Friday, 14 June 2013

Mother Teresa

                                                                           Mother Teresa 

  • NAME: Mother Teresa
  • OCCUPATION: Nun, Saint
  • BIRTH DATE: August 26, 1910
  • DEATH DATE: September 05, 1997
  • EDUCATION: Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Skopje, Macedonia
  • PLACE OF DEATH: Calcutta, India
  • Originally: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu
Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje*, Macedonia, on August 26**, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt strongly the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months' training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work.
On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.
Today the order comprises Active and Contemplative branches of Sisters and Brothers in many countries. In 1963 both the Contemplative branch of the Sisters and the Active branch of the Brothers was founded. In 1979 the Contemplative branch of the Brothers was added, and in 1984 the Priest branch was established.
The Society of Missionaries has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. They provide effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they undertake relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, and famine, and for refugees. The order also has houses in North America, Europe and Australia, where they take care of the shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless, and AIDS sufferers.
The Missionaries of Charity throughout the world are aided and assisted by Co-Workers who became an official International Association on March 29, 1969. By the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries. Along with the Co-Workers, the lay Missionaries of Charity try to follow Mother Teresa's spirit and charism in their families.
Mother Teresa's work has been recognised and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971) and the Nehru Prize for her promotion of international peace and understanding (1972). She also received the Balzan Prize (1979) and the Templeton and Magsaysay awards.
From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1971-1980, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Irwin Abrams, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1997
This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

* Former Uskup, a town in the Ottoman Empire.
** Mother Teresa's date of birth is disputed: "So unconcerned was she about accuracy in relation to the chronicling of her own life, and so disinclined actually to read anything written about her, that for many years and in a succession of books her birthdate was erroneously recorded as 27 August 1910. It even appeared in the Indian Loreto Entrance Book as her date of birth. In fact, as she confided to her friend, co-worker and American author, Eileen Egan, that was the date on which she was christened Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. The date which marked the beginning of her Christian life was undoubtedly the more important to Mother Teresa, but she was none the less actually born in Skopje, Serbia, on the previous day." (Spink, Kathryn: Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997.
other Teresa (baptized August 27, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia) taught in India for 17 years before she experienced her 1946 "call within a call" to devote herself to caring for the sick and poor. Her order established a hospice; centers for the blind, aged, and disabled; and a leper colony. She was summoned to Rome in 1968, and in 1979 received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.

Early Life

Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, the current capital of the Republic of Macedonia. On August 27, 1910, a date frequently mistaken for her birthday, she was baptized as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Mother Teresa's parents, Nikola and Drana Bojaxhiu, were of Albanian descent; her father was an entrepreneur who worked as a construction contractor and a trader of medicines and other goods. The Bojaxhius were a devoutly Catholic family, and Nikola Bojaxhiu was deeply involved in the local church as well as in city politics as a vocal proponent of Albanian independence.
In 1919, when Mother Teresa was only 8 years old, her father suddenly fell ill and died. While the cause of his death remains unknown, many have speculated that political enemies poisoned him. In the aftermath of her father's death, Mother Teresa became extraordinarily close to her mother, a pious and compassionate woman who instilled in her daughter a deep commitment to charity.
Although by no means wealthy, Drana Bojaxhiu extended an open invitation to the city's destitute to dine with her family. "My child, never eat a single mouthful unless you are sharing it with others," she counseled her daughter. When Mother Teresa asked who the people eating with them were, her mother uniformly responded, "Some of them are our relations, but all of them are our people.

Religious Calling

Mother Teresa attended a convent-run primary school and then a state-run secondary school. As a girl, Mother Teresa sang in the local Sacred Heart choir and was often asked to sing solos. The congregation made an annual pilgrimage to the chapel of the Madonna of Letnice atop Black Mountain in Skopje, and it was on one such trip at the age of 12 that Mother Teresa first felt a calling to a religious life. Six years later, in 1928, an 18-year-old Agnes Bojaxhiu decided to become a nun and set off for Ireland to join the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. It was there that she took the name Sister Mary Teresa after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
A year later, Mother Teresa traveled on to Darjeeling, India for the novitiate period; in May 1931, Mother Teresa made her First Profession of Vows. Afterward she was sent to Calcutta, where she was assigned to teach at Saint Mary's High School for Girls, a school run by the Loreto Sisters and dedicated to teaching girls from the city's poorest Bengali families. Mother Teresa learned to speak both Bengali and Hindi fluently as she taught geography and history and dedicated herself to alleviating the girls' poverty through education.
On May 24, 1937, she took her Final Profession of Vows to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

