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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Life Goes On

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A Cute Pet Rhino

Water Babies

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Skogafos - The most famous waterfall in Iceland

Photo — Link

Skógafoss is a waterfall situated in the south of Iceland at the cliffs of the former coastline. After the coastline had receded seaward (it is now at a distance of about 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from Skógar), the former sea cliffs remained, parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometres, creating together with some mountains a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland.

The Skógafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country with a width of 25 metres (82 feet) and a drop of 60 m (200 ft). Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that locals found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.

At the eastern side of the waterfall, a hiking and trekking trail leads up to the pass Fimmvörðuháls between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. It goes down to Þórsmörk on the other side and continues as the famous Laugavegur to Landmannalaugar. Via — Text

Photo — Link

Photo — Link

Riddle of the Day


Jillian Northrup of Oakland, USA and his team created a cool project-oriented ... This tube, decorated for the technical pipe runs through the huge studio apartment. What for? Answer a few pictures.



Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century

New nations seem to pop up with alarming regularity. At the start of the 20th century, there were only a few dozen independent sovereign states on the planet; today, there are nearly 200! Once a nation is established, they tend to stick around for awhile, so a nation disappearing is quite uncommon. It's only occurred a handful of times in the last century. But when they do, they completely vanish off the face of the globe: government, flag, and all. Here then, in no particular order, are the top ten countries that had their moment in the sun but are, alas, no more.

10. East Germany, 1949-1990

Created from the Soviet controlled sector of Germany after the Second World War, East Germany was probably best known for its Wall and its tendency to shoot people who attempted to cross over it. Now, it's one (over-reactionary) thing to shoot foreigners who are trying to enter your country illegally, but these were its own people!

Basically little more than a Soviet satellite state, the collapse of the notorious Wall and, with it, the demise of the old Soviet Union brought an end to this failed experiment in Communism, and it was integrated back into the rest of Germany in 1990. Because East Germany was so far behind the rest of Germany economically, however, its reintegration with the west almost bankrupted Germany. Today, however, things are swimming along nicely, thank you.

09. Czechoslovakia, 1918-1992

Forged from the remnants of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, during its brief existence it was one of the few bright spots in Europe, managing to maintain one of the continent's few working democracies prior to the Second World War. Betrayed by England and France in 1938 at Munich, by March of 1939 it had been completely occupied by Germany, and vanished off the map. Later it was occupied by the Soviets, who turned it into another vassal state of the old Soviet Union until that nation's collapse in 1991. At that time, it finally reestablished itself as a vibrant democracy.

That should have been the end of the story, and probably would have been, had not the ethnic Slavs in the eastern half of the country demanded their own independent state, breaking Czechoslovakia in two in 1992. Today, it exists as the Czech Republic in the west, and the nation of Slovakia in the east, making Czechoslovakia no more. Though considering that the Czech Republic maintains one of the more vibrant economies in Europe, the far-less-well-off Slovakia maybe should have reconsidered.

08. Yugoslavia, 1918-1992

Like Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia was a by-product of the breakup of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire in the aftermath of WWI. Basically made up of parts of Hungary and the original state of Serbia, it unfortunately did not follow Czechoslovakia's more enlightened example. Instead, it maintained a somewhat-autocratic monarchy until the Nazis invaded the country in 1941, after which it became a German possession. With the collapse of the Nazis in 1945, Yugoslavia somehow managed to avoid Soviet occupation but not Communism, coming under the socialist dictatorship of Marshal Josip Tito, the leader of the partisan Army during WWII. It remained a nonaligned authoritarian socialist republic until 1992, when internal tensions and rival nationalism resulted in civil war. The country then split into six smaller nations (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro,) making it a textbook example of what happens when cultural, ethnic, and religious assimilation fails.

Strong Photos




Strong pictures


Animals In News (Snow Special)

A special winter weather edition
A lion in the snow at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, Scotland
A lion in the snow at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, Scotland

Lionesses in the snow at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, Scotland
Lionesses in the snow at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, Scotland

Siberian tigers play together at the St-Felicien Wildlife zoo in Quebec. According to National Geographic, the wild population of Siberian or Amur tigers is estimated between 400 and 500 and is classified as an endangered species.
Siberian tigers play together at the St-Felicien Wildlife zoo in Quebec. According to National Geographic, the wild population of Siberian or Amur tigers is estimated between 400 and 500 and is classified as an endangered species.

