Happy New Year 2015


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Self-Improvement-40: "How to Handle Jealousy"

How to Handle Jealousy

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Many people feel jealous from time to time. Jealousy is easy to deal with, once you understand what it's teaching you. Here are some pointers on working through your emotions and feelings of jealousy.


  1. Understand the emotions. Jealousy is a combination of fear and anger: fear of losing something and anger that someone is "moving in on" something that you feel belongs only to you.
  2. Allow yourself to actually 'feel' emotions in a healthy way. When you start feeling jealous, ask yourself: Is it more fear-based or more anger-based? Recognize which part of your body is being affected. If you feel a dropping or clutching sensation in your stomach, it’s probably fear. If you feel a burning, tight sensation in your shoulders and jaw, then you’re likely feeling anger. You might also feel a combination of those sensations.
  3. Communicate your feelings. Sharing your true feelings with someone without blaming them can create a deep sense of connection between the two of you and open up a dialogue about the path of your relationship. Use "I" instead of "you." Instead of saying, "You shouldn't have done that," say, "I felt terrible when that happened."
  4. Identify what your jealousy is teaching you. Jealousy can alert you to what you want and what is important to you. If you’re jealous of someone talking to a friend of yours, personal relationships may be important to you. If you’re jealous about money, you may have an underlying need for security or freedom. Ask yourself, "Why am I jealous over this? What is making me jealous? What am I trying to keep? Why do I feel threatened?" When you begin to understand what makes you jealous, you can begin to take positive steps to maintain those things, without the cloud of negative emotion that accompanies jealousy.
  5. Change any false beliefs that might cause jealousy. There are often false beliefs that underlie jealousy and fuel emotion. If you examine the belief, you can often eliminate the jealousy. Some common underlying beliefs are “Everyone is out to get my money” or “If this person leaves me, I won't have any friends.” Beliefs are changeable. If you change your belief, you change the way you feel. Choose to tell yourself a belief that is nurturing and supportive, and you’ll feel better. When you begin taking steps to creating a happy and fulfilling life for yourself, you will find the anger, the jealousy, and the fear will disappear. Don't listen to people who make you jealous.


  • Jealousy is not the same thing as love. Sometimes, people think that by feeling jealous about someone, they are loving them. Jealousy is not love; it’s the fear and anger of losing love. Jealousy disappears when you are truly loving yourself and others for whatever experience you’re having.
  • Learn to be happy with yourself and what you have. Everyone is different, and each person has good and bad qualities. Realize that you have the potential to create a better future.
  • Try to talk about your problems with someone. Perhaps you feel that these jealous tendencies are a private matter; then, you ought to anonymously ask an advice column or similar construct about your problem.
  • Irrational jealousy usually stems from your own insecurities and low self-esteem. Address these issues first.
  • Be happy for the other person. When you are jealous, you may think, "I like that; it would be nice to have that thing or experience." When you can be happy for another person's success and happiness, you allow positive feelings to flow into your life. Instead of being angry, congratulate the other person.


  • If jealousy in your relationship is leading to control or power struggles, it's a sign that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

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 Handle Jealousy. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Self-Improvement: "How to remember to take things with you"

How to Remember to Take Things With You

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Many people worry about finding themselves several blocks from home and suddenly remembering the keys left behind in the office, or the wallet. Anything can be forgotten. If you're the type of person who tends to forget things, here are some tips to help you.


  1. Establish a group of things that you cannot ever forget. This group includes such items as:
    • Keys to your home, car, or office
    • Purse or wallet
    • Money and/or credit card
    • Identification
    • Badge for work
    • Watch
    • Cell phone
    • Memory stick
  2. Get a basket or other receptacle where you can leave the things you should always take when you leave home. There you can place your wallet, your cell phone, your keys and your calendar or planner. Make it a habit to leave these items (and any others you consider necessary) in the basket so that you can easily take them when it's time to go. If you need to take something special with you on a particular day, i.e. a book you're loaning to a friend, leave yourself a voicemail on your home or cell phone, and as soon as you get home and retrieve the message, put the item in the basket so it's there waiting for you the next morning.
  3. Try this memory trick as a checklist when making quick trips: "Sell M.I.L.K.." Instead of "Sell," bring your cell, plus:
    • Money
    • I.D.
    • Lipstick, Lip gloss, List or Lucky penny - whichever you use most
    • Keys.
  4. Make a big list and post it prominently by the door where you leave your house. Write in big letters so you can quickly review it on your way out.
  5. Buy a white board and place it next to your preferred exit, next to the other list. On this board, write the things that vary (extra money for a special payment, picking someone up, etc.). Write things down as soon as you arrive home and review them when you leave.
  6. Count the items. If you must always have your bag, your lunch box, your badge, and your keys when you leave, check to make sure you have four items each time you leave.
  7. Place clocks in strategic locations throughout the house. Many times we forget things because we don't have the time to check. The clocks can help to remind us of our sense of responsibility and return our minds to the real world.
  8. Organize your room and your home. Slowly become the sort of organized person who knows where everything is. Even if disorganized people know where everything is, it's more likely that something is out of place in a disorganized room than in an organized one. In an organized room, everything out of place is visible instantly.


