Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alert from Montgomery County : Drivers please be more careful of pedestrians walking on the road ( applies anytime you drive)

Montgomery County officials are urging drivers to be especially alert for pedestrians walking in the roads because of snow-covered sidewalks.  Drivers should also be cautious when pulling out of side streets onto main roads.
Pedestrians should:
• Be careful crossing the street.
• Wear appropriate shoes and brightly colored clothing while walking in snowy or icy conditions.
• Be cautious of slippery crosswalks and sidewalks.
• Be aware that drivers may have difficulty maneuvering or stopping their vehicles.
• Wear reflective clothing or stickers for maximum protection, especially at dawn and dusk.
• Make sure vehicles are stopped and that they are seen by drivers before proceeding in front of them.
Some other safety tips for residents who are clearing snow and Ice are:
• Slippery driveways and sidewalks can be hazardous. Keep them well shoveled and apply abrasive materials to improve traction.
• When shoveling snow, avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks.
• If snow has covered fire hydrants, shovel it away so firefighters can easily locate them in the event of an emergency.
Montgomery County law requires that all residential and commercial property owners clear their public sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm.
For more information or the latest snow-related updates, go to the County's website at   Montgomery County’s Highway Maintenance Section, Department of Transportation, continues to staff its Call Center to respond to residents’ road-related questions and concerns at 240-777-6000.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

PSA Dec 19th 2009: Washington DC Metro will stop service to above ground Stations at 1 p.m

Metrorail trains will stop serving above-ground stations at 1 p.m. today, Saturday, December 19, due to heavy snowfall that is covering the electrified third rail, which is situated eight inches above the ground. The third rail must be clear of snow and ice because it is the source of electricity that powers the trains. Metro officials believe that by 1 p.m. the exposed third rail will be covered by snow.
All Metrobus and MetroAccess service also will stop at 1 p.m. because roadways are quickly becoming impassable.

Yellow Line – Service from Pentagon to Crystal City only
Red Line – Service between Medical Center and Union Station only
Orange Line – Service between Ballston and Stadium-Armory only
Green Line – Service between Fort Totten and Congress Heights only
Blue Line – Service between Ballston (extended to Blue Line)
and Stadium-Armory only

Read more


Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Soldier's Diary - Billy Spencer - Marine Killed In Iraq Leaves Videos Behind

Story from MSNBC

The parents of a Tri-State Marine killed in Iraq are sharing memories of their son, through a series of home movies that they didn't know existed until after he died.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The American Red Cross Club at the University of Maryland College Park


I wanted to pass on this message from the American Red Cross Club :


The American Red Cross Club at the University of Maryland College Park
0208F Stamp Student Union,
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Facebook Group:

I hope you all having an Awesome week! We have Three blood drives this week on campus: The first will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at Stamp in the Atrium. The second is Thursday, November 19, 2009 at the Hillel on North Campus. The third is Friday, November 20, 2009 at Stamp in the Atrium. We need donors AND volunteers for both dates!
1) If you would like to donate, please sign up for an appointment online at:
[Walk-ins are always encouraged to stop by!]
Listed below are the sponsor/donor codes to use depending on when and where you want to donate:
13160 [Stamp Atrium]
10564 [Stamp Colony Ballroom]
12645 [Stamp PG Room]
11341 [La Plata]
10827 [Hillel]
2) If you would like to volunteer, please email
[We need volunteers for both drives AND for tabling.]
Drive Volunteers are needed:
11/18 Wed - at Stamp Atrium, 11am-5pm
11/19 Thur - at the Hillel, 11am-4pm
11/20 Fri - at Stamp Atrium, 9am-2pm
During drives, we need several volunteers throughout the day to help set up posters/signs on campus, recruit students to the drive, help with donor registration, and help with the canteen (drinks/snacks). Snacks and refreshments will be provided!
Tabling Volunteers are needed
** Wed, 11/18 (Stamp)
** Wed, 11/18 (Hillel)
If you can volunteer some time on any of these dates, even an hour would be amazing!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Andean community near Chinchero, Peru

2008 trip to Macchu Pichu - This is a good pic that i took when we visited this village and learned how they use natural ingredients to dye their fabric. Tour was arranged by Kuoda Tours who I highly recommend

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What difference can a few degrees make?

