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Coke, Pepsi Full Of Pesticides, Says Study; Companies Deny It

Posted on 2003/8/6 9:45:02 ( 977 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 5, 2003: In findings, hotly contested by global giants Coke and Pepsi, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) picked up three bottles each of 12 soft drink brands from the two companies from Delhi and found they contained a "deadly pesticide cocktail" which exceed European norms by around 11 to 70 times. But these do not breach Indian laws which, said the CSE, are weak or non-existent. Rivals Coke and Pepsi, accused of "double standards," came together to challenge CSE's testing methods. They sought an independent scientific inquiry into the matter, while claiming that their products were safe and world-class. Our products are tested locally, in accredited labs, and internationally, said Coke and Pepsi chiefs Sanjeev Gupta and Rajeev Bakshi respectively. Both companies claim that they operate within European and American norms with "top-grade testing, top-grade products." CSE chief Sunita Narain said sample bottles picked up from the US showed no trace of pesticides. However, CSE found high individual pesticide residues in the Delhi samples: An average of 15 times higher for DDT and metabolites; 21 times higher for lindane; 42 times higher for chlorphyrifos; 87 times higher for malathion. On the list, all allegedly breaching the norms, were Coke, Pepsi, Thums Up, Fanta, Mirinda Orange, Mirinda Lemon, Seven Up, Limca, Blue Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi and Sprite.

HPI has contacted the USA Coca-Cola company, whose representative is finding out for us the name of the independent labs that tested the product. The USA Coca-Cola company said, "Coca-Cola and Pepsi products made in India are regularly tested in world-class laboratories, including for the four pesticides named in the CSE report. The products meet North American and European standards. Stringent quality monitoring takes places at the manufacturing plants both of source water and finished product, and internationally and locally accredited laboratories conduct regular testing."

Corrected URL: Four-Year Old Recalls a Previous Lifetime

Posted on 2003/8/6 9:44:02 ( 1020 reads )


CHANDNER, GHAZIABAD, August 1, 2003: Recalling his previous life in perfect detail, four-year-old Aishwary was taken by his parents in this life to meet his former family. At first, his father of this life was skeptical about the four-year old's stories, but he finally decided to look into the child's reminiscences. After contacting the villagers of Kamalpur to confirm Aishwary's details of his former life, the child's father of this life confirmed that Aishwary had been Vir Pal, an electrician who died on July 27, 1997. When Aishwary was taken by his father to meet his former family, he was able to recognize his former wife, children, uncle, aunt and his old friends. As a result, Aishwary has been the center of attraction in his village.

HPI adds: The above URL is corrected for this story. Other URL's yesterday for some reason brought up pages of text with the HTML code visible, but they were the correct stories.

Kaua'i Temple Rising

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:49:02 ( 1076 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, July 31, 2003: San Marga Iraivan Temple, rising on the grounds of the 33-year-old Saiva Siddhanta Church monastery, (also home of Hinduism Today and HPI) is built of Indian white granite and formed by Indian stonemasons. It is fulfilling the vision of the late Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, known to his followers as Gurudeva, founder of the church and its monastery. Hindu pilgrims from around the world are arriving daily to worship at the edifice. The temple has been several years under construction and has at least seven more years before it is complete. Its designers intend it to last 1,000 years. Its concrete foundation, 68 feet by 168 feet and 3 feet thick was designed not to crack, even under the estimated 3.2-million-pound load of a massive granite temple structure. The granite is being hand-quarried by 70 stonemasons near Bangalore in India. Beams and blocks of stone are carved there, then shipped to Kaua'i. Final shaping and fitting is done on site by a team of Indian masons under the supervision of master builder Shanmugan Sthapati. The heart of the temple has a special chamber that will contain a 700-pound crystal called the Sivalingam, which now is in the monastery's smaller Kadavul temple. San Marga Iraivan is a Chola-style temple of the southern part of India. It is dedicated to the Hindu god, Siva. "Gurudeva envisioned it as a place of pilgrimage," said Gurudeva's successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. "Hindus are encouraged to take a pilgrimage annually to a distant place. This is a convenient location for North American Hindus. Already we have lots of people coming every month."

Digging up the Saraswati River to Reveal Ancient Cultural Sites

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:48:02 ( 826 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 26, 2003: In an attempt to uncover ancient Hindu cultural sites, the Indian government, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, has started excavating along the legendary Saraswati River from Haryana to Gujarat. The task is an arduous one in a land where the local people are often not aware of the value of their heritage and artefacts from cultural sites are often smuggled out of the country. Tourism Minister Jagmohan says, "We are shortly coming up with an amendment to the existing legislation on protection of antiques and arts which will make illegal trafficking a cognisable offense and give police the powers of seizure." As they forge ahead with the excavation, it is expected that treasures, such as abandoned towns and inhabitations from the Harappan civilization dating well before 3000 bce, will be revealed. The Tourism Department has grand plans to house the artefacts uncovered in museums to attract tourists. Communities along the dried up river have been encouraged to keep the environment around the heritage sites clean. After Jagmohan addressed an interactive meeting organized by UNESCO about the heritage sites, Indian-born Australian Amareswar Galla commented, "As long as you have poverty, you will have problem with dealing illicit trafficking in cultural property, be it India or elsewhere."

Four-Year Old Recalls a Previous Lifetime

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:47:02 ( 926 reads )


CHANDNER, GHAZIABAD, August 1, 2003: Recalling his previous life in perfect detail, four-year-old Aishwary was taken by his parents in this life to meet his former family. At first, his father of this life was skeptical about the four-year old's stories, but he finally decided to look into the child's reminiscences. After contacting the villagers of Kamalpur to confirm Aishwary's details of his former life, the child's father of this life confirmed that Aishwary had been Vir Pal, an electrician who died on July 27, 1997. When Aishwary was taken by his father to meet his former family, he was able to recognize his former wife, children, uncle, aunt and his old friends. As a result, Aishwary has been the center of attraction in his village.

Circus Must Answer Animal Cruelty Charges

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:46:02 ( 942 reads )


WASHINGTON, DC, July 31, 2003: The nation's largest circus will have to defend itself against charges that it mistreats elephants that perform under the big tent. A federal judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit by animal welfare groups claiming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has abused Asian elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The groups claim circus employees routinely beat the elephants with sharp bull hooks, keep elephants in chains for long periods of time and forcibly remove baby elephants from their mothers before they are properly weaned. The suit was filed in 2000 by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, The Fund for Animals and Tom Rider, a former Ringling Bros. elephant trainer.

"Hello, My Name is GoVeg.com"

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:45:02 ( 979 reads )


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, July 31, 2003: Changing her name legally from Karin Robertson to GoVeg.com has had just the effect the 23-year-old, employed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has wanted. Whenever she presents her driver's license at an airport, bank or anyplace else, a conversation is initiated about the benefits of vegetarian food or the treatment of animals on farms and in processing plants. GoVeg.com's mom and dad are supportive of her decision to change her name and her mother says, "I think she has a good reason for doing what she's doing." Her father regularly eats vegetarian food since having triple bypass surgery two years ago. GoVeg.com appreciates the full use of her name, without shortening it to "GoVeg" or "Dot."

Move Over Superman, Now Comes Hanuman

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:44:02 ( 1003 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 24, 2003: The Cartoon Network, an entertainment channel owned by the Turner Entertainment Network, is coming out with an animated series 'Hanuman-the Monkey God' next year for India. As the powerful saviour who is going to save the world from demons, Hanuman, is all set to give a tough competition to Western counterparts like He-Man and Superman. The concept remains the same as in the original but the story is set in the modern world, an imaginary place called Westport,where Hanuman saves the protagonists Chandler and his sister Maya from Rock Shasa, the modern Rakshasa (demon). Conceived and designed by leading animator Atul Rao, the pre-production of the 13-episode series will be over in a two weeks and move on to fore-production in 19 weeks, says Toonz President and CEO, Bill Dennis. More than 400 people are engaged in the project. The Adventures of Hanuman was part of Toonz's plans to tap the rich treasure house of Indian myths, classic and folk tales, with a series on the redoubtable court prankster Tenali Rama already in its final stages, says Dennis. "The legends of Hanuman are known not in India alone. In China, he is known as Shun Wu Kong, the wind monkey. In Thailand, he is the central character in Ramakiya, the country's most popular folk tale," Dennis said.

August Festivals and Resources

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:43:02 ( 1026 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, August 3, 2003: Our thanks to M P Bhattathiry (mpmahesh@asianetindia.com) for providing the following list of festivals and related resources. In this month, August 2 is Naag Panchami, 4 is Tulsidas Jayanti, 12 is Raksha Bandhan, 15 is Sri Aurobindo Jayanti, 19 is Sri Krishna Jayanti, 31 is Ganesh Chaturthi.

1.Sri Aurobindo's words - excerpts from the book India's Rebirth. It has helped me understand India.


2. Significance of Sri Krishna Jayanthi - source

3. Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi - source

4. Enshrining Ganesha - published by Jnana Prabhodini. This piece gives the manual of worship of Shri Ganesha, the rites to be performed before the immersion of the image. source

5. Sacred Trees of the Hindus - by Dr Satish Kapoor. Gives mythological & social linkages.


Biofeedback Used to Train Musicians

Posted on 2003/8/3 9:42:02 ( 971 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, JULY 27, 2003: Once upon a time, to become a superb musician, it required never ending practice or face-to-face training with a guru to acquire masterful skills. With the high technology of the 21st Century, has come the development of gizmos that rely on a process called neurofeedback that trains budding musicians to clear their minds and produce more creative brain waves without striking a single cord.

