Saturday, November 13, 2010
Passenger: It's absolutely ok. Actually I also forgot to take my purse today!!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thief: S..s..s..h.. hey, you better keep quiet!
Kid: I will remain quiet in one condition. You have to steal my books too!!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
It’s the Octopus Paul – the oracle, the soothsayer, the official football star who found fame without stepping anywhere near a football field. Everyone’s mad over the resident of the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. So far he has managed to correctly predict the winner of every game at the tournament featuring his adopted country’s team (he’s British born but reared in Germany). Actually not just Paul, many pet owners can detect a sixth sense in their pets. How does Paul see the future it is not very clear. By the way, he’s named Paul after a poem by German author Boy Lornse titled Der Tintenfisch Paul Oktopus. His keeper Oliver Walenciak believes it might have something to do with the fact that “all octopus have nine brains so he might has exceptional powers. So, its not just Paul, but many psychic octopuses could be gliding around in the deep blue. Octopuses can learn, they can process complex information in their heads, and they can behave in equally complex ways. But it would be a mistake to try to give octopuses an IQ score. They are not intelligent in the way we are—not because they’re dumb but because their behavior is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution under radically different conditions than the ones under which our own brains evolved. Octopuses are known to be highly intelligent and curious. Divers are amazed by the elaborate trails octopus follow along the seafloor. They say octopus are innately curious and take great care to examine divers, tugging at their masks and air regulators. Researchers and aquarium attendants tell tales of octopuses that have tormented and outwitted them. Some captive octopuses lie in ambush and spit in their keepers’ faces. Others dismantle pumps and block drains, causing costly floods, or flex their arms in order to pop locked lids. Some have been caught sneaking from their tanks at night into other exhibits, gobbling up fish, then sneaking back to their tanks, damp trails along walls and floors giving them away. So, is Paul just another intelligent octopus with a distinct personality? Why this affinity for football? Nobody knows.
Recently Octopus Paul has competition. Singapore’s Mani; the 13-year-old parakeet too has been correct in his predictions for all the quarter-final ties and the Spain-Germany semi-final. However they have predicted differently for the World Cup Final. Paul has selected Spain whereas Mani's winner is Netherlands.Lets see who has the last laugh!
Monday, July 5, 2010
US President Barak Obama had all praise for Prime Ministerof India Manmohan Singh. Commenting on the rise of India, US President Barack Obama Sunday said he was 'looking forward' and 'excited' about visiting India with First Lady Michelle later this year. Personally thanking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and wife Gurcharan Kaur for their friendship , Obama also hoped his visit to India - scheduled for the early part of November - would be extremely productive for the two sides. 'It is a trip that I'm very much looking forward to,' said Obama, before holding alks with Manmohan Singh after the conclusion of the G20 Summit that also saw the convergence of views expressed by India and the US. 'We are also just excited because of the tremendous cultural, as well as political and social and economic examples, that India is providing the world and has in the past,' said the US president. 'I can tell you that here at G20, when the prime minister speaks, people listen,' he said, adding it was because of his deep knowledge of economic issues, the nuances of India's rise as a world power and its commitment towards global peace and prosperity. The US president also recalled that the state dinner hosted by him for Manmohan Singh - the first for his presidency - was 'wonderful' and that it had set the tone for India-US ties that they had both termed as a strategic partnership.'We want to make sure that in addition to government-to-government ties, we were initiating people-to-people ties,' he said, adding emphasis also remained on how to get the businesses of the two side to work together. Manmohan Singh, on his part, also praised Obama no length and said it was because of him that the strategic partnership between India and the US was getting a new thrust, meaning and endeacvour. 'You are a role model for millions and millions of people all over the world,' said the Indian prime minister said of Obama, almost 30 years his junior. 'Your life history is a history that inspires millions of people everywhere.'Manmohan Singh said it was his privilege to enjoy Obama's friendship, and assured that he was waiting to welcome the US president and his family to India so that they could also see for themselves the transformations the nation was undergoing.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
These are the lists of some famous or infamous red cards which became part of world cup football history.
