MICHAEL POLLAN – FAMOUS AMERICAN AUTHOR

Michael Pollan was born on Sunday, February 06, 1955 and he is a famous American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. Pollan was born to author and financial consultant Stephen Pollan and columnist Corky Pollan. Pollan received a B.A. from Bennington College in 1977 and an M.A. in English from Columbia University in 1981. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer, and their son, Isaac.

For the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A young readers edition called The Omnivore’s Dilemma: the Secrets Behind What You Eat was published in 2009. The Botany of Desire received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. PBS premiered a two-hour special documentary based on The Botany of Desire in fall 2009. Pollan is also the author of A Place of My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991).Pollan was named to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. In 2009 he was named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders.” A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has received numerous awards: he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in 2009 for best essay; he received the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003; the John Burroughs prize in 1997 for best natural history essay; the QPB New Vision Award for his first book, Second Nature; the 2000 Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global Award for Environmental Journalism for his reporting on genetically modified crops; the 2003 Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award for his writing on animal agriculture; the 2008 Truth in Agricultural Journalism Award from the American Corngrowers Association; the 2009 President’s Citation Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the 2009 Voices of Nature Award from the Natural Resources Defense Council. His essays have appeared in many anthologies, including Best American Essays (1990 and 2003), Best American Science Writing (2004), the Norton Book of Nature Writing, and The New Kings of Non-Fiction, edited by Ira Glass. In addition to publishing regularly in The New York Times Magazine, his articles have appeared in Harper’s Magazine (where he served as executive editor from 1984 to 1994), National Geographic, Mother Jones, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Gourmet, House & Garden and Gardens Illustrated, among others. In 2009, he appeared in a two-hour PBS special based on The Botany of Desire as well as in the documentary, Food Inc., which received an Academy Award nomination.

In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. In addition to teaching, he lectures widely on food, agriculture, health and the environment.Pollan is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, a former executive editor for Harper’s Magazine, and author of five books: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008) The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006), The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001), A Place of My Own (1997), and Second Nature A Gardener’s Education (1991).

His recent work has dealt with the practices of the meat industry, and he has written a number of articles on trends in American agriculture. He has received the Reuters World Conservation Union Global Awards in environmental journalism, the James Beard Foundation Awards for best magazine series in 2003, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Association. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing (2004), Best American Essays (1990 and 2003), The Animals: Practicing Complexity (2006) and the Norton Book of Nature Writing (1990).

Pollan co-starred in the documentary, Food, Inc. (2008), for which he was also a consultant.

BOOKS

 

  • Pollan, Michael (1991). Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 9780871134431.
  • Pollan, Michael (1997). Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780679415329.
  • Pollan, Michael (2001). The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780375501296.
  • Pollan, Michael (2006). The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 9781594200823.
  • Pollan, Michael (2008). In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 9781594201455.
  • Pollan, Michael (2009). Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0143116387.

ESSAYS

  • Pollan, Michael (April, 1997). “Opium Made Easy”. Harper’s.
  • Pollan, Michael (July 19, 2002). “When a Crop Becomes King”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (November 10, 2002). “An Animal’s Place”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (June 4, 2006). “Mass Natural”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (June 11, 2006). “Six rules for eating wisely”. Time magazine. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (January 28, 2007). “Unhappy Meals”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (22April 2007). “You Are What You Grow”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (December 16, 2007). “Our Decrepit Food Factories”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (April 20, 2008). “Why bother?”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  • Pollan, Michael (October 9, 2008). “An Open Letter to the Farmer in Chief”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  • Pollan, Michael (July 29, 2009). “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  • Pollan, Michael (September 9, 2009). “Big Food vs. Big Insurance”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-14.

INTERVIEWS

  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Ketzel Levine. A Plant’s-Eye View Of The World (audio). Morning Edition. NPR. June 4, 2001. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Helen Wagenvoord. The Cheapest Calories Make You the Fattest (transcript). Sierra Magazine. September 2004. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Jason Marsh. Edible Ethics (transcript). Greater Good magazine. Spring/Summer 2006. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Amy Goodman. In Defense of Food (video/audio/transcript). Democracy Now. February 13, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Warren Etheredge. An Evening with Michael Pollan (audio). The Warren Report. October 30, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Bill Moyers. Bill Moyers Journal. PBS. November 28, 2008. (Interview ). Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Melissa Moser. Food and Fossil Fuels (video). Powering A Nation: UNC News21 Project. June 25, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-08-04.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Melissa Moser. Checking Out Michael Pollan’s Garden (video). Powering A Nation: UNC News21 Project. June 25, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-08-04.
  • Michael Pollan. Interview with Waylon Lewis. Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis interview: Michael Pollan. Sponsored by Gaiam. (video). Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis. June 22, 2009. Retrieved on 2010-09-23.

Checkout the ASCII Art and Pictures of Michael Pollan in the below link. Extract the Files from WinRAR Archive. Please use Lucida Console font to view the ascii art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

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ROGER TOMLINSON – FATHER OF GIS

Roger F. Tomlinson, CM (born 17 November 1933) is an English geographer and the primary originator of modern computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and has been touted as the “Father of GIS”. He is known as a visionary geographer who conceived and developed GIS for use by the Canada Land Inventory. His pioneering work, beginning in the early1960s, changed the face of geography as a discipline and he was awarded an Order of Canada, which is Canada’s highest civilian honor. Governments and scientists around the world have turned to him to better understand the environment and changing patterns of land use, and to better manage urban development and the use of natural resources.Dr. Tomlinson’s contributions include chairmanship of the International Geographical Union’s GIS Commission for 12 years, and where he pioneered the concepts of worldwide geographical data availability. He is a past president of the Canadian Association of Geographers and a recipient of its rare Award for Service to the Profession. The Association of American Geographers in the United States awarded him the James R. Anderson Medal of Honor for Applied Geography in 1995. Dr. Tomlinson is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and winner of its prestigious Murchison Award for the Development of Geographic Information Systems. In 1996 he was awarded the GIS World Lifetime Achievement Award for a lifetime of work with geographic information systems, and he was the first recipient of the ESRI Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Dr. Tomlinson was awarded the Order of Canada in February of 2004.

