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J D Salinger

J.D. Salinger Dies: Hermit Crab of American Letters

By Richard Lacayo

Take the austere little paperbacks down from the shelf and you can hold the collected works of J.D. Salinger — one novel, three volumes of stories — in the palm of one hand. Like some of his favorite writers — like Sappho, whom we know only from ancient fragments, or the Japanese poets who crafted 17-syllable haikus — Salinger was an author whose large reputation pivots on very little. The first of his published stories that he thought were good enough to preserve between covers appeared in the New Yorker in 1948. Sixteen years later he placed one last story there and drew down the shades.

From that day until his death on Jan. 27 at age 91, at his home in Cornish, N.H., Salinger was the hermit crab of American letters. When he emerged, it was usually to complain that somebody was poking at his shell. Over time Salinger’s exemplary refusal of his own fame may turn out to be as important as his fiction. In the 1960s he retreated to the small house in Cornish, and rejected the idea of being a public figure. Thomas Pynchon is his obvious successor in that department. But Pynchon figured out how to turn his back on the world with a wink and a Cheshire Cat smile. Salinger did it with a scowl. Then again, he was inventing the idea, and he bent over it with an inventor’s sweaty intensity.

Salinger’s only novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published in 1951 and gradually achieved a status that made him cringe. For decades the book was a universal rite of passage for adolescents, the manifesto of disenchanted youth. (Sometimes lethally disenchanted: After he killed John Lennon in 1980, Mark David Chapman said he had done it "to promote the reading" of Salinger’s book. Roughly a year later, when he headed out to shoot President Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley Jr. left behind a copy of the book in his hotel room.) But what matters is that even for the millions of people who weren’t crazy, Holden Caulfield, Salinger’s petulant, yearning (and arguably manic-depressive) young hero was the original angry young man. That he was also a sensitive soul in a cynic’s armor only made him more irresistible. James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway had invented disaffected young men too. But Salinger created Caulfield at the very moment that American teenage culture was being born. A whole generation of rebellious youths discharged themselves into one particular rebellious youth.(Read TIME’s 1951 review of The Catcher in the Rye.)

Salinger drew from Sherwood Anderson, Isak Dinesen, F. Scott Fitzgerald and especially Ring Lardner, whose wise-guy voice you hear chiming in the snappy banalities and sometimes desperate patter spoken by Salinger’s characters, a tone that found its way years later into the neurotic chatter of Woody Allen’s New Yorkers. But Salinger bent it all into something new, a tone that drew from the secular and the religious, the worldly and the otherworldly, the ecstatic and the inconsolable. It’s customary to assume that the seven Glass children — the Glass family, an intricate hybrid of showbiz and spirituality, was Salinger’s other enduring creation — make up a kind of group portrait of Salinger, each of them a reflection of his different dimensions: the writer and the actor, the searcher and the researcher, the spiritual adept and the pratfalling schmuck. That may very well be true. He made sure we could never be sure. Holden Caulfield says, "Don’t ever tell anybody anything." That’s one time you know it’s Salinger talking.

         

Jerome David Salinger was born in New York on Jan. 1, 1919. His mother was a Scots-born Protestant who changed her name from Marie to Miriam to accommodate her Jewish in-laws. His father Solomon was a food importer who was successful enough by the time Salinger turned 13 to move the family to Park Avenue and enroll his underachieving son in a Manhattan private school. Salinger flunked out within two years. He was then packed off to Valley Forge Military Academy, outside Philadelphia. It would later be the model for Pency Prep, the school Caulfield runs away from.

After graduating from Valley Forge, Salinger ran away from several schools. He managed only two semesters at New York University before dropping out. His father decided to take him into the family business and brought his boy along to Austria and Poland to learn all about ham. "They finally dragged me off to Bydgoszcz for a couple of months," Salinger wrote years later. "Where I slaughtered pigs, wagoned through the snow with the big slaughtermaster." Ham was not in his future. Back in the U.S., he made another halfhearted attempt at school, this time at Ursinus College in rural Pennsylvania. He lasted a semester, then drifted back to Manhattan.

By this point Salinger had a general destination in mind: he wanted to be a writer. In the fall of 1939, he signed up for a writing class at Columbia University taught by Whit Burnett, founder and editor of Story, a highly regarded, little magazine that had been the first place to publish William Saroyan, Joseph Heller and Carson McCullers. Burnett quickly took notice of his talented pupil and made sure that his magazine would be the first place to publish Salinger. In its March-April 1940 issue, Story carried "The Young Folks," a brief, acidic vignette of college students at a party, prototypes of all the disaffected young people who would appear in Salinger’s fiction.

Over the following months, Salinger broke through to mass-circulation magazines like Collier’s and Esquire and had a tantalizing first brush with the New Yorker, the magazine he wanted badly to appear in, the one that could validate him not just as a professional writer but also as an artist. By this time, he had written a story about a boy named Holden Caulfield who runs away from prep school. The New Yorker accepted it, then put it on hold. But Caulfield was a character close to the author’s heart, and Salinger wasn’t done with him.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1957492,00.html#ixzz0e0LeXkBA

 

Courtesy: www.time.com

 

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J D Salinger Biography

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KV Pattom launches Library Junction

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New Indian Express, 20 January, 2010

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Filed under: Library in the News,

New Arrivals (19/01/2010)

NEW ARRIVALS

19TH JANUARY 2010

CALL NO.

AUTHOR

TITLE

001  O’B-B

 O’brien, Derek

 Best quizzes of Derek O’Brien

001  TAR-G

 Tarun Goyal

 General knowledge 2010

001.076  BRY-A

 Bryon, Mike

 Advanced numeracy test workbook

001.076  CAR-I

 Carter, Philip

 IQ and personality tests

006.454  RAJ-E

 Rajadhyaksha, Medha S

 Exploring speech and language

020  JAI-T

 Jain, M K and Nirmal jain

 Teaching learning Library and Information services: A manual

025  AGA-P

 Agarwal, O P

 Preservation of art objects and library materials

115  BAL-A

 Bal Phondke

 About time

155.4  JHA-K

 Jha, Sudhir Nath

 Khel khel main bachchon ki vikas: Play activities for child development (h)

155.4  MIL-S

 Miller, Karen

 Simple steps: developmental activities for infants, toddlers and two-year-olds

158.1  REY-M

 Reynolds, Susan

 My dad is my hero

158.1  SAP-J

 Sapre, S A

 Joy of work

158.1  TIM

 Cook, Marshall J

 Time management

158.1  YOU

 Dyer, Wayne W.

 Your erroneous zones

200  BAI-E

 Baig, Murad Ali

 Eighty questions to understand India: History, mythology and religion

294.3  RAJ-E

 Rajiv Malhotra, Ed

 Essential Dalai Lama

294.55  TEM

 Krishna Deva

 Temples of north India

303.4  TOF-F

 Toffler, Alvin

 Future shock

303.66  GOP-I

 Gopalakrishnan, K V

 Impact of science and technology on warfare

320.03  HAN-N

 Hanson, Jim

 NTC’s dictionary of debate

330.954  DHI-Q

 Dhillon, Surjeet R.

 Question bank: Indian economy

342  GUP-S

 Gupta, U N, Ed.

 Select world constitutions, Vol.2

342  GUP-S

 Gupta, U N

 Select world constitutions, Vol.1

342  NIK-E

 Nikhil Dey

 Employment Guarantee act

342.54  CHO-I

 Chowdhry, N K

 Indian constitution and education

363.7  SES-P

 Seshagiri, N

 Pollution

363.7  SES-P

 Seshagiri, N

 Pollution

363.73  MAN-E

 manivasakam, N

 Environmental pollution

363.73  MON-H

 Monbiots, George

 Heat: How we can stop the planet burning

370.11  SUN-E

 Sunita Sharma

 Education for the gifted

370.11  VAL

 Jagdish Chand

 Value education

370.113  JAM-O

 James, Jayne W and Bailey Gerald D

 Online professional development: A customized approach for technology leaders

370.15  FRY-G

 Fry, Ron

 Great big book of how to study

370.15  KRI-C

 Krishna Kumar

 Child’s language and the teacher: A handbook

370.15  MEE-T

 Meera Ravi

 Teaching through the heart: Action plan for better teaching

370.15  MUK-M

 Mukhopadhyay Suvasish

 Motivating school kids

370.15  MUK-W

 Mukunda, Kamala V

 What did you ask at school today ?: A handbook of child learning

371.26  RAS-E

 Rashmi  Agarwal

 Educational technology management and evaluation

371.3  MAR-L

 Mary Ann Dasgupta

 Low-cost, No-cost teaching aids

371.39  HAR-U

 Harlen, Wynne and Elstgeest, Jos

 UNESCO sourcebook for science in the primary school: A workshop approach to teacher education

371.39  PRO

 Moursund, David

 Project based learning using information technology

371.4  BAR-C2

 Barett, Jim

 Career aptitude and selection tests

371.4  WIL-U2

 Williams, Lynn

 Ultimate job search

371.4  YAT-G

 Yate, Martin John

 Great answers to tough interview questions

378.1  GUP-S

 Gupta, S and Aggarwal, J C

 School management

379.54  AGG-E

 Aggarwal, J C

 Educational reforms in India: For the 21st century

379.54  AGG-M

 Aggarwal, J C

 Modern Indian education: History, development and problems

379.54  EDU

 

 Education, child labour and NGOs

379.54  THA-D

 Thakur, A S and Sandeep Berwal

 Development of educational system in India

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis and Cushen, Caroline

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Student’s Book, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  HAR-A

 Cushen, Caroline, et al

 Achieve IELTS 2, English for international education: Workbook, Upper intermediate-Advanced band 5.5 to 7.5

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis, et al

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Workbook, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  HAR-A

 Cushen, Caroline, et al

 Achieve IELTS 2, English for international education: Student’s book,, Upper intermediate-Advanced band 5.5 to 7.5

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis, et al

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Workbook, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis and Cushen, Caroline

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Student’s Book, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  MAR-I

 Marks, Jon

 IELTS Resource pack

423  LEW-D

 Lewis, Norman

 Dictionary of pronunciation

423.1  BUD-S

 Bud and Wileman, Ed

 Spelling dictionary

425  KIM-G

 Kimes, Joanne and Muschla, Gary Robert

 Grammar sucks: What to do to make your writing much more better

428  BRO-E

 Brown, Kristine

 Essay writing: step-by-step

500 HAW-B

 Hawking, Stephen

 Black holes and baby universes and other essays

502  BIM-M

 Biman Basu

 Marching ahead with science: Science and technology in India since independence

502  GOP-I

 Gopalakrishnan K V

 Impact of Science and Technology on mankind

502  IND-L.1

 Indumati Rao and C N R Rao

 Learning Science Part 1: Universe, solar system, earth

502  IND-L.2

 Indumati Rao and C N R Rao

 Learning Science Part 2:The world of physics and energy

502  IND-L.3

 Indumati Rao and C N R Rao

 Learning Science Part 3: The world of chemistry

502  IND-L.4

 Indumati Rao and C N R Rao

 Learning Science Part 4: Biology and life

502  KOT-O

 Kothare, A N et al.

