Friday, April 27, 2012

Tips for Blog Design

Design is the first thing that people see who visits your blog. If your design does not look nice or they find it annoying, they will surely not re-enter in your blog and keep you into oblivion. So today we bring you some basic guidelines to consider when looking for the best design for your blog:

1) Simplicity and minimalism: For the design of your blog opt for minimalism and simplicity, do not overload your blog with thousands of buttons and text, leaving spaces to create a legible space where you can see and read content with clarity and harmony. Therefore, be clear when designing your blog and be clear about the design what you want.

2) Letters legible: Use a readable font and clearer than is the right size to read the texts does not pose any extra effort for your readers and not have to strain your eyes. And please be careful with colors.

3) Colors legible do not harm to the eye: Both texts as in the header and in general, all elements of your blog, many people choose colors too bright which makes the blog unreadable and even makes us dizzy to read. We recommend using these bright colors on very specific things you want to highlight, but otherwise I recommend you opt for white, black and another color to identify with your blog. Other colors abound.

4) Simple and uncluttered Header: When you are designing graphics for your blog, note that what matters is the content, what goals in the graph is presented with which the user is going to relate so it must be clear and should read and seen clearly. I insist on clear designs that you choose and not misleading, overburden with resources and be careful while choosing graphic textures. Design your head with one photo or illustration and the name of your blog, but do not overload with textures and colorful letters.

More Tips

1. Design with the Topic, Value Proposition and Audience in Mind
Here are the three main factors that should drive design decisions for a blog:

  • What is the blog about?
  • What is the blog’s unique value?
  • Who is the audience?

Topic: What is the Blog About?
Obviously, a blog about woodworking should look like a blog about woodworking, not like a blog about parenting.

From a design standpoint, this means creating a website header design that clearly conveys the subject matter, and also selecting imagery, fonts and other design elements that have a woodworking feel about them.

We want the woodworking enthusiast to recognize this is a blog designed for him or her — without having to read a single word. Tweaking standard themes usually isn’t enough to accomplish any of this: a blog with a generic feel won’t inspire visitors to explore the content. If a blog has a high bounce rate, consider punching up the design.

Value Proposition: What is the Blog’s Unique Value?
Once the woodworker grasps the blog is about woodworking — the next question is, "Why should I read this particular blog about woodworking?"

Every blog should have a value proposition. In this case, options include tips for woodworking on a budget, tips for the master craftsman, or tips for the beginner.

Again, the blog’s value proposition should be immediately obvious in the header, and brought out in the texture of the entire design. This is a common weakness in blog design. If there is a value proposition in the header or sidebar at all, it is often overwhelmed by other design elements that compete with it for attention rather than draw attention to it.

Audience: Who is the Audience?
How would the design of a woodworking blog differ depending on whether it was geared to master craftsmen or beginners? A dense design packed with links and information would intimidate a beginner, whereas a master might dismiss a design with a grade-school feel. Using a plain, rectangular cutting board as the header image might attract the beginner, but appall the expert.

The point is to make the target visitors immediately feel at home when they land on the blog. Of course, in order to do this, the designer needs a crystal clear understanding of who the audience is, which comes back to content strategy. As a side note, no amount of design wizardry can compensate for a blog lacking in strategic focus.

2. Pay Attention to Details
With all things, the devil is in the details. Even if we get the big things right, users will have a disappointing experience if the little things are executed improperly. Here are a few design details that I hope you will agree are important to get right.

Author Attribution
Nothing is more off-putting than a blog post authored by "Admin." Blogs are a personal medium: names, and sometimes author thumbnails and bios, are crucial to establishing a human connection

Internal Search Feature
Users get frustrated if they are looking for something specific and cannot see where to search for it. A surprising number of blogs offer no internal search engine at all, or position it in a place that is harder to find than Atlantis.

Blog Excerpt
Most blog themes provide the ability to display short text snippets of posts on the blog’s home page. Snippet length and formatting should be carefully calculated; when this is not done, the blog can look like the visual equivalent of alphabet soup.

I could go on and on in this vein: seemingly minor features such as clickable titles, prominent "read more" links and image size and style consistency can make or break the blog. The main takeaway is that details are important.

3. Don’t Be Too Unorthodox: Follow Blog Design Patterns
Two places where designers should not flex their creative muscles are social buttons and subscriptions. To get users to follow on Twitter, connect on Facebook, tweet and Like posts and subscribe to the blog, the imagery and positioning of these features must be familiar.

Joining a blogger’s community should be like buying gum at the checkout counter. If users have to exert effort to join your club, conversions are going to be terrible unless your content is irresistible. But even if it is, why make life difficult? I’ve never yet heard anyone say, "I subscribed to this blog because it had a really unusual RSS button."

Social sharing buttons are tricky. If you display buttons for every social network under the sun, you may wind up confusing the visitor. On the other hand, if you only include a few networks, you may sacrifice powerful shares on networks you don’t display.

As a default, my company includes share buttons for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. If we can identify other social networks that have particular strength with a blog’s audience, we will add them as well.

I like to display share buttons at the top and bottom of the post: some people will share just on the strength of the title and never even read the post; others will read the post thoroughly and be inclined to share at the end if they really like it.

The point is this: There are certain blog design patterns that you should be implementing and maintaining on the site’s design.

4. Have the Sidebar on the Right of the Web Layout
A common blog design pattern is having a section for auxiliary content, containing things such as a short description of the blog, a search form, banner ads, a listing of top blog posts and so on. This is typically a column in the web layout and is usually narrower than the main content area column (to denote visual hierarchy). This section is often referred to as a sidebar (infrequently, it’s also called an aside).

Nothing is quite so vexing to me as a blog whose sidebar is on the left. The natural movement of our eyes is from left to right: if we want visitors to read our blog post, we want their eyes to land on it first. This idea is reinforced by usability studies done by renowned usability expert Jakob Nielsen (e.g. Horizontal Attention Leans Left).

Some bloggers opt for the left sidebar on the theory that it will lead to more ad conversions (because ad banners are typically placed in the sidebar). While monetization is a worthy blogging goal, my belief is that on a blog, ad conversions are earned by enthusiasm for a blog’s content rather than mere positioning of an ad. Putting obstacles in the way of content put obstacles in the way of monetization.

5. Image Placement and Selection Need Serious Consideration
One statement with which writers and bloggers violently agree is that images enhance the appeal of a blog. However, where images are placed makes all the difference.

Best practice is to place images at the top of a post and/or top right. Similar to the sidebar issue, we do not want images to fight with the post for attention. Rather, we want the image to reinforce the message.

Beyond image placement, using (attractively styled) captions with images is an outstanding way to reinforce messaging. Images get more initial reads than text; a strong caption entices a visitor to read the post.

Outstanding blogs have a definite strategy behind their image selection. Blogs that appeal to technical folks often rely on annotated screenshots. Blogs that appeal to a more general readership tend to choose images that arouse curiosity or convey a message humorously. Our agency blog has taken the latter route and we’ve gotten very positive feedback from our readers.

Infographics are a fabulous image strategy since they have the potential to become viral. The challenge is the time and effort to create a series of useful and captivating infographics.

6. Put Careful Consideration on Ad Placement
Internet ads are, by nature, interruption marketing. Blogs, on the other hand, are social marketing. Mixing the two is like oil and water.

Make sure you understand your audience before saturating a blog with ads — you could be inviting a nasty backlash. Ongoing split testing of ad layout and positioning is time and money well spent if ad revenue is important. (If it isn’t important — why display ads at all?)

Do not use pop-up ads because they are annoying. Avoid places where ads detract from the content.

Instead, place ads above the post title and on the sidebar. These areas are widely regarded as appropriate for advertising; even "purists" who disdain blog advertising in principle probably won’t be put off, provided, of course, that the content is good.

