Thursday, June 30, 2011

ONE BEDROOM FLAT - An Indian Software Engineer's Life - A Bitter Reality

As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in Software Engineer and joined a company based in USA , the land of braves and opportunity. When I arrived in the USA , it was as if a dream had come true.

Here at last I was in the place where I want to be. I decided I would be staying in this country for about Five years in which time I would have earned enough money to settle down in India .

My father was a government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was a decent one bedroom flat.


I wanted to do some thing more than him. I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap international phone cards. Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald's and pizzas and discos and 2 years watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down.

Finally I decided to get married. Told my parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and everything must be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest flight. Was jubilant and was actually enjoying hopping for gifts for all my friends back home. If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one candidate.

In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get anymore holidays. After the marriage, it was time to return to USA , after giving some money to my parents and telling the neighbors to look after them, we returned to USA .

My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes 3 times a week. Our savings started diminishing. After two more years we started to have kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children.

Every year I decide to go to India . But part work part monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried but I couldn't get any holidays and thus could not go to India . The next message I got was my parents had passed away and as there was no one to do the last rights the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents had passed away without seeing their grand children.

After couple more years passed away, much to my children's dislike and my wife's joy we returned to India to settle down. I started to look for a suitable property, but to my dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to the USA .

My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India . My 2 children and I returned to USA after promising my wife I would be back for good after two years.


Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my son was happy living in USA . I decided that had enough and wound-up every thing and returned to India . I had just enough money to buy a decent 02 bedroom flat in a well-developed locality.

Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the routine visit to the nearby temple. My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode. Sometimes I wondered was it worth all this? My father, even after staying in India , had a house to his name and I too have the same nothing more.

I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM.

Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing. This damned cable TV has spoiled our new generation and these children are losing their values and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my children asking I am alright. Well at least they remember me.

Now perhaps after I die it will be the neighbors again who will be performing my last rights, God Bless them. But the question still remains 'was all this worth it?'

I am still searching for an answer...... ......... .!!!!


START THINKING

IS IT JUST FOR ONE EXTRA BEDROOM???


LIFE IS BEYOND THIS …..DON'T JUST LEAVE YOUR LIFE …….. START LIVING IT ……. LIVE IT AS YOU WANT IT TO BE …….


--- By an Indian Software Engineer who was in US.

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10 Tips to Improve Interpersonal Skills


1. Practice Smiling Often. No one wants to be around someone who is always frowning. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and life.

2. Pay Attention to People. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask them for their opinions and suggestions.

3. Be Generous with Praise and Words of Encouragement. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they will want to give you their best.

4. Keep Your Promises. If you promise something to someone, follow up on it.

5. Treat Everyone Fairly. Do not play favorites and avoid talking about others behind their backs.

6. Pay Close Attention to Your Body Language. This and the tone of your voice have a lot to do with how people feel about you. Think before you speak!

7. Make other’s Laugh. Most people are drawn to a person who can make them feel better.

8. Try to See Things from Another Person’s View. Empathy is about being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding how they feel.

9. Keep an Open Mind. Remember there is always room for discussion and compromise.

10. Don’t Complain. There is nothing worse than a chronic whiner. Try to focus on helping other people solve their problems and it will be remembered.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Different Parts of Our Body Age At Different Times


WE all accept that getting older is inevitable, and now leading clinicians have revealed the exact age when different body parts start to decline, most alarming being the brain and lungs.

French doctors have found that the quality of men's' sperm starts to deteriorate by 35, so that by the time a man is 45 a third of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Here, with the help of leading clinicians, Angela Epstein tells the Daily Mail the ages when different parts of the body start to lose their battle with time.



BRAIN - Starts aging at 20
As we get older, the number of nerve cells - or neurons - in the brain decrease. We start with around 100 billion, but in our 20s this number starts to decline. By 40, we could be losing up to 10,000 per day, affecting memory, co-ordination and brain function.

