Category: Trivia

Who knew this? Did you??

A small presentation on the history behind a few popular expressions that we use in our day-to-day affairs. I did not know this until I read them. Sit back, read and enjoy….

Cost you an arm and a leg: In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint).

Big Wig: As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig.’ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

Chairman: In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the expression or title ‘Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board.

Minding your own wax and Losing a face: Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told, ‘mind your own bee’s wax.’ Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term ‘crack a smile’. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . Therefore, the expression ‘losing face.’

Straight Lace: Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced’. . Wore a tightly tied lace.

Playing with a full deck: Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades.’ To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck.’

Gossip: Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TVs or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some ale’ and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term gossip.’

P’s and Q’s: At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the term minding your ‘P’s and ‘Q’s.

One more and betting you didn’t know this!

Brass Monkeys: In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations.

However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’ (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.)


Starting in 1941, increasing numbers of British airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape. Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful, accurate map, one showing not only where-stuff-was, but also showing the locations of ‘safe houses’ a POW on-the-lam could go to for food and shelter.

Paper maps had real drawbacks: they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear-out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush. Someone in the MI-5 branch (one hopes it was the youthful incarnation of ‘Q’!), got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatever.

At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by HM Government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By pure coincidence, Waddington’s was also the U.K. licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly.  As it happened, ‘games and pastimes’ was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages’ dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war of all belligerents.

Under strictest secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were located (Red Cross packages were delivered to prisoners in accordance with that same regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s also managed to add: A playing token containing a small magnetic compass, a two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together, useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian and French currency hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first missions, on how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set – by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square! Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, perhaps one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely – HM Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in another, future war.

The story wasn’t declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s were honored.

World’s Most Unusual Borders

Most of the time, a border is an imaginary line that isn’t remarkable in any way, usually not even readily visible. More often than not, the only indication you’ll get when you’re crossing one is a sign that says “Welcome to Oregon” or “You are now leaving California”, while you’re driving on a highway where nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. Some borders, however, are more unusual. Here is a list, in no particular order, of nine border areas that are somehow peculiar or noteworthy.

Though not an entirely original except the idea to blog this, the information presented here is sourced from internet and openly available data on, and In case of any errors, please accept apologies in advance.

10. Spain/Morocco Border

Ceuta is an 18.5 square kilometres (7.1 sq mi) autonomous city in Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of North Africa, surrounded by Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies on the border of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Morocco claims Ceuta, along with the Spanish autonomous city of Melilla, and a number of Mediterranean islands which border it, which has led Spain to erect a 3 meter high border fence around the city topped with barbed wire.

9. Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog

Baarle-Nassau is a Municipality in the Netherlands. It shares an unusual border with the Belgian municipality of Baarle-Hertog. Baarle-Hertog consists of 26 separate pieces of land surrounded by Baarle-Nassau, but some portions of Baarle-Hertog also contain areas belonging to Baarle-Nassau. The smallest parcel belonging to Belgium is only two-thirds of an acre (one-quarter of a hectare). The border is so complicated that there are even some houses that are bisected by it. In the picture above you can see the Netherlands on the left and Belgium on the right.

8.Bir Tawil

Bir Tawil is a plot of land about 795 square miles (2,060 square kilometers) in size. It lies between Egypt and Sudan. It was inadvertently created in 1902, when the United Kingdom drew a different border from the one that was created in 1899. The two different borders created two different areas, Bir Tawil and Halaib.

Halaib has various resources, making it desirable, but Bir Tawil has nothing. Therefore, Egypt claims the 1899 border, which gives Halaib to Egypt and Bir Tawil to Sudan. Sudan, conversely, claims the 1902 border, which gives Halaib to Sudan and Bir Tawil to Egypt. Each country insists that Bir Tawil belongs to the other, making Bir Tawil the only piece of land in the world (outside of Antarctica) that is not claimed by any nation.

