Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tata Nano

Tata Nano, originally uploaded by shannonpatrick17.

Tata Nano: The World’s Cheapest Car:
Tata Nano

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The Tata Nano is a city car — rear-engined, four-passenger car aimed primarily at the Indian market — first presented by India's Tata Motors at the 9th annual Auto Expo on January 10, 2008, at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India.[4]

Tata targets the vehicle as the least expensive production car in the world[5] — aiming for a starting price of Rs.100,000 (approximately US$2,000).[6][7]. On February 26, 2009, Tata Motors announced that the commercial launch of Tata Nano will be on March 23, 2009.[8]

The news magazine Newsweek identifies the Nano as a part of a "new breed of 21st-century cars" that embody "a contrarian philosophy of smaller, lighter, cheaper" and portend a new era in inexpensive personal transportation — and potentially, "global gridlock" [9]. The Wall Street Journal confirms a global trend toward small cars, which includes the Nano.[10]

The prefix "nano-" derives from the Greek root 'nanos', meaning dwarf. "Nano" also means "small" in Gujarati, the native language of the Tata family,[11] founders of the Tata Group.

The introduction of the Nano received media attention due to its targeted low price. The car is expected to boost the Indian Economy, create entrepreneurial-opportunities across India[12][13], as well as expand the Indian car market by 65%[14]. The car was envisioned by, Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group and Tata Motors, who has described it as an eco-friendly "people's car". Nano has been greatly appreciated by many sources and the media for its low-cost[15][16] and eco-friendly initiatives which include using compressed-air as fuel[17] and an electric-version (E-Nano)[18][19]. Tata Group is expected to mass-manufacture the Nano, particularly the electric-version, and, besides selling them in India, to also export them worldwide[20][21][22].

The car was scheduled to release in "B" Segments cities first, followed by other cities.

Critics of the car have questioned its safety in India (where reportedly 90,000 people are killed in road-accidents every year[23]), and have also criticised the pollution that it would cause[24] (including criticism by Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist, Rajendra Pachauri[25]). However, Tata Motors has promised that it would definitely release Nano's eco-friendly models alongside the gasoline-model[26][27].

Due to opposition to Tata's Singur car-factory by Mamta Banerjee, Tata Motors decided to cease operations in Singur on 2 October 2008 and started manufacturing Tata Nano at its Pantnagar plant. On her protests and the consequent pullout, the media heavily criticised her and The Telegraph even said[28]: "India is being raped by those who profess to be her soldiers, the guardians of peace." Financial Times reported[29]: "If ever there were a symbol of India’s ambitions to become a modern nation, it would surely be the Nano, the tiny car with the even tinier price-tag. A triumph of homegrown engineering, the $2,200 (€1,490, £1,186) Nano encapsulates the dream of millions of Indians groping for a shot at urban prosperity. That process has stalled...No big economy has prospered without undergoing a huge, often brutal, shift of labour from the countryside to cities and from farms to factories...There is a yawning gap with China. India’s information technology and service sector, no matter how dynamic, simply cannot absorb enough labour. To truly shine, India will need millions, perhaps tens of millions, more manufacturing jobs. Why has it not created them?"

Currently, Tata Motors is reportedly manufacturing Nano at its existing Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) plant and a mother plant has been proposed for Sanand Gujarat.[2]

. The company will bank on existing dealer network for Nano initially.[30] The new Nano Plant could have a capacity of 5,000,000 units, compared to 3,000,000 for Singur. Gujarat has also agreed to match all the incentives offered by West Bengal government.[31]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Watch Obama's First Presidential Address To Congress

Let's see how similar this speech is gonna be to this....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Smile Pinki, Smile Train

Smile Pinki, Smile Train, originally uploaded by shannonpatrick17.

Smile Pinki, Smile Train
The Smile Train is an international charity helping children with cleft lips and palates, founded in 2000 by Brian Mullaney and Charles Wang.

According to a March 2008 New York Times Magazine article, "over the last eight years, Smile Train has performed more than 280,000 cleft surgeries in 74 of the world’s poorest countries, raising some $84 million last year while employing a worldwide staff of just 30 people."
The Smile Train uses technology such as surgery-training software and grading of operations via digital imaging to make it "one of most productive charities, dollar for deed, in the world." Mullaney, who sits on the board of directors of Presstek (a manufacturer and marketer of high-tech digital imaging solutions), has suggested that "Smile Train is close to reaching a historic break-even point: it will perform more operations each year than the number of children born each year in developing countries with cleft deformities."

Mullaney worked in advertising for over 20 years , founded Schell/Mullaney Advertising, served as Senior Vice President, Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson and Vice President, Creative Director at Young & Rubicam. Mullaney earned a bachelor's degree in business economics from Harvard College. He lives on Long Island, New York with his wife Cricket and three children.

Smile Pinki

Smile Pinki, originally uploaded by shannonpatrick17.

Smile Pinki

Interview with Film Maker Megan Mylan:

Watch Trailer Here:

Smile Pinki (2008) is a 39 minute Academy Award winning documentary directed by Megan Mylan. The film shows the captivating story of a desperately poor girl in rural India whose life is transformed when she receives free surgery to correct her cleft lip. The documentary was made in Hindi and Bhojpuri, and won the 81st Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).

Pinki is a 5 year old girl who is living with a severe cleft lip in one of the poorest areas of India. Not allowed to attend school and ostracized because of her deformity, Pinki lives a life of quiet desperation as she waits and wonders if she will ever receive the cleft surgery. Her parents could never afford the surgery that she desperately needs. By chance, Pinki's parents meet a social worker one day who is traveling village to village, gathering patients for a hospital that provides free cleft lip surgery to thousands of poor children each year through the The Smile Train program.

The film sheds light on the global problem of cleft lip and cleft palate. According to Smile Train, more than 4.7 million children in developing countries suffer with unrepaired clefts. Each child could be saved, just like Pinki, with a simple surgery that takes as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250.

Over the past 10 years, Smile Train has provided free cleft surgery for hundreds of thousands of children who would otherwise never have received it. The organization is the world’s leading cleft charity with thousands of partners and programs in 76 of the world’s poorest countries.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Google Earth 5.0 (beta) adds new features

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2009 TEDPrize Winners

2009 TEDPrize Winners (by shannonpatrick17)