Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Can Alzheimer's disease be prevented?

Can Alzheimer's disease be prevented?
Malayala Manorma English Edition Monday,30 July 2007 20:48 hrs IST

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of conditions that all gradually destroy brain cells and lead to progressive decline in mental functions like memory, ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, carry out daily activities etc. As Alzheimer's progresses, individuals may also experience changes impersonality and behavior, such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations.

In US alone, there are over 5 million people with Alzheimer's disease. However, people in India have an unusually low incidence of Alzheimer's disease, it is observed. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, new treatments are emerging as a result of better insight into the biology of the disease.

It is well known that Alzheimer's occurs less commonly in well-educated people and studies show that life long learning is a good way to combat this disease.
Regular mental stimulation through work, continuing education, extensive reading, playing mentally challenging games like solving mathematical puzzles of sudoku and magic square, or learning a new language or musical instrument etc. can help keep the mental capabilities finely tuned. Such mental activities cause brain cells to grow more numerous connections that aid communication with adjoining brain cells. Scientists have discovered that, even in old age, some areas of the brain can actually create new cells in response to stimulation. Participating in interesting social or leisure activities is found to diminish the July 2007 Executive Knowledge Lines 5risk of the disease.

In a study researchers found those who engaged in the greatest variety of leisure activities-including hobbies, going on outings, visiting family or friends, volunteering, or joining group social events-had the lowest risk of mental decline. Physical exercise also helps keep our cognitive abilities in good shape. Exercise enhances mental agility and alertness, perhaps by improving blood flow to the brain. In a study of exercise patterns in women, researchers found worsening mental abilities in 24%, who walked little, a half-mile each week. But in women who walked the most-an average of 18 miles a week-only 17% showed signs of mental decline. Stress reduction with techniques like meditation, yoga, and breathing or relaxation exercises is also found to help in managing the disease.

Finally, good nutrition is also an important factor. A high-fat diet and obesity are factors that increase the risk for Alzheimer's. Some of the nutrients that may offer protection include B-complex vitamins, monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, omega-3fatty acids in fish and flax seeds, antioxidant vitamins C and E in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (especially blueberries, spinach, and seaweed), turmeric etc.

BBC launches free Internet TV service

BBC launches free Internet TV service
Agencies/GULF NEWS Published: July 30, 2007, 09:13

London: Billed as the biggest change in the way viewers watch television in 40 years, the BBC launched an online service on Friday that allows people to download many programmes from the last week.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson says the arrival of the "on-demand" iPlayer is as important as the first color broadcasts in the 1960s.

Viewers can choose from 400 hours of programmes, between 60 and 70 per cent of the total TV output, including hit shows such as "EastEnders, "Doctor Who" and "Planet Earth".

It faces competition from similar services provided by Channel 4 and ITV and from increasingly popular video-sharing sites such as YouTube.

The growth of the Internet, mobiles and hard-drive recorders that save hours of programmes, has destroyed the notion of fixed TV schedules delivered through a TV in the corner of the room.

Broadcasters are under pressure to hold on to viewers by letting them watch programmes when and where they want.

"Our vision is for BBC iPlayer to become a universal service available not just over the Internet, but also on cable and other TV platforms, and eventually on mobiles and smart handheld devices," said the BBC's Ashley Highfield, director of future media and technology.

The service, at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer, is free, but people will not be allowed to save permanent copies to their computer. It could take 30 minutes to download an hour-long show.

It is only available to people living in Britain with computers that run the Microsoft XP operating system.

Programs will be automatically deleted after viewing or after 30 days. Copyright protection software will prevent the copying of shows.

Economy caught in inflation bind

Economy caught in inflation bind
Gulf News Published: July 30, 2007, 23:49

The UAE economy, moving on a high-speed growth trajectory, is getting caught up in the classic growth versus inflation dilemma.

While inflation in the UAE is largely a by-product of excess liquidity, increased government and private spending and the relative supply constraints in the real estate sector, the dirham's peg to the perennially falling dollar is also contributing to the general rise in prices.

Independent economists and the UAE Central Bank have always attributed surging rents as a major contributing inflationary factor. However, rising rents have also been widely acknowledged as a driver behind the real estate boom.

The UAE Ministry of Economy has estimated inflation at 9.3 per cent last year. With the new supply of homes coming into the market this year inflation was expected to ease to about 7.5 per cent.

However, with the surging cost of living and shrinking purchasing power, new supply alone is unlikely to cool inflation. In the absence of any kind of inflation targeting through fiscal or monetary policy measures, it would be unrealistic to expect prices to retreat in the near term.

But if the market is left to find its own tolerance level for too long, it will almost certainly bring down prices but at a huge cost in the form of a severe correction starting in the real estate sector, with cascading effect on other sectors.

The real estate sector is already seeing the omens on the horizon in the form of declining demand for newer properties from domestic buyers.