“some birds flying north are having a hard time on arrival because the bugs they eat emerged earlier than in the past, leaving less food available for the hungry birds and their offspring.” Says the website of University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) which includes its programs, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its labs.

See Hot Questions about Climate Change

Sunday, November 1, 2009

America : Looking at the Land of Opportunity again

I am reading the article "Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins -- Five myths about our land of opportunity in the". The article mentions both positive things and also concerning things like
- "rags to riches in a generation is rare"
- Almost 30 percent of children now live in single-parent families
- Among women under age 30, more than half of all births now occur outside marriage
It is a must read article

in reference to:

"Among women under age 30, more than half of all births now occur outside marriage"
- Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins -- Five myths about our land of opportunity - (view on Google Sidewiki)

When the wall came down

In today's Washington Post there was a article that I recommend everyone read " Josef Joffe -- Until 1989, Berlin was Walltown -".

Josef was there when the wall dividing Berlin between the East and the West was built and when it came down. I defintely was not there for either occasion but I feel like being part of that history. On Nov. 9, 1989 I was in Moscow ( at that time the Capital of the USSR) and as news of the Berlin wall tickled to me , I am not sure if it was a Russian colleague or on TV where I could only understand very little of what was said. It was only months later that CNN would start broadcasting locally in Moscow.

If you have a chance you should see a piece of the BErlin wall that is in the newseum and also read today's Outlook Section in the Washington Post.

in reference to:

"Nov. 9, 1989."
- Josef Joffe -- Until 1989, Berlin was Walltown - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Marion Barry Himself

Who has not heard of Marion Barry - The top thought on my mind when I saw him was - Wow ! I need to meet this Civil Rights movement leader and former DC mayor. He was nice and there was a line to get his pic , I was at the next table sponsored by Network Solutions.

Thanks Marion Barry and the Dc chamber

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The White House Diya is lit


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                                    October 14, 2009


East Room

3:46 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated. Welcome to the White House. I'm glad you could join us today as I proudly sign this executive order reestablishing the President's Advisory Commission and White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

Now, when we talk about America's AAPI communities, we're talking about the industry and entrepreneurship of people who've helped build this nation for centuries: from the early days, as laborers on our railroads and farmers tilling our land, to today, as leaders in every sector of American life, from business to science to academia, law and more.

We're talking about the creative energies of musicians like the singers Penn Masala -- we appreciate them -- who performed today. And we're talking about the competitive spirit of athletes like Wat Misaka, who played for the New York Knicks back in 1947 -- the first non-white player in the NBA -- and who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Mr. Misaka is here as well today and -- where's Mr. Misaka? There he is. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

We're talking about the public service of leaders like Secretaries Gary Locke and Steven Chu and Eric Shinseki and the folks on stage with me today. And we're talking about the courage and the patriotism and sacrifice of heroes like the members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team who served in World War II, including Terry Shima. Please give him a big round of applause. (Applause.) Mr. Shima is the Executive Director of the Japanese American Veterans Association, and we are grateful that he took the time to be here today.

Some of their families had been interned. Some had been interned themselves. But they still insisted on fighting for America, and went on to become the most highly decorated unit of their size in history.

And one member of the regiment, Private Jake Kirihara, whose parents were held in a camp here in America while he fought overseas, later said: "… even though this wrong was done to us, there was never any question whether America was my country. If America needed me to help, I'll do it."

So this proud tradition of service continues today in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world, carried on by folks like Tammy Duckworth, my dear friend who's here today. (Applause.) Tammy is a decorated member of our National Guard, a passionate advocate for our wounded warriors, who is now serving as our Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Veterans Affairs Department. I'm proud to have her on board and pleased that she could join us today.