Born in Cambridge, England, Dr. Tomlinson adopted Canada as his home in 1957. During the spring of 1962, while on a plane bound from Ottawa to Toronto he met Lee Pratt, then recently named head of the Canada Land Inventory (CLI). Tomlinson then was chief of the computer mapping division at a Canadian airline service. Pratt described a vast mapping project CLI was about to undertake – a multilayer land-use/ planning map of Canada’s inhabited and productive land–around 1 million square miles. Tomlinson told Pratt some of his ideas might work for CLI and Pratt eventually hired him to head the program that resulted in the first GIS.

He holds bachelor’s degrees from Nottingham University in England and Acadia University in Canada; a master’s degree from McGill University in Canada; and a Ph.D. from University College in England.

Dr. Tomlinson is the principal of Tomlinson Associates, Ltd., Consulting Geographers, which was established in 1977 in Ottawa, Ontario. He has advised clients such as the World Bank, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. departments of Commerce and Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of the Census, the Canadian Forest Service, and numerous U.S. state and Canadian provincial and municipal government agencies.

Checkout the ASCII Art and Pictures of Roger Tomlinson in the below link. Extract the Files from WinRAR Archive. Please use Lucida Console font to view the ASCII art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/file/4PeGNPcu/RogerTomlinson.html

CONFUCIUS – THE MOST INFLUENTIAL CHINESE PHILOSOPHER

The Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius was the founder of the school of philosophy known as the Ju or Confucianism, which is still very influential in China. He was born on 551 B.C.E in Tuo, China.

INFO OF HIS LIFE

Confucius is the Latinized name of K’ung Fu-tzu (Great Master K’ung). His original name was K’ung Ch’iu; he is also known as K’ung Chung-ni. The most detailed traditional account of Confucius’s life is contained in the Records of the Historian (Shih chi) by Ssu-ma Ch’ien, who lived from 145 B.C.E. to 86 B.C.E. Many modern scholars have dismissed this biography as only legend. Nevertheless, from this manuscript one can reconstruct a satisfactory outline of the philosopher’s life and influence.

According to the Records of the Historian, Confucius was a descendant of a branch of the royal house of Shang, the dynasty (a family of rulers) that ruled China prior to the Chou, and a dynasty which ruled China from around 1122 B.C.E. to 221 B.C.E. His family, the K’ung, moved to the small state of Lu, located in the modern province of Shantung in northeastern China.

It was believed that Confucius’s father divorced his first wife at an advanced age, because she had borne him only daughters and one disfigured son. He then married a fifteen-year-old girl from the Yen clan, who gave birth to Confucius. Ssu-ma Ch’ien refers to the relationship as a “wild union,” which very possibly indicates that Confucius was an illegitimate child, or a child born out of wedlock.

In the Analects, Confucius’s book of teachings, he writes that during his youth he was poor and was forced to acquire many different skills. It is clear that even though the fortunes of his family had declined, he was no commoner. Confucius unquestionably belonged to the aristocratic (ruling) class known as the shih. In the time of Confucius most shih served as court officials, scholars, and teachers. Confucius’s first occupation appears to have been as keeper of the Lu granary. Later he worked as supervisor of the fields. Both were low positions but consistent with his shih status.

CAREER AS A TEACHER

It is not known exactly when Confucius began his teaching career, but it does not appear to have been much before the age of thirty. In 518 B.C.E. he is said to have met the famous teacher Lao Tzu (sixth century B.C.E. ), who reportedly bluntly criticized Confucius for his stuffiness and arrogance. Confucius eventually returned to Lu around 515 B.C.E. For several years after his return he does not appear to have accepted a governmental position. Instead it appears he spent most of his time studying and teaching, gathering a large number of students around him. Although one can only guess about the school’s exact course work, it undoubtedly included instruction in ritual, music, history, and poetry.

Around 498 B.C.E. , Confucius decided to leave his home in Lu and embark on a long journey throughout eastern China. He was accompanied by several of his disciples (followers). They wandered throughout the eastern states of Wei, Sung, and Ch’en and at various times had their lives threatened. Confucius was almost assassinated (killed) in Sung. On another occasion he was mistaken for the adventurer Yang Hu and was arrested and held until his true identity became known.

Confucius was received with great respect by the rulers of the states he visited, and he even seems to have received occasional payments. He spent much of his time developing his ideas on the art of government, as well as continuing his teaching. He acquired a large following, and the solidification of the Confucian school probably occurred during these years. Not all of his disciples followed him on his travels. Several of them actually returned to Lu and assumed positions with the Chi clan. It may have been through their influence that in 484 B.C.E. Confucius was invited back to Lu.

FINAL YEARS

Confucius was warmly received in Lu, but there is no indication that he was given a responsible position. Little is known about his last years, although this would have been a logical time for him to work on the many texts and documents he supposedly gathered on his journey. Much of his time was devoted to teaching, and he seems to have remained more or less distant from political affairs. This was an unhappy period for Confucius. His only son died about this time; his favorite disciple, Yen Hui, died the very year of his return to Lu; and in 480 B.C.E. another disciple, Tzu-lu, was killed in battle. Confucius felt all of these losses deeply, and his sadness and frustration must have been intensified by the realization that his political ideas had found no support among the rulers of his own state. Confucius died in 479 B.C.E in Qufu, China. His disciples conducted his funeral and observed a mourning period for him.

CONFUCIUS’S TEACHINGS

Although we cannot be certain that Confucius wrote any of the works he is credited with, it is still possible to know something about the general nature of his philosophy. Shortly after his death his disciples compiled a work known as the Lun yü, commonly translated as the Analects but more accurately rendered as the Edited Conversations. This work consists of conversations between Confucius, his students, and an occasional ruler. The primary emphasis of the Lun yü is on political philosophy. Confucius taught that the primary task of the ruler was to achieve the welfare (well-being) and happiness of the people of his state. To accomplish this aim, the ruler first had to set a moral (good character) example by his own conduct. This example would in turn influence the people’s behavior.

Confucius is the first Chinese thinker to introduce concepts that became fundamental not only to Confucian philosophy but to Chinese philosophy in general. The most important of these are jen (benevolence), yi (propriety, or being proper), and li (ritual, or ceremony). Confucius believed that the chün-tzu, or “gentleman,” must set the moral example for others in society to follow. In the Lun yü jen, what has been translated as humaneness or benevolence (being kind) is a quality a chün-tzu should develop and attempt to encourage in others. Li is considered the rules and ritual that are observed in religious and nonreligious ceremonies and, as applied to the chün-tzu, composed rules of behavior. Yi represents what is right and proper in a given situation. The chün-tzu, by observing the ritual and because of his good nature, always knows what is right.

Confucius was basically a humanist and one of the greatest teachers in Chinese history. His influence on his immediate disciples was deep. His students continued to explain his theories until, in the first Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. –8 C. E.), the theories became the basis of the state ideology, the body of ideas reflecting the social needs of a culture.

JESUS CHRIST – THE SAVIOUR

It is likely that Jesus was born not later than 4 B.C., the year of King Herod’s death. Jesus’ crucifixion was probably in A.D. 29 or 30. (The term Christ is actually a title, not a proper name; it comes from the Greek Christos, meaning the anointed one; in the Bible it is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word Messiah.) Information about Jesus is in some ways scant, in other ways plentiful. Although such ancient historians as Tacitus and Suetonius mention him, as does the Jewish Talmud, the only detailed information comes from the New Testament. There are a few other ancient accounts of Jesus’ life, called Apocryphal Gospels because of their poor historical reliability; and in 1946 a Gospel of Thomas, actually a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus, was discovered in Upper Egypt. But none of these sources adds significantly to the New Testament. The letters of Paul are the earliest biblical records that tell about Jesus. But the four Gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, although written later, used sources that in some cases go back very close to the time of Jesus.EARLY YEARS

Jesus first came to general attention at the time of his baptism, just prior to his public ministry. He was known to those around him as a carpenter of Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and as the son of Joseph (John 6:42). Matthew and Luke report that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town near Jerusalem, famous in Jewish history as the city of David. They further report that he was miraculously born to the Virgin Mary, although they both curiously trace his Davidic ancestry through Joseph, to whom Mary was betrothed.

Little is known of Jesus’ childhood and youth. But about the year A.D. 28 or 29 his life interacted with the career of John the Baptist, a stormy prophet-preacher who emerged from the wilderness and called on the people to repent and be baptized. A controversial character, he was soon jailed and killed by Herod Antipas, the puppet ruler of Galilee under the Roman Empire. Jesus heard John’s preaching and joined the crowds for baptism in the Jordan River. Following his baptism Jesus went into the desert for prayer and meditation.

It is clear that Jesus had some consciousness of a divine calling, and in the desert he thought through its meaning. The Gospels report that he was tempted there by Satan as to what kind of leader Jesus would choose to be – a miracle worker, a benefactor who would bring people what they wanted, a king wielding great power. Jesus accepted a harder and less popular mission, that of the herald of the kingdom of God.GALILEAN MINISTRY

Returning from the desert, Jesus began preaching and teaching in Galilee. His initial proclamation was similar to John’s: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15; Revised Standard Version). This message was both frightening and hopeful. It told people not to cling to the past, that God would overthrow old institutions and ways of life for a wonderful new future. This future would be especially welcomed by the poor, the powerless, the peacemakers. It would be threatening to the rich, the powerful, the cruel, and the unjust.

Jesus attracted 12 disciples to follow him. They were mainly fishermen and common workers. Of the 12 it seems that Peter, James, and John were closest to Jesus. Peter’s home in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee, became a headquarters from which Jesus and the disciples moved out into the countryside. Sometimes he talked to large crowds. Then he might withdraw with the 12 to teach only them. Or he might go off by himself for long periods of prayer. On one occasion he sent out the disciples, two by two, to spread the message of God’s kingdom.

THE MIRACLES

The records concerning Jesus report many miracles. Through the years there have been great disagreements about these reports. For centuries most people in civilizations influenced by the Bible not only believed literally in the miracles but took them as proofs that Jesus had a supernatural power. Then, in an age of rationalism and skepticism, men often doubted the miracles and denounced the reports as fraudulent.

Today, partly because of psychosomatic medicine and therapy, people are more likely to believe in the possibilities of faith healing. The Bible candidly reports that on some occasions, when people had no faith, Jesus could do no mighty works. People were especially skeptical in his home-town, where they had known him as a boy (Mark 6:1-6). However, usually the Gospels report the healings as signs of the power of God and His coming kingdom.

TEACHINGS OF JESUS

Jesus taught people in small groups or large gatherings; his sayings are reported in friendly conversations or in arguments with those who challenged him. At times he made a particularly vivid comment in the midst of a dramatic incident. The starting point of his message, as already noted, was the announcement of the coming of the kingdom of God. Since this kingdom was neither a geographical area nor a system of government, it might be better to translate the phrase as “God’s reign.”

The rest of Jesus’ teaching followed from this message about the reign of God. At times he taught in stories or parables that described the kingdom or the behavior of people who acknowledged God’s reign. Perhaps the most famous of his many parables are those of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan. At times he pronounced ethical commandments detailing the demands upon men of a loving and righteous God. At times Jesus taught his disciples to pray: the words that he gave them in the Lord’s Prayer are often used today. Jesus’ teaching was a subtle teaching, and often it was directed to the needs of a particular person in a specific time and place. Therefore almost any summary can be challenged by statements of Jesus that point in an opposite direction. One way to explore the dynamics of his teachings is to investigate some of its paradoxes. Five are worth mentioning here.First, Jesus combined an utter trust in God with a brute realism about the world. On the one hand, he told men not to be anxious about life’s problems, because God knows their needs and will look out for them. So if men trust God and seek His kingdom, God will look out for the rest of their needs. Yet, on the other hand, Jesus knew well that life can be tough and painful. He asked men to give up families and fortunes, to accept persecution out of faithfulness to him, thus promising them a hard life.Second, Jesus taught both ethical rigor and forgiveness. He demanded of men more than any other prophet or teacher had asked. He criticized the sentimentalists who call him “Lord, Lord” but do not obey him, and he told men that, if they are to enter God’s kingdom, their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, who made exceedingly conscientious efforts to obey God’s laws. He told men not to be angry or contemptuous with others, not to lust after women, and not to seek revenge but to love their enemies. Yet this same Jesus understood human weakness. He was known as a friend of sinners who warned men not to make judgments of others whom they consider sinful. He forgave men their sins and told about a God who seeks to save sinners.

Third, Jesus represented a kind of practicality that offends the overly spiritual-minded; but he also espoused an expectation of a future world (God’s reign) that will make the attractions of this world unimportant. As a worldly man, he wanted to relieve hunger and sickness. He wanted no escape from responsibility into worship. He taught that sometimes a man would better leave church and go to undo the wrongs he has done. But with this attention to the world was coupled the recognition that men are foolish to seek security and happiness in wealth or possessions. They would do better to give away their riches and to accept persecution. Jesus promised – or warned – that God’s reign will reverse many of the values of this world.

Fourth, Jesus paradoxically combined love and peace with conflict. His followers called him the Prince of Peace, because he sought to reconcile men to God and each other. He summed up all the commandments in two: love for God and love for men. He refused to retaliate against those who had harmed him but urged his followers to forgive endlessly – not simply seven times but seventy times seven. Yet he was not, as some have called him, “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” he attacked evil fearlessly, even in the highest places.

Fifth, Jesus promised joy, freedom, and exuberant life; yet he expected sacrifice and self-denial. He warned men not to follow him unless they were ready to suffer. But he told people to rejoice in the wonders of God’s reign, to celebrate the abundant life that he brings.

VIEWS OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES

To some people Jesus was a teacher or rabbi. The healing ministry did not necessarily change that conception of him, because other rabbis were known as healers. But Jesus was a teacher of peculiar power, and he was sometimes thought to be a prophet.

Jesus certainly was a herald of the kingdom of God. But then a question arises: was he simply talking about God and his reign, or did he have some special relationship to that kingdom? Those who heard Jesus were frequently perplexed. In some ways he was a modest, even humble man. Instead of making claims for himself or accepting admiration, he turned people’s thoughts from himself to God. But at other times he asked immense loyalty of his disciples. And he astonished people by challenging time-honored authority – even the authority of the Bible – with his new teachings. He was so audacious as to forgive sins, although men said that only God could do that.

There was also the question whether it was possible that Jesus was the Messiah. For generations some of the Jewish people had hoped that God would send a king, an heir of the great King David of past history, who would undo the oppression that the Jews suffered, would reestablish the glorious old kingdom, and would bring justice. Some expected even more – that a divine savior would come and inaugurate a radical transformation of life.

Various reports in the New Testament lead to various possible conclusions. Today some scholars think that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah. Others feel that he clearly did. But there was one occurrence that is especially interesting. Once, in the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi, a city north of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 8:27-30), Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” They gave various answers: John the Baptist, Elijah, or another of the prophets. Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “You are the Christ [Messiah].” Jesus’ answer was curious, for “He charged them to tell no one about him.”

Why, if he accepted the designation, did he want it kept a secret? One persuasive answer often given is that Jesus was radically revising the traditional idea of the Messiah. If the people thought he was the promised Messiah, they would demand that he live up to their expectations. He had no intention of becoming a conquering king who would overthrow Rome.

Jesus, who knew the Old Testament well, had read the Messianic prophecies. He had also read the poems of the suffering servant in Second Isaiah, the unknown prophet whose writings are now in Isaiah, chapters 40-55. These tell of a servant of God and man, someone despised and rejected, who would bear the cost of the sins of others and bring healing to them. It may be that Jesus combined in his own mind the roles of the Messiah and the suffering servant. The undeniable fact is that his life and character were of such a sort that they convinced his followers he was the Messiah who, through his suffering love, could bring men a new experience of forgiveness and new possibilities for human and social life.

PASSION WEEK

Soon after Peter’s confession Jesus led his disciples to Jerusalem in an atmosphere of gathering crisis. On the day now known as Palm Sunday he entered the city, while his disciples and the crowds hailed him as the Son of David, who came in the name of the Lord. The next day Jesus went to the Temple and drove out the money changers and those who sold pigeons for sacrifices, accusing them of turning “a house of prayer” into a “den of robbers.” This act was a direct challenge to the small group of priests who were in charge of the Temple, and they clearly resented it. During the following days he entered into controversies with the priests and authoritative teachers of religion. Their anger led them to plot to get rid of him, but they hesitated to do anything in the daytime, since many people were gathered for the feast of Passover.