GUT - Starts aging at 55.
A healthy gut has a good balance between harmful and 'friendly' bacteria. But levels of friendly bacteria in the gut drop significantly after 55, particularly in the large intestine, says Tom MacDonald, professor of immunology at Barts And The London medical school. As a result, we suffer from poor digestion and an increased risk of gut disease. Constipation is more likely as we age, as the flow of digestive juices from the stomach, liver, pancreas and small intestine slows down.

BREASTS - Start aging at 35
BY their mid-30s, woman's breasts start losing tissue and fat, reducing size and fullness. Sagging starts properly at 40 and the aureole (the area surrounding the nipple) can shrink considerably.

BLADDER - Starts aging at 65
Loss of bladder control is more likely when you hit 65. Women are more vulnerable to bladder problems as, after the menopause, declining estrogen levels make tissues in the urethra - the tube through which urine passes - thinner and weaker, reducing bladder support. Bladder capacity in an older adult generally is about half that of a younger person - about two cups in a 30-year-old and one cup in a 70-year-old. ...



LUNGS - Start aging at 20
Lung capacity slowly starts to decrease from the age of 20. By the age of 40, some people are already experiencing breathlessness. This is partly because the muscles and the rib cage which control breathing stiffen up.

VOICE - Starts aging at 65
Our voices become quieter and hoarser with age. The soft tissues in the voice box (larynx) weaken, affecting the pitch, loudness and quality of the voice. A woman's voice may become huskier and lower in pitch, whereas a man's might become thinner and higher.

EYES - Start aging at 40
Glasses are the norm for many over-40s as failing eyesight kicks in - usually long-sightedness, affecting our ability to see objects up close.

HEART - Starts aging at 40
The heart pumps blood less effectively around the body as we get older. This is because blood vessels become less elastic, while arteries can harden or become blocked because of fatty deposits forming on the coronary arteries - caused by eating too much saturated fat. The blood supply to the heart is then reduced, resulting in painful angina. Men over 45 and women over 55 are at greater risk of a heart attack.

LIVER - Starts aging at 70
This is the only organ in the body which seems to defy the aging process.

KIDNEYS - Starts aging at 50
With kidneys, the number of filtering units (nephrons) that remove waste from the bloodstream starts to reduce in middle age.

PROSTATE - Starts aging at 50
The prostate often becomes enlarged with age, leading to problems such as increased need to urinate, says Professor Roger Kirby, director of the Prostate Centre in London . This is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and affects half of men over 50, but rarely those under 40. It occurs when the prostate absorbs large amounts of the male sex hormone testosterone, which increases the growth of cells in the prostate. A normal prostate is the size of a walnut, but the condition can increase this to the size of a tangerine.

BONES - Start aging at 35
'Throughout our life, old bone is broken down by cells called osteoclasts and replaced by bone-building cells called osteoblasts - a process called bone turnover,' explains Robert Moots, professor of rheumatology at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool . Children's bone growth is rapid - the skeleton takes just two years to renew itself completely. In adults, this can take ten years. Until our mid-20s, bone density is still increasing. But at 35 bone loss begins as part of the natural ageing process.

TEETH - Start aging at 40
As we age, we produce less saliva, which washes away bacteria, so teeth and gums are more vulnerable to decay. Receding gums - when tissue is lost from gums around the teeth - is common in adults over 40.

MUSCLES - Start aging at 30
Muscle is constantly being built up and broken down, a process which is well balanced in young adults. However, by the time we're 30, breakdown is greater than buildup, explains Professor Robert Moots. Once adults reach 40, they start to lose between 0.5 and 2 per cent of their muscle each year. Regular exercise can help prevent this.

HEARING - Starts aging mid-50s
More than half of people over 60 lose hearing because of their age, according to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.

SKIN - Starts aging mid-20s
The skin starts to age naturally in your mid-20s.

TASTE AND SMELL - Start aging at 60
We start out in life with about 10,000 taste buds scattered on the tongue. This number can halve later in life. After we turn 60, taste and smell gradually decline, partly as a result of the normal ageing process.