7. Determine What’s Appropriate: Diary or Magazine Format?
We recently switched our agency’s Internet marketing blog from diary to magazine format. Our decision included the following considerations:

The blogosphere is saturated with diary-formatted blogs, and we wanted ours to stand out from the crowd.
In general, our posts are not time-sensitive. Chronology is not especially relevant to our readers.
We wanted to do away with post snippets altogether, as they looked rather clumsy despite our best efforts. Posts displaying titles only look cleaner in a magazine layout.
The magazine format gives more emphasis to our images, which we feel are strengths of the blog and motivate visitors to read our posts.
The magazine format visually separates individual posts more strongly than the diary format, where everything tends to flow together in a continuous stream.
Hopefully our experience will help you discern which format is best for your blog project. Without doubt, there are design solutions to the difficulties we experienced using a diary format, but regardless of which way you go, all of these issues affect readability and must be dealt with somehow.

What I admire about web designers is their ability to convey complex ideas with a simple yet powerful visual. If a designer understands what a post is trying to say, and what a blog in general is trying to say, the design will get the message across — often more powerfully than words.

So I would encourage designers to always ask questions of the client, the blogger, the creative director, the project manager and whoever is involved with shaping the content strategy behind the blog.

If you have doubts about the objective of your design work, the entire success of the blog is in doubt. That’s one thing I’m certain of!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Top 5 Android Phones

This is a good time to try your hands on Android OS and check if mobile phones can do more for you.

Almost a year ago, Android phones under the Rs 10,000 category were not great enough to attract consumer attention. With sluggish performance due to myriad hardware models and delayed updates, several users preferred to wait till good Android handsets showed up in that price range.
Now we have a range of relatively powerful mobile phones that can run the latest Android OS smoothly. It is indeed very important to know the version of Android the mobile phone uses to make the best of it.

Android phones under Rs 10,000 are expected to have a feature rich package. They need to have a reasonably large capacitive touchscreen, decent processor, at least 3.2 megapixel camera and, of course, a recent version of Android OS.
Here is a list of the best mobile phones one must consider while buying a new Android phone for Rs 10,000 or less.

LG Optimus Net P690 (Rs 9,999)
Successor to the popular Optimus One, the new Optimus Net P690 has instantly been accepted as a budget friendly smartphone, mostly because the phone is a feature rich package. Optimus Net P690 has a 3.2 inch touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixel resolution and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system.

Under the slim chassis, Optimus Net houses an 800 MHz mobile processor along with 512 MB of RAM, which is a good enough combination to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread smoothly. If third party developers get interested in this device then perhaps a custom ROM with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich might be supported on it.

Supporting 3G networks, Optimus Net offers wireless connectivity via WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0 as well. LG has used a 3.15 megapixel camera at its rear for decent quality photos to be uploaded and shared on social networks.
Finally, a mobile phone with a seemingly fast processor, decent camera and capacitive touchscreen should be your best bet if you plan to spend under five figures.

Samsung Galaxy Y S5360 (Rs 7,500)
Packing a 3 inch capacitive touchscreen, the new Galaxy Y is quite popular amongst users of all ages and occupations etc. It's one of those mobile phones that come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread pre-loaded and with a flavour of TouchWiz user interface layered on it. Galaxy Y GT-S5360 mobile phone houses an 832 MHz processor to run the mobile operating system smoothly with 290 MB of RAM.

The compact candy-bar form factor makes it quite enjoyable and easy to hold. The Galaxy Y also comes in a special package - Galaxy Y Color Plus, which packs four additional inter-changeable backpanel covers, just like the Samsung Corby series phones. The Galaxy Y is kind of disappointing with a mere 2 megapixel camera at the back without any secondary camera in front.
Galaxy Y also features WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0 support. Of course, it comes with FM radio that works with an RDS and location services chip with A-GPS. Not counting the camera, this handset offers the best budget friendly Gingerbread experience.

Sony Ericsson W8 (Rs 9,300)
Sony Ericsson's Walkman series mobile phones come with the special Walkman software and audio profiles loaded in them. The new Sony Ericsson W8 features a nice 3 inch capacitive touchscreen display and Walkman branding targeted at music lovers. By default the mobile phone bundles a 4 GB microSD card for music files.

Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson's Android phone buyers have to wait for weeks to get the latest update and enjoy a smooth OS experience. W8 comes with the age old Android 2.1 Éclair operating system that is powered with a 600 MHz mobile processor and a mere 168 MB of RAM. However, this mobile does not have enough hardware muscle to run even Android 2.3 Gingerbread smoothly, let along the upcoming Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Sony Ericsson has added custom Walkman styling with the TimeScape interface, bringing a W shortcut to the top right corner of the homescreen. This smartphone supports 3G networks and also offers WiFi support for wireless internet connectivity. It is a good phone which does appear slightly over priced. If you wish for a good music experience with your favourite pair of earphones and a fancy looking mobile, W8 should be the apt choice.

Motorola Fire XT311 (Rs 8,950)
Android is indeed cumbersome to use with a Qwerty smartphone in candybar form, but if there's a capacitive touchscreen involved, the task is a wee bit easier. Motorola Fire XT311 is a Qwerty candybar phone with 2.8 inch capacitive touchscreen display supporting 240 x 320 pixel resolution.

Fire is one of the good entry level Motorola devices with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread operating system for those who wish for the fastest and best features. Under the hood, Fire XT311 houses a 600 MHz mobile processor that might appear a bit slow, but is decent enough to run the operating system with a 256 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM.
The Fire XT311 is one heck of a good looking Android smartphone. It is very different from the dual-SIM EX119 that has a minimalist design. This mobile phone promises talk time of 7 hours on 2G networks and 5 hours on 3G. Considering the healthy talk time and physical Qwerty keypad, Fire XT311 is indeed worth a try.

Micromax Superfone Lite A75 (Rs 8,900)
Micromax launched the iPhone 4-mocking Superfone with a bang and quietly slipped in the Superfone Lite, which is a stepped down version of the former model. Superfone Lite A75 comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Micromax offers a 3.75 inch capacitive touchscreen display to enjoy Gingerbread goodness to the maximum without spending more.

Under the hood, it packs a 650 MHz mobile processor and offers dual GSM SIM support with dual-standby mode. 3G and WiFi enabled, this mobile phone is expected to eat up loads of battery life and that's why the company has packed a 1300 mAh battery, which is pretty decent for a budget phone. Then again, Superfone Lite comes with just 256 MB of RAM and there would be performance as well as battery issues on dual-SIM mode.
All the above mobile phones are available in Indian markets at different rates in different regions because of the variable taxes, octroi and other charges.

Maya & Astronomy - Part I

The Maya were quite accomplished astronomers. Their primary interest, in contrast to "western" astronomers, were Zenial Passages when the Sun crossed over the Maya latitudes. On an annual basis the sun travels to its summer solstice point, or the latitude of 23-1/3 degrees north.
Most of the Maya cities were located south of this latitude, meaning that they could observe the sun directly overhead during the time that the sun was passing over their latitude. This happened twice a year, evenly spaced around the day of solstice.
The Maya could easily determine these dates, because at local noon, they cast no shadow. Zenial passage observations are possible only in the Tropics and were quite unknown to the Spanish conquistadors who descended upon the Yucatan peninsula in the 16th century. The Maya had a god to represented this position of the Sun called the Diving God. Maya Astronomy Continued

The Maya believed the Earth was flat with four corners. Each corner represented a cardinal direction. Each direction had a color: east-red; north-white; west-black; south-yellow. Green was the center.

At each corner, there was a jaguar of a different color that supported the sky. The jaguars were called bacabs.
Mayans believed the universe was divided into thirteen layers, each with its own god.
Mayans believed that four jaguars, called bacabs, held up the sky. Each had a different color.

