Sunday, December 30, 2012

Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Part 2

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind.
Stage 2 is the cultivation of the habit to create a clear vision of direction and destination to help in attaining your goal. Personal mission statement, philosophy, or creed is first developed to help you to focus on what you want to be and do, thus guiding your daily activities towards your goal. This habit is called Personal Leadership because leadership is considered to be the first  creation of your vision, and management comes in second and productivity third. Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Next, we need to re-examine the centre of our life, identifying what is important.

The centre of your life will be the source of your security, guidance, wisdom, and power. Placing unimportant people or things outside yourself prevent them from influencing you and prevent you to be at the mercy of mood swings. Being  self-centered also developed poor mental health, thus by centring your life on correct principles, you will be able to create a stable, solid foundation for your

Monday, December 24, 2012

Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Part 1

Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People helps to gain greater insights into how to lead and manage one's professional and personal life to be effective in both realms.

These seven habits:
1. Be proactive
2. Begin with the end in mind
3. Put first things first
4. Think win-win
5. First understand, then be understood
6. Synergies
7. Sharpen your saw

Habit 1: Proactive.
Let us begin with Proactivity as it forms the foundation for the rest of the 6 habits. A proactive person chooses his response to any situation or person, countering different schools of determinism, which say response is determined by stimulus.

Highly effective persons make decision to improve their lives through influencing things around them rather than simply reacting to external force. When faced with a problem, they take initiative to find solutions rather than just reporting the problem and waiting for others to solve for them. As not all things are within your control, you need to identify those you could exert
changes and focus your effort on them.

Concerns/problems can be classified into 3 areas, namely direct control, indirect control and no control. You can extend your area of influence on concerns which you have indirect control. They are problems caused by others’ behavior, while direct control is for problems caused by your own behavior.

to be continued...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Acupressure Points for Colds and Flu

Acupressure Points for
Colds and Flu
Side view of anatomical chart     Colds are caused by viruses that thrive in your nose and throat when the temperature, acidity, and moisture suit them. When you are run down and your resistance is low, your ability to adapt to environmental changes weakens, making it easier to catch a cold, and the mucous membranes become a perfect breeding ground for viruses. Cold symptoms are the body's attempt to protect itself from these intruders. When a virus enters your nose, for instance, the body secretes more mucus to flush it away.

Because acupressure stimulates your body to expel the virus more quickly, it may seem at first that your cold is worsening. But your body is simply progressing through the symptoms faster than usual. Although acupressure cannot cure a cold, working on certain points can help you get better quicker and increase your resistance to future colds.

Acupressure Points
for Seasonal Changes

Potent point B 36, called Bearing Support, is especially good for stimulating the body's natural resistance to colds and flus. It's located near the spine, off the tips of the shoulder blades. According to traditional Chinese medicine, wind and cold enter the pores of the skin at this point.1 The muscles in this upper back area tend to get tense just before a cold or flu takes hold.2

Recently, one of my best friends, a realtor, was suffering from a bad cold with a stuffy nose, a hacking cough, puffiness around his eyes, and a pallid complexion. He hadn't slept well the previous two nights because of these discomforts and was very tired. After I briefly massaged his upper back, shoulders, neck, and chest, I showed him how to press the decongestion points underneath the base of his skull and on his face. I also told him to drink ginger tea at least twice a day. When I saw John the next day, he told me he had slept soundly and felt much more refreshed. His eyes looked much clearer, and already he was no longer coughing and blowing his nose.

Potent Points for Relieving Colds and Flu

Drilling Bamboo (B 2)
Location: In the indentations of the eye sockets, on either side of where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of the eyebrows.
Benefits: Relieves colds, sinus congestion, frontal headaches, and tired eyes.

Facial Beauty (St 3)
Location: At the bottom of the cheekbone, directly below the pupil.
Benefits: Relieves stuffy nose, head congestion, burning eyes, eye fatigue, and eye pressure.

Welcoming Perfume (LI 20)
Location: On either cheek, just outside each nostril.
Benefits: Relieves nasal congestion, sinus pain, facial paralysis, and facial swelling.

Crooked Pond (LI 11)
Location: At the outer end of the elbow crease.
Benefits: Relieves cold symptoms, fever, constipation, and elbow pain; strengthens the immune system.

Joining the Valley (Hoku) (LI 4)
Caution: This point is forbidden for pregnant women because its stimulation can cause premature contractions in the uterus.
Location: At the highest spot of the muscle on the back of the hand that protrudes when the thumb and index finger are close together.
Benefits: Relieves colds, flu, head congestion, constipation, and headaches.

Gates of Consciousness (GB 20)
Location: Below the base of the skull, in the hollows on both sides, two to three inches apart depending on the size of the head.
Benefits: Relieves headaches, head congestion, arthritis, neck pain, and irritability.

Wind Mansion (GV 16)
Location: In the center of the back of the head, in the large hollow under the base of the skull.
Benefits: Relieves head congestion, red eyes, mental stress, headaches, and stiff neck.

Third Eye Point (GV 24.5)
Location: Directly between the eyebrows, in the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the center of your forehead.
Benefits: Relieves head congestion, stuffy nose, and headaches.

Elegant Mansion (K 27)
Location: In the hollow below the collarbone next to the breastbone.
Benefits: Relieves chest congestion, breathing difficulties, coughing, and sore throats.

Potent Point Exercises

You do not have to use all of these points. Using just one or two of them whenever you have a free hand can be effective.

Lie down on your back or sit comfortably.

Step 1
Press into B 2: Use your thumbs on the upper ridge of your eye socket to press into the slight hollow near the bridge of your nose for one minute. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, letting the weight of your head relax forward onto your thumbs.

Step 2
Press St 3 and LI 20: Place both of your middle fingers beside your nostrils and your index fingers next to them; gradually press up and underneath the cheekbones for one minute. You can easily teach this step to your child to help relieve nasal congestion.

Step 3
Press both LI 11: Bend your arm and place your thumb at the- end of the elbow crease on the outside of your forearm. Curve your fingers to press firmly into the elbow joint for one minute. Repeat on your opposite arm.

Step 4
Press LI 4 firmly: Spread your left thumb and index finger apart. Place your right thumb in the webbing on the back of your left hand and your fingertips on the palm directly behind your thumb. Firmly squeeze your thumb and index finger of your right hand together to press into the webbing. Angle the pressure toward the bone that connects with your left index finger, and hold for one minute. Then switch hands.

Step 5
Firmly press GB 20: Now close your eyes and place your thumbs underneath the base of your skull, two to three inches apart. Slowly tilt your head back and apply pressure gradually, holding the position for one minute to fully release these important cold-relief points.

Step 6
Firmly press GV 16: Place the tips of your middle fingers into the hollow in the center of the base of your skull. Keeping your fingers on the point, inhale as you tilt your head back and exhale as you relax your head forward. Continue to slowly rock your head back and forward, and breathe deeply while you hold this important point for relieving head congestion.

