Fynali Iladijas2014-03-24 01:31:52
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#environment #sustainability

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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-19 18:20:23
    لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الَّذِينَ أُحْصِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِي الْأَرْضِ يَحْسَبُهُمُ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاءَ مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ تَعْرِفُهُمْ بِسِيمَاهُمْ لَا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا ۗ وَمَا تُنْفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ [2:273]

    [Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah , unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it. [2:273]

    via +Javeed Khan.

    #heartwarming #charity
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-22 16:26:21
            ❝ ...you can't win a national election
            in India on the rhetoric of fear.
            That may go down well in Gujarat but it
            doesn't nationally.
            
            So, Modi's citing the development success
            of Gujarat — and I'd question that right away.
            
            By human development indicators, Gujarat
            is not a success. It has growth but it also
            has tremendous inequality, deficient education
            and marginalisation of the poor.
            
            I think people are giving Modi an easy time.
            Why does Congress grant Gujarat is
            a development success?
            
            I find this disconnect between the rhetoric
            of development and the total lack of
            equality very troubling in Modi. ❞
            —Martha Nussbaum,
            American philosopher & academic

    2014-04-02
    `I'd question Modi on Gujarat — why doesn't Congress?'
    
    Q & A

    Martha Nussbaum is a leading American philosopher and academic. In India at the opening of the University of Chicago's Delhi Centre, Nussbaum spoke with Srijana Mitra Das about philosophy, India and America's acceptance of intellectuals — and Narendra Modi's Gujarat model:

    Theorist Stanley Fish says all philosophy helps you do is more philosophy. It doesn't help the real world. Your view?
    Well, Stanley liked my approach in my book Political Emotions, which is to use philosophy in a way that really talks about policy. I think Stanley doesn't like a sterile philosophy that cuts itself off from practice. Look at the great tradition of Western political philosophy. Those people were all immersed in revolutionary movements. Most weren't career academics — often, they were too radical to be accepted in the academy. Rousseau's books were banned. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill couldn't hold academic positions because they were atheists. In that field, to talk only to academics and not relate to the real world is wrong. You have to connect your work to what people are doing.

    A good way is to construct a bridge between theory and practice — Amartya Sen and I tried this by founding the Human Devel opment and Capabilities Association where practitioners meet theoreticians and their discourse influences practice. This is one of the aims the Chicago Centre in India also has. Here, there's recognition that someone who's an academic, like Raghuram Rajan, also has a lot to offer to the nation. The US is much more resistant to that. Politicians are at a great distance from the academic world. Barack Obama was my colleague at Chicago — but could I ever talk to him now? Never.

    Yet, archaic laws on freedoms persist in India — why?
    Certain conservative parts of Indian society internalised the Victorian critique of sexuality, evident in the furore over Wendy Doniger's book. She's just pointing to features in the Hindu tradition — and they don't want to acknowledge them because it's exactly what the British were contemptuous of ! Something similar's hap pening with gays and lesbi ans — a critique of sexuali ty seen as non-marital, internalised by Indians, showing a Puritanism that stems from the Raj.

    You've earlier said Narendra Mo di's rhetoric was based on fear and shame. Today , his discourse is about gov ernance and anti-corrup tion. How do you read the change?
    Vajpayee too had two ways of talking — a cleaned-up line about good governance — but when Godhra happened, he encouraged the non-prosecution of those involved. His Hindutva side came out. People are capable of speaking in two languagesand you can't win a national election in India on the rhetoric of fear. That may go down well in Gujarat but it doesn't nationally.

    So, Modi's citing the development success of Gujarat — and I'd question that right away. By human development indicators, Gujarat is not a success. It has growth but it also has tremendous inequality, deficient education and marginalisation of the poor.

    I think people are giving Modi an easy time. I don't see Congress putting up a tough opposition. They need to question his facts. Why does Congress grant Gujarat is a development success? I find this disconnect between the rhetoric of development and the total lack of equality very troubling in Modi.

    #modi #bjp #hindutva #hypocrisy #doubleStandard
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-19 06:43:13
    With the unbelievable, unrealistic and surprisingly biased outcome of India's 16th Lok Sabha election, this voting machine rigging seems to have become a reality!

    I now have my reasons to doubt the EVM and the Indian administrative safeguards deployed in running an election and counting the votes!

           ❝ It is not just the machine, but the
           overall administrative safeguards which
           we use that make it absolutely impossible
           for anybody to open the machine. ❞
             —Alok Shukla Indian Election Commission

    But that administrative safeguards are precisely what is undermined, subverted and compromised by organised groups like the RSS! goo.gl/FcY7Wx

    US scientists 'hack' India electronic voting machines
    By Julian Siddle, Science reporter, +BBC News goo.gl/eVifRg

    [By] connecting a home-made electronic device to one of the voting machines used in India, Professor J Alex Halderman, who led the project, said the device allowed them to change the results on the machine by sending it messages from a mobile phone.

            ❝ We made an imitation display board that
            looks almost exactly like the real display
            in the machines.
            
            But underneath some of the components
            of the board, we hide a microprocessor
            and a Bluetooth radio.
            
            Our lookalike display board intercepts
            the vote totals that the machine is trying
            to display and replaces them with
            dishonest totals —
            basically whatever the bad guy wants
            to show up at the end of the election.
                              —Prof. J Alex Halderman

    In addition, they added a small microprocessor which they say can change the votes stored in the machine between the election and the vote-counting session!

    #india #democracy #hijackingDemocracy #voteRigging #EVM
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-03-27 15:08:37
    RESHARE:
    Rest assured.
    Have sincere intentions.
    Work hard.

    Reshared text:
    “I have read in ninety places in the Qur’an that ALLAH has
    preordained sustenance and guaranteed it for HIS creation,
    and I have only read in one place:
    ‘Satan threatens you with poverty’ [Surat al-Baqarah: 2:268].” –
    [Al-Hasan al-Basri (Rahimahullah)]...

    "Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing."
    [Al-Qur'an Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow)....2:268]
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-07-12 10:55:37
    VIEW FROM ISRAEL
    The Atrocity by Uri Avnery
    goo.gl/XRvZD1, outlookindia.com

        ...it seemed that all Israel had turned into
        a soccer mob, shouting “Death to the Arabs!”
        Can anyone even imagine a present-day European
        or American crowd shouting “Death to the Jews?”

    First a group of "Death to Arabs" hate mongers tried to kidnap a 9-year old boy in the same Arab neighbourhood, almost choking to death... The next day the group returned, caught Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, a cheerful 16-year old boy with an engaging smile, poured gasoline in his mouth and burned him to death.

    IF A gang of neo-Nazis had kidnapped a 16-year old boy in a London Jewish neighbourhood in the dark of the night, driven him to Hyde Park, beaten him up, poured gasoline into his mouth, doused him all over and set him on fire — what would have happened?

        Wouldn't the UK have exploded in a
        storm of anger and disgust?
        
        Wouldn't the Queen have expressed her outrage?
        
        Wouldn't the Prime Minister have rushed to the
        home of the bereaved family to apologize
        on behalf of the entire nation?
        
        Wouldn't the leadership of the neo-Nazis,
        their active supporters and brain-washers
        be indicted and condemned?
        
        Perhaps in the UK. Perhaps in Germany. 
        
        Not [in Israel].

    THIS ABOMINABLE atrocity took place in Jerusalem. A Palestinian boy was abducted and burned alive. No racist crime in Israel ever came close to it.

    Burning people alive is an abomination everywhere. In a state that claims to be “Jewish”, it is even worse.

    Even the most fanatical enemy of Israel could not imagine such an awful thing happening in Israel. Until now. Under Israeli law, East Jerusalem is not occupied territory. It is a part of sovereign Israel.

    THE CHAIN of events was as follows:

        Two Palestinians, apparently acting alone,
        kidnapped three Israeli teenagers who were
        trying to hitchhike at night from a
        settlement near Hebron. The objective was
        probably to use them as hostages for the
        release of Palestinian prisoners.
        
        The action went awry when one of the three
        succeeded in calling the Israeli police
        emergency number from his mobile phone.
        The kidnappers, assuming that the police
        would soon be on their tracks, panicked
        and shot the three at once. They dumped
        the bodies in a field and fled.
        (Actually the police bungled things and
        only started their hunt the next morning.)
        
        All of Israel was in an uproar.
        Many thousands of soldiers were employed
        for three weeks in the search for the
        three youngsters, combing thousands of
        buildings, caves and fields. 
        
        The public uproar was surely justified.
        But it soon degenerated into an orgy of
        racist incitement, which intensified
        from day to day. Newspapers, radio
        stations and TV networks competed with
        each other in unabashed racist diatribes,
        repeating the official line ad nauseam and
        adding their own nauseous commentary —
        every day, around the clock.
        
        The security services of the
        Palestinian Authority, which collaborated
        throughout with the Israeli security services,
        played a major role in discovering early on
        the identity of the two kidnappers
        (identified but not yet caught).
        Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president, stood up
        in a meeting of the Arab countries and
        condemned the kidnapping unequivocally
        and was branded by many of his own people
        as an Arab Quisling.
        Israeli leaders, on the other hand,
        called him a hypocrite. 

    Also watch:
    Why Doesn't the Media Care About Dead Palestinians?

    #apartheid #occupation #communalism #racism #palestine
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-27 15:47:24
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    'Nuf said!

    #america #moronic #blemishOnCivilisation

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    #wikileaks #politics  
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-03-24 13:58:04
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    Reallly Coool!
    Definitely want one at home!

    #reading #mindfulDesign #ohSoAwesome

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    Cool reading room
    more ideas: http://offsomedesign.com/mezzanine-ideas/
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-17 05:32:25
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-27 04:04:08
    RESHARE:
    Great shot; great share!

    via +Brian Matiash.

    #monochrome #lightBeam #burma

    Reshared text:
    This shot reminded me of a valuable lesson I had once learned: when there's a bunch of people shooting one thing, see if there's something better close by. In this case, after shooting the sunrise atop the Shwesandaw pagoda (getting basically the same shot of the Bagan plains as everyone that's taken a single picture in Bagan), we went down to the large reclining buddha that is in the same complex. In there, some tourists had hired some monk novices to model for them in front of some candles, acting like they were praying to buddha. If it sounds pretty cheesy, it was, but hey, some people are into that sort of picture.

    A nice throng of photographers had gathered to take advantage of the free photo opp, so I decided to see what else was there. Thanks to the incense that had been lit and the low angle of the early morning sun, some pretty awesome light beams had formed in the hallway behind the buddha, and since everyone was so preoccupied getting a posed shot, there was no one to get in the way of the shot. Score! :)

    Of course, there are times in which you just have to shoot the same thing as everyone else (like the sunrise view from top of the Shwesandaw pagoda--there's a reason it's been shot a million times and will be shot a million more). Still, as photographers, we need to find ways to break the innate desire to be with the pack and do what others are doing. Next time you're in a throng of photographers, try to break away and see what else is around--you may be surprised what you find.

    #myanmar   #bagan   #monochromemonday   #travelphotography   #silverefexpro2  
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-06-28 11:29:06
    It was like this for nearly an hour!
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-06 15:35:43
    A Game Called POSSIBILITICS

    #india #LS2014 #democracy #greatestShowOnEarth
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-01 07:13:55
            ❝ There is no denying the fact that
            communal politics should be a major
            concern for all well-meaning Indians,
            just as corruption should be.
            But our biggest worry should be
            inefficiency borne out of incompetence.
            And this goes to the root
            of all our problems. ❞
                                       —Ghazala Wahab

    2014-03-25
    The Age Of Mediocrity
    Far more than ‘honest’ or ‘secular’ leaders, we need intelligent and competent ones
    by Ghazala Wahab

    Either it is a broadening of his world view or an effect of the compulsions of electoral politics, but as Aam Aadmi Party’s founder and leading light Arvind Kejriwal took the plunge into national politics, he observed that communalism was a bigger issue in India than corruption. Interestingly, he said this during an interaction with members of Delhi’s India Islamic Centre. 

    Almost around the same time Javed Iqbal Ansari, one of the Rashtriya Janata Dal rebels who jumped ship before the elections, announced on national television that he was quitting the party as he is morally obliged, because of his community, to pursue secular politics. 

    What is it about Indian Muslims that all politicians or wannabe politicians feel compelled to mouth the usual ‘secular-communal’ platitudes to win them over? Why do they think that for a Muslim the only worry is communalism? There is no denying the fact that communal politics should be a major concern for all well-meaning Indians (not just Muslims), just as corruption should be. But I am coming round to believe that our biggest worry should be inefficiency borne out of incompetence. And this goes to the root of all our problems. 

    India’s big fortune of having intellectual stalwarts like Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad etc at the dawn of Independence has also been its biggest misfortune – because it gave an exaggerated sense of self to us. Political leaders like these were not representative of the Indian people, a majority of whom were illiterate with only partiallydeveloped intellect. 

