Sunday, March 30, 2008

Drunken Man bites snake to death In India

It was a role reversal of sorts. Instances of snakebites and even deaths due to it are not uncommon in parts of Bengal, in India. But it was the turn of a poisonous cobra being bitten to death by a human.

A drunken man cut the snake into two pieces in Ekra village on Friday night, saying that "it should have a taste of its own medicine".

Subhas Banerjee, who works at a canteen in Jamuria in Burdwan, was returning home in Ekra in a drunken state on Friday night.

On the way, he heard some villagers talking about a cobra that had been found in the locality, police said.

Banerjee went to the spot where the snake had been found, hit it with a stick, bit it and cut it into two with his teeth. When shocked bystanders tried to desist him, he told them that a snake should know how it feels like to get bitten.

Soon after, though, he fell unconscious and had to be taken to a hospital. Banerjee has recovered now.

Tibetans unveiled an "independence torch" in anti-China protest

Several dozen Tibetans in India have unveiled an "independence torch" in New Delhi that will be carried around the world in an anti-China protest ahead of the Summer Olympics.

The torch was brought from the northern Indian town of Dharamshala - home to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, and the government-in-exile.

The next stop for the protest flame is San Francisco, where the real Olympic torch is expected on April 9.

"This relay is to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. We also don't want the Olympic torch to go to Tibet because it is not a part of China," Tibetan Youth Congress president Urgyen Chophel said.

China has come under increasing international pressure over its crackdown against protesters in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and Chinese provinces bordering the Himalayan region.

Tibetan activist groups have put the death toll from weeks of unrest at 135 to 140 Tibetans. China says rioters killed 18 civilians and two police officers.

Protesters disrupted the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Greece last Monday.

Tibetan exiles plan own 'Olympics'

Irked at not being able to participate in the Beijing Olympics as an independent nation, Tibetan exiles in India are planning an unofficial Olympics from May 15-25, to be held in Dharamsala.

They've even coined a counter-slogan, 'One World, Many Dreams', to the official Beijing Olympics slogan of 'One World, One Dream'.

Obviously, the games won't be on the same scale as the Beijing Olympics. There will be just 10 events with around 30 competitors (only Tibetans) involved in sports like archery and target shooting.

But they will offer a platform for Tibetans to draw international attention to what they call China's continuing abuse of Tibetans and denial of human rights.

"We respect the international Olympics and want to celebrate their spirit. But we've decided to organize our own Olympics since Tibet will not have representation in the Beijing games," said Lobsang Wangyal, organizer of the Dharamsala Games.

There's more. The protesters also flagged off a worldwide Tibet Independence Torch Relay which is scheduled to reach Tibet on August 8, when the Olympics actually open in Beijing.

The torch will travel across five continents, covering India, US, Canada, Belgium, England, France, Australia, Taiwan and Japan, before attempting to enter Tibet via Nepal.

"Our purpose to carry it through various countries is to show that Tibetans have support the world over," Wangyal said.

"Tibet's independent torch relay is supposed to highlight the historic fact that Tibet was an independent nation until the Chinese invasion in 1949. Besides, we are also protesting against the Beijing torch relay through Tibet," said Tsewang Yeshi, president of Tibetan Youth Congress, an NGO which is organizing the relay.

Tibetans have also delivered a letter to the International Olympic Committee chief, Jacques Rogge, signed by 150 organizations, demanding removal of Tibet from the torch relay route.

"The Chinese government will run the flame through Tibet in June and up till Mt Everest in April, in an attempt to legitimize its control over our homeland," said Pema Dolkar, spokesperson for the Tibetan Youth Association Europe. "If IOC does not cancel plans to take the torch through Tibet, it will be seen as endorsing China's crackdown on Tibetans," he added.

Earlier this week, Tibetans from Switzerland, Germany and the US were detained by Greek police after they tried to disrupt China's global torch relay in Ancient Olympia. Undeterred, they now plan to disrupt the relay as the flame passes through London on April 6, Paris on April 7 and San Francisco on April 8 and 9.

