Shaila’s Weblog

Archive for August 2008

Pets come in our lives like a season of spring. Spreading joy and happiness all around they make the best companions. John is a big pet lover. From birds to fishes, or dogs to kittens, John have them all. To him nothing is more pleasurable than watching his angelical pets loitering here and there in joy.

John believes that everything has a purpose, so does the moments we spend with out pets. Their whole life is a lesson, its just that we need to learn.

We all are supposed to grow old! I know how difficult it is difficult to imagine when we first adopt our lively and rambunctious puppy or kitten that he or she will one day grow old. Our animal companions live far shorter than we do, and the time we spend with them seems to fly by. One day, they are full of vim and vigor, fun and mischief, joie de vivre and exuberance – within a relatively brief period of time, they grow into adolescence, then evolve into perhaps a mellower and sedate adulthood, and eventually become mature and ultimately old.

As they become old, they may experience physical as well as mental and emotional limitations and weakening. They may experience many of the illnesses, disabilities, infirmities and diseases that we may confront. So many of our beloved pets endure the pain of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, etc. as well as receiving medical treatments and medications that are comparable to those used to help ease or cure these conditions and improve the quality of our lives.

There are many lessons we can learn from our furry, finned and feathered friends, as they grow old. We can see them experience the effects of the passage of time that are so similar to those we experience as humans. We come to realize that these signs of aging both mirror and mimic our own. If we are wise, we can derive great rewards by caring for our aging pets – for example, we can learn from their stoicism, endurance and their ability to “Keep On Keeping On.” We can learn to “live in the moment”, as they do, with joy and spontaneity and not to dwell on the past or to fear the future.

By respecting and caring for our aging animal companions, we can learn to age gracefully and with dignity. From them, we can learn respect for and increased appreciation of our elders. We can emulate their steadfastness and patience. We can also view the opportunity to care for our beloved aging pets as a means for us to grow in compassion, wisdom and insight about the purposefulness and significance of all living beings.

The Russian Navy or VMFR (Russian: Военно-Морской Флот (ВМФ) России- Voyenno-Morskoy Flot Rossii (VMF) or literally Military Maritime Fleet of the Russian Federation) is the naval arm of the Russian Armed Forces. The international designation of Russian naval vessels is “RFS” – “Russian Federation Ship”.

The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (marines) and coastal artillery.

Broadly speaking, the navy’s role is to provide sea-based nuclear deterrence and to support Russia’s wider interests. Roughly one-third of naval personnel serve on the high seas, with other concerns being naval aviation, training, coastal defence, shore support, communications and maritime border duties.


While the SSBN fleet is contracting – perhaps to a force of 25-30 vessels – there is considerable effort in developing the SSN fleet, with the `Akula II’ and Severodvinsk classes replacing dated `Victor I’ and `II’ class submarines. The construction of surface vessels, by contrast, is slow and largely limited to smaller combatants, notably the Neustrashimy class frigate and Sovremenny II destroyer.


There is a realisation among Russian policy makers of the need to maintain a credible naval capability. Speaking in November 1999 Prime Minister Putin announced that a decree on the modernisation of the fleet was to be drafted and that the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was to be deployed to the Mediterranean in 2000. This marks a pattern of increasing Russian naval activity that has seen attack submarines operate in the Cold War stamping grounds of the Mediterranean and Eastern Pacific, carrying out simulated attacks on US naval forces. According to senior US intelligence analysts the Russian Navy is operating in a manner very similar to that of the Soviet fleet during the Cold War. Crucially however, Russian naval strength has seriously declined, with only 20 first class attack submarines in operating condition.

Bunol (Spain): Spanish revellers have pelted each with 113 tonnes of ripe tomatoes in an annual food fight. Town hall says an estimated 40,000 people took part in the hour of messy fun in the village of Bunol near Valencia. The ritual dates back to the 1940s.

Some warriors in Wednesday’s battle wore swimming goggles to protect themselves from the acid sting of projectiles in the form of pear-shaped tomatoes. Others swatted them away with tennis rackets.

Afterward, many washed off in a nearby river while crews hosed down a town painted red.

Nine of 10 Canadian households now has a computer, and four of 10 have some sort of video game console, according to brand new statistics from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.

The results will be published in an annual booklet scheduled for release next month.


