Tag: jokes

Gods of Gambling

MONTPARNASSE CEMETERY 9-21-2014 4-42-21 AM

People like to gamble, they place bets to have fun or to earn extra cash. When they feel lucky or when someone is watching over them, they simply want to take a chance, to prove that fortune smiles on them, and betting / gambling is no exception.

Praying to God for a team to win a specific game in order for you to win a bet is more or less selfish when there are still so many bad things in the world. But what about those ancient gods of the past, people believed in them and prayed to them for fortune. The different mythologies of the world reveal powerful deities that rule over the world of gambling. Here are some of the gods that can influence the outcome of a football match in our favor:

Hermes is the Greek god of gambling, profit, hazard, and gaming. Hermes was the winged messenger of the gods. He was the god of flocks, road, trading, commerce, thieves. He is also known as Mercury in Roman Mythology. His father is Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods.

Thoth is the Egyptian god of gambling. He had the same attributes like the Greek god, Hermes. He is the creator of magic, the inventor of writing, the messenger of the gods and the divine record-keeper and mediator. According to myth, he earned 5 extra days by gambling with the moon (then known as Iabet) in a game of dice to help the sky goddess Nut to have her children.

Macuilxochitl, (five flowers, also called Xochipilli) is the Aztec god of gambling, music, dancing. He was the god of games, from board games (Patolli) to the Aztec version of football (Ullamaliztli). Generally represented as a god of fun and dancing, Xochipilli could also send venereal disease to anyone who violates abstentions by engaging in sexual intercourse.

Li-Nezha is the Chinese god of gambling. He is probably the only one of the Chinese Gods that can reveal the winning numbers in lottery. Li-Nezha is perhaps more well-known as Nataku or Nata from Japanese anime a half-mortal war god. In ancient times mortals worship him as a God of Lotteries and Gambling.

Lakshmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune. Lakshmi is the consort of the god Vishnu. Hindus believe that anybody who worships Lakshmi sincerely, and not in greed, will be blessed with fortune and success. After worshipping Lakshmi on Diwali, many Hindus gamble and spend profusely, believing that Lakshmi has bestowed good fortune upon them.

Nohoilpi – The gambling god of the Navajo. Also called “He Who Wins Men”. He is a renegade son of the sun god Tsohanoai. He came down to Earth and taught his gambling games to the various tribes but soon abused his power by overcoming them at all his games of chance and collecting his winnings by enslaving people to build a city to mark his glory. He was defeated at gambling by a Navajo man send by the other gods and was thrown into the sky.

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

L1020221

Where fantasy goes into uncharted territory, the kind of story that could not exist, science fiction, a term made famous by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, goes into charted territory. Let's make sense of that last statement: Science fiction is based on truths, questions of reality, and questions of survival. Its purpose is to go where other fiction can not. Unlike horror, it tells something far more dangerous because it could happen. Unlike mystery, there is not always someone at the other end of the gun, maybe "something" instead. Like mainstream work, it proposes fascinating philosophies on mankind in the past, present, and future.

When reporters talked of space stations maybe they were onto something. When Star Trek characters could talk to each other on small, hand-held phones, most thought it was too good to be true. Now we have cell phones, computers that can talk, computers that can think in some ways, and a variety of other ideas that were often suggested in science fiction.

But the science fiction novel has its own place outside of the realm of Star Trek and Star Wars. For one, the legend must be created in words, not film or TV images. Second, the writers behind it are often as much philosophers as authors. Lastly, science fiction is its own frontier, a place for free thinking.

The thesis for all this would be that the science fiction novel engages a reader in a "This is how it could happen." The purpose is, as in all writing, to say something different. Long before "War of the Worlds" and even longer before Star Trek and Star Wars, people looked to the skies with hope, emboldening their legends with all kinds of flying creatures-angels, demons, sometimes aliens-who could do things they could not . That is exactly the purpose of the modern science fiction novel-it says we, the human race, can do something that right now we can not.

The final purpose of the science fiction novel is always to make a mark on society. Star Trek could only go so far. When one looks at a science fiction novel, however, sometimes it seemsingly is a race to the finish instead of a treat on life in the future. Something is always happening; it happens fast. Take Philip K. Dick, for example, who once wrote 11 novels in 2 years (he used various drugs, much like Hunter Thompson, to improve writing speed). However, there is nothing superficial about the science fiction novel. This is because even films have a hard time capturing the legion of ideas presented in the classics, like "The Man In the High Castle," Philip K. Dick's best novel. If any film does capture the purpose of science fiction, it's "Blade Runner," considered to be one of the best films of all time, based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Andods Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Where it can be hard to pin down the modern science fiction novel, it can easily be seen that writing one can be a lucid ride into the unexplored. One of the best in recent memory is "Hyperion," a science fiction novel that won the famous Hugo award. Here, Simmons explored what is real, much like Philip K. Dick, and did it as though he was poet, forming a tale of seven pilgrims to a far away world, much like "The Canterbury Tales."

