Saturday, November 22, 2014

The PM Modi experience abroad

I had covered international summits before as well - the Sapporo G8 summit in 2008 when PM Dr Manmohan Singh went to Japan defying the Left to push ahead with the nuke deal - but the Brisbane G20 summit and Prime Minister Modi's five-day trip to Australia was certainly a different experience.

First, an Indian Prime Minister was traveling Down Under after a gap of 28 years. Predictably, the PM's calendar was packed: unveiling a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, pitching the "Make in India" campaign to Australian CEOs, meetings with Aussie politicians, addressing a joint session of the Australian Parliament, attending a reception by the Indian diaspora at a venue usually reserved for touring rockstars and finally, a banquet at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Now, if you consider that all these and a few more events were spread over two-and-a half days across four cities, it simply meant the PM was engaged from 8 am in the morning to 10 pm at night. For Indian journalists, the challenge, of course, was to make it on time from one event to another. True, as many of the events were "open only to the official media," it gave us some much-needed breathing space.

Chacha Nehru's birthday at Tech Campus:

Prime Minister Modi arrived at Brisbane a day before the G20 officially kicked off on November 15. But that didn't mean he would have any free time for himself.

Almost immediately, he got down to business. He visited the Queensland University of Technology, agreed to get selfies done with enthusiastic students, many of whom were from India. Later, the PM tweeted about spending the day at a campus on Pandit Nehru's birth anniversary.

The Cameron Exchange and a missed opportunity:

The same evening, British Prime Minister David Cameron was the first foreign leader PM Modi had a bilateral meeting with. I had gone to cover the meeting but learnt that the photo-op was open only to the "official" media. The British PM, however, may want to give a short sound bite after the two PMs had met, his media team informed. I wasn't willing to let it go.

"Ok guys, where do you want me to do this," asked Mr Cameron as he walked in after meeting his Indian counterpart. My colleague, Suresh Kumar, asked him to stand in a particular way and Mr Cameron sportingly obliged. In the next five minutes, Mr Cameron described his meeting as excellent and informed that he had invited Mr Modi to visit Britain.

So what did they discuss? Apart from economic issues, Mr Cameron stressed on security challenges: "Both agree that we have to challenge the narrative of extremism and violence."

As I walked out, I saw PM Modi engrossed in conversation with the National Security Advisor, Mr Ajit Doval about 50 feet away. There were no journalists around. Here was my chance to get an exclusive bite. Should I just walk up and ask him for a soundbite? The atmosphere in the room was formal, actually quite overwhelming! There was no way I could shout out, what we usually do to attract attention for a soundbite.

Shouldn't I just wait for the PM to look towards us? The moment he see us, I will pop the question: Sir, how was your meeting?

I am not sure if he noticed at all. Dressed in a smart pair of khakis and a jacket, he seemed immersed in conversation even as he started walking away. Before I could tip toe my way to the PM, he was already heading for his next engagement: a dinner meeting with Shinzo Abe.

I spent the rest of the night, regretting my "missed" opportunity to get a soundbite from the PM. That opportunity came less than 48 hours later. Mr Modi was unveiling the statute of the Mahatma at the Roma Park. The Indian media was there, in full force, to cover the event. While most others placed their cameras in front of the stage where the PM was scheduled to speak, we parked ourselves right in front of the Gandhi statue. There was one more TV crew waiting there and another joined in.

As soon as PM unveiled the statue and got a group photo clicked with the organizers, I shouted out: "Prime Minister sir! Would you... would you please speak to us?" I took my chance even though less than 5 minutes ago, he had spoken and shared his thoughts on his Australia visit. The Prime Minister sportingly obliged the camerapersons for the perfect frame, stood next to the statue, gave us a smile and left with a Namaste!

Breaking the security protocol:

"Modi, Modi, Modi!!" Wherever the PM went, his admirers and supporters would line up the venue, fill the air with chants and slogans, often prompting the PM to break his protocol, get out of his security ring and meet people, shake hands or even pose for a selfie!