 Of science and scientists: An anthology of anecdotes

502  LAV-S

 Lavakare P J

 Science and you

502  SUK-O

 Sukanya Datta

 Once upon a blue moon: Science fiction stories

503  WEL-Q

 Wellington, J J

 Questions dictionary of Science

510  PHI-T

 Philip, Sam

 Thousand math problems

520  MAD-S

 Madhu Parhar

 Satellite in education

520  RAJ-T

 Rajan, Mohan Sundara

 Telescopes in India

523.1  RAZ-M

 Razeghpanah, Violet

 Mir space station

551.22  SRI-C

 Srivastava H N

 Coastal hazards: cyclones, tsunamis and other disasters

551.22  SRI-E

 Srivastava H N

 Earthquakes: Forecasting and mitigation

581.634  JAI-M

 Jain, S K

 Medicinal plants

591  SUK-S

 Sukanya Dutta

 Social life of animals

591  VIN-C

 Vinod Sharma

 Care of domestic animals

597.9  WOR

 Whitaker, Zai and

 World of turtles and crocodiles

611  BIJ-H

 Bijlani, R L and Manchanda, S K

 Human machine

616.0252  LAL-P

 Lal, Kalpana Sood

 Prevention of burns

627.12  RAD-R

 Radhakant Bharati

 Rivers of India

760  ELL-L

 Ella Datta

 Lines and colours: Discovering Indian Art

793.3  JOY

 Leela Samson

 Joy of classical dances of India

796  CHO-A

 Chowdhury T P S

 Adventure sports

808.068  ALI-I

 Ali, Mir Najabat

 Inventiions that changed the world. Part 2

808.068  ALI-I

 Ali, Mir Najabat

 Inventiions that changed the world. Part 1

808.068  CHH-W

 Chhapgar, B F

 Wonder world under water

808.068  CHH-W

 Chhapgar B F

 Wonder world under water

808.068  CHH-W

 Chhapgar B F

 Wonders of the deep sea

808.068  CHH-W

 Chhapgar B F

 Wonders of the deep sea

808.068  DAV-T

 Davidar E R C

 Toda and the tahr

808.068  DAV-T

 Davidar E R C

 Toda and the tahr

808.068  DEE-P

 Deepak Kumar Kalitha

 Pyara dosth (h)

808.068  DEE-P

 Deepak Kumar Kalitha

 Pyara dosth (h)

808.068  GIJ-C

 Gijubhai Bhadeka

 Chor Machaye Shor (h)

808.068  GIJ-C

 Gijubhai Bhadeka

 Chor Machaye Shor (h)

808.068  IND-W

 Indraneil das

 World of turtles and crocodiles

808.068  MAN-A

 Manoj Das

 A bride inside a casket and other tales

808.068  MAN-A

 manoj das

 A bride inside a casket and other tales

808.068  NAV-A

 Navkrishna Mahant

 Appu ki mkahani (h)

808.068  PRE-P

 Prem singh Nehi

 Pedon ki mahima (h)

808.068  PRE-P

 Prem singh Nehi

 Pedon ki mahima (h)

808.068  RAM-T

 Ramesh Bakshi

 Tilli – tithali

808.068  RAM-T

 Ramesh Bakshi

 Tilli – tithali

808.068  RUS-G

 Ruskin Bond

 Growing up with trees…

808.068  RUS-G

 Ruskin Bond

 Growing up with trees…

808.068  SAM-H

 Samuel Israel

 How books are made

808.068  SAM-H

 Samuel Israel

 How books are made

808.068  SIG-I

 Sigrun srivastava

 India’s young heroes

808.068  SIG-I

 Sigrun Srivastava

 India’s young heroes

808.068  SUR-S

 Suresh Salil

 Sirkata Bargad (h)

808.068  SUR-S

 Suresh Salil

 Sirkata Bargad (h)

820.9  FOR-E

 Forster, E M

 E.M. Forster’s a passage to India

821.08  DE -B

 De Souza, Eric

 Both sides of the sky: Post independence indian poetry in English

821.08  KIP-C

 Kipling, Rudyard

 Complete verse of Rudyard Kipling

822  CHR-W

 Christie, Agatha

 Witness for the prosecution and selected plays

822.3  SHA-N

 Shakespeare, Wiilaim

 No fear Shakespeare: Antony and cleopatra

823  AND

 Andersen, Hans Christian

 Andersen’s fairy tales

823  ASI-G

 Asimov, Isaac

 Gold

823  ASI-P

 Asimov, Isaac

 Prelude to foundation

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator 5: Grave doubts

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator 2: High stakes

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator: Mean spirits

823  CHA-T

 Charles and Mary Lamb

 Tales from Shakespeare

823  CHR-A

 Christie, Agatha

 At Bertrams hotel

823  CHR-P

 Christie, Agatha

 Passenger to Frankfurt

823  COE-A

 Coelho, Paulo

 Alchemist

823  COL-A

 Colfer, Eoin

 Artemis Fowl and the Artic incident

823  COO-W

 Coolidge, Susan

 What Katy did at school and what katy did next

823  DAH-B

 Dahl, Roald

 BFG

823  DAH-C

 Dahl, Roald

 Charlie and the great glass elevator

823  DAH-E

 Dahl, Roald

 Esio trot

823  DAH-G

 Dahl, Roald

 George’s marvellous medicine

823  DAL-C

 Dalrymple, William

 City of djinns: A year in Delhi

823  DEE-P

 Deepanjana Pal

 Painter: A life of Ravi Varma

823  DIC-T

 Dickens, Charles

 Tale of two cities

823  DOY-R

 Doyle, Arthur Conan

 Return of Sherlock Holmes

823  ENG

 

 English fairy tales

823  FRA-D

 Frank, Anne

 Diary of a young girl

823  GIL-R

 Gilbert, Henry

 Robin Hood

823  KEE-N

 Keene, Carolyn

 Nancy Drew: Real fake

823  KEE-N

 Keene, Carolyn

 Nancy Drew: Chocolate covered contest

823  KIP-J

 Kipling, Rudgard

 Jungle book and the second jungle book

823  KIP-P

 Kipling, Rudyard

 Puck of pook’s hill

823  KIP-S

 Kipling, Rudgard

 Second jungle book

823  KIP-S

 Kipling, Rudgard

 Second jungle book

823  LAN-T

 Lang, Andrew

 Tales of Troy and Greece

823  LAN-T

 Lang, Andrew, Ed.

 Tales from arabian nights

823  MEY-B

 Meyer, Stephenie

 Breaking dawn

823  MEY-E

 Meyer, Stephenie

 Eclipse

823  MEY-H

 Meyer, Stephenie

 Host

823  MEY-N

 Meyer, Stephenie

 New moon

823  MUL-L

 Muller, Herta

 Land of green plums

823  NAR-G

 Narayan, R K

 Grandmothers’s tale

823  NAR-S

 Narayan, R K

 Swami and friends

823  NES-P

 Nesbit, E

 Phoenix and the Carpet

823  NIS-F

 Nisbit, E

 Five children and it

823  ORW-A

 Orwell, George

 Animal farm

823  PAM-M

 Pamuk, Orhan

 Museum of innocence

823  RAB-G

 Rabindranath Tagore

 Gora

823  SEW-B

 Sewell, Anna

 Black Beauty

823  STI-B

 Stine, R L

 Rotten school 1:Big blueberry barf-off

823  STI-R

 Stine, R L

 Rotten school 3 : The good, the bad and the very slimy

823  STI-R

 Stine, R L

 Rotten school 2 : The great smelling bee

823  STI-R

 Stine, R L

 Rotten school

823  SUJ-C

 Sujit Saraf

 Confession of Sultana daku

823  TWA-T

 Twain, Mark

 Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

823  ULL-T

 Ullas Karanth, Ed

 Tiger tales: Tracking the big cat across Asia

823  WEB-K

 Webb, Marion St. John

 Knock three times

823  WIG-R

 Wiggin, Kate Douglas

 Rebecca of sunnybrook farm

823.01  AES

 

 Aesop’s fables

823.01  AND-A

 Andersen, Hans Christian

 Andersen’s fairy tales

823.01  RUS-H

 Rushdie, Salman

 Haroun and the sea of stories

823.01  SHA-F

 Shashi Tharoor

 Five dollar smile: Fourteen early stories and a farce in two acts

823.01  WIL-H

 Wilde, Osacr

 Happy Prince and other stories

828  ARU-I

 Arundhati Roy

 In which Annie gives it those ones:The original screenplay

920.02  GUP-F

 Gupta, Subhadra Sen

 Flag, a song and a pinch of salt: Freedom fighters of India

920.054  BHA

 Sabharwal, D P

 Bharat ratnas

920.054  TAN-H

 Tandon R K

 Hanged  for their patriotism

923.154  LIG-M

 Lightfoot, Elizabeth

 Michelle Obama: first lady of hope

923.154  SUD-M

 Sudhir Kakar

 Mira and the mahatma

923.173  OBA-D

 Obama, Barack

 Dreams from my father

923.554  TAP-R

 Tapti Roy

 Raj of the rani

923.554  VIN-T

 Vinita Kamte

 To the last bullet: An inspiring story of braveheart Ashok Kamte

923.7  KEL-S

 keller, helen

 Story of my life

925  AMR-V

 Amrita Shah

 Vikram Sarabhai: a life

954  BIP-I

 Bipan Chandra

 India’s struggle for independence 1857-1947

954  MOH-A

 Mohinder Singh

 Akali movement

H  808.068  MUR-H

 Murthy, R K

 Hawa ki anokhi dunia (h)

H 808.068  SHY-C

 Shyam Dua

 Chandamama ki kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-D

 Shyam Duo

 Dada dadi ki 200 manoranjak kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-M

 Shyam Dua

 Mulla Nazuruddin aur uske kisse (h)

H 808.068  SHY-M

 Shyam Dua

 Meri priya pari kathayem (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Sahasik kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Sadabahar kahaniyamn (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Meri priy samajik bal kathayein (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Hitopadesh ki prasidh kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-U

 Uncle Sam

 Uthar bharat ki lok kathayein (h)

H 808.068  SHY-U

 Uncle Sam

 Such Buch ki kahaniyam (h)

R  001  HAC-H

 Hachette

 Hachette children’s infopedia and yearbook 2010

R  001.076  THO-P

 Thorpe, Edgar and Thorpe, Showick

 Pearson General studies manual for the UPSC civil services preliminary examination 2010

R  030  COM

 Sachdeva, S K , Ed

 Competition success review: Year Book 2010*

R  371.4  EDU-C

 Educational Consultants India Ltd., Comp.,

 Compendium on scholarships, fellowships, freeships and educational loans for study in India and abroad

R  423.1  BRE-D

 Brewer, E C

 Dictionary of phrases and fable

R  551.6  WOR-W

 World Bank

 World development report 2010: Development and climate change

R  796  KEN-O

 Kent, Michael

 Oxford dictionary of sports science and medicine

R  H423.1  ARA-S.1

 Aravind Kumar

 Samantar Kosh (Hindi Thesaurus) (h) Part.1

R  H423.1  ARA-S.2

 Aravind Kumar

 Samantar Kosh (Hindi Thesaurus) (h) Part.2

R 030  MAT-M45

 Mathew, K M, Ed.

 Manorama yearbook-2010

R 294.5923  RAM-M.1

 Ramesh Menon

 Mahabharata: a modern rendering 2 vols.

R 294.5923  RAM-M.2

 Ramesh Menon

 Mahabharata: a modern rendering 2 vols.

R 502.803  ROB-E

 Robson, Pam and Seller, Mick

 Encyclopedia of Science Projects

R 551.6  AL -O

 Al Gore

 Our choice: a plan to solve the climate crisis

R 745  CHA-G

 Charner, Kathy ed.

 Giant encyclopedia of art and craft activities for children

T 930  NCE-S

 NCERT

 Social Science: Our Pasts – III Part 2 : Textbook in History for Class VIII

Filed under: New Book Alert

Republic Day Book Exhibition

 

Exhibition of Books on constitution and society of India

25-29 January 2010

Visit the Library to know India more !!!

Filed under: Exhibitions,Displays

Lethal Games CSE LAB STUDY: TOXIC TOYS

Lab study by
Sapna Johnson, Nirmali Saikia, Ramakant Sahu, H B Mathur and H C Agarwal
Reported by
K Dinkar and Bharat Lal Seth

Courtesy: Down To Earth

Toys can be dangerous. Laboratory analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment shows the presence of phthalates, a highly toxic chemical, in toys sold in the Indian market. Worse, and almost predictable now, the Indian government does not regulate or monitor the use of these inimical chemicals, putting children at risk.
While phthalates are nowhere on the radar of Indian authorities, they have made a few botched attempts to regulate other safety aspects of toys like mechanical and chemical properties and presence of certain heavy metals. Domestically, these standards remain voluntary. But since January last year, the authorities, mostly under pressure from a vigilant judiciary, have tried to regulate the quality of toys being imported. First they banned the import of toys from China, one country notorious for the poor quality of its toys.

Then they issued notification asking for all Chinese imports to conform to Indian standards and then broadened this notification to cover imports from all countries.
But the government is on a sticky wicket here. While making it mandatory for imports to conform to standards, it does not ask of its own industry to meet the same. This is clearly a non-tariff barrier to trade, and officials know it. They have been fortunate no one has complained till now.
The regulation on imports expires on January 23. The government has two options. Either regulate all toys, both domestic production and imports. Second, and the easier option, let the order expire and leave the entire market unregulated. As things stand now, the government does not want to make the effort to make standards mandatory for all. End-January we will know whether the government is serious.

Something for parents to chew on

Eighteen-month-old Ishleen gets a toy almost every week. Whenever her parents visit markets in west Delhi they pick up something for her. Ishleen has a collection of squeezies, soft toys and rattles. “She began teething a year ago. So she chews on just about anything,” said her mother Manjeet Singh. Her husband Jaspal Singh inspects the toys before buying them but she agreed they did not give much thought to health effects. Chances are when Ishleen chews on these toys she ingests tiny doses of chemicals. One of them is phthalates that makes plastics flexible but can interfere with the reproductive system.

 

Romila Bahl, mother of two children now adult, knows toys can be toxic. "I’m not a scientist but as a mother I knew what was good for my children, especially knowing it may go into their mouth," said Bahl, who runs a flower business in Delhi. "I always asked my eldest sister in Chicago to bring toys for my children," she said.Her children, Omar and Mandira, would eagerly look forward to their aunt’s annual visit.
"I didn’t mind shelling out an extra buck because I never trusted the cheap imports." But she has not heard of phthalates, which were not banned in the US when she used to get toys from Chicago some 15 years ago.

