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Friday, January 25, 2008

Indian Premier League (IPL) – The Billion Dollar Baby?

The Indian Premier League (IPL) can be called a “Billion Dollar Baby” that was launched by the BCCI on Sept 14th, 2007. It is based on the same lines as the English Premier League (EPL) in football and the National basketball League (NBA) in the USA. The project and idea was conceived by Lalit Modi, vice president of the BCCI and bore fruit only when the Zee group launched the Indian cricket League in April 2007.

Salient Features of The IPL: -

· The Teams in the IPL have been offered Franchisees (individuals or corporates) through a bidding process.
· The BCCI has signed up 80 international players who will be put for auction.
· The Franchisees, who will own the teams will have the freedom to run them in their own styles, bring their own sponsors and even name the team as they wish (after consulting the IPL).
· The players will be bought in an auction in the inaugural year and subsequently they will be free to trade them as is done in the various leagues around the world.
· The players also get a share in the profits, starting from TV revenue, gate money and merchandising.
· The teams can be listed on the stock exchange.
· Overall prize money - $5 million (US), winners get to take home $2 million and the remaining money is given in the form of other awards like “Man of the match” etc.
· Television rights have been already sold for over a whopping $1 billion and the franchisees have committed money close to $723 million for buying the teams.
· Top players in the teams are expected to earn a minimum of 1-2 crores per season as guarantee money. Not only this, they are also slated to get salaries on which there won’t be any cap.

Taking into account all these dynamics that are involved along with the finances, the IPL definitely promises to take on the sports world in India to a new high in a cricket-crazy nation. All IPL matches will be played under lights, and as per ICC rules with the best umpires. The League will open on April 18th, 2008 and will feature a total of 59 matches that would be spread over 44 days and the best part is that they will all be played on Saturdays and Sundays plus one yet-to-be-decided weekday. There will be two matches on each of these days and will start at 5 pm.

The players, who have been signed up so far to play for the eight teams that have been sold to corporate houses, are the likes of Glen McGrath, Shane Warne, Stephen Fleming, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly etc. Sachin and Sourav will be the highest paid players in the league and will therefore not be auctioned. The bidding for the players will take place next month. The IPL governing council will be in charge of running, operating and managing the league independently of the BCCI and will have a five-year term.

The auction for the teams concluded successfully yesterday with big names like Reliance (Mumbai), Vijay Mallya (Bangalore), Shah Rukh Khan (Kolkatta) and Priety Zinta along with her boyfriend Ness Wadia (Mohali) making bids for their respective teams.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Rupees One Lakh ( $ 2500 ) Car From Tata To Be Unveiled Thursday

The Rupees One Lakh ( $ 2500 ) Car From Tata To Be Unveiled Thursday

Thursday is the day that the Rupees One Lakh ( $ 2500 ) Car From Tata will Be Unveiled. There is a lot of interest generated because Tata has beaten a lots of other companies which have been trying to produce a $ 3000 car. The car is probably the best kept secret in the corporate world and has people guessing what is in store.

Even though the car will be showcased during the Auto Expo at Delhi starting on 10 Jan 2008, the production will only start end of this year.

Now let us consider the ramifications of this car. Ratan Tata says that he launched the project after seeing a family of three getting drenched in the monsoons while riding a scooter. He considered it very unsafe and dangerous. I am pretty certain that even though the Rupees One lakh car will save the people from getting drenched, a lot many safety features would have been removed or compromised, which will make the car equally dangerous.

Next consider the Indian roads and the great traffic sense of the populace. The present infrastructure does not allow even the present number of cars to travel with ease. Imagine the deluge of cars which will hit the country if and when this car comes out. Traffic will come to a standstill.

There are no parking spaces available in most cities. This car will only end up stretching the resources further. I still wonder how the government has even allowed this concept to be dreamt of under the circumstances.

It will be no mean achievement, Tata will make a lot of money but then God save the Indian commuter.

US And Iran - Seconds From War Watch Just Relesed Video Evidence

The US Iran skirmishes are continuing. On Sunday the two countries were seconds from war and in fact almost went to war. The scene was five heavily armed Iranian gunboats manned by the Revolutionary Guard approached the three US Men of War in the Strait of Hormuz. When the gunboats were around 200 meters away from the ships the US ship intercepted a transmission saying, "I am coming at You. You will explode in two minutes".

The Captain of the US ship ordered battle stations knowing fully well that any shot fired from either side would result in a full fledged war. The battle of nerves continued for a few seconds till the Iranian gun boats turned away at the last minute.

The US calls it a provocation, a serious one at that. What the US ships were doing at the strait of Hormuz within the range of small gun boats is any body's guess.