* Zinedine Zidane (France Vs Italy 2006)
Among the mother, father and holy ghost of all World Cup red cards. Zidane, who had given France the lead with a cheeky penalty and moments earlier nearly won the match with a brilliant header, responded to Marco Materazzi's taunting by headbutting him in the chest. This was football's JFK moment and, like the late president's murder, wild rumours have continued to spread about what exactly was said. Zidane claims Materazzi insulted his mother, which the Italian defender has consistently denied. For the record, France's former number 10 has said he 'would rather die' than apologise. This one looks set to run and run.
* David Beckham (England Vs Argentina 1998)
'Ten Brave Lions, One Stupid Boy' screamed an English tabloid newspaper the day after England's second round defeat by Argentina in 1998. English poster boy David Beckham was dismissed for a flash of petulance in flicking a leg at Diego Simeone, who collapsed as if he had been shot by a sniper's bullet. The image of Beckham gazing up at the giant referee Kim Milton Nielsen remains a defining image of France '98. Declarations for public lynchings and burning effigies swiftly followed for England's number seven.
* Pedro Monzon (Argentina Vs West Germany 1990)
La Albiceleste hold the record for the most red cards in World Cup history with 10. Three of those came in Italia '90 with Pedro Monzon earning his name in the history books for becoming the first player to be sent off in a World Cup final. Monzon hacked Jurgen Klinsmann down and 20 minutes later team-mate Gustavo Dezotti was sent packing too, with the Argentinian players barging the Mexican referee around like a pinball in disgraceful scenes.
* Frank Rijkaard & Rudi Voeller (Netherlands Vs West Germany 1990)
Sixty seconds of madness will forever define this pair's careers. When Germany play Netherlands there is always some spice, so when it's a second round World Cup match two years after the Dutch beat them on home soil in Euro '88, it was bound to get nasty. Just after the 20 minute mark Rijkaard sliced into Voller to earn a booking which didn't meet with his approval, so he lobbed a mouthful of spit in the German's direction. Voeller even pointed at his curly hair to the referee to demonstrate, but got a booking for his protests. Moments later the pair clashed again in the penalty area and were both sent off, upon which Rijkaard lobbed another one in Voeller's direction. It's alleged they had a punch up in the tunnel, although we understand they have since patched things up.
* Diego Maradona (Argentina Vs Brazil 1982)
Trailing 3-0 to the super Brazilians, Diego Maradona snapped with just five minutes remaining. Argentina's number 10 launched himself at Batista with menace, connecting with a part of the body which guarantees severe pain when studs are attached. His World Cup, along with Argentina's, was over.
* Mario David (Italy Vs Chile 1962)
A game etched in history as the 'Battle of Santiago' and memorably described by the BBC at the time as "the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possible in the history of the game." Tensions were at fever pitch before a ball was kicked as members of the Italian media had slated the hosts Chile in a series of scathing editorials. It didn't take long before the battle got underway and Giorgio Ferrini's red card for Italy in the eighth minute set the tone for things to come. Ferrini took aim with a kick but only left the field several minutes later when an army of police had to escort him off. Later in the half, Chile's Leonel Sanchez and Italy's Mario David decided to kick lumps out of each other at the corner flag. Sanchez aimed a punch in David's direction and, despite the linesman seeing it cleanly, he amazingly escaped punishment. A few minutes later David aimed a kung fu kick, which Eric Cantona would be proud of, in Sanchez's direction and he saw red too. Referee Ken Aston, who had served in the Second World War, said it was like being back in battle. He had a point.
4) Antonio Rattin (Argentina Vs England 1966)
Tensions between England and Argentina were there long before the Falklands war and the Hand of God. Skipper Rattin was given his marching orders by German referee Rudolph Kreitlein for repeated dissent but took an age to leave the pitch. He allegedly spat on the Queen's red carpet and as he eventually trudged off he wiped his hands on the corner flag which had a Union Jack on it. Rattin pleaded his defence years later: "The sending-off should never have happened and it wouldn’t have done if I could speak a word of German. I hadn’t even made a foul. All I wanted to do was talk to the referee, but the next thing I knew he was pointing me off the pitch."
* Laurent Blanc (France Vs Croatia 1998)
A disgraceful red card which should never have been issued. France's cultured defender missed out on the World Cup final for a blatant piece of gamesmanship executed by Slaven Bilic. After minor contact, Bilic launched himself to ground, clutching his face in horror. Blanc, who had been inspirational throughout the tournament, was deprived of playing in the biggest game of his career. If ever there was an argument for video evidence this was it. Calls for Blanc's ban to be over tuned fell on deaf ears. It still makes the Gallic blood boil.