Step 7
Touch the GV 24.5: Bring your palms together and use your middle and index fingers to lightly touch the Third Eye Point located between your eyebrows. Breathe deeply as you hold this point for balancing your endocrine system.

Step 8
Firmly press K 27: Place your fingertips on the protrusions of your collarbone, then slide your fingers down and outward into the first indentation in between the bones. Press into this hollow as you breathe deeply and visualize the congestion clearing.

Potent Points for Relieving Coughing

A severe, repeated, or uncontrolled cough can be harmful and you should always consult a physician. Many illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia, and chronic bronchitis can become serious if the condition continues unattended.

Sometimes, your physician will find it advisable to attempt to suppress a cough to prevent further irritation of the bronchial tubes. Cough medications may be used, but acupressure can be an effective adjunct therapy. During a coughing fit, many of the large muscle groups in the upper back area can go into a spasm. Specific points on the chest, throat, neck, and upper back benefit the respiratory system, relax your body, and relieve coughs.

Vital Diaphragm (B 38)
Location: Between the shoulder blade and the spine at the level of the heart.
Benefits: Relieves coughing, breathing difficulties, and respiratory problems. This calming point also helps balance the emotions.

Ding Chuan (Extra Point 17)
Location: To the side and a little above the vertebra that protrudes at the top of the spine when the head is tilted downward.
Benefits: Relieves throat problems, coughing, shoulder and neck pain, and thyroid imbalances.

Heavenly Pillar (13 10)
Location: One-half inch below the base of the skull on the ropy muscles one-half inch out from either side of the spine.
Benefits: Relieves sore throat, stress, burnout, overexertion, and heaviness in the head.

Heaven Rushing Out (CV 22)
Location: At the base of the throat in the large hollow directly below the Adam's apple.
Benefits: Relieves dry cough, bronchitis, sore throat, chest congestion, and heartburn.

Elegant Mansion (K 27)
Location: In the hollow below the collarbone next to the breastbone.
Benefits: Relieves chest congestion, breathing difficulties, asthma, coughing, and anxiety.

(You do not have to use all of these points. Using just one or two of them whenever you have a cough can be effective.)

Potent Point Exercises

Although many of the following points can be held while you are sitting, it is preferable to lie down comfortably on your back.

Step 1
Hold both K 27 points: Place your fingertips on your chest and firmly press into the indentations directly below the protrusions of the collarbone. This is another point that you can easily teach a child.

Step 2
Use tennis balls3 on B 38: Place two small rubber balls or tennis balls together on a clean carpet. Lie down, placing the balls between your shoulder blades at the level of your heart. Close your eyes and take three long, deep breaths as you continue to press the K 27 points on your upper chest.

Step 3
Firmly press extra point 17: Slowly roll the tennis balls a few inches higher toward the base of your neck. If the tennis balls tend to slip, or you aren't using them, Sim ly use both middle fingers to press this important acupressure point at the base of the neck.

Step 4
Hold both B 10 points and CV 22: Press B 10 on the upper neck with one hand, using the fingertips. Use your other hand to lightly hold CV 22, an inch below the base of the Adam's apple, pressing lightly at a downward angle. Close your eyes and breathe deeply as you visualize healing energy soothing your throat.

For Sore Throats and Coughing

A small piece of fresh ginger can be one of the most natural and effective ways for soothing a sore throat. Simply place a very thin slice of fresh ginger on the back of your tongue. If your throat is sensitive and the ginger feels hot, use a smaller, thinner piece and place it farther back toward your throat. Keep the ginger in the back of your throat for ten minutes. Repeat with a fresh piece several times a day as needed. A quarter cup of chopped ginger can also be simmered in a few cups of water and used as a tea for soothing coughs and sore throats.

Additional Points for Relieving Colds and Flu

1  Felix Mann, Treatment of Disease by Acupuncture (London: William Heinemann Medical Books, Ltd., 1976), 32, 37.
2  For more information and self-help techniques for colds and flu see Michael Reed Gach, Acu-Yoga (Tokyo: Japan Publications, 198 1) pp. 138-142.
3  This step is optional. If you don't have tennis balls or a pair of small rubber balls, feel free to skip this point.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

What's going to happen on December 21st 2012?

Will the world end on 21st December 2012 because of the end of the Mayan calendar or because the winter solstice is "aligned" with the Milky Way?
It appears that Mayan ideas about time keeping and calendars were very cyclical. This is actually easy to understand because it's quite like our calendar which has cycles of various sizes very familiar to us. For example there is a:
  • 1 Jan every year
  • day 1 every month
  • Monday every week
  • 1am every day
The Mayan cycles were a bit more complex, such that every day in a 52 year period had a unique name from a combination of various different cycles (similar to the idea that there is a Monday 1st January only every 7 years or so). This 52 year cycle has is called a Calendar Round. To keep track of dates on longer time scales the Mayans then had what's known as the Long Count, which provides a unique numerical indicator for each day. Mayans did not count in base ten like we did, but usually instead in base 20 (although not always). The Mayan long count can be summarized as:
#daysMayan count
11 kin
2020 kin1 uinal
360360 kin18 uinal1 tun
72007200 kin360 uinal20 tun1 kactun
144000144000 kin7200 uinal400 tun20 kactun1 bactun
The name for a Mayan epoch apparently translates as 13 bactuns, which you can see is 13*144000 days or 5125.26 years (roughly). There is actually some minor disagreement over when the current Mayan long cycle started, but it was probably either August 11th or 13th 3114 BC, which means it comes to an end on either Dec 21st or 23rd 2012.
As I mentioned above the Mayan calendar was designed to be cyclical, so the fact that the long count comes to an end in Dec 2012, while having some significance for the Maya as the end of a great cycle (much like we celebrated the millennium (incorrectly as it happens) on Dec 31st 1999), does not mean that the "world will come to an end". It's actually true that there are Mayan names for periods of time longer than 13 bactuns, so that their calendar doesn't even end then, and even if it did there is no evidence to suggest that they (or anyone for that matter) have any special knowledge about the end of the world.
There are however a lot of theories knocking around the Internet which use the end of this calendar cycle to predict the end of the world. They often also mention the fact that Dec 21st is the winter solstice, and that the Sun on the solstice that year is "aligned" with the plane of the galaxy. On the winter solstice, the Sun always has a Declination of -23.5 degrees, and a Right Ascension of 18 hours, but exactly where this is on the sky relative to more distant stars changes very slowly due to the "precession of the equinoxes". We have a posted answer explaining this effect but how it's important in this answer (and how it was first noticed) is by the fact that it moves the position of the equinoxes, and solstices with a period of 26,000 years in a complete circle around the sky westward along the ecliptic. So the position of the winter solstice moves 360 degrees in 26,000 years. That means that it moves 360/26000 = 0.01 degrees a year. Defining an exact boundary for the plane of the Milky Way is tough, but it's at least 10-20 degrees wide across much of the sky, meaning that the solstice can be described as being "in the plane of the Milky Way" for 700-1400 years! To put it another way, the winter solstice that just past (2005) was only 0.1 degrees away from where it will be in 2012, a distance smaller than the size of the Sun itself (which is about 0.5 degrees in diameter). In any case the Sun crosses the plane of the Galaxy twice every year as we orbit around it, with no ill effect on Earth.
To conclude:
  • The Mayan calendar does not predict the end of the world on Dec 12th 2012.
    1. The exact date of the end of the current Mayan Long Count is still a matter of debate amongst Mayan scholars, although it is likely to be around Dec 21 2012.
    2. The Mayan calendar is cyclical, and there are names for cycles longer than 13 bactuns of the Long Count which are coming to an end in 2012.
    Even if the Mayans did believe that the world would come to an end at the end of the Long Count (which I don't believe is true), there is no reason to assume that they have any special knowledge which would allow them to make this prediction correctly. You are free to believe the Sun won't come up tomorrow, but it will anyway....
  • The fact that the winter solstice on 2012 is "aligned" with the plane of the Galaxy has no significance.
    1. It takes the winter solstice 700-1400 years to cross the plane of the Galaxy.
    2. The solstice last year (2005) was within 0.1 degrees (or 1/5th the size of the Sun) of where it will be on 2012.
    3. The Sun crosses the plane of the Milky Way twice every year with no ill effect.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Heart Touching