Sky Habitat - A Luxury Residential Complex in Singapore


Singapore's CapitaLand construction company in 2012 started the construction of the most expensive residential complex in Singapore Sky Habitat. The snow-white 38-story skyscraper located on lush on 506 apartments planned to be completed in 2016. Luxury condominium project to be located in the suburbs of Bichat, by the famous architect Moshe Safdie, developed for him an impressive stage structure.


The two buildings will be connected by Sky Habitat transitions three bridges, two of which will serve as a kind of parks, and the top is a large swimming pool. 


Among the priorities of the project the green at all levels of the building, the optimal orientation to the sun, a good natural ventilation of buildings and scenic views.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mega Model



On the way to Liwa it is only a short detour to Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan al Nahyan's or the Rainbow Sheikh's car museum. I can clearly remember Jermey Clarksons Motor World some 10 years ago and being in awe at the collection that the Sheikh had put together.  As you drive through the desert the first thing you notice is the top a pyramid glistening in the distance. Not what you might expect in the UAE but certainly not surprising for this country. It turns out this pyramid houses the car museum.  Checking in the UAE off-road guide it is suppose to be open 7 days a week – but when our convoy of cars arrived it was decidedly closed. Carol (a British expat who has been here for 17 years) used her jedi mind trick and powers of persuasion on a bored looking Indian chap to let us in. To be honest he would never have been able to disappoint the children we had along for the ride. We were kindly let in and basically had our own private tour of the car museum. It was just great. Here is the largest pick-up truck in the world which actually contains a house and even is able to be driven short distances,

The Power wagon pick-up truck is not the only vehicle that the Rainbow Sheikh has enlarged.  In 2009 he turned his attention to the WWII American Willys Jeep and soon a monster Jeep of truly humongous proportions appeared.  The jeep is four times larger than a standard Willys Jeep.

Believe on your Eyes




A large portion of great photos taken in good time and with a successful angle. In the first few seconds you start to wonder, and then in the head sweeps thought "seemed ..." Great visuals! Enjoy!


10 hidden EPF Rules - Employee Provident Fund for Indian Salaried Class



We will discuss few EPF rules today. We all know what is EPF Employee Provident Fund. A small part of your salary (12% of your basic salary) is invested in something called EPF and an equal amount is matched by your employer each month. This is what 95% people know about EPF. But there are many things in EPF which a lot of people do not know and this article is going to open some not known secrets of EPF. One should be aware about all the EPF related information. So lets take them one by one in points format.

1: You can also nominate someone for your EPF

Do you know that there is also nomination facility in EPF ? The nominee will be contacted at the time of death of the person and handed over the EPF money. However if nomination is not present (which you should check), it can raise to all sort of issues while claiming money. There is a form called *Form 2 http://www.hrindiaonline.com/pdfdocs/forms/pf/form2.pdf>*which
has to be filled to change or update the nomination. Please contact your company finance department or directly send the form to EPFO. One very strange thing about EPF rules is that you cant nominate your brother for EPF.
Not sure why!

2: One can get pension under EPF

Do you know that there are two elements in EPF one is called EPF and other is EPS (You can check your EPF balance using the new EPF e-passbook http://www.jagoinvestor.com/2012/08/epf-passbook-employee-provident-fund-balance-online.html>option)
 The EPF is actually for your provident fund and EPS is for your pension. The 12% contribution from your side goes to EPF, but the 12% contribution which your employer makes, out of that 8.33% actually goes in EPS (subject to maximum of Rs 541) and the rest goes into EPF. So understand it this way, a part of your  employer contribution actually makes up your pension corpus. But there are some caveats to this.

   - One is liable for pension only if one has completed the age of 58.
   - One is liable for pension only if he has completed 10 yrs of service
   (in case of more than one companies, the EPF should have been transferred,   not withdrawn)
   - The maximum Pension per month is subject to maximum of Rs 3,250 per  month.
   - Lifelong pension is available to the member and upon his death members of the family are entitled for the pension.