Biocon-Neopharma venture to develop drugs in Dubai

Biocon-Neopharma venture to develop drugs in Dubai
By Shakir Husain, Staff Reporter/Gulf News
Published: July 30, 2007, 23:49

Dubai: Indian biotechnology firm Biocon Limited and Abu Dhabi-based drugmaker Neopharma have set up a venture in Dubai to develop treatments for diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases in a boost for the emirate's efforts to create a viable medical research sector.

Located in Dubai Bio-technology and Research Park (Dubiotech), Neobiocon will focus on developing drugs to fight diseases that are growing due to changing lifestyles in the region.

The companies said the cardiovascular, diabetes and oncology segments represent the fastest growing class of drugs in the $5 billion GCC pharmaceutical market.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon, sees a spending of Dh100 million on research and development over the next three to five years.

The areas of research include auto-immune disorders, anti-obesity drugs and new generation immunosuppressant agents.

"Our long-term vision is to ensure that the region is self-sufficient in terms of biopharmaceutical products," Shaw said, describing the UAE as the "diabetes capital" of the region.

Neobiocon will rely on Biocon's technological achievements and Neopharma's manufacturing capabilities.

Neopharma, part of healthcare group NMC, has a drug-making facility in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi and plans to set up another plant in the capital to make drugs being developed by the Dubai-based venture.

NMC managing director B.R. Shetty told Gulf News his company will invest about Dh300 million in the plant covering a land area of 100,000 square metres.

He expects an annual turnover of about Dh185 million per year from the new company.

Besides the UAE, the company will also target Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

Diabetes and cardiovascular disorders are seen growing in the region due to sedentary lifestyles, job-related stress, a lack of physical activity and eating of rich foods.

"In addition to India and sub-Saharan Africa, the greatest relative increase of these diseases is expected to occur in the Middle Eastern countries," the two companies said in a statement.

Biotechnology: Dubiotech infrastructure is now 100% complete

- Dubiotech has begun leasing land for offices and factories to companies and has finished work on basic infrastructure facilities, a senior official said.

- The business cluster is part of Dubai Holding unit Tecom Investments.

- "Infrastructure is now 100 per cent complete. The lab building will be ready in early 2009 and the headquarters building in late 2009," business development director Yahya Al Ansari said.

- Total spending on infrastructure and the two buildings is estimated about Dh1.2 billion.

- Dubiotech has so far attracted 26 companies in different areas of biotechnology and medical research.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Waterbuses likely to operate from August

Waterbuses likely to operate from August
By a staff reporter / Khaleej Times

DUBAI — The waterbus service, officially launched on Sunday, will be open to commuters only by next month, it was learnt.

A senior official of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) yesterday confirmed the delay of the waterbus service on the Dubai Creek, saying it was due to technical reasons.

Khalid Al Zahed, director of Maritime Projects Department at the RTA, said the waterbuses were currently being tested and would be allowed to ply in the creek only after a foolproof check.

“The waterbuses will be plying along the Dubai Creek from next month. At present we are in the process of carrying out checks and re-checks to ensure their safe run,” he said.

The official added: “Safety of the commuters is RTA’s top priority. We want to first make sure that these buses are risk-free.”

Zahed added that a total number of 12 buses would be operating in the Creek on five different routes.

Meanwhile, staff at waterbus station at Al Seef said several people were coming every day to enquire about the waterbuses.

While the daily commuters will have to pay Dh4 for a trip, tourists will be charged Dh25 for a 45-minute tour.

There will be five lines for these waterbuses, including one for tourists which will start from the Shindaga station and go up to the Al Seef station. For the daily commuters, there are four lines - from Al Seef station to Baniyas station, from Sabkha station to Bur Dubai station, Old Souk station to Al Seef station and Old Souk station to Baniyas station. Commuters can also buy prepaid cards for the waterbuses, according to Eng. Eisa Abdul Rehman Al Dosari, CEO of the Marine Agency at the RTA.

Prices rise by 50%

Mineral water gets costlier next month
By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter/Gulf News
Published: July 30, 2007, 00:01

Abu Dhabi: Consumers are complaining that prices of all essential commodities have gone up.

"Whatever I purchased for Dh100 two months ago costs me around Dh130-Dh140 now," said James, an Indian expatriate who has been living in Abu Dhabi for the past 10 years.

Many supermarkets also confirmed the price increase of up to 50 per cent for some commodities in the past six months.

A senior manager of a prominent retail chain disclosed that the retail price of wheat flour has gone up by 50 per cent since January.

Basic commodities

"The 50kg bag of wheat flour priced at Dh56.50 in January was increased to Dh71 on July 5 and further increased to Dh83 this week," he said.

A 10kg bag of another type of flour, a mix of wheat and ground gram, went up by more than 30 per cent in the same period. The retail price was Dh13.50 in January but is now Dh17.95.

Interestingly the price was increased thrice this month. It was increased to Dh14.85 on July 1, and further increased to Dh15.95 and Dh17.95 on July 5 and July 29 respectively.

