Saturday, April 25, 2009

Surprising, but true: Dark circles and puffiness around eyes

Surprising, but true: Versatile Robert Rodriguez!!


Monday, April 6, 2009

The Womens Blogger Directory: Work at home blogs

The Womens Blogger Directory: Work at home blogs

Thursday, April 2, 2009

India's Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

India’s Meenakshi Sundareswara Temple in Madurai, Tamilnadu, India.

Just recently, this temple won the coveted place of honor as one of the Seven Wonders of India for its architectural importance. This famous temple of Dravidian architecture has 12 towers or gopurams with exquisite sculpture and painting. This 7th century temple (or earlier?) mentioned in ancient Tamil literature was destroyed by the infamous Muslim invader Malik Kafur in 1310 and rebuilt later by Madurai’s great ruler Thirumalai Nayak during the period 1623 to 1659. The credit for the Vasantha Mantapa in the temple complex goes to him.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Sundareswarar or the Beautiful Lord and his consort Meenakshi or Goddess Parvathi, this temple in Madurai, Tamilnadu is claimed to be 2500 years old.

Goddess Parvathi as the child of the ruler of Madurai ruled this city ruled the kingdom after growing into a brave and beautiful princess Lord Shiva then came down to earth and married her, but Parvathi’s brother Lord Vishnu was angry and felt slighted, but was pacified by other gods to attend the marriage. This marriage and the brother’s pacification are celebrated as Azhagar Thiruvizha. The divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati as well as the Vasanthosthavam or the Spring Festival are celebrated here in April every year.

A Porthamarai Kulam or the Golden Lotus Pond inside this temple is a holy site; the lotus growing here has a golden color. The area around this tank was the meeting place of the Tamil Sangam or the Academy of Tamils scholars. Literary works are judged at this pond where scholastic works when placed on its waters float and do not sink. It is believed that as per God’s wish, no marine life grows here.

The Thousand Pillar Hall (Aayiram Kaal Mandapam) contains nearly 1000 carved pillars (985 to be exact) symbolizing the great Dravidian sculpture. Some of these pillars astonishingly produce different melodious musical notes when struck.

The figures of the deities on the tower are repaired, reprinted and ritually reconsecrated every 12 years.
The temple consecration (Kumbabishekam) is taking place on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

Source: Google


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Interesting facts about sloth bear.

An endangered mammal species, this is usually found in the lowland and grassland regions of the Indian forests. This hairy animal known as melursus urisnus or the Lip bear has a large lip and long back and untidy hair and has a white or yellow chest mark that is shaped like U, V or Y and a grey face. It face is interestingly without hair. It can even close its nostrils as a protective measure from dust and insects.

Fallen fragrant flower from the mahua plant is its chief food in the hot summer, which is why it is also known as the honey bear. Other preferred foods are birds’ eggs, fruits and insects, and even putrefying fish when extremely hungry. Though its gait is unsteady, the sloth bear climbs trees easily. It even climbs the date palm trees to drink the toddy.

This is a nocturnal animal that sleeps during the day in shallow caves, but does not hibernate. Two to three cubs are born at a time; the gestation period is eight months. The mother usually carries its cubs on its back on its nocturnal food-hunting and while climbing.

This is quite a rare animal and hence the Sloth Bear Foundation is taking steps to protect and preserve this endangered species and their habitats from poaching.

Source: The Hindu, March 10, 2009
Images: Google

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our Amazing Earth

Amazing Earth

Our earth is more than 4.5 billion years old, but recent studies suggest that it is still older. More than two million cubic miles of fresh water is assessed to be stored in the earth. We all now know that the earth is the only planet that can hold water in liquid form on the surface. Concentrated ozone molecules are present in the ozone layer, which is more than 50 km in thickness, but we are causing damage to this protective layer by global warming. The bulge of the earth earlier noted by the experts as decreasing is now noticed to be increasing resulting in the slowdown of its rotation. Our Earth is now known to have another moon by name “3753 Cruithne" . Though there are more than 5 to 30 million different species on the earth, only about two million of them have been identified so far. Early astronauts had seen our eEarth from the space and called it the Blue Planet Remember Yuri Gagarin’s words? “The earth is so beautiful. Seeing ithe Earth for the first time, I could not help but love and cherish her.’
No doubt the earth is lovely, but it also contains wild volcanoes as well as devastating earthquakes. Extremes of climate are all too familiar to all of us. Deep oceans and tall peaks make our Earth a truly amazing planet.

