Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Shocking Reality of America

To date it is rare to see a news report, movie, radio show, or even people talking about poverty or the poor in the US. Even if they speak about poor people it is spoken in comparison with poorer countries like India. Several months ago I read an article about an individual who went to Bangalore to get an heart bypass surgery done, because he couldn't afford it in the US. The writer of the article had given such a twist that it showed India as a nation without any healthcare facilities for poor people.

Anyway coming back to this instance of blogging I was reading about Lawrie Covey, who lost her job two years ago and has been living on unemployment benefits. She is 58 and she is struggling to make ends meet. She is selling her blood plasma twice a week for a paltry $50. This is the reality of the poor in the US... not much different from the poor in India on the surface. But there is a difference... a huge difference, created by the government.

This woman owns a car (old and beat up), lives in a proper home (rented), enjoys central heating, cooling, and has internet access. This is the difference that the Indian government could make in the lives of its people, provide the infrastructure facilities such as clean running water, electricity, internet, roads, and most importantly quality education for all.

Poverty has been, is now and will continue to be an integral part of any country's population. There simply cannot be a country, society, or region of the world without disparity in financial strength of its people. And when people get desperate for money, be it in India or in the US they will be willing to sell anything... including their own blood to make ends meet....

That is the irony of life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Make Money on Twitter!!!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Sponsored Tweets. All opinions are 100% mine.

The growth of social media is providing immensely large number of earning opportunities to enterprising individuals. I personally have been affected in a positive way by social media. My first exposure to social marketing was through payperpost, then it was social spark, and now the latest buzz in the social media marketing arena is twitter. The pioneers in social media IZEA Inc is offering a grand opportunity to make money on Twitter. You could simply sign up for sponsored tweets and start earning off of your twitter account.


Hitherto it was mainly social entrepreneurs signing up to earn a few dollars more. But with IZEA's entry into Twitter, several celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Bob Vila, Sister Hazel and Leann Rimes have jumped onto the bandwagon and are making money tweeting.

Getting sponsored tweets is not difficult, all you need to do is sign up for a twitter account and register the same with Izea. Advertisers will contact you with offers to tweet their message across your networks, you can set your own price for tweets and also for clicks. Moreover you have the choice whether or not to accept an advertiser's offer. If you are not interested in the offer you can simply refuse to tweet the message.

The more popular you are online the better this scheme works for you. So gather up all your friend's e-mail ids and invite them to follow you on twitter. The larger your followers circle, the more money you stand to make.

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Wondering What to Blog about???

I have been pretty lax about blogging of late. Truth is nothing exciting is happening in my life and with school, part time jobs, and job hunting I hardly get any time to spend in front of this 'intelligent box'. Yep I called the laptop computer 'intelligent box' because the TV has been called the 'idiot box' for a long long time... I call the PC an intelligent box because this makes one think and attempt to create something. More often than not while working on the PC the mind gets stimulated, while the same doesn't happen while watching TV.

Coming back to my life in the Big D, within Big T, which is within the Big A has remained pretty much the same over the past two years. We moved from one city to another within 9 miles distance. The job market is as bad as it was when I landed here... probably a little worse. All my life in India I never had to struggle to find a job. In fact I always had couple of offers on hand. I have never felt so worthless in my life than here in the US looking for the elusive job.

I wonder when I will land a proper full-time job in this country. Sometimes I wonder whether I will ever get a job, sometimes I feel hopeful that I will get a particular job when I apply but it soon fizzles out like a damp squib. Life is such that one has to keep doing something to make a living and that is what I am doing. Trying to make a living... it is difficult but I am trying... and will continue to keep trying.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Seeking a career in Culinary Arts???

The economic downturn has seen thousands seeking out schools in the quest for a career switch. One of the careers that will never go out of fashion is in the food and beverage industry. Popularly known as culinary arts, this will remain in trend till people are eating and drinking. To make it big in this glamorous industry one has to attend a good culinary institute.

