14 Most Incredible Natural Waterfalls


Nature Photography By Cecil P Whitt01

As you know that nature photography is one of the best ways to create an appreciation of nature. Nature photography is so enjoyable that it can lift your mood and make you feel good. Nature pictures can also create a particular mood to the viewer such as comforting, relaxed, cheerful, happy or dark. Knowing the mood you want to communicate helps you know what kind of elements you need to add to your picture. Here are some really incredible waterfall photographs captured by Cecil P Whitt.

 

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  4. 30 Incredible Insect Photographs By Igor Siwanowicz Part-II
  5. 17 Most Incredible Fire Art Examples

25 Accidents Waiting to Happen


It was Pablo Picasso or Kung-Fu Panda who said there are no accidents. If that’s the case, it means there are a lot of intentionally stupid things going on out there.

Should Rajiv Gandhi Assassins be Hanged?


Megara is into her adolescence today and in the last 21 years, she has seen her parents just once! Megara was born in a high security prison in Poonamallee in suburban Chennai where her mother Nalini Murugan was jailed in connection with the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Death sentence for the trio in Rajiv Gandhi Killing

It has been over 2 decades since LTTE suicide bomber Dhanu detonated an RDX explosive laden belt that killed Rajiv Gandhi and 14 others. The Gandhi family has come in terms with the tragedies that haunted the family over the years. Long forgotten the history where political decisions cost lives and shattered the dreams of many. Years down the line, forgiveness paved way for a new beginning when Sonia intervened to commute Nalini’s death sentence to life imprisonment and when Priyanka met Nalini at the Vellore Central Prison which Nalini explained a life changing visit.

However, after suffering imprisonment for the past 20 years, death seems to be just a span away for Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan as President Pratibha Patil rejected their mercy petition in Gandhi’s killing. Rajiv Gandhi was killed during an election rally in Sriperumbudur near Chennai on May 21, 1991 which was orchestrated ordered by LTTE. In 1999, Supreme Court had confirmed the death sentence of four accused in the case – Nalini, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. Later Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment at the intervention of Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv’s widow.

Nalini, Rajiv Gandhi Killing

There has been a hue and cry over the decision to impose death penalty to the trio on September 9. The Tamil Nadu Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution for commuting the death sentence of the three accused. Presenting the case of the convicts, senior lawyer and politician Ram Jethmalani argued mercy petition of the assassins was rejected by the President after 11 years and four months. He said the delay is prima facie wrong and a notice seeking explanation should be sent. Hearing the petition, the Madras high court stayed hanging of the three convicts facing the gallows to eight weeks.

The political parties are intensifying their campaign to reprieve the death order and many across the country shares the opinion that the capital punishment should be recalled. Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, argued that no law permits a death sentence and said he is against the capital punishment. The Sikh Students Federation has pleaded for the cancellation of the death penalty in a written statement. People from different walks of life including politicians, social activists, intellectuals and writers have urged the central government to remove the death sentence from the Indian penal laws.

Rajiv Gandhi Killing by LTTE

However, it’s a big question before the Indian minds to let this happen or not? Are we going to pursue the practice of death penalty and will all the criminals who deserve gallows would face it? Capital punishment is never a punishment, rather an escape for the criminals. It relieves them from the pain they ought to undergo and denies them the opportunity to repent. So, what do you think their fate should be?

 

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries


1. The mighty Incan Empire of South America

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

The mighty Incan Empire of South America flourished between 1200 and 1535 AD. They developed drainage systems and canals to expand their crops, and built stone cities atop steep mountains — such as Machu Picchu (above) — without ever inventing the wheel. Despite their vast achievements, the Incan Empire with its 40,000 manned army was no match for 180 Spanish conquistadors armed with advanced weapons and smallpox.

2. Ancient Pyramids in Giza, Egypt

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

Khafre (l.) and Khufu (r.) are two of the three ancient Pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Khufu is the biggest, consisting of more than 2 million stones with some weighing 9 tons. The Pyramids, built as elaborate tombs for divine kings, date back to 2,550 BC. Modern Egyptologists believe that the Pyramids are made from stones dragged from quarries and, despite ancient Greek testimony, were built predominantly by skilled craftsmen rather than slave labor.

3. The Mayan Temple

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

According to the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, made famous by the ancient Mayan people, December 2012 marks the ending of the current baktun cycle. This little bit of information has many archeologists spooked. Some believe the Mayans were warning of a coming apocalypse, while others insist it’s simply a mathematical misconception.

4. The Legend of El Dorado

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

The Legend of El Dorado originates from the Muisca, who lived in the modern country of Colombia from 1000 to 1538 AD. In a ritual ceremony for their goddess, the tribal chief would cover himself in gold dust and jump into a lake as an offering. This spawned the legend of a lost golden city, which led Spanish conquistadors on a wild goose chase to nowhere.

