How many times during your growing years did your parents tell you to walk straight or sit up straight? You may have casually dismissed it, or maybe you didn't really pay attention. As an adult, though, you realise the wisdom of the advice.
Simple practices like these don't just help you physically but also psychologically. Psychologists say that there are many little ways that can instantly help boost self-confidence. Here are some easy tips on how you can do just that.
The front-runner of a resurgent India
The spate of exposures on corruption in the high offices of the Indian government last year was extraordinary even by Indian standards. Even Supreme Court -- the country’s apex court -- demanded to know what was going on and resorted to not-so-judicial a language in exasperation. Anna’s fast-unto-death that began on April 5 came at an opportune moment for the masses who were feeling stifled and helpless amid the waves of scandals that were rocking the country.
His venue for the fast was Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and his immediate demands to the government were to form a joint committee comprising government representatives and the civil society who would draft a new bill with more stringent penal actions and enhanced autonomy to Lokpal and Lokayuktas in the states. Anna began his fast by stating that he would end it only when Parliament passed the Jan Lokpal Bill. The government initially rejected his demands and announced that Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would instead head the committee.
Mass uprising: This led to Anna declaring a ‘jail bharo’ agitation from April 13 whereby common citizens would voluntarily court arrest. Anna’s fast not only received ample media coverage but also spread like a wildfire across the breadth of the country whose people needed just this sort of an impetus to stoke the fire of outrage that was kindling in their hearts. Thousands thronged Jantar Mantar in Anna’s support while nearly 150 people joined him in his fast.
No politician was allowed to join Anna as he sat cross-legged on a thin mattress. Those who attempted to were unceremoniously dismissed by his supporters.
People from all walks of life stood behind Anna in his anti-corruption campaign. But above all, it was the common man who rose to the occasion, with the movement gaining significant momentum in social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Protests against corruption were organized not only in the major metros but Tier II cities also witnessed similar demonstrations.
In fact, the entire nation awoke to what they believed was a life-changing phenomenon. They saw Anna Hazare as their light at the end of the tunnel and the only hope who would fight to the finish to eradicate the enormous graft that has been plaguing India throughout the years since it gained independence.
A triumphant: In the face of the relentless nationwide protests, the government had no option but to accept Anna’s demands and Finally, on April 8, the movement saw its success. Consequently, it issued a notification in the Gazette of India -- an authorized legal document and official journal of India government -- the following day announcing the formation of a joint committee. The government accepted Anna’s demand of appointing a politician as the committee’s chairman and a non-politician as its co-chairman.
The notification stated that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would be the chairman of the draft committee while Shanti Bhushan would be its co-chairman. The Joint Drafting Committee would comprise five nominee ministers of the government and an equal number of nominees from the civil society.
Anna ends fast: Having secured the government’s promise, Anna ended his 98-hour fast on the morning of April 9 by first offering lemon juice to some of those who had also gone on hunger strike along with him. After breaking his fast by drinking some of the juice, Anna addressed the huge gathering and set the government a deadline of August 15, 2011 to pass the Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Notably, the activist has also warned against a nationwide agitation if the bill is not passed on the stipulated date , stating that this would be the “second struggle for independence” and that he would continue fighting.
For Anna Hazare, it is another battle. And he has fought quite a few, including some as a soldier for 15 years in Indian Army. He enlisted after the 1962 Indo-China war when the government exhorted young men to join the Army.
In 1978, he took voluntary retirement from the 9th Maratha Battalion and returned home to Ralegaon Siddhi, a village in Maharashtra's drought-prone Ahmadnagar. He was 39 years old.
He found farmers back home struggling for survival and their suffering would prompt him to pioneer rainwater conservation that put his little hamlet on the international map as a model village.
They say, “Thanks to Anna's agitations, we got a school, we got electricity”.
Indian-American doctor's book on cancer bags the Pulitzer
Indian-American physician Siddhartha Mukherjee's acclaimed book on cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, has won the prestigious 2011 Pulitzer Prize in the general non-fiction category.
According to the Pulitzer citation, the book by the New York-based cancer physician and researcher is “an elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal, into the long history of an insidious disease that, despite treatment breakthroughs, still bedevils medical science.”
The Pulitzer for general non-fiction is awarded to a “distinguished and appropriately documented book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category.” It carries a $10,000 award.
India-born Dr. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician at the Columbia University Medical Centre.
A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times and The New Republic.
In his book, Dr. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories and deaths, told through the “eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out war against cancer.”
An award-winning science writer, Dr. Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective and a biographer's passion.
The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease that humans have lived with — and perished from — for more than 5,000 years.
The “riveting, urgent and surprising” book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.
It is a profoundly humane “biography” of cancer — from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago, through the epic battles in the 20th century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.
“From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the 19th century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee's own leukaemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive —and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease,” says the Pulitzer's website.
Wikileaks more accountable than governments
In his blog he wrote, "the more secretive or unjust an organisation is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie.... Since unjust systems, by their nature, induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance."
Julian Assange, the founder of whistle blowing website Wikileaks, has claimed that his website is more accountable than a government that is elected after sourcing money from big business every four years.
