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Benefits of Walking Exercise

It is said that every person has two doctors with him... his right leg & his left leg. A vigorous 5 mile walk can do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy man than any medicine or psychology. it is the easiest exercise for most individuals, one that can done without equipment except good shoes, in most terrains & weather & also in very old age.
What we are talking about is not just walking but brisk walking. Here are the benefits of the same--
Why walking ?
Walking is the most natural exercise known to man.
Besides this, here are the other benefits of walking
1 ) Walking improves circulation : Calf muscles are man's second heart. On walking, these muscles pump the blood to the heart with all force. This leads to greater heart exercise, increased oxygen requirement & better blood circulation.
2) Walking is good for the heart : The increased oxygen requirements lead to exercise for the heart. On a long term basis, it leads to a better circulation for the heart. Thus it reduces the chances of a heart attack.
3) Walking cuts fatigue : Once daily brisk walking has become a habit, you start reaping the benefits. Soon there is no need of any laxatives. No more low back ache. No more of that catch while bending. Above all, in shape body is not easily fatigued.
4 ) Walking improves the posture.
5 ) Psychological benefits : Many studies have shown enormous psychological benefits of walking. It has been shown that daily walking habit reduces anxiety, tension & improves mood.
What is "brisk walking"?
It has been shown that what works best is not walking but "brisk walking". Scientifically, it correlates with the pulse rate that you should achieve for the maximum benefit. However, simply speaking, brisk walking means : a level that's not just strolling; but not out pf breath either.
How many minutes a day should one walk briskly?
No study has established the exact time for the maximum benefit. However 45minutes to 1 hour is a good guide.
You can even incorporate it in your daily life style. That way you will automatically walk briskly to the office & for that matter anywhere. A short brisk walk is is worth two miles of ambling. That way you will easily get minimal amount of good exercise every day. And, as striding becomes a habit, you will soon get more exercise, willingly.
From: Rajesh

Did Leonardo paint himself as "Mona Lisa" ?

ROME – The legend of Leonardo da Vinci is shrouded in mystery: How did he die? Are the remains buried in a French chateau really those of the Renaissance master? Was the "Mona Lisa" a self-portrait in disguise?
A group of Italian scientists believes the key to solving those puzzles lies with the remains — and they say they are seeking permission from French authorities to dig up the body to conduct carbon and DNA testing.
If the skull is intact, the scientists can go to the heart of a question that has fascinated scholars and the public for centuries: the identity of the "Mona Lisa." Recreating a virtual and then physical reconstruction of Leonardo's face, they can compare it with the smiling face in the painting, experts involved in the project told The Associated Press.
"We don't know what we'll find if the tomb is opened, we could even just find grains and dust," says Giorgio Gruppioni, an anthropologist who is participating in the project. "But if the remains are well kept, they are a biological archive that registers events in a person's life, and sometimes in their death."
The leader of the group, Silvano Vinceti, told the AP that he plans to press his case with the French officials in charge of the purported burial site at Amboise Castle early next week.
But the Italian enthusiasm may be premature.
In France, exhumation requires a long legal procedure, and precedent suggests it's likely to take even longer when it involves a person of great note such as Leonardo.
Jean-Louis Sureau, director of the medieval-era castle located in France's Loire Valley, said that once a formal request is made, a commission of experts would be set up. Any such request would then be discussed with the French Ministry of Culture, Sureau said.
Leonardo moved to France at the invitation of King Francis I, who named him "first painter to the king." He spent the last three years of his life there, and died in Cloux, near the monarch's summer retreat of Amboise, in 1519 at age 67.
The artist's original burial place, the palace church of Saint Florentine, was destroyed during the French Revolution and remains that are believed to be his were eventually reburied in the Saint-Hubert Chapel near the castle.
The tombstone says simply, "Leonardo da Vinci;" a notice at the site informs visitors they are the presumed remains of the artist, as do guidebooks.
"The Amboise tomb is a symbolic tomb; it's a big question mark," said Alessandro Vezzosi, the director of a museum dedicated to Leonardo in his Tuscan hometown of Vinci.
Vezzosi, who is not involved in the project, said that investigating the tomb could help identify the artist's bones with certainty and solve other questions, such as the cause of his death. He said he asked to open the tomb in 2004 to study the remains, but the Amboise Castle turned him down.
As for the latest Italian proposal, Vinceti says preliminary conversations took place several years ago and he plans to follow up with a request next week to set up a meeting to explain the project in detail. This would pave the way for a formal request, he said.
The group of 100 experts involved in the project, called the National Committee for Historical and Artistic Heritage, was created in 2003 with the aim of "solving the great enigmas of the past," said Vinceti, who has written books on art and literature.
Arguably the world's most famous painting, the "Mona Lisa" hangs in the Louvre in Paris, where it drew some 8.5 million visitors last year. Mystery has surrounded the identity of the painting's subject for centuries, with speculation ranging from the wife of a Florentine merchant to Leonardo's own mother.
That Leonardo intended the "Mona Lisa" as a self-portrait in disguise is a possibility that has intrigued and divided scholars. Theories have abounded: Some think that Leonardo's taste for pranks and riddles might have led him to conceal his own identity behind that baffling smile; others have speculated that, given Leonardo's presumed homosexuality, the painting hid an androgynous lover.
Some have used digital analysis to superimpose Leonardo's bearded self-portrait over the "Mona Lisa" to show how the facial features perfectly aligned.
If granted access to the grave site, the Italian experts plan to use a miniature camera and ground-penetrating radar — which produces images of an underground space using radar waves_ to confirm the presence of bones. The scientists would then exhume the remains and attempt to date the bones with carbon testing.
At the heart of the proposed study is the effort to ascertain whether the remains are actually Leonardo's, including with DNA testing.
Vezzosi questions the feasibility of a DNA comparison, saying he is unaware of any direct descendants of Leonardo or of tombs that could be attributed with certainty to the artist's close relatives.
Gruppioni said DNA extracted from the bones could also eventually be compared to DNA found elsewhere. For example, Leonardo is thought to have smudged colors on the canvas with his thumb, possibly using saliva, meaning DNA might be found on his paintings, though Gruppioni conceded this was a long shot.
Even in the absence of DNA testing, other tests could provide useful information, including whether the bones belonged to a man or woman, and whether the person died young or old.
"We can have various levels of probability in the attribution of the bones," Gruppioni said. "To have a very high probability, DNA testing is necessary."
The experts would also look for any pathology or other evidence of the cause of death. Tuberculosis or syphilis, for example, would leave significant traces in the bone structure, said Vinceti.
In the best-case scenario — that of a well-preserved skull — the group would take a CAT scan and reconstruct the face, said Francesco Mallegni, an anthropology professor who specializes in reconstructions and has recreated the faces of famous Italians, including Dante.
Even within the committee, experts are divided over the identity of the "Mona Lisa."
Vinceti believes that a tradition of considering the self-portrait to be not just a faithful imitation of one's features but a representation of one's spiritual identity may have resonated with Leonardo.
Vezzosi, the museum director, dismissed as "baseless and senseless" the idea that the "Mona Lisa" could be a self-portrait of Leonardo.
The painting is "like a mirror: Everybody starts from his own hypothesis or obsession and tries to find it there," Vezzosi said in a telephone interview.
He said most researchers believe the woman may have been either a concubine of the artist's sponsor, the Florentine nobleman Giuliano de Medici, or Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a rich silk merchant, Francesco del Giocondo. The traditional view is that the name "Mona Lisa" comes from the silk merchant's wife, as well as its Italian name: "La Gioconda."
By ALESSANDRA RIZZO, Associated Press Writer

