Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Indian develops molecular condom

The University of Utah is working on deals with four Indian companies for commercialisation of cutting edge anti-HIV and contraceptive delivery products including a molecular condom developed by an Indian student.

Developed by Kavita Madanlal Gupta, an international student from India currently working toward a PhD in bioengineering, and Patrick Kiser, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the university, the condom will be commercialised through a partnership with India's Pregna International.

Microbicides, such as the microbicidal molecular condom developed by Gupta, are seen as a way for women to gain power by protecting themselves from HIV, the university said on Tuesday. Pregna and the university will together work on this and a variety of other technologies, which have the potential to provide humanitarian aid to the people of India.

The dynamic partnership between the University of Utah and Pregna International, a world leader in contraceptive manufacturing located in Mumbai, will focus on the commercialisation of cutting edge anti-HIV and contraceptive delivery products for the Indian marketplace, it said.

"There are over two-million individuals living with HIV/AIDS in India today with 84 per cent of the infections resulting from sexual transmission of the virus," said Kiser.

"The university's portfolio of innovative technologies coupled with the product development experience of Pregna could help control the spread of this devastating disease."

"This partnership will give the university a chance to place their technologies in the hands of people that need them most and will enhance the value of our technologies in the developed world," he said.

Apart from Pregna, the university's vice president of technology venture development, Jack Brittain will also sign memoranda of understanding with Globerian, Global Health Private Ltd MediCity and Manipal AcuNova Ltd.

The memoranda to be signed in the presence of Utah Governor Jon Huntsman who is currently leading a trade delegation to India, in Mumbai and New Delhi will initiate a long-term international collaboration between the University and India.

The university will work with each of the four companies to create a progressive alliance to accelerate commercialisation of university-invented technologies, expand educational and research opportunities, as well as aid in humanitarian efforts.

"These Indian companies are unique partners for the University of Utah," Brittain said. "Their leaders are innovative and eager to bring new medical technologies to their community."

"Partnering with Indian companies will allow the university to benefit from their expertise and willingness to engage in collaborative research and development. Through this alliance we will be able to accelerate commercialisation of University technologies and provide economic benefits to both the United States and India."

"The University of Utah is continually contributing to the strength of Utah' s economy through the commercialisation of their cutting-edge research and technologies," said Huntsman.

"As the home of Nobel Prize winner Mario Capecchi, the University of Utah has been appropriately recognised as an international leader in research. Working collaboratively with India through these four international partnerships, the University of Utah will open up opportunities for existing businesses and aid in the start-up of new companies which will create meaningful jobs through a strong humanitarian focus," he said.

Globerian, headquartered in New Delhi, is a world leader in health information technology, research and healthcare practice management. It will help medical and bio-informatics researchers and students at the University of Utah identify emerging opportunities for the development and commercialisation of its medical informatics expertise.

Future collaborative efforts may include advancing health information research and data management technologies to provide individuals and institutions global access to health information.

Manipal AcuNova Ltd, a global clinical research organisation based in Bangalore, will help university researchers more efficiently conduct clinical trials in India, accelerate collaborative medical technology commercialisation, and offer students a practical experience in an international business-research setting.

Global Health Private Ltd, MediCity, is currently developing a four-million-square-foot, 40-acre facility in Gurgaon.

Backed by clinical and biotechnology research, it will provide medical care to the growing middle class in India. Their partnership will facilitate collaborative efforts to enhance healthcare delivery while providing international experience for students, the university said.

It’s official now, most women prefer chocolate to sex

New research reveals that 53 per cent of the adult UK female population, around 12 million women would rather have a nibble than nookie. A staggering 89 per cent confessed to experiencing physical cravings for chocolate and one in five admitted they couldn’t go a day without chocolate. The poll of 2,500 women was conducted by Red Letter Days, to coincide with the launch of two chocolate-themed experience days.

Over 40 per cent of females said they get ‘cranky’ if deprived of their choccy fix and 37 per cent consider it an ‘integral part’ of their day. Men, on the other hand, would always plump for sex over chocolate (78 per cent). And despite both sexes consuming the same average amount of chocolate a week - the equivalent to six small bars - men are less likely to admit their addiction.

Only a third of guys declared they were chocoholics, compared to 51 per cent of girls. Yet girls are twice as likely than men to rely on the sweet stuff when they’re feeling down-in-the-mouth. One in five females reach out for their favourite bar when they’re feeling depressed or lonely.

Whilst guys are most likely to munch on chocolate when they’re hungry or need of an energy boost. A third of men and women do agree on one thing - their idea of bliss is settling down to watch their favourite TV programme with a slab of chocolate.

But the tasty treat is not just confined to life downstairs - over half (56 per cent) of Brits like to nibble on choc in bed. And when it comes to the type of bar Brits prefer, over half of men and women hanker for milk chocolate over dark, white or flavoured varieties.

Zak Soreff of Red Letter Days said: ‘’This survey just goes to show how choc-obsessed we are as a nation. ‘For over half of women to prefer chocolate over sex, it proves how satisfying the treat really is.’’

Monday, October 29, 2007

Skype mobile phone launched

EBay division Skype and mobile phone group 3 said that they have launched a mobile handset that allows users to access internet calls provider Skype while on the move.

/photo.cms?msid=2499720 The companies said in a statement that the new 3 Skype phone would allow Skype users to make free calls to each other from the mobile and also send free Skype instant messages.

In the UK, the phone will cost 49.99 pounds on a pay as you go basis, or free for 3 contract users. It will be on sale in 3's high street stores on Friday November 2.

“Skype is now truly mobile. This new handset lets you make free mobile Skype calls when you are on the move to other Skype users all over the world,” Skype acting CEO Michael van Swaaij said in a statement.

Skype was bought by EBay for up to $4.3 billion in 2005 as the on-line auction site gambled on the fast-growing popularity of the Web-based call service, although it wrote down $1.2 billion from the value at the start of this month.

Skype has 246 million registered users.

Mukesh Ambani world's richest now

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Monday became the richest person in the world, surpassing American software czar Bill Gates, Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helu and famous investment guru Warren Buffett, courtesy the bull run in the stock market.

Following a strong share price rally on in his three group company, India's most valued firm Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd, the net worth of Mukesh Ambani rose to $63.2 billion (Rs 2,49,108 crore).

In comparison, the net worth of both Gates and Slim is estimated to be slightly lower at around $62.29 billion each, with Slim leading among the two by a narrow margin.

Warren Buffett, earlier the third richest in the world, also dropped one position with a net worth of about $56 billion.

Ambani's wealth of about Rs 2,49,000 crore includes about Rs 2,10,000 crore from RIL (50.98 per cent stake), Rs 37,500 crore from RPL (37.5 per cent) and Rs 2,100 crore from RIIL (46.23 per cent).

Slim's wealth has been calculated on the basis of his stake in companies like America Movil (30 per cent), Carso Global (82 per cent), Grupo Carso (75 per cent), Inbursa (67 per cent), IDEAL (30 per cent) and Saks Inc (10 per cent).

According to information available with the US and Mexican stock exchanges where these companies are listed, Slim currently holds shares worth a total of $62.2993 billion, with more than half coming from Latin American mobile major America Movil. Slim is closely followed by Gates with a net worth of $62.29 billion currently.

Earlier last month, US business magazine Forbes had named Gates as the richest American with a net worth of $59 billion, calculated as on August 30. The magazine had said that a movement of two dollars in the share price for Microsoft, the world's biggest software maker, could "add or subtract a billion dollars" from his wealth.

Since August-end, Microsoft's share price has risen by $6.58 (based on yesterday's closing on Nasdaq at $35.03), which results into a gain of $3.29 billion in Gates' wealth based on Forbes assumption.

