Friday, June 22, 2012

Painting lets students earn money, learn business skills

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A university student from Wetaskiwin is running a painting business to earn next year’s tuition – and she’s hiring other students.
StudentWorks Painting is a company that hires post-secondary students to paint interiors and exteriors for residential and commercial buildings. It also hires students to manage those painters.
Taylor Denham, who’s taking a bachelor of commerce at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, is responsible for running the company in Wetaskiwin.
“I am the franchisee, basically the owner and the operator of the Leduc, Wetaskiwin and Camrose divisions,” she said.
“There’s about 130 franchisees in Western Canada and we’re all university students.”
While Denham and her employees have done around 50 painting jobs so far, they are looking for more until the end of the summer.
Those interested in having painting done can get a free estimate that takes one-to-two hours.
During that estimate, Denham will examine what needs to be done, show the potential client a portfolio of previous jobs, and then present a price.
Any painting done comes with a three-year guarantee and the company has $4 million liability insurance.
Those interested in having some painting done can contact Denham at 780-387-8972.
StudentWorks also raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
“We’re the national sponsor for them, so we’ve raised more than $600,000 towards their cause,” Denham said. “Ten dollars from each job is donated to them.”
The company also matches any donations to the society made by clients.
Denham said she is looking for more employees.
“I am hiring painters,” she said, adding that those interested should email a resume to tay.denham@gmail.com.
One of those painters, Megan Akerstrom, is working to raise money for her next year as an interior design technology student at Lakeland College.
“One of my friends suggested it,” she said. “Then me and another friend applied and we both got it.”
Akerstrom said that she doesn’t mind the work and likes working outside.
“I like it. It’s a different thing everyday,” she said. “You get to work with people you’re friends with too, so (work) goes a lot easier.”
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Making Money in Mobile

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The publicity around Facebook’s IPO highlighted the challenge of mobile.  Facebook consistently demonstrated accelerated growth in users and profitability up through its S1.  Then came the updated first quarter financials where profitability trends turned south despite ever-impressive gains in mobile metrics.  Facebook illustrated the New Conundrum:  Increased access by mobile users derailed Facebook’s ability to earn revenue from those users.  It brought to the forefront of popular press the nagging question lurking in the minds of companies attempting to grow their mobile businesses:  How will mobile successfully make money?  Can it be monetized at all?
Selling apps is a first step.   Today, Apple and Google host robust app stores and others are following suit, such as Amazon and Facebook.  The majority of apps offered by Apple are for sale, while most of Google’s are free.  The average price for an app today for a smartphone is $3.77, and the app stores take a 30% cut.  And apps for tablets generally have a a higher price tag.  The other obvious way to make money with apps is to offer “brand” apps to sell their wares as another venue for the existing brand, such as Starbucks and Amazon.  Both have had tremendous success in offering apps as a mobile purchasing agent.  Starbucks launched its app in January 2011 and, by December, the app was downloaded 26M times and accounted for $110M Starbucks card reloads.  Pretty impressive.
However, mobile offers much more potential….and an opportunity to create the new mobile business model…
Where there are eyeballs, revenues are sure to follow.  Mary Meeker, Investment Partner at Kleiner Perkins, recently presented at the ‘All Things D’ conference and served up many interesting points.  Among them, Mary contended that the previous experience with desktop proved that as user numbers ramp, advertising dollars follow.  In 1995, she estimated there were 6M global internet users. These users spent $55M on global internet advertising, resulting in approximately $9 of ad revenue per user.  Fast forward to 2011:  There were 1.5B global internet users, and over $73B was spent on global internet advertising –  a five-fold increase resulting in $49 of ad revenue per user.  The correlation:  As adoption of the media advances, so follows the ad revenue.
Furthermore, mobile has more going for it than did desktop.  First, users have been through tech cycles now, so the experience is not entirely new – just a different venue.  Second, each new cycle is more quickly adopted, accepted, and embraced than previous cycles.  Third, advertisers and marketers are much more sophisticated and flexible, more willing to be innovative and creative towards working with a new venue.
Mobile grabs and holds user attention.  First, consider the experience.  Mobile requires more focus to hold, to change content, and to engage.  A mobile user is generally not at home or in an office and, thus, there is a greater need to ignore the surrounding noise and focus on the device.  Often the user’s goal is to focus on the device, and not the environment, such as when in line, shopping, or on public transportation.  Moreover, switching between content on a desktop is easy and requires just typing in a new URL, or clicking on another open browser.  In contrast, on a mobile device, every move requires “backing out” of the previous app before  selecting a new venue.
Second, consider the data.  Flurry Analytics found that in 2011,for the first time, minutes spent on mobile apps surpassed that on the web.   Data points to a continuing trend as, also in 2011, for the first time, shipments of smartphones and tablets exceeded those of desktops and notebooks.  One can argue that not only is the quantity of time spent on mobile bypassing desktop, but so is the quality of time.  Ooyala tested video engagement on various devices and found that mobile viewers have more patience to watch videos on their mobile device than on the desktop.  In fact, twice as many mobile viewers, 40%, were likely to watch ¾ of a video compared to desktop viewers.  For medium and longer videos, viewers are watching from mobile and tablets.  Most videos on desktops are under 3 minutes, while the greatest percentage of videos watched on a tablet are over 10 minutes.
Apps deliver information to users.  Mobile users can download apps so information that they are interested in is delivered to them, rather than having to type with big fingers on tiny buttons in a super small search box.  So, if one is interested in d├ęcor, he/she downloads Houzz; or if one is interested in ski conditions, he/she downloads Ski Report; or MyFitnessPal, to track calorie intake.  Users can find the most suitable apps for their topics of interest, and that data is delivered directly to them, as conveniently as a touch of an icon.   Apps are a tremendous venue to deliver targeted information because the interest is defined and the user has “opted-in” to receive information,  versus search which could potentially be one-off or random.  Apps provide the opportunity to engage with a potential customer, rather then simply flash a message.
The obvious limitation with traditional internet advertising (banner ads) on a mobile device is the small screen size.  The obvious advantage of mobile is that it is more engaging and targeted, and through certain types of apps, the audience is well defined and open to marketing information.  The challenge for marketers is to innovate the format of advertising away from banners and develop toward well-placed demonstrations, introductions or tags, and the opportunity for a direct one-click sale.
Facebook could nail monetizing mobile yet.  However, well-defined special interest or special topic apps that have already captured an audience may have the most success in monetizing mobile.  Think along the lines of Houzz, Shazam, or Mint.
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Australian Bauxite (ASX:ABZ) Announce State One Stockbroking Analyst Report

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About Australian Bauxite Limited

Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) (ASX:ABZ) holds the core of the newly discovered Eastern Australian Bauxite Province. Its 37 bauxite tenements in Queensland, NSW and Tasmania covering 8,500 km2 were rigorously selected on 3 principles: 1. good quality bauxite; 2. proximity to infrastructure connected to export ports; and, 3. free of socio-environmental or native title land constraints.

All tenements are 100% owned and free of obligations for processing and third-party royalties. ABx has already discovered many bauxite deposits and new discoveries are still being made as knowledge and expertise grows.

The company's bauxite is high quality and can be processed into alumina at low temperature – the type that is in short-supply globally. Global resources declared to date are 68 million tonnes. At the company's first drilling prospect in Inverell, northern NSW, an interim resource of 35 million tonnes has been reported from drilling 15% to 20% of the area prospective for bauxite and a resource of 25 million tonnes of bauxite has been reported at the Taralga project in southern NSW. 6 million tonnes maiden resource was declared at Guyra. Results from the Binjour Plateau in central QLD confirm that ABx has discovered a significant bauxite deposit including some bauxite of outstandingly high quality. Australian Bauxite Limited aspires to identify large bauxite resources in the Eastern Australian Bauxite Province which is emerging as one of the world's best bauxite provinces.

