Undercover reporters track down engineer whose 'evidence' led to war in Iraq  

Just watch a BBC TV program and also got this information from internet.

An interesting story.


An Iraqi engineer who provided the information that became one of the key planks in the Bush administration's case justifying the invasion of Iraq has been tracked down by undercover reporters to a drab residential block in southern Germany.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan, code-named Curveball (a baseball term for deception), has been in hiding since the invasion five years ago, and lives under an assumed name. He was questioned by German intelligence in the late 1990s when seeking asylum in Germany and told them that he had witnessed a biological weapons programme in Iraq. His "evidence" was made public in a compelling speech to the UN security council by US secretary of state, Colin Powell on 5 February 2003, when he said that Iraq possessed stockpiles of biological weapons that threatened the world and the mobile weapons laboratories to produce them.

Although German intelligence officials had warned the CIA that Curveball's claims were unreliable, and UN inspectors had failed to corroborate them, the Bush administration promoted the existence of such mobile labs for months after the invasion.

Read more in http://warpeaceuncensored.multiply.com/journal/item/32/Out_of_hiding_The_engineer_whose_evidence_led_to_war_in_Iraq

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Consider petrol price is cheap in India  

My friend sent this piece for me.

It is about prices of several commodities of daily use and comparison of their prices with petrol.

Indian readers will identify with this problem.

For overseas readers- petrol or gasoline is becoming costlier. India imports 70% of her petroleum requirement from abroad. And with economy rising @ 6-9%, we need energy.

Read and keep your comments.

I filled up my car's fuel tank, and I thought fuel has become really

expensive after the recent price hike.

But then I compared it with other common liquids and did some quick
calculations, and I felt a little better.

To know why, see the results below - you'll be surprised at how
some other prices are !

Diesel (regular) in Mumbai : Rs.36.08 per litre

Petrol (speed) in Mumbai : Rs.52 per litre

Coca Cola 330 ml can : Rs.20 = Rs.61 per litre

Dettol antiseptic 100 ml Rs.20 = Rs.200 per litre

Radiator coolant 500 ml Rs.160 = Rs.320 per litre

Pantene conditioner 400 ml Rs.165 = Rs.413 per litre

Medicinal mouthwash like Listerine 100 ml Rs.45 = Rs. 450 per litre

Red Bull 150 ml can : Rs.75 = Rs.500 per litre

Corex cough syrup 100 ml Rs.57 = Rs. 570 per litre

Evian water 500 ml Rs. 330 = Rs. 660 per litre Rs. 660 for a litre of
WATER???!!! And the buyers don't even know the source (Evian spelled
backwards is Naive.)

Kores whiteout 15 ml Rs. 15 = Rs. 1000 per litre

Cup of coffee at any decent business hotel 100 ml Rs. 50 = Rs. 500 per

Old Spice after shave lotion 100 ml Rs. 175 = Rs. 1750 per litre

Pure almond oil 25 ml Rs. 68 = Rs. 2720 per litre

And this is the REAL KICKER...
HP deskjet colour ink cartridge 21 ml Rs.1900 = Rs. 90476 per litre!!!

Now you know why computer printers are so cheap ? So they have you
hooked for the ink !

So, the next time you're at the pump, don't curse our honorable
Petroleum minister - just be glad your car doesn't run on cough syrup, after
shave, coffee, or God forbid, printer ink !

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Russian ceremony of welcome  

I have lived in USSR for 12 years. I visited Russia in 2007 for 2 months after 23 years.
Many often ask me what is the background story of 'bread and salt' - a Russian ceremony of welcome.

Based on what I know and inputs from Internet I have tried to explain the history of this custom.

The "bread and salt" was a traditional Russian ceremony of welcome. It originated as a folk custom in western Russia.