Besides a stake in Microsoft, Gates' wealth also includes the commission and license fees earned by him and gains through his shares in an investment holding company that invests across the market.

Gates is followed by Buffett at the fourth place in the league of the world's richest with a net worth of $55.9 billion through his holding in his investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway and in other companies. At the end of August, Buffett's wealth stood at $52 billion, as per the Forbes magazine. Berkshire Hathaway's share price has gained by about 7.5 per cent since then.

Earlier on September 26, Ambani had overtaken steel czar Lakshmi Mittal to become the richest Indian in the world.

Mittal currently ranks as the fifth richest in the world with a net worth of $50.9 billion through his 44.79 per cent stake in world's biggest steel maker ArcelorMittal.

While most of Mittal's wealth comes from his steel empire, though he has also spread his wings into businesses like oil and real estate, those of Ambani and Gates are mostly through petrochemicals and software respectively. However, Buffett and Slim are making money from investments across a host of sectors

Loneliness... can be depressing... (PIC)


Captured beautifully by the illustrator!

A typical day in an Indian IT company (Interesting Video)

The guy couldn't me more happier (PIC)


The guy couldn't me more happier!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Unnecessary Censorship (PIC)

Unnecessary Censorship

The world would be a better place if there is no censorship.

View the original size of this picture

Students who often use cell phone e-mail more likely to have sex: survey

KissStudents who frequently use cell phones to send e-mail are more likely to have sex, a survey by the Japanese Association for Sex Education has found.

The survey on youth sex trends also found that girls outnumbered boys at junior high schools and high schools when it came to those with sexual experience.

The results showed that 63 percent of male university students and 62.2 percent of female university students had had a sexual experience. The corresponding figures at high schools were 26.6 percent of male students and 30.3 percent of female students. A total of 3.6 percent of boys at junior high schools and 4.2 percent of junior high school girls were found to have had sex.

Compared to the previous survey in 1999, cell phone use had risen sharply. In the previous survey, only about half of all male first-year high school students had cell phones, but in the latest survey the figure rose to over 90 percent. About 30 percent of first-year junior high school boys and 50 percent of first-year junior high school girls had cell phones.

The association split students into an “e-mail group” — students whose cell phone e-mail usage reached at least 20 e-mails a day — and “a computer group” of students who spent at least two hours using the Internet on computers on their days off.

An analysis of the e-mail and computer group users found that 58 percent of high school students in the e-mail group had had sex, compared with only 15 percent in the computer group. The figures for university students were 86 percent in the e-mail group and 61 percent in the computer group. Of these, 21 percent of high school students in the e-mail group said they had had sex with at least three partners, compared with only 5 percent in the computer group. For university students the figures were 47 percent in the e-mail group and 25 percent in the computer group.

The survey also found that high school students with cell phones were more likely to have kissed a partner the more they used cell phone e-mail, with only 20 percent of students who hardly ever used e-mail having kissed someone, compared with 80 percent of students whose cell phone e-mail usage reached at least 20 e-mails a day.

“E-mail leads to a strengthening and expansion of communication, which is probably why users are more sexually active,” said Masahito Takahashi, a professor at Yamaguchi University who analyzed the results. “On the other hand, it appears that using the Internet on computers often does not lead to sexual activity.”

Results from the love section revealed that a total of 39 percent of high school boys said love was necessary for sex, an increase from 26 percent in the previous survey. For high school girls the figure rose from 55 percent to 64 percent.

Only 13 percent of high school boys and 4 percent of high school girls said it was ok to have sex without love.

“A trend toward pure love is advancing among young people,” an association official commented.

The survey was conducted on 5,510 students at junior high schools, high schools, universities and technical colleges in 12 prefectures across Japan between November last year and March this year. (Mainichi)

Japanese non sense invention (Pic)

View the original size of this picture

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Indian Yoga master VS Irish Yoga master (Pic)

A picture is worth a thousand words. Who said only Indians can be yoga masters?

View the original size of this picture

George Bush & Putin [funny pics]

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

11 Indian cities among world's fastest growing

Economic growth in India is driving an unprecedented shift in population to urban centres. As many as 11 Indian cities figure among the 100 fastest growing cities in the world, with Faridabad featuring at the sixth spot.

These figures form part of the report, The Transition to a Predominantly Urban World and its Underpinnings, released on Monday by the International Institute for Environment and Development, a UK-based policy research non-governmental body.

According to it, even little-known Indian cities are growing at a scorching pace. For instance, Durg-Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, which is home to a massive steel plant, is the seventh fastest growing city in the world.

Expectedly, another NCR city, Ghaziabad, is in the list. But the other cities finding place in the top 100 list could surprise many — Aurangabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Dhanbad, Surat, Guwahati, Visakhapatnam and Asansol. Obviously, the economic drivers at work in pushing populations to shift from the countryside to these cities are as diverse as the cities themselves.

In terms of absolute numbers, the expected names crop up in the most populated cities list — the four metros along with Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

India is second only to China on these lists. And, if China and India continue to enjoy economic success, they may have larger urban populations in 2020 than those predicted by the United Nations, the report says.

It adds that the world’s urban population multiplied 10-fold during the 20th century and most of this growth is now taking place in low and middle-income nations such as India. The authors predict that urban areas in these nations will accommodate most of the world’s growth in population between now and 2020.

Historically, the richest nations have had the highest number of urban people but the balance has tipped of late. Now, Africa has more people living in urban areas than North America. The rate of growth in urban populations and the size and number of very large cities is unprecedented.

The implications of such dramatic shifts for economic development, poverty reduction and energy consumption are immense. The authors warn that these migrations shall decide global consumption patterns.

The report warns that though de-urbanisation of Europe indicates that economic development and urban migration can be de-coupled but the picture is not so

Monday, October 22, 2007

Funny Explanation of Bra sizes

Have you ever wondered Why bras are lettered A,B,C,D,DD,E,F,G,H and how the letters are actually used to define bra sizes?



Bra Sizes: A Cup


Bra Sizes: B Cup


Bra Sizes: C Cup


‘Bra Sizes: D Cup


Bra Sizes: DD Cup


Bra Sizes: E Cup


Bra Sizes: F Cup


Bra Sizes: G Cup


Bra Sizes: H Cup

Please do not masturbate (PIC)

Please do not masturbate

Monitoring device in the shower? I certainly don't mind if they also put it in the girls dorm too :D

View the original size of this picture

Adolescent boys bigger victims of forced sex

Urban Indian teenagers are being hounded by demands for non-consensual sex, with boys apparently being more at risk. According to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University of the US, 15% of boys and 3% of girls reported that someone forcibly tried to have a physical relationship with them. Boys who had friends of the opposite sex were more likely to report attempted forced physical relationships. In fact, the most commonly reported perpetrators were female friends for boys (72%) and neighbours (60%) for girls.

Writing in the Journal for Adolescent Health, Dr PH Jaya and Michelle J Hindon said 32% of boys and 42% of girls reported being touched against their will. Boys and girls who had been employed and those who had friends of the opposite sex were more likely to report the experience. When it came to unwelcome touch, the most common perpetrators were female friends for boys (60%) and strangers for girls (93%).

The study, which covered 583 boys and 474 girls in Delhi in the age group of 15-19, does not detail who these ‘female friends’ might be or their ages. It merely states that these female friends could be dating partners, friends of the same age or older to them. “The purpose of the study was to examine the magnitude of the problem. Hence, we focused on limited questions only and did not go into the details of who exactly these perpetrators were,” said Jaya.

While underlining the negative effects of non-consensual sex on the minds of adolescents, Samir Parekh, consultant psychiatrist, Max Healthcare, New Delhi, finds the results among boys surprising. “If same age children are touching or having sex, then it is surprising that a 16-year-old girl will like it and a 16-year boy will not. The boy may be reluctant but it sounds culturally inappropriate to say he was forced into it by a female friend of the same age.

