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3671  General Category / The Newsroom / ‘India has more rich people than poor now’ on: August 01, 2010, 12:05:38 PM
‘India has more rich people than poor now’

NEW DELHI: For the first time ever, the number of high-income households in India has exceeded the number of low-income, the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has estimated.

In its report, "How India Earns, Spends and Saves", released on Saturday, the NCAER estimated that despite the economic slowdown of the last three years, the number of high-income households should have reached 46.7 million by March 2010, exceeding the 41 million households counted as low-incomes.

If true, this would be a remarkable turnaround within just a decade  clap clap Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up!.

It started with just 13.8 million households described as high-income, or earning more than Rs 1.8 lakh per annum at 2001-02 prices. Meanwhile, 65.2 million households were classified as low-income or earning less than Rs 45,000 per year. The NCAER estimated that middle-income households, or those earning between Rs 45,000 and Rs 1.8 lakh per annum, rose sharply from 109.2 million to 140.7 million in the decade.

A new report says that the slowdown in the growth in the last three years of the decade had the maximum impact on middle income households. Though in absolute terms the number of middleclass households grew from 135.9 million in 2007-08 to 140.7 million by 2009-10, in percentage terms it fell marginally from 62% of all households to 61.6% in the same period.

Interestingly, the slowdown did not impact the expansion in the number of high-income households, which grew from 16.8% to 20.5% of all households in the last two years. The fall in the number of low-income households was also sharp, from 21.1% to 17.9% during the period.

NCAER, in the report also estimated the number of families having income between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 10 lakh per annum, which is close to the World Bank definition of middle class, at 28.4 million by 2009-10. The number of such middle-class households was 4.5 million in 1995-96 and 10.7 million in 2001-02. The report said that two-thirds of the Indian middle class is to be found in urban India and that trend has continued in the last 15 years also. India has one of the highest savings rates in the world, with savings constituting an estimated 36% of the GDP.
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3672  The Lounge / The Astro Section / What's your real zodiac sign? on: August 01, 2010, 11:47:37 AM
What's your real zodiac sign?

Mini Singhal was born on October 29,1979. That makes her, according to the western zodiac system, a Scorpio - a sign she likes because astrologer and bestselling author Linda Goodman says such women have "a deep, mysterious beauty, are magnetic, proud and totally confident." Singhal likes to think that the description sits pretty on her, she of the "most powerful" zodiac sign."I totally identify with my sun sign, the way I identify with my name," she says.

She might just have a bad surprise in store, something that may even lead to an identity crisis of sorts. What if she's told that like numerous others she hasn't been following the right star sign all her life and that she is indeed a Virgo, that Goodman in reality hasn't been all that good to her? "Oh, ok,then," she says, slightly off balance, "At least I am not Piscean, they are such wimps."

Unknown to most believers of star signs - which would mean almost all of us - there is a growing group of astrologers and rationalists who swear that we have been following the wrong zodiac and that in its present form it is all wrong. The theory is that when it was developed by the Babylonians in 450 BCE they missed out on a crucial bit of information which became apparent to mankind only later with further advances in science. But the signs were never recalibrated.

So, what's your real, real sun sign? And does it change who you are?

There are some who can't be bothered to find out. It doesn't matter to them where the sun, moon and the planets were when they were born because, in any case, these heavenly bodies are thousands of kilometres away, too far to affect them on earth. But for those who hold the tiny dots of light in the sky responsible for everything - from not finding a suitable NRI groom to premature greying of hair - a possible answer to this question would lie in understanding how the signs have changed over a couple of thousand years.

Western astrology believes in 12 constellations of 30 degrees each which make up 360 degrees of the zodiac or the apparent path of the sun across the sky as observed from the earth. While it was first developed by the Babylonians, it was the Greeks who improvised on it and laid the foundation of modern western astrology. According to the system, the sun is hosted by each of these 12 star clusters between certain days of the year. For instance, it shines bright amongst the nine stars that make up constellation Virgo from August 23 to September 22. If you are born between these dates your sun sign is Virgo and you supposedly have a set of characteristics typical to your sign - love for perfection,in this case, is one of the most celebrated and bragged about.