The Milky Way
The Milky Way itself was much venerated by the Maya. They called it the World Tree, which was represented by a tall and majestic flowering tree, the Ceiba. The Milky Way was also called the Wakah Chan. Wak means "Six" or "Erect". Chan or K'an means "Four", "Serpent" or "Sky". The World Tree was erect when Sagittarius was well over the horizon. At this time the Milky Way rose up from the horizon and climbed overhead into the North. The star clouds that form the Milky Way were seen as the tree of life where all life came from.
Near Sagittarius, the center of our galaxy, where the World Tree meets the Ecliptic was given special attention by the Maya. A major element of the World Tree include the Kawak Monster, a giant head with a kin in its forehead.
This monster was also a mountain or witz monster. A sacrificial bowl on its head contains a flint blade representing sacrifice, and the Kimi glyph that represents death. The Ecliptic is sometimes represented as a bar crossing the major axis of the world tree, making a form that is similar to the Christian Cross. On top of the World Tree we find a bird that has been called, the Principal Bird deity, or Itzam Ye. There is also evidence that shows the Sun on the World Tree as it appeared to the Maya at Winter Solstice.
During the months of winter, when the so-called "Winter" Milky Way dominates the sky, it was called the "White Boned Serpent." This part of the Milky Way passed overhead at night during the dry season. It is not brilliant like the star clouds that dominate the sky North of the equator during the months of Summer, but observers at dark locations will easily see the glow. Here the Ecliptic crosses the Milky Way again, near the constellation of Gemini which was the approximate location of the Sun during Summer Solstice. It is possible that the jaws of the White-Boned Serpent were represented by the Kawak monster head.

The Maya portrayed the Ecliptic in their artwork as a Double-Headed Serpent. The ecliptic is the path of the sun in the sky which is marked by the constellations of fixed stars. Here the moon and the planets can be found because they are bound, like the Earth, to the sun.
The constellations on the ecliptic are also called the zodiac. We don't know exactly how fixed constellations on the ecliptic were seen by the Maya, but we have some idea of the order in some parts of the sky. We know there is a scorpion, which we equate with our own constellation of Scorpius, in this figure I believe they used the claws of Libra.
It has also been found that Gemini appeared to the Maya as a pig or peccary, (a nocturnal animal in the pig family.) Some other constellations on the ecliptic are identified as a jaguar, at least one serpent, a bat, a turtle, a xoc monster--that is, shark, or a sea monster.
The Pleiades were seen as the tail of the rattlesnake and is called, "Tz'ab."

Mayan Astronomy
April 5, 2000 - FOX News
Approximately one millennium before Archbishop Usher of Armagh concluded that creation occurred at 4004 B.C., the Mayans had calculated the cosmos was 90 million years old.

Like other pre-Columbian civilizations, the Maya had a profound knowledge of the sky. Their priests recorded astronomical observations and passed them down from generation to generation.
The result was an extremely accurate calendar that predicted the coming of eclipses and the revolutions of Venus to an error of one day in 6,000 years.
Only a handful of the parchments that chronicle this knowledge survived the zealous bonfires of the missionaries; those that did are now called codices. In one, for example, Venus is represented as a figure with two masks, symbolizing its appearance in the early morning and evening.
The calendar itself was divided into cycles 3 million years long, subdivided into units of 20 years, 400, 8,000 and 158,000 years. There were also subunits for marking the death and rebirth of the sun and fire. Rituals punctuated the cycles and acted like the needles of a clock, marking the passage of time.
It is difficult to talk of Mayan astronomy itself because it was truly part of a greater discipline: religion. The Mayan ball game is the perfect embodiment of this fact. Transmitted from previous local civilizations as far back as 3,000 B.C., it consisted in using hips, legs and the head to get a ball across a line or through a hoop.

Different symbols are brought together in the ball game. Archaeologists think the ball symbolized the sun and the game re-enacted its apparent orbit around the Earth. The sun was worshipped as a god and by playing the game, one became somewhat akin to the Sun-God. But the game might also have signaled a changing season, so that it served a purpose as well. Since agrarian societies require a timekeeper to regulate agricultural tasks, these rituals were vital to the Mayan society's survival.
Pre-Columbian ball courts and other buildings functioned both as religious temples and observatories. The architecture was used to define orientations and mark the passage of time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sony Ericsson Xperia S

Overall Review
Sony Xperia S is an impressive smartphone, which manages to adjust and provide almost all facilities that a high-end smartphone must come with. This device is superbly stunning and surely makes its competitors go green with envy. The smartphone is powered with Android OS 2.3 gingerbread, which would be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as the upgrade is launched. The high-speed dual core processor clocked at the speed of 1.5 GHz is terrific and is accompanied with Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon chipset and Adreno 220 GPU. SMS threading, push email, MMS, Java emulator are some of the other highlights of the phone. The 12 megapixels of rear camera along with 1.3 megapixels of secondary camera adds more charm to the camera section of the device. The 4.3 inches of LED-backlit LCD, capacitive touch-screen display is just fantastic and comes with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels, which makes Sony Xperia S a smartphone to die for. All this and more, is being offered at a very competitive price and would give a straightaway competition to big champions of mobile industry, such as Nokia, LG, Samsung, Apple, Motorola, and RIM.

User Interface and UI functionality
The Sony Xperia S sports a stunning 4.3 inches of LED-backlit LCD capacitive touch-screen display that has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. The touch sensitive controls are fabulous and it could handle up to 10 fingers of multitouch. Talking about the user interface and UI functionality, it is remarkable in its own way. The Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine is fast and the Timescape user interface provided an awesome mobile experience to the user. The screen is scratch resistant and prevents to get any minor scratches from fingers while working on the smartphone.

Multimedia features
Sony Xperia S is an Android smartphone, which is loaded with ample of features and it doesn’t lack behind in offering high-class multimedia features. The multiformat audio and video players are impressive and the facility of sending MMS, email, and push mail further add charm to the smartphone. Furthermore, this Android smartphone has Java emulator, which will allow you to install java enabled games to pass your time whenever you are bored. The stereo FM radio with RDS is another option to keep you entertained. Therefore, with plenty of multimedia features, Sony Xperia S certainly gets thumbs up in this section.

Pictures and Video quality
Everybody is well aware how important is camera in a smartphone these days and Sony Mobiles has kept this point in its mind and provided Sony Xperia S with an impressive camera feature. This Android smartphone sports a remarkable 12 megapixels rear camera with facilities like LED flash, autofocus, touch focus, 3D sweep panorama, face and smile detection and image stabilization. The camera keeps the ability to capture high quality pictures and HD videos of 1080p at the rate of 30 frames per seconds with continuous autofocus, video stabilizer and video light. To further enhance the camera department of the device, the firm has intelligently provide the phone with a 1.3 megapixels of secondary snapper that helps the user to click crystal clear self-portraits and record 720p videos at 30 frames per second speed. The user will also be allowed to make video calls via secondary camera with utmost ease and convenience.

 Internet support
Today’s youth surely wants internet access on the go; therefore it is absolutely important that they are offered high end internet support in their smartphones. Sony Xperia S is an Android smartphone, which not only comes with exclusive camera and multimedia features, but also features better internet support. Starting with the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA which is accompanied with GPRS and EDGE support and A-GPRS support is what further makes the device more enhanced and improved. The presence of HTML5 Adobe flash support browser makes the internet browsing experience of Xperia S notable and unique. For high speed data transmission, the smartphone sports Bluetooth, microUSB port and Near Field Communication or better known as NFC.

