Saturday, November 14, 2009

OT Reading Nov 15

Our class has been assigned the task of reading Old Testament during Holy Qurbana.  Every student will get a chance to read it once.  Since I was told this after our last class, in a teacher's meeting, I am communicating it via this media.

For this Sunday, I am going to ask Amal Punnoose to do the reading.

We have a Bala balika samajam this Sunday for odd numbered classes.  So, please stay after it and we will go over the various steps of reading the Old Testament. I want to cover things like how to prepare, how to practice, how to read, and how to present.

The first and foremost thing to remember is to follow the New International Version of Bible.
Secondly, you need to arrive by 8:30 AM on the Sunday your reading is scheduled.  I want you to come and tell me that you are ready the morning of that day.

The portions for this Sunday are:

Genesis 17: 15-22
Numbers 8: 13-20
I Samuel 1: 9-17
Isaiah 41: 8-15

Sample Exam

In our last class, we talked about coming up with a format for our exam.  Here is a sample exam for you to look at.  This is the kind of exam we should have at Sunday school, and not the multiple choice answers.  Take a look at this.  How about we make it an open book test, where you may use the Bible, Ruler, Calculator, and even write a computer program to solve it.

Show all work.
No praying during the exam.
Time limit is 30 minutes

The speed of light is c.
For all problems, assume a perfectly spherical Jesus of constant density D.
Time is t.

1. (25 pts.) Bob and Joe are standing on a street corner. God loves each an equal amount. Bob then accelerates to 0.9c. In Joe’s rest frame, how much does God now love Bob?

2. (25 pts.) Let the eternal, all abiding love of the Holy Spirit be the xy plane. Let Sue’s soul be at (0,0,5) at t = 0 sec., traveling at 5 m/s in the direction of the positive z axis. Everything is in Cartesian coordinates bespeaking subscription to a perfectly rational Enlightenment attitude towards the Universe. At what time t will Sue be saved? (Hint: Assume a point soul.)

3. (25 pts.) Assume the Rapture occurs at time t. Cornelia, a saved human weighing 90 kg, in a state of grace, has her head in the closing jaws of an alligator at time t. What mass of meat will remain to the alligator at time t + 10 sec.?

4. (25 pts.) Stan is a frictionless, massless orthodox in a rest state. His sin level for his faith is currently 11 McBeals. He eats 0.3 kg of pork, and enjoys it very much. Assume that the Jews are right about, well, pretty much everything. What is Stan’s sin level now?

5. Extra Credit (10 pts): 25 grams of wafers and 20 ml of cheap wine undergo transubstantiation and become the flesh and blood of our Lord. How many Joules of heat are released by the transformation?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Paraskevidekatriaphobia = The fear of friday the 13th.

"Paraskevi" which means Friday,
"dekatria" which means Thirteen and
"phobia" meaning fear.

The fear of Friday the 13th stems from two separate fears - the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays. Both fears have deep roots in Western culture, most notably in Christian theology.

Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.  The story of the Last Supper led to one of the most entrenched 13-related beliefs: You should never sit down to a meal in a group of 13.

Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Additionally, Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday. In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, fearing they would be doomed from the start.

Some historians suggest the Christian distrust of Fridays is actually linked to the early Catholic Church's overall suppression of pagan religions and women. In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love. When Norsemen adapted the calendar, they named the day after Frigg, or Freya, Norse goddesses connected to love and sex. Both of these strong female figures once posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity, the theory goes, so the Christian church vilified the day named after them.

This characterization may also have played a part in the fear of the number 13. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. A similar Christian legend holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil.

The number 13 could also have been considered pagan because there are 13 months in the pagan lunar calendar. The Christian perspective on Friday and 13 is the most relevant today, but it's only one part of the Friday the 13th tradition.

People learn at a young age that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky, for whatever reason, and then they look for evidence that the legend is true. If you're looking for bad luck on Friday the 13th, you'll probably find it.

To be discussed in our next class: Do you believe in superstitions?  Given a chance to start something new on Friday the 13th, say, getting married, start a new job, start working on an important project, etc., would you do it?

Few common cures for Paraskevidekatriaphobia:
1. Walk around your house 13 times on Friday the 13th, with your mouth full of water.
2. Sleep with a mirror under your pillow for the first 3 Fridays before Friday the 13th arrives (too late now).
3. Dream of your true love on Friday the 13th.
4. Wear and/or eat garlic.

Credits: How stuff works

Excuse for driving fast

A man bought a new Mercedes convertible and was out on the interstate for a nice evening drive.

The top was down, the breeze was blowing through his hair and he decided to go faster. As the needle jumped up to 80 mph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him.

"There's no way they can catch a Mercedes," he thought to himself and opened her up further. The needle hit 90, 100.....Then the reality of the situation hit him. "What am I doing?" he thought and pulled over.

The cop came up to him, took his license without a word and examined it and the car.

