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Top 10 Human Body Parts Displayed In Museums – Listverse

 

WEIRD STUFFTop 10 Human Body Parts Displayed In Museums

Top 10 Human Body Parts Displayed In Museums

OLIVER TAYLOR 

 

We go to museums to view items that have historical, cultural, and scientific significance to us. Or items that stimulate our curiosity. Items like human body parts.

There are museums that actually display these body parts. Many of them belong to famous people, and the stories behind them are usually out of this world. And ouch! They include private parts, too. Two privates actually—one long and one short. Here we go.

Listverse – Daily Highlights

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10Grigori Rasputin’s Penis

Photo via Wikimedia

Grigori Rasputin was a faith healer and adviser to the ruling Romanov family of Russia before he was assassinated in 1916. He was a very curious character, and the only thing more peculiar than his personality was his 33-centimeter-long (13 in) penis that presently lies in the Museum of Erotica in St. Petersburg, Russia.

According to his daughter, Marie, 33 centimeters (13 in) was the length of her father’s penis when it was flaccid and it was much longer when at attention. For comparison, the average penis length is 9.2 centimeters (3.6 in) when flaccid and 13.1 centimeters (5.2 in) when erect.

How the penis went missing remains a mystery. One account says that Grigori’s assassins cut it off and a maid who came to clean his room the next day was so impressed with what she saw that she took the penis away. Another account states that one of Grigori’s former mistresses took his penis as a souvenir during his autopsy.

Later, Marie got her hands on her father’s penis, but it went missing after her death in 1977. It reappeared again when one Michael Augustine tried selling it to an auction house. However, that penis was found to be a dried sea cucumber.

The real thing eventually appeared in the hands of a French collector who sold it to a Russian doctor in 2004. It was the doctor who took it to the museum where it is displayed among other sex items.[1]

To be clear, though, there are claims that the penis at the museum does not belong to Rasputin or even a human for that matter. Nevertheless, that does not change the fact that there is a 33-centimeter-long (13 in) penis in a Russian museum.

9Albert Einstein’s Brain

Photo credit: phillyvoice.com

Part of Albert Einstein’s brain presently lies in the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. Einstein never wanted his brain to be kept in a museum. He actually requested to be cremated after his death to prevent anyone from creating a cult around him.

However, after Einstein’s death on April 18, 1955, pathologist Thomas Harvey removed—or rather, stole—the physicist’s brain and eyeballs. Later, Einstein’s family allowed Harvey to keep the brain on the condition that it would only be used for scientific purposes.

With the aid of lab physician Marta Keller, Harvey cut Einstein’s brain into 1,000 slices, put them on glass slides, and sent them to several pathologists. Dr. William Ehrich of the Philadelphia General Hospital got 46 of these slides.

After Ehrich’s death, his wife passed them to Dr. Allen Steinberg, who gave them to Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams. It was Rorke-Adams who donated these slides to the museum. Close to 350 of the slides also lie at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland.[2]

Einstein’s brain is just one of the many body parts kept at the Mutter Museum. They also have the fused livers of Chang and Eng Bunker (the first conjoined twins), the corpse of a Philadelphia woman called the Soap Lady (due to the waxlike consistency of her remains), and a diseased 2.7-meter-long (9 ft) colon with 18 kilograms (40 lb) of feces.

Little wonder that visitors are usually advised not to eat before visiting.

8Jeremy Bentham’s Head

Photo credit: critical-theory.com

Jeremy Bentham was an eccentric philosopher who lived from 1748 to 1832. When we say eccentric, we mean that he was the kind of man who called his cat The Reverend Sir John Langbourne. Bentham also asked that his body be preserved after his death so that he could attend his friends’ parties.

True to Bentham’s wishes, his body was preserved after his death and remains on exhibit at a museum at University College London. However, his real head has been separated from his body and replaced by a wax model. Bentham might be eccentric but not to the extent of requesting that his head be separated from his body. His real head was removed after the embalming went wrong.

Bentham requested that his head be embalmed with the same method used by the Maori people of New Zealand. However, his friend Dr. Southwood Smith—who did the embalming—was not familiar with the process and the head ended up in a terrible state. So, it had to be removed.

The head used to be displayed in the museum, but it was placed in storage in the 1990s after being stolen by students from a rival university.[3]

7Galileo Galilei’s Tooth And Fingers

Photo credit: The Guardian

Famous astronomer Galileo Galilei died in 1642. In 1737, his body was being relocated to a new tomb opposite that of Michelangelo in Florence, Italy, when some of Galileo’s fans seized the opportunity to steal three of his fingers, a tooth, and a vertebra.

One of the fingers ended up at the Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy. The remaining fingers (a thumb and middle finger) and a tooth were privately held by a family.[4]

The parts held by the family went missing in the 20th century but somehow showed up again in 2009. Not wanting to lose track of Galileo’s parts again, the Museum of the History of Science acquired the fingers and tooth and now exhibit them alongside the third finger.

The museum was also renamed the Galileo Museum. They have more body parts of Galileo than anyone else. Meanwhile, Galileo’s vertebra remains at the University of Padua.

6Antonio Scarpa’s Head

Photo credit: atlasobscura.com

Antonio Scarpa was an Italian anatomist and neurologist who died on October 31, 1832. Before his death, he worked at the University of Pavia where he made more enemies than friends. He was an arrogant fellow who was famous for spreading rumors about others. He was also a nepotist who only offered jobs openings at the university to his friends and illegitimate children.

Scarpa’s autopsy was conducted by Carlo Beolchin, a former assistant who removed Scarpa’s head, thumb, index finger, and urinary tract. No one knows the exact reason why Beolchin removed Scarpa’s parts.[5]

Some say that Beolchin saved these body parts for future generations. But considering Scarpa’s ruthlessness, Beolchin could just as well have removed them to get back at his former boss. Rivals who could not get their hands on Scarpa’s parts defaced a marble statue erected in his honor.

Except for the head, Scarpa’s parts were kept at an Italian museum. The anatomist’s head was initially hidden but eventually reappeared years later when it was displayed at the Museo per la storia dell’Universita di Pavia (Museum of the Story of the University of Pavia). The museum is now in possession of Scarpa’s other parts but has decided to keep them in storage.

5Charles Babbage’s Brain

Photo credit: PDTillman

Charles Babbage invented the modern computer and is regarded as the “father of the computer.” Today, one-half of his brain lies at the Science Museum in London while the other half lies at the Hunterian Museum inside the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Unlike Einstein, Babbage actually wanted his brain to end up somewhere other than inside his skull.

Before he died in 1871, Charles wrote a letter to his son Henry in which Charles detailed his wishes about his brain. Charles clarified that he had no qualms about his brain being removed and preserved after his death provided that it was used to promote the cause of science.

In the letter, Charles told Henry that he wanted his brain “disposed of in any manner which [Henry considered] most conducive to the advancement of human knowledge and the good of the human race.”[6]

4Napoleon Bonaparte’s Penis

Photo credit: wondersandmarvels.com

Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo was the beginning of his end. First, he lost the French throne. Second, he was captured by the British and exiled to the island of St. Helena where he died under mysterious circumstances in 1821. Third, he lost his penis during an autopsy to determine what killed him.

Dr. Francesco Autommarchi, who performed the autopsy, removed Napoleon’s penis—which is said to be just 3.8 centimeters (1.5 in) long—in the presence of 17 people. Autommarchi gave the little member to Abbe Anges Paul Vignali, the priest who gave Napoleon his last rites.