ABx has the potential to create significant bauxite developments in three states - Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. Its bauxite deposits are favourably located for direct shipping of bauxite to both local and export customers.
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Investors in Search of Bigger Fix to Euro Crisis

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The latest relief rally in European financial markets was over almost before it began.
The market’s tepid response on Monday to Greece’s supposedly momentous election of a pro-bailout party points to a hard truth. Investors will not stop punishing Europe until its leaders devise a comprehensive program with a lot more money to backstop the Continent’s banks and governments.
The election in Greece on Sunday gave the markets a few hours of relief before investors quickly moved their attention to Spain, pushing up its borrowing costs to more than 7 percent, the highest level since the country joined the euro currency. European stocks retreated from early gains to end the day little changed. The lingering question is, If good news doesn’t help much, what will it take to ease investors’ growing concerns about Europe’s debt crisis?
The Continent’s leaders have relied on piecemeal solutions over the last two years, dealing with problems in individual countries. The diminishing returns from these programs are giving support to a growing consensus that to defuse the crisis, the debt burdens of Europe’s weaker economies and banks may need to be shared by the entire Continent. That goal is seen as viable only if the countries agree to come together in a tighter political union.
“It’s pretty clear at this point that the strategies that have been pursued so far are not even close to working,” said Dean Curnutt, the chief executive of Macro Risk Advisors, which counsels major investors. “Every day that goes by the market skepticism grows.”
Proposals to take joint action are expected to come up at meetings of European leaders that begin later this week and build toward a European Council summit meeting on June 28 and 29. Many investors say it could be enough for European leaders to express their willingness to move toward a banking, fiscal and political union, even if they are not able to immediately take action. But urgency is needed to keep even more investors from racing for the exits. And there are enormous political obstacles to achieving any sort of agreement between leaders, because it would require nations to give up some of their independence.
There was dark hope in investing circles that an inconclusive election in Greece, or a victory by the left-wing anti-austerity party, would provide a sense of urgency to these efforts. Economists and analysts said Monday that with the Sunday vote resulting in new hope for a coalition government in Greece, only another, more serious crisis might be enough to provoke the necessary reforms.
The focus of investors on long-range issues — the growing problems of much bigger economies, particularly Spain and Italy — was apparent in their response to the Greek election. Both have high levels of debt that need to be refinanced by selling government bonds. But investors are pulling money out of both countries, worried that the risk of not being repaid is growing. That pushed up borrowing costs in Spain through the 7 percent mark — compared with 4.82 percent in early February — a level many consider unsustainable because of the added costs of paying off the debt. Bond yields soared in Italy, to 6.07 percent, from 4.98 percent in March.
Stocks over all also reflected a lack of confidence that the Greek vote mattered. Indexes were up sharply in Greece, but they were only marginally higher in Germany and Britain after giving up most of their earlier gains. They declined in France and Spain. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose 1.94 points, or 0.14 percent, to 1,344.78. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.35 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,741.82. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 22.53 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,895.33.
The price of the 10-year Treasury note rose 4/32 to 101 20/32. The yield fell to 1.57 percent, from 1.59 percent late Friday.
“The market positioned itself last week for a good result in Greece,” said Lefteris Farmakis, an interest rate strategist in London for Nomura International. “They got the result and the follow-through is brief. Then attention turns to the fundamental issues.”
Pressure to find a solution is growing as the economies in the United States and China show signs of being pulled down by the recession in Southern Europe. Leaders at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Mexico have been discussing measures to help stem the crisis, including delaying some austerity cuts.
But Europe’s own leaders are viewed as the only people capable of putting together the kind of reforms that will allow Spain, Greece and other struggling countries to regain the trust of international investors.
The most pressing problem is the bad loans that are sitting on the books of European banks, particularly in Spain, where rising real estate losses have called into question the viability of the country’s largest banks. Two weeks ago the European Union provided Spain with up to 100 billion euros to prop up its banks, but investors have so far judged that to be yet another partial solution, because they fear banks in other countries may eventually need help as well.
More recently, several European financial leaders have said that when they meet next week they will unveil a road map for a so-called banking union. This is expected to include a form of deposit insurance for European banks to ensure that banks maintain responsible lending standards.
But support for Europe’s banks is viewed by many investors as insufficient, given the rising borrowing costs facing a growing number of European governments. If any of the Continent’s larger economies find themselves unable to borrow money through the bond markets, they will have trouble paying their bills and could be forced to leave the euro.
Douglas Elliott, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that at some point Europe’s stronger economies, most of all Germany, would need to provide some form of shared guarantee for the bonds issued by its weaker neighbors. One approach would involve issuing so-called euro bonds that are backed by the entire Continent. Germany’s opposition to this has generated discussion of shorter-dated euro bills that would involve less long-term commitment. Even that would be unlikely to win support from Germany unless other European nations agree to give up some of their sovereignty.
Earlier in the crisis, it appeared to many investors that incremental steps by the European Central Bank would be enough to defuse problems in individual countries. Now, though, Alberto Gallo, a senior credit strategist at the Royal Bank of Scotland in London, said that the problem had progressed too far to be dealt with by anything less than big structural solutions.
“Investors have realized that the problems don’t need an anesthetic, they need a more serious operation,” Mr. Gallo said. “Until that comes, or there are commitments to get there, central bank measures are just going to last a little.”
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5 reasons why stock markets are depressed despite Greek verdict

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Global markets were expected to rally if Greece voted to stay in the euro. A slim victory for the main conservative party in the Greek election Monday did raise hopes of a strong global rally. Asian stocks rallied, the Dow Jones industrial average futures saw a sharp jump, and the euro rose. Indian markets also opened higher, and the rupee gained against the dollar.

However, the rally proved to be short-lived, indicating that the bumpy ride for financial markets isn't over yet. European stocks fell after a positive start. Indian markets were down sharply too, though a lot of it had to do with the RBI policy.

"This crisis is not over," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo. "The crisis will wax and wane for years. Maybe it will wane for the time being."

Here are the reasons why the Greece verdict failed to enthuse markets.

1) Despite a pro-bailout verdict, Greeks remain deeply opposed to the harsh budget cuts demanded by their European neighbors in exchange for bailout money. Greek unemployment is almost 22 percent. Syriza, the anti-bailout party, signaled on Sunday that it wants no part of a coalition government. And while New Democracy and Pasok, another pro-bailout party, have enough seats to form one, it could disintegrate quickly.

"Basically, all this does is keep the patient on life support, but doesn't resolve the basic problem," Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at the investment bank VTB Capital, said.

2) No long-term solution to the debt crisis: There are too many problems in Europe, particularly in Spain, plus evidence that the global economy is cooling, to justify a celebration.

3) Spain is too big to rescue: Borrowing costs increased to dangerously high levels of 6.94 per cent in Spain. That is dangerously close to the 7 per cent rate considered by market watchers to be unsustainable over the long term and the point at which Greece, Ireland and Portugal sought a bailout. Spain's IBEX index traded with over 1 per cent cut.

4) Hopes of Fed stimulus recede: With Greece voting to stay in the euro, fears of governments defaulting on their debts, a run on European banks and a worldwide credit crunch reminiscent of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008, have been averted.

5) Europe is not the only concern: Even if Europe finds an answer, investors have to contend with other big problems in the world economy. Job growth in the United States is slowing, and China's white-hot economic growth is cooling.
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Earn spare cash with these 5 apps

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Jump to the job with TaskRabbit
Ever have to assemble IKEA furniture? It can be an incredibly frustrating time suck. But for someone with power tools who knows his way around fiberboard furnishings, putting together bookcases and beds can be a way to earn extra spending cash. San Francisco-based startup TaskRabbit is a marketplace for folks with little time and never-ending to-do lists and runners willing to help out for a price. The income earned ranges from task to task, but the average chore comes to about $45. Assignments run the gamut from grocery delivery to crafting a love letter to win back an ex-girlfriend. An iOS app lets users post, browse and manage tasks on the go. Fun fact: Though the company has a rabbit as a mascot, it's actually a dog who helped sow the seeds of TaskRabbit. Founder and CEO Leah Busque was heading to dinner one evening when she realized there wasn't food for Kobe, her 100-pound yellow lab. Wouldn't it be great if she could pay someone to pick up a bag of Pedigree? No such service existed then; Busque decided to change that.

Connect with neighbors on Yardsale
Face it, you have plenty of stuff doing nothing but gathering dust, so why not sell it? There'a an app for that, and it doesn't involve Craigslist or eBay. Yardsale connects neighbors looking to buy, sell or give away their belongings — all from their iPhones. The app lets people list and browse items, notifying both parties when there are responses. When sellers have offers, they have the option to accept them as is or haggle for better deals. Most transactions are done in cash or with the mobile payments reader Square. Like traditional yard sales that served to bring together neighbors, the iOS app is also focused on connecting communities. Many buyers and sellers who use the app live within blocks away from each other, one of the company's co-founder tells me. The startup has a thriving community in the San Francisco Bay Area but is looking to expand to other cities soon.
So what's for sale? Everything from hugs to flat-screen TVs.

CheckPoints: Check in to your groceries
Foursquare introduced the world to the idea of checking in. Back then, people only checked into venues, such as bars and restaurants. But now the concept has taken off to the point where folks are checking into TV shows, books and even groceries. Yes, groceries — which you can do with CheckPoints, an app for iOS and Android devices. Why would you want to check into that bottle of Coca-Cola? It might sound silly, but by scanning the barcodes on various products with their phones, users can accumulate points that can be redeemed for gadgets, gift cards, airline miles and other goodies. In essence, the app serves like a rewards program that extends beyond just one store. There are many opportunities to earn additional points, including location check ins, user referrals, playing games and purchasing featured products. If you're heading to the store anyway, why not?

EasyShift rewards shoppers for tasks
If you need some spare cash, try picking up a few extra shifts. Similar to CheckPoints, EasyShift is an app that rewards shoppers when they're at the store. With it, iPhone users can double as mystery shoppers when running errands. EasyShift doles out $3 to $8 for completed shifts. The app asks consumers to check promotional pricing, take photos of particular items, answer inventory questions and more. Once users claim dibs on a shift, they have three days to complete it. Where does the money come from? EasyShift provides consumer brands with real-time retail intelligence, and companies, such as Nestle Dreyer's, pony up for these analytics. Next time you're at the store, fire up the app. It could pay for that carton of milk.

