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Monday, April 16, 2012

HEROINE Kareena joins micro-blogging site

There are very few stars who shy away from social networking sites. Bollywood's heroine no 1 is one of them, who has never felt the urge to share her life on these site. But she is making an exception for Madhur Bhandarkar's movie HEROINE.

The actress is ready to tweet via UTV Motion Pictures' socio-networking account, just for this movie. She will share moments from the shooting of the movie and be up, close and personal with her fans about her character and working experience on the sets of HEROINE.

picture gallery

''Yes, I will be on twitter for the first time as Heroine, my character in UTV Motion Pictures and Madhur Bhandarkar's film. It will be a new experience for me and I'm really looking forward for it. I think I will thoroughly enjoy it. I will be doing so from UTV's Twitter handle utvmp,'' says a very enthusiastic Kareena.

CHECK OUT: HEROINE Kareena all set for hectic months ahead

Kareena has also tweeted about her first video 'On the sets of HEROINE'.

This is not just an important project for Madhur, it is equally important to Kareena and that's why the actress is going out of the way for this movie.

HEROINE is a UTV Motion Pictures and Bhandarkar Entertainment film. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, the film stars Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda and Shahana Goswami. The music of the movie is directed by music directors Salim-Sulaiman.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

'Copying James Bond would have been foolish'

Since we had this idea, we spoke to a lot of industry directors to gauge their opinion. Many of them had crazy ideas, some whacky, some really comic, some even said that the title Agent Vinod is too silly, that it is not as cool as it should be. But Sriram Raghvan was on the same page with me since the beginning and he wrote the perfect story that would fit a character like Agent Vinod.

Is he like an Indian version of James Bond or maybe, Jason Bourne?

It is an important point which I'd like to clear. It would be very stupid to copy a character like James Bond in a Hindi movie, because he is a very English character in nature. He is a capitalist hero and it makes sense for him as a person when put in the context of Russian communism.

He drinks and is a hardcore womanizer, yet he saves the world. This is not how Vinod is. From the first scene itself, it is established that Vinod is a very Indian hero, very different from the Bond character.

Characters attached to armed forces or are extraordinary fighters have always fascinated the Indian audiences since the days of Mithunda. So we thought we would give a very contemporary, emerging global personality to a character and design the movie around him. Copying Bond would have been foolish.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kareena moves into tears on 'Heroine' set

Madhur Bhandarkar’s highly anticipated film, ‘Heroine’ started to roll on. Madhur is very happy that he finally got his dream heroine Kareena Kapoor on board. ‘Heroine’ speaks about the journey of a heroine, filled with many ups and downs. Kareena while portraying an intense scene broke into tears. The scene touched her heart.

After Aishwarya walked out of the project due to her pregnancy, Kareena Kapoor stepped in. The director has made few alterations in the film due to Bebo. Some intimate scenes are chopped out and on Kareena's request; Arunoday Singh was replaced by Randeep Hooda.

The shooting of the movie is progressing very well. After a short break, the shooting will resume in January.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saif: In reel or real life, Kareena pairs best with me

Saif Ali Khan's ambitious spy-thriller Agent Vinod, directed by Sriram Raghavan (Ek Hasina Thi, Johnny Gaddar) has been in production since a while, leading to speculation over the film's delay.

However, producer-actor Khan, at the unveiling of the film's first theatrical trailer, assured the press that it is a meticulously crafted film which couldn't be finished any sooner due to the various foreign locales and never-seen-before action-scenes that required filming.

While the trailer hints on Agent Vinod's character as a hybrid between Bourne, Bond and Hunt, Saif -- while not denying the said similarities -- gives further insights into his pet project, both in the capacity of producer and actor. Ankur Pathak takes notes.

You've been committed to this project for a great deal of time. How's it shaped up?

Agent Vinod is the longest I have worked on a film. I'm glad we have readied a polished product. I hope everyone likes it.

I'm excited about the way we are going to promote the film. It gives me immense happiness to talk about Agent Vinod -- a product we are quite confident of.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kareena: I will always be ten steps behind Karisma

Just a few days back we broke the news around how Kareena Kapoor and Karisma Kapoor may end up clashing with each other in the Summer of 2012 when their films TALAASH and DANGEROUS ISHQ arrive together. Though it is almost certain that the makers of DANGEROUS ISHQ (Vikram Bhatt) would think rationally and shift the film's release date, for audience in general and Kareena in particular, there is quite some excitement in store, what with Karisma making a comeback.