"Wheat is mainly imported from the United States, India and Pakistan. Apart from the increase in the cost of production, the fluctuation in the exchange rate is also said to be the reason for the substantial rise in price. The appreciation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar and the dirham has caused a price rise for almost all commodities imported from India," the manager of the retail chain said. But most retailers admitted that prices will not come down when the exchange rate is changed.

The latest in the series of price rises is that of mineral water.

"Almost all suppliers of mineral water have given notice to us that prices will be increased from July 1 onwards. A four-gallon water can will be priced at Dh9 against the current price of Dh7," said V. Nanda Kumar, Corporate Communications Manager of Emke Group. "We have told the suppliers that the new prices have to be ratified by the Ministry of Economy," he said.

The price of rice and vegetable oil has also gone up. Two of the oil brands have already implemented the price rise and others have given notice for the same to the wholesale dealers.

The price of sugar has been fluctuating during the past three months. Many consumers have demanded the intervention of the Ministry of Economy to control prices. No official from the ministry was available for comments.

Enoc hikes diesel price for fourth time in 40 days

Enoc hikes diesel price for fourth time in 40 days
By Shakir Husain, Staff Reporter / GULF NEWS
Published: July 30, 2007, 00:01

Dubai: Dubai's Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) yesterday raised the price of diesel by six per cent to Dh10.60 per gallon, the company's fourth price increase in less than 40 days.

On the previous three occasions the state-run company, which operates Enoc and Eppco filling stations, increased diesel prices by 20 fils each time.

The latest price hike makes diesel 24 per cent costlier in Dubai than in Abu Dhabi.

Diesel was available for Dh8.60 per gallon at the filling stations operated by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, which has kept its price unchanged despite the distributors in Dubai regularly hiking fuel prices.

Emirates General Petroleum Corp (Emarat) was still selling diesel at Dh9.99 per gallon yesterday, but the company has matched Enoc prices in the past with its own price revisions.



The Ministry of Economy said recently a 31.5 per cent increase in the prices of petroleum products in 2005 fuelled last year's inflation, which it estimated at 9.3 per cent.

Transport companies said the steep price hike will put an extra financial burden on them.

"Diesel prices keep going up but we cannot increase our charges so frequently," said a manager of Belhasa Bus Rental company, which operates a fleet of 70 vehicles.

Diesel consumers may also be encouraged to source cheaper fuel from Adnoc outlets.

"We are instructing our drivers to get diesel from Adnoc stations if they are in Abu Dhabi or Sharjah," said Kamran Ahmad, manager of another transport company based in Dubai.

An Enoc spokesperson told Gulf News one reason for the latest price revision was the recent introduction of low-sulphur diesel by the company and producing that fuel "is a costlier process with additional long-term investment required."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Online backups: easier, faster, safer

Online backups: easier, faster, safer
Saturday,28 July 2007 9:37 hrs IST
english edition / technology reviews

Washington: There's a lot to be said for the idea of online backup. You get a copy of your important data and system files in a remote location. You can access the backup from any computer that has an internet connection. And you can even use the backup to share your data, if desirable, with others.

But one significant problem has prevented most folks from taking advantage of the online backup solutions available: their internet connections were too slow to make the process bearable.

A lot has changed over the past year, however, to make the reality of online backup more palatable. First, Internet connections continue to get faster, with broadband gaining traction around the world and, thanks to fibre rollouts giving cable and DSL real competition, forcing internet providers to offer higher and higher speeds for less money.

Second, online backup services have gotten smarter about how they use your internet connection, making the prospect of backing up your data over even a relatively slow internet connection more realistic.

Mozy (http://mozy.com/) and Carbonite (http://www.carbonite.com) both employ a "slow go" approach to backing up your computer. To overcome the drawback of slower Internet connections making online backup an unrealistic option, these services both employ smart applications that, once installed on your PC, take care of backing up your data behind the scenes. The backups occur so slowly that you probably won't even be aware that they're occurring.

If you end up doing something intensive online - such as game playing or video conferencing - you can temporarily suspend both Mozy and Carbonite until you've finished. It makes sense to compare these services because both employ essentially the same backup model and both appear intent on remaining competitive with one another in terms of the service offered.

Should you ever need to restore a file, you just log in to your account and select the files you wish to restore. Doing an "image" backup of your entire hard drive and restoring an entire computer using one of these services is not possible.

If you're not sure whether online backup is for you, Mozy offers a free trial that does not require you to give out a credit card but does provide you with two gigabytes of storage space for your backups. That's enough to back up many people's most precious data files - ones you'd never want to lose under any circumstances.

And while many of the applications required to use online backup are Windows-only, Mozy now offers a beta version of its Mac-compatible client. Mozy's unlimited plan removes limitations on storage space and costs $4.95 per month or $54.45 per year.

Carbonite also offers a free trial, but it's limited to 15 days rather than two gigabytes. The upside is that should you decide to make online backup a part of your strategy for data security, you can get an unlimited storage option for a bit less than Mozy charges: $4.16 per month or $49.95 per year - less if you choose a two-year option.

