Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving in Space

"The astronauts on board the space shuttle Endeavour will not miss out on Thanksgiving" says a report from TechNewsWorld.com. Endeavour's seven astronauts and the three crew members at the international space station will take a break from their chores and gather for their special meal Thanksgiving Day. The last time a space shuttle crew ate their holiday meal in space was six years ago.

Instead of sitting at a large Thanksgiving dinner table, the astronauts will float around as they eat. The food pouches have Velcro tags which allow them to be attached to the astronauts' suits. The food also can be fixed to Velcro patches on metallic food trays, which each have a spoon, fork, knife and scissors tethered to them for cutting open the food pouches. The trays can then be strapped to the astronauts' laps or attached to a wall.

NASA works hard to give the astronauts a varied menu. Sixty new dishes have been prepared for astronauts in the last six years. Even so, it's hard to recreate the fresh tastes found on many Thanksgiving dinner tables, especially since NASA uses many industrial ingredients so the meals can be mass-produced.

The meals are light-years away from the mush squeezed out of aluminum tubes that Mercury astronauts consumed during NASA's first manned flights, or even the pureed shrimp cocktail and squeeze-tube apple sauce of the Gemini program.

Now the shuttle astronauts pick their daily menus before going up in space. The space station astronauts, who can live up to six months at the outpost, have a menu schedule that repeats every 16 days although they can make changes.

Historically, the space shuttles and space station have lacked a refrigerator for food, although Endeavour delivered a fridge for food and cold drinks during this mission. As a result, food taken up to space has to be bacteria-free. That is accomplished by either treating meats with radiation, dehydrating vegetables, or heating other foods up to 250 degrees for a half hour.

Up in space, the dried foods are prepared by squirting hot or cold water into the food pouch. The other foods are heated up in the food galley's oven, basically a hot plate which uses a fan to circulate heated air.

For the Thanksgiving dinner, the smoked turkey was irradiated and the green beans and dressing were freeze-dried, a form of dehydration. The candied yams and dessert were heated.

A week before Thanksgiving, NASA gave reporters a taste-test of the astronauts' holiday dinner. The smoked turkey was slightly stiffer than deli meat, like after it has been left in the refrigerator a week past its expiration date. The candied yams had a syrupy sweetness outside that dissolved into blandness in the middle. The green beans with mushrooms tasted like they had been frozen and then microwaved to within an inch of their life.

But, NASA takes special pride in desserts.



Happy Thanksgiving..:)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stem Cell Preservation Gift Cards


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Latest studies proved that stem cells found in cord blood can treat over 75 diseases.Do you know that since 1992 Cryo-Cell International helped over 160,00 families worldwide preserve their newborn's umbilical cord blood for potential use against many diseases. Along with cord blood banking, Cryo-Cell Cord Blood Bank is pioneering the way in research, to find more solutions to preserve stem cells in a noncontroversial way.Cryo-Cell also launches new C'elle service where women with the unique opportunity to collect and preserve vital stem cells.

This holiday season we always desire to give meaningful gifts to our special friends and loved ones .With U-Cord®, Cryo-Cell's stem cell cord blood preservation service,this can be the ideal gift for family and friends who are expecting a baby in the near future and want to preserve vital stem cells that are collected from their baby's cord blood.C'elle is also a wonderful gift for women who are not pregnant.I heard from C'elle Client Testimonial that these stem cells may possibly be used as well in the future to benefit other family members who are genetically related to the donor to treat various diseases including diabetes and heart disease.It is not only a precious gift but it can save lives.









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Best Place for Astronomy

An International team has set up a fully robotic astronomical observatory at Dome Argus, which at 13,400 feet above sea level is the highest point on the East Antarctic plateau.Just 700 miles from the South Pole, the site is very cold and at times exceptionally dark.It has very dry, calm air as well as nights that are four months long.Dome Argus is said to be the best place on earth for astronomical observations.