Tibetan organisations in India have also appealed to Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Leander Paes and Kiran Bedi to refrain from participating in the Olympic torch relay that will be held in New Delhi on April 17.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tara International's Tiny joinsTata Nano , in the race to be world's cheapest car

The Tata Nano is no longer the world's cheapest car! Jostling along with Tata Nano, this July, will be Tara Tiny and Tara Titu. These are zero emission, electric cars and cost only Rs 99,000! And they come from the Tara International stable.

Tara S Ganguly, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, had a big dream. And he set about realising it 'in a small way.' Tara International has teamed up with China's Aucma, a leading player in the electrical vehicles and appliances segment, to manufacture these cars.

At the moment, four variants of electric cars are ready at the Tara International factory at Palta, a few kilometers from Kolkata. These are Tara Tiny, Tara Titu (two-seater and four-seater, respectively), Tara Shuttle, and Tara Carrier. While Tara Tiny and Tara Titu are priced at Rs 99,000 (approximately), Tara Shuttle and Tara Carrier are priced at Rs 500,000 (approximately).

The company will also launch electric bikes priced between Rs 12,000 and Rs 35,000.

The Tara series cars are available in electric red, black and white. Bikes comes in varied hues -- green, blue, red, etc.



Each of the cars can be recharged daily at 220 volts through 15 amp sockets, whereas the bikes can be recharged through 5 amp sockets.

A daily 6-hour charge enables bikes to travel 80 to 100 km, whereas the cars (all variants) need 8 hours of charging to cover the same distance.

Some of the cars that are available at the moment at the company's factory are left-hand drives as "they are meant for the markets in the United States and China," informed Ganguly. "Those meant for the Indian market are being reassembled at our workshops."

Apart from West Bengal, the company's other production centres are located in Pondicherry and Lucknow.


Speaking to rediff.com, Ganguly played down the competition-with-Nano line. He categorically stated that neither he nor his cars have any intention of taking on the Tata Nano. "Nano is a Rs 1-lakh car. In its case, it is the cost that is the centre of attraction."

"But the cars that I have conceptualised are 'green' cars. Therefore, the question of comparing these (environment-friendly cars) with the Nano doesn't arise at all," he said.

"The only note of similarity between the two happens to be the price, while the Nano is a Rs 100,000-plus car, my Tara small cars are priced approximately at Rs 99,000," he said.

Image: At the moment, Tara Tiny is a left hand drive vehicle, as it is slated for export to the US. But the vehicles meant for Indian roads will be right-hand drive cars.

When asked why had he planned to launch electric vehicles, Ganguly replied, "Electric cars perform certain jobs much better than any other alternative -? gasohol (a fuel mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline), biodiesel, compressed natural gas and liquid petroleum gas."

"One, they are simple, because the number of moving parts are fewer in number -? just 35, compared to over 2,500 for gasoline-powered vehicles. Fewer parts mean less maintenance and simpler service. Also, electric cars do not need oil, filters and coolants."

Do battery operated cars have any disadvantage? "The only disadvantage lies in their speed. These cars cannot run faster than 50 kms an hour. But then that is supposed to be the sane speed for confined and populated areas," he justified.

Image: The back seats of Tara Tiny can be folded to keep luggage/spare tyres.


Tara International has teamed up with China's Aucma, a leading player in the electrical vehicles and appliances segment, to manufacture these cars.

The company has introduced 'distributed manufacturing on contract system,' informed the company vice president Biswajit Das, while speaking to rediff.com.

"It means, the company is training a group of units at various parts of India to assemble the car and bike parts, repair and maintain them. The company plans to set up 50 such units across the country, out of which five are ready as of now."

Tara International has so far tied up with a few Indian companies to set up charging units at shopping malls across the country. Neither Ganguly nor Das want to reveal these companies' names at the moment.


Till date, the company has received an order of 100 Tara series cars from a London-based company.

Ganguly is extremely optimistic about the future of this car as he feels, "In this age of global warming and increased pollution, our future lies in green cars. I am extremely confident that these cars will be runaway hits in the international market."

Image: Tara Tiny is all set to hit the Indian roads in July.


Till date, the company has received an order of 100 Tara series cars from a London-based company.

Ganguly is extremely optimistic about the future of this car as he feels, "In this age of global warming and increased pollution, our future lies in green cars. I am extremely confident that these cars will be runaway hits in the international market."

Image: Tara Tiny is all set to hit the Indian roads in July.


