Shaila’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘thoughts

10 Ways to love people!

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1. Listen without interrupting.


2. Speak without accusing.


3. Give without sparing.


4. Pray without ceasing.


5. Answer without arguing.


6. Share without pretending.


7. Enjoy without complaint.


8. Trust without wavering.


9. Forgive without punishing.


10. Promise w/o forgetting. . . .GOD BLESS….

Indian passengers flying Air France allege racial bias

Mumbai, INDIA:Over 50 Indian passengers flying Air France had a “harrowing” time at Paris airport after their aircraft developed a technical problem and complained on Tuesday on reaching here that they were victims of “racial” profiling.

The passengers, who spent 28 hours in Paris, said they were confined to a lounge at the airport there from 10 pm on Sunday till 7 am the next morning and given “hardly any food and water”.

The passengers, on their way to Mumbai from the US via Paris, said while the other Nationals were taken to hotels shortly after their plane returned to the Paris airport due to apparent technical problem following a four-hour flight, Indians were taken to the lounge and given just a bottle of water and a sandwich.

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Giving details of their “harrowing” time, one of the travellers, Vineeta Sengupta said, “No foreigner would have been treated like the way Indians were treated. People were lying down on the floor over there (at a place at the airport) where immigration takes place”.

Accusing Air France of “racial” profiling, a girl passenger said that the officials there even had threatened that they would be handed over to the police if they did not stop protesting.

Sengupta said the 53 to 54 Indian passengers were later “huddled out” of the airport on a “group visa”, which the authorities could have provided much earlier, and taken to a hotel.

No reason has officially been given for the delay.

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.

LAS VEGAS • Siobhan Grennan learned how to play poker to please a man. She was then just old enough to count the pennies from her paper route, and the man – her brother, three years her senior – was sufficiently bored that he was prepared to spend a few hours with his sis. But the hours added up, and by the time Siobhan was 14, her big bro figured she was ready for the big leagues: playing with his friends.

“One day, Kevin invited a bunch of guys over for a poker game and he said, ‘Hey, my little sister wants to play, do you mind?’ and they all thought, what a cute kid, sure, and so I played – and cleaned up,” recalls Grennan. “It was the first time I realized that being a girl in a guy’s game has an advantage: Men underestimate me.”

Thirtysome years later and, by most accounts, men are still underestimating female poker players, or they’re intimidated by them, distracted by them or attracted to them – take your pick. Web sites such as womenspokerclub.com and pokergoddess.com encourage women to take advantage of such advantages: “Use your feminine wiles to outwit your opponent,” says one site. “Use their insecurity,” says another.

Such sites classify men into types – for example, Chauvinist, Macho Man, Mr. Flirt and Daddykins – along with tips on how to play each. When playing Daddykins, defined as a man who wants to show off to his little girl, a woman should listen, nod and never challenge his opinion. But she should take note of what he’s revealing about his hand and style of play. When playing a guy who flirts, know that in his attempt to seduce he’ll rarely raise you even if his hand is strong. If he does raise, fold; flirty dude is sitting on a sure winner.

Although Grennan, a 47-year-old single mother and senior producer at MuchMoreMusic in Toronto, relies primarily on her poker skills to win, she admits to playing the girl card. While the genders are equal, they are different, she insists. “For example, men aren’t as good at multi-tasking. And so when I sit down at a table, I always start chatting. It throws them off their game.”

Until recently, her play has been limited to games with friends and in poker tournaments held in local pubs. But she’s always longed to go to Las Vegas to find out if she could hold her own in a “real” casino. The opportunity to do so came about this summer when her 12-year-old daughter, Kate, accepted an invitation to visit Grennan’s family in Ireland for a month. “I knew I had to take this chance to spend a few days of my freed-up time in Vegas and so I called some girlfriends and we all decided to go.”

In mid-July, giddy with the prospect of fulfilling a dream, Grennan hopped on a plane en route to the gambling mecca of North America.

I had the opportunity to shadow her.

When we first met up at the Mirage Casino on the famed Vegas Strip, her aircraft had landed but Grennan was flying. “Isn’t this wild?” she gushed, her eyes dancing like the lights of the nearby slot machines.

It was a blistering hot afternoon, but the cool interior of the vast room, with its low ceilings, dim lighting and unending flow of complementary cocktails, created an ambience of eternal evening. The place was hopping – not surprising considering Vegas’s occupancy level is 90% – and although there were plenty of women around, most were trying their luck at the slot machines, not the poker tables.

Still, casino dealer John Leake, 35, assured me that at a table of 10 players, typically one or two are women, way up from five years ago. In any tournament, it is estimated that 6% to 10% of entrants are female, and a few of them have done very well in recent years.

Last year, Winnipeg’s Cheryl Lynn Deleon placed seventh at the World Poker Tour North American Championship held at Fallsview Casino. A day before her 19th birthday, Annette Obrestad of Norway became the only woman to win the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. She walked away more than $2-million richer.

What’s luring the ladies? Televised poker games give players such as Annie Duke, a mother who has made millions at the game, plenty of attention – thus generating female role models. Online poker sites mean women can learn the game and hone their skills before playing publicly. And because poker is no longer played in a smoke-filled back room but in a designated open area within a casino, the game is more accessible to women. Accessible, but not always welcoming.

