Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whenever my wife and I have to attend a party, there is enough chaos before we leave home for the kids to roll their eyes and for the maid to pull out her hair.

Gifts would have to be wrapped and clothes have to be ironed and worn, with seconds to go before out designated time of departure.

When we finally get into the car, we're invariably quite late and there has been many an argument along the way, which has resulted in that much more tension.

An even tenser situation results, however, when we have a 'do' at out home and when we have to put our best performances as to please-all hosts.

The scene at our humble abode, just minutes before the guests are to arrive, resembles that of a busy bazaar. One of us is usually busy with the laptop(me), another is shouting at all and sundry while running around the house (my wife), the kids are on tenterhooks and the TV is blarring. The maid and the borrowed 'help' look as if they've had enough and are never going to be part of any party again.

Indeed the pressure is really on!

Opinion is divided about the precise moment when i usually coax myself to leave the computer and join the frenetic clean-up operation on such occasions. What ever be the truth of the matter, the fact is that there is a frenzied period of activity
just before the guest arrive that is akin to the last over of a T20 thriller.

Our best efforts to host the perfect party have the tendency to go awry, however, to a variety of disruptive influences. Sometimes unwanted visitors arrive minutes before the party is scheduled. On other occasions, long telephone calls hold up preparations. One gaffe is to underestimate the quantity of food required.

Some guest evidently find our food so delicious that they polish off bowl after bowl of the stuff. The result is that a few diners are left staring at empty pots on the table!

Even such errors are pardonable, but not what happened last time. A certain gentleman and his wife turned up for dinner one evening and we kept scratching our heads because they were not on our list. An examination of my cellphone later revealed that I had texted him the invitation, instead of the intended person with the same name.

P.S: the above is an edited version of an article I read few days back, it's simple and straight, yet an interesting read, familiar to what happens in our homes.
Fools pretend to be intelligent, cheats pretend to be honest, foes pretend to be friends, and all of us go through such stress trying to be what we are not. We are so mindful of what others think of us. We fear hate and rejection.

But what I have learnt so far is that trying to please others is like trying to move a mountain. There are very few people who are really happy with one's success.

Whenever I have achieved something, with the exception of my family and a few close friends, I doubt people have really felt happy for me. Hence I have acquired this care-a-damn attitude about what others think of me.

I hate to pretend and always try to be my own self. It's difficult but once you acquire this, it can be the most comforting and liberating attitude to have. I am still pretty popular because I am a kind of fun character to be with. But I doubt how many of them will be around when bad times come upon me.

It's easy to be the centre of attraction at the hostel mess table, cracking jokes and sharp, witty one liner. What is difficult is to find a person to talk to when you don't have any joke to crack.

Its easy to gather "friends" for the party a class topper throws, what is difficult is to find a friend who will listen and comfort you when you fail the exam. Its easy to find people for company for a stroll in the garden, what is difficult is to find a friend to accompany you during a hard trip under a burning sun.

And I realize that there will be times in my life when it will look like a hard trip, when I will have no wit to entertain anybody, when I would have failed. It is in these times when a true friend is needed.

And for this true friend, I would not need to pretend. The friend would not need me to be someone him/her desires, but would accept me for what I am. Who would like me not for being at an NIT, not because I may have a good job, not because I am a "so called" academic under achiever but would like me for what I am, and not for what I have done or not done.

It is so very difficult to find such a person, but to find him/her; you don't need to pretend to be someone else, but to just be yourself.

I know the above crap would not make much of sense, and is nothing new, but just wanted to write it down, just wanted to express how phony this world can sometimes be. It's a sea of pretentions....

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Power Of Positive Thinking.....

I know a lot of people talk about “The power of positive thinking”, and how wonderful it is.

However, a lot of people think it’s a load of crap, and they’re partly right.

Let me explain… The thing is, thinking positive thoughts is very powerful, and can be a great thing for your life. However, there’s a difference between REAL positive thoughts, and denial and lying to your self.

Most people want you to be in a state of denial, where you’re telling yourself things that simply aren’t true. If you’re lying on your death bed, thinking that you’re in perfect health is a lie, and you’ll know it. If you have no money, thinking that you’re rich beyond your dreams is a lie. Lying to your self doesn’t work.

