Happy New Year 2015


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eyecatchers-96: IIT-Madras Celebrates Golden Jubilee!

The prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, is planning to have year-long celebrations in commemoration of its Golden Jubilee.

IIT-M, as it is popularly known, was established in July 1959 under Indo-German Cooperation.

Its Alumni of nearly 32,000 spread all over the world are occupying top positions in industry and academia.

Source: The Hindu, Madurai, July 31, 2008.

Wikipedia article on IIT-Madras:

Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Eyecatchers-95: "Man Booker Prize for this year"

Two first-time novelists from the subcontinent – Aravind Adiga, an Indian journalist, and Mohammed Hanif, a London-based Pakistani broadcaster – will compete with Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghosh for this year’s Man Booker Prize, giving it a heavy India-Pakistan flavour.

Adiga’s ‘The White Tiger’ takes a hard look at the underbelly of India’s economic boom. Hanif’s blistering political satire, ‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes’ is about the mysterious air crash that killed Zia-ul-Haq. They are up against Rushdie’s ‘The Enchantress of Florence’ and Ghosh’s ‘Sea of Poppies’.

The 13-strong longlist, picked from among 112 entries, will be whittled down to six. These finalists’ names will be announced in September. The winner of the £50,000 prize will be declared in October.

Excerpt from “Subcontinent looms over Man Booker longlist” by Hasan Suroor in The Hindu, Madurai, July 31, 2008.

Wikipedia article on “Man Booker Prize”:

Grateful thanks to Hasan Suroor, The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Eyecatchers-94: "22nd World Congress on Philosophy"

Thousands of philosophers from around the globe gathered at Seoul on Wednesday (July 30, 2008) for their first world congress to be held in Asia, to discuss ways to enhance dialogue between different countries.
The 22nd World Congress on Philosophy, being held under the theme of "Rethinking Philosophy Today", has drawn more than 3000 prominent philosophers from some 150 countries - AFP.
Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, July 31, 2008.
Wikipedia article on "World Congress on Philosophy":
Grateful thanks to AFP, The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Eyecatchers-93: "Ban on Fastfood"

Los Angeles officials have approved a one-year ban on fast-food chains opening in a poor neighborhood of the city battling higher-than-average obesity.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, July 31, 2008(“Newscape”).

Wikipedia article on “Childhood Obesity” and “Fastfood”:


Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Facts & Figures-37: "Costliest Street in the UK!"

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal resides in Britain’s most expensive street – Kensington Palace Gardens – with an average house price £ 41.4 million.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, July 31, 2008.

Article on “Lakshmi Mittal” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Photo Album-44: "Vinod at Work"

My Photo Album-43: "Achu looks up!"

My Photo Album-42: "Achu, a recent photo"

My Photo Album-41: "A Beaming Aravind with hands folded in salutation"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

S&T Watch-19: "Fuel cell cars still 15 years away!”

Los Angeles Times of July 18, 2008 reports quoting Reuters as source that Fuel cell cars are still 15 years away at best.

Excerpts from the news item:

Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are still 15 years away from becoming a viable business for automakers even if they overcome remaining technical hurdles and the US govt provides massive subsidies, a government-funded report said Thursday (July 17, 2008).

Under a best-case scenario, automakers will only be able to sell about 2 million electric vehicles powered by fuel cells by 2020, according to the study by the National Research Council. That would mean that less than 1% of the vehicles on US roads by that date would be powered by fuel cells.

Advocates see the still-emerging technology as a way to cut oil use and carbon emissions since fuel cells combined stored hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity. As a result, fuel-cell vehicles emit only water vapor.

Success for fuel-cell technology hinges on building facilities to generate, transport and store hydrogen at filling stations. It will also require automakers to build cheap and durable hydrogen vehicles that consumers want to buy.

For the full article from Los Angeles Times:

Grarteful thanks to Los Angeles Times and Reuters.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nellaiappan's Column-5: "Gettings Things Done"

Getting things done is an art. It is like how a bee extracts honey from a flower. Another way is like crushing sugarcane to extract juice. How do you extract work? Are you a bee or a crusher?

When I asked the above question in the training program I got many different answers. I am a bee, said someone. No, I am a crusher, was the second answer. The third man said, “I am a bee most of the time, but occasionally I become a crusher to the same person”.

“It depends on the other man” was the next interesting reply. It depends on whether the other man is a flower or sugarcane- someone elaborated. He further added, “I am a bee to a flower and a crusher to a sugarcane”.

“It not only depends on the other person, but mostly on the situation too. Ya, urgency and precision of work drive us so” was the view of an Engineer.

The Production Manager said, “ I am a flower to my boss and a crusher to my production team”. Amidst waves of laughter the Production Supervisor contradicted his boss by saying, “ No, no. Our boss is always a bee to us”

“You are expected to speak like that, as the annual appraisal is fast approaching” – HR Manager added his share. Roars of laughter filled the air.

Someone seriously interrupted, “Where is the question of flower and sugarcane? I have clay, dry hard clay with me. Even if it is wet clay, I can mould it to the required shape. How to mould dry clay?”

You add water. It is as simple as that. HR man had the readymade answer.

“Why should the HR recruit clay and sugarcanes in the first place instead of flowers?”, argued the Maintenance Manager.