And on a personal note, when I talk about America's AAPI communities, I'm talking about my own family: my sister, Maya; my brother-in-law, Konrad; my beautiful nieces, Suhaila and Savita; and the folks I grew up with in Indonesia, and in Honolulu, as part of the Hawai'ian Ohana, or family.

Our AAPI communities have roots that span the globe, but they embody a rich diversity, and a story of striving and success that are uniquely American.

But focusing on all of these achievements doesn't tell the whole story, and that's part of why we're here. It's tempting, given the strengths of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, for us to buy into the myth of the "model minority," and to overlook the very real challenges that certain Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are facing: from health disparities like higher rates of diabetes and Hepatitis B; to educational disparities that still exist in some communities -- high dropout rates, low college enrollment rates; to economic disparities -- higher rates of poverty in some communities, and barriers to employment and workplace advancement in others.

Some Asian American and Pacific Islanders, particularly new Americans and refugees, still face language barriers. Others have been victims of unthinkable hate crimes, particularly in the months after September 11th -- crimes driven by ignorance and prejudice that are an affront to everything that this nation stands for.

And then there are the disparities that we don't even know about because our data collection methods still aren't up to par. Too often, Asian American and Pacific Islanders are all lumped into one category, so we don't have accurate numbers reflecting the challenges of each individual community. Smaller communities in particular can get lost, their needs and concerns buried in a spreadsheet.

And that's why I'm signing this executive order today, reestablishing the advisory commission and White House initiative created by President Clinton 10 years ago. Because when any of our citizens -- (applause) -- when any of our citizens are unable to fulfill their potential due to factors that have nothing to do with their talent, character, or work ethic, then I believe there's a role for our government to play. Not to guarantee anybody's success or to solve everybody's problems, but to ensure that we're living up to our nation's ideals; to ensure that we can each pursue our own version of happiness, and that we continue to be a nation where all things are still possible for all people. That's the impact that our government can have.

It's the impact of a Small Business Administration that offers loans to Asian American and Pacific Islander entrepreneurs whose small businesses sustain so many communities around the country. It's the impact of a Department of Health and Human Services that funds research on the diseases that disproportionately affect Asian American and Pacific Islander families. It's the impact of a Justice Department that upholds the Voting Rights Act and its promise of language assistance and equal access to the polls. And it's the impact of evidence-based research and data collection and analysis on AAPI communities -- so that no one is invisible to their government.

All of that is the mission of this initiative and commission -- to work with 23 agencies and departments across our government to improve the health, education, and economic status of AAPI communities. The initiative and commission will be housed in the Department of Education, and they'll be co-chaired by Secretaries Arne Duncan and Secretary Gary Locke, both of whom have devoted their lives to promoting opportunity for all our citizens.

And I think it's fitting that we begin this work in the week leading up to the holiday of Diwali -- the festival of lights -- when members of some of the world's greatest faiths celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

This coming Saturday, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, here in America and around the world, will celebrate this holiday by lighting Diyas, or lamps, which symbolize the victory of light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. And while this is a time of rejoicing, it's also a time for reflection, when we remember those who are less fortunate and renew our commitment to reach out to those in need.

While the significance of the holiday for each faith varies, all of them mark it by gathering with family members to pray and decorate the house and enjoy delicious food and sweet treats. And in that spirit of celebration and contemplation, I am happy to light the White House Diya, and wish you all a Happy Diwali, and a Saal Mubarak. (Applause.)

(The White House Diya is lit.) (Applause.)

Now I'm going to sign this bill -- sign this order.

(The executive order is signed.)

All right. There we go. (Applause.)

3:56 P.M. ED

Read more at source:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

RIP Allen Mendonca my good friend and journalist from Bangalore india

India Trip 2007, originally uploaded by ShashiBellamkonda.
In this picture taken in 2007 Allen ( center with beige jacket) had come to a get together in had helped organize in Bangalore to meet old friends. Allen Mendonca a world class Bangalore-based award-winning journalist with over two decades of experience in reporting and editing for some of the countries major newspapers and magazines worked for the Indian Express ( a leading Indian newspaper) when i first met him. Even though we had not kept in touch at this meeting we started off as if it as the old days again. He passed away in his sleep on Sept 28th at the young age of 49.