                                                             A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

  • NAME: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  • OCCUPATION: Engineer, World Leader,Scientist
  • BIRTH DATE: October 151931 (Age: 81)
  • EDUCATION: Madras Institute of Technology
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Dhanushkodi, Rameswaram, India
  • NICKNAME: Missile Man
  • AKA: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  • FULL NAME: Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
  • AKA: Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  • ZODIAC SIGN: Libra
  • Knowledge makes you great
    If God for us, who can be against
    I am delighted to address and interact with the students from schools, colleges, engineering institution, medical colleges and management studies participating in the State Level Seminar on Human Values. My greetings to all of you, Raja Marthanda varma, managing partners of Sri Satya Sai Orphanage Trust, special invitees and distinguished guests. I happy to know that Sai Gramam is running the projects such as orphanages for Children, home for the old aged men and women, home for the mentally challenged persons and temples and the main aim is Grama Swaraj - a self-sufficient village. You are taking care of the aged and disadvantaged with the aim of creating Grama Swaraj, I am reminded of evolving Sustainable development to the villages through PURA mission. PURA means Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas with 4 connectivities namely Physical Connectivity, Electronic Connectivity, Knowledge Connectivity there by creating Economic Connectivity and in addition you may give spiritual connectivity so that the vision of Grama Swaraj can be attained where all attain the equal status with an inclusive and sustained growth with an evolved Grama Swaraj Eco-System which will automatically take care of the aged and disadvantaged. I am confident that the unique service rendered by Sri Satya Sai Trust may certainly envision to achieve sustainability in development with cultural heritage preserved and enriched in the villages. My greetings to all of you. In this context. I would like to share my thoughts on the topic "Knowledge makes you great" .
    Unity of minds : the great human values
    I would like to recall one incident, which commonly occurs in many parts of my country. I have witnessed this event when I was a young boy (10 yrs). In our house, periodically I used to see three different unique personalities meet. Pakshi Lakshmana Shastrigal, who was the head priest of the famous Rameshwaram temple and a vedic scholar, Rev Father Bodal, who built the first church in Rameshwaram Island and my father who was an Imam in the mosque. All three of them used to sit and discuss the islands problems and find solutions. In addition they built several religious connectivities with compassion. These connectivities quietly spread to others in the island like the fragrance from the flowers. This sight always comes to my mind whenever, I discuss with people on Dialogue of religions. India has had this advantage of integration of minds for thousands of years. Throughout the world, the need to have a frank dialogue among cultures, religions and civilizations has been felt now more than ever.

    Dear young and experienced, definitely you will win. I would like to recite a poem, will you repeat with me?
    We are all God?s children,
    Our minds are stronger than diamond.
    We will win, win, win with our mighty will.
    When God is with us, who can be against!
    Knowledge and its components
    Friends, what you will carry with you after your completion of education and training in various subjects? It is knowledge.

    Knowledge has three components, creativity, righteousness and courage. That the combination of these characteristics can generate enlightened citizens.
    Let us look at the first component creativity:
    "Learning gives creativity
    Creativity leads to thinking
    Thinking provides knowledge
    Knowledge makes you great"

    The next component of knowledge is righteousness. The power of Righteousness is described in a divine hymn, which is as follows:

    Where there is righteousness in the heart
    There is beauty in the character.
    When there is beauty in the character,
    There is harmony in the home.
    When there is harmony in the home.
    There is order in the nation.
    When there is order in the nation,
    There is peace in the world.

    How do we inculcate the righteousness in the heart. In my opinion, there are three sources which can build a youth with righteousness in the heart. They are the environment and care of love and great teachers.

    The third component is courage, which is defined as follows:

    Courage to think different,
    Courage to invent,
    Courage to travel into an unexplored path,
    Courage to discover the impossible,
    Courage to combat the problems and succeed,
    are the unique qualities of the youth.

    As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all the missions.

    I am sure, the teachers are imparting such a knowledge to all of you which will instill courage and confidence in your minds.

    Since there are many teachers participating in this programme let me share with you what is the role of a teachers in moulding their students.
    Role of a Teacher
    I have interacted with more than 15 million school children and millions of teachers across the length and breadth of the country, in a decade?s time. Wherever I went, be it Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir or any other part of India, the voice of the youth is unique and strong in articulating their vision and dream and they are willing to work for it. Everyone dream of living in a prosperous India, a happy India, a peaceful India and a safe India. The combinations of prosperity, happiness and peace to a nation always have to come together. When all three of them converge, then India will truly be a Developed Nation. There are more than 550 million children in India. Children work in the school for about 25000 hours during the 12 years of primary and secondary education. Teachers of excellence in teaching alone can with their example become role models.
    What can I do for you?
    Every one of us has gone through the various phases of education from childhood to profession. A visualize a scene - a child, a teenager, an adult and a leader. How does each one react to a particular situation? The situation is human need. The child asks, "What can you do for me"? The teenager says, "I want to do it alone". The young person proclaims, "let us do it together". The leader offers, "What can I do for you". So, the teachers have got a tremendous responsibility to transform a child into a leader ? the transformation of ?what can you do for me? to 'what can I do for you'. That will demand a Teacher to be a visionary with an inspiring capability. Also the teacher has to ensure that you impart learning to the children in such a way as to bring out the best in them and for this, he or she has to be a good teacher himself. I am sure, the best of creativity among the students will emerge by integrated influence of teachers, and parents.
    Mission in Life
    Dear children, when I see you all, I see in you great doctors, great engineers, great social workers, great teachers, great judges, great political leader, even I see some of you may have an opportunity to reach and live in Mars. For realizing this mission, you should study well, excel in it, work hard and persevere.
    Recent experience at Paravur village near Kochi
    Last year, I was in a village called Paravur near Kochi in the state of Kerala. I went to the village to inaugurate the programme Sasthrayaan - which means 'science propagation'. During the programme, the President of Paravur Panchayat Board and the local MLA said, that the mission of Sasthrayaan in Paravur is to ensure preparation of 2000 students from different schools towards attaining eligibility for entrance as engineers, scientists, doctors, qualified managers, and Civil services officers. This action will empower 2000 families of the village. My inaugural address to Paravur audience consisting of 5000 students and family members was "Science Empowers the Nation".

