Thursday, January 31, 2013

That Daily Shower Can Be a Killer

That Daily Shower Can Be a Killer


The other morning, I escaped unscathed from a dangerous situation. No, an armed robber didn't break into my house, nor did I find myself face to face with a mountain lion during my bird walk. What I survived was my daily shower.
You see, falls are a common cause of death in older people like me. (I'm 75.) Among my wife's and my circle of close friends over the age of 70, one became crippled for life, one broke a shoulder and one broke a leg in falls on the sidewalk. One fell down the stairs, and another may not survive a recent fall.
"Really!" you may object. "What's my risk of falling in the shower? One in a thousand?" My answer: Perhaps, but that's not nearly good enough.
Life expectancy for a healthy American man of my age is about 90. (That's not to be confused with American male life expectancy at birth, only about 78.) If I'm to achieve my statistical quota of 15 more years of life, that means about 15 times 365, or 5,475, more showers. But if I were so careless that my risk of slipping in the shower each time were as high as 1 in 1,000, I'd die or become crippled about five times before reaching my life expectancy. I have to reduce my risk of shower accidents to much, much less than 1 in 5,475.
This calculation illustrates the biggest single lesson that I've learned from 50 years of field work on the island of New Guinea: the importance of being attentive to hazards that carry a low risk each time but are encountered frequently.
I first became aware of the New Guineans' attitude toward risk on a trip into a forest when I proposed pitching our tents under a tall and beautiful tree. To my surprise, my New Guinea friends absolutely refused. They explained that the tree was dead and might fall on us.
Yes, I had to agree, it was indeed dead. But I objected that it was so solid that it would be standing for many years. The New Guineans were unswayed, opting instead to sleep in the open without a tent.
I thought that their fears were greatly exaggerated, verging on paranoia. In the following years, though, I came to realize that every night that I camped in a New Guinea forest, I heard a tree falling. And when I did a frequency/risk calculation, I understood their point of view.
Consider: If you're a New Guinean living in the forest, and if you adopt the bad habit of sleeping under dead trees whose odds of falling on you that particular night are only 1 in 1,000, you'll be dead within a few years. In fact, my wife was nearly killed by a falling tree last year, and I've survived numerous nearly fatal situations in New Guinea.
I now think of New Guineans' hypervigilant attitude toward repeated low risks as "constructive paranoia": a seeming paranoia that actually makes good sense. Now that I've adopted that attitude, it exasperates many of my American and European friends. But three of them who practice constructive paranoia themselves — a pilot of small planes, a river-raft guide and a London bobby who patrols the streets unarmed — learned the attitude, as I did, by witnessing the deaths of careless people.
Traditional New Guineans have to think clearly about dangers because they have no doctors, police officers or 911 dispatchers to bail them out. In contrast, Americans' thinking about dangers is confused. We obsess about the wrong things, and we fail to watch for real dangers.
Studies have compared Americans' perceived ranking of dangers with the rankings of real dangers, measured either by actual accident figures or by estimated numbers of averted accidents. It turns out that we exaggerate the risks of events that are beyond our control, that cause many deaths at once or that kill in spectacular ways — crazy gunmen, terrorists, plane crashes, nuclear radiation, genetically modified crops. At the same time, we underestimate the risks of events that we can control ("That would never happen to me — I'm careful") and of events that kill just one person in a mundane way.
Having learned both from those studies and from my New Guinea friends, I've become as constructively paranoid about showers, stepladders, staircases and wet or uneven sidewalks as my New Guinea friends are about dead trees. As I drive, I remain alert to my own possible mistakes (especially at night), and to what incautious other drivers might do.
My hypervigilance doesn't paralyze me or limit my life: I don't skip my daily shower, I keep driving, and I keep going back to New Guinea. I enjoy all those dangerous things. But I try to think constantly like a New Guinean, and to keep the risks of accidents far below 1 in 1,000 each time.
Jared Diamond, a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, is the author of the new book "The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?"

Monday, January 28, 2013


When we eat foods that are "acid-forming", they cause our blood to become acidic. Acidic blood means "thick blood", means "slow-moving" blood that reduces the effective function of carrying nutrients to every part of our body. Thick blood "hosts" a myriad of harmful organisms (bacteria, virus, parasites, yeast, etc.). Over time, it begins to clog up the detox organs and cause other health issues.

 So what are acid-forming foods?

Some examples: Animal protein, dairy products, deep-fried foods, cooked foods, processed/refined foods, oily foods, medication, flour and sugar products, artificial food additives, soft drinks and alcohol. Plant proteins are also acid-forming but are more easily assimilated when compared to animal proteins. When our blood is acidic, our body attempts to maintain homeostasis by "extracting" calcium from the bones to neutralize the acidity.

Our bones have the highest content of calcium, an alkaline mineral. Prolonged acidic condition will cause osteoporosis. This is another good reason why you should be drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices regularly, to maintain blood alkalinity. Fresh fruits and vegetables are alkaline-forming foods. Overcooking them makes them acidic.

REDUCE intake of the acid-forming foods as listed above. You may be eating all the "right foods" or even taking calcium supplements, but remember, they have to be accompanied by co-factors that help calcium absorption: magnesium, potassium and vitamin K. All these can be obtained from a glass of freshly extracted juice.

NOTE: Consume whole grains and calcium foods at different times. Whole grains contain a substance that binds with calcium and prevents its absorption. Take your calcium drink later in the day for best absorption and for a good night's sleep.

