Six Word Saturday – June 30, 2012 : The King of the Jungle

Don’t unnecessarily be embarrassed with what you do.

Here’s my entry for Six Word Saturday:

Even a lion has to shit …

Click on the badge above for more details on this challenge.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Add this anywhere

Photography through the Night – Part 4/5

Compiled by

This is part 4 of the 5 episodes of Photography through the Night.

Low light levels make night photography a challenging yet rewarding subject. The best results require specialized equipment, like SLR cameras, tripods, cable releases and flashguns. After sunset, the everyday world is magically transformed, and city buildings, fireworks, thunderstorms and the northern lights all become popular subjects.

Let’s see some more captures by great photographers..

Another late night Drive by John A Ryan
#37 – Another late night Drive
by John A Ryan

The Glass House by darklogan1
#38 – The Glass House
by darklogan1

Candelária Nights by Leonardo Paris
#39 – Candelária Nights
by Leonardo Paris

Pigeon Point Lighthouse by Susanne Friedrich
#40 – Pigeon Point Lighthouse
by Susanne Friedrich

Aurorus Reflectus Colosseo by Stuck in Customs
#41 – Aurorus Reflectus Colosseo
by Stuck in Customs

Railway by mara-mara
#42 – Railway
by mara-mara

Night Walk by Gerrit Wenz
#43 – Night Walk
by Gerrit Wenz

Milan Train Station at Midnight by Stuck in Customs
#44 – Milan Train Station at Midnight
by Stuck in Customs

Capitol View by Todd Klassy
#45 – Capitol View
by Todd Klassy

Invisible Sun by jrtce1
#46 – Invisible Sun
by jrtce1

ExPort by VJ Spectra
#47 – ExPort
by VJ Spectra

Night at Loch Lomond by guillaume-dauphin
#48 – Night at Loch Lomond
by guillaume-dauphin

Add this anywhere

Enhanced by Zemanta

Add this anywhere


FAST, NOT FEAST: Today’s aam aadmi inspired by R K Laksman’s common man


As food prices spiral and politicians serve up empty promises, the common man is finding ingenious ways to make do

Shreya Roy Chowdhury | TNN

If you believe the government, the dizzying rate of India’s GDP puts us in a select group of emerging economies. But if you look at the food on the aam admi’s table, it tells a different growth story — inflation.

With this figure rising every week, people are cutting down on expenses — eating less and eating less healthy food. The poor are buying overripe vegetables and shifting from idlis to the cheaper rice gruel. The middle-class is cutting down on vegetables and milk. Restaurants are reducing portions and diluting curries.

Rising prices are affecting us all — they are gnawing into household budgets and restaurant profits alike and people are using every trick in the book to manage this rise.

Sanjay Munjal of Ginger Moon restaurant in Delhi’s Khan Market says he has tightened controls, with “an audit every three days to assess our purchase, sales and consumption to prevent waste. Earlier we stocked up for two-three days, now we take daily stock”. This has helped, bringing Munjal’s costs down by 5-10%. “The inflation has affected our margins but we’ve decided to absorb it for now. But if the prices rise any further — say another 5-10% — we’ll have to increase rates,” says Munjal.

Sooner or later, that’s what may happen.

“Although we have contracted yearly prices, pressure is coming from vendors to revise rates,” says Monish Gujral of Moti Mahal Delux in Delhi. Restaurants like his have increased “menu forecasting”, which means determining attendance, portions and items that’ll be ordered. They are also increasingly half-cooking dishes in order to prevent waste.

But some restaurants have been forced to raise prices straight off.

Santhosh Shetty, who runs Vaibhav Hotel in Andheri, Mumbai, admits they charge extra for dal with the regular thali. “I started doing this when I realized dal alone takes 25% of the cost,” he says.

Munjal’s Ginger Moon, Gujral’s Moti Mahal and Shetty’s Vaibhav are not the only ones. Food price inflation has put eateries across the country under tremendous pressure. And it is changing the way people eat out.

Deepak Sharma, former secretary-general, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India, says “Restaurants have taken items off, offering limited, cost-effective menus; a few have even reduced their portions. Some have also revised their menus.” He adds, “The cost of running restaurants has gone up but sales have decreased by 15-20%.”

Meanwhile, restaurants in Delhi have had to factor in something else as well. “Mid-level ones need to upgrade for the Commonwealth Games — that’s another investment,” says Sharma, “If they increase prices now, sales will decrease further.”

Some have already made their decision. The single-chicken, single-egg roll kathi kabab at Nizam Kathi Kabab in Delhi is Rs 100 for just a few more days. Soon, it will cost Rs 110. Nizam’s mutton korma, which was priced at Rs 170, will go up to Rs 200.

“We were functioning almost on a no-profit-no-loss basis. We will raise the prices by about 10% in the next 15 days,” says Ved Prakash of Nizam.

No one is sure whether that will help. Mumbai restaurants that have already raised prices — by about 15% in the last few months — say they’re still struggling.

“Our profit margins have come down by almost 40%,” says Chandrahas Shetty, president of the Federation of Hotel Owners Association of Maharashtra.

