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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Edition2: November Rains

Unpredicted weather is order of the day. Have you heard of heavy rains in November? You mush have only heard the popular Guns and Roses Number.

Pune experienced heavy rains with strong winds Last Tuesday and Wednesday. Many trees and poles were uprooted creating traffic and electricity problems.

Four people were killed and 44 fishermen who had ventured into the sea were missing after Cyclone Phyan hit the Maharashtra coast on

Last Wednesday morning. The cyclone, however, spared Mumbai and the Gujarat coast. Packing windspeeds of up to 75kmph, the cyclone hit three districts on the Maharashtra coast — Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Raigad. Officials said 1,000 houses suffered damages. The Coast Guard and the Navy saved 24 people in rescue operations.

Cyclone Phyan, which was named by Myanmar under World Meteorological Organisation's practice of countries naming cyclones (Phyan in Burmese means a cherry fallen off a tree). Mumbai started experiencing rains and high winds since Tuesday afternoon

But the cyclone had lost much of its bite. It barely scraped by the city's coastline. Phyan crossed the coast between Mumbai and Alibag, to south of the city, between 3.30pm and 4.30pm, IMD said. Wednesday morning saw heavy rains lash the city. "Instead of moving toward Gujarat, it changed its course to Rajasthan in evening. By then it had dissipated,

By Wednesday afternoon, IMD told state government that the cyclone had disappeared

Is climate change behind cyclone Phyan?It seems almost prophetic what the UN panel on climate change had warned in 2007. Mumbai and Kolkata will face the maximum brunt of the climate change. That's what the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said. Mumbai, it said, is particularly vulnerable. "Since Mumbai has reclaimed ocean land substantially, they are going to have a tough time. Though the average rainfall would reduce, yet flash rains will be the major cause of worry for urban populace in Mumbai."Just this year cyclone Aila killed more than 120 people and left 5 lakh homeless in coastal west Bengal. Kolkata saw a deluge.

Time for everyone to act and reduce global warming. We have last chance..

The European Union (EU)'s environment chief had announce in February 09 conference, that Copenhagen conference scheduled to take place at the end of this year, was the cornerstone in the fight against global warming. He cautioned that, if important steps aren't taken to address this issue at the next global summit, then the world could miss its only opportunity to start tackling the problem before it's too late. The UN meeting, which will most likely take place in December, has to conclude with better results than the previous one, held in Potsdam, Poland, last December.By 2012, the Kyoto Protocol, which currently regulates the amounts of carbon dioxide that are emitted into the atmosphere, as well as the maximum allowed limits of other greenhouse gases, will come to an end, and politicians will need to have another treaty completed by that time.
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The meeting in Copenhagen is aimed at resolving just that issue, by providing the 190 states attending it with another international legal framework. Should it get adopted this year, starting with 2013, the new treaty will go into full effect, basically replacing all the rights and obligations of the Kyoto agreement, which was signed in 1997 in Japan.

Firstly, that our partners in the industrialized world commit to comparable cuts, secondly, that developing countries agree to take action in line with their capabilities. The Copenhagen agreement will have to involve a major scaling up of financial aid to help developing countries to both mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change.

This expecations have to involve both already industrialized world who have mainly abused the environment and developing countries who plan to grow and as well have onus to save earth. Really need some effective solution else we will end up in November rain or January summer….

Edition2: RTI Case Study

Mahavir is a member of the Thati Baal Panchayat and his village comes under the Bilangana Development Area, District Tehri, in Uttarakhand. The 25 members of Baal Panchayat work in the areas of Health, Education and cleanliness of the village, with help from the Mountain Valley Development Association (MVDA), an NGO that occasionally provides training on various issues.
In Jan 2009, the Baal Panchayat received training from the Mountain Children’s Forum and MVDA on the “Right to Information Act” and how to file an application. The two-day intensive workshop culminated, after great discussions, in filing a number of RTI applications which have helped the group solve a number of problems.
“The applications have to be filed by an individual and not a group so I decided to file an application asking the Block Education Dept to give me information regarding the attendance requirements of a primary school teacher," explained Mahavir. "Our village has a primary school and there are 46 children who attend this school. In the last 3 years the teacher has been present for only 10 days in a month.”
“On receipt of the application, the Block Education Officer along with an 11 member team visited our village. The teacher was absent on that day as well and had to be called from his residence. During the course of the questioning it was learnt that the not only had the teacher not been attending school but he had not been distributing the scholarship to the children.”
“The Block Education Officer was extremely annoyed with the teacher and issued a warning – That the teacher was to distribute the pending scholarship money to the children in the month of March and must attend school every day. Information regarding attendance of the teacher and amount of scholarship to be distributed was handed over in writing to us.”
“Since then the teacher has been attending school every day, classes are being held regularly and finally we are all now learning something new every day.”