A book collector purchased the penis in 1924 before it was sold to someone in Philadelphia. In 1927, the penis was displayed at the Museum of French Art in New York.[7]

Time magazine journalist who saw the penis at the museum referred to it as “a maltreated strip of buckskin shoelace.” The penis was later sold at auction to John J. Lattimer in 1977 and has remained with the Lattimer family ever since.

3Chief Mkwawa’s Skull

Chief Mkwavinyika Munyigumba Mwamuyinga (aka Chief Mkwawa) is remembered for fiercely resisting the German invasion and colonization of Hehe tribal lands in today’s Tanzania. In 1891, he rebelled against the German colonists and even killed a top German official in battle. Germany finally captured the Hehe villages and forts. But they still couldn’t capture Chief Mkwawa, who fought back using hit-and-run tactics.

In 1898, Chief Mkwawa shot himself in the head after he was surrounded by Germans troops. But the Germans weren’t letting him off that easily. They removed his skull and sent it to Berlin.[8]

During World War I, the Hehe fought on the side of Britain against Germany. As we all know, Britain won the war. To show their appreciation for the Hehe’s efforts, the British included a clause in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that ordered Germany to return Chief Mkwawa’s skull to the Hehe.

However, Germany could not account for the skull so the Hehe got nothing. After World War II, Sir Edward Twining, the governor of Tanganyika, revived attempts to retrieve the skull. He traced it to Bremen Museum in Germany. There, he found 2,000 skulls, 84 of which were from Tanzania.

Only one had a bullet hole in the head, so Twining assumed that it belonged to Chief Mkwawa. The skull is presently displayed at the Mkwawa Memorial Museum in Kalenga in Tanzania.

2Sarah Baartman’s Brain And Genitals

Photo credit: BBC

Sarah Baartman was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa, in 1789. She had a medical condition called steatopygia, which caused an abundance of fat in her buttocks. This caused her buttocks to be bigger than normal, and it often generated curiosity.

In October 1810, she signed some paperwork—despite being illiterate—that permitted surgeon William Dunlop and her boss, Hendrik Cesars (in whose house she worked as a maid), to ship her off to be exhibited in England.

There, Baartman was exhibited under the stage name “Hottentot Venus.” During her performances, she often wore beads, feathers, and tight clothing in the same color as her skin and smoked a pipe. She traveled to Paris in 1814 and died there a year later.

After her death, naturalist Georges Cuvier dissected her. Baartman’s brain, skeleton, and genitals were exhibited at the Paris Museum of Man until 1974. After the request of President Nelson Mandela in the mid-1990s, Baartman’s remains were finally returned to South Africa in March 2002. She was reburied in Hankey.[9]

1Mata Hari’s Skull

Photo credit: thedailybeast.com

Mata Hari was one of the top spies of the 20th century, even though whom she spied for remains a hotly debated topic. Possible candidates include France, Germany, or both. Nevertheless, she was executed by France on October 15, 1917, for spying for Germany during World War I.

Some believe that France only used Mata Hari as the proverbial scapegoat to explain their losses during the war. She was a professional prostitute with connections to top German officials, which made her the perfect scapegoat.

Mata Hari’s remains went unclaimed after her execution and were sent to the school of medicine in Paris to be used for anatomy studies. Her head was removed at the school and was kept at the Museum of Anatomy where it mysteriously went missing.[10]

via Top 10 Human Body Parts Displayed In Museums – Listverse

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A Beginner’s Guide The Lunar New Year

Thank you.

A Beginner’s Guide To Celebrating The Lunar New Year

At home, at work and out and about – all the essential information for a memorable Chinese New Year.

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Chinese New Year is one of the most significant holidays across our Asia Pacific network. For those who might not have celebrated the Lunar New Year before, we’ve got all the essential information to help you understand what all the food, fireworks and festivities mean.

 

The Lunar New Year is celebrated in a number of countries throughout our centre network. Each region will have different traditions, practices and customs when it comes to marking the occasion which is considered to be one of the most significant cultural holidays in Asia. Given the importance of the Lunar New Year holiday, we thought this was a timely opportunity to share some of the essential information about how, why and where it is celebrated, and what the uninitiated can expect over the holiday period. Some of our team from China, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong have shared their insights to make navigating work and life over the Lunar New Year just that little bit easier.

 

What Is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year (CNY), otherwise known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year will be celebrated this year on February 16. The date is different every year because it is determined by the lunar calendar, but it always falls somewhere between January 21 and February 20. Each Chinese year is associated with an animal sign, according to the Chinese zodiac, and the coming new year will mark the beginning of the Year Of The Dog. Each animal has different meanings and attributes and offers a different ‘fortune’ to those born in the corresponding lunar year. It is predicted that those born under the Chinese zodiac Dog sign will have a year full of challenges to look forward to. Traditionally, CNY is also a time to honour ancestors and deities, and the holiday period is typically spent among family.

 

One of the great strengths of TEC is the diversity of our team, and to understand how CNY is celebrated around the region we collaborated with individuals from our centres in China, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. They shared their knowledge of the particular customs and traditions from their respective home countries. Remember, if you have any questions about what to expect from your city over Chinese New Year, need recommendations on the best spot to see the fireworks displays or simply want someone to handle incoming calls while you’re with family for the holidays – we’re here to help. Talk to the Engagement Team within your centre for specialised arrangements and help with more specific questions.

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In China, the Lunar New Year celebrations involve one of the largest mass migrations in the world as people return to their family home, traveling from cities back to towns and villages across the country.

 

What To Expect In China, with Marketing and Communications Managers, Lily Wang and Shu Xin

Public Holidays | February 15 – February 21

At Home:

  • Family members gather together at home – the most important meal is the New Year’s Eve dinner.
  • Houses are decorated with lanterns, knots and blessings.
  • Watching The CCTV New Year’s Gala is a tradition for many families.
  • Families will visit the flower market and buy fresh flowers to celebrate the advent of the Spring Festival.
  • Older members of the family will give red packets to the younger generations – a symbol of good luck and good fortune.

At Work:

  • Some companies give red packets to employees as a gesture of good fortune in the new year, it’s not expected, but it is common.

Out and About

  • Paint the town red – lanterns, flowers and lights!
  • Expect to see street markets selling decorations and traditional foods like pastries, cookies, candy and more.
  • Most malls and restaurants close early or don’t open for business so that staff can return to their homes.
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Lion dances are common in the lead up to and during Chinese New year. They are said to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune.

 

What To Expect In Singapore, with Community Manager, Serene Loi

Public Holidays | February 16 and 17

At Home:

  • Spring cleaning happens before the start of the festival – it’s considered bad luck to do it during the holidays.
  • The family ‘reunion’ dinner happens on New Year’s Eve. Lights in the house should not be switched off until the following morning.
  • Children are encouraged to stay up on New Year’s Eve so that parents will enjoy longevity and good health.
  • On the first day of the new year, parents are presented with mandarin oranges and children receive red packets.
  • The remaining days of the holiday are spent visiting friends and relatives. During these visits you should wear new clothes and new shoes.

At Work:

  • Businesses will often hire a lion dance performance, you’ll hear a lot of noise and drumming. Having a lion visit your office and presenting it with red packets is good luck, while the dance itself wards off evil spirits and brings luck to the audience.
  • Often there is a reunion lunch or dinner with colleagues on the first day after returning back to work from the holiday.

