Friday, September 30, 2011

Best of Gandhi Quotes PPT

Inspiring quotations from Mahatma Gandhi. Motivating and life changing messages from the great soul.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors 9

An inspiring Zen story about how fears stunt our thinking and prevent us from realizing our potential and above all understanding the truth. This Zen story about understanding fears is part of an eBook series 51 Short Motivational Stories from Zen, Buddha and Ancient Tales.

The Great Waves

Many centuries ago there lived a wrestler named, O-nami , meaning the Great Waves. He was so strong, so graceful a wrestler and so good in this sport that he defeated even his master.

All this he could do in private. But when he appeared before the public he seemed to panic. He would lose to inferior wrestlers from the neighboring village. Try as he might he could not overcome the fear of wrestling before the crowds.

Having heard of a Zen master, Hakuju, who was camping in the village, O-nami went to meet him.

After listening to O-nami’s peculiar problem, the Zen master asked him to stay with him for the night. O-nami did as told.

At night after dinner, Hakuju met O-nami. “You are the Great Waves, you must think like the great waves. You are powerful and strong live the waves. Think about sweeping away all those before you. Just forget that you’re O-nami and think that you’re the Great Waves that you see over here in the sea.”

The Zen master left after saying this. And O-nami kept looking at the waves.
Soon he began thinking as the master said that he was the great waves. He kept thinking all night and by dawn, he saw the waves rising higher and higher and them come ashore and wash away many boats the fishermen had left by the shore.

The master realising what had happened said to O-nami, “Now go and fight the best wrestlers. But think you’re the Great Waves.”

O-nami thanked the master and left.

After this he fought many wrestlers from near and far and defeated all of them. He became the most feared and most respected wrestler in the whole kingdom. Villagers narrated his heroism to their grandchildren by the fireside.

Notes: Fear is a very negative emotion that stunts our growth. If we need to realize our potential we need to understand our fears and overcome them. And you can do this with just a positive seed of thought.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Positive TV Watching with Children and How They Can Stimulate Thinking?

Select television programs that stimulate curiosity, provoke the child's thoughts, enhance understanding of science and life, enrich knowledge and shape the kid's character. Can you decide what your child should see on the idiot box? You can, depending upon school, tuitions and playtime, schedule a time for TV.

Answer the Child's Curiosity
Other than cartoons and probably serials for children, you must be present by his side asking questions, analyzing what is being shown and teaching him important lessons. And of course, you must first answer his questions, why did Adrian’s mother scold him? Was it right for Katie to steal from her friend’s pencil box? Mustn’t we all take care of trees like Mike’s family did? Well, such analysis and comments helps mould a child’s values.

Why Kids Watch TV for Hours Together
The Psychology of Seeing TV

Psychologists say that every child has a lot of pent-up feelings, fears, frustrations etc, which are dissipated on seeing TV. It helps the child identify himself with other children and feel normal about such feelings, but they warn that too much violence or typical adult programs could leave a scar on their brittle psychology.

Parental Guide is Necessary
Hence parental guide is vital to the developing child while watching programs the child can’t easily comprehend. The better route being to avoid such programs in the presence of your child.

If we do a little survey about our television watching habits, we’ll quickly realize that we’re hooked to it so much that we spend hours before it, many a time because we have nothing else to do. Most of us would be shocked to discover that sometimes we kill time before the ‘idiot box’ watching programs we can’t recall ten minutes later, leave alone benefiting from it.

This explains the grip television has over our lives. But, we must admit that all of us, including children, need to relax, entertain and laugh our tensions away. We can do this if we can control what we watch. There are Discovery and National Geographic channels to stir the curiosity of your child. Cartoon Network will see your child laugh and fall off his chair. Then there’s Splash and news-based program. Not to forget ESPN and Sky Sports. There are interesting television serials for children too.

Caution: follow the rules you draw for your child, with regard to watching TV. Watch your words when children are around. Avoid the TV when you’re at lunch or dinner as extreme reactions to the scenes on TV effect your digestion. Keep away from TV when exams are around. Above all keep your promises.

What should you child watch on television?

Points to ponder
a. Control the amount of time you spend before the TV.
b. TV curtails creativity.
c Guide your children while watching TV.
d. Select the programs children should see.
e. Above all, keep your promises about letting him watch his cartoon serial if he finishes his homework.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Uncle Anant Pai Google Doodle

Google has honored Anant Pai, the creator of the most popular comic book series for Indians, Amar Chitra Katha. Since inception, it has been published in over 20 languages and sold 100 million copies.

He died in February this year.

