Archive for June, 2012

305/365 – Laksa

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Malaysia and Singapore, and Indonesia.


The origin of the name “laksa” is unclear. One theory traces it back to Hindi/Persian lakhshah, referring to a type of vermicelli, which in turn may be derived from the Sanskrit lakshas (लकशस्) meaning “one hundred thousand” (lakh).

It has also been suggested that “laksa” may derive from the Chinese word, meaning “spicy sand” due to the ground dried prawns which gives a sandy or gritty texture to the sauce. The last theory is that the name comes from the similar sounding word “dirty” in Hokkien due to its appearance.


There are two basic types of laksa: curry laksa and asam laksa. Curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles. Thick rice noodles also known as laksa noodles are most commonly used, although thin rice vermicelli (bee hoon or mee hoon) are also common and some variants use other types.

Curry Laksa

Asam Laksa

Sarawak Laksa

Laksa products

Laksa paste to cook laksa can be purchased from supermarkets. Laksa flavoured instant noodles are also available at supermarkets.


Categories: Food, General Knowledge

304/365 – Tata

Tata Group,India’s largest business group and multinational company.

Tata Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Limited, the apex holding company of the Tata Group.

Tata Communications, also known as Tata VSNL, a communication company acquired in 2002.

Tata Consultancy Services,Asia’s largest IT company.

Tata Elxsi, another Tata IT company.

Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), is a provider of performance support systems and e-learning platforms.

Tata Motors, world’s eighteenth largest automobile company.

Tata Power,India’s largest private sector electricity generating company.

Tata Steel, World’s 5th largest steel company.

Tata Tea Limited, World’s second largest tea business, owner of Tetley.

Tata Teleservices,India’s second CDMA telecom company.

Tata DoCoMo, a GSM based mobile company with alliance with NTT docomo

Titan Industries, World’s sixth largest watch manufacturer.

Tata Chemicals

Tata Sky, a Direct To Home service company in alliance with British Sky Broadcasting.

Tata Technologies

Tata AIG, an insurance based joint-venture company with American International Group.


Subsidiaries without the TATA Label

CMC Limited Information Technology services, consulting and software company

Corus Group,UK steel company

Tetley,UK based international tea brand

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Owner of ‘Taj’ hotels

Computational Research Laboratories, Tata initiative in high performance computing

VSNL InternationalCanada in Canada

The Indian Hotels Company, chain of hotels

Titan Industries, clock and watch maker inIndia

Tanishq, Indian jewellery brand

Trent (Westside), retail chain

Brunner Mond, subsidiary of Tata Chemicals


Taj Air Chartered flights

Infiniti retail Cromā

Educational and Research Institutes

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

The Energy and Resources Institute

Indian Institute of Science

Nettur Technical Training Foundation R D Tata Technical Education CentreJamshedpur

National Centre for Performing Arts

Tata Management Training Centre

TataMemorial Hospital

The JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre



303/365 – Egg

Can’t remember if an egg is fresh or hard boiled? Just spin the egg. If it wobbles, it’s raw. If it spins easily, it’s hard boiled.

A fresh egg will sink in water, a stale one will float. Eggs contain all the essential protein, minerals and vitamins, except Vitamin C. But egg yolks are one of few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D.

Eggs also contain choline, which is necessary for healthy cell membranes in the body. Choline stimulates brain development and function and helps preserving memory.

Eggs also are good for your eyes because they contain lutein which helps prevents age-related cataracts and muscular degeneration. In fact, eggs contain more lutein than spinach and other green vegetables.

The color of the egg shell is not related to quality, nutrients, flavour, or cooking characteristics. White shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and white ear lobes.

Brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. Brown egg layers usually are slightly larger and require more food, thus brown eggs usually cost more than white eggs.

An egg shell has as many as 17,000 pores over its surface. A whole egg is about 3 tablespoons worth of liquid, the egg yolk measures about 1 tablespoon of liquid.

Older hens tend to lay bigger eggs but double-yolked eggs are produced by younger hens whose egg production cycles are not yet synchronized.

There are about 70 calories in an uncooked egg and 77 calories in a cooked egg. China produces the most eggs, at about 160 billion per year.

In the US, about 280 million hens produce more than 65 billion eggs per year. A hen can lay about 250 eggs per year.

Chicken are descendants of the red jungle fowl (gallus gallus spadiceus) that lives in Asia. The chicken is one of the first domestic animals, appearing in China around 1400 BC. The are some 150 chicken species and hundreds of chicken breeds.