FERTILITY - Starts aging at 35
Female fertility begins to decline after 35, as the number and quality of eggs in the ovaries start to fall. The lining of the womb may become thinner, making it less likely for a fertilised egg to take, and also creating an environment hostile to sperm.

HAIR - Starts aging at 30
Male hair loss usually begins in the 30s. Hair is made in tiny pouches just under the skin's surface, known as follices. A hair normally grows from each follicle for about three years, is then shed, and a new hair grows. Most people will have some grey hair by the age of 35. When we are young, our hair is coloured by the pigments produced by cells in the hair follicle known as melanocytes.

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Telltale Signs Children of the 90s are Getting Older



You knew it would happen, you just never imagined it would happen to you. One day you’re raging against the machine and bringing the man down while wearing flannel (or if you were more like me, grooving to Ace of Base on your Walkman while donning a Blossom hat) and the next you’re shaking your fist in a crotchety manner and muttering incoherently about the trouble with “kids today.” Where do the years go?

Getting older is inevitable, but the gradual onset of adulthood makes it difficult to pinpoint that exact moment you start to worry about the health of your 401K and can sustain lengthy dinner party conversations about mortgage rates and homeowner association costs. Just in case you’ve been building up a thick shield of denial, Children of the 90s is here to break it down and point out all the glaring signs that you’re just not as young as you used to be. Sounds like fun, right? Here goes:


The Shows you Grew Up With are on Nick at Nite


When we were kids, Nick at Nite was a block of television that featured significantly older and largely black and white sitcoms like I Love Lucy and The Munsters. At some point I must have stopped watching because I was recently shocked to learn that Nick at Nite now plays Home Improvement and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. When did all of the things I grew up with get so retro? Do kids today think of Full House the same way I thought of Mr. Ed? A terrifying prospect indeed.


The Kids on The Real World keep getting Younger


When The Real World premiered in 1992, its stars seemed so grown-up to us children of the 90s. Fast forward 25 seasons and a suspicious trend is emerging: the cast members not only seem to be growing less relevant and more obscure with each year, but also significantly younger. Some may argue that we’re just getting older, but I think it’s all a matter of perspective.


You Still Think of Actors as the Iconic Characters they Portrayed in their Youth


Perhaps you find yourself wondering why Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell and Travis from Clueless are pretending to be lawyers together weeknights on TNT. Or, alternatively, you’re still marveling that Clarissa Darling and Blossom’s brother are involved in weekly madcap manny adventures. Regardless of all of the mold-breaking and serious roles these former teen actors undertake, it can be hard to remove them from the context of the Bop! magazine pullout posters that once plastered our walls.



Your Favorite Teen Pop Stars are Constantly Staging Comebacks


It may seem like only yesterday that young stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were shocking audiences with their bare midriffs and provocative dancing, but they’ve long since been replaced by a new generation of teen stars. The teen pop stars we grew up with are desperately clinging to their former sex-symbol statuses, and while many have managed to remain in the limelight it’s often been through tightly managed “comeback” moves and constant reinvention.


Rap Songs all Sound the Same, and the ones you like are by Artists who have been around Twenty Years

Case in point: I still love Jay-Z. His current age? 41. Hardly a representative of young folks today. Other pertinent examples: Snoop Dogg (age 39), P. Diddy (age 41) , Dr. Dre (age 46), Eminem (age 38), 50 Cent (age 35), Nelly (age 36)....need I go on?

It’s finally happened: I’ve turned into the old person who changes the radio station when an irritatingly repetitive rap song comes on. I find myself complaining about the lack of creativity, vulgar lyrics, and overly catchy hooks I can’t get out of my head. When a new rap song I like comes on, nine times out of ten the rapper is older than 35 and has been churning out hits since the early 90s.


Hollywood is already Remaking the Movies you Watched as a Kid


The movie industry is clearly low on new ideas. How else can you explain remaking films as recent as The Karate Kid, Footloose, The Bodyguard, and Total Recall? There are kids out there who don’t even know there was an original Karate Kid, or even if they do, they’re disappointed he couldn’t rap and wasn’t featured in a Justin Bieber song. Truly tragic.


You’ve Lived Through a Full Cycle of Fashion


All you have to do is walk into an American Apparel or Urban Outfitters to realize that their “new arrival” items are a reboot of the what you used to wear in junior high. A quick glance at the American Apparel website shows items like light wash high waisted jeans, neon scrunchies, leggings, and bodysuits. If only you had saved your middle school wardrobe, you’d save yourself a lot of money on new clothes.



Strange Wonders Of The World

Sailing Stones


The mysterious moving stones of the packed-mud desert of Death Valley have been a center of scientific controversy for decades.Rocks weighing up to hundreds of pounds have been known to move up to hundreds of yards at a time. Some scientists have proposed that a combination of strong winds and surface ice account for these movements.

However, this theory does not explain evidence of different rocks starting side by side and moving at different rates and in disparate directions.

Moreover, the physics calculations do not fully support this theory as wind speeds of hundreds of miles per hour would be needed to move some of the stones.



Columnar Basalt
When a thick lava flow cools, it contracts vertically but cracks perpendicular to its directional flow with remarkable geometric regularity- in most cases forming a regular grid of remarkable hexagonal extrusions
that almost appear to be made by man.

One of the most famous such examples is the Giant's Causeway on the coast of Ireland (shown above),
though the largest and most widely recognized would be Devil's Tower in Wyoming. Basalt also forms different but equally fascinating ways when eruptions are exposed to air or water.


Blue Holes
 Blue holes are giant and sudden drops in underwater elevation that get their name from the dark and foreboding blue tone they exhibit when viewed from above in relationship to surrounding waters. They can be hundreds of feet deep and while divers are able to explore some of them they are largely devoid of oxygen that would support sea life due to poor water circulation - leaving them eerily empty. Some blue holes, however, contain ancient fossil remains that have been discovered, preserved in their depths.


Red Tides
 Red tides are also known as algal blooms - sudden influxes of massive amounts of colored single-cell algae that can convert entire areas of an ocean or beach into a blood red color. While some of these can be relatively harmless, others can be harbingers of deadly toxins that cause the deaths of fish, birds and marine mammals. In some cases, even humans have been harmed by red tides though no human exposure are known to have been fatal. While they can be fatal, the constituent phytoplankton in ride tides are not harmful in small numbers.


Ice Circles
While many see these apparently perfect ice circles as worthy of conspiracy theorizing, scientists generally accept that they are formed by eddies in the water that spin a sizable piece of ice in a circular motion. As a result of this rotation, other pieces of ice and flotsam wear relatively evenly at the edges of the ice until it slowly forms into an essentially ideal circle. Ice circles have been seen with diameters of over 500 feet
and can also at times be found in clusters and groups of different sizes as shown above.


Mammatus Clouds
True to their ominous appearance, mammatus clouds are often harbingers of a coming storm or other extreme weather system. Typically composed primarily of ice, they can extend for hundreds of miles in each direction
and individual formations can remain visibly static for ten to fifteen minutes at a time. While they may appear foreboding they are merely the messengers- appearing around, before or even after severe weather.



Fire Rainbows
A circumhorizontal fire rainbow arc occurs at a rare confluence of right time and right place for the sun and certain clouds. Crystals within the clouds refract light into the various visible waves of the spectrum but only if they are arrayed correctly relative to the ground below. Due to the rarity with which all of these events happen in conjunction with one another, there are relatively few remarkable photos of this phenomena.

Sinkholes
Sinkholes are one of the world's scariest natural phenomena. Over time, water erodes the soil under the planet's surface until in some cases, quite suddenly, the land above gives way and collapses into the earth. Many sinkholes occur naturally while others are the result of human intervention. Displacing groundwater can open cavities while broken pipes can erode otherwise stable subterranean sediments. Urban sinkholes, up to hundreds of feet deep have formed and consumed parts of city blocks, sidewalks and even entire buildings.


