My amazing world

Friday, April 28, 2006

Google SketchUp -- 3D for Everyone

Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program whose few simple tools enable you to create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects – even space ships. You can add details, textures and glass to your models, design with dimensional accuracy, and place your finished models in Google Earth, share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies. Google SketchUp (free) is a great way to discover if 3D modeling is right for you.

The software comes with a plug-in for Google Earth, so that 3D items created with SketchUp are picked-up by the service that typically provides satellite views of geographical locations. In addition, Google has also released 3D Warehouse, which is the online storage for work created in SketchUp. The service enables users to search and share 3D models.

(Click on the above picture to download it)

Developed for the conceptual stages of design, SketchUp is powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software. We think of it as the pencil of digital design. This award-winning software combines a simple, yet robust tool-set that streamlines and simplifies 3D design inside your computer. SketchUp is being used by anyone with the desire to....Dream, Design and Communicate in 3D.

SketchUp is a simple but powerful tool for quickly and easily creating, viewing and modifying your 3D ideas.

pencil icon Click on a shape and push or pull it to create your desired 3D geometry.
pencil icon Experiment with color and texture directly on your model.
pencil icon Real-time shadow casting lets you see exactly where the sun falls as you model.
pencil icon Select from thousands of pre-drawn components to save time drawing.

You need SketchUp Pro if you want to:
Print and export raster images at higher-than-screen resolution.
SketchUp Pencil Icon Access to the following 3D export formats: DWG, DXF, 3DS, OBJ, XSI, VRML and FBX.
SketchUp Pencil Icon Export animations and walkthroughs as MOV (Mac) or AVI (Windows) files.
SketchUp Pencil Icon Use the Sandbox Tools (for organic modeling of terrain, etc) and the Film & Stage Tools (for pre-viz work).
SketchUp Pencil Icon Have access to free email tech support for two years from purchase.

(Click on the picture to buy it)

Pakistan's Jihad Culture

Jessica Stern has written on Jihad. It's really an eye opener to the western countries (Especially United States Of America). Otherwise one day Pakistan will definately become pain in the butts of America as Afganistan (No offence).

Here are the excerpts from Jessica Stern's writings:

Pakistan's Jihad Culture

By Jessica Stern

Foreign Affairs (November/December 2000)


This spring the U.S. State Department reported that South Asia has replaced the Middle East as the leading locus of terrorism in the world. Although much has been written about religious militants in the Middle East and Afghanistan, little is known in the West about those in Pakistan -- perhaps because they operate mainly in Kashmir and, for now at least, do not threaten security outside South Asia. General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's military ruler, calls them "freedom fighters" and admonishes the West not to confuse jihad with terrorism. Musharraf is right about the distinction -- the jihad doctrine delineates acceptable war behavior and explicitly outlaws terrorism -- but he is wrong about the militant groups' activities. Both sides of the war in Kashmir -- the Indian army and the Pakistani "mujahideen" -- are targeting and killing thousands of civilians, violating both the Islamic "just war" tradition and international law.

Pakistan has two reasons to support the so-called mujahideen. First, the Pakistani military is determined to pay India back for allegedly fomenting separatism in what was once East Pakistan and in 1971 became Bangladesh. Second, India dwarfs Pakistan in population, economic strength, and military might. In 1998 India spent about two percent of its $469 billion GDP on defense, including an active armed force of more than 1.1 million personnel. In the same year, Pakistan spent about five percent of its $61 billion GDP on defense, yielding an active armed force only half the size of India's. The U.S. government estimates that India has 400,000 troops in Indian-held Kashmir -- a force more than two-thirds as large as Pakistan's entire active army. The Pakistani government thus supports the irregulars as a relatively cheap way to keep Indian forces tied down.

What does such support entail? It includes, at a minimum, assisting the militants' passage into Indian-held Kashmir. This much Pakistani officials will admit, at least privately. The U.S. government believes that Pakistan also funds, trains, and equips the irregulars. Meanwhile, the Indian government claims that Pakistan uses them as an unofficial guerrilla force to carry out "dirty tricks," murders, and terrorism in India. Pakistan, in turn, accuses India's intelligence service of committing terrorism and killing hundreds of civilians in Pakistan.