Boy: Hey, hun!

Girl: Hey.

Boy: I missed you at school today. Why weren't you there?

Girl: Yeah, I had to go to the doctor.

Boy: Oh really? Why?

Girl: Oh, nothing. Just some annual shots, that's all.

Boy: Oh.

Girl: So what did we do in math today?

Boy: You didn't miss anything that great, just a lot of notes.

Girl: Ok, good.

Boy: Yeah.

Girl: Hey, I have a question...

Boy: Ok, ask away.

Girl: much do you love me?

Boy: You know I love you more than anything in this world.

Girl: Yeah...

Boy: Why did you ask?

Girl: ...>silence<...

Boy: Is something wrong?

Girl: No. Nothing at all.

Girl: much do you care about me?

Boy: I would give you the world in a heartbeat if I could.

Girl: You would?

Boy: Yeah of course I would. >sounding worried< Is there something wrong?

Girl: No, everything's fine...

Boy: Are you sure?

Girl: Yeah.

Boy: Okay...I hope so.

Girl: ..........would you die for me?

Boy: I would take a bullet for you anyday, hun.

Girl: Really?

Boy: Anyday. Now, seriously, is there something wrong?

Girl: No, I'm fine. You're fine. We're fine. Everyone and everything is fine.

Boy: ......okay.

Girl: ....well, I have to go. I'll see you tomorrow at school.

Boy: Alright, bye. I LOVE YOU!

Girl: Yeah...I love you, too. Bye.


Boy: Hey, have you seen my girlfriend today?

Friend: No.

Boy: Oh.

Friend: She wasn't here yesterday, either.

Boy: I know. She was acting all weird on the phone last night.

Friend: Well, dude, you know how girls are sometimes.

Boy: Yeah, but not her.

Friend: I don't know what else to say, man.

Boy: Okay, well I gotta get to english. I'll see ya after school.

Friend: Yeah I gotta get to science. Later.





Girl: Hello?

Boy: Hey.

Girl: Oh, hi.

Boy: Why weren't you at school today?

Girl: Uh, I had another appointment with the doctor.

Boy: Are you sick?

Girl: ……, I have to go. My mom’s calling on the other line.

Boy: I’ll wait.

Girl: It may take a while. I’ll call you later.

Boy: Alright…………I love you.

>very long pause<

Girl: (with a tear in her eye) Look, I think we should break up.

Boy: What!?

Girl: It’s the best thing for us right now.

Boy: Why??

Girl: I love you.



Boy: Hey dude.

Friend: Hey.

Boy: What’s up?

Friend: Nothing. Hey…have you talked to your ex lately?

Boy: No.

Friend: So you didn’t hear?

Boy: Hear what?

Friend: Um, I don’t know if I should be the one to tell you…

Boy: dude, what the hell just tell me!

Friend: Uh….call this number…433-555-3468

Boy: Ok…





Voice: Hello, Suppam County Hospital. This is Nurse Beckham.
Boy: Uh, I must have the wrong number. I’m looking for my friend.
Voice: What is their name, sir?
(boy gives info)
Voice: Yes, this is the right number. She’s one of our patients here.
Boy: Really? Why? What happened??? How is she???
Voice: Her room number is 646 in building A, suite 3.
Voice: Please come by, sir, and you can see her. Goodbye.
Boy: WAIT! NO!

dial tone


Boy: Oh my God, are u okay??
Girl: ..................
Boy: Sweetie!! Talk to me!!
Girl: I..........
Boy: You what?? YOU WHAT???
Girl: I have cancer and I’m on life support.
Boy: .....................>breaks into tears<......................
Girl: They're taking me off tonight.
Boy: Why??
Girl: I wanted to tell you, but I couldn’t .
Boy: Why didn’t you tell me????
Girl: I didn’t want to hurt you.
Boy: You could never hurt me.
Girl: I just wanted to see if you felt about me the same as I felt about you.
Boy: …?
Girl: I love you more than anything. I would give you the world in a heartbeat. I would die for you and take a bullet for you.
Boy: (crying)
Girl: Don’t be sad. I love you and I’ll always be here with you
Boy: Then why did you break up with me?
Nurse: Young man, visiting hours are over.

The boy leaves and later that night the girl is taken off of life support and dies, but what the boy didn’t know is that the girl only asked him those questions so she could hear him say it one last time. She only broke up with him because she knew she only had 3 more weeks left to live and thought that it would cause him less pain and give him time to get over her before she died.


The boy is found dead with a gun in one hand and a note in the other.


“I told her that I would take a bullet for her, just like she said she would die for me.” :'( :'(

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dengue Fever Remedy

I would like to share this interesting discovery from a friend's classmate's son who has just recovered from dengue fever. Apparently, his son was in the critical stage at the ICU when his blood platelet count drops to 15 after 15 liters of blood transfusion.

His father was so worried that he seeks another friend's recommendation and his son was saved. He confessed to me that he gave his son raw juice of the papaya leaves. From a platelet count of 45 after 20 liters of blood transfusion, and after drinking the raw papaya leaf juice, his platelet count jumps instantly to 135. Even the doctors and nurses were surprised. After the second day he was discharged. So he asked me to pass this good news around.

Accordingly it is raw papaya leaves, 2pcs just cleaned and pound and squeeze with filter cloth. You will only get one tablespoon per leaf.. So two tablespoon per serving once a day. Do not boil or cook or rinse with hot water, it will loose its strength. Only the leafy part and no stem or sap. It is very bitter and you have to swallow it like "Won Low Kat". But it works.

