Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita? Oh head up one of the freeways quick. Pyaar? Whats that!!

I want the title to say it all. There has been a lot of noise over the movement of people from Texas fearing Rita. True, they have little else to do for safety. This article is not about their act, but to criticize the un-justified media publicity to a major 5 hurricane hitting the US (once in many years), where the whole world is informed in advance. Also, to criticize the un-justified amount of sentiment given to the world's most developed nation, where people have got fast cars, express-ways and all the support and money to save themselves. They call this a major catastrophe huh?!

Now, come to Pyaar. Its a cyclone thats in the process of devastating Andhra Pradesh and adjoining states in India. Nothing new. Just a familiar story, as regular as the monsoons in India. As of this writing, more than 150,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Only about 60 dead so far! And they got no cars, no freeways, no phones, nothing! And they have to save themselves from highly in-accessible regions far from the luxuries of hostpitals and food. These are people going about with events in their life without any noise. Yearly 5-6 major storms hit India. Thousands are affected by each storm. Many thousands of deaths are even not reported, as the coverage cannot get to their areas. Its a quarterly chaos for India in some state or other.

Watch any of the popular news channels of the world and their major headline is their coverage in multiple helicopters of the long snake lines of cars leaving Texas. I cannot help but laugh in disgust. First I think - is it such an amusing sight to see so many cars jam-packed? Or is it to show a major human catastrophe happening live? That catastrophe is at the max being to relocate to another state in the US in the cozy comfort of their cars?! Do these channels know what exactly they want to tell the world? Basically here is the case of a catastrophe avoided, thanks to the media publicity that bought it to the people too, and to this far as India, to me. So everbody in the world knows about Katrina and Rita, evoking high public sentiments. Does anyone know about Pyaar? This cyclone is ravaging the totally poor and ill-equipped people who didn't even know what was coming! Who is there for the poor villager in India whose name itself is unknown, to tell their story? If the global news channels pride themselves for their world-wide, un-biased coverage, why didn't we see enough about Pyaar in these channels?

Think World, think. Un-biasedly. Is there any point in telecasting an interview of the 'run to safety through the highly treacharous freeways' of a rescued Texan, now safe in some other state? Rather show the plight of the still sufferring people of Andhra Pradesh who have no roads to take them to safety. That would atleast bring rescue to that person. Any idea what a highly logistical operation the Indian Govt. is doing to airlift all the affected citizens? But many outside India do not know, due to the yet un-reached media coverage by the so called 'global' channels!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Because helping the victims of past wars is an action towards lasting peace in the future"

Do you know what the Vietnam-Dioxine Collective is?

I didn't, until I chanced upon it in this blog.

Whats the collective about? Created at the initiative of the young Vietnamese of France and of Vietnam, the Vietnam-Dioxin Collective is a gathering of people and organizations whose goal is to participate in an international campaign of inform public opinion and raise awareness on the continuing effects of the massive use of herbicides and pesticides (of which the infamous "Agent Orange") in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos between 1961 and 1971.

Today still, hundreds of thousands of children and adults suffer from diseases and handicaps linked to their exposure to these chemical products containing high levels of dioxin. Highly contaminated zones subsist as well.

The Vietnam-Dioxin Collective aims at drawing the attention of citizens and institutions to the problem so that economic, sanitary and environmental aid can be brought to the populations and regions, which need it the most.

And what is Agent Orange? It was the herbicide most heavily used by the American army during the Vietnam war. Herbicides were used to defoliate forests (to prevent the Viet Cong from hiding), to clear military areas and to destroy enemy crops. Agent Orange is actually pink-brownish. Its name comes from the orange-coloured bands that appeared on the drums in which Agent Orange was stored. Other herbicides used by the US army include Agents White, Blue, Pink, Green and Purple.

What are the effects of dioxin? Dioxin provokes cancers, foetal malformations, skin diseases... It also affects the immune system, the reproductive system and the nervous system.

Find out more:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

From the heart of kids :-)

These are some letters written by kids to God. Catch their innocence here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google's new blog search tool

Google just released which searches just the blog world (or anything that publishes a feed). It'd be interesting to see how long before we have commercial sites start popping up here abusing the result sets!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The children of Beslan - a harrowing episode

Last night sitting alone at home, I happened to watch a BBC programme recounting the harrowing incident of a school seige that happend one year ago by Chechen terrorists in Beslan (in Russia).

To know that those victims are mostly kids, is deeply disturbing. I just kept watching the show as numb as I got. I wanted to change the channel but couldn't. Those kids need a life! They can't keep living with such trauma so early in their lives. Most of them who survived had to see their parents getting killed.

