Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cold Valentines Day

I had a quick glance at tomorrow's temperatures and it's going to be a cold Valentine's Day.  

There may be icy patches in the parking lot, on the steps and surrounding areas.  Be careful not to slip and fall.  Pick your shoes/slippers for tomorrow accordingly.  

If you are one of the early arrivals at church, be advised that the heater inside our sanctuary will not be turned on until 8 AM, and it takes a while to warm up nearly 10,000 sq ft space.  

The Sunday school class room is going to be cold as well.  Hopefully somebody responsible will turn on the Sunday school heater in advance.  

Bundle up with warm clothes.  The temperature for tomorrow in our church zip code (30087) is as below: 

6 am 27°F
7 am 28°F
8 am 30°F
9 am 34°F
10 am 37°F
11 am 40°F
12 pm 42°F
1 pm 44°F
2 pm 45°F
3 pm 46°F

And there is one inch of snow in the forecast for Sunday night.  

The latest buzz

Hope you have stared playing around with Google buzz.  There have been some talks and discussion about the privacy factor of Buzz.  Knowing Google, they should solve this pretty soon.  To make Buzz more efficient, you should set up 'multiple inboxes.' Google buzz understands some very basic text markup language. That means you can spice up your text entries on Buzz by using bold text, italics and strikethroughs. Here's what you do:

Make your text bold by placing an asterisk at each end of your word or sentence*.

_Using underscores at each end will italicize this Buzz comment_.

-Use a dash at each end for a strikethrough-

For an em--dash, just place two hyphens side--by--side

Watch this intro video on Buzz.

This video explains how to buzz using mobile devices.  Unfortunately, Buzz does not support BlackBerry devices at this time.

Google is still receiving lots of suggestions and they are redoing and modifying the buzz experience.  If I see something important, I shall post it here.

1. Formatting

Buzz doesn’t have any WYSIWYG editor built in, but it does allow some basic formatting. Currently, we’ve discovered three different formatting options: bold, italic, and strike-through. If you find any more, please place them in the comments.
To make something bold, simply enclosing it with asterisks (*) Ex: “This is *bold*!” will become “This is bold!” In the same way, if you’d like to italicize something use the underscore (_). Ex: “This is _very important_” becomes “This is very important.” (Be careful, though, because on IRC chats, the underscore is reserved for underlining and italic is actually “/”.)
Edit: We mentioned strike-through, but didn’t say how to do it! Strike-through works in the same way, but with the dash (-). Ex: “I am really -sad- happy” becomes “I am really 
Sometimes you want to display the asterisks without formatting, so how do we do that? Simply make sure you have the symbol surrounded by spaces. Ex: “This is _ not italic _ and this is * not bold * and now I am – still – happy.”

2. Post from SMS

Buzz allows you to submit posts by sending email to (Your phone must be setup to send email from your Buzz-enabled Gmail account, though.) You can even send attachments like images. I’m not quite sure about other attachments though. If you find some hidden attachment functionality, please let us know in the comments!
Note that the email functionality only takes the subject and theattachments. The body of the email is completely ignored (Seriously Google, why?).
3. Hide/Remove Google Buzz Updates from your email.

Buzz is setup so you can easily notify someone of a status you think they should see using the @reply functionality. A buzz will show up in your inbox if someone “@replies” you. If you don’t want to receive any buzz in your Gmail inbox or the “Mute” button just isn’t doing enough for you, you can use Gmail’s filter functionality to direct the Buzz elsewhere. The Gmail query for this filter is label:buzz or is:buzz.
There’s two things you can do here: (1) have buzz alerts skip the inbox and you never have to see them again (seen in the screenshot above), or (2) direct all the buzz notifications into a special label (which is what I’m doing) so that you still get notified when your friends want to show you something, but it’s out of your inbox which, for some, is a “working” place.
4. Turn OFF Buzz:

Sometimes, you need to leave the world outside. Just look for the small “turn off buzz” link at the bottom of your Gmail window (right before the copyright line).