 

5. Easter Island

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is remotely located 2,000 miles off the coast of Tahiti. The original settlers of the island were Polynesians who migrated to the far-off land between 400 and 600 BC. They built many shrines and statues, called moai, from stones quarried throughout the island including a volcano site. Researchers still question exactly how the large stones were moved.

6. The Bermuda Triangle

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

The Bermuda Triangle — located in the Atlantic between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico — is a thief, stealing planes and boats right out of existence. The area got its name after Sgt. Howell Thompson (l.), along with 27 Navy airmen, vanished from the devilish spot during a routine flight in 1945. Rumors persist on a supernatural explanation, but many specialists blame hurricanes, a heavy Gulf Stream and human error.

7. The Nazca Lines

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

The Nazca Lines cover more than 190 square miles in the southern deserts of Peru. The mysterious shapes etched into the land rival football fields and predate the Incan Empire. The ‘Las Manos’ figure (above) is 2,000 years old. Little is know about why the Nazca people constructed such vast pieces of sand art, some believe they are extraterrestrial in nature, while others claim they may have carried and pointed to sources of water.

8. Aliens

Area 51, located on Groom Lake in southern Nevada (c.), was founded in 1955 by the U.S. Air Force to develop and test new aircrafts – such as the U-2 Spy Plane, A-12 Blackbird and F-117 Stealth Fighter. The secretive nature of the military base, combined with its classified aircraft research, helped conspiracy theorists imagine an installation filled with time-travel experimentation, UFO coverups and alien autopsies.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

9. Sphinx of Giza, Egypt

Another Egyptian wonder, the Sphinx of Giza has the body of a lion and the head of a Pharaoh, believed by most to be that of king Khafre. It was carved from soft limestone, and has been slowly falling apart over the years. A popular theory of the missing nose claims Napoleon’s soldiers shot it off with a cannon in 1798, but early sketches discovered of the Sphinx without a nose predate Napoleon’s rampage.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

10. The Loch Ness Monster

According to Scottish folklore, a mystical creature called a water horse lures small children to a watery grave by tricking them to ride on its sticky back. The Loch Ness Monster became an English wonder in 1933, after witness accounts made newspaper headlines. No hard evidence of the creature has ever been recorded with several pictures, including the one above, being proven as hoaxes.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

11. The Fountain of Youth

Don Juan Ponce de Leon completed Spain’s claim on America in 1509, and soon after was made governor of Puerto Rico. Six years later, following Indian rumors, he traveled north to the island of Bimini in search of the Fountain of Youth. Bimini turned out to be the peninsula of Florida, and the fountain remained hidden until July 2006, when famed magician David Copperfield claimed the waters on his $50 million Exumas Island (c.) had healing properties.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

12. Chupacabra

Phylis Canion holds the head of what she is calling a Chupacabra at her home in Cuero, Tex. The strange-looking animal, first reported in Puerto Rico in 1995, apparently has a taste for chicken and goat blood. Although many pictures like the above might prove its existence, biologists assure none such creature exists.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

13. The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant is described in the Bible as a wooden casket, gold plated, made for carrying the tablets of the Ten Commandments. The casket was carried throughout the desert and remained in the Israelite Temple until its destruction by the hand of the Babylonian Empire. Its whereabouts are still unknown, but Hollywood made its own version for ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark.’

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

14. The Stonehenge

The Stonehenge landscape of Salisbury Plain, England, has become a tourist hotspot. But before foreigners with windbreakers and cameras showed up, the area may have been a burial ground and ceremonial den dating back 5,000 years.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

15. The Iron Pillar of Delhi

The Iron Pillar of Delhi is a 1,600-year-old, 22 feet high pillar located in the Qutb complex in India. The pillar, made from 98% wrought iron, has been astounding scientists by its ability to resist corrosion after all these years.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

16. Stone Spheres in Costa Rica

Discovered in the early 1940s in Costa Rica during excavations by the United Fruit Company, these perfectly formed stone spheres date from 600 AD to the 16th century. Their makers and purpose still unconfirmed, many believe them to be some religious effigy made to worship the sun.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

17. Mothman

A humanoid with insect wings and crimson eyes, known as the Mothman, terrorized Point Pleasant, W.Va., during the late 1960s. No solid evidence exists of the creature, except for a handful of witness reports documented in paranormal-journalist John A Keel’s ‘Mothman Prophecies’.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

18. Jersey Devil

According to legend, 250 years ago a Jersey woman by the name of Mrs. Leeds cried out in despair during her 13th pregnancy, ‘Let it be the Devil!’ After childbirth, the baby was revealed to be a kangaroo-like creature with wings, and flew away to cause all sorts of Jersey Devil mischief. Today the Jersey Devil can be seen getting fans riled up during local hockey games.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

