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Thursday, May 29, 2008


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Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you. - John De Paola

Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder, corresponded with Josh for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had heard she was cruel. The next day Megan committed suicide. A Fox news report

News anchor suicide, Australian reporter jumps to Death. A Cjreport.

Stress has become a household name in American homes. This is being discussed at length by all. (That includes me too) Our simple existence involves stress. None escapes; the young and the old; the employer and the employee. Those who are obese have stress as well as those who are very lean. Let me recollect Uncle Sam represented as a very lean figure standing with a stick; the lean figure, the hat, colors and posture - American to the core.
Every action involves certain amount of stress. Expectations generate stress. The more you act and the more you expect, the greater is the stress you feel. Stress should first be understood as an inbuilt thing in every action. If we want to understand stress, its nature and intensity are matters to be considered in relation to the particular individual who experiences it and reacts to it.

Researchers have classified stress into normal and harming; the stress that gets resolved in expected successful execution of action is considered normal and the stress that creates fear or leads to abnormal behavior in an individual as harming. Crossing a road may increase the heart beat but this will come down once it is completed successfully. From examinations , loss, shame, anger, excitement, harm to person, pain, fear, morbid fear, disease, death of a near relative to even winning a lottery may increase one’s heart beat and possibly result in harming stress leading to abnormal behavior.

The resultant actions to events that create stress show the intensity of stress experienced by any individual. The harmful stress reactions express themselves in emotions such as flying into a rage, uncontrollable weeping or in distancing oneself from others; becoming sick, fever or insomnia are some others from among the innumerable expressions of stress. Unresolved stress in extremely emotional people may end up in suicide. The news items are samples of extreme reactions to unmanaged or unresolved stress.

One who completes a work to his and others satisfaction gets complete relief from any stress experienced before and during the work. Any failure in an undertaking and others finding fault make one feel greater stress. So for stress and the normal or abnormal reactions that result, the individual is not solely responsible but the people who communicate with him also become responsible in varying degrees.

(To be continued)

There is more to life than increasing its speed. - Mohandas K. Gandhi

Quotes from quotegarden
Pictures: the American

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indian Billionaire Talks

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The talk of Forbes with Azim Premji of Wipro looks like a crisp and short lesson on management and economy. He attributed his success to early entry into the new industry, ‘We caught the wave at the right time.’ The Indian success in this field, according to him was because of its ability to produce large number of good engineers (kudos to our educational system). Compared to the US figures, it is nearly 8 times more according to the available figures with him.

The weak dollar was the result of the lack of savings-habit among the Americans. He was also critical of the health care in the States. Hard work was behind the success of the company ‘Wipro’ and he condemned commuting to work as waste of time and energy and he elected to stay just five minutes from work. His comment on the spending culture created artificially by the American big businesses only reminded me of another blog which appeared here a month back. A reading of 'buy and save' would be of interest.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Leg Pain

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The Americans never walk. In winter too cold and in summer too hot.—J.B.

Leg pain is a normal occurrence and on many occasions little care is needed and one gets relief without any medication; standing for long, sitting with legs cramped or hanging down, walking and doing exercises are a few. The last one may be a cause particularly in the days when you start doing the exercises and would disappear as you make exercising a habit.

A hurt, a sprain, a turned ankle or simple hair crack to the bone are other causes which require immediate care and if needed medication and other hospital care. The most common pain that people suffer from seems to be the sciatic nerve pain which is due mainly to the vertebral disc problem and even severe and long lasting pain normally goes away, if one takes medicine under proper guidance from a doctor.

Loss of essential minerals like potassium, calcium may also cause the pain. Arthritis is another cause for the pains and any red swelling in the region of the knees may indicate rheumatism. These can be controlled effectively by taking proper care and medicines. Varicose veins also cause pain.

Excruciating pains have clear causes. The simple pain that comes without any explainable cause is much more dangerous. This may indicate serious internal disorders but seem to be not so serious in its occurrence; the pain in the legs of smokers. If one has used tobacco for years, this may occur. This pain is felt even when one is at rest and may be not very painful but felt. One should stop smoking to help oneself and get oneself checked for serious heart problems and make sure that one is not suffering from any bad heart conditions. This may also indicate some damage to the nerves as in persons suffering from diabetes.

Severe pain may be felt because of the clot formation in large veins in the legs. This may turn to be dangerous, if not fatal, if left undiagnosed for the causes. The legs may go numb without any explicit cause and for some this may occur frequently and stay numb for long and make it impossible for them to do the normal functions easily. Initially this may show as pain after a short walk or standing even for a short while and go away with rest. Such leg pains which come and go but can not be associated with any immediate cause should be attended to immediately, particularly in smokers and people who have heart problems in the family.

I would like to share what I have read in a forum. A person who had bypass was having excruciating pain in his leg from where the doctors removed the vein during surgery. The leg has no open wounds and the person was reported to be healthy for all other purposes but felt this pain which occurred off and on. No treatment seemed to cure him and he went to this forum where homeopathic treatment and medicines are discussed. One of the participants had given the exact medicines for this type of pain. A lot of persuasion is needed to make people take homeopathic remedies. One, who readily smokes and drinks, hesitates to take homeopathic remedies. It is not known whether the person tried those remedies or not and with what result. Sharing one’s experiences may at times reveal unusual remedies for diseases and help many.