5. Indicate and notify the commenter you’re replying to

Let’s say you want to reply to a commenter in your buzz post. You probably want to accomplish two things: (1) identify the commenter and (2) notify them. The @reply function gives us this option, even when users are not in your contact list, but it can be tricky because you have to know their email address.
Here goes: Click the button to start writing your comment. Hover over the user’s name to see the link. You should see their username at the end of the URL, right before “#buzz” (If you see a bunch of numbers, this unfortunately won’t work because they’re hiding their username). Start typing out their username and follow it with “”. Type out your reply and post it. If you typed it correctly, the “” should morph into their name, linked to their profile. Ex: “” will change to “Nathan Brauer“. And the user will be notified of the new comment.

6. Access Buzz before it’s enabled for your account

If Google hasn’t enabled buzz for your account yet, you can get a sneak peak by turning on Multiple Inboxes in Gmail Labs and set is:buzz in one of the empty panes. Bam! Now you’re buzzed! Sorry this doesn’t work for Google Apps yet, but I’d assume that once they start to add it to Apps, you will be the first to know!
(Also, Buzz on mobile devises is enabled for everyone, so you can spoof your user-agent so you can access it directly on the computer too.)

7. Retwee…err…Rebuzz?

While there is no “retweet” function for Buzz, you can simply copy the Public URL which is linked to in the time/date of the post and submit it in a new status update.
It’s worth noting that if the email method (mentioned above) accepted the body of the email as well, you’d be able to simply click the “Email” button at the bottom of the buzz post and email it to It even includes its Public URL and all the current comments of the post.

8. Geolocation

If you post from your location-aware phone, your location will automatically be added to your Buzz post. Access Buzz on your mobile phone via
9. Buzz Extension for Firefox

Buzz it! is an extension for Firefox that will make a buzz status update via Gmail with the link and title of the webpage you are viewing.
10. Extensions for Google Chrome

There are currently two extensions available for Chrome and both have completely different functionality. Also, both of these extensions require that you set up Google Reader to make it work, and connect Reader to Buzz.
Buzzer is a Chrome Extension which allows you to make updates to Google Buzz from Chrome. For it to work, you need to set up Google Reader and connect Reader to Buzz. This is currently the only Chrome extension which allows you to post to Buzz.
Chrome Buzz
Using Chrome Buzz, you can read your buzz without opening a new tab. Unfortunately, though, you can’t post or comment on anything.

11. Search Buzz

Want to find posts you’ve commented on? Click the “Buzz” tab and type “” into the search field and click “Search Buzz” (obviously, change “youremail” to …well, your email).
Want to see only pictures, videos, or links? Type has:image, has:video, or has:link in the same field.

12. Add a “Buzz it” widget to your blog

Have a blog? Increase your traffic by adding a simple Buzz widget. In your blog’s theme, simply use the following URL (replace the appropriate data).
After you post it, you’ll be redirected back to the post with the “close=1″ anchor appended to the URL allowing you to direct the user right back to where they clicked the link!
Click here to read the original article
Credits:, Google.  

Valentines day survey

The most romantic word in the world is the French word for love, "Amour", according to a pre-Valentine's Day survey. Italian word "amore" secured second place. The Italian and Sapanish words "Bellissima," for "very beautiful," secured third place while "tesoro," for "My treasure" came fourth.

Italian language was voted the world's most romantic language. French came in second, followed by Spanish and Engilsh in joint third place.

Note - the least romantic way to say 'I Love you' was Japanese "watakushi-wa anata-wo ai shimasu."

Class on Feb 14

For our next class, we are going to take a detour from our regular course.  We are going to learn some fundamental principles about Christianity, the Bible, and refresh all that you learned in Sunday school until last year.  Until then, we are going to put Project CARS on hold.

Valentines day trivia

Image: Venus and Cupid

Cupid, another symbol of Valentines Day, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards holding a bow and arrows because he is believed to use magical arrows to inspire feelings of love.  The equivalent of Cupid in Hindu Mythology is Kamadeva.  Kamadeva means 'god of love'.  Kamadeva is represented by a handsome and winged man weilding a bow and arrows.  While his bow is made of sugarcane with a string of honeybees, his arrows are decorated with five kinds of fragrant flowers - devadaru, white and blue lotus, jasmine and mango.  

