Saturday, August 8, 2009

Right now

Right now:

-somebody is very proud of you.
-somebody is thinking of you.
-somebody is caring about you.
-somebody misses you.
-somebody wants to talk to you.
-somebody wants to be with you.
-somebody hopes you aren't in trouble.
-somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
-somebody wants to hold your hand.
-somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
-somebody wants you to be happy.
-somebody wants you to find him/her.
-somebody is celebrating your successes.
-somebody wants to give you a gift.
-somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
-somebody hopes you're not too cold, or too hot.
-somebody wants to hug you.
-somebody loves you.
-somebody admires your strength.
-somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
-somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
-somebody wants to go out with you and have a lot of fun.
-somebody thinks the world of you.
-somebody wants to protect you.
-somebody would do anything for you.
-somebody wants to be forgiven.
-somebody is grateful for your forgiveness.
-somebody wants to laugh with you.
-somebody remembers you and wishes that you were there.
-somebody is praising God for you.
-somebody needs to know that your love is unconditional.
-somebody values your advice.
-somebody wants to tell you how much they care.
-somebody wants to share their dreams with you.
-somebody wants to hold you in their arms.
-somebody wants YOU to hold them in your arms.
-somebody treasures your spirit.
-somebody wishes they could STOP time because of you.
-somebody praises God for your friendship and love.
-somebody can't wait to see you.
-somebody loves you for who you are.
-somebody loves the way you make them feel.
-somebody wants to be with you.
-somebody wants you to know they are there for you.
-somebody's glad that you're his/her best friend.
-somebody wants to be your friend.
-somebody stayed up all night thinking about you.
-somebody is alive because of you.
-somebody is wishing that you noticed him/her.
-somebody wants to get to know you better.
-somebody wants to be near you.
-somebody misses your advice/guidance.
-somebody has faith in you.
-somebody trusts you.
-somebody needs you to send them a letter.
-somebody needs your support.
-somebody needs you to have faith in them.
-somebody will cry when they read this.
-somebody needs you to let them be your friend.
-somebody hears a song that reminds them of you.

Credits: Kathy Ross

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bride Train




All of us have seen brides stretching their bride train behind them, while walking down the aisle. I have even wondered how these girls handle such long garments. Not anymore - until I read about a chinese bride setting the world record for her bride train length.

Her bride train stretched 2 kms (1.24 miles) long. It took 3 months to finish the bride train. With 9,999 silk roses attached to it, and 200 wedding guests assisting her, it took over 3 hours just to roll it out.

This idea occured to the bridegroom, Mr. Zhao, when he heard about a previous record of 1.5 km bride train in Romania. He and his family stiched their 2 km long bride train and set the record. Mr. Zhao did not stop just at the bride train. After having tied the knot, he cut the dress exactly down to 1,984.1022m, to represent his bride's date of birth, and added 608 crystals, one for every day they had dated.

The wedding dress cost him approximately $5,800. Mr. Zhao's mom thinks it was a waste of money, but agrees it is a way of showing love to his bride.

Praying Hands

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, Germany, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen!

In order merely to keep food on the table for this big family, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighbourhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder's children, Albrecht Durer and Albert, had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by labouring in the mines.

They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honoured position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfil his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no ...no ...no."

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."

Nearly 500 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver point sketches, water-colours, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Skills to work on

Based on a research conducted at the University of Illinois, high school students who had good social skills and work habits, who participated in extra curricular activities while at high school, were more successful in their later lives, both financially as well as completed higher levels of education, compared to their peers who scored the same on standardized test and were less active socially and participated in fewer extra curricular activities.

Soft skills such as sociability, punctuality, conscientiousness and the ability to get along well with others are equally important as GPA's. Employers are looking for not just academic qualifications, but for a well rounded individual.

In a related section, a study conducted in Wisconsin indicates that, popular students at the school earn more in their later lives, compared to their peers.

A study by researchers from the University of Miami Health Economics Research Group found out that 'physical attractiveness', 'personality' and 'grooming' had an effect on students' GPA in high school. The more careful a student was on those fronts, the better their GPA's were too. Grooming was key for boys, while personality traits improved the scores for girls.

