Friday, December 31, 2010


SPRINT queen Vicky Pendleton says the huge pressure to shine in London 2012 is almost suffocating both her and the rest of the British cycling team.
A spectacular haul of cycling gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and world championships has sent expectations soaring for the home Games.
Pendleton chalked up yet another sprint first place at the recent track world championships in Copenhagen, adding a silver medal in the women’s keirin event. Pendleton, 29, is aiming for three golds in London and noticed the first rumblings of discontent in Denmark after Britain fell behind Australia in the overall table.
And with the entire team now marked men and women with rivals, Pendleton is increasingly aware of the difficulties of staying clear of the field. She said: “Everyone is feeling the pressure already that Britain is expecting great things from their team, and the cycling team specifically.
“I feel more pressure on me now than I ever have in succeeding in big competitions like the world champs and the Olympics.
“There are a few new challenges to deal with to stay there at the top.
“The standard is very high in terms of what is expected of us come 2012 because of what we have achieved in the recent past. You started to see it already in Copenhagen – we didn’t come away with all the gold medals we expected. There was some doom and gloom about the place.”
The pursuit of excellence continues. Complacency is the dirtiest of words in Pendleton’s camp – and sacrifice is the most commonplace.
“Becoming complacent would be the kiss of death,” she added.
For healthy breakfast ideas and information about Hovis Wholemeal Breakfast Week, log on to

Germany History

Middle Ages
In the first centuries the Merovingian kings of Gaul conquered many German tribes, these Colonists of Gaul were also focused in change the religion. The missionary activity funded monasteries at W├╝rzburg, Regensburg, Reichenau, and other places. Many years later, from 772 to 814, the king Charlemagne extended his empire into northern Italy and the territories of all west of Germany, including Saxons and Bavarians. When Charlemagne was confirmed as emperor of Rome, the “Holy Roma Empire” was established. The years passed and the empire was divided into several parts because of the many fights between Charlemagne’s grandchildren, this division gave place to the beginning of the Frankish Kingdom under the government of Duke Henry of Saxony. The time between 1096 and 1291 was the age of the crusades and knightly religious orders were established: The Templars, the Knights of St. John and the Teutonic Order, many towns, castles, bishops’ palaces and monasteries were founded in this age. But from 1300 The Empire started to lose territory on all its frontiers. In the 15th century the king Maximilian I tried to reform the Empire but it was frustrated by the continued territorial fragmentation of the Empire.

Germany Reformation
In the 16th century began the Germany reformation under the philosophy of Martin Luther and his “95 theses” against the abuse of indulgences to the church. Luther translated the Bible establishing the basis of modern German. By 1555 the era of religious tensions seemed to end with the Peace of Augsburg. In the 17th century the Thirty Year’s War devastated Germany, and the religious tensions continued, and the conflict was widened into a European War by the intervention of King Christian IV of Denmark, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and France under Cardinal Richelieu, the regent of the young Louis XIV. Germany became the main theatre of war and the scene of the final conflict between France and the Habsburgs for the predominance of Europe. The war resulted in large areas of Germany being laid waste, in a loss of something like a third of its population, and in a general impoverishment. Finally, the war ended with the Peace of Westphalia and the German territory was lost to France and Sweden; Netherlands also left the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved on 6 August 1806 when the last Holy Roman Emperor Francis II resigned and the Confederation of the Rhine was established under Napoleon's protection. Later with the Wars of Liberation began the destruction of Napoleon’s army and Germany was liberated from French rule.

Germany Confederation
After the fall of Napoleon, European monarchs and statesmen convened in the Vienna in 1814 for the reorganization of European affairs. On the territory of the former "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation", the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) was founded, a loose union of 39 states (35 ruling princes and 4 free cities) under Austrian leadership, with a Federal Diet (Bundestag) meeting in Frankfurt am Main. In 1867 the German Confederation was dissolved. In its place the North German Confederation (German Norddeutscher Bund) was established, under the leadership of Prussia. Austria was excluded, and would remain outside German affairs for most of the remaining 19th and the 20th centuries. The North German Confederation was a transitory group that existed from 1867 to 1871, between the dissolution of the German Confederation and the founding of the German Empire, led by Otto Von Bismarck who was declared chancellor. With it, Prussia established control over the 22 states of northern Germany and, via the Zollverein, southern Germany.

German Empire
In 1871 The German Empire was funded with 25 states, three of which were Hanseatic free cities, and the Chancellor was Bismarck. It was dubbed the "Little German" solution, since Austria was not included. Bismarck's domestic policies as Chancellor of Germany were characterized by his fight against perceived enemies of the Protestant Prussian state. Other Bismarck's priority was to protect Germany's expanding power through a system of alliances and an attempt to contain crises until Germany was fully prepared to initiate them, then in 1879 Bismarck formed a Dual Alliance if Germany and Austria-Hungary, later Italy joined to the Dual Alliance to form a Triple Alliance against France colonial policy. In spite of Bismarck policies, the 29 year old Wilhelm II removed Bismarck of his chancellor position. In 1898 the Triple Alliance was dissolved by differences between Austria and Italy and Germany was increasingly isolated.

First World War
Imperialist power politics and the determined pursuit of national interests ultimately led to the outbreak in 1914 of the First World War, sparked by the assassination of the Austrian heir-apparent Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Germany fought on the side of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire against Russia, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and several other smaller states. Fighting also spread to the Near East and the German colonies. The entry of the United States into the war in 1917 following Germany’s declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare marked a decisive turning-point against Germany. On November Kaiser Wilhelm II and all German ruling princes abdicated and the Social Democrat Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed a Republic who signed the end of the war at Compi├Ęgne. After First World War, Germany was obligated to cede many areas, allied troops occupied the left German Bank of the Rhine for a period of 5-15 years, and the German army was to be limited to 100,000 officers. Furthermore, Germany and its allies were to accept the sole responsibility of the war, and were to pay financial reparations for all loss and damage suffered by the Allies. The humiliating peace terms provoked bitter indignation throughout Germany, and seriously weakened the new democratic regime.

Weimar Republic
In 1919, under the Weimar constitution, Friedrich Ebert was named as the first German President, but the Weimar republic was not accepted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party and German Communist Party. In 1923 began other the problems when Germany defaulted on its reparation payments French and Belgian troops occupied the heavily industrialized Ruhr district. The German government encouraged the population to passive resistance and later the occupation became a loss-making deal for French government. As consequence of this, many lost all their fortune and they would become bitter enemies of the Weimar Republic. Fortunately, in 1928 Germany’s industrial production improved. At this time, Hitler made his first appearance with storm troopers in Munich and after the national elections in 1932, the new president Hindenburg appointed him Chancellor.

Nazi Revolution
With Hitler, the Communism was begun. He also formed a slim majority government and obtained the full legislative power with the Enabling Act of 1933, only the Social Democrats were against this act. The Enabling Act formed the basis for the dictatorship, dissolution of the trade unions and all political parties other than the Nazi party were suppressed. A centralized totalitarian state was established, no longer based on the liberal Weimar constitution. In 1938, Hitler entered into Austria and he was acclaimed, many Austrians voted for the annexation of their country to Germany.

Second World War
In 1939, after six years, The Nazi regime prepared the country for World War II. The Nazi leadership occupied countries through forced deportation and genocide, now knows as the Holocaust. By 1945, Germany and its partners (Italy and Japan) had been defeated, chiefly by the forces of the Soviet Union, the USA, Britain, and Canada. Many people had been killed between six million Jews and five million non-Jews, and much of Europe lay in ruins. World War II resulted in the destruction of Germany's political and economic infrastructure and led directly to its partition, considerable loss of territory, and historical legacy of guilt and shame. Germany was divided into four military occupation zones by the Allies; the three western zones would form the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) while part of the Soviet Zone became the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The Germans were repatriated to the Eastern Europe (German exodus). In this process of expulsion, millions of Germans died.