The heart is the most common symbol of romantic love. Ancient cultures believed the human soul lived in the heart. Others thought it to be the source of emotion and intelligence. Some believed the heart embodied a man's truth, strength and nobility. The heart may be associated with love because the ancient Greeks believed it was the target of Eros, known as Cupid to the Romans. Anyone shot in the heart by one of Cupid's arrows would fall hopelessly in love. Because the heart is so closely linked to love, it's red colour is thought to be the most romantic.

The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red stands for strong feelings and that’s why a red rose is a flower of love.

The ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia in honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses on February 14. Juno was also the goddess of women and marriage.

February 14, 270 A.D. : Roman Emperor Claudius II, dubbed "Claudius the Cruel," beheaded a priest named Valentine for performing marriage ceremonies. Claudius II had outlawed marriages when Roman men began refusing to go to war in order to stay with their wives.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.

The 17th century a hopeful maiden ate a hard-boiled egg and pinned five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine's eve. It was believed this would make her dream of her future husband.

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

On February 14, 1779, Captain James Cook, the great English explorer and navigator, was murdered by natives of Hawaii during his third visit to the Pacific island group.

One single perfect red rose framed with baby's breath is referred to by some florists as a "signature rose," and is the preferred choice for many for giving on Valentine's Day, anniversary, or birthday.

Sir Alexander Fleming was a young bacteriologist when an accidental discovery led to one of the great developments of modern medicine - penicillin.  On February 14, 1929, Fleming introduced penicillin to cure bacterial infections.

Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine's cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.

The Empire State Building in New York City played a prominent role in the movie Sleepless in Seattle. Couples renew their vows on the 80th floor of this famous landmark.

The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day.

The oldest known Valentines were sent in 1415 A.D. by the Duke of Orleans to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is still on display in a museum in England.

The oldest surviving love poem is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C. It was unromantically named Istanbul #2461 by the archeologists who unearthed it.

In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"

Source: Various

Friday, February 12, 2010

Manjinikkara Perunnal

The memory of the holy Patriarch Ignatios Elias III (Manjinikkara Bava) is revered throughout the Syriac Orthodox Church on February 13th.  Manjinikkara Bava is considered equivalent to Parumala Thirumeni, and hence, the 5th Thubden remembers Manjinikkara Bava just like we remember Parumala Thirumeni.  It’s at the Manjinikkara Church near Pathanammthitta , where the mortal remains of the holy Patriarch of Anthioch, Mar Ignatius Elias III, are preserved.  Bava entered eternal rest here while on a visit to India in 1932.

Thousands of pilgrims reach the tomb by foot during this perunnal on February 13, from various parts of Kerala.  For many years now, my in-laws provide shelter and camping facilities to numerous believers who walk over 150 miles (nearly 250 kms) to reach the tomb of Manjinikkara Bava, and thus I know for fact that they take much pain and dedication to receive blessings.  This walk is said to be the longest any pilgrims walk  in India, to reach their holy destination.  

Fun with snow

Somebody just got creative, combined snow and valentines day to called it *Valentine's Snow Day*.  Yeah - snow is finally here!!

Many of you were complaining last time that you did not get to play with snow till you were tired.  Here is your golden opportunity.  Have fun in the snow.  Pull out your cameras and take some pictures.  Apart from throwing snow at each other, making snowman, snow castles and all the usual stuff, if you have company, here are few games you can play with snow:

Lightly pack a bunch of basketball-size snowballs and then use them to build a course of hurdles to jump over in a round of follow the leader.

Team up for a slip-sliding variation of tug-of-war. Tamp down a wide, shallow trench in the snow to serve as the midline. Then, take up positions at the ends of a long, thick rope and let the tugging and towing begin. Whichever team pulls the entire opposing group over to its side of the trench wins.

Tie a white cloth to the end of a short stick or around the bowl of a wooden spoon. Then, give each child a chance to hide it by staking it anywhere within a predetermined set of boundaries. Keep track of how long it takes for the rest of the group to find it. Whoever hid the flag that takes the longest time to spot wins the game.

For this pitching contest, first mound up snow to create three bases and a pitcher's mound. They should each be about 2 feet high and 20 feet apart. Next, build a tin can pyramid on each base. The challenge is to knock down the stacks in order from first to third base by throwing snowballs from the pitcher's mound. The child who succeeds with the fewest pitches wins.

Once you've built a plump, frosty snowman to stand sentry in your front yard, make a game of topping him off in style. Take turns trying to land a hat on his head by throwing it Frisbee style from 10 or so feet away.

Pair up for a contest in which the object is to finish with the biggest snowball. The contest ends when the teams can no longer roll their entries or when you run out of snow.

All you need are two teams of three or more people to play, along with a spray bottle filled with a mix of water and food coloring to mark the playing field (a large rectangle with a centerline should suffice). The teams line up at opposite ends of the field (the North and South poles) for a kickoff. Once someone on the receiving team catches the ball, he tries to move it back across the defense's goal line by running with it or passing it to a teammate. Play stops if the person with the ball is tagged by an opponent or slides out of bounds. The teams then face off again on the spot. After four tries, or a touchdown, the ball goes to the other team. The game ends when either team gets cold.

Technical Information:

For those who are inquisitive, here are some of the qualities of snow:

Snow is very versatile material. Sometimes it can be very hard, but it can also be very gently material. Temperature has a great effect on the properties of the snow. When temperature is over 0 celsius degrees snow is very wet and heavy, but it has excellent adhesion force.

When temperature is below zero degrees, snow is very light and fine material. All moisture has frozen and snow is almost lighter than air. Snow is also very dry now and it's impossible to form any constructions out of snow with traditional methods.

Freshly fallen snow is maybe the finest material in the world, but it easily turns to hard and thick material. When directing pressure to snow, it becomes excellent building material. Compressed snow can be compared to light concrete and ice to concrete.

Snow has firmness qualities when it's density is over 400kg/m3. Snow is still weaker than ice, but snow has better workability and it insulates heat better.

Play it safe.

The rose bud

A young, new preacher was walking with an older, more seasoned preacher in the garden one day and feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was inquiring of the older preacher. The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the WILL OF GOD for his life and for his ministry. Because of his high respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to TRY to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact...It wasn't long before he realized how impossible it was to do so.

Noticing the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud while keeping it intact, the older preacher began to recite the following poem...

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
When in my hands they fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Him for His leading
Each moment of every day.
I will look to him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

Credits: Darryl Brown

Deliverables in Feb

Here are the deliverables for Project CARS for the month of Feb:

Feb 21 - Finalize Resource Material
Feb 28 - Brief Summary of your character.

I was able to get one more book for Project CARS from the library.  This is about the saints, and you may have to share this. Let me know, if you need to borrow it.

When I did a random search online, there was adequate material for you to do your research.  If you did not get a book, then the online material will suffice.  The problem with online material is that there is a plethora of information out there and it's quite easy to get lost without a clue where to navigate.

If you did not get a book, here is what I want you to do:
Send me two links (only 2) that you think will be helpful in completing your project.  Once I take a look at it, you will limit your research to these two sites only.  The deadline for this will be Feb 21.

For this week, there are no deliverables, as we are still collecting data.  But on Feb 28, you will be required to write a summary of what you learned so far.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lectionary 2010

Bible readings for the year 2010 - Old and New Testament Readings can be found here.

This pdf document contains the entire lectionary of the orthodox church for 2010.

Animal football

This news came in late, and hence I could not include it earlier. You'll see who's to blame for the late news.

Last Sunday, during the Super Bowl, there was another football game of note between the big animals and the little animals. The big animals were crushing little animals and at half time, the coach made a passionate speech to rally the little animals.

At the start of the second half the big animals had the ball. The first play, the elephant got stopped for no gain. The second play, the rhino was stopped for no gain. On third down, the hippo was thrown for a 5 yard loss.

The defense huddled around the coach and he asked excitedly, “Who stopped the elephant?”

“I did” said the centipede.

“Who stopped the rhino?”

“Uh, that was me too” said the centipede.

“And how about the hippo? Who hit him for a 5 yard loss?”

“Well, that was me as well,” said the centipede.

“SO WHERE WERE YOU THE FIRST HALF?” demanded the coach.

“Well” said the centipede, “I was having my ankles taped.”

It's all due to the centipede's fault.

