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Which New York City sculpture is not located in Central Park?

Welcome everyone to the 25th and last day of Marriott World of Rewards quiz. Today’s question is:

Which New York City sculpture is not located in Central Park?

Answer:

Charging Bull

(suggested by Eric – thanks Eric)

Charging Bull by Arturo Di Modica at Bowling Green in New York City.
Charging Bull by Arturo Di Modica at Bowling Green in New York City.

The Charging Bull was sculpted by Arturo Di Modica, weighs 3200 Kgs (7000 pounds) and is made from Bronze. The Bull represents financial stability in America. There’s a very interesting story about how the $300,000 Charging Bull ended up near Wall Street. Read at Wikipedia.

I have to admit – I don’t really understand the question. There are tens of other sculptures located in different parts of New York. Can the answer be Statue of Liberty? Do they want to ask “not located on mainland” or something? or is it multiple choice?

Please help me with this one guys. First 24 questions made sense. This one doesn’t.

Eric’s suggestion – Charging Bull.

Some related links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sculptures_in_Central_Park

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outdoor_sculpture_in_New_York_City

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What St. Kitts attraction has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site?

The Marriott World of Rewards question no. 21, released today, is:

What St. Kitts attraction has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site?

And the answer is:

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

St Kitts & Nevis

Brimstone Hill Fortress is in the country officially known as the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis, which have a population close to 45,000. These twin Carribean islands are a popular tourist destination, especially for romantic holidays such as honeymoons. The climate of the islands ispleasantly tropical, ranging between 17 and 33 centigrade.

The islands are volcanic in origin and between them cover an area of some 101 square miles. The volcanic origin lends itself to some mountainous terrain. The highest mountain in St Kitts is Mount Liamiuga at 3,972 feet and the highest mountain on Nevis Island is Mount Nevis at 3,232 feet high.

Brimstone Fortress National Park

Brimstone is one of the best known attractions on St. Kitts. On 2 dECEMBER 1999 UNESCO announced that is was designating Brimstone Fortress National Park with the status of a World Heritage site. Work was originally begun on Brimstone in 1690 and the fortress was created by the British military over the 104 years that followed; builot mainly by African slave labour. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of architecture by the British military.

Further information about Brimstone Fortress National Park is available at:

http://www.brimstonehillfortress.org/

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Buddha reincarnation Ram Bahadur Bamjan – 18 year old miracle boy!

Who is Ram Bahadur Bomjon?

(or Ram Bahadur Bomjan or Banjan or “Buddha Boy” or Palden Dorje?)

Ram Bahadur Bomjon - Reincarnation of Gautam Buddha?
Ram Bahadur Bomjon – Reincarnation of Gautam Buddha?

In brief:

Ram Bahadur Bamjan – now an 18 year old boy, was born in Nepal (a Himalayan nation that borders northern India) and gained massive popularity after he acquired what people believe is the ability to disappear and appear anywhere.  In May 2005, he started meditating (worshiping) at his home village Ratanapuri, then disappeared and appeared on two occasions for 10 and 4 months respectively.

In March last year (2007) he was found by the police, meditating in a 7 feet deep underground bunker.

In August 2007, he addressed a large gathering and said some things about international peace and spiritualism. <I’m pretty impressed with his speech, which you can read at wikipedia here>

2 days ago – On the 10th of November 2008, Bamjan appeared again. Since then, people are visiting in their tens of thousands, just to get a look at the “reincarnation of Gautam Buddha”, as he’s widely believed to be.

Ram Bahadur Bamjan after reappearing in Nov 08
Ram Bahadur Bamjan after reappearing in Nov 08

People need proof!

However, Nagarjuna Instt. of Exact Methods in Nepal has said that Ram Bahadur Bomjon needs to be assessed before he can claim to be the reincarnation of Gautam Buddha.

“Meditating without food does not prove that he is reincarnation of Buddha. There is much study needed to be done.”