His comments came during a public debate about the whistleblowing organisation's own transparency. This was Assange's first formal public appearance since being arrested in December 2010, following accusations of rape and sexual assault.
"We are directly supported on a week-to-week basis by you. You vote with your wallets every week if you believe that our work is worthwhile or not. If you believe we have erred, you do not support us. If you believe we need to be protected in our work, you keep us strong," The Guardian quoted Assange, as saying. He also said that Wikileaks is essential in a democracy because as it is the only way one can know whether information is legitimately kept secret is when it is revealed. Assange cited the examples of Vietnam and "the disaster that was the Iraq war", saying if whistleblowers had the courage to speak up earlier about both conflicts, "bloodbaths" could have been avoided.
He also mentioned The Hindu newspaper that had recently published 21 front pages based on so-called "cablegate" revelations, leading to the Indian Government walking out four times and a growing anti-corruption movement in the country.
But, the Director of the centre for social cohesion Douglas Murray, challenged Assange over the website's sources of funding, its staffing and connections with the Holocaust denier Israel Shamir, who has worked with the site. Murray also challenged the WikiLeaks founder over an account in a book by Guardian writers David Leigh and Luke Harding, in which the authors quote him suggesting that if informants were to be killed following publication of the leaks, they "had it coming to them".
About Julian Assange: born 3 July 1971he is an Australian publisher, journalist, software developer and Internet activist. He is the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website and conduit for worldwide news leaks, with the stated purpose of creating open governments. Assange was a hacker in his youth, before becoming a computer programmer. He has lived in several countries and has made public appearances in many parts of the world to speak about freedom of the press, censorship and investigative journalism.
Wikileaks: WikiLeaks was founded in 2006. That year, Assange wrote two essays setting out the philosophy behind WikiLeaks: "To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not.
Assange is a prominent media spokesman on WikiLeaks' behalf. While newspapers have described him as a "director"[ or "founder" of Wikileaks, Assange has said, "I don't call myself a founder"; he does describe himself as the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, and has stated that he has the final decision in the process of vetting documents submitted to the site.
Assange says that Wikileaks has released more classified documents than the rest of the world press combined.
Rampant Rafael springs to sixth Barcelona title
Career record 501–105 (82.64%)
Career titles 45
Highest ranking No. 1 (18 August 2008)
Current ranking No. 1 (11 April 2011)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open W (2009)
French Open W (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010)
Wimbledon W (2008, 2010)
US Open W (2010)
Tour Finals F (2010)
Olympic Games Gold medal (2008)
Career record 89–54
Career titles 7
Highest ranking No. 26 (8 August 2005)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 3R (2004, 2005)
Wimbledon 2R (2005)
US Open SF (2004)
Unstoppable Rafael Nadal won his 34th match in a row on clay, defeating good friend David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4 to win another Barcelona Open, his 31st clay title from 46 overall career trophies.
Nadal beat fourth seed Ferrer, who played with a troublesome calf injury and with a taped calf, in a final for the second straight week after winning Monte Carlo at his fellow Spaniard's expense in another rout seven days ago.
He could not prevent Nadal taking a sixth title in seven years at the Real Club de Tenis.
"It's unbelievable," said the winner. "I'm very happy to come back and win here after not playing last year. It was a difficult decision; it's a special dream to play in this tournament."
Nadal has not been beaten on his surface of choice since going down in an upset at the French Open two years ago to Robin Soderling in the fourth round.
The world No. 1 seems to play his best tennis on clay in April and has not lost during April since 2005 when he went down to Russian Igor Andreev. Since then, he's won 67 clay matches -and 11 titles -during his magic spring month.
His 31-2 clay final record includes a pair of losses to Roger Federer at Hamburg five years ago and Madrid in 2009.
Spain again ruled at the tournament, with a local playing the final for the ninth straight year. The last non-Spaniard to win was Argentina's Gaston Gaudio in 2002.
It was the fifth all-Spanish title match in the past seven years in which Nadal figured.
Nadal has now beaten Ferrer in 13 of 17 meetings. "I feel for David, who deserves to win a major title, he's doing very well week after week," said Nadal, who has beaten Ferrer in three Barcelona finals.
"I wish you luck again next year," joked Ferrer, who admitted he is growing tired of losing constantly to his friend. Nadal cannot help himself adding to records on clay. By lifting the trophy at Barcelona, he becomes the first in post-1968 Open tennis to have won two events more than six times.
About Nadal: Rafael Nadal Parera born 3 June 1986 is a Spanish professional tennis player currently ranked No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time; his success on clay has earned him the nickname "The King of Clay", and has prompted many experts to regard him as the greatest clay court player of all time. Nadal has won nine Grand Slam singles titles, the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles, a record 19 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, and also was part of the Spain Davis Cup team that won the finals in 2004, 2008 and 2009. He completed the career Grand Slam by winning the 2010 US Open, being the seventh player in history, and the youngest in the open era, to achieve it. He is the second male player to complete the Career Golden Slam (winner of the four grand slams and the Olympic Gold medal) after only Andre Agassi.