In Sydney, right next to the Allphones Arena, a group of about 100 protesters were protesting against the PM. Their complaint: the BJP, during their earlier stint in power, didn't do much to ensure justice to the victims of 1984.But the protesters were clearly outnumbered before a 16,000-strong crowd who had gathered to listen to the PM.

At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australian PM Tony Abbot hosted a banquet in honor of Mr Modi, crowds had gathered by 3 in the afternoon. Could it be because of the cricketing legends? After all, how often do you see Sunil Gavaskar, Allan Border, Kapil Dev, Glen McGrath, Laxman, Steve Waugh or Dean Jones together?

"No, we have come to see our Prime Minister," said a couple from Bangalore, who were on a vacation in Australia and New Zealand. They were meant to fly out of New Zealand but changed their plan and came back to Australia. Could they not have seen him in India? "Yes but here, we hope to meet him as security is not so strict," said the wife.

By the time the banquet ended, it was 10pm. The weather had suddenly turned quite cold with a constant breeze. The number of people waiting to meet the PM was no more than 50, perhaps one-fifth of what we saw in the evening. But the moment he walked, there was frenzy once again!

Apart from his scheduled speeches, including the one at the Australian Parliament, Prime Minister Modi didn't give any soundbite or hold a press conference for the Indian journalists who followed him everywhere. But he kept his followers updated with his tweets, text of his speeches or video links to his programs. So is anyone really complaining?

Selfie stick in Time magazine's best inventions list

The selfie stick that facilitates your capturing a selfie from an angle of your choice by positioning your smartphone beyond the arms' reach has made it to the Time magazine's list of 25 best inventions of 2014.

"If 2013 was the year in which selfie became a buzzword, then 2014 was the year selfies became a cultural phenomenon," Time said, indicating that the new-found infatuation with selfies matured within a year.

"Look no further than a recent Pew report, which found that at least a quarter of Americans have shared a selfie on a social-networking site (including Ellen Degeneres, Kim Kardashian and President Obama)," it added.

In fact, it does not matter in which part of the world you live, and whether you are old or young, a high-profile politician or one among the hoi polloi, everyone seems to love taking a selfie.

The selfie stick (produced by multiple brands) "adds genuine value", Time quoted Van Baker, a mobile tech analyst at the research firm Gartner, as saying.

Also in the list is a smartphone that puts privacy at the forefront and helps users conceal their data.
The Blackphone "runs a customised Android operating system stripped of features that might make data vulnerable, like calendar sync", Time noted.

"It also comes with software that encrypts calls, texts and browsing history at levels far beyond normal smartphones," the report added.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Tourist Was Filming At The Beach When THIS Came Out Of The Water… This Is CRAZY!

Hey guys, I've seen a lot of incredible videos in my time and I have to say that this one is truly remarkable. A tourist was enjoying what seemed to be a calm day at the beach in Arraial do Cabo in Brazil when he spotted something rather unusual in the water. He immediately grabbed his camera and recorded a pod of 30 dolphins headed straight for shore!If you think that’s incredible, wait until you see what happens next.

I don’t know why the dolphins did what they did, but I’m so glad that it ended the way that it did. Kudos to the camera man for capturing and sharing this extremely rare and incredible event!

Dollar Store Princess Wand Contains Suicidal Demon Bonus Image

What little girl doesn't want a sparkling pink princess wand that holds a dark suicidal secret?
Nicole Allen, a mother in Dayton, Ohio, is not too happy with her local dollar store after purchasing something that looked like an innocent toy: a pink, plastic wand in a fun, purple package. After giving the toy to her sweet two-year-old daughter, the young girl promptly peeled off its foil cover, revealing a vivid image of a big-eyed, bloody-toothed demon lady slitting her wrist. Fun!

To be fair, Nicole overlooked the fact that the wand was called "EvilStick," but to be fair once again, the package also said "I can send out wonderful music!" and that message was written on a snowflake, so.
The dollar store owner reportedly says he will take the toy off the shelves if he receives more complaints.
Though the toy is certainly not suitable for children, and while I disagree with the store owner that children see "images like [a demon slitting her wrist] on TV every day," I do think this spooky nightmare toy is suitable for a certain blogger who would love if her local dollar store began carrying it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Do sit-ups and crunches to loose belly fat: Weight loss tip

Flat abs is a fitness goal of many people. If you are looking to cut down that extra fat from your belly, start including crunches and sit-ups in your daily exercise regime. These exercises will increase your metabolism and you will eventually end up burning more calories. However, the number of calories you burn will depend on your weight and the intensity of the exercise.

