Message for the Day…”Noble souls like Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa could attain exalted positions in their lives only due to the sacred feelings of their mothers. It is because of the feelings of the mother that the children become good or bad. It is because of such women that the children take to the path of righteousness.”

Ladies’ Day is celebrated on this day in order to delve into the sacred qualities of women and disseminate them. Though the Earth is one, the plants vary depending upon the seeds sown. The womb of the mother symbolises Mother Earth. As is the seed of thought sown in it, so is the fruit that it yields. So the mother should foster good thoughts, words and deeds. Only then can she beget virtuous children. Aryamba was a paragon of virtues. She spent all her time in the contemplation of God and in undertaking noble deeds. As a result, Sankaracharya was born to her. Sankaracharya could become Jagadguru (world teacher) because of his mother’s virtuous thoughts. Noble souls like Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa could attain exalted positions in their lives only due to the sacred feelings of their mothers. It is because of the feelings of the mother that the children become good or bad. It is because of such women that the children take to the path of righteousness.

Source….http://media.radiosai.org

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Lebanon’s Thinnest Building Was Built Out of Spite…

Locals call the building “the Grudge” and rightly so. This extremely narrow building standing on a mere 120-square-meter piece of land in Beirut was built specifically so that one man can block another man’s view of the ocean.

According to the prevailing lore, these two men were brothers, who each inherited a plot, but were unable to arrive at a mutual agreement on how to develop their respective properties. One of the brothers owned a minuscule plot of land, and was bitter for receiving the short end of the stick. Unable to build anything useful on his property, the jealous brother erected a narrow building, which was more or less a wall, so that his brother’s view of the sea was blocked in the hope that this would cause the value of his land to decrease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The building is 14-meter-high and no wider than a meter, but from the front it appears wider than it actually is, thanks to the numerous balconies and windows that provide the impression of spacious rooms behind.

According to residents in the neighborhood, The Grudge, or ‘al-Ba’sa’ in Arabic, was built in 1954. The livable wall ranges in depth from four meters at its widest, to sixty centimeters at its slimmest. Each floor is divided into two apartments. Each apartment is a series of rooms joined together by a corridor. The rooms diminish in size as the space gets narrower with each room, until it ends in a very tight space that functions as a walk-in closet. The other apartment, on the wider side of the building, is comparatively spacious. Each room has two windows, one opening towards the brother’s plot—now occupied by a German school—and the other opening towards the Mediterranean with its beautiful, uninterrupted view of the sea.

Although the building is practically useless, the Grudge’s current owners have no intention of demolishing it because if he does he won’t be able to build anything else in its place as the land where it stands is too small to be developed under the city’s current building and zoning laws. So letting the building stand and renting it out is more profitable for its owners than tearing it down. As of 2014, the ground floor is rented out to a mechanic who runs a shop there.

Source: jadaliyya.com / spatiallyjustenvironmentsbeirut.blogspot.in

Kaushik in http://www.amusingplanet,com

Natarajan

 

 

Message for the Day…” ‘Anger is your enemy, patience is your shield of protection, and happiness is your heaven’. Fill your heart with love and compassion. When you fill your heart with love, you will see God everywhere”

You build a house and install doors in it, isn’t it? After installing doors in your house, will you allow animals and reptiles like donkeys, pigs, snakes and scorpions to enter your home, just because the doors are there? No! Even if they try to enter, you will drive them away and close the door, isn’t it? Similarly control the door of your heart. If you close the door of your heart to evil qualities, they cannot enter. You should not get angry with anyone, nor criticise or harm anyone. If, for any reason, such circumstances arise, control yourself. When anger overtakes you, put it down immediately considering it as your worst enemy. It is said: ‘Anger is your enemy, patience is your shield of protection, and happiness is your heaven’. Fill your heart with love and compassion. When you fill your heart with love, you will see God everywhere. Bereft of love, you will see only devils everywhere!

Source….http://media.radiosai.org/

Message for the Day…”Even your eyes are divine. But you are not aware of your true nature. When you have faith in yourself, you will have faith in God.”

Change the angle of your vision. When you practice seeing the world from the point of view of the omnipresence of the Divine, you will be transformed. You will experience the power of the Divine in everything in creation. You cannot hide anything from God. Many imagine that Swami does not see what they are doing. They do not realise that Swami has a million eyes. Even your eyes are divine. But you are not aware of your true nature. When you have faith in yourself, you will have faith in God. Realise that there is nothing beyond the power of God. Love God with that supreme faith. Then you will be drawn towards God. It needs purity. A magnet cannot attract a piece of iron covered with rust. Similarly, God will not draw to Himself an impure person. Hence, change your feelings and thoughts and develop the conviction that God is everywhere and in every being.