    After my address, there were 100s of hands put-up for asking questions. Due to limited availability of time, I selected 12 students in random, from last row to first row, to ask questions. I would like to share with you two questions of concern asked by the students. One 10th class girl asked me, "Sir, next year I have to take a subject for my specialization. I love psychology, but my parents say, no to this subject. They want me to take the subject that will enable me to enter a professional course." What should be my answer? I thought of it, I told the student, "you have a great tool to win your parents, that is love and affection. Similarly, your parents also love you. They earn and sometimes they borrow for your education and they would like to ensure that you are properly positioned in your professional life. But I respect your dream and definitely I am confident, you can persuade your parents. If any help is needed, I can talk to your parents too." At that time, fortunately, in the parent?s enclosure, the parents of the girl were also present. They got up and said, "we are the parents of the girl who daringly asked the question. We love our child. Definitely, we will go ahead with fulfilling her wish to take up Psychology as her subject." The whole audience cheered the parents and the young girl.
    The next important question was from a 8th class boy called Vishnu who had come from a far away village environment away from the city. He was nervous and represented the youth in Indian village environment. The boy started with telling his name, "my name is Vishnu. I don't know what should I ask? I am nervous. I have not asked any question in my class. I need to have confidence, I am not gaining confidence through education during the last 7 years. I am afraid to talk to my teachers, I am afraid to talk to my friends. Whenever I talk, I compare myself with other students and their elegant dress. Please tell me Sir, how I can become a unique person, which you just now explained. I want to become a marine engineer. I want to travel in the ship. I want to be the captain of the ship. I want to build the engine for the ship. Will I be able to do all this, Sir? How can I achieve this mission? What I should do?" When the boy completed the question, the whole audience of 5000 people and dignitaries in the dais, including the CM, were looking at me, what Kalam is going to say for such a sincere question of a young boy from a village. I thought of it, and thought of it, I wanted to break the silence. I said, "my dear Vishnu, you have put the most difficult question, among many questions that I have received from millions and millions of students whom I have met. Vishnu, I value your question, also I consider you are echoing the fear of millions of rural students. Let me recite a beautiful ancient poem named "I will fly". I slowly started telling the poem, which goes like this :
    I will fly
    "I am born with potential.
    I am born with goodness and trust.
    I am born with ideas and dreams.
    I am born with greatness.
    I am born with confidence.
    I am born with wings.
    So, I am not meant for crawling,
    I have wings, I will fly
    I will fly and fly"

    The boy also started repeating the poem along with me. When Vishnu finished reciting the poem, he was in tears. He said, " I have gained confidence, I will win, I will win and win" and ran off.
    These two questions from students reveal that students are in stress in the choice of their subjects after 10+1 and 10+2 and education is not giving the students the confidence that "I can do it". I am sure, the teachers of this region will certainly fill this gap and ensure that the students acquire the confidence to face life and express their problems to the teachers and elder members of the family.

    Now let us see few great personalities, who are always remembered and celebrated by humanity for their unique contribution to society.
    Unique You
    Dear friends, Look up, what do you see, the light, the electric bulbs. Immediately, our thoughts go to the inventor Thomas Alva Edison, for his unique contribution towards the invention of electric bulb and his electrical lighting system.

    When you hear the sound of aero-plane going over your house, whom do you think of? Wright Brothersproved that man could fly, of-course at heavy risk and cost.

    Whom does the telephone remind you of? Of course, Alexander Graham Bell. 

    When everybody considered a sea travel as an experience or a voyage, a unique person questioned during his sea travel from United Kingdom to India. He was pondering on why the horizon where the sky and sea meet looks blue? His research resulted in the phenomena of scattering of light. Of course, Sir CV Raman was awarded Nobel Prize.
    Do you know the scientist who is famous for Chandra Limit which describes the maximum mass (~1.44 solar masses) of a white dwarf star, or equivalently, the minimum mass for which a star will ultimately collapse into a neutron star to black hole following a supernova. Two of his students got the Nobel Prize before him. It is of-course the famous Nobel Laureate Chandrasekhar Subrmaniam .