Skype cellphones soon

EBay Inc's Skype is expected to announce a deal soon with wireless service provider 3 to sell the Internet telephony company's first mobile phone, a person familiar with the matter said.

Skype plans to introduce the phone in the countries where 3 operates, the source said, without giving a timeframe or saying where the phone would be sold first.

3 is the mobile venture of Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd and operates in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Skype spokesman Chaim Haas confirmed that 3 and Skype “are working together on a new product to make Skype completely mobile,” but declined to give full details.

Skype is expected to reveal its plans in the last week of October, the source said.

The company's software, which allows users to make free phone calls over the Internet to other Skype users, already works on some phones sold by 3.

But the new phone is the first that Skype is having manufactured itself, and will be easier to use than existing cellphone models that support Skype, the source said.

According to its website, 3 has more than 10 million customers including more than 3.5 million in the United Kingdom. Representatives for 3 UK could not be reached for comment.

There are about 246 million registered Skype customers around the world, with about 10 million people using the service at any given moment, Haas said.

Earlier this week, eBay posted a third-quarter net loss, citing a $1.39 billion write-down of its Skype purchase.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rap videos can lead girls to booze

Watching rap music videos that are overly sexy and violent can lead to alcohol abuse and promiscuity among young black girls, according to a study into sexual stereotypes in rap music footage.

The research was based on a survey of 522 African-American girls aged 14 to 18 who were asked how often they watched rap videos, questioned about their sex lives and asked to provide a urine sample for a marijuana screening.

US researchers found young black girls who spent more time watching rap music videos were more likely to binge drink, have sex with multiple partners, test positive for marijuana and have a negative body image.

"In rap music videos, the glamorized depictions of alcohol use are often portrayed in conjunction with sexual imagery and portrayals of drug use are often depicted as normal," wrote the researchers in a report appearing in the Journal of Women's Health.

The study comes amid a growing debate about lyrics in rap music, with activist Rev. Al Sharpton demanding the end of terms degrading to women such as "bitch" and "ho".

Legislation proposed in New York state calls for $3 billion in pension fund investments to be redirected away from music companies that distribute rap music with offending lyrics.

Researchers from the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory Center for AIDS Research, School of Medicine at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia and the University of Alabama, Birmingham, set out to see if the amount of exposure to sexual stereotypes linked to risky behaviours seen in these videos.

They said many psychosocial factors can adversely affect self-image, health status, and the likelihood of engaging in high-risk behaviors among young girls. But one such factor is exposure to rap music videos, which often portray African-American women as hypersexual and amoral and include content related to violence, sexuality and drug and alcohol abuse.

New Ramayana (Sita as a sexually wilful woman)

Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho defends his erotic interpretation of the epic

Nugroho is no stranger to controversies. The filmmaker who is feted as “Indonesia’s Ingmar Bergman” has often ruffled domestic sentiments with his films on Islamic conservatism, street children, and the Papua independence movement, among other social issues.

His latest production, Opera Jawa, a modern-day interpretation of the Ramayana episode relating to the abduction of Sita by Ravana, too has been criticised by Hindus in his Muslim-majority country because of its depiction of Sita as a sexually wilful woman who yields to Ravana’s charms. In an interview to DNA from Jakarta, Nugroho defends his work.

How do you respond to criticism of Opera Jawa on the grounds that it offends Hindus’ religious sensibilities?

I appreciate the sentiment behind the criticism of my film. But Opera Jawa is an adaptation from the performing arts traditions of Yogyakarta (the Javanese city), where I was born.

In particular, it takes after the puppet art tradition. The story of the Ramayana is open to new interpretations. In fact, all the great classical stories have plenty of room for interpretation and revival. It’s like a process of rebirth, of reincarnation…

In the past, several other interpretations of the Ramayana have depicted Sita as having a sensual relationship with Ravana. And in Sri Lanka, Ravana is respected and revered as a good person… I would argue that there is not one Ramayana, but many Ramayanas — with so many multicultural interpretations.

Were you not concerned that for a Muslim filmmaker to interpret a Hindu epic would accentuate these sentiments?

The Ramayana can cross borders and cultures all over the world. It has become part of every society in the world. In that sense, it is a never-ending story.

In Yogyakarta, where I grew up, even if you are a Muslim, you are absorbed in Hindu art expressions. Ravana, Vishnu, and all the other Hindu characters are part of that art expression. In my town, we had rehearsals of the Ramayana virtually every week.

When I was five, I saw these performances every week. And I loved it very much. The Ramayana is a simple but complex story, with so many layers of entertainment and philosophy. And as I said, it is open to interpretation.

I have had similar experiences (of facing criticism) in the past. My first experience was with Muslim fundamentalism in Indonesia. Now, some Hindus have objected to Opera Jawa. But even they, when they saw my film, agreed that it was a good interpretation.

As a performing artist, do you believe that no subject is taboo and that it’s fair to open up any issue for scrutiny and interpretation — irrespective of whether it will offend someone’s sensitivities or not?

I do. Creative interpretation is critical even for the development of religions. Even a curry from India becomes a different curry in Indonesia or Malaysia, and a different one in Europe. It becomes a new, reformed curry.

Take an epic like the Mahabharata. How many hundreds of films have been inspired by it?

And each of them are different in their own way. Whenever an actor plays Krishna, he gives his own interpretation of his personality. It’s as if every time it is performed, it is a new production.

Do you hope to see an Indian release for Opera Jawa?

Of course. When I was in Kerala, I was told that Opera Jawa had been screened at a New Delhi festival, and had been well received.

India among the hungriest countries in the world today

India is among the hungriest countries in the world today and India's girl children and women are the most hungry among the people, experts here said on the occasion of World Food Day Tuesday.

The average weight of an Indian woman is less than the world standard of 50 kg, and the weight of an Indian baby at birth is less than even that of babies born in sub-Saharan countries.

These are some of the frightening figures experts churned out here to emphasise that the country's policymakers needed to shift focus from "food security" to "nutrition security" that could be maintained "through an individual's entire life cycle". Sixty years after independence, "the first task of an independent India must be to eliminate hunger", they said at a seminar on "Food for all and Forever", at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).

Calling for "nutrition to be priority on the national agenda", experts here called for immediate setting up of a National Nutritional Authority and made seven recommendations, including a Citizens' Charter on nutrition endorsed by policymakers. To this end, M S Swaminathan, adviser to the government on food security, said a coalition of experts, political parties and government departments would be set up on November 6.

Parties like the Congress, PMK and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) would participate in the Nutrition Coalition, "which will brainstorm a clear policy decision to make nutrition a priority in the country's and parties' political agenda and common minimum programme before the next general elections in 2009)", Swaminathan said. The experts called for a specific strategy for nutrition security up to age two for every child, greater focus on the hunger of the urban poor and emphasis on nutrition education.

The Gandhigram Rural Institute Rajiv Gandhi Chair for Panchayat Raj Studies, G Palanithurai emphasised the need to "demystify food and nutrition security and get down to grassroots dissemination of how women need to be given better and more food for the health of the unborn as well as the baby up to two years of age". "Don't come up with more and more schemes.

There are schemes enough. Focus on how to get the common people to implement good dietary practises, clean water and hygiene," he said. The call was also for greater and better monitoring of all existing programmes. "It is a shame for the international community that in today's age and with today's technology, food still remains a mirage for more than 850 million people in the world," noted Gian Pietro Bordigno, UN World Food Programme's (WFP) India country director.

He recalled that the Food and Agricultural Organisation was the first among UN initiatives and was set up as early as in 1945 on Oct 16. During 2008-2012, "the strategic focus of the WFP will be to assist the Indian government in capacity development through technical assistance, to provide fortified supplementary food through the ICDS (integrated child development scheme) in partnership with Indian delivery agencies," said Bordigno.

"WFP will also provide support to enhance the livelihood of the marginalized poor through employment programmes that create lasting assets and help them cope with natural disasters," he said, pointing out that in Tamil Nadu, WFP supported the state AIDS Care Society to provide food to 20,000 affected people. Even sub-Saharan Africa had a better record of weight at birth.

India's was lower than Africa's "because in India, mothers are hungry and body weight of their children is lower than the world accepted standard", pointed out Rama Narayanan, adviser, food security at the MSSRF. For a woman to give birth to a healthy baby, she should herself weigh at least 50 kg at the time of conception and this should be maintained as long as the baby is breastfed, Narayanan said.

On the average, an Indian woman weighs only about 45 kg, as a result of which a hungry mother's baby in the womb is stunted or underweight and the baby's brain has not as developed as it should be at birth, so that for such an Indian baby, growing and productivity as an adult would be a lifelong challenge. "As much as 80 percent of a child's brain grows in the womb and up to the age of two years", this is the best time to make any interventions to assist a healthy birth and growth, experts said.

The recently done National Health Survey has shown that in many states, where development and growth indexes are better, states like Punjab and Tamil Nadu, many improvements have been made to address food security but "nutritional status of mothers and would-be mothers have not improved markedly". "Despite all the hype about growth, the ability of India to provide food for all is becoming more and more questionable," said Swarna Vepa, Ford Foundation Chair for Women and Sustainable Food Security, MSSRF.

Unless India was able to address repeated crop stock failures, rising prices and move away from over dependence on cereals and ensure better access to food, whether India would attain the millennium goal of "food security for half the population by 2015", had to be doubted, the expert said, calling for greater focus on nutrition, rather than production.

Vepa also pointed out that small farmers and landless families no longer kept any livestock, which was more and more being held by large farmers and corporate houses. In the long run, this would be detrimental to the country's nutrition security, she cautioned.

India's first women political party launched

Touted as the country's first political party formed by women, the 'United Women Front' (UWF) was launched here on Tuesday. The party, though has been formed by women, is for all the citizens of India, said Suman Krishan Kant, UWF President and wife of former Vice President Krishan Kant.

The party was registered with the Election Commission last month, she added. "Women in the country are discriminated against and are insecure. And through this front we want to ensure that the issues of priority concerning half the country's population come to the forefront in India's national agenda," Kant said.

She said despite having the second highest population in the world, of which women constitute 50 per cent, the average representation of women in Parliament is a dismal low of just 8.8 per cent.

"The UWF will soon hold its executive body meeting to finalise the agenda and policies of the party. We are focusing on Parliament elections scheduled to be held in 2009," Kant said.

The party has already opened its regional offices in 12 states, including Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana and the Northeast states and has so far enrolled 200 women in various districts.

Eight Amazing Things You Never Knew About Albert Einstein

E = mc^2. Yeah, we all know that Einstein founded the formula. But there are very few things we know about his life. Amaze yourself with these eight.


    When Einstein was born, he was so fat and his head was so large, that his mother actually thought he was born deformed! Of course, he came back to normal size within a few months.

    Sure, Einstein could memorize books loaded with laws and formulae. But when it came to remembering common things, his memory was really short. He was worst at remembering birthdays and his usual excuse for it was that birthdays are for small kids.

    Einstein totally loathed science fiction because he felt that it changed the public's understanding of science , and instead gave them false illusions of things that could not really happen. In his own words, “I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.” That is why, he felt that those who saw stuff like flying saucers should keep their experience to themselves.

    In 1895, at the age of 17, Einstein, one of the greatest minds ever born actually failed his university entrance exam into the Swiss Federal Polytechnical School. Actually he passed the Science and the Math sections, but failed in the rest of it like History and Geography. When asked later about this, he said that they were too boring and he didn't feel like answering them correctly!

    Einstein "discovered" at a young age that the big toe always ends up making a hole in the sock, so he decided to stop wearing socks. This particular habit continued till his death. Moreover, he never dressed according to anybody's like or dislike. He felt that either people knew him or they didn't, so it didn't matter anyway, he reasoned.

    Once Einstein was on his way to deliver a speech to university students. His faithful chauffeur not only drove his car, but was always present amongst the audience during al his speeches. Einstein had delivered this particular speech so many times that his chauffeur had actually memorized it. On that day Einstein, while on his way to the university, said aloud in his car that he felt tired. So his chauffeur suggested that they change places and that while he delivers the speech, Einstein could drive them back home. Their identities wouldn't be a problem because Einstein wasn't more than a university professor then and so no one in that university would recognize him. So he agreed but was a little thoughtful about what his chauffeur would do if he was asked any difficult questions by the students, after the speech. However, the speech went well but Einstein's thought came true. A student came up with a question. Here's what the chauffeur said “Why, that question's so simple, that even my chauffeur can answer it.” And so Einstein stood u from the audience and easily answered the question, much to the amazement of the audience.

    At a very young age, Albert Einstein was presented with a compass by his father for a birthday gift. After seeing the compass at work Einstein tried a lot to find out its working. He was really amazed after doing so and thus decided to find out all about the various forces existent in nature.

    After Einstein's death in 1955, his brain was removed from his head by Thomas Stoltz Harvey for research purposes. But this was done illegally. Later Einstein's son Hans Albert Einstein gave him permission to research on the genius brain. Harvey sent slices of Einstein's brain to various scientists throughout the world.

    From these studies it was discovered that Einstein's brain had much more glial cells, the cells responsible for synthesizing information, in his brain than an average human being. Also, Einstein's brain lacked a certain wrinkle in it, called Sylvian fissure. This allowed easier communication of nerve cells with each other. Furthermore, his brain was denser and the inferior parietal lobe associated with mathematical ability was much larger.

India improves FDI ranking

India�s position in a UN agency�s inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) performance index has improved eight notches.

The country�s rank on the index, which covers 141 countries for the year 2006, stood at 113, as against 121 in 2005. This is the highest annual jump recorded by India on the index, which started in 1982.

In addition, the country also improved its position by nine places in the outward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) performance index from 65 in 2005 to 56 in 2006.

The index is prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) and is part of the World Investment Report, which was released here today by the body.

While India strengthened its position in the index, China�s rank fell by seven places and stood at 69. However, India�s $16.88 billion worth of FDI inflows in 2006 was dwarfed by China�s $69.46 billion in the same year. FDI inflows into India during 2006 registered a growth of 153 per cent over $6.67 billion in 2005.

�The increasing FDI inflows of the country can be attributed to the high rate of economic growth seen in the last few years. As a result, foreign companies are pumping in market seeking investment,� said Masataka Fujita, head of investment trends and data section, investment technology and enterprise development, Unctad.

Fujita added that private equity (PE) firms are increasingly investing money in India. �As merger and acquisitions activity increases in the coming years, more such firms will be investing in India,� added Fujita.

The Unctad report took note of the US-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co�s acquisition of 85 per cent in Flextronics Software System, a deal which was valued at $900 million.

The report also revealed that India�s FDI inflows, as a percentage of gross fixed capital formation has been increasing over the years. While in 1999-2000, FDI constituted 1.9 per cent of gross fixed capital formation, it rose to 8.7 per cent in 2006, against 2.6 per cent in the year ago period.

Moreover, as a higher number of Indian companies invested overseas, FDI outflows from the country increased to $9.67 billion in 2006, a rise of 288 per cent over $2.49 billion in the previous year. China�s outward FDI inflows in 2006 increased by 31.56 per cent to $16.13 billion against $12.26 billion in the year ago period.

�Resource seeking FDI from China and India continue to increase. In addition, efforts of Chinese state-owned enterprises and Indian privately owned conglomerates to acquire strategic assets abroad, as highlighted by the $11 billion acquisition by Tata steel of Corus group have led to greater FDI flows from these countries to developed countries,� the report said.

However, India�s rank in the Unctad�s FDI potential index, which takes into account 12 social and economic factors, fell by two positions to 85 during 2005 against 83 in 2004.

�India�s record in the potential index over the past few years has been good. In fact, it has always been better than the performance index, which shows that there is more potential of foreign investment flows into India,� said Fujita.

The report also said that global FDI inflows during 2006 stood at $1,306 billion, rising by 38 per cent over nearly 810 billion in 2005.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Airbus Hands Over First Superjumbo Jet to Singapore Airlines

Airbus Hands Over First Superjumbo Jet

Singapore Airlines now owns the first Airbus A380
An Airbus A380 aircraft bearing the insignia of Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines now owns the first Airbus A380

After a delay of almost two years, Singapore Airlines has taken possession of the first Airbus A380 in the French city of Toulouse. The new aircraft is scheduled to take off for Singapore on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Dogged by a series of production problems which have played havoc with its reputation, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Singapore Airlines is now the proud owner of the world's very first superjumbo jet, an event which Airbus head Thomas Enders has already described as a "milestone."

"We can be very proud of this day," Enders said, adding that the next major challenge would be to get serial production up and running. Thus far the company has taken orders for some 180 of the new aircraft, but Enders conceded that they still have a long way to go before they are turning the planes out in the numbers they would like.

"Only if we manage to accelerate the production process in the next two years, will we be out of the woods with the A380 program," Enders said in an interview with German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. He went on to say they were planning to produce 13 planes in the coming year and four per month by the year 2010.

"These are ambitious targets," Enders concluded.

Troubled past

Airbus will need considerably more orders on its books if it is to make the project profitable. The long delays in completing this first model, due in large part to a foul-up over hundreds of kilometers of wiring, caused the European plane manufacturer billions of euros in lost profits and resulted in a restructuring plan which foresees 10,000 job cuts.

Monday's handover, which was a symbolic moment for the company, took place under the shadow of a further problem: accusations of insider trading. Managers and leading shareholders are suspected of having sold shares in the Airbus parent group EADS before any public announcement was made about the A380's production difficulties. Those implicated in the scandal have denied the accusations, but an investigation is underway.

Large-scale versatility

Singapore Airlines have customized their first aircraft, which is due to make its virgin flight from Singapore to Sydney on Oct. 28, with a roomy 471 seat configuration. Other airlines have different plans for the versatile two-story, 73-meter (240 feet) long cabin with 50 percent more floor space than a regular 747.

Virgin Atlantic, owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, has said he will install double beds and casinos in his planes.

Airbus says its A380, which is expected to be used for long-haul routes, will release less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and offer the lowest cost per passenger of any aircraft in operation.,2144,2825704,00.html

38% global firms asked to pay bribes in India: Study

Despite India becoming a new destination for global investors, 38 per cent of over 5,400 companies' representatives surveyed by the global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said they were asked to pay bribes to get licences, orders over the past two years.

Among the seven major emerging economies of the world, India is ahead of Turkey, Mexico and China, where 28, 28 and 21 per cent of firms in that order reported experience with bribery, according to the PwC 2007 Global Economic Crime Survey released here on Tuesday.

"The Indian companies and government should be concerned about the perception of global firms regarding corrupt environment in India as it would affect the flow of foreign investment and cost of raising funds by India Inc," the firm's Advisory Leader Ashwani Puri said while releasing the survey.

Russia, Indonesia and Brazil were, however, ahead of India in terms of corporate corruption, where about half of the surveyed firms reported they had been asked to pay bribes.

Of those firms which had to contend with bribery in India, 66 per cent said they lost the opportunity to their competitors because of this factor.

The survey also noted that one-third of the Indian companies surveyed have been victims of economic frauds like asset misappropriation, bribery, accounting frauds and infringement of intellectual property rights in the past two years.

Indische Firmen im Höhenflug

Starkes Börsenumfeld treibt internationale Wachstumsambitionen

Indische Unternehmen profitieren von steigendem Aktienkurs

starke Börsenumfeld auf Indiens Aktienmärkten sowie die positive Entwicklung des Rupie haben indische Unternehmen in kurzer Zeit zu enormen Wachstum verholfen. Einige der börsennotierten Konzerne hätten bereits westeuropäische Konkurrenten überholt, schreibt die New York Times. Partnerschaften mit ausländischen Unternehmen und Übernahmen abseits des Heimatmarktes könnten die Folge sein.

Indische Firmen im Höhenflug

Der Index der Börse Bombay, Sensex, hat in den vergangenen Tagen zu neuen Höhenflügen angesetzt. Seit Mitte September legte der Index um 14,6 Prozent zu, seit Jahresbeginn stieg er laut Bloomberg um 28,9 Prozent. In den vergangenen 24 Monaten lag das Wachstum sogar bei 102 Prozent. Damit hat der indische Wertpapiermarkt in den vergangenen Wochen andere asiatische Märkte deutlich hinter sich gelassen, heißt es in dem Bericht. Das Immobilienunternehmen DLF, das im Juli erstmals an der indischen Börse notierte, hat mittlerweile eine Marktkapitalisierung von 37 Mrd. Dollar und kündigte kürzlich an, über Übersee-Akquisitionen und Geldbeschaffung im Ausland nachzudenken. Reliance Industrie, Indiens größtes an der Börse gehandeltes Unternehmen, erreichte diese Woche eine Marktkapitalisierung von 85 Mrd. Dollar und damit rund doppelt so viel wie der Chemiekonzerns Dow Chemical. Anfang 2003 lag der Wert des in den Bereichen Petrochemie und Textilien tätigen Unternehmens noch bei 6,5 Mrd. Dollar.

Die weltweiten Ambitionen der Unternehmen würden weiter zunehmen, zitiert die New York Times Brooks Entwistle, CEO von Goldman Sachs Indien. Chanda Kochar, Deputy Mananging Director der ICICI Bank, meint dagegen, dass indische Unternehmen zuerst am eigenen Markt investieren würden und erst in einem zweiten Schritt ins Ausland blicken. Akquisitionen seien zwar geplant, aber nicht um Kunden zu gewinnen, sondern um sich Unternehmen zu kaufen, die in vor- oder nachgelagerten Stufen der Wertschöpfungskette tätig sind.

Das Wachstum asiatischer Unternehmen wird jedoch auch schon am deutschen Markt bemerkt. So zeigt eine aktuelle Deloitte-Studie auf, dass die boomenden Aktivitäten rund um internationale Mergers & Acquisitions in Deutschland im wesentlichen auf die florierenden Geschäfte in China und Indien zurückzuführen sind. "Vor allem große finanzkräftige Unternehmen aus Asien, die zumeist schon in Großbritannien an der Börse gelistet sind, kaufen gezielt deutsche Mittelständler auf. Dadurch erschließen sich für die Investoren neue Distributionswege, die Kundenbindungen verstärken", sagt der Deloitte-Deutschland-Partner Andreas Pohl.

Der steigende Marktwert der indischen Unternehmen rückt diese nicht nur verstärkt ins Blickfeld internationaler Analysten, sondern lockt auch ausländische Investoren an. Zudem könnte der hohe Aktienpreis bei der Übernahme von billigeren Unternehmen im Zuge eines Aktientausches sowie als zusätzlicher Anreiz für neue Mitarbeiter genutzt werden. Trotz des derzeit guten Börsenumfelds gibt es innerhalb des Landes Bedenken um eine bevorstehende Korrektur. Der indische Markt sei nicht gegen die derzeitigen Turbulenzen auf anderen Aktienmärkten immun, warnt auch Entwistle. Oft würden sich lokale Unternehmen ausländische Finanzierungen nutzen, um Übernahmen zu finanzieren. Dies müsse vor großen Akquisitionen beachtet werden.

