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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holi - Festival of Colors in India

Wishing You a
Good Health 
A Colorful  Life !!!

HOLI is the Festival of Colors in India.

Holi (Hindi: होली, Nepali: होली,Punjabi: ਹੋਲੀ Sindhi: هولي) is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus as a festival of colours.
It is primarily observed in India and Nepal. It is also observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan as well in countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mauritius, and Fiji.
Holi is also known as Phagwah (Assamese: ফাকুৱা), Festival of Colours, or Doḷajātra (Oriya: ଦୋଳଯାତ୍ରା) in Odisha, and as Dol Jatra (Bengali: দোলযাত্রা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") (Bengali: বসন্তোৎসব) in West Bengal and Assam.

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi.

As per the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the Phalgun Purnima which comes in February or March in the Gregorian Calendar.
The word Holi originated from "Holika", sister of Hiranyakashipu. The festival of Holi is celebrated because of a story in the old Hindu religion. In Vaishnavism, Hiranyakashipu is the great king of demons, and he had been granted a boon by Brahma, which made it almost impossible for him to be killed. The boon was due to his long penance, after which he had demanded that he not be killed "during day or night; inside the home or outside, not on earth or in the sky; neither by a man nor an animal; neither by astra nor by shastra". Consequently, he grew arrogant and attacked the Heavens and the Earth. He demanded that people stop worshipping gods and start praising respectfully to him.
Hiranyakashipu, on the lap, being killed by Narasimha, an incarnation of Vishnu
According to this belief, Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Vishnu. In spite of several threats from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada continued offering prayers to Vishnu. He was poisoned by Hiranyakashipu, but the poison turned to nectar in his mouth. He was ordered to be trampled by elephants yet remained unharmed. He was put in a room with hungry, poisonous snakes and survived. All of Hiranyakashipu's attempts to kill his son failed. Finally, he ordered young Prahlada to sit on a pyre in the lap of Holika, Hiranyakashipu's demoness sister, who also could not die because she had a boon preventing her from being burned by fire. Prahlada readily accepted his father's orders, and prayed to Lord Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed. The salvation of Prahlada and burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. 
Festival of Colors
World's BIGGEST Color Party



In Mathura, where Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. The festivities officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.

Holi being played in the courtyard, circa 1795
Painting- Patna style. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Flyboard Family Official

Flyboard Family Official



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Deaf Dogs - Sign Language - Training

 The Deaf Dog

Open Group
The Deaf Dog Network is a group of people who want to help deaf dogs, wherever they are, whether they have experience of owning or training them, rescuing or fostering. As the network grows we hope to have lots more information and resources to share.
The Deaf Dog Network does not support any form of physical punishment in the training of dogs. We do not endorse training methods using tools such as check/chains, prong collars, squirting water, shock collars and the like. We approve and support modern, science based training methods used by great trainers & behaviorists

Most Dogs respond to signs better than voice commands since they rely so heavily on Body Language.

Deaf Dog Learns Sign Language
Training deaf dogs is much the same as training a hearing dog. You lure the dog into the position you want, say the command and reinforce that with a treat with lots of praise. Only instead of a verbal command you are signing. 
Lots of owners of deaf dogs still talk to their them as it feels more natural and some dogs may be able to read your facial expressions as you talk with the signs.

There is no set dog sign language, you can invent any hand signals you like for your dog to read it doesn’t have to be British or American sign language that is used by deaf people. When training your deaf dog it maybe a good idea to discuss with your partner or family the signs you would like to use so that you will all be working consistently with the dog. If you go on holiday you could take photos of your signs to illustrate what you do for the dogs carer while you are away. Its all about what works best for you and your dog.

If you are struggling to come up with ideas for signs why not have a look at our friends Rosie and Horus. Rosie is using nice clear gestures for Horus to read. Notice how her facial expressions also change for what she would like him to do. All dogs hearing or deaf read your body language.

Teaching Sign Language to Dogs who are not Deaf for things like sit, down, come and stay is useful in loud or crowded areas where one would normally have to shout or repeat several times due to distracting noises.

Much of communication is facial expression, body language, eye movement.
"My deaf dog often does things I want her to do before I even sign.
I talk to her as well..."


Go, Emma...

By Le Trefle

Sure, the paper industry is struggling, but there's one thing your tablet, iPad, iPod etc can't replace.

Check out this hilarious French ad for Le Trefle, and remember...

Not Everything can be Improved with Technology!

Proves Both Husbands & Technology Wrong 

Go, Emma...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's Smarter to Travel in Groups + Pixar - Lifted

It's Smarter to Travel in Groups
Funny Ad showing the power of Working as a Group!
Otherwise known as a Society!