  • Don't stop to think too much about what you might be forgetting. Most of the time it doesn't work anyway since there is nothing you're forgetting, anyway. If there were something, you probably wouldn't be forgetting it. It's better to review your list and leave confidently.
  • Using the list and the board can be difficult at first. People are creatures of habit and it takes time to change. Don't get discouraged if you don't remember to use the board and the list at first. The important thing is to keep trying.
  • It's important that you organize your things for yourself. Otherwise, it's not likely that you'll find something quickly when you need it.
  • A very easy way to remember things is to attach them to you somehow: for example, a wallet with a chain, commonly known as a "biker's wallet" or "trucker's wallet". Mini-carabiners, sold for about a dollar or less at discount stores, let you expand this idea to several other items. Something large, like a laptop that you leave behind after a few drinks at the bar, can be attached by looping the shoulder strap around a leg. You might fall flat on your face getting off the barstool, but you won't forget your laptop!
  • A very simple way to make sure everything is still with you, e.g. when you get off a bus, is to build the habit to put keys, wallet and cell phone always in the same pockets. In the meanwhile, the quick mechanical movement of touching your pockets on the outside with your hands, will allow you to immediately tell what is there and what is not (if the left pocket, where you usually put your phone seems empty, you have surely forgotten your phone somewhere!). After a while this check sequence will become a subconscious action, and every time you get off the car, leave the house, go through a crowd (risk of pick-pocketing), you will be sure everything is with you.
  • If you can't leave without your car keys (if you have to drive to go anywhere), place your car keys on top of items that you don't want to forget--your lunch leftovers in the fridge or that pie to take to dinner at a friend's house, for instance. This way it is impossible to leave without your keys, which are with your 'don't forget' stuff.
  • Another can't miss tip is to put easily forgotten items in your shoes. This is especially helpful with unusual items that you may only need to remember occasionally such as a grocery list or a bank deposit.
  • Always lock all the doors to your house, so you get in the habit of always carrying a key. If your front door has a deadbolt lock, use that, because it has to be locked with a key from the outside.
  • If you pack your lunch for work the night before, place your keys in your refrigerator next to your lunch before you go to sleep. Never mooch again!
  • Have duplicates (when possible) in case you do forget something really vital. For instance, if you're likely to forget your key for home, have a duplicate at work. Or be sure your roommate, spouse, or friend has a copy.
  • Checklists aren't a sign of weakness. Airplane pilots have a checklist that they use every time they fly, no matter if they've just earned their license or have flown for thirty years. Don't be afraid to use a physical checklist if it helps you.


  • Take care to include all the items you need in the list and on the board. At first it's likely that you'll forget to write down certain things until you make it a habit to do so. Remember to check your list twice before continuing.

Things You'll Need

  • A basket or other receptacle
  • A white board
  • White board markers
  • A white board eraser
  • A sheet of paper for your list
  • A pen to write with

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 Remember to Take Things With You. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Self-Improvement: "How to Impress Someone With Your Intelligence"

How to Impress Someone With Your Intelligence

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

You want people to think you are smart! The easiest way to do this is to specialize.


  1. Choose a small area in which to become an expert.
  2. Read books and magazines about this topic.
  3. Find other people who like this area too, and spend time with these people. The conversation will inevitably lead to your favorite topic, and you will therefore learn even more about it.
  4. When you are with the person you are trying to impress, steer the conversation over to your area of expertise every once in awhile. The more you know, the more impressive you are going to be.
  5. Study History. Studying history will give massive amounts of general knowledge to draw on in almost any conversation.


  • Be sure to learn all the vocabulary and buzzwords associated with your topic. If you like cars, know what a V-8 engine is, for example.
  • A good way to find others interested in your topic is to join a club. If birdwatching is your thing, start going on those Saturday morning hikes you have read about in the paper.
  • You don't have to know a lot about everything to show that you are in fact quite intelligent. You just have to know a lot about any one small area. Not too many people can tell the difference between a Gypsy Moth and a tent caterpillar, but if you can, people are going to notice!
  • When you try to impress someone with your intelligence, be sure to find a person who will respond well to your area of expertise.


  • Sometimes people are put-off or feel belittled when talking to someone who is trying to impress them with smarts. Be modest with how much you throw at the person all at once.
  • Try not to make your knowledge too obscure or uninteresting to others. Don't specialize in something like the manufacture of ballpoint pens.
  • If you try to impress someone, who doesn't play computer games, with your Marvel vs. Capcom 2 knowledge, you'll come off looking like a geek. Pick your targets with care.
  • Try not to look like a know-it-all because no one likes them.

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 Impress Someone With Your Intelligence. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How To-38: "How to draw a Cartoon Man?"

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Need to draw a cartoon man for a school project, greeting card for someone or just plain bored and looking for things to draw? Follow this simple step-by-step how to for instructions on how to draw a cartoon man.


  1. Start out using a light color. Light blue in particular or yellow won't show up if you scan or copy your drawing, so you don't need to erase it. When you are happy with your picture, go over your best lines in black.

  2. Draw a circle, which will be the man's head.

  3. Draw a rectangle, attached to the man's head by a small line, which leaves a space to draw his neck. The rectangle will be the man's chest and stomach area.

  4. Draw two stick legs on the man.

  5. Draw two stick arms on the man, and a couple of fingers.

  6. Add some more detail to his arms.

  7. Add some more detail to his legs.

  8. Draw a pair of ears on the man.

  9. Add some hair on the man if you like.

  10. Add detail to the man's ears.

  11. Add the man's facial features, including his eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows. Always remember that people's eyes are positioned halfway down their heads, not at the top. You can adjust his expression by the slope of the eyebrows and the angle or curve of the mouth.

