Management Tip of the Day: Three Ways to Speak Up in a Meeting


Speaking up in a meeting can be quite intimidating for some, but there are some simple ways to build your confidence and make sure your voice is heard, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and

"Speaking up in meetings is easy for some, but for others it can be completely intimidating. If you're in the latter group, build your confidence with a few useful phrases you can use to interject. Here are three to start:

1. 'Have we thought about...' If you have an idea to add but aren't overly confident about it, phrase the suggestion as though you are contributing to the conversation, rather than putting a firm stake in the ground.

2. 'To play devil's advocate...' It can be hard to disagree without sounding like a jerk. Finesse your comments by explaining that you are playing a certain role.

3. 'This may be a dumb question...' You may hesitate to speak up when you don't know what's going on in a meeting. Don't stay lost -- ask for clarification. You may help others who are in the same position."

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Season’s Best Wishes on Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our Christian and other friends around the globe and other planets!


May this Christmas bring everlasting peace on our planet!

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Tendulkar Fulfills Destiny by Scoring 50th Test Century

India's batting legend Sachin Tendulkar
scored his landmark 50th Test hundred today, 19th day of December 2010, against South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, SA. He created history by becoming the first cricketer in the world to score 50 tons in the longer version of the game.

Milestones have become so routine in Sachin Tendulkar’s career that it hardly came as a surprise when he touched another one by becoming the first batsman in cricket’s history to notch up an astonishing 50 Test hundreds.

The 37-year-old Little Master, who has spent a remarkable over 20 years in international cricket, has perhaps every batting record that is there to be taken under his belt and adding to the countless tally is the historic hundred that he struck against South Africa in the ongoing opening Test here.

It’s the fourth major milestone this year for Tendulkar at the stage of his career when batsmen typically decline. Tendulkar is also the only batsman in the world who has scored a double ton in ODIs, a feat he achieved in Gwalior against South Africa in February. This feat was included in Time magazine’s top 10 sports moments of the year. Six months later he played in a record 169th Test. He reached an unprecedented 14,000 Test runs in October.

Mumbai-born Master Blaster Tendulkar, who made his debut against India’s archrival Pakistan as a 16-year-old, also has the most runs (17,598) and hundreds (46) in one-day internationals.

Tendulkar’s colossal batting exploits have completely overshadowed his utility as a part-time bowler who reveled in breakthroughs. He was a complete enigma with the ball, sending down military medium pace, orthodox leg-break and off-spin with the guiles that often caught batsmen off their guard.

His 44 Test wickets and 154 scalps in ODIs underline the fact that Tendulkar could have also staked claim to be that elusive all-rounder that India has been desperately looking for since the legendary Kapil Dev. But shoulder problems have not allowed him to bowl as much as he and the team would have liked.

In the field, he is among the safest pair of hands in the slip and his flat throw releasing strong arm saw him manning the deep with equal aplomb.

"It's just another number but it's nice," said Tendulkar. "Every innings, I want to go out and score runs." He is test cricket's leading run-scorer with 14,509 in 175 matches, and the most prolific century-maker. Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket in 2010 with 1,539 at an average of 85.50, including seven centuries and five fifties.

Here are Twitter reactions from some of cricket greats ...

Sanjay Manjrekar: "He has got it finally! and judging from his reaction..meant a lot to him...the 50th test ton..this is one record that is there to stay."

Harsha Bhogle: "All great players redefine their profession.50 Test hundreds was considered unthinkable. Sachin has done it."

Yuvraj Singh: "Greatest achievement by a bats man ever! His name is sachinnnnnnn tendulkarrrrrrrrrr!! Wooohooooooooo."

Iain O'Brien: "Congrats you little massive legend!"

Big B, Amitabh Bachchan, showered praise on his blog ...
This is an unbelievable landmark in the history of the game. There is no doubt that this record will perhaps remain for eternity. No other cricketer is any where near this phenomenal achievement and shall perhaps never be.

The media, the lovers of the game, friends well wishers and his own countrymen have run out of adjectives to describe this feat. This is sheer genius and nothing less. You are the pride of the nation and shall ever be so.

The biggest compliment to the batting maestro came from Sir Donald Bradman himself in 1999 when he said that Tendulkar’s style of playing resembled his style. “That touch I used to feel when I batted,” he had said.