Out And About

  • Expect plenty of loud celebrations during the holiday period.
  • There is a countdown party on New Year’s Eve in Chinatown.
  • There are also celebrations happening in the Marina Bay area called the River Angbao Festival
  • Most restaurant and shops are closed for the first 2 days of the new year to allow their staff to celebrate – be prepared and stock up on food!
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Stores, businesses and homes are decorated with lanterns, kumquat trees, flowers and more to bring good luck for the year ahead.

 

What To Expect In Taiwan, with Personal Assistant, Tracy Lo

Public holidays | February 15 – February 21

At Home:

  • We return home for a family gathering on New Year’s Eve.
  • Prior to this we shop for food, visit the temple to pray for good luck and watch the lion and dragon dance performances.
  • There are lots of fireworks and exchanging of red packets to wish each other good fortune.

At Work:

  • There is typically a year-end dinner or party and red packets might be given, especially to employees that are working and can’t spend time with family.

Out And About:

  • Red and gold! Everywhere in the city is decorated for the festive season
  • Restaurants are often busy due to high demand as more and more families are choosing to go out for the holiday.
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Offering red packets to lion dancers during a performance is said to bring good luck.

 

What To Expect In Hong Kong, with Assistant Graphic Designer, Helen Tsang

Public Holidays | February 16 and February 19

Chinese New Year At Home:

  • The family comes together for a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, either at home or at a restaurant.
  • New Year’s Day is spent visiting extended family and distributing red packets.
  • Candies, nuts, chocolates and melon seeds are served and symbolise good fortune and happiness.
  • You cannot wash your hair over the holiday as it is believed you are washing away good fortune and luck.
  • Some families will gather to play Mahjong together.

Chinese New Year At Work:

  • Expect a celebratory meal with colleagues and perhaps red packets.
  • Some businesses invite Lion Dance performers to bring good luck for the year ahead.

Out And About:

  • You’ll see lots of Lion Dances and drummers throughout the city in the lead up to the holiday.
  • Many businesses will close to allow staff to celebrate.
  • The city looks its best – there are red and gold decorations, mandarin trees and CNY displays in malls and residential buildings

 

While there are of course many similarities in the way CNY is celebrated throughout the region, local customs and traditions will inflect the celebrations in your city. Our main piece of advice? Enjoy the experience! With fireworks, carnivals and seasonal treats on hand, embrace the holiday, try something new and from all of us at TEC, we wish you a happy and prosperous year ahead.

Bhagwat feels RSS can do the Army’s job: Why Modi should take him seriously

Twitter: @bhayankur
This is a satirical take on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent comments. The views expressed are personal
First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 13:28 IST
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10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened This Week (2/9/18)

OUR WORLD

MORRIS M. 

 

Keeping up with the news is hard. So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most significant, unusual, or just plain old mind-blowing stories each week.

In the future, the defining image of February 2018 will almost undoubtedly be that of a Tesla roadster, floating across the silent gulf of space toward Mars, its own “driver” strapped in the front. Yes, this was the week Elon Musk made history by putting a commercial car in orbit, while also smashing several other firsts. Elsewhere, we had a mixture of good news, worrying news, and just plain weird news. After all this time, what else would you expect?

Listverse – Daily Highlights

10Elon Musk Put His Car Into Space

Photo credit: SpaceX

Right now, there is a luxury car floating toward the asteroid belt.

That this absurd sentence is nothing more than a statement of fact is thanks to one man. On Tuesday, Elon Musk put the first commercial car in space, blasting off his own Tesla Roadster on the back of SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy rocket. The car came complete with a quote from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” playing on an eternal loop. Whimsy, apparently, is Musk’s middle name.

Arguably, the whole “car in orbit” thing overshadowed SpaceX’s actual achievement: successfully testing its Falcon Heavy.[1] The Falcon Heavy can carry a payload far bigger than any other modern rocket. That means bigger satellites and telescopes will soon be able to reach orbit with ease.

Even more impressively, two of the Falcon Heavy’s three boosters returned to Earth, landing in perfect sync on launch pads like something out of a sci-fi film. The third exploded, but hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

9The Stock Market Went Into Meltdown (For Non-Scary Reasons)


On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged almost 1,600 points intraday before closing down 1,175 for the day, its biggest point drop in history. This was followed by a meltdown in Asian markets and then panic in Europe. Sounds like a disaster, right?

Well, here’s where it gets weird. While we’re used to hearing “stock market meltdown” and instantly imagining 1929, this week’s market drop is not nearly as bad as some previous crashes on a percentage basis. But it does signal an end to the seemingly nonstop market surge that has been going on for months. Investors had become far too complacent, and this was their wake-up call. Some experts even believe that this sudden meltdown might be a good thing.[2]

In the 15 months since Donald Trump won the US election, the Dow Jones has been rising like crazy. At the same time, governments have been slowly turning off the taps on post-recession stimulus. The result appears to have been Monday’s correction. In market terms, volatility is back big time. That means we’re in for a rocky ride for the time being, with big swings up anddown in the stock market.

While this undoubtedly sucks for certain investors, it could signal a terrific buying opportunity for those who can stomach the risk.

8Moscow Suffered The Snowstorm Of The Century

Photo credit: EPA/Yuri Kochetkov

Do you have any idea how frequently Moscow calls an official snow day? The answer rhymes with “never” because that’s exactly what it is. The Russiancapital is used to freezing winter temperatures and snowdrifts that would paralyze most other cities.

Still, every once in a while, a snowstorm will come along that proves the exception to the rule. This week, that snowstorm hit. On Sunday alone, 43 centimeters (17 in) were dumped across Moscow, equivalent to an entire month’s snow.[3] The result was gridlock, chaos, and a spate of spectacular snow pictures the likes of which we rarely ever see.

The snowfall comes after a strangely warm winter (by Russian standards), similar to that currently afflicting parts of the EU. Like Monday’s stock market meltdown, this snow-splosion almost seems like a correction to the unseasonably warm weather.

7The Gambia Rejoined The Commonwealth Of Nations

It’s very rare for a country to rejoin the 52-member Commonwealth of Nations after leaving. Since its founding, only three had previously done so: South Africa, Fiji, and Pakistan.

This week, a fourth nation joined this tiny list. In 2013, Yahya Jammeh, former dictator of The Gambia, dragged his nation out, calling the Commonwealth a “neo-colonialist” institution. There, the story probably would have ended, had Jammeh not found himself on the receiving end of an armed ECOWAS force in January 2017, politely insisting he respect the then-recent election result and hand over power to winner Adama Barrow. Jammeh fled the country, and since then, Barrow has been working tirelessly to undo all the awful things his predecessor did.

After a year of negotiations, that list finally included readmitting The Gambia to the Commonwealth.[4] While the move is more symbolic than anything, it does show that The Gambia is slowly stepping out of Jammeh’s long shadow and into a new, democratic era.

6Germany Finally Got A Government (Probably)


It was the longest postwar stretch that Germany spent without a government.

Following inconclusive September elections and a collapse of talks between her CDU/CSU, the Greens, and the Free Democrats, Angela Merkel was forced to go to her former coalition partners, the SPD, begging bowl in hand. Led by Martin Schulz, the SPD had received a drubbing in the election and refused to work with Merkel again. It briefly looked like time was up for Germany’s first female chancellor.

