Saturday, December 29, 2012

One Idiot – A fun & nice movie by IDFC on Financial Literacy

One Idiot – A fun & nice movie by IDFC on Financial Literacy:
IDFC foundation has released a small 30 minutes movie called “One Idiot to spread financial literacy for today’s generation which feels that life is all about spending and looking “cool”. The movie is directed by Amol Gupte, who had also directed the movie “Taare Zameen Par”. The movie ‘One Idiot’, shows how a bunch of students who are in their early 20′s make fun of a guy who looks dumb and does not believe in showing off, only to find out later one day that he is actually a multi millionaire, living and enjoying his life. The overall message of the movie is that you have to be prudent and responsible when it comes to money and start your systematic investments however small they are and over a long term, you will be on path of financial freedom.

I watched the movie few months back when someone from IDFC had asked for my comments on the movie. Overall I think you should watch this movie and also share it with your children who are in school and going to enter their working life. Watch the movie and share what you liked about the movie ? Do you think its able to give that message of “saving and investing that money is important from starting” .

Monday, December 24, 2012

An Interview With the Nativity Innkeeper

An Interview With the Nativity Innkeeper:

Your name, please.
Ben Cohen.
Retired. I was an innkeeper.
In Bethlehem.
And in fact it was your inn where Jesus was born.
That’s right. Well, not in the inn itself. Out back.
In the animal shed.
Yeah. I still get a lot of flak for that.
How do you mean?
I mean that people still criticize me for not having room at the inn. They say to me, you couldn’t give a pregnant woman a room? You couldn’t give a room to the woman pregnant with the divine child? Couldn’t even spare a broom closet for the Baby Jesus?
How do you respond to that?
I say, well, look. First off, it wasn’t just me. If you go back you’ll see that every inn was full.
Because of the census.
Census, schmensus. It was the foot races. Bethlehem versus Cana. Also there was a touring theater troupe from Greece. Only appearance in Judea. The city was packed. We had reservations for months.
But Mary was pregnant.
I had three pregnant ladies at the inn that night. One was giving birth when Joe and Mary showed up. She was down the hall, screaming at the top of her lungs, cursing like you wouldn’t believe. Her husband tried to encourage her to push and she kicked him in the groin. Think about that. She’s crowning a baby, and she takes the time to put her foot into her husband’s testicles. So maybe you’ll understand why even if I had a room, I wouldn’t be in a rush to give it up to those two.
But you ended up letting them go out to the animal shed.
That was an accident.
How so?
Joe comes in and asks for a room, and I tell him we’re all out of rooms and have been for months. Foot races. Theater groupies. And such. And he says, come on, please. I’ve got a pregnant lady with me. And I say, you hear that down the hall? I’m full up with pregnant ladies. And he says, this baby is important. And I say, hey, buddy, I don’t care if he’s the Son of God, I don’t have any rooms.
So there’s some irony there.
I guess so. And then he says, look, we’ll take anything. And so I say, as a joke, all right, you can go and sleep with animals if you like. And he says fine and slaps some money on the counter.
He called your bluff.
Yeah. And I say, I was kidding about that. And he says, and my wife’s water just broke in your lobby. What could I do? I pointed him in the direction of the animals.
It’s better than having the baby in the street.
I suppose so, but you know, if the reason they were in Bethlehem was because of the census, then he had family in the area, right? It’s his ancestral home and all that. He can’t say to a cousin, hey, give us a couch? There are some family dynamics going on there that have been conveniently left unexamined, if you ask me.
Joseph had a lot on his mind.
Must have.
So the baby is born, and they place him in the manger.
Which, by the way, I told them not to do.
Because how unsanitary is that? Do you know what a manger is?
As far as I know, it’s the place you put infant messiahs.
It’s a food trough for animals.
Oh. Interesting.
“Oh, interesting” is right. Let me ask you. So your baby is born, and the first thing you do is put him in an open container filled with grain and covered in oxen drool? Does this seem reasonable to you?
You did have them out with the animals. Their options were limited.
