Wednesday, June 16, 2010


In a one fell swoop of your mental faculty upon reading the title, if you do, is actually a contradiction of terms. Per se hacking itself is a felony or a crime. But there's way more to take it to the surface and give it an ethical color, that is – Ethical Hacking.

Hacking has been crazily stirring digital as well as even those old school days since the advent of telephone lines. Hacking has been here since 18th century. It started as “Phone Phreaking” where telephone lines are hacked to make a free call, especially long distance call.

Hacking is the act of illegally gaining access or cutting through a (usually) computer system without administrative permission. Illegal hackers usually use brute method to infiltrate a system including servers, Internet sites, e-mails, software, national defense, banks and the likes. Hacking has lots of attitudes, one of which we will be forging a little later.

Undoubtedly, hacking is an offensive act to those unguarded victims but for the savvy, it's an art, a skill and a talent to spell software codes, and to decode the other way around. Nonetheless, no matter how dexterous you are, just like Kevin Mitnick, one of the world's brilliant hacker, in front of a lawsuit and federal offense there's no way you can decode jail pod locks and hinges.


Ethical Hacking has been minted to give light to other side of the same coin – good hacking and bad hacking. Because there are those who hack maliciously for spying security and financial activities, and there are those who hack to foil-out naughty guys of the digital world. They have been given color code according to their hacking preferences; Ethical Hackers are also called “White Hat Hackers,” while Malicious Hackers are called “Black Hat Hackers.” This is a throwback of the Western cowboys, where the good ones wear white hats.

In brief an Ethical Hacker is an expert hired by certain company to intentionally “hack” into their system the way “bad guys” or hackers would do. Ethical hackers don’t have much technical differences with the illegal hackers. They have to see it through the eyes of a real black hat hacker for maximum effectiveness, so they have act like one too. Ethical hackers do the same fashion in breaching corporate systems with which the end result is an added awareness of the company's vulnerabilities to malicious hackers. Thus, security holes will then be patched up.

Ethical hackers don’t have to worry much of lawsuit or felony with the term hacker append into their badge. They have this immunity to those suits once they are into a legal contract to perform their job. They bring with them a “get out of jail free card,” and the terms of agreement transform their act into legal and of course a high paying legitimate occupation.

On the process, once the hacker has done much of his job and exhausted his attempts to uncover vulnerabilities, he reports back to company the list of them. Nonetheless, it doesn't seem to be more important but the way of how and the instructions for eliminating those holes the ethical hacker himself provides.

The ethical hacker's pursuit is to uncover three key areas of the job.
He first determines what sort of information a “black hat hacker” will gain access to, then what the illegal hacker could do with the information and finally alerts back corporate employees or staff if the intrusion is successful or not.

If we have to think back, it seems self defeating that a company would hire someone to sink-in to the heart of their corporate system. Nevertheless, ethical hacking makes a deeper sense. In fact it has been used by lots of companies for years to test the integrity of their products. Car manufacturers subject their products to a third party testing to make sure their products are by itself safe, meets the quality standards and thus, worth the market.


Computer Science Corp. (CSC) provides and trains most of the Ethical Hackers in the United States as well as other places. Their hacking entails few dollars to considerable $100,000 for a couple of days work or weeks.

(Jim Chapple [front left] and others from the CSC ethical-hacking team)

Now the discussion turns the scope into the mental mainframe of the hackers themselves rather than the corporate security systems. Corporate information surety is just an afterthought, what is really in the forefront are the subjects themselves. We call them “ethical,” are they really ethical? Jim Chapple, head of the CSC Ethical Hacker Team, asserts, “many companies have what we call a candy type of security – a hard, crunchy shell and a soft, chewy center," he says. "The mentality is, 'We trust our employees.' What happens is security becomes lax on the inside."

Mr. Chapple is amenable that enemy from the inside is more outrageous than those from the outside. External hacks may gain access into the database bit by bit and you're aware of them most of the time. But threats from the inside, such as from disgruntled employees may permeate into the system and wipe out all your information mercilessly without you being aware despite brushing skin to skin with them everyday.

The film X-Men Origins has its “premature release” on the Internet and pirated DVDs because of the leakage of data. Few speculations surfaced, but one of the spearheading is that leakage was brought about by a dissatisfied employee in the production team.

One industrial company who refuses to be named conceded to be assessed by a CSC Ethical Hacker and the result was alarming. The ethical hacker himself can even able to take total arrest of the administrative privileges of the company's information system and can enable himself to do a wreckage (not done though) on the database.

One of the Ethical Hackers states that bad guys have a nice time with what they are doing because it's like a pastime or a hobby for them. If you are paying for an Ethical Hacker for a quarterly check on your corporate system, illegal hackers are doing it everyday!

The last line is that companies and those individuals hiring an ethical hacker must know that a hacker will be at front to some sensitive information about your business, and the first things first is honesty and integrity on the part of the person – that sometimes you can't even pay for.

One more thing, you might as well wish to hire security assessment for disgruntled or dissatisfied employees for maximum peace in your business, they could be more dangerous after all.



This is an adaptation of Stephen Covey's celebrated book, “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.” As an employee too, purging on the field, I just happened to see people as employees and these employees are people themselves – just the malleability of terms.

The Way We See the Problem Is the Problem... If you have a problem, the actual problem is that you are looking at it as a problem. It could be something else, such as an opportunity. When it rains lemons, make lemonade.

When we lose our job, we almost all of us see it as a disgrace – a problem – as we do. Only few handfuls realize that it's an opportunity. I myself passed through that certain circumstance of losing a job. When I lose my job, of course I was so downhearted thinking back of the time when I have pounded much effort, time and money just to avail that job. Nevertheless, I believe we do have a choice. That loss did never nailed me on the corner, still counting few calories more and a best foot forward, I found myself scribbling few words here...

One of the indications of a highly effective employee is when “he sees things that is suppose to be done, and then did it.” This rings a bell more on initiative. But it is more than just that. Seeing the thing that is suppose to be done and then doing it takes the language of your being, it doesn't happen just a reflex of your limbs. It takes a choice, a decision a preponderance of the values you've grown with. Take this, just a simple picking up of a piece of candy wrapper on your stairway back to work is a simple but deep resemblance of the perennial values you've been thought since you were in grade one – besides that you care about your workplace.

Being proactive is being responsible – “response – able.” Able to response and being responsible for what you do. This contrasts with reactive individual or employee. Proactive employee acts based on principles and acts on the circumstance and thinks fast on a solution. While reactive employee reacts and blames on people and what's going around them and panics inordinately every time he meets one.

As an employee, I do have my Job Description. For what, well as a rough estimate of the scope and limitations of my workloads. On the other way around it's like quoting you to focus on the area or your influence and control rather than something outside the arrest of your creative tentacles. Nevertheless, in the work arena if you see your plain a little bit further and want to walk an extra mile, then dare it! Being proactive means a lot to a proactive warrior, not just being responsive but being extensive in his coordinates in giving a hand.

Perusing the book up to this point, you'll be invited for a night of wake in a funeral only to find yourself lying straight on a casket face-to-face with yourself. And the eulogy goes about you while you lie awake with them unattended. Your friends, relatives, wife and other loved ones has taken their part in the eulogy. Ironically, you've heard them and heard those words wherein you can do nothing about them now. It could be bad or good or just nothing.

Nonetheless, in our corporate workspace, it doesn't work in this fashion. Suppose you're about to leave the company for any reason there is and won't mind anyway of what they have to say since you won't be coming back on such premises again. But if you do, what kind of “eulogy” would you like to hear from them? Obviously, you wouldn't want to hear the other way around. And the things you want exactly to hear are those you have to work it out. But more than just a stuff on their imagining and much ado on what they'll have to say, for me, it's all about doing the right things that is suppose to be done and doing the things that is expected of you.

To begin with an end in the mind is an introspection of the future you virtually accomplish here and now. When an employee first seriously applied for a job, he actually prepared twice more than he may have been answering his employer's query, thinking at the back of his mind, that he's actually on for a job the next day. Thus, the the carpenter's adage, “measure twice, cut once.” Prepare and plan as much as you can, before executing an action.


Sounds more of time management and priorities, but again it's more than just that. When set to your life more than just an employee or worker on the field, this third shot is a corollary of the first and the second habits. First, being you as the engineer, second being you as the planner or architect with hands on the blueprint and this one being the execution of it all.

Now, since you have made up your mind and you have with you the plan, it's another stance to put first things first in the list – priorities after priorities. To an employee working in an environment full of schedules and activities queuing up the line, it's not so unusual. In a one fell swoop, an executive can mentally tally all those activities of the day – as pushed on him by the management. While other employees would rather cram and start the day like hell. If you are clear about your work dimensions then you'll have a clear view of what you are going to do and kick ass on a Gofer's Credo: “Just tell me what to do and I'll do it.”

Instead, practice a Stewardship Delegation. Stewardship delegation may remind you of one of an employer's requirements “can work with less supervision...” This delegation delves deep down within you where the steward became his own boss and posits in you those creative energy in harmony with those principles for a desired result. Accomplishing something with less supervision indicates an employee's maturity in his job. He can handle more results with less supervision, while the other, more guidelines or supervision, fewer results.


This habit invites us to a more interpersonal effectiveness. It says, “think win/win,” not “win/lose” or “lose/win.” A workplace is a very competitive environment if not cooperative or both. In a competitive environment we are preconditioned to understand things in polarities, that is a win/lose environment. “My winning would mean your losing, my losing would mean your winning.” This is based on power or brute, and the fittest will survive! Nevertheless, in a cooperative environment it doesn't work like that. It's like a link in a chain, everybody holds and important role that nexus them to the end of the chain – a goal. Everybody agrees mutually and feels good about it and mutually enjoys the fruition of the desired results.

This may also be reflected to a leader who knows how to recognize and reward a win/win behavior on his subordinates.

This is what Covey said, “high emotional bank account.” This is where emotional quotient takes the lead. This is where almost everybody gets poorer – listening. And this, like any other worth praising skill, is a skill itself. In a workplace where different individual shares same time and space, save individual character, conflict would most likely to arise. When conflict arises, it's because one character projects against another character and sword fighting tolls like clash of the empires. Unless, one retracts his paradigm projection(character you have grown with) and put one's feet into another's shoes, only then should conflict lies at ebb and individual differences brought as one. This is I guess is the toughest of all the habits. It takes a lot of your ego!

It is during this habit that you have to give what Covey says “psychological air” to somebody or to your fellow employee. He has a lot of things to say perhaps about himself, about you, your fellow workers or just anything else.

Bear these three things in mind before you step into the line of giving your “prescription” or advise, listen, listen and listen...Things could be so delicate. 'Cause you might actually be giving your prescription based on your own paradigm not on how they have walked on them. While opening himself towards you is much more dangerous, since he might be opening himself like an unguarded wound open for attacks, he becomes vulnerable, frail and mimed.

Just remember, next to physical security is psychological security. No matter how deserving or undeserving you are, being understood, being affirmed, being validated and being appreciated is readily accepted by you.

After we've reconciled individual differences, synergy is the oneness out of the many. As real friendship means for Aristotle, “friends are one soul in two bodies,” so does synergy. It brings us closer to one another in total confidence, if understood and followed the right way. If on habit five you've placed yourself into another's being and invested on individual differences, then marriage of individual characters and personalities do happen. Reaching a goal through communion of individuals in a synergistic fashion is more smooth and fulfilling. Synergy means that the act of the whole is greater than its part. Nonetheless, what is a whole without it's parts? And that's what we're done with the previous habits.

If you as part and parcel of the whole do matter in the making of these habits, how much more is the whole. This works well in brainstorming a solution for a problem. Obviously, two or more brains are better than one.

It's time to take a break! Reward yourself for what you have done and is still been doing. Remember the old adage, “all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.” Take time to sit back and relax. Sharpen the saw means improving the well-being of your physical, mental, spiritual, and social/emotional faculties. For without this, none of the above habits will do either. These faculties are your saw they also get torn-out and dull ripping your goals. So be gentle with yourself.

Coupled with consoling or prizing yourself for what you have done is the improvements you are going to do with these faculties. It must evolve.

For your mental faculty, learn something new; read books, attend yoga exercises – get informed!

Physically, you can actually jog, get a gym habit, eat balanced meal, get a doc and so on.

For spiritual, well as a professed Catholic, I have this spiritual obligation knocking on my door every end of the week.

And emotionally, hanging up with friends that makes sense makes a difference on your emotional as well as social well-being. These faculties are complementary. What happens to the other do happens to the rest.

Having a good night rest defines how you will start another day of work after this, for while you live, what is a soul without a body?

Suggested reading: 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Bob Russell is a fluent speaker and preacher in line of religious affairs. He has been into tour around Europe untiringly and with zeal preaching the word of God even to the extent that he consequently met an accident in one of his endeavor. This laid him abed for quit sometime in the hospital. Russell has fertile religious and spiritual ideologies as fortified by his down-to-earth experiences. Some of the contents of the book were mainly exhorted from among his preaching. These circle mostly on prayers and God.

“God answers every prayer, for either he gives what we pray for, or of something for the better.” - Soren Kierkegaard

Our Manners on Prayer

We always seem to consider prayer as an amount or a medium of exchange to buy a commodity from God. We usually fall into our knees when we are constricted by needs and other infirmities, and forget everything when we are casually on tract again to life.

Prayer is always compartmentalized – that is, by certain grace of time and place. And other human activities are devoid of prayer itself. If we pray in times when we are dragged by needs, anxieties, anger and frustrations we see God as an over-the-counter pain reliever. That is, we remember him at this juncture and some other times his out of the blue again.

Man's faculty is brittle and fluctuating, always tantamount to ingratitude and forgetfulness. Prayer is always in danger of a vain negotiation between man and a personal and loving God.

We usually pray as if we are holding a scepter putting God under the veil of our superficiality, to the extent of imposing an imperative over him. As if God slept last night. As if God is so dull of the queer twists of our world. Say Bob Russell, “prayer is not meant to be dictation. We, in our immaturity sometimes don't know what to ask for. Jesus himself was not a dictator in his prayers. In the garden of Gethsemane he prayed, “not my will, but yours be done.”

Prayers Need Not Be Perfect

Every one has doubts, God doesn't expect perfect faith, but he does expect sincere faith (Bob Russell). It is a fact that we are doubter by nature and it follows that we cannot dispense the anxiety that our prayers will not come true. However, we are not being told to have perfect faith, rather earnest faith. We only have to acknowledge to God our weaknesses, our dependence on him so that God may fill it. While boasting ourselves to be self-sufficient, surely God will not fit into it.

Unanswered Prayers

One of the most frustrating things grounded to prayers, oftentimes, in lieu to us, is that we deemed it as unheard and always unanswered.

Bob Russell stressed out, “God doesn't guarantee that he'll answer all of our prayers exactly the way we ask, or prayers would put us in charge of the universe. That would be dangerous.” he added that, “sometimes God uses natural means to answer our prayers. God moves mountains more through gradual erosion than through Volcanic eruption.” God, according to Bob will take into account our immaturity and limitations, no matter how much we think we know what's best for us, God sees the “bigger picture” and is interested in what is best for us.

Further, God will not answer prayers in verbatim fashion. Say one of you is asking for a dry season and the other is asking for wet one and you are at the same locality. Which of you will be heard? God cannot make dry and wet season at the same time and in the same place. Wet and dry are two polar or opposite elements of nature, just like light and darkness which would be impossible to be in the same place together. Else, God would be scrambling nature and contradicting himself.

We know that God respects nature the way he has given us perfect individual choices. What God has done, God will not undo, although he can destroy it. He made you a man; he cannot undo you into an ape or a banana. Wet is wet, dry is dry, light is light and darkness is darkness in their respective place.

Everything is perfect when God made this world. So, there is no need to undo it or God must have done a mistake when he made this world. Nonetheless, your prayers will be heard in the way that God sees it to be best for you and to your fellow. God doesn't have time to self-centered and selfish prayers.

Finally, Prayer is...

True and clear enough when God said that he'll be with us 'till the end of time is a divine promise he really meant for all. And he is not “watching us from a distance” as cited in a song.

Our God is not a scrape of genie-in-the-bottle who cares only for petty yearnings. Instead, he is a God who is intimate, a God who cares for both sides of the coin in our lives.

At his end (Bob Russell) he said, that prayer is saying, “Father, will you do thine with me? I can't do it alone! It's too big for me. Then, when you step out in faith, you discover that with our heavenly father beside you, the sky's the limit.”



Although best views may rapture our senses at different time and space, there are those few that really stand out at the mantle of the earth. So comely that sometimes you need not say a word – because you can't after all. Best views are not just twenty, thirty or forty, it’s multifarious. It could be just your backyard, the monotony of the setting sun, the gentle hush of the sea against the shore, a lonely fig tree above a hill and whatever it is that meets your eyes and reminds you of time and space without boundary in your soul's horizon and the only one that we've got – Mother Earth.

Best views and panorama will again differ from person to person, individuals to individuals. As to it's beauty, each and every one of us is the measure of all these, and one man did some. Before we set foot for a handfuls of them, I just wanna give due credit to Andrew Harper of for flying ahead of us and bee-hopped to these Twenty Best Views In The World. I just happened to agree with him and take a stance to revisit those places; and so we are up up and away...

1. The Grand Canyon from the South Rim
Gathers souls all over the globe because of it scenic beauty. So impressionistic especially at sunset's peak. A great vantage point from the Hopi Point, on the West Rim Drive. Theorized to have been carved thousands of years ago by flooding and causing to create channels upon channels, you'll see it's majesty laid snootily upon the earth mantle. Try hopping in during at the finest season of May and April, September and October. Here, the the weather is calmer and the park are less crowded, hence the more likely you'll enjoy.

2. Hong Kong Island from Kowloon
More likely a “Las Vegas” in a valley. This eye-teasing neon-lit skyscrapers is a darling of some science-fiction film responsible for it's condensed lighting futuristic-like ambiance. You'd catch 'em in it's golden hour at eight in the evening when everything bright and gay.

3. Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Also known as the “James Bond Island” because of it's starred moments at James Bond's “The Man With The Golden Gun.” The island's seemingly unusual rock formations (limestone), which are really big big rocks, make it a hard won natural brainchild all over the world – only in Phuket, I guess. It is said that thousand of years ago, you can still set your foot upon these formations, now they're like the sunken city of the Atlantis.

4. Manhattan from the top of Rockefeller Plaza

It's awesome to see how this prolifically lighted skyscrapers mushroomed the island and awful to know how this state's ground been burdened by it. Like twinkling stars from heaven, only that theirs are on earth, Manhattan from the Rockefeller Plaza or any where else, is no compare.

5. Istanbul Skyline from the Bosphorus strait, Turkey
The Bosphorus strait, which runs squarely through the middle of Istanbul, famously divides Europe and Asia. You've got to behold the spawning villages, houses and mosques whose towering minarets is as awesome as a fairy tale told at best. Both sides of the city slope down to the water like an urban valley. The view from Galata Bridge includes several of the city’s incredible mosques.

6. The Ngorongoro Crater from North Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
Where in the world should the most feared natural tormenter when at it's 'best' would also be nature's best expression of luscious beauty. Nonetheless the Ngorongoro Crater is a perfect definition for this, you would even think it's a piece of earth full of hot mass. It is one of the world’s largest calderas, which are formed when volcanoes explode and collapse upon themselves. Now it teems with wildlife like elephants, lions, tigers, wild birds and a lot more.

7. St. Paul’s Waterloo Bridge, London
First, Waterloo Bridge had been instrumental in some songs or some manners of songs – it completes it. It is frankly situated on the fore bend of the Tames that gives leeway to one of the best views in London. By east towards the city is St. Paul's Cathedral (seemingly like that of the U.S. Capitol) like a “her majesty” queen seated snootily on her throne and some skyscrapers seems to bow down on her.

8. The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands

Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge is vastly overrated; it’s incredibly windy, and rushing traffic is just steps away. You’re much better off heading up to the Marin Headlands (particularly Hawk Hill) and taking in the view from a calm park bench, with the Bay, the bridge, the city and the blue Pacific spread out far below.

9. Machu Picchu, Peru
Perched on a mountain ridge high above the Urumba Valley in central Peru, this remarkable Incan city is surrounded on three sides by steep valleys, giving visitors the distinct impression that they’re hovering in air. The fact that the ruins are frequently draped in a light cloud layer only adds to the thrilling vertigo of the place.

10. The Yucatan Peninsula from the top of Chichen Itza, Mexico
It’s 365 steps to the top of El Castillo, the main temple of this sprawling Mayan city, but the view from the top is well worth it. The soft green expanse of Yucatan jungle stretching out in every direction is truly mesmerizing. And with a good pair of binoculars, you can spot distant ruins rising up from the canopy.

11. Florence from the loggia of Villa San Michele, Italy
The town of Fiesole, perched on a hillside northeast of Florence, was where wealthy Florentines chose to escape the heat and humidity of the Arno River Valley in the gardens of their lavish villas. The Villa San Michele was constructed in the 15th century and is now a famous hotel. A loggia (open-sided gallery) runs along one side of the building, from which you can look out across the entire city of Florence, an expanse of terra-cotta roofs dominated by the great dome of its 14th-century cathedral. The view, which has changed little in 500 years, offers a kind of time travel back to the world of the High Renaissance.

12. Paris from the Pont des Arts, France
A pedestrian bridge across the Seine, the Pont des Arts is at the epicenter of Paris. On the right bank is the Cour Carrée of the Louvre; on the left, the Institut de France; directly upstream is the façade of Notre Dame Cathedral. Standing on the bridge, the great art historian Kenneth Clark famously remarked: “What is civilization? I do not know. … But I think I can recognize it when I see it: and I am looking at it now."

13. The Medina of Fes from the Palais Jamai, Morocco
The ancient walled city of Fes is dramatically sited in a bowl of hills. From the Palais Jamai (now a hotel) you gaze down on the white and beige roofs of the medieval medina, a vast warren of alleys and courtyards in which it is all too easy to become hopelessly lost. At is center are the green-tiled roofs of the University of Al-Karaouine, founded in 859 and the oldest university in the world.

14. Annapurna from Sarankot, Nepal

The Himalayas are unlike any other mountains on earth: They are simply much bigger and grander. Arguments rage about which is the most unforgettable view: The Kangshung Face of Everest in Tibet; K2 from the snout of the Baltoro Glacier; Kanchenjunga across the tea terraces of Darjeeling. The list is endless. The first time I saw the Himalayas in all their incomparable splendor was from the village of Sarankot, 5,000 feet up in the foothills of Nepal. It is a famous panoramic view of immense peaks, dominated by the 26,000-foot Annapurna massif. And to this day, it remains my most indelible memory.

15. Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo, Australia
Which is the most spectacular harbor in the world: Rio, Hong Kong or Sydney? It’s hard to say, but on a sunny day, the view from Taronga Zoo across a yacht-strewn expanse of blue water to the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the towers of downtown Sydney certainly takes the cake.

16. The Potala Palace from across the Lhasa River, Tibet
Throughout the 19th century, Lhasa was the most mysterious city in the world, a magnet for intrepid European travelers. Today, it is a Chinese regional capital, increasingly swamped by shoddy and depressing concrete buildings. At its heart, however, the magnificent Potala Palace, the winter residence of Tibet’s Dalai Lamas, is still as extraordinary as ever. Its 13 stories are terraced 400 feet up the side of Marpo Ri (“Red Hill”), contain more than 1,000 rooms and have walls 16 feet thick. There are few more remarkable and impressive structures on earth.

17. The Parthenon from Mount Lycabettus, Athens, Greece
Athens is not a particularly beautiful city, but every time you turn a corner and catch a glimpse of the Parthenon, high on the Acropolis, your spirits are instantly lifted. The most stirring view is not from down in the city itself, however, but from the top of 900-foot Mount Lycabettus, one of the isolated limestone peaks that rise from the Plain of Attica. It is possible to walk to the summit through pine trees from Kolonaki, Athens’ chicest residential district.

18. The Lemaire Channel, Antarctica
Nicknamed “Kodak Gap,” the Lemaire Channel extends for seven miles between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island. Snowcapped 3,000-foot peaks rise almost vertically from a sea littered with ice floes. For some reason, the water usually has a mirror-like surface, and the reflections, especially in December and January at the time of the midnight sun, are almost psychedelic.

19. The City Palace from the Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
The Lake Palace, apparently afloat in the middle of Lake Pichola, is an image familiar from innumerable photography books and India Tourist Board posters. But the view the other way, from the Lake Palace to the city of Udaipur, is equally, if not more, extraordinary. The colossal City Palace, a mass of golden stone rising from the sapphire waters of the lake, was a scene beloved by 18th- and 19th-century European watercolorists.

20. The Temples of Bagan, Myanmar

Dotted across a plain beside the Irrawaddy River in central Myanmar, the ruins of Bagan cover 16 square miles. Dozens of immense stupas and temples rise from the red, dusty soil, all that remains of a major city sacked by the Mongol Kublai Khan. The scene at sunrise is unforgettably romantic.



Earth Day gives notice to each individual around the globe that nature is the only one we've got – and so with Mother Earth. Once lost, it would be impossible for human laboratory to create nature in a test tube – all by it self. The 'inconvenient truth' is itself knocking hard in our sense of initiative to at least, as part and parcel of the natural ecosystem, left a finger to revive nature's scarred face. Imagine if everything else fails, including the solid ground where everything literally stand still, but because of human disregard towards our nature, she's on her way getting even with it – who's to bear the blame now?

Almost everything we do contributes to nature's conservation or destruction, but more often than not, it leads to the second one. Well, as long as we are aware and our eyes open to its reality and we are doing something about it, we don't really have to be extremely anxious about it. Why don't we just enjoy caressing nature by filling our senses with it's beauty, thank God for its unparalleled wonders – and thank yourself for picking (and recycling or putting it in a trash can) a piece of plastic scattering on your way.

Environmentalists as well as scientists assert that 90 percent of the cause of the serious environmental breach that we have now is man-made. From the simple individual's aerosol perfume, heating or using oils either by cooking or lighting, to an individual's car emission and all throughout a large coal-fired factory of whatever kind. Besides that, deforestation adds insult to injury. Hence, less tress less means of converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.

At the high of the industrial age, carbon dioxide emission races to 31 percent and counting more per year. And we've got that far from 31 percent, it's evident, you just can't afford to peep out of your door to check out who's calling but to save your skin from the noonday heat.

The saying that goes, “everything that goes up, must necessarily goes back down” is true when it comes to the environmental hazards that we spill into the earth. The waste that we carelessly throw to nowhere goes up in the form of harmful carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases and then goes back in a daredevil heat, which was suppose to escape from the earth atmosphere, but just trapped by the gasses we emit.

Now, it's a heated controversy on Global Warming – an “inconvenient truth.” To save space and to be frank and candid, what does it do in front of our face. It's chilling, states, “as the concentration of greenhouse gases grows, more heat is trapped in the atmosphere and less escapes back into space. This increase in trapped heat changes the climate and alters weather patterns, which may hasten species extinction, influence the length of seasons, cause coastal flooding, and lead to more frequent and severe storms.”

April marks the universal action-oriented celebration of the Earth Day month. Though, it is observed in varieties and in different months and days on the other part of the Globe, April is the universally instituted month and 22 for the day for it is deemed less likely to conflict with any other academic, social and religious activities. Earth Day spearheads in the appreciation and awareness towards our environment.

I supposedly to cover about summer escapades this month of April, nonetheless summer comes and summer goes, it deed never ceases. But when environment goes off, wasted and left the shores of your summer escapade it would be hard for her to be summoned again and you'll find yourself making raft for the rest of your life.

Earth Day appeals to our common sense of care initiative. Pick-up piece of paper, avoid obnoxious chemicals, recycle, clean your surroundings and the like. It doesn't need elite and executives to clean up our environment. Its appeal is on our own little way rich or poor, man, woman and kids, black or white. After all, we only live in a one roof of a global environmental community.

There are things we might as well consider to our self this month of April as Earth Day month. The proceeding suggestions you could do, again in your own little way, to help Mother Earth gain back her lush and beneficent beauty. In the long run, the lives we help and save maybe our own.

Be Informed. With the global warming we experience, tandems the global spark of communication at the reach of your fingertips. It pays to be informed really. Internet itself opens it's delta to a megalithic information gateways. It has almost everything there is to know. Why not spend sometime watching an environmentally oriented movies or documentaries. The “Inconvenient Truth,” as presented by former vice president Al Gore, won't surely escape your viewing scope. It is an award winning documentary film bulky with information about our environment, more in particular about global warming and what we can do about it.

Participate. Everything you read and you hear including your brightest idea will just serve as a useless cog in your mental faculty unless you try to lay them down on the ground. Earth Day facilitates programs all about preserving the environment just like green peace rallies, workshops on recycling and others, marathons, concerts, tree planting and many more. You as an individual who's part of nature's beneficiaries do not only act as spectator, you yourself is an agent who must work with her. You do not even have to wait for any Earth Day to fall on your calendar. Every day is an Earth Day, do your part, do your 'homework' for her.

Plant a tree. When you plant a tree, you do not only plant a root to hold the earth, you actually plant a future for the coming generations. One author says, in order for your name to be immortalize and never forgotten, you must write a book, bare a child and of course plant a tree. I don't know if it makes sense to you, but I'm quite sure the last few words does. A tree is considered as a lungs of the environment. It sucks CO2 and breaths out oxygen. Besides, it prevents urban erosion by storing water and halting the direct fall of the water to the ground. Tress also absorbs sound and thus helps in reducing noise pollution. And more, it cools down the surrounding place not just by its shade but by the oxygen it naturally gives off. You did plant a future by planting a tree.

Recycle. This works well if practice and observed faithfully. So don't be stubborn. Here is how it works. Say, a plastic bottle. What should you do about it? Obviously, you are reading me, so you have to recycle it rather than actually wasting it on a landfill for 1000 years and commissioning more factory emission of producing new bottles. Secondly, around 60 to 70 percent of the junkies we throw away are very much recyclable. And a survey shows that 9 out of 10 are willing to recycle their rubbish. Wouldn't you cooperate with them? Third, glasses are among those recyclables, yet if we don't, it took them 4000 years on the ground before disintegrating with the soil, while if we us it, it has definite usability and purpose. Fourth, it actually hones your creativity, just give it a try. Fifth, it would perhaps ring a bell for you. You can actually earn money with recyclables. Scrap metals, cans, bottles are sold for an amount. I bet there are lots junk shops in your town tossing these things on the scale. These and a lot more to mention about recycling.

Think Green. At all times of course, you really have to think green! What I mean is think clean! Remember, from the abundance of your thoughts, your mouth and your action speaks.