7. Mount Everest

What’s Mount Everest doing on this list, you may ask? Everyone knows, of course, that it’s the tallest mountain in the world, but what a lot of people don’t know is that the border of Nepal and China goes right through the middle of the mountain, including the peak itself — making it not just the highest mountain, but also the highest border area.

6. District of Columbia

The District of Columbia was originally a big diamond carved out of Maryland and Virginia (later, the Virginia portion was returned to Virginia). Due to its size, shape and location, the border has some unusual features. When it was originally delineated, large stones were placed one mile apart around the entire District to define the border — one hundred stones in all, since the original district was ten miles long on each side. A few of the stones are missing today, but most are still present. There’s one in Silver Spring, Maryland, that marks the northernmost point of the District.

The border is unusual in other ways as well. Eastern Avenue and Western Avenue form the Northeast and Northwest borders, respectively. If you’re walking on the sidewalk on the northern side of the street, you’re in Maryland; the street itself is in the District, and the curb is the state line. Stores on one side of the street showing phone numbers in their windows will have one area code (for Maryland) on the north side of the street, and a different area code (for the District) on the south side.

5. Derby Line, Vermont

The town of Derby Line straddles the US/Canada border. The border passes right through the town, even through some buildings and homes. In some cases, a family at home cooks its meals in one country and eats them in the other. Derby Line is also home to the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, which was purposely built on the border. The opera stage is in Canada, but the entrance to the opera, and most of the stage seats, are in the United States. Because the building straddles the border, it has two mailing addresses, one for the US and one for Canada.

4. Cooch-Behar District

The Cooch-Behar District has borders somewhat similar to the Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog border. There are a number of parcels under Bangladeshi jurisdiction that lie inside of India, and vice versa. An additional peculiarity is the Indian area Balapara Khagrabari. As an exclave, it is surrounded by Bangladeshi territory. However, it also surrounds another Bangladeshi territory, and that territory itself surrounds yet another Indian territory, Dahala Khagrabari, making it the only place in the world where an exclave contains an exclave that itself contains yet another exclave.

3. Korean De-Militarized Zone

The Korean DMZ is a strip of land about 160 miles (258 kilomters) long and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide, dividing North and South Korea. It is the most heavily militarized border in the world. Because it is so heavily guarded and almost nobody ever enters it, it has inadvertently created a nature preserve. A number of highly endangered species have taken up residence there, and there are indications that some of them may even be increasing in population. The DMZ is also notable in that it does not delineate a border per se; rather, it surrounds a “Military Demarcation Line”, or MDL. A border between the two Koreas cannot be formally agreed upon, as the two nations are technically still at war. A cease-fire was agreed on in 1953, but there has never been an actual peace treaty.

2. Tumen River

The Tumen is a river in Northeastern Asia. In an area near the coast, on the border between Russia and North Korea, just to the south of Lake Khasan, the Tumen snakes down between Russia and North Korea and is actually in Chinese territory. Thus, in this area, you can start off in North Korea, and just by walking North for less than half a mile, you will pass through China and end up in Russia. Although that might not be a good idea. It’s a common place for North Koreans to attempt to defect and, for that reason, it is heavily patrolled by North Korean soldiers.

1. The Diomedes

The Diomedes are a pair of islands in the Bering Strait. Little Diomede hosts the American city of Diomede, with a population of 146. Big Diomede belongs to Russia and is uninhabited. The two islands are only about 2.5 miles (four kilometers) apart. The International Date Line passes between the Diomedes and serves also as the border between the United States and Russia. Thus, when residents on Little Diomede look across the strait at Big Diomede, they are not just looking at another country, they are “looking into tomorrow”; for example, when it is 9 AM on Saturday on Little Diomede, it is 6 AM on Sunday on Big Diomede. Little Diomede has set up a webcam looking across the strait. Visitors can control the camera, panning from side to side and zooming in on Big Diomede.

English Nursery Rhymes Revealed

It is a common notion that most of the renowned nursery rhymes were originated in the english land and has been inculcated in a lot of syllabuses around the world. Most of these nursery rhymes were originated during the British rule. We so easily adapted this as an important step to our learning. Have you ever wondered, what was the history of these rhymes?