The male adults were taken to a separate room in the school and shot at. One kid in the show, sprightly shows the reporter the room in which his dad was shot and thrown out of the window. The kid must be about 9 years old. Another kid recollects matter-of-factly how she had to drink pee to quench her thirst during the 3 day seige. Can't say disgusting - its pathetic. One sweet kid promptly offered some roubles he had in his pocket to one of the terrorists during the seige and asked for his mother instead. The terrorist coldy said he didn't want the money. What did he get instead? And what did the child get?!

One girl now draws the pictures of the terrorists and burns them to take out her anger on them. That said, almost all the kids interviewed in the show, wanted to avenge the terrorists and took it up as amjor ambition in their lives. What guarantee is there that most of these kids won't turn into future terrorists themselves? They are just too much in shock still. What therapy can solve their mental anguish to bring back normalcy to their lives? They are still in the formative stage. What can be predicted about their future? All that's sure for now is, they'll take a long time to get smiling again.

Well, we are left to face the facts now. Whats over is over. Its upto us to act today and plan our tomorrow. We really gotta say NO to terrorism and make our noise heard. Our children are the future of tomorrow. Lets imbibe in them sense of happiness, belonging and the qualities that make them energetic possitive individuals of the future. So that when they grow up, the world would be a safer place to live in.

Save the children!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Ever wondered if Bill Gates would really share his profits if you sent a mail to 10 people? Or your fiance would suddenly get delighted to propose to you if you sent some mail to a dozen other victims? If you really were in the dark on that matter, let this site quash all your doubts away! Its a very nice and apt take on all those folks originating mails like that ... lol!

Friday, September 09, 2005

The other side of the coin - is rusting!

Found this site (requires macromedia flash player) in one of the forwards that I got today, and it got me thinking.

The site offers an excellent flash presentation on the 'other side of the coin' - a look at the contrasts of the happy western world (generally) and the malnourished masses of Africa. Follow the flash till the end and you are provided with enough links and resources where you can give your help simply by sitting in your seats and clicking on - what seems to be - mundane buttons!

Go ahead, the world needs your help...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Vinayaka Chathurthi

Tomorrow is Ganesh Chathurthi. Amongst the flood of forwards that I got, I particularly liked this picturization of Lord Ganesha. Its a modern, surreal and quite transcending image which is soothing to look at.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Effect of the damage...

Veiw here for astounding pictures of the areas affected by hurricane God would have seen it! (requires macromedia flash player).

Katrina - the road to hell!

What can I say.. It was straight out of a horror movie! People drowning in one of America's popular cities. A city that new this monster could rip them off, since they lie below sea level. Peronally I never know of any such city below sea level! And considering the fact that the US govt. saw the destruction coming, they did nothing to contain the mess and the span of destruction. Our prayers are always with the lost souls.

The first pic shows the topography of the ill-fated city. The bottom pic is a cemetery by the pass.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yahoo's 3600

Yahoo has launched its 3600 which seems to be a combination of a:

Blog + a public messaging space called 'blast' + Photo Album viewer (connected to of course!) + Networking tool like minimal hi5 or orkut and.. LAUNCHcast.

I have to tell you I haven't used 3600 myself (more due to the pains of shifting from and stuff ..). But it sure seems more hi-tech and could be a super tool. It also seems easy to use. So at-last its a revenge of the titans - Yahoo's answer to Google's!

How to increase traffic to your site

Most of us who want to keep our blogs public would like to drive as much relevant traffic as possible. We can make use of HTML and the search engines' functionalities for that. Here's how...

First, the meta tags. These are tags like
<meta name="tag type" content="whatever">

View the HTML of this page to see how I have used them.

The common meta tags are: Description, Keywords, Robots, revisit-after and distribution

These tags are placed between the <head> and </head> tags. Metatags are a useful tool for search engines, a crawler/spider comes to your site and instead of searching the entire site, it just looks at your metatag for a description of your site. The 2 mainly useful metatags are the desciption and keywords tags.

The description metatag is returned to the search engine and is used for the summary of your site.
The keywords metatag is used to associate your site with those keywords listed, when somebody searches for one of those keywords, your site appears in the list with the description from your metatags.
The revisit-after tag is used to tell the search engine to revisit your site every 'n' days.
The Distribution tag tells the search engine that your page has global relevance.
The Robots metatag needs a special mention: If you don't want to be indexed by a search engine you would place this tag on your site, however if you want to be indexed you don't need to include it as the search engine will index it.

These are the values that you can use in between the braces after content= in your robots metatag:
index: robot will index your site
noindex: robot will not index your site
follow: robot will follow all links on your webpage
nofollow : robot will not follow any links

If you want to create specific meta tags for your site, use this meta tag generator.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Paradox of our times..

We have bigger houses but smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
More knowledge, but less judgement;
More experts, but more problems;
More medicines, but less healthiness;
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour;
We built more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less comunication;
We have become long on quantity,but short on quality;
These are times of fast foodsbut slow digestion;
Tall man but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It's a time when there is much in the window, but nothin in the room.

- His Holiness the Dalai Lama