18 December 2011

Shakespeare's Eight Phrases

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is universally acknowledged to be the greatest storyteller (playwright, poet and more rolled into one) of all time. On Grammar.net, I found an interesting infographic on some everyday phrases that were first penned by the Bard of Avon. 

Before you check the infographic, savour this masterpiece from a sonnet written by Shakespeare (Sonnet 116; read the complete version

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come: 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

Knock knock! Who’s there?

In Macbeth, a porter speaks a comic monologue which follows the pattern of “knock knock” jokes, but it is done entirely by the character, with knocking sounds from off-stage. The porter imitates a doorkeeper of hell, welcoming sinners of various occupations.

[Knocking within.] Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty: come in time; have napkins enough about you; here you’ll sweat for ’t.

Wild goose chase

A hopeless undertaking, the first recorded use is from Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo: Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I’ll cry a match.

Mercutio: Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five.

Break the ice
This phrase appears in The Taming of the Shrew and refers to meeting someone for the first time. Breaking the ice gently unlocks the conversation, such as by asking questions about the other person.
Make your hair stand on end
Fear causes this sensation, and in Hamlet, Shakespeare turned it into one of his most popular sayings.
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, thy knotted and combined locks to part and each particular hair to stand an end, like quills upon the fretful porpentine.

[Text for the explanation of the above four phrases and the infographic are provided by Grammar.net]

16 December 2011

UPA's Policy Paralysis

The Indian economy is slowing down. GDP in the second quarter grew by 6.9% over the corresponding period last financial year. Economic growth is being impacted by a variety of reasons, including the eurozone Debt Crisis. However, there is another major macroeconomic parameter that is giving sleepless nights to the government: high rate of inflation.

Inflation relates to the sustained rise, over a period of time, in the general price level when there is a rise in demand (for goods) without an equal rise in supply.

In today’s interconnected world, a general lack of stability in the prices of goods and services characterises all types of economies, be it an emerging economy like India or an advanced economy like the United States or for that matter, an underdeveloped economy like that of Senegal. But as we all know, any kind of uncertainty, including 
price instability, is not good for business and economy. 

Generally, there is never a single cause behind the sustained rise in prices of a basket of goods and services, like wheat, rice, and cooking oil. However, some general reasons include:
(a) increase in money supply;
(b) rise in government spending;
(c) rise in purchasing power (a direct result of rising incomes);
(d) low supply across a range of goods, and
(e) infrastructure issues.
To add to these, black-marketing, hoarding, speculation, and exploding population have all contributed to a rise in demand for goods and services. In India, inflation is seen as a result of a combination of all these factors.
India has been experiencing very high rates of food inflation. Food inflation impacts just about everybody, of course except the rich and the privileged. The graph below shows the number of months where the average food inflation has stayed above 10%.

It is easy to gather that the country experienced double digit inflation in the first two decades after independence. In the years before the Green Revolution brought in some degree of self-reliance in foodgrain production, India was an inward-looking, resource scarce economy, characterised by improper logistics and transportation channels.

However, what is disconcerting is that today India is in the midst of the longest run of double-digit inflation, since independence. This has impacted millions of people, especially the poor and vulnerable. Rapidly rising inflation leads to a fall in the purchasing power of money. With an unemployment rate of 10.8%, it surely is adding misery and bringing down the overall quality of life, as people shun expensive but necessary grains and cereals and substitute with alternatives that are cheap but do not lend adequate nutrition. 

The government has utterly failed to rein in the galloping inflation. There is not a day when the PM and his ministers do not promise to bring down the inflation rate and lower the sweep of its attendant misery on millions of hapless citizens.

The imbroglio over the hastily-made decision on FDI in multibrand retail, depreciating rupee,  plunging industrial production, creaking infrastructure, and rampant corruption all reflect the enormous
 policy paralysis at the Centre.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Super Prime Minister, Sonia Maino Gandhi, puppet and puppet-master respectively, are busy saving P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, and other CONgressmen from the various corruption scandals that have hit the UPA with full force. 

When the puppet PM and his Puppet-Master are busy saving their own skin and kin, will they worry about the struggling common people of this nation? You know the answer; don't you?