[image: Description: EPS EPS components]

3: No interest is given on EPS (pension part)

You must be thinking that you regularly get compound interest each year on your contribution + employer contribution. But it does not work like that.
The compound interest is provided only on EPF part. The EPS part (8.33% out of 12% contribution from your employer or Rs 541 what ever is minimum) does not get any interest. At the time of EPF withdrawal , you get both EPF and EPS.

4: You might not get 100% of your EPF money

Imagine your contribution + employer contribution has been total Rs3,50,000 till date. Out of this 3,50,000 , suppose 2,50,000 has gone in EPF , and rest 1,00,000 has gone in EPS (for pension) . Now if you quit your job in 6th year of employment and opt for withdrawal of your EPF money http://www.jagoinvestor.com/forum/how-to-withdrawtransfer-ppf-money-to-new-account/3517/>(EPF+ EPS actually) , then do you think you will get total 3,50,000 ?. NO !

Thats because you always get 100% of your EPF part, but for EPS there is separate rule . There is something called Table http://www.erlaws.com/docs/nat%5CEPF%5CEPFPS/PSTD.htm>, under which its mentioned how much you get at the time of exit from your job, there is a slab for each completed year and you get n times of your last drawn salary (depending on the completed year of service) subject to maximum to Rs 6,500 per month. So if your salary in this case was Rs 30,000 per month, still you will be given only 6,500 * 6.40 = Rs 41,600.

[image: Description: Table D under EPS]

Note that the table D is upto 9 yrs only, because if 10 yrs are crossed, then you are liable for pension.

5: You can invest more in EPF, its called VPF

You can always invest more than 12% of your basic salary in EPF which is called VPF. In this case the excess amount will be invested in EPF and you will keep on getting the interest, but the employer is not supposed to match your contribution. He will just invest upto maximum of 12% of your basic, not more than that.

 
6: Withdrawing of EPF amount at job change is illegal

Almost every one thinks that withdrawing of your EPF amount after a job switch is totally fine and allowed, however as per *EPF Rules*, its illegal. You can only withdraw your Employee provident fund money, only if you have no job at the time of withdrawing EPF and if 2 months have passed.
Only transfer is allowed in case you get a new job and you switch to it.
While there are no cases where EPF office tracks these things and takes up this matter, still just for your information you should know that if you got a new job and took it and then you are applying for withdrawal, its illegal as per law. However in case of EPS, if the service period is less than 10 years, you have option to either withdraw your corpus or get it transferred by obtaining a Scheme Certificate. Once, the service period crosses 10 years, the withdrawal option ceases. Just for your information, you can withdraw your EPF money without the help of past employerhttp://www.jagoinvestor.com/2012/11/withdraw-your-epf-without-employer-signature.html>signature
by attesting your withdrawal form by a bank manager or some gazzeted officer. I hope you are clear about EPF withdrawal rules.

 
7: One can opt out of EPF if he wants

Yes!I know this might be a surprising fact for many , but if ones basic salary per month is more than Rs 6,500, he has an option to opt out of EPF and not be part of it. In which case he will get all his salary in hand (without anything deducted every month). But the sad part is that one has to opt out of EPF in the start of his job. If a person has been part of EPF even once in his life, then he cant opt out of it. So if you have already had EPF in your life. This option is not for you, but if you are new to job and your EPF account number still does not exist, you can tell your employer that you do not want to be part of Employee provident fund  You will have to fill up form 11 for this.

 
8: Your EPF gives you some life insurance too

A lot of people might not know that in case a company is not providing group life insurance cover to its employees, in that case the employee is given a small life cover through EPF. This is because there is something called Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme and your organisation has to contribute 0.5% of your monthly basic pay, capped at Rs 6,500, as premium for your life cover. However companies which already have life insurance benefits to employees as part of the company, are exempted from this EDLI scheme. The bad part of this EDLI scheme is that the life cover under this option is very low and thats maximum amount of Rs

Monday, December 24, 2012

Close Up With A Tiger

Photographer's close-ups of roaring tiger that are so detailed you can almost feel its breath!