The new stats show that seven of 10 Canadians aged 18 to 34 say they’ve played some video game in the past month. Of them, 34 per cent say they play video games every day, for an average of 7.1 hours per week.

It all goes to show that video games have become mainstream media to most Canadians.

“What we’re seeing is growth in markets you wouldn’t have seen five years ago,” says Nicole Helsberg, a spokesperson for ESAC. “For instance, Nintendo has been actively courting the non-traditional gamer, especially women. So what they’re doing is developing product specially aimed at women, which is why we’re seeing growth in all these areas.”

The Kyoto-based Nintendo has been dominating the Canadian market with its Wii, which just hit the one million units sold mark in July. Comparatively, Canadians have bought 870,000 Xbox 360s and 520,000 PlayStation 3s.

But Canadians don’t just play games, they create them as well.

The gaming industry employs 10,000 people across the country, and that number is growing by eight per cent each year.

They’re quite good at it too — consider that of the top 100 bestselling titles of 2007, 21 were made in Canada.

“The growth of the industry in Canada has to do with the talent we have here,” Helsberg says.

“A lot of it has to do with the way developers have spawned from bigger studios. You look at a market like Vancouver, EA Games sets up shop, people go to learn the trade, and they go off and form their own development trade.

“We have great ties to the educational system in Canada, which is teaching young people the skills to thrive in this industry. Which is why the video game industry is the fastest growing entertainment industry in Canada.” Read more… source: Canada.com

DUBLIN, Ireland- Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/723772/mobile_games_cons) has announced the addition of eMarketer’s new report “Mobile Games: Consumers Don’t Pay to Play” to their offering.

Mobile gaming is tricky ground for marketers. On one hand, games have some of the best engagement metrics among mobile content categories. On the other hand, that engagement is not translating into sales.

The Mobile Games report analyzes the trends behind why consumers are so excited about playing and so hesitant about paying.

Consumers like mobile gaming. Research shows they spend several minutes a session with a mobile game, and frequently re-visit to play some more. Moreover, consumers consistently report gaming is one of their favorite mobile activities. But, so far, marketers are unsure of mobile gaming’s potential as an advertising platform.

However, in developing markets, mobile phones are already the de facto gaming platform, and millions more consumers will start experiencing mobile games with the introduction of new, improved handsets. Marketers would do well to keep an eye on mobile gaming for these reasons alone.

Mobile Gamers and Mobile Game Spending Worldwide, 2007-2012 (millions)

Key questions the “Mobile Games” report answers:

– How big will mobile games grow worldwide by 2012?

– How great will the opportunity for ad-supported mobile gaming become?

– What are some of the drivers for mobile games?

– What roadblocks are slowing growth in the category?

– How does the US market compare to other worldwide markets?

– How do mobile phone and PDA games compare?

– What is the difference between preloaded and sideloaded games?

– And many others

The Mobile Games report aggregates the latest data from worldwide marketing and communications researchers with eMarketer analysis to provide the information you need to make smart, accurate business decisions.
Source:-(BUSINESS WIRE)

International IT provider Atos Origin has won a new contract with the UK Gambling Commission to implement systems that support the Commission’s licensing and compliance work for arcades, betting shops, bingo halls, casinos, gaming machine suppliers and lotteries, as well as British-based gambling websites.

The company will implement Siebel 8.0 to provide the Commission with a single, up-to-date view of each operator for both office-based and mobile staff, it announced this week.

This new CRM platform will provide Commission staff with the necessary regulatory information and intelligence at the right time and in the right place, says Bill Butler, Director of Corporate Services at the Commission.

“Following a competitive process, we selected Atos Origin because it demonstrated that it understands our needs and has the capability and experience to deliver,” he said.

Anne Ware, vice president for Public Sector operations at Atos Origin, commented: “Having the correct information to hand at the right time is essential for all organizations. For the Gambling Commission, this new solution will help them to keep gambling fair and safe for all by making it easier to ensure that operators are fulfilling their requirements.”

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator of all commercial gambling in Great Britain. It is an independent, non-departmental public sector body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Atos Origin has a long-standing relationship with DCMS, the UK Government Department responsible for amongst other things, Government policy on the arts, sport, the National Lottery and the 2012 Olympic Games & Paralympic Games. Source: From CAP Newswire

There are many thousands of Chinese restaurants around in the UK and everyone has their favourite dish, but only in China itself do chefs specialise in a range of slightly more unusual delicacies.

