27 oct. 2010




Children and the Mass Media
How Setting Limits Will Benefit Your Children
by Greg Taillon



Gone are the days of children coming home from school, eating homemade chocolate chip cookies and then going outside to play with their friends until it's time to do homework. Today, older children are often home alone after school. As a result, they sometimes are tempted to spend their time being entertained with video games, watching television, downloading music and chatting on the Internet instead of doing their homework and more active leisure activities. These temptations are all competing for children's time at the expense of their education, health and well being.

Childhood obesity, school violence, ADHD and poor reading and math skills can all be tied to too much mass media play in childhood. Too many children are neglecting schoolwork and exercise in favor of eating chips in front of the TV. Fast-paced video games and television shows have shortened children's attention spans. Recreational reading is almost nonexistent. Even worse, the violence children see on TV is being replayed in the schools, and basic reading and math skills are lagging way behind.

Too Much Media Exposure

Children spend more than 38 hours per week being entertained by the mass media – almost four times the amount of time they spend on schoolwork. As a result, academics are suffering. According to research and standardized test scores, American students are struggling to read at proficient levels, and most recreational reading has stopped. Math skills are also lagging. Once children fall behind with basic academic skills, they have a hard time catching up. This will have long-term ramifications on them, as the future will bring about more advanced jobs and fewer qualified people to fill them. These jobs include medical personnel, engineers, college professors and other highly educated or technical professions.
Overexposure to television starts at an early age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for children younger than age 2, and no more than two hours per day of high-quality programming for older children. The truth is that many children watch much more than the recommended guidelines.

The Effects of Excess

Since television entered the home in the 1950s, violence in the media and in the classroom has skyrocketed. Public school teachers often spend more time dealing with discipline issues than teaching due to student violence and bad behavior. Could mass media be the reason? Television programs are full of sexually explicit content and violence, as are many music videos and video games. The reason is that "violence and sex sells." But repeated exposure to violent media content can have drastic repercussions. The television news is full of stories of kids re-creating violent acts they saw on TV.


In addition to violent behavior, excessive media consumption can lead to other problems. ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is on the rise today, and too much television viewing could be a culprit. A team of researchers headed by Dr. Dimitri Christakis at the Children's Hospital in Seattle found that television exposure at age 1 to 3 leads to attention problems by age 7. Research published in the journal Pediatrics indicates that every hour of watching TV increases children's odds of having attention problems by about 10 percent (Elias, 2004). Fast television and scene changing may contribute to shortened attention spans among children.

This creates problems with slower-paced tasks, especially reading. This shortened attention span, often accompanied by behavioral problems, frequently results in children either being placed in special education classes or being medically treated.

Obesity is another side effect of television. Sixty-four percent of Americans are overweight or obese, including nine million children. Eating habits developed in childhood continue through a lifetime. The top triangle of the USDA's food pyramid displays the foods that are recommended to be used sparingly. These foods are the ones that are most heavily advertised on television, radio and in print. They are also heavily marketed toward children. For example, children are exposed to 150 to 200 hours worth of television commercials a year, many of them advertisements for "junk" food and fast food. A study conducted in December of 2003 reported in the journal Pediatrics that the more television children watch, the fewer fruits and vegetables they eat, probably because the advertising they see leaves them craving junk food instead.

The good news is that parents can minimize the impact mass media has on their children by taking a few simple steps.

- Enforce studying before play. Pick a consistent "study time" each afternoon or evening where your kids must turn off all media and study. They should devote at least 20 minutes for each subject they have difficulty with, but as a bare minimum they should spend 20 minutes each on reading and math. If they don't have assigned homework, assign them some yourself. Set a kitchen timer, and when the timer goes off, switch subjects and reset the timer. This rule can be expanded to include music practice, practicing sport drills or studying a foreign language. After their study time is over, they can play.
- Limit video games. If you don't have a video game system in your home yet, don't buy one. If you have one and it breaks, don't fix it. While many parents believe that playing video games improves eye-hand coordination, no research proves it. Playing a game of ping-pong or playing the piano accomplishes the same thing. Instead of having a video game system in your home, limit video game playing to arcades only. Have your children save their allowance, or reward them with weekly trips for good behavior or extra time spent reading. You have the added benefit of controlling which games they play and setting a time limit.
- Monitor computer usage. Computers have been a blessing and a burden in most American homes. They've opened doors to knowledge, but the Internet can be a dangerous place for kids. If at all possible, have your home computer in a public space in your home. Children will be less likely to venture into dangerous online territory if they know you can look over their shoulder at any time. Also, take advantage of an ISP's protection package. Some programs can restrict access to questionable sites, and others can send parents monitoring reports of their children's Internet usage. You should monitor their usage yourself by checking your computer's history file.
Limit television viewing. The best way to limit your children's exposure to televised violence is to turn off the television. Another option is the V chip. - Limit television to one public room in the house. Just as with computers, this will give you more control over the content they're exposed to. If you have cable, ask your cable company to block inappropriate stations. You can even buy some children's television remotes that are only programmed with the channels you specify.
- Substitute other activities. Another way of limiting media playtime is to substitute other activities for your kids. Encourage them to play outside with their friends. Take a walk around the block together. Help them find a hobby they enjoy that doesn't require electricity or batteries. Have them help you fix a healthy dinner. Make weekly outings to the library to check out books.
While not all the ills of children today can be blamed on the mass media, it is something that parents should be more aware of. Take some steps today to limit the amount of exposure your children are getting. Your kids might not be too thrilled with the limits you set, but they'll adjust. Model the behavior you want your kids to exemplify. Read for pleasure, don't play video games with your kids and don't watch trashy or violent TV shows with your kids around. The sacrifices you and your kids make today will bring big rewards in the years to come.

18 sept. 2010

Yelo and Metronaps sleep spas


Please find information here about Yelo and Metronaps sleep spas




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16 sept. 2010

SLEEP EATING


Coping with Nocturnal Eating

Most Americans have probably been plagued by a sleepless night or two. As frustrating as losing sleep may be, most people can alleviate their temporary bouts of insomnia with over-the-counter sleeping aids. Lifestyle changes, including stress reduction and exercise, are also an important part of relieving insomnia.

However, there are others who suffer from a less well-known sleep disorder that can lead to major weight gain and depression: nocturnal eating. Up to three percent of the population may be affected this condition.

What is Nocturnal Eating?

Researchers identify two types of night eating:

• Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder: Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder is also known simply as sleep eating. It is where a sleeping person arises to eat large quantities of food, or even non-food items.
• Night Eating Syndrome: Night Eating Syndrome is where a person is partially or fully awake and feels as if he simply cannot sleep unless he eats large quantities of food.

Sleep Eating

Sleep researchers consider nocturnal eating both an eating disorder and a sleep disorder. In cases of sleep eating, the person usually doesn't remember eating during the night but finds evidence, including missing food, dirty dishes and a complete lack of hunger, the next morning.

Untreated sleep eating can lead to major weight gain, depression and feelings of guilt and shame. Because the person is asleep and lacks good coordination and balance, sleep eating can also lead to falls and other injuries.

Sleep eaters, most often people who are dieting and/or are under a lot of stress, will often consume large amounts of food that they usually would not eat. For example, during the day, a dieter may abstain from sweets and high-carbohydrate or high-fat foods. While asleep, however, they will eat things like cake or potato chips.

They may also eat unusual food combinations, such as hot dogs smeared with butter or potato chips dipped in peanut butter. They may even eat non-food items like soap.

Night Eating Syndrome

Night Eating Syndrome is a sleep disorder in which a person eats relatively normal amounts of food during the day but cannot sleep without eating a large amount of food. Although the person is not hungry, they are compelled to eat foods that they usually would not eat during the day. This syndrome usually gets worse without treatment.

What Can You Do?

As with any sleep disorder, nocturnal eating can be treated, but the first step is to get an accurate diagnosis. See your doctor, who may prescribe a visit to a sleep lab. It is important to rule out other diseases such as sleep apnea, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hepatitis or encephalitis, all of which may cause symptoms of nocturnal eating.

You can participate in your own treatment by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Here are a few tips:

• Get some form of exercise every day. Exercise can improve your quality of sleep. Just be sure to do any vigorous exercise earlier in the day.
• If you are feeling stressed, consider taking stress-reduction classes or going to therapy to help you deal with the stressors that may be affecting your sleep.
• If you smoke, consider quitting. Nicotine is a stimulant and, therefore, can disrupt your sleep.
• Limit your alcohol consumption.
• If you must have caffeine, try to consume it before noon.
• Don't use sleeping pills without your doctor's supervision.
• If you have Night Eating Syndrome, ask your doctor about anti-depressants that curb compulsive behavior. They might help alleviate your symptoms.