Internal and External Memory
With such a high-quality camera, it also important that the smartphone offers sufficient amount of storage space to store the pictures and video captured from the device. And Sony Xperia S does well in this department. This Android smartphone sports a whopping 32 GB of internal memory space along with 1 GB of RAM. However, there is no microSD card slot provided, but with inbuilt storage of 32 GB, this could be excused.

 Applications and Gaming
Besides a smart camera, high-end connectivity features, it is essential for an Android smartphone to have gaming and applications that could entertain the users along with providing utility features. Being an Android device, Sony Xperia S provides the user a complete access to Android market from where the user can download practically unlimited games and useful application depending on the need of it. Android market has about thousands of games and apps that will make your phone much more fun.

Battery Backup
Sony Xperia S features a standard Li-Ion battery of 1750 mAh that promises to provide a standby time of up to 450 hours in 2G and up to 420 hours in 3G accompanied with a continuous talk time of up to 7 hours and 30 minutes in 2G and 8 hours and 30 minutes in 3G. The battery is also capable of providing a nonstop music playback for about 25 hours, which certainly is impressive.

Connectivity Offered
Sony Xperia S comes with notable connectivity features that allow the user to transfer data with high speed and utmost ease. Starting with near field communication or better known as NFC, the device will allow transferring data to other NFC devices within seconds. The presence of Bluetooth and microUSB port further add more charm to the connectivity features of Sony Xperia S.

Sony Xperia S is one of the most striking and astounding Android devices from Sony’s stable. It has got almost everything that an Android smartphone should possess. The phone gives out a tough competition to other smartphones, which comprise of Apple iPhone 4S, Nokia Lumia 910, Nokia Lumia 800, Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola RAZR, Samsung Galaxy Note and the list goes on and on.

India's Agni-V Tested Successfully

Agni-V is a solid fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile under development by DRDO of India. It will greatly expand India's reach to strike targets well beyond 5,500 km away. On 19 April 2012 at 8.07 am, the Agni V was successfully test-fired by DRDO from Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa.

The test launch was made from the Launch Complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island using a rail mobile launcher. The flight time lasted 20 minutes and the third stage fired the re-entry vehicle into the atmosphere at an altitude of 100 km. The missile re-entry vehicle subsequently impacted the pre-designated target point more than 5,000 km away in the Indian Ocean.[23] The director of the test range, S.P. Das informed BBC that all test parameters were met.

Following the launch, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated the DRDO by issuing a statement: "I congratulate all the scientific and technical personnel of the DRDO and other organisations who have worked tirelessly in our endeavour to strengthen the defence and security of our country. Today's successful Agni-V test launch represents another milestone in our quest to add to the credibility of our security and preparedness and to continuously explore the frontiers of science. The nation stands together in honouring the scientific community who have done the country proud." The Defence Minister A.K. Antony also congratulated the DRDO chief Dr. V.K. Saraswat and DRDO team including its project director Dr. Avinash Chander and said that " the immaculate success of the Agni-5 is a major milestone in the country's missile research and development programme."

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen noted in the context of the launch that NATO does not consider India as a missile threat to NATO allies or territory.

China reacted very negatively to the launch success. In the state-run Chinese newspaper Global Times, China denounced India's advancement in missile technology, calling it a "missile delusion" and commenting that India was "still poor and lags behind in infrastructure construction, but its society is highly supportive of developing nuclear power and the West chooses to overlook India’s disregard of nuclear and missile control treaties." China claimed that India viewed China as a benchmark for military development, and further stated: "China understands the Indian desire to catch up with China. China, as the most appropriate strategic target for India, is willing to take India as a peaceful competitor." China made several threats and warnings in the report as well, "advising" India not to "over-estimate its strength", and insisting that China's nuclear power was "stronger and more reliable". China subsequently claimed that, "For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China. If it [India] equates long range strategic missiles with deterrence of China, and stirs up further hostility, it could be sorely mistaken."

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that they did not think India was a missile threat, nor a threat to NATO and its allies, despite India's advancement in missile technology. The United States of America commended India and refuted China's claims, saying that India boasted of an excellent non-proliferation record and that it had engaged with the international community on such issues. Pakistani websites and news agencies were reportedly "flooded" with the news of the successful launch; however, no official statement has been released yet

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Android 4.0 Ice Cream - Sony Xperia

Sony offers Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update for Xperia Smartphones

Sony has recently announced that it has started rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for Xperia Series 2011 smartphones. Sony Xperia Ray, Neo V and Xperia Arc S are the first devices to taste Android ICS 4.0. Sony has planned to release ICS update for earlier devices in May or June.

Sony stated in its blog that “The update will firstly available for Xperia Neo V, Arc S and Ray for the users in Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The software release will continue over the 4-6 weeks, becoming available in rest countries. More update will be posted on this blog.”

Users have to update their Smartphones by connecting to PC or Mac, as Sony has not yet released over-the-air update facility. More details are posted on the official update page of Sony here –

Giving information on the timing of the latest Android OS, Sony Developers also said that Android ICS 4.0 could be less steady on the Xperia 2011 series smartphones compared to previous version Android Gingerbread OS.

Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Mini & Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active, Xperia Neo and Sony Ericsson live with Walkman will get latest OS upgrade by May/June, according to the Sony.

The latest update is very important to revamp of some of your phone’s features, we want to make sure you take mindful and conversant choice to upgrade to the latest ICS version. We want you to enjoy best experience from Xperia smartphones, Sony added.

If you are in the list of early 2011 smartphones, please wait for the right release for you. And 2011 series Xperia owners can update using their Sony PC companion.

The Lines of Nazca Peru

A giant monkey biomorph on the Nasca desert plain. (© Jarnogz &
In the Peruvian Desert, about 200 miles south of Lima, there lies a plain between the Inca and Nazca (sometimes also spelled Nasca) Valleys. Across this plain, in an area measuring 37 miles long and 1-mile wide, is an assortment of perfectly-straight lines, many running parallel, others intersecting, forming a grand geometric form. In and around the lines there are also trapezoidal zones, strange symbols, and pictures of birds and beasts all etched on a giant scale that can only be appreciated from the sky.
The figures come in two types: biomorphs and geoglyphs. The biomorphs are some 70 animal and plant figures that include a spider, hummingbird, monkey and a 1,000-foot-long pelican. The biomorphs are grouped together in one area on the plain. Some archaeologists believe they were constructed around 200 BC, about 500 years before the geoglyphs.
There are about 900 geoglyphs on the plain. Geoglyphs are geometric forms that include straight lines, triangles, spirals, circles and trapezoids. They are enormous in size. The longest straight line goes nine miles across the plain.

A Nasca trapezoid, looking like a runway, seems to invite the observation aircraft to land. (Photo courtesy of Michael J. Way. Copyright Michael J. Way)