One of the highly regarded schools in this field would be the Northwest Culinary Institute, a division of International Air and Hospitality Academy, Vancouver, Washington. The 15,000 sq ft facility recruits 20 new students every quarter and the best part about it is that they offer culinary scholarships, financial aid and housing to all their students. An education at Northwest Culinary Institute is a sureshot passport to a successful career in the hospitality industry.

Weird News: Whiskey Hunt in Antartica!!!

When I read this news item on MSN, my first reaction was something like "Can people get any crazier?" Apparently in 1909 a few cases whiskey that were sent for an expedition to the South Pole. Now after a century a New Zealand based beverage company has suddenly woken up and recruited a drilling company to bore through the ice and find the "vintage" whiskey.

Why do they want to dig up this whiskey from the depths of Antartic ice caps? They want to explore the possibility of relaunching the brand again. I wonder if they had forgotten to document the recipie and manufacturing methodology a century ago or whether there is something more interesting in the Whiskey.

Whatever it is the bottom line is that this probably would be the most expensive case of whiskey. The price will not be paid just by the beverage company that is drilling for the drink or the consumers who will get to drink this "stored in south pole" whiskey, but by the rest of the world who will probably suffer the after effects for centuries to come.

For those who think global warming and environmental destruction is a hoax, it is "cheers" all the way...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Attn: Film Makers! Here is your chance to win $5,000

The internet has really changed the way advertising works. This is specially the case in the US where everyone's life is so dependent on the internet. In a bit to capitalizing on the power of the world wide web, Abbott Medical Optics Inc. (AMO), has launched the “You Gotta See This” Video Contest. AMO is a global leader in laser vision correction aka Lasik.

This video contest is primarily aimed at popularizing the benefits of Lasik surgery and as such another name for the mega competition is iLASIK Video Contest. AMO hopes to show to the world how better vision can improve the quality of life of individuals. The contest invited users to produce a video showing how better vision has improved their life. Entries can include original music videos, sporting videos, or simply visions of improvements in daily life with better vision.

The most important part of any contest are the prizes. AMO has pulled out all stops to ensure that winners are rewarded suitably. Hence there is a grand prize of $5,000; One first prize in each category which is a HDTV package of $2,500 value; one Second prize, The Flip UltraHD™ camcorder of $199.99 value.

All you need to do is to submit a video in one of three categories:
• “My contacts are getting in the way of my good time”
• “My favorite sport or activity would be so much cooler with better vision”
• “You should see life after the iLASIK® Procedure”

Once the video is submitted you could either wait and watch for visitors to vote for your video or ask all your friends and family to log in and vote. The more votes the better chance you have at winning that grand prize of $5,000. What are you waiting for, just pick up that camera from the closet and start shooting the video.


Movie Review: Mojave Moon

Only For Die Hard Fans of Angelina Jolie
I wouldn't have watched this movie if it were not freely available on Youtube and if I didn't have a few hours to kill and was feeling too lazy to go out and do something productive. Anyway the highlight of this movie is the surgeon's masterpiece Angelina Jolie, in her pre-famous avatar.

The movie starts with Al McCord, a divorced used-car dealer from New York, who is trying to make a new life in Los Angeles. When he is hanging out at his favorite restaurant with friends and gawking at the beautiful girls passing by. In comes the the thick-lipped and big-busted Ellie (Angelina Jolie) and starts talking to him. She convinces him to go with her to Mohave Desert, to visit her mother.

The road trip completely transforms Al's life, Ellie falls in love with him, he falls in love with her mother. Then there is her mother's jealous, violent and drunk boyfriend who is ultra-possessive not only of the mother but also about daughter. Al meets with Jolie's mother and spends some time with her and heads back to LA only to find a half-dead man in his trunk. Al gets back to LA and starts wondering what to do about the body and his car gets stolen. The rest of the movie is how they escape from Jolie's mother's boyfriend and how Al and the latter hook up.

This movie is completely passable, and only Jolie's fans could probably watch this movie without getting exasperated. There are some scenes where Jolie reveals her surgeon-sculpted body. There is absolutely no storyline at all. Take my advise don't watch it.