Pakistan now faces a typical principal-agent problem: the interests of Pakistan (the principal) and those of the militant groups (the agent) are not fully aligned. Although the irregulars may serve Pakistan's interests in Kashmir when they target the Indian army, they also kill civilians and perform terrorism in violation of international norms and law. These crimes damage Pakistan's already fragile international reputation. Finally, and most important for Pakistanis, the militant groups that Pakistan supports and the Sunni sectarian killers that Pakistan claims it wants to wipe out overlap significantly. By facilitating the activities of the irregulars in Kashmir, the Pakistani government is inadvertently promoting internal sectarianism, supporting international terrorists, weakening the prospect for peace in Kashmir, damaging Pakistan's international image, spreading a narrow and violent version of Islam throughout the region, and increasing tensions with India -- all against the interests of Pakistan as a whole.


The war between India and Pakistan over the fate of Kashmir is as old as both states. When Pakistan was formally created in 1947, the rulers of Muslim-majority states that had existed within British India were given the option of joining India or Pakistan. The Hindu monarch of the predominantly Muslim state of Jammu and Kashmir chose India, prompted partly by a tribal rebellion in the state. Pakistan responded by sending in troops. The resultant fighting ended with a 1949 cease-fire, but the Pakistani government continued covertly to support volunteer guerrilla fighters in Kashmir. Islamabad argued then, as it does now, that it could not control the volunteers, who as individuals were not bound by the cease-fire agreement. (On the other hand, Maulana Abul A'la Maududi, the late founder of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, argued that as individuals, these "mujahideen" could not legitimately declare jihad, either.)

Pakistani officials admit to having tried repeatedly to foment separatism in Kashmir in the decades following the 1948 cease-fire. These attempts were largely unsuccessful; when separatist violence broke out in the late 1980s, the movement was largely indigenous. For their part, Indian officials admit their own culpability in creating an intolerable situation in the region. They ignored Kashmir's significant economic troubles, rampant corruption, and rigged elections, and they intervened in Kashmiri politics in ways that contradicted India's own constitution. As American scholar Sumit Ganguly explains, the rigged 1987 state-assembly elections were the final straw in a series of insults, igniting, by 1989, widespread violent opposition. By 1992, Pakistani nationals and other graduates of the Afghan war were joining the fight in Kashmir.

What began as an indigenous, secular movement for independence has become an increasingly Islamist crusade to bring all of Kashmir under Pakistani control. Pakistan-based Islamist groups (along with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a Kashmir-based group created by Jamaat-e-Islami and partly funded by Pakistan) are now significantly more important than the secular Kashmir-based ones. The Indian government estimates that about 40 percent of the militants in Kashmir today are Pakistani or Afghan, and some 80 percent are teenagers. Although the exact size of the movement is unknown, the Indian government estimates that 3,000 to 4,000 "mujahideen" are in Kashmir at any given time.

Whatever their exact numbers, these Pakistani militant groups -- among them, Lashkar-i-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen -- pose a long-term danger to international security, regional stability, and especially Pakistan itself. Although their current agenda is limited to "liberating" Kashmir, which they believe was annexed by India illegally, their next objective is to turn Pakistan into a truly Islamic state. Islamabad supports these volunteers as a cheap way to keep India off balance. In the process, however, it is creating a monster that threatens to devour Pakistani society.


In Pakistan, as in many developing countries, education is not mandatory. The World Bank estimates that only 40 percent of Pakistanis are literate, and many rural areas lack public schools. Islamic religious schools -- madrasahs -- on the other hand, are located all over the country and provide not only free education, but also free food, housing, and clothing. In the poor areas of southern Punjab, madrasahs funded by the Sunni sectarian political party Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) reportedly even pay parents for sending them their children.

In the 1980s, Pakistani dictator General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq promoted the madrasahs as a way to garner the religious parties' support for his rule and to recruit troops for the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan. At the time, many madrasahs were financed by the zakat (the Islamic tithe collected by the state), giving the government at least a modicum of control. But now, more and more religious schools are funded privately -- by wealthy Pakistani industrialists at home or abroad, by private and government-funded nongovernmental organizations in the Persian Gulf states and Saudi Arabia, and by Iran. Without state supervision, these madrasahs are free to preach a narrow and violent version of Islam.