In yet another section, there was a study published in Australia which did a comparison between height and wages. According to their study, taller people are perceived to be more intelligent and powerful, thereby earning more. The researchers even came up with estimates that with every 5 centimeters of additional height, the individual is worth $950 more per annum.

Summing up all these, apart from doing your regular studies, take part in extra curricular activites, be known socially, be punctual, get along well with others, take care of your appearence and grow taller!!

Credits: Science daily

Frog talk

A group of frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All of the other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions. When they saw how deep the pit was, the rest of the dismayed group agreed that it was hopeless and told the two frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate, because they were as good as dead.

Unwilling to accept this terrible fate, the two frogs began to jump with all of their might. Some of the frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless, and that the two frogs wouldn't be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible.

The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead. The two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could, and after several hours of desperate effort were quite weary.

Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellows. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit, and died as the others looked on in helpless grief. The other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted.

His companions began a new, yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and - wonder of wonders! Finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit. Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then gathering around him asked, "Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?" Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf, and that when he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.

This simple Frog story contains a powerful lesson. Your encouraging or positive words can lift someone up and help him or her make it through the day. Your destructive or negative words can cause deep wounds; they may be the weapons that destroy someone's desire to continue trying - or even their life. Your destructive, careless word can diminish someone in the eyes of others, destroy their influence and have a lasting impact on the way others respond to them.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blessing - to give than receive


A young man, a student in one of our universities, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students’ friend, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions. As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day’s work.

The student turned to the professor, saying: “Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them.”

“My young friend,” answered the professor, “we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of the poor man. Put a coin into each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how the discovery affects him.”

The student did so, and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes. While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes; but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it round, and looked at it again and again. He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin. His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom the timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing.

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the professor, “are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?”

The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of those words, which I never understood before: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Bus, Train and Airplane





While in India, we are used to seeing people traveling on top of buses and trains.

Last May, Air India allowed three extra passengers on a full flight; one woman was asked to sit in the cockpit's jump seat, while other two were seated on those foldable seats meant for cabin crew. The incident of safety violoation and weight imbalance was discovered only when the aircraft's door was damaged (due to other reasons) and all passengers had to be offloaded by civil aviation officials. No mention was made about where the flight attendents were, during take-off and landing.

Comparing the Air India flight to several Indian trains, and busess, those passengers were physically inside, and not hanging outside on the aircraft wings :-)

People have told me in the past, on the Air India's Mumbai - New York flight, they have had passengers sitting on the floor, but those incidents were never *reported*.

Note that few years ago, Air India lost the title "world's worst airline' by a narrow margin.

Click here to read the complete news.


Credits: IBN Live


Wealth, Success and Love

A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.

"No", she replied. "He's out."

"Then we cannot come in", they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.

"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"

The woman went out and invited the men in.

"We do not go into a House together," they replied.

"Why is that?" she asked.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home?"

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"

Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife.

"Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the three old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."

Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two old men also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!"

Credits: Stories for teenagers

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Communifaking

Heard of the word communifaking?

Communifaking is the act of pretending to be talking, surfing or texting on the phone, when in reality you are not communicating with anyone at all.

British researchers indicates this sort of conversation is used extensively by younger people, with 74 percent of teenagers admitting to communifaking.

Researchers said 42 percent of women and 32 percent of men admitted that, yes, they fake phone calls. Women do it when they are alone, and want to protect themselves. "Mom, I am running a little late after my karate class. Thank God, you made dinner."

Communifaking is used most commonly while people are waiting for friends, the survey indicated. But avoiding a conversation with someone was second. Others do communifaking to show off, such as, "Honey, just wanted to let you know, Barack and Michelle are coming over tonight. Shall we get them to our penthouse or yatch? Ok, fine; let Steve get our private jet."

The most embarassing moment is when you are communifaking and your cell phone rings - indicating an incoming call.

UCLA Slang 6


Last week, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) published the the latest slang words used by undergraduate students. It's called the 'U.C.L.A. Slang 6'.

This dictionary of college slang was compiled by a team of ten students under the direction of Prof. Pamela Munro. They publish a new version once every 4 years. Work began back in 1989. Undergrads are so familiar with them, they certainly surprise their mom and dad when they utter these words.

