Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Cheers To Stronger Bones

Wine and beer can help build bones by boosting oestrogen levels, but only if drunk in moderation.

A study published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a glass or two of wine or beer everyday could help to keep bones strong.

However, drinking more – and choosing hard liquor instead of wine or beer – may actually weaken bones, Dr Katherine Tucker of Tuffs University in Boston and her colleagues found.

Dr Tucker told Reuters Health that the study saw that the effect of alcohol on bone mineral density was “larger than what we see for any single nutrient, even for calcium. It’s not ambiguous. It’s very clear.”

The researchers investigated how different types of alcohol affected bone density (BMD) in 1,182 men, 1,289 post-menopausal women and 248 pre-menopausal women aged 29 to 86 years.

Men who had a glass or two of wine or beer daily had denser bones than non-drinkers, the researchers found, but those who downed two or more servings of hard liquor a day had significantly lower BMD than the men who drink up to two glasses of liquor daily.

Dr Tucker noted that beer is an excellent source of silicon, a mineral needed for bone health that has become increasingly rare in modern diet.

Beer’s silicon content accounted for at least some of its bone-building effects in men. However, too few women drank beer to draw conclusions about how the mineral affected female bone density.

Beer and wine may be better for people than liquor, she suggested, because they contain potentially beneficial plant substances such as resveratrol, while hard liquor has had most natural substances distilled out of it.

Alcohol may help build bones by boosting oestrogen levels – which is the mechanism that also may account for the increased breast cancer risk seen in women who drink even moderately.

“The main message here is that if you are drinking up to one or two glasses of wine or beer a day, you don’t need to stop for your bones’ sake,” Dr Tucker said. “In fact, it’s helpful.

- The New York Times 

Monday, 30 March 2009

Secrets Of Nature

The lessons in life is contained in Mother Nature. In order to learn and benefit from these lessons, one has to be humble. One has to be calm, one has to put aside his ego and his assumed superiority. Only then can he gain greater ‘insight’ into the invisible realities behind the material appearances of creation.

Our objective senses are limited and can be faulty and do not lead us to the truth of actuality. It would be wiser to appreciate nature with our psychic or inner selves.

We need to attune ourselves with the cosmic life force – listen to the voice of existence flowing through air, water – all things as it silently speaks the language which knows no species, nor the barriers of time and space.

- Listen. Really listen with your psychic ear, can you hear the language spoken by a clear, flowing mountain stream? One can listen with the inner ear to any part of nature, be it an element or a friendly four-footed creature. Be still and know.

- See with the psychic eye. We need our inner light to help and guide us in seeing more clearly in the psychic world. See and appreciate the beauty of mother nature – the flowering of a rose etc…..

- ‘Keeping in touch’. Develop your intuition – your sensitivity, and your compassion. Sensibility is the most important step toward attunement of any form. Every human being wants to protect and is so concerned about his or her feelings that we tend to neglect those of the lower creatures of the earth. 

