Sunday, September 14, 2014

Very little water to drink in flooded Srinagar

Still deep under flood waters, Srinagar is parched.

A week after waters from Jhelum practically drowned the city, Bemina, Batamaloo and a few other areas have little water to drink. Even now, the flood water's still nearly three metres deep in these parts.

Given the huge number of people, the supply from the relief operations is just not enough. And with chlorine tablets in short supply, the fear of water-borne disease is running rife.

People who don't want to leave their homes are precariously perched on terraces, literally fighting to keep their heads above water. So getting to a hospital is next to impossible.

Inevitably, the second item on the "most wanted list" is medicine.

The army and the navy personnel engaged in relief work are only too aware of the situation.

"It will take four to five days for the situation to improve. What we need most at the moment are water, medicines and candles," said Commander Mahadev Subramanian, head of Indian Navy's marine commando force Marcos.

But even without the infection factor, the need for medical treatment persists. There are complaints of cold, headaches, fever, heart palpitation and the odd case of injury that needs stitches.

This is where Indian Army boats - at least the ones that have medical assistants on board - become invaluable.

Then there's Commander Subramanian's team - three dozen Marcos specialist divers, who are lending a helping hand.

The teams use Gemini rubber inflatable boats, which can easily navigate the narrow bylanes of Srinagar. Their sole disadvantage - a lower carrying capacity than other boats.

But despite the current travails, the navy personnel are upbeat. "We expect the water levels to recede in another four to five days. In any case, the worst is behind us," said Commander Subramanian.

Michael Schumacher discharged from Hospital

Former F1 champion Michael Schumacher has been discharged from a Swiss hospital and is returning to his home, where he'll continue his recovery from head injuries suffered in a skiing accident last year, his spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months," said Sabine Kehm.

"There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead."

Schumacher, 45, sustained severe head trauma in a skiing accident at the French Alps resort of Meribel on December 29.

His investigative team said it thinks the experienced skier hit a rock hidden beneath the snow while traversing an area between two marked pistes, which catapulted him face-first onto another rock.

He was treated first at a hospital in Grenoble, in France, and then in June moved to a hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, near the Schumacher family home.

Kehm appealed, as she has previously, for the privacy of his family to be respected as Schumacher continues his recovery.

The German national is a seven-time world champion whose F1 racing career ended in 2012.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Smartphones can ruin your metabolism

Mobile phones have become so popular these days that you cannot think of spending a day without it. Kids love to play games and you keep surfing messages and other application even when it is not ringing. But is this gadget unknowingly driving you towards health problems?  
Medical experts have found that these phones may bring some harmful effects in the human body’s metabolism. According to Mr. Manoj Sharma, professor of radiation oncology at the Maulana Azad Medical College, apart from cancer, constant usage of mobile phone may also lead to fatigue, sleep disorder, lack of concentration and poor digestion’. He claimed that close proximity to the brain while talking on a mobile phone may build up a possibility of brain tumor and ‘If we don’t take care now it will be too late like in the case of tobacco,’ he added.
Sharma said that like in the US, cell phone operators in India should also use advanced technology to reduce radiation. Naresh Gupta, another professor at the Maulana Azad College also agreed with Mr Sharma and said ‘It is true that the metabolism in the body is affected by using mobile phones’ and added ‘ mobile phones are an evolving technology and most of the research into their health effects has been funded by the private companies manufacturing them. We don’t have any independent research.
However, S.B. Gogia, a plastic surgeon with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said mobile phones have a positive effect on health also.

Here are some health risks of cell phones you should be aware of:
1. Cancer: As reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), mobile phones emit radio frequency (RF) fields a 1000 times greater than what is emitted from base stations. It’s obvious that this increased emission is likely to have some adverse effect on health of users. Although there is no clear evidence suggesting that exposure to RF fields increases the risk of cancer, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified RF as a possible carcinogen in humans. 
2. Sleep disorders: Somehow night-time has always been favourite among regular chatting and gossiping freaks. But do you know that’s the main reason why you are sleep deprived? Several studies have concluded this. One of them is a cohort study by Sara Thomée et al which found that high mobile phone use was associated with sleep disorders. Major contributing factors to interrupted sleep pattern are getting awakened in the middle of the night due to mobile rings and vibration and increased use of mobiles post-evening until midnight.
 3. Increased accident-risk: Whether you’re an iPhone, flip phone or a Blackberry user, the chances that you check your phone aggressively while travelling is undoubtedly higher. Be it while driving or while crossing the road, mobile phone can be a potential distraction. According to the WHO, we now have a lot of research showing an increased risk of traffic accidents with mobile usage (3-4 times greater). 
4. Heart problems: Radiation from cell phones is not only associated with cancer but also with chronic diseases like heart problems. A study published in European Journal of Oncology, radiations emitted by cordless phones, including mobiles, contribute to abnormalities in heart function. Results reported that radiation causes the red blood cells (RBCs) to seep hemoglobin and lead to heart complications.

Eat banana to reduce risk of stroke, death after menopause

A new study has found that post-menopausal women who consume potassium-rich foods like banana face lesser risk of stroke and death. Senior author Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, said that previous studies had shown that potassium consumption may lower blood pressure.
The findings give women another reason to eat their fruits and vegetables for they are good sources of potassium, which not only lowers post-menopausal women’s risk of stroke, but also death. Researchers studied 90,137 post-menopausal women, ages 50 to 79, for an average 11 years. They looked at how much potassium the women consumed, as well as if they had strokes, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, or died during the study period.
Women in the study were stroke-free at the start and their average dietary potassium intake was 2,611 mg/day. Results of this study are based on potassium from food, not supplements. The researchers found: Women who ate the most potassium were 12 percent less likely to suffer stroke in general and 16 percent less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke than women who ate the least.
Women who ate the most potassium were 10 percent less likely to die than those who ate the least. Among women who did not have hypertension (whose blood pressure was normal and they were not on any medications for high blood pressure), those who ate the most potassium had a 27 percent lower ischemic stroke risk and 21 percent reduced risk for all stroke types, compared to women who ate the least potassium in their daily diets. Among women with hypertension (whose blood pressure was high or they were taking drugs for high blood pressure), those who ate the most potassium had a lower risk of death, but potassium intake did not lower their stroke risk.
Researchers suggested that higher dietary potassium intake might be more beneficial before high blood pressure develops. They also said there was no evidence of any association between potassium intake and hemorrhagic stroke, which could be related to the low number of hemorrhagic strokes in the study. The findings suggested that women needed to eat more potassium-rich foods.
You won’t find high potassium in junk food. Some foods high in potassium include bananas, white and sweet potatoes, and white beans. While increasing potassium intake is probably a good idea for most older women, it could be dangerous to the heart for people who had too much potassium in their blood. The study was observational and included only post-menopausal women. Researchers also did not take sodium intake into consideration, so the potential importance of a balance between sodium and potassium is not among the findings. 

Other health benefits of bananas 
Relieves muscle cramps
Bananas are a great way of dealing with muscle cramps. The high magnesium and potassium content, bananas are the best way to make up for the minerals in your body. It eases out  the muscles and protects you from any further chances of such dreadful cramps.
Keeps blood pressure in check
Bananas, are rich in potassium and very low in sodium thus help in managing blood pressure better. They help maintain water balance in the body and detoxify the body to protect you against heart attacks. 
 Prevents acidity 
Bananas are very effective antacids and coat the inner lining of the stomach and suppress acid secretion. This  protects the stomach from ulcers and acidity.
Beat constipation
Both the fruit and stem are rich in fibre and  pectin which helps assist bowel motility and eases out constipation. Alternatively  you can even drink the juice prepared from the banana plant stem.

Brad Pitt paranoid of Sharks

Brad Pitt reportedly didn't want his kids to learn how to surf.

The Hollywood star married Angelina Jolie in France last month and the pair have six children together - three adopted and three biological.

Angelina and her brood spent time in Australia while she was filming Unbroken down under. They had a great time trying new things, but their father was a little more cautious.