It's supposed to symbolize what you would see when you are editing sound to a movie (?)

(a lot of switches and buttons)


Monday, March 11, 2013

It's National Napping Day!

It's National Napping Day!
First Monday in March 
After Daylight Saving Time 

Well, it isn’t actually a holiday but more of an observance we like to observe. We think it couldn’t come at a better time, after Daylight Savings / Sleep Stealing Time. 
So   "Happy Napping Day !"
- National Napping Day is the first Monday after Daylight Saving Time -

Founded by Boston University professor William Anthony and his wife Camille in 1999, Napping Day is the unofficial holiday to help people adjust to Daylight Saving Time and to highlight the health and productivity benefits of napping. According to the power nap couple, napping helps in the following ways:

1. Napping improves mood - makes you feel better
2. Napping improves performance - makes you more productive
3. Napping is no cost - no expensive clothes or equipment needed
4. Napping is no sweat - no shower needed
5. Napping is self prescribed - no doctor’s orders needed
6. Napping is non-fattening - you cannot eat while napping
7. Napping is a non-invasive procedure - no one does anything to you
8. Napping has no dangerous side effects - unless you are driving
The Art of Napping, National Napping Day,

They have written two widely acclaimed books, The Art of Napping and The Art of Napping at Work, which explain their findings on the value of a nice nap.

When we are forced to "spring forward," we lose that precious hour so it's much easier than normal to nap. We can all relate to that 3:30pm, mid-afternoon blah, crankiness, laziness, don’t feel like doing a darn thing mood, especially having an hour stolen from us. Since most of us are at work, we must settle for the power nap, a 20- to 30-minute snooze. It's just a quickie to rejuvenate your mind and body. The NoHo Team plans to head over to North Hollywood Park for a siesta under a tree after a nice big bowl of The Federal Bar's mac n' cheese and an Eclectic Wine Bar & Grille brownie. But if you’re not in NoHo or are unable to go to a park, close your office door, roll up your jacket and take a snooze under your desk.

NOTE: If your boss asks what you're doing. It's simple, ask: "Didn't you know it's National Napping Day?"

TIP: How to pep up after a nap? CHOCOLATE

 What’s the secret to amazing naps?
by Eric Barker

  1. If you’re a morning person, the best time to nap is around 1 or 1:30PM. If you’re a night owl, nap later, around 2:30 or 3PM.
  2. The best naps are under 45 mins or 90-120 mins. Anything in between is likely to give you that groggy feeling.
  3. Naps don’t mean you’re lazy: A NASA study showed that in-flight naps improved subsequent performance by 34% and overall alertness by 54%.
  4. To make sure you’re productive after your nap drink a cup of coffee right before laying down. Caffeine takes about 20-30 minutes to kick in.
  5. No nap is too short: A 2008 study showed that even a nap of a few minutes provided benefits. Just anticipating a nap lowers blood pressure.
Keep in mind that 10 minutes is the best nap length.
Naps are not for the lazy, they’re for the productive:
Across the board, sleep is vital:

Related posts:

The Napping Habits of Famous Prople
by Brett & Kate McKay on March 14, 2011 in A Man's Life, Lessons In Manliness

A few weeks ago, we covered the myriad of amazing benefits provided by the too-oft maligned nap. If you’re still not convinced of the benefits of napping and are in need of some additional inspiration, or, you’re simply curious about how some of history’s most famous nappers, today we provide a look at the napping habits of 8 eminent men.

Winston Churchill
“Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.”
Churchill’s afternoon nap was a non-negotiable part of his relaxed approach to his daily routine. Churchill would start his day at 8 am by eating breakfast, answering letters, and dictating to his secretaries, all of which was conducted while still in bed. This bout of work was followed by a bath, a long lunch, and plenty of sipping on watered-down whisky. After lunch it was time to paint or play cards with his wife, Clementine. Then it was nap time. Churchill would take off his clothes and climb into bed for up to two hours of solid napping. At 6:30 he would rise, take another bath,  and enjoy a long dinner. He finally got down to business at 11 pm and would work for several hours before going to bed and repeating the cycle over again. An unapologetic night owl, Churchill felt that his naps helped him get twice as much done each day (which makes one wonder just how little he would have worked without it!)
Nap were so sacrosanct to Churchill that he kept a bed in the Houses of Parliament and believed that napping was the key to his success in leading the country through the Battle of Britain.