On Thursday night Jesus had a meal with his disciples. This meal is now reenacted by Christians in the Lord’s Supper, the Mass, or the Holy Communion. After the meal Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed alone. His prayer shows that he expected a conflict, that he still hoped that he might avoid suffering, but that he expected to do God’s will. There into the garden one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, led the priests and the temple soldiers, who seized Jesus. That same night Jesus’ captors took him to a trial before the temple court, the Sanhedrin. Several evidences indicate that this was an illegal trial, but the Sanhedrin declared that Jesus was a blasphemer deserving death. Since at that time only the Roman overlords could carry out a death sentence, the priests took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea.

Pilate apparently was reluctant to condemn Jesus, since it was doubtful that Jesus had disobeyed any Roman laws. But as the ruler of a conquered province, Pilate was suspicious of any mass movements that might become rebellions. And he also preferred to keep the religious leaders of the subjugated people as friendly as possible. Jesus, as a radical intruder into the conventional system, and believing that obedience to God sometimes required defiance of human authority, represented a threat to both the Sanhedrin and the Romans. Pilate thus ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. Roman soldiers beat him, put a crown of thorns on his head, and mocked him as a fraudulent king. Then they took him to the hill Golgotha (“the Skull”), or Calvary, and killed him as an insurrectionist. Pilate ordered a sign placed above his head: “King of the Jews.” Among the “seven last words,” or sayings, from the cross are two quotations from Jewish psalms, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Psalms 22:1) and “Into thy hands I commit my spirit” (Psalms 31:5); and the especially memorable “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). That same day (now known as Good Friday) Jesus was buried in a cavelike tomb.

THE RESURRECTION

On Sunday morning (now celebrated as Easter), the Gospels report, Jesus rose from the dead and met his disciples. Others immediately rejected the claim of the resurrection, and the controversy has continued through the centuries.

The New Testament states very clearly that the risen Christ did not appear to everybody. “God … made him manifest; not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:40-41). Among those who saw Jesus were Cephas (Peter), the 12 disciples, “more than five hundred brethren at one time,” James, “all the apostles,” and finally Paul. Other records tell of appearances to Mary Magdalene and other women and of a variety of meetings with the disciples both in the Jerusalem area and in Galilee. The four Gospels all say that the tomb of Jesus was empty on Easter morning, but Paul never mentions the empty tomb. None of the records ever tells of an appearance of the risen Christ to anyone who had not been a follower of Jesus or (like Paul) had not been deeply disturbed by him.

The evidence is very clear that the followers of Jesus were absolutely convinced of his resurrection. The experience of the risen Jesus was so overwhelming that it turned their despair into courage. Even though it might have been easier, and certainly would have been safer, to regard Jesus as dead, the disciples spread the conviction that he had risen, and they persisted in telling their story at the cost of persecution and death. Furthermore they were sure that their experiences of Jesus were not private visions; rather, as in the statement quoted above, they “ate and drank with him.” The faith in the resurrection (and later the ascension) of Jesus, despite differences in interpretation and detail, is a major reason for the rise and propagation of the Christian faith.

Checkout the ASCII Art, Wallpapers and Pictures of Jesus Christ in the below link. Extract the Files from WinRAR Archive. Please use Lucida Console font to view the ascii art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

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JARON LANIER – THE TECH GEEK

Jaron Zepel Lanier, born on May 3, 1960. He is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author.

IN THE SCIENCES

Jaron Lanier scientific interests include biometric information architectures, user interfaces, heterogeneous scientific simulations, advanced information systems for medicine, and computational approaches to the fundamentals of physics. He collaborates with a wide range of scientists in fields related to these interests. Lanier’s name is also often associated with Virtual Reality research. He either coined or popularized the term ‘Virtual Reality’ and in the early 1980s founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products. In the late 1980s he led the team that developed the first implementations of multi-person virtual worlds using head mounted displays, for both local and wide area networks, as well as the first “avatars”, or representations of users within such systems. While at VPL, he and his colleagues developed the first implementations of virtual reality applications in surgical simulation, vehicle interior prototyping, virtual sets for television production, and assorted other areas. He led the team that developed the first widely used software platform architecture for immersive virtual reality applications. Sun Microsystems acquired VPL’s seminal portfolio of patents related to Virtual Reality and networked 3D graphics in 1999.

From 1997 to 2001, Lanier was the Chief Scientist of Advanced Network and Services, which contained the Engineering Office of Internet2, and served as the Lead Scientist of the National Tele-immersion Initiative, a coalition of research universities studying advanced applications for Internet2. The Initiative demonstrated the first prototypes of tele-immersion in 2000 after a three-year development period. From 2001 to 2004 he was Visiting Scientist at Silicon Graphics Inc., where he developed solutions to core problems in telepresence and tele-immersion. He was Scholar at Large for Microsoft from 2006 to 2009, and Partner Architect there from 2009 forward. Lanier received an honorary doctorate from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2006, was the recipient of CMU’s Watson award in 2001, was a finalist for the first Edge of Computation Award in 2005, and received a Lifetime Career Award from the IEEE in 2009 for contributions to Virtual Reality.