After 1945
After war, Germany population lived on near starvation levels. In the early 1950s, West Germany eventually came to enjoy prolonged economic growth. The recovery occurred largely because of the previously forbidden currency reform of June 1948 and from 1949 on partly by U.S. assistance through Marshall Plan loans. Across the border, East Germany soon became the richest, most advanced country in the Warsaw Pact, but many of its citizens looked to the West for political freedoms and economic prosperity. In 1970, West Germany under Brandt's Ostpolitik was intent on holding to its concept of "two German states in one German nation." Relations improved, and in 1973, East Germany and West Germany were admitted to the United Nations. German reunification happened in 1990 when East German authorities suddenly allowed East German citizens to enter West Berlin and West Germany. Hundreds of thousands of people took advantage of the opportunity; new crossing points were opened in the Berlin Wall and along the border with West Germany.
New Germany, France and other European countries formed the European Union. After all, Germany became into a country of remarkable diversity, with cultural differences, although Germans will never forget the dark past.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Singapore Airport: Secret of Success

Other than buying chewing gum and a few more things that minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew would frown upon, there is little that those transiting through Singapore’s Changi airport cannot do. It has for years been a benchmark for airport excellence and passengers from all over the world know it for the calming little islands with orchids in the arrival hall, efficient baggage handling (bags are on the conveyor within 12 minutes of touchdown) and duty free shopping.

But Changi is not content. It is going all out to add more attractions: The newest terminal has spacious art deco styled powder rooms for women, and for those with time on their hands, a butterfly park and movie theatres. And adding a completely new dimension, the airport, will also offer an exclusive area for storing and trading gold, diamonds and high value art. In the process, Changi, or at least a part of it, will turn into Fort Knox.

The Freeport is a 25,000 square metre area with a containment perimeter of reinforced concrete walls and invisible laser beams to secure it. Since it is located on the runway with permanent air/land access, customers can be picked up straight from the plane and taken to exclusive viewing suites.

Changi’s latest addition is being built by Singapore Airport Freeport, a company co-founded by private investors from Singapore and Switzerland. “It will operate as a round-the-clock free trade zone that customers can use for tax-free storage and trading,” says Alain Vandenborre, vice-chairman of the company. Auction house Christie’s has taken up 40 percent of the space in the first phase; the rest is likely to be booked by art dealers, sovereign institutions, and companies active in the storage or trading of fine art and physical gold.

The Freeport is part of Changi’s attempts to increase activity that attracts more traffic into the airport. It has shielded airline users from increase in landing fees and offers incentives to those who bring in more traffic or use Singapore as a hub to link up with other carriers. Three Indian airlines — Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Air India (as well as its low cost subsidiary AI Express) — currently connect to Changi from about half a dozen points in India. These airlines have had to face huge increase in fees at airports back home over the past two years. As airline losses grew to $9 billion in 2009, most were grateful for any reductions that came their way.

Changi was able to freeze fees and offer airlines discounts on various airport services thanks to a revenue buffer created from non-aeronautical income (from shops, food and beverage sales, hotels and parking) — which was 55 percent of the total revenues earned in 2009. In the year ended March 31, 2009, the airport’s operations generated revenues of S$1.23 billion and a net surplus of S$284 million.

As traffic picks up, the discounts are slowly being scaled back for passenger carriers, though they are still in place for cargo airlines where recovery is much slower. Few airports in the region have been able to match this. Airports in India, for instance, have increased landing charges by about 10 percent during the period.

The ability to take the unconventional route to increasing traffic to the city-state, has put Changi in the lead as one of Asia’s biggest hubs. Thirty-seven million passengers used its three terminals in 2009, despite there being virtually no domestic flights in the single-city state. Contrast this with Mumbai airport that handled about 25 million passengers in the same period, counting both domestic and international flights.

Competition is stiff and every new scheme is directed at attracting more airlines. With a capacity of 70 million passengers, Changi is well-provided for growth, a trait not very evident at airports in India.
“The Bangalore international airport that opened in 2008 was saturated from day one. It was built for 11 million passengers, and traffic was already over 10 million the year it opened,” says D.P. Singh, general manager, corporate planning, at the Airport Authority of India.

