Archive | September, 2013

Computers can be a pain!

Posted on 25 September 2013 by admin

Sitting for a long time in positions that aren’t natural for your body can strain your hands, wrists, back, and eyes. Over time, this can result in pain and a kind of injury called a repetitive stress injury.

Sitting Square in Your Chair

The way you sit is important. To sit square in your chair, put your behind in the center of the seat. Your legs should bend at the knees and rest on the floor. Most kids are too short to do this, so use a footrest or find a box or a stack of books to place under your feet.

Sit so your back touches the seat back the whole time. Try not to slouch or lean over the keyboard while you type. A chair that has lower-back support can help you do this.

Typing Time

When you type, sit so your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles (like an “L”). Your wrists should be straight, not angled up or down so your fingers rest gently on the keys of the keyboard. And if it feels like you have to stretch your fingers to reach the keyboard, move it closer to you.

Try to keep your fingers and wrists level with your forearms (the lower part of your arms). A wrist wrest can help you stay in the right position. If your wrists are starting to hurt, or you are waking up at night with wrist pain, you may be getting anoveruse injury (this is also called carpal tunnel syndrome). If you’re having this kind of pain, let your parents know. You might need to see your doctor.

 Eek! A Mouse!

A small wrist rest also can help support your right hand as you move the mouse. Using a trackball instead of a mouse is also a good solution. A trackball allows you to use a few fingers, instead of just one, as you move around the computer screen.

All Eyes on This

Any time you’re using the computer, your eyes are hard at work. Be kind to them by positioning the monitor 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 centimeters) away from your face. At this distance, you shouldn’t have to lean in to read what’s on the screen.

Position the screen at your eye level, with the top of the monitor itself level with your forehead. This will keep you from having to lean your neck back (or bend forward) to see the monitor. Your mom or dad can help you get adjusted. They can help you raise the monitor a little higher by stacking a few books under it. You also can raise the height of the chair or sit on a pillow or two.

Take a Break

Here’s a good piece of advice: Don’t get so involved in the computer that you forget to go to the bathroom! And even if you don’t have to go to the bathroom, be sure to take breaks. Kids shouldn’t sit at a computer for more than 30 minutes without a break.

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Bigg Boss 7: Salman Khan drops a bomb, says would not want my kids to watch the show!

Posted on 25 September 2013 by admin

Mumbai: In a recent interview with a reputed newspaper, Bollywood actor and Bigg Boss host Salman Khan said that he would not want his kids to watch such obnoxious stuff on TV.

While talking about the fights on the show, Salman said that he does not like contestants going overboard with fights. “I don`t like it at all. I just feel that there is always somebody younger and somebody older who is watching the show. So, if I am a parent, I would not want my kids to watch such obnoxious stuff on TV. I understand when contestants get into genuine fights inside the house, but don`t appreciate it when they fight only to create noise and get publicity,”

Salman was quoted as saying. While the show is promoted as a family show, the content aired on it — right from the cat fights to the language used — is far from it. And now with the host of the show himself confessing that he would not want his kids to watch something like that, it`s time the audiences gave it a second thought.

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Sonakshi Sinha catches the fancy of Pakistan

Posted on 25 September 2013 by admin

The people of Pakistan have always been fascinated with Bollywood and its many stars. And the latest actor to catch their fancy is Sonakshi Sinha, who, apparently, has been receiving a lot of fan mail from our neighbouring country.

In fact, a journalist especially flew down to Mumbai to interview the actress for a Pakistani television channel. “Sonakshi is the third indian artiste after Gulzar and lata Mangeshkar to be interviewed on that programme,” a source informed.

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Hedvig Christine Alexander Intends To Help Afghanistan Rise

Posted on 18 September 2013 by admin

Samuel Getachew


Having whole regions – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria or Palatine – Israel and Africa in trouble and in conflict makes the world less stable and less safe for all of us. The transmission mechanisms from these regions to the rest of the world are intimate and proven.

I have seen shy women with little education grow into dynamos when given the chance.

The fact is — had Hedvig Christine Alexander not met a certain Canadian — she would have stayed in Afghanistan pursuing a great passion in nation-building.

She has had an interesting and diverse journey in many places – with the Danish Army, the UN Development Programme and now – as an owner of a Canadian based social enterprise -Far & Wide Collective. She shares with me the wisdom of being part of a movement for positive change – here at home and abroad.

You have had an interesting life, having served in many international arenas. Tell me about your journey so far.

In 1992 – just after I had completed high school, I joined the Danish Army. I was part of a special unit there and I was taught Warsaw Pact military tactics and Russian. I spent two years being trained as an officer and went to Moscow shortly thereafter to work for the Danish Embassy. The army gave me many things including passion and discipline.