"This is going to be a great year for the Kapoor sister," says a trade expert, "While Kareena would be rubbing shoulders with Saif Ali Khan and Imran Khan in AGENT VINOD and EK MAIN AUR EKK TU, complete an author backed HEROINE and begin shooting for CHENNAI EXPRESS with Shahrukh Khan, Karisma would be making a comeback with DANGEROUS ISHQ and would then kick-start SATTE PE SATTA remake with Sanjay Dutt There is a lot happening in the Kapoor household and the ladies of the house are busier than ever."


In that case how about a wishful thinking where one sees the most exciting time for Kapoors with her and Karisma fighting it out for the top slot in next couple of years. Now how would that be for the industry and the filmgoers?

CHECK OUT: Kareena promotes Karisma

"Well, I don't think that will ever happen," says Kareena with a wide grin. "I will always be ten steps behind Karisma at every stage of my career. I love and respect her beyond films. The day she comes on screen again, she will be the undisputed queen of Hindi cinema," she adds on a parting note.

Aah, now that's some sister speak here!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Saif sworn in as the Nawab of Pataudi

Saif Ali Khan has been crowned the 10th Nawab of Pataudi with a padgi ceremony that took place athis ancestral palace in Pataudi, Haryana. The village head tied turban around Saif’s head and concluded the ceremony. Villagers thronged at the Pataudi palace to watch the padgi ceremony. Saif inherited the title after the demise of his father Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

Saif’s mother Sharmila Tagore, two sisters Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan graced the occasion. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was also present.

His sister Saba Ali Khan, patron of the Auqaf-e-Shahi or the body managing informed that he would be sworn as the Nawab of Pataudi once the 40 days of mourning are over.

Immigration registers 380,000 Haitians, eyes solution to “stateless”

Santo Domingo.- The Immigration Agency director on Wednesday said it collaborated with companies and producers to register 380,000 Haitians who work in all of Dominican Republic.

Jose R. Taveras announced advances in the National Foreigners Stabilization Plan, which he affirmed will solve the status of people who were born and live in the country, but don’t have family ties in their nation of origin, commonly known as “stateless.”

He said the Plan will regularize the situation of hundreds of Haitians and other of nationalities, who reside in the country illegally.

“There’s an entire blackmail industry around the Haitian immigration in the country,” the official said, interviewed by Huchi Lora and Patricia Solano on Telesistema, Channel 11. “I’ll neither tolerate blackmail nor extortion of immigrants by Immigration agents or officials in my tenure, and proof of that is that we charged 17 inspectors and agents who worked in the agency last month, who are being prosecuted for breaking the General Immigration Law.”

Taveras said the agents were charged for shakedowns of illegal Haitian immigrants to let them work in constructions and sell trinkets in the traffic lights. “In an operation with undercover agents, we managed to surprise and file charges against 17 inspectors who went out in the Immigration bus to gather undocumented people and if these paid they were released.”

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The Stanley Hotel may seem familiar, especially if you’re a Stephen King fan. King was staying here when he developed the idea for his book The Shining. Later, the television miniseries based on the book was filmed at the Stanley. Even more interesting than its connection to Hollywood is the Stanley Hotel’s multitude of ghosts. Guests have seen the ghosts of the hotel’s original owner and his wife, along with various other apparitions. Employees and guests have often reported hearing strange noises from unoccupied rooms or seeing the piano in the parlor play by itself.

Australian Stock Market Report

The Australian sharemarket improved for the first time in four days today and has effectively wiped out most of this week's losses. The All Ordinaries index (XAO) gained 1 pct or 42.2 pts to 4333.2 with all sectors bar the healthcare companies ending higher.

Wesfarmers (WES), the owner of Coles supermarkets, Target and Kmart released its latest sales results which were broadly in-line with market expectations in the previous quarter (October to December 2012). Comparable sales at Coles supermarkets rose by 3.7 pct in the second quarter and 4.4 pct in the first half (July to December 2011). Comparable sales do not include the impact of newly opened stores. WES rose 0.64 pct or 19 cents to $29.90.

Media giant, Fairfax Media (FXJ) slumped by 3.68 pct or 3 cents to 78.5 cents today however rose by more than 10 pct yesterday. The gains came after mining billionaire, Gina Rinehart acquired close to 13 pct of the business. This has made her FXJ's largest shareholder. Ms Rinehart is on track to become the world's richest woman.