    Over the next few decades, as we tried to reach education to the lowest common denominator, we constantly lowered standards so that the weakest could catch up. As a result the average intellectual capacity of our nation today is determined not by our brightest, but by our dumbest. 

    This progressive lowering of standards has dangerously permeated every rung of our societal ladder. Take for example the Indian armed forces. Senior army officers admit that over years the standards for officer intake have been lowered so much that today they do not get the kind of youth they did till about 20 years ago. However, they are getting better educated recruits in other ranks. 

    It is not that officer aspirants are not educated, they may be more qualified in terms of degrees. But this qualification does not add value to their lives or their professions, because it does not feed their intellect. No amount of training or experience can make up for the absence of thinking capacity or imagination. Then how can these officers suddenly become strategists upon promotion? 

    The same rings true for every other profession in India, whether it is bureaucracy, management or even educational institutions – all of which are populated, even led by mediocre people with limited thinking faculties. They can memorise well and apply formulas and theories, but they cannot think for themselves, cannot analyse and cannot put the past in the present context to understand the future. 

    This is extremely worrisome because most of our leadership, political, bureaucratic and industrial is populated by mediocre people. Mediocrity breeds insecurity and that leads to dishonesty. Mediocre people support and promote other mediocre people so that they can all coexist. One doesn’t have to search for examples here, they are all around us. In parents who fudge documents so that their kids get an edge over others and in teachers who nudge their students to cheat so that the school’s record remains unblemished. So we plagiarise blatantly until we are caught, then we say we were merely inspired! 

    This is the reason why our top diplomats are bested by their counterparts in international arena. In all our negotiations with Pakistan or China we end up with the short end of the stick, agreeing to their proposals because we cannot come up with any of our own and cannot think through the motives behind their proposals. Our analysts mug up western strategic-political literature without thinking about Indian conditions on their own merit; our scientists cannot produce anything of consequence, whether it be generalpurpose inventions such as in the realm of anaesthesia or weapons systems; all the largest section of our manufacturing sector does is licence production of western products; even our films are bested by those coming from Iran or Korea in international competitions! 

    How shameful is it that in the area of statecraft, diplomacy or strategy if we need to refer to Indian thought, we cannot get beyond Chanakya, who lived in ancient India! For contemporary examples, we have to take recourse to western thinkers and writers. 

    Because we lack so much in imagination our political class repeatedly gets away with touting symptomatic issues as the real ones and we cannot figure it out. Worse, we are so insecure that we collectively try and silence isolated original ideas whenever they appear once in a while, because we fear they will disrupt the status quo. Both divisiveness and pettiness are products of insecure minds short on vision. 

    Honestly, I don’t care about honest or secular leaders. I want intelligent (not clever) and imaginative (not plagiarist) leaders. Because if you have these qualities, you will in any case be on a plane higher than thieves and thugs. 

    The writer is executive editor, FORCE newsmagazine.

    Image caption: These intellectual stalwarts gave an exaggerated sense of self to us
    Editorial view: goo.gl/qLbGgt

    #india #Leaderhip #incompetent #illiterate #inefficient
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-01 09:34:20
    RESHARE:
    Wicked!

    via +David Hu.

    #sensibleAutomation #trafficManagement

    Reshared text:
    Moving a Highway Barrier for Rush Hour Traffic

    looks like a dangerous job indeed, eh?
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-31 15:46:43
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    #solar #energy #sustainability #design #startup

    Reshared text:
    These giant, water-filled crystal globes could be the future of solar power. They help concentrate diffused light onto solar panels:

    http://wrd.cm/1lpGABN
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-09 12:44:32
            ❝ I think they haven't studied Islam yet,
            they haven't studied Quran yet, and
            they should go and they should learn Islam.
            
            They are actually misusing the name of Islam
            because they have forgotten that the word
            Islam means 'peace'. ❞
                           —Malala Yousafzai

    2014-05-09
    Go and learn Islam, Malala tells Boko Haram jihadis Reuters

    London: Pakistani teenage rights' activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, has advised Nigeria's Boko Haram to "go and learn Islam", saying the extremist outfit is "misusing the name of the religion" by kidnapping over 200 schoolgirls.

    "I think they haven't studied Islam yet, they haven't studied Quran yet, and they should go and they should learn Islam," the 16 year old told the CNN.

    "I think that they should think of these girls as their own sisters. How can one imprison his own sisters and treat them in such a bad way?" she said, referring to Boko Haram's threats to sell the girls into slavery.

    "They are actually misusing the name of Islam because they have forgotten that the word islam means 'peace'," Malala said.

    She added, "When I heard about the girls in Nigeria being abducted I felt very sad and I thought that my sisters are in prison and I thought that I should speak up for them." In another interview to the BBC, Malala called up on the world not to "stay silent" over the abduction.

    "The international community has to do more to help the girls kidnapped over three weeks ago by Islamist Boko Haram militants in Nigeria. When such things happen we cannot keep quiet," she said. "If we remain silent then this will spread, this will happen more and more," said the girls' education campaigner, who was the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

    The abduction, that occurred on April 15, has sparked mounting demands for Nigeria to spare no effort to find the girls before they can be sold into slavery or otherwise harmed.

    Nigeria police have said that among the 300 girls that were abducted, 276 remain in captivity while 53 had managed to escape. AGENCIES

    #misrepresentingIslam #ignorance
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-05 20:07:32
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    Hero iON concept — Hydrogen fuel
    I'll take one the minute it arrives

    EXTRACT
    This Indian manufacturer has emerged as a leader in alternative fuel technologies for two-wheeled vehicle.

    Hero revealed another new concept, this one an electric motorcycle with a hydrogen fuel cell extender at the 2014 India Auto Expo. Dubbed the Hero iON, the futuristic-looking concept uses a lithium-air battery along with a hydrogen fuel cell.

    The Li-Air battery uses oxygen from the surrounding environment as the cathode oxidant instead of having an internal oxidizer. The technology is still developing, but the energy stored per kilo said to be comparable to that of gasoline.

    The wheels are mounted with electric motors using zero-friction magnetic levitation to both drive the motorcycle and act as a brake. Instead of a traditional twist control, the ride-by-wire throttle is controlled by triggers on the grips.

    Another innovation is Hero’s M-link suspension which uses magnetorheological damping to adapt or suit different riding conditions. Instead of springs, the dampers are filled with a fluid which changes its viscosity based on the strength of a magnetic field.

    Both the front and rear wheel pivot to steer the motorcycle while multi-axis gyroscopes and accelerometers maintain stability.

    Other features include a vehicle situational awareness system to monitor surrounding traffic, and in-helmet heads-up display connectivity.
    EXTRACT END, emphasis mine

    Read more at the +Motorcycle.com link below.

    #motorbike #green #innovation #hero-ion #indian

    Reshared text:
    Ride it or Hide it?

    Hero ION Hydrogen Fuel Cell Concept – #Video
    http://blog.motorcycle.com/2014/02/05/motorcycle-category/standard/hero-ion-hydrogen-fuel-cell-concept-video/

    #concept   #greentech   #green   #hydrogen   #ebike  
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-12 14:25:22
    RESHARE:
    EXTRACT
    Just how important is it? In July 2012, Microsoft got a German court to give them the right to ban all Motorola Android device sales in Germany because of it. Microsoft has also used this, and other FAT patents, to get numerous Android vendors to sign patent-licensing agreements.

    These patent agreements, in turn, have made Android, not Windows RT, not Windows Phone 8, its most profitable mobile operating system. It's been estimated that Microsoft makes as much as $8 for every Android device sold. This would add up to Microsoft making as much as $3.4 billion in 2013 from Android sales. That's important.
    EXTRACT END, emphasis mine

    via +Alessandro Ebersol.

    #microsoft #innovationBlocker #industryBane #ironic

    Reshared text:
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-24 11:32:16
            ❝ ...curious that BJP should go back to its old,
            worn-out Hindutva song to sharpen polarisation
            around Hindu-Muslim lines.
            
            ...it would be naive to believe that the remarks
            of Naqvi or Giriraj Singh or Togadia, or
            earlier of Amit Shah were off the cuff comments.
            
            ...is this a foretaste of things to come? ❞
                   —Neerja Chowdhury, political commentator

    2014-04-23
    BJP's Cocktail For 2014
    As polling nears its end, party members and friends veer round to sowing divisiveness and hate
    by Neerja Chowdhury

    It is curious that in the second half of the 2014 election campaign BJP, which is supposedly racing towards victory and which relied on development and decisive leadership as its poll themes, should go back to its old, worn-out Hindutva song to sharpen polarisation around Hindu-Muslim lines.

    First, there was BJP candidate Giriraj Singh whose statement — those who did not support Modi “will have no place in India because their place will be in Pakistan“ — went beyond usual poll-time hate rhetoric. Seen as a warning to Muslims, such a mindset has implications for a democratic polity like ours. If Giriraj Singh were to have his way what would happen to the 271 MPs who come to get elected on the basis of anti-Modi sentiment, if Modi's “272 Mission“ fructifies? Get a “desh nikala“?

    BJP brass has rebuked Giriraj Singh but worry persists about the role differences and dissent would have in the Modi dispensation. This by no means exonerates the hate rhetoric on the other side — statements by Congress candidate Imran Masood in Saharanpur about chopping up Modi, or the vitriolic remarks made repeatedly by an unrepentant Azam Khan.

    After Giriraj Singh came Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. He raked up the Masjid/temple issue which had been relegated to the back page of BJP's manifesto as a tokenist homage to hardliners. And now there are reports of Praveen Togadia's shocking diatribe calling on Hindus to force eviction of Muslims from their homes. It has naturally generated an outcry and provoked the Election Commission to order registration of a case against the VHP leader.

    Suddenly, the Hindu-Muslim divide has taken centre stage in the poll discourse. Given the way Indian politics pans out, it would be naive to believe that the remarks of Naqvi or Giriraj Singh or Togadia, or earlier of Amit Shah were off the cuff comments.

    Are these just instances of individuals getting carried away and BJP brass distancing itself from them? Or do they betray an anxiety, a nervousness in the BJP camp? Is it an indication of a killer instinct to push towards a majority figure, using every trick in the book to get there? Or is BJP, which seemed to be reincarnating into a party of issues rather than of emotions, showing its true colours? And is this a foretaste of things to come?

    BJP has played four cards in the campaign in varying degrees — development, strong leadership, OBC factor and Hindu-Muslim polarisation.

    When the Narendra Modi campaign kicked off, the emphasis was on `development'. The Gujarat CM was packaged as the new “vikas purush“. Such was the campaign offensive mounted about him and the “Gujarat model“, surpassing mobilisation around the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, with rallies, 3D meetings, video raths carrying Modi's message, ad campaigns, social media going viral with his views, its impact was summed up in the words of a Mumbai `UP bhaiyya' taxiwalla, “Our people are saying, this time let us try Modi. `They' say he has done something in Gujarat.“

    Politics is after all about per ception. The development mantra had traction with the youth and made those who shunned BJP in the past but were angered by Congress's arrogance of power look at Hindutva's poster boy with new eyes.

    The second slogan about the need for a “strong leader“ also resonated with the urban middle class which influences almost 200 Lok Sabha seats today. BJP played the OBC card with effect in the Hindi belt, propagating the possibility of the first ever OBC prime minister in Modi. It tied up with the Kurmi-dominated Apna Dal in UP and fielded as many as 27 OBC candidates in the state.

    In Bihar, it appears to have dented Nitish Kumar's following among the extremely backward castes (known as “Annexure I“ communities who add up to over 30% of the population). When Amit Shah made his remarks about taking “revenge“ through the ballot, it was clearly aimed at sharpening polarisation in western UP along Hindu-Muslim lines, which had taken place in the area following Jat-Muslim violence in Muzaffarnagar. Muslims were divided thanks to Mulayam Singh Yadav, who played on their fears that Mayawati was “Modi's younger sister“ who could go with BJP again and that they would have to deal with his regime in Lucknow for the next three years.

    People were buying into the universalist message put out by Modi. Given the mood for change, many are looking at him as the alternative. And yet BJP has obviously felt the need for the extra push in the penultimate poll rounds — which it calculates can come only via the polarisation route, though pushed beyond a point there is always the risk of Hindus counter-reacting.

    The mother of all battles is being fought in UP and Bihar, which will make or mar Modi's fortunes. The recent spate of extreme statements by VHP and BJP leaders shows that BJP now wants to consolidate Hindu votes to go for the kill in the land of the Ganga. They may or may not yield more votes. But they — as also Muslim statements in reaction — leave the polity and society more sharply — and dangerously — divided on religious lines even before the elections are over.

    The writer is a political commentator

    #bjp #modi #divisive #communal #politicsOfHate
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-16 10:45:30
    I'm thrilled that a single party can still garner enough votes resulting in an absolute majority when all the experts had written off such scenarios from ever being a reality in The Great Indian Democratic franchise!