AS AN AUTHOR

Lanier is a well-known author and speaker. His book “You are not a gadget” will be released in early 2010 by Knopf in the USA and Penguin in the UK. “Jaron’s World” is his monthly column in Discover Magazine, currently on hiatus, and devoted to his own wide ranging ideas and research. He writes and speaks on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technological practices, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. His lecture client list has included most of the well-known high technology firms as well as many others in the energy, automotive, and financial services industries. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Discover, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Harpers Magazine, The Sciences, Wired Magazine (where he was a founding contributing editor), and Scientific American. He has edited special “future” issues of SPIN and Civilization magazines. He is one of the 100 “remarkable people” of the Global Business Network.

IN MUSICAs a musician, Lanier has been active in the world of new “classical” music since the late seventies. He is a pianist and a specialist in unusual musical instruments, especially the wind and string instruments of Asia. He maintains one of the largest and most varied collections of actively played rare instruments in the world. Lanier has performed with artists as diverse as Philip Glass, Ornette Coleman, George Clinton, Sean Lennon, Vernon Reid, Terry Riley, Duncan Sheik, Pauline Oliveros, and Stanley Jordan. Lanier co-composed the soundtrack to “The Third Wave,” a documentary released in Sept. 2009 to critical acclaim after winning awards at film festivals around the world. Lanier’s work with acoustic “world” instruments can be heard on many other soundtracks as well, including a prominent role in “Three Seasons” (1999), which was the first film ever to win both the Audience and Grand Jury awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

He also writes chamber and orchestral music. Current commissions include a symphony for the Bach Festival Orchestra. Recent commissions include: “Earthquake!”, a ballet which premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in April, 2006; “Little Shimmers” for the TroMetrik ensemble, which premiered at ODC in San Francisco in April, 2006; “Daredevil” for the ArrayMusic chamber ensemble, which was premiered in Toronto in 2006; A concert length sequence of works for orchestra and virtual worlds (including “Canons for Wroclaw”, “Khaenoncerto”, “The Egg”, and others) celebrating the 1000th birthday of the city of Wroclaw, Poland, premiered in 2000; A triple concerto, “The Navigator Tree”, commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Composers Forum, premiered in 2000; and “Mirror/Storm”, a symphony commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and premiered in 1998. “Continental Harmony”, a PBS special that documented the development and premiere of “The Navigator Tree” won a CINE Golden Eagle Award. His CD “Instruments of Change” was released on Point/Polygram in 1994.

IN VISUAL ART

Lanier’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the United States and Europe. In 2002 he co-created (with Philippe Parreno) an exhibit illustrating how aliens might perceive humans for the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris. In 1994 he directed the film “Muzork” under a commission from ARTE Television. His 1983 “Moondust” (which he programmed in 6502 assembly) is generally regarded as the first art video game, and the first interactive music publication. He has presented installations in New York City, including the “Video Feedback Waterbed” and the “Time-accelerated Painting”, which was situated in the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage. His first one man show took place in 1997 at the Danish Museum for Modern Art in Roskilde. He helped make up the gadgets and scenarios for the 2002 science fiction movie Minority Report by Steven Spielberg.CELEBRITY FLUFF

In 2005 Lanier was selected as one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by readers of Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (but certainly not the Wikipedia) includes him in its list of history’s 300 or so greatest inventors. The nation of Palau has issued a postage stamp in his honor. Various television documentaries have been produced about him, such as “Dreadlocks and Digital Dreamworlds” by Tech TV in 2002. The 1992 movie Lawnmower Man was in part based on him and his early laboratory- he was played by Piers Brosnan. He has appeared on national television many times, on shows such as “The News Hour,” “Nightline,” and “Charlie Rose,” and has been profiled multiple times on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

AWARDS

  • Carnegie Mellon University’s Watson award in 2001
  • Finalist for the first Edge of Computation Award in 2005
  • Honorary doctorate from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2006
  • IEEE Virtual Reality Career Award in 2009
  • Named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in 2010 (nominated by Microsoft VP Dan Reed)

WORKS

WESTERN CLASSICAL MUSIC

  • Instruments of Change (1994),[22] POINT Music/Philips/PolyGram Records

VIDEO GAMES

  • Moondust (C64, 1983)
  • Alien Garden (Atari 800, 1982)

SIGNIFICANT PAPERS

  • “One Half of a Manifesto”, Edge, 11.11.00
  • “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism”, Edge, 5.30.06
  • “Beware the Online Collective”, Edge, 12.25.06

BOOKS

  • You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010, ISBN 978-1846143410

SPEECHES

  • ‘Finding Humanity in the Interface: Capacity Atrophy or Augmentation?’ A debate between Jaron Lanier and Will Wright from the Accelerating Change 2004 conference.
  • Video of Jaron Lanier speaking at a Film Festival
  • Video of Jaron Lanier’s “McLuhan Ramp” Lecture
  • Video of Jaron Lanier with Neal Stephenson, Neil Gershenfeld, Raymond Laflamme, and Tara Hunt, on The Agenda with Steve Paikin at the Quantum to Cosmos festival
  • Video of panel discussion with Jaron Lanier, Neal Stephenson and Lee Smolin, “Seeing Science Through Fiction” at the Quantum to Cosmos festival
  • Podcast of Science in the Pub panel discussion with Jaron Lanier, Hod Lipson, Wilson da Silva and Eliezer Yudkowsky: “So We’re All Gonna be Robots, Now?”
  • Video of Jaron Lanier giving a talk titled: ‘Staying Human in a Tech-Driven World’ at Zócalo public square, on January 28, 2010

INTERVIEWS

  • Interview with Jaron Lanier on Music
  • Coding from Scratch: A Conversation with Jaron Lanier, Part 1
  • The Future of Virtual Reality: A Conversation with Jaron Lanier, Part 2
  • Brown, David Jay; Novick, Rebecca McClen (1995). Voices from the edge: Conversations with Jerry Garcia, Ram Dass, Annie Sprinkle, Matthew Fox, Jaron Lanier, & others. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press. ISBN 0-89594-732-3
  • Interview by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Counterpoint program; Lanier strongly criticises both Wikipedia and singularitarianism
  • A Conversation with Jaron Lanier

Checkout the ASCII Art and Pictures of Jaron Lanier in the below link. Extract the Files from WinRAR Archive. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/file/d-4oDaac/Jaron_Zepel_Lanier.html

MALALAI JOYA – THE BRAVEST AFGHAN WOMAN

Malalai Joya (born April 25, 1978) is an Afghan politician who has been called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.” As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament. She is an outspoken critic of both the Taliban as well as the present Afghan government of Karzai and its western supporters.