  12. Draw a shirt on the man.

  13. Draw, and add detail, to your man's fingers. Some people find it more pleasing to only draw three fingers and a thumb, but it's up to you.

  14. Add detail to the remaining parts of your man, including his pants and shoes. Don't forget that people's heels extend past the line of the leg.


  • Using a pencil instead of a pen or marker can prove helpful as it is much easier to correct any mistakes, because you can just simply erase the errors and start over again.

  • The source below provides a step-by-step video on how to make this drawing.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-draw-a-cartoon-man" rel="nofollow">VideoJug - Original source of information. Shared with permission.

  • Stephen Marchant, Cartoon Museum, London

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 http://www.wikihow.com/Draw-a-Cartoon-Man">How to Draw a Cartoon Man. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/">Creative Commons license.

Facts & Figures-53: "Computer Penetration in Schools"

The number of schools in India with computers are 1,67,000-plus as of September 2006.

Courtesy: Report on 'Strengthening Education Management Information System in India' published by the union ministry for human resources development and the National University of Educational Planning and Administration(NUEPA)

S&T Watch-34: "Chandrayaan-1 enters deep space"

India's first unmanned lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 on Sunday (Oct.26, 2008) entered deep space after crossing 150,000 km from the earth and is well on its way to the moon.

Courtesy: The Times of India, Chennai, Oct.27, 2008.

Detailed Wikipedia article on Chandrayaan-1:

Official Homepage of Chandrayaan-1: (Chandrayaan-1: India's First Scientific Mission to the Moon)

Grateful thanks to The Times of India, Chennai; ISRO and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Letters-49: "The Chain of Hatred"

1. The article "Cutting off the chain of hate," (The Hindu, Oct.21) was thought-provoking and timely. Nietzsche and Martin Luther King Jr. present two mutually exclusive models: one model that represents unrestrained power and is devoid of any love; and the other that is selfless and divine, submerging all our powers in the service of humanity, especially the marginalised.

While the article mentions the recent advances in neurobiology leading to the discovery of a genetic basis for altruism, we must also keep in mind the contribution of scientists like Richard Dawkins, who have spoken of 'selfish genes.' Unless our leaders choose the path of non-violence and love in their exercise of power, however weak they may seem, humanity is bound to sink into turmoil and anarchy. - Joshua Kalapati, Chennai.

2. The article refers sanyaas as abdication of action. I would like to clarify that sanyaas is not abdication of action as commonly interpreted. The Sanskrit word 'Sam' means 'complete' or 'full'. 'Nyaas' means 'balance'.

Sam-nyaas, therefore, means a balanced response to pleasure or pain, heat or cold, praise or abuse, etc. A sam-nyaasi does act but always in the interest of society. He renders service to others, without expecting anything in return. - T.Sekhar, Chennai.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, October 22, 2008 ("Letters to the Editor")

Detailed Wikipedia article on "THE SELFISH GENE" by Richard Dawkins:

Detailed Wikipedia article on "NIETZSCHE":

Detailed Wikipedia article on "MARTIN LUTHER KING":

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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Facts & Figures-54:

The latest estimates say more than 75% of U.S.households have at least one PC.

Courtesy: "All Things Digital" (www.allthingsd.com)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Photo Album-28: "Suri with Shri Morarji Desai"

More than 30 years ago, I went on an All-India Tour availing leave travel concession provided by my office. It was a 23-day bus-trip from Madurai to Srinagar and back via some of the beautiful places of India, some of which I was seeing for the first and probably the last time. (Kancheepuram, Tiruttani, Kalahasti, Nellore, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Jammu, Srinagar, Verinag, Delhi, Agra, Faridabad, Lucknow, Nasik, Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur and Bangalore. Unfortunately, I did not have the sense to take journal with me and jot down my impressions of the trip on a daily basis. All I now have is a few photographs. This is one such photograph. This was taken at the Residence of the then Prime Minister of India, Shri Morarji Desai. It was early morning and there were a lot of visitors like us. Each group was asked to sit and wait for the PM. There were security staff all around and some official photographers also. Probably it was a year or two after the emergency, when the coalition govt led by Shri Morarji Desai was in power.

I did not know that the PM was standing right behind me and I was being photographed. I was joking with a neighbour, when the photo was taken. The PM was so close to me. Between me and the PM, a guy whose name I have forgoteen was there (probably he was on his knees to get a prominent place in the photo). He was one of the servants employed by the travel agents for attending to odd jobs. I do remember the name of the travel agents now; it is M/s.Kumaran Travels, Madurai. The photo reached the travel agent's office at Madurai even before we reached there. On my arrival, my father commented about the photo and showed it to me. Then only I saw it. As you can see, I was all teeth!

From the PM's residence, we were taken to visit Smt.Indira Gandhi's residence also. She was then out of power. But still she was popular with the masses, especially South Indians. There were also security arrangements but there was no official photographer. So we had hired one and have taken him with us. We waited for some time. Then she came and talked to our Manager and enquired about the places we visited. Then she posed with our group for the photo. Our useless, stupid photographer clicked twice or thrice. But the camera was not working. The stupid fellow was wasting her time. Then she said 'sorry' with a smiling face and left our group.