This week, fate threw Merkel a bone. Schulz’s SPD finally agreed to resurrect their governing grand coalition. After five months, Germany now has a government again.[5]

The SPD extracted significant concessions from Merkel, including the key finance, labor, and foreign ministries. This suggests that, if the new coalition goes ahead, it will be more shaped by Schulz’s pro-EU vision than Merkel’s pragmatism. However, the deal is not set in stone until the SPD’s 463,000 members can be balloted on it. Although it’s unlikely, they may reject it.

5German Workers Won The Right To A 28-Hour Working Week

Photo credit: AP

Sticking with Deutschland for a moment, another significant story came out from the Teutonic nation this week. In Baden-Wurttemberg, labor union IG Metall scored a victory for its workers by winning them the right to a 28-hour working week. The agreement affects nearly a million German workers in the car and hi-tech sectors and is expected to soon be mimicked by other unions all across German industry.[6]

The new contracts preserve workers’ rights to choose between 28 hours and full time at any point, meaning anyone who gets fed up with the shorter week and all that daytime TV can return to regular 40-hour work without being penalized. As the Financial Times noted, it shows young Germans are shrugging off the “industrious” stereotype and starting to become more like their strike-happy counterparts in France.

Exactly how this will effect the German economy in the long run remains to be seen. But there’s no doubting this could be the biggest shakeup of European labor in years.

4Pakistan Finally Prosecuted A Blasphemy Murder

Photo credit: AFP

In April 2017, a mob broke into the dormitory of 23-year-old Pakistani student Mashal Khan. The attackers were Khan’s classmates, his roomies, even his own lecturers. They’d heard that Khan had committed blasphemy—a capital crime in Pakistan—and they wanted revenge.

What happened next was horrific. Khan was murdered. He was beaten, stripped, shot, and thrown from a building. His crime? To have spoken out in favor of free speech and against corruption at his university. When police investigated, they discovered the blasphemy charges were false and that Khan’s murder had been orchestrated by another student group.

Such murders are depressingly common in Pakistan, but Khan’s death triggered outrage. This week, 52 members of the mob were put on trial, in a case that was seen as a litmus test for Islamabad. One was sentenced to death. 26 received three years. 25 were acquitted.[7]

The death sentence was a victory for courts often cowed by extremists. However, Khan’s relatives criticized the acquittal of the 25, saying murderers had been allowed to walk free.

3The ICC Began Proceedings Against Rodrigo Duterte

Photo credit: Reuters/Dondi Tawatao

Since Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte launched his bloody crackdown on drugs, thousands of people have been murdered. Estimates place the number between 4,000 and over 9,000—putting the conflict on a par with the bloody violence in the Central African Republic (CAR).

That comparison isn’t random. The International Criminal Court at the Hague (ICC) is currently investigating CAR for war crimes. This week, they decided Duterte’s reign of terror might be worth examining, too. A preliminary investigation was opened. If it proceeds to a full case, we could yet see the president of the Philippines on trial for crimes against humanity.[8]

The complaint was brought by a Philippine lawyer. Now, the ICC must decide whether there is enough evidence to open a full investigation. If there is, they will be empowered to bring Duterte to trial and hand out sentences to other officials. It should be pointed out, though, that only nine ICC complaints have so far been brought to trial, out of more than 12,000 filed.

2Bermuda Became The First Modern Territory To Repeal Gay Marriage


After a barnstorming 2017 for gay marriage, 2018 began with a setback. This week, tiny Bermuda became the first territory in modern history to repeal gay marriage after legalizing it. The ruling was a blow for marriage equality campaigners across the globe.

The actual intricacies of the case are fairly nuanced. In May 2017, Bermuda’s supreme court ruled that gay marriage must be allowed, sparking protests. The government rushed to reverse the ruling but was hamstrung by the constitution. The resulting bill that came into law this week was a compromise: It outlawed gay marriage but made same-sex civil partnerships legal. It also protected the rights of any gay couples who married in the interim, meaning their marriages will remain legal.[9]

The bill caused trouble in the UK, of which Bermuda is a Crown dependency. Technically, Westminster could have stepped in and blocked the repeal of gay marriage, but to do so would have been equally as controversial as letting the law pass. In the end, London elected to stay out of it.

1The Maldives Plunged Into Crisis

Photo credit: Reuters

A near-invisible speck in the vastness of the Indian Ocean, the 26 coral atolls that make up the Maldives are currently home to some crazy political drama. Regular readers may recall that last August, the military occupied the Maldivian parliament. This week’s crisis beats even that.

It all started when the Maldivian supreme court voted to release political prisoners of Islamist autocrat Abdulla Yameen. This was doubly unexpected, as the Maldivian judiciary was entirely handpicked by former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who is Yameen’s half-brother. Yameen reacted by panicking, declaring a state of emergency, having the military occupy the supreme court, and having Gayoom’s family chucked in prison.[10]

It’s thought that the ousted Gayoom has made an unlikely alliance with exiled opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed had been a political prisoner of Gayoom’s before becoming president after his release and then getting deposed in a coup by Yameen. With many in the security forces still loyal to Gayoom, there is potential for things to get ugly, a potential helped by both India and China vying for influence over the island nation. We’ll see how this crisis develops in the coming weeks.

Reality check: Renuka Chowdhury’s trivial laughter during Narendra Modi’s address isn’t on national agenda

ShurpanakhaReality check: Renuka Chowdhury’s trivial laughter during Narendra Modi’s address isn’t on national agenda
India Bikram Vohra Feb 09, 2018 13:02:06 IST
Comment 2 Tweet
Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury interrupted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rajya Sabha speech on Wednesday with loud, piercing laughter, prompting Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu to suggest that Renuka “see a doctor”. It is not a passing admonishment or a casual scolding, it is a proper dressing down and would have gone on further if Modi had not ad libbed a snappy retort. “Mr Chairman, please don’t stop Renuka ji from laughing. Last time we heard such laughter was Ramayana came on television,” Modi had said.

In itself, the comment was no big deal and should have just been water under the bridge. Compared to other disturbances and utterances and acts of physical misbehavior in both, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, and also in state Assemblies. This was not even a blip on the bad conduct radar.

via Reality check: Renuka Chowdhury’s trivial laughter during Narendra Modi’s address isn’t on national agenda – Firstpost

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Mentoring Startup Entrepreneurs Daily update ⋅ February 8, 2018

Mentoring Startup Entrepreneurs

Daily update ⋅ February 8, 2018
NEWS
Startups must have mentors to succeed, says experts

As India has accorded priority to the startup sector and a growing number of youngsters are expected to turn startup entrepreneurs, experts have advised start up founders to have mentors for taking informed decisions and to succeed. Experts believe that the role of a mentor is very crucial for the success …
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Planting the seeds of sustainability: Entrepreneur to lead Techstars-Nature Conservancy accelerator

The Techstars Sustainability Accelerator will bring in 10 teams of company founders for several weeks over the summer, investing $120,000 in each startup and supplying them with space, mentorship and advice to help them create commercially viable businesses focused in some way on fostering …
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How to Seal the Best Deal for Your Series A Funding?