“All were flowers at the beginning and only their long association with you, made them as clay and sugarcane,” retorted the HR Manager.

“We cannot remain as flowers as long as the bosses are not bees,” added the union leader.

“No one is a complete clay, sugarcane or flower. They act differently at different situations and accordingly we have to handle them,” the GM explained with live examples.

He concluded with “Tell people what you want. Never tell them how it should be down. Instead, question them how they are going to do it. Let the other man feel it is his baby. If it is your baby they will kill it, and if it is theirs they will cherish it.

The entire program was full of interaction and GM was praising me (in his cabin) for the bee and sugarcane example. I told him that that was not my original stuff. I read in a book, how a government should collect tax from its people like a bee collecting honey. I only modified it to another situation.

Then I should appreciate you for reading good books, he said. If you want to appreciate someone, you present him or her with good books, I told him. That’s what I suggest you too.

S&T Watch-18 : "500-metre diameter synchrotron!"

The world's largest scale synchrotron is at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai Research and Development Center. It produces neutrons and neutrionos to be used for research materials and life science.
Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, July 24, 2008 ("Snapshots")
For a detailed article on "Synchrotron" from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

S&T Watch-17 : "Easterbunny" becomes "Makemake"

"Easterbunny," a red, methane-covered dwarf planet orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, was designated as the third plutoid in our solar system and rechristened "Makemake." - Claire Gutierrez

Courtesy: Harper's Weekly, Weekly News, July 22, 2008.
Article on "Makemake" from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Grateful thanks to Claire Gutierrez, Harper's Weekly and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Letters-31: "Alarming Trend"

1. Boozing and drug abuses are common among teenagers in most states ('Folley Valley', The Week, June 22, 2008). It is the parents who are to blame for this. Parents nowadays are so involved in their careers that they ignore their cchildren. By giving their wards pocket money and the latest gizmos, they think that they have done their duty. Little do they realise that they are spoiling the future of their children by not giving them proper care and guidance. - A.Rekha, On email.
2. The country is so obsessed with petty politics and the lousy game of cricket that we miss the real issues. We are too busy to sit down with our children and understand their problems. The difficulties faced by today's youth are different from the previous generation's, because society has changed tremendously in the last few decades. - Janardana Pai, Chennai.
Courtesy: The Week, July 13, 2008 ("Letters").
Grateful thanks to Ms.A.Rekha, Mr.Janardana Pai and The Week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eyecatchers-92: "CFL Bulbs Mandatory"

The UP government has made it mantory for government institutions and organisations to use CFL bulbs instead of incandescent ones for lighting.
Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, July 22, 2008 (Newscape).
Grateful thanks to The Hindu.

Have a hearty laugh-3:

A complaint has been lodged against a policeman at Tirunelveli, alleging that he has forcibly taken away money from two beggars, Dinamalar reports (July 22, 2008).

India Watch-7: "Confidence Motion in Parliament for the 8th time!"

Confidence motion has been tabled at the Indian Parliament 8 times in the past 29 years and six times the ruling party has won, Dinamalar reports.

Courtesy: 'Dinamalar', Tamil daily, July 22, 2008.
Grateful thanks to 'Dinamalar'.

India Watch-6: 'Price' of an MP, Rs.100 crores!

As the fate of the Manmohan government is being decided at the parliament today, reports say that the 'price' of an MP has gone up to Rs.100 crores as the climax nears. It is presumed that even if he loses or wins, the margin will be slim.
Courtesy: 'Dinamalar', July 22, 2008.
Grateful thanks to 'Dinamalar'.

India Watch-5: Record Betting in Mumbai!

It is reported that in Mumbai, betting figures are of the order of Rs.3000 crores on whether the present government at the centre will surive the confidence vote in parliament today.
Courtesy: 'Ananda Vikatan, (Tamil weekly), July 23, 2008.
Grateful thanks to 'Ananda Vikatan'.

India Watch-4: "120 crore Indians by 2010!"

India's population will touch 120 cores in 2010.

Courtesy: 'Ananda Vikatan', (Tamil weekly), July 23, 2008.
Grateful thanks to 'Ananda Vikatan'.

India Watch-3: "30 crore Indian can't read even their names!"

A recent study says that there are 30 crore Indians who can't read even their names.

Courtesy: 'Ananda Vikatan, (Tamil weekly), July 23, 2008.
Grateful thanks to 'Ananda Vikatan'.

Nellaiappan's Column-4: "Work is Elastic"

When a professor asked one section of students to submit an assignment within seven days invariably most of the students submitted the same on the seventh day. The same professor when asked another section of students to submit the same assignment within 10 days, only on the tenth day most of the students submitted it. To be more correct, it was the eleventh hour of the tenth day.

Well, I have seen people reading till the last minute in the corridor of the examination venue. This holds true even for IIT and IAS examinations.

Whenever there was an audit in the factory, till 9 A.M people continue cleaning some thing or the other, rewrite some records, shift an equipment or paint a door.

There is a general principle inherent in all the above examples. Parkinson law states that in a single line. It requires lot of distilled wisdom to state some management concept or principle in few lines in simple language. That’s why they are great.

