Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Indian Election

It is truly the greatest show on Earth, an ode to a diverse and democratic ethos, where 700 million + of humanity vote, providing their small part in directing their ancient civilization into the future. It is no less impressive when done in a neighborhood which includes de-stabilizing and violent Pakistan, China, and Burma. Its challenges are immense, more so probably than anywhere else, particularly in development and fending off terrorism -- but considering these challenges and its neighbors, it is even more astounding that the most diverse nation on Earth, with hundreds of languages, all religions and cultures, is not only surviving, but thriving.

The nation where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism were born;

which is the second largest Muslim nation on Earth;

where Christianity has existed for 2000 years;

where the oldest Jewish synagogues and Jewish communities have resided since the Romans burnt their 2nd temple;

where the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile reside;

where the Zorostrians from Persia have thrived since being thrown out of their ancient homeland;

where Armenians and Syrians and many others have to come live;

where the Paris-based OECD said was the largest economy on Earth

1500 of the last 2000 years, including the 2nd largest only 200 years ago;

where 3 Muslim Presidents have been elected,

where a Sikh is Prime Minister,

the head of the ruling party a Catholic Italian woman,

where the President is also a women, succeeding a Muslim President who as a rocket scientist was a hero in the nation;

where a booming economy is lifting 40 million out of poverty each year and is expected to have the majority of its population in the middle class, already equal to the entire US population, by 2025;

where its optimism and vibrancy is manifested in its movies, arts, economic growth, and voting, despite all the incredible challenges and hardships;

where all the great powers are vying for influence, as it itself finds its place in the world...

Where all of this is happening.... is India

and as greater than 1/10 of humanity gets ready to vote,

it is an inspiration to all the World.

Happy Independence day to all the Indians around the world!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sikhs who guard Queen Elizabeth

LONDON – Queen ElizabetSoh II has switched bearskin hats for turbans outside Buckingham Palace, where Sikh soldiers have begun guarding the monarch and her treasures, Britain's defense ministry said Friday.
Signaler Simranjit Singh and Lance Cpl. Sarvjit Singh are the first Sikhs to take part in patrols outside the queen's residence and to stand watch over the Crown jewels at the Tower of London across town.

Lance Corporal Sarjvit Singh, left, of The Army Air Corps, and Signaller Simranjit Singh of the Royal …
Guard duties are usually carried out by the Guards of Household Division, famed for their bearskin hats and crimson coats that attract picture-taking tourists in their thousands. The ministry said the Sikh soldiers instead wore turbans and blue uniforms.
Other army regiments often help carry out guard duties at Britain's Buckingham Palace when the Household Division is on operations. The ministry said the two soldiers are the first of the 90 Sikhs in Britain's army to be handed the task.
"It's purely a coincidence that this has happened now," said a defense ministry spokeswoman, on condition of anonymity in line with policy. "Regiments take it in turn to stand in for the Household Division and it just happens that two of the soldiers this time round are Sikh."
Sarvjit Singh, who was born in India and is a member of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, said he was thrilled to have had the opportunity to guard the queen.

"My experience being a Sikh on the queen's guard is beyond words," said the 28-year-old. "It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I feel privileged to have this honor."
"Being in London and parading in front of hundreds of people has been brilliant. Being Sikh hasn't made any difference," said Simranjit Singh, 26, from Coventry in central England, who is attached to the 21 Signal Regiment (Air Support).
"It's been hard work, but definitely worth it," he said.
He said the toughest part of the role is keeping perfectly still when on sentry duty outside the queen's home.
Sikhs routinely guarded Queen Victoria — a colonial ruler of India. At the time of World War I, Sikhs formed about 20 percent of the British army, but numbers dwindled following India's independence.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Foldable Flyer - Icon A5

The Icon A5 is user-friendly plane made for land, air, water—and your driveway

It's not quite a flying car, but after landing, you can tow the Icon A5 home and park it in a garage. It’s one of the first civilian flyers to feature automated folding wings, which slim down the mini seaplane so it can fit on a custom trailer. (An amphibious version offsets the extra weight of landing gear by trading the motorized wings for a manually folding set.)
The A5 belongs to the FAA’s new “light-sport aircraft” class, whose planes don’t have to go through the same lengthy certification process that discourages bold design in larger planes. That classification freed Icon to develop the folding wings and to install a modern engine that burns unleaded gasoline, whereas most private planes use decades-old, lead-spewing powerplants.