Parking Panda: Like Airbnb for parking
Tickets, check. Stealthily concealed booze, check. Last thing on the list is finding a parking spot. Should be easy, right? Wrong. Many of us are familiar with circling the blocks around concert venues and stadiums before relenting and shelling out big bucks for entry into a parking garage. It doesn't have to be so stressful.
Parking Panda is a parking community marketplace, where people can rent out garage, driveway and other parking spots to exasperated drivers. An Airbnb for parking, the service lets parking landlords list spaces along with photos, time restrictions, dates of availability and price. (Parking Panda will even help you set a fair price if you're stumped.) When someone rents your driveway, you receive a check (direct deposit is coming soon), and the service takes a 20 percent cut. For now, Parking Panda has a mobile-optimized site, but iOS and Android apps are on their way.
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How neo-Nazis may be making money from YouTube advertising

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Neo-Nazis may be using YouTube's revenue-sharing system on adverts to obtain payments from companies such as Virgin Media, BT and O2 without their knowledge or consent.
By putting videos on YouTube, extremist groups including Blood & Honour and Combat 18 have been benefiting from the automatic addition of ads to their videos. Revenue-sharing agreements under Google's Adsense programme allow YouTube members posting non-copyrighted videos to benefit from ads that appearin a panel to the right of the videos.
Some of the ad revenue is paid to the video owner and extremist groups have used this aspect of Google's business model to generate funding. When it was alerted to this, Google deleted the videos – but there is no indication it has put in place any protections to prevent a repetition.
Videos uploaded to neo-Nazi channels often appear to have the intention of rallying support by inciting hatred against minority and ethnic groups, despite YouTube's rules stating: "We do not permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity)."
Google said the volume of uploads – with 60 hours of video uploaded every minute – meant nearly 10 years' worth of content was uploaded to the site every day. It does not screen content; instead it relies on users of the website to flag inappropriate videos as a form of self-regulatory crowd-sourced control.
"YouTube's community guidelines prohibit hate speech, and we encourage our users to flag material that they believe breaks the rules," a Google spokesperson said. "We review all flagged videos quickly, and we promptly remove material that violates our guidelines.
"Videos with ads showing because of content claims created by YouTube's automated content ID system are subject to the same removal policies after they've been flagged by users."
However, Combat 18 members or sympathisers who view the video would have no incentive to flag the content, so repeated viewings would benefit the group through revenue sharing. Under the terms of AdSense, if non-copyrighted videos prove popular the user is invited to join Google's partner programme. YouTube channels are used to provide links to extremist materials and neo-Nazi websites, where discussion groups and literature can be accessed.
Included in these links are: the Turner Diaries, linked to a number of hate crimes such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 by Timothy McVeigh; and the diaries of the white supremacist Kevin Harpham, sentenced to 32 years in prison in December for planting a backpack bomb on the route of the Martin Luther King Jr Day parade in Washington.
German police have been investigating the YouTube account of one of the National Socialist Underground members arrested in February concerning the murder of 10 Turkish immigrants in a series of racist killings spanning almost 10 years. David Copeland, the London nail bomber, and Anders Breivik, who carried out the 2011 Norway attacks, are known to have sourced ideas and suspected to have received support from online communities.
When told its ads were being associated with neo-Nazi content, Virgin Media said: "Virgin Media has a strict policy on its ad placement, so we are concerned about ads appearing against unrelated and unsuitable content on YouTube. We are currently engaged with our advertising partners and Google to understand what measures can be put into place to prevent these occurrences going forwards."
In December, the actor and TV presenter and writer Stephen Fry – whose mother's aunt and cousins died in Auschwitz – tweeted: "Disturbing that such blue chip companies are, in a way, supporting neo-Nazi YouTube content."
Robert Levine, the former executive editor of Billboard magazine who writes about copyright technology, says it is an ethical problem: "I've looked at these videos. It's very disturbing stuff.
"Like Google in general, YouTube hides its corporate irresponsibility behind freedom of speech. But there are times when it seems more interested in its own freedom to sell advertising."
The science fiction author and columnist Cory Doctorow argues against intervention. "I don't know if I agree with the underlying 'dangerous and irresponsible' premise. I'm a free speech advocate, and I believe that the answer to bad speech is more speech," he said.
"Despite having hailed from Canada, where we have hate speech laws, I've concluded that they're generally worse than their alternatives, and are generally used by powerful people against people with less power and that actual 'hate crimes' are generally crimes per se and don't need further 'supercrime' status in order to successfully prosecute them."
A YouTube spokesperson said: "Seeing ads next to videos on YouTube does not indicate that those content providers are making money as a member of our partner programme. Ads can also be shown next to videos if they contain material that rights holders like the music industry have registered through YouTube's automated Content ID system."
• This article was amended on 22 June 2012 to change the headline, which originally said "How neo-Nazis are making money from YouTube advertising" and the first paragraph, which began "Neo-Nazis are using YouTube's revenue-sharing system…", and to append a quote from a YouTube spokesperson received after the article was originally published.
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Neo-Nazis use YouTube to make money from adverts

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Extremists post videos to exploit Google Adsense and share revenues from advertisers
British neo-Nazis are using YouTube's revenue-sharing system on adverts to obtain payments from companies such as Virgin Media, BT and O2 without their knowledge or consent.
By putting videos on YouTube, extremist groups including Blood & Honour and Combat 18 have been benefiting from the automatic addition of ads to their videos. Revenue-sharing agreements under Google's Adsense programme allow YouTube members posting non-copyrighted videos to benefit from ads on the page.
Some of the ad revenue is paid to the video owner and extremist groups have used this aspect of Google's business model to generate funding. When it was alerted to this, Google deleted the videos - but there is no indication it has put in place any protections to prevent a repetition.
Videos uploaded to neo-Nazi channels often appear to have the intention of rallying support by inciting hatred against minority and ethnic groups, despite YouTube's rules stating: "We do not permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity)."
Google does not screen content; instead it relies on users of the website to flag inappropriate videos.
"YouTube's community guidelines prohibit hate speech, and we encourage our users to flag material that they believe breaks the rules," a Google spokesperson said. "We review all flagged videos quickly, and we promptly remove material that violates our guidelines."
However, Combat 18 members or sympathisers who view the video would have no incentive to flag the content, so repeated viewings would benefit the group through revenue sharing.
Under the terms of AdSense, if non-copyrighted videos prove popular the user is invited to join Google's partner programme. YouTube channels are used to provide links to extremist materials and neo-Nazi websites, where discussion groups and literature can be accessed.
Included in these links are: the Turner Diaries, linked to a number of hate crimes such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 by Timothy McVeigh; and the diaries of the white supremacist Kevin Harpham, sentenced to 32 years in prison in December for planting a backpack bomb on the route of the Martin Luther King Jr Day parade in Washington.
German police have been investigating the YouTube account of one of the National Socialist Underground members arrested in February concerning the murder of 10 Turkish immigrants in a series of racist killings spanning almost 10 years. David Copeland, the London nail bomber, and Anders Breivik, who carried out the 2011 Norway attacks, are known to have sourced ideas and suspected to have received support from online communities.
When told its ads were being associated with neo-Nazi content, Virgin Media said: "Virgin Media has a strict policy on its ad placement, so we are concerned about ads appearing against unrelated and unsuitable content on YouTube. We are currently engaged with our advertising partners and Google to understand what measures can be put into place to prevent these occurrences going forwards."

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Google accused of funding neo-Nazis via Adsense

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Google has been accused of indirectly funding neo-Nazi groups by sharing advertising revenues from YouTube and Adsense with extremist groups.
Reports in the guardian suggest that extremists are taking advantage of these revenue sharing systems to obtain money from some of Britain’s top advertisers, including Virgin Media, O2 and BT, without their knowledge.
Groups such as Blood & Honour and Combat 18 are cited as having taken advantage of such arrangements by overlaying adverts over their hate clips.
YouTube’s rules explicitly forbid incitement to hatred of minority or ethnic groups but nevertheless plays host to several neo-Nazi channels as the volume of uploads makes it impossible to vet all footage.
A YouTube spokesperson said: “YouTube's community guidelines prohibit hate speech, and we encourage our users to flag material that they believe breaks the rules. We review all flagged videos quickly, and we promptly remove material that violates our guidelines.”
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Google's AdSense Places Major Brands Next to Neo-Nazi YouTube Videos

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Several high-profile brands including Virgin Media, BT and O2 have inadvertently bought advertising placed in front of neo-Nazi content on Google’s video-sharing site YouTube.
The Guardian reports that the neo-Nazi groups Blood & Honour and Combat 18 have participated in Google’s AdSense program, which means that both Google and the extremist groups have earned money from ads placed alongside their videos on YouTube.
The report claims that the groups are using their YouTube channels "to provide links to extremist materials and neo-Nazi Web sites, where discussion groups and literature can be accessed."
Because AdSense is an automated program, neither Google or the aforementioned brands knew that the ads were being placed near questionable content. And because Google does not pre-screen video content uploaded to YouTube, Google didn’t even know the neo-Nazi videos were there. However, once it was alerted to their presence, Google removed them immediately.
YouTube certainly promotes free speech, but per its rules, it does not permit “hate speech,” which it defines as “speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity."
That may be, but The Guardian points out that Google wouldn’t say whether it plans to put any protections in place to prevent a repetition.
The search did say, as it has before, that due to the volume of content uploaded to YouTube -- 60 hours of video per minute or nearly 10 years worth of content every day -- that it cannot pre-screen content before it is uploaded; instead, it relies on users to flag inappropriate videos.
When told that its ads were appearing next to neo-Nazi content, Virgin Media replied that it was “concerned” and would work with Google and its advertising partners “to understand what measures can be put into place to prevent these occurrences going forwards."