The Explainer: Inflation)

Source for infographic: Business Line

15 December 2011

Not All Gas: Global Energy Scenario

Every year, British Petroleum (BP), one of the three largest energy companies, publishes the Statistical Review of World Energy. I have culled a few interesting graphs on global energy scenario, from the large number of presentations available here

The graphs focus on two major energy types: oil and gas.

Global Gas Production & Consumption

                        Distribution of Global Proved Reserves of Gas 

                   Global Gas Production & Consumption

                     Distribution of Global Proved Reserves of Gas  

Reserves to Production Ratio - Oil
                                         Crude Oil Prices 1861-2010  

Global Trade Movements in Oil

13 December 2011

Infographic: The Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty

An informative infographic on India's most popular political dynasty. The Reuters Blog has this to say on the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty: "The Nehru-Gandhi family political dynasty has no other equivalent in the world. A member of the family has been in charge of India for more than two-thirds of the period since independence from Britain in 1947." 

I found this infographic

11 December 2011

How BIG is Walmart?

The imbroglio over the entry of foreign retailers in the multibrand retail segment has stirred a hornet's nest in the political and business establishments. 

While Walmart is not the only company that will benefit from the proposed opening up of the multibrand retail segment to foreign investment (via FDI), just a
 mention of Walmart's name is enough to evoke varied reactions from across various segments of the society. 

The Explainer: Foreign Direct Investment)

Currently, 100% FDI is allowed in wholesale cash-and-carry while 51% FDI is allowed in single brand retail. Recently, the government of India allowed 51% FDI in multibrand retail, paving the way for entry of global giants like Walmart, Tesco, and Carrefour. 
However, the policy decision has been suspended by the government following a hue and cry from the opposition parties. 

Protests against Walmart are not a India-specific feature; Walmart and its ilk have faced them almost in every market they have entered. So what is it about the Behemoth of Bentonville that evokes such fears?

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Currently, it is the world's largest company, with a revenue of U.S.$421 billion (nearly 25% of India's GDP!) and the world's largest private sector employer (with 21 lakh employees).

Here is an interesting infographic on Walmart, the largest departmental chain store in the world. I found it at

09 December 2011

10 Things You Should Know - Episode VII

  • Hrithik Roshan has two thumbs on his right hand. This is known as hyperdactyly or polydactyly. It is generally hidden in his films. However, it was not hidden in ‘Koi… Mil Gaya’ where it was even used as a minor plot point, as the alien was also designed to have two thumbs!
  • In 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant the ‘right to vote’ to women.
  • On December 5, 2011, the King of Belgium named a coalition government, which was sworn in a day later. This seemingly unimportant fact assumes great significance when you know that for this government to be place, Belgium had held a general election on 13 June 2010! But political parties could not agree on the modalities and terms of the coalition. Only after 541 days of intense negotiations, the King could finally broker an agreement to put a coalition government in place. With this, Belgium has created a dubious world record, in modern history, of a country going the longest time without a government in place.
  • The tiny island nation of Maldives is the smallest country in Asia, both in terms of area (298 km2) and population (3.5 lakh). Also, with an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the world’s lowest country.
  • General Motors Company was founded by William Durant in 1908. In 2010, it was the world’s second largest automobile maker. It owns brands like Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Opel, Vauxhall and Holden. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan (U.S.), it current Chairman and CEO is Daniel Akerson.
  • Maria Montessori (August 1870 – May 1952) is the founder of the Montessori system of education. It is generally accepted that she was the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Europe. 

  • Former England captain and opener, Mike Atherton was nicknamed ‘the Cockroach’, because he was ‘hard to stamp out’. 

  • Fakir Chand Kohli was the first General Manager of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He is regarded as the ‘Father of India’s Software Industry’. A Padma Bhushan recipient, he was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Economic Times in 2002.
  • Osmania University, established in 1918, is named after the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan.
  • The 1970 Hollywood film Love Story had an interesting tagline: ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry’. The film was based on Erich Segal’s novel with the same title.

06 December 2011

Kapil Sibal is an Idiot!