In May 2007, Joya was suspended from the parliament on the grounds that she had insulted fellow representatives in a television interview. Her suspension, which is currently being appealed, has generated protest internationally and appeals for her reinstatement have been signed by high profile writers, intellectuals such as Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky, and politicians including Members of Parliament from Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. Joya has been compared to the symbol of Burma’s democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi. TIME magazine named Malalai Joya to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Joya has written a memoir with Canadian writer Derrick O’Keefe, under the title of “Raising My Voice”. Her most memorable quote is: “It is time for the women of Afghanistan to be unveiled, and for Afghanistan to rise again and be the great nation we remember it to be.” To be a woman growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban and to survive is in itself a major feat. To be so lucky as to become literate in a place where girls are shrouded and denied even fresh air is close to a miracle. To start underground schools and educate girls under the noses of turbaned, self-appointed defenders of virtue and forbidders of vice is truly extraordinary.

But to get a seat in parliament and refuse to be silent in the face of the Taliban and warlord zealots shows true fiber. When Malalai Joya did this, her opponents responded in the usual way: expulsion from parliament, warnings, intimidation and attempts to cut her life short. She has survived all of it. Malalai, 31, is a leader. I hope in time she comes to see the U.S. and NATO forces in her country as her allies. She must use her notoriety, her demonstrated wit and her resilience to get the troops on her side instead of out of her country. The road to freedom is long and arduous and needs every hand.

AWARDS & HONORS

  • January 2004, The Cultural Union of Afghans in Europe, awarded her the “Malalai of Maiwand” award for her brave speech in the Loya Jirga.
  • December 2004, the Valle d’Aosta Province of Italy awarded her the International Women of the Year 2004 Award.
  • March 15, 2006, Mr. Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley presented a certificate of honor to her for “her continued work on behalf of human rights”.
  • March 2006, she got the “Gwangju Award for Human Rights 2006” from May 18th Foundation in South Korea.
  • Aug.2006, the Women’s Peacepower Foundation awarded Joya “Women of Peace award 2006”.
  • She was named among the “1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005”
  • The World Economic Forum selected Joya among 250 Young Global Leaders for 2007.
  • 2007 Golden Fleur-de-Lis (Giglio d’Oro) award given by Town Council of Toscana Region of Italy (July 23, 2007).
  • September 11, 2007, The European Parliament named Joya among five nominees for Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2007.
  • October 6, 2007, Commune of Viareggio city of Italy awarded her the Mare Nostrum Award.
  • October 9, 2007, Commune of the Provincia di Arezzo, Comune di Bucine and Comune di Supino in Italy present Honorary citizenships to her.
  • November 2007, The 14th Angel Award by The Angel Festival, CA, USA.
  • February 11, 2008, Malalai Joya and the documentary “Enemies of Happiness” was honoured with the “International Human Rights Film Award” by Amnesty International, Cinema for Peace and Human Rights Film Network. The award was given to her by two times academy award winning actress Hilary Swank.
  • October 6, 2008, Malalai Joya received the Anna Politkovskaya Award in London which is given to courageous women who have defended human rights.
  • October 21, 2008, Regional Council of Tuscany (Italy) presented Malalai Joya a Gold Medal.
  • October 30, 2008, Spanish organization, Spanish Committee for the Assistance to the Refugees (CEAR), announce Malalai Joya and Kurdish activist Leyla Zana winner of 2008 Juan Maria Bandres award for Human Rights and solidarity with the refugees.
  • March 28, 2009, International Anti-discrimination Award 2009 by Dutch Unity is Strength Foundation, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • November 8, 2009, US Member of Congress Barbara Lee Honors Malalai Joya.
  • April 29, 2010, named to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, although she is angry at how she was portrayed as in favor of the NATO and U.S. occupation.
  • June 23, 2010, Spanish daily El Mundo awards Yo Dona International award of “premio a la Labor Humanitaria” to Malalai in Madrid.

FILMS

  • Malalai Joya champions rape victims, 2008, by Glyn Strong.
  • Enemies of Happiness, 2006, directed by Eva Mulvad.
  • A Woman Among Warlords (2007). Directed by Eva Mulvad. Aired on the Wide Angle TV series in September 2007.
  • Afghanistan Unveiled 2004, by Nicolas Delloye, Aina Productions.

Checkout the Collection of ASCII Art and Pictures of Malalai Joya from the below link. Download the file and extract it to your PC. To view the ASCII Art that has been stored in the Notepad Text File, Open the text file in Notepad. Then Go to Format and Uncheck WordWrap, then In Format Go to Font and Change the Font to Lucida Console and Set the Font Size to 3 or 4 Pt. Now you could be able to see the ASCII Art. Maximize the window to view in full extent. ENJOY ! !

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DR.MANMOHAN SINGH – LIBERATOR OF INDIAN ECONOMY

Dr. Manmohan Singh is the fourteenth, and current, Prime Minister of India. He was born on 26 September, 1932, Gah, West Punjab (now in Pakistan) and is member of the left-of-centre Indian National Congress party. A Sikh by faith, Singh was sworn in on May 22, 2004.