But here's the twist in the tale. The ancient Babylonians were smart enough to map the twinkling constellations and the movement of the sun in and out of them, but they were yet to figure out the concept of 'precession'. To put it simply, it refers to the change in the direction of the earth's rotational axis in relation to fixed stars. This change occurs because the earth not just rotates on its axis but also wobbles - like a spinning top. This is because of the tilt in the earth's rotational axis resulting from unequal gravitational forces exerted on it by the sun and the moon. In addition to rotation,the earth's axis also exhibits an extremely slow gyroscopic motion. If observed from the top of the North Pole, precession makes the tip of the earth's rotational axis trace a circle. And it takes 26,000 years to complete one such circle.

The importance of precession in astrology stems from the fact that the angle of the tilt of earth's axis on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere is taken as the 'zero point', or the starting of the zodiac. Which means that from 0 degree to 30 degrees is Aries, followed by Taurus between 30 to 60 degrees, and so on. Now, since this reference point has moved over the years (due to precession), the subsequent position of the rest of the zodiac has too. Therefore, it is important to factor in the precession of the earth's axis to know your 'correct' sun sign. However, western astrologers have refrained from doing so and continue to refer to the zodiac based on the placement of stars millions of years ago.

If precession is taken into account,it throws the zodiac completely out of whack.Take this for a reality check: the sun sign of people born between June 22 and July 20 is not Cancer but Gemini.(See The Real Sun Signs)

As if this was not enough to shake your belief, science deals another blow to the zodiac system in the shape of Ophiucus, or the serpent bearer -- the 13th constellation. It seems that this group of stars escaped the probing eyes of the Babylonians as they divided the sky into 12 compartments. It, therefore, does not find a mention in western astrology. If you were born between November 30 and December 17, your sun sign is Ophiucus and not Saggitarius. If indeed stars speak then they have been telling lies. Perhaps now you'll understand why your outspoken Arian self never got along with your partner's Saggitarian spontaneity though Goodman promised smouldering chemistry between the two signs.

Goodman,it seems,is just as random about predicting the compatibility of two people as your family panditji or astrologer are (even though they claim to be more accurate). Indian astrologers make birth charts (kundlis) and predictions by tracing the position of a constellation, or nakshatra, in the night sky and then deducting 23 degrees (the angle of tilt of the earth's axis) from it to get its "exact" position. Indians do take precession into consideration.

"We make predictions based on what we see - the planets and stars visible in the night sky at the time of the prediction. Even though other planets are there,we don't count their influence on your life because at that precise moment they are retrograde or not visible to the naked eye," explains astrologer Pandit Ajai Bhambi who has just come out with the book Vedic Sun Signs.

Because Indians deduct 23 degrees from the visible position of a constellation,it translates into a gap of 23 days between sun signs in western zodiac and desi ones. "If somebody is born on March 24 then his Vedic sun sign will be Pisces,whereas the western sun sign will be Aries," says Bhambi. You have to bear in mind, though, that it may be erroneous to believe you are an Aries even in the western scheme of things if you are born on March 24 - the point exactly that anti-astrologers are trying to make.

When TOI-Crest approached some western astrologers to explain these obvious discrepancies, none was able to do so. Marjorie Orr,a well-known astrologer whose daily predictions are carried in a host of magazines offered this: "The earth does tilt on its axis and the line through the centre of the earth has moved roughly from the constellation of Pisces into the constellation of Aquarius though the start and finish dates are difficult to pinpoint." (Huh!) Orr used to be an award-winning journalist who later turned to psychotherapy and astrology.But what she says makes little sense. Bejan Daruwala,a hugely successful astrologer whose column Ganesha Speaks is followed by millions in India, dismisses the allegations of falsehood and doubt as "bull****." The much-respected octogenarian says, "Everyone is a master in love and astrology." (Err,what was that,again?) Even as you struggle to understand what it could possibly mean,he throws his latest predictions at you. On July 11,he says,he foretold in a city paper that Spain will score a goal in the last 11 minutes and win the world cup. That's much better than Octopus Paul who could only predict a simple Spain win. To drive home the importance of number 11, Daruwala also mentions that July 11 is his birthday and that the number of his residential flat is 11. Two days before the Mangalore air crash,he says he had told a popular FM radio channel in Mumbai that because of certain "arrangement" between Uranus and Saturn, there will be an air crash. A phone conversation with numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani followed a similar trajectory. He claims he had correctly predicted that Sakshi will prove lucky for M S Dhoni. The Indian skipper grabbed Rs 210 crores as part of various advertisement deals soon after his marriage to her. As for the question of precession and a missing constellation, he says "all this is automatically controlled." (Yeah,right) To most rational people, it is amply clear that planets and stars are just what they are and they don't influence your professional and personal life. Dr N Rathnasree, director, Nehru planetarium, says, "In my opinion,astrology is just an abuse of astronomy by astrologers - for business interests." So, what is your sun sign? The answer seems to be floating somewhere in the swirling,churning motions of the universe which astrologers desperately try to link with your life on earth. It's a great pick up line, though.


SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Dec 18-Jan 18

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Jan 19-Feb 15

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Feb 16-Mar 11

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

Mar 12-Apr 18

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

Apr 19-May 13

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

May 14-Jun 19

GEMINI May 22 - Jun 21

Jun 20-Jul 20

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 23

Jul 21-Aug 9

LEO Jul 24 - Aug 23

Aug 10-Sept 15

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Sep 16-Oct 30

LIBRA Sept 24 - Oct 23

Oct 31-Nov 22

SCORPIO Oct 24 - Nov 22

Nov 23-Nov 29

OPHIUCHUS Not counted

Nov 30-Dec 17
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3673  General Category / The Newsroom / Bangalore teenager designs cyber safety curriculum on: August 01, 2010, 11:29:38 AM
Bangalore teenager designs cyber safety curriculum

BANGALORE: This 17-year-old boy is rather different from his friends and classmates. While most kids his age are freaking out on social networking sites, he’s rather wary of dangers lurking within these.

Now, he’s developing a curriculum on cyber security with the help of Infosys which will be taught first in his school and later perhaps adopted by CBSE.

Shourya Saluja, a Class 12 student of Bangalore’s Indus International School is devising a curriculum For Classes IX to XII which will create awareness about cyber safety.

Its three components will focus on different safety issues of social networking sites. "Children disclose too much information in their profiles, they upload photos and accept random people as friends just to increase the number in their friends’ list. They don’t know what dangers this can lead to," said Shourya. Kids will also be taught how to protect themselves from dangers like phishing messages, things to look after in a Local Area Network (LAN), internal security.

Cyber ethics will be another subject and kids will be tutored on how to be a good cyber citizen. Infosys will leverage its "subject matter expertise" to develop content as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative.

Shourya plans to rate the success of his programme after six months and then seek the Central Board of Secondary Education’s approval to include it in the curriculum. He says he got the idea when his 10-year-old sister asked him to create a Facebook profile with all her information. "I realized that many children are ignorant about consequences of this," he said.

He approached the Punjab College of Engineering which has a cyber security research centre. "When I suggested teaching cyber safety in high school, they gave me the thumbs up. I did a three-week internship there, conducted surveys, did research and presented papers on the gap between the present curriculum and proved the need for this course." In June second week, Shourya presented a paper to Infosys and convinced it to help him in the course content.
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3674  General Category / The Newsroom / 6-yr-old comes out of coma, thanks to music on: August 01, 2010, 11:27:10 AM
6-yr-old comes out of coma, thanks to music
TOI News

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Doctors attending to six-year-old Radhika at Government Medical College Hospital in Kerala’s Alappuzha district never thought she would make it. But unbelievably, the girl, who was ‘‘completely paralysed in an accident while playing has managed to come out of coma in less than two months, thanks to a steady dose of enchanting music.

‘‘I couldn’t believe it,’’ exclaims Dr Girija Mohan, who heads the paediatrics department. It was Dr Mohan’s idea to try music on her. ‘‘She was admitted on May 30 and was put on ventilator for 2-3 days. That improved her breathing but was still comatose. Though we tried all means, there was no further improvement and she was literally like a vegetable. That’s when I thought about ways for neuro-rehabilitation. I searched the Internet and found out literature about music therapy and decided to give it a try.

‘‘So besides the medicines, we played melodious songs set in Carnatic music style including her favourite song on Krishna from a Malayalam film — over a headphone throughout the day for a week. We tried that too.

Miraculously, she started responding to it and then we shifted to an external speaker by her bedside in the ICU. The kid now can move with the help of a walker and responds to queries,’’ said Dr Mohan.

