Friday, February 25, 2011

Banana Facts and Uses

Banana Facts and Uses

banana 150x113 Interesting Banana Facts and Uses

Banana containing three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes. But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at an English school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin – known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods (such as bananas) every two hours to keep levels steady.

PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, trypotophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking, as the high levels of Vitamin C, A1, B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalise the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in “The New England Journal of Medicine”eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralises over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Andhra Pradesh - High VAT hits consumers

Andhra Pradesh - High VAT hits consumers     
The consumers are not king in Andhra Pradesh. Reeling under power cuts, citizens are now also hit by a price rise, thanks to the profligacy of the state government. From the humble glucose biscuit and hair oil to air conditioners and LED televisions, the cost of various goods and commodities has gone up in recent weeks. And no, this isnt a budget impact but the result of an unprecedented move made by the cash-strapped state government to revise VAT on these products from 12.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent in January this year.

The local VAT of 14.5 per cent is the highest in the country, say tax experts who find fault with the government for resorting to, what they call, a desperate measure to beef up their tax revenue. With the new taxation in place, consumers are paying more for almost all their basic household items ranging from detergents, soaps and deodorants to even utensils, crockery, furniture and consumer durables. A VAT of 14.5 per cent is also under review for restaurants, even as some joints have already started levying it on customers. What has the industry irked is the surreptitious manner in which the government went about with its tax revision. The government is bankrupt and the only tool it has is tax, says Nitin K Parekh, chairman of the trade and commerce committee of FAPCCI, which had made a representation to the government on January 12 not to revise the tax. The government issued the revised tax GO on the same day, just before the state government and the city broke for an extended Sankranti weekend. Why was there such a hurry in the middle of the month, just before a festival to do this, questions Parekh.

A senior official, on condition of anonymity, says this was a lazy way adopted by the government to mop up more revenue. Increasing the tax, he said was the most convenient way to deal with its financial crisis, he said. Experts argue that with this move the government would only ensure a rise in tax defaulters, cross border trading of commodities and consumer turning cautious with their spending. FAPCCIs  Parekh says this would only lead to a dip in the states revenue, which had incidentally doubled over the last four years ever since VAT was introduced.

Until the revision, there were two rates of VAT: 4 per cent and 12.5 per cent. While the tax of 4 per cent remains unchanged and covers items like pulses, cereals, rice, drugs and medicines, iron, steel, vegetable oil among others, it is the unlisted products that come in 12.5 per cent bracket, which is now revised to 14.5 per cent. he unlisted products include just about everything under the sun and it is not possible to list them out, says an official dabbling in taxes. There is another list of 58 items that enjoy complete exemption from tax and these include items like tamarind, jaggery, sugarcane, some spices, unbranded broom sticks among others.

So, what is left are items like all the daily needs of consumers like toothpastes and washing machines, chocolates and ceiling fans. Owners of supermarket chains say that the revised tax is already hitting the bottomlines of FMCG companies, some of which are already revising their MRP for sale in Andhra Pradesh.
Source: Times of India,
India, dated 20/03/2010

Some interesting facts ...............

1. Saturday mail delivery in Canada was eliminated by Canada Post on February 1, 1969!
2. In Tokyo , a bicycle is faster than a car for most trips of less than 50 minutes!
3. There are 18 different animal shapes in the Animal Crackers cookie zoo!
4. Should there be a crash, Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane as a precaution!
5. Your body is creating and killing 15 million red blood cells per second!
6. The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache on a standard playing card!
7. There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos!
8. There is one slot machine in Las Vegas for every eight inhabitants!

9. The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. It was the fashion in Renaissance Florence to shave them off!
10. Every day 20 banks are robbed. The average take is $2,500!
11. The most popular first name in the world is Muhammad!
12. Tablecloths were originally meant to be served as towels with which dinner guests could wipe their hands and faces after eating!
13. Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult!
14. One car out of every 230 made was stolen last year!
15. The names of Popeye's four nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye!
16. Until the nineteenth century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia !
17. The Nobel Peace Prize medal depicts three naked men with their hands on each other's shoulders!
18. When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second!
19. A Boeing 747 airliner holds 57,285 gallons of fuel!
20. A car uses 1.6 ounces of gas idling for one minute. Half an ounce is used to start the average automobile!
21. The Philadelphia mint produces 26 million pennies per day!
22. A lightning bolt generates temperatures five times hotter than those found at the sun's surface!
23. A violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood!
24. It is estimated that 4 million "junk" telephone calls, phone solicitations by persons or programmed machine are made every day in the United States !
25. It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!
26. Forest fires move faster uphill than downhill!
27. Almost half the newspapers in the world are published in the United States and Canada !
28. The two-foot long bird called a Kea that lives in New Zealand likes to eat the strips of rubber around car windows!
29. Most lipstick contains fish scales!
30. Skepticisms is the longest word that alternates hands when typing!
31. One ragweed plant can release as many as one billion grains of pollen!
32. It's illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while you're sitting on a curb in St. Louis !
33. The first product to have a bar code was Wrigleys gum!
34. No piece of square dry paper can be folded more than 7 times in half!
35. A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein!
36. Over 2500 left handed people a year are killed from using products made for right handed people!
37. There are more than 10 million bricks in the Empire State Building !
38. If you counted 24 hours a day, it would take 31,688 years to reach one trillion!
39. Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive!
40. A crocodile always grows new teeth to replace the old teeth!

