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Catherine Zeta-Jones Talks About The 'Triggers' For Her Bipolar Disorder....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on July 23, 2013 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

A-list stars typically don't get very candid in interviews, but Catherine Zeta-Jones isn't afraid to have an open discussion about her life … particularly when it comes to her ongoing battle with bipolar disorder.

Ever since the "Red 2" actress announced in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with the mental illness, we've been impressed with how straightforward she's been about her situation and her commitment to continued treatment. In April, she checked herself into an in-patient center for the second time and has said that she'll continue checking herself into facilities periodically for the rest of her life.

In a new interview with the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper that took place at her home in New York, Zeta-Jones, 43, explains that the stress of her husband Michael Douglas's battle with throat cancer two years ago was a trigger for the disease.

"[Bipolar] is something I have been dealing with for a long time," she tells the paper. "When you get sideswiped like that [with Douglas's illness] it's an obvious trigger for your balance to be a little bit off – not sleeping, worry, stress. It's a classic trigger."

Zeta-Jones has said many times before that the reason she talks openly about her bipolar disorder is because she hopes that bringing greater awareness to it may help others. "I know I'm not the only person who suffers with it or has to deal with it on a day-to-day basis," she adds. "So if I’ve helped anybody by discussing bipolar or depression, that’s great."

In the interview, she also talks about the nerves she faces before big events, such as her recent turn revisiting her Velma Kelly character from the movie version of "Chicago" at the 2013 Academy Awards. "I get terrified the first day I'm on a film set," she explains. "I get nervous walking down a red carpet. I find making speeches the most terrifying thing in the world."

So how does she deal with it? "I have this system. I torture my husband and everyone around me with my nerves and anxiety. Then, when I get on stage, the fear is gone. I've exhausted myself. It just dissipates."

Of course, it may be hard for many to understand how a woman this busy, raising two children ages 10 and 12, maintains her stunning looks. "I have a ballet barre in my gym," she reveals. "I turn the music up so loud that the walls are pulsating, and I go for it for an hour."

And if working out, motherhood, and acting isn't enough to keep her busy, she has more she still wants to tackle. "I’ve always wanted to do a one-woman show in Vegas," she shares. "I want to be able to paint – I am trying, but so far I am not very good at all, although it gives me such solace and peace of mind."

Apparently, so does fancy footwear. When the writer points out the untouched pairs of Louboutins lining her bookshelf, Zeta-Jones responds, "I buy shoes sometimes and use them as bookends. They’re too beautiful to wear."

By: Jeremy Blacklow

Banning Cats (ok, khat) Is A Pointless Backwards Step....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on July 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Enjoyed a thought-provoking session with the Global Commission on Drug Policy in Geneva. While we were discussing how the world can treat drugs as a health problem not a criminal problem, the UK government was doing the opposite. The Home Secretary is banning the herbal stimulant khat – completing ignoring the evidence of its own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

Khat is a mild stimulant traditionally used by members of the Somali, Ethiopian and Yemeni communities. The ACMD completed a comprehensive review and found no evidence khat was linked with serious or organised crime and concluded that there was no case for prohibiting it.

Despite this, Home Secretary Theresa May has decided to ban it, making it a class C drug. This is the first time that a Home Secretary has gone directly against the advice of the ACMD to ban a substance. At a time when most of the world is moving towards more progressive drug policies, the UK is taking a big step backwards.

What is the point in having expert scientific advisers produce a comprehensive review, if you are going to ignore the conclusions they find if you don’t like them? The Global Commission has asked governments to follow science and evidence based drug policy and this is exactly the opposite.

The ban will not reduce use; it will simply criminalise lots of people who are minding their own business using khat in their own homes. Tensions between communities and the police will increase, attacking an ethnic minority and making their lives in the UK more difficult and dangerous. Plus, instead of a market worth £14 million per year being properly taxed, it will fall into the hands of criminal smuggling groups. 

Professor David Nutt’s hilarious article about him mistakenly thinking the government is banning cats rather than khat sums up the absurdity of the situation well.  You won’t be surprised to find the arguments for banning kittens are no more ridiculous than those used to ban the stimulant.

By: Richard Branson

(Founder of Virgin Group)

Hong Kong's Striking Dolphins Dwindle to Just Dozens....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 29, 2013 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

BEIJING - The Chinese white dolphin, treasured by the people of Hong Kong people for its pink color and friendly nature, is in danger of being exterminated by pollution and a traffic jam of boats.

The dolphin, once the official mascot of the 1997 sovereignty changing ceremonies, draws tourists from around the world.

But the delightful dolphins are rapidly becoming in danger of extinction with the population decreasing by nearly 60 percent in the last decade. Conservationists warn that action must be taken if people hope to be able to see the dolphin in the coming years.

According to the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society the number of dolphins has decreased from 159 in 2003 to 61 just last year. This figure is expected to be significantly lower when the organization releases its updated report in late June.

Experts attribute this population decrease to five main factors: habitat loss from coastal development, water pollution, underwater noise pollution, vessel collision, and overfishing.

Beginning in the mid 1990's, over 3,500 acres of sea have been reclaimed in Hong Kong's western waters. This has inadvertently damaged a large portion of the dolphin's habitat in addition to greatly affecting the fishing industry. This has subsequently lead to a decrease in the dolphin's food supply.

The decline of the pink dolphins gained attention earlier this spring. During a dolphin watching tour, a popular activity for tourists visiting Hong Kong, a group watched as a mother dolphin struggled to lift the body of her dead calf above the water. This scene continued for about 30 minutes. In the end the dolphin was ultimately unable to revive the calf and was forced to swim away without it. A video of this tragic event quickly became viral, inciting considerable discussion among netizens worldwide.

A spokesperson from Hong Kong Dolphinwatch, Janet Walker, believes that the calf died due to "toxins in the mother's milk, accumulated from polluted seawater."

The pink dolphin is currently classified as a "near-threatened" species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICUN) Red List of Threatened Species while China places it as a Grade 1 National Key Protected Species, a list that includes the giant panda and golden monkey.

The announcement made earlier this week was not the first time a conservation group has attempted to increase public awareness about the dwindling dolphin population. During January 2012 the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong joined forces with a Chinese university to set up a DNA bank in order to save the animal from extinction.

Samuel Hung, head of the Dolphin Conservation Society, urges both government officials as well as Hong Kong citizens to stand up for the dolphins, claiming that the health of the dolphins is a reflection of "the overall health of our marine ecosystem."