19. The Tunguska Explosion of Russia

The Tunguska Explosion in Russia occurred around 7:14 a.m. on June 30, 1908. To this date, the exact cause of the explosion – which leveled 80 million trees over 830 square miles – remains a heated debate. Most believe it to be caused by a meteoroid fragment, others insist either a black hole or UFO origin.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

20. The Lost City of Atlantis

The Lost City of Atlantis was introduced to the West 2,400 years ago by Plato, who claimed it to be the island home of an advanced society. Legend says it was sunk by an earthquake, with later interpretations as an underwater kingdom protected by mermaids. Its whereabouts still a mystery, recent underwater evidence suggests it was once apart of a larger landmass in Cyprus off the Mediterranean (c.), but the only true Atlantis exists in the Bahamas as a grand casino and resort hotel.

Worlds Top 20 Unsolved Mysteries

World’s Most Luxurious Prison


Inside the World’s Most Humane Prison

Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of the July 22 killing spree and bomb attack, could be sent to Halden, a Norwegian high-security prison that aims to rehabilitate criminals with comfortable and thoroughly modern facilities.

Work of Art
To ease the psychological burdens of imprisonment, planners spent roughly $1 million on paintings, photography and light installations. According to a prison informational pamphlet, this mural by Norwegian graffiti artist Dolk “brings a touch of humor to a rather controlled space.” Officials hope the art — along with creative outlets like drawing classes and wood workshops — will give inmates “a sense of being taken seriously.”
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The Outside In
The maximum sentence in Norway, even for murder, is 21 years. Since most inmates will eventually return to society, prisons mimic the outside world as much as possible to prepare them for freedom. At Halden, rooms include en-suite bathrooms with ceramic tiles, mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs. Officials say sleeker televisions afford inmates less space to hide drugs and other contraband.
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Home Away from Home
Every 10 to 12 cells share a kitchen and living room, where prisoners prepare their evening meals and relax after a day of work. None of the windows at Halden have bars.
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Free Time
Security guards organize activities from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 in the evening. It’s a chance for inmates to pick up a new hobby, but it’s also a part of the prison’s dynamic security strategy: occupied prisoners are less likely to lash out at guards and one another. Inmates can shoot hoops on this basketball court, which absorbs falls on impact, and make use of a rock-climbing wall, jogging trails and a soccer field.
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Recording Artists
There’s also a recording studio with a professional mixing board. In-house music teachers — who refer to the inmates as “pupils,” never “prisoners” — work with their charges on piano, guitar, bongos and more. Three members of Halden’s security-guard chorus recently competed on Norway’s version of American Idol. They hope to produce the prison’s first musical — starring inmates — later this year.
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Prison Yard
Halden’s architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the perimeter, in order to minimize the institutional feel and, in the words of one architect, to “let the inmates see all of the seasons.” Benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail.
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Splash of Color
The prison’s exterior features earthy brown hues that help it blend in with the surrounding woodlands. Inside, however, the walls explode with color. Halden hired an interior decorator who used 18 different colors to create a sense of variety and stimulate various moods. A calming shade of green creates a soothing atmosphere in the cells, while a vivid orange brings energy to the library and other working areas. A two-bedroom guesthouse, where inmates can host their families overnight, includes a conjugal room painted a fiery red.
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More than Turnkeys
Norway’s prison guards undergo two years of training at an officers’ academy and enjoy an elevated status compared with their peers in the U.S. and Britain. Their official job description says they must motivate the inmate “so that his sentence is as meaningful, enlightening and rehabilitating as possible,” so they frequently eat meals and play sports with prisoners. At Halden, half of all guards are female, which its governor believes reduces tension and encourages good behavior.
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Open Wide
Norwegian inmates lose their right to freedom but not to state services like health care. Dentists, doctors, nurses and even librarians work in the local municipality, preventing a subpar prison standard from developing. On-site, Halden boasts a small hospital and this state-of-the-art dentist’s office.
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Village People
To help inmates develop routines and to reduce the monotony of confinement, designers spread Halden’s living quarters, work areas and activity centers across the prison grounds. In this “kitchen laboratory,” inmates learn the basics of nutrition and cooking. On a recent afternoon, homemade orange sorbet and slices of tropical fruit lined the table. Prisoners can take courses that will prepare them for careers as caterers, chefs and waiters.
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4 Indians Among MIT’s Top 35 Innovators


Two Indians and two persons of Indian origin figure among Top 35 Innovators under 35 in the latest list of Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s (MIT) Technology Review, the world’s oldest Technology Magazine established in 1899.Ajit Narayanan, Invention Labs, Chennai and Aishwarya Ratan, Yale University, who were part of TR35 India Winners announced in March 2011, have made it to the annual list of people who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology.