- Author Unknown 

Sunday, 29 March 2009


              Joe was moderately successful in his career, but as he got older he was increasingly hampered by terrible headaches. When his love life started to suffer, he sought medical help. 
              After being referred from one specialist to another, he finally came across a doctor who can solve the problem. “The good news is I can cure your headaches. The bad news is that it will require castration. You have a very rare condition which causes your testicles to press up against the base of your spine. The pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles.” 
              Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he had anything to live for. He could not concentrate long enough to answer, but decided he had no choice but to go under the knife. 
              When he left the hospital, his mind was clear, but he felt like he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street, he realized that he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. 
              He walked past a men’s clothing store and thought, “That’s what I need, a new suit.’’ He entered the shop and told the salesman, “I’d like a new suit.’’ 
              The salesman eyed him briefly and said, “Let’s see... size forty four long.’’
              Joe laughed, “That's right, how did you know?” 
              “It’s my job.’’ 
              Joe tried on the suit. It fit perfectly. As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the salesman asked, “How about a new shirt?’’ 
              Joe thought for a moment and then said, “Sure!” 
              The salesman eyed Joe and said, “Let’s see.... thirty four sleeve and...sixteen and a half neck.’’ 
              Joe was surprised, “That’s right, how did you know?”
              “It's my job.’’
              Joe tried on the shirt, and it fit perfectly. As Joe adjusted the collar in the mirror, the salesman asked, “How about new shoes?”
              Joe was on a roll and said, “Sure!’’ 
              The salesman eyed Joe’s feet and said, “Let’s see...nine and a half wide.’’ 
              Joe was astonished, “That’s right, how did you know?”
              “It’s my job.’’
              Joe tried on the shoes and they fit perfectly. Joe walked comfortably around the shop and the salesman asked, “How about a new hat?’’
              Without hesitating, Joe said, “Sure!” 
              The salesman eyed Joe's head and said, “Let’s see. . .seven and five eight inches.’’ 
              Joe was incredulous, “That’s right, how did you know?” 
              “It’s my job.’’ 
              The hat fit perfectly. Joe was feeling great, when the salesman asked, “How about some new underwear?’’ 
              Joe thought for a second and said, “Sure!”
              The salesman stepped back, eyed Joe’s waist and said, “Let’s see...size thirty six.’’ 
              Joe laughed, “No, I’ve worn size thirty four since I was eighteen years old.” 
              The salesman shook his head and said, “You can’t wear a size thirty four. It would press your testicles up against the base of your spine and give you one hell of a headache!”

Saturday, 28 March 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around

One day, a man saw an old lady stranded on the side of the road. Even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her. 

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry. 

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you. 

He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.' 

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt. 

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.

Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way. 

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, 'And think of me.' 

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight. 

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin. 

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.' 

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills. 

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.... 

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, 'Every thing's going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.' 

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Awesome Toilet

This is a picture of a toilet in Houston. The lady is getting ready to enter!

Now that you have seen the outside view, take a look at the inside view…

It’s entirely made of one-way glass. No one can see you from the outside but when you are inside it’s like sitting in a clear glass box!
Now would you … could your… ??

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Screening Out Vitamin D

The claim: Sunscreen prevents vitamin D production.

The facts: Dermatologists routinely talk of the need to wear sunscreen. However the body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D, a crucial nutrient.

              So is it possible that wearing sunscreen might interfere with the synthesis of vitamin D?
              Yes. Studies have found that by blocking ultraviolet rays, sunscreen limits the vitamin D we produce.
              A few studies have concluded that the effect is significant – a reduction as great as tenfold. However, more recent, randomised studies that followed people for months - and in some cases years – suggest that the effect is negligible. While sunscreen does hamper vitamin D production, these studies said, it is not enough to cause a deficiency.
              That is because most people typically do not apply enough sunscreen to get its full effects, which in turn allows some sunlight through, said Dr Henry Lim, chairman of dermatology at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology.
              Also, according to the National Institutes of Health, it does not take much sunlight to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D: Perhaps as little as 30 minutes of daytime exposure (without sunscreen) twice a week.
              Dr Lim added that rather than cutting back on sunscreen , people concerned about vitamin D should consume more foods rich in vitamin D, like salmon, milk and fortified orange juice.

The bottom Line: Sunscreen can reduce vitamin D Production but probably not enough to have a significant effect. 

- The New York Times 

Monday, 23 March 2009

Secret Knowledge

There have always been legends and traditions about secret knowledge. At the root of most religions is some form of secret knowledge, a gnosis or inner realization that can be attained and may even be promised.

In secret societies and lodges there is another kind of secret knowledge – words, signs, symbols, and lore – all of which may appear in written form, but have additional meaning that is communicated private. Teachings within these secret societies are better described as private rather than secret.

The naïve searcher for secret knowledge might expect to find some magical fact or formula, something specific and objective that can be grasped and memorized. But the prime characteristic of a gnosis is that it cannot be communicated; it is said to be ineffable. It is a realization that cannot be physically transferred from one person to another. Yet it is attainable, and verifiable, by individual discovery.

Moreover, there are methods and programs leading to this discovery. But such teachings are usually venerated and preserved in private, esoteric societies. Tradition usually includes the idea that this knowledge, and any teachings that lead to its discovery, should be guarded and withheld from unworthy persons. Worthy seekers are inducted and led step by step on the path. Initiatory degrees and rituals in such orders dramatize the steps and foster the discovery.

Yet the big secret is that there is no secret, that this knowledge is really not secret at all! It is there for eyes that can see or ears that can hear. In spite of its supposed secrecy, much of it has been spoken and published very plainly – but still goes undetected.

Consider in this light the many cryptic statements in Christian and other sacred scripture. These statements, too are for the initiated. Without the key, without the personal preliminary development, they remain undeciphered. With the key they are stating, bold statements reflecting a radically different realization. So it is secret only in this strange way, protected by its own arcane nature, and by our lack of development.

It is easy (as in these comments) to continue saying much about such secret knowledge, but this is like talking about water – it does not quench the thirst. It is better to be told, “Here is a path to the spring, where you must learn to drink for yourself.”

- Author Unknown 

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Old Fridge

Some guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: 'Free to good home. You want it, you take it.' 

For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too un-trusting of this deal. It looked too good to be true, so he changed the sign to read: 'Fridge for sale $50.' 

The next day someone stole it.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

A Beautiful Story

A boy and a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of marbles. The girl had some sweets with her. The boy told the girl that he will give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed. 

The boy kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside and gave the rest to the girl. The girl gave him all her sweets as she had promised. 

That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn't sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble.

Moral of the story:

Be honest in your dealings. Keep your part of the bargain, and you will be at peace. You will be able to sleep peacefully. But if you don’t keep your part of the bargain, you will keep wondering if the other person is cheating you too!

This applies to all situations in life. 

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Forgive And Forget

Sometimes, when we sit back and retrospect, we will realize that there are many occasions when a little forgiveness on our part will have made a lot of difference.

Forgiveness for others as well as for ourselves; We must exonerate ourselves for the unique decisions we’ve made, for the foolish things we’ve said, for the times we’ve let ourselves down, and for the times we’ve let our friends down.

Having past the stage where the fury and anger had long subsided and where our sanity is not being tempered by the irrational and unreasonable haste and actions, we must stop torturing ourselves for our lack of wisdom when we needed it; for our cautiousness when we should have been bold and for our boldness when we should have been cautious.

We must forgive the times when we’ve lost our temper over trifles, failed to stand up for our rights when we should have, stepped on other people’s toes with our insensitive remarks, given in to the inconsiderate egotism that is so much a part of human nature. We must erase our shame over the petty failures or prejudices in our life. We must recognize that there is great sweetness in forgiveness, for it is the balm for the scars of life. Without it there is no quiet room in our mind to escape to for peace; there is only a room jangling with tension.

We must also realize that no one can live creatively if he cannot forgive his own blunders and imperfections. We must understand that as human beings, we are not without faults nor are we perfect; we must see our successes and cherish them as we must see our faults too and forgive them.

It is only by this pragmatic and sober attitude in forgiving ourselves that we can forgive others. No matter who we are, we have been hurt at one time or another. But we must stop holding grudges. It is evident that too many people waste their time obsessed with hatred for those who have hurt them.

We must learn to forgive a parent, a friend or a loved one, for the errors in the past. We must forgive the hurt they have caused us. Forgiveness is part of a process that begins with a hurt and ends, as its final and long-range goal, with the event of reconciliation. It works only when we become aware of the depths and causes of the anger burning in us so that we can forgive whole-heartedly and ensure an enduring peace.

There is usually a pause between the hurt and the time when trust and love can take root again. The ability to forgive can’t be rushed. We owe it to each other to offer time to confront our hurts, to face our wounds head-on, to vent our emotions. Only then can real healing begin.