Few words that are noteworthy:

Shwa: wow
presh: cute or precious
epic fail: what a mistake
napster: to interrupt
mija: female friend
QQ: used while texting to indicate the verb 'to cry'
destroy: to do well on (something like) a test
'Sisters from another mister' & 'brothers from another mother': friends so close they seem like siblings

As far as initialism goes,
fomo: fear of missing out
I.D.K: I don't know
UCLA: Under Construction Like Always.
University of Southern California is their cross town rival, and hence USC: University of Spoiled Children.

The most popular addition to the dictionary is the word 'Obama'- meaning cool or rad. The word cool is already there in the dictionary. Students use phrases such as, "You just aced the test. You are so Obama!!"

Click here to read about the News Release.

Credits: UCLA

Beautiful heart

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.

A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect.

There was not a mark or a flaw in it.

Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen.

The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine."

The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly ... but full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in ... but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges.

In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.

The people starred ... how could he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?

The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine ... mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."

"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking ... but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love ..... I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them ... and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart ... but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared.

Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away ... and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges ... giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too ... and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands.

The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart.

It fit .... but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.

They embraced and walked away side by side.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Like father

Reverend Bob Stamps is a delightful man with a good sense of humour. He is also bald. One night Bob and his wife decided to go out to dinner. So they hired a babysitter to take care of their little children.

While they were gone, the babysitter got interested in a television program and wasn't watching the children very carefully. Their little boy Peter, got into his father's electric shaver and shaved a big landing strip right down the middle of his head. When Bob came home, he was furious. He said, "Peter! I told you never to play with my shaver. Now you are going to get a spanking that you will never forget!"

He was just about to administer that spanking when Peter looked up at him and said, "Wait until you see sister!" Bob said that he and his wife were horrified when they went into the next room and saw their little four-year-old daughter with all of the hair shaved off of her head. She looked like a little skinned rabbit.

By this time, Bob was really furious. He grabbed up Peter and said, "Now you are really going to get it." Just as he lifted his hand and started to bring it down, Peter looked up at him with tears in his eyes and said, "But Daddy! WE WERE JUST TRYING TO LOOK LIKE YOU!" There was one little boy who didn't get a spanking that night. Instead he got an explanation and a hug.

Think: don't we all want to grow up, and become like someone we admire?

Credits: Eight Habits of Highly Effective Families

Reflecting light

A story is told by Robert Fulghum, a Unitarian minister, about a seminar he once attended in Greece.

On the last day of the conference, the discussion leader walked over to the bright light of an open window and looked out. Then he asked if there were any questions. Fulghum laughingly asked him what was the meaning of life. Everyone in attendance laughed and stirred to leave.

However, the leader held up his hand to ask for silence and then responded "I will answer your question." He took his wallet out of his pocket and removed a small round mirror about the size of a quarter. Then he explained "When I was a small child during World War II, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village. One day on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror.

A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place. I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone, I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun could never shine. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places that I could find. I kept the little mirror, and as I grew up, I would take it out at idle moments and continue the challenge of the game.

As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child's game, but a metaphor of what I could do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of the light. But light - be it truth or understanding or knowledge - is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it. I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have, I can reflect light into the dark places of this world - into the dark places of human hearts - and change some things in some people. Perhaps others seeing it happen will do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Attending church

A pastor heard that one of his parishioners was going about announcing to one and all, that he would no longer attend church services. This rebellious parishioner was advancing the familiar argument that he could communicate with God just as easily out in the fields with nature as his setting for worship.

One winter evening, the pastor called on this reluctant member of his flock for a friendly visit. The two men sat before the fireplace making small talk, but studiously avoiding the issue of church attendance. After a while, the pastor took the tongs from the rack next to the fireplace and pulled a single coal from the fire. He placed the glowing ember on the hearth. As the two watched in silence, the coal quickly ceased burning and turned an ashen gray, while the other coals in the fire continued to burn brightly.

The pastor's silent message was not lost on the parishioner. After a long pause, he turned to the pastor and said "I'll be back at services next Sunday."

Credits: The Sower's Seeds, Brian Cavanaugh

Sunday school reopens

Our Sunday school will be reopening on August 16th for the year 2009 - 2010.

Regular classes will be held from that day onwards.

I shall post further updates when they become available.