These exercises target the upper and lower abdominal muscles. Sit-ups are a powerful resistance exercise which means that they will help tone your abdominal muscles. Abdominal crunches are designed to target a specific muscle group that is the rectus abdominis. You can include a set or two of 20 crunches daily as a part of your workout routine. One great advantage of abdominal crunches is that they don’t put much stress on the lower back as compared to other abdominal exercises.

Sit-ups and crunches may look simple but need to be done in the right manner for the results to be visible.  Along with these exercises, always remember to take care of your diet to lose fat effectively.

Living Paintings, that grow in front of you

The Art of Movement is a monthly show that highlights the most significant innovations in science and technology that are helping shape our modern world.

A living painting is many things," says artist and designer Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic. "It's a painting in process, it's a work of film, it's an actual tactile painting."

Mestrovic celebrates the movement behind painting by recording every step of the process on camera. When creating his "living paintings" on a wet canvas, he sets up high-resolution cameras and lighting to capture every stroke, without his hands or the brush ever being seen.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Mestrovic got the idea for this process while developing his first film "Scriptura Vitae," which fuses Japanese performance art with his unique style of painting.

The piece was commissioned as part of the Random Acts art series by the UK's Channel 4, and stars Japanese actress Miho Nikaido, alongside Maki Shinagawa, a Japanese dance theater performer.

Having lived in Tokyo and studied calligraphy for years, Mestrovic often uses ancient texts and his knowledge of lettering in his artwork.

Facebook to be mostly video in five years: Zuckerberg

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the social networking site will be mostly video in next five years.

"In five years, most of the Facebook will be video," Zuckerberg told a gathering at a community town hall meeting in California.

Responding to a question about why Facebook launched Messenger, he said that Messenger is a better experience and will get people faster responses from friends.

"Asking everyone in our community to install another app is a big ask. But Facebook thought it could provide a better, faster messaging product if it split off from its own app," he told the audience.

Zuckerberg also took questions from a froup of users, who were invite to the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California in the US, TechCrunch reported.

Zuckerberg said that support for women entering science, technology, engineering and maths needs to start earlier so girls do not self select out, with regard to a query about what could be done to get more women into technology,

The issue of Facebook losing its "cool" was also raised but Zuckerberg maintained, "my goal was never to make Facebook cool. I want it to be a helpful service that just works".

Upon being asked as to why he wears the same shirt every day, he replied with a laugh, saying he has several such shirts.

"I wear the same gray t-shirt everyday because it speaks to how we think about our duty to the community here. I do not feel like I am doing my job if I spend any of my time on anything silly or frivolous in my life," he said

Saturday, November 8, 2014

True story, a must read! Why Girls should wear Tight Jeans

She never feared the 500-meter stretch from the bus stop to her home. She had walked it for as long as she remembered. She got on her school bus from there, and walked back every afternoon after the school bus dropped her. Mom waited for her then. Or the help, when her mom was busy or had gone shopping.
At times, she would walk alone. Especially on days when the bus would reach her colony earlier than usual. Then college happened, followed by a new job. She would come back at 9-10pm, and sometimes around midnight. In her small, sleepy town, people would be off to bed by 9pm. Middle class timings. End of the nightly news on DD meant lights out. Often, the streetlights would be off for load shedding or some fault in the lines. These things hardly mattered. She could walk blindfolded to her home. She knew every inch of that road. Every inch.
Last night was like any other night. She finished work by 9pm, and was at the colony bus stop at 9.30pm. She had hardly walked a 100 meter when a motorbike screeched to a stop on her right. The pillion rider grabbed her with one hand and put the other on her mouth. The other man parked the bike and joined him to drag her across the bushes to the colony park wall. She had her back against the wall; with the two men, the burly one now clasping her face and the other holding her by her waist. She was 5-foot-2 and fit to boot. But the sheer helplessness of that moment told her that this was it. The headline had come visiting. Rape!