Long back, I bought “Parkinson’s Law” for just Rs. 5 in a roadside secondhand bookstall. It says, “Work expands so as to fill the time allotted to complete it”. Or, work expands to fill the time available. Or more precisely, “work is elastic”.

Mega serial stories expand to fill the number of episodes allotted by their TV channels. Bonus talks continue till the eve of “ Diwali” or “Pongal” as the case may be. Promises pour in till the eve of elections. Tailors always stitch till the evening of the delivery date and so on.

I can deduce the following from the above.

(1) Only deadlines make things happen.
(2) Allot only the exact time for any work. Never give grace time to any one, expecting perfection or better quality.
(3) Never declare the real deadline to downline and always keep some cushion for last minute fine-tuning.
Why the purse is always near empty while returning home after our purchase spree? Is there a law about this? My wife enquires. Well, “Expenses expand to match the income” is the answer.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Letters-30: "Living Well"

1. The article, “The Way to Wellness” (July 13, 2008) came like a fresh breeze on a lazy Sunday morning. It reminds us that there is much more to life than just making money. Everyone likes earning more, but are not able to accept the “free gift” that comes along with it – stress!

When life hits hard, we blame our destiny, often forgetting that we ourselves are the ones who create it. This article teaches us to take charge of our lives, to stay calm and optimistic through all the whirlwinds that life brings with it and most importantly, it reminds us that life is to live! – Aparna Pal, Email.

2. The article is an excellent piece, to be read by all. It is written in a simple language with readymade prescriptions to suit the moderns and the traditionals alike. We have forgotten simplicity and acquired the habit of making things complicated. The article gives out the essence of Vedic knowledge with excellent narratives. Lifestyles incorporating the steps to wellness can transform people’s physical and mental health. – Dr.A.R.K.Pillai, Mumbai.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Sunday Magazine, July 20, 2008 (Mail Bag).

For reading the full article, “The Way to Wellness” by Geetha Padmanabhan in the online edition of Hindu of July 13, 2008:


Grateful thanks to Ms Aparna Pal, Dr ARK Pillai and The Hindu.

Facts & Figures-36 : "Space Junk"

There are about 6000 satellites in orbit and some 5000 of them are dead, said former NASA Director Ivan Kekey.

There are an estimated 1,50,000 pieces of space debris of the size of basket balls and tiny bulletfast pieces..... – New York Times News Service

Excerpt from The Hindu, Madurai, July 20, 2008.

Article on “Space Debris” from Wikipedia:


Grateful thanks to the New York Times New Services, The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

S&T Watch-16: "Light Rays used to judge Health of Plants"

I have read about Kirlian Photography some years back during my Homeopathy days. It was discovered accidentally by Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, a Russian of Armenian descent, in 1939. It employs high-frequency current and is also known as Corona Discharge Photography. Without a camera, using only a photographic film and electric current, Kirlian was able to take striking photographs of apparent energy discharge around objects.

It was found that Kirlian photography could help detect incipient plant disease. Likewise, it can also help to find the index of a person’s health, besides illuminating the acupuncture points of the human body. Incidentally, it also showed proof of supernatural auras, resembling outline of objects like colourful halos. This is an interesting but controversial subject and research is still being conducted on it.

More details about “Semyon Kirlian” and “Kirlian Photography” are available in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semyon_Kirlian

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirlian

The book, “Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain” by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder also provides more details about the experiments of the Kirlians on Kirlian Photography aka Corona Discharge Photography. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall, 1970).

Now, I have read in today’s paper about a Singapore Polytechnic lecturer coming up with a similar discovery which could help determine health of plants. Further, this discovery also helps farmers detect when and how much fertilizer and water their plants need. Very useful and interesting indeed. The report from DPA, which was reproduced in The Hindu, Madurai, of July 20, 2008 is furnished below:

“A Singapore lecturer has found a way to determine the health of plants long before they show obvious signs of wilting, a centre for biomedical life sciences said on Saturday (July 19, 2008). Dr Liew Oi Wah, at the Singapore Polytechnic, is replying on light sensors to study the wave pattern reflected from plants. She is able to determine the extent of minerals a plant needs depending on the light spectrum produced. Dr Liew is aiming to develop sensor that will help farmers detect when and how much fertilizer and water their plants need. More than 70% of the world’s fresh water supply goes to agriculture, with fertilizers causing pollution in some countries. – DPA”

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, July 20, 2008

Grateful thanks to DPA, The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Nellaiappan's Column-3: "My Concept of Value Addition"

Why do people obey instructions? Is it because of fear of punishment? Is it because of the hierarchy? - The boss gives instructions and people down the line listen and obey the instructions; or is it because of the fact that generally every human being from childhood has been conditioned to do obey authority?

Before trying for a satisfying answer to the question in hand, I should tell you what had happened long back when I was a section-in-charge in a chemical manufacturing unit.

It was just after the completion of my regular plant visit on that particular day. As I was walking from the plant towards the office, I could see at the factory gate someone trying to enter and the security guard preventing him. I just clapped my hand once to draw the attention of the guard and signaled him to send the outsider to me.

He was a well-built young man, dressed like a student but the dress was dirty. He seemed to be very tired and in a feeble voice told me that he had not taken any food for the past two days. Controlling his tears, he asked for a job, any job. I took him to the office, provided him water and then a cup of strong coffee.