Source: A weekly from Chennai

Image: Google

Amazing Facts About a Planet.

It is believed that our planet is more than 4.5 billion years old and recent evidence actually shows that earth was formed much earlier and that our planet stores more than two million cubic miles of fresh water. Earth is the only planet on which water can exist in liquid form on the surface. The ozone molecules and the average thickness of the layer is believed to be 50 km. We know that our planet rotates but is more flexible than we might imagine as it bulges at the midsection creating a pumpkin shape. The bulge was lessening for centuries but now it is said to be growing and in turn the rotation is slowing down which would lengthen the days. Earth has one moon but ‘3753 Cruithne’ which is 5 km across is sometimes called Earth’s second moon. It is estimated that there are some 5 to 30 million different species on earth and about 2 million species have actually been identified and described. When astronauts first went into the space, they looked back at the earth with human eyes for the first time and called it as a Blue Planet. Yuri Gagarin, who was the first man to travel into space, said that she is so beautiful and I could not help but love and cherish her.
We live on a planet of extremes. It is not only a beautiful sphere but it is a wild planet with deadly volcanoes and killer earthquakes. The windiest/coldest/driest and hottest places, the deepest places in the ocean and tallest peaks. Are we not living in an amazing planet?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My first pet

It was a fine Sunday morning in September 1995. When I opened the door, I found a small kitten standing. He did not run away on seeing me and so I took him inside and gave some milk in a bowl. His looks seemed to suggest to me that he wanted a place in my house, and I took pity on the little one and kept him in my house. I named him Duncee as he was unusually quiet and did not mew much. He was very weak although he could drink and eat. Rice mixed with milk was its favorite meal. We took him to the vet who told us that he was dumb, but despite this handicap, he was extremely shrewd. If somebody knocked the door, he would come running and stand in between my feet. He had always had a nap in one particular cushioned cane chair. Soon everybody in the neighborhood starting loving him. Everybody was surprised to know that this kitten never drank milk unless it was presented to him in a particular designer plate, which adhered it to every one of our friends in our area.

But alas! One day while it was raining heavily, Duncee somehow happened to go out never to return. A great loss indeed. What happened to him is still a mystery even after 15 years, but memories of Duncee still linger on. An affectionate bond for all of us in the family. And the vacuum created by Duncee still persists in the home and in our minds.

Image: Google

Tasty easy to cook Indian recipes

Tasty, quick, and easy-to-prepare Indian recipes.

ITEM ONE. Multicolor puffed rice mix


Puffed rice half kg.
Finely chopped coriander leaves 3 tablespoonfuls.
Grated carrot ¼ cups.
Finely chopped onion ¼ cups.
Boiled groundnuts 20 grams.
Lemon juice (from one big lemon)

How to prepare?

Mix coriander leaves, onion, grated carrot, and pre boiled groundnuts with one teaspoon of salt in a bowel. Add puffed rice, lemon juice and mix well. Serve instantly.

ITEM TWO Sweet Rice Flakes.


1. Rice flakes ¼ kg.
2. Grated coconut ½ cups.
3. Powdered jaggery ¼ cups.
4. Cardamom powder one pinch.

How to prepare?

Wash and soak rice flakes for 15 minutes. Add grated coconut, powdered jaggery and cardamom powder and mix well. Keep it aside for 10 minutes. Serve this yummy dish in a bowel.

Images: Google

Monday, February 16, 2009

Injured tortoise to get prosthetic front limbs.

Great marvel indeed. This turtle rescued off Southwestern Japan from a shark attack had injured limbs, which restricted its movements by 40%. But the scientists at the Sea Turtle Association of Japan decided to provide greater mobility to this injured turtle and are trying to get prosthetic limbs from an Osaka-based prosthetic limb manufacturer. This project is slated for commencement in May this year and necessary funds are being raised for this project. The forelimbs have to be strong enough to enable the tortoise to climb up s beach. The researchers are hopeful that she should eventually be able to lay eggs on a beach. She is currently housed in western Tokushima prefecture.

Source: Times of India, February 17, 2009
Image: Google

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Indian doctors perform sugery on Iraqi boy

New Hope Hospital Chennai (India) performs surgery on an Iraqi boy.