I left Moscow in 1996 to attend business school and studied business and philosophy. Then – this was a new program that intended to collaborate the teaching of alternative solutions and micro economics to the business community. Then the next phase of my life took me to the Republic of Georgia as a UN Peace keeping Officer. I was the only female officer among 106 officers and I became a Pakistani General’s assistant at aide-de-camp. I remember the first day I stood next to the General as he was defending a military coup that had just happened in Pakistan in front of peacekeeping officers in the mission.

Share with me your time in Afghanistan

After my time in the Republic of Georgia – I went to Yale University in New Heaven for my Master’s Degree. Right after that, I went straight to Kabul and stayed for seven years. Had I not been swept away by a Canadian, I am sure that I would have stayed in Afghanistan.

I often tell my husband that I have this feeling (although one never knows what will come in the future) that my seven years in Afghanistan will prove to be the most exciting and formative years of my life. It was incredible to come as a young person and be part of such a nation building (or rather rehabilitating) effort. There was something extraordinary about everybody there, having the same objective – getting Afghanistan back on its feet.

There was strong camaraderie and close friendships were easily formed. I rented a big mud house with 8 others from an Afghan family – it had a beautiful garden and the most incredible roses. The sounds of the city at dusk when hot summer days were cooling and the call for prayer at dawn – it was magic – despite the troubles. Afghanistan is a very striking place – beautiful in a harsh sort of way. I felt that living in the intense way we did made us see things clearer.

I saw how people grew when they are given opportunities. Many of my former Afghan colleagues and friends have made astonishing progress. It is a place with a lot of human capital. If given the opportunity – despite much hardship – it will be a stable country one day.

Tell me about – Far & Wide Collective

I started Far & Wide Collective because I, after almost a decade in Afghanistan and the region, felt that the biggest obstacle to artisans and small craft businesses was access to international markets. This matters because the craft sector is the second largest employer, after agriculture, in most developing countries. It represents an opportunity for thousands–millions even–to earn a living and own their own business.

Moreover, crafts are often made by women, who rank among the most vulnerable in many of these societies. Crafts do not usually require literacy or formal education, but rather concrete skills passed on from generation to generation. In even the most deeply conservative countries, craft production allows women to participate in the economy, empower themselves and lift their families out of poverty.

Despite exponentially growing demand, an abundance of artisans and a wealth of authentic, unique and handmade products, artisans in Afghanistan and other low-income countries have very limited access to markets beyond the local bazaars. Mainstream retailers worry that sourcing from emerging-market artisans is too risky. Online platforms that currently carry crafts such as and tend to only work with producers who are computer literate, can read and write, can process credit card payments, and have access to reliable postal systems. This excludes most talented artisans in emerging markets.

Far & Wide Collective is addressing this problem with a business model that enables systematic market access for artisans and small craft businesses in emerging economies by tackling challenges such as product design, logistics, content development, marketing and sales. We are still a new and small company, but we have a big vision.

You also were involved in Building Markets in Afghanistan?

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to start the first Building Markets project in Afghanistan in 2006. At that time – it was a think tank based in Ottawa, started by Scott Gilmore and Kabul became its first stab at implementation. The Kabul project was a reaction to a study that had uncovered that in all peace keeping missions the UN and the international community were involved in, only very little of all the money that went into these missions – such as Kosovo, East Timor – actually benefited the local economy.

The objective of the organization was to promote local procurement of goods and services to boost local business, employment, tax revenues and the Afghan economy. We did this by helping Afghan businesses understand international organizations such as the UN, the international armies and later NATO procurement needs, systems and requirements. We also build a database putting online all small, medium and large Afghan businesses so that procurement officers from various organizations could go online from their offices to see what in fact could be bought in the country.

We also match businesses – for example introducing some of the best farmers and produce producers to a new five star hotel in Kabul. We strive to make sure that local products are bought as much as possible. In our first year we generated more than $180 million for the Afghan economy and in the following years much more – a great part of this was through getting the US army to buy locally bottled water instead of flying it in from Dubai. Today Building Markets has officers in many places of the world. It aims to support entrepreneurs, business and industry in post war economies – economic growth most often lead to more stable, prosperous and peaceful societies.

Why is it important to empower Afghan women?

Apart from being passionate about human rights in general and seeing how badly Afghan women and girls are often treated – it is also clear that societies with equal participation from both women and men in the workforce are much more prosperous. Afghanistan cannot afford to keep its women hidden away. Afghan women are incredibly hard working, resilient and entrepreneurial. I have seen shy women with little education grow into dynamos when given the chance.

The international community has to think very carefully about how to keep pushing for a better life for women. We also have to reflect on how we can best preserve the gains we have witnessed in the past decade. I don’t think that there can be sustained stability and economic growth in Afghanistan without involving Afghan women to a very large degree.

Why should Canadians care about international developments in countries such as Afghanistan?

I don’t think that we can afford not to care as the world today is more interdependent. Having whole regions – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria or Palatine – Israel and Africa in trouble and in conflict makes the world less stable and less safe for all of us. The transmission mechanisms from these regions to the rest of the world are intimate and proven.

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Values Charter: A Dangerous Precedent if Passed

Posted on 18 September 2013 by admin

The Quebec government of Premier Pauline Marois has proposed a controversial proposal that

• Would ban “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols by government employees

• Would make it mandatory to have one’s face uncovered while providing or receiving a state service

• Will be entrench the concept of religious neutrality in the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The bill is to be tabled this fall. Premier Marois’ government requires opposition’s support to pass the bill. Prime Minister Harper has predicted that the bill will not be passed. He has also promised that the federal government will “take whatever action is necessary” if it does.

 “I do not see the charter in its current form going anywhere,” Prime Minister said. “I think the common sense of Quebecers will force this towards a reasonable conclusion as the debate progresses.”

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has said “We’re categorical in rejecting this approach. Liberal leader has also accused Quebec’s Premier of playing “divisive identity politics.”

This proposal has raised a lot of questions and upset Canadians especially those of South Asian origin. Sikhs wear religious symbols such as turban and carry kirpan. Muslim women wear hijab. Both of these communities wear overt religious symbols. If passed, many believe that this proposal will set “a dangerous precedent” and take Canada as a country years’ behind. Not only that it will also tarnish Canada’s image of tolerant and humane country.

Polling has shown that a majority of Quebecers support the proposed charter. But the idea has received much backlash. The survey conducted by Angus Reid Global showed that two out of three Quebecers, or 64 per cent, believed they are doing too much to accommodate. About half of the survey participants outside Quebec said the province hasn’t done enough to accommodate different culture and religion.

Only 17 per cent of survey participants outside Quebec agreed the province has done too much.

“Quebecers have a very different perception of what they’re doing around religious and cultural accommodation compared to what the rest of Canada perceives them to be doing,” said Shachi Kurl, Angus Reid Global vice president. “It’s just a very, very different mirror view.”

Two-thirds of Quebecers said they believed that “laws and norms should not be modified to accommodate minorities,” the survey showed.

Almost 80 per cent of Quebec residents said accommodating religious and cultural differences puts the province’s values at risk.

Outside of Quebec, 66 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they believed accommodation actually enriched the province.

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New individuals added to the “Wanted by the CBSA” list

Posted on 18 September 2013 by admin

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today announced eight new additions to the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Wanted by the CBSA list.

 “Since its inception in July of 2011, the “Wanted by the CBSA” program has proven to be effective in its goal of locating individuals who are inCanada illegally and who have hidden from the CBSA,” said Minister Blaney. “The successful location of almost 40 per cent of the cases posted to the list demonstrates not only the program’s usefulness, but also the level of engagement of the public in protecting our borders.”

 To obtain further assistance from the public, eight new profiles have been added to the “Wanted by the CBSA” web page. These new additions are all inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), and a Canada-wide warrant for their arrest has been issued as they have both failed to comply with IRPA and have absconded before their removal could take place.

 “I am confident that the past successes of the “Wanted by the CBSA” program will continue,” said Minister Blaney. “This program is an excellent example of how ongoing cooperation between the public and domestic and international law enforcement can contribute to safer communities.”

 Members of the public should not take action to apprehend the individuals listed on the CBSA Web site. Any information on the whereabouts of these individuals should be reported to the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060.

 To date, as a result of the “Wanted by the CBSA” program, Canadians have assisted in locating 46 individuals in Canada, of which 39 have been removed. Additionally, nine individuals have been located abroad.

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Nina Davuluri: Miss America of Indian Descent

Posted on 18 September 2013 by admin

She’s the second consecutive New York beauty queen to take the Miss America title, but she’s the first Indian-American to wear the national crown — er, tiara — atop her perfectly coiffed head.

“I was the first Indian Miss New York, and I’m so proud to be the first Indian Miss America,” Nina Davuluri said after she won.

Davuluri’s resume goes considerably deeper than her heritage, however.

The 24-year-old Fayetteville, New York, native was on the dean’s list and earned the Michigan Merit Award and National Honor Society nods while studying at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science.

Her father, who emigrated from India 30 years ago, is a gynecologist, and Davuluri said she’d like to become a physician one day as well.

“During her year as Miss America she will serve as spokesperson for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) this year as she travels to Washington, D.C., to work with the Department of Education,” according to a Miss America statement.

She also is passionate about healthy lifestyles after battling obesity and bulimia when she was younger.

Davuluri’s platform was “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency.” For the talent portion of the competition, she performed classic Indian dances fused with Bollywood moves.

She has studied the Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam styles of dance, and in preparation for the Miss America contest, she worked with famed Bollywood choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan.