Her tormentors left her top alone; and unbuttoned her jeans. She had given up. She had hit her head against the wall. She could feel the bump without touching it. She couldn't. Her hands were in chained by unknown, more powerful, monsters of hands. A cramp rose from her left tendon and started creeping up. The struggle wasn't helping. She stopped.
Her tormentors didn't. They were struggling with a lifeless piece of clothing. The pair of tight-fit mild-tapered jeans wouldn't come off. A hand made its way through the back as the burly one tried to tear it off. The fabric stood relentless like a wall. It felt like forever. Then the rattle of a diesel engine in the distance forced the men to put all the pressure on her mouth and legs. She couldn't make a sound. A jeep just passed by.
One of the men asked the other to get the bike off the road. Afraid the bike parked in a secluded area was just conspicuous. They couldn't leave the girl. The two of them doubled their efforts in a fierce battle against the denim, and managed to draw the low-waist jeans just below the waist. This violation meant nothing to her. She had spent all her energy by now. The men were getting bolder, yet whispering to each other in coarse Punjabi that she didn't understand. And then the big guy lifted his hand off her mouth. And slapped her. Her lips got smashed between his rough, cold hand and her teeth. They walked away.
She sat down; rather let her back slide down the wall. The bike’s engine came to life; the lanky pillion rider took his seat and then got off again. All of a sudden. In three hops, he reached her and kicked her in the leg and spat, “bhenchod” before jumping back on the bike. She heard the word once more, faint under the distinct growl of the Yamaha R15: “Bhenchod Jeans”. As the motorcycle’s sound faded into the night, she wanted to run home to her mom. She kept sitting there. For what felt like forever.

A motorbike with a familiar sound came from nowhere and sped away, when she got out of her fear-induced slumber. Her heart was pounding out of her chest. She stood up with a jerk and found her bag. She grabbed it close to her chest as if the bag was lost and found. She began walking, taking her first few steps gingerly. By the time she reached the gate of her home, she had her usual end-of-a-long-day yet confident gait.
Dad and mom both were sitting on the veranda. Like every other day, they just said, "Aa gaye beta.” She walked in without acknowledging them. Into her room, she threw her purse on the bed, tossed her flats before heading to the bathroom. A twist of the tap and she was in a fit. She kept splashing her face with the cold October water. She wasn't sure if she was crying. She felt like it but one couldn't make out whether she was. She didn't remember when she began crying or if it was just the water that she continued splashing, when she heard a knock on the bathroom door.
“Are you okay, beta?”
“Yes, ma.”
She realised she had taken a bath with her clothes on. She took off her top, her bra. Threw them on the floor. Like everyday. The first thing after coming home. She hadn't discovered the bruises, the cuts, the swollen back of her head yet. She was half-aware of the pain, but not at all worried about it.

She discovered that her jeans was already unbuttoned, unzipped. She sat on the bathroom floor and started working on the jeans from the bottom. The wet jeans just wouldn't come off. As if it was glued to her skin. Tight-fitting, mild-tapered. “Fuck! Damn! Grrrrr...” she mumbled as she put all her energy together to draw the damn thing away. She would stop. Then start again. God knows for how long this went on. The grimace morphed into a smile and she said: “Bhenchod Jeans!”

Friday, November 7, 2014

Complications of kidney disease – everything you should know

Kidney disease is known as a silent killer, as most people suffering from this health complication show no significant symptoms until late in its course. Most people with kidney disease realize the seriousness of the condition only after its too late, making treating the condition more difficult. Kidney disease is best tackled as soon as the problem is detected, if not, it can lead to a whole host of complications. Here are some of the health ailments that you may suffer from, if you ignore kidney disease.

Recent doctors have stated, ‘If kidney disease is left untreated, it progresses to the entire organ deteriorating the functional units of the kidney. Due to this, kidney function reduces gradually leading to various health complications. The key changes that occur in the kidneys include accumulation of harmful toxins and excess body fluids in the organ, electrolyte imbalance and low blood cell count.’