A rather low-key politician, Manmohan Singh enjoys a “squeaky clean” image and was advisor to opposition chief Sonia Gandhi throughout the election campaign in 2004 and their time in the
opposition. He was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2002. Singh’s elevation to the most important national office came when Sonia Gandhi herself refused to take the top job, in view of the massive opposition she could have faced on account of her Italian antecedents. Although many critics and opposition leaders routinely criticize Gandhi as being the real power, or indeed a de-facto ruler, Singh is held in high esteem, and regard, all over the country and the world.

Singh has been married since 1958; he and his wife have three daughters.

Economic Reforms

Singh is regarded as the architect of India’s original economic reform programme. His policies of economic liberalization, serving in his capacity as Finance Minister under the government of Narasimha Rao in the early 1990s, brought the country back from a looming economic bankruptcy. Now the country is enjoying record economic growth on the foundations laid by him. Singh is an economist by training, and has formerly served in the International Monetary Fund. He was educated at Nuffield College, Oxford, St John’s College, Cambridge and Punjab University; he holds a doctorate in economics from Oxford.

Although his economic policies – which included the reduction of several redundant socialist policies – were widely popular, especially among the middle class, Singh lost his seat to the Lok
Sabha from South Delhi in 1999. He was also a member of the Rajya Sabha from Assam since 1991 and the upper house leader of the opposition from 1998 – 2004 when India was governed by the right-of-center Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP.

Although an economic modernization plan presented by Singh was rejected by the Congress Party, which avowed itself to socialism, the reforms he introduced are regarded as primarily responsible for the present economic boom the country enjoys, and considered irreversible in face of the real progress achieved.

Ascent to Power

Dr. Manmohan Singh, an economic bureaucrat, was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India in the late 1980s. In 1991, he was asked to head the Finance Ministry by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who was aware of an acute economic crisis due to decades of stagnant socialist policies and a government riddled by fractious alliances, corruption and imcompetence. The crisis was so bad that the Government was about to mortgage its gold reserves to the Bank of England to obtain the cash reserves to run the country. All this while more than 400 million people starved and struggled in poverty and miserable living conditions.

Achieving an economic turn-around in two years, Dr. Singh was hailed as a hero, although the Rao
administration was unpopular thanks to scandals, its parliamentary status as a minority government, and religious violence all over the country. Although its dissolution in 1996 marked the end of Rao’s political career, Dr. Singh exited without bruises.

Dr. Singh stayed with the Congress Party despite continuous marginalization and defeats in the elections of 1996, 1998 and 1999. He did not join the rebels in a major split which occurred in 1999, when many major Congress leaders objected to Sonia Gandhi’s rise as Congress President and Leader of the Opposition. Being touted as the Congress choice for the PM’s job, she became a target for nationalists who objected to her Italian birth. It seemed that a party which turned to old links to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and a foreigner for political leadership had no future or potential to look forward to. But Singh continued as a prominent leader, rising in confidence and helping to revamp the party’s platform and organization.

The Congress alliance won a surprisingly high number of seats in the Parliamentary elections of 2004, owing to a nationwide disenchantment of millions of poorer citizens with the BJP’s focus on the surging middle-class, and also its dismal record in handling religious tensions. The Left Front decided to support a Congress alliance government from outside in order to keep the “communal forces” out of power. Sonia Gandhi was elected leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party and was expected to become the Prime Minister but in a surprise move, declined to accept the post and instead nominated Dr. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. There were protests within the Congress about her refusal but eventually people accepted her decision and the allies too accepted her choice. Singh secured the nomination for prime minister on May 19, 2004 when President of India President Abdul Kalam. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam officially asked him to form a government. Although most expected him to head the Finance Ministry himself, he did not do so. His political mentor Sonia Gandhi retains absolute control over the MPs and organization of the Congress Party.

His appointment is notable as it comes 20 years after India witnessed significant tensions between
the Indian central government and the Punjabi Sikh community. After Congress Party Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the mother-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, ordered central government troops to storm the Golden Temple (the holiest site in Sikhism) in Amritsar, Punjab to quell a separatist movement, she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. The result was a tremendous nationwide crisis in which many innocent Sikhs were murdered in riots.

Tenure as Prime Minister

Singh has been Prime Minister for little over a year, and his remains a fairly popular government. His image is of an intellectual, a political leader of integrity (a common public perception denounces virtually every other as corrupt and tainted), compassionate and attentive to common people. Although legislative achievements have been few and the Congress-led alliance is routinely hampered by conflicts and scandals, Singh’s administration has focused on reducing the fiscal deficit, providing debt-relief to poor farmers, extending social programs and advancing the pro-industry economic and tax policies that have launched the country on its major economic expansion course since 2002. Being a Sikh from a secular-socialist party, Singh has been the image of the Congress campaign to defuse religious tensions and conflicts and bolster political support from minorities like Muslims, Christians, and of course, Sikhs.

The Prime Minister’s foreign policy has been to continue the new peace process with Pakistan initiated by his predecessor, Atal Behari Vajpayee. Exchange visits by top leaders from both countries have highlighted this year, as has reduced terrorism and increased prosperity in the
state of Kashmir. The peace process has also been used by the government to build stronger relations with the United States, China and European nations.

But the Government suffered a setback when it lost the support of a key ally, Russia, for its bid for a permanent membership to the U.N. Security Council with veto privileges. Plans to expand the Council and reform the U.N. did not empower the nation’s role as an Asian leader, although foreign leaders and its own hail it as the next Asian economic and strategic giant.

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Checkout the ASCII Art of Dr.Manmohan Singh in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

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