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Archive for May, 2012

The Human Race & Condition

I am following this topic on Quora about the human race; human beings collectively & the fact or condition of being human.
Some interesting questions posed in this topic are:

1) Is there anything good about humans?
2) What are the three things everyone should do before they die? 
3) What makes us human?
4) What qualities, if any, separate humans from other animals?
5) What are the units by which we measure a meaningful life? 

You can view some of the interesting responses to these questions by clicking on the link below:

The Human Race & Condition

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Categories: General Tags: , ,

DLF IPL5 playoff begins

May 20, 2012 1 comment

After a close contest in IPL5 the points table, the position of the 9 teams in the contest is as follows:

The four teams that go into the playoffs have been confirmed as

DELHI DAREDEVILS, KOLKOTTA KNIGHT RIDERS, MUMBAI INDIANS and CHENNAI
SUPERKINGS

Delhi prides itself on its batting strength with key performers being Warner, Sehwag, Umesh Yadav and Mornie Morkel.

For Kolkota Knight Riders, Gambhir, Bret Lee, Jacque Kallis, McCullum, Sunil Narine and Shakib have performed with consistency

The Mumbai Indians team Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Sachin, Kieron Pollard and Malinga are their strengths

Chennai Super Kings strong men are Hussey, Murali Vijay, Raina and Dhoni. For bowling they have Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, A. Morkel, Bravo

Categories: Cricket Tags: , , ,

English – a potpourri of languages

May 13, 2012 2 comments

English has undergone a great transformation by borrowing words from different languages.  This has been brought about by conquests, immigration and by increased globalisation.

Today, English has words from all over the world.  Due to increasing usage as an official language in many parts of the world, the local people have introduced their own colloquial terms and these have now found their way into English.

English words borrowed from other languages :

The Vikings who came to settle in England brought in many words with them:
anger, bleak, fellow, kindle, meek, oaf, reindeer, skirt, troll, wise

The Norman conquest in 1066 brought in many words like:
arher, bacon, chivalry, defeat, elope, embezzle, felony, injury, salmon, venison

The arrival of Christian monks and scientists brought in many Latin words to England:
abdomen, creditor, dictator, dilemma, elevator, fetus, genius, insomnia, nausea, virus

The Greek language provided lot of English words too:
atlas, barbaric, catalyst, charisma, epitaph, dynamic, government, horizon, nostalgia, tyranny

The Spanish contributed with words like:
adios, avocado, barracuda, cannibal, chihuahua, embargo, fillibuster, pimento, salsa, tortilla

French words that are commonly used in English are:
a la carte, avant-garde, bon appetit, bon voyage, bourgeois, bureau, carte blanche, chauffeur, croissant, deja vu, espirit de corps, faux pas, cul-de-sac, laissez faire

Some words from Arabic are:
Admiral, albatross, alfalfa, azure, cipher, divan, gazelle, harem, henna, lilac

Words from Russian in English are:
Cosmonaut, babushka, mammoth, ruble, kalishnikov, borsch, glasnost, perestroika, kefir, tzar

German words which are found in English are:
alzheimer, blitz, dachsund, gesundheit, hamburger, poltergeist, doppelganger, schadenfreude, strudel, rottweiler

Indian words that were adopted in English are:
avatar, bangle, brahmin, bungalow, cheetah, chutney, guru, jungle, pundit, pyjamas

Japanese words that are used in English are:
bonsai, haiku, ikebana, karaoke, manga, origami, kimono, bento, shensei, teriyaki

Some Chinese words that are used in English are:
chopsuey, fengshui, ginseng, gung ho, ketchup, kow tow, kungfu, mahjong, shanghai, tai chi

Italian words that found their way into English are:
artisan, balcony, caricature, dilettante, facade, fresco, grotesque, masquerade, mezzanine, villa

Some English words derived from Dutch words are:
aardvark, bazooka, coleslaw, howitzer, gherkin, poppycock, schooner, filibuster, tulip, knapsack

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

India – A celebration of life!

May 9, 2012 9 comments

The majestic Himalayas
kiss the azure skies
And the Ganges flow down
Blessing the land below

Bruised and bloodied
By ruthless conquerors
She stood her ground
Strong and resilient

Vibrant and chaotic
With an energy that awakens
Exotic and colourful
India – a celebration of life!

The blare of horns
The maze of daily traffic
The muezzins call
and temple chants

A creative burst
A dizzying plethora
A dazzling confluence
Of cultures and tradition

Dances and drumbeats
A riot of colours
Lights and sounds
Its festival time

A land of saints and sages
Who meditated in solitude
Seeking truth and knowledge
To free the world from ignorance

As the sun sets
The crowds disperse
And at the street-corner
A little boy greets you with a smile!

 

© copyright skm, 9th May 2012

Categories: Poetry Tags: , , , ,

How leaders are like conductors!

May 7, 2012 2 comments

Leading a team is much like conducting an orchestra. A good conductor is able to bring about the best in the team.

Just like styles of leadership different conductors have different styles of expression. Some lead the orchestra with authority and with strict control. Others are more involved and the last type of conductors just let go and bring about a great symphony.

In leadership too there are autocratic leaders, there are participative/democratic leaders and there are laissez-faire leaders.

Autocratic leaders provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. There is also a clear hierarchy between the leader and the followers. Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group.

Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative.

Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to group members. While this style can be effective in situations where group members are highly qualified in an area of expertise, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.

Great conductors aren’t those who demonstrate their creativity through skill on an instrument or the beauty of their own performances. Rather, they are judged by their ability to produce an environment in which the artistry of others may emerge and the quality of that performance may be experienced.
Great conductors are swept up in the music. They are passionate. They don’t just play with their head; they also play with their heart. You can read it on their face. You can sense it in their movement. They are fully present and “playing full out.”

The best administrators lead without leading, guide without guiding, and rule without ruling. They trust those around them and inspire trust in themselves in return. In an orchestra, harmony can be destroyed when the voice of the conductor intrudes on the music of the performers

Itay Talgam in this TED talk disusses how we can lead like great conductors:

References:
Jeffrey Buller, Ph.D – How Great Leaders are like Great Conductors – http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/academic-leadership/how-great-leaders-are-like-great-conductors/

Michael Hyatt – 8 things leaders can learn from symphony conductors – http://michaelhyatt.com/8-things-leaders-can-learn-from-symphony-conductors.html

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