*Papaya Juice - Cure for Dengue*

You may have heard this elsewhere but if not I am glad to inform you that papaya juice is a natural cure for dengue fever. As dengue fever is rampant now, I think it's good to share this with all.

A friend of my friend had dengue last year.. It was a very serious situation for her as her platelet count had dropped to 28,000 after 3 days in hospital and water has started to fill up her lung. She had difficulty in breathing. She was only 32-year old. Doctor says there's no cure for dengue. We just have to wait for her body immune system to build up resistance against dengue and fight its own battle. She already had 2 blood transfusion and all of us were praying very hard as her platelet continued to drop since the first day she was admitted.

Fortunately her mother-in-law heard that papaya juice would help to reduce the fever and got some papaya leaves, pounded them and squeeze the juice out for her. The next day, her platelet count started to increase, her fever subside. We continued to feed her with papaya juice and she recovered after 3 days!!!

Amazing but it's true. It's believed one's body would be overheated when one is down with dengue and that also caused the patient to have fever papaya juice has cooling effect. Thus, it helps to reduce the level of heat in one's body, thus the fever will go away. I found that it's also good when one is having sore throat or suffering from heat.

Please spread the news about this as lately there are many dengue cases. It's great if such natural cure could help to ease the sufferings of dengue patients.

Furthermore it's so easily available.
It's simple and miraculously effective!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Making Paneer

  • Boil the milk in a pan.
  • When it's boiling add lemon juice or vinegar or citric acid which ever you are using, while stirring.
  • If citric acid is being used, dissolve it in 2-tbsp water before adding.
  • When milk curdles full turn off the gas and keep aside for 5 minutes.
  • Pour it on to a cotton/muslin cloth and tie it with a tight knot.
  • When all the water is drained from the paneer shape it into a rectangular block.
  • Now place the cloth under heavy weight for 2-3 hours before using it.
  • Note: Do not throw away the leftover water as it can be used for kneading chapati or paratha dough

Indian Breads

In India, bread is eaten more in the northern regions of the country because of its dry climate.

There are a variety of breads consumed in India like roti, naan and paratha. Indian roti is flat and cooked on a tava or cast-iron griddle.

It can also be cooked in a tandoor. Roti is thin and made of atta (wholewheat). The naan is soft and fluffy and is made from plain flour with a little bit of yeast.

Parathas are layered bread made of wheat flour but fried in little oil.

The breads are prepared according to one's own taste and imagination.

That is why in India we have variety of breads like the plain naan, garlic naan, methi roti, aloo paratha, puri, bhature etc.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Despite their small size, butterflies and moths are some of the World's most wondrous animals. Their beauty, seemingly miraculous metamorphosis, and apparently carefree flight all spark our imaginations.

A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea). All the many other families within the Lepidoptera are referred to as moths. The earliest known butterfly fossils date to the mid Eocene epoch, between 40–50 million years ago.

Butterflies exhibit polymorphism, mimicry and aposematism. Some, like the Monarch, will migrate over long distances. Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. Some species are pests because in their larval stages they can damage domestic crops or trees; however, some species are agents of pollination of some plants, and caterpillars of a few butterflies (e.g., Harvesters) eat harmful insects. Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.

Butterfly larvae, or caterpillars, consume plant leaves and spend practically all of their time in search of food. Although most caterpillars are herbivorous, a few species such as Spalgis epius and Liphyra brassolis are entomophagous (insect eating).

Some larvae, especially those of the Lycaenidae, form mutual associations with ants. They communicate with the ants using vibrations that are transmitted through the substrate as well as using chemical signals.[4][5] The ants provide some degree of protection to these larvae and they in turn gather honeydew secretions.

Caterpillars mature through a series of stages called instars. Near the end of each instar, the larva undergoes a process called apolysis, in which the cuticle, a tough outer layer made of a mixture of chitin and specialized proteins, is released from the softer epidermis beneath, and the epidermis begins to form a new cuticle beneath. At the end of each instar, the larva moults the old cuticle, and the new cuticle expands, before rapidly hardening and developing pigment. Development of butterfly wing patterns begins by the last larval instar.

Butterfly caterpillars have three pairs of true legs from the thoracic segments and up to 6 pairs of prolegs arising from the abdominal segments. These prolegs have rings of tiny hooks called crochets that help them grip the substrate.

Some caterpillars have the ability to inflate parts of their head to appear snake-like. Many have false eye-spots to enhance this effect. Some caterpillars have special structures called osmeteria which are everted to produce smelly chemicals. These are used in defense.

Host plants often have toxic substances in them and caterpillars are able to sequester these substances and retain them into the adult stage. This makes them unpalatable to birds and other predators. Such unpalatibility is advertised using bright red, orange, black or white warning colours, a practice known as aposematism. The toxic chemicals in plants are often evolved specifically to prevent them from being eaten by insects. Insects in turn develop countermeasures or make use of these toxins for their own survival. This "arms race" has led to the coevolution of insects and their host plants.

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is the biggest butterfly in the world, with a wingspan up to 1 ft (30 cm) wide. This rare, tropical butterfly is from a lowland coastal rainforest in New Guinea. This huge butterfly is on the US Endangered Species List. Its rainforest habitat is being reduced as oil palm plantations are created.

This enormous butterfly was named by Alfred S. Meek (in 1907) to honor Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), the Danish wife of King Edward VII of England (1841-1910).

The Zebra Swallowtail butterfly is a common butterfly with distinctive black and white markings and elongated tails on its hindwings It also has some small red and blue hindwing markings and strongly-scalloped hindwing margins. The caterpillar is yellow-green with black and yellow stripes. The Zebra Swallowtail has a wingspan of about 3.75-4.5 inches (9.5-11.5 cm).

They are called swallowtails because they have long "tails" on their hindwings which look a bit like the long, pointed tails of swallows (a type of bird).

The Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucas) is a strong flier with distinctive yellow and black striped markings on its wings and body (some females are brown or black, mimicking the poisonous pipevine swallowtail). This relatively common butterfly has a wingspan of 3.5-6.5 inches (9-16.5 cm). Southern subspecies are larger than the northern ones.

These butterflies are called swallowtails because they have long "tails" on their hindwings which look a bit like the long, pointed tails of swallows (a type of bird).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Important Wordpress Theme Tags

Use your Debit card Info Carefully

உங்கள் வங்கிக் கணக்கில் இருந்து பணத்தை உருவ உங்கள் டெபிட் கார்டு எண்ணே போதும் ..