The title of this post is both attention grabbing and an unpalatable truth. This post and its title is inspired by a Twitter trend (with a hash tag #idiotkapilsibal) that brought my attention to what Kapil Sibal is doing.

A key Congress leader, Kapil Sibal is a minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the ruling coalition at the Center. He is also a very famous legal eagle - one of this country's most famous lawyers. Another important qualification, if I may call it that, is that he is a myrmidon, i.e. a blind follower of the two Gs (no pun intended!) - Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi; this is probably his trump card that readily advances his political interests.

No, this writing is not a diatribe against Kapil Sibal; it is against every individual who believes that they can misuse and abuse their freedom of speech and action to trample on our freedom of speech and action. 

The reasons for my anger against Sibal's actions are the contents of an article in the
New York Times. About six weeks back, Sibal, the Union Minister for Telecommunications and IT, met the executives of top technology and social media companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft. He asked the executives to prescreen user content originating from India and that they should remove inflammatory or defamatory before it goes online. 

Sibal's directive would have been alright if it were directed in the context of our national interest and the country's security - like anything anti-national and spreading of hate content. 

What makes Sibal's directive dangerous for the health of our democratic freedoms are the reasons for the censorship: Internet users from India are using social media networks (like Facebook and Twitter) to disparage the Congress leadership (read - the mother-son duo, who else!). 

Let me reproduce an excerpt from the
New York Times article
At the meeting, Mr Sibal showed attendees [the company executives] a Facebook page that maligned the Congress Party’s president, Sonia Gandhi.  “This is unacceptable,” he told attendees... and he asked them to find a way to monitor what is posted on their sites. 
[...] Sibal has told these companies that he expects them to set up a proactive prescreening system, with staffers looking for objectionable content and deleting it before it is posted.
[T]hese companies will tell Sibal at the meeting on Monday [held on Dec 5; no word yet from Sibal or his ministry on the outcome] that his demand is impossible, given the volume of user-generated content coming from India, and that they cannot be responsible for determining what is and isn’t defamatory or disparaging.
“If there’s a law and there’s a court order, we can follow up on it,” said an executive from one of the companies attending the meeting. But these companies can’t be in the business of deciding what is and isn’t legal to post.
It is heartening to know that these technology and social media companies have refused to accept the diktat of the morally bankrupt government at the Center. 

I am glad that Kapil Sibal did not win this case for his
Madam and her Baba son; Sibal may not have shown any spine; at least these foreign companies have. This augurs well for our sacred freedoms of speech and expression, so beautifully guaranteed by the noble Constitution of India.

And yes, one question for Kapil Sibal: Would he have asked the technology companies to prescreen and remove any disparaging content against Narendra Modi?

The Ugly Face of the Gandhis and Mother, Son and the INC's Political Culture.)

02 December 2011

History of iPhone: A Video Infographic

A video infographic after a long time; this one captures the history of the iPhone and related technologies, with loads of other valuable information. 