    Friends, there was a great scientific lady who is known for discovering Radium. She won not one, but two Nobel Prizes, one for physics and another for chemistry. Who is she? She is
    Madam Curie. Madam Curie discovered radium and she was doing research on the effect of radiation on human system. The same radiation which she discovered, affected her and she sacrificed her life for removing the pain of human life.

    Do you know the cosmic rays scientist transform into institution builder of institutions like Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmadabad - Indian Institute of Management Ahmadabad and Indian Space Research Organization, of course he is the visionary Prof Vikram Sarabhai. 

    Genetic science has proved now that brain of every person has jumping genes which makes the individual, unique.
    When I described to you young friends, scientific events, you are in a position to name the individual scientists. This you did it, because they are unique in invention and discoveries. How many would like to get transformed as unique personalities and will be remembered in the multiple fields. "History again and again has proved that at no time the crowd has achieved any unique solution to the world, but it is only the ingenuity of the individual and intellectual supremacy, that has brought all the best which the society is enjoying".

    Friends, I have, so far, met 15 million youth in a decade's time. I learnt, "every youth wants to be unique, that is, YOU! But the world all around you, is doing its best, day and night, to make you just "everybody else". At home, dear young friends, you are asked by your parents to be like neighbours' children for scoring good marks. When you go to school, your teacher says "why not you become like the first five rankers in the class". Wherever you go, they are saying "you have to be somebody else or everybody else".

    The challenge, my young friends, is that you have to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can ever imagine to fight; and never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place, that is, a UNIQUE YOU!
    Birth of Creativity in a difficult situation
    Mario Capecchi had a difficult and challenging childhood. Mario Capecchi was born in the Italian city of Verona as the only child of Luciano Capecchi, an Italian airman who would be later reported as missing in action while manning an anti-aircraft gun in the World War 2. For nearly four years, Capecchi lived with his mother in a chalet in the Italian Alps. When World War II broke out, his mother, along with other Bohemians, was sent to Dachau as a political prisoner. Anticipating her arrest by the Gestapo, she had sold all her possessions and given the money to friends to help raise her son on their farm. In the farm, he had to grow wheat, and harvest and take it to miller to be ground. When the money which his mother left for him ran out, at the age of four and half years, he started wandering on the streets. He headed south, sometimes living in the streets, sometimes joining gangs of other homeless children, sometimes living in orphanages and most of the time hungry. He spent the last year in the city of Reggio Emelia, hospitalized for malnutrition. He wanted desperately to escape. Scores of beds lined the rooms and corridors of the hospital, one bed touching the next. No sheets, no blankets. That was where his mother found him on his ninth birthday after a year of searching. Within weeks, the Capecchi and his mother sailed to America to join his uncle and aunt.

    He started his 3rd grade schooling afresh over there and started his education, interested in sports, studied political science. But he didn?t find interesting and changed into science, became a mathematics graduate in 1961 with a double major in Physics and Chemistry. Capecchi never took a Biology class; he learned about biology in the labs. For his practical experience, he worked several terms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Although he really liked Physics, its elegance and simplicity, Capecchi realized from his lab experience that everything we learned [in Physics] was only up to the 1920s. He knew he would switch to molecular biology in graduate school, on the advice of James D Watson. Watson taught him that he should not be bothered about small things, since such pursuits are likely to produce only small answers.
    His objective was to do gene targeting. The experiments started in 1980 and by 1984, Capecchi had clear success. Three years later, he applied the technology to mice. In 1989, he developed the first mice with targeted mutations. The technology created by Doctor Capecchi allows researchers to create specific gene mutations anywhere they choose in the genetic code of a mouse. By manipulating gene sequences in this way, researchers are able to mimic human disease conditions on animal subjects. What the research of Mario Capecchi means for human health is nothing short of amazing, his work with mice could lead to cures for Alzheimer's disease or even Cancer. The innovations in genetics that Mario Capecchi achieved won him the Nobel Prize in 2007. Noble laureate Capecchi?s life indeed reveals: -
    "When you wish upon a star,
    Makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires
    Will come to you."
    Planting of trees is the planting of ideas
    Friends during my Presidency, I met a great a lady Prof Vangari Mathai in Rashtrapati Bhavan honouring her for a great contribution in the green environment. After discussion with Prof Wangari Mathai unfurred life in front of me.