Ajit Narayanan:

Ajit Narayan MIT, USA

There is an estimation of around 10 million people in India to suffer from speech impediments. Ajit Narayanan’s device can benefit such people. His innovation AVAZ is a portable and battery operated communication device for people with speaking disorders who suffer from cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation, and aphasia. This device converts the limited muscle movements like head and finger moves into speech. This tech innovation of Ajit comes under the category of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) technologies. Narayanan wants to bring out an affordable device with cuts the cost of the device to one tenth of the original price. He wants to make it widely available in India and in different languages.

Aishwarya Ratan:

Aishwarya Ratan, MIT, USA

She has developed an electronic ballpoint pen to write in ledgers placed on a slate furnished with software which identifies the handwritten numbers. Finally the feedback about the total record completion and legibility is given by the late. The storage of these feedbacks is also possible. The feedback is given on the screen and also verbally in local language. The database can be shared with the nongovernmental organizations and banks that support the co-operatives. She is a partnering with an NGO and is doing studies on improving the technologies that can help the poor people monetarily. In June she became the director of Microsavings and payments innovation initiative at Yale University.

Bhaskar Krishnamachari:

Bhaskar Krishnamachari

Bhaskar Krishnamachari aspires to simplify the increasing digital congestion of air waves and welcome new applications for wireless communications. So he created a smarter wireless networks that would handle the mobile devices and intervening more efficiently than Wi-Fi‘s and cellular networks. So his innovation is about opening an additional bandwidth which will for free of cost.

Piya Sorcar:

piya sorcar

Piya Sorcar the founder and CEO of TechAIDS developed interactive software that educated the children about HIV that’s sensitive to the Indian tradition. Sorcar made the decision to develop this device when she realized that the way of awareness spread among the children and adults in India is not that effective. The reason is the cultural back ground which doesn’t allow people to be open minded or out spoken to discuss on these topics detailed way. Now her software has been approved and is dispensed among the Indian states where other sex education is banned. In Botswana, a country located in southern Africa has approved for this software to be distributed in every school. Sorcar is expecting to distribute this software to all countries within 5 years.

The Secret History of the North Pole


If events in history are like so many pebbles in a pond, then I’m an avalanche. — Santa Claus

To paraphrase Shakespeare, Santa Claus “doth bestride our times like a colossus”—both literally and figuratively. No single man so dominates a season of the year (from Labor Day to Super Bowl Sunday) like he does. Disregarding what we tell our children, disregarding the two Wars of the Elves which triggered two world wars, disregarding the Great Depression (which he caused), and even disregarding the worldwide flu epidemic of 1919 (which he had nothing to do with), there still is no one who has done so much to ruin such a joyous holiday and turn it into the debt-ridden agony of materialistic overindulgence it has become. Maybe that is why we love him so much.

Geopolitics of the North Pole

The physical environment has always strongly influenced the flow of history, and the North Pole is no exception. For one thing, the North Pole’s cold climate severely reduced the need for refrigerators, which have an unfortunate tendency to fall on top of and kill people. This allowed the Eskimo population to flourish. The money saved from not buying refrigerators could be used to buy guns, a favorite Eskimo pastime, which makes them very dangerous. Also the long winter nights at the North Pole forced the Eskimos to trade light bulbs to the South Pole for extra light trapped by the Antarctic land mass during its equally long stretches of daylight. (This also accounts for the fact that light bulbs resemble penguins.)

The North Pole’s position on the International Dateline gave it Christmas twice per year (December 11 and March 3). This is appropriate since the North Pole also has most of the world’s green crude toy ore deposits. Teddy Roosevelt once described a lump of this ore as resembling “a gang of Gumby’s trapped for three hours in a microwave oven.,” a remarkable statement since he died decades before microwaves, Gumby, or even accurate time-keeping were invented. The point here is that toy ore needs to be mined and worked. Unfortunately, the one available labor source, Eskimos, refused to work in the mines, preferring either to hibernate or shoot their guns at anything that moves or snores.