Daily sex improves male fertility: Study

Men, please note: If you think that limiting sex will boost your sperm count, you are wrong. If researchers are to be believed, sex every day will improve your fertility.

Yes, according to a study by scientists in Australia, regular sex not only boosts male sperm quality but also helps those who suffer fertility problems to improve their chances of fatherhood.

"Ejaculating more frequently, that is daily, improves sperm DNA damage in most men by a decent amount. Prior to in vitro fertilisation (IVF), for example, men are abstaining a lot more than normal and perhaps sperm DNA increases more than usual.

"Men think if they abstain for longer times before, say, ovulation that their sperm will be better. (There may be) more volume and numbers but DNA damage may increase," according to lead researcher Dr David Greening of Sydney.

In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after carefully looking at the sperm quality of nearly 42 men whose spouses had either failed to become pregnant through IVF or had repeatedly miscarried.

The team found that when those men had no sex for three days, their sperm contained high levels of DNA damage.

Tested again after having sex every day for a week, the amount of damage dropped by a third.

"Among those men whose fertility problems stem from genetic damage to their sperm rather than a low sperm count, abstaining from sex makes their difficulties worse," Greening has observed.

The findings have been presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's annual conference in Washington.

Swedish documentary on young Europeans turning to jihad

A new Swedish documentary has come out with the view that young European Muslims are dedicating themselves to jihad, or holy war.

The film titled, "Aching Heart," will open in Sweden on October 19, but it has already gained much attention, according to a report in the International Herald Tribune.

Part of the film is the story of two young Swedes with immigrant backgrounds - one from Ostermalm, one of Stockholm's poshest neighborhoods, and one from Kvanum, a tiny town in central Sweden - who left their homes in the 1990s to seek martyrdom in the wars of Chechnya and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

But most of the focus of the film is on G�teborg, Sweden's second-biggest city. This is where Mirsad Bektasevic grew up. The 20-year-old Swede with Bosnian roots was given an eight-year sentence in Sarajevo this summer for planning a suicide attack there in 2005.

Apart from Bektasevic, no one in the film issues a direct threat against Sweden or any other target, but the underlying message - the justification of suicide attacks, and attacks against civilians - is clearly militant.

It is also clear that young Swedes continue to follow the call for martyrdom. Mohammed, a friend of Lennart's who appears briefly in the film, leaves to fight with the islamist forces in Somalia and is killed in a U.S. bombing raid.

The film's director, Hedin, chose the title "Aching Heart" to underscore how all these "regular guys" have histories that viewers can relate to, histories that might provide some of the keys to solving the problem of Islamic radicalism in the West.

Hedin says he found something broken in these mens' backgrounds - an abusive father, drugs, divorce - and a longing for a twisted kind of redemption.

In this aim to understand what drives young, radicalized European Muslims, Hedin gets support from academics who have studied the phenomenon of Islamic radicalization.

"To deal with this, it is necessary to know where these people are coming from, why they think what they think and do what they do," said Magnus Norell, a terrorism researcher at the Swedish Defense Research Agency.

But he said that answers are still needed on why young Europeans can't avoid situations of conflict.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bush Sr. finally speaks to his son


Things That Are Difficult To Say When You're Drunk

Things That Are Difficult To Say When You're Drunk


Things That Are VERY Difficult To Say When You're Drunk

British Constitution
Loquacious Transubstantiate
Passive-aggressive disorder

Things That Are Downright IMPOSSIBLE To Say When You're Drunk

Thanks, but I don't want to have sex.
Nope, no more alcohol for me.
Sorry, but you're not really my type.
Good evening officer, isn't it lovely out tonight?
Oh, I just couldn't. No one wants to hear me sing.
You're right, I can't jump over that table!

American trio wins 2007 Nobel for economics

American economists Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson won the 2007 Nobel for economics on Monday for laying the foundations of an economic theory that determines when markets are working effectively.

Hurwicz, Russian-born but an American citizen, is 90 years old and is the oldest ever recipient of a Nobel prize.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three established "mechanism design theory", which looks at how well different institutions fare in allocating resources and whether government intervention is needed.

Hurwicz initiated the theory and it was further developed by Maskin of Princeton and Myerson of the University of Chicago, the academy's citation said.

"Today, mechanism design theory plays a central role in many areas of economics and parts of political science," it said.

"Adam Smith's classical metaphor of the invisible hand refers to how the market, under ideal conditions, ensures an efficient allocation of scarce resources," the academy said.

"But in practice conditions are usually not ideal," it added. "For example, competition is not completely free, consumers are not perfectly informed and privately desirable production and consumption may generate social costs and benefits."

The economics prize is not part of the original crop of Nobel Prizes set out in Alfred Nobel's 1895 will. It was established in 1968 and is officially called The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Never Give Your Kids A Flip Phone (In Pic)

A new study has revealed that flip phones can have very serious side effects to the
reproductive development of young children. As the photo shows it can also lead to
localized pain and discomfort.
Pass this on for the sake of your children...

An evil exists.....(PIC)

(PIC) Environment Friendly Marriage

This couple celebrated their marriage in a unique way while avoiding Music, Cars etc to make people aware of Environment pollution......

India and China shocked me [12 Amazing PICS]

Teeth in India under such conditions treat… Amazing

Sunday, October 14, 2007

21 Facts About The Internet You Should Know

21 Facts About The Internet You Should Know!

You probably use it every day but how well do you
know your Internet?

Ever wonder how all this foolishness got started in the
first place and why? How big it really is? How many present
users there are? The average time spent on a website?
Here are 21 facts you might or might not want to know
about the Internet.

1. Who coined the phrase 'World Wide Web'?

Tim Berners-Lee in 1990.

2. How did the Internet Start and Why?

It all started with the time-sharing of IBM computers in the early
60's at universities such as Dartmouth and Berkeley in the States.
People would share the same computer for their computing tasks. The
Internet also got help from Sputnik! After this Russian Satellite
was launched in 1957; President Eisenhower formed ARPA to advance
computer networking and communication.

3. Who was J.C.R. Licklider?

Licklider is often referred to as the father of the Internet because
his ideas of interactive computing and a "Galactic Network" were
the seeds for the Internet. His ideas would be developed thru
DARPA,(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in 1962. Later he
would help form ARPANET and the Internet was on it's way.

4. What was ARPANET?

ARPANET stands for 'Advanced Research Projects Agency Network'
Came about in the arena of Sputnik and the cold war. The military
needed a method of communicating and sharing all the information on
computers for research and development. It would also be a handy
communication system if all traditional ways were wiped out in
a nuclear attack!

5. What was the First long distance Connection?

In 1965 using a low speed dial-up telephone line, MIT
researcher Lawrence G. Roberts working with Thomas Merrill,
connected the TX-2 computer in Massachusetts to the Q-32
in California. The phone lines weren't quite up to the task!

6. Who was Leonard Kleinrock?

Kleinrock came up with the theory of packet switching,
the basic form of Internet connections. With a group
of UCLA graduate students on Oct. 29, 1969, Kleinrock
connected with the Stanford Research Institute but as
they typed in the G in LOGIN -- the system crashed!

7.What is an Ethernet?

It's a protocol for by many local networks, (LAN Local-area Networks)
the origins of which came from Bob Metcalfe's Harvard's dissertation
on "Packet Networks".

8. When was the first mouse introduced?

The first computer mouse was introduced in 1968 by
Douglas Engelbart at the Fall Joint Computer Expo
in San Francisco.