I learnt from him that because of a quarrel with his father, he had come out of his home a week before and was managing on his own with the money he had for five days. When all the money was gone, he was desperately trying to get a job, when someone showed him our company.

He was at my feet, begging for a job. All he wanted was a job to ensure two square meals a day. When I told him that there was opening only for casual labor, he jumped excitedly and assured that he would do any work without complaint.

I arranged full meals for him in the company canteen and asked him to return the next day. I pressed a 100-rupee note in his shirt pocket, when he hesitated to take it from me.

The next day morning he was eagerly waiting for my arrival. He was standing outside my office. By then I had worked out a plan for the chap.

I asked him how much wages he expected. He replied that he would be happy with sixty rupees a day. I told him that the wage would be rupees 120 per day. He gasped a little and started thanking profusely. He was beaming. I had difficulty in stopping him from touching my feet again.

Then I took him to the lawn and asked him to dig a pit of one-meter by one-meter by one meter. He happily started the work. I had completely forgotten him. Towards the end of the day, I saw him near the lawn waiting for me. No doubt he had done a nice job. What next ,Sir, he asked me. Without any hesitation I told him to close the pit keeping my face very straight. “Pardon, me, Sir, close what?” He was a bit confused, and in a firm voice I told him again to close the pit, which he had taken him the best part of the day.

He looked disturbed for a minute, and then started filling the pit. But obviously he did not seem to be happy. I gave him Rs.120 when the work was over and also another fifty-rupee note. He hurriedly returned the fifty-rupee note thanking me for my kindness. Probably he was thinking that I was a bit mad and you may also do that. But wait.

I repeated the same thing the next day. When I asked him to dig a pit at the same place he was simply standing there without doing the work. When I reminded him about his assurance to do any kind of job, he started digging the same again, murmuring some thing in a low voice. Probably by now he had no doubt that I was stark mad.

After completing the work, he asked about the next work. I appreciated him for his speed and asked him to fill the pit. He asked in an agitated voice “Why?” I told him that that was none of his business and directed him to do what he was told. The next half an hour he was idle and then slowly started filling the sand.

The third day started with the request from the chap for a change of work. I immediately accepted that and took him to the workshop. I showed him a wooden box overflowing with metal washers and asked him to segregate them size-wise.

He enthusiastically completed the segregation and asked me where to keep them. I told him to keep them in the same wooden box. When he started searching for polythene bags to collect them sidewise I told him no need and asked to dump them in the same box. He became furious, shouted some thing and walked out of the main gate. That was the end of the chap.

Now the question is why a chap who was badly in need of a job refused a small work though the benefits were more than commensurate? If you can figure out a convincing answer for that, probably you may answer well the question “why do people obey instructions?” Let us find out.

Subordinates obey the instructions not because the boss told them, but because they feel they add some value by doing it. Any amount money cannot motivate them to do a meaningless work however easy it may be.

While giving some work, if you can tell them why it is important, why they are the right person for doing it, and what value they will add by doing it, the end result will be really amazing.

By the way, I still owe that chap Rs.120 for the third day’s work. May be even more for confirming my theory about Value Addition.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

How to Keep Your Kids Safe

How to Keep Your Kids Safe

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

The younger you start to train your child in home and personal security matters, the easier it will all be. We have all seen on TV the security video of a kid being abducted by a stranger or doing other unsafe things that put themselves in serious danger.
Read this article and learn, then be aware of what is happening to your kids. Any effort to do this will be a lot easier than what you will go through if you do not exercise good basic common sense in this matter. You need to train your kids on how to be smart with their safety.


  1. Teach your kids to make a 911 call. Make sure they understand when they should do this. Many kids have saved a parents life because they knew when and how to call 911.
  2. Teach them the home emergency drills; how to get out of the house in a fire, what to do if a stranger is in the house, etc. Do not frighten them with this. Just explain so they understand how to do it. Have them show you how they are going to do it so you know they can actually do it. Doing is a better learning tool that listening.
  3. Help your children be on the lookout for situations or actions that make them feel uncomfortable, rather than certain kinds of people. ("Stay away from strangers" is a popular warning used to prevent child abduction and exploitation, however, many children are harmed by "acquaintances."). You need to teach them what a “stranger" is without teaching them that all strangers are dangerous. Almost any stranger a kid walks up to if they are in trouble will help them. Only a very small percentage will be a problem and the problem ones will probably be obvious.
  4. Teach your children the following:
    • If someone tries to take you somewhere, quickly get away if you can. Run and yell "Someone is trying to take me away!" Run to any other adult you can find and ask for help. Anyone is better than the person who is trying to take you. Run into the nearest house, shop or business. Do not knock or ask; just run in and scream for help.
    • If someone follows you on foot or in a car, run to a "safe place." A safe place is where there are other people around ... the home of a neighbor or friend or a store; not a wooded area or unoccupied building.
    • If you get caught with a predator or other person who is intending to harm you, then fight. Any kid can poke an eye with a finger or use their knee if the opportunity arises. It is a very painful blow and will in all likelihood allow enough time for the kid to escape. This sounds bad, dangerous, hurtful, and politically incorrect, but the alternative is not desirable. The damage done will repair itself in short time and your kid may have just saved his or her life.