Open Letter to Parents

Dear Parents
We know that in this age of competition, you want your child to excel in every field he or she undertakes. Apart from curricular and co curricular activities, you would appreciate that your child can grow up into responsible citizen tomorrow. Child should have update on latest in world, national and very local events. He/she should know impact of forum. He/She should be aware in latest in science, sports. Lastly we should have him/her get valuable tips from role models and from past successful people from competitive exams (which matter most now).
We at Orange felt the need for children to inculcate habit of reading about current affairs specifically about their immediate neighborhood, locality and city. As you are reading, we have launched a new clean family newspaper called CITYBLOG- Blog where the city meets. In addition to that we will let them have fun activities, games, knowledge, and events.
We will invite articles from kids as well publish school events of your school. The winners of quiz and puzzles will get special prizes and photo ops. You must have read the concise manner of our coverage across areas relevant to all-round growth of your child. We thank opportunity given by your school to introduce us to you. Assuring that your school and children will get special coverage here to participate.
The sections in the paper are aimed at the whole family ensuring parents know what their kids are reading while adding few insights and useful information for themselves.
The advanced countries like the US and UK have a lot of these kind of publications where the children can actually be allowed to read the whole newspaper and don’t have to be faced with politics, murder, rape and gruesome society ills every time they read a newspaper. Though we will be reporting society ills and breaking news, it will be our endeavor to report it responsibly, and sensitize children toward the issues.
We very passionately believe that our time has now arrived and India is poised to be a Global power and we need to equip and prepare the future of tomorrow i.e. our children who will be our bright and shining future.
The children and youth of today are more inclined towards a fast life, fast food and anything that provides instant gratification. Television and the internet are the preferred media for knowledge and entertainment. The pleasure of reading a good newspaper containing a mix of puzzles, games, stories, general knowledge, sections for the homemakers and sports and finance makes our weekly a perfect family read.
We will have various competitions inter and Intra School and the winners will have their photos published in the Cityblog. This system of rewards and recognition will encourage the children and their parents to spend some quality time with their children promoting family interaction and bonding.

NG Ashok
Editor (Have been a pune school child myself, and have been educated in IIT)
For your suggestions & questions about participations, please write us on

Edition2: Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Born - 15 October 1931Achievements - This eminent scientist and engineer has also served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. APJ Abdul Kalam is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country. He firmly believes that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. Apart from being a notable scientist and engineer, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. He is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country and is also often also referred to as the Missile Man of India. People loved and respected Dr APJ Abdul Kalam so much during his tenure as President that was popularly called the People's President. Read more about the biography of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam here. APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and received honorary doctorates from about 30 universities globally. In the year 1981, the Government of India presented him the nation's highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan and then again, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Before Kalam, there have been only two presidents - Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain - to have received the Bharat Ratna before bring appointed to the highest office in India. Read on about the life history of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who's also the first scientist and bachelor to occupy the seat of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. His perspectives on important topics have been enunciated by him in the book 'India 2020'. It highlights the action plans that will help develop the country into a knowledge superpower by the time 2020. One thing for which he received ample kudos is his unambiguous statement that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. And Dr APJ Abdul Kalam regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower. Even during his tenure as President, APJ Kalam took avid interest in the spheres of India's science and technology. He has even put forward a project plan for establishing bio-implants. He is also an ardent advocate of open source software over proprietary solutions to churn out more profits in the field of information technology in India.

Edition2: Whats New in windows7

Microsoft has launched windows 7 amidst fanfare.

