Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Google, target of worldwide surveillance and takedown requests

Google continued to demonstrate its commitment to transparency on Monday by releasing fresh statistics on the number of times it has disclosed private user data to a government, or removed content at government request. The country-by-country report covers the second half of 2010.

During that period, the United States was the top requester of user information (4,601 requests), while Brazil was the leader in takedowns, with 263 requests leading to the removal of 12,363 items.

Google has committed to releasing such data at six-month intervals, and the data now goes back 18 months. US data requests were up about 30 percent in the second half of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009. Brazil, which requested the most data in the second half of 2009, actually saw its data requests fall since then.

For the first time, Google is also disclosing the fraction of user data requests it has complied with in addition to the total number of requests (it has always provided compliance statistics on takedowns). It complied with the highest fraction—94 percent—of American requests. It also complied with more than 80 percent of requests in Japan, Singapore, and Australia. At the opposite extreme, Google refused to comply with any of Turkey and Hungary's information requests, and it complied with fewer than half of the requests in South Korea, Portugal, Argentina, and Poland.

The section on takedown requests provides an interesting window into the different types of censorship that occur around the world. For example, Google complied with a request from the Thai government to remove 43 items "mocking or criticizing the king," which is illegal in that country. It removed an Italian video that depicted the assassination of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, but refused to remove videos criticizing politicians in India.

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How to trim your baby's nails

Baby nail care
Should I trim my baby's nails?

Yes. Your baby's nails may be softer and more pliable than yours, but make no mistake — they're sharp! A newborn has little control over his flailing limbs and can easily end up scratching his own face or yours.

Little fingernails grow so fast you may have to cut them several times a week. Toenails require less frequent trimming.

How do I trim my baby's nails without cutting his fingertips?

The best time to do this is while he's sleeping. (You may want to leave nail utensils in the car so you can do the job while your baby's asleep in his car seat.) Another good time is right after a bath, when your baby's nails are at their softest.

Make sure you have enough light to see what you're doing. Use a pair of baby scissors or clippers made especially for the purpose. Press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin, and keep a firm hold on your baby's hand as you clip.

Cut fingernails along the curve of the finger. Cut toenails straight across. Then use an emery board to smooth out any rough edges. In fact, if you're patient and your baby's nails aren't too long, you can skip clipping them altogether and simply file them to the right length with an emery board.

If you decide to give your baby a manicure while he's awake, get someone to help you hold him and keep him from wiggling too much while you work. Or have someone distract him so he'll let you hold his hand still for the clipping and filing.

Some parents bite their baby's nails into shape, but if you do, you run the risk of introducing germs from your mouth into any little cut your baby may have on his finger. You also won't be able to see what you're doing, and you'll find that your baby's finger is minute compared to your teeth! Still, some parents rely on this method.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Google head urges more broadband investment

Google's Eric Schmidt
IRELAND NEEDS to do better at broadband, and getting businesses online, Google’s Eric Schmidt said yesterday.

Speaking yesterday in Dublin, the company's executive chairman said Ireland was behind some of our competitors – France, Germany and the UK getting a specific mention – in providing high-speed internet access to homes and businesses, through both traditional access and wireless networks such as 4G.

“Which is not to say that you can’t catch up quickly, but you need to do it,” he said. “It’s not a tragedy but it’s an issue.

“The thing the Government can actually do that’s hard is [to] work with the telecommunications providers to get more broadband. It’s very difficult for small businesses to do,” he added.

“There are very few things that are better use of your money than long-term infrastructure in information technology that serves the interests of the citizens of the country.”

It’s a situation that has been negatively affected by the financial crisis, he noted.

“It may be that the Government has had a tough time, choosing between 10 different legitimate groups. I’m lobbying for mine,” he said. “The benefit of lobbying for mine is I think that the economic benefit of getting Irish businesses to be global, the flow through is so phenomenal. It creates new jobs, they pay taxes; it’s a market. But it is aided by such investment.”

This will help Irish businesses to become more global, get online and utilise the internet, he said, describing it as a global opportunity for Irish businesses.

“If I can sound critical, my observation is that Irish businesses are somewhat behind, especially the small and medium business, getting online compared to where they should be,” he said. “And Google and other companies working with people here should work very hard to get those companies on the internet.”

About 40 per cent of Irish companies do not have a website or other form of online presence, a situation that has led Google to get involved in an initiative with Blacknight Internet Solutions, An Post and the county and city enterprise boards aimed at helping to get smaller enterprises online.

He quoted a recent McKinsey study which claimed that, for every job lost through internet competition, 2.6 are created.

The good news is that Google, for the moment at least, has no plans to go anywhere. In fact, the company is expanding here all the time. It currently employs about 2,200 people in Ireland and is one of the fastest growing employers in the State.
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10 Secrets for Instant Self-Confidence

Self Confidence
1. Smile
The one-second tip for when you’re feeling nervous and unconfident is simply to smile! You don’t just smile because you are happy and confident – you can smile to make yourself feel better. The act of smiling is so strongly associated with positive feelings that it’s almost impossible to feel bad while smiling.

2. Make eye contact

As well as smiling, meet the eyes of other people in the room. Give them your smile; you’ll almost certainly get one back, and being smiled at is a great self-confidence boost. Like smiling, eye contact shows people that you’re confident. Staring at your shoes or at the table reinforces your feelings of self-doubt and shyness.
3. Change your inner voice

Most of us have a critical inner voice that tells us we’re stupid, not good enough, that we’re too fat, thin, loud, quiet… Being able to change that inner voice is key to feeling self-confident on the inside, which will help you project your confidence to the world. Make your inner voice a supportive friend who knows you fully but also recognizes your talents and gifts, and wants you to make the best of yourself.

4. Forget other people’s standards

Whatever the situation that’s causing you a crisis of self-confidence, you can help yourself immeasurably by holding yourself to your own standards alone. Other people have different values from you, and however hard you try, you’ll never please everyone all of the time. Don’t worry that people will think you’re too overweight, underweight, too feckless, too boring, too frugal, too frivolous … hold yourself to your standards, not some imagined standards belonging to others. And remember that commonly-held values and standards vary from society to society: you don’t have to accept them just because the people around you do.

5. Make the most of your appearance

Even if you’ve only got a minute or two, duck into the bathroom to make sure you’re looking your best. Brushing your hair, giving your face a good wash, retouching your makeup, straightening your collar, checking you’ve not got a bit of parsley stuck between your teeth … all of these can make the difference between feeling confident in your physical appearance and feeling anxious about an imagined flaw.

