January 30, 2006

Appa's Retirement

Hmm..Finally the D Day has arrived for my Father...Yeah..He is retiring from Madras University tomorrow after a worthwhile 30 + years of HONEST service.

There is a lot partying to happen tomorrow..I have got some surprises up my sleeves..
Got a cute card for him..It goes like this

"Away from the hsutle and bustle of your busy days,
it's time to take a step into a future,
where happy and peaceful moments are waiting for you.
It's time to relax and appreciate the precious
gifts of life- the pleasure of doing your favourite things,
the happiness of living each day to its fullest
And the love of your dear ones...."

Would blog the happenings on wednesday..Tata

January 27, 2006

Some Hope

Bound to get few cheers!

The Tamil Nadu Tourism department has decided to launch Adi Sankara and Jain temples circuits to attract more tourists, particularly the domestic ones, state Tourism secretary Dr V Varaprasada Rao said today

He informed the media in the sidelines of three-day 46th Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF) in chennai.

A Vivekananda tourism circuit would also be introduced within the next couple of months, he said.

Chennaionline has a report on this. Interestingly.. Rs 3 crore has been allocated for the Jain tourism circuit in TamilNadu. Wonder..whassup in store. They better spend it prudently.

January 24, 2006

Reliance is Back

Mukesh Ambani announced plans to raise $1.3bn from the capital market and its entry into the retail sector.

RIL’s capital raising plans is intended to finance an enormous expansion of its Jamnagar refinery, consisting of a 27mt export oriented refinery and a 1mt polypropylene project, to be located at the Jamnagar special economic zone. The Rs 27,000-crore ($6bn) project will be part financed by a $1.1bn to $1.3bn (Rs 5,000-6,000 crore) IPO in the first half of this year, most likely around April-May.

Dizzy numbers..
More info in Economic Times

January 20, 2006

A very short story

Got it as a fwd..Truely hilarious ;-))

A college class was told they had to write a short story in as few words as possible. The instructions were: The Short story had to contain the following three things
  • Religion
  • Sexuality
  • Mystery

Below is the only A+ short story in the entire class.

"Good God, I'm Pregant; I wonder who did it."


Rare breed of politician

82- year old Krishnaveni, member of the Congress party, represented Andipatti and Sedapatti constituencies between 1962 and 1967 had donated all her property for schools and charity. Over the years she lost three of her sons and she is in debt. Almost all of her pension of Rs 5000 is used as repayment for the debt. She now lives in a cowshed

NDTV brings you Krishnaveni up close.

January 19, 2006

Sarasvathi Mahal Library - Tanjavur

Long Long ago, Thanjavur was ruled by Maharaja Serfoji II. Serfoji ascended the throne in 1798. Serfoji devoted his life to the pursuit of culture and Thanjavur became renowned as a seat of learning. Serfoji's love of learning and thirst for knowledge led him to enrich Sarasvati(saraswathi?) Mahal Library, which was a Palace Library.

OK..before the monologue becomes boring, let me take u there. Visit the virtual Sarasvathi Mahal

Check out
* Charles Le Brun's Human Physiognomy Charts
* Opthalmic Case Sheets
* The oldest printed book available in this Library is an atlas dated back to 1692, 1693 and 1696.
* Paintings collection.

Wish u had lot of kings like Serfoji!

Punjab gears up for tourists

Punjab is welcoming tourists this time around. The state government has identified two tourist circuits. Circuit One will focus on heritage and religious monuments, while Circuit Two will draw the limelight on the freedom movement.

Lots of promising news in the article in Business Standard.

- The state government had sought a grant of Rs 20 crore for the conservation of old monuments
- The Punjab State Tourism Development Corporation has for the first time in past 25 years reported a profit of Rs 50 lakh.
- For the first time in this year 20 crafts persons from Saarc countries would participate in annual Crafts Fair at Surajkund.
- The state government has drawn a grant of Rs 15 crore to be spent in four years for the restoration of heritage monuments

January 18, 2006

January 17, 2006

Knock! Knock! Oolai-chuvadi Irrukka?

This is would be the question that 2,000 NSS volunteers, including 200 from Bharathidasan University, would be asking in all houses in Tiruchi, TamilNadu.

It would mean: Do you have palm manuscripts in your house?

Sign of good times ..I should say.