"It's been a long hard day, this is the end of my shift and today is Friday the 13th. I don't feel like more paperwork, I don't need the frustration or the overtime, so if you can give me a really good excuse for your driving that I haven't heard before, you can go free without a ticket."

The guy thinks about it for a minute and says, "Last week my nagging wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were that cop trying to give her back!"

"Have a nice weekend," said the officer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Facebook tips

This article appeared on CNN today  Thought of sharing with you all, since most of you have a Facebook presence.

(CNN) -- With more than 300 million active users, Facebook has come a long way from its roots as a way for Harvard students to keep in touch.

Teens, grandmas, musicians and politicians have all joined those early college students, making the social-networking hub one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the Internet.
But for some users, the site's popularity -- and the periodic tinkering with "the old Facebook" -- means growing pains, too.

More friends means more people to spam up your news feed with links, photos and update boxes from the applications they use. Sure, you're happy to be in touch with Aunt Ethel -- but do you really need to know who she just murdered in Mafia Wars or which member of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials she is? (Yes, that's a real quiz.)

And then there are the changes. Last month's switch to two distinct feeds -- a "live feed" offering constant updates and a "news feed" featuring what Facebook considers highlights from your friends' activities -- still has some users baffled.

"Like you, we know it can be disruptive when things are moved around, but we hope that these changes make Facebook a more valuable experience for you," wrote Raylene Yung, a blogger for the site. "We put a lot of thought into all the changes we make to the site and do a lot of testing before releasing anything."
Many users are warming to the changes. But in the days that followed the switch, others were confused, or worse.

"I personally think facebook shouldnt [sic] have changed our news feed," one user wrote in reply to the blog post. "Why do we only get to see what fb 'thinks' we'll enjoy. Half the stuff on my live feed and news feed is stuff I dont care for. I really dont care who is friends with who and who is a fan of what."
And this from another: "I hate the new home page. The live feed has too much content, and the news feed has too little content."

Those switches also mean that more details about your activities are being broadcast to your network. Just became friends with someone? Joined a group? Commented on a discussion board? Your friends get alerts about all that.

Some friends also may have slipped off your e-radar. If you have more than 250 friends, Facebook decides which of them you really want in your feed and which you don't.

A spokeswoman told CNN the site chooses the 250 based on several factors, including who the user interacts with the most. "This 250 default limit is an attempt to show users engaging content without overwhelming them with updates from people they don't interact with on a daily basis," she said.

But the good news is that Facebook makes it possible to change just about all of those settings, and to do some basic retooling to increase privacy and get rid of annoyances.

In the attached tutorial, we outline a few fixes that will help you customize your Facebook page and improve your social-networking experience.

Click here for the original news article on CNN.  Feel free to forward this to others you deem helpful.

Credits: CNN

From the hospital charts

These are from hospital charts.  

1. The patient refused an autopsy.

2. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

3. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

4. On the second day, the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.

5. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

6. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

7. Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

8. Healthy-appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

9. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

10. She is numb from her toes down.


Dust if you must but wouldn’t it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

10 Most Expensive Weddings

Top 10 Most Expensive Weddings in the World.

Wedding ceremony is usually accompanied by a grand feast, a number of guests, a musical pageant and a spectacular arrangement. For the millionaires and billionaires, it is a lavish and luxurious pageantry with a lot of extravagance and flamboyance. Here is a brief glimpse of the world’s ten most expensive weddings.    

1. Most Expensive Wedding in History sheer elegance and extravagance of the wedding of Vanisha Mittal, steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal’s daughter has made it the grandest of wedding extravaganzas in the Forbes list of “Billionaire Weddings”. 1000 high profiled guests from across the globe were entertained at a five-star Paris hotel during the five-day long celebration at the most famous settings of France. A performance by Kylie Minogue pop singer was the attraction of this $60 million event.  

2. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - The glittering wedding ceremony of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the ruler of Dubai and Princess Salama in 1981 at a whopping cost of $ 44.5 million earned a place in the Forbes list of “Billionaire Weddings”. A sprawling stadium was built to entertain 20,000 invitees for the seven-day long celebration amidst luxuries.  

3. Vikram Chatwal , son of a New York hotel magnet Sant Singh Chatwal tied his knot with Priya Sachdev, a model-cum-actress amidst pomp and grandeur that made it the most luxurious wedding of India. The ceremony was graced with the presence of high profile personalities including Bill Clinton, Manmohon Singh and Naomi Campbell. Everything from setting to guests, ambience to entertainment in the Chatwal wedding was an awesome extravagance.    

4. Donald Trump - The lavish wedding of Donald Trump and Melania Krauss at Palm Beach, Florida was in news round the year of 2005 for its sheer opulence and flamboyance. Adding charms to this extravaganza was the graceful presence of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Shaquille O’Neal and Rudolph Giuliani. The glaring features of the wedding included 45 chefs, 10,000 flowers and a 200-1b marnier cake. Tony Bennett and Billy Joel gave live performances to entertain the guests.    