Letters-48: "Vaiko Arrest"

1. The arrest of MDMK general secretary Vaiko and the party presidium chairman and former Union Minister, M.Kannappan, is a step in the right direction. Mr.Vaiko should not have said that he would take up arms and fight for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, especially at a time when we are yet to resolve the burning issue of Kashmir back home. The law of the land must be upheld stringently against all secessionist outfits and their leaders who thrive on inflaming gullible people. - B.Sujatha, Tirupati.

2. A dangerous trend is becoming discernible in the speeches made by political leaders on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. While Mr.Vaiko threatened to take up arms and fight for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, Mr.Kannappan went a step further by warning the Centre not to force the Tamils in Tamil Nadu to struggle for a separate state.

The ethnic strife is an internal matter of the island nation and should be sorted out diplomatically by New Delhi. - R.Sekar, Visakhapatnam.

3. Mr.Vaiko's arrest will send a clear signal to others who, for the sake of espousing the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, challenge the government's authority and issue threats amounting to secession. - N.Nagesh, Chennai.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, Oct.25, 2008 ("Letters to the Editor")
Grateful thanks to Ms B Sujatha, Mr.R.Sekar, Mr.N.Nagesh and The Hindu.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nellaiappan's Column-10: "Subordinate Development"

We all know that in any organization every one is important, but no one is indispensable. Mere knowing this concept is not sufficient. Bosses should spell out to every one, working under them that they are very important. On the other hand, every one should be replaceable. It is good for the organization as well as for the individuals.

If someone is not replaceable, then he cannot be promoted. To become replaceable, one should train his team well and also a second-line who can replace him. Hence subordinate development is very important for one’s own development.

But, in practice, people are very reluctant to develop their subordinates. Personal likes and dislikes, lack of confidence in the subordinates, lack of self- confidence, fear of losing importance and lack of expertise are few of the many reasons for doing so.

I had the opportunity of working under different bosses in different institutions in my 25 years career span. In one of those units I was very close to the boss. He gave me full freedom and delegated almost everything to me. Here I should remind you the universal concept: “you can implement successfully any new idea as long as you don’t care who gets the credit”

We mutually exploited each other. I was very happy because of the opportunity but he never recommended a promotion for me. I became very powerful down the stream but the top people of the hierarchy-driven organization were not even aware of my existence.

In another place, the situation was diametrically opposite. There the boss never consulted me for any thing but had given me freedom to operate within the department. There was no second-line for him and he never conducted any combined meeting for the department heads. His style was one to one interaction.

I was disappointed and unhappy there. I lost my importance. I was concentrating in my limited sphere. When he got me a promotion I was surprised. But still he never had any one as his second-line.

Both these bosses were personally very good and finally I was not happy with both of them. Only long service and hard work brought them to their level and they had only entry-level qualification without any academic track record.

I found that people who become bosses by their hard work and prolonged service in the same organization in general, are very reluctant to teach their subordinate what they learnt the hard way.

They always have an aversion for their qualified subordinates. They always play their cards closer to their chest and leave the subordinates starve for information and guidance.

They are hard-core loyalists, but still they cause heavy damage to the organization out of ignorance. One side, they could not climb further in the career ladder and on the other side, remained a concrete wall in the way of their subordinates. They are always very comfortable with unqualified and under- qualified subordinates.

Such people are more loyal to individuals than to the organization and they also expect their subordinates to be so.

It is very hard for an assistant manager to get promotion from a manager, whereas, there is every possibility for an assistant manager reporting to a general manager to get promoted to manager at the first instant. This is because most of the bosses want to keep a big gap between them and their second-line.

In my career, only once my immediate boss recommended me to his position. We both got promoted that year. The secret is “give your garlands to your subordinates so that you will get more garlands”.

“What will happen if I happen to be away from the organization for a month?”- When I once asked my second-line his immediate reply was “no doubt we will miss you, sir. But that will not affect the organization any way, because you have trained us like that”. Suppose you go on one month leave what will happen- I tossed the next question. “The answer is the same” was his reply. Then be prepared to go for a one month training program I said.

Your leave should be long enough for your boss to feel how much he missed you, and not too long for the boss to find out how best he managed without you- said my second-line. That reminds me that you have not returned my book “Management Thoughts” by Pramod Batra I said.

I did recommend him for a one-month all-expenses-paid technical training program conducted by a prestigious institute at the country’s capital.

When I narrated my discussion with my second line to my wife that night, she banged an immediate question. “Have you asked him, what will happen if he happens to be away from his house for a month?”

Random Thoughts-15: "Fatal Road Accidents"

During my last visit to Chennai, I was travelling in a car on the GST Road. My daughter pointed out to me white circles with 304-A on the road. She explained that it means that there was a fatal accident at that spot. During our half-an-hour ride, I could see a lot of white circles with 304-A inside. It was very painful.

Then I looked up with the help of Google to know what exactly 304-A means. At Vakil No.1.com I found the rule. Section 304-A, Indian Penal Code - Causing death by negligence, reads: "Whoever causes the death of any person by any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both".

I came across this disturbing statistics in The Times of India, Chennai, of October 23, 2008. In the year 2007 alone, more than 1.3 lakh people died on Indian roads!

I do not know how to drive gear vehicles. I have only an without gear moped. I have never bothered to learn driving gear vehicles. Whenever I ride on the pillion with somebody in Chennai, I keep praying all the time. The journey seems so hazardous. So I try to avoid travelling by two-wheelers in Chennai. But the Chennaiaites don't seem to worry. Men, women and children they drive two-wheelers and four-wheelers casually and nobody seems worried. They overtake on the left and the right. I have seen two-wheelers threading their way between buses and lorries without a care. God protect them!