Specifications of Tara Tiny are as follows:

· No of seats: 4

· Net weight: 850 kg

· Wheel base: 2150 mm

· Maximum speed: 50 km/hour

· Maximum grade ability: 15%

· Motor power: 3 kw

· Battery voltage: 6V*10

· Recharge duration: 8 hours

· Driving charge: 120 km

· Ground clearance: 150/mm

· Running cost: 40 p/km

· Battery capacity: 200/Ah

Tara Tiny can needs 8 hours of charging to travel 80 kms.

VEHICLE SUMMARY

Name:Tiny
Model:
Car Body Type:Hatchback
Segment:A Segment
Top Speed:52
Warranty:2 years

ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS

Displacement:220 volts
Engine Type:Electric
Maximum Power:3 KW
Maximum Torque:6V*10


OTHER SPECIFICATIONS

Seating Capacity:4
Tyre Size:0
Steering:No Power Steering
Brakes:Front Disk, Rear Drum
Gears:3 Automatic
Ground Clearance:150.00
Kerb Weight:850.00
Body Color Bumpers:True
Tachometer:False
Alloys:False
ORVM Indicator:False
Xenon Headlamps:False
Headlamp Washer:False

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

AC:False
Power Windows:False
Central Locking:Manual
Remote Boot:False
Remote Fuel Filler:False
Rear Wiper:False
Rear Defogger:False
Rear Armrest:False
Streeing Adjustment (Rake/Reach):False/False
Driver Seat Adjustment:Manual
Leather Seats:False
Door Mirror:Driver Side Manual
Tinted Glass:False
Rear AC Vent:False
Folding Rear Seats:False
Sun Roof:False
Buttons/Controls on Steering:False
Auto Viper:False
Auto Headlamp:False

ACTIVE AND PASSIVE SAFETY

Airbag:False
Parking Sensors:False
Fog Lamp:True
Traction Control:False
EBD:False
ABS:False
ESP:False

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oh India please wake up - stand up for something we believe in.

India silent as China deploys forces on Nepal soil

China stationed forces on the Nepalese side of the border with Tibet last week, in order to keep tabs on protests by Tibetans in Nepal over the past few days.

The Chinese forces were in plainclothes, but armed with small weapons, sources said. This has rung alarm bells in India's security apparatus, but there's no official reaction.

Despite the huge diplomatic snub by China as it summoned India's ambassador at 2am on Saturday to protest against Tibetan activists breaking into the Chinese embassy in Delhi, the government here is silent on the reported deployment of Chinese troops in Nepal.

Meanwhile A police officer was killed in fresh violence in Sichuan province near Tibet, China said on Tuesday as it struggled to quell the fortnight-long monks-led pro-independence protests and vowed stricter control of Buddhist monasteries.

Armed with knives and stones, a mob attacked the police officers in Garze prefecture on Monday, killing one of them on the spot and injuring several others, a local official said.

The police fired warning shots and dispersed the lawless mob, the official was quoted as saying by state run Xinhua news agency.

Authorities also claimed that 381 people, mostly monks, had "surrendered" in Tibetan-populated area of southwest Sinchuan, where the police had opened fire and wounded four persons last week after the riots which had broken out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa spilled into the nearby provinces.

When Tibet was swallowed by China without much effort, the then Indian Prime minister Pandit Nehru didn't utter a word of protest. When China attacked India in 1962, then only he learned the hard outcome of being passive. In the recent developments, Indian Government is simply repeating the same passive policies toward China, which will backfire at anytime without warning. Those who forget history will be prone to repeat the same blunder.China's economic and military clout is making it more hegemonic and breaking promises is a part of its character. The world should boycot olympics as it is not keeping its promise on human rights.It is doing what Hitler did, ethnic genocide.

Why the govt is not reacting to these Chinese highhandedess? Answer is simple. If govt reacts, immediately the Indian communist party will raise the issue and threaten to withdraw the support. What a shame? First deal with the communists in India. Then you can deal with any situation boldly. Communists of India oppose the nuclear deal with USA. They claim that India will compromise its soverignity by signing this deal. This is because it may not be able to test a nuclear bomb in future, maybe 20 to 30 years from now. China, their friend has taken a significant part of India's territory, including part of Kashmir gifted by Pakistan to China. I have never seen these Indian communists asking China to retun our territory. I think it is time that Communists of India should come out clean to Indian citizens about their extra territorial alliances with China.