In the end, all forgivers do the same thing; they restore self-worth to the offender; they cancel a debt; they experience such peace that they lose the urge to retaliate, and live as freer persons, unshackled by the weight of the hurt.

Ultimately, we must forget all these trivialities by living in the present – in TODAY

“To err is human. To forgive divine.”

- Author Unknown 

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Sunset Pics

I never get enough of these sunset photos.

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. - Charlotte Whitton

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Apples May Have Anti-ageing Effect

Studies show phloretin can help fight ageing of the skin due to sun exposure and help reduce risk of skin cancer.

The adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may no longer apply to apples having the ability to keep just the flu bug away.
              The discovery of phloretin, an antioxidant derived from apples, means that the fruit may also help reduce the risk of skin cancer.
              “Phloretin is a powerful antioxidant found to be effective in protecting human skin from the effects of the sun when applied topically,” said Dr Sheldon Pinnell, founder of SkinCeuticals. He was the leader of the scientific team that made the discovery after five years of research.
              The United States-based skincare brand is the first to combine phloretin with other well-known antioxidants like vitamin C into a single anti-ageing serum call Phloretin CF.
              Early clinical studies showed that phloretin – found both in the flesh and skin of apples, as well as in the root bark of apple, pear and grapefruit trees – effectively fights the effects of photo-ageing.
              Photo-ageing refers to the ageing of skin by ultraviolet (UV) radiation as a result of repeated exposure to the sun over many years.
              A 2006 study published in the Biological And Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that phloretin reduces DNA damage caused by UV radiation by 80 per cent.
              In addition, the compound also inhibits the enzyme elastase, which causes wrinkles and sagging skin.
              Excessive exposure to UV rays causes skins cells to weaken.
              The worst outcome of this damage is skin cancer, where skin cells start to multiply abnormally.
              Resisting this process are chemical compounds called antioxidants.
              Antioxidants guard against photo-ageing by transforming unstable molecules, called free radicals, into unreactive compounds.
              The tricky part, when using antioxidants in skincare products, is combining them with other chemicals such that their efficacy will not be lowered. Vitamin C, for instance, is unstable and disintegrates after some time.
              The development of the patent-pending technology in the formula Phloretin CF, now sold as a skincare product containing a cocktail of three antioxidants – vitamin C, Ferulic acid and phloretin – is the cumulation of over 20 years of work, said Dr. Pinnell.
              However, this breakthrough does not mean that antioxidants can replace sunscreen entirely, he said.
              “At this point, I wouldn’t say that you can eliminate sunscreen,” he said. “Maybe in the future, as antioxidant technology gets better.”
              However, Dr Pinnell recommends the use of antioxidants in addition to the application of sunscreen in a daily skincare regimen.
              “Sunscreen contains a lot of synthetic chemicals,” he said. “It works only on the outside, absorbing UV rays.
              “Antioxidants, on the other hand, work inside the skin and provide long-term protection.”
              Having said that, it is important not to overdo things, added Dr Pinnell. This is because UV rays help our skin produce vitamin D that is vital for calcium absorption.
              “You can be relatively vitamin D-deficient if you use sunscreen and antioxidants very religiously,” he said.

- Poon Chian Hui 

Monday, 16 March 2009

Converting Thought Into Action

The conversion of intelligent thought into action is not an accidental or chance process. Such achievement comes only as the result of vigorous and sustained effort. Any thought, however rich in content and potential in design, must be supported by an active and purposeful endeavour in order to surpass the state of wishful thinking and find expression as a noble realization.

Within themselves, our most inspiring thoughts and noblest ideals are not a sufficient cause of great human achievement. They provide the necessary pattern or blueprint for further active response. Many great and noble thoughts have been allowed to lie dormant and ineffective simply because they were not related to one’s will and supported by an ernest effort.

