Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solar Eclipse, July 22, 2009

The solar eclipse will take place in early hours (IST 5:00 am to 8:00 am) of July 22, 2009 i.e. tomorrow in India and is unique in the aspect that it'll b a total solar eclipse after 15 years and the next total solar eclipse will be observed after 78 years (i.e. in 2087). The other countries to observe the eclipse will be Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives, China and a few Islands namely Marshall Islands, Ryukyu Islands and Kiribati. The eclipse will be totally visible in India in many big cities namely Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna and Dinajpur. Maximum visiblility will be in Taregana, Bihar where people are busy buying protective glasses. Among the metropolitan cities, Mumbai will experience 95% visibility and Delhi, 80%.

It will be the longest total eclipse in the 21st century, lasting for 6 minutes and 39 seconds and is part of Series 136 of the Saros Circle. The exceptional duration is due to the moon nearing perigee, with the diameter of the moon 8% larger than the sun, perigee being the point of closest approach between the moon and the earth. Hence, there is probability for mild changes in ocean tides during the eclipse due to the Moon's gravitational pull. These tides should not be mistaken as a tsunami.

Friday, July 17, 2009

100 reasons to live (not my original idea)

1) Somebody, somewhere, loves you. Whether you believe it or not.
2) Sleeping in on Sundays
3) Being able to go barefoot
4) The present won't last forever
5) I'm sure someone is about to release a new cd or book or movie that you probably need to see or hear or read.
6) Pizza!
7) sunrises (for morning people)
8) sunsets (for night people)
9) snow
10) amazing and comfortable clothing
11) spring rain
12) have you actually visited all 7 wonders of the world yet?
13) fall leaves
14) hot chocolate!
15) anything chocolate!
16) amazing music
17) Saturday morning cartoons
18) instant messenger
19) staying home alone
20) parents
21) there's got to be a cause you can fight for
22) puppies
23) kittens
24) laughter
25) goofy pictures
26) good hair days
27) it's almost Christmas, or Valentine's Day, or some very special holiday, or someone's birthday
28) popcorn
29) ice cream
30) flip-flops
31) libraries
32) shapes in the clouds
33) running water
34) puzzles
35) hikes in the woods
36) facebook/orkut
37) hugs
38) warm blankets
39) sleep
40) cute earrings
41) quiet mornings
42) the stars
43) the moon
44) television
45) comfy chairs and couches
46) the smell of dryer sheets and just-washed clothes
47) coloring books
48) sports
49) rabbits
50) new shoes
51) new haircuts
52) computer games
53) comfy pj's
54) hot baths
55) clocks ticking
56) candy
57) red roses
58) the ability to see
59) the perfect pair of jeans
60) strange mutant stuffed animals
61) getting out of the house
62) all that hard work should come to something
63) soul mates
64) awkward moments
65) the mall
66) movies that make you cry
67) cute babies/pets
68) you learn something new every day
69) art
70) concerts
71) roommates
72) people of the opposite gender
73) talking
74) listening
75) God is good
76) green grass
77) moments of confusion
78) poetry
79) meat
80) random odd things in nature
81) fashion!
82) scrapbooks
83) graduation
84) siblings
85) the world needs you
86) romance
87) adventure
88) owning a vehicle
89) to make a great and incredible discovery
90) board games
91) card games
92) get-to-know-you games
93) for the joy of overcoming the challenges of life
94) all creation
95) staying in bed
96) sick days
97) oversleeping
98) the possibility of a challenge
99) lifelong friends
100) the good times

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rickshaw ride in Melacca

Our half an hour rickshaw ride started from the base of the steps leading to Fort A Famosa. We rode and reached the Stadhuys Square where there is a fountain, a clock tower and several handicraft shops as found in every nook and corner of Malacca.

The rickshaw puller (a Tamil fellow with marvelous English) then took us to a street which he proudly declared "a street with three different religious buildings". True! There was a Hindu temple, a small church and a Chinese monastery on one side of the street, but I think he exaggerated a bit too much about the buildings, forced us to get down and peek into the monastery and convinced us to have a few pictures taken with the monastery as the background.

We wished to go to Jonker Street which is popular among tourists for its buzzing night market which displays attractive-looking foodstuff, handicraft goods, lighting and other decorations. We went there in the daytime, so it was comparitively empty. We bought a mask from a Chinese shop ( the Chinese community largely resides in Jonker Street). We were again forced by the rickshaw-puller to take pictures of a shop which sold bound shoes (the kind the Chinese women wore in ancient times). We did.

As we were about to conclude the ride by asking the Tamil guy to drop us near the clock tower, we got the aroma of freshly baked biscuits. My mother, overwhelmed by the smell, immediately told the rickshaw-puller to stop and rushed to the shop. Before I knew she was out, carrying a packet of pineapple cookies (which turned out to be delicious when I tasted them later) and we made our way back to Stadhuys Square.

Though it cost us 270bucks for the ride, it was worth experiencing!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Creamy Paneer


Paneer (cottage cheese) -200 gm
Green peas (boiled) - 50 gm
Onions - 2(medium)

Cream - 4 tbsp

Milk - 300 ml

Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

Cut the paneer into small cubes. Heat oil in a vessel. Add the finely chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add the chili powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and boiled green peas. Cook for a while. Pour the cream and milk and mix well. Add salt, sugar, pepper and cook. At last, put in the paneer cubes and cook for 2 minutes. Serve hot with chapati or steamed rice.