I think India has to take a strong stance in relation to the current pro-independence Tibetean demonstrations.India should not give in to the Chinese pressures in order to appease the Chinese Ruling Politburo. The Indian government should not use force aganist peaceful Tibetan demonstrators protesting to free their homeland. Indian government is perhaps worried that supporting the Tibetans might result in Chinese supporting the Pakistanis on the Kashmir issue. But the whole world knows that China invaded Tibet and captured it while Kashmir acceded to India. India never invaded or captured Kashmir. The present Indian government is pursuing a very dangerous policy of appeasing the two biggest enemies of India i.e. China and Pakistan. I hope that India's intelligence is keeping an eye on the Chinese Army build up acroos Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal otherwise the security of the whole North Eastern India would be in danger.


China's strategy:I am clear in my mind what is the long term strategy of Imperialist China With neighbours including India. They created favourable position in Nepal for them totally. Burma is under their total control. There,Public was crushed again & again lately also. They have almost devoured Tibet. Next turn is for India's Arunachal Pradesh, to begin with,having an eye on seven sister States. More will be seen in due course. Let the world big powers look to China from this angle.We have suffered from weak governments all these decades. Congress' past record has not been good against Chinese and the nation has reason to worry. We are still fighting our internal defence procurement wars while exposing ourselves to military unpreparedness. This is worrisome and needs the government to take a stronger posture unless it is reconciled to wait its own turn to come after Chinese have run through all others.

India should make clear its stand on Tibet issue like US, France, Germany, UK or EU have done. Dalai Lama epitomizes Gandhi in the modern times and is a highly regarded person. He represnts the moderate voice in Tibet and supporting him is the best way to move forward on an issue that is so central to India's interests (China is our immediate neighbour and its high-handedness is well known. One would hope that Indian Government would follow a more consistent policy on Tibet and not dilly dally because of the vested interests of the Left or some business houses.

More of her lies, Is she morally fit to be a president ?

CBS News Video from Hillary Clinton's 1996 visit to Bosnia as first lady contradicts a more dramatic description the Democratic presidential candidate gave in a recent campaign speech.

In news video shown on CBS on Monday, Clinton is seen casually walking from her plane and greeting a young girl. CBS said the pictures were recorded at a greeting ceremony when the plane landed.

At a recent campaign event, Clinton, who was accompanied by her daughter Chelsea, said she remembered landing under sniper fire.

"There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base," Clinton said.

At the time of the trip, the Bosnia war was over but hostilities continued.

CBS reported that Clinton aides said the video "was not quite as dramatic as Clinton put it."

"She meant that there was fire on the hillside around the area when we landed, which was the case," campaign spokeswoman Lissa Muscatine told CBS.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Massive hunt for 'the God Particle'

Scientists at CERN, Europe's atom-smashing laboratory, are preparing for the greatest experiment in the history of particle physics which could unveil a sub-atomic component, the Higgs Boson, which is so tantalising that it has been called "the God Particle".

Below the surface, in a vast circular tunnel below the French-Swiss border near Geneva, the final pieces of a gigantic machine are being set in place for the extraordinary investigation into the infinitely small. The "Higgs", named after a British physicist, Peter Higgs, who first proposed it in 1964, would fill a gaping hole in the benchmark theory for understanding the physical cosmos. Other work on the so-called Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could explain dark matter and dark energy — strange phenomena that, stunned astrophysicists discovered a few years ago, account for 96% of the Universe.

It could shed clues on the mystery of how the Universe came to be. And it may determine whether, as some physicists believe, space-time holds dimensions other than our own. "We are standing on the shoulders of giants. But we want to know better and we want to know more," said a leading CERN investigator, Juergen Schukraft.

A gamble costing almost $6 billion that has harnessed the labours of more than 2,000 physicists from nearly three dozen countries, the LHC is the biggest, most powerful high-energy particle accelerator ever built. "It's fantastic. It's like a baby, only it doesn't take nine months to be born, but 19 years," enthused Daniel Denegri, whose Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector is bidding to be first to snare the Higgs.

In July or possibly August, the LHC will start its work, initiating a cautious programme of tests before cranking up to full intensity.

