Saturday, October 30, 2010

Solution to a Complex Problem

Many years ago in a small Indian village,

A farmer had the misfortune Of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender.

The Moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautiful Daughter. So he proposed a bargain.

He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his Daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the Proposal.

So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let Providence decide the matter.

He told them that he would put a black Pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would Have to pick one pebble from the bag.

1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.

2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.

3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into Jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As They talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he Picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two Black pebbles and put them into the bag.

He then asked the girl to pick A pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field.. What would you have Done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you Have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.

2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag And expose the money-lender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order To save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with The hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral And logical thinking.

The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with Traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses

The above logical answers.

What would you recommend to the Girl to do?

Well, here is what she did ....

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without Looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path Where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the Bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I Picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had Picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his Dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into An extremely advantageous one.


Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don't Attempt to think.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Telescope finds Ghosts of the Future

Cambridge, MA: Astronomers using the South Pole Telescope report that they have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster yet seen at a distance of 7 billion light-years. The cluster (designated SPT-CL J0546-5345) weighs in at around 800 trillion Suns, and holds hundreds of galaxies.

An infrared/optical representative-colour image of a massive galaxy cluster located 7 billion light-years from Earth. This cluster weighs as much as 800 trillion Suns. Galaxies with "old" stellar populations, like modern-day elliptical, are circled in yellow; galaxies with "young" stellar populations, like modern-day spirals, are circled in blue. Credit: Infrared Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Brodwin (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) Optical Image: CTIO Blanco 4-m telescope/J. Mohr (LMU Munich)

"This galaxy cluster wins the heavyweight title. It's among the most massive clusters ever found at this distance," said Mark Brodwin, a Smithsonian astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Brodwin is first author on the paper announcing the discovery, which appeared in the Astrophysical Journal.

Redshift measures how light from a distant object has been stretched by the universe's expansion. Located in the southern constellation Pictor (the Painter), the cluster has a redshift of z=1.07. This puts it at a distance of about 7 billion light-years, meaning we see it as it appeared 7 billion years ago, when the universe was half as old as now and our solar system didn't exist yet.

Even at that young age, the cluster was almost as massive as the nearby Coma cluster. Since then, it should have grown about four times larger. If we could see it as it appears today, it would be one of the most massive galaxy clusters in the universe.

"This cluster is full of 'old' galaxies, meaning that it had to come together very early in the universe's history - within the first two billion years," stated Brodwin.

This optical image of the new found galaxy cluster highlights how faint and reddened these galaxies are due to their great distance. The cluster remained hidden until the South Pole Telescope spotted it by looking for distortions in the cosmic microwave background. (Such distortions are called the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect.) The blue streak is a satellite passing through the field of view during the timed exposure. Credit: CTIO Blanco 4-m telescope/J. Mohr (LMU Munich)

Galaxy clusters like this can be used to study how dark matter and dark energy influenced the growth of cosmic structures. Long ago, the universe was smaller and more compact, so gravity had a greater influence. It was easier for galaxy clusters to grow, especially in areas that already were denser than their surroundings.

"You could say that the rich get richer, and the dense get denser," quipped Harvard astronomer Robert Kirshner, commenting on the study.

As the universe expanded at an accelerating rate due to dark energy, it grew more diffuse. Dark energy now dominates over the pull of gravity and chokes off the formation of new galaxy clusters.

Brodwin and his colleagues spotted their quarry in the first 200 square degrees of data collected from the new South Pole Telescope. The SPT is currently completing its pioneering millimeter-wave survey of a huge swath of sky covering 2,500 square degrees.

They're hunting for giant galaxy clusters using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect - a small distortion of the cosmic microwave background (a pervasive all-sky glow left over from the Big Bang). Such distortions are created as background radiation passes through a large galaxy cluster.

Astronomers using the South Pole Telescope report that they have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster yet seen at a distance of 7 billion light-years.

Surveying for this effect has significant advantages over other search techniques. It works just as well for very distant clusters as for nearby clusters, which allows astronomers to find very rare, distant, massive clusters. Further, it provides accurate measurements of the masses of these clusters, which are crucial to unraveling the nature of dark energy.

The main goal of the SPT survey is to find a large sample of massive galaxy clusters in order to measure the equation of state of the dark energy, which characterizes cosmic inflation and the accelerated expansion of the universe.

Once this distant cluster was found, the team studied it with the Infrared Array Camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope to pinpoint galaxies within the cluster. Detailed observations of the galaxies' speeds with the Magellan telescopes in Chile proved that the galaxy cluster was a heavyweight.

The team expects to find many more giant galaxy clusters lurking in the distance once the South Pole Telescope survey is completed.

"After many years of effort, these early successes are very exciting. The full SPT survey, to be completed next year, will rewrite the book on the most massive clusters in the early universe," said Brodwin.

Source: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A chicken farmer went to a local bar.... Sat next to a woman and
Ordered a glass of champagne...

The woman perks up and says, 'How about that? I just ordered a
Glass of champagne, too!'

'What a coincidence' the farmer says. 'This is a special day for
Me.... I am celebrating'

'This is a special day for me too, I am also celebrating!' says the woman.

'What a coincidence!' says the farmer! As they clinked glasses the
Man asked, 'What are you celebrating?'

'My husband and I have been trying to have a child and today my
Gynaecologist told me that I am pregnant!'

'What a coincidence,' says the man. 'I'm a chicken farmer and for years
All of my hens were infertile, but today they are all laying fertilized eggs.'

'That's great!' says the woman. 'How did your chickens become fertile?'

'I used a different cock,' he replied.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10 Most Important People in a Woman's Life

1. The doctor because he says, "Take off your clothes"

2. The dentist because he says, "Open Wide"

3. The hairdresser because he says, "Do you want it teased or blown"

4. The milkman because he says, "Do you want it in the front or in back?"

5. The Interior Decorator because he says, "Once you have it all in, you'll love it!"

6. The banker because he says,"If you take it out too soon, you'll lose interest"

7. The police officer because he says, "Spread 'em"

8. The mailman because he always delivers his package.

9. The pilot because he takes off fast and then slows down.

10. The hunter because he always goes deep in the bush, shoots twice and always eats what he shoots.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Wife is Expecting

A young private sought permission from his Commanding Officer to leave camp the following weekend. "You see," he explained, "my wife's expecting."

"Oh..." said the Officer, "I understand. Go ahead and tell your wife that I wish her luck."

The following week the same soldier was back again with the same explanation: "My wife's expecting."

The Officer looked surprised. "Still expecting?" he said, "Well, well, my boy, you must be pretty bothered. Of course you can have the week-end off."

When the same soldier appeared again the third week, however, the Officer lost his temper. "Don't tell me your wife is still expecting!" he bellowed.

"Yes Sir!" said the soldier resolutely, "She's still expecting."

"What in heaven is she expecting?" cried the Officer.

"Me." said the soldier simply.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Equal Privileges

A country club didn't allow women on the golf course. Eventually, there was enough pressure that they decided to allow women on the course during the week.

The ladies were satisfied with this arrangement, formed a women's club and became very active.

After about 6 months, the club board received a letter from the women's club complaining about the men, urinating on the golf course. Naturally, they just ignored the matter.

After another 6 months, they received another letter reminding them of the previous letter and demanding action.

After due deliberation they sent the women a letter advising them that they had been granted equal privileges!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Google TV to Debut This Month

Google Inc's TV service, debuting this month on Sony Corp and Logitech International SA devices, will include content from Time Warner Inc's HBO, General Electric Co's NBC, Netflix Inc and Twitter Inc.

Google, which first announced the service in May, also will feature TBS, TNT, CNN and the Cartoon Network channels, and an application from the National Basketball Association, according to a blog posting. In addition to Sony and Logitech, Dish Network Corp has said it plans to deliver the service.

"This is just the beginning," Google said on the blog. "Over the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from more sites that are enhancing their Web content for the television."

The companies aim to capitalize on growing demand for content that combines Internet features with television programming. For Google, the world's most popular search engine, the TV service provides a new way to sell advertising, which makes up most of its revenue.

NBC will provide CNBC Real-Time, an application that combines stock information and financial news. HBO will contribute a service called HBO GO, which lets users access shows on-demand. Other Web content partners include the New York Times Co, Pandora Media Inc and Inc's Amazon Video on Demand, which will offer access to more than 75,000 titles.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Stronger Theory

Few centuries ago, a Law teacher came across a student who was willing to learn but was unable to pay the fee. The student struck a deal saying ' I would pay your fee the day I win my first case in the court'.

Teacher agreed and proceeded with the law course.

When the course was finished and teacher started pestering the student to pay up the fee, student reminded the deal and pushed days. Fed up with this, the teacher decided to sue the student in the court of law and both of them decided to argue for themselves.

The teacher put forward his argument saying : "If I win this case, as per the court of law, student has to pay me.

And if I lose the case, student will still pay me because he would have won his first case. So either way I will have to get the money".

Equally brilliant student argued back saying : "If I win the case, as per the court of law, I don't have to pay anything to the teacher. And if I lose the case, I don't have to pay him because I haven't won my first case yet. So either way, I am not going to pay the teacher anything".

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Smart Kid Archer

A duke was hunting in the forest with his men-at-arms and servants; he came across a tree. Upon it, archery targets were painted and smack in the middle of each was an arrow.

"Who is this incredibly fine archer?" cried the duke. "I must find him!"

After continuing through the forest for a few miles he came across a small boy carrying a bow and arrow. Eventually the boy admitted that it was he who shot the arrows plumb in the center of all the targets.

"You didn't just walk up to the targets and hammer the arrows into the middle, did you?" asked the duke worriedly.

"No my lord. I shot them from a hundred paces. I swear it by all that I hold holy."

"That is truly astonishing," said the duke. "I hereby admit you into my service."

The boy thanked him profusely.

"But I must ask one favor in return," the duke continued. "You must tell me how you came to be such an outstanding shot."

"Well," said the boy, "first I fire the arrow at the tree, and then I paint the target around it."

Friday, October 15, 2010

What's Your Office Personality?

Suggesting that a person may actually find people surrounding him at work awful, a book author has highlighted various ways in which one may have to face bad office behaviour.

"People actually get away with really bad behaviour and they do it all the time," the Courier Mail quoted Michael Stanford, author of Inhuman Resources: A guide to the psychos, misfits and criminally incompetent in every office, as saying.

"They get away with it because human nature is that we sort of accept things after awhile.

"At first we’re shocked and then we start to accept it. Over time, companies and cultures start to accept this sort of behaviour and even reward it," he added.

He believes that his book may help reassure ‘the nice people’ in the office that the bullies, crazies and lazies are actually as bad as they seem.

"I think it’s important that you give people the opportunity to look at behaviour and think ‘that’s just not acceptable,’" he said.

But Stanford, who admits seeing himself in a few of the types, also suggests people not to be too harsh.

"We’ve all done things we probably shouldn’t have in the name of paying the mortgage or thinking ‘I should cover myself here,’" he says.

Here are some of the most common office types, and how to handle them:

1. ‘I’m disappointed in you’ person
"Those sorts of people like to patronise people who are younger, like to lecture them and tell you you’re doing it wrong. They actually do it for their own sake. I think it was like mental harassment, there was one point where I actually had to hide to avoid being mentored," says Stanford.

2. The ‘I’m actually really nice’ person
The author says that this is one the most common office misfits, but also the most toxic. "That’s the person who sort of does something really nasty, like they’ll send an email saying ‘this person didn’t’ do their job’ or ‘this person took a can of Coke from the fridge’ and they’ll blind copy in all of senior management. Then in the next minute they’ll organise a gluten free cake for this person," he says.

3. The ‘I’m just so sick, but I’m too important to go home’ person.
Stanford says that such people worry that "the world with stop, there will be tumbleweeds rolling down the office corridor, the office will shut down," if they call in sick. "They pride themselves on their work ethic but they cut the workforce participation by 20 per cent each year by leaving soggy tissues and coughing all over you," he said.

4. ‘I know stuff before you do’ person
According to Stanford, such people feed off misery, fear of job cuts, and love spreading bad news.
"They kind of love the idea that things aren’t working out, they love problems. They definitely thrive on a bad situation; they love the fact that hey might know a little bite more than anyone else," he said.

5. The ‘I, I ... I’ person.
Stanford says that such people step in at the last minute to swoop in, and claim all the credit, leaving shocked co-workers in their wake. People who claim all the success and cleverly distance themselves from any failure.

6. ‘Let’s have a meeting before the meeting’ person
The writer says that such persons thrive in big offices, where they can spend their days going to meetings instead of actually working.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tips on Behavioral Interview

Definitions: The behavioral interview technique is used by employers to evaluate a candidate's experiences and behaviors in order to determine their potential for success.

"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior"

Behavioral Interviews are very common today. Behavioral interview questions are designed to find out how you would react (or have reacted) in specific situations. The idea is that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. You must be prepared for some of these questions; they are often quite difficult to answer well without preparation.

A behavioral interview is one of the methods recruiters use to establish your potential to succeed. In the majority of cases, the company will prepare specific questions for you to answer. The answers you give will then be used to determine your potential and your ability to perform the role you are applying for.

The "behavioral interview" is based upon the premise that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.

The central role of interviewing in most selection processes demands that the interviewer is skilled to collect the most relevant and valid behavioral examples from candidates to

Behavioral interviews are commonly used by larger international companies to get a better sense of how a candidate approaches tasks and solves problems. This type of interview usually focuses on a number of individual 'behaviors' or 'competencies' that the company has identified as being particularly important for the job. These competencies would include teamwork, creativity, persistence, communications and so on.

The technique that the interviewer uses is to ask the candidate to describe situations that they have actually experienced. For example, if they want to examine the issue of teamwork they might ask you about your best team experience and why you consider it the best.

The basic idea is that past performance determines future performance and if you have strong teamwork capabilities or tendencies this will come through when you describe your best team. A candidate who prefers to work alone will find it difficult to think about and describe an effective team.