* Sergio Batista (Uruguay Vs Scotland 1986)
Batista holds the dubious record of the fastest ever red card in World Cup history for seeing red less than a minute into Uruguay's game with Scotland in Mexico '86. He was given an early bath just 56 seconds into the game for slaloming into the back of Gordon Strachan. Referee Joel Quiniou took no prisoners and reached straight for his top pocket, roaring at Batista to leave and fast.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Wealth creation Strategies:
Ever thought how your colleague at work, who earns the same salary as you, has bought a Marcediz while you are still driving your 5-year-old Hundai Accent?
Chances are your colleague has utilized his or her existing salary smartly to generate passive sources of income, on the back of which the car has been bought. By generating passive income you can achieve financial freedom and flexibility through the creation of alternative sources of income that can complement your salary income. People rarely achieve their financial goals and dreams only on the back of their salaries - one needs alternative sources of income that can increase one's wealth and consumption capabilities. Here we share with you some tips on how to generate passive income that can facilitate wealth creation.
What is passive income?
The salary you get from work is a direct result of your efforts at work, during your active working life. Passive income, on the other hand, is income that you can generate without having to directly work for it. For exampe, if you invest a part of your salary into instruments that will earn income for you without you spending any time on it, you can create passive sources of investment income for yourself. Apart from the act of investment, you are not directly doing any active work to generate investment income. In effect, your money works for you to earn more money for no incremental effort on your part. Over time, if you have invested smartly, you can have enough money through these passive sources to make a down payment on an apartment or buy that dream car. Even if you start small, the idea is that you should start creating passive income for your self. Through the sheer power of compounding of capital, small savings today can grow into a large amount within just a short period of 4-5 years.
When can one start earning passive income?
You can start as early as today! All you need is a regular source of salary income and the discipline of setting aside a part of this salary, even if it is a small amount, towards investment purposes before you start spending your money on your lifestyle or your living costs. This of course might not always be easy, and depends upon the state of your personal finances and your family situation. Also, if you are just starting out your career, you might not have the flexibility to invest immediately. To add to these is the peer pressure to spend money on items of conspicuous consumption like the latest mobile phone or a cutting edge flat screen LCD TV. The choice whether to invest or not is of course yours, but please bear in mind the tradeoff in the long term - you can either consume today, or save up to consume for later. If, however, you are in your middle age, you might not be left with much of a choice and your key goal should be to use as much of your income as possible from your remaining peak earning years to create a source of passive income, which is often the only source of funds for most people during retirement.
Last but not the least, jike your salary income, any passive income that you generate will also create a tax liability for you.
Depending upon the source of the income there might be different tax treatment applied. For instance, dividends from equity instruments such as stocks or equity mutual funds are tax free in the hands of the investor. However, dividends distributed by a debt or a liquid fund will be subject to a dividend distribution tax paid out by the fund. Further, the tax treatment also depends upon the time duration that you hold an asset or an investment. If you make a gain on a capital market investment, but hold it for less than 12 months, short-term capital gains tax rules will apply. If you hold the investment for more than 12 months then long-term capital gains tax rates will be applicable. Similarly, for property the holding period that determines a short or long-term capital gain is whether you have owned the asset for more or less than 3 years. The tax rates for capital gains vary by the type of investment in question. Sometimes you might also be able to use losses from your investments to offset your taxes from other sources of income.
Whatever be the source of your passive income, you will need to declare it in your annual tax return, and pay taxes on it according to the existing tax rates and rules.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Saving is essential for everyone!
When the interest rates are rising it is good news for some - those who look at making deposits; bad news for some - those who are looking at taking loans. Savings however have to be channeled carefully so that the maximum can be gained from the deposits. Here are the top 5 savings planning:
In today's scenario the top 5 savings instruments are:
1. Debt Mutual Funds
2. Mutual Fund Monthly Income Plan - Growth Option
3. Company Deposits
4. Post Office Recurring Deposit
5. Post Office Monthly Income Scheme
Debt Mutual Funds
These are managed funds that invest the funds from the investors predominantly in debt and debt oriented schemes. There are a number of advantages that these mutual funds give compared to a direct deposit. The most apparent is the fact that this is a managed fund and the returns can be better as the manager has access to more information and will leverage that compared to individual investors. There is no TDS or tax on the interest. The returns will be processed as capital gains. Returns from this fund are expected to be good. The top five debt mutual funds have given compounded returns in the range of 10.50-14.50% in the last 3 years. This is much better than the normal bank deposit or company deposit. The advantage is that debt mutual funds can create capital gains when the interest rates go down.