<How can you scientifically determine if one is a reincarnation of someone?!!!>

Why is Bomjan being called a reincarnation of Buddha?

There are various similarites between Gautam Buddha’s and Ram Bahadur Bomjan’s lives.

Gautam Buddha

gautam_buddha_in_meditation
Gautam Buddha meditating

Brief biography: Gautam Buddha was born a prince, somewhere around 500 B.C. When he was born, his father, the king ,was told  that should Gautam ever realise the true state of the world with its poverty and pain, he would renounce all worldly desires and become a sage. The king hid the outside world from Gautam Buddha, but one day Buddha saw everything that had been hidden from him. He left behind his wife and child, renounced the throne and spent many years meditating for months at a time. He practiced spirituality and with hard work and persistence converted himself from a normal human being to someone who could appear and disappear. He developed capabilities to read and control people’s minds, carried a weapon for self-defense. He was seen to perform miracles like standing in the air, making things appear in his hands etc.

His views were so powerful and motivating, that his teachings became widely respected and one of the oldest religions of the world, Buddhism,  was born.

Ram Bahadur Bomjan’s powers:

Ram Bahadur Bomjan, has things common to Gautam Buddha. Bomjan carries a sword for self-defense, can meditate for months without food or water, has appeared and disappeared on a few occasions and has views very similar to those of Buddha.

Only time will tell what Ram Bahadur Bomjon does for human kind, but as I write this, people are lining up to get a glimpse of who they believe is the reincarnation of Gautam Buddha. The Buddha Boy!

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Copper taps and door handles keep the bugs out of hospitals

Was watching news and came across this piece. Thought I better blog about it. The metal copper, as opposed to brass, steel or any other metal, has the property of removing 85% of all bugs, diseases and ailment causing bacteria.

Searching for door handles gets a million results and we’ve gotta get this message across!! START MAKING COPPER door handles, knobs and furniture. 🙂

Just for your information. This was airing on Sky news all day today.

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After banks and Iceland, Ukraine goes bankrupt! Hungary, Pakistan and Belarus next.

The International Monetary Fund – IMF has agreed to lend $16.5 billion (in loan) to Ukraine to help it sustain its economy and financial stability, after the international credit crunch rendered the country’s currency and stock markets plunging.

“The authorities’ program is intended to support Ukraine’s return to economic and financial stability, by addressing financial sector liquidity and solvency problems, by smoothing the adjustment to large external shocks and by reducing inflation,” Dominique Strauss Kahn, the Managing Director of IMF said. “At the same time, it will guard against a deep output decline by insulating household and corporations to the extent possible.”

In recent times, Ukraine’s capital city Kiev had seen an expansion boom thanks to availability of loans or mortgages for properties. It was coming up as one of the best markets for international investment. Now, because of credit crunch that originated in the United States, very less or no banks are willing to lend money, resulting in decline of property prices.

Ukraine’s currency Hryvnia has taken a massive dip in the last 2 weeks and because of the country’s reliance on steel and price reductions, Ukraine is now in desperate need of of the 16 and a half billion dollars.

World economy lowdown – Help IMF!

After the recent USA government’s intervention of 700 Billion US dollars to help the American economy led by Neel Kashkari, followed by a 2.1 billion dollars’ loan to Iceland by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) –  Pakistan, Hungary and Belarus are on the verge of major economic collapses. All three countries are at advanced stages of talks with the IMF.

Countries least affected are those with least economic interactions with the United States. Except for India and China, there aren’t many.

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What’s the time change? daylight saving times 2008 – country wise

Worldwide schedule for DST (Daylight saving time)

The clocks went back 1 hour in the UK today (midnight, 26th of October 2008).

In the US, day light saving time (or time change) ends this fall, on the 2nd of November this year (2008). Day light saving time changes every year and depends mostly on earth’s rotation.

If you have questions regarding your local time, just do the following:
Go to Google.com and search for “Time YourCity”. For example, to check out the present time in London, click here.