According to a report to be published in a forthcoming issue of Neuroreport, researchers at Imperial College, London, and Charring Cross Hospital say the technique has helped musicians to improve by an average of 17 per cent, the equivalent of one grade or class of honors. Some "wannabe" musicians improved as much as 50 per cent when they were assessed on two pieces of music before and after neurofeedback sessions.

Known as neurotherapy, or more popularly as "no-hands Nintendo," the brain activity of music students was monitored through sensors attached to the scalp, which filtered out relevant brain waves and fed them back to the subjects in the form of a video game displayed on a computer screen. The participants learned to control the game by their mind power alone, consciously controlling the form of their brain waves, which in turn influenced their musical performance, musical understanding, imagination and communication with the audience A derivative of biofeedback techniques that originated in the 1960's, an in-depth report on this stimulating procedure can be found at the "source" above.

Godavari Pushkaram, the "Kumbha Mela of the South" Attracts Hundreds of Thousands of Pilgrims

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:49:02 ( 1287 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, July 30, 2003: Hundreds of thousands of devotees took a holy dip in Godavari river at the start of the 12-day Godavari Pushkaram in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Pushkaram is revered as the "Kumbh Mela of the South," and occurs once in 12 years. State officials said over 35 million pilgrims are expected to visit the state for a holy dip in Godavari during this period. The district of Rajahmundry alone is set to attract over 25 million visitors. Elaborate arrangements have been made by the state government to ensure smooth conduct of the Mela. Over 200 bathing ghats have been erected at various places spread over seven districts of East Godavari, West Godavari, Nizamabad, Khammam, Warangal, Adilabad and Karimnagar.

Astrologers Join Scientists to Foresee Quakes

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:48:02 ( 915 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 31, 2003: New Delhi: Astrologers and seismologists are meeting in New Delhi on Friday to pool their ability to foretell earthquakes quickly and accurately, according to Vijay Madan, an executive member of the Astrology Study and Research Institute. "Scientists will analyse the seismic data recorded before the Gujarat earthquake as well as during its aftermath. We will match this with planetary configurations during the same period," Madan said. "Based on our scientific astrological predictions governments can take precautions, mitigate the fallout of earthquakes and put effective disaster management plans in place." A book titled "Predicting Earthquakes and Calamaties," by astrologer Lachhman Das, will be released at the workshop

Ramchandra Paramhans Attains Mahasamadhi

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:47:02 ( 912 reads )


FAIZABAD, INDIA, July 31, 2003: Ramchandra Paramhans, chief of the Ramjanmabhoomi Trust and one of the main figures in the Ayodhya movement for close to eight decades, died this morning in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. He was 90. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has condoled the death of the mahant. "The death has shocked me profoundly. His contribution towards the Ramjanmabhoomi movement will be etched in golden letters," he said. The mahant of the Ramananda Sampradaya was revered by the Sangh Parivar and a large number of followers for his command over Hindu religious scriptures. He spearheaded the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and held center stage in the Ayodhya movement for close to eight decades. Born as Chandreshwar Tiwari in 1913 in Singhanipur village of Bihar, the mahant had been based in Ayodhya since 1934. He was associated with the temple movement ever since the appearance in 1949 of Ram Lalla's icon in the Babri Masjid, built upon the site of Lord Rama's birth.

Muslims Donate Money to Repair Hindu Temple

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:46:02 ( 942 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, July 30, 2003: The Muslim community in a small town in Madhya Pradesh has set an example in communal amity by generously contributing to the renovation of a 300-year-old dilapidated temple. The temple was in urgent need of repairs and few people visited it. In fact, many in the area did not even know about its existence. "Had it been not for our Muslim friends, the temple could never have regained its grand form," said Suresh Dubey, who took up the task of renovating the shrine. It was not until Dubey initiated the repairs that people started taking notice of it. And then to his surprise, many Muslims living close to the temple started donating money generously. At least 20 Muslims gave US$10.50 (Rs. 501, a decent contribution) or more for the renovation of the temple, he said.

Arizona: Protesters Fail to Mar Hindu Festival

Posted on 2003/8/2 9:45:02 ( 981 reads )


SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, USA, July 29, 2003: Several people stood Sunday morning near the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Scottsdale holding signs directed at a Hindu celebration across the street. The Hindu Temple of Arizona was celebrating the last day of its Ratha-Yatra festival by pulling a chariot down Hayden Road when several people appeared with signs bearing messages about Jesus being the only deity. The Rev. Brian Murphy, pastor of the church, said he does not know who the people holding signs were. He said they were not members of the church. Dinesh Updhyaya, the Hindu priest at the temple, said no one at the temple seemed angered by the protesters. It was quite peaceful," Updhyaya said. "Everyone is allowed their religion."

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