Xpress Yourself

Apart from the whiteboard I use to teach the class, we are going to have one another white board in our class room.  This whiteboard is going to be called “Xpress Yourself”.

The primary objective of the ‘Xpress Yourself’ whiteboard is to get your feedback regarding our class, our class project, BRS, Bala Balika Samajam, and any topic related to our class.

Many of you have great ideas, but you are shy to say it out.  You can write down such thoughts (openly) on the ’Xpress Yourself’ whiteboard, without naming yourself.  I will read them and do my very best to incorporate them in the most suited manner.  You can say things like:

“Your last lecture on prayer was boring”
“Wish our class finished early”
“We do not want any lectures; instead just read us the book”
“The project is taking too much of my time”

I will address each and every comment posted on the ‘Xpress Yourself’ whiteboard at the start of each class.  Once again, I do not want you to put down your name; but what I am looking for is genuine and honest comments so that we have a better class.  For those of you who are artistic, you may very well draw on it in a cartoon format - sure; use me in one those cartoons if that will help you express your thoughts.  Agree that a picture can express a thousand words.  Yeah, I like criticism!! This should also foster our relationship and we would get to know each other.

Come on guys and gals – I am looking for your positive and negative comments.  Help me, and thus help yourself.

How to get parents on your side

Are you wondering how to please your parents?  Do you constantly hear at home that your parents get little or no help from the kids?  Here are few secrets to please your parents, get into their good books and possibly be rewarded by some treat.  In a nutshell, this secret will enable you to get parents on your side.

Now, you must have constantly heard your parents say – mostly mom does all the household chores and seldom get any help from the kids.  A good (and common) excuse is that you have lots of homework to do or to study. Well, **we** know how much time is really needed to do your studies and complete that homework.  Most of you head towards the TV, the computer or video game when you want to take a break.  This will make you even more tired and less productive at your work/study.  Here are some secrets to please your parents and be friendly with them.  Getting into their good books comes with numerous benefits.  You can have that one thing they have been postponing, or even forgiven for that mischief you did last time.

In order to run a house, there are numerous chores parents - mostly your mom has to do.  If you are able to win your Mom’s heart, then it is relatively easy to get Dad on your side.  Here are some tips:

One of the most tedious jobs around the house is cleaning. This is one department where help is always required.  Start with cleaning the dining table after meals, disposing waste, and cleaning the vessels.  Once you start cleaning, you will notice it is an endless job – since vessels keep coming into the sink or dishwasher.  Use soap sparingly as some vessels tend to slip out of your hands.  Be careful with glassware, as it is considered a bad omen breaking glass vessels.  Some moms prefer hand washing given the fact that dishwashers do not meet your mom’s cleanliness standards. Find out what your mom’s preference is, and act accordingly. A clean sink gives such a relief to everyone, as opposed to a piled up one.  Cleaning also involves vacuuming the house (say once a week) and dusting off the tables and shelves. You could do this when you want to take a break between studies or when you are unable to solve that problem you’ve been working for so long.

Another department that needs attention once a week is the laundry.  This job involves collecting all the soiled linen and clothes from various rooms and getting ready for wash.  At first, you may have to consult your parents on how to operate the washing machine, the dryer and usage of soap.  You could do this during a break time, and go back to your work and let the machine do its job.  Once this task is complete, the next task that needs help with is sorting, folding the washed clothes and stacking them at appropriate places so that they are available at your fingertips the next day.  This job is less tedious than cleaning, but a big help for your parents. Hey – everybody loves to wear fresh clothes.  It’s only when we run out of clean clothes we reach out to those worn ones and seek the aid of perfumes to smell good.

If you notice your dad or mom return from the store, help them with the grocery and stock the pantry.  By the time they arrive home, they are tired and will really appreciate a helping hand.  Seeing you relax and watch the TV makes them more tired, and that’s when the decibel levels go up at home.

Cleaning the inside of your parents car is an easy win.  This could be a weekly task that can be completed under 10 minutes.

Another quick task is removing the household waste - a job nobody wants to do.  This could very well be a 5 minute job.