    But at the same time I'm disheartened that that very democracy can be so effectively gamed to produce an outcome that is clearly unwelcome to those with integrity and self respect.

    There are many factors that play a part in how this comes about: exposing the electoral process to phantom voting being a big one among them!

    2014-05-16
    Vote's up? EC's errors of omission were a killjoy
    by Srikanth Viswanathan

    Of all electoral reform agendas in India, quality of voter lists is arguably the most neglected. Unjustified deletions of voter names in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Varanasi and the consequent public interest litigation in the Bombay high court have brought the issue into focus temporarily.

    However, stakeholders across a wide spectrum, including polling agencies, psephologists, civil society and the Election Commission itself, have not yet gauged the extent to which poor quality voter lists may be systematically undermining the quality of electoral outcomes in India.

    Bangalore-based non-profit Janaagraha has been working on improving voter list management for close to a decade. A proper urban electoral (PURE) list survey carried out ahead of the Delhi assembly elections in 2013 had revealed average error rates of 20%.

    An intensive study in two assembly constituencies in Bangalore had shown an average error rate of 40%. Even as we await the results of a national survey of voter lists that is currently under way in 21 cities, three strong possibilities have emerged, all pointing to the need for systemic reforms in voter list management.

    ■ Firstly, the risk of phantom voting is real and electoral outcomes being reported may be distorted. Two kinds of errors dominate voter lists — errors of omission, where some eligible voters are left out, and errors of commission, where voter names that need to be deleted are not deleted, or voter names are deleted without proper verification.

    Recent reports have shown how deletions made without due verification deny voters their statutory right, as was the case with director Amol Palekar, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh and hundreds across Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Varanasi.

    While the EC and civil society have rightly focused on voter registration and addition, due attention has clearly not been paid to the issue of deletions. This exposes the electoral process to phantom voting.

    Our ongoing research indicates that voter lists in several cities and constituencies are so poor that accurate polling part maps are not available and addresses in voter lists are incomplete, seriously hindering even an evaluation of the quality of voter lists. The emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party has added to number of constituencies witnessing tight contests and narrow margins of victory. If, on the one hand, margins of victory are thin, and on the other, voter lists have high error rates, there is no assurance that electoral outcomes are legitimate and reflect popular choice.

    ■ Secondly, voter turnout reported from cities is probably understated and therefore voter apathy in cities could be a myth.

    The jury has spoken on poor voter turnout in cities and apathetic citizens have been pronounced guilty. However, with thousands of names remaining undeleted in voter lists, it could well be that computation of voter turnout itself is wrong as it is on a wrongly inflated base. This issue is significant in cities and towns where citizen movements of three kinds happen on a large scale — village to city, city to city, and within a city.

    For example, in the Burari assembly constituency in Delhi, if the errors in the list found at the time of survey were deleted, the voter turnout percentage would have increased from 56% to 74%.

    Voter turnout in a democracy is an important signal to all stakeholders — voters and civil society, political parties, psephologists, researchers and EC — and a misstated voter turnout could lead to several wrong conclusions and policy decisions.

    Clearly then, voter list management in Indian cities needs serious systemic reform. The process is currently characterized by poor mapping of polling part boundaries, incomplete addresses, lack of a sufficiently sophisticated, integrated and open database, temporary staffing and poor incentivization for updating voter lists.

    Reforms targeted at precisely these five factors are needed to establish the integrity of voter lists, especially in Indian cities where flux in voting populations is high and rising. Reforms, however, will begin only with an acknowledgement of their need.

    The recognition of voter lists as a high-priority reform agenda will mark an inflection point in the maturing of Indian democracy.

    The last couple of decades since the Seshan era have seen much needed supply-side electoral reforms led by EC and the judiciary — near elimination of booth capturing, regulation of money and crime in politics, introduction of EVMs and the NOTA option, all of which focused primarily on candidates.

    The writer is coordinator-advocacy, research and capacity building at Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy

    #india #citizenship #democracy #gamingDemocracy
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-11 00:02:46
    RESHARE:
    This is just so lovely.
    I find myself doing several of those. Have a read.

    via +Greg Mills.

    #parenting #father #son #nurturing #relationship

    Reshared text:
    28 Rules for Fathers of Sons.

    1. Love his Mother. He will learn to love like you love, and hate like you hate. So choose love for both of you. Devote yourself to it. Love with your whole heart and express that love each and every day. Then, someday down the road, you will see the way he loves his own wife, and know that you played a part in that.

    2. Let him drive. Every child remembers the first time they drove on daddy's lap. For that one moment, he will believe that he is just. like. you.  

    3. Teach him to be picky. Especially when it comes to women and burgers. Teach him to never settle.

    4. Take him to a ball game. There is something about sharing a day of hot dogs, sunshine and baseball with your father.

    5. Love with Bravery. Boys have this preconceived notion that they have to be tough. When he is young, he will express his love fully and innocently. As he grows, he will hide his feelings and wipe off kisses. Teach him to be a man who rubs them in instead. It takes courage for a man to show love: teach him to be courageous. 

    6. Talk about sex. Sometimes, boys need to know that all men are created equal.

    7. Teach him to be a man’s man. Show him how to be brave and tough around the guys. Then, remind him on the ride home that it is okay to cry.

    8. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let him tell you about girls, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. He is not only your son, you are not only his father. Be his friend too.

    9. Teach him manners. Because sometimes you have to be his father, not just his friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.

    10. Teach him when to stand-up and when to walk away. He should know that he doesn’t have to throw punches to prove he is right. He may not always be right. Make sure he knows how to demand respect- he is worthy of it. It does not mean he has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence.

    11. Teach him to choose his battles. Make sure he knows which battles are worth fighting- like for family or his favorite baseball team. Remind him that people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help him to understand when to shut his mouth and walk-away. Teach him to be the bigger the better person.

    12. Let him dance in tighty whiteys. Dance alongside him in yours. Teach him that there are moments when it is okay to be absolutely ridiculous.

    13. Share music. Introduce him to the classics and learn the words to the not-so-classics. Create a rock band with wooden instruments, share your earphones, and blast Pink Floyd in the car. Create a soundtrack to your lives together. 

    14. Let him win. Sometimes he needs to know that big things are possible.

    15. Teach him about family. Let him know family is always worth fighting for. Family is always worth standing up for. At the end of the day, he has you to fall back on, and pray to God that you will have him.

    16. Father him. Being a father—to him—is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with him the joys of fatherhood, so one day he will want to be a father too. Remind him over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love him like you love him. 

    17. Listen to him now. If you don’t listen to the little things now, he won’t share the big things later. 

    18. Let him try on your shoes. Even if they are old and smelly. Let him slip his little feet in and watch him as he hopes like hell that someday he can fill them. He will fill them.

    19. Give him bear hugs. The kind that squeezes his insides and make him giggle. The kind of hug only a daddy can give. 

    20. Give him baths. Because Mom can’t do everything damnit.

    21. Teach him how to pee standing up. Let him pee outside- such is the joy of being a man. Mom cannot teach this talent, so someone has to. 

    22. Know the answers. He will assume you do. If you don’t know them, pretend you do and look them up later.

    23. Toss him around. Because little boys love seeing the strength of their father. Throw him up in the air, so that he knows you will always be there to catch him on his way down.

    24. Ask his mother. He will come to you with questions that he won’t always want to ask his mother, about girls and about love. Ask her anyway, she will know the answers.

    25. Love him like you would love a daughter. Little girls are not the only ones who need hugs and kisses. Love is the color yellow of emotions. It is both happy and gender neutral.

    26. Grow a big belly. Because every child should get the chance to rest there head on the absolute softest pillow ever. Daddy’s belly is the best place to land.

    27. Don't say, do. American inventor, Charles F. Kettering once said, "every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice." Be a good one.

    28. Be his hero. You are anyway. To him, you have the strength of Batman, the speed of Spiderman and the brain of Ironman. Don't disappointment. Prove to him that Daddy's are the biggest heroes of all. Only Daddy's can save the day. 

    After all, good fathers make good sons.

    Source: http://www.diapersdaisies.com/2012/05/30-rules-for-father-of-sons.html
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-29 04:17:58
    RESHARE:
    Great news to start a Sunday with, +Sreek Menon. Thank you.

    #aap #bestOfLuck #aNewBeginning #india #elections

    Reshared text:
    Today is a BIG day for India. A common man becomes Chief Minister of Delhi, defeating political bigwigs ! and so says https://twitter.com/ArvindKejriwal

    I am very excited about the political storm that is brewing in India under the leadership of  Arvind Kejriwal from +Aam Aadmi Party  (Common Man's Party), the newly sworn in Chief Minister of Delhi, the state which holds the national capital New Delhi. 

    Kejriwal, a Mechanical engineer who is a product of one of India's most prestigious technology institutes (IIT, Kharagpur) worked as a Joint Commissioner in the Income Tax Department for the IRS before joining the Anti-corruption movement, Right to Information Act and Jan Lokpal Bill. 

    New Delhi, considered to be one of the most corrupt democratic capitals in the world and a city which has one of the most highest crime rates against women now has a one of the youngest ministers in Kejriwal's cabinet handling the portfolio of Women & Child, Social Welfare and Languages. The 26 year old ex-journalist Ms.Rakhi Birla.  http://goo.gl/rnaZMY. This is very interesting.

    Considering that the national elections in India is coming up in 2014, the rise of Kejriwal and thoughts on whether AAP will become a true national party or not keeps me intrigued. I wish they do. 

    The expectations are high for the new leader and his young brigade, but for a nation of a billion plus people, disappointment is not a choice but a habit. But as we know, change is really the only constant. 

    This is what the new CM did on his first day in office :-
    http://goo.gl/yZL6eL
    These BBC articles can also shed some light on this. 
    The Root's of India's new leader.
    http://goo.gl/tQD683
    Why is India's anti-corruption party creating waves?
    http://goo.gl/TjbAVi
  • 5 plusses - 4 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-17 08:48:41
    RESHARE:
    This really is how real it is in their minds when children playact. I know!

    #children #playacting #starWars #awesome

    Reshared text:
    To be continued.......

    #starwarskids #awesome #maytheforcebewiththem
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-03-20 14:32:38
    RESHARE:
    Insightful!
    An Eye-Opener!

    via +Mansoor Ali.

    #environment #sustainability #deforestation #quote

    Reshared text:
    A savage...
  • 6 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-05 19:13:41
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-17 12:37:09
    RESHARE:
    Say what ya gotta say!
    Then let it rest; you'll reap the benefits either way!
  • 3 plusses - 6 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-07 08:54:03
    RIP! Maestro!
    We will forever miss you!

    It's Rabindranath Tagore's b'day today
    Did you know these 10 things about him?
    goo.gl/Kd0KUa, +India Today.

    Image caption Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, July 14, 1930, Einstein's residence on the outskirts of Berlin

    #tagore #RIP #philosopher #novelist #poet
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-04 14:12:37
    RESHARE:
    Spot on!

    Reshared text:
  • 5 plusses - 3 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-07-05 13:18:39
    48°C today! Gosh!
  • 4 plusses - 4 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-03-23 21:45:16
    Here's why Modi should resign as CM of Gujarat, be stripped of his PM candidacy, put back on trial and imprisoned for life, if not sentenced to death.

    BOOK EXTRACT
    THE FICTION OF FACT-FINDING: MODI & GODHRA
    By Manoj Mitta
    HARPERCOLLINS | PAGES: 259

    Article on outlookindia.com:
    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell goo.gl/D0RC9c

    Nine hours, two sessions, 71 questions; yet, as a new book examines, all SIT’s done is put Modi’s defence on record, not challenge contradictions

    A searing critique of the 2002 violence in Gujarat under Modi’s watch by Manoj Mitta, Senior Editor, The Times of India, specialises in legal, human rights and public policy issues.

