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Harry Potter, I ♥ Butter Beer

Well, here it goes again. Pottermania.

Having a term created for you signifies how prevalent you are as part of conversation for most people. Well, it may not have made it to the Oxford dictionary yet; but if every newspaper in print runs it, I consider it enough said.

This brings me to a more important topic of Butter Beer.

The Harry Potter Wiki describes it as follows:
Butter beer is a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch".

I wish it would be easy to taste words as they are, because this amazing drink certainly went beyond my imagination. Mildly alcoholic, but enough to get a house elf drunk on, it wraps you up like a welcoming warm well-worn blanket. Perhaps hot chocolate does the same on a cold winter's day. But that's like comparing apples and oranges.

Here is an overview of the buttery machine.



Perhaps a close up of the golden goodness is more preferred by you at this point ☺



I recommend the cold-soda version rather than the slush as I find it much easier going down (for me at least).

Sláinte!
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Heaven for me

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Random Images

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Quote - Pablo Picasso

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Punctuation Anarchy

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Quote - Rainer Maria Rilke

In the deepest hour of the night,
confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write.
And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots,
the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?


This is one of my favorite quotes.
I am a writer, I write for myself though; first and foremost.
I love feeling words sprout from my fingertips before I can tap it in my conscious mind (as it is in this day and age of the keyboard). Its quite like gardening.

I am not averse to verbal diarrhea myself, if it makes sense on some level :)


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Quote - Self Help by Charlie Brown

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Show me a picture of joy

I will show you a picture of a child or of children laughing.

The indescribable swelling of a bird in our being, which struggles to be set free... and so it does... through our smile.

Always smile, for it is the wings of that bird struggling to fly out that causes those tips of your lips to lift..and that joy of release that brings forth an ode of life with your voice... your laugh.




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Who is :Anon:?

A question that would have no doubt crossed your mind as you leafed through your English-language text books in school. No doubt, you would have been told that this is from an author who did not want to be named, either by choice or an unfortunate loss of information through history.

But wait, there is hope! It started when I recently discovered that I could put an image to face the mysterious "Anon".

Here it is.


No. Not the one on the right. The other one.
Mysterious.

May I present Anonymi Bele Regis Notarii ('the anonymous notary of king Bela') aka Anon.
Apparently this faceless chap romanticized history based on his whims, rather than fact.

Beautiful story. I enjoyed the part where someone about a thousand years ago understood the importance of the written word.
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Calvin makes my day ஜ

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Exposure



Do you know that some of the most beautiful photographs come only from "exposure"?
There would be no pretty star-lite nights where almost the entire galaxy can be seen at your leisure.
Keep your eyes glued to the tropical blue darkness and the lens captures stars that we cannot see.

Do you wonder how strong you could get if you had no "exposure"?
You would sit and bemoan the Languor and Lassitude of your life.
The Vestigial amounts of living that makes you like a Penumbra.

That "exposure" is much like Serendipity, an Elixir of Beauty.
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Calvin and Hobbes: The future

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Quote - Robert H. Schuller


Never cut a tree down in the wintertime.
Never make a negative decision in the low time.
Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods.
Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.


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Quote - Ann Frank

How true Daddy’s words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.
– Anne Frank
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Celtic Prayers

An Celtic Prayer

May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.



An Old Celtic Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


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Tip: Get free music using Google search

Copy and paste the above text into a google search text area and replace the “artist or song” with an actual artist or song.

-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(wma|mp3) “artist or song”

Enjoy



Source: clipmarks.com
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Quote - Bob Marley


Found at the Hidden Place in Pune
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Calvin and Hobbes -looking at the stars




douglas-adams-quote
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Oxytocin

What is this magical word?

Call it the feel-good factor, the contentment and peace of a craic that got a lot of fuzzy warmth into your tiered limbs, or even the balance of the yin and the yang inside you.

Recently, I read about a woman's search for what made her most happy. Translation: What got her Oxytocin levels to the highest?

An interesting test when you consider how easy it is to please a woman.
There is of course, spending time with your loved ones, best friends, always shopping,..and in my case sleeping too, but I guess that wont be counted. It seems to be more a collection of activities in my perceptive and lucid state.