If you experience chronic daytime sleepiness, unexplained weight gain, fatigue or anxiety, call your doctor. Simple tests can show whether you are experiencing insomnia or another sleep-related disorder, such as nocturnal eating.

Take Some Necessary Precautions

Some people that have nocturnal eating syndrome enlist the help of family members. They have family or friends lock areas where they can access food, including cupboards and refrigerators, and then have them hide the keys. Disconnecting the stove or installing an alarm system to the stove is another effective way to prevent night eating.

Resources

Golbin, Alexander, MD (n.a.). Nocturnal Eating Syndrome: A Dramatic Parasomnia. Retrieved on January 15, 2007 from the Talk About Sleep Web site: http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/sleep-disorders/archives/
parasomniza_nocturnal.htm.

1 sept. 2010

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation


The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on your health in the form of physical and mental impairments. Inadequate rest impairs our ability to think, handle stress, maintain a healthy immune system and moderate our emotions. In fact, sleep is so important to our overall health that total sleep deprivation has been proven to be fatal: lab rats denied the chance to rest die within two to three weeks.

Maintaining good health in today’s society often depends upon just how well your health insurance coverage applies to your lifestyle and needs. A little effort can save you a lot of money…compare the offers of several health insurance programs and choose the one that’s best for you.

Without adequate rest, the brain's ability to function quickly deteriorates. The brain works harder to counteract sleep deprivation effects, but operates less effectively: concentration levels drop, and memory becomes impaired.
Similarly, the brain's ability to problem solve is greatly impaired. Decision-making abilities are compromised, and the brain falls into rigid thought patterns that make it difficult to generate new problem-solving ideas. Insufficient rest can also cause people to have hallucinations. Other typical effects of sleep deprivation include:

• depression
• heart disease
• hypertension
• irritability
• slower reaction times
• slurred speech
• tremors.

In this section, we will outline and examine the various effects of sleep deprivation. Our articles will describe how prolonged lack of sleep affects both mental and physical health.

Sleep & Aging

The older we get, the more likely it is that we will suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. In fact, over 50 percent of people over 64 years old suffer from some type of sleep disorder. While the hormonal and physical changes that occur as we age will likely affect sleep, especially in menopausal women, the increased presence of other medical conditions and disorders is also a factor that tends to upset the sleep of the elderly.

One of the biggest sleeping problems the elderly experience is the inability to get deep, restorative sleep. Although they tend to sleep just as much as they did when they were younger, the elderly don’t get as quality sleep, meaning that they often suffer from fatigue and daytime drowsiness. The main reason for this is that older people don’t get as much REM sleep, the deepest, most restorative sleep phase. Keep reading to learn more about the relationship between sleep and aging.

Weight Changes

Dramatic weight changes, especially weight gain, are also common effects of sleep deprivation. Because the amount and quality of the sleep we get affects our hormone levels, namely our levels of leptin and ghrelin, many physiological processes that depend on these hormone levels to function properly, including appetite, are affected by our sleep.

Leptin is a hormone that affects our feelings of fullness and satisfaction after a meal, and ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates our appetites. When you suffer from sleep deprivation, your body’s levels of leptin fall and ghrelin levels increase. This means that you end up feeling hungrier without really feeling satisfied by what you eat, causing you to eat more and, consequently, gain weight. Keep reading to learn more about how sleep affects your weight.

Resources
Bouchez, C. (2007). The dream diet: Losing weight while you sleep. Retrieved July 5, 2007 from the WebMD Web site: http://www.webmd.com/solutions/sc/link-sleep-weight-loss/sleep-to-get-thin.

E-Medicine Health Staff. (2007). Sleep disorders and aging. Retrieved July 5, 2007 from the EMedicine Web site: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sleep_disorders_and_aging/article_em.htm.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION REALITY SHOW


CHANNEL FOURS SLEEP DEPRIVATION REALITY SHOW

Shattered" was a TV reality show made by channel 4 in the United Kingdom. It explored many issues surrounding sleep deprivation in the context of a TV show with a big cash prize. The winner was the person who was best suited to withstanding tough Sleep deprivation tasks.

The cash prize was 100,000 pounds. The contestants had to work together to maintain the fund. Every time a contestant closed their eyes for ten seconds or more a thousand pounds was deducted from the prize fund. So the contestant’s worked as a team to maintain the prize fund.

One really surprising thing was that virtually no money was deducted from the prize fund. The contestants were extremely determined and disciplined. Personally I expected about 10,000 pounds or less to be left in the fund. But at one stage the prize fund even started to grow as the presenter of the TV show lost challenges against the contestants.

Special tasks were devised to challenge the contestants. For instance one contestant had to hold a every large Teddy bear whilst been read a pleasant bedtime story. Another contestant had to listen to an extremely boring lecture on their own.

One of the main features of the show was the attention to health and safety issues. Sleep deprivation is extremely dangerous and can even cause long term damage. The studio was built especially with health and safety in mind. Tables were built without hard edges. If contestant to fell over they would not be hurt by the specially designed furniture.

Still this did not stop people criticizing the show. Such was the concern over health and safety that contestants were allowed to sleep if one of them was suffering extreme health problems associated with sleep deprivation. One contestant for instance started hallucinating openly. So the doctors examined him and then allowed all the contestants to sleep for a few hours. This happened twice during the week long show.

What happens with sleep deprivation is that dreams start to burst into our waking life. That is why this contestant hallucinated. It can get to such a stage that the hallucinations cannot be distinguished from reality. This was considered too dangerous by the doctors.

The winner was a trainee policewoman. The final task was to lie awake for as long as possible whilst in bed. The woman cheated somewhat by drinking vast amounts of water. So physically she was kept awake by needing to go to the toilet.

Many contestants overcame the sleep deprivation with exercise. This seemed to take their mind off their tiredness. Indeed the stronger younger and fittest Contestants performed better. There was a distinct rhythm to the contestant’s performance. They seemed to hit a wall - and for hours they would struggle. Then they would start to wake up again and their concentration levels would improve vastly. The contestant’s helped each other to get through these periods.

Should Shattered be allowed?

News Society Health
Should Shattered be allowed?

Trisha McNair, a doctor on the ethics panel that advised the programme-makers, on the quandaries they faced.

Tweet this Trisha McNair

The Guardian, Tuesday 6 January 2004

The producers of Shattered are hailing the week-long programme as a great experiment, where some risks such as hallucinations and paranoia are predictable but where there is also the possibility that anything may happen. It promises exciting viewing - but is it right to let people risk their health on a primetime TV show for the chance of winning a fat cheque?

Actors are protected by their unions, while those enrolled in medical research are protected by strict protocols agreed by ethics committees before a study is given the go-ahead. But until now little thought has been given to the health of reality TV guinea pigs. For this series, Endemol (the producers of Shattered) took the unprecedented step of putting together an independent ethics panel to advise them on protecting the wellbeing of those taking part. The panel consists of the director of a leading sleep research centre, a professor of psychology, a health and safety expert and myself, a doctor with experience in medical ethics and law. Together, we had to examine how far the producers could be allowed to torture their participants in the name of entertainment.

One of the fundamental principles of medical ethics is that of informed consent - that people should be competent to make a voluntary and informed decision about taking part, understanding the risks and benefits at any stage of the programme. Guaranteeing that consent is truly informed can be difficult especially when the effects of sleep deprivation are unpredictable. Participants had to be fully briefed about the risks that were likely to arise.

After detailed discussions, we on the panel recommended a range of health and safety measures, including banning alcohol from the set, maintaining humidity within the studio (to prevent excessive dryness of eyes held open for long hours under hot studio lights), and making sure that everyone involved was aware of the small but significant risk that sleep deprivation may trigger epilepsy in predisposed individuals. Endemol had already arranged for 24-hour cover by a medical team; we insisted that they should be fully briefed on the particular problems of sleep deprivation.

Our main concern was with the potential for psychological problems, and also the implications these had for consent. People lose the ability to act and think coherently after being substantially deprived of sleep. Because of this, they may not be competent after about four days to make sensible decisions about their participation. For this reason, we insisted that arrangements be made for an independent advocate to act for the individual when necessary after this point.

The production company's initial plan to use a viewer's voting system to allocate small "punishments" to participants was vetoed by the panel, because we felt this could induce an unacceptable state of helplessness. Endemol had also thought of using mild electrical shocks attached to door handles during challenges, or even to toilet seats to waken participants seeking a quick snooze in the loo. But we felt this could cause fear and unnecessary suffering, and would convey inappropriate messages about the safety of electricity to the audience. So the production team were left to dream up alternatives.