Privacy is obviously a concern of most computer users these days, and both Mozy and Carbonite insist that your data will be encrypted and safe from prying eyes. The full privacy policies of both companies are readily available.

Taking a slightly different approach to online backup is XDrive (http://www.xdrive.com), which has been around for many years now but is finally becoming a more realistic option for those with faster Internet connections.

Instead of taking the slow, behind-the-scenes approach to backing up your data, XDrive's Windows-compatible installation lets you use the service as though it were an external hard drive connected directly to your PC. Once XDrive is installed, you simply drag and drop files to your XDrive or set up a backup routine with your backup application of choice.

The backups do not occur slowly, over time, but immediately, using all of the bandwidth available to you, so XDrive makes senses for those with a good Internet connection. XDrive offer five gigabytes of storage space for free. Fifty gigabytes of storage runs for $9.95 per month.

Although many of us are loathe to take on yet another monthly or yearly subscription charge, the security offered by online backup services is compelling - and may even be cost-effective, if you consider that a typical external hard drive and enclosure runs for about $200 dollars.

Ideally, any backup you make should be stored off-site anyway, in case of an on-site disaster, and few computer users who make backups bother to take them off site.

Online backup accomplishes that task easily and often transparently. What's more, if Google gets into the online backup market - as has been rumoured, with its yet-to-be-announced product GDrive - you can expect the price of online backup to come down in a hurry.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Beach for Abu Dhabi

All those who are here in Abu Dhabi and all those who visit here say that Abu Dhabi has one of the best Corniche. In order to improve the facilities the authorities are in the process of completing a new stretch of 1.5 kms of beach front - recovering it from the sea. With the speed with which they do it, it is just matter of couple of weeks to enjoy it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Enoc introduces low sulphur diesel in UAE

Enoc introduces low sulphur diesel in UAE
Staff Report/GULF NEWS
Published: July 25, 2007, 22:58
Abu Dhabi: The Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), a wholly-owned Dubai government enterprise, yesterday said it has introduced lower sulphur diesel at Enoc/Eppco service stations across Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, conforming to a directive from the UAE government to safeguard the environment.

"The sulphur content in the newly introduced greener diesel has 500 parts per million (0.05 per cent) sulphur content ,down from 2,500 PPM (0.25 per cent) content in the previous diesel," Enoc said in a statement.

"Enoc is delighted to support the Government of UAE in an initiative for a greener environment. This new move reflects our ongoing commitment to making a positive contribution to curbing pollution and ensuring a cleaner atmosphere," the statement quoted Enoc Group chief executive Hussain Sultan as saying.



Different sources

An Enoc spokesman told Gulf News that the greener diesel would be sourced from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and India.

"We will have different sources to buy diesel from, but the specifications would remain the same," said the spokesman.

When asked if the introduction of lower sulphur diesel would have any impact on the prevailing diesel prices in the UAE, the Enoc spokesman said: "The price will follow the international market trends."

Cleaner alternative

The new diesel offers a cleaner alternative as it is less polluting to the environment because of its lower sulphur content and generates much lower amounts of particulates and NO2, which are well known causes linked to asthma and cancer.

In the UAE, the sulphur content in gas oil has been rapidly coming down from 5,000 parts per million to 2,500 ppm to 500 ppm now, due to initiatives by the oil marketing companies to adhere to globally acceptable vehicular emission norms.

Established in 1993, Enoc aims to promote the interests of its shareholders through the development of further downstream and upstream activities in the oil and gas sector and beyond and to encourage the economic diversification of Dubai and the rest of the UAE.

Visit: www.enoc.com to know more about ENOC.

Opec oil output to rise in July

Opec oil output to rise in July
26 July 2007
LONDON — Opec oil output is expected to rise this month due to higher supply from members including Nigeria, Iraq and Angola, a consultant said yesterday.

Opec's 10 members subject to output limits, all except Iraq and Angola, are set to pump 26.9 million barrels per day, up 100,000bpd from June, said Conrad Gerber, head of Petrologistics, which tracks tanker shipments.

The estimate, while showing rising supply in some Opec countries, indicates top exporter Saudi Arabia is keeping a cap on output in spite of a jump in oil prices towards a record high and consumer calls for more production.

"There's no major opening of the taps," Gerber said. "They fear that if they opened the taps, prices would slide."

Nigeria is raising supply in July by about 100,000bpd to 2.12 million bpd, Gerber said. The increase reflects fewer disruptions to the country's oil industry from militant attacks in the Niger Delta.

Iranian oil output is also on the increase — climbing by 50,000bpd to 3.95 million bpd.

Overall supply from the 12-member Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to rise 300,000bpd to 30.7 million bpd, Petrologistics said, as Iraq and Angola pump more.

Iraqi output is on course to reach 2.08 million bpd, up from 1.94 million bpd in June, because the country is exporting some Kirkuk crude from its northern fields.

