Showing posts from March, 2010

Book Review: Buried Alive by Roy Hallums

Imagine you are going about your business in a secure office building, about to have lunch, and all of a sudden you find yourself surrounded by men who mask and kidnap you! How would you feel this happened in a country where kidnapping was a booming business, where survival and rescue rate for victims were abysmally low?
Buried Alive is the story of Roy Hallums, who was a representing his company in post war Iraq. He had successfully worked in the Middle East for a number of years. One day he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is kidnapped. For the next 311 days he is subjected to beatings, psychological torture and a confinement that would make most men insane. But Roy prevailed. To date he is the only American Contractor who has been rescued.

His story is fascinating and told with great detail. Even though Roy talks about his, and his family’s despair, the story keeps a factual tone, thus keeping your interest alive. Roy talks about the observations and thoughts th…

My Mother is an Ugly Woman

I recently came across an interesting post on Subroto Bagchi's blog, titled "My mother is an ugly woman". In the post Subroto talks about how some of us Indians take delight in derogating India in front of foreigners. Since I couldn't find better words to symbolize what he in his post, and me in mine, are trying to say, I have chosen to use the same title for my post too. I have also included his post at the end.
Subroto's post made me think about my discussions with several of my friends, colleagues and seniors. Its not just abroad that people seem to take a delight in deriding India. Even when they are living in India, studying here or working here, for some strange reason many of us fail to own up that all problems of India are ours too, because we are Indians, and no matter which part of world we move to, we'll always be Indians.
I grew up in a small town in Eastern India and did my schooling there. Thus, I faced all the problems that India has to offer fir…

Earth Hour

The Earth hour approaches fast... may I request all my readers to turn off their lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm and make it a huge success?? Even if you read this post later, turn off your lights for an hour and contribute nonetheless. Its the thought and effort that matters, not the timing.

Walk the Talk: Idea Cellular

I have been thinking about writing a walk the talk series of posts for quite sometime now. In this series I basically intend to look at various advertisements and promotion strategies employed by companies and try to find out how many of them are actually implementing it in their practices, or, 'Walk the Talk'.

I thought about Walk the Talk series because of late I have noticed many adverts focused on environmental issues and how it can be reduced. These ads just made me wonder how many of these companies are actually employing environment friendly policies in their operations?

First ad I want to consider in this series is Idea Cellular: Use mobile save planet ad. The ad is given below:

I would say creators of this ad had their heart at the right place. I am all for saving paper and thus, saving trees. But true colors of Idea Cellular came to light when Indian Paper Manufacturers' Association (IPMA) dragged Idea Cellular to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). IP…

Reduce your carbon footprint: Use mobile to surf internet

Came across this interesting article on one of blogs I follow regularly. Nokia has started new campaign claiming that surfing net on mobile phone results in substantial reduction in carbon emission and energy consumption when compared with computer. If this is true, I think we all should switch to mobile phones!! I know many of my friends are already using their cell phones to stay connected on twitter, facebook et al.
Here is the video that Nokia has floated on net:

Nokia says that updating your Facebook status from a mobile phone consumes about 100 times less energy than if you were to do the same activity from a desktop PC.
Also, if only 100 million people were to use mobile phones instead of desktop computers to browse the Internet one hour a day, the amount of energy saved would be roughly equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 430,000 cars.
There are about 1.4 billion Internet users worldwide and around 46% of them use Internet from both PC and their mobile phones…

10 secrets of Warren Buffet that worked for people the world over

I came across this article on a site I follow out of personal interest, and thought of sharing this with you all. The original article can be found here. Ten secrets of  Warren Buffet that worked for people the world over! Warren Buffet needs no introduction! Warren Buffet. With an estimated fortune of $62 billion, Warren Buffett is the richest man in the entire world. In 1962, when he began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway, a share cost $7.50.(Rs 375) Today, Warren Buffett, 78, is Berkshire’s chairman and CEO, and one share of the company’s class A stock worth close to $119,000.(Rs 5,35,000) He credits his astonishing success to several key strategies, which he has shared with writer Alice Schroeder. She spend hundreds of hours interviewing the Sage of Omaha for the new authorized biography The Snowball. Here are some of Warren Buffett’s money-making secrets — and how they could work for you. We thought we’d let you take a look at 10 of his secrets that cla…

You can make a difference!!

I have been thinking about changing the header picture of the blog, and have shortlisted some pictures. Now I need your help in selecting the one that goes best with blog title - Platter of half baked ideas. Please suggest which among these pictures should I use for header? Alternately, you can also suggest some other picture that might be suitable.

So guys, please comment and let me know your choice.

What could you live without?

I don't remember where I came across this article, but I liked it enough to save it to post it on my blog. This article also brings back to memory a discussion I had with a friend sometime back about the kind of car I'd like to buy, as and when I'll buy it. I mentioned that I would prefer a small utilitarian car which has high mileage and low maintenance cost. My friend preferred something luxurious and big, which would enhance her status in some way. Both of us had our own school of thought, and I am not entitled to judge one as wrong and other as correct line of thought.
However, I do feel that a little thoughtfulness goes a long way in adding value not only for yourself, but also for society at large. With growing concerns about global warming, limited resource availability etc, doesn't it make sense for all of us to use our resources more thoughtfully?
So far, I have met very few people who agree to my line of thought in toto. Few years back even I used to dream a…