Saturday, June 6, 2009

The story of coffee

A certain group of alumni, highly established in their careers, decided to get together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress at work and life.

Offering his former students coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:

"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups - enjoy your coffee!

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

Author Unknown

Math Wonders

Click on the next button to take you to the next slide. If better reading, you may want to try the full screen button below.

The Beauty of Mathematics connling
Credits: Diramar


Here is another true story of determination.

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even move.

"We told them so."
"Crazy men and their crazy dreams."
"It`s foolish to chase wild visions."

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever.

He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife's arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination and persistence.

The Brooklyn Bridge shattered all records for suspension bridges of the day. The Brooklyn Bridge was 500 feet longer than the previous record holder in Cincinnati, which was also designed by John Roebling. The Brooklyn Bridge handles 144,000 vehicles a day well into its second century of service to New York City.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Robbery and pardon

We typically do not read stories about robbery turning into tears and mercy. Here is one.

In Long Island, New York this past week, a masked man entered a deli store with a baseball bat and demanded money.

The owner of the store pulled out an empty gun at the masked man. Soon, the masked man went down on his knees and asked for forgiveness and said he did not have money to feed his family. The store owner gave the man $40, and is not pressing any charges.

Credits: Edith Honan

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New wedding location

A new wedding location has just been created.

The balcony in the above picture is the 13th century Cappello family mansion - the one which is believed to be the scene of William Shakespeare's tragic Romeo and Juliet. This balcony is supposedly that of Juliet's.

The city of Verona, Italy last monday opened this balcony as a venue for weddings. The cost for holding wedding at this venue for non-european citizens is 900 euros, while european couples pay 700 euros. People are willing to pay that price, though.

Hurricane Season 2009

On Jun 1st, this year's atlantic hurricane season officially began. It ends on Nov 30th. People are now paying closer attention to these hurricanes after the devastation by hurricane Katrina in 2005.

This year, we are supposed to receive 11 tropical storms including 5 hurricanes. Two of these hurricanes are expected to develop into major storms of category 3 or higher with winds above 110 MPH. The forecasters expect a 48% chance of a major hurricane hitting the US coast.

This year is supposed to be a quiter year compared to last year, where we saw 16 tropical storms including 8 hurricanes.

Click here to learn more.

Credits: Colorado State University Forecast Team


From now on, I am going to label each posting so that it'll be easy fo us to search similar postings under a specific category.

The labels I can think of are, Announcement, Notes, News, True story, Humor, Inspirational, Bible Story, Views, etc.

For instance, this posting is going to be labeled under Announcement.

Celeb news

Here is some celebrity news you could use, while talking to your peers.

According to the Forbes magazine, Actress Angelina Joline overtook Oprah Winfrey as the most powerful celebrity. The ranking is based on income over past 12 months, web references, press clippings, broadcast mentions, and major magazine covers devoted to teh celebrity.

Angelina earned $27 Million while at # 2, Oprah earned $275 Million. Others in the top five were Madonna, Beyonce, Tiger Wood, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Spielberg.

President Obama made it to the list as # 49 - the first sitting head of State to make it to the Forbes 100 celebrity list.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was "too crowded."

"I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School."

For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there...

A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents. Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide.

Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. Also, have a look at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday School time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history, which paved way for the institutions mentioned above. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds"

This is a true story.


Have you heard about the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program?

If you haven't, click here to learn more about the program.

What goes around comes around

Below is a true story.

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day,while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.

He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman.

"You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of.

"And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Here is the conclusion:
Someone once said: What goes around comes around. Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bedbugs are back

Ever heard about the phrase, "Good night, and don't let those bedbugs bite you". It used to be a very old phrase once, when bedbugs were common. Most Americans thought of bedbugs as a mystery. They were not to be seen in the United States since 1950's. In India, they were common until the 80's. DDT was the cure for them.

Now they are back. They are tiny brownish flattened insects that feed exclusively on the blood of animals and humans. Their bites may cause itchy red swellings. You could contact them at hotels, cruises, hospitals, etc.

The above image shows infections across the United States. There is a registry that keeps track of bedbug infestation. Be sure to check the registry before you check into any hotel this summer. Bedbugs do not appear just at cheap hotels. They are very much present at the expensive hotels as well. Click here for the registry to check infestations at hotels as well as in your locality.

Interested in reading more - click here to read a recent report on bedbugs from Harvard University.

Image credit: Bedbug registry


Due to summer holidays, and impromptu schedule, I will be unable to post regularly on this site during the months of June and July.

My schedule will become normal again in August, once school starts.

Enjoy your summer.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun in water

The pollen season is finally over, and here comes the swimsuit season.

People are heading to the water in large numbers. According to the Gaisville Times, lake lanier is expecting lots of boats this summer- somewhere in the range of over 40,000. People have been waiting impatiently the past two years to get their boats out; few of my friends said they started scraping their boats with the intention of getting it into lake lanier. It's time when folks are pulling out their swim suits and trying them on as well. Two concerns people have in general is their shape and color.

A record number of people are signing up for weight loss programs, and buying those pills that magically work while you sleep. The amount of weight loss companies and advertisements have sky rocketed recently; so has the number of legal claims against such products and services. There is too much information on weight loss around us, which can easily confuse you. The safest and proven method is diet and exercise. Watch what you eat, and how much you eat.

Before heading to the water, a large number of people are working on their tan. The most popular tanning method these days is by going under the spray gun. Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA is the active ingredient in spray tans. Such tans can last for a period of ten days, and can cost anywhere from $25 to $50, depending on where you go. There was as study published that DHA was toxic to skin, but the Food and Drug administration (FDA) has not confirmed it. FDA recommends DHA only for external use and advises against inhaling the mist or getting it into the eyes, nose or ears. Fake tans do not stimulate production of the protective pigment melanin, and they offer almost no protection against sunburn. So, it will be a good idea to put on your sun screen lotion too. Check with your parents if you really need a tan. For most of us from the Indian sub continent, we could get away without going under the spray gun.

If you are not very well versed with swimming, admit it. Let your group know that in advance, and be ready with those gears.

Have fun in the water, and be safe.

BOA Scam

I got this email that 'looks' quite authentic. In reality, it is a phishing website If I click the link and go ahead, I am turning in my bank information to the phishers.

A while ago, I had posted an educational link on phishing and how to identify phishing web sites. By learning those tips there, it helped me identify this was a phishing trick. Soon I did a quick check and found out this was a new scam. Apparently, the authorities cannot do anything about this. It's our responsiblity to be careful.

For those interested, click here to learn how to avoid phishing.