    EXCERPTS
    The symptoms of fact-fudging are evident from the pattern of behaviour displayed by the Nanavati Commission over the last 12 years. The most glaring symptom is its refusal to summon Modi although the allegations against him are expressly part of its mandate. Such unwillingness in the face of the law does not inspire any confidence in the protracted inquiry.
    ___
    ■ gap revealed between findings in SIT’s 2012 closure report & what the evidence suggests
    ■ anomalies in the report mock India’s national motto: Satyameva Jayate!
    ■ history, tragedy and vagaries of fact-finding in India
    ■ Modi must be subjected to a rigorous cross-examination — this has not been done!
    ■ the fact-finding done on the 2002 riots is so phoney on the accountability of Modi who presided over the massacre.
    ■ critical pieces of evidence have fallen through the cracks
    ■ .The Supreme Court allowed the SIT to ride roughshod over the reservations expressed by amicus curiae
    ■ .The Supreme Court monitoring failed to look beyond the frame set by the SIT
    ■ hence the challenge to & questioning of the clean chit given to Modi
    ■ the SIT clean chit paved the way for Modi’s prime ministerial candidacy
    ■ hence it is necessary to check the rigour in the process that resulted in the clean chit
    ■ SIT's investigation of Modi’s role limited to determining whether he had directed police to allow Hindu rioters to vent their anger.
    ■ SIT glossed over aspects where the evidence was far more verifiable or irrefutable!
    ■ the incongruity of Modi’s claim about the very first post-Godhra massacre that he was unaware of the massacre for as long as five hours! [AS THE CM, HE MUST BE AWARE!]
    ■ how could Modi have been unaware of the Gulberg Society massacre till the night of February 28 although he had held a series of meetings with police officers through the day?
    ■ this was despite high-level police communications during the prolonged siege preceding the massacre!
    ■ .SIT neither questioned Modi’s claim of ignorance nor examined the glaring contradiction between the rhetoric and the reality of his administration’s response.
    ___
    ■ in the context of the Godhra incident, SIT betrayed a bias: distancing Modi from a shocking piece of evidence: ★ the illegal letter handing over custody of 54 bodies to a VHP leader, in the face of the Bandh called by that organization in an incendiary environment!
    ■ .Modi regime interested in deriving political mileage from Godhra tragedy than in tracing real culprits.
    ■ .public anger was escalated by ruling leaders, but cannot translate into such large scale killings without state complicity. Hence the call for Modi's incrimination.
    ___
    ■ .uniformed personnel drove Muslims away when they had sought shelter in police campus.
    ■ victims legally testified that at the time of the killings, the police either looked the other way or aided the miscreants!
    ■ .Supreme Court’s choice of tainted former CBI director (unsuitable for this immense responsibility) as SIT chief puts in perspective SIT’s exoneration of Modi & all the 63 cited in Jafri’s complaint (the first post-Godhra massacre)!
    ___
    ■ .testimony of officer claiming to have inside knowledge of Modi’s complicity in the 2002 violence was enough to put Modi on trial
    ■ Had it not been engaged in a cover-up, SIT would have pinned down Modi to find out what he was hiding by claiming such ignorance.
    ■ .SIT SHOULD HAVE FILED A CHARGE SHEET rather than a closure report!

    India has an appallingly poor documentation culture, which in turn allows fact-finding to be reduced to a farce over and over again.

    We, the people of India, have to be more vigilant and less reverential to authorities. Whatever the status, nobody's word should be taken at face value.

    The greater the stakes, the more their evidence should be subjected to scrutiny.
    EXCERPTS END, emphasis mine

    Articles/images:
    Copyright ©2014 — Outlook Publishing (India) Pvt. Ltd.
    All Rights Reserved

    #modi   #toTheGallows   #gujarat2002   #butcherOfGujarat 
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-05 10:23:01
            ❝ There are enough laws, but the problem is
            with the compliance agencies.
            
            It is not that the whole country is corrupt.
            There are some very decent people out there.
            But regulatory authorities are hopeless.
            
            Hindi metaphor for CSR: you stole our hoe
            and donated a needle
            
            ...they are so intimidating ❞
             —Ramesh Agrawal, RTI Activist, businessman

    2014-05-04
    FOR THE RECORD
    Want to save the environment? Then shut down the MoEF

    It is from the modest confines of an internet café-cum-office in Raigarh that Ramesh Agrawal, 56, fought his biggest battle and won. Powered by the internet and the RTI, Agrawal led a grassroots campaign that resulted in the National Green Tribunal revoking permission for what was to be Chhattisgarh's biggest coal mine. Agarwal, who has survived an assault on his life, has recently been conferred the $1,75,000 Goldman Environmental Prize also known as the Green Nobel. He tells Padmaparna Ghosh why neither bullets nor jail time can deter him

    You were the owner of a cyber café. What made you take up the cause of tribal rights, even though it meant challenging big companies like Jindal Steel and Power Ltd?
    For the last decade, we'd been silently looking as land was being taken away from tribals, either forcibly or through acquisition. This is mainly a tribal belt and non-tribals can't buy land here. But companies often prop up dummy entities to buy tribal land. Sometimes, the tribals came to know that their land has been acquired only when they were asked to vacate it. Almost all of these people are dependent on agriculture and when their land is gone, they have nothing left. Most promises of compensation or jobs are not kept. The tribals collect and sell minor forest produce but the jungles too are being cleared for mines.

    Is environment really high on the agenda of our politicians?
    No politician cares about the environment. It gets just a passing mention in manifestos. As for voters, who can raise environmental issues in the face of free laptops and cash? And the corporate will deal with any government. It doesn't matter who comes to power.

    Did you ever face local criticism for halting projects that could have brought jobs to the locals?
    What we have seen is that locals do not get the jobs, especially those whose land has been taken away.

    In Chhattisgarh, companies employ people from Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa. They don't want to give work to locals because outsiders don't unite or raise their voices. The companies also don't provide direct employment. Labour is mostly procured through contractors.

    Much of your work has gone into making villagers aware of their rights. How have things changed with this awareness?
    They were not aware of most rules — like the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act or PESA that enables gram sabhas to self-govern their natural resources. Or that companies need gram sabha consent to operate here. As for RTI, no one even knows it exists.

    We started telling them all this. Our objective is to make them independent of us. Now many of them know where to complain, which officer to report to, how to go to court in the cities, who to co-petition with, what to ask for in an RTI, and how to phrase the application.

    They feel less alone. Imagine how hard it is for a tribal to go to Delhi to file a case.

    You have been shot and jailed. Haven't you felt like giving up?
    I always knew it was going to be risky. And I was familiar with their modus operandi. First bribes are offered — jobs, contracts, money. If that doesn't work, then false cases are filed. I have had three cases against me for defamation and have spent two and a half months in jail. Then comes the threat of "removal". But if they persevere, we have to, too.

    Do you think that the laws are enough to protect vulnerable sections like the tribals?
    There are enough laws, but the problem is with the compliance agencies. If you want to save the environment, you need to shut down the MoEF (ministry of environment and forests) and the SPCBs (state pollution control boards). Let people save their own environment. Agencies take zero action. The ministry very rarely rejects any project.

    SPCBs often don't even remember to go to court on hearing days. The judiciary is the last option but we have to go through the system of grievance redressal first. It is not that the whole country is corrupt. There are some very decent people out there. But regulatory authorities are hopeless.

    Do you feel that CSR work by mining companies can make a difference?
    (Laughs) We have a Hindi metaphor for CSR, which when translated means that you stole our hoe and donated a needle. It is just eyewash.

    There is a Jindal hospital, a school and engineering college but that is not for us. These are for officers' children. No tribal can ever think of entering those glass buildings, they are so intimidating.

    #india #RTI #activism #CSR #corporateInjustice
    #sustainability #environment
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-14 07:46:14
    Google Adds to Its Menagerie of Robots
    by +John Markoff, goo.gl/U8MKyQ, +The New York Times

    Videos:
    Boston Dynamics Big Dog (new video March 2008)
    Introducing WildCat
    Cheetah Robot runs 28.3 mph; a bit faster than Usain Bolt

    EXTRACT
    Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 by Dr. Marc Raibert, a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    [...] Boston Dynamics’ walking robots have a reputation for being extraordinarily agile, able to walk over rough terrain and handle surfaces that in some cases are challenging even for humans.

    [...] +Google executives said the company would honor existing military contracts, but that it did not plan to move toward becoming a military contractor on its own.

    [...] Boston Dynamics is currently supplying Darpa with a set of humanoid robots named Atlas to participate in the Darpa Robotics Challenge, a two-year contest with a $2 million prize. The contest’s goal is creating a class of robots that can operate in natural disasters and catastrophes like the nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.

    +Andy Rubin has [...] said that he is interested in advancing sensor technology. [He] has called his robotics effort a moonshot [...] He has [...] said that he does not expect initial product development to go on for years, indicating that +Google commercial robots of some nature could be available in the next several years.

    “I am excited by Andy and Google’s ability to think very, very big,” Dr. Raibert said, “with the resources to make it happen.”
    EXTRACT END, emphasis mine

    via +Christian Heilmann, goo.gl/WQrfCr.

    Cc: +Solve for X.

    #robotics #innovation #technology #acquisition
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-05 06:37:18
    2014-05-04
    In a first, stem cells from unrelated donor save boy
    by Sunitha Rao R | TNN

    Bangalore: A two-yearold Delhi boy suffering from thalassemia got a new lease of life after a Bangalore-based techie donated his blood stem cells. This is the first reported case in India of a thalassemia patient receiving blood stem cells from an unrelated donor.

    Garvit Goel was advised blood stem cell transplant a year ago. None of his relatives qualified to be donors. That’s when Sumeet Mahajan, 34, a techie at MindTree, stepped in.

    In January 2013, Datri, an NGO, asked Sumeet if he could donate stem cells for Garvit. “I was chosen as a potential donor. After consulting Datri and the doctors, I felt responsible and went ahead with the donation,” Sumeet told TOI.

    For Sumeet, the turning point came in 2011 when his colleague’s 11 year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia. MindTree requested Datri, which networks stem cell donors to help people suffering from blood disorders, to look for a donor. Datri conducted a workshop and awareness campaign at MindTree to make techies aware of the life -saving benefits of stem cell donation. The boy died, but the campaign ensured many registered for blood stem cell donation.

    For five days Sumeet was given growth factor injections. He then underwent a half day's nonsurgical procedure.

    “Garvit underwent the blood stem cell transplant in April 2013 and is now free from thalassemia,” says Dr Dharma R Choudhary, director, BLK Super Specialty, New Delhi.

    #stemCell #donation #unrelatedDonor #saveLives
  • 2 plusses - 4 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-07-13 11:12:09
        I think we might have offended someone.
        This morning we were shocked to learn that
        our viral video calling on Lego to break its
        lucrative partnership with oil giant Shell
        has been REMOVED from YouTube!

        This controversial new clip has amassed
        more views and shares than any other video
        in Greenpeace history.

        Today, corporate interests are trying to
        stifle our efforts exposing the Lego-Shell
        partnership for what it really is.
        —+Greenpeace Australia Pacific

    We love +LEGO. You love LEGO. Everyone loves LEGO.
    grnpc.org/Ig0qP

    But when LEGO's halo effect is being used to sell propaganda to children, especially by an unethical corporation who are busy destroying the natural world our children will inherit, we have to do something.

    Children's imaginations are an unspoilt wilderness. Help us stop Shell polluting them by telling LEGO to stop selling Shell-branded bricks and kits today. Sign our petition at grnpc.org/Ig0qP

    +Greenpeace International is calling on +LEGO to end its partnership with Shell to Save the Arctic.

    #environment #sustainability #oilLobby #shell #lego
  • 4 plusses - 1 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-19 10:47:54
    RESHARE:
  • 4 plusses - 1 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-19 04:38:07
    RESHARE:
    #lensing #refraction #diffraction #eyeOpener #awesome

    Reshared text:
    Gravitational Lensing, Refraction & Diffraction: Three Sides to the Same Coin?

    Here, we thought we would explain the difference between the terms and how they interact with light (from both a wave and particle point of view): http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/gravitational-lensing-refraction-diffraction-three-sides-to-the-same-coin/

    Original Image Credit: Unknown (But if you do, please let us know)
  • 4 plusses - 1 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-05 02:41:12
    RESHARE:
    Now I believe!
  • 3 plusses - 2 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-20 13:29:51
    Noisy?
  • 6 plusses - 0 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-06-26 18:30:50
    Fabulous!
    Well done, +Duolingo! Lovin' it!
    Finally foreign language learning is simple & accessible!
    Starting with French...
  • 3 plusses - 4 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-05 11:15:22
            ❝ It is always better to buy raw mangoes and
            ripen it at home. If you have already bought
            ripe mangoes, soak it in saline solution for
            15-20 minutes and then wash it under running
            water before peeling. This removes the
            carcinogen called acetylene, which is formed
            when the moisture in the fruit reacts with
            calcium carbide.
            
            Besides, the carcinogen does not
            permeate the fruit peel. ❞
                  —Dr Mumtaz Khalid Ismail, nutritionist

    2014-05-04
    Carcinogen worry kills mango love
    by Reginald Valsalan

    Kochi: The king of fruits has arrived in town – this time amid fears that it may have been ripened using calcium carbide, dealing a severe blow to its popularity among buyers. Fruit vendors claim that sale of mangoes has dropped by nearly 80% following reports that 14 persons of a family in Kodungallur suffered food poisoning after consuming mango juice from a fruit stall in Kochi.

    "We sell local varieties of the fruit, most of which come from Aluva, Varapuzha, Muvattupuzha and Chalakudy. Shopkeepers buy these mangoes from those who grow it in their backyard and ripen it using paper and straw. However, reports of artificial ripening using calcium carbide has led to a drop in the sale of mangoes," said Gaffer V S, a fruit vendor at Marine drive.