The surest way to concert a thought into action is to act while the thought is still fresh and vigorous. The longer we confine a thought or impression within limits of theory alone, and fail to give it volitional expression, the easier it becomes for us to live with that thought and, at the same time, hold it in utter disregard. That lofty thought or idea which came to us with such vibrant life and creative potency, when neglected, tends to withdraw from us and will find a more suitable channel for its release. Whoever ignores the opportunity to make thinking creative loses a measure of respect for both the thought he had and for himself.

Great thoughts are much like fruit. When ripe, they must be harvested. This principle of timely action has been recognized and emphasized by leading thinkers of all ages. While they have expressed this concept in different ways, the essence of what they said on the subject was the same. “Whatsoever thou resolves to do, do it quickly. Defer not till the evening what the morning may accomplish.”

The conversion of a thought into action involves personal commitment to all the implications of the process. The thought must be clearly visualized and appreciated. That thought must be supported by a dominant desire to see it materialized. Then, the dominant desire must be backed by a strong and determined will toward action. The whole enterprise will succeed in the exact measure in which the agent involved works in harmony with cosmic forces.

- Author Unknown 

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Father Of Her Kids

              A guy goes to a supermarket and notices a beautiful blonde wave at him and say’s hello.
              He’s rather taken aback, because he can’t place where he knows her from, so he says, “Do you know me?”
              To which she replies, “I think you’re the father of one of my kids.”
              Now he thinks back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, “Oh My, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I laid on the pool table with all my buddies watching, while your partner whipped my ass with wet celery?”
              She said, “Noooo, I’m your son’s Math Teacher.”

Saturday, 14 March 2009

A Parable

              One day, all the employees of a company arrived at the office and saw a big Notice on the door, on which it was written: “Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away.”
              “We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym.”
              Although all feel sad for the death of one of their colleagues, they were curious to know who was the man who hindered the growth of his colleagues and the company itself.
              Everyone thought: “Who is this guy who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he is dead.”
              When the employees reached the coffin, they looked in and saw a mirror in the coffin. Reflected in the mirror was their face. And next to the mirror was a sign that said. “There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth. It’s You!”

              You are the only person who can revolutionize your life. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, your realization and your success. Your are the only one person who can help yourself.
              Your life does not change, when your boss changes, or when your friends change, or when your parents change, or when your partner changes, or when your company changes.
              Your life changes when You change, when You go beyond your limiting beliefs, when You realize that you are the only one responsible for your life.
              Examine yourself, watch yourself, handle yourself well in front of others.
              Don’t be afraid of difficulties, impossibilities and losses. Be a winner, build yourself and your reality.
              The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself.
              It is not what happens to us, it’s the way we chose to handle life that makes the differences. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


The next time you sip a cup of tea, think of its health benefits. For example, its antioxidant properties are purported to reduce the risk and progression of cancer, boost the immune system and increase metabolism.

There is definitely scientific evidence showing benefits of tea. There is countless research on EGCG, the antioxidant touted for its anti-cancer effect. - Holistic Nutritionist Yondi Lee, defending the scientific basis of tea and its health benefits 


Tea contains naturally occurring compounds called catechins that are believed to have antioxidants that neutralise free radicals in the body. Some scientists believe these can slow down the ageing process.
              There are several ways to categorise tea but according to tea specialists at Tea Chapter, Singapore’s largest teahouse, most tea houses grade them into six categories – green, white, yellow, oolong, red and black.

