Monday, May 31, 2010

Lalbagh Mango Festival

There is a mango festival in Lalbagh. Its a welcome exhibition. We got to see a variety of mangoes. But the vendors could have passed on some price discount to the visitors. Also, some explicitly declared "carbide free". Does that mean other mangoes are ripened through carbide and other artificial way?  Except for the shop banners, most of the places were in Kannada. The welcome arch, the mangoes title board in the glass house were in Kannada. The organizers should not think that only Kannadas will visit the show. There are visitors from other states and other countries. Overall, I felt the 'grandness' was missing, while the intent of the show is really appreciable.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Billy Joel

Tony writes on Billy Joel, the popular musician. When Billy Joel was young, he was depressed of his career in music which further aggravated because of his girl friend leaving him. Before choosing death, he consulted a mental institution, which became a turning point. Tony highlights how three decisions influence our lives:  what to focus on, what things mean to us, and what to do in spite of the challenges that may appear to limit us.

When I searched on the web, Billy Joel seems to a very successful man despite of his depression.

Going through the chapter 2, its really warming to read the statement "God's delays are not God's denials". This is the encouragement every individual is looking for reinforcement.

Sochiro Honda

Tony refers to Sochiro Honda's life as one of his favorite 'Ultimate Success Stories'. Tony describes how Honda started invested in a little workshop in 1938 while he was still in school, working hard to sell his idea and work to Toyota Corporation, which finally did not Toyota's standards despite Honda's relentless efforts. Then comes Toyota's contract to him, Japanese Govt's refusal to construct factory, and several other roadblocks till he brought Honda to the current state. 

Honda's story: Joy of manufacturing

Ed Roberts

Edward Verne Roberts (January 23, 1939- March 14, 1995) was the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley. He became one of the founders and one of the greatest leaders of the disability rights movement

Wiki link on Ed Roberts
Highlights from Ed Roberts speech

Dr. Deming's Profound Knowledge

The System of Profound Knowledge comes from W. Edwards Deming. Dr Deming said that hard work is not enough. What is needed is a transformation of the prevailing style of management.
The System of Profound Knowledge has four parts. Click on the links to read about them:

  1. Appreciation for a system
  2. Knowledge about variation
  3. Theory of knowledge
  4. Psychology
Deming's "Profound Knowledge" is a system. This means that the four parts interact with one another. Real transformation will only start when there has been some progress in all parts.
For example, these days you can see Shewhart control charts in many manufacturing operations in Europe and America. But most of these companies get very little benefit from the charts because they do not know how to act as part of a system. The only way to get efficient stable processes is to have full co-operation across all departments and outside suppliers to control the variation. To get this co-operation managers need to understand enough psychology to know how to provide the leadership which will focus everyone's attention on getting the best results for the system as a whole.
A lot of mistakes are made during the 'Study' phase of the Plan Do Study Act cycle because results are misinterpreted due to a lack of understanding of the nature of variation.

Cocaine Usage

Tony says in Chapter 1 of Awaken the Giant Within
"Too many of us leave ourselves at the mercy of outside events over which we may have no control, failing to take charge of our emotions—over which we have all the control—and relying instead on short-term quick fixes. How else can we explain the fact that, while less than 5 percent of the world's population lives in the United States, we consume more than 50 percent of the world's cocaine?"
When I (re-)searched on the internet, I came across interesting references.

Time's report on Cocaine Country, 2007
Crime Statistics on Illicit Drugs by country

Cocaine (aka coke, crack, snow, blow) is an addiction that can occur very quickly and be a very difficult habit to break. There have been animal studies, which have shown that animals will work very hard, such as pressing a bar over 10,000 times, after a single injection of cocaine. They were also choosing cocaine over food and water and chose cocaine even when their behavior was punished. It was proven that animals must have their access to cocaine limited in order not to take lethal doses. Studies have shown that people addicted to cocaine also behaved very similar. One of the signs of Cocaine use is that Cocaine addicts will go to great lengths to get cocaine and continue to take it even when it hurts their school or job performance and their relationships begin to suffer.

Some of the major routes of administration of cocaine are sniffing or snorting, injecting, and smoking, including free-basing and crack cocaine. Snorting is the process of inhaling cocaine powder through the nose where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Injecting is the act of using a needle to release the drug directly into the bloodstream. Smoking involves inhaling cocaine vapor or smoke into the lungs where absorption into the bloodstream is as rapid as by injection.
“Crack” or “crack cocaine” is the street name given to cocaine that has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a free base for smoking.
Rather than requiring the more volatile method of processing cocaine-using ether, crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water and heated to remove the hydrochloride, thus producing a form of cocaine that can be smoked. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked (heated), presumably from the sodium bicarbonate.
Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that interferes with the reabsorption process of dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. Dopamine is released as part of the brain’s reward system and is involved in the high that characterizes cocaine consumption.
Signs of Cocaine use include constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, hyper-alertness, lack of fatigue/sleeplessness, panic, extremely talkative; fast speech, runny nose or bloody nose, seizures from high doses or bad reaction, white powder seen on face or clothes, small spoon-like items used for snorting, mirrors and razor blades used for making lines, rolled money bills used for snorting, small bottles with screw on lids for storing and possession of small plastic packets with white residue.
The duration of cocaine’s immediate euphoric effects, which include hyper-stimulation, reduced fatigue, and mental clarity, depends on the route of administration. The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. On the other hand, the faster the absorption, the shorter the duration of action. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Increased use can reduce the period of stimulation.
Some other signs of Cocaine use are feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. An appreciable tolerance to the high may be developed, and many addicts report that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first exposure. Scientific evidence suggests that the powerful neuropsychological reinforcing property of cocaine is responsible for an individual’s continued use, despite harmful physical and social consequences. In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. However, there is no way to determine who is prone to sudden death.


Dr. Robert Cialdini

Tony writes in Awaken the Giant Within:

"...So often people believe something because everybody else believes it. This is known in psychology as social proof. But social proof is not always accurate. When people are not sure what to do, they look to others for guidance. In Dr. Robert Cialdini's book Influence, he describes a classic experiment in which someone yells "Rape!" for a subject's benefit while two people (psychological plants) ignore the cries for help and keep walking. The subject doesn't know whether to respond to the pleas or not, but when he sees the other two people act as if nothing is wrong, he decides that the cries for help are insignificant and to ignore them also."
More on the book Influence from Amazon website

Cialdini defines six "weapons of influence":
  • Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935.
  • Commitment and Consistency - If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy. See cognitive dissonance.
  • Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments.
  • Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre.
  • Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. See physical attractiveness stereotype.
  • Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales.
More on Dr.Robert Cialdini

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Don't Shoot the Dog!

(The following is from the inside flap of the book)

Karen Pryor's clear and entertaining explanation of behavioral training methods made Don't Shoot the Dog! a bestselling classic. Now this revised edition presents more of her insights into animal--and human--behavior.

A groundbreaking behavioral scientist and dynamic animal trainer, Karen Pryor is a powerful proponent of the principles and practical uses of positive reinforcement in teaching new behaviors. Here are the secrets of changing behavior in pets, kids--even yourself--without yelling, threats, force, punishment, guilt trips...or shooting the dog:

The principles of the revolutionary "clicker training" method, which owes its phenomenal success to its immediacy of response--so there is no question what action you are rewarding
8 methods of ending undesirable habits--from furniture-clawing cats to sloppy roommates
The 10 laws of "shaping" behavior--for results without strain or pain through "affection training"
Tips for house-training the dog, improving your tennis game, or dealing with an impossible teen
Explorations of exciting new uses for reinforcement training

Learn why pet owners rave, "This book changed our lives!" and how these pioneering techniques can work for you too.

More on the book, from Amazon website
Want to buy through Flipkart?

Pat Riley

Entering his 12th season with Miami, HEAT President & Head Coach Pat Riley has established a standard of excellence within the franchise, both on and off the court, that has allowed the team to reach unprecedented heights and has positioned it as one of the most successful in the NBA. Never was that more evident then when Riley guided his group of “15 Strong” to the franchise’s first NBA championship in Dallas on June 20, 2006. After the game, Riley commented that he had packed one suit, one shirt and one tie for the trip to Dallas, what he brought back to Miami was one championship, fulfilling a vision he spoke about when arriving in Miami in 1995.
When he returned to the sidelines for his second stint as the HEAT head coach on Dec. 12, 2005, after a two-year hiatus from the bench where he concentrated on building the team from the front office, many experts questioned whether the Miami team that he assembled was capable of reaching the NBA’s ultimate destination. Six months later the answer was a resounding “yes”, as Riley had successfully navigated the HEAT to the pinnacle of the basketball world and added more luster to a legacy and resume that did not need further validation.
In his illustrious career, Riley has guided his teams to at least 50 wins in a season an NBA-record 17 times, four more than the closest coach in league history. He also has registered an NBA-record seven 60-win seasons, accomplishing the milestone with each of the three franchises he guided. When he began the 2000-01 season with an Opening Night victory over intrastate rival Orlando on November 1, he became the fastest coach or manager to reach 1,000 wins in the history of the four professional sports in North America. Not only did Riley break the record, he smashed the mark previously held by Fred Clarke of the Pittsburgh Pirates, bettering it by an astonishing 144 games. Riley recorded his 1,000th victory in just his 1,434th game. On Mar. 11, 2003 with a 77-75 victory in Cleveland, he became the only head coach in NBA history to record at least 350 victories with two different franchises. Riley currently stands as the all-time leader in both regular season and postseason victories for both the Lakers and the HEAT.

More on Pat Riley, visit the NBA site
You may also want to visit the wikipedia

Marva Collins

Marva Collins grew up in Atmore, Alabama at a time when segregation was the rule. Black people were not permitted to use the public library, and her schools had few books, and no indoor plumbing. Nonetheless, her family instilled in her an awareness of the family’s historical excellence and helped develop her strong desire for learning, achievement and independence. After graduating from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia, she taught school in Alabama for two years. She moved to Chicago and taught in Chicago’s public school system for fourteen years.

Her experiences in that system, coupled with her dissatisfaction with the quality of education that her two youngest children were receiving in prestigious private schools, convinced her that children deserved better than what was passing for acceptable education. That conviction led to her decision to open her own school on the second floor of her home. She took the $5,000 balance in her school pension fund and began her educational program with an enrollment of her own two children and four other neighborhood youngsters.

Thus, Westside preparatory School was founded in 1975 in Garfield Park, a Chicago inner-city area. During the first year, Marva took in learning disabled, problem children and even one child who had been labeled by Chicago public school authorities as borderline retarded. At the end of the first year, every child scored at least five grades higher proving that the previous labels placed on these children were misguided. The CBS program, 60 Minutes, visited her school for the second time in 1996. That little girl who had been labeled as border line retarded, graduated in 1976 from college Summa Cum Laude. It was documented on the 60 Minutes programs in 1996. Marva’s graduates have entered some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, to mention just a few. And, they have become physicians, lawyers, engineers, educators, and entered other professions.

She writes about her education system as below
My educational program and methodology is based on the Socratic Method. Socrates, an Athenian philosopher and teacher, lived from about 470 – 399 BC. The Socratic method teaches by using a series of questions and answers by which the logical soundness of a definition, or a point of view, or the meaning of a concept, is tested. The Socratic method is based on logical analysis, consequently, it develops superb reasoning skills in students.
 Know more about Marva Collins from her website

Colonel Sanders

Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980) was an American entrepreneur who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). His image is omnipresent in the chain's advertising and packaging, and his name is sometimes used as a synonym for the KFC product or restaurant itself. Sanders later used his shares to create the Colonel Harland Sanders Trust and Colonel Harland Sanders Charitable Organization, which used the proceeds to aid charities and fund scholarships. His trusts continue to donate money to groups like the Trillium Health Care Centre; a wing of their building specializes in women's and children's care and has been named after him. The foundation granted over $1,000,000 in 2007, according to its 2007 tax return.