    Vendors say that unlike in the past when the demand for local mango varieties such as ‘Priyoor’ and ‘Moovaandan’ was high, this season most people are reluctant to purchase them. "Everyday, people come to my shop, smell the mangoes, argue about the price and complain that it doesn’t smell like naturally ripened ones. Then they leave without making a purchase," said Mustafa, a wholesale dealer at Ernakulam market.

    The trend has led to a fall in the price of local varieties. "The rates have come down drastically. Compared to last year, the sales have fallen by nearly 70%. At this rate there’s no way I’ll make any profit," worries Sajeer, another vendor at the market.

    The demand for mangoes in the city used to be so high that vendors not only sold local varieties but also mangoes purchased from orchards in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka – not this time though. The price has also registered a sharp decline from Rs 60-65 per kilogram to just Rs 30-35. Using carbide to ripen mangoes has its side effects, but most of the carcinogen content in such mangoes can be removed by following a simple home remedy.

    Dr Mumtaz Khalid Ismail, a freelance nutritionist in the city says: "It is always better to buy raw mangoes and ripen it at home. If you have already bought ripe mangoes, soak it in saline solution for 15-20 minutes and then wash it under running water before peeling. This removes the carcinogen called acetylene, which is formed when the moisture in the fruit reacts with calcium carbide. Besides, the carcinogen does not permeate the fruit peel."

    #foodSaftey #india #toxic #artificialRipening #calciumCarbide
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-26 12:11:28
    Candlelit!
    Not bad (noisy though) for a mobile shot in total darkness, but for that candle...

    #mobilePhotography #nexus4
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-02 18:49:49
    RESHARE:
    To all those pseudo-scientific folks who maintain a position that as long as there isn't proof for something is a legitimate reason to deny its existence...

    #keepAnOpenMind

    Reshared text:
    Scientists Discover New Element

    The existence of a new element has been confirmed!

    Physicists at the Lund University have recently confirmed the existence of an element with an atomic number 115 - the newest addition to the Periodic Table.

    To read the full article, see: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/scientists-discover-new-element/
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-01 10:05:49
            ❝ India will burn if modi becomes PM ❞
               —Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal
            
            ❝ Even a butcher is shy of Modi ❞
               —Lalu Yadav, RJD Chief

    India deserves better!

    #modi #butcherOfGujarat #toTheGallows
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-20 15:55:03
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-16 14:12:29
    RESHARE:
    The best thing to happen so far in 2013!

    #environment #sustainability #ExxonMobil #arcticDrilling

    Reshared text:
    Great news from ExxonMobil! The world's largest oil company has pulled out of drilling in Greenland. The narwhals are celebrating!

    It seems Exxon has accepted that it's just too risky to drill for oil in the Arctic, where companies face extreme weather and darkness but have no technology to clean up an oil spill on the ice.

    Tell Shell and Gazprom to follow Exxon's example, and leave the Arctic for good:

    www.greenpeace.org/first-arctic-oil/
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-06-26 11:37:59
    Awesome simplicity!

    Thank you, +Google Web Designer!
  • 4 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-30 14:29:43
    RESHARE:
    ❝ Popular is not the same as important,
    or often, not the same as good. ❞ —Seth Godin

    This has been my mantra for as long as I can remember. And it has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion!

    An unbelievable number of people fail to get it in many contexts too...

    via +Chris Veerabadran.

    Reshared text:
    Popular not the same as good

    "Popular is not the same as important, or often, not the same as good."

    - Seth Godin, Marketing Guru.

    Source: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/05/the-problem-with-hit-radio.html

    #quote   #truth   #landoftruth   #marketingtips   #business   #philosophy   #sethgodin  
  • 4 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-18 05:26:18
    RESHARE:
    This shot consumes me by wanderlust!

    #photography #travel #wanderlust

    Reshared text:

    Some Roads Are Better Than Others.

    In the great words spoketh by Frank Booth in the epic movie Blue Velvet: "Lets' hit the $%#@in' road"  is in my mind this morning.

    When this happens, I must comply. 

    I will be back in one week, and will post silly shots along the way, provided we has internets. 

    -Valley Of Fire, Nevada.
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-11 19:27:23
    #Swype was a great IMC! Is still good though...

    Disable Next Word Prediction! Lag will reduce to a great extent... that algorithm is somewhat messed up, I guess!

    #swype #keyboard #lag #fail
  • 1 plusses - 6 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-14 02:45:23
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-16 04:03:06
    RESHARE:
    It's not an investment if it's destroying the planet. ❞ —Vandana Shiva

    The best nine words I've ever heard about man & Mother Earth!

    #environment #sustainability #deforestation

    Reshared text:
    SHARE if you agree!
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-03-22 16:24:33
    2014-03-12
    Modi’s turf flops on edu, health

    Enrolment Of Boys In Class I Drops By 24% Over A Decade, Healthcare Delivery Flounders As Shortage Of Specialists At Community Health Centres Zooms To A Staggering 94%. Tribal Areas Suffer The Most

    by Subodh Varma | TIG 

    One key issue in the upcoming general elections is state governments’ track record, with Gujarat receiving the most attention because it is BJP PM designate Narendra Modi’s biggest publicity plank. Gujarat’s economic growth, its prosperity and its efficient administration are being showcased across the country. 

    A closer look at two important aspects of people’s lives — education and health — shows an unexpectedly dismal picture in Gujarat. Dropout rates in schools are unacceptably high at 58% compared to the national average of 49%. For dalits the dropout rate increases to 65% and for tribals, to 78%. Pupil–teacher ratios are higher than the national average, especially in senior classes — at intermediate levels there are 52 students for every teacher in Gujarat compared to the national average of 34. 

    Shockingly, enrolment of boys in Class I has dropped by 24% over a decade, although it has increased by 11% for girls. Some of this can be explained by a country-wide effort to remove fictitious entries reflected in a nationwide decline of about 4% among boys. Dalit enrolment in Gujarat has dropped by 27% compared to a national increase of 1% while adivasi enrolment has inched up by 5% compared to a national increase of 9%. Higher education seems to be in doldrums as Gujarat’s gross enrolment ratio (GER) of 17.6 is lower than the national average of 20.4 and much below equally advanced states like Tamil Nadu (38.2) and Maharashtra (27.4). GER is the proportion of 18–23 year olds studying in higher education to their total population. 

    Gujarat’s health care delivery system appears to be floundering. Shortage of doctors at primary health centers (PHCs) is 34% but shortage of specialist doctors like pediatricians and gynecologists at community health centers (CHCs) reaches a jaw-dropping 94%. Infrastructure itself has not yet been built — 21% of sub-centres, 19% of PHCs and 11% of CHCs do not exist. In tribal areas, 70% of X-Ray technicians and 63% of pharmacists are not posted, while there is a 100% shortage of specialist doctors. 

    The results of this disarray in health are evident. Gujarat’s infant mortality rate — number of children dying before they reach one year age — was 38 in 2012. This is lower than the national average of 42 but much higher than similar states like Tamil Nadu (21) and Maharashtra (25). In rural areas, infant mortality in Gujarat goes up to 45, almost the same as the national average of 46. In some western Gujarat districts, infant mortality is as high as 55.

    The mortality rate for girls under 5 years is 37 in Gujarat compared to the national average of 34. Maharashtra’s rate is 21 while Tamil Nadu’s is 20. This appears to be more a case of discrimination against the girl child rather than a health issue. 

    Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is 122 for Gujarat, well ahead of the national average of 178, but well behind Kerala (66), Maharashtra (87) and Tamil Nadu (90). MMR is the number of women dying from child birth-related causes per 10,000 live births. 

    The cause of this mediocre performance of Gujarat in education and health is partly due to not spending enough on these crucial aspects. Since 2001–02, Gujarat government spent only 13.2% of its total expenditure on education compared to the national average of 14.8% for all states. Equivalent states spent much more — Maharashtra (18%), Tamil Nadu (14 %). Similarly, Gujarat government was stingy about healthcare, spending just 3% of the total expenditure on it on an average. Tamil Nadu spent 4 %, Maharashtra 3.5% but even states like Jharkhand (4.8%) and Rajasthan (4.5%) were ahead.

    Image caption: WRITING’S ON THE WALL: Figures belie Modi’s development claims
    Editorial view: goo.gl/p13tDa
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-05 18:59:10
            ❝ [...] a Modi-led India will be an India
            marked by soft fascism.
            
            A harder fascism will not be far away!
            
            At its core, fascism stands for
            state authoritarianism, intimidation by
            conservative-minded extra-legal groups,
            national chauvinism, submission of individuals
            and groups to a larger-than-life leader,
            and a Darwinian view of social life ❞
                                   —Kanti Bajpai

    2014-03-29
    R E B O O T I N G   I N D I A
    Journey Towards Soft Fascism
    by Kanti Bajpai 

    The general elections are barely a week away and voters must consider how they will vote and with what consequences. The frontrunner in the campaign is BJP, led by Narendra Modi. With its allies, the party may well have enough support for a majority government. What does the rise of Modi represent, and if he becomes prime minister what kind of India will we get?

    There is every danger that a Modi-led India will be an India marked by soft fascism. At its core, fascism stands for state authoritarianism, intimidation by conservative-minded extra-legal groups, national chauvinism, submission of individuals and groups to a larger-than-life leader, and a Darwinian view of social life (the strong must prevail). A society living under soft fascism is simply a society marked by less extreme levels of authoritarianism, intimidation, chauvinism, submission and social Darwinism. 

    India, at least in the first instance, will feature soft rather than hard fascism because it is big, diverse, and argumentative, and the administrative arm of the government remains weak. Those who want a harder fascism will not be able to exert their will immediately over the length and breadth of the country. But to the extent that the various state governments feature soft fascism as well (many do) and to the extent that the Modi-led elements of BJP prevail in the states, a harder fascism may not be far away

    What accounts for the rise of soft fascism? The short answer is: Modi-ology, [sic] the preferences of the market (big and small business), middle class disaffection and media. 

    Modi-ology is the view that only Modi can “save” India, that Modi is the only decisive, effective, clean, visionary and astute leader in the country, and that he has a record in Gujarat which “proves” he can “deliver”. In Modi-ology, Modi has delivered human development, economic growth, social stability and good governance, unmatched anywhere else in the land. Many Indians who do not particularly like Modi, BJP or soft fascism increasingly think that Modi is the saviour. It is another thing that virtually every claim of Modi-ology is open to argument and rebuttal

    The second force in the rise of soft fascism is the market – big and small business, especially corporate India. Fascism everywhere depends on the coffers and cooperation of big business. It is no different in India. The uncritical cheerleading of Modi by big business is tactical and rather shameful but is an existential reality. Small businesses are pro-BJP anyway, so it is no surprise that they are backing him. Big and small business are fed up with costly social programmes, ramshackle infrastructure, suffocating regulatory structures (including environmental ones) and interminable procedures; and they think Modi is the medicine for all these ills. 

    Behind the rise of Modi-ology is also disaffection of the middle classes. They are disaffected because they are pinned between the upper classes and the lower classes and for 10 years they were ignored by Congress. The upper classes have done well in a globalising India. The lower classes have either given up on the possibility of doing well or have had some help from various UPA programmes (NREGA etc.). The middle classes therefore hate Congress as well as corruption and the chaos of urban and semi-urban India, and they seek redemption in Modi. 

    Big business and middle classes are helping line up media behind soft fascism. Media is influenced by big business, which funds it through its advertising, and by the middle classes, who work in it. Today, both stand behind Modi and together they have helped rally millions of Indians behind Modi-ology.

    It is another matter that media may well come to regret its role.

    Those who were in the media when BJP was last in power seem to have forgotten that this is a party that is not particularly interested in, or indulgent of, journalistic independence

    Soft fascism rises, establishes itself and consolidates its hold through the structures and systems of democracy. Even as we celebrate our elections and openness, we should be worried about right-wing opportunism and political exasperation leading to political suicide.

    Image caption: Journey Towards Soft Fascism
    Editorial view: goo.gl/7N09OY

    #india #fascicm #modi #bjp
  • 2 plusses - 2 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-07-02 18:03:26
    Google I/O 2014 - Predicting the future with the Google Cloud Platform

    +Google got every game in the Round of 16 right. World Cup 2010 had Paul the Octopus. In 2014, we’re bringing Cloud Platform to the table.

    If you don’t believe the record, watch Google Developer Advocate +Felipe Hoffa and BigQuery engineer +Jordan Tigani predict the outcomes at Google I/O on June 26. (Jump to 25:20 if you want to go right to the predictions).

    The model was built using touch-by-touch data from Opta covering multiple seasons of professional soccer leagues as well as the group rounds of the World Cup. Using data from the many leagues where World Cup players play, they were able to examine how behaviour in previous games predicted performance in subsequent games. The model also relied on two other data sources: 1. a power ranking that was built by BigQuery engineer Jordan Tigani and 2. a subjective measure of team support based on enthusiasm and the number of fans who had traveled to Brazil. This took the place of a simple “home team advantage” in the model.