Most madrasahs offer only religious instruction, ignoring math, science, and other secular subjects important for functioning in modern society. As Maududi warned in his 1960 book, First Principles of the Islamic State, "those who choose the theological branch of learning generally keep themselves utterly ignorant of [secular subjects, thereby remaining] incapable of giving any lead to the people regarding modern political problems."

Even worse, some extremist madrasahs preach jihad without understanding the concept: They equate jihad -- which most Islamic scholars interpret as the striving for justice (and principally an inner striving to purify the self) -- with guerrilla warfare. These schools encourage their graduates, who often cannot find work because of their lack of practical education, to fulfill their "spiritual obligations" by fighting against Hindus in Kashmir or against Muslims of other sects in Pakistan. Pakistani officials estimate that 10 to 15 percent of the country's tens of thousands of madrasahs espouse such extremist ideologies.

Pakistan's interior minister Moinuddin Haider, for one, recognizes these problems. "The brand of Islam they are teaching is not good for Pakistan," he says. "Some, in the garb of religious training, are busy fanning sectarian violence, poisoning people's minds." In June, Haider announced a reform plan that would require all madrasahs to register with the government, expand their curricula, disclose their financial resources, seek permission for admitting foreign students, and stop sending students to militant training camps.

This is not the first time the Pakistani government has announced such plans. And Haider's reforms so far seem to have failed, whether because of the regime's negligence or the madrasahs' refusal to be regulated, or both. Only about 4,350 of the estimated 40,000 to 50,000 madrasahs in Pakistan have registered with the government. Some are still sending students to training camps despite parents' instructions not to do so. Moreover, some chancellors are unwilling to expand their curricula, arguing that madrasahs are older than Pakistan itself -- having been "designed 1,200 years ago in Iraq," according to the chancellor of the Khudamudeen madrasah. The chancellor of Darul Uloom Haqqania objects to what he calls the government's attempt to "destroy the spirit of the madrasahs under the cover of broadening their curriculum."

Mujibur Rehman Inqalabi, the SSP's second in command, told me that Haider's reform plan is "against Islam" and complains that where states have taken control of madrasahs, such as in Jordan and Egypt, "the engine of jihad is extinguished." America is right, he said: "Madrasahs are the supply line for jihad."


If madrasahs supply the labor for "jihad," then wealthy Pakistanis and Arabs around the world supply the capital. On Eid-ul-Azha, the second most important Muslim holiday of the year, anyone who can afford to sacrifices an animal and gives the hide to charity. Pakistani militant groups solicit such hide donations, which they describe as a significant source of funding for their activities in Kashmir.

Most of the militant groups' funding, however, comes in the form of anonymous donations sent directly to their bank accounts. Lashkar-i-Taiba ("Army of the Pure"), a rapidly growing Ahle Hadith (Wahhabi) group, raises funds on the Internet. Lashkar and its parent organization, Markaz ad-Da'wa Wal Irshad (Center for Islamic Invitation and Guidance), have raised so much money, mostly from sympathetic Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, that they are reportedly planning to open their own bank.

Individual "mujahideen" also benefit financially from this generous funding. They are in this for the loot, explains Ahmed Rashid, a prominent Pakistani journalist. One mid-level manager of Lashkar told me he earns 15,000 rupees a month -- more than seven times what the average Pakistani makes, according to the World Bank. Top leaders of militant groups earn much more; one leader took me to see his mansion, which was staffed by servants and filled with expensive furniture. Operatives receive smaller salaries but win bonuses for successful missions. Such earnings are particularly attractive in a country with a 40 percent official poverty rate, according to Pakistani government statistics.

The United States and Saudi Arabia funneled some $3.5 billion into Afghanistan and Pakistan during the Afghan war, according to Milt Bearden, CIA station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989. "Jihad," along with guns and drugs, became the most important business in the region. The business of "jihad" -- what the late scholar Eqbal Ahmad dubbed "Jihad International, Inc." -- continues to attract foreign investors, mostly wealthy Arabs in the Persian Gulf region and members of the Pakistani diaspora. (As World Bank economist Paul Collier observes, diaspora populations often prolong ethnic and religious conflicts by contributing not only capital but also extremist rhetoric, since the fervor of the locals is undoubtedly held in check by the prospect of losing their own sons.)