5 Foods That Speed Metabolism....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 1, 2013 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

#1: Acai Berries

The acai berry is small round purple berry found from the palm trees of the Brazilian Amazon which has ten times the antioxidants of grapes and twice that of blueberries.

The keyword here is antioxidant.

This is important to us because when we’re stressed out, fighting a cold, or just trying to recover from an exhausting day our body goes through an elevated level of oxidative stress where we produce damaging free radicals. Free radicals are very damaging to our cells and have been linked to a number of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and chronic fatigue syndrome.

When we ingest foods that are higher in antioxidants then we help our body fight these free radicals. So when we have acai berries or most commonly found as Acai juice then we also help the cellular mechanisms in our body to work most efficiently and this includes our metabolism and break down of foods.

#2: Whey Protein

Pretty much any fitness athlete knows that whey protein is an essential and important part of their daily diet. Whey protein powder is one of the highest quality forms of protein you can find in the market and is a great source of essential amino acids. But why are amino acids important?

Amino acids are the building blocks of our muscles and tissues and in any given day when we are exercising or just running around we are breaking down these tissues. So supplementing with whey protein is key to rebuilding and recovery which also means higher muscle to fat ratio in our bodies. This directly equates to a faster metabolism and a leaner meaner body.

#3: Salmon

Lean meats like fish are very critical diet component to anyone wanting to speed up their metabolism. Salmon in particular is low in saturated fat, high in protein and provides health promoting Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3′s are essential fatty acids that we must obtain from our diet and great for keeping our heart healthy, and have been shown to help control our cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Omega 3′s also help with enzyme reactions that boost our metabolism so currently much research is being done on how these fatty acids can help with obesity.

#4: Turkey

Another great source for high quality natural protein is Turkey. Of course, we want to aim for skinless and as fresh as possible to get the most nutrients but Turkey is also a great source for Vitamin B’s.

The B Vitamin family is known for helping us with healthy immune and metabolic function as well as combating symptoms of stress and depression. I’ve found this to be especially true with my energy levels and take a B Complex Vitamin once or twice daily.

#5: Green Tea

The Green Tea phenomenon has gained mass appeal not only in North America but across the world. It contains high quality antioxidants as well as polyphenols which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Green tea also has a natural form of caffeine which spikes your metabolism for a few hours after drinking it so why not add a cup or two in the morning when you are working.

By: Sam Omidi

(*He is the founder of Weight Loss and Training)*

Follow: Sam via Twitter @samomidi

Why Men and Women Lie About Sex....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

For decades, stereotypes about gender and sex were bolstered by surveys in which men reported far more sexual partners than women. But a 2003 paper in the Journal of Sex Research found that if study participants thought they were hooked up to a lie detector, men and women would report the same number of sexual partners on average.

The results suggested women were the ones lying when they thought they could get away with it, likely being coy about how many people they'd had sex with to avoid being seen as promiscuous.

Apparently, not much has changed in the past decade. Even as many stereotypes fade, both men and women still feel pressure to meet gender expectations when it comes to sex, a new study shows.

Nearly 300 college students participated in the research, completing a questionnaire that asked how often they engaged in 124 different behaviors. A previous study determined which of those habits were thought of as stereotypically masculine — for example, wearing dirty clothes and telling dirty jokes — and which were believed to be more common among women, including writing poetry and fibbing about body weight.

When some of the students filled out the questionnaire, they were hooked up to a polygraph machine or lie detector. Unbeknownst to those participants, the lie detector wasn't actually working.

For non-sexual behaviors, the participants didn't seem to feel pressured to report what they did in a way that conformed to conventional gender roles. For instance, women attached to the fake lie detector were just as likely as the polygraph-free women to say they took part in stereotypical male activities like lifting weights, the researchers said.

But for the questions about sexual experience, a gap emerged.

"There is something unique about sexuality that led people to care more about matching the stereotypes for their gender," said researcher Terri Fisher, an Ohio State University professor of psychology who also authored the 2003 study.

Men reported fewer sexual partners when they were hooked up to the lie detector, whereas women reported more partners when they were attached to the polygraph, Fisher and colleagues found.

"Men and women had different answers about their sexual behavior when they thought they had to be truthful," Fisher added in a statement. "Sexuality seemed to be the one area where people felt some concern if they didn't meet the stereotypes of a typical man or a typical woman."

The research was detailed in a recent issue of the journal Sex Roles.

By: Megan Gannon


Admitting I Had a Problem: Lindsay Lohan and I Had a Lot in Common ... Until I Got Sober!

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Lindsay Lohan and I have a lot in common, even though she might not think so. We both have a problem with alcohol. Neither of us has meant to get drunk and screw up, but it just happened. Kind of a lot. Both of us have felt misunderstood. We've both wondered why we so often set out to have one glass of wine and end up having six. We've probably both used excuses like, "but the drinks were free and I lost track" or "I only had a couple but I forgot to eat first" or my favorite, "I wasn't even that drunk!" In fact, I'd say there really is only one main difference between us regarding our relationship with booze:

Today, I am celebrating four years of sobriety, and (at least according to recent media reports) Lindsay is not ready.

It's been four years since I had the moment of clarity and could see, really see, that alcohol was making my life unmanageable and always had. But I wasn't ready to quit until the moment I was -- and seeing as I only quit when I was 42 years old, that's a lot of years I wasn't ready. Lindsay isn't even 27.

Sure, from the outside looking in our drinking histories may seem pretty different: LoLo has received DUI's, crashed her Mercedes and been arrested on a possession of cocaine charge. Well, when I was in my twenties I also did quite a bit of drunk driving -- the only difference, mine was in a filthy yellow Mazda GLC with a rust hole straight through the driver's side floor. It wouldn't accelerate past 40 mph on the highway, which could be the reason I was never busted.

Lindsay has partied hard in VIP lounges from Manhattan to LA. I've gotten shitfaced at the Red Onion in Marina Del Rey, drunk half priced strawberry daiquiris on Ladies' Night and made out with men wearing parachute pants. So yeah, again I kind of relate.

If you think I'm being flippant about Lindsay or myself or alcoholism I'm not. This is no joke. But when you aren't ready to quit, you're just not going to, no matter how many people may look at you and see a blinking neon sign saying "I have a drinking problem!"

Most people who suspect they have a drinking problem but don't want to admit it even to themselves spend an inordinate amount of time comparing their drinking to other people's drinking. We can almost always find a way to look better, more together, more functional. There is always something we haven't done yet.