The kid’s mother Manju is overjoyed. ‘‘I had no hope but she now tries to recite those songs which she was made to listen to,’’ she said fighting to hold back tears. Her father Raju, a fish monger, who was finding it hard to foot the bills is now hopeful.

Dr Renjith S Joseph, who assisted Dr Mohan said, ‘‘Recovery in such cases is generally usually extremely remote. The kid was afflicted with quadriplegia, where the patient looses both sensation and control. But what happened to Radhika is just amazing.’’

The tiny tot was playing with her mother’s shawls when one of them fastened around her throat choking her. In medical terms, its called a ‘choking game where the player derives a kind of pleasant sensation,’’ explained Dr Girija. But when the knot tightens, as in the present case, it can lead to a semi-handing state.

God Bless this little child. May God protect her every step of the way. We all should also pray for the treating doctors and nurses who did a wonderful job. May God guide them in their careers and make them successful in their day to day work.
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3675  General Category / The Newsroom / Today's the day! America prepares to celebrate as Chelsea Clinton marries Marc M on: July 31, 2010, 07:47:50 PM
Today's the day! America prepares to celebrate as Chelsea Clinton marries Marc Mezvinsky in the wedding of the year

A round of golf at the Red Hook Golf Course, shopping at the local independent stores or visiting the Haven Spa is usually the most entertainment Rhinebeck can offer on a Saturday afternoon.
But not today

For once the eyes of the world are directed at the small picturesque town in the state of New York, home to some 4,000 inhabitants - and hundreds of visiting journalists.

It's here that America's Royal wedding is to take place - as Chelsea Clinton marries her childhood playmate Marc Mezvinsky in front of 500 guests.

And last night the streets of Rhinebeck were lined with well-wishers as the young couple were the guests of honour at their rehearsal dinner.
After weeks of speculation about everything from who designed the dress, to whether Al Gore would attend, the ceremony will finally take place at 5pm local time.
And with upwards of $3million spent on the big day, nothing has been left to chance.

In the absence of any real information, rumours have abounded, including one that Rhinebeck was an elaborate decoy planned by the media-shy Chelsea, and that the wedding would be elsewhere.

But this seems unlikely, with the amount of planning that has gone into the day.

Around £400,000 has been spent on erecting the marquees on the 50-acre former estate, while a further £75,000 has been spent on the tables and crockery.

The bride has also ordered a £7,000, five-tier, gluten-free wedding cake.

But the day is not about the celebrity guests, but his daughter and her fiance, who will say there vows at the grand Astor Courts, an estate on the scenic east bank of the Hudson River.
Chelsea and Mezvinsky were friends as teenagers in Washington, and both attended Stanford University.

They now live in New York, where Mezvinsky works at G3 Capital, a Manhattan hedge fund, and Clinton is pursuing a graduate degree at Columbia University's School of Public Health.

Mezvinsky worked previously at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker.

Chelsea has long sought a life away from the spotlight. She lives quietly in a Manhattan apartment and is described as casual, modest and friendly

She has blossomed from the gawky corkscrew-curled 12-year-old who entered the White House in 1992 into an assured young woman who has a strong relationship with both parents, even in the storm of her father’s adultery with Monica Lewinsky.

Ferociously bright, Chelsea studied history at the Ivy League Stanford University before taking a masters in International Relations at Oxford — where she reinvented herself with a sleek makeover, being named by Tatler as one of the world’s most eligible females.
In 2003 she returned to New York to work for management consultancy McKinsey & Company, and later a small hedge fund run by one of her father’s major supporters. She’s now studying for a master’s degree in Public Health at New York’s Columbia University.

Despite hitting the campaign trail for her mother Hilary’s Presidential bid in 2008, Chelsea has made it clear she has no intention of following in her parents’ political footsteps


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3676  General Category / The Newsroom / ‘Many Indian billionaires have made money from proximity to govt’ on: July 31, 2010, 01:31:38 PM
‘Many Indian billionaires have made money from proximity to govt’

Source; The Economic Times 31st July 10

NEW DELHI: The proliferation of dollar billionaires in India in recent years has often been cited as evidence of the country’s growing economic
might, but Raghuram Rajan, previously chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and now an economic advisor to the Prime Minister, describes this as a ‘‘ dubious distinction’’ .