As the so-called jihad movement continues to acquire its own financial momentum, it will become increasingly difficult for Pakistan to shut down, if and when it tries. As long as "Jihad International, Inc." is profitable, those with financial interests in the war will work to prolong it. And the longer the war in Kashmir lasts, the more entrenched these interests will become.


As some irregulars are financially dependent on what they consider jihad, others are spiritually and psychologically so. Many irregulars who fought in Afghanistan are now fighting in Kashmir and are likely to continue looking for new "jihads" to fight -- even against Pakistan itself. Khalil, who has been a "mujahid" for 19 years and can no longer imagine another life, told me, "A person addicted to heroin can get off it if he really tries, but a mujahid cannot leave the jihad. I am spiritually addicted to jihad." Another Harkat operative told me,

We won't stop -- even if India gave us Kashmir. ... We'll [also] bring jihad here. There is already a movement here to make Pakistan a pure Islamic state. Many preach Islam, but most of them don't know what it means. We want to see a Taliban-style regime here.

Aspirations like these are common among the irregulars I have interviewed over the last couple of years.

The "jihad" movement is also developing a spiritual momentum linked to its financial one. Madrasahs often teach their students that jihad -- or, in the extremist schools, terrorism under the guise of jihad -- is a spiritual duty. Whereas wealthy Pakistanis would rather donate their money than their sons to the cause, families in poor, rural areas are likely to send their sons to "jihad" under the belief that doing so is the only way to fulfill this spiritual duty. One mother whose son recently died fighting in Kashmir told me she would be happy if her six remaining sons were martyred. "They will help me in the next life, which is the real life," she said.

When a boy becomes a martyr, thousands of people attend his funeral. Poor families become celebrities. Everyone treats them with more respect after they lose a son, a martyr's father said. "And when there is a martyr in the village, it encourages more children to join the jihad. It raises the spirit of the entire village," he continued. In poor families with large numbers of children, a mother can assume that some of her children will die of disease if not in war. This apparently makes it easier to donate a son to what she feels is a just and holy cause.

Many of these families receive financial assistance from the militant groups. The Shuhda-e-Islam Foundation, founded in 1995 by Jamaat-e-Islami, claims to have dispensed 13 million rupees to the families of martyrs. It also claims to provide financial support to some 364 families by paying off loans, setting them up in businesses, or helping them with housing. Moreover, the foundation provides emotional and spiritual support by constantly reminding the families that they did the right thing by donating their children to assist their Muslim brethren in Kashmir. Both Lashkar-i-Taiba and Harkat have also established charitable organizations that reward the families of martyrs -- a practice common to gangs in inner-city Los Angeles and terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and Hamas. Although these foundations provide a service to families in need, they also perpetuate a culture of violence.


The comparison to gangs and terrorist groups is particularly apt because the irregulars often hire criminals to do their dirty work -- and sometimes turn to petty or organized crime themselves. Criminals are typically hired to "drop" weapons and explosives or to carry out extreme acts of violence that a typical irregular is reluctant or unable to perform. For example, members of the Dubai-based crime ring that bombed the Bombay stock exchange in March 1993 later confessed that they had been in Islamabad the previous month, where Pakistani irregulars had allegedly trained them to throw hand grenades and fire Kalashnikov assault rifles. Law-enforcement authorities noted that the operatives' passports contained no Pakistani stamps, suggesting the complicity of the Pakistani government.

Criminals joining supposed jihad movements tend to be less committed to the group's purported goals and more committed to violence for its own sake -- or for the money. When criminals join private armies, therefore, the political and moral constraints that often inhibit mass-casualty, random attacks are likely to break down. Criminal involvement in the movement also worsens the principal-agent problem for Pakistan: pure mercenaries are even harder to control than individuals whose goals are at least partly aligned with those of the state.


Exacerbating the principal-agent problem, Pakistani militant groups are now exporting their version of jihad all over the world. The Khudamudeen madrasah, according to its chancellor, is training students from Burma, Nepal, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Yemen, Mongolia, and Kuwait. Out of the 700 students at the madrasah, 127 are foreigners. Nearly half the student body at Darul Uloom Haqqania, the madrasah that created the Taliban, is from Afghanistan. It also trains students from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia, and Turkey, and is currently expanding its capacity to house foreign students from 100 to 500, its chancellor said. A Chechen student at the school told me his goal when he returned home was to fight Russians. And according to the U.S. State Department, Pakistani groups and individuals also help finance and train the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a terrorist organization that aims to overthrow secular governments in Central Asia.

