Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Half Birthday To You ! - Find your half birthday !

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shock & Awe ! Deadliest Shooting in US History - 33 dead in massacre in Virginia Tech

History was made yesterday when , CHO SEUNG-HUI, 23, a South Korean native took 32 lives as well as his own at Virginia Tech on Monday April 16th 2007. Cho was enrolled as an undergraduate student in his senior year as an English major. The rampage consisted of two attacks, more than two hours apart, which took place at around 7:15 a.m. Monday morning when two people were killed at West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory. Later that morning, the remaining victims were killed in Norris Hall, the engineering studies building.

The massacre Monday, took place almost eight years to the day after the Columbine High bloodbath near Littleton, Colo. On April 20, 1999, two teenagers killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives.

Previously, the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history was a rampage that took place in 1966 at the University of Texas at Austin, where Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower and opened fire with a rifle from the 28th-floor observation deck. He killed 16 people before he was shot to death by police.

About Virginia Tech :

Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech is nestled in southwestern Virginia, about 160 miles west of Richmond. With more than 25,000 full-time students, it has the state's largest full-time student population. The school is best known for its engineering school and its powerhouse Hokies football team.

I am watching TV and President Bush console the family of Virginia Tech. The convocation that is taking place has been appropriate and will bring a feeling of comfort and unity in the community. I pray for all the victims and their families.

Monday, April 16, 2007

People Asks "What Do You Think of Idol's Sanjaya?"

The Indian American teenage singer has enjoyed superstar success so far, receiving the judges’ criticism with a big broad smile on his face each time and everytime thus becoming even more endearing to the viewers at home.

He’s not taking himself that seriously and he seems to enjoy his time on stage. With this tenacity Sanjaya has ganied legions of genuine fans and among them are the 3 million Indian-Americans, who feel proud that one of their own is knocking on the door of mainstream commercial success. Now news flies that even Senator Hilary Clinton loves Sanjaya.
Sanajaya is the now the most talked about contestant on American Idol. And when it comes to generating buzz about Sanjaya , Reality TV Magazine is at the top of the list according to a recent study by Nielsen BuzzMetrics. After analyzing blog links since January 1, 2007, Nielsen BuzzMetrics ranked Reality TV Magazine as the most cited by blogs discussing Sanjaya.

The Los Angeles Times has explained that that Sanjaya’s success resides in the fact that “he's such a good sport.”

Here is what some celeb's are saying about Sanjaya Malakar - American Idol's newest star....

Mary J. Blige: I don't think he's horrible, but everybody's making it where he's just horrible. I've heard worse.
Diana DeGarmo: I believe more power to him. If he can do it, go for it.
Joel Madden: I'm hoping he wins, because Howard Stern's been trying to get him votes, and I love Howard.
Kevin Nealon: I'm not a 'Fanjaya,' but I like that he's still in there. It's fun seeing how long Sanjaya will stay.

For more go here tot he entire article on People Magazine Article : What Do You Think of Idol's Sanjaya? Also see Carson Daly: I'm Voting for Sanjaya

Saturday, April 14, 2007

10 Foods Your Skin Will Love

Great Advice !

You want to have a brighter complexion that’s free from fine lines, dry, flaky bits, spots, acne and red blotchy patches; skin that doesn’t feel as though it’s dying a slow and painful death from exposure to all manner of evil elements.

Originally uploaded by Papa Razzi1.

Yes, you can nurture your skin with products designed to protect it on the outside, but it’s the internal nurturing you do that will really help make a difference. We have known for some time that our skin is a reflection of our nutritional status. What’s really exciting, though, is that we are beginning to understand much more about the best foods to consume to improve the health, functioning and beauty of our skin. Remember, you only get out of it what you put into it.

Here’s my guide to beautiful, healthy skin you’ll be proud of.

1. CARROTS: help protect against skin cancer

Carrots are an excellent source of the antioxidant group called carotenoids, the most common being Beta carotene. During prolonged exposure to UV rays, blood levels of B-carotene decrease. which can increase the risk of skin cancer. Studies have shown that consuming 30mg of B-carotene per day (that’s the equivalent of about four carrots) for two weeks before, as well as during, a “holiday in the sun”, prevents the drop in B-carotene associated with increased cancer risk. It may also increase the reflective capacity of the skin. The combination of increasing the amount of carotenoids in the diet, and using sunscreen, appears to enhance the protective effects of both.

2. FISH: involved in calming inflammation of the skin

Fish contains dietary compounds valuable for the skin. It’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that combat free radicals that damage collagen networks within the skin. Omega-3 is a substance that will invade areas with infected pimples, helping to reduce inflammation. Some studies also confirm its benefits for reducing inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis. Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, are excellent omega-3 sources and need to be consumed about three times a week to ensure a good intake of omega-3. If you are allergic to fish or don’t like it, see the list below for some alternative sources of omega-3.

If you are not a fish eater, add one of the following for the same amount of omega-3 fats as a 150g salmon fillet:
2 tablespoons (40g) walnut oil
2 tablespoons (40g) wheat germ oil
2 tablespoons (40g) soy bean oil
1 1/2 tablespoon (30g) canola oil
3 1/2 tablespoons (18g) linseed
4 tablespoons (60g) walnuts
1 1/2 cups (300g) soy beans, uncooked


Nutrients in dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, silver beet, Asian greens and dark-green salad mix have many skin rejuvenating properties. These foods contain the anti-oxidant B-carotene (that is also found in carrots), which has the capacity to destroy cell-damaging free radicals. Iron is also present in these vegetables, and together with the vitamin C they contain, ensures that oxygen is transported to the skin’s cells. An iron deficiency can result in large dark circles forming under the eyes. Broccoli also contains the anti-oxidant vitamin C, which helps to cross-link collagen fibres and prevents collagen from being destroyed by free radicals. Collagen networks support the skin, help promote elasticity and stop it from becoming loose. Collagen also reduces bruising. To enhance the absorption of B-carotene, drizzle a little nut, olive or seed oil over raw or lightly steamed vegetables. Remember that overcooking will destroy the vitamin C.

4. CITRUS FRUIT: keeps your skin elastic

These fruits, which include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, mandarins and tangelos, contain two compounds that are beneficial for skin health: vitamin C and limonene. Vitamin C works to preserve collagen. Short-term supplementation, under medical supervision, with high daily doses of vitamin C (3g), together with vitamin E (2g), has been shown to reduce the effects of acute sunburn. Limonene, an anti-oxidant found particularly in the peel, may help to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

5. SOY: keeps your skin looking youthful

Phytoestrogens in soy foods, such as soy drinks, tofu, soy and linseed bread, have been found to act like the hormone oestrogen. They help to delay the onset of dry skin and the wrinkling associated with the ageing process. Another important component which is present in soy products is vitamin E, which boosts new cell growth. The exact quantities of phytoestrogens that need to be consumed in order to reap the benefits are unknown. However, including soy products in your diet several times a week is probably a good starting point.

6. WHOLEGRAIN CEREALS: eliminate toxins

The skin is a reflection of your internal health, and toxins within the body can result in unhealthy looking skin. Fibre found in whole grains acts like a purifying system by filtering wastes out of the body. This helps to boost the skin’s potential to be healthy and clear. Calcium may also have a role to play in the removal of toxins. So the combination of a wholegrain breakfast cereal and calcium-rich milk or soy may offer additional benefits. Isovitexin, which is an anti-oxidant found in wild rice, in particular, has been touted as having anti ageing properties for the skin and is also found in some skin creams.

7. TOMATOES: fight collagen damage and premature wrinkling

Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene, which has the potential to decrease collagen damage deep within the skin’s tissue, which is where wrinkles are formed. Many skin treatments and creams now contain lycopene, but there appear to be enhanced benefits from eating foods containing lycopene, such as tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit. The redder the tomato, the higher its lycopene content. Cooking tomatoes increases this level.