Penitentes
 Named after peak-hooded New Mexican monks (lower right above), penitentes are dazzling naturally-forming ice blades that stick up at sharp angles toward the sun. Rarely found except at high altitudes,
they can grow up taller than a human and form in vast fields. As ice melts in particular patterns, 'valleys' formed by initial melts leave 'mountains' in their wake. Strangely, these formations ultimately slow the melting process as the peaks cast shadows on the deeper surfaces below and allow for winds to blow over the peaks, cooling them.

Lenticular Clouds
 Ever wonder the truth about UFOs? Avoided by traditional pilots but loved by sailplane aviators, lenticular clouds are masses of cloud with strong internal uplift that can drive a motorless flyer to high elevations. Their shape is quite often mistaken for a mysterious flying object or the artificial cover for one. Generally, lenticular clouds are formed as wind speeds up while moving around a large land object such as a mountain.


Light Pillars
Light pillars appear as eerily upright luminous columns in the sky, beacons cast into the air above without an apparent source. These are visible when light reflects just right off of ice crystals from either the sun (as in the two top images above) or from artificial ground sources such as street or park lights. Despite their appearance as near-solid columns of light, the effect is entirely created by our own relative viewpoint.

Sundogs
Like light pillars, sundogs are the product of light passing through crystals. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals can have a drastic visual impact for the viewer, producing a longer tail and changing the range of colors one sees. The relative height of the sun in the sky shifts the distance the sundogs appear to be on either side of the sun. Varying climactic conditions on other planets in our solar system produce halos with up to four sundogs from those planets' perspectives. Sundogs have been speculated about and discussed since ancient times and written records describing the various attributes of our sun date back the Egyptians and Greeks.

Fire Whirls
Fire whirls (also known as fire devils or tornadoes) appear in or around raging fires when the right combination of climactic conditions is present. Fire whirls can be spawned by other natural events such as earthquakes and thunderstorms, and can be incredibly dangerous, in some cases spinning well out of the zone of a fire itself to cause devastation and death in a radius not even reached by heat or flame. Fire whirls have been known to be nearly a mile high, have wind speeds of over 100 miles per hour and to last for 20 or more minutes.


Orange Moons
This last phenomena is something most people have seen before - beautiful orange moon hanging low in the sky. But what causes this phenomena - and, for that matter, does the moon have a color at all?

When the moon appears lower on the horizon, rays of light bouncing off it have to pass through a great deal more of our atmosphere which slowly strips away everything but yellows, oranges and reds. The bottommost image above is true to the hues of the moon but has enhanced colors to more clearly show the differences in shade that illustrate the mixed topography and minerology that tell the story of the moon's surface. Looking at the colors in combination with the craters one can start to trace the history of impacts and consequent material movements across the face of our mysterious moon.


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Harry Potter Movies Pictures Download the deathly hallows part 2 Wallpapers

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Improve your Brain Power - Memory

Everyone can take steps to improve their memory, and with time and practice most people can gain the ability to memorize seemingly impossible amounts of information. Whether you want to win the World Memory Championships, ace your history test, or simply remember where you put your keys, this article can get you started. Scientists believe that exercising your brain can create a ‘cognitive reserve' that will help you stay sharp as you age.

1. Convince yourself that you do have a good memory that will improve. Too many people get stuck here and convince themselves that their memory is bad, that they are just not good with names, that numbers just slip out of their minds for some reason. Erase those thoughts and vow to improve your memory. Commit yourself to the task and bask in your achievements — it's hard to keep motivated if you beat yourself down every time you make a little bit of progress.


2. Keep your brain active. The brain is not a muscle, but regularly “exercising” the brain actually does keep it growing and spurs the development of new nerve connections that can help improve memory. By developing new mental skills—especially complex ones such as learning a new language or learning to play a new musical instrument—and challenging your brain with puzzles and games you can keep your brain active and improve its physiological functioning.

3. Exercise daily. Regular aerobic exercise improves circulation and efficiency throughout the body, including in the brain, and can help ward off the memory loss that comes with aging. Exercise also makes you more alert and relaxed, and can thereby improve your memory uptake, allowing you to take better mental “pictures.”