Watch history unfold:

Sachin Tendulkar 50 Test Centuries:

theFundooGeek recommended reading :

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EasyBloom Tells You What Plants Will Grow or Why Your Plants Are Dying—Indoors and Out

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Report Lost Wallets to Police for Easier Card Replacement

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Funny Prank Videos

Source: YouTube:

Here are some prank videos for your entertainment :)

Hilarious Invisible Mirror Prank!

Invisible Rope

Hotel Bell Boy-Girl

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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Likely to Tie Knot in India

Source: Various:

Guess who is getting married? And guess where!!!
This time, no less than Hollywood's power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are set to tie the knot amid the chanting of mantras in India and an ashram in the state of Rajasthan could be the venue for their Hindu wedding ceremony, sources say.

There have been so many wedding rumors about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie over the years that it's hard to keep track of them. At one point they said they wouldn't get married until gays and lesbians could, other times they have said they're not interested, and so on. Well the latest rumor is that the two are going to tie the knot in India where they will be wed by a Hindu guru.

"Jolie, 35, and Pitt, 46, will marry in the new year and Siddha Guru Ram Lalji Siyag of Bikaner will conduct the ceremony," a source close to the guru told IANS.

He said though the date has so far not been finalized, chances are the wedding will take place in the ashram known as Adhyatma Vigyan Satsang Kendra of Guru Siyag, 83. It is situated in Chopsani area of Jodhpur.

"Guruji was asked to perform the rituals in a five star hotel situated in the city, but he refused to hold the ceremony there and suggested it could take place in his ashram," he said the guests of the celebrities can stay in a resort near the ashram.

"We are waiting for a reply from the couple on this," he added.

According to the source, Guru Siyag has been helping the couple find inner peace and harmony and strengthening their nearly five-year relationship by making them practice Siddha yoga together.

In October 2006, Angelina and Brad had visited Jodhpur and stayed at Umaid Bhawan Palace. During their two-day trip, they went for jewelry shopping and purchased traditional Rajasthani accessories.

The two have three adopted children - Maddox, Pax and Zahara - as well as three biological children - Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne.

India is fast becoming a popular wedding destination for Hollywood celebrities. Most recently, British comedian Russell Brand and singer Katy Perry married there in a lavish Hindu ceremony at a resort near Rajasthan. Before that, Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar had a traditional Hindu wedding at a palace in the state 4 years ago, but the couple have recently decided to split.

theFundooGeek recommended reading :

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Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips and Tricks

Source: Lifehacker:

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Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips and Tricks

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Get to Know Airline Reward Cards and Never Fly Coach Again

Source: Lifehacker:

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Get to Know Airline Reward Cards and Never Fly Coach Again

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How to Most Effectively Battle the Common Cold

Source: Lifehacker:

The temperature is dropping, and with winter comes the coughing, sniffling, and sneezing of the common cold. The internet is overflowing with health "tips", but among the huge amount of information available online, it's hard to separate the myths from the realities. Everyone has their own anecdotal evidence proving or disproving home remedies, over-the-counter medicines, and alternative "miracle treatments", but it's hard to tell which so-called remedies are actually the most effective at dealing with the common cold. Here, we're going to dive into some of the most popular cold treatments and note what the scientific community has to say about their effectiveness.

Click on the link below to read the entire article ...

How to Most Effectively Battle the Common Cold

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How to Start a Community/Neighborhood Watch Program

Let us first start with the basics. What is a Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program that stresses education and common sense among people. It teaches citizens how to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhood. It also gives residents the opportunity to give back to their neighborhood by working together to make the neighborhood safer and improve the quality of life.

Neighborhood Watch program first started in 1960 after the murder of a woman in New York. Watch groups then formed and the idea spread across the US.

Starting a neighborhood watch program is an effective, proactive way to fight crime and protect your home, family, and possessions. Neighbors who join forces to monitor activity in their area typically experience a lower rate of crime and a higher instance of convictions when crimes do occur. By working together with police and other law enforcement officials, communities with neighborhood watch programs create a safer, more closely-knit place to live for families in their area. Starting a new watch program is easier than you may think; police departments often have programs in place to help communities institute such programs more easily. The goal behind a neighborhood watch program is to organize a neighborhood so that people look out for each other and keep their eyes open for signs of criminal activity.

A well-run community watch program in your neighborhood can be far more effective than any police force in both stopping crime and maintaining privacy. Uniting a community under a common goal can turn neighbors into friends, making the area warmer and safer for everyone.