Mutual Fund Monthly Income Plan - Growth Option
For people who have a higher risk quoitent during the short term, monthly income plan (MIP) of mutual funds is good. Here a small portion (generally not more than 20%) of the funds is invested in equity. So the returns can be better than the normal debt mutual fund when the market is rising. The typical returns in the last 3 years are 12% to 14% for the top 5 funds. However caution needs to be taken when choosing the growth option. This is due to the fact that if we start to receive the monthly payouts there may be months when the principal is used for the payout. This will drain the fund particularly when the market goes down. Being largely a debt oriented mutual fund, the tax treatment is the same as the debt mutual fund.
Companies that offer deposit schemes to consumers tend to offer rates that are in-between bank deposit rates and bank lending rates. This is a win-win situation for the company and the person saving. The bank has to make a profit when borrowing from the public and lending to companies. So they have an interest rate difference (spread) of about 4.5%. In effect, the deposit holders are paid less and the borrowers are charged more. When a company has direct access to the depositor, both benefit. The depositor gets a better rate than what the bank can offer and the company is able to borrow at a lesser rate when compared to a bank interest rate. However, it is in the best interest of the borrower to do his research thoroughly and double check how good the credit rating of the company is before investing. On an average estimates show that one can easily get 11% - 12% on reputed companies' deposits for a 3 year term. The returns will be taxed as interest and will have TDS.
Post Office Recurring Deposit
This is a 5 year scheme where one invests on a monthly basis. However, there does exist an option for the fund to be closed after 3 years, which comes with a penalty of 1%. The advantage with the postal recurring deposit over the bank recurring deposit is that the minimum monthly investment is only Rs.10/- with no upper limit. In case the payment is made once is 6 months or on a yearly basis, there are discounts for that too. The limitation is that the interest rate is fixed at 7.5% only and auto-debit to bank account is not available. There are no tax benefits from the scheme. However Post Offices have not been deducting TDS.
Post Office Monthly Income Scheme
For the retired people, the Post Office Monthly Income Scheme is a good savings instrument. The interest is 8% divided on a monthly payout basis. The payout if not required can be channeled to a recurring deposit. The effective returns increases by almost 10% by doing this.The interest can be credited to a savings account of any bank too. The account can be closed after 1 year with a 5% penalty and after 3 years without any penalty. The limitation however is that the maximum investment for any individual is only Rs.6 L. The ranking of the above 5 savings schemes have been done based on their returns, the convenience factor to close and change to another savings scheme (important when the interest rate is rising) and the safety for investments. Of all the options the debt mutual funds appear to score the highest due to their flexibility and returns. This is closely followed by the mutual fund MIPs.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Causes of Aircrash:
One in every four air crashes across the globe can be attributed to error during landing quite similar to this morning's Air India crash in Mangalore in which 158 people were killed.
An analysis by Boeing shows that around 24 per cent of the total 364 plane accidents between 1998 and 2007 were caused by technical or human error while landing.
Of the 364 accidents, more than 85 occurred while landing, the analysis said. Eleven per cent of the total 5,147 fatalities were attributed to accidents due to problems in landing.
The majority of accidents (57 per cent) occurred while the aircraft were cruising, according to the report titled "Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents, 1959-2008".
About 12 per cent of accidents took place during takeoff, while 8 per cent during the plane's initial climb and 12 per cent between the period of climb and cruise, accounting for 43 per cent of the total fatalities, said the report.
While descending, there were only 5 per cent of mishaps whereas 10 per cent of accidents occurred during the flight's initial approach and 9 per cent during the final approach before landing. Such accidents resulted in about 27 per cent of total fatalities during the said 10 years.