பெங்களூருவில் உள்ள எங்கள் அலுவலகத்தில் இரண்டு வாரங்களுக்கு முன்னர் நடந்த உண்மைச் சம்பவம் இது. இதன் நாயகன் பெயர் கிரிஷ் [பெயர் மாற்றம் செய்யப் பட்டுள்ளது]. எங்கள் அலுவகத்தில் உள்ள இருநூறுக்கும் மேற்பட்ட கம்பியூட்டர்களுக்குத் தேவையான மென்பொருள், வன்பொருள், இணைய இணைப்பு எல்லாம் மேலாண்மை செய்து எந்தப் பிரச்சினை வந்த
ாலும் சமாளிக்க வேண்டியது இவருடைய பொறுப்பு. எனவே கணினியைப் பற்றிய எல்லா விஷயமும் அத்துபடி. இவருக்கு ஷேர் மார்க்கெட்டிங்கில் ஈடுபாடு அதிகம். ஷேர் பரிமாற்றம், வங்கி கணக்கு பரிமாற்றம் எல்லாம் ஆன்லைனில் செய்வதால் இவருக்கு இணைய வழி பண பரிவர்த்தனைகளும் அத்துபடி.

இந்த மாதிரி எல்லாம் நல்லா போய்கிட்டு இருந்த சமயத்தில இரண்டு வாரத்துக்கு முன்னாடி இவருக்கு ஒரு மெயில் வந்தது. அதில், நாங்கள் வருமான வரி அலுவலகத்தில [IT Department] இருந்து மெயில் அனுப்புகிறோம், நீங்கள் இந்த வருஷம் செலுத்திய வருமான வரியில் 3000 ரூபாய் உங்களுக்கு திரும்பத் தர வேண்டியிருக்கு, உங்க வங்கிக் கணக்கு அட்டையின் எண்ணை [Debit Card Number] எங்களுக்கு மெயிலில் அனுப்புங்க என்று அந்த மெயிலில் குறிப்பிடப் பட்டிருந்தது. அந்த மெயில் அனுப்புனர் [Sender] முகவரியும் ஏதோ என்பது போல சந்தேகமே வராத வகையில் இருந்தது, அதில் கொடுக்கப் பட்டிருந்த ஒரு லிங்கைச் சொடுக்கினால் நாம் வழக்கமாக இணையத்தில் வருமான வரி தாக்கல் செய்யும் [IT Returns filing site] தளத்திற்கே இட்டுச் சென்றது. ஆனால், தகவலை அங்கே பதியச் சொல்லவில்லை, இந்த மெயிலுக்கு Reply யாக அனுப்புங்கள் என்று கேட்டிருந்தார்கள்.

இங்கதான் நம்மாளுக்கு புத்தி லேசாகத் தடுமாறியது. இரண்டு விஷயத்தில் கோட்டை விட்டார். முதலில் இவர் வருமான வரி அத்தனையும் TDS முறையில் அலுவலகத்தில் பிடித்தம் செய்யப்பட்டிருந்தது, இவருக்கு தேவையான வருமான வரி விலக்குகள் போக செலுத்த வேண்டிய வருமான வரியை ஏற்கனவே அலுவலகமே வருமான வரித் துறைக்கு அனுப்பிவிட்டிருந்தது. தற்போது அவருக்கு வருமான வரித் துறையில் இருந்து எந்த பணமும் வரவேண்டிய வாய்ப்பே இல்லை. ஆனாலும் வருமான வரித் துறைக்காரன் எங்கோ கணக்குல தப்பு பண்ணியிருப்பான், வர்ற லக்ஷ்மியை வேண்டாம்னு சொல்லப்படாது என்று நண்பருக்கு மனதில் நப்பாசை வந்ததுவிட்டது.
அடுத்து முக்கியமான ஒரு விஷயத்தை அவர் கவனிக்கத் தவறினார். வருமான வரியை தாக்கல் செய்யும் படிவத்தில் நம்முடைய வங்கிக் கணக்கை கட்டாயம் தெரிவிக்க வேண்டும், அப்படியே அவர்கள் பணம் திரும்பத் தருவதாக இருந்தாலும், நேரிடையாக வங்கிக் கணக்கிற்க்கே அனுப்பி விடுவார்கள். இந்த விஷயமும் இவருக்கு பொறி தட்டவில்லை.

ஒருவேளை, பத்து மில்லியன் டாலரை உங்க பேர்ல எழுதி வச்சிட்டு சவுத் ஆப்பிரிக்காவில் ஒரு தத்தா செத்து போயிட்டாரு, அதை உங்களுக்கு அனுப்ப ஒரு ஆளை பணபெட்டியோட விமானத்தில் அனுப்பனும், அவரோட வழிச் செலவுக்கு ஒரு மூணு லட்சம் ரூபாயை இந்த அக்கவுண்டுக்கு அனுப்புங்கன்னு மெயில் வந்திருந்தா, நம்மாளு உஷாராயிருப்பாரு. இங்க அப்படி எதுவும் வரவில்லை வெறும் மூவாயிரம் ரூபாய் தான், அதுவும் இந்திய வருமான வரித்துறையில் இருந்து, கேட்டது பணத்தை அல்ல வெறும் டெபிட் கார்டு எண்ணை மட்டும்தான். அதை வைத்துக் கொண்டு என்ன செய்துவிட முடியும்?!
இப்படி பல வழியிலும் புத்தி தடுமாறி தன்னுடைய Debit Card Number ஐ மெயிலில் அனுப்பிவிட்டார். அப்புறம்தான் தலையில் இடி இறங்கியது. அடுத்த அரை மணி நேரத்தில் அவருடைய கணக்கில் இருந்து Rs. 50,000/ [ஐம்பதாயிரம் ரூபாய் தாங்க!!] உருவப் பட்டிருந்தது. உடனே அலறியடிச்சிகிட்டு நம்மாளு வங்கிக்கு தகவல் கொடுத்து தனது கணக்கை முடக்கச் சொன்னார். தலைமேல் துண்டை போட்டுக் கொண்டு புலம்பிக் கொண்டிருத்த ஆளை, எல்லோரும் ஆறுதல் சொல்லி சைபர் கிரைமுக்குத் தகவல் தெரிவித்து கம்பிளைன்ட் கொடுக்கச் சொன்னோம். அங்கே சென்ற பின்னர் தான் பணம் எப்படி உருவப் பட்டது என்ற திகைக்க வைக்கும் சங்கதி தெரிய வந்தது.

பணத்தை உருவியவர்கள் நைஜீரியாவைச் சேர்ந்தவர்கள், அவர்கள் பயன்படுத்திய சர்வர் அமெரிக்காவின் நியூஜெர்சியில் உள்ளது. அதை உலகின் எந்த மூலையில் இருந்து வேண்டுமானாலும் இயக்கலாமாம். நண்பரிடமிருந்து தகவலைப் பெற்றவுடன் தங்களது மென்பொருட்களைப் பயன்படுத்தி நண்பருடைய டெபிட் கார்டின் பின் நம்பர் என்ன [அது வெறும் நான்கு இலக்கம்தானே] என்பதை நொடியில் கண்டுபிடித்த அவர்கள் பணத்தை உருவ ஆரம்பித்தார்கள். ஒவ்வொரு முறையும் ரூ. 3700/- வீதம் அரை மணி நேரத்தில் ஐம்பதாயிரத்தை எடுத்திருக்கிறார்கள். அதென்ன கணக்கு ரூ. 3700/-? ஒரு முன்னணி செல்பேசி நிறுவனத்தின் ரீ-சார்ஜ் வவுச்சரின் அதிக பட்சத் தொகையாம் அது. அவர்கள் எடுத்த பணம் அத்தனையும் இந்த வவுச்சர்களாக மாற்றப் பட்டு, அவை மும்பையில் உள்ள சில்லறை வியாபாரிகளுக்கு குறைந்த விலையில் விற்கப் பட்டுவிட்டது. கடைக்குள் சென்று விட்டால் எது திருடிய வவுச்சர், எது நல்ல வவுச்சர் என்று தெரியாதாம். அவற்றை பலர் வாங்கி பேசியும் தீர்த்திருப்பார்களாம்.