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Abbotsford temple priest jailed for sexual offences involving teen girls

Posted on 18 September 2013 by admin

A former Hindu priest who committed sexual offences involving teenage members of his Abbotsford congregation has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Karam Vir, 33, was convicted in May of two counts of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual assault in connection with incidents that took place in 2009 and 2010 while he was employed at a Hindu temple on Walmsley Avenue.

Sentencing took place Sept. 4 in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.

Vir made sexual advances toward the two victims, who were 17 years old, after befriending them at the temple. One young woman said Vir kissed her and there was brief sexual intercourse and/or touching three times. The other victim testified that Vir talked about wanting to get sexually involved with her but she resisted his sexual advances.

Vir denies abusing the two complainants and maintains his innocence.

Crown had asked for a prison sentence of 3 1/2 to four years, minus time served. Defence countered with a provincial jail sentence of 18 months to two years less a day.

Vir was given four months of credit for time already served. He has been in custody since his conviction in May.

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Toronto Mela attracts South Asians to celebrate together in Scarborough

Posted on 18 September 2013 by admin

Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) with the support of City of Toronto organized its second annual South Asian Summer Festival, “Toronto Mela 2013” on September 7th, 2013 at Albert Campbell Square in Scarborough.

CASSA has obtained the support from UNIFOR and CUPE 4400 as silver sponsors and from LIUNA local 183 and Ontario Federation of Labour as bronze sponsors.

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Musings On The Written Word

Posted on 18 September 2013 by admin

By Nadia Chowdhury


Who does not adore classics? Everyone does.

Okay, let me be honest. I never liked classics. Yes, I might like them now, but reading them in grade school was not easy. Especially when you were on a deadline and you knew that text was on your term papers, which would determine your life because those term papers would carry a grade to be reported on your report card. Which would come back to your parents and then……well, you know the rest of the story.

But you know something? Reading literature was-and still is-a great way to learn about the world. And in the age of super-fast technology, opening a print book could be….a really nice hobby. Having had friends who will gawk if I told them I don’t own an Ipod and feel embarrassed rather that I lament Indigo closing the World’s Biggest Bookstore in Toronto, Ontario, I feel that yes, times have changed.

Nevertheless, it is fun sometimes for me to go and open a moth-eaten book in a public library and smell the smell. Yes, books have a smell of their own and they can be zesty. Yes zesty, for that is how books smell. Like potato chips. Yes, I know what you are thinking-this person really loves books!

Yes, I do and with that kept in mind let me begin by saying that books have been-and will always be-important. Some assume with the advent of visual and virtual technology, reading will decrease-no, print media will decrease. And to a certain extent, this is true.

Indeed, when I visit local bookstores, all I see on the shelves are fading book titles with tomes printed a decade ago gathering dust and dirt. While market sales are a topic worth considering for a separate article altogether, it is interesting for me to see how the majority of these books are not only classics but in some cases, pretty priceless ones too. Even as we live in an era and age of uber-fast, digital technology, it might be true for others to see the monetary value of holding on to books and what economic reasons would warrant holding on to books, you ask? Why Amazon and Ebay and the self-sell tab on both. Great way to bring in extra money.

Although my experiences regarding this field of work (that is, business and education) have been both desolatory and desultory, for various reasons. One reason being that people these days do not want to buy books no more and like many of the people I know would rather spend it on the latest Ipad. Not exactly a bad thing depending on your taste but if your ability to string two words together is lower than your ability to drive a car and murder pedestrians because you are on that Ipod, then baby, you just proved my point. Bok deprivation kills.

No Nadia, how can you say that? Surely you are over-reacting a bit, huh? Maybe I am, but what if I am? I am going to be reactionary if people do not know how to string two words together and that apparently, was what books were good for. And it was not just grammar. Books were also good for taking trips unknown into various different places through the simple flipping of pages and that was-and still is-pretty damn remarkable.

Do people attain that form of wonder with their gadgets and devices these days? That would have to be a separate piece of research and indeed, magic is everywhere, learning is everywhere. Learning with discipline, focus and wonder is also something very relevant. In today’s times, is that possible? Unaccustomed to 21st-century gadgetry, I will never know but in other news, it still good to see kids these days use their gadgets for stuff other than going to a friend’s house and/or accessing social media. How useful that will be, is something only time will tell. And yes, I do critique social media including its different facets, aspects, ratios and measure of usefulness; do you want me to start on it, do you want me to start on it? No? Good. Don’t get me started on it. It will take me till next week to finish. Instead, be a good little reader and wait for my next article.

In conclusion, it was a good experience to rant on books and technology and how the tides have changed for the better or worse. In any case, it’s time for me to go and catch up on 50 Shades of Grey. Have you heard of the book? Its a very educational piece of work. Go check it out, okay? HappyReading!


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