Lyndon B. Johnson
LBJ catches some winks aboard Air Force One.
When Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the presidency, he set out to pass an extremely ambitious legislative agenda, including a war on poverty, the protection of civil rights, the commencement of public works, and the cutting of taxes. To accomplish his goals, LBJ was prepared to work like a dog and to this end he adopted a “two-shift day.” He woke up at 6:30 or 7, read the newspapers, and then headed to the White House where he worked until 2 pm. He would then exercise, taking a swim or brisk walk, before donning his pajamas and settling in for a 30 minute nap. He awoke up at 4, changed into clean clothes and began his “second shift” of the day, sometimes working until 1 or 2 in the morning.

Napoleon Bonaparte

During campaigns, Napoleon was a whirlwind of energy, galloping from place to place, poring over maps, and pondering strategy. He would go days without changing clothes or lying down for a full night’s sleep. But he had the ability, as many great leaders do it seems, of being able fall asleep at the drop of a hat. This ability was likely a product of his supreme confidence. Napoleon could sleep like a baby right before battle and even when cannons were booming nearby. As they have been proven to do by modern science, Napoleon’s naps staved off the fatigue which stalks those who skip a whole night’s sleep. Then, when the storm of battle was over, the general would sleep for an eighteen hour stretch.

John F. Kennedy
After a mid-morning stint of swimming and exercise, John F. Kennedy would eat his lunch in bed and then settle down for a nap.  He would have his valet draw the drapes and ask not to be disturbed unless it was a true emergency. He would then quickly fall asleep for a 1-2 hour nap. Jackie would always join him no matter what she was doing when her husband’s nap commenced, leaving an assistant to entertain her guests. Head of the household staff, JB West, recalled that “during those hours the Kennedy doors were closed. No telephone calls were allowed, no folders sent up, no interruptions from the staff. Nobody went upstairs, for any reason.”
After awakening from his nap, Kennedy would take his second hot bath of the day, resume meetings in the Oval Office at 3:30 pm, knock off around 7:30 or 8:00, take another swim, and change his clothes for dinner. Kennedy wore at least three different sets of clothing every single day he was President.
Jackie was the one who later encouraged LBJ to take naps, telling him, “It changed Jack’s whole life.”

Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison was something of a self-hating napper. He liked to boast about how hard he worked, how he slept only three or four hours a night, and how he would sometimes work for 72 hours straight. But in truth the key to his spectacular productivity was something he was loathe to mention and hid from others: daily napping. Once when his friend Henry Ford paid a visit to his lab, Edison’s assistant stopped him from going into the inventor’s office because Edison was snoozing. Ford said, “But I thought Edison didn’t sleep very much.” To which the assistant answered, “He doesn’t sleep very much at all, he just naps a lot.”
Edison said he could sleep “as sound as a bug in a barrel of morphine” and he often got in a couple of 3 hour naps during the day. One of his associates said that Edison’s “genius for sleep equaled his genius for invention. He could go to sleep anywhere, anytime, on anything.” Indeed, he would often curl up for his naps on a workbench or in a closet.
Inventor Thomas A. Edison is seen taking a nap while President Warren Harding, right, and automobile tire maker Harvey Firestone read the newspapers at the Ford Edison Camp in Hagerstown, Md., 1921. 

Stonewall Jackson
Jackson, a general cut from the same cloth as Napoleon, could nap in any place—by fences, under trees, on porches–even in the stress of war. He liked longer naps but also had the reputation for taking quick, 5 minute siestas to rest his eyes. A couple of anecdotes of the General’s napping habits from A Thesaurus of Anecdotes of and Incidents in the Life of Lieut-General Thomas Jonathan Jackson by Elihu Rile:
“During the fury of the struggle at Malvern Hill, Jackson was roused with great difficulty from a heavy slumber, and informed of the situation. Those around him were apprehensive of the result, for attack after attack on our part had been repulsed with severe loss. Jackson, upon recovering his consciousness, merely said, ‘McClellan is only fighting to get away. In the morning, he will be gone.’ He immediately resumed his nap, and Dr. Dabney adds that, upon hearing his opinion, he at once followed his example. When the morning light dawned upon this scene of blood, every trace of the enemy had disappeared.” –Dr. B. L. Dabney

“Talking about Jackson’s propensity to sleep, I remember after the battles of the Seven Days’ Fight around Richmond one Sunday we went to Dr. Hoge’s church. He went to sleep soon after the service began and slept through the greater part of it. A man who can go to sleep under Dr. Hoge’s preaching, can go to sleep anywhere on the face of this earth. When the service was over the people climbed over the backs of the pews to get near him, and the aisles became crowded and General Jackson embarrassed. Presently he turned to me and said: ‘Doctor, didn’t you say the horses were ready?’ and I said, ‘Yes, sir,’ and we bolted out of church.