In an exclusive interview to TOI, Rajan said he had no problems with wealth creation, ‘‘ but I do think there is a problem if much of this wealth comes from proximity to government’’.

Pointing out that India had the second largest number of billionaires per trillion dollars of GDP in the world (after Russia) prior to the crisis, and now possibly the largest, Rajan said ‘‘ If you look at the areas where we have so many billionaires , many of them are not software entrepreneurs, it’s things like land, real estate, natural resources and areas that require licences.’’

While conceding that some of these people have genuinely created entrepreneurial firms that have done wonderful things, in telecom for instance, Rajan added, ‘‘ There are other areas which are less competitive and where proximity to government helps. That’s a worrisome factor.’’

India, he said, faced the danger of sliding into some sort of oligarchic capitalism like Mexico. ‘‘ I would argue that there is a danger that if we let the nexus between the politician and the businessman get too strong, we could shut down competition. That could slow us down tremendously and also maybe create questions eventually for our democracy,’’ he warned.

Rajan, who’s now a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and whose book on the global crisis, Faultlines, will be out next week, said there has been a ‘‘ privatisation by stealth’ ’ of the state in India.

Expanding on that phrase, he said ‘‘ I worry that in the areas where there isn’t adequate governance, we are letting the private sector determine things that should naturally be the prerogative of the state.’’

As with the billionaires, so too with India’s membership of the G20 — Rajan is not overly impressed by this apparent sign of the country having arrived at the high table. First, he maintained that international meetings rarely achieved anything concrete . The G20, for instance, had done little more than telling countries to do what they were in any case doing.

More importantly, Rajan expressed the view that having arrived at the high table India seems to have little idea as to what it wants from it. ‘‘ It’s not clear to me that we have a strong sense of where we want the high table to go,’’ he said, adding that India’s intervention at such forums had often been too reactive.

Arguing for a more proactive stance, Rajan said while India had played such a role during the era of the Non-Aligned Movement, others like China were now donning the mantle and assuming the role of the ‘voice of the developing world’.

On the domestic front, Rajan argued for subjecting government schools and dispensaries to the rigours of competition from the private sector through a system of cash transfers to the target population . Right now, he said, ‘‘ we have a top-down mentality that we are providing these people charity so they have to accept the garbage that we inflict on them whether it is any good or not.’’

Schools or dispensaries that fail to attract students or patients because they are dysfunctional should be given a year to shape up or shut down, he said, adding that this was the correct way of empowering those whom the government ostensibly seeks to serve.

Characterising the NREGS as a stop-gap measure, Rajan said at least four elements were needed to move the bulk of the population in the rural areas to the modern economy — infrastructure to connect them to towns, education and healthcare to enable them to participate in a modern economy , and financial inclusion.

Without these, he warned, India’s much-touted ‘population dividend’ could turn into a ‘population curse’. Rubbishing notions that converting farmland to industrial use destroyed productive assets, Rajan maintained that such a conversion always enormously improves the productivity of the land.

What is needed to deal with the vexed issue of land acquisition , he felt, was clear title to land and a transparent and reasonable process of compensating and rehabilitating those dispossessed that could be quickly implemented.

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3677  The Lounge / The Astro Section / What yr Sun sign horoscope says for the August 2010. on: July 31, 2010, 12:45:29 PM
What yr Sun sign horoscope says for  the August 2010.

Aries Horoscope (March 21 - April 19)

Cardinal Fire. Your ruling planet is Mars.

You are finding your way through, Aries, and your own initiative is only part of the story. Lately your ideas for what you might eventually become have been amazingly prolific and uniquely your own, and with this last half of summer another element begins to encroach upon your self-direction. This takes the form of partnership interaction that both steadies your ship of state and provides for complications within the wheelhouse. While still bursting to the brim with enthusiasm for your process, your feelings of independence are now tempered by the deep need to include others in the actual execution of your vibrant future vision.

