29 January 2008

'Bus-size' US spy satellite: Next stop - EARTH !!

Satellite to collide with earthAfter a recent meteor hitting earth in 2029 scare, it has now been confirmed that a large US spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or March.
The satellite, about 9,072 kg and is the size of a small bus,which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down.

Specialists who follow spy satellite operations suspect it is an experimental imagery satellite built by Lockheed Martin and launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in December 2006 aboard a Delta II rocket. Its amazing that very shortly after the satellite reached orbit, ground controllers lost the ability to control it and were never able to regain communication.

“Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, when asked about the situation after it was disclosed by other officials.“Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause.

Some people are also suggesting shooting the satellite with a missile in case its dangerous, though it is highly unlikely because that would create debris that would then re-enter the atmosphere and burn up or hit the ground.

So come February, keep a close look at the skies.....the BUS might be coming any moment!!!!




24 January 2008

Mystery women on mars??

This picture on today's front page demanded a second look.The more I saw it, the more it seemed like an outstretched hands of a figure perched on top of a rock.The only difference was that this photo was taken on Mars.
What seems to be a fantastic optical illusion caused by a Martian landscape, it has, unsurprisingly, set the Internet abuzz with claims that there really is life on the red planet.

The image was among many sent back to Earth by Spirit, Nasa's Mars explorer vehicle which landed there four years ago.

Initial inspections revealed nothing unusual, but closer examination by amateur astronomers has thrown up this intriguing picture.

Space enthusiasts spent four years analysing this image, which on much closer inspection shows the 'alien'.

Cornell astronomer Jim Bell, who heads the scientific team behind the Mars rovers' panoramic cameras, though said,"It's a funky little bizarre wind-carved rock formation," . "It's not unusual at all."

The mystery figure is already being billed as the 'Martian mermaid' due to the striking similarities between the figure and a sculpture in Copenhagen known as the Little Mermaid.

Say cheese: The mystery image was captured by Nasa's explorer vehicle, Spirit

21 January 2008

Reliance Power IPO...What was the hype for???

It is unprecedented, even if you call it plain euphoria. Nowhere in the world has an initial public offer of shares by a new company evoked as much response as the Reliance Power issue that closed on Friday.

To put in perspective,

  • Reliance Power is yet to commence business or show income from operations,
  • investors from across the world placed bids worth $200 billion for its shares worth $2.9 billion on offer.
  • Retail investors have put in 5.1 million applications for shares worth $47 billion or Rs 188,000 crore.( the collections are a fourth of the total direct tax collections for last year. )
  • The IPO was comppletely subscribed from the minute of its opening, as if the shares would come on a first come first serve basis!
  • 10 Lakh new Demat accounts were opened in just five days!!Such was the hype that everybody wanted to be a a millionaire!!
  • Reportedly, Applictions have been sold for 10000 bucks in the gray market!!
  • Gray markets of Gujarat have reportedly started trading the stock at a premium of Rs300-400.
The stock had a max price of 450 with a discount of Rs20 for retail investors, also given an option of partial payment of Rs115/share for a min of 15 shares.Meaning, that most retail investors(RI) have filled applictions for 225 shares worth Rs 25875/- (115*225).

Now that the issue has subscribed to about 15 times for RI, they are expected to be allotted 15 shares,i.e. worth Rs6450,with a refund of Rs.19425. So the question of RIs with partial payment not being able to sell immediately is not applicable anymore.
With an expected premium of Rs300, one is expected to make about Rs4500 out of the deal, not taking into account the opportunity cost.

So, whats' the HYPE for?

what about those who have taken applications for 10000 bucks!!I guess its time for stop cheque payments....

As far as I'm concerned, I'll be queuing up for sale on the listing day too, with lakhs of others, and pocket the five thousand.A 100% return in a month is not that bad actually!!

The other man smiling(read ecstatic) is one Mr.Anil Ambani,who might well trounce BILL GATES to become the richest person in the world on the listing day....if the stock lists at Rs900.