Though the US has acknowledged the incident, there is no word from the Iranian side. I thought it is propaganda and the first steps taken by the US to launch a bloody invasion on Iran like it has with other countries in the past. However as i am writing this i came across the just released video evidence of the stand off. Watch the video here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_7170000/newsid_7178000/7178082.stm?bw=bb&mp=rm&asb=1&news=1&bbcws=1

What does the word "Racism" really mean?

Lately, the word "Racism" has featured a number of times in the news. Anything uttered by a "foriegner" ie, foriegn to the country that the individual may be visiting, is being construed as "Racist" remarks! What does the word "Racism" really mean? Are we becoming overly sensitive and exaggerating the actual circumstances of the incident?

According to Wikipedia :- "Racism is a belief system or doctrine which postulates a hierarchy among various human races or ethnic groups. It may be based on an assumption of inherent biological differences between different ethnic groups that purport to determine cultural or individual behaviour."

Now, keeping this definition in mind, let's look again at the whole "Symonds vs Harbhajan" racism episode. Harbhajan Singh probably uttered a few expletives or called Symonds a "Monkey" in a fit of rage or frustration, whatever the case may be. Now, we as kids have done it a number of times too. I remember calling out to any number of kids to tease them that they are "monkeys and donkey". These two words are quite commonly uttered by each and every individual in our country right from our childhood! Does that mean that we were "Racist"? We were not even aware of the existence of such a word! So, What exactly is so "Racist" about the word "Monkey" may I ask? Will somebody please clarify! Besides the fact that Andrew Symonds does indeed look like a monkey on the field with the white colored cream that he applies on his lips! If, he had asked me the question in his dressing room in the morning, "How do I look?" I would have answered, " You look like a monkey!" That would be an honest opinion. Now, would you call that "Racist"? Now, if somebody in his own team called him a monkey, would that also qualify as a "Racist" comment?

Indians, on the other hand have been used to being the victims of racism for centuries at the hands of the British and other such Foriegn rulers who came to our country and forced their "white" skin upon us! I find this whole episode of tagging the word "racism" to Indians, very ironic and out of sync! Indians have been quietly suffering all the insults and humiliation for centuries, We Don't Need To Do So Anymore!The Indian Cricket Team should stop playing any further matches and return to India, till the Australians learn to play a fair game, in the true sportsman spirit.

Career Launcher "Tycoons 2008" - Another Leadership Hunting Venture!

In yet another attempt to hunt for "great leaders" in Indian youth, a Mumbai based Jaago India Foundation has launched JaagoIndia.org that aims to search for India's greatest business brain across 100 cities and 2000 colleges. It's promising to be a great career launcher for all the aspiring contestants. The venture is called "Tycoon 2008".

Following close on the footsteps of the "Lead India" campaign by Times Group, this venture also is a welcome step by the corporate sector towards developing great leadership in various sectors of business. This, as I had predicted earlier, will also inspire other such great corporate companies to come up with similar competitions and opportunities for the youth in India and provide a good career development.

The only thing that worries me though, is that like all other competitions being held these days with people required to "vote" through SMS'es, is a great dampener, as they all seem like only a money making scheme in the end, and I truly wonder whether the individual who wins in the end does really benefit anything from it all.

This venture promises the winner:
* an edu-pilgrimage to Harvard/INSEAD/IIM/Oxford
* Fully paid higher education scholarships
* Opportunity to interact with celebrity role models in the field of cinema, business, and sports.
* Laptops, cash and much more

For More information about this you can visit the official site:
http://jaagoindia.org/main.aspx

Why Do Celebrities Like Madonna Visit The Slums In India?

We had yet another celebrity, the hot pop star singer, Madonna visiting India this month along with her husband. She made a very short trip to the metropolitan city, Mumbai, and then fled on to Rajasthan. So what do these celebrities do when they come to India? Well, they visit the slums!

Now I fail to understand the reason for this attraction that foreigners seem to have for the slums in our country! Of course, if the interest is for humanitarian reasons, like maybe trying to improve the living conditions, giving donations, building homes, adopting children or societies, and /or providing a trust fund or money donated for medicines or hospital charges etc, would be welcome.

But, nothing of this sort has been mentioned in the news reports of her visit to the slums. She just seemed to be doing what any other regular tourist in our country would do! She tasted our food in one of the small cafe's very politely with a small bite of this and that! She was not able to handle the dirt and pollution of this city and therefore fled to the more colorful state of Rajasthan.

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease, (STD). It is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. There are two types of syphilis, primary and the secondary. The most common areas to be affected by this disease are the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women. The disease is contracted when a person has sexual contact with someone infected with syphilis. However, it can also pass from a mother to a baby during pregnancy.

The early stages of the disease is usually characterised by a single small painless sore. These may be accompanied by swelling of the localized lymph nodes. Many people do not notice any symptoms for years, and at times it may even go away and come back again at a later time!

