Collections of Dilip Prakash

Archive for February 2008

''Glass Tulips,'' Huge Worms Found off Antarctica
Standing in fields like poppies these tunicates are actually animals.

The tunicates, which resemble glass tulips, are early colonizers of Antarctic regions that have been disturbed by icebergs that scour the seafloor as they pass by.

The animals are among many mysterious creatures collected from the icy waters by scientists of the Australian Antarctic Division.

''Glass Tulips,'' Huge Worms Found off Antarctica
A giant scale worm sits on the Antarctic seabed at 2,116 feet (645 meters) deep.

At 10 inches (250 millimeters) long and weighing 11 ounces (300 grams), the worm is an example of a phenomenon called ”gigantism,” which scientists still do not fully understand.

”Gigantism is very common in Antarctic waters,” Martin Riddle said in a statement released February 19, 2008. The Australian Antarctic Division scientist led the recent expedition that photographed this worm and other animals.

”We have collected huge worms, giant crustaceans, and sea spiders the size of dinner plates.”

''Glass Tulips,'' Huge Worms Found off Antarctica
A diverse ecosystem thrives on the Antarctic seabed, 1,968 feet (600 meters) off the front of the continental shelf.

Here brightly colored coralline bryozoans and sponges create a habitat for other species such as octopus, mollusks, and fish.

Bryozoans have similar calcium carbonate skeletons as tropical corals, though they belong to a different biological group.

Scientists from Australia, France, and Japan collected specimens from up to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) beneath the oceans off Antarctica during a two-month census of Antarctica led by the Australian Antarctic Division.

The specimens will be sent to universities and museums around the world for identification, tissue sampling, and DNA studies, the Associated Press reported on February 20, 2008.

“Not all of the creatures that we found could be identified and it is very likely that some new species will be recorded as a result of these voyages,” Graham Hosie, head of the census project, told the AP.

Qualifying products: NSC, notified bank deposits and post office time deposits, EPF and PPF, ELSS, life insurance plans, deferred pension plans
Mandatory requirements: Payment has to be made before 31 March 2008
Who can avail the deduction: Individuals and HUF (both resident and non-resident)
How much: Cannot exceed Rs 1 lakh.
2. 80CCC
Qualifying products: Pension plans of life insurers
Mandatory requirements: Payment has to be made before 31 March 2008
Who can avail the deduction: Individuals
How much: Within the overall limit of Section 80C (up to Rs 1 lakh)
3. 80D
Qualifying products: Medical insurance policies taken for self, spouse, dependant parents or children, or any member of HUF
Mandatory requirements: Premium should be paid through a cheque out of income chargeable to tax
Who can avail the deduction: Individuals, HUF
How much: Up to Rs 15,000; senior citizens can claim up to Rs 20,000
4. 80DD
Qualifying products: Expenses on the medical treatment of a dependent who is a person with a disability
Mandatory requirements: Certification by a medical authority
Who can avail the deduction: Resident individual or HUF
How much: Up to Rs 50,000, or up to Rs 75,000 if the dependant is a person with severe disability
5. 80DDB
Qualifying products: Expenses on the medical treatment of a specified disease (cancer, AIDS, neurological diseases, chronic renal failure and more)
Mandatory requirements: Certificate in Form No. 10-I to be submitted along with the income tax return form. Deduction is available if the amount is actually paid for treatment
Who can avail the deduction: Resident individuals or HUF
How much: Rs 40,000 (if the person treated upon is less than 65 years of age), or Rs 60,000
6. 80E
Qualifying products: Payment of interest on loan taken for higher studies
Mandatory requirements: Deduction is available in the year in which repayment starts and only for eight immediately succeeding assessment years
Who can avail the deduction: Individuals
How much: Deduction available on the total interest portion of education loan, the principal repayment gets no tax advantage
7. 80G
Qualifying products: Donations to certain funds and charitable institutions
Mandatory requirements: Not applicable
Who can avail the deduction: Resident individuals or HUF
How much: 50 or 100 per cent deduction on the entire donated amount, or 50 or 100 per cent deduction subject to 10 per cent of gross total income
8. 80GG
Qualifying products: Rent paid for residential purpose
Mandatory requirements: Should not be getting house rent allowance. Actual rent paid is in excess of 10% of the total income
Who can avail the deduction: Self-employed or salaried
How much: Excess of actual rent paid over 10 per cent of GTI, or 25 per cent of GTI, or Rs 2,000 per month, whichever is the lowest
9. 80U
Qualifying products: Expenses incurred on self, if disabled
Mandatory requirements: Certification by a medical authority to be furnished along with the income tax return form
Who can avail the deduction: Resident individuals
How much: Rs 50,000 for a person with disability, Rs 75,000 for a person with severe disability (disability of over 80 per cent)

This is so neat. I had never heard this before. This is beautiful – and it is surely worth making the 5 finger prayer a part of our lives.