Entrepreneur India caught up with a few startups that have recently raised Series A funding to shed light on the dos and don’ts while raising Series A funds … for a bank loan or crowdfunding, he said, “More than the money, we wanted to get the right set of active investors who can help us mentor to scale.
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Rhody Innovator Spotlight

In the weeks leading up to our 50 on Fire event, we’ll use this space to highlight those startups and entrepreneurs that make up one of our seven … Olean has launched the Rhode Island Venture MentoringServices, a spin out of MIT Venture Mentoring Services, where he was one of the initial mentors.
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Komatsu event in Brisbane will mentor tech startups

The event, arranged for Komatsu by innovation-focused organiser Unearthed Solutions, offers a chance for entrepreneurs and startups to engage in technology showcases with a mining focus, working with Komatsu mentors to offer insight into the implementation and integration of new technologies …
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What women entrepreneurs need to do to win over investors: Lathika Pai of Sonder Connect tells us

Serial entrepreneur and technology mentor Lathika Pai talks to YourStory about what organizations can do to help women advance as business … When asked what makes her happy as a mentor to female startupfounders, she says “When I see a mentee getting funded, making it to the finale of a startup …
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The Employability of a Failed Entrepreneur

These are the million dollar questions that most young entrepreneurs and experienced professionals looking at entrepreneurship are asking. Pushpamitra Das has held numerous top management positions across leading organisations. He is a mentor to numerous startups at ZNation Lab, a leading …
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StartupWind is selected as the semi finalist for the Smart Fifty Competition that is seeking to find 50 …

Santa Clara – February 6th, 2018 – StartupWind Inc, the Social Network for University Entrepreneurship and alumni angel funding platform was named as a … perform market validation and brainstorming while getting feedback from over 13,000 mentors, investors and peer entrepreneurs on the network.
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10 ICONIC FRENCH THINGS

Picasso And The Mona Lisa
Photo credit: Wikimedia, Leonardo da Vinci
As artsy as the French are, they cannot (and do not) claim title to some of the most famous art that graces their capital. Paris’s Picasso museum may boast the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world, and more visitors may trek to the Louvre expressly to see the painting of Mona Lisa than any other artwork housed there, but neither Pablo nor Lisa is French.Pablo Picasso was, of course, a Spaniard. Born in 1881, he settled in Paris in 1904. Although Picasso lived from then until his death in 1973 primarily in France, he never had French citizenship. But it wasn’t for want of trying. In 1940, with Germany set to invade France and Franco in power in Spain, Picasso’s situation as a resident alien had to have been uncomfortable. A self-affirmed atheist and devotee to the French communists, he would have had trouble fitting in to the artistic and cultural scene that Franco’s fascist government had established in his homeland. But in 1940, when Picasso requested French citizenship, he was turned down on the grounds of being an anarchist with communist tendencies.Like Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci died on French soil as a foreign resident. But unlike Picasso, he was already an old man when he was invited to France by King Francois I in 1517. The subject of his most famous portrait, Mona Lisa (or “My Lady Lisa”), was every bit as Italian as the painter she sat for back in Florence in 1503. But that is where our knowledge of the model as a person ends.Three main theories about her identity circulate, the oldest dating from 1550. It suggests that Lady Lisa is Lisa del Giocondo. This theory is widely accepted in France, where the painting is known as La Joconde. A later theory, proposed by Sigmund Freud and others in the 19th century, purports the model to be Leonardo’s mother, Caterina, and the painting to be a subconscious manifestation of the artist’s attachment to her memory and to his childhood. The third theory explains the resemblance of the artist to the model by theorizing that the Mona Lisa is actually a self-portrait of the artist, bequeathed as a puzzle to those who view her.[7]In 2013, the Giocondo family tombs were excavated in the hope that DNA testing could settle the question once and for all. The exhumation, however, did not get us any closer to solving the mystery.

via 10 Iconic French Things That Aren’t Entirely French – Listverse

10 ICONIC FRENCH THINGS

Picasso And The Mona Lisa
Photo credit: Wikimedia, Leonardo da Vinci
As artsy as the French are, they cannot (and do not) claim title to some of the most famous art that graces their capital. Paris’s Picasso museum may boast the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world, and more visitors may trek to the Louvre expressly to see the painting of Mona Lisa than any other artwork housed there, but neither Pablo nor Lisa is French.Pablo Picasso was, of course, a Spaniard. Born in 1881, he settled in Paris in 1904. Although Picasso lived from then until his death in 1973 primarily in France, he never had French citizenship. But it wasn’t for want of trying. In 1940, with Germany set to invade France and Franco in power in Spain, Picasso’s situation as a resident alien had to have been uncomfortable. A self-affirmed atheist and devotee to the French communists, he would have had trouble fitting in to the artistic and cultural scene that Franco’s fascist government had established in his homeland. But in 1940, when Picasso requested French citizenship, he was turned down on the grounds of being an anarchist with communist tendencies.Like Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci died on French soil as a foreign resident. But unlike Picasso, he was already an old man when he was invited to France by King Francois I in 1517. The subject of his most famous portrait, Mona Lisa (or “My Lady Lisa”), was every bit as Italian as the painter she sat for back in Florence in 1503. But that is where our knowledge of the model as a person ends.Three main theories about her identity circulate, the oldest dating from 1550. It suggests that Lady Lisa is Lisa del Giocondo. This theory is widely accepted in France, where the painting is known as La Joconde. A later theory, proposed by Sigmund Freud and others in the 19th century, purports the model to be Leonardo’s mother, Caterina, and the painting to be a subconscious manifestation of the artist’s attachment to her memory and to his childhood. The third theory explains the resemblance of the artist to the model by theorizing that the Mona Lisa is actually a self-portrait of the artist, bequeathed as a puzzle to those who view her.[7]In 2013, the Giocondo family tombs were excavated in the hope that DNA testing could settle the question once and for all. The exhumation, however, did not get us any closer to solving the mystery.

via 10 Iconic French Things That Aren’t Entirely French – Listverse

NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
New Consumer Protection Bill
Posted On: 06 FEB 2018 6:53PM by PIB Delhi
The Government introduced new Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha on 05.01.2018. The salient features of the bill include establishment of an executive agency to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of the consumers and will be empowered to investigate, recall, refund and impose penalties; provision for product liability action in cases of personal injury, death, or property damage caused by or resulting from any product; provision for mediation as an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) making the process of dispute adjudication simpler and quicker and simplification of the process of adjudication by the Consumer Fora.

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018, introduced in Parliament, provides for establishment of an executive agency to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) which will deal with unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements. The provisions of the Bill will cover the whole country.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Shri C.R. Chaudhary today in Lok Sabha.

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NGOs Registered under FCRA

Ministry of Home Affairs
NGOs registered under FCRA
Posted On: 06 FEB 2018 4:39PM by PIB Delhi
Approximately 29700 Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are registered under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 2010.

Vide Notice dated 21.12.2017, the Government has directed that all persons who are either registered or who have sought prior permission under the FCRA, 2010 shall open their bank accounts as mandated in section 17 of the FCRA, 2010 in any of the 32 banks who are already integrated with the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance.

The registration of 14,938 NGOs have been cancelled since 2014.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijuju in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha today.

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Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
Posted On: 06 FEB 2018 3:46PM by PIB Delhi
According to the findings of a recent Research Study on ‘Centre’s Policy of Older Persons’, commissioned by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, conducted through an External Agency viz. All India Senior Citizens’ Confederation, covering the States of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala, the working of Maintenance Tribunals and award of the maintenance allowance have been appeared fairly good.

Pursuant to the observations of various judicial fora, and National Consultation Meet held in August 2016 and Recommendation of the Group of Secretaries on Education and Social Development constituted by the Government, suitable amendments to the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007 are under consideration in the Ministry.

This information was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Vijay Sampla in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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This WhatsApp forward explains why 7000 Very High Networth Individuals migrated?