Discovery and Meaning
Though discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe who spotted them while hiking through the surrounding foothills in 1927, the forms are so difficult to see from the ground that they were not widely known until the 1930's when aircraft spotted them while surveying for water. The plain, crisscrossed, by these giant lines with many forming rectangles, has a striking resemblance to a modern airport. The Swiss writer, Erich von Daniken, even suggested they had been built for the convenience of ancient visitors from space to land their ships. As tempting as it might be to subscribe to this theory, the desert floor at Nazca is soft earth and loose stone, not tarmac, and would not support the landing wheels of either an aircraft or a flying saucer.
So why are the lines there? The American explorer Paul Kosok, who made his first visit to Nazca in the 1940s, suggested that the lines were astronomically significant and that the plain acted as a giant observatory. He called them "the largest astronomy book in the world." Gerald Hawkins, an American astronomer, tested this theory in 1968 by feeding the position of a sample of lines into a computer and having a program calculate how many lines coincided with an important astronomical event. Hawkins showed the number of lines that were astronomically significant were only about the same number that would be the result of pure chance. This makes it seem unlikely Nazca is an observatory.
The Nasca lines were created by clearing the darkened pampa stones to either side and exposing the lighter sand underneath. (Photo courtesy of Michael J. Way. Copyright Michael J. Way)
Perhaps the best theory for the lines and symbols belongs to Tony Morrison, the English explorer. By researching the old folk ways of the people of the Andes mountains, Morrison discovered a tradition of wayside shrines linked by straight pathways. The faithful would move from shrine to shrine praying and meditating. Often the shrine was as simple as a small pile of stones. Morrison suggests that the lines at Nazca were similar in purpose and on a vast scale. The symbols may have also served as special enclosures for religious ceremonies.
Construction of the Lines
How were they built? The lines were apparently made by brushing away the reddish, iron oxide covered pebbles that compose the desert surface and uncovering the white colored sand underneath. In most places wind, rain and erosion would quickly remove all traces of this within a few years. At Nazca, though, the lines have been preserved because it is such a windless, dry and isolated location.
A writer by the name of Jim Woodman believes that the lines and figures could not have been made without somebody in the air to direct the operations. "You simply can't see anything from ground level," states Woodman. "You can't appreciate any of it from anywhere except from above. You can't tell me the Nazca builders would have gone to the monumental efforts they did without ever being able to see it."
Woodman has proposed that ancient hot-air balloons were used to get an aerial view of the construction. To prove his hypothesis, Woodman constructed a balloon using materials that would have been available to the Nazca people. He was able to conduct a successful flight, though it only lasted two minutes.
A killer whale can plainly be seen in this biomorph.(© Jarnogz &

Most researchers are extremely skeptical of Woodman's conclusions, however, as they find little evidence in the remains left by the Nazca of any balloon construction or operation.
It is more likely that the Nazca people used simple surveying techniques in their work. Straight lines can be made easily for great distances with simple tools. Two wooden stakes placed as a straight line would be used to guide the placement of a third stake along the line. One person would sight along the first two stakes and instruct a second person in the placement of the new stake. This could be repeated as many times as needed to make an almost perfectly-straight line miles in length. Evidence that the line makers used this technique exists in the form of the remains of a few stakes found at the ends of some of the lines.
The symbols were probably made by drawing the desired figure at some reasonable size, then using a grid system to divide it up. The symbol could then be redrawn at full scale by recreating the grid on the ground and working on each individual square one at a time.
Related to Water?
Recently two researchers, David Johnson and Steve Mabee, have advanced a theory that the geoglyphs may be related to water. The Nazca plain is one of the driest places on Earth, getting less than one inch of rain a year. Johnson, while looking for sources of water in the region, noticed that ancient aqueducts, called puquios, seemed to be connected with some of the lines. Johnson thinks that the shapes may be a giant map of the underground water sources traced on the land. Mabee is working to gather evidence that might confirm this theory.
This figure appears to be a giant spider. (© Jarnogz &

Other scientists are more skeptical, but admit that in a region where finding water was vital to survival, there might well be some connection between the ceremonial purpose of the lines and water. Johan Reinhard, a cultural anthropologist with the National Geographic Society, found that villagers in Bolivia walk along a straight pathway to shrines while praying and dancing for rain. Something similar may have been done at the ancient Nazca lines.
Human Sacrifice
A recently discovered headless body suggests that human sacrifice was used by the Nazca people in religion ceremonies. "Human sacrifice and decapitation were part of powerful rituals that would have allayed fears by invoking the ancestors to ensure fertility and the continuation of Nasca society," wrote Christina Conlee of Texas State University in an article in Current Anthropology. "The decapitation of the La Tiza individual appears to have been part of a ritual associated with ensuring agricultural fertility and the continuation of life and rebirth of the community." The body is one of eight found in the Nazca area, buried seated with no head. A ceramic jar painted with an image of a head was found next to the remains. The head on the jar has a tree with eyes growing out of it, making it seem likely that the sacrifice was part of a fertility ceremony.

A giant bird biomorph on the Nasca desert plain. (© Jarnogz &

What was done with the heads of the victims? The Nazca were known to collect "Trophy Heads." The Nazca removed the brain and soft tissue from the skulls, sewed the lips closed with cactus spines and drilled a hole through the forehead to accommodate a loop of woven rope. The heads were then hung on the ropes for display. Originally these were considered to be war trophies collected from distant tribes, but recent DNA analysis shows that the heads came from the Nazca population itself, suggesting that the motive was religious in nature.
Other South American Lines and Figures
The lines at Nazca aren't the only landscape figures South America boasts. About 850 miles south of the plain is the largest human figure in the world laid out upon the side of Solitary Mountain in Chile. The Giant of Atacama stands 393 feet high and is surrounded by lines similar to those at Nazca.
Along the Pacific Coast in the foothills of the Andes Mountains is etched a figure resembling a giant candelabrum. Further south, Sierra Pintada, which means "the painted mountain" in Spanish, is covered with vast pictures including spirals, circles, warriors and a condor. Archaeologists speculate that these figures, clearly visible from the ground, served as guideposts for Inca traders.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mayan Predictions and 13 Crystal Skulls

December 21st marks the countdown to what ancient prophecies term "the end of time", which many interpret to mean the end of the world - or at least, the end of the world as we know it. While there is much speculation and predictions regarding the events that will actually transpire, the impending end of the Mayan Calendar is building a momentum among the masses similar to the dreaded anticipation that we witnessed as the world approached the milestone year 2000 (remember Y2K?).

The current economic chaos and global meltdown may be precursors to the transition leading up to December 21, 2012, the day that the 5,125 year-old Mayan calendar suddenly comes to an end, resetting to But what will be the catalyst? Some believe we will experience a polar shift, as has happened on Earth before. Others predict the impact of a great meteor or asteroid, which has also catastrophically occurred before. Or could it be the result of increasing global warming, or the reduction of the earth's magnetic field (which has already begun), or the extinction of too many species, or could it be global Armageddon brought on by man's incessant greed triggering war and destruction? Whatever the cause, in the three years leading up to this imminent global endtime, there must be some hope. Is it possible that ancient civilizations may have left us clues for our survival?

The Mayan calendar is based on advanced astronomical knowledge - the ancient Mayans studied the stars and were extremely proficient mathematicians. We tend think of ancient cultures as being somewhat primitive, but modern science has yet to truly explain how the pyramids were built, how or why the Nazca lines were created, or how the ancients built great stone structures all over the world, like Stonehenge, Macchu Picchu, or the monoliths on Easter Island.

The ancient people had knowledge and wisdom that has been lost to us today, but what if they had some form of ancient computer in which they stored their secrets for others to unlock at some time in the future? Could that time be now? And could it be possible that crystal skulls might be the computers that the ancients used as receptacles for this wisdom and knowledge? Some may scoff at this idea, but if someone thousands of years from now found a laptop computer, would he know what it is or recognize the vast amount of information that it contains, and would he know how to access that information?

Computers are powered by quartz crystal - in fact, quartz crystals run our modern technological world: cell phones, televisions, radios, lasers, ultrasound, etc. Crystals are even the heartbeat of time itself in all quartz watches and clocks. Quartz is not only a source of power and energy, but it is also capable of storing information. A computer is powered by a tiny chip of quartz crystal that holds all of its memory - just imagine what a quartz crystal weighing 10 or 20 pounds could contain.

Why would the ancients fashion such a computer into the form of a skull? Not because the skull represents death, but because we could recognize that the skull is the vessel that contains consciousness, wisdom, knowledge and thought. Could it be possible that the crystal skulls may contain clues that the ancients left for us to guide us through these times? If so, then it is now up to us to find a way to retrieve the data contained within them. If, indeed, we have to decipher some kind of code for humanity's survival, we have 3 years to figure it out.