Aparna Pandey, a kindergarten teacher in Delhi, gave birth to a girl three months ago. Although her child responds to the rattles Pandey bought from a crafts bazaar, she is too young to hold on to them. But once she begins to, Pandey is clear what kind of toys she will buy. “I love India’s toymaking traditions,” she said. “Luckily, you can still find them in Delhi. I would only buy those using natural vegetable dyes, meeting food grade standards.” Parents often give in to their child’s demand for flashy plastic toys.

Pandey, still on maternity leave, said she always warned parents about the potential health hazards of playthings for their children.

When Shoom Gupta, 63, walked into the oldest toy shop in Delhi he was overcome with nostalgia. He had last visited the store, Ram Chander & Sons, in Connaught Place, 35 years ago before moving to Copenhagen. Growing up in India during the 1950s he played with toys made of terracotta, wood and clay. “I used to buy slingshot model planes made of balsa wood,” he recollected.
The Danish toy company Lego, he said, began by making toys from leftover wood when he was still working as a carpenter. But Lego no longer uses wood. With the introduction of plastic softeners and moulding agents, plastic became the medium of choice. Then came the Chinese manufacturing revolution.

Gupta’s two daughters Maya and Carolina grew up playing with Lego toys. The name comes from the first two letters of the Danish words leje godt , meaning ‘play well’. “Till the time the manufacturing unit was in Denmark, I was not really worried when children put the plastic pieces in the mouth,” Gupta said. But with manufacturing moving to China and lack of quality control standards, he is no more sure of toys’ safety.
Shop owner Satish Chander agreed. “Quality standards in the US and EU differ from those in Latin America and South Asia.

 

 

Don’t touch

Half the toys tested have unsafe phthalate levels

They lurk inside plastics, and from there migrate to air, food, human body and even unborn babies. Phthalates or phthalate esters are organic chemicals commonly used as plasticizers to make plastic supple. They are responsible for plastic products being cheap, easy to clean—and toxic.
Phthalates can damage the male reproductive system, impair the lungs and affect the duration of pregnancy. They also reach babies through breastfeeding. Animal studies have shown phthalates cross the placenta barrier. Children under three years are more likely to be exposed to phthalates because they tend to chew and suck on plastic toys. Since their metabolic, endocrine and reproductive systems are immature, they are more vulnerable.
Phthalates are produced by removing water molecules from petrochemicals.

They look like clear vegetable oil and are odourless. Till recently di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) dominated the use of plasticizers in toys. After scientific studies showed DEHP as toxic, di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) has become the most commonly used plasticizer. Studies show DINP is also harmful. The EU and the US strictly regulate the use of phthalates in toys but in India there are no checks on their use.
LAB REPORT
Delhi NGO Centre for Science and Environment tested 24 toy samples of major brands for the presence of phthalates. In October 2008, it randomly purchased toy samples from markets in Delhi. Fifteen were soft toys and nine hard toys made in four countries. Tests showed all samples contained one or more phthalates—DEHP, DINP, DBP ( di-n-butyl phthalate) and BBP (benzyl butyl phthalate), all harmful—in varying concentrations.

THE RESULTS


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Eleven samples (46 per cent) had phthalates exceeding the EU limit of 0.1 per cent by mass of plasticized material. The threshold limit cannot be set lower than 0.1 per cent as phthalates can be found below this level as contaminants in the manufacturing process even if not used as plasticizers.
DINP was detected in nearly 42 per cent of the samples. In 29 per cent of the samples it exceeded the EU limit. The highest concentration of DINP, which is restricted in the US and EU in toys that can be put in the mouth, was found in the squeaky toys made by Indian company Funskool India. At 16 per cent concentration it was 162 times the EU limit.
DEHP was detected in 96 per cent of the toys but in concentrations below the EU limit, except in a teether and two toys: inflatable bop bag dinosaur (0.2 per cent, twice the EU limit) and bath duck (2.6 per cent). The baby teether ostensibly made of non-toxic, food-grade silicone rubber had DEHP at a concentration three times the EU limit. It was made by a company in Taiwan.
DBP was found in soft and hard biters at levels two times the EU limit.
The majority of the toys, which contained high levels of phthalates, were made in China. Six squeeze toys from China contained phthalates two to 80 times above the EU limit. Four of these were made by Lovely Collection, which did not even bother to mention the address of the manufacturer and the date of manufacture on the package.

How harmful?

DEHP: It is considered one of the most toxic phthalates and has been banned in toys in several countries. Exposure to it via house dust is known to cause asthma and allergy in children. In mammals it has been found to interfere with male and female reproductive systems such as early development of testes. It has also been found responsible for poor semen quality, genital defects and premature breast development in humans, and reduced testosterone in male rats. Exposure to DEHP during pregnancy has also been linked to pre-term birth in human beings.
DINP: Prenatal toxicity studies on rats have shown slightly increased rates of skeletal retardation and occurrence of soft tissue and skeletal malformations. When fed to rats it leads to increased liver and kidney weights.
DBP: It has been linked to poor semen quality in men, premature breast development in females and asthma and allergic symptoms in children. In male rat pups developmental defects similar to the testicular dysgenesis syndrome have been documented. Genital defects and reduced anogenital distance—between the anus and the base of the penis—a sign of reproductive disorder, in male rats have also been observed.

A free ride

India and China, largest toy producer, do not regulate phthalates

Phthalates have pervaded the toy market without raising much alarm. China that has cornered 70 per cent of the global toy market does not regulate their use. International standards dealing with toy safety ignore them. While EU took the lead in imposing limits for phthalates in toys, the US has only recently passed the law regulating phthalates.
EUROPE
EU was the first to regulate the use of phthalates in toys. In 1999, it temporarily banned six phthalates used in childcare articles and toys made of soft PVC that can be put in the mouth by children under three.
In 2005, it decided to restrict the use of three phthalates— DEHP, DBP and BBP— in all childcare articles and toys to 0.1 per cent concentrations by mass of the plasticized material. Toys containing these chemicals in higher quantities cannot be sold in EU countries.
The EU proposed the same limit for three more phthalates— DINP, DIDP and DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate) —but only in toys and childcare articles meant to be put in the mouth by children. Other toys were exempted from this restriction for want of more evidence of the toxicity of the three phthalates. The EU, however, noted that the three pose a potential risk if used in toys.
The restrictions came into force from January 16, 2007 and shall be reviewed by January 16, 2010.

The EU is now considering evidence that shows phthalates acting together harm health in ways each by itself would not.
Denmark has gone a step ahead and placed a ban on the sale and import of toys and childcare articles meant to be put in the mouth that contain phthalates, not covered by EU regulations, at levels exceeding 0.05 per cent. To ensure that toys available in the country are phthalate-free, the Danish government has also negotiated an agreement with retailers to voluntarily refrain from selling phthalate-containing toys (like musical instruments) meant to be put in the mouth by children between three and six years.
Denmark taxes PVC —plastic used in toys—and phthalate-containing products, domestic and imported.
EU regulations say products using phthalates do not have to mention their presence or carry a warning on the packaging. Only containers with more than 0.5 per cent of DBP, BBP and DEHP have to be labelled with the skull and crossbones symbol for the purpose of handling, according to the Phthalates Information Centre Europe, an industry body.
The EU also has a rapid alert system for non-food consumer products, under which member nations can access information about steps being taken by other member states and economic operators with regard to products posing a serious, long-term risk to health and safety of consumers.
USA
The US Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August 2008, prescribing restrictions broadly similar to those in the EU on toys and childcare articles sold in US markets. The ban on DINP, DIDP and DNOP is interim.
The Act stipulates two types of restrictions on phthalates. The first part of the regulation, which came into force last February, permanently bans manufacturing for sale, distribution and importing of children’s toys and childcare articles containing more than 0. 1 per cent of either DEHP, DBP or BBP.
A toy is a product meant for a child of up to 12 years, while a childcare article refers to a product that a child of three years or younger uses for feeding, sleeping, sucking and teething.
The second part of the regulation seeks an interim ban on DINP, DIDP and DNOP(above 0.1 per cent) from being used in childcare articles or toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth. By definition a toy or part of a toy can be placed in a child’s mouth if in one dimension it is smaller than five centimetres. Toys that can only be licked are not covered under the regulation. The threshold levels are prescribed only for individual chemicals; no composite threshold is prescribed for more than one phthalate present in toys. The Act does not mandate labelling toys to indicate compliance with phthalate standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A seven-member Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel of scientists established under CPSIAwill look at health effects of the full range of phthalates, individually and in combination, used in children’s products.
The panel has 18 months to complete its study. After this the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tasked with implementing the Act, will evaluate the findings and consider banning products containing phthalates as hazardous.
The commission has devised detailed testing methods to identify the presence of phthalates. Under these methods the manufacturer is required to provide a certificate testifying its products have been tested for compliance with the commission’s guidelines. Since September 2009 the testing is specified to be done by an accredited third party laboratory. But the commission has stayed general certification until a panel of accredited labs is established. So the law is yet to be implemented effectively.
INDIA
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has issued three sets of standards covering safety aspects of toys but none covers phthalates. These standards deal with safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties and flammability and specify the maximum acceptable levels for eight metals in toys (see table: Indian standards for toys ).
Even these standards are voluntary in nature. The bureau is revising these standards to align them with the international ISOstandards, a BIS official said. The process began in June 2008 but has taken a backseat. The agency is drafting standards covering the use of phthalates in toys.
CHINA
According to the Toy Industry Association, China follows international standards dealing with safety aspects of toys related to mechanical and physical properties. Phthalates are not covered under these standards.

Double Standards

Safety regulations are for imported toys only

India faces a challenge: how to keep alive its only measure ensuring safety of imported toys. Its ban on import of toys not meeting specified safety standards lapses on January 23. Since Indian toy makers are not required to adhere to any mandatory safety standards it will be discriminatory to impose them on others; it would be a non-tariff trade barrier. One way is to put in place mandatory standards for domestic manufacturers but that is yet to be done.
It goes to show how serious the government is about toxicity in toys.
The ban was imposed last year and at the time applied only to China. Following worldwide concerns over the toxicity in Chinese toys, the directorate general of foreign trade under the department of commerce banned import of Chinese toys in January 2009 for six months, including wheeled toys and dolls. Soon it realized it cannot continue with the ban. In March it announced import of Chinese toys which conformed to international or Indian standards would be permitted.

Conforming means the toy importer has to ensure two things. One, it has to produce a third party certificate that imported toys meet standards prescribed byASTM International under the Standard Consumer Specification for Toy Safety meant to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges and other potential hazards, including those from chemicals like lead. ASTM International is one of the world’s largest voluntary standards development organizations and has members from over 100 countries. Else, the importer can show the toys conform to the safety standards prescribed by India or the International Organization for Standardization. All three standards are similar, but they do not cover phthalates.
Two, the manufacturer should have a certificate stating that a representative sample of the toys being imported has been tested by an independent laboratory accredited to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)-Mutual Recognition Arrangement and found to meet the required specifications.ILAC is a network of laboratory and inspection accreditation bodies formed to remove technical barriers to trade. It has 66 members, including India’s National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.
Indian customs officials only check whether importers have the required document, said a customs official requesting not to be named. There is no regular testing done by the Indian authorities to confirm whether the imported toys meet the specified standard or not.
Following threats from China that it will challenge the import restrictions at WTO, India expanded the restrictions in June to cover toy imports from all countries. It also extended the restrictions till January 23, 2010.
A source in the commerce department admitted the import requirements are discriminatory and the department is likely to withdraw them if China mounts more pressure. “We are biding time hoping the government would mandate standards for the domestic industry as well,” he said.
The commerce department is looking to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), the nodal department for toys, to issue a quality control order making toy safety standards mandatory. Once that happens both domestic and foreign manufacturers would be have to adhere to them.
Even if the quality control order was formulated it would not have covered standards for phthalates because the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is not ready with them. Officials at BIS say the standards are not a priority for the agency because it is preoccupied with other tasks.

THE COURT ROUTE
In 2007, Consumer Welfare Association, a non-profit in Mumbai, had filed a public-interest petition in the Bombay High Court, seeking a ban on the import of toys made in China on the ground that they are toxic. “Our main idea was to wake up the government,” said A M Mascarenhas, secretary to the association.
The court has directed the government to file a report detailing interim measures taken to curb imports of toxic Chinese toys, informed Rajiv Chavan, the counsel for the NGO. At the last hearing on December 2, 2009, the court asked the government to submit a report on toxicity of toys.
The government has, in turn, asked three organizations—All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, National Institute of Occupational Health in Ahmedabad and National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad—to establish the presence of heavy metals, phthalates and their leaching in toys in the Indian market, said sources.
The study is likely to be completed in 8-10 months, said a scientist involved in the study.
Indian toymakers are ready to adhere to standards for phthalates, Rajesh Arora, general secretary of the Toy Association of India, claimed. Arora argued the Indian toy industry, which clocked 20 per cent growth in exports in 2008-09, is already meeting Western standards for phthalates. Only for export products.