I found this video infographic on

30 November 2011

10 Things You Should Know - Episode VI

  • The Wicked Bible’ of 1631 is so called because it dropped a ‘not’ from one of the prohibitions of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt commit adultery (instead of ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’).
  • During the Second World War, Russian strongman Stalin was code-named GLYPTIC, meaning ‘an image carved out of stone’. The name Stalin means ‘man of steel’.
  • The Vatican City has no armed force of its own, the (Pontifical) Swiss Guard being a corps responsible for the security of the Pope. The Pontifical Swiss Guard was founded by Pope Julius II in 1506 as the personal bodyguard of the Pope and continues to fulfill that function. All recruits must be Catholic, unmarried males with Swiss citizenship who have completed their basic training with the Swiss Army with certificates of good conduct, be between the ages of 19 and 30, and be at least 175 cm (68.90 in) in height. Members are armed with small arms and the traditional halberd (a kind of pole weapon) and trained in bodyguarding tactics.
  • In a speech broadcast by the Azad Hind Radio from Singapore in July 1944, Subhash Chandra Bose addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘Father of the Nation’ and asked for his blessings and good wishes for the war he was fighting. This was the first time that Mahatma Gandhi was referred to by this title.
  • Goldman Sachs was founded by Marcus Goldman in New York in 1869. Thirteen years later, his son-in-law Samuel Sachs joined him. In 1885, the firm adopted the name, Goldman Sachs & Co.
  • The population of Uttar Pradesh is a little over 20 crore (Census 2011). This means that if UP were a separate country, it would have been the fifth most populous nation in the world. To put this in perspective, UP’s population would put it ahead of Brazil, which with its area of over 85 lakh sq km, is 35 times larger than UP in area.
  • The Aztecs used to describe gold as ‘the excrement of the gods’.
  • The word cyberspace is a portmanteau of cybernetics and space. It was coined by William Gibson, the Canadian science fiction writer, in 1982 in his novelette Burning Chrome’ in Omni magazine and was subsequently popularized in his novel Neuromancer. Cyberspace relates to virtual reality.
  • Meatspace is the opposite of ‘cyberspace’. In other words, meatspace relates to anything that is physical in nature.
  • We all know that Rahul Dravid is nicknamed ‘The Wall’. There is another nickname he has got: Jammy. That is what his school teammates called him, because Rahul’s father worked for Kissan jams (a Unilever brand). 

Check out 10 Things - Episode I, Episode IIEpisode IIIEpisode IV, and Episode V.

29 November 2011

India's Spineless Leadership

India's President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh backed out of scheduled appointments to attend the four-day Global Buddhist Conference that began on November 27. The GBC is being held to mark the 2,600th year of Buddha's enlightenment. 

Why did two of India's highest leaders back out of a
religious meet

Ms Patil and Dr Singh backed out because China strongly objected to the Dalai Lama's valedictory address at the GBC.

We are led by a spineless leadership. Our behaviour is being dictated by external powers, like China in this case. 

There are so many things at play here... 

Why should the PM and President skip a religious event just because the Chinese object to it? 

Is China a friend of India that we should care for its political sensitivities? 

Does not China host anti-India elements like the ULFA chief and other North East terror insurgents? 

Would Dr Singh and Pratibha Patil have cancelled their appointments if this were a Muslim / Christian event? I understand that Buddhists dont make for a great vote bank. 

After taking a hard stance on the South China Sea issue, we are back to square one; it seems that we take one step forward and two steps backward. 
So much for our global power aspirations!

26 November 2011

The Great NDTV Rope Act

In a story titled, 'The Great Fraud Act' (Nov 7), posted on this blog, I wrote about the manipulative practices and corruption involving NDTV news network, led by Prannoy James Roy.  

In that story, I wrote that Roy's NDTV panders to the Sonia Maino-led CONgress party's agenda because of its own needs; the CBI had filed cheating cases against Roy and NDTV. So its
quid pro quo: NDTV becomes the CONgress party's mouthpiece while the CONgress party takes care of the cheating cases.

Now more evidence has emerged in this regard. On November 15, 2011, S. K. Shrivatsava, Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi, filed an affidavit against NDTV and its management, accusing them of receiving bribe money of Rs2000 crores (Rs Two Thousand Crores) on behalf of some beneficiaries in the 2G scam.

The affidavit also mentions the role of P. Chidambaram in harassing the honest Indian Revenue Service (IRS) by filing false charges of rape.

I think you should read the affidavit; it is 32-page long and, like most legal documents, is repetitive. 

For the complete affidavit, click
here. I suggest that you check out Page 24 onward for a greater understanding of NDTV's corrupt and strong arm tactics.

Spread the word. Share the link to this post with friends; people should know the truth about corupt and biased media network channels like NDTV. 

No news channel in the electronic media or publication in the print media carried this story. There are several reasons for this; the most important is that they are all naked when it comes to peddling lies and furthering their agenda. 

22 November 2011

10 Things You Should Know - Episode V

Here’s Episode V of 10 Things You Should Know; I wrote this instalment at Delhi airport, waiting for my flight to Jaipur.

  • What do you call an older man having a much younger girlfriend? Cradle-snatcher.

  • The motto of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is ‘Nation shall speak peace unto nation’.