Most moms are quite picky when they have guests arriving.  Dads tend to take the attitude 'let it be the way it is... they are not going to stay for long'.  During these times, the cleanliness levels of moms skyrocket, they want the entire house to appear in top condition and do not want to hear any negative remarks from those guests.  Sometimes as a person living in the house, it’s quite difficult to meet those expectations – especially when you do not know what those expectations are.  When you sense such a situation, understand that they are stressed out – just like you are when your project is due the next morning with so many unfinished tasks. Listen to them and work with them after understanding their expectations.  The mere fact that you (junior helper) is at their aid can reduce their blood pressure levels.  Your help during such circumstances will be remembered for a long time and you will certainly receive accolades when those guests are gone.

In the end, everybody is a winner, and by pleasing your parents, I guarantee, you can get that additional TV time, Computer time, or video game time that you always wanted.

This will project you as promising young adult and you are going to be a valuable asset to your family, and a good exercise for you.  I may be in trouble for sharing this secret with you, but hey – the goal is to make everybody a happy winner.  Happy winners constitute a happy family.  

Good luck with your task at hand!!

PS: This is an article for beginners.  Those of you who are already doing these household chores, move on to advanced level such as cooking, help with the lawn, etc.. 

The Prince's Valentine

Once upon a time there was a little Prince, and he wanted to give a valentine to a little Princess who lived in a neighboring kingdom. She was a very beautiful little Princess indeed, for her smile was as bright as her golden hair, and her love for her subjects was as deep as the blue of her eyes.

"What kind of a valentine shall I get for the Princess?" the Prince asked.

"A heart, your Highness; nothing but a heart will do!" said the Court Wise Man.

"A beautiful heart, your Highness; nothing but a beautiful heart will do!" said the Court Ladies.

"A priceless heart, your Highness; nothing but a priceless heart will do!" said the Court Chancellor.

So the Prince started out to get a heart valentine for the little Princess that would be both beautiful and beyond price, and he did not know where to find it.

Before long, though, he came to a jeweller's shop that was full of pretty, costly things to wear. There were pins, and bracelets, and necklaces made of silver and gold, and set with rubies, and sapphires, and emeralds, and diamonds.

"This is the place to find a valentine for the little Princess," thought the Prince, and he selected a diamond heart hung on a gold chain as thin as a thread for the little Princess to wear about her neck.

The Prince gave the jeweller his bag of gold and started out of the shop with the diamond heart in his hand. But he stopped at the door, looking at the heart. It was dull, and no longer shining. What was the matter with it, he wondered. Then he remembered. It was not the right valentine for the little Princess because it had been bought with his bag of gold. So the Prince gave the diamond heart back to the jeweller, and went on again.

After the Prince had gone quite a distance he came to a pastry shop. It was full of delicious things to eat, jam tarts, and little strawberry pies, thickly frosted cakes, and plum buns. In the window of the pastry shop was a huge cake baked in the shape of a heart. It was rich with sugar and spices, and the icing on the top was almost as thick as the cake itself.

"This is the place to find the valentine for the little Princess!" thought the Prince, and he pointed to the great heart cake in the window. "How much must I pay for that cake?" he asked of the pastry cook.
"Oh, you could not buy that cake!" the pastry cook replied. "I made it as a decoration for the shop for Valentine's Day. But I will give it to you, your Highness."

So the Prince thanked the pastry cook, and started out of the shop with the great cake in his arms.

"This must surely be the valentine for the little Princess, because I could not buy it," he thought.

Then the Prince almost dropped the cake. It had suddenly grown too heavy for him to carry. What was the matter with the rich, huge cake, he wondered. Then he remembered. It was not the right valentine for the little Princess because something rich to eat is not beautiful. So the Prince gave the cake back to the pastry cook, and went on again.

Now he went a long, long way, and he came to a bird seller beside the road. He had little gold birds, and bright-colored ones in green basket cages. They were all singing as if their throats would burst, but the Prince could hear one soft note above the others, because it was so clear and sweet. It was the cooing of a little dove who sat in her cage apart from the others. The Prince thought he had never seen such a beautiful little dove, as white as snow, and with rose red feet.

"Why does she sing so much more sweetly than the others?" the Prince asked, pointing to the little white dove.

The bird seller smiled.