In October, CERN (officially called the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) will invite heads of state and government to an official inauguration. Beams of hydrogen protons will whiz around at near-light speed in opposite directions until, bent by powerful superconducting magnets, they will smash together in four bus-sized detector chambers, where they will be annihilated at temperatures hotter than the Sun.

Swathed within the chambers are arrays of delicate sensors which will track the wreckage from the smash-up — the shower of quarks, muons, pions and other exotically-named members of the sub-atomic bestiary.

Data from these collisions will then be sifted by a massive computer farm above ground, which will send the most promising events on "The Grid", a miniature world wide Web.

The Grid comprises 11 institutions around the world that specialise in high-energy physics, which in turn will hand on the information to physics departments in universities. Each partner has agreed to give up space on its computers to store and pool data and analyses, which thus opens up an unprecedented global computational resource.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Chased by dogs, leopard takes refuge on tree

Remember that hit video shot by a tourist in Kruger National Park in South Africa where a herd of wild buffaloes saved a calf from the jaws of hungry lions and deadly crocodiles?

Click here to watch battle at kruger video

Back in Barsol village of Dharampur taluka of Valsad in India, a full-grown leopard was chased by a pack of street dogs. The dogs forced the big cat, which strayed from a nearby forest, to take refuge on a tree for more than an hour.

In fact, villagers actually came to the aid of the leopard. They called in forest officials, who eventually dispersed the dogs and made way for the leopard to escape into the jungle.

"I have never seen anything like this before," said a Dharampur range forest officer Kanti Patel.

For the record, leopards relish dog-meat and hunt them frequently. The wild cat was ambushed by the street dogs around 10.30 am on Thursday. Initially, one of the dogs, adopted by the farmers, started barking at it but the leopard ignored it and strayed deeper into the village. Before long, half-a-dozen other dogs joined in, and a big chase commenced.

"The leopard ignored the dog initially, but later, when six of them got together, it realised the gravity of the situation and climbed up a tree. The dogs, on the other hand, were not in a mood to give up and sat under the tree for more than an hour till we reached the spot," Patel said.

Some villagers took photographs of the scared leopard and the 'big game hunter' dogs on their mobile phones.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Indian youth webcasts suicide to lover

In a shocking incident, a 21-year-old dental student has hanged himself in Kannur in north Kerala (India) while his helpless girlfriend watched it live on webcam from New Delhi (3200km from Kannur).

V S Karthik, a third year medical student, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his room in Pariyaram Medical College on Friday.

"He was an introvert and used to spend most of his time in the room. On Friday, he wasn't out till the evening which was when his friends grew suspicious and alerted the authorities.When the door was broken, we saw him hanging from the fan. A closer look at the room revealed that his webcam was pointing towards the body," said the police.

On investigation, it came to light that Karthik was chatting with a girl, apparently his girlfriend, just before he took his life. Police said the girl was a management student in New Delhi and was related to him.

The computer of Karthik, who was cremated on Sunday, had shut down automatically around 7.45 pm on Thursday making police believe that the tragic incident must have happened in the evening.

The family was opposed to their relationship. "While chatting, Karthik told her that he was going to commit suicide. She panicked and begged him not to do so. But he was unrelenting. As the girl watched desperately, he turned the camera towards the ceiling fan and hung from it,I have never come across a more gruesome incident in my career," says the police officer.

Police, however, are treading cautiously in the case. "We examined about 15 minutes of their conversation and found there was no sort of provocation in it. The poor girl must be in a state of shock and the first responsibility must be to see that she doesn’t slip into paranoia," a police officer said.

Karthik is from an affluent family . "We have seized the computer and it will be sent for forensic examination," said SI C Uthamadas, who is investigating the case. Kerala, with a population of just 3.5 crore, has the highest suicide rate in India. According to figures released by an NGO, 25 suicides were reported per one lakh population in 2005.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tibet unrest spreads beyond Lhasa, official toll 16

Tibet's governor said on Monday that 16 people were killed in violence that broke out in the regional capital, as Chinese troops fanned out to quell protests that have spread to three neighbouring provinces. Exiled Tibetans say as many as 80 people may have died.