Just the presence of a neighborhood watch group in a suburban or rural area can often be enough to deter burglars or abductors from targeting the area. A neighborhood watch in city areas can help reduce crime rate by keeping the streets clear, making it safer for children to walk the sidewalks. It doesn't take much to get started; however the most important step (and perhaps the most difficult one as well) is to start a Community Watch or Neighborhood Watch program. Starting a Neighborhood Watch program in your neighborhood is not hard, but it will take a little time and some proper planning. Read on to see how you can organize and start a neighborhood watch in your area.

Step One - Getting started:

  • Visit the National Neighborhood Watch Institute or USA On Watch to get great information to help you get started.
  • Determine the area you want to organize. This should be the area you consider your neighborhood. Groups can range in size from 5 to 150 households. The larger the area, the greater the protection.
  • Organize Neighbors From Your Street - Hold a meeting with the neighbors on your street to discuss the idea of starting a neighborhood watch, and find out who would be interested in signing up to volunteer. These people will form your core group of Neighborhood Watch Volunteers. The more neighbors you can get to participate, the better. You can even see if neighbors from nearby streets would be willing to participate in a larger neighborhood watch program, where the entire development or community can exchange information and tips to keep a larger portion of your area safe.
  • Set up a free neighborhood watch website to help coordinate and communicate your efforts. Communication is the cornerstone of the Neighborhood Watch Program.
  • Step Two - Contact your Local Law Enforcement

  • Contact the local law enforcement (such as Sheriff's Office or Police Department) to register your community watch program and to schedule a meeting with a police or sheriff representative. Generally, the police department will assign a crime prevention officer to serve as a liaison to your group. This officer will help you organize your neighborhood, advise you on the best methods and practices for meetings and activities, and take any reports generated by your neighborhood watch program once it is in place.
  • Step Three - Invite your neighbors:

  • Distribute the invitations at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting. The most effective way to do this is to ask the Neighborhood Watch Volunteers to hand-carry them to neighbors and ask if they will attend. Get names and phone numbers if possible to make reminder calls later. Personal contact is usually the best. By meeting your neighbors directly, you can explain the benefits and purposes of a neighborhood watch and attract more participants.
  • Your meetings can be located at a nearby school, church, community center, or simply in your own home, depending on your preference and available facilities.
  • Make sure your crime prevention officer will be in attendance at this first meeting; he or she can give valuable information and advice that will help your neighborhood watch group fulfill its purpose.
  • Discuss the concerns specific to your community at your meetings.
  • Step Four - Get Organized:

  • Select an overall Program Coordinator.
  • Create an online group such as at Google Groups or Yahoo Groups or Windows Live Groups to register the core members and to invite new members to the program. The online group will enable constant communication and exchange of information within the community.
  • You can use the sign-up/registration process to gather important contact information such as emergency phone number, email address etc.
  • Besides the Coordinator, typically, neighborhood watch groups also have a Block Captain who is responsible for distributing information to the Watch Volunteers and Members who are the eyes and ears of the organization on a day-to-day basis.
  • Establish a communication network (Phone Tree), along with a plan of action in case of incident.
  • Make the program goals of both safety and privacy policy known as soon as possible. Note of caution - A community watch program itself can turn into a type of privacy violation. Identify boundaries in clear terms, and explain exactly what you feel would be a violation of your privacy, thereby avoiding misunderstanding.
  • Step Five - Install Neighborhood Watch signs:

  • Order neighborhood/community watch signs from the National Neighborhood Watch Institute
  • Post the neighborhood/community watch signs at conspicuous locations warning would-be criminals that this neighborhood is protected and monitored and that you report any suspicious or criminal activity to local law enforcement agencies. Sometimes, a Neighborhood Watch sign is all you need to keep predators and intruders off your street and out of your neighborhood.
  • Once your Neighborhood Watch program is established, there is certain amount of maintenance required for smooth and continuous operation.


  • After your neighborhood has been organized, maintaining interest in Neighborhood Watch is important. It's too easy for us to forget to keep that vigilance we thought was so important in the beginning.
  • Regular Meetings - In a typical program, meetings are held on a regular basis to discuss public safety issues and to provide information about what to do in various situations. Some groups maintain interest by planning neighborhood outings, meetings, summer picnics and passing out a Neighborhood Watch Newsletter every month. At least one yearly meeting is recommended, along with regular information distribution via online groups or printed fliers to keep residents up to date on neighborhood issues like reports of thefts, vandalism, and other recurrent issues.
  • Communicate With Local Law Enforcement: Keep in regular touch with law enforcement about suspected and known criminal activity going on in the area. If you share the information you learn through your neighborhood watch with law enforcement, not only will they be grateful for the assistance, they'll be more likely to come by and share information with you, as well. Making friends with the local police department can certainly benefit your neighborhood watch, and the neighborhood as a whole.