Microsoft Hits Back at New Google Policies, Claims It Offers Better Privacy

'I'm Not Concerned About the Very Poor:' Mitt Romney's Top 5 Affluent Gaffes
FTTN Closes Acquisition!

Commodity prices ended mostly higher overnight which helped our miners end in the black. BHP Billiton (BHP) jumped 1.92 pct or 71 cents to $37.62 while the smaller RIO Tinto (RIO) gained 2.88 pct or $1.98 to $70.72. BHP seems to have broken through a resistance level but still fails to crack the $38 mark.

There was good and bad news on the economic front today. Firstly, Australia posted a $1.7 billion trade surplus in December which was around $500 million better than expected. There was a 2 pct rise in goods exported and a more modest 1 pct jump in goods imported.

Commsec Economist, Savanth Sebastian said that "Australia is certainly paying its way in the world. The total trade surplus for the 2011 calendar year was just shy of $20 billion - the highest surplus in records going back over 40 years. But the high Aussie dollar also means fewer tourists, more Aussies travelling abroad and therefore a record deficit on our services account. In the space of two years the monthly services account has gone from near balance to a $1.1 billion shortfall."

The bad news was that property developers are remaining hesitant to build a significant number of properties. The number of building approvals granted by councils to developers fell by 1 pct in December, which was significantly lower than expected.

Mr Sebastian said that the "...release of the latest figures on building approvals is certainly disappointing. Not only is the private sector underbuilding but even the public sector has virtually shut up shop. Just 139 public sector approvals were committed to in December - marking the weakest reading in records going back over 28 years. Granted the monthly numbers can be volatile, but even if you look at the trend measure (a more smoothed reading) public sector approvals were still at the lowest levels on record."

In the region yesterday, China released two contradictory economic reports on the state of their manufacturing sector. At 12.30pm (AEDT), the official government report showed that China's manufacturing industry was improving faster than forecast. This resulted in Chinese shares rising strongly over the next hour. Unfortunately, at 1.30pm HSBC released its monthly report on the manufacturing sector and showed that the industry is still contracting. The worse than expected report dragged shares in the world's second largest economy lower. This perhaps raises the question to the accuracy of these reports and the necessity of having two separate organisations issuing figures on the sector.

Today, no major economic data was scheduled for release. Electronics giant, Sony (6758;jp) named Kazuo Hirai as the company's new Chief Executive. Mr Hirai was previously Sony's Vice President and the announcement comes a day ahead of its earnings results which are expected to be weak. All listed companies in Japan (and a number of other Asian countries) have ticker codes (trading symbols) in numbers rather than letters.

In Europe last night, both the U.K and the broader Eurozone released better than expected manufacturing reports which helped lift the major markets in the region significantly higher. Germany's DAX index rose by 2.4 pct, France's CAC40 jumped by 2 pct and the U.K's FTSE rose by 1.92 pct.

European Union regulators however rejected the merger of the Deutsche Boerse and the NYSE Euronext. Regulators have decided that a merger between both organisations would give them too much control over a number of sectors. The Deutsche Boerse (the German stock exchange) would have had 60 pct ownership of the newly merged/combined firm.

In Europe tonight, the latest report on the state of the British construction sector in addition to the Eurozone's PPI for December will be issued. This measures the change in the price of finished goods and services sold by producers. The market is expecting a fall of 0.1 pct in the monthly reading.

In the U.S last night, the latest ADP employment report showed that there were less jobs created in the private sector than expected in January. The market was forecasting an additional 185,000 jobs to have been created whereas only 170,000 were added. The American manufacturing industry expanded but not quite as much as expected.

The price of crude oil also fell last night, which was partly due to a report showing that there are more oil stockpiles in the U.S than forecast.

In the U.S tonight, at around 12.30am (AEDT) we will find out how many Americans filed to receive unemployment benefits for the first time last week. Consensus (market expectations) is for a fall in jobless benefits to 371,000. Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke testifies tonight at 2am (AEDT) on the economic outlook in Washington DC. The testimony usually takes place in two parts. The first section is a prepared statement while the second is a question and answer session which can move markets on occasion (particularly if comments surprise the market).

On the earnings front yesterday, Chrysler, Las Vegas Sands (the casino) and Manpower (the Human Resources firm) released their quarterly results. Tonight, Kellogg, MasterCard and Sara Lee are all scheduled to release their profit results.

The volume of shares traded came in at 1.76 billion today, worth $4.87 billion. 627 shares were up, 389 finished weaker and 365 ended unchanged.

At 4.30pm AEDT on the Sydney Futures Exchange, the ASX24 futures contract is up 0.09 pct or 4 pts to 4243.

Due to daylight savings, most major European markets are now trading between 7pm (AEDT) and 3.30am (AEDT). Futures in Europe are pointing to a slightly stronger start to trade tonight.

Dow Futures are currently higher; indicating that U.S stocks could open a touch stronger tonight. American markets open at 1.30am (AEDT). Due to the Americans going back an hour on November 5 last year, U.S markets will be trading between 1.30am (AEDT) and 8am (AEDT).

Turning to currencies, the Australian dollar (AUD) buys US107.3 cents and €81.4 cents. The AUD is currently trading at £67.7 pence.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


The Whaley House claims to be the most haunted house in the United States. It is located in San Diego and once housed several different businesses and a court house. It was also, at different times, the scene of a hanging and a suicide. The house has been a museum since 1960. Since then, visitors have reported seeing the ghosts of the man who was hanged, the master of the house, and the lady of the house wandering the halls. People travel from far and wide to see this historic building and the mysteries inside.

VW GX3 Concept

VW GX3 Concept

VW GX3 Concept
WOLFSBURG, Germany / LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In a world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volkswagen presents the GX3 - a completely new type of motorcycle. The GX3 was conceived by the Moonraker team and VW's Design Center in California, exclusively with the U.S. in mind, to bring an exciting idea to a fully functioning concept. With its three wheels and unique design, this Volkswagen opens up a new driving dimension.

What if you could carve up the back roads and cruise solo in the carpool lane?

A motorcycle with VW features: Light, fast, and environmentally friendly, the GX3 shows that conceptually it is much closer to a motorcycle than to a classic type automobile. This two-seater Volkswagen is one of a kind - bold, young, and affordable. It opens a new driving dimension, turns even the daily commute to work into a small trip to freedom, allows you to cruise in the carpool lane, even if you're driving solo (the GX3 is a motorcycle, after all!) and with its keen handling it opens up completely new horizons for recreational driving.

What if performance were affordable?

Amazing dynamics for less than $ 17,000: The GX3 will be driven by a VW 1.6 liter engine. The four-cylinder delivers 92 kW / 125 hp. So far, so good. However, the GX3 is a pure driving machine, a motorcycle with two seats positioned side-by-side. And that's why you can find 125 hp and 112.5 ft-lbs (152 Nm) in a mere 1,257 lbs (570 kg) Volkswagen. This results in a power-to- weight ratio of 10 lbs/hp 4.56 kg/PS). In just 5.7 seconds, the GX3 can reach a speed of 62.5 mph (100 km/h) and the possible lateral acceleration reaches 1.25g - values typical of sheer performance cars but delivered from a vehicle under the $17,000 price range. No comparable sports machine in the world, however, can come even close to the low fuel consumption of the GX3: 46 mpg. Fact is: a production counterpart of the GX3, could be on the market very soon. It all depends on the American driver's feedback.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 Concept
Tradition of the exceptional: Conceptually and visually the Volkswagen GX3 differs from anything currently on the roads in the U.S. And that's a tradition at Volkswagen. It was with exceptional and unique products - today all of them legends - that Volkswagen propelled itself to the top in the USA during the 50's and 60's. Whether the Beetle, the Thing (Type 181) or the Microbus, all were the cult cars of their time and still are. In 2006, with the GX3, Volkswagen once again presents something totally unexpected and exceptional, a VW in every sense. VW - Being different.

Moonraker: The GX3 was designed in close collaboration between VW's Design Center California (DCC) and an international, cross-functional group of young engineers, designers, manufacturing and marketing experts, also based in California. The team started its work in the US in early 2005. The job: To convert the wishes, dreams and needs of American drivers into mobility. The goal: highest possible customer satisfaction. Background: In addition to the models developed in Germany and sold in the US, in the future Volkswagen will be building more models catering

especially to the needs and requirements of U.S. customers. One of the most dramatic and tangible early results of Moonraker: the GX3. Responsible for the design of the new Volkswagen is the Volkswagen Design Studio in Santa Monica. The team there will be working in the future in close cooperation with the product strategy staffs in the U.S. The GX3 offers a look into the exciting and comprehensive spectrum of totally new motor vehicles which are currently being conceptualized by Volkswagen of America for the US market.

What if authenticity had a radical edge?

Design dynamics: The focus for Volkswagen's design team in California was to create a quintessential and pure driving machine. Inspired by the minimalist design language often expressed in contemporary GP motorcycles and F1 race cars, the GX3 has a true feeling of authenticity. These influences are seen throughout the exterior with an exposed single sided swing arm, aggressive central exhaust, open front wheels and stealthy matte finishes. The progressive dynamic on the GX3 is emphasized with a strong graphic dividing the body as it wraps up to the aggressive forward leaning roll hoops. Anodized gold and black suspension components and LED lighting are further examples of track inspired designs. The GX3 interior is all about business with nothing to distract from the absolute driving experience. The driver's cockpit is equipped with five point racing harnesses; "moto" style instruments and a GTI inspired stainless shifter. Most distinctly, the rear boasts a massive single 18"x12" back wheel dressed with 315 rubber. The front end proudly displays a bold V graphic consistent with Volkswagen's vehicle lineup, most notably the GTI. The GX3 in no way denies that it is a motorcycle, but rather plays it up as a unique design advantage.

Space-Frame: The basic structure of this driving machine is formed by a high-density, warp-resistant, steel construction space frame. The paneling of the interior and exterior parts of the space frame is made of high density fiberglass. A 2.83 tf3 (80 l) trunk is located behind the seats.

What if driving was redefined?

Advanced chassis: The 215/45 R17x8J front wheels are controlled by a double lateral steering axle. While the front axle resembles the layout of an automobile, the rear axle shows more parallels to a motorcycle. The right side of the vehicle also makes use of a monoswing arm. The engine's power is delivered via 6-speed transmission and chain drive to the rear wheel, which has a tire size of 315/30 R18x12J - a new super bike dimension. And that suits the GX3. A Volkswagen that breaks away from the conventions and that redefines driving fun and freedom of mobility. Drivers wanted. Seriously!


Wind is the natural resource that can be used to generate wind power. These 5MW wind turbines on this wind farm 28 km off the coast of Belgium

In recent years, the depletion of natural resources has become a major focus of governments and organizations such as the United Nations (UN). This is evident in the UN’s Agenda 21 Section Two which outlines the necessary steps to be taken by countries to sustain their natural resources.The depletion of natural resources is considered to be a sustainable development issue.The term sustainable development has many interpretations, most notably the Brundtland Commission’s ‘to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’,however in broad terms it is balancing the needs of the planet’s people and species now and in the future.In regards to natural resources, depletion is of concern for sustainable development as it has the ability to degrade current environmentsand potential to impact the needs of future generations.
Depletion of Natural Resources is associated with social inequity. Considering most biodiversity are located in developing countries, depletion of this resource could result in losses of ecosystem services for these countries.Some view this depletion as a major source of social unrest and conflicts in developing nations.
At present, with it being the year of the forest,there is particular concern for rainforest regions which hold most of the Earth's biodiversity.According to Nelson[12] deforestation and degradation affect 8.5% of the world’s forests with 30% of the Earth’s surface already cropped. If we consider that 80% of people rely on medicines obtained from plants and ¾ of the world’s prescription medicines have ingredients taken from plants,loss of the world’s rainforests could result in a loss of finding more potential life saving medicines.
The depletion of natural resources is caused by ‘direct drivers of change’such as Mining, petroleum extraction, fishing and forestry as well as ‘indirect drivers of change’ such as demography, economy, society, politics and technology.The current practice of Agriculture is another factor causing depletion of natural resources. For example the depletion of nutrients in the soil due to excessive use of nitrogen and desertification[4] The depletion of natural resources is a continuing concern for society. This is seen in the cited quote given by Theodore Roosevelt, a well-known conservationist and former United States president, was opposed to unregulated natural resource extraction.

Brazil Deploys "Junior Firefighters" to Snuff Out Dengue

Racing for Peace in the Rocinha favela, one of the many creative activities organised under the campaign against dengue fever.

The government of the state of Rio de Janeiro is unveiling a battery of creative tactics to engage the population in the battle against dengue fever, which is threatening to reach unprecedented epidemic proportions as a new virus strain hits Brazil.

School is out for the austral summer and the options in Rio's Complexo do Alemão favela (shantytown) are either "hanging out in the street" or gearing up to combat dengue, says Miguel Terto, a 14-year- old aspiring firefighter.

"It gives us something different to do, but it also encourages us to save lives," the teenager told IPS. Terto lives in one of the 20 favelas of the city of Rio de Janeiro - the capital of the state - that underwent a pacification process last year.

Terto is training to be a "junior firefighter" along with some other 200 kids and teenagers "recruited" to combat dengue in his neighbourhood.

Besides getting to wear a uniform - which is part of the appeal for these youngsters - the trainees are taught the basics of dengue prevention.

A total of 2,711 cases of this disease, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, were registered in the first month of the year, according to official data released today.

"Kids see firefighters as heroes who save lives, which is why they identify with our profession so much," said Mauro Domingues, head of community actions in the Rio de Janeiro Fire Department, which participates in disease prevention efforts.

"Which is why we think they can become efficient health multipliers," he told IPS, in reference to the "junior firefighter" initiative that prepares kids to teach their families, neighbours and friends to recognise dengue symptoms and identify mosquito breeding sources.

Although it is an almost invisible enemy, it can be wiped out if everyone gives just 10 minutes of their time a week to implement simple measures, Rio de Janeiro Health Secretary Sérgio Côrtes told IPS.

The "Ten Minutes Against Dengue" Campaign was launched by health authorities as an alert tool for the summer, when alternating rains and heat spells create the ideal climate conditions for Aedes aegypti larvae to breed.

The goal of the campaign is to eliminate any possible breeding sites inside homes, where experts say 80 percent of these sources are concentrated.

"We have to teach people that dengue is no laughing matter, that we need to combat it because it kills," Juliana Sorrilha, another young aspiring firefighter, told IPS.

Sorrilha was selected among 9,000 kids who signed up for the initiative in the pacified favelas.

Dengue spreads through the bite of an infected mosquito that first caught the virus by biting an infected person. The virus has an incubation period of four to 10 days. Early symptoms are high fever, joint and muscle aches, weakness, shortness of breath, strong headaches and eye socket pain, a young firefighter trainer explained.

"My kids are on vacation, they are not doing anything, so I decided to sign them up for the (junior) firefighter classes," Georgeti Pinheiro told IPS.

Four of Pinheiro's relatives, all children, had to be hospitalised in 2011 with dengue.

The mosquito thrives in any exposed stagnant water collected in large containers, tins, jars, discarded tyres, abandoned pools, puddles, saucers placed under potted plants, and many other places where rainwater collects around homes.

"My neighbour caught dengue because there was a lot of still water in his house, and he didn't know that that's where mosquitoes lay their eggs," Terto said.

This year, health authorities in Rio de Janeiro fear that a dengue epidemic will break out in the state and that it will reach unprecedented proportions.

Alberto Chebabo, director of communicable diseases at the Clementino Fraga Filho University Hospital, told IPS that the hospital has admitted a large number of dengue patients.

The infectious disease specialist also said he was concerned with the re-emergence of the DEN-1 virus, which had not been seen in Rio since the 1990s.

Even more alarming, he said, is the appearance of the DENV-4 strain in the country, which has already been detected in the state.

"The combination of a vulnerable population and a high rate of infection of this vector increases the risk of severe epidemics for the coming years," Chebabo warned.

"Because the dengue-4 virus has not spread significantly in Brazil before, the entire population is at risk of being infected by this virus, because nobody has developed antibodies against it," he said.

For this reason, "in cities with a high risk of infection by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, unless proper vector control measures are taken, the virus will spread more easily and a large number of people could be infected within a short period of time," he said.

The government has taken this very seriously and is attacking the issue on different fronts, including raising awareness through cultural and sports activities.

It has even organised a mixed martial arts (MMA) event, bringing on board Brazilian and international champions of MMA, which is a very popular spectator sport in Brazil, with a fast growing fan base.

In one corner of the ring, big names from the international MMA scene, like former U.S. heavyweight champion Ricco Rodríguez, prepare to fight. In the other, two actors dressed up as giant mosquitoes entertain the public with silent-movie-style antics.

"Puny rival? No, my rivals are always big, but the mosquito is the most dangerous of all," Peruvian featherweight champion Yerry Tolentino Jaime says, laughing.

So dangerous, in fact, that in 2011 this mosquito infected some 700,000 people in Brazil, killing almost 500.

"It really is a heavyweight. I've had dengue three times already. But I've been lucky. Some of my neighbours died," João Gomes told IPS.

Gomes, a masseur, was one of thousands of spectators who turned out to watch the MMA fight, held in the municipality of Duque de Caxias, in Rio's metropolitan area.

A few steps from the ring, 700 health practitioners showed the public larvae and adult mosquitoes, in an effort to teach them to identify the rival they are up against.

"I learned a lot. To knock out the mosquito we have to make sure we don't leave any tyres, bottles or tins with water," said Everaldo Alberto, a vendor who arrived early to secure a spot.

The price of the ticket was a used tyre, one of the leading villains responsible for spreading dengue.

"Give us back our tyres!" someone shouted jokingly from the audience, disappointed when one of the Brazilian champions was knocked out.

"One of the best ways to communicate with people is through sports. We've gathered people of all ages here, but especially young people. Our aim is to attract this public more and more, so that they can bring what they learn from the campaign back to their homes. We will only defeat this threat if everyone pitches in to wipe out the mosquito's breeding grounds," Côrtes said.

"We can't let it dodge any punches, we have to block our opponent and not let it get close," is how Brazilian middleweight Gerson Conceição translates the campaign's message into boxing terms.

The Ministry of Health reports that awareness-raising campaigns such as this were instrumental last year in bringing down dengue cases by 24 percent in Brazil, as compared to 2010. A drop of almost 40 percent was registered among the most severe cases, those with the highest mortality.

In late January, the campaign continued outside the ring, with the two giant mosquitoes participating in a "race for peace" and "against dengue" in La Rocinha.

This favela, Rio de Janeiro's largest, was seized by the police in late 2011, as part of the government's plans to clear Rio's shantytowns of drug gangs, and has remained heavily patrolled since then, but has also allowed for a number of these initiatives to be implemented.

The race ends with the insects coming in last, worn out after running five kilometres up the narrow streets that zigzag the hillside La Rocinha is built on.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Chillingham Castle has been used as a monastery, a military stronghold, an army barracks, and a private residence. During the days of William Wallace, it played a crucial role in England’s defense and was the site of untold amounts of unspeakably gruesome torture. It’s said that you can still feel the presence of those who were tortured and killed here, and Chillingham Castle is often referred to as one of the most haunted places in Britain.

Saif Ali Khan is my man for life – Kareena Kapoor

New Delhi, ( After a widely publicised break-up with Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor started dating Saif Ali Khan and she is convinced that he is the man with whom she wants to live the rest of her life.
“One does feel settled in every relationship that one is in, but this time I am with the man I want to live with for the rest of my life,” Kareena told her friend and director Karan Johar on the TV show “Lift Kara De”.
In the episode, to be aired on Sony Saturday, Kareena makes candid confessions about her life and even shows a fun side of herself while making ‘chuski’ (flavoured ice balls) on the show.
Kareena is considered one of the highest paid actress in tinsel town, but she snubbed it saying: “How can I say that when I don’t know what the others are earning? Besides, I would never do a film for the money alone.”
The actress will be seen next in movies like “Milenge Milenge”, “Ra.One” and Hindi remake of Hollywood film “Stepmom”.

Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan continue to behave like a couple

Adding some more fodder to the ongoing talk of a growing relationship between them, chote nawab Saif Ali Khan and gorgeous Kareena Kapoor were seen hugging and complimenting each other on the Saturday night in the VIP lounge of a Chinese restaurant.

After a long discussion, they walked in together hand-in-hand and like most celebrity couples, they seemed to be extremely comfortable with each other, say onlookers.

A guest present at the restaurant says they were behaving like a couple. They were lost in some discussion and were completely oblivious about their surroundings and onlookers.
Once at their table, the duo that was accompanied by friends Dino Morea and Amrita Arora, sat very close to each other.

Saif kept hugging her throughout the evening, and they left together. A restaurant staff informs, Kareena seemed to be distressed and Saif was consoling her. He was often complimenting and hugging her. Their friends also took care to give them the much-needed privacy.

Kareena and Saif, were dressed in casual tees and denims, and were engaged in a conversation with the occasional remark, ‘Yeah, you are right!’ meant for the rest seated with them at the table. Kareena and Saif got along well on the sets of Tashan and ever since they have spending a lot of time with each other.

A source close to Kareena says, Kareena and Saif are extremely fond of each other and are spending a lot of time together. She has also been vocal about Saif’s good nature quite a few times.

Saif and Bebo looks every inch a couple who want to spend as much time with each other as possible and do not care for the presence of others and does not deter from showing affection for each other in public.

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Creosote Health Effects

Health Effects

There is a wide ranging debate on creosote health effects these days, due to many health risks associated with it. In this article we will see what they are...

Creosote is the name used to describe a number of products which include wood creosote, coal tar creosote, etc. It is also used to describe the black oily substance which builds up inside chimney flutes, due to incomplete burning of wood or coal. Creosote is also created commercially by treating beech and other woods to high temperature or also from resin of the creosote bush. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), there are many negative creosote health effects. Let's see what they are.

Creosote Health Hazards
Exposure to creosotes, coal tar, etc. can cause minor to serious health effects.
Eating food or drinking water contaminated with high level of creosote can cause burning in the mouth and throat and also lead to sharp stomach pain and stomach convulsions.
If it comes in contact with the eyes, it can cause burning sensation in the eyes. It can also cause chemical burns of the surface of the eyes.
Creosote health effects can also be caused due to consumption of herbal remedies which contain creosote bush leaves. It often can cause damage to the liver or to the kidney.
Brief contact with creosote can cause severe irritation of the skin and result in skin rashes.
Some people have also suffered from convulsions and mental confusion after they have come in contact with creosote.
Longer exposure increases creosote health risks and can cause irritation of the respiratory tract.
Kidney and liver problems have also been reported as a side effect of creosote exposure.
If a person is exposed to creosote for an extended period of time, the vapors can cause increased sensitivity to sunlight and damage to the cornea.
Some reports also indicate skin cancer and cancer of the scrotum from long exposure to low levels of creosote.
What Can Cause Creosote Exposure?
There are a number of ways a person can be exposed to creosote without really noticing that the person is indeed exposed to it.
Using skin products to treat eczema or psoriasis, which contain creosote is one of the common ways of exposure.
Consumption of dietary herbal supplements, herbal remedies made from leaves of the creosote bush is another method in which the person can be exposed to creosote.
If a person works in wood preservative, coke producing, or asphalt industries, there are chances of the person being exposed to creosote.
Exposure to creosote treated wood for building fences, bridges, railroad tracks, etc. can also result in a person coming in contact with creosote.
Living in wood houses, which are treated, can also lead to creosote contact either to the skin or through air.
A person may consume water contaminated with creosote hazardous waste, which can expose him to creosote.
To reduce the negative creosote health effects, you will have to undertake some steps. If you reside in an area where there is a wood preservation facility or gas manufacturing plant in the vicinity, then it is recommended you use long sleeved shirts and long pants, even when you are working in the garden. Ensure that children do not come in contact with creosote treated wood when they are playing near railroad tracks, in and around ditches which are closer to utility poles, old barns, etc. Avoid the usage of herbal remedies or medications which contain creosote bush. It is better to seek alternative medicines. In case a person is exposed to creosote at the workplace, then it is recommended that the person take a shower before heading home, so that the chemical is not transmitted back home through clothes, tools or other objects from the workplace. For any complication, do not waste time and visit your health care professional immediately.

Walnuts top list for antioxidant value

Walnuts ranked best for having more antioxidants -- polyphenols -- and a higher antioxidant potency in an analysis of nuts, U.S. researchers found.

Joe Vinson, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton, evaluated nine types of raw and roasted nuts and two types of peanut butter to assess the total amount of polyphenols found in each.

The study, published in the journal Food and Function, found walnuts had the highest levels of antioxidants and that the quality, or potency, of antioxidants present in walnuts was highest of the nuts analyzed.

"Walnuts rank above Brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, almonds, macadamias, cashews and hazelnuts," Vinson said in a statement.

The study found total polyphenols were considerably lower in peanut butter than in roasted peanuts, Vinson said.

"Nuts are high in fiber, low in saturated fats, high in beneficial unsaturated fats and very high in antioxidants," Vinson said. "Nuts are a nutritious snack and food additive providing both nutrients and bioactive antioxidants which provide significant health benefits to the consumer."

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Potreillos line in Chile Amazing Railway

The Potreillos line in Chile Amazing Railway

The Potreillos line in Chile Amazing Railway

The Potreillos line in Chile Amazing Railway

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