    Read more here: goo.gl/5hZxyY
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-22 14:31:39
            ❝ I went to a village and some youths
            started shouting Modi Modi. I asked them
            why Modi should become the PM of this country
            and they could give no answer. ❞
               —Arvind Kejriwal, AAP

    #india #LS2014
  • 2 plusses - 4 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-11 17:43:51
    RESHARE:
    Norway Decided to Digitize All the Norwegian Books by 2020 goo.gl/o0TfSV

    EXTRACT
    The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all the books by the mid 2020s. Yes. All. The. Books. In Norwegian, at least. Hundreds of thousands of them. Every book in the library's holdings.

    If you happen to be in Norway, as measured by your IP address, you will be able to access all 20th-century works, even those still under copyright. Non-copyrighted works from all time periods will be available for download.

    Imagine digital archaeologists coming across the remains of early 21st century civilization in an old data center on the warming tundra. They look around, find some scraps of Buzzfeed and The Atlantic, maybe some Encyclopaedia Britannicas, and then, gleaming in the data: a complete set of Norwegian literature.

    Suddenly, the Norwegians become to 27th-century humans what the Greeks were to the Renaissance. Everyone names the children of the space colonies Per and Henrik, Amalie and Sigrid. The capital of our new home planet will be christened Oslo.
    EXTRACT END

    #digitization #books #future #norway

    Reshared text:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131210/08174425520/norway-to-digitize-all-norwegian-books-allowing-domestic-ip-addresses-to-read-all-them-irrespective-copyright-status.shtml
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-22 04:29:35
    RESHARE:
    #family #fun #factsOfLife

    Reshared text:
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-18 19:17:10
    RESHARE:
    This image speaks volumes...
    And what a well exposed photograph.

    #photography #balance #harmony #man #nature

    Reshared text:
    A Man Feeding Swans in the Snow

    I'm fascinated by harmony of this photography.
    The contrast between black-and-white  and the play of lines evoke deep memories and interpretations. I think it's a highly artistic photo.

    Caption
    Photograph was taken in Cracow from Grunwald Bridge. Contrast created by a nature of white snow and dark water separated by a line equal to the waterfront is a graphical reflection of the Yin-Yang symbol - opposing but complementary forces. The dark silhouette of a man on a light background and white swans on the dark water, surrounded by a ring of black ducks, compose complementation of the image, thereby giving it many possibilities of interpretation.

    Photo and caption by Marcin Ryczek

    Location: Cracow, Poland 

    Category: Nature

    Source "Photo Contest 2013" from National Geographic: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-contest/2013/entries/241004/view/

    #nature #landscape #photo_contest #national_geographic #science   #Art  
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-20 12:54:51
    RESHARE:
    GV LIBRARY
    +Google Ventures has developed articles, guides, videos, and insights to help entrepreneurs like us succeed.

    #entrepreneurship #startup #resources #education

    Reshared text:
    Check out the +Google Ventures Library - it's chucked full of articles, guides, videos, and insights to help founders http://www.gv.com/library/
  • 3 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-05 11:30:43
    Praying with the Mantis

    #monochrome #mobilePhotography #nexus4
  • 3 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-30 14:21:03
    RESHARE:
    Psychiatrist to patient: "Don't worry. You're not deluded. You only think you are."

    I used to be indecisive; now I'm not so sure!
  • 3 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-30 21:31:34
    Google invests $200M in Texas wind farm, backed a Hoover Dam worth of clean power
    goo.gl/Dtb9Bz, by Katie Fehrenbacher, +Gigaom

    Google has now invested over $1 billion into about 2 GW — or the capacity of the Hoover Dam — worth of clean power projects. The latest investment, which the search giant announced on Wednesday, is a $200 million equity stake in a large wind farm in Texas.

    The 161 MW wind farm, called the Spinning Spur Wind Project, has a capacity to power about 60,000 U.S homes, and is located in Oldham County, Texas. The project is being built by EDF Renewable Energy, uses turbines from Siemens, and utility SPS has contracted to buy the power.

    Google has made 10 investments into clean power projects since 2010, including a wind farm in Iowa back in November.

    #renewableEnergy #sustainability #mindfulBusiness
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-03-12 10:03:25
    Thackray–Barford Patent Scarifier
    Thalassery fort, Kerala

    #monochrome #mobilePhotography #nexus4
  • 3 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-26 07:32:31
    RESHARE:
    That is, in a way, so sad!
    This must be old, hopefully...
    Surely, in newer designs these kinds of risks must've been overcome...

    #windTurbine #stormRisk

    Reshared text:
    What happens to a wind turbine in a big wind storm?  This.
  • 3 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-14 19:26:55
    RESHARE:
    #photography #architecture #grandMosque #auh

    Reshared text:
    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
  • 3 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-22 15:33:35
            ❝ Security is now the trump card which
            vanquishes all and which nobody dare question.
            It is used to justify curbing any freedom.
            
            Paradoxically, to ensure our freedom,
            it takes away our freedom.
            The walls built to protect us
            threaten to imprison us.
            
            Democracy is regressing into majoritarianism,
            stealing the freedom of dissenting individuals.
            
            ...it is the responsibility of each of us
            to speak up for the freedom of others —
            particularly of those with whom we disagree —
            recognising that dissent is
            the life-blood of democracy
               —Kiran Karnik

    2014-04-01
    1984, A Few Decades Late
    Countries held as exemplars of democracy, including India, have seen erosion of freedom
    by Kiran Karnik
    
    Democracy and freedom have long been considered conjoined twins. Modern democracy, based on adult franchise, bestows on citizens the freedom to elect their leaders. Around the world, democratic constitutions stress many vital freedoms. Yet, a dispassionate look at the recent past raises serious concerns. Assumed to be synonymous, freedom and democracy now sometimes seem to diverge.

    Globally, if the last decade was about “September 11“, followed by the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, this decade is ostensibly about democracy. The “Arab spring“ has been interpreted by most observers as a significant reaffirmation of the hunger for democracy. Country after country — Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria — in the Arab world witnessed mass movements against long-ruling, autocratic regimes. As a result, of these five countries, four have seen change in leadership.

    In our immediate neighbourhood, Myanmar has moved forward after an election; Nepal has made progress — though haltingly — in resolving its problems; Pakistan has had a fair election; monarchic Bhutan has reinforced democracy through recent elections. The overthrow of democratically elected governments in Mali and Maldives may be exceptions, and the continuing strait-jacket enforced on people in China, Saudi Arabia or North Korea might not last too long. One can, therefore, argue with some justification that there is a global resurgence of democracy, that freedom has won the day.

    Yet, the picture is far from rosy. In the Arab countries, it is not a very sunny spring. Closer home, Maldives had a somewhat questionable electoral process, while in Bangladesh the boycott by the opposition resulted in a rather farcical election. Nepal is still on tenterhooks and most are skeptical about the upcoming election in Afghanistan.

    Thailand continues to be in turmoil, with an extreme polarisation resulting in an early — forced, one might say — election. Though peaceful, early accounts indicate that many were prevent ed from voting. In Europe, the duly elected government in Ukraine faced huge demonstrations, and the president has since resigned and fled the country. A few months ago, Turkey weathered similar mass protests.

    Enthusiasts say these are mere speed-breakers, hardly affecting the historical momentum of the juggernaut of democracy. It is likely that this decade democracy becomes the standard form of governance around the globe.

    But does democracy mean freedom? There is cause for serious concern about the increasing erosion of freedom, even in countries that have been held as exemplars of democracy. Western democracies, facing the threat — real or perceived — of terrorism, have introduced new curbs that undoubtedly curtail freedom.

    Raids or searches in homes, random arrests and “renditions“ may be uncommon, but tapping of communication — whether telephone or e-mail — is almost routine and, as Edward Snowden has demonstrated, exceedingly widespread. The prying eyes of CCTV cameras are everywhere, barring homes (who's to be sure of that too), and security checks are standard not just at airports, but also in many hotels and office complexes. Three decades late, but 1984 seems to be here, and Big Brother is watching you and me.

    So common is such checking and surveillance that it no longer seems a big deal. Yet, it clearly signifies a reversal of the earlier trend towards greater freedom and more privacy. In India too, surveillance and obtrusive security is extremely widespread. The blatant violation of freedom is legally sanctioned through laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and some aspects of the laws on information technology. Light-touch government is giving way to a heavy-handed one.

    Leave alone the withering away of the state, its security apparatus is now ubiquitous in most countries. One of its innovations is the fake encounter, not uncommon in India. “Security“ is now the trump card which vanquishes all and which nobody dare question. It is used to justify curbing any freedom. Paradoxically, to ensure our freedom, it takes away our freedom. The walls built to protect us threaten to imprison us.

    Mobilisation and mass movements, once considered the foundations of a strong democracy, are now vehicles for pressurising governments to actions that are retrograde. The democratic right to assemble has increasingly become a means for organised groups to curb freedom by demanding bans on books, movies or plays. Government, instead of standing firm, inevitably gives in.

    The “referendum mode“ of decision-making, even if it reflects a majority viewpoint, may result in eliminating individual freedom. Structures like `mohalla committees', intended to deepen and decentralise democracy could well — like the infamous `khaps' — become enforcers of regressive views and freedom-infringing strictures.

    Democracy is regressing into majoritarianism, stealing the freedom of dissenting individuals. Instigated by motivated individuals and organisations, people are encouraged to take offence at every imagined slight. The government tends to abdicate its responsibility — especially when faced with violent mobs — and the judicial system itself is often regressive.

    The government must take seriously its duty to protect the freedom of every citizen. Equally, it is the responsibility of each of us to speak up for the freedom of others — particularly of those with whom we disagree — recognising that dissent is the life-blood of democracy. Only then might democracy and freedom once again converge.

    The writer is Senior Fellow at the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, Shiv Nadar University.

    #democracy #standUpForYourRight
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-29 14:48:15
    THE BOOK
    A definitive guide to verifying digital content for emergency coverage

    Authored by leading journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC, Digital First Media and other verification experts, the Verification Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid providers. It provides the tools, techniques and step-by-step guidelines for how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.

    FOR WHAT
    When a crisis breaks, trusted sources such as news and aid organisations must sift through and verify the mass of reports being shared and published, and report back to the public with accurate, fact-checked information The handbook provides actionable advice to facilitate disaster preparedness in newsrooms, and best practices for how to verify and use information, photos and videos provided by the crowd.

    FOR WHO
    While it primarily targets journalists and aid providers, the handbook can be used by anyone. It’s advice and guidance are valuable whether you are a news journalist, citizen reporter, relief responder, volunteer, journalism school student, emergency communication specialist, or an academic researching social media.

    via +Nabeel Abdul Kareem.

    #verification #factChecking #userGeneratedContent #ugc
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-19 07:31:17
    RESHARE:
    Wow! Ultra cool!
    Bravo, +Google Chrome Developers!
    Works just fine on +Google Chrome Beta for +Android...

    via +Filip Hráček (+1'd).

    #demo #webGL #chrome #mobile #android

    Reshared text:
    Wow, WebGL on mobile Chrome has come a long way. Try http://helloracer.com/racer-s/ in Chrome for Android.
  • 1 plusses - 0 comments - 2 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-30 09:23:56
            ❝ I know that my unity with all people
            cannot be destroyed by national boundaries
            and government orders. ❞
                                         —Leo Tolstoy
  • 2 plusses - 3 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-02-20 13:08:34
    RESHARE:
    Dark, dark green with envy!

    Google Fiber expanding to 34 cities in 9 metro areas:

    Arizona: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe
    California: San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto
    Georgia: Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, Smyrna
    Tennessee: Nashville-Davidson
    North Carolina: Charlotte, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, Raleigh
    Oregon: Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Tigard
    Texas: San Antonio
    Utah: Salt Lake City

    via +Jeff Dean.

    #highSpeedInternet #awesome

    Reshared text:
    Today we’ve invited 34 cities in nine metro areas around the U.S. to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them +Google Fiber. In the coming months, we'll work with each city's leaders on a joint planning process to map out a Google Fiber network in detail and assess potential challenges to bringing 100x faster Internet to these communities. We aim to provide updates about which of these cities will be getting Google Fiber at the end of the year. Learn more: http://goo.gl/tMg6F9
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-03-11 02:42:10
    RESHARE:
    There's nothing else in the world violated so regularly with absolute impunity!

    Government is for the people!
    Not the other way around!

    Reshared text:
    #wikileaks   #politics   #government  
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-10 10:56:29
    RESHARE:
    ...missing home away from home!

    #dubai

    Reshared text:
    Everything in #Dubai is done on a grand scale and this is true with the Dubai Shopping Festival as well. The prizes in the past amount to over AED 1.5 billion including over AED 80 million in cash, 700 kilos of gold and 33 Rolls Royce cars. Are your ready to see a new world in Dubai?  http://bit.ly/IruKW8
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-07 14:21:01
    Here's to all my +Google+ friends; one of my all-time favourite records by my favourite guitarist & composer.

