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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 03/26/12

Monday, March 26, 2012

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE EVERYTHING!









Pet as art



The Canine Collection

   Transport your pet to another time with a "hilariously tongue-in-cheek" oil painting. For $950 and up, Dutch Touch Art uses a digital photo of your cat or dog to incorporate his or her regal visage into a hand-painted Old World–style portrait, using a stock background image or your suggestion. Should you wish, the image of your pet can include "personal effects, such as favorite toys."



Kusa flip-flops

Feel The Turf Between Your Toes


   You can get the feeling of walking barefoot in a grassy field wherever you go with Kusa flip-flops ($32), Australian-made knockabouts lined with high-quality synthetic turf that has "the look and feel" of the real thing. Their designer says that sporting the shoes is a way to rebel against "imposed conformity." But feel free to wear them just to start conversations when you're out strolling on a city street, along a beach, "or — if you're into irony — on an actual lawn."


Chase platinum credit card


Swipe dreams

   If American Express' Centurion "Black Card" is meant for the 1 percent, then JP Morgan Chase's Palladium Card caters to the .0001 percent. Only a couple thousand copies of the ultra-elite credit cards exist, and it costs a reported $1,000 just to make one of the etched palladium and 23-karat gold cards. Not just anyone can apply. For starters, Palladium cardholders must invest at least $25 million with JP Morgan. "We have probably half the world's billionaires as clients," an unnamed insider tells Bloomberg.



Bling beats



Bling Beats

   Why make do with a regular pair of $200 "Beats by Dr. Dre" headphones, when you can buy a custom-made, diamond-studded version ($1 million)? You might not find the precious headwear — produced in collaboration with Graff Diamonds — at your local RadioShack. But the headphones have been spotted on the rapper Lil' Wayne at the NBA All-Star Game. Maybe you could ask him?


For those who have everything: Customized infant rattles


For The Child of Model Parents

   Don't let the new parents feel forgotten when you buy a gift for a baby. Every Cameo by RUX infant rattle ($180) immortalizes the facial profiles of Mom and Dad in its two barbell-like ends. Using profile photos of both parents to guide a lathe, the company's Queens, N.Y., workshop carves each one-of-a-kind toy from fine maple. Designer Russell Greenberg, a new father himself, says "this is intended to be a family heirloom that's very special."


For those who have everything: Aston Martin's new office furniture collection



The Driver's Seat

   Almost every item in Aston Martin's new office furniture collection "looks like it's doing 150 mph just sitting there." You'll find a touch of fine automotive craftsmanship in every detail, from the aniline leather of the chairs to the desk made from a single folded sheet of aluminum. ($26,300 for desk and chair.) "Sure, the desk's slanted sides are going to encourage things to roll off the edge." But if you can afford the desk, "you can probably also afford to have multiple assistants on hand" for tidying.




Blue shotgun shells



 The Bullet Burial

   Years before the Alabama firm Holy Smoke LLC began offering to pack its customers' cremated remains into shotgun shells ($850), one of its two co-founders revealed that enjoying such a sendoff was his dream. "I will rest in peace," he told his friend, "knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me — screaming at him at about 900 feet a second." Each customer's ashes, once divided, fill 100 rifle cartridges or 250 shot shells. "Should you decide that you don't want to pump slugs full of Grandpa into the local fauna all at once," you can have the ammo delivered in a "mantle-worthy" wooden box.





cockroach



Love Bug

   New York's Bronx Zoo is hoping "to start a new lover's tradition: Giving the gift of a cockroach." With a $10 donation to the zoo, you can have one of the sanctuary's 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroaches named after your beloved, and for $15 more, the zoo will also send out a Cocoa-Roach with a card. Each of these artisanal sweets is made of 100 percent dark chocolate — no roach guts. So this Valentine's Day, remember that "diamonds may be forever, but a cockroach can survive a nuclear disaster."



Scratch and sniff jeans



Scratch and Sniff and Wear

   The self-proclaimed "crazy Canadian denim nerds" at Naked & Famous Denim have a solution in need of a problem with their new line of "Scratch-n-Sniff" jeans ($150). The men's jeans are covered in micro-capsules of perfume that activate when scratched — releasing "the very manly scent of raspberry," says Rina Raphael at NBC's Today. The smell lasts at least five turns through the laundry, says co-founder Brandon Svarc. But "many of our male customers don't wash their jeans very often anyways. In fact, some 'denimheads' don’t ever wash their jeans at all."