The report also stated that about 12 per cent of accidents took place during taxing and towing of planes at airports. As far as fatalities are concerned, 1,985 deaths resulted in accidents caused by loss of control in flights. Over 1,100 were killed in accidents classified under controlled flight into terrain, in which a pilot inadvertently flies an aircraft into terrain without knowing about the obstacle. The third biggest reason behind fatal accidents was the failure or malfunction of an aircraft system or component - other than the powerplant. Accidents under this category have killed 655 people in the reported period. Accidents occurred due to "runway excursion" -- a veer off or overrun off the runway surface -- remained the fourth biggest killer, claiming the lives of about 449 people. Such accidents also resulted in nearly 90 external fatalities, according to the report. Today's mishap can be classified under the "runway excursion" category. Midair collisions have killed over 150 people on board and nearly 70 from outside during the said period.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Twenty -20 world cup 2010 in West Indies is over.The growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket has been further cemented by the successful conduct of the just concluded ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean. From what one saw in the fortnight long competition it is no more just slam bang cricket. There is a lot of strategy and tactics involved and all countries have taken to the game's newest and shortest format very seriously. The very nature of the format - short and sweet - led one to initially think that is just hit and giggle. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Just for starters, it can be stated that the tactical errors of MS Dhoni were possibly the main reasons that led to India's exit at the Super Stage of the tournament. Persisting with Ravindra Jadeja, fielding just two quick bowlers on the fast and bouncy track at Bridgetown, not playing leg spinner Piyush Chawla and not using Yusuf Pathan as a floater in the batting order were some of the moves found wanting as far as strategic matters were concerned. It is important in Twenty20 to be more flexible rather than to follow a rigid policy and that is one of the truths driven home by events in the World Cup.
The tournament also underlined the fact that the format provides for an even contest between bat and ball. Initially, it was taken for granted that Twenty20 was a format by, for and of the batsmen. Of late thanks to the evolution of the format into a thinking man's game the gap between bat and ball has narrowed. In 27 matches, 200 was not notched up even once with the highest being 197 for seven by Australia in their successful run chase against Pakistan in the semifinal. Modest totals of 133, 139, 141 and 148 were defended successfully while totals of 168 and 169 were enough to win by convincing margins in contests between Test playing nations. An encouraging feature of the matches was that spin bowlers enjoyed almost as much success as the pacemen with Saeed Ajmal, Graeme Swann and Steve Smith being as much in the forefront as Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson. The men were separated from the boys as the Super Eight stage began and it was proper that the eight leading teams battled it out for top honours. The result was cricket of a superbly high standard. Mercifully the weather did not play major havoc with the matches and in fact not even one game after the preliminary stage was decided on Duckworth/Lewis.
England's triumph - their first in any ICC Trophy tournament in 35 years - provided the icing on the cake. Few gave Paul Collingwood's men any chance of winning the competition given their past record where the best has been finalists in the 1979, 1987 and 1992 Fifty50 Cricket World Cup and runners-up again in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy. Indeed, there were the only one of eight leading teams not to have won an ICC Trophy and they were up against formidable competition. But defying the odds, England shrugged off defeat under controversial circumstances in the rain ruined opener against the West Indies to win six matches in a row including one that mattered most - the title clash against favourites Australia. To their credit it must be said that Australia produced some wonderful cricket over the fortnight including a memorable victory over Pakistan in the semifinal in one of the finest Twenty20 matches ever played.
The participation of Afghanistan provided the fairytale story . There were innumerable stories about how the team members from that war ravaged country had overcome hurdles after hurdles to make it to the Caribbean. It really did not matter that they lost both their matches to Test opponents India and South Africa. Afghanistan were defeated but certainly not disgraced and it is hoped that they receive all help from the authorities as they take a firm path towards making a greater impact in international cricket.
Memories will linger and the most vivid will have to be Australia's victory over Pakistan from a seemingly hopeless situation and Mike Hussey's blinder of an innings that saw him hit 60 not out off just 24 balls. He cemented his position as Mr Cricket. Other memories must include Kevin Pietersen's swashbuckling batting, Mahela Jayawardene's silken touch that underlined that big hits alone need not be required to maintain a quick run rate, Cameron White on the other hand sending the ball into the stands and out of the ground over and over again, the bowling of the Australian and England pacemen and the many exciting finishes. But, perhaps, the single most outstanding feat was the five wicket maiden sent down by Pakistan's Mohammed Aamer against Australia - something that may never be performed again in Twenty20 internationals.
