Thursday, March 25, 2010

India has more cell phones than toilets: UN

India has 545 million working cell phones thanks to its booming emerging economy, a number expected to reach 1 billion by 2015, the UN University said Wednesday.That number exceeds the number of people who have access to toilet or sanitation facilities - only about 366 million, or 31 percent of the 1-billion strong population.

India's number of cell phone users soared in just 10 years, from 0.35 per 100 persons in 2000 to 45 per 100 persons this year.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.1 billion people of the world population of 6.7 billion people have no access to toilet facilities. The UN Millennium Development Goals call for access to toilets by all people by 2025,

The UN University, a Canada-based think tank, made a study on cell phone users in developing countries to demonstrate that some countries may lag behind in achieving the goal of providing toilets and sanitation for all the world population by 2025.

'It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet,' said Zafar Adeel, a director at the UN University.

UN University said it would cost an estimated 358 billion dollars to build toilets for half the world population between now and 2015. Each toilet costs 300 dollars.

The World Health Organisation and the UN Children's Fund said programmes to provide toilets have fallen behind schedule worldwide and the 2015 goal may not be reached.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wonderful opportunity

One of these days, we will have a grand vacation in the United States of America! Wishful thinking! We are saving a part of our money so we can afford to go there. We really want to go to some of the states of the said country.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Ajith’s 50th film grand launch in Madurai

Ajith’s 50th film is gearing up for a kind of launch never seen before in Tamil industry. The grand function is being planned in Madurai, the stronghold of Alagiri. Gautham will start the film in June immediately after he completes his underproduction low budget thriller starring his associate Veera and Sameera Reddy.ajith

Dhayanidhi Alagiri who produces Ajith’s 50th film has sounded a grand function at the famous Thamukam Grounds in Madurai. Elaborate plans are being made to have Union Minister and the father of Dhayanidhi Mu. Ka. Alagiri and the Super Star Rajinikanth on the stage together as chief guests.

Gautham Menon is planning to convert Ajith as the new James Bond of south cinema. At the same time he has given full freedom to Ajith to decide on how he wants to look in the film. Ajith’s terrific macho appearance in ‘Asal’ is still fresh in the minds of the people.

As said before Gautham has applied the title ‘Kaaval’ for this film and if that title is not available then he would call the film ‘Khaki’.

Cinemas To Show IPL Matches and Offer Alcohol

It is cricket-ainment time at cinema halls across India, with nearly 650 screens gearing up for live telecasts of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, which will begin from Friday and continue for more than six weeks. Sources said that the final number of screens could cross 700. Cine-goers will get to watch matches without commercial breaks and also avail of other incentives. Topmost among them is master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s autographed bat, which will be circulated across all cinemas and later auctioned. Sanjay Gaikwad, of UFO Moviez, said, “A bat Tendulkar has used will be auctioned off.’’ The funds will go to Apnalaya, an NGO endorsed by him.

Tendulkar also auctioned off the first theatre ticket for the matches. From a base price of Rs 5 lakh it went for Rs 11 lakh. The money will also go to Apnalaya. Tendulkar said, “This is a very good initiative and if high-content cricket reaches the remotest areas of the country more and more youngsters will be encouraged to play the game.’’

In Mumbai, about 50 cinema halls will screen matches, including Cinemax, New Excelsior, Roxy, Meghraj (Vashi), Gem (Bandra), Inox, Fame, PVR, Big and Broadway (Kandivli).
While the cinemas are geared up for the games, there is a small hitch in opening the a dva n c e b o o k - ings. Inox cinemas’ vice-president (marketing) Harshvardhan Gangurde said, “We are all set, but await a formal notification from the state government on taxes. Otherwise, things are in place.’’ There will be no entertainment tax exemption on IPL tickets. Gaikwad added, “The government will be charging about 20 to 34%, which is the same for any film ticket.’’ Sources said tickets would cost Rs 250 to Rs 300, the cost of an average movie ticket on weekends.

Some cinemas will offer alcohol. Devang Sampat, vice president, Cinemax Cinemas, said, “Corporate bookings have started and we are offering alcohol with them.’’

Most team sponsors have already done block bookings for the entire IPL season. A source said, “There is a lot of demand for Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, who probably have the maximum sponsors on board. Last season, KKR matches got the maximum eyeballs. With Tendulkar in tremendous form, there will definitely be a mad rush for his matches too.’’ Cinemas will offer cricketing merchandise and have cheerleaders, celebrities and live bands. Gaikwad said, “We are trying to bring the stadium into the theatre. There are lot of small towns where bookings are full and we have to add screens. In Nagpur it’s house-full even before the tournament begins.’’ In some states, including Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, cinema halls will not be able to screen the matches as film producers have objected because there would be fewer screens to show local movies. Gangurde, of INOX, said, “We hope to resolve the issue in Bangalore, but no live telecasts will happen in cinemas in TN and AP.’’

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Petrol rates are nomore a worry - make fuel from chicken feather

Manoranjan "Mano" Misra, an Indian American professor known for turning coffee grounds and chicken feathers into fuel, been honoured as the 2010 Regents' Researcher by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.

Misra, director of the University of Nevada, Reno's Renewable Energy Centre, has published 183 technical papers in the areas of materials, nanotechnology and environmental and mineral process engineering, according to Nevada News.

A faculty member since 1988, he has had 10 patents published and another 12 are pending. He has secured over $25 million dollars in grant funding.

Misra's work also includes applied nano-technology for solar hydrogen generation, hydrogen storage, biomaterials for prosthetic implantation and sensor technology.

Misra's work in the removal of arsenic from drinking water has earned him national recognition, as well as three patents. Several industries have taken licenses from the University to use his arsenic technology for water purification.

His patented process for mercury removal from the cyanide streams of gold mining operations is being used in Nevada and internationally. Misra's recent research in renewal energy, more specifically in using coffee grounds and chicken feathers to produce biodiesel fuel, has garnered media attention.

Misra's expertise is also recognised for his service as a reviewer for 12 different journals, including Science and Nature. He also is a panel reviewer for the Department of Energy Alternative Energy, National Science Foundation and the Department of Defence, among others.

He has been a professor in the department of chemical and metallurgical engineering since 1993 and served for six years as the chair of the metallurgical and materials engineering department.

Currently he is the director of the Centre for Mineral Bioprocessing and Remediation and is on the faculty of the environmental science and engineering department and the biomedical engineering department.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Delhi is the Best City to Live: CII-IFC Livability Index 2010

While Delhi has emerged as the best Indian city in terms of quality of life and living standards, its satellite townships of Gurgaon and Noida have failed to keep pace with the development. The Capital comes on top in education, safety and economic environment; second in housing options, socio-cultural political environment but fares poorly in medical standards, says ‘The Liveability Index 2010'.

Coming close to the winner Delhi are the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune ranked 2nd to 8th respectively in overall quality of life ratings. Ironically the NCR region, which should have kept pace with the development of Delhi, has failed to do so as Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad have been ranked 9th, 27th and 32nd respectively.

On education front, the poorest performers are Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, and Vadodara. Mumbai gains the top rank in socio-political environment, followed by Delhi, Kolkata, Goa and Chennai. Mumbai leads in city planning followed by Chennai and Delhi.

Comparing house-cost and availability, urban household crowding and household incomes, the cities of Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Dehra Dun, Gurgaon, and Noida provide the best housing options. Faring poorly in this parameter are the cities of Vishakhapatnam, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Kochi, Nashik, and Vadodara.