A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs. - Joan Welsh


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


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‘The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money.’—Unknown.

Merriam Webster defines recession as a period of reduced economic activity and is extended by others as decline in GDP for two or more quarters.

National Bureau of Economic Research defines recession as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real gross domestic product, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales."

For the individual the pay check and the size of it are indicative of recession or no recession. With many companies laying off employees and shutting down shop, the employment opportunities should have declined to a great extent and any one in this situation would not be surprised if he gets the pink slip.

The common man sees only the effect of fall in the indices like GDP, wholesale-retail sales etc. as an extra out-go from his kitty and decline in the size of his pocket book. It is an approved fact that the US news has reported the loss of many jobs; the government has brought in various measures to stimulate the economy and help the people survive. A report yesterday records that the economy may not get back on its rails of near 3% growth for another year or two. This outlook is a certain approval that the country’s economy is going into a recession, official or not.

The common man realizes the impact through the rise in oil prices, food prices, high interest rates, loss of job and the loss of his mortgaged house. His mutual fund investments show negative growth and funds disappear fast from his account. The stock market losses reported everyday is indicative of reduced value and returns to the common man on his dear investment, the real insurance for his future welfare or his retired life.

The report that some 65K jobs have disappeared in a single month from the face of the nation creates panic. The news that the price of rice has gone up and people line up to buy and the stores announce quotas are certainly unnerving. The cost of health insurance is already high and the news that the equity on the house which represented life’s dream and savings has disappeared should bring depression of spirits and impending feeling of doom. The oil price in the international market has doubled in a very short time resulting in gas crossing the $4 mark. The houses with the ‘for sale’ indicators remaining unsold for months on end on one’s route to work are eye-sore pieces indicative of recession, creating a flutter deep down in the stomach of other house owners. Money is a fast spreading disease for which money is the cure.

The solace lies in sitting before the TV with coke and chips and watch CNN telecasting news on presidential elections.

‘Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.’— Benjamin Franklin

Housing Woes Sweet Home Woes

Market watch

Quotes from 'quotegarden'

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Go Green - Under the Green Wood Tree

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For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -Martin Luther

Pipal tree is found all over India and other Asian counties. It is considered a sacred tree among Asians, particularly by those who follow Hinduism and Buddhism. This is also widely known as the bodhi tree, the tree under which Buddha got enlightenment. This tree is classified into the ficus group and the botanical name itself contains religion added to it- ficus religiosa. Today it stands as a symbol of peace of mind and calm and serenity—all what Man needs today. In countries where Buddhism has spread, like Thailand, this tree is used in many paintings and decorative articles and is famous as the ‘enlightened tree.’

The pipal stands some 70 or 80 feet, grows very big and lives long. It grows quickly and grows into a strong tree and its roots can break even rocks. Some trees in Asia are said to be thousands of years old. It is the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ for the East. If Buddhism has made it the enlightened tree, Hinduism considers this sacred in many ways. In India it is venerated.

The tree grows so big that with the presence of one great one a whole region gets purified air. Traditional medicine uses all parts of the tree in various combinations as cure to various diseases. It is said to have the healing power. It is said that sitting under this tree itself is cure for many diseases. There seems to be no insect capable of harming it; only human beings cause great harm to such big trees. Now research is going on in using an aqueous solution along with neem in pesticides and insecticides to make useful crops and plants resistant to insects 'for life' without losing any of their original properties.

The Indian traditional medicine uses all parts of this tree as medicine from disorders of blood, problems in the alimentary canal, lumbago, problems of women, to the well known demands like using this as aphrodisiac. The fruits are considered to have purgative properties and the barks are believed to check uncontrollable vomiting sensation. Some use the twigs in treating snake bites.

It is common to find a Bo or pipal tree on the banks of every pond as well as river in southern India and also a statue of the venerable God ‘Pillaiar’ underneath. It is believed that praying to him will show them the way to successfully complete any venture. This goes well with the belief of calling this to be the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ in these parts of the world. Many Indians start their day’s work after praying to him. The tree is believed to cure sterility among women; so its popularity among women.

I personally feel the elders on realizing the healing properties of this tree have made it a habit to have a statue of a god underneath to stop people from cutting down the pipal. Now one can find a host of god-statues underneath every pipal tree.

Trees are the first living antiques.
See Pics
The Tree Of Health

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Oil as Medicine

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I learned a long time ago that minor surgery is when they do the operation on someone else, not you. - Bill Walton

Oils have been considered to give relief from pain in muscles and cure nerve problems. In all countries we can see people using oils traditionally after having experienced their medicinal and curative properties. Most of these oils have been found to relieve pain at joints.

Gingili oil or Sesame oil is called in South India the ‘Oil of Goodness’ as it is said to be do only good and create no problem. It is used in cooking and for taking ‘oil bath.’ Oil bath is being slowly faced out by the modern medical practitioners as doing no good to the body. But those who take oil bath report that it takes care of the skin and help retain the smooth and shiny soft skin, the muscles are messaged and relaxed and the nerves are rejuvenated.