Some of the finest novels of the 20th century were labeled "junk" because they explored taboo subjects or had sexually revealing covers. Without the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and the hundreds of other talents, maybe there would have been no Star Trek, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica. Without the junk science fiction novel bought for a nickel in the 1940s and 50s maybe mankind would never have dreamed of stepping on the moon in the 1960s.

Rectification Of Accounting Errors

Pathway

Accountants prepare trial balance to check the correctness of accounts. If total of debit balances does not agree with the total of credit balances, it is a clear-cut indication that certain errors have been committed while recording the transactions in the books of original entry or subsidiary books. It is our utmost duty to locate these errors and rectify them, only then we should proceed for preparing final accounts. We also know that all types of errors are not revealed by trial balance as some of the errors do not effect the total of trial balance. So these cannot be located with the help of trial balance. An accountant should invest his energy to locate both types of errors and rectify them before preparing trading, profit and loss account and balance sheet. Because if these are prepared before rectification these will not give us the correct result and profit and loss disclosed by them, shall not be the actual profit or loss.

All errors of accounting procedure can be classified as follows:

1. Errors of Principle

When a transaction is recorded against the fundamental principles of accounting, it is an error of principle. For example, if revenue expenditure is treated as capital expenditure or vice versa.

2. Clerical Errors

These errors can again be sub-divided as follows:

(i) Errors of omission

When a transaction is either wholly or partially not recorded in the books, it is an error of omission. It may be with regard to omission to enter a transaction in the books of original entry or with regard to omission to post a transaction from the books of original entry to the account concerned in the ledger.

(ii) Errors of commission

When an entry is incorrectly recorded either wholly or partially-incorrect posting, calculation, casting or balancing. Some of the errors of commission effect the trial balance whereas others do not. Errors effecting the trial balance can be revealed by preparing a trial balance.

(iii) Compensating errors

Sometimes an error is counter-balanced by another error in such a way that it is not disclosed by the trial balance. Such errors are called compensating errors.

From the point of view of rectification of the errors, these can be divided into two groups :

(a) Errors affecting one account only, and

(b) Errors affecting two or more accounts.

Errors affecting one account

Errors which affect can be :

(a) Casting errors;

(b) error of posting;

(c) carry forward;

(d) balancing; and

(e) omission from trial balance.

Such errors should, first of all, be located and rectified. These are rectified either with the help of journal entry or by giving an explanatory note in the account concerned.

Rectification

Stages of correction of accounting errors

All types of errors in accounts can be rectified at two stages:

(i) before the preparation of the final accounts; and

(ii) after the preparation of final accounts.

Errors rectified within the accounting period

The proper method of correction of an error is to pass journal entry in such a way that it corrects the mistake that has been committed and also gives effect to the entry that should have been passed. But while errors are being rectified before the preparation of final accounts, in certain cases the correction can’t be done with the help of journal entry because the errors have been such. Normally, the procedure of rectification, if being done, before the preparation of final accounts is as follows:

(a) Correction of errors affecting one side of one account Such errors do not let the trial balance agree as they effect only one side of one account so these can’t be corrected with the help of journal entry, if correction is required before the preparation of final accounts. So required amount is put on debit or credit side of the concerned account, as the case maybe. For example:

(i) Sales book under cast by Rs. 500 in the month of January. The error is only in sales account, in order to correct the sales account, we should record on the credit side of sales account ‘By under casting of. sales book for the month of January Rs. 500″.I’Explanation:As sales book was under cast by Rs. 500, it means all accounts other than sales account are correct, only credit balance of sales account is less by Rs. 500. So Rs. 500 have been credited in sales account.

(ii) Discount allowed to Marshall Rs. 50, not posted to discount account. It means that the amount of Rs. 50 which should have been debited in discount account has not been debited, so the debit side of discount account has been reduced by the same amount. We should debit Rs. 50 in discount account now, which was omitted previously and the discount account shall be corrected.

(iil) Goods sold to X wrongly debited in sales account. This error is effecting only sales account as the amount which should have been posted on the credit side has been wrongly placed on debit side of the same account. For rectifying it, we should put double the amount of transaction on the credit side of sales account by writing “By sales to X wrongly debited previously.”

(iv) Amount of Rs. 500 paid to Y, not debited to his personal account. This error of effecting the personal account of Y only and its debit side is less by Rs. 500 because of omission to post the amount paid. We shall now write on its debit side. “To cash (omitted to be posted) Rs. 500.

Correction of errors affecting two sides of two or more accounts

As these errors affect two or more accounts, rectification of such errors, if being done before the preparation of final accounts can often be done with the help of a journal entry. While correcting these errors the amount is debited in one account/accounts whereas similar amount is credited to some other account/ accounts.