During the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s when large scale toy mining and processing was taking place, the next closest source of labor for the North Pole toy mines was Canadian Elves who had formed the last wave of migrants from Siberia to America. Central Asia was their ancestral homeland, but in the late 1100s a chain reaction of events starting in Finland displaced them. Finland, of course, was the homeland of the Clowns who, contrary to popular belief, are a highly evolved subspecies of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (i.e., me). In addition to such natural features as their large red noses, shocks of brightly colored hair (to attract mates), and big floppy feet, Clowns are also endowed with brilliant minds and superhuman strength. Despite our desire to portray them as good natured and harmless circus performers, they are extremely dangerous. In 1180 their relentless leader, Jingles the Merciless (1178-1213) forcibly unified the Clowns and launched a campaign of conquest unparalleled in both its brutality and physical comedy. Using such unspeakable weapons as seltzer bottles loaded with Greek fire similar to our modern napalm), and catapults firing giant cyanide cream pies, the Clowns carved out a savage empire stretching from Finland to Vladivostok. The Empire of the Bozos (from the clown word meaning “pie throwing maniacs” even handed Genghis Khan’s Mongol Horde a humiliating defeat. The Mongols in turn crashed into the Elves, half of whom fled into Siberia, the other half to North America, where they lived peacefully until the 1800s.

Elves were well suited to toy mining for several reasons. They don’t eat much. They are small and thus easy to push around. And they have big ears that let them hear any stalking killer penguins, a particularly large and vicious type of penguin that inhabits caves, and toy mineshafts. All that was needed was someone to lead the Eskimos in raids to capture the Elves. That someone was St. Nicholas (AKA Santa Claus).

The Rise of St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas, the thirty-eighth son of an impoverished chimney sweep, was born in Norway around 1850. Large size, both in terms of numbers and bulk, was a family trait. His ancestors had been a special class of Viking berserkers (from the Clown word Bozo) who would jump on enemy ships and tip them over with their weight. How he came to be known as a saint is not completely clear, although most accounts revolve around him visiting Rome as a youth and kidnapping the Pope and forcibly extracting the honor from him.

Because of his size, Nicholas (and the rest of his family, for that matter) were ill suited for chimney sweeping, so it remains a mystery why that was traditionally the family profession. In fact, in 1877, young Nicholas got caught in a chimney, a sight that attracted a large crowd of spectators. His solution was both ingenious and lethal. By eating huge amounts of food, his body mass expanded to the point that the chimney exploded, killing 37 people in what has been known ever after as the great chimney massacre. Nicholas was committed to an insane asylum, not just for the killing, but also for thinking he could fit in a chimney in the first place. Son afterward, he jumped a guard, flattened him, and fled to the North Pole.

The Eskimos made St. Nicholas their leader after he mowed five of them down in a gunfight and promised the rest vacations in Florida. (He actually sent them to Cleveland, but they didn’t know the difference.) Then, from 1882-85 he launched a series of savage raids into Saskatchewan (“Land of the Big Ears”) where he rounded Elves for working in his toy mines. It was at this time that the Elves gave him the name Santa Claus, most likely a Cheyenne word meaning “fat man with a whip”.

The First War of the Elves (1900-01)

But a new problem arose: Canadian Elves may not eat much, but they are picky eaters who require the finest of French cuisine. With Elves dropping like flies from self-starvation, Santa launched a new set of raids, this time into Quebec to get French chefs (1889-92). Meanwhile the United States had been watching events with growing concern and in 1900 invoked the Monroe Doctrine against the “Norwegian Nemesis” as the press called Santa. (Contrary to popular belief, the Monroe Doctrine didn’t get its name from US President Monroe. Rather, it was the maiden name of Santa’ wife.) What ensued was the First War of the Elves (1900-01).

Although it seemed to most that the United States should win an easy victory, Santa’s terrible arsenal of “toys” (typically known as toys of Mass Destruction, or TMD) gave him a decisive edge. For one thing, the Eskimos had harnessed and trained killer penguins to use spiked clubs and fight in packs. In addition, there was Santa’s alliance with the Clowns who had been on the run since the breakup of the Empire of the Bozos in the 1600s. Because Santa himself was 1/16th clown, the Clowns elected him Grand High Bozo and followed him into battle with all the ferocious defiance of death known to their kind. In addition to their catapults throwing giant cyanide cream pies, and seltzer bottles that shot Greek Fire, the Clowns deployed their newly developed tiny tricycles armed with Martian death beams. Last and most decisive, was Santa’s domestication of the flying reindeer who, when hitched to the heavily armed D-1 combat and Delivery Sleigh, proved to be the ultimate weapon of the day.

Early attempts to domesticate the flying reindeer met with limited success. Elf trainers first tried to ride their backs, but were too small to see over the antlers. Next they sat on the reindeer’s head and tried to steer them using the antlers as a sort of handlebars. However, the elves’ tiny feet dangling down blinded the reindeer, causing them to crash into trees (a most puzzling phenomenon to historians, since there are no trees at the North Pole). Finally, the elves tried hitching the reindeer up to a sleigh, and the S-1 Combat and Delivery Sleigh was born. Given Santa’s weight and the heavy arsenal of toys such sleighs had to bear, teams of eight tiny reindeer had to be used for each sleigh. Although its turning radius was extremely wide, the S-1 was lightning quick (literally) and more than a match for the hydrogen-filled zeppelins the Americans used against them.