A glass of deer penis juice amongst food on a table at the restaurant


Many of the restaurant’s guests are wealthy businessmen

The dish in front of me is grey and shiny.

“Russian dog,” says my waitress Nancy.

“Big dog,” I reply.

“Yes,” she says. “Big dog’s penis…”

We are in a cosy restaurant in a dark street in Beijing but my appetite seems to have gone for a stroll outside.

Nancy has brought out a whole selection of delicacies.

They are draped awkwardly across a huge platter, with a crocodile carved out of a carrot as the centrepiece.

Nestling beside the dog’s penis are its clammy testicles, and beside that a giant salami-shaped object.

“Donkey,” says Nancy. “Good for the skin…”

She guides me round the penis platter.

“Snake. Very potent. They have two penises each.”

I did not know that.

Deer-blood cocktail

“Sheep… horse… ox… seal – excellent for the circulation.”

She points to three dark, shrivelled lumps which look like liquorice allsorts – a special treat apparently – reindeer, from Manchuria.

The Guolizhuang restaurant claims to be China’s only speciality penis emporium, and no, it is not a joke.

The atmosphere is more exotic spa than boozy night-out.

Nancy describes herself as a nutritionist.

“We don’t call them waiters here. And we don’t serve much alcohol,” she says. “Only common people come here to get drunk and laugh.”

But she does offer me a deer-blood and vodka cocktail, which I decide to skip.

Medicinal purposes

The restaurant’s gristly menu was dreamt up by a man called Mr Guo.

Boiled ox penis


The Chinese believe that eating penis can enhance your virility

He is 81 now and retired.

After fleeing China’s civil war back in 1949, he moved to Taiwan, and then to Atlanta, Georgia, where he began to look deeper into traditional Chinese medicine, and experiment on the appendages of man’s best friend.

Apparently, they are low in cholesterol and good, not just for boosting the male sex drive, but for treating all sorts of ailments.

Laughter trickles through the walls of our dining room.

“Government officials,” says Nancy. “Two of them upstairs. They’re having the penis hotpot.”

Most of the restaurant’s guests are either wealthy businessmen or government bureaucrats who, as Nancy puts it, have been brought here by people who want their help.

What better way to secure a contract than over a steaming penis fondue.

Discretion is assured as all the tables are in private rooms.

The glitziest one has gold dishes.

“Some like their food served raw,” says Nancy, “like sushi. But we can cook it anyway you like.”

Rare order

“Not long ago, a particularly rich real estate mogul came in with four friends. All men. Women don’t come here so often, and they shouldn’t eat testicles,” says Nancy solemnly.

The men spent $5,700 (£3,000) on a particularly rare dish, something that needed to be ordered months in advance.

“Tiger penis,” says Nancy.

Bull’s perineum (Photo credit: Stefan Gates)
Bull’s perineum is also a delicacy

The illegal trade in tiger parts is a big problem in China.

Campaigners say the species is being driven towards extinction because of its popularity as a source of traditional medicine.

I mention this, delicately, to Nancy, but she insists that all her tiger supplies come from animals that have died of old age.

“Anyway, we only have one or two orders a year,” she says.

“So what does it taste like?” I ask.

“Oh, the same as all the others,” she says blithely.

And does it have any particular potency? “No. People just like to order tiger to show off how much money they have.”

Welcome to the People’s Republic of China – tigers beware.

Sliced and pickled

“Oh yes,” she adds, “the same group also ate an aborted reindeer foetus.

“That is very good for your skin. And here it is…”

Another “nutritionist” walks in bearing something small and red wrapped in cling film.

My appetite is heading for the airport.

Still, I think, it would be rude not to try something.

I am normally OK about this sort of thing. I have had fried cockroaches and sheep’s eyes, so…

There is a small bowl of sliced and pickled ox penis on the table.

I pick up a piece with my chopsticks and start to chew. It is cold and bland and rubbery.

Nancy gives me a matronly smile.

“This one,” she says, “should be eaten every day.”

Courtesy: BBC NEWS

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/5371500.stm


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