Saturday, 28 May 2011

Where do exiled leaders flee? [infographic] - Holy Kaw!

With Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak now deposed and Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi struggling to hold on to his own seat, we wonder where former exiled leaders slip away to after being ousted.

(Click on the infographic below to learn more.)

Via Column Five for Good

Exit Plan-Exile Plan- OR simply Business Continuity Plan?
Amazing Infographic.

Chris Gayle | West Indies Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials | ESPN Cricinfo

Chris Gayle      

Full name Christopher Henry Gayle

Born September 21, 1979, Kingston, Jamaica

Current age 31 years 249 days

Major teams West Indies, ICC World XI, Jamaica, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Stanford Superstars, Western Australia, Worcestershire

Playing role Allrounder

Batting style Left-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Christopher Henry Gayle
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 91 159 6 6373 333 41.65 10783 59.10 13 33 936 75 85 0
ODIs 228 223 16 8087 153* 39.06 9633 83.95 19 43 946 169 99 0
T20Is 20 20 1 617 117 32.47 427 144.49 1 5 57 34 5 0
First-class 165 292 21 12127 333 44.74 29 59 143 0
List A 289 283 23 10308 153* 39.64 21 59 121 0
Twenty20 67 66 8 2147 117 37.01 1427 150.45 3 13 205 131 21 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 91 99 6857 2995 72 5/34 6/81 41.59 2.62 95.2 2 2 0
ODIs 228 180 6936 5473 156 5/46 5/46 35.08 4.73 44.4 3 1 0
T20Is 20 15 209 254 12 2/15 2/15 21.16 7.29 17.4 0 0 0
First-class 165 12133 5015 129 5/34 38.87 2.48 94.0 2 0
List A 289 8966 6783 210 5/46 5/46 32.30 4.53 42.6 4 1 0
Twenty20 67 55 934 1117 37 3/13 3/13 30.18 7.17 25.2 0 0 0
Career statistics
Test debut West Indies v Zimbabwe at Port of Spain, Mar 16-20, 2000 scorecard
Last Test Sri Lanka v West Indies at Pallekele, Dec 1-5, 2010 scorecard
Test statistics
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ODI debut India v West Indies at Toronto, Sep 11, 1999 scorecard
Last ODI Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka, Mar 23, 2011 scorecard
ODI statistics
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T20I debut New Zealand v West Indies at Auckland, Feb 16, 2006 scorecard
Last T20I West Indies v South Africa at North Sound, May 20, 2010 scorecard
T20I statistics
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First-class debut 1998/99
Last First-class Sri Lanka v West Indies at Pallekele, Dec 1-5, 2010 scorecard
List A debut 1998/99
Last List A Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka, Mar 23, 2011 scorecard
Twenty20 debut Chilaw Marians Cricket Club v PCA Masters XI at Leicester, Sep 15, 2005 scorecard
Last Twenty20 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians at Chennai, May 27, 2011 scorecard
Recent matches
Bat & Bowl Team Opposition Ground Match Date Scorecard
89, 0/11 Bangalore v Mumbai Chennai 27 May 2011 Twenty20
8, 0/19 Bangalore v Chennai Mumbai 24 May 2011 Twenty20
0/27, 75* Bangalore v Chennai Bangalore 22 May 2011 Twenty20
0/35, 0 Bangalore v Punjab Dharamsala 17 May 2011 Twenty20
0/11, 38 Bangalore v Kolkata Bangalore 14 May 2011 Twenty20
1/23, 70* Bangalore v Rajasthan Jaipur 11 May 2011 Twenty20
1/26, 44 Bangalore v Kochi Bangalore 8 May 2011 Twenty20
107, 3/21 Bangalore v Punjab Bangalore 6 May 2011 Twenty20
49, 1/8 Bangalore v Pune Bangalore 29 Apr 2011 Twenty20
0/20, 26 Bangalore v Delhi Delhi 26 Apr 2011 Twenty20

A thrusting Jamaican left-hander, Gayle earned himself a black mark on his first senior tour - to England in 2000 - where the new boys were felt to be insufficiently respectful of their elders. But a lack of respect, for opposition bowlers at least, has served Gayle well since then. Tall and imposing at the crease, he loves to carve through the covers off either foot, and has the ability to decimate the figures of even the thriftiest of opening bowlers.

In a lean era for West Indian cricket - and fast bowling in particular - Gayle's pugnacious approach has become an attacking weapon in its own right. His 79-ball century at Cape Town in January 2004, on the back of a South African first innings of 532, was typical of his no-holds-barred approach. However, Gayle's good run ended when England came calling early in 2004, and he averaged 26 against their potent pace attack - Steve Harmison, in particular, fancied his chances against Gayle, dismissing him four times in seven innings, as a lack of positive footwork was exposed. But men with little footwork often baffle experts, and after returning to form with an uncharacteristic century against Bangladesh, he exacted his revenge on England's bowlers with a battering not seen since Lara's 400, before coming within a whisker of emulating Lara himself, with a career-best 317 against South Africa in Antigua. In the disastrous 2005-06 tour of New Zealand he led the batting in the three-Test series, piling 235 runs - no other West Indian touched the 200-run mark. He also bowls brisk non-turning offspin, with which he has turned himself into a genuine one-day allrounder. Maturing quickly, he has become a consistently prolific scorer in the ODIs. He averaged over 40 in the 2006-07 season with three hundreds - an unbeaten 133 against South Africa in the Champions Trophy being the highlight, and three fifties. But expected to be one of the stars of the World Cup in the Caribbean, his batting was a major disappointment. In the absence of the injured Ramnaresh Sarwan for their tour in 2007, Gayle was handed the captaincy for the limited-overs series in England and Ireland and found immediate success by beating England 2-1. He also led in the Test series against South Africa, leaving with a 1-1 result, and was retained as captain ahead of Sarwan for the home Tests against Sri Lanka in 2008. A subsequent Test and ODI defeat at home against Australia led him to quit the captaincy, but he changed his mind, and the following season was instrumental in the defeats of England, both as captain of the Stanford Superstars in their winner-takes-all US$20million match in Antigua in November, and the Test team that secured a 1-0 triumph to bring home the Wisden Trophy after a nine-year hiatus. By now, however, the Indian Premier League was taking over as his primary concern - Gayle's US$800,000 price-tag made him one of Kolkata's most expensive players, and though a groin injury ruled him out of the first edition in 2008, he played seven games in 2009 before flying to England just 48 hours before a Test match at Lord's against England. The match was lost in three days, leading a disillusioned Gayle to declare that he "would not be so sad" if Test cricket died out.

Chris Gayle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chris Gayle ChrisGayle Cropped.jpg Personal information Full name Christopher Henry Gayle Born 21 September 1979 (1979-09-21) (age 31)
Kingston, Jamaica Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Batting style Left-handed Bowling style Right arm off break Role All-Rounder International information National side West Indies Test debut 16 March 2000 v Zimbabwe Last Test 5 December 2010 v Sri Lanka ODI debut 11 September 1999 v India Last ODI 6 February 2011 v Sri Lanka ODI shirt no. 45 Domestic team information Years Team 1998–2008, 2010 - Jamaica 2005 Worcestershire 2009– Western Australia Warriors 2008–2010 Kolkata Knight Riders 2011- Royal Challengers Bangalore Career statistics Competition Test ODI FC LA Matches 91 223 165 284 Runs scored 6,373 7,917 12,127 10,138 Batting average 41.65 39.00 44.74 39.60 100s/50s 13/33 19/42 29/59 21/58 Top score 333 153* 333 153* Balls bowled 6,857 6,900 12,133 8,930 Wickets 72 156 129 210 Bowling average 41.59 34.91 38.87 32.17 5 wickets in innings 2 1 2 1 10 wickets in match 0 n/a 0 n/a Best bowling 5/34 5/46 5/34 5/46 Catches/stumpings 85/– 96/– 143/– 118/– Source: Cricinfo, 6 February 2011

today is Wonder Girl of the Air Day

Did you know...

... that today is Wonder Girl of the Air Day? On this date in
1930, English aviator Amy Johnson completed the first solo
airplane flight from England to Australia. She had started the
trip 23 days earlier on May 5th. Because of this feat and
others, she was known as the wonder girl of the air.


Today's Inspirational Quote:

"A clever man reaps some benefit from the worst catastrophe,
and a fool can turn even good luck to his disadvantage."

-- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Friday, 27 May 2011

Ministry-wise PIB releases


Influential Marketing Blog: How Sharing Your Secrets Can Transform Your Business

How Sharing Your Secrets Can Transform Your Business

IStock_000008443737Large Colonel Sanders has a trade secret. His special blend of herbs and spices is supposedly the secret formula that makes his chicken taste the way it does. When Pfizer releases a new drug, they spend considerable effort to protect their manufacturing process and are even more secretive about particular formulations that they are testing in their R&D division. Yes, when most of us think of company secrets, we think in terms of these types of proprietary information.

The only problem with this line of thinking is that it may be limiting your small business because in your desire to protect how you company works under the umbrella of trade secrets – you may be missing a golden chance for transparency that can transform your business.

In the social media era, you often hear advice telling you to be more transparent. Real transparency involves taking a bit of a risk and sharing something that you may have previously thought of as your own secrets. On the surface, this likely seems like a naive suggestion – what business owner in their right mind would willingly give up their secrets and competitive advantage?

If your business does involve the secret formula for the world’s best tasting rice cake, I’m not suggesting that you give that up.* Doing this right, however, can put your small business in a position of power and authenticity. Wondering how?  Here are a few tips and examples for how sharing your secrets might be the best thing you could do for your business.

Tip #1 – Share how much are you making.

For many businesses, one of their most closely guarded secrets is how much money they are actually making. Not necessarily in annual revenue, but on particular deals. The hidden margin is rapidly becoming a business process of the past. Media agencies now share more directly with their clients what commission (if any) they are making on media buying. When a developer creates an app and launches it in the iTunes app store, they know exactly how much of the revenue from people purchasing that app will go into their pocket and how much Apple will keep. Thanks to the Internet, many car buyers now go into the dealership armed with specifics about exactly how much a dealer is making on their car purchase. The point is, hiding your margin is becoming harder and harder – so why not come clean and share it directly with your customers? The upside of this is that it will also give you permission to share more directly what your hard costs are – so you can really prove to a customer that is squeezing you on price whether you actually stand to make any money from the deal.

Tip #2 – Share where you don’t make money.

When you walk into a McDonald’s and buy a meal, most of their margin comes from the drink and the fries. At a movie theater, the margin comes from selling the popcorn and snacks. There are good reasons why you wouldn’t want to call your customers attention to the places you aren’t making much money (not the least of which is that you would invite your customers to only interact with you on those low margin purchases). Instead, why not make the facts of your business and where you are NOT making money a strength for your business?  Most coffee shops now advertise that they offer FREE wireless internet access. Are they making money on this offering?  Not directly, but obviously keeping people in their shops to buy more coffee makes sense, and the expense of paying for wireless is justified. If you are footing the bill for something similar for your customers, make sure they know about it.  If you do services based consulting on a fixed fee, tell your customer how much time you ACTUALLY spent so they see the added value you have offered. Telling your customers about all the places where you are subsidizing the costs of doing business with them can help to shine a light on all the little secret things that your business does everyday which your customers aren’t charged for.

Tip #3 – Share the real size and skills of your team.

There is a temptation in most businesses to overestimate what you can reasonably deliver with your current staff. In some cases this may lead to overpromising something to a client, or you may work hard to hide the fact that your business is actually only run primarily by yourself and your spouse – even though your customer assumes you are much larger.  The ideal way to think about this tip is the same as when you go on a first date. You may not volunteer right away that you live at home with your parents, but eventually the truth with come out so you may as well be more upfront about it and deal with it proactively. It doesn’t have to be something to be ashamed of, though (and not that there’s anything wrong with living at home with your parents either!) A customer who knows you are upfront about your capabilities and your intention, perhaps, to grow your business in response to a new relationship will help them to see you as an honest and upfront partner committed to success.

*Sidebar – If you do, in fact, manage to find a way to make something as cardboard-esque as a rice cake taste remotely palatable, you have a trade secret worth patenting.

This post is republished from the original article on the American Express Open Forum website. It is part of "Small Business Friday" on this blog - a featured series on ideas and marketing techniques for small businesses.

Seth's Blog: Caring


No organization cares about you. Organizations aren't capable of this.

Your bank, certainly, doesn't care. Neither does your HMO or even your car dealer. It's amazing to me that people are surprised to discover this fact.

People, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of caring. It's part of being a human. It's only when organizational demands and regulations get in the way that the caring fades.

If you want to build a caring organization, you need to fill it with caring people and then get out of their way. When your organization punishes people for caring, don't be surprised when people stop caring.

When you free your employees to act like people (as opposed to cogs in a profit-maximizing efficient machine) then the caring can't help but happen.

More on World Class, Janta Class, Cattle Class - 'Faculty at IITs, IIMs are victims of policies'

With his penchant for grabbing attention, Jairam Ramesh has set off a furious debate over the quality of teaching and faculty at the country's elite professional institutes, for technology and management.

Some would say that the minister for environment has merely spoken some obvious home-truths, when he says that the students at these institutes are of a higher order than the faculty.

No Indian institute or university ranks among the top 30 in Asia, and the highest rank for an Indian university (Delhi [ Images ]) is 77.

In contrast, their alumni feature in the rankings of world leaders in the corporate, financial and associated worlds. QED, it would seem.

However, it is not open and shut. All rankings are subjective, and need to be examined closely for what exactly they are rating.

Most international rankings place emphasis on research, which gets low priority on Indian campuses - logical when the staff-student ratio is already stretched and the teaching load is heavy.

The US model where research-oriented professors take barely one course in a semester is not the one to copy, for it raises the cost of education to a level that is unwarranted in the Indian context (and may be inappropriate even in the US, considering that students are paying off educational loans into their late 30s).

Nor is it reasonable to dismiss the quality of teaching out of hand. The value addition that takes place for a student who spends two years in an Indian Institute of Management (as reflected in the different salaries that an IIT engineer and an IIT engineer with an IIM diploma would get) would be impossible if there wasn't a considerable degree of quality education being imparted.

Yes, students may also be working hard at mastering the curriculum - but that is what you would expect in a leading educational institution.

However, some constraints can and should be removed. Teaching has been rendered unattractive in India [ Images ] by low salaries, mandated by the government. The gap between university and private sector salaries has grown over the years.

If one leaves aside relativities and merely looks at whether teaching pays enough to meet life's essential requirements (save enough for retirement, get a roof over one's head and educate one's children), the answer would be obvious.

The fault does not lie with the faculty; it lies with ministers who make policies that render these end results.

How I wish JP was successful in establishing a class less society in India. Today we are in a new 'class(sic)" controversy again.

Leaning Towers you can lean on ! Mumbai among world's 26 'Cities of Opportunity'

Mumbai city.
Prev     Next
Apart from Mumbai, other cities which have found a place in the list are - Stockholm, Toronto, New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Hong Kong, Singapore, Berlin, Sydney and Seoul.

Click NEXT to read on

India world's 4th most entrepreneur-friendly nation - Business

India, along with the United States, Canada and Australia, has been ranked among the nations with the best cultures in the world for people to start a new business.

India, along with the United States, Canada and Australia, has been ranked among the nations with the best cultures in the world for people to start a new business, a new global poll has showed.

While India finds itself bracketed with the better ranked countries, Colombia, Egypt, Turkey, Italy and Russia are the least friendly to innovation and entrepreneurship, showed results of the 24-country BBC World Service poll.

The world's two major economies -- the US and China -- are also among the most favourable countries for innovation and creativity, according to the results.

In both nations, 75 per cent say that their country values innovation and creativity -- second only to Indonesia (85 per cent), and well ahead of other emerging economies such as Brazil (54 per cent) and India (67 per cent).

Ramesh’s IIT remarks not based on facts: Sibal | Jairam Ramesh | Salman Khurshid | Indian Express

This had to happen, the Government could not allow the image of its biggest education brands --the IITs and the IIMs-- be dented by one of its own ministers. So three days after Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh took a swipe at the faculties at the IITs and IIMs, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal gave it back to him saying that the remark was not borne out by facts.

Ramesh, on May 23, kicked up a storm claiming that the faculties at the premier IITs and IIMs are not world class, but the students are. Sibal on Thursday preferred to demolish Jairam’s argument at a specially convened GOM Media briefing. He said, “The discourses on these premier institutes should be based on evidence and not on perceptions.”

Sibal said he has “complete trust in the creative potential of the faculty of IITs”. Almost matching Ramesh wit-for-wit, Sibal added, “Well, 25 percent of the IIT faculties are IIT-products who have done their BTech, et al. Surely the 25 percent students who are world class students, must also be world class faculty.”

Interestingly, before Sibal could come out in defense of the IIT faculties, another prominent Congress Union Minister, Salman Khurshid, had actually backed Ramesh and his right to free speech.

“The atmosphere in which academic free exchange can take place are different from official statements made by a minister,” Khurshid had said.  Little wonder that he chose to stay away from the Thursday’s media briefing as he was earlier scheduled to. His presence would have brought forth the simmering differences within the Union Cabinet on the issue.

Sibal said that the comment made by Ramesh must be seen in the light of the general view within the community that the caliber of contributions by the scientific community does not really match world standards. He pointed out if the IITs have not gained the critical mass to change the global scientific discourse, it is because of the ecosystem and not because of the faculties. Sibal said that one cannot blame the faculty.

“While the US spends 250 billion dollars on research, India spends around 8 billion dollars. You cannot create that critical mass. That’s not because of faculty,” he added.  He reminded that originally IITs were meant to produce BTech graduates and there was a gradual realisation that they should also go for path- breaking research and produce more MTech students.

World Food Programme

Check out this website I found at

Walk the World | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme - Fighting Hunger Worldwide

Walk the World

On June 6th 2010 an estimated 150,000  of people took to the streets in 70 countries around the world to show their support for the work of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in the fight against global hunger.  The 2010 edition of the annual ‘End Hunger: Walk the World’ initiative raised enough money to provide a whole year of meals for more than 10,000 school children. 

See photo stream from walks all over the world here!

What is Walk the World?

"End Hunger: Walk the World" is an annual event to raise money and awareness for WFP’s efforts to fight child hunger and malnutrition. The Walk is a joint effort of WFP and its corporate partners, led by TNT, Unilever and DSM. Employees from these companies walk with WFP Goodwill Ambassadors, staff, and beneficiaries as well as government and NGO partners to show their solidarity in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. 

Walk the World 2010 Thank You Video

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Global Walk Partners

TNT is a global mail and express delivery company serving more than 200 countries. Since 2002, they have been an active partner of WFP and to date have invested over $50 million in the partnership.  TNT founded Walk the World in 2003 as an engagement event for its employees.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more than 100 countries across the globe. Unilever joined forces with WFP in January 2007 for a three-year partnership to improve the nutrition and health of poor, school-aged children around the world.

DSM is a life sciences and materials sciences company. In April 2007, DSM and WFP joined forces to ensure the nutritional needs of WFP beneficiaries are met through the creation of cost-effective micronutrient interventions to improve the general food basket.

Walking the World for School Feeding

The idea of a global Walk against hunger came from WFP’s first corporate partner, TNT, in 2003. It was inspired by the millions of poor children around the world who walk several kilometres to school every day – often hungry and barefoot – determined to get an education and improve their future. 

WFP provides free school meals to tens of millions of these children. Nutritious food helps students concentrate on their studies, encourages parents to send children – especially girls – to school, and helps children develop their full physical and mental potential. Find out more about WFP’s school meal programmes

Walk the World: Past Years

Since its inception in 2003, Walk the World has grown to become a global event, bringing together over 2 million participants and and raising millions to feed poor children in school.

Find out more about past walks at:

The Wall Against Hunger - World Food Programme | The Wall Against Hunger - World Food Programme

Join us in Mumbai - Walk the World against Hunger


Walk the World 2011

On 29 May 2011 people from 60 countries around the globe will collectively stand up against hunger during the annual Walk the World event. In its eighth year, Walk the World still inspires colleagues from all over the world to organise unique activities in order to put hunger on the global agenda. 

The walk is again organised by TNT and partners WFP, Unilever and DSM. It is supported by celebrities, government dignitaries, royalty, UN agencies, employees and their friends and families and as well as recipients of WFP food assistance. Together, they will walk across 24 time zones in 24 hours. From Denmark to Brazil and from Canada to the Philippines, countries all over the world are busy organising local walks. 
Help us to raise awareness and money to support WFP’s efforts to provide free school meals to 20 million poor children each year. It only costs just 25 US cents to give a child a nutritious school meal.

Join today and make a difference!


For more information please visit

MindSet-5 things you need to know about The Netherlands that nobody will ever tell you

Be careful, this story is full of generalizations. If you are allergic to that, please move on and don’t bother reading, it will definitely itch.

Since it’s vacation time, I’d like to share about my country and hope that it expands your horizon; geographically, but also culturally. To do that, I will start with the worst things first.

# 1. You make the decisions about your life, not the government

In my country drugs are legal, we have legalized prostitution, we’re the first country in the world to legalize gay marriages (since 2001) and legalized euthanasia. Well, you might think that’s pretty bad,
but in my country it’s not the government who make the decisions.
To take drugs, marry someone from the same-sex or end life early. It’s the people that make the decisions. And just as people have the choice to make a bad decision, they have a choice to make good decisions. We trust people to make the right decision for themselves.

So far, cocaine use is 5 times higher in the USA, and twice as many Americans than Dutch aged 12 and over have experienced marijuana.

Gays have not created more gays, but gays are an accepted part of the population in our country and euthanasia isn’t an alternative for suicide neither did it extinct the Dutch race.

So, yes those things are true about the Netherlands. But it’s your personal choice if you want to enjoy it or enjoy one of the other things our country has to offer.

#2. The lock is more expensive than the bike

One of the things to enjoy would be: the bike. We have more bikes in our country than we have people. Stealing bikes is one of the most popular criminal activities, especially in the city. Therefore it is more important that you buy an expensive lock than an expensive bike. We don’t have mountains in my country so city bikes are sufficient. And because of the always-existent scare of your bike getting stolen, you’ll buy a very good and expensive lock and a 2nd hand bike.

And believe me, I have seen my bike being stolen, someone drove off with my bike right in front of me, during clear daylight, with lots of people around me on a busy marketplace. Hmm… not too good.

Bakfiets in Amsterdam with commercials by fietsfabriekMy favorite way of transportation is my ‘bakfiets’, it’s a tricycle cargo bike, which also serves as advertising for my Dutch company:
It holds 4 kids on 2 benches, who wear seat belts when traveling. And we don’t wear biking helmets, actually only the Mormon missionaries wear those.
Our car is parked outside of Amsterdam, and funny as it is, the chance of your bike getting stolen is much bigger than your car getting stolen.

#3. We’re the 5th largest investor in California.

We’re a small country. The Netherlands is about 10 times as small as California, and we have 16 million people. Other than that our country is the 5th largest investor in California (after Germany, Japan and the UK).
Dutch companies you might have heard of are: Shell, Philips, ING, Aegon and Unilever (the company that produces Dove and Axe). For a small country, those companies are pretty big.

Our country has a history in trading and export, we were the first to settle and colonize New Amsterdam, that later became New York, after we traded it for Suriname with the British. I still regret that decision, cuz you would have all spoken Dutch if that trade never happened. Still, our reach has been wide, but our country stays small.

#4. Dutch people are tall, don’t brag and very tough on themselves

My country grows the tallest people in the world. Dutch people are on average 2 inches taller than the Americans. The average height in the Netherlands for adults is 6 foot 1 (1.85m). With my 6 foot (1.84), I’m even a bit on the short side. That’s where my heals can help me out. ?

We’re tough, most of all for ourselves. We criticize ourselves a lot, and also medically we aren’t the weaker ones. Dental numbing shots are not the norm but an open question. And 90% of baby’s are born at home with the help of a doula, no injections, no nothing. I delivered 2 babies myself that way and they came out just fine. I was doing fine too, oh yeah it did hurt, but we consider that part of the process.

Bragging is not Dutch. We’re the first to point out things that need and can be improved upon, but if you ask us for the best meal, our country’s hero, or what’s the best place to visit, we will not be able to do it.

#5 We are very happy people

Dutch kids are the happiest in the world, American kids are ranked 20th in the world.
For happiest people we are ranked #5 in the world after the Scandinavian countries.

Why are we so happy? Researchers say that citizens in countries with a good health care system, a high GDP per capita and with good access to education are the happiest. Also 75% of Dutch women work part time, this is the highest figure in Europe, the average in Europe is 32%. With mom being at home a lot and being there for you, that makes a child happy. Children in the Netherlands are used to a highly protected and highly positive caring environment. The Dutch family is very communicative and open.

Because the parents are more relaxed, the problems in the Netherlands with teenagers and drug use for example are less severe than in countries where they are seen as more of an issue.

A 16-year-old schoolgirl from Amsterdam agrees:
“You can smoke at 16, you can buy pot in the store next to the school. You can do what you like and because it’s not illegal, it’s not that interesting for us to provoke our parents with it.”