Most of us still use Windows XP, the operating system (OS) that Microsoft first developed way back in 2001. Though the company released Windows Vista in early 2007, few upgraded to it. Vista came with substantially enhanced security features that also lent the system greater stability, helping to avoid the kind of 'hanging' and 'crashing' that one suffered with previous versions of the OS. But the enhanced features also made Vista so computing-resource hungry that it slowed down all applications. The only way you could make it run well was by substantially upgrading your hardware. That would have meant significant expenditure. And most Indians — consumers and enterprises — thought it just not worth the money.

Windows 7 addresses Vista's problem of resource hungriness. The boot time was fast, and so was the time taken to come out of the hibernation mode. Windows 7 brings a more responsive and sprightly feel.

It also seems to work with the smaller and cheaper netbooks that’s fast getting popular. Windows 7 works on netbooks, but if you push the system the same way as you push a desktop system then you might need to add more RAM. Remember that Windows 7 takes some 7.5 GB of disk space, so you need to factor this in. Experts advice would be not to bother upgrading an existing netbook unless you really feel you want a particular Windows 7 feature. Wait for Windows 7 netbooks to arrive on the scene as some of these will hopefully come with 2GB of RAM fitted

Some key features
· For those who use a number of applications and files at the same time, there's a new facility that helps to reduce desktop clutter. You can now drag them and stack them in groups on the taskbar.
· if you hover the mouse over, say, the Windows Explorer stack, each window in it will appear horizontally as thumbnails, and you can click on the one you need to start using it.
· Right clicking on a stack gives a 'jump menu' that lets you see your most recent files. You can also 'pin' files that you use regularly on to a stack, so that they are always there on top of a stack.
· If you have a number of windows open and you want to focus on one and avoid the clutter around it, just take the mouse to that window's titlebar and shake it. Everything else disappears. Shake the same way again, and all others reappear.
· In XP, if you want to compare, say, a set of figures in one document with those in another, you have to go alternately into the two documents. In Windows 7, you can just drag one document or window to one side of your screen and it will snap to that side filling half the screen, and then you can drag the other document to the other side, and it will fill up the other side. Easy to compare, or copy from one to the other.
· Almost all devices will work with Windows 7. The customer will not have to enqure whether a device he is buying (printer, fax machine, smart card reader, network controller, in fact, anything) will work with the OS.The OS also identifies the device being installed and offers appropriate follow-on options.
· One big trouble with Vista was that each time a change was made to the system, a dialogue box would pop up asking you if you were ok with the change being made. It was designed as a security measure, to keep you aware of hackers trying to write on to your system. But it proved a huge annoyance for users installing new applications frequently. Windows 7 now allows you to set the level of information you desire.
· Windows 7 comes with touch capability, which means you can use your fingers on the screen to perform many functions. Now, that can be really fun in certain applications. But you need a PC that's touch enabled. Windows 7 may encourage many now to look at that option. So, should you upgrade from XP to 7 when it is released? The new version has won mostly good reviews. Windows 7 makes for the most exciting upgrade for Windows users since the arrival of Windows XP . some experts say that Windows 7 still has many bugs, is not stable and does not still have technology support. They believe a stable version may take another 7 to 8 months

Edition2: why learn marathi

Marathi language course for beginners
CityBlog aims to involve all into pulse of pune city. What more is needed to know pulse than knowing language of the land. In this series, we will provide insight into spoken and written marathi. It will be fun.

Why learn Marathi?
Why learn Marathi?
Marathi is spoken by over 68 million people around the world. Majority of Marathi speakers reside in Indian state of Maharashtra. It is also spoken and understood in different parts of other Indian state such as - Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. People who move from other states to Maharashtra and who like Maharashtra are learning Marathi. We have seen a lot of interest from outside India from spouses or friends of Marathi people as well as those who are adopting kids from Maharashtra. But there are plenty of other reasons to learn Marathi. Here are some of them.
Befriend Your Neighbors
Although traditionally most of Marathi people didn't like to leave their mother land and pursue opportunities outside Maharashtra, this is changing. More Marathi people are moving, traveling and going to remote places within India and outside India. Your Marathi neighbor is bound to love you more if you could communicate with them in Marathi.
Traveling to Maharashtra?
As it is true for most of India, frankly you would do fine in Maharashtra even if you know English alone. But it won't be as much fun as it would be to learn little bit of Marathi. If you learn and speak Marathi while traveling in Maharashtra it will give you more opportunities to enjoy your travel and may allow you to do or see things other visitors may not.
It's Your Mother Tongue!
Yes, your parents speak Marathi but you grew up in non Marathi schools and environment. Now you think you should learn language of your ancestors. Never a best day to start on that but today!
Learning Other Language
If learn Marathi, you will have head start in other Sanskrit based Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarathi, Bengali etc. You might even want to learn Sanskrit! Simply learning Marathi may give you base for other non Indian language as you'll build your reference point in learning new language.
Cultural Understanding
Learn the language and you will know their culture better. That's true for any language and culture around the world.
It's Easy!
If you already know other Indian language like Hindi, Gujrathi or Bengali learning Marathi is easy. Most of the language structure and words are originated from Sanskrit. Well, for those of you who do not know Indian language, mastering grammar can be challenging but if you use this site, you will find basic grammar easy to follow!
If you are in Maharashtra, you will find opportunities expanding once you learn Marathi. Learning Marathi is also helpful for thousands of government officials who are not native Marathi. Marathi is the official language of state of Maharashtra in India. If you are outside Maharashtra, and in occupation that involves all India or International trade or tourism you will have opportunities to use your new skills!
It Is Fun!
For some, learning a language is adventure and fun. They enjoy challenges of learning, speaking and reading new language. Learning language itself takes effort but it pays off when you can use it immediately.
Popular reasons that our visitors shared with us
We also requested few people to share their own reasons for learning Marahti. Here are some of the most popular reasons that we have received so far. I am learning Marathi because:
My spouse is Marathi.
I am in love with a Marathi girl
I am in love with a Marathi boy
I am a non-Indian visiting Maharashtra.
We are adopting a kid from Maharashtra.
I am doing social work in a remote area within Maharashtra.
I like this language.
I work in Maharashtra and so I find it convenient to speak with my colleagues in Marathi.
My mother tongue is Marathi but now I have forgotten it.
My ancestors are Marathi but now I am settled in a different country and now want to learn language of my ancestors.
I do business in Maharashtra and often I have to communicate with local community and state government authorities in Marathi.
I like to learn different language.
I speak bad Marathi and want to improve my Marathi speaking skills.
I am growing up in a foreign country but in a Marathi household. I want to speak language that my parent speak so well.
What is your reason to learn marathi? Tell us. Mail us on

Edition2: Parental Guidance

Don’t be surprised by the ratings of my blog. I don’t intend to publish any material which is rated as PG. My point is something which is an eternal dilemma for all fellow parents.Last year i used to follow Little champs on zee marathi. These kids are phenomenon. They sing excellent songs. Be it classical based, folk based, emotional, natya sangeet and what not. How can they perform without fear of established guests and jury, TV audience, popularity? God knows. God only has created them.But I would like to focus on thought process of their parents. They had supported the decision to devote sizable months in academic calendar of their children for music show. One would argue that what is compared to this level of publicity and break. One would also argue that they will also manage the academics. But to reach that level of greatness in non academic careers requires dedication and all out approach. There is a sizable risk. I have seen many music careers pursuant who wanted to be renowned performers but ended up as also rans and some at best may have reached music training. I don’t want to demean job of these foot soldiers but in India we do not have infrastructure to make a decent living. So is sports field. Not all reach levels of dhoni or tendulkar. I have seen great cricketing talents ending up taking sales jobs with private bank franchisees. Are the returns so great to justify this risk? But when they succeed they are one out of millions. This is on one side of the issueOn the other hand, i have seen some who were failure in academics, but still are managing international lifestyle thanks to IT revolution. They struggled initially but after a first break, they were persistent to look that as investment and made career. So is it a safe bet to let children focus on conventional academics. They live happily but just one of the millions.Question is to aim to be one out of millions or to aim to be just one amongst the millions. This is eternal parental dilemmas.My take: Its very difficult at young age to know what one loves. So it is the duty of the parents to expose the children to various things. It’s our duty to find something that he or she enjoys most. (This process can start at age of 5 and can go on till age of 8). Evaluate if he/she really has the required iota of skill combined with interest after a certain years of singular exposure say at 10. Then take a call. Work out fallback options. And then let it go... get her/him a great dedicated guru (that’s what makes difference)Its not very simple, that’s where destiny plays major role. But don’t ever teach her /him to give up on anything.

Edition 2: River Quiz

Logic Quiz
There are three Athletes (Alex, Brook and Chris) and their individual Coaches (Murphy, Newlyn and Oakley) standing on the shore. No Coach trusts their Athlete to be near any other Coach unless they are also with them.There is a boat that can hold a maximum of two persons.How can the six people get across the river?

Edition2: Bear mask can

What You’ll Need
Paper PlateBrown PaintScissorsSmall sheet of Black Construction PaperGlueBlack Marker Brown Construction PaperJumbo Craft StickMasking Tape
Paint a paper plate brown. While the paper plate is drying cut out a 3 or 4 inch circle out of brown construction paper and cut a 1 inch circle out of the black construction paper.Next cut the brown circle in half, this is going to be the ears for your bear mask. Once your paper plate is dry, you need to cut out eye holes for your mask. Glue the brown ears and the black nose to your mask. Tape the jumbo craft stick to your mask.

Edition2: International News

Two months after India's maiden Chandrayaan-I mission discovered traces of water on Moon, NASA released a note on 13th Nov that it has found "significant amounts" of water ice on its surface, a finding that could trigger a hunt for life in outer space and boost hopes for a permanent . And we didn't find just a little bit, we found a significant amount
NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) probe 'bombarded' the lunar South Pole at a crater called Cabeus on October nine.
In the 20 to 30 metre crater they found atleast, two-gallon buckets of water.
The satellite hit the lunar surface in an effort to create a debris plume that could be analysed by scientists for signs of water ice.
Scientist believed moon to be cool dry space. Scientists are thinking about establishing a lunar base that would help in interplanetary missions and space exploration.
"Preliminary data from the LCROSS, indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct 9, 2009 impacts into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus cater near the moon's south pole," it said.
The impact created by the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket created a two-part plume of material from the bottom of the crater. The first part was a high angle plume of vapor and fine dust and the second a lower angle ejecta curtain of heavier material.
"This material has not seen sunlight in billions of years," the NASA said.
"We're unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and by extension the solar system. It turns out the moon harbors many secrets, and LCROSS has added a new layer to our understanding," said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
ISRO scientists had in September announced that Chandrayaan-I detected evidence of water across the lunar surface.
Moon Mineralogy Mapper, a NASA instrument onboard Chandrayaan-I, detected wavelengths of reflected light that indicated a chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen in materials on the thin layer of upper soil.

Germany wall 20 years

Germany celebrated 20th anniversary of he collapse of german wall.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel today thanked former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for allowing the Berlin Wall to collapse, as she visited a former border crossing between the once divided Germanies, and what was once a border gate, marking 20 years of reunification.Accompanied by Gorbachev and former Polish President Lech Walesa, Merkel initiated today's celebrations by symbolically walking across the Bornholmer Bridge, which once stood between the divided East and West Berlin.The Bornholmer Bridge border crossing was the first East German border crossing to be opened on November 9, 1989 after the former East German government eased restrictions on travel to the West in the wake of mounting public demonstrations.The opening of the border for a few citizens had led to an unstoppable outpouring of East Germans to West Berlin, finally bringing down the Wall
India china leading world recovery.
Thousands of cheering Germans re-enacted the electrifying moment the Berlin Wall came crashing down — toppling 1,000 graffiti-adorned 8-foot-tall dominoes that tumbled along the route of the now vanished Cold War icon, celebrating 20 years of freedom from separation and fear.
The spectacle — billed by organizers as a metaphor for the way the real wall came down 20 years ago Monday and the resulting fall of communist countries in eastern Europe — was one of several events to mark the anniversary and celebrate the profound change it had not only Germany, but Europe and the world.

Edition2: 20 yrs Magic of Sachin

Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday completed 20 years in international cricket and became the first Indian and only the 16th in the history of the game to have a career spanning more than two decades.
Tendulkar, who made his debut as a 16-year-old against Pakistan way back in November 15, 1989, will reach the milestone of 20 years and one day in international cricket when he comes out to play against Sri In his Test career spanning 19 years 143 days till date, Tendulkar has represented India in a record 159 Tests. He also played a record 436 50-over matches in his 19 years and 325 days one-day career, thus becoming only the second player after Pakistan's Javed Miandad to have the longest ODI career.
The Indian batting maestro is also the only active cricketer to feature in the longest Tests career list and at 36 years of age he is still going strong. In his two decades long career, Tendulkar had written many records which catapulted him to the honour of being the milestone man.
Even though he holds the record of being the highest run-getter and century maker in both the Tests and ODIs, he is everlasting hunger for runs knows no boundary. A perfectionist by nature, Tendulkar has till date amassed a staggering 12,773 runs from 159 Tests at a robust average of 54.58 with a mindboggling 42 centuries and 53 half centuries.
His record in ODIs are too unmatchable. The Mumbaikar recently achieved another milestone when he became the only batsman in the history of the game to break into 17,000 run mark.
With a mammoth 17,173 runs from 436 ODIs, Tendulkar is in the threshold of another feat as he is just nine centuries short of touching the magical figure of 100 tons. Tendulkar is also just 54 runs short of becoming the only batsman in the world to score a whopping 30,000 run in international cricket -- combining both Tests and ODIs.
Tendulkar's special talent was evident right from his school days after he notched up an unbeaten 664-run stand with buddy Vinod Kambli in the Lord Harris Shield Inter-School Game in 1988.
The diminutive right-hander's colossal batting exploits have completely overshadowed his utility as a part-time bowler who has 44 Test wickets and 154 scalps in ODIs. If there was any grey area in Tendulkar's canvas, it has been his captaincy and despite having two jabs at it, he preferred to shrugg it off his shoulders to concentrate on his batting, which only blossomed once he shunned the leadership duty.
But despite his success and worldwide fame, Tendulkar remained a firmly grounded man. Just like a true champion, he never allowed fame and adulation to get on to his head and effect his batting. Till today he continues to be a keen learner of the game and spends hours in the net to finetune his batting crafts, although there is hardly anything left for the champion batsman to master.

Edition2: Worldcup without Ronaldo

Imagine WC soccer 2010 without Henry and Ronaldo. Bot France and Portugal face uphill task in final leg of qualification faceoffs.
How do the European World Cup playoffs work?
Eight teams are paired off and will meet in a two-game, home-and-away playoff, with the winner of each series earning a spot at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The playoff match-ups are as follows: Ukraine-Greece, Bosnia-Portugal, Slovenia-Russia and Ireland-France. Matches will take place on Nov. 14 and 18.
The simplest way a team can win the series is by winning both games. A victory and a tie would also be good enough for a team to win the playoff.
When both teams win one game each, that's when it gets a bit tricky. In such a case, the first tiebreaker is total goals scored over the two-match series.
So, for instance, if Portugal beats Bosnia in the first leg 4-2, but loses the second 1-0, the Portuguese would win the series because they outscored the Bosnians 4-3 on aggregate.
If both teams each win one match and are still tied on total goals scored at the completion of the two legs, the next tiebreaker is away goals.
So, if Russia wins 3-2 at home, and then loses 1-0 on the road, the aggregate score would be 3-3, but Slovenia would advance, because it scored two road goals (compared with none for Russia).
Likewise, if France and Ireland tie 1-1 in Dublin in the first leg and draw 2-2 in the second game in Paris, Ireland would advance on the away-goals rule.
And of course, if the teams are still tied after that, then the second leg goes to 30 minutes of overtime, and if no goals are scored in the extra period, the series will be decided by a penalty shootout.
Got all that? Good.

Edition2: Taare Zameen Par

On 13th Nov, which was the eve of children’s day, Pune Riverside Round Table 105 an organization of young people, celebrated taaren zameen par. This was a painting competition for differently abled children at Phoenix school in 16th Lane Prabhat road, pune next to symbiosis school. There were around 120 children across different age groups. Some children could draw and paint. Some children were given pre-drawn images based on difficulty levels only for painting.
Children were given snacks sponsored by Round Table, and then they were taken to gathering hall. The anticipation was great and the smiles and excitement was contagious. The members of Round Table attended this event in great numbers. It was a worthy experience for all. In fact such events can make these children feel a part of society and raise their self esteem of doing something which is valued. The Phoenix school is doing a great work to educate and make them self reliant. Principal Swati madam and her staff deserve a special mention for doing this activity. The work done by her team on this date was stupendous. The organization, attention to details was great.
The judges Mrs Pallavi Gothkhindikar and Mrs Ashwini, guided the children. They were so impressed by potential of children that they have decided to go there weekly to help children improve their skill as a social initiative.
The hour was given to children and the sight of them involved creatively was spectacle. Teachers and Round Tablers were helping them as well.
Then it was the judgment time. There were four categories and it was difficult for judges to rank them as many had put in good work. But first and second ranks were declared though no one can argue that entire 120 children were winners.
Mr Ranjit Shirole, a yound dynamic politician from Pune, graced the occasion and distributed the prizes. The joy on faces to receive a prizes beyond citiblog reporter’s vocabulary. Each participant was given a certificate.
Really a meaningful afternoon and a great children’s day celebration
Round table India is an organization committed to educate underprivileged children in India. It has around 2500 young members. It has built many schools all over India.
( has more details)
Phoneix school is run by Prism Foundation and details can be obtained 77, ErandwanePrabhat Road, Lane No. 16Pune - 411 004Maharashtra, IN , Tel: 25679714

Edition2: Inside Vikhe Patil Memorial school

Soumyashree Ghosh takes a campus round of Vikhe Patil memorial school on eve of Childrens day and talks about some great achievements by children.

School days reminds us of the best memories of our life. Where on one hand we hate the homework and frequent scolding from our teachers, we rigorously enjoy the company of the most valued friends, mischief and the innocent fun on the other hand, that life hates to offer a few years down the line. But at the end, the fact remains that school plays the most important role in nurturing a child’s personality and create a strong foundation for his future, by exploring his talents and abilities during his formative and the most crucial years of his life.
Vikhe Patil Memorial School is one such institution that believes in all round development of a child’s personality, going beyond academics and text books. Located in Senapati Bapat Road, the school is affiliated to CBSE board. It addresses the varying needs of young students in all possible fields and provides them with the highest quality of education. The school boasts of being an eco friendly and health promoting one, as it ensures each and every students to be physically and mentally healthy and happy. Its eco friendly nature is visibly apparent with the segregation of wet and dry garbage within the school premises. With an excellent record, the school simultaneously outshines in several ECAs. The academic Coordinator, Mr.
Christopher Geylor proudly boasts of his students who gave a good name to his school in several fields.

Only in it’s 16th year, VPMS has already made it’s mark in the academic, Sport and co-curricular fields. VPMS is committed to help our students develop the skills for successful learning. This is done in a safe and nurturing atmosphere in which each child further develops cognitive, social and fine motor skills. As our school motto states, we believe in the all round development of each child that enters our portals. Along with academics, Sports is given its due importance and we firmly believe that a child must be exposed to a number of activities to enable him/her to explore his/her potential and talents. Respect is an underlying factor in all aspects of the school. Students are encouraged to respect themselves, their peers, their teachers, the building, and their community. While respect goes well beyond this, it is an essential component in the development of young adults. Keep in mind - students who make a solid effort, who are cooperative, and who work with their teachers, enjoy school and find it to be an exciting and worthwhile experience.