I rented cribs. I asked Joseph, do you want a crib. And he said, no, we’re fine, and then sets the kid in the food box. And I say to him, you’re new at this, aren’t you.
In his defense, he was.
And then someone says, look, the animals, they are adoring the baby. And I say, adoring, hell. They’re wondering why there’s a baby in their food.
On the other hand, the image of the Baby Jesus in the manger is a classic one.
Yeah, I mention that when people get on my case about not giving Joe and Mary a room. I tell them that having a Christmas carol called “Away in a Hotel Room” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. They never have anything to say to that.
It’s said that a star appeared on the night when Jesus was born. Did you see it?
No. I was too busy trying to convince Joseph to rent a crib.
It’s said it was bright enough to lead the Three Wise Men to your inn.
Well, three men showed up at the inn. I don’t know how wise they were.
How do you mean?
The baby is born, right? And then these guys show up. And they say, we have brought gifts for the child. And I say, that’s nice, what did you bring. And they say, we have brought gold and frankincense and myrrh. And I say, you’ve got to be kidding.
What’s wrong with that?
Let me quote another Christmas song for you. “A child, a child, shivers in the cold, let us bring him silver and gold.” Really? Silver and gold? And not, oh, I don’t know, a blanket? An newborn infant is exhibiting signs of possible hypothermia and your response is to give him cold metal objects? Who ever wrote that song needs a smack upside the head.
You’re saying the gifts were inappropriate.
What’s wrong with diapers? A nice jumper or two? A Baby Bjorn? They were riding around on a donkey, you know. A Baby Bjorn would have come in handy. Have you ever in your life gone to a baby shower where someone says, congratulations on the baby, here’s some perfume. No. Because most people have some sense.
I think the idea is that all the gifts were fit for a king.
Yes, a king who first pooped in my animals’ manger. I would have appreciated a gift of diapers.
Point taken.
And another thing, they brought all these expensive gifts, but do you ever hear about Joe and Mary and Jesus being anything but poor? Or at the very most working class?
Now that you mention it, no.
Exactly. I think what happened is these three guys show up and they say, here are all these expensive gifts we got your baby. Oh and by the way, we happen to know King Herod thinks your baby’s a threat and plans to kill every kid younger than two years of age just to be sure, so you better go. Egypt’s nice this time of year. What? You’re traveling by donkey? Well, then you can’t take all these nice gifts with you. We’ll just hold on to them for now, write us a letter when you get settled and we’ll mail them. And then they never do.
I don’t think there’s scriptural support for that theory.
I’m not saying I have any evidence. All I’m saying is that it makes sense.
After the Three Wise Men, were there other visitors?
Yeah. It got a little crowded. The animal sheds aren’t designed for a large amount of foot traffic. And then that kid showed up with a drum, and I said, all right, fine, we’re done.
The song of that incident suggests the drum went over well.
Let me ask you. You’re a parent, your child has just been born, he’s tired, you’re tired, people won’t leave you alone, and then some delinquent comes by and unloads a snare solo in your baby’s ear. Does this go over well?
Probably not, no.
There you go.
After the birth, did your inn benefit from the notoriety?
Not really. Jesus kind of slipped off everyone’s radar, for, what? Thirty years? Thirty-five?
Something like that.
Right. So there wasn’t much benefit there. I got some mileage out of telling the story about the crazy couple who rented my animal shed, and the visitors, and the drumming, but I mostly told it to friends. Then just as I’m about to retire someone tells me of this hippie preacher in Jerusalem who got in trouble with the Romans. And I say, hey, I think I know that guy. I think he got born in my shed. And then, well. You know what the Romans did to him.
Romans, feh. Then I sold the inn to my nephew and retired to Joppa. By the time Jesus became really famous I was out of the game. And then my nephew sold the inn and they put that church there.
The Church of the Nativity.
You been?
I have, yes.
It’s nice. I liked the inn better, of course.
Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
I would have comped Joseph the crib.
That still would have changed the Christmas carol.
I know. But, look. You didn’t have to wash out that manger.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How The Speed of Light Was Measured in 1676

How The Speed of Light Was Measured in 1676:

Orbits of Jupiter and Earth

Roemer measured the speed of light by timing eclipses of Jupiter's moon Io. In this figure, S is the Sun, E1 is the Earth when closest to Jupiter (J1) and E2 is the Earth about six months later, on the opposite side of the Sun from Jupiter (J2). When the Earth is at E2, the light from the Jupiter system has to travel an extra distance represented by the diameter of the Earth's orbit. This causes a delay in the timing of the eclipses. Roemer measured the delay and, knowing approximately the diameter of the Earth's orbit, made the first good estimate of the speed of light. Illustration by Diana Kline.
In 1676, the Danish astronomer Ole Roemer (1644–1710) became the first person to measure the speed of light. Until that time, scientists assumed that the speed of light was either too fast to measure or infinite. The dominant view, vigorously argued by the French philosopher Descartes, favored an infinite speed.
Roemer, working at the Paris Observatory, was not looking for the speed of light when he found it. Instead, he was compiling extensive observations of the orbit of Io, the innermost of the four big satellites of Jupiter discovered by Galileo in 1610. By timing the eclipses of Io by Jupiter, Roemer hoped to determine a more accurate value for the satellite’s orbital period. Such observations had a practical importance in the seventeenth century. Galileo himself had suggested that tables of the orbital motion of Jupiter’s satellites would provide a kind of “clock” in the sky. Navigators and mapmakers anywhere in the world might use this clock to read the absolute time (the standard time at a place of known longitude, like the Paris Observatory). Then, by determining the local solar time, they could calculate their longitude from the time difference. This method of finding longitude eventually turned out to be impractical and was abandoned after the development of accurate seagoing timepieces. But the Io eclipse data unexpectedly solved another important scientific problem—the speed of light.
The orbital period of Io is now known to be 1.769 Earth days. The satellite is eclipsed by Jupiter once every orbit, as seen from the Earth. By timing these eclipses over many years, Roemer noticed something peculiar. The time interval between successive eclipses became steadily shorter as the Earth in its orbit moved toward Jupiter and became steadily longer as the Earth moved away from Jupiter. These differences accumulated. From his data, Roemer estimated that when the Earth was nearest to Jupiter (at E1), eclipses of Io would occur about eleven minutes earlier than predicted based on the average orbital period over many years. And 6.5 months later, when the Earth was farthest from Jupiter (at E2), the eclipses would occur about eleven minutes later than predicted.
Roemer knew that the true orbital period of Io could have nothing to do with the relative positions of the Earth and Jupiter. In a brilliant insight, he realized that the time difference must be due to the finite speed of light. That is, light from the Jupiter system has to travel farther to reach the Earth when the two planets are on opposite sides of the Sun than when they are closer together. Romer estimated that light required twenty-two minutes to cross the diameter of the Earth’s orbit. The speed of light could then be found by dividing the diameter of the Earth’s orbit by the time difference.
The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens, who first did the arithmetic, found a value for the speed of light equivalent to 131,000 miles per second. The correct value is 186,000 miles per second. The difference was due to errors in Roemer’s estimate for the maximum time delay (the correct value is 16.7, not 22 minutes), and also to an imprecise knowledge of the Earth’s orbital diameter. More important than the exact answer, however, was the fact that Roemer’s data provided the first quantitative estimate for the speed of light, and it was in the right ballpark.
Roemer returned to Denmark in 1681, where he pursued a distinguished career in both science and government. He designed and built the most accurate astronomical instruments of his time and made extensive observations. He later served as mayor and prefect of police of Copenhagen and ultimately as head of the State Council. Roemer is remembered today of course not for his high political office but for being the first person to measure the speed of light.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Let it Snow

Let it Snow:

For those who desire a layer of snow with their holiday season it's been mainly green and brown so far this year in the Boston area. Since the start of December, here are some places that have already had the chance to experience the beauty and sometimes annoyance of a winter wonderland. -- Lloyd Young ( 32 photos total)

A train of the Brocken Railway steams through a winter landscape with snow covered pine trees as it approaches its destination on the Brocken mountain in the Harz mountainous region of Germany on Dec 8. (Stefan Rampfel/European Pressphoto Agency)

A dog, covered with hoarfrost and snow, looks on during a snowfall outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. (Ilya Naymushin/Reuters) #

Davide Simoncelli of Italy descends the course on the first run en route to third place in the men's Giant Slalom at the Audi FIS World Cup on Dec. 2 in Beaver Creek, Colorado. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) #

Children ride sleds down a hill as the first snowfall of the season hits Brussels, Belgium on Dec. 2. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters) #