There is enormous wealth lying idle in the ancient palm manuscripts. Serious organized effort should be put in, to bring those gems outside. Great to hear that Union Ministry of Culture under its `National Mission for Manuscripts' programme, had sanctioned Rs.20 lakh for tracing the manuscripts. I just hope the money is utilized properly & we unearth forgotten history.

This information was shared in a function organized to celebrate the golden jubilee of Tiruchi Tamil Sangam.

January 13, 2006

Pongal - O - Pongal

"May the pot of prosperity boil over
May the Pongal that we cook,
the fragrance of turmeric
the taste of sugarcane, ginger and honey
Bring the joy of Pongal into our homes
May the blessings of the Sun God flood our lives"

Happy Pongal to all of U.

//Pongal signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine.'Boghi' is celebrated on January 13, 'Pongal' on Jan 14, 'Maattuppongal' on Jan 15, and 'Thiruvalluvar Day/Kaanum Pongal' on Jan 16.//

January 12, 2006

Colourful Jaipur

Those who are around..Make it to Jaipur Heritage Festival

Its great to have all the details of this kind of festival on the web. I'm impressed with the content & layout of the website.

Keep up the good work guys.

Intel 8086

In a bit of unintended humor, Wall Street closed Apple's stock Tuesday, the day the company unveiled its first Intel processor-based computers at Macworld, at $80.86.

More here

January 10, 2006

Dr.Gift Siromoney

A treasure house of historical publications - thatz what aptly describes Dr.Gift Siromoney's website.

Would take months to completely go through the articles there. The website is neatly laid out & the contents are categorized in a nice manner. Have a look @ the contributions of this great man!

January 06, 2006

Freak Trade of Tulip Shares

Yesterday, there was a freak trade of Tulip IT Services at the BSE.

One deal saw 4,04,800 shares sold at 25 paise each against the average price of Rs 185 at the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the other saw 5,95,575 shares sold at Rs 100 each.

Data available through Telerate suggests that deals caused the seller a loss of Rs 12.69 crore in just 38 seconds.

More on this in Business Standard.

Truely Sensational Debut.. I must say!

January 05, 2006

Fallen Spiritual Guru

I can feel the I-Know-this-will happen chuckle when I read abt the exposure of Yoga guru Ramdev's (where do these people get so 'divine'sounding rhyming names?)ayurvedic pill for epilepsy.

Brinda Karat of CPI(M)took him to task for the adulterated herbal medicines produced by his pharmacy. They are found to contain animal parts & human skull powder ! Yuck!

"People take those medicines in full faith. Imagine it containing animal parts and human skull. It's so gross, its a question of ethics," CPI(M) Brinda Karat says.

Poor Swamiji has responsed in the only way he could.."It is possible that Ms Karat provided an adulterated sample to the lab after faking it as a product of my pharmacy,"

Catch the action in IBNlive Interestingly, the comments on the article come down heavily on Mrs.Karat.

Here is the link to an interesting article on the profit economics of Godmen & their channels in the Indian Express.

The list of fallen godmen keeps growing! I am Happy. Period.

Update:Well..Well. Our Laluji has come forward with his support to Ramdev, pointing his finger at the MNCs

January 04, 2006

Stop the dangerous ship - Clemenceau

"Imagine you're the State of France. What do you do with a 27,000-ton warship full of asbestos, PCBs, lead, mercury, and other toxic chemicals, which you don't want and no European country is willing or able to scrap for you? Why, you send it off to India to be broken up by hand in a scrapyard where impoverished workers are injured and die every day."

Greenpeace International starts off its crusade with this chilling Q&A. Have a run through this report that documents the 'Tales of the Ghost Ship'

"Clemenceau is one of the largest ships to be sent for scrap but every year a vast decrepit armada bearing a dangerous cargo of toxic substances, asbestos, PCBs and heavy metals, ends up in ship breaking yards in Bangladesh, India, China and Pakistan, where they are cut up in the crudest of fashions, taking a huge toll on human health and the local environment."

The Statesman covers the protests of activists outside the French Embassy,yesterday.

Here is the link to the report given by Green Peace way back in 1999, which details the hazards of Ship Breaking.

Its clear that India has become the favourite dumping yard of the world. Its high time this stops! Lets register our strong protest too.