Courtesy: Down To Earth

Filed under: Article of the Week, , , , ,

E-Quiz

Questions

1. According to ComScore, Inc, US shoppers spent a whopping $27 billion online in the holiday season with the second most productive day being ‘Cyber Monday’ with sales of $887 million after the December 15 sales which saw $913 million being spent. When was ‘Cyber Monday’?

2. If the signalling rate for USB 2.0 is 480 Mbit/s, what is it for the new USB 3.0?

3. Teenager David Nelson, the founder of a music service, was chastised by Vevo which asked him to stop using the service’s content and trademark. Name the teenager’s site.

4. Name the game that has broken many records, earning the distinction of being the ‘most pirated game of 2009′ with downloads exceeding 4.1 million times till end December since its early November launch.

5. The team from which prestigious varsity won a $40,000 online, nine-day challenge in early December, proposed by the US government’s DARPA, in just nine hours?

6. According to Netcraft’s December 2009 Web Server Survey, how many million sites were there across all domains: 225, 234 or 240?

7. Why is February 4, 2004 a significant date in the online world of social networking?

8. Which OS has the default browser NetPositive (often called Net+)?

9. Which dangerous worm has/had the aliases ‘Simpsons’, ‘Kwyjibo’ or ‘Kwejeebo’?

10. The popular video capture and video processing utility for Microsoft Windows written by Avery Lee is called..?

 

Answers

1. November 30.

2. 4.8 Gbit/s

3. Muziic

4. ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2′.

5. MIT

6. 234 (from about 12 million in 1999).

7. Facebook, initially named ‘thefacebook’, made its appearance.

8. Be Operating System (BeOS).

9. Melissa

10. VirtualDub.

Courtesy: V V Ramanan, Business line

Filed under: YW-Cyber Quiz

e-Books: Averting a Digital Horror Story

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O’Reilly: "We see ourselves as canaries in the coal mine" Eric Millette

By Spencer E. Ante courtesy:http://www.businessweek.com

Click here to find out more!

On Christmas Day, for the first time in its history, Amazon.com (AMZN) sold more digital books than the old fashioned kind. It was a watershed moment for the book industry—but it’s scaring the hell out of traditional publishers. Even though they make the same amount on sales of both kinds of books, they see Amazon’s digital dominance as a looming threat to their business, and with good reason. Their big worry: Amazon will end up with the same kind of pricing power in books that Apple (AAPL) has in music, and that the book industry will suffer the same kind of bruising decline.

One goal for publishers is to dilute Amazon’s power. Hachette is selling e-books through more than a dozen partners, including Sony (SNE), Apple, and small retailers such as Fictionwise. By partnering with multiple outlets, publishers hope to regain control over pricing and gather purchasing data that could fuel future sales. They’re unhappy Amazon has dropped the price of some new digital best-sellers to as little as $7.99, compared with $35 for hardcovers. Hachette and Simon & Schuster plan to delay the release of certain digital books for several months to avoid undercutting the sale of best-sellers. "We are giving away the family jewels," says David Young, chairman and chief executive of Hachette Book Group, which publishes authors Malcolm Gladwell and Walter Mosley.

Publishers are typically paid about half the hardcover’s retail price, whether a digital book or hardcover is sold. But Amazon has been pushing to pay them less, and many publishers think cheap digital books will open the door to lower industry revenues in the future. Amazon, for its part, says publishers’ concerns are overblown. "We are selling a lot of books for publishers. We feel like that relationship continues to be a good one," says Ian Freed, Amazon’s vice-president for the Kindle business.

Several publishers are trying to reinvent their businesses before Amazon, or someone else, does it for them. "We are thinking very hard about what opportunities there are to prevent our business from being destroyed," says Young.

Next year Hachette is coming out with a digital version of Sebastian Junger’s War that will include video clips, a first for the company. (The book, scheduled for release in May, is based on the author’s reporting in Afghanistan and the footage will feature firefights and interviews with soldiers.) HarperCollins is selling a collection of classics on the Nintendo (NTDOY) DS handheld gaming device. Meanwhile, O’Reilly Media, which produces software user manuals, is testing completely new pricing schemes. Instead of selling individual books, it’s offering unlimited access to 10,000 titles, videos, and pre-publication manuscripts on the Web for $42.99 a month. "Our mission is not making books," says Tim O’Reilly, the company’s CEO and founder. "It’s changing the world through spreading the knowledge of innovators."

Young believes people are interested in paying for variations on the standard book, say a single chapter or a searchable database. In late September, two authors, a few editors, and a technologist gathered in Hachette’s New York City office to work on an iPhone application based on the popular food book, What to Drink with What You Eat. The heavily illustrated volume will have to be adapted for a screen smaller than a playing card. Gurvinder Batra, chief technology officer of Kiwitech, a Washington (D.C.) startup Hachette hired to develop the app, handed out printed shots of the screen and navigation. "To get to the right info I should not do more than two or three clicks," said Batra.

The team decided the app should be like a virtual sommeliercum food critic, featuring food and wine pairings and tutorials on flavor balancing. Then they moved on to the touchy subject of pricing: Should they charge for the app? Most iPhone apps are free or very cheap. "We are in publishing," said Siobhan Padgett, digital sales and marketing manager at Hachette. "We have to make money." The hardcover of What to Drink with What You Eat lists for $35, and the Kindle edition goes for $19.25. Hachette editors eventually decided to charge $4.99 for the app, which is coming out in January. "We think we can sell a whole lot of these at this price," says Padgett.

Hachette doesn’t disclose how much revenue it pulls in from its digital efforts, but the company is doing well. Strong sales of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, Teddy Kennedy’s True Compass, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers helped boost revenues 15% over the first nine months of the year.

Harlequin Enterprises, the 60-year-old publisher of romance novels, started offering all its books in electronic form in 2007 and is now experimenting with several new digital formats. One, called Spice Briefs, seeks to publish short-form erotica, running 5,000 to 20,000 words long, as e-books. Another involves publishing short digital prequels, which bring in extra revenue and tend to pump up print sales. Gena Showalter, a popular author of young adult novels, wrote a prequel for her Lords of the Underworldseries that came out one month before the first print book and sold for $2.99. The book, The Darkest Night, debuted at No. 8 on The New York Times bestseller list and has sold 220,000 copies, vs. 130,000 copies of her previous book.

Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes says electronic books account for about 6% of total sales now, but she expects that to double in a few years. She says digital sales appear to be adding to the company’s revenue, rather than cannibalizing traditional sales. Harlequin’s revenues rose 7% over the first nine months of the year, while U.S. book sales were up 3.6%. "It has grown our business so far," says Hayes.

THE NETWORKED BOOK

Tim O’Reilly may be pushing experimentation further than anyone. His company’s decision to sell monthly subscription access to all its user manuals and other materials has been a hit with companies, universities, and training organizations, growing to 20% of overall revenue. "We see ourselves as the canaries in the coal mine," says O’Reilly.

Today, O’Reilly is trying out several new digital products, including one he calls the "networked book," an attempt to get readers involved in the creation of books through interaction over the Web. The company began by letting readers review authors’ original manuscripts several months prior to a book’s publication and now is allowing readers to post comments on manuscripts.

In the company’s San Francisco office, engineer Keith Fahlgren fired up his laptop to show off a Web site for a book called The Real World Haskell, a user guide for a computer programming language. Software that Fahlgren created let 750 people post 7,000 comments for the authors to read. Many reader postings influenced the final version of the book. "This chapter seems a little bit too much like an essay," wrote one reader. "Follow the old rule, show, don’t tell." Co-author Bryan O’Sullivan wrote on his blog that the feedback had "a profound effect" on the book. "We have used your input to make our coverage both more correct and more accessible," he said.

O’Reilly and other publishers are cultivating Apple as an alternative to Amazon. One reason: More than 50 million people have the company’s iPhone or iPod Touch, which can be used to read digital books, compared with just four million who have electronic book readers. O’Reilly says his company is generating far more sales from Apple customers than Kindle users. O’Reilly currently offers 500 books on the iPhone, compared with 350 Kindle titles. Another 500 iPhone titles are in the works.

O’Reilly is already reaping the benefits of his investments in technology. But Young and other publishers acknowledge they don’t know how all this experimentation will pay off. Still, they know they need to figure out the digital future before they lose out to Amazon or another aggressive newcomer. "We’ve got a long way to go before we can recoup our digital investments. The costs have been huge," says Young. "But I am optimistic, provided we sustain a healthy industry."

Courtesy: http://www.businessweek.com

Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,

Website of the week : O’Reilly

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Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to Foo Camps ("Friends of O’Reilly" Camps, which gave rise to the "un-conference" movement), O’Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the Web 2.0 Summit, the Web 2.0 Expo, the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, the Gov 2.0 Summit, and the Gov 2.0 Expo. Tim’s blog, the O’Reilly Radar, "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim’s long-term vision for his company is to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. In addition to O’Reilly Media, Tim is a founder of Safari Books Online, a pioneering subscription service for accessing books online, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, an early-stage venture firm.

This website and other related websites of Tim O’Reilly foundation are the mines of technological information and resources. If you are tech savvy, exploring this site is a must.

Filed under: Website of the week,

Quiz Time

Questions

1. To celebrate which influential thinker’s birthday is January 12 i.e. today observed as ‘National Youth Day’ in India?

2. What distinction has the prodigy Magnus Carlsen achieved recently?

3. Which Asian country will host the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in August 2010?

4. Fill in the blank: The United Nations has declared 2010 to be the ‘International Year of ______’

5. ‘Makara Sankranthi’ celebrates the transmigration of Sun from which ‘rashi’ (zodiac) to which Makara rashi?

6. What was the surname of the siblings Barry, Robin and Maurice who made up the popular band Bee Gees?

7. The State Peace and Development Council runs the affairs in which of India’s neighbours?

8. Joseph Nicephore Niepce is considered an inventor and a pioneer in which now common field of visual communication?

9. If Antananarivo was your Capital city, in which country are you in?

10. After which drug were the two Anglo-Chinese Wars fought in the 19th century named?

11. Aptenodytes forsteri is the scientific name of which big flightless bird?

12. Playing for which club did James Vaughan set the record for being the youngest scorer in the EPL at 16 years and 271 days?

13. Leveret is the young of a…?

14. What is the nationality of the popular actress Catherine Zeta Jones?

15. Which South American country is called ‘Corazon de America’ or ‘Heart of America’ because of its central location?

Answers

1. Swami Vivekananda
2. He has become the youngest ever chess player to be ranked world No.1
3. Singapore
4. Biodiversity
5. Dhanu
6. Gibb
7. Myanmar
8. Photography
9. Madagascar
10. Opium
11. Emperor penguin
12. Everton
13. Hare
14. She is Welsh
15. Paraguay

 

Courtesy: V V Ramanan, The Hindu

Filed under: Young World Quiz,

Stieg Larsson

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Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) was a Swedish writer and journalist.

Prior to his sudden death of a heart attack in November 2004 he finished three detective novels in his trilogy "The Millenium-series" which were published posthumously; "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest". Altogether, his trilogy has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide (summer of 2009), and he was the second bestselling author in the world 2008.

Before his career as a writer, Stieg Larsson was mostly known for his struggle against racism and right-wing extremism. Starting in the late 1970’s, he combined his work as a graphic designer with holding lectures on right-wing extremism for the Scotland Yard. During the following years he became an expert on the subject and has held many lectures as well as written many novels on the subject. In 1995, when 8 persons were killed by neo-Nazis I Sweden, he was the main force behind the founding of the Expo-foundation, a group intended on exposing neo-Nazi activity in Sweden. From 1999 and on, he was appointed chief editor of the magazine Expo.

During the last 15 years of his life, he and his life companion Eva Gabrielsson lived under constant threat from right-wing violence.

Biography

Background

Stieg’s grandfather, an inspiring role model

Stieg Larsson was born in Västerbotten in northern Sweden in 1954. At the time of his birth, his parents were too young and too poor to keep him, so he was raised by his grandparents in a small village in the north of Sweden. Stieg’s grandfather, Severin Boström, became the male role model for the young Stieg. Severin was strongly anti-fascist and during the Second World War he was imprisoned in the work camp in Storsien for his anti-Nazi opinions. Had he been Danish, he would no doubt have been placed in a German Concentration Camp. The fate of his grandfather deeply affected and shaped Stieg’s character. He wanted to protect equal rights and fight for democracy and freedom of speech in order to prevent history, and what happened to his grand father, from repeating itself.

