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Investigator Checks Out Haunted House For Sale !

There is no shortage of people seeking to turn ghosts into gold and spooks into silver. Hundreds of amateur ghost-hunting groups across the country offer tours of local haunts, allegedly spirit-infested hotels, mansions, cemeteries, and so on.
Ghosts generate a lot of green.
One of the most enterprising ghost entrepreneurs is an artist named Josh Bond, who lives in the tiny New Mexican town of Cuchillo. Bond is offering a genuine haunted house for sale - on eBay.
Genuine ghost town
With a population of 35, Cuchillo is almost literally a ghost town. The house Bond lives in was built around 1830, when Andrew Jackson was president, a young Charles Darwin would soon sail toward the Galapagos, and the age of railroads was just beginning. Since then the Old Cuchillo Bar and Store served as a post office, mercantile shop, saloon, and boarding house.
Most of that is gone now - a victim of age and a 2000 fire - though some say that the spirits of countless travelers remain.
Bond purchased the buildings several years ago and began the difficult and expensive task of restoring them. To raise money, he is offering one of his haunted buildings for sale on eBay: a three bedroom, one bath home built around 1890. The home's thick adobe (mud brick) walls and hardwood floors are confirmed. The ghosts are another matter.
The auction (number 180414565873, in case you're interested) ends, appropriately enough, on Halloween; bidding started at $10,000, and the price has since doubled.
Inside the haunted house
According to Bond, at least three different amateur ghost-hunting groups visited the buildings and found mysterious phenomenon, concluding the area is haunted. (It should be noted that when a ghost hunter calls some phenomenon unexplainable, it simply means they can't figure out the solution to a mystery-not that there is no explanation.)
In July, I investigated the haunted residence Bond is selling, conducting an overnight vigil in search of spirits or anything supernatural. Despite long hours patiently waiting for some paranormal to happen, the ghosts were a no-show.
There were a few unnerving moments around the witching hour when a slow, low creaking sound echoed throughout the house-followed by a leaden thud, then more creaking. Flashlight in hand, I soon traced the sound to an exterior door swaying in the night wind. Of course it's possible that the ghosts overheard my conversations with Bond and knew I was a scientist and skeptic, and refused to appear for me just out of spite.
Whether I - or less skeptical ghost hunters, for that matter - think a ghost haunts the Old Cuchillo Bar is irrelevant. Bond is convinced that some unknown presence lives alongside him, and if the online auction goes well, the ghosts (real or not) may help save a historical landmark.
Benjamin Radford/


How to Make Your PC as Fast as the Day you Bought It

One of the most frustrating things in life is a slow computer.
Every few years, we buy an expensive new PC and love how fast it starts up, runs programs, and loads web sites. Inevitably, though it starts to slow down, until eventually we are pulling our hair out waiting for it to do routine tasks.
Why is this? It turns out the answer is actually quite simple and you don't even need to be "technical" to understand the causes and solutions.
The good news, it's not the computer hardware that's the problem. In most cases the hardware you have is perfectly capable of being restored to its original glory and kept in fast running condition with minimal effort.
Rather, the problem lies with changes that occur to the PC's software. The 2 most common causes of slowdown (along with easy solutions) are:
Registry errors - the most common problem
Every time you (or your kids) load a program, game or file, your PC's software registery is updated with new instructions needed to operate that item. However, when the item is removed, these instructions usually remain on your PC. Every time you run your computer it tries to execute these instructions but, because the related program can't be found, it causes a registry error. Your PC is doing a lot more work than it should be and the result is a significantly slower computer.
One of the best ways to manage this is with a neat little tool from a Seattle based company called the Advanced Registry Optimizer (ARO5 for short). This program scans, identifies and fixes registry errors - resulting in a computer that's a lot more like it was when you first bought it. On top of the amazing results it offers, it's so easy to install and use that it was recently given a coveted 4-star award by CNET's editorial staff.
You can now get a free working version of the software which will quickly scan your entire PC and identify all of the registry errors that may be bogging it down. The free version eliminates the first 20 errors and if you have more errors that you want to clean-up or want to set the program to run on a regular basis (recommended) you can easily upgrade to the full version for just $29.95. After that registry errors will no longer be a problem.
To get the free version simply click here.
Spyware and viruses
Spyware and viruses are software programs that are loaded on your computer without your knowledge or permission. They have various purposes, including:
Changing the default search engine in your browser
Tracking your web surfing habits and showing you targeted advertising
Using your email program to send out spam to other email addresses
Stealing your personal information
Most spyware and viruses get onto our computers through files that we download from the internet or as attachments to emails. They tend to take up a lot of computing power and as a result will significantly slow down the computer.
The simple rule of thumb to follow is to never download any free software programs from companies you do not know and trust, especially screensavers, emoticons and the like. In addition, you should never open any attachment to an email unless you are 100% certain you know and trust the sender. In addition, make sure you have a good anti-virus / spyware removal software running at all times.
Follow the above advice and your PC should stay fast and safe.


New Mineral Make-Up Turns Cosmetics World on its Head

By now, you're probably familiar with mineral make-up. Made of all natural, finely ground minerals from the earth, mineral make-up is created without any of the chemicals, dyes, and preservatives found in traditional cosmetics.
Now, a new mineral make-up brand has gone a step farther and developed what may be a truly revolutionary approach in cosmetics - and one that seems to be paying off in a big way.
The company, RAW Minerals, was the brainchild of cosmetic scientist Christina Maraccini, and is the first high-performance mineral makeup based on all-natural ingredients designed to actually improve skin health. But their goal wasn't just to let women consolidate their cosmetics and anti-aging routine into one; they were also determined to change the way that woman sampled and purchased cosmetics.
All mineral make-ups are not the same
Raw Minerals starts by producing a marvelous make-up. According to Christina, "We searched all over the world to find the most innovative botanical extracts and infuse them into lighter-than-air powders that veil the skin in beautiful color and leave skin radiantly healthy and soft to the touch. It gives you a light, natural, long-lasting glow that simply can't be duplicated by other types of makeup."
A make-up that can actually improve skin health and reduce the appearance of wrinkles
Next, Christina wanted to deliver powerful anti-aging and anti-wrinkle effects. So she formulated RAW Minerals to include natural botanicals that instantly fill facial lines to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, absorb and help control the effects of skin oil and visibly smooth and refine skin texture. Because RAW Minerals is non-comedongenic, it won't clog pores and will not aggravate an acne condition or cause a flare-up as easily as traditional make-up.
No department stores, so no department store prices
As an industry veteran, Christina also understood the huge amounts spent by cosmetic brands to market their products. She wanted to avoid these expenses so that she could afford to use the best ingredients regardless of cost, while still delivering a great value to her customer. So, in a risky move, she decided to forego department store distribution and make RAW Minerals available only through the company's web site on a direct-to-consumer basis.
Try it before you buy it
It's one thing to brush on a little make-up on at the cosmetic counter to see if you like it, but Christina wanted to let women really have a chance to use her product before they decided to buy it. So she developed a Free Trial whereby customers are sent a complete kit, containing everything needed to achieve a flawless, glowing complexion. Customers are given 30 days to use the products as much as they want and really get a feel for it before they decide if they want to buy.
Clearly, the company's strategy is a hit with consumers as sales of this innovative new make-up have been phenomenal.


20 Great Ways to Find More Free TIME..

Are there a hundred different things you wish you could do with your life someday — anything from exercising to meditation or yoga to writing that novel you always wished you could write to reading more to relaxing and watching the sunrise?
But perhaps you never have the time, like most people.The truth is, we all have the same amount of time, and its finite and in great demand.
But some of us have made the time for doing the things we love doing, and others have allowed the constant demands and pressures and responsibilities of life to dictate their days.Its time to move from the second group back into the first.
Reclaim your time. Create the life you want and make the most of the free time you lay claim to. Its not hard, though it does take a little bit of effort and diligence.
Not all of these will be applicable to your life choose the ones you can apply and give them a try:
1. Take a time out. Freeing up your time starts with taking a step back to take a good look at your life. You need to block off at least an hour. Several hours or half a day is better. A whole day would be awesome. A weekend would be even more ideal, though not necessary practical for many folks. With this block of time, take a look at your life with some perspective. Is it what youve always wanted? How would you get to where youve always wanted to be? What do you enjoy doing, but dont have enough time to do? What things actually fill up your day? Are there things you could drop or minimize to make more time? Well look at some of these things in the following items, but it starts with taking a time out to think and plan.
2. Find your essentials. What is it that you love to do? Make a short list of 4-5 things. These are the things you want to make room for.
3. Find your time-wasters. What do you spend a lot of your time on that isnt on your essential list? Take a close look at these things and really think about whether theyre necessary, or if there are ways to reduce, minimize or eliminate these things. Sometimes you do things because you assume theyre necessary, but if you give it some thought you can find ways to drop them from your life. Figure out what you do simply to waste time maybe surfing certain sites, watching TV, talking a lot at the water cooler, etc. Youre going to want to minimize these time-wasters to make room for the more important stuff, the stuff that makes you happy and that you love to do.
4. Schedule the time. As you sit down and think about your life and what you want to do, versus what you actually do, you will be looking at ways to free up time. Its crucial that you take a blank weekly schedule (you can just write it out on a piece of paper, or use your calendar) and assign blocks for the things you love the stuff on your essentials list. If you want to exercise, for example, when will you do it? Put the blocks of time on your schedule, and make these blocks the most important appointments of your week. Schedule the rest of your life around these blocks.
5. Consolidate. There are many things you do, scattered throughout your day or your week, that you might be able to consolidate in order to save time. A good example is errands instead of running one or two a day, do them all in one day to save time and gas. Another example is email, or any kind of communication batch process your email instead of checking and reading and responding throughout the day. Same thing with meetings, paperwork, anything that you do regularly.
6. Cut out meetings. This isnt possible for everyone, but in my experience meetings take up a lot of time to get across a little information, or to make easy decisions that could be made via email or phone. As much as you can, minimize the number of meetings you hold and attend. In some cases this might mean talking to your boss and telling her that you have other priorities, and asking to be excused. In other cases this might mean asking the people holding the meeting if you can get the info in other ways. If so, youve saved yourself an hour or so per meeting (sometimes more).
7. De clutter your schedule. If you have a heavily packed schedule, full of meetings and errands and tasks and projects and appointments, youre going to want to weed it out so that its not so jam-packed. Find the stuff thats not so essential and cancel them. Postpone other stuff. Leave big blank spaces in your schedule.
8. Re-think your routine. Often we get stuck in a routine thats anything but what we really want our days to be like. Is there a better way of doing things? Youre the creator of your life make a new routine thats more pleasant, more optimal, more filled with things you love.
9. Cut back on email. I mentioned email in an earlier point above, regarding consolidating, but its such a major part of most peoples lives that it deserves special attention. How often do you check email? How much time do you spend composing emails? If you spend a major part of your work day on email, as many people do (and as I once did), you can free up a lot of time by reducing the time you spend in email. Now, this wont work for everyone, but it can work for many people: choose 2-3 key times during the day to process your inbox to empty, and keep your responses to 5 sentences.
10. Learn to say "NO". If you say yes to every request, you will never have any free time. Get super protective about your time, and say no to everything but the essential requests.
11. Keep your list to 3. When you make out your daily to-do list, just list the three Most Important Tasks you want to accomplish today. Dont make a laundry list of tasks, or youll fill up all your free time. By keeping your task list small, but populated only by important tasks, you ensure that you are getting the important stuff done but not overloading yourself.
12. Do your Biggest Rock first. Of the three Most Important Tasks you choose for the day, pick the biggest one, or the one youre dreading most, and do that first. Otherwise youll put that off as much as possible and fill your day with less important things. Dont allow yourself to check email until that Big Rock is taken care of. It starts your day with a sense of major accomplishment, and leaves you with a lot of free time the rest of the day, because the most important thing is already done.
13. Delegate. If you have subordinates or coworkers who can do a task or project, try to delegate it. Dont feel like you need to do everything yourself. If necessary, spend a little time training the person to whom youre delegating the task, but that little time spent training will pay off in a lot of time saved later. Delegating allows you to focus on the core tasks and projects you should be focusing on.
14. Cut out distractions. What is there around your workspace that distracts you from the task at hand? Sometimes its visual clutter, or papers lying around that call for your attention and action, or email or IM notifiers on your computer that pop up at the wrong time, or the phone, or coworkers. See if you can eliminate as many of these as possible the more you can focus, the more effective youll be and the less time youll waste. That equals time saved for the good stuff.
15. Disconnect. The biggest of distractions, for most people, is the Internet. My most productive times are when Im disconnected from the grid. Now, Im not saying you need to be disconnected all the time, but if you really want to be able to effectively complete tasks, disconnect your Internet so you can really focus. Set certain times of the day for connectivity, and only connect during those periods.
16. Outsource. If you cant delegate, see if you can outsource. With the Internet, we can connect with people from all over the world. Ive outsourced many things, from small tasks to checking email to legal work to design and editing work and more. That allows me to focus on the things Im best at, the things I love doing, and saves me a lot of time.
17. Make use of your mornings. I find that mornings are the absolute best times to schedule the things I really want to do. I run, read and write in the mornings — three of the four things on my Essentials List (spending time with family is the other thing on the list). Mornings are great because your day hasnt been filled with a bunch of unscheduled, demanding, last-minute tasks that will push back those Essentials. For example, if you schedule something for late afternoon, by the time late afternoon rolls around, you might have a dozen other things newly added to your to-do list, and youll put off that late-afternoon Essential. Instead, schedule it for the morning, and itll rarely (if ever) get pushed back.
18. The Golden Right-after- work Time. Other than mornings, I find the time just after work to be an incredible time for doing Essential things. Exercise, for example, is great in the 5-oclock hour, as is spending time with family, or doing anything else relaxing.
19. Your evenings. The time before you go to bed is also golden, as it exists every single day, and its usually completely yours to schedule. What do you want to do with this time? Read? Spend time with your kids? Work on a hobby youre passionate about? Take advantage of this time.
20. Lunch breaks. If the three golden times mentioned above dont work for you, lunch breaks are another good opportunity to schedule things. Some people like to exercise, or to take quiet times, during their lunch breaks. Others use this time to work on an important personal goal or project.
From : Rajesh


This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.
1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2.Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams..
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls !


Human Evolution: Are Humans Still Evolving ?

Modern Homo sapiens is still evolving. Despite the long-held view that natural selection has ceased to affect humans because almost everybody now lives long enough to have children, a new study of a contemporary Massachusetts population offers evidence of evolution still in action.
A team of scientists led by Yale University evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns suggests that if the natural selection of fitter traits is no longer driven by survival, perhaps it owes to differences in women's fertility. "Variations in reproductive success still exist among humans, and therefore some traits related to fertility continue to be shaped by natural selection," Stearns says. That is, women who have more children are more likely to pass on certain traits to their progeny. (See the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2008.)
Stearns' team examined the vital statistics of 2,238 postmenopausal women participating in the Framingham Heart Study, which has tracked the medical histories of some 14,000 residents of Framingham, Mass., since 1948. Investigators searched for correlations between women's physical characteristics - including height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels - and the number of offspring they produced. According to their findings, it was stout, slightly plump (but not obese) women who tended to have more children - "Women with very low body fat don't ovulate," Stearns explains - as did women with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Using a sophisticated statistical analysis that controlled for any social or cultural factors that could impact childbearing, researchers determined that these characteristics were passed on genetically from mothers to daughters and granddaughters.
If these trends were to continue with no cultural changes in the town for the next 10 generations, by 2409 the average Framingham woman would be 2 cm (0.8 in) shorter, 1 kg (2.2 lb.) heavier, have a healthier heart, have her first child five months earlier and enter menopause 10 months later than a woman today, the study found. "That rate of evolution is slow but pretty similar to what we see in other plants and animals. Humans don't seem to be any exception," Stearns says. (See TIME's photo-essay "Happy 200th Darwin Day.")
Douglas Ewbank, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania who undertook the statistical analysis for the study, which was published Oct. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), says that because cultural factors tend to have a much more prominent impact than natural selection in the shaping of future generations, people tend to write off the effect of evolution. "Those changes we predict for 2409 could be wiped out by something as simple as a new school-lunch program. But whatever happens, it's likely that in 2409, Framingham women will be 2 cm shorter and 1 kg heavier than they would have been without natural selection. Evolution is a very slow process. We don't see it if we look at our grandparents, but it's there."
Other recent genetic research has backed up that notion. One study, published in PNAS in 2007 and led by John Hawks, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, found that some 1,800 human gene variations had become widespread in recent generations because of their modern-day evolutionary benefits. Among those genetic changes, discovered by examining more than 3 million DNA variants in 269 individuals: mutations that allow people to digest milk or resist malaria and others that govern brain development. (Watch TIME's video "Darwin and Lincoln: Birthdays and Evolution.")
But not all evolutionary changes make inherent sense. Since the Industrial Revolution, modern humans have grown taller and stronger, so it's easy to assume that evolution is making humans fitter. But according to anthropologist Peter McAllister, author of Manthropology: the Science of Inadequate Modern Man, the contemporary male has evolved, at least physically, into "the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet." Thanks to genetic differences, an average Neanderthal woman, McAllister notes, could have whupped Arnold Schwarzenegger at his muscular peak in an arm-wrestling match. And prehistoric Australian Aborigines, who typically built up great strength in their joints and muscles through childhood and adolescence, could have easily beat Usain Bolt in a 100-m dash.
Steve Jones, an evolutionary biologist at University College London who has previously held that human evolution was nearing its end, says the Framingham study is indeed an important example of how natural selection still operates through inherited differences in reproductive ability. But Jones argues that variation in female fertility - as measured in the Framingham study - is a much less important factor in human evolution than differences in male fertility. Sperm hold a much higher chance of carrying an error or mutation than an egg, especially among older men. "While it used to be that men had many children in older age to many different women, now men tend to have only a few children at a younger age with one wife. The drop in the number of older fathers has had a major effect on the rate of mutation and has at least reduced the amount of new diversity - the raw material of evolution. Darwin's machine has not stopped, but it surely has slowed greatly," Jones says. (See TIME's special report on the environment.)
Despite evidence that human evolution still functions, biologists concede that it's anyone's guess where it will take us from here. Artificial selection in the form of genetic medicine could push natural selection into obsolescence, but a lethal pandemic or other cataclysm could suddenly make natural selection central to the future of the species. Whatever happens, Jones says, it is worth remembering that Darwin's beautiful theory has suffered a long history of abuse. The bastard science of eugenics, he says, will haunt humanity as long as people are tempted to confuse evolution with improvement. "Uniquely in the living world, what makes humans what we are is in our minds, in our society, and not in our evolution," he says.


Gene therapy experiment restores sight in a few

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Nine-year-old Corey Haas can ride his bike alone now, thanks to an experimental gene therapy that has boosted his fading vision with a single treatment.
The gene therapy helped improve worsening eyesight caused by a rare inherited disease called Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA, which makes most patients blind by age 40.
Twelve treated patients, including Corey, now have better vision, their doctors told a joint meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology in San Francisco on Saturday.
"All 12 patients given gene therapy in one eye showed improvement in retinal function," Dr Katherine High of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and colleagues wrote in a report to be released at the same time by the Lancet medical journal.
LCA causes the retina to degenerate and the researchers found that the younger the patient treated with the therapy, the better the effects.
"Before, I used to ride my bike just in front of the house and now I just ride around the neighborhood with no one watching," Corey told a news conference.
While the experiment was meant mostly to show the treatment was safe, it showed remarkably strong effects, High and Dr Jean Bennett of the University of Pennsylvania found.
"This study reports dramatic results in restoring vision to patients who previously had no options for treatment," said High. "These findings may expedite development of gene therapy for more common retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration."
They could also help restore the tarnished image of gene therapy, battered by the death of an 18-year-old volunteer in a clinical trial in 1999 and cases of leukemia in a few young children treated in France.
"The study by Bennett and co-workers will further boost gene therapy trials and provide hope for patients with inherited blindness and other genetic disorders," Dr Frans Cremers and Dr Rob Collin of Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands wrote in a commentary.
A faulty gene means patients with LCA start to lose their vision in childhood. There is no treatment.
High, Bennett and colleagues worked with 12 volunteers, aged 8 to 44. They reported on three of the adult patients in April of 2008.
They designed a harmless virus, called an adeno-associated virus, to carry corrective DNA directly into the eyes. The gene they used, called RPE65, is mutated in up to about 16 percent of LCA patients and the normal gene restored light-sensitive pigments in the retina at the back of the eye.
The treatment did not restore normal eyesight to any of the patients but half are no longer legally blind.
"The clinical benefits have persisted for nearly two years since the first subjects were treated with injections of therapeutic genes into their retinas," Bennett said.
Four children aged 8, 9, 10, and 11 can now walk unaided.
Corey's father, Ethan Haas, from Hadley, New York, said they embraced the experiment.
"You start to think of what could happen -- he could go completely blind. And then it's like, well, he may go blind in the future anyway because it's degenerative, so I decided to try it now and see if we could stop it and correct it," Haas said.
Corey's mother, Nancy Haas, said it was worth the risk.
"It's hard to see a child not be able to play like he should with his other friends, and then to have shortly after surgery, he's out there with his friends, playing, being able to see things coming from his peripheral vision, noticing other kids," she said, beginning to cry.
"It's all worth it."
By Phil Furey /(Writing and reporting by Maggie Fox in Washington; Editing by John O'Callaghan)


10 Great Ways to Burn More Fat

You're so busy you have absolutely no time to work out, right?
Wrong. Its important that you make the time and Im here to help you do it.
In this busy world filled with work pressure, family and stress we sometimes have to be creative to sneak in workout time.
I've constructed some quick tips to keep you moving, your muscles stimulated and your blood flowing in minimal time.
Now you have no excuse.Here are 10 fat-burning tips for people :
1. When you first wake up commit to 10 minutes of continuous exercise.
Choose only three movements and perform each in succession without stopping for 10 minutes.
For example, Monday you can perform modified push-ups, followed by crunches for your abs followed by stationary lunges.
On Tuesday you can perform free-standing squats with hands on hips, double crunch for abs, and close grip modified push-ups (hands three inches apart) for your triceps. Just 10 minutes..!2. Perform timed interval walking in your neighborhood or at lunch. If it takes 10 minutes to walk to a certain destination near your office or in your neighborhood, try to make it in 8 minutes.
3. If you have stairs in your home or in your work place, commit to taking the stairs a specific number of times. Tell yourself that you¢ll take the stairs six or eight times (no matter what).
4. While seated, perform some isometric exercise to help strengthen and tighten your muscles. For example, while in a seated position, simply contract the abdominals for 30 seconds while breathing naturally. You can also tighten and contract your legs for 60 seconds. Perform about three sets per area. You'll feel your muscles get tighter in just three weeks if you perform this a few times per week.
5. For about $15.00 (Rs. 400) you can invest in a pedometer. It's a small device you can carry that records the number of miles you walk per day. Each week simply try to add just a bit more to the mileage. For example, let's say you walk one mile total during the day in the normal course of activities; try to make it two miles total the following week. Make a game of it. You'll burn more calories.
6. Tired at night and just want to sit in front of the TV? Try this technique: take periodic five-minute exercise breaks and perform some muscle stimulating and calorie burning exercise. For example, take five minutes and perform only ab crunches. Then, when its time for another five-minute exercise break, perform modified push-ups for five minutes. Then for a final five-minute break, perform stationary lunges. Try to do as many as possible in five minutes and try to beat your amount of reps during each subsequent break. It wont seem daunting because its only five minutes at a time, split over a 30 or 60 minute timeframe. Instead of rest breaks, you¢ll take exercise breaks.
7. How about performing one exercise movement per day for seven to 10 minutes? For example, Monday: free-standing squats for seven minutes. Tuesday: chair dips for seven minutes. Wednesday: crunches and hip lifts off the floor for seven minutes. Thursday: modified push-up for seven minutes. Friday: stationary lunges for seven minutes. Its quick, simple and teaches consistency.
8. Want things even simpler? Take the longest route every time you have to walk somewhereeven if its to a co-workers office.
9. Double-up the stairs. Everytime you take the stairs, simply take a double step walk or every other stair. It will be just like lunges and the Stairmaster combined. Great for the legs and butt.
10. Perform any of the above with your spouse or a friend. I¢m sure you can find someone who is in the same situation. The support will give you more motivation and you just may find that you can create even more workout time for yourself.
From: Rajesh

Lifetime free flights for baby born on plane !

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A baby boy who made a surprise arrival on board an AirAsia flight this week will be given free flights for life with the budget carrier, as will his mother, the airline said Friday.
AirAsia said 31-year-old passenger Liew Siaw Hsia went into labour on Wednesday's flight from the northern island of Penang to Kuching on Borneo island.
The aircraft made an emergency diversion to the Malaysian capital but the baby arrived just before landing, delivered by a doctor who was on board and who was assisted by the airline's flight attendants.
"The baby was safely delivered when flight AK 6506 was approaching Kuala Lumpur for landing at 2,000 feet," the airline said in a statement, adding that mother and baby were taken to a nearby hospital following touchdown.
"To celebrate this momentous occasion, we decided to present both mother and child with free flights for life," said AirAsia's director of operations Moses Devanayagam after visiting them in hospital.


10 Reasons Why Exercise is Good for Your Weight

Navy's newest warships top out at more than 50 mph

BATH, Maine – The Navy's need for speed is being answered by a pair of warships that have reached freeway speeds during testing at sea.
Independence, a 418-foot warship built in Alabama, boasts a top speed in excess of 45 knots, or about 52 mph, and sustained 44 knots for four hours during builder trials that wrapped up this month off the Gulf Coast. The 378-foot Freedom, a ship built in Wisconsin by a competing defense contractor, has put up similar numbers.
Both versions of the Littoral Combat Ship use powerful diesel engines, as well as gas turbines for extra speed. They use steerable waterjets instead of propellers and rudders and have shallower drafts than conventional warships, letting them zoom close to shore.
The ships, better able to chase down pirates, have been fast-tracked because the Navy wants vessels that can operate in coastal, or littoral, waters. Freedom is due to be deployed next year, two years ahead of schedule.
Independence is an aluminum, tri-hulled warship built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The lead contractor is Maine's Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics.
Lockheed Martin Corp. is leading the team that built Freedom in Marinette, Wis. It looks more like a conventional warship, with a single hull made of steel.
The stakes are high for both teams. The Navy plans to select Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics, but not both, as the builder. The Navy has ordered one more ship from each of the teams before it chooses the final design. Eventually, the Navy wants to build up to 55 of them.
Speed has long been relished by Navy skippers. Capt. John Paul Jones, sometimes described as father of the U.S. Navy, summed it up this way in 1778: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
Eric Wertheim, author and editor of the U.S. Naval Institute's "Guide to Combat Fleets of the World," said speed is a good thing, but it comes at a cost.
"This is really something revolutionary," Wertheim said. "The question is how important and how expensive is this burst of speed?"
Early cost estimates for Littoral Combat Ships were about $220 million apiece, but costs spiraled because of the Navy's requirements and its desire to expedite construction. The cost of the ships is capped at $460 million apiece, starting in the new fiscal year.
Both ships are built to accommodate helicopters and mission "modules" for either anti-submarine missions, mine removal or traditional surface warfare. The goal is for the modules to be swapped out in 24 hours, and no later than 96 hours, allowing the ships to adapt quickly to new missions, said Cmdr. Victor Chen, a Navy spokesman.
While they're fast, they aren't necessarily the fastest military ships afloat. The Navy used to have missile-equipped hydrofoils and the Marines' air-cushioned landing craft is capable of similar speeds, Wertheim said. And smaller ships are capable of higher speeds.
Nonetheless, the speed is impressive, especially considering that other large naval vessels have been cruising along at a relatively pokey 30 to 35 knots for decades.
Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, noted that Independence sustained 44 knots despite a 30-knot headwind and 6- to 8-foot seas in Alabama's Mobile Bay. "For a ship of this size, it's simply unheard of to sustain that rate of speed for four hours," he said
/By DAVID SHARP, Associated Press Writer

What a drink !



The Missing Link -- Not

Remember Ida? A team of paleontologists now says that unless you're really into evolutionary biology, you can pretty much forget her.Back in May, you may recall, the History cable channel made a big splash -- and got big ratings -- with the unveiling of a 47-million-year-old primate fossil from Germany. The scientific name: Darwinius masillae, though Jorn Hurum of the University of Oslo, who led the team examining it, nicknamed it "Ida" after his six-year-old daughter.History provocatively called its documentary on Ida "The Link."But it's not, according to a paper today in the journal Nature."A 37-million-year-old fossil primate from Egypt, described today in Nature, moves a controversial German fossil known as Ida out of the human lineage," writes Rex Dalton of Nature's staff:"Teeth and ankle bones of the new Egyptian specimen show that the 47-million-year-old Ida, formally called Darwinius masillae, is not in the lineage of early apes and monkeys (haplorhines), but instead belongs to ancestors (adapiforms) of today's lemurs and lorises."In fairness, Hurum and his colleagues had equivocated on Ida's importance back in May. Jens Franzen of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany, at the New York news conference unveiling her: "We are not dealing with our grand, grand grandmother, but perhaps with our grand, grand, grand aunt." (See my previous post from May HERE.)She's not even that, according to Erik Seiffert of Stony Brook University and his colleagues in the new analysis. Though Ida has features similar to those of more direct human ancestors, they're a biological accident: "the features are likely to have been acquired through convergent evolution."Hurum, in an e-mail to the British publication The Scientist, took exception: "this does not exclude at least some [lemur-like primates] from being members of the stem group from which all higher primates evolved."
So the debate is not settled among scientists. But about two million people watched the History channel's show.


How to Be Popular At Work ?!

Read on to find out how to be everyones favorite buddy at work:
Be friendly:
Do your colleagues think youre a real snob?
Do they have to think twice before talking to you?
Do you always get to hear negative comments about you in office?
If your answers to all these questions are yes, how can you expect your colleagues to be fond of you?
First learn to be friendly with them. Feel free and communicate with your colleagues. Enter office with a smile on your face and make an effort to greet people cheerfully once you reach office. Try and adopt a friendly mindset. The more time you spend with your work mates the better theyll get to know you.
Show empathy:
Your empathy reflects your capacity to see things from another persons point of view and to experience his/her feelings. When you connect with someones feelings, and they believe youre with them, it really makes a lot of differences.
Dont gossip or complain:
If you know all the office gossip, please keep it to yourself or dont open your mouth youre sure about anything. Watching a colleague progress in the firm is always the number one topic for gossip. There are people in every office, who fuel the gossip fire and tell you stories about what they think he/she has done to achieve success.
But remember its best to take such rumors with a pinch of salt and never repeat them to anyone. If you do, itll harm your own reputation. So, just stay away from gossip and gossip mongers.
Drop a compliment:
Tell your boss that you like the new ad campaign s/he came up with.
Genuine flattery goes a long way. In fact even if your boss or a colleague is looking good you can always compliment them but, at a proper time and occasion.
Theres no harm in saying, ‘You are looking gorgeous today or what a cool bag where did you get it from? Your colleagues will simply love you for this.
Be a funny person:
Laughter is the best medicine. If you have a great sense of humor you can make your colleagues laugh, nothing like it. Your workmates will love you for your humor and you will always be remembered as a funny character.
Be there for your colleagues:
If you colleague is disturbed about something, dont leave him/her alone.
Try talking to your colleague and find out whats the matter?
Ask if there is anything you can do to help him/her out.
If you manage to help your colleague, you will always be admired for being there in times of trouble.
Be an attention seeker:
If you want people in your office to like you, learn to gain attention.
You also need to be a little unique from the rest of the people in your office.
The way you dress and the way you speak has to have a charisma to pull them towards you.
Enjoy being the butt of jokes:
If your colleagues often crack jokes on you, dont take it too seriously.
It simply means that people like you and enjoy pulling your leg.
This also means that you are being noticed.
If you take it too personally, you may come across as a sensitive person and your workmates may shun you for good the next time you join them.
One must have the following qualities to be popular in office:
1. Good networking skills.
2. Leadership qualities.
3. A positive body language.
4. Politeness.


1. No Breakfast :
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.
2 . Overeating :
Causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.
3. Smoking :
It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.
4. High Sugar consumption :
Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.
5. Air Pollution :
The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.
6 . Sleep Deprivation :
Sleep allows our brain to rest.. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.
7. Head covered while sleeping :
Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.
8. Working your brain during illness :
Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.
9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts :
Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.
10. Talking Rarely :
Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain.


Appreciating talent !

Washington , DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007 :
The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.
During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
10 minutes:A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time.
This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
45 minutes:The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money, but continued to walk at their normal pace.
The man collected a total of $32.1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. Findings:
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3..5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100..
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and people's priorities. The questions raised: "In a common place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?"
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?
Think about it !

Car seats can be dangerous outside the car

More than 8,700 infants end up in the emergency room each year because their car seats are used improperly outside the car, according to study presented Monday at the American Academy of Pediatrics' annual meeting in Washington.
Babies are spending more time in car seats, which have saved nearly 9,000 lives in the past three decades, both in and out of the car, says author Shital Parikh, a pediatric orthopedist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Many parents like the convenience of the latest travel systems, which can be used as handheld baby carriers, as well as snap-in seats for the car or stroller, Parikh says.
But car seats aren't a safe way to carry babies for lengthy periods outside the car, experts say.
Most of the injuries in Parikh's study occurred when car seats fell off tables, countertops or other high surfaces. In some cases, babies who weren't securely buckled fell out of the seats. Babies also were injured when car seats flipped over on soft surfaces, such as beds and couches, where infants can suffocate, he says.
Most injuries were to the head, although babies also suffered fractured arms and legs. About half the injuries occurred at home. About 8% of the babies, or about 680 a year, needed to be admitted to the hospital, the study says. Three died during the study period of 2003 to 2007, Parikh says.
Parikh says hospitals, medical societies and manufacturers should warn parents about the dangers of misusing car seats. If parents need to use the seats outside the car, he says, the seats should always be placed on a hard, flat floor, where there is no danger they will topple over.
Spending too much time in car seats can cause other problems.
Physical therapists are seeing more babies with "container syndrome," or weak muscles and flat heads caused by too much time spent lying on their backs, says Colleen Coulter-O'Berry of the American Physical Therapy Association.
And a study in Pediatrics in August found that car seats can make it difficult for babies to get enough oxygen, which led the authors to suggest that the seats be used only while infants are in cars.
Car seats reduce the odds of a baby dying in a crash by 75%, according to a February study in the American Journal of Public Health. Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in children over age 1, according to the pediatrics academy.
By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY

360 Degrees of Green Pod Chariot

Four wheels, chariot stance driving position, and no regrets. That’s what’s up. Alexei Mikhailov has a green pod of goodness here for us, the future-world city speedway single-person-transport. It’s called the VW Pholeum. It’s got an external wheel base which allows a 360 degree range (eliminating the antiquated parallel parking blue), fully immersed rubberized tires and independent spoke arrangements allowing for full bump absorption without the use of suspension. And more!? Yay!
The controls are all at your hands, mirroring that of a game controller (supposing generations in the future will have fully changed over to hands-only controls of basically everything.)
Memory Plastic panels and body which will allow for super-simple deformation after collisions or scratches (auto repair!) With further ability to be melted down and re-molded should irreparable damage occur.
Chassis made of aluminum alloy with honey comb shape, bio-degradable rubber for the tires, brand new air bag system. In each pod is six airbags. Two bags in the pod and one on each of the tires.
Powerhouse utilized hydrogen fuel cell technology, using “future fuel” to generate enough power for the electric motors situated in each wheel.
And yes! I know you were waiting for it, the reasoning behind the name.
The VW Pholeum concept is based on the idea of living cell tissue system of a plant, that acts as a transportation unit which carries organic nutrients to all parts of the plant where needed. This concept is the inspiration of a theoretical idea of future technology acting as micro organisms that transport and nourish the world on a global scale.
Lovely, yes?
Designer: Alexei Mikhailov