Facts (Plz comment)

# 10. Titanic – $150 Million

The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world. But it barely makes our list of top 10 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today ‘ s dollars).

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# 9. Tanker Truck vs Bridge – $358 Million

On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany . The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million.

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# 8. MetroLink Crash – $500 Million

On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles . It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging.. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.

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# 7. B-2 Bomber Crash – $1.4 Billion

Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we ‘ re only #7 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.

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# 6. Exxon Valdez – $2.5 Billion

The Exxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world ‘ s biggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10..8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship ‘ s master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a Reef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2..5 billion.

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# 5. Piper Alpha Oil Rig – $3.4 Billion

The world ‘ s worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world ‘ s single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world ‘ s most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion.

Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.

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# 4. Challenger Explosion – $5.5 Billion

The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today ‘ s dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today ‘ s dollars).

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# 3. Prestige Oil Spill – $12 Billion

On November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia , Spain . Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea..

According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.

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# 2. Space Shuttle Columbia – $13 Billion

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA ‘ s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 Billion in today ‘ s dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million.

In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics..

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# 1. Chernobyl – $200 Billion

On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl , including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.

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1) Einstein got bad grades in school.

Generations of children have been heartened by the thought that this Nobel Prize winner did badly at school, but they’re sadly mistaken. In fact, he did very well at school, especially in science and maths (unsurprisingly).

2) Mice like cheese

Mice enjoy food rich in sugar as well as peanut butter and breakfast cereals. So a Snickers bar would go down much better than a lump of cheddar.

3) Napoleon was short.

He was actually around 5ft 7, completely average for the 18th/19th century.

4) Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.

Edison invented a lot of things – in fact he’s one of the most famous inventors of all time – but the light bulb wasn’t one of them. What he did was develop a light bulb at the same time as the British man, Joseph Swan, who came up with it originally.

5) Lemmings throw themselves over cliffs to commit suicide

The poor old things are sometimes so desperate for food that they do, according to the BBC “jump over high ground into water”, but they aren’t committing group suicide.

6) Water flushes differently in different hemispheres

No it doesn’t. Sorry!

7) Humans evolved from apes

Darwin didn’t actually say this, but he’s been misreported ever since. What he did say was that we, and apes, and chimpanzees for that matter, had a common ancestor, once, a long, long time ago.

8) Vikings had horns/helmets with horns.

Vikings may have been buried with their helmets and with drinking horns. When they were dug up by the Victorians, they assumed that the helmets had horns.

9) Columbus believed the earth was flat

He may not have known how big the world was, but he wasn’t worrying about falling off the edge of it.

10) Different parts of the tongue detect different tastes

You do have different taste buds on your tongue and some are more sensitive than others. But they aren’t divided into perfect, easy-to-teach sections.


Bindisha Sarang,Outlook Money


Picture    this. You are  in a tearing  hurry and  you pay off  the taxi guy  as you reach  your  destination.  He gives you  the change,  which you  hastily dump in your purse and rush. Off you go to a shopping mall to buy something. You pay at the counter with the notes you just got from the taxi guy.

The salesperson looks at one of the notes with suspicion and gives you an eerie look. He checks the note against fluorescent blue light, smells, crushes and lick tests it. Yuck! You say in disgust. He declares it fake and asks you for another one.

Standing agape, you demand he takes it. He threatens to call the police. You run for your life.

You better do!

Rakesh Maria, joint police commissioner (crime), Mumbai City, says: “Possession of fake notes is an offence. One Rs 5 fake note is good enough [to be guilty of possession].” Well, now that you have a fake note in possession, you are already in trouble, technically! So what do you do now? Read on. . .

The legal tangle

With revenge on your mind, you determine to palm off the note to some unsuspecting fellow. In fact, if you think of palming off the note, you are not alone.

A quick dipstick survey shows 98 per cent people would do the same. But you better not do that, either.

Maria says, “It is unfortunate that people palm off fake notes. Palming off a fake note knowingly is also an offence.”

You definitely do not want to be caught doing that. In fact, intentionally passing on a fake currency note is a cognisable offence, which could lead to a prison term.

Cursing your fate, you decide to get rid of the bummer right away, but how? A friend who inadvertently received a fake note donated it to a temple. (Another dipstick survey at a few local religious places shows that nearly 20 per cent of donations are in form of either soiled or fake notes.)

That’s too low for you to do. Having run out of options, you march to a local bank, hoping to get an exchange.

