Unexpected side-effect of allowing same-sex marriages

God who created us male and female made marriage to be the best relationship between a man and a woman. Obviously He knows what is best. But modern man thinks he is wiser than God and has pressured many Governments to allow or legalize same-sex ‘marriages’. These ‘same-sex-marriages’, besides being an abomination to God and the very institution of marriage, are also now being used by criminals to smuggle people into these very countries.

BBC sting exposes fake same-sex marriage scam

Figure 1 FOR A FEE OF £10,000, ANY NON-EU CITIZEN CAN ENTER IN A FAKE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

LONDON: A new crime category has emerged in Britain after same-sex marriages were made legal in March: fake marriages between same-sex couples for a fee that enables a non-EU citizen skirt strict visa rules and stay in the country after ‘marrying’ a UK/EU citizen.

Organised gangs provide a man or woman for an all-expenses fee of £10,000, so that the non-EU citizen can enter into the fake marriage. Registrars and immigration officials are said to be struggling to stop such marriages.

The usual modus operandi of such ‘marriages’ is that after it is registered, the two individuals go their separate ways, and file for divorce after the non-EU citizen gets permission to stay in the country after the mandatory period.

In the past, several Indian citizens were arrested for being part of such fake but different sex marriages. After March, when same-sex marriages became legal, there are no reports yet of Indians being involved in such fake marriages.

However, a BBC sting operation telecast on Monday shows an Asian undercover reporter being given the name of ‘ Ruby’ from Mumbai by a gang member, who organised the fake marriage, so that she could stay in the country. ‘Ruby’ posed as an illegal immigrant urgently seeking a fake marriage to stay in the UK, while another posed as her uncle.

The gang offered two potential fake Romanian brides to the reporter, both of whom explicitly stated they were not lesbians but were willing to pretend to be gay and marry anyone for cash. Romania joined the EU in 2007, and from January this year, UK lifted temporary restrictions on them to move here.

Peter and Ricardo, the gang’s leaders, boasted to the undercover reporters they had ‘fixed’ weddings ‘lots of times’, while one of the girls, Alexandra, said she had previously organised six fake weddings and knew how to deceive immigration officers.

Mark Rimmer, head of Registration and Nationality Services in the London borough of Brent, told BBC: “Here in Brent, the Home Office stops marriages on a weekly basis…I think it is probably more difficult to spot the signs if you have a same sex couple whether they be male or female.”

23 Sep 2014 Hindustan Times (Mumbai) Prasun Sonwalkar letters@hindustantimes.com

 

Secularism and the illusion of neutrality

Do you know who you are and where you are going? The person with a postmodern mindset does not really know where they are and who they are, says Ravi Zacharias, one of this century’s noted thinkers and writers.

Everyone it seems is asking ‘what does it mean to be human…?’

Our twentieth century, far from being notable for scientific skepticism, is one of the most credulous eras in all history. It is not that people believe in nothing – which would be bad enough – but that they believe in anything – which is really terrible, said Malcolm Muggeridge.

 

Our culture no longer has a point of reference.

This denial of absolutes has had profound effects on all spheres of human life. The profound decline in trust between individuals, and corporations is a glaring example.

People who have always believed in absolute moral values and in a Creator God who loves them and has their best interests in mind have been seduced and brainwashed into believing anything but the truth, and the devastation is only beginning to unfurl as the years go by.

 

Marx and Kierkegaard were two key voices of the twentieth century. The curious thing is that though Marx purported to have an infallible scientific key to history, almost all his prophecies have failed to happen. On the other hand, Kierkegaard’s forecasts have been fulfilled to a remarkable degree. Take for instance his profound sense that if men lost the isolation, the separateness, which awareness of the presence of God alone can give, they would soon find themselves irretrievably part of a collectivity with only mass communications to shape their hopes, formulate their values and arrange their thinking . . .

What has secularism to do with this, you may well ask.

 

 

 

Figure 1 What do you really mean by Secularism?

 

First of all let us see what people believe in the present day and age.