  5. Always carry pictures of your children (taken within the last 6 months) and take time every day to make a mental note regarding the clothing being worn by yourr children. Keep their vital stats up to date. i.e height, weight, scars, distinguishing marks, etc.
  6. Develop family check-in procedures so you always know where your child is, and your child knows where you are.
  7. Learn the routes your kids use to get to school and back or to and from friends' homes. Take a walk with your kids over thee routes and point out any safety issues like alleys, drug houses, known perverts and criminals etc. You can go to the http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/ web site for listed sex offenders.
  8. Keep a list of your children's friends and their parents' names and phone numbers.

Computer Safety

  1. Be involved in your child's computer activities to guard against online predators and possible viruses. Consider activities you can work on together, whether it be playing a game, researching a topic you had been talking about (e.g., family vacation spots, a particular hobby, a historical figure), or putting together a family newsletter. This will allow you to supervise your child's online activities while teaching her good computer habits.
  2. Keep your computer in an open area, so you will be able to easily monitor the computer activity. Not only does this accessibility deter a child from doing something she knows she's not allowed to do, it also gives you the opportunity to intervene if you notice a behavior that could have negative consequences.
  3. Set rules and warn about dangers - Make sure your child knows the boundaries of what she is allowed to do on the computer. These boundaries should be appropriate for the child's age, knowledge, and maturity, but they may include rules about how long she is allowed to be on the computer, what sites she is allowed to visit, what software programs she can use, and what tasks or activities she is allowed to do. You should also talk to children about the dangers of the internet so that they recognize suspicious behavior or activity. The goal isn't to scare them, it's to make them more aware.
  4. Keep lines of communication open - Let your child know that she can approach you with any questions or concerns about behaviors or problems she may have encountered on the computer.
  5. Consider partitioning your computer into separate accounts - Most operating systems (including Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux) give you the option of creating a different user account for each user. If you're worried that your child may accidentally access, modify, and/or delete your files, you can give her a separate account and decrease the amount of access and number of privileges she has. If you don't have separate accounts, you need to be especially careful about your security settings. In addition to limiting functionality within your browser, avoid letting your browser remember passwords and other personal information. Also, it is always important to keep your virus definitions up to date.
  6. Consider implementing parental controls - You may be able to set some parental controls within your browser. For example, Internet Explorer allows you to restrict or allow certain web sites to be viewed on your computer, and you can protect these settings with a password. To find those options, click Tools on your menu bar, select Internet Options..., choose the Content tab, and click the Enable... button under Content Advisor.
  7. Contact your ISP to see if any of protective services are available. There are also special software programs you can install on your computer. Different programs offer different features and capabilities, so you can find one that best suits your needs.


  • When a child is using your computer, normal safeguards and security practices may not be sufficient. Children present additional challenges because of their natural characteristics: innocence, curiosity, desire for independence, and fear of punishment. You need to consider these characteristics when determining how to protect your data and the child.
  • Online predators present another significant threat, particularly to children. Because the nature of the internet is so anonymous, it is easy for people to misrepresent themselves and manipulate or trick other users (see Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for some examples). Adults often fall victim to these ploys, and children, who are usually much more open and trusting, are even easier targets. The threat is even greater if a child has access to email or instant messaging programs and/or visits chat rooms.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Keep Your Kids Safe. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

How to Teach Your Child to Avoid Drugs

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

All drugs, if taken incorrectly, can threaten your health. Drugs that have been made illegal are typically very bad for you. Teaching your children not to take drugs is an important part of their lives--and yours. Make sure that you do not only teach them not to take drugs, but explain why they should say no to drugs.


  1. Be clear in your own mind on exactly why drugs are dangerous and why people still use them. Know what can they do to an individual physically and psychologically? What kind of people have used drugs? What kind of people still use illegal drugs? Know both the good and the bad, for example, what do some people claim drugs do spiritually?
  2. Do your best to instill self-confidence within your child as they grow up. A happy, comfortable and confident child with good self-esteem is in a better place to resist peer pressure when offered drugs.
  3. Sit down and talk with your children about illegal drug use once a year from age 10 and up. They may not want to talk about it, but coming up to them and straight-out telling them it's bad, and why, can be a big help.
  4. Talk to them about peer pressure. Let them know it's all right to say "No," even if it means a loss in friendship (although in that case, that person may not have ever been their "friend" in the first place).


