Tag Archives: Facebook

Is ‘Hello’ the Surname of Alexander Graham Bell’s Girlfriend?


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

Scottish-born US inventor Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847, – August 2, 1922) is credited with inventing and patenting the first telephone on March 7, 1876.

An apocryphal version claims that his first two instruments were at his and at his girlfriend, Margaret Hello’s place and the first call he made to commercially test the phones was to his girlfriend!

I came across a post on Facebook corroborating this claim with an old black and white photo of Graham Bell with a lady, that purports to explain the origin of the word “Hello.”

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This story about the surname of Alexander Graham Bell’s girlfriend Margaret Hello is false and nothing more. The lady in this photo purported to be ‘Margaret Hello’ was, in fact, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard who in 1876 was engaged to him; a woman whom he married the following year and who remained his wife until he died in 1922.

The first successful telephone call from Graham Bell was to his assistant who was in the adjoining room.

According to Wired.com, Graham Bell’s journal, which is now at the Library of Congress, contains the following entry for March 10, 1876:

I then shouted into M [the mouthpiece] the following sentence: “Mr. Watson, come here – I want to see you.” To my delight, he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said. I asked him to repeat the words. He answered, “You said ‘Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.'” We then changed places and I listened at S [the speaker] while Mr. Watson read a few passages from a book into the mouth piece M. It was certainly the case that articulate sounds proceeded from S. The effect was loud but indistinct and muffled. Watson heard the words clearly and distinctly, and thus, the first working model of a telephone was born.


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Re-posting Posts of Others on Facebook


Myself

 

 

 

BT. V. Antony Raj.

If I see something interesting and educative or witty on Facebook that others might like and relish, I get the urge to re-post it.  In the past, I have burnt my fingers by reposting the posts of others without verifying their veracity.

Now, before I post anything on my Facebook book page, I try to find whether there are any omissions or inconsistencies in that particular post that caught my attention. If I see anything not factual or smell a rat, I comb the Internet for more information.

Please remember that all posts that we find on Facebook or on any other social media are not perfect. So, here is my advice to you to heed when you think of copying from social media. Follow these rules of information-gathering and you will be presenting a perfect post for others to read, relish and profit from it.

Five Ws and one H

The Five Ws and one H, 5W1H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering or problem-solving. They are often mentioned in journalism (cf. news style), research, and police investigations. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject. According to the principle of the Five Ws, a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word:

What happened?
Who is involved?
Where did it take place?
When did it take place?
Why did that happen?

Some authors add a sixth question, “how”, to the list namely, “How did it happen?” though “how” can also be covered by “what”, “when”, or “where”.

Each question should have a factual answer – facts necessary to include in a report for it to be considered complete. Importantly, none of these questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.

Hermagoras of Temnos, the Greek rhetorician best known for his works on rhetorical invention,

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Hermagoras of Temnos, the Greek rhetorician best known for his works on rhetorical invention, as quoted in pseudo-Augustine’s “De Rhetorica” defined seven ‘circumstances’ (μόρια περιστάσεως ‘elements of circumstance’) as the loci of an issue:

Quis, quid, quando, ubi, cur, quem ad modum, quibus adminiculis. (Who, what, when, where, why, in what way, by what means)

Please remember that not every post I publish is perfect. I try to do my best following the above rules of good journalism and at times I do go astray.

It is up to you to follow or discard this advice.

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Don’t Be Fooled by Posts about Chinese Plastic Rice on Facebook!


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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I saw the following video posted on Facebook without any description, leaving viewers to speculate.

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As of today, this video on Facebook has 4,310,649 views, 7.7K likes, 8,784 shares and 23 Comments.

The first comment that I saw at the top said, “What the hell is going on.”

This video of a woman stirring the contents in the pot over a fire was followed by a video that shows an easterner recycling plastic using machinery that produces rice-shaped plastic pellets for manufacturing plastic products.

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After the above videos  followed the image of a packet of Thai Milagrosa Scented Rice with Chinese letters displayed prominently .