Correction of errors in next accounting period

As stated earlier, that it is advisable to locate and rectify the errors before preparing the final accounts for the year. But in certain cases when after considerable search, the accountant fails to locate the errors and he is in a hurry to prepare the final accounts, of the business for filing the return for sales tax or income tax purposes, he transfers the amount of difference of trial balance to a newly opened ‘Suspense Account’. In the next accounting period, as and when the errors are located these are corrected with reference to suspense account. When all the errors are discovered and rectified the suspense account shall be closed automatically. We should not forget here that only those errors which effect the totals of trial balance can be corrected with the help of suspense account. Those errors which do not effect the trial balance can’t be corrected with the help of suspense account. For example, if it is found that debit total of trial balance was less by Rs. 500 for the reason that Wilson’s account was not debited with Rs. 500, the following rectifying entry is required to be passed.

Difference in trial balance

Trial balance is affected by only errors which are rectified with the help of the suspense account. Therefore, in order to calculate the difference in suspense account a table will be prepared. If the suspense account is debited in’ the rectification entry the amount will be put on the debit side of the table. On the other hand, if the suspense account is credited, the amount will be put on the credit side of the table. In the end, the balance is calculated and is reversed in the suspense account. If the credit side exceeds, the difference would be put on the debit side of the suspense account. Effect of Errors of Final Accounts

1. Errors effecting profit and loss account

It is important to note the effect that an en-or shall have on net profit of the firm. One point to remember here is that only those accounts which are transferred to trading and profit and loss account at the time of preparation of final accounts effect the net profit. It means that only mistakes in nominal accounts and goods account will effect the net profit. Error in the these accounts will either increase or decrease the net profit.

How the errors or their rectification effect the profit-following rules are helpful in understanding it :

(i) If because of an error a nominal account has been given some debit the profit will decrease or losses will increase, and when it is rectified the profits will increase and the losses will decrease. For example, machinery is overhauled for Rs. 10,000 but the amount debited to machinery repairs account -this error will reduce the profit. In rectifying entry the amount shall be transferred to machinery account from machinery repairs account, and it will increase the profits.

(il) If because of an error the amount is omitted from recording on the debit side of a nominal account-it results in increase of profits or decrease in losses. The rectification of this error shall have reverse effect, which means the profit will be reduced and losses will be increased. For example, rent paid to landlord but the amount has been debited to personal account of landlord-it will increase the profit as the expense on rent is reduced. When the error is rectified, we will post the necessary amount in rent account which will increase the expenditure on rent and so profits will be reduced.

(iil) Profit will increase or losses will decrease if a nominal account is wrongly credited. With the rectification of this error, the profits will decrease and losses will increase. For example, investments were sold and the amount was credited to sales account. This error will increase profits (or reduce losses) when the same error is rectified the amount shall be transferred from sales account to investments account due to which sales will be reduced which will result in decrease in profits (or increase in losses).

(iv) Profit will decrease or losses will increase if an account is omitted from posting in the credit side of a nominal or goods account. When the same will be rectified it will increase the profit or reduce the losses. For example, commission received is omitted to be posted to the credit of commission account. This error will decrease profits ( or increase losses) as an income is not credited to profit and loss account. When the error will be rectified, it will have reverse effect on profit and loss as an additional income will be credited to profit and loss account so the profit will increase ( or the losses will decrease). If due to any error the profit or losses are effected, it will have its effect on capital account also because profits are credited and losses are debited in the capital account and so the capital shall also increase or decrease. As capital is shown on the liabilities side of balance sheet so any error in nominal account will effect balance sheet as well. So we can say that an error in nominal account or goods account effects profit and loss account as well as balance sheet.

2. Errors effecting balance sheet only

If an error is committed in a real or personal account, it will effect assets, liabilities, debtors or creditors of the firm and as a result it will have its impact on balance sheet alone. because these items are shown in balance sheet only and balance sheet is prepared after the profit and loss account has been prepared. So if there is any error in cash account, bank account, asset or liability account it will effect only balance sheet.

Online Writing Contest – Competition Tips – How to Win Every Contest You Enter

the lonely tree

So you’ve stumbled across an online writing competition / contest, or perhaps your favourite brand of cereal is offering you a chance to win a holiday around the world. All you have to do is tell them in 25 words or less why you want it. And you want to win, right?

Well believe it or not there are a small number of easy steps you can take to dramatically increase the odds in your favor. And here they are, free of charge just because I’m such a nice guy…

No Sob Stories!

This tip goes first on the list, because it is the most important. For some reason the first thing that seems to come to people’s minds with these contests and competitions is “how can I get them to pity me?” It sounds like a great plan as an entrant, but speaking from personal experience as a judge in these contests, I can tell you that it’s a complete turnoff.

Nonetheless people will try ever trick in the book…

We can’t pay the rent… our house burnt down… everybody in my family has cancer… I need 16 operations so that my dog stops being depressed and I can have my leg re-attached then pay the rent and burn the house down… well you get the point.

Let me make it very clear – this tactic does not work, even if you are telling the truth, because:

1. Judges can’t verify your claims, so anyone can make up any story they like.

2. After a while these entries become so numerous and laborious that they don’t stand out.

All that you will do is send the judge into a depression spiral. More to the point, you will end up highlighting your competitors’ entries because theirs are more enjoyable to read.