Lifan Wong,director of Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, says that "it is possible to achieve near-space-quality images at a much lower cost than launching a telescope into the space."

Personalized Gifts



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Having problems of what you are going to give to your friends and love ones this holiday? One of the best idea that I can advise you is to give them personalized holiday gifts .A present with the name of your family and friends with personal messages on it can be fun.These personalized holiday gifts are available from Pexagon. The Pexagon makes your storage personal.I heard a great news that starting today until the end of the year, Pexagon is offering 20% off on their four awesome personalized holiday gifts ideas.They offer personalized thumb drives which are available in 14 colors, up to 16GB in capacity. Whenever you purchased this gadget there will be custom laser engraving for free. You can choose from one of their 32 exciting themes and engrave two lines of personalization text on the reverse side.You can write your greetings or anything you want with their name on it.Its really cool and the price starts for only $7.99 after discount.Its very affordable and a perfect gift for Christmas.Aside from personalized thumbs drives, you can also purchase other stuffs like personalized pens.There were three unique style to choose from with multiple colors. You can also add two lines of text engraving for absolutely free.Pexagon also have USB flash drives that have unique design with your choice of multiple colors .For every purchase of USB flash drives, you can also have the three lines of text engraving for free.If your friend is environment friendly, a wooden USB flash drives are perfect gift for him/her. Burned-wood laser engraving effects make this a truly unique technology gift.There were free 2-sided custom laser personalization.I started to make my orders right away because there were no setup costs and no minimum order quality.








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The Survivor

"The larvae of an African fly survive sever droughts by essentially truning into candy drops" says Science News.When extremely dehydrated, the larvae of the fly Polypedilum vanderplanki replace water in their cellular fluids with a glassy substance, similar to melted sugar when it solidifies.In this mummified condition, the metabolism of the larvae ceases completely.The larvae can remain in this "state of suspended animation" for up to 17 years until the next rains allow them to revive.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Music and Social Networking







Do you love music?Do you know that there's a site called WorldSings.com, The Global Home for Music & Friends, is a music and social networking community organizing, “The World’s Best Song Competition.”All you have to do is to become a member.On the site you can post blogs, comments,create fan clubs and you can connect to your friends and favorite artists.You can also vote for your favorite songs and decide which top 20 will compete in the WORLDSINGS Concert in Las Vegas for a chance to win $1,000,000.A record and management deal will be offered to the top artists that do not have representation. You as a member have also a chance to win a variety of prizes.And there's more, charities worldwide will benefit from a percentage of the WorldSings.com profits.

Beetle's Pressure-Spray System

Do you know that though less than an inch in length, the bombardier beetle is noted for its unique defense mechanism.When threatened, the insect spray boiling, foul smelling liquid and steam from its posterior, warding off spiders, birds and even frogs.

This beetle is equipped with "a pair of glands which open at the tip of its abdomen".Each of these has a reservoir that stores an acidic compound and hydrogen peroxide as well as a reaction chamber filled with enzymes dissolved in water.Noxious chemicals, water, and stream- at a temperature of about 212 degrees Fahrenheit- are sprayed onto an attacker.

Research led by Professor Andy Mcintosh of University of Leeds, have studied that bombardier beetle learn how to develop more effective and ecologically-sound mist systems.They have discovered that the beetle not only uses one-way inlet valves to allow chemicals into the reaction chambers but also has a pressure-relief valve to expel. them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 32 Days!

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I read a great news from Prevention Magazine.They were looking for select group of women who would like to try Flat Belly Diet for free.The Flat Belly Diet was created for people who had tried everything to eliminate belly fat.No exercise is required because it offers a science-based solution that combines a cutting-edge nutrition plan with expert tips and advice.