Many believe that the re-emergence of the crystal skulls is linked with the Mayan Prophecies. Websites such as explore various theories about crystal skulls. Legends regarding 13 crystal skulls are shared by indigenous cultures around the world, from the Mayans, to the Navajo, to the Tibetans. These crystal skulls are purported to assist humanity in the transitional times to come leading up to December 21, 2012. With the countdown under way, perhaps the key to our survival is to open our mind.

First Aid for Snake Bite

If a snake bites your child, for goodness' sake, don't get inspired by Hindi movies and start sucking venom from the wound!  There's a lot else you can do to prevent the poison from spreading and reaching the heart. 
  • Try and get a good look at the snake. This would help the doctor identify it, and treat the bite accordingly. 
  • Get your child away from the snake and try to calm her down. 
  • Make her lie down on a bed or mattress. 
  • She should move as little as possible. The more she moves, the quicker the venom will spread through the body. 
  • It is important to remember that most snakes are not poisonous, and it is likely that your child has been bitten by a non-poisonous snake.  However, if fang marks are visible, the snake was probably of the poisonous variety.
  • Keep the bitten limb below the level of the heart. This slows down the spread of the poison to the heart. So if your child has been bitten on the leg, she could lie down with her leg on a lower level than the mattress, perhaps on a stool. 
  • Some advise that you should wash the bite with soap and water, and then apply an antiseptic, while others advise that it is better not to wash the bite. The doctor will be able to treat your child much better if he has traces of the venom. It is a good idea to wipe the area clean with an antiseptic and retain the wipe for venom traces. 
  • Don't apply ice to the bite. 
  • Tie a band or cloth about two inches away from the wound. If there has been swelling, tie the band about two inches from the swelling. 
  • The band should be at least an inch thick, and it should be tied within 20 minutes of the bite, if it is to have any effect. 
  • The band should be firm and tight, but not so tight that it completely blocks blood flow. A good rule of thumb is that the bandage should be loose enough for a finger to slip through. 
  • Keep bandaging as much of the area as possible, depending on the amount of bandage you have. You could even bandage around the torso to prevent any poison which may have already started to move towards the heart. 
  • As far as possible, DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD WALK. Remember, the limb should be moved as little as possible. 
  • Get your child to a hospital as soon as possible. 
The most important points to remember in a snake bite is to immobilise the limb and keep it below the level of the heart before getting  the child to a hospital.  
If your child has been bitten by any other animal like a dog or spider, the first aid is relatively the same in either case. Wash the wound with soap and water and apply an antiseptic. Always contact a doctor, whether the bite is big or small, if swelling occurs, the wound gets worse or if your child develops fever. If your child gets bitten by a tick, don't squeeze the tick while removing it, as this causes the tick to secrete further bacteria.

Snake bites - Overview

  • Overview
  • Symptom
  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • All Information

Alternative Names

Bites - snakes

Definition of Snake bites:

Snake bites occur when a snake bites the skin, and are medical emergencies if the snake is poisonous.


Snake bites can be deadly if not treated quickly. Children are at higher risk for death or serious complications due to snake bites because of their smaller body size.
The right antivenom can save a person's life. Getting to an emergency room as quickly as possible is very important. If properly treated, many snake bites will not have serious effects.


Poisonous snake bites include bites by any of the following:
  • Cobra
  • Copperhead
  • Coral snake
  • Cottonmouth (water moccasin)
  • Rattlesnake
  • Various snakes found at zoos
All snakes will bite when threatened or surprised, but most will usually avoid people if possible and only bite as a last resort.
Snakes found in and near water are often mistaken as being poisonous. Most species of snake are harmless and many bites are not life-threatening, but unless you are absolutely sure that you know the species, treat it seriously.
Snake bite on the finger
Snake bite on the finger
Snake bite on the finger
Snake bite on the finger
Snake bite
Snake bite
Poisonous snakes - series
Poisonous snakes - series
Snakebite (poison) treatment - series
Snakebite (poison) treatment - series


  1. allow bite to bleed freely for one minute
  2. remove constrictive clothing, shoes, watch or rings
  3. cleanse/disinfect bite thoroughly if possible for 30 seconds
  4. apply hard direct pressure with gauze pad over bite area
  5. strap pad tightly in place with adhesive tape
  6. soak gauze pad w/BETADINE if possible before application
  7. wrap affected extremity with 2"-3" elastic bandaging
  8. wrap as tightly as one would for a sprain
  9. keep affected extremity positioned at or as close to heart level as possible
  10. immobilize affected extremity; use a splint if possible
  11. get medical attention as soon as possible. In India, anti snake venom serum is available at most public hospitals.
  12. identify (and/or kill & bring) offending species of snake ONLY if safe to do so


  1. Don't eat or drink anything
  2. Don't engage in strenuous physical activity
  3. Don't cut or incise bite marks; do not apply oral suction to bite
  4. Don't take alcoholic beverage or any medication
  5. Don't delay seeking medical attention
  6. Don't apply cold or hot packs or a constrictive tourniquet
  7. Don't apply electric shock of any kind
  8. Do not remove dressings/elastic wrap until arrival at hospital

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tsunami and the cause

At a magnitude of 8.6, yesterday's earthquake off the Indonesian province of Aceh was one of the largest ever recorded.
Yet the massive tremor, which was followed by an 8.2-magnitude aftershock, did not cause a severe tsunami such as the one on December 26, 2004, which devastated countries around the Indian Ocean and killed more than 200,000.

So what is the difference?
Seismologists said it was all about the horizontal and vertical movements of the sea floors and where the quake took place.
Earthquakes usually encompass three types of motions - normal faulting, reverse faulting and strike strip faulting, Wayne Peck, a senior seismologist at the Seismology Research Centre in Melbourne, said.

Yesterday's quake was a strike strip, caused by a horizontal movement of the sea bed at a fault in the Indo-Australian plate, while the 2004 tsunami, sparked by a 9.1-magnitude tremor, was generated by a vertical movement that displaced water, he said.
"If you imagine you are standing in a perfectly circular pool with a flat floor, to generate a really large earthquake the best way is to have one half of it pop up vertically by six inches while the other half remains stationary. That would generate a large wave in the pool," Mr Peck said.
"If you have a floor that tears right up in the middle and your right foot is on one side of the tear and your left foot is on the other side of the tear, and your feet move so that you end up with your right foot in front of your left foot with no vertical difference, then there's not going to be any wave generated by that motion."
The quake also took place within a plate, rather than at the boundary of two plates, senior research seismologist Gary Gibson of the University of Melbourne said.
"This time, we were lucky. It didn't happen on the main plate boundary on the Australia-India plate and the Asian plate, like the Boxing Day one did. It happened on a major crack in the Australia-India plate, well to the south-west of Sumatra," Dr Gibson told ABC Radio 702.

But its size took seismologists by surprise, he added.
"This is the largest earthquake that hasn't happened on one of the main plate boundaries ever. The previous largest was between Australia and New Zealand 15 years ago and back in 1957 in Mongolia."
While a recent spate of strong tremors - the 8.8-magnitude quake in Chile and the 7.0-magnitude quake in Haiti in 2010, and the 9.0-magnitude Japan quake and the 6.3-magnitude Christchurch quake last year - appeared to suggest that there have been an increase in earthquake activity, researchers said data showed there was no change.
A study by Peter Shearer and Philip Stark of the University of California last year found there was "little evidence that the global threat of earthquake occurrence has changed in areas far from recent activity".
But they added that the current threat of large earthquakes was "above its long-term average in regions like Sumatra, Chile, and Japan".
Mr Peck said other factors, such as the exponential growth of the human population and the improved recording of tremors, also played a part.

What Cause Tsunamis?