4. Reduce stress. Chronic stress, although it does not physically damage the brain, can make remembering much more difficult. Even temporary stresses can make it more difficult to effectively focus on concepts and observe things. Try to relax, regularly practice yoga or other stretching exercises, and see a doctor if you have severe chronic stress.

5. Eat well and eat right. There are a lot of herbal supplements on the market that claim to improve memory, but none have yet been shown to be effective in clinical tests (although small studies have shown some promising results for ginkgo biloba and phosphatidylserine) . A healthy diet, however, contributes to a healthy brain, and foods containing antioxidants— broccoli, blueberries, spinach, and berries, for example—and Omega-3 fatty acids appear to promote healthy brain functioning. Feed your brain with such supplements as Thiamine, Vitamin E, Niacin and Vitamin B-6. Grazing, eating 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals, also seems to improve mental functioning (including memory) by limiting dips in blood sugar, which may negatively affect the brain.

6. Take better pictures. Often we forget things not because our memory is bad, but rather because our observational skills need work. One common situation where this occurs (and which almost everyone can relate to) is meeting new people. Often we don't really learn people's names at first because we aren't really concentrating on remembering them. You'll find that if you make a conscious effort to remember such things, you'll do much better. One way to train yourself to be more observant is to look at an unfamiliar photograph for a few seconds and then turn the photograph over and describe or write down as many details as you can about the photograph. Try closing your eyes and picturing the photo in your mind. Use a new photograph each time you try this exercise, and with regular practice you will find you're able to remember more details with even shorter glimpses of the photos.

7. Give yourself time to form a memory. Memories are very fragile in the short-term, and distractions can make you quickly forget something as simple as a phone number. The key to avoid losing memories before you can even form them is to be able to focus on the thing to be remembered for a while without thinking about other things, so when you're trying to remember something, avoid distractions and complicated tasks for a few minutes.



8. Create vivid, memorable images. You remember information more easily if you can visualize it. If you want to associate a child with a book, try not to visualize the child reading the book – that's too simple and forgettable. Instead, come up with something more jarring, something that sticks, like the book chasing the child, or the child eating the book. It's your mind – make the images as shocking and emotional as possible to keep the associations strong.

9. Repeat things you need to learn. The more times you hear, see, or think about something, the more surely you'll remember it, right? It's a no-brainer. When you want to remember something, be it your new coworker's name or your best friend's birthday, repeat it, either out loud or silently. Try writing it down; think about it.

10. Group things you need to remember. Random lists of things (a shopping list, for example) can be especially difficult to remember. To make it easier, try categorizing the individual things from the list. If you can remember that, among other things, you wanted to buy four different kinds of vegetables, you'll find it easier to remember all four.

11. Organize your life. Keep items that you frequently need, such as keys and eyeglasses, in the same place every time. Use an electronic organizer or daily planner to keep track of appointments, due dates for bills, and other tasks. Keep phone numbers and addresses in an address book or enter them into your computer or cell phone. Improved organization can help free up your powers of concentration so that you can remember less routine things. Even if being organized doesn't improve your memory, you'll receive a lot of the same benefits (i.e. you won't have to search for your keys anymore).

12. Try meditation. Research now suggests that people who regularly practice “mindfulness” meditation are able to focus better and may have better memories. Mindfulness (also known as awareness or insight meditation) is the type commonly practiced in Western countries and is easy to learn. Studies at Massachusetts General Hospital show that regular meditation thickens the cerebral cortex in the brain by increasing the blood flow to that region. Some researchers believe this can enhance attention span, focus, and memory.

13. Sleep well. The amount of sleep we get affects the brain's ability to recall recently learned information. Getting a good night's sleep – a minimum of seven hours a night – may improve your short-term memory and long-term relational memory, according to recent studies conducted at the Harvard Medical School.

14. Build your memorization arsenal. Learn pegs, memory palaces, and the Dominic System. These techniques form the foundation for mnemonic techniques, and will visibly improve your memory.

15. Venture out and learn from your mistakes. Go ahead and take a stab at memorizing the first one hundred digits of pi, or, if you've done that already, the first one thousand. Memorize the monarchs of England through your memory palaces, or your grocery list through visualization. Through diligent effort you will eventually master the art of memorization.


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Fantastic Colors of Sri Lanka

School children descend the steps as they return after a visit to the rock fortress in Sigiriya. Sigiriya (Lion's rock), an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin situated in central Sri Lanka is a World Heritage Site.


A child holds an oil lamp in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) as they take part in a procession during the Esala Perahera festival in the ancient hill capital of Kandy. The festival features a nightly procession of Kandyan dancers, fire twirlers, traditional musicians and elephants and draws thousands of spectators from around the country.

Sri Lankan officer cadets march at a ceremony for 281 new army officers' graduation at the central hill town of Diyatalawa.

Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan bowls at a practice session ahead of the second one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, in Dambulla.

A fisherman prepares his net for the night at Kandalama Lake, near Dambulla.

A visitor looks at frescoes on a rock face at the rock fortress in Sigiriya. Sigiriya (Lion's rock) is a popular tourist destination renowned for its ancient fresco paintings.


The shadow of the rock fortress is seen on the forest canopies below, in Sigiriya.

Kandyan dancers perform in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) as they take part in a procession during the Esala Perahera festival in the ancient hill capital of Kandy

A man displays a 3-day-old green turtle hatchling before releasing it into the ocean at a turtle hatchery in Kosgoda, north of Galle. Of the world's eight turtle species, Sri Lanka is home to five. Turtle hatcheries along the coast provide a way of earning a living for the people running them and also help combat the poaching of turtle eggs.

Three elephants, including one carrying a casket believed to contain a Buddha tooth relic (center), stand in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) as they take part in a procession during the Esala Perahera festival in Kandy

An elephant feeds at an elephant orphanage in Pinnawala The elephant orphanage aims to take care of orphaned or abandoned elephants in the jungles of Sri Lanka. The mahouts, or elephant keepers, feed the elephants and take them twice a day to a nearby river for bathing and drinking water.

An elephant herd bathes at a river near an elephant orphanage in Pinnawala

A Buddha statue is reflected in a lake at the Tsumani Honganji Vihara in Peraliya, north of Galle. The statue at the Vihara, along the coast, was built with Japanese assistance after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

People sit on the edge of a lookout on the walls of a 16th century Dutch fort as the sun sets in Galle.

Sri Lankan fishermen, also known locally as stick fishermen, sit perched on stilts fixed into the ocean floor as they fish in Koggala area, south of Galle

A Sri Lankan fisherman avoids a wave as he wades into the water to take his place on stilts, south of Galle

A Sri Lankan girl peeps from her window as the train rolls out from the railway station in Galle

Sri Lankan torch bearers wait for festivities to begin on opening night of the annual Kandy Esala Perahera festival Kandy.

Hindu devotees take part in a procession of chariots during the annual Chariot Festival in Wellawattha

A monkey rests on a wall as another grooms it at the rock fortress ruins in Sigiriya, near Dambulla

Sri Lankan traditional dancers from Budawatta Dance Troupe perform during the launch of "Meet in Sri Lanka" campaign, in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 31, 2009. The campaign is launched by Sri Lankan Tourism Ministry and Sri Lankan airlines to attract tour operators and Indian tourists.


Christian priest holds a small idol of Our Lady of Good Voyage as her main idol lies covered in floral tributes and decorations, right, atop a fishing boat, at a fishing port in Negambo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 19, 2009. Fishermen of the Christian community take out a traditional annual procession of the Lady of Good Voyage from a local church by foot and then later by boat to the ocean, as an expression of thanks for what the community considers her blessings for safe voyage.

Fishermen push their boat ashore as they use the waves to help them get it onto the beach in Unawatuna.

A Sri Lankan fisherman walks into the water in the Koggala area, Sri Lanka.


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