The bath results in reduction of heat and all related problems are cleared. It is said to cool the body well and anyone who is not accustomed to it is advised to use only a very small quantity on the vertex and not to message the oil deep into the body and take bath immediately, shampooing out to remove this oil from the hair and scalp. The messaging and soaking time may be increased only after one gets accustomed to it. In Southern parts of India there used to be masseurs at rich house holds to give oil massage to the men folk every Saturday. Even today one may find masseurs at the foot of waterfalls, who offer the visitors oil massage before they bathe in the falls. Special herbal oils are still available in most of the shops which claim to cure sprains easily and many use these and never go to a hospital for treatment or meet a practicing doctor, for such ailments.

Neem oil is said to stop hair falling when regularly used and also cure all scalp problems like, dandruff. Castor oil has good medicinal value. Traditionally this is used in India to remove stomach pain by applying it on the stomach and slightly massaging the region. It is also used internally to clear problems connected to alimentary canal and babies after they start taking solid food are administered a dose a month to relieve any digestive problems. Coconut and mustard oils are used in not just cooking media but also in medicines.

Many other oils have their own renowned oils having special medicinal effects. Olive oil is good as a skin toner and people use this to remove scars on skin and to get back the skin color after problems like burn injury. It is also said to control LDL and raise HDL level thus helping the heart.

Tea tree oil is considered to cure many problems and is used as medicine by the aborigines of Australia. Eucalyptus oil is used as a pain reliever, for getting relief from pain in limb joints apart from clearing chest congestion when suffering from cold. It is also used to get relief from head ache.

Thus there are many natural, herbal and green ways which one can use to stay away from problems that arise due to our irregular diet and habits. The various oils play a great role in keeping one healthy.

One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine. - Sir William Osler

Sciatica; neem; allergy; autism; water; swollen fingers; Alzheimer

quote from quote garden and quotationpage.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Content Management - Public Speaking - 5

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If Churchill had had a speech writer in 1940, Britain would be speaking German today
- James C. Humes

A good speaker has an eye on the content as well as on the method of delivery. Unless one is a seasoned speaker one should not accept public speaking assignments at very short notices. This may not give one enough time to make proper preparation.


Relevance to the topic gets the importance. Simple digressions are used to retain the interests of the audience. Digressing into various other matters, returning to the subject and bringing the talk to an end quickly, won’t add credit to the speaker.


The topic requires differences in treatment based on the audience. They may be young people below fifteen or above fifteen; young men and women, middle class gathering, religion oriented, only men, only women, mixed, club invitation, passed fifty, or motley. One can not use the same approach, even if one is talking about cinema.

The venue will also have a say on the treatment of the topic; the club, the closed school or university auditorium, an exclusive meeting hall, or the open place. The venue will also give the speaker an idea on the nature of the audience; their seriousness or lack of it and their imbibing level.


Let the speaker prepare his own speech as that would make him familiar with what he has on his notes, if he carries one. I know about busy speakers who employ freelance writers to prepare their speech and make a hardcopy and read from it, jotting down the broad topics in the margin. What would happen, if the speaker had little time to peruse the pages?

Create your own power point presentations or get it prepared well in advance so that you make a study of that. A speaker once sent the materials to a freelancer and got the presentation created while he was on his way to the venue. If you don’t have time to study the presentation, you may find it impossible to fuse it relevantly into your speech. The same is the problem with maps and charts or slides and photographs.


There should be flexibility. The preparation should take into account possibilities of last minute changes. There may be occasions to slightly change the approach or to modify that to suit the immediate needs that arise on stage.


The speaker should be prepared for any contingency. If he is going to talk on controversial topics, there may be discussions and so one should be ready to face protracted question and answer sessions. If there are many speakers one may have to be on one’s toes. Listening to them and adding relevant comments during one’s speech will make the audience realize the seriousness with which one has approached the topic.

Knowledge is confidence

One should have the required level of knowledge of the topic and that will give him enough confidence while talking about it.

In toto, the management of the content should, without explicitly telling it, show the audience the seriousness the speaker shows in executing the assignment given to him.

"We learn from failure, not from success!" - Bram Stroker

Coducting the self Good speaker Fear at Podium Public Speaker

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Public Speaking 4 – Conducting the Self

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If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. - Mark Twain

The ten points to ponder


From the time you get the invitation to make a speech to the time your car departs, people watch you and judge you. A good speaker should always remember to conduct himself well in the eyes of the public to create the proper opinion that is needed for his job. You might have recently heard about the resignation of a mayor from his post for not keeping up the decorum needed for the post. People who voted for him should have felt ashamed of themselves.


Your dress that suits the occasion should bring in half of the success. A running for a cause may require you go in race track suit, to address the runners and then participate in their activity; make necessary changes to unobtrusively distinguish yourself from the crowd. If you are going to address a group of youngsters select a dress suitable for the occasion and environment. If you go there in full paraphernalia, as if to a company board meeting, even as a speaker, you may be out of place.


Never be late reaching the spot. A few minutes of interaction with the people who invited you and casual talk with the audience, if you can mingle with them before your talk, will certainly give you an idea of the audience and their expectations and boost your confidence. This will initiate the personal touch even if it is a whole new place.

Low voice

Never be garrulous, be always a listener until you go on stage. Don’t speak louder than necessary. In these days of high technology managed halls you speak only in a normal and low voice. Get your voice recorded or video taped to know how you sound or are seen and remedy yourself. Don’t use words like, ‘you see’ or ‘look’ often in a habitual manner.