Here is what my friend Vijay Bhasker chef of the LE Meridien hotel wrote:
To write about a journalist friend – who wrote into people’s heart is some task that too for a Chef, Any way I am trying a bit.
Our dear friend, Allen Mendonca, who left us late last month not only wrote his way into peoples’ hearts but every action of his was always that way. I knew Allen from mid 80’s and can’t forget the movies at Plaza, Rex et al. Not to forget the lunches at the Chefs’ cabin in Ashok hotel or at the Airport Restaurant.
The last two months were memorable for me as I had met Allen many a time and all the time it was filled with heart. He was at the Bangalore Dive club launch event where in he had commended the Biryani Chef in his own inmitable way, and his interaction with my Junior Chefs was one proud moment for me as he would heartily mention that ‘your boss is my good old friend’. Couple of more meetings were for 080 and as usual they were always heartily charged.
The next one was for the Le Meridien coffee challenge contest, and Allen was invited to be the Judge. He did not just judge and leave which normally is the practice. He spoke to each of the contestants very passionately and gave them a lot of ideas and tips and his motivating talk to the participants was from the heart , the only place where Allen always spoke from.
Then came the meeting at my residence over a cup of tea. I had earlier casually mentioned to Allen that my daughter Sandhya was into music. He heard her play the piano and his advice and encouraging words for her came straight ,thick and fast from the usual place – His Heart.
Next one was at a dinner and he enquired about my daughter’s music and offered to lend some classical western piano CDs and we had innumerable discussions on Gucci, Armani and Music, and as always Allen spoke his heart out.
And that he isn’t among us now wrenches our hearts, but you know, he lives on in so many peoples’ hearts; and for me,the loss of another dear friend is hard to describe in words but I know he is in my Heart.
For folks who do not know Vijay Bhasker and me were colleagues at one time and I was a chef in this former life. When my assignment was a posting to Moscow I sent all my friends a good bye letter and among the recipients was TJS George whom I have met at the Ashok Hotel where I worked. George called Allen and asked him to do a story. Since Allen and me were friends he could not stop laughing when he told me the story of he came to Interview me. The article got published on the front page of Indian Express with the headline " King of the Kitchen" . I have been to Allen's house and met his parents, brother and sister and they are a wonderful family and will miss Allen a lot. Sandhya, Allen's wife is also a good friend and my condolences to her, son Aditya and the rest of the mendonca family and friends.
RIP Allen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

#growsmartbiz keynote speaker wrote this book

There are several ways you can participate in the First ever GrowSMartBiz Small Business conference:

1) A few last minutes seats are available and you can register at ( use code PowerGSB )

2) Watch the conference live at

3) Watch the Twitterstream at

If you are in town come to the meetup today Sept 29th at 7 p.m

Hope to see you at any of these places

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

PSA announcement : Lock your cars when you go fishing in the Potomac

Email from Montgomery County Council Vice-President District 1 Roger Berliner.

I am passing along to you a press release we received from the Montgomery County Police Department regarding multiple vehicle break-ins in PotomacThe Police have observed that the break-ins typically occur on Saturdays and Sundays, and the victims are often walking or kayaking on the C&O Canal at the time of the theft.  I think crimes like these emphasize the importance of making sure that our car doors are locked at all times.  The press release is below.

I also want to make you aware of a new online citizen reporting service, recently implemented by the Montgomery County Police Department, that will make filing certain police reports easier and faster.

See Department of Police press release here

Monday, September 7, 2009

Real Iife and not in a museum

Indian Village Water container made of clay used today too

Sunday, August 30, 2009

AAA Appeal - Schools Are Open - Help Us Keep Children Safe

Here is a appeal from the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education "School’s Open - Drive Carefully" Campaign!

Did you know that 50% of children struck by cars near schools are hit by parents driving other children to school? *

This is one reason why the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education would like to remind you that in just a few days"School’s Open - Drive Carefully".