Radio FM lures many

Just yesterday was the news that BBC and leading investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala are set to invest a combined Rs 42 crore in Radio Mid-Day West (India), the Mid Day group arm that runs FM channel Go 92.5.

Now, Business Standard reports that NDTV bought a minority stake in India Today group's radio venture Radio Today Broadcasting through a joint venture with Hyderabad-based Value Labs and Malaysia's Astro for an unspecified amount. Radio Today broadcasts Red FM in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata

Radio FM not only attracts music lovers but money lovers too ;-)

January 03, 2006

Phew! Lots to ponder

A quick run through of the stories that held my attention today..

Happy Moment: The sensex has created history by conquering the 9500 mark. Economic Times shares this good news. 10,000 is not far away ;-)

Sports Roundup: Chennai Open Tennis Championship had a fabulous start yesterday. WWW.Chennaiopen.org has all the action. Prakash Amritraj starts on a winning note. Chennai comes alive during the maarkazhi season ..I guess

Foul play?: NDTV reports that Gudiya, the wife of a soldier gone missing during the Kargil war, died on Monday after a multiple organ failure in a Delhi hospital. Yes, she is the same person who had to decide (nope! the panchayat decided) between her husbands on a sic reality show on TV.

Bright Spot: Stumbled across varalaaru.com(history(tamil).com), some time back. Hats off to the guys who run this. It is one of the few sites that has authentic & extensive information on south Indian history, other the usual "The pallavas ruled over tamilnadu. After that you have the cholas, cheras & pandyas. The end of the story."
My main grouse has been that Tamil Nadu has such a vast history and very little of it has been documented on the Net. NCERT's history book is still under the clouds for various reasons, My take on it would be - you would have only a fleeting reference to south Indian history. More on it in another blog.

January 02, 2006

What the heck is BEYBLADE

For sometime now, my SIL had been lamenting abt Aadhu's obsession with the 'Beyblade' toys. I experienced it first hand when we were trying to play host to the little one, who was on a two-day trip to chennai.

Beyblade mania has definitely struck the younger lot. We purchased the Beyblade kit, little did I know, what was in store. Aadhu was as happy as Bill gates would be with Google's search algorithm!

He was quite adept in assembling certain parts of the toy rattling off their names like launcher, base, etc., at ease. Mind you, he is just a four-year old kid. Apparently, the beyblade we bought was different from the ones he had handled, so the onus of fixing it up fell on me. I struggled with for more than 15min & then gave up, That definitely needed some skill.

Since then, this Beyblade has been haunting me. So, I went ahead to digg more info on this stuff... My fellow Beyblade illiterates, take the plunge

Beyblade Wikipedia: Beyblade is a spinning top toy produced by Takara. The Japanese version of the spinning top called Bei Goma, Beyblade is at present the reigning indoor sport among youngsters

Beyblade.com:U are now looking at kid games 2.0. You get to know abt BBA - Beyblade Battle Association that is conducting beyblade competitions all over the world.

The Telegraph tries to ponder over the latest indoor sport: Some stats " Funskool India is the sub-licencee for Beyblade products in India. The company claims to have sold over 40,000 pieces in Calcutta alone. The figure would be 10 times more nationally, adds the spokesperson. In fact, he says Funskool India is flooded with so many requests that it has to ration the supply of Beyblades to retailers across the country." Read this report, u will know, y I'm doing this blog.

Another report from Exchange4Media gives more insight into the animation program in cartoon network. Some more dizzy numbers - "The Beyblade series is broadcast in over 60 countries and has more than 1,000 merchandising and licensing products with 300 licensees worldwide and is one of the leading toys being sold in Japan, Canada, the UK, Australia, et al. So far, around 100 million Beyblade units have been sold worldwide. "

An exasperated parent writes in Business Line: Takara the creator says " they have zeroed in on a toy that "satisfies every boy's urges to battle, customise, and collect."

Hail the mighty BeyBlade ;-)

Photo shortage in The Hindu ?

The photo of 'two college girls with cell phones' has appeared on the Hindu for the third time. I vividly remember seeing them, the first one occured few months back, then a couple of weeks back, I was taken aback when it appeared for the second time. And now, it gets repeated for the third time..Hmm Could not get the links for the other two entries, here is the one that appeared today.