Bloggers Guide to Basic SEO

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Art of Group Work and Group Discussions at School

For most people studying is an isolated act, confined to a book or notes being perused in the corner of a room at night or early morning. While we have to acknowledge that solitary reading and preparation is a must during examinations, and a pleasure if one is reading a novel, it has some serious flaws.

Acquiring information is just one part of learning, one needs to understand, assess, compare, contrast, debate and then come to a conclusion. And this is better done in a group. Moreover, it is dull and boring to read alone. One will soon notice that the interest wanes after the initial period.

If the teacher teaches and the students just listen, they will not be able to absorb much of the subject. There has to be active participation, through question-answer sessions, group discussions or interaction with the teacher and classmates. This ensures that you listen to the opinion of others, learn to accommodate, adjust, improve and contribute to the discussion. In short, it is a personality development exercise.

We all have to survive and succeed in a social setting and early participation in a democratic exercise lends students the right perspective of life. Teachers should do well to remember that learning is retained better if it is debated, discussed and understood well. Such knowledge is retained for life. Further, when students grow up, they are all going to be in a family, work with a group at office, be members of a club or association and live in a neighbourhood, where co-existence with other individuals and groups ensure peace and success.

Hence, teachers must engage students in group work and group discussion as often as possible. But before they do they must spell out the rules.

Rules for Group Work and Group Discussions at School
1. The group should be small enough to manage and offer adequate opportunity to each member to air his views. This not only ensures diverse opinions but also a certain equilibrium.
2. All members must take turns to speak and no one should be allowed to dominate the discussion.
3. There should be a balance of weak and intelligent students to maintain harmony in the group.
4. A leader ought to be elected to conduct the proceedings in a free and fair manner.
5. Everyone should be encouraged to air this opinion, without fear. The elected leader must solicit the opinion of even average students.
6. The teacher should be at hand to oversee and steer the discussion in the right path.

A number of methods to ensure active participation exist. Try some of them noted below, but by no means should they stifle your creativity to engineer more novel methods suited to your class.

1. The lecture
The teacher speaks on a subject for about half an hour or so and follows it up with a doubt clearing session at the end of it. This helps the teacher evaluate the understanding capabilities of students, besides provoking students to think of different views they would have missed otherwise.
2. The lecture discussion
Here the teacher throws open a discussion on the subject just taught. This leads to better participation, newer ideas, better understanding and retention.
3. The seminar.
This is a more focused activity where students prepare for a particular theme, research and presents their views and supporting facts. A stimulating exercise pushing learning to higher levels.
4. The panel discussion
The advantage of this lies in the expertise available on the panel, which discusses and arrives at a conclusion with active participation of the audience.
5. Informal discussion
This could be done anytime with topics at short notice of five minutes. Helps students think on their feet and learn to grapple with sudden situations.

Advantages of group work
1. It makes learning much more interesting and lively.
2. Helps slow learners keep pace with the intelligent guys, thereby improving their standard.
3. Allows for exchange of new ideas. Its not necessary for everyone to know everything. Hence its an opportunity to see things in a new perspective.
4. Makes students accept other’s opinions, and adjust to a group, respect fellow students views and enhances conflict management abilities in them.
5. Group work results in better synergy and the output is usually better than the sum of individual efforts.
6. Problems are solved faster because many minds work in many directions.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors 8

This Zen story about human nature, is part of an eBook series 51 Short Motivational Stories from Zen, Buddha and Ancient Tales.

Nature of Things

Long ago in China two monks were sitting by the stream and washing vessels.

One monk noticed a scorpion fall into the river and struggle. So he picked it up and put it on the banks so that it could move to safety.

As he did so the scorpion stung him in the hand.

A few minutes later, it crawled into the waters again.

The monk put it back on the banks once again. And yet again it stung the monk.

“Why do you want to save the scorpion when you know it’s his nature to sting?” asked the other monk.

“Because it’s my nature to save,” said the monk.

Notes: While it’s true that inherent bad nature can’t be changed easily, you shouldn’t forget that you must relentlessly pursue your own goodness. Ultimately the rewards will come. The evil will realize the futility of being evil. It will know the power and peace of goodness. It will change.

Page Rank 10 Websites

The comprehensive list of Page Rank 10 sites for SEO professionals to feast upon.

A few highly ranked pages on Google with PR 10, in recent times have moved to page rank 9. Many .gov sites are constantly seen in the Page Rank 10 list. But, the fact is .gov or .edu domains do not get any preferential treatment from Google’s algorithms.

Page rank changes of one or two are normal with new updates from Google. Sometimes page rank changes one sees could be temporary and one should not panic. While looking at page rank as an indicator of the value of a site is healthy, undue obsession about Google’s page rank is not necessary.