Many of the militant groups associated with radical madrasahs regularly proclaim their plans to bring "jihad" to India proper as well as to the West, which they believe is run by Jews. Lashkar-i-Taiba has announced its plans to "plant Islamic flags in Delhi, Tel Aviv, and Washington." One of Lashkar's Web sites includes a list of purported Jews working for the Clinton administration, including director of presidential personnel Robert Nash (an African American from Arkansas) and CIA director George Tenet (a Greek American). The group also accuses Israel of assisting India in Kashmir. Asked for a list of his favorite books, a leader of Harkat recommended the history of Hitler, who he said understood that "Jews and peace are incompatible." Several militant groups boast pictures of burning American flags on their calendars and posters.


The "jihad" against the West may be rhetorical (at least for now), but the ten-year-old sectarian war between Pakistan's Shi'a and Sunni is real and deadly. The Tehrik-e-Jafariya-e-Pakistan (TJP) was formed to protect the interests of Pakistan's Shi'a Muslims, who felt discriminated against by Zia's implementation of Sunni laws governing the inheritance and collection of zakat. Iran helped fund the TJP, probably in hopes of using it as a vehicle for an Iranian-style revolution in Pakistan. Five years later, Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, a Jamaat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) cleric, established the SSP to offset the TJP and to promote the interests of Sunni Muslims. The SSP was funded by both Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Since then, violent gangs have formed on both sides.

After Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni sectarian gang, attempted to assassinate then Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in early 1999, Sharif proposed to expand the special military courts that try terrorist crimes from Karachi to the rest of the country. Pakistan's Supreme Court later deemed the special courts unconstitutional. Musharraf has continued Sharif's attempt to rein in the terrorist groups by implementing, among other things, a "deweaponization" plan to reduce the availability of guns to sectarian gangs and criminals.

The problem for Musharraf is that it is difficult to promote the "jihad" in Kashmir and the Taliban in Afghanistan without inadvertently promoting sectarianism in Pakistan. The movements share madrasahs, camps, bureaucracies, and operatives. The JUI, the SSP's founding party, also helped create both the Taliban and Harkat. Deobandi madrasahs issue anti-Shi'a fatwas (edicts), and boys trained to fight in Kashmir are also trained to call Shi'a kafirs (infidels). Jaesh-e-Mohammad, an offshoot of Harkat and the newest Pakistani militant group in Kashmir, reportedly used SSP personnel during a fundraising drive in early 2000. And the SSP's Inqalabi, who was recently released after four years in jail for his alleged involvement in sectarian killings, told me that whenever "one of our youngsters wants to do jihad," they join up with the Taliban, Harkat, or Jaesh-e-Mohammad -- all Deobandi groups that he claims are "close" to the SSP.

Sectarian clashes have killed or injured thousands of Pakistanis since 1990. As the American scholar Vali Nasr explains, the largely theological differences between Shi'a and Sunni Muslims have been transformed into full-fledged political conflict, with broad ramifications for law and order, social cohesion, and government authority. The impotent Pakistani government has essentially allowed Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'a Iran to fight a proxy war on Pakistani soil, with devastating consequences for the Pakistani people.


Pakistan is a weak state, and government policies are making it weaker still. Its disastrous economy, exacerbated by a series of corrupt leaders, is at the root of many of its problems. Yet despite its poverty, Pakistan is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on weapons instead of schools and public health. Ironically, the government's "cost-saving" measures are even more troubling. In trying to save money in the short run by using irregulars in Kashmir and relying on madrasahs to educate its youth, Pakistan is pursuing a path that is likely to be disastrous in the long run, allowing a culture of violence to take root.

The United States has asked Pakistan to crack down on the militant groups and to close certain madrasahs, but America must do more than just scold. After all, the United States, along with Saudi Arabia, helped create the first international "jihad" to fight the Soviet Union during the Afghan war. "Does America expect us to send in the troops and shut the madrasahs down?" one official asks. "Jihad is a mindset. It developed over many years during the Afghan war. You can't change a mindset in 24 hours."

