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