  • There are plenty of web sites dedicated to anti-drugs with scary pictures. Do a web search, perhaps a Google image search and show your children the pictures of what can happen to their brains or lungs.
  • Don't lie to your children about the pleasure aspect of drugs (but don't overplay it, either). There is a reason why people begin and continue taking drugs. Not being frank about this, especially during early-teen and teenage years can lessen your credibility about the subject. Relate this part of the conversation that not all pleasurable things are necessarily good, and some, like drug-taking, are destructive. Many seriously affected drug addicts say repeatedly that they wish they had never tried that first "hit."
  • Don't just talk about drug-taking or 'drugs' - focus as well on addiction (use the word!) and explain it in terms they can understand. Do some informal research so you can talk about the effects of addiction: broken relationships, isolation, dependency, individual feelings of failure, etc. Ask them questions to see how well they have understood addiction and its effects.
  • Most schools already have drug-free programs (ie, D.A.R.E., ProjectAlert, etc) that discuss these topics. Most kids immediately dismiss these over-the-top programs. However, nothing beats parent-on-child discussions about drugs.
  • Not doing drugs yourself can help your child have a drug-free lifestyle.
  • When you speak, be calm, yet steady. Look at them in the eyes.
  • Be a positive role model. Being positive is really important because if they're around you and you're acting in a positive manner then they will start to become more positive.
  • Drugs are enjoyable. You must be prepared to make clear to your child that the negative effects of drug use might outweigh the benefits.
  • Don't ignore alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes, as they can be just as destructive to health and happiness as illegal drugs.
  • If your child asks to taste your wine, let them. If they don't like it, good. If they absolutely love it, explain to them what it actually is: rotting grape juice and bacteria. Hopefully this will gross them out enough to not like it any more.
  • Don´t overemphasize this empty "SAY NO TO DRUGS" motto, you should assume your kids will try it. If you insist on this and they have already SAID YES, dialog will be lost. Focus rather on them not getting addicted. Do some research with an open mind and you´ll find out trying marijuana (which is gonna be the first and hopefully last) isn´t a that big deal. Being tolerant will help in gaining trust.
  • Tolerance is the key, intolerance pushes them the opposite way.
  • Studies prove that teens who eat with their family have a less chance of becoming addicted to drugs than teens who don't.


  • Be truthful; do not make up lies about drugs, just use general well-known facts.
  • Being controlling and overprotective by keeping your child out of 'dangerous' social situations will only cause them to lose respect for you and mistrust your judgment. Remember that the choice is always theirs, and controlling their life will only make them miserable and more prone to use drugs to escape or rebel. Instead, establish mutual trust and respect, and teach them how to honor you by making responsible decisions for themselves.
  • Your children may ask you about your experience with drugs. Prepare your answer--being honest with them could help them to respect your advice.
  • There are individuals who believe their lives have been improved by drugs and still feel as if drugs offer something beneficial to a society. It is important to point out to your children that those individuals only failed to find within themselves and the world the things that they feel drugs bring to the table.
  • It's very hard to guarantee that you, as a parent, will have the ultimate effect. Other circumstances, possibly within the family, could influence the child inadvertently to use drugs. Remember, in a family where drugs are labeled as "bad," any child trying to rebel could see drugs as an effective way to do so.
  • After finding no information with basis on truth that is anti-marijuana you may have to lie to keep the drug hate going. (this may not agree with your morals.) Simply mention your negative experiences with marijuana, along with some positive ones to be fair. Or explain that some people might not be able to realize or admit to themselves when marijuana is negatively affecting their life.
  • If you deny that their is any benefit from drug use, or you insist that all drug use (no matter how minor) will have devastating effects, you are setting yourself up to fail. Any child who tries drugs and realizes that your statements were exaggerated or false will simply ignore any other correct information you gave them. It is important to make your argument against drug use to your child well rounded.
  • Only do this if you actually know for a fact, from first person information, excluding the government. If you lie, or you don't know what your talking about, and you raise a smart kid, they will assume that it's ALL propaganda, and distrust you on every piece of advice.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Teach Your Child to Avoid Drugs. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

How to Deal With Bad Neighbours

How to Deal With Bad Neighbours

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Bad neighbours can be extremely hard to deal with.
Everyone has, or has had a neighbour that they wanted to move out of the neighbourhood. Here's a few tips on how to deal with them.


  1. Talking to them can be one of the most effective solutions. Sometimes people don't realize what they are doing wrong and will stop when informed.
  2. If this doesn't work, you could call an authority. If it's loud music, call the non-emergency police number, or for unkempt yards, call the Homeowners Association (where applicable) or the city nuisance abatement officer. Most cities have nuisance abatement, or code enforcement officers, who are responsible for maintaining code compliance.
  3. If they're renters, talk to their landlord about the disruptive behaviour.
  4. Get many homeowners in the neighborhood to talk to the person. This reiterates that it isn't just you they annoy.
  5. If they damaged your property, consider suing, but only in extreme circumstances. Contact law enforcement if there is damage, and ask for a police log entry to assist with insurance claims.


  • Do not be afraid to contact authorities. You won't be considered a tattletale if it's bothering most of the neighborhood.
  • Put up a fence, if pets are your problem, then this will keep them out of your yard. If their yard looks horrible, put up a 4 foot, non-transparent fence.
  • Check your local laws using the town website; sometimes local laws are published on "http://www.e-codes.generalcode.com/". Armed with your city ordinances, you can request the police to enforce laws on blocked sidewalks, dog feces, etc.


  • Never threaten, it will just make matters worse.
  • Do not "fight fire with fire". An arms race only works if only one side has a nuclear option. Chances are you do not.
  • Stay on your own property, as trespassing will just incite them. Walking to someone's front door is allowed, but walking into a yard is illegal.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • Repect.gov.uk - a website run by the British government to give advice on tackling anti-social behaviour.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Deal With Bad Neighbours. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Environment-9: "G-8 Scandal"

I write this in continuation of my note in this blog on Global Warming, Global Cooling, Greenhouse Effect and Global Politics (Environment-8 dated July 16, 2008). A friend has suggested that I change the title as: "Global Warming, Global Cooling, Global Politics and Global Hoax". Okay my dear, I am changing the title as you suggested.

