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Archive for January, 2010

THE WORLD OF GLOBAL ENGLISH:

The English Language Word Clock: 1,002,116.
English passed the 1,000,000 threshold on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 am GMT.
English gains a new word every 98 minutes (or about 14.7 new words a day).

The Global Language Monitor (GLM) is an Austin, Texas-based entity that documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language and publishes a list of the year’s most used English words, names, and phrases.

According to GLM’s Algorithm, 2009’s most used word, both online and in print, is Twitter.

GLM’s Ten Top Words of 2009 (Rank/Word/Comments):
(1) Twitter – The ability to encapsulate human thought in 140 characters.
(2) Obama – The word stem transforms into scores of new words like ObamaCare.
(3) H1N1 – The formal (and politically correct) name for Swine Flu.
(4) Stimulus – The $800 billion aid package meant to help mend the US economy.
(5) Vampire – Vampires are very much en vogue, now the symbol of unrequited love.
(6) 2.0 – The 2.0 suffix is attached to the next generation of everything.
(7) Deficit – Lessons from history are dire warnings here.
(8) Hadron – Ephemeral particles subject to collision in the Large Hadron Collider.
(9) Healthcare – The direction of which is the subject of intense debate in the US.
10) Transparency – Elusive goal for which many 21st c. governments are striving
(11) Outrage – In response to large bonuses handed out to ‘bailed-out’ companies.
(12) Bonus – The incentive pay packages that came to symbolize greed and excess.
(13) Unemployed – And underemployed amount to close to 20% of US workforce.
(14) Foreclosure – Forced eviction for not keeping up with the mortgage payments.
(15) Cartel — In Mexico, at the center of the battle over drug trafficking.

The Top Phrases of 2009 (Rank/Phrase/Comments):

(1) King of Pop – Elvis was ‘The King;’ MJ had to settle for ‘King of Pop’.
(2) Obama-mania – One of the scores of words from the Obama-word stem.
(3) Climate Change — Considered politically neutral compared to global warming.
(4) Swine Flu – Popular name for the illness caused by the H1N1 virus.
(5) Too Large to Fail – Institutions that are deemed necessary for financial stability.
(6) Cloud Computing – Using the Internet for a variety of computer services.
(7) Public Option – The ability to buy health insurance from a government entity.
(8) Jai Ho! – A Hindi shout of joy or accomplishment.
(9) Mayan Calendar – Consists of various ‘cycles,’ one of which ends on 12/21/2012.
(10) God Particle – The hadron, believed to hold the secrets of the Big Bang.

The Top Names of 2009 Rank/Name/Comments

(1) Barack Obama – It was Obama’s year, though MJ nearly eclipsed in the end.
(2) Michael Jackson – Eclipses Obama on internet though lags in traditional media.
(3) Mobama – Mrs. Obama, sometimes as a Fashion Icon.
(4) Large Hadron Collider – The Trillion dollar ‘aton smasher’ buried outside Geneva.
(5) Neda Agha Sultan – Iranian woman killed in the post-election demonstrations.
(6) Nancy Pelosi – The Democratic Speaker of the US House.
(7) M. Ahmadinejad – The President of Iran, once again.
(8) Hamid Karzai – The winner of Afghanistan’s disputed election.
(9) Rahm Emmanuel – Bringing ‘Chicago-style politics’ to the Administration.
(10) Sonia Sotomayor – The first Hispanic woman on the US Supreme Court.

For more information, go to -> http://www.languagemonitor.com/

(Source: The Global Language Monitor, December 21, 2009)

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This story tells of two friends walking through the desert.

During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.

The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone. Why?”

The other friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. When someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, where no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in sand, and to carve your benefits in stone.

(Source: Unknown)

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Many people with Alzheimer’s have trouble sleeping, which can leave them exhausted during the day. Fatigue takes a toll on both patients and their caregivers. Indeed, irregular sleeping is a major reason why families move relatives with Alzheimer’s into long-term care. Light therapy is a promising treatment under investigation for people with Alzheimer’s who struggle with sleep.

Alzheimer’s patients who have trouble sleeping should first be evaluated for underlying sleep disorders and medical conditions that cause sleep trouble. Also, stopping medications that affect sleep or switching to more tolerable drugs may help.

No studies have found that conventional sleep aids, like Ambien (zolpidem) and Sonata (zaleplon), or sedative antidepressant medications like trazodone (Desyrel) effectively treat disturbed sleep in Alzheimer’s patients. And supplements that boost levels of melatonin (a hormone that makes people feel tired) have limited effect, perhaps because Alzheimer’s patients have fewer melatonin receptors in the brain than people without dementia.

Light therapy – regular exposure to sunlight or special bright lamps that mimic natural light – is another option. Exposure to bright light signals to the brain that it is daytime and helps set the body’s circadian rhythms — regular mental and biological changes that occur over a 24-hour cycle and regulate important functions, like preparing the body for sleep at night.

How well does light therapy work for Alzheimer’s patients? In a three-week study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 66 adults with dementia living in long-term care facilities were exposed for varying amounts of time to bright ceiling lights installed in common areas.