One of my friend join this program and she's happy to inform me that she was able to lose up to 15 pounds in just 32 days.She said that to attain the body that you always wanted you must consider the effects of what you eating. She learned from Flat Belly Diet that eating healthy fats(Monounsaturated Fatty Acids or MUFAs) at every meal specifically targets belly fat which is the most dangerous fat because of its high correlation with heart disease.She also discovered that MUFAs ( type of heart-healthy, disease-fighting, "good" fat found in foods like almonds, peanut butter, olive oil, avocado, even chocolate) can actually help you lose your weight.It made me think for a moment how?So I join this Flat Belly Diet program.If you join, you can also receive a free copy of Flat Belly Diet book, a free 1-year membership to the Flat Belly Diet website and more.











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American Music Awards 2008

Congratulations to all the winners of the American Music Awards 2008.Most of them were my favorite artist and album.You all deserve it..cheers..




Alvin and The Chipmunks - Favorite Album, Soundtrack

Chris Brown - Artist of the Year,Favorite Male Artist, Pop or Rock Music,Favorite Male Artist, Soul / Rhythm & Blues Music

Mariah Carey - Honorary Award

Alicia Keys ("As I Am") - Favorite Album, Pop or Rock Music,Favorite Album, Soul / Rhythm & Blues Music

Enrique Iglesias - Favorite Artist, Latin Music




Daughtry - Favorite Band, Duo or Group, Pop or Rock Music

Annie Lennox - Award of Merit

Brad Paisley - Favorite Male Artist, Country Music

Rascal Flatts - Favorite Band, Duo or Group, Country Music

Rihanna - Favorite Female Artist, Pop or Rock Music, Favorite Female Artist, Soul / Rhythm & Blues Music

Jonas Brothers - T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist Award

Jordin Sparks - Favorite Artist, Adult Contemporary Music

Taylor Swift - Favorite Female Artist, Country Music

Third Day - Favorite Artist, Contemporary Inspirational

Three 6 Mafia - Favorite Band, Duo or Group, Rap / Hip-Hop Music



Linkin Park - Favorite Artist, Alternative Rock Music

Carrie Underwood ("Carnival Ride")- Favorite Album, Country Music

Kanye West - Favorite Male Artist, Rap / Hip-Hop Music, ("Graduation") Favorite Album, Rap / Hip-Hop Music

Friday, November 21, 2008

My "New Look" Inbox

Have you check your mails lately? I was surprised when I open my Gmail account because there were changes in colors. I checked out their official blog and I found out that they launched 30 new themes last November 19 (great!). The Gmail wanted to change those simple color customization with new shiny theme with chrome styling, retro notepad themes, nature themes , weather driven themes ,old school ascii theme, and fun characters to keep you in good company.

If you want to customize your inbox, just simply log-in.Then, click "Settings" at the upper right corner of your page.Locate "Themes" button and choose your desired design and colors.
My favorite theme is Ninja.How about you?


Here are the samples from gmailblog.blogspot.com.






Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great Qualities of the Queen of Fibers



Do you know that some of the most beautiful garments in the world like the Japanese Kimono,the Indian sari and the Korean "hanbok" have something in common.They are often made of silk,a lustrous fabric that has been called the queen of fibers.Silk is produced by silkworms, or caterpillars of the silkworm moth.There are hundreds of types of silkworms.The best type of silk is obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity.It takes quite a number of silkworms to make silk fabrics, which has given rise to sericulture,the raising of silkworms.

Let me share to you the qualities of silk I read from the Awake magazine.Silk is strong as steel filament of comparable size.It has an elegant luster of pearl.It is gentle to skin because of the amino acids that make up the silk.Silk is said to guard against various skin-related ailments.Also, the amino acids and the tiny voids in silk fiber absorb and let out a considerable amount of perspiration,keeping you dry and cool in the hot season.Silk is also heat resistant because it does not give off toxic gas in the event of fire.Silk absorbs ultraviolet rays and thus protects the skin.


Silk production is now done in countries such as China,India,Uzbekistan,Brazil,France and Japan.Artificial fibers are also available in the market but silk still has no equal.






photo credit: basajauntoxo on flickr

Operation Mojo by Naked Brothers Band



Natnalex



Wanted to hear more updates about the Naked Brothers Band's new movie? Tune in to live chat with Nat & Alex Wolff of the Naked Brothers Band this Saturday, November 22,as part of their new premiere, "Operation Mojo" .