    You can also set up regular meetings with local law enforcement to trade notes, share information, and come up with new ideas on how to combat issues within your neighborhood and your town. Contact your local police department's non-emergency number (not 9-1-1!), to ask about setting up a meeting with the police department and your local neighborhood watch.
  • Training: Prepare and conduct a training program for the volunteers and new members. Put forth a concerted effort to incorporate privacy maintenance into your training. Learn to identify and confront suspicious people and behavior.

Finally, neighborhood crime prevention is only effective if the residents are active. Citizens need to be comfortable with calling law enforcement to report problems, ranging from emergencies to chronic issues like illegal parking. Neighbors should also get to know one another, and consider setting up a buddy system which promotes neighborhood bonds. For example, buddies can call each other when they are going out of town, to ask neighbors to keep a close eye on their homes.

theFundooGeek recommended reading :

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The Autofocus Productivity Method

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How to Winterize Your Body to Stay Fit and Healthy in the Cold Months Ahead

Source: Lifehacker:

Everyone is familiar with the benefits of winterizing things—car tires, window panes, sprinkler systems—but we often overlook ourselves. This winter, consider winterizing your body to stay fit and healthy, both mentally and physically.

Every year winter comes and every year people act as if the cold, the bouts of sickness, and the winter blahs are somehow new and unexpected. This year we want to help you prepare for winter and keep the winter blues and sniffles at bay. Whether you're sitting in the Great White North or the Sun Belt, here's how to winterize your body.

Note: While these tips are helpful for anyone, if you experience extreme mood swings, depression, or lethargy during the winter season that extends beyond the general "Man, I wish it were warm out!" sentiment, please see your healthcare provider. Seasonal Affective Disorder is serious business and affects many people in the same way as a major depressive episode—serious health risks included.

The Physical Self: Vitamins, Lighting, and the Great Outdoors

Winter is a different beast than summer. The days are shorter, the fresh food less abundant, and the opportunities for outdoor activities decreased. A significant part of winterizing your body is accounting for the things winter takes away and compensating for them accordingly.

Don't underestimate the power of sunshine. Our circadian rhythm is largely governed by light exposure, and the shift in available sunlight in the United States is dramatic. In June there are 15 hours of sunlight, but in December there are only 9. Further complicating things, those hours of December daylight are nearly all burned up during the working day, leaving evenings cold and dark. (For a dramatic look at how daylight hours change in your locale, check out previously mentioned Daylight Hours Explorer.)

Knowing that your access to natural light will be restricted, there are a few things you can do to compensate. Dawn simulators are a great way to help your body deal with the shifting of sunrise over the year and have been shown to be more convenient and effective than other kinds of light therapy in treating seasonal affective disorder. I personally use the inexpensive ($40) Lighten Up! #308 Dawn Simulator. You plug a bright lamp into it, plug the simulator into the wall, program the "sunrise" time, and it will gradually brighten the room. One of the most effective ways to use the device is to set it to simulate the earliest sunrise time in your locale—check the sunrise tables at the US Naval Observatory to help find the best time. In my case, setting my dawn simulator to being slowly brightening the room at 5:15AM mimics the longest days of summer. (A nice side effect of using the dawn simulator: I haven't used an alarm clock in ages.)

Take your vitamins. Nordic countries, despite experiencing the same cold and darkness as other extremely northern locales, have a significantly lower rate of seasonal affective disorder. Researchers believe the key is the volume of fish they eat (nearly 5 times more than US or Canadian citizens). The enormous reserve of vitamin D and vitamin A found in the fatty tissue of fish protects the Norse from the deficiency experienced by the non-fish eaters in other colder climates. Nothing against fish, but if you want to skip the fish-eating part, consider stopping by your local health food store to pick up fish oil caplets, which could do the trick just as well. Additionally, taking a multivitamin can't hurt given the decrease in fresh fruits and vegetables consumption most people experience in the winter months.

Stay hydrated. Hydration is another key element to winterizing your body. People tend to drink a lot of water and fluids in the summer. Winter can be just as dehydrating, however, as the lower humidity dries your skin and the mucus membranes of your nose, throat, and lungs—winter time breathing in many locales is the same as breathing the bone-dry air you experience in an airplane cabin. Be mindful of how much water you drink. In addition, putting a humidifier in your bedroom (or activating your whole-house humidifier if you have one) will keep your mucus membranes moisturized and decrease the chances of you getting an airborne illnesses.