  • John Lennon, one of the greatest song writers and member of the Beatles, used the pseudonym ‘Kaptain Kundalini’ in his musical works. I suggest you listen to John Lennon’s Imagine; it is divine.

  • The small enclosed area used in the sport of Cock-fighting called Cockpit.

  • ‘In-q-tel’ is the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

  • Jesus Wept is the shortest verse in the Bible. In tennis, Jesus Wept refers to mini tennis skirts.

  • Marilyn Monroe was the first pin-up in Playboy magazine, launched by Hugh Hefner in 1953.
  • When Netaji Subhash Bose reorganised the Indian National Army (INA), he placed his soldiers under three commands: Gandhi, Nehru and Maulana Azad.

  • Barbecue, a type of cooking, is named after a Spanish word meaning ‘framework of sticks’.
  • It is general practice, especially among the religious Christians, to polish or wipe apples before eating. Do you know why? To wipe away the devil’s finger-marks on the skin, to avoid misfortune. This originates from the belief that Satan gave Eve an apple to eat.
  Check out 10 Things You Should Know: Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, and Episode IV.

16 November 2011

10 Things You Should Know - Episode IV

Presenting the Fourth Episode of 10 Things You Should Know.

Nike is the world’s largest supplier of sports gear. It was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight. Later in 1978 the company’s name was changed to Nike, being named after the Greek goddess of victory. The logo (tick or right mark) is called Swoosh. It also owns brands like Umbro and Converse. 

Operation Polo was the name of the military operation launched by the Indian Army to liberate Hyderabad in 1948. The name Polo was chosen because of the presence of a large number of polo grounds in Hyderabad.

Greece is called by the Greeks as Hellas or Ellada and its official name is Hellenic Republic. It is only in English that the country is called Greece, a word which is rooted in the Latin Graecia (a name used by the Romans and which literally means 'the land of the Greeks'.)

Ferrari is a brand owned by FIAT. Ferrari’s logo of Prancing Horse was designed by a Turin-based company Cerrato and was engraved by Incerti for Ferrari Scaglietti models.

Kirti Mandir in Porbandar is a memorial temple built in honour of Mahatma Gandhiji

A former song writer and singer, Silvio Berlusconi is the colourful former prime minister of Italy. He is the owner of AC Milan football club. He is also a major shareholder of Fininvest, one of Italy’s biggest private companies, and Mediolanum, a massive banking and insurance group. 

An economy which neither exports nor imports is called ‘closed economy’.

Jonathan Ive is the chief designer of the iPod, iMac and the other major products of Apple. He is currently the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple. 

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. The current monarch is Bhumibol Adulyadej. He is officially named King Rama IX, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world's longest-serving current head of state. The king is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths. 

Idi Amin was the president of Uganda between 1971 and 1979. He captured power in a military coup and was eventually thrown out in a military intervention by neighbouring Tanzania. Toward the end of his reign, many believed that he had gone mad; he declared he had defeated the British and conferred on himself the decoration of CBE (Conqueror of the British Empire)! Wish to know his full self-bestowed title? Here it is: ‘“His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”, in addition to his officially stated claim of being the uncrowned King of Scotland.’ Now you know why Hollywood made an Oscar-winning film on Amin’s life with the title of ‘The Last King of Scotland’.

Check out
Episode I, Episode II, and Episode III of 10 Things You Should Know.

12 November 2011

The Explainer: The eurozone Debt Crisis

The European Union has 27 members. Of these, 17 member states have adopted the euro as their common currency. This common currency union is called the eurozone (written in lower case). 

As you know, the monetary policy of a country is made by its central bank. For example, the Reserve Bank of India, India's central bank, formulates the monetary policy. Similarly, the eurozone too has a central bank: the European Central Bank, based in Frankfurt, Germany.

Check out the below terrific
Reuters infographic for a lowdown on the debt, GDP, and budget deficit status of some of the most vulnerable eurozone economies.

Decoding graphic jargon:

Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) relates to the total money value of all goods and services produced in one country's domestic territory in one fiscal (financial) year. 

The combined GDP of these 17 eurozone members is a little over 9 trillion euros (2010).  