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Youth, left-wing movement and far travels

When Stieg was nine years old, his grandfather died and he moved to live with his parents and his younger brother. Stieg was given a typewriter for his 12th birthday, and he spent most nights of his youth staying up writing, keeping his family awake with the drumming sound. At 18 years of age he met Eva Gabrielsson at an anti-Vietnam War meeting in Umeå. Eva was to become his life long companion. With some short exceptions, mainly due to the fact that Stieg was sometimes too obsessed with his work, they lived together until Stiegs death the 9th November 2004. After his military service, Stieg travelled in Africa and has been described as "an early backpacker". He rarely had enough money on his travels, in an interview with Norra Västerbotten in 2006, his father describes how he had to work as a dishwasher and sell his clothes to afford a ticket home from Algeria.

Stieg Larsson was also interested in Science Fiction. Among other things was he the chairman of the Scandinavian science fiction society and published two magazines.

A life under constant threat

During the last 15 years of his life, he and his life companion Eva Gabrielsson lived under constant threat from right-wing violence. When a labor-union leader was murdered in his home by neo-Nazis in 1999, the police discovered photos of and information about the couple in the murderer’s apartment. So it was not without reason that the couple took precautionary measures. They were never seen together outside the house, they moved mirrors in the hall and they always kept the blinds down. Those are just a few examples. Stieg was an expert in the area, and wrote a book of instructions on how journalists should respond to threats for the Swedish Union of Journalists ("Överleva Deadline", 2000).

Writing as a relaxation

The situation created a contrast between Stieg’s work at Expo and his night-time novel writing. He regarded his writing of detective novels as relaxing. Keeping track of loose ends, characters and made up conspiracies posedno problem since it was, after all, fiction and no one would threaten either Eva or himself because of it.

Activist and journalist

Larsson was initially a political activist for the Kommunistiska Arbetareförbundet (Communist Workers League), a photographer, and one of Sweden’s leading science fiction fans. In politics he was the editor of the Swedish Trotskyist journal Fjärde internationalen. He also wrote regularly for the weekly Internationalen. As a science fiction fan, he was co-editor or editor of several fanzines, including Sfären, Fijagh! and others; in 1978-1979 he was president of the largest Swedish science fiction fan club, Skandinavisk Förening för Science Fiction (SFSF). He worked as a graphic designer at the largest Swedish news agency, Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (TT) between 1977 and 1999.

Larsson’s political convictions, as well as his journalistic experiences, led him to found the Swedish Expo Foundation, similar to the British Searchlight Foundation, established to "counteract the growth of the extreme right and the white power-culture in schools and among young people.He also became the editor of the foundation’s magazine, Expo. Larsson quickly became instrumental in documenting and exposing Swedish extreme right and racist organizations; he was an influential debater and lecturer on the subject, reportedly living for years under death threats from his political enemies.

Death

Larsson died in Stockholm at the age of 50 of a massive heart attack. Rumours that his death was in some way suspicious, because of death threats received as editor of Expo, have been denied.

In May 2008 it was announced that Larsson’s 1977 will, found soon after his death, declared his wish to leave his assets to the Umeå branch of the Communist Workers League (now the Socialist Party). As the will was unwitnessed, it was not valid under Swedish law, with the result that all of Larsson’s estate, including future royalties from book sales, went to his father and brother.His long term partner Eva Gabrielsson,who found his will, has no legal right to the inheritance, sparking controversy and exposing what many media considered a flaw in Swedish inheritance legislation.They never married because Swedish Law required married couples to make their addresses publicly available; marrying would have been a security risk.Vanity Fair’s recent article exposes the bad treatment of Eva by the author’s father and brother (with whom he had little contact in his life). She is quoted as wanting the rights to control his work, so it could be presented in the way he would have wanted. She claims, as his life partner, to know better than his father whom he "disliked" and rarely saw.

The novelist

At his death, Larsson left the manuscripts of three completed but unpublished novels in a series. He wrote them for his own pleasure after returning home from his job in the evening, making no attempt to get them published until shortly before his death. The first of these novels was published in Sweden in 2005 as Män som hatar kvinnor ("Men who hate women"), published in English as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was awarded the prestigious Glass Key award as the best Nordic crime novel in 2005. His second novel, Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire), received the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2006. He also left the unfinished manuscript of the fourth novel, and synopses of the fifth and sixth in the series, which was intended to contain an eventual total of ten books.

The primary characters in the Millennium Trilogy series are Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Lisbeth is an intelligent, eccentric woman in her 20s with a photographic memory whose social skills are rather poor. Blomkvist is an investigative journalist, a celebrity in his own right.

A television series based on the three completed books is in production by Yellow Bird Films of Ystad. Each book will be covered in two episodes (making a total of six 90-minute episodes). The first two episodes were released as a motion picture in February 2009, while the subsequent episodes were released directly on DVD in December 2009. The series will be broadcast on Swedish television in 2010.

Influences

Through his written works as well as to the press, Larsson openly admitted that a significant amount of his literary influences come in the form of American and British crime/detective fiction authors. In his work, he makes a habit of inserting the names of some of his favourites within the text – sometimes by making his characters read the books of his own influences. Topping the list are Sara Paretsky, Agatha Christie, Val McDermid, Dorothy Sayers and Enid Blyton. However, one of the strongest influences originates from his own country – Pippi Longstocking by Sweden’s much-loved children’s author, Astrid Lindgren. Larsson explained that one of his main recurring characters in the Millennium series, Lisbeth Salander, is actually based on Pippi Longstocking and in his books is reimagined as a grown up version of her.

Bibliography

Articles
  • Stieg Larsson, Anna-Lena Lodenius: "Extremhögern", Stockholm, 1991
  • Stieg Larsson, Mikael Ekman: "Sverigedemokraterna: den nationella rörelsen", Stockholm, 2001
  • Stieg Larsson, Cecilia Englund: "Debatten om hedersmord: feminism eller rasism", Stockholm, 2004
  • Richard Slätt, Maria Blomquist, Stieg Larsson, David Lagerlöf m.fl.: "Sverigedemokraterna från insidan", 2004
Novels

The Millennium series:

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Periodicals edited
  • Svartvitt med Expo, 1999-2002
  • Expo, 2002-2004

Awards

 

Courtesy: www.stieglarsson.com  , WIKIPAEDIA

Filed under: Author of the week, , , ,

The Museum of Innocence

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by Orhan Pamuk

translated from the Turkish
by Maureen Freely.
Knopf, 536 pp., $28.95

Review

Secret Love in the Lost City

Pico Iyer
The New York Review of Books

Istanbul, with its many signs of the time when it was the center of the world, becomes something of a museum in the work of Orhan Pamuk, a writer clearly in love with memory itself, and his hometown, and everything that’s been lost there. In his 2003 memoir, Istanbul, the five-story Pamuk Apartments in which he spent nearly all his first five decades are described as a "dark museum house," cluttered with sugar bowls, snuffboxes, censers, pianos that are never played, and glass cabinets that are never opened. The people inside the rooms have something of a neglected and left-behind quality, too; they’re devoutly attentive to the fashions and perceived habits of Europe, and yet they know (or at least their sharp-eyed chronicler does) that Europe is spending very little time thinking of them.

Foreigners, Pamuk notes in that book, love to enshroud his city in easy, abstract terms of "East and West"; for him, the real division at the heart of his culture is between local tradition and the imported new. And it is in giving that tension a vividly human, private face — in showing how it plays out in every piece of chewing gum or choice of a Sophia Loren movie — that he gives his theme distinction. It was his growing up in a secular, westward-looking family, Pamuk suggests, that moved him to seek out his country’s indigenous, sometimes mystical traditions; a further irony is that he learned how to give Turkey its own voice by schooling himself in works from abroad.

As a young man, his great hope was to become a painter, and he started, he notes wryly, by producing imitations of Monet and Sisley and Pissarro in a city that Europe had always seen as alien, putting Utrillo shutters, as he has said, on Istanbul houses that had never known such. The result might have been odd and hybrid, but it was inarguably new, neither typically Western nor traditionally Turkish. It was the West, in fact, that showed him what to value in his own culture, and even how to dream of becoming a writer ("This isn’t Paris, you know," he quotes his mother saying, in trying to dissuade him from pursuing art).

Pamuk made himself up, in other words, by living in foreign books. Dostoevsky offered him the precedent of a ferociously energetic writer, just outside the boundaries of Europe, who turned his raging eye on the issue of how European — or otherwise — his country should become. Nabokov taught him how to caress every detail of the time-stopped, sensual world of his privileged boyhood. Most of all, Proust showed him how to create elaborate fantasies out of his memories, and how to find a universe of feeling in even the smallest detail. Pamuk looks at Europe’s great tradition with a fascination and devotion that few contemporary Europeans would muster (it’s hard to imagine Ian McEwan or Michel Houellebecq earnestly citing Sir Thomas Browne or Montaigne, as Pamuk does); and in doing so, he catches instantly his own — along with his country’s and much of the developing world’s — uneasy position between the indigenous ways they are determined to hold on to and the globalized world they long to belong to.

The Museum of Innocence
may be Pamuk’s most intimate and nuanced exploration of these stresses yet. On its surface it is a characteristically roomy and discursive love story that tells, across 530 pages, a relatively simple and conventional tale of Kemal, an idle, rich young Istanbullu (not so far from Pamuk, he implies), courting a teenage girl. Kemal runs an export company given him by his father, but spends most of his time slipping into a second apartment his family keeps in order to woo, obsessively, Füsun Keskin, an eighteen-year-old shopgirl at the S¸anzelise (as in "Champs-Élysées") boutique, whose mother sews dresses for society women like Kemal’s mother. Between 1975 and 1984 or so, the two come together, part, and circle around one another till she comes to seem indistinguishable from the beloved city of his youth. In creating, many years afterward, a Museum of Innocence that gathers together items associated with their courtship — "a porcelain saltshaker, a tape measure in the form of a dog, a can opener that looked like an instrument of torture, a bottle of the Batanay sunflower oil that the Keskin kitchen never lacked" — he is effectively constructing a monument to love and hopefulness and, most of all, to the place that nurtured them both.

In the many pages describing how Kemal collects 4,213 of Füsun’s cigarette butts, visits her family’s home for supper over 2,864 days, and recalls their early afternoons together, Pamuk unfolds a classic, spacious love story a little like a Nabokovian version of Love in the Time of Cholera (other books are so much a part of his sensibility that one finds oneself reaching for such comparisons). But for most readers, I suspect, what will bring the long, slow romance to life is the much more particular love story hidden within it, of the author’s real passion, for Istanbul. The engaging and somewhat awkward Kemal and his beloved, out of "old Persian miniatures," sometimes feel like archetypes; the uncertain, semi-cosmopolitan Istanbul of Pamuk’s upbringing is so specific, it comes to seem universal.

Pamuk’s great feat, in this novel, is to evoke the particulars of a society built on received ideas. The people of high-society Istanbul chatter about Harrod’s and go on skiing trips, bring back parasols from Nice and meet at the Cercle d’Orient. One character customarily dismisses others by calling them "too ‘à la Turca.’" Inevitably, these borrowed surfaces contain a poignancy. In the late 1950s, Pamuk tells us, Turks loved to boast of being the first to own an electric blender, or a can opener or an electric shaver. They eagerly brought back mayonnaise makers from Europe–only to find that no spare parts were available for them in Turkey, so these great symbols of the new became, very quickly, relics.

Kemal’s best friend in the city, Zaim, is — not coincidentally — introducing the first locally made soft drink to Turkey, plastering huge ads around Istanbul that feature a blond German model next to the slogan "You Deserve It All." The hunger for status symbols is so intense, in fact — some Muslims buy Christmas trees — that canny entrepreneurs acquire bottles of the trendy new drink and fill them with a much cheaper local equivalent, to sell at a profit. Some Turks wear "East-West" watches, with Arabic numerals on one face and Roman on another.
Every detail, in short, speaks of a culture of quixotic aspirations. And what gives Kemal’s position special drama is that even as he’s kissing Füsun in his apartment of stopped clocks, he is officially engaged to a much more socially approved woman, Sibel, who is newly returned from France, the daughter of a retired diplomat. The society pages are aflutter with reports of the perfect couple, at the very moment when Kemal is making love to Füsun, hours before his engagement party. Much like Turkey — and, again, like many places in the developing world, so confused in their hunger for global cachet — Kemal wants to be a good Turk, playing by society’s rules, even as he longs to be an honorary Westerner, taking pleasure wherever it suits him. Like his creator, however, he’s ruminative enough to see that neither he nor his country probably ever deserve it all.