Let me give some details about Nat and Alex.Nat is the son of Polly Draper and Michael Wolff.Nat likes to write songs. He also sings,plays the piano and other instruments.He can also be a stand-up comedian.Nat started to play musical instrument at the age of four.Nat's family and music is something he wouldn't want to live without.Besides from music Nat also likes to play basketball and ET for fun.Did you know that Nat has to walk to school, in order for him to get to school.Now let me tell me about Alex.He is the younger brother of Nat.He's favorite hobby is music.Mischa Barton is his celebrity crush.Alex would like to be a musician and actor or a basketball player or a skateboarder when he grows up.Alex's dad makes him laugh out loud.

Alex is my nephew's favorite singer.Whenever he watch him on TV, he would sing and dance like Alex.He can't wait to watch out the premier of Operation Mojo this Saturday.




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Friday, November 14, 2008

Health Benefits of Banana



Got this email from my sister with the subject, "Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!".It made me think for a moment....why???

This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.
Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the USFood and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.



Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist
learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.


Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine, "eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Most Annoying Work Habits

I would like to share this interesting article about a survey of most annoying work habits.We know that sometimes at work, there are situations or persons that may annoy us.There are also times that without our knowledge we are the one who is annoying.Think about it?


Do you know that "loud phone conversations, use of speakerphones and constant complaints about workload were the top list of our co-workers' most annoying work habits," reports the Washington post. Among the other habits that anger fellow workers are "cliques among co-workers, arriving late at work, talking to oneself, talking to co-workers over cubicle walls, bad hygiene and loud eating."Such bad habits also damage worker productivity.Most of those who responded to researchers' questions admitted, however, that they had never confronted those who irritate them. "And for good reason," says the newspaper."They can be just guilty themselves." :)

Shop Wisely



The global economic depression hardly hit all of us, that is why life is really not easy.Christmas is fast approaching and we are now busy with our shopping.Let me share to you some simple tips how to shop wisely.The first thing that you must remember is that shop where an item is cheap.You must know where to shop so that you can save a lot of money.Then try to ignore high pressure promotion.When comparing prices, evaluate products at unit prices.Select style over fashion.

For example like me, I bought a brand new eyeglasses for my cousin.She likes it very much because its very stylish and so comfortable to wear.She thinks it was expensive.She didn't know that I purchased it as low as $8.She was surprised when I finally told her.Do you ever wonder what eyeglasses I'm talking about?It is a stylish prescription glasses from Zenni Optical.Zenni Optical uses the latest modern materials, manufacturing and marketing systems to bring their product direct from their factories to you.Their prices are cheap.Their eyeglasses are definitely a personal fashion and style item.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cherry Blossoms



For more than a thousand years, the Japanese have adored cherry blossoms.Numerous cherry trees gracefully dot the Japanese isles.You don't have to travel very far to come across one of the 300 or so varieties grown here.Each flower usually has five petals that are notched at the edges, although some varieties have many more metals.The color of petals range from nearly white to pink and even crimson.





The Yoshino Mountains have been renowned for white cherry blossoms.This area has four large groves with over 100,000 cherry trees.One section is called Hitome Senbon, meaning "a thousand cherry trees at a glance".




The first wave of delicate blossoms begins in the south of the Japanese archipelago, in Okinawa, during January and continues progressively northward to Hokkaido until late May.This movement is also known as cherry blossom front or sakura-zensen.





A unique illusion of pink snow is created when the cherry sheds its myriad of petals.Suddenly, without warning, the petals leave the bough and gracefully fall to the ground. The Japanese call this phenomenon sakura fubuki or cherry blossom blizzard.The ground below becomes covered with a delightful pink carpet.





Flowering cherry trees can be easily be produced from seedlings.Thus, cherry trees have been planted along riverbanks and main thoroughfares as well as in numerous parks and gardens throughout in Japan.