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sperm Health

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What are the similarities between tight underwear, alcohol and hot tubs?
Answer: they all have a negative effective on sperm counts and sperm potency. Drinking, Smoking, lack of exercise, taking drugs, stress, poor nutrition, and of course tight under wears have been proved to decline the quality of sperm.

Among the factors that may affect the sperm quality could be summarized in 6 main points. They include sperm mobility, concentration, morphology, speed, count and last but not the least sub fertility. A weakness in any of these areas can affect the chances of conception.

Mobility:Sperm mobility describes the sperm's ability to move in a rather dynamic and active fashion. In a healthy sperm, more than 50% of them can be accounted as active with over 25% of them moving vehemently in one direction. Its importance can be understood by the fact that it enables the sperm to travel through the cervical canal, into the uterus and the fallopian tubes and, finally, to penetrate the egg.

Concentration:Concentration is the measure of the number of sperm cells in a ml. of semen. Normal concentration is around 22 million sperm cells per ml. of semen.

Morphology:A healthy sperm cell resembles a tadpole in its shape. The sperm's oval head contains the genetic material; the center provides energy and the tail thrusts the sperm forward. Furthermore, experts believe that abnormally shaped sperm cannot fertilize an egg.

Speed: According to the WHO in a healthy male, greater than 25% of sperm will exhibit progressive mobility. It is thought that these are the sperm with the best chance of successfully fertilizing an egg.

Count:It refers to the number of sperms in the fluid that is ejaculated. There are a good over 50 million sperms in a normal ejaculate. A total count below 40 million may indicate decreased fertility.

Sub fertility: The term, sub fertility, refers to the couples who are unable to achieve conception even after a year’s period of unprotected intercourse It is different from infertility.

Typical causes of male sub fertility

• Sperm production problems
• Blockages in the sperm's delivery system
• Injuries to the testicles
• Low or high hormone production
• Anatomical problems
• Varicocele (varicose veins around the testicle)
• Past illnesses/ infections/ various diseases
• Certain medications
• Sperm quality

Statistics:
Male factors accumulate for over 40 percent for sub fertility. Female-related factors account for another 40 percent and a combination of male- and female-related factors account for about 20 percent.

1 out of every dozen couples has sub fertility.
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Cervical Cancer 101 what you need to know about

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Cervical cancer affects the female body in the cervix region. The womb of a woman finds its opening through the cervix. Many a times the human papilloma virus causes the disease. It is transmitted sexual exchanges. The cervix being the most important organ of the reproductive system requires proper attention as far as cancer onset is concerned. Such a cancer affects the other organs of the cervix region and can cause damage to the reproductive organs. This makes the disease all the more fatal. Such a spread is commonly termed as metastasis.

Although human papilloma virus is the main cause of the disease but it is also diagnosed with women who are in a habit of smoking. The instances of lung and breast cancer associated with the cervical cancer are there. This shows that the susceptibility of women to have cancer is higher by the means of cervical cancer. The disease is indicated by the presences of warts on the area around cervix. But a regular medical check up is required because sometimes the warts may not even appear on the skin and the disease goes undetected.

The common symptoms of the disease are prolonged pains in the thoracic region. Sometimes the leg and the lower back start paining unbearably. Anemia is very frequently associated with cervical cancer. As a result of anemia the patient also experiences a weight loss and fatigue. The person also looses his normal appetite. The detection of this carcinoma by oneself is almost impossible. It is at the later stages only that, with the help of a doctor can one detect it.

The disease is very deadly as its detection is very difficult. Though the doctors can detect it by a simple pap smear but if the treatment is avoided for too long then it may cause a fatal results. The most important thing to note here is that the disease can spread to other parts of the body including the vagina and the other connective tissue. It spreads vigorously and the infection spreads very fast. The disease has the potential to damage the primary reproductive organs and jeopardize reproductive capacity of the woman.

A particular form of papilloma strain increases the vulnerability to disease. Also improper sexual behaviour and inadequate hygiene also caters to the onset of cervical cancer. A drug administered to prevent miscarriage (diethylstilbestrol), if given in great quantities also increases the susceptibility of the disease. The diagnosis of the disease is done by examining the vaginal fluid of the suspected patient and is checked for the strains of cancer.

Chemo-radiation is a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is an effective measure in treatment of cancer. The infected cells can also be surgically removed. But the woman has to make a tough decision regarding jeopardizing her fertility. Thus most women go for the usual medication. A simple approach to prevent the disease is to have clean habits and regular check ups. The disease can be prevented by such steps though it cannot be ruled out after these.

A healthy woman is the most important asset of a family and there fore a woman should keep her self clean and ready to prevent such disease.
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BREATHE EASY SALTPIPE SALT INHALER.

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The natural respiratory aid to easier breathing! Clinically proven to relieve suffering from asthma.

BREATHE EASY SALTPIPE SALT INHALER.The natural respiratory aid to easier breathing! For centuries salts have been used as folk remedies by many different cultures in regions around the world. Today people suffering from respiratory disorders travel to curative mines such as Wieliczka in Poland, Hallen in Austria or Praid in Romania. Now you can achieve the benefits of salt therapy easily simply and in the comfort of your own home. The BREATHE EASY SALTPIPE SALT INHALER. The modern way to experience salt therapy.

BREATHE EASY SALT THERAPY PIPE Clinically proven to relieve suffering from asthma. Studies reveal that salt therapy shows an improvement in 85% of cases of mild, moderate asthma, 75% of cases of severe asthma and 97% of cases of chronic bronchitis!

Off to the salt mines? Whatever for!

Hundreds of thousands of people suffering from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory system disorders have found that visits to the salt mines of Wieliczka in Poland, Hallen in Austria or Praid in Romania or the Dead Sea to inhale the salt brine vapour have brought amazing natural respiratory relief and treatment of asthma, nasal catarrh, sinusitis, breathlessness, bronchitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, night coughing, rhinitis, irritation and coughing caused by pollution and smoking, hay fever and other allergies. Breathe easy! Now you can achieve the benefits of rock salt vapours easily and simply and in the comfort of your own home with the COMPACT BREATHE EASY SALT PIPE SALT INHALER. - the modern way to experience salt therapy.

Salt of the Earth

The benefits of salt therapy or speleotherapy are well documented. In the mid 18th Century a Polish health official Felix Botchkowski noticed that the workers of salt mines did not get ill with lung diseases. He wrote a book about the effects of salt dust in 1843. His successor Mstislav Poljakowski founded a Salt Spa in Velicko near Krakow, which is still in operation.

During the Second World War salt mines were often used as bombproof shelters. After spending time there many people who suffered from asthma felt that their health had improved!

The BREATHE EASY SALT PIPE SALT INHALER is a patented porcelain pipe inhaler filled with Miocene Mineral Halite Salt Crystals from the Transylvanian Praid Salt mine placed in the pipe chamber between ceramic filters so air is drawn through the salt. Its salty therapeutic microclimate calms and cleanses the cells of the respiratory system. When using the pipe the moisture of the passing air absorbs the micron sized particles of the salt that penetrates into the respiratory system to induce natural self cleansing mechanisms that flush away the impurities from the surface of the cells, mechanically cleanse the passage ways, help clear out the nasal cavities and help calm, heal and repair inflamed lungs and airways. Acting as a ‘muco kinetic’ it helps restore the normal transport of mucus and unclog blockages in the bronchi and bronchioles.

Just a few minutes or regular daily use can be of major benefit not only to asthma, hay fever and allergy sufferers, smokers and snorers but can also help overcome stuffiness, persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and wheeziness during colds, flu and other infections and neutralise the daily damaging effects of air pollution, dust, smog, fog and secondary cigarette smoke.
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Teeth Whitening Naturally

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One of the latest dental habits to make waves has to do with teeth whitening. Understandably there are several means in which to achieve whiter and brighter teeth. Equally there are varying costs and also some minute risk factors connected with a few of the teeth whitening techniques.

If you are into attaining whiter teeth the natural way there are options you may not have even considered. Most of the natural whitening tips and techniques found to be effective take patience and time for results to appear. If you are patient and diligent there will be results.

When looking for natural teeth whitening products in the retail shops and health food stores you will find many varieties. Toothpaste with teeth whitening properties included in the ingredients or advertisement will be beneficial to your efforts for a whiter brighter smile. Some natural efforts for whiter teeth may take longer to achieve than the chemically based whiteners but the results will still be noticeable.

There are several common natural whiteners present in the natural teeth whiteners. These change over the course of years as newer more effective methods present themselves through research. Bamboo powder, calcium carbonate and silica are some of the ingredients you may find today in the natural teeth whitening products. Silica cleans and whitens teeth. Stains are removed with silica and there is no harsh abrasion involved. Abrasion can damage enamel.