    Prof Wangari Maathai, who has a passion for environment and bio-diversity and is contributing to the sustainable development and growth of planet Earth. Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. She was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree and to become chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and an Associate Professor. Wangari Maathai was active in the National Council of Women of Kenya and was its Chairman in 1981-87, where she introduced the idea of planting trees with the people and continued to develop it into a broad-based, grassroots organization whose main focus is the planting of trees with women groups in order to conserve the environment and improve their quality of life. Through the Green Belt Movement that Prof Maathai has evolved innovatively a movement with 600 community networks across Kenya and branches in 20 countries resulting in the plantation of 31 million trees. She and the Green Belt Movement have received numerous awards, most notably The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
    Prof Maathai gives a new meaning to the important act of planting a tree by extending it to the whole life, when she says, "the planting of trees is the planting of idea." She highlights the qualities of patience, persistence and commitment in planning and realizing a future, which is what we learn when we plant trees and wait for them to yield fruits for the next generation. She believes that no matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for. The silver lining will come, if not to us then to the next generation or the generation after that. And may be with that generation, the lining will no longer be thin. India values Prof Maathai?s involvement and contribution in furthering the relationship between India and Kenya and had the privilege of honouring her with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for the year 2005. She concludes her Nobel Lecture on December 10, 2004 like this: quote, "As I conclude I reflect on my childhood experience when I would visit a stream next to our home to fetch water for my mother. I would drink water straight from the stream? I saw thousands of tadpoles: black, energetic and wriggling through the clear water against the background of the brown earth. This is the world I inherited from my parents". Prof. Maathai would like all of us to preserve this inheritance.
    Conclusion: Righteousness is the foundation for World Peace
    Friends, righteousness of the heart of the human being leads to a perfect life of an enlightened citizen. This is beautifully explained in ascent and descent phase of human life by Confucius. He states that "People who desired to have a clear moral harmony in the world, would first order their national life; those who desire to order their national life would first regulate their home life; those who desire to regulate their home life would first cultivate their personal lives; those who desired to cultivate their personal lives set their heart to righteousness, would first make their wills sincere; those who desire to make their wills sincere would first arrive at understanding; understanding comes from the exploration of knowledge of things. When the knowledge of things is gained, then understanding is reached; when understanding is reached, then the will is sincere; when the will is sincere then the heart is righteous; when the heart is righteous then the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is cultivated, then the home life is regulated; when the home life is regulated, then the national life is orderly; when the national life is orderly then the world is at peace. From the Emperor down to the common man, the cultivation of the righteous life is the foundation for all.

    My greetings and best wishes to the all of you.

    May God Bless you.

    By, Dr. APJ Abdulkalam

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


Information on tsunamis

Screen reader users, turn on the “expand abbreviations” configuration setting in your Screen Reader to hear entire words instead of abbreviations. A tsunami (Japanese for "harbour wave") is series of huge ocean waves caused by a rapid, large-scale disturbance of the sea water. Tsunamis can be caused by submarine volcanic eruptions, submarine landslides, meteor impact, and major earthquakes occuring beneath the seabed causing large vertical movements. In deep water, tsunami waves are less than a metre high, but they can travel at speeds exceeding 800 kilometres per hour and can easily cross an entire ocean basin. When they reach shallow water or narrow inlets the waves slow down and the height can build into a wall of water which causes devastation on the shore.
On January 26, 1700 one of the world's largest earthquakes occurred along the west coast of North America and created a tsunami which completely destroyed the winter village of the Pachena Bay people with no survivors. These events are recorded in the oral traditions of the First Nations people on Vancouver Island. There is evidence of repeated tsunamis inundating our west coast following giant megathrust earthquakes in the Cascadia seismic zone.
In the twentieth century, 27 people were killed on November 18, 1929 in the tsunami that struck the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland. This tsunami was caused by a large submarine slump along the continental slope triggered by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck approximately 250 km to the south along the edge of the Laurentian Slope.
QUICK TIPS - If you live or find yourself by the ocean
  • If the earth starts to shake violently in an earthquake - head for higher ground immediately!
  • If the ocean recedes to reveal seafloor usually underwater or rises to an abnormally high level - head for higher ground immediately!
  • Do not linger by the shore until you can see it coming - a tsunami moves faster than a person can run.
  • The first wave may not be the largest. Successive waves may be spaced minutes to hours apart and continue arriving for many hours.
West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre (WCATWC) Message Definitions
Data from selected NRCan seismometers are forwarded to the National (United States) Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre (WCATWC) in Palmer, Alaska. This information is integrated with other seismic, tide gauge, and deep ocean buoy system data to produce tsunami information statements, alerts, watches, or warnings for all North American coastlines (including the Atlantic and Arctic). WCATWC distributes these messages to Emergency Measures Organizations (EMO) and other clients 5 to 15 minutes after a potentially tsunamigenic earthquake has occurred and provide updates at regular intervals.
WCATWC product definitions changed to the definitions provided below on February 12, 2008. The products issued by the center are warning, watch, advisory, and information statements. Each has a distinct meaning relating to local emergency response. In summary:
Warning -> Inundating wave possible -> Full evacuation suggested
Watch -> Danger level not yet known -> Stay alert for more info
Advisory -> Strong currents likely -> Stay away from the shore
Information -> Minor waves at most -> No action suggested
Tsunami Warning - a tsunami warning is issued when a potential tsunami with significant widespread inundation is imminent or expected. Warnings alert the public that widespread, dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents is possible and may continue for several hours after arrival of the initial wave. Warnings also alert emergency management officials to take action for the entire tsunami hazard zone. Appropriate actions to be taken by local officials may include the evacuation of low-lying coastal areas, and the repositioning of ships to deep waters when there is time to safely do so. Warnings may be updated, adjusted geographically, downgraded, or canceled. To provide the earliest possible alert, initial warnings are normally based only on seismic information.
Tsunami Watch - a tsunami watch is issued to alert emergency management officials and the public of an event which may later impact the watch area. The watch area may be upgraded to a warning or advisory - or canceled - based on updated information and analysis. Therefore, emergency management officials and the public should prepare to take action. Watches are normally issued based on seismic information without confirmation that a destructive tsunami is underway.
Tsunami Advisory - a tsunami advisory is issued due to the threat of a potential tsunami which may produce strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water. Coastal regions historically prone to damage due to strong currents induced by tsunamis are at the greatest risk. The threat may continue for several hours after the arrival of the initial wave, but significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Appropriate actions to be taken by local officials may include closing beaches, evacuating harbors and marinas, and the repositioning of ships to deep waters when there is time to safely do so. Advisories are normally updated to continue the advisory, expand/contract affected areas, upgrade to a warning, or cancel the advisory.
Tsunami Information Statement - a tsunami information statement is issued to inform emergency management officials and the public that an earthquake has occurred, or that a tsunami warning, watch or advisory has been issued for another section of the ocean. In most cases, information statements are issued to indicate there is no threat of a destructive tsunami and to prevent unnecessary evacuations as the earthquake may have been felt in coastal areas. An information statement may, in appropriate situations, caution about the possibility of destructive local tsunamis. Information statements may be re-issued with additional information, though normally these messages are not updated. However, a watch, advisory or warning may be issued for the area, if necessary, after analysis and/or updated information becomes available.