Language skills

Take care of your intonation and stress and if your pronunciation too is not up to the mark, get proper training, if you want to stay with public speaking. People never support one who can not speak clearly. Have a happy and contended look and don’t laugh or even smile unnecessarily. Don’t ever get into a verbal combat with anyone before, during or after the show.


One should remember that good preparation will stand in good stead. But just reading out of a paper may make people think that you have done lot of homework like a school boy. You should make your speech look like an impromptu one and use the minimum of external help like video clippings, presentations, maps or charts. Avoid using an audio recording. Many may get frustrated with that.


Remember to check the facilities you get at the venue. Don’t utter uncouth words when they fail. Take it as casual and continue.


Be sure to manage your time. Try to take much less time than expected of you, but make that time interesting and useful to the audience.


One last thing to note; you prepare a speech and deliver one. They both won’t be the same unless you read out your speech. At the end you would be wondering about your lapses and left out points and wished you could have done better. This is nothing new and every good speaker feels that way. Inner scrutiny is necessary to stay alive. You should check back every now and then to make sure that you are wanted.


Mark Twain’s words are worth everything a speaker possesses. It is true that you should say the truth; otherwise you will be all alone soon.

"Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he's well dressed. - Charles Dickens.

Good speaker Fear at Podium Public Speaker

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Public Speaking 3 - Good speaker

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"We must meet reverses boldly, and not suffer them to frighten us …” – Charles Dickens

Who can become a good speaker?

The present day environment presents may occasions for anyone to speak to groups. Many companies arrange for presentations of work progress, every week or month and boards require many other presentations, like overview of ventures, new or old.

So anyone who is in a responsible position has to speak in an acceptable manner. In work-spots if you are not the boss, you may be laughed at and your dear ventures may go down the drain, if you can not present them properly.

So speaking has become a necessary characteristic to advance one’s position in society or work-spot or business. Using charts and multimedia will be discussed elsewhere. Here only people who are involved in public life and only the basics of public speaking are discussed.

It is normal for any speaker to be considered good, not so good or bad by those who hear him. It is very commonly seen in schools and universities, where students love to attend the class of a particular teacher and wish to avoid some others. Among your colleagues, you might have noted some having stage fright, some speaking well and that only a few are welcomed with smiling faces and considered good speakers.

Here speaking well is distinguished from being considered good speakers. One may present his points and say what is needed in a clear manner but fail to create the interest needed to make the audience get involved. The importance lies in creating interest among the speakers and getting them involved. This will have better effects than presenting points in a clear but plain manner or even using multimedia.

Apart from not having stage fear and presenting one’s matter in a casual manner, one should have the following to become good speakers.

Become familiar with one’s field

Have a good knowledge of what one deals with, a knowledge of both the ‘fors’ and ‘againsts.’ This is a one of the basic necessities required of a good speaker.

But what other things are needed in general?

Listen to learn

A good listener alone can be a good speaker. Whether one likes the speaker or not one should listen to him to avoid what all he considers bad. That is not all. A listener will gather information and knowledge of things which he may not come across otherwise. He will learn what he can not learn in years by listening to another good speaker. Every good speaker brings with him on to stage his experience and wisdom gathered through years of hard work. This wealth will help the listener in future.

Read to know

This is the second aspect needed for a good speaker. This reading excludes all reading connected to his business. An interest in reading books that are of general nature, like fiction and poetry, will help one indirectly. This will come in handy to beautify his speech and make that interesting.

Today is ours; future with audience.

Other blogs
Public Speaking
Fear at Podium – Public speaking

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Leg pain –Sciatica

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Knowing that there is worse pain doesn't make present pain hurt any less.

Leg pain is one of the common occurrences in our daily life. For many it goes away even like the simple headache. The nature and severity should be considered for proper treatment. One of the causes for leg pain seems to be discomfort to the sciatic nerve. The pain occurs when this long nerve - the sciatic nerve is affected in some manner.

This sciatic nerve runs from the lumbar or lower back regions to the foot, along the back of one’s thigh. So the pain is normally felt in lower regions of back, backside and along the back of thigh, running to foot. This may incapacitate a person. One may feel shock waves running along the leg and make one rest taking some soothing posture. A loss of sensation along the nerve route may also occur. These may go away for many and if these persist one may have to consult the doctor.

The occurrence may be due to simple inflammation or some easily correctable malfunction of the vertebral column creating some inconvenience to this sciatic nerve. In most cases they seem to cause the pain. But for some this may require elaborate treatment and take weeks for them to return to normalcy. In rare cases, the correction involves surgery. This is not classed with others which require emergency treatment. A simple pain killer and a regular visit to a doctor after making a leisurely appointment should be enough.

Alternative medicines may also be considered. Normally homeopathic remedies are seen to be effective in sciatica when administered at the early stages. It is claimed that they cure and the pains disappear permanently. Homeopathy seems to be not using any pain killers. This may be a comparative statement considering that the pains return when the power of the pain-killer’s power wanes in our usual treatment methods. Better consult a homeopath and decide on your treatment. Most homeopathic remedies are harmless and create no side effects. So there is nothing wrong in trying. Healthcare has not only become very costly and scaring but has also effectively closed the doors of the benefits of alternative medicines to all.

One surprisingly encouraging thing that is reported is that in sciatica nearly 90% require simple medicine and only less than 1% of sufferers require elaborate treatment including physiotherapy and surgery and mostly all recover. It is better not to read all the discouraging materials found on the Internet. They have other objectives beyond proliferation of knowledge.