The Behavioral Interview - Some Tips

The interviewer asks specific questions about a candidate's skills, character and preferences based on examples of past behavior. During the behavioral interview, questions are directed towards specific experiences. Some examples are shown below:

"Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person at work."

"What proactive steps have you taken to make your workplace more efficient and productive? Specifically describe a policy, project or system you created or initiated."

"Describe a high pressure situation you had to handle at work. Tell me what happened, who was involved and what you did in terms of problem solving."

"Some situations require us to express ideas or opinions in a very tactful and careful way. Tell me about a time when you were successful in this type of situation."

Helpful Hints:

The key in behavioral interviewing is to paint a picture of the reasons and think about the decision or behavior without bringing in unessential details. It is expected that forming an answer will take time. Think your examples through.

Be aware of the tendency to become too relaxed and reveal information that you didn't intend to share. You need to do your part to foster the conversational tone, but don't become so relaxed that you start straying from the point. Be friendly and remain professional.


Behavioral interviewing is a structured interview style based on the premise that ?past behavior predicts future performance.? Many employers use this interview style. As an increasing number of employers are starting to recognize its value, the behavioral interview is growing in popularity.

The Behavioral Interviewing Technique is being used by most reputable organizations.

Interviewers using this technique will ask questions to draw out examples of situations that you have encountered and how you handled them. Prior to the interview, your prospective employer has already identified the skills necessary for the position. The interview questions are then carefully designed to probe into your experiences. The goal of the interviewer is to determine if your skills are the best match for the position.

Sample Behavioral Interview Questions

One of the keys to success in interviewing is practice, so we encourage you to take the time to work out answers to these questions using one of the suggested methods, such as the STAR approach.

Here is one list of sample behavioral-based interview questions:

Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.

Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.

Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone's opinion.

Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.

Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.

Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.

Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.

What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.

Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).

Tell me about a difficult decision you've made in the last year.

Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.

Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.

Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.

Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.

Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.

Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.

Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.

Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.

Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.

Please tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.

Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).

STAR Technique for Behavioral Job Interviews:

One strategy for preparing for behavioral interviews is to use the STAR Technique, as outlined below. (This technique is often referred to as the SAR and PAR techniques as well.)

Situation or

Task Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.

Action you took Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did -- not the efforts of the team. Don't tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved what happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

Employers use the behavioral interview technique to evaluate a candidate’s experiences and behaviors so they can determine the applicant’s potential for success. The interviewer identifies job-related experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that the company has decided are desirable in a particular position. For example, some of the characteristics that few companies look for include:

Critical thinking

Being a self-starter

Willingness to learn

Willingness to travel




Here's a good way to prepare for behavior-based interviews:

Identify six to eight examples from your past experience where you demonstrated top behaviors and skills that employers typically seek. Think in terms of examples that will exploit your top selling points.

Half your examples should be totally positive, such as accomplishments or meeting goals.

The other half should be situations that started out negatively but either ended positively or you made the best of the outcome.

Vary your examples; don't take them all from just one area of your life.

Use fairly recent examples. If you're a college student, examples from high school may be too long ago.

Try to describe examples in story form and/or PAR/SAR/STAR.

What's behind behavioral interviews?

Good behavioral interviews are put together after careful on the job research. The recruiter "benchmarks" top performers in a role, isolates in detail the competencies required to perform that role, then writes questions to allow the interviewee demonstrate those competencies.

How are you assessed in a behavioral interview?

You are judged on the "quality" of the example you provide. Under each competency there's a set of behaviors that the recruiter will mentally, if not physically, be ticking off as you answer each question. You may be asked the same question in different ways to verify that your skills are well developed and that you've used them consistently.

However if you find coming up with the examples easy, then you're likely to be a good fit

List of typical behaviors that employers might be trying to get at from job-seekers in a behavior-based interview:

Desired Behaviors:







Development of Subordinates














Planning and Organizing

Rapport Building

Risk Taking


Strategic Analysis

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Importance of the Job

3 men where at the FBI Building for a job interview. The first man walked into the office.

The interviewing FBI agent said "To be in the FBI you must be loyal, dedicated, and give us your all. Your wife is in the next room. I want you to go in there and shoot her with this gun."

The man took the gun, hesitated, and said "Sorry, I can't do it."

The next interviewee came into the office. The agent said "To be in the FBI you must be loyal, dedicated, and give us your all. Your wife is in the next room. I want you to go in there and shoot her with this gun."

The man took the gun, walked into the room, then walked back out. "Sorry," he said.

The last man came into the office. This guy really wanted the job. The interviewer said "To be in the FBI you must be loyal, dedicated, and give us your all.

Your wife is in the next room. I want you to go in there and shoot her with this gun."

The man took the gun and went into the room. The agent heard 6 shots, silence, then a lot of screaming.

Shortly, the man came out of the room and said "Someone loaded the gun with blanks, so I beat her to death with the curtain railing!"
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