The American army marched northward, totally unaware of the disaster about to befall them. Suddenly, hundreds of Elf-driven sleighs swooped out of the skies, pouring bombs and razor sharp candy canes on the bewildered and stunned Americans. Then a merciless barrage of cyanide cream pies sent them retreating into hordes of killer penguins who had infiltrated their ranks disguised as household servants.

The First War of the Elves was such a total and unexpected defeat for the United States that American history books never mention it. However, the Americans being a resilient lot, were determined to get revenge. First they developed the airplane in 1903 to combat the flying reindeer. Then in 1914, they cleverly manipulated events in Europe to start World Wa4r I, merely as a testing ground for the airplane’s combat capabilities.

The Second War of the Elves (1927-8)

In 1926 the United States invoked a toy embargo against Santa to provoke him into war. The resulting Second War of the Elves (1927-8) reversed the decision of the first war. The airplane proved to be much more maneuverable and easier to mass-produce than the slowly reproducing flying reindeer. Fake Santa’s put in Canadian shopping malls confused the Elves and disrupted Santa’s command structure by giving absurd orders that the elves mindlessly obeyed. Finally, the Americans cleverly planted peppermint candy canes in the Elves’ rations, giving them terrible tummy aches that made them cry.

The victors forced the harsh Treaty of the Tundra on Santa in 1929. Santa could keep his toy mines and slave empire, but his air force was reduced to one sleigh and his eight smallest reindeer (a clause he flagrantly violated). He must also pay a crippling indemnity of free toys each Christmas to all the good children in the world. In the famous “Big Top Clause”, the Clowns were dispersed to circuses across the world and forced to do cruel parodies of themselves while their families were held hostage in nearby trailers. Two of these Clowns, Ronald the Ripper and Rambo MacDonald, escaped with some wild dogs from a circus in southern California and started a well known hamburger chain.

The Treaty of the Tundra had far-reaching and unforeseen effects. In order to meet his huge toy payments, Santa called in his loans from Swiss Banks, and act that reverberated across the Atlantic by triggering the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression. By 1934,, most toy mines and refineries had shut down, throwing Christmas into a crisis. Santa’s response was swift and effective. First of all, he spread rumors that he did not exist, thus pressuring parents to buy toys to keep their children happy. Secondly, he met with American business and signed the “November Contract, which established the practice of “shopping days early” starting right after Thanksgiving. These measures spurred toy sales and increased profits to vastly exceed the cost of Santa’s toy indemnity each Christmas. Santa was back in business, and the world started to emerge from the Depression.

World War II and World Domination

Then came World War II (1939-45), started by Adolf Hitler (who had been a very naughty boy, only getting coal in his stocking each Christmas). Among his victims was Santa’s native land of Norway, which caused Santa to shift from toy production to that of weapons. It was probably the most decisive development of the war and would have a profound effect on the direction of toy production after 1945.

With the war over, Santa’s profits skyrocketed to new heights. The terms of the November Contract successively expanded the Christmas season to Halloween (the October Contract in 1973), Labor Day (the September Contract in 1984) and Super Bowl Sunday (the January Contract in 1987). Negotiations are now underway to extend it further to Valentine’s Day. Much stricter behavior standards plus electronic surveillance of all homes and public buildings allowed Santa to severely restrict the number of children getting free toys and cutting into his profits. Children in communist countries were automatically excluded, largely because of Santa’s personal dislike of his distant cousin, Joseph Stalin.

In 1982, Santa moved his headquarters to Oak Brook, Illinois, next door to the headquarters of his old Clown ally and hamburger tycoon, Ronald the Ripper. Pipelines pump raw toy sludge from the North Pole to the United States where toy factories, cleverly disguised as military bases and missile silos process this sludge into toys. The leftover toy slag is processed into guacamole and sold in a popular taco chain, which Santa also owns. Distribution of toys is done by Santa Clones who undergo a rigorous program at Camp Santa outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Here they are trained in how to dress and act like Santa, use a whip and various sorts of automatic weapons, and fly the S-20, the latest version of the combat and delivery sleigh. Santa Clones have been traditionally recruited mainly from ex-convicts and the seedier elements of society. This initially created a problem of Santa Clones looting and trashing people’s homes every Christmas Eve. In 1953, the same year Stalin died, Santa signed the Tollhouse Accord whereby Santa Clones would refrain from looting any homes where there were cookies and milk left out for them.