"My kids learned to surf, even though Daddy didn't want to know when they were in the water because he has a shark phobia," she laughed to the British edition of OK! magazine.

"He was doing Fury in England. I spent many nights sleeping in Taronga Zoo and we were all dressed as animals. The kids wanted us to match so by the end of the night, everybody had animal onesies on."

While Angelina may have acted a little calmer, she was also concerned for the welfare of her little ones.

The 39-year-old beauty also recalls the moment she learned to swim."When I was swimming in the sea, I must have been a little girl with my mom, and I am an OK swimmer but I am one of those mothers that taught my kids to swim very early because I have a fear of drowning for children," she admitted.

"I am very paranoid about water. And it happens a lot in LA and I think you just have to make sure, so I got mine in as quickly as possible. But I haven't swum in the ocean and I think it's been a long time. I probably just should just go out and get in the ocean because we all do that in life don't we? Our lives get too full and fast and we forget to just go and enjoy a big swim in the ocean."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chris Brown pleads guilty, is sentenced

Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to misdemeanour assault.

The 25-year-old R&B star was accused of hitting a man outside a hotel in Washington in October last year. At the time he was on probation following his assault on his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.

"I'm sorry, I am very sorry," Brown told the judge in the brief hearing in a District of Columbia court.

The judge sentenced Brown, 25, to time served -- the one day he was locked up after his arrest -- and no probation for the simple assault conviction. He must also pay a $150 fine.

Initially the singer pleaded not guilty to the charge and also rejected several plea deals, resulting in a trial being set for April. It was then delayed, in part because of the ramifications of the case on Chris' other legal issues.

The star had his probation for the assault on Rihanna revoked last year after he was accused of the Washington assault. He had previously checked into rehab voluntarily, but was then sentenced to 90 days in an anger management facility during a probation violation hearing after it was heard he had thrown rocks at his mother's car.

Chris was kicked out of rehab and arrested in March after he told a group therapy session he was "good at using guns and knives" and refused a drug session. This meant he had to go to prison and he was sentenced to 131 additional days in May - with the judge initially handing down 365 days, but taking into account the 234 he'd already spent in jail and rehab. He was finally released the following month.

The star's lawyer Danny Onorato has argued Chris has already paid a heavy price for the Washington assault, noting both his time behind bars and in rehab.

"To say that he's been punished severely in this matter is an understatement," he is quoted as saying by AP. The attorney apparently added that Chris' career has been on hold for 12 months, but he now wants to focus on promoting his music.

The star spoke only briefly in court, telling those present he was sorry for his actions. Fans and photographers formed a crush as he left, but he didn't make a statement.

Get rid of your side Fat

Eliminate that extra padding on the sides of your waist by doing the right moves, eating well and moving around.

Celebrity trainer and nutrition expert Harley Pasternak suggests how to do away with love handles.

* Tone up: These three moves are excellent at toning the muscles that run along the side of the waistline.

1. Side bend on back extension bench: Start on your left side leaning against the centre inside of the back extension bench with both of your feet stacked together. Place your right hand against your right temple and let your left arm hang straight down. Slowly bend your torso down to the left, then move back to the right. Turn and do the same on the other side.

2. Side plank: Lie on your right side on the floor or a mat, placing your forearm in front of you and stacking your feet one upon the other. Exhale and raise your body, supporting it on your forearm and feet. Inhale, and contract your abdominal muscles. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, depending upon your skill level. Return to starting position, and repeat, then do two planks while lying on your left side.

3. Standing dumbbell side bends: Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, right arm hanging down your side with a light weight (dumbbell or jug of water). Bend your left arm slightly so fingers are touching your left temple.

Start by tipping over like a tea pot toward your left side as you slide your right arm up your leg and your left elbow toward your left foot, then move in the opposite direction with the dumbbell sliding down your leg. Do an equal amount on each side.

* Eat better: Eating three meals and two snacks a day with protein, fiber and healthy fat is the best way to banish fat on your belly.

* Burn fat: Move all day. While you’re on the phone, when you’re waiting in line, when you’re waiting for your coffee to brew, just move around.