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The Museum of Innocence develops, therefore, into something of a rich and almost-modern Age of Innocence, translated to a confused world that doesn’t know quite how modern it wants to be. The affluent, internationally minded Istanbul that Pamuk describes from within has a crushing sense of comme il faut even as it yearns (as some would put it) to be au fait; and in the 1970s it is this mercilessly precise sense of hierarchy and custom that is trying to exert its power as more and more young Turks begin to sense larger freedoms and possibilities. The era in which the book is set (much like the America of twenty years before) is the time of the first disc jockeys in Istanbul and the first psychoanalysts, of anxious discussions of the first beauty contests and models, which many both disapprove of and hunger after in the same breath. It is even the time of the "first Islamic porn films," copied from European sex manuals bought off the black market and completed, somehow, without the principals taking off their underwear.

In his last novel, Snow, Pamuk homed in on the issue of headscarves in eastern Turkey, to see how much his country was ready to unveil itself; in his previous novel, My Name Is Red, he looked at the Ottoman miniaturists of the sixteenth century, trained to efface themselves in the creation of almost formulaic sacred art, at the very moment when they are encouraged by European trends to work out their own individual styles, with a man’s-eye (not a God’s-eye) perspective.

Now, in The Museum of Innocence, he extends his discussion of his country’s torn ambitions by concentrating on sexual freedom, and all the vexations of a society determined to be "liberated" even as it is reluctant to let go of its habitual assumptions. Pamuk’s young men are gawky and shy with women — his thirty-year-old protagonist has never seen a kiss offscreen in Turkey — even as they go off to "high-class brothels" in which girls make themselves up as Western movie stars; his young women swan off on shopping trips to Paris and London, while being told that they must be virgins on their wedding day (or discreet, at least, about their hypocrisies).

Pamuk misses nothing when it comes to the uncertainties and pretensions that result. It’s not quite a case of how will you keep the kids in Istanbul after they’ve seen Paris, but rather one of how to keep the young content with no sex before marriage after they’ve watched how it’s done in Europe. Women in gilded Istanbul don’t necessarily want arranged marriages, and yet they don’t know how to find men on their own. Turkish doesn’t even have a word, we learn, for "flirt." The upshot is a little like an Istanbul version, appropriately twelve years late, of Philip Larkin’s celebrated line, "Sexual intercourse began/In nineteen sixty-three."

These terrors and insecurities all come to a brilliant climax in the central set piece of the novel, a bravura forty-three-page chapter on the engagement party of Kemal and Sibel — held at the Hilton, of course (which sits in the center of Pamuk’s Istanbul like a great Trojan horse), and fueled by black-market "European" champagne acquired under the counter. All of Turkish high society assembles in this great tableau — a huge scene, after twenty-three earlier chapters of roughly five pages each, mostly focusing on the young lovers back in their shuttered apartment. Everyone present knows how to read appearances, even as the real concern of each one is the pressures building within.

Pamuk never dwells much on this, but for Kemal the afternoons he spends with Füsun, his secret love, are a kind of paradise, which he hopes somehow to preserve; yet within the unforgiving circles of a world that likes to consider itself conservative, however liberal its desires, these afternoons are really the opposite: they are his way of banishing his lover from Eden. In indulging his own pleasures, he has committed her to a kind of prison, as a girl who has lost her virginity and has nothing much to show for it.

It’s typical, indeed, of Pamuk’s precision that his character’s divided life plays out with reference to symbolic objects. Kemal first meets Füsun as an adult when buying from her a Jenny Colon handbag for his fiancée — and then draws closer when returning it after the fiancée realizes the bag’s a fake. Füsun, for her part, holds forth against the very brand-name consciousness that makes this issue of fakeness so important (and that generates, of course, a market for fakes). While she smokes Samsuns, Kemal wilfully champions fake Marlboros, "produced in the Socialist Republic of Bulgaria and smuggled into Turkey on ships and fishing boats." Kemal’s lover sells fake handbags; his fiancée is the one who acquires them.
The one thing Europe has that Turkey can never have, Pamuk shows us, is an indifference to what Europe does or thinks. "In Europe," Sibel says at one climactic moment, "the rich are refined enough to act as if they’re not wealthy." In Istanbul — though again Pamuk might be writing about Bombay or Caracas or Amman — everyone ends up homesick as soon as they locate their desires abroad.

At a very early point in The Museum of Innocence, the narrator refers to himself as an "anthropologist of my own experience." Later he will see himself as an "anthropologist" of his own society, as if describing it "to someone who knew nothing about Istanbul." And though Pamuk lavishes most of his pages and attention on Kemal’s reckless, somewhat Humbertian courtship of Füsun, who now bends toward him, now skitters away, and to the way he starts filching objects from her parents’ apartment for his museum of obsession, it is really his anthropological impulse that carries the book and gives it its savor. After a while, it comes to seem that the main character in the novel, since the central lovers are a little sketchy, is the city in which they live. At the moment when the two make love, after nine years of waiting, "images of Istanbul in old films, snowy streets, monochrome postcards passed before my eyes"; clearly it is his hometown that is Kemal’s (and Pamuk’s) true soulmate and better half.
Those who read the writer’s memoir, subtitled "Memories and the City," will recognize many things here, from the beautiful mother reading the society columns to the benign father who’s absent even when in the house; from the boyhood trips to buy coloring books from Alaaddin’s store to the adolescent rides with other young would-be Istanbullu playboys in their fathers’ Mercedes. Two foreign tankers collide in the Bosphorus here, as they did in Istanbul, causing much of the city to watch excitedly the fires that result. At the end, in a gesture that feels somewhat forced, Pamuk even suggests that Kemal is a mirror of himself — his Borgesian "Other" (to use a term he deploys in Istanbul and elsewhere) — who has asked "the esteemed Orhan Pamuk" to tell his story for him and whose secret apartment is only five doors away from the Pamuk Apartments.

As it follows Kemal on his long, slow journey back to innocence — turning away from Istanbul’s faux-European society, breaking his engagement with Sibel and going to spend every evening with Füsun and her parents in their modest flat, watching TV — the novel begins, in its second half, to show how, by trying to have everything, Kemal is left with nothing at all. Unlike Edith Wharton’s Newland Archer, he finds the courage to break away from his small world and its smaller rules, but, checking into a cheap hotel in an orthodox Islamic quarter, he ends up neither here nor there. He comes to know intimately the impoverished neighborhoods of Istanbul, as he chronicles "their muddy cobblestone streets, their cars, rubbish bins, and sidewalks, and the children playing with a half-inflated football under the streetlamps," finding in their restlessness and melancholy a reflection of his own. "As I walked these streets," he notes, "it was as if I was seeking out my own center."

This makes, ultimately, for an unexpectedly conservative position on Kemal’s (and perhaps on Pamuk’s) part, that it is only by immersing himself in the old ways of Turkey, favoring courtly romance over contemporary passion, that he can begin to find happiness. In a curious way, he and his lover start walking, hand-in-hand, backward, as into a black-and-white picture, till soon "we were as shy, quiet, and prudish as if we’d just been introduced by our families with marriage in mind." Pamuk has increasingly seemed given to nostalgia — much of his writing is set in an age of decline (there’s even a stray reference here to the Pamuks as one of the old rich families now living in the ruins of their glory) — and here, a little like A.S. Byatt in Possession, he seems to suggest that it is prohibitions and constraint that give the right meaning and pace to love. Füsun, a dyed blonde like many Turkish girls in the first half of the book, returns to her natural black hair in the second.

The second half of the novel, as is often the case with Pamuk, does not quite sustain the narrative excitement that propels the first — it is backstreets and lines of inquiry that hold Pamuk more than plots — but The Museum of Innocence points up, rather neatly, how this artist’s strengths are, in some ways, appropriately Janus-faced: no one has given us so unsparing and precise a sense of mock-sophisticated Istanbul society, and no writer has immersed us so passionately in a backward-looking, monochrome depiction of Istanbul in its neglected, traditional corners. As Kemal starts visiting Füsun and her parents for dinner every night, he might be romancing the indigenous city he’s never seen before, letting his chauffeur take him in his father’s ’56 Chevrolet to cinema gardens and restaurants along the Bosphorus, showing us old-money families who burn down their houses in order to erect apartment buildings in their place. Yet everywhere he comes across dividedness: we meet, in some of the book’s most delicious pages, the aspiring filmmakers of Istanbul in the late 1970s, who yearn to make their own versions of Godard or Truffaut. But they are left to support themselves by shooting soft-core porn.

I read The Museum of Innocence, as it happens, while staying in Istanbul, and at times in Pamuk’s own neighborhood of Nis¸antas¸ı, the city’s Belgravia, where I was surrounded by chic new all-white hotels and boys from the countryside leading their chador-clad girls by the hand into Starbucks. At one point I even found myself at a society wedding at the Çırag˘an Palace on the Bosphorus uncannily close to the one that Pamuk describes here. But it was also hard, in the fast-growing city, not to think of the India in which my parents grew up, or the Japan where I live now. As Pamuk has discovered, by drilling with such intensity and obsession into every corner of his own country’s insecurities, he has given voice to nearly every society in the world torn between the longing to be global and to be itself. If you watch the films of Mira Nair, for example, you will see, almost word for word, the same strains, as Indians in New Delhi mutter about the smoking and drinking habits their (often envied) relatives bring back from America.

As Kemal begins to describe the details of his museum project, and how he visited 5,723 museums around the world, alighting especially on those buildings that are like representations of a mind — Sir John Soane’s House in London, the Musée Édith Piaf in Paris — it becomes clear that this book is his own search for lost time. At one point, he specifically tells the character Pamuk about the Musée Marcel Proust, the Nabokov Museum, and the F.M. Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum in Saint Petersburg, and even (a little implausibly since Kemal is a businessman not otherwise shown in the company of books) talks of reading Proust and visiting a museum just because Proust has mentioned it. It is Proust, clearly, who offers his Turkish disciple a way both to anatomize the small print of society and to amass, privately, and almost in response, a collection of madeleines.

As in Istanbul, though even more so here, memory becomes a kind of religion, and there is a sense, following Proust, that les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu’on a perdus. Yet for all his meditations on how "real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space," and for all his talk of Aristotle’s notion of time and his own attempts to conquer it, it is Pamuk’s details that convey the point most beautifully. In the 1970s, we read, TV sets began to replace grandfather clocks as the way people told time (and the "East-West watches" show how even time is split in a society moving forward with one foot as it stands in place with the other).

Pamuk’s last novel, Snow, was something of a breakthrough, as he cut through all his literary arabesques to deliver a pulsing, very forward-moving story that nonetheless addressed, at its heart, his country’s confusions. Gone were the elaborate, virtuoso feats of invention and experimentation of The Black Book and My Name Is Red, with their dizzying turns on Turkey’s various identity crises and growing pains. In Istanbul he closed in even more on a tone of lyrical mournfulness that has come to seem his own. Now, in The Museum of Innocence, he manages to tell a very straightforward story of a dreamer in love — rendered lucid and fluent and human in Maureen Freely’s translation — that is, beneath its romantic surface, strikingly exact. It’s no coincidence, we come to see, that Kemal and Füsun first met, as children, at the Feast of the Sacrifice, or that it’s Grace Kelly movies that they watch in the family living room.

In recent years, famously, Pamuk’s own life has come to resemble an ironic and implausible story by Orhan Pamuk. After he made a stray comment to a Swiss newspaper in 2005 about how it is taboo in Turkey to mention the slaughter of one million Armenians and up to 30,000 Kurds, his claim was confirmed as he was brought before a court to face a three-year sentence for "insulting national character." Though he was acquitted, and indeed was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, he was also increasingly ostracized in the place he so loves. When I was in Istanbul this summer, I saw his books in every bookstore, but when I mentioned his name, I was faced, more often than not, by embarrassed silences or evasions.

Now mostly living in New York, Pamuk is perhaps more prey than ever to an exile’s sadness, as he finds himself removed from his youth not just by time but space. In response, he has taken to memorializing every last linden tree and halwa seller of his hometown, and to constructing a literal, physical museum of memories that he is planning to take around the world as an exhibition. Some readers may remember how in Istanbul, he described the Istanbul Encyclopaedia he loved as a boy as "not so much a museum as one of those curiosity chests that were so popular amongst European princes and artists between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries." His new book can be read as his own Istanbul Encyclopaedia, in which he gives dignity to Turkey by turning to Europe, and brings to life the pressures of the moment by looking to the past.