Operating from American military bases and aircraft carriers, the corps of Santa Clones can easily deliver all their toys in one night to the estimated 280,000 good children in the world. This surprisingly low figure is the result of a loophole in the Treaty of the Tundra that allows Santa to set the standard of what constitute a good boy or girl. The specific terms of these criteria remain a highly classified state secret.

Concern about depletion of toy ore reserves led to a failed attempt at mining Martian toy ore, which unfortunately turned out to be radioactive. The movie, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” is based on this attempt, although the only authentic footage of Santa in the film is of the battle scenes. The rest of the movie is totally ridiculous and should not be taken seriously.

Overall, the future looks bright for Santa as he maintains an iron grip on our throats and wallets. As the popular song warns:

“He’s bringing his elves
and his S-20 Sleigh
He’ll get you so fast
There’s no time to pray
Santa Claus is coming to town”

Source – Siliconindia

Low Cost Tablets in India


It’s raining tablets these days. Almost every person wants to own it. What resist a lot of people from buying these tablets is their hefty price tags. There is a myth regarding low cost tablets in terms of features, but most of these products come along with some great features, like Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS. So if you were holding yourself back from buying a tablet, your search comes to an end, as listed below are some affordable tablets, which support different applications.

MSI WindPad 100A

msi

This device has a very sleek and slim outlook, equipped with 1280 x 800 IPS. With different ports, it also includes 3.5mm audio jack, USB and HDMI. It features rear camera of 5MP and front camera of 2 MP and is powered by Tegra 2 processor with 2 GB RAM. You can avail this tablet with both 16 GB and 32 GB. This device is priced around 17,000.

 

Reliance 3G Tab

reliance

Reliance 3G tablet powered by Android 2.3, comes with a 7-inch display. It also possesses micro SD storage space supporting up to 32GB. It sports two cameras of 2MP and also includes other features like GPS, mobile TV, voice calling, video streaming and others. It is priced at 12,999.

Olive Pad VT-100

olive

OlivePad – VT100 is India’s first 3.5G Pad. It sports 7-inch touch screen display with Android operating system, supporting Bluetooth 3.5G HSUPA and Wi-fi. It features three inbuilt mega-pixel camera and a front camera. It also offers gaming console, easy access to social networking, an e-book reader, GPS for maps, video and voice calling and television. It is available in India for 14,490.

Wespro Digital ePad

wespro

This is another tablet that is affordable and sports different features. It comes with 400 MHz processor, 1.9 Android operating system. It also features 128 MBRAM, Wi-Fi, MP3,MPEG, expandable memory up to 32 GB, WMA DIVX and XVID file formats. You can own this tablet for 5,999 only.

HCL Sakshat Tablet

hcl

Sporting a 7-inch diplay, this tablet has USB Ports, external hard drive and various applications like PDF viewer, Power Point, Open Office, Word, Excel, video streaming, web browsing, sip and unzip facility, and flash video. You can get all this just for 1,500(approximately)

Toshiba Thrive

toshiba

This 10.1 inch multi-touch display with 800 x 1280 pixels screen resolution tablet comes with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, powered by NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. It sports Dual cameras, 5 MP rear camera for HD video playback and recording, secondary 2MP front cameras for video calling, 3.5mm jack, 32 GB in-built memory, music player, stereo speaker and external memory card slot. 8 GB Toshiba Thrive will cost you for 19,000 in India.

Beetel Magiq Tablet

beetel

Originated by Beetel Teletech, this tablet comes with, 2.2 Android operating system and 8 GB memory, expandable up to 16 GB. It sports front and back camera of 2 MP, 3G function, Wi-Fi and long battery life. It is priced at 8,999.

Zinglife ZL101

zinglife

Zinglife developed a 10-inch tablet, powered by 2.2 Android operating system. It offers 1GHz processor, RJ45 broadband port and 512 MB of RAM. It is estimated to be priced at 12,300.

Spice MI-720

spice

This device runs on 2.3 Andriod and sports updated processor of 800MHz. It also features 512 MB RAM and ROM, VGA front and rear camera of 3MP, SIM and SD card slot, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It aims at becoming a popular choice in India as it replaces MI-700. This device can cost around 17,000

Unusual Ways That Made Apple the Most Admirable


Steve Jobs defines a generation with his great innovative ideas and legendary products. He has used different strategy and principles which is one of the reasons for the huge success of the company. Alyson Shontell has explained some unusual ways that Steve Jobs had implemented.

Partner with the enemy

apple-MS

In the business war, it’s hard to believe that two competitor companies getting together. It’s unimaginable that two rival companies can be together. But here, Steve Jobs applied his extraordinary ideas and he made Bill Gates to invest a $150 Million in Apple. Apple had a financial loss from 12 years and that’s make him turned to Bill Gates and in 1997 at Macworld Expo Apple and Microsoft announced their partnership.