Another friend has sent a link to an article, "The Weather G-8 Scandal" by Jay D.Homnick. I read this article with great interest. I found in it something which I was feeling but could not find the words to express. "The greater tragedy is the loss of credibility in the field of science." How true. Further, the lines following were also beautifully written and deserve repetition here: "A century ago the entire world was certain that all its problems could be solved by the application of the cold hard facts science would discover. Instead of science pushing politics and culture toward objectivity, politics and culture have pushed science into subjectivity. How sad for us to rely for our facts on people who color them for their gain, and whom we lack the authority to refute." Hats off, to Mr.Homnick.

In case you want to read that article by Jay D.Homnick, I am furnishing the link to it:

With grateful thanks to Mr.Jay D.Homnick and my friends for reading my posting and offering useful comments.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How to Realize Your True Potential

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Every human being, regardless of race, creed, sex or spiritual belief, has the incredible capacity to accomplish far beyond their wildest dreams!


  1. Unlearn what you have learned. As children, we all have fantastic dreams of accomplishing what many adults believe to be 'unrealistic'. When we grow up into adults, we 'learn' the rules of the world and those dreams no longer seem possible. The first step in realizing your true potential is to cast off concrete beliefs about what you believe is possible in the first place. Take some time and actually inventory what you believe about your talents and capabilities - these beliefs were given to you through society. Identify exactly your career inhibiting beliefs. Make a choice to no longer allow these beliefs to govern you or your capabilities. Insert new convictions and beliefs that do not impose limits on your talents. Use the power in your subconscious mind, and master it over time with self-suggestion, hypnotism and constant positive input. (There are books on how to do this, its simply too much to list here).
  2. Realize what it is you have! Inside your skull is a fantastic and extremely powerful biological machine that is, still to date, the most powerful computer on earth! Research tells us that we have over ONE HUNDRED BILLION neurons in our brain, and that each of those neurons have connections to anywhere from 5000, to 200,000 other neurons - creating an infinite number of possible thought combinations! Do you think that even for a moment, that we have this advance machinery just to 'survive'? You have this in your head right now - appreciate it and use it!
  3. Aim High! Dream Big! Think un-realistically! The people who have achieve the most in their lives were those who had big plans and ideas and who were able to cast off the negativity of other people. You simply have to not care anymore about what others think and, to quote Nike, " Just do it "
  4. Focus on what you can do, and other and better tools will be put in your hands as your move through your plan. People fail because they immediately fasten their attention to the negative. Change your thinking and work the part of your plan you can, do everything you can!
  5. Shield yourself from negativity. If you are in a negative environment, get out! If you have negative friends, drop them. What is in your mind is more valuable than all the gold in Fort Knox, so protect it!
  6. Remember where you came from, and you will know where you want to go.
  7. Always appreciate everything, even if you feel like something could be negative, really understand that there is no right or wrong way to do something. Be thankful for your mistakes, and let them go! Because there are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn.
  8. Enjoy the moment. Live the moment. Forget the future or the past.
  9. Constantly give yourself positive messages and support! Listen to self-help audio, read books and keep company that is positive. Hang up positive quotes and messages everywhere; in your office, at your home, in your car.
  10. Never quit. Thomas Edison's most outstanding quality is the same thing that made him a success; it was not that he was so much smarter than everyone, it was just that he never quit. It took 10,000 failures to make the light bulb. Never quit.


  • Again, protect your mind from negative people.
  • Never stop believing that you can do it!
  • Keep your true thoughts to yourself. Display what the crowd/population is thinking. And remember change doesn't happen all at once. It takes small increments to obtain big results!

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Realize Your True Potential. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

How to Write a Featured Article on wikiHow

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Featured Articles (FAs) showcase wikiHow's very best work. Every day a new featured article is displayed on the home page and on the RSS feed. Thousands of people will read a featured article on the day it is showcased. Our most popular featured articles have been read by over a million people and more than four hundred articles have been read by over one hundred thousand people. If you already know how to write a new article on wikiHow, or you're editing an article that's already been written, you can go the extra mile and bring that article up to FA quality.


  1. Start a new article or edit an existing one to bring it up to featured status. Turning a stub into an Featured Article is an especially rewarding challenge.
  2. Define the topic. Before you invest your energy into a particular title, do a little homework to make sure you're not reinventing the wheel. There might already be an existing article on wikiHow written on the very same topic, in which case your work might get merged to that title. If a wikiHow search turns up similar titles, you have two options:
    • Merge the articles that are on the same topic into one high-quality how-to that you can then polish into an FA. (Be sure to follow the merge policy!)
    • Put a unique twist on the topic. Read the merge policy carefully so that you understand what makes a topic distinct enough to remain un-merged, but not so specific that it's considered a vanity page (which would get nominated for deletion). For example, let's say you want to write an FA on "How to Build a Boat" but there is already an article titled "How to Construct a Boat." Instead of changing the title of yours to something like "How to Build a Boat, Billy's Way" (which would get merged or deleted), narrow down your topic to a specific kind of boat: "How to Build a Row Boat" or to a specific set of conditions: "How to Build a New Boat from Old Parts."