As the month begins, you are still caught up in the powerful T-square affecting in your identity sector and also that of your public and professional life. With Saturn now in your opposite sign of Libra, you are also feeling new pressure with respect to significant relationships in your life and how you partner with others. There might be a move on your part toward commitment now, or perhaps you will be feeling that a mentor, or someone else important to you, just became more so. With Jupiter also conjunct Uranus in the very beginning of Aries, no doubt there have been brilliant ideas in plenty, which might serve to offset the pressure lately to commit in some way both relationship-wise and career-wise. There is also polarity indicated in these current configurations, with the push-pull of emotional impact implied. Do I stay or do I go off in another direction altogether? There are competing reasons for either of such choices right now, and although you are tending toward the new and unproven, you will definitely feel a strong pull to the conservative side of the equation in the month ahead. These issues are amplified by the presence of the Last Quarter Moon right at the beginning of the month, on Monday, August 2nd. This is a time of re-evaluation and review, a time when you are gathering your energies for the New Moon to come.
 With everything that’s going on for you right now, it is actually quite a good time to pause and take stock. You want to participate in the drama of the age, but also to hold down the drama, especially on a personal level. These goals are in some ways antithetical, but then again, paradox is a necessary component of the human condition. You are encouraged throughout this period of time to take a closer look at everything that is happening and to try to find the deeper meaning, for surly there is one that will become apparent when you seek it. The New Moon of Monday evening, August 9th, is a particularly powerful moment in the midst of a powerful time period. You are pulled in several directions all at once, but mostly in a way that forces you to reexamine exactly how you show up in the public stage, including career and professional life, and also the entire area of outer achievement and the promises that you make to others. Your need for public recognition of your accomplishments might be seen as one driving factor in what you do, and you might find that you are transforming in that area as well, so that these needs can still be acknowledged, but not as the only factor in the equation. When the First Quarter Moon hits, a week further into the month, on Monday, August 16th, things might be even more confusing for a while, but you are definitely making progress in sorting things out. The Mercury retrograde period that begins a few days later on the 20th will signal a respite that will last four to five weeks, well into September, and this period might be an ideal time to meditate on the new directions that your life is taking. The Full Moon that comes along on Tuesday, August 24th, will represent a crux of this late August timeframe, when all these issues are momentarily intensified.

Taurus Horoscope (April 20 - May 20)
Fixed Earth. Your ruling planet is Venus.

This is a powerful time for you, Taurus, and one in which your basic modus operandi is shifting. No longer can you ignore the reality that something has got to give in the actualization of what you are about. Your very reason for being on the planet has become focused on deeds rather than pure pleasure, and although you could mourn the loss of innocence in the end you might have to acknowledge this as a good thing. You are this month coming far closer to finding your sense of the mission that you were born to. This can only be a blessing, and a joyous one at that, especially when you honor the voices whispering into your ear with greater and greater insistence and take inner guidance into account.

As the month begins, you are feeling your oats, racing forward to embrace life with eyes wide open while still remaining true to your ideals and to the voice of inner guidance that has been whispering in your ears recently. The Solar Eclipse from last month presented you with much information and you are still struggling to assimilate it. With the Last Quarter Moon of Monday, August 2nd, you are stimulated to follow up on this potential treasure in some way that promotes soul growth. You will find great joy at this time in pursuing educational opportunities or perhaps in travel or other means by which you could participate in cultures different from your own. Your focus now implies a higher mind perspective that leads you in the direction of greater compassion. At the same time, you might be somewhat haunted by vague idealizations from otherworldly planes of existence that could appear to you as traps. You have to learn to detect the presence of the meaningful forest in all these trees. The New Moon of the following week, taking place on Monday, August 9th, gives you a fresh starting point, and also presents you with even greater issues of integration. You are perhaps having a hard time in deciding where to put your energies at this moment feeling caught between the concrete and practical on the one hand and on the other the mystic reaches and cosmic spaces behind and beyond your conscious mind. You are learning to see the universe around you with new eyes, and as you do so that universe changes and your response as well, so that you find yourself being and participating in the world in a new way through this alteration in vision. This summer is what you have been waiting for and working up to for your whole life up to now, so make the most of it. What is difficult can be resolved over the course of time, while what is easy in your current situation will provide lasting pleasure. Everything changes a year from now, in the summer of 2011, and until then there are many lessons to absorb and from which to profit. The week beginning with the First Quarter Moon of Monday, August 16th, and including the retrograde of Mercury that begins on Friday, August 20th, will be particularly dramatic. You are in some important sense reinventing yourself throughout this monthly period, and finding new inspiration in the simplest aspects of your daily life. The Full Moon that comes along on Tuesday, August 24th, puts the icing on the cake. Your creativity is high right now, and coming from a deeper place than ever before. All summer long, you have been building up your storehouse of wisdom for later use, and over this climactic summer you are getting closer and closer to knowing what to do with it.