Interestingly, there seems to be a lot of explanation and thought behind the origin of these rhymes. I have for you, few popular nursery rhymes and their background stories.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

The story of this nursery rhyme dates back to the English civil war of 1642 to 1651. At this period, Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle directed the kings men and managed to overpower the parliaments strong hold. In this fight for power, Humpty Dumpty, who was the toughest defender of Charles I, was in pole position on top of the church tower of St Mary-at-the-Walls (Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall). However, the parliamentarians gunned incessantly and managed to blow away the top part of the church, sending Humpty Dumpty crashing to the ground, where it buried itself in deep marshland (Humpty Dumpty had a great fall). The king’s cavalry (the horses) and the infantry (the men) hurried to retrieve the cannon, but they couldn’t put Humpty together again and they were overrun by the parliamentarian troop.

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

The rhyme makes no sense by itself. Does it? The story goes as, In 1967, in a small village in Somerset, there was a young unmarried couple who in order to hide from the locals would show their affection for each other up on a hill. As a result of this, Jill became pregnant. But unfortunately just before the baby was to be born Jack was killed by a rock which hit his head after it fell of the hill. To add to the grief, Jill also dies a few days afterwards.

Baa Baa Black Sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

It is said that the original last sentence was a  – And none for the little boy who cries down the lane.  But in 1765, it was changed to And one for the little boy, who lives down the lane, to make it a little pleasant. This one goes back to 1272. At this time, new taxes were imposed on wool in order to fund military campaigns. One-third of the price of each sack must go to the King (the master); one-third to the Church or the monasteries (the dame); and none to the actual shepherd (the little boy who cries down the lane). This shows the harsh and biased life the working class people had to live through.

So, here it was, some food for thought, thus burrowing your mind to delve into nursery rhymes and a lot more that we have always taken for granted.

Wish You Were’nt Here!!!!

Breaking down in the wrong place at the wrong time would be better than breaking down in one of these roads!

Having your vehicle break down at the side of the road is traumatic enough as it is. Making sure you can pull off far enough, hoping to have enough juice left in your phone to call a tow truck and frustration over potentially missing an appointment all add to the stress.

But things can get a whole lot worse if your car gives out in the wrong place. Even the most remote highways look like a walk in park compared to this list of terrible car trouble locations: a group of so-called roads where injuries, kidnapping and death are real threats.

Road of Death, Bolivia

Any place that’s dubbed the “Road of Death” ranks high on this list. The North Yungas Road in Bolivia was famously recognised as the worst road in the world in 1995 by the Inter-American Development Bank. Stretching 60-odd kilometres from the capital city of La Paz to Coroico, the road, in a terrible state of disrepair, winds along the mountains. The elevation is nearly 3,600 metres with hairpin turns galore, and no form of barrier between you and the near kilometre-long drop to the bottom.

Narrowing to only five or six feet in certain areas with a total elevation drop of 3000m in only 80km, Death Road has certainly earned its reputation. The road is frighteningly tight, slippery and extremely bumpy thanks to a scattering of rocks on its surface. Despite all of the danger, the scenery is breathtaking. Surprisingly, the majority of the traffic fatalities are a result of head-on collisions rather than falls. At the height of its infamy, ‘Road of Death’ averaged 400 deaths per year.

Lena Highway, Russia

Canadians and Russians do more than chase each other in their airspaces over the Arctic – they also bitterly complain about the cold, and claim they own the coldest places on Earth (outside Antarctica). The wilds of Northern Manitoba may or may not be more pleasant than the Siberian plains, but at least Canadians don’t have to deal with such a nasty road.

The Russian highway system that links Moscow and Yakutsk, called the Lena Highway, is usually covered in snow and ice, which doesn’t prove to be terribly challenging. But during the two brief months of summer, adding rain to the unpaved roads mean hip-deep mud, weeklong traffic jams and the unholy mess of trying to extricate thousands of vehicles stuck – quite literally – in the middle of nowhere.

Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China

Although China is fast improving its infrastructure – sometimes with alarming consequences – most of its interior is still wild country. The Sichuan-Tibet Highway, a single-track road linking Chengdu and Tibet, is one of the most notorious thanks to its harsh topography and remote location.

Stretching more than 2,400 km, the highway traverses 14 mountains, crosses wide rivers, and passes through some of the world’s most hostile terrain. Definitely not the place you want your vehicle to break down if you don’t want to be stranded for days.

Halsema Highway, Philippines

The 200-km Halsema Highway is one of the most dangerous places to be in a vehicle. Long stretches of this unpaved roadway are lined with huge open cliffs – without guardrails. And forget about travelling during the rainy season where rock and mud-slides can block large portions of the road. Perhaps the biggest danger to motorists is the local buses that treat the Halsema like a rally stage. In addition to the fast-moving buses, overturned vehicles and other crashed cars are a regular sight.

Leh-Manali Highway, India

Built and maintained by the Indian Army, the Leh-Manali Highway is like many others on this list – open only for a limited time each year. Heavy snowfall renders the highway unusable, and avalanches typically block the road as it winds through some of the highest mountain passes in the world, including Lachulung La, which is more than 5,000 metres. The unpredictable route is also jammed with large trucks that crawl, crash and flip along the narrow path.

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan

The highest paved road in the world is also the top route for tourists to get close to the world’s largest mountain, K2. It took 20 years to build and claimed nearly 1,000 lives in the process, twisting and turning along some of the old paths from the Silk Route. The highway is currently closed because a rockslide in January created a new 22-km-long lake that gobbled up parts of the road. It is estimated to take two years before the mess is cleaned up.

Skippers Road, New Zealand

New Zealand is well-known for is spectacular vistas, and one of the most beautiful is Skippers Canyon, located near Queenstown. The unpaved road to get to the canyon is only 22-km long, but it’s carved straight out of the natural schist rock. It was built in the 1890s to provide better access to the area for miners, and hasn’t been improved since. In fact, the road is so dangerous that rental car companies have banned use of their vehicles on it. However, there are a number of rafting and boat tours that use the road, but local knowledge is essential to navigating it safely.

Luxor-al-Ghurdaqah Road, Egypt

Most drivers will agree with this logical statement: Sun goes down, headlights come on. Apparently not the many Egyptian drivers who travel the Luxor-al-Ghurdaqah Road, which winds down to the Red Sea. To them, it’s perfectly natural to drive without the aid of lights, which obviously creates a challenge when meeting another car in the middle of the desert. During daylight hours, it’s no more enjoyable when local bandits seek out fresh tourists.

Mr. Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy was born on December 21, 1972 in Pulivendula village of Kadapa District, Andhrapradesh. Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy popularly called as Jagan Anna, son of Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. Y.S JAGAN is considered as the leader of youth in Andhrapradesh. Y.S Jagan’s followers in the Congress have been staging rallies for quite some time now demanding that to take the plunge. Mr. Vivekananda Reddy(M.P) said that in view of this demand, the Chief Minister and his family members had approved his entry into politics. Y.S. Jagan had been playing a key role in Congress and moulding the party cadre, especially youth, Describing him as a young leader possessing leadership qualities,he had also been taking the Government schemes to the rural people. So people wanted him to enter state politics and contest from kadapa parliament constituency in 2009.

Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy received his early education from Pulivendula and later obtained his Master’s degree in Business Administration. While in college, he took active part in sports, excelled in Cricket and won several shields at various Inter-collegiate tournaments.Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy started his professional career as a predecessor of his father as he is busy in politics and proved him self as a great business man who works for the people but not for himself. Devoted himself to various social activities, especially for the upliftment of poor

Sri. Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who is profoundly called as Jagan Anna, is a man of many faces. He always strives for the upliftment of downtrodden masses. He constantly comes forward to support qualitative and sustainable social initiatives. As true son, he is following the footstep of his illustrious father Sri. Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy, honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. His approach to help society is simple and yet very powerful. He has Charitable Trusts that are perenially helping scores of people.