Get outside and stay active. It's easy to get out of the house in the summer—nearly everything fun is happening outside. Between walks in the park, trips to the beach, and downtown festivals, all the fun events of spring and summer are almost always outside. Readers in sunny southern states might not fully relate to this, but Northerners will understand: Come wintertime, the world seems to close shop and go to sleep for a few months. Fight the urge to hole up for the winter and seek out equivalent activities for your favorite summer ones. If you hiked a local nature preserve all summer, cross country ski it. If you went rock climbing at the local cliffs, join a rock climbing gym. Try to find some activity that will take you outside and get you active, preferably during a time where you can get some sun on your face. Don't forget how powerful sunshine is and what role it plays in regulating your body's internal clock. Photo by Doug Shick.

The Mental Self: Well Being, Social Calls, and Long Decembers

Caring for your physical self will go a long way towards making winter more bearable. Good sleep, vitamin supplements, light exposure, and fresh air are excellent mood boosters. Getting some sun on your face and fresh air alone won't fully take care of the mental and social elements of the winter blues, however. Let's take a look at what you can do to bolster your mental well-being.

Be mindful of your mood and mental health. Winter can increase the incidence of depression and other disorders in many people. Pay close attention to your state of mind in the darker and colder months. If you start getting into a funk, don't brush it off as a simple case of the winter blues. As noted above, seasonal affective disorders are serious business, and whether you have a history of them or not you should be extra mindful of your mood.

Stay social. For those of us who live in areas where it can feel like you never see your neighbors between November and March and the snow drifts high enough to form a privacy fence, focusing on social interactions is important. During the summer in my neighborhood, for example, people are out in their front yards and it's not uncommon to have daily conversations with people up and down the street. Winter is a different story. It hits this area so hard that when the spring thaw comes people emerge with babies you didn't even know had been born.

Preserving (preferably in-real-life) social networks and avoiding "cabin fever" during the winter is an art form. If you have social groups (neighbors, golf buddies, softball team you coach) that you see during the warmer months but not during the colder ones, make an effort to plan things with them during the winter. Sure, winter has its share of holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years to bring people together, but a few big bashes over a span of months isn't the same as routinely seeing and connecting with people on a daily and weekly basis. Even something as simple as a rotating bring-your-own-beer and potluck dinner among a circle of friends offers a great opportunity to get together and complain about the snow.

Evaluate your winter pitfalls to guard against them. Get out a legal pad or fire up your favorite text editor. Brainstorming about winter and what makes it a great, not so great, or wretched season for you will go a long way towards helping you extend the advice in this guide to winterizing your body and tailoring it for a custom fit.

  • What is your favorite thing about the winter season?
  • What is your least favorite thing about the winter season?
  • How does the decrease in daylight hours make you feel?
  • How do the holidays make you feel? If sad or stressed, why?
  • Do you feel shut in or socially isolated?
  • Do you feel lethargic or like you don't get enough exercise in the winter months?

The answers to the questions will help point you in the direction of helpful solutions. For example, if you dislike the holidays because of the stress and financial burden of buying gifts, you could then opt to discuss gift-giving tradition and exchanges with your family or use our holiday gift-tracking template to keep a better handle on how much you're spending and what you're giving to whom. Alternatively, if the thing you hate about winter is how hard it is to peel yourself out of bed in the dark mornings, you might consider looking into the dawn simulator suggested earlier in the article. Self reflection goes a long way towards helping you effectively winterize your body and stay healthy and happy until spring comes.

While each person handles winter differently, following a few of the guidelines above and probing into the way you relate to and react to the darker days of winter will help you form a plan of attack and make this the best winter you've weathered yet. If you're a person hit especially hard by the winter and have found a great technique for dealing with the winter blues, we want to hear all about it in the comments. Share your tips and tricks to help your fellow readers build their own plan of attack on winter.

theFundooGeek recommended reading :

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Top Ten Discoveries of 2010 - Nat Geo

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Top Ten Discoveries of 2010: Nat Geo News's Most Popular

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Cool Optical Illusions - Roadside Chalk Drawings

Here are some absolutely incredible chalk drawings from Julian Beever. Julian Beever is an English artist who is famous for his art on the pavement of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Beever gives to his drawings an amazing 3D illusion. Check it yourself ...

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