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Simmering Hope

Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after. – Dr. Robert Anthony

Archive for November, 2007

Nov 27, 2007

High risk driving behaviour

A tragic statistic shows that car crashes are Nr.1 killer and cause of injury to youth between 13 and 21.
About 75 young people die annually in British Columbia in motor vehicle crashes and about 10,000 are injured.
If we are to break down the data, following are the human actions contributing to casualty collisions:
Percentage of total human action factors:
– Speeding: 21.6
– Fail to yield: 20.17
– Driver error: 18.59
– Follow to closely: 11.83
– Ignore traffic device: 7.91

Percentage of total human condition factors:
– Driver inattentive: 51.13
– Alcohol: 16.50
– Driver distracted: 4.38
– Fell asleep: 3.70
– Extreme fatigue: 1.76

The risk taking young drivers just want to get on with their lives after a crash in which they are injured. They are more in denial, not introspective and because they heal faster than an older driver, might perceive themselves as invincible. Until the next tragic event happens and they might become statistics.
High-risk drivers are more focused on driving as a symbolic activity; their cars are perceived as freedom, control, power and performance and they may compensate for lack of achievement in other areas such as school or work.
Therefore, the police confiscation of the vehicle is considered a good deterrent.

I guess it’s hard to figure out all the culprits for becoming a high-risk driver. Some people would say that the increase in attention deficit disorder cases may have a contribution. People with attention deficit disorder have a low tolerance for boredom, tend to be impulsive and emotionally volatile, are restless and easily distracted.
And it’s been established that the cases of ADD are raising.
Low self-esteem and peer pressure could be another culprit. The lack of proper parenting should also be thrown into equation. Parents seem to adopt more and more the easiest way out and let their offsprings do whatever they want to do, mostly when these kids are well taught by some video games how to get what they want. See the controversial ‘Coolest Girl in School’

But technology could help parents to nail speedy kids.
It’s called CarChip Pro
It is an all-in-one engine performance and driving monitor, capable of tracking up to 300 hours of trip details.
It provides data about distance and speed, extreme acceleration and it can list the last 20 seconds of diagnostics before an impact.
Selling price: $120.00

Nov 23, 2007

The future of oral hygiene?

The University of Sasckatchewan dentistry professor emeritus Dr. Kunio Komiyama is recruting 120 teens willing to brush with a prototype light-powered toothbrush.
The manufacturer, the Shiken company of Japan, is paying the researchers to investigate wheather the brush does a better job of eliminiating plaque and bacteria than an ordinary toothbrush.

The prototype Solady- J3X, uses a solar panel which transmits electrons to the top of the brush and it’s believed to work better than the original Solady Ionic Toothbrush which contains a titanium dioxide rod in the neck of the brush, just below the nylon bristles.

When exposed to any good light source the photo-sensitive titanium rod (TI02), located in Soladey’s handle, releases ions which permeate the saliva to effectively break down plaque on a molecular level. The polarity of the tooth surface is temporarily reversed preventing plaque from sticking to the surface of teeth. This Ionic action disintegrates plaque in places one cannot reach with bristles, rinse, toothpaste or interproximal devices.

What is Soladey?

soladey_intro.jpg

“Soladey was invented in Japan by Dr. Yoshinori Nakagawa. The name originates from the words ‘Solar’ and ‘Dental’. Dr Nakagawa knew that negative ions could be generated from titanium when this metal was exposed to light and water. As with other industrial applications such as water purification and air filtration, ionic power is not a recent discovery. Soladey was first manufactured in the early 1980s and this light activated toothbrush is now used daily by millions of people in Japan primarily, but also now in many other countries.
Soladey looks like an ordinary toothbrush, but closer examination reveals a titanium (metal) ionic conducting rod, which runs through the replaceable bristle head and into the handle.
This rod is the secret to Soladey. It’s made of a patented solar conducting material that allows light, by photoelectric activity, to be converted into a natural energy source which kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth. The bacterial population in your mouth has direct impact on your body’s health, the same way that your intestinal flora can influence your general health. The more alkaline your gut the cleaner your teeth will likely be. With today’s diet it is a challenge to maintain balance. Soladey helps to fight and neutralize the acids that cause bad breath and tooth decay, and the effects can be felt long after you finish brushing!”
Source: http://www.soladey.com

Research Facts

Clinical studies show that titanium exposed to a light source has an excellent bacterical capacity against Streptococcus mutans., a micro-organism found in the mouth that is particularly related to dental caries.
(Onada et al. photocatalytic bactericidal effect of powdered TiO2 on Streptococcus mutans bateria., Denki Kagaku, 56, 1108-1109, 1988).
In Japan a clinical report on titanium toothbrushes found that dental plaque removal was significant during the early phase of plaque formation and concluded that the brush was effective in the control of plaque.
(Kusonoki et al. A study on the effect of the solar energy toothbrush on the control of dental plaque. J Osaka Odont. Soc., 49; 550-559, 1986).

Another Japanese study concluded that improvements in gingivitis and oral hygiene can be expected by using a toothbrush equipped with a titanium semiconductor.
(Niwa et al. Clinical study on the control of dental plaque using a photo energy conversion toothbrush equipped with a TiO2 semiconductor. Shigaku Vol. 77 No. 2 August 1989).

A clinical study conducted at a Canadian College of Dentistry indicated that removal of plaque – from buccal surfaces especially – was more apparent using the ionic brush than it was using the control brush without semiconductor.
(Hoover et al. Clinical evaluation of a light energy conversion toothbrush. J. Clin. Periodontol. 19: 434-436 1992).

The Key Technique for Best Results

For best results, brush all the surfaces of your teeth thoroughly to remove any surface plaque
Keep as much light in your mouth as possible while brushing (60 watts or greater – 1 meter or closer to source)
Then concentrate on the inside bottom row of teeth, brushing lightly with a good light source, until the Ionic process begins to work
This Ionic process can be identified as a natural white paste that foams & builds up in your mouth
Your teeth will feel super polished when done…like you stepped out of the chair from a cleaning with your hygienist
Soak your Soladey daily in Hydrogen Peroxide or Grape Seed Oil for 2 – 5 minutes, in order to keep it free of harmful microbes or bacteria.

CAUTION:

After use, if toothpaste was used, completely rinse Soladey to remove toothpaste
Toothpaste may cover the semiconductor, which blocks light from the metal rod
If this happens, you will not get the best possible results from Soladey
Do not separate the brush from the handle except for the purpose of replacement
Do not insert the semiconductor into your mouth without the brush head firmly attached
DO NOT SWALLOW YOUR SALIVA
DO NOT BRUSH FORCEFULLY: the gentle brushing action, combined with a good light source and your own saliva is all that is required for best results. It is important to understand that it is the light brushing action that creates the Ionization process in your mouth and not forceful brushing of your dental enamel. This is much easier on your dental enamel than using an abrasive such as toothpaste.
Source: http://www.soladey-usa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=27

How much it costs?

If you buy if from here
it’s going to cost you $29.95 for the toothbrush and another $29.95 for four replacement heads

Nov 23, 2007

Ancient religious ceremony: The Whirling Dervishes

First time when I have heard about the Whirling Dervishes I was watching Amazing Race 7 . On Episode 9 the teams travelled to Istanbul, Turkey; the next episode brought them to a place where the whirling dervishes presented their ritual. Leaving the dervishes, Uchenna exclaimed, “Wow, that was magical.”

Now, the Whirling Dervishes are coming to Vancouver, on Saturday November 24, 2007 at Chan Centre.
The Mevlevi Order, or Whirling Dervishes as known by the West will present their ritual rite of Sema.
The emphasis is on the word ‘ritual’, because it’s not going to be a performance, or a dog-and-pony show.

The Order of the Whirling Dervishes is one branch of the vast Sufi tradition of Islam. The universal values of love and service shared by all Sufis are very much relevant to the social and political realities of today, and this ritual, which is only performed by the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, has come to symbolize these values in the hearts and minds of millions throughout the world.
Sufism espouses a well-founded and thoroughgoing interpretation of Islam, which focuses on love, tolerance, worship of God, community development, and personal development through self-discipline and responsibility. A Sufi’s way of life is to love and be of service to people, deserting the ego or false self and all illusion so that one can reach maturity and perfection, and finally reach Allah, the True, the Real.

One Sufism principle I found very interesting:
“ Being able to discern what is in hearts or minds through facial expressions and the inner, Divine mysteries and meanings of surface events”
More about Sufism and it’s origin here
whirling-dervishes.jpg
To find more about sema ritual, let’s go to the source

THE SEMA RITUAL began with the inspiration of Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi (1207-1273) and was influenced by Turkish customs and culture.
It is scientifically recognized that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no being or object which does not revolve, because all beings are comprised of revolving electrons, protons, and neutrons in atoms. Everything revolves, and the human being lives by means of the revolution of these particles, by the revolution of the blood in his body, and by the revolution of the stages of his life, by his coming from the earth and his returning to it.
Thus the whirling dervish or semazen, intentionally and consciously participates in the shared revolution of other beings.
Contrary to popular belief, the semazen’s goal is not to lose consciousness or to fall into a state of ecstasy. Instead, by revolving in harmony with all things in nature — with the smallest cells and with the stars in the firmament — the semazen testifies to the existence and the majesty of the Creator, thinks of Him, gives thanks to Him, and prays to Him. In so doing, the semazen confirms the words of the Qur’an (64:1): Whatever is in the skies or on earth invokes God.
An important characteristic of this seven-centuries-old ritual is that it unites the three fundamental components of human nature: the mind (as knowledge and thought), the heart (through the expression of feelings, poetry and music) and the body (by activating life, by the turning). These three elements are thoroughly joined both in theory and in practice as perhaps in no other ritual or system of thought.
The Sema ceremony represents the human being’s spiritual journey, an ascent by means of intelligence and love to Perfection (Kemal). Turning toward the truth, he grows through love, transcends the ego, meets the truth, and arrives at Perfection. Then he returns from this spiritual journey as one who has reached maturity and completion, able to love and serve the whole of creation and all creatures without discriminating in regard to belief, class, or race.
In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, the semazen’s camel’s hair hat (sikke) represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt represents the ego’s shroud. By removing his black cloak, he is spiritually reborn to the truth. At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, the semazen appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God’s unity. While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God’s beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth. The semazen conveys God’s spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love. Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi says, “All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!”

Nov 18, 2007

10 Fitness Myths

1. More is better. In some things yes: in exercise, no. Your body will respond in a positive manner to an appropriate amount of stress (demand) placed upon it. Exceeding that amount is usually a waste of time (depending on your reasons for exercising), and quite possibly may be counterproductive.
2. Exercise can’t be fun. Fortunately, almost everyone can find an exercise activity that meets his or her particular needs and is well tolerated (emotionally, as well as physically). If you don’t find your conditioning regimen to be relatively enjoyable, it is very likely that you will give it up for ‘greener pastures.’
3. The more you sweat, the more fat you lose. If you exercise in extreme heat and/or humidity or in rubberized clothing, you certainly will sweat and lose weight. Any weight lost is this manner, however, represents lost water-not fat. When you replenish your body fluid stores by eating and drinking, those lost pounds will return.
4. Muscle will turn to fat when you stop lifting weights. Absolutely not possible. When you stop strength training: your muscles may lose some of their girth but will not be transformed into fat.
5. Performing aerobic-type exercise at a low-rather than a high-level of intensity promotes a greater loss of body fat. While it is true that the lower your exercise intensity level, the more your body prefers to use fats rather than carbohydrates as fuel, the absolute amount of fat calories burned during high intensity exercise tends to be equal to or greater than the number expended during low intensity activity. You lose weight and body fat when you expend more calories than you consume, not because you burn fat (or anything else) when you exercise.
6. During exercise you will become thirsty when your body needs water. Not true. Your thirst mechanism almost always tends to underestimate your fluid needs during exercise. As a result, you should consume a small amount of fluid at least every 15-20 minutes while exercising.
7. Strength training is a more appropriate activity for men than women. Absolutely not. Strength training can be just as beneficial (if not more so) for a woman as it is for a man. A higher level of muscular fitness has been shown to have numerous desirable consequences for women of all ages (e.g., better muscle tone, greater strength, and enhanced self-image)
8. Exercise is a contest. The word ‘contest’ usually connotes a natural dichotomy of ‘winners’ and ‘losers.’ Exercise, however, should not be viewed as a contest for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that if you exercise properly, there are no losers-only winners.
9. Strength training will make you bigger. In reality, a number of factors influence the degree of muscle hypertrophy (growth) that an individual experiences as a result of engaging in strength-training program. Almost all of these factors are genetic. As a point in fact, a majority of men, and almost all women, lack the necessary level of male hormones requisite for a noticeable increase in muscular hypertrophy.
10. No pain, no gain. Wrong! Exercise should not be painful. A felling of discomfort (e.g., a ‘burning’ sensation in your muscles, muscular soreness, etc.) is generally a sign that you’re asking your body to do something that is not used to doing. Such a feeling often occurs when a previously sedentary individual initiates an exercise program. Pain is exercising to the point where you may be harming yourself. Keep in mind that the individual who first coined that popular phrase, ‘no pain equals no gain’ probably meant to say, ‘no pain equals no gain equals no sense.’
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Source URL:
http://www.hawkhealth.ku.edu/?q=node/28

Nov 18, 2007

New gadgets for Christmas

The Canadian dollar is still strong. With that in mind we should start making our Christmas list.
What gadgets are cool on the market and for what price?

HDTV

Time to move on to high definition television. Compared to standard definition television which displays images at 480 lines of resolution, HDTV is capable of showing 1, 080 lines, or talking in pixels, HDTV offers up to 1920 x 1080 pixels on the screen.
Hence a much clear image.
Another asset: HDTV is wider, offering 16:9 aspect ratio, compared to 4:3 offered by standard television.
Plasma
Pros: the most accurate color reproduction and better contrast; handle motion smoothly- important for watching sports or playing video games; wide viewing angles
Cons: Reflective glass, making them suitable for rooms with less ambient light; it starts at 42 inches; energy consuming
LCD (liquid crystal display)
Pros: thinner, lighter, more energy efficient than plasma; wide range of sizes, from 13 to 108 inches; anti glare screen; long life span of about 60,000 hours; better motion control than years ago
Cons: contrast is not as good as on plasma; price is comparable to plasma
Rear-projection television
Pros: price is a third of the price for plasma TV
Cons: good for big size rooms and it needs about 45 seconds to warm-up

Audio-video receiver
Now that you have HDTV, you need a good AV receiver. It is one of the most important pieces of equipment that will bring you the movie-theatre sound to your home.
Along with the receiver it comes the cables. Good quality cables, different from the old RCA type. Think High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable. More on these components later on.

iPod docking stations
Offers small speaker systems that can be placed anywhere you want to enjoy your music, without earbuds.
For $99.99 you can get the iHome iPod Dual Alarm Clock Radio It lets you dock your iPod in a cradle on top of the unit.
Looking for something fancier?
For 229.95 you can get a
JBL Radial
Cool design. Features as listed at JBL site:

“JBL RADIAL MICRO (Black)
JBL Radial™ Micro Blk – Performance Loudspeaker Dock for iPod

It’s an iPod party machine with legendary JBL® sound. It’s a space-saving, all-in-one computer sound system and iPod docking station. Connected to a TV, it’s an iPod slideshow and video player. JBL Radial Micro is one of the smallest and most-versatile multimedia speaker systems ever developed. And wherever and however you use it, it’s among the best-sounding systems out there. Experience clean, accurate full-frequency sound, and tight, distortion-free bass, from a compact device that looks great anywhere”

Kodak EasyShare Digital Picture Frame
You are at work and want to feel closer to your family? Why not buy the new gizmo from Kodak? You can have hundreds of pictures loaded onto the digital frame, or play music and videos.
All you have to do is plug it to your Windows PC or Mac’s USB port, drag and drop selected pictures onto the frame, then unplug and place the frame on a table or mount it on the wall.
Many digital frames come with a memory card slot that will take the most popular photo card types.
Pop the memory card out of the digital camera and place it into the frame.
For $249.95 US, you get the top-of-the-line EX1011 model (www.kodak.com)


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