9. Did Al Gore really invent the Internet? No, but give
credit where credit is due. He did the most of any elected
official to actively promote the Internet. However, he wasn't
even in Congress when ARPANET was formed in 1969 or even when
the term 'Internet' came into use in 1974. Gore was first
elected in 1976.

10. Who coined the phrase 'information super highway'?

Al Gore in 1981!

11. Which decade really saw the explosion of the net?

The 90's! The Internet exploded in or around 1993.

12. How fast is the Internet growing?

Very fast! It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users,
13 years for TV, and only 5 years for the Internet. Source:

13. Number of Internet Users and Breakdown.

The Internet is roughly 35% English, 65% Non-English with
the Chinese at 14%. Yet only 13% of world's population,
812 million are Internet users as of Dec. '04. North America
has the highest concentration with 70% of the people using the

14. Country with the highest percentage of net users?

Sweden at 75%.

15. How big is the Internet's surfing world?

Google's index now stands at 8 billion pages.

16. What was the Net's first index called?

Archie, other than library catalogs, this was the first
index created in 1989 by Peter Deutsch at McGill in Montreal.
Although it spouted such others as Veronica and Judhead, Archie
was short for Archiver and had nothing to do with the
comic strip.

17. Who coined the phrase 'The Web might be better than sex'?

Bob Metcalfe in 1995.

18. What does HTTP stand for?

HyperText Transfer Protocol -- it's the protocol for moving files
across the net; it requires two client programs. The HTTP client and the server.

19. What is an ISP?

Internet Service Provider -- This is the service or company you use to
access the Internet.

20. What is HTML?

Hypertext Markup Language -- it's the coded format language for
transmitting and creating hypertext
web pages.

21. What are your average surfing habits according to Nielsen

Each month you usually visit 59 domains, view 1,050 pages allocating 45
seconds for each page and spend about 25 hours doing all this net activity!
Each surfing session lasts 51 minutes.

One last thought - Henry Edward Hardy in his Master's Thesis (1993) on
The History of the Net stated "The Net is Immortal". Ever wonder what
this baby will be like in a 100 years? a 1000 years? Just something

to think about as you keep your eye on that cursor.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Girls ahead in sex survey

The proportion of young women in India engaged in sexual relationships is higher than that of young men, a nationwide survey has indicated, but it is not because girls are turning promiscuous.

Among young people between the ages of 15 and 24, women are much more likely to have had sex than men, according to the final report of the National Family Health Survey 2006 released today.

While 28 per cent of women between 15 and 19 have had sexual intercourse, the corresponding proportion of men in this age group is only 11 per cent. Between 20 and 24 years, the figures are 76 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men.

“Early marriage among girls explains all that we’ve found,” said Kamla Gupta, professor at the Indian Institute of Population Studies, Mumbai, and coordinator of NFHS 2006. The average age of first intercourse among men is 22 years, about five years higher than the average for women. This is consistent with women marrying several years earlier than men, Gupta said.

The survey has shown that the proportion of men who have never had sex increases steadily from 13 per cent among those with no education to 45 per cent among those with 10 years of school.

Sex is also connected with income. Only 20 per cent of the poorest men reported no sex while the number was 39 per cent among the richest men.

“It’s possible that educated and rich men marry later in life,” said Gupta.

The survey has also revealed that among women between 15 and 49 years, 20 per cent had sexual intercourse before they were 15. But only 3 per cent of men in this age group had reported sex before 15.

Survey experts said some sex prior to 15 years would be pre-marital.

“There would be some pre-marital sex, but the levels of pre-marital sex among men is not enough to counter sex among married women,” said Sunita Kishor, a senior gender specialist with Macro International, a private consultancy firm that had provided technical assistance for the survey.

Across the age groups 15 to 49, the proportion of men who’ve never had sex was higher than that of women — 31 per cent men and 20 per cent women.

The survey interviewed 124,385 women and 74,369 men between the ages of 15 and 54 from 29 states.

World Drinking Map

The ages used are for purchasing spirits. In some jurisdictions, especially in Europe there are tiered drinking ages. For specifics on countries please visit Wikipedia and search for Underage Drinking. Also note that the drinking age in India varies between 18 and 25 depending on the state, and in Morocco it's 18 if you're Muslim, otherwise nonexistent.

Perfect Pictures for an imperfect world

Caution Slippery When Wet (Pic)

View the original size of this picture
Thanks for telling :)

Lucky Puss* (Picture)

View the original size of this picture

FACTBOX- Who is Al Gore?

Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for raising awareness of the risks of climate change.

Here are some key facts on the former U.S. vice-president.


-- Albert Arnold Gore Jr. was born in Washington on March 31, 1948, to Albert Gore Sr., who represented Tennessee in Congress for 32 years, and Pauline Gore, a homemaker and law school graduate.

-- As a toddler Gore bounced on the knee of Richard Nixon, the California Republican who years later, as president, helped oust Gore's Democratic father from Congress.

-- After graduating from Harvard, he married Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson, volunteered for the military and served as an Army journalist in Vietnam.

-- Upon his return home, he became a divinity student and went to work for The Nashville Tennessean as a reporter. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Gore said he was turned off by politics.


-- However while a reporter in the mid-1970s, he developed a personal appetite for it and in 1976 a House seat from central Tennessee became vacant and he won it.


-- In 1992, four years after his first White House bid, Gore considered running again, but decided against it.

-- Bill Clinton won the nomination that year, and picked Gore as his running mate. "We raised him for it," Gore's father gushed.

-- As vice president, Gore's squeaky clean image was tarnished when he became embroiled in a fund-raising scandal.


-- In August 2000, Gore won the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. president, choosing Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman as his running mate; in the November general election they ran against the Republican ticket of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

-- Gore got around 300,000 more votes nationally than Bush. But Bush, with the help of Florida, got the needed state-based 270 electoral votes to win the White House.


-- Since then Gore has dedicated himself to raising public awareness of global warming.

-- Gore produced a documentary about a slide show he has given on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth". The short film was presented in Cannes in 2006 and won an Oscar in 2007 for best documentary.

-- He also spearheaded last July's Live Earth world wide concerts, with some of the world's biggest pop stars including Madonna and Police, to urge fans and governments to fight global warming.

Al Gore, U.N. climate panel win Nobel Peace Prize

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The committee recognized their efforts to build up and spread knowledge about man made climate change, and thus lay foundations for the measures to fight it.

If You Have a Dirty Mind (PIC)

View the original size of this picture

The top 10 hand gestures you’d better get right

The top 10 hand gestures you’d better get right

1. The “Wanker”
This one actually has a universal meaning; it was just too good not to include in any compilation of hand gestures. There aren’t many places on earth where you could get away with frantically fist-pumping at somebody - I’d imagine because masturbating’s the same wherever you go. Even in Japan.

Tony Blair, caught in the act. Or, thanks to some Photoshopping, maybe not. And yes, Tony... you are. Particularly popular with fans at football matches to taunt opposition players, Tony Blair famously copped a bit of embarrassment when the uncensored version of a photograph of him during his Oxford University days was shown on BBC2’s Newsnight: a photo that had later been photoshopped by the supplying press agency to cover up Blair’s rude – and delightfully unambiguous – hand gesture. Yes, Tony. You are.

Interestingly, in Greece and Portugal the gesture is made with the palm Publish Postfacing the ground, implying that the person is rather fonder of wanking other men as opposed to himself.

2. The “Thumbs-Up”
I'll live to see you eat that thumbs-up. First of all, let’s quash the urban legend of the ‘thumbs-up/thumbs-down’ being used by the audience in the Roman coliseum to vote on the life or death of a defeated gladiator, as furthered by such movies as Gladiator and Spartacus. There’s no evidence for this, and it’s just massively unlikely. Sorry.