Source….http://media.radiosai.org

Message for the Day…”Ceiling on desires is the need of the hour today. It means exercising control over your own desires. You can be truly happy only when your desires are controlled”

Your life is a long journey. You should have less luggage (desires) in this journey of life. Therefore, it is said: ‘less luggage more comfort, makes travel a pleasure’. You have many desires. What do you get out of them? There are rules for ceiling with regard to land and property. But is there any rule you observe to exercise a ceiling on your desires? Ceiling on desires is the need of the hour today. It means exercising control over your own desires. You can be truly happy only when your desires are controlled. You are under the mistaken notion that happiness lies in the fulfilment of desires. But in fact, happiness begins to dawn when desires are totally eradicated. Cut short your desires, day after day. When you reduce your desires, you advance very rapidly towards the state of renunciation, peace and bliss.

Source….”http://media.radiosai.org/

From smoking in Singapore to dancing after dark in Japan — doing any of these 13 things could get you in trouble while travelling abroad…

Every country and culture has its own quirks that are often completely overlooked by outsiders.

However, sometimes these quirks are so extreme that they can land you in trouble if you’re not aware of them.

Airport transfer company Hoppa has compiled a list of quirky and peculiar laws from across the globe that could get naive holidaymakers in trouble.

As pleading unaware of some laws doesn’t seem to work as a get out of jail free card, the list of laws hopes to educate jet-setters before they make any costly or consequence-heavy blunders.

From crossing the street to packing paracetamol in your suitcase, scroll on to discover 13 peculiar things that could get you in trouble when travelling abroad.

Buying alcohol mid-afternoon in Thailand.

Thailand is known across the globe as a partying hotspot thanks to its Full Moon beach parties and party resorts. However, what many travellers don’t realise is that it’s illegal to order any alcoholic drinks throughout the country outside of the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. to midnight.

This means no 4 p.m. cocktails on the beach or late night beverages while out clubbing into the small hours. Any clubs, bars, or vendors caught selling alcohol outside of these designated time slots can be fined 4,000 Baht (£92) or even face a prison sentence of up to two years.

Dancing after dark in Japan.

Dancing after midnight is illegal in Japan due to a law introduced in 1948, put into place to regulate the sex industry.

The law was changed in 2015 after campaigners asked for the ban to be lifted. Now, dancing after midnight is allowed, but only if the lighting is at least 10 lux (that’s 10 lumens per square metre).

Smoking in public in Singapore.

Although smoking isn’t illegal in public in Singapore, regulations on where you can smoke in public places are extreme.

Bus stops, playgrounds, and carparks are all strict non-smoking zones. Smokers must also stay at least five metres away from all entrances to buildings, bus shelters, and common areas while holding a lit cigarette, or face fines of up to S$10,000 (£5,600).

Jaywalking in the US.

In the US, Iran, and Singapore, crossing the road anywhere that isn’t a designated pedestrian crossing can result in fines, a court appearance, or even a prison sentence.

Texting while walking in Honolulu.

In an attempt to make pedestrians share responsibility for road safety with drivers, texting while walking has recently been banned in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Anyone caught texting — or looking at any sort of electronic device — while crossing a road can be slapped with a fine of up to $99 (£75).

Swearing in public in Australia.

Banned in three Australian states — New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland — swearing in a public place can get you slapped with an on-the-spot fine of anything between AU$100 (£58) and AU$240 (£140).

Wearing swimwear in the city in Spain.

Despite the sunbathers clad in bikini tops that line Spain’s beaches in the summer, failing to wear appropriate clothing away from the beach could result in happy-go-lucky tourists being slapped with a semi-nudity charge and a fine between €100 and €200 (£90 and £180).

Taking painkillers into the United Arab Emirates.

Drug laws in the UAE are extremely strict — many over-the-counter remedies common in the UK and around the world are seen as serious narcotics, especially anything containing codeine.

Travellers are safer to leave their painkillers at home, as possession of a banned substance — or even traces in the bloodstream — can result in a prison sentence of up to four years.

Feeding Venice’s pigeons.