Be Creative and Make it Fun to Read

Depending on the number of entrants, judges can often have a lot of text to read. As their head slumps closer and closer to the desk and the coffee starts to wear off, your entry is going to need to have something special about it to get noticed. The best thing you can do is get creative. And I mean really thinking outside of the box (if you are thinking poetry right now, you are not thinking hard enough).

My advice to you here is simple. If you come up with something different and make it really stand out, and MAKE IT FUNNY, you will win. When I hear a fellow judge burst out into laughter at his or her desk, 9 times out of 10 he or she is reading the winner. I can usually even tell which entry they are reading because I had the same reaction when I first read it.

If you can manufacture a reaction like this, chances are you are on a winner. I suggest using your friends and family as test dummies here. If they end up in a ball rolling around the floor you’ve done your job. If the best you get is “not bad”, “(chuckle) very good” or even “looks good to me”, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

Now that’s not to say every winner will be comical or humorous, but your entry needs to stand out as somehow being impressive or interesting.

Stick to the Rules and Stay on Topic

If I had a penny for every time a “words or less” entry broke the rules, I would currently be Bahamas and you would be on your own with this one. Take the time to read the rules, terms and conditions before entering. And if you are provided with a quick-start guide to entering a competition, read it over at least 3 times and make sure you take the advice onboard.

In general, you should always:

· Stay within the word limit

· Write in direct response to the competition’s question or topic (really important!)

· Avoid coarse language

· Submit your entry in the language requested

Short, Sharp, Shiny

Just because you are allowed to use 25 words doesn’t mean you should. If your entry says what you want it to say, don’t fill up the rest of your word limit by repeating yourself or adding useless details. All you end up doing is diluting your message.

Polish It!

So it took you 5 minutes (or maybe 2 days) to create your entry. Would another 5 minutes of proofreading kill you? No, of course not, but it will definitely help you win. Check your grammar, check your punctuation, check your capitalization and check your spelling. Presentation makes your entry easier to read, and will greatly improve your chances.

Submit It

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But how many times have you seen a competition you would like to enter, only to let the due date slip by? As the saying goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it. And if you use the advice I’ve just given you, your chances of coming out on top will greatly improve.

So what are you waiting for?

A Brief History of Rock and Pop Music

Untitled (c.1969) - José Rodrigues (1936 - 2018)

You may be wondering when exactly did rock/pop music begin? There’s no clear answer to this. Some might say that it started with the advent of rock n roll with Bill Haley and the Comets in 1952. Others would say Elvis, although not the first but surely the original truly global superstar. Yet none of these were really the first. Rock n roll has its roots in blues which has its roots back to the 19th century with black immigrants trying to escape from their slave driven lives. Fast forward to the early 20th. century and some of the earliest recordings on 78 began to appear. Players from this time such as Bobby Jo and Robert Johnson helped to form the structure of early blues

Robert Johnson had recorded only thirty songs during his short life as he was prevented from achieving true fame while alive by being poisoned by a jealous husband. He died shortly before he was being sought to appear at the ‘Spirituals To Swing’ concert in 1938 by record producer John Hammond. As a result, his reputation only took off after Hammond released an album of his recordings for Columbia in the early sixties. Later blues exponents like Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton admitted borrowing heavily from these early stalwarts.

In the 50’s, artists took the basic blues style and used electric guitars, drums and double bass for the first time creating early rock n roll, later known as rockabilly. Stalwarts like Chuck Berry, Buddy Hollie and Jerry Lee Lewis were the most famous protagonists here. Later Elvis in the US and to a lesser extent, Cliff Richard (later leading the Shadows) in the UK brought rock n roll to a truly worldwide audience. This paved the way for the 60’s beat era which could be considered the true beginning of pop music as we know it today, certainly as far as bands were concerned.

In the 50’s and early 60’s, it was mostly lead solo artists with just a backing band. With the advent of the beat era, bands dominated with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys from the US taking the world by storm. Even so, The Beatles later admitted being heavily influenced by those earlier rock n roll and blues artists. They mostly played rock n roll and blues covers at their pre-fame Hamburg concerts. in the early 60’s. The Beatles however, were the first band to successfully blend classical music textures with rock n roll to form perfectly crafted pop songs. While bands like The Rolling Stones continued with the mainly rock n roll theme,

The Beatles took their finely crafted style further in the seminal album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in 1967 by utilizing new studio techniques and instruments never used before. They used a new instrument called ‘the Melotron’ This was basically a keyboard which played looped tape recordings. of real instruments. The most famous sound from this was probably the flute used on the ‘Strawberry Fields’ single recorded at the same time but later dropped from the album. The Melotron though, was cumbersome and unreliable and had a rather grainy sound. Even so It was regarded as the forerunner of the electronic sampler, invented nearly 20 years later. Infinitely more flexible than the Melotron, the sampler helped build the framework for modern pop,dance and R&B music.

