Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Power of Words

All books are either dreams or swords,
You can cut, or you can drug, with words.

--Amy Lowell
Sword Blades and Poppy Seed

The Power of Words is far greater than one usually thinks it to be, especially in these technologically dependant times.

Clinical solutions online

A San Mateo, California based company, Epocrates has created a new web based health plan called Epocrates Online, where healthcare professionals can access and order through its free and trustworthy guide of drugs and formulations such as Lipitor. Via this new online guide, clinicians have access to critical information about over 3,300 drugs, their dosages, potential interactions and side effects and where the drugs are covered by insurance agencies.

Designed by leading physicians, Epocrates drugs are precise in delivering results and have all the relevant information that doctors and healthcare professional could require. So instead of doctors searching for the right drug on several different websites or medical texts, they can now rely on Epocrates Online as their primary source of information on clinical references.

Besides its drug usage guide, Epocrates Online also provides information on formularies for over 130 health plans and Medicare Part D plans. So, healthcare professional can find the formulas, coverage and generic drug alternatives all from one source. There is also a premium version of Epocrates Online, which gives a greater depth of information on alternative medicine, monographs, educative patient handouts, pictures of pills and tables and calculations of the items. As a sample, view the content on the drug Lipitor.

Epocrates has built a network of close to 500,000 healthcare professionals. For its innovative approach, Fortune 500 ranked the company as 257th in its ranking of fastest growing private companies in the US.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Delhi malls likely to team up with Delhi government to banish child labor

The Economic Times reports that the Delhi government is keen on tying up with local malls to refuse items produced by child labor. A senior official said that the labor department has been suggesting to all mall owners to also display posters in the mall’s public spaces that no products had been made using child labor. Malls are also required to check if products have been made by children before giving permission. The move has originated due to raids on zari units which have over 50,000 children employed, most between 5-12 years.

Online car insurance

When I used to work as a manager at K-Mart in Kansas City, I used to be the manager on duty two nights a week which meant closing the store at 10pm, doing the security checks and driving home to Merriam close to midnight. For a woman alone, it was really important for my peace of mind to have a good insurance company that safeguarded my interests. An insurance company called Sheilas' Wheels is now offering a product called 'Buddy on Demand', an inflatable blow-up of a male co passenger that comes up simply by pressing a switch.

It is services and thoughts like these that make you realize that a company is really looking out for you or not. Having a good automobile insurance is one of the most important things a person should have, something that requires serious thought and planning. As confusing as insurance terms are, it really is important to understand exactly what they mean and how they affect you and your car. is simply put, a one stop shop where you can get information on insurance terms, questions on which policy to select and a state by state coverage or rates. All it takes is 15 minutes to fill in some details online and you will get to know your online car insurance rate, depending on what car you drive, for how long you have been driving, and other details. You will then be directed to a company that will suit your specific needs. It's really the simplest and most efficient way to get car insurance.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A cool way to cook pasta

Have you seen the Pasta Express? Its been selling like hotcakes on TV lately. Its a tube where you put in your pasta, add boiling water, cover and voila the pasta cooks inside it!! How cool is that. No more keeping a separate pot to cook pasta, to coordinate the time etc. Best of all, you can also cook veggies and hot dogs in it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations.

--Leo Buscaglia

Precise and direct....there's no need to say any more.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Speaking books reports on a new trend of speaking books in developing countries in Africa to counter low levels of literacy to improve knowledge of basic health and medicine. Books of Hope have designed and produced interactve books in several languages to highlight this issue and promote knowledge of basic health issues.
Each Speaking Book consists of 16 pages of culturally appropriate illustrations supported by straightforward and easy to understand text in a variety of languages. Every page has a corresponding push button that triggers a sound track read by a well-known local personality. So whatever a reader's level of literacy, the information will be clearly understood. Topics include HIV and AIDS, TB, Malaria, Suicide Prevention and Diabetes. Speaking Books are distributed to rural and disadvantaged communities worldwide.

Boston Logan's RIFD project

eweek reports on Boston's Logan International Airport using RIFD tags to track passengers and their baggage from the time it is checked in to reaching its final destination.
The tracking system being developed by Boston Engineering tracks a passenger from the time they arrive at the airport and check into a self-service boarding pass kiosk, to the time they board an airplane (given that one doesn't generally deplane during flight, it's assumed the systems tracks an individual through to their final destination).

Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend eats

Well, its been a great weekend where we relaxed, watched movies and s made some absolutely delish dish that he hasn't even named. This is exactly men make the best chefs. Men who love to eat, end up concocting some really creative stuff, making it up along the way. I think its mostly due to the fact that us girls are ingrained with the thinking that as women we are responsible for the cooking and end up looking at cooking as work whereas men never think of cooking as work, just a fun diversion, and so the end result is quite often spectacular. This was one helluva a rice and beans extravaganza....hmm, maybe we should name it that?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

some serious stuff

Argument is the worst sort of conversation.

--Jonathan Swift

Malls keen on flexible working hours

Rediff Money:

The organized sector of the Indian retail industry is voicing concern and demanding flexible working hours for the sector. In this regard, The Retailers Association of India (RAI) in conducting negotiations with several state governments to permit malls and department stores to remain open for all 24 hours.

