Monday, November 23, 2009

A variation of Musical chairs

All the participants stand in a circle and the music plays in the background. A dupatta is knotted at one end and converted into a round loop, a hoopla can be used instead. Each participant passes the loop from his head to feet that is over his/her body and passes it on. Whoever is caught with the loop when the music stops intermittently is out of the game and the game continues till the last person, who is the winner.

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Queen of Sheba

A party game for teenagers/small children. In which the host plays the Queen of Sheba. She asks for something and the first participant to fulfill her wish correctly wins a point/prize. She keeps asking for one thing after another.Examples:
1. Red rose.
2. A fifty paisa coin or maybe two coins.
3. 3 balloons or purple balloons.
The list is endless. The person with the maximum points wins or a small prize can be given immediately to the winner of each wish at that time.
Adults can play this game with a slight variation. All the participants can be divided into teams and then a team representative is chosen who goes up to the queen with the fulfilled wish. The nature of wishes can be changed according to the level of the participants.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

2012 - an amazing movie

This is a must watch movie. It does get melodramatic at some places, but the effects are amazing and involvement of all nationalities is ensured to make it a global hit. It is a Hollywood masala movie. It is to be watched in the theatre and not on the television or computer. One feels one has seen it all - the superhero movies and action movies, but this movie goes beyond that in terms of special effects. While watching the movie, the theatre response was tremendous, the crowds were cheering the caste of the movie and were held totally spellbound. If it had been three dimensional !! It would have beaten Soaring! Its a movie not to be missed!
Rating *****

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweep - Rules of a favourite card game

Lately I got the idea of teaching my children, some of my favourite card games. I had spent hours playing some of these games in childhood. We started with teen do paanch, rummy and then sweep. Try as hard as possible, but I could not remember the rules of the game of Sweep at all. I asked mom but still nothing came back. Sweep used to be a favourite game which I used to play with my grandparents. I found the rules on the net and then everything came back. I have vivid memories attached with this game of my late grandfather. It is a great game which involves mental  maths and logic. I felt my children were the right age for this game. I have copied the rules of the game from but a more detailed description is given on
Sweep (or seep) is a popular Indian card game played with four people divided into two-player partnerships. The partners sit across the table from each other. The game uses a standard 52-card deck (the jokers removed).

    Points and Values

  1. All cards are played at face value for each hand, regardless of suit. For instance, each ace is a 1, each four is 4, each jack is 11, each king is 13.
    However, only the following are actually worth points when scoring at the end of a hand:
    All spades are worth their face value. For example, a king of spades is 13, a queen is 12, and so on down to the 1-point ace.
    The 10 of diamonds is worth 2 points.
    The other three aces also are worth 1 point each.
  2. Beginning Play

  3. Choose a dealer at random (or draw and let the player with the high card deal). Deal four cards face-down to each player in counterclockwise fashion (the player to the dealer's right--whom we'll call Player A from here on--gets the first card, and so on).
    Everyone can look at his cards. Player A goes first by announcing a number between 9 and 13 that corresponds to the point value of one of his cards. For instance, if he has a jack, he can announce "11." If he has more than one card worth nine points or more, he can choose from them. However, if he has no cards worth nine or more, the dealer must re-deal.
    Once Player A is able to announce a number, the dealer lays four cards face-up on the table. Player A then has the opportunity to lay a card from his hand onto one of the four on the table. To do this, he must lay a card down that, when added to the card on the table, totals his announced number. For instance, if he has a nine in his hand and there is a two on the table, he can lay the nine on it to total the 11 that he announced. If he cannot put a card from his hand onto a card on the table to equal his announced number, he must lay down one of his cards onto the table, face-up. Play passes to the right.
  4. Houses and Tricks

  5. From the first play on, each player attempts to build "houses" of cards or take a trick (picking up a house already built).
    To build a house, a player places a card from his hand onto a card on the table. A "house" must always add up to between nine and 13, and must total the value of a card in the player's hand. For instance, if there is a three on the table and a player has both a nine and queen in his hand, he can lay the nine on the three and announce "twelves." He has to wait until his next turn to take the trick (pick up the house), if it's still there.