Extra Curricular Achievements-

The school excels in activities like swimming, tennis, drawing, Science Olympiads, base ball, basket ball, football and skating.
Mohit Joshi and Yash Pandit, the two swimming champs bagged several prizes from School Games Federation Of India, Maharashtra State Association, Aquatic Amater
and SSC tournaments. “It feels great to be a winner and make your school and parents proud. Unlike many other schools we get full support from our teachers to chase our passion. They cooperate a lot if we miss classes for our ECAs.” Says Mohit and Yash with a bright smile. Sarthak Chandra, the budding astronomer, represented India for International Astronomy Olympiad in Italy, bagging a silver medal. He also went to Taiwan for International Earth Science Olympiad, winning a bronze for our country. He is preparing to visit Azerbaijan for international Junior Science Olympiad. He aims to be an an astrophysicist. Unlike other ambitious kids, who want to work for NASA, Sarthak wishes to practice in India. “NASA is not in India. I want to serve my own nation.”says the young patriot.
With Children’s day round the corner, they gave their own opinion on how differently it can be celebrated. “On this day, we should be given the liberty to do whatever we want….Indulge in our favourite sports which the school can organize and keep studies apart for sometime.”says mohit, an aspiring pilot. While Sarthak wants something more academic. “The school can organize an astrological program so that more student can take interest in this topic. It is still very nascent at the school level here in India.”says this scholar of Class XI. Nikita Manoharan of Class V, another budding talent of the school. was selected as one of the three finalists to represent Pune at the National Wiz Kids Competition to be held in Bangalore this November. Out of 60 students from various institutions of Pune, she emerged as one of the three winners. She was grilled in three rounds comprising of a written aptitude test, an interview round and interaction with a panel of judges. She did the school proud by not only being the youngest member of our team but also impressed the judges with her answers. Anusha Bothe of class IV was ranked among the 10 winners worldwide in a drawing competition on the theme “Water for all” which was adjudged by professionals from the Stockholm-based University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. The competition was part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of Swedish multi-national Atlas Copco AB, which runs a worldwide project – also dubbed “Water for all’ – to provide access to clean drinking water to people. She made the school proud by winning the under 8 category.
The School Moto that says “All round development of every child and make them responsible citizens” thereby holds true.

Edition2: Harishchandragad: The Trekking Pilgrimage

Every year people make New Year resolution. Very few of them do materialize. It was one of those resolutions which materialized for me. The resolution was to make pilgrimage to Harishchandragad which is Mecca for all those who claim to be trekking enthusiast. Its fashionable nowadays to claim to be one. I do claim that but only blot on my trekking history in Maharashtra remained Harischandragad. This fort had been a jinx to me as thrice I had planned that trek during my college and working bachelor days. All those plans flopped for some reason or other. So for ten yrs I have been keeping this as a resolution . To visit Harischandragad was motto.
This opportunity came in through a trekking group at my health club. They had organized this trek. I jumped on this as its hard to get group of friends who are completely into a phase called Gruhasthashram in local language.

We assembled at 6 am where a 28 seater bus was waiting. The group was motley. It was mainly comprised of college and working bachelors. Harischandragad can be accessed by two ways. Tougher route is through Khubi phata khireshwar. Easier route is through pachnai but for that you need 1 hr drive extra going ahead of alephata. Looking at fitness levels of the group the organizers decided the Pachnai Route.
The nasik road journey was normal with picnic mood setting in. Breakfast of missal pav at alephata is unavoidable.

We then went across the main road and the country side is amazing. The fields, mountains, small dams. This area is remote and local villages are sparse.

We reached a very small village of Pachnai. This village does not have a chai tapri as well. We had photo session and instructions. We started the climb. The first climb really tested each one of us. Its significant climb and has great greadient. But alongwith it offered great view while climbing.

As we approached top after an hr or so, we had some respite of open plateu wherein the other route meets. The top plateu is wide and after few turns around. We reached the main section of temple and cave where most trekkers stay. The main fort is above this plateau and has another climb which we planned next morning.

It was almost 4 pm. Could not have waited to see the grandeur of Kokan kada. Had heard a lot about this overhang cliff. And after a walk of half an hr amidst greenery on the plateau we reached there. This is a paisa wasool moment. The wind, the valley, the wall, the height, setting sun all combine to make you feel different. This place has a touch of divinity. Peace of mind, perspective all things set in. setting sun adds seriousness to the moment. We reached the cave back before dark.

Night at this place is another experience. Clear sky without city pollution, noise and lights is amazing. Our talk and music were the only silence breakers. The sky was studded. There was nothing to do but to chat with fellow trekkers. And of course volunteers were busy cooking khichdi on fire. We tried helping without success.
Sleeping in cave is another experience. There were two other groups. Get your corner and enter sleeping bag only to be awakened in morning. That’s another trek experience I love. Morning challenges of ablutions were met.

After visiting the main fort, we climbed down where the bus was waiting. Another great lunch at alephata and we reached pune by 3 to join my daughter. Back to gruhshtaashram…

Edition2: Solved NTSE MAT Questions

In our print version, we have solved few NTSE exam Mental Ability Questions