It was really two weeks to remember!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Twenty-20 World Cup in West Indies- Performance of Team India is Hampered by IPL and Its Night Party
After the debacle of Indian Cricket Team in Twenty-20 world cup in West Indies, Indian Captain M.S. Dhoni has blamed the IPL and after match parties for the failure of team India. Dhoni was right in one way. Players have to make their own choices about their bodies, but it's not always that easy - not if you're not Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid. Each party was invariably the same routine. Starting with a ramp show that lasted 30 to 45 minutes, then the models would come off and mix with the rest and the party would take off. There were cheerleaders and girls who we called 'escort service'. Beautiful women to add glamour to the mix, get the party moving. They were not allowed to talk to any player for more than five minutes. If they did, a manager would walk up and slickly move her away. But there were other women, willing and uninhibited. The big-name players who did attend generally handled themselves without a problem. They would hang around, chat, have a drink, pick up a happy girl, sometimes two, take her back to the hotel room and have some fun. Watching some of our younger players, the u-19 and u-22 kids, though, was scary. They had never been exposed to Bollywood stars, Page 3 personalities, endless cigarettes (all free), flowing booze, occasionally drugs and always women, willing women, everywhere. The boys lapped it up, and would party right through. Those that didn't drink or smoke did so to be part of the cool gang. The pressure lay more in the occasional hint dropped by an IPL official, a sponsor or a franchise official that it would be good if cricketers were there for a bit, that there were some people they would like me to meet. If he is not Tendulkar or Dravid, he couldn't say no, go back to the room and stay there and not be bothered. So one tell himself, 'I'll go down for an hour', only, it's never an hour. Before he knows it, it's 4am and he's heading back to his room, hurrying to pack up and head to another city, another game, another sponsor's commitment (which are endless), another shoot possibly and yes, another party.
The problem is to switch off mentally. Not on the field, not during the hours spent in airports when fans and the airport staff want an autograph, photograph or just a chat and not in the parties, where he'll be introduced to important people who will listen to him and perhaps, be important contacts who will make money for him. It's a choice and it's tiring but it's also business. They have to be switched on. It takes a toll, when one plays a game, party till 4am, pack and grab an hour's sleep before heading for the airport and spend six to 12 hours travelling. Places like Jaipur and Chandigarh don't have direct connections to everywhere else. That's one of the problem of IPL, not the matches, not the parties but the endless travel and exhaustion - and next year, with 34 games more, it will only get worse.
The IPL is intense; short bursts of highly charged games and then, nothing. There's no period of introspection.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Are you a fitness freak? Do you do aerobics regularly? Stop! Here comes something for you to give a thought. Millions of people who try to be in shape with jogging, swimming or hours of exercise have been rendered useless after scientists claimed the activities might be a mere waste of time. Researchers at the University of London showed that nearly 20 per cent of people who do regular aerobic exercise did not gain any significant health benefits. Principal investigator James Timmons, from the Royal Veterinary College, said that the other ways of keeping healthy, such as improving diet or taking medication, may actually work better. The research, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, was conducted in association with the Human Genomics Laboratory in Louisiana and the Centre for Healthy Ageing at the University of Copenhagen. So thin twice before bending your back!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Its the common notion that forests remove carbon dioxide from the air and prevent global warming . But it has some falacies according to a new study. There's a kind of forest that does remove carbon dioxide, but does not help prevent global warming because it heats up so much itself. Forests can directly absorb and retain heat, and, in at least one type of forest, these effects may be strong enough to cancel out a good part of the benefit in lowered carbon dioxide, says a discovery by chemistry researchers at the Weizmann Institute (WI), Israel.
