Wednesday, June 22, 2011

For Guys: Scratching Your Testicles Can Increase Your Lifespan..

Scratching Your Testicles Can Increase Your Lifespan

Karachi, Pakistan:

A recent paper released by Aga Khan University Hospital confirms that Pakistani men can increase their lifespan by at least five years by constantly scratching their testicles. The paper, titled “The Correlation Between Scratching Your Testicles and Your Lifespan” examined 350 men over a period of 10 years. Dr. Burhan Aneeq, the lead author of the research report, told Maila Times that “we should be promoting such activities on national television, as the results have been extremely satisfying.”

Scratching testicles in public, as the paper notes, is fairly common in South Asia. Historians and anthropologists are at odds as to how such activity became a national past time for many. Dr. Ahmer, a leading historian at the Kennedy School of Government, attributes the Mughal emperors for introducing testicle scratching to the sub-continent. However, Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan cricket

captain, thinks that credit needs to go to the cricketers. “Pakistani men have grown up watching their heroes scratching their testicles with cricket balls on TV and then bowl yorkers. It’s na├»ve to think that the Mughals have anything to do with it.”

Dr. Aneeq and his team interviewed hundreds of men during the course of the study. “Our hypothesis was that men scratched themselves primarily due to hygienic issues or humid weather, but were surprised by the reasons found in the study.” The study finds that 60% of men scratch their testicles because it makes them feel ‘proud and macho,’ while another 30% of testicle scratchers scratch their testicles merely out of habit. The finding also concluded that improved comfort
which results from obsessive scratching improves overall quality of life, and thus increasing the average lifespan of a scratcher by at least five years.

A 28 year old man interviewed in the study says that it is normal for him and his friends to scratch themselves outside of girl’s colleges. “Yaar two girls smiled at me and gave me that look as I was adjusting my shalwar the other day,” claimed the participant. Other participants of the study claimed that it was simply the quality of the underwear.

“If you wear those used underwear that you get from Bori Bazaar, then it’s impossible not to scratch,” explained the participant. “Sometimes I use Mospel or Mortein before I am going out for a poondi session, as that controls itching felt in the area,” claimed a young student who
wished not to be named.

Other medical researchers and cultural anthropologists were quick to dismiss the new findings, claiming that the paper was biased. “This report is an attempt by Dr. Aneeq to not feel guilty about always scratching his testicles in public,” claimed Dr. Ghazi Rizvi. “It is an absolute abhorrent habit by Pakistani men, and now after the release of this report they will continue to scratch their testicles
in public without any shame.”

With the release of the study, Dr. Aneeq predicts that men will continue to scratch their testicles and adjust their pants openly in public. He expects that this will become a fashion statement and that
we should get used to watching famous personalities, such as Dr. Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi and other members of the media men doing it constantly on live television. Wasi Zafar, a former Law Minister, contacted Maila Times for this report and claimed credit for promoting scratching testicles in public. “My great grandparents knew the benefit of such activities and I carried on the tradition on national television. I was castigated at that time, but now this report justifies my actions.”

Fatimah Mansoor, a student at LUMS, told Maila Times that she is happy that more men will scratch their testicles in public. “I just think that it’s classy,” said Ms. Mansoor. “It shows that a man has character, and isn’t afraid to show the world who he is.”

So guys...go ahead and scratch away. Our neighbours do it...so why should we be left out.

Tip: When at home...wear a lungi.

Understanding Derivatives: Heidi's Bar

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit .

She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Heidi keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers' loans). Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral!!!

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINK BONDS.

These "securities" then are bundled and traded on international securities markets.

Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as "AAA Secured Bonds" really are debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb!!!, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices still are climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.

He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Heidi's 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINK BOND prices drop by 90%.

The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank's liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the BOND securities.

They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the
local plant and lays off 150 workers..

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, nondrinkers who have never been in Heidi's bar.

Now do you understand what hit you?

Dementia

FAMILY

Three sisters ages 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together. One night the 96 year old draws a bath. She puts her foot in and pauses... She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?" The 94 year old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses "Was I going up the stairs or down?" The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters.. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful, knock on wood." And she knocks on the table’s wooden surface She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door."

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TELL ME THIS WON'T HAPPEN TO ME

An elderly Floridian called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car has been broken into. She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher: "They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!" she cried. The dispatcher said, "Stay calm. An officer is on the way." A few minutes later, the officer radios in. "Disregard." He says, "She got in the back-seat by mistake."

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I CAN HEAR JUST FINE!"

Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine March day. One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?" "No," the second man replied, "it's Thursday..." And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."

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OLD FRIENDS

Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards.

One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, "Now don't get mad at me.. I know we've been friends for a long time but I just can't think of your name. I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is." Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her.

Finally she said, "How soon do you need to Know?"

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SENIOR DRIVING

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!" "Hell," said Herman, "It's not just one car.. It's hundreds of them!"

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DRIVING

Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through.

The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself "I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light." After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection and the light was red again. Again, they went right through. The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous. At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through. So, she turned to the other woman and said, "Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us both!"

Mildred turned to her and said, "Oh! Am I driving?"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bribery Culture of India - brilliantly insightful, frighteningly true!!

(Received as multiple forwards)

Analysis on corruption in India does not address its cultural aspect. We see nothing peculiar about corruption in India (except that

it is everywhere). We see many corrupt individuals in a system unable to correct itself. Our media reports corruption episodically. One independent incident of greed follows another.

Let us set all that aside and look at it differently. No race can be congenitally corrupt. But can a race be corrupted by its culture? To know why Indians are corrupt let’s look elsewhere. What patterns and practices distinguish us?

First: Religion is transactional in India.

