10 steps to recycle paper

Photo: Wikimedia CommonsWhat you need:

Wooden frame (a photo frame will do), a sieve of 1 mm holes that can be fitted on the wooden frame, a large basin, water, blender, food colouring, liquid starch, vinegar, sponge, an iron-box and of course, paper!

To do:

1. Start by getting together some paper. Make sure it’s the unwaxed, non-shiny kind. Take care to include enough white papers that do not have too much black text. This will produce recycled paper that can be reasonably bright.

2. Roughly shred the paper, ensuring that there’s no stray plastic film, staples or other synthetic material and soak it in water for about an hour. You can add some food colouring to get coloured paper. If you want some white paper, try adding some vinegar to decolourise the pulp.

3. Once your paper is soaked, blend it into a smooth, non-pulpy mix using a blender. The lesser the stray flakes, the smoother your final paper will be. Add enough water to obtain a consistency of watery oats. Now that you have your paper “pulp” ready, you’re ready to mould your paper.

4. Start by fitting the sieve into the wooden frame. If it’s a photo frame, then all you need to do is replace the glass with the sieve. Choose a basin that is big enough to immerse the paper frame.

5. Before immersing the frame, fill the basin with water and stir in the pulp. Here’s the tricky part that will require you to tinker a bit. The density of your “slurry” determines the thickness of the paper. It also depends on the kind of paper you’ve chosen. But don’t worry! Once you start recycling paper, you’ll soon develop an instinct for how much water to add. Add 2 teaspoons of liquid starch. This will enable easier writing on your final paper.

6. Take your wooden frame and dip it into the pulp with the sieve facing down. Dip it until the sieve is submerged and move the frame gently so that the slurry uniformly adheres to the sieve.

7. Gently remove the frame and turn it over so that the sieve now faces up. You can rest it on top of the basin or some other surface.

8. Use a sponge to remove excess water from the slurry on the sieve ensuring that you don’t press too hard. As you patiently wait, the slurry on the screen will slowly dry into paper.

9. When you can lift it off the sieve, press the paper gently to release any remaining bubbles. If it refuses to come apart, place a layer of fabric over the paper and gently iron over the fabric. The heat will release the water, and the paper may be easier to peel. In your first few attempts, your paper may break or tear apart. Be patient, because success may just be a few tries away.

10. If you’re able to lift the paper, it means you’ve successfully recycled paper. It may still be a little damp. You can either dry it out using a hair dryer. Alternatively, you can place some fabric on the paper again and use an iron on high-setting to obtain a smooth shiny paper.

Write to janani.agastya@gmail.com with how you plan to use the recycled paper. This feature is from Agastya International Foundation (www.agastya.org), which runs hands-on science programmes for students



Keep your lips soft by staying hydrated.

The chilly weather leaves our lips needing moisture. Keep them soft by staying hydrated and buy your lip balm carefully. Here are a few tips to ensure you have soft lips during winter, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

* Drink plenty of water and increase your intake of vitamin B as low levels can lead to dry and cracked skin.

* Resist the urge to lick your lips — this only makes them sorer.

* Do away with dead skin cells by rubbing a soft toothbrush on your lips to help reduce chapping.

* Read the labels — not all lip balms are the same. Balms or sticks made with mineral oil or petroleum jelly don’t moisturise as such, they simply sit on the lips’ surface, and may even dry the lips out.


5 Business Lessons from Matthew Mullenweg (wordpress founder)

#1  Occupy the Space Left Open by Competition

Mullenweg would have never started WordPress if another platform hadn’t disappeared overnight. Back in 2003, Mullenweg was a teenager volunteering some of his time coding for B2/cafelog — an open source blogging platform that was employed on about 2,000 blogs [wikipedia].

One day the leader developer disappeared, leaving Mullenweg and the rest of the volunteer programmers without a project. Matt decided to step up to fill the void. He wrote a blog post to the community, rallying them to join him in starting a new open source blogging platform. Mike Little commented on the post, “You serious about this? Let’s work on it together.” The two had never met. Mike was in the UK and Matt was in Houston, Texas. But the partnership worked. “We just started collaborating over the Internet,” Mullenweg explained. WordPress was born.

WordPress caught it’s big break the following year, when one of its leading competitors — Movable Type — decided to start charging its users. Hordes of thrifty bloggers abandoned Movable Type for the best free content management system available:  WordPress.


#2  Seek to Better Understand Your Users

“It’s my responsibility to meet as many users as possible and direct the software project in a way that reflects their interests. Last year, I probably met 2,000 or 3,000 people who make their living from WordPress.”

Matt Mullenweg

Knowing your end user is the first step to being able to give them what they want. Mullenweg is one of most well-informed founders in the world when it comes to understanding his audience. His robust travel schedule brings him to scores of WordPress conferences every year.


#3  Know Your Creed

“If you’re building a startup or any sort of organization, take a few moments to reflect on the qualities that the people you most enjoy working with embody and the user experience of new people joining your organization, from the offer letter to their first day.”

Matt Mullenweg, from ‘Why Your Company Should Have a Creed’

According to Mullenweg, a creed is “basically a statement of things important to us, written in the first person.” And Matt’s such a big believer in creeds and their influence on company culture that he’s put Automattic’s creed above the signature on every new employee’s contract. He described the move as “an easy change that had a big impact on the company.”

In case you’re curious, I’ve included the entire Automattic creed at the bottom of the page.


#4  There’s Always Room to Grow

“There’s 6.999 billion people who don’t have a blog yet, don’t have a website yet, don’t have WordPress yet.”

Matthew Mullenweg, from Unreasonable.is

Matt is a mild-mannered Texas native, but his ambition is anything but mild. When asked how he felt about his platform serving 17% of the web, he said, “I obsess over that other 83% of the web that we don’t have yet.” Matt said in an interview, “There’s a much longer road ahead of us than what we’ve done so far.”


#5  Eat, Breathe, and Sleep Your Business

“WordPress is a part of who I am. Like eating, breathing, music, I can’t not work on WordPress.”

Matthew Mullenweg, from Ma.tt

We work best on the projects that are aligned with the core of who we are. That’s what Mullenweg has with WordPress. He has said, “I go to sleep and I wake up thinking about WordPress,” and “I consider myself very lucky to be able to work on something I love so much.”

Who is Matthew Mullenweg? ( heart of WordPress.)

matt mullenweg by kwightkaYou know about Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter). But what about the guy who’s in charge of the platform that powers “18.9% of the top 10 million websites”?

That would be Matt Mullenweg, the 29-year-old at the heart of WordPress. With 60 million websites built with WordPress (including this one), it is by far the most popular blogging platform in the world.

From the beginning, Mullenweg has done business differently:  WordPress was open-sourced , which means that the code was free to be developed by anybody who wanted to contribute. Mullenweg is also a vocal advocate of distributed work and 130 of Automattic’s 150 employees work outside of their San Francisco headquarters.

Let’s dig in and find out who Matt Mullenweg is, with an eye for learning from his innovative business strategies, productive work habits, and his best quotes.


Henry FordNobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind.

Douglas AdamsTo give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.

Albert CamusIntegrity has no need of rules.

Thomas Jefferson – Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Jim Collins-The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do, an unwavering desire for excellence in the way they think and the way they work. Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step. 

 Mary Kay Ash-Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.

Oprah Winfrey-Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.

Denis Waitley– A life lived with integrity — even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come. 

 Uri Geller -Do what you love. When you love your work, you become the best worker in the world.

 Ralph Waldo Emerson-The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.


Idea sounds innovative

Pavan KumarDiploma holder invents a dynamic narrow surround processor.

He runs from pillar to post for recognition of his invention, which he says can operate a sound system in a theatre without electricity.

Terming it a ‘path-breaking finding,’ S.V.S.S. Pavan Kumar, 43, a diploma holder in radio and TV engineering and a resident of Visalakshinagar where he has a make-shift workshop, says the device – a dynamic narrow surround processor — provides a centre surround sound audio from any type of stereo signal.

“It requires stereo signal voltage and no power source to perform the signal conversion,” he toldThe Hindu . He applied for Indian patent two years ago. If everything goes well, he might get the patent in another three years. Five-year duration is required after notification by the government on the claim for patent.

The audio processor provides very effective centre surround audio (backward and top-ward surround sound) in cinema, home theatre or any musical environment.

According to Mr. Kumar, with conventional two-channel surround technology, the sound field in the back of the theatre can be blurred and is often perceived as coming generally from the left or right. The centre surround speakers at the rear of the theatre reproduce back surround information, when left and right surround information is reproduced by speakers on the sides.

This allows the sound designer to create flyover or fly-around special effects that are smoother and much more accurately placed directly behind or beside the audience as required.

Mr. Kumar says the new surround technology provides filmmakers with a powerful new creative tool for producing realistic soundtracks. On the cost of the equipment, he says it would be around Rs.1 lakh for use in a theatre. He says the trial test made by him at a couple theatres at Kothavalasa near Pendurthy evoked a successful response.

After working in Philips for 10 years, he has been into his research world.

To eke out a living, he undertakes TV and repair of electronic devices.

“The sound processor developed by him needs recognition by the government agencies and he needs a pat on his back for his creativity and innovation,” said Govindrao Adapa, advisor, Vizag Information Technology Association.


ray of hope to aspiring women entrepreneurs

After completing her PG in the U.K. last year, T. Pratyusha is keen on becoming an entrepreneur in the port city. Although she has done a fair amount of groundwork, she needs assistance to draw up the details of her project.

With wide experience in the field of strategic planning, Rama Devi plans to start an enterprise of her own. All she is looking forward to is a channel to draw up her detailed project report.

Lavanya faced a lot of challenges to keep her aroma coil unit running. Now, she is looking for other ventures, which are likely to have better returns.

For an entrepreneur like R. Kavitha, knowing about land subsidy is important. “The most challenging aspect for an entrepreneur is getting land to set up the unit,” she says.

For aspiring entrepreneurs and those who wanted to expand their existing enterprise, Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme (WEDP) offers a solution.

The 45-day programme, jointly designed by Lady Entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh (ALEAP) and Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), will begin from Monday.

Further details on WEDP can be had on 9247839834.