Skypak


The Frequent Flier's Furniture

   The pleasures of flying commercial can now be yours at home. Skypak airline trolleys are the same slim, sturdy rolling carts that flight attendants swear by, only now they've been restyled for use in your "living room, bedroom, kitchen, or man cave." Starting at $1,771, the trolleys offer a variety of interior fittings, from clothes drawers to wine racks. The exterior can even be studded with Swarovski Elements crystals or plated with 24-karat gold. Merely having such a jet-set totem around, the manufacturer promises, will "give you itchy feet."






10 INCREDIBLE FOOD FACTS!

Food is something we interact with on a daily basis – frequently, in fact. There are many very obscure facts about food that are fascinating and definitely worthy of knowing. So, at the behest of Juggz, here is a nice trivia list about food.



10. Coffee



Kopi-Luwak-1



   The Fact: The most expensive coffee in the world comes from civet poop
   Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that come from Civet (a cat sized mammal) poo. The animals gorge on only the finest ripe berries, and excrete the partially-digested beans, which are then harvested for sale. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for between $120 and $600 USD per pound, and is sold mainly in Japan and the United States, but it is increasingly becoming available elsewhere. My question is: who the hell discovered that it tasted good?



9. Feast



Camel



   The Fact: The largest food item on a menu is roast camel
   The camel is stuffed with a sheep’s carcass, which is stuffed with chickens, which are stuffed with fish, which are stuffed with eggs. This feast is sometimes featured in Bedouin weddings.



8. Bugs



Rat2-1



   The Fact: The FDA allows you to sell bugs and rodent hair for consumption
   The FDA allows an average of 30 or more insect fragments, and one or more rodent hairs, per 100 grams of peanut butter. I will certainly think twice before buying my next jar!



7. Soup



Pumpkin-Soup



   The Fact: The first soup was made of hippopotamus
   The earliest archeological evidence for the consumption of soup dates back to 6000 BC, and it was hippopotamus soup!



6. Refried Beans



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   The Fact: Refried beans are only fried once
   The reason for this misconception is a translation error. The originals are frijoles refritos which actually means “well fried beans” – not re-fried.



5. Worcestershire Sauce



Wcc-Tourism-Worcestershire-Sauce



   The Fact: Worcestershire sauce is made from dissolved fish
   Worcestershire sauce, the popular English sauce, is made from dissolved anchovies. The anchovies are soaked in vinegar until they have completely melted. The sauce contains the bones and all.



4. Popsicle



Popsicleimagecopyrighted5



   The Fact: The Popsicle was invented by an 11 year who kept it secret for 18 years.
   The inventor was Frank Epperson who, in 1905, left a mixture of powdered soda and water out on the porch, which contained a stir stick. That night, temperatures in San Francisco reached record low temperature. When he woke the next morning, he discovered that it had frozen to the stir stick, creating a fruit flavored ice treat that he named the epsicle. 18 years later he patented it and called it the Popsicle.



3. Microwaves



Cm31 Bl Microwave



   The Fact: Microwave cooking was discovered accidentally, when a chocolate bar melted in someone’s pocket
   This is very true and very scary – imagine what it was doing to his leg! The fact is, Percy LeBaron Spencer of the Raytheon Company was walking past a radar tube and he noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket melted. He then tested popcorn in front of the tube (surely turning up the power and standing out of the beam), and it quickly popped all over the room. He is (obviously) known as the inventor of the Microwave oven.



2. Peanuts



Peanuts



   The Fact: Dynamite is made with peanuts
   Peanut oil can be processed to produce glycerol, which can be used to make nitroglycerin, one of the constituents of dynamite. Note however, there are other processes that can be used to make dynamite without using peanuts at all.



1. Coconut Water



Coconut



   The Fact: Coconut water can be used (in emergencies) as a substitute for blood plasma.
   The reason for this is that coconut water (the water found in coconuts – not to be confused with coconut milk, which comes from the flesh of the coconut) is sterile and has an ideal pH level. Coconut water is liquid endosperm – it surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition.



MAHA SHIVRATRI FESTIVAL FROM INDIA!



   Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great devotion and religious fervor by Hindus, in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Gods forming the Trinity. The festival falls on the moonless, 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun (in the month of February - March, according to English Calendar). On the festival of Maha Shivaratri, devotees observe day and night fast and worship Shiva Lingam, to appease Lord Shiva. Many interesting legends have been related to the festival of Maha Shivaratri, explaining the reason behind its celebrations as well as its significance.
   According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri is the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is also believed that Lord Shiva performed ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction on this auspicious night of Shivaratri. According to another popular legend, described in Linga Purana, it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga for the first time. Since then, the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by the devotees of Shiva and they celebrate it as Maha Shivaratri - the grand night of Shiva.
   Shiva devotees observe strict fast on Maha Shivaratri, with many people having only fruits and milk and some not even consuming a drop of water. Worshippers dutifully follow all the traditions and customs related to Shivaratri festival, as they strongly believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiva, on the auspicious day, releases a person of his sins and also liberates him from the cycle of birth and death. As Shiva is regarded as the ideal husband, unmarried women pray for a husband like Him, on Shivaratri. On the other hand, married women pray for the well being of their husbands, on this auspicious day.





   On Maha Shivratri, devotees wake up early in the morning and take a bath, if possible in river Ganga. After wearing fresh clothes, they visit the nearest Shiva temple, to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum (with milk, honey, water etc). The worship continues the whole day and whole night. Jaagran (nightlong vigil) might also be observed in Lord Shiva temples, where a large number of devotees sing hymns and devotional songs, in praise of Lord Shiva. In the morning,g devotees break their fast by partaking the prasad offered to Lord Shiva, after the aarti, the night before.
   Mahashivaratri is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated with religious fervor across the length and breadth of India. Followers of Lord Shiva consider the festival very special, as it is the time to show their love and devotion to their favorite deity. It is significant in every devotee's life, as it also tests ones ability to abstain from food (because fast is observed on the day) and remain vigil in the night without sleeping (because one has to remain awake all through the night, on Mahashivratri). In addition to this, Maha Shivaratri bears significance in Hindu mythology. In the following lines, learn all about the significance of Mahashivaratri.

Significance Of Maha Shivratri
Importance In Hinduism
   According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva declared that the rituals performed by his devotees on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun please him the most. Therefore, year by year, the day is observed as Mahashivratri, wherein devotees observe fast, sing songs and bhajans and offer prayers to the Almighty to seek his blessings. Pujas conducted in Lord Shiva temples during the day have significance too. This is because the rituals are conducted strictly in accordance with the method that is prescribed in Shiva Purana, a Hindu epic. According to the Purana, poojas are conducted once in every three hours, on Maha Shivaratri.







Importance In Human Lives
   It is believed that the devotion of Lord Shiva on Mahashivaratri would freed the devotee from the past sins. Moreover, the devotee would reach the adobe of Lord Shiva and live there happily, because he/she is liberated from the cycle of birth and death, once he/she attains moksha or salvation. Therefore, all the devotees of Lord Shiva would flock the temples to offer their prayers. To serve the purpose, jujube fruits, stalks of Bilwa leaves, flowers and garlands are offered to the Shiva Linga by the devotees. If the devotee celebrates the festival at home, he/she would perform the Mahashivratri Puja by taking a holy bath (in warm water) early in the morning, wearing new clothes and then smearing bhasm (holy ash) on their forehead.

Importance For Women
   Maha Shivaratri is especially important for women. Ladies, both married and unmarried, would perform Shiva Puja and observe fast with great devotion and sincerity. This is predominantly done to appease Lord Shiva along with his consort Goddess Parvati, who is often called Ma Gauri. It is believed that Ma Gauri bestows marital bliss on unmarried women and blesses the married women with healthy and blissful married life. Since Lord Shiva is regarded as the ideal husband by the Hindu women, the unmarried women would not miss to observe the stringent fast on Shivaratri.

Maha Shivaratri Celebrations

   Mahashivaratri is celebrated with gusto by the Hindus all over India. It is an important day for the followers of Lord Shiva, as it honors their favorite deity. The celebrations are marked by fasting and the observance of a number of rituals. The festival is significant in many aspects. For instance, it bears mythological importance, because Lord Shiva is considered one of the deities of Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. On Maha Shivaratri, the devotees of Lord Shiva observe a stringent fast, which is broken only during the next morning, after prasad is offered to the deity. Know more about the celebrations of Mahashivratri, in the article.


Maha Shivratri Festival Celebrations

In the Morning
   The devotees of Lord Shiva wake up early in the morning to take a ceremonious bath, after which, they would wear new clothes, smear bhasm (holy ashes) on their forehead and head towards the nearest Lord Shiva temple to take part in the celebrations. On the other hand, if they are at home, they would conduct a puja in the morning, by offering Bilwa leaves, flowers and garlands to the deity and thereafter, observe a fast for the entire day. A certain diet is formulated especially for the day, which consists of fruits and beverages (including tea, milk and coffee) as the food for the day.