The Beatles ‘Sgt.. Pepper’ album with its groundbreaking recording techniques was preceded the year before by their ‘Revolver’ album. These LP’s helped popularize a new wave in music known as psychedelic or acid rock, named after the mind bending effects of LSD drugs. Pink Floyd also recorded their debut album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ in the studio next door at the same time that The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper. It was reported that Pink Floyd were a direct influence to The Beatles as a result. This new style incorporated new guitar effects like Fuzz, flanger anger and delays. These were used along side the earliest portable synthesizers such as the therein and mini Moog. invented by Bob Moog.

In America, the Beach boys responded with the ‘Pet sounds’ LP in 1966 and later that year released the first big psychedelic hit ‘Good Vibrations’. About this time, the band ‘Jefferson Airplane’ recorded their debut album which was also the first LP to come out of the new San Franciscan music scene. This got the record industry’s attention and they had two of the earliest psychedelic hits ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Somebody to Love’ in 1967.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Jim Morrison joined with members of The Psychedelic Rangers and Rick and the Ravens to form ‘The Doors’ They were initially turned down by Columbia but were signed to Electra Records and released their self titled debut LP in 1967. The album included the 7 minute long hit single ‘Light my Fire’ one of the first to break the typical three minute pop and rock song barrier.

Back in Britain, radio broadcasting was very limited because the BBC were the only organization allowed to broadcast on the mainland and had just two pop music shows The Saturday club and Easy Beat Radio Luxembourg partially filled the gap but it was left to pirate radio, broadcast from ships out at sea with DJ John Peel’ which enabled the new style to reach a mass audience, often eclipsing the BBC in popularity. The BBC responded in the end with the advent of Radio 1 in June 1967. With the existing labor government making pirate radio illegal in Britain several months later, Du’s like John Peel rather than risk arrest joined radio 1 which had a much more informal and relaxed style as opposed to the staid and conservative approach favored by the BBC until then. This perfectly suited psychedelic pop and rock and John Peel championed this in his late night shows. playing new genres of music and introducing new and unsigned bands in the Peel sessions. He did this for nearly four decades until his death in 2004.

By the end of the 60’s after the break up of the beatles, mainstream music was about to change direction yet again both in style and fashion.

Ruskin Bond’s Short Stories

Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička), Prague, Czechia, June 12, 2017 264

Ruskin Bond’s short stories are like photographs. They give us a picture in an instant, almost like the flash of a camera. With Bond, each story is also an experience. There are two ways in which these experiences have been unfolded; firstly through the experiences of Bond as a boy and secondly through his experiences as an adult. The experiences could be of some passing incident of life, uniquely remembered though; or it could be just a vision, a glimpse, a happening or a passing relationship.

In The Woman on Platform No. 8 for instance, it is just a woman who suddenly mothers him as a boy, fusses over him and thus becomes etched in the memory of the child. In The Coral Tree on the other hand, where he is an adult, just the experience of climbing a tree makes him nostalgically think about his grandfather’s house and he suddenly longs for childhood.

There are two categories into which Bond’s short stories could be divided. First are remembrances and memories. Bond pens down the past, when he was a child and which he remembers as an adult. These memories and experiences or childhood remembrances of the past or experience of the present, are such that in them nothing really happens.

The second category are the narratives, where something happens. In both cases Bond is lucid, clear and instant, so that the experiences are transmitted to us in their most original selves. Again, the experiences that he puts down, are at many times universal; like the boys playing cricket in The Photograph, which he recalls when he was a boy of ten.

To take up the remembrances or experiences first; certain features clearly emerge as the author pens them. It is the idiosyncrasies of the old that Bond depicts when his grandmother looks at the picture of a small girl in The Photograph again and refuses stubbornly to reveal the identity of the girl. Nothing happens in the story, except the last remark of the grandmother that keeps us guessing that it could be her own self. This story falls under the first category. Numerous other stories fall under this category. There are some odd sixty five stories of Bond’s from which some selected stories could be commented upon. Under the categories of remembrances especially are stories like The Window, The Man Who Was Kipling,A Guardian Angel, The Prospect of Flowers, A Face in the Dark, The Cherry Tree and so on.

In The Window Bond remembers a window simply because of the view it had given; the quizzical encounter with Kipling in The Man Who Was Kipling or simply the sadness of life itself as in The Guardian Angel. In this story Bond presents the grotesque truth of his Aunt Mirium pleasing customers at night, the sadness of her life, and the broken piece of guardian angel that stood as her gravestone. This gravestone is remembered and it remains also in the memory of the reader. Certain features emerge from such stories; there are quite often encounters with little girls, when Bond was also a boy, or encounters with grandmotherly women or doting motherly figures, who could be an aunt or a teacher. In The Night Train at Deoli it is just an encounter with a girl and then as the train moves, she passes as a figure. In The Prospect of Flowers there is Miss Mackenzie and just a talk on flowers. A Face in the Dark is also the tale of a teacher. Little girls figure in Madhu or Binya Passes By. In My Father’s Trees at Dehra, nothing really happens except that trees are planted, and that they will grow constitutes the enjoyment of it. Somewhat similar is the theme The Cherry Tree. As Time Goes By is again the remembrance of a pool in which Bond and his playmates used to play and enjoy as boys. From Small Beginnings has uniquely nostalgic and poignant moments of planting a cherry tree and friendship with Prem Singh. The most striking instance of a story which is the remembrance of experiences is perhaps in The Girl from Copenhagen that has an intimate beginning ‘We made no promises- of writing or of meeting again. Somehow our relationships seemed complete and whole…’

