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"There is no after to happiness. Happiness is now !" - Jeffery Gitomer

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dell inspiron 1525 over heats & shuts down [Solved!!]

The Problem:

Well, the problem began around 3 months back, my laptop 1525 Inspiron dell suddenly started giving me a peculiar problem. when i was skyping back home, it suddenly shutdown. so i observed for some more time and tried troubleshooting the error with the help of the internet but i did not find any satisfcatory answer and hence i decided to wait and observe. With time the shutdown became more frequent and it also started happening when i used video in gmail chats !! In the meanwhile i had upgraded my system to a better operating system namely Windows 7 Home Premium from an obsolete & junked up Windows Vista Basic but the skype+video call problem was persistent and also i found my machine was getting heated up very quickly when streaming any videos online or when skype video was in use. Now with my new operating system too the problem was prevalent and i had my final conclusion that it was indeed a pure hardware problem !! And then i think i did one of the best things, i disabled my webcam (integrated laptop webcam) but still long (more than 10 mins) streaming of videos  kept heating up my laptop with the cpu temperature maxing upto 75 - 85 degree celsuis ! and that helped me narrow down my search for a solution and i landed up at the following technical help forum:

The Solution:

And the best answer provided by andreas finally worked !!


And i simply followed the instructions in the manual below:

Yes for the first time I opened up the laptop unit and it was fairly easy to do so !!


You need to unscrew the panel on the bottom of the Inspiron and then unscrew the cooling assembly and take it out completely and have a look at the little silver radiator box at the end of the thick copper wire. I found that the radiator was so clogged up with dust causing my overheating problem. Just blow the dust out and pop the assembly back in.


Now its testing time, so I have enabled my integrated laptop web-cam and I hope that my further video conversations will be just fine !! Well I atleast hope soo !!! 
If this solution works I will have saved myself atleast 90 pounds (for a technician doing this same work would have cost me atleast that much !!)

Laptop Bottom
Dust Clog on Radiator

Dust in Fan Outlet
That was a lot of dust
Now thats how it looks when its cleaned

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shayari - Inspirational

Sapane Unhike Sach Hote Hain
Jinke Sapno mein Jaan Hoti Hain
Sirf Pankho Se Kuch Nahi Hota
Honslo Se Udaan Hoti Hain







The Facebook Phenomenon !!




I came across this article and it so much mirrors my thoughts !! So i decided to post this one !

(The Facebook Phenomenon
Posted on July 22nd, 2010 by Sarah Jones)

Facebook officially exceeded it’s 500,000,000 user milestone last night and there are some great stats flying around the press and the web about it.
Here are just a few:
If facebook were a country, it would be third largest in the world – Metro
Over a third of the UK’s population is on it – The Telegraph
More than 150 million sign in on the go – The Guardian

What does this tell us about our society today and us as individuals?



Facing the Truth

On the one hand, I find Facebook fantastic for keeping in touch with people, especially friends that live abroad. One of my colleagues recently moved to London and met up with a long lost friend who she had not seen in 20 years, and they are now inseparable – all thanks to good old book of face!

On the other hand, I know that many recruiters ‘Facebook’ candidates as soon as they receive their CV in order to see people’s true colours – and it’s amazing how revealing it can be, despite the security settings. The incriminating evidence of that wild night out can have a massive impact on your job prospects.

And just look at that – Facebook has become a verb in its own right. So how else has it changed our society and the world we live in? To what extent is our life real and how much of it is virtual? Does virtual life constitute    real life? And how is this affecting our real relationships?

Is spending an approximate 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook a good use of time and and is this really healthy? I find that figure quite frightening.

While it’s great to have a platform to share information, to voice your opinion and to engage in debate, some of the content is somewhat worrying. Just look at Raoul Moat’s fan page and now I’ve heard he also has a hate page. Facebook refused to remove this as the site is a menas to debate and is being debated in the rest of the media. But where do you draw the line?




Facing Criticism

In addition, the amount of people I know that have had arguments with friends, family and loved ones due to a post on Facebook is unreal. And how many of those friends are real anyway? I would think maybe two thirds of mine. I even deleted a so-called friend in the run up to the election because of how they were mouthing off with their opinions. Yet it seems bizarre that these arguments occur online when you could actually go and talk to the person in question. What happened to sitting down and having a conversation with someone face to face? Are we losing our ability to do this?

I suppose most disputes are caused by information getting out that you don’t want certain individuals to discover. But when you publish it on a global, public site, what do you expect?

This leads onto the issue of how much information is available about you to others, and not just your connections but also companies. Advertising on Facebook – personally I don’t take notice of the ads most of the time yet how do I know that a portion of my consumer habits are not formed subliminally through these mediums. Storing cookies so it can display another relevant page is of course not a coincidence. I dread to think!



Facing the Future

But am I going to delete my profile? No.

I can’t blame all this on Facebook. The world wide web in general has made it all too easy to leak information about yourself and one o the problems seems to be the instantness in which this information is delivered. A silly commented posted on a whim can change everything, and even if you regret it, there’s no going back.

But let’s face it, the benefits far outweigh the negatives and that’s why we’re all spending so much time on the site.

The phenomenon of Facebook truly is phenomenal.

I say well done Facebook! Just think twice before you post next time !!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day !! Go Green !!

Pitching on the theory of probability, if i were currently in India and in my busy routine, this blog on this very topic would not have been written. But when you anywhere outside of your matrubhoomi (motherland) and mebbe not as busy in typical Mumbai life, its possible to read up and write more frequently. Today is 17th March and it is St. Patrick's Day, a day celebrated largely in Ireland and United States. This post is a compilation of interesting and fun facts about St. Patrick's Day celebrations world over !!
Saint Patrick
St. Patrick, i dedicate this to you !!

St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD. It is also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland, and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. Patrick was not born in Ireland, but in Britain. Irish brigands kidnapped St. Patrick at 16 and brought him to Ireland. He was sold as a slave in the county of Antrim and served in bondage for six years until he escaped to Gaul, in present-day France. He later returned to his parents' home in Britain, where he had a vision that he would preach to the Irish. After 14 years of study, Patrick returned to Ireland, where he built churches and spread the Christian faith for some 30 years.


St. Patrick's Day Parade
The first St. Patrick's Day parade, though, took place not in Ireland, but the United States, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City in 1762. As the years went on, the parades became a show of unity and strength for persecuted Irish-American immigrants, and then a popular celebration of Irish-American heritage. Dublin, the capital of Ireland, has a huge St. Patrick’s Day festival from March 15-19, that features a parade, family carnivals, treasure hunt, dance, theatre and more. In North America, parades are often held on the Sunday before March 17. There has been a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston, Massachusetts since 1737. Montreal is home to Canada’s longest running St. Patrick’s Day parade, which began in 1824.

Americas Ireland
34 million and more Americans have Irish ancestry, according to the 2003 US Census. That’s almost nine times the population of Ireland, which has 4.1 million people. Some American towns have “Irish” names. You could visit: Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia; Shamrock Lakes, Indiana; Shamrock, Oklahoma; Shamrock, Texas; Dublin, California and Dublin, Ohio.


Chicago is famous for a somewhat peculiar annual event: dyeing the Chicago River green. The tradition started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river—enough to keep it green for a week! Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only 40 pounds of dye are used, making the river green for only several hours.
In Seattle, there is a ceremony where a green stripe is painted down the roads.

Irish Symbols
The harp is the symbol of Ireland. The color green is also commonly associated with Ireland, also known as “the Emerald Isle.”

The Irish flag is green, white and orange. The green symbolizes the people of the south, and orange, the people of the north. White represents the peace that brings them together as a nation.

Shamrock (Clover)
Three is Ireland's magic number and the three petals that make up the shamrock are supposed to bring good luck. The three leaves also represent the Trinity in the Christian religion. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14! One estimate suggests that there are about 10 000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover. Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.

The Leprechauns & Pot of Gold
The leprechaun is a small Irish fairy. He is dressed like a shoemaker, with pointed shoes and hat. He also wears a leather apron. Lephrechauns are supposed to be unfriendly little men who live alone in the forest, spending all of their time making shoes and guarding their treasures. If someone catches a leprechaun, he will be forced to tell where he hides all his pots of gold. However, the leprechaun must be watched at all times. If his captor looks away, the leprechaun will vanish along with his treasure.

Wearing of Green
St. Patrick's favorite color was blue, not green, and the people of Ireland too weren't exactly fond of green - according to them it was the color of the Fairies and Leprechauns and, unless you wanted to forcibly join the ranks of these Wee Folks, you would refrain from sporting that color too often. It wasn't until the 19th Century that Green became the official color of Ireland. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century.He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps. Children wear orange, white and green badges, and women and girls wear green ribbons in their hair.

Leap Year
According to legend, wearying of St. Bridget's constant complaints about the traditional social mores requiring women to wait for marriage proposals to come their way or forget about the matter entirely, St. Patrick instituted the practice of allowing women to propose to men on a Leap Year. The reason he didn't make it an every day occurrence can perhaps be gleaned from the fact that on the very next Leap Year he found himself on the receiving end of a proposal from St. Bridget herself. He couldn't withstand the constant complaints, he would have been ploughed down by the constant proposals.

St. Patrick Day Traditional Cuisine
On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. The top 3 things would be Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread with Raisins. Many bars in the United States, and abroad, serve green beer to celebrate St. Patty's Day. The phrase, "Drowning The Shamrock" is from the custom of floating the shamrock on the top of whiskey before drinking it. The Irish believe that if you keep the custom, then you will have a prosperous year.

Irish Receipes:
Corned Beef and Cabbage (video - chk it out!)
http://www.history.com/topics/irish-recipes-st-patricks-day/videos#corned-beef-cabbage

Irish Stew (video - chk it out!)
http://www.history.com/topics/irish-recipes-st-patricks-day/videos#irish-stew
Irish Soda Bread with Raisins
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/irishsodabread_67445.shtml


A little Irish Jig !!
Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes
Clovers and Blue moons
Pots of gold and rainbows,
And the red balloon
That’s the luck of me lucky charms!
Their magically delicious!



And i sign off this article with one of my favorite Irish Songs, The Galway Girl by Steve Earle, popular in the movie PS. I love you!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVUmlCixFCs

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Ugadi and Gudi Padwa To All !!

Ugadi /Yugadi is the first day of the Hindu calendar (first day of the first month, Chaitra).
It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day - Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day. Also the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya's calculations proclaimed the Ugadi day from the sunrise on as the beginning of the new year, new month and new day.It is the beginning of hindu new year.
It also marks the arrival of spring. Spring is considered the first season of the year hence also heralding a new year and a new beginning.Yuga means Start & Aadi means Era. Therefore yugadi means "Start of a new era". It is the wonderful and colourful festival, because after the Holi (the purification of the soul by imbibing Godly knowledge, inculcating the divine virtues by replacing the vices with virtues) the New age, New yuga, and New era will be start. So, it is the time to change ourselves or to purify ourselves by inculcating the divine virtues.
Ugadi is celebrated with festive fervor in Maharashtra,Sindh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While it is called Ugadi in A.P. and Karnataka,in Maharashtra it is known as Gudipadava".Sindhis, people from Sindhcelebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand. Symbolically, it signifies thanks giving to celebrate bounteous crops as well as signaling the end of an old era and the beginning of a new era.
On Ugadi day, people wake up before the break of dawn and take a head bath after which they decorate the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves. The significance of tying mango leaves relates to a legend. It is said that Kartik (or Subramanya or Kumara Swamy) and Ganesha, the two sons of Lord Siva and Parvathi were very fond of mangoes. As the legend goes Kartik exhorted people to tie green mango leaves to the doorway signifying a good crop and general well-being.

The day begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers, and then the eating of a specific mixture of -
Neem Buds/Flowers for bitterness Raw Mango for tang Tamarind Juice for sourness Green Chilli/Pepper for heat Jaggery for sweetness Pinch of Salt for saltiness This mixture with all six tastes called "Ugadi Pachhadi" in Telugu and "Bevu-Bella" symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise) , which should be accepted together and with equanimity - things that arein store for him/her in the coming year with gratitude.
Later, people traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious almanac (Panchangam) of the coming year, and to the general forecast of the year to come. This is the Panchanga Sravanam, an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac pertaining to the coming year and makes a general benediction to all present.
In Andhra Pradesh, eatables such as "pulihora, bobbatlu" and preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion. In Karnataka too, similar preparations are made but called "puliogure" and "holige".

In Maharastra It is customary to erect ‘Gudis’ on the first day (Padwa) of the Marathi New Year. 'Gudi' is a bamboo staff with a colored silk cloth and a garlanded goblet atop it, which symbolizes victory or achievement. Hence, this day is known as “Gudipadwa” in Maharashtra. The New Year is ushered in with the worship of the "Gudi" and the distribution of a specific "Prasad" comprising tender neem leaves, gram-pulse and jaggery. The symbolism of tastes is the same as what is described above. Also in many Maharashtrian homes they celebrate the occasion by making Shrikhand Puri & Puran Poli.
So on this auspicious day people pray for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures.
I wish that this new year bring in lots of happiness & joy to all !!
Blog Post - Courtesy:Various Sources

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mirror Mirror On The Wall !!

Once upon a time, as a queen sat sewing at her window, she pricked her finger on her needle and three drops of blood fell on the snow that had fallen on her ebony window frame. She looked at the blood on the snow, and said, "Oh, how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony". Soon after that, the queen gave birth to a baby girl who had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They named her Princess Snow White. But the Queen died soonafter. The king took a new wife, who was beautiful but also very vain. The Queen possessed a magical mirror that answered any question, But she was consumed by just one: "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who in the land is fairest of all?"

Well and most of us do know this Fairy Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, well that is not what this post is about. It shows that from time immemorial the part of the world where the sun shines brightest is obsessed with Fairness and most often than less equates being fair with being beautiful. Fairness is seriously overated in a country like India where Fair & Lovely, Garnier and other brands make a kiling profit not only in the fairness creams segment for women, but now in the men's segment too. :) On google, you will get more sites and posts on how to become fair than you may get for how to make the environment go green !! White is more popular than green when it comes to the battleground of beauty. The world needs more greens and humans need more fairness cremes ;-)

Skin color can range from almost black (in skin with very high concentrations of the dark brown pigment melanin) to nearly colorless (appearing pinkish white due to the blood vessels under the skin) Skin color is determined primarily by the amount and type of melanin. In general, people with ancestors from tropical regions and higher altitudes (who were hence exposed to greater ultraviolet radiation) have darker skin than people with ancestors from middle latitudes. This is far from a hard and fast rule, however, because many light-skinned groups have managed to survive at the equator through social adaptation. The same can be said of dark-skinned groups living at subtropical and temperate latitudes.Several genes have been invoked to explain variations of skin tones in humans, including SLC45A2,ASIP, MATP, TYR, and OCA2.A recently discovered gene, SLC24A5 has been shown to account for a substantial fraction of the difference in the average of 30 or so melanin units between Europeans and Africans.For facts,Light-skinned persons have about a tenfold greater risk of dying from skin cancer, compared with dark-skinned persons, under equal sunlight exposure. Dark skin prevents radiation of UV-A rays from destroying the essential folic acid, derived from B vitamins.

I myself am Wheatish Fair Complexion and i love being that!! Its just that being Fair is so overated now-a-days that it causes frenzy in a lot of heads. So no matter what your skin color is, just love it and love yourself for it, because it looks great on you !! Skin color is really deep, much deeper than the superficial use of bleaching agents, cucumbers, honey, tomato, rose water. It is too much controlled by your melanin and even more locked up in your genetic make up, even if you hate your ancestral gene pool you are bound to it till you take birth again, might as well learn to love it and respect it. Maintaining and taking good care of your skin is essential but being obsessed with looking fair is just not worth it !! There may be more important things to change about oneself than the color of the skin.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sherlock Homes - II

Purely informational (courtesy BBC)

Such is the enduring popularity of Sherlock Homes, that the character and the image have entered popular culture and have been used and re-used in many different ways, while Baker Street has become almost a place of pilgrimage for devotees of the detective from around the world.

Holmes on Radio, Film and Television

Over the years, Sherlock Holmes has been played by an enormous number of actors. Some in serious adaptations of the original stories, some in pastiches or parodies. Holmes has been portrayed in his original turn of the century setting, as an up-to-date character, and as a 19th-Century man in a modern world. The combination of the strong character and the vagueness of his background have given writers and actors almost complete licence to create their own interpretations.

A full, or even partial, list of Sherlock Holmes broadcasts is far beyond the scope of this Entry, so a few selected highlights will have to suffice.

Radio

BBC radio is the only medium to have ever produced the entire canon of Holmes stories with the same actors in the leads. With Clive Merrison as Holmes and Michael Williams as Watson, the project started on 3 November, 1989, with the broadcast of the first part of 'A Study in Scarlet'. The series is very true to the original stories. Merrison and Williams bring the pair to life and show how their partnership grows and develops through all the mysteries, with scenes in stories such as 'The Dying Detective' and 'The Empty House' being very emotive. The last one to be made was 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.

An earlier radio series was broadcast by the BBC in 1974, starring Barry Foster1 as Holmes and David Buck as Watson.

Television

The character of Sherlock Holmes has appeared in an enormous range of television dramas, many of them single stories rather than a series. The earliest was a production of 'The Three Garridebs', which was broadcast by NBC in the USA in 1937.

The BBC brought us Peter Cushing's interpretation of the great detective in a 1968 BBC1 series. Cushing had already played the role for Hammer films back in 1959. The run included a loose adaptation of A Study in Scarlet and The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Cushing's portrayal, accompanied by Nigel Stock as Watson, gave audiences an enthusiastic, if somewhat smug, Holmes. At the time of writing, selected episodes form this series are available on DVD in the UK.

The most famous Time Lord of all, Tom Baker, gave us his interpretation of the role in a 1982 adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Filmed the year after he left Doctor Who, the most note-worthy thing about his performance was that it was the first time audiences had seen him without his trademark wild brown curls; his hair, cropped very short, was now grey.

As might be obvious, The Hound of the Baskervilles is the most regularly adapted of Conan Doyles' Sherlock Holmes stories, having enjoyed at least 18 different screen versions. The most recent of which, broadcast on BBC1 at Christmas 2003, starred Richard Roxburgh as Holmes and Ian Hart as Watson.

Some might consider the casting of John Cleese as either brilliant or odd, depending on your point of view. Cleese did indeed play Sherlock Holmes, with Willie Rushton as his Watson, for 'Elementary, My Dear Watson', a 1973 episode of Comedy Playhouse in which Holmes investigated the tenuous thread that links five dead solicitors with Fu Manchu and the panel of Call My Bluff.

The most famous, and possibly the best, of the television portrayals was that of Jeremy Brett, who played Holmes in 42 of Conan Doyle's stories, from 1984 until Brett's death in 1995. Brett presented Holmes, not as a caricature in deerstalker, but a bit more as an out-of-place eccentric, given to arm waving explanations and rapid changes of mood. The depressions Holmes felt during inactivity were also given real weight in Brett's characterisation, rather than just skimmed over as a slight frustration. He also found a way to make his explanations matter of fact as if he was saying 'well this is obvious', but without irritating the audience - quite a tricky act to pull off.

At the time of writing, the latest television incarnation of Sherlock Holmes is to be Stephen Fry - a big fan of the detective - with his comedy partner Hugh Laurie as Dr Watson.

Murder Rooms: The Dark Origins of Sherlock Holmes was an interesting take on the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon, depicting the investigations of Dr Joseph Bell, a Victorian pathologist played by Ian Richardson. Dr Bell befriends the young Conan Doyle, who in turn learns the secrets of pathology that informed his later novels. While not directly related to the Holmes stories, much of the inspiration for the plots can be traced back to details in Conan Doyle's novels.

Film

Sherlock Holmes is listed in the Guinness Book of Records (2004 edition) as the most filmed character in cinema history, narrowly beating Count Dracula to that accolade.

Probably the most famous portrayal of Holmes on film was that by Basil Rathbone, who starred in 15 films in the 1930s and 40s, beginning with The Hound of the Baskervilles. Dr Watson was played by Nigel Bruce, and it is perhaps his portrayal that led to the general perception of Watson as an incompetent bumbler.

Although some of the films featured Conan Doyle's stories, several of the Rathbone films used new material, taking only minor details from the original works. For example, Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943) is a classic piece of World War II propaganda, featuring Homes battling Moriarty and the Nazis. The secret code used by the enemy is similar to that used in the Conan Doyle story 'The Adventure of the Dancing Men' (1903).

Moriarty was a common foe in the Rathbone films, and was played by three different actors: Lionel Atwill, George Zucco and Henry Daniel. The latter is possibly the best of the three, with a sneakier appearance by the villain.

Other actors to play Holmes on film include:

  • Maurice Costello
  • Buster Keaton
  • Christopher Lee
  • Peter Cushing
  • George C Scott
  • Michael Caine
  • Christopher Plummer
  • Matt Frewer
  • John Neville
  • Roger Moore
  • Peter Cook
  • Leonard Nimoy

Sherlock Holmes for Children

There have been several children's TV series and films based on Holmes. Here is a selection:

  • The Young Sherlock Holmes. Directed by Barry Levinson and written by Chris Columbus, this adventure saw a young Holmes - who had just met Watson at boarding school - facing a cult enacting revenge for the desecration of an Egyptian site.
  • The Adventures of Shirley Holmes. A teenage descendant of Holmes finds a trunk of his with a puzzling lock. She uses her deductive powers to work out how to unlock it and inside finds Holmes's detecting equipment and a message saying that if she has managed to open it she is the inheritor of his detecting abilities. Hence lots of foiling crime associated with her school and home town.
  • Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. A defrosted Holmes, with a robotic Watson, and a female Lestrade try to foil a Moriarty clone.
  • Basil the Great Mouse Detective. A Disney film centring on Basil, a detective mouse, who has learned everything he knows from Mr Holmes2. Basil and assistant Dr. Dawson are determined to stop the evil Professor Ratigan.
  • One of the more imaginative related TV projects was an eight-part 1983 drama series,The Baker Street Boys. The series was inspired by recurring characters from Conan Doyles' novels - 'The Baker Street Irregulars' - who were a band of homeless street urchins that Holmes sometimes employed to do the footwork for some of his investigations. The series provided an early TV role for a young Adam Woodyatt, who, two years later, would join the cast of fledgling soap opera EastEnders as Ian Beale3.

Holmes and the Next Generation

In Star Trek - the Next Generation, Data (Brent Spiner) is an android who loves all things Holmes. He created many encounters and stories on the ship's Holodeck4 with himself in the starring role.

In the episode 'Elementary, Dear Data', his friend Geordie la Forge suggested that simply re-creating Conan Doyle's stories offered no challenge, and asked the computer to generate a more worthy opponent. The computer created a version of Moriarty, but unfortunately Geordie made the mistake of asking the computer to give Moriaty the power to 'defeat Data' instead of the fictional Holmes. The undefeatable Moriaty took control of the Enterprise, and only capitulated to Captain Picard when he agreed to try and find a way to make Moriarty fully sentient with the ability to leave the Holodeck.

In a later episode - 'Ship in a Bottle' - Moriarty is accidentally freed from the memory file where he had been stored and once again takes over the ship. This time, he is tricked into believing that he has left the Holodeck, thus fulfilling his dream. In the artificial world created by the crew of the Enterprise, Moriarty sets off to explore the Universe.

Outside of science fiction, Holmes also has a presence in 'real space': one of the lunar craters near the Apollo 17 landing site was named 'Sherlock' by geologist-astronaut Jack Schmitt.

Holmes and the Marx Brothers

In the 1900s, cartoonist Don Mager began a series of cartoons in the New York World, featuring various monkeys named after their main character trait, such as Braggo or Tightwaddo. This adding of 'o' at the end of names became a brief-lived fad, during which the Marx brothers - Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo - took their names. The most famous of Mager's cartoon creations was Sherlocko, a monkey detective, and his sidekick Watso. The names were so similar to Conan Doyle's creations, that Conan Doyle threatened to sue. To avoid legal action, Mager changed the name of his monkey detective to Hawkshaw.

New Stories

Ever since Conan Doyle stopped writing, many other writers have taken it upon themselves to extend the lifespan of Holmes and Watson. Numerous collections of new short stories have been published. Some, such as The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventuresfeature many different authors5, while others are by a single author. Familiar characters occasionally make an appearance, such as the reference to Moriarty in The Beekeepers' Apprentice, by Laurie R King, in which Moriarty's daughter takes her revenge on Holmes for the death of her father.

Holmes has also provided a less direct inspiration for other characters and stories. For example, the gentleman-thief Raffles was created by Conan Doyle's brother-in-law EW Hornung. The preface to Raffles: the Amateur Cracksman contains the legend 'To ACD. This form of flattery'.

'Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?' 'To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.' 'The dog did nothing in the nighttime.' 'That was the curious incident,' remarked Sherlock Holmes. 'Silver Blaze' (1892), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

A more recent story inspired by the works of Conan Doyle is the award-winning6The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. This tells the story of a boy withAsperger's Syndrome who is a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and uses his methods to work out who killed his neighbour's dog.

Holmes and Jack the Ripper

Michael Dibdin wrote a book called The Last Sherlock Holmes Story in which Holmes is bored with common criminals so he invents a supercriminal - namely himself - and tries to track himself down. This criminal is Jack the Ripper.

Two other Ripper-related Holmes products are the films A Study in Terror and Murder by Decree, both having Holmes battling the Ripper. Holmes is played by John Neville in the former and by Christopher Plummer in the latter.

Holmes and Dracula

Holmes has also faced less-human foes... In The Adventure of the Sanguinary Count Loren D Estleman tells the story of Holmes's encounter with Dracula.

Holmes and the English Language

'Excellent!' I cried 'Elementary, said he.' 'The Crooked Man' (1893), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Through the Holmes stories, Conan Doyle has added a number of phrases and sayings to the English language. However, the most famous 'quotation' - 'Elementary, my dear Watson' - never appeared in any of Conan Doyle's stories7.

Sayings or pseudo-sayings that have come into the English language, directly or indirectly, from the stories include:

  • Come, Watson, the game is afoot ('The Abbey Grange', 1904)
  • Eliminate the impossible and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth (several stories)
  • The dog that didn't bark ('Silver Blaze', 1893)

It's unlikely that Conan Doyle would approve, but the expression 'No sh*t, Sherlock' is also in common parlance, to express an opinion that what has just been said was blindingly obvious.

Baker Street Today

The address '221b Baker Street' did not exist in Conan Doyle's day, as what is now the northern end of Baker St had another name. Today, 221b Baker Street is the home of the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The museum is like a mini-Madame Tussaud's, with waxworks of Holmes and Watson in Victorian getup and surroundings. There is also a souvenir shop and a display of letters from children to Sherlock Homes ('My cat keeps disappearing... can you tell me where it goes every night?').

Before the museum was opened, the Abbey National Building society - which runs from 215-229 Baker Street - used to be so inundated with letters to Sherlock Homes that a secretary was employed to handle them. A letter was sent out to everyone who had written to Holmes:

Dear 'writer' Thank you for your letter, which Mr Holmes was delighted to receive. He has asked me as his secretary to reply on his behalf. Mr Holmes has now retired to the Sussex countryside and no longer undertakes investigative work. He prefers to pursue his hobby of beekeeping these days. He is however pleased to know that there is continuing interest in his cases. Letters arrive from all over the world addressed to the great detective. He is clearly alive and well in many people's minds. Mr Holmes has asked me to pass on to you his kind regards. Yours sincerely Secretary to Sherlock Holmes.

Baker Street today also boasts a statue of Holmes, and the walls at Baker Street Tube station have images of the classic Holmes profile, with deerstalker and pipe. The Jubilee Line platforms also have panels illustrating scenes from some of the Holmes stories.

Statues of Holmes can also be found in Karuizawa, Japan and Meringen, Switzerland, while in Edinburgh - Conan Doyle's birthplace - there's a statue of Sherlock Holmes at Picardy Place, a short walk from the east end of Princes Street towards Leith Walk, with a pub near it called 'The Conan Doyle' on York Place.

A Little About the Author

Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 at Picardy Place, Edinburgh. His parents were Charles Altamont Doyle, a civil servant in the Edinburgh Office of Works, and Mary Doyle (nee Foley).

Conan Doyle based Holmes closely on one of his teachers at Edinburgh University Medical School - Professor Bell. The BBC produced a television series calledMurder Rooms: the Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes in which Bell (played by Ian Richardson8) and the young Conan Doyle (as a Watson-type character) solved mysteries, many of which resembled stories that later became Holmes' adventures. It has also been said Conan Doyle drew upon Edgar Allen Poe'sMurder on the Rue Morgue in creating Sherlock Holmes.

With the success of Holmes, Conan Doyle began to resent the character he had created, and wrote his death in 'The Final Problem'. In particular Conan Doyle wanted time to work on other characters, and he remained bitterly disappointed that he was forced to resurrect Holmes, when he was much more keen on writing about other characters such as the remarkable Professor Challenger, who may have been the first ecologically conscious hero in British fiction.

Away from writing, Conan Doyle firmly believed in fairies, perhaps looking for a way to console himself after the death of his wife. He spent more than a million dollars trying to prove their existence and he also backed the infamous 'fairy photographs'. He died at his home in Sussex in 1930 from heart disease.

Summing Up

Perhaps the main reason Sherlock Holmes continues to delight generation after generation is because he was in many ways the first of his kind. He was extremely forward thinking and unbelievably intelligent compared with everyone he met, but was also a typical Victorian, very patriotic and right wing. Not only that, but Sherlock Holmes offers a valuable insight into the minds of the people who lived through one of the most significant times in British history. It's also helped by the fact that so many great actors have helped to make the books more 'accessible'. That and the fact that, although the stories may twist and turn, they still come back to fact, they don't just spring the solution on people without explanation.