 

Courtesy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Filed under: Book of the week, ,

Special Library Bulletin: Jan 2010

lj 

Special Library Bulletin Library Bulletin

Filed under: Library Bulletin

New Books (as on 6/1/2010)

NEW ARRIVALS

(as on 06th January 2010)

Call No.
Author
Title

001.076 THO-P

Thorpe, Edgar and thorpe, Showick

Pearson guide to the CDS examination

001.076 THO-P

Thorpe, Edgar and thorpe, Showick

Pearson guide to the LLB entrance examinations

001.076 THO-P

Thorpe, Edgar and thorpe, Showick

Pearson guide to the NDA examination

115 BAL-A

Bal Phondke

About time

154 DIC

Miller, Gustavus Hindman

Dictionary of dreams

158.1 SAP-J

Sapre, S A

Joy of work

303.4 TOF-F

Toffler, Alvin

Future shock

363.73 MAN-E

manivasakam, N

Environmental pollution

363.73 MON-H

Monbiots, George

Heat: How we can stop the planet burning

370 AGG-R

Aggarwal, J C

Recent develoopments and trends in education

500 HAW-B

Hawking, Stephen

Black holes and baby universes and other essays

580.12 DAN-T

Daniel, M

Taxonomy: Evolution at work

581.634 JAI-M

Jain, S K

Medicinal plants

611 BIJ-H

Bijlani, R L and Manchanda, S K

Human machine

616.0252 LAL-P

Lal, Kalpana Sood

Prevention of burns

660.6 DEB-B

Debeswar Roy

Bioinformatics

660.6 RAS-B

Rastogi, S C

Biotechnology: Principles and applications

660.6 VIT-B

Vittal, Ravishankar Rai, Ed.

Biotechnology: Concepts and applications

778.53 RAH-N

Rahmel, Dan

Nuts and bolts of filmmaking

822 CHR-W

Christie, Agatha

Witness for the prosecution and selected plays

823 AND

Andersen, Hans Christian

Andersen’s fairy tales

823 ASI-G

Asimov, Isaac

Gold

823 ASI-P

Asimov, Isaac

Prelude to foundation

823 CAB-M

Cabot, Meg

Mediator: Mean spirits

823 CAB-M

Cabot, Meg

Mediator 2: High stakes

823 CAB-M

Cabot, Meg

Mediator 5: Grave doubts

823 CAR-H

Carrey, Peter

His illegal self

823 CAR-T

Carey, Peter

Theft: A love story

823 CHA-T

Charles and Mary Lamb

Tales from Shakespeare

823 CHR-A

Christie, Agatha

At Bertrams hotel

823 COE-A

Coelho, Paulo

Alchemist

823 COL-A

Colfer, Eoin

Artemis Fowl and the Artic incident

823 COO-W

Coolidge, Susan

What Katy did at school and what katy did next

823 DAH-B

Dahl, Roald

BFG

823 DAH-C

Dahl, Roald

Charlie and the great glass elevator

823 DAH-G

Dahl, Roald

George’s marvellous medicine

823 DAL-C

Dalhl, Roald

Collected short stories of Roald Dalhl

823 DAL-C

Dalrymple, William

City of djinns: A year in Delhi

823 DAL-N

Dalrymple, William

Nine lives: In search of the sacred in modern India

823 DOY-R

Doyle, Arthur Conan

Return of Sherlock Holmes

823 ENG

English fairy tales

823 FUN-I

Funke, Cornelia

Inkspell

823 FUN-I

Funke, Cornelia

Inkdeath

823 GIL-R

Gilbert, Henry

Robin Hood

823 KEE-N

Keene, Carolyn

Nancy Drew: Real fake

823 KEE-N

Keene, Carolyn

Nancy Drew: Chocolate covered contest

823 KIN-S

Kinsella, Sophie

Shopaholic and baby

823 KIN-U

Kinsella, Sophie

Undomestic goddes

823 LAN-T

Lang, Andrew

Tales of Troy and Greece

823 MON-H

Monica Pradhan

Hindi-Bindi club

823 MOR-C

Moran, Michelle

Cleaopatra’s daughter: Princess of Egypt ,prisoner of Rome

823 NES-P

Nesbit, E

Phoenix and the Carpet

823 NIS-F

Nisbit, E

Five children and it

823 PRE-M

Preston, Douglas

Monster of florence

823 ROH-S

Rohinton Mistry

Such a long journey

823 RON-W

Rong, Jiang

Wolf Totem

823 SEW-B

Sewell, Anna

Black Beauty

823 STI-R

Stine, R L

Rotten school

823 TWA-T

Twain, Mark

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

823 ULL-T

Ullas Karanth, Ed

Tiger tales: Tracking the big cat across Asia

823 WEB-K

Webb, Marion St. John

Knock three times

823.01 DAH-W

Dahl, Roald

Wonderful story of henry Sugar and six more

8H1.08 AHM-K

Ahmad Faraz

Khanabadosh(Gazals) (h)

8H1.08 PRA-G

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Ghalib : Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 PRA-I

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Iqbal : Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 PRA-N

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Nazir : Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 PRA-S

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Shakil Badayuni: Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 SRI-P

Srikanth and Shahrose

Pakistan ki shairi(Collection of poetry from Pakistan) (h)

8H3 BHA-D

Bhatnagar, Rajendra Mohan

Dilli chalo (h)

8H3 KAM-M

Kamaleswar

Mehfil (h)

8H3 NAN-A

nandan, Kanhaiya Lal

Aag ke rang (h)

8H7 DAV-H

Dave, Jyoteendra H.

Hasyam sharnam gachhami (h)

8H7 NAN-S

Nandan, Kanhaiya Lal

Shreshtha vyanga kathayen (h)

8H7 PAR-A

Pars, Hari Shankar

Apni apni beemari (h)

923.154 LIG-M

Lightfoot, Elizabeth

Michelle Obama: first lady of hope

923.154 SUD-M

Sudhir Kakar

Mira and the mahatma

923.554 TAP-R

Tapti Roy

Raj of the rani

923.7 KEL-S

keller, helen

Story of my life

928.H HAR-B.3

Harivanshrai Bachchan

Basere se door: Autobiography (h), Bhag 3

928.H HAR-D.4

Harivanshrai Bachchan

Dashdwar se sopan tak: Autobiography (h), Bhag 4

954 MOH-A

Mohinder Singh

Akali movement

H 158.1

Mehrotra, Ramesh Chandra

Sukh ki rahen (h)

H 158.1 BHA-T

Bhatia, Suresh Chandra

Time management aur safalata (h)

H 158.1 DEE-S

Deepak Chopra

Sukhmaya jeewan ke secrets: Power freedom and grace (h)

H 158.1 HAY-Y

Hay, Louise L.

You can heal your life (h)

H 158.1 PRA-A

Pramod Batra, et al.

Apane pariwar ko khush kaise rakhen (h)

H 158.1 VIR-M

Virendra Kumar

Meetha bolen, sukhi rahen (h)

H 180 DEE-S

Deepak Chopra

Safalta ke aadhyatmic niyam: Seven spiritual laws of success (h)

H 305.231 CLI-B

Clinton, Hillary Rodham

Bachche hamare bhavishya: It takes a village (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Shikshaprad kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Dakshin bharat ki lok kathayem (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Bharatiya ithihas ke mahanayak (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Akbar birbal ki prasidh kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Hatim ki kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Tenaliraman (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Balramayan (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Mugal shasak (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Prerak kahaniyam (h)

H 923.254 NAR-A

Narasimha Rao, P V

Antargata: The insider (h)

H 808.068 SHY-

Shyam Duo

Bharat ke swarnim ithihas ki kahani (h)

R 001 MON-H

Monica Arora, Ed.

Hundred wonders of India: The finest treasures of civilisation and nature

R 001.076 ROB-C

Robinson, Adam, et al

Cracking the SAT

R 080 WOR

Munshi, R N

World famous quotations

R 4H3.1 BHA-A

Bhatia, K C , Ed.

Angrezi-Hindi abhivyakti kosh: English Hindi dictionary of phrase (h)

R 900 LEI-H

Leier, Manfred, Ed.

Hundred most beautiful cities of the world: A journey across five continents

R 371.4 JAY-E

Jayanti Ghose

Encyclopedia of careers

R 741 MIK-C

Mike Chaplin and Diana Vowles

Complete book of drawing and painting

Filed under: New Book Alert

Model Question papers of half yearly Exams

Model Question papers of Half  Yearly Exam KVS Bhopal Region

Filed under: Downloads, ,

Model Question papers of half yearly Exams

Model Question papers of Half  Yearly Exam KVS Bhopal Region

Filed under: Downloads, ,

A Ning for every Library

Online social networking is an area where more and more libraries experimenting with. The current flavour is Ning, a platform where you can create your own social network. Many organizations and groups use this as their live and interactive meeting places. Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, etc are also social networks but the control key is not with you. All the personal information you oblige to give when join the network are stored and used by the websites according to their will (may be for financial benefits). But in the case of Ning, the situation is a little different. Thousands for Ning networks are hosted by the mother Ning database. The creators of the Nings are given with some authorities to control the content and data flow. They can manage the members, change the appearance, decide which blog post, forum, image, multimedia to be published, etc. So the Nings became popular. You can visit networks of families, forums, clubs, schools, associations, institutions, etc on the Ningsphere.

Our question is how Nings can be used in Libraries? Many libraries (academic, public, etc) in Europe and USA have already added Nings as their user interactive tools. Based on initial observations, Nings can be used in the libraries as, 

* Networking tool to interact with users: Secured and library administered platform help the library staff to communicate and interact with the active users.

* Library promotional and publicity medium: The Library can promote and publicize its resources and services on the network.

* Library evaluation tool: The discussion forums on the Nings can be designed to collect user feedbacks and analysis.

* Online personal space within the Library: The user designed personal pages  act as personal spaces where they can express themselves through text, images and multimedia with in the wall of the library’s online interface.

* Collaborative sharing and learning  platform: The groups created on the network based on topics can facilitate sharing of ideas and conduct collaborative learning practices (teacher-student/student-student/teacher-teacher, etc).

Library Junction”  is a project to experiment with these ideas. This is a platform to share ideas or views on libraries, books, reading, web, networking and learning. Those who are interested can join the network.

ScreenShot425

Filed under: Snippets, , , , , , , , ,

You can become great: A P J Abdul Kalam

Address and interaction with Students from all over Kerala Colleges (4/1/2010)

image

“When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are”

I am indeed delighted to address and interact with the Students from different colleges of Kerala. My greetings to all of you. Dear friends, today I would like to talk to you on the subject “You can become great”. I realize how the contributions of the youth in the past have continuously contributed to the world of today in many fields. When you graduate and entering in to the career world you will have many challenges to face. You will be entering into the knowledge society where the competitiveness is the key.

Dimensions of Knowledge Society

In the knowledge economy the objective of a society changes from fulfilling the basic needs of all-round development to empowerment. The education system will be promoted by creative, interactive self learning – formal and informal education with focus on values, merit and quality. The workers instead of being skilled or semi-skilled will be knowledgeable, self-empowered and flexibly skilled. The type of work instead of being structured and hardware driven will be less structured and software driven. Management style will emphasize more on delegation rather than giving command. Impact on environment and ecology will be strikingly less compared to industrial economy. Finally, the economy will mostly be driven by knowledge and knowledge driven industry.

In order to promote national prosperity, it is essential that simultaneously a citizen-centric approach to evolution of business policy, user-driven technology generation and intensified industry-lab-academy linkages have to be established in every country. India based on its core competence need to evolve a world-class product and services using innovation, knowledge generation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge dissemination, to enhance its prosperity. For enhancing prosperity in the Global society competitiveness is the key. Competitiveness has three dimensions that are quality, cost effectiveness and just-in-time delivery to the market. The competitiveness can come if you have creativity and innovation in thinking and action.

Creativity and Innovation

In a knowledge society, we have to make innovations continuously. Innovations come through creativity. Creativity comes from beautiful minds. It can be anywhere and any part of the world. It may start from a fisherman hamlet or a farmer’s household or a dairy farm or cattle breeding center or it could emanate from classrooms or labs or industries or R&D centers. Creativity has got multi dimensions like inventions, discoveries and innovations. Creative mind has the ability to imagine or invent something new by combining, changing or reapplying existing ideas. Creative person has an attitude to accept change and newness, a willingness to play with ideas and possibilities, a flexibility of outlook, the habit of enjoying the good, while looking for ways to improve it. Creativity is a process through which, we can continuously improve ideas and find unique solutions by making gradual alterations and refinements to our works. The important aspect of creativity is: seeing the same thing as everybody else, but thinking of something different.

Today, I would like to talk about the life of four great minds that have made a difference to the society by being unique in creativity and innovation in thinking and action. First let me talk about a teacher who made difference to the life of many students.

Imparting value system

While I was in St.Joseph’s College at Tiruchirapalli, I remember the moral science lectures given by the highest authority of a Jesuit institution Rev Father Rector Kalathil. Every week on Monday, he will take a class for an hour. He used to talk about good human beings present and past and what makes a good human being. In this class, he used to give lectures on personalities such as Buddha, Confucius, St. Augustine, Califa Omar, Mahatma Gandhi, Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and moral stories linked to our civilizational heritage. In the moral science class, Father Kalathil used to highlight the best aspect of, how the great personalities have been evolved as good human beings through parental care, teaching and companionship of great books. Even though these lessons were given to me in 1950s during my college days, they inspire me even today. It is essential that in the schools and colleges, lectures are given by great teachers of the institution once in a week for one hour on civilizational heritage and derived value system. This may be called as Moral Science Class that will elevate the young minds to love the country, to love the other human beings with value system and elevate them to higher planes. Now let me talk about how a street boy became great overcoming all the challenges in life.