  • The pictures of Ana the Sumatran Tiger were taken by Syahrul Ramadan at Ragunan Zoo, in Jakarta, Indonesia
  • She flashed her huge canines and razor-sharp incisors whilst folding back her ears - a sign she was extremely angry
These amazing photographs bring a whole new meaning to coming face to face with danger.
But Ana the Sumatran Tiger is actually a big pussycat, say her keepers, as long as you feed her right and give her lots of love and attention.
That is advice photographer Syahrul Ramadan may have wished he took when he visited Ragunan Zoo, in Jakarta, Indonesia, to take the snaps.
Really angry: Ana the Sumatran Tiger lets out a ferocious roar, flashing her huge canines and razor-sharp incisors whilst folding back her ears - a sign she was extremely angry
Really angry: Ana the Sumatran Tiger lets out a ferocious roar, flashing her huge canines and razor-sharp incisors whilst folding back her ears - a sign she was extremely angry
Ana left Mr Ramadan, 36, in no doubt of her feelings when she unleashed a ferocious roar directly in his face.
She flashed her huge canines and razor-sharp incisors whilst folding back her ears - a sign she was extremely angry.
Mr Ramadan captured the two roars in quick succession at the Zoo, before hotfooting out of her pen to avoid becoming lunch.
Sumatran tigers, as their name suggests, are only found on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, where they continue to be poached for traditional medicine.
They are the smallest of all tigers alive today. Their stripes are narrower and closer together than on many other sub-species, which make them highly adapted to moving stealthily through dense forest.
Hot breath: Mr Ramadan captured the two roars in quick succession at the Zoo, before hotfooting out of her pen to avoid becoming lunch
Hot breath: Mr Ramadan captured the two roars in quick succession at the Zoo, before hotfooting out of her pen to avoid becoming lunch
Ferocious: Ana left Mr Ramadan, 36, in no doubt of her feelings when she unleashed a ferocious roar directly in his face
Ferocious: Ana left Mr Ramadan, 36, in no doubt of her feelings when she unleashed a ferocious roar directly in his face
Natural poser: But despite her anger, Ana came round in the end and couldn't resist striking a majestic side on pose during the shoot
Natural poser: But despite her anger, Ana came round in the end and couldn't resist striking a majestic side on pose during the shoot

Beautiful Pictures Of Kangaroos

Param Vir Chakra –India’s highest gallantry award Who Desgned it and What it mean

Param Vir Chakra India's highest gallantry award Who Desgned it and What it mean

Param Vir Chakra India's highest gallantry award.

Ask any aspirant, serving or a retired personal of Indian Defence Services, these three words Param Veer Chakra mean more than their life to them. Many who have attained Martyrdom while fighting for the nation with extreme courage have been honoured by this medal, for every other young man who stands at the Line of Action it is the ultimate dream honour.Have you ever thought about what does the design on that medal mean or who designed it?? Let me tell you about it.

Savitri Khanolkar is the designer of India's highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra.


Savitri Khanolkar, born Eve Yvonne Maday de Maros, on July 20, 1913 - 1990 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, to a Hungarian father André de Maday, professor of sociology at Geneva University and President of the Société de Sociologie de Genève, and Russian mother Marthe Hentzelt, who taught at the Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau. She later was known as Savitri Bai, the name she was given after she married an Indian, became a Hindu and took Indian nationality.


She spent her early childhood in Geneva, where she grew to be a compassionate girl with a love of nature and the outdoors. In 1929, when she was still a teenager, she met Vikram Khanolkar, who born in Marathi family, a young Indian Army officer undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, who was holidaying in Europe. Although he was many years older than she was, Eve fell in love with him. Her father however, did not agree to let her go away to a faraway country like India but Eve was a determined young woman, and her love was strong. She followed Vikram to India a few years later, and in 1932, she married him at Mumbai. She began her new life adapting to Indian culture as Mrs. Savitribai Khanolkar.