You can fly the A5 with a simple sport-pilot certification, which requires half the training time of a standard license. A cockpit designed with input from carmakers such as Nissan has minimal instrumentation and a GPS navigation system, making the plane easier to pilot.

The wings are designed to minimize the danger of stalling, where they lose lift because the plane is traveling too slowly or its nose is pointed up too high. With the A5, stalling occurs gradually, providing plenty of warning for the pilot.

The plane makes its debut this summer, and Icon has begun taking orders. It expects the first models to touch down in late 2010.

The plane is priced at $139000. But to register yourself, u have to pay $5000 and ur name wil be in the lot. For more information log onto

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

About Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan (the bond of protection in Hindi) is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana.

The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The elder brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her same while an elder sister returns offers to her younger brother. The brother and sister traditionally feed each other sweets. It is not necessary that the rakhi can be given only to a brother by birth; any male can be "adopted" as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, that is "blood brothers and sisters", whether they are cousins or a good friend. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves. Rani Karnavati of Chittor sent a rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun when she was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Humayun abandoned an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue.
The rakhi may also be tied on other special occasions to show solidarity and kinship (not necessarily only among brothers and sisters), as was done during the Indian independence movement.

Perhaps the single most important way of celebrating Raksha Bandhan is by tying the rakhi. A sister ties a rakhi to the wrist of her brother. The tying of a rakhi signifies her asking of her brother for his protection and love for the sister. The brother in turn, accepts the rakhi, confirms his love and affection for his sister and shows this with gifts and money. It is a family event where all members of family, dressed in finery, gather and celebrate. The tying of rakhi is followed by a family feast.

On this day the sisters also tie a 'loomba' to the bangle of their brother's wife. A loomba is a loop of string with a charm or some other item attached to the loop of string. This charm or item then dangles from the bangle. The sisters then receive money from their sister's in law.

The origin of the festival is mostly attributed to one of the following mythological incidents:

1. Indra's fight with Vritra - Indra, the king of devtas (gods), had lost his kingdom to the asura (demon) Vritra. At the behest of his Guru Brihaspati, Indra's wife Shachi tied a thread around her husband's wrist to ensure his victory in the upcoming duel.

2. Draupadi and Krishna during the Rajsuya yagya - After Shishupal's death, Krishna was left with a bleeding finger. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's wrist to stop the flow of blood. Touched by her concern, Krishna had declared himself bound to her by her love. He further promised to repay the debt many fold. Many years later when Draupudi was about to be shamed by being disrobed in front of the whole court by her evil brother-in-law Duryodhana, she called on Krishna to help her, and he did by divinely elongating her sari so it could not be removed.

Other significant myth's, revolving this sacred festivial, have been passed down for generations in families across India.

Guys!!! Beware of things like this too!!!!

Drinking Wine Adds 5 Years to Your Life, Beer 2.5 Years

Half a glass of wine a day may add five years to your life, a new study suggests. Drink beer, and you’ll live only 2 1/2 years longer.
Dutch researchers followed 1,373 men for more than four decades, noting their eating and drinking habits. Men who had about 20 grams of alcohol daily — equivalent to a half a glass of wine — had 2 1/2 years added to their life expectancy at age 50, compared with men who didn’t drink at all, according to the research published today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Men who consumed only wine had twice as much added longevity.


Related Posts with Thumbnails