Tsunami in Japan

Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, that triggered a deadly 23-foot tsunami in the country's north. The giant waves deluged cities and rural areas alike, sweeping away cars, homes, buildings, a train, and boats, leaving a path of death and devastation in its wake. Video footage showed cars racing away from surging waves. The earthquake—the largest in Japan's history—struck about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued warnings for Russia, Taiwan, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the west coasts the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and South America. According to the official toll, the disasters left 15,839 dead, 5,950 injured, and 3,642 missing.

Earthquake Causes Nuclear Disaster

What's more, cooling systems in one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in the Fukushima prefecture on the east coast of Japan failed shortly after the earthquake, causing a nuclear crisis. This initial reactor failure was followed by an explosion and eventual partial meltdowns in two reactors, then by a fire in another reactor which released radioactivity directly into the atmosphere. The nuclear troubles were not limited to the Daiichi plant; three other nuclear facilities also reported problems. More than 200,000 residents were evacuated from affected areas.
On April 12, Japan raised its assessment of the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to Level 7, the worst rating on the international scale, putting the disaster on par with the 1986 Chernobyl explosion. Developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) along with countries who use nuclear energy, the scale defines level 7 as a nuclear accident that involves "widespread health and environmental effects" and the "external release of a significant fraction of the reactor core inventory." Almost two months later, the IAEA called the status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant "very serious."
At a news conference on March 13, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who later gave the disaster the name "Great East Japan Earthquake", emphasized the gravity of the situation: "I think that the earthquake, tsunami, and the situation at our nuclear reactors makes up the worst crisis in the 65 years since the war. If the nation works together, we will overcome." The government called in 100,000 troops to aid in the relief effort. The deployment was the largest since World War II.
The tsunami in Japan recalled the 2004 disaster in the Indian Ocean. On Dec. 26, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake—the largest earthquake in 40 years—ruptured in the Indian Ocean, off the northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The earthquake stirred up the deadliest tsunami in world history, so powerful that the waves caused loss of life on the coast of Africa and were even detected on the East Coast of the United States. More than 225,000 people died from the disaster, a half a million were injured, and millions were left homeless.
See statistics on Deadliest Tsunamis and Deadliest Earthquakes.

The Science of Tsunami

A tsunami (pronounced soo-NAHM-ee) is a series of huge waves that occur as the result of a violent underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake or volcanic eruption. The waves travel in all directions from the epicenter of the disturbance. The waves may travel in the open sea as fast as 450 miles per hour. As they travel in the open ocean, tsunami waves are generally not particularly large—hence the difficulty in detecting the approach of a tsunami. But as these powerful waves approach shallow waters along the coast, their velocity is slowed and they consequently grow to a great height before smashing into the shore. They can grow as high as 100 feet; the Indian Ocean tsunami generated waves reaching 30 feet.
Tsunami is the Japanese word for "harbor wave." They are sometimes mistakenly referred to as tidal waves, but tsunamis have nothing to do with the tides. Tsunamis have been relatively rare in the Indian Ocean, and are most common in the Pacific Ocean.