சரி, தற்போது இழந்த பணத்துக்கு ஏதாவது வழியுண்டா? அதைப் பிடிப்பது என்பது மலையைத் தோண்டி எலியைப் பிடிக்கும் வேலை. மேலும் அதைச் செயல் படுத்தும் அளவுக்கு சாமானிய மக்களுக்கு 'பவர்' இல்லை. தற்போது நண்பர் இழந்திருப்பது மற்றவர்கள் இழந்ததைக் காட்டிலும் சிறிய தொகை. ஐந்து லட்சம், பத்து லட்சம், பதினைந்து லட்சம் என்றெல்லாம் கோட்டை விட்டவர்களும் நிறைய இருக்கிறார்களாம். இதைக் கேட்ட நண்பர் ஒரு வழியாக மனதைத் தேற்றிக் கொண்டு சகஜ நிலைக்குத் திரும்பிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்.
இதில் ஒரு முக்கியமான விஷயம், நண்பரின் அலுவலக இ-மெயில் முகவரி நைஜீரியாக் காரர்கள் கைக்கு எப்படிப் போனது? வேறெப்படி?! கண்ட கண்ட தளங்களில் தொடர்புக்கு... என்று சொல்லும் இடங்களில் எல்லாம் முகவரியைக் கொடுத்ததால்தான். இ-மெயில் முகவரியை கண்ட கண்ட பயல்களுக்குத் தராதீங்க.

எனவே, உங்க டெபிட் கார்டு நம்பரை யாருக்கும் கொடுக்காதீங்க, , உங்க ஆன்லைன் வங்கிக் கணக்கு பற்றி தகவல் [முக்கியமா பாஸ் வேர்ட்] கேட்டு எந்த இ -மெயில் வந்தாலும் உடனே டெலீட் பண்ணிடுங்க, போனில் கேட்டாலும் சொல்லாதீங்க. ஏன்னா எந்த வங்கியும் தங்கள் வாடிக்கையாளர்களிடம் வங்கிக் கணக்குகள் பற்றிய தகவல்களை மெயிலிலோ, போனிலோ ஒருபோதும் கேட்பதில்லை.
இது குறித்த அப்டேட்: 15-09-2012 SBI தனது வாடிக்கையாளர்களுக்கு SMS மூலம் பின்வரும் எச்சரிக்கை விடுத்துள்ளது.

"உங்கள் SBI வங்கிக் கணக்கை ஆன்லைனில் இயக்கும்போது உங்களுடைய SBI கார்டு குறித்த தகவல்களைக் கேட்டு பாப் அப் [Pop Up] செய்தி ஏதேனும் தோன்றினால் தங்கள் கணினி மால்வேரால் பாதிக்கப் பட்டிருக்கலாம், ஒருபோதும் அத்தகைய தகவல்களைப் பகிர வேண்டாம்"

Friday, October 05, 2012

Food as Medicine

வீட்டில் எளிதாய் கிடைக்கும் உணவுப் பொருட்களை வைத்து ஆரோக்கியமாக வாழ பழகிக்கொள்ளுங்கள்.

கொண்டைக் கடலை சுண்டல் ஒரு கப் மற்றும் 100 கிராம் தேங்காய் சாப்பிட்டு வந்தால் துத்தநாக உப்பு பெற முடியும். இது நமது கை நகங்களையும், தோலையும் ஆரோக்கியமாக வைத்திருக்க உதவும் என்று கூறப்படுகிறது.

அதேபோல் பூசணிக்காயில் உள்ள வைட்டமின் ஏ புற்று நோய் வராமல் 70 சதவீதம் பாதுகாப்பளிக்கிறது. சிறநீரக கற்கள் ஏற்படாமல் தடுக்கும் வல்லமையும் பூசணிக்காய்க்கு உண்டு.

வாழைப்பழத்தின் மருத்துவ குணம்...

எளிதில் கிடைக்கும் பழ வகைகளில் ஒன்று வாழைப்பழம். மருத்துவ குணம் நிறைந்த பழமாக வாழைப்பழம் திகழ்கிறது. ஆப்பிளில் உள்ளதை விட 4 மடங்கு கார்போ ஹைடிரேட்டும், 3 மடங்கு பாஸ்பரசும், 5 மடங்கு வைட்டமின் ஏ வும் மற்றும் இரும்புச் சத்தும் இதில் நிறைந்துள்ளன. ரத்தக் கொதிப்பை கட்டுப்படுத்தும் உப்பான பொட்டாஷியம் வாழைப்பழத்தில் ஏராளமாக அடங்கி உள்ளது. உடனடி உற்சாகத்தையும் பயனையும் தரக்கூடியது இப்பழம்.

உடலின் நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியை உறுதிப்படுத்தி தொடர்ச்சியாக காய்ச்சலில் படுப்பதை தடுக்கும் ஆற்றல் வாழைப்பழத்திற்கு உண்டு. வாழைப்பழத்தில் உள்ள இரும்புச்சத்து ரத்த சோகையையும், பொட்டாசியம் ஸ்ட்ரோக்கையும் தவிர்க்கும் வல்லமை பெற்றுள்ளது.

வாழைப்பழம் ஞாபக சக்தி, மூளையின் சக்தி அதிகரிப்பதாகவும் கண்டறியப்பட்டுள்ளது. அதேபோல் மலச்சிக்கல் ஏற்படாமல் தடுக்கும் ஆற்றலும் இவற்றிற்கு உண்டு என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

Never Be a Developer

Roshan D'Mello (QA Tester)  
Mukesh Thakur (Developer)  
Roshan D'Mello:  Hey Mukesh, there is a bug in your code. Type a text in
username text box and press enter. Beep sound doesn't appear.
Mukesh Thakur:  How can that be a bug? There is no requirement that beep
sound should come. Anyway, I will assign it to offshore and get it fixed.
 After 2 days,
Mukesh Thakur : Roshan, bug is fixed. Please verify.
After another 2 days,
Roshan D'Mello :  I have re-opened the bug because sound is not coming in
some PCs. Sound is coming in my machine, but my colleague Rajat Choudhry
is not getting the sound.