A lot of us could die from the "yets."

So okay Lindsay's been in rehab a few times, crashed cars, spent time in the pokey (87 minutes), lost work opportunities, shamed herself publicly, scared her family, lied to police etc. but when she was recently interviewed by Piers Morgan and asked if she drinks a lot she answered, "Not really. I've never been a huge drinker. I've never woken up in the morning and had a drink." You see? She's not that bad. I so get that. I'd never have a drink in the morning either. At least never before brunch. And, yeah, sometimes brunch is at 9 am! Who are you to judge, Captain Harshy!

In retrospect I find it laughable that I spent so many years unconvinced I could possibly be an alcoholic, because of course there were many signs along the way. I just usually buzzed past them hoping they were just a phase. There were one or two times throughout my life that I did suspect I had a problem so much that I went to a 12 Step meeting. But I never stuck around because that was for people who really had a bad problem. You know, those morning drinkers. Not for someone like me who just liked to drink a little too much and needed to learn to control it better.

Lindsay knows that feeling too. She released a statement in 2007 where she said, "It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs." Obviously she backed off of that soon after.

Four years ago, I finally had a moment of clarity and realized that just because I hadn't crashed a car, gotten a DUI, cheated on my husband or been forced to rehab, it was time to quit. No one had to tell me or push me. I knew. And once you know, really really know, you can't un-know it.

When I have a glass of wine, a Vicodin, a shot of Patron, a Baileys and coffee…whatever…I can't be sure if I'll have one more or five more, and I can't take that chance. But it took an awful lot of glasses of wine and shots of tequila to convince me absolutely. It took doing things drunk that I would never ever do sober to realize that I'm just not someone who can drink.

Yesterday, May 22nd, I celebrated four years of sobriety and I'm happier than I ever thought possible. But when I blew out my four candles and made a wish, I wished for Lindsay Lohan and all the others just like her. Just like me.

- By: Stefanie Wilder Taylor

Michelangelo's Ugliest Drawing May Not Be His....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 12, 2013 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Michelangelo's portrait of Cleopatra holding an asp to her breast has been celebrated as an ideal Renaissance composition of an idealized woman. With pearls, braided hair and a slender neck, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt faces her death by snakebite with a detached, elegant gaze.

Curators had suspected there was another Michelangelo sketch on black-chalk drawing's reverse side; they could vaguely make out a hidden picture when the work was held up to light. But 25 years ago, when conservators finally peeled off its thick paper backing, art historians were astounded by the ugliness of the secret portrait of Cleopatra that was revealed.

The drawing that had been concealed for centuries showed the Ptolemaic ruler in a grotesque state of anguish, with her bulging, blank eyes looking forward and her mouth gracelessly agape, baring big teeth. Perhaps even more puzzling was the poor draftsmanship of the sketch. Michelangelo knew how to  make stylishly tormented figures, so why was this one so especially ugly? At least one art historian thinks the reverse drawing is merely misattributed to the Renaissance master, and may have been sketched by his student instead.

The lovelier Cleopatra portrait was known to have been made for a handsome young Roman nobleman Tommaso de' Cavalieri, with whom Michelangelo struck up a friendship in 1532. Writing for ARTnews, William E. Wallace, of Washington University in Saint Louis, says Cavalieri may have tried his hand at drawing a classicized head, perhaps based on an antique sculpture, during a lesson with Michelangelo.

When the student's drawing foundered, the teacher may have stepped in, according to Wallace's version of events.

"To demonstrate 'buon disegno' (good design), Michelangelo reversed the sheet and performed a miracle of artistic alchemy: ugliness became beauty, harrowing but unbecoming emotion became serene resignation, an indecorous head was transformed into a doomed Cleopatra," Wallace writes.

Both sides of the artwork are set to go on display this month at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts as part of an exhibition of the Italian master's drawings, called "Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane." The show, which was organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., brings together 11 drawings of figures and 14 architectural designs by Michelangelo, including his unrealized plan for San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, a church in Rome.

By: Megan Gannon

*(Please Note: This article was originally published on April 12th on*

what kinda woman Aries men fall for...

Posted by Joyan Tharakan on May 1, 2013 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)
Wonder what kind of women do Aries men like? Have in mind that if you have found a romantic partner in an Aries, be prepared to take second seat. Although you will not lead the parade, your partner will go to any length to make sure your needs and desires are well taken care of. This is a double-edged sword that anyone contemplating a relationship with Aries men should be aware of. If you are one that is content to be taken care of, Aries men are your perfect match. They will make it their own mission to keep you happy. However, if you are not content to follow, explosive arguments will erupt and an unwinnable power struggle will ensue, leaving you both drained and unhappy.Aries men has a lust for adventure so if you want to be the kind of women Aries men like, be prepared for fast-paced adventure, novelty and excitement. They are always eager to try new things - including relationships. That is not to say that every Aries man will only provide an exciting and short-lived relationship, but this is usually the case. He might stick around if you are the type of woman that enjoys having the man take the lead and basking in his glory. He enjoys challenge so if you are the woman to offer challenges to him - like playing hard to get - he might stick around longer. Remember, an Aries man is all about the thrill of the chase. Do not however, act as if you don�t care about him. Appear innocent- hard-to-get and he will be wrapped around your little finger. Never take advantage of the Aries man because his short temper will turn into a fury of anger and he way leave and never look back.Speaking about what kind of women do Aries men like be aware that they prefer a �Classy Woman�. If she also comes from a good family then it is a Plus. It will make them feel proud and very ego about her status. Flashy kind of woman, would better forget an Aries Man. Arias men like a perfect or a nearly perfect housewife. He tends to be possessive. Aries man will not tell you if he is mad at you, but will act very moody to show you instead.Aries men will never start another affair behind your back. They are one of those who first end old relationships and then move on to the next one. Even before something like this happens, Aries men will let you know that things are not going as smooth as they were. They will try to make things work. Still, if situation doesn�t improve or you do not do anything to improve it, an Aries man will decide to move on. The key to lasting love is always in your hands. Keep the romance alive and he will never even look at the hottest babe in the block.The Aries man is great at either having lots of sex with lots of different people, or being completed devoted to one woman. Nothing in between. He�s too impatient to master the finer points of courtship. It doesn�t even occur to him. The Aries man is endearingly authentic to a fault. Even if he�s dating multiple women when you meet, he�ll just tell you outright. Although it may seem crude, his open-book policy can actually create a space of greater trust.