Feeding pigeons in Venice was made illegal in 2008. The law was brought about in an attempt to minimise the number of bird droppings on Venice’s famous monuments and ornate buildings.

Driving without headlights in Sweden.

No matter the time of day, all moving vehicles must have their headlights switched on when driving through Sweden and Norway.

In the depths of winter, Stockholm only has between five and six daylight hours. Meanwhile, Swedish summers can see upwards of 20 daylight hours.

Due to the vastly ranging figures, it’s safer to ask all drivers to keep their headlights on at all times.

Wearing high heels to a Greek historic site.

High heels have been banned from many ancient monuments across Greece due to the additional wear-and-tear they’re deemed to cause on the historic sites.

The law was passed in 2009. At the time, the Director of Greek Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Eleni Korka, told the Daily Mail: “These monuments have a skin that suffers and people must realise that.”

Stopping on the motorway in Germany.

Germany’s motorway network, called the autobahn, has a very strict “no stopping” policy. Drivers causing a block in the traffic from staying still could be fined anywhere between €30 and €70 (£27 and £63).

Wearing pink shorts on Sundays in Victoria, Australia.

Due to an old law still around from the Victorian era, pink shorts are banned in Victoria, Austraila, on Sunday afternoons.

The reasons why this law is in place are unclear, but strutting your stuff in pink shorts from midday onwards will see you committing a literal fashion crime.

Source….www.businessinsider.com

Natarajan

The Curious Case of Gregory Packer- The Everyman….

For over two decades now, if the New York news (or any other present) needs a soundbite or quote from an “everyman” or “man on the street” to round off a story, there has been one man they’ve been able to rely on with an almost staggering level of consistency- Gregory Packer. Since the mid-1990s, Packer has been quoted hundreds of times by newspapers across America and has aired his opinions on everything from the Iraq War to the Star Wars movies. A divisive figure among media members, Packer has been both praised and mocked for his stalwart dedication to being the first to show up to newsworthy events, whether the media likes it or not.

Born in 1963 in Huntington, New York, profiles of Packer in the very newspapers he’s been so frequently quoted note that he harbored a fascination with celebrity from a very young age, starting at age 8 when Packer’s mother gave him a signed photo of Natalie Wood, reportedly after she met the actress by chance on a plane. Four years later, Packer’s father stoked the fires of his son’s obsession by gifting him an autograph from boxing legend Joe Louis. As he entered his formative years, Packer took to seeking out celebrities on his own, tracking down his favourite hockey players for autographs after games or public appearances.

Little is known about Packer’s life directly after he graduated high school in 1983, save for the fact that he got a job working as a highway maintenance worker sometime in the late 1980s- a job that he somehow retired from in the early 2000s while only in his late 30s. Since then, Packer has stepped up his life’s mission to be quoted by as many news sources as possible by making it a full-time gig… Why?

It all started in 1995, when he was quoted by the Tampa Tribune as saying: “The Jewish people are fans of Pope John Paul II.” Packer notes that seeing his name in print made him feel like he’d “accomplished something”. He further states, “Sometimes I need to stick my face in a camera. I just need to show people I’m alive…. I really am totally obsessed with having my name out there, but it’s a healthy obsession. It’s not like I’m hurting anyone.”

In an attempt to recapture that high he found when his words appeared in the Tampa Tribune, he states he began attending roughly two major events every week, using his weekends, vacation, and personal days to accomplish this. When the latter ran out, Packer would sometimes just call in sick, missing pay for that day, but at least potentially getting his name in the news. When asked in 2002 if he was worried that calling in sick to wait in line to buy tickets to a Britney Spears concert might get him fired, Packer responded frankly: “Even if when I went back to work I got fired, I know I would have the full support of the public.”

Since his early retirement, he has, however, not had any such work issue and has been able to be the first in line for almost every major event in New York State, and occasionally branching out to places across the country when possible, attending book signings, political rallies, concerts, parades, sporting events, mall openings, product releases, and even funerals, such as attempting to go to Whitney Houston’s funeral. (Only those invited actually got to see the funeral, but the fact that he essentially camped out as close to the action as was allowed, he still got his quote in the news, stating “It’s important to be out here with the fans… They should have allowed everyone to see it.”)

The result of all of this is that Packer has been quoted by nearly every major newspaper and news organisation in the United States. He’s also briefly met at least three different U.S. presidents (Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush- who he had a nice conversation about baseball with; he claims he’s actually met four presidents, but doesn’t appear to mention anywhere who the fourth one was). On top of that, he’s watched Michael Jackson do the moonwalk up close and personal, met Dennis Rodman, Britney Spears, Courtney Love, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, Ringo Starr, sat in the front row at the Super Bowl twice, was one of the first people in America to buy an iPhone (waiting in line 110 straight hours to do it), and had none other than Hillary Clinton seemingly recognize him on-sight, surprising Packer at a book signing by saying, “Hello, Mr. Packer”. He accomplished all of this thanks, in part, to his apparent superpower- the ability to ignore fatigue and boredom for countless hours on end while appearing extremely jovial the entire time.

You see, as you might have guessed based on what you’ve read so far, Packer quickly discovered that the best way to be quoted by the press, meet some celebrity, or appear on TV was simply to be the first person in line for a major event; once that’s accomplished, to increase odds even further, he states you must be continually boisterously happy and friendly while sitting there and waiting- sometimes for days.

In all cases, Packer waits with the simple hope that he’ll be approached by a reporter or otherwise just appear on TV in some way, with the latter often happening in wide pan shots of the line and event, or sometimes with Packer appearing in the background, such as times when a famous person is addressing the media or giving a speech where a crowd is allowed around.

As such, it should come as no surprise that Packer has been described by some as a “professional line sitter”, impressively usually seen pictured waiting in line with little more than a newspaper and wearing simple, everyman outfits that fit the event, including things like Yankees shirts or NYPD hoodies. Packer rarely brings either food or water to events unless absolutely necessary, such as when camping out for days, once being quoted as saying, “I don’t bring extra supplies because you’ve got to worry about supplies being left behind.”

Naturally, his frequency of being at all these events and so often getting quoted was bound to eventually become noticed within the world of journalism, and there has been some backlash to his striving to achieve his simple dream.

On that note, Packer has had an uneasy relationship with the public at large, with some applauding his commitment and tenacity, while others openly deride his apparent obsession with his own notoriety. In regards to the latter, a writer for Business Insider covering the story of Packer being the first in line to buy an iPad even went so far as calling him:

“The same stupid guy who’s first in line for everything.”

A sentiment echoed by many in the media, in particular the Associated Press, who, in 2003, strongly discouraged reporters from speaking to him after higher ups noticed he’d been quoted in at least 100 publications up to that point. As such, they issued a memo stating,

“The world is full of all kinds of interesting people. One of them is Greg Packer of Huntington, NY, who apparently lives to get his name on the AP wire and in other media…. Mr Packer is clearly eager to be quoted. Let’s be eager, too- to find other people to quote.”

As to this, Packer stated he thinks this memo just might end up being the biggest highlight of his career.

That said, in a mini-documentary about his life as a “man on the street”, Packer expressed that he feels bad knowing reporters can get in trouble for quoting him, but argues that there’s nothing inherently wrong with him simply being in the “right place at the right time” to offer a timely, often innocuous quote or soundbite.

The fact that he goes out of his way to ensure that this is the case and has admitted to “making stuff up to get in the paper” in the past doesn’t appear to bother Packer all that much; he feels that he is doing reporters a favor by helping them get their job done quicker, and tailoring his quotes in such a way to make their life easier.

In fact, to our knowledge, the only time Packer has refused to give a quote was during an interview with the New York Times in 2003. When asked by reporter Alan Feuer for his opinion on recent scandals in the world of journalism, Packer, who has a deep respect for journalists, simply responded “I have no comment”.

In the end, while some have taken a somewhat negative attitude when it comes to Packer’s obsession with appearing in the media, there is something to be admired in a person who derives such pleasure from something so simple. While most dream pie in the sky things- becoming a famous and wildly successful actor, musician, artist, businessman, etc., Packer has chosen another path, having only a small dream, which he pursues with vigor, unlike most who dream bigger but do nothing about it. He just wants to get his name in print or face on TV, and admirably pursues this in completely benign ways, hurting no one in the process, nor instigating any negative drama.

As a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University, Robert Thompson, stated,

“This guy has clearly found something he loves to do, and few people have done that. You have to admire that. How many people have found something that they love to wake up at 2:30 in the morning to do? Not very many.”

Or to quote the man himself in an interview from 2002: “This is what I like doing. You only live once, you might as well make the most of it.”

Source….www.today i found out.com

Natarajan