The brutal truth

A Reserve Bank of India spokesperson says: “According to the RBI, when a customer takes a counterfeit note to a bank, the bank is supposed to impound it and give the customer an acknowledgement receipt.”

After impounding the note, they will stamp it ‘Counterfeit bank note impounded’ and give you an acknowledgement receipt, even if you refuse to countersign the same. You lose your money since a fake note is never paid for but confiscated.

But that’s not the end of the story.

The bank will file a First Information Report against your name at the local police station. A copy of this FIR is sent to the Forged Banknote Vigilance Cell at the bank’s head office.

The bank will be alert if you try to deposit any fake notes in the future. The police will look into the matter and carry routine investigation in order to get any further leads and zero down on the exact source.

Says Maria: “Crime does not differentiate between class. Even if you are a housewife who inadvertently has a fake note, we can investigate. Once we know that there is no mens rea (criminal intent), we just make a diary entry.”

Following the investigation, if you are found to be an inadvertent victim, the matter ends there.

But let’s get real! Do you, even as a customer who honestly walked into a bank after being palmed off a fake note, want to face the police?

What if you are planning for studies abroad, or an employment visa? Wouldn’t an FIR in your name have a negative influence on visa authorities? “No,” says Maria. However, a source from British consulate says: “. . . on verification, things like this may give a wrong impression about you to visa authorities.”

Are banks remiss?

Newspapers and news channels have been reporting about ATMs dispensing fake notes. Instances of bank staff diluting authentic currency with fakes have been reported, too.

Take the case of the chief cashier of a State Bank of India branch in Domariaganj, who was caught in the Rs 4 crore (Rs 40 million) fake currency scam. Such instances show that even banks can be a source of fake notes these days.

A cashier in a private bank says on the condition of anonymity: “We get customers who bring in fake notes, claiming that our ATM had dispensed it, but since they can’t prove it, we are helpless to do anything about it.”

Stories of banks brushing off responsibility, after dispensing fake notes via ATMs, is not uncommon.

The RBI has taken initiatives to deal with the dispensing of fake notes by ATMs. It has asked banks to set up note-sorting machines at all branches. In future, ATMs might be fitted with in-built detectors for fake currency notes.

The apex bank has proposed to introduce plastic notes, and it is common knowledge that improvisation in security features of the notes is an ongoing process.

Data from the RBI show that 398,111 counterfeit notes were detected during 2008-09 at the Reserve Bank’s offices and branches alone. It goes without saying that there are many more in circulation and the number will only increase.

The best defence is to be vigilant while handling cash, especially with Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. And of course, pray that you never receive a fake note again!


Is India a poor Country?

Revelation of Swiss Bank Accounts

This is so shocking. If black money deposits were an Olympics event, India would have won a gold medal hands down.

Russia , the second best, has four times less deposit.

US does not even figure in the top five!

India has more money in Swiss banks than all the other countries combined!!!!
Recently, due to international pressure, the Swiss government agreed to disclose the names of the account holders, but only if the respective governments formally asked for it. The Indian government is not asking for the details. No marks for guessing why!
We need to start a movement to pressure the government to do so. This is perhaps the only way – and a golden opportunity – to expose the high and mighty and weed out corruption.
Please read on and forward to all honest Indians to build a ground-swell of support for action.
Is India poor? Ask Swiss banks with personal account deposit bank of $1500 billion in foreign reserve which have been misappropriated. Considering that the amount is 13 times larger than the country’s foreign debt, one needs to rethink if India is indeed a poor country
Illegal personal accounts in foreign banks of dishonest industrialists, scandalous politicians and corrupt IAS, IRS, IPS officers have a sum of around $ 1500 billion – an amount about 13 times larger than the country’s foreign debt. With this amount, 45 crore poor people can get Rs 1,00,000 each.
This huge amount has been appropriated from the people of India by exploiting and betraying them.
Once this huge amount of black money comes back to India , the entire foreign debt can be repaid in 24 hours. After paying the entire foreign debt, we will have surplus amount, almost 12 times larger than the foreign debt. If this surplus amount is invested in earning interest, the amount of interest will be more than the annual budget of the Central government. So even if all the taxes are abolished, then too the Central government will be able to maintain the country very comfortably.
Some 80,000 people travel to Switzerland every year, of whom 25,000 travel very frequently. ‘Obviously, these people won’t be tourists. They must be travelling there for some other reason,’ believes an official involved in tracking illegal money. And, clearly, he isn’t referring to the commerce ministry bureaucrats who’ve been flitting in and out of Geneva ever since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations went into a tailspin!
Just read the following details and note how these dishonest industrialists, scandalous politicians, corrupt officers, cricketers, film actors, illegal sex trade and protected wildlife operators, to name just a few, sucked this country’s wealth and prosperity. This may be the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international banks?
Black money in Swiss banks — Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:
Top Five:

1. India —- $1,456 billion
2. Russia —$ 470 billion
3. UK ——-$390 billion
4. Ukraine – $100 billion
5. China —–$ 96 billion

Now do the maths – India with $1456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world combined.
Public loot since 1947: Can we bring back our money? It is one of the biggest loots witnessed by mankind — the loot of the Aam Aadmi (common man) since 1947, by his brethren occupying public office.

It has been orchestrated by politicians, bureaucrats and some businessmen. The list is almost all-encompassing. No wonder, everyone in India loots with impunity and without any fear. What is even more depressing in that this ill-gotten wealth of ours has been stashed away abroad into secret bank accounts located in some of the world’s best known tax havens. And to that extent the Indian economy has been stripped of its wealth.
Ordinary Indians may not be exactly aware of how such secret accounts operate and what are the rules and regulations that go on to govern such tax havens. However, one may well be aware of ‘Swiss bank accounts,’ the shorthand for murky dealings, secrecy and of course pilferage from developing countries into rich developed ones.
In fact, some finance experts and economists believe tax havens to be a conspiracy of the western world against the poor countries. By allowing the proliferation of tax havens in the 20th century, the western world explicitly encourages the movement of scarce capital from the developing countries to the rich.
In March 2005, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) published a research finding demonstrating that $11.5 trillion of personal wealth was held offshore by rich individuals across the globe. The findings estimated that a large proportion of this wealth was managed from some 70 tax havens. Further, augmenting these studies of TJN, Raymond Baker — in his widely celebrated book titled ‘Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free Market System’ — estimates that at least $5 trillion have been shifted out of poorer countries to the West since the mid-1970.
It is further estimated by experts that 1 % of the world’s population holds more than 57 % of total global wealth, routing it invariably through these tax havens. How much of this is from India is anybody’s guess. What is to be noted here is that most of the wealth of Indians parked in these tax havens is illegitimate money acquired through corrupt means.

Naturally, the secrecy associated with the bank accounts in such places is central to the issue, not their low tax rates as the term ‘tax havens’ suggests. Remember Bofors and how India could not trace the ultimate beneficiary of those transactions because of the secrecy associated with these bank accounts?

Share is a unit of account for various financial instruments including stocks, mutual funds, limited partnerships, and REIT’s. In British English, the usage of the word share alone to refer solely to stocks is so common that it almost replaces the word stock itself.

In simple Words, a share or stock is a document issued by a company, which entitles its holder to be one of the owners of the company. A share is issued by a company or can be purchased from the stock market.

By owning a share you can earn a portion and selling shares you get capital gain. So, your return is the dividend plus the capital gain. However, you also run a risk of making a capital loss if you have sold the share at a price below your buying price.

A company’s stock price reflects what investors think about the stock, not necessarily what the company is “worth.” For example, companies that are growing quickly often trade at a higher price than the company might currently be “worth.” Stock prices are also affected by all forms of company and market news. Publicly traded companies are required to report quarterly on their financial status and earnings. Market forces and general investor opinions can also affect share price.

Quick Facts on Stocks and Shares

* Owning a stock or a share means you are a partial owner of the company, and you get voting rights in certain company issues
* Over the long run, stocks have historically averaged about 10% annual returns However, stocks offer no
guarantee of any returns and can lose value, even in the long run
* Investments in stocks can generate returns through dividends, even if the price

How does one trade in shares ?

Every transaction in the stock exchange is carried out through licensed members called brokers.

To trade in shares, you have to approach a broker However, since most stock exchange brokers deal in very high volumes, they generally do not entertain small investors. These brokers have a network of sub-brokers who provide them with orders.

The general investors should identify a sub-broker for regular trading in shares and palce his order for purchase and sale through the sub-broker. The sub/broker will transmit the order to his broker who will then execute it .

What are active Shares ?