At Changi they are already taking the next step. Last year the airport structure changed from a government to a corporate entity. The Temasek-led Changi Airport Group (CAG) is the new owner that bought the airport from the ministry of civil aviation. (Temasek owns and manages the Singapore government’s direct investments.) This has been followed by better salaries and hiring from the non-aviation sectors like retail. This will allow the airport to improve revenues, says a report by the Sydney-based think tank Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation which closely monitors airlines and airports in the region.

One way that Changi manages to keep its edge is by providing for the entire spectrum of airline traffic. High-value passengers, whether they are flying by a commercial airline or a business jet, can pay about S$500 to be met at the aircraft and whisked away to JetQuay, a small exclusive terminal. The service is available for arrival and departure, and the JetQuay team helps with immigration and other travel formalities.

On the other end of the band is the budget terminal that caters to the no-frills customer. Though only 20 percent of Changi’s passengers use the terminal, it allows airlines to save on aerobridge and office rental charges. There are no aerobridges or escalators and passengers have to walk on the tarmac to reach the aircraft. They are charged S$15 for using the budget terminal as opposed to S$28 for the ones with frills. “Three airlines — Tiger, Sebu-Pacific and Firefly — operate from it, even as others like AirAsia and Jetstar choose to use the main terminals so that they can interline with carriers like Qantas,” says Ivan Tan, director communications, CAG.

One formal way devised to funnel the changes needed to keep ahead is the Changi Airport Growth initiative, launched this year. Yam Kum Weng, executive vice president, Air Hub Development, says incentive programmes and joint collaborations are tailored according to the airline’s business model and needs.

Yet competition is creeping up fast in the form of other very aggressive regional airports like Kuala Lumpur and others in the Middle East like Dubai and Doha. CAG will have to think on its feet to keep ahead. The most recent case of a tough fight over a customer was for Australian budget carrier Jetstar. The Aussie carrier  committed to make Changi its largest air hub in Asia. The choice was made over Kuala Lumpur airport, after much negotiation. Changi airport is the sixth largest in the world now, but keeping ahead in the future will not be easy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


SNOOKER coaching guru Del Hill is staying away from the first week of this year’s world championship – because four of his prodigies are playing against each other and he does not want divided loyalties.
This is typical of Hill, who is rated as the best coach in the game , having masterminded world titles with Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon and Graeme Dott .
Hill operates from his snooker “farm” which is set in five acres of lush grounds that boast a large lake stocked with perch, carp and bream, where players can relax and fish after long spells of potting pressure.
He is also head of World Snooker’s elite coaching team, manager of England’s amateur squad and has still found time to answer business calls from Russia, Thailand, Jordan, Romania, Belgium, Malta, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.
And if that is not enough, he also brokered a deal for Chelsea’s John Terry to buy The Crucible’s 2008 World Championship table – and arranged for technicians to set it up.
During his coaching career, Hill has found himself dashing from one dressing room to another before a major tournament to offer final words of advice to players squaring up to one another – something which, from a professional point of view, he finds rather embarrassing.
And that is why he will not be at The Crucible in Sheffield for the opening rounds of the tournament, which starts on Saturday, when Ebdon faces Dott and Michael Holt plays Joe Perry. Instead, Hill – 6ft 9ins and known as the Gentle Giant – will telephone each player with the words: “May the best man win. I’ll be watching you on TV – but if you’re in desperate trouble, then you’d better ring me.”
Hill recalled an incident in 2005 when Dott phoned him urgently before he played O’Sullivan in the world final, complaining that a problem had developed with his break-off shot.
“I dropped everything and rushed to Sheffield . We thought it had all been sorted out when Graeme went 5-0 in front – only for O’Sullivan to hit back and go on to win,” said Hill.


HISTORY has always warned against displays of premature triumphalism, which is why Steve Waugh, a man who knows a little about these things, suggested that while Australia dominated much of the drawn first npower Test, there is still work left to do if the Ashes are to be retained.
But former Australian captain Waugh, the man who handed over control in early 2004, believes that while England’s tail proved too devilishly tricky to grab who came, saw and was conquered in 2005.