The tradition gave rise to the Russian word that expresses a person's hospitality: "khlebosolny". In general, the word "bread" is associated in Russian culture with hospitality, bread being the most respected food, whereas salt is associated with long friendship, as expressed in a Russian saying "to eat a pood of salt (together with someone)". Also historically the Russian Empire had a high salt tax that made salt a very expensive and prized commodity.

As a sign of hospitality, when the emperor or empress visited their towns, merchants and gentry would present a loaf of bread placed on a round dish covered with an embroidered towel. A cellar of salt was placed on top of the bread or set in a hole cut into the top of the bread. The ceremony also was used prior to the marriage of a landowner when he traveled to each village on his estate, introducing his new bride to the peasants. The ceremony symbolized that the couple would never be without the necessities of life.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, bread and salt were presented to the imperial family. The early platters and cellars and those used by the peasants were predominately carved from wood. Later, the ones used by the nobility were of elaborately gilded silver and enamel.

There also is a traditional Russian greeting "Khleb da sol!" ("Bread and salt!"). The phrase is to be uttered by an arriving guest as an expression of good wish towards the host's household. It was often used by beggars as an implicit hint to be fed, therefore a mocking rhymed response is known: "Khleb da sol!" — "Yem da svoy!" ("Bread and salt!" — "I am eating and it is my own!").

Bread and salt represented the hospitality of folk isolated far from one another in a large country. This hospitality was legendary in Russia.

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Delhi Indira Gandhi International airport  

Have you recently visited Delhi airports, domestic or international? If yes, you might got the real taste of service there. Both the airports are under massive renovation and the place has become very user-unfriendly. While coming from Delhi side, you are on the highway and you do not know where to turn. Once you reached the airport to receive somebody or to flying out- there are very few signages to guide you. Very few gates to enter, no body to ask something about you are frentically trying to know.

If you are flying out of country and using Delhi Indira Gandhi International airport my only advice is start your journey for the airport hours in advance, may be 4 hrs. Somr body told me- keep 1 hour for luggage x-ray and check-in, 1 hour for immigration and security and one hr for boarding. This means you need to be at the airport gate 3 hrs in advance. If you have to park your vehicle and walk down to the gate add another 30 minutes or so. So it means you need clear 3 and 1/2 hours after you have reached the international airport in Delhi. Add to this the time necessary from your place of residence in Delhi or NCR to come to airport.

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Energy independence by the year 2030?  

An international conference on fuels and lubricants was held in Delhi during March 10-12, 2008. Former president of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam gave a speech in that symposium.
This was the first time I heard him in person. It was really an inspiring speech. The man is really humble and visionery. He said the crude oil may touch 200$ and we should do our best to develop alternate energy source. He suggested that Indian oil companies invest 1 billion $ in India for development of Biofuel as an alternate source of energy. He said it is the scientist's duty to work on it. The politicians can do fire fighting but it is the scientists who have to take up this challenge.
The full text can be read here

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INDIA WINS CRICKET SERIES!!!http://imsports.rediff.com/score/in_match8659.html

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How to transfer blog to your own domain  

I have come across a site which describes step by step how to change a blogger blog to a domain host.
You can read this article at http://www.etienneteo.com/2007/08/how-do-i-switch-blogger-to-custom.html

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Digital photography-ten top tips  

I have just found it in internet. I think it would be usefull for all of you who are interested in digital photography. Read more...

You've heard this before: Digital cameras do all the work. You just push the button and great pictures magically appear. The better the camera, the better the photos. Isn't that right? Heck no!

The truth is that you can make great photos with a simple consumer point-and-shoot camera, or take lousy shots with the most expensive Nikon. It's not the camera that makes beautiful images; it's the photographer. With a little knowledge and a willingness to make an adjustment here and there, you can squeeze big time photos out of the smallest digicam.

To help you down the road to great image making, here are ten tips that will enable you shoot like a pro (without maxing out your credit card on all that expensive equipment
Read more at http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2002/10/22/digi_photo_tips.html

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Energy News from the World

Energy News from the World
Editors Pick