Compared with participants who did not spend time under the lights, those who were exposed to light therapy for two and a half hours in the morning slept 16 minutes longer; those who were exposed for about eight and a half hours off and on throughout the day slept 14 minutes longer. The morning group was also able to fall asleep 29 minutes earlier, which is important since Alzheimer’s patients often can’t fall asleep until late at night.

But not all studies have produced positive results, and there are questions about the appropriate dosage. The amount of light prescribed for other conditions may not be sufficient for older patients with Alzheimer’s; eyes transmit less light with age, and visual problems are particularly common in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

While researchers have yet to determine the ultimate benefits of light therapy or how much is needed to have an effect, “It’s still reasonable to encourage people with Alzheimer’s to stay in well-lit areas during the day,” says Peter Rabins, M. D., Director of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins.

This may be more practical than purchasing specialized equipment, he notes. “The light-therapy boxes used by people with disorders like depression require sitting still in front of a bright lamp, and this can be a challenge for those with Alzheimer’s.” Spending time outside in the morning may be a convenient way to produce similar effects.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers these tips for better sleep:
– Maintain regular meal times and sleep schedules.
– Discourage alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine use.
– Encourage daily exercise (but no later than 4 hours before bedtime)
– Don’t give Alzheimer’s drugs before bedtime.
– Discourage watching TV or staying in bed during wakeful periods.

(Source: John Hopkins Health Alerts, 14 December 2009)

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ENGLISH HOSPITALITY

An American tourist in London decides to skip his tour group and explore the city on his own. He wanders around, seeing the sights, occasionally stopping at a quaint pub to soak up the local culture, chat with the locals, and have a pint of bitter.

After a while, he finds himself in a very nice neighbourhood with big, stately residences. No pubs,
no stores, no restaurants, and worst of all no public restrooms.

However, he really has to go, after all those Guinness ‘s. He finds a narrow side street, with high
walls surrounding the adjacent buildings and decides to use the wall to solve his problem.

As he is unzipping, he is tapped on the shoulder by a London bobby, who says, “Sir, you simply cannot do that here, you know.”

“I’m very sorry, officer,” replies the American, “but I really have to go, and I just can’t find a public
restroom.”

“Ah, yes,” said the bobby, “just follow me”. He leads the American to a back delivery alley to a gate, which he opens.

“In there,” points the bobby, “whiz away sir, anywhere you like.”

The fellow enters and finds himself in the most beautiful garden he has ever seen. Manicured grass
lawns, statuary, fountains, sculptured hedges, and huge beds of gorgeous flowers, all in perfect bloom.

Since he has the policeman’s blessing, he relieves himself and feels much more comfortable. As he goes back through the gate, he says to the bobby “That was really decent of you. Is that what you call English hospitality?”

“No sir…”, replied the bobby, “that is what we call the American Embassy.”

(Unknown Source)

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There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, ‘You
have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Remember that friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.’

(Source: Unknown. Received from a friend)

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Dear Caregivers,

I came across this list and it’s timely for sharing with our new Caregivers.

NEVER LIST FOR CAREGIVERS

As a caregiver I know first hand how important it is to avoid aggravating, agitating, confusing or making demands on my loved one. The lbd forum is a good place for more insights.

I repeat the NEVER list from that source.

1. Never “argue”, instead “agree”

2. Never “reason”, instead “divert”

3. Never “shame”, instead “distract”

4. Never “lecture”, instead “reassure”

5. Never “remember”, instead “reminisce”

6. Never “I told you”, instead “repeat”

7. Never “you can’t”, instead “do what you can”

8. Never “command or demand”, instead “ask or maybe”

9. Never “condescend”, instead “encourage or praise”

10. Never “force”, instead “reinforce”

(Source: David Thomas, MD, http://knittingdoc.wordpress.com)

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Compounds Found in Black Pepper and Curry Powder Appear to Thwart Growth of Early Cells That Lead to Breast Cancer.

A new study suggests that compounds found in black pepper and curry powder help halt the growth of stem cells that give rise to breast cancer.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center applied piperine, found in black pepper, and curcumin, the main ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, to breast cancer cells in a laboratory dish. The spices, when used in combination, reduced the number of stem cells but did not harm normal breast cells.

“If we can limit the number of stem cells, we can limit the number of cells with [the] potential to form tumors,” Madhuri Kakarala, MD, PhD, RD, clinical lecturer in internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a research investigator at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, says in a news release.

Stem cells have the potential to develop into many different cell types. Cancerous stem cells are believed to fuel tumor growth. Some researchers believe that controlling or even curing cancer involves targeting stem cells.

The study team discovered that piperine enhanced curcumin’s effects. Curcumin and piperine are dietary polyphenols. Polyphenols are known to have anti-inflammatory and other protective properties. Together, the two spices prevented the breast cancer-initiating stem cells from regenerating and producing new cancer cells, a process called self-renewal. Yet the compounds appeared to have no effect on the normal cell development process.

“This shows that these compounds are not toxic to normal breast tissue,” Kakarala says. “The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.”

The spice solution in this experiment was about 20 times more potent than the individual spices found in a typical diet. Because piperine and turmeric have not been tested in patients at risk for breast cancer, the study team does not encourage supplement use at this time. They plan to conduct a clinical trial to determine the safe dose of curcumin and piperine in people.

This year in the United States, doctors will diagnose 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

(Source: WebMD Health News, 15 December 2009)

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