The possibility that medical problems might come to light during the programme raised the issue of confidentiality, and it was important that participants were aware from the start about these issues. Plans to film participants in the toilet also worried the panel, although the production team reassured us that this footage would not be broadcast unless the participant fell asleep there.

Throughout the programme, the dignity and well-being of every individual participant must be a priority, and every effort should be made to avoid psychological humiliation. Each participant had to be clear about the rules, how elimination was decided and what would happen if the medical experts felt it was not appropriate for them to continue.

Finally, the panel insisted that some sort of post-show care was needed. Sleep deprivation is intensely stressful, with unpredictable short- and long-term effects. It's important to ensure that each eliminated participant is fully rested before returning to the dangers of the outside world, while a follow-up a few weeks later should reduce the risk that the stress of taking part leaves an indelible mark. We wait to see if those marks will appear.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

Sleep deprivation show faces probe


Sleep deprivation show faces probe


The sleep deprivation TV programme Shattered is being investigated by a media watchdog after sparking 11 complaints from viewers.
Government regulator Ofcom will probe the Channel 4 show, which challenged competitors to stay awake for a week.

The show, won on Saturday by trainee police officer Clare Southern, has been accused of exploiting participants and endangering health.

But Channel 4 insisted contestants' welfare was "of the utmost importance".


"We have gone to great lengths to ensure their health and safety," a spokesman said.

Over the course of the week, Shattered contestants were put through a series of endurance tests - including watching paint dry for one hour - as they competed for £97,000 prize money.

Each day the worst performing contestant was eliminated, with 19-year-old Ms Southern, from Poole, winning a "sleep-off" to beat the other two remaining contestants in Saturday evening's final.

Shattered competitors were allowed occasional catnaps agreed by the producers, but over the course of the week complained of hallucinations, exhaustion and paranoia.

Psychologists have criticised the show and accused programme makers of putting contestants' health at risk.

Dr Gary Wood, social psychologist at the University of Birmingham, said earlier: "It is humiliation TV and very concerning that what we are doing is putting people's health at risk and causing them psychological harm."


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/entertainment/3385305.stm

Published: 2004/01/10 22:58:28 GMT

© BBC MMX

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

21 jul. 2010

Top Ten Tips for Managing Anger



Suppressing anger is not necessarily a good thing. Whilst maintaining composure enables you to agreeably interact with other people allowing anger to simmer under the surface is usually counterproductive. Learning how to manage anger, when your ‘buttons’ are being pushed, will help you control your emotions and diffuse your anger time bomb.

Caring and Sharing
Instead of sharing negative emotions via print, email or voicemail messages take the time to express your feelings in person. Being able to share, what is making you angry, in spoken words will allow you to soften the blow. Angry words that are not delivered in person can cause more damage than intended.

Soften the Blow
When delivering a message in person adding the acknowledgment of “I understand…” will allow you to lower tension and support a potential agreement or compromise.
Practice Makes Perfect
When anger is starting to simmer, practice asking requests of other people instead of holding on to tension and allowing anger to boil over. Directly addressing your frustration, with a particular person, helps reduce the build up of anger.

Take Notice
If you begin to feel threatened by something someone says take notice of how you are feeling but aim to keep communication open. Getting angry will only encourage the other person to shut down communication.
Agree to Disagree
When someone is expressing anger, frustration or pain repeating their words back to them will help keep the speaker centred. Mirroring in this way also gives you a deeper understanding of the other person’s viewpoint.
Be Responsible
Do not blame other people for your feelings. Taking responsibility for the way you feel will help you understand why your anger surfaces.

Give and Take
Just because you are angry it doesn’t mean that someone else can’t be angry too. Being able to listen to the other side of the argument means that you are able to acknowledge both sides of the conflict and can therefore reach some level of compromise much sooner.

Play it Cool
If anger is raging aim to take some timeout before dealing with the issue that is causing you distress. Being able to step away from the issue will allow your anger to subside enough so that you can look at the situation more objectively.
Take Control
Learning to take control of your negative emotions means that you are more able to maintain self-control in any situation of high conflict. The good news is that the more you practice doing this the easier it will be to master and manage your anger.

Deal With It
Instead of pretending nothing is wrong, and suppressing negative emotion, plan to speak up and voice your frustration at the earliest suitable moment. Do not however, use this opportunity to blow up. Doing that will close communication down with others, so aim to speak with caution and due care. Showing others that you are able to control your anger, even in the most conflicting circumstances, will show you in a very positive light.

How to Manage Anger



http://www.wittcom.com/how_to_manage_anger.htm

• Are you often angry?
• Do you frequently overreact?
• Do you take your anger out on someone other than the person you’re angry with?
• Do you hold grudges, pout, or sulk?
• Do you stay angry for a long time?
• Are you scared of your anger?
• Are other people scared of your anger?
• Does your anger negatively affect the people you live or work with?
• Do you ever get violent when you’re angry?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may have a problem with anger. And anger may be keeping you from communicating effectively.

Anger is one of the most primal and complex feelings in the range of human emotions. Although it is neither good nor bad, its misuse causes a great deal of suffering:
• Undermining trust, loyalty, and teamwork
• Destroying relationships
• Creating a hostile environment
• Lowering productivity
• Contributing to health problems
• Incurring legal expenses
• Contributing to violence
The problem with anger, as Aristotle observed over 2,500 year ago, is this: “Anyone can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — this is not easy.”

Anger does three things.

1. It alerts us to a problem. It’s like a siren, warning us of a threat to our safety or to the safety of those we care for.
2. It focuses our attention. When we’re angry, we have trouble thinking about anything else.
3. It gives us energy. Anger floods the bloodstream with chemicals that turbocharge the body and prepare it to take action.
Here’s an example of anger in action. A department store floor manager, late for a meeting and thinking about 10 different problems, overhears an associate call a customer a “fat cow.” She stops dead in her tracks. For the moment she forgets everything else. She steps in to deal with the customer and the employee.

Since each person’s response to anger is unique, you have become an expert about your anger pattern.

Hot Buttons

We all have different Hot Buttons, things that trigger a strong emotional reaction in us — people’s attitudes or actions, events, situations, etc.

They strike us as unfair, unjust, or just plain wrong. And they irritate, annoy, vex, anger, or enrage us.

Not everybody is bothered by the same thing that bothers us, and sometimes even that realization bothers us.

There are three steps to dealing with our hot buttons: 1. Observe. 2. Analyze. 3. Change.

Observe

The first step in dealing with our hot buttons is to become aware of them — without judgment or shame.
• What type of incident, situation, or person typically “pushes your buttons?”
• What are you doing when it happens?
• What are other people doing?
• Where are you?
• Who are you with?
• How tired or stressed are you?

Do you recognize any pattern?

A pattern is something like this: "When X happens, I feel Y."
For example:
When I’m late for an appointment and I get stuck in traffic, I get angry.
When my boss asks me to stay late, I get angry.

What’s your pattern?

For the next week pay attention to how you react internally when one of your hot buttons gets pushed.

Analyze

Now that you have some awareness of what typically triggers your anger, you can analyze your pattern.

Ask yourself what you’re thinking, when you get mad. What judgments are you making?

When you’re late for an appointment and stuck in traffic, do you think you’re stupid and you should have left earlier?

Or do you think you’re helpless and wish someone would take care of the problem for you?

Or do you think it’s a conspiracy and everyone’s ganging up to make you late?

When your boss asks you to stay late, do you think she’s being unreasonable? Or do you recall every other time she’s ever imposed on you and conclude that she’s an inconsiderate person and quite possibly the most incompetent boss in the world? Or do berate yourself for not standing up for yourself?

What are you thinking?

Now, stop. Don’t judge or justify what you’re thinking. Simply admit it.

And challenge it. Challenge what you’re thinking.

Ask yourself, what evidence do I have to support my thinking? Are there other possible explanations?

Could it be that I overscheduled my day and I didn’t leave enough time to get to my next appointment?

Could it be that my boss got a last minute project dumped on her, and she’s as put out as I am?

Could it be — and this possibility is the one that’s most devastating to our ego — could it be that other people’s lives, thoughts, and actions don’t revolve around us?

Change

Albert Ellis, a well-known psychologist, believes that most of our hot buttons are based on what he calls awfulizing. When things don’t go our way, we think, “It’s awful! It’s terrible! It’s horrible! I can’t stand it!”

He suggests we change the way we think — and talk — about our problems.

Instead of telling ourselves, “It shouldn’t be this way,” think, “I don’t like it. I wish it were different.” Taking the “should” out of it takes some of the sting out of it.

Instead of “Traffic shouldn’t be so bad at this hour,” say, “I don’t like getting stuck in traffic.”

Instead of “My boss shouldn’t dump work on me at the last minute,” say, “I don’t like it when she does.”

Instead of telling ourselves, “I can’t stand it,” think, “It bothers me a great deal. I don’t like it. I’ve survived worse things than this. I’m strong. I can do something about this.”

Instead of, “I can’t stand this traffic,” consider, “I dislike this traffic. I wish the roads were clear. But I’ve been through a lot worse than this. Maybe it’s time to put on a CD and chill out.”

Instead of, “I can’t stand it when she makes me stay late,” say, “I don’t like staying late, especially on a Friday night, but it isn’t the end of the world. I’ll have to think of some way to reward myself over the weekend.”

Recognize and accept your hot buttons. Challenge them. Change them by creating a new way of thinking about them.
©Chris Witt, all rights reserved.



LET'S SHARE OUR OPINIONS & FEELINGSWhat sort of situations make you angry …

... at home?
... at work?
... in public places?
... in general?

How do you deal with anger? Can you always manage it?

Do you ever regret what you do or say when you get angry?

Do you think you could/should manage your anger in a smarter way?

20 jul. 2010




Chinese companies 'rent' white foreigners

By Lara Farrar, for CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Chinese companies hire white people to portray executives or clients
Often hired in second-tier Chinese cities to impress clients and officials
Usually out-of-work models and actors, or English teachers, are hired for these jobs
Known by local actors as "White Guy Window Dressing" or a "Face Job"
Beijing, China (CNN) -- In China, white people can be rented.

For a day, a weekend, a week, up to even a month or two, Chinese companies are willing to pay high prices for fair-faced foreigners to join them as fake employees or business partners.

Some call it "White Guy Window Dressing." To others, it's known as the "White Guy in a Tie" events, "The Token White Guy Gig," or, simply, a "Face Job."

And it is, essentially, all about the age-old Chinese concept of face. To have a few foreigners hanging around means a company has prestige, money and the increasingly crucial connections -- real or not -- to businesses abroad.

"Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself," said Zhang Haihua, author of "Think Like Chinese." "Because Western countries are so developed, people think they are more well off, so people think that if a company can hire foreigners, it must have a lot of money and have very important connections overseas. So when they really want to impress someone, they may roll out a foreigner."

Or rent one.

Last year, Jonathan Zatkin, an American actor who lives in Beijing, posed as the vice president of an Italian jewelry company that had, allegedly, been in a partnership with a Chinese jewelry chain for a decade.

When is being foreign a career advantage?

Zatkin was paid 2,000 yuan (about $300) to fly, along with a couple of Russian models, to a small city in the central province of Henan where he delivered a speech for the grand opening ceremony of a jewelry store there.

"I was up on stage with the mayor of the town, and I made a speech about how wonderful it was to work with the company for 10 years and how we were so proud of all of the work they had done for us in China," Zatkin said. "They put up a big bandstand and the whole town was there and some other local muckety-mucks."

The requirements for these jobs are simple. 1. Be white. 2. Do not speak any Chinese, or really speak at all, unless asked. 3. Pretend like you just got off of an airplane yesterday.

Those who go for such gigs tend to be unemployed actors or models, part-time English teachers or other expats looking to earn a few extra bucks. Often they are jobs at a second- or third-tier city, where the presence of pale-faced foreigners is needed to impress local officials, secure a contract or simply to fulfill a claim of being international.

"Occasionally companies want a foreign face to go to meetings and conferences or to go to dinners and lunches and smile at the clients and shake people's hands," read an ad posted by a company called Rent A Laowai (Chinese for "foreigner") on the online classified site thebeijinger.com.

It continued: "There are job opportunities for girls who are pretty and for men who can look good in a suit."

Click here for in-depth news on China

People like Brad Smith. When Smith -- the nom de plume of the Beijing-based American actor -- answered CNN's phone call on a recent morning, he was standing outside a meeting room at a Ramada Inn in Hangzhou, a city about 100 miles outside of Shanghai. Today's job: Pretend to be an architect from New York and give design plans for a new museum to local officials.

"They have not told me what my name is today. I think it is Lawrence or something," said Smith -- unlike some jobs, no fake business cards were given to hand out.

Earlier that morning he went over his script with his Chinese "business partners" at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. "It says, 'Good morning distinguished leaders. It is my privilege to participate in this program'," said Smith, who asked that his real name not be used for fear it could jeopardize future jobs.

If Smith is asked a question, he is told to pretend to answer as his "translator" pretends to understand.

Occasionally, these jobs can go awry. Smith said 18 months ago Beijing police showed up at his apartment after a financial company he worked at for a couple of months in Xi'an, a city in western China, allegedly swindled millions of yuan out of clients.

"That company said I was the guy in charge," he said. "I didn't even remember the company's name. After that, I decided I was never going to use my passport again with these fake companies. The small gigs are much less dangerous." Sometimes companies will hire Caucasians simply to sit in the office a few hours a day near the window where clients and customers can see them.

White women are also a hot commodity, sometimes to pose as phony foreign girlfriends, or, in the case of Vicky Mohieddeen, to pretend to be an oil tycoon.

Mohieddeen, who is Scottish, took a job in 2008 to attend what she describes as some sort of "oil drilling conference" in Shandong province for 300 yuan ($44). Several busloads of foreigners, with nationalities ranging from Pakistani to Nigerian, were trucked to the event, she said. They were greeted by brass bands and feted with a sumptuous dinner.

"I was like, 'Yeah, we have a lot of oil in Scotland.' I didn't know what to say. It was a bit nerve-racking. We were guests of honor of the vice mayor. We were put in a nice hotel. It was quite fancy."

For Mohieddeen, who had just arrived in Beijing at the time, the experience, albeit bizarre, was an introduction to a side of China most foreigners will never see.

"It is part of what China is all about, you know," Mohieddeen said. "There is quite an elaborate fantasy world going on here where if everyone buys into it, it does not matter if it is the truth. Those kinds of experiences give me a fuller understanding of the way the culture works."


For rent in China: White People

In your opinion:

o What good reasons may k Chinese companies have to rent white people?
o In what cases would you justify this action?
o Are there any negative implications in this practice?




What Your Workspace Says About You
Larry Buhl, for Yahoo! HotJobs, Yahoo! HotJobs


If you spend a lot of time at a desk, personalizing the space makes sense--whether it's a private corner office or a shared cubicle. But just as your clothes and body language make an impression on others, your workspace gives coworkers and clients a distinct impression about you. Plants, books, artwork--even your name plaque--transmit clues about your efficiency, your sociability, and your competence, experts say. "Everything in your office sends a message, whether you want it to or not," says Lisa Marie Luccioni, an adjunct professor of communication at the University of Cincinnati.
So what might they be thinking when they see your space?

You'd rather be fishing (or skiing, or skydiving, or building birdhouses). Evidence: Pictures and artifacts from your hobby on every surface.

There's a delicate balance between sharing your interests and giving the impression that you're daydreaming all day about jumping out of planes or skiing, according to Barbara Pachter, business etiquette expert and the author of "New Rules at Work": "Pictures of your hobby are good conversation starters, but if you have too many of them, it makes people wonder whether you're really daydreaming about fly-fishing."

They can hang around. Evidence: A full candy dish, aspirin in the drawer, well-tended plants, pictures of children and babies.

"Things like an open door, candy, a comfortable guest chair, and photos of people--but not pictures of objects--signal an extroverted workspace that people will feel free to linger in," says Sam Gosling, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas.

They shouldn't hang around. Evidence: Flimsy guest chair, guest chair covered in files, or no guest chair. Your desk faces away from guests. Minimal or no decoration.

"Even if your office has photos or artwork, but they're images of things and not people, [people] can make an assumption you're more introverted and might not want them to linger," Gosling says.

You demand respect. Evidence: Multiple degrees on the wall, awards on the shelf, pictures of you and important people, magazines featuring articles about you. The plaque on your desk says your full name and title, and lists your advanced degrees.

"Name plaques form a strong impression. If it says just your first name, people assume you're friendly and approachable. If it has a formal title, they think you want to be respected for your rank," Luccioni says.

You've just been hired, you've just been fired, or you'd like to leave soon. Or you'd rather be temping. Evidence: Files in boxes, no decorations, no books, no plants, no pictures, and no name plaque.

They should avoid doing business with you. Evidence: Messy piles of papers on every surface. Half-eaten donuts atop teetering stacks of binders. Carpet stains.

Experts agree that a messy office can seriously damage your reputation as a conscientious person. "It's hard to function in a messy office, and people assume your office chaos will spill over to their project and their files will be lost in your mess," Pachter says.

Gosling pointed to research that shows people read much more than they should into a messy office. "People think that someone with a messy office is less agreeable, which may not be accurate. My guess is, people assume a mess is inconsiderate."

You don't take the whole "work thing" too seriously. Evidence: Humorous posters, ironic bumper stickers, whimsical images, and toys.

Conscious Decorating
Experts have several suggestions on making sure your workspace matches the image you want to project.

Err on the conservative side. Especially if clients visit you or if you're in a high-traffic area, you want to make sure people don't stop in their tracks to gawk at your collection of teddy bears or tiki torches.

Be careful with controversial items. "Consider the cost:reward ratio of putting up something like a political campaign poster," Luccioni says. "You might find kindred spirits, or you might offend people and get a first meeting off to a bad start." All experts say anything potentially racist, sexist, or homophobic, or otherwise disparaging of a group, is a no-no.

Check your employee handbook, or ask HR. Your company probably has some guidelines on decorating your work space. They might not even permit any decoration, which makes the issue moot.

Follow industry norms. Some industries demand a strict image of seriousness, while others are more laid-back. A poster with a funny or counterculture slogan would be more appropriate in the office of an advertising copywriter than the office a defense attorney.

Consider the physical arrangement. "A desk can act as a barrier and give formality, which is good for reviews but can be intimidating," Luccioni says. She adds that a small circular table allows everyone to meet on an equal basis. A power difference, if you want that, can be achieved by giving guests smaller, flimsier chairs.

And if you tend to make snap judgments about others' offices, try to look at the bigger picture, Gosling recommends.

"Any one item can have many different purposes. If someone has a plant, maybe they have a green thumb, maybe they're into feng shui, or maybe the plant was left over from the last person in that office. If you see someone with a super neat desk, how do you know whether they're truly neat, or whether they swept everything into a drawer before you stopped by?"


Copyright © 2010 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.



What your workspace says about you
Describe the office where you work at present.

o How do you feel there?
o What would you change about it?

 Describe your ideal office and give reasons for your preferences.

23 jun. 2010

What is the Stargate Project?




“The Stargate Project” is a code name given to one of several studies carried out by the United States Federal Government for the purpose of investigating the potential employment of psychic abilities in military tactics. Carried out from 1972-1995, the Stargate Project was also known under such code names as: Gondola Wish, Scannate, Sun Streak, Grill Flame, and Center Lane.

The Stargate Project hinged on earlier research of psychic phenomena carried out at The American Society for Psychical Research and The Stanford Research Institute, and was prompted by similar psychic research which was being conducted by the Russian military during the Cold War era. The Project was particularly focused on investigating the potential of "remote viewing," the alleged ability to see physical evidence or information at great distances, as well as precognition, the ability to see the future. Telekinesis, the alleged ability to physically manipulate objects using the mind, was also studied in the Stargate Project.

A reported 22 remote viewers and approximately 14 research labs worked on the $20 million US Dollars (USD) Stargate Project at its peak. The FBI, CIA, and various government, military agencies and departments were also involved in the project. In 1995, after the Stargate Project had been disclosed to the public, Time magazine stated that three psychics were still employed with the project out of Fort Meade, Maryland.

In 1979, one of the psychics working on the Stargate project reported that they could tell that one of the U.S. citizens who was being held hostage in Iran by a group of Islamic militants was “suffering from nausea," with “one side of his body... damaged or hurt” and that “he will be on an airplane in the next few days.” American hostage, Richard Queen, was released three weeks following the prediction and was suffering from multiple sclerosis, which had affected the nerves along one side of his body. Another psychic with the Project, Paul H. Smith, had a remote viewing session which reportedly predicted certain details surrounding the May 17, 1987 attack on the USS Stark frigate three days before it happened.

University of California statistics professor, Jessica Utts, conducted an analysis of the Stargate Project upon its completion, which revealed that the project’s gifted psychic subjects scored 5%-15% above chance, but that their accounts included a large volume of irrelevant and vague information. Upon the disclosure and subsequent termination of the Stargate Project in 1995, the government issued a statement declaring that the project “has not been shown to have value in intelligence operations.”

Is There Any Evidence for Psychic Abilities?




The potential existence or non-existence of psychic abilities, also known as psi, has been investigated scientifically for about 150 years (since 1858), according to the US National Academy of Sciences. In 1985, the organization released a statement that concluded there is "no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena." According to a survey, just 2% of scientists in the National Academy of Sciences believed in psi phenomena or psychic abilities.
According to parapsychologists, these scientists are being closed-minded, and some psi phenomena including ESP (extra-sensory perception) and psychokinesis have experimental support. Most scientists argue that any apparent experimental support for the existence of psychic abilities is either within the margin of what would be predicted by chance (this accusation is especially frequent when the sample size is low), constitutes deliberate fakery (either by the experimenters or the subjects), or is due to a poor experimental design that subtly biases results towards affirmation of the existence of psi.
A 2008 study by Kosslyn and Multon based on neuroimaging tested for several psychic abilities including clairvoyance, remote viewing, and precognition, and found no distinguishable neural responses when a "receiver" viewed an image being psychically sent by a "sender" versus a random image. This effect persisted even when conditions alleged to magnify psychic abilities were used, such as the use of twins, siblings, or spouses. The scientists called these experiments "the strongest evidence yet obtained against the existence of paranormal mental phenomena."
One of the early and most popular tests for the presence of psi phenomena are the famous Zener cards, five cards with symbols on them: a circle, a cross, wavy lines, a square, and a star. The experimenter goes through the deck of cards, observes the result, and (while concealing the card) asks the subject to name the symbol on the other side. After many thousands of these experiments, participants rarely performed better than chance, and when new experimental controls were introduced, such as shuffling the cards using a machine, conducting a larger number of trials, and separating the participant and experimenter by a larger distance, the effect all but disappeared. Karl Zenner demonstrated a poor understanding of statistics and the scientific method, for instance interpreting worse-than-chance results as indicating the presence of psi phenomena ("psi-missing") and attributing convergence to chance performance over time (which is to be expected if psi isn't real) as due to boredom with performing the tests in the first place.
Since a brief resurgence of activity in the 1970s, nearly all university departments practicing psi research have been shut down. Today, only two remain, the University of Virginia's Department of Psychiatric Medicine, and the University of New Mexico's Veritas Laboratory.

8 jun. 2010

What is a Psychic?


A psychic as strictly defined is a person who is able to sense things that are not available through ordinary sensory perceptions. Such perception might include being able to divine things about a person not present through use of an object or article belonging to the person, called psychometry. A psychic might also be clairvoyant, seeing things or perceiving things others can’t, as the boy in the film The Sixth Sense does. Alternately, a psychic might be able to see or predict events in the future, called precognition.

Not all psychics claim to have equal gifts. A person who claims clairvoyance might work as a medium, connecting the dead to relatives or helping them pass onto the next world. This psychic ability is used in popular television shows like Medium and Ghost Whisperer

Often people associate psychic ability with precognition, or being able to predict the future. Stephen King’s novel The Dead Zone is an interesting development of this psychic ability, which he claims is caused by a brain injury received by the main character.

People who use psychometry may sometimes be employed by police departments in the effort to gain access to knowledge of a crime that can’t be determined through physical evidence. This is the case with the real life inspiration for the television series Medium.

Not all people believe in psychic ability, and some believe that psychic ability is simply very good perception, and the ability to read other people. There are certainly many people who claim to be psychic but lack ability to prove their gifts. They can be quite convincing however, and may run scams to bilk people out of money in order to give them information.

It would be unfair to state that all who claim psychic ability are crooks. In fact many of them believe very strongly in their abilities and have much anecdotal evidence to prove they in fact possess some form of psychic abilities.

In some cultures, having any abilities outside of the norm, like being psychic, is related to the practice of witchcraft. Charges of witchcraft leveled at those who seemed to be more perceptive account for numerous executions of women from the Middle Ages onward. Salem, Massachusetts according to many modern psychics, still bears the scars of many who suffered execution during the Salem with trials.

Other religions may find psychic abilities somewhat normal. Gnostics, for example, believe humans are one of three types, hylics, psychics, and pneumatics. In Biblical history too, one must look at the prophets as being gifted with the power to perceive angels, or make predictions regarding the future.

Some Christians make a distinction between visions given by God, and those given by demons. A witch was a person who worshipped demons. Devil or demon worship is not associated with those of the Wiccan faith, often called witches today.

Parapsychologists are people who study psychic phenomena, and many are quite convinced that some people manifest psychic abilities. Many other people are on the fence as to whether psychic ability is really present or not. Some argue that given the limited amount of brain power one actually uses, perhaps those with psychic abilities have pathways to areas of the brain that most people don’t. However, psychic abilities remain difficult to prove.

Discuss this Article
1We all are psychic in one way or another. Mostly though, saying intuition, but meaning psychic, to avoid any others thinking one is an oddball. When certain 'things' started to become less than coincidence, I started blogging my experiences. Nothing unusual, only a reawakening of dormant abilities.

- Talker

20 may. 2010

Astrological Lodge of London




Photographs left Nicola Smuts right Genda Cole


Welcome to the website of the Astrological Lodge of London

The Astrological Lodge of London is the foremost learning institution for the study of astrology in all its cultural, astronomical, historical and use in divination. Astrologers throughout the world come to learn and discuss the workings of the celestial universe and the Lodge provides beginners classes in astrology as well as lectures on advanced astrological techniques, the analysis of celebrity horoscopes and social functions and weekend courses on a astrological subjects.

17 May
7:00 Placebo – the role of astrology in Fertility treatments? - Nicola Smuts
Does astrology actually help patients suffering from infertility? Or does it merely confuse the issue? What can astrology offer that no other branch of knowledge can? What role does the astrology play and if it turns out to be little more than a placebo – is that enough?
Nicola Smuts is a consulting astrologer, living in the UK. She has a diploma from Rod Suskin School of Astrology in South Africa, and a medieval diploma from Astrologos in the UK. Nicola lectures internationally on her fertility work, and her research and methods in this field are pioneering and unique.

8:00 Break
8:30 World Economy & Astro-Cycles - 1979-2024 (2) - Roy Gillett
Roy Gillett explains how financial astrologers were able to predict the 2008 global crisis several years in advance. Have world economic policies since then solved the crisis, or made it worse?

8:30 Charts Discussion (Tea Room)
24 May
7:00 A Time for Murder: A look at Antiscia - Genda Cole
Using antiscia adds another factor to the relationship between planets. Glenda will be explaining the technique of antiscia and demonstrating how it works by looking at the charts of some of the UK’s most notorious murderers.
Glenda Cole has studied astrology for over 20 years. She is a founder member and chair of the long running Suffolk Astrological Society and is also a council member for the Astrological Association.

8:00 Break
8:30 World Economy & Astro-Cycles - 1979-2024 (3) - Roy Gillett
Roy Gillett explains how financial astrologers were able to predict the 2008 global crisis several years in advance. Have world economic policies since then solved the crisis, or made it worse?

8:30 Charts Discussion (Tea Room)
Sunday 6th June Astrology & Healing see events with Amanda Bradbury, Pam Carruthers, Nick Hughes, Melanie Reinhart and Sue Tompkins

Sunday 13th June 2010 Traditional Day see events The Native in the Nativity: Psychological delineation in Traditional Astrology with Helena Avelar and Luis Ribiero

Founded in 1915 by Alan Leo for the study of astrology, the Lodge provides a weekly focus for a dynamic and lively community of astrologers.

The Lodge holds public meetings on a Monday evening in central London at 50 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8AE.

We have agreements with Amazon.co.uk and Astrology Software Shop.
Using these providers for your books and software will help the Lodge earn money.
We do remind you that there are other providers and that any transactions are between yourself and your chosen provider.


Terms and Conditions © 2010 Astrological Lodge of London, all rights reserved Email info@astrolodge.co.uk


PLEASE SHARE YOUR OPINIONS

• Do you believe in psychics, astrologers, palmists or clairvoyants?

• Do you think they really have special powers?

• Do you have any anecdotes to share related to the topic?

• Has your opinión on the issue changad after reading this material?

6 may. 2010

Single and searching II


Shyno SMS t-shirt, text the ones you loveBy Sean Cooper posted Jun 29th 2007 11:26PM

Shyno of Milan has come up with a unique way to send messages of love or hate to strangers you spy wearing one of its SMS shirts. When you pick up the SMS shirt at a retailer that carries them -- we're thinking Italy only -- you receive a card with a code to register your t-shirt's unique id and mobile number on the Shyno site. Now when you are out clubbing, at the beach or what not all a shy admirer has to do is simply fire off an SMS to short-code 48200 with the number emblazoned on the back of your shirt, their words of adoration, and presto, the message is delivered to your cell. We're totally seeing this as a fun thing at festivals and the like to help get in touch with folks you just have to meet, we hope to see this idea over here soon.

4 may. 2010



Current Environmental Issues

The human population and the environment have not co-existed together as effectively as they should and as a result, our current environmental issues are many, global, and devastating.

Of course, the fault rests on our human population, not our environment.

The list of environmental problems we face is staggering. Environment articles from numerous sources cite problematic issues such as greenhouse gases reaching a dangerous point a full ten years before previous expectations. The global warming caused by the increase in greenhouse gases causes the temperature of the earth and the seas to increase. Once ocean temperatures rise, polar caps melt quicker and cause sea levels to rise.

Ozone depletion, originally attributed to the use of chloroflorocarbons (CFCs) in aerosol sprays, is getting worse as we continue to burn fossil fuels which emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide; a deadly trio of toxins. In addition to the ozone layer, fossil fuel byproducts also pollute our soil and ground water.

Littering the environment has many faces. Roads and highways are strewn with trash tossed from passing cars or dumped by those who wouldn’t be burdened by a trip to the local landfill.

Even dumping paint, oil, and other chemicals in landfills, instead of taking them to a hazardous disposal facility, contributes to environment pollution when those toxins leach into our groundwater supplies.

Ozone damaging Freon is released into the atmosphere when automotive, home, and commercial air conditioning units are not serviced in a manner designed to capture the Freon.

The ripple effects of environment pollution aren’t just a few more ultraviolet rays coming through the clouds. Environment analysis shows pollution, ozone depletion, and greenhouse gases affect plants and animals, both above the ground and in the ocean. A change in one food source has far-reaching effects throughout the food chain, including all the way up to humans.


Individual human environment interaction isn’t the only perpetrator against a green planet. Factories that spew tons of noxious byproducts into the atmosphere and the air we breathe are as much to blame as are businesses that dump chemicals into the ground or rivers and lakes. Environmental health issues from illegal toxic dumping show up in clusters of illnesses: a rise in autism, asthma, leukemia, and other cancers.
Certain environmental facts cannot be disputed. We are living in a world of increasing consumption and diminishing resources. We are destroying our environment by continuing to do things “the way we’ve always done things” -- burning fossil fuels for energy and releasing metric tons of toxic byproducts into the ground and the atmosphere.

But our current environmental issues can be mitigated, and some even reversed with a global commitment to green living.

Environment websites such as Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org), Earth First! (www.earthfirst.org), and Mother Earth News (www.motherearthnews.com) are excellent resources to receive environmental news and other environmental issues articles

30 abr. 2010

Single and searching? Speed Dating is the answer then.




What is Speed Dating?
http://www.slowdating.com/faq.aspx

More people understand Speed Dating these days and the benefits are now well known. Upon arrival at one of our Speed Dating events, you will be checked in and given a personalised badge with a number on it. We generally allow some extra time for people who are running late, but we normally start on time. Your host will give a quick welcome speech to let you know what to expect. Once the dating part of the evening starts, those with badge number one will start at table number one, those with badge number two at table number two and so on. After four minutes, we will ring a bell; and all the girls will stay seated and all the guys will move round one table. Between each date we allow a little time for you to make your notes on your dates using your Speeding Ticket. The events will continue (with a fifteen to twenty minute half time break) until you have met everyone there.

With Speed Dating, everyone is there to meet other people - just like you. You have just enough time with each person to decide whether or not you would like to see them again, and you only get put in contact with the people you want to meet who also want to meet you again - no more awkward phone calls and no having to avoid people you don't like.

What sort of people go speed dating?
Most are professionals who want to improve their chances of meeting the right person. They're generally normal, attractive people with varied interests who normally mix with the same group of friends and work colleagues and rarely get the opportunity to meet many new people in one go.
Speed Dating is ideal for those who lead busy lives, don't have much time and want to meet new people in a fun, safe environment.

How does Speed Dating work?

Upon arrival at one of our Speed Dating events, you will be checked in and given a personalised badge with a number on it. You will be given time to relax and make yourself comfortable. Your host will give a quick welcome speech to let you know what to expect. Once the dating part of the evening starts, those with badge number one will start at table number one, those with badge number two at table number two and so on. After four minutes, we will ring a bell, the girls will stay seated and all the guys will move round one table. This continues (with a half time break) until you have met
everyone there.

What if I like another speed dater?

You will probably like lots of other people at one of our Speed Dating evenings - the difficulty is choosing who you would really like to see again. Use your Speeding Ticket to make notes at the end of each date and tick the people you like and want to see again. The next day or so, simply signon to the web site and tick the people you want to see again.

How do I get in touch with them?

After you have entered your ticks, you will be sent an email or a text alert message immediately whenever someone matches with you, with their details. Via the website, you will also be able to see how many people have entered their choices, and see details of anyone that you match with.

Do many people come on their own?

About a third do - we make a point of ensuring our organisers will make sure you are comfortable and put you at your ease. Many people find it easier to bring a friend along for moral support and to help overcome the first date nerves - we are happy to accommodate this.

Interested? Find a Speed Dating event near you!

Amongst the bars we are using over the coming weeks: http://www.slowdating.com/Venue.aspx

Please watch this video about Speed dating at:http://www.slowdating.com/speed_dating/videos.aspx

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How do people meet people in your country?

• Is the system described in the webpage familiar to you?

• Do you know of any similar service in our country?

• What do you think is the best way of meeting people?


After you read the information please reflect on the advantages and disadvantages for people to meet through Speed Dating.

Write a short paragraph giving your views on them topic.

Don’t miss the video!

21 abr. 2010

Uruguay paper mill 'can continue', court rules


Uruguay paper mill 'can continue'
Uruguay should have informed Argentina about its plans to build two paper mills on the banks of a river they share, the UN's top court has ruled.

But the International Court of Justice in The Hague said Uruguay had not violated its environmental obligations and the mill can continue working.

Only one mill was built but the dispute has simmered for several years.

Argentina argues the mill is polluting the river, while Uruguay says it adheres to strict environmental codes.

Argentina lodged a complaint before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2006, arguing that Uruguay had broken the terms of a 1975 treaty regulating the use of the River Uruguay which forms the border between them.

In its ruling, the ICJ said that Uruguay had breached its procedural obligations to inform Argentina of its plans.

However, the court said Uruguay had not violated its environmental obligations under the treaty.

Blockades

Argentina's view that the plant was causing noise and visual pollution and producing "bad odours" did not fall within the cour'ts jurisdiction, the ruling said.

The court rejected Argentina's request for the mill, located on the Uruguayan bank of the river near the town of Fray Bentos and built by the Finnish firm Botnia, to cease operations.

It also turned down a request for compensation for "alleged injuries suffered in various economic sectors, specifically tourism and agriculture".

The dispute over plans to build intially two and then just one paper mill brought Argentine protesters onto the streets.

Rresidents of the Argentine town of Gualeguaychu across the river from the plant blockaded roads and river crossings, and at times relations between the two South American nations were strained.

The ICJ's rulings are final and cannot be appealed against.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/8632933.stm

Published: 2010/04/20 16:14:13 GMT

© BBC MMX

After reading this article and probably been informed through TV and radio reports, what are your views on:

The International Court of Justice in The Hague’s ruling?

• The reaction of Argentinean protesters?


1. Do you think the ruling is fair for both Uruguay and Argentina?

2. Did you expect something different?

3. How do you think our relationship with our Argentinean neighbors will be like after this ruling?

4. What kind of political and economic consequences do you think this ruling may give raise to?

14 abr. 2010

Calming Down



Melanie Hudson

How many times a day do you hear someone say he/she is feeling stressed?
Follow this guide to feel less stressed.

The ISMA - International Stress Management Association say that 60% of adults claim to have too much stress at work. Stress is blamed for everything from bad skin to divorce, even death. Of course, at the right level, stress can be positive, helping us to do our best.

Danger Signals

See if you are over stressed. The following signs are all danger signals:

1. You find it difficult to sleep, or wake up and can't get back to sleep.

2. You wake up tired.

3. You are often irritable.

4. You want to eat sweet things all the time.

5. You find it hard to concentrate on work or studying.

6. You feel weighed down by life.

7. You have a lot of colds.

8. You argue a lot with family and friends.

Eight Steps for Less Stress

Do these things and you should feel less stressed:

1. Cut out stimulants. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, so cut out coffee and cigarettes. Drink herbal tea instead.

2. Eat well. Sugary foods give you a quick boost, but are bad for you. Instead, eat nutritious foods like fruit and cheese to give you energy.

3. Treat yourself. Give yourself a really relaxing treat, like a massage, or a session in a steam room. Even just a swim in quiet surroundings can feel great.

4. Exercise. Exercise is one of the best things to relieve stress. It produces endorphins, nature's "feel-good" chemicals. Spend some time at the gym, dancing, or having a quick walk.

5. Have a laugh. One of the best ways to cope with stress is to have a good chuckle. So watch a funny movie or TV show. Avoid dramas.

6. Have a bath at bed-time. Research shows that a warm bath just before you go to bed makes you sleep better. It helps the body begin the natural cooling down that leads to sleep.

7. Take vitamins. Your body deals with stress much better when it has the right balance. B Vitamins (found naturally in liver and wheatgerm), zinc (in shellfish, seeds, and nuts), and Vitamin C (in citrus fruits and root vegetables) are excellent. Take them as tablets to supplement your diet.

8. Get help. If your list of jobs to do is getting longer and longer, ask for support. Your friends may be able to help walk the dog, or recommend a good ironing service. Your boss may be able to help share some of your work with colleagues.

Source: Think in English
GLOSSARY


claim to have: affirm or assert they have (aseguran tener)
blamed for: responsible for (responsable de)
get back to: go back, return to (volver a)
irritable: easily annoyed (irritado)
weighed down: oppressive or disheartening (desalentado)
to argue: to discuss violently (discutes con violencia)
cut out: remove (elimina)
stimulants: something that raises one's level of activity, often a drug (los estimulantes)
boost: improvement, increase (mejoría repentina)
treat yourself: provide with a gift or entertainment (mímate)
steam room: vapour bath (sauna, baño de vapor)


After reading the artilce answer the questions below:

1. What do you think is the limit between positive and negative stress?

2. Have you ever detected in yourself any of the danger signals mentioned in the article?

3. Do you think the “Eight steps for less Stress” are ideal or real solutions for stressed people in our country?

4. What should happen in your life to make your stress disappear totally?

<10 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS AT WORK

Douglas Jasch

Productivity drives, efficiency initiatives, company cutbacks, mergers...


(Line 1) While the modern workplace is producing more for less, recent research has indicated that increasing worker output is being accompanied by increased stress.

However, by following the simple hints and techniques mentioned below you can effectively lower tension and find that your work life quickly improves and that you are far better able to manage your stress. Let's see...

1. Personalise your work space.Bring a plant to work, a photograph of the family and some personal items. The plant will help to provide fresh oxygen in an air-conditioned environment. By personalising your workspace you create an atmosphere in which it is comfortable to work. This can help to increase your productivity. Whatever you decide to do, it is important to select items appropriate to your company's culture.

2. Start the day in a positive way. Try to be positive about going to work. Research has indicated that a positive attitude helps to reduce stress and conflict in the workplace.

3. Prioritise your tasks.
Set a list of priorities each day. Prioritising your tasks will help to reduce stress by ensuring that the most important things are done first which helps to avoid emergencies and unnecessary pressure.

4. Achieve a task a day. When you set your priorities, make sure you include at least one task which you will be able to complete on that day. Even if it is a very small task and there are several complex tasks you will be working on, completing one thing each day will help, you feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction.

5. Exercise Your body. Try to do some exercise at least once a day. A twenty-minute stroll at lunch will not only reduce stress but could also help you to live longer.

6. Exercise Your Eyes.
In the modern world it is not enough to only exercise your body. With the advent of computers and the necessity in the modem office to sit looking at a screen for hours on end, it is also important to exercise your eyes. There is little doubt that computers have helped increase worker productivity and efficiency. Unfortunately there is a very negative side effect from excessive computer use: bad eyesight. By staring into the distance for one minute every hour you can greatly reduce the likelihood of suffering eye damage. It is just as important to exercise your eyes as your body.

7. Take Regular Breaks. Take regular short breaks. Most people can only maintain effective concentration for 40 minutes. Regular short breaks will help you to be at your productive best. lt will also help to approach problems from a different perspective after a break. Don't work through coffee breaks and always try to leave the office to eat your lunch.

8. Eat Healthy Food. Eating healthy food cannot only increase the length of your life, it also helps to reduce stress. The traditional Mediterranean diet is recommended. Animal fats and excessive alcohol intake should be avoided.

9. Avoid conflict. Seek solutions and resolutions not confrontation. Be flexible and try to maintain positive relationships with your colleagues.

10. Sleep. Many executives believe that they only need five or six hours sleep a night. This may be so for a lucky few but the reality is that most of us need between eight and ten hours sleep a night.

Source: Think in English

GLOSSARYproductivity drives: (in this context) productivity campaigns (las campañas de productividad)
cutback: personnel reduction (reducción de personal)
merger: process in which two companies join together and become one company (fusión)
output: production (producción)
hint: piece of advice, recommendation, tip (recomendación, sugerencia)
items: things, articles. belongings (artículos)
whatever (you decide to do): it makes no difference what (you decide to do) (independientemente de lo que decidas hacer)
to prioritise: to assign a priority to (priorizar) task: piece of work, individual job (tarea)
to achieve: finish, conclude (alcanzar, lograr)
achievement: fulfilled goal (logro, objetivo alcanzado)
stroll: walk for pleasure (paseo, caminata)
advent: arrival (llegada, advenimiento)
screen: computer display (pantalla de monitor)
to stare: look for a long time (mirar fijamente)
likelihood: probability (probabilidad)
break (n.): period of rest (descanso, recreo)
through: (in this context) during (durante)
animal fats: oily substances derived from animals (grasas animales)
intake: consumption (consumo, ingesta)
to seek: look for, try to find (buscar)



After reading the article please answer the questions below:

1. Do you agree with the statement in line 1?

2. Do you feel work-related stress at the moment? If so, how do you feel exactly?

3. Have you tried any the hints mentioned in the article? If so, have they been effective for you?

4. How you manage your stress at present?

5. What do you think people should do to balance their stress with some relaxation?

11 abr. 2010

The secret of Okinawa to Long Life




1 May 2008 Food for Thought

Hara hachi bu – eat only until you are 80% full‘Far off in the East China Sea, between the main islands of Japan and Taiwan, is an archipelago of 161 beautiful, lush green islands known as Okinawa. The beaches are a dazzling powdery white; the waters are crystal turquoise, and the pristine subtropical rainforests house a huge variety of exotic flora and fauna. But while Okinawa has all the makings of a tropical paradise, it is in fact something more special – Okinawa is more like a “real-life Shangri-la” why? Because the islands are home to the longest lived population in the world.’ –

The Okinawa Diet Plan
The traditional Okinawa diet, with its emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes (soy foods) and fish with limited amounts of lean meats serves as a model for healthy eating and healthy aging that not only reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease but also helps to minimise free radical production. Free radicals are cell-damaging molecules that are generated mainly by our bodies' metabolism when we create energy from food.

Dr Bradley Willcox talked to GI News about the secrets of healthy aging in Okinawa. 'The Okinawan cultural habit of calorie control called hara hachi bu, which means eat only until you are 80% full, plays a role in as well as their habit of eating an antioxidant-rich, plant-based diet,' he said.

'Stopping at 80% capacity is actually a very good strategy to avoid obesity without going hungry because the stomach's stretch receptors take about 20 minutes to tell the body how full it really is and 20 minutes after stopping you will really feel full.

In Okinawa, heart disease rates are 80% lower, and stroke rates lower than in the US and other Western countries. Cholesterol levels are typically under 180 mg/dL (4.6 mmol/L), homocysteine levels are low and blood pressure at goal levels. Rates of many cancers are 50–80% lower – especially breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer. Hip fractures are 20% lower than mainland Japanese and 40% lower than in the US. Dementia is much rarer.


Hara hachi bu – eat only until you are 80% full
‘Far off in the East China Sea, between the main islands of Japan and Taiwan, is an archipelago of 161 beautiful, lush green islands known as Okinawa. The beaches are a dazzling powdery white; the waters are crystal turquoise, and the pristine subtropical rainforests house a huge variety of exotic flora and fauna. But while Okinawa has all the makings of a tropical paradise, it is in fact something more special – Okinawa is more like a “real-life Shangri-la” why? Because the islands are home to the longest lived population in the world.’ – The Okinawa Diet Plan


The traditional Okinawa diet, with its emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes (soy foods) and fish with limited amounts of lean meats serves as a model for healthy eating and healthy aging that not only reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease but also helps to minimise free radical production. Free radicals are cell-damaging molecules that are generated mainly by our bodies' metabolism when we create energy from food.

Dr Bradley Willcox talked to GI News about the secrets of healthy aging in Okinawa. 'The Okinawan cultural habit of calorie control called hara hachi bu, which means eat only until you are 80% full, plays a role in as well as their habit of eating an antioxidant-rich, plant-based diet,' he said.

'Stopping at 80% capacity is actually a very good strategy to avoid obesity without going hungry because the stomach's stretch receptors take about 20 minutes to tell the body how full it really is and 20 minutes after stopping you will really feel full.

In Okinawa, heart disease rates are 80% lower, and stroke rates lower than in the US and other Western countries. Cholesterol levels are typically under 180 mg/dL (4.6 mmol/L), homocysteine levels are low and blood pressure at goal levels. Rates of many cancers are 50–80% lower – especially breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer. Hip fractures are 20% lower than mainland Japanese and 40% lower than in the US. Dementia is much rarer.

However, Okinawans who adopt Western eating styles have similar rates of heart disease as in the US. Young Okinawans, eating more processed foods, have a higher risk of heart disease than their elderly relatives. A study of 100,000 Okinawans who moved to Brazil and adopted local eating habits, showed a life expectancy 17 years lower than in Okinawa.'

So what's the Okinawan secret?

Consciously controlled portion sizes through the practice of hara hachi bu: eat until you are 80% full. A low-calorie, mostly plant-based diet with plenty of fish and soy foods, a great variety of vegetables as well as moderate amounts of the monounsaturated fats and omega-3’s. Include high fibre whole grains and starches.
Regular, life-long physical activity. Dancing, martial arts, walking and gardening are common forms of exercise.

Staying lean and fit. The combination of diet and activity keeps body fat low (ie, BMI 18-22).

What does my Signature Say About Me?



Graphologists claim that they can tell the difference between an honest, funny extrovert and a shy, creative workaholic, all by the signature. Although graphology has been deemed by many as a pseudoscience, it has gained in popularity and respect since its inception in the late 17th century. According to graphologists, handwriting and signatures are the result of the unplanned, reflexive movements of a person’s brain, so it’s nearly impossible to fool the trained eye of a graphologist.

Although most graphologists will say that a mere signature is not enough of a handwriting sample to do a complete analysis, at times, this is all that is needed to come to a general conclusion about the writer’s character traits. Companies and governments all over the world use handwriting analysis to screen potential employees. Analyzing a signature or handwriting sample can shed light on a person’s character and personality traits, providing a window into her mind.

Graphologists analyze several components of a signature or handwriting sample, including where the person writes on the page, how the letters or words are spaced, the slant of the writing, and how hard or soft the person presses on the pen. They also examine how the Ys are looped, how the Ts are crossed, and how the Ms are formed, among many other components. Handwriting analysis is used not only for job screening, but also for marital compatibility, jury screening, and psychological and medical diagnosis.

Graphologists claim that they can use a person’s signature or other handwriting sample to determine his honesty, communication abilities, work ethic, emotional stability, creativity, sense of humor, and self image. Social skills, including how shy or outgoing one is, as well as one’s ability to work independently or with a team, can also be determined. Sexuality is another trait graphologists claim they can determine, along with a person’s confidence and nervousness, tenacity, and goal setting abilities.

Of course, the analysis of a signature is open to much interpretation, and this subjectivity that many associate with graphology leaves any analysis up for debate. Many have raised questions about using handwriting analysis for job screening, because it may unfairly label a prospective employee before he even gets a chance to prove himself worthy for a position. Critics believe that the practice teeters on discrimination and that judging a person based solely on her signature is unfair.


For others, handwriting analysis is a fun way to gain insight into someone’s personality. Many celebrities, business tycoons, and political figures have had their signature analyzed by graphologists, and the results are surprisingly insightful. Because many of these people’s personality traits are already highly publicized, the real test is whether the analysis of an unknown person’s signature nets accurate results.

In sum

While for some people handwriting analysis is a fun way to gain insight into someone’s personality, for some other people judging a person based solely on his or her signature is a form of discrimination and that is unfair.

Remember companies and governments use handwriting analysis to screen potential employees, marital compatibility, jury screening, and psychological and medical diagnosis.

Social skills and even sexuality are traits graphologists claim they can determine, along with a person’s confidence and nervousness, tenacity, and goal setting abilities.

GIVE YOUR OPINION

• Do you think the use of graphology can unfairly label a person?

• To what point do you think should handwriting analysis be taken seriously?