Storage tanks at the Turkish port of Ceyhan receive sporadic deliveries of Kirkuk by pipeline from Iraq's northern oilfields. Iraq sold three million barrels for shipment in July, the first such sale since January.

ADMA-OPCO Abu Dhabi awards Dh1.4b Zakum works

ADMA-OPCO awards Dh1.4b Zakum works
26 July 2007
ABU DHABI — National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), jointly with Technip, won a contract valuing Dh1.4 billion from ADMA-OPCO, for the Zakum gas processing facilities in the offshore areas of Abu Dhabi.

The project consists of installing gas processing and compression facilities to increase the production capacity of the Zakum field, while maintaining the reservoir pressure.

The new gas compression platform will be connected to the existing lower Zakum platform by a bridge. It will have two gas turbine-driven centrifugal compression trains, a triefthylene glycol dehydration unit, an air cooling unit and vapor recovery system.

The facilities are scheduled to be operational January 2010.

Visit: http://www.adma-opco.com to know more about ADMA-OPCO.

Fertil Abu Dhabi launches $240m expansion programme

Fertil launches $240m expansion programme
BY HASEEB HAIDER - Khaleej Times
20 July 2007
ABU DHABI — Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (Fertil), a subsidiary of Adnoc Group, has launched an expansion programme valuing $240 million to add 50 per cent capacity to its Urea manufacturing facilities.

At a ceremony held at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Fertil signed two contracts for the Urea Plant Debottlenecking Project with Descon Engineering of Pakistan worth $177 million, while a contract was signed with M/s Urea Casale of Switzerland for providing the technology and licence for the Urea Plant modifications.

Mohammed Rashid Al Rashid, General Manager Fertil, speaking on the occasion said:" We have taken a strategic decision to convert our surplus liquid Ammonia into Urea, which is more convenient to store, handle and export."

He said the Carbon dioxide required for this process will be recovered from the presently vented Reformer Flue Gases, resulting in annual reduction in Green House Gases emissions of approximately 100,000 tonnes of CO2, resulting in 20 per cent reductions. This is very much in line with the International Co2 sequestrations process, clean development mechanism and Kyoto protocol objective.

In addition, the conversion of 90,000 metric tonne per year (MTPD) of ammonia into urea will be supplie to the new Melamine plant and process off gases and carbamate return from the Melamine Plant as well.

Fertil's plant currently produces 1000 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) Topsoe designed Ammonia and 1500 metric per day (MTPD) Stamicarbon Urea plant. Since, Fertil's establishment in 1983, the Urea production capacity was increased by 20 per cent. Of 2700 metric tonnes per day manufacturing capacity of urea, about 800 metric tonnes per day will be supplied to the Melamine plant and remaining 1900 metric tonnes per day of Urea production will be Granulated and exported.

The Granulation unit Technology Licence is provided by M/s Uhde Fertilizer Technology of Netherlands and the unit is designed for 2500 metric tonnes per day. The Carbon Dioxide Recovery technology and licence is provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan and the unit will have a capacity of 400 metric tonnes per day of Co2.

Speaking on the occasion, Shaikh Azhar Ali CEO and Managing Director of Descon Engineering said that the company has vast experience in the setting up Urea plants, after establishing the group's own mega unit in Pakistan.

Visit : www.fertil.com to know more about FERTIL.

Visa to carry applicant’s photograph

27 July 2007

ABU DHABI — The Department of Naturalisation and Residency in the Ministry of Interior has ordered all the departments of naturalisation and residency in the country to fix the photograph of visa applicants on the visas themselves, stated Brigadier Mohammad Salim bin Oueidah Al Kheili, director general of the department.

According to a fresh guideline, instead of the black and white photocopy a colour photocopy of the applicant’s passport will have to be submitted along with the application for visa. The decision applies to all categories of visas.

The photo of the applicant will be taken from the colour photocopy of the passport and fixed on the visa by the naturalisation and residency departments in the country. The visa with the photo will be submitted at the airport at the time of the arrival of the applicant.

This decision has been implemented at the Abu Dhabi Naturalisation and Residency Department and will come into force immediately at other departments countrywide.

The decision is in line with the directives of Minister of Interior Lt-Gen. Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan to protect against manipulation and tampering of visas.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Have you ever thought of living in a Forest - Athirappilly near Chalakudy in Trichur District Kerala is a nice place where you can plan if you have time. During the rainy season, it was looking more wilder - and this time too I couldn't resist myself to skip this beauty.

Loyal member

Some people deserve to be mentioned for their dedication and loyalty. And we normally tend to give long service awards to such members to appreciate their efforts and support. I felt it should be the case for animals too. I am not an ardent fan or supporter of Maneka Gandhi's animal protection movement where she conveninently close her eyes when it comes to matters related to rich and when it comes to middle class or poor where stray dogs attacking children and killing them in Bangalore - 6th such incident happened recently - and coming out with support for them and not allowing the authorities to take actions against. Result - bikers have to fear, small children and families - especially with infants have to fear for these dogs. As long as we do not react, everything is possible - in India and elsewhere.