  3. Research your topic on the Internet or in a library. Find reliable books or websites you can cite as a reference source. As a general rule, facts cannot be copyrighted. This means that you are able to use any facts you find to support your article.[1]
  4. Review the instructions carefully. Does the article stick to the wikiHow format as described in the Writer's Guide? Are the steps clear, giving the reader just enough information to get the job done, but not so much that the reader gets distracted or bogged down by background information? Are spelling and grammar in good shape?
  5. Provide additional information in the appropriate sections:
    • Tips - Offer any additional background information or tidbits of advice that are optional and that don't fit as a "step" in the given procedure.
    • Warnings - Describe any possible dangers and risks relating to the steps involved, and explain how they can be prevented.
    • Related wikiHows - Choose wikiHow articles that are of at least decent quality (nothing marked as a stub, in need of copyediting or formatting, etc.). If you discover a past featured article that is related to the topic, by all means, include it!
    • Things You'll Need - Use this section only for necessary supplies. It is also possible to list ingredients. This section is optional and is not always useful. Do list physical objects; don't list concepts, qualities, or ideas (a sense of humor, a good attitude). If a positive attitude does matter, that information might fit better in a tip.
    • Ingredients - Use this section only for food ingredients, and give exact quantities and any necessary descriptions: one cup of celery, chopped finely. If it is not food but equipment (a wooden spoon, duct tape, goggles), put it in Things You'll Need, instead.
    • Sources and Citations - Link to websites you used while researching this page. Also use the section for copyright permission attribution if you legally imported any content. See the external link guidelines for details.

  6. Add pictures! Images make an article shine. Most instructions will benefit from being supplemented by photos, illustrations, or diagrams, and some are difficult to visualize without some type of visual aid, but don't add images that are irrelevant just to have them there. Remember to use only photos you took yourself or photos from freely licensed sources, which you can find through wikiHow. If you didn't take the photo yourself, be sure to attribute it correctly.
  7. Cite references you used while researching the article. References make a difference in the article's credibility and they're a good antidote to folk wisdom and wild claims. Be sure to choose credible references.
  8. Invite other wikiHow community members to help improve your page by leaving them messages on their talk pages or asking for volunteer editors at the forums. As you're improving the quality of the instructions, you may wish to consult with other editors on wikiHow and ask for their input. If you know that an active contributor on wikiHow might know a lot about the topic at hand, ask them nicely if they'd fact check the article and let you know if it's missing something. Likewise, if you know of a contributor with a particular talent, like a knack for grammar or formatting, ask them to help, too. While collaboration is not a requirement for the selection of a Featured Article, the general wikiHow belief is that every contribution creates a more complete and informative article.
  9. Nominate the article to be featured. Write {{fac}} on the discussion page (not anywhere in the article). "FAC" stands for Featured Article Candidate. This notice will automatically add the article to the list of others being considered.
  10. Read comments on discussion pages written by other wikiHow community members. Some will comment about the merits of featured article while some will criticize it. Respond to their praise and criticisms in a civil manner. Keep in mind that not all pages can be selected as a featured article and all criticism on wikiHow is meant to improve the quality of the article and is not a criticism of your abilities. Try to use the feedback to improve the quality of the article.
  11. Wait. If the community decides to approve the page as a featured page, it can take several weeks or even months for the page to make it to the top of the featured page list. If the article doesn't get featured within 2 months, any editor may then remove the FAC template. Don't feel like you did a bad job though. Sometimes, certain topics just don't have wide enough appeal, or may be too controversial to be appropriate as an FA. Take pride in knowing that you've helped create a high-quality, complete and helpful how-to that excels as an example of what wikiHow contributors can accomplish together.


  • wikiHow Featured Articles are displayed on the wikiHow home page and the RSS feed which is shown on the Google Personalized Home pages and the MyYahoo page of thousands of readers.
  • You may view all candidate pages at this current list of featured article candidates or this list of all past featured articles.
  • Consider bolding the first sentence of each step. It can make the article look better and easier to skim for readers. This works best when each step is fairly substantial and the article is long.


  • Unfortunately, not all pages nominated for featured article can be selected to run on the home page.
  • Because of the high traffic they generate, featured articles may attract vandals (those who deliberately damage pages) and trolls (those who try to stir up controversy, particularly in the discussion page). Do not take these attacks personally. Do incorporate valid suggestions, if possible.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. U.S. Supreme Court Decision: HARPER & ROW v. NATION ENTERPRISES, 471 U.S. 539 (1985)

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Write a Featured Article on wikiHow. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Eyecatchers-91: "8 New IITs Approved"

The Cabinet on Thursday (July 17, 2008) approved the creation of eight new IITs during the current academic session at an estimated cost of Rs.6,080 crore, Finance Minister P.Chidambaram said. – PTI

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, July 18, 2008.

Article on “Indian Institutes of Techhnology” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the encyclopedia.

India Watch-2: "Inflation touches 11.91% "

India Watch: Inflation touches 11.91%

For the full article in The Hindu, July 18, 2008:

Article on “Inflation” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.