Before passing on to the narrative stories, one could look in passing at some of the longer short stories, there are especially three stories of such a kind: Panther’s Moon, Time Stops at Shamli and Dust on the Mountain with similar features as in the short stories. In the first one a panther is killed by the author’s friend Bisnu, and the sheer excitement of the villagers is depicted; in the second one there is again an experience with trees and nostalgia for childhood. The Dust on the Mountain is a picture of the choking dust of mines and quarries. In these stories too nothing seems to happen, except experiences penned down. The first story however is a narration which brings us to the narratives.

In The Thief for instance the author himself is a thief and his exploit is narrated. The Death of a Familiar is the narration of the murder of his friend Sunil. There is the rather grotesque account of monkeys in The Monkeys who kill to take revenge for the death of one in their gang. A Job Well Done is narrator where Dukhi the gardener murders the Major and in The Fight he gives the account of Ranji’s fight with the villagers on an issue of not obeying orders regarding swimming in a pool. The Tunnel again is just an experience. In Going Home something happens, Daya Ram finds back the lost purse which he had lost or which had been stolen on the train. Some of Bond’s stories revolve round tigers which were his real life experience since he had grown up in Dehra Dun. Eyes of a Cat, and Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, are stories where the detailing of the description of the tigers is worth noting.

Ruskin Bond was also well known for his ghost stories. In The Haunted Bicycle the little girl changes ridiculously into a grown man. The other ghost story is Whispering in the Dark while stories like He Said it With Arsenic are written in the detective story vein.

Whatever it may be after reading the short stories of Bond the reader-author relationship seems to be as quoted before ‘complete and whole.’

The Top Ten Psychics in the World

Puerta en Macharaviaya (Málaga)

There are quite a few very famous contemporary psychics in a world, but here are the top ten and in no particular order as each as their own particular set of strengths and gifts.

Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne is an internationally recognized psychic who communicates with the dead. She claims to have inherited her psychic gift. She has been running the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research since 1973. She is one of those psychics who helps the police find killers and solve crimes. She has authored numerous books on psychic subjects, including Contacting Your Spirit Guide and Past Lives, Future Healing: A Psychic Reveals the Secrets to Good Health, and Great Relationships.

Allison Dubois

Allison Dubois is a psychic who channels the souls of dead pet and people. She has written many books, including Secrets of the Monarch, which is about understanding the caterpillar to butterfly nature of soul freedom. The television series Medium starring Patricia Marquette is supposedly based on the talents of Allison Dubois.

Lisa Williams

This celebrity medium and clairvoyant stars in a show on Lifetime called Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The show follows Williams on a typical day, as she communicates with the dead, investigates haunted houses, and does readings. Williams channels many dead famous people including Bob Hope, Princess Diana, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, and Ray Charles.

John Edwards

Edwards, not to be mistaken for the U.S. Senator with the same name, is an author and television personality. He is best known for his television shows, Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country. On both shows, Edwards attempts to communicate with the spirits of the audience members’ deceased relatives.

Colin Fry

Colin Fry is one of the best-known psychics and spiritualist mediums in Britain. He has hosted many television programs about the Supernatural, including Most Haunted, Psychic Private Eyes, and 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry, produced by Living TV.

Derek Acorah

Derek Acorah is a controversial psychic medium and television personality in the United Kingdom, who is possessed by the dead spirits he channels through his spirit guide s Sam. He is very well known for his appearances on. Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns and Yvette Fielding’s show Most Haunted.

James Van Praagh

James Van Praagh is a best-selling psychic and medium. He has written several books dealing with spirituality and spirit communication and 2002 to 2003, he hosted a syndicated daytime talk show entitled “Beyond With James Van Praagh.” He is currently the co-Executive Producer of the television series Ghost Whisperer on CBS.

Rosemary Altea

Rosemary Altea is a psychic and author. She has appeared on various programs, including Larry King Live and The Oprah Winfrey Show (with Michael Shermer in 1995).

Doreen Virtue

Dr. Doreen Virtue has appeared on many television shows such as Oprah, Good Morning America, The View, and CNN, revealing how psychic angels can help you heal your life. One of her most famous book, Give the Gift of Healing: A Concise Guide to Spiritual Healing, which was published in 2005.