AR Rahman

                                AR Rahman

Born - 6 January 1967
Achievements - AR Rahman holds the credit for totally overhauling the style in which music was being made in India. Though with a career spanning just over a decade, Rahman has already sold over one hundred million records world-wide and more than two hundred million cassettes. This has brought AR Rahman into the category of the world's top 25 all-time top selling recording artists.

Allah Rakha Rahman, who is better known as AR Rahman, is a world-class musician of India. Born as A. S. Dileep Kumar on 6 January 1967 at Chennai in Tamil Nadu, AR Rahman holds the credit for totally overhauling the style in which music was being made in India. Soundtracks and scores composed by him for Indian films have a strong impression of classical, folk, jazz, reggae, soft rock and other genres. Due to his creative brilliance, AR Rahman is often referred to as the Mozart of Madras by his fans in India and abroad.

The biography of AR Rahman's career spans somewhere over a decade, but he has already sold over one hundred million records world-wide and more than two hundred million cassettes. This has brought Rahman into the category of the world's top 25 all-time top selling recording artists. Though AR Rahman is the undisputed leader in Indian contemporary music in the present times, he has seen his share of struggle in the professional life.

His father, R K Shekhar, who was a composer, arranger and conductor for Malayalam films died when Rahman was just 9 years-old and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income. Later there was a turning point when Dileep Kumar decided to rechristen himself as A R Rahman. This incident happened when Rahman's sister was very ill once. A Muslim friend suggested if he prayed in a particular mosque, his sister would recover and so did happen. This caused the entire family to convert to Islam.

The life history of AR Rahman's music career started scaling upwards 1991 onwards when began his own studio and started making music for advertisements, television channels and so on. Rahman got his very first break into the Indian film industry when film director, Mani Ratnam offered him a chance to compose music for his Tamil film, Roja at mere Rs 25,000. This movie turned out to be blockbuster hit and then there was no looking back for A.R. Rahman.

Roja debut made AR Rahman bag the Rajat Kamal award for best music director at the National Film Awards. This was a historic moment as for the first time ever in Indian film industry, this award was being handed to a first-time film composer. There was no looking back for AR Rahman after this as film offers just started pouring in. There are now an impressive number of music tracks created by Rahman and all of them have sold like hot cakes across India and even abroad. He has made songs for super hit films like Rangeela, Dil Se Taal, Rang De Basanti, Bombay et al. 




  • Quick Facts

  • NAME: Bill Gates
  • OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur
  • BIRTH DATE: October 28, 1955 (Age: 57)
  • EDUCATION: Lakeside School, Harvard College
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Seattle, Washington
  • Full Name: William Henry Gates III
  • ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio   


    Entrepreneur Bill Gates, born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, began to show an interest in computer programming at the age of 13. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy, and aggressive competitive tactics, he and his partner Paul Allen built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. In the process, Bill Gates became one of the richest men in the world.

    Early Life

    Born William Henry Gates III, on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. Gates began to show an interest in computer programming at the age of 13 at the Lakeside School. He pursued his passion through college. Striking out on his own with his friend and business partner Paul Allen, Gates found himself at the right place at the right time. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy, and aggressive competitive tactics he built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. In the process he became one of the richest men in the world.

    Bill Gates grew up in an upper middle-class family with two sisters: Kristianne, who is older, and Libby, who is younger. Their father, William H. Gates, Sr., was a promising, if somewhat shy, law student when he met his future wife, Mary Maxwell. She was an athletic, outgoing student at the University of Washington, actively involved in student affairs and leadership. The Gates family atmosphere was warm and close, and all three children were encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence. Bill showed early signs of competitiveness when he coordinated family athletic games at their summer house on Puget Sound. He also relished in playing board games (Risk was his favorite) and excelled in Monopoly.

    Bill had a very close relationship with his mother, Mary, who after a brief career as a teacher devoted her time to helping raise the children and working on civic affairs and with charities. She also served on several corporate boards, among them First Interstate Bank in Seattle (founded by her grandfather), the United Way, and International Business Machines (IBM). She would often take Bill along on her volunteer work in schools and community organizations.

    Bill was a voracious reader as a child, spending many hours pouring over reference books such as the encyclopedia. Around the age of 11 or 12, Bill's parents began to have concerns about his behavior. He was doing well in school, but he seemed bored and withdrawn at times. His parents worried he might become a loner. Though they were strong believers in public education, when Bill turned 13 they enrolled him in Seattle's Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school. He blossomed in nearly all his subjects, excelling in math and science, but also doing very well in drama and English.