Nawres Salah Jumao from Iraq is now doing well post surgery after removal of seven lead pellets lodged in his sinuses and the left ear. These pellets were from a gunshot by another boy in November last year after a wordy quarrel. Initially local Iraqi doctors removed a pellet from his left cheek, but the pain persisted and hearing was affected. A CT scan revealed seven more pellets in the sinuses and the left middle ear. Advised by the local doctors in Iraq, the boy was admitted to the New Hope Hospital, for surgery.

Admitted on February 11, 2009, a team of three doctors, which included a sinus surgery specialist, a neurosurgeon and an anesthetist removed the pellets on his sinuses and the left ear. The entire procedure under hypotensive general anesthesia lasted about four-and-a-half hours to complete.

The boy is now to undergo another surgery for restructuring his eardrums.

The moral: More effective parental supervision of children in a world where violence is on the rise. Let us all put in our best efforts in this direction.

Source: Times of India February 15, 2009
Image: Google

Relief from Somalian pirates

Somalians pirates have been capturing merchant ships sailing through the busy Gulf of Aden, which connects Europe and Asia via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal earning demanding and getting huge ransoms by piracy.

Piracy by the Somalian pirates in one the worlds’ busiest sea lanes is now on the decline. Yes, a Russian nuclear warship seized three ships with 10 Somalian pirates off Somalian coast on February 13, 2009. Russian helicopters from the Peter the Great warships located them in two speed boats while they were moving dangerously towards an Iranian fishing trawler. Sensing danger, the pirates turned back to their mother pirate ship, which the Russian vessel then seized. The pirates had automatic rifles and grenade launchers. A US warship is also present in those waters.

But this seems to be changing now going by the number of attacks by the Somalian pirates. The International Maritime Bureau’s website does not mention any attacks in February and only three attacks in last month. An Ukrainian ship with a cargo of tanks captured by these pirates five months back was back on the waters after a ransom of $3.2 million was paid. But such incidents hereafter may not recur, it is hoped because of internation presence there.

Source: Times of India
Image: Google

Friday, February 13, 2009

Unprecedented space collision

Two communication satellites collided in space. The collision occurred about 800 km over Siberia. An estimate of the extent of damage may take some weeks. The US Iridium commercial satellite weighing 560 kg (launched in 1997) orbiting at a speed of 40,000 kmph and a defunct Russian satellite Cosmos 2251 weighing nearly one ton (launched in 1993) collided with each other. Both the satellites were used for communication.

This collision is a risk to the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the Earth-observing satellites. However, threat to the Space Station and its three astronauts is low as it orbits 430 km below the collision course. A new shuttle scheduled to be launched on February 22, 2009 also does not face any risk or threat from this collision though a continuous evaluation of the risks is being carried out.

The damaged Iridium US satellite was providing telephone access to 250,000 people. The Russian satellite was a defunct one and had no steering mechanism.

Though four earlier collisions in space were reported in the past, these were mostly minor, but the present one is a high-speed impact.

There are billions of debris of different dimensions are floating in the space as per the watchdog Space Security Index. Space debris in space is on the rise mainly because of deliberate breakup old satellites.

Source: Times of India

Monday, February 9, 2009

Automatic thermal massager

Heard of thermal massaging? Yes, CERAGEM COMPACT is a portable thermal massager promoted by a company incorporated in South Korea in 1998. This is now available in 4000 centers spread over 60 countries throughout the world.

The company claims that blood circulation is increased throughout the body by radiant infrared heat with resultant better health. Optimal infrared heat is provided by their Internal Projector, External Projectors, and Epoxy Carbon panels. These are easy to use and seem to be highly effective.

CERAGEM thermal massager soothes body aches and pains from daily stress, pressure, and bad posture. Traditional Eastern medicine combines with advanced academic technology to derive effective healing and relaxation.

The company seems to be offering free trials for 100 days in various centers. Their site is worth visiting.

Source: Their web site
Image: Ceragem

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Octuplet mother

Nadya Suleman is in the news. Mother of eight children by the IVF method, she is 33 years old. The delivery was at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Bellflower, California. The sperm donor remains unidentified. Nadya wanted IVF as her fallopian tubes were plugged up. She wanted more children as she had grown up an only child in a dysfunctional family.

Some medical ethics are now involved here. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine should have a maximum of two embryos implanted in a woman under the age of 35 by the IVF method. This is but one of the many ethical, financial, psychological and medical issues involved in the case of Nadya. She has already six children by an earlier IVF. The Medical Board of California is seized of the matter and an investigation is possible. If the medical practitioner is found guilty, he may either be reprimanded or his license may be withdrawn.

Experts on bioethics state that the right to reproduce is not unlimited as it put the children at risk. Professional regulations are called for to avoid such repetitions.

Nadya says she is returning to school to get a master’s in counseling to care for such a big family. One IVF procedure costs $10,000, but Nadya was earning only $625 a week. However, Nadya had received $167,908 in disability payment for a back injury she suffered in September 1999.

Soure: BBC News

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A great swimmer

Fifty-six-year-old Jennifer Figge from the US becomes the first woman to swim the Atlantic in 24 days from Cape Verde islands to Trinidad. She used a cage to protect her from sharks.

Jennifer Figge is the mother of LeMans series race car driver Alex Figge.

She started from Cape Verde Islands on January 12, 2009 facing waves as high as 30 feet swimming for eight hours at a stretch before returning to her support boat. Athletic energy drinks would be thrown to her while she was swimming, but divers would personally them to her if the weather was stormy. She could not spot any sharks, but she saw whales, turtles, dolphins, and Portuguese men. Reached Trinidad exhilarated and exhausted.

Jennifer Figge had planned to swim across the Atlantic as a little girl.

She has plans to swim from Trinidad to the British Virgin Islands and also to swim 2100 miles from the coast of Africa to Barbados.

The earlier record swimming was by Benoit Lecomte from France who made the first solo trans-Atlantic swim of 4000 miles in 73 days.

Source: BBC

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dark circles and puffiness around eyes

Are you facing much sympathy from people asking why you look so tired?

Then here is a remedy.

The thin skin under the eye runs the risk of the possibility of pigmentation, developing wrinkles and dark circles due to improper blood circulation. Any age is the right age to start using under eye creams, which affect even during teenage. Bad food habits, lack of sleep, tiredness, stress, heredity and hormonal changers all result is dark circles. The remedy is to drink plenty of water, sleep well, exercise, avoid excessive exposure to the sun, use sun-protection and apply an under-eye cream before going to bed.

Dark circles are also linked to heredity. A gentle under-eye cream reduces them. Puffiness under the eyes could be due to heredity, fluid retention, allergies, hormone imbalances, or certain medications. Some home remedies for the puffiness are to place a compress (cotton pad) of cold water on the eyes for a few minutes to relax the eyes and reduce puffiness, cucumber slices can also be used for this. Sufficient amounts of sleep are important. Sleeping with your head slightly raised can also help.

Source the Hindu February, 5, 2009.

Images: Google

Versatile Robert Rodriguez!!

A great name in the film world indeed. Born on November 8, 1960, he first produced “Bedhead” in 1991 even as a student at the University of Texas where he studied film and communications. Directed, produced, and edited by him, he involved his siblings in this film. This is about a person with telekinesis after an accident, and it won several prizes at several film festivals, which Rodriguez spent on his next film “El Mariachi (1992). Because of its production value, this second film was a breakthrough. It brought him fantastic critical acclaim and numerous film festival awards, and surprisingly this film still inspires many filmmakers. “Desperado” in 1995 and “One Upon A Time In Mexico” (2003) revealed his capabilities as also “Spy Kids” (2001), which was his last film

He is an idol for the independent film crowd. He pulled off a very tight action picture, which is a lot fun to watch.

George Lucas who introduced him to digital film-making in “Sin City” (2005) where he shot about 90% with green screen. “Grindhouse” with fellow director and close friend Quentin Tarantino came out in 2007. Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror” is a tribute to the zombie films of the 1970s. He is a digital effects executive.

His TV venture “Roadracers” (1994) is an outstanding revelation of his talents in the TV field also.

He had won an ALMA outstanding director award also.

He is nicknamed the one-man film crew as he is a producer, editor, cinematographer, composer, camera operator, and steadycam operator for his films. Innovation, distinct visual style, and storytelling are his hallmarks.

“Planet Terror” is another of his creation.

Presently he is working on “Machete”, Sin-City 2”, and “Barberella”.

Source: The Hindu February 5, 2009

Images: Googles