What is daylight saving time?

In layman’s words, because winters have shorter days and longer nights (especially in Europe and America), in order to have maximum day light when you’re awake, the clocks are moved back an hour. Because of this time change, you start work at 8, when normally you’d have started at 9, and finisish at 5 when normally you’d finish by 6. This lets you spend more time awake when the sun’s out. Daylight savings time was created to let afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less daylight.  In the start of spring, clocks are adjusted 1 hour ahead (obviously because the summer has longer days) and adjusted 1 hour back just after autumn. Intelligent time change!

Which countries use DST? (daylight saving time)

DST was proposed by William Willett, an english architect/builder to make best use of sunshine. Many countries have tried using the DST (daylight saving time) but at present most countries, except ones in the American continents and Europe, don’t use day light savings.

The world over, countries that do use DST move their clocks by a maximum of 1 hour forward or backward. List of countries that use the Daylight Saving time:

1. All countries in Europe except Iceland. Iceland has moved its clock backward 1 hour permanently, so you can say that the country is in permanent DST (and I guess it has to, considering it is one of the coldest countries with very scarce sunshine.

2. USA (United States of America) – This year in fall, 2008, the daylight saving time begins on the 2nd of November 2008 when all states move their clocks back an hour. Well, if you use Windows XP, Vista, IPhone or any other new phone, you phone or computer or laptop should do that for you automatically. If you do, however rely on a wrist watch, better tune into the radio once a day 😉 For exact details for each state and city in the United States, please go to: Wikipedia

3. Australia – Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia will observe it on the last Sunday of October 2008, whereas Tasmania has started on the first Sunday of October 2008.

4. New Zealand – Last Sunday of September each year, daylight saving time begins in New Zealand and end on April’s first Sunday.

5. Canada – Most Canadian states conform to the US DST rules. (pretty obvious to me)

6. Greenland

7. Mexico

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Sachin Tendulkar’s new world record – beats Brian Lara for most test Cricket runs!

Today was another historic day in the life of “Cricket”, the game. India’s Sachin Tendulkar became the man to score the most runs in test Cricket overtaking Brian Lara of West Indies. Also hitting his 50th test Cricket half century, Sachin Tendulkar and India had two reasons to smile.

In the ongoing test series against Australia (led by Ricky Ponting), this was day 1 of the second match. When Tendulkar came to bat, he needed 15 runs to beat Brian Lara’s highest runs in test Cricket world record of 11,953 runs. He did that in style with a smooth glide towards third man on the first ball after the tea break. Scoring 88 in a hundred and eleven balls, Sachin Tendulkar now stands at a whopping 12,027 runs and an average well over 50 – 54.17 to be precise.

Sachin Tendulkar - World record
Sachin Tendulkar - World record for highest runs in test Cricket!

Tendulkar, as the humble champion as he is, when asked about his knock and world record said

“I’m quite pleased with the knock, when I went in we’d lost three wickets in no time, so it was extremely important to have a partnership. I was disappointed because we had targets and we thought, especially after those crackers went off (on getting his highest runs in test Cricket World Record), we’d have to focus on our game and continue batting for a long time,” Tendulkar said. “The reverse swing with the old ball was different to the new ball and it took me a fraction longer to adjust. I paid a heavy price for that.”

With no overconfidence or self-appreciation and as usual, he talked about the match and team spirit. Thats what makes this man a real master blaster.

Rocky Ponting, the captain of Australia (who was the first to congratulate Sachin today), is potentially the only active Cricketer in the world who can beat Sachin Tendulkar’s world record. Ponting, with 10,239 test runs is number 6 in world rankings of all time test run scorers.

What needs to be understood when the press makes statements like this is: If Ponting will score, will Sachin just sit idle? Our master blaster probably will hold the record for the highest number of test runs forever!

What also needs to be mentioned in this articles is that dada – Sourav Ganguly also reached 7,000 test runs in this match. Congrats to you too Dada! We love you too!