Gillian Kemp

If you are into Tarot, then you are going to like Gillian Kemp. She is author of The Good Spell Book and recently designed a very interesting pack of Tarot Cards called Tree Magick in which there are no negative cards. She talks to ghosts using techniques learned from her ancient Romanie past and her grandmother, grandfather, and aunt who were also clairvoyant. She uses the more old-fashioned divination techniques, such as teacup readings and crystal balls and is one of the most famous psychics in the United Kingdom.

Is Drinking a Pot of Coffee Yourself Bad?

Golden lane - Prague

As a coffee lover myself, I was hesitant to begin my research about the adverse affects of coffee. Though I was happy to learn that my two cups every morning are only considered a modest amount of coffee; a moderate amount would be three cups. However, if you are consuming a pot of coffee a day, we are talking about nearly ten cups of coffee. So, yes drinking a pot of coffee by yourself is bad. Here’s why:

The caffeine in coffee is a central nervous system stimulant. While it can increase alertness, reduce fatigue, improve mood, enhance reaction time, and improve performance, consuming too much can do more harm than good. The unpleasant side effects of a caffeine overdose include:

  • Jitters and trembling
  • Difficulties falling and staying asleep at night
  • Nervousness, dizziness; especially profound in those with panic or anxiety
  • Stomach discomfort and digestive upset
  • Extreme fatigue upon waking in the morning

Most likely, you did not wake up one day and drink a whole pot of coffee yourself. As your coffee habit took hold so did your body’s dependence on it, resulting in nothing short of an addiction. Caffeine mimics your body’s natural neurotransmitters which are responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses. Too much caffeine sends your nervous system into overdrive and your body responds by reducing its own production of neurotransmitters. The result is that your brain and nerves now depend on this external neurotransmitter source just to function normally.

Another theory suggests that caffeine becomes habit forming when your body crashes after its temporary heightened state of awareness and alertness. You may end up feeling more sluggish or fatigued than you did before you starting drinking your coffee, causing you to go back for more; and the cycle continues.

Ironically, your friend who enjoys one or two cups of coffee a day reaps the same benefits from coffee as your full pot provides you. Your body has built up a tolerance so you can handle more but you also require more. The good news is that with some work, you can cut back on your consumption. When you do, the moderate amount of three cups a day will satisfy you completely and your body will once again operate properly under its own steam.

Famous Interior Designers Series – Tara Bernard

Sissinghurst Castle and Garden - As Beautiful Without as They Are Within!

British architect Tara Bernard is one of the famous award winning interior designers. She specializes in creating excellent interior decors individually to varying requirements of clients. Tara Bernard was the daughter of a British real estate magnate and was married to James Archer, the son of writer and politician Jeffrey Archer. Tara Bernard's design concepts involve a mix of the new and age-old traditions in interior decoration and design.

Bernard strictly adopts a professional approach in all her interior décor appointments. This involves her deep understanding of the expectations of various clients. Once Bernard gets a clear view of her customer's needs, she can provide them with various décor options, some of them being quite unimaginable to her clients. She specializes in providing interior designs suited to the different situations and varying budgets of the customer.

Tara Bernard's style also incorporates effective space management in homes, combined with better designs, and this successful combination ensures that every project undertaken by Bernard helps in enabling homes to sport a refreshingly good look. She often tallies the cost of various materials used in interiors to ensure that the project always stays within the proposed budgets.

In order to give clients an idea of ​​various design methodologies, Tara Bernard often appears in various television shows and gives her viewers a thorough explanation of the steps involved in her design processes. She made her debut in television with the design show named Wow Factor (UKTV Style). In her shows, Bernard gives her users simple steps and hints that they can work out for decorating their own interiors. She is known for giving her clients the chance to openly express their ideas and tastes.

In interior design projects, the initial routine adopted by her is on reaching a consensus on the model of design to be implemented. For this, Tara Bernard gives the opportunity for her clients to have a healthy involvement during the planning process itself so that on seeing the final design, her clients are often satisfied and always give positive reviews. Once Bernard and her design team got stuck on implementing a specific design, the work begins with the construction team laying floors and painting walls. Then the second stage involves finding the fitted furniture, fixtures and finishing pieces for the interior to transform it to a vivid atmosphere. Her unique style also allows homeowners to accompany her on shopping sprees in order to find the matching interior product for the design of their interiors. The excitation her clients receive from her contemporary style of design is often very high.

Configure Exchange E-Mail Server Reverse DNS and MX Records Correctly

MY LIFE AND OTHER HARD TIMES IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY ...

If DNS is setup incorrectly, over time your mail server IP will be added to blacklists. Nowadays most E-Mail servers have some kind of spam protection service which in turn means that all your inbound mail will be blocked if you do happen to be listed on a spam blacklist.

In this article I will describe how to correctly configure your MX and reverse DNS records for your mail server. This article is based on an Exchange 2003/2007 server but every other messaging server will follow the same principle.

Assigning an IP address

Starting from the bottom up the first thing you need to do is assign a static external IP address to the internal private address of your mail server. You will need to apply these rules on your firewall to port forward SMTP (port 25) and NAT an external IP address to the internal address of the server.