6. Pray or meditate briefly

If you believe in a higher power, whether God, or another spiritual force, it can be a real boost to self-confidence to say a silent prayer. (You could also meditate instead of praying.) This helps you to take a step back from your immediate situation, to see the wider picture and to seek help from something or someone greater than yourself. This is a Christian prayer, but you could write something similar that fits your own religious beliefs or spiritual tradition:

7. Reframe

If something unexpected happens, it’s easy to let it knock your fledgling self-confidence. Perhaps you spill your drink on someone, you arrive late for the big meeting because of traffic problems, or someone who you wanted to speak to gives you a cold brush-off. Try to “reframe” the situation; put it in the best possible light: often, events are only negative because of the meaning we attach to them.

8. Find the next step

Keep your self-confidence up by taking gradual steps forwards, rather than freezing when faced with what seems like a giant leap. If you’re not sure what to do, look for one simple step that you can take to make progress. That might mean making eye contact at a party, introducing yourself to a stranger, breaking the ice in a meeting, or asking a question of your interviewers that shows your knowledge of their industry and company.
9. Speak slowly

An easy tip for both seeming and being more self-confidence is to speak slowly. If you gabble, you’ll end up feeling worse as you know you’re being unclear to your audience or to the person you’re in a conversation with. Speaking slowly gives you the chance to think about what you’re going to say next. If you’re giving a talk or presentation, pause at the end of phrases and sentences to help your audience take in what you’ve said.

10. Contribute something

Have you ever sat through an entire class at college or meeting at work without saying a word? Have you had an evening out where friends chatted happily while you sat and stared silently at your drink? Chances are, you weren’t feeling very self-confident at the time – and you probably felt even worse afterwards. Whatever the situation you’re in, make an effort to contribute. Even if you don’t think you have much to say, your thoughts and perspective are valuable to those around you.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

If not Android, then Windows 8?

Google's Android
As Google's Android continues to experience birthing pains in tablets, Windows 8 has emerged as an attractive, albeit still distant, alternative.

By the time Windows 8 tablets hit the market in 2012, Microsoft will have had ample time to analyze the initial missteps of the Android platform, not to mention its own unimpressive attempts at "slate" operating systems over the years. Generally speaking, Microsoft may miss with the first few whacks at something new but they're usually good at eventually nailing an operating environment. If only because of their tenacity. They will persevere for years, even decades, until they get it right.

And, in fact, it's been about a decade since Microsoft announced the tablet concept. At that time, Bill Gates infamously predicated at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas that "the tablet would become the most popular form of PC within five years...The size of a legal notepad and half the weight of most of today's laptop PCs."

Tack on a few years and that prediction may be getting close to the truth. Not at Microsoft or Motorola or Dell, but Apple.

Windows 8 may be a watershed, however. Thanks to Apple, Microsoft now has a much better idea of what a tablet should be. And tablets are large-screen (relative to smartphones) devices, an operating environment Microsoft is comfortable with. Better still, Windows 8 can tap into plenty of horsepower--another thing Microsoft is good at. By next year, chip suppliers like Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments will have improved dual-core--and, in some cases, quad-core--chips replete with improved graphics. Not to mention Intel's plans to beef up its next-generation Atom processor by next year.

And since Windows 8 will run on both Intel and the ARM design-based chips cited above, Win 8 tablets will appear quickly, possibly in the form of a Microsoft-branded slate.

Did I mention apps? Microsoft has a few universally used applications--some might say pre-baked killer apps--that may work well in a Windows 8 tablet format. In short, never underestimate the demand for Microsoft Office. Microsoft could also move the tablet interface forward in a big way with a technology like Kinect.

All of this, I think, lays the groundwork for a successful platform. My only fear is that Microsoft and its partners fall prey to PC-itis and design clunky, thick, heavy tablets laden with ports in an effort to shoehorn a laptop into a tablet format. That would be a big mistake. (And, yes, Android 4.0 will have arrived by then, so the competition in non-Apple devices will not go away.)

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Giving your baby a bath

Time it right: Don't give your baby a real bath until the umbilical cord stump falls off. Sponge baths are okay until then.
baby bath
Gather supplies: A baby tub (or just the sink), a washcloth or two, cotton balls (optional), baby soap, a towel, and a fresh diaper.
baby bath

Get ready: Heat the room if it's chilly, and run an inch or two of warm water (about 90 degrees Fahrenheit) into the tub or sink

Take the plunge: Undress your baby and gradually place her in the tub on her back. Support her head and neck with one hand.

Keep her comfy: Gently pour cupfuls of water over your baby's body throughout the bath so she doesn't get cold.

Clean all over: Use a washcloth, cotton balls, or your hand to gently wash your baby's face and body. No need to scrub or use much soap.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Google’s “Me On The Web” A Vital Addition To Personal Online Reputation Management Efforts

Google Me
Building up a good, solid reputation takes years, if not a lifetime, of hard work and dedication, yet one wrong move on today’s social media channels can spell disaster for aspiring individuals. Google, in response to the growing need for online reputation management, has set up a tool that will help individuals monitor their own identity on the web – an excellent starting point on the way to carefully managing one’s online presence, believes CEO of http://www.ReputationManagementAuthority.com, James Schramko.

“As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure” Schramko eagerly explains “people taking the initiative to control what is being published about them are the most likely beneficiaries of this tool.”

Individuals conscious about what they post online realize that sometimes being careful just doesn’t cut it. The tagging of photos, videos and blog posts by other people, for example, are some of the factors one has little control over.

Me On The Web, which is based on the existing “Google Alerts” technology, allows individuals to receive alerts about themselves on a daily or weekly basis. It shows where the user has been tagged, whether in blog posts, photos, or on videos.

“Aside from carefully choosing what you post online, you can always talk to your friends if you believe you have been tagged in an inappropriate photo, video or blog post. If the person that has tagged you is not your friend, you may advise them to take down the material. The tool is very handy when comes to informing you of the source, that way you can take legal action when necessary.” – James Schramko.

James further explains that proper reputation management always starts with the individual because cleaning up the aftermath of a media disaster is always more complicated than preventing it from happening. Me On The Web can greatly help in monitoring a person’s online identity, and when things go wrong, firms like James Schramko’s Repuation Management Authority can help.

For additional information visit http://www.ReputationManagementAuthority.com.

About Reputation Management Authority
Reputation Management Services that specializes in putting forward the other side of the story which takes advantage of a highly advanced system developed and tested by online business expert, James Schramko. RMA was not available to the public until recently.

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Causes of Coughs

The list of possible causes of cough is long and highly varied. Doctors classify coughs into 2 categories, acute and chronic. Many doctors define an acute cough as one that been present for less than 3 weeks. Chronic coughs are those present for more than 3 weeks.

Acute coughs can be divided into infectious (caused by an infection) and noninfectious causes.

Infectious causes of acute cough include viral upper respiratory infections (the common cold), sinus infections, pneumonia, and whooping cough.