Celebrations At Temple
   Lord Shiva temples are decorated beautifully with festoons, on the wonderful occasion of Mahashivaratri. Apart from the usual pujas of the temple, special pujas are conducted to make the day different from the ordinary. On the festival, as many as six types of Abhisheks can be witnessed, each using milk, ghee, sugar, honey, water and sandalwood paste. The priest would chant mantras and conduct the pooja, while the devotees would queue up to have a glimpse of the rituals performed at the altar and offer prayers to the deity. The devotees would often offer incense sticks, dhoop, Bilwa leaves and garlands to the temple, which are offered to the Shiva Linga.

Celebrations In the Night
   The merrymaking reaches its peak in the night of Mahashivratri, when devotees of Lord Shiva would sing songs, bhajans, chant mantras and offer prayers to the Almighty. The devotees would continue to observe their fast. In fact, they would remain at the temple premises all through the night, to take part in the keertans or jaagrans that are arranged by the temple authorities, for the festival. The devotees are served tea occasionally, to keep them awake during the night. Either the devotees themselves would sing the bhajans or professional singers are called upon on the festival, to serve the purpose. The celebrations of Maha Shivaratri would culminate only in the dawn of the next day, when the devotees would break their fast by eating the prasad that was offered to the deity in the previous night.
Maha Shivaratri Legends
There are various legends related to the auspicious festival of Maha Shivratri. These legends are similar in one sense, as they all throw light on the greatness of Lord Shiva and his supremacy over all other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. They also explain the importance of fasting on Shivratri and chanting the name of Lord Shiva, while staying awake all night. The reasons behind worship may be many, but the motive is one, to make Lord Shiva happy. The day is considered to be extremely auspicious by the devotees of Lord Shiva and they celebrate it as Maha Shivratri - the grand night of Shiva.

Legends & Stories Of Maha Shivratri
Marriage of Shiva and Shakti
   One of the most popular legends of Maha Shivratri is related to the marriage of Shiva and Shakti. The day Lord Shiva got married to Parvati is celebrated as Shivratri - the Night of Lord Shiva. It tells us how Lord Shiva got married a second time to Shakti, his divine consort. There is another version of the legend, according to which Goddess Parvati performed tapas and prayers on the auspicious moonless night of Shivratri, for the well being of her husband. Believing in this legend, married women began the custom of praying for the well being of their husbands and sons on Maha Shivratri, while, unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal partner.

Samudra Manthan
   There is another very popular Shivratri legend from Puranas, which explains why people stay awake all night on Shivratri and why Lord Shiva is also known as Neelakantha. According to the story, when the battle between devas and asuras took place, a pot of poison came out of the ocean and on the request of gods, Lord Shiva drank the poison. The poison was so potent that it changed the color of His neck to blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is also called Neelkanth, where ‘Neela’ means blue and ‘Kantha’ means neck or throat. As part of the therapy, Lord Shiva was advised to awake during the night. Thus, to keep Shiva awake, the gods performed various dances and played music. Pleased with their devotion, He blessed them all, the next morning. Therefore, Shivratri is the celebration of this event in which Lord Shiva saved the world.

Legend of Shiva Linga
   The legend of Shiva Linga is also deeply related to Maha Shivratri. According to the story, Brahma and Vishnu searched hard to discover the Aadi (beginning) and the Antha (end) of Lord Shiva. It has been believed that on the 14th day in the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna, Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga. Since then, the day is considered to be extremely auspicious and is celebrated as Maha Shivratri - the grand night of Shiva. To celebrate this occasion, devotees of Lord Shiva keeps fast during the day and worship the Lord throughout the night. It is said that worshipping Lord Shiva on Shivratri bestows one with happiness and prosperity.


Legend of Ganga
   The legend of Ganga is another popular legend which is related to Shivratri. Ganga's descent from the heavens to the earth has been narrated in the Hindu mythological epic of Ramayana. This legend explains the popular custom of giving bath to Shiv Linga on Shivratri festival. According to this legend, Lord Shiva held out his thick matted hair to catch the river ganga, as she descended from heaven. The meandering through Shiva’s lock softened Ganga’s journey to the earth and the holy waters washed away the ashes of Bhagirath’s ancestors. The Ganga, thus, became an attribute of Shiva and therefore Shiva is also known as Gangadhara. Believing in this legend, Shiva is given a bath with gangajal and devotees take a dip in the holy water of river Ganga, on Shivratri.