Saturday, February 26, 2011

Relationship or friends first ?

It has been a while since Maya, a university undergraduate, started a relationship with Thameera one of her batchmates. Her friends witnessed a big difference in the way she associated with them. Now, she hardly sits with them during lunchbreak, or at the lectures. Even the usual walk home with them has become a walk with her newfound boyfriend.

She rarely finds the time to talk to her friends because throughout the day, she is with Thameera. However, on the other hand, Thameera, after dropping Maya at her house, goes out with his friends and stays until late with them. Nothing has changed in the way he associates with his friends.

Sounds familiar to you? Is this the story revolving around young couples in the country? “This is 100 percent right. I went through this. Once he was my world. I could not think of a day without him. However, when we broke up, I had no one around. My friends had left me and gone for good because I neglected them for the sake of my love. I did not have anyone to share my sorrow,” said Chathurani, a 28-year-old graduate.
“It was too late when I realised it,” she whispered.

A 26-year-old software engineer, Aravinda has a completely different view about this matter. According to him, this is not true. “The girl never knows the difference between love and vanity. Loving a person does not mean leaving friends at all. Friends too need to be around. It is about mutual respect and gratitude. The moment either one forgets it, that’s it, then you are back with your friends,” he said. Bhanuka, a 24-year-old engineer, also supports this side of the argument. He holds on to his view with one of his own life experiences.
“What really happens here is that we spend less time, than the usual with friends. I see this as something normal, since you have added responsibilities now than before. However, this does not mean that any party leaving their friends in the name of the partner. Neither my girl nor I have left our friends to keep up with the affair.” 

According to Angel, a 30-year-old doctor, this happens quite often when the girl has had a protected upbringing, or has a shy personality. When she has not had the opportunity to build mature relationships with her peers (both male and female) then the attention and the security of a romantic relationship means that her boyfriend becomes the world to her. 
“While a breakup may be devastating to both parties, it is the shy introvert (and even boys may fit this description) who suffer the most from the lack of security and support, strong friendships give,” she said.

Damitha, a 20-year-old college student had experienced an incident similar to what we are discussing today, through one of his closest friends. “This goes both ways, my best friend started hanging out more with his girlfriend than us, when she joined our college. She was always with him and vice versa. I noticed that she was not with many people when he was not around her. The same thing happened to him when she was not around, but at least he had me to hangout with,” he said.

This type of incidents depends on the ‘type’ of the relationship between the girl and the boy. Whether both of them love each other, it is a one sided love or whether this relationship is there for a different purpose. According to a 34-year-old, Quality Assurance Officer, Dulip, it is natural for a person to become distant, intentionally or unintentionally, from his/her friends when he/she entangles in a romantic relationship.
For example, some boys do not like when their girlfriends have boys as friends. Then she has no option, except keeping them away from her life. However, if a person has no friends at all, then the relationship is not the one to be blamed. It is something to do with their personality. Finally, every person has a right to have friends.

Men and women are social animals. Leaving friends for the sake of a relationship is not appropriate. With proper understanding between the couple, having a balanced life between a lover and friends would not be a difficult task.

Unplug the music... Protect your ears..

Listening to music via MP3 players while travelling in buses and trains have become the latest trend among the younger generation today.

Not only MP3 Players, but also ipods and mobile phones are used to listen to music to overcome the boredom while travelling. Sometimes, thisis done when they do not like the music played in the bus, or simply because trendy children do it.
Whatever the reason may be, a majority of youth in this modern generation are addicted to this . Even while walking on the road many youngsters plug in the handsets of music players into their ears. If they are in a noisy place, they naturally increase the volume to the maximum to get a better reception by drowning the noise in the surroundings. But, is this habit safe?

According to a recent research conducted by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), this habit among the Sri Lankan youth can lead to a hearing-impaired future generation. Senior Deputy Director of ITI, Ananda Pannila said that listening to high-pitched music for most of the day, and in close proximity to the eardrums, could lead to loss of hearing.

"Most children, when they are in noisy places, increase the volume of the MP3 player to the maximum. This produces a sound of around 85 - 100 decibels inside the ear. This is equal to a noise created by a loud live band at a wedding reception, he explained.

The research team had developed an artificial ear with a microphone in place of the eardrum to test the effects of different frequencies of noise from different types of players.Then by using several phone models that are available in the local market they had measured the impact of the decibel levels on the eardrum. After experimenting with varying levels and models they had finally found that when the volume is increased to 90 per cent of the maximum possible volume , the player produces a sound of around 90 decibels, but when the volume is increased to 50 per cent of the maximum possible volume it generates a sound of around 70 decibels or less.

According to the general rule, a sound of 85 decibels or below is considered as safe to the human ear. "We found out that most of the phones and MP3 players, which are available at very low prices, are not up to the standard and can cause more damage to our ear," said Pannila. "If a person is listening to music through the head phones by increasing the volume to the maximum, he should not continue that for more than 10 minutes," he warned. "The recommended level to listen to music is by keeping the volum level to 50 per cent and that too only for a maximum of three hours at a stretch,"he said.Hearing impairments does not occur within a day or two, like catching a common cold.

It takes years to develop a hearing problem. Once the damage is done, it is not reversible. Then the only remedy will be to wear hearing aids. If that happens, life is not going to be easy at all. "This is not a problem unique to Sri Lanka," he added.Health officials in the USA and in many European countries too face this problem. As a safety measure, now many players have software to warn the user of the health risk, if they exceed the safety limit," he said.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If I were your pillow!

I will comfort your face...
never regret...
to be under you
for a whole night....
I will listen to your,
words in dream..,
and will let you hold
when you are scared....
so far,
your pillow is luckier than me...
not for long!! :)

Fresh Food?

Whether you shop at a supermarket, Sunday fair or at an ordinary vegetable seller, you always look for fresh vegetables. Even after taking those vegetables, fish, and meat, home you still want to keep them fresh as long as possible. Due to the lack of knowledge, many food items are being wasted in large quantities.

Food safety and storage basics

When it comes to food safety, we need to be aware of spoilage and bacteria, which causes diseases. As a precaution start your awareness program by looking at the expiry date on the label.

The expiry date is valid only if you store the product as instructed on the label. For example the expiry date for yoghurt is usually two weeks from the manufactured date.

However if you keep it outside the refrigerator in warm weather for a few hours the yoghurt will spoil and it is not suitable to consume. Therefore, the expiry date is merely a good guideline.

It is considered that prepared or unpreserved foods between four degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius are in the ‘danger zone’, which is not cold or hot enough to consider safe.

Therefore, when refrigerating those, first of all set your fridge temperature at four degrees Celsius or below and the freezer at -18 degrees Celsius or below.

Some refrigerators come with a built in thermometer, however if not you can easily buy an appliance thermometer to ensure that the temperatures are right.

Maximising food safety and flavour

If you want to keep the food in a regular temperature, the best place to keep is the refrigerator shelves. If you overload those shelves with food and containers, circulation of air will be blocked.

Something to be mindful of is never store fresh food on the door.

Nowadays, refrigerators come with special compartments for fish, meat, and vegetables, use them. They are specially designed to give the correct environment for those products.

When storing raw meat, keep those away from products such as cheese. Raw meat, poultry, and seafood should be kept in sealed containers to prevent the juices tainting other foods. If you are storing meat and poultry in the freezer in their original wrappings, make sure that you double-wrap it with foil to avoid freezer burn on the frozen meat.

When the veggies are stored in the freezer, to avoid any damage to the freshness, there is a method used called blanching. That is a fast dip in boiling water and an equally fast cool-down in cold water. This helps to preserve the colour and the taste of the vegetable.

The most common thing we refrigerate is the leftover food. Make sure that before putting those in to the freezer you place them in shallow containers for faster cooling. The most important thing is to keep your fridge clean. It keeps your food safe for a longer time.

Storing shelf staples

Staple food items such as sugar and flour, those which come in packages should be checked thoroughly before buying for ripped edges or for damage, after opening the package store those in sealed containers.

Lastly, whatever the precautions you take, if you are suspecting that a food item has gone bad, whether fresh, frozen, or at room temperature, immediately throw that away, do not even bother to taste.

World Thinking Day - 2011

Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world, celebrate World Thinking Day on 22 February every year. On this day Guides and Scouts think about the meaning of guiding and scouting as well as the guides and the scouts around the world. Many troops use this day as a day to learn about other countries and their cultures.

World Thinking Day was first initiated at the fourth Girl Guides' International Conference held at the Edith Macy Conference Centre, USA in 1926. All those who attended, decided that there should be a special day when girl guides and scouts think of each other and exchange greetings to thank and appreciate their service as guides and scouts. All the attendees unanimously proposed February 22 as the World Thinking day; since it was the birthday of Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and also his wife Olave, who served as the World Chief Guide.
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) choose a theme for every World Thinking Day and proposed related activities. Last year the theme was "Together we can end extreme poverty and hunger." For the year 2011, their theme is "Gender equality and empowering women."

The main objective is to raise awareness of the situation of girls and women around the world and empower them to take a stand against inequality. This is the third of the eight areas of focus made by 189 world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. It is also a part of the WAGGGS Global Action theme, which encourages girls to make a commitment to change the world around them. This year activities have been divided into five main categories. They are group warm-up activities, developing self-esteem and self-confidence, learning together to change the world, living and working for a fairer world, and girls and young women as decision makers. Apart from this there is also, a special speak out category to help girls learn how to advocate on issues that concern them.

The celebration of World Thinking Day in Sri Lanka is going to be a little different from the world celebrations. "We are trying to incorporate non-Guides to our World Thinking Day celebrations this time. Then we can show them what actually the Girl Guides do," says the Director Communications, Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association, Dilmini Peiris. The strength of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association is around 30 000. All these Guides will engage in activities such as organizing health camps and giving alms for elderly homes to celebrate the Thinking Day. "However, to keep up with the Association's objective every guide will bring one of her cousins or a friend, a non-guide, to show the activities of the Girl Guides movement", she added.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Amazing pictures...

White Tigers get a new mom
When the hurricane Hannah, separated two white tigers from  their mother, Anjana came to the Rescue. Anjana,  a chimp at TIGERS in South  Carolina, became surrogate mom and  playmate to the cubs, even helping with bottle  feeding, according to The Sun. But here's the  truly amazing part: This is something Anjana  does all the time, having helped raise leopard  and lion  cubs on several  occasions.






I  love this photo!!!




Saturday, February 12, 2011

Need your opinion...

This is for a paper article I'm doing....Tell me what you think...

When a girl and a boy start a relationship, the boy becomes the entire world of the girl. She spends the majority of her time  with the boy. She sacrifices her friends. Ultimately, her only friend will be the boy. On the other hand, the boy lives his own life with his friends, goes out with them. Enjoys his life. He hardly sacrifice his friends for the sake of the relationship.

Once they breakup, the girl is alone with no one around, but boy has his friends.

What do you think about this? Is this true? Why is this happening?

When you are commenting write your name, job and age (if you don't want to give the exact age give a rough range)

Thank you.....

Planning Your Big-Day

Wedding is one of the most important occasions in a person’s life. Not only have the couple, but also all the family members and the relatives from both the sides get together to plan this grand event. Usually preparations begin at least a year before the big day.

Booking the hotel, the florist, the photographer and the beautician needs to be done way before the big day. When it comes to these things, everyone has their favourites and ideas. Obviously, the couple has their own dreams about their wedding and their parents have another set of dreams. If all these dreams match together, all of you are lucky, however, most of the times it is something very unlikely to occur.

Then begins the conflict; the bride and the groom and the parents, conflicts go on. Sometimes it is said, that the bride will be able to understand the real personality of the groom only during this wedding planning period.

Now not only the groom, parents and in-laws can also put a certain amount of pressure when planning this event.They are the ones who do the spending most of the time. Therefore, they expect to run the show according to their wishes to a certain extent especially since they are the ones who know family traditions.

Sometimes objections can arise when the couple wants to do something out of the ordinary. The tragedy of this is that these conflicts, which arise at this point, can prevail throughout. Therefore, the best thing is to avoid conflicts as much as possible. However, it is easier said than done.

The first step in your wedding planning is deciding on the type of the wedding you want. Express those ideas among everybody. Communicate with the fiance, family, in-laws and anyone else who is involved in the planning. This is essential. When you have open discussions about planning, it helps avoid conflicts and all will have an enjoyable time.

Let everyone express his or her ideas. Then choose the best and the most suitable idea out of all. Be patient with everybody. Have some flexibility. Be open to different ideas. If an idea brought by a family member, does not tally with the theme you have selected, politely say so. If the idea is extremely good, try if you can modify it according to the theme. Show that you are making an effort to listen to their ideas. Respect everyone’s views. Make them feel welcomed for the planning sessions.

It is very important fact to take note of your budget. No one wants financial problems as soon as they start a new life. Therefore, spending a fortune on your big day is not a wise thing to do. When deciding on the budget, be practical and realistic. Communicate this budget among everyone who is involved. Then before coming up with an idea they themselves have something to think and something to restrict them.

Another conflict arising point is when it comes to choosing the bridesmaid, the bestman, the flower girls, and the page boys. Many of the relations and close friends will want to take part in the wedding. However, choosing the best people is in your hands. Rejecting others who are willing to take part should be done with care.

Organising a wedding cannot be done single handedly. There should be friends and relatives around the couple for their help. Therefore, make them understand your requirements and get their cooperation. Lastly, through your communication abilities and flexibility you can avoid conflicts and have a smooth and a conflict free wedding. Plan ahead and let everyone follow the plan through discussions.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What does independence means to you?

On February 4, 2011, we celebrated our 63rd Independence Day. For the first time in 63 years, the celebrations were held outside the Colombo City, in Kataragama. In 2009, after the conflict which ruined our country for more than three decades, the country gained true Independence. After 30 years, people travelled around the country without any fear. People from the South toured the North and the Northerners paid visits to the Southerners. In an environment like this, we are an independent nation.

Once Gandhi said, “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

Independence is the freedom of our soul, sensitivity of the mind and a feeling understood only by the heart. When this sensitivity, patriotism, self- dependence, and the freedom put together there is a big responsibility for today’s youth to create a better Sri Lanka.

“I’m proud to be a Sri Lankan.” How often have you heard that expression? How often have you heard that expression and felt the emotion coming through, like a quiver of arrows? Maybe once, maybe twice or maybe you never thought about it. Now that is freedom of thought.

However, is it of any good? With the budding face of the youth of today, the insight levels of the Sri Lankan youth is increasing, for the better. Reviving those rare instances of pride being linked to our nationality, as part of our identity, we begin to wonder why each one of us does not feel that way when every single time our nation is being criticised, or being harassed by powerful nations.

Sometimes Sri Lankans themselves go against the motherland for the sake of money. Why is it only on Independence Day, we feel ‘Sri Lankan’? We queried from a few Sri Lankan youngsters about the way they define independence, what actually it means to them.

Hishan Melanga, an IT undergraduate gives us an idea of a thinking man’s perception of freedom, “Independence is the happiness we have. Happiness is something we should earn. Therefore, the person who is happy enjoys independence at its best.”

Eranda Angunuwela, a software engineer, on the other hand, preferred to cut it short by saying, “Independence to me is responsible freedom.”

Eranda Senanayake, a university graduate, defines Independence as the ability to live peacefully without causing harm to anybody and without quandary from others.

Chinthaka Maduranga, an engineering student, quotes a philosopher saying, “The right to swing my stick ends where the other man’s nose begins. People should know this simple rule when dealing with the society. I live by this and that is what Independence means to me.”

“Independence is not an easy topic to describe. I think that is relative from person to person. For example, a person freed from prison might feel a lot of freedom than a person who is still inside. However, if the person is going to a house where poverty governs, will they feel the real independence? Therefore, what I feel is as freedom is not a matter, it is just a status of each individual’s mind,” said Kasun.

Amali Perera, who has just completed her A/L examination gives an entirely dissimilar outlook to Independence. “How often do we actually think about the sacrifice, the struggle that has gone into obtaining this freedom that we’re enjoying today, except while studying about it in history lesson? To be honest, I never do. Independence does not mean anything to me. It has become a habit now, to be proud of my country on Independence Day every year. The day is just a holiday for me. However, this needs to be changed soon.”

With so much brainstorming over Independence and its importance in our lives, it is not difficult to believe that youth are concerned about their independence as well as the nation’s. Their voice needs to be heard. Their ideas should not be restricted, but should be used for the betterment of the country. They are the future leaders of our country.