"She sings because of her heart," he said. "The other birds sing in the sunshine, but look"—he held up the dove's cage, and the Prince saw that the little white dove had closed, blind eyes. "She sings in the dark because of her happy heart," the bird seller said.

"May I buy her," the Prince asked, "to give as a valentine to a little Princess?"

"Oh, I will give her to you," the bird seller said. "Very few people want to take care of a blind bird."

But the little Princess did. She liked the white dove better than any of her other valentines. She hung her cage in a pink rose tree in the sunniest part of the garden, and she often invited the Prince to sit with her under the tree and listen to the dove's sweet song.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More tongue twisters

Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep.
The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed
Shilly-shallied south.
These sheep shouldn't sleep in a shack;
Sheep should sleep in a shed.

I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's mate,
And I'm only plucking pheasants 'cause the pheasant plucker's late.
I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's son,
And I'm only plucking pheasants till the pheasant pluckers come.

A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot
Said the two to the tutor
"Is it tougher to toot
Or to tutor two tooters to toot?"

Three sweet switched Swiss witches
Watch three washed Swiss witch Swatch watch switches.
Which sweet switched Swiss witch watches
Which washed Swiss witch Swatch watch switch?

Theophilus Thadeus Thistledown,
The succesful thistle-sifter,
While sifting a sieve-full of unsifted thistles,
Thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.

Now, if Theophilus Thadeus Thistledown,
The succesful thistle-sifter,
Thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb,
See that thou, while sifting a sieve-full of unsifted thistles,
Thrust not three thousand thistles through the thick of thy thumb.

Face to face with Jesus

A woman arrived at heaven's gate and met Jesus face to face. As he reviewed her life with her, she could see every event just as clearly as if it were happening right then and there. Looking at a time in her life filled with sorrow, she asked him a question that had long been on her heart:

"Lord, look at my time of greatest trouble. I prayed and prayed but I heard no word from you. I would have despaired had it not been for all the people who helped me: the friends who listened and consoled, who brought me food and understanding, who cried with me and stood by me, and my family who gave me a reason to go on living. But why did you abandon me? Why didn't you help me?"

"My child," Jesus answered, "Why didn't you recognize me?"

Color of Roses

If you are giving roses this valentines day, know that each rose color has it's own unique meaning.

In short:

Red - Love and Respect.  The timeless romantic classic
Dark Pink - Thankfullness.  Sent with the spirit of appreciation.
Pale Pink - Grace and Joy.  The perfect message for mom.
Yellow - Joy and friendship.  Let your best friends know "why".
Orange - Fascination.  An excellent choice for a new relationship.
White - Innocense & Serenity.  A beautiful symbol of trust.

In detail:
Red Rose
This one is the most obvious. It means "I love you." It represents romance and love.

Deep Pink
This simply means "thank you". If someone you know does something nice for you, a deep pink rose is a good way of saying "thank you".

Regular Pink
A pink rose represents happiness. It's great to give a pink rose to a partner to say, "I'm very happy with our relationship."

Light Pink
A light pink rose means "sympathy". When someone has had a loss then light pink roses is a very nice way of expressing your condolences.

White Rose
A white rose symbolizes innocence and purity. When combined with red roses, it represents "unity".

Yellow Rose
A yellow rose symbolizes friendship and caring. It's the perfect innocent gift to give to a friend or give to a loved one when you simply want to say "I care". When given to a friend it also means "I'm happy with our friendship."

Lavender Rose
A lavender rose is a symbol of "falling in love". When you give it to a person you are saying "I have fallen in love with you and am enchanted by you."

Orange Rose
An orange rose is a symbol of desire. "I desire you" or "I desire to get to know you better" is the message that orange roses send.

Romantic movies

Here are 10 romantic movies suitable for the Valentine's day.