Noninfectious causes of cough include flare-ups of the following chronic conditions: chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and environmental allergies.

The easiest way to simplify the causes of chronic cough is to divide them into their locations with respect to the lungs. The categories are environmental irritants, conditions within the lungs, conditions along the passages that transmit air from the lungs to the environment, conditions within the chest cavity but outside of the lungs, and digestive causes.

Any environmental substance that irritates the air passages or the lungs is capable of producing a chronic cough with continued exposure. Cigarette smoke is the most common cause of chronic cough. Other cough-producing irritants include dusts, pollens, pet dander, particulate matter, industrial chemicals and pollution, cigar and pipe smoke, and low environmental humidity.

Within the lungs both common and uncommon conditions cause chronic cough. Common causes include asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. Less common causes of lung-induced chronic cough include cancer, sarcoidosis, diseases of the lung tissue, and congestive heart failure with chronic fluid build-up in the lungs.

The passages that connect the lungs to the external environment are known as the upper respiratory tract. Chronic sinus infections, chronic postnasal drip, diseases of the external ear, infections of the throat, and use of ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure have all been implicated in chronic cough.

In addition to disease processes within the lung and air passages, diseases elsewhere within the chest cavity may also be responsible for chronic cough. Conditions within the chest known to cause chronic cough include cancer, unusual growth of a lymph node, and an abnormal enlargement of the aorta, which is the main blood vessel leaving the heart.

An often-overlooked cause of the chronic cough is gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). GERD occurs when acid from the stomach travels up the esophagus. This abnormal condition can cause irritation of the esophagus and larynx resulting in the reflex production of a cough.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011


Coughing is the body's way of removing foreign material or mucus from the lungs and upper airway passages camera or of reacting to an irritated airway. Coughs have distinctive traits you can learn to recognize. A cough is only a symptom, not a disease, and often the importance of your cough can be determined only when other symptoms are evaluated. For information about coughs in children, see the topic Coughs, Age 11 and Younger.

Productive coughs

A productive cough produces phlegm or mucus (sputum). The mucus may have drained down the back of the throat from the nose or sinuses or may have come up from the lungs. A productive cough generally should not be suppressed-it clears mucus from the lungs. There are many causes of a productive cough, such as:

Viral illnesses. It is normal to have a productive cough when you have a common cold. Coughing is often triggered by mucus that drains down the back of the throat.

Infections. An infection of the lungs or upper airway passages can cause a cough. A productive cough may be a symptom of pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, or tuberculosis.

Chronic lung disease. A productive cough could be a sign that a disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is getting worse or that you have an infection.

Stomach acid backing up into the esophagus camera. This type of coughing may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and may awaken you from sleep.

Nasal discharge (postnasal drip) draining down the back of the throat. This can cause a productive cough or the feeling that you constantly need to clear your throat. Experts disagree about whether a postnasal drip or the viral illness that caused it is responsible for the cough.

Smoking or other tobacco use. Productive coughs in a person who smokes or uses other forms of tobacco is often a sign of lung damage or irritation of the throat or esophagus.

Nonproductive coughs

A nonproductive cough is dry and does not produce sputum. A dry, hacking cough may develop toward the end of a cold or after exposure to an irritant, such as dust or smoke. There are many causes of a nonproductive cough, such as:

Viral illnesses. After a common cold, a dry cough may last several weeks longer than other symptoms and often gets worse at night.

Bronchospasm. A nonproductive cough, particularly at night, may mean spasms in the bronchial tubes (bronchospasm) caused by irritation.

Allergies. Frequent sneezing is also a common symptom of allergic rhinitis.

Medicines called ACE inhibitors that are used to control high blood pressure. Examples of ACE inhibitors include captopril (Capoten), enalapril maleate (Vasotec), and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril, or Zestoretic).

Exposure to dust, fumes, and chemicals in the work environment.

Asthma. A chronic dry cough may be a sign of mild asthma. Other symptoms may include wheezing, shortness of breath, or a feeling of tightness in the chest. For more information, see the topic Asthma in Teens and Adults.

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Google Quietly Launches Panda Update Version 2.2

Google Panda
Webmasters and SEOs suspected the next wave of Google's Panda update began hitting last week, with reports coming in of traffic drops, as well as some recoveries starting around June 16. And it seems that is the case, as Google has today confirmed the arrival of what is being dubbed Google Panda Version 2.2.

As is typical of Google, they're revealing nearly nothing about what this tweak is targeting. As yet, Google hasn't made an official announcement of the rollout of the algorithmic change on a company blog, though Google has recently tried to downplay Panda, noting that Panda is just one of about 500 algorithmic search tweaks Google makes each year.

Supposedly, one thing Google was going to address with Panda 2.2 is the issue of scraper sites – websites that republish other people's content on their own site, usually making money from Google AdSense in the process – outranking content originators. As Frank Watson noted, "Google created the mechanism that clogs its own data centers and overwhelms its own spam battlers."

History of Panda

Google announced the arrival of a new algorithm aimed at reducing rankings for "low-quality sites." Though Google said only 11.8 percent of U.S. queries were impacted by the update, it was enough to do some big damage (organic traffic losses of up to 80 percent were reported) to many unsuspecting online business owners, webmasters, and SEOs, which we chronicled here, here, here, and here.

A second version of Panda followed in April for all English sites, incorporating user feedback (blocked sites) as a search signal, followed by what is now being called Panda 2.1 in May.

Panda Tips

Early on, Google offered little advice to those caught in Google's algorithmic net, aside from removing low quality content and releasing a list of 23 questions to help you think like Google about which types of sites Google tries to reward with higher rankings.

In the months since the initial launch, some more clues have emerged and our team of experts have been busy unraveling the SEO factors involved with the Panda enigma.

Most recently, Garry Przyklenk yesterday offered five SEO Panda survival tips, including diversifying your traffic, addressing usability issues, and creating high-quality content – which is what Google says the Panda update aims to reward, despite the collateral damage that has been reported since February.

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Tips for Taking the Best Newborn Baby Pictures

new born baby photo
Chances are that everything baby is doing is fascinating to you right now, and you want to capture each wonderful moment, each new expression, and keep it for posterity. However, taking baby pictures can be tricky and here are some tips and tricks that will help you take the best newborn baby photos:

1. Pick a good quality but uncomplicated camera that you quickly switch on and just point and shoot.

You don’t want to be bothering with complicated lenses, and adjusting apertures and so on, because by that time baby will have moved on to doing something else and you will have lost that moment you wanted to capture.

2. Take plenty of pictures; with modern digital cameras you can always delete and edit what you don’t want later.

3. Set the stage so to speak. Spread out a nice blanket and keep some favorite items close at hand, which may interest baby and elicit interesting expressions and adorably toothless smiles.

Dress baby in your favorite togs and perhaps a jaunty cap to complete the picture.

4. Make sure baby is well rested, fed, burped and freshly changed to make sure that you have baby in the best possible mood and inclined to pose, in a manner of speaking.

Also make sure that baby is clean; you don’t want spit up stains to show up on the dress or dried drool to be evident in the pictures.

5. Take pictures of baby as he or she is sleeping. Sleeping babies can make for some enchanting pictures and you have the time to really compose your shot.

6. It is best if the baby’s most favorite person is taking the photo – babies tend to smile and react and coo and gurgle most with a care giver or mother, say; so if possible they should take the picture, so that baby is looking straight at them and therefore the camera as the picture is being taken.

7. Don’t try too hard to make baby ‘pose’ – rather just make it a kind of play session and get baby interested and involved in the process.

Then just be ready for the sidelong glance, the wide grin, the puzzled frown and a range of other expression that baby will naturally offer you.

8. Meal times are another great time to take pictures. Make sure that you capture that distasteful look on the face when baby tastes something new, and unfamiliar, capture the fun she has as she tries to feed herself and the mess that she makes as well!

9. Don’t be afraid of taking close ups of baby’s face; these can make some of the most cherished baby pictures if you get them right.

Practice with different angles and make sure the light is right and then work by trial and error to get the best shots.

10. After you take the pictures, you can try and experiment with various computer applications to create different effects – you can create a sepia tint for the picture, or make it monochrome (black and white), give a sketched effect and amuse yourself with other effects!

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The Dos and Don’ts – Newborn Baby Care -Pictures

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Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to caring for the baby! Becoming a good parent means much more than knowing a lot about babies.

Ask pediatric doctors or nurses what it was like for them to be new parents. They will tell you that all their knowledge about babies was not enough to keep them from being overwhelmed by their own babies.

All new parents feel the same way. All new parents work at knowing, understanding, and loving their babies.

If you want to learn all about your new born baby care, and be able to respond to his/her needs appropriately – it is going to take a lot of your time.

In case you are a young mother or father, having difficulties in putting the baby to sleep or feeding him, these instructions are the clearest you can get.

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The first looks of your New Born Baby

new born baby
Few newborns look picture perfect at birth. They have many variations in normal appearance - from color of the skin to its texture to the shape of the head. Some of these differences are just temporary, part of the physical adjustments a baby goes through. Mentally, mostly all babies are awake and alert during the first few hours after birth.

Physical appearance:

The head may look pointed due of pressure during birth. It would become normal in two weeks. When you touch on the top of your baby's head, you can feel a soft spot. This is the part where the bones of the skull have not joined together. It becomes normal when your child is 16-18months.

You will find little marks, spots and rashes, red or greenish blue on the skin of your new born baby. This is completely normal and some babies may have more than others. Skin may be peeling on the hands and feet and some babies may have noticeable downy body hair. But all these will disappear on their own accord.

Hands and Feet
The fingernails of the baby seems long at birth. The legs look bowed as he had been lying curled in the womb.

The eyes may look as if they are squinting. This is very common in the first months. Puffy or blood shot eyes should be checked by the doctor.

The nose may appear flat as the bone hasn't yet fully developed.

Most of the babies genitals look large. There may have a milky discharge from the breasts and sometimes blood or discharge from the vagina in a baby girl. This is because of an infusion of mother's hormones from the placenta, just before birth. This is perfectly normal and will soon disappear.

Mental Ability :
Mostly all babies are awake and alert during the first few hours after birth. They are attracted to human sights especially faces and human sounds. They have a grasp reflex and sucking reflex. If an object is placed in his palm he involuntarily clenches his fists around it, likewise if the newborn is placed near his mothers breast, the baby will seek the nipple and begin to suck. Babies can see now, although objects may be blurred.

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Breaking down Google's Street View

Google's Street view
The police recently stopped Google from filming streets in Bangalore, citing security concerns. While Google says it would resolve the matter with the government, here’s the low-down on what its ‘Street View’ technology is, how it works and why it’s perceived as controversial.

To start, one can log on to Google Maps, which lets one explore places through 360-degree street-level imagery. Once in Google Maps, one can click and drag the ‘Pegman’ symbol to the place he wants to see. Roads with Street View imagery would appear with a blue border. For areas where Street View imagery is available, one can also zoom in to the spot. There are symbols that indicate options like rotate, walk, jump or exit.

When Google started Street View in 2007 as an experimental project, the company packed several computers into a sports utility vehicle, stuck cameras, lasers, and a GPS device on top, and drove around, collecting the first imagery. Since Street View was launched across five US cities in May 2007, the company expanded its 360-degree panoramic views to include locations on all the seven continents. The company later switched to a fleet of cars that allowed it to scale the project throughout the US and across the world. A rack of computers paved the way for one small computer per car. The system of cameras was later improved to capture higher-resolution panoramic views.

The latest car has 15 lenses to capture 360-degree photos. It also has motion sensors to track its position, a hard drive to store data, a small computer running the system and lasers to capture 3D data to determine distances within Street View. Areas not accessible by cars are filmed on bikes (mountain cycles) and even snowmobiles (for snowy terrains) and trolleys that fit through museum doorways and navigate around sculptures.

The Google team, on its website, says it pays close attention to the movement of the sun when planning the drive to ensure that shadows don’t obscure buildings. It also takes into account the weather and the temperature. The team needs to figure exactly where each image was taken in order to provide images of the right places when one uses Street View. For this, Google combines signals from several sensors on the car, including a global positioning system (GPS) device. The device usually shows the car’s exact location. However, sometimes factors like tall buildings block the signal. Data from the other sensors help the company fill in the gaps in such cases. The company can figure out the car’s route accurately by combining these signals.

Since Google knows exactly when and in which direction each picture was taken, it can then match each image to a specific location and even tilt and align the images with hilly terrain. To account for overlapping and help create a continuous 360-degree image, it ‘stitches’ the images together to create a continuous panorama.

When one navigates through a street, Google needs to determine which image to show. For this, it relies on signals the car collects, such as data from three lasers. How quickly the lasers reflect off surfaces tells it how far each building or object is and also enables it to construct 3D models. When one drags the mouse to an area in the distance, this 3D model determines the best panorama for that location.

On November 21 2008, Street View was added to the Maps application installed on the Apple iPhone, while on December 10 2008, it was added to the Maps application for S60 3rd Edition. Street View has also been added to the Windows Mobile and BlackBerry versions of Google Maps.

PRIVACY CONCERNS While technology is generally perceived as neutral, there are fears of Google knowing too much about us. On the internet, for instance, Google knows what sites one visits and what information one looks for. Now, it also has pictures of your street, your house, your cars and you. Google, on its part, says Street View images are not real time, and claims to apply cutting-edge face and licence plate blurring technology to help ensure that passers-by and cars in photographs cannot be identified.

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Site is 'Netflix for baby clothes'

Baby Care
Plum has not only a great idea, but a great motto: "Think of us as the Netflix for baby clothes," and that pretty much sums up the website's mission: Rent baby clothes — but no, not ones that have been super-pooped in — and return them when you're done.

Here's how it works: The relatively new site is a subscription-based baby boutique of sorts, carrying brands like Egg Baby, Kate Quinn Organics, Petit Bateau and Tea Collection. For $16 a month, you can rent two outfits; $29 a month for four; and $49 a month for seven.

"You can send them back anytime you'd like within three months. We'll send you a new bundle," the site says. Also promised: "Our bundles are always freshly laundered in 7th Generation laundry products, the greenest and healthiest on the market, and we pack them with a little sachet of organic lavender to keep them smelling lovely."

Stain issues? "We're moms and we know how it goes: accidents happen. Send them back with the bundle. We'll either donate them to foster care, or use the fabric that's still in great shape in hand-crafted baby gifts. No charge to you!"

Outfits ship via regular mail, with one "free round-trip" a month included in a subscription.

Caroline O'Connor, the brains behind Plum, writes on the site that she had a few inspirations for the idea:

'There's got to be a better way,' I thought, while sifting through piles of gifts and hand-me-downs. My first baby is due in October, and amidst the excitement I wondered how I'll ever handle all this ... stuff. The idea for Plum was born as I explained to my husband the ideal solution: If someone could drop matched bundles of my favorite brands at my door in the right sizes, already laundered with organic products. Then I thought: "Good grief, why isn't someone already doing this?" I decided that someone could be me.

And, her own mother is a foster care mom for infants: "The babies who come to her are as young as just a few days old. They may stay for a few weeks or a few months. Not only does she want the best for the babies in her care, she buys them clothes so that they have something when they leave her care." Of course, O'Connor says, "There are thousands of other foster parents like her around the country."

Baby clothes that "just can't be saved — moms, you know what I mean — we use scraps from to create gifts onesies." O'Connor says all proceeds from the sales go to Foster Care Alumni of America, "which helps foster kids successfully transition into adulthood."

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Google Gets 1 Billion Monthly Unique Visitors

Google visitors
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) revealed more than a year ago that it has more than 1 billion searches a day and averages 1 billion searchers a week.

Now it can add 1 billion unique visitors per month to that storied stat club. comScore revealed that Google's Websites, including its search engine, YouTube video-sharing site and Gmail, lured more than a billion unique visitors in May. That's up 8.4 percent from a year ago.

It was the first time an Internet company has hit that benchmark, according to the researcher. See the report here or this snapshot on Search Engine Land.

That would be nice if it weren't for the fact that Google's rivals are growing their online traffic, too. Microsoft, whose Bing search engine came on strong last year, followed with 905 million unique visitors in May, good for growth of 15 percent.

Facebook, meanwhile, saw its visitor count balloon to 714 million visitors, perhaps an accurate reflection of its current user base. Facebook's year-to-year growth was a remarkable 30 percent.

More impressive (and scary, for Google) is Facebook's user engagement stat: comScore said the social network's users logged 250 billion minutes worldwide in May, up from 66 percent from May 2010.

In a June 15 blog post, comScore said Facebook's average U.S. visitor engagement has grown from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours per month over the past year. Nielsen confirmed the six-hour stat in its own research.

Microsoft is next at 204 billion minutes, down 13.6 percent, while Google is third with 200 billion minutes, good for growth of 13 percent.

Facebook's ability to keep users logged in the walled garden is the reason why Google is logically infusing its Web services with social software.

This Web phenomenon is also the reason Google has been revving up its mobile and display advertising efforts. The company acquired mobile ad maker AdMob for $750 million last year and agreed to buy display ad player Admeld last week.

Google has also accelerated its YouTube efforts, adding thousands of streaming movie titles and using Google TV as a new access point for YouTube and its display ads.

Near-term, Google has little to worry about. EMarketer said Google will take 41 percent of all ad dollars, with Facebook netting 7 percent of US online ad spending this year.

What Google is nervous about is that Facebook is getting more users to stay online with its site longer, which means more users are seeing more display ads on the network.

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Teens Drink Healthy, but Guzzle Soda, Too

Healthy Drink
Although high school students report drinking plenty of water, milk, and real fruit juice, they still gulp down more sugar-sweetened beverages than is probably good for them, CDC researchers found.

Nearly three-quarters (72.4 percent) of the teens who responded to a national survey said they drank at least one glass of water a day over the preceding seven days, Nancy Brener of the CDC and colleagues reported in the June 17 issue of Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Among the 11,429 survey respondents, 42 percent had at least one glass of milk a day, and 30.2 percent drank 100 percent fruit juice.

"These are healthful beverages, and milk and 100 percent fruit juice are sources of key nutrients," Brener and colleagues wrote.

But, 24.3 percent of the teens reported having a soda every day, 16.1 percent said they had a sports drink daily, and 16.9 percent said they drank another type of sugar-sweetened beverage every day.

For their study, the researchers assessed data from the National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS), a school-based survey among a nationally representative sample of teens in grades 9 through 12

Among the respondents, boys were more likely report drinking milk and whole fruit juices than girls, and whites were more likely than blacks and Hispanics to have water and milk every day -- although whites were less likely than the others to drink 100 percent fruit juice every day.

Boys and blacks were also more likely to drink soda and sports drinks than girls and white or Hispanic teens. Smaller percentages of students reported drinking more than one sugary drink a day: 15.6 percent had at least two cans of soda per day, 9.2 percent had at least two sports drinks, and 9.8 percent had two or more helpings of other sugar-sweetened beverages daily.

Coffee and tea were further down the consumption ladder -- just 14.8 percent of students reported drinking these hot beverages at least once a day.

Diet drinks were even less popular, with 7.1 percent reporting that they drank diet soda every day.

And energy drinks were less popular still, with just 5 percent of respondents saying they drank them every day. Brener and colleagues noted that the study was limited by its reliance on self-reported data, and is not generalizable beyond children who attend public or private high schools.

They also cautioned that their report shows a lower intake of sugary drinks and a higher consumption of whole fruit juice than other data, particularly those from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Still, they said schools and parents alike should limit intake of sugar-sweetened drinks among all teens "while ensuring their access to more healthful beverages."

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Google Updates Search Tools to Match Mobile Trends

Google on Tuesday introduced three new search features that make it clear mobile technologies are leading the way in new developments from the search giant.

The new Voice Search feature in its Chrome browser, for instance, originated in the mobile arena and was designed to allow users to speak, rather than type, their queries.

"With Voice Search, you don't have to type on a tiny touchscreen," wrote Google Fellow Amit Singhal on a company blog. "You can just speak your query and the answer is on the way."

Search by Image

Search by Image, similarly, brings to the desktop another technology originated in mobile: searching via computer vision.

"Google Goggles has enabled you to search by snapping a photo on your mobile phone since 2009, and today we're introducing Search by Image on desktop," Singhal wrote.

With the new feature, users can upload any picture or plug in an image URL from the Web and ask Google to figure out what it is. New extensions to the Chrome and Firefox browsers will also enable users to search any image on the Web simply by right-clicking.

The video below offers a sneak peek at the new Search by Image feature, which could be a boon for business research as well.

Instant Pages

Finally, the third search feature Google introduced on Tuesday was Instant Pages, which aims to shave seconds off the search process by loading top-ranked websites even before the user selects them.

"Instant Pages will prerender results when we're confident you're going to click them," Singhal explained. "The good news is that we've been working for years to develop our relevance technology, and we can fairly accurately predict when to prerender."

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Effectiveness of Honey As A Cough Suppressant

One οf thе mοѕt well Ɩονеԁ flavors οf cough drops іѕ honey. It іѕ nο bolt frοm thе blue bесаυѕе thе cough suppressing powers οf honey аrе quite impressive.

Although іt іѕ nοt medically nесеѕѕаrу tο suppress a cough, thеrе mау times аѕ cough relief іѕ desired. Fοr mind, аѕ уουr cough іѕ preventing уου frοm sleeping οr іѕ becoming a distraction іn a shared setting. Thеrе аrе really nο proven effective cough treatments fοr cough due tο a respiratory infection such аѕ thе ordinary frost. WhіƖе Dextromethorphan (уου mау hаνе seen іt аѕ “DXM” οr “DM”) іѕ widely used іn over-thе-counter cough suppressants, thеrе іѕ nο hard evidence thаt іt works аnԁ mау yield feature equipment. Lеt’s curve tο ехсеƖƖеnt ancient-fashioned honey. Honey саn lower cough аѕ well аѕ Dextromethorphan.

Thе sweet, thick stickiness οf honey soothes mucous membranes аnԁ removes thе irritation thаt causes thе cough reflex. Thіѕ іѕ honey’s mοѕt power feature аѕ a suppressant. Thіѕ іѕ likened tο аѕ over-thе-counter cough treatments such аѕ cough medicine аnԁ cough drops look tο work immediately. It іѕ really thіѕ soothing οf thе throat аnԁ nοt thе medicine itself thаt іѕ causing thе following relief.

Antibacterial Agent

Historically, honey hаѕ bееn used tο treats wounds аnԁ insect bites. Bees add аn enzyme tο thе nectar producing hydrogen peroxide whісh acts аѕ аn antibacterial agent. Honey’s antibacterial properties mау aid іn thе healing οf thе cough.


Honey’s high antioxidant ɡеt οn tο рƖеаѕеԁ сουƖԁ аƖѕο mess аbουt a role іn іtѕ effectiveness. Darker honey tends tο bе extra effective thаn іtѕ lighter counter-section bесаυѕе іt contains extra antioxidants.

Hοw Much Honey tο Uѕе

Typically, уου wіƖƖ aspire tο take thе same dosage amounts οf honey аѕ уου wουƖԁ cough medicine. Thіѕ mаkеѕ іt quite simple tο dredge up. Thеѕе amounts аrе: 1/2 teaspoon fοr 2-5 year olds; 1 teaspoon fοr 6 -11 year olds; 2 teaspoons fοr persons 12 аnԁ older.
Compensation аnԁ Disadvantages

Honey іѕ significantly less expensive thаn store bουɡht cough treatments. Thеrе аrе nο feature equipment such аѕ dimness οr sleepiness.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Try these and say goodbye to tummy troubles

Healthy Mind
Everyone wishes and aims for a healthy mind and body. In today's competitive world a sharp mind and a healthy body is a necessity.

But doing this is not a easy task. People are so busy with their work and handling their work pressure that they neglect their health.

Unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle results into many stomach related problems. One such problem is constipation. A lot of people nowadays complain of constipation.

They try everything to get rid of it but every time the problem resurfaces. Here are some tips for you that can help you get rid of the problem.

Try these and say goodbye to tummy troubles:

1. Mix triphala powder, bahera herb powder and amla powder and take this mixture with water every night before going to sleep.

2. If the person is very weak or is a child (who cannot try the above solution) then grind amla and make a wall with it around the belly button. Then pour ginger juice within it. Let the patient/child lie down for 2 hours. His/her stomach will get cleaned the natural way without any side effects.

3. Every morning, drink a glass of warm water with a pinch of black salt. Take a walk for 15 minutes.

4. Include black salt, lime juice, roasted cumin seeds, asafetida and seasonal fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mental, physical exercises are important keys to brain fitness

Mental health
Quick test: True or false. Puzzles and games are used as mental stimulation to prevent and repair memory loss. Answer: True.

Just ask gerontologist Sharmone LaRose, a certified memory impairment specialist who is the department chairwoman for the Older Adult Program at Torrance Adult School.

In her memory fitness classes, LaRose covers techniques to improve short-term and long-term memory and keep the brain healthy.

The key, she says, is to keep the mind stimulated and to learn new things.

Dr. Keith Black, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, agrees.

"Like a muscle, the brain needs to remain active, so continuing to challenge the brain is a very key component to maintaining a healthy brain, particularly as we get older," Black said.

"Puzzles and games are very good," he said. "But more importantly, if you've been doing puzzles all your life, try something entirely different. It's the challenge to learn a new task which has been shown to be very critical."

One game LaRose has her students play is the board game Reminiscing, in which a player spins a wheel to identify an era between 1940 and 2000. The player must then answer a question about the era the wheel lands on.

LaRose says pulling information from the past like this helps stimulate long-term memory. As a bonus, games such as Reminiscing also promote social interaction.

"If you become socially isolated and have no interaction with others, you begin to digress mentally as well as physically," LaRose said.

"You begin to kind of get lost in your own thought and you just retreat and that's a big problem for anyone - but especially as we age, and many people find themselves in that predicament if they're no longer physically capable of getting out. So that's important to stay socially engaged - the research shows that."

There are numerous other ways to keep the mind sharp as well. Research shows that physical exercise can help maintain cell regeneration in the brain, Black says.

LaRose adds that cardiovascular exercise oxygenates the whole body and brings the endorphins up, which benefits brain function.

Like exercise, other aspects of a healthy lifestyle are found to help brain health.

"All the things that we know to be of practical use - limiting our alcohol intake is key and maintaining a good healthy diet is very key," Black said.

"Some of the things we are beginning to look at now are things like DHA, which is a component of fish oil which has been shown to be very helpful in promoting brain health as well. So these are all things we know to do that we don't do, but studies are showing more and more how critical these things are to preventing dysfunction as we get older."

DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is an omega-3 fatty acid. Other good sources of omega-3 are olive oil, flaxseed oil and nuts.

Antioxidants found in foods such as blueberries, acai berries and green-leafed vegetables also are important, LaRose says, while Black recommends pomegranate, grape juice and grapes. The skin of the grape, he says, contains compounds that are good for the brain.

But more research is being done on how diet affects brain function.

"The other thing that we are beginning to investigate is the role of turmeric acid, or curry sauce, that's very high in...

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Use of Cough medicines takes away the lives of 5 kids

A sad and shocking announcement made by The Belgian Pharmaceutical Group UCB SA on March 7 2008, has aroused a huge storm among people. As per them their popular cough medicine by the name of Tussionex has taken the lives of 5 kids who were suffering from rigorous cough due to off beam use.

This pharmaceutical group has also put forward an admonition among all doctors and medical practitioners to examine their patients thoroughly before prescribing this drug. Eric Miller who is the UCB SA presenter told the media that the cough medicine Tussionex Pennkinetic Extended-Release Suspension is a much stronger drug in nature. It is mainly meant to be use for the adult person and for the children of the age of 6 years or older than that. So it can well be understood why it took away the lives of those innocent kids.

Miller also stressed on the point that the company has got the Tussionex manufacturing authorization since 1987. Authoritarian experiments under all circumstances and studies have been carried out extensively before launching the drug in the market. So as per him the company from now onwards shall issue this important warning of use of the drug in prominent words. It will be furnishing a complete account to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA so that further actions to be undertaken. As per Miller steps are now being put to action to request FDA to renew the label on Tussionex pack so that the doctors and even the patients are informed about the precautions.

Miller also reviewed the importance of Tussionex as a beneficial and safe cough medicine to be used for patients for the patients of ages marked on its label. The drug is also much effectual to revive patients out of pain as it contains the tranquilizer called hydrocodone. The FDA informed people to stick to the doses and usage conditions of Tussionex as instructed by the doctors. No such self usage attempts should be made to use the drug without a doctor’s authenticated prescription otherwise disasters are inevitable.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

how to reduce tension and bad temper

Tension and Temper
You may sometimes face situations when you feel that you are nothing, or some other times you may feel like the responses to your actions were not, in a way, up to your expectations, leaving you more confused and enraged at the same time. Your blood pressure may eventually increase in the course of this helpness and anger.

What I said may sound silly but it is a very serious problem indeed. It is true that "Laughter is the best medicine" but it may sound too rude of me if I advice you to laugh when you are tensed or not in good humor. Instead, i shall tell you some other tips to control your emotions

Link1) Try some breathing exercises:-If you are annoyed at someone, take care not to show your bad temper to that person. To control you anger in front of him/her, just close your eyes and either count from reverse ten to one or just take deep breaths. The latter technique will also help you reduce tension you may feel while going for an interview or the uneasiness you may feel minutes before you address an audience.

2) Sleep well, feel well:- This also may sound weird, but before scorning at this point just remember that most of the people with health problems like hypertension, heart attack, vertebral disc slip , etc, are found to have less than six hours' sleep a day. Most of the coolest and successful guys I have met in my life are big "sleeping" maniacs but I would suggest you only an average of six hours sleep because sleeping too much can make you lazy.

3) Practice yoga:- Yoga is a remedy to most of the physical problems and mental stress that you may be undergoing.

Following these instructions will help you get rid of bad temper and tensions. Try these and you will find yourself to win hearts of many in the days to come.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

A better kind of prostate test

prostate test

It’s the most common cancer in men, a quarter of a million of whom live with the disease in Britain alone. So the news this week that the use of MRI scans to detect prostate cancer could save many of them from unnecessary rectal biopsies could lead to a real revolution in diagnosing this deadly disease.

Traditional biopsies involve inserting a needle though the rectum to obtain samples of prostate tissue. Now, on the eve of a major clinical trial to find the best way of diagnosing the disease, experts say that this method may be leading to over-diagnosis and unnecessary surgery, as well as missing some cancers.

Medical researchers have started recruiting more than 500 men with suspected prostate cancer to take part in a trial to show whether non-invasive MRI scanning can be safely used to reduce the number of men having invasive biopsies. The £3 million government-funded Promis (Prostate MRI Imaging Study) trial will be based at several major cancer centres.

“We’re looking at whether a man can safely avoid a biopsy if his MRI scan proves negative,” says Richard Hindley, a consultant urologist at Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital who is involved in the trial. “There’s an increased realisation that the traditional biopsy technique can lead to a misdiagnosis. There are also parts of the prostate where the needle cannot reach so biopsy results can be misleading.” He also points out that because they are done through the rectum, biopsies have a two to three per cent risk of infection. “A handful of men each year die of septicaemia following a biopsy.”

Experts say that thanks to the availability of the PSA blood test, which measures the amount of a protein in the blood produced by prostate cells, there has been a dramatic increase in prostate cancer diagnoses over the past 20 years, with about 35,000 men now diagnosed annually. At present, men with a raised PSA are advised to have a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided biopsy, a painful and invasive procedure, usually done under local anaesthetic, in which a needle is guided

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Whooping cough warning for parents

whooping cough
PARENTS within the Young community are being encouraged to protect their children and ensure family and friends interacting with newborns are up to date with all whooping cough vaccinations.

This latest warning comes as the Murrumbidgee Local Area Health Network are faced with a whooping cough epidemic.

In this region alone, more than 500 cases of whooping cough have been reported.

“We have had 504 cases presented, 10 alone in Young this year – to give you an indication, at the same time last year we had 153 cases reported,” director of public health Tracy Oakman said.

What has health professionals even more worried is people who are neglecting to vaccinate their children, putting them at risk of more serious complications and even death.

“Toddlers, young children and adults can contract the disease but it is babies under six months that we are most worried about, because unfortunately they can die,” Ms Oakman said.

“Our data reflects a state-wide epidemic but there are a lot of cases reported across the country.”

While the prevalence of whooping cough continues to fluctuate, there are a surprising number of cases being reported each year.

In 2007, nearly 3000 people reported contracting the condition, in 2008 there were 8757 cases addressed by medical professionals.

In 2009 there was a record 12,575 cases reported. The highest number in five years.

Figures were down again in 2010 with 9272 reports of whooping cough across the state but if this trend is anything to go by 2011 will top this figure.

In the six months of 2011 more than 5000 cases of whooping cough, also known as Pertussis had been reported to GPs.

In the 13 days of this month more than 120 residents in NSW have reported suffering from the disease.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing.

The coughing can make it hard for the patient to breathe.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The LOOK: Healthy Summer Hair

Healthy Hair
He was the lead hair stylist on Sex and the City 2, he made Anne Hathaway fabulous on film, and now he's GoLocalProv's weekly style expert. Frank Barbosa, the Newport-based celebrity stylist, brings red carpet perspective to hair, makeup, and overall style.

While there's so much to love about summer, what we don't love is that all that sun, sea, and salt, can take your tresses from supple to dry, and send your color in a distinctly undesireable, brassy direction.
Let's use our summer smarts and gather up some product for the beauty arsenal. Because just like your skin, your hair needs summer loving care. Here are this week's tips on how to keep your crown truly glorious.
1. Sunscreen

Yes, for your hair, darlings. If you plan to be spending the day in the (top down on the convertible, all day at the beach, even toiling hatless in your garden), then you should consider a spray-in, leave-on, product. My faves?
Rene Furterer No Rinse Moisturizing Spray After Sun compensates for the drying effects of UV rays, salt and chlorinated water. It also detangles and adds brightness. Oscar Blandi Capri Sun Shield Spray defends tresses from the onslaught, and Phyto After-Sun Mist is a great leave-in as well, adding hydration to those beached out locks.
2. Cover-ups

Just like with our skin, our hair loves to be covered during the summer. Use the season as a reason to grab new fun hats as well as headscarves.
3. Condition

This couldn't be more crucial. I love the Intensive Hydrating 2-Minute Hair Mask, an intense rehab for dry hair, from Ojon. It's just two minutes on, once or twice a week, and it's great for fine, color-treated, and dehydrated hair. Everyone wins.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

70,000 children infected by HIV in India

An estimated 70,000 children are infected with HIV in the country and the ailment is caused to most of them by parent-to-child-transmission (PTCT), according to a recent finding by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

Participants of a UNICEF-state AIDS Prevention and Control Society seminar in Kolkata said, quoting NACO estimates, that a small proportion of these children are infected by unsafe injections and blood transfusions.

"UNICEF supports the government in its effort to halt and reverse the HIV/AIDS outbreak in India to reduce the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children," the country chief of UNICEF, HIV and AIDS, Ivonne Camaroni told on the sidelines of the seminar on Thursday.

With 21,000 children infected every year through PTCT, the UNICEF wanted to provide strategic supplies of drugs and commodities, improve the capacity of staff by developing innovative communication approaches for prevention and care and helping to improve monitoring and reporting systems.

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Obese children have psoriasis risk

Overweight or obese children have an elevated rate of psoriasis and teens with psoriasis have elevated cholesterol regardless of weight, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Corinna Koebnick, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif., says psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin that often starts early in life and affects more than 7 million Americans.

"This study suggests a link between obesity and psoriasis in children," Koebnick says in a statement. "But our study findings also suggest that the higher heart disease risk for patients with psoriasis starts in childhood in the form of higher cholesterol levels. We may need to monitor youth with psoriasis more closely for cardiovascular risk factors, especially if they are obese."

The study using electronic health records to study 710,949 racially and ethnically diverse children, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found overweight children were almost 40 percent more likely than normal weight children to have psoriasis, while extremely obese children were almost 80 percent more likely than normal weight children to have psoriasis.

Among youth with psoriasis, it was four times more likely that the psoriasis would be severe or more widespread in obese youth than what was seen in normal weight children, the study says.

Additionally, teens with psoriasis had 4 percent to 16 percent higher cholesterol levels and liver enzymes, regardless of their weight, than youth without this psoriasis, Koebnick says.

Read more:

Avoid direct exposure to Sun

Avoid Sun Light
With temperature crossing 45 degrees mark in the city, doctors have advised residents to avoid direct exposure to the sun.

Patients suffering from summer disease are increasing and hospitals are witnessing huge rush of patients with diarrhoea, jaundice, heat stroke and other diseases.

J K Lone hospital superintendent S D Sharma, said, "People should travel in four-wheelers as two-wheelers are not suitable in this high temperature. This could cause serious health problems."

Doctors have asked people to increase the intake of water, juices and liquids.

Dr Mohammad Rafiq said, "Sweating leads to loss of water from the body which may cause dehydration and heatstroke."

Doctors said people must drink clean water. "We have to consume a lot of water in summers but there may be germs in it, which may cause stomach ailments," a doctor said.

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A Child's Promise: Dental problems disrupt education, life

Dental problems
LinkDental caries (tooth decay) is the number one untreated disease in children, five times more common than asthma. Each year, 52 million school hours are missed due to dental-related issues. Untreated tooth decay leads to problems with learning, sleeping, eating and growing. Nearly 80 percent of childhood tooth decay occurs in 20 percent of children. Nationwide, 30 to 50 percent of 4- and 5-year-olds in Head Start already have tooth decay. Surprisingly, the number of children getting cavities is increasing; low-income individuals are disproportionately affected by dental disease and most do not have access to dental care. Common barriers to obtaining dental services include:
1. Lack of information regarding the importance of early dental care. A child needs to see a dentist by age one, with six-month check-ups and cleanings. Instead, some parents seek dental care only when their child is in pain. At that point, several teeth may be involved and treatment is more complex.

2. Out of date contact information. Routine dental appointments are scheduled months in advance. When the family address or phone changes, parents do not receive reminder calls or letters and miss their appointments.

3. Lack of access to dental care for individuals, ages 19 to 21. Dental needs for qualifying children are covered comprehensively by MO HealthNet (Missouri Medicaid) through age 19, or age 21 for those with certain special needs. After that, everyone must carry private dental insurance or pay out of pocket. Although several safety-net dental clinics offer a discount through sliding fee programs, dental care cost is still out of reach for many in this age group. No adult dental benefits are provided unless a covered person is blind, pregnant, or in a nursing home.

Locally, several community organizations are addressing this problem. Jordan Valley Dental Clinic and Mobile Unit partners with area organizations to ensure regular dental care for children. The Tooth Truck, part of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, visits Springfield schools to provide services to children with the greatest needs. Missouri Mission of Mercy, a program of the Missouri Dental Association and the Greater Springfield Dental Society, will host a free dental clinic in September 2011 for patients of all ages who cannot otherwise afford care.

Below are tips for parents who want to ensure better dental care for children:

1. Take your children to see a dentist by age one or soon after their first tooth erupts. Many dental issues can be resolved quickly if caught early enough. The dentist can also provide information on appropriate bottle and sippy cup use and good nutrition habits.

2. Make sure your children have regular six-month check-ups and cleanings and fluoride applications as needed.

3. Help your children brush their teeth until they can write in cursive. Until then, children do not have the small muscle control to brush as carefully as needed.

4. Provide current contact information to your dental and medical health providers.

5. Set a good example of good oral care by brushing and flossing your own teeth daily.

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