When I read about fatal accidents, especially those involving youngsters, it pains me greatly. All joy and promise nipped in the bud. I just can't even imagine the agony of the parents who lose their beloved children in such accidents.

I could see girls driving two-wheelers at breakneck speed with gay abandon. In one way, I am happy. They are so fearless and bold. Kudos to them. Probably if you are born and brought up in Chennai and not a rural pumpkin like me, you get it easily and naturally.

However, one thing is clear. Our roads, especially city roads, are totally inadequate to cope with the alarming traffic congestion and exponential increase of traffic; they need to be widened, rules strictly enforced and offenders punished. More flyovers, more subways, more one-way roads and above all educating the public about road safety measures are needed.


Detailed Wikipedia articles on "ROAD TRAFFIC SAFETY":

Detailed Wikipedia articles on 'ROAD ACCIDENTS":

"HIGHWAY RESCUE PROJECT" from Lifeline Foundation:

"PROGRESS IN ROAD SAFETY SLOWING DOWN" from IRTAD portal (International Road Safety Data and Analysis Group":

"BASIC ROAD STATISTICS" from the Dept of Road Transport & Highways, Govt of India:

"TRANSPORT IN INDIA" from International Transport Statistics Database under the iRAP (International Road Assessment Program) funded by the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society:

ASIRT (Association for Safe International Road Travel's) portal:

"ACTING TOGETHER FOR SAFER ROADS" from UNECE (United Nations Economic Commssion for Europe):

"TRAFFIC SAFETY CENTER" of the University of California, Berkeley:

Grateful thanks to Vakil No.1.com, YoungDriverAwarreness.com, Lifeline Foundation, IRTAD, Dept of Road Transport & Highways, Govt of India; FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society; ASIRT, UNECE, University of California and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Best Birthday Present I received

Yesterday was my 59th birthday. As usual, I was greeted by near and dear. I also received the best birthday present. Aravind handed over to me a folded ruled paper, saying it was his gift for my birthday. I opened the folded paper. Inside the fold piece, there was another folded paper which contained his 'gift' to me, which I have scanned and posted below.

It was very thoughtful of him. For a 10-year-old, doing 5th Std, this is the best he could think of. It pleased very much. I feel it is the best birthday present I have received.

'Suri' in Tamil means 'sun'; probably that is why he was put two suns symmetrically at the top portion. As he could not buy a cake for me, he has drawn a cake. I am near the cake. He is by my side, probably ready to receive the first piece of the cake. Great imagination! I think this deserves to be put in 'My Photo Album' and am placing it as such.

Thank you my dear Aravind, thank you very much! May God bestow on you His choicest blessings and may you lead a perfect, prosperous and purposeful life!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Letters-47: "Ethnic Strife in Sri Lanka"

1. The rapid developments in Sri Lanka and an imminent LTTE defeat have led to the political parties in Tamil Nadu passing a resolution calling upon the Members of Parliament from the State to resign if the Centre does not ensure a ceasefire in the island nation in two weeks. It is a pity that the political parties have failed to discriminate between legitimate political aspirations and militant demands.

The LTTE has thwarted all moves to find a peaceful solution to the ethnic strife and suppressed the Tamils. It has been banned in many countries, including India. Its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is the prime accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Since 1991, India has kept out of Sri Lanka's affairs. But since a peaceful Sri Lanka is in its interest, it should help find a solution to the problem. - K.P.R.Iyer, Bangalore.

2. India has already burnt its finger by sending a peace-keeping force to the island. The political parties of Tamil Nadu, including the ruling DMK, should leave the issue to the Centre for diplomatic handling. - R.Sekar, Visakkhapatnam.

3. The all-party resolution saying the MPs from Tamil Nadu will resign if the Centre does not ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka is unfortunate. Were the MPs elected to serve the people of the State or Sri Lanka? What steps have they taken to alleviate the sufferings of the people who are reeling under the impact of long power-cuts? Where were they they when the people of Kandhamal were driven out of their homes? - G.Stanely Jeyasingh, Nagercoil.

4. It is not in India's interest to interfere in Sri Lanka's domestic affairs, especially when the aim of its military exercise is to isolate and eliminate one of the world's most dreaded terrorist organisation. - S.Jagadish, Bangalore.

5. If our representatives feel that the Sri Lankan issue is more important than the misery of the people of the State, caused by power-cuts and other burning issues, they should go ahead and resign immediately. We can at least vote for those who really care for their voters. - S.Pushpavanam, Trichy.

6. One is not sure whether the MPs will indeed resign but their threat to resign does not speak well of them. Surely, there are other ways of expressing solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils in Parliament? Is it not naive to assume that New Delhi can help ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, that too in just two weeks? - V.S.Venkatavaradan, Salem.

7. The political leaders of Tamil Nadu are playing a dangerous game. With many pressing issues at home requiring immediate attention, they seem to have got their priorities wrong. Their plea to save the Tamils sounds hollow because it is obvious that the only Tamils who are facing the heat in Sri Lanka are the LTTE cadres.

It is strange that the State unit of the Congress has jumped on the bandwagon. One wonders whether it has the blessings of its high command. - Aravind Narayan, Mauritius.