Although Cherry-Blossom viewing is a national obsession throughout Japan, Kyoto is perhaps one of the best places for viewing this pageant. With its beautiful temples, gardens and surrounding scenery, Kyoto is the perfect backdrop for the splendor of the cherry-blossoms.












photocredits: nationalgeographic.com,sonic.net,counterpop.net,khulsey.com

Tracking flu with Google tool

CBC News reported that according to an expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, an internet search tool could be helpful in tracking the spread of influenza cases in the U.S. and act as an early warning of an outbreak.Google Flu Trends will analyze patterns based on how often people search for flu-related terms and plot their locations in near real time, the company said.

Dr. Lyn Finelli, chief of influenza surveillance at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, said that "one thing we found last year when we validated this model is it tended to predict surveillance data."

The early warning could help hospitals prepare for a surge in patients during flu season, as well as track flu activity in case of a pandemic.

Results from the free, web-based method will be shared with the CDC, but individual user data will be kept confidential, Google software engineers Jeremy Ginsberg and Matt Mohebbi said in the company's blog.

Google Flu Trends is currently available in the U.S. only, although the company said it hopes to include other countries and diseases.

Google's mapping tool, Google Earth, is already used to track outbreaks of avian flu.

Learn More About Web Hosting


If you want to find a new web hosting services there are some things that you need to know or might consider.The webhostinggeeks.com where able to present about this issue.According to the site the first thing that you must learn is the Web Hosting Instruction.Do you know that in web hosting, a webmaster regardless of how experienced they are, must consider the " top three priorities which is the Web domain,hosting and content. Unfortunately, these three essentials often leave people in the dark, as there are dozens of companies offering the “same” packages for different prices. Then, you must also consider the web hosting guide.Looking for and buying a reliable web hosting solution is an imperative decision.Trying to identify a web host can be a very daunting task especially when there are so many available nowadays and all of them promise one thing or another.Then, always remember that finding the best web hosting service for you website can be complicated. The best way to select a quality web host is to take the selection process one step at a time.With a popular or well known and reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) you won't face many problems, however with a poor web hosting service provider it can be a nightmare.So, in you really wanted to learn how to choose the best web hosting services try to read more information at webhostinggeeks.com.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miss Earth 2008




Last night was the coronation night of Miss Earth 2008 at the the Clark Expo Amphitheater in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines.Beautiful ladies from eighty-five countries participated this event.At the conclusion of the final night of the competition, outgoing titleholder Miss Earth 2007, Jessica Trisko of Canada crowned her successor Karla Henry of the Philippines.

MISS EARTH® Beauty Pageant, a beauty event whose raison d’etre was to have its candidates and winners actively promote and get involved in the preservation of the environment and the protection of Mother Earth.

White Crocodiles

"Forest officials in Bhitarkanika National Park in Orissa have found 15 rare white crocodiles during the annual crocodile census" says the Indian newspaper Hindu.White crocodiles are rare and hardly found anywhere around the world.Because of relentless poaching, the saltwater crocodiles in the area were on the verge of extinction in the 1970's but the state government, with the help of United Nations programs, set up crocodile-rearing project within the park.There were now some 1500 crocodiles with normal coloration in the park along with the rare white ones.

Friday, November 7, 2008

4th Most Significant Factor in Causing Illness

"The World Health Organization (WHO)warns that almost 84 percent of smokers live in poor countries, where tobacco and poverty have became a vicious cycle" states the Spanish paper Diario Medico.Moreover, in every country "those who smoke the most and experience the greatest number of problems related to tobacco consumption belong to the most deprived sector if the population."Although consumption of tobacco has diminished in most developed countries, worldwide it has become "the fourth most significant factor in causing illness" the paper reports.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Largest Balloon Fiesta in the World