RICARDO STEINBRUCH: Economics by a professor – Brilliant and yet so Simple

Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7..
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? The paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!” The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is
somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

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Eating Leafy Greens Daily May Help Keep Minds Sharp Audio will be available later today. via npr.org article.

YOUR HEALTH
Eating Leafy Greens Daily May Help Keep Minds Sharp
Audio will be available later today.

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February 5, 20185:00 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition

ALLISON AUBREY

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Meredith Miotke for NPR
To age well, we must eat well — there’s been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain.

The latest good news: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.

“The association is quite strong,” says study author Martha Clare Morris, a professor of nutrition science at Rush Medical College in Chicago. She also directs the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging.

The research included 960 participants of the Memory and Aging Project. Their average age is 81, and none of them have dementia. Each year the participants undergo a battery of tests to assess their memory. Scientists also keep track their eating habits and lifestyle habits.

To analyze the relationship between leafy greens and age-related cognitive changes, the researchers assigned each participant to one of five groups, according to the amount of greens eaten. Those who tended to eat the most greens comprised the top quintile, consuming, on average, about 1.3 servings per day. Those in the bottom quintile said they consume little or no greens.

THE SALT
As Bagged Salad Kits Boom, Americans Eat More Greens
After about five years of follow-up/observation, “the rate of decline for [those] in the top quintile was about half the decline rate of those in the lowest quintile,” Morris says.

So, what’s the most convenient way to get these greens into your diet?

“My goal every day is to have a big salad,” says Candace Bishop, one of the study participants. “I get those bags of dark, leafy salad mixes.”

A serving size is defined as a half-cup of cooked greens, or a cup of raw greens.

Does Bishop still feel sharp? “I’m still pretty damn bright,” she tells me with a giggle. She isn’t convinced that her daily salad explains her healthy aging.

“I think a lot of it is in the genes,” Bishop says, adding, “I think I’m lucky, frankly.”

She has other healthy habits, too. Bishop attends group exercise classes in her retirement community and she’s active on several committees in the community.

Many factors play into healthy aging — this study does not prove that eating greens will fend off memory decline. With this kind of research, Morris explains, scientists can only establish an association — not necessarily causation — between a healthy diet and a mind that stays sharp.

YOUR HEALTH
Experts Make Their Recommendations on Vitamins
Still, she says, even after adjusting for other factors that might play a role, such as lifestyle, education and overall health, “we saw this association [between greens and a slower rate of cognitive decline] over and above accounting for all those factors.”

Some prior research has pointed to a similar benefit. A study of women published in 2006 also found that high consumption of vegetables was associated with less cognitive decline among older women. The association was strongest with greater consumption of leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables — such as broccoli and cauliflower.

And, as NPR has reported, there’s evidence that a Mediterranean-style diet — which emphasizes a pattern of eating that is rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and whole grains — may help stave off chronic diseases.

What might explain a benefit from greens?

Turns out, these vegetables contain a range of nutrients and bioactive compounds including vitamin E and K, lutein, beta carotene and folate.

“They have different roles and different biological mechanisms to protect the brain,” says Morris. More research is needed, she says, to fully understand their influence, but scientists do know that consuming too little of these nutrients can be problematic.

For instance, “if you have insufficient levels of folate in your diet you can have higher levels of homocysteine,” Morris says. This can set the stage for inflammation and a build-up of plaque, or fatty deposits, inside your arteries, which increases the risk of stroke. Research shows elevated homocysteine is associated with cognitive impairment among older adults.

Another example: Getting plenty of Vitamin E from foods in your diet can help protect cells from damage, and also has been associated with better cognitive performance.

“So, when you eat leafy greens, you’re eating a lot of different nutrients, and together they can have a powerful impact,” Morris says.

via Diet Rich In Greens Linked To Less Age-Related Memory Loss : Shots – Health News : NPR

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Wealth migration; 7,000 super-rich Indians shifted base in ’17

India is home to 3,30,400 HNWIs (individuals with USD 1 million or more in net assets). Globally, India was ranked 9th in this aspect. The country has 20,730 multi-millionaires, 7th largest in the world. And in terms of resident billionaires, India with 119 such individuals was named among the top three countries globally, after the US and China.

via high net-worth individuals: Wealth migration; 7,000 super-rich Indians shifted base in ’17 – The Economic Times

Beautiful message on Whatsapp received about my fav Tennis player Arthur Ashe

A Beautiful Message
by Arthur Ashe ,
The legendary Wimbledon Player who was dying of AIDS , which he got due to Infected Blood he received during a Heart Surgery in 1983 !

during his illness , he received letters from his fans , one of which conveyed :

” Why did God have to select you for such a bad disease ? ”

To this Arthur Ashe replied :

⁃ 50 Million children started playing Tennis ,

⁃ 5 Million learnt to play Tennis ,

⁃ 500 000 learnt Professional Tennis ,

⁃ 50 Thousand came to Circuit ,

⁃ 5 Thousand reached Grand Slam ,

⁃ 50 reached Wimbledon ,

⁃ 4 reached the Semifinals ,

⁃ 2 reached the Finals and

when I was holding the cup in my hand , I never asked God :

” Why Me ? ”

So now that I’m in pain how can I ask God :

” Why Me ? ”

Happiness … keeps you Sweet !

Trials … keep you Strong !

Sorrows … keep you Human !

Failure … keeps you Humble !

Success … keeps you Glowing !

But only , Faith … keeps you Going !

Sometimes you are not satisfied with your life , while many people in this world are dreaming of living your life .

A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead dreams of flying , while a pilot on the plane sees the farmhouse and dreams of returning home .

That’s life !

Enjoy yours … If wealth is the secret to happiness , then the rich should be dancing on the streets .

But only poor kids do that .

If power ensures security , then VIPs should walk unguarded .

But those who live simply , sleep soundly .

If beauty and fame bring ideal relationships , then celebrities should have the best marriages .

Live simply , be happy ! Walk humbly and love genuinely !

WHY ME ?

A Beautiful Message not just to read and forward but to apply practically in our personal life .

Beautiful message on Whatsapp received about my fav Tennis player Arthur Ashe

A Beautiful Message
by Arthur Ashe ,
The legendary Wimbledon Player who was dying of AIDS , which he got due to Infected Blood he received during a Heart Surgery in 1983 !

during his illness , he received letters from his fans , one of which conveyed :

” Why did God have to select you for such a bad disease ? ”

To this Arthur Ashe replied :

⁃ 50 Million children started playing Tennis ,

⁃ 5 Million learnt to play Tennis ,

⁃ 500 000 learnt Professional Tennis ,

⁃ 50 Thousand came to Circuit ,

⁃ 5 Thousand reached Grand Slam ,

⁃ 50 reached Wimbledon ,

⁃ 4 reached the Semifinals ,

⁃ 2 reached the Finals and

when I was holding the cup in my hand , I never asked God :

” Why Me ? ”

So now that I’m in pain how can I ask God :

” Why Me ? ”

Happiness … keeps you Sweet !

Trials … keep you Strong !

Sorrows … keep you Human !

Failure … keeps you Humble !

Success … keeps you Glowing !

But only , Faith … keeps you Going !

Sometimes you are not satisfied with your life , while many people in this world are dreaming of living your life .

A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead dreams of flying , while a pilot on the plane sees the farmhouse and dreams of returning home .

That’s life !

Enjoy yours … If wealth is the secret to happiness , then the rich should be dancing on the streets .

But only poor kids do that .

If power ensures security , then VIPs should walk unguarded .