8. The all-party meet has failed to call a spade a spade, in that it has conveniently sidelined the LTTE, the major and perhaps the only force that has contributed to the existing situation. Why don't the parties declare publicly that they do not support its undemocratic and unethical means? - S.R.Badrinarayanan, Chennai.

9. I welcome the magnanimous support extended by our political leaders to the Tamils in Sri Lanka. But I wonder why, till date, not even one party or MP or MLA has stood up for the cause of our own brothers and sisters in Orissa. I hope our political leaders will respond to the demands of not only global issues but also to the cries of our brothers and sisters at home. - Rev.Thomas K.Mathew, Chengannur.

10. The political parties of Tamil Nadu are making an obvious effort to save the LTTE from total rout and possible extinction. The argument that innocent Tamil civilians are suffering untold miseries is not new.

Ever since the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government started, Tamil civilians have been caught in the crossfire. But our politicians did not even raise a murmur. Now when the whole world has shunned the LTTE, blocking its funds and arms, the Tigers have started feeling the heat. The outcry against the civilian-suffering and human rights violations is an alibit to salvage the LTTE that is at the receiving end. - R.Ramakrishnan, Chennai.

11. Until the LTTE gives up violence, it is impossible for any peace-loving nation to help the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

The LTTE has failed to utilise the opportunities to end the conflict and it is to blame for the mess the country is in today. Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and has every right for preserving its territorial integrity.

If the political parties of Tamil Nadu really want to help the millions of innocent Tamils, they should condemn not only Colombo but also the LTTE which is killing its own people for personal gain. - Padmasani Rangarajan, Ontario.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai (Letters to the Editor), Oct.16, 2008.

Detailed Wikipedia article on "SRI LANKAN CIVIL WAR": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_Civil_War

Grateful thanks to M/s.K.P.R.Iyer, R.Sekar, G.Stanley Jeyasingh, S.Jagadish, S.Pushpavanam, V.S.Venkatavaradan, Aravind Narayan, S.R.Badrinarayanan, Rev.Thomas K.Mathew, R.Ramakrishnan and Padmasani Rangarajan, The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Health News: "Childhood Obesity"

Children who skip breakfast each day are twice as likely to be obse, a new study has shown. It is the opposite for kids who eat breakfast daily, experts say.
Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, Oct.20, 2008 ("Newscape")
Detailed Wikipedia article on "CHILDHOOD OBESITY":
Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Facts & Figures-53: "Food Crisis will Deepen"

Even as the United Nations warned further escalation of food prices, the Food and Agricultural Organisation in its newly-released report has asked governments to go slow on a biofuel policy as it might have a negative impact on food security.

On the occasion of World Food Day on October 16, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon issued a statement which said 800 million people across the globe were going to sleep hungry every night even before the price rise.

Expressing concerns about surging food crisis, he described it as a  "colossal human tragedy".

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008 ("UN Chief says Food Crisis will deepen")

Detailed Wikipedia article on  "FOOD  CRISIS/SECURITY":

Grateful thanks to the Correspondent who authored the above; Deccan Chronicle, Chennai and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Letters-46: "Freedom of Speech: Drawing a Line"

Freedom of speech is prized by democracies because only in a climate of free speech can the people remain informed on issues that affect their society and thus make an informed choice of government to reflect their best interests.  Yet nobody in most free societies can have a platform to incite violence, murder, sexual abuse, racial abuse or any other activity deemed repugnant by the vast majority of people.  Random House's decision to bow down to a hypothetical threat is surely a good decision.

There is a clear demarcation between intellectual discourse and subjecting a group of people to crass verbal abuse.  Every society permits their citizens to express themselves within its legal limits.  People should always know what constitutes hate or where to draw the line on free speech and it is not a license to target vulnerable groups. -  
Dr.T.Marx, Lecturer, Dept of English, Pondicherry University, Puducherry.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Sunday Magazine, Oct.19,2008.

Detailed Wikipedia article on  "FREEDOM  OF  SPEECH":

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

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Photo Album-27: "Parents with some of their grandchildren"

Parents with some of their grandchildren. I don't remember the occasion. Obviously, it is old, maybe around ten years. The children are all grown up now. Photo taken at the open terrace of my residence at that time by my friend, Annamalai or his brother.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Self-Improvement-37: "Dream, Dream, Dream!"

"SHOUT, we will win and avoid despondency," Former President of India, Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam advised secondary school children on a visit to the Nation Agro Foundation (NAF) for rural development in Illedu, Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu.

Celebrating his 77th birthday with them after cutting his birthday cake, he told them, "Dream, dream, dream.... Dreams will transform into thoughts which will result in action and progress."

Interacting with them, Dr.Kalam explained, "Night and day are experienced through the interaction of sun and earth which man cannot control. But we can control the days and hours at our disposal. We must make each day productive and resolve to make it useful for ourselves and our country."

Later, while talking to farmers, self-help group members and primary agricultural cooperative bank employees, he asked them to use genetically modified seeds to improve agricultural productivity. He pointed out that farmers were not able to get remunerative prices in the market. Hence, they needed to adopt the cooperative approach in farming and marketing of agricultural produce. Farmers needed to pool their inputs, cultivation practices and technology so that they had a better clout while going to market to enable them to get a fair price.

Earlier, Dr.Kalam inspected the agricultural, cattle and social production at various villages in Kancheepuram district. These included the total sanitation and adult literacy programme at Puthirankottai, the watershed project at Kumili and farmers club at Manappakkam.