Champa Phuntsok gave the official death toll at a news conference called to explain the response to the largest anti-government protests in almost two decades, which have thrown an international spotlight on China's human rights record as it prepares for the Beijing Olympics.

The toll was an update over the government's previous figure of 10 killed.

Click here for Tibet Protest Photos
More photos

Champa Phuntsok, an ethnic Tibetan installed as governor by the Communist government in Beijing, described 13 of the dead as "innocent civilians," and said another three people died jumping out of buildings to avoid arrest. He said dozens of people were injured.

A week of protests against Chinese rule in Lhasa culminated in violence on Friday when Tibetans attacked ethnic Chinese and torched their shops. Unconfirmed reports from Tibetan exile groups say the violence on Friday and ensuing government crackdown may have left as many as 80 people dead.

The government has said the violence was engineered by the government in exile of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, though it has provided no evidence of that.

"Calm has returned to Lhasa and society has returned to a state of normality," Champa Phuntsok said.

"This was organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique and it was created under the collusion of Tibet independence separatist forces both inside and outside China," he said without giving any details.

"Those activities were aimed at splitting the country, were aimed at undermining ethnic community and undermining social harmony and stability in Tibet."

In a sign of the seriousness of the situation, Tibet's hardline Communist Party secretary Zhang Qingli - the region's most powerful official - returned to Lhasa over the weekend and met with security forces, the official Tibet Daily newspaper said. Zhang had been attending the national legislature's annual session in Beijing, which ends Tuesday.

The Tibet Daily quoted Zhang as saying security forces "carried out a frontal assault against the thugs" who rioted in Lhasa.

State television broadcast extensive footage of torched buildings and streets strewn with burned and looted goods, underscoring the government's drive to emphasize the destructive nature of the protests without discussing their underlying causes.

Speaking to reporters in India on Sunday, the Dalai Lama reiterated his commitment to non-violence but refused to condemn the protests and called for an international probe into the government crackdown.

Champa Phuntsok said that people were hacked and burned to death during the violence, and that the mob poured gasoline and set people on fire and cut a piece of flesh out of a policeman's buttocks.

He said the security forces used great restraint and did not carry or use weapons. He denied that 80 people had been killed.

The government has issued an end-of-Monday deadline for people involved in the violent protests to surrender, saying they would face severe punishment otherwise. Champa Phuntsok said he did not know if anyone had turned themselves in.

He said the People's Liberation Army was not involved until Sunday and Monday when they helped clean up Lhasa after the violence.

Over the weekend, the demonstrations widened from Lhasa to Tibetan communities in Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces, forcing authorities to mobilize security forces across a broad expanse of western China.

A witness in Sichuan province said Monday that government troops had moved into a county in Aba prefecture, where clashes between monks and police broke out on Sunday with reports of as many as seven killed.

"There are troops that moved in Maerkang County," said a clerk at the Jinchuan Hotel, who asked not to be further identified.

"There is regulation from our higher authorities that the media should not cover this. We will provide detailed information when it is quelled," said the man who refused to give his name.

Complicating Beijing's task, the protests fall two weeks before China's celebrations for the Beijing Olympics kick off with the start of the torch relay, which will pass through Tibet.

The president of the International Olympic Committee expressed concern on Sunday about the crackdown in Tibet and neighbouring provinces.

"We are very concerned," Jacques Rogge told reporters during a one-day visit to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.

Rogge has flatly rejected the idea of boycotting the Summer Games in Beijing over the violence in China, saying it would only penalize athletes.

The unrest in Tibet began March 10 on the anniversary of a 1959 uprising against Chinese rule of the region. Tibet was effectively independent for decades before communist troops entered in 1950.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Top 15 Amazing Coincidences

Life is full of coincidences; some very minor, but occasionally - extraordinary. This is a list of 15 of the most incredible, unbelievable coincidences.

15. Childhood Book



While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites - Jack Frost and Other Stories. She picked up the old book and showed it to her husband, telling him of the book she fondly remembered as a child. Her husband took the book, opened it, and on the flyleaf found the inscription: "Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs." It was Anne's very own book.