One of the obvious ways to reduce staining of the teeth and promote healthy gums is by drinking lots of water. Drinking a lot of water steers you away from drinking fluids that are darker and tend to stain or discolor teeth. Coffee, tea, and especially dark colored soda's are among the top drinks that leave stains on teeth. An occasional beverage that leads to staining is not a problem. Constant consumption of these types of drink is not conducive to teeth whitening.

Cigarette or cigar smoking is bad for your over all health and clearly causes damage to organs and tissue that you cannot see with the naked eye. Cigar and cigarette smoking is also another deterrent from naturally white teeth.
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What Exactly is Testosterone?

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Testosterone is a member of the steroid family of hormones called androgens. More and more, this family is derived through chemical conversion from the steroid ring-structure of cholesterol. This hormone plays a vital role in the bodies of both men and women.

There are only minor differences between this hormone and others such as estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, cortisone, and androstenedione. They are small molecules, which becomes important when we look at what routes of administration are available.

As commonly known, testosterone stimulates the development of the penis and testes, growth of facial and pubic hair, deepening of the voice, changes in body shape, growth of bones, and increased muscle mass and strength in males. It helps maintain sex drive and the production of sperm cells, and it may play a role in balding. Mood is also affected by testosterone, and low levels of the hormone can cause severe and prolonged depression as well as fatigue, to name a few conditions. High levels of testosterone appear to promote good health in men, for example, lowering the risks of high blood pressure and heart attacks. High testosterone levels also correlate with risky behavior, however, including increased aggressiveness and sometimes even smoking, which may cancel out these useful health benefits.

Ninety-five percent of circulating testosterone is produced in the male testicles under the influence of a hormone released from the pituitary gland called luteinizing hormone (LH). Throughout the day, LH is released in spurts that stimulate the release of testosterone from the testicles. The signals are particularly strong in the early morning, which accounts for the higher testosterone levels and spontaneous morning erections and increased libido. By the late evening the levels of testosterone can fall by 50-percent, which signals the pituitary gland to increase its production of LH to restart the cycle.
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Dangerous Weight Loss Methods

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We’re all looking for that magic pill. You know - the one that we can take and lose weight without really trying!

What would you give up to be skinny? How about your health? Well, some of the methods of weight loss may cost you exactly that. Before you decide that the way to lose weight is to follow one of the below regimens, take a second look. Do your research and be sure that you understand the risks.

Are you considering one of these dangerous weight loss methods?

*Prescription diet pills

Amphetamines are available only by prescription, and most doctors are leery of handing them out these days. While they do suppress appetite, you learn nothing about healthy eating, you don’t change your eating habits, and you are likely to gain the weight back the moment you stop taking them. In addition, they can be habit forming. The side effects include high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, sleeplessness, hallucinations and delusions.

*Ephedra

This all natural Asian herb is found in many herbal remedies and weight loss powders. It has a powerful appetite suppressant effect, but has been implicated in over 70 deaths.

*Phentermine Fenfluramine-phentermine (fen-phen)

Fen-phen was a popular weight loss supplement in the 90’s until it was implicated in deaths due to heart-valve damage. Phentermine alone is still sold in many weight loss aids. The side effects include headaches, dizziness, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure and insomnia.

*Laxatives

One of the popular home remedies, used for purging. Regular use and abuse of laxatives can result in low potassium, arrhythmia, and pancreatic damage.

*Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, the most commonly used artificial sweetener, has been implicated in multiple lawsuits alleging damages that include blindness, seizures and brain damage.

*Smoking

Afraid you’ll gain weight if you quit smoking? The National Institute of Diabetes says that you’d have to gain 100-150 pounds to match the health risks you invoke by smoking. Instead, set up healthy strategies to help you deal with food cravings and put down the cigarettes.

*Purging

Like laxatives, purging by forcing oneself to vomit or taking emetics can have very damaging effects on health. Depletion of nutrients like potassium and vitamins, damage to the esophagus from stomach acids, and esophageal rupture are all possible side effects.

*Diuretics

Taking diuretics encourages your body to rid itself of fluids - including vital electrolytes. The depletion can lead to dehydration, and cause your body to start retaining water, starting a vicious cycle. Repeated or prolonged use of diuretics can lead to kidney damage and serious electrolyte imbalances, which may result in kidney or heart failure.

*Herbal Remedies

We have a tendency to equate ‘herbal’ with ‘harmless’, but say nutritionists, this isn’t always the case. Remember that many medications are derived from herbs, and because of the lack of regulation, dosages of active ingredients can vary widely from one manufacturer to another. Below is a list of some of the most common ingredients found in herbal weight loss powders, along with cautions about their effects in certain conditions.

Ephedra (ma huang, ephedrine, ephedra extract, epitonin, ephdra sinica and sida cordifolia) should not be taken by people with heart, thyroid or kidney disease, or with hypertension

Cascara and Senna should not be taken by people taking diuretics (both are often found in herbal weight loss teas)

Selenium and Capsaicin should not be taken by people with bowel or digestive disorders

Kava should be avoided by people with mood disorders who are taking mood altering medication, and people with Parkinson’s disease.

Gingko biloba, licorice root, and dong quay should not be taken by people who are taking blood thinners or anti-coagulants.

While weight loss is a worthwhile goal, guarding your health is an even more important one. Be sure that whatever weight loss method you choose it won’t lead to other serious medical conditions.
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Are you being troubled by Sinusitis?

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It is said that around 30 per cent of all people suffer from sinusitis or sinus infection at least once each year. Sinuses are little air pockets inside the skull bones. They are located to either side of the nose, behind and in between the eyes, in the forehead, and behind the head. Sinuses contain mucus that drains into the nasal passageways through pin holes in the sinuses.

A sinus infection happens when the paranasal sinuses on either side of the nose get inflamed. This happens during a cold or an allergy attack, when more histamines are produced in the paranasal sinuses. The inflammation blocks the narrow passageways, making the mucus collect there. This collected mucus soon becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. That's how a sinus infection begins.

The body produces histamines during allergic reactions. Histamines are neuro-transmitter chemicals. Though histamines are always present in our body, an allergy attack causes more histamines to be released at the site of the allergy attack. When a mosquito bites, for example, histamines are released at the area of the bite making the skin there turn red and itchy. When histamines are released, they cause inflammation and constriction of the muscles.

The symptoms of a sinus infection begin with headache, facial pain, nasal congestion, fever, green or yellow discharge, a heavy face feeling, etc. The infection usually lasts for three weeks or more.

Structural problems such as deviated septum, nasal polyps, etc. are conducive to a sinus infection.

The cure for sinusitis is steam inhalation, nasal irrigation, hot fluids such as tea or chicken soup, and plenty of rest. Aspirin or paracetamol tablets and decongestants are some of the medicines commonly prescribed for sinus infections. If the symptoms continue for more than 48 hours, the pateint should be started on antibiotics or nasal steroids. If you don't treat the sinus infection pretty early, it could even cause bronchitis and pneumonia and damage the sinuses and cheekbones. You would then have to go for nasal surgery to repair the damage.

When the sinus infection refuses to respond to medication, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) is the most efficient treatment.
Prevention is always better than cure. Stop smoking, because smoking is one of the chief stimulants of sinusitis (sinus infection). Take an oral decongestant or a short course of nasal spray decongestant, especially before air travel. Drink plenty of fluids, so the nasal discharge remains thin, and use antihistamines for controlling allergy attacks. Allergy testing can also increase tolerance towards allergy inducing substances.
An allergic reaction is an unnecessary, and even dangerous, immune response that should be prevented. Antihistamines counteract these immunological inconsistencies. One of the factors that cause our immune system to go awry is the increasing presence of toxins in the environment. These toxins also touch off allergy attacks in the body.

Recent research has found that a new group of sugars called glyconutrients could represent the next frontier in building a robust immune system. Eight of these essential sugars have already been discovered. They play a major role in the some of the body's most fundamental chemical processes, and also have a role in keeping the human immune system in perfect order.

Consuming glyconutrients through natural dietary supplements could go a long way in regulating histamine-induced disorders and allergies, and in preventing sinus infections.
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Just the facts on youth and smoking

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(NC)—See how much you know about youth and smoking in Canada. The facts could astound you. Answer true or false to the following statements.

1. Almost all adult smokers began smoking before they could legally buy cigarettes.

2. The sophistication, fun and glamour messages seen in ads, or in the movies, do not play an important role in getting young people to start smoking.

3. Teenagers smoke more than a billion cigarettes a year.

4. Children exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) from parents have more childhood illnesses than children in smoke-free homes.

5. One out of 10 teens that try smoking get hooked.

6. Research has shown that tobacco prevention programs should be taught

continuously from kindergarten through high school if students are to lead a smoke-free lifestyle.

Answers

1. True. And among teen smokers, females had their first cigarette by approximately the age of 12 and males by the age of 13.

2. False. Kids are twice as likely to be influenced by advertising as they are from peer pressure. Young people are three times more likely to smoke if their film heroes smoke.

3. True. Teenagers do smoke more than a billion cigarettes a year, resulting in retail sales worth over $400 million. The average teen spends $1,000 per year on cigarettes.

