Monday, 31 July 2017

20 Surprising Facts About Warren Buffett

From buying his first stock at age 11 to having his face on Cherry Coke cans in China, these Warren Buffett facts might surprise you.

From using a Nokia flip phone to pledging 85 percent of his Berkshire Hathaway stocks to various charitable foundations, check out these 20 Warren Buffett facts that might surprise you.

1. He bought his first stock when he was 11-years-old.

While most 11-year-old boys were playing T-ball and reading comic books, Buffett bought stocks. In the spring of 1942, at 11-years-old, Buffett purchased shares of Cities Service Preferred for $38 a piece.

2. He made $53,000 by the age of 16.

Even since he was young, Buffett’s not only been tactful, but also an extremely hard worker. When his family moved to Omaha, Buffett delivered The Washington Post every morning and brought in about $175 a month (that’s more than most teachers made during that time).

He also pursued a few side gigs such as selling used golf balls and collector stamps. By the time he turned 16, he had amassed the equivalent of $53,000.

3. He was rejected from Harvard Business School.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska in three years, Buffett applied to Harvard Business School. But during a brief interview with the school that would determine his acceptance, the staff said to Buffett: “Forget it. You’re not going to Harvard.”

After much disappointment from the rejection, Buffett discovered that his idols Benjamin Graham (“the father of value investing”) and David Dodd were professors at Columbia Business School.

“I wrote them a letter in mid-August," Buffett shares. "I said, 'Dear Professor Dodd. I thought you guys were dead, but now that I found out that you're alive and teaching at Columbia, I would really like to come.' And he admitted me."

4. He eats like a 6-year-old.

Buffett’s secret to staying young? Coca-Cola and ice cream.

In an interview with Fortune, Buffett claimed he is “one quarter Coca-Cola” -- "If I eat 2,700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it every day."

Sometimes for breakfast, he eats a can of Utz potato sticks (yes -- a can, not a bag) to accompany his soda. Other times he takes a sweeter approach and indulges in a bowl of ice cream to jump start his day.

When asked how he’s managed to stay healthy with such a salty and sugary diet, he said, "I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among 6-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a 6-year-old."

5. He’s lived in the same house since 1958.

When you think of a billionaire, you typically think of mansions, vacation homes and expensive cars. That’s never been the case for Buffett. (Perhaps that’s why we’re all so fascinated by him.)

Buffett has lived in the same Omaha house since 1958 that he originally bought for $31,500. The house is a simple five-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house.

6. His father-in-law told him he would fail.

After proposing to his wife in 1951, Buffett’s father-in-law asked him to come over for a “talk.” Turns out, his father-in-law didn’t have much faith in Buffett and his plans for the future. In fact, he was adamant that Buffett would fail.

Buffett recalled the words from his father-in-law during an interview with CNBC: "I just want to absolve you from any worries. You're going to fail. And the reason you're going to fail -- my daughter may starve to death and you're going to fail, but I'm not going to blame you because it's because the Democrats are in and they're all Communists."

7. People will pay millions to have lunch with him.

Who wouldn’t want to have lunch with the Oracle of Omaha? Without a doubt, there’s a lot he could teach you. Some people are so eager to sit down with Buffett that they’ve bid up to $3.4 million to have lunch with him.

Since 2000, Buffett has held an annual fundraiser, auctioning off a charity lunch with him on eBay. In 2012 and 2016, people were so eager to sit down with Buffett they placed bids for more than $3.4 million. The money raised went to the San Francisco-based anti-poverty charity GLIDE, and the winner (who typically remains anonymous) gets to invite seven friends to lunch with Buffett at Smith and Wollensky steakhouse in New York City.

The auction has raised more than $20 million in total.

8. In 2013, Buffett earned $37 million a day.

By the end of 2013, Buffett had a net worth of $59 billion -- up from $46 billion at the beginning of the year. On average, Buffett made $37 million a day in 2013, which was fueled by rising stock prices.

9. Nearly 94 percent of his wealth was earned after he turned 60.

Success comes at any age. Although Buffett was extremely successful before the age of 60 -- his net worth was a noted $376 million when he was 52-years-old -- nearly 94 percent of his wealth came after he turned 60. At 60, he was worth more than $3.8 billion.

10. He’s never tweeted before.

Although Buffett has a Twitter account (@WarrenBuffett) with more than 1.25 million followers -- it only has nine published tweets, and it turns out none of them were written by him.

“I have this friend that talked me into getting a Twitter feed. She's put up a couple things. But, the answer is I've never tweeted anything really myself,” he told CNBC.

11. Buffett owns 20 suits, but has never paid for any.

Buffett owns close to 20 suits, all made by the same designer -- Madam Lee. There's an interesting story here.

During a trip to China, upon arriving to his hotel, “Two guys jumped in the room. … They started sticking tape measures around me and everything, then they showed me a book with a whole bunch of samples and said ‘pick out a suit. Madam Lee wants to give you one,’” Buffett shared with CNBC.

Without meeting her, Buffett picked out a suit and later picked out another. Finally meeting the mysterious designer, Buffett developed a professional relationship with Madam Lee and she continued sending Buffett suits. Lee has attended Buffett’s annual meetings and she’s even begun making suits for other successful executives such as Bill Gates.

12. He spends 80 percent of his day reading.

From the moment he wakes up, Buffett has his nose in a newspaper. In fact, he estimates that he spends around 80 percent of his day reading.

When asked the key to his success, Buffett pointed to a stack of books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”

13. Buffett will give an employee $1 million every year for the rest of his or her life if they can guess the NCAA’s sweet 16 teams.

Since 2014, Buffett has held a contest among all of his employees, challenging them to guess who the sweet 16 teams will be during NCAA March Madness, he tells CNBC. If someone guesses all of the teams correctly, he promises to pay them $1 million every year for the rest of his or her life.

No one has ever won the $1 million prize -- the person who gets the closest will win $100,000. In 2016, two employees tied and each took home $50,000.

14. He uses a Nokia flip phone.

In a 2013 CNN interview with Piers Morgan, Buffett shared his take on everything from politics to parenting to technology. Buffett even revealed that he was still using a Nokia flip phone. “This is the one Alexander Graham Bell gave me,” Buffett joked. "I don't throw anything away until I've had it 20 or 25 years."

15. He takes a dozen kids to Dairy Queen every Sunday.

Buffett, whose holdings include Dairy Queen, treats a group of 12 kids -- usually his grandchildren and their friends -- to DQ every Sunday, he shared with Joe Kernan on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

Watching them, he can’t help but notice how glued they are to their iPhones -- “they barely can talk to me except if I'm ordering ice cream or something like that,” he said. Buffett will ask them questions such as what they are doing on them and how, and if they could live without these tech tools. “The stickiness really is something. I mean, they do build their lives around it. … They love it.”

16. Buffett rarely emails.

Buffett rarely emails -- in fact, he claims that he’s only sent one email in his life and it ended up in federal court.

In 1997, Buffett responded to an email from a close friend, former Microsoft executive Jeff Raikes, that read, "Doesn't Microsoft meet all your tests for a wonderful business.” In his response, Buffett laid out all the reasons why he doesn’t use Microsoft. The U.S. government pulled in the email as support for Microsoft’s position in the economy, and Buffett later saw his email in a Wall Street Journal article, he shared in an interview with CNBC.

17. He plays the ukulele.

When he was 18-years-old, Buffett developed a crush on a local Omaha girl, Betty Gallagher, Hear Nebraska Radio reports. To his dismay, Gallagher had a boyfriend at the time. So Buffett brainstormed what he could do that Gallagher’s boyfriend could not, and that was to play the ukulele.

After Buffet learned to play the instrument, he serenaded Gallagher, but she still chose the other guy. He still uses his ukulele skills, and you can catch Buffett performing at meetings and during interviews and conventions, sometimes with pal Bill Gates singing along.

18. Buffett pledged to donate 85 percent of his Berkshire Hathaway stocks to charitable foundations. On top of being a successful investor and business executive, Buffett is also a huge philanthropist. In 2006, he announced that he planned to gradually give 85 percent of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to five foundations -- and he’s been fulfilling his promise since.

In July 2016, Buffett donated more than $2.86 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock to the five foundations -- one of which is The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He donated around $2.8 billion in both 2014 and 2015.

19. He was awarded the “Presidential Medal of Freedom” by Barack Obama.

On Feb. 16, 2011, Buffett was awarded the highest civilian honor, the “Presidential Medal of Freedom,” by former President Barack Obama. Due to his philanthropic donations -- since 2014, Buffett has donated more than $2 billion to charitable foundations -- Buffett was chosen to receive such a prestigious award.

Obama described Buffett as "not only as one of the world's richest men but also one of the most admired and respected" who had "demonstrated that integrity isn't just a good trait, it is good for business."

20. Out of all investing legends, Buffett has the best track record for beating the market.

From Charles Munger to Peter Lynch, out of all the world’s biggest investors, the 86-year-old investing tycoon has the best track record of beating the market.

Monday, 24 July 2017

What is innovation, and how can we awaken its dormant traits and cultivate them?

'We do not need to try to create innovative characteristics in the individual, we simply need to show them how to cultivate innovative thought.'

What innovation is and how it can be cultivated are two of the compelling questions raised in a paper exploring the potential for fostering innovation in students in the new issue of Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors.

"Relatively little is known about how we can cultivate innovative thinking," said paper lead author Victor Poirier of the Institute for Advanced Discovery & Innovation at the University of South Florida (USF), "and even less is known about how we can help individuals use and improve their innovative powers."

According to the authors, innovation can be defined as "the introduction of something new and different" that is created by inspiration and creativity. Innovation, they said, is "critical to improvements in how we live" and provides "social value." The beginning of the innovative process is usually associated with "a fragmented inspiration" that is further developed by "joining with other fragmented thoughts to finally arrive at a creative inspiration."

The authors pointed to six key characteristics of innovation:

* The timing of an innovative idea;

* The environment in which the idea is formulated and developed;

* The time to develop an idea or inspiration;

* The time and organizational environment that allows for idea cross-fertilization;

* Learning from errors; and

* The development of an idea in one field that can be adapted in another.

While education may not be able to create innovative traits in individuals, education may be able to improve the ability of individuals to better utilize the traits of creativity and innovation they already possess. However, how do we cultivate innovative thinking processes and unleash the creative powers of the individual? And, by what processes can educators help individuals to better utilize their innovative traits?

"It takes a village," explained Poirier, pointing out that Thomas Edison's Menlo Park was an environment in which a variety of minds and skills came together to achieve innovative processes. Innovative industries such as Bell Labs, Xerox, Apple, and Google, as well as many of the federal government's laboratory systems, such as NIH and NASA, are examples of creative environments that foster innovation collaboratively.

Innovative processes do not always create something new, said the authors. Sometimes they greatly improve something already in existence or help to solve a problem. Motivation, persistence, and goal setting may also be keys to this process.

"Contrary to the view that inspiration is purely mystic or divine, [it] is best viewed as an interaction between one's current knowledge and the information one receives from the world," suggested the authors. "We do not need to try to create innovative characteristics; rather, we simply need to show individuals how to cultivate innovative thought."

The first step in encouraging and nurturing inspiration and innovation, said Poirier, is to identify the characteristics and traits that can be fostered and developed through education. These include: abstract thinking and problem solving; a desire to 'fill gaps'; motivation; creativity; curiosity; taking risks with no fear of failure; a positive attitude; persistence and passion; dissatisfaction with what exists; open-mindedness; and vision.

These characteristics can be foundational to an educational process aimed at unleashing the creative and innovative potential that students possess. Therefore, as Poirier explains, our goal is "to develop an educational process whereby we could show individuals how to fully utilize the [innovative] traits they have, [and] awaken traits that are dormant."

The authors acknowledged that there may be roadblocks or resistance to this process from both students and faculty, as there are many who think that innovative thinking is something inborn in the individual and cannot be learned. However, the potential rewards -- including an increase in innovative production -- are substantial and warrant meeting and overcoming these challenges.

To that end, Poirier and his co-authors are part of a team at the University of South Florida involved in an experimental training program in innovation.

Albert Einstein on Education and the Secret to Learning

In 1915 Einstein, who was then 36, was living in wartime Berlin with his cousin Elsa, who would eventually become his second wife. His two sons, Hans Albert Einstein and Eduard “Tete” Einstein were with his estranged wife Mileva in neutral Zurich.

After eight long years of effort his theory of general relativity, which would propel him to international celebrity, was finally summed up in just two pages. Flush with his recent accomplishment, he sent his 11-year-old Hans Albert the following letter, which is found in Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children.

My dear Albert,

Yesterday I received your dear letter and was very happy with it. I was already afraid you wouldn’t write to me at all any more. You told me when I was in Zurich, that it is awkward for you when I come to Zurich. Therefore I think it is better if we get together in a different place, where nobody will interfere with our comfort. I will in any case urge that each year we spend a whole month together, so that you see that you have a father who is fond of you and who loves you. You can also learn many good and beautiful things from me, something another cannot as easily offer you. What I have achieved through such a lot of strenuous work shall not only be there for strangers but especially for my own boys. These days I have completed one of the most beautiful works of my life, when you are bigger, I will tell you about it.

I am very pleased that you find joy with the piano. This and carpentry are in my opinion for your age the best pursuits, better even than school. Because those are things which fit a young person such as you very well. Mainly play the things on the piano which please you, even if the teacher does not assign those. That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes. I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal. Also play ringtoss with Tete. That teaches you agility. Also go to my friend Zangger sometimes. He is a dear man.

Be with Tete kissed by your


Regards to Mama.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Great Start To The Year

Let A Thousand Ideas Bloom!
The Vice Chancellor of B.S.Abdur Rahman Crescent University, Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Prof. Ir. Dr. Sahol Hamid Bin Abu Bakar addressed the 1st year B.Tech. students and their parents on the Orientation Day for Freshers on 17.07.2017 held at the Convention Center of the University.
He welcomed the students and the parents to the Crescent family and showed them the pictures of the green campus that was before Vardah cyclone. He outlined the Vision and Mission statement of the University. He said that the Vision that “the University aspires to be a leader in Education, Training and Research in Engineering, Science, Technology and Management and to play a vital role in the Socio-Economic progress of the Country” is set to be achieved through the hard working team comprising the Registrar, Deans, Heads and faculty members.
The Vice chancellor enlisted the Mission of the University and his ideas for achieving them, as follows:
  • To blossom into an internationally renowned University & to empower the youth through quality education and to provide professional leadership – is done through providing quality education. In our University, “no faculty can escape from teaching and no students can escape from learning.”
  • To achieve excellence in all its endeavors to face global challenges & to provide excellent teaching and research ambiance – is achieved by arranging guest lectures for students by inviting experts from the industry. High priority is given to achieving excellence in education at Crescent University.
  • To network with global Institutions of Excellence, Business, Industry and Research Organizations – is already being done by signing MoUs and collaboration with foreign universities and industries.
  • To contribute to the knowledge base through Scientific enquiry, Applied Research and Innovation – is attained by giving inputs through practical sessions and practice of each course. Students are encouraged to carry out research.
The Vice Chancellor introduced his family to the audience, as he felt that a Vice Chancellor is one among the audience, a family man who wants good things for his children of Crescent family.
The Vice Chancellor highlighted the following distinguishing aspects of the University:
  • The University goes by the new tagline “We Create Employers”, which sets us apart from the other institutions and guarantees a better future for the students.
  • The University is the first to offer a course on CEO Training and Social Entrepreneurship, to all the students of B.Tech programme. Internship is also made mandatory, which would give them exposure to the functioning of an organization.
  • The Vice Chancellor aspires to have a different approach to the Student – Teacher relationship and Student – Vice Chancellor relationship. He said that the students are welcome to meet him on Fridays to address any issue. He said suggestions will be more welcome than just complaints. He stressed that this never happens in any University. He also said that he would go around and interact with students.
  • A Town Hall Talk is organized where students meet with the Vice Chancellor as a group and discuss issues and come out with suggestions for the development of the University.
  • Adjunct Professors from foreign universities and industry are appointed in all the schools and departments. This would give the students different exposure towards understanding concepts and gaining knowledge.
  • The curricula and syllabi are prepared in line with industry expectations.
  • The University has a strong alumni bonding, which results in MoU with industries. This is also realized through our Crescent Alumni spread all over the world, like the USA, Oman, Duabi, Australia, Singapore, etc., who excel in the overseas scenario.
  • All the faculty members
The Vice Chancellor insisted on the ground rules to be followed by the students, and to be noted down by the parents:
Students must
  • respect the teachers; greet them.
  • wear ID card.
  • come on time to the classes or they will not be permitted to enter the class.
  • be neatly dressed and wear shoes.
  • should take care of the cleanliness of the campus.
  • must maintain discipline
  • should not damage university property
  • should not use mobile phones during class hours
  • should not consume alcohol or drugs – if found, they will be expelled from the University. (No mercy will be shown to such students).
The Vice Chancellor appealed to the parents to cooperate with the University authorities to help make their wards successful in their life and career. As parents are spending a fortune on their wards, the University takes measures to ensure that the money does not go waste.
Apart from academics, the University also gives importance to sports and other co-curricular activities. AC facility in labs, Mosque, gym, wifi facility, hostel for men and women, 24/7 lab and library facility is made available for the students. He said that students can write to him to, which he would personally answer.
The Vice Chancellor ended by saying that he cares for all in the University – the students, faculty members, Heads – everyone. That is his style of management, where everyone is accounted for.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Warren Buffett and his No. 1 rule for success

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett admits a surprising secret to his success: the word "no," according to a CNBC article.

The Berkshire Hathaway chairman used to be eager to chase every opportunity that presented itself. But he says that being more purposeful with his time and energy has quite literally made him richer.

In an interview with Investment News, Buffett was asked, "What's your secret to your consistently amazing growth every year?"

His answer? "I've said 'No' more than any other time in my career."

"In the past, I was the guy chasing shiny objects," he tells Investment News' Brad Johnson, "so I'd be the guinea pig and test a handful of them each year in my practice. I would try three, four, five or more new ideas every year. Maybe one of them would pan out and lead to modest results, but the others were usually flops."

Now, his way of approaching things is totally different. Over the years he learned that following every lead was only going to wear him out and weigh on his margins.

"I no longer try any ideas that are merely good," he tells Johnson.

According to author and journalist James Clear, Buffett's personal pilot asked him how to best pursue his career goals. Buffett told the man to jot down 25 goals he had for himself over the next year. After he'd finished the list, Buffett instructed him to circle the five most important goals.

And the others? Cross them out and forget about them, Buffett reportedly said

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Protein Engineering Makes Rapid Strides

Does Protein Engineering or the process of developing useful proteins excite you? Then do sign up for the summer school on “Rational Approaches towards Protein Engineering & Design” (RATPED – 2017) between July 10- July 14​, ​2017. It's organized by the School of Life sciences, Crescent University. For info, visit

The global protein engineering market size was valued at US$ 823.0 million in 2016 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 15.9% till 2025. The market is predominantly driven by increasing preference for protein therapeutics over non protein drugs. The high preference is a consequence of positive clinical outcomes associated with these drugs.

Crescent University is home to one of the most dynamic and research-oriented Life Sciences School in the country, providing students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to learn and perform research in a highly integrative and interactive setting.

It has over 12 active faculty research laboratories studying areas spanning biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, and genetics.

The school is dedicated to achieving excellence in graduate training and undergraduate learning. Undergraduates benefit from having world experts present the topics of their research passions in the classroom, exposing them to both the fundamental principles and the latest advancements or breakthroughs in biotechnology.

Graduate students pursue both M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. Our upper level curriculum offers advanced training and specialization through course work and formative research experiences.

PhD students join research teams either through our own extremely flexible graduate program in Biosciences or through a diverse array of interdisciplinary programs, such as Polymer Technology.

The school also offers many short term diploma courses well-suited for employment in corporate hospitals and industry.

Protein engineering is broadly used to circumvent weaknesses associated with drugs, and it possesses the potential to enhance affinity & efficacy of molecules for wide range applications, such as cardiac repair. The engineered molecules exhibit enhanced efficacy, reduced immunogenicity, greater safety, and improved delivery. Humulin (human insulin), the first protein therapeutic developed through recombinant DNA technology, was approved by U.S.FDA in 1982.