14. Poker Luck



In 1858, Robert Fallon was shot dead, an act of vengeance by those with whom he was playing poker. Fallon, they claimed, had won the $600 pot through cheating. With Fallon's seat empty and none of the other players willing to take the now unlucky $600, they found a new player to take Fallon's place and staked him with the dead man's $600. By the time the police had arrived to investigate the killing, the new player had turned the $600 into $2,200 in winnings. The police demanded the original $600 to pass on to Fallon's next of kin - only to discover that the new player turned out to be Fallon's son, who had not seen his father in seven years!

13. Twin Deaths



In 2002, Seventy-year-old twin brothers died within hours of one another after separate accidents on the same road in northern Finland. The first of the twins died when he was hit by a lorry while riding his bike in Raahe, 600 kilometres north of the capital, Helsinki. He died just 1.5km from the spot where his brother was killed. "This is simply a historic coincidence. Although the road is a busy one, accidents don't occur every day," police officer Marja-Leena Huhtala told Reuters. "It made my hair stand on end when I heard the two were brothers, and identical twins at that. It came to mind that perhaps someone from upstairs had a say in this," she said.

12. Poe Coincidence



In the 19th century, the famous horror writer, Egdar Allan Poe, wrote a book called 'The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym'. It was about four survivors of a shipwreck who were in an open boat for many days before they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name was Richard Parker. Some years later, in 1884, the yawl, Mignonette, foundered, with only four survivors, who were in an open boat for many days. Eventually the three senior members of the crew killed and ate the cabin boy. The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.

11. Royal Coincidence



In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I, went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia- Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto's order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblance between each other and found many more similarities.

1. Both men were born on the same day, of the same year, (March 14th, 1844).
2. Both men had been born in the same town.
3. Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.
4. The restaurateur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.
5. On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restaurateur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, an anarchist in the crowd then assassinated him.

10. Falling Baby



In 1930s Detroit, a man named Joseph Figlock was to become an amazing figure in a young (and, apparently, incredibly careless) mother's life. As Figlock was walking down the street, the mother's baby fell from a high window onto Figlock. The baby's fall was broken and Figlock and the baby were unharmed. A year later, the selfsame baby fell from the selfsame window, again falling onto Mr. Figlock as he was passing beneath. Once again, both of them survived the event.

9. Mystery Monk



In 19th century Austria, a near-famous painter named Joseph Aigner attempted suicide on several occasions. During his first attempt to hang himself at the age of 18, a mysterious Capuchin monk interrupted Aigner. And again at age 22, the very same monk prevented him from hanging himself. Eight years later, he was sentenced to the gallows for his political activities. But again, his life was saved by the intervention of the same monk. At age 68, Joseph Aigner finally succeeded in suicide, using a pistol to shoot himself. Not surprisingly, the very same Capuchin monk - a man whose name Aigner never even knew, conducted his funeral ceremony.



8. Photographic Coincidence



A German mother who photographed her infant son in 1914 left the film to be developed at a store in Strasbourg. In those days some film plates were sold individually. World War I broke out and unable to return to Strasbourg, the woman gave up the picture for lost. Two years later she bought a film plate in Frankfurt, over 100 miles away, to take a picture of her newborn daughter. When developed the film turned out to be a double exposure, with the picture of her daughter superimposed on the earlier picture of her son. Through some incredible twist of fate, her original film, never developed, had been mislabeled as unused, and had eventually been resold to her.

7. Book Find



In 1973, actor Anthony Hopkins agreed to appear in "The Girl From Petrovka", based on a novel by George Feifer. Unable to find a copy of the book anywhere in London, Hopkins was surprised to discover one lying on a bench in a train station. It turned out to be George Feifer's own annotated (personal) copy, which Feifer had lent to a friend, and which had been stolen from his friend's car.

6. Twins



The twin brothers, Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, were separated at birth, adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both families named the boys James. Both James grew up not knowing of the other, yet both sought law-enforcement training both had abilities in mechanical drawing and carpentry, and each had married women named Linda. Both had sons, one of who was named James Alan and the other named James Allan. The twin brothers also divorced their wives and married other women - both named Betty. And they both owned dogs which they named Toy.

5. Revenge Killing



In 1883, Henry Ziegland broke off a relationship with his girlfriend who, out of distress, committed suicide. The girl's enraged brother hunted down Ziegland and shot him. Believing he had killed Ziegland, the brother then took his own life. In fact, however, Ziegland had not been killed. The bullet had only grazed his face, lodging into a tree. It was a narrow escape. Years later, Ziegland decided to cut down the same tree, which still had the bullet in it. The huge tree seemed so formidable that he decided to blow it up with dynamite. The explosion propelled the bullet into Ziegland's head, killing him.