Gemini Horoscope (May 21 - June 20)
Mutable Air. Your ruling planet is Mercury.

You are forging new ground in communication and in family connection, Gemini, all against the backdrop of major change that is ongoing in your life right now. You are on the evolutionary path, no question about it, and the beat is getting ever stronger during this climactic summer. All your creative energy is going toward the new horizon whose margin recedes in pace with your own movement forward, so that still greater surprises are constantly awaiting you around the next bend. In this context of adventures in awareness it is somehow a blessing to take some contemplative time off, which is what you might find yourself doing while your ruler Mercury retrogrades during the last third of August and on into September.

As the month begins, you are feeling both giddy with possibility, visions for future success still riding high, and also in a mood of sober reflection brought on by the entrance of Saturn into your identity sector. Although these ideas are antithetical you will find that you can entertain them both at the same time, especially if you take the largest possible picture into account. There is a way to be glad of your opportunities and yet also deadly serious about making them happen in concrete fashion. Your focus now is more and more on how you can be helpful to others in your relationships with them, with less concern with ego needs such as status, prestige and the accumulation of riches, and in that context your high-souring ideasl and your sense of responsible commitment merge. You are on an evolutionary journey these days into the heart and soul of the matter, so that the pressure for change becomes welcome rather than a burden, and the temptation to cling to the past also becomes less and less of a factor. With the New Moon of Monday, August 9th, you are blessed with fresh energy for your journey of discovery. There could be tensions that arise within you as you shuck off the way of the world and embrace your own inner knowing, but these are not so difficult provided you face your future with faith in the benevolence of the universe to sustain you. Intimate partnership is a healing influence on your life at this time, provided you avoid the implicit power struggles. The push-pull within your own set of agendas is very strong at this time, stemming from all the different associations that are all still important parts of your psyche, based on earlier conditioning, the expectations of others, and on your previous versus your current take on things. Creative energy is piling up like water on the upper side of a dam, and will be released only when you align your heart and mind with Spirit and with the higher consciousness that is struggling to emerge from deep within you. With the First Quarter Moon of Monday, August 16th, you might find a kink in the flow of your transformational thrust, as you encounter obstacles and are forced to reassess your progress. Then the Full Moon of Tuesday, August 24th, comes as a phase of culmination of your efforts. At this time you might feel like pulling back into your own internal world and reviewing what has been transpiring in this year so far. This is especially so with your ruler Mercury retrograding through your sector of core alignment to family and inner psyche. There is also the confusion to contend with that is ever-present when you attempt to rearrange your life according to your own unique viewpoint, irrespective of prevailing social conventions, and that is particularly true for you right now as you strive to get clear on your true priorities. Mercury retrogrades until September 12th and then is in its shadow period for another two weeks, so that for the remainder of the month and most of September is questionable for new initiatives, and remains better for reflection and consolidation of gains already made.

Cancer Horoscope (June 21 - July 22)
Cardinal Water. Your ruling planet is The Moon.

This is a vitally important time for you, Cancer, and one in which you are being stretched in several ways at once. Your presence in the world is vibrant and changeable, and yet somewhere you are also stuck. This is deep down inside, and perhaps also shows up in your familial and tribal connections. These different tendencies, to voyage out into the world, constantly exploring new things, and also at some level to remain crouching hermit-like within yourself, are at odds; there is no real resolution, other than to live through it. Finding the synthesis is possible but it takes courage and the shedding of old skin. The way down and the way up are one and the same, but you have to struggle to find their sameness right now.