8. BERRIES: slow down the ageing process

Anti-oxidants called anthocyanins have anti-ageing abilities, as they are believed to protect the body against chemical carcinogens and ultraviolet light. They are found in berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and cranberries. These fruits also contain the anti-oxidant vitamin C, which helps to reconstruct damaged collagen. Berries can be eaten all year round. But if fresh berries are not available, try buying them frozen from supermarkets or drink blackcurrant juice to boost your anthocyanin intake.

9. PLANT AND SEED OILS: healthy glow, reduced dryness

Oils from olives, nuts and avocados provide the skin with a healthy glow. The essential fatty acids found in these foods reduce clogged pores by thinning out the oils secreted by them. It has been suggested that people affected by eczema have an abnormal essential fatty acid metabolism and may benefit from an adjustment of the types and quantities of the fat in their diet. However, this sort of dietary manipulation is complex. The presence of vitamin E in these oils ensures the production of new cell growth, keeping the skin supple, smooth and moist. The combination of this antioxidant vitamin with others such as Beta-carotene is believed to protect against redness of the skin and therefore may be useful for diminishing sensitivity to ultraviolet light and the effects of sun damage. How much do we need? Including small amounts of these healthy oils in your diet every day would be advisable for healthy skin.

10. SHELLFISH: promotes clear, smooth skin

The acne terminator zinc, found in oysters and other molluscs, decreases acne flareups. It also plays a major role in helping break down damaged collagen, allowing new collagen to form which, in turn, makes the skin look youthful. One of the clinical signs of zinc deficiency is dry, flaky skin. Most people need 12mg of zinc per day, so try some of these foods: ‘/2 dozen oysters (19mg), 100g lean lamb (Smg), l bowl of fortified breakfast cereal (2mg), 1 cup of baked beans (1.Smg), 1 cup of cooked spinach (lmg), 1 slice of wholemeal bread (0.4mg).

Source :

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Wanna live like a Spanish King or in a Nudist Colony? Try these websites...

After years of vacation and business travel, we're sure of one thing: Hotels are a little boring. Some boast spas and indoor pools. Others leave cute twisted-towel animals on your bed after tidying up.

Live like a Spanish king in a circular lighthouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Situated off the coast of La Manga, Spain. Baron Island was once a royal hunting reserve of King Amadeo of Saboya.

Or live like the real Robinson Crusoe on the real Robinson Crusoe island off the coast of Chile. This remote island allows you to live a life unburdened by today's materialist pressures. Try a tree house built 100 ft above the ground deep in the jungles of the Western Ghats, India with electricity, mosquito nets, running water and your own shower room.

Or you may fancy the Royal Tents of Rajasthan, they come equipped with twin beds, ensuite bathrooms, custom made furniture, mosquito nets, electricity, hot water and even room service.We have also included ice hotels in Sweden, mud huts in Indonesia, period elegance in Cuba, an Art museum hotel in Japan, royal tents of the Raj in India, native American hogans in Arizona, private islands in the pacific, water tower accommodation in England and even a nudist colony in Australia.

So whether it's a tree house vacation in the jungle or a Native American teepee this website has somewhere that will inspire you.

But when have you ever considered sending your family a postcard of your hotel?

This site encourages you to find unique places to stay based on location, budget, theme, or the elusive "wow!" factor. With categories ranging from igloos to lighthouses to caves, it can be easy to plan a vacation around unusual hotels।

If you're looking for the ones that'll really make your postcard stand out, check into these:

  1. Dog Bark Park Inn — Stay inside the world's largest beagle.
  2. Ice Hotel Quebec — Wear your parka!
  3. Creek n Crag's Wild Canopy Reserve — Spy on a tiger from the treetops।
  4. Utter Inn — Sleep with the fishes, and wake up the next morning।
  5. The Old Jail — A different kind of bed and breakfast

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Getting the Skinny on Weight Loss Supplements !

Weight loss supplements may work in three ways:

  1. One is by helping the body to break down body fat. This involves releasing it from fat cells, where it enters the bloodstream as free fatty acids that are then transported to muscle cells where they may be burned.
  2. The second action of weight loss supplements is to suppress appetite, which is a complex process. Many hormones and neurotransmitters are involved. We don't have all the answers in this area, but research continues. The human body's instinct is to survive, and once appetite suppressants are stopped, people become hungry.
  3. The third way weight loss supplements may work is by inhibiting the body from absorbing fat during digestion. Fat blockers don't work if a person isn't eating fat in his or her diet. They also won't prevent weight gain if a person is overeating protein or carbohydrates. The negative side effects of these supplements include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and inability to absorb many important fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients. In addition, they may interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications, especially birth control pills and estrogen.

Often, weight loss supplements contain more than one substance to generate weight loss from more than one angle. The ingredients are available alone, or with other substances. The following is a partial listing of some of the weight loss supplements you may see:


Promoted as a fat burner, carnitine naturally occurs in the body, and people can obtain it through eating meat, fish, poultry, and some dairy foods. Carnitine helps transport fatty acids to the muscle. In theory, it makes sense that more of it would help people get more fatty acids into the muscles, burning additional fat. Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to expectations, because taking its supplemental form doesn't result in increased fat burning.

Chromium Picolinate

Although this mineral helps metabolize carbohydrates and fats, it has not lived up to claims of increasing lean body mass and decreasing fat. As a matter of fact, the majority of the research done on this supplement shows it is not effective as a weight loss supplement. Some research showed damage to DNA with excess chromium picolinate that is exacerbated with Vitamin C. Taking in more than the body requires can actually reduce the binding capacity of iron in the blood, potentially resulting in iron deficiency and decreased ability to carry oxygen in the blood. This could negatively impact one's ability to exercise and expend calories.


This is probably the most popular substance in fat-burners on the market today. It acts like a hormone the body makes — norepinephrine. The action of this substance is associated with increased fat release from adipose (or fat) tissue, increasing free fatty acids in the bloodstream. Also increased are heart rate, heart contractility, body heat production, and metabolic rate. Ephedrine may also be able to suppress hunger. Studies have demonstrated that dieters were able to lose slightly more weight when taking ephedrine vs. placebos — but not nearly the amounts referenced in TV and magazine ads. It has been shown that ephedrine is even more effective when combined with caffeine — but so are the side effects, including tremors, dizziness, insomnia, heart arrhythmias, headaches, and increased blood pressure.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported numerous adverse incidents and a number of deaths from taking supplements containing ephedrine or its precursors, ephedra or ma huang. Anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes, and pregnant women need to avoid this supplement. The National Football League (NFL) has listed it as a banned substance, and Canada prohibits its sale. Although ephedrine may help some people lose an extra few pounds, it doesn't seem worth the risk.

When a supplement touts "proven in clinical trials," you need to dig deeper. If the manufacturers are citing animal studies, it may have no merit in terms of human outcomes. For one reason, fat metabolism in rats is different than in people. Often, preliminary research is done on these animals, but the same results often don't pan out in humans. We are learning that fat burning and some hormonal responses are not the same between the two species. Some supplement manufacturers jump the gun before substances can be proven in humans, often in the name of big bucks. Another caveat is that when research is done, sometimes amounts of the ingredients or the ingredients themselves that the scientists use are not available to the public. Scientists may use substances in large amounts when studying them — not what is generally available at your local health food store. The supplement you find may contain additional components that alter the effect of the main ingredient. In addition, there is no guarantee that the supplement you buy has exactly what the label indicates.

Once again, there is really no safe short cut or quick fix to losing weight, no matter how slick the ads! And fat burners, despite the hype, do not work as advertised.