It has taken 30 years for YSR to become a CM but it has taken far lesser time for his son y.s Jagan to become popular.His name spells enthusiasm and there is a surge of blood when he is around be it his newspaper office Sakshi or his village,Pulivendula or Bangalore where he is stationed. He founded the daily Telugu news paper saakshi ( ).Jagan is offering the saakshi news paper with all colour pages for Rs.2.50/-. Now Jagan wants to promote Telugu news tv channel. Mr Jaganmohan Reddy set up a unit, Raghuram Cements, spread over 2,000 acres at Nallalingayapalle in Kamalapuram constituency. His initiative got Dalmia Cements and Bramhani steel plant at Jammalamadugu, Easwar Cements in Mylavaram and Rs. 270-crore Govindaraja spinning mills in Pulivendula. Y.S Jagan is directly providing employment to Thousand’s of people through his projects.

Pulivendula today has become synonymous with Y.S Jagan, the autos bear his name,every one in Andhra Pradesh knows him . his home has a floating crowd. It is a home for all. Go there and no one stops you or screens you, cups of coffee and tea are constantly circulated.

Phones are continuously ringing and people who come with anxiety and hope return with relief and happiness.

Whether the government helps you or not is a different matter but one is sure to get a help there.

It doesn’t matter who you are, once you walk in, your name is remembered for the rest of your life.

At the young age driven by his passion to serve the poor and inspired by the then Prime minister Mr.Rajiv Gandhi who is an idol for the youth in politics and none other than his father Mr.Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy he took the Indian National Congress membership.From then onwards he never look back continued working for the people. Many a times people requested him to contest elections but he sensitively rejected saying it is not necessary to to be an MLA or MP to serve the the people.

Throughout his public life, Mr. Jagan has worked actively for the welfare of women and children and the underprivileged sections of society. For their benefit, he established several institutions. Jagan Seva Samithi is helping several needy and poor people in Andhra Pradesh. Through creating opportunities and working towards a more equitable society, the YS Jagan Seva Samithi has made small, but effective strides in the areas of healthcare, education, social rehabilitation and the arts. Jagan Seva Samithi is firmly committed to the cause of education, employment of youth and the development of the underprivileged regions. They have successfully done many developmental works in different parts of Andhra Pradesh.

Jagan Seva Samithi Projects and activities are in the following areas.

Health Care Activities

Each year, millions of children and mothers could be saved through improved access to basic health interventions. Those who most desperately need them – the rural poor – live in remote villages where the cost of reaching them could be five times greater than urban areas. Jagan Seva Samithi is a non-profit organization working to save lives and improve well being in developing regions by increasing last-mile access to healthcare and investing in social businesses that address gaps in health and community infrastructure. 

Educational Activities

Each year, millions of children and mothers could be saved through improved access to basic health interventions. Those who most desperately need them – the rural poor – live in remote villages where the cost of reaching them could be five times greater than urban areas. Jagan Seva Samithi is a non-profit organization working to save lives and improve well being in developing regions by increasing last-mile access to healthcare and investing in social businesses that address gaps in health and community infrastructure. 

Rehabilitation of Disaster Activities

Each year, millions of children and mothers could be saved through improved access to basic health interventions. Those who most desperately need them – the rural poor – live in remote villages where the cost of reaching them could be five times greater than urban areas. Jagan Seva Samithi is a non-profit organization working to save lives and improve well being in developing regions by increasing last-mile access to healthcare and investing in social businesses that address gaps in health and community infrastructure. 

Relief Activities for Natural Calamities

Each year, millions of children and mothers could be saved through improved access to basic health interventions. Those who most desperately need them – the rural poor – live in remote villages where the cost of reaching them could be five times greater than urban areas. Jagan Seva Samithi is a non-profit organization working to save lives and improve well being in developing regions by increasing last-mile access to healthcare and investing in social businesses that address gaps in health and community infrastructure.