Do you recognize yourself and your friend’s beliefs reflected in this poem, called the Modern Thinker’s Creed, by Steve Turner?


We believe in Marx, Freud, and Darwin We believe everything is OK as long as you don’t hurt anyone to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage. We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that adultery is fun. We believe that sodomy’s OK. We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything’s getting better despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there’s something in horoscopes UFO’s and bent spoons. Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Muhammed, and ourselves. He was a good moral teacher though we think His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-at least the one that we read was. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing. Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing. If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson. What’s selected is average. What’s average is normal. What’s normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament. We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed. Americans should beat their guns into tractors. And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good. It’s only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society. Society is the fault of conditions. Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him. Reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will readjust. History will alter. We believe that there is no absolute truth excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds, and the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be the Father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky and when you hear

State of Emergency! Sniper Kills Ten! Troops on Rampage! Whites go Looting! Bomb Blasts School! It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

 

I heard this today from Ravi Zacharias, and thought I would share it here. It parodies the polemic often heard today by residents of America’s [and other so called 'developed' worlds] Institutes of Higher Education, who have been raised in the last few decades under the State sanctioned beliefs of Secularism, and if they believe in God at all, it is one that effectively has one man blowing himself and others up to gain a sexual Paradise, while another is meditation on his navel to attain his version of such, through the annihilation of desire.

What were the steps in this slow decline of our morals, trust and security?

  1. Rejection of the beneficial transcendent moral authority of the Bible, which provides liberty with its necessary limits, with the immutable holy Creator as God.
  2. Increasing acceptance of the objectively baseless morality of secularism, which promotes everyone doing what it right in his own eyes (contra. Deut. 12:8), resulting in the most morally confused generation America and other so called developed nations has ever raised, open to the ever morphing degrees of immorality, with gaining carnal pleasures, possessions and prestige being exalted, and leaders who “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18).

This paradigmatic change may be seen to have manifestly begun with the 60’s sexual revolution, which the Left sees as a success, while we reap the fruits of its corruption. In no small part is the role played by new age philosophies [old wine in new bottles, exported from their lands of origin where they have failed miserably for centuries] which are contradictory at their very core.

I feel that Secularism has played a large role in the present mess we all find ourselves in.

Malcom wrote this poignant summary “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”

But Jesus does save sinners.

I do not know much about the author, British journalist Steve Turner, but he has some other Christian poems, such as this excerpt,

If Jesus was thirty today they wouldn’t really care about the public ministry, they’d be too busy investigating His finances and trying to prove He had Church or Mafia connections. The miracles would be explained by an eminent and controversial magician, His claims to be God’s Son recognised as excellent examples of Spoken English and immediately incorporated into the O-Level syllabus, His sinless perfection considered by moral philosophers as, OK, but a bit repressive.

If Jesus was thirty-one today He’d be the fly in everyone’s ointment- the sort of controversial person who stands no chance of eminence. Communists would expel Him, capitalists would exploit Him or have Him smeared by people who know a thing or two about God. Doctors would accuse Him of quackery, soldiers would accuse Him of cowardice, and theologians would take Him aside and try to persuade Him of His non-existence.

If Jesus was thirty-two today we’d have to end it all. Heretic, fundamentalist, literalist, puritan, pacifist, non-conformist, we’d take Him away and quietly end the argument. But the argument would rumble in the ground at the end of three days and would break out and walk around as though death was some bug, saying ‘I am the resurrection and the life… No man cometh to the Father but by me’. While the magicians researched new explanations and the semanticists wondered exactly what He meant by ‘I’ and ‘No man’ there would be those who stand around amused, asking for something called proof.

Ask yourself whom you would rather believe, the Creator God who gave us His very own life to purchase our freedom from the guilt, shame and power of sin, or fancy stories designed for itching ears which ought to have known better.

If you need any further prodding consider this classic rebuttal of the modern secularist thinker by Malcolm Muggeridge:

The greatest artists, saints, philosophers and, until quite recent times, scientists, through the Christian centuries, . . . have all assumed that the New Testament promise of eternal life is valid, and that the great drama of the Incarnation which embodies it, is indeed the master-drama of our existence.

To suppose that these distinguished believers were all credulous fools whose folly and credulity in holding such beliefs has now been finally exposed, would seem to me untenable; and anyway I’d rather be wrong with Dante and Shakespeare and Milton, with Augustine of Hippo and Francis of Assisi, with Dr Johnson, Blake and Dostoevsky than right with Voltaire, Rousseau, the Huxleys, Herbert Spencer, H.G. Wells and Bernard Shaw.

{Vintage Muggeridge, ed. Geoffrey Barlow, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985, 32-33}


Quacks and Burkas

Imagine a Doctor advising a patient who has vomiting, to cover up all food and water in his home because the very act of looking at food makes him vomit, and vomiting is not good for health. What would you call such a Doctor? A quack, obviously! And you would ofcourse try to understand why there is vomiting in the first place, and treat it!

This brings me to a similar situation common to many parts of the world these days: covering up a woman in a burka or niqab to prevent men from lusting at them.

Why do some Muslim women wear burkas?

Raihan Ismail is a lecturer in Middle East Politics and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University. Dr Ismail spoke with 666 ABC Canberra to answer some common questions about the burka. The Koran calls for both men and women to ‘cover and be modest’ she said.

This is because being immodest can awaken lust, which is recognised as bad by most religions of the world.

So what is the only solution to the problem of lust?

The Bible tells us in simple and plain language that all of us were or are in this situation, following our heart and fulfilling the lusts of the flesh:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

The Bible also talks of a people transformed from within:

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

(Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV)

The answer to the lust problem then is not in covering up the objects of lust, but dealing with the lust within your own heart.

Easier said than done? Here is how it is possible:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; the list goes on. (Galatians 5:16-19 NIV)

The Spirit of God is a wonderful gift that God gives to those who have repented of their sins and accepted the free gift of forgiveness offered by God through the substitutionary sacrifice of the sinless man Jesus Christ.

That is why the Apostle Peter could write two thousand years ago:

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:1-4 NIV)

God has created man and woman as precious, wonderfully different and yet equal in His eyes.

We all have been born with a default mode that is damaged, with the tendency to sin and lust. I am sure all of you have experienced that, in yourselves and in others.

Yet the amazing fact is that despite knowing us, God loves us, and has made the provision for us to ‘participate in His divine nature’, and overcome every evil in our hearts. The way is simple and effective.

So dear friends, do you feel that covering up women or the opposite sex is the solution to the problem of lust?

Religion tells us to follow rules and external conformity, hoping that will solve the problem of lust and other evils. God tells us to change our heart from within. You decide J

 

 

Unexpected side-effect of allowing same-sex marriages

God who created us male and female made marriage to be the best relationship between a man and a woman. Obviously He knows what is best. But modern man thinks he is wiser than God and has pressured many Governments to allow or legalize same-sex ‘marriages’. These ‘same-sex-marriages’, besides being an abomination to God and the very institution of marriage, are also now being used by criminals to smuggle people into these very countries.

BBC sting exposes fake same-sex marriage scam

Figure 1 FOR A FEE OF £10,000, ANY NON-EU CITIZEN CAN ENTER IN A FAKE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

LONDON: A new crime category has emerged in Britain after same-sex marriages were made legal in March: fake marriages between same-sex couples for a fee that enables a non-EU citizen skirt strict visa rules and stay in the country after ‘marrying’ a UK/EU citizen.

Organised gangs provide a man or woman for an all-expenses fee of £10,000, so that the non-EU citizen can enter into the fake marriage. Registrars and immigration officials are said to be struggling to stop such marriages.

The usual modus operandi of such ‘marriages’ is that after it is registered, the two individuals go their separate ways, and file for divorce after the non-EU citizen gets permission to stay in the country after the mandatory period.

In the past, several Indian citizens were arrested for being part of such fake but different sex marriages. After March, when same-sex marriages became legal, there are no reports yet of Indians being involved in such fake marriages.

However, a BBC sting operation telecast on Monday shows an Asian undercover reporter being given the name of ‘ Ruby’ from Mumbai by a gang member, who organised the fake marriage, so that she could stay in the country. ‘Ruby’ posed as an illegal immigrant urgently seeking a fake marriage to stay in the UK, while another posed as her uncle.

The gang offered two potential fake Romanian brides to the reporter, both of whom explicitly stated they were not lesbians but were willing to pretend to be gay and marry anyone for cash. Romania joined the EU in 2007, and from January this year, UK lifted temporary restrictions on them to move here.

Peter and Ricardo, the gang’s leaders, boasted to the undercover reporters they had ‘fixed’ weddings ‘lots of times’, while one of the girls, Alexandra, said she had previously organised six fake weddings and knew how to deceive immigration officers.

Mark Rimmer, head of Registration and Nationality Services in the London borough of Brent, told BBC: “Here in Brent, the Home Office stops marriages on a weekly basis…I think it is probably more difficult to spot the signs if you have a same sex couple whether they be male or female.”

23 Sep 2014 Hindustan Times (Mumbai) Prasun Sonwalkar letters@hindustantimes.com

 

Who is trying to rewrite Indian History?

24 Sep 2014, Hindustan Times (Delhi), SITARAM YECHURY the views expressed by the author are personal

Ignorance, lies posing as truth

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The RSS, in its effort to convert our modern secular democratic republic into a ‘Hindu rashtra’, is trying to rewrite our history.

The latest incident of the dismissal of 11 Dalit students from a BJP state government-run school in Bikaner, Jaipur, on the grounds that they were drinking water from an earthen pot earmarked for an upper caste teacher once again highlights the continuing caste and social oppression in our country. It is indeed the irony of our times that on the same day the RSS chief released three books authored by a BJP spokesperson, carrying forewords by three top RSS leaders attributing the genesis of Dalits, tribals and many other oppressed groups to “Muslim invasion in medieval times”. RSS leaders claim that these castes had come into existence due to atrocities by foreign invaders and did not exist in Hindu religion earlier (The Hindustan Times, September 22, 2014).


REUTERSThe origins of the RSS itself are based on the religious sanction of the ‘Hindu code’ which the most sacrosanct of RSS sarsanghchalaks, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, endorsed

The RSS emboldened by the central government under its political arm, the BJP, has intensified its efforts, to validate a common Hindu thread to unify all groups under one Hindu identity. For this, it is essential that the history of the lands constituting our great country today is rewritten according to their narrative. This is essential for carrying forward the RSS ideological project of converting the modern secular democratic Indian republic into their conception of a ‘Hindu rashtra’. The entire diversity of culture, traditions, language and customs of the people who have inhabited India over the centuries is sought to be straitjacketed into a monolithic ‘Hinduism’. Secondly, an external enemy (i.e. external to Hindus) needs to be created — the Muslims — against whom a hate campaign can be whipped up for achieving this objective.

In this latest exercise of rewriting history, Bhaiyaji Joshi, the second in command in RSS hierarchy, says that the ‘shudras’ were never untouchables in Hindu scriptures. ‘Islamic atrocities’ during the medieval age resulted in the emergence of untouchables, Dalits and Indian Muslims.

Echoing a similar tune another top RSS functionary writes that the oppressed castes and sub-castes came into existence as a result of atrocities against Brahmins and Kshatriyas during the Islamic age, “Dalits had the genesis during Turks, Muslims and Mughal eras”. Focusing on such lines of rewriting Indian history, media reports that one of the RSS affiliates recently convened a conclave of over hundred historians to discuss historiography and changes (in our syllabi), to construct an overarching Hindu identity beyond any caste or sub-castes in order to achieve the objective of Hindu consolidation.

That the caste system and the accompanied social atrocities never existed in ancient Hindu society and were the creation or the incorporation into such a society by Muslim invasions is a gross distortion of recorded history as well as the rich experience of oral historiography that has run through millennia in these lands. In fact the origins of the RSS itself are based on the religious sanction of the ‘Hindu code’ which the most sacrosanct of RSS sarsanghchalaks, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, endorsed. In a 1939 tract titled ‘We or Our Nationhood Defined’, Golwalkar acclaims Manu as the “first and greatest law giver of the world” who “lays down in his code directing all the peoples of the world to go to Hindustan to learn their duties at the holy feet of ‘eldest born’ Brahmins of this land”. In a much later work, the Bunch of Thoughts (1966), he says “Brahmin is the head, King (Kshatriyas) the hands, Vaishya the thighs and Shudras the feet. This means that the people who have thus, four fold arrangement, i.e. the Hindu people is our God.”

Now what does the Manusmriti say? “Serving Brahmins alone is recommended as the best innate activity of a Shudra; for whatever he does other than this there is no fruit for him” (Chapter X, 123). The Manusmriti then proceeds to define the outcastes and untouchables who have no place in society at all and defines their menial activities. This intolerant caste structure finds expression in the RSS today as the Manusmriti is exclusively based on ‘Aryan social organisation’. “Un-Aryan behaviour, harshness, cruelty and habitual failure to perform the rituals are the manifestations in this world indicating that a man is born of a defiled womb” (Chapter X, 58).

The establishment of such a ‘Hindu rashtra’ however, requires incontrovertible proof that Aryans originated from these lands alone and did not come here from anywhere else. All questions of historical evidence are brushed aside by the RSS, by an assertion of ‘matters of faith’. Historian Romila Thapar, establishes that “the linguistic evidence of Vedic Sanskrit supports the coming into India of an Indo-European language from Iran but does not support the notion that India was the homeland of the Aryan speaking people”. (Seminar, 400, 1992). All this is brushed aside as ‘faith’ takes over evidence, mythology over history and theology over philosophy.

In India, Hinduism enforces poverty on those labelled ‘untouchables’. To help people most in need of help brings ‘bad karma’ on you personally (because you are interfering with the ‘law’ of karma where the station of a person in this life is due to their deeds in a former life), so people do not have a reason within their religion to help others in need, etc.

It is the tenacity of such a criminally oppressive social order that continues to perpetuate gross injustices in India today. According to a report published by the ministry of labour in 2001, (the last of its kind), 15% of the population constituting the three upper castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) with no legal reservations occupy 66.5% of political representation, 43% of education, 87% of employment, 97% of business and 94% of landed estates. The rest of the population consisting of the OBCs (Shudras), the SCs and STs, along with the Muslims, with a population share of 85% share the rest in hopeless conditions of inhuman inequality. This social order has to be overthrown to begin the struggle for justice.


The RSS/BJP’s agenda of rewriting Indian history is designed to perpetuate such unacceptable levels of social oppression along with the denial of basic human rights for anyone they consider as un-Hindu — their blueprint for the future of India.

Sitaram Yechury is CPI(M) Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP

 

Author’s note: The Hinduism/Brahmanism of India was imported and imposed onto India’s earlier population from outside invaders who happened to have lighter skin tones on average. It’s probably no coincidence that the upper caste of Hindu society, the Brahmins, are mostly lighter-skinned. The lowest caste, the so-called ‘untouchables’, who can still occasionally be killed for daring to touch a Brahmin, are predominantly the darker-skinned descendants of the vanquished people group. The whole horrible caste system seems designed to keep an entire group of people in a permanently servile state. Did I say ‘horrible system’? Indeed so. ‘Political correctness’ should not deter us from ‘speaking the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15)

That’s why it’s important to repeatedly emphasize the truth of Genesis history and what it means for all such ideas—they are simply untenable. Our true history should remind Christians in particular of two great facts. One is our fallen nature, so prone to thinking and acting wrongly towards others. The other is the immensely close relatedness of all members of our one human family.

From Dyslexia to CEO

Learning disability?!

This is one word that most parents dread hearing.

Many of you may have heard of dyslexia.

 

Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence.

Understanding Dyslexia

There are two basic kinds of learners – verbal and nonverbal. Intelligence does not play a role in this distinction—it is simply a difference in learning and thinking styles.

Verbal learners mainly think in words rather than pictures, with a sort of internal dialogue. Verbal thought follows the structure of language. Thinking verbally consists of composing mental sentences, one word at a time, at about the same speed as speech.

Nonverbal learners mainly think in pictures. They think with 3-dimensional, multi-sensory images that evolve and grow as the thought process adds more information or concepts. They do not experience much internal dialogue. This thought process happens so much faster than verbal thinking, that it is usually subliminal. [read more at

http://www.masteringdyslexia.com/index.php/about/understanding-dyselxia/]


 

Here is something to really change your perspective of this ‘dreaded condition’.

Did you know that Virgin, Apple, Ikea, Tommy Hilfiger, HP are all companies founded by people with the learning disability dyslexia?

Brett Kopf is the CEO and co-founder of Remind 101, now called simply Remind: https://www.remind.com/ which is a safe way for teachers to connect with students and stay in touch with parents. It is among the top 15 downloaded apps now, a super success story.

From Dyslexia to CEO: How my learning disabilities taught me to be a successful entrepreneur

This is what he says “I was that kid. I was the envy or target among my peers because I got to leave class for a few hours to go somewhere else. My teacher was Mrs. Whitefield and the somewhere else was a quiet classroom where Mrs. Whitefield taught me the skills to manage my dyslexia and attention deficit disorder (ADD).”

Special needs teacher planted the seed for my company, Remind101. Now that we are off the ground, I am often asked what advice I would give to other aspiring entrepreneurs with learning disabilities. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

When you feel like the only person in a room who isn’t grasping a concept seemingly easy for everyone else to understand, you learn pretty quickly that if you want to keep up, you have to ask questions.


When I came up with the idea for Remind101, I was a university student struggling to manage my class load. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if students got text reminders about tests and assignments?

Because I had no idea how this texting/reminder thing would work, I stood on the sidewalks of Michigan State University (MSU) asking complete strangers for their syllabi. Then, I would combine the aggregated data of these 2,000 or so willing students into a spreadsheet to help notify them a week, a day, or a few hours ahead of upcoming exams.

If I’d been too intimidated to stand on a corner asking people to help develop my concept, this idea would have just remained a thought. Acting on your ideas takes courage, and you shouldn’t be afraid to accept help.

Listen to others’ needs

If it’s anything you can benefit from it’s that you must remember to 1) listen to your user, and 2) make a simple product.

Before launching Remind101, I spoke to more than 200 teachers via Skype, in-person coffee meetings, or phone calls trying to understand how I could help solve their problem. I gave them scenarios on how the app would work, and considered their input to problems that needed to be addressed.

Their answers helped us develop a better understanding as to how we can build a product that’s right for our target audience. The best types of apps aren’t always ones with the most features – they’re straight-forward, simple, and saves people time. Teachers are busy people!

Learn to have a thick skin

I look at my learning disabilities the same way other CEOs look at delays in product development or company setbacks – they’re just another hurdle in a chain of obstacles that need to be tackled on the way to success.

Fortunately, I had early support from people who believed in me and wanted to help develop the tools I needed to do what I wanted. Through my experiences – from special needs classes to learning to time manage in college – I had to become pretty self-aware to understand how exactly to use dyslexia and ADD to my advantage. It’s important to remember that my disabilities did not deter me from success – rather, they helped me find the skills I needed to rise to the top.

Although I have no problem asking questions, listening to others, or simplifying concepts, if we’re playing cards, I still don’t know if you’ve got a six or a nine. But that’s an easy one to get around. I just won’t bet my house on a card game.

The story of Remind so far:

Remind101 released mobile apps for Android and iOS last year [2013] to help bridge that communication gap, creating a mobile platform that enables teachers to send reminders to students and parents via text and email — be they about permission slips or deadlines — and that acts as a secure, private communications network. The app caught on quickly among teachers and the demand hasn’t slowed down since.

 

By September of last year, Remind101 had six million teacher, student and parent users, a number which today has grown to 10 million, and over 65 million messages are being sent via the Remind101 platform each month.

 

Do not forget to share, if you or someone you know has been diagnosed to have a learning disability.

 

 


 

Explained: How to apply for your Passport

Applying for a passport in India online: What you need to know, explained in real simple language.

As you may be knowing, since you are reading this online, presumably, you can apply for a passport online and finish the main formalities before presenting yourself to the nearest Passport Seva Kendra.

It all looks so intimidating, people say. How can I know where to go, what to download, and how to fill and save and submit?

Well, relax, here I have tried to make it as simple as possible J

The first step is to locate the website!

Just type passport in Google search and viola… here it is, or click on the link here: https://portal1.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/welcomeLink

This is how it looks [as of today]


You need to register here if you are a new user, or login if you have applied here earlier. If you have forgotten your password, relax, they will send you a link to your email that you must use within two hours of your request, to change your password.

Once you log in, you must download the passport application form which is a pdf document. For this you need to do the following:

Online Form Submission

Step 1    Register through the Passport Seva Online Portal. (Click on “Register” link under the Apply section on the Home Page).

Step 2    Login to the Passport Seva Online Portal with the registered Login Id.

Step 3    Click “Apply for Fresh Passport/Re-issue of Passport” link.

Step 4    Fill in the required details in the form and submit.

Which form, you may ask!?

The form is a pdf which has blanks which you can fill is.

Download it to your PC from the link given on the website https://portal1.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/online/downloadEFormStatic

Choose the form which applies to you, either fresh, or Diplomatic etc as shown below


Version 2 is the one available after 22nd August 2014 [now] and since I had filled version 1 a few months before, I had to copy paste from that pdf to this new one which I downloaded today the 29th of August 2014.

You need to fill in all the details accurately on your PC using adobe acrobat which is a free program for opening and editing this pdf file.

You can then save the pdf in the name of the person whose application it is or any file name of your choice. All your data will be safe in it, and you can even edit it at a later date if needed.

 


Once you have filled all the data in the pdf, you will need to go to the bottom of the pdf and click on the button shown above, the VALIDATE AND SAVE.

This will save your data in a file called xml. This is the file that you will need to upload when you apply online.

 

 

Note: Before uploading e-Form XML, please ensure that the XML has been generated using a compatible version of Adobe Reader (9 or above). We shall not be able to service your request in case the generated XML (from filled e-Form) is found to be tampered in anyway.

 

Once your xml has been uploaded, and you have confirmed the contents, clock ok and viola!

You will get this message…..

 

Your form has been submitted successfully.

Your Application Reference Number(ARN) is: 14-xyz1247980

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

 Pay and Schedule Appointment

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

 Print Application Receipt

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

 Upload Supporting Documents

 

 

 

The availability of appointments at the PSK is shown as below:

Appointment Availability #

RPO Mumbai

PSK Malad

Appointment available for 10/09/2014

PSK Lower Parel

Appointment available for 12/09/2014

PSK Andheri

Appointment available for 16/09/2014

Earliest appointment availability date is as per pool of normal appointment quota. However appointments against cancellation may become available prior to the displayed date.

 

PAYMENT ONCE MADE FOR AVAILING PASSPORT SERVICES WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.

IF THE PAYMENT IS SUCCESSFULLY DONE, PLEASE DO NOT PAY AGAIN.

# PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR TRANSACTION WITHIN 5 MINUTES

So you can select the payment option you want as shown:

 

 

If you take too long to complete the payment [more than five minutes!], as it happened with me, you will get this message!

 


Now where is the ‘Schedule appointment’ link?? It is the one which says: View Saved/Submitted Applications! If only they would mention that in the first place!

Anyway, go there and select the application for which you have made the payment and wish to take an appointment.

It will show the earliest date available, and you have to select that. There is no option to select a date of your choice.

 
   
 

 

Once you book the appointment, you can print an application receipt and take it with you when you go to the PSK at the time selected.

Have fun applying for a passport and do let me know if you encountered any problems, or if this post helped you J

Thanks for reading!