Coming back to our Loyal Member, I happened to meet him at a friends house. I was very much impressed - 30 years + - he has been with them and still continuing his affection, support and loyalty. Look at his eyes, he has so many stories to tell you - and will pass on them to you through our Jaaju Jaaju section very soon.

Congrats man, may God bless you to have some more years of peaceful and dutiless life in this world.

90/10 secret

During my short stay, I had a chance to pass by a beach side on the coastal route - National Highway 17 passing through Trichur in Kerala. It was not a popular spot to attract tourist but had many fisherman folks living there. The heavy monsoon had taken its toll on the day I passed and almost all the boats and catamarans from the area were lined up neatly as they were unable to go out to the sea for fishing. It was beyond there means and many of them who had ventured out on that day had to return half way because of warning from Weather department and Coastal authorities. Even at these adverse situation, the fishermen projected a courageous and courteous smile and watched and joined the few who had come to watch the violent sea.

I include a forward from Vijayakumar, Dubai which is very apt when we think of how each situation we come across in life can be handled with poise, graise and determination. Enjoy reading the same:

9/10 secret - Understand and apply the 90/10 secret. It will change your life!

What is this secret?
10% of life is made up of what happens to you.
90% of life is decided by how you react.

What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us.

1. We cannot stop the car from breaking down.

2. The plane may be arriving late, which throws our whole schedule off.

3. A driver may cut us off in traffic.

We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90% !!

How? ....By your reaction.

* You cannot control a red light, but you can control your reaction.
* Don't let people fool you, YOU can control how you react! Let's use an example....

You're eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the coffee cup over.She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs you find your daughter has been busy crying, and so, is not able to finish breakfast and get ready for school.

She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15 minute delay and throwing rs 200 to the Cop as fine.....

In the evening, you look forward to going home. When you arrive home you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why?Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?
A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the Policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is " D ".

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened:

" Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say "It's OK honey, you just need to be more careful next time". Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase. You come back down in time look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You and your spouse kiss before you both go to work. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the
staff. Your boss comments on how good of day you are having." Notice the difference.

Two different scenarios. Both started the same way but both ended differently.

Why? Because of how you REACTED !!!

You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% is determined by your reaction. Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 secret :

If someone says something negative about you, do not be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you!

React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out, etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound the steering wheel? (A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off!) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them?

WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the blue car ruin your drive. Remember the 90-10 principle, and do not worry about it!You are told! you lost your job. Why lose sleep or get irritated? It will work out. Use your "worrying" energy and time into finding another job.

The plane is late. It is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger, etc. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

You now know the 90/10 secret. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results.

Remember :

"Minds are like parachutes, they function best when open"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

$100 Oil May Be Months Away, Not Years, Say CIBC, Goldman

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- The $100-a-barrel oil that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said would prevail by 2009 may be only a few months away.

Jeffrey Currie, a London-based commodity analyst at the world's biggest securities firm, says $95 crude is likely this year unless OPEC unexpectedly increases production, and declining inventories are raising the chances for $100 oil. Jeff Rubin at CIBC World Markets predicts $100 a barrel as soon as next year.

``We're only a headline of significance away from $100 oil,'' said John Kilduff, an analyst in the New York office of futures broker Man Financial Inc. ``The unrelenting pressure of increased demand has left the market a coiled spring.'' New disruptions of Nigerian or Iraqi supplies, or any military strike against Iran, might trigger the rise, Kilduff said in a July 20 interview.

Higher prices will increase revenue for energy producers from Exxon Mobil Corp. to PetroChina Co., while eroding profit at airlines including EasyJet Plc and railroads such as Union Pacific Corp. The U.S. and other oil-importing nations risk accelerating inflation, while higher energy costs threaten to restrain growth.

Benchmark crude oil futures ended last week at $75.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 51 percent since mid-January and twice the level of early 2003. A record number of options have been sold that give the buyer the right to buy crude oil at $100. The contracts, covering 50 million barrels, only pay off should oil go above the target price.

Goldman's View

Arjun Murti, a New York-based Goldman Sachs analyst who covers oil producers and refiners, roiled markets in March 2005 with a report saying prices could touch $105 a barrel during a ``super spike'' period because demand was stronger than anticipated. Price swings might also go as low as $50, Murti said at the time.

Currie, Goldman's global head of commodities research in London, is predicting that oil prices will probably touch a record and stay at unprecedented levels for months or years. The all-time high for Nymex crude futures is $78.40 a barrel on July 14, 2006.

``Ultimately, the key to the outlook going forward is when Saudi Arabia will ramp up production,'' he said in an interview. ``If you have a situation in which inventories globally get drawn to critically low levels, the volatility in this market is likely to explode, which significantly increases the probability of $100 oil.'' Oil might slip to $73.50 if OPEC were to start producing more now, he said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to next meet in September. No members have called for a gathering before then. A decision to raise output at that time would lead to greater supplies toward the end of the year.