But those who live simply , sleep soundly .

If beauty and fame bring ideal relationships , then celebrities should have the best marriages .

Live simply , be happy ! Walk humbly and love genuinely !

WHY ME ?

A Beautiful Message not just to read and forward but to apply practically in our personal life .

Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases

Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases

10 Surprising Ways Your Memory Can Fail You- Courtesy Listverse Newsletter

10 Surprising Ways Your Memory Can Fail You

JACK FRANCIS 

 

Memory isn’t perfect. Over time, many of your memories will fade. As a result, things you knew well can become distant enough to take a lot of effort to remember them.

But some memories never leave you and are as memorable as the day they were first experienced. Why does this happen? Psychologists have many theories about why the human memory is like this, and some of their ideas may surprise you.

Listverse – Daily Highlights

Sponsored by Connatix

10Absent-Mindedness

Absent-mindedness is experienced by many people. When you are extremely interested in one thing, you likely won’t be paying attention to what is going on around you. This is because your attention is divided. When you are completely focused on one thing, your brain won’t be able to spare the resources to remember what else is going on.[1]

An example of this is “change blindness,” where you don’t realize something is changing because you are too focused on one thing. The video above is a fun way to test your ability to avoid change blindness.

Why do we experience this effect? Scientists believe that this occurs so that we don’t remember all the dull moments in our lives—washing pots and clothes, for example. If we were to remember all this, our thoughts would be so cluttered with pointless memories that there wouldn’t be enough room for the stuff we want to remember.

9Tip Of The Tongue

Most people will have experienced remembering something only to realize that you haven’t remembered all of it. It feels like you know what you want to say, but you are unable to retrieve the correct words to say it.

A variation is realizing that you know something but you aren’t able to recall what it is. (Confusing, right?) Sometimes, you might even remember irrelevant similar items instead of the exact thing you want to remember. The “tip of the tongue” phenomenon has also been found to be worse in older adults.[2]

Why does this happen? Scientists believe that when we see something, we don’t immediately remember everything related to it because our brains would be constantly reminding us of all the times we ate food every time we saw a plate!

A useful way to get around this is to try to remember how many syllables are in the word you want to say and what letters it is made up of. Sometimes, this can jog your memory enough so that you remember what you wanted to say.

8The Sleeper Effect

Although you may not like to admit it, many people have experienced this: You told someone something that you believed came from a dependable source, only to realize later that the fact you stated so confidently actually came from somewhere unreliable. This effect is known as the “sleeper effect.” It occurs when we have remembered the information but not where it originally came from.

An example of this is the “false fame effect.” If you are presented with a list of names, then even just a day later, you are likely to think that those names you read are the names of famous people. This is because you can’t remember where you heard the names before and therefore assume that the names must be famous for you to know them.[3]

7False Memories

Putting memories that never happened into your head is the work of science fiction. Films such as Inception and Total Recall treat it as a futuristic fantasy, but this concept is likely more realistic than you think. Even more shocking is that it doesn’t take high-tech machinery to achieve this.

In fact, all it takes is a few interviews with the person who wants to implant the memory. Psychologists found that after a few interviews, 20–40 percent of those tested remembered and described spilling a bowl of punch on parents of the bride during a wedding even though it never actually happened.

People will also make false confessions under the right conditions. According to the findings of psychologists Saul Kassin and Katherine Kiechel, if a “witness” claimed to see what the person was accused of doing (in this case, crashing a program by pressing a button on the keyboard), every accused person signed a confession that he did it.

Thirty-five percent of them even gave detailed descriptions of how it happened![4] This is rather scary, although there is not much to worry about. Simple false memories can be implanted, but more complex or unbelievable ones are generally resisted.

6Stereotypes

It may be surprising to learn that stereotypes can affect both your current thoughts and your memories. In fact, your memories are constantly distorted by your current beliefs and values. In one study, participants were given lists of male and female names. When asked to recall which names were famous, participants were more likely to remember the male names despite the lists containing the same number of famous names for both genders.

Holding these negative stereotypes can also cause issues when it comes to police investigations. In the same way that the stereotypes we hold affect our memories in general, they can also affect how witnesses remember a crime. As a result, people were more likely to make false assumptions about who committed a crime based on their beliefs in stereotypes.[5]

5Forgetting Over Time

Everyone knows that your memory fades over time. Somehow, memories you once saw as important seem to become a lot less detailed as time passes until you can only remember the basic idea but not the specifics.

This seems bad, but it isn’t necessarily. No matter how important these details seemed at the time, you don’t need to remember in future years who showed up to your 13th birthday party and or if it was raining on your final day of school.

The famous psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus created and tested the idea of a “forgetting curve.”[6] He determined that you will forget information about something quickly at first. But over time, this slows down after all the less relevant information has been cut out. This leaves you with the memory but removes the details that you wouldn’t really need anyway.

4Memory Reconsolidation

When your brain remembers something, it stores this memory through a process called “consolidation.” This was believed to be all there was to it, with memories becoming weaker over time just because they weren’t being used.

Recently, though, neuroscientists have discovered that once something has been remembered, the memory may become unstable and at risk of vanishing if it is not stabilized. The stabilization process is called “memory reconsolidation.” If you are stressed, the memory being “reconsolidated” will be made stronger than it was before.[7]

Although this seems bad, it has led to a new treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By getting the patient to remember the event after taking a prescribed drug to block the reconsolidation process, it is possible to treat PTSD by helping the patient to forget what happened to him.

3Childhood Amnesia

What’s the earliest memory you have, and how old were you when it happened?

Most adults cannot remember anything that happened to them before age three or four. This phenomenon, known as childhood amnesia, is still a mystery for psychologists. Theories range from the brain not being developed enough to Sigmund Freud’s idea that the child is repressing sexual feelings for his parents.

At the moment, the preferred theory is that the brain goes through a lot of restructuring in young children. When a child is born, his brain is constantly adding more cells which also have to form connections to many other brain cells. It has been found that the age of the child when this process begins to slow down is very close to the age when most people have their first memory.[8]

Interestingly, guinea pigs do not appear to get childhood amnesia. Psychologists found that a guinea pig could remember something it was trained to do as a newborn even when the animal was fully grown. They believe that this occurs because the brains of guinea pigs do not change much throughout their lives. So those little creatures do have something over us!

2Flashbulb Memories

Photo credit: The Atlantic

This one is not so much a memory failure but more a way in which your mind will play tricks to convince you that the information it has remembered is totally correct. You have probably experienced something in your life that has left a long-lasting memory which you can remember as well as the day that it occurred. In fact, the memory is so vivid that it almost feels like you are being teleported there every time you think of it.

Whether this memory is happy or sad, it seems to stick. These are called “flashbulb memories,” and it might surprise you to know that they are not as accurate as they seem.[9]

When people were asked to remember details about an emotional or traumatic event that occurred 10 years earlier, their memories were only around 60 percent accurate. Even more surprising, these individuals were generally very confident that they remembered the event exactly right.

Why is this? Why do we trick ourselves into believing that our memory is better than it really is?

Some psychologists believe that a memory changes because your brain alters the memory each time that you recount the event. It becomes more important to you, and you will often give yourself a more important role in the story as a result of memory reconsolidation (which we discussed earlier).

1Persistence

Most people know the problem of not being able to forget an embarrassing thing that they did months or even years in the past. But for some, it’s much worse than that. Some people get trapped in a “depressive cycle” in which thoughts of these bad events go around and around in their heads.