Categories: Facts, Food, General Knowledge

302/365 – McDonald’s

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries.

Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948 they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand using production line principles.

Businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent in 1955. He subsequently purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers and oversaw its worldwide growth.

A McDonald’s restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. The corporation’s revenues come from the rent, royalties and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants.

McDonald’s revenues grew 27 percent over the three years ending in 2007 to $22.8 billion, and 9 percent growth in operating income to $3.9 billion.

McDonald’s primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, shakes and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, wraps, smoothies and fruit.


301/365 – Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves.

He is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world and is the mascot of The Walt Disney Company, the world’s largest media conglomerate in terms of annual revenue.

Mickey debuted in November 1928 in the animated cartoon Steamboat Willie after initially appearing in a test screening earlier that year.

He went on to appear in over 130 films including The Band Concert (1935), Brave Little Tailor (1938), and Fantasia (1940). Mickey appeared primarily in short films, but also in a few feature-length films.

Nine of Mickey’s cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, Lend a Paw, won the award in 1942. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Beginning 1930, Mickey has also been featured extensively as a comic strip character. His self-titled newspaper strip, drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson, ran for 45 years.

Mickey has also appeared in comic books and in television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club (1955–1996) and others.

He also appears in other media such as video games as well as merchandising, and is a meetable character at the Disney parks.

Mickey typically appears alongside his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, his pet dog Pluto, his friends Horace Horsecollar, Donald Duck, and Goofy, and his nemesis Pete among others (see Mickey Mouse universe).

Originally characterized as a mischievous antihero, Mickey’s increasing popularity led to his being rebranded as an everyman, usually seen as an ever cheerful, yet shy role model.

In 2009, Disney announced that they will begin to rebrand the character again by putting less emphasis on his pleasant, cheerful side and reintroducing the more mischievous and adventurous sides of his personality most evident in his earlier films of the 1920s and 1930s; the repositioning of Mickey started with the video game Epic Mickey.


Categories: General Knowledge

300/365 – Karate

Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed partially from indigenous fighting methods called te and from Chinese kenpō.

Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands.

Grappling, locks, restraints, throws, and vital point strikes are taught in some styles. A karate practitioner is called a karateka.

Karate was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom prior to its 19th-century annexation by Japan. It was brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century during a time of cultural exchanges between the Japanese and the Ryukyuans.

In 1922 the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Gichin Funakoshi to Tokyo to give a karate demonstration. In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in Japan and by 1932, major Japanese universities had karate clubs.

After the Second World War, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.

The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase its popularity and the word “karate” began to be used in a generic way to refer to all striking-based Oriental martial arts.

Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.

For many practitioners, karate is a deeply philosophical practice. Karate-do teaches ethical principles and can have spiritual significance to its adherents.

Gichin Funakoshi (“Father of Modern Karate”) titled his autobiography Karate-Do: My Way of Life in recognition of the transforming nature of karate study.

Today karate is practiced for self-perfection, for cultural reasons, for self-defense and as a sport.   In 2005, in the 117th IOC (International Olympic Committee) voting, karate did not receive the necessary two thirds majority vote to become an Olympic sport.

Web Japan (sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) claims there are 50 million karate practitioners worldwide.


Categories: General Knowledge

299/365 – Kiwi Bird

The Kiwi’s name doesnt come from its call, but from the Polynesian name for the Bristled- Thighed Curlew, the Kivi.This bird has the same way of feeding as the Kiwi, by poking it’s long beak into soft ground.

It has very strong legs for burrowing and ripping apart rotton logs.

The Kiwi cannot fly, and lives in burrows on the ground.

Its diet is mainly worms, spiders, bugs, grubs and fruit.

Kiwi’s mate for life, some have been together for 30 years.

A Kiwi’s egg is large compared with the size of its body (An egg averages 20% of the females weight, compared to 2% for an Ostrich).

The female is larger than the male. In some varieties the males are the ones that sit on the egg.

It is the only known bird to have external nostrils at the end of its beak, and one of the few birds to have a good sence of smell. At night a Kiwi can often be heard making snuffling noises, which is caused by the bird trying to clear dirt out of its nostrils when it is searching for food.

The Kiwi is the smallest member of the family of birds called Ratities. This group includes some of the worlds biggest birds like the Emu, Ostrich, as well the extinct Moa and the Elephant Birds of Madagascar.

It has an average body temperature of 38 degrees C, which is 2 degrees lower than other birds and two degrees higher than humans.


Categories: Facts, General Knowledge