C-rappy Cacophony

Friday, July 27, 2007

10 Ways to Have a Happy Workday » Achieve IT! - Goal Setting Blog

10 Ways to Have a Happy Workday

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Listening to Music at Work!

Listening to an Online radio at work!!!
Its a bliss!No breaks for silly ads ,but just continuous Tamil music from all ages!
It saves me the pain of overhearing irrelevant stuff being spoken around my cube.

I used to think that listening to music might distract one from doing any meaningful work.But then continuous listening makes that feeling go away and it has become some kind of a habit to listen to music while working.

I know of a friend who used to listen to music based on how important his work was.Funny guy that he was,he was caught listening to 'Kandha sashti Kavasam' in his headphones and the reason he gave was that he had a deadline to meet in an hour and that he was afraid of what would happen if he didn't get the the job done! :)

Another extreme case of continuous headphone listening stuff was that of a Quixtar guy in our university who was always found listening to something out of his tape-recorder.One of our guys got curious about this and checked what that cassette contained and was bewildered to find that it had nothing but continuous recording of that person's own voice repeating the words "I will become a millionaire by 2010" or something to that sort! Thats craziness personified!



Posted by rajesh |

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

4 Powerful Reasons to Meditate and How To Get Started

This is a guest post written by Tejvan Pettinger.

Meditation is the art of silencing the mind. When the mind is silent, concentration is increased and we experience inner peace in the midst of worldly turmoil. This elusive inner peace is what attracts so many people to meditation and is a quality everyone can benefit from.

What are the Benefits of Meditation?
I've been meditating twice a day for the past 9 years because I enjoy it. It may seem strange, but I feel happiest when sitting in perfect silence. The experience is difficult to express in words. It is akin to the "peace that passeth understanding". It is also true that every meditation is not the same. Sometimes meditation is a struggle to control the mind, while at other times it feels effortless.

These are some of the benefits of meditation:

Improved concentration - A clear mind makes you more productive, especially in creative disciplines like writing.
Less bothered by little things - Do you sometimes allow yourself to get upset by little things? It is the nature of the mind to magnify small things into serious problems. Meditation helps us detach. We learn to live in the here and now, rather than worrying about the past or future. We do not worry about meaningless things, but see the bigger picture.
Better Health - There have been numerous studies pointing to the health benefits of meditation. The reason is that meditation reduces stress levels and alleviates anxiety. If we can reduce stress, many health benefits follow.
Knowledge of Self - Meditation enables us to have a deeper understanding of our inner self. Through meditation we can gain a better understanding of our life's purpose.
Is Meditation Religious?
The great thing about meditation is that our philosophy/religious belief is not importanct. Meditation is about consciousness. The beliefs of the mind become trivial. We dive deep into the heart of the matter to gain access to our soul - our inner reality. Therefore, mediation can (and is ) practiced by people of different religions or no religion.

But I don't have time To Meditate

Many people like the idea of meditation, but feel they don't have enough time. When you really want to do something you can find time. Get up earlier or watch 30 minutes less TV. Meditation requires an investment of time, but clearing the mind makes the the rest of the day more productive. Nothing is better than the feeling of inner peace. What is the point in being tremendously busy but unable to enjoy it? Meditation is not about retreating from the world; it gives us inspiration. Whatever you do, if you have peace of mind, your work will be more enjoyable and productive.

How To Meditate
Like anything worthwhile, meditation requires practice. To get the most from meditation you need to do it every day. This requires a place and time where you will not be disturbed.

Sit with a straight back. Don't try to meditate lying down because you are likely to fall asleep. Meditation brings relaxation and peace but at the same time this is a dynamic peace. Meditation is quite different than the relaxation of sleep. When we really meditate, we are fully alert and conscious. Our sense of awareness is heightened. Afterwards you'll have a positive feeling for the world and a renewed sense of dynamism.
Don't eat before meditating. After a heavy meal your body will be lethargic with digestion.
It is not necessary to mediate in the lotus posture. It is fine to meditate in a chair, as long as the back is straight.
It is helpful to take a shower before meditating.
Burning incense and having a candle are not necessary, but they can add a little extra inspiration.
It is good to meditate early in the morning. It is said the best time is 3am, although, I feel it is more important to be awake and not sleepy, I meditate at 6.30am.
One Pointed Concentration

However you learn to meditate, you must learn to concentrate on one thing at a time. Usually, the mind tries to hold several different thoughts and ideas at once. When you sit down to meditate for the first time, you realize how cluttered the mind is. Mediation teachers have described the mind as a "mad monkey". However, the mind can be tamed and forced to concentrate on a single thought.

