Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Miracle: Mom and Baby Die, Then Revive

In our modern World, there is still a place of miracles to happen. And Christmas time is considered traditionally as the best moment for them to show up. This year, thanks to the media coverage, we all can be witnesses for the miraculous revival from death of two people on December 24, Christmas Eve. And the interest to this topic is strongly supported by the fact of getting the related search string to the respectable list of the Top 100 Google Searches.

A woman in Colorado says that a Christmas miracle brought her and her newborn baby back from the edge of death after she suffered a heart attack in labor. Her heart stopped beating during childbirth at Memorial Hospital and her baby boy was delivered showing no signs of life.

Hermanstorfer, 33, was being prepped for childbirth at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs Thursday morning. Her 37-year-old husband was by her side when she began to feel sleepy and lay back in her bed.

"She literally stopped breathing and her heart stopped," her husband, Mike, told The Associated Press. Pandemonium erupted as doctors and nurses tried to revive her with chest compressions and a breathing tube, but nothing worked.

"I was holding her hand when we realized she was gone," Mike Hermanstorfer said. "My entire life just rolled out."

Doctors told him, "We're going to take your son out now. We have been unable to revive her and we're going to take your son out," he recalled.

After the Cesarean section, some of the team rushed his wife to the operating room while the others attended to Coltyn. They handed him to Mike Hermanstorfer, who said the baby was "absolutely lifeless."

"My legs went out from underneath me," Hermanstorfer said. "I had everything in the world taken from me, and in an hour and a half I had everything given to me."
The doctors went to work on Coltyn as Hermanstorfer held him, and soon he began to breath.

"His life began in my hands," Hermanstorfer said. "That's a feeling like none other. Life actually began in the palm of my hands."

Stephanie Martin, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at the hospital, said Tracy Hermanstorfer's pulse returned even before she was wheeled out of the room and into surgery. She estimates Hermanstorfer had no heartbeat for about four minutes. She said in an interview that “Tracey was dead, no heartbeat, no breathing, she was as gray as her sweatsuit, and no chance of life.”

After their stunning recovery, both mother and the baby appear healthy with no signs of problems, Martin said. She said she cannot explain the mother's cardiac arrest or the recovery. "We did a thorough evaluation and can't find anything that explains why this happened," she said.

Baby Coltyn Hermanstorfer, who was born weighing 7lbs. 4oz. and measuring 19 inches long, is home now and doing fine. His original due date was January 5.

Video Presentation:

Sources and Additional Information:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Advanced People Search at Yatedo

Today, CNN published the technical review on the feature participants in the LeWeb conference (Paris, France), where the new Internet ventures had an opportunity to present their brilliant product, ideas, and future plans.

Among top “shakers and movers” was listed Yatedo.

In the CNN article is was presented as follows: “Most people have been guilty of "ego-surfing" -- entering their own name into Google -- but Yatedo takes this one step further compiling an online dossier about anyone from all available information on the Internet. Its creators hope corporate customers will pay for this "image monitoring service" to ensure no one is posting unpleasant things about them”.

The idea to mere ability to preserve Internet self-image in a proper way has definitely attracted the Internet-savvy readers, bringing the search for Yatedo to the top 100 Google Searches Listing.

Yatedo defined itself as “new generation free People Search Engine which lets you find and contact anyone on the entire web with any kind of information you have about the person you are looking for”.

Developers continue: “As Web is rapidly evolving into "data about people" and as one third of users' requests on traditional search engines is about "people", Yatedo has been made an intuitive People Search Engine which enables users to search, find and contact anyone using any kind of information he or she has on the person. People search has never been that easy thanks to the wide range of tools (advanced search, phonetics, ...) made possible by Yatedo technology and the search engine will at all times try to understand the meaning of your request to always give you the best results. What's more, using Yatedo, you may look for people all over the web and actually find real people, their information structured in a social profile kind of way. Better, Yatedo is an open social platform which lets users enhance their image and presence over the web and gives them the control over it”.

The free service is under active development, actually in Beta stage, but you can submit request for invitation from their site

If you understand French, you can get more information from the fresh YouTube invitation:

For those who (as I am) do not understand French, the best presentation of the potentials of this service can be obtained through the following screenshots (click to increase):

Will I personally join? Not yet, but I will closely monitor this service development…

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How to see all 100 Hot Google Trends Today?

Popular internet entity Google made life easier for a lot of bloggers, internet writers and just curious folks alike when they introduced Google Trends in 2006.

Using Google Trends is easy: simply visit the Google Trends page to see what the "hottest" trends are, or search any term to determine the popularity of the query.

Google Trends featured a list of 100 "Hot Trends", which would update many times a day to reflect current internet search trends. Google Trends is a useful tool when deciding what news to cover, what keywords to use most, and to see the item's actual trend. Google Trends can reveal if a search was "hot" yesterday, is still "hot" today and if it might continue the heat wave tomorrow.

This "Hot Trends" feature covered the top 100 Google searches, and enabled bloggers and online content producers to take advantage of internet search trends, and write about topics that are relevant and "hot" enough to get a lot of readers. Google announced recently that the way their "Hot Trends" feature worked would be changing.

Firstly, Google Trends wants their "Hot Trends" information to be more accessible, so users unfamiliar with Google Trends won't have to actively seek the search trends out. Now, when a search is entered into Google, if the topic is on the "Hot Trends" list, the trend's information will be displayed beneath the search results.

For example, if "boiled chicken feet" made it onto Google's "Hot Trends" list, whenever that term was searched, any trend information and the term's "heat factor" would appear right below the results, as opposed to someone having to go to Google Trends' page and look up "boiled chicken feet" from within.

As I mentioned in my previous publication on the topic, another big change to the "Hot Trends" feature of Google Trends is the number of items on the list. Previously, a full list of 100 search trends was profiled on the site. Now, that number has been reduced to 40. Google explains that this move is in an effort to coincide with the aforementioned change to the results display. Paring down to feature only the top 40 Google Trends enables the site to focus on only the hottest of "Hot Trends", and disseminate that information far more broadly.

However, if you still consider the “limited” hot trends list as a significant drawback, you still can access and investigate all 100 hot items at News on Rails Website (

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Automysophobia: Fear of Being Dirty, and other Social Phobias

Once a while, among the top googled items there are some, not related to sport, politics, celebrities, or hot news. The term automysophobia, which came yesterday to the top listing, represents one of these rare cases. I have to admit that the word was not familiar, but based on the common sense, I suspected that it is one of the multiple types of phobias, nested in all people in bigger or smaller dozes. However, my first guess that it is related to the fear of cars, proved to be wrong.

Automysophobia is a defined as a morbid fear of being dirty. The word comes to us from the Greek. It is widely known that the prefix "auto" refers to the self, and "mysos" means dirt. With automysophobia, what the patient is actually afraid of is not the garden variety of dirt but his own actual physical dirt.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As an automysophobic senses that he is being perceived dirty or as having body odor he starts exhibiting full spectrum of symptoms related to anxiety. That dread of being dirty can lead to breathlessness, dizziness, dry mouth, excessive sweating, nausea, feeling sick, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment from reality or a full blown anxiety attack.

The mechanism is similar to all other phobias. As norepinephrine is released into the blood a fight or flight situation is created. Heart beat increases, palms sweat, throat becomes dry and patient starts shaking. If the attack is not stopped in its wake, it transforms into full fledge panic attack.