17 January 2008

Aamir Should Have Been The First At Madame Tussauds! - SALMAN



Top Bollywood actor Salman Khan became the fourth actor from Bollywood to enter the famous Madame Tussuad wax museum after mega star Amitabh Bachchan, followed by Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and then Bollywood's global star Shah Rukh Khan, last year.

Airing his thoughts on the occasion, Salman joked that there was no one else worthy in Bollywood to enter Madame Tussauds ( after him) but added in a serious vein that it should be be one else Aamir Khan. As an after thought he added that in fact Aamir should have been the first!

As more bollywood stars are making the queue in, our man Aamir seemingly has denied the invitation saying that it is irrelevant!!!!

Though this Madam's new found love with bollywood is less to do with its growing stature and more to do with the museum's ever dropping ticket collections.Waxing of Indian stars is within a well thought strategy by the museum to attract the growing Indian population in UK and to boost its hit-counter.The strategy has indeed paid off too, as there has been a great rise in the number of visitors since these statues have been put up. Nobody's complaining though,I hope the Indian contingent becomes stronger in the coming days...

On a second thought, what about LALU !!!!!!

Who do you think should be waxed next??
Sachin Tendulkar
Aamir Khan
Lalu Prasad
What about Myself!!!
No one is worthy
Others

15 January 2008

Gurgaon flyover inaugurated,BY the People, FOR the People !

Tired and frustrated from the endless wait for politicians to inaugurate the flyover, the people took the task in their own hands and the barricade at the Rao Tularam Marg-Palam flyover fell to the ground.

It has been reported that a crowd of over a hundred gathered at the foot of the flyover near Vasant Vihar, chanted shlokas, broke a coconut and cut a ribbon - and then, they dedicated the flyover to the people.

Gurgaon flyover inaugurated by the people...The 27-km, eight-lane Delhi-Gurgaon expressway will reduce the travel time between Delhi and Gurgaon to about 20 minutes.The expressway will not be open to two-wheelers, three-wheelers and all slow-moving traffic, which will have to take the adjoining service lane. It will also reduce travel time to the Indira Gandhi International Airport

Authorities said that selection of a 'suitable guest' was one among the 'formalities' holding up the
opening of the completed expressway.'We know about the protest but there was no vandalism on the expressway. I can only say that it will open soon. I am not in a position to give any definite date for it,' a National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) official said.

Very heartening to see People fighting for what is rightfully there's, a classic example of Democracy at work.Equally disheartening to see the complete neglect and disrespect of people's needs and rights on the part of these so called chief guests and politicians.I hope the politicians feel some shame and tell the NHAI to open the flyover without the 'formal' inauguration tomorrow.

10 January 2008

Tata launches its 1 lakh($2500) peoples car 'NANO'




The much awaited Rs 100,000 ($2,500) "people's car" was finally launched today as Ratan Tata drove in the 'Nano' (for being small and high tech) into the Tata Motor's pavilion at the Auto Expo 2008 in New Delhi.

Branded as ' the world's cheapest car', the car will be manufactured at the company's Singur facility in West Bengal and would cost less than a branded DVD player in a BMW or a Mercedes!!!!
'The People’s Car' as it is being billed promises to bring the comfort and safety of a car within the reach of lakhs of families. Tata will start bookings in June and the car will be seen on roads from October this year.
It has been made clear that the standard version of the car will be priced at Rs 1 lakh ex-showroom with VAT and other taxes extra which will lead the final price to be about 1.25 lakhs, still about a lakh cheaper than its nearest counterpart , the Maruti 800.

here's a quick camparson between the two cars:

Parameter

Tata NANO

Maruti 800

Size(length,width,height)

3.1 m, 1.5m, 1.6m

3.335m, 1.440m, 1.405mm

emission

Bharat 3 (Euro 4)

Bharat Stage III

mileage

20-22 km/lt

15-17 km/lt

engine

623 cc,33 bhp

796 cc, 37 bhp


It will sport a 30-litre fuel tank and 4-speed manual gearshift. The car will come with air conditioning(not in the standard version), but will have no power steering. It will have front disk and rear drum brakes.The car's dashboard features just a speedometer, fuel gauge, and oil light. The car does not have reclining seats or radio. The shock absorbers are basic.The Nano will come in three variants -- standard and two deluxe models with AC.
As of now, Ratan Tata has refused any concerns on environment and safety and the car has successfully passed the front crash test.The looks of the car are promising and offer 21% greater interior volume than the 800.