    Houses can be picked up by any player once they are built, unless they are cemented (explained below). For instance, if Player A builds twelves and Player B has a queen in his hand, he can take the house built by Player A.
  6. Raising and Cementing

  7. Houses can also be raised higher by adding smaller cards onto them. For instance, if a twelves house is built, a player can add an ace onto it to build thirteens. Again, the player adding the ace must have a king in his hand (to equal 13).

    Houses can be cemented by a player putting a face card equal to the house value on top of it. For instance, if a "twelves" has been built, a player can lay a queen on top of it to cement it, so that only a queen can take it--it can no longer be raised by a smaller card. The player doing this cementing must have a second queen in his hand before he can do it (in other words, he must be able to pick up the trick).
    On his turn, if a player cannot pick up a trick or add to or build a house, he must lay down one of his cards face-up on the table.
  8. Scoring and Winning

  9. If at any point no player can add to or build a house, the hand is over and all remaining cards go to the player who took the last trick.
    Partners then add together their point cards (see the Section 1) for a team score. The team that took the most cards in the hand gets an extra four points. There will be a total of 100 points divided between the two teams (though it is possible for one team to collect all the points).
    Most sweep games are played until one team scores 500 points or more, but this is arbitrary and can be determined by the players.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Latest Hindi Movie songs for free - musicindiaonline

I love Hindi movies, well I guess that's not a unique characteristic of mine, I'm just one of millions. Every week I like to hear the latest hindi songs, like top ten songs or top twenty or top fifty according to the time available. I like a ready-made list of songs, kind of "ready to listen". I usually listen to songs while I work on my laptop and luckily I am blessed with a laptop which has an excellent pair of speakers - Toshiba A205-S4577

My favourite site is Musicindia online.
Its a fave site also because their list of most user requested songs matches my taste. In my Bookmarks toolbar I have the following Bookmarks.
1. Most user requested 50 bollywood songs
2. Most user requested 10 bollywood songs
This site works great with Internet Explorer.
I use Firefox, because due to its hundreds of add-ons Surfing and blogging are very easy and enjoyable. On clicking these bookmarks another window opens and if you are using Firefox open the bookmarks in an Internet explorer window inside firefox and when the player tab/window opens that too opens in Internet explorer inside firefox (This can be done by adding on the IE tab addon). You can choose your player (Real or Windows) in the trident player and then select the songs you want to listen. The sound quality is good.

Another popular site for hindi songs is The advantage with this site is that you can embed the song list in your website or facebook or orkut. On the home page, just click on the top songs. Another window opens and you can play the songs. One can make their own songs list.

I have embedded the top songs from Dhingana on this post.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rangoli '09

This year's rangoli at the hospital was amazing. Lot of work put in by children and staff.

The origin of rangoli painting is traced to a legend recorded in the Chitralakshana, the earliest Indian treatise on painting. When the son of a King's high priest died, Brahma, Lord of the universe, asked the king to paint the likeness of the boy so that Brahma could breathe life into him again. This is how, it is believed, the first painting was made. Also, the son of the king painted a portrait of a girl whom the son liked very much, although the king would not let his son see her. Rangoli also became a form of self-portraiture for women.
Coloured powder can be directly used for fancy decorations, but for detailed work, generally the material is a coarse-grained powder base into which colours are mixed. The base is chosen to be coarse so that it can be gripped well and sprinkled with good control. The base can be sand, marble dust, sawdust, brick dust or other materials. The colours generally are very fine pigment podwers like gulal/aabir available for Holi or colours (mentioned above) specially sold for rangoli in South India. Various day-to-day colored powders are also variously used: indigo for cloth staining, and spices like turmeric, chili, rawa, rice flour, and wheat flour. Powder colours can be simply mixed into the base. If the base is light like sawdust, it can be used to make floating rangoli on the surface of stagnant water. Sometimes sawdust or sand is soaked in water-based colour and dried to give various tints (though the result of this process may not itself float on water). If a rangoli is to be made on water, the colour should preferably be insoluble in water.
The rangoli in the photograph was made with sooji/rava mixed with colour and thermocol was used to give it a layered effect.