This type of patient also becomes depressed from the limitations his phobia poses on him. Another common symptom is the loss of interest in whatever is going on in the world around him, also called anhedonia.

Because of their obsession with personal cleanliness, automysophobia often subjects its victims to obsessive compulsive disorder. The persistent urge to bathe and clean can intrude into all areas of his life.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This phobia often actually falls into the broad category of social anxiety disorders. The patient develops a fear of being dirty that is morbid, which means that the fear itself causes the patient to be unwell. Because his fear revolves around the way he will appear and smell to others, he cannot stand the idea of socializing. He has an unrelenting sense that he is socially unacceptable. He worries alternately that he will disgust others or that they will make fun of him. Just the thought creates such dread that he lashes out at family members who encourage him to mingle with others.


This is best treated with anti-anxiety medication and especially behavior therapy. Behavior therapy, or cognitive-behavior therapy, helps the patient to realize that this is just a phobia and not a fact. Therapy must come from a trained professional in order to individualize the treatment with the right anti-anxiety medication for a given person. The patient should understand that no medication will eliminate his phobia, but it will help him to deal with it.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is also beneficial for the patient to have a physical exam by a medical doctor so that the patient understands that there is no medical reason to assume that he is dirty or that he smells bad. The therapist also must devote months to teaching the patient that his symptoms are nothing more than sensations with no physical basis, and bringing him to the point at which he can interact socially without incident.

Other Social Phobias

If you think that the fear of being dirty is the weirdest thing you have heard, you are dead wrong. The social phobias are covering all the possible elements of the human existence, and some of them are not easy to even imagine (for example, fear for a beautiful women).

The list of all phobias that people experience is extensive. However, there are a few that are more prominent in society than others. These include (classified by the first letter of the word):

Ablutophobia - Fear of washing or bathing.
Acarophobia - Fear of itching or of the insects that cause itching.
Acerophobia - Fear of sourness.
Achluophobia - Fear of darkness.
Acousticophobia - Fear of noise.
Acrophobia - Fear of heights.
Aerophobia - Fear of drafts, air swallowing, or airborne noxious substances.
Aeroacrophobia - Fear of open high places.
Aeronausiphobia - Fear of vomiting secondary to airsickness.
Agateophobia - Fear of insanity.
Agliophobia - Fear of pain.
Agoraphobia - Fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets. Fear of leaving a safe place.
Agraphobia - Fear of sexual abuse.
Agrizoophobia - Fear of wild animals.
Agyrophobia - Fear of streets or crossing the street.
Aichmophobia - Fear of needles or pointed objects.
Ailurophobia - Fear of cats.
Albuminurophobia - Fear of kidney disease.
Alektorophobia - Fear of chickens.
Algophobia - Fear of pain.
Alliumphobia - Fear of garlic.
Allodoxaphobia - Fear of opinions.
Altophobia - Fear of heights.
Amathophobia - Fear of dust.
Amaxophobia - Fear of riding in a car.
Ambulophobia - Fear of walking.
Amnesiphobia - Fear of amnesia.
Amychophobia - Fear of scratches or being scratched.
Anablephobia - Fear of looking up.
Ancraophobia - Fear of wind. (Anemophobia)
Androphobia - Fear of men.
Anemophobia - Fear of air drafts or wind. (Ancraophobia)
Anginophobia - Fear of angina, choking or narrowness.
Anglophobia - Fear of England or English culture, etc.
Angrophobia - Fear of anger or of becoming angry.
Ankylophobia - Fear of immobility of a joint.
Anthrophobia or Anthophobia - Fear of flowers.
Anthropophobia - Fear of people or society.
Antlophobia - Fear of floods.
Anuptaphobia - Fear of staying single.
Apeirophobia - Fear of infinity.
Aphenphosmphobia - Fear of being touched. (Haphephobia)
Apiphobia - Fear of bees.
Apotemnophobia - Fear of persons with amputations.
Arachibutyrophobia - Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia - Fear of spiders.
Arithmophobia - Fear of numbers.
Arrhenphobia - Fear of men.
Arsonphobia - Fear of fire.
Asthenophobia - Fear of fainting or weakness.
Astraphobia or Astrapophobia - Fear of thunder and lightning. (Ceraunophobia, Keraunophobia)
Astrophobia - Fear of stars or celestial space.
Asymmetriphobia - Fear of asymmetrical things.
Ataxiophobia - Fear of ataxia. (muscular incoordination).
Ataxophobia - Fear of disorder or untidiness.
Atelophobia - Fear of imperfection.
Atephobia - Fear of ruin or ruins.
Athazagoraphobia - Fear of being forgotten or ignored or forgetting.
Atomosophobia - Fear of atomic explosions.
Atychiphobia - Fear of failure.
Aulophobia - Fear of flutes.
Aurophobia - Fear of gold.
Auroraphobia - Fear of Northern lights.
Autodysomophobia - Fear of one that has a vile odor.
Automatonophobia - Fear of ventriloquist's dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues - anything that falsely represents a sentient being
Autophobia - Fear of being alone or of oneself.
Aviophobia or Aviatophobia - Fear of flying.

Bacillophobia - Fear of microbes.
Bacteriophobia - Fear of bacteria.
Ballistophobia - Fear of missiles or bullets.
Bolshephobia - Fear of Bolsheviks.
Barophobia - Fear of gravity.
Basophobia or Basiphobia - Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.
Bathmophobia - Fear of stairs or steep slopes.
Bathophobia - Fear of depth.
Batophobia - Fear of heights or being close to high buildings.
Batrachophobia - Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.
Belonephobia - Fear of pins and needles. (Aichmophobia)
Bibliophobia - Fear of books.
Blennophobia - Fear of slime.
Bogyphobia - Fear of bogeys or the bogeyman.
Botanophobia - Fear of plants.
Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia - Fear of body smells.
Brontophobia - Fear of thunder and lightning.
Bufonophobia - Fear of toads.


Cacophobia - Fear of ugliness.
Cainophobia or Cainotophobia - Fear of newness, novelty.
Caligynephobia - Fear of beautiful women.
Cancerophobia or Carcinophobia - Fear of cancer.
Cardiophobia - Fear of the heart.
Carnophobia - Fear of meat.
Catagelophobia - Fear of being ridiculed.
Catapedaphobia - Fear of jumping from high and low places.
Cathisophobia - Fear of sitting.
Catoptrophobia - Fear of mirrors.
Cenophobia or Centophobia - Fear of new things or ideas.
Ceraunophobia or Keraunophobia - Fear of thunder and lightning. (Astraphobia, Astrapophobia).
Chaetophobia - Fear of hair.
Cheimaphobia or Cheimatophobia - Fear of cold. (Frigophobia, Psychophobia).
Chemophobia - Fear of chemicals or working with chemicals.
Cherophobia - Fear of gaiety.
Chionophobia - Fear of snow.
Chiraptophobia - Fear of being touched.
Chirophobia - Fear of hands.
Cholerophobia - Fear of anger or the Fear of cholera.
Chorophobia - Fear of dancing.
Chrometophobia or Chrematophobia - Fear of money.
Chromophobia or Chromatophobia - Fear of colors.
Chronophobia - Fear of time.
Chronomentrophobia - Fear of clocks.
Cibophobia - Fear of food. (Sitophobia, Sitiophobia)
Claustrophobia - Fear of confined spaces.
Cleithrophobia or Cleisiophobia - Fear of being locked in an enclosed place.
Cleptophobia - Fear of stealing.
Climacophobia - Fear of stairs, climbing, or of falling downstairs.
Clinophobia - Fear of going to bed.
Clithrophobia or Cleithrophobia - Fear of being enclosed.
Cnidophobia - Fear of stings.
Cometophobia - Fear of comets.
Coimetrophobia - Fear of cemeteries.
Coitophobia - Fear of coitus.
Contreltophobia - Fear of sexual abuse.
Coprastasophobia - Fear of constipation.
Coprophobia - Fear of feces.
Coulrophobia - Fear of clowns.
Counterphobia - The preference by a phobic for Fearful situations.
Cremnophobia - Fear of precipices.
Cryophobia - Fear of extreme cold, ice or frost.
Crystallophobia - Fear of crystals or glass.
Cyberphobia - Fear of computers or working on a computer.
Cyclophobia - Fear of bicycles.
Cymophobia or Kymophobia - Fear of waves or wave like motions.
Cynophobia - Fear of dogs or rabies.
Cypridophobia or Cypriphobia or Cyprianophobia or Cyprinophobia - Fear of prostitutes or venereal disease.


Decidophobia - Fear of making decisions.
Defecaloesiophobia - Fear of painful bowels movements.
Deipnophobia - Fear of dining or dinner conversations.
Dementophobia - Fear of insanity.
Demonophobia or Daemonophobia - Fear of demons.
Demophobia - Fear of crowds. (Agoraphobia).
Dendrophobia - Fear of trees.
Dentophobia - Fear of dentists.
Dermatophobia - Fear of skin lesions.
Dermatosiophobia or Dermatophobia or Dermatopathophobia - Fear of skin disease.
Dextrophobia - Fear of objects at the right side of the body.
Diabetophobia - Fear of diabetes.
Didaskaleinophobia - Fear of going to school.
Dikephobia - Fear of justice.
Dinophobia - Fear of dizziness or whirlpools.
Diplophobia - Fear of double vision.
Dipsophobia - Fear of drinking.
Dishabiliophobia - Fear of undressing in front of someone.
Domatophobia - Fear of houses or being in a house. (Eicophobia, Oikophobia).
Doraphobia - Fear of fur or skins of animals.
Doxophobia - Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise.
Dromophobia - Fear of crossing streets.
Dutchphobia - Fear of the Dutch.
Dysmorphophobia - Fear of deformity.
Dystychiphobia - Fear of accidents.


Ecclesiophobia - Fear of church.
Ecophobia - Fear of home.
Eicophobia - Fear of home surroundings. (Domatophobia, Oikophobia).
Eisoptrophobia - Fear of mirrors or of seeing oneself in a mirror.
Electrophobia - Fear of electricity.
Eleutherophobia - Fear of freedom.
Elurophobia - Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia)
Emetophobia - Fear of vomiting.
Enetophobia - Fear of pins.
Enochlophobia - Fear of crowds.
Enosiophobia or Enissophobia - Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin or of criticism.
Entomophobia - Fear of insects.
Eosophobia - Fear of dawn or daylight.
Ephebiphobia - Fear of teenagers.
Epistaxiophobia - Fear of nosebleeds.
Epistemophobia - Fear of knowledge.
Equinophobia - Fear of horses.
Eremophobia - Fear of being oneself or of loneliness.
Ereuthrophobia - Fear of blushing.
Ergasiophobia- 1) Fear of work or functioning. 2) Surgeon's Fear of operating.
Ergophobia - Fear of work.
Erotophobia - Fear of sexual love or sexual questions.
Euphobia - Fear of hearing good news.
Eurotophobia - Fear of female genitalia.
Erythrophobia or Erytophobia or Ereuthophobia - Fear of red lights.


Febriphobia or Fibriphobia or Fibriophobia - Fear of fever.
Felinophobia - Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia, Elurophobia, Galeophobia, Gatophobia).
Francophobia - Fear of France or French culture. (Gallophobia, Galiophobia).
Frigophobia - Fear of cold or cold things.(Cheimaphobia, Cheimatophobia, Psychrophobia).


Galeophobia or Gatophobia - Fear of cats.
Gallophobia or Galiophobia - Fear France or French culture. (Francophobia)
Gamophobia - Fear of marriage.
Geliophobia - Fear of laughter.
Geniophobia - Fear of chins.
Genophobia - Fear of sex.
Genuphobia - Fear of knees.
Gephyrophobia or Gephydrophobia or Gephysrophobia - Fear of crossing bridges.
Germanophobia - Fear of Germany or German culture.
Gerascophobia - Fear of growing old.
Gerontophobia - Fear of old people or of growing old.
Geumaphobia or Geumophobia - Fear of taste.
Glossophobia - Fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.
Gnosiophobia - Fear of knowledge.
Graphophobia - Fear of writing or handwriting.
Gymnophobia - Fear of nudity.
Gynephobia or Gynophobia - Fear of women.

Hadephobia - Fear of hell.
Hagiophobia - Fear of saints or holy things.
Hamartophobia - Fear of sinning.
Haphephobia or Haptephobia - Fear of being touched.
Harpaxophobia - Fear of being robbed.
Hedonophobia - Fear of feeling pleasure.
Heliophobia - Fear of the sun.
Hellenologophobia - Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology.
Helminthophobia - Fear of being infested with worms.
Hemophobia or Hemaphobia or Hematophobia - Fear of blood.
Heresyphobia or Hereiophobia - Fear of challenges to official doctrine or of radical deviation.
Herpetophobia - Fear of reptiles or creepy, crawly things.
Heterophobia - Fear of the opposite sex. (Sexophobia).
Hierophobia - Fear of priests or sacred things.
Hippophobia - Fear of horses.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - Fear of long words.
Hobophobia - Fear of bums or beggars.
Hodophobia - Fear of road travel.
Hormephobia - Fear of shock.
Homichlophobia - Fear of fog.
Homilophobia - Fear of sermons.
Hominophobia - Fear of men.
Homophobia - Fear of sameness, monotony or of homosexuality or of becoming homosexual.
Hoplophobia - Fear of firearms.
Hydrargyophobia - Fear of mercurial medicines.
Hydrophobia - Fear of water or of rabies.
Hydrophobophobia - Fear of rabies.
Hyelophobia or Hyalophobia - Fear of glass.
Hygrophobia - Fear of liquids, dampness, or moisture.
Hylephobia - Fear of materialism or the Fear of epilepsy.
Hylophobia - Fear of forests.
Hypengyophobia or Hypegiaphobi a- Fear of responsibility.
Hypnophobia - Fear of sleep or of being hypnotized.
Hypsiphobia - Fear of height.

Iatrophobia - Fear of going to the doctor or of doctors.
Ichthyophobia - Fear of fish.
Ideophobia - Fear of ideas.
Illyngophobia - Fear of vertigo or feeling dizzy when looking down.
Iophobia - Fear of poison.
Insectophobia - Fear of insects.
Isolophobia - Fear of solitude, being alone.
Isopterophobia - Fear of termites, insects that eat wood.
Ithyphallophobia - Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.


Japanophobia - Fear of Japanese.
Judeophobia - Fear of Jews.


Kainolophobia or Kainophobia - Fear of anything new, novelty.
Kakorrhaphiophobia - Fear of failure or defeat.
Katagelophobia - Fear of ridicule.
Kathisophobia - Fear of sitting down.
Kenophobia - Fear of voids or empty spaces.
Keraunophobia or Ceraunophobia - Fear of thunder and lightning.(Astraphobia, Astrapophobia).
Kinetophobia or Kinesophobia - Fear of movement or motion.
Kleptophobia - Fear of stealing.
Koinoniphobia - Fear of rooms.
Kolpophobia - Fear of genitals, particularly female.
Kopophobia - Fear of fatigue.
Koniophobia - Fear of dust. (Amathophobia).
Kosmikophobia - Fear of cosmic phenomenon.
Kymophobia - Fear of waves. (Cymophobia).
Kynophobia - Fear of rabies.
Kyphophobia - Fear of stooping.


Lachanophobia - Fear of vegetables.
Laliophobia or Lalophobia - Fear of speaking.
Leprophobia or Lepraphobia - Fear of leprosy.
Leukophobia - Fear of the color white.
Levophobia - Fear of things to the left side of the body.
Ligyrophobia - Fear of loud noises.
Lilapsophobia - Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes.
Limnophobia - Fear of lakes.
Linonophobia - Fear of string.
Liticaphobia - Fear of lawsuits.
Lockiophobia - Fear of childbirth.
Logizomechanophobia - Fear of computers.
Logophobia - Fear of words.
Luiphobia - Fear of syphilis.
Lutraphobia - Fear of otters.
Lygophobia - Fear of darkness.
Lyssophobia - Fear of rabies or of becoming mad.


Macrophobia - Fear of long waits.
Mageirocophobia - Fear of cooking.
Maieusiophobia - Fear of childbirth.
Malaxophobia - Fear of love play. (Sarmassophobia).
Maniaphobia - Fear of insanity.
Mastigophobia - Fear of punishment.
Mechanophobia - Fear of machines.
Medomalacuphobia - Fear of losing an erection.
Medorthophobia - Fear of an erect penis.
Megalophobia - Fear of large things.
Melissophobia - Fear of bees.
Melanophobia - Fear of the color black.
Melophobia - Fear or hatred of music.
Meningitophobia - Fear of brain disease.
Menophobia - Fear of menstruation.
Merinthophobia - Fear of being bound or tied up.
Metallophobia - Fear of metal.
Metathesiophobia - Fear of changes.
Meteorophobia - Fear of meteors.
Methyphobia - Fear of alcohol.
Metrophobia - Fear or hatred of poetry.
Microbiophobia - Fear of microbes. (Bacillophobia).
Microphobia- Fear of small things.
Misophobia or Mysophobia - Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs.
Mnemophobia - Fear of memories.
Molysmophobia or Molysomophobia - Fear of dirt or contamination.
Monophobia - Fear of solitude or being alone.
Monopathophobia - Fear of definite disease.
Motorphobia - Fear of automobiles.
Mottephobia - Fear of moths.
Musophobia or Muriphobia - Fear of mice.
Mycophobia - Fear or aversion to mushrooms.
Mycrophobia - Fear of small things.
Myctophobia - Fear of darkness.
Myrmecophobia - Fear of ants.
Mythophobia - Fear of myths or stories or false statements.
Myxophobia - Fear of slime. (Blennophobia).


Nebulaphobia - Fear of fog. (Homichlophobia).
Necrophobia- Fear of death or dead things.
Nelophobia - Fear of glass.
Neopharmaphobia - Fear of new drugs.
Neophobia - Fear of anything new.
Nephophobia - Fear of clouds.
Noctiphobia - Fear of the night.
Nomatophobia - Fear of names.
Nosocomephobi a- Fear of hospitals.
Nosophobia or Nosemaphobia - Fear of becoming ill.
Nostophobia - Fear of returning home.
Novercaphobia - Fear of your step-mother.
Nucleomituphobia - Fear of nuclear weapons.
Nudophobia - Fear of nudity.
Numerophobia - Fear of numbers.
Nyctohylophobia - Fear of dark wooded areas or of forests at night.
Nyctophobia - Fear of the dark or of night.


Obesophobia - Fear of gaining weight.(Pocrescophobia).
Ochlophobia - Fear of crowds or mobs.
Ochophobia - Fear of vehicles.
Octophobia - Fear of the figure 8.
Odontophobia - Fear of teeth or dental surgery.
Odynophobia or Odynephobia - Fear of pain. (Algophobia).
Oenophobia - Fear of wines.
Oikophobia - Fear of home surroundings, house.(Domatophobia, Eicophobia).
Olfactophobia - Fear of smells.
Ombrophobia - Fear of rain or of being rained on.
Ommetaphobia or Ommatophobia - Fear of eyes.
Oneirophobia - Fear of dreams.
Oneirogmophobia - Fear of wet dreams.
Onomatophobia - Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.
Ophidiophobia - Fear of snakes. (Snakephobia).
Ophthalmophobia - Fear of being stared at.
Opiophobia - Fear medical doctors experience of prescribing needed pain medications for patients.
Optophobia - Fear of opening one's eyes.
Ornithophobia - Fear of birds.
Orthophobia - Fear of property.
Osmophobia or Osphresiophobia - Fear of smells or odors.
Ostraconophobia - Fear of shellfish.
Ouranophobia or Uranophobia - Fear of heaven.


Pagophobia - Fear of ice or frost.
Panthophobia - Fear of suffering and disease.
Panophobia or Pantophobia - Fear of everything.
Papaphobia - Fear of the Pope.
Papyrophobia - Fear of paper.
Paralipophobia - Fear of neglecting duty or responsibility.
Paraphobia - Fear of sexual perversion.
Parasitophobia - Fear of parasites.
Paraskavedekatriaphobia - Fear of Friday the 13th.
Parthenophobia - Fear of virgins or young girls.
Pathophobia - Fear of disease.
Patroiophobia - Fear of heredity.
Parturiphobia - Fear of childbirth.
Peccatophobia - Fear of sinning or imaginary crimes.
Pediculophobia - Fear of lice.
Pediophobia - Fear of dolls.
Pedophobia - Fear of children.
Peladophobia - Fear of bald people.
Pellagrophobia - Fear of pellagra.
Peniaphobia - Fear of poverty.
Pentheraphobia - Fear of mother-in-law. (Novercaphobia).
Phagophobia - Fear of swallowing or of eating or of being eaten.
Phalacrophobia - Fear of becoming bald.
Phallophobia - Fear of a penis, esp. erect.
Pharmacophobia - Fear of taking medicine.
Phasmophobia - Fear of ghosts.
Phengophobia - Fear of daylight or sunshine.
Philemaphobia or Philematophobia - Fear of kissing.
Philophobia - Fear of falling in love or being in love.
Philosophobia - Fear of philosophy.
Phobophobia - Fear of phobias.
Photoaugliaphobia - Fear of glaring lights.
Photophobia - Fear of light.
Phonophobia - Fear of noises or voices or one's own voice; of telephones.
Phronemophobia - Fear of thinking.
Phthiriophobia - Fear of lice. (Pediculophobia).
Phthisiophobia - Fear of tuberculosis.
Placophobia - Fear of tombstones.
Plutophobia - Fear of wealth.
Pluviophobia - Fear of rain or of being rained on.
Pneumatiphobia - Fear of spirits.
Pnigophobia or Pnigerophobia - Fear of choking of being smothered.
Pocrescophobia - Fear of gaining weight. (Obesophobia).
Pogonophobia - Fear of beards.
Poliosophobia - Fear of contracting poliomyelitis.
Politicophobia - Fear or abnormal dislike of politicians.
Polyphobia - Fear of many things.
Poinephobia - Fear of punishment.
Ponophobia - Fear of overworking or of pain.
Porphyrophobia - Fear of the color purple.
Potamophobia - Fear of rivers or running water.
Potophobia - Fear of alcohol.
Pharmacophobia - Fear of drugs.
Proctophobia - Fear of rectums.
Prosophobia - Fear of progress.
Psellismophobia - Fear of stuttering.
Psychophobia - Fear of mind.
Psychrophobia - Fear of cold.
Pteromerhanophobia - Fear of flying.
Pteronophobia - Fear of being tickled by feathers.
Pupaphobia - Fear of puppets.
Pyrexiophobia - Fear of Fever.
Pyrophobia - Fear of fire.


Radiophobia - Fear of radiation, x-rays.
Ranidaphobia - Fear of frogs.
Rectophobia - Fear of rectum or rectal diseases.
Rhabdophobia - Fear of being severely punished or beaten by a rod, or of being severely criticized. Also Fear of magic.
Rhypophobia - Fear of defecation.
Rhytiphobia - Fear of getting wrinkles.
Rupophobia - Fear of dirt.
Russophobia - Fear of Russians.


Samhainophobia - Fear of Halloween.
Sarmassophobia - Fear of love play. (Malaxophobia).
Satanophobia - Fear of Satan.
Scabiophobia - Fear of scabies.
Scatophobia - Fear of fecal matter.
Scelerophibia - Fear of bad men, burglars.
Sciophobia Sciaphobia - Fear of shadows.
Scoleciphobia - Fear of worms.
Scolionophobia - Fear of school.
Scopophobia or Scoptophobia - Fear of being seen or stared at.
Scotomaphobia - Fear of blindness in visual field.
Scotophobia - Fear of darkness. (Achluophobia).
Scriptophobia - Fear of writing in public.
Selachophobia - Fear of sharks.
Selaphobia - Fear of light flashes.
Selenophobia - Fear of the moon.
Seplophobia - Fear of decaying matter.
Sesquipedalophobia - Fear of long words.
Sexophobia - Fear of the opposite sex. (Heterophobia).
Siderodromophobia - Fear of trains, railroads or train travel.
Siderophobia - Fear of stars.
Sinistrophobia - Fear of things to the left or left-handed.
Sinophobia - Fear of Chinese, Chinese culture.
Sitophobia or Sitiophobia - Fear of food or eating. (Cibophobia).
Snakephobia - Fear of snakes. (Ophidiophobia).
Soceraphobia - Fear of parents-in-law.
Social Phobia - Fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations.
Sociophobia - Fear of society or people in general.
Somniphobia - Fear of sleep.
Sophophobia - Fear of learning.
Soteriophobia - Fear of dependence on others.
Spacephobia - Fear of outer space.
Spectrophobia - Fear of specters or ghosts.
Spermatophobia or Spermophobia - Fear of germs.
Spheksophobia - Fear of wasps.
Stasibasiphobia or Stasiphobia - Fear of standing or walking. (Ambulophobia).
Staurophobia - Fear of crosses or the crucifix.
Stenophobia - Fear of narrow things or places.
Stygiophobia or Stigiophobia - Fear of hell.
Suriphobia - Fear of mice.
Symbolophobia - Fear of symbolism.
Symmetrophobia - Fear of symmetry.
Syngenesophobia - Fear of relatives.
Syphilophobia - Fear of syphilis.


Tachophobia - Fear of speed.
Taeniophobia or Teniophobia - Fear of tapeworms.
Taphephobia Taphophobia - Fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries.
Tapinophobia - Fear of being contagious.
Taurophobia - Fear of bulls.
Technophobia - Fear of technology.
Teleophobia - Fear of definite plans.
Telephonophobia - Fear of telephones.
Teratophobia - Fear of bearing a deformed child or Fear of monsters or deformed people.
Testophobia - Fear of taking tests.
Tetanophobia - Fear of lockjaw, tetanus.
Teutophobia - Fear of German or German things.
Textophobia - Fear of certain fabrics.
Thaasophobia - Fear of sitting.
Thalassophobia - Fear of the sea.
Thanatophobia or Thantophobia - Fear of death or dying.
Theatrophobia - Fear of theatres.
Theologicophobia - Fear of theology.
Theophobia - Fear of gods or religion.
Thermophobia - Fear of heat.
Tocophobia - Fear of pregnancy or childbirth.
Tomophobia - Fear of surgical operations.
Tonitrophobia - Fear of thunder.
Topophobia - Fear of certain places or situations, such as stage fright.
Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia - Fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned.
Traumatophobia - Fear of injury.
Tremophobia - Fear of trembling.
Trichinophobia - Fear of trichinosis.
Trichopathophobia or Trichophobia - Fear of hair. (Chaetophobia, Hypertrichophobia)
Triskaidekaphobia - Fear of the number 13.
Tropophobia - Fear of moving or making changes.
Trypanophobia - Fear of injections.
Tuberculophobia - Fear of tuberculosis.
Tyrannophobia - Fear of tyrants.


Uranophobia or Ouranophobia - Fear of heaven.
Urophobia - Fear of urine or urinating.


Vaccinophobia - Fear of vaccination.
Venustraphobia - Fear of beautiful women.
Verbophobia - Fear of words.
Verminophobia - Fear of germs.
Vestiphobia - Fear of clothing.
Virginitiphobia - Fear of rape.
Vitricophobia - Fear of step-father.


Walloonphobia - Fear of the Walloons.
Wiccaphobia - Fear of witches and witchcraft.


Xanthophobia - Fear of the color yellow or the word yellow.
Xenoglossophobia - Fear of foreign languages.
Xenophobia - Fear of strangers or foreigners.
Xerophobia - Fear of dryness.
Xylophobia - Fear of wooden objects.
Xyrophobia - Fear of razors.


Zelophobia - Fear of jealousy.
Zeusophobia - Fear of God or gods.
Zemmiphobia - Fear of the great mole rat.
Zoophobia - Fear of animals
Sources and Additional Information:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hot Trends are Shrinking from 100 to 40

In modern world, all the changes happen fast. About a month ago, overnight, the URL for this blog became outdated, as Google limited the listing for Hot Trends from 100 items to 40 only.

There is an official notification at the official Google Blog (9/28/2009):

Today, we're launching a new web search feature that will help you stay in touch with the latest trends on the web.

You might already be familiar with Hot Trends, which lists the fastest rising searches on the web at any given hour. Now, when you search and your query matches one of the top 100 fastest-rising search terms, we'll show you a graph at the bottom of page, with more information — like how popular the query is, how fast it's rising over time, and other useful data.

To coincide with this change, we've also reduced the number of trends listed on the Google Hot Trends homepage to 40 from 100. This feature, however, will show up for any query that matches the top 100. We hope this change will make for a simpler user experience, and help you focus better on the top, most interesting content.

This new feature is available in the U.S. and Japan. We hope it will help you keep up with everything there's to know about the latest trends online. No more being out of the loop at your office watercooler!

So, the new feature will add enormous visibility to the search strings, making to the top, intensifying the traffic to the items, which are already hot.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Killing Albino People for Profit in Tanzania

Quite unusual search term for albino people captured the top of the Google Hot Trends yesterday after   cruel assassination of an innocent Albino boy in Tanzania. The boy was hanged in ordinary way like an open execution. His legs were caught to make this happen more disgustful.

The Tanzania Albino Society (TAS) has called for the men found guilty of killing an albino boy to be hanged publicly as a warning to others.

A court sentenced them to death for attacking the boy and severing his legs for use in witchdoctors' potions.
The BBC's John Ngahyoma in Dar es Salaam says there are more than 100 people on death row, but no-one has been executed in more than 15 years. But TAS chairman Ernest Kimaya urged the president to endorse the sentence.

"I want other perpetrators to learn - seeing is believing," he told the BBC.

Mr Kimaya told Tanzania's Citizen newspaper that a public execution would also "show that the government is serious in its war on albino killers".

In the past two years, 53 albino people have been murdered in Tanzania. For example, one teacher in the northern town of Arusha has been arrested for killing his own child, who was albino. As well as the four killings, the body of an albino has also been exhumed. It was found with its limbs cut off.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Albino people, who lack pigment in their skin and appear pale, are killed because potions made from their body parts are believed to bring good luck and wealth. Renegade witch doctors have convinced locals that there are magical properties in the blood, bones and skin of people with albinism, which has created a sickening black market where the limb of an albino can bring in anywhere from $500 to $2,000. In a country where the per capita income is roughly $450 a year, that's a macabre fortune.

The Tanzanian government has publicly stated its desire to end the killings. In March, President Jakaya Kikwete called on Tanzanians to come forward with any information they might have.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Reprisal fears
Officials banned witchdoctors from practicing, however many have continued to work. Many of Tanzania's estimated 17,000 albino people are now living in fear, especially in villages in the north-west where the majority of the murders have occurred. The case in Kahama on Wednesday was the first conviction in Tanzania for an albino killing.

Correspondents say there is also a fear of reprisal killings as witchdoctors and their clients wield a lot of power in their communities. Witchdoctors in Tanzania and other parts of East Africa have made tens of thousands of dollars from selling potions and other items made from the bones, hair, skin and genitals of dead albino people. They pay a lot of money for body parts.

In July a court in neighboring Burundi sentenced one person to life in prison and eight others to jail for the murder of albino people whose remains were sold in Tanzania.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Historical Perspectives
In the early 2000s similar incidents of trading in human organs were reported to have surfaced in the country. At that time six people were believed to have been killed and skinned in Mbeya Region, south-west of Tanzania.

There was, according to media reports, a high demand for human skin in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo and one human skin would sell at between Sh168,000 (approximately US$134.4) and Sh672,000 (approximately US$537.6) at the time.

Ever since independence in 1960, Tanzania has been known as a haven of peace and political stability. Yet, this fame is slowly fading away as rampant corruption, mismanagement of national resources, poverty, the cost of living and despicable crimes are also increasing.

Although superstitious beliefs may fall under the category of complex phenomena in the society, they are, however, about control and survival mechanisms. The more powerful one is the more influential and successful one is believed to become socially, economically and politically.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sources and Additional Reading:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Speed-up your Internet Explorer 10 times with Google plug-in

Would you like, if I tell you that I can double the speed of your Internet Explorer operations, and that would not cost you a dime? No, I really mean it. And it gets even more interesting, as the new script, developed by Google, can increase the Internet Explorer speed up to 10 times!!!

It would not be an overstatement to call it one of the more interesting developments in the web landscape to come about in some time, because it finally provides a real solution to the horror that is Internet Explorer. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s an audacious start. If nothing else, it should give Microsoft a rather swift kick in the ass (thanks Jim Ray for this assessment).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

On September 22, 2009, it was released on the Google website as an early version of Google Chrome Frame, an open source plug-in that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer.

Yes, computer geeks already tested the expected improvement in Microsoft Internet Explorer operations with Google Chrome Frame and found out that Internet Explorer indeed zips through JavaScript nearly 10 times faster than usual when Google's new Chrome Frame plug-in is partnered with the browser.

According to tests run by Computerworld, Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) with the plug-in was 9.6 times faster than IE8 on its own. Computerworld ran the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark suite three times each for IE8 with Chrome Frame, and IE8 without the plug-in, then averaged the scores.

Released Tuesday, Chrome Frame lets IE utilize the Chrome browser's WebKit rendering engine, as well as its high-performance V8 JavaScript engine. Google pitched the plug-in as a way to instantly improve the performance of the notoriously slow IE, and as a way for Web developers to support standards IE can't handle, such as HTML 5.

The extra speed and HTML 5 support are necessary, said Google, if IE users are to run advanced Web applications such as Google Wave, a collaboration and communications tool that debuted last May.

Notably, IE8's SunSpider scores with Chrome Frame running equaled Google's Chrome browser, a solid indication that the plug-in effectively turns any version of IE into the speed equivalent of Chrome itself.

In spite of the remarkable improvement in Microsoft application speed, it does not seem that the Microsoft is too happy getting the boost from one of the major rivals. Microsoft has scrambled to ruin Google's party, and warned users not to download the plug-in because, and you'll like this, it potentially compromises Internet Explorer 8 security, as reported by Ars Technica.

"It's not necessarily that plug-ins aren't or can't be secure, but that running a browser within a browser doubles the potential attack surface in a way that we don't see is particularly helpful," said Amy Bazdukas, Microsoft's general manager for IE.

Bazdukas also said that by running Chrome Frame, IE8 users were unwittingly discarding all the private browsing protections that Microsoft built into its newest browser.

"Chrome Frame breaks the privacy model of IE," she claimed. "Users are not going to be able to use IE's privacy features, something that's not made apparent to users. They're essentially circumvented."

Bazdukas also maintained that IE8's browser history deletion feature is crippled by Chrome Frame; users who decide to erase the history may think it's working when it's not.

In a statement earlier today, Microsoft said using Chrome Frame is not "a risk we would recommend our friends and families take." Bazdukas, however, got more specific. "We're not saying that there's a specific security vulnerability in Chrome Frame, but the concern that plug-ins in general have had regarding security issues adds a new potential threat when Chrome Frame is used. Users have told us that they're looking for a better and safer browser, and we can't see how [using Chrome Frame] will deliver that."

Bazdukas tied Google's release of Chrome Frame to its rival's desire to promote Wave, but at the expense of IE. "Chrome Frame is all about supporting the impending release of Google Wave," she argued.

More irritating to Microsoft, though, is that Google is trying to profit from IE's position as the world's leading browser. "Google hasn't been able to make an impact on market share with Chrome," said Bazdukas, "and so they've turned to alternate means. Chrome Frame would look to capitalize on the leadership position that we have."

According to the most recent data from Web metrics company Net Applications, IE accounted for 67% of all browsers used last month, with IE8 holding a 15% share on its own. Google's Chrome, meanwhile, controlled just 3% of the browser market in August. But Bazdukas declined to say whether Microsoft could or would somehow block Chrome Frame from being used with IE. "Our focus now is making sure that users understand the tradeoffs they're making if they use Chrome Frame," she said. "People expect that things like IE8's privacy mode [will] work as advertised."

Bazdukas also countered claims by Google that IE users demand faster JavaScript and want support for protocols such as HTML 5. "HTML 5 is not a completed standard," she noted. "We're working on it very actively, and we see a lot of promise in it. But it's premature to support it."

In the end, Microsoft knows what its users want better than Google, said Bazdukas. "The many years we've been in the browser business, we've been able to get a lot of feedback from users," she said. "And they've told us that they're looking for security, privacy and reliability. With IE8, we think we've done a great job at delivering those to customers."

Are you scared by the Microsoft warnings? So, wait for the battle to settle the accounts. I am not, and I am going to try the new plug-in, since I do not think the security danger is even comparable to the benefits you get from the browser improvement.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The Chrome Frame plug-in works with IE6, IE7 and IE8 on Windows XP and Windows Vista. It's available from Google's site as a free download.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dannon recalls immunity claim for Probiotic Drinks

Yogurt manufacturer Dannon has settled a class action lawsuit that alleged that Dannon had, "overstated the yogurt's health benefits" of its Activia and DanActive yogurt lines.

There will require changing the advertising approach (see the video of Jamie Lee Curtis promoting Activia:

As part of the settlement, White Plains, N.Y.-based Dannon, a unit of France's Groupe Danone will set aside $35 million to reimburse customers up to $100 per person.

The settlement, which still needs to be approved by the federal district court in Ohio, will require a change in marketing practices -- namely, to "increase the visibility of the scientific names of the unique strains of probiotics that are in each of these products."

There are three classes of claims, with requirements based on the value of the settlement.
  • Claims under $15 - No receipt needed.
  • Claims $15 - $30 - No receipt needed, must swear under penalty of perjury.
  • Claims $30 - $100 - Receipts required and must be submitted under penalty of perjury.
According the settlement, qualified consumers should provide within reason: how many of each product was purchased, where it was purchased, the price paid, and approximately when the purchase was made. As with all class action lawsuits the claims will be handled by a third party and the actual amount paid may vary depending the number of individuals who file claims.

Michael Neuwirth, a spokesman for Dannon, explained the settlement saying, "The decision to settle this case is based on the Company's desire to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation and to quickly resume 100% focus on making products that provide proven health benefits to millions of highly satisfied consumers. This resolves the plaintiff's concerns while affirming the essence of the claims of Activia and DanActive, which are substantiated by years of scientific research."

Dannon is also cooperating with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is currently reviewing similar claims. The FTC routinely reviews consumer advertising and Dannon is confident the matter will also be resolved soon.

When the settlement is finalized consumers will be able to submit their claims by visiting (which is not yet active) or visit the CSGRR Web site to be notified when the claim form is available., the Web site of the trade publication Adweek, reported on Friday that the settlement was believed to be the largest for food-related consumer complaints.

Is the case coming closure good for the consumers? Definitely, the positive signs overweight the negative aspects. I am not even considering impact of the monetary compensation, since it is mostly enrich the class action lawyers. But, we all want the manufacturers being more responsible with their claims and more cautious before promising you a miracle cure from any health-related problems.  

Sources and Additional Information:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

World's Cheapest Car: First Tata Nano Deliveries

The world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano, hits the streets tomorrow, on Friday, August 20, 2009, as the first customer gets the keys to a vehicle that its makers hope will transform travel for millions of Indians. No wonder that the world s cheapest car search hit the top of the Google Searches. So, do not read further and give your bet. How much you would guess the cheapest car on the Earth cost? I do not know about you, but I was quite surprised when I saw that the cost of the car would be slightly higher than $2K.

It's called the Nano, for its high technology and small size. It's cute, compact, and contemporary. It's a complete four-door car with a 623-cc gas engine, gets 50 miles to the gallon, and seats up to five. It meets domestic emissions norms and will soon comply with European standards. It's 8% smaller in outer length than its closest rival, Suzuki's Maruti 800, but has 21% more volume inside. The speedometer and other instruments cluster in a central pod in the middle of the dashboard rather than directly in front of the driver, the easier (and cheaper) to offer both left- and right-hand versions when Tata Motors starts exporting the car to Southeast Asia and Africa in a couple of years. The top third of the over-sized headlights act as the turn signals (indicators) and look like cheeky yellow eyebrows above the main lights. It has a top speed of about 60 miles per hour. And at $2,000 before taxes (value-added taxes increase the price by about $250), it is the most inexpensive car in the world. The car is manufactured by a Tata Motors (TTM) plant in Singur, Bengal, and is designed to navigate India's potholed roads.

The head of the Nano team says Tata Motors has applied for 34 patents on various components and design features on the new car, though he was short on specifics. The car reportedly uses super strong glue rather than welds in some joints — a technique that a handful of other car makers have used before, though perhaps never as extensively. Tata Motors' cost-cutting drive was relentless: the windshield has just one washer rather than two, the metal steering column was hollowed out to save on steel, cheaper bearings — strong enough to perform well up to (70 kph) but fast wearing beyond that — may be used rather than more expensive components. "It's a very tight package," Ratan Tata said. Given the steep rise in the cost of steel, rubber and other inputs in the past few years, it's possible that the entry level Nano might not break even, though Tata made a point of saying the "one lakh" price tag in India will stay because "a promise is a promise". The car, the company says, will make money across its various models.

The head of Tata Motors, Ratan Tata, was to deliver the first car in person at a central Mumbai dealership, the company said. No details were immediately available about the recipient or the type of Nano being delivered.

Some 100,000 people were selected from a ballot to be the first recipients of the Nano, which reviewers have compared to the European Smart car and the classic “People’s Car”, the Volkswagen Beetle.

They include a roadside cobbler from Mumbai, who had been saving for seven years to buy a two-wheeler, but decided to wait and upgrade to four wheels on hearing that the vehicle would sell for just 100,000 rupees (2,055 dollars).

Others among the 203,000 people who placed orders included an 82-year-old former assistant commissioner of Mumbai police who used to ride a scooter and a market trader looking for an investment for his 12-year-old son.

India’s first female photo-journalist, Homi Vyarawalla, who is now in her mid-90s, has also bid for a car.

Ratan Tata launched the Nano in March, predicting the no-frills vehicle would revolutionize travel for millions of Indians, getting the growing middle-class, urban population off motorcycles and into safer, affordable cars.

Three versions of the sporty, jellybean-shaped Nano went on sale in April: the basic model and more expensive CX and LX models, which have extra features like air-conditioning, automatic windows and central locking.

The standard model sells for 140,000 rupees in the showroom. The deluxe models cost up to 185,000 rupees.

Tata Motors, part of the tea-to-steel Tata Group conglomerate, is India’s top vehicle maker but like many firms in the automotive sector has been hit by the global economic slowdown which has cut demand for trucks and cars.

Last month it posted its first consolidated full-year net loss in eight years, partly blamed on a slump in sales at luxury British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, which it bought from Ford last year.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Ancient and Modern Sea Mysteries: Mary Celeste and Arctic Sea

Mary Celeste, one of the most intriguing mysteries of all times, has appeared in the Top Google Searches today. It is hard to consider the Mary Celeste story to be a part of the hot news, but it was logically linked to the new mystery of a cargo ship Arctic Sea, which was found today after vanishing for two weeks.

Arctic Sea Story
The ship's owners, Solchart Management, confirmed to CNN that the vessel and its crew (15 seamen) were safe, following Russian media reports that it had been found near the Cape Verde islands off the West African coast by Russian military vessel Ladny.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Since it disappeared off the charts, rumors and conspiracy theories have stirred in the Russian-crewed vessel's wake, with a fog of conflicting sightings and reports doing little to help separate fact from fiction.
Conjuring plots worthy of "Hunt for Red October" author Tom Clancy, online chatter threw up numerous possibilities about the fate of the Arctic Sea, casting the ship variously as a covert weapons transporter, a drug courier or the booty in a mutinous crime venture.

Then there were the predictable supernatural explanations, invoking Bermuda Triangle legends or drawing comparisons to the Mary Celeste "ghost ship," a twin-masted merchant vessel that was found under full sail -- minus its crew -- in the Atlantic in 1872.