How NASA Would Send Humans on Mars

As the 40th anniversary celebrations of the first manned moon landing end, a human voyage to Mars remains a holy grail for NASA.
"We're still looking at human exploration of Mars as one of the goals of the future at the top level," said NASA researcher Bret Drake with Lunar and Mars Integration at Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Having a human actually set foot on another planet would be one of the greatest adventures possible, one of the greatest monuments to history."
A crewed mission to the red planet is a daunting challenge that lies at the edge of current technological capabilities and possibly beyond. Still, NASA keeps a strategy to go there and constantly keeps up to date with new ideas.
"Mars is one of those targets of fascination that has been around a long time," Drake said.
How to get there
A voyage to Mars would take a crew about 180 days. So far NASA is exploring two options for propulsion there — a nuclear thermal rocket and a chemical engine.
A nuclear thermal rocket, based off designs from the '60s and '70s, would use a nuclear reactor to super-heat a gas and blast it out the nozzle to generate thrust. "It's a very high-performance vehicle, and we think it's very safe, not radioactive at launch, but it is a nuclear system," Drake said. "The idea for the chemical engine is similar to that used on the space shuttle, liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. It's a fairly well-known technology, but it's not as efficient as nuclear thermal."
To reach the Martian surface, NASA envisions an aerodynamic lander that flies down with thrusters to help it descend. The ascent vehicle that takes the crew back into space for the six-month trip home will likely rely on a combination of methane and liquid oxygen. "Oxygen is present in the Martian atmosphere in the carbon dioxide, so you can use resources on Mars to make it," Drake said.
Before the crew even gets to Mars, the plan is to send as much cargo there ahead of time as possible.
"That way we can know it's operating right before we ever commit the crew," Drake said. "A Mars mission is not like a lunar mission where you can come home at any time — once they're committed, a crew is out there for years."
By current NASA estimates, a crewed mission to Mars needs to lift about twice the mass of the International Space Station into space — roughly 1.76 million lbs. (800 metric tons) of technology. To launch the equipment, NASA plans on using the Ares V rocket, designed to be the most powerful rocket ever built and capable of carrying about 414,000 lbs. (188 metric tons) to low Earth orbit at one time.
"We're going to try to minimize the amount of assembly needed," Drake said. "The heavy lift capacity we'll have with the Ares V will allow for simple automatic rendezvous in orbit and docking of components."
The crew would ride up in one of the upcoming Ares I rockets before starting the voyage to Mars.
"Having humans in place could bring a wealth of experience and training and the ability to put into context what they see and to make real-time decisions, all things difficult to do with robots," Drake said.
The very habitat the crew stays at on the Martian surface would be sent ahead of time. "You can also do things like produce and store oxygen from resources at Mars beforehand for the crew and the ascent vehicle. You could generate water as well."
Big crew, long stay
NASA envisions a crew of six astronauts for a Mars mission. "That's about what's required for the skills needed — a commander, scientist, engineer, medical officer, things like that, as well as cross-training," Drake said. "They'll need expertise in a wide range of disciplines."
Currently NASA envisions a long stay for a crew at Mars, about 500 days.
"Crew autonomy is vital, because there's an up to 40 minute time delay in communication between Earth and the crew because of the distance," Drake said. "And the crew doesn't have a capability for re-supply — they'll just have what they send ahead or what they bring with them — so when things fail, they'll have to be able to repair them. They must be self-sufficient."
To survive the voyage, air and water need to be completely recycled regularly.
"We're learning a lot on the International Space Station right now on air revitalization and water recovery," Drake said. "What's nice about Mars is that there's carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so that can help get us oxygen and water for the crew. In terms of food, we're looking at smaller systems, 'salad machines,' to grow food for the crew. Fresh food is not only good for nutrition, but good for the mind as well. A fresh tomato can really boost psychology."
Mental and physical challenges
The long hardship of roughly two-and-a-half years in space with only a few people in a potentially lethal environment will undoubtedly challenge the psyches of Mars explorers.
"The Russians are conducting a test right now that hopefully will shed light on the behavioral sciences aspect of a Mars mission," Drake said. "Looking at other remote exploration endeavors is helpful as well — Antarctica, or submarines — all that feeds into the human behavioral aspects of crew selection."
A key concern for astronauts as well as during the stay on Mars is dangerous radiation in the form of storms of high-energy particles from the sun as well as cosmic rays from deep space. "The best radiation protection material is hydrogen, or water, which is rich in hydrogen," Drake said.
On the surface of Mars, NASA envisions that cargo deployed ahead of time can produce water before the crew arrives to use as a shield during the crew's stay there. On the way to and from Mars, the ship could be configured so that water and food surround areas where crew spend most of their time, but "a 'storm shelter' aboard the ship will be an integral part for short events of radiation that can be lethal," Drake said.
No firm date has been set for any potential Mars mission, but it remains of keen interest not just to NASA, but also others, such as China.
"It's humanity's next step to understanding and expanding our presence outward," Drake said. "We view human exploration of Mars as being an international endeavor, most likely not limited to just one country, but probably of global scale.
By Charles Q. Choi/Special to