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A packet of Thai Milagrosa Scented Rice with Chinese letters displayed prominently.
A packet of Thai Milagrosa Scented Rice with Chinese letters displayed prominently.

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Putting three and three together, almost 95% of the Facebook readers deduced that the woman in the first video was making plastic rice.

One wise person popped up the question, “What is happening in the world today?” and another, weak in geography said, “Read your labels at all times. If it was made in China leave it on the shelf.” And a ‘know-all’ person from Oba, Nigeria wrote a lengthy comment on “How to Identify Plastic Rice or Fake Rice“.

By the way, not all Facebook members are fools. A woman from Nassau City, New Providence, Bahamas, said, “There is fake plastic rice, however, that’s not what the lady is doing in this particular video… Yall so silly I would explain what that is but nah it’s so hilarious. ” But she never revealed what she knew. Maybe she herself did not know what it really was.

Finally,  a comment by Shana Wiltshire from Brooklyn, New York who said, “Lol.. this is how rice goes from brown to puffed white rice… nothing wrong with this… and it’s an Indian method not Chinese“, assuaged  my curiosity.

Yes. The woman in the first video was making popped puff rice.

Here is a video showing the indigenous method of making popped puff rice for sale in India.

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Stop Sharing That Meaningless Copyright Status on Facebook


Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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If you have been on Facebook for the last three or four days, you would have probably seen an almost serious looking post or one of its many garbled variations shared as someone’s Facebook status.

Here is a screen grab of one of the versions:

Permission for FB

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Various versions of this status have popped up on since 2012, which are just elaborate hoaxes that have plagued the social-network site for years, and you too might have seen them on your FB pages from time to time.

Do you think copying  and posting such a short note that seems to contain complicated and official legalese will protect the privacy and confidentiality of your Facebook account from that moment onwards and privatize the photos and videos you post?

In reality, posting such status on your Facebook page will not change any privacy rules.

If you think that posting such a status on your Facebook page is the right thing to do, then why are you still posting photos and other items on Facebook under your banner? Would it not be better to deactivate your account?

Remember that social media is not the place for “private and confidential” information. If you do not give permission to use your pictures, etc., how would Facebook show them to your friends?

When you agree to Facebook’s terms of use, you give Facebook a non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any content you post. You do not need to declare anything about copyright issues since the law already protects you. Hence, any privacy declaration on your part is worthless and does not mean anything.

On November 26, 2012, Max Read published an article titled “That Facebook Copyright Thing Is Meaningless and You Should Stop Sharing It” wherein he dissects this status post line by line and counters them with excellent explanations.

Facebook addressed the rumours years ago in a fact-checking blog post about the change related to ownership of users’ information or content they post to the site.

Copyright Meme Spreading on Facebook

Copyright Meme Spreading on Facebook

There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.

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Did Albert Einstein Really Say That?


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Texting

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With the advent of the internet, we are now able to interact freely with people living anywhere around the world, but, the ability to speak face-to-face with ease has declined and, in fact, is dysfunctional.  Now, with mobiles, people have replaced lively phone calls by texting mnemonic-like nonsensical internet slang words with little substance. This indeed is an alarming trend.

I came across the following two humorous images on Facebook that illustrate the fact that in the 1980s and before there was a free and cordial interaction between people, but now, they are ignoring one another by texting the whole day long oblivious to their surroundings.

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Einstein's fake quote - 2 (Source

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Einstein's fake quote

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The caption for these images assert that Albert Einstein said:

I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.

The above quote also appears often on social media in the following form:

It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.

Often I find predictions such as these passed around on the internet unabashedly that are often misleading, out of context, or sometimes completely fabricated.

People love to put words into the mouth of William Shakespeare, Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, and many others. They presume that by attributing fabricated quotes to these famous people, their fabricated sayings will automatically become infallible. Our patriotic Indians, the proud Tamilians in particular, use late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former president of India as their scapegoat to dole out fabricated quotes.

Some who come across such quotes on the social media copy them and post them without verifying whether they were in fact said by such personalities.

In this instance, someone credited Albert Einstein with these concocted quotes without any compunction whatsoever and others have copied them blindly. Even brainyquote.com is guilty of propagating this fake quote.