Diwali '09

This year we celebrated an environment friendly deepawali with only diyas and candles no fireworks at all. There were mild protests from the children at the nth moment, but nothing could be done about it at that time.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How important is commenting for bloggers?

How important is commenting for a blogger? Ask any blogger, amateur or professional and you'll find that its the life's blood of blogging. As important as the post are the comments. Following this thought I was surfing the net when I came across Harsh Agarwal's blog Shout me loud. It has a host of posts on "commenting on blogs."
The worst part of commenting is that only a blogger can appreciate the importance of it. Several of my friends whom I give the address of my blog never comment. I came to know that they visited my blog, when inadvertently during conversation they mention something that I have written there.
So this one is for my blogger friends. I came across two sites which may prove useful for bloggers. One is actually an Add on to firefox Easy comment, which helps in commenting easily on Wordpress blogs and the other is Backlink watch from where you can see all the sites linking your website and evaluate how many times people landed on your website through them.

Thanks to Shout me loud

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Party game - A simple game of luck with cards

This is a very simple game can be played in all age groups just spread out a pack of cards on the table and one by one all participants can play they just keep drawing out a card till they get an ace. The one who draws out maximum cards before drawing an ace wins. After each player the cards are shuffled and laid out again.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Party game - शहरों के नाम

This is a cute party game for birthday parties, ladies kitty party etc. Distribute the photostat sheets to all the participants. Use a stop watch and give one/two minutes to fill up the names
City Names

२ नागपुर
३ मणिपुर
४ कानपूर
५ जामनगर
६ पानीपत
७ आगरा
८ वृन्दावन
९ कारगिल
१० हरिद्वार
११ हाथरस
१२ कन्याकुमारी
१३ छत्तीसगढ़
१४ दिल्ली
१५ ऋषिकेश
१६ रानीखेत
१७ उन्नाव
१८ नैनीताल
१९ बॉम्बे

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wake up Sid - bollywood movie review

Ayan Mukherji's directorial debut, produced by Karan Johar. It is a story about Siddhartha Mehra (Ranbir Kapoor) - Sid. This is a great movie without any melodrama. Understated acting by the whole cast which is so true to life. Konkona Sen is as usual an excellent actor. Ably supported by Anupam Kher and Supriya Pathak. The friends of Ranbir Kapoor are played by all fresh faces. Rahul Khanna And Kashmira Shah in apt roles. I enjoyed this movie immensely. Identifying with almost all the characters of the movie.
My Rating *****

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Falafel with Pita bread and Hummus

Around two weeks back I had a Ladies party at home. The menu was inspired by a blog called Mirch masala
Mocktails: 2 cups Cranberry nectar, 1 cup orange juice and 2 cups Sprite
Appetizer: Hariyali marbles and Paneertikka stuffed bread.
Main Course: Stuffed peppers, Falafel, Hummus, Pita Bread, Tabbouleh salad.
Dessert: Waffles with nutella chocolate and chip chocolate icecream.
Stuffed Peppers:

(As i had not taken photographs I have taken these photos from the blog Mirch masala)
8 Bell peppers, two of each color, halved
2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cup cooked long grain rice
12-14 leaves of mint, chopped
a handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
6-8 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375F. Scoop out the seeds from the peppers and brush them with olive oil and bake for 15-20 mins. Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add the rice, mint, parsley, raisins, salt and pepper and remove from heat. Mix well and keep aside. Take the peppers out of the oven and fill them with this mixture. Top with pieces of cheese. Drizzle with some olive oil and return to the oven and bake for 20 mins or so.

1 cup chickpeas, washed and soaked overnight and drained
juice of one lemon
3 garlic coves, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
6-8 oz tahini paste (one cup sesame seeds roasted and ground with olive oil)
1/2 tsp pepper + more for sprinkling
salt and pepper
Process all ingredients in a food processor, scraping down the sides. Season with the pepper and olive oil and serve as a dip or with falafel in pita pockets.