4. Golden Scarab



From The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche: "A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me this dream I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the windowpane from outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to the golden scarab that one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata) which contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt an urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since, and that the dream of the patient has remained unique in my experience." - Carl Jung

3. Taxi



In 1975, while riding a moped in Bermuda, a man was accidentally struck and killed by a taxi. One year later, this man's brother was killed in the very same way. In fact, he was riding the very same moped. And to stretch the odds even further, the very same taxi driven by the same driver - and even carrying the very same passenger struck him!

2. Hotel Discovery



In 1953, television reporter Irv Kupcinet was in London to cover the coronation of Ellizabeth II. In one of the drawers in his room at the Savoy he found some items that, by their identification, belonged to a man named Harry Hannin. Coincidentally, Harry Hannin - a basketball star with the famed Harlem Globetrotters - was a good friend of Kupcinet's. But the story has yet another twist. Just two days later, and before he could tell Hannin of his lucky discovery, Kupcinet received a letter from Hannin. In the letter, Hannin told Kucinet that while staying at the Hotel Meurice in Paris, he found in a drawer a tie - with Kupcinet's name on it.

1. Historical Coincidence



The lives of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two of America's founders. Jefferson crafted the Declaration of Independence, showing drafts of it to Adams, who (with Benjamin Franklin) helped to edit and hone it. The Continental Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776. Surprisingly, both Jefferson and Adams died on the same day, July 4, 1826 - exactly 50 years from the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Osama Bin London Caught !

An Indian-origin extremist, who dubbed himself “Osama bin London”, has been convicted in London for being a major recruiter for Islamist extremism and sentenced to indefinite imprisonment.

Mohammed Hamid, 50, of east London, allegedly organised secret training camps, one of which was attended by the four failed suicide bombers of July 21, 2005.

Hamid was on Friday jailed for seven-and-a-half years, but told he would not be released until he had reformed.

Hamid was born to Indian parents in Tanzania, and later moved to England. He grew up in Batley, Yorkshire.

The trial judge at the Woolwich Crown Court Justice Pitchers also jailed Hamid's accomplice Atilla Ahmet, who made hate speeches alongside Hamid, for six years and 11 months.

The Imprisonment for Public Protection sentence against Hamid was the first use of the powers in a terrorist case.

The police said Hamid, who described himself as "Osama bin London", played a crucial role in grooming young men for terrorism and possible training overseas.

Justice Pitchers told him: "Mohammed Hamid, you are, in my judgement, dangerous. You can be quite genuinely amusing and charming. You also have real knowledge of the Quran and Islamic teaching. However, that is only one side of you.

"You used your charm and knowledge of the Quran to influence others to terrorism. I believe you have sent trainees to Afghanistan. You continue to be a danger, not directly from your own actions, but from your ability to persuade others by criminal actions to commit terrorism offences themselves."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Returns from income tax dept

The Income Tax Department has put on its website the list of income tax refunds of all salary tax payers which could not be sent to the concerned persons for want of correct address.

Salary taxpayers who have not received refunds for assessment years 2003\04 to 2006\07 can click on the link below and query using the PAN number and assessment year whether any refund due to them has been returned undelivered from the menu `undelivered salary refund management system'. If any refund has been returned undelivered due to change in address, then the taxpayer can enter the present address and the refund will be sent to the taxpayer at the new address.

The link to the website is as under:

http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/CCIT/refundsearch.asp


Pass this to your friends - this could be of great help / use to them.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Man beheads his 15-month-old nephew in Saudi Arabia

A man beheaded his 15-month-old nephew in front of his mother in a supermarket in Saudi Arabia apparently after a family dispute, newspapers reported on Monday.

The 25-year-old Syrian national picked up a knife from the store in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Sunday and decapitated the little boy in full view of shoppers, Arab News said.

The man apparently killed him following a dispute with his sister and brother-in-law, the English-language daily said.

"He chopped off the boy's head in front of the mother," a police officer was quoted as saying. The mother fainted and was taken to hospital.