Brian C. Rosenberg, the 16th president of Macalester College, the institution that proudly boasts Kofi Annan amongst its alumni, inadvertently uses this fabricated quote whenever he talks about the scourge of the social media.

The Quote Investigator points out that there is no absolute evidence to prove that Albert Einstein ever said this.

The quote(s) in question was in fact derived from the 1995 movie “Powder“.  Near the end of the film, there is a dialogue between Powder played by Sean Patrick Flanery and a character named Donald Ripley, a physics teacher, played by Jeff Goldblum.

Donald Ripley: It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.

Powder: Albert Einstein.

Donald Ripley: When I look at you, I have hope that maybe one day our humanity will surpass our technology.

So here we have it. Movies are a compelling source for apocryphal quotations.

It is true that Albert Einstein’s concern about the fate of the world and its people in the face of nuclear weapons was genuine. In 1946, he cautioned about the dangers of the new nuclear age. He, in fact, made a famous statement that was thematically analogous with the words expressed in the movie.

On May 25, 1946, The New York Times reported that Einstein “issued a personal appeal yesterday by telegram to several hundred prominent Americans”. Here is an excerpt:

Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing power to make great decisions for good or evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.

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Video: “I Will Fight Back”


Myself . 

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Stop violence against women

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Easy access to the internet in the current decade has allowed women to start online activism and empower themselves. They use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. The internet allows women freedom to voice their opinions and organize campaigns for equality rights.

On May 29, 2013, three women started an online campaign to take down various misogynistic pages on Facebook that spread hatred toward women. In just one week, the campaigners roused hundreds of thousands of supporters who are part of the “great feminist revival.” The social networking giant Facebook caved into pressure. The campaign succeeded where many previous efforts failed. Facebook took action over contents that celebrated rape and domestic violence.

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I Will Fight Back.
I Will Fight Back.

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The following video titled “Woman Empowerment – I will fight back” by Unseen Passage Pictures is an eye opener. It carries the message that if women do not empower themselves, then nobody will.

While many praise the audacity of the young woman there are a few detractors, as expected, with their sarcastic, derogatory remarks. Some even insinuate that the video is a concocted one implying that the woman is an actor with makeup for bruises for the ‘skit’, and lying.

Whatever it is, the video impressed me.

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Here is a transcription of the young woman’s rendering of the incident.

Hi,

I usually don’t talk like this. It’s because my tooth is broken.

Actually, yesterday I went shopping with a friend to Sarojini Market. I love street shopping, but you know how crowded it is.

We were checking out some dresses in a shop. Suddenly, somebody touched me from behind. I felt very  uncomfortable. I screamed out of fear and everybody around got to know what just happened.

It was very embarrassing. But that guy was simply walking away with his friends, laughing at me. I thought somebody would catch hold of them; somebody would take an action against them. But everyone was staring at me only as if I had done something wrong. Some people were even laughing. But then, an uncle stepped forward and showed some courage and he said:

“Dear, they are mannerless people. Nobody can do anything about it. They are incorrigible. You better take care of yourself and try wearing decent clothes.”

No. No. I didn’t wear a bikini to go shopping. I was just wearing a jeans and a sleeveless shirt. But, I am just another helpless woman, isn’t it? So, obviously everybody had to judge me only like they always do.

Whenever I am alone at the bus stop waiting for the bus or when I come late from the office and my colleague drops me, when I am with a guy, when I ask for help, or when I wear western clothes, and also when they feel like judging, they judge.

But, I am just another helpless woman. So, I said: “Uncle, it’s okay. I will handle.”

I called the woman helpline and told them my current location. Then, I ran behind them, grabbed him by his collar and slapped him hard. They hit me back. Then, people around came to help me and beat them up badly. You should have seen their wounded faces. They all are behind the bars now charged with ‘Women Harassment’.

Then, I understood one thing that in our country, it is very important to take your own stand. If we didn’t empower ourselves, then nobody will.

Take your own stand. Only we are responsible for ourselves.

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How Did the Present-day Numerals Derive Their Form?