For the past 10 years, WI has been operating a research station in the semi-arid Yatir Forest, a pine forest at the edge of the Negev Desert. This station is part of a worldwide project comprising over 400 stations, called FLUXNET, which probes the link among forests, the atmosphere and climate around the globe. Forests counteract the greenhouse effect by removing heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in living trees. Over the years of measurement, Yakir's group has found that the semi-arid forest, even though not as luxuriant as temperate forests farther north, is a surprisingly good carbon sink - better than most European pine forests and about on par with the global average. This was unexpected news for a forest sitting at the edge of a desert, and it indicated that there is real hope for the more temperate forests if things heat up under future global change scenarios. But forests do more than just store carbon dioxide, and Yakir, together with Eyal Rotenberg, decided to look at the larger picture - the 'total energy budget' of a semi-arid forest. The first hint they had that other processes might be counteracting the cooling effect of carbon dioxide uptake came when they compared the forest's albedo - how much sunlight is reflected from its surface back into space - with that of the nearby open shrub land. They found that the dark forest canopy had a much lower albedo, absorbing quite a bit more of the sun's energy than the pale, reflective surface of surrounding area. In a cloudless environment with high levels of solar radiation, albedo becomes an important factor in surface heating.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Global Warming- Is It Really As Dangeous As Campaigned, Dangers of Gobal Warming- Are They Over Emphasized
Andy Pitman, an Australian scientist (co-authour the controversial climate change report) tried to defend the errors found in it. He said that one or two mistakes does not undermine the case of global warming. Andy Pitman, co-director of University of NSW climate change research centre and key author of the IPCC's 2001 and 2007 reports, said that there might be two paragraphs that have been questioned in a 1600-page document but there are the other 1599 pages that nobody has found any problems with. The prediction that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 has now been shown to be unfounded but Pitman said while the date may be wrong the outcome will be the same. Its not that the Himalayan glaciers are not vulnerable to climate change or are not melting or are not melting at an accelerated rate. It is the date of 2035 that is a bit doubtful. What is more worrying to Prof Pitman is the revelation that the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri may have benefited from the errors by receiving funding for his research institute. This is yet another blow for climate scientists and Pitman said it will give climate change sceptics ammunition to continue their attacks. It's very clear that increased CO2 and other greenhouse gases are causing climate change but it certainly wont stop the sceptics using the information for their own purpose. Pitman said he believed concerted efforts by sceptics to attack and misinform the community are working, very similar to the efforts of tobacco lobbyists who deny the health effects of smoking. If climate scientists losethe fight with the sceptics , it will be the most unfortunate thing to the future of mankind.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
There is no stopping for Deepika Padukone. Her debut with Khan ('Om Shanti Om') was a super success.. And she's scored a winner with another Khan (Saif Ali Khan) in the second most successful film of 2009. But Deepika Padukone is fr from contended. She's set her sights on two other desirable Khans too. I'd love to work with Salman Khan and Aamir Khan too exclaims Deepika. Fresh from the break-up with Ranbir Kapoor, the actress has plunged herself deep into her career. Besides, the thumping win and the critical acclaim for her work in 'Love Aaj Kal' has helped her to get some super duper assignments. High on that list is director Ashutosh Gowarikar's 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se' with Abhishek Bachchan as co star. Enacting a revolutionary in Gowariker's film, buzz has it that DP is likely to walk away with all the top acting honours, once again. Besides, she will also be found in a bikini with Akshay Kumar in 'Houseful' and pair up with Neil Nitin Mukesh in Pradeep Sarkar's next. 'Karthik Calling Karthik' waiting to hit the movie plexes soon. It could well be success calling Deepika ….
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Global research firm Gartner Inc. has predicted that worldwide IT spending would rise 4.6 percent to $3.4 trillion in 2010, on the back of an economic recovery and a declining dollar. In 2009, spending on information technology fell 4.6 percent to $3.22 trillion, the firm said in a note. Much of the increase in 2010 forecast could be attributed to a projected decline in the value of the U.S. dollar compared to 2009. All major segments such as computer hardware, software, IT services would contribute to the growth, with emerging markets leading the recovery. Recovery in western Europe, the United States and Japan is expected to start more slowly than the emerging markets of Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Although recovery will be slow, over the next 12 to 18 months, gross domestic product is projected to increase, consumer confidence is expected to improve, and the availability of credit should increase. At the same time, demand for new technologies will be released as enterprises focus on new growth opportunities and increase spending plans. Leading Indian software services companies Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies and Wipro published quarterly forecasts and indicated a recovery in the global economy was boosting demand for outsourcing which on the other hand is good for Indian economy also!
A data security firm has published the commonly used passwords on the net.