Change the business plan

apple, before and now

When Apple started, it was only a Computer company. But Steve always wanted Apple to grow and he knew that the company needed to broaden its aspects for better growth. To become truly successful Apple needed to widen its approach. So the company began expanding its products. It did not stick to only computers and started release of Final Cut Pro, followed by MP3 players, music, iPhones and iPads. Even Jobs changed the company’s name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc. in 2007 to symbolize the new, broader vision.

Stylish Products

apple product

Apple products can be considered as the most stylish product till date. In the year of 1998, Jobs called a meeting at Apple, and said, “You know what’s wrong with this company? The products have no sex in them,” as he realized that Apple’s products looked dated. But today Apple is credited for creating the most beautiful and stylish technology, from colorful iMacs to sleek iPads.

 

Creating their own retail store

apple retail store

Apple owned their own retail outlet stores as other retailers were not giving Apple products adequate solutions. Now Apple has more than 255 retail stores worldwide and they are the most favorite of the retail industry. This is one of the most thriving formulas for the success of the company.

Hiring different employees

team

Graduates and Engineers are not the only employees that Steve had hired, according to him they are not the only people who can run a company. Jobs said “Part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, and poets, and artists, and zoologists, and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

Think differently

think different

“Think Different” is an advertising slogan created for Apple in 1997. The campaign was one of the most effective of all the time. It inspired innovation and reinvention which Apple portrays today.

What Steve Jobs Got Wrong?


Steve Jobs personality reflects Apple in itself; he is the key person behind the persona created by Apple and its innovations. He created a whole new era with the introduction of iPhones and iPad, which are a rave in the society today. He is even responsible to give entertainment a whole new platform with Apple’s iPod, but the question is, did he always get it right from the beginning of his career. The answer is no, he had gone through his share of downfall and flops before arriving to the level of success that we all witness now.

His success has been cherished by the whole world with a loud applause and it is known to all. However his failures got wrapped up under his success stories, let’s go through the products that taught Steve tough lessons of business and failed to achieve its targeted hype.

1. Apple III

Apple III

In the year 1981, Apple released its next version to Apple II and named it as Apple III with an intention to revive the success of Apple II, however things did not seem to turn out as expected. Apple III ran twice as fast as the Apple II and has twice as much memory – 128k of RAM. It is also the first Apple computer to have a built-in floppy drive, a Shugart 143k 5.25-inch floppy drive. The Apple III has 4 internal expansion slots that are compatible with Apple II cards, and also has Apple II Plus emulation built-in. The whole process was build under the supervision of Steve Jobs. It was available at an introductory price of $7,800.

2. Lisa

Lisa

In the year 1983 Steve designed Apple Lisa, first commercial computer with a GUI, or Graphical User Interface, however it could not impact the market as predicted. Due to its high price and little availability of software applications this product failed to click.

3. Next Computers

Next computer

Next computers were Steve’s nurtured child which took off in the year 1989. After his showdown with then Apple CEO and his resignation “Next Computers” was founded in the year 1985. NeXT introduced the first NeXT Computer in 1988, the sales of the NeXT computers was relatively limited, with estimates of about 50,000 units shipped in total. However ultimately Apple purchased NeXT on December 20, 1996 for $429 million and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock which marked Steve’s re entry to the company.

 

4. Puck mouse

Puck mouse

Apple’s puck mouse was released in the year 1998 with high hopes, but it lined up as another failure into Steve’s kitty. This was one big project for Steve after his much hype return to Apple. Although initially Puck mouse got overwhelmed response it lost its charm in a very short span of time and could not yield it big in the giant tech world.

 

5. The cube

The cube

The cube was offered at a price of introductory price of $1799 in year 2000. The Power Mac G4 Cube was a small form factor Macintosh personal computer from Apple by using the innovation from Next computers but its high price resisted its technology to boom. The diminutive 8″ x 8″ x 8″ cube, suspended in a 10″ tall Acrylic (PMMA) enclosure, housed a PowerPC G4 processor running at 450 or 500 megahertz, and had an unconventional vertical slot-loading DVD-ROM or CD-RW drive.

 

6. iTunes Phone

iTunes Phone

iTunes phone emerged in the market in the year 2005. It had the capacity to hold only 100 songs, above that the transferring process was also heavily time consuming; downloading was a big fuss in the device.

 

7. Apple TV

Apple TV

In the year 2007, Apple set its footprints and it was the result of Steve hunger for new innovation and creativity. It was a small box that connected to a TV and to a Mac in the home. A tiny remote allowed the owner to play music and movies from the PC on the TV. The set up and use was hugely complicated. Movies purchased from iTunes were low resolution and looked fuzzy on HDTV sets.

 

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