Here’s the trick: you need to think positive things that are TRUE. If you don’t have money, but you want it, and you need positive thoughts about money, try thinking “I like paying my bills on time.”, “I love having plenty of money in the bank.”, “I do good things with my money.”, etc.

If you’re sick, think things like “I’m becoming healthier every day.”, “I like it when I feel good.”, “I love having pain-free days.”, etc. Combine that with listing off the things in your life that are good, no matter how small they may be, and you start to change your way of thinking and looking at your life.

Make sure you really look for the good, even if a good thing in your day is that you got to eat food that you like, or heard a song you love. Remember, no good thing is too small to be thankful for.

So, no matter what people tell you, lying to yourself and being in denial is not going to make your life better. I know people that will see something bad in their life, or in another person, and they just pretend it isn’t there.

That is not going to get you anywhere. If something bad happens, denial won’t fix it. Accept that it is, and then allow yourself to think of what you would prefer.

As an example, if you get in a fight with someone, instead of pretending it didn’t happen, accept that it did, and think about how you would prefer your relationship with that person to be. It is crucial that you LEARN from bad things.

Every unpleasant event is a chance for you to change and grow. It happened to you or in your view, for a reason. You should learn from it so that it won’t happen again.

So, think positive things that are true, learn from bad things and mistakes, and experience the joy of growing into a wonderful and enlightened person.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New helmets with injury biomechanics built in....

Your helmet protects your head, but what about your neck?

Whether you’re on a football field, in a boxing ring or on a race car track, you wear a helmet to protect your head from concussions and other brain injuries.

But what about your neck?

Today's helmets are extremely effective at protecting their wearers against head injuries in a collision. However, their design does not protect the wearer against neck and spinal cord injury in a head-first impact.

Estimating the number of cervical spine injuries from head-first impacts while wearing a helmet in sports is not straightforward.

However, because they are so debilitating and there is no cure for consequences of spinal cord injury, prevention is of utmost importance, especially if prevention can be offered through a helmet that is the same size and configuration as a common helmet.

A helmet under development in British Columbia answers that question with excellent engineering that allows the head to respond in a different way when it’s impacted head-first.

The new helmet being developed by researchers in the Injury Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, has an outer shell that looks like most helmets available today, connected to a rotating inner shell that hugs the head.

In head-first impacts, the neck has to stop the motion of the torso immediately after the head stops, and often, the combination of the torso mass and speed can exceed the strength of the neck, leading to a broken neck. An injury to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis.

"injury to the spinal cord results in a complete and irreversible loss of mobility and sensation in large areas of the body in up to 45% of all cases"

A lot of progress has been made to protect athletes from injury to the head, torso, and limbs through the use of helmets and padding. However, injury to the neck is still a serious problem in sports such as football and hockey.

Neck protection devices designed to prevent injuries from excessive motion of the head due to inertial loading in race car collisions, such as the HANS device, have been successful in the prevention of certain injuries to the neck.

However one dangerous mode of neck loading, axial compression arising from head-first impacts, remains unprotected in sports such as hockey, mountain biking, football, horseback riding, skiing and snow boarding. While these injuries are rare, they frequently lead to paralysis and a significant loss of quality-of-life for its sufferers. There is presently no cure for this type of paralysis.

Hence, injury prevention is of the utmost importance in these sports. Progress towards prevention has been made through rules that banned head-first tackling in football and checking from behind in hockey. We believe that further advances in prevention in any scenario where head-first impact happens to a helmeted player can be made.

There is an engineered safety device (the helmet) already in place in many sports which could have its role extended to prevent the neck injury. This is the concept embodied by the new helmet.

The spinal cord is one of the most sensitive and important structures in the human body. The cord contains thousands of nerves that connect organs and muscles in the lower body with the brain and cerebellum. There is much research being done to improve clinical outcomes from spinal cord injury but there is currently no definitive treatment or cure for it.

Injury to the spinal cord results in a complete and irreversible loss of mobility and sensation in large areas of the body in up to 45% of all cases. This is especially the case for spinal cord injuries at the neck or cervical level, where injuries can lead to the paralysis of both arms and legs.

Even though the cervical spinal cord is protected by vertebrae throughout the neck, these vertebrae are relatively weaker than those further down the spine, and most spinal cord injuries occur in this cervical region.

The high speeds and contact forces that make many of today's sports so demanding and exciting are also responsible for the large number of spinal cord injuries amongst players of all skill levels in many sports.

Just being aware of the new helmet and then procuring them to protect themselves, will go a long way in reassuring the users of the safety built into this incredible helmet..

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big, Elegant & an overall Badass Macaw.....!!!!

I spotted this beautiful bird on one of my long runs towards the busier side of the city. The first noteworthy thing anybody would observe is the mere size of this bird. He’s huge! The cage he’s enclosed in is about 3 feet by 3 feet. The cage is 5 feet tall. This exotic bird imported from a south-eastern country is a perennial badass.

Check out what he’s doing in the picture below. It just seems to be hell bent to irritate humans around it.

He’s actually unhooking the metallic perch made specially for him. On asking the keepers to hook it back, they said they were tired of this bird as it was hell bent on being a constant headache to the pet store management. Smart bird if you ask me.

I clicked some more pictures of the macaw, see them and enjoy. This Macaw actually costs about Rs1,50,000 or equivalent of US$3750.

I liked the other birds they had there too, they were all beautiful, healthy and very attractive. Some of the pictures are attached below.

I managed to click all these pictures when the shop assistant began tinkering with his laptop. The cheapest bird comes to around Rs6000 equivalent to US$150.

The total Solar eclipse.... an experience to behold

January 15th turned out to be a normal day, except for the Sun not being its “complete” self.

It was a long lasting, rather rare Solar Eclipse that lasted for about 4 hours. This Solar Eclipse was seen mostly in the south-east region of Asia and was observed as a ‘ring of fire’ in many parts.

The picture taken is rather poor in nature as I kept an X-Ray paper on my mobile phone’s lens to click the Solar Eclipse.

Here is the second picture I took, the sun appears only fractionally covered although it was significantly eclipsed at that point of time.

The difference in ambient sunlight was a sight to see, similar to a very cloudy day. The temperature didn’t seem to fall like I thought it would. Between lectures, I just managed to click these pictures at about 13:40 when the Eclipse was supposedly at its maximum stage.

I wish I had a filtered telescope. I used the dark bands on an X-Ray paper to shoot these pictures and the result as you can see is disastrous. Some colleagues of mine managed with better luck and far better digital cameras. I still remain a proud owner of these two pictures.

P.S The next Eclipse is slated to appear on 11th July this year.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Heridity brings Inheritance too....

Just imagine for a moment that you are aware that you are going to inherit ABC diseases. And, you have been informed that your age is such that you are going to suffer from another XYZ disease soon... At this juncture how much pressure or work load you are capable of handling... Is it really fair?

I came across a website called 23andMe “personal genetics” company — which, for a fee, will take a bit of your spit and map out your DNA to learn genealogical details as well as your risk factors for certain diseases. What a life?

Some revolutionary thoughts which cropped up ....

Insurance companies will tie up with companies like 23andMe and do their client profiling. They would be able to know how susceptible their clients will be to specific diseases. They will now be in an added advantage to take decision as to which client should be covered or not. Genealogical details of clients might also help them in setting insurance premiums to their whims and fancies.

Marriages: In India, still exchanging bio data and photographs of would be bride and groom, is a tradition. How about additional documents stating all the diseases that he/she might suffer. Interesting isn't it! Makes good sense too...

If the groom and his parents have say supposedly, diabetes, then I think they may find getting a good bride close to nil. At least during the marriageable age.

Willingly to avoid marriage due to genetically passed on diseases is a good thing. This will ensure the next generation kids to be more disease free.

The real way to go in this technologically viable world is, to find ways and means to modify the gene structure to eradicate diseases which will make life more healthy and worth living.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leave him alone... please

Sometimes, I really detest the media for the role it plays in shaping public perception. After the 3rd one-day international against Sri Lanka on Dec 21, 2009, the picture shown here was clicked.

The description of the picture on a reputed cricket news website said, “Sachin Tendulkar makes a point to Dinesh Karthik after wrapping up the match…”

The facts of the case were that Tendulkar was batting on 96. With only a few runs remaining to be made, Mr. Karthik decided to have the heave-ho and promptly hit the ball over the boundary to score 6, and end the match. Hence, his partner was left high and dry on the other end at a score of 96, 4 runs short of another milestone, another century.

The picture, with its caption seems to suggest that the legendary man – Tendulkar, was remonstrating with his partner for denying him yet another feather in his cap – another one-day hundred.

Somehow, I refuse to believe that. A man who has served India at the highest level for 20 years, a man who has left a trail of broken records, and has found a place in the hearts of even his most ardent critics can surely not be guilty of such pettiness.

An anecdote about Tendulkar from India’s tour of Australia in 1991 says that he was batting on 99, when he was bowled by the fast bowler, Mike Whitney. However, the umpire ruled it to be a no-ball, thus rendering Tendulkar not out. Off the very next ball, the great man reached his century and walked up to Whitney, saying, “I’m terribly sorry, Mr. Whitney.”

Whitney recounted this incident later, during a discussion on Tendulkar’s greatness. Bitter rivals like Shane Warne suffered nightmares of Sachin Tendulkar whacking them to all corners of the park. Captains like Steve Waugh shuddered at the thought of setting a field to contain a rampaging Tendulkar. And while the great man is always at his uncharitable best in the middle, he does spare a thought and a lot of help for the economically weaker sections, in need of support.

Of course, with the media trying to grab eyeballs, they have no qualms about trying to tarnish the image of a demi-god, just to generate a bit of controversy.

a) I don’t give a rat’s ass if Sachin actually made a point to Karthik. But, without adequate videographic evidence to support, you can’t interpret a still photo to mean that.

b) Even if he did scold Karthik, it wouldn’t lessen his stature in any way.

The bottom line is that I am not trying to agree/disagree with anyone here. But, my only point is that the media ought to be more responsible before carrying such reports.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Get into a food Regimen... for now and for a healthy future

What you eat isn't the only determinant of your overall health status. There are plenty of other facets of your life that play major roles in determining how functional and energetic you are.

If you're consistently eating foods that nourish your cells and don't create cellular injury or inflammation, your diet can take a back seat to other high priority items, like getting enough rest, being physically active, being in a healthy environment, and spending time with people and projects that leave you feeling fulfilled.

If you're not eating the right foods for your health - foods that are injuring your cells and creating inflammation in your body with or without your awareness - then your diet deserves the bulk of your attention and resources, as taking care of other areas of your life while continuously crippling your body with your food choices is a recipe for chronic disease.

Figuring out what to eat to support your best health is a project that you best take on yourself, as no one else can observe all of the ways in which your body responds to the foods and beverages that you consume.

Put another way, it's virtually impossible for one specific dietary program to best support everyone because we're all unique in countless ways and we're always changing.

What is possible and effective for many is to follow a few specific principles that govern healthy eating, to continuously be mindful of how you're feeling, and to make modifications whenever necessary.

Sometimes, modifications may be called for immediately, as in the case of discovering a food allergy. At other times, you may find that changing life circumstances - like aging or even changing of seasons - require alterations to your diet to keep you feeling strong and healthy.

What follows are general principles of healthy eating.

1. Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods.

Nutrient-rich foods are naturally abundant in one or more of the following health-promoting nutrients:

• Healthy protein
• Healthy fat (including cholesterol)
• Healthy carbohydrates (including fiber)
• Vitamins
• Minerals
• Enzymes
• Water
• Phytonutrients (nutrients found in plant foods)

Dark or brightly colored vegetables, fruits, and legumes are generally considered to be nature's most nutrient-rich plant foods that are typically well tolerated by the masses.

From the animal kingdom, eggs from healthfully raised birds and cold-water fish are good nutrient-rich food choices for many people.

Broths made from vegetables and/or bones from cold water fish or healthfully raised chickens are also deeply nourishing choices.

2. Minimize Or Avoid Consumption of Highly Processed Foods.

Foods that are predominately made of sugar, flour, and highly processed grains (found in many commercially prepared cereals) are generally low in nutrient value. Same is the case with vast majority of deep-fried foods like donuts and potato chips.

You may be able to indulge in highly processed foods without experiencing significant consequences to your health in the short term if your health is relatively good, but the more you stay away from this group of foods, the healthier you will be and feel in the short and long term.

3. Minimize or Avoid Consumption of Foods that Cause Cellular Injury or Inflammation.

Based on human health and nutrition, the worst offenders are:

• Pasteurized and homogenized dairy products.
• Foods that contain shortening or partially hydrogenated oils.
• Most varieties of highly processed luncheon meats, hot dogs, bacon, and sausages.
• Factory-farmed flesh meats that have been cooked to a crisp.

4. Chew Your Foods Well.

Chewing your foods until liquid takes burden off your digestive organs, and allows your body to maximally extract and absorb nutrients in the foods that you eat.

You aren't what you eat; you're what you fully digest, and thoroughly chewing your foods is an essential requirement for optimal digestion and health.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Whats with bottled water...

There were experiments done on members of that long-suffering sector of society, identical twins, to prove that should one twin practically drown herself in liquid and the other be kept, hyperventilating with panic, away from the bottled water, then the condition of the skin and hair of both remained the same – one didn't turn to a fine dust and have to be vacuumed from the floor.

Which brings me to bottled water? How satisfying, how laugh-out-loud funny, how just plain all-round great that sales of bottled water are finally falling.

Status symbols are peculiar things. One minute you're up there with the angels, flaunting that prized nutmeg around your neck for the entire world to admire, the next - you're just wearing a bit of cheap spice on a ribbon

That's what happened in the 1600s anyway when that rare and exotic flavouring the nutmeg became the talk of the town. It became quite the fashion to wear whole nutmegs as jewellery, one dangling from each ear, a couple strung around the bosom area. That sort of thing.

Of course when the nutmeg bubble burst, when just anybody could afford to grate a bit of the stuff over their egg custard and onto their hot milk, and it didn't seem to ward off the plague after all, the sound of stale spice hitting the bottom of the bin was deafening.

Because nothing, absolutely nothing, looks sillier than a status symbol whose time has gone.

From a ridiculous peak when we grabbed one billion bottles a year off the shelves, finally we're walking right past that supermarket shelf and heading for the nearest tap instead. What a laugh…

There was always something ridiculous about the bottled water craze, it was always the modern-day nutmeg around the neck.

But how very, very fashionable it became, giving out ear-splittingly loud signals about status. A small bottle of water in the hand or on the desk said you were reasonably in control of your life, that you understood the rules of engagement: be a member of a gym, only eat calories with a guilty look on your face, drink water until it comes out of your – well, never mind.

But a litre bottle of water – now you're talking.

Walking around clutching a full litre meant you were totally, kick-ass, in charge of your life: you never ate, you never left the safety of the gym, and you poured the stuff down your throat until you squeaked.

It meant, in short, you were just plain better than other people.

For a time the world went completely bonkers.

Restaurants had water menus with different bottled brands to match different foods, water was even flown right across the world, to land on restaurant tables placed only feet from a kitchen capable of delivering lots of perfectly good stuff on tap - no matter that taste tests proved people couldn't tell the difference between the bottled stuff and water that had passed through several sets of kidneys.

Strange to tell, bottled water didn't even lose its allure when people began to say, in awed and disbelieving whispers, that they had read it wasn't actually necessary to drink eight glasses of water a day.

And that – and this was a paradigm shift akin to leaving the concept of a flat earth behind – the liquid contained in tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, beer and even food all contributed to keeping us full of life-giving liquid.

There were experiments done on members of that long-suffering sector of society, identical twins, to prove that should one twin practically drown herself in liquid and the other be kept, hyperventilating with panic, away from the bottled water, then the condition of the skin and hair of both remained the same – one didn't turn to a fine dust and have to be vacuumed from the floor.

Finally, the message is getting through – bottled water doesn't make us better people: carrying it around ostentatiously makes as much sense as adorning ourselves in nutmegs.

The truth is this: it's water, its great stuff, we're lucky enough to have it on tap.

End of story.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recipe for a Happy New Year

Take twelve whole months,
Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness,
Hate, and jealousy,
Make them just as clean and fresh as possible.
Now cut each month into twenty-eight,
thirty or thirty-one different parts.
But don’t make up the whole batch at once.
Prepare it one day at a time out of
these ingredients.
Mix well into each day one part of faith,
one part of patience, one part of courage,
and one part of work.
Add to each day one part of hope,
faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.
Blend with one part prayer,
one part meditation, and one good deed.
Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,
A sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,
and a cupful of good humor.
Pour all of this into a vessel of joy,
garnish with a smile,
and serve with quietness, unselfishness,
and cheerfulness.

You’re bound to have a Happy New Year.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I received an email the other day which had some pictures of a huge statue of Christ called Christ redeemer which is located in Rio de janero, Brasil.

Then I read that this statue has been declared as one of the Seven wonders of the World.

So after some research, I decided to post something about each Seven wonders of the World. Which one should I begin with was my dilemma. Funny as it may sounds I choose to start with the Roman Colosseum in Rome, Italy because I was thinking of having a pizza for dinner.

Anyway, here it goes.

The Colosseum or Roman Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheater is an elliptical amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The name "Amphitheater Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name.

Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions , re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical Mythlogy. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

It has been estimated that about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum games.

Construction of the Colosseum began under the rule of the Emperor Vespasian in around 70–72AD. The site chosen was a flat area on the floor of a low valley between the Caelian, Esquiline and Palatine hills, through which a canalized stream ran. By the 2nd century BC the area was densely inhabited. It was devastated by the Great fire of Rome in AD 64, following which Nero seized much of the area to add to his personal domain.

He built the grandiose Domus Aurea on the site, in front of which he created an artificial lake surrounded by pavilions, gardens and porticoes. The existing Aqua Claudia aqueduct was extended to supply water to the area and the gigantic bronze Colossus of Nero set up nearby at the entrance to the Domus Aurea.

The Colosseum had been completed up to the third story by the time of Vespasian's death in 79. The top level was finished and the building inaugurated by his son,, Titus in 80, Dio Casius recounts that over 9,000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games of the amphitheatre. The building was remodelled further under Vespasian's younger son, the newly designated Emperor Domitian, who constructed the Hypogeum, a series of underground tunnels used to house animals and slaves. He also added a gallery to the top of the Colosseum to increase its seating capacity.

The Colosseum is today one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions, receiving millions of visitors annually. The effects of pollution and general deterioration over time prompted a major restoration programme carried out between 1993 and 2000, at a cost of 40 billion Italian lire ($19.3m / €20.6m at 2000 prices).

In recent years it has become a symbol of the international campaign against capital punishment, which was abolished in Italy in 1948. Several anti–death penalty demonstrations took place in front of the Colosseum in 2000. Since that time, as a gesture against the death penalty, the local authorities of Rome change the color of the Colosseum's night time illumination from white to gold whenever a person condemned to the death penalty anywhere in the world gets their sentence commuted or is released, or if a jurisdiction abolishes the death penalty. Most recently, the Colosseum was illuminated in gold when capital punishment was abolished in the American state of New Mexico in April 2009.

Here are some facts about the coliseum:

The height of each floor is approximately between 32 to 42 feet. The total height of the entire structure is roughly 144 feet. The size of the arena is 79 x 45 meters. In Latin "arena" means, "sand". The arena of the Coliseum consisted of wood and sand. There were tall nets along the sides of the Coliseum to protect the spectators.

The seats were arranged according to the social status of the spectators. The seats on the first three tiers from the top were usually reserved for the nobles while the common man used the seats on the fourth tier.

An important fact that is noteworthy is Coliseum is designed in such a manner that entire spectators could be dispersed in a matter of five minutes. The interior of the Coliseum is divided into an arena where the performance used to take place; podiums, and a cavea, where the animals were confined before the combat.

Important questions like who were the Gladiators and what happened in the arena are answered here:

The gladiators were made up of prisoners of war, slaves, criminals, and volunteer free men. The crimes that could lead one to the arena included treason, robbery, and murder, among others. Some free men became gladiators of their own free will in hopes of gaining notoriety and patronage among the wealthy citizens. By the end of 50 BC almost half of the gladiators were made up of free men.

Many gladiators were paid well for their presentation. Tiberius paid 1000 gold pieces to each ex-gladiator for one performance. The free man, Publius Ostorius, a famous gladiator at Pompeii, survived 51 fights. Some women even volunteered in hopes of winning fame but they were banned from fighting by Severus in 200 AD.

The games in Rome are known today as the bloodiest exhibitions of public entertainment known to mankind. Men, women and children flocked to the Colosseum to watch the bloodthirsty fighter's murder one another. They even cheered them on and screamed for them to kill a warrior lying almost dead on the ground. The gladiators had no problem killing one another because being a gladiator was an occupation for social outcasts and barbaric men.

The gigantic Colosseum, built around 80 AD, seated 50,000 people. The people came from all over the Roman Empire and regions of Africa, Italy, and Rome. The games became a way of entertaining the wealthy, as well as the common people. Most would sit all day and watch as men fought with one another and also with animals such as lions, bears, and even buffaloes.

More on the remaining Six in my next following posts.