Imperva analysed around 32 million passwords that had been exposed in a recent hack of the RockYou website. Last year a hacker had breached the site's company database, gaining access to the usernames and passwords of all its 32 million users. Now, after studying the breach, the firm has come up with a list of the commonly used passwords which one should avoid. Everyone needs to understand that with minimal effort, a hacker can gain access to a new account every second-or 1000 accounts every 17 minutes said Amichai Shulman, Imperva's chief technical officer. People using the same passwords on Facebook and Twitters that they use in the workplace bringing the possibility of compromising the security of theenterprise specially if they are using easy to crack passwords like '123456. So it's high time for everyone of us to take password security seriously; as it's an important first step in data security.
The most commonly used passwords analysed in the study were:
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Katrina Kaif is the queen f bollywood at present.Katrina Kaif has good reasons to feel woried about her career. After all her closet competitors: Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor have already started giving her sleepless nights by signing some of the biggest upcoming films of this calendar.
Buzz is that Katrina has only few films this year when compared to Priyanka and Kareena. It's also known that Katrina is trying to work with Madhur Bhandarkar too since his films guarantee big success something which Kats is desperately looking forward to get better f her competitors.
Katrina might have ruled in the year 2009 with some of the big hits to her credit, but it seems the year 2010 is not going to be easy for the actress.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
In a recent opinion poll conducted by sun online, actress Kate Winslet is voted to have the most desirable celebrity body. Surprisingly, Kate dosen't got a skinny model like figure as Victoria Beckham or Ket Price.
Angelina Jolie is voted as the beauty icon of the decade by a opinion poll conducted by Superdrug, the largest health and beauty retailer of UK. Her famous pout, long beautiful hair and strong character went in her favour.
Jennifer Aniston, the ex-wife of Brad Pitt is voted second.Kylie Minogue and Catherine Zeta Jones occupied the folowing positions in the order.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
A team of scientists has carried out a research regarding the changes in the surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean and its possible relationship with global warming. The research was done by Nobuko Nakamura and his team from the University of Tokyo, along with Timothy R. McClanahan from Wildlife Conservation Society, and Swadhin K. Behera from the Frontier Research Center for Global Change, Yokohama, Japan. Recently, the temperature variation has become a major determining factor on the weather variations in the Indian Ocean region. Abnormally warm sea surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean are accompanied by severe droughts over the Indonesian region and heavy rainfall over east Africa. To learn more about the effect of global warming on the climatic change in the Indian Ocean Region , the team of scientists studied a 115-year coral record from Kenya. They analyzed coral oxygen isotope ratios, which trace rainfall anomalies too. The results add to the evidence that the temperature variation has been occurring more frequently in recent decades. The researchers suggested that global warming effects on the western Indian Ocean have driven the observed shift in temperature variability and this changes ultimately lead to adverse climatic events like drought, heavy rainfall or fierce cyclonic weather . The results of the research and the recomendations have been discussed in the international conferrence at Copenhagen occured at december 2009.(ANI)
Friday, January 1, 2010
The economic crisis of 2008-09 is coming to an end. The job market is opening up and companies are loosening controls imposed on recruitment, training expenses and salary hikes. HR consulting firms FE spoke to said the calendar year 2010 looks hopeful not only on the hiring front, but for salaries and bonuses as well. However, companies will continue to remain conservative on salary hikes across the board. The exorbitant salaries and huge bonuses for people at the top management level, which saw a dip of about 25-30% in their cost to company (CTC) during the slowdown, could go up by 15-20% in 2010. This will include managing directors, chief executives, chief financial officers, senior vice-presidents and executive directors. In percentage terms, the total package might not move up significantly, but other benefits like perks and variable pay are expected to increase. Moreover, huge bonuses of about 80-100% will now shrink to 30-50%. The top-level salary in the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) sector at present is more than Rs 1 crore per annum compared with more than Rs 2-3 crore in the beginning of 2008. In the manufacturing and engineering sectors, it is still lower at around Rs 80 lakh, compared with Rs 1 crore earlier. IT/ITeS, which took the maximum hit during the downturn, is ready to give salaries in the range of Rs 1.5 to Rs 5 crore. Pharmaceutical sector is still lower by 10-15% against the 2008 levels. Salary at the top level in this sector is between Rs 75 and 80 lakh per annum. In the media sector, current salaries at the top level are more than Rs 1 crore, whereas, for retail and real estate sector, salaries might go up from Rs 75 lakhs and Rs 1 crore, respectively, per annum . But will this salary hike ia a true reflection of our economic growth? Opinions differ in this matter!