Monday, June 30, 2008

Child Prostitution is America's Dirty Little Secret

Carissa Phelps was only 12 years old when she ran away from the Fresno County group home where her mother had left her. Hungry and alone, the runaway was befriended by a man three times her age. And the price of a hot dog and Pepsi was all it cost the man to get her to a seedy motel.
Carissa soon found herself drawn into the world of child prostitution. It begins with men who first befriend lost girls like Carissa, then force them to have sex with other adult men and take whatever money they earn. Twenty years later, Carissa has managed to escape the desperate "survival sex" lifestyle that has become a dead-end road for many young people.

Others, however, are not so fortunate. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, child prostitution has become a problem of epidemic proportions, with estimates ranging between 300,000 and 800,000 (five million or more are prostituted globally). Those figures are likely even higher when one considers how many street kids -- runaways, thrown-aways and cast-offs from the foster care system -- remain unaccounted for in America. Left to fend for themselves, these young girls and boys quickly become prey for small-time pimps and organized sex-trafficking rings.

Amazingly, many children are introduced to prostitution by family members or acquaintances such as parents, older siblings or boyfriends. The internet, especially websites such as Craigslist, Facebook and MySpace, has made it even easier to prey on children without being easily detected by law enforcement.

Child prostitution is America's "dirty little secret," one that cuts across racial and socio-economic divides. As Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin observed, "It's one of those issues that doesn't get discussed and therefore there's an assumption that perhaps either it doesn't exist at all or the young women and girls who are prostitutes are there by their own free will." Yet there is little to suggest that these children ever willingly choose such a lifestyle. Even the term "child prostitute" is something of a misnomer, suggesting that it is the child -- and not the adult handler -- who has opted to sell him or herself for sex.

Children who are sold for sex (the majority are female) typically range in age from 11 to 17, with some as young as 9 years old. Once they have been lured or forced into prostituting themselves, these children are subjected to a full range of injuries, diseases, pregnancies, mental issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and drug addiction, not to mention criminal and delinquency charges if they are caught. For those who are "rescued" out of the system, the stigma of having once been part of the sex trade is hard to overcome.

Yet while most people are barely aware of the sex trafficking industry, it infects suburbs, cities and towns across the nation. "This is not a problem that only happens in New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco," stated Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "This happens in smaller communities. The only way not to find this in any American city is simply not to look for it."

Unfortunately, Americans have become good at turning away from things that make us uncomfortable or stray too far from our picture-perfect images of ourselves. Yet the harsh reality is that this epidemic is largely one of our own making. Simply put, we have failed to prioritize or protect our young people, leaving them to fend for themselves.

There are a multitude of factors that have contributed to the explosive growth of child prostitution in recent years. These range from the rampant availability of porn over the internet and the unabashed peddling of sex by advertisers and the entertainment industry to a complete lack of role models for young people and a failure by religious organizations to engage or impact them in any meaningful way.

Yet it is the family -- and its breakdown over the past 40 years -- that has had the greatest impact on young people today. The rise of single-parent homes, the drop in marriage rates and soaring divorce rates are a testament to this breakdown. Just consider the family background of a child who has fallen into prostitution: typically, it includes an absentee parent, marital separation, domestic violence, substance abuse, prostitution activities within the family and neighborhood influence.

Sadly, while we as a society have failed to adequately register the importance of family on our children, those who prey on young people understand it all too well. According to a study conducted through the University of Pennsylvania, 75% of known child prostitutes work for pimps, who are adept at creating a pseudo-family environment by promising money, love and affection to children coming from dysfunctional homes who are seeking care and nourishment. These sexual predators then strip these children of whatever money they make and severely abuse them in order to establish a relationship of dependency.

So where does this leave the thousands of young people forced to sell themselves for sex every day just to survive to see the next day?

There are few cut-and-dried solutions. We can continue to throw money at the government -- with its task forces, sting operations and initiatives -- and comfort ourselves that something is being done. We can continue to give money to our churches and synagogues in the hopes that they will do something, perhaps by focusing on the inner cities and offering counseling and assistance to these cast-off children. We can even contact our representatives and insist that they get tough on crime by showing "no leniency" to sexual predators.