Green Tea
One of the purest grades of tea because it does not go through the process of fermentation. It is very high in antioxidants that boost the immune system, improve metabolism and may help to reduce the risk of lung, colon and skin cancer.
              A joint United States-China study on the health effects of green tea done in China published in the International Journal of Cancer, 2001, found that people who drank one to three cups of green tea daily had a 30 per cent lower rate of stomach cancer, whilst those who drank more than three cups had a 61 per cent lower rate of the disease.
              Drinking green tea can also help prevent arthritis. According to the Journal of Chinese Medicine, researchers at the University of Sheffield in Britain found that naturally occurring compounds in green tea can help prevent osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis caused by the break down of cartilage. It blocks the enzyme that destroys the cartilage.
              In addition, green tea is said to help regulate blood sugar levels and prevents cavities and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

White Tea
The least fermented grade of tea which is why it is very high in antioxidants.
              It is said to have 10 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E and contain high concentrations of polyphenols and catechins.
              This helps fight the ravages of ageing caused by free radicals in the body, reduces the risk of lung, colon and skin cancer, and strengthens the immune system.
              The Journal of Chinese Medicine also said that research carried out at the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon in the United States showed that white tea is able to prevent mutations of DNA two to five times more efficiently than green or black tea, thus giving it greater potential in preventing cancer.

Yellow Tea
Similar to green tea but it is left to ferment till it is yellowish colour.
              Little research has been done on the health benefits of yellow tea, but according to Tea Chapter’s tea trainers (specialists who conduct courses on tea appreciation), it helps reduce heat in the body, which is why it is recommended as a summer tea. It is also said to contain bacteria-killing fluoride, which prevents tooth decay.
              Websites on the health benefits of tea like the Yellow Tea Guide also claim that the antioxidants in yellow tea prevent and ease cardiovascular diseases, promote longevity and improve mental agility.

Oolong Tea
Renowned as the ‘diet tea’, oolong is semi-fermented and famous for its weight loss properties.
              Health reports by Chinese pharmacologists said that polyphenols in tea activate the enzyme that is responsible for dissolving fats in the body, which results in weight loss.
              Tea Chapter’s tea trainers also said that the tea lowers the intake of fat from high-cholesterol meals and increases metabolism rates, while the tannic acid in oolong helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Red and Black Tea
These two types of tea are fully fermented tea leaves which contributes to their darker shade and stronger flavour.
              According to the Journal of Chinese Medicine, a study of 3,430 adults in Saudi Abraida published in 2002 found that those who drank more than six cups of black tea (also known as pu er Tea) a day had a more than 50 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who do not drink tea, even after considering other factors such as smoking, diet and obesity.
              Red and black tea are also said to lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease and strokes, which is why tea specialists recommend them to people above the age of 40.
              “However, too much will lead to stomach aches,” said Mr Kelvin Wo, spokesman for Tea Chapter.

Floral and Fruit Tea
They are considered modern fusions of Chinese tea and are not part of the six main grades of Chinese tea. These are a combination of tea and dried flowers or preserved fruits.
              Floral tea is said to be good for eyes and skin and helps you feel relaxed.
              “Chrysanthemum tea clears your mind and gives better eyesight,” said Mr Chin Chew Seng, a traditional Chinese medicine Physician.
              Fruit tea, rich in vitamin C, is good for digestion and the complexion, sharpens eyesight and clears the taste buds, said Mr. Wo.

- Wong Mei Ling 


Reading the leaves

Green Tea
Claims: Helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevents cavities and gingivitis.

White Tea
Claims Helps fight the ravages of ageing, reduces the risk of lung, colon and skin cancer and strengthens the immune system.

Yellow Tea
Claims: Helps reduce heat in the body and is said to contain fluoride which prevents tooth decay.

Oolong Tea
Claims: The polyphenols in the tea activate the enzyme responsible for dissolving fats in the body while the tannic acid helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Black Tea
Claims: According to a study, those who drink more than six cups a day lower the risk of coronary heart disease by more than 50 per cent

Red Tea
Claims: Both red and black tea are said to lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease and strokes.

Floral Tea
Claims: Good for the eyes and skin and helps in relaxing the body.

Fruit Tea
Claims: Rich in vitamin C it is good for digestion and the complexion, sharpens eyesight and clears the taste buds.

Monday, 9 March 2009

The Course Of Life

In nature, the withering of the flower is as important as its blooming. They are both phenomena which are a part of a series of changes called Cause and Effect. In a sentient being, such as man, there is an idealizing of one of these changes more than of the other.

Man arbitrarily divides nature’s cycles, calling the beneficial phase positive and the other, negative. He seeks to evade the decline because it is unpleasant to him. He has successfully prolonged life but he can never evade the eventual retrogression which must follow to complete the cycle of life.

As one grows older, one should, of course, endeavour in every way to lessen the severity of the impact of physical deterioration. The former pleasures of living in the physical sense, which have meant so much, should be mitigated in later years by new mental and emotional satisfactions.

In the mellowness of life, new positive living may be found in a response to the higher sentiments and psychic inclinations. The aggressive healthy younger person often finds too many satisfactions in objective living to concern himself deeply with the mysteries of life. The cosmic role that one should play in his relationship to all reality, however, usually provides a greater satisfaction to the mature mind. The physical desires which once seemed ultra-important and the notions and things associated with them lose their lustre with the passing of the years. One finds to a greater extent that the pleasures associated with them were either illusionary or evanescent. The interests of a psychic or moral nature which seemed intangible in the past and, by contrast to material satisfaction, less stimulating, can be more assuredly cultivated in the later years. One will then find much happiness in the expression of his aesthetic tastes which may have been un-awakened or unexpressed.

Instead of becoming embittered by the advance of age and its gradual physical retardment, one should reorient his interests. He should venture into the realm of his psychic inclinations and meditations. He should find in life images or symbols to objectify the reactivated feelings of impersonal love and sympathy that pour from the depth of his own being as he allows himself to be conscious of the more subtle impulses of his nature.

Detach your consciousness from the myriad changes, the events and happenings in the stream of life. Stop struggling with the tide, for a time at least. Climb up on the bank and watch the course of life which in itself has majesty and beauty. It will evoke our admiration of its pulsating power and omniscience. 

Sunday, 8 March 2009


              A man walked into a bar and ordered a glass of wine. He took a sip of the wine, and then tossed the remainder into the bartender’s face. 
              Before the bartender could recover from the surprise, the man began weeping. ‘’I’m really sorry. I keep doing that to bartenders. I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is to have a compulsion like this.’’ 
              Far from being angry, the bartender was sympathetic. Before long, he was suggesting that the man see a psychoanalyst about his problem. 
              “I happen to have the name of a psychoanalyst,’’ the bartender said. “My brother and my wife have both been treated by him, and they say he’s as good as they come.”
              The man wrote down the name of the doctor, thanked the bartender, and left. The bartender smiled, knowing he’d done a good deed for a fellow human being. 
              Six months later, the man was back. “Did you do what I suggested?” the bartender asked, serving the glass of white wine. 
              “I certainly did,” the man said. I’ve been seeing the psychoanalyst twice a week.” He took a sip of the wine. He then threw the remainder into the bartender’s face. 
              The flustered bartender wiped his face with a towel. “The doctor doesn’t seem to be doing you any good,’’ he spluttered. 
              “On the contrary,” the man replied. “He’s done me a world of good.”
              “But you just threw the wine in my face again!” the bartender exclaimed.
              “Yes,” the man said. “But it doesn’t embarrass me anymore!”

Saturday, 7 March 2009

You Tell On Yourself

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek, 
By the very manner in which you speak, 
By the way you employ your leisure time, 
By the use you make of dollar and dime. 

You tell what you are by the things you wear, 
By the spirit in which your burdens bear, 
By the kind of things at which you laugh, 
By the records you play on your phonograph. 

You tell what you are by the way you walk, 
By the things of which you delight to talk, 
By the manner in which you bear defeat, 
By so simple a thing as how you eat. 

By the books you choose from a well-filled shelf – 
In these ways, and more, you tell on yourself. 
So really there's not a grain of sense 
In trying to keep up a false pretense. 

- Author Unknown 

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Be Yourself

Feeling good about yourself is essential to feeling good about life. If we want to be happy in spite of the ups and downs in life, we must be fair and honest with ourselves. We must accept ourselves for who we are – to know our strength and weaknesses. 

