Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If only.....

Man dies bleeding on road but busy city doesn't care

Yet again a precious life lost due to untimely help. His dear ones must be saying over and over.. “If only..”

I am not sure why we behave thus? Lack of sensitivity or is it fear of the law? The doctor who wanted to help the victim was faced with people who were more bothered with their car seats getting dirty. Have we become so high and mighty?

Here in Kuwait, the expatriates bring over the same attitude but more because of the fear of law and its complications. Not so the Kuwaitees. The police do reach the spot fast but if there are residents they do whatever they can. Maybe because they don’t have to fear the law but then once on the road they are the fastest and would love to go uninterrupted but yet stops to help victims.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I am tagged

Roop tagged me so here I go.. but before that..

My leave is approved. I was bit apprehensive since I joined this company only recently.

So monsoon.. here I come.. let me also contribute my bit towards the Indian Economy.

As usual there are many plans.. a round trip Blore-Mysore-Ooty.. some friends expected to join us etc...for the time being let me dream kingsize of good times....

Eight things I am passionate about:
1. My family
2. My blog
3. Unchaahi
4. Eating
5. Cooking
6. Finding new friends
7. Knowing about people who makes a difference in this world
8. Knowing about technology (sophisticated or simple) that makes life easier for the common man

Eight things I want to do before I die:
1. Be a better wife and mother
2. Travel to at least a few places that I want to
3. Read the 100 must read books
4. Sit by a big library at home with lots of books
5. Settle down to a life with at least one dog and a few cats
6. Get my Husband stop smoking :-
7. Get my mother back to her good old self
8. Have a long chat with my school mate Elsy

Eight things I say often:
1. Amme (mother in Mallu language)
2. Our children’s names
3. My hubby’s name
4. Wake up
5. Didnt you finish yet? (if the kids are at the dining table or in the bathroom)
6. Go and study (to the kids) LOL
7. Inshallah
8. Stop that.. (to my ever romantic hubby)

Eight books I have read recently:
1. The Kite Runner
2. God’s Debris
3. World Without End - Pillars of the Earth
4. Not a penny more not a penny less
5. The rest will have to wait.....

Eight songs I could listen to over and over:
1. Phil Collins – She walked down...
2. Sean Kingston – Beautiful girl
3. Abba – almost all
4. Air Supply – Almost all
5. Kris Kristoffersen
6. Adnan Sami (Dil Kya kare)
7. There are plenty more

I was tagged earlier by chitchat but could never complete it due to lack of time....

Now I would like to tag Kallu, chitchat, and also Indrani and Maddy, if the ycan take up one more tag!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Taming technology

"You always hope that your work will eventually be used do some good in the world, and this was an amazing chance to make that hope real by creating tools that have the potential to aid investigations of child predators, find child victims and reduce the flow of child pornography on the Internet."

Kudos to Shumeet Baluja, Research Scientist and their team at Google. They are taming the technology to work for humanity and not against it. I have always believed that every technology was developed with all good intentions until it got into the wrong hands. The internet is an ocean of knowledge for many but for some it is a means seeking sadistic, inhumane pleasure knowing well that it is killing their own souls and also that of the innocent child. Many are minting money out of this appalling business and the world stands by, having lost all sensitivity.

Now the team at Google are building softwares to find child victims. This would also deter these criminals from posting pornographic material online so blatantly.

Since it was founded in 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has reported more than 570,000 child exploitation leads to law enforcement agencies and assisted with more than 140,900 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 124,500 children.

The advent of the Internet has unfortunately provided child predators with a new avenue to exploit children. In August 2006, we joined NCMEC's Technology Coalition Against Child Pornography, teaming up with other tech industry companies to develop solutions that hinder predators' ability to use the Internet to exploit children or traffic in child pornography.

Shumeet Baluja, Ph.D., is currently a Senior Staff Research Scientist at Google, where he works on a broad set of topics ranging from image processing and machine learning to wireless application development and user interaction measurement. Shumeet was formerly the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of JAMDAT Mobile, Inc., where he oversaw all aspects of technology initiation, development and deployment.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


KK’s comment made me take a look into the Olympics Committee to see how a city is selected. As you can see boycotting of Olympics is nothing new and it was first done by US against Moscow in year 1980 and retaliated by the Moscovites in year 1984.

Tibet has every right to protest and I am with them. But why was Beijing selected in the first place when Tibet’s fight is nothing new to the whole world? And why is that certain countries other than Tibet take the Olympics as their arena when they feel agitated against certain “Occupations” that irks them while they themselves are freely doing it?

The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) propagate the fundamental principles of Olympism at a national level within the framework of sports activity


There are currently 205 National Olympic Committees over five continents.


The NOCs come together at least once every two years in the form of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) to exchange information and experiences in order to consolidate their role within the Olympic Movement. In this way the ANOC helps the NOCs to prepare for their meetings with the IOC Executive Board and Olympic Congresses.

The ANOC also makes recommendations to the IOC regarding the use of funds deriving from the television rights intended for the NOCs. These recommendations focus on the implementation of the Olympic Solidarity programmes in particular.

The ANOC is currently made up of the 205 NOCs and is split among five continental associations:

AFRICA: ANOCA (Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa)
AMERICA: PASO (Pan American Sports Organisation)
ASIA: OCA (Olympic Council of Asia)
EUROPE: EOC (European Olympic Committees)
OCEANIA: ONOC (Oceania National Olympic Committees)


The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) promote the fundamental principles of Olympism at a national level within the framework of sports. NOCs are committed to the development of athletes and support the development of sport for all programs and high performance sport in their countries. They also participate in the training of sports administrators by organising educational programs.

Another objective of the National Olympic Committees is to ensure that athletes from their respective nations attend the Olympic Games. Only a NOC is able to select and send teams and competitors for participation in the Olympic Games.

National Olympic Committees also supervise the preliminary selection of potential bid cities. Before a candidate city can compete against those in other countries, it first must win the selection process by the NOC in its own country. The National Olympic Committee can then name that city to the IOC as a candidate to host the Olympic Games.

Although most NOCs are from nations, the IOC also recognises independent territories, commonwealths, protectorates and geographical areas. There are currently 205 NOCs, ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe.



The Olympics were disrupted by another, even larger boycott, this one led by U.S. president Jimmy Carter, part of a package of actions to protest the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Carter engaged in extensive arm-twisting to gain support from other nations. Some governments, like those of Great Britain and Australia, supported the boycott but allowed the athletes to decide for themselves whether to go to Moscow. No such freedom of choice was allowed U.S. athletes, as Carter threatened to revoke the passport of any athlete who tried to travel to the USSR. In the end, 65 nations turned down their invitations to the Olympics; probably 45 to 50 did so because of the U.S.-led boycott. Eighty nations did participate - the lowest number since 1956.



After the terrorist attack in 1972 and the financial disaster of 1976, only Los Angeles bid for the right to host the 1984 Olympic Games. As the Los Angeles Games were the first since 1896 to be staged without government financing, the organisers depended heavily on existing facilities and corporate sponsors. Although criticised at the time, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games became the model for future Games, particularly after it was revealed that they had produced a profit of US$ 223 million.


With the Olympics being held in the United States only four years after the U.S.- led boycott of the Moscow Games, it was not surprising that the Soviet Union organised a revenge boycott in 1984. This time only 14 nations stayed away - but those nations accounted for 58% of the gold medals at the 1976 Olympics.



Kofi Annan during the presentation of the Olympic Truce sculpture
In the framework of promoting peace through sport and the Olympic ideal, the IOC established an International Olympic Truce Foundation (IOTF) in July 2000.
As a non-governmental organisation belonging to the Olympic Movement, the IOTF defines its actions around the following objectives:

- To promote the Olympic ideals to serve peace, friendship and understanding in the world, and in particular, to promote the ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Truce;

- To initiate conflict prevention and resolution through sport, culture and the Olympic ideals, by cooperating with all inter and non-governmental organisations specialised in this field, by developing educational and research programmes, and by launching communications campaigns to promote the Olympic Truce.

To meet these objectives, the IOTF established an International Olympic Truce Centre (IOTC), which is responsible for the implementation of projects related to the global promotion of a culture of peace through sport and the Olympic ideal, in accordance with the principles and policies established by the Foundation. The Centre's main headquarters are located in Athens, Greece, with a liaison office in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a symbolic office in Olympia, Greece.

The IOTF is administered by a Board composed of personalities from the world of sports and politics, and meets once a year.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

To boycott or not?

Boycott : to cease or refuse to deal with something such as an organization, a company, or a process, as a protest against it or as an effort to force it to become more acceptable.

This question is being tossed around and every world leader and even local politicians are now forced to voice their opinion. Oh what a dilemma! Tibet has taken the right opportunity to voice their frustrations; no doubt.

In GOC the communist leaders had standard replies; if the world has no problem with those suffering in occupied Palestine or occupied Iraq what is the problem they have with China? Has any country boycotted the goods they have been mass producing? Have they shifted their manufacturing units from China? In Kuwait, when the common man shops he does not have to check the country of origin – it is China. During these times of ever increasing prices we are now forced to compromise and buy cheaper products. Maybe they are being produced in sweat shops condemned by the so called developed nations. But are there any protests?

One question that keep coming to my mind is does any of these country have a right to protest against China when they are doing nothing effective for Palestine or Iraq or even other countries? Does “Human right violation” take different meaning for some countries?

So what is the real motive behind these protests? What is the level of acceptability that they are seeking from China? What is that really irks them? Beats me...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Youngest CEO...

Meet the youngest CEO of the world as the media calls him.... Suhas Gopinath.. Born 1986) is an Indian enterprenuer. He is the founder, CEO, and President of Globals Inc, an IT company.

In 2005, Suhas Gopinath was one of the finalists of the Infosys Education World Young Achievers Award. In 2005, he was also the youngest among the 175 recipients of the Karnataka State Government's Rajyotsava Award. Suhas Gopinath is also a brand ambassador for PETA.

This year on December 2, 2007, The European Parliament and International Association for Human Values conferred “Young Achiever Award” to Mr. Suhas Gopinath at the European Parliament, Brussels, and he was also invited to address the European Parliament and other Business dignitaries assembled in the EU Parliament.[11].
Mr. Suhas Gopinath was recently announced as one of the “Young Global Leaders” for 2008-2009 by the prestigious World Economic Forum, Davos.

But he could not become a CEO in India since our country does not allow it. So in 2000, at the age of 14 years, Suhas Gopinath founded Globals Inc in San Jose, California, US

Are our laws deterring our young entrepreneurs? If so, isn’t it time we changed it? I see Rahul Gandhi trying the same stunts his father tried (BTW, I liked his father), like bringing the youth to the front etc. I think it is time they looked into these outdated laws too. US had (forgive the past tense) a thriving economy since the country treated the enterpreneurs very well.

Charlton Heston

Wanted to pen at least one line yesterday....

I first saw him in Ben Hur during my college days. To me he was the most handsome man on earth and one look at his Ben Hur character tells me that he still is. Don’t know what makes him thus and dont know how many times I have watched that movie.. it is still a favourite of mine..

A Man Without Creases
The crucial insight I gleaned from Charlton Heston's pants.
By John Barry | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Apr 7, 2008 | Updated: 11:53 a.m. ET Apr 7, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

The never ending tragedy...

Who says we are a democratically elected country, when Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday admitted that she would have liked to have her son Rahul Gandhi enter the Union Council of Ministers. But he opted out, preferring to concentrate on party work. And he and some other newly inducted ministers have no other qualification other than being born to influential politicians.

Oh yet another sacrifice from the Nehru family to be eulogised. But don’t we all know that this is only the beginning. Soon we will hear the name of Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate and come elections the Congress by default will have none other than him to offer to the voting idiots (not me since I have no voting rights LOL!)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fight for water..

CHENNAI: Following escalating protests in Tamil Nadu over Karnataka’s opposition to the Hogenakkal drinking water supply project, bus services were suspended on the Udhagamandalam-Mysore route on Wednesday.
KSRTC buses were blocked in Sathyamangalam, Erode, and a restaurant was ransacked in Chennai. Panic gripped the busy commercial hub near the Madras High Court in the city after a group of persons, condemning outfits in Karnataka opposed to the water supply project, ransacked a restaurant on Armenian Street.

Although water is the commonest stuff on earth, only 2.53 per cent of it is fresh, while the rest is salt. And of the freshwater, two thirds is locked up in glaciers and permanent snow cover. What is available, in lakes, rivers, aquifers (ground water) and rainfall run-off, is now increasingly coming under pressure from several directions at once.

So when shall we start waging wars for this precious commodity? I hear that there are MNC’s buying lakes so that they can use it for bottling water. I don’t know if lakes and rivers can be owned. But all I know is that we are not giving water its due respect.

Less than 3% of water is freshwater (much of it groundwater that has accumulated over time and is virtually nonrenewable. Rainwater is thus critical; the "global water cycle accounts for the only naturally renewable source of fresh water, that is, precipitation that occurs over land."12 Aquifer pumping is reducing our water resources. People living in arid regions, and even some not so arid regions, have been relying heavily on groundwater resources that accumulated over thousands of years. Removing this water at such rapid rates spends this resource many times faster than it can be replaced, leads to the deterioration of what water is left, and also can cause collapse of aquifers.

And in many states of India we have enough and more rain but yet we do nothing. We have filled up all the streams and paddies so that the water gets no chance to seep into the ground. Instead all those precious water is wasted in the vast oceans.
Rain water harvesting is the only remedy and it has to done urgently since we cannot reclaim all those lost ponds, streams and fields. Every house and commercial buildings need to have a rain water harvesting system built. The state needs to look into low cost options for the same.

WHO gives the following 10 facts on water:

Fact 1
World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22 March. The theme for 2007 is ‘water scarcity’. Even in areas with plenty of rainfall or freshwater, water scarcity occurs. Because of the ways in which water is used and distributed, there is not always enough water to fully meet the demands of households, farms, industry, and the environment.
Fact 2
Water scarcity already affects every continent and four of every ten people in the world. The situation is getting worse due to population growth, urbanization and the increase in domestic and industrial water use.
Fact 3
By 2025, nearly 2 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water shortage, where water resources per person fall below the recommended level of 500 cubic metres per year. This is the amount of water a person needs for a healthy and hygienic living.
Fact 4
Water scarcity forces people to rely on unsafe sources of drinking water. It also means they cannot bathe or clean their clothes or homes properly.
Fact 5
Poor water quality can increase the risk of diarrhoeal diseases including cholera, typhoid fever, salmonellosis, other gastrointestinal viruses, and dysentery. Water scarcity may also lead to diseases such as trachoma, plague and typhus. Trachoma, for example, is strongly related to a lack of water for regular face washing.
Fact 6
Water scarcity encourages people to store water in their homes. This can increase the risk of household water contamination and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes - which are vectors for dengue, dengue haemorrhagic fever, and malaria and other diseases.
Fact 7
Water scarcity underscores the need for better water management. Good water management reduces breeding sites for disease vectors, which leads to reduced transmission of malaria, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and Japanese encephalitis.
Fact 8
Millennium Development Goal number 7, target 10 aims "to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation". The world is still on track to reach the drinking water target, but increasing water scarcity may seriously undermine progress towards achieving this goal
Fact 9
Everyone needs water and everyone needs to take responsibility. Actively support governments, non-governmental organizations and private foundations which are making it a priority to deliver affordable good quality water to people.
Fact 10
Do your part by conserving, recycling and protecting water more efficiently.

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