Facebook - Social Networking site
135,000 backlinks to this site
Facebook is the first social networking site to grab the famed Google Page Rank 10, considered the holy grail of search. For those new to SEO, it just means that the site is a lot more SEO compliant and has been pointed to by a lot of relevant and highly ranked sites, has fresh content every minute, has a huge traffic driven of course by 400+ million users, is bookmarked heavily by users, and has a ton of online PR that talks about the usefulness of Facebook.

Zimbra - Open source email collaborator
1,890 backlinks to this site

IFLA - The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

Addthis - The popular bookmarking and sharing services site
159, 000 backlinks to this site

G08 – Group of eight site
1,180 backlinks to this site

Sciencedirect - Showcases 9.5 million articles/chapters from scientific journals, 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and more than 11,000 books
8210 backlinks to this site

CNN - (same as ) The news site
47,800 backlinks to this site

University of California - University of California
4,140 backlinks to this site

Adobe Reader - The trusted Adobe reader download
458,000 backlinks to this site

W3 - The World Wide Web Consortium
33,600 backlinks to this site

USA Govt Site - Official portal of the United States Government
30,100 backlinks to this site

EUA – The European University Association
3,210 backlinks to this site

Google - The world’s popular search engine
149,000 backlinks to this site

Indian Govt - The official site of the Govt of India
2,360 backlinks to this site

Europeana - showcases Europe’s cultural heritage with links to 6 million pieces of unique information.
5,160 backlinks to this site

Miibeian - Ministry of Information Industry Records in China
54,800 backlinks to this site.

HHS (same as - The United States Department of Health and Human Sciences
36,200 backlinks to this site.

Universitas21 - Network for Higher Education
1,140 backlinks to this site

Saturday, September 3, 2011

SEO Tips to Optimize your Titles and H1 Tags

The secret to optimizing titles and tags is to write copy naturally with relevant keywords that visitors use to search for your content. Write for humans and not search engine bots.

Don’t be obsessed with keywords. Write titles and tags as a user would search on Google. For this you can use Google trends and Google keyword tools. Try keeping them in the order of words that visitors might type, although search engines do take into consideration variations in the order of keywords.

The H1 tags you create in your post (which means your headings and sub headings) to indicate to users the important or key content in that section, must be written naturally. The keywords here must reflect the core of the content in that section. You should never try to use keywords that are meant to cheat search engines into believing that the content is different. Write titles and tags that reflect the content following them. Be ETHICAL.

Example: If you are doing a post on the new drug testing for skin cancer, then the correct H1 tag is: New drug for Skin Cancer being tested and not: Treatment for Skin Cancer Found

You shouldn’t use the second tag just because you know people are searching for “treatment for skin cancer.” Search engines’ algorithms are very intelligent and will easily find out that the content is different from the title given. And will not give you benefits. Rather, you could be penalized if it finds that you do this once too often.

Tip: Write titles and tags naturally as users would use them. Don’t overdo or use non relevant keywords to optimize. Search engines are smarter than you think they are.

Remember that the job of search engines like Google is to serve useful and relevant content to searchers. So they’ll find your content anyway if it’s good enough. Focus on writing good content, use ethical SEO techniques and the traffic will come.

Try not to stuff keywords into the title, tags or body. This will result in a negative experience for users and Google will penalize your ranking for those pages or keywords.

Always attempt to give rich information to visitors.

Use keywords that are relevant.

Place them in the order that user would use while searching for your information.

And you are on your way to a better page rank, user satisfaction and loads of traffic.

Short Stories of Jataka Tales 3

This Buddha story about treating others with respect, is part of an eBook series 51 Short Motivational Stories from Zen, Buddha and Ancient Tales.

The Brahmin who abused the Buddha

One day the rich Brahmin Bharadvaja invited the Buddha to his home for lunch.

When the Buddha arrived, Brahmin Bharadvaja instead of welcoming Buddha hurled abuses at him.

The Buddha listened quietly.

When Brahmin Bharadvaja stopped his abuses, Buddha asked, “Brahmin Bharadvaja, what do you do when guests come to your home?”

“I offer them alms and food,” replied the Brahmin.

“And what do you do when the guest refuses to receive the alms?” asked Buddha.

“We gladly partake that ourselves,” replied Brahmin Bharadvaja.

“Then I’m refusing to take the alms you just gave me. Please take them back, they belong to you,” said the Buddha.

Notes: Always give others what you’d gladly receive. The power of wealth often makes one heady and leads to a downfall. Beware of that. And treat others with humility and respect.