In severe stages of kidney disease, patients usually complain ofvomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, itching, nausea, sleep disturbances and breathing difficulty. In some cases, swelling over the ankles, puffiness of the eyes and leg cramps are also reported. The serious and life-threatening health complications that are observed in rare cases include uncontrolled blood pressureseizures and cardiac arrest (due to high potassium levels in the body) may prove fatal.

How to deal with the complications of kidney disease?
Doctors says, ‘In addition to improving or stabilizing the kidney function with the use of specific drugs, a nephrologists will initiate treatment measures to manage chronic kidney disease. For example, to protect kidney function and control blood pressure, ACE inhibitors are used. In the case of problems with the kidney’s filtration process, steroids are commonly prescribed.’ Other measures that are commonly used to deal with the complications of kidney disease are as follows.
  • Treatment of anemia, a common side effect of defunct kidneys.
  • Control of phosphorus levels in the blood with the use of tablets.
  • Controlling and treating lipid abnormalities. This is commonly believed to be due to malnutrition; since the kidneys do not function optimally, making absorbtion of nutrients and elimination of waste difficult.
  • Control acid-water buildup in the kidneys with bicarbonate tablets.
  • Control the patient’s diet, by reducing the consumption of salt and potassium.
While these are clinical measures that your healthcare professional will take care of, there are few precautionary tips to be followed by people with kidney disease to prevent worsening of the condition. Here are few tips from some expert doctors.
  • The first and foremost measure is to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor and on time (without fail).
  • Follow your diet as advised by your doctor. Avoid foods that contain high amounts of salt and phosphorus like aerated cold drinks and other junk foods, as they may aggravate kidney disease.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking excess alcohol.
  • Start an exercise regime to keep your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and weight in check.
  • Avoid using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, especially painkillers without consulting your doctor.
  • Monitor your BP and blood sugars levels, making sure to get health check-ups done annually and a follow-up with your doctor.
  • If you have a family history of kidney disease, get yourself screened at regular intervals with simple blood tests, urine tests and BP measurements.
Hence, visit a doctor if you experience any symptoms of kidney disease and get treated immediately. Early detection and safe treatment is the key to prevent various health complications and live a healthy life.

Claudia Romani packs up Modelling career, to become professional Referee in Italy

Italian model Claudia Romani is venturing into a new career path in the world of football - after passing an exam in order to become a professional referee.

The 32-year-old has hung up her heels to become a referee, something which has been high on her agenda for a number of months.

Romani is now qualified to referee fixtures in both Serie A and Serie B - something which she is understandably delighted about.

Romani looks in bouyant mood as she models in a referee's kit for Halloween.

She said: ‘Running around on the pitch with all those players and calling the shots is just an irresistible opportunity.'

No female referee has taken charge of a Serie A game as yet due to the amount of experience it commands.

That could soon change in the future, however, as Romani looks to take the Italian league by storm.

Claudia plays football wearing AC Milan jersey.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Try raw milk face packs for flawless and glowing skin

Drinking a glass of milk in the morning, every day, can help boost your health. This is because milk contains a number of important nutrients which are beneficial for the body. However, apart from its benefits, milk also serves as a potent beauty ingredient as well. Listed below are some ways in which raw milk can be used for your beauty treatment.

Cleanses the face
Milk makes for an effective facial cleanser. Just dip a small piece of cotton in raw milk and then wipe your face with it. After cleansing your face with milk, use fresh water to wash off the residue. This will help keep your face fresh and glowing throughout the day.