The most important contribution the United States can make, then, is to help strengthen Pakistan's secular education system. Because so much international aid to Pakistan has been diverted through corruption, both public and private assistance should come in the form of relatively nonfungible goods and services: books, buildings, teachers, and training, rather than money. Urdu-speaking teachers from around the world should be sent to Pakistan to help. And educational exchanges among students, scholars, journalists, and military officials should be encouraged and facilitated. Helping Pakistan educate its youth will not only cut off the culture of violence by reducing ignorance and poverty, it will also promote long-term economic development.

Moreover, assisting Pakistan will make the world a safer place. As observers frequently note, conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir is one of the most likely routes to nuclear war in the world today. The Pakistani militants' continued incursions into Indian-held Kashmir escalate the conflict, greatly increasing the risk of nuclear war between the two countries.

Although the United States can help, Pakistan must make its own changes. It must stamp out corruption, strengthen democratic institutions, and make education a much higher priority. But none of this can happen if Pakistan continues to devote an estimated 30 percent of its national budget to defense.

Most important, Pakistan must recognize the militant groups for what they are: dangerous gangs whose resources and reach continue to grow, threatening to destabilize the entire region. Pakistan's continued support of religious militant groups suggests that it does not recognize its own susceptibility to the culture of violence it has helped create. It should think again.


Jessica Stern is a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

YAHOO!! GO - A new service from

Now, your life goes where you go

Yahoo launched Yahoo Go couple of days ago, a DVR and general Microsoft Media Center competitor based on the recently acquired Meedio technology.

Introducing Yahoo! Go – a new suite of products and services for your PC, mobile phone and even your TV.

Yahoo! Go allows you to access the information and content that is important to you on whatever device you choose.

So wherever you go, your photos, your music, your email, – your life – is right there with you. Ready to go.

Click on the following pictures to know more details, features available with this new YAHOO services.

(Excerpts drawn from:

Vegetables Fight Global Warming

It turns out there's something anyone can do right now to make a big impact on global warming, says one climate researcher: Eat more veggies.

Emit Less CO2 in Production
A new study of how much greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere by the production of food shows that the difference between a meat-based and plant-based diet amounts to the same as driving an SUV versus a small sedan.

The calculations are based on data and a basic ecological concept that have been around for decades, but no one had actually done the math.

"It's just never been done," said climate researcher Gidon Eshel of the University of Chicago. "The data is simply there to mine."

The ecological concept has been taught in biology classes for decades: As energy moves up a food web — from plants to grazing animals to predators — only about 10 percent survives each step. In other words, 100 calories worth of beef patty require about 1,000 calories of grain which, in turn, require 10,000 calories of sunlight.

So if you choose to cut out the middleman (the cow) and get your 100 calories directly from the grain, you only have to grow one-tenth as much grain.


Huh.. So be vegiterian.... support vegiterianism.... say bye bye to meat. Be healthy, live healthy, accept vegiteriannism & save your globe :-).

(Source: Discovery Channel)

Discovery Channel - Secret Mafia Notes Reveal New 'Godfather'!

Bernardo Provenzano, the now jailed "boss of bosses" of the Sicilian Mafia, appointed his Godfather successor before his arrest, the Italian daily La Stampa reported on Tuesday.

Provenzano's heir was Matteo Messina Denaro, according to a close investigation into hundreds of pizzini � notes written on little pieces of paper � found in Provenzano's hideout just a few miles from his Sicilian hometown of Corleone. "The investiture can be found in one of the pizzini written a few weeks before Provenzano's arrest," La Stampa wrote.

On the run for 13 years, he is known as the "playboy boss" for his love for girlfriends, gold watches, and fast cars.

The Caesar Code:
At least one coded note, written in January 2001 by Angelo Provenzano, had a strong resemblance to what's known as Caesar cipher, an encryption scheme used by Julius Caesar to protect important military messages.

While the classic Caesar cipher moves everything three letters later (A becomes D, B becomes E, etc.), the "Provenzano code" assigned a number to each letter by simply increasing by 3 the value given to the 21 letters of the Italian alphabet listed in order. " We hope you'll stop by ... and that you'll enjoy the feature that your friend chose for you!