We tend to undervalue our talents and question our worth. We are hesitant about accepting a new challenge because we convince ourselves that we haven’t the resources to meet it.

We are born with the potential of achieving greatness in our own way. And it is our responsibility to find out where our strength lies in order to attain the greatness that we are capable of.

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person. You can do anything you think you can. 

You should remember that though another may have more money, beauty, and brains than you, when it comes to the rarer spiritual values such as charity, self-sacrifice, honour, nobility of heart, you have an equal chance with everyone to be the most beloved and honoured of all people. 

Every one of us is unique and special. No two persons are alike. We are all different, and that’s the beauty of it. Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Pretty good shots of the bushfire in Victoria – Australia. The fury, the rage, the destruction ... Unfortunately, behind these pictures lie the tragic stories of lost lives – both human and wild.

The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes. - Henri Frederic Amiel

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Coffee Drinkers Less Likely To Get Dementia

Drinking coffee may do more than just keep you awake. A new study, published recently in The Journal Of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggests it may keep dementia at bay too.

A team of Swedish and Danish researchers tracked coffee consumption in a group of 1,409 middle-aged men and women for an average of 21 years. During that time, 61 participants developed dementia and 48 had Alzheimer’s disease.

After considering numerous socio-economic and health factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the scientists found that those who drank three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 per cent less likely to have dementia, compared to those who drank two cups of less. People who drank more than five cups a day were also at reduced risk of dementia, but there were not enough people in this group to draw statistically significant conclusions. 

Dr Mia Kivipelto, an associate professor of neurology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and lead author of the study, does not as yet advocate drinking coffee as a preventive health measure. “We have no evidence that for people who are not drinking coffee, taking up drinking will have a protective effect.”

Dr Kivipelto and her colleagues suggested several possibilities for why coffee might reduce the risk of dementia. First, studies have linked coffee consumption to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes, which has been associated with higher risk of dementia.

In animal studies, caffeine has been shown to reduce the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, coffee may have an antioxidant effect in the bloodstream, reducing vascular risk factors for dementia.

Dr Kivipelto noted that studies have shown coffee drinking may also be linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease.

- The New York Times

Monday, 2 March 2009

Names and Labels

There is a reason why I find this article interesting and worthy to post. However, I just couldn’t find the words to express my thoughts. Maybe at a later date, when my mind is not too cloudy, I will be able to express what I am trying to say. 

Things of themselves do not exist according to the distinctions by which mankind knows them. This applies also to mankind himself; and on this point as to the nature of man, the creation stories – in any religious scripture – provide a variety of comments.

To us now, it may seem that names for most things have been that way from the beginning; we assume (especially as children) that our part is only to discover and learn all those names.

Yet in their origin it was mankind who created them – constituting his world according to how he sees and labels pieces of it. True, the fashion of labelling changes; much that purports to be ‘new knowledge’ is really a new way of organizing how we look at things, what we look for, and therefore what we see. This applies not only to the physical world of science but also to the world of psychical or spiritual experiences.

- Edgar Wirt 

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Time To Swear

              A seven year old and a four year old are upstairs in their bedroom.
              “You know what?” says the seven year old. “I think it’s about time we start swearing."
              The four year old nods his head in approval.
              “When we go downstairs for breakfast, I’m gonna swear first, then you swear after me, OK?”
              “OK.” The four year old agrees with enthusiasm.
              The mother walks into the kitchen and asks the seven year old what he wants for breakfast.
              “Oh, shit mum, I guess I’ll have some Coco Pops.”
              Whack! He flew out of his chair, tumbled across the kitchen floor, got up and ran upstairs crying his eyes out.
              She looked at the four year old and asked with a stern voice, “And what do YOU want for breakfast, young man!?”
              “I don’t know,” he blubbers, “but you can bet your fuckin’ ass it won’t be Coco Pops.”