And Waugh says his time will come sooner or later. Ponting has taken time to mature into the role of skipper, but Waugh insists that there are two factors that have sharpened him from the rather blunt blade that failed to cut the mustard four years ago – namely fatherhood and then the moulding of his own side.

The birth of Waugh’s own daughter 13 years ago proved the catalyst that gave the former skipper the perspective needed to start improving as a captain.

“Becoming a parent was the key for me,” he said.

“It gave me the ability to stop thinking about cricket 24-7 and that’s important.

“It changes a lot of things in your life and maybe that was what changed Ricky’s captaincy, becoming a father.

“You see things from a different perspective. It’s not so much about yourself anymore. You have to look after your own family and your kids and you see things differently.”

A year after the birth of his first daughter, Waugh became involved with an orphanage in Calcutta called Udayan that helped girls with leprosy. And following the birth of Ponting’s fi rst daughter, Emmy Charlotte in July last year, Waugh detected a similar shift in Ponting’s focus. 

“It may be because it also coincided with the fact that he has had to build a team from some new guys.

“In some ways he has probably appreciated having some young guys in there who he can infl uence. It is easier when you have a team you  can mould, rather than experienced players.”

Waugh was not at Cardiff yesterday and instead was saddle sore having completed 40 miles on a bicycle supporting Daley Thompson’s Laureus knife crime initiative.

Like Ponting, Waugh endured a signifi cant amount of criticism during his fi ve-year stint as captain. He maintained it is something that goes with the territory.

“Everyone in a position of leadership is going to get criticism,” he said.

“People will always have opinions. But you just have to look in the mirror and work out whether you are doing the best job you could possibly be doing. Most importantly, you have to realise you are never going to please everyone.

“When you are fresh you take all the criticism home but the longer you play the easier it gets. As a young kid you take everything on board and you think the world is against you but, later on, while you are still under pressure, you have a better perspective.” 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Golf Courses in germany

The very first steps
The biggest mistake by people wanting to start in golf is to rush out and buy a brand new set of shiny and expensive golf clubs. While they are nice to look at you should keep in mind that today's golf equipment comes in great varieties to cater for different golfing types and abilities. Since you're just starting out you do not know which set fits you best. Just imagine the envious looks you get at the driving range when you come with your $2000 set, and the subsequent laughter when you try and just 'hack away' - not worth the embarrassment! Once you spend a few hundred or even thousand $$ on a set that doesn't suit your style you're stuck with it or you have to sell it to somebody else at a loss.


Taking a Golf courses can be very expensive, time-consuming effort. And like any good or service that will cost money and require time, you should be careful before you buy. It's OK to shop around for a golf instructor, it's recommended in order to find the best fit. Here you can find some things to consider before you commit to golf lessons.

Know your Price Limit
Golf lessons are expensive. But some are more expensive than others. Generally, the more expensive instructors are the ones with more experience, more accolades and who are attached to a more upscale golf facility. But there are lots of teaching pros out there who are less expensive but still very good. Decide how much you are willing to spend before you start shopping, and stick to it.

Make Sure Your Goals and Commitment Match
A golf instructor can do wonders with your game, but he can't do it alone. To make golf lessons worthwhile, you must be able to follow up on them by continuing to work on the instructor's suggestions on your own time. The higher your goals, the more work will be required. Be realistic in your goals and make sure you can offer the commitment necessary to meet those goals.

Private Lessons vs. Golf Schools
Private lessons and Golf schools are the two typical ways to receive golf instruction. Both have strengths. Private lessons allow for follow-up visits over a period of time - a building block approach to learning golf. Schools offer an intensive amount of learning in a short time, but can also offer too much information and without follow-up. But private lessons can take months to complete.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous INDIA

Cyrus Poonawalla (24)
You could say the man hoards horses, but his real collection is a fleet of more than 25 cars kept in Pune. Poonawalla even built a prototype for a sports car during his college days. He’s carefully collected cars that range from custom-built limousines to Rolls Royces to six-door Mercedes. And the craze for cars runs in the blood. Nephew Yohan Poonawalla was the first owner of the Phantom Rolls Royce in India (for Rs 3.5 crore) in 2005.