The Little Girl Who Had Eight Limbs....

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 1, 2012 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

She was born with a unique body - eight limbs and two torsos fused at the hips.

Now Lakshmi Tatma, the Indian toddler whose plight touched the world, has grown up and started school.

Two years after a ground-breaking operation to separate her from a parasitic twin, Lakshmi is a lively and bubbly four-year-old.

She loves playing cricket with her older brother, has a tendency to boss around her newfound friends and remains firmly a daddy's girl.

'When I think of the way she was, never in a million years would Lakshmi have been able to go to school or have the life she does today,' said her mother Poonam, 26.


'All the things she's capable of now were impossible two years ago.


'I often try to think what she might be like today if she hadn't had the operation - she couldn't even sit up before and now she runs around like other children.'


Born in a dusty farming village in India's poorest state, Lakshmi was revered as a deity and worshipped from birth.


Villagers, who believed she was the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess of wealth and fertility, would seek her blessing daily and leave gifts at her bedside.


But Lakshmi's resemblance to her mythological namesake came at a terrible price. She could not walk, stand, or even sit.


The little girl was joined to a headless parasitic twin that had stopped developing in her mother's womb. Doctors were convinced she could not have survived into adulthood.


Now fully recovered from the 27-hour operation to save her, Lakshmi is almost unrecognisable from her former self.


Beneath the surface, however, lurk a series of medical problems that threaten her future and will require years of surgery.

Six months after the complex operation to remove Lakshmi's parasitic twin, doctors discovered she had developed scoliosis, or a curvature of the spine.


Without a complex operation to correct her spine doctors have warned her back will be forced into increasingly severe deformities as she grows, possibly leaving her disabled.


Separately, Lakshmi requires an operation to 'detether' her spine after it was discovered she was born with abnormal tissue connecting the spinal cord to her nervous system.


In a further operation orthopaedic surgeons must perform a procedure to 'close her hips', which are set too far apart and result in an unusual 'gaited' walk.


Finally, plastic surgeons will need to find a way to create buttocks for Lakshmi, which did not form in the womb because of the unique way she was connected to herparasitic twin. In the same operation surgeons will have to fix related problems with her bladder and intestines.


'Lakshmi has come such a long, long way but we're very scared for the future,' said her mother Poonam.

Born to impoverished parents in the frequently lawless state of Bihar, in India's volatile northeast, Lakshmi faced an uncertain future until a wealthy doctor heard of her plight and offered to operate on her for free.


Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Sharan Patil, owner of the Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore 2,000 miles south, travelled to Lakshmi's remote village in 2007 to meet the child and offer her parents the chance of a lifetime.


After more than a month planning the separation, Dr Patil's team attempted the first operation of its kind in the world.


Hundreds of journalists camped outside the hospital throughout the 27-hour surgery.


Lakshmi's fame, having spread from her tiny village around the world, prompted Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan (SKSN), a charitable school looking after disabled children in the desert state of Rajasthan, to offer her parents a place to live and the chance of an education for Lakshmi and her brother Mithilesh.

Dr Bhairoon Singh Bhati, the secretary of SKSN, said: 'Lakshmi is a special case for us. She's a very challenging case because you can never tell from her medical history when she might next fall ill.


'Her scoliosis is an example of the problems Lakshmi faces because we had no way of knowing she would develop a curvature of the spine.


'Similarly, despite all the problems she still faces we have no way of knowing what may crop up in the future.


'The biggest difficulty caring for Lakshmi is that she's a unique case - there's never been a child like her before so we have nothing to refer back to.'


Under Dr Bhati's guidance Lakshmi has started school, joining her elder brother as the only members of their family to ever receive an education.

SideNote: This was  taken from a newspaper article written about 2 years ago.

Dog Stays By Missing Boy's Side

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The spirit of Lassie is alive and well in a dog named Ashapoo. The trusty canine was always at the side of his owner's two-year-old grandson, Peyton.

And that was a good thing when Peyton's grandfather turned his back for a minute as he was planning to take the boy on a trip on the family land in Clover, South Carolina, to find a Christmas tree.

When he turned around, the energetic kid was gone. But so was Ashapoo.

By the time Peyton's parents showed up to join the hunt for their missing son on the 300 acres of woods, they took solace knowing the boy was with his faithful friend.

Said dad Rich Myrick to local station WBTV, "In the back of your mind, you know the dog is going to be with him."

Still, four and a half hours of a missing child takes a lot of faith. It was getting dark and cold. Mom Carmen Myrick noted to WCNC that she took in the hundreds of volunteers, ambulances, the media, and police cars. She says she remembers thinking, "'This is not going to end good.'"

When rescuers made their way to a barn, Ashapoo suddenly appeared, then ran away barking, leading searchers to a sleeping Peyton on the ground. He was fine.

The two-year-old told his family he was scared, he was going to get hurt, and he was cold. Dad Rich said, "I think he got scared and just lay down and took a nap, and Ashapoo stayed right with him." He added, "I guess he felt that was his job to protect him and be with him." And he also said, "I believe the dog was his guardian angel in fur."

The parents said that the dog was their hero. They plan to get him a well earned steak, and they are also looking into a GPS tracker for Peyton.

By: Claudine Zap


'Brain On Fire' : A Writer Possessed ...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on November 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

     In 2009, a rare autoimmune disease grabbed writer Susannah Cahalan and plunged her into a nightmare world of paranoia, psychosis, and ultimately, catatonia. In another era, it’s likely she would have been permanently institutionalized or given a lobotomy; in another culture, she might have been exorcised for demonic possession.

With taut, horror-movie plotting, Cahalan’s new memoir, ‘Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness’ pieces together her utter physical and mental breakdown, her terrifying lost month in the hospital, and the grueling year it took to recover.

Before she mysteriously contracted the disease, Cahalan was a bright, outgoing, and ambitious 24-year-old reporter for the New York Post. After exhibiting flu-like symptoms that were initially diagnosed as mono, she suddenly began experiencing delusions and behaving erratically. Within a few weeks, she became increasingly abusive, moody, and paranoid. Her doctors brushed off her condition as a result of too much partying and stress, but her first violent seizure signaled there was something critically askew.

Late one night, her guttural moans and grating squeaks woke up her boyfriend, Stephen. “My arms suddenly whipped out in front of me like, like a mummy, as my eyes rolled back and my body stiffened,” she writes. “I was gasping for air. My body continued to stiffen as I inhaled repeatedly, with no exhale. Blood and foam began to spurt through clenched teeth. Terrified, [he] stifled a panicked cry and for a second he stared, frozen, at my shaking body.” She now describes her seizures as eerily similar to the character Regan’s outbursts in ‘The Exorcist.’

Cahalan says that this moment “marked the line between sanity and insanity.” She was admitted to the New York University Medical Center, and spent a month that was forever erased from her memory as her brain short-circuited. Only later, by cobbling together physician’s notes and her father’s journal, and viewing chilling hospital videos would she fully understand the extent of her disintegration. Her frontal lobe function was almost at zero and the medical staff couldn’t be sure the right hemisphere of her brain would be salvageable. Although $1 million worth of medical tests provided few clues to her illness, her parents never gave up. “They were completely focused on finding an answer,” Cahalan tells Shine.

Her savior, who she lovingly refers to as Dr. House, was Souhel Najjar, a Syrian immigrant who was deemed “stupid” as a child, and told he would never amount to anything. “His life experience shaped who he is as a doctor, and he also happens to be brilliant,” says Cahalan. “He’s so adamant about getting the full sense of you as a person…he was told that he was too slow for his elementary school. He’s made it his life’s mission to not let people fall through the cracks.”

While her other doctors had all but given up on finding a diagnosis, Najjar swiftly ordered a brain biopsy that would confirm his hunch that she was suffering from an autoimmune disease that had only been identified two years earlier. Cahalan was the 217th person in the world to be diagnosed with anti-NDMA-receptor encephalitis, a relatively treatable illness that causes swelling in the right lobe of the brain. Untreated, she may have sunk into coma and eventually died.

Najjar also provided the title to her book. “At a pivotal moment in my disease, he pulled my parents out of the hospital room and literally said to them, ‘Her brain is on fire,’” Cahalan tells Shine. “At that point, they felt it was a relief to hear that. Describing it in layman’s terms gave them some hope.”

Susannah Cahalan today

Cahalan wants her story to help people who might “otherwise get lost in the system.” She tells Shine, “We don’t understand how neurological autoimmune disorders work. They are so under diagnosed. About 75% occur in women who may get told they are just stressed. Or they are hysterical. My disease was only discovered in 2007—how many more diseases haven’t been identified yet?”

By: Sarah B. Weir



Sandy: East Coast braces for Epic Hurricane, 'Life-Threatening' Storm Surge...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 28, 2012 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

"Superstorm." "The Perfect Storm." "Frankenstorm."

Whatever you want to call it, the East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Sandy, a "rare hybrid storm" that is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge to the mid-Atlantic coast, Long Island Sound and New York harbor, forecasters say, with winds expected to be at or near hurricane force when it makes landfall sometime on Monday.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the Category 1 hurricane was centered about 270 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and 575 miles south of New York City early Sunday, carrying maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and moving northeast at 14 mph.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the immediate, mandatory evacuation for low-lying coastal areas, including Coney Island, the Rockaways, Brighton Beach, Red Hook and some parts of lower Manhattan.

"If you don't evacuate, you're not just putting your own life at risk," Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference Sunday. "You're endangering first responders who may have to rescue you."

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's message for residents was a bit more blunt. "Don't be stupid," Christie said Sunday afternoon, announcing the suspension of the state's transit system beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the suspension of all MTA service--including subways, buses, Long Island Railroad and Metro North--beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday. New York City Public Schools will be closed on Monday, the mayor said. City offices and the New York Stock Exchange, however, will be open for business.

Sandy is expected to continue on a parallel path along the mid-Atlantic coast later Sunday before making a sharp turn toward the northwest and southern New Jersey coastline on Monday--with the Jersey Shore and New York City in its projected path.

But the path is not necessarily the problem.

"Don't get fixated on a particular track," the Associated Press said. "Wherever it hits, the rare behemoth storm inexorably gathering in the eastern U.S. will afflict a third of the country with sheets of rain, high winds and heavy snow."

A tropical storm warning has been issued between Cape Fear to Duck, N.C., while hurricane watches and high-wind warnings are in effect from the Carolinas to New England. The hurricane-force winds extend 175 miles from the epicenter of the storm, while tropical storm-force winds extend 520 miles--making Sandy one of the biggest storms to ever hit the East Coast.

"We're looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people," Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the Associated Press.

"The size of this alone, affecting a heavily populated area, is going to be history making," Jeff Masters wrote on the Weather Underground blog.

"I can be as cynical as anyone," Christie said on Saturday, announcing a state of emergency. "But when the storm comes, if it's as bad as they're predicting, you're going to wish you weren't as cynical as you otherwise might have been."

Meanwhile, emergency evacuations were being mulled by state officials in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and even Maine.

In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell said 20,000 homes there had already reported power outages.

"This is not a coastal threat alone," said Craig Fugate, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said during a media briefing early Sunday. "This is a very large area."

Forecasters also fear the combination of storm surge, high tide and heavy rain--between 3 and 12 inches in some areas--could be life-threatening for coastal residents.

According to the National Hurricane Center summary, coastal water levels could rise anywhere between 1 and 12 feet from North Carolina to Cape Cod, depending on the timing of the "peak surge." A surge of 6 to 11 feet is forecast for Long Island Sound and Raritan Bay, including New York Harbor.

The storm surge in New York Harbor during Hurricane Irene in September 2011, forecasters noted, was four feet.

By: Dylan Stableford





UK, Japan Scientists Win Nobel Prize For Adult Stem Cell Discovery...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -  Scientists from Britain and Japan shared a Nobel Prize on Monday for the discovery that adult cells can be transformed back into embryo-like stem cells that may one day regrow tissue in damaged brains, hearts or other organs.

John Gurdon, 79, of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, Britain and Shinya Yamanaka, 50, of Kyoto University in Japan, discovered ways to create tissue that would act like embryonic cells, without the need to collect the cells from embryos.

They share the $1.2 million Nobel Prize for Medicine, for work Gurdon began 50 years ago and Yamanaka capped with a 2006 experiment that transformed the field of "regenerative medicine" - the search for ways to cure disease by growing healthy tissue.

"These groundbreaking discoveries have completely changed our view of the development and specialization of cells," the Nobel Assembly at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute said.

All of the body starts as stem cells, before developing into tissue like skin, blood, nerves, muscle and bone. The big hope is that stem cells can grow to replace damaged tissue in cases from spinal cord injuries to Parkinson's disease.

Scientists once thought it was impossible to turn adult tissue back into stem cells. That meant new stem cells could only be created by taking them from embryos, which raised ethical objections that led to research bans in some countries.

As far back as 1962 Gurdon became the first scientist to clone an animal, making a healthy tadpole from the egg of a frog with DNA from another tadpole's intestinal cell. That showed that developed cells carry the information to make every cell in the body - decades before other scientists made world headlines by cloning the first mammal from adult DNA, Dolly the sheep.

More than 40 years later, Yamanaka produced mouse stem cells from adult mouse skin cells by inserting a small number of genes. His breakthrough effectively showed that the development that takes place in adult tissue could be reversed, turning adult tissue back into cells that behave like embryos.

Stem cells created from adult tissue are known as "induced pluripotency stem cells", or iPS cells. Because patients may one day be treated with stem cells from their own tissue, their bodies might be less likely to reject them.

"The eventual aim is to provide replacement cells of all kinds," Gurdon's institute explains on its website.

"We would like to be able to find a way of obtaining spare heart or brain cells from skin or blood cells. The important point is that the replacement cells need to be from the same individual, to avoid problems of rejection and hence of the need for immunosuppression."

In just six years, Yamanaka's paper has already been cited more than 4,000 times in other scientists' work.

In a news conference in Japan, he thanked his team of young researchers: "My joy is very great. But I feel a grave sense of responsibility as well."

Gurdon spoke of his own unlikely career as a young man who loved science but was steered away from it at school, only to take it up again at university.

He still keeps an old school report in a frame on his desk: "I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist... This is quite ridiculous," his teacher wrote. "It would be a sheer waste of time, both on his part and of those who have to teach him."


The science of iPS cells is still in early stages. Among concerns is the fear that implanted cells could grow out of control and develop into tumors.

Some scientists say stem cells from embryos may prove more useful against disease than iPS cells, and the ethics of working with embryos should be defended.

Nevertheless, since Yamanaka published his findings the discoveries have already produced advances. The techniques are being used to grow cells in laboratories to study disease, the chairman of the awards committee, Urban Lendahl, told Reuters.

"You can't take out a large part of the heart or the brain or so to study this, but now you can take a cell from, for example, the skin of the patient, reprogramme it, return it to a pluripotent state, and then grow it in a laboratory," he said.

"The second thing is for further ahead. If you can grow different cell types from a cell from a human, you might - in theory for now but in future hopefully - be able to return cells where cells have been lost."

Thomas Perlmann, Nobel Committee member and professor of Molecular Development Biology at the Karolinska Institute said: "Thanks to these two scientists, we know now that development is not strictly a one-way street."

"There is lot of promise and excitement, and difficult disorders such as neurodegenerative disorders, like perhaps Alzheimer's and, more likely, Parkinson's disease, are very interesting targets."

For now, both men said their scientific work continues.

Asked why he still keeps his schoolteacher's discouraging report, Gurdon said: "When you're having problems, like when an experiment doesn't work - which often happens - it's nice to remind yourself that perhaps after all you're not so good at this job and the schoolmaster may have been right."


By: Anna Ringstrom

Snow On Mars: NASA Spacecraft Spots 'Dry Ice' Snowflakes...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 22, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Researchers have calculated that carbon dioxide snow particles on Mars are roughly the size of a human red blood cell. Martian snow is depicted in this artist's rendering as a mist or fog that eventually settles…

A spacecraft orbiting Mars has detected carbon dioxide snow falling on the Red Planet, making Mars the only body in the solar system known to host this weird weather phenomenon.

The snow on Mars fell from clouds around the planet's south pole during the Martian winter spanning 2006 and 2007, with scientists discovering it only after sifting through observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The Martian south pole hosts a frozen carbon dioxide — or "dry ice" — cap year-round, and the new discovery may help explain how it formed and persists, researchers said.

"These are the first definitive detections of carbon-dioxide snow clouds," lead author Paul Hayne, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. "We firmly establish the clouds are composed of carbon dioxide — flakes of Martian air — and they are thick enough to result in snowfall accumulation at the surface."

The find means Mars hosts two different kinds of snowfall. In 2008, NASA's Phoenix lander observed water-ice snow — the stuff we're familiar with here on Earth — falling near the Red Planet's north pole,. [7 Biggest Mysteries of Mars]

Hayne and his team studied data gathered by MRO's Mars Climate Sounder instrument during the Red Planet's southern winter in 2006-2007. This instrument measures brightness in nine different wavelengths of visible and infrared light, allowing scientists to learn key characteristics of the particles and gases in the Martian atmosphere, such as their sizes and concentrations.

The research team examined measurements the Mars Climate Sounder made while looking at clouds — including one behemoth 300 miles (500 kilometers) wide — from directly overhead, and from off to the side. These combined observations clearly revealed dry-ice snow falling through the Red Planet's skies, researchers said.

"One line of evidence for snow is that the carbon-dioxide ice particles in the clouds are large enough to fall to the ground during the lifespan of the clouds," said co-author David Kass, also of JPL. "Another comes from observations when the instrument is pointed toward the horizon, instead of down at the surface."

"The infrared spectra signature of the clouds viewed from this angle is clearly carbon-dioxide ice particles, and they extend to the surface," Kass added. "By observing this way, the Mars Climate Sounder is able to distinguish the particles in the atmosphere from the dry ice on the surface."

Astronomers still aren't entirely sure how the dry ice sustaining Mars' south polar cap — the only place where frozen carbon dioxide exists year-round on the planet's surface — is deposited. It could come from snowfall, or the stuff may freeze out of the air at ground level, researchers said.

"The finding of snowfall could mean that the type of deposition — snow or frost — is somehow linked to the year-to-year preservation of the residual cap," Hayne said.

Dry ice requires temperatures of about minus 193 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 125 Celsius) to fall, reinforcing just how cold the Martian surface is.

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research. Hayne performed the research while a postdoc at Caltech in Pasadena.

Source:- Staff

Acne-Plagued Teen Lands Spot on Fashion Week Runway...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Acne-Plagued Teen Lands Spot on Fashion Week Runway

Cassandra Bankson, the teen whose makeup routine to cover up her acne-plagued skin made her into a YouTube sensation, started the next chapter of her life, landing a spot on the runway during New York Fashion Week.

A confident Bankson walked the runway at the Stacey Igel's "Boy Meets Girl" show in New York City Wednesday night, proudly putting a past of being bullied for her acne-ridden skin behind her.

"I'm a small town girl who sits in her living room and films videos all day and now…I'm in New YorkFashion Week," Bankson said backstage. "It's still a dream. I am so thankful."

The 19-year-old first achieved Internet stardom after posting makeup tutorials on YouTube with her concealing tips, revealing how she covered her acne-ridden skin before heading out to face the world. In the videos, Bankson talks to her 45 million viewers, first in full makeup, but then strips off the layers of foundation, concealer and powder to reveal pimples and blemishes.

"I had no idea so many people faced similar problems," she said. "My videos and definitely my 'GMA' appearance allowed me to connect with them."

Bankson appeared on "Good Morning America" back in December 2011 and told co-anchor Robin Roberts about the bullies who tormented her and how she dreaded leaving her house. Instead she would stay in, researching makeup techniques and practicing on herself. To get out of the misery she felt in high school, she also devoted herself to her studies and managed to graduate two years early.

"I was a total recluse. I didn't want to talk to or see anyone because of my skin," Bankson said. Now, she said those same bullies that tormented her in school and are friending her on Facebook.

Today, Bankson says her skin condition is 70 percent improved. She continues to pay regular visits to the dermatologist.

The young California native, now in her second year of college, says her journey has made want to pursue a career in dermatology so she can continue to help others with acne and other skin conditions. Until then, she plans to keep modeling. In addition to last night's runway show, through Explore Modeling, she has already shot ads with Bebe and Range Rover.

Although she's modeling, Bankson's message continues to be one of inner-beauty.

"Models shouldn't be modeling perfection because there is no such thing," she said. "We should be modeling our imperfections."


Source:- ABC News


Understanding The Study Of Sleep...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 9, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

What Are Sleep Studies?

Sleep studies allow doctors to measure how much and how well you sleep. They also help show whether you have sleep problems and how severe they are.

Sleep studies are important because untreated sleep disorders can increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and other medical conditions. People usually aren’t aware of their breathing and movements while sleeping. They may never think to talk to their doctors about sleep- and health-related issues that may be linked to sleep problems.

Doctors can diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Talk to your doctor if you feel tired or very sleepy while at work or school most days of the week. You also may want to talk to your doctor if you often have trouble falling or staying asleep, or if you wake up too early and aren’t able to get back to sleep. These are common signs of a sleep disorder.

Doctors can diagnose some sleep disorders by asking questions about your sleep schedule and habits and by getting information from sleep partners or parents. To diagnose other sleep disorders, doctors also use the results from sleep studies and other medical tests.

Sleep studies can help doctors diagnose:-

*Sleep-related breathing disorders (such as sleep apnea)*

*Sleep-related seizure disorders*

*Parasomnias (such as sleepwalking)*



*Circadian rhythm disorders.*

Who Needs a Sleep Study?

If you often feel very tired during the day – even though you spent enough time in bed to be well rested – talk to your doctor. This is a common sign of a sleep disorder. A number of sleep disorders can disrupt your sleep, leaving you sleepy during the day.

Other common signs of sleep disorders include the following:-

*It takes you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep at night.*

*You awaken often during the night and then have trouble falling back to sleep, or you awaken too early in the morning.*

*You feel sleepy during the day and fall asleep within 5 minutes if you have an opportunity to nap, or you fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day.*

*Your bed partner claims you snore loudly, snort, gasp, or make choking sounds while you sleep, or your partner notices your breathing stops for short periods.*

*You have creeping, tingling, or crawling feelings in your legs that are relieved by moving or massaging them, especially in the evening and when you try to fall asleep.*

*You have vivid, dreamlike experiences while falling asleep or dozing.*

*You have episodes of sudden muscle weakness when you’re angry, fearful, or when you laugh.*

*You feel as though you can’t move when you first wake up.*

*Your bed partner notes that your legs or arms jerk often during sleep.*

*You regularly feel the need to use stimulants to stay awake during the day.*


Describe your signs and symptoms to your doctor. It’s important to note how tired you feel and whether your signs and symptoms affect your daily routine. Early signs of sleep disorders aren’t easy to detect during routine visits. There are no blood tests for sleep disorders, and the doctor isn’t watching you sleep.

If you’ve had a sleep disorder for a long time, it may be hard for you to notice its impact on your daily routine. Using a sleep diary may be helpful.

Your doctor can decide whether you need a sleep study. A sleep study allows your doctor to observe sleep patterns and to diagnose a sleep disorder, which can then be treated.

Certain medical conditions have been linked to sleep disorders. These include heart failure, coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA, or “mini-stroke”;). If you have one of these conditions, talk with your doctor about whether it would be helpful to have a sleep study.


Rachel Corrie: Court Rules Israel Not At Fault For Death...

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 7, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

An Israeli court has ruled that the state of Israel was not at fault for the death of US activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli army bulldozer in 2003.

Ms Corrie's family had brought a civil claim for negligence against the Israeli ministry of defence.


The judge said the 23-year-old's death was a "regrettable accident".


He said the state was not responsible for any "damages caused" as they had occurred during "war-time actions".  The Corries had requested a symbolic $1 in damages and legal expenses.

Cindy and Craig Corrie travelled to Israel from the US to hear the ruling along with a group of friends and activists. 

After the ruling, Mrs Corrie told a news conference they wanted to see more accountability from the state of Israel, saying they had been "deeply troubled by what we heard today".


"From the beginning it was clear to us that there was... a well-heeled system to protect the Israeli military, the soldiers who conduct actions in that military, to provide them with impunity at the cost of all the civilians who are impacted by what they do," she said.

She said she believed at least one person in the bulldozer had seen their daughter, and that Rachel's death "could have been and should have been avoided."

She added: "I believe this is a bad day not only for our family, but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel."

 Human shields

Ms Corrie was a committed peace activist even before her arrival in the Gaza Strip in 2002.

She had arranged peace events in her home town in Washington State and become a volunteer for the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

In 2003, Ms Corrie was in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip as part of a group of ISM protesters.

They were acting as human shields to try to stop the Israeli army demolishing Palestinian homes and clearing land around Rafah.


The Israeli army argued the area was being used by militants and that the protesters should not have been in a closed military zone.


The army's investigation found that Ms Corrie was not visible and that she was killed by debris falling on her.

But Ms Corrie's supporters say it is impossible that the bulldozer driver did not see her.

"The bulldozer had a clear line across open ground while it drove towards her, relatively slowly, 20 or 30 metres or so, and even the estimation of the bulldozer's line of sight... would clearly suggest that during that time the bulldozer driver must have seen Rachel," activist Tom Dale, who was protesting alongside Rachel Corrie on the day she was killed, told the BBC.


Pictures taken on the day Ms Corrie died show her in an orange high-visibility jacket carrying a megaphone and blocking the path of an Israeli military bulldozer.


A collection of Ms Corrie's writings was turned into a play - My Name Is Rachel Corrie - which has toured all over the world, including Israel and the Palestinian territories.


World's Oldest Person, Besse Cooper, Turns 116...!!!

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on August 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

It's difficult enough to fit 16 candles on a birthday cake, but trying squeezing 116 on one.But Besse Cooper, the world's oldest person according to the Guinness World Records, chose to use numbers instead of actual candles when she celebrated her 116 th birthday Sunday. Guinness claims Cooper is one of only eight people who have reached 116.

In honor of Cooper's achievement, a bridge was named after her in Monroe, Ga., where she lives by the Walton County Board of Commissioners, according to the Walton Tribune. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, Aug. 24 for the bridge opening.

"The older she has gotten the more wittier she has gotten," her son, Sidney Cooper, told the Walton Tribune. He also relayed a message from Cooper, who was unable to attend the ceremony, who said, "I'm glad I gave them a reason to name it."

Cooper was certified as the world's oldest person by Guinness World Records in January 2011, although she briefly had to give up her title when it was discovered that Brazilian-born Maria Gomes Valentin was 48 days older. But when Valentin died six months later, Cooper was reinstated as the world's oldest person.

Cooper was born in Sullivan, Tenn., in 1896, according to the Walton Tribune. She moved to Monroe during World War I to become a teacher. In 1924, she married her husband Luther and the couple had four children. Today, Cooper has 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, according to the Guinness World Records.

Cooper has a secret to achieving 116 years of life.

"I mind my own business," she told the Guinness World Records. "And I don't eat junk food."

By: Jennifer Abbey


9-year-old Food Critic Reviews School Lunches; Gives Low Marks!

Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 31, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

  Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama may be commanders of a healthy school lunch revolution. But a 9-year-old girl is on the front lines.

A Scottish grade school student named Martha Payne has launched her own revolution in school lunch reform. It all started with a simple idea. What if food critics reviewed school lunches? Cafeterias would probably do a lot more to satisfy their customers.

That's what Martha discovered two weeks ago, when she started the blog: NeverSeconds, a daily review of her flimsy cafeteria lunches.


With help from her dad, Dave, the Argyle-based student, photographed her sparse lunch tray daily and offered a Zagat-style rating system based on the following criteria: food-o-meter (or overall taste), mouthfuls (or portions), health, courses and pieces of hair. So far there's been one or two hairs on her lunch tray, but not much else.

One of the first lunches she reviewed included a dried-out rectangular piece of pizza, a fried mozzarella stick, some corn droppings and a mini muffin. Another tray featured a slim, grayish burger, two fried cheese sticks, an ice pop and three thin cucumber slices. Overall, Martha gives the soups at her school high marks, particularly the carrot and coriander recipe. "The soup was brilliant," she raved. Then, on May 14, a day of sausages, vegetable soup ("it tasted mainly of carrot") and roasted potatoes ("a bit small") the inevitable happened. Nestled under three cucumber slices was a single strand of hair. Martha doesn't speculate where it came from, but there's a fair chance it wasn't from her own head. Generously, she gave that meal a "food-o-meter" rating of 8, despite the small portion and the unappetizing surprise.

"The good thing about this blog is Dad understands why I am hungry when I get home," writes Martha.

Dad did more than sympathize; he got the attention of Food Revolution general, Jamie Oliver, via Twitter. After Oliver tweeted the blog to his followers describing it as "shocking but inspirational," Martha's page views reached nearly half a million. (As of Monday, NeverSeconds is closing in on 700,000 page views and counting.)

In less than two weeks since launching the site, her school seems to be instituting healthy reforms, thanks to Martha, Dave, and some pressure from local media. By Thursday of last week, Martha blogged good news: "It's official that we are allowed unlimited salads, fruit and bread! I'm really happy that all of my friends can help themselves to good stuff."

Now Martha is asking students reading her blog to submit their own school lunch photos and ratings.


As much impact as policy makers and advocates, like the first lady, have had on improving school lunches, student voices have been largely absent from the debate. They are, after all, the ones eating the food.

Martha's blog makes a strong argument not only for improved nutrition, but tastier healthy options. Her most recent lunch, posted last Friday, got a 9 for taste and a 4 for health.That's in part because the veggie option didn't impress.

"One of the peas was black" she writes. "If you look closely it's the one in the middle." At least there wasn't any hair in her food.

By: Piper Weiss.


The unheard Prayer

Posted by Joyan Tharakan on December 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (2)

He used to pray as a child “God please not let me awake and see the next day”. At that time his only prayer was to bring his death soon, he had a reason; an abusive mother, stressful school, and nobody to understand him. He started loving the darkness of the night. Cold breeze was the only one there to hug him at night and listened to his vain.

He grew up, and then he met her. She was like an angel; she listened to him, she gave him the caring of a mother, comfort of a sister, love of a lover. Then he prayed “Dear God I love my life now, now I understand why you never heard my other prayer, because you where saving me for her, now my prayer is to you is, please let her stay with me like this till the day u take me away from this world”. However, she left him in few months to a place that she can never come back. His god took her first. May be he likes his angels near him rather than being with a soul in earth. He looked in heavens and prayed “God please take me too, let me be with her”, but the only replay he got was from nature, strong water drops from the sky, it was the cold December rain. The water drops hide his tears from the world.

Years went by, and then he met her. She had his angels’ eyes, but she was more like a butterfly than an angel. She flew around him and showed him the beauty of the nature, and she made him believe that he’s the only flower that she likes to sit on. He prayed to his God “Dear God thank you for giving me a new hope for my life, a new meaning for this lonely life, please don’t let my butter fly leave me like my angel left. Let me be her guardian angel, take my half-life so that she’ll live longer”. Life is never fair, and happy endings are only in stories that he heard and read; he realized that his butterfly likes to be a butterfly and she likes to go and sit on other flowers and taste them too, but he never gave up on her because he believed in true love. He thought she’ll realize it one day and will be back to him; therefore he never told her that he knew she is seeing other flowers. His thoughts and prayers where for nothing, she completely left him and went for other flowers.

He still prays to his God, his first prayer “God please not let me awake and see the next day”.

There are other unheard prayers…….!