Saturday, 30 July 2016

Traditional foods to fight "cough & cold"!


Kadha is a classic herbal drink used by our grandparents during monsoon and winters. This drink is helpful to prevent cold and cough and is made from the spices and herbs that you can find in your kitchen such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper, fennel seeds, tulsi, ginger, etc. A glass of warm kadha will definitely give good results for cold and body aches.

Turmeric milk
Remember those childhood days when our mothers tried to make us a drink a cup of turmeric milk aka haldi doodh when we were down with cold or had got bruised or cut somewhere on the body. Turmeric milk has been used since ages as home remedy for cold and cough. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, honey, and pepper work wonders on a sore throat and help you sleep well too.

Chicken soup

For foodies who love to have a tasty home remedy, chicken soup is the best comfort and healing food during the rainy season. A cup of Chinese hot and sour chicken soup or a traditional country chicken soup made with ground spices such as cumin seeds, pepper corns, garlic, ginger, and coriander is sure to alleviate the symptoms of cold and makes you feel better instantly.

Herbal chutneys/Rasam
Herbs and greens are God’s gifts to us. Each herb/greens used in Indian cuisine has a specific health benefit. You can make a variety of chutneys and rasam from ajwain leaves, thai nightshade, betel leaves, tulsi, coriander seeds, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, and even horse gram. All these herbs and pulses are known for their effect against common cold and are regular ingredients used in the daily cooking of many Indian homes. Just a take a sip of piping hot rasam and feel your nasal passages and sinuses getting cleared.

Pepper and honey mix
Powdered black pepper mixed with honey is a simple and effective option to cure monsoon ailments. Take a pinch of finely powdered pepper and mix it with a teaspoon of honey. Consuming this daily morning will keep cold and other phlegm related ailments at bay. You can also add julienned ginger to this for better results.

Palm sugar candy milk
Palm candy is a natural sweetener and is an ideal option for diabetic patients. This is an often used home remedy to treat cold and cough in children as it tastes so good unlike a medicine. Usually it is paired with turmeric and crushed pepper to give a soothing effect to throat. You can also add powdered spices and nuts to make it as masala milk.

Dry ginger & coriander seeds coffee
Prepared with powdered dry ginger and coriander seeds, this medicinal decoction helps in reducing cold and flu. Basil leaves may also be added for additional health benefits. Palm jaggery is used as sweetener for this coffee. Add some milk for taste.

For those of you wondering isn’t there any solid food that doesn’t taste like medicine but prevents cough and cold, try the Punjabi special Panjiri. Made from whole wheat flour (atta), ghee and sugar, panjiri is a traditional Punjabi dry sweet that has become quite popular in other cities too. You can also add dried coriander and dried fruits and nuts to make this sweet healthier. Edible gum (gond) is also added in panjiri during winters for bringing warmth to the body. This delicious sweet is nutritious and helps boost immunity.

Pokemon Craze Sees Nintendo Value Double!

Nintendo's value has more than doubled since the launch of its Pokemon GO mobile game two weeks ago, as the latest surge in shares saw it overtake rival Sony.
The Japanese company closed another 14% higher in Tuesday trading, taking its market value to 4.5tn yen (£32bn), above PlayStation maker Sony's 4.09tn (£29bn) yen - making it the country's largest tech company.
Investors' appetite for the shares has shown no signs of abating with Nintendo accounting for roughly a quarter of all trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main index in the latest session.
The shares surge in Tokyo even spread to a bakery firm, First Baking, that sells "Pokemon Bread". It was up 18% on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, McDonald's Japan climbed 5% after it started giving away Pokemon figurines with Happy Meals.
The market craze mirrors the take-off of the Pokemon GO phenomenon worldwide, with the app topping smartphone download charts - while there have also been warnings about its potential dangers .
Now available in 35 countries - mainly in Europe but also including the US and Canada - Pokemon GO's launch has triggered massive buying in Nintendo's shares.
In the game, players walk around real-life neighbourhoods to find virtual cartoon or Pokemon characters on their smartphone screens.
Nintendo had previously seemed reluctant to make a major push into mobile gaming, and more focused on protecting the market for its Wii and DS products.
The success of Pokemon GO could see it capitalise in a similar way on a line-up of its popular characters ranging from Super Mario to Zelda.

Friday, 29 July 2016

10 things you should know about Mr World - Rohit Khandelwal!

It is a proud moment for India and a big reason to celebrate for Rohit Khandelwal, as he won the much coveted title of Mr World 2016 in the recently concluded ceremony in Southport. This is the first time an Indian (or even an Asian) has won this title, making the win even bigger for the man. Here are 10 things you should know about the man of the moment!

1. The winner: Rohit is the first Indian and Asian to win this title. He received a cash prize of $50,000. The first runner up is Mr Puerto Rico and the second runner up is Mr Mexico.
2. The competition: Rohit beat the most stunningly handsome hunks from 46 countries to win this title.
3. Fitness freak: For the competition, Rohit underwent rigorous physical training to get the perfectly sculpted body and went through numerous grooming sessions.
4. The beginning: Rohit won the title of Mr India in 2015 at the Provogue Personal Care Mr India 2015 competition.
5. Best Dressed Man: Rohit was named the Best Dressed Man by the magazine GQ in 2015.
6. The royal roots: Rohit hails from Hyderabad but his family roots are in Rajasthan. It is no wonder now where he gets his looks from!
7. Transformation over 3 years: Rohit moved to the city of dreams Mumbai 3 years ago and has not looked back since then.
8. Making India drool over him: He has walked the ramp for many designers and conquered the country with his photoshoots since then.
9. The acting bug: Rohit has done quite a few commercials and was also seen in an episode of MTv’s Big F.
10. Love for dogs: Rohit loves dogs and his photoblogging page is full of pictures of him with different breeds of dogs. More reason to drool over him?

Thursday, 28 July 2016

8 habits you must drop before turning 30!


Certainly, there is no specific age to quit smoking. You should never adopt this habit. However, if you still smoke when you meet a friend or have few beers, you must drop this habit completely. Studies have shown that quitting at around age 30 reduces the chance of dying from smoking-related diseases by more than 90%.  And if you are a foodie, you will be happy to know - food tastes better and your sense of smell returns to normal after quit smoking.

Seeking approvals:

Approval is like a slow poison and it makes you ended of being addictive and lowers your confidence. Of course, friends’ and well-wishers’ opinion are important, so is yours. 

Not saving money:

Like they say - learning a few simple truths today will pay off tomorrow. In your 20s you get a liberty of spending your own money. The joy of spending your first time earned is an incredible experience. However, at the same time, it’s very important to make yourself financially stable and set career based financial goals to enjoy a better future.

Afraid to ask for a raise:

It’s not unfair to approach for what you deserve considering your abilities and skills. Rejection is heartbreaking, but that should not stop you from not working towards it, after all, we all need to work hard to prove our worth.

Buying cheap clothes:

It is time to get your wardrobe filled with some sensible clothes. That does not mean you go for designer wears only.  Figure out what looks good on you and invest in some higher quality fit and fabric and that lasts longer. Like they say – your dressing sense is a part of your personality. You feel good when you look good.

Not spending time with dear ones:

We all are caught up in a never-ending rat race and barely manage to make a call to our dear once. Surround yourself with the people who matter. Create time for your family and friends, join get-togethers, if you don’t live together at least say hello, always keep in touch, always learn something new and celebrate family traditions together.

Drinking a lot of Soda or Caffeine:

This is so obvious. There is no need of an explanation. This is not the unknown soda can harm you in several ways – right from its artificial stimulant to massive calories it has in it.

Not pursuing your passion:

Technically, there is no age to follow or join something you love. You must always follow your heart. So, move toward your goal step by step. Try doing several things to discover you. Don’t be afraid to fail. Like they say - Rome wasn’t built in a day. So you are not an exception.

8 sweet delicacies that Bengali's must be thanked for!

Mishti Doi
You will not find any Bengali sweet list without the quintessential Mishti Doi. This famous dessert is made with condensed milk, yogurt and caramelized sugar. The sweet blend of milk, yogurt and sugar is fermented overnight and it just melts in your mouth and tastes like heaven. This elegant dessert is often made during festivals and special occasions. Hard to find Mishti Doi it in your city? Try checking some good dairies (like Mother Dairy) in your city and you may just be lucky to get your hands on a cup of this heavenly mishti.


Made from fresh paneer and jaggery, sondesh/sandesh is one of Bengal’s all-time favourite sweet. The basic sondesh has been enhanced to suit different palates and has a lot of varieties such as gurer sondesh, norom paker sondesh, Kora paker sondesh and many, many more. Whatever the name be, this is one sweet that provides a unique experience with its gooey texture that just melts in the mouth and out of the world taste.

Chom chom

This traditional mishti is made from fresh paneer, kesar, grated coconut and sugar syrup. These juicy delights come in different colours and have a rich texture. Stuffed with dry fruits, chilled malai chom chom are an absolute treat to your senses. Though the preparation of this sweet is a lengthy process, the bliss you feel with each bite of malai Chom Chom makes the effort worth it.

Pitha are usually rice flour crepes with a variety of fillings including coconut and jaggery. They can be pan-fried, steamed or boiled. It is a tradition in West Bengal to make these sweets during winter harvest. Pathishapta, the most popular type of pitha is made using rice flour, semolina and all-purpose flour with a tasty milk-custard cream, coconut, and jaggery filling. The soft crepe and the sweet filling inside make it one of the tastiest Bengali sweets.

Labanga Latika
This sweet showcases the art of Bengali cooking as it requires both patience and precision to cook and present this wonderful sweet. The perfect blend of khoya, all-purpose flour, cardamom, grated coconut, ghee, sugar and nuts make it a tasty traditional treat. The way this sweet is folded and sealed with a clove is indeed an art.

Sarbhaja or shor bhaja is a deep fried traditional Bengali sweet that is not easily available nowadays. You will find only few shops in Kolkatta that makes this sweet regularly. Made from condensed milk and deep fried, this sweet has a unique flavour and is an example of Bengali cuisine’s innovativeness.

Channar Payesh
This authentic Bengali dessert is a type of kheer made with paneer. This thick, creamy pudding can be made in cardamom or saffron flavour. This lip smacking dessert is best served chilled with a topping of grated nuts.


No list of Bengali sweets will be complete without a mention of our favourite rasogalla, commonly known as rasgulla. These sweet spongy, round mishtis, dipped in sugar syrup are the hall mark of Bengali cuisine. Even a person without sweet tooth can’t say no to these soft delicacies. The phrase “no one can eat just one” is so apt for these delicate rasogollas.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Why charging phones overnight is a bad idea!

To know the answer to that question, we need to know a little more about the personalities of a Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer battery. These are the same exact types of batteries commonly found in your mobile phones.

How to make the batteries last longer per charge? How to prolong their lifespan? How to prevent having batteries explode in my face? These are important questions to us.
While the internet is a convenient tool, there are simply too many misconceptions about your smartphone batteries floating around on the internet. No thanks to the fact that Lithium Ion/Polymer batteries behave very differently from their predecessors, the Nickel metal hydride batteries that have graced the phones of yesterday years. If you have a Nokia 3310, the battery inside is a Nickel metal hydride (NiMH).
Because many people don’t really know the differences between the older battery types, they ended up giving battery advice that really harm your Lithium Ion (Li-ion)/Polymer(LiPo) batteries (I shall collectively refer to these as ‘Li’).
Bad advice are plentiful. Charge your phone for 6 hours before using? Only charge your battery when it is close to empty? These are just some of the advice that were perfect for NiMH batteries but will cause your Li batteries to suffer a slow, horrible death.
Back to the topic at hand. Should you charge your phone overnight? To answer that, let’s look at the summary of Li battery characteristics:
  • Li batteries are afraid of heat. The higher the temperature, the faster it loses capacity over time.
  • Li batteries are afraid of being empty. The emptier it is, the faster it loses capacity over time.
  • Li batteries are afraid of being full. The fuller it is, the faster it loses capacity over time.
  • Li batteries are afraid of being overcharged (charged more than full) or short circuited. If it gets charged too much, it gets bloated due to chemical reactions in the cell.
  • Li batteries are afraid of being over-discharged (use more energy than the battery is willing to give). If it gets discharged too much, it gets bloated due to chemical reactions in the cell.
  • Li batteries are afraid of being ruptured. If the internals are exposed to air, it catches fire and burn.
  • Li batteries keep the scores well. If you charge from 50% to 100% twice, that is considered one charge cycle, not 2.
Expecting more? Nope, that’s all you need to know.
So overnight charging. Is it good or bad?
Let’s talk about safety first. Overnight charging is generally safe as long as your battery, charger and mobile phone are all from reputable manufacturers. Badly manufactured chargers and mobile phones may have overcharge protection circuit that fails, cause your battery to get over charged. When you battery gets overcharged, the internal cell undergoes a chemical reaction, and the battery start to bloat.
If the bloat is too much, the battery ruptures, causing the internals to be exposed to air, resulting in fire and explosion.
While this is still O.K. if you are around and can swiftly put out the fire or prevent the fire from spreading, leaving your smart phone to charge unattended isn’t safe. Your whole house would have burnt to the ground while you sleep.
If you are using batteries, chargers and mobile phones from reputable brand, maybe you can risk it by charging your devices unattended. But know that accidents have happened before. If you are using third party batteries (e.g. iPhone with battery replaced by OEM versions), cheap china chargers or phones, please, never, never risk it.
Does overnight charging harm your smartphone battery? Actually yes. As mentioned above, keeping the battery at full or close to full charge state actually makes your battery lose capacity faster. Imagine having a 100% charge state for 1/3 of a day, every single day. That wears out your battery much faster. There may be increased battery wear due to the charger constantly topping up your phone to maintain 100% charge. On the other hand, be consoled that chargers, if functioning properly, will automatically step down and stop the charging once your phone battery reaches 100%. This means that no excessive heat that is harmful to your battery is produced.
In conclusion, charging of Li batteries always come with a small risk of fire. However, such risks can be mitigated if you only use batteries, chargers and phones from reputable manufacturers. At the same time, leaving the phone or in fact, any other such gadgets to charge unattended is a bad idea because you may not have time to contain the fire if indeed an accident did happen. Overnight charging also harms your battery, decreasing its lifespan and resulting in an earlier need for battery replacement.
Sharing is caring. Let your friends know this important bit of information.
The same information discussed here applies to all other gadgets that uses the same battery type. Heard stories of hoverboard exploding? That is because the structure of the hoverboard cracked, resulting in rupture of battery and hence explosion. Mobile phones exploding while in pocket? Due to short circuit, bloated battery, rupture, explosion.
Everything that happens are related to the few bullet points highlighted above.
You can also use the information above to prolong the lifespan of your battery, to ensure the longevity of your gadgets. Keep your battery charge close to the halfway mark as frequently as possible. If you are storing your gadget because you will not be using it for the next few months, charge to about 60-70% charge before storing them to ensure that the battery don’t die. Don’t place your gadgets or batteries in warm or hot areas. The list goes on.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

10 Things That Will Soon Disappear Forever!

Ten years ago, thousands of Blockbuster Video stores occupied buildings like this all over the country, renting DVDs and selling popcorn. Today, all but a handful are closed. The company’s shares once traded for nearly $30. Now Blockbuster is gone, scooped up (and then erased) by the DISH Network in a bankruptcy auction.
Obsolescence isn’t always so quick or so complete, but emerging technologies and changing practices are sounding the death knell for other familiar items.
Keys: Keys, at least in the sense of a piece of brass cut to a specific shape, are going away. At the office, most of us already use a card with a chip embedded to get access. But for getting into your house (and your car), the technology that will kill off the key is your smart phone. Connecting either via Bluetooth or the Internet, your mobile device will be programmed to lock and unlock doors at home, at the office and elsewhere. The secure software can be used on any mobile device. So if your phone runs out of juice, you’ll be able to borrow someone else’s device and log in with a fingerprint or facial scan. Phone stolen? Simply log in and change the digital keys. Kwikset, a brand of Spectrum Brands (SPB), offers the Kevo, and lock veterans Yale have partnered with Nest, now owned by Alphabet (GOOGL), to create the Yale Linus.
For the car, a variety of "connected car" services such as Audi Connect and GM's OnStar already let you unlock and lock the car remotely and even start it with a phone app — but you still need your keyfob to drive off. Next up: Ditching the keyfob entirely. Volvo says it plans to implement this in 2017.
Blackouts: Frustrating power outages that leave people with fridges full of ruined food are on their way out as our electrical grid becomes increasingly intelligent – and resilient.
Two factors are at work: slow, incremental “smart grid” improvements to the system that delivers electricity, and the rapidly expanding use of solar energy in homes and business.
The breakthrough product here is the home battery. Developed by electric-car maker Tesla (TSLA) and others, by 2020, batteries will be cheap enough to store surplus solar power during the day and discharge it overnight, helping to better balance electricity supply and demand – and run a home for up to days during a blackout. LED lighting and more efficient appliances are helping, too, by reducing load on the system, whether the grid is or a backup system is running.
Utilities are also deploying huge banks of batteries, from suppliers like AES (AES), in storm-prone areas to make sure the power stays on for everyone.
Fast-Food Workers: Burger-flippers have targets on their backs as fast-food executives are eager to replace them with machines, particularly as minimum wages in a variety of states are set to rise to $15.
Diners will notice reduced staffing up front as outlets such as Panera (PNRA) turn to touch-screen kiosks for order placing. Behind the scenes in the kitchen, industry giants like Middleby Corp. (MIDD) and boutique startups like San Francisco's Momentum Machines are all hard at work for devices that will take on tasks like loading and unloading dishwashers, flipping burgers, and cooking french fries.
Humans won't be totally out of the picture — the machines will require supervision and maintenance, and dissatisfied customers will need appeasing. But jobs will plummet.
The Clutch Pedal: Every year it seems that an additional car model loses the manual transmission option. Even the Ford F-150 pickup truck can’t be purchased with a stick anymore.
The decline of the manual transmission (in the U.S.) has been decades in the making, but two factors are, ahem, accelerating its demise:
Number one: Automatics, developed by firms such as Borg-Warner (BWA), ZF Friedrichshafen and Aisin, are getting more efficient, with up to nine gear ratios, allowing engines to run at the lowest, most economical speeds. Many Mazdas and some BMWs, among others, now score better fuel mileage with an automatic than with a stick.
Number two: Among high-performance cars, such as Porsches, “automated” manual shifts are taking hold. They use electronics to control the clutch instead of your left foot. You can select the gears with paddles, or just let the computer take care of that, too. The result: Shifting is faster than even for the most talented clutch-and-stick jockey, improving the cars' acceleration numbers. Plus, the costs on these are coming down, and they can now be found in less-expensive sporty cars, such as the Golf GTI.
Even the biggest of highway trucks are abandoning the clutch and stick for automatics, for fuel-efficiency gains and to attract drivers who won’t need to learn how to grind their way through 18-plus gears.
Some price-leader economy models, such as the Nissan Versa and Ford Fiesta, will list manuals on their cheapest configurations (though few will actually sell), and a segment of enthusiast cars, such as the Ford Mustang and Mazda Miata MX-5, will continue to offer the traditional three-pedal arrangement for some years to come. “It will be reserved for the ‘driver’s vehicle,’” says Ivan Drury, an analyst for But finding one will be a challenge — those holdout drivers had better be prepared to special-order their clutch cars.
College Textbooks: By the end of this decade, digital formats for tablets and e-readers will displace physical books for assigned reading on college campuses, The Kiplinger Letter is forecasting. K–12 schools won’t be far behind, though they’ll mostly stick with larger computers as their platform of choice.
Digital texts figure to yield more bang for the buck than today’s textbooks. Interactive software will test younger pupils’ mastery of basic skills such as arithmetic and create customized lesson plans based on their responses. Older students will be able to take digital notes and even simulate chemistry experiments when bricks-and-mortar labs aren’t handy.
This is a mixed bag for publishers. They’ll sell more digital licenses of semester- or yearlong usage of electronic textbooks as their customers can’t turn to the used-book marketplace anymore. On the other hand, schools are seeking free online, open-source databases of information and collaborating with other institutions and districts to develop their own content on digital models, cutting out traditional educational publishers such as Pearson (PLO), McGraw-Hill and Scholastic (SCHL).
Dial-Up Internet: If you want to hear the once-familiar beeps and whirs of a computer going online through a modem, you will soon need to do that either in a museum or in some very, very remote location.
According to a study from the Pew Foundation, only 3% of U.S. households went online via a dial-up connection in 2013. Thirteen years before that, only 3% had broadband (Today, 70% have home broadband). Massive federal spending on broadband initiatives, passed during the last recession to encourage economic recovery, has helped considerably.
Some providers will continue to offer dial-up as an afterthought for those who can’t or don’t want to connect via cable or another broadband means. But a number of the bigger internet service providers, such as Verizon Online, have quit signing up new dial-up subscribers altogether.
The Plow: Few things are as symbolic of farming as the moldboard plow, but the truth is, the practice of “turning the soil” is dying off.
Modern farmers have little use for it. It provides a deep tillage that turns up too much soil, encouraging erosion because the plow leaves no plant material on the surface to stop wind and rain water from carrying the soil away. It also requires a huge amount of diesel fuel to plow, compared with other tillage methods, cutting into farmers' profits. The final straw: It releases more carbon dioxide into the air than other tillage methods.
Deep plowing is winding down its days on small, poor farms that can't afford new machinery. Most U.S. cropland is now managed as "no-till" or minimum-till, relying on herbicides and implements such as seed drills that work the ground with very little disturbance. Even organic farmers have found ways to minimize tillage, using cover crops rather than herbicides to cut down on weeds. Firms like John Deere (DE) offer a range of sophisticated devices for these techniques.
Your Neighbor Mail Collection Box: The amount of mail people are sending is plummeting, down 57% from 2004 to 2015 for stamped first-class pieces. So, around the country, the U.S. Postal Service has been cutting back on those iconic blue collection boxes. The number has fallen by more than half since the mid 1980s. Since it costs time and fuel for mail carriers to stop by each one, the USPS monitors usage and pulls out boxes that don't see enough traffic.
Some boxes will find new homes in places with greater foot traffic, such as shopping centers, public transit stops and grocery stores. But on a quiet corner at the end of your street? Better dump all your holiday cards and summer-camp mail in them, or prepare to say goodbye.
Your Privacy: If you are online, you had better assume that you already have no privacy and act accordingly. Every mouse click and keystroke is tracked, logged and potentially analyzed and eventually used by Web site product managers, marketers, hackers and others. To use most services, users have to opt-in to lengthy terms and conditions that allow their data to be crunched by all sorts of actors.
The list of tracking devices is set to boom, as sensors are added to appliances, lights, locks, HVAC systems and even trash cans. Other innovations: Using Wi-Fi signals, for instance, to track movements, from where you're driving or walking down to your heartbeat. Retailers will use the technology to track in minute detail how folks walk around a store and reach for products. Also, facial-recognition software that can change display advertising to personalize it to you (time for a mask?). Transcription software will be so good that many businesses will soon collect mountains of phone-conversation data to mine and analyze.
And think of this: Most of us already carry around an always-on tracking device for which we usually pay good money — a smart phone. Your phone is loaded up with sensors and GPS data. Is it linked to a FitBit perhaps? Now it has your health data.
One reason not to fret: Encryption methods are getting better at walling off at least some aspects of our digital lives. But living the reclusive life of J.D. Salinger might soon become real fiction.
The Incandescent Light Bulb: No, government energy cops are not coming for your bulbs. But the traditional incandescent lightbulb that traces its roots back to Thomas Edison is definitely on its way out. As of January 1, 2014, the manufacture and importation of 40- to 100-watt incandescent bulbs became illegal in the U.S., part of a much broader effort to get Americans to use less electricity.
Stores can still sell whatever inventory they have left, but once the hoarders have had their run, that’s it. And with incandescent bulbs burning for only about 1,000 hours each, eventually they’ll flicker out.
The lighting industry has moved forward with compact fluorescents, halogen bulbs, and most recently and successfully, bulbs that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and General Electric (GE) and Sylvania have found themselves sharing shelf space with newer firms like Cree (CREE) and Feit.
Soon, the only places you'll still see the telltale glow of a tungsten filament in a glass vacuum will be in three-way bulbs (such as the 50/100/150 watt), heavy-duty and appliance bulbs, and some decorative bulbs.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Thai sex industry under fire from tourism minister, police!

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's infamous sex industry is under fire, with the tourism minister pushing to rid the country of its ubiquitous brothels and a spate of police raids in recent weeks on some of the largest establishments providing sex services in Bangkok.
Those who work in the industry say curbs on commercial sex services would hurt a flagging economy that has struggled to recover after political turmoil took the country to the brink of recession in 2014.
Thailand is predominantly Buddhist and deeply conservative, but is home to an extensive sex industry, largely catering to Thai men. Hordes of tourists also flock to the bright lights of go-go bars and massage parlours in Bangkok and main tourist towns.
Thailand's beaches and temples have been the poster child for Asian tourism for decades and the country expects a record number of arrivals in 2016.
Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul played down the role of the sex industry in drawing visitors.
    "Tourists don't come to Thailand for such a thing. They come here for our beautiful culture," Kobkarn told Reuters.
    "We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone," she said.
Prostitution is illegal in Thailand but the law is almost invariably ignored. Experts say it will be hard to rid Thailand of an industry that is so entrenched and that provides pay-offs to untold numbers of officials and policemen.
Those trying to promote the welfare of sex workers say Kobkarn's goal is unrealistic.
Her push comes amid an attempt by the country's tourism authorities to transform Thailand into a luxury destination to attract moneyed tourists.
The military government is in denial about the proliferation of prostitution and its contribution to the economy and tourism, said Panomporn Utaisri, country director of NightLight, a Christian non-profit group that helps women in the sex trade to find alternative work.
"There's no denying this industry generates a lot of income," said Panomporn.
There are no government estimates of the value of Thailand's sex industry, or how much of the income from tourism comes from sex tourists.
    There are about 123,530 sex workers in Thailand, according to a 2014 UNAIDS report, compared with 37,000 sex workers in neighbouring Cambodia.
    Last month, police raided dozens of brothels in major cities in what they said was a routine operation.
Police said they were looking to prosecute venues employing underage and illegal migrant workers, but only one of the venues raided was shut down.
There was no link between the tourism minister's aim to rid Thailand of its sex tourism industry and the raids, a police spokesman said.
The tourism sector accounts for about 10 percent of gross domestic product and sex worker groups said the minister's vision of a prostitution-free Thailand would dent that.
"The police presence already drives off a number of clients who come to relax or drink at bars," said Surang Janyam, director of Service Workers in Group (SWING), which provides sex workers with free medical care and vocational training.
"Wiping out this industry is guaranteed to make Thailand lose visitors and income."
    Many sex workers come from the impoverished northeast and see selling their bodies as a way out of poverty.
    One former sex worker from the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham, who declined to be identified, told Reuters she entered Bangkok's sex trade at the age of 19 and earned up to 5,000 baht ($143.14) a night, nearly 20 times the minimum wage of 300 baht ($8.59) per day.
    "No one wants to work in this business, but it's fast and easy money," she said.
    NightLight and SWING said they would welcome the sex industry's closure if the government had a plan to ensure that sex workers could support themselves without falling back into the business.
"If they want to close the sex industry, they must first have jobs ready to support sex workers," said Surang.
($1 = 34.93 baht)

Friday, 22 July 2016

According to a study, 90% of heart strokes can be prevented!

Washington D.C, Jul 16 (ANI): Just when you thought strokes can strike anyone at any time, a team of researchers report that 90 percent of them are preventable.
High blood pressure remains the single most important modifiable risk factor for stroke and the impact of hypertension and nine other risk factors together account for 90 percent of all strokes, according to an analysis of nearly 27000 people from every continent in the world (INTERSTROKE).
Although the same ten risk factors were important and together accounted for 90 percent of stroke risk in all regions, the relative role of some individual risk factors varied by region, which the authors say should influence the development of strategies for reducing stroke risk.
The study led by Dr Martin O'Donnell and Prof Salim Yusuf of the McMaster University, along with collaborators from 32 countries, builds on preliminary findings from the first phase of the INTERSTROKE study, which identified ten modifiable risk factors for stroke in 6000 participants from 22 countries.
O'Donnell noted, "This study is of an adequate size and scope to explore stroke risk factors in all major regions of the world, within key populations and within stroke subtypes. The wider reach confirms the ten modifiable risk factors associated with 90 percent of stroke cases in all regions, young and older and in men and women. The study confirms that hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor in all regions, and the key target in reducing the burden of stroke globally."
To estimate the proportion of strokes caused by specific risk factors, the investigators calculated the population attributable risk for each factor. The PAR, which is an estimate of the overall disease burden that could be reduced if an individual risk factor were eliminated, was 47.9 percent for hypertension, 35.8 percent for physical inactivity, 23.2 percent for poor diet, 18.6 percent for obesity, 12.4 percent for smoking, 9.1 percent for cardiac (heart) causes, 3.9 percent for diabetes, 5.8 percent for alcohol intake, 5.8 percent for stress, and 26.8 percent for lipids.
Many of these risk factors are known to also be associated with each other (e.g. obesity and diabetes), and when combined together, the total PAR for all ten risk factors was 90.7 percent, which was similar in all regions, age groups and in men and women.
Interestingly, the importance of some risk factors appeared to vary by region. For example, the PAR for hypertension ranged from 38.8 percent in western Europe, North America and Australia to 59.6 percent in Southeast Asia, the PAR for alcohol intake was lowest in western Europe, North America, Australia and highest in Africa (10.4 percent) and south Asia (10.7 percent), while the PAR for physical inactivity was highest in China.
Atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm) was significantly associated with ischaemic stroke (PAR ranging from 3.1 percent in south Asia to 17.1 percent in western Europe, North America, and Australia), as was a high apolipoprotein [ApoB]/A1 ratio (PAR ranging from 24.8 percent in western Europe, North America, and Australia to 67.6 percent in southeast Asia).
Yusuf added, "Our findings will inform the development of global population-level interventions to reduce stroke, and how such programmes may be tailored to individual regions, as we did observe some regional differences in the importance of some risk factors by region. This includes better health education, more affordable healthy food, avoidance of tobacco and more affordable medication for hypertension and dyslipidaemia."
Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Valery L Feigin and Dr Rita Krishnamurthi from the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences said: "Three key messages can be drawn from this study. First, stroke is a highly preventable disease globally, irrespective of age and sex. Second, the relative importance of modifiable risk factors and their PAR necessitates the development of regional or ethnic-specific primary prevention programmes, including priority settings such as focusing on risk factors contributing most to the risk of stroke in a particular region (as determined by PAR). Third, additional research on stroke risk factors is needed for countries and ethnic groups not included in INTERSTROKE, as well as definitive cost-effectiveness research on primary stroke prevention in key populations (eg, different age, sex, ethnicity, or region)."
They added, "It should also be emphasised that stroke prevention programmes must be integrated with prevention of other major non-communicable diseases that share common risk factors with stroke to be cost-effective. We have heard the calls for actions about primary prevention. Now is the time for governments, health organisations, and individuals to proactively reduce the global burden of stroke. Governments of all countries should develop and implement an emergency action plan for the primary prevention of stroke."