Accelerating Demand

The failure of near-record fuel prices to restrain global oil demand growth is what concerns Rubin, chief strategist at the brokerage unit of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto.

``Prices have doubled, and demand is alive and well and accelerating,'' he said in a July 18 interview. ``The argument that rising prices would choke demand and bring increased output is falling to the wayside.''

A National Petroleum Council study led by former Exxon Mobil chairman Lee Raymond, released last week, predicted a growing gap between production and demand for oil and gas during the next two decades. As recently as 2005, Raymond said oil prices had probably peaked and dismissed the possibility that supply and demand could not be brought back into balance.

``There are questions about whether the oil industry can keep up with demand,'' U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said last week, commenting on the Petroleum Council report.

Gasoline Sales Rise

Gasoline pump prices averaging more than $3 a gallon across the U.S., the consumer of 25 percent of the world's oil, haven't dented sales. Deliveries of gasoline were a record 9.23 million barrels a day in the first half of this year, according to a July 18 report from the American Petroleum Institute in Washington.

``It appears that high prices are acceptable to the American consumer,'' said Robert Ebel, chairman of the energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. ``People want the house with a yard and white-picket fence so they are moving further and further out of the cities. They have to just get up earlier and drive further.''

Outside the U.S., demand increases are being led by India and China, where growing economies mean more cars and trucks and more factories that burn oil and gas.

Consumption between now and the end of the year will increase by 3.6 million barrels a day because of seasonal shifts. The rise is equal to the daily production of Kuwait and Oman combined, and it comes after OPEC twice in the past year cut production to support prices.

Rising Costs

The cost of finding and pumping oil is rising steadily, convincing analysts such as Rubin and Deutsche Bank AG chief energy economist Adam Sieminski that higher prices will last. Shortages of deepwater drilling ships and rigs has pushed daily rents to records, and the skilled workers needed to run rigs, weld pipes, pilot vessels, fix refineries and build oil-sands projects command ever-higher wages.

``Three years ago we were calling for $30 oil, then $35 and then $40 oil,'' said New York-based Sieminski, who last week raised his forecast for the average price of oil in 2010 to $60 a barrel from $45.

``I've gotten tired of increasing these forecasts in $5 increments,'' Sieminski said in an interview. ``Something has happened. Costs have continued to escalate, and the geopolitical situation has gotten worse.''

The $60-a-barrel forecast for 2010 is 15 percent higher than the average analyst forecast, Sieminski said. The projection probably will turn out to be too low, he said.

Oil prices could triple in three months to more than $200 a barrel, given the right circumstances, according to Matthew Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Co., a Houston investment bank.

`Still Cheap'

``Oil is still cheap,'' Simmons said. ``In the 20th century, with a few exceptions, oil was almost free. The only exceptions were during 1973, 1979 and when Iraq invaded Kuwait.''

Prices rose in 1974 after an oil embargo that followed the Arab-Israeli war and from 1979 through 1981 after Iran cut oil exports. The average cost of oil used by U.S. refiners was $35.24 a barrel in 1981, according to the Energy Department, or $79.67 in today's dollars.

While crude oil prices are approaching the records they set at this time last year, not everyone is convinced $100 crude will happen. From their peak, oil futures began a six-month slide. They got below $50 on Jan. 18 before rebounding.

``The risk parameters are somewhat different than a year ago, however the overall situation is similar,'' said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citigroup Inc. in New York who correctly predicted a year ago that oil prices were at a peak. ``We've priced in a shortage that is not evident yet.''


A pullout from Iraq may be the event that pushes oil to $100 a barrel, according to Boone Pickens, the Dallas hedge fund manager who has joined Forbes Magazine's list of billionaires because of his bullish bets on energy prices. Pickens predicted a year ago that $100 oil would probably occur by now. Today he is looking for $80 within six months, and he says growing chaos in Iraq would be a bad sign. ``That could run prices pretty high,'' he said.

Goldman Sachs's Currie also notes similarities to a year ago, with global inventories at about the same level and U.S. government data showing an increasing bet on higher prices.

``At face value this market is strikingly similar to a year ago,'' Currie said. ``What is different? Supply is down a million barrels a day, demand is up a million barrels a day. The market is in a deficit.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: July 22, 2007 19:10 EDT

Thanks to Nagesh Sreenivasan, Dubai for this info.

Burj Dubai - World's new tallest building - Think Beyond Ordinary

Fast Facts:
- At level 110, Bur Dubai became the tallest structure in the Middle East and Europe in March 2007.
- At level 120, it set new global record for having more floors than any other building in the world in April.
- At level 141, it became the world's tallest tower in July 2007.
- The tip of its spire will be seen up to 95 kimlometres away.
- A condensate collection system will collect 15 million gallons of condensed woater from the hot and humid air per year, for the tower's gardens.
- The tower's curtain wall will be equivalent to 17 soccer (American) or 25 football (British) fields.