    While at Lakeside School, a Seattle computer company offered to provide computer time for the students. The Mother's Club used proceeds from the school's rummage sale to purchase a teletype terminal for students to use. Bill Gates became entranced with what a computer could do and spent much of his free time working on the terminal.
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    by praveen kumar



Titanic ship

The Making of Titanic

The Royal Mail Steamer Titanic was the product of intense competition among rival shipping lines in the first half of the 20th century. In particular, the White Star Line found itself in a battle for steamship primacy with Cunard, a venerable British firm with two standout ships that ranked among the most sophisticated and luxurious of their time. Cunard’s Mauretania began service in 1907 and immediately set a speed record for the fastest transatlantic crossing that it held for 22 years. Cunard’s other masterpiece, Lusitania, launched the same year and was lauded for its spectacular interiors. It met its tragic end–and entered the annals of world history–on May 7, 1915, when a torpedo fired by a German U-boat sunk the ship, killing nearly 1,200 of the 1,959 people on board and precipitating the United States’ entry into World War I.
The same year that Cunard unveiled its two magnificent liners, J. Bruce Ismay, chief executive of White Star, discussed the construction of three large ships with William J. Pirrie, chairman of the Belfast-based shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff. Part of a new “Olympic” class of liners, they would each measure 882 feet in length and 92.5 feet at their broadest point, making them the largest of their time. In March 1909, work began in the massive Harland and Wolff yard on the second of these ships, Titanic, and continued nonstop until the spring of 1911.
On May 31, 1911, Titanic’s immense hull–at the time, the largest movable manmade object in the world–made its way down the slipways and into the River Lagan in Belfast. More than 100,000 people attended the launching, which took just over a minute and went off without a hitch. The hull was immediately towed to a mammoth fitting-out dock where thousands of workers would spend most of the next year building the ship’s decks, constructing her lavish interiors and installing the 29 giant boilers that would power her two main steam engines.

Titanic's Fatal Flaws

According to some hypotheses, Titanic was doomed from the start by the design so many lauded as state-of-the-art. The Olympic-class ships featured a double bottom and 15 watertight bulkheads equipped with electric watertight doors which could be operated individually or simultaneously by a switch on the bridge. It was these watertight bulkheads that inspired Shipbuilder magazine, in a special issue devoted to the Olympic liners, to deem them “practically unsinkable.” But the watertight compartment design contained a flaw that may have been a critical factor in Titanic’s sinking: While the individual bulkheads were indeed watertight, water could spill from one compartment into another. Several of Titanic’s Cunard-owned contemporaries, by contrast, already boasted innovative safety features devised to avoid this very situation. Had White Star taken a cue from its competitor, it might have saved Titanic from disaster.
The second critical safety lapse that contributed to the loss of so many lives was the number of lifeboats carried on Titanic. Those 16 boats, along with four Engelhardt “collapsibles,” could accommodate 1,178 people. Titanic when full could carry 2,435 passengers, and a crew of approximately 900 brought her capacity to more than 3,300 people. As a result, even if the lifeboats were loaded to full capacity during an emergency evacuation, there were available seats for only one-third of those on board. While unthinkably inadequate by today’s standards, Titanic’s supply of lifeboats actually exceeded the British Board of Trade’s regulations.

More information about: Titanic

Titanic was one of three 'Olympic Class' liners commissioned by the White Star Line to be built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Construction began on the first of these great ships, Olympic, on 16 December 1908. Work on Titanic started soon after, on 31 March 1909. These magnificent vessels were the industrial marvels of their age and Titanic was to be the biggest, fastest and most luxurious liner yet.
After just three years, Titanic was finished - a floating city, ready to set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. On board was a collection of passengers comprising millionaires, silent movie stars, school teachers and emigrants, in search of a better life in the United States.
By the fifth day of its journey, Titanic was making swift progress across the Atlantic. Although Captain Edward Smith had plotted a new course upon hearing earlier reports of ice from other liners, there were many more communications that day of ice in Titanic's path. On the night of Sunday 14 April 1912, the sea was flat calm, the sky clear and moonless, and the temperature was dropping towards freezing. In such conditions, sea ice is very hard to spot.
At 11.40pm the lookout sounded the alarm and telephoned the bridge saying "Iceberg, right ahead." The warning came too late to avoid the iceberg and Titanic struck it less than 40 seconds later, tearing a series of holes along the side of the hull. Upon inspecting the damage, Titanic's chief naval architect Thomas Andrews said to Captain Smith that the ship would certainly sink. Six of the watertight compartments at the front of the ship's hull were breached, five of them flooding within the hour. Titanic was designed to stay afloat with only four compartments flooded.
Less than three hours later Titanic lay at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, nearly four kilometres down. The sinking of Titanic claimed more than 1,500 lives. For many, the tragic fate that befell Titanic would come to mark the passing of the opulence of the Edwardian era and foreshadowed the global tragedy of World War One. The story captured the public imagination across the world, spawning countless books, films, plays, memorials, museums and exhibitions. The discovery of the wreck by oceanographer Robert Ballard on a Franco-American expedition in 1985 gave rise to a fresh wave of interest that continues to this day.