Here's a checklist of ways you can help to keep our children safe:

  • Slow down near schools and in residential areas.
  • Drive with your headlights on - even during the day - so children and other drivers can see you.
  • Look for clues such as AAA School Safety Patrollers, bicycles and playgrounds that indicate children could be in the area.
  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs of
  • Practice extra caution in bad weather.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students.
  • Make a gift of $20.09 or any amount to the 2009
    Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education "School’s Open - Drive Carefully" Campaign!

* Source: Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Volunteer for the CPCUG at the Montgomery County Fair Aug 14 to 22

  o  Email from Barbara Conn of the Capital PC Users group

Montgomery County Fair runs August 14 to 22. CPCUG needs help staffing our Internet Cafe, which will be  open to the the public from 10 am to 10 pm. If you can volunteer a few hours (most shifts are 4 hours), you'll have fun and get a free Fair Ticket for the day.
       To volunteer, visit our signup form:
       If you volunteered before this link was posted, please visit the Web page cited to ensure that  you are listed for your chosen timeslot(s). Thanks!
    o  Get tweets with CPCUG event information, reminders, and computer and technology tips!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Help ! Friends of the Rockville Library needs Volunteers

I love the Rockville library and I wanted to seek the local area readers of this blog to see if they could help ;

Message from Aileen Klein  : (I have removed her phone number and email but pls comment here or email me from my contact info on this blog and I will send the info to you-Thanks)

We have just received an email from the manager of the Rockville library that the books donated to the FOL are becoming a problem.   The reason for this is that we do not have volunteers committed to a regular schedule who would come in to sort and pack the books.   Currently our books are taking up all of the staff work space and it is against county policy to have the library staff handle donated books (nor do they have the time).   As we are all aware, the library patronage has increased as the economic downturn has occurred and thus the library staff has their hands full handling all of the extra work that has created.

As you know, book sales are our main source of revenue and without the donated books we would not be able to help the library buy the necessary items that we have been providing, nor would we be able to pay for the programs that we sponsor.

Sorting books, is actually a lot of fun.   We really need people who could commit to at least once a week for a few hours on a regular basis (if you have more time, we can use whatever you have).   If you only have one day a month, we'd still love to have your help.   Perhaps you have a spouse who has some time to spare?

Please consider this carefully, we are at a critical point where if we do not find volunteers we may have to turn away donated books and that would hurt the public in many ways.

There is no special talent involved in sorting books.    If you send me an email, and tell me you are interested, we will show you exactly what to do.   There is really no right or wrong method, so don't worry, it's fun!

If you know of someone who would like to do this and is not a member, please let me know.  

Thank you all for your support.


Aileen Klein 

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The White House Beer summit & WTO

Dana Milbank wrote a great article -" Beer Summit Wasn't One for the Guinness Book " where is concentrates on the brands , corporate origins and appropriateness and also gives a very colorful choice of beer selections for other politicians.

While I thought the President's choice of a BudLight was as American as it gets - Dana Milbank says " The president's beer of choice was made by a Belgian conglomerate" LOL :) I hope in that same vein the King Fisher brewed in NJ/Ny becomes an American Beer ( I have to confirm that King Fisher US is brewed here and not Bangalore)

I am beer fan and was thrilled that the US has gone from the Ping Pong Diplomacy to Beer Summits. If the US and the Russian presidents can solve the issue with a Vodka summit the Cold war will never be back . This takes care of the western world.

Manmohan Singh India's Prime Minister according to press reports is a Teetotaler but I bet he loves his lemonade ( i.e Nimbu Pani) so we have the option of a Lemonade Summit.

Thinking about the Islamic countries, when we decide to have a summit with Iran we call it the Doogh Summit ( Doogh is a combination of yogurt, water (or soda) and dried mint.) or have it off camera so non one knows who drinks what.