What about Road congestion??

A Car is a dream of millions of families in India. As Mr. Tata aptly put it:
I observed families riding on two-wheelers – the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family.
The car will be huge hit with everybody.With increasingly disposable income, a lakh Rs is no big deal for many here in India. Many may buy it as a city ride, some even as a joy ride, Ladies will love it.News reports say that Tata Motors hopes to sell 500,000 units of the car, almost four times the number of Indicas it sells.So do we have the roads to cater to these cars which will flood india later this year?
I guess only time has the answer to this question.

Does Tata Nano Dooms Ford and GM in India??
I guess it does. With the launch of NANO, GM's Spark dream has been cremated.The nano looks like the Spark, has a similar central console, but unfortunately is more than a lakh cheaper.Ford which was going strong on the back of its feista sales has already been hit by the maruti SX4.This is no ood news for them either.Even Maruti and Hyundai might look at losing major sales in this entry level segment.But the people of India are not complaining.Every once in a while, something of this sort happens and the industry is forced to innovate .That's what happened when Reliance came up with its mobility services.Tata has done the same with this car.

''Since, a promise is a promise the standard dealer version will cost Rs 1 lakh,'' said Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata.As the 1000 member strong media and delegates applauded,looks like Mr. Tata has kept his promise, and very well too.

UPDATES:
  • Engine is rear mounted
  • Tyres are tubeless!!

09 January 2008

Pseudo-champions Australia killing cricket

Just have a look at this:Clearly the balls' touching the ground.What happened after this was a high pitch appeal from Ponting for the catch.If that was not enough, he did this at the post match press-conference:

"There's no way I grounded that ball," Ponting told a press conference. "If you're actually questioning my integrity in the game, then you shouldn't be standing there."
Thats not all - he shamelessly emphasized the assertion:
"I'm saying I'm 100% sure I would have caught that catch off Dhoni," Ponting said. "As it turned out it was given not out anyway, am I right or wrong?"
WAIT....there's more, have a look at this:Whats happening here is that Mr.Ponting s telling umpire Benson that its out, puppy clark has taken it clean.Why involve Mr. Bucknor here, he's already on my side, go on give it out...

And that is exactly why Mr. Ponting we are bound to question your integrity.What you have done in this test match is probably the worst display of bad sportsmanship and arrogance ever by an Australian side, and we still remember that underarm delivery on the 1st of feb, 1981. For the initiated, have a look here....

No wonder, Peter roebuck called for Ponting's sacking and wrote: In the past few days, the Australian captain has presided over a performance that dragged the game into the pits. He turned a group of professional cricketers into a pack of wild dogs.

I guess, Wasim Akram also put it very aptly when he said that the HYPOCRITICAL Australian players had behaved like "cry babies" by whingeing about racism when they had been world cricket's worst sledgers..
In a test match marred by poor umpiring decisions, the Australian side led by Ricky Ponting showed why they are the most hated champions, or pseudo-champions I may call.

It was ironical, that the Australians were celebrating like hell , for a test match that they had won, and the Cricket, which had lost along with the Indians.

Monkeys outraged - Demand apology for humiliation

THE MONKEY TIMES
9th January,2008

Monkeys worldwide staged angry protests and rallies in response to the their alleged comparison with a man from 'the human race'.It was earlier reported that some controversy had erupted in a game which they (YOU KNOW WHO) call, 'CRICKET', where someone was blessed with our name.Protesting monkeys said that it was highly shameful and disgusting to be compared with some,who now has been identified as - 'Andrew Symonds' from the Kangaroolia.

Minster of external affairs, Monkeyland, has taken up the matter seriously and has said that he will discuss this matter urgently with his counterpart from the human race.Meanwhile, monkeys back home want a public apology asap.Though a section of the crowd believes that the matter should not be taken up seriously as they have read that some humans say that this man indeed has some hints of resemblance.