I think it is a wonder that some people reach old age without suffering from any of the innumerable diseases. It should be considered fortunate of one and a record or feat in life to remain normal and active, hale and healthy at some sixty years - without wearing glasses, lean not stout, without blood pressure –high or low, diabetes mellitus or insipidus, back ache, or stomach ache, or any of the multitudinous affections, benign or malignant, which we hear of.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Thomas Paine

Tree of Health Swollen Fingers Allergy Foot Care Autism Water Cures

See images of sciatic nerve in Google.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Fear at Podium – Public speaking

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It is easy to be brave from a safe distance. – Aesop

Once bitten twice shy is a great proverb which is normally true here. For many this fear has its origin at school level where the presentations are giggled at by classmates. This grows along with the child and exhibits itself in trying to avoid talking to a group or going on stage. Accumulated fear may result in total disaster.

The podium causes fear. The lion that roars inside its cage mews when comes out. A leader is admired because he has the ability to speak out casually, stir emotions, speak to the point and also carry on a repartee. Without these one may not be a leader. So there is the innate wish within everyone to get over the fear at podium.

Recognizing and analyzing one’s fear is the first step to get out of it. Today, from the politicians to the normal businessmen, all may have to face situations which make them stand before an audience and speak.

To be unperturbed when not appreciated by others is a virtue. This fear is said to be the cause of inferiority complex as well as a negative approach.

This fear may be seen as nervousness in hands and legs, a gone feeling in the stomach, a fluttering sensation, stammering and at times a tremor (quake like!) particularly in legs. For some this may express itself through extreme symptoms like nausea, vomiting and fever. So it is absolutely necessary to grab it at the early stages and overcome this fear.

Normally this fear is only at the surface level for many. Encouragement by others will help them overcome this easily. If this encouragement is given at school through teachers and fellow students, everyone can overcome this fear. A discussion of this fear with fellow class mates along with the teacher, and making the students go often on stage to say something on anything should clear this fear.
This fear is also due to a negative approach on the acceptance of what one says. But one should remember this. If someone has asked you to go on stage and give a speech, that itself is recognition enough of your worth by some and the next step is only to prove that you deserve that and deserve much more, and make many invite you. If you are good behind closed doors and feel all gone when on stage, it is but only a simple step to overcome this fear.

Applause is a tonic. To get this one may have to do a lot of homework. Many great people have gone through speech training involving intonation and stress. One who can not speak clearly can never be a success. Practicing the postures and gestures should certainly help. For a few, the comic postures and expressions have helped them become popular. But that is one of the uncommon things that happen.

Not having a lot to say may also cause this fear. A speaker need not have a string of important points to say. Even if one has only one important point to say and plans the approach of the culmination properly, one can be certain of success. The people expect something they can appreciate and remember. Don’t make a long list of things to say. Being pedagogic won’t promote success.

There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear. - George S. Patton

This fear belongs to the latter and practice makes one perfect.

Quotes from quotegarden

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Public Speaking

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'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat…'Churchill.

It was said that Churchill practiced the use of proper postures and gestures before the mirror in the early days. When he was very famous, it was reported that one asked him about the great secret of his success as a speaker. He said that he considered his audience stupid and himself the single wise one.

Shaw another great speaker advises people to practice proper intonation and the throw of voice to make oneself heard.

The great Martin Luther King Jr. is well known for his ‘I have a Dream.’

Swami Vivekananda became the overnight favorite of the American public with the expression, ‘Sisters and brothers of America!’

When a great man was asked about speaking, he said that he was not speaking for anyone else but to himself. He was listening to every word he spoke and criticized them as objectively as possible. So he was in a position to give what the audience needed.

Everyone who takes up public life needs to be successful in attracting his audience. Today there are many training institutes and individuals to teach public speaking. These courses are becoming popular even as dance classes, as politics has become a 24x7 job.

A man may have fears on being seen on the dais and have doubts about what to present and how to present. Many are undecided about their acceptance. Even great speakers make the mistake of not learning about the audience who they are to address. To know their interests and the background beforehand will always help the speaker decide on the selection of materials and approach.

The audience expectations are many; some like literary tidbits, some emotions, some wise sayings, some simple anecdotes, some parables, and still others humor. All may not like all. But everyone expects to hear something he would like is true. So the Chruchill’s approach of considering them all stupid won’t go well with normal speakers. One may find halls emptying during his speech, unless one has become as popular as Churchill.

Adding some humor and introducing new bylines until the end will help maintain the interests of the audience. If you are going to share a platform, learn about other speakers and their interests and add something about their interests, for or against, so that they refer to you and become your unpaid advertisers.

It is advised not to get disheartened by the behavior of a few in the front line or try to appease them. This may distract the speaker and even make him disheartened. Addressing the audience in general will be a great advantage to the speaker. Talk, if you had committed to. I have read about G.B. Shaw speaking for more than an hour at Hyde Park in pouring rain to none but just six policemen in their overcoats and shining helmets, who were compelled by duty to stand there to listen to what the socialist said.
Finally don’t talk about something in which you don’t believe. Just read what these two advise:

To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks. - Ben Jonson

It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and resolve all doubt. - Abraham Lincoln

Image courtesy: Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Quotes: Churchill
Wish to see 'n' hear Churchill click here.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Deny Oneself

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`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

Ego is defined in two ways—referring to self as different from the others and the world in general and as an exaggerated importance given to self, a sort of exaggerated self-esteem.