I like this idea. I am also glad that despite the pressure the President drank Bud Light ( Belgian company). Red Stripe is a Jamaican Beer ( made by a British company) and as Dana Milbak reports "Biden, for his part, went with a nonalcoholic Dutch beer, Buckler". Crowley's choice with the name "Belgian Ale" in it is brewed in Denver Colorado and no overseas connection except the name ( comment here if I am wrong). I hope they served it with a slice of orange.

BTW off topic but the web site of the Blue Moon Brewing Company is pretty cool.

In conclusion what you drink and what you drive may be as American as Apple pie but you never know where it is made or who owns the company making it. As for me I am going to have a King Fisher or a CusQuena beer when the President invite me over to the White House. What about you ?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Don't Try This at Home - Try it at your Grand Mother's

Baltimore Inner Harbor - Jason Moffett - Comedy Macgic. Have him for your next party - ph: 443-790-2646

Baltimore Inner Harbor July 2009 - Street Performer

This guy is jumping over two volunteers on a skateboard that is on fire. his website

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Montgomery College's Driver Education program is a boon for parents

Boy ! Having a teenager ready for taking driving lessons can give many parent sleepless nights.   As part of the teen driver's procedure to get a provisional license after the learner's permit you have to take a driver education course which includes a 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. I did recollect that Montgomery College has a Driver Education program and of course it was my first choice.I love the Montgomery College and it has given me the opportunity to learn at my own pace so naturally I enrolled my kid also into this course.

Montgomery College's Driver Education course consists 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours Behind the Wheel. The cost for the Driver Education course is $325.00; non-Maryland residents add $160.00. They send the results directly to the MVA and I was in the car for the 6 hours behind the wheel instruction and I am really impressed by the Montgomery College instructors for both the class room and the practical driving. Defensive driving, driving on the highways was part of the behind the wheel instruction.I would have probably been scared teaching my teen but sitting in the back seat and letting the instructor do the scary part. The Montgomery College instructor who taught my daughter was very patient and generated a lot of confidence. I would recommend this course for parents in the Montgomery country area for their teen drivers.

Just thought I would pass on a few other details of Rookie driver licensing in the Montgomery County.

BTW - The MVA is doing a focus group for Parents of Teen drivers and I hope you will complete the short survey complete our Parent/Guardian Survey on Teen Driving.

Comments and feedback appreciated. How did you teach your teen to drive. Share your expereinces.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Puff ! Puff ! Ouch - Hope you don't start

Puff ! puff ! ouch, originally uploaded by ShashiBellamkonda.

A salute to people who resisted

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nice picture and great memories

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Don't say Tata to Tata

family of four on scooter, originally uploaded by Carol Mitchell.

I was listening to a local Radio Station mock the features of the new Tata Nano - india's new car for only $2000.

The Radio station discussed - no airbags, no airconditioning, no radio. Do they even know that anything is better and probably more safer than what is in the picture above. I know that because I have sat on a scooter as a kid and 15 years ago used to take the family out on a scooter. We should realize that starvation does not mean " room service is late"

Tata Nano, The World's Cheapest Car in India by sujathafan.

Flickr photo courtesy Sujatha_fan

here is an except from an article in the Economist ( One of the world's best magazines)
But the Nano does not shake as it approaches its top speed of 105kph, and feels reassuringly stable. There is a crumple zone at the front, and a bar across the car, on which the front seats are mounted, improves rigidity in the event of a side impact. (It also doubles as a footrest for passengers in the back.)

Tata has filed for three dozen patents for the Nano, mostly for innovations that are out of sight. The designers found that there was no room for the battery in the back with the engine, for example. Placing it under the bonnet at the front, along with the spare tyre, would have required long, costly copper wires. To balance the car and save money, they put the battery under the driver’s seat—an example of the smart but ascetic engineering that can produce an impressive car for $2,000.

Read the rest of the article here

What do you think ?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2 simple ideas about the Economy in the Washington Post Today : Please RT

The first idea is in the Metro Section of the post where a fiscally responsible single mom Shawn Goldstein of Chevy Chase  - recently laid off from her job as construction manager - writes :


Why not have the mortgage payments of the unemployed reduced to 31 percent of their current income and tack on the unpaid monthly amount to the end of the loan? This would keep responsible people, who are in their current financial situation because of layoffs in this economy, in their homes.

Read the rest of the 'Close to home" story


The second is a Op-Ed by RICARDO J. CABALLERO called "How to Lift a Falling Economy" . Ricardo is  head of the Economics Department and director of the World Economics Laboratory at MIT.

The proposal: The government pledges to buy up to twice the number of bank shares currently available, at twice some recent average price, in five years.

How much would this cost taxpayers? Probably nothing.

Read the article  in the Washington post

If you have influence both these seem like a logical and reasonable suggestions. Do you se any reason to disagree with these suggestions - Then pleae comment here so we can debate?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

February Tweetup - DC/MD/VA - Indique heights

This was the second tweet-up this year at the Indique Heights. When I first started engaging in the social media there were a lot more impromptu Tweetups and then came a flurry of corporate sponsored events which got too frequent. I feel 2009 will bring about a consolidation of "social" social events and learn as you dine events.


Today I met new friends  many whom I have known online and some I met for the first time.

The merry tweeters who came to Indique Heights

Chantelle Karl  @cckarl's Communication manager for the East coast ( That includes Canada and UK !- figure that out )

Nakeva @nakeva

Gaurav Sharma @gauravonomics

Gauravonomics  Tweetup Feb Indique Heights

( Steven Fisher after probably a huge does of Slum Dog Millionaire called Guarav's Hair style a Bollywood actor style)


Lisa Throckmorton @lkthrock

Kim Oser @putitaway

Allison Lee @dallisonlee

Chris Abraham @chrisabraham

ThursdayB with Chris @thursdayb

Joe Loong @joelogon

Steven Fisher @stevenfisher

Jill Foster @jillfoster

Andrew Somyak @asomyak

Kevin @kasrael

Allyson Kapin @womenwhotech 



Here is Jeremiah Owyang's definition of a Tweetup


What’s Tweetup? A few years ago, we called them blogger dinners, and it’s where folks got to come together, meet each other face to face (scary huh?) and actually talk in real life. Despite the affection many have for these social tools, there is nothing like seeing people in real life and meeting them.

A few guidelines for social events that I mentioned on twitter: Unlike Fight Club, talk about Tweetups, before, during, and after. Come to meet folks, be social. Don’t “poke” anyone unless you’ve brought protection. The act of “throwing sheep” at anyone other than your spouse is not encouraged. If you’re going to mention people “you’re following them” be sure to give them context whether that’s on Twitter or in real life –hopefully the former.

Kidding aside, just come to network with others, buy someone you’re connected to online a drink, exchange real world information, and most importantly, be merry

Thanks Chef VInod for the good food and for the hospitality.

DC/MD/VA Tweetup Feb Indique Heights

If you came to the tweetup today- Did you enjoy it ? What can we do better? Any other suggestions for venue, dates etc.

Utterz post

Mobile post sent by shashib using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Montgomery County MD Parents : PTSA needs your HELP

Message to parents of children  living in the Churchill Cluster of schools and other parents who would like to support the PTSA.


URGENT NOTICE - The County Council just informed MCCPTA that public testimony for the Capital Budget is on Tuesday, Feb. 10 (1 days from now!) at 7:30 PM

The Churchill Cluster Coordinators will be testifying on the Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2009-2014 CIP.  MCCPTA was originally told by the County Council that this testimony would occur in April, not in February as is usually the case, but the Council suddenly changed their decision, much to our dismay.

YOUR ATTENDANCE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE - we hope you can join us - we need parents, students, teachers and staff to come support our testimony.

Many of our cluster schools are scheduled for modernizations and upgrades - the County Council is responsible for allocating the funds to MCPS for these projects. 

Please wear your school logo clothing so the council members can identify you in the audience.

The testimony is held at:

Council Office Building (COB)

100 Maryland Avenue

Rockville, MD 20850

We urge AS MANY people as possible to attend the testimony to show the County Council that these Capital Projects are priorities for our community.  Cabin John and Hoover Middle schools are the next two county middle schools to be renovated.  Parents from our feeder schools please come to show your support for these modernizations - your children will be the ones to benefit from these "new" schools. The Seven Locks and Potomac ES communities will be affected if the Seven Locks modernization is delayed so we need you.  It is important that we take advantage of this opportunity to testify, even if it is at the last minute.  We want to show the County Council, with our presence, that funding for these capital projects is a priority for us.

We have yet to be assigned an exact time for our testimony - you can call the County Council Office 240-777-7931 on Tuesday to get an approximate time for the Churchill Cluster.  Please plan to arrive earlier to allow for schedule changes, time to park, etc.

We hope you will join us on Tuesday evening.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I have stimulus on my mind

What behaviors are changing as a result of the economy ? What is the stimulus package and how will it affect your life? I had interviewed Guy Kawasaki for the Network Solutions' Blog in March last year  and his advice was if you get up in the morning and your business is going normally you should not worry about  what the economists and the newspapers are telling you. This may be a period for businesses to excel at what they do.

Here are the signs:

  • House values have fallen
  • Companies are down sizing
  • Stock market is down
  • Banks are going bankrupt
  • Cars are selling less

What are the pundit's advising :

  • Live within your salary
  • Reduce unnecessary expenses
  • Save 15 to 20% of your salary or rainy day

What are the opportunities:

  • Do the remodeling/painting now: If you have already saved for the home remodeling or painting project. This is a good time since the construction industry is feeling the pain this is a good time to find someone to do it at a competitive price. This combined with the fact that this is winter.
  • Buy the LCD TV you had put off: Retail store sales are down and LCD TV prices are falling.
  • Thinking about a new car - good bargains now. Buy a 3 year old used car with around 35k miles preferably a brand that is rated very well for the least maintenance (Toyota) or is cheaper to drive.
  • I am sure there are a hundred things I can add to this list.

Now I  have not seen the Stimulus plan , and I am quite overwhelmed by the number of zeros in the figure.  Now if we already have a budget deficit , what will this do to the deficit. Since the Economy is global can we say that any kick start to a economy by the US government will spread the economic engine worldwide? Only time will tell. The selling point for this stimulus plan is that it is better to do something than be quiet and let things take care of themselves. In a few months and hopefully not years the dollars infused into the market will make their way to the businesses in some form  and we can all go back to the heady days of 2002-2006. the lesson for me at least is to live within means and in fact try to save 25% of your salary for a rainy day.


US Public Debt :


Friday, February 6, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Words of wisdom On a Car

Words of wisdom?, originally uploaded by shashiBellamkonda.

My vote for picture of the day :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Smithsonian 2.0

Mobile post sent by shashib using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

See the article in the Washington Post here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A five-year time-out on war to provide a nutritious lunch every day for kids ?


A very interesting article in today's Washington Post Outlook section by George McGovern, a former senator from South Dakota who was the Democratic nominee for president in 1972.

Read the full article here  and here are some highlights of George McGovern's :

To send our troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan would be a near-perfect example of going from the frying pan into the fire.

  • British Empire a century ago when it tried to pacify the warlords and tribes of Afghanistan, only to be forced out after excruciating losses.
  • Soviet Union was also a superpower when it poured some 100,000 troops into Afghanistan in 1979. They limped home, broken and defeated, a decade later, having helped pave the way for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • logic does not always prevail in South Asia.  The one factor that could unite  Afghan War lords is the invasion of their country by a foreign power, whether British, Russian or American.
  • That war has clearly weakened our economy and our armed forces even as it has made the national debt soar

"A truly audacious hope for your administration: How about a five-year time-out on war -- unless, of course, there is a genuine threat to the nation?

    During that interval, we could work with the U.N. World Food Program, plus the overseas arms of the churches, synagogues, mosques and other volunteer agencies to provide a nutritious lunch every day for every school-age child in Afghanistan and other poor countries"

What do you think ?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural poem recited by Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.
Transcript from
Image courtesy :