Thanks to Madhu Rayirath, Bangalore for sending me these info.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Sound of Rain

It was rain, rain and more rain wherever I went. Coming from 45+ degrees it was a great relief and enjoyment to see the rain continuously. As usual the small pond in my garden greeted us with a beautiful lotus flower.

Aided by the problems to logon to the net as per wish and plan, it became a real holiday and opportunity to explore the country side through the eyes of my camera. Enjoy some of the pictuers, rest of them - a huge collection will come to you in due course.

As I write to you these, I hear The sound of Rain - wish it rains here too.

Shy to come out

Due to the heavy rain and weather, the sun was very shy to come out.

No vision

It was really difficult to drive around.

Family Tree

When I saw this tree at Bangalore, I really thought about the family tree - the good old days where every one joins the father and mother or the elders and live together. Now a days, we are all too busy that no time for our own things - so where is the time for thinking about the near and dear!!!

Natures Canvas

With rain around, the sun set at Bangalore also portrayed a very scenic sky.

It was as if I brought the rain along with me from Kerala to Bangalore. The evening sky at Kemp Fort area with rain round the corner was similar to a painting which we all had seen and forgotten recently.

Ant & Snake homes

Bangalore is one place where you still get to see many ant and snake architectural houses or sculptures. The religious belief amongst the residence have retained at least some of them even though for a shorter period before they are demolished for construction purpose - either a posh villa or a high rise building.

More later

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Travelling in Rain

It's rain rain and more rain. But enjoying it. Thanks to Microsoft Vistas, I am totally cut off with all connectivity solutions - Reliance network, Airtel, BSNL - all are yet to come up with patch files to connect to the internet using Vistas on laptop. But it's good fun, and some rest away from mails. Till I get hooked on to the net again, enjoy some rain with me.

Monday, July 2, 2007

"I Want Patience And I Want It Now!"

"I Want Patience And I Want It Now!"

Patience has never been one of my virtues, although I have become more so as I grow older. I recently experienced a surge of impatience as I waited for an event to occur. I kept repeating my usual affirmative statement, but I found myself in a battle to let things go and allow them to unfold as they should. Another opportunity to practice patience.

Stimulated by my irritation stemming from impatience, I began to think about how impatience affects our sense of well-being and peace. In my archive of information,
I found the following thought on patience.

The Greek word for patience, makrothymia, suggests having a large capacity for absorbing irritants without letting them paralyze you. Here's one way to think about it: Patience is like good motor oil, which doesn't remove all of the contaminants. It just puts them into suspension so they don't get into your works and seize them up. Patient people have, so to speak, a large crankcase. They can put a lot of irritants into suspension.

Suppose the person behind you keeps cracking his knuckles. You put your annoyance into suspension. Suppose you can't find your keys and you feel a little scuffed up. Put it into suspension. Suppose somebody is late for your meeting and you feel your anger start to rise. Into the crankcase it goes. Patient people have makrothymia. They've got a big capacity for absorbing irritants without seizing up. They get annoyed, but they have a place to put their annoyance.
Author: Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.


It is not just situations that can result in our impatience; it is also our impatience with others at home and at work that can arouse the sleeping giant of irritability. We may find ourselves becoming irritated over small, insignificant behaviors or habits of others that have the same effect upon us as the sound of fingernails raking down a chalkboard.
C. S. Lewis says, "When two humans live together for a while, it usually happens that each has facial expressions and tones of voice that are almost unendurable to the other." With all due respect to C.S. Lewis, I would suggest that people with whom we work could have the same effect upon us when we are under stress on the job.
Patience with ourselves, with others and with our situations is an important component of our happiness. It is through our patience that grander things can come to and through us. As an old Chinese proverb reminds us, "Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk."

Affirmation for your coming days:

“I am growing patience in my garden of life. I can't wait to see what fruit it bears.”

Have patience-filled days ahead!

Every Day is an Opportunity

Every Day is an opportunity to find something new in our life and also attempt for and achieve old or new objectives which come across our way as it progress. Utilise it to the best way so that when you finish, you are able to pat yourself with a "Well Done - You have done a great job" remark and a small and short thanks to God for giving an opportunity to do so.

I am posting some of the things that came in this morning and thought they deserve to be here.

We saw the retirement of two major infrastructures from the lifeline of Abu Dhabi this week. The first one was the closure of India Social Centre - ISC - which was etablished in 1967 in this building. It has temporarily closed down its old facilities, after 40 years of service to the Indian Community. A totally new facility is getting ready and will be ready for its members very soon.

Once up on a time!!! The second one was the demolition of the Gray Mackenzie - now ADMMI - building situated in Khalifa street after serving almost 40+ years.

Many old Abu Dhabi'ites will have golden memories connected to both these places.

Considering the pace of demolition and development that is happening here, these two longstanding achievers really showed their prominence and value to remain there to serve the community.

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