Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Health: Zap Sponges to Kill Germs in Just 2 Minutes
Two minutes in a microwave oven can sterilise most household sponges, United States researchers reported on Monday.
A team of engineering researchers at the University of Florida found that two minutes of microwavign on full power killed or inactivated more than 99 per cent of bacteria, viruses or parasites, as well as spores, on a kitchen sponge.
"People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave," said Gabriel Bitton, a professor of environmental engineering who led the study.
Writing in the Journal of Environmental Health, Bitton and colleagues said they soaked sponges and scrubbing pads in raw wastewater containing faecal bacteria such as E. coli, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores.
Then they used a common household microwave oven to heat up the sponges. It took four to 10 minutes to kill all the spores but everything else was killed after two, they said.
"The microwave is a very powerful and an inexpensive tool for sterilisation," Bitton said.
However, the sponge must be wet before it is microwaved, to prevent a fire from starting.
At least 76 million Americans get sick from food-borne microbes every year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 5,000 people die from them.
Kitchens are a common source of these illnesses.
Adapted from Mind Your Body. The Straits Times. 31 Jan 2007
Technorati tags:health, sponges, kitchen
posted by sc @
Friday, January 26, 2007
Joke: Advertisement Rules!
Read this before viewing the pictures below:
1. BMW started it with this advertisement.
2. Audi answered.
3. Subaru needed to say something.
4. Bentley chairman wanted the last word!
Technorati tags:humor, joke, advertisement
posted by sc @
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Health: Leaf It Up I
Here's an intro to a detailed write-up on leaves which are good for health when consumed... It's kinda lengthy so I've broken it up into segments... Here's the first instalment - Espen
It is easy to overlook leaves. Often used as salad fillers or unseen herbs that add oomph to dishes, edible green leaves are some of the most nutrient-dense foods.
Chlorophyll - responsible for the green in leaves - is being investigated for preventing and treating cancer. While the jury is still out on the direct health benefits of chlorophyll, greens offer much more beyond their pigment.
Abundant in countless substances - minerals that maintain overall health, antioxidants that disarm free radicals, specific nutrients that stimulate detoxification, and chemicals that cleverly convince cancer cells to self-destruct - leaves are particularly potent health boosters.
So, kick-start your annual "this year, I will eat healthily" promise by teaching your taste buds to turn over a new leaf.
Start by selecting fresh leaves. Take in the vibrant, intense colours, each hue representing a different blend of nutrients. Prepare them lightly and enjoy their earthy, slightly peppery taste.
Here are a few ideas for colouring your plate in different shades of green - and a touch of red.
Coriander leaves have a sharp, fresh flavour, with a hint of citrus - which comes from their rich volatile oils. These aromatic oils are thought to kill microbes. Some animal studies have shown that these leaves might help lower blood sugar and improve the profile of fats in the body. In ayurvedic medicine, coriander leaves are used as a liver tonic. And experiments done in Japan have found that the herb helps the body flush out the heavy metal toxins like lead, cadmium and mercury.
This is also known as brahmi and Indian pennywort.
Well before anti-ageing became a buzzword, gotu kola was used in Chinese medicine as a tonic to extend life. Legend has it that a Chinese herbalist used the herb to stretch his life to 256 years!
While that experiment has not been repeated, studies have found that gotu kola offers other important health benefits.
It appears to increase mental acuity. Research has found that this herb boosts memory, improves learning capabilities, and possibly even combats some of the memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease. An overall nervous system tonic, gotu kola is regarded as one of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs in ayurveda and is used to promote a sense of calm. It is believed that the herb works by balancing the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
One study demonstrated that over a period of 12 weeks, 30 developmentally disabled children showed an improvement in concentration and attention levels after taking gotu kola.
The herb is rich in chemicals called triterpenes, which promote healthy formation of collagen in bones, cartilage and connective tissue - this makes it powerful as a treatment for wounds and burns.
Gotu kola also strengthens blod vessels, which in turn improves blood flow, and makes this plant valuable in treating varicose veins.
The fresh herb can be bought at wet markets and is also available in supplement form from pharmacies.
Note: Pregnant or nursing women, or those who are trying to conceive, should not use high doses of gotu kola, typically found in extracts of the herb.
Technorati tags:health, herbs, coriander, gotu kola
posted by sc @
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Joke: 3-minute Management Course
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour. Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel."
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?"
"It was Bob the next-door neighbour," she replies.
"Great!" the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"
Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.
A priest offered a nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident.
After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"
The priest removed his hand.
But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"
The priest apologised, "Sorry sister but the flesh is weak." Arriving at the convent, the nun went on her way.
On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said: "Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory."
Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, "I'll give each of you just one wish."
"Me first! Me first!" says the admin clerk. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world!" Puff! She's gone.
"Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life." Puff! He's gone.
"Ok, you're up," says the Genie to the manager. The manager says, "I want those two backin the office after lunch."
Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?" The eagle answered, "Sure, why not?"
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested.
All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.
A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."
"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.
As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realise how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.
Moral of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!
This ends the 3-minute management course.
Technorati tags:humor, joke, management course
posted by sc @
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Joke: Anxious Cab Driver
A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question. The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped centimeters from a shop window.
For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, "Look mate, don't ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!"
The passenger apologized and said, "I didn't realize that a little tap would scare you so much."
The driver replied, "Sorry, it's not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver. I've been driving a funeral van for the last 25 years."
Technorati tags:humor, joke, cab driver
posted by sc @
Friday, January 05, 2007
Joke: As I Mature...
As I mature I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just assholes.
I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better have a big willy or huge boobs.
I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think.
I've learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think you're finished.
I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take its place!
I've learned that 99% of the time when something isn't working in your house, one of your kids did it
I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.
Technorati tags:humor, joke, mature
posted by sc @
Monday, January 01, 2007
Joke: The World After 10 Years of Internet II
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! May we usher in a year of prosperity and fulfilled hopes and dreams! - Espen
posted by sc @