1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a “sweet duty.”

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger – the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Government of India has an online

Grievance forum

Can you imagine this happening in INDIA?

Government of India has an online Grievance forum at

The government wants people to use this tool to highlight the problems they faced while dealing with Government officials or departments like Passport Office, Electricity board, BSNL/MTNL, Railways etc etc.

I know many people will say that these things don’t work in India, but this actually works as one of our colleague in CSC found. The guy I’m talking about lives in Faridabad. Couple of months back, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation laid new roads in his area and the residents were very happy about it. But 2 weeks later, BSNL dugged up the newly laid roads to install new cables which annoyed all the residents including this guy. But it was only this guy! Who used the above listed grievance forum to highlight his concern. And to his surprise, BSNL and Municipal Corporation of faridabad was served a show cause notice and the guy received a copy of the notice in one week. Government has asked the MC and BSNL about the goof up as it’s clear that both the government departments were not in sync at all.

So use this grievance forum and educate others who don’t know about this facility.
This way we can at least raise our concerns instead of just talking about the ‘
System‘ in India. Invite your friends to contribute for many such happenings.



February 14th is Valentines Day

– a worldwide celebration of love and romance, marked by giving red roses and chocolate hearts or by sending valentines .
Often derided as a “Hallmark holiday,” Valentines Day – also known as Saint Valentines Day – is certainly a boom for greeting card companies, florists

and chocolatiers. But long before the mass marketing, Valentines Day was still a high point for courtly love.So, how and where did the holiday get its start? And who is  Saint Valentine and why has he become the symbol for love?

For starters, Saint Valentine is probably not just one man, but rather any of a number of martyred saints named Valentine or Valentinus, derived from the Latin word for valor. According to Christian tradition, all of these Saint Valentines are believed to have been martyred on February 14.

The first Valentinus, Valentine of Rome, was a priest and doctor, who treated even those patients who could not afford to pay him. The second Saint Valentine was beheaded for protecting Christians from the Romans. And the third is Valentine of Terni, a bishop believed killed during the persecution of Emperor Aurelian.
While these saints likely bestowed upon Valentines Day its name, they still do not explain the holiday’s love connection. To understand that, one has to go back even further in history – to the Romans.
Historians believe that the holiday of love derives its origins from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia. On February 15, the Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercus, to honor and thank the wolf god who watched over the Roman shepherds and their flocks.
While Lupercus doesn’t seem to have much to do with romance, there was a number of fertility customs associated with his feast. In one of these rituals, women would put their names on slips of paper in a box, to be drawn out by men. The two would then be coupled up for the duration of the festival – or for the rest of the year in some cases. This fertility-friendly feast gives some clue as to the romantic – or at least procreative – nature of the holiday. But we don’t celebrate Saint Lupercus Day on February 14th. So, how did the Valentine saints become associated with the Roman god?
Legend has it that in the 3rd century, the Roman emperor Claudius II banned marriages to prevent draft dodgers. Only single men had to go into the army – and too many young men were  getting married.
A Christian priest named Valentinus of Rome ignored the ban, continuing to officiate marriages in secret. Valentinus was caught and sentenced to death – an order carried out on February 14. Another story tells of a priest named Valentinus who was jailed and later executed for helping Christians. He fell for his jailer’s daughter and sent her plaintiff love notes signed “from your Valentine”.
In the late 5th century, Emperor Gelasius declared February 14th a holy day in honor of Valentinus (probably the first, but perhaps the second), allowing Christianity to adopt some of the love day customs previously associated with paganism.
The traditions were reworked, however, to honor the Christian martyrs. For example, instead of boys pulling girls’ names from boxes, both boys and girls chose names of martyred saints to emulate for the year.
It took nearly nine centuries, until the advent of the Renaissance, for Valentines Day to return to its earlier love-based roots. With Romantic art, poetry and music flourishing, the time was ripe for a celebration of love.

Aishwarya Rai with Brother Aditya


Cute Aishwarya Rai


Aishwarya Rai with Mother


Baby Aishwarya Rai


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Aishwarya doing classical dance


Aishwarya Rai Birthday party


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Aishwarya Rai with Friends


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Aishwarya Rai in school


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Rajinikanth – Latha

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