“Food inflation is hitting the restaurants hard,” says Sharma. “Tomatoes, onions and potatoes are important ingredients for restaurants. Increase in their prices affects eateries,” he says. “Salads were also important for the restaurant industry as there were large profit margins on them. But now that has decreased.”

Raising prices is particularly difficult for outlets like heavily subsidized college canteens. “We need to write to the committee to hike our prices,” says Gaganjeet Singh of the Hindu College canteen in Delhi University.

It’s worse for Dharmendra Kumar who sells chhole-bhature in Mayur Vihar. He charges Rs 10 for two bhaturas. He’s in no position to raise his prices because his customers anyway think he should be providing three bhaturas instead of two.

“Price of cooking gas has increased and I need six-seven cylinders in a month. I’d keep Rs 150-200 as pocket money, now I make do with Rs 50 a month,” he says.

Street vendors in Mumbai have seen their narrow profit margins falling.

Murugan S, who runs a food stall near Borivali station, says, “We’ve been diluting the sambhar with water and replacing it with coconut chutney every alternate day.” It is an unpopular move because his clients demand free sambhar.

Eating out may be getting difficult for the aam admi. But so is eating in. For most middle-class and working-class families, inflation simply means less of everything.

“In the homes I work, they use one tomato where they previously used two; cook 250 gms of paneer instead of a half-kilo,” says Radha Dalal, 37, who cooks in nine homes in South Delhi. She has cut back herself by no longer buying milk.

It is a curse to be dirt poor in the time of inflation. Saraswathi, 60, says she hasn’t had three square meals a single day in six months. She sells coconuts outside Chennai’s Kapaleeswarar temple and earns Rs 1,500 a month. Rising prices has caused her to forego meals to feed the men and children while she and her daughter-in-law eat rice gruel to get by. “We have kanji (gruel) in the morning. Earlier, we used to have idlis or dosas. For lunch, I use less dal for sambhar and no vegetables. Because a cylinder costs Rs 315, I cook once a day,” she says.

As food bills spiral out of control, the poor are falling into the debt trap. Valli, 40, a domestic help in Chennai earns Rs 3,000 a month and owes Rs 3 lakh to the local moneylender. Now, she buys rice from fair price shops and vegetables from vendors selling supermarket rejects. “I buy four tomatoes for Rs 10. One is usually spoilt but it is a good bargain,” says Valli. It is better than going back to the moneylender.

(With reports from Kim Arora in Delhi, Viju B in Mumbai and Revathi Ramanan in Chennai)

Eating out is expensive, but eating at home is equally expensive as prices of gas, rice, pulses and cooking oil have risen sharply
Vinee Saluja | MNC EXECUTIVE
Till last year, I used to spend Rs 5,000 on groceries every month. Now it’s Rs 15,000. We have cut down on children’s outings and entertainment
Reema Kaushik | HOUSEWIFE
The hike in fuel prices has dented my travel budget. Now my mantra is to cut down on luxuries and just take care of basic necessities
My pocket money doesn’t last the whole month. I have stopped my trips to the fast food corner. I have also reduced my cellphone calls
Aakanksha Bhutani | STUDENT

Add this anywhere

Rapidity of Exponential Growth

Myself By T.V. Antony Raj


A few days ago, during a discussion, a friend of mine told us that the damage caused by a nuclear catastrophe would be exponential. What does the term ‘exponential’ mean? How could we show the rapidity of exponential growth?  Usual growth is just a few percentage points but here is a demonstration of how rapidly exponential growth would be.

For this experiment, take a sheet of ordinary  letter size paper (A4). A sheet of paper weighing 80 gm/sq.m is about 0.1 mm thick.

Fold this paper into half. Fold it a second time, and a third time. The paper will now be  as thick as our finger nail.

At the 7th fold it will be as thick as a notebook and it would be barely possible to fold further.

If we were to fold the paper 10 times, it would be as thick as the width of our hand.

Unfortunately, it would not be possible to fold more than 12 times.

Hypothetically, if it was possible to fold further …

At seventeen folds it would be taller than an average house.

Three more folds and that sheet of paper is a quarter height of the Sears Tower (a skyscraper renamed as Willis Tower in 2009 is 1,729 feet from Franklin Street Entrance,  in Chicago, Illinois).

Ten more folds will make it cross the outer atmosphere.

Add another twenty folds to reach the sun.

At the sixtieth fold it would have the diameter of our solar system.

At 100 folds it would have reached the radius of our universe.


If you do not have a good scientific calculator, then here is a table that shows the rapidity of growth on an exponential scale. In this table that I have used the caret symbol to represent the exponentiation operator. This table

n In kilometres
(0.1*10^-6 * 2^n)


0.1 * 10^-6


0.2 * 10^-6


0.4 * 10^-6


0.8 * 10^-6 Thickness of finger nail.


1.6 * 10^-6


3.2 * 10^-6


6.4 * 10^-6


12.8 * 10^-6 Thickness of a notebook.


25.6 * 10^-6


51.2 * 10^-6


0.1 * 10^-3 Width of a hand including the thumb.