According to Gibson Vedamani, CEO of RAI, "Four states, including AP, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and MP have responded positively to the proposal." Other states where proposals have been given are Karnakata, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. At present the law requires all stores to be closed on one day of the week, restrictive timings for closing stores such as 9 or 10pm which are not conducive to consumers changed work timings.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Future Group hires McKinsey as consultant

The Economic Times reports:

The Future Group will be relying on McKinsey to systemize its future growth plans and recommend a model for the company to achieve its targeted turnover of $7 billion (Rs. 30,000 crore) by 2010. Kishore Biyani, MD of The Future Group said,
“McKinsey has been roped in to assist and systemise our future growth plans. They have already completed the first project and will work with us on more projects.”

The Indian internet community grow-eth

Business Standard reports:

The size of the Indian internet community is growing. There are now 37 million internet usersas of September 2006 an increase of 4 million from March 2006. Active users increased from 21.1 million in March 2006 to 25 million in September 2006. (Active users are those who have accessed the internet at least once in the past 30 days.)

Some of the findings:
According to the findings, youth are the main drivers of internet usage in India. College students and those below the age of 35 are the biggest segment on the Internet. Besides the youth, Internet-hungry small towns are further fuelling the growth.

As per the survey, smaller metros and towns are increasingly embracing the Internet evolution and are pushing growth from below. Smaller cities and towns have shown a whopping 142% YoY growth and now account for 25% of all Internet users.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

On reading

The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you the knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.

--Elizabeth Hardwick

A contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury was also known as Bess of Hardwick and was rumored to be the second richest in the country and second in power only to the queen. She was married 4 times, each time to accumulate great wealth, property and titles. She is also famous for building several great houses including Chatsworth, the county seat of the Dukes of Devonshire and Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire which is the most significant Elizabethan county houses in England.

PS: I visited Hardwick Hall in June 2000, coincedentally just after I had read a book on her life and thoroughly enjoyed visiting her beautifully preserved house.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Single serve wine

USA Today writes about the trend of selling single serve wine in tetrapacks.
Winemakers are tinkering with packaging in a continued effort to broaden wine's appeal and boost sales. They've put wine into boxes, plugged bottles with screw caps instead of corks, given wines quirky names and made labels more playful. Single-serve packaging is yet another effort to loosen up wine's stuffy image. In the spring, winemaker Three Thieves put its pinot grigio and cabernet sauvignon in bright green and purple pouches that hold 250 ml, about a glass-and-a-half of wine. A four-pack costs $8 to $10.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

To travel

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

--Lyn Yutang

Friday, September 08, 2006

Department store evolution writes about the changes that have taken place in the concept of department stores.
Just as they pioneered modern escalators to carry crowds of shoppers upward, department stores encouraged their customers' social mobility. The big stores grew up with a burgeoning American middle class that they provided with its tastes, habits -- and consumer goods.

As full-service department stores continue to disappear, it becomes clear just what influential organizations they were in shaping the lives of millions.
Read the full article here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Once was Bombay

More book updates:

I finished Amitav Ghosh's The Hungary Tide and am now reading Pinky Virani's Once was Bombay. Interesting so far, plus I like the short story format, its just so much easier to read and find a break to pause for a bit.

I did enjoy reading The Hungary Tide. It was a really well written book that gets you involved in the events of the book as well as the characters. And it was interesting to hear yesterday, that the book is being made into a that would be nice, though it'll be really hard to capture one of the central characters, Fokir. Piya and Kanai babu will be easier to play I feel. Looking forward to seeing the movie.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Two thoughts of the day

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
--Annie Dillard

If you love what you do, then you will never work a day in your life.
--Chinese proverb

Moral of the story: Find something you love to do and enjoy life.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The power of one word

One of my old favorite sites, One Word is back on track again. So glad to see it up and running again, although it is updating the words somewhat sporadically it seems!! You are given a single random word every day and have 60 seconds to write whatever you'd like on it. It allows you to break free of thinking the same thing again and again, by writing the first thing that comes to your mind.

Monday, September 04, 2006


For books are more than books, they are the life
The very heart and core of ages past,
The reason why men lived and worked and died,
The essence and quintessence of their lives.

--Amy Lowell
Boston Athenaeum

Currently reading -The Hungry Tide

I'm currently reading The Hungary Tide by Amitav Ghosh, which came out a couple of years ago and is set in the tidal area south of Calcutta called Sundarbans. I am thoroughly enjoying the book, the building of the characters, the dialogue and especially the history and geography of the region.

Over the years, I have realised that I can't just read fiction....the story must have have some real base at its setting, so I am able to learn about a new place without really 'learning' about it. I find its the best way to be really 'learned'.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tribal living

Interested in joining a tribe and living on a island in Fiji?

Then check out Tribe Wanted. Started by Mark James and Ben Keen in April 2006, Tribe Wanted is a global search to build a community who will make a small Fijian island their home.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

on reading

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

--Saint Augustine

Friday, September 01, 2006


No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

-Lyn Yutang

Seattle parks

While on the topic of Seattle, here is a great article on the parks in the city in The Morning News.
Washington calls itself the Evergreen State; Seattle is nicknamed “The Emerald City”; even my elementary school, Maplewood Heights, conformed to the verdant nomenclature. Needless to say, we in the Pacific Northwest take great pride in our little ecotopia.
Read the full article here.

Most educated cities in the US

An interesting article on the most educated cities in the US in CNN Money. I was surprised to see Boston so far down in the list (at number 7).....well, for Boston it is far down. It was also nice to see several university towns such as Columbus, Raleigh and Omaha on the list. Seattle comes in first and the second spot is shared by San Francisco and Raleigh.

Read the full article here.