Provides softer skin

In order to achieve softer skin, apply raw milk on your neck and face. Keep it on for close to 10 minutes. Then, use fresh water to rinse your face. You will instantly notice softer and fairer skin as a result.
Lightens skin tan
Milk can help you overcome unwanted sunburn or pigmentation. Since milk is rich in lactic acid, it can help lighten the skin. Also, it does help in clearing dead cells present on the surface of the skin. Therefore, dab a washcloth in milk and apply it on your skin at least thrice a week before taking a bath.
Helps exfoliate skin
Raw milk can be used as a natural skin exfoliant. This is because it contains beta hydroxy acid and is a natural way to get rid of dry and dead skin, giving you soft skin in the process.
Ensures softer hair
By rubbing milk on your scalp before washing it will ensure that your hair remains nourished from the inside-out. This remedy is especially effective for women who have dry and rough hair and are looking for a natural remedy.
Helps shrink pores
Sour milk or cream is an effective remedy for shrinking pores. You will need to apply either sour cream or milk on your face and neck. Leave it on to dry for close to 10-15 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
Reduces skin irritation
You can also use milk to heal nasty wounds, lighten red spots as well as reduce allergic reactions. Apply buttermilk, sour milk or sour cream to irritated skin. Leave it on your skin till it provides relief from skin irritation.

How to make face packs using raw milk

Milk, papaya and honey
To remove wrinkles and lines, add two slices of papaya to a spoon of raw milk and half a spoon of honey. Mix it well and apply it to your neck and face. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Milk and almonds
To get flawless complexion naturally, soak a few almonds in raw milk overnight before grinding it into a paste in the morning. Apply the mixture on your neck and face. Keep the mask on for 15-20 minutes in order for the skin to absorb the goodness of it.
Milk, honey and lemon juice
Milk when added with lemon juice and honey acts as mild and natural bleach for your skin. Add two tablespoons of milk to one tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice. Mix well and apply to face and neck. Leave the mixture on for only 10 minutes before rinsing with water. 
Milk with fuller’s earth or gram flour
If you want a natural remedy for lighter skin, add milk to gram flour or fuller’s earth and apply to your skin at least thrice a week. Since milk is rich in lactic acid, it helps lighten the skin.
Milk and banana
A milk and banana paste can give you glowing skin. For this mixture, mash half a banana before adding a few tablespoons of raw milk to it. Apply it on damp and clean skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Make sure you rinse your face thoroughly with water.

Fitness tips on your favourite equipment: Punching bag

Punching bags or sandbags are cylindrical equipment used for training by boxers, kick-boxers and martial artists. However, they can also be used by amateurs for exercise to increase muscle tone and mass. They come in a variety of sizes and materials. A heavier punching bag will provide more resistance where as a lighter one will provide less resistance.

Working out with a punching bag regularly delivers many amazing benefits.  It will increase your endurance, timing and power and will also give you a good cardiovascular workout. Throwing heavy punches on a sandbag will help you develop your upper body strength. It will shape your body through weight loss and muscle development. Hitting a punching bag can also help you relieve stress.

How to exercise with a punching bag
Power punching drill
Your whole body needs to be used in order to throw effective power punches. Hit the bag hard with both your hands for three minutes at a stretch. Now rest for a minute and repeat the set. Your legs, core muscles, upper body, shoulder and fists are engaged while you throw the punches.

Kicking drill
Kicking drill can be an excellent way to develop your roundhouse, front and crescent kicks. In roundhouse kick, you swing your legs in a semicircular motion while you strike with your front leg. When you perform a crescent kick, you need to lift your knee up and kick with your foot in a clockwise motion. The front kick simply involves extending your legs and kicking the target.
Start off with three right roundhouse kicks, followed by three front kicks and three crescent kicks. Repeat the same with your left leg. Now rest for a minute and repeat the three steps to develop more consistency. Make sure you deliver your kicks with power and intensity.

Tips to keep in mind
  • Make it a point to use hand wraps while throwing punches to avoid damage to the wrists and hands.
  • Always warm up with stretches or joint mobility exercises before you start punching or kicking the bag.

Modi lauds Vivek Oberoi's work for Clean India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded Vivek Oberoi's effort towards the Clean India campaign after the Bollywood actor was spotted with a broom on the streets of Mumbai.

"I appreciate the work of @vivek_oberoi towards creating a Swachh Bharat," read a post from Modi's Twitter handle @narendramodi.
Vivek, also known for his philanthropic efforts, was over the moon with the appreciation.

"@narendramodi feel honoured & humbled by your appreciation. Shall be committed to the cause of #swachhbharat through various means," he tweeted.