If you’re a happy child that gets the attention you need, you don’t need to provoke your parents with anything.

So, these are the 5 things you need to know about The Netherlands that nobody will ever tell you. I hope you have expanded your horizons and consider a visit to our country some time.

And I’ll end with a statement that is made up by Dutch people living in the US who could finally let go of the not-bragging part of our culture: If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.

This Speech has been given as a Toastmasters Project #2 Speech on July 22, 2010

Thank you Marieke I liked the post and hence reproduced here.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Quality of IIT faculty: Sibal diagrees with Ramesh - Business

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal [ Images ] on Thursday disagreed with his ministerial colleague Jairam Ramesh's [ Images ] remarks on IITs and IIMs, saying the faculties of these institutions are 'world class'.

He said if the IITs have not gained the critical mass to change the global scientific discourse, it is because of the "ecosystem" and not because of the faculties.

"25 per cent of the IIT faculty are students of IITs who have done B Tech. Surely the 25 per cent students who are world class students must be world class faculty," he told reporters here in reference to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh's remarks that the faculties of IITs and IIMs were not world class.

Without taking Ramesh's name, Sibal said he is entitled to make his comments. The comment made by him must be seen in the light of the general view within the community that the calibre of contributions by the scientific community does not really match world standards, he said.

He said the premier institutes in the country rank among the top 50 in the global index, with IIT Bombay placed at No 21, IIT Delhi [ Images ] at 24, IIT kanpur [ Images ] at 37 and IIT Madras at 39.

In terms of publication too, he said, the rate was 15 to 17 per cent in case of IITs as against the global rate of 4 per cent.

However, noting that the IITs have not gained that critical mass to change the global scientific discourse, he said, "It has something to do with the ecosystem."

"If the US spends $250 billion on research, India [ Images ] spends $8 billion, you cannot create that critical mass. That's not because of faculty," he said.

India invites France to participate in road development prog -  Business News - News - MSN India

New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) India today invited France to participate in its highways building programme for developing world-class infrastructure using advanced technologies in the road sector, including traffic management and tolling.
"Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi who is on a visit to France has invited it today to participate in the Ministry''s flagship programme - National Highways Development Project (NHDP)," a Transport Ministry official said.
Both the countries have already inked a pact for bilateral cooperation in the transport sector in 2000. The Indo-French Joint Working Group set up under the provisions of this MoU has already met seven times so far.
The government has envisaged a massive investment to the tune of Rs 3 lakh crore under NHDP and 60 per cent of it is estimated to come from the private sector.
The official said Joshi would be leaving for Germany tomorrow to participate in International Transport Forum (ITF)-2011 held at Liepzig followed by a visit to Spain.
"The objective of his visit is to draw the mutual benefits...resulting in enhancement of bi-lateral cooperation for exchange of technical expertise, sharing of advanced technologies towards the betterment of transport infrastructure," an official statement said.
It added that since the countries being visited have excellent transport infrastructure and advance technology, the visit would prove beneficial to India for developing world-class transport infrastructure.
The Minister had reached Paris yesterday and met Thierry Mariani, Minister of State for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport & Housing, Government of France.
During the visit Joshi will also meet Jose Blanco Lopez, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Government of Spain besides visiting some transport facilities in Madrid.

Will you still buy the iPad 2? - Crave - CNET Asia

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Apple may have learnt from the production woes when it launched its first iPad to avoid a shortage for its iPad 2, but the recent explosion at the Foxconn plant may have derailed its plans. According to research firm IHS iSuppli, the accident could reduce tablet production by 500,000 units this quarter if the plant is shut down until the end of June.

While this may appear huge, that amount is merely a drop in the ocean as Foxconn's Shenzhen plant is already en route to producing 7.5 million iPad 2 units in Q2 2011. The real impact of the explosion would be the scrutiny placed on Apple and Foxconn regarding their corporate social responsibility practices.

A Year in Review [Infographic] | North Star Alliance


Sitting down, which most of us do for at least eight hours each day, might be the worst thing we do for our health all day.  This is according to a  recent infographic compiled by Medical Billing and Coding which shows the health implications of sitting, which the average person now spends 9.3 hours per day doing.  This is not new news, however, as this infographic only further highlights what a number of studies have been suggesting over the past few years.