Falafel Pockets (from Nita Mehta)

8 Pita breads or 8 pizza bases
21/2 cups kabuli channa
2 onions - finely chopped
1-2 tsp garlic- finely chopped
2 tsp green coriander - finely chopped
1/2 tsp dhania powder
1/2 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda bicarb (mitha soda)
oil for frying
1/2 cup bread crumbs
some onion rings sprinkled with chat masala

1. Soak channas for 6-8 hrs. Drain and grind in a grinder to a paste.
2. Add finely chopped onions, garlic, coriander leaves, dhania powder, jeera powder, salt, and soda-bi-carb. Mix very well.
3. Keep the mixture for 4-5 hours or overnight in the fridge.
4. Make round patties about 11/2" in diameter, roll in bread crumbs.
5. Heat oil and fry (kebabs), 1 to 2 at a time, on medium heat till golden brown. Keep aside.
6. Cut the pita bread or pizza base into 2 pieces.
7. Open a piece with a knife from the cut side, going almost to the curved edge, keeping the base joint from the edges, such that you get a pocket.
8. Heat a pan on fire. Saute these pieces till light golden on both sides.
9. With the help of a knife, open to form a pocket, spread some hummus inside the pocket. Throw some onions sprinkled with chat masala inside the pockets. Push 2-3 hot falafel tikkis in it. Warm on a hot tawa for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with hummus.

Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup bulgur wheat
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 cucumber, diced
4 oz can, black olives
1 cup heirloom grape tomatoes
a bunch of green onions, chopped (substituted by onions and capsicum)
1/2 lemon, squeezed
a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Place the water, salt and bulgur in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce, cover and cook till tender. Mix the rest of the ingredients with the cooked bulgur and chill for a few hours, if required or serve warm.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My favourite recipe for homemade Waffles

2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large
bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar,
baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.

Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick
cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Watch and Download HD Videos with Vuze

I want to share this video as it is a great way to download movies from the net.

Video Tutorial: How to Watch and Download HD Videos with Vuze | I Love Free Software

Shared via AddThis
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Happy Independence day

It's raining very hard today and its a relief as we were almost on the brink of drought. The coming of monsoon is a big relief from the killing heat and dust.
I am attaching a video which used to be broadcast on TV some years back, which evokes nationalistic feelings in all of us.
मिले सुर मेरा तुम्हारा तो सुर बने हमारा

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Friday, August 14, 2009

My trip of a lifetime

Being an avid traveler married to an avid traveler makes penning (Typing actually) this article so much more difficult. I am racking my brains for the one trip which can win over others. Our trip to America in summer of 2007 would qualify for this one I think, because the excitement was palpable and the planning of the trip had been meticulous and it proved quite a turning point  in our travel history. This was our first trip abroad where we did not take a package tour. All bookings had been done on the internet ourselves after extensive research. The whole family was going. Children were going abroad for the first time ( not counting the trips to Nepal).
After much delibrations we had planned to cover both the coasts of USA. The stays had been planned to be with friends and relatives on weekends and at hotels during  the week.
The trip started of on a great note we got a fantastic bargain on Air tickets with Etihad Airways. It was a pleasant journey and they had a great entertainment programme on board. The flight stopped at Abu Dhabhi airport  and then at New York.
We reached New York and decided to take a taxi to our hotel Comfort Inn at          which we had chosen for its proximity to the subway station. We quickly checked in and left the hotel, it was late afternoon at that time, imagine no Jet lag!! We took the subway to Times Square and coming out of the subway station right in the middle of skyscrapers was an overwhelming feeling. I was feeling dizzy looking up at the buildings, hello America!!
We bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus tour to see New york. It is a great way to see the city. Our first view of the Times Square we were zapped by all the moving picture billboards.

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Baawra mann dekhne chala ek sapna

one of my current favorites

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Lincoln's letter to his son's teacher

He will have to learn,
I know, that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader...
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick...
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books...
But also give him quiet time to ponder
the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him it is far honourable to fail than to cheat...
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong... Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon...