A revered hermit was there whose soothing words have given solace to many. The King of the country heard about the hermit and met him. He asked the hermit. “O! Revered one! I want to feel joy and remain bereft of worries and sorrow. Tell me what I should do?”

The hermit answered him, “Serve people.”

The King returned after a few months. “O! Revered one! I made all that are possible and expected of me by the people. I made my ministers to look into every problem my subjects face and ordered them to take action. But still I feel sorrow in here, I am not as happy as I wished,” so saying, he indicated his heart.

The hermit told him, “Give everything away.”

The king returned after a few months and told the Hermit, “O! Revered one! I have made all arrangements for all wealth to reach people. I don’t own a single thing. I have nothing except the clothes I stand in. But even now I feel a tinge of sorrow and am not happy.”

The hermit replied, “Deny yourself.”

He who has extinguished desire is one who has achieved joy on this planet. The one, who transcends the ‘I’, gets joy and reaches the eternal truth. To attain absolute joy which is synonymous of truth is attained through denying oneself.

‘Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ Matthew 16:24

Picture thanks to returnoninter

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Friday, May 9, 2008

The Believer

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The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Exodus 15:2
Our achievements are mainly based on our unquestioning belief. I heard a story a few years back. A religious person who had duties to perform early in the morning used to get his milk supplied from across the river. The woman who was supplying it got the help of a boatman, to take her across the river.

The woman used to wait for the boatman to arrive to take her across. But he was never on time and this caused delay. The religious person had to be at his place on time to start his oblations and every time she was late, he used to advise her to be duty conscious and because of her he was delayed.

When this delay became a regular affair, the woman told the priest to use his powers to make the boatman be ready at the wharf on time to bring her across. The priest replied that she could even walk across, if she believed in her God. Asked her to utter the name of God and walk across.

The woman was never late thereafter.

The priest was surprised. He asked her whether the boatman had made it a point not to be late. The woman surprised him saying that she never waited for the boatman but walked across the river on water, on his advice. The priest laughed at her. But when she returned, he followed her to the banks and spied on her. The woman just like that stepped on water and walked as if walking on stable grounds.

The priest who had been doing oblations for years thought he could also walk on water, if she could, pulled up his dress, called out loud to his god and stepped on water and lo! went straight down. On hearing his cries, the woman retraced her steps and saved him.

Why did the priest go down?

God would have made him walk on water, if the priest had not bothered about his dress getting wet.

Absolute faith brings in absolute success.

Moses stretched out his hand and the sea went back, driven by a strong wind and the sea bed dried for his followers to cross.

Go to Exodus

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sweet Home Woes

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Be it ever so humble there's no place like home.
Home! Home! sweet, sweet Home!
There's no place like Home! there's no place like Home!
—John H. Payne

Foreclosures, bank owned houses are for sale in all streets, all cities, all states and the whole country. The CEOs, who advanced their businesses to mind blowing levels, flee out now but only with contractual discharge benefits. Big banks and other corporates write off billions as bad loans or irrecoverable loans. Fannie-Mae is the latest to report a loss of 2.2 billions.

House owners find that they have no equity left on the house they are supposed to own. For many that has turned into negative equity. Many find the installment amount double on adjusting rate interest loans. Many have to just walk away and leave the house to its fate or file bankruptcy.

The Government acts by reducing the interest rates, which does not help. Now they introduce ‘Project Lifeline’ to save the situation. Accordingly, the six big wigs in mortgage industry are to contact the defaulters and make arrangements to find possible and viable solutions to bring solace to the supposed home owners.

The lending companies, expecting the market to go up, went into a mortgage spree, conveniently forgetting the minimum safe guards. The Government has now made the FBI start an inquiry into the loose lending practices adopted by the institutions.

‘Home, Sweet Home’ of Payne is famous among Americans and of course the world over. This has become one of the extinguished truths, through propaganda. The practice of big businesses, encouraging the people go for loans for houses without getting the minimum down payment and allowing them take second or even third loans, has created the mire. Everyone knows it. The Institutions know this. The Government is conscious about it.

But the suffering that has totally devastated the individuals rests solely with the individuals, who have signed thinking they own the houses.

The government should have encouraged actual owning the house by the instalment paying individuals through liberal tax benefits for principal and interest and the lending institutions should have recognized prompt payment of installments. These may be considered at least for the primary living home of any household in future.

Happiness is having OWN ‘Home, Sweet Home’

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fathering Man

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‘Child is the Father of Man’ Wordsworth.

"75 students arrested in San Diego State University drug bust.”
‘Yahoo’ news headline on March 6 informs. Very disturbing news arrives.

Sometime back there was a news item about a teacher found dancing at night clubs and claiming that to be her time away from school and has nothing to do with her teaching.

News from Chicago informs that a girl in her final schooling was caught in the cross fire between two gangs and succumbed.

The news about a house filled with filth was broken open by authorities to save an infant deserted by its mother is very much unnerving. This only shows that women are there who don’t have even a drop of ‘the milk of human kindness’ in them.

The games on the Internet normally target the teens tingeing their games with sex. The most popular web sites, many owned by bigwigs, call themselves to be creating social platforms for people to come together are just technically skilled high class pimps, which go round encouraging immoral relationship by creating space for faceless people. The grownups use children and teens to make money without any compunction.