(Excerpts drawn from:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

True communist face of China -- and atrocities on Falun Gong practitioners

The Real Story of Jiang Zemin
Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party
Quitting the CCP
Organ Harvesting in China's Labor Camps

Listen to Nine Commentaries

Sign a declaration denouncing the Communist Party

Mask of the Ninja

A Chinese agent must fend off a group of dangerous ninjas in order to save the free world.

Time Magazine: Cartoons :)

Today saw some more cartoons. Just enjoy.

(Excerpts drawn from:

Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

I have read Wings of Fire, a biography of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the eleventh President of India more than a year before. It's really very inspirational biography of a great mind & proud son of Mother India.

"The unexamined life is not worth living," said Socrates more than two millenia ago. Here, we have in print, a well-examined life of one of the icons of the post-colonial technological renaissance of the country.

Excerpt from the book WINGS OF FIRE by Dr. APJ ABDULKALAM

I have three visions for India. In 3000 years of our history, people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards. The Greeks, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way oflife on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others.

That is why my first vision is that of FREEDOM. I believe that India got its first vision of this in 1857, when we started the war of independence.It is this freedom that we must protect and nurture and built on. If we are not free, no one will respect us.

My second vision for India is DEVELOPMENT. For fifty years we have been a developing nation. It is time we see ourselves as a developed nation. We are among top 5 nations of the world in terms of GDP. We have 10 percent growth rate in most areas. Our poverty levels are falling, our achievements are being globally recognized today. Yet we lack the self-confidence to see ourselves as a developed nation, self reliant and self assured. Isn't this right?

I have third vision. The India must stand up to the world. Because I believe that unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. Only strength respects strength. We must be strong not only as a military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand-in-hand. My good fortune was to have worked with three great minds. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai of the Dept. of space, Professor Satish Dhawan, who succeeded him, and Dr. Brahm Prakash, father of nuclear material.I was lucky to have worked with all three of them closely and consider this the great opportunity of my life. I see four milestones in my career:

ONE : Twenty years I spent in ISRO. I was given the opportunity to be the project director for India's first satellite launch vehicle, SLV3. The one that launched Rohini. These years played a very important role in my life of a Scientist.

TWO : After my ISRO years, i joined DRDO and got a chance to be the part of India's guided missile program. It was my second bliss when Agni met its mission requirements in 1994.

THREE : The Dept. of Atomic Energy and DRDO had this tremendous partnership in the recent nuclear tests, on May 11 and 13. This was the third bliss. The joy of participating with my team in these nuclear tests and proving to the world that India can make it. That we are no longer a developing nation but one of them. It made me feel very proud as an Indian. The fact that we have now developed for Agni a re-entry structure, for which we have developed this new material. A Very light material called carbon-carbon.

FOUR : One day an orthopaedic surgeon from Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic calipers weighing over three Kgs. each, dragging their feet around. He said to me: Please remove the pain of my patients. In three weeks, we made these Floor reaction Orthosis 300 gram calipers and took them to the orthopaedic center. The children didn't believe their eyes. From dragging around a three kg. load on their legs, they could now move around! Their parents had tears in their eyes. That was my fourth bliss!

Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassedto recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why? We are the second largest producer of wheat in the world. We are the second largest producers of rice. We are the first in milk production. We are number one in Remote sensing satellites. Look at Dr. Sudarshan, he has transferred the tribal village into a self-sustaining, self driving unit. There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed with the bad news and failures and disasters.

I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert land into an orchid and a granary. It was his inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments,deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news. In India we only read about death, sickness,terrorism, crime. Why are we so negative?

Another question: Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with Foreign things? we want foreign TVs, we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything imported? Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance? I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is:

She replied: I want to live in a developed India. For her, for you, we will have to built this developed India. You must proclaim.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

A sincere tribute to Mother India

Thanks to Manan Singhi for making it.

Incredible India

Central part of India

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pepsi fined; condom in bottle --

Soft drink giant Pepsi has been ordered to pay over Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000) compensation by a Delhi consumer court after a man found a condom inside a sealed bottle of the company.

"This case is an eye-opener for others who are engaged in manufacturing soft drinks and are required to maintain the prescribed standards of purity in public interest during the course of their business activities," Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (North) comprising president K K Chopra and members R K Prabhakar and Neeru Mittal said. has reported this news.

So think twice before drinking pepsi.. you may also get Condom :)

BBC E-mail: Israel satellite 'to spy on Iran'

"Israel has launched a satellite that officials say will enhance its ability to spy on Iran's nuclear programme."