Here's a JUICE RECIPE that is high in calcium content and provides all the necessary minerals for bone health:
- 2 carrots
- 2 green apples
- 3-4 leaves of kale OR a bunch of spinach
- 1 cup of broccoli OR 1 rib celery
- 1/4 lemon


Monday, January 21, 2013

The World's Happiest Countries

1. Norway
2. Denmark
3. Sweden
4. Australia
5. New Zealand
6. Canada
7. Finland
8. The Netherlands
9. Switzerland
10. Ireland

Happiness means having opportunity – to get an education, to be an entrepreneur. What's more satisfying than having a big idea and turning it into a thriving business, knowing all the way that the harder you work, the more reward you can expect?

With this in mind, six years ago researchers at the Legatum Institute, a London-based nonpartisan think tank, set out to rank the happiest countries in the world. But because "happy" carries too much of a touchy-feely connotation, they call it "prosperity." The objective of the institute's work (which is part of billionaire Christopher Chandler's Dubai-based Legatum Group) was to figure out what it is that makes happy countries happy – so that the less fortunate corners of the globe might have a benchmark to work toward.

The resulting Legatum Prosperity Index is based on a study of 142 countries comprising 96% of global population. Nations are analyzed and ranked on 89 indicators in eight categories, such as education, government and economics. The inputs for the index are both objective and subjective. It's not enough to just look at per capita GDP or unemployment rates. It also matters how hard people think it is to find jobs, or how convinced they are that hard work can bring success.

The core conceit: Prosperity is complex; achieving it relies on a confluence of factors that build on each other in a virtual circle.

So who are the happiest people in the world, as measured by Legatum? Norway takes the crown, followed by Denmark and Sweden (which leapfrogged Australia and New Zealand this year). Rounding out the Scandinavians is Finland, just a few steps behind in the seventh spot. Luxembourg is the healthiest nation on Earth. Iceland is the safest. Switzerland has the world’s best economy and governance, according to Legatum.

What’s Norway got that the rest of the world doesn’t? For one thing, a stunning per capita GDP of $57,000 a year. Norwegians have the second-highest level of satisfaction with their standards of living: Ninety-five percent say they are satisfied with the freedom to choose the direction of their lives; an unparalleled 74% say other people can be trusted. It sure doesn’t hurt that the massive Norwegian welfare state is bankrolled by high taxes and big reserves of offshore oil and gas.

Indeed, most of the top 20 "happiest" countries according to the index are in western Europe. So what gives? What do these nations have in common that can somehow explain their prosperity?

 Being an electoral democracy is virtually a given – of the top 20 most prosperous countries, only Singapore and Hong Kong aren't democracies. Being small also seems to help. Big countries with heterogeneous populations are more unwieldy; disparate groups make it harder for a society to build social cohesion and trust.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Animals have problem too!


Malam pertama di alam kubur

Oleh Oase(Renungan Islami)

Bagaimana Malam Pertama Kita????..............

Bagaimanakah Malam Pertama Kita di Alam Kubur Nanti;
Asyik dan Nikmat atau Penuh Derita dan Sengsara??

" Wahai anak Adam, apa yang telah engkau persiapkan saat malam pertamamu nanti di alam kubur? Tidakkah engkau tahu, bahwa ia adalah malam yang sangat mengerikan. Malam yang kerananya para ulama' serta orang-orang yang soleh menangis dan orang-orang bijak mengeluh. Apa tidaknya, kala itu kita sedang berada di dua persimpangan dan di dunia yang amat berbeza."

"Suatu hari pasti engkau akan tinggalkan tempat tidurmu (di dunia), dan ketenangan pun menghilang darimu. Bila engkau berada di kuburmu pada malam pertama, demi Alloh, fikirkanlah untung nasibmu dan apa yang akan terjadi padamu di sana?"

Hari ini kita berada di dunia yang penuh keriangan dengan anak-anak, keluarga dan sahabat serta handai taulan, dunia yang diterangi dengan lampu-lampu yang pelbagai warna dan sinaran, dunia yang dihidangkan dengan pelbagai makanan yang lezat-lezat serta minuman yang pelbagai, tetapi pada keesokannya kita berada di malam pertama di dalam dunia yang kelam gelap-gulita.

Lilin-lilin yang menerangi dunia adalah amalan-amalan yang kita lakukan, dunia sempit yang dikelilingi tanah dan bantalnya juga tanah. Pada saat kita mula membuka mata di malam pertama kita di alam kubur, segala-galanya amat menyedihkan, Itukah yang kita mahukan? Pastinya tidak bukan?

Oleh itu beramallah dan ingatlah sentiasa betapa kita semua akan menempuhi MALAM PERTAMA DI ALAM KUBUR!

Ingatlah ayat al-Quran bagi mereka yang mahu dikembalikan ke dunia setelah mati:

"Ya Tuhanku, kembalikanlah aku semula (ke dunia), agar aku dapat berbuat amal soleh terhadap apa yang telah kutinggalkan (dahulu)." (Surah Al-Mu'minun, ayat 99-100)

Wahai saudaraku, tidakkah engkau menangis atas kematian dan sakaratul maut yang bakal menjemputmu?

Wahai saudaraku, tidakkah engkau menangis atas kuburan dan kengerian yang ada di dalamnya? Wahai saudaraku, tidakkah engkau menangis kerana takut akan hausnya di hari penyesalan?

Wahai saudaraku, tidakkah engkau menangis kerana takut kepada api Neraka di Hari Kiamat nanti?

Sesungguhnya kematian pasti menghancurkan kenikmatan para penikmatnya. Oleh itu, carilah (kenikmatan) hidup yang tidak ada kematian di dalamnya, yakni amalan akherat yang akan membawamu kehidupan kubur yg penuh dengan kesenangan.

"Ya Alloh, tolonglah kami ketika sakaratul maut,.."
terimalah amal ibadah kita selama kami mengabdi kepada-Mu.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Never ask you aren't prepared for the answer

-Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said,

'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'  

 Like for more amazing stories


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

P.S: Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone.