Friday, January 29, 2010

"The Blind Side" On my wish list

I have heard a lot about this movie" The Blind Side" which is based on True Story. The cast which has someone like Sandra Bullock is also something which I would like to see, since her movies are usually with a purpose and she carries the movie & the character that she plays very well.

For those of you who would want to know what's great about the movie, here is a place you might want to check out & read the review.

The Blind Side

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where to Start a Home Decorating Project

The thought of starting a decorating project is exciting or scary, depending on your experience, your budget, your taste, or your time.
If you've never done any decorating at all, you might feel that you don't know how or where to start. If this is old hat to you, you might not know where to end. But when all is said and done, you want a new look and want to get started.
There's very little question about what element to choose last, but there are lots of things you can select first. Because paint is a very inexpensive part of the project and because paint is available in an almost infinite varity of colors, you should hold off buying the paint until you have other things identified.
But just what should you do first? Should you buy a whole roomful of furniture or choose a rug that you love? Have you chosen an elegant wallpaperor luxurious fabric that you want to use?
You really can start wherever you want and work it all together into a plan. But it really does help if you start with a plan, an inspiration piece, and a color sheme.
Find your sources of inspiration and work your way through your decorating project. You'll be happy you spent the time to plan.
·         Put a Plan on Paper
As with any business plan, you should draw up a written statement for your project. Identify your style and then select a color scheme around your theme. Will you choose a garden style or a sleek contemporary decorating scheme? Put it in writing and stick to it.

·         What's Your Style?
Do you like formal or casual? Do you love French Country style or do you long to live in acottage style home? Spend some time to identify the style elements you love, and make plans to bring them into your space.

·         Start With What You Have
Not everyone (in fact, very few people) can start with a fresh, empty room and begin decorating. Most of us already have some pieces of furniture or the home has carpeting, tile floors or countertops, or architectural features that you're not ready to discard. If there are things you like, focus on them and make them important. If there are things you don't like but cannot change, find ways to camouflage or downplay them in your newly decorated space.

·         Do You Have Decorative Pieces?
If you have a collection of beautiful crystal, delicate china, or rustic birdhouses, these can be the start of a decorating plan. Based on the color schemes, decorative themes, or formality of your collection, you can use them to identify the start of your decorating project.

If you're not sure how you should start your decorating project, read our list of places to look for ideas, color, and themes.

·         Start with Art
Often the art you choose to live with reflects what you like. If you choose beautiful landscape oil paintings, you'll probably like a traditional or formal interior. But if you choose black and white or sepia tone photographs or abstract art, you might want to plan your interior around a more contemporary design.
·         Do You Have a Favorite Color?
I have a friend who loves anything blue. Of course, then it is only natural that her home would be predominantly blue, too. If you have a favorite color, use it to guide your color scheme[/link for your home. Use hues of it on the walls, in patterns, on upholstery, and in the accessories.
·         Choose a Fabric With Colors You Like
Possibly the most common way of beginning a decorating project is to select a fabric with colors, a pattern, and interesting texture you like. Use the colors in the fabric to identify colors you'll use on the walls, on other pieces of furniture, and in accessories you choose.
·         Choose an Interesting Pattern
You can choose a pattern for wallpaper, carpeting, tile. It can be scrolling, geometric, bold or subtle. Use it as the foundation for the other elements in your home and carry the pattern into lamps, fabrics, and accessories.
·         Start With an Area Rug
With a patterned area rug you can keep other elements simple, focusing on the rug instead of fabrics or walls. But if you want to use the rug as a starting point for everything else, pick colors from the pattern and use them throughout the room on walls, fabrics, furniture, and accessories.

Source: Interior Deco

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


James Cameron is king of the world again.
20th Century Fox said Tuesday that the director's sci-fi spectacle, "Avatar," has passed his shipwreck saga "Titanic" to become the highest-grossing film worldwide.
As of Monday, "Avatar" had brought in US$1.859 billion at the box office, passing the $1.843 billion worldwide record set by 1997's "Titanic."
"Titanic" remains the highest-grossing film domestically at $600.8 million.
"Avatar" has been No. 1 at the box office for six straight weeks with a domestic total of $554.9 million.
It shot down "The Dark Knght" on Saturday to become the second highest-grossing film domestically.
"Avatar" has also mined $1.3 billion in international ticket sales, smashing the $1.24 billion mark previously set by "Titanic."
This movie has led  people to have different perspective of what is shown to them.. everyone interpreting the movie in its own different way... here is one of the meanings which is interpreted in Hindu religion..about Avatar...
Avatar (Wiki)

In Hinduism, Avatar or Avatāra (Devanagari अवतार, Sanskrit for "descent" [viz., from heaven to earth]) refers to a deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth, and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation", but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation".
The term is most often associated with Vishnu, though it has also come to be associated with other deities. Varying lists of avatars of Vishnu appear in Hindu scriptures, including the ten (Daśāvatāra) of the Garuda Purana and the twenty-two avatars in the Bhagavata Purana, though the latter adds that the incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable.

For me the movie was totally refreshing..and a proof in today's time about the things we are doing to our lives and the surrounding environment in which we live and the extent to which we as People of earth are willing to kill/consume to get better things for today..

Learn to Live "Well in a Smaller Space"

Decorator Lauri Ward has spent years teaching homeowners how to use the furniture and accessories they have to create a fresh and usable new space.
Whether the move to a smaller space is due to a job change, a life change, or a needs change, Lauri has great advice for planning what you'll need, using what you have, saving what you'll be able to use, and getting rid of what won't fit.
"Downsizing Your Home With Style" begins by helping you decide whether to get rid of what you have or if your things are worth saving. Is the piece the right size for your new space, is it in good condition, is it comfortable, or does it have special meaning to you and your family?
I love Lauri's list of things to always keep, including a sofa and matching chairs, armless chairs, any chair that swivels, anything with storage, and matching lamps and end tables.
And just as helpful is the list of things to get ridof like stuff you never use, books you'll never read again, things that are too big or too old, pillows that look old and dated, chairs that are uncomfortable, magazines, newspapers, and personal papers that you won't ever need again.
If you follow Lauri's advice, you'll discover storage space where you didn't know it existed, new uses for furniture that you thought had only one purpose, ways to make your new small space look bigger, and ways to make one room serve two or more purposes. In short, she helps you make a small space really work.
What you won't find in this book is beautiful, full-color photos of extravagant custom-designed, cutting edge rooms. What you will find are great ideas, photos of real homes for real people, and useful tips to make a move to a small space feel not so hard. In fact, clearing out and cleaning out can be very liberating! Try it. You'll see!
Lauri Ward's other books include

Monday, January 25, 2010

Top 10 Kitchen Countertops

There are lots of options on the market for kitchen countertops. Our list of top picks gives the pros and cons of the top 10 choices so that you can make an educated choice when you remodel your kitchen. Follow the links to more information about each countertop material.

1. Granite Counters

Granite is the countertop material of choice when there are no other things to think about - like money. It defines elegance in a kitchen. As the use of granite becomes more widespread, the price comes down. The beauty of the stone contributes to the beauty of even the most modest kitchen.
Pros: holds up to heat; comes in a range of almost 3000 colors; looks permanent and substantial; will last a lifetime; new sealers are almost maintenance-free; 2nd highest hardness rating after diamonds; has a high value to home buyers.
Cons: expensive, but becoming more affordable; requires some maintenance; some stones absorbs stains if not sealed; knives can become dull if you cut on it; can crack if stressed or improperly installed.

2. Engineered Stone

Engineered stone is composed of 93% quartz particles. It is available in a larger range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. It's easy to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone. Some brands on the market include DuPont Zodiaq®, LG Viatera®, Cambria Quartz, and Silestone®.
Pros: Resistant to stain and acid; easy care. 
Cons: Expensive.

3. Solid Surface

Because solid surface counters are just what they're called, solid, any scratches can be sanded out. The countertops are custom-made to your specifications by companies such as Avonite, Corian, and Swanstone.
Pros: comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns; seamless; stain resistant.
Cons vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage the surface; can be moderately expensive.

4. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is durable and easy to clean. Add to that inexpensive and you've got a really good choice for countertops for the average home. Because it's installed a section at a time, it can be done by most resourceful homeowners.
Pros: takes hot pans; easy to clean; wide range of price, color, texture and design.
Cons: counter surface is uneven; tiles can easily chip or crack; grout lines become stained; custom-designed tiles are very expensive.

5. Laminates

Laminate counters bear trademarks such as Formica, Nevamar, and Wilsonart. They're made of plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface that's easy to clean. The pieces are cut to size and finished on the ends.
Pros: you can buy laminates in lots of colors; easy to maintain; durable; inexpensive.
Cons: scratches and chips are almost impossible to repair; seans show; end finishing and front edge choices can be pricey.

6. Wood or Butcher Block

Wood countertops offer a beautiful warm look and are available in a wide range of colors and finishes. Hardwoods such as maple and oak are most often used as countertop woods.
Pros: easy to clean; smooth; can be sanded and resealed as needed. 
Cons: can be damaged by water and stains over time; scratches must be oiled or sealed according to manufacturer's instructions.

7. Stainless Steel Counters

For a really contemporary and industrial look for your kitchen, stainless steel is a good choice. They are heat resistant and durable. Because they're constructed to your specifications, you can have a seamless countertop.
Pros: takes hot pans; easy to clean. 
Cons: Expensive; noisy; may dent; fabrication is expensive; you can't cut on it.

8. Soapstone Counters

Soapstone is generally dark gray in color and has a smooth feel. It is often seen in historic homes but is also used in modern homes as both a countertop and sink material. 
Pros: rich, deep color; smooth feel; somewhat stain resistant.
Cons: requires regular maintenance with applications of mineral oil; may crack and darken over time.

9. Marble

Because of it's extremely high price tag, marble is not often seen on the countertops of whole kitchens. To get the luxurious look, use it on an island or inset at a baking center. Marble requires constant maintenance, as it easily stains. Some new sealers retard staining.
Pros: waterproof; heatproof; beautiful. 
Cons: expensive; porous; stains easily unless professionally sealed; can scratch; may need resealing periodically as per manufacturer.

10. Concrete Counters

If you have countertops in unusual shapes, concrete may be a good choice, as they're often cast right in your kitchen. The high price tag may be beyond most people's budget.
Pros: heat and scratch resistant; can be color-tinted; looks exotic and unusual; new treatments eliminate cracking; additives reduce porosity; new finishes are more decorative.
Cons: mid to high range on cost due to custom work; cracking is possible; can look somewhat industrial; porous but can be sealed.

Source: Interior Deco

Friday, January 22, 2010

Put Together a Basic Household Tool Kit

Every house should have a repair kit which can be used for the routine repair and patch up of the wear & tear which happens to things in the household. One has to shell out atleats a few $100 to get help from outside, which sometimes can be taken care of by using the repair kit.

Here is an interesting article.. on : Interior Deco

You may have lots of tools for particular projects that you use infrequently, and they can be kept in a garage or workroom. But having basic tools handy in your living area makes it much more convenient to do simple home repairs.
You might keep these basic tools in a hall closet, a kitchen drawer, or in a handy tool box or plastic box on a shelf in the entry or mudroom.
It doesn't really matter where you keep them, as long as they're easy to get at for quick home repairs. You'll save lots of inconvenient trips out to the garage or down to the basement.
Your in-home basic tool kit should include these basic do-it-yourself items.
Tape Measure
You may not think you need one, but a 25-foot measuring tape will work for most jobs. Whether you measure for a tablecloth or window treatment, or a whole room for new flooring, choose one large enough to easily measure your home's spaces. A second smaller tape of 6 to 12 feet can be put in a pocket or purse for shopping trips or for hanging pictures.

Two basic screwdrivers are a necessity. Choose both a good quality flat head screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver in a medium size. A set of tiny screwdrivers will come in handy when you need to tighten a pair of eyeglasses or fix audio or computer equipment.

One pliers will not do. Get a small assortment in various sizes and shapes. You'll use a needle-nose pliars most frequently, but have a heavy grooved pliers for removing nails or large staples. Wire cutting pliers are good for wiring and craft jobs.

You get what you pay for here. It's important to get an accurate level for accurate positioning. A good sturdy level will last a lifetime. (These are also called "torpedo levels" due to shapes of the tapered ends.) A level is a must for straightening up pictures, drilling holes in a level line, checking tabletop alignment, or mounting towel bars perfectly.

Whether you're hanging pictures or putting shelf supports up, a medium weight hammer will cover most household jobs. Consider other sizes if you'll be doing either delicate projects or construction.

Vice Grip
This tool resembles a pliers, but has a locking mechanism that grips and holds things tightly. Use it to grip a screw you want to remove or use two to twist sticky things apart. They provide a slip-free hold when you need it.

Assortment of Nails and Screws
You might find prepackaged sets of basic sizes at a home center or get a small divided box and put together a custom assortment that will come in handy when you hang pictures or make minor repairs.

Wire Cutters
Save your scissors with this essential tool. A wire cutter makes it easy to snip wire for crafts, electrical repairs, and other household projects.

You'll probably need to mark a drill hole or record a measurement. Have pencils handy and write on post it notes or bits of blue painter's tape if you don't want to write on the wall.

Blue Painter's Tape
Even professional painters use this tape to mask off areas they don't want to paint. It's available in several widths and looks like plain masking tape. But this special tape is blue and can be removed from most surfaces without damage. You can use it for other household jobs besides painting. Mark stud locations with a small square when hanging a picture or installing molding. Tape off the edges of a door frame when painting a wall, or tape down runners of heavy kraft paper to protect floors from dirt and scratches when moving.

Here are more basic items to put in a household tool kit.
Cordless Drill
You may feel this is a luxury, but there are nearly endless uses for this handy tool. The obvious use is drilling pilot holes for nails and screws, but you can also insert screwdriver bits to help insert or remove screws.

Utility Blades and Holder
There are several varities to choose from in knives. A fast easy one has breakaway blades which is especially useful when doing a wallpaper or a delicate craft project. They are also handy when opening sealed boxes.

Metal Straightedge
Choose a heavy ruler, long level or angle. It can be used to measure or mark, and serves as a cutting guide for heavy materials when using a utility knife.

Felt, Plastic, and Carpet Dots
Keep an assortment of these sticky-backed furniture protectors on hand. Felt dots can be applied to the bottoms of vases, candleholders, boxes, or any accessory that might scratch a table surface. Plastic or rubber dots applied to the bottom back corners of a picture can help keep framed pictures level. Carpet dots are heavier and thicker and used under chair and table legs to avoid scrape marks on hardwood floors.

You'll need spackle for filling nail holes in sheetrock before painting or to repair small scratches, holes, or dents in walls. Unless you do lots of repair jobs, we'd recommend buying a small tub. Spackle dries out even if you seal the container well, and then it will not go on smoothly.

Putty Knife
To apply spackle, you'll need a putty knife. Other uses include scraping up a bit of paint or smoothing down a corner of repaired wallpaper. Putty knives come in either metal or plastic and are very inexpensive.

Paint Can Key
This simple tool will come in handy when you need to open a can or paint, varnish, or stain.

Package Sealing Tape
Though it looks like wide Scotch tape, sealing tape is actually stickier and heavier weight. Use it to re-seal cardboard boxes, to tape together a number of slippery items (such as sticks of molding, etc.), or just to prepare boxed gifts for mailing. Get a large tape dispenser which will let you apply tape with one hand if you're moving and need to seal a lot of boxes.

A supply of super glue, carpenter's glue, and white glue should cover most household needs. Follow manufacturer's directions for best results.

To remove scratches or sticky substances, paint smudgPublish Post

es or tape residue, a small tube of "Goof Off" or "Goo Gone" are good addition to a tool kit. Follow directions on the lables for proper use.

You need no title to be a leader

Another one from the Pandora box of Robin Sharma which shakes you off from your routine task that you do to think beyond what you do as routine.. .

Hi Amol,

We have just stepped into The Decade of Leadership. Leadership has not become democratized. Yes, titles and positions are deeply important for the smooth running of every organization. But you need no title to be a leader. Anyone can lead.

In my new book THE LEADER WHO HAD NO TITLE: A MODERN FABLE ON REAL SUCCESS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE (in stores in late March), I distill everything I've learned about what it means to Lead Without a Title. Taxi drivers can lead. Teachers can lead. Farmers can lead. And once we all accept that call on our lives, the whole game will change. "If everyone would only sweep their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean," noted one of the greatest Leaders Without a Title, Mother Teresa.

One of the core elements of the new book is the need for each of us to do our absolute best work - no matter where we are planted. You don't have to be the CEO to make the commitment to becoming the best in the world at what you do. My encouragement is to become the Mick Jagger of The Mailroom, The Bono of Stapler Selling and The Warren Buffett of Bookkeeping. Wherever you find yourself, do your work like Picasso painted - and like Mozart composed. Few things make you happier than knowing you played at your peak.

Finally, may I suggest that the world around you aches for you to lead. Business and society is moving through serious turbulence and uncertainty. And the fastest/best/smartest way to transcend it all is to Lead Without a Title - and step into your leadership best. By innovating at everything you do. By building high-touch relationships at every touch point. By creating value versus grabbing cash. And by being the most positive person in every room you happen to be in.

P.S. Robin was recently voted one of the 25 Most Inspiring People on Twitter. His tweets are full of great ideas that will help you win at work and in life. If you start following him within 24 hours of receiving this eNewsletter, you will be able to download his popular documentary "2 Days in NYC" ABSOLUTELY FREE (he'll post the link on his Twitter page soon). Simply click here to follow him.

In Leadership,


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

He’s Not Steve Jobs, But This Tycoon May Fix It

 If you think nothing ever changes in Japan, consider Naoto Kan and Kazuo Inamori.
Kan is the new finance minister and Inamori is Japan Airlines Corp.’s new chief executive officer. Both men have three notable things in common. One, neither is a natural choice for the task at hand. Two, both hold the outlook for Asia’s biggest economy in their hands. Three, the odds are stacked firmly against either succeeding.
Japan is turning to Kan and Inamori in a sign of change, and it’s a good one. So let’s consider what could be if things break their way.
Kan’s job has “impossible” written all over it: boost growth and avoid a downgrade to Japan’s Aa2 credit rating. Rating companies are registering their dismay that Japan has had six finance ministers in 18 months. Such “revolving-door” leadership “doesn’t engender confidence,” says Thomas Byrne, senior vice president of Moody’s Investors Service.
The good news is that Kan, 63, is breaking the mold of the typical keeper of Japan’s all-powerful Ministry of Finance. Staffers are abuzz that he hasn’t visited the place much since getting the job on Jan. 6. There’s a reason for that. Kan wants to yank control over an economy heading in the wrong direction from the shadowy bureaucrats who run it.
It’s not the kind of revolution that lends itself to television-news reports, but it’s a huge one. Out of the gate, Kan told staffers that “the minister is not a representative of the ministry. He is a representative of the people.”

Arm’s Length

It’s not just semantics. Kan has a track record as a political rebel. By limiting his time at MOF headquarters, Kan is signaling that he plans to keep the bureaucrats at arm’s length. This is a big deal in change-averse Japan and it has the political class chattering.
Inamori’s job would seem equally impossible. Beleaguered JAL soon may file for what would be the nation’s sixth-biggest bankruptcy. The former flagship carrier holds a key place in the Japanese psyche. A few decades ago, its high level of service represented Japan’s rise from the ashes of World War II. Now it’s a national punch line and a reminder that Japan’s zombie- company problem lives on.
As deflation returns and pessimism about the future grows, JAL’s prognosis weighs heavily on the nation’s 126 million people. Just as U.S. President Barack Obama helped General Motors Co. to support consumer sentiment, Yukio Hatoyama must ensure JAL is handled skillfully for a change. That can be seen in how Prime Minister Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan is breaking with the tradition of bailing out JAL every few years.

Seniority-Obsessed Japan

Enter tycoon Inamori, one of Japan’s most celebrated entrepreneurs. In few countries could a 77-year-old wear that moniker. In seniority-obsessed Japan, he’s that and more. Inamori founded electronics company Kyocera Corp. and set up one of the three companies that merged in 2000 to become KDDI Corp., Japan’s second-biggest wireless operator.
Last week, Forbes magazine named Inamori Japan’s 28th- richest man. It’s not his money that intrigues people, though. It’s his role as a business philosopher and writer -- a kind of Japanese Jack Welch. In a Nov. 2 column, I postulated that JAL needed a Steve Jobs -- a creative multitasker with uncanny business acumen. Inamori isn’t the Apple Inc. CEO, but he may do.
It’s strangely fitting that Inamori also is an ordained Buddhist priest. He may need more than good karma to tame the unholy alliance of labor unions, bankers and politicians standing in his way. Then again, Inamori is thought to have something equally useful: the support of the prime minister.

Airport Fetish

The idea that JAL is an independent company is rubbish. Technically privatized in 1987, it has never been allowed to run itself for one reason: The Liberal Democratic Party, which ran Japan virtually uninterrupted for 54 years until last August, had an airport fetish. The LDP built white-elephant terminals and runways all over the nation to create construction jobs.
Then, it browbeat JAL’s compliant executives into utilizing them. It left JAL with a stable of unprofitable routes -- not unlike Amtrak in the U.S. A key task for Inamori is halting those flights, a radical step that will require political support at the highest levels.
I don’t feel terribly bad for all of JAL’s shareholders. For the retirees about to see their investments vanish, one has to have more sympathy. The many investors out there targeting JAL as a “moral hazard” strategy bet on bailouts for years. It’s about time the government ended the JAL gravy train.
That phenomenon is at the core of Japan’s two-decade-long economic funk. Japan Inc. picks corporate winners and then coddles them into complacency. And so, Hatoyama isn’t exaggerating when he says: “The revival of Japan Airlines is deeply connected to the revival of the Japanese economy.”
There’s wisdom in putting the economy and JAL into fresh and unpredictable hands. Yes, it may be business as usual and history might show little was achieved by Kan and Inamori. It’s also possible the reform that investors have waited for in Japan for decades is suddenly afoot.
Source: Business Week