Syphilis can be cured, if detected early, by the use of antibiotics. Using a condom may reduce the risk of contracting the disease, but does not completely eliminate the risk of catching or spreading it.

To get more information about the disease click on this link:
http://0-www.cdc.gov.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/std/Syphilis/STDFact-Syphilis.htm#WhatIs

5 Tips to Survive the Fat Season

The holiday season brings with it enough reasons to eat, drink and make merry. This is especially true for occasions like Christmas and New Year, when all you want to do is have parties and eat a good amount of the ‘wrong’ foods. This added to the fact that there is hardly any exercise during this period only adds to the stress and fat in the body, which can be a deadly combination! But you can overcome these next few weeks with a few tough-minded guidelines without gaining weight. Here are 5 tips on how to survive the fat season effectively.

1. Don’t try to lose weight during this period; maintaining the same weight will be a great accomplishment.

2.Since you know that the holiday season is going to be tough, plan for it well in advance. Maybe exercising a little extra, a week before the holiday begins, will keep your metabolism ticking.

3. You need a good support system to eat properly. Weight loss is best done with the help of a support system, particularly during a stressful time. If you attempt to go it alone you will probably fail.

4. Holiday seasons involves being with the family and so you need to pay attention to emotional family issues, since any unresolved family issues will emerge and create strong emotions in you. These strong emotions cause overeating or eating the wrong kind of food, due to the feelings they generate in you. Therefore, it would be a wise idea to tackle all your family issues well in advance.

5. Last but not the least, inform family members that you are working hard to lose weight and that you want their cooperation. Ask them to provide alternative foods for you and to resist the urge to tempt you to eat fattening foods.

Washing Hands Better than Drugs in Checking Virus!

Washing Hands Better than Drugs in Checking Virus!

According to a new study, published in the "British Medical Journal", physical barriers such as washing hands, wearing gloves, face masks and gowns may be more effective in the prevention and spread of respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS than drugs.

The researchers who went through 51 studies came to the conclusion that these simple low-cost physical measures should be given higher priority in any national pandemic contingency plans, as more and more evidence suggests that the use of vaccines and anti-viral drugs will be insufficient to interrupt the spread of influenza.

Happy New Year 2008!

Happy New Year 2008!

"There is a world beyond what we can see
Where, by grace of God, we can receive
God's greatest gift:
to live eternally,
If only we believe."

I would like to wish all the readers a "Very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2008!"

Common Myths About Weight Training in Women

Weight training is beneficial for men and women alike. It helps not only to burn fat, but also protects against osteoporosis, improves posture, prevents age-related loss of muscle, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar control. Unfortunately, many women are scared away from doing weight training due to a number of highly misleading myths.

Myth 1: Weight Training Makes Women Look Like Men

Women automatically conjure up images of masculine-looking physiques and bulging muscles when they think of weight training! Quite obviously that is not a very attractive feminine trait to possess.
Now, women need to know and understand, that they are definitely not here to become a competitive bodybuilder. The truth is that most of the professional female bodybuilders are using anabolic steroids. And in order to produce the amount of muscles that healthy males do, you need to be able to produce high levels of testosterone, which is nearly impossible in women, in natural circumstances.
Most of the women want a body that looks firm, toned, shapely and healthy. Guess what? The best way to achieve this is by weight training. No other form of exercise can tone muscles so quickly.
The bottom line is that your body contours can be dictated by either fat or muscle. Which would you rather have?

Myth 2: Muscle Turns Into Fat When You Stop Weight Training

Let me tell you that you just cannot turn muscle into fat. They are two entirely different entities with totally different functions and physical structures. It just simply cannot be done!
But, unfortunately despite the utter absurdity of this myth, it just refuses to die.
So to answer your question, what would happen if you stop weight training? First of all, your muscles will gradually lose their attractive toned look. And depending on your dietary habits, you may also gain some fat due to the reduced calorie expenditure that occurs after you stop training.
So the only solution is to keep training and eating right! Remember that weight-training routine is a lifelong endeavor, not a quick fix. The benefits last only as long as you keep training.

Myth 3: Women Don't Need to Do Weights. They Get All the Benefits they need from Walking, Jogging or Aerobic Classes

Aerobic, walking and jogging are activities, which just cannot do what weight training, can. If you want to tone and strengthen muscles weight training is the way to go. Aerobics in fact can lead to loss of muscle tissue. Weight training not only strengthens the muscle but also leads to stronger bones. Aerobics also are not full body activities, concentrating mostly on the lower body.
This is not to say that you should not bother about aerobics, walking or jogging. Each form has it’s own advantage. However the best thing to do is to have a fitness program, which includes both cardio vascular as well as weight training activities.
Most women do not even think about weight training presuming it to be a male thing, without realizing that weight training is an important aspect of getting that perfect healthy body. So, women, don’t let go the benefits of weight training because of some presumptions, hit the gym now.