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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Lohri

Makar Sankranti
By Mamta Dhingra Mamta Dhingra is expert author. She has reviewed books. She has written articles on women, tourism, health topics.

Sankranti, Sankranthi, Makar Sankranti or Makar Sankranthi is a celebrated on January 14th.It is also celeberated as Pongel, Lohri, Bhogali Bihu.
Sankranthi is a day of month when sun moves from one Zodiac sign to other. It is derived from word - Sat + Kranti means good change or auspiciios movement. It also signify change. Sankranti is considered an auspicious day. Makar means Capricorn. On this day sun moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn.

Sankranti vs Makar Sankranti
Sankranti is once in a month. Makar Sankranti is celebrated once in year.

Makar Sankranti in India
The festival is celebrated in every parts of India.

Pongal in South India

The festival is known as Pongal in south India specially in Anadhra Pradesh or AP. The festival is celebrated for 3 days. People wear new cloth, exchange gift. Rangolis (colorful decoration) are made at each home.
In Karnataka and Tamilnadu too Makar Sankranti is celebrated with equal enthusiasm. Farmers celebrate the harvesting of Sugar cane.

Makar Sankranti in Western India
In Western India - Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharashtra it is a very special festival.
In Rajasthan, Gujrat a kite festival is organized. The kite season starts before Sankranti. On Jan 14, kite festival is celebrated full day. It is an official Kite day. Gujrat even organize international kite festival on this day. People reach to open areas or roof of their home. Colorful and various shape kites are flown.
In Gujrat Makar Sankranti is also known as Uttarayan

Lohri in North India

In North India - Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal - people make Khicdi in morning. Kichdi is made of rice and dal (lentils). Families first donate Khichdi to temple/priest and then eat it in breakfast. The cities where holy river Ganga flows such Allahabad, Haridwar - people take bath in river. In Ahmedabad, Magh Mela (a fair) starts on Jan 14 morning.
Northern India also celebrate Lohri on night of Jan 13. Lohri denote the end of winter. People use bon fire and dance. People eat Jaggary sweets (called Gajak, Rewari), peanuts while seating near the fire.

Bhogali Bihu in Eastern India

In Bengal people celebrate this on Holy river Ganga. A Mela called "Ganga Sagar" is held on bank of river Ganga. In Assam festival is called - Bhogali Bihu
Not only i Eastern India, the festival is celebrated in neighboring eastern countries such as Myanmar, Thailand.

There are different cultures in different states of India. Sankranti brings joy for all states. It brings whole India together.

Farmers who grow sugar cane in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab celebrate harvest of Sugar Cane. all states where River Gange is - people take holy bath.

Happy Makar Sankranti, Happy Pongal, Happy Lohri, Happy Bhogali Bihu!!

Learn Makar Sankranti, Sankranti significance. Learn how to celebrate and make most of it at

Learn about all Indian festivals at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

School Closings in New York

And some parents are angry saying Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s late call will leave them scrambling for child care, reports CBS 2’s Demetra Ganias.
We’re expecting a snowy mess when we wake up Wednesday morning, but students and teachers might just get a snow day. The problem is they’ll have to wait until 5 a.m. to figure it out. That’s a problem for many parents, especially because the mayor has already declared a weather emergency.

When Ganias reached out to the Department of Education about the late call to close schools she was told that Mayor Bloomberg and Education Chancellor Cathie Black will compare notes and make a final decision. However, many parents are begging for more of a heads up.

“By this evening, at least by 8 o’clock this evening. Let us know something, so we can prepare for tomorrow,” one Upper West Side parent said.

When asked what she is going to do if she has to work and the kids are home, one parent from Brooklyn said, “I really don’t know. I’m stuck, just like the last time.”

School buses are a major factor in helping the Department of Education to decide whether or not to cancel school. So it’s not just about how much of the white stuff falls, but how safe it is to be on the road.

In New Jersey, many parents – like Dr. Patricia Czernizer – were relieved that their kids’ schools announced that they were closed, meaning their children wouldn’t have to brave nasty road conditions, reports CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.

“That way, I will wake up in the morning, do my thing, and he could stay home and worry about going the next day,” Dr. Czernizer said.

However, some parents complained that the cancellations, many announced late Tuesday night, made it difficult to make arrangements for child care their younger kids while they went to work.

Bloomberg shouldn’t have to make the decision. I already got the call at 7 PM that I had no school tomorrow. Each individual principal or someone else should make the decision for each individual school to close. I’m actually not sure who runs the schools in the city since I live on the island (LI), so… ^^’

this is ridiculous Bloomberg should close NYC schools tomorrow and let us know today. either way if they don’t close, many kids aren’t going to attend school anyway. why don’t you save us the trouble and just close tomorrow. i have a long way to go and through the snow it’s going to be hard.

OK, so there is a chance that school will be closed Wednesday & the announcement may not be made until 5am. Make contingent plans tonight for tomorrow, so that way at 5am when schools are closed you’re all set.

It used to be that schools didn’t cancel until 9 or 10pm the night before or at 5am the morning of. And I am talking about suburban schools where buses & carpools are most often the mode of transportation. People just need to start taking responsibility & stop throwing blame all over.

This is weather, something that can’t be predicted to the exact. And if schools were cancelled already & the snow didn’t come…. everyone would be in an uproar about that.

This is silly . Sucks that he’s still considering leaving schools open. I have an hour and a half commute each way and I’ve got to walk a lot to go to schools. I’m even gonna have to wake up 45 mins earlier….. Not to mention I have midterms (worth like 15%) in my first period class and if I’m late due to trains (trains arrive above ground at my stop) that’s valuable time gone.. And if I’

I have a sitter and a responsibility to her as well and her safety. This is no longer an intelligent debate…join back in when your feeling a little less self righteous and smug.

I thought it was an intelligent enough debate. I’m sure you’re not a terrible parent. Seriously. Bottom line is that Bloomberg needs to decide already. Sorry if I offended.

Bloomberg is completely out-of-touch with the working families in the city he supposedly represents. Sone emergency, and yet he still doesn’t know about the schools? Really? Stay off the road, except for teachers, of course. YOU can risk your necks….everyone else? Stay home.

I live in Queens and teach in Queens, but I have NO intention of risking my safety tomorrow. If The Emperor wants the schools to stay open, let HIM come and sub tomorrow!

Well said. I teach in the bronx and live in Manhattan. Who cares about the teacher and bus drivers and parents who drive their kids to school? Not Bloomberg. Probably not Black, either.

It’s horrible….already both of my daughters don’t have school….I teach in NYC…so what do I do? Use a sick day?….That’s NOT FAIR!!! Who do I call for child care at 5am? And should I find someone, it would most likely be in NY. At what time exactly should I leave for work? At 5:01am? How safe is that when we are expecting icy rain under snow!

I think Bloomberg should make up for the last mess. If he does close tonight, I believe the December 26 fiasco would be almost forgotten (like how he “forgot” to clean Brooklyn! Brooklyn ENY was “visited” by a mini bobcat on Saturday Jan 1! UGH!) At any rate, I think Bloomberg owes us (NYers) one.

Im so glad my son doesn’t take a school bus to Queens anymore from New York City–5am ??–I would Not send him to school–didn’t even have seat belts.

So it is a weather emergency and Bloomberg is urging people to stay off the roads- yet he expects schools to stay open. Something doesn’t make sense here.

Personally, I think the comment was extremely necessary. I’ll post a brilliant back up plan for the rest of your child’s education, ready? Get a friggin’ babysitter. Can’t do it? Then you shouldn’t have kids. People get all touchy when you tell them that they’re an irresponsible parent, yet there are so many people who are TERRIBLE parents and society has to shoulder the burden of their awful judgment and neglect. Just walk into a high needs school in this city and look around. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

I agree. If you have kids, its YOUR responsibility, not the mayor’s, to plan ahead for any possible school closing. You send your kids to public schools, you dont pay anything, so if they miss a day even when school is declared open, its not a big frikkin deal. How can you be a parent and not have an emergency contact or contacts a.k.a. family/babysitters on call?

Don’t pay? How about we pay school taxes according to the district we live in, and for just about any and all extra curricular activities as well. What are you talking about we don’t pay? You pay taxes right?

I think he meant that people are not paying for private school. I’m not trying to diminish their weight, but I would imagine that he took taxes into account.

for the ass that says, “I don’t think teachers should live outside the city.”Think about what teachers get paid before you make an absurd statement like that.

If Bloomberg thinks its necessary to quickly declare a weather emergency, then why would he hesitate about making a safe decision for all the children in the New York City area by not closing schools in this so called weather emergency now. And to complicate things more he’s got the whole city in a state of limbo, because parents don’t know how to prep for day to come. Its doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together here.

How can this mayor declare a weather emergency, urging people to avoid all “unnecessary travel” yet hasn’t decided on school closures? FDNY, NYPD, EMS, and sanitation are the only necessary city employees in the middle of a blizzard. Keep the hospitals, and other emergency services running, and keep everyone else at home.

To all those reminiscing about not knowing of schools closing until the morning, please keep in mind weather forecasting was not as advanced as it is today.

To the man who thinks NYC Teachers shouldn’t live outside the city shame on you. I am a young woman who commutes everyday from Long Island to teach the young children of Hunts Point. How dare you! I wake up early, drive to school everyday because of my students and my love for teaching.

It’s too much stress. Not knowing what to do, too many kids, too many jobs to hold on to. No cars to get to the airport, no mass transit — Would you send your teen to wait for the M72 at 7:30 tomorrow morning?. No one knows if the storm will move fast or slow, dump more inches or disappear. Don’t blame the Mayor. He doesn’t know what to do either. Remember all those wicked storms that wimped out? SO IN THE ABSENCE OF CLARITY, stay home, enjoy your family, go to the park and build a snowman. Thursday is another day, and no one will care anyway!

This is getting ridiculous….almost all of the Long Island schools have announced that they are closed tomorrow, and many of these districts decided before 5PM today. Bloomberg has no idea how many people commute from Long Island to NYC for work. Parents should be given ample time to find child care or alternate arrangements for their children, and why should parents/teachers/children have to wake up at 5AM to find out? Just do the right thing and close the schools by 10PM the night before! If he is telling us to stay off the roads and declaring a weather emergency, that seems to be a pretty good indication that schools should be closed.

I don’t understand how you can call a weather emergency, trains are being delayed and people are being told to stay off the road, but Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t know if schools will be closed tomorrow!! Why wait until 5 a.m. so that parents can’t make arrangements and he can justify why schools have to remain open. As a NYC teacher and a parent of a public school child this is ridiculous. Why do we have to put people’s lives at risk. I for one do not plan on sending my son to school for him to sit with a sub and so nothing. Mayor Bloomberg, get back to reality and do the right thing! I think NYC school children can afford to have one day off!!!

As soon as he declared a weather emergency, he should have announced school closure. If the conditions are so dangerous as to require an emergency declaration, then it makes sense to have as few people out on the roads or public transport as possible. It makes sense to avoid mass transit until the city has a chance to get the snow cleared off of the roads and public transit back to normal. If school is not cancelled tomorrow, I believe it is a political stunt rather than a concern for students educational needs. Not closing schools shows a lack of concern for children traveling during a snow emergency!

Never in history did we know the night before if there was a snow day. You woke up, looked outside and ran to the radio. Deal with it. And to that quoted “one man” in the article…. F- you! Teachers are not paid enough to afford Manhattan rent. if you are willing to pay them more to do so then fine, but I am sure you are not….

Bloomberg is the biggest flake out there when it comes to giving you a straight answer. In this case it’s a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ If this he can’t give you is simply not a person that’s fit to serve as mayor in any town or city. In this case it’s New York City. Pity us to have him as our mayor. Now give us the damn answer already A/Hole!

You want this mayor to close the schools for snow. He will not even deal with a school in Staten Island that is having massive problems with PCB in lighting fixtures. The board of ed keeps telling us it is safe for our children to go to school but has not even inspected the buildings. He will not close the school because he knows that this is a problem in many schools in this city. He is making sure the streets will be plowed this time but not making sure a building is safe for children to attend.

Oh Please People! I was a NYC Public School student my entire academic life and we NEVER found out about school closings till the morning of. And it took a helluva lot more than 10″ to close the schools. Have New Yorkers really become a bunch of wimps?????

I wasn’t a huge Rudy Guliani fan but he wasn’t out of touch like King Mike and he certainly wasn’t an arrogant/sarcastic SOB like Bloomberg!

Teachers need to plan accordingly as well. In the last storm, my train line was shut down for 4 days. If I am supposed to show up to work tomorrow – I should have gotten a hotel room right near school!!! But I guess I won’t know until the morning… Thanks bloomberg.

The mayor needs to really think about school closings. School was never meant to be a daycare, nor should it be. That is not the purpose of schools. The city should start charging for their services if that is what school is intended to be. To expect parents to send their children out in the bad weather is crazy. Do not put our children in danger! And then to expect all of the school bus drivers to get to work, dig out their buses, and go out on the roads would only mean more traffic and yet he tells us we should not drive. Our children could be involved in an accident or they could get stranded on a bus in the snow, as so many other vehicles did during the last storm. Yet the mayor indicates his decision will not be made to 5AM. Thats a little late for many of these drivers and teachers. What about being fair to these people and their families! A decision needs to be made and it should not be at 5AM. And if he decides he wants to open the schools and pretend they are a daycare, well so be it, but let the parents figure out how to get their children there and let the mayor send his staff to these schools.

Boy, aren’t we soooo lucky King Bloomberg was able to change the laws on term-limits and give us a 3rd term. This man cannot relate to the average working person in NYC and is quite open that he dosen’t care!

I would love to know who thinks that all teachers should live inside the city. Has he seen the type of salary that we make. It is just not affordable to live in the city on a teacher’s salary.

I’m a teacher and I couldn’t afford to buy a home in the five boroughs. I decided to purchase a home outside of the five. All of my colleagues who chose to own a home and raise their children in a decent area had to move far out.

I understand that he doesn’t want to close the schools ahead of time in light of the fact that we may not get hit hard and it would be a waste. However parents need time to plan, what would he like us to do? Leave them home alone so he can call ACS on us?? Or lose our jobs for not coming in to work because we had no time to plan for childcare and we can join thousands of other NY’ers on the unemployment line? He wanted to be Mayor so bad that he bought $$ himself an illegal third term in office, well know he has so he should man up and take some responsibility!!!!!

I’m a teacher and I adore my kids but I’m not going to wait for bloomy to make that administrative decision for me, I have a family that I’m responsible for, so I’ll make the decision for myself!

Even with kids managed to walk to schools, many teachers won’t and they will be sitting in the home rooms until dismissal – and, aren’t school buses supposed to be off the city street as part of this emergency declaration.

Fewer cars, school buses, and children on city streets will make it easier to snow plows and salt spreaders to get around primary and secondary roads to do their job. That’s public safety!

Id like an answer too but remember back about 10 yrs when Rudy cancelled school the nite before and we didn’t get a flake of snow? The same working parents were FURIOUS.

A”M”C – and yes, for one day, they can get a sub. When there aren’t enough subs, they’ll realize that the schools need to be closed in dangerous weather. One day will not change a child’s promotion status or change our Federal funding. What’s more important money or life? For me, it’s a no brainer. Personal day tomorrow or snow day. It comes out of my time or theirs. No matter to me.

So the Mayor Declares Weather Emergency tells everyone to stay off the roads but your’ll put school bus drivers and our kids risk. That is our leadership at it’s best not concerned about anyone. Most feel good to have power over little people Mr. Mayor you just don’t care. I have to be out because of duty to the State of New York and the people of this state.

Nice ANC … So the kids go and get a sub if there is one available? The kid’s attendance counts towards the school’s federal funding and their ability to be promoted.

If the all-mighty Mayor will not make the decision, then parents make the decision for him. Just don’t send the kids to school. The mayor doesn’t care about the children – he cares only about the fiscal implications, and how he will come across to try and get his dismal approval rating up.

I moved to Florida last year and was a NYC school kid. I mean is this not a no brainer. The Mayor is Putting People’s lives at RISK. What a Shmuck!

Snow days are unpredictable, how do you expect working parents to plan accordingly for those days…regular school holidays and vacations yes, a back-up plan is necessary, but to deem parents irresponsible because they don’t have a back-up plan for snow days is very ridiculous, you never know when they are going to happen…very unfair comment jane very unfair.

I couldn’t agree more, Jane. People will complain that they can’t afford a babysitter, and they depend on the school to take care of their children. That’s not what public education should be used for.

Didn’t you know thats why teachers spend so much time earning higher degrees so they can be glorified babysitters with PHDs and Multiple Master degrees. People forget what type of cridentials teachers need. They are the lowest paid professionals with the most education. Plus everyone forgets that 5 snow days are built into the school year, so whether we use them kids are in school for 185 days.

I agree with Jane. How can you NOT have a backup plan? I have a couple of people that I’ve made arrangements with beforehand to make sure that my two young children will have a place to go in case of a snow day (or any other emergency). I am a single parent, and I can’t afford to stay home from work, but I realize that ultimately, I need to be responsible their care, not the schools.

Jane – That is a completely unecessary comment. Who died and made you judge and jury of what it means to be a responsible parent? How about posting your ideas for a year long back up plan? Apparently you have it all figured out! .

Personally, I think the comment was extremely necessary. I’ll post a brilliant back up plan for the rest of your child’s education, ready? Get a friggin’ babysitter. Can’t do it? Then you shouldn’t have kids. People get all touchy when you tell them that they’re an irresponsible parent, yet there are so many people who are TERRIBLE parents and society has to shoulder the burden for their awful judgment and neglect. Just walk into a high needs school in this city and look around. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

“…responsible and obligated …” !!! What??? I am obligted to my family to keep myself alive. I am responsible for making the right choice not to travel tomorrow, even if His Honor keeps the schools open to make a point.

Typical that NYC would leave something as important as child safety to chance. Right now, the Mayor is only concerned with the DOT and EMS. The DOE is just last on his list.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Khusrin: 'Hadiah istimewa' buat Sidek Hassan


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Elvis Presley

New Elvis Presley Song Emerges
By Jonathon Bates. Jonathon Bates is a reporter and publisher for various news programs and publications. His weekly column can be read at
In May 2006, information was released to the press and public regarding a song that was cowritten by Elvis Presley. The songs were never published or released until now. Paul Terry King recently announced that he, and Elvis Presley, cowrote the songs titled, 'Rollin' Up Hill' and 'If I'd Only Bought Her Roses', in the fall of 1970.

Paul Terry King, a songwriter of several popular country and pop songs in the 1960s and 1970s, recently submitted a press release specifying details about the songs. Mr. King claims while working with artists at American Recording Studio in Memphis Tennessee, he worked with Elvis Presley, and cowrote two songs titled 'Rollin' Up Hill' and 'If I'd Only Bought Her Roses'. Paul Terry King explains that this was several of many recording sessions, one of which produced the hit song, 'Suspicious Minds'.

Paul Terry King claims that Elvis visited him in Nashville to write other songs, as well. He states that he and Elvis had many conversations about world politics, current events, religion, family and children, marriage and love, and several other subjects.

Mr. King explains that Elvis had an explicit interest in writing music, as well as recording and performing. However, he was unsure about releasing any self published works at the time due to uncertainty as to how well it would do, and how his manager would respond.

However, Mr. King goes on to explain how the songs were created. Elvis came to his home in late 1970. He tells the story that he and Elvis conversed for many hours into the night, and early morning, as several new music works emerged. Mr. King goes on to explain that Elvis was much more talented than people pay him credit. Elvis was a good actor and continued to hope for better and more dramatic roles. He also aspired to develop into a good songwriter as well. The song 'If I'd Only Bought Her Roses', is about a man who desires to have another chance with his only love, and wishes he'd done things differently. Note that it is not hard to imagine Elvis in that certain frame of mind with what he was experiencing in his own personal life.

The other song, 'Rollin' Up Hill', is about overcoming life's obstacles in the midst of a man facing all odds against him. The driving force by which he wins the race is the power of love, which the song clearly communicates.

The song 'Rollin' Up Hill', is the song I was able to hear and sample. There was talk about a Elvis Presley reality series taking place in Las Vegas among various Elvis tribute artists.

The winner receiving prizes and publicity, including the honor of recording the two songs which Elvis cowrote. However, even though the taping of the show was begun in August of 2006, it was not revealed to me the reason why it wasn't finished.

However, the songs were not recorded by any of the Elvis impersonator's who attended the rehearsals in Las Vegas. Instead, the songs were forwarded to, and recorded by, William Riopelle, a former Elvis Presley tribute artist, now living in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

William Riopelle, performed as an Elvis Presley tribute artist for several years and performed many places. Of his many experiences, some of the highlights were performing in Las Vegas in the show Legends In Concert, recording a rockabilly tune at Sun Records in Memphis now called Sam Phillips Recording Studio, and being managed by George Klein, a disc jockey in Memphis Tennessee, who was a very close friend of Elvis Presley. Indeed, George Klein, was Elvis' best man at his wedding, and a pallbearer at his funeral.

George Klein is not a man who typically gets excited about Elvis Presley impersonators. However William Riopelle's talent was so original and unique, that George Klein made an exception in his case.

William Riopelle, who no longer performs as an Elvis Presley tribute artist, has moved on to other things and has since received various science degrees in college, and an advanced degree in physical therapy as well. Indeed, an Elvis Presley Tribute Artist with a brain! William Riopelle once went by the stage name of 'Billy Elvis.'

He is said to have changed his name to Billy Detroit at the advice of George Klein, who urged William not to use the name of 'Elvis' in his own name. George Klein believed in Mr. Riopelle's talent enough to get a songwriter to write a demo song for him and request a free recording session from Sam Phillips, the man who discovered Elvis Presley at Sun Records Recording Studio in Memphis Tennessee in 1954. Although the recordings were heard by various recording labels, ultimately they rejected William Riopelle's works due to the fact that he sounded "too close to Elvis Presley" and they thought the public was not ready, or interested, in an Elvis sound alike.

However, since Elvis Presley's popularity has not shown any signs of decreasing over the years, and has even increased, the interest in an authentic Elvis Presley sound alike may be beginning to emerge.

Indeed, the public would certainly be interested in hearing a song which Elvis Presley cowrote. I believe the public would be interested in anything that Elvis Presley wrote.

Although there are Presley insiders who would validate Paul Terry King's story, there are others who would disdain it. Like any controversial story regarding Elvis Presley, it is very likely that you will once again have to be the judge.

A sample of the song 'Rollin' Up Hill', has been made available for free, and can be heard on the Internet by Paul Terry King. Details about listening to the song can be found in the resource box below.

Information about how to listen to a portion of the song, Rollin' Up Hill, can be located at Jonathon Bates is a writer, and publicist for various news and entertainment outlets.