How to say 'I Love You'

Here is how to say 'I Love You' in various languages:

Afrikaans - Ek het jou lief
Albanian - Te dua
Arabic - Ana behibak (to male)
Arabic - Ana behibek (to female)
Armenian - Yes kez sirumen
Bambara - M'bi fe
Bangla - Aamee tuma ke bhalo baashi
Belarusian - Ya tabe kahayu
Bisaya - Nahigugma ako kanimo
Bulgarian - Obicham te
Cambodian - Bung Srorlagn Oun (to female)
Oun Srorlagn Bung (to male)
Cantonese/Chinese Ngo oiy ney a
Catalan - T'estimo
Cheyenne - Ne mohotatse
Chichewa - Ndimakukonda
Corsican - Ti tengu caru (to male)
Creol - Mi aime jou
Croatian - Volim te
Czech - Miluji te
Danish - Jeg Elsker Dig
Dutch - Ik hou van jou
English - I love you
Esperanto - Mi amas vin
Estonian - Ma armastan sind
Ethiopian - Ewedishalehu : male/female to female
Ewedihalehu: male/female to male.
Faroese - Eg elski teg
Farsi - Doset daram
Filipino - Mahal kita
Finnish - Mina rakastan sinua
French - Je t'aime, Je t'adore
Gaelic - Ta gra agam ort
Georgian - Mikvarhar
German - Ich liebe dich
Greek - S'agapo
Gujarati - Hu tumney prem karu chu
Hiligaynon - Palangga ko ikaw
Hawaiian - Aloha wau ia oi
Hebrew - Ani ohev otah (to female)
Hebrew - Ani ohev et otha (to male)
Hiligaynon - Guina higugma ko ikaw
Hindi - Hum Tumhe Pyar Karte hai
Hmong - Kuv hlub koj
Hopi - Nu' umi unangwa'ta
Hungarian - Szeretlek
Icelandic - Ég elska þig
Ilonggo - Palangga ko ikaw
Indonesian - Saya cinta padamu
Inuit - Negligevapse
Irish - Taim i' ngra leat
Italian - Ti amo
Japanese - Watakushi-wa anata-wo ai shimasu
Kannada - Naa ninna preetisuve
Kapampangan - Kaluguran daka
Kiswahili - Nakupenda
Konkani - Tu magel moga cho
Korean - Sarang Heyo
Latin - Te amo
Latvian - Es tevi miilu
Lebanese - Bahibak
Lithuanian - Tave myliu
Macedonian Te Sakam
Malay - Saya cintakan mu / Aku cinta padamu
Malayalam - Njan Ninne Premikunnu
Maltese - Inhobbok
Mandarin Chinese - Wo ai ni
Marathi - Me tula prem karto
Mohawk - Kanbhik
Moroccan - Ana moajaba bik
Nahuatl - Ni mits neki
Navaho - Ayor anosh'ni
Nepali - Ma Timilai Maya Garchhu
Norwegian - Jeg Elsker Deg
Pandacan - Syota na kita!!
Pangasinan - Inaru Taka
Papiamento - Mi ta stimabo
Persian - Doo-set daaram
Pig Latin - Iay ovlay ouyay
Polish - Kocham Cie
Portuguese - Amo-te
Romanian - Te ubesc
Roman Numerals - 333
Russian - Ya tebya liubliu
Rwanda - Ndagukunda
Scot Gaelic - Tha gra\dh agam ort
Serbian - Volim te
Setswana - Ke a go rata
Sign Language - ,\,,/ (represents position of fingers when signing 'I Love You'
Sindhi - Maa tokhe pyar kendo ahyan
Sioux - Techihhila
Slovak - Lu`bim ta
Slovenian - Ljubim te
Spanish - Te quiero / Te amo
Surinam- Mi lobi joe
Swahili - Ninapenda wewe
Swedish - Jag alskar dig
Swiss-German - Ig liebe di
Tajik Man turo Dust Doram
Tagalog - Mahal kita
Taiwanese - Wa ga ei li
Tahitian - Ua Here Vau Ia Oe
Tamil - Naan unnai kathalikiraen
Telugu - Nenu ninnu premistunnanu
Thai - Chan rak khun (to male)
Thai - Phom rak khun (to female)
Turkish - Seni Seviyorum
Ukrainian - Ya tebe kahayu
Urdu - mai aap say pyaar karta hoo
Vietnamese - Anh ye^u em (to female)
Vietnamese - Em ye^u anh (to male)
Welsh - 'Rwy'n dy garu
Yiddish - Ikh hob dikh
Yoruba - Mo ni fe
Zimbabwe - Ndinokuda