It does not matter who you are

Mario Capecchi had a difficult and challenging childhood. 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 own wheat, harvest; take it to miller to be ground. Then, the money which his mother left for him ran out and at the age of four and half years, he started 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 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. Although he really liked Physics, its elegance and simplicity, he switched to molecular biology in graduate school, on the advice of James D Watson, who advised 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 life indeed reveals: –

“When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you”

Now let me talk about a genius well ahead of time in the world.

A genius well ahead of time: Failure did not deter him

Ramanujan, born and raised in Erode, Tamil Nadu, first encountered formal mathematics at the age of ten. He demonstrated a natural ability at mathematics, and was given books on advanced trigonometry by S. L. Loney. He mastered this book by age thirteen, and even discovered theorems of his own. He demonstrated unusual mathematical skills at school, winning many awards. By the age of seventeen, Ramanujan was conducting his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler–Mascheroni constant. He received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam. He failed his non-mathematical coursework, and lost his scholarship. Srinivasa Ramanujan lived only for 33 years and did not have formal higher education or means of living. Yet, his inexhaustible spirit and love for his subject made him contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research – some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians’ efforts to establish formal proofs. Ramanujan was a unique Indian genius who could melt the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician Prof G H Hardy. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Prof. Hardy who discovered Ramanujan for the world. Professor Hardy rated various geniuses on a scale of 100. While most of the mathematicians got a rating of around 30 with rare exceptions reaching to 60, Ramanujan got a rating of 100. There cannot be any better tribute to either Ramanujan or to Indian heritage. His works cover vast areas including Prime Numbers, Hyper geometric Series, Modular Functions, Elliptic Functions, Mock Theta Functions, even magic squares, apart from serious side works on geometry of ellipses, squaring the circle etc. One of the tributes to Ramanujan says that, ‘every Integer is a personal friend of Ramanujan’. He was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society (F R S) in 1918.

Ramanujan used to say “An equation means nothing to me unless it expresses a thought of God”. For him the understanding of numbers was a process of spiritual revelation and connection. In his investigations into pure mathematics, he drew extraordinary conclusions that mystified his colleagues, but were usually proven, eventually, to be right. He opened a universe of theory that still today is reaping applications. The landscape of the infinite was to Ramanujan a reality of both mathematics and spirit. His love for numbers led Ramanujan to number theory. Despite being affected by chronic health problems, he was breathing Mathematics throughout his short life and his genius was recognized internationally. So friends you saw, how great creative minds, gave problem to the problems to succeed through the instrument of knowledge.
Let me now discuss about how to work with integrity and succeed with integrity with live example

Work with integrity and succeed with integrity

The Delhi Metro Rail Project has given to the nation the potential of executing a fast transportation system using high technology with reliability through a time bound mission mode operation. Delhi, the Capital of the country with over 14 million population, has the distinction of having a world class metro rail with frontline technologies. The work on the metro rail commenced on 1st October 1998 and the first phase with three lines covering 66 kms has been completed by December 2005. The second phase with 121 kms of line length is in various stages of completion and they all will be functional before 2010.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has brought to the country, the most advanced rail technologies for the first time. The notable gains to the country are, light weight stainless steel, sleek, modern trains with pneumatic springs, regenerative braking, public information display, wide vestibules and automatic doors. The sophisticated coach technology which was not available in the country so far, has been transferred to M/s. Bharat Earth Movers Ltd., Bangalore, which is now assembling these trains with progressive indigenization. BEML is now in a position to supply train sets needed for Phase-II of Delhi Metro Rail Project and meet the requirement for Metros coming up in other cities of the country.

Mr. E. Sreedharan, the Managing Director of Delhi Metro has ensured that, all the scheduled sections were completed by their target date or before and within their respective budgets through his programme management skills. The dedicated and transparent leadership backed up with professional competence of Mr. Sreedharan has given to the nation, one of the best transportation systems of the world at the most economic cost. He is a recipient of many national and international awards. Also, he is in demand for undertaking the development of metro system in different countries of the world which he has politely declined due to pre-occupation with committed Indian programmes. Delhi rapid transportation system has made a great impact in public service. The nation is fortunate to have persons like Mr. Sreedharan to implement such a scheme. When we met, I asked him, “Mr Sreedharan, how a transparent and cost effective system you have brought to the nation in such record time?” His answer was – “developing and positioning the right type of leaders for the task at hand. Whenever there is a problem, the leader has to be present while executing critical missions”. Mr Sreedharan is an example for working with integrity and succeeding with integrity.

What we have seen in the above four lives establishes how one can become great, irrespective of the circumstances he or she is put into, the ability to overcome problems and achieve your mission and carving out a unique mission which others has not done so far. Dear friends, all of you should imbibe some of these unique qualities which will enable you to excel in the field of your choice.
Dear friends, what will be the type of India you will see when you grow into your prime age. I visualize India in the year 2020 to have the following distinctive competitive profile. Now, let me give my visualization of India during the year 2020.

Distinctive profile of the nation

1. A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
2. A Nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.
3. A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony.
4. A Nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.
5. A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors.
6. A Nation where the best of health care is available to all.
7. A Nation where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.
8. A Nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.
9. A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
10. A Nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership

Integrated Action for developed India

To achieve the distinctive profile of India, we have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Education and Healthcare (3) Information and Communication Technology (4) Infrastructure: Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country and (5) Self reliance in critical technologies.
Dear friends, each one of you should carve out one unique area among the 10 distinctive profiles, where you can make an important contribution for realizing the Distinctive profile of the nation.
Now let me talk about the present economic environment.

Economic Environment

I was asking myself what type of innovation is needed to enrich the Indian economy and other world economies which are presently in turbulence. I had discussion on this subject with the experts of many management institutions. It came to light that the Indian economy will be less affected due to the world financial crisis. This is due to (i) the Indian banking system has always been conservative which has prevented the crisis (ii) The liberalization process in India has its checks and balances consistent with the unique social requirements of the country (iii) The Indian psyche is generally savings oriented and living within means is part of the mind set. This situation has reduced the effect of global turbulence in the Indian economy. However, the resultant effect will be reduction in export and reduction in outsourcing. The drop in annual growth rate of GDP could be around two percent. This is the time we need innovation in our thinking to rejuvenate the agricultural sector particularly through value addition and the small and medium scale industries and enterprises for making higher levels of contribution to the GDP.

Simultaneously, we have to enhance the rural and urban infrastructure particularly through the establishment of 7000 PURA complexes (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) spread in different parts of the country. The mission of PURA is employment generation with value added skills through connectivities and gives a push to the growth in GDP of the nation.

PURA Mission for sustainable development: PURA envisages development of infrastructure for bringing rural prosperity through creation of three connectivities namely physical, electronic, knowledge leading to economic connectivity. The theme of PURA, apart from concentrating on reinforcing agriculture, will emphasize on agro processing, development of Rural Craftsmanship, dairy, fishing, silk production, so that the non-farm revenue for the rural sector is enhanced, based on the core competence of the region. Also the PURA complexes will be driven by renewable energy such as solar, wind, bio-fuel and conversion of municipal waste into power. In this approach, the aim is to make sustainable development using the core competence of the rural sector. Number of PURA complexes have emerged in the country with the initiative taken by educational institutions, societal reformers and healthcare institutions

Kerala PURA

On similar lines, the Engineering, science and humanities colleges of Kerala, with government and private may like to take up a rural development mission in their region using the core-competence of that region in, coconut, cashew nut, millet, grains, processed food, , rubber and craftsmen based items and many other agriculture and horticulture products and also tourism. The students of Kerala Colleges guided by their professors should form interdisciplinary teams which will enable them to participate in ground level implementation. The ground level experience can be used as a platform to create PURA courses in the colleges which will provide employment opportunities to both social and economic entrepreneurs.

Conclusion

When the child is empowered by the parents, at various phases of growth, the child transforms into a responsible citizen. When the teacher is empowered with knowledge and experience, good young human beings with value systems take shape. When individual or a team is empowered with technology, transformation to higher potential for achievement is assured. When the leader of any institution empowers his or her people, leaders are born who can change the nation in multiple areas. When the women are empowered, society with harmony in the home is assured. When the political leaders of the nation empower the youth through visionary policies, the prosperity of the nation is certain.

At this point, I would like to recall the inspiring advice to the youth by Swami Vivekananda, "how has all the knowledge in the world been gained but by the concentration of the power of the mind? The world is ready to give up its secret if we only know, how to knock, how to give it the necessary glow. The strength and force of the glow come through concentration. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point that is the secret”. Dear friends, this thought has indeed influenced my conscience and I would suggest that the education system must develop this faith among our youth and the youth to practice this faith in all their actions.
My New Year greetings and best wishes to all the youth assembled here for success in their educational mission.
May God bless you.

Oath for the Youth

1 I will have a goal and work hard to achieve that goal. I realize that small aim is a crime.
2 I will work with integrity and succeed with integrity.
3 I will be a good member of my family, a good member of the society, a good member of the nation and a good member of the world.
4 I will always try to save or better someone’s life, without any discrimination of caste, creed, language religion or state. Wherever I am, a thought will always come to my mind. That is “What can I give?”
5 I will always protect and enhance the dignity of every human life without any bias.
6 I will always remember the importance of time. My motto will be “Let not my winged days, be spent in vain”.
7 I will always work for clean planet Earth and clean energy.
8 As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my tasks and enjoy the success of others.
9 I am as young as my faith and as old as my doubt. Hence, I will light up then, the lamp of faith in my heart.
10 My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.

www.abdulkalam.com

Filed under: Article of the Week,

Revised Date Sheet for SECOND Common Pre-Board Examination for classes X & XII 2009-10 (KVS)

Date

Day

Class X

Class XII

18.01.2010

Monday

Maths

Chemistry./Business Studies/History

19.01.2010

Tuesday

English Core/English Elective

20.01.2010

Wednesday

Hind/Sanskrit

Hindi Core/Hindi Elective.

22.01.2010

Friday

Social Studies

Maths/BPOs

23.01.2010

Saturday

English

Biology/Economics/IFM-II/

Bio-Technology

25.01.2010

Monday

Science & Tech.

Physics/Accountancy

27.01.2010

Wednesday

Science (MCQ)

Comp. Science./Informatic Practices/ Political Science/ Physical Education/ Accounting for Business-II

28.01.2010

Thursday

Geography

Filed under: Snippets,

Army Day Book exhibition

indian-army-460_978729c

Army Day 2010

Exhibition of Books on Indian Army

04-06 January 2010

Filed under: Exhibitions,Displays,

Library Junction : Social Network of Library@KV Pattom

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People, books, ideas and experiences decide the way in which history roles.

Library Junction(LJ)

is an online Meeting place for the lovers of Library, Books, Web and any thiing which promotes sharing, networking and collaboration to enrich knowledge.

Anyone who is interested in Books, Reading, Web, Ideas and innovations are welcomed to join this network.

 

How to Join

Students: When you sign up, spend a minute to give your Name, School, Location, Class and interests. Also write about your dearest book or website and interests.

Teachers, Parents and Others: Identify yourself with Name, Location and or organization working. Also write about your dearest book or website and interests.

Feel free to express yourself. Join the Groups and share ideas within the Group.

Every member will get own pages where they can upload text, images and video.

You can also start a group on a special topic.

If you face a problem when searching for information on internet, write a blog post or start a forum. Let other members of the Network to respond your queries.

 

Library Junction is not a Facebook or Orkut. It is safe.

Inspire book/library lovers to join the network.

 

Join Now !!

Library Junction:where minds meet and ideas pop up!

Filed under: Library activities, Snippets, ,

Archives

Reading4Pleasure School 2020

Reading 4 Pleasure School 2020 Award

INTERACTIVES

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Infobreak

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Face a Book Challenge

e-reading Hub @ Your Library

Learn anything freely with Khan Academy Library of Content

A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Interactive challenges, assessments, and videos, on any topic of your interest.

Child Line (1098)

CHILDLINE 1098 service is a 24 hour free emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection.

CBSE Toll Free Tele/Online Helpline

Students can call 1800 11 8002 from any part of the country. The operators will answer general queries and also connect them to the counselors for psychological counseling. The helpline will be operational from 08 a.m to 10 p.m. On-line counseling on: counselling.cecbse@gmail.com

S. L. FAISAL
Librarian
Kendriya Vidyalaya (Shift-I)
Pattom
Thiruvananthapuram-695 004
Kerala India

Mail: librarykvpattom at gmail.com