Home for The Aged to Needy

Each year, millions of children and mothers could be saved through improved access to basic health interventions. Those who most desperately need them – the rural poor – live in remote villages where the cost of reaching them could be five times greater than urban areas. Jagan Seva Samithi is a non-profit organization working to save lives and improve well being in developing regions by increasing last-mile access to healthcare and investing in social businesses that address gaps in health and community infrastructure.

Mobile Phone Recycling

By recycling your mobile, you are helping the environment by saving the energy needed to manufacture a new mobile. You are also diverting your unwanted mobile from landfill.

Every mobile phone contains precious metals (like gold, platinum and palladium), copper, zinc, plastics and other material – all of which require energy and resources to mine and manufacture. Reuse and Recycling your old mobile not only conserves these materials, but prevents further greenhouse gas emissions created during the manufacturing process.

Let’s put that into perspective –
  • It is estimated that 15 million hand-sets are replaced in the UK every year. That’s 1712 mobile phones every minute!
  • Manufacturing a mobile phone uses as much energy as 39.79 gallons of petrol.
  • That’s 597 million litres of petrol which would be enough to fuel a car to travel 74,625,000 miles (at 8 miles per litre). That’s enough to go to Mars and halfway back to earth.
  • The 1.019 billion phones produced in 2006 create approximately 60 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.
  • Replacing your mobile every 2 years rather than one would save 30 kg of CO2 emissions (about 3.3 gallons of petrol). Not huge, but when you multiply that by the 15 million hand-sets replaced every year in the UK, that’s 4.5m kg of CO2 (or about 49.5m gallons of petrol).
  • If we recycled just 1/15th of the phones replaced every year – that’s one million phones in the UK – it would be the equivalent savings of taking 1,000 cars off the road.
  • Producing 18 million phones consumes enough energy to power 34,200 homes with electricity for a year. That’s like giving residents of Swansea free electricity for a year!
  • There are an estimated 90 million hand-sets languishing in desk drawers and toy boxes across the country. If each one is worth £5, that’s £450 million!
  • According to The Use Less Stuff Report, each mobile phone produced consumes materials and energy equivalent to 2.839 litres of petrol. If all 15 million hand-sets replaced each year were reused, that represents a savings of 42,585,000 litres of petrol.
  • According to Ericsson, one new GSM subscription (2006) contributes about 24 kg of CO2 per year on average, which is comparable to driving an average gasoline-powered car for a little more than one hour on a motorway.

So let us all resolve to recycle our old mobiles!!! I am doing my bit, what about you!!!

A herb is “a friend of physicians and the praise of cooks”. Herbs and spices have been used historically owing to their aroma, flavour and preservative properties. They have also been well known for their therapeutic benefits.

Knowledge of their healing power dates back to thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians prescribed coriander, fennel, juniper, cumin, garlic and thyme, cardamom, mint. Greeks and Romans used herbs more than spices. Chinese often used herbs and spices – Ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, galangal, nutmeg and cinnamon. In traditional Indian medicine, herbs and spices were used for various ailments: turmeric for jaundice, basil to protect the heart, mace for stomach infections, cinnamon to stimulate circulation, and ginger as the universal medicine and relieving nausea and indigestion. Many of these herbs and spices are still being used in for their therapeutic benefits and modern science has documented several of these.

What make herbs and spices so special are their high antioxidant concentrations. It is still not very clear how these constituents work in the body, however, they certainly possess anti-oxidant, cholesterol lowering, anti-clotting, anti-hypertensive (lowering blood pressure), anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, decongesting, hypoglycaemic and even immune-boosting properties. Given the long history of use of herbs and spices, they may be considered one of the first ever recorded functional foods. Cardio-protective benefits have been documented in several herbs and spices. Garlic is loaded with nearly 100 active compounds. The most important of these is Allicin, a sulphur-containing compound.