Apple pitches $499 iPad

Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off a sleek tablet that it called the iPad, pitching the new gadget at a surprisingly low price to bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops. Skip related content
A buoyant Jobs took the stage at a packed theatre on Wednesday to show off the 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet, which looks like a large iPhone, and to introduce a new iBook electronic reader service that will compete with Inc's Kindle.
The iPad is Apple's biggest bet on a new product since the iPhone three years ago, and seeks to tap an unproven market for tablets. Analysts, while impressed by the iPad's seamless functionality, also pointed out that consumers already have smartphones and laptops for their mobile computing needs.
Jobs described the iPad as a "third category" of devices, a do-everything media gadget that can surf the Web, and play movies and video games. He also left little doubt that Apple was going after the e-book market that Amazon had popularized.
"If there's going to be a third category of device, it's going to have to be better at these kinds of tasks than a laptop or a smartphone; otherwise it has no reason for being," said Jobs, who still appeared thin following his liver transplant last year.
"Now Amazon's done a great job of pioneering this functionality with their Kindle. And we're going to stand on their shoulders and go a bit further," he said.
Famous for his skills as a pitchman, Jobs, dressed in his trademark blue jeans and black turtleneck, created plenty of drama as he waited until late in the event to discuss the cost of the iPad, which analysts had expected to be up to $1,000 (619 pounds).
Apple elected to price it for as little as $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage, starting in late March. An extra $130 is needed to equip the iPad with third-generation (3G) wireless capability. Higher-capacity models will sell for $599 and $699.
"Pricing is very aggressive, so it's pretty positive from a mass adoption perspective," said Brian Marshall, an analyst with Broadpoint Amtech.
Research group IDC said it expects Apple to ship 4 million iPad units in 2010, with about 2 million in the United States.
Shares of Apple rose to as high as $210.58 after the pricing news, up 5.5 percent from their session low. The stock closed up 0.94 percent at $207.88 on Nasdaq, within reach of its all-time high of $215.59 logged on Jan 5.
The half-inch thick, 1.5-pound iPad features Apple's own processor and 10 hours of battery life. It runs a version of the iPhone's operating system and can use virtually all of the 140,000 apps currently available for the smartphone.
"What once occupied half your living room can now be dropped in a bag," said Outsell Inc analyst Ned May. "It's pulling together a variety of needs (in) a universal entertainment device."
Apple announced a data plan deal with AT&T Inc, which appeared to have beaten out Verizon Wireless. AT&T will offer two monthly data plans for the iPad, a limited one for $14.99 and an unlimited one for $29.99.
Other technology companies, including Microsoft Corp and Toshiba Corp, have launched tablets that failed to take off in recent years.
But analysts said they were impressed with the technology that Apple showed off. The iPad has a near life-size touch keyboard, and comes with all the expected features, including a calendar, an address book and maps.
"One thing Apple has proven is that they can consumerise new concepts, new technologies," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a consulting firm. "That will probably be their claim to fame again with this."
However, some also mentioned potential cannibalization of other Apple products.
"If it's doing all these things and does it better than a notebook then they'd have to tell me why I'd want a MacBook," said NPD analyst Steve Baker.
Some industry watchers said the iPad, with its multimedia bells and whistles, will be a tough competitor for Amazon's Kindle. The iBooks store will let users buy from publishers including Pearson Plc's Penguin, News Corp's HarperCollins, and Hachette Book Group.
But other analysts noted that the Kindle costs less -- $259 for the cheapest version -- and was more tailored for long-form reading, at least for now.
"This is not an e-reader -- this is a device that can be used to read books," Cowen & Co analyst James Friedland said of the iPad. "This doesn't change the game -- at the same time, Apple is a formidable competitor and our view is that over time, Apple and Amazon will emerge as the two largest players" in e-books.
Shares of Amazon took a brief hit but recovered to end 2.7 percent higher at $122.75 on Nasdaq.
In an online poll on before Wednesday's media event, 37 percent of more than 1,000 respondents said they would pay $500-$699 for the tablet. Nearly 30 percent weren't interested, while 20 percent said they would pay $700-$899.
by : Gabriel Madway and Alexei Oreskovic/REUTERS
(Additional reporting by Edwin Chan, Poornima Gupta, Ian Sherr, Gina Keating, Sue Zeidler, Alex Dobuzinskis and Paul Thomasch; Editing by Richard Chang and Tiffany Wu)