Tsunamis, also called seismic sea waves or, incorrectly, tidal waves, generally are caused by earthquakes, less commonly by submarine landslides, infrequently by submarine volcanic eruptions and very rarely by a large meteorite impact in the ocean. Submarine volcanic eruptions have the potential to produce truly awesome tsunami waves. The Great Krakatau Volcanic Eruption of 1883 generated giant waves reaching heights of 125 feet above sea-level, killing thousands of people and wiping out numerous coastal villages.

The 1992 Nicaragua tsunami may have been the result of a "slow" earthquake comprised of very long-period movement occurring beneath the sea floor. This earthquake generated a devastating tsunami with localized damage to coastal communities in Nicaragua.

Not all earthquakes generate tsunamis. To generate tsunamis, earthquakes must occur underneath or near the ocean, be large and create movements in the sea floor. All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Pacific Ocean there is a much more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along the margins of the Pacific Ocean.

Ring of Fire

About two-thirds of the earth is covered by the waters of the four oceans. The Pacific Ocean is the world's largest, covering more than one third of the total surface area of our planet. The Pacific Ocean is surrounded by a series of mountain chains, deep ocean trenches and island arcs, sometimes called a "ring of fire." The great size of the Pacific Ocean and the large earthquakes associated with the "ring of fire" combine to produce deadly tsunamis.

In less than a day, these tsunamis can travel from one side of the Pacific to the other. However, people living near areas where large earthquakes occur may find that the tsunami waves will reach their shores within minutes of the earthquake. For these reasons, the tsunami threat to many areas (Alaska, the Philippines, Japan or the U.S. West Coast) can be immediate (for tsunamis from nearby earthquakes taking only a few minutes to reach coastal areas) or less urgent (for tsunamis from distant earthquakes taking from 3 to 22 hours to reach coastal areas).

Earth and Earthquakes

The continents and sea floor that cover the earth's surface are part of a world-wide system of plates that are in motion. These motions are very slow, only an inch or two per year. Earthquakes occur where the edges of plates run into one another. Such edges are called fault lines or faults. Sometimes the forces along faults can build-up over long periods of time so that when the rocks finally break an earthquake occurs. Examples of features produced by forces released along plate edge faults are the Andes Mountains in South America (on land) and the Aleutian Trench near Alaska (under water). When powerful, rapid faulting occurs underneath or near the ocean, a large earthquake is produced and, possibly, a tsunami.

The deep ocean trenches off the coasts of Alaska, the Kuril Islands, Russia,, and South America are well known for their violent underwater earthquakes and as the source area for destructive Pacific-wide tsunamis.

The tsunami generating process is more complicated than a sudden push against the column of ocean water. The earthquake's magnitude and depth, water depth in the region of tsunami generation, the amount of vertical motion of the sea floor, the velocity of such motion, whether there is coincident slumping of sediments and the efficiency with which energy is transferred from the earth's crust to ocean water are all part of the generation mechanism.

Tsunamis on the Move

Wave Height and Water Depth

In the open ocean a tsunami is less than a few feet high at the surface, but its wave height increases rapidly in shallow water. Tsunamis wave energy extends from the surface to the bottom in the deepest waters. As the tsunami attacks the coastline, the wave energy is compressed into a much shorter distance creating destructive, live-threatening waves.

In the deep ocean, destructive tsunamis can be small--often only a few feet or less in height--and cannot be seen nor can they be felt by ships. But, as the tsunami reaches shallower coastal waters, wave height can increase rapidly. Sometimes, coastal waters are drawn out into the ocean just before the tsunami strikes. When this occurs, more shoreline may be exposed than even at the lowest tide. This major withdrawal of the sea should be taken as a warning of the tsunami waves that will follow.

Pacific-Wide and Local Tsunamis

The last large tsunami that caused widespread death and destruction throughout the Pacific was generated by an earthquake located off the coast of Chile in 1960. It caused loss of life and property damage not only along the Chile coast but in Hawaii and as far away as Japan. The Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 produced deadly tsunami waves in Alaska, Oregon and California.

In July 1993, a tsunami generated in the East Sea killed over 120 peoples in Japan. Damage also occurred in Korea and Russia but not in other countries since the tsunami wave energy was confined within the Sea of Japan. The 1993 Sea of Japan tsunami is known as a "local event" since its impact was confined to the nearby regional area in the proximity of the earthquake that generated the tsunami. For people living along the northwestern coast of Japan, the tsunami waves followed the earthquake within a few minutes. Local tsunamis also occurred in Nicaragua (1992), Indonesia (1992, 1994) and the Philippines (1994) killing thousands of people. Scientific studies indicate that local tsunamis generated off the northern California, Oregon and Washington coast can arrive within five to 30 minutes after the earthquake is felt.

How Fast?

Where the ocean is over 20,000 feet deep, unnoticed tsunami waves can travel at the speed of a commercial jet plane, nearly 600 miles per hour. They can move from one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other in less than a day. This great speed makes it important to be aware of the tsunami as soon as it is generated. Scientists can predict when a tsunami will arrive since the speed of the waves varies with the square root of the water depth. Tsunamis travel much slower in shallower coastal waters where their wave heights begin to increase dramatically.

How Big?

Offshore and coastal features can determine the size and impact of tsunami waves. Reefs, bays, entrances to rivers, undersea features and the slop of the beach all help to modify the tsunami as it attacks the coastline. When the tsunami reaches the coast and moves inland, the water level can rise many feet. In extreme cases, water level has risen to more than 50 feet for tsunamis of distant origin and over 100 feet for tsunami waves generated near the earthquake's epicenter. The first wave may not be the largest in the series of waves. One coastal community may see no damaging wave activity while in another community destructive waves can be large and violent. The flooding can extend inland by 1000 feet or more, covering large expanses of land with water and debris.

How Frequent?

Since scientists cannot predict when earthquakes will occur, they cannot determine exactly when a tsunami will be generated. However, by looking at past historical tsunamis, scientists know where tsunamis are most likely to be generated. Past tsunami height measurements are useful in predicting future tsunami impact and flooding limits at specific coastal locations and communities. Historical tsunami research may prove helpful in analyzing the frequency of occurrence of tsunamis and their relationship to large earthquakes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ways to Relax

Here are some ways to relax mentioned as under:-
Stop ALL.

To get relaxation go some silent place and be alone. Stop doing all works, sit back in relax position, switch off all lights, radio, TV, Computer and any sounding/flickering equipment. Now stop thinking and try to empty your mind from all thoughts. And stop your physical movements.  Keep your eyes closed. Spend as much time as u can, to get relaxation and visit the place when you fell boring and exhausted.
Gardening is very useful hobby for relaxation. Sow seeds and grow plants in your lawn. You will enjoy and feel relaxation while cutting, watering plants and to see the flowers attracting you by their fragrance.

Letter writing
In this busy society friendly letter writing has been reduced as other fastest means of communication has taken its place. But you can enjoy if you write a letter to your friend and give your friend a joy by receiving hand written letter from you. Writing some letter also increases the ability to compose your thoughts and to decide. Not only you can share your thoughts with your friend by letter writing but also it is a documentary goodwill for your dearest ones.

Yoga Exercises
Some breathing exercises can relax you during daily business if you don’t spare time for any mood changing environment. Come out, get air in your lungs, up to fullness of diaphragm and release it slowly. By doing such exercise frequently you inhale abundance of oxygen giving you relaxation physically and mentally.

Room Changes
Some ladies have to spend most of the time at home with their numerous daily routine jobs in some societies. She can change their environment by re-arranging the room, setting of furniture, placement of decoration pieces and other house hold items.

Out-door Picnic
Arrange an out door picnic with your family, friends or dearest ones. You will find great relaxation after picnic and whole day activities. Open environment with laugh and pleasure, joking and having company of your dearest ones makes you happy, fresh and energetic. If you are lacking in good relations; try to forgive your relatives and friends for their mistakes, you will win their hearts and a real joy in you life. Forgiveness gives happiness and curb depression.