Myself 

 

 

BT.V. Antony Raj

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Numbers (Source: express.co.uk)

Numbers (Source: express.co.uk)

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A number in mathematics is an object used to count and measure. 1, 2, 3, and so forth are examples of natural numbers. In common usage, the term number may refer to a symbol, a word, or a mathematical abstraction.

The English names for the cardinal numbers were derived ultimately from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language, the supposed proto-language that existed anywhere between 4000 and 8000 years ago. PIE was the first proposed proto-language to be widely accepted by linguists. With time, the pronunciation shifted and changed.

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Numeral Modern English Old English Proto-Germanic Proto-Indo-Germanic
1 one an ainaz oi-no
(originally meaning one, unique)originally meaning one, unique)
2 two twa twai duwo
3 three þ reoreoreoreo
(þ  here is the orthography for “th” as in “thing”)
thrijiz tris-
4 four feower petwor Kwetwer
5 five fif fimfe Penkwe-
6 six siex sekhs seks
7 seven seofon Sebum septm
8 eight eahta or æhta akhto Okto(u)-
9 nine nigen (the /g/ here is pronounced lije the y in “young”. Petwor- newn
10 ten ten tekhan dekm

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A numeral is a notational symbol that represents a number. We use the Hindu-Arabic numerals 0 to 9 every day. But how did these Hindu-Arabic numerals derive their form? It is a puzzle to me.

Some folk etymologies have argued that the original forms of these symbols indicated their value through the number of angles they contained, but no evidence exists of any such origin.

Recently I came across a statement that elaborated on the folk etymologies. It said:

“Numbers were named after the number of angles they represented, and each angle represented a quantity. For example, the number one has one angle, number two has two angles and so on. They have to be written with straight lines (not curved).”

I found the following image on Facebook.

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Numerals and angles
Numerals and angles

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Many have copied and propagated this image – the concept of angles associated with numbers. One can find them on Facebook and on many websites, explaining that this is how the numerals obtained their values.

But this claim seems to be spurious like many other urban legends. For example, 0 (zero) would have four angles if it is written with straight lines like the other numerals. So, here lies the fallacy.

So, I am still in a quandary.

Are there any authentic, rational explanation for how the present form of the Hindu-Arabic numerals we use today was derived?

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In Real Life and on Facebook!


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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FB I want my friends back
Note: This was originally posted in Tamil on Facebook by an anonymous person! On reading the original I beat my breast and said: “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Lord, I too have erred! I am no exception.”

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This is what most people post on Facebook!

After bribing the traffic police:

Let us do away with bribe

The once erratic drivers and riders after marrying and begetting children:

Obey road rules!

After bargaining with their labourers:

Down with capitalism!

After drinking Pepsi and devouring KFC chicken:

For economic growth of our country drink king coconuts.
Save our country from foreign entrepreneurs!

The guy who rides his bike to go to the next street:

Save the environment. Avoid pollution!

Romeos who ogle women on the street:

Respect Women. They are like your mothers and sisters!

The person jealous of his neighbour who earns 10 rupees more:

Unite. We are all brothers!

One who takes two steps back when an old destitute stretches her hand towards him:

Help the poor and the needy. Let us eradicate poverty!

The guys who show a quick face for namesake at the funeral of his neighbour:

My heart bleeds for those dying in Palestine, Israel, Africa and Timbuktu…

Fellows who don’t even speak a few words with his mother:

Writes pages of poetry about love for one’s mother!

Some men

Though stingy, project themselves as philanthropists on Facebook!

And some women

Flirt in life, but manifest as a virtuous person on Facebook!

How about you?

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My Impromptu Advice to a Youth


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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FB - No friends to show (Small)

Last week, a youth from Andhra befriended me on Facebook. He had joined Facebook recently. I visited his page and clicked on “Friends” and found to my surprise it showed “No friends to show”.

Last night when I was logged into FB, this youth came on-line to chat with me.

Here is a part of the verbatim conversation:

He: sir u have gud stuff in ur page sir (sic)

Me: Thanks Uxxx.

He: you r welcome sir (sic)

Me: Did you visit my website: http://tvaraj.com ?