Something that a lot of administrators forget to do or check is to set the outgoing NAT rule to use the same external IP address created for the inbound rule to the mail server. If this isn’t set, Reverse DNS will not match and in turn your mail server will be listed on blacklists. If your firewall rules are setup correctly the IP address listed on this page should be the same IP address you mapped to the internal private IP address of the mail server.

Create the MX records for your mail server

For the purpose of this example, listed below are all the details of my mail server to help you understand what you need to do.

External IP: 87.22.1.22

E-Mail Domain: domain.com

You will need to be an administrative contact for your External DNS provider for your domain to make these changes. In most cases this can be done through an online control panel through your DNS provider. Failing that on the phone or via E-Mail.

1. The first thing we need to do is create an A record to point to the external IP address mapped on your firewall to the mail server. The host A record can be called any thing but is commonly called “mail”. In our example we will create “mail.domain.com” to point to IP address “87.22.1.22”

2. Next we will create an MX record to point to the newly created A record of our mail server.

Within your DNS control panel select “add MX record”. Make sure that the host address is the root domain name in our case “domain.com”

Set the FQDN as the A record we just created which in our case is “mail.domain.com”.

The lowest property is the most preferred but in our example we will set the priority as 10.

Use NSlookup to check DNS and MX records are applied

It can take up to 48 hours for DNS to propagate but in most cases 12-24 hours. To check our DNS entries are applied and correct we can use nslookup.

1. Open a CMD prompt and type nslookup

2. Type set type=mx

3. Type the domain name which in our case is domain.com.

In our example the output should read as follows if correctly setup:

> domain.com

Non-authoritative answer:

domain.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mail.domain.com

mail.domain.com internet address = 87.22.1.22

Configure Reverse DNS

Reverse DNS is used to verify that the mail server is who it says it is. The recipients mail server will do a reverse lookup to make sure that the IP address of the mail A or host record in DNS is the same as the IP address it is communicating with. Only 1 RDNS entry can be present per IP address.

To do this you will need to contact your ISP to make this entry. You will not be able to do this in your DNS control panel unless your ISP also host your DNS and give you the functionality to add your own RDNS records.

In our case we would contact our ISP and advise that we would like to create an RDNS entry for our IP address 87.22.1.22 which would resolve too mail.domain.com.

Verify Reverse DNS

Again it can take up to 48 hours for DNS to propagate but in most cases 12-24 hours. To verify that the RDNS entries have been added and are correct do the following:

1. Open a CMD prompt.

2. Type Ping -a 87.22.1.22 (This is the external IP address for your mail server. In our case we use our external IP address stated above)

If RDNS is configured correctly the following output will be shown:

C:UsersUser>ping -a 87.22.1.22

Pinging mail.domain.com [87.22.1.22] with 32 bytes of data:

SMTP Banner

Every time a mail server establishes a connection with your mail server it shows its SMTP banner. This banner must be resolvable on the internet and best practice is to have it as your mail host/A record.

Configure SMTP banner Exchange 2003

1. Open Exchange system manager.

2. Expand your administrative group (“First administrative group” by default).

3. Expand Servers.

4. Expand YourServerName.

5. Expand Protocals container.

6. Select SMTP container.

7. On the right window, right click the Default SMTP virtual Server (Or the name you set your SMTP Server) and

select Properties.

8. Select the Delivery Tab.

9. Click the Advanced button.

10. Under the Fully-qualified domain name type mail.domain.com (The A/Host record you created in DNS for your mail server)

11. Click OK and OK again to accept the changes

Configure SMTP banner Exchange 2007/2010

1. Open the Exchange management console.

2. Select the Organisation Configuration container.

3. Select Hub Transport container.

4. On the right select the Send Connectors tab.

5. Right click your send connector and select properties.

6. On the General tab under the Set the FQDN this connector will… type the A record domain name you created. Which in our case is mail.domain.com. Click OK.

7. Under the Server Configuration container click the Hub Transport container.

8. In the Right window Select the properties of the Receive Connector under Receive Connectors tab.

9. On the General tab under the Set the FQDN this connector will… type the A record domain name you created. Which in our case is mail.domain.com. Click OK

To verify these changes we can use telnet to view the output upon establishing a connection on port 25 to our mail server. Use the following steps to do this:

1. Open a CMD prompt

2. Type Telnet mail.domain.com 25.

The output you see should look something like this and contain your A record of your mail server:

220 mail.domain.com Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service ready at Sun, 28 Feb 2

010 17:51:20 +0000

If you use an edge server or a SPAM filter appliance like a Barracuda the SMTP banner will have to be set on this device/server.

Check to see if your mail server is on spam lists and/or an open relay

A great website to use to check your MX records, RDNS, check if your mail server is an open relay and check to see if you are listed on spam lists is www.mxtoolbox.com. This is a great site and one to keep in your favourites.

Following these guide lines will successfully and correctly configure mail routing to and from your mail server. The next step is too secure and ensure your mail server is not an open relay. I will be writing a separate article dedicated to this in the near future.