5. Miss Yugoslavia Aleksandra Kokotovic The pompous and ostentatious wedding of Andrei Melnichenko Russian billionaire and Miss Yugoslavia Aleksandra Kokotovich, Serbian model at Cote D’Azur, France in 2005 added a chapter to the history of world famous wedding ceremonies. Performances by Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston were the most appealing attribute of the lavish ceremony.

6. Delphine Arnault  - The marvelous and magnificent wedding of Delphine, daughter of Bernard Arnault LVMH boss ‘pope of fashion’ in France was esteemed by Harper’s Bazaar magazine as the wedding of the year, 2005. The wedding venue was decorated with 5,000 white roses and the bride was adorned in a sumptuous gown designed by John Galliano. Invitees at the Arnault party included Karl Lagerfeld and Elizabeth Hurley.        

7. Liza Minelli  - The fabulous and flamboyant wedding of Liza Minelli and David Gest at Manhattan’s Collegiate Church in 2002 was the over-the-top event that is to be memorized by its guests. Among 850 wedding guests, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson were the mighty presence in the wedding party. Natalie Cole made all swing by singing “Unforgettable”. Cutting a grand 6-foot, 12-tier cake kicked off the celebration. About 500 staffs were hired to serve the guests. The extravagance of the wedding included $700,000 for flowers and $40, 000 for wedding cake.      

8. Paul McCartney - The $3 million wedding ceremony of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills in 2001 was accompanied by a grand feast, a marvelous pageant and a dazzling firework. An Indian themed reception and a performance by dancers clad in traditional India dress were held in honor to the couple. They passed their first night on a $20 million yacht for $ 19,000.  

9. Elizabeth Hurley & Arun Nayar  There was no end to the glamour and grandeur in the wedding ceremony of Arun Nayar and Elizabeth Hurley in 2007. The festivity lasted for eight days across two continents – Europe and Asia. The ceremony made its way from the Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, Britain to Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. The couple’s accommodation at the palace suite cost $10,000 a night.

10. Wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes  at Italy’s 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in 2006 was a stunning spectacle with a lot of flamboyance. Giorgio Armanai had designed sumptuous apparels for the entire bridal party. A musical performance by Andrea Boccelli enlivened the party in reception of the couple. This $2 million extravaganza deserves to be enlisted by Forbes as one of the grand and gigantic weddings.

Credits: newluxuryitems

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marriage poem

Here is a famous marriage poem by Wendell Berry, called 'the country of marriage'.

The Country of Marriage


I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
of birds opening around you as you walk.
You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.


This comes after silence. Was it something I said
that bound me to you, some mere promise
or, worse, the fear of loneliness and death?
A man lost in the woods in the dark, I stood
still and said nothing. And then there rose in me,
like the earth's empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.


Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.


How many times have I come to you out of my head
with joy, if ever a man was,
for to approach you I have given up the light
and all directions. I come to you
lost, wholly trusting as a man who goes
into the forest unarmed. It is as though I descend
slowly earthward out of the air. I rest in peace
in you, when I arrive at last.


Our bond is no little economy based on the exchange
of my love and work for yours, so much for so much
of an expendable fund. We don't know what its limits are--
that puts us in the dark. We are more together
than we know, how else could we keep on discovering
we are more together than we thought?
You are the known way leading always to the unknown,
and you are the known place to which the unknown is always
leading me back. More blessed in you than I know,
I possess nothing worthy to give you, nothing
not belittled by my saying that I possess it.
Even an hour of love is a moral predicament, a blessing
a man may be hard up to be worthy of. He can only
accept it, as a plant accepts from all the bounty of the light
enough to live, and then accepts the dark,
passing unencumbered back to the earth, as I
have fallen tine and again from the great strength
of my desire, helpless, into your arms.


What I am learning to give you is my death
to set you free of me, and me from myself
into the dark and the new light. Like the water
of a deep stream, love is always too much. We
did not make it. Though we drink till we burst
we cannot have it all, or want it all.
In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill, and sleep, while it
flows through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us, except we keep returning
to its rich waters thirsty. We enter,
willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.


I give you what is unbounded, passing from dark to dark,
containing darkness: a night of rain, an early morning.
I give you the life I have let live for the love of you:
a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road,
the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life
that we have planted in the ground, as I
have planted mine in you. I give you my love for all
beautiful and honest women that you gather to yourself
again and again, and satisfy--and this poem,
no more mine than any man's who has loved a woman.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Counseling on marriage

A husband and wife came for counseling after 15 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the 15 years they had been married. She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of un-met needs she had endured over the course of their marriage.

Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately. The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze.

The therapist turned to the husband and said, “Listen to me!! This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?”

The husband thought for a moment and replied, “Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I fish.”

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parumala Perunnall Today

We are observing the feast of Parumala Thirumeni today.  Let's talk about it briefly today in class.

I shall post rest of the updates later today