Teach him to listen to all men...
but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him if you can, how to laugh when he is sad...
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness...
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob
and to stand and fight if he thinks he's right.
Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient...
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do... He is such a fine fellow, my son!
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Party Games - Counting backwards from 50

Everybody sit in a large circle. One blank sheet each is distributed to all participants and one pen is kept in the centre. The host goes from one person to another with a dice and flat suface (plate). Each participant rolls the dice fast and whoever rolls a six, runs for the pen from the centre of the table and starts writing numbers from 50 backwards. Meanwhile the host continues moving round with the dice. The next person to roll a six, gets up and snatches the pen from the person who is writing and starts writing the numbers from 50 backwards. This is repeated till one person completes writing till number 1 to win the game.

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Party Games - Cards and Coins

Another interesting party game. A pack of cards are kept on the table. One participant plays at one time and is timed for one minute. A box of assorted currency coins are kept at hand. The participant draws a card and whatever the value of the card 4 coins of such denominations are kept on it, so as to match its value. e.g for the King of any colour the value is 13 and 2 Rs5 coins and 1Rs 2 coin and 1Re 1 coin, making atotal of 4 coins. The value of ace may be kept as 14. The one who is able to match the max no. of cards with 4coins, wins.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

I know many of my readers don't know why I have kept the title of my travel blog as "Munchausen Adventures." As a child I saw a movie which stayed with me till date. It was about the adventures of a German Baron

Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen (11 May 172022 February 1797) (often spelled Munchausen in English) was a German baron born in Bodenwerder, who in his youth was sent to serve as page to Anthony Ulrich II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and later joined the Russian military. He served until 1750, in particular taking part in two campaigns against the Ottoman Turks. Returning home, Münchhausen supposedly told a number of outrageous tall tales about his adventures. He died in his birthplace of Bodenwerder.

According to the stories, as retold by others, the Baron's astounding feats included riding cannonballs, travelling to the Moon, and escaping from a swamp by pulling himself up by his own hair (or bootstraps, depending on who tells the story)

The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen (or Baron Münchhausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels) by Rudolf Erich Raspe — a collection of tall stories published in 1785, based on the German adventurer Karl Friedrich von Münchhausen, but with many debts to earlier works. The tales were adapted and re-published in German by Gottfried August Bürger in 1786 as Wunderbare Reisen zu Wasser und zu Lande, Feldzüge und lustige Abenteuer des Freyherrn von Münchhausen and became much more popular in this edition.

Terry Gilliam adapted the stories into the 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen [sic], shot in Belchite, Spain, and at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. The film starred John Neville as the Baron

and nine-year-old Sarah Polley as Sally Salt. Supporting the Baron as his faithful crew were Eric Idle, Charles McKeown, Winston Dennis and Jack Purvis. The film also featured Uma Thurman, Oliver Reed, Jonathan Pryce, Sting and Robin Williams (credited as Ray D. Tutto).

The film begins in an unnamed and war-torn European city in the late 18th century (dubbed "The Age of Reason" in an opening caption), where, amidst explosions and gunfire from alarge Turkish army outside the city gates, a fanciful touring stage production of Baron Munchausen's life and adventures is taking place.

Backstage, city official "The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson" (Jonathan Pryce) reinforces the city's commitment to reason (here meaning uniformity and unexceptionality) by ordering the execution of a soldier who had just accomplished a near-superhuman feat of bravery (Stingin a cameo), claiming that his bravery is demoralizing to other soldiers. Not far into the play, an elderly man claiming to be the real Baron interrupts the show, protesting its many inaccuracies. Over the complaints of the audience, the theater company and Jackson, the "real" Baron gains the house's attention and narrates through flashback an account of one of his adventures, of a life-or-death wager with the Grand Turk, where the younger Baron's life is saved only by his amazing luck plus the assistance of his remarkable associates: Berthold (Eric Idle), the world's fastest runner; Adolphus (Charles McKeown), a gunman with superhuman eyesight; Gustavus (Jack Purvis), who possesses extraordinary hearing, and sufficient lung power to knock down an army by exhaling; and Albrecht (Winston Dennis), a fantastically strong man.