Recently, a report published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found those who sit for most of the day were 54% more likely to die of heart attacks.  What is perhaps even more frightening is that many of us, from truck drivers to office workers, are likely to spend even longer than 9.3 hours a day sitting down. What can we do to change this? Check out these graphically organized stats from Medical Billing and Coding which highlight downside of sitting, and the upside of…well, getting up.

Click to see full-size image.

Sitting down is linked to bad health Infographic

Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!

Print Release

Dr C.P. Joshi Visits France, Germany & Spain to Discuss Bilateral Cooperation in Road Transport Sector
Dr. C.P. Joshi, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways has left for a visit to France, Germany and Spain from 23 to 28 May, 2011. The objective of his visit is to draw the mutual benefits from one–to- one interaction as well as the interaction during the International Transport Forum (ITF)-2011 held at Liepzig, Germany resulting in enhancement of bi-lateral cooperation for exchange of technical expertise, sharing of advanced technologies towards the betterment of transport infrastructure in our country.

Since the countries being visited have excellent transport infrastructure and advance technology in the road transport sector, including the traffic management and tolling, the visit is considered to be timely and beneficial to India for developing the world-class transport infrastructure as per the Flagship Programe of National highways Development Programme. (NHDP). The Minister reached Paris yesterday and met Mr. Thierry Mariani, Minister of State for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport & Housing, Government of France to discuss the bilateral cooperation. India and France have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for bilateral cooperation in the Road Transport sector in 2000. The Indo-French Joint Working Group set up under the provisions of this MoU has already met seven times so far.

Today, the Minister is participating in the International Transport Forum (ITF) -2011 at Liepzig, Germany and is intending to have a meeting with Dr. Peter Ramaauer, MdB, Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Germany and Dr Jose Bianco Lopez, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Government of Spain. The theme for the ITF 2011 is ‘Transport for Society’ with the main focus on the users- “Putting People First”. Areas of deliberations include Shrinking budgets and growing demands, equitable access to road transport, Transport, health and environment, making transport safer, creating liveable and sustainable societies, E-safety challenges, meeting people’s needs in policy and planning etc.

Tomorrow Dr. Joshi will depart for Madrid (Spain) on the invitation of Dr. Jose Blanco Lopez, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Government of Spain. On 27th May, 2011, he will visit some transport facilities in Madrid and will have a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Public Works. On 27th May, 2011 the Minister will attend the presentation on India’s plans in the Road Transport sector. The bilateral meeting between Dr. Joshi and Minister of Public Works and Transport, Government of Spain will be followed by a lunch with Indo-Spanish Enterprises co-hosted by the both the Ministers of India and Spain. There will be technical visit in Madrid to the Traffic Control Centre of the Traffic General Direction and the Madrid Calle 30 (i.e. Madrid Road Network).

The technical visit to Guadarrama Tunnel, Traffic Control Centre and San Rafael Toll Station on 28th May, 201 will conclude the visit to Madrid Considering the potential and bilateral cooperation, a MoU is being processed with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Spain and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India.

Work of art - Artless

Experiments with HDR - avalokarts

Experiments with HDR

What is HDR? - from Wikipedia
In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight.

Examples - from the web



The two main sources of HDR imagery are computer renderings and merging of multiple photographs, the latter of which in turn are individually referred to as low-dynamic-range (LDR)[2] or standard-dynamic-range (SDR)[3]photographs.
Tone-mapping techniques, which reduce overall contrast to facilitate display of HDR images on devices with lower dynamic range, can be applied to produce images with preserved or exaggerated local contrast for artistic effect.

My attempts:

Like aiways there is a hardway and there is the easier one. Typically, in the hardway, you shoot - about 4 or 5 snaps - of the same scene at different lighting conditions and then use special technique/software to merge the snaps into one to get the effect. The resulting image will be rich in color and depth and will have a 3D quality to it.

But i took the easier way and installed HDR conversion software ;-)

One has control on the color,temperature,sharpness etc. And you fiddle around with it till the snap feels right.

There plenty of HDR software out there in the market. Useful for post- shoot editing.

Avalok in HDR:

Don't be timid

- Live your Life in High-definition.


Mentoring isn't a Sweetener, it is Brutally Honest, Bitter Truth Pill and KickAss, Stickler Mentor . Many Crack. Few WIN!

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