After another 2 days,
Mukesh Thakur : Not a bug. I observed that your friend Rajat Choudhry has
Old IBM machine. Unlike your DELL machine, IBM machines do not have inbuilt
speakers. So, to hear the sound in Rajat Choudhry's machine, please use
head phones and then get the bug closed soon.
Another 2 days,
Roshan D'Mello :  I have re-opened the bug because sound tone is
Different across different machines. Sound is coming as 'BEEP' in my machine, but
My colleague Rajat Choudhry who is having IBM machine is getting the sound
as 'TONG'.
Mukesh Thakur : Not a bug. Get lost man. What can we do for the bug? The
Two machines are built in such a way that they produce different sounds. Do
You expect the developers to rebuild the IBM processors to make them
Please close it.

Another 2 days,
Roshan D'Mello :  I have re-opened the bug because intensity of beep
Sound produced on 2 different DELL machines is different. My machine produces
Beep sound of intensity 10 decibels whereas my friend's machine produces
Sound worth 20 decibels. Fix your code to make the sound uniform across all
Another 2 days later,
Mukesh Thakur :  Once again it is not a bug. I have noticed that the
Volume set is different on the two machines. Ensure that volume is same in both
The machines before I get mad and then close the bug.
Another 2 days,
Roshan D'Mello :  I have re-opened the bug.
Mukesh Thakur :  What ?? Why? What more stupid reasons can be there for
Roshan D'Mello:  Sound intensity is different for machines placed at
different locations (different buildings). So, I have re-opened it.
After 2 days,
Mukesh Thakur : I have made some scientists do an acoustical analysis of
two buildings you used for testing. They have observed that the
acoustics in the two buildings varies to a large extent. That is why sound intensity
is different across the 2 buildings. So, I beg you to please close the
After 1 year
Roshan D'Mello :  I am re-opeing the bug. During the year, I requested
The clients to arrange architects to build two buildings with same
Acoustical features, so that I can test it again. Now, when I tested, I found that
intensity of sound still varying. So, I am re-opening the defect.
Mukesh Thakur : GROWLLLL.....I am really mad now. I am sure that the
Sound waves of the two buildings are getting distorted due to some background
noice or something. Now I need to waste time to prove that it is because
of background noice.
Roshan D'Mello :   No need for that. We will put the machines and run
them in vacuum and see.
Mukesh Thakur:   ??


Mukesh Thakur is now in mental asylum while Roshan D'Mello has become QA Manager.

Thanks: To my friend Kamalnath

Monday, September 24, 2012

Advanced Google Search Techniques

Most web users already know that Google provide several special commands that we can use to get more specific results back from searches.

Perhaps the most well-known of these special commands is the "key phrase" with which we place a key phrase in double quotes, for example ["Indian restaurant"] which will then only show results for that exact phrase, as opposed to typing the same query without the double quotes and getting a result-set that matches both words but not necessarily in the exact same position they were typed.

Another simple, but lesser-known command is the +inclusion command which forces the indicated word to be included in the search, for example if you mean to search for the 60s English rock band The Animals, you could type [+The Animals] to force the word The to be used as well as Animals.  The opposite to this is the  -exclusion command which will do just that, for example try searching for [-The Animals] (placing the minus sign before the word the) and you should get a list of websites about pets and beasts but not 60s rock groups!

Another of the basic commands is the OR operator. Try typing in [+the animals OR kinks] and you'll notice that the results produce just that : web pages for either key phrase: The Animals (rock group) or The Kinks.

Finally, the last of the basic commands, or operators as they are also known, is the wildcard operator which is possibly the most powerful of the basic operators and yet the easiest to use. Simply type a search phrase and replace one or more words from the phrase with the * operator, for example : [the * animals] will show results for the farm animals, the little animals, and so on.

Advanced Search Operators

The operators described above are simple, in that they perform simple operations. The main reason I wanted to write this article was to look at the more advanced search operators that Google supports, both as a point of reference for myself and hopefully a useful resource to other developers and web users. The advanced operators can be used by web developers and marketing consultants as powerful analysis tools for search engine optimisation purposes. Each of the advanced operators discussed is used with the colon (:) for example : [operator:query].

Site Restricted Search (site:)

The site restricted search operator is used to restrict a search to a specific domain or sub-domain.


The above example will list all of the pages from, this can be used by webmasters to determine how many of their websites pages are currently indexed as well as looking at competitors websites indexing.

It is possible to search specific directories too:


and combine the site operator with other keywords and operators:

Example "winter olympics"

It is even possible to use just a top-level-domain in a search:

Example olympics

The above example will only show results from domains for the keyword olympics.

Related URL Search (related:)

Related URL search will show related pages to the URL you typed. Google creates these results by first looking at the web pages that are linking to the URL you typed and then gathering other web pages that are linked to from the webpages that link to the entered URL.


The example above will show other news websites than the BBC. This operator is very useful for checking out what kind of neighbourhood your website is in, or that of your competitors.

URL Keyword Search (allinurl:) (inurl:)

Only web-pages where the keywords form part of the actual URL will be shown, this can be either the domain name itself or the directory, filename.

Example allinurl:web design london

Interesting tool for finding we bpages that are using your target keywords as part of their url.
You can also use just inurl: for single keyword searches.

Title Keyword Search (allintitle:) (intitle:)

Only web-pages where the keywords form part of the page title will be shown.

Example allintitle:web design london

As the title of a web page is perhaps one of the most important elements in search engine optimisation this can be a very useful tool for checking out who else is using your keywords.
You can also use just intitle: for single keyword searches.

Anchor Text Keyword Search (allinanchor:) (inanchor:)

The anchor text keyword search operator will show web pages to which other web pages have linked using the keyword as the anchor text of the link.

Example : allinanchor:web design london

You can also use just inanchor: for single keyword searches.

When used together with the title keyword search the combination shows websites that are almost definitely targeting the keyword you entered.

Body Text Keyword Search (allintext:) (intext:)

Only pages having the keyword contained within its body text will be shown.

Example allintext:web design london

This tool can be very useful for finding good examples of keyword distribution as Google will return the top most relevant web pages for the keyword you type.

You can also use just intext: for single keyword searches.

URL Information Search (info:)

Exactly what it says on the tin, this operator will return information about the given URL.


Can be used for quick access to information about a website or web page as well as quick links to other operators - related, link, site, etc. It is also useful to check when/if a website has been indexed.

Cached Page Search (cache:)

Shows the last copy of a web page that Google saved. In other words you can see the actual content that Google have on file exactly as their crawlers saw it.


This tool can be used to see how your website looks to a search engines.

Filetype Search (filetype:) (ext:)

Search for specific filetypes or extensions, only webpages of that type will be shown.

Example filetype:doc

Useful when used in conjuntion with other operators:

Example filetype:doc

The above example will return all word documents from the website.

Last But Not Least - Synonym Keyword Search (~)

I nearly left this one out and its one of my favourites. The synonym operator is not used with a colon (:) you just place a squiggly line (~) before the keyword and Google will return results for both the keyword AND related keywords or synonyms.