However, until each of us gets serious about this crisis, until we all start doing our part to target the underlying societal causes -- poverty, drug abuse and dysfunctional family units -- the gains will continue to be minimal. And tragically, it will be the children who pay the price for our neglect.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Telling Truth Proves Healthy

Telling the public the truth about medical mishaps has not provoked mass hysteria as feared - instead, it is proving healthier for patients and the health system, officials say.

Speaking this week at the launch of the New Zealand Incident Management System for "sentinel" (serious) events, Director-General of Health Stephen McKernan said the public had a right to know that when something went wrong, it was acknowledged and something was done about it.

In the small number of cases in which things went wrong, the authorities had to be "honest with patients and their families, find out what happened, why ... and how to stop it happening again"."One preventable death is one too many."

Quality Improvement Committee chairman Pat Snedden said the committee had asked each of the 21 district health boards for their policies on incident management and disclosure and received 46 policies.

Policy around the new system is still being developed, but a central Web-based repository for incident reports feeding into continuing training for health workers is planned.

Mr Snedden, who also chairs Auckland DHB, said when Capital and Coast was forced by the ombudsman to release details of serious events to The Dominion Post, every other board knew it could have been them.

"We quickly realised there was no value in pointing the finger at each other, but there was value in self-examination and in sharing what we found."

However, in the process of putting together the report - which detailed 182 serious events in 2006-07, including 40 deaths - the committee found that while boards had their own systems for dealing with such events, "almost no one was sharing what they had learned with anyone else".

Though they had been reluctant to air their "dirty laundry" in public, boards learned the public wanted to know the truth. "Far from encouraging hysteria, truth-telling gives them some perspective on the process."

Further, dealing with the media in a professional and open way had led to more objective reporting.

Both the health and disability commissioner and the ombudsman had highlighted the importance of disclosure and engaging the public, he said.


Dolce & Gabbana - spring/summer 2009 menswear collections

Italian designer team Dolce & Gabbana kicked off Milan's fashion week in relaxed style, taking inspiration from oriental kimonos to kit out men in silk evening pajamas for next summer.

Asian-style prints of dragons and butterflies decorated robes and shorts in black, white, grey, sepia and ivory for the duo's signature line. Naomi Campbell modeled one of their designs as part of the spring/summer 2009 menswear collections.

Evening jackets teamed with black trousers also sported the prints, in a collection said to reflect "the relaxed lifestyle of the modern man".

A variety of light and dark blues, and natural hues from beige to brown, were used for formal striped suits and casual wear, topped on the runway with dark-rimmed glasses.

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce tucked tight-fitting shirts -- often diagonally-striped, with small bow ties or chine jersey shirts with cotton collars and cuffs -- into drawstring trousers with a loose leg, or paired suits with bow and skinny ties. Jackets had small shawl lapels, single- or double-breasted.

The designers used crocodile and suede for jackets and for limited edition sneakers that also came in mixed leathers.

Models, some of whom were sent out with double-handled bags, wore python, crocodile, eel or patent leather sandals, as well as slippers in various leathers and colors.


Designer brands Sex and the City fashion 'dull'

Legendary fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has hit out at the 'Sex and the City' movie, branding the fashion "quite dull".

Despite her creations featuring in the hugely popular film, the 67-year-old admits she was not impressed by the outfits she saw on the big screen.

She said: "'I thought 'Sex and the City' was supposed to be about cutting-edge fashion and there was nothing remotely memorable or interesting about what I saw. I went to the premiere and left after ten minutes."

'Sex and the City' is famed as much for its fashion as its racy storylines.

Sarah Jessica Parker revealed prior to the film's release that her character Carrie wore an astonishing 81 outfits in the movie - including a wedding dress created by Westwood.

Parker vowed fans would love the outfits shown onscreen, saying: "The movie doesn't disappoint! It certainly doesn't disappoint in fashion."

Sarah's co-stars, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis had 200 outfit changes between them.


Samsung and Sprint have collaborated together on a touchscreen handset - The Samsung Instinct

Samsung and Sprint have collaborated together on a touchscreen handset that could finally give the iPhone some decent competition. The Samsung Instinct is an EV-DO Rev.A handset with GPS and access to Sprint TV, together with a 2-megapixel camera with video recording, Bluetooth 2.0 and microSD storage supporting up to 8GB cards. However the interface deserves some attention too, with haptic feedback, single-touch access to favourite functions.

Samsung Instinct, exclusively available from Sprint, has a high-tech look with large, vibrant touch screen featuring localized tactile feedback, called haptics, which allow the virtual QWERTY keypad and other operations to become a sensory experience. The device also offers a Voice to Action button providing many functions using voice activation including call, text, picture messaging, traffic, movie, sports, news and search.

“Instinct brings customers what they want with the immediacy they want. Every decision during the development process focused on simplifying the user experience,” said John Garcia, senior vice president of Product Development and chief marketing officer for Sprint. “The end result is a great looking phone that makes the value of Sprint’s fast NOW Network come to life, but most importantly, it is fun and easy to use.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Trouble with Oversize Bags

Oversize Bags

As most of us fashion-forward ladies know, an oversize bag – whether we're talking a tote or a multi-pocket one – is the ideal carry-on solution for our busy daily lives. We can cram anything from our laptops and mobile phones to our makeup bags, books, diaries and a million other small things we need to give us the comfortable illusion that we're in complete control of our existence. However, the oversize tote carries with it a much deeper (and maybe obvious) risk: that of putting too much strain on us, both on the physical and on the emotional level.

A recent survey showed that the average bag weighs about 5.2lb. Put creatively, this is the same weight as three large bricks. That's right – real house bricks. And how many of us giant handbag owners have missed important calls because, well, we couldn't find the tiny phone, hidden at the bottom of the bag beneath a pile of books, daily planners, wallets, hairbrushes and various makeup and beauty items? Keep in mind the fact that we lug around our bags using only one side of our body, thus unevenly distributing the strain of the extra weight. This, doctors warn, can lead to neck and back pain and even headaches.

As for the emotional side – well, the growing pressure of our modern, busy lifestyles means that we need to surround ourselves with a growing number of things in order to function properly. "Our huge and heavy handbags reflect the modern woman's psyche perfectly," behavior expert Dr Pam Spurr tells the Daily Mail. "On the outside, they are a symbol of how successful we are. But on the inside, we cram them full of stuff because we think we need all these things to conduct our lives efficiently".

With so many variables at hand, we feel that we need to cover every possibility and we keep on top of things by carrying around everything from an umbrella to a change of shoes for a glamorous after-work party. "At an emotional level, carrying a handbag that's fit to burst gives us a sense of security. It makes us feel invincible in a stressful world because we've got every possible scenario covered," Spurr says. How many of you think she is right?

Source @ Softpedia

Embroidered T-shirt. Price: £4. Cost: Misery

Primark is rightly being exposed over the use of child labour in the finishing of cheap clothes. But as evidence against retailers stacks up, shoppers are kidding themselves if they don't shoulder some of the blame, says Dan McDougall.

The key question behind sweatshop investigations into major corporations like Monday night's Panorama special on Primark is abundantly clear: do consumers, the UK shoppers who spend billions in the High Street, truly care where their £4 hand-finished blouse comes from? The answer, to the shops at least, is yes. And it is reflected in the growth of ethical sourcing policies led by firms like Marks and Spencer's.

A decade ago the duties of a corporation were almost exclusively focused on one thing: profit.

Now, though, corporate social responsibility appears to be in the ascendant. Episodes such as the Enron boardroom scandal and exposés of retailers' reliance on child labour, like the one I carried out into Gap Inc last year, have forced companies to be more open and honest. They do this because they believe the consumer cares about where his morning coffee comes from or the shirt he puts on his back before going to work.

"Transparency" has become the watchword, and the mere mention of sweatshops now makes clothing manufacturers such as Primark or The Gap anxious.

Transparency is what Gap displayed in response to revelations about their production process and what Primark claims it is trying to do by firing three of its key Indian suppliers in the run up to tonight's Panorama documentary. To its credit, Gap admitted the problem, sought to fix it and promised to radically re-examine the working practices of its Indian contractors.

But increasingly it is consumers, and not the corporations, who have the biggest role to play in the fight against exploitation.

"The public has a major role to play in the fight against child labour," says Bhuwan Ribhu, of the New Delhi-based Global March Against Child Labour, which leads the campaign against under-age working in the sub-continent. "They need to learn more about who makes the products they buy, and support organisations with programmes to stop child labour. Raise funds, join campaigns and talk to friends to make more people aware of the seriousness of the issue."

"What happened with Gap and now with Primark should be a key indicator to all consumers. The sad reality is many major retail firms know, but don't dare to admit, what outsourcing to India means. Employing cheap labour without successful auditing and investigation of your contractors inevitably means children will be used somewhere along the chain."

Source @ BBC News

Latest Marc Jacobs Ad Features A Man In A Dress

The one thing we can say for sure after looking at the new ads for Marc by Marc Jacobs fall men's and women's line is that it is now clear that the celebrated fashion guru doesn't hate friend and budding designer Victoria Beckham. Over the
past months, the usually stylish, rail-thin former Posh Spice was featured in a series of rather bizarre ads for Jacobs' label, which saw her pose with her feet sticking out of a giant shopping bag and sporting an assortment of strange haircuts and poses. Which made some of us wonder whether Victoria and Marc were really friends or there was a certain amount of tension (creative or not) urging Jacobs to show his buddy in a rather unflattering light.

Now, however, all doubts are gone from our minds, as Jacobs and his pal Juergen Teller have just come up with a series of shots even more bizarre (in the best possible sense, of course) than the "Victoria in a bad" ones. Few of us would expect to see a man modeling what is clearly a stylish little black dress - and in an age when designers are fighting to secure advertising deals with some of the world's most stylish and sophisticated faces (OK, let's make it even clearer - we mean women's faces), it's quite unexpected to discover that top male model Cole Mohr is in fact posing for both Marc by Marc Jacobs fall 2008 men's and women's lines. But hey, stranger things have happened, right? Right?

A stylish little black dress with an oversize satin bow detail on the front, a lot of attitude, dark shades and Breakfast at Tiffany’s-style chunky jewelry - so far, nothing out of the ordinary. The fact that it's a man sporting the dress and accessories might come across as a little odd - and since we all know Marc Jacobs' ads always come with an added twist, perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised. Cole Mohr is also featured wearing men's clothes (or rather displaying the lack thereof) in an advertisement for the male counterpart of the Jacobs fall line. Who would have guessed - the ultimate woman is, in Jacobs' view, a man. Watch out, all you supermodel ladies, if this keeps going, you'll soon end up losing your jobs for good.

Look After Your Scalp

scalpWe talk about haircare routines, haircut styles and new 'dos on a daily basis, but we often forget that in all things hair-related, the scalp is where it all begins - and ends. And yet, this essential part of our looks stays hidden, and most of us don't get to see our own scalps but in exceptional circumstances. We should never forget that everything from the color to
the amount and type of hair we have - whether we're talking thick and coarse or thin and wispy - is conditioned by the state of our scalp. The fact is, the scalp's among the most abused regions of our body, and we should pay it the proper amount of attention.

"The scalp has a relatively hard time. But apart from the balls of the feet, the heels and back, it's the thickest part of the skin," one London Clinic dermatologist explains in an interview with the Daily Mail. "The top layer - or epidermis - is of average thickness but the dermis, which is the stronger layer of skin underneath, is thicker. Whereas facial skin may measure 1mm, the skin on the scalp is about 2mm," he adds. Which means that the scalp can successfully put up with most of the things we throw at it - be it chemicals, dyes, bleaches, sprays, gels and other styling products, extreme heat and so on - as long as we pay it the proper amount of consideration and we never forget to protect it.

Looking after our scalp is not the hardest thing in the world. Simple things are extremely important - such as applying shampoo and various conditioners using the pads of the fingers (not the nails) and massaging them into your scalp with gentle rubbing motions. Also, before you color your hair (especially if you're thinking of bleaching it or dying it black) make sure to test the dye or bleach on a small portion of the scalp in order to ensure you're not allergic to any of its components. Don't brush your hair too energetically while it's still moist, and remember to use a soothing and regenerating hair mask at least once a week (coconut oil is a great idea). Don't overdo the styling, and give your scalp time to recover - and you'll be sure to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy scalp for a very long time.

High Fashion Coming to HSN

High Fashion Great news for those of you who can't have enough of the spectacular fashion made wildly popular by the ever-trendy Sarah Jessica Parker and her glamorous fellow cast mates in the SATC movie: you will not have long to wait
before you can get your hands on some of the pieces worn by the leading ladies in the successful movie – and just in case you're worried about breaking the bank, don't worry too much about that, either. Patricia Field, the mastermind behind the designer looks of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, has teamed up with the home shopping network and will be producing an exclusive line of clothes and accessories available on come fall.

The exclusive brand is called Destination Style New York and will officially become available for fashion addicts in the States (exclusively on HSN) for a five day sell starting on September 23rd. The collection aims to bring a little star quality into the lives of millions of women out there and contains about 50 pieces of clothing, all at very affordable prices, ranging from $39 to $199. You'll be able to get your hands on everything from sportswear and denim to dresses and even accessories that will help you achieve your favorite star look for less.

The collection is designed by Patricia Field and another veteran House of Field designer, David Dalrymple. Among the things you can buy is the white and gold flower dress Carrie wears in one of the movie's opening sequences, a printed T-shirt dress, a black and red rose-print dress with patent-leather belt and a sequined blazer. And if you think that going out in public wearing a dress with a huge flower on one shoulder is a bit too much, you will be able to purchase the flower separately and wear it as a brooch on a different outfit. So ladies, start saving the big bucks and keep an eye out for more news on this fabulous deal, coming soon.

T-Mobile Launch Nokia 6301 and Samsung T339

Nokia 6301T-Mobile USA has just announced the release of two new handsets for its subscribers: Nokia 6301 and Samsung T339, both being compatible with T-Mo's HotSpot @Home wireless service.

Nokia 6301 is a candybar that resembles the old 6300 model. Weighing 3.2 ounces (91 grams) and measuring 4.2 x 1.7 x 0.5 inches (107 x 43 x 12.7 mm), the phone packs the following features: a 2 inch TFT display with 16 million colors and 240 x 320 pixels, Wi-Fi, T-Mobile myFaves, stereo Bluetooth, Music player (MP3, WMA, AAC and eAAC+ supported), FM radio, Instant Messaging, a 2 Megapixel camera, expandable memory (up to 4GB) and tri-band GSM connectivity (850 / 1800 / 1900 MHz) with GPRS, EDGE and UMA.

Samsung T339 (or Samsung SGH-T339) is a fancy clamshell that comes after less than one week from the announcement of another Samsung clamshell, the weird looking T299. The features of T339 include: Wi-Fi, myFaves, a 176 x 220 pixel TFT display with 262K colors, Music player, stereo Bluetooth, Instant Messaging and expandable memory up to only 2GB. The new Samsung weighs 3.3 ounces (93.5 grams) and, when closed, it measures 3.62 x 1.83 x 0.78 inches (92 x 46.5 x 19.8 mm).

Samsung T339"Since launching T-Mobile HotSpot @Home nearly a year ago, T-Mobile has remained committed to building our portfolio of handsets to support this innovative wireless service. These new phones are stylish offerings for our customers who want to take advantage of unlimited nationwide calling and great wireless coverage – all for an affordable price," stated Sajal Sahay, director of product marketing, T-Mobile USA, in a press release.

Although T-Mobile says the new Nokia and Samsung handsets are available as of today, both online and in select retail stores across the US, the carrier's website doesn't feature the phones and their prices are not known yet. Lazy workers in the "site update" department, eh?

Source @ Softpedia

Once-fatal cancers now treated as a chronic disease

blood cellTo see Barry Cooper working out at the YMCA in Brooklyn, New York, every morning before going to work as a patent lawyer, you would be unlikely to guess that he has cancer. Cooper, 63 and a grandfather of two, is one of a small but growing number of patients for whom once-fatal cancer has become a chronic disease.

Through a better understanding of factors that distinguish cancer cells from normal ones and the development of more specific treatments that capitalize on those differences, cancers that just a decade ago would have been rapidly fatal are now being controlled for years while the patients conduct near-normal lives.

Although these cancers may never be curable, they can often be controlled for long periods by a succession of treatments. When one therapeutic approach no longer works, another one that has come along in the meantime might stop the disease from progressing, at least for a while.

Even patients whose cancers were already metastatic - spread beyond the site of origin - at the time of diagnosis are benefiting from this sequential approach. Others like Cooper have cancers of blood-forming organs that previously had a limited response to available therapies.

"We're seeing people being periodically treated and living year after year with advanced disease, with cancers that have spread to the lung, liver, brain or bone," Dr. Michael Fisch, director of the general oncology program at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said in an interview. "In 1997, we wouldn't have guessed this would be possible."

In March 2007, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential hopeful John Edwards, joined this group of chronic cancer patients when she disclosed that the breast cancer she was treated for in 2004 had spread to her bones and, possibly, lung. Edwards described the disease as "no longer curable but completely treatable" and likened the situation to living with diabetes.

Speaking generally, Dr. Francisco Esteva, a breast cancer specialist at the Anderson center, said in an interview: "Our ultimate goal is not to make this a chronic disease, but to keep patients alive long enough until we can find the right treatment for the right patient and cure the disease. Unfortunately, we're not there yet, but meanwhile we try to keep patients alive with a good quality of life for as long as possible."

Fisch calls the new therapy for advanced cancer "the hitchhiker model."

Time is bought by going from point A, the first-line therapy, to point B, the second-line therapy, to point C, the third line of therapy, and so on. The approach can continue indefinitely, as long as new therapies become available and patients remain well enough to withstand the rigors of treatment.

But Fisch noted that adding meaningful years to the lives of patients with advanced cancer depends in part on avoiding the attitude, prevalent among some physicians, that cancer is hopeless after it has metastasized.

In December 2005, at age 61, Cooper seemed hale and hearty, though he was unusually tired. Then a routine checkup resulted in a shocking diagnosis - chronic myelogenous leukemia, commonly called CML. "My initial disbelief was followed by varying degrees of anger and denial," Cooper said. "I found it very difficult to accept my diagnosis."

His doctor reassured him that he was lucky. His disease, once a gradually progressive killer, was still in a chronic stage and of a type, Philadelphia positive, that could now be controlled by a drug, Gleevec, licensed just a year earlier. And if and when Gleevec, taken daily by mouth, no longer worked or caused intolerable side effects, the doctor told him, other drugs were in the pipeline that could take over.

Cooper lost no time from work, and Gleevec kept his cancer's runaway white blood cells in check for more than two years. When he developed resistance to it, he switched to a second-generation drug.

"For a majority of people with CML," Cooper said, "Gleevec is a wonder drug, making the disease something like diabetes - controllable even if not curable."

Although he said not a day went by when he did not think about his cancer, he and his wife, Naomi, are letting no grass grow under their feet. Since the diagnosis, they have traveled abroad several times, they visit their grandchildren often and celebrated their 40th anniversary with a lavish party that Cooper described as "a very life-affirming event."

Max Watson, who has multiple myeloma, a usually deadly blood system cancer, has been able to control his disease for six years through the hitchhiker approach. His succession of treatments has included stem cell transplants, radiation and drug therapies. When one treatment failed, another became available.

Source @ IHT

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

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Friday, June 6, 2008

The Low-Fat Portfolio Diet

The Low-Fat Portfolio Diet If you're struggling with high cholesterol – whether it's genetically inherited or a result of your lifestyle – and would like to avoid taking statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs), you could try the low-fat portfolio eating plan. This is a long-term dietary solution that involves eating a variety of foods with cholesterol-lowering capabilities grouped in a so-called portfolio, developed by scientists at the University of Toronto. This eating plan was conceived specifically to help lower cholesterol by at least 30% in the course of a year.

The "portfolio eating plan" developed by researchers and documented in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involves following a daily routine which consists in eating a series of foods in set quantities. Thus, the regime of a person following this diet would have to include the following foods on a daily basis:

- 30 g of almonds
- 20 g of soluble fiber (found in foods such as porridge, prunes, apples, pears, broccoli or sweet potatoes)
- two servings of foods containing "plant sterols" (such as Benecol and Flora ProActive margarines and yogurts)
- 25 g of soy protein (from foods such as tofu and soy milk)

An optional addition to this diet are lean meats and fish, but not on a daily basis. The study found that after a year of keeping to this diet plan, there would be a noticeable drop in the patients' cholesterol levels, which would go down at least 20% – usually more. Even people who didn't follow the regime to the letter managed to lower their cholesterol by around 15%.

The trick with this plan is to turn it into a permanent lifestyle routine and not gorge on foods rich in saturated fats while also eating the "healthy stuff" in parallel. Fatty cuts of meat, meat pies, burgers and full-fat dairy products cakes, biscuits and sweets such as cheesecakes have to be cut out of our diets, if we plan to embark on a cholesterol-lowering crusade.

A typical day's diet could look like this:

Breakfast: a grapefruit, followed by porridge made with soy milk
Snack: a small bag of dried fruit
Lunch: baked potato with a bit of Benecol spread, baked beans and salad, and a pear for desert
Mid-afternoon snack: a handful of almonds and a yogurt drink
Dinner: chicken and tofu stir-fry and a baked apple with soy milk custard.

Humans Started Wearing Shoes as Early as 40,000 Years Ago

shoesShoes do a lot more than simply protect our feet, but most of the time we don't realize the physical changes they inflict. For example, wearing shoes can change the way a human walks and how the weight of the body is being distributed on the feet. In modern humans, who basically can't live without shoes, the physical changes can go as far as to affect the bones and the ligaments. Anthropologists are now using the effects wearing shoes has on the human body to understand when they first became popular on the large scale.

There are several differences, noted by Susan Cachel from the Rutgers University, between the feet of people constantly wearing shoes as compared to those who don't. One of these differences is the fact that wearing shoes can lead to bunions, protuberances of the bone and tissue in the big toe. Additionally, people who don't wear shoes tend to have wider feed, and bigger distances between fingers, while women wearing heals suffer a decrease in the mass of the calf muscles.

Erik Trinkaus from the Washington University says that ever since people started wearing shoes their toe bones began to shrink. The oldest pair of shoes ever discovered is dated 10,000 years ago, although the investigations carried out by Trinkaus revealed nearly three years ago that people were wearing shoes as early as 30,000 years ago. A new study now proves that people may have been wearing shoes 10,000 years earlier.

"Bone, at least to a certain extent, responds during a person's lifetime to the mechanical stresses placed on it. If you work out at the gym, not only will your muscles get bigger, your bones will become thicker.", said Tim Weaver, a anthropologist at University of California.

This is especially visible in humans preceding the appearance of shoes who had thicker toe bones and bigger feet since they were doing most of the walking barefoot. Both Neanderthals and the first modern humans also had bigger bones. However, Trinkaus showed that this began to change some 40,000 years ago, when humans started experiencing changes in the toes.

"They had wimpy toes. I tried to figure out what would take away stresses on the toes, but not the legs, and the answer was shoes", said Trinkaus. Cachel on the other hand believes that Trinkaus' theory is incorrect, because it wasn’t only the toes that started shrinking but fingers as well, probably due to the fact that they stopped being so active.

"If the foot bones are smaller, this probably reflects less walking and physical activity, rather than the invention of supportive footwear", Cachel said.

Alternatively, the changes in the size of the toes could be caused by a diversity boom of the human culture, as the labor divisions started to appear and the time allocated for decorative clothing increased. "The archaeological record shows many changes, including the types of tools people were making and the first definite artwork, and the oldest needles for making clothing appear shortly afterward", Weaver said.

Source @ Softpedia

Cancer vaccine target pinpointed

Cancer vaccineScientists may be one step closer to producing a specific targeted vaccine for killing cancer cells.

UK researchers have pinpointed a protein on immune cells which they hope will help them harness the body's defences to attack a tumour.

A vaccine designed to "home in" on the protein would deliver a message to the immune system to attack the invading cancer, they said.

The research is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The protein is unique to a type of immune cell called a dendritic cell, which is responsible for triggering the body's defence system.

Its job is to present pathogens or foreign molecules to other cells of the immune system, which in turn eliminate them.

The team at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute said scientists have been searching for proteins or "tags" on dendritic cells for over 30 years.

In theory a vaccine carrying a foreign molecule from a cancer cell could be targeted to the dendritic cells, which would then prompt the immune system to attack the "invading" cancer. The same approach could be used for treating HIV or malaria, the researchers said.

T cell army

Study leader Dr Caetano Reis e Sousa said the team had found a unique protein called DNGR-1, which could be used to deliver such a vaccine to the door of the dendritic cell.

"Vaccines work by triggering an army of immune cells, called T cells, to attack potentially dangerous foreign molecules, like those found on pathogens.

"Dendritic cells are the messengers, telling the T cells who to attack.

"Vaccines will carry a sample of the offending molecule and deliver it to DNGR-1 on the dendritic cells, which in turn will present the molecule to the armies of T cells and instruct them to attack."

Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information, Dr Lesley Walker, said: "Developing treatments that accurately target cancer and have few serious side-effects is one of Cancer Research UK's top goals.

"The results of this research are an important step towards understanding how to create targeted cancer vaccines in the future."

Source @ BBC

Neo Sci-Fi Collection from MAC

MAC is the latest cosmetics giant to launch a new summer makeup collection, and let me tell you this – it's not for the fain of heart. Its bold, innovative approach to packaging is as surprising and as refreshing as the frost
and shimmer that's inside the bright orange containers. The MAC team welcomes its fans into a "magnetic field of hot fluorescents, modern buffs, beiges and flesh tones […] destined to test the laws of your style gravity" – in other words, we have yet another successful instance of a cosmetics company who invites us to be natural with a rather more flashy twist – and the twist is called "shimmer and shine".

The catch with this collection is that despite the bold, bright containers, the vast majority of colors are on the neutral side. The limited-edition Neo Sci-Fi lipstick comes in five shades: a burnt red with gold pearl (Sci-Fi-Delity), a creamy peach, a mid-tone brown with red pearl (Astral), bright orange (Electro)and a frosty white gold (Sunsonic). The shades are earth-toned, delicate and they promise to drown your lips in shimmering, creamy color for a lasting finish. The tinted lipglasses are back in four shades of creamy plum with just a few flecks of gold (Soft&Slow), bronzed brown with white pearl (Supreme), creamy mid-tone nude peach (Naked Space) and orange with gold pearl (Pink).

The collection also includes a limited-edition shade of Eye Shadow packaged in the shiny neon orange and hi-shine black compact of the Neo Sci-Fi collection, with five very natural nuances of peach, pink and gold, with one darker shade of black brown with silver pearl. There's also a volumizing, lengthening and curling mascara with a creamy black finish and a new patented wand with a v-shaped groove for a more flattering curling effect, two new shimmery shades of Sheertone Shimmer Blush (in peach and mauve), tree natural shades of eyeliner and four nuances of a high gloss formula nail polish in copper, red, yellow and plasma blue.

Source @

Penge Online – How to make money online

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Explore France

Explore France and find the most romantic places here, you and your love one, you and the whole family, trips with friends, there are lots of interesting attraction, from fashion to great meals, night life to great traditions, France offers you unique and unforgettable experience. You can visit why travel to France to get more information, from accommodation, attractions, meal, must visit places and lots more. Hotel Paris is identical to serial sex & the city, find out more on this site too, you never knows, you may end up to stay here with your love one! Explore France, get more information here at why travel to France!