Paul Zane Pilzer

Paul Zane Pilzer is a world-renowned economist, a social entrepreneur, an adjunct professor, and the author of nine best-selling books and dozens of scholarly publications.

Pilzer completed Lehigh University (1974) in three years and received his MBA from Wharton (1976) in 15 months at age 22. He became Citibank's youngest officer at age 22 and its youngest vice president at age 25. At age 24, he was appointed adjunct professor at New York University, where he taught for 21 consecutive years. Over the past 30 years, Pilzer has started and/or taken public, five companies in the areas of software, education and healthcare.

In the Middle Ages, alchemy was the mystical art of trying to make gold from lesser metals, or, more broadly, the pursuit of finding an elixir of life.  As a modern-day alchemist, Pilzer figures he can make gold from technology.  By seeking out existing technology and applying it where it is not yet in use, Pilzer believes he can stimulate the economy and make money in the process.


Pygmalion Effect

The Pygmalion effect, or Rosenthal effect, refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people, often children or students and employees, the better they perform. The effect is named after Pygmalion, a Cypriot sculptor in a narrative by OvidGreek mythology, who fell in love with a female statue he had carved out of ivory. in
The Pygmalion effect is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy, and, in this respect, people with poor expectations internalize their negative label, and those with positive labels succeed accordingly. Within sociology, the effect is often cited with regards to education and social class.

The Pygmalion effect can also result from racial expectations. This effect is seen during Jane Elliott's blue-eyed versus brown-eyed discrimination exercise, where third graders were divided based on eye color. One group was given preference and regarded as "superior" because of their eye color, with the other group repeatedly being considered inferior in intelligence and learning ability. On the second day of the experiment, the groups were completely reversed, with those oppressed against one day being regarded as superior the next.
Elliott gave spelling tests to both groups on each day of the experiment. The students scored very low on the day they were racially "inferior" and very high on the day they were considered racially "superior."

James Rhem, executive editor for the online National Teaching and Learning Forum, commented:
•    "When teachers expect students to do well and show intellectual growth, they do; when teachers do not have such expectations, performance and growth are not so encouraged and may in fact be discouraged in a variety of ways."
•    "How we believe the world is and what we honestly think it can become have powerful effects on how things will turn out."
In 2004, US President George W. Bush referred to "the soft bigotry of low expectations" as one of the challenges faced by disadvantaged and minority students.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Welcome to everyone to this blog. I am reading Awaken the Giant within and Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins for the past 10 years. I come across a lot of historical characters, inspiring stories in his books. I thought I should create a "wiki" for myself to know more about those references in Tony's books. This will help expand my knowledge. Do you know I scored 98 marks in history & geography during my school?  Wait!  This was out of two hundred :-).

Keep visiting this blog regularly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

கோடை மழை



அயராமல் இருக்க


அசரீரி இடியுடன்

அடை மழை


அருள் அன்னை

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beliefts and Convictions

I learnt something today differences between Beliefs and Convictions. Simply put,

"The poor needs to be helped" - This is a belief.

Helping the poor even when you dont have money, devoting time and effort to help them, in big and small ways - This is conviction. 

"Bangalore needs to improve" - Everybody in Bangalore (and those who left) also has this.

Getting on the field and working to improve the infrastructure big and small is

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

வலியின் வலிமை

பணத்தால் முடியாத சில பண்பலைகள் 
தொழிலையும்  தாண்டி  சில  கடமைகள்
இவ்விடத்தைத்  காட்டிலும்  சில  புகலிடங்கள்
கணினி  அல்லாத   சில  அற்புதங்கள்
அவளையும்  மீறிய  சில  உறவுகள் 
கடல் பரப்பாய்  கண்  முன்  விரிந்தன
அடுத்தடுத்து  வந்த  சில  துயரங்களால்!