We give God cash and anticipate an out-of-turn reward. Our plea acknowledges we aren't really deserving. The cash compensates for our lack of merit. In the world outside the temple walls, such a transaction has a name: “bribe”. In India God accepts cash from us, not good work, for which there is no reward. We don't expect something from God in return for sweeping our neighbourhood streets. We go with money.

Observe this in another way.

Why does the wealthy Indian give not cash to temples, but gold crowns and such baubles?

To ensure his gift isn't squandered on feeding the poor. Our pay-off is for God. It’s wasted if it goes to man.

See what this has produced:

In June 2009, The Hindu published a report of Karnataka minister G. Janardhan Reddy gifting a crown of gold and diamonds worth Rs 45 crore to Tirupati. According to the temple’s website, Tirupati got 3,200kg silver and 2.4kg of diamonds in just one year. The temple encourages such giving, according to a report in The Telegraph in April 2010. Those who gifted a kilo of gold, worth over Rs 21 lakh, got "VIP darshan" (which means cutting the queue) of the idol. In 2007, Vellore’s Sripuram temple was built with 1,500kg of gold. By weight alone it is worth Rs 325 crore. In May 2010, according to The Economic Times, 1,075kg of gold was deposited by Tirupati with the State Bank of India (SBI) for safe keeping. In 2009, 500kg was deposited with the Indian Overseas Bank. In June 2004, Business Standard reported that Tirupati couldn't melt down 8,000kg of gifted gold ornaments because devotees had stuck precious stones to their gift. This 8 tonnes of metal, worth Rs 1,680 crore but actually useless, was gathering dust in temple vaults.

On 11 February, according to The Hindu Business Line, 1,175kg of gold was deposited with SBI, and the temple trustees had yet another 3,000kg of gold handy.

What will they do with all this metal? Gold-plate the walls of the temple (lending new meaning to the phrase “India Shining”). This work was halted by the Andhra Pradesh high court in December. Not because it was wasteful ­ such things aren't vulgar to Indians ­ but because it might have damaged wall inscriptions.

India’s temples collect so much of this stuff they don't know what to do with it. In February, 17 tonnes of silver, worth Rs 117 crore, was found in an Odisha temple. The priests say they had no idea it was even there. But the devotee keeps giving. Tirupati alone gets between 800kg (The Economic Times’ estimate) and 1,825kg (The Telegraph’s estimate) of gold a year.

When God accepts money in return for his favours, what is wrong with my doing the same thing? Nothing. This is why Indians are so easily corruptible. Our culture accommodates such transactions morally. This is key. There is no real stigma. The demonstrably corrupt Indian leader can harbour hope of a comeback, unthinkable in the West.

Our moral ambiguity towards corruption is also visible in our history. This is our second point: Any number of books on Indian history tells us of the capture of cities and kingdoms after guards were paid off to open gates, and commanders paid off to surrender. This is unique to India. We read of battles won after battalions evaporated.

Our corrupt nature has meant limited warfare on the subcontinent. It is striking how little Indians have actually fought compared to ancient Greece and modern Europe. The Turks’ battles with Nadir Shah were vicious and fought to the finish. In India fighting wasn't needed, bribing was usually enough to see off our armies. The invader willing to spend a bit of cash always brushed aside India’s kings, no matter how many tens of thousands peopled their infantry.

Little battle was given at the “Battle” of Plassey. Clive paid off Mir Jaffar and all of Bengal folded to an army of 3,000.

There was always a financial solution to taking our forts. Golconda was captured in 1687 after the secret back door was left open. In 1700, the fort of Parli, west of Satara, the headquarters of the Maratha government, fell after it took a bribe from Aurangzeb. In 1701, Aurangzeb invested the Panhala fort for two months without success. Then he bribed the Maratha commandant Trimbak, who let the Mughals in. Aurangzeb took the forts at Wardhangarh, Nandgir, Wandan and Chandan without fighting. Khelna fought the Mughals (led by the mercenary Sawai Rajputs of Amber) superbly till commandant Parshuram accepted his bribe and gave up the fort.

According to The Cambridge History of India, Torna was the only fort captured in that long campaign without bribes. Allahabad was taken by the Mughals in April 1720 when Girdhar Bahadur left the gates open after being promised governorship of Awadh. The same year Asir opened its gates to Nizam-ul-Mulk after a bribe. The Raja of Srinagar gave up Dara Shikoh’s son Sulaiman to Aurangzeb after a bribe. Shivaji took Kondhana (which he renamed Sinhagad) after the Mughal commander was bribed. The Mughals lost Penukonda to the Marathas in 1706 after the commandant was paid off.

We must understand that this isn't one man bribed alone. He must share that money with his officers, who must in turn pass it along to the infantry and cavalry. Everyone participated in this treason.

Question is: Why do we have a transactional culture while other 'civilized' nations don't?

The answer is that we haven't learnt to trust one another as Europeans have. Indians do not buy the theory that we can all rise if each of us behaves morally, because that is not the message of our faith. This is the third point.

Our faith assures us that God will deliver for us individually, but we must deliver to him too.

When Europeans came here they built schools (there were zero schools in Gujarat before Mountstuart Elphinstone built the first 10 in the 1820s). When we go to Europe we build more temples. Patels alone have built 12 Swaminarayan temples in Britain.

Unfortunately, the European is tolerant and the Indian quite shameless, though it’s true also that he’s unaware of what he’s doing. He’s practising his magic in a culture where it isn't needed. He doesn't need God’s favours in a society that isn't corrupt, that is moral, that is equal. All he needs is hard work, which he’s quite capable of giving. Some might say the doctrine of our faith doesn't support this behaviour. That shouldn't concern us here. We’re talking about its practice, the way we do religion, rather than its philosophy, which is ultimately meaningless.

The way we do it is Hobbesian.

We are up against everyone else, except God ­ and even he must be bribed.