Budget Deficit
refers to the (negative) difference between income and expenditure. In more simple terms, budget deficit arises when a country's government runs up expenditure which is greater than its revenues. 

To fund this deficit, the country has to borrow, either from internal sources or from external bodies (like foreign banks). This borrowing is called

As the graphic depicts, Greece’s total debt is a whopping 162% of its GDP, and is further likely to touch 200%! 

The above graphic relates the same picture about Ireland, Italy, and Portugal. These nations, along with Spain, are facing mounting debts, but they do not have enough funds to pay their debts. 

These nations borrowed heavily, raised public sector salaries, built public infrastructure, and upped social welfare spending. In a sense, they made merry with borrowed money. 

However, they forgot to fix the tax system. The tax collection systems in these nations are riddled with loopholes, which helped encourage massive tax evasion. Tax revenues are the biggest source of a government’s revenues. From these collections, the government pays the interest and sometimes (part of) the principal. 

However, an inefficient tax system leads to poor tax collections, which rendered these countries incapable of honouring their debt payments. When you do not pay your debt on time, you are declared a

Once a country defaults, it becomes
untrustworthy in the eyes of the lenders (like foreign banks and multilateral institutions like IMF). So the lenders begin to charge a higher rate of interest, which in turn, raises the mountain of the country’s debt. 

This is precisely the anatomy of the problems faced by some of the eurozone nations like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Italy. 

In my next post on this issue, I will dwell on the likely effects of the eurozone Debt Crisis.

11 November 2011

The Secret History of the Global Fin Crash

Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based media company, has been a trailblazer in many ways in the otherwise closed, information-phobic Arab World. Last month, it carried Meltdown, a four-part investigation into a world of greed and recklessness that brought down the financial world. 

The four-part nearly 170 minute series is one of the best pieces of investigative journalism  I have ever seen. I am pretty sure that you will like it as much as I did. Also, it will introduce you to the real greedy men and women who destroyed the livelihoods (and lives) of millions of people around the world.

The show begins with the 2008 crash that pushed 30 million people into unemployment, brought countries to the edge of insolvency and turned the clock back to 1929.

Here is Episode I: The Men Who Crashed The World

Click on the link for Episode 2: A Global Financial Tsunami

Click on the link for 
Episode 3: Paying the Price

Click on the link for 
Episode 4: After the Fall 

09 November 2011

10 Things You Should Know - Episode III

This is the third installment in the 10 Things You Should Know series.

  • 7, Race Course Road, is the official residence of the Prime Minister of India. However, the official name of this 12-acre residential complex is Panchavati.

  • Nusli Wadia is the owner of Bombay Dyeing, Britannia, and Go Air. He is also the grandson of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

  • The name Deccan is an anglicised form of the Prakrit language word, ‘dakkhin’. In fact, ‘dakkhin’ itself is derived from the Sanskrit word dakshina, meaning ‘south’.

  • When he was 13, Don Bradman's father took him to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) to watch the fifth Ashes Test match, in 1921. On that day, Bradman formed an ambition. "I shall never be satisfied", he told his father, "until I play on this ground". Bradman left school in 1922 and went to work for a local real estate agent who encouraged his sporting pursuits by giving him time off when necessary. He gave up cricket in favour of tennis for two years, but resumed playing cricket in 1925–26. Tennis’ loss, cricket’s gain!

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (in order from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
  • The word ‘Arctic’ comes from the Greek ‘arktos’, meaning ‘bear’. It refers to either of the two Bear constellations found in the sky over the North Pole – Ursa Major (Great Bear) or Ursa Minor (Little Bear).
  • Douglas Engelbart invented the computer mouse in 1963. At the time, he was a researcher at the Stanford Research Institute. 
  • The term ‘Blue Chip’ comes from the colour of the poker chip with the highest value, blue. In stock market jargon, it refers to a consistently growing company (with a rising share price).
  • YouTube was founded by Steve Chan, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim in 2005. A year later, it was acquired by Google for U.S.$1.65 billion.
  • When he was asked what his last words were, Karl Marx retorted this before breathing his last: Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!”

(Read 10 Things You Should Know Episode I and Episode II)