America spends lot of money for the physical and mental health of children, for their care and education. It is the place where the maximum number of books for children are published. It is the place where Disney created his world. It has enacted special laws for the care of child. It is a country where we find large shops selling only baby goods and toys.

Most web sites of general nature have a section for parents and parenting has been turned into a science. There are web sites which deal only with parenting. Among such heartening things, the likes above and others about the boys and teens carrying weapons are much disturbing. It is also in this same country we hear about Eldorado people who ran exclusive asylums encouraging polygamy, abusing minor boys and making teen girls mothers.

For all jobs, man is expected to have educated himself to a high level and to have attained physical and mental maturity. Only to beget and bring up children, no education or special skills are necessary.

The ethics should percolate—from parents to children; from teachers to students. Man is created by the impressions one records during his formative years as a child and youth. The best portion of a one’s life is the first twenty years. So the impressions and experience are what father the man in the child. Parenting is not something exclusive to parents.

Child is the father of Man

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008


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When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

Good and bad omens are things believed in, even by most non-believers. It is something that comes into use by observance than by magic or miracle or willful introduction. An image, a word or sound, seen or heard, at a particular time may symbolize the course of an action—a harbinger of good or bad. If the real events concur what the harbingers indicated, the belief in omens take root.

The arrival of comets into the vicinity of earth is seen as good or bad. Sighting of Halley’s Comet was good for William the Conqueror but bad for King of England.

The Romans had two ways of divining into the future course of actions—studying the flight of birds and studying the entrails of sacrificed animals.

To augur whether an action would bring forth good or bad or success or failure, many methods were adopted. The great Alexander consulted the oracle before starting on conquests and we also hear that he turned the pages of Homer to know whether he would win or lose. Today some open the Holy Bible and read a verse to know the result of the activities, they intend to take up. Receiving white flower or red flower was also thought of indication of success or failure.

Poultry, sheep are sacrificed to appease gods and their entrails are examined to know the impending result.

They would not have you to stir forth to-day.
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.

The eastern world has made a good extensive study of these and has long lists of good and bad omens. One of the popular good omens being the water filled pot and the bad, the cat crossing your path.

Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;

Quotes: Julius Caesar –Shakespeare
Image: Thanks to Google images-birds in flight

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Monday, May 5, 2008


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What hands are here? ha! they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand?

The loss of a hand or leg may also create an illusion like itching feeling in the sole of the foot that is not there.

Illusion is better explained as psychic creation of an oppressed brain trying to cope up with troubled situations.
A result of crime; as seen in Macbeth; the illusion of the knife may be the action of a fevered mind.

art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.

The most common illusion is the optical illusion, seeing things that are not actually there. From a mirage to the seeing of 3D figures where there are none—all belong to this category.

The ventriloquist creates an illusion of sound.

Do you know that a successful mime artist also creates an illusion?

unnatural deeds
Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets:

Quotes: Macbeth-Shakespeare
Picture: Thanks to Wikipedia

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Sunday, May 4, 2008


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‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety:

Shakespeare wrote about Cleopatra like this. Every woman may dream to have this bliss.

The Tree of Life is the most wanted commodity today. If the ‘Getafix’ magic potion is true and available, it would be the hot thing today. Aging has made people find remedies to stop aging or to reverse the process. This is exploited by people who call themselves magicians or who claim to have connections with the supernatural.

All wish to remain young and enjoy the vigor of youth. For this many spend a lot. Today there are many ‘life’ centers which claim to train one’s mind and body; good food to one’s thoughts and organic food or what they call ‘live’ food to the body; physical exercises and mental exercises meant to help retain the health of a person. If man can have a clone of himself with his youth and vigor preserved, he would certainly spend all he has to have one cloned.

This only brings to mind the quest for some magic potion or ‘water’ which can induce youthfulness and give back the vigor. The myth that the Chinese emperor’s efforts to find the ‘rejuvenating’ pearl made his search party found Japan is also one among them.

The Fountain of Youth in Florida is one created in memory of a person who was supposed to have landed there searching for the ‘Fountain of Youth.’ Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his short story ‘Dr. Heidegger's Experiment’, wrote: Its source is overshadowed by several gigantic magnolias, which, though numberless centuries old, have been kept as fresh as violets by the virtues of this wonderful water. An acquaintance of mine, knowing my curiosity in such matters, has sent me what you see in the vase.

Virgil’s Sibyl asked Apollo only to have as many birthdays as the number of sand grains found on her palm but forgot to ask for youthfulness and its vigor that should go with such a gift and so grew old to live a thousand years.

To live happily one has to realize the meaning of the word rejuvenation; it implies that the person has lost his/her youth and vigor and the longing to get it back and trying to get it back are all the outcome of the loss. On the very day a life is engendered the day of its death is also fixed and growth is only a journey towards that end.

Is it possible to preserve youth and live long, if one can live in a vessel that travels at a speed that is more than the speed of light?

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Old Man of the Mountain

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‘It was a happy lot for children to grow up to manhood or womanhood with the Great Stone Face before their eyes, for all the features were noble, and the expression was at once grand and sweet, as if it were the glow of a vast, warm heart, that embraced all mankind in its affections, and had room for more.’ From 'The Great Stone face' by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

This day in 2003, five years ago, his life came to an abrupt end.