He: sir i had good communication skills with me,i can face people,i can motivate people and i am hard worker sir how can i use theses all things for my life and for the nation

am really cnfused

am also good at acting sir

any advice from ur xperience (sic)

Me: Uxxx, we belong to different way of looking at life due to our age difference. So, I never give advice to young people. Sorry.

I have been smitten many times and burnt my fingers and my image by advising youngsters.

He: it’s ok sir no need to tell sorry i jst tried (sic)

I felt sorry for this youngster and the ‘teacher’ inside me gave in and my fingers started typing:

Me: What I find in you is that you are quick learner. Last time I communicated with you, you were using a lot of short cuts. Today, I find you completely changed. Keep it up.

When I was young, I was pulled in to act in the main parts in all college dramas. It gave me courage to face any number of people. But I would say this: “If you want to make a mark in life, forget about acting.”

Don’t emulate film stars and never have them as your idols.

Next, forget about the nation. Always remember “Charity begins at home.”

You are part of the nation, your parents are also part of the nation. If you and your parents grow, the nation will prosper automatically.

So, first obey your parents and don’t let their hearts bleed. In Tamil we have the saying “Maathaa-Pithaa, Guru, Deivam” meaning “[Honour your] parents, teachers, and gods [in that order.]”

When I say parents, it includes your own brothers and sisters also. Your family.

After you have done the needful for your parents and made them happy, then you can think about your poor relatives who are in need.

So, it will take a long time to fulfill these tasks. Be honest with yourself and your friends and relatives.

Forget about taking active part in politics because all politicians are just rogues bent on making money only.

Don’t trust and go after priests of any religion. They too are cheats bent on making money by blessing you.

There is a saying in Tamil: “koduppavanai kandaal deivam kunangi kunangi aadumaam” meaning “if a god sees a donor, it will start dancing obsequiously.”

Here ‘god’ means those rascals in temples and houses of worship and the devil dancers who act as if the gods or demons, the Holy Spirit, etc., have entered into their body and start dancing feverishly and holler nonsense. That is ‘talking in tongues’.

The real blessings come from your parents and your own elders.

After that I waited for about 15 minutes for his response. But there was none from him.

Today morning, when I logged in to FB, I saw the following:

He: thnk u sir goldn wrd (sic)

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Friends on Facebook


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj
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“Facebook is a contemporary form of idleness and I have witnessed its being the conduit of anxiety and even enmity, forging ethereal friendships and trading real and imagined slights. Facebook’s interactions go from trivia to paranoia.” – Farrukh Dhondy in “Cabbages & Kings: Hacked off” (Published in Deccan Chronicle)

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Facebook

Before the advent of the Internet, whenever I met someone for the first time, that person would ask me for my phone number, but now, people do not bother about telephone numbers, instead they ask me if I am on Facebook (FB).

Yes, I am on Facebook. I have two groups of friends: “My Family and Family Friends” and “My Computer Students, other Student Friends and colleagues”.

There are 180 members in the first group and 266 members in the second group.

I do not believe in having thousands of unknown people as friends, who comment with trivial phrases such as “He he he”, “Good morning”, etc., and are interested in knowing what cine and TV actors like to eat for breakfast or where and with whom they slept the previous night.

Though I choose my friends, I do err sometimes.

I am now 73-years-old and value what little bit of my time I have still to live. I really get annoyed when some come to chat online without any purpose and waste my time. Here is a brief chat I had with a so-called ‘friend’ a few days ago:

So called friend: sir neenga enga work panuringa (Sir where do you work)

Me: What prompted you to ask this question?

So called friend: sir your post status and other activities in fb. R u a media person (sic)

Me: Now, I am a retired person.

So called friend: ha ha ha fine sir

What do you think I gained from this conversation?

In the first instance, I okayed this young person, about 50 years younger than myself, to be my friend on FB for the main reason he had studied in 2008 in one of the schools I taught. Also, he had studied in the same college that I studied. Now, after this frivolous chat I have earmarked this person as a candidate to be deleted from my list of friends on Facebook.

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