41. The sun is 330,330 times larger than the earth!
42. Clinophobia is the fear of beds!
43. A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second!
44. Porcupines float in water!
45. Pinocchio is Italian for "pine eye"!
46. The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog." uses every letter of the alphabet!
47. The average life span of a major league baseball is 5-7 pitches!
48. The Mint once considered producing doughnut-shaped coins!
49. The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable" !
50. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds! During your lifetime, you'll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, that's the weight of about 6 elephants!
51. Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they cant find any food!
52. Dolphins sleep with one eye open!
53. The worlds oldest piece of chewing gum is over 9000 years old!
54. In space, astronauts cannot cry properly, because there is no gravity, so the tears can't flow down their faces!
55. There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S, than real ones!
56. About 3000 years ago, most Egyptians died by the time they were 30!
57. More people use blue toothbrushes, than red ones!
58. A sneeze travels out your mouth at over 100 m.p.h.!
59. Your ribs move about 5 million times a year, every time you breathe !
a. In the White House, there are 13,092 knives, forks and spoons! 60. Slugs have 4 noses!
61. Recycling one glass jar, saves enough energy to watch T.V for 3 hours!
62. Lightning strikes about 6,000 times per minute on this planet!
63. Owls are one of the only birds who can see the color blue!
64. The average American/Canadian drinks about 600 sodas a year!
65. It was once against the law to slam your car door in a city in Switzerland !
66. There wasn't a single pony in the Pony Express, just horses!
67. Honeybees have a type of hair on their eyes!
68. There are over 58 million dogs in the U.S!
69. Dogs and cats consume over $11 billion worth of pet food a year!
70. Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!
71. Humans blink over 10,000,000 times a year!
72. In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an "Honorary Harlem Globetrotter. "!
73. Every second, Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate!
74. A fetus develops fingerprints at eighteen weeks!
75. The fear of vegetables is called Lachanophobia!
76. There are approximately fifty Bibles sold each minute across the world!
77. Every year, kids in North America spend close to half a billion dollars on chewing gum!An earthquake on Dec. 16, 1811 caused parts of the Mississippi River to flow backwards!
78. A person uses approximately fifty-seven sheets of toilet paper each day!
79. Honolulu is the only place in the United States that has a royal palace!
80. One gallon of used motor oil can ruin approximately one million gallons of fresh water!
81. More money is spent on gardening than on any other hobby!
82. In 32 years. there are about 1 billion seconds!
83. Rice paper does not have any rice in it!
84. Baby robins eat 14 feet of earthworms every day!
85. In England , in the 1880's, "Pants" was considered a dirty word!
86. Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin!
87. The blesbok, a South African antelope, is almost the same color as grapejuice!
88. The average person laughs 13 times a day!
89. Dogs can hear sounds that you cant!
90. Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women!
91. It is estimated that millions of trees in the world are accidentally planted by squirrels who bury nuts and then forget where they hid them!
92. Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a novel, "Gadsby", which contains over 50,000 words -- none of them with the letter E!
93. Of all the words in the English language, the word set has the most definitions!
94. A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans!
95. Every 45 seconds, a house catches on fire in the United States !
96. The sun is 330,330 times larger than the earth!
97. The most used letter in the English alphabet is 'E', and 'Q' is the least used!
98. There are more than 50,000 earthquakes throughout the world every year!
99. The original name for the butterfly was 'flutterby'!
100. Dogs and cats, like humans, are either right or left handed... or is that paws?!
101. The opposite sides of a dice cube always add up to seven!
102. Nose prints are used to identify dogs, just like humans use fingerprints!
103. Bulls are colorblind, therefore will usually charge at a matador's waving cape no matter what color it is -- be it red or neon yellow!
104. Apples are more efficient than caffeine in keeping people awake in the mornings!
105. Smelling bananas and/or green apples (smelling, not eating) can help you lose weight!
106. A hard working adult sweats up to 4 gallons per day. Most of the sweat evaporates before a person realizes it's there, though!
107. The average ice berg weighs 20,000,000 tons!
108. The poison-arrow frog has enough poison to kill about 2,200 people!


The government is considering a slew of measures to boost the tourism sector growth. The proposals include abolition of the 12.5% service tax on tour packages, reduction in development charges for adding more rooms in the existing hotels and convincing the states to have a 4% uniform luxury tax across the country. The proposals were discussed at a meeting between tourism minister Ambika Soni and prime minister Manmohan Singh last week, a government official, who did not wish to be identified, said. “The tourism minister has taken up the industry demands with the prime minister. The response so far has been positive. Some measures would be taken up shortly to boost the sector, ” he said. He said the Centre would discuss the issue of luxury tax with states. Luxury tax, which is a state subject, in the country varies from 0% to nearly 15%. For example, Punjab levies a luxury tax of 8% above the tariff. Delhi charges 12.5% luxury tax on the published room rental. In various states such as Uttar Pradesh, luxury tax is levied on actual or negotiated rental. “Levies such as service tax of 12.5% make tour packages even more expensive and uncompetitive as compared to other nations,” he said. He said there was a need to take urgent steps to boost tourism in the country. Foreign tourist arrivals, which generated a foreign exchange earning of $10 billion in 2007, are expected to be in negative territory in the next few months. Following the Mumbai terror attack, there have been huge cancellations by foreign tourists, resulting in a crash room tariff crash. The hospitality sector has been demanding reduction in taxes for a long time now. “Of the $500 charged by a five-star hotel for one room-night, $220 is the component of taxes such as service tax, luxury tax and fringe benefit tax (FBT). We have been demanding complete removal of luxury tax and levying of other taxes on the actual tariff and not on the published one,” Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) secretary general Harish Sud said.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tourism is the largest service industry in India

Tourism is the largest service industry in India, with a contribution of 6.23 per cent to the national GDP. The number of foreign tourists visiting the country during September this year is higher than that of the same month last year.Around 3.69 lakh (369,000) foreign tourists came to India in September this year as compared to 3.28 lakh (328,000) during the same month in 2009.