This symptom of depression is an example of your brain’s apparent inability to wipe out events that you’d rather forget. So why would our brains do this? It is believed that this cycle is an unfortunate consequence of something your brain does to help you survive and avoid things that may threaten your life.[10] Unfortunately, the downside of persistence goes against the purpose of persistence, which is to keep us out of danger.

AngelList Talent February 2, 2018 courtesy AngelList Newsletter I subscribe.

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Over 500,000 people have paid to reserve Tesla’s new electric car. Amazon’s Prime Air drone deliveries are tracked obsessively, and only 3,000 self-driving Ubers could serve 98% of New York City’s ride-hailing needs.

The most admired companies in the world are building a better tomorrow with energy efficient products. However, not every cleantech company gets the press they deserve. Unsexy companies will be the startups that disrupt trillion dollar industries.

Evelyn Fisher from Sighten (who is hiring) compiled the best startups building clean energy technologies, either through innovation for electric vehicles, transportation, solar power, energy storage, or energy management.

Here are the 20 companies that deserve credit for building the future. Remember: keep your Talent profile updated in case the right opportunity comes knocking your way.

👉 Activate Talent Profile

Cleantech Startups that are Changing The World 🚗🔋

Proterra is building the world’s most efficient electric bus 🚌

OhmConnect is replacing power plants with software at scale ⚡

FreeWire will make sure you’ll never run out of power, ever again 🔋

Sighten is the energy operating system for the solar industry ☀

EVmatch is the Airbnb of electric vehicle charging 🔌

Particle will connect every device to the Internet 🌐

Wunder makes investing in the future of solar dead easy 💸

kWh Analytics lets companies manage solar energy risks with data 📊

Advanced Microgrid Solutions is building a more efficient energy grid 🗼

The Cleantech 20

The New National ID Systems | Cato Institute

By Jim Harper
January 30, 2018
Americans have long rejected a national ID, but many U.S. state governments are quietly developing national ID systems in a variety of forms. One is the uniform identity card system envisioned by the REAL ID Act. That federal law, passed in 2005, seeks to subject state drivers’ licensing to federal data collection and information-sharing standards that will facilitate identification and tracking.

State promotion of the E-Verify background check system, which is intended to control the employment of illegal immigrants, is another path to a national ID. Successful implementation of E-Verify will require a national ID, and some states are already sharing driver data with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security so that it can be used in federally administered worker background checks.

Less well known are several other programs poised to produce the same results as a national ID without the requirement of an identity card or other formalities. These developments position states and the federal government to make once-ordinary behavior like driving on city streets and strolling the sidewalks of American towns into recordkeeping events for an overly attentive state. They compose what might be called the new national ID.

This paper summarizes the stances of each of the 50 states on various ID systems, including REAL ID, E-Verify, facial recognition, and license-plate scanning. Together, those technologies—along with other initiatives orchestrated at the federal level—are the leading edge of a national identification and tracking infrastructure.

Officials and citizens in every American state should review their states’ identification, data collection, and data retention policies. The privacy and liberty of all Americans are threatened by such increasingly widespread surveillance systems.

via The New National ID Systems | Cato Institute

Mentoring Startup Entrepreneurs Daily update ⋅ February 2, 2018

Mentoring Startup Entrepreneurs

Daily update ⋅ February 2, 2018
NEWS
New entrepreneurship hub launched in Joburg

The Entrepreneurs Hub has launched in Johannesburg, aimed at connecting aspiring entrepreneursstartups, investors, mentors, industry experts and stakeholders. Founded by Admire Makarichi and Andrew Tsuro, the Entrepreneurs Hub hopes to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to meet and learn …
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MISTI Global Startup Labs celebrates 18 years

Entering its 18th year, the Global Startup Labs (GSL) program from MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) continues to recruit … The MISTI GSL program annually trains and funds top MIT students to mentor international peers, network with entrepreneurs, and teach real-world …
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Local entreprenuer starts grant to give back to other startups

One entrepreneur will be selected to win prizes from Pelletier and sponsors. That includes a $1,000 check, a website and marketing and branding materials, a startup training package from the Chandler Microsoft store, and participation in training classes and mentorship. Applicants must fill out an …
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Startup Weekend brings entrepreneurs to Cluj-Napoca this March

Startup Weekend Cluj will return with a new edition this spring, from March 2 to March 4, at the headquarters of Telenav software company in Cluj-Napoca. … Among the mentors of the 2018 edition there are Sebastian Campos Groth – program manager at Techstars, Bogdan Iordache – partner at Gecad …
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1M1B aims to support 1 M entrepreneurs to lift 1 B people out of poverty

It was an idea that could revolutionise the way people perceived the concept of entrepreneurship,” says Manav. “It didn’t take me long after that to begin my own journey as an entrepreneur of mentoring and moulding hopeful, young, and energetic entrepreneurs globally, especially those from the …
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TEF to train 1000 entrepreneurs in 2018

Application for the latest edition will close on March 1, 2018. Successful applicants are to receive 12 weeks of intensive online training, access to a world-class mentor, and $5,000 in seed capital to prove the concept, plus access to further funding. They will also gain access to the TEF network of startups.
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Odisha Takes Forward Startup India Initiative With Startup India-Odisha Yatra

The best 50 innovators would be provided incubation and mentorship to convert their ideas into startups. … main objective of the Startup Odisha yatra is to sensitise Tier 2, Tier 3 towns about the startup ecosystem and encourage the aspiring entrepreneurs and youth to set up their ventures in the state.
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Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases

 

Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases

 

Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases

 

Mentoring Startup Entrepreneurs Daily update ⋅ February 1, 2018

NEWS
Ameren Seeks Startups for New Program

“As technologies continue to advance, and as the needs and expectations of our customers continue to rise, it is important that we work collaboratively with innovators and entrepreneurs throughout the world to deliver superior value to our customers, shareholders and the communities we serve,” said …
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Startup India Yatra aims to empower budding entrepreneurs in smaller towns

Acceleration programme: Ideas shortlisted from boot camps will receive three days of intensive mentoringfrom Startup India and its partners. Grand Finale: For the Grand Finale, shortlisted ideas will pitch to the state incubators. Winners of the Yatra will receive incubation offers, cash prizes, and other …
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Aussie startup scene ‘spaghetti-on-the-wall’: SBE chair Topaz Conway

Calling the current state of the Australian startup and innovation scene the ‘flavour of the month,” veteran entrepreneur, director and angel investor, Topaz … Springboard alumnae include artificial intelligence company, Flamingo; career management platform, PlanDo; and mentoring startup, Mentorloop.
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Budget 2018: Why angel tax should only be levied on non-accredited investors

One of the methods to address the situation is formulating the guidelines for the accreditation of the angel investors, as in the absence of guidelines distinguishing between the genuine investors to the rest very difficult. An angel investor should also help in mentoring the startup and the entrepreneur, and …
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A Headstart for Startups

Eligible for seed and concept funding and with access to office space, HATCH participants receive intense business mentorship from entrepreneurs-in-residence as well as the guidance of top-tier UBC researchers. With that range of invaluable backing, entrepreneurial UBC students, staff, recent alumni …
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Record participation in 6th edition of QSTP’s training programme

Under the supervision of leading mentors from Qatar and abroad, they will develop their ideas to the prototype stage. … The exposure to a local and global network of tech startup expertise that XLR8 provides will enable these aspiring entrepreneurs to move ideas that have the potential to address local …
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Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases.

Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases.
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