0.2 * 10^-3


0.4 * 10^-3 Height of a stool – 0.4 m.


0.8 * 10^-3


1.6 * 10^-3 An average person’s height – 1.6 m.


3.3 * 10^-3


6.6 * 10^-3


13.1 * 10^-3 Height of a two story house – 13 m.


26.2 * 10^-3


52.4 * 10^-3


104.9 * 10^-3 Quarter height of the Sears Tower.

…. ….


3.4 * 10^0 Taller than the Matterhorn.


107.4 * 10^0 Reach the outer limits of the atmosphere.


3.4 * 10^3


109.9 * 10^3


3.5 * 10^6


112.5 * 10^6 ~ distance to the sun (95 million miles).


3.6 * 10^9


115.3 * 10^9 size of the solar system?


3.7 * 10^12 one-third of a light year.


118.1 * 10^12 11 light years.


3.8 * 10^15 377 light years.


120.9 * 10^15 12,000 light years.


3.9 * 10^18 4x the diameter of our galaxy.


123.8 * 10^18 12 million light years.


4.0 * 10^21


126.8 * 10^21 (12 billion light years) approx. radius of the known universe?

I came across the following video clip while surfing the internet. Click on this link: Paper folding to the Moon.The exponential growth also works inversely for the width of the paper. Each time the paper is folded, its width is halved. If we begin folding with a large piece of newspaper let’s say 50 cm wide, after 10 folds, the paper would be 0.05cm wide. After 20 folds, it would be 0.000048 cm wide. After 30 folds, 0.000000047 cm wide. And suppose we could fold it 33 times (which we can never accomplish), the width would be less than an atom.

Photography through the Night – Part 3/5

Compiled by

This is part 3 of the 5 episodes of Photography through the Night.

Low light levels make night photography a challenging yet rewarding subject. The best results require specialized equipment, like SLR cameras, tripods, cable releases and flashguns. After sunset, the everyday world is magically transformed, and city buildings, fireworks, thunderstorms and the northern lights all become popular subjects.

Let’s see some more captures by great photographers…

#25 Positron - by Kamuro
#25 – Positron
by Kamuro

Night Life by marcelgermain
#26 – Night Life
by marcelgermain

Singapore by Christopher Chan
#27 – Singapore
by Christopher Chan

Sydney Opera House by shrillian
#28 – Sydney Opera House
by shrillian

The Louvre at Night by dealived
#29 – The Louvre at Night
by dealived

OAKA Main Entrance View  by NikGr
#30 – OAKA Main Entrance View
by NikGr

Ghent by night by nonkelduvel
#31 – Ghent by night
by nonkelduvel

Florence Night scene by choongcheehuei
#32 – Florence Night scene
by choongcheehuei

Manarola by VJ Spectra
#33 – Manarola
by VJ Spectra

Blue Hour by веканд
#34 – Blue Hour
by веканд
Symphony by VJ Spectra
#35 – Symphony
by VJ Spectra

Shoot that Bridge by tomalu
#36 – Shoot that Bridge
by tomalu
Enhanced by Zemanta

Add this anywhere

Six Word Saturday – June 23, 2012 : A miracle

Here’s my entry for Six Word Saturday:


The man slowly looked up at the woman. Her coat was new. She looked as if she had never missed a meal in her life. A woman clearly accustomed to the finer things in life.

“Are you hungry?” she asked.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling. Her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.

“Leave me alone,” he growled.

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I told you to leave me alone.”

Just then a policeman appeared from nowhere.

“Is there any problem, ma’am?” the policeman asked.

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head.

“That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she pointed. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man yelled. “I don’t want to go in there!”

Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.

“Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything,” he moaned.

“This is a good deal for you, Jack. Don’t blow it,” the officer said.

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and seated him at a table in a remote corner. It was the eleven in the morning, and most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.

The manager saw the trio and strode across the cafeteria and stood beside their table.

“What’s going on here, officer? Is this man here to create trouble?” the manager asked.

“Sir, this lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” snorted the manager angrily. “Having a person like this here is bad for business.”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin.

“See, lady. I told you didn’t I? Now can you both let me go? I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

“ The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled.

“Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?” she asked.

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And don’t you make enough of money catering food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?” the manager retorted.

“I, Sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh,” the manager gasped.

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.”

She glanced at the police officer stifling a giggle and said, “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and something to eat, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

They watched the manager hurrying away.

“You certainly put him in his place,” the police officer said.

“That was not my intent,” she smiled. “Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from Jack, her bemused dinner guest. She stared at him intently.

“Jack, do you remember me?” she asked.

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes.

“I think so .. I mean … You do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile.

“Now I remember,” he said. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the cash for my food in the cash register. I knew then that everything would be alright.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business, that, with the help of God, prospered.”

She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.

“When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”

Tears welled in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he asked.

“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. “Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today ma’am, something that I will never forget. And … And thank you for the coffee.”

Matthew 25:34-40

Then the king will say to those on his right,

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say,

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply,

‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Click on the badge above for more details on this challenge.

Add this anywhere