Thursday, June 14, 2007

Answers to some shout-box queries

Ritu Chauhan was asking me yesterday through email as to why is car racing called Grand Prix?

In fact the word Grand Prix is applied to many other contests. Not just car races. Though we tend to associate it most with Formula 1 racing. You would be surprised to know that it is associated with as diverse a list as: music, cinema, volleyball, horse racing, dressage, videogames etc. Wait a minute what is ‘dressage’? I will explain this a minute later.

So what happens in a Grand Prix contest is that there will be many small contests, all leading up to a finale. Winners and runners up in each such small event will be awarded points. The ultimate winner is one who gets the highest score and is declared the winner of the Grand Prix.

By the way why is it called 'Grand Prix'? The phrase means "Grand Prize" in French. Hence the name!

Say in car racing, if we read something about Malaysian Grand Prix, we should understand that it is a series of races conducted in Malaysia (sometimes referred to as circuit) and that the ultimate prize will be awarded at the end of the final race. As far as car racing is concerned Formula One racing is THE COMPETITION that every racing driver and car manufacturer dreams of winning.

Now back to dressage: You would have seen in TV a particular sport wherein the jockey guides the horse into doing some seemingly effortless maneuvers like trotting, jumping, short chases etc. Though some may get easily bored after watching it for some time, it does really rivet some people to the TV. That is called dressage. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, it can smoothly respond to a skilled rider's minimal aids by performing the requested movement while remaining relaxed and appearing effortless. For this reason, dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet."

Vinod was asking me to explain the advantage of reverse mortgage.

Put simply, it allows retired people with houses to have a steady stream of income in their sunset years. The word ‘income’ is actually a misnomer here. That ‘income’ is nothing but a series of payments (loan installments) made by the bank against the property that is mortgaged. The loan so advanced by the bank is recouped by the bank only after the death of the person to whom it is advanced, by selling away the property. The banker’s interest costs and principal amounts would have to be recovered through the sale proceeds of the house.

There are quite a few issues that concern this form of loan advancing. Take a look at all the bits and pieces that we noted in our blogs. Use the search term ‘reverse mortgage’ on the top navigation bar in both the blogs to get to each day of the notings.

I would suggest you to read this item that we noted on Discover It.