While Western culture has become used to the thumbs-up as a positive, informal signal, generally indicating a job well done (probably stemming from World War II pilots using the signal to communicate that they were “good to go” with ground crews), there are cultures where a thumbs-up may land you in trouble. In most of Latin America and West Africa, as well as Greece, Russia, Sardinia and the south of Italy, the thumbs-up basically means the same as the middle finger: “sit on it and swivel”. Also, it’s generally not recommended to use the thumbs-up around the Middle East as it’s pretty much the biggest insult out there – and even worse if you pull off the emphatic version with both hands - so no Fonzie impressions, please.

Rather more charming is a thumbs-up in Germany and in the less-Westernised areas of Japan – they just see it as the hand signal for the number one. Bless.

3. The “Moutza”
Let's hope there are no Greeks in the audience. Opening your palm to your target and stretching out your fingers seems harmless enough to most Westerners. Most of us would think you’re waving. In Greece, however, the gesture is known as a moutza, and is one of their most traditional manual insults. With fingers slightly apart, you thrust your hand into your target’s face, usually coupling the gesture with a brash “na!”, meaning “here you go!”. The basic suggestion is something like “eat shit”, implying that you’re not particularly impressed and would rather the target of the moutza leave you alone – comparable to the American interpretation of the same signal as “talk to the hand, because the face isn’t listening”.

The gesture is also an insulting one in Pakistan and many parts of Africa. The Japanese use a very similar sign to insult their old enemies, the Koreans. Roughly translating as ‘animal’, the signal is similar to the moutza in every way except they tuck the thumb into the palm.

Amusingly, Microsoft used to use a very similar-looking hand signal as an icon for warning dialogs in previous versions of Windows – what Greek users must have thought of that, I don’t know… “This application has performed an illegal operation - now, eat shit!”.

4. The “Dog Call”
Curling your index finger towards you in a summoning motion is a gesture generally linked with seductive temptresses in Hollywood movies, beckoning for their targeted men to follow them into another room.

Here, boy!Beware, however, of using this gesture in the Philippines – it’s a method of communication considered worthy only to use on dogs, and is actually punishable by arrest. Worst of all, they’ll break your index finger in order to prevent you from committing the same crime again!

5. The “A-OK”
Mainly used by scuba divers to mean “OK” (to prevent ambiguity with the thumbs-up sign, which means “ascend”), this hand gesture is generally called ‘A-OK’, and in America and the UK is often used to tell somebody that they’ve made a great meal, as talking with your mouth would just be impolite. Essentially the meaning comes out as “great”, or “absolutely fine”.

Not so, however, in a few countries in Europe, where the numerical interpretation gives the signal an insulting overtone – essentially you’re telling them that you think they’re a ‘zero’.

Far worse, however, is the meaning in Brazil, Germany and a few Mediterranean countries: the circular shape of the gesture gives it the meaning of “anus”, and is therefore used to call somebody an “asshole”, or, by extension, a homosexual.

6. The “Cutis”
Shoaib will tell you that he was just biting his nails. While there isn’t really an equivalent in Western culture, the cutis in Indian and Pakistani culture is basically a thumbs-up, except you push the nail on your thumb against your front teeth and flick, while saying “cutta!”. It basically amounts to “screw you”, and famously appeared in the media when Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar made the gesture in Melbourne as he left the field for a rain delay during the 2004 test series against Australia.

7. The “V Sign”
The age-old ‘V sign’ comes in two formats: one with the palm faced outwards, and one with the palm inwards. In America the two hand signals mean the same thing – ‘victory’, as popularised by Richard Nixon, or ‘peace and love’, which seemed to become the primary meaning after anti-Vietnam protesters used it during the 60s.

'Um, sir? You just told the entire population of London to go screw themselves'However, if the outside of your hand is facing your target, you’re giving somebody a long-established insult in Great Britain and many English-speaking countries such as Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. Winston Churchill famously used the ‘incorrect’ version of the V sign during the early years of the war, switching round later when he’d been told by his advisors that he wasn’t exactly giving the lower social orders a positive message. The V sign is also considered rude in Italy, especially if you place your nose between the two fingers, making the gesture resemble a crude vagina.

I myself have almost seen a fight start as a result of an American tourist ordering drinks in an English pub: when asked how many pints he wanted, he simply stuck two fingers up and looked straight into the eyes of the barman – perfectly normal on the other side of the Atlantic (it’s actually the signal for the number 2 in American Sign Language), but it’s fighting talk to the British.

8. The “Fig”
'I've got your nose'. Nothing more than a fist with the thumb poking out from between the index and middle fingers, the mano fico (literally ‘fig hand’) is a gesture of Roman origin, used as a positive gesture to encourage good luck and fertility, and ward away the ‘evil eye’. The sexual nuance comes from from the hand’s resemblance to the female private parts (fica is actually Italian slang for “vulva”), with the nub of the thumb representing the clitoris.

There seems to be a lack of positive meaning to this sign these days, however. If you’re doing the ‘fig’, it probably means you’re denoting a letter T in American Sign Language. But if somebody else is giving you the same gesture (especially if they are of the Asian persuasion), they’re probably giving you a rather disparaging insult, roughly equivalent to “fuck you!”. This hand sign is also highly disparaging to Italians and Turks, and in India would be taken as a threatening gesture. Most non-deaf Americans or Brits, however, would simply see the mano fico as a bizarre-looking fist.

9. The “Corna”
Consisting of a clenched fist with the second and fifth fingers straightened out, the corna (‘horns’) hand gesture has most recently been adopted by fans of rock and heavy metal music, first used by Black Sabbath guitarist Ronnie James Dio. The gesture carries only a vague meaning, implying the presence of Satan, malevolence and loud guitar music, and is used in much the same way as headbanging. The gesture was actually popularised as a Satanic salute during the 1960s, appearing in many editions of the Satanic Bible. Nowadays many Americans (such as Jenna Bush, pictured below) use the gesture simply to mean “rock on”.

Jenna Bush - satanist, metal fan, or just trying too hard?Occasionally used by baseball players to indicate “two outs”, the corna is actually a positive hand gesture in Buddhism and Hinduism, known as the Karana Mudra in such circles, and is used to dispel evil – an interestingly opposite meaning to its contemporary significance.

Historically, however, the symbol basically means “cuckold” (or rather, “your wife is cheating on you”), and its origins are Mediterranean, possibly dating back to Ancient Greece. The corna is still popular in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Colombia, Brazil, Albania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and seems to be used most often to disagree with football referees - perhaps their wives are taking advantage of their husband’s occupation to score with hunky football players - though only when the referee make an incorrect decision, of course…

10. “The Finger”
Great parenting.Most likely derived from Ancient Greece, ‘the finger’ is one of the most widespread obscene gestures throughout the Western world. In a handful of Mediterranean and Arab countries the index finger is preferred to the middle, but the meaning remains crystal clear. There are a myriad of different stories for the origin of the finger (going back as far as 2500 years), making mention of Greek tragedies, phallic representation, perverse Roman emperors, English longbowmen, and annoyed deaf people - but we just don’t know.

Also known as the ‘flip-off’, the ‘bird’, the ‘highway salute’, ‘digitus impudicus’ and the ‘One-Fingered Victory Salute’ (thanks to President Bush’s famous TV blooper), the middle finger is probably the most universally-understood hand gesture in the world. This is owed mostly to its age, the sheer simplicity of the gesture, as well as the human preoccupation with somehow relating everything back to sexual organs.

Of course there are regional differences, from half-extending the second and fourth fingers (no doubt to represent the ‘balls’ either side of the middle finger ‘dick’) or combining the finger with another rude gesture, to being as creative as holding up your middle three fingers and telling your target to “read between the lines”.