Shares in which there are frequent and day-to-day dealings, as distinguished from partly active shares in which dealings are not so frequent. Most shares of leading companies would be active, particularly those which are sensitive to economic and political events and are, therefore, subject to sudden price movements. Some market analysts would define active shares as those which are bought and sold at least three times a week. Easy to buy or sell.


Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5 September, 1888 in Tirutani, a well-known religious center in the Madras State. He was the second son of Veera Samayya, a tehsildar in a zamindari. It was a middle-class, respectable Hindu Brahmin family. Indeed, the place, the time and the family were most suitable, from every point of view, for the advent of a new philosopher-statesman, so directly needed in those turbulent days of the awakening of a very ancient and glorious nation, drowsy and dormant in its own ignorance and indolence, for reasons well known to all.

The wonderful far-sightedness, open-heartedness and broad-mindedness of his revered and beloved parents, which enabled them, in those days of blind prejudices and equally blind social taboos, to send their son to wellknown, well-managed, well-disciplined Christian educational institutions – stood him in good stead throughout, making it possible for him to acquire specially Occidental qualities like a sense of duty, punctuality, discipline, sobriety and the like, together with specially Oriental qualities of religiosity, calmness, patience, faith in God and men.

Radhakrishnan’s choice of Philosophy as his main or Honors subject in his B.A. degree course was due to a very fortunate accident. At that time, he was really rather baffled as to what particular Honors subject to choose from amongst the possible five, viz., Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Philosophy and History. Then, purely accidentally, and out of a mere boyish curiosity, he read three well-known works on Philosophy, passed on to him by one of his cousins who had that year obtained the B.A. degree with Philosophy Honors; and that definitely decided his future course of studies.

He studied Sanskrit and Hindi also; and had a good deal of interest in the traditional languages of India. He read also the Vedas and the Upanishads with great care and reverence.

In fact, Radhakrishnan was, and is, still today, a reader and a digester in the true sense of the terms. For, what he read – and he read widely and lovingly all kinds of good books – did not remain an exter nal acquisition, an ornamental decoration, with him; but blossomed forth in him in fullest glory and grandeur.

Radhakrishnan was, and still is, one of the most celebrated writers of the present generation. His works are many and varied on philosophical, theological, ethical, educational, social and cultural subjects. He contributed also numerous articles to different well-known journals, which too, will prove to be of immense value to
generations to come.

But what is most felt after reading any of his valuable works or articles is its wonderful liveliness. Truly, his articles are not merely outer expressions of his inner thoughts, but, what is more, infinitely more, emblems and embodiments of his very life – life that merrily dances forth in the fortuitous, zigzag way of the world, removing all its obstacles in its own inner irresistible urge and boundless boldness. Hence, it is that his works, written in an incredibly simple, sublime, soft and serene way, are so very enchanting, enlivening, exhilarating to all. As a matter of fact, as is well known, it is very difficult to express very abstract and abstruse philosophical thoughts in easily intelligible and enchantingly sweet language. But Dr. Radhakrishnan, like the great and revered Rabindranath, is one of the few who could accomplish this apparently impossible feat. That is why his philosophical writings are not ordinary scholarly dissertations, but also melodious poetical perfections of great and permanent value.

Dr. Radhakrishnan is, indeed, a versatile genius – a great scholar, a great philosopher, a great seer, a great writer, a great orator, a great statesman, a great administrator, all combined.

Jawaharlal Nehru, who was one of his closest friends throughout, said about Radhakrishnan: “I join you in paying my tribute to our President, Dr. Radhakrishnan. He has served his country in many capacities. But above all, he is a great Teacher from whom all of us have learnt much and will continue to learn. It is India’s peculiar privilege to have a great philosopher, a great educationist and a great humanist as her President. That in itself shows the kind of men we honor and respect”.


The greatest puzzle : LIFE

The greatest thought : GOD

The greatest mystery : DEATH

The greatest mistake : GIVING UP

The greatest need : COMMON SENSE

The greatest invention of the devil : WAR

The greatest secret of production : SAVING WASTE



The greatest sin : FEAR

The greatest blessing : GOOD HEALTH

The greatest law of nature : CAUSE AND EFFECT

The greatest gamble : SUBSTITUTING HOPE FOR FACT

The greatest joy : BEING NEEDED

The greatest opportunity : THE NEXT ONE

The greatest victory : VICTORY OVER YOURSELF

The greatest handicap : EGOTISM

The greatest loss : LOSS OF SELF-CONFIDENCE


The greatest thing, bar none, in the world: LOVE

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