    My Goals Beyond goo.gl/vZayMB

    ❝ Throughout, McLaughlin's acoustic lines faultlessly straddle the line between the subcontinent and jazz, and the ethereal results still hold up beautifully today. ❞ —Richard S. Ginell

        Track listing
        All tracks composed by John McLaughlin, except where noted.
        1. Peace One
        2. Peace Two
        3. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Charles Mingus)
        4. Something Spiritual (Dave Herman)
        5. Hearts and Flowers (Theodore Moses Tobani)
        6. Phillip Lane
        7. Waltz for Bill Evans (Chick Corea)
        8. Follow Your Heart
        9. Song for My Mother
        10. Blue in Green (Miles Davis)
        
        Personnel
        John McLaughlin — acoustic guitar
        Billy Cobham — drums
        Charlie Haden — bass
        Jerry Goodman — violin
        Dave Liebman — flute, soprano saxophone
        Airto Moreira — percussion
        Badal Roy — tabla
        Mahalakshmi — sruti box

    My Goals Beyond is considered to be a milestone in the career of John McLaughlin and the history of acoustic jazz guitar. To this day, there are many who claim it is still the greatest of all McLaughlin records. I recommend listening to this record once a month for the rest of your life. ❞ —Walter Kolosky

    #jazz #fusion #myGoalsBeyond #johnMclaughlin
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-26 15:37:55
    RESHARE:
    Wonderful nature!

    via +James Pakele.

    Reshared text:
    Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps : http://amzn.to/1gtQmAU

    Which Vegetables to Grow During Summer : http://goo.gl/7RQ6zr
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-10 18:26:37
                                 DAD
          I hear you signed up to play
          softball at recess.
                    
                               CALVIN
          Yeah, but I didn't even want to.
          I just did it to stop getting teased.
                    
                                 DAD
          Well, sports are good for you.
          They teach teamwork and cooperation.
          You learn how to win graciously and
          accept defeat. It builds character.
                    
                               CALVIN
          Every time I've built character,
          I've regretted it! I don't WANT to learn
          teamwork! I don't WANT to learn about
          winning and losing! Heck, I don't even
          want to COMPETE! What's wrong with just
          having fun by yourself, huh?!
                    
                                 DAD
          When you grow up, it's not allowed.
                    
                               CALVIN
          All the more reason I should do it NOW!
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-30 05:16:24
    RESHARE:
    Amazing!

    via +Industry Tap.

    #prosthetics #innovation #hope #freedom

    Reshared text:
    It's amazing to see how far prosthetics have come.
  • 3 plusses - 1 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-06 18:13:45
    Man! I got this amazing bokeh with my +Nexus 4!

    #mobilePhotography #bokeh #nexus4
  • 3 plusses - 1 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-17 07:20:00
    RESHARE:
    #rubiksCube #cubeArt #india #bhagatSingh  

    Reshared text:
    Indian Cube Art

    Using 8000 3x3 rubik's cubes, this mosaic is claimed to be India's largest piece of cube art. The picture is of Indian revolutionary Bhagat Singh, and the phrase "Inquilab Zindabad" means "Long Live Revolution".

    Description of the Art

    Bhagat Singh was an Indian socialist considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the word "Shaheed" meaning "martyr" in a number of Indian languages.

    Inquilab Zindabad

    A Hindustani phrase taken from Persian which translates to "Long Live Revolution". It was a common phrase used by revolutionaries during the British rule over India. It was popularized in the activities of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association by revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad, who used it to urge future generations to endorse, and support the political party's rebellious actions.

    via: http://www.deviantart.com/art/INDIA-s-LARGEST-CUBE-ART-361472230
    __________________
    #rubikscube   #india   #cubeart   #bhagatsingh  
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-14 07:16:10
    RESHARE:
    #photography #architecture #mosque #symmetry

    Reshared text:
    Symmetry
    Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE

    While visiting Abu Dhabi last month for +Nokia World, I of course went out with my camera. And, one of the biggest sights to see in the area is the beautiful Grand Mosque. In fact, I went there three times to photograph it at all different hours of the day. Nighttime is definitely the most dramatic ... the lights go on and the beautiful contrast of gold and blue pop out in the dark.

    BTW, check out +Colby Brown's wider shot of this scene on the same night ... he also made the +Google+ Photos cover photo with it for the week! (I had this one sitting in Lightroom and was reminded to post it from his photo, lol.) :) https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ColbyBrown/posts/UPuPW21PYP3
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-22 17:30:33
  • 2 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-13 05:04:53
    RESHARE:
    Exhilarating!
    Good lord!

    via +Jonathan Rosenberg.

    Reshared text:
    Wall Riding
    Team Hot Wheels: Wall Riders - Episode 4

    I wish :)
  • 2 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-02 04:00:47
    India deserves better!

            ❝ I don't think [Modi] is a very good PM candidate.
            I would like someone else, who is secular. ❞
               —Amartya Sen, Economist, Nobel laureate

    2014-05-01
    Alternative forces may form govt: Sen
    Someswar Boral | TNN

    Bolpur: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen does not think the success of BJP-led NDA is a certainty and believes "alternative political forces" have the possibility of forming the new government.

    Sen, who cast his vote after 13 years on Wednesday, suggested that Modi as PM candidate was "projected by a business lobby". "I cannot always come here to vote because I have some other jobs. I'm a teacher. But this time I've found time and come to cast my vote," he said.

    When asked about his opinion on Modi being projected as the next PM, he said: "*My reaction to Modi is well known. I don't think he is a very good prime ministerial candidate. I would like someone else, who is secular*.

    Obviously he is very popular in some sectors, particularly among the business community, but that does not mean he is my favourite candidate."

    He said there was a possibility for others to form the government this time. "There are different categories of political parties and many candidates from those parties are contesting. NDA is not a certainty. If it is a possibility then there are many other possibilities too," he said.

    #amartyaSen #modi #communalPolitics
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-28 07:48:04
            ❝ People shouldn't be afraid of their government.
            Governments should be afraid of their people. ❞
                          —Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

    2014-04-28
    #people #government #democracy #checksAndBalances
  • 2 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-04-06 06:38:02
            ❝ [...] it’s not possible to agree with Edward Said
            when he argues that persons outside any religion
            or culture cannot study that area. On the contrary,
            religious history should be subjected to
            a purely scientific approach – indeed,
            a refreshingly sceptical attitude towards
            religious texts might be more desirable
            than blind belief. ❞
                                   —Irfan Habib, Professor Emeritus, AMU

    2014-03-31
    Q&A
    ‘Religious history should be subjected to a scientific approach’

    Irfan Habib, Professor Emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), is a doyen of historical research. Speaking with Eram Agha, Habib discussed challenges like religious fundamentalism facing researchers, the Wendy Doniger controversy – plus AAP and BJP in upcoming polls:

    What are challenges in writing history, with fundamentalist forces ready to react?
    Well, a primary challenge is the information one would like to have about the past is often missing, partly because historians of an earlier time had a different, more restricted view of history — documents regarding poor peoples’ concerns have not survived. Many matters of their interest were not recorded at all. The major problem for historians is how to fill such gaps.

    On the other hand, since all kinds of influences are at work in societies, one cannot confine one’s attention to a locality or country alone – we have to relate the history of one country to others. For instance, we need to explore the relation between modern Indian history and the development of capitalism in Western Europe.

    We cannot be like Subalterns who simply concentrate on local communities and forget the larger picture. 

    Can fundamentalist censorship be dismissed?
    Well, religion has been a factor in historical change. Historians need to be careful and rational in assessing religious influences in history.

    But it’s not possible to agree with Edward Said when he argues that persons outside any religion or culture cannot study that area. On the contrary, religious history should be subjected to a purely scientific approach – indeed, a refreshingly sceptical attitude towards religious texts might be more desirable than blind belief.

    Wendy Doniger tried. Her book was pulped by its publishers. Your thoughts?
    The publishers should not have surrendered in the manner they did. They should have waited for court orders before taking any such step.

    You’re identified with AMU – what role should an identity-based university play today?
    AMU is a university in a poor country, running with generous public financing – it’s important for AMU, as for any other university, to ensure that it offers modern scientific and secular teaching. All marks of identity must subordinate themselves to modern, democratic, secular values. AMU was established to cater to Muslims but not exclusively for them, and not at the cost of proper education. In the 1950s and 60s, AMU was one of India’s advanced universities – today, partly due to the minority status campaign, it’s lost some of that repute. The religious atmosphere too has grown visibly with official support. That must put off others.

    Upcoming polls are considered pivotal in India's political history – your analysis?
    Well, 10 years earlier, BJP was rejected – now, it’ll be interesting to see the reverse of the verdict of 2004. That seems to be the main thing this time.

    Personally, for me, it’ll be sad if the Left does not recover.

    Can AAP generate enthusiasm amongst Muslims
    The reaction of Muslims will not be different from others because AAP is appealing on an anti-corruption cause and thus securing support. Muslims are being addressed the same way as others.

    But AAP will be tested on positive programmes – it has to frame an industrial and labour policy, rules on GM crops, land reforms, etc. Questions like these will arise soon.

    A clean government is alright – but it should also be a good government.

    Image caption: Irfan Habib, Professor Emeritus, Aligarh Muslim University
    Editorial view: goo.gl/Lz402U

    #religion #history #science #politics
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-27 09:53:25
    RESHARE:
    Whoa, man!

    #photography #surfing #nirvana

    Reshared text:
  • 2 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-02 16:09:20
    RESHARE:
    Eerie!

    #predictions

    Reshared text:
    Isaac Asimov’s 1964 Predictions About 2014 Are Frighteningly Accurate

    http://topinfopost.com/2013/08/29/isaac-asimovs-1964-predictions-about-2014-are-frighteningly-accurate
  • 2 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-26 05:02:49
    RESHARE:
    Unfortunately that's how it presently is!

    #dirty #selfish #politics

    Reshared text:
    #Wikileaks #Politics  
  • 2 plusses - 0 comments - 1 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-07-07 08:40:05
    From +feedly:
        2:04 am PST – Criminals are attacking feedly
        with a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS).
        The attacker is trying to extort [from] us money
        to make it stop. We refused to give in and are
        working with our network providers to mitigate
        the attack as best as we can.
        
        We are working in parallel with other victims
        of the same group and with law enforcement.
        
        We want to apologize for the inconvenience.
        Please know that you data is safe and you will
        be able to re-access your feedly as soon as
        the attack is neutralized.
        
        We will update this blog post as soon as
        we have more information.
        
        Thank you for your understanding,
        
        /Oliv, Seb and Edwin
  • 2 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-06-28 07:18:45
    Android Work
    Been asking for this for years now... but better late than never!
    Thanks, +Android, +Google.
  • 2 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-14 09:08:50
    Hi +Google+,

    It would really be great if we could share unlisted public posts (that are not visible on our public streams) similar to how we have unlisted videos in +YouTube!

    That way we can share content for our own reference, which at later point can be linked to in blogs, articles, or the public-link to which can be shared privately?

    Thanks! Cheers!

    Cc: +Google+ Developers, +Google+ Help.

    #featureRequest #unlistedPosts
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-06 14:09:48
    2014-05-06
    Ratan Tata recieves UK's top civilian honour

    New Delhi: Tata group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata has become the first Indian since independence to receive the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), one of the highest civilian honours of the UK.

    Tata was presented the GBE by British High Commissioner to India Sir James Bevan on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. "Mr Tata has been awarded an honorary GBE, one of the highest civilian honours conferred by the UK, in recognition of his services to UK-India relations, inward investment to the UK and philanthropy," the British High Commission said in a statement.

    Tata is the only Indian national to be awarded the GBE since India became a republic in 1950, it added. "Tata’s contribution to the deep ties that exist between the UK and India has been invaluable," Bevan added.

    Queen Elizabeth II had conferred on Tata the honorary award of Knight Commander of the Order of British Empire (KBE) in 2009. Tata is a member of the UK-India CEO Forum and the British Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group. As Chairman of Tata Sons, he oversaw the Tata Group, one of the leading foreign investors and employers in the UK. Under his leadership the UK benefited from significant inward investment from Tata companies. Tata are now the largest manufacturing employer in the UK. AGENCIES
  • 2 plusses - 2 comments - 0 shares | Read in G+
  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-05 11:19:17
    India Deserves Better!

            ❝ Modi stands for Model Of Dividing India. ❞
                       —Kapil Sibal, Union Minister

    2014-05-04
    #noModiForPM #indiaDeservesBetter #jailJailModi
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-04 06:16:03
            ❝ The politics of competitive name-calling
            
            16th Lok Sabha will go down in history for
            their abundance of expletives: a slang-fest
            of invective, a gala of what in the vernacular
            is called gala-gali.
            
