to the findings of University of Minnesota marketing professor Kathleen Vohs.

"Money pushes people into a state where they become focused on achieving their own goals without help of others," says researcher Kathleen Vohs.

The finding shows that people with money on the brain also appeared to be less open, putting more physical space between themselves and others.

On the positive side of this finding is the fact that being self-sufficient and goal-driven, one can achieve something without relying on other people .

It's rather shocking that in the experiment, people who were reminded of money didn't even make an attempt to help others who were in need.

While there are many rich people who donate their money and time generously for worthy causes, the experiment does show the negative side of how some people may succumb to the influence of money.

Dale Carnegie's Success Tips

Today is a new life.
Shut the doors on the past and the future.
Live in day-tight compartments

Source:The Dale Carnegie Course

Thursday, January 04, 2007

El Nino to wreak more havoc in 2007

A sobering prediction for 2007 has been made by scientists at the British Met Office.

According to Professor Phil Joneds, director of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia who is a leading climate expert, a combination of global warming and the El NiƱo weather system is set to make 2007 the warmest year on record with far-reaching consequences for the planet.

The prediction will be seen by environmentalists as more evidence that the world must act quickly to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.

More details on this BBC report.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Starbucks: Trans fat out. Caffeine still in

The world's largest specialty coffee retailer has been working to eliminate trans fats from its food menu for about two years, said a spokesperson on Tuesday.

Standalone Starbucks stores in Seattle, Washington; San Francisco, California; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; San Diego, California; Boston, Massachusetts; New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington; and Portland, Oregon will have zero trans fats in their food beginning Wednesday.

Starbucks plans to eventually drop the artery-clogging fats from company-operated coffeehouses across the country.

Trans fats, listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, are believed to be harmful because they wreak havoc on cholesterol levels.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Prince Harry to quit smoking

Prince Harry killed birds while smoking a cigarette during a traditional shoot at Sandringham in Norfolk, London a few years back.

The 22-year-old prince first took up cigarettes at the age of 14 while he was still a pupil at Eton. He has carried on smoking up to twenty Marlboro Lights a day ever since, even through his grueling yearlong army training course at Sandhurst, the Daily Mail reported.

His decision to quit smoking comes as the Ministry of Defence prepares to ban smoking at all army barracks from March. Army sources have suggested that officer Harry wants to cut down gradually before the new regulations come in.

Inspite of his father's disapproval of the nicotine habit, Harry has not given up smoking. Nicotine is an awful drug addiction and he will need a strong positive attitude to kick the habit. Good for him if the army regulations can force him to give up. Let us hope the prince can keep his new year resolution for good.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Singapore ushers in 2007

Over 150,000 people turned up at Marina Bay on Sunday evening to usher in the New Year.

Marina Bay is in Singapore's Central Area which refers to the core financial and commercial districts in Singapore. Marina Bay is becoming the marketing brandname for the new developments to extend to the central business district in the Marina South area.

Future developments around Marina Bay are expected to further support Singapore's continuing growth as a major business and financial hub in the region. The area has also been planned to become a lifestyle hub with round the clock vibrancy and energy.

After major land reclamation was done, now the legendary Singapore River empties into the Marina Bay. Singapore river steeped in myth is the lifeblood of Singapore's early trade and commercial activity.

Now the river brings romantic charm entertaining visitors in riverside pubs and restaurants. Cruise boats and river taxis use the river to take tourists around, seeing historical landmarks like the Raffles Landing Place and the watchful Merlion standing guard at its entrance.

The sleepy town that once was, has transformed into a well-run city state with creative and performance arts taking the centre stage as was shown by the glittering fireworks that usherd in the new year.