Many a night I have kept him on his horse by holding to his coattail. He always promised to do as much for me when he had finished his nap. He meant to do it, I am sure, but my turn never came.” — Dr. Hunter McGuire

Ronald Reagan
Reagan, preaching to the converted.

Ronald Reagan was a controversial napper. Critics tried to use his rumored propensity for napping as proof of a lackadaisical approach to the presidency and a reminder of his advanced age. Nancy always denied that her husband was a napper. But his diaries show that he at least occasionally indulged in the nap, noting in reference to his daily schedule that “afternoon is still nap time” and often taking one to recharge before donning a tux and attending a formal nighttime event. He also enjoyed turkey hunts for the opportunity they provided for naps. For his part, Reagan, as he did with many things, had a sense of humor about the criticism over his napping. When he was leaving office, he joked that his cabinet chair should be inscribed with, “Ronald Reagan Slept Here.”

Salvador Dali
Eccentric artist Salvador Dali believed that one of the secrets to becoming a great painter was what he called “slumber with a key.” “Slumber with a key” was an afternoon siesta designed to last no longer than a second. To accomplish this micro nap, Dali recommended sitting in a chair with a heavy metal key pressed between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. A plate would be placed upside down on the floor underneath the hand with the key. The moment Dali fell asleep, the key would slip from his finger, clang the plate, and awaken him. Dali believed this tiny nap “revivified” an artist’s whole “physical and physic being.”
Dali said that he had learned the “slumber with a key” trick from the Capuchin monks and that other artists he knew also used it. Albert Einstein “napped” this way as well, as have other inventors and thinkers who believed this nap inspired their ideas and creativity. These men were unknowingly taking advantage of what scientists today call the “hypnogogic” nap, when the mind, before it reaches Stage 2 sleep, unlocks free flowing creative thoughts. It’s a topic interesting enough to warrant its own post!
The Expert's Guide

A short snooze during the day will boost your mood and your intelligence - but there's more to it than simply closing your eyes

Napping illustration View larger picture 

For years, napping has been derided as a sign of laziness. We are "caught" napping or "found asleep at the switch". But lately it has garnered new respect, thanks to scientific evidence that midday dozing benefits both mental acuity and overall health. A slew of recent studies have shown that naps boost alertness, creativity, mood, and productivity in the later hours of the day.

A nap of 60 minutes improves alertness for up to 10 hours. Research on pilots shows that a 26-minute "Nasa" nap in flight (while the plane is manned by a copilot) enhanced performance by 34% and overall alertness by 54%. One Harvard study published last year showed that a 45-minute nap improves learning and memory. Napping reduces stress and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, and excessive weight gain.

Getting even the briefest nap is better than nothing. A 2008 study in Düsseldorf showed that the onset of sleep may trigger active memory processes that remain effective even if sleep is limited to only a few minutes. And last year, a British study suggested that just knowing a nap was coming was enough to lower blood pressure.

Naps make you brainier, healthier, safer. But to understand how you can nap best, you need to understand your body.
• Jennifer Ackerman is the author of Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body

How long should you rest for?
In designing the optimal nap you need to grasp its potential components. During sleep, your brain's electrical activity goes through a five-phase cycle.

A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes yields mostly Stage 2 sleep, which enhances alertness and concentration, elevates mood, and sharpens motor skills. To boost alertness on waking, you can drink a cup of coffee before you nap. 
Caffeine requires 20 or 30 minutes to take effect, so it will kick in just as you're waking. Naps of up to 45 minutes may also include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which enhances creative thinking and boosts sensory processing.

Limit your nap to 45 minutes or less, if you need to spring into action after dozing. Otherwise, you may drift into slow-wave sleep. Waking from this stage results in sleep inertia, that grogginess and disorientation that can last for half an hour or more.

But you might want to take a long nap, at least 90 minutes. Many of us get about an hour to an hour-and-a-half less sleep a night than we need. One recent study shows that the sleep-deprived brain toggles between normal activity and complete lapses, or failures, a dangerous state of slowed responses and foggy inattention. Sound familiar?

Naps of 90 to 120 minutes usually comprise all stages, including REM and deep slow-wave sleep, which helps to clear your mind, improve memory recall, and recoup lost sleep. Longer naps in the morning yield more REM sleep, while those in the afternoon offer more slow-wave sleep. A nap that is long enough to include a full sleep cycle, at least 90 minutes, will limit sleep inertia by allowing you to wake from REM sleep.

