Tuesday 13 December 2016



Two standard half-ball angles are shown on the billiards table above. A red ball is blocking access to the top right pocket. In snooker, the white ball, or cue ball, would impact that blocking red ball and push it into the pocket. If you remove that red ball, the white ball would drop into the pocket. What you would then see is two losing hazards, otherwise known as in-offs. 

If you want to pot the red ball, al you have to do in the two pics above is to hit the red object ball on the opposite side! 

Another standard half-ball angle is where you place the cue ball in the centre of the lip of either upper pocket and the object ball on the Black Spot, the spot occupied by the red ball the cueist nearest to us is addressing. A half-ball shot on the inside of the object ball will lead to a losing hazard. A half-ball shot to the outside of that ball will result in a pot of the object ball and a losing hazard in the opposite centre pocket. Try it out!   

Half-ball shots are essential to Billiards and are very easy to play, especially compared with potting. That is why snooker is so difficult a game, and also why there is much more money and global acclaim in snooker vis-a-vis billiards. India has produced and still produces great billiards players, but no really good snooker cue artist. 

Where to aim: If you play without side and point your tip through the centre of the cue ball to the extreme edge of the object ball, this will give a 'true' half-ball.The deflection of the object ball from a half-ball contact is approximately 38°. It is not 45°, which is one misconception most players have throughout their playing days.    

Monday 12 December 2016


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong push for a ‘cashless economy’ in his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address. A day later, his office publicised a number of alternative payment modes in a series of tweets titled ‘My mobile. My Bank. My wallet: Transactions without cash’.

Here are the five alternatives that the PMO tweeted about:
Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
“It’s as easy as sending a message from your phone! Every bank has its own mobile app – so it’s now possible to transact on your smart phone,” read the tweet from the PMO.

Register your mobile number at your bank or ATM
Download the UPI app on your mobile
Make your unique ID
Set your UPI PIN

Transactions can be carried out from any location, between any two individuals
No need to pre-add beneficiary

“It’s as easy as sending photos through your phone! Through the e-Wallet, money transactions are possible with mobile or computer,” said the PMO tweet.

Choose an e-wallet service of your convenience and download the app
Register your mobile number
Link this with your debit card, credit card or net banking

Many options available, from private players to wallets offered by banks and even telephone companies
Most wallet services allow recharges of denominations of the consumer’s choice

Cards, PoS
These are pretty common in urban areas. PoS stands for ‘point of sale’. These are the payments you can make using your debit cards or credit cards.

Get a debit card against your bank account, or apply for a credit card
Set and remember your PIN
Swipe your card, enter the amount to be paid, punch in your PIN

Debit cards come almost automatically with bank accounts
Cards can be used for withdrawals and deposits at ATMs across the country, and even abroad
Cards can also be used for online transactions

Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS)
“Why rely on your bank, when you can bank on Aadhaar! Now link your Aadhaar card with your bank account,” read the PMO tweet.

Link your Aadhaar card with your bank account
Remember your Aadhaar number or carry a copy of your card
Remember the bank in which you have the account which has been linked to your Aadhaar card
Transactions to be authenticated using fingerprint recorded for Aadhaar biometrics

Balance inquiry, cash withdrawals, cash deposits and Aadhaar-to-Aadhaar fund transfers
No extra registrations needed
Could be useful in rural areas, with transaction carried out by banking correspondents

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
This allows fund transfers through the interface of any mobile phone.

Link your mobile number to your bank account
Dial *99# from your phone
Identify your bank by entering the first three letters or the first four letters of your branch’s IFSC code
In the menu that pops up, chose ‘Fund Transfer-MMID’
Enter the mobile phone number and MMID of the recipient
Enter the transfer amount and your MPIN, followed by a space and the last four digits of your account number

No smartphone required
No mobile internet connection needed

Friday 9 December 2016



Released by The Whisky Exchange

Jim Murray knows how to surprise. Two years ago, he named the    Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 as his World Whisky of the Year, while last year saw that honour go to Canada, with Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye taking the top gong. And now, the 2017 winner has just been announced. Jim Murray’s best whisky in the world is: Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old. Jim described it as having a ‘brain-draining, mind-blowing’ nose with a finish of ‘amazing depth’, adding that it is a ‘staggering example of a magnificent rye showing exactly what genius in terms of whisky actually means’, scoring it 97.5/100 points.


1. Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old
2. Glen Grant 18 Year Old
3. William Larue Weller Bourbon (Bot.2015)

Scotch Whisky

Scotch Whisky of the Year
Glen Grant 18 Year Old

Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks)
Glen Grant 18 Year Old

Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask)
That Boutique-y Whisky Co Macallan 25 Year Old Batch 5

Scotch Blend of the Year
The Last Drop 1971

Scotch Grain of the Year
Whiskyace Invergordon 24 Year Old

Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year
Compass Box Flaming Heart 2015 Edition
Single Malt Scotch

No Age Statement (Multiple Casks)
Glenlivet Cipher

No Age Statement (Runner Up)
Port Askaig 100 Proof

10 Years & Under (Multiple Casks)
Glen Grant 10 Year Old

10 Years & Under (Single Cask)
Kilchoman Guze Cask Finish

11-15 Years (Multiple Casks)
Lagavulin 12 Year Old

11-15 Years (Single Cask)
The Single Cask Glentauchers 2002 14 Year Old

16-21 Years (Multiple Casks)
Glen Grant 18 Year Old

16-21 Years (Single Cask)
Scyfion Choice Mortlach 1996 19 Year Old (Berry Bros & Rudd)

22-27 Years (Multiple Casks)
Dalwhinnie 1989 25 Year Old Special Releases 2015

22-27 Years (Single Cask)
The Boutique-y Co Macallan 25 Year Old Batch 5

28-34 Years (Multiple Casks)
Port Ellen 1983 32 Year Old Special Releases 2015

28-34 Years (Single Cask)
Cadenhead Caol Ila 31 Year Old

35-40 Years (Multiple Casks)
Brora 37 Year Old Special Releases 2015

35-40 Years (Single Cask)
Cadenhead Glentauchers 38 Year Old

41 Years & Over (Multiple Casks)
Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1952

41 Years & Over (Single Cask)
Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1950 65 Year Old

Blended Scotch

No Age Statement (Standard)
Ballantine’s Finest

No Age Statement (Premium)
Ballantine’s Limited

5-12 Years
Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Year Old

13-18 Years
Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak

19 – 25 Years
Royal Salute 21 Year Old

26 – 50 Years
The Last Drop 1971