One helpful technique is concentrating on a candle flame. Narrow your gaze to the small tip and block out all other thoughts. When you get distracted, go back to focusing on the candle flame. You can also use other objects like a small dot or flower. The important thing is that you concentrate only on one thing at a time.


Another way to learn concentration is through the use of mantra. A mantra is the repetition of a sacred word. For example, you might repeat the mantra AUM a certain number of times. Repeating a mantra forces the mind to focus on a single thought.

Silent Mind

After you've practiced concentration and learned to focus on one thing at a time, you can proceed to the next stage: no thought at all. Achieving a silent mind is difficult, but when to attain it the experience is powerful. A technique I advise is viewing your thoughts as separate from your self. When a thought appears, make a conscious decision to throw it out of your mind. Over time you realize that you are capable of allowing or rejecting thoughts. Your real "I" is not a collection of thoughts, but something far deeper. This is the most significant realization of meditation - that you do not have to be a slave to your thoughts.

Through meditation, you attain the power to control your thoughts, and on occasion stop them completely. Don't be discouraged if you can't attain a silent mind straightaway. It takes time and practice. There is nothing really else to it; meditation is a simple and spontaneous action. Unfortunately, our mind is used to complication and it takes time to unlearn bad habits.

Tejvan Pettinger is a member of the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre. He lives in Oxford where he works as a teacher. He also offers mediation classes as a community service and updates a blog at Sri Chinmoy Inspiration, a collection of articles on meditation and spirituality.

Posted by rajesh |

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

USMLE The United States Medical Licensing Examination

My sister has been preparing for her USMLE exams.What is USMLE and how long is the whole process?Here is some details:

The United States Medical Licensing Examination is a multi-part professional exam sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Medical doctors are required to pass before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States of America. It consists of three steps; all three must be passed before an allopathic medical school (M.D.) graduate is eligible to apply for a license to practice medicine in the United States. U.S. osteopathic medical school graduates are permitted to take the USMLE exam for medical licensure, but they may also get medical licensure in most states by taking the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) instead. International medical school graduates must pass all three steps of the USMLE regardless of whether they have an M.D. or a D.O. degree. Overall pass rates for first time USMLE Step 1 test takers are: 93% for U.S. allopathic medical school (M.D.) graduates, 76% for U.S. osteopathic medical school graduates, and 71% for foreign medical school graduates . The USMLE steps are:

Step 1
USMLE Step 1 assesses whether medical school students or graduates understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine. As of 2007 it covers the following subjects, in both systemic (general and individual anatomical characteristics) and procedural (functional, therapeutic, environmental, and ab/normality) themes:
* anatomy,
* behavioral sciences,
* biochemistry,
* microbiology,
* pathology,
* pharmacology,
* physiology,
* interdisciplinary topics, such as nutrition, genetics, and aging.
US medical students usually take Step 1 at the end of the second year of medical school. It is an eight-hour computer-based exam consisting of 350 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) divided into seven blocks each consisting of 50 questions. Each block must be finished within an hour. The remaining hour is break time. An optional tutorial about how to use the computer program of the exam is offered at the beginning of the exam and takes 15 minutes. This time is deducted from the hour of allotted break time.

The scores are reported with a three digit score and a two digit score. As of January 1, 2007, the passing score has been raised to 185 from a previous score of 182. The average score is approximately 215. If the student passes the exam, he or she may not repeat the exam to achieve a higher score. Theoretically, the maximum score is 300 [3]. However, scores above 280 are virtually unheard of.

While not recommended by the creators of the USMLE, the Step 1 score is frequently used in medical residency applications as a measure of a candidate's likelihood to succeed in that particular residency (and on that specialty's board exams). More competitive residency programs usually accept applications with higher Step 1 scores. The Step 1 exam is arguably the hardest and most important examination a medical student will take during his/her career.

Step 2
USMLE Step 2 is designed to assess whether medical school students or graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science essential for provision of patient care under supervision. US medical students typically take Step 2 during the fourth year of medical school. Step 2 is further divided into two separate exams.