Leake, who has dealt cards in Vegas for 15 years, has witnessed many a male with a chip on his shoulder. “Some men don’t like playing against women. I had one guy, after a female had folded, say, ‘See, this is why women shouldn’t play. They ruin the game.’ It’s even worse if they lose to them.”

Grennan took a seat at a Texas Hold ‘Em table, where the only other woman barely glanced her way. The men looked up, though.

Wearing a polka dot dress and matching hair band, Grennan was all charm. She introduced herself in such a way that you’d think she was sitting down to high tea.

I was surprised when the man sitting next to her transformed into a living, breathing stereotype. After shaking her hand, he launched into his life story – he’s from Milwaukee and sings in a barbershop quartet. Picking up on their common interest in music, Grennan chatted about her job at a television station famous for its music videos. Clearly enamoured, he folded his cards and cheered her on with a few quick tips.

The elderly gentleman to her right, annoyed by the chatter, gave Grennan a gruff look. He won the pot, however, and she rewarded him by patting his hand.

“You’re very stoic, sir,” she said lightly. “This should make you feel better.”

He couldn’t suppress a smile.

Grennan was playing the game well – in more ways than one – but after about 20 minutes, the $100 pile of chips she had started with has diminished.

Another hand was dealt. She peered at her cards and flushed. I knew she had something good because, earlier, she had told me, “I have a physical thing. When I’m excited I turn red. I’d have to wear a veil if I played poker professionally.”

As she struggled to keep her composure, her cellphone rang.

“May I take this?” she asked the table, a protocol she learned before coming here.

Undecipherable grunts and grumbles all around and so she picked up. During her brief conversation, the game went on, more cards were dealt and bets placed, and our multi-tasker stayed in the game. Within seconds of hanging up, she had won the pot.

“That was my daughter calling from Ireland,” Grennan chirped, sweeping the pile of chips toward herself. “I guess you can call this the luck of the Irish!”

The chap sitting at the other side of the table and watching his fortune being swept away looked as if he’d like to wring her neck.

Grennan’s winnings were the result of two pairs. In the next hand, she got another two pairs and once again, cleaned up.

The potential neck-wringer took a break, giving me a chance to get his take on female poker players.

“Women have a huge advantage at the table,” said Matt Mahoney, a 58-year-old father of three girls from Los Angeles. “They have incredible intuition. I can never get away with a lie to my wife or my daughters. And if a woman is playing poker and she dresses correctly, she can be so distracting. Some lean and stretch in certain ways – or maybe I’m just a letch.”

Grennan hadn’t resorted to undoing a button, but still he was wary. “I immediately put myself on guard when she sat down. I couldn’t tell if she could play well and I waited to see. I think she’s a good player. Luck of the Irish? Hey, I’m Irish, too.”

Not far away, at the nearby Rio Casino, Tiffany Michelle, a 24-year-old actor, singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, was showing the stuff she’s made of at the main event of the World Series of Poker. Like Grennan, Michelle learned the game as a kid playing with her brothers. Unlike Grennan, Michelle is a pro. In recent years, she’s been steadily moving up the ranks in professional poker circles and credits her success to pure skill. Mind you, she believes women have an edge.

“The minute a woman sits down at the table, men are automatically uncomfortable,” she told me. Clad in funky clothes and with a ball-cap pulled low over her eyes, the raven-haired beauty laughed. “I know the guys are intimidated by me and so they don’t play their usual game.”

Of the 6,844 players who entered the multi-day tournament, Michelle will go on to finish 17th, earning the coveted title Last Woman Standing. She also earns a whopping $330,000, the largest amount ever won by a female in the tournament’s history.

Grennan, meanwhile, left Vegas, $13 up.

Both were excited by their performance.

Said Michelle, “Doing well in this tournament is assisting in creating buzz for me in Hollywood. One day I hope to invest the money I make in poker in creating and producing, to get films and stories out there that I want to do. I tell women, if you enjoy poker, do it. Somebody has to win, so why not you?”

Said Grennan: “I wanted to prove to myself that I am good enough. I didn’t lose money which means I am.”

During my time in Vegas I asked various women who do well at the poker tables whether – in addition to winning – they get sweet satisfaction from beating the boys.

Some said no, but here’s the thing: They could be bluffing.   Courtesy: National Post

“VisualRank” is nothing but an algorithm an algorithm for blending image-recognition software methods with techniques for weighting and ranking images that look most similar.

VisualRank differs from existent image search – the most popular tool for searching images. Although image search has become popular, results are usually generated today by using cues from the text associated with each image. On Thursday at the International World Wide Web Conference in Beijing, two Google scientists presented a paper describing VisualRank claiming that now they have a software technology intended to do for digital images on the Web what the company’s original PageRank software did for searches of Web pages.

Historically, Google is not the first into the visual product search category. Riya, a Silicon Valley start-up, introduced Like.com in 2006. The service, which refers users to shopping sites, makes it possible for a Web shopper to select a particular visual attribute, such as a certain style of brown shoes or a buckle, and then be presented with similar products available from other Web merchants.

visualrank

Riya and like.com had become first true visual search engines, where the content of photos are used to search and reterive similar items. Riya was founded in August 2004 and has assembled one of the largest visual computing research teams in the world and it has raised $19.5 million from venture and private equity investors, including Bay Partners, BlueRun Ventures, and Leapfrog Ventures.

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