India loves you Sachin and we’re really proud of you again today! 🙂

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Tata’s car Nano in Gujarat after being refused West Bengal, India

India news
India news

Living in london and being Indian at heart, it was amazing and proud to see Tata’s Nano everywhere on global news as the world’s most affordable car by a motor giant in India.

Then came news of the land row in West Bengal, where Nano’s production was stopped by the likes of Mamta Banerjee. To be honest, it was a great shock, and knowing what India is like, a world famous project was about to be ruined. People were offered good money for their lands, and to be honest, many of those land owners still wouldn’t know what transpired. It was a bloody political gimmick. Wasn’t it?

Ultimately, it’s good, no great! to know that the production will happen in Chief minister Modi’s state Gujarat at Sanand near Ahmedabad. This will be a 2,000 crore project and i still can’t believe those people in West Bengal who didn’t see what effect this would’ve had on their local economies with generation of jobs, infrastructure etc.

Tatas have still kept the price a secret although the Nano is being hailed as the 1 lakh rupee car.

“This is an extremely momentous and happy day for us because we have been through a rather sad experience from a small quarter of residents of West Bengal despite the state government’s efforts,” Ratan Tata (Chief of Tata motors) said a few hours ago.

The project will span 1,100 acres of land and its speedy allocation has been promised by the Gujarat government.

Modi, as usual delivered a senti speech welcoming the Tatas saying “This is a new chapter betweeen Gujarat and the Tatas”. etc. Who wants to know!

Tata Nano - 1 lakh rupee car
Tata Nano - 1 lakh rupee car

The facility in Gujarat will churn out 2.5 to 3 lakh cars a year, incremental to about 5 lakh cars a year. Not too many, considering the Indian population of 1 billion. Well, I guess if you’re looking to get a Nano, better watch out and book in time. 🙂

I feel happy for our economy car Nano and for India today. Another landmark!

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Soumya Vishwanathan – Wasted!

Living in London for the last 4 years, I don’t get Indian news as promptly as I used to.

Was going through People forever and came across Soumya Vishwanathan’s memorial.

My heart goes out to her family and friends for this loss. Such a shame that this still happens to women in Delhi.

On the 30th of Sept, Soumya was found dead under mysterious circumstance (as usual) while driving late at night. Police found Viswanathan’s body in her car at Nelson Mandela Marg, New Delhi, near Vasant Kunj.She was 27.

A senior police official stated that in search of concrete clues to solve the case, they were now checking the records of the toll bridge on NH-8 to find out about those who passed the bridge. He added that, in addition to a dummy run, recreating the events of the morning when Soumya was shot, they had drawn up a synchronised accident analysis for better understanding of the situation.

“We are trying to fix a motive to this killing. Once that is clear, the case will be solved. As of now, we haven’t ruled out anything, including a robbery attempt gone wrong,” said the official. He said the victim’s family and friends were still being questioned. “The family has been cooperative. We are taking their help to learn about Soumya’s personal life, anything which could have triggered this attack,” said the official.

A third witness has surfaced claiming to have seen the car after it rammed into the central verge of the road last Tuesday around 3.35 am. “Although, his testimony is similar to the other two, it corroborates our information regarding how the incident happened. However, the missing link remains the shooting which none of the witnesses have seen,” said the official. He added, “After reading about the incident in the news, more people having information about the incident are coming forward.”

Meanwhile, separate police teams for examining and analysing different aspects of the case have been formed who report to the DCP (south) HGS Dhaliwal. “This is to make sure the investigation is clear and nothing misses our eye. We are also seeking help from the public in helping us find anything that might be helpful for the investigations,” said the police official.

Soumya was returning to her residence in Vasant Kunj early morning on Tuesday when she was shot. Her car had rammed into the central verge after swerving sharply. It was initially considered a fatal accident until a bullet was recovered from her skull during the post mortem. After this, a case of murder was registered.

Read the complete news article at Times of India

Isn’t it really painful?

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