Pablo Picasso's painting was damaged by a woman

NEW YORK (AFP) – A significant Pablo Picasso painting was damaged after a woman attending art class lost her balance, fell into "The Actor" and tore it, The Metropolitan Museum of Art said.
The unusually large canvas, measuring 77.25 by 45.38 inches (196 by 115 centimeters), sustained a vertical tear of about six inches (15 centimeters) in the lower right-hand corner in the accident on Friday.
The museum, located on the eastern edge of New York's Central Park, did not elaborate on why the woman fell.
But The Met said the damage did not impact the "focal point of the composition" and that it should be repaired in the coming weeks ahead of a major Picasso retrospective featuring some 250 works at the museum opening on April 27.
Repair work should be "unobtrusive," it added.
Painted in the winter of 1904-1905, the work hails from Picasso's critical Rose Period, when the artist shifted from the downbeat tones of his Blue Period to warmer, more romantic hues.
The period also hints at Picasso's later embrace of abstraction with his signature cubist style.
Donated to The Met by automobile heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy in 1952, "The Actor" features an acrobat striking a dramatic pose against an abstract backdrop. It was painted on a used canvas that already contained a painting.

Ferropaper Is New Technology For Small Motors, Robots

Researchers at Purdue University have created a magnetic "ferropaper" that might be used to make low-cost "micromotors" for surgical instruments, tiny tweezers to study cells and miniature speakers. The material is made by impregnating ordinary paper - even newsprint - with a mixture of mineral oil and "magnetic nanoparticles" of iron oxide. The nanoparticle-laden paper can then be moved using a magnetic field.
"Paper is a porous matrix, so you can load a lot of this material into it," said Babak Ziaie, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering.
The new technique represents a low-cost way to make small stereo speakers, miniature robots or motors for a variety of potential applications, including tweezers to manipulate cells and flexible fingers for minimally invasive surgery.
"Because paper is very soft it won't damage cells or tissue," Ziaie said. "It is very inexpensive to make. You put a droplet on a piece of paper, and that is your actuator, or motor."
Once saturated with this "ferrofluid" mixture, the paper is coated with a biocompatible plastic film, which makes it water resistant, prevents the fluid from evaporating and improves mechanical properties such as strength, stiffness and elasticity.
Findings will be detailed in a research paper being presented during the 23rd IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems on Jan. 24-28 in Hong Kong. The paper was written by Ziaie, electrical engineering doctoral student Pinghung Wei and physics doctoral student Zhenwen Ding.
Because the technique is inexpensive and doesn't require specialized laboratory facilities, it could be used in community colleges and high schools to teach about micro robots and other engineering and scientific principles, Ziaie said.
The magnetic particles, which are commercially available, have a diameter of about 10 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, which is roughly 1/10,000th the width of a human hair. Ferro is short for ferrous, or related to iron.
"You wouldn't have to use nanoparticles, but they are easier and cheaper to manufacture than larger-size particles," Ziaie said. "They are commercially available at very low cost."
The researchers used an instrument called a field-emission scanning electron microscope to study how well the nanoparticle mixture impregnates certain types of paper.
"All types of paper can be used, but newspaper and soft tissue paper are especially suitable because they have good porosity," Ziaie said.
The researchers fashioned the material into a small cantilever, a structure resembling a diving board that can be moved or caused to vibrate by applying a magnetic field.
"Cantilever actuators are very common, but usually they are made from silicon, which is expensive and requires special cleanroom facilities to manufacture," Ziaie said. "So using the ferropaper could be a very inexpensive, simple alternative. This is like 100 times cheaper than the silicon devices now available."
The researchers also have experimented with other shapes and structures resembling Origami to study more complicated movements.
The research is based at the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue's Discovery Park.


Sleep Routine Makeovers

(Read expert advice for three common sleeping issues)
Tired? You're not alone. About 20 percent of Americans get fewer than six hours of shut-eye nightly, and a growing number have to rely on sleep aids to fall asleep or stay that way, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Is getting more (and better) sleep possible without the help of drugs? To find out, we asked three Woman's Day staffers to share their nighttime troubles with the experts. Here's what they learned.
Problem #1:
"I wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep." -Marilu Lopez, group creative director
Marilu wakes up almost every night between 3:30 and 4 a.m. and is unable to fall back to sleep. To pass the time and try to make herself sleepy again, she reads The New York Times on her BlackBerry. She eventually falls back to sleep but then wakes up early in the morning and feels exhausted all day.
Advice: Step one is to break the BlackBerry habit, says Joyce Walsleben, RN, PhD, diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and coauthor of A Woman's Guide to Sleep. The problem is twofold: Not only is reading news articles too stimulating, but the light from the BlackBerry itself can get in the way of the production of hormones that are essential for sleep.
Dr. Walsleben's top tips:
Ban the BlackBerry from the bedroom. Also cover (or remove) clocks so that you're not disturbed by the light from them or tempted to stare at the numbers.
Stay in bed. If you wake up, keep your eyes closed and practice relaxation exercises that will hopefully lull you back to sleep.
One to try: Picture yourself outdoors on a beautiful day with a jar of soap and a wand. Imagine that you're slowly blowing bubbles, and follow each one until it's out of sight. Keep blowing bubbles until there's no more soap in the jar.
Relax during the day, too. Take at least three minutes to practice the bubble exercise (or another relaxation technique, such as deep breathing) so that you're not overwhelmed by the worries of the day as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Did it work? "The bubble imagery didn't work for me--I found the concept more annoying than relaxing," says Marilu. "But I have fallen back to sleep a few times by just staying in bed and telling myself, ‘Do not open your eyes. Do not turn on the BlackBerry.'"
Problem #2:
"I only get four to five hours of sleep a night." -Abigail L. Cuffey, assistant health editor
Abby's friends call her a vampire because she's such a night owl. She tends to get a second wind around 11:30 p.m. and ends up staying awake until at least 2 a.m. But she also wakes up early in the morning, so the bottom line is she's not getting very much rest. She relies on lots of caffeine to keep her going through the day. On the weekends Abby stays up even later but sleeps in later as well.
Advice: Too much caffeine and inconsistencies between Abby's workweek and weekend sleep schedules are preventing her from getting enough rest, says Michael J. Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and board-certified sleep specialist. If she's serious about improving her sleep habits, she needs to ease off the caffeine and stick to a regular schedule.
Dr. Breus' top tips:
Start "caffeine fading." There's no need to abandon coffee entirely--plus, going cold turkey can cause bad headaches. A better idea is to drink most of your caffeinated beverages early in the morning and taper off as the day goes on. If you're currently used to five or six cups of coffee a day, try having one or two cups of drip coffee in the morning, a latte (which has a higher milk-to-coffee ratio) or half-caf coffee midday, and a tea or cola in the afternoon if you're still craving caffeine. But after 4 p.m., no more caffeine!
Set your alarm clock or cell phone to go off 30 minutes before bedtime as a reminder to stop what you're doing and get ready for bed.
Take a hot bath or shower right before bed. This should make you sleepy because your temperature will rise and then dip--and body temperature naturally drops when you get sleepy.
Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time on weekdays and weekends. (A shift of about an hour is OK.)
Did it work? "The advice was good but hard to stick to because life--the holidays, my birthday, etc.--got in the way," says Abby. "But when I did follow it, it worked really well, especially the hot shower at night. Whenever I took one I felt almost tranquilized once I crawled into bed."
Problem #3:
"I have night sweats--but I'm only in my 20s!" -Ayn-Monique Klahre, associate home design editor
During the workweek, Ayn-Monique usually goes to bed around 10:30 p.m., but her husband often reads in the bedroom, so the light disturbs her about 30 minutes later. Once she's awakened, she tosses and turns but eventually falls back to sleep--only to be awakened around 3:30 a.m. feeling cold but scrunched into a little ball and sweating. She's exhausted when her alarm goes off in the morning and often hits the snooze button repeatedly. On the weekends she tends to stay out much later and sleeps soundly once she's finally in bed.
Advice: A medical issue could be responsible for Ayn-Monique's sleep troubles, but Dr. Walsleben suspects that her sleep cycle is simply out of whack because she goes to bed so much later on the weekends than she does during the week and because she's going to bed during the week while her husband is still reading.
Dr. Walsleben's top tips:
Normalize your weekday and weekend sleep routines as much as possible. That might mean going to bed slightly later during the week than you are now, as well as turning in a bit earlier on Friday and Saturday. The goal is to bridge the gap.
Embrace the darkness. Even if you fall asleep with the light on, it probably won't be quality sleep--and it's all too easy to be woken up. If your husband insists on reading in the bedroom after your bedtime, ask him to use a book light or wear an eye mask yourself.
Talk to your doctor. If you practice these lifestyle changes for a few weeks and you're not sleeping any better--and still waking up sweating--see your primary care doctor to make sure an unknown medical problem isn't to blame.
Did it work? "Staying up a little later during the week helped me sleep more soundly, and I've used an eye mask when my husband is reading in bed," says Ayn-Monique. "But I still woke up sweaty on occasion, so I'm not sure this issue has been fully addressed. I'll mention it to my doctor at my next physical just to make sure nothing else is going on."
By Barbara Brody/Woman'sDay


Some Interesting facts about F1 Racing Cars !

An F1 car is made up of 80,000 components, if it were assembled 99.9% correctly, it would still start the race with 80 things wrong !
When an F1 driver hits the brakes on his car, he experiences retardation or deceleration comparable to a regular car driving through a BRICK wall at 300kmph !
F1 car can go from 0 to 160 km/ph AND back to 0 in FOUR seconds.
F1 car engines last only for about 2 hours of racing mostly before blowing up.
On the other hand we expect our engines to last us for a decent 20 yrs on an average and they quite faithfully DO....
That's the extent to which the engineers pushed it to perform.
An average F1 driver loses about 4kgs of weight after just one race due to the prolonged exposure to high G forces and temperatures for little over an hour (Yeah that's right !).
At 550kg a F1 car is less than half the weight of a Mini.
To give you an idea of just how important aerodynamic design and added down force can be, small planes can take off at slower speeds than F1 cars travel on the track.
Without aerodynamic down force, high-performance racing cars have sufficient power to produce wheel spin and loss of control at 160 km/ph.
They usually race at over 300 kph. In a street course race like the Monaco "Grand Prix", the down force provides enough suction to lift manhole covers.
Before the race, all of the manhole covers on the streets have to be welded down toprevent this from happening!
The refuelers used in F1 can supply 12 liters of fuel per second. This means it would take just 4 seconds to fill the tank of an average 50 liter family car.
They use the same refueling rigs used on US military helicopters today.
Top F1 pit crews can refuel and change tyres in around 3 seconds. (It takes 8 sec to read above point.)
During the race, the tyres lose weight! Each tyre loses about 0.5 kg in weight due to wear. (Normal tyres last 60 000 - 100 000 km.).
Racing tyres are designed to last 90 - 120 km. A dry-weather F1 tyre reaches peak operating performance (best grip) when tread temperature is between 900C and 1200C. (Water boils at 100C ! ).
At top speed, F1 tyres rotate 50 times a second

Just for Laugh !


Humans Could Run 40 mph, in Theory !

Humans could perhaps run as fast 40 mph, a new study suggests. Such a feat would leave in the dust the world's fastest runner, Usain Bolt, who has clocked nearly 28 mph in the 100-meter sprint.
The new findings come after researchers took a new look at the factors that limit human speed. Their conclusions? The top speed humans could reach may come down to how quickly muscles in the body can move.
Previous studies have suggested the main hindrance to speed is that our limbs can only take a certain amount of force when they strike the ground. This may not be the whole story, however.
"If one considers that elite sprinters can apply peak forces of 800 to 1,000 pounds with a single limb during each sprinting step, it's easy to believe that runners are probably operating at or near the force limits of their muscles and limbs," said Peter Weyand of Southern Methodist University, one of the study's authors.
But Weyand and colleagues found in treadmill tests that our limbs can handle a lot more force than what is applied during top-speed running.
What really holds us back
Their results showed the critical biological limit is imposed by time - specifically, the very brief periods of time available to apply force to the ground while sprinting. In elite sprinters, foot-ground contact times are less than one-tenth of a second, and peak ground forces occur within less than one-twentieth of that second for the first instant of foot-ground contact.
To figure out what limits how fast we can run, the researchers used a high-speed treadmill equipped to precisely measure the forces applied to its surface with each footfall. Study participants then ran on the treadmill using different gaits, including hopping, and running forward and backwards as fast as they possibly could.
The ground forces applied while hopping on one leg at top speed exceeded those applied during top-speed forward running by 30 percent or more. That suggests our limbs can handle greater forces than those found for two-legged running at top speeds.
And although top backward speed was substantially slower than top forward speed, as expected, the minimum periods of foot-ground contact at top backward and forward speeds were essentially identical. The fact that these two drastically different running styles had such similar intervals for foot-ground contact suggest that there is a physical limit to how fast your muscle fibers can work to get your feet off the ground, the researchers say.
New speed limit
The new work shows that running speed limits are set by the contractile speed limits of the muscle fibers themselves, with fiber contractile speeds setting the limit on how quickly the runner's limb can apply force to the running surface.
"Our simple projections indicate that muscle contractile speeds that would allow for maximal or near-maximal forces would permit running speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour and conceivably faster," Bundle said.
While 40 mph may not impress the cheetah, the world's fastest land animal reaching speeds of 70 mph (112 kph), it's enough to escape a grizzly bear and much quicker than T. rex, which may have reached 18 mph (29 kph) during a good jog.
The results were published in the Jan. issue of the journal Journal of Applied Physiology.


10 Tips

1°Don’t worry Worry is the least productive of all human activities and thoughts….

2° Don’t let needless fears preoccupy your life... Most of things we fear never happen!!! .

3° Don’t hold grudges... That is one of the biggest and most unnecessary weights we carry through our lives..

4° Take on one problem at a time It’s the only way to handle things by one..

5° Don’t take your problems to bed with you. They are bad and unhealthy companions for good natural sleep and rest...

6° Don’t take on the problems of other people.. They are better equipped to handle their own problems than you are..

7° Don’t live in the past. It will always be there in your memories to enjoy..but don’t cling to it. Concentrate on what is happening right now in your life..and you will be happy in the present also..not just the past.

8° Be a good listener. It is only when one listens..that one gets and learns ideas different from ones own...

9° Do not let frustration ruin and rule your life... Self pity more than anything..interferes with positive actions..with moving forwards in our lives.

10° Count your blessings... Don’t even forget the smallest blessings.. As many small blessings add up to large ones...

"Vijay Joshi"


Swiss pilots aim to circle world in a solar-powered plane

ABU DHABI (AFP) – Bertrand Piccard is no conventional environmental activist -- he hopes to raise awareness about the potential of renewable energy by flying a solar-powered aircraft around the world.
"What we want to do is to fly day and night to show that, with renewable energies, you can have unlimited duration of flight, no restriction," Piccard told AFP at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where he had a booth to promote his venture.
The 51-year-old Swiss psychiatrist plans to fly his one-of-kind "Solar Impulse" around the world over 20 to 25 days, traveling at an average of 70 kilometres (43 miles) an hour.
He will split the flying time with Andre Borschberg, a former Swiss fighter pilot.
"We believe that if an airplane can fly around the world with no fuel, nobody can say after that it's impossible to do it for cars, for heating systems, for air-conditioning, for computers and so on," he said.
The prototype of Solar Impulse made its first test flight near Zurich in December. The plane is made of carbon fibre, with solar panels along the top of its roughly 64-metre (209-foot) wingspan.
The aim is for the solar panels to absorb energy to power the aircraft during the day, and at the same time store energy in lithium polymer batteries to run the engines at night.
After aircraft manufacturers said Piccard's specifications would be impossible to meet, he turned to a racing yacht manufacturer to build the airframe.
"They did not know it's impossible, so they did it," he said.
The plane is powered by four electric engines, each making a maximum of 10 horsepower. Piccard said that, despite having a wingspan close to that of an Airbus A340, Solar Impulse weighs only 1,600 kilogrammes (3,500 pounds).
Asked what led him to try this unorthodox method of promoting renewable energy, Piccard pointed to his family history.
"I come from a family of explorers, who always had a lot of concern for the environment and for natural resources," he said.
"My grandfather was the first man to explore the stratosphere, to climb above the atmosphere (in a balloon) ... and my father made in 1960 the deepest dive ever in a submarine," he said.
Piccard has already demonstrated a penchant for adventure. In 1999, he and Briton Brian Jones became the first men to complete a non-stop flight around the globe in a hot-air balloon.
That flight "gave me the fame to ... do useful things," Piccard said, including finding sponsors, money and support for his current project.
The project, which will cost a total of 70 million euros (100 million dollars), has been underway for around seven years and still has a way to go. The attempted flight around the world won't take place until 2012 or 2013.
This year, the aircraft will undergo high-altitude testing, and will also be tested in daytime and nighttime flight. If that goes well, the prototype will either be modified or a new one built for a trans-Atlantic flight.
"We have to reproduce Lindbergh's flight with no fuel," Piccard said, referring to Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
The one-man aircraft will land at different points during the flight around the world so the pilots can switch off, Piccard said.
In addition to the switch, the landings will be an opportunity "to present the technology of this airplane, to encourage people to use (the technology) also, for their daily life," he said.
For Piccard, the Solar Impulse project is a new, positive tack in promoting renewable energy and conservation.
"I was in Copenhagen (for the recent climate change conference), and I see people are fed up with the alarmists, the catastrophists," he said.
"People need solutions, not problems. So we have to demonstrate the solutions. We have to show that it's possible to do great things."
And aviation, Piccard said, is "a good vector to push messages."
by W.G. Dunlop


Scorpion Venom Tapped as Pesticide !

A scorpion-inspired pesticide could kill specific insects without harming people, the environment or beneficial animals.Scorpion venom could supply an ideal pesticide, but scientists need to first find a way to deliver the venom to targeted pests.Getty ImagesScorpion venom could target specific species of harmful insects.The venom would not endanger health the way chemical pesticides do.The trick lies in finding a way to deliver the venom to targeted insects.Scorpion venom can paralyze, inflict pain, even kill. But instead of recoiling in fear from the arachnids, scientists are scrutinizing venom in the hopes of harnessing its power to fight insects, treat cancer and more.In one approach, Israeli researchers have cloned the genes involved in producing specific toxic protein compounds. They have developed ways to produce and manipulate these toxins inside bacteria grown in their lab. They have also deciphered the three-dimensional structures of some of those compounds and figured out which surface of those structures bind to the nervous systems of insects.These technical developments may eventually help scientists develop new, scorpion-inspired pesticides that would zero in on specific insect pests without harming people, the environment, or other animal bystanders."You should consider scorpions like a gift from nature," said Michael Gurevitz, of Tel Aviv University in Israel. "Nature has developed compounds during millions of years that show complete selectivity to various groups of animals. Understanding how these toxins affect the nervous system of animals may assist in preparing chemicals that mimic the toxin activity and can be produced industrially."For decades, scientists have been probing the compounds in venom from scorpions, spiders, sea anemones, cone snails and other creatures. Plenty of studies have dissected venom to see what types of proteins are in it, what those proteins look like, and how they work -- by, for example, causing paralysis or breaking down cells.A major goal has been to spin those findings into practical applications. For example, venom compounds are appealing candidates for pesticides because many of them are highly specialized to kill certain types of insects but have no effect on people, other mammals or beneficial insects, like honeybees.The toxins that interest researchers are biodegradable, so they would not accumulate in the ground or drinking water, linger on vegetable skins, or endanger our health like modern chemical pesticides do.
/Discovery News


New Chineese Car 2010 !

This will beat all the low fuel consumption cars in the world! NEW CAR- FOR $600------- New Single Seat VW (INR:: 27965 Rs)
New ride If you could go to Shanghai for a vacation, buy two or more of these cars, one for your wife and one for yourself, and one for each of your kids, have them shipped to Canada and still spend less money than if you bought a car in Canada.
Getting the car(s) into USA , still an ordeal.
This is not a toy, not a concept car . It is a newly developed single seat car in highly aerodynamic tear-shape road-proven real car.
It is ready to be launched as a single-seater for sale in Shanghai in 2010 for a mere RMB 4,000 (US$600)!Interested? Wait till you learn that it will cruise at 100-120 Km/Hr with an unbelievable 0.99litre/100Km (258 miles/gallon)!
Impressed? Totally, after you have read all the details about the hi-tech and space-age material input into this car!
The Most Economic Car in the World will be on sale next year.
From:Rana Faisal


Possible Space Wars In The Near Future !

Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) U.S. media suspects China and India of developing anti-satellite weapons. An article to this effect has been published the New Scientist magazine.
Until recently, only the Soviet Union, its legal successor Russia and the United States were capable of developing anti-satellite weapons. U.S. analysts now think that China and India are acquiring similar capabilities. To what extent are such fears justified?
It is hard to overestimate the role played by military satellite systems. Since the 1970s, an increasingly greater number of troop-control, telecommunications, target-acquisition, navigation and other processes depend on spacecraft which are therefore becoming more important.
At this point, it is impossible to imagine the armed forces of most industrial states, including Russia, without combat-ready satellite clusters comprising spacecraft of various types. The space echelon's role is directly proportional to the development level of any given nation and its armed forces.
However, satellite clusters are hardly invulnerable. Ever since the U.S.S.R. and the United States launched their first military satellites, efforts have been made to develop anti-satellite systems. Such efforts were intensified after the creation of initial missile defense systems comprising the highly important space echelon.
Orbital satellite interceptors, surface-to-space and air-to-space missiles were eventually developed.
Research aiming to develop orbital and ground-based anti-satellite laser guns making it possible to either destroy spacecraft or knock out their electronics and optical devices deserves special mention. However, few results have been achieved in this area.
China, which claims the right to be a global power, prioritizes the development of anti-satellite weapons.
A 2007 Chinese anti-satellite missile test was conducted at 10.26 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on January 11, 2007 or at 6.26 a.m. Beijing time on January 12.
A Chinese weather satellite - the FY-1C polar orbit satellite of the Fengyun series, flying at an altitude of 865 kilometers (537 mi) - was destroyed by a kinetic kill vehicle traveling at a speed of 8 km/second in the opposite direction.
Although the exact name of the missile is not known, sources mentioned a KT-1/SC-19 system described as being based on a modified DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile or its commercial derivative, the KT-2, with a kinetic kill vehicle mounted. The 11-meter DF-21 missile weighs 15 metric tons.
The above referenced kinetic kill vehicle destroyed the satellite with a direct hit.
China thus became the second nation in history to conduct practical anti-satellite system tests.
On September 13, 1985, the United States destroyed U.S. satellite P78-1 using an ASM-135 ASAT anti-satellite missile launched from an F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. A malfunctioning U.S. spy satellite USA-193 was destroyed by a RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 on February 21, 2008.
The Chinese anti-satellite weapons test highlighted Beijing's ability to fight a space war if necessary, and caused a nervous response primarily on the part of Japan and the United States.
It is common knowledge that China continues to develop anti-satellite weapons and to create new versions of missile interceptors.
Although there is hardly any convincing evidence regarding possible Indian efforts to develop similar weapons, the country's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has voiced its intention to create a satellite interceptor.
If this statement is true, New Delhi plans to copy the Soviet example. As is known, Moscow had developed various types of orbital anti-satellite weapons, including the 80-ton Skif-DM battle station that was to have been launched by the super-heavy Energia space rocket.
It is unclear how fast India will be able to develop an anti-satellite weapon and to orbit it. This project will probably take many years to implement. At the same time, India could develop a missile interceptor based on medium-range ballistic missiles to knock down satellites the way China did.
More countries will acquire anti-satellite capabilities in the future. Technically speaking, all countries wielding their own ballistic missiles, including Iran and North Korea, have the potential. It is still hard to predict the influence of such programs on the subsequent development of military space systems.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
Source: RIA Novosti/by Ilya KramnikRIA Novosti military commentator


Gold Porsche 911 from Russia !

In Russia they drive in solid gold covered Porsche cars.
More than 40 pounds of pure gold was used while decorating this particular car.
Quite a head turner I imagine, and perfectly good example of something totally ludicrously ridiculous.
/ Offbeat Earth