Fueling the Cold War-style conspiracies was Moscow's involvement: The Kremlin said the Russian Navy, backed by space hardware, was in hot pursuit of the Arctic Sea. Sightings of Russian attack submarines off the U.S. coast last week have only helped to fan the flames.

However fanciful, these theories did at least attempt to explain why anyone -- whether hijackers, pirates, or spies -- would be interested in a 17-year-old Turkish-built, Maltese-flagged vessel with a rather mundane payload of Scandinavian wood.

An apparent ransom demand, which Finnish police said had been issued to shipping company Solchart Management, suggested some motive for abducting the vessel, but did little to clarify the events since the ship was reportedly boarded by hijackers on July 24.

After that incident off the coast of Sweden, according to a confusing array of sightings and reports, the Arctic Sea sailed through the English Channel, was possibly hijacked a second time off Portugal, vanished on July 31, was sighted off the Cape Verde islands on Friday and then blipped back onto computer screens in the Bay of Biscay for a fleeting moment on Saturday.

There is the real possibility that much of the mystery surrounding the ship is as a result of a media blackout imposed by military and law enforcement agencies to protect the lives of the 15 crewmen as they attempted to take out or negotiate with those behind an extortion bid.

Micro-blogging site Twitter, meanwhile, worked overtime to try to fill this vacuum of facts, with users collating and swapping a litany of claims by unnamed sources and sketchy media reports.

Some speculated the disappearance was part of a Russian military training exercise, or perhaps a rehearsal for a 9/11-style terror event involving non-military merchant craft bound for the United States.

Piracy theorists meanwhile speculated that the ship's original boarders never left, maintaining an illusion of normality through the English Channel before spiriting it off to an unmonitored port for resale.
While this seemed one of the most credible explanations, maritime experts expressed strong doubts that such an attack would or even could take place in heavily-policed European waters.

Others worked with the premise that the ship was never boarded in the first place, and accounts of the hijacking were fabricated by the crew with the intention of making off with the ship and selling it on.
The most dramatic theories argued that the Arctic Sea picked up weapons or a mafia drugs consignment while undergoing maintenance during a recent port call in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, then the drug deal went sour, or the weapons mission attracted outside intervention.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the Russian Maritime Bulletin, told CNN he believed the Arctic Sea must have been carrying a "secret cargo", to attract such attention, however he would not elaborate on its nature.
In a breathtakingly bold piece of geo-political deduction that now looks largely discredited, one Russian Web site took this even further, detailing a plot that had the Kremlin using the Arctic Sea to deliver cruise missiles to Iran with the aim of drawing U.S. attention away from territorial disputes with Georgia. However, it claimed, the mission was thwarted by a covert U.S. military operation.

Will we know the truth?

Not sure.

Mary Celeste Story
While there are very slim chances that the real story of the Russian Arctic Sea will ever be discovered, the mystery of the famous Mary Celeste attracted curious minds of the many generations. Here is a brief case review with the most probable explanation.

The British brigantine Dei Gratia came upon the Mary Celeste sailing erratically midway between the Azores and Portugal on 4 December 1872. The crew could spot no one on deck threw their spy glass so the captain of the Dei Gratia dispatched a boarding party lead by 1st Mate Oliver Deveau. Deveau's team reported that the ship was fully provisioned and perfectly seaworthy yet mysteriously abandoned. A few clues indicated the crew of the Mary Celeste had quickly launched a small yawl for no apparent reason.

The Mary C had departed New York on 5 November loaded with 1,709 barrels of grain alcohol bound for Genoa, Italy.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The crew endured strong winds from the time they left New York until arriving at Santa Maria Island in the Azores --- they'd sailed the last few hundreds miles in a gale.

It seems reasonable to suggest that in order to take a break from the pounding, the captain gave the order to sail to the lee side of Santa Maria Island where the cook started a fire in the large galley stove to make hot food while other members of the crew furled most of the sails, leaving just enough canvas up to hold her course as they made their way slowly along the lee shore. Other crew members set about pumping the bilge and doing other chores. When the food was ready, the men stopped what they were doing and ate. After taking a smoke break, the Captain gave orders to get underway and the crew went back to work. Some went back to pumping the bilge; others started to set the sails they had just furled. Just then the seafloor started dancing up and down in a violent seaquake, relatively common in the Azores

During rapid vertically shifting of the hard bottom, the seabed becomes like a giant transducer, pushing and pulling the water, sending powerful alternating pressure waves towards the surface. The results onboard the boat were as if there was no sea at all under the ship....just as though the vessel was setting on dry land during an earthquake. The deck on the Mary Celeste shook violently. The severe vibrations loosened the stays around nine barrels, dumping almost 500 gallons of raw alcohol into the bilge. Fumes spread rapidly throughout the boat. The seaquake also shook the galley stove so violently that it was lifted up from its chocks and set down out of place.

Choking on the alcohol fumes from the leaking barrels while seeing sparks and embers flying about from the fire in the cooking stove was all it took to send the crew into panic and cause them to quickly launch the small yawl and try to get away from the coming explosion.

The elation the crew felt when the alcohol fumes did not explode was short lived.

In the fear of the moment, the crew forgot to secure a line from the life boat to the mother ship. They watched in dismay as the Mary Celeste, now crewless, sailed slowly away from the yawl with her jib and two other small sails set.  As she pulled away from the small sailing yawl, the men had to decide  quickly whether to try to catch up with their ship, or go for the safety of Santa Maria Island, less than 10 miles away. They likely argued about the merits of each course of action, but, knowing they would be disgraced for having abandoned their seaworthy boat and her valuable cargo, they chose to try to catch the Mary C in the small yawl, hoping (1) they could overcome her, or (2) the wind would shift and cause her to tack back towards them. Each day of their journey carried them further and further away from the safety of Santa Maria. They never caught up to their mother ship. Five months later, five highly decomposed bodies were found tied to two rafts off the coast of Spain. One was flying an American flag. Thus is the fate of the crew the greatest sea mystery ever told.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Definitely, this is just one of the versions of what really happened. What were the other versions? Piracy was immediately ruled out as personal effects were left by the crew, which would have been instantly looted and there had been no reports of pirates around the Azores for many years. Mutiny, storm, underwater earthquake and tsunami have all been touted as possible reasons, but all dismissed. No undersea tremors were recorded by either Briggs or Moorhouse. Briggs was a fair captain, ruling out mutiny. The same can be said for storms, while tsunami was ruled out as the effects would do little or no damage in deep water, apart from a freak wave that would totally destroy the ship. Waterspout is a logical explanation which would explain the water on board, while risk of explosion, considering the cargo of alcohol onboard, would cause the crew to leave the ship hastily. Other more far fetched theories have involved alien abduction and sea monsters.

While placing the underwater quake under question, the fire version remains unbeaten yet. But if there was a fire, why there were no obvious traces of fire or explosion on the ship, when it was found? To answer the question, Chemist Dr. Andrea Sella built a replica of the Mary Celeste’s. He used paper cubes and simulated an explosion with butane gas. The paper cubes neither burned nor blackened. The replica of the hold wasn’t damaged. The fire was a pressure-wave explosive. There was an astonishing burst of flame. Cool air was behind it, but there was no burning, soot or scorching. The explosion could have blown open the hatches. Such a massive flare-up could have been triggered by a spark caused when two loose barrels rubbed together or when a crewman, smoking a pipe, opened a hatch to ventilate the hold. According to records, 300 gallons of alcohol leaked – more than enough to create an explosion.