This woman too took a couple of "tests".
1. She went on a date.
2. She spent time with her daughter. (I suppose that means she is a single mother)
3. She met up with her best friend.
4. She went shopping.

How did it rate?
Well, she thought that the flutter of her heart and the butterflies in her stomach (signs that she enjoyed her date to be sure) sort of guaranteed that it would win hands down. But guess what, that turned out to have got her Oxytocin levels up the lowest (yes, I do see the Oxymoron here). The shopping did better that that though.
Spending quality time with her friend seemed to have done wonders to her too. But undoubtedly, hearing her daughter say the magic three words shot her Oxytocin through the roof!

I conclude that it is perhaps not the tingles and the stars that we see or feel that make us the happiest. Its peace, plain and simple. A warm hug from your loved ones, a sweet word, or a thoughtful act these bring joy not just in other people, but in ourselves as well.

We look for thunder and lightning and goodness knows what sort of signs of magic. We forget that magic is an art so advanced, its signs are but the most subtle.

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To Fight Poverty, Invest in Girls

To Fight Poverty, Invest in Girls
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Independent Democratic "Changes"?

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

These words were resounding in my mind as I was reading the headlines today.
I will frankly admit, I have been rather lax in staying abreast with the latest happenings in our country these days. But as I open the news and begin to go through it, it is like I had never left. Kasab is still in jail; the new addition is a trail of clues that leads to the Maldives.
Aarushi, a young daughter of two highly-educated parents, who was found murdered is a case that has gone cold. Fingers pointed to the domestic help, and then to the parents. The only thing certain is that the killer had helped him/herself to whiskey around the time the dreadful deed was committed.


Does India care?
Some part of me cringes when I see stories fading into oblivion, just because they need to be replaced with something more current or jaw dropping. Mostly, these are not just stories, but people's lives. But there is hope. I will live on that feeling (along with love and fresh air :P ).

Some people refuse to read the news as they say (rightly) it's almost always sad, never posting much about the happy stuff in the world. I agree. But I still prefer reading that mostly-sad news.
Not to satisfy some sadistic streak in me, but to become aware. No news is bad news too.

Keep the “old” news going . Love it or hate it. Free independent news rocks.
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Cultural Bamboozles

Its not very often that we hear about the differences that divide us. Instead, more often than not, we hear about how small the world has become, about how easy it is to communicate. Easier said than done perhaps.

Noticing the differences that separate people from different parts of the world is still marked and important.

TIME
For example, how often have we in India taken "five minutes" to mean anything from "15 minutes" to "one hour"? Anything BUT "five minutes". Move over to Europe or across the Atlantic, the delay will not be looked at indulgently, but instead will be taken in a more serious-faux pas manner.


GROUP versus INDIVIDUAL
The eastern culture places a great emphasis on family pride and what not. Compare this to the western world's (more notably American) pride in individual achievements.
There is nothing that your family does, which technically will override your own accomplishments. No wonder there are so many self-made people there.


DETAILS
Notice the difference in explanation. Some start from the basics, the complete core if you will. More often than not, I notice that some cultures do not place as much emphasis on that.

FORMALITY
Sit on urgent business with an Arab they say, and you will spend more than half your time inquiring about the health of their family. It is not that they do not consider your business to be "urgent", but rather its their way of tradition and culture that places a great importance on kinship. There is an emphasis on ceremony and social rules.
Americans on the other hand, have their own endearing culture of directness, which is refreshing and personally preferred.
Example: Heard the story of the Japanese official who took offense as his subordinate was placed on a "higher" floor than he was? Ouch!


There are many more facets I am sure that are not mentioned here, like non-verbal communication (a person's body language).

One universal truth, SMILE. Its the most easily understood form of communication.
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Turkey Blues

T'is the season to be jolly
T'is the season to spread the good cheer
T'is the season to feel like an overstuffed turkey sandwich

Somehow this sense of deja vu that I have had this happen to me every year does not hinder the repetition of this tale.

Numerous articles have sprung up on how one should watch what they eat during our busy Christmas->-new year season, most of it is helpful I'm sure. But sometime it does lead me to wonder.
Won't it be more effective if people watch what they eat between new year ->- Christmas instead.

 
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