Step 2-CK
USMLE Step 2-CK is designed to assess clinical knowledge through a traditional, multiple-choice examination. It is a 9 hour exam consisting of 8 blocks of 46 or 47 questions each. The subjects included in this exam are clinical sciences like Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Step 2-CS
USMLE Step 2-CS is designed to assess clinical skills through simulated patient interactions, in which the examinee interacts with standardized patients portrayed by actors. Each examinee faces 12 Standardized Patients (SPs) and has 15 minutes to complete history taking and clinical examination for each patient, and then 10 more minutes to write a patient note describing the findings, initial differential diagnosis list and a list of initial tests. Administration of the Step 2-CS began in 2004.

The examination is offered in five cities across the country:

* Philadelphia (PA)
* Chicago (IL)
* Atlanta (GA)
* Houston (TX)
* Los Angeles (CA)

Before 2004, a similar exam, the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) was used to assess the clinical skills of foreign medical graduates.

Step 3
USMLE Step 3 is designed to assess whether a medical school graduate can apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. Graduates of US medical schools typically take this exam at the end of the first year of residency. Foreign medical graduates can take Step 3 before starting residency in about ten U.S. states.

Step 3 is a two-day examination. Each day of testing must be completed within eight hours. The first day of testing includes 336 multiple-choice items divided into blocks, each consisting of 48 items. Examinees must complete each block within sixty minutes.

The second day of testing includes 144 multiple-choice items, divided into blocks of 36 items. Examinees are required to complete each block within forty-five minutes. Approximately 3 hours are allowed for these multiple-choice item blocks. Also on the second day are nine Clinical Case Simulations, where the examinees are required to 'manage' patients in real-time case simulations. Examinees enter orders for medications and/or investigations into the simulation software, and the condition of the patient changes accordingly. Each case must be managed in a maximum of 25 minutes of actual time.

Approximately forty-five minutes to one hour is available for break time on each of the two days of testing.


The above content was found at http://lowonganmedis.blogspot.com/2007/04/usmle-united-states-medical-licensing.html

Posted by rajesh |

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A wasted effort!!

Green card hopefuls to resort to Gandhigiri in US

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, July 05, 2007

FW : The Chappel Effect

Seems like the Indians have learnt something during Chappel’s coaching J


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Posted by rajesh |

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Green Card fever

At one point of one's existence in the United States, every Desi goes through this unique type of fever called "Green Card Fever" when the BP shoots up and down due to the endless steps and forms to be submitted along with the jaw dropping USCIS Fees which keep climbing for no reason.
The last few weeks saw an exceptional crowd of Desis thronging the clinics for Immunization exams.Almost everyone of them finding out that they don't have Tubercolosis and HIV. A sense of pride and smile beeming across the faces in the clinics over the worthless euphoria of having gotten through the Immunization process and the i-693 forms.
It was an unexpected bonus time for the Immigration lawyers who charged exorbitant legal retainer fees with no basis.Even the USCIS fees seemed a paltry amount when compared to the hefty fees charged by the lawyers.But then,it was like the piece of bread hung in front of the hungry horse.Nobody batted an eyelid when it came to spending for this purpose.
It all started one fine friday when I got a call from a friend saying that all the Visa categories can now file for the third stage - i 485 towards procuring a Green card.Something sounded fishy immidiately as it was so obvious that this miracle could not happen suddenly because there are thousands of people waiting for this 3rd stage for more than 3 or 4 years.Even my priority date was Dec 2004 and I had been expecting only sometime in 2009 for my dates to get current.
Emails started flying with lots of smileys embedded in it.People started speaking about the "EADs" that could be got for the dependent wife and the AC21 job portability rule etc.Nobody fathomed on the impending shock that the USCIS had in store in a few days.
The shocking news came out yesterday saying that the Visa numbers have been exhausted and all the i-485 applications are going to be returned!And there ended all those million dreams of securing the Green card in a few months!
There is talk about suing the USCIS but then we all very well know how the legal system works!It could be many years that the case even comes for hearing.By then even by the usual route,I hope I would have gotten the Green Card.
For now my wife and I will have to just wait and look out for updates from USCIS and our lawyers.

Posted by rajesh |

Monday, July 02, 2007

US may revoke easing of immigration law -Visa Power-Travel-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

US may revoke easing of immigration law -Visa Power-Travel-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

Posted by rajesh |


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