Have you ever been in Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta? It is a yearly balloon fiesta that take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA during early October.The event is the largest balloon fiesta in the world.Also,it is widely considered as the photographed event in the world.The balloon fiesta is a nine day event and has around 750 balloons.It has special events like the Balloon Glow which is one of the most widely anticipated events of the whole week.There's also a spin-off of Balloon Glow, Night Magic Glow features more than 200 tethered balloons in a twilight display of dazzling light and color.Another event what I like most is the Special Shape Rodeo. Somewhere long ago, someone decided that if a hot-air balloon could be round, then it could also be made into intriguing shapes.The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® has served as host for the Gordon Bennett Cup in 1993, 1999 and again in 2005.The Coupe Gordon Bennett is the world's oldest aviation event dating back to 1909. In the 2005 edition of the Gordon Bennett, the winning team of Bob Berben and Benoit Simeons representing Belgium flew 2,111 miles breaking every distance record for that event.


Some pictures..

































photocredits:www.balloonfiesta.com, the Korky on Flickr,Bassomatic on Flickr,Paulena-KE5DDZ on Flickr,barjack on Flickr

Busy Monkeys

Some have theorized that an infinite number of monkeys pecking away on an infinite number of typewriters would eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare.So researchers at Plymouth University in England gave six monkeys one computer for a month. The monkeys "failed to produced a single word,"reports The New York Times.The six monkeys at Paignton Zoo in southwest England "produced only five pages of text," primarily filled with lot of s's.At the end of the document, the monkey typed a few j's, a's,l's and m's.They also used the keyboard as their community toilet. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama: The 44th President of United States


Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States .The 47-year-old Democratic senator from Illinois took 52 per cent of the popular vote against 47 per cent for Republican rival John McCain.He was the first Democrat to receive more than 50 percent of the popular vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Obama is the first African-American to be elected President of the United States, and was also the first African-American to be nominated for President by a major U.S. political party. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he became the first black person to serve as president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. After a primary victory in March 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70 percent of the vote.(wikipedia)

He is expected to take office as the President on January 20, 2009.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Four Ways to Moksha

The Hindu faith offers at least four ways to achieve moksha, or liberation of the soul.These are known as yogas or margas, paths to moksha.

1. Karma Yoga - According to the Great Asian Religions it is the way of action, or karma yoga, the discipline of action.Basically, karma marga means performing one's dharma according to one's place in life.Certain duties are required of all people, such as ahimsa and abstention from alcohol and meat, but the specific dharma of each individual depends on that person's caste and stage in life.

This karma is performed strictly within caste limitations.Purity of caste is maintained by neither marrying nor eating outside of one's caste, which was determined by one's Karma in a previous existence.Therefore one's caste is not viewed as an injustice but as a legacy from a previous incarnation.In Hindu philosophy men and women are not all equal. They are divided by caste and by sex and, in effect, by color. Usually the lighter the skin, the higher the caste.

2. Jnana Yoga - "The way of knowledge, or jnana yoga, the discipline of knowledge. In constrast to the way of action, karma marga, with its prescribed duties for every occasion in life, jnana marga provides a philosophical and psychological way of knowing the self and the universe.Being, not doing, is the key to jnana marga.Most importantly, this way makes moksha possible in this life for its practitioners" (Great Asian Religions)It involves introspective yoga and withdrawal from the world and the practice of austerities.It is the expression of self-control and self-denial.

3. Bhakti Yoga - "The most popular form of Hindu tradition today. This is the way of devotion, bhakti marga. In contrast to karma marga,this path is easier, more spontaneous, and may be followed by persons of any caste,sex, or age.It allows human emotions and desires to flow freely rather than to be overcome by yogic asceticism.It consists exclusively of devotion to divine beings." And there are traditionally 330 million to venerate. According to this tradition, to know is to love.In fact, bhakti means "emotional attachment to one's chosen god."(Great Asian Religions)

4.Raja Yoga - A method of "special postures, methods of breathing, and rhythmical repetition of the proper thought-formulas"(Man's Religion)It has eight steps.