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Newsletter. Issue 2009-13. June 20, 2009

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People Places and Things

Avelino Da Silva and Esther De Souza among
Group of 24 Immigration Canada co-workers sharing $24 million - in LOTTO 6/49 jackpot win


Group Of 24 Share $24 Million Immigration Canada Co-Workers Celebrate LOTTO 6/49 Jackpot Win. (CNW GROUP/OLG)

TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - Monday, June 15, 2009 is not a day Avelino Da-Silva will soon forget. It was on this day, he shared the good news with 23 of his co-workers that they had all become millionaires overnight.

The group of 24 co-workers from Immigration Canada in Toronto, picked up $24,202,160.00 from Saturday's LOTTO 6/49 June 13 draw. When asked how the news was shared with the all the group members, Da-Silva, the group leader, told OLG staff that he asked his manager (who is part of the group), to send out an email. The subject line in the email read "Staff Budget and Travel emergency meeting" When they opened their emails, it informed them there was going to be a change in their financial forecast for the year.

Da-Silva checked the ticket using an OLG self ticket checker. "I had four tickets to check, the first ticket won $10 'not bad I thought' then the second ticket I checked showed just over $24 MILLION! I couldn't believe my eyes. I was so happy I forgot to check the remaining two tickets"! Da-Silva told staff at the OLG Toronto Prize Centre, when the group collected their prize cheque of just over $24 MILLION today. The groups' individual plans for their share of the windfall include sharing with family, traveling, paying off mortgages and debts. The winning ticket was purchased at Sobeys at Yonge and St. Clair Ave. E. in Toronto.



by Muriel Lucas

Well, here comes Summer, one of the four temperate seasons, occurring between spring and autumn. What a trendy way to celebrate the best season of all, and with it, the warm summer air, accompany the long awaited, most anticipated season of all. As nature takes its course, spreading its lush greenery around that’s when the time is ripe to grasp the moment & capture nature at its best!. The official day of Summer begins on June 21st, marking the warmest time of the year, with the longest days ahead, but before you know it – you wonder where its gone!

TEGSA always strives to “Snatch” the spirit of things as they come, hence as they get ready to simmer down & wind things up for a hot & sizzlin’ summer break, by celebrating it in style, they “spring into action” as they Roll out those, Lazy, Crazy, Hazy days of Summer, with a great “Kick off” start to a celebration of sorts. As 160 members and guests trailed into the Commander Hall, on Friday 12th June, adorned with trendy colourful hats,& sunglasses, to complete the dress code, some with ‘bare necessities’ – caused everyone brimming with excitement that set the stage for an exciting evening of sorts!... need we say more?!!

As always, the day began traditionally with Grace before Meals, which was sung by the Live Band ,the “Hotliners”, followed by a short prayer recited by Olyn Alphonso.

Dinner was savored with a taste of a mouth-watering, gourmet Indo-Chinese Hakka spread of Chillie Chicken, served with fried rice, consisting of veggies, and mixed vegetables, which got the hunger pangs out of the way, to a grand old start!! This was followed by a delectable favourite dessert, Russ Malai, which cooled off them taste buds!

The Highlight of the evening’s entertainment was the “hot competition” for the best dressed, male/female Summer fashion parade. A bunch of males stole the show as they sure “wowed” and charmed the “hot-pants” off the ladies around! - Phew! what a great show of legs!! The winner - best female contestant was Patricia Bissessar, with her trendy summer outfit and the best male contestant was Michael Gonzalves.

The WINNERS with Prez. Charles Fernandes & Social Sect.Martha Menezes
Click image to view large

However, the taste of excitement didn’t end there, as they wined down to the rhythm of the band which certainly set the stage for dancing , and continued after a round of BINGO, which is a staple amongst the members, at any occasion., as usual, with more prizes to the lucky winners, as always! Music was Hot so more dancing continued on until closing time….

One that flew over the Coocoo's nest
Click image to view large

As the “TEGSANS” bow out in style for the summer break, with their cultural excellence, the Committte members, headed by Prez. Charles Fernandes, have enjoyed a rapidly growing reputation in bringing out the best entertainment yet, and are honored in taking this opportunity of wishing their members a super “sun-filled,” safe, summer season, and look forward to seeing you at their Anniversary Special in September. So all those of you who can waltz, come on down and show how good yuh are and waltz off with some more prizes to take home. Hence, watch out for key events on the Goan voice at goanvoice.ca They won’t tell you too much now as they want to Surprize yuh, once again!

So – with that idea in mind folks, the Summer Fever is here to stay, so it’s time to get out of that long hibernation and you don’t have to venture too far to enjoy it, - So look around you & put your best foot forward, and get set to replenish your sunscreen… But first - Stop! …and smell them Roses…and remember – its nothing to SNIFFLE about….!!

Sunglass Smile.
Click image to view large

Until Autumn leaves fall, have yourselves a safe & fun-filled summer!
Muriel Lucas.


Report says climate change is adding to migration
10 Jun 2009

BONN, Germany: Global warming is uprooting people from their homes and, left unchecked, could lead to the greatest human migration in history, said a report released Wednesday. Estimates vary on how many people are on the move because of climate change, but the report cites predictions from the International Organization for Migration that 200 million people will be displaced by environmental pressures by 2050. Some estimates go as high as 700 million, said the report, released at UN negotiations for a new climate treaty.

Researchers questioned more than 2,000 migrants in 23 countries about why they moved, said Koko Warner of the UN University, which conducted the study with CARE International.

The results were “a clear signal'' that environmental stress already is causing population shifts, she said, and it could be “a mega-trend of the future.'' The potential for masses of humanity fleeing disaster zones or gradually being driven out by increasingly harsh conditions is likely to be part of a global warming agreement under negotiation among 192 countries.

A draft text calls on nations to prepare plans to adapt to climate change by accounting for possible migrations. At US insistence, however, the term “climate refugees” will be stricken from the draft text because refugees have rights under international law, and climate migrants do not fill the description of “persecuted'' people, said Warner. The report, “In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement,'' studies people in some of the world's great river deltas who could be subject to glacial melt, desert dwellers who are vulnerable to increasing drought, and islanders whose entire nations could be submerged by rising sea levels.

It did not try to assess conflicts caused by climate change. The war in Sudan's desert Darfur region has partly been blamed on contested water supplies and grazing lands, and concern over future water wars has mounted in other areas of the world.

The report said 40 island states could disappear, in whole or in part, if seas rise by two meters (six feet). The Maldives, a chain of 1,200 atolls in the Indian Ocean has a plan to abandon some islands and build defenses on others, and has raised the possibility of moving the entire population of 300,000 to another country. Melting glaciers in the Himalayas threaten repeated flooding in the Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow river basins, which support 1.4 billion people, or nearly one-fourth of humanity, in India, southeast Asia and China. After the floods will come drought when seasonal glacier runoff no longer feeds the rivers, it said.

In Mexico and Central America drought and hurricanes have led to migrations since the 1980s and they will get worse, it said. Homes are not always abandoned forever, the researchers said. “Disasters contribute to short-term migration,” especially in countries that failed to take precautions or lack adequate responses, said Charles Ehrhart of CARE.

Most migration will be internal, from the country to the city, it said.


Vernon Lobo of Cyberplex shakes off dot-com doldrums
Exerpts of article from Globe & Mail News | By Fabrice Taylor | Friday, Jun. 05, 2009 12:00AM EDT

It's recent success is based on a new business model: matching advertisers with electronic publishers

Fabrice Taylor is a chartered financial analyst.
Once upon a time, not that long ago, Vernon Lobo was a very rich man. Now he's a lot less rich, but he's also blessed because he's got a healthy second chance at the big payday, and things are looking up.  About 15 years ago, when you could count the number of Internet addresses with images on your hands, Mr. Lobo and his partners had an idea to build websites and become leaders in cyber retailing. This was vanguard thinking at the time.

So they started a company called Cyberplex Inc. (CX-T1.900.094.97%) to execute the vision. The company eked out a living and thanks to the tech stock boom was worth almost $1-billion in early 2000. Mr. Lobo might have cashed out for about $40-million. He didn't, and the company's stock fell from $30 or so down to mere pennies eventually. But the venture capitalist wasn't daunted. Instead, he set about rebuilding Cyberplex, of which he's chairman, and he is slowly getting redemption. Today, he says, his goal is to make his stake worth even more than it once was.

Cyberplex's recent success - the stock has surged sixfold in the past six months - is based on a new business model: matching advertisers with electronic publishers. If you know anything about, say, Google, you've got an inkling of how valuable Internet advertising is. By one research firm's estimate, U.S. online advertising will hit $30-billion (U.S.) next year, and that's still less than 10 per cent of total media spending. But if you've ever been a Google customer, as I have, you know how frustrating it can be to attract attention online. The main problem some advertisers have with online advertising is the cost-per-click model. If you advertise with a search engine, you first bid on key words - "flowers" for instance, which would be expensive because it's in great demand - and the frequency and placement of your ad is based on how much you're willing to pay for a click.

The trick is that you pay regardless of whether customers do what you want - buy your product, sign up for your offer or whatever. Every click on your ad, which takes the clicker to a site of your choice (yours typically), costs you money regardless of outcome. This works fine for certain types of ad campaigns, like finding a lawyer. But for others it can be prohibitively expensive. This is the problem that Cyberplex is addressing. The company's customers are advertisers who want to sell something, collect information or otherwise prompt an active response. They build their campaigns and hand them over to Cyberplex, which in turn offers the campaigns to its publisher affiliates. These are owners of websites and blogs, e-mail marketers and, most interestingly, key word arbitragers - more on that in a minute.

The affiliates decide which campaigns will work with the kind of traffic they attract, and run the ads accordingly. They're then paid only for each action they generate - if, for example, a florist has a promotion offering free flowers to anyone who fills out form, they pay, say, $10 per form to the owner of the site the visitor came from. They pay Cyberplex, to be precise, which pays the publisher after taking its cut.  Cyberplex's most innovative affiliates are what you might call key word arbitragers - statistically minded dudes who buy less obvious key words - "special occasion blooms" instead of the far more expensive "flowers" - and then point their key words to the aforementioned florist's site (meaning if you click on their ads, you go to that site). They might pay 10 cents per click for the keywords, but earn $10 for every sign-up, meaning they only need to convert 2 per cent of their clicks to be profitable.

Anyway, advertisers appear to appreciate Cyberplex's service. The company is profitable and quarterly revenue is up almost 500 per cent since the fourth quarter of 2007. No sign of recession here.  The company recently closed a $15-million financing and is flush with cash, which is good because this is a scale business and also because being king of the hill matters, just as it does for eBay. You have to be the destination; second place isn't worth nearly as much. A couple of shrewd acquisitions would help, and management is looking hard. Analysts who cover the stock generally like it, although some worry about the high concentration of sales coming from a small number of sectors, like health and wellness. There are risks, let it be said, and it's not as cheap as it was six months ago. But the business, while seasonal, is posting extraordinary year-over-year growth and, based on my somewhat limited understanding of the industry, should keep going. I think of it as The Shopping Network but better because the latter only works if people watch it while Cyberplex's business is, in theory, infinitely multichannel.

Mr. Lobo appears to be sitting pretty right now.

Update on Vernon Lobo
When Vernon Lobo received the Victor Abreu Education Award presented by the Goan Overseas Association in 1982, his acceptance speech was a tour-de-force that left everyone convinced that this young man was going places. Vernon, a Professional Engineer, graduated with a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo on the Deans Honour List. While studying there he was awarded two scholarships for robotics development. In 1991 he obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. While studying at Harvard he took time to run in the Boston Marathon, and be a volunteer tutor for inner-city children. Vernon is married to Ingrid-Ann, with 3 daughters - Dana, Jessica and Ariel.

Vernon’s mother, Elma, featured in the TV program
Loving Spoonfuls which covered recipes from Grandmothers across the Greater Toronto Area.

Photo of Loving Spoonfuls host David Gale and Goan grandmother Elma Lobo Taken from Episode premiering on January 21st, 2002 on WTN

To see her recipe click here


The Great Goan Diet
The StyleSpeak column below appeared in the May 2009 issue of Goa Today magazine
By Wendell Rodricks | Sent by Roque Cardoso.

Pre-lunch, whenever I visited my friend, the late Lucio Miranda, he would be sitting Buddha like over a bowl of Goan kanji. The first time I saw him with his kanji I asked if this was a daily routine. Every single day he replied. It's the best diet, our Goan way of eating. Many years later and after experimenting with many diets (in an attempt to cleanse the system once a year) I have come to the conclusion that Lucio is right.

Today, our dietary patterns and physical activity have been altered so drastically that I decided to go on what I now call The Great Goan Diet..

Before anyone goes on the diet, it is necessary to reflect on the lifestyle of our ancestors. Imagine a Goan village a hundred years ago. Villages had no electricity, few cars and no telephones for sure. This meant walking to the wells, schools and market places. Messages were also passed on by foot (unlike the present phone-call-away sloth). Our ancestors walked, climbed and rode the humble but effective bicycle. Doctors today will affirm that riding a bicycle into old age is the best way to keep one?s balance. Come rain or shine, all villagers went for a daily passoi (promenade) each evening. Most importantly they ate frugally and at fixed times. Once this routine is accepted, half your weighty problems are eliminated. A few rules?? all old Goan wisdom. No canned or bottled products. If its not fresh, forget it. Imagine that your refrigerator is solely for ice. Better still believe it does not exist and hence does not become the repository of frozen food, bottled sauces, junk food left overs and ugly soft drinks. If you want juice do it from fresh fruit.

Back to the Great Goan Diet. Begin the day with a cup of weak tea with a spot of milk. In the old days sugar was scarce and barely used. If you need sugar a tiny piece of good old Goan molasses (jaggery) adds sweetness and a lot of flavour. Local fruits such as guavas, mangoes, pineapples, papayas, bananas and humbler fruits from the hills such as zomnas found their way to the breakfast table. One of the principles of yoga is to eat what Mother Earth gives you in season. This simple principle drastically cuts out all the sugar laden apples and pears that now arrive from lands as far as China and Israel. Buy and consume local seasonal fruits. The same applies to vegetables but more of that later. Not many families could afford an entire poyee or kankana per person. But a fresh poyee or chapatti made of whole wheat flour was consumed. Most often families shared half a poyee or kankana. Consider chapattis made from nachne (red millet). Consume village eggs from local hens (when available) once a week. Nothing like gaunthi eggs fried in coconut oil and drizzled with garden grown black pepper. English eggs? Never! Just the thought of those million chickens sitting in always lit cages has put me off chicken forever.

That takes care of breakfast. And that rules out butter, jams (except home made with seasonal fruit as a Sunday treat), cheese, cakes, biscuits croissants and all such luxuries that have invaded our modern lives. At 10.30, a bowl of Goan rice kanji water flavoured with a hint of homemade pickle or creamy kalchi kodi on the side. Insist on ‘homemade’ as too many chemicals and preservatives go into commercial pickles. Ask any gym instructor or doctor and they will confirm that six small meals are best for health. This mid morning kanji wards off voracious hunger pangs at lunch which make you eat more than necessary.

Lunch comprises Goan boiled rice, fish curry made with small local fish and a piece of fried fish or local tisreos. It is amazing today to see lunch tables groaning with kingfish and one pomfret per person. In my youth my Mom expertly rationed one rechado pomfret on Sunday between four sons, my Dad and herself. Insist on local fish: sardines, velios, tisreos, catfish. Reserve the luxurious chonak, modso and larger fish for Sundays or feasts (like our ancestors did). A vegetable is also welcome. Here as well, go for the local field grown tambdi bhaji or lady fingers. At 4.00 pm, indulge in a cup of tea or chilled lemonade and a sweet. It was only at tea time that Goans enjoyed bolinhas, home made cakes and biscuits.

Whether you work or not, have long evening walks. Better still bicycle and play a game which involves rigorous physical activity. Have an early dinner. Yes you are allowed one or two drinks prior. Here again, go local. Its safer and cleaner to have a feni or urrack than a potent foreign liquor (Consume those on feast days).

If one goes back in time, dinner comprised dal or meat with a vegetable preparation. Chickens and pigs were feasted on only during village feasts, family weddings and religious festivals. Nowadays, chicken, pork and beef are a daily affair. Not only has it been proven unhealthy for the liver, meat is not advisable at night due to the excess digestive impact when meat is consumed. Many families ate Goan curry rice at night too. Some enjoyed hot, whole wheat chappatis. Be prudent when it comes to vegetables. Goa was not a great consumer of what the Western world now calls the new vegetables post 1495, such as potatoes and carrots. Goan families have always eaten the healthier options of beans, viril (runner beans), gosalim (ridged gourd), red leaf (tambdi bhaji), ladies fingers, brinjals, tendlis, white pumpkin and tapioca. All other modern vegetables especially potatoes entered our lives a few hundred years ago and have been proven to be unhealthy sources of carbohydrates. The only alien vegetable intake that I encourage is salads and sprouted legumes, as a first course at lunch or dinner.

Ancestral wisdom should apply to the quality of food cooked such that there is never any food thrown away. I admire how my mother and my grandmother before her made exacting quantities and forced us to eat everything. No excuses were tolerated for not consuming vegetables. A single Five Star chocolate bar was split six ways. Dad would insist that no one rose from the dining table till all the food was consumed. Today I am shocked to see people throwing mounds of cooked rice into a bin. Its appalling. Deserts were reserved for special days. On the rare summer day, an ice lolly was a real treat. We ate khotkhote (caramelized Goan jaggery chikki) when grandma wanted to treat us. The occasional ExtraStrong mints from the local posro were reserved for summer holidays once a week. Best post meal desert is to go way back in time and reflect on Goa's grandeur by chewing on a single paan (betel) leaf.

After dinner, have a small leisurely walk (to admire the moon or stars). Do not look at this as an exercise because exercise in any form post a meal is not recommended. A leisurely walk (especially in villages) encourages the intake of fresh air and ensures sound sleep. Before retiring, a glass of fresh local goat or cow milk (bottled milk is unhealthy) is an option. Milk in packets or long-shelf bottles are obtained in most part by keeping cows in a lactating state forever and then dosed with preservatives. If you cannot source fresh milk, itsbetter not to consume milk at all.

One final tip on the Goan lifestyle. Once a month we were rudely awakened to a tablespoon of castor oil forced into our mouths followed by hot sweet tea. It kept us in the loo for the entire morning but away from ill health. Try the Great Goan Diet. It will change how your body, face and skin looks (and feels). Whoever coined the phrase “age old wisdom” certainly knew about the wisdom of the good old Goan way of life.


Brendan Fernandes- Toronto Artist links
From: www.goanet.org | Sat Jun 2009

Here are some links to a Toronto contemporary artist Brendan Fernandes
Pictures from his recent exhibit in Toronto,http://www.diazcontemporary.ca/Artists_Fernandes.html 
His Bio, web site, http://www.brendanfernandes.ca/artiststatement.php


Curry powder sparks airline fire alert: report
Sat Jun 13, 7:32 AM

MUMBAI (AFP) - An Air India passenger jet heading to Frankfurt was forced to return to Mumbai after a bag of curry powder set off smoke and fire alarms, it was reported on Saturday. Pilots on the Boeing 747-400 plane activated fire extinguishers after receiving a cockpit warning about a fire in the cargo hold early on Friday morning, the Mumbai Mirror newspaper said.

But on the plane's return to India's financial and entertainment capital, engineers said the alert had been triggered by the escape of particles from a bag containing two to three kilogrammes (up to 6.6lbs) of curry powder. The bag, belonging to a passenger from the western Indian state of Gujarat, was removed before the plane took off again after a 12-hour delay.

"On taking off for the second time, the pilot apologised for the delay and announced that a bag containing curry powder had caused the problem," Air India spokesman Jitendra Bhargava was quoted as saying. Mangoes and meat products that generate heat have been suspected of causing similar incidents on Air India flights in the past, the newspaper said.


BA asks staff to work for nothing

British Airways is asking thousands of staff to work for nothing, for up to one month, to help the airline survive. The appeal, sent by e-mail to more than 30,000 workers in the UK, asks them to volunteer for between one week and one month's unpaid leave, or unpaid work. BA's chief executive Willie Walsh has already agreed to work unpaid in July, forgoing his month's salary of £61,000. Last month, BA posted a record annual loss of £401m, partly due to higher fuel bills and other costs.


Air India Fails to Pay Staff on Time on Cash Crunch
By Vipin V. Nair

June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Air India, the national carrier, will pay 31,000 employees two weeks late as the carrier runs short of cash because of falling travel demand. Employees will get their salaries for June on July 15 instead of the first of the month, Jitender Bhargava, a company spokesman, said in a phone interview today.

“The national carrier is facing perhaps its toughest ever crisis,” said Kapil Kaul, chief executive officer, India unit of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. “Air India doesn’t have a viable business plan, and it can never be viable with more than 30,000 people.”

The carrier may have had losses of over $800 million in the financial year ended March 31, the Centre estimates. A drop in travel demand has also forced Jet Airways (India) Ltd., the nation’s biggest carrier by market value, to cut jobs and benefits for some of its 13,000 employees to help save as much as $600 million this financial year. Employees of Air India are “extremely disappointed” with the decision to delay salaries, said Sanjay Lazar, general secretary of All India Cabin Crew Association, which represents about 2,500 workers of the carrier.

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