Example ~property

This example would show results for property but also other keywords that Google relates to the keyword property. The related keyword will even be highlighted in the results giving you an instant source of new keywords to use on your web pages.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ganesh Chaturthi and its importance

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesh (Ganesha), the god of wisdom and prosperity on the fourth day of the moons bright fortnight, or period from new moon in the lunar month of Bhadrapada. The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi continue for five, seven, or ten days. Some even stretch it to twenty one days, but ten the most popularly celebrated. In the tradition of the right hand path the first day is the most important. In the left hand path tradition the final day is most important.

Ganesha Chaturthi (Marathi: गणेश चतुर्थी, Konkani: चवथ, Gujarati: ગણેશ ચતુર્થી, Hindi: गणेश चतुर्थी, Malayalam: വിനായക ചതുര്‍ത്ഥി, Tamil: விநாயகர் சதுர்த்தி, Kannada: ಗಣೇಶ ಚತುರ್ಥೀ, Telugu: వినాయక చవితి), also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, also called Vinayagar in Tamil Nadu, is the Hindu festival celebrated on the occasion of birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.

The festival, also known as Ganeshotsav ("festival of Ganesha") is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).

While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Fiji.

Traditional stories tell that Lord Ganesha was created by goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva. Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door while she bathed. Lord Shiva returned and, as Ganesha didn't know him, he didn't allow him to enter. Lord Shiva became enraged, severed the head of the child and entered his house. After realizing that he had beheaded his own son, Lord Shiva fixed the head of an elephant in place of Ganesha's head. In this way, Lord Ganesha came to be depicted as the elephant-headed God.

Legend has it that Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood dough that she used for her bath and breathed life into him. Letting him stand guard at the door she went to have her bath. When her husband, Shiva returned, the child who had never seen him stopped him. Shiva severed the head of the child and entered his house. Parvati, learning that her son was dead, was distraught and asked Shiva to revive him. Shiva cut off the head of an elephant and fixed it on the body of Ganesha.

Ganesha is the god of wisdom and prosperity and is invoked before the beginning of any auspicious work by the Hindus. It is believed that for the fulfillment of one's desires, his blessing is absolutely necessary. According to the mythology, he is the son of Shiva and Parvati, brother of Kartikeya - the general of the gods, Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and Saraswati-the goddess of learning. There are numerous stories in Hindu mythology, associated with the birth of this elephant-headed god, whose vehicle is the Mooshak or rat and who loves Modaks (droplet shaped Indian sweet).

Another tale tells of how one day the Gods decided to choose their leader and a race was to be held between the brothers- Kartikeya and Ganesh. Whoever took three rounds of the earth first would be made the Ganaadhipati or the leader. Kartikeya seated on a peacock as his vehicle, started off for the test. Ganesh was given a rat, which moved swiftly. Ganesh realised that the test was not easy, but he would not disobey his father. He reverently paid obeisance to his parents and went around them three times and thus completed the test before Kartikeya. He said, " my parents pervade the whole universe and going around them, is more than going round the earth." Everybody was pleasantly surprised to hear Ganesha's logic and intelligence and hence he came to be known as the Ganaadhipati or leader, now referred to as Ganpati.

There is also a story behind the symbolic snake, rat and the singular tusk. During one of his birthdays, His mother, Parvati, cooked for him twenty-one types of delicious food and a lot of sweet porridge. Ganesha ate so much that even his big belly could not contain it. Mounting his little mouse, he embarked on his nightly rounds. His mouse suddenly stumbled upon seeing a huge snake. To adjust His belly, Ganesha put the snake on as a belt around his stomach. All of a sudden, he heard laughter emanating form the sky.

He looked up and saw the moon mocking him. Ganesha infuriated, broke off one of his tusks and hurled it at the moon. Parvati, seeing this, immediately cursed the moon that whoever looks at it on Ganesh Chaturthi will be accused of a wrong doing. The symbology behind the mouse and snake and Ganesha's big belly and its relationship to the moon on his birthday is highly philosophic. The whole cosmos is known to be the belly of Ganesha. Parvati is the primordial energy. The seven realms above, seven realms below and seven oceans, are inside the cosmic belly of Ganesha, held together by the cosmic energy (kundalini ) symbolized as a huge snake which Ganesha ties around Him. The mouse is nothing but our ego. Ganesha, using the mouse as a vehicle, exemplifies the need to control our ego. One who has controlled the ego has Ganesha consciousness or God-consciousness.

Ganesha statues installed in street corners and in homes, and elaborate arrangements are made for lighting, decoration, mirrors and the most common of flowers. Poojas (prayer services) are performed daily. The artists who make the idols of Ganesh compete with each other to make bigger and more magnificent and elegant idols. The relevantly larger ones are anything from 10 meters to 30 meters in height. These statues are then carried on decorated floats to be immersed in the sea after one, three, five, seven and ten days. Thousands of processions converge on the beaches to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This procession and immersion is accompanied by drum- beats, devotional songs and dancing.

It is still forbidden to look at the moon on that day as the moon had laughed at Ganesha when he fell from his vehicle, the rat. With the immersion of the idol amidst the chanting of "Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai!" (Hail Lord Ganesh). The festival ends with pleas to Ganesha to return the next year with chants of "Ganpati bappa morya, pudcha varshi laukar ya" (Hail Lord Ganesh, return again soon next year.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the UK by the migrant Hindu population as well as the large number of Indians residing there. The Hindu culture and Heritage Society, UK - a Southall based organisation celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi for the first time in London in 2005 at The Vishwa Hindu Temple. The Idol was immersed in the river Thames at Putney Pier. Another celebration organised by an Gujarati group has been celebrated in the Southend-on-Sea which attracts over 18000 devotees. Annual celebrations also take place on the River Mersey at Liverpool.

The festival is similarly celebrated in many locations across the world. The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, an organisation of Hindus based in the US organises many such events to mark the Hindu festivals.

In USA, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by various associations of Telugu speaking people. (Telugu Association of North America, Bay Area Telugu Association and Balaji Temples across USA.)

The Philadelphia Ganesh popularly known as PGF is the largest Sarvajanik (fully contributed by public funds) Hindu festival in North America. Since 2005 the festival is conducted every year in Bharatiya Temple, Chalfont, Pennsylvania. The 10 days are marked by processions, devotional programs, cultural events, India filmi-orchestra and a weekend carnival. While the Marathi community plays a big role in organising the festival, participation from all communities such as Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, North Indian, Bengali etc. is seen as the reason for its success and uniqueness.

In Canada, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by associations of Marathi-speaking people. (MBM in Toronto, MSBC in Vancouver, etc.)

Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mauritius dates back to 1896. The first Ganesh Chaturthi Puja was held in the 7 Cascades Valley next to Henrietta village by the Bhiwajee family who is still celebrating this pious festival for more than a century. Over the years the festival gained such popularity on the island that Mauritian government has attributed a public holiday for that day.