Currently, NAF has enabled drop-out school children of Classes X, XI and XII to educate about 4200 village members through the adult literacy pro9gramme. This enables them to read and write Tamil and read the newspapers. However, 10,000 are still left to be educated.

At Puthirankottai, every household has received government subsidy of Rs.1200 and a bank loan of Rs.2500 to build a toilet under the total sanitation programme of NAF.

The NAF was founded by C.Subramaniam, the architect of India's first Green Revolution.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008.

Grateful thanks to ENS Economic Bureau and The New Indian Express.

Eyecatchers-117: "GPS could save Airlines Fuel"

Chicago: A Second World War-era air traffic network that often forces planes to take longer, zigzagging routes is costing airlines billions of dollars in wasted fuel while an upgrade to a satellite-based system has languished in the planning stages for more than a decade.

The $35-billion plan would replace the current radar system with the kind of global positioning system (GPS) technology that has become commonplace in cars and cell phones. Supporters say it would triple air traffic capacity, reduce delays by at least half, improve safety and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

An analysis of industry data found that if the system were already in place, US airlines alone could have saved more than $5 billion in fuel this year alone.

But funding delays and the complexities of the switchover have kept the project grounded. The government does not expect to have it up and running until the early 2020s. - AP.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, Oct.15, 2008.

Wikipedia article on "GPS (GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM):

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

Health Facts-8: "Vitamin D and Calcium"

Vitamin D controls your body's use of calcium. About 15 minutes of sunlight on your skin each day normally produces all the vitamin D you need.
Excerpt from "Health Facts", Chennai Times, Supplement to The Times of India, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008.

Wikipedia articles on "VITAMIN D" and 'CALCIUM":

Grateful thanks to The Times of India and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Thought for Today-146:

Grateful thanks to Vinod for the photo - clicked by him with his Nokia N70M
The world is too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but love - Chennai Times, Oct.16, 2008.
Grateful thanks to Chennai Times.

Health News: "CLEAN HANDS"

Daisy, Gulshan and Yamuna, three-year-olds enrolled in a balwadi in Chintadripet, were excited about the soap suds that bubbled up when their teacher asked them to wash their hands before a meal.

The children were part of the Global Handwashing Day awareness programme organised by UNICEF. Little Gulshan did not understand much about germs and diseases, but she got her basics right. "I must clean my hands before eating," she said.

The awareness programme held at Chennai Corporation High School at Chintadripet reached out to students from pre-kinder-garten to Standard X. The children were given a demonstration on how to wash their hands thoroughly with soap, especially after using the toilet. Deputy Mayor R.Sathyabhama told students that they must also use footwear to keep their feet clean. UNICEF education specialist Aruna Rathnam said parents sent small children to school without footwear fearing that the children would lose them. She suggested that the children be allowed to keep their footwear on rather than leave them outside class so that they would not lose them.

Corporation schools, at present, do not provide soaps for children to wash hands. However, Corporation Deputy Commissioner (Education) Anu George said the idea would be considered. Students also took out a short rally holding placards on sanitation.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Chennai.

Wikipedia article on "GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY":

Grateful thanks to the Staff Reporter who wrote the above article, The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Letters-45: "Ethics are needed in Business"

This refers to the editorial 'No Half Measures' (The Times of India, Chennai, Oct.13, 2008). I agree with your views. However, business ethics are also important and need to be inculcated in our business practices. The lack of such ethics has led to the financial catastrophe confronting us today. Rather than honestly analysing a particular business practice, we opted for unrealistic assessments. These wrong practices not only weakened us from within but also created the bubble that caused so much trouble when it finally burst. - Rochak Aggarwal, Gurgaon.
Courtesy: The Times of India, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008 (Edit Page: Mail Box : My Times, My Voice).
Wikipedia article on "BUSINESS ETHICS":
Grateful thanks to Rochak Aggarwal and The Times of India, Chennai and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Facts & Figures-52: "33 Nations Face Grave Food Crisis"

Thirtythree countries, chiefly in Africa and Asia, are experiencing "very serious" to "grave" food supply problems, two food assistance groups have said.

Presenting the annual Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2008, the German food relief group Welthungerhilfe and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) warned against neglecting the fate of starving people amidst the current financial crisis. "Nearly one billion starving people are a scandal for humanity," Welthungerhilfe head Mr.Ingeborg Schaeuble said. "In contrast to the banks, they are not to blame for their misery." In order to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, an annual additional spending of up to $13.6 billion is necessary, he added - DPA.

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008.

Grateful thanks to DPA and Deccan Chronicle.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Eyecatchers-116: "Software that tells Age just by looking at Face"

University of Illinois has developed a software that reveals a person's age just by looking at his or her face.
Excerpt from "Software that tells age just by looking at face" from The Times of India, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008.
Grateful thanks to The Times of India, Chennai.

Eyecatchers-115: "Coca-Cola's Net Income up by 14%"

Coca-Cola Co posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on strong international demand that offset a drop in volume at home. Coke's net income rose 14% to $1.89 billion in the third quarter ended on September 26 from $1.65 billion a year earlier.
Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008.
Grateful thanks to Deccan Chronicle, Chennai.