As the month begins, you are seeking a better handle on your sense of security that in many important ways depends on nothing but your own initiative, and also reaching out in a new mode toward significant partners in your life. Since Saturn has entered your home and family sector since the last ten days of the previous month, this area holds increased importance for you. You might find yourself restructuring your commitments there. You are also driven back into yourself somewhat at this time, in-dwelling within the confines of your own mind and heart. Paradoxically, this inner focus comes in the context of a huge reaching out to the outer world that is indicated by the outer planet emphasis this summer on your sector of career and professional life. Since these two competing influences in your life are essentially antithetical, you are pulled in different directions and might feel more than a bit crazed right now as a result. It helps to breathe, and to remember that the universe has a plan, always, no matter how incomprehensible things might seem to be at the moment. It also helps to remember that whatever that plan might entail, you can only see a small part of it at any given moment. The New Moon that takes place on Monday, August 9th, brings fresh energy for your process and also highlights some of the conflicts inherent in your situation. You are attempting much, and some of it will prove to be possible. It is important that you do not become discouraged by setbacks now, since not everything that your heart desires will come to pass. Innovation and even startling shifts are likely happening with career and yet you are also very tempted to try holding on to what might no longer be working for you. You are a bit of a hermit right now, and yet circumstances require you to be social and to make yourself more available for publicly announced agendas. Even though difficult to pull off, a fusion between public and private concerns is worth trying for, since right action in the world stems from a blend of heart, mind and inner realities. The First Quarter Moon of Monday, August 16th, might put some of this thinking to the test. This juncture presents you with some of the most difficult moments in the process of integration that you are so actively engage in this month, and also joy in the possibility of synthesis. You are embracing a mystical perspective over this last half of the month. This is especially true since Mercury retrogrades through your communication sector from the 20th onward, encompassing most of September as well, so that outer forms of connection with others around yield to inner knowing. The Full Moon of Tuesday, August 24th emphasizes the more thoughtful and learning aspects of your situation, encouraging you to take a higher mind approach as paramount. Stepping back to align with Goddess or your higher Self really does present you with your best shot at getting through these firestorms unscathed.
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3678  Fun Zone / Clean Jokes / Rocket Scientist!! on: July 30, 2010, 05:22:22 PM
Rocket Scientist!!

Sometimes it DOES take a Rocket Scientist!! (true story)


Scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.
American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the American engineers.
When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot from a bow..
The horrified Yanks sent Rolls Royce the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the British scientists for suggestions.
  You're going to love this......

Rolls Royce responded with a one-line memo:   






"Defrost the

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3679  General Category / The Newsroom / British PM rules out return of the Kohinoor on: July 30, 2010, 02:55:07 PM
British PM rules out return of the Kohinoor

MUMBAI MIRROR, Jul 30, 2010,

NEW DELHI: British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is on a three-day visit to India, has clearly ruled out the return of the Kohinoor diamond to India, saying if such demands were agreed to, it would lead to empty rooms in British Museums.

"I know there is also a great argument about the original provenance of the Kohinoor diamond. I'm afraid this will disappoint viewers, but it's going to have to stay put," Cameron said in an interview to a news channel.

The issue about the fabled diamond , which was mined in the Deccan and is now part of the British crown jewels, had been raised by British MP of Indian origin Keith Vaz just before Cameron began his two-day visit to India.

Cameron, however, pointed out that the return of the diamond would set a precedent, which could lead to the emptying of museums in Britain.

"What tends to happen with these questions is that if you say yes to one, you suddenly find the British Museum will be emptied," he asserted.

Besides the Koh-i-Noor, other Indian treasures acquired by the UK include:


These limestone plaques once covered the façade of a "stupa" – a temple built to house Buddhist relics – in south-eastern India.


The Sultanganj Buddha, known as the Birmingham Buddha, is a 2.3m tall bronze statue of the caped deity that was discovered upside-down in a bricked-up cavity by British railway engineer E B Harris in northeast India in 1861.

From British P M 's statement it cld be inferred that most of the items in their Museums is brought (Can we say looted) from different countries and if all returned their Museums wld become Empty.
Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley
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3680  General Category / General Discussion / Howmany of us wld like to follow extravanza as Bill & Hillary Clinton on: July 30, 2010, 12:07:54 PM
Dear all

Pl visit following post and give yr honest opinion .


1.If U hv the money to spend would U like to follow the way Bill Clinton and his wife  Hillary Clinton spending (£3.2 MILLION) for their daughter's marrige which wld be during this week end (Tomorrow the saturday).

2.Even hving money wld U like to keep the function in a low profile and utilise the money to help others rather than spending so much money (Break fast,Lunch & Dinner) in one day.

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