Despite coming (or maybe because of coming) from a European background, Savitri Bai identified so closely with Indian traditions and ideals, that her integration into Indian society was smooth and effortless. She was a vegetarian, learnt to speak fluent Marathi, Sanskrit and Hindi and learnt Indian music, dance and painting. She always claimed that she had been "born in Europe by mistake" as she was Indian soul, woe unto him who dared to call her a "foreigner"! She was so fascinated with Hindu mythology that she read extensively from Hindu scriptures and had a deep knowledge of India's ancient history and legends. It was this knowledge that led Major General Hira Lal Atal, the creator of the Param Vir Chakra, to ask for Savitri Bai's help in designing a medal that would truly symbolize the highest bravery.

Soon after Indian independence, she was asked by the Adjutant General Major General Hira Lal Atal to design India’s highest award for bravery in combat, the Param Vir Chakra.

Major General Hira Lal Atal was given the responsibility for creating and naming independent India’s new military decorations. His reasons for choosing Mrs.Khanolkar were her deep and intimate knowledge of Indian mythology, Sanskrit and Vedas, which he hoped would give the design a truly Indian ethos. She was a painter and an artist, and wife of Captain (later Major General) Vikram Ramji Khanolkar, a serving officer with the Sikh Regiment, at the time of the request.

Coincidentally, the first PVC was awarded to her elder daughter's brother-in-law Major Som Nath Sharma from 4 Kumaon Regiment who was posthumously awarded for his valour of November 3, 1947 during the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war in Kashmir.

The design of Param Vir Chakra :


Savitribai thought of the sage Dadhichi - a vedic rishi who made the ultimate sacrifice to the Gods. He gave up his body so that the Gods could fashion a deadly weapon - a Vajra, or thunderbolt, from his thigh bone. Savitribai gave Major General Hira Lal Atal, the design of the double Vajra, common in Tibet. Its a myth that the medal also carries images of the fearless warrior king Shivaji's sword Bhavani but this is a popular perpetuated myth. The Indian General Service Medal (1947) which contained the Bhavani sword was withdrawn later.


The medal itself is a small one. It is cast in bronze, and has a radius of 13/8 inch. In the centre, on a raised circle, is the state emblem, surrounded by four replicas of Indra's Vajra, flanked by the sword of Shivaji. The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar, and is held by a 32 mm purple ribbon.


Savitri Bai had always done a lot a social work which she continued in her later years, working with soldiers and their families and refugees who had been displaced during the Partition. After her husband's death in 1952, she found refuge in spirituality, and retired to the Ramakrishna Math. She wrote a book on the Saints of Maharashtra that is popular even today.


Mrs. Savitri Bai Khanolkar died in 1990, but her memory lives on in the great award that she designed. It is fitting that a remarkable lady who truly loved India and was intensely proud of being an Indian designed an award that is given to soldiers who love their country so much that they are ready to die for it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

3D Images On Pavements

Don't fall in! Amazingly realistic 3D images on pavements across America and Europe

From Piccadilly Circus to an incident at Waterloo this eye-opening 3D street art is probably the best on the planet.
Not only do these incredible pastel drawings on pavements across the world look realistic by themselves - but when passers-by jump into the scene they take on a life of their own.
As well as his London creations, U.S. street artist Kurt Wenner, 53, created a playboy's bachelor pad in a Singapore Airport, a magic carpet for children to ride over an Arabian fantasy city and a grand prix car for local female drivers to try out during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Under the carpet: Mr Wenner's The Flying Carpet photographed in Bettona, Italy
Under the carpet: Mr Wenner's The Flying Carpet photographed in Bettona, Italy
Piccadilly Circus? A three-dimensional street painting called The Belgian Underground photographed in Brussels, Belgium
Piccadilly Circus? A three-dimensional street painting called The Belgian Underground photographed in Brussels, Belgium
U.S. street artist Kurt Wenner, 53, created this work, called Incident at Waterloo, in London
U.S. street artist Kurt Wenner, 53, created this work, called Incident at Waterloo, in London

CN TOWER _ TORONTO _ CANADA


The Mysterious Pillar Island, Scotland

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Most of the contents are published here were collected through email and Internet. I bear no responsibility for these contents.

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