When gunfire disrupts the elderly Baron's story, the importance of saving the city eclipses the show. The Baron wanders backstage intending to die, until the exuberantly enthusiastic questioning of Sally Salt (Sarah Polley), the young daughter of the theater company's leader, convinces him to remain living.

Insisting that he alone can save the city, the Baron escapes the city's walls in a hot air balloon constructed of women's underwear, accompanied by Sally as a stowaway. The balloon expedition proceeds to the Moon, where the Baron, rejuvenated by the adventure of escaping to the moon, finds his old associate Berthold, but angers the King of the Moon (Robin Williams), who resents the Baron for his romantic past with the Queen of the Moon (Valentina Cortese). A bungled escape from the Moon brings the trio back to (and beneath) the Earth, where the Roman God Vulcan (Oliver Reed) hosts his guests with courtesy and Albrecht is found. The Baron and Vulcan's wife, the Goddess Venus (Uma Thurman), attempt a romantic interlude by waltzing in air, but this cuts short the hospitality and Vulcan expels the now-foursome from his kingdom into the South Seas.

Swallowed by an enormous sea creature, the travelers locate Gustavus, Adolphus, and the Baron's trusty horse Bucephalus.The Baron (who again appears elderly after being "expelled from a state of bliss," in his words) struggles with the conflicting goals of heroism and a peaceful death, before deciding to escape by blowing "a modicum of snuff" out into the sea creature's cavernous interior, which causes the sea creature to "sneeze" the heroes out through its whale-like blowhole. Back ashore, the Turkish army is located but the Baron's associates are now too elderly and tired to fight the Turk as in the old days. The Baron lectures them firmly but to no avail, and he storms off intending to surrender to the Turk and to Jackson; his cohorts rally to save both the Baron and the city.
During the city's celebratory parade, the Baron is shot dead by Jackson. An emotional public funeral takes place, but the denouement reveals that this is merely the final scene of yet another story the Baron is telling to the same theater-goers who were attending the theater in the beginning of the film. The Baron calls the foregoing "only one of the many occasions on which I met my death" and closes his tale by saying "everyone who had a talent for it lived happily ever after."
An ambiguous finale reveals that the city has indeed been saved, even though the events of the battle apparently occurred in a story rather than the film's reality. The Baron rides off on Bucephalus. As the Baron and Bucephalus are bathed in the light of the sun parting through the clouds, they apparently disappear, and the credits roll over a triumphant blast of music.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Party games - a variation of passing the parcel

At Pooja's party yesterday she made us play a different sort of passing the parcel. The theme of the party was flowers. We passed a pillow and when the music stopped the person with the pillow, picked a chit from a bunch, in which names of different flowers were written. then the flower's name was spelled out. The person on whom the last letter of the flower came. He/She has to sing a song which has the words फूल, कलि, or names of flowers like बेला, चंपा etc.
If the song is sung then the person who had the pillow when the music stopped is out. and if the song is not sung then the person on whom the last letter came, is out of the game. We had fun playing this game.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Parenting - Kids are dogs, Teens are cats

While young children are dogs ... loyal and affectionate ... teenagers are cats.
It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It
puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt
painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.
Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat.
When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who
died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your doorstep, it
disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry ... then it
pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up
at whatever you're serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in
that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you then gives you a
blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.
You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be
desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of
depressed. It won't go on family outings. Since you're the one who raised
it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you
did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your
efforts to make your pet behave.
Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now
produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it and it runs away.
Tell it to sit and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it,
wringing your hands, the more it moves away.
Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you must learn to behave
ike a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door and let it come to
you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit
still and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not
entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big
kiss and say, "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes
for you."
Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again!

Author unknown
Thanks to Nidhi
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vaccination against Cervical cancer - all women between 10 -45 yrs should get it.

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of death in women in India. Till now we only had screening of patients with papsmear and of late HPV ( Human Papilloma Virus)infection detection, to control the disease. The presence of a vaccine would definitely lead to a greater control of the disease.
The trick is to become vaccinated before exposure to the virus occurs. Thus earlier the better.
Glaxosmithkline has launched it's bivalent vaccine, Cervarix against Cervical cancer last month in India. Merck launched its vaccine Gardasil, a quadrivalent vaccine in India a few months back. The question now arises which vaccine to be the vaccine of choice.
  1. On the face of it a quadrivalent vaccine seems to be the better choice. In reality that is not so. The vaccine protects against the HPV viruses 16,18, 6, 11, of which only the first two are responsible for cervical cancer, while the other two are responsible for genital warts.
  2. On the other hand Cervarix gives protection against 16 and 18. It is better because, there is cross-reactive protection against the virus strains 45 and 31, two other viruses causing cervical cancer.
  3. Cervarix is formulated with AS04, a propriety adjuvant that boosts the immune system response for a longer period of time.
  4. Both vaccines are against the human papilloma virus but Cervarix seems to be more effective against cancer cervix.
  5. Cervarix can be given to females between 10 to 45 yrs old, whereas Gardasil can be given to females between 16 to 26yrs only.
  6. Both the vaccines are given in the schedule of 0,1,6 months. Cervarix is the costlier one being priced at Rs.3200 per dose.
Cervarix seems to win against Gardasil because of its stronger immune response and broader protection

read more "Vaccination against Cervical cancer - all women between 10 -45 yrs should get it."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Starting a blog on blogger

I am sure the better platform to start a blog is blogger. Go to and sign in with your gmail account.
Assuming that you have decided on a template for your blog. Which can be the one of the most difficult decisions to make. Blogger templates are 2 column ones, but as you start blogging you feel a lot of space is blank on the screen and can be put to better use, with the addition of another column.

  1. Switch to a 3 column template. Many templates are available on the net my favourite is Ashwini Khare's modifications of blogger templates. There are other sites which are offering blogger templates for free, they are worth checking out for the three columns.
  2. Hide the Navbar.
  3. Burn a feed. Its easy now just go to and you can burn a feed. Then goto site feed in settings and put in your feed address in postfeed redirect URL all your feeds would be directed to your feedburner feed.
  4. Insert a Subscribe by email easily done through feedburner using the html code in the layout.
  5. Add this.
    This button at the end of each post makes it easy for the reader to share your post through the various popular social networks.
  6. Yahoo media player.
  7. Insert any webpage with iframe.
  8. Embed high quality youtube videos. To embed a high resolution version of YouTube clip in your web pages, first make sure that “Watch in High Quality” or “Watch in HD” link exists next to the YouTube player as most videos are only available in standard format.Next copy the YouTube embed code and append &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 (for high quality) or &ap=%2526fmt%3D22 (for 720p High Definition) to the URL value of the movie parameter in both instances.
  9. Add Link Within to show related posts at the end of your post.
  10. Add the sharecount button for facebook
             <script src=""></script>


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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blogger vs Wordpress

The idea to start another blog came to me on 3rd March o9, on my birthday despite having a travel blog and a medical blog I still felt the need to share certain things which fell in neither categories. So I decided to start another one. I would call it a personal blog. When Shaleen saw me starting another one last night his instant reaction was- oh my god another one!

It took me all this while to form a picture in my mind regarding the shape it would take. I decided to use another platform than the Blogger for this. I have been curious about Word press for a long time now. Though I started with a wordpress blog I decided to revert to Blogger. My familarity with its platform is the main reason.

The differences between blogger and wordpress are

  1. Wordpress has 3 column blog templates as its templates in Dashboard. I had to really struggle so hard to convert my blogger ones to 3 column templates with the help of Ashwini Khare , I managed to do it only this March.
  2. Wordpress has an option for including music, in all posts which I could not find in Blogger. In the main template there is an option to put in an audio link.
  3. I just hope there is no limit to the capacity of the blog space at Wordpress. I just saw that I had used some part of the 3GB space allotted to me. i hope it is on a monthly basis. With blogger space is no problem at all
  4. A poll can be added very easily in wordpress I could see no such option in Blogger. There is may be a widget for it.
  5. I adore the add and arrange page elements feature of blogger too much. I think I'll stick to blogger
  6. Starting a blog is definitely much more easier in Blogger for a non geeky person than in Wordpress.
  7. Putting in google adsense is easier in a Blogger blog.

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