            Desi democracy: in which denigration has
            replaced development on the campaigning
            agenda of all candidates.
            
            When the swearing of solemn oaths to serve
            aam admi fails to hold interest, the swearing
            of oaths of an entirely different kind
            must take their place.
            
            The common civil code: not a set of laws
            concerning marriage and inheri-tance rights,
            but ground rules restraining people from
            addressing each other in what can only be
            described as the most uncivil of terms.
            
            When the new government is finally formed
            it’ll have the distinction of being a Parliament
            founded on the most unparliamentary of language,
            a true Parliament of fouls. ❞

    2014-05-03
    Common Uncivil Code

    The elections have become a slanging match of swear words

    Even those who do not concur with BJP’s definition of a common civil code might agree that this is exactly what we need right now. The common civil code in question being not a set of laws concerning marriage and inheritance rights, but ground rules restraining people – especially those contesting polls – from addressing each other in what can only be described as the most uncivil of terms.

    Apart from record voter turnouts, the elections for the 16th Lok Sabha will go down in history for their abundance of expletives undeleted as contestants across the board verbally slug it out with each other in what might be called a slang-fest of invective, a gala of what in the vernacular is called gala-gali.

    India’s democracy has long been known for the mirch-masala spiciness that we have added to the original Westminster recipe. But never has the peppery flavour of our desi democracy been more evident than in the course of the current elections, in which denigration has replaced development on the campaigning agenda of all candidates without exception.

    Beginning on a fairly tame note, with mildly derogatory references to ‘Pappu’ and ‘Feku’, the volume of vituperation soon reached a crescendo in what might be described as the politics of competitive name-calling. After all, one bad term of unendearment deserves another in response. The electorate has been treated to the spectacle of netas and would-be netas taking potshots at each other with an arsenal of abusive language such as ‘jallad’ (executioner), ‘butcher’, ‘liar and fraud’, and ‘panic-stricken rats’. As befitting an election which showed democracy at its muscular best, with ‘56-inch chests’ being widely flaunted, exhortations have been voiced to chop individuals into pieces and throw others into the sea.

    Perhaps one of the reasons why this round of the dance of democracy turned into a slanderous shouting match is that the extended process of polling left contestants exhausted not only in body but also in the rhetoric needed to attract sizeable crowds to attend their speeches. Repeated promises to provide ‘good governance’ and ‘roti, kapda and makaan’ didn’t quite cut it. They follow the law of diminishing returns and soon begin to pall on speakers as well as listeners.

    When the swearing of solemn oaths to serve aam admi fails to hold interest, the swearing of oaths of an entirely different kind must take their place.

    However, even opprobrium can tax the powers of invention and imagination. As campaigners run out of steam and swear words, innocuous terms like ‘namuna’ (example) and ‘toffee’ are dragooned into doing derisive duty. At any event, when the new government is finally formed it’ll have the distinction of being a Parliament founded on the most unparliamentary of language, a true Parliament of fouls.

    #LS2014 #stoopingStandards #indiaDeservesBetter
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-05-02 04:11:35
            ❝ India emerged as world’s 3rd largest economy
            in 2011 from being the 10th largest in 2005 ❞

    2014-05-01
    India became 3rd largest economy in 2011
    China, India Make Up Two-Thirds Of Asia & Pacific Eco, Says Study Hosted By WB

    Washington: In a matter of six years, India emerged as the world’s third-largest economy in 2011 from being the 10th largest in 2005, moving ahead of Japan, while the US remained the largest economy closely followed by China, latest figures have revealed.

    "The economies of Japan and the UK became smaller relative to the US, while Germany increased slightly and France and Italy remained the same," according to data released on Wednesday by the International Comparison Program (ICP), hosted by the Development Data Group at the World Bank Group. "The relative rankings of the three Asian economies — China, India, and Indonesia — to the US doubled, while Brazil, Mexico and Russia increased by one-third or more," the report said. The world produced goods and services worth over $90 trillion in 2011 and that almost half of the total output came from low and middle-income countries, it said.

    According to the major findings of the ICP, six of the world’s 12 largest economies were in the middle-income category (based on the World Bank’s definition). When combined, the 12 largest economies accounted for two-thirds of the world economy and 59 per cent of the population, it said.

    The purchasing power parities (PPPs)-based world GDP amounted to $90,647 billion, compared with $70,294 billion measured by exchange rates, it said, adding that the share of middle-income economies in global GDP is 48% when using PPPs and 32% when using exchange rates.

    The six largest middle-income economies — China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico — account for 32.3% of world GDP, whereas the six largest high-income economies — US, Japan, Germany,  France, UK and Italy — account for 32.9%, the report said. Asia and the Pacific, including China and India, account for 30% of world GDP, Eurostat-OECD 54%, Latin America 5.5% (excluding Mexico, which participates in the OECD and Argentina, which did not participate in the ICP 2011), Africa and Western Asia about 4.5% each.

    "China and India make up two-thirds of the Asia and the Pacific economy, excluding Japan and South Korea, which are part of the OECD comparison. Russia accounts for more than 70% of the CIS, and Brazil for 56% of Latin America. South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria account for about half of the African economy," said the report. "At 27%, China now has the largest share of the world's expenditure for investment (gross fixed capital formation) followed by the US at 13 %. India, Japan and Indonesia follow with 7 per cent, 4 per cent, and 3 per cent, respectively," the report said. AGENCIES

    #india #economy
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-29 10:27:00
    Chicken & egg!
    She just sat there for a very long time, roosting...

    After a while, she stood up, started breathing heavily (I could hear her breathe) for over a minute. Then began pushing, as if to deliver a baby (well, egg, in this case), and there plopped a medium-sized egg, all soft & bouncy!

    She continued to stand, perfectly still, for nearly two more minutes; and then began to lower herself ever so softly onto the egg so as not to squash it.

    PS: fresh scrambled
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  • Fynali Iladijas2014-01-10 09:40:37
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-20 13:16:04
    ❝ Bears are just about the only toy that can lose just about everything and still maintain their dignity and worth. ❞ —Samantha Armstrong

    #love #teddy #childhood #mobilePhotography #nexus4
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-18 14:52:22
    RESHARE:
    Free at last!

    #freeTheArctic30

    Reshared text:
    BREAKING: The Russian parliament has officially adopted an amendment to the Amnesty bill that includes the ‪ Arctic 30

    We hope this means the Arctic 30 will soon be going home, and we are all enormously relieved.

    Please SHARE to spread the news!
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-17 17:57:40
    A Fresh look at Freshwater!
    my.charitywater.org/new-year-new-hopes

    NEW HOPES FOR THE NEW YEAR!
    This year I'm making a New Year's Resolution!
    I've never made one in my life before! And it's all about Water!

    I'm pretty excited about it. I'm also pretty grateful...

    Clean drinking water is a Basic Human Need and
    800 million people on the planet Don't have Access to it!

    I'm on a mission to change this in my little way!
    And I need your help, in your little way.

    I'm earnestly urging both myself & you, and anyone we know to donate a small amount (e.g. the equivalent to the price of a single good meal) so we can fund water projects in needy areas among the less fortunate members of our communities.

    100% of every penny we raise goes toward project costs. And when the projects are finished (in about 18 months), +charity: water will show you the exact communities they helped.

    Together we Can give the gift of clean water!

    Please Join me. Please Help bring 75 people clean water.

    h/t +Aygul Zagidullina.

    #water #charity #newYearsResolution #help75
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  • Fynali Iladijas2013-12-13 13:44:16
    RESHARE:
    Totally fascinating!
    goo.gl/hgBc2Y

    EXTRACT
    Abstract
    For cells the passage from life to death can involve a regulated, programmed transition. In contrast to cell death, the mechanisms of systemic collapse underlying organismal death remain poorly understood. Here we present evidence of a cascade of cell death involving the calpain-cathepsin necrosis pathway that can drive organismal death in Caenorhabditis elegans. We report that organismal death is accompanied by a burst of intense blue fluorescence, generated within intestinal cells by the necrotic cell death pathway. Such death fluorescence marks an anterior to posterior wave of intestinal cell death that is accompanied by cytosolic acidosis. This wave is propagated via the innexin INX-16, likely by calcium influx. Notably, inhibition of systemic necrosis can delay stress-induced death. We also identify the source of the blue fluorescence, initially present in intestinal lysosome-related organelles (gut granules), as anthranilic acid glucosyl esters—not, as previously surmised, the damage product lipofuscin. Anthranilic acid is derived from tryptophan by action of the kynurenine pathway. These findings reveal a central mechanism of organismal death in C. elegans that is related to necrotic propagation in mammals—e.g., in excitotoxicity and ischemia-induced neurodegeneration. Endogenous anthranilate fluorescence renders visible the spatio-temporal dynamics of C. elegans organismal death.

    Author Summary
    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, intestinal lysosome-related organelles (or “gut granules”) contain a bright blue fluorescent substance of unknown identity. This has similar spectral properties to lipofuscin, a product of oxidative damage known to accumulate with age in postmitotic mammalian cells. Blue fluorescence seems to increase in aging worm populations, and lipofuscin has been proposed to be the source. To analyze this further, we measure fluorescence levels after exposure to oxidative stress and during aging in individually tracked worms. Surprisingly, neither of these conditions increases fluorescence levels; instead blue fluorescence increases in a striking and rapid burst at death. Such death fluorescence (DF) also appears in young worms when killed, irrespective of age or cause of death. We chemically identify DF as anthranilic acid glucosyl esters derived from tryptophan, and not lipofuscin. In addition, we show that DF generation in the intestine is dependent upon the necrotic cell death cascade, previously characterized as a driver of neurodegeneration. We find that necrosis spreads in a rapid wave along the intestine by calcium influx via innexin ion channels, accompanied by cytosolic acidosis. Inhibition of necrosis pathway components can delay stress-induced death, supporting its role as a driver of organismal death. This necrotic cascade provides a model system to study neurodegeneration and organismal death.
    EXTRACT END, emphasis mine

    #life #death #organismalDeath #deathFluorescence

    Reshared text:
    The Blue Wave of Death

    This is a really amazing  bit of research into what happens to a dying worm. Researchers have discovered a burst of intense blue fluorescence, visible under UV light,  that propagates through the worm in the form of a 'wave' in it's final minutes of life. The original research paper is #OpenAccess and published in the journal PLOS Biology (http://goo.gl/ari9Ss)

    ✤ Cell death  in an organism typically takes two forms; controlled (apoptosis) or uncontrolled (necrotic). Recent research has shown that even necrotic cell death can be a regulated process with a certain degree of control. But what are the molecular mechanisms for this?

    ✤ The classical hallmarks of necrosis include initiation by calcium ions, disruption of the cellular 'suicide bags' (known as lysosomes, which are organelles found within cells that contain enzymes that can digest and kill the cell), and the activation of enzymes that digest proteins (known as proteases). 

    ✤ In order to better understand what happens during necrosis at the molecular and cellular level, researchers studied this process in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. In C. elegans, the intestine cells contain both lysosomes and gut granules, which are large lysosome-related organelles. Under UV light, these gut granules emit blue florescence. But what exactly causes this blue glow, and how and why does it happen?

    ✤ It appears that blue fluorescence levels in worms increase only as they approach death (both natural, due to ageing, and  unnatural due to lethal injury or stress). By observing dying worms, researchers discovered that the level of fluorescence changes very little until immediately prior to death, upon which there is a whopping 400% increase, which coincides with cessation of movement, i.e. death. They named this process "Death Fluorescence". 

    ✤ The researchers then carried out NMR analysis to pin down the identity of this mystery blue fluorescent substance. They discovered that death fluorescence is chemically anthranilic acid glucosyl esters, derived from the amino acid tryptophan. 

    ✤ Next the researchers investigated whether this death fluorescence was generated by necrosis. Necrosis requires the release of calcium ions from within the cell, which then goes on to activate a cascade of signaling. They showed that death fluorescence is indeed dependent on this necrotic death cascade. They also show that calcium ion signaling is required for and precedes the spread of death fluorescence. The take home message is that during death, a wave of calcium ions spread from the front to the back of the worm, driving a wave of necrosis that leads to death fluorescence

    ✤ The researchers also showed that death fluorescence also occurred in related nematode species. Indeed, there are tantalizing clues reporting blue florescence accompanying cell death in liver cells and yeast! This indicates that this process and its mechanism might be common to many diverse forms of life

    ✤ Studies into the upper limits of human longevity have shown that removal of a single major age-related disease (cancer or heart disease) would only cause a small increase in lifespan. This is because multiple pathological processes act in parallel to increase age-related mortality.  The mechanisms reported here are similar to cellular necrosis in mammals; this work is therefore an excellent model to study this process in more detail in order to better understand our own processes of aging and cellular death. 

    Image: Typical fluorescence increase in young adult worm killed by a hot pick (from http://goo.gl/ari9Ss)

    #ScienceEveryday  
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