The satellite, reportedly capable of taking clear photographs of objects on the ground as small as 70cm (2ft), was sent into space from eastern Russia.

sraeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Monday that Tehran's nuclear programme posed the biggest threat to Jews since the Nazi Holocaust.

** Israel satellite 'to spy on Iran' **
Israel sends into space a satellite that officials say will enhance its ability to spy on Iran's nuclear programme.

** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all
in one daily e-mail

** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.

If you do not wish to receive such e-mails in the future or want to know more about the BBC's Email a Friend service, please read our frequently asked questions.

Mermaid melody and Tokyo mew mew

mermaid melody and Tokyo mew mew. Cute and romantic you'll love it.

Lucy and Floppy Ears and Asthama :)

An ad to raise awareness of the seriousness of Asthma among children and also some irresponsible elders :-) . (No offence) Promoting jehadis has hurt Pakistan

Pakistan has damaged itself by promoting jehadi groups under the 'tutelage' of Islamic parties to wage a separatist war in Kashmir, which ended up inflicting far bigger wounds on the country than it had on India, a leading daily in Islamabad said on Tuesday.

"And many objective observers actually say that Pakistan has damaged the Kashmir cause by not controlling the men and that it became ideologically subservient to the groups created mostly under the tutelage of the religious parties in Pakistan," the daily said.

"The conclusion in many studies is that a mishandling of the Kashmir cause has damaged Pakistan instead of the other way around," it said.

"Pakistan put everything at stake in 1990 when the insurgency in Kashmir started. It diverted a stream of mujahideen volunteers from a successful Afghan war to Kashmir and by the mid-1990s had created a situation in Kashmir that made the world wake up and take note of the Kashmir issue," the daily said.

"But the irony is that the Pakistani 'support' that Salahuddin thinks is now gone was sabotaged by the evolving nature of the 'struggle' itself and what the international community came to think of it," the Daily Times pointed out.

"The real damage Pakistan suffered was in the social consequences of the Kashmir jihad... The militias deployed by Pakistan in this privatised war penetrated Pakistani society and clashed with state sovereignty.

"Their pockets full of money and their armouries full of the latest weapons, the jihadi organisations took over entire cities in Pakistan and literally ran the administration there, killing at will people who opposed them," it said.

"Religion has been so exploited at the behest of the Kashmir cause that even the state has lost the ability to see right from wrong; and the entire strategic underpinning of jihad has fallen apart after it turned sectarian, and faith started eating its own children," the daily said.

"What has come to the fore in recent days is the real antipathy of this leadership towards the hard-line religious militias, which have sought to change Kashmiri society coercively and have resultantly diverted international support to India," it added.

Read full coverage on

(Excerpts drawn from: Raising the Bar at Samsung

The New York Times E-mail This
Article Tools Sponsored By
This page was sent to you by: Mike

Message from sender:
Thirty-seven years ago, 36 employees began assembling electric fans in a small workshop in this city, just south of Seoul. That company was Samsung Electronics, and it is now the world's largest and most profitable consumer electronics company. Its 123,000 employees make a range of products as diverse as cellphones and flat-panel televisions, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Samsung Electronics offers a wide range of appliances and digital devices. A refrigerator with a tablet PC.

TECHNOLOGY | April 25, 2006
Raising the Bar at Samsung
Starting 37 years ago with a few dozen employees assembling electric fans in a small workshop, Samsung is now the world's largest consumer electronics company.

Most E-mailed
1. One Day, That Economy Ticket May
Buy You a Place to Stand
2. Harvard Novelist Says Copying Was
3. Los Angeles With a Downtown? Gehry's
4. Affordable Europe
5. Rebuilding of Iraqi Pipeline as Disaster
Waiting to Happen
» Go to Complete List

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Be Calm... Quiet... Tranquil....

Bloom as often as you can...

Stay close to your Family....

Explore the world around you...

Enjoy the relaxing rhythm of waves...

W A T C H T H E M O O N R I S E....

Spread your wings and take off on your own....

Then enjoy the comfort of coming home again...

Life is short.

Please... While you can...

Take time to enjoy all the little pleasures

that life has provided you....

If you need some hints....

Go back and read this again!