Research has shown that garlic exhibits a cardio-protective role by helping to lower blood cholesterol, especially the undesirable fraction of serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and serum fat. Eating half a clove of garlic a day may lower blood cholesterol by 9 per cent, provided it is taken regularly.The anti-clotting and antihypertensive properties have been attributed predominantly to allicin. Cinnamon, ginger, chili (capsaicin) and turmeric (curcumin) have also been associated with a decrease in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and an increase in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels. Several herbs have been found to have anti-cancer properties. These include turmeric, garlic, basil, rosemary, mint and lemon grass.Several studies have found that turmeric possesses chemo-preventive effects against cancers of the skin, stomach, liver and colon, and oral cancer.

According to decade-long research at National Nutrition Institute, Hyderabad, a teaspoon of haldi a day can keep cancer at bay and it not only can prevent cancer, but may even be useful in reversing it. Sulphur compounds found in garlic increases the production of detoxification enzymes that help break down cancer-causing compounds and toxins and enhance their removal from the body. Garlic has also been shown to protect against liver, lung and breast cancer. Research has shown that consuming on an average of six or more cloves a week lowers the risk of colorectal cancer by 30 per cent and stomach cancer by 50 per cent. Inflammation has been associated with arthritis, asthma, ulcers and other conditions such as those of the skin, pulmonary, systems, aches, pains, wounds, and sprains.

Natural anti-inflammatory herbs include turmeric, milk thistle herb, ginger and chilli. A study showed that turmeric worked in relieving pain and stiffness in arthritis patients as a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Garlic also reduces inflammation by blocking the formation of agents (prostaglandins) that induce it. Liquorice (mulathi) possesses anti-inflammatory properties and provides protection against asthma, chest problems and mouth ulcers. Herbs have been used in the treatment of diabetes for years.

Spices beneficial in the treatment of diabetes include fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and turmeric. Fenugreek seeds contain trigonelline and are a rich source of fibre (50 per cent), which have anti-diabetic properties. Fenugreek seeds should not be consumed raw — they are better taken soaked or powdered.Herbs and spices usually do not cause side effects, but in sensitive people they may cause allergic symptoms. Herbs do not always show the same health benefits when the active substance is isolated from food and ingested as a pure compound. So, spice up your life, tickle your taste buds and boost your health.

So next time remember buying good spices!! ask for more spice in food and of course SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!!!!

Mountains of the World

Though I wanted this to be written in Travel Category, I finally felt it is more appropriate in the Trivia section of my blog as it is more of facts than the places.

Sit down, read and enjoy the post!!!

Mountains exist on every continent and even beneath our great oceans. Mountains cover one-fifth of the earth’s land surface, and are present in 75% of the world’s countries.

Some of the highest mountains are at the bottom of the sea. Hawaii is at the top of a volcanic mountain in the Pacific Ocean. More than half the mountain is below water.

The world’s longest mountain system is known as Ocean Ridge, which is a chain of mountains that runs on the seafloor of five oceans around the world; it has a length of 65,000 kilometres (40,400 mi), and the total length of the system is 80,000 kilometres.

The tallest known mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons, located on Mars. It is a little under three times as tall as Mount Everest.

The highest 14 mountains in the world are all found in the Himalayan range.

It is estimated that one eighth of the world’s population lives in mountainous zones. The Alps are the most densely populated mountain area in the world.

The Andes, which runs more than 7,000 kilometres, is the longest mountain range on land while the Himalayas are the highest and the youngest.

The Himalayas are geologically alive! The southern front moves up approximately 20 mm a year and it is estimated that in 10 million years time, the Himalayas will have moved approximately 1,500 km into Asia.

Some of the most photographed mountains in the world include – The Everest (Asia), the Matterhorn (Switzerland), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mount Rushmore (USA), Mount Fuji (Japan).


1. The deeper the colour, the richer the nutrient content.

2. Vitamins A and C help night vision, help heal cuts and keep skin healthy.

3. All vegetables are sources of fiber. Fiber promotes regular digestion and redcues the risk of certain cancers.

4. All vegetables, except avocados and olives, are naturally low in fat.

5. Between ages 9 and 18 children build almost half of their bone mass.