4. True. Children exposed to ETS in homes have a higher number of childhood illnesses than children in

smoke-free homes. For example, in Canada there are 2,200 bronchitis hospitalizations, 11,000 ear infections and 180,000 asthma cases per year.

5. False. In fact, the number is much higher. Eight out of 10 teens that try smoking get hooked. Seventy percent of 15-19 year-old smokers report at least one attempt to quit smoking over the last 12 months.

6. True. Building a foundation in the early grades gives students a head start in gaining an awareness and attitude to shape a healthy lifestyle. A new and innovative smoking prevention program is now available to all elementary and high schools in Ontario through The Lung Association.
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Top 10 Causes Of Acne

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Here’s my top ten list of the causes of acne. I hope that from the list you can identify what might be causing your acne.

HORMONE LEVELS
Your hormone levels fluctuate at different stages of your life, such as puberty and pregnancy.

TOXINS
Acne can occur if your body contains more toxins than the kidneys can remove.

STRESS
If you are under any sort of stress this can give you acne.

SEBUM
Your own oil glands can produces excess of sebum. This can accumulate and cause blocked pores.

FOOD
Food can significantly affect your acneYou should avoid foods that have been processed or refined. You should also reduce your intake of fried foods and foods containing a high level of sugar.

COSMETIC MAKE UP
If your make-up contains comedogenic ingredients this can lead to acne. Such ingredients are usually derived from petroleum. Make-up can also contain dyes than can contribute towards acne.

SMOKING
Yes, smoking can increase your risk of acne. If you need another reason to quit smoking here it is.

SKIN TONERS.
If your skin toner contains acetone or alcohol this will lead to the drying of your skin and this could cause acne.

HARSH CLEANING
Cleaning with soaps that contain chemicals such as detergent and fragrances will cause acne.

THE SUN
Although sun bathing seems to initially improve your acne, it actually dries your skin which leads to more acne.
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The Facts about Sinusitis

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Sinusitis

Simply put, sinusitis is inflammation of the lining of your sinuses.

Sinuses

The sinuses are located behind the eyes, the cheeks, and the jaw. They are chambers in which mucous is produced to clean out the bacteria that we take in every day through the mouth and nose. The mucous moves along the cilia, which are tiny, moving hairs that maneuver the mucous. Sinusitis creates difficulties for the sinuses as they try to do their job, because the cilia cease to move and the sinuses either produce too much mucous or too little.

Possible Causes

Sinusitis can be caused in a variety of ways. The inflammation of the sinus lining is sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity, and often swimming, diving, extreme changes in temperature, and smoking will set off inflammation. The reason these things can cause sinusitis is that they create a friendly environment for bacteria and viruses.

For example, smoking paralyzes the cilia, causing the sinuses to think that there are bacteria or a virus and to produce more mucous. Since the cilia cannot move, the mucous just sits there, congests, and becomes a breeding ground for more bacteria, creating a sinus infection. Stagnant water or liquid buildup from water activities can produce similar effects. Or, if a virus has already infected the sinuses and swelling occurs, then the produced mucous will build up even more. Sinusitis is just the beginning of any nasal problem.

What many people don’t know is that sinusitis, though beginning in the sinuses can also contribute to an ear infection. The reason is that the sinuses and the ears are connected through the Eustachian tube, and something as simple as sneezing can push infection right out to the ears. Not only can infection move out to the ears but also down to the lungs. Sinusitis is not entirely unrelated to an upper respiratory infection. Often Sinusitis, ear infection, and upper respiratory infection have similar, if not the same, causes.

Sinusitis Symptoms

As mentioned in previous articles, the culprit is often post nasal drip. Post nasal drip is often part of a cold or flu symptom. It is a sensation of mucous dripping in the back of your throat. Frequent sniffing and swallowing should be indications of proactive sinuses. In other words, sinuses are producing more mucous because they sense bacteria or a virus. Sinusitis and sinus infection do frequently occur in the wake of a cold or the flu.

Sinusitis Prevention

Prevention is the best way to stay out of the way of sinusitis. Many of the preventions are also treatments. For example, Xylitol, a natural enemy to bacteria, is a time-tested prevention for sinusitis. Xylitol is now being used as the leading ingredient in nasal spray. The regular rinsing of the sinuses is generally helpful in keeping bacteria from settling and mucous from getting over-produced.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The proper way to smoke a cigar

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Okay. So you've gone out and bought a couple cigars and decided that you wanted take up the popular pastime of cigar smoking. After all, this pastime has increased in popularity in recent years, spawning magazines and books and smoking bars. It's a fine, affluent, and cultured hobby to be a part of it. So what kind of accessories do you need, in addition to your cigars, in order to have an authentic cigar smoking experience?

You'll want to get yourself a humidor. They come at a variety of styles and types but you should get one that is made of Spanish cedar, or at least contains Spanish cedar in it. Spanish cedar is often used to help keep cigars fresh for indefinite periods of time. And, a humidor kept at 70% will keep your cigars in an ideal state of humidity so that they'll be ready to smoke when you are. You can overcome problems in your humidor's humidity by making sure that it is full of cigars, since a nearly empty humidor will throw off the humidity.

Before you can light up your cigar, you'll need to clip off the end. This will expose the inside leaves of the cigar which are the ones that impart the most flavor as you draw in the cigar smoke. While many people use any sharp object handy, like a pocket knife, you can really enjoy this cigar smoking experience before you even light up by getting yourself a little guillotine clipper. Usually they have three holes, two for your fingers and one in the middle for the cigar. You put the cigar in the middle one and pinch your fingers and a little blade snaps the cap off of the end of the cigar.

The next thing you'll need is a good lighter. Cigar connoisseurs recommend that you don't use a regular lighter or a match, since the sulfur from the match or the fluid from the lighter will add an unpleasant taste to your cigar. A butane lighter is one popular way to light your cigar without the after effects of bad flavor.

While not necessary, a smoking jacket was a traditional garment used by men to keep smoke from getting on their clothes. They are typically three-quarter-length coats of a very rich material and deep in color, with cuffs. While they may not be readily available in stores anymore, you may find them in secondhand clothing shops or you can get a tailor to make one for you. It is a fun way to add a level of authenticity in class to your cigar smoking experience.
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Does Your Morning Coffee Cause You Pain or Discomfort?

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Does your morning coffee cause you pain? Are you frustrated when a night out dining with friends ends in discomfort instead of relaxed conversation? 
Do you carry antacids with you every day?
Heartburn is more than just a nuisance. It can detract from enjoying a meal, force you to change your routine and hang over your every decision - what to eat, what to drink, when to lay down.

What is this monkey on your back and how can you find relief?

WHAT CAUSES HEARTBURN?

Heartburn occurs when the acid content of the stomach makes its way back into the esophagus. A burning sensation and even a bitter taste are experienced by heartburn sufferers. If you are suffering more than twice a week you may have acid reflux disease - also known as GERD.


Why is this important? 

Not all heartburn is caused by GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). Occasional heartburn can be caused by a variety of factors but if you have regular episodes there are things you can do to help.

WHAT CAN I DO?
 

If you have regular heartburn the first thing you should do is stay away from regular use of antacids. Antacids can relieve the pain of occasional heartburn, but because they are designed to neutralize the acids in your stomach they can cause the stomach to create MORE acid - a cycle called 'acid rebound'. Some medications can also cause diarrhea or constipation or even increase the risk of food poisoning by inhibiting the growth of
good bacteria. Watch out for trigger foods such as caffeine, alcohol, citrus, chocolate, minty, spicy or tomato-based foods as well as fatty or fried foods, onions or garlic. Being overweight or smoking also increases the risk of GERD and lifestyle changes may help to control the symptoms. Activities such as lying down after a meal, bending forward, lifting heavy items or eating large meals can bring acid reflux on. Avoiding these activities after a meal, eating smaller portions and raising the head of your bed several inches may help. Some natural products such as orange peel extract are being researched for their abilities to curb heartburn.

WHO IS AT RISK?

Anyone. But it should be noted that pregnant women, children, overweight individuals and smokers are all likely candidates. Young babies have immature digestive systems. National Digestive Diseases (NDDIC) says that most children outgrow GERD by the time they are one year old. However, because the symptoms are painful precautions like frequent burping and keeping the infant upright for 30 minutes after eating can reduce the occurrence. Older children may have to take similar precautions in diet and activity as adults. You should always consult your doctor when you suspect GERD to avoid future complications. Being overweight or pregnant increases the pressure in the abdomen. 25% of pregnant women experience heartburn at some time
during their pregnancy. If you suspect GERD it is important to contact your doctor as there can be harmful side effects of persistent heartburn including scaring of the esophagus, asthma, erosion of the teeth and even increased risk of esophageal cancer. Frequent, persistent heartburn can also be a symptom of other serious
conditions and should be checked on by a professional. The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.
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Mesothelioma Cancer

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Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer in the general population. However, in individuals that were exposed to asbestos, it is not as rare. There are experts that have speculated on other causes. There are incidences of Mesothelioma with no known asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is not a lung cancer. Smoking does not cause it. It is a cancer of the mesothelial cells.

Causes of Mesothelioma
The only known, established cause of Mesothelioma is asbestos. The asbestos fibers are breathed in, travel through the lung and become lodged in the pleura, the thin, saran wrap-type membrane that lines that encases the lung. The pleura, produces a special lubricating fluid that facilitates the ability of the lungs to move inside the chest during breathing. The process of irritation from the infiltration of the asbestos fibers creates changes in the cells, which causes the Mesothelioma. This is known as pleural Mesothelioma. Less common is peritoneal Mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the membrane that encompasses the lining of the abdomen.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma
An individual with Mesothelioma experiences chest pain usually caused by a build-up of fluid in the pleural space called an effusion and shortness of breath. Since many doctors may not have expertise in the area of asbestos-related diseases, these symptoms are often believed, at first, to be attributable to other medical problems. A biopsy of the pleural tissue or fluid may reveal the cancer of the mesothelial cells and a proper diagnosis can thus be established. A history of the individual’s occupational exposure shall be taken. Since there is no “safe” level of exposure to asbestos, even brief, low level exposures may be enough to cause Mesothelioma.

Occurrence of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer and its incidence is actually increasing day by day. There is presently no known cure for Mesothelioma. As the disease progresses, the cancerous cells harden the pleura and spread. As time passes, breathing, sleeping and eating become more difficult and eventually it becomes increasingly more challenging for the victim to engage in normal activities and enjoy life.

Treatments of Mesothelioma
A number of treatments have been established to help contain the spread of the disease and reduce the pain associated with it. Chemotherapy, radiation and radical surgery to remove the lung and pleura are among the options that have been explored by the treating physician.

Prevention is better than Cure
Mesothelioma is a preventable disease. Many of the corporations that manufacture and make profit from the sale of asbestos-containing products are aware of the hazards of asbestos. Alternative fibers are available that could be used instead of asbestos. But asbestos is cheap, and available, and is a good filler and binder.

To Sum up
The varied and non-specific symptoms associated with Mesothelioma, can delay detection and diagnosis The cancer has a very long latency period, which means that it could be thirty years or more before the person even realizes that they have contracted the cancer .The onset of symptoms can take up to fifty years or more in some cases, but once the symptoms have manifested the lifespan of the person can be as short as several months. So, if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor right away. Make sure that your physician is aware of any previous asbestos exposure, and occupational risk factors.
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Factors that Increase and/or Lead to Snoring

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There are several health and lifestyle factors that contribute to snoring; and this is true for both men and women, since snoring is a condition that does affect both genders (though surveys suggest that men snorers outnumber women snorers by a ratio of 2:1).

Some of the major health and lifestyle factors that can contribute to snoring include:

Allergies, which can clog the airway and trachea

Allergy medications, which can dry the nasal cavities

Cold and Flu, which can similarly clog the airway (this is why some people experience snoring only when they’re suffering a cold or flu)

Thickened tissues in the nasal passages, which can sometimes result from some surgeries unrelated to snoring

Overuse of nasal sprays which irritate the nasal passageway

Enlarged adenoids and/or tonsils

Goiter (swelling of the an ineffective thyroid gland in the neck)

A disproportionately large tongue that blocks airflow

Ineffective regulation and neural control of mucus membranes

Obesity and excess weight (leading to an enlarged neck and excess soft tissue in the trachea)*

Excess gut/belly (relatively decreasing the size of the lungs)*

Drinking alcohol**, which: sedates the throat muscles and causes them to collapse, and dilates blood vessels which swells up throat tissue

Cigarette smoking, which inflames the upper airway

The normal aging process, which can simply lead to a loss of muscle tone in the neck and thus snoring

* Since relatively more men tend to experience an excess gut, this is one reason why more men tend to experience snoring than women.

** Any medication (prescribed, over the counter, or illicit) that leads to excessive relaxation can lead to snoring.
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GERD Essentials

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GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a clinical condition that occurs when reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus is severe enough to impact the patient’s life and/or damage the esophagus. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and esophagus while reflux means to flow back or return. You see, when chewed-up food slides down the esophagus or swallowing tube, and into the stomach, there digestive juices begin to break down the food. A special type of muscle called a sphincter connects the esophagus and the stomach. The sphincter works like a gate. It opens up so food can get into the stomach, and then it closes again. This keeps the food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. However, if the sphincter is weak or opens at the wrong time, there's a problem. Whatever's in the stomach goes the wrong way, which is back up into the esophagus. And because what's in the stomach is high in acid, this can irritate the esophagus. This condition is then called reflux.

GERD affects at least an estimated 5% to 7% of the global population. GERD is most common in adults over age 40 but virtually anyone can get GERD, even infants. Persistent heartburn is the most frequent symptom of GERD. It is an uncomfortable burning sensation behind the breastbone, most commonly occurring after a meal. This condition has nothing to do with the heart, but everything to do with the stomach and the esophagus. Eating too much and going to bed in a very full stomach can cause heartburn in a lot of people. The difference between GERD and heartburn is that GERD is a disease and heartburn is its most common symptom. Almost everyone has experienced heartburn. About 25 million American adults suffer daily from heartburn. Someone who experiences recurring, significant heartburn two or more times a week may have GERD. Frequent heartburn that disrupts one's lifestyle suggests the diagnosis of GERD. Another symptom of GERD is regurgitation. It is a sensation of acid backed up in the esophagus.

Early diagnosis of GERD is important to avoid complications in the future. A physician can usually make an easy diagnosis of GERD if the patient finds relief from persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation after taking antacids for short periods. Laboratory or more invasive tests, including endoscopy, barium-swallow radiograph, PH monitor examination, and manometry may be required if the diagnosis is still uncertain. If patients develop persistent GERD with frequent relapses, however, and it remains untreated, serious complications can develop over time. Such complications can include the following: ulcers, severe narrowing of the esophagus, erosion of the lining of the esophagus, precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus, and problems in other areas, including the teeth, throat, and airways leading to the lungs

There are various methods to effectively treat GERD starting from lifestyle measures to the use of medication or surgical procedures. But initial treatment of GERD is with lifestyle changes. Eating anything within three hours before bedtime should be avoided, stop smoking, avoid fatty foods, decrease portions of food at mealtime, elevating the head of the bed or mattress 6 to 8 inches, and losing weight if overweight. It is essential for individuals who suffer GERD to change their lifestyle, and seek an accurate diagnosis with their physician to receive the most effective treatment available.
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The Most Effective Treatments for Acid Reflux Disease

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Acid reflux disease, or GERD, is a common compliant of the digestive system, often characterised by persistent burning or discomfort behind the breastbone. As the symptoms of GERD can mimic those of coronary disease, it is important that you visit your doctor, if you have chronic heartburn. If you have been diagnosed as having acid reflux disease, there are many treatment options available to you to help you manage your symptoms.

The treatment of GERD usually incorporates simple lifestyle changes. It is very important for patients suffering from GERD to monitor their diets, eliminating any foods or beverages, which seem to aggravate their symptoms. Avoiding a diet high in fatty foods and alcohol is very important and quitting smoking can also help decrease your symptoms. Another effective way to alleviate your symptoms of acid reflux disease is
to try to manage your stress, which causes the body to produce more acid, often causing a flare-up.

If these changes are not enough to alleviate your discomfort, however, your doctor may prescribe drug therapy. Drug therapy is usually prescribed for the lifetime of the patient and often includes medications which inhibit the production of stomach acids, such as proton pump inhibitors or antacids.

While most patients tend to respond well to these treatments, sometimes surgery is the only option for those who do not respond well to other methods. The most common form of surgery used to treat GERD is fundoplication surgery, which repairs the lower esophagal sphincter, thus stopping the stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus. The average hospital stay is between one to four days, and it can sometimes take a patient up to five weeks to fully recuperate. Although surgery can successfully eliminate symptoms, a small number of patients will still need to take medication to fully control their GERD.

Whether you have been recently diagnosed with acid reflux disease or are a long-time sufferer, there are many treatment options available to you, and with a few simple lifestyle changes, under a doctor's supervision, can help you live with your symptoms.
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A Look at Acid Reflux and Your Diet

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There is an undeniable connection between the occurrence of acid reflux and diet. Everything in your body has a delicate balance. The human body is a miracle of systems that maintains just the right conditions to keep everything running smoothly. Therefore it’s the healthiest when there is an acidic balance or equilibrium. The stomach regulates acidic digestion with enzymes that convert acids into manageable alkaline or basal substances. However, when there is an over-production of acid, usually helped along by lifestyle choices like overeating or smoking, acid reflux is likely to occur, and if it goes unregulated, acid reflux disease can develop.

Fortunately, acid reflux and diet can be effectively improved by launching a few lifestyle changes. One of the most important things you can do to cool heartburn down is to avoid certain foods. In many cases, just changing the diet is all that is necessary to control acid reflux. Most health care professionals recommend a low-acid diet consisting of more alkaline or basal foods. Foods such as chocolate, foods with a lot of extra cheese, tomato sauce or catsup based foods, onions, chilies, caffeinated beverages, fatty or fried foods, alcohol, mint, and citrus fruits have been known to aggravate digestion, acting as catalysts for acid reflux.

So what foods are safe to eat? The key qualities in heartburn-friendly foods, for most people, are low fat and non-spicy. So, with that in mind you can probably guess that leafy greens and broccoli, lean cuts of grilled meat, egg whites, low-fat cheeses like feta, apples and bananas, multi-grain breads, and low-fat salad dressings are good choices. Junk food? Occasionally, but with caution, choose fat free cookies, baked potato chips, or red licorice. A good exercise to do if you suffer from heartburn regularly is to create a food diary and log your meal intake for 2 or 3 weeks. Then note each time you experience heartburn in order to target the foods you need to avoid.

In addition to making better food choices, consider changing your portion perception. Overeating is another acid reflux aggravator. Exercise caloric conscientiousness and choose to skip that second helping or fatty side dish, eat slow and drink plenty of water. Living without heartburn is within anyone’s grasp, and shouldn’t require drastic medical treatment. Simple, reasonable modifications in your eating habits can do wonders for quelling acid reflux, not to mention improving overall health.
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Facts about Heart Fluttering

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Heart fluttering is a condition that most people have experienced at some time or another. It is the sensation of a heart beating too much swiftly or irregularly. Heart fluttering is usually called "palpitations," which are rapid, forceful, regular or irregular heartbeats that are quite noticeable to the individual. A rapid, regular heart fluttering may be associated with sensation of pounding in the neck as well, due to simultaneous contraction of the upper, priming chambers of the heart which is the atria and the lower, main pumping chambers called the ventricles. If the heart fluttering feels very irregular, then it is likely that the underlying rhythm is atrial fibrillation. During this type of rhythm abnormality, the atria beat so rapidly and irregularly that they seem to be quivering, rather than contracting. The ventricles are activated more rapidly than normal and in a very irregular pattern.

Heart fluttering occurs normally during an exertion or an emotion, but some people can have an increase or irregularities of heart rate without warning and without an apparent reason. This generates the sensation of heart fluttering which is due in the majority of cases to an impairment of cardiac rhythm o arrhythmia. Heart fluttering may also be associated with feelings of anxiety or panic; it is normal to feel the heart thumping when you are terrified of something If heart fluttering is short-lasting there is no problem for the child, but if it last more than half an hour, it is advisable to call on a physician or a hospital to make an examination and an ECG.

While heart fluttering can be a cause of concern to people who experience them, it is usually not a sign of an impending heart attack. For most people who are physically healthy and emotionally well-adjusted, they do not signify an underlying heart disorder but are most commonly caused by physical exertion, anxiety, fear, excessive smoking, too much caffeine, and ingredients in certain medications, including some cough and cold medications. In rare cases, heart fluttering is a long-standing accompaniment to an underlying severe anxiety disorder.

Heart fluttering can also be caused by actual heart disease. This can be distinguished by its particular pattern, depending on how heavy and regular the beating is. A cardiologist may be able to make a diagnosis based on the pattern, or may order an electrocardiogram for more precise information. When symptoms such as sweating, faintness, and chest pain occur with the heart fluttering, it is best to consult a cardiologist. As soon as the heart fluttering cause is determined, most people are able to live and deal with it and would not even notice.

Generally heart fluttering is not dangerous, even if it can provoke anguish, because it is unpleasant to feel the proper heart beating swiftly without reason. If extra beats are enough of a problem to warrant treatment, then usually a beta-blocking drug will be used. These block the effect of adrenaline on the heart, and are also used for the treatment of angina and high blood pressure. However, they can cause increased tiredness, sleep disturbance, depression, impotence, and can aggravate asthma. Other anti-arrhythmic drugs can be used if beta-blockers are not appropriate, but they too have potential side effects.

Heart fluttering which can already cause blackouts or near blackouts should be taken seriously. Even if ultimately nothing untoward is found you should contact your doctor as soon as possible to arrange the appropriate investigations if heart fluttering is associated with blackouts.
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What Causes Acid Reflux?

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Though the root causes are often unclear, perhaps the most prevalent acid reflux cause is a poor diet. Acid reflux occurs during digestion, when the stomach churns up acid or refluxes it into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat. So if you eat too many highly acidic foods like tomato sauces and/or fatty, fried foods, the stomach has to process an overabundance of acid. Too much acid can push back through a valve between the stomach and the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Acid reflux culprits include but are not limited to tomato based sauces, fried and fatty foods, chocolate, alcohol, citrus fruits, peppers, and caffeinated beverages.

Along the same lines as diet, overeating also causes reflux. When you overeat, the stomach can’t keep up with the demand to process all the acids. So food gets backed up, and digestive acids infiltrate the esophageal valve to cause that unpleasant burning feeling centered in the chest.

Also diet-related, another acid reflux cause is being overweight. There is a clear correlation between being overweight and a notable increase in the occurrence of acid reflux. Many believe this is because the extra weight puts more pressure on the stomach and esophagus. This pressure has been known to open the lower esophageal sphincter (esophagus valve), when the valve should be closed. This allows acid to escape into the esophagus.

Other factors that create a predisposition for acid reflux include smoking, use of alcohol, food allergies, certain medications, and lying down after meals. As you can tell, most of these factors can be overcome by practicing some behavioral modifications. In fact, in many cases of recurrent acid reflux, lifestyle changes are all that is necessary in preventing heartburn from becoming a chronic disease. Remember to consult a physician before embarking on any treatment strategy.
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How To Quit Smoking

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One of the most vicious diseases in today's times is smoking. It makes a person baffle for air 3 times more than a non-smoker. It has very many repercussions on the life of the smoker and those around him. It leads to lung cancer and various heart diseases like asthma and emphysema. We should thus abhor this deadly disease and quit smoking.
Quitting is not easy
But to actually quit smoking is not easy, because it is an addiction. However there are very many ways and methods that help us to quit smoking for instance we can opt for acupuncture therapy or aromatherapy. We can also opt for non-nicotine cigarettes or go for precise prescription by a doctor.
But first and foremost we need to decide in our heart to stop smoking and should also fix a day for the same. Inform your family about your decision and seek for their help and assistance. Throw away all the cigarette packets, ashtrays and lighters. Stop buying any more cigarettes. Rather think of the more useful and better things that you can buy with the money thus saved. Ask the other family members also, who smoke, to stop smoking. Keep yourself busy. Exercise regularly and meditate occasionally. Eat healthy food.
After doing all this you may still feel severe urges to smoke. You may also actually retort back to it, but that's no problem, just be persistent and bring back your decision on to the right track after this break, because most of the people are successful only after 2-3 attempts.
Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms
About 80% people retort back to smoking after once leaving it and only 20% successfully accomplish the task. People retort back due to many reasons. Some say they feel agitated. Others say that the aroma when someone lights up is irresistible. But most of them do so due to the fear of symptoms that appears after that last puff viz. weight gain, aggressive thinking, dry throat, fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, dizziness, hypersensitivity to stimuli, etc. but these are all just temporary symptoms and disappear in a few days. In fact after the initial bout is over the blood pressure, heart rate, pulse arte all get back to normal. You thus need to keep your will power strong and stick to your decision for a few more days.
Some people are not able to continue with the smoke cessation programs because they say that they are costly. But this is a wrong perception because they are not costlier than the price spent for buying cigarettes. And then isn't it more logical to spend on your health rather on a disease.
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Top 50 stock brokers command over half of cash market

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The top 50 broker-members of leading stock exchanges NSE and BSE account for more than half of the cash market turnover at these bourses and their market shares have reached record levels in about two decades.
As per the data released by Sebi in its latest 'Handbook of Statistics on Indian Securities Market', the top-50 members of the BSE commanded a cash segment market share of 57.5% during the last fiscal till December 2011. This was their highest market share since 1994-95, from when the data is available.At the NSE, the cash segment market share of the top-50 members was even higher at 64.3% -- which is also the highest since the fiscal 1994-95.

The top-25 members alone commanded a market share of 48.3% at the NSE during the first nine months of the last fiscal, while the same was 42.5% in the case of BSE. These are also the record high figures since 1994-95.

The top-five members, however, commanded a higher market share of 17.5% at the BSE, as against 16.7% at the NSE.

The top 10 members of BSE had 26.5% share of cash segment, as against 27.6% in case of the NSE, while the top-100 members of the BSE and NSE had market shares of 73.7% and 78.8% respectively.

The market share of top brokers has risen sharply from the previous year (2009-10) levels -- rising from 51.9% to 57.5% for BSE's top-50 members, and from 42.9% to 48.3% for NSE's.

In terms of the securities also, the top-traded stocks command very high market share, but were below their record-high levels during the last fiscal till December 2011.

The top-five securities commanded a 19.6% share of total cash segment turnover at BSE, up from 10.2% in the previous year but way below a record 50% in 2000-01.

At the NSE also, the share of top-five securities stood at 21.6% -- up from 15.3% in 2009-10, but much below a high of 83% in 1995-96.

The top-100 securities at the NSE commanded 83% cash segment market share last fiscal till December 2011, up from 68.9% in previous year. It was, however, far off a high of 98.2% in 1996-97.

At the BSE, the top-100 securities commanded a market share of 75.5% last fiscal, up from 51.5% in 2009-10. It had touched a high of 97.5% in 2000-01.
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