Letters-44: "Unkept Promise"

Sir, With reference to the report Parliament ambushed (Deccan Chronicle, Oct.15, 2008), when even the President of the US had taken his people's representatives into confidence, the Prime Minister of world's largest democracy did not keep his promise to Parliament by skipping the traditional monsoon session. While the nuclear deal may be Dr.Manmohan Singh's prestige issue, the nation has lost its prestige by succumbing to such desperation that the US has exploited. - Letter from K.S.Nagarajan, Porur, Chennai to the Editor, Deccan Chronicle, Chennai.
Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, Oct.16, 2008.
Grateful thanks to Deccan Chronicle, Chennai.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

S&T Watch-33: "Treating Type-I Diabetes without Insulin"

Type-I diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and kills insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. About 10% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. The only treatment for Type-I diabetes hitherto has been intramuscular administration of insulin. But soon a new line of treatment may be available using the hormone leptin. Recent studies with rodents suggest that a little extra production of leptin through gene therapy can bring terminally ill rodents with Type-I diabetes back from the brink of death (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 August 2008).

Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells and plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure. It also helps control eating behaviour. A new study suggests that it can also treat diabetes , the first demonstration that the disease can be treated without replacing insulin.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre at Dallas, USA, used adenovirus to insert extra copies of the leptin gene in diabetic mice and rats. The rodents recovered from the most severe side-effects of diabetes, even though they were not given insulin. The terminally ill diabetic rodents making extra leptin recovered with no trace in their bodies, and leptin produced more sustained health improvements than insulin injections did. These included normalising blood sugar for up to 80 days without insulin, stopping the overproduction of glucose by the liver, improving sugar use in the muscles, and allowing the animals to gain weight. The gene therapy also corrected ketosis - a process characteristic of diabetes in which the body burns fat, producing sweet-smelling chemicals called ketones.

According to the researchers, excess leptin probably blocks the action of glucagon, a hormone that works as a counterpoint to insulin, which helps cells use glucose for energy. Glucagon signals the liver to produce glucose from fats and other non-carbohydrate sources. In diabetics, high glucagon levels just raise blood sugar levels even higher and lead to other side-effects.

The researchers are not sure whether injections of leptin will work as well as making extra leptin through gene therapy does. But it is known that persons given injections of leptin for other reasons do show some improvement in blood sugar levels.

Courtesy: 'DREAM 2047', October 2008 ("Recent Development in Science and Technology" by Biman Basu - Email: bimanbasu@gmail.com).

Grateful thanks to Mr.Biman Basu and Dream 2047.

Eyecatchers-114: "Rs.12 crore Unclaimed Deposits!"

Throughout the country about Rs.1200 crores remain unclaimed in various bank deposits. This information was furnished by the Reserve Bank of India in reply to a petition by Mr.Siddharth Mishra of Orissa under Right to Information Act.
Courtesy: 'Dinamalar', Tamil daily, Madurai, Sep.14, 2008.
Grateful thanks to Dinamalar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Facts & Figures-51: "World Standards Day"

World Standards Day is celebrated today. It aims to create an awareness about the importance of standardization. For more details:
Grateful thanks to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

S&T Watch-32: "Mars Project"

NASA has decided to proceed with plans to launch a new big rover to Mars in 2009, despite concerns about the Mars Science Laboratory's budget.
Courtesy: The Hindu, Madurai, Oct.12, 2008.
Wikipedia articles on "MARS" and "NASA":
Grateful thanks to The Hindu and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Open Access-5: "Open Access Day"

Today is Open Access Day. Enthusiasts of OA world over have planned various events to celebrate the occasion. It looks very good and encouraging.
For details:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Environment-13: "Green Roof Movement"

Have heard about the Green Roof Movement? I came to know about it only very recently through an article in The San Diego Union-Tribune. The article was titled, "CINCINNATI WANTS TO LEAD GREEN ROOF MOVEMENT IN U.S." and was authored by Terry Kinney of Associated Press.

It says that the City Council of Cincinnati plans to support residents and business houses to replace tar and shingles with vegetation by channeling grants and loans.

Originally European-born, this Green Roof Movement, is spreading to many cities of USA.
Green roofs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also helpful in many ways like reduction of stormwater runoff, filtering of pollutants and reduction in heating and cooling costs.

After reading the article, naturally I went to Wikipedia, the free encylopedia for more information. From Wikipedia, I went on to other sites and got plenty of lovable information which I would like to share with you.

Wikipedia article on: "GREEN ROOF":

Article entitled, "May Your Roof Be Green" from Al-Ahram, Weekly Online, June 2-8, 2005:http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/745/en2.htm

Article entitled, "PLANT A GREEN ROOF" by Katherine Noyes, Senior Editor, "Animal Welfare" in Charity Guide:

Grateful thanks to Terry Kinney, San Diego Union-Tribune, Amany Abdel-Moneim, Al-Ahram, Katherine Noyes, Charity Guide.org and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Open Access-4: Google Directory for Open Access Resources

It is heartening to note the growing support for the Open Access Movement and here is something for those who are interested in Open Access from Google Directory of Open Access Resources.

It has listed 5 categories and two related categories. Under the category, Free Access Scientific Archives Google Directory lists 52 references. Those who would like to look them up can click the URL below and see for themselves the 52 Open Access Resources under Science; 33 under Free Access Theory; 82 under Free Online Literature; 41 under Free Online Poetry; and 10 under Organizations.

Under related categories, 835 under Computers; and 82 under Computers-Open Source.


Grateful thanks to Google Directory.