He was the well known 'Old Man of the Mountain.' This old man has got emotionally mixed with the people of New Hampshire and became a house hold name. He is the state symbol. People who knew him still look up with some longing to see him there. This forty feet tall face formation was staring over the Profile Lake for long. He got imprinted in the hearts of the people and honored through the issue of stamp and coins.

If Nathaniel Hawthorne really had a successful scientist in Dr. Heidegger, he would have changed the Profile Lake into the Fountain of Youth to save The Old Man of the Mountain.
Picture from Wikipedia

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Again Black Hole

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Recently I wrote on the Black Hole under the title: The Black Hole - Darkness Visible It is strange that a new article appears back to back on this title that too by 'Thinktechnologies'.
I came across a beautiful animated explanation of what a black hole may be and what may happen to an approaching vessel reac and wish to share the same with you all.

Visit here to see a great idea well presented.

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UNESCO Guillermo Cano Award 2008

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clipped from

2008 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize awarded to Mexican reporter Lydia Cacho Ribeiro

2008 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize awarded to Mexican reporter Lydia Cacho Ribeiro
  • © José Gallardo / Random House Mondadori
  • Lydia Cacho Ribeiro

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today designated Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, a freelance reporter based in Cancun, Mexico, as the laureate of the 2008 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, on the basis of the recommendation of the international jury of the Prize.

Sent with Clipmarks

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The Tree of Health – Neem

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Do we know the Tree of Health?

We know the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. The Tree of Health is Neem. Many have written about the greatness of this tree but the accredited pharmacopoeia is yet to recognize this for lack of documentation. It is large evergreen vegetation found in India and neighboring countries.

Taking a few tender neem leaves in empty stomach early in the morning is said to create the immunity and help us retain health. The neem leaves placed in a vessel in which food grains are stored keep the grains fresh and the pests and insects never affect them or colonize there. It is found to be an effective mosquito repellants. The original and pure neem oil regularly applied to scalp is said to clear all scalp problems, dandruff and lice, and when taken in, to clean the alimentary canal and to remove all worms which cause diseases.

The bitter neem bloom is added to thin gravy and mixed with rice and eaten. The little flowers are also used to make a semi solid, slightly bitter-sweet side dish. This is done particularly on the New Year day which falls in mid April, the hot season in India and also the season of chicken pox. (Small pox has been eradicated in India) The dried bloom is stored for future use as medicine and food. Even now, many people use the tender stem as brush; they munch an end of the fresh tender stem, early in the morning to turn the end into a soft brush and brush their teeth. The essence of neem goes in as the mouth and teeth are cleaned. As far as I know they all have sparkling white teeth and rosy and healthy gums and suffer no decay of teeth or diseases of the mouth.

The South Indian homes prefer having a neem tree in front of their houses. The air is said to keep the people living in the house hale and healthy. Every part of the tree—the leaves, stem, root, bloom, fruits, and nuts—is used as medicine. Neem leaves are placed above doors of the houses to indicate that a person is suffering from chicken pox, measles and such viral diseases in that house. It is also to inform others. The leaves are spread all round the patient to stop the disease getting severe. The leaves are dropped into the hot water used for bath, on the person’s recovery from his severe illness to make him get back the immunity and to ward off relapse.

At present, chemical companies have started using this as herbal medicine. They have found many uses for this neem. It is used in medicines to remove worms and other infections caused by them. In insect repellants and pesticides, we find this. People suffering from diabetes take this along with bitter gourd. Skin diseases, ulcers, fungus infections and also cardio vascular diseases are said to be cured. People believe this to be a good contraceptive. It is not a poison; has no bad effects on any living organism and so no antidote is necessary for this.

Now many companies have started encashing on this and have come out with neem tea, tooth paste, creams for skin, creams for fungal diseases and use this even in facials.

Going green is making more profit.

Picture courtesy: Google

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Trail of Love and Faith - Home Sweet Home

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A study says that 'animals navigating by seeing earth’s magnetic field' has been found feasible. It says that molecules in the bodies of birds and animals become sensitive to the local magnetic field, which guides them.

I have read James Thurber eulogizing his pet dog’s prowess, saying he could find his way home even when left alone some miles away from home. Man may find it impossible to find their way home even in their own home town, if they strayed. I am sure many Americans cannot reach their destination or return home, without a GPS system guiding them. Many send SOS to friends, after finding themselves in new surroundings.

When such is the case, we know about homing pigeons, and have taken them for granted!

The ant can return to the same route and join its fellows, even if one took it and placed it some distance away. Even throwing it away in the opposite direction won’t deter it from joining its fellows. A book about the real life incident on the homeward journey of two dogs and a cat has also been made into a film.

We know about the birds migrating, traveling south before winter, in search of warm nesting places and returning to the self-same place, when it is warm. The big wild African buffalo herd goes round the continent every year taking a particular trail.

Cats return home, wherever you leave them; they love the home they grow up and return to that at any cost. The blind bats fly fast and quick, go far from their places but return promptly to the trees or dark caves to hang upside down.

The recent article in the National Geographic web page seems to give us the answer. The chemical compass makes it possible for them to find their way. What if man has one!

It seems all other living creatures have better qualities than Man, But for his brain, he would have been ‘the dumb’.
African buffalo -Thanks Google

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