Saint Basil's Cathedral is seen peeping over snowdrifts at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 4. Heavy snowfall reportedly caused traffic jams and disruption to air travel. (Sergei Ilitsky/European Pressphoto Agency) #

The sun shines behind the weather station and snow covered trees on the Fichtelberg mountain, in Oberwiesenthal, south eastern Germany, on Dec. 8. Parts of eastern and central Europe were hit hard by heavy snow and freezing temperatures. (Uwe Meinhold/Associated Press) #

A man clears snow in Ilmenau, central Germany, on Dec. 11. (Michael Reichel/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A car drives after a heavy snowfall on Dec. 9 in Liebenau, eastern Germany. (Arno Burgi/AFP/Getty Images) #

A local walks with his ponies during the season’s first snowfall in the northern hilltown of Shimla, India on, Dec. 11. (AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy rides his bicycle in a park as the first snow fall covers Sofia, Bulgaria, on Dec. 3. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman clears snow from a car in the Austrian province of Salzburg on Dec. 10. The weather forecast predicts continuing snowfall for the next few days. (Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press) #

Airplanes on the tarmac at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam on Dec. 7. (Ruud Taal/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A man rides a horse-drawn cart during heavy snow fall near the village of Petravinka, Belarus, on Dec. 5. (Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters) #

People jog in the snow in Aarhus, Denmark, on Dec. 9. (Dago/Polfoto, via Associated Press #

Lenin's statue is covered with snow during heavy snowfall over Kiev on Dec. 11. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy holding a snowball runs over a street as snow falls on Dec. 1 in Berlin. (Hannibal Hanschke/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man walks at a park during a snowfall in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria, on Dec. 11. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters) #

A child walks in a park after heavy snowfall in Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec. 11. (Anatolii Stepanov/Reuters) #

Snow covers roses in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Dec. 7. ( Martin Gerten/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A man films with a tablet device after heavy snowfall in Kiev. (Anatolii Stepanov/Reuters) #

A North Korean man scrapes off snow from the monument of anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Dec. 10. (Kyodo News/Associated Press) #

A man rides his bicycle holding an umbrella as light snow covers the roads in Amsterdam on Dec. 7. Temperatures have dropped below freezing and more snow is expected to fall during the day, but the Dutch ride their favorite means of transport come rain or snow. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press) #

A recovery worker tries to retrieve a car lying in a dyke on the side of the road after skidding off due to ice and snow on the roads near Zurich, Netherlands, on Dec. 6. (Catrinus Van Der Veen/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A couple walk under an umbrella during a heavy snowfall in Pristina, Kosovo, on Dec. 5. (Arment Nimani/AFP/Getty Images) #

Fans wait in the snow before the NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Dec. 9. (Darren Hauck/Reuters) #

A young polar bear wallows in snow at the public zoo in St Petersburg, Russia, on Dec. 7. (Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images) #

A snowboarder takes a jump at the Erbeskopf near Deuselbach, western Germany, on Dec. 9. The highest point in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate has opened for the 2012/2013 winter season. (Thomas Frey/AFP/Getty Images) #

People struggle against wind and drifting snow in Stockholm, Sweden, on Dec. 5. (Andres Wiklund/AFP/Getty Images) #

Workers clean a model replica of Cheops Pyramid of Giza, after snowfall in landscape park Miniwelt (Miniworld), in Lichtenstein, eastern Germany, on Dec. 7. The cultural park Miniworld presents about 100 original and true-to detail buildings and technical facilities at a 1:25 scale. (Jens Meyer/Associated Press) #

People ski off piste at Val d'Isere, in the French Alps, on Dec. 11. Recent snowfalls have encouraged skiers to hit the slopes and the Val d'Isere authorities have opened certain slopes early. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images) #

A runner dressed as Father Christmas runs in heavy snow during the 'Nikolaus Run' in the East German town of Michendorf on Dec. 9. Around 800 participants took part in the Santa Claus running competition that is hosted by the Laufclub Michendorf running association. (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters) #

Two girls play in the snow on the bank of an island in the middle of the Yenisei River, where the air temperature reached minus 22 degrees Celsius (minus 7.6 degrees Fahrenheit), in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on Dec. 6. (Ilya Naymushin/Reuters) #

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