Play with children
Be child with children and play to relax you. You can play so many games with children and you will feel change in your gloomy mood and great help in order to get rid of sorrows. The company of innocent children boosts up your morale. Touching and hugging the innocents gives a sense of pleasure and relaxation. As human touch have an effect to lower mental tensions and depression.

Five Techniques to Relax and Focus Your Mind 

Technique One:  Breathe Slowly.
Begin by inhaling a deep breath through your nose and as you slowly exhale through your mouth, mentally repeating the word “relax.” Repeat these three or four times. You can say the word, “relax” out loud at first, but then practice silently repeating the word, like a mantra.  Next focus your awareness on what has captured your attention.  What are you thinking or worrying about?  Is your mind in the past or the future?  Are you thinking about someone in particular?  Explore what has captured your attention and then repeat the breathing exercise above to release it with your exhale.

Tip: You can visualize that as you exhale, you are breathing out the thoughts and feelings from your mind through your mouth, like bubbles floating off into the distance

Technique Two:  Write. 
This exercise will help you gain clarity and perspective. Find some paper and write down your thoughts. This will help you slow down your thinking and release what’s “on your mind”.    As you write, remind yourself… “I have these thoughts… I am not my thoughts; I have these feelings… I am not my feelings.”  Let the words flow out of you and write them down without editing or being concerned with grammar or spelling.

To clear your consciousness fast express in writing what’s on your mind. Then take these papers and destroy them. Tear them up and throw them away, flush them down the toilet or burn them. You want to destroy the writing with gusto and intensity. Mentally tell yourself, “I am letting go of these thoughts and feelings. I am freeing my mind.”  This technique is great for insomnia, on restless nights, like I described above.

Tip: An important fact, you can not write as fast as you can think, so when you write down your thoughts you will slow down your thinking automatically. This is one of the benefits of journaling and why it is considered a meditative experience. It slows your mind down and focuses your attention quickly.

Technique Three: Hum.
Take a few moments and hum the lyrics of a favorite song.  Concentrate on remembering the lyrics and feel the vibration of humming in your throat, face and chest. This will benefit you two ways: 1. Concentration and remembering the song will focus your mind. 2. The vibration of humming will ground you into the sensation of your physical body. It is a great technique and you can do it anywhere at anytime.  After just a few minutes you’ll feel a difference.

Technique Four:  Visualize.
Follow this simple guided meditation. Close your eyes.  Breathe deeply three times and mentally (silently) say the word “relax.” Imagine a “basketball size” sphere of white light hovering about twelve inches above your head. Focus your mind to visualize the minutest detail. Imagine that you see it and feel the warmth radiating down on the top of your head. Next imagine this sphere slowly lowering and touching the crown of your head.

Take another deep breath and bring the sphere down around your head, like a helmet. Imagine that your head is filled with white light. If you were to open your eyes, the light would stream out from inside of you.  Imagine the light dissolving these scattered thoughts.

Focus on the light, feel its warmth and sense it filling your mind with peace and comfort. Breathe naturally for a few minutes.  When you are ready, simply open your eyes and go back to your activities. This is great for a quick focus before an important meeting.  You can do this in a parked car, at your desk or in a bathroom stall.

Technique Five: Be Sensual.
Focus your attention on your five senses. This provides a mental boundary to contain your scattered mind. Being sensual simply means to be aware of your five senses. Smell the air, feel the temperature on your skin, listen to the sounds around you and taste the food that you eat.  Being sensual brings you into the present fast and effectively.

You now have five easy ways to focus your mind and harness its power. Your mind will help you make more trustworthy decisions throughout your day and you’ll experience overall greater inner peace.

Are you finding it difficult to ease life’s chaotic pressures on your mind? Take a deep breath and just follow these six steps to a soothing mental symphony.

We live in a noisy, chaotic world. Many might argue that it’s always been like this. Maybe. Perhaps we had the same basic notions of cacophony eons ago. But the prism of modern development has magnified the human noises to an unbearable extent.

The result: even when we shut ourselves indoors, far away from the madding crowd, we can still hear the echoes of that clamor in our mind. Echoes that refuse to go away. Echoes that cling to a mind desperately wanting to relax. Echoes that impede or interfere with the body’s natural tendency to remain in an easy, happy existence.

The dictum “A healthy mind in a healthy body” holds true in its inverse form as well. If you keep your mind in a poised, relaxed state, you are more likely to have a physically fit body. As modern research in psychosomatic medicine suggests, the condition of the mind directly or indirectly affects the body’s wellbeing.

So, how can you detox your mind? How can you drive out stress, commotion, conflicts and other detritus from the daily life and invite in a gentle sense of calmness and poise? Can you do it without retreating to a remote, secluded (and often, expensive) resort or spa? Hell, can you do it in your existing routine?

Don’t try and raise hell. Try, instead, these six simple tips for giving your mind the peace it’s been asking for.

1. Finish what you start: The mind is like a non-stop factory in which our words and thoughts are either woven into new fabric to clothe our personas or taken apart to be deposited on a growing pile of rags and tatters. Often, there are many unfinished strands that just lie about frayed in our mind, without finding their perfect-knit. A growing list of incomplete things can make you feel miserable and wanting. So go back to your to-do lists and keep them to a manageable minimum. If you know you can only do ten things rather than twenty-three, leave the unwanted thirteen out.

2. Make only the commitments you can keep: A businessman once gave this advice when starting up his son: “My son, never break a promise; but then, never make a promise!” Well, you’ll have to make commitments in your daily life: just be sure to make only those that you can keep. If you are firm in accepting only what you can do now, it will save you from the gnawing feelings of failed commitments later.

3. Exercise focused concentration: According to mind-training experts, one must pursue what one wants to achieve with “focused concentration.” Through constant practice, one can indeed train one’s mind to think about one thing at a time. This is what most meditative techniques also suggest: focusing the mind on one shape, sound, color, or any other object. The idea is to constantly train the mind on the job at hand. After sufficient practice, this ‘training’ should cease to be an effort and become second nature to you.

4. Forsake your regrets: We often don’t realize it, but we routinely carry a scary load of regrets at the back of our minds. If only we could do this! If only we had seen that coming! Our laundry list of regrets keeps getting longer and longer – without ever getting ample washing. Unbuckle your past lamentations and let them rinse down your memory drain one by one – and you’ll feel the same lightness and crispness that you do when you put on a freshly washed and sunned piece of garment.

5. Practice doing nothing: It is usually said that “an empty mind is the Devil’s workshop.” However, there’s an art to emptying the mind that yogis, rishis and monks have been practicing and preaching over the ages. An art that, instead of making your mind a playground for Satan, can make it a blessed abode of the gods.

Think about it: we are infused with a lifestyle that requires us to be always doing something or the other. If we were really programmed that way, there would be no need for sleep, isn’t it? By doing nothing, however, I don’t mean sitting idle or staring at the idiot box. What I mean is being free of your troubling, trivial and compulsive thoughts.

Choose a moment and place when you are just by yourself. Take a posture in which you are comfortable and let the whole world pass by you as if you were a spectator serenely yet effortlessly watching life’s little episodes. In such a state of nothingness, you can often feel the goddess of peace whispering gently in your mind.

6. Curb your craves: This one is not easy, especially because most people live to have more, get more or possess more. But if you can reduce the number of things you depend on or cut down your list of must-haves, you’ll also reduce the burden of relentlessly going after them. Pursue your ambitions or follow your dreams by all means, but don’t let them become your daily pester points. Set out to achieve big things that matter to you, but try and shun mere objects of desire that you constantly crave.