The Science of Sleep

Napping illustration

Why do we need to nap?
Most mammals sleep for short periods throughout the day. Humans have consolidated sleep into one long period, but our bodies are programmed for two periods of intense sleepiness: in the early morning, from about 2am to 4am, and in the afternoon, between 1pm and 3pm. This midday wave of drowsiness is not due to heat or a heavy lunch (it occurs even if we skip eating) but from an afternoon quiescent phase in our physiology, which diminishes our reaction time, memory, coordination, mood, and alertness.

Napping illustration

Are you a lark or an owl?
To determine the best time to nap, it helps to know your "chronotype". What time would you get up and go to sleep if you were entirely free to plan your day? If you're a lark, apt to wake as early as 6am and go to sleep around 9pm or 10pm, you're going to feel your nap need around 1pm or 1.30 pm.

Napping illustration
If you're an owl, preferring to go to bed after midnight or 1am, and to wake around 8am or 9am, your afternoon "sleep gate" will open later, closer to 2.30pm or 3pm.

Nap Benefits
6 Reasons To Snooze 
On National Napping Day


Forget feeling sluggish and wasting time cyber-loafing today. Instead, celebrate National Napping Day, an unofficial holiday -- really, a gift -- that acknowledges that, yes, we are all feeling a little sleepy today after turning the clocks forward this weekend.

We have Boston University professor William Anthony, Ph.D. and his wife Camille to thank for creating National Napping Day in 1999. "Our goal is to encourage folks to take a nap wherever they may be, at home, at the workplace or on vacation, and to make it a regular part of their healthy lifestyle," Anthony said in a statement. "It is a day when nappers all over the country need to lie down and be counted."

Of course, sleep in general has a wide range of health benefits, from protection against heart disease and obesity to stronger bones and memory. But napping has some particular perks all its own. Below are six healthy reasons to indulge in a siesta today. It doesn't have to be long -- even just 20 minutes of daytime shut-eye can make a world of difference.

Napping Boosts Alertness
Once you blink away those first few seconds of grogginess after a nap, you're likely to benefit from a boost of alertness. A NASA study found higher measures of alertness in pilots after a 40-minute snooze, compared to pilots who got no rest. Even just 20 minutes has been shown to perk up shift workers, according to Harvard Men's Health Watch. One very small study found that even after just a 10-minute nap, study participants reported at least feeling more alert.

Napping Improves Learning And Memory
It's the deeper rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that's been linked with the cognitive process, so it's no surprise that it takes a longer nap to reap real brain benefits. But if you can squeeze in an hour, or even 90 minutes, you may find your mental fatigue has vanished upon waking. A longer nap is likely to leave you slightly more groggy, but can have a longer benefit to brain power after the fact, according to a 2010 Australian study. In fact, fMRI scans have shown that brain activity remains higher in nappers all day compared to people who don't take a rest, according to a 2008 study.

Napping Increases Creativity
Ever woken up suddenly knowing the solution to what's bugging you? A team of researchers set about monitoring the brain to attempt to figure out why the lightbulb turns on after napping. They discovered a burst of activity in the right hemisphere, the side most strongly linked to creativity, reported. An earlier study found that longer naps that allowed sleepers to enter REM led to better performance on a series of creative word problems, National Geographic reported.

Farmers Nooning -  William Sidney Mount - 1836 US
Napping Boosts Productivity
Experts agree that an afternoon nap is in fact the opposite of laziness in the workplace: That siesta can actually improve work output. A short power nap can be just the right pick-me-up for sleep deprived, worn-out employees, sleep researcher Sara Mednick told Businessweek, maybe even more so than an afternoon cup of coffee, Prevention reported.

 William Sidney Mount - Caught Napping in a Field
Napping Lifts Your Spirits
Think back to the last time you were around a toddler who hadn't napped. It's not a pretty picture, is it? Sleepiness and the associated crankiness doesn't feel good, even as adults (we've just learned not to throw tantrums about it ... for the most part). A quick nap is a well-documented mood booster, not that you needed any scientific research to tell you so.

Napping Zaps Stress
Part of the reason a nap can get you smiling might be related to relaxation. The sheer luxury of escaping for a nap can be a great stress-reliever, even if you don't sleep for long (and as long as you don't let the stigma against napping get to you). The National Sleep Foundation recommends considering it "a mini-vacation." And don't stress if you can't actually doze off in your allotted 10 minutes: A 2007 study found that asleep or not, a short period spent resting in bed is just as relaxing.
Convinced? Here are some expert tips for how to take a nap at work from Dr. Lawrence Epstein and James Maas, Ph.D.: