The Importance of the Bladder

The body is made up of many different things that work together in a complicated, beautiful system. This system does everything needed to allow a person to live their life -it pumps blood throughout the body, it pumps oxygen to the lungs, and it digests food and turns into waste that exits the body so the body can properly get rid of its toxins.

The organ responsible for getting rid of this waste is the urinary bladder, better known as the bladder. Officially described as the organ that “collects blood excreted by the kidneys” it is the organ that’s primarily responsible for removing urine from the body so that the body doesn’t get clogged down by harmful toxins and waste. In women, the bladder is anterior to the uteris but in infants and very young children, it is actually located in the abdomen.

The bladder is one part of what’s known as the urinary tract. There are multiple parts to the urinary tract and each one on necessary to the body’s health. The kidneys are part of the urinary tract and are responsible for actually producing urine; they filter waste and toxins out of the body’s blood and turn it into urine that needs to be expelled from the body. In order to get out of the body, the urine passes through something known as the ureters, which are small tubes that carry the urine from the kidneys to the bladder itself. Then there is also the urethra, which is the pathway out of the body that urine passes through.

The bladder is capable of holding anywhere from 300ml of urine to 500ml; an adult one is capable of holding 500ml, which is fifteen times its empty volume. Doctors have determined that the size of one’s bladder differs from person to person; some people are actually capable of holding over 1000 ml of urine, although that is not common by any means.

When the bladder becomes 25% full, it starts to signal to the body that it needs to be emptied, accounting for the “tingling” most people describe the desire to urinate as. In this early state, it’s very easy to ignore the urge. However, as it becomes more filled, the urge becomes stronger and harder to resist. When the bladder becomes completely full, the muscle known as the voluntary sphincter will automatically loosen, allowing the urine to leave the body whether someone wants it to or not.

Like all other organs in the body, the bladder is capable of becoming diseased. In fact, bladder infections are the second most common type of infection to occur within the human body. These types of infections occur when bacteria gets into the bladder when it shouldn’t and starts to multiply. While these infections are typically not serious, it can spread to the kidneys and become serious.

Overactive bladder is also common; this is a disorder where the bladder is constantly signaling that it needs to be emptied, many times without a real reason. This urge will often happen at night and it’s not uncommon for it to be accompanied by incontinence, or the loss of control over one’s bladder.

This organ is also capable of getting cancer like any other organ. It’s a result of malignant growths migrating there and starting to grow usually from someone where else; the most common type of cancer in this organ is known as transitional cell carcinoma.

Whether it’s only an infection or some more serious disease the cancer, most bladder issues start with the same set of symptoms including an increased need to urinate and then pain when one does urinate. The bladder is an amazing organ that is necessary to keeping the body clean and healthy.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

Battle with Mast Cell tumors – In memory of Samantha, our gift from God!

Profile picture of Samantha who died of Mast Cell tumors...

Picture of Samantha

Picture of Samantha smiling. Sam died of Mast Cell tumors...

In Memory of Samantha…

“You wanna do what?”

Surely I had misunderstood my wife.

“I said I want to take Tim to have his picture taken with Santa tomorrow… Do you want to go?” Darlene asked.

So I had heard correctly, but I honestly thought she was joking because it seemed ridiculous to have a picture taken of your dog with Santa. Anyway, I thought I’d play along with the joke and said, “Sure. And after that, maybe we can catch a good basket-weaving competition! What a great way to spend a Saturday, huh?”

The look on her face told me she hadn’t been joking.

So the next day we bundled her little dog in the car and drove up to the Animal Orphanage in Voorhees where Darlene had adopted him several years before. It didn’t take long to get the Polaroid snapshot of Tim sitting on Santa’s lap (Wasn’t much of a waiting line as most sane people don’t waste their weekend free time getting pictures of their pet with a stranger in a padded suit, but I digress). Darlene suggested we “just take a look” at the other dogs they had available for adoption and I somewhat reluctantly agreed.

When I reached the fourth kennel on the left I stopped dead in my tracks because that was the kennel where they had put Samantha (or “Bear”, as they had named her). With long, wavy, jet-black hair and a big white star on her chest along with those beautiful brown newfie eyes – she was gorgeous! Unlike many of the other dogs, she was also very quiet, just sitting there looking back at me as I stood staring at her. For many years after, Darlene would say to her, “After he saw you Sam, he wouldn’t even look at any of the other dogs. He just stood there staring at you for the longest time. Yep, you were the one he wanted over all the other dogs.”

While it’s true I was admiring what a beautiful dog she was, the main thing going through my mind was trying to figure out how much of a bribe it would take to get Darlene to say yes to adopting her. Sam already outweighed Tim by more than sixty pounds and, at only 10 months old, she still had some growing to do. It seemed very probable that Darlene would be totally against the idea of adopting a dog of Sam’s size.

To tell you the truth, it didn’t matter to me how much of a bribe it would take; I really, REALLY wanted that dog! Somehow, I sensed that she was the dog I had waited to have for almost thirty years.

Since I was about 10 years old, I wanted a big dog, one that required both arms to hug; and I wanted a dog that was loving, gentle and had a good temperament. As a kid, my folks didn’t want me to have a big dog. They even took the small dog I had in junior high to the pound one day while I was at school (Took me a long time to forgive them for that). When I went into the military, there wasn’t an option of having a dog. Then when I got out of the military, a former spouse didn’t want any dogs. She was a cats-only kind of person, and she made sure that the small dog I had knew it wasn’t welcomed in our home (after we were married, of course).

Even though I had wanted this kind of dog from such an early age, I never prayed about it. For the longest time, I had the mistaken idea that one shouldn’t pray for something like a dog. God was far too busy to be concerned with trivial things like that. But, that was before I “discovered” Philippians 4:6, which says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” (emphasis mine).

I still haven’t figured out why God decided to bless my socks off by giving me the very kind of dog I had wanted for almost three decades. Even though I didn’t doubt the numerous scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that make it very clear that God does indeed know all the secrets of our heart, it boggled my mind that he would actually prove that to me personally (still does boggle my mind!).

That’s why every day for almost nine years I would refer to Samantha as, “My wonderful gift from God”, It quickly became the rest of her name.

The Animal Orphanage had an outdoor fenced-in play area that Darlene and I made use of to spend some time getting to know Sam, and I was delighted that Darlene took to her so quickly (no bribe needed). While in that play area we decided on her new name. Even though she was a hefty size pup, “Bear” just didn’t fit her personality at all. Afterward we filled out the necessary paperwork, answered and asked questions, then agreed to come back the next day to adopt her, giving the orphanage some time to review our information and decide if we were a good match.

We brought her home the next day and let her explore the house so she could get used to her new home. Then Darlene noticed some blood on the bathroom floor and kinda freaked out, thinking Sam had cut herself on something. It didn’t take much investigating to discover that Samantha hadn’t cut herself – she had gone into heat. That realization made both of us REALLY freak out!

“Oh man, what are we gonna do?” I said.

“I don’t know – I’m not a vet!”

“Whaddya mean, you don’t know? You’re a labor and delivery nurse!”

“It’s not the same thing, Gregg.”

“Well, it’s a lot closer than my job in video!” I protested.

Somehow, we managed to make it to the next day when we could call our vet for instructions. Even though the necessary “apparatus” was needed for only a few days, it seemed more like a whole month and neither of us wanted to deal with that again. So we promptly made an appointment to have her spayed ASAP.

For the next several years, we enjoyed Sam as any dog-loving family would. Then in the latter part of October, 2005, we noticed a small lump directly above her right elbow, a lump that grew to almost the size of a tennis ball in only a week and a half. We quickly made an appointment with our vet to have Samantha examined. The tumor was removed and the vet was almost certain it was something called a Mast Cell tumor, but wanted to have a biopsy of it to be sure and determine its cancerous development. Less than a week later, the results confirmed that it was indeed a Mast Cell tumor, and at an elevated level, too (Grade 3).

***Learn more about Mast Cell tumors by clicking HERE ***

From what we read online, 90% of dogs with Grade 3 Mast Cell tumors don’t survive a year after diagnosis. Sam had extensive tests done at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia. We were told that we had only three options for treatment; chemotherapy, radiation, or amputation of her right front leg. Since we didn’t want to put her through chemo or radiation, we opted for removing her leg.

All three options were about the same expense, and based solely on the cost of treatment, one would think that Mast Cell tumors are some exotic and extremely rare condition. Further research proved otherwise, these tumors are actually a relatively common type of canine cancer. There were a few days of wrestling with whether we should do anything at all since my first inclination was that it isn’t right to spend that kind of money on a dog. My way of justifying the expense was the fact that God got the glory through my daily (usually several times a day) acknowledgement of “My wonderful gift from God” and the almost continuous and heartfelt gratitude, not only for being given such a great dog, but mainly the way God proved to me personally that he not only knows the secrets of my heart, but he actually cares about the things that concern me. Who wouldn’t be thankful for that? (Many times I would hug Sam really tight and pray that God would accept that hug for himself as a gesture of my gratitude.)

Still the cost was something we had to contend with. After the initial bout with this hideous disease, figuring in everything from the first office visit to the last Prednisone pill given six months later, the final tally was almost exactly half of what it took to put a new roof on our house. We had committed to that just before discovering the tumor and couldn’t back out of the contract, so the new roof was put on the same month as almost all of the testing and the amputation were done. The following month’s credit card bill was literally breathtaking.

Darlene took Sam to Swedesboro Animal Hospital to have her leg amputated. After the surgery was completed, she called me at work to give me an update. I know animals are very resilient, but I could hardly believe it when she told me that Sam was up walking (hopping) around barely more than three hours post-op! The vet kept Sam overnight and I picked her up the next day. On the way there, I coached myself so that I would be careful how I acted the first time I saw Sam after the surgery. I did my best to keep her from sensing my level of shock at seeing her missing a leg. It was probably my imagination, but it sure seemed like there was some hesitation in wagging her tail when she saw me – almost like she was wondering, “Do you still want me?” So I tried to sound as matter-of-fact as I could when I said, “You know what, Sam? Even with just three legs, you are one gorgeous canine!”

Whish, whish.

“Yes, you are! And I’m sure glad you’re MY puppy dog!”

Whish, whish, whish, whish.

Sam was on Prednisone (a steroid) for six months – much longer than is usually prescribed for dogs. Since Prednisone can act as a mild chemotherapy (almost no side effects), the vet wanted to use it for that length of time to help diminish any stray Mast Cells that had not been detected. *Almost* no side effects, but still two of the most common: a virtually constant thirst and a voracious appetite. At the time, we were still using stand alone water dishes for our pets (before we installed a dedicated water line to a float controlled water bowl), so it was easy to measure how much water she was drinking – more than three quarters of a gallon a day! And her appetite! If I had kept her food bowl topped off, I’m convinced she would have let her head stay in that dish around the clock. It got to the point where we started calling her our 100 pound piranha.

Through it all, we continued to enjoy this wonderful dog and her interactions with our other dogs. Sam seldom misbehaved. On those rare occasions when she did, we would refer to her as “Osama Bin Doggin” and scold her. Her newfie eyes would narrow into slits like she was getting ready to cry. On the whole, life was pretty normal and we were beginning to think she had completely whipped the Mast Cell tumors until another one showed up in May of 2008. After that was removed, we had a reprieve until December when yet another developed and that too, was removed.

The next month brought a new year and some hopeful news from our vet: Red Bank Animal hospital in north Jersey was taking part in a trial test of a new oral chemo treatment for Mast Cell tumors that not only had few side effects, but had some very promising results in a smaller study. So a nation-wide study was begun to determine the real effectiveness of this drug and they needed volunteers. We wasted no time in making an appointment with our vet’s referral. More paperwork and exams were needed before Samantha was invited to participate. The doctor told us up front that the best way to save Sam’s life was to have another surgery combined with the standard IV chemotherapy. If we did that though, Sam would not be able to partake in the study since they wouldn’t be able to determine the effectiveness of the new drug if she had the standard chemotherapy and surgery as well.

I somehow got the idea that if this drug was successful and made available on the open market, it would be less expensive for dog owners to get necessary treatment for their pets, since the pills would eliminate the traditional IV method of giving chemo and the need for staff to administer and monitor the treatment. The thought of saving others from having to make the tough financial choices we made was exciting to me. I had often prayed that God would allow Sam to be as much of a blessing to others as she was to us. It just didn’t seem right to hog such a wonderful blessing to ourselves. So we denied the surgery and traditional chemo so Sam could be a part of that blessing to others.

The entire double-blind study was to be done over the course of 13 weeks. Darlene changed her schedule as much as possible and I put in for vacation days to cover the 2 to 3 times a week we would make the 90 minute drive with Sam to the hospital in north Jersey. Samantha was disqualified after just one treatment because the exam on the following visit revealed that her Mast Cells had increased more than the strict limit of 20%. We found out later that Sam was part of the group that did receive the new drug. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any effect on her. In February, still another Mast Cell tumor appeared in the same general area and once again she had surgery to remove it.

After that, we decided not to put her through any more surgeries. The only thing left was to just enjoy her for as long as possible. Our vet wrote a script for more Prednisone – only at a much higher dosage, and promised to refill it as often as needed while Sam was with us. Thank you Dr. Tomlinson, doing that bought us several more months with our precious puppy!

When I got home from work one night in late August, Darlene told me that Sam had started throwing up about 15 minutes before. Over the next few hours, Samantha threw up many more times – I stopped counting after the eleventh one. I didn’t know it was possible for a dog to vomit so often in such a relatively short span of time. Sam was so very miserable that night!

The next day I called the vet’s office to arrange to have Sam put down; after hanging up the phone I started getting ready for work. As I was brushing my teeth at the bathroom sink, I was thinking about how miserable Sam was the night before and how helpless I felt not being able to make her feel better. That, combined with the reality of the appointment I’d just made was a little overwhelming, and I began to sob. Almost immediately the thought came to my mind that “You mourn for a dog that’s about to die, but what about your co-workers, the guy who pumps your gas or the cashier at the grocery store? Most of them are already dead spiritually. So where are the tears for them?”

Even then Sam was a blessing to me. God used her to show me that my dealings with others needed attention.

Sam was feeling better well before the Thursday appointment I’d made, and our very optimistic doctor said that maybe she just contracted a 24 hour bug, so we decided not to have her euthanized at that time.

It was almost déjà vu nearly three weeks later, though, when in less than 90 minutes, Sam went from begging for some of the food Darlene was cooking (very normal routine) to hiding out in the basement, throwing up and losing control of her bowels. When I found her lying in front of the clothes washer, she was pushing both of her sides so hard just to breathe that she reminded me of a blacksmith’s bellows.

My heart sank because it was extremely obvious that she needed to be put down. Even when she tried thumping her tail against the floor when she saw me come around the corner of the basement, it wasn’t enough to undo my knotted stomach. I called the nearest 24 hour animal hospital to ask them to prepare to put Sam down as soon as we could get her there.

Getting her out of the basement wasn’t easy. Fortunately, earlier in the year we had purchased four body bags that have nylon loops riveted along both sides to allow sliding poles through to assist in carrying – like a litter. We had bought those specifically because of my concern of this very situation of attempting to transport a 107 pound animal. Even though it was still a struggle for Darlene and me to get her outside, it probably would have been impossible without the assistance of that “litter”.

Once we were able to get Samantha in the back of the cargo van, we didn’t waste any time getting her to the hospital that was less than ten miles away. Just before we got there, we heard a rather odd sound come from where Sam was in the cargo area.

I asked Darlene, “What was that noise?”

“I think she just threw up again.”

“What, has she been eating gravel?”

To me, it sounded like someone took a handful of pebbles and threw them across the floor of the van.

It was either at that moment or soon after that Sam died. When they rushed the gurney out to put her on, she was already gone.

There are adjustments to losing a much loved pet of almost nine years. We have to remember to lock our doors now when we leave the house. Something we didn’t have to do for all the time we had Sam. She provided more security than any dead bolt since her low, throaty growl could be very intimidating; just ask the man who came to do a city inspection of our home when we were thinking of selling. Sam was barely out of puppyhood when that happened and she didn’t hesitate to let the guy know she knew he was there and she wasn’t too happy about it. This big, burly guy froze like a statue when he heard Sam’s “rumbling thunder”. Didn’t even turn his head, he just looked at me from the corner of his eye and asked with a slight quiver, “What was THAT?

We miss that long-furred baseball bat of a tail thumping against the floor when we mentioned her name or when I would sing some of my silly songs about her.

Three-legged dogs make a distinctive sound when they go up and down steps, or just hopping down the hallway to get to the water dish. We miss that, too.

Most of all, we miss needing to use both arms to hug a big, warm and furry pup that shared our lives for almost nine years.

The picture in the middle at the top of the page is the artwork proof for Sam’s black granite memorial stone. She truly was our wonderful gift from God and it was important to us to have that etched in granite to make a permanent declaration of that truth.

I don’t know if we’ll ever see Samantha again. The Bible isn’t clear about what happens to our beloved pets when they die. But I am certain of this, because God promises it in His Word:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

And I can’t wait!

Samantha Phillips - Our wonderful gift from God

Evaluating Potential Businesses – 8 Critical Components of Your Business Viability Analysis

Indeed, Business Viability Analysis is a boring topic. But this is also the most critical component of your business & marketing plans which provides direction on the potential market environment, market demand and supply, and to extent, guides your potential market direction decisions. Note that financial modeling is beyond the scope of this article.

I have segregated the Business Viability Analysis into two major categories, namely Overview Evaluation models and Your Domain Business Evaluation models. The former includes Porter’s 5 Competitive Forces Model, P.E.S.T. Analysis. The latter includes SWOT Analysis Matrix, Target Segment Analysis, Product Life Cycle Analysis, Competitive Advantage Model, Product Growth Directions, BCG Matrix. Both set of models will help you to qualify if the business in question is viable from market demand supply as well as potential market perspectives.

1. Porter’s 5 Competitive Forces Model

Porter’s 5 Competitive Forces model is developed by Michael E. Porter, an important strategic analysis from a broad market environment perspective. It explores the 5 major factors namely Bargaining Power of Supplier, Customer Power/Buyer Power, New Entry Threats, Substitution Threats & Competition Rivalry.

These 5 forces are interdependent, influencing and interplaying with each other at any given point in time. This is a model which needs to be revisited on a consistent basis, usually, over a half yearly time frame for re-evaluation of market trend.

2. P.E.S.T. Analysis

Doing your “PEST control” ensures good health a strong pulse for your business. PEST analysis essentially means macro environmental evaluations such as Political & Legal, Economic, Social & Cultural, as well as Technological.

Economic environment could make or break your business. In 2008, the US sub-prime issue became a global financial crisis which not only affected the housing market but nearly every facet of the economy by virtue of its spillover effect. The interest rate at time of writing, is 2%, a far cry from 4% a year ago. Banks tighten their lending belts and business loan borrowing become more difficult to obtain. But if you manage to get that business loan, you should be incurring a much lower interest repayment.

One Social factor which is growing in importance is the environment. Every large corporation nowadays are involved in one way or another in reducing carbon emission to the ozone and in dealing with climate change.

3. SWOT Analysis Matrix

SWOT Analysis, is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats affecting your business. Strengths component analyses internal capabilities throughout all business functions which could become unique propositions when mapping out business strategies. Weaknesses analyses the internal gaps in current state. Likewise, Opportunities & Threats analyse your business’s external environment which could give rise to opportunities or threats to your business. This is a fluid cheat sheet (not totally exhaustive & you should add on to it to cater to your own business type) which should be revisited annually as a reality business stop-check.

4. Target Segment Analysis

This is a very critical section of the marketing plan which helps you with your market segmentation and defines your target markets. Define & segment your clientèle-base into Primary & Secondary Target market groups using demographic and psychographic information. Demographic data includes age, income group, geographic location etc. Psychographic data includes life-stage needs, lifestyle, consumer purchasing behavior etc. Upon completion, you would have a better gauge on the potential size of your target segments. You may adjust the segments to match your products, thereby expanding your segments for greater potential.

5. Competitive Advantage Model

The Competitive Advantage Model by Michael E. Porter suggests 4 approaches benchmarking against your competitors namely, Cost Leadership, differentiation or focus with 2 variants.

Cost Leadership strategy means leading in a low cost pricing strategy within your industry. This is achieved from economies of scale. You must almost solely dominate this competitive space otherwise more than one company in this space will cause a price war.

Differentiation strategy indicates unique value proposition, namely in areas such as the product, service, image, distribution, marketing etc or a combination of them.

Focus strategy aspires to be the best in a focused segment, with 2 variants of cost focus and differentiation focus

6. Product Life Cycle Analysis

The Product Life Cycle Analysis helps you to identify the stage of your product. All products go through four stages, namely the Introduction, Growth, Maturity & Decline stage. Every product has a life cycle. You need to know each of your products’ life cycles thoroughly in order to plan to phase their life-stage across the horizon.

This analysis is a fluid document which needs to be revisited annually for planning purpose. If you believe that your product has other potential uses not maximized currently, you should pro-actively look to rejuvenating the life cycles of such products at their matured and declining stages.

7. Product Growth Directions

Product Growth Directions shed light on the possible growth approaches you can adopt in driving your product sales. This is a matrix which maps your product growth strategies across new vs existing markets and products. Potentially, the four segments are Market penetration, Market development, Diversification as well as Product Development. Market penetration essentially denotes leveraging new markets with existing products. Market development means making inroads on existing markets & products. Diversification indicates leveraging on existing markets with new products. And of course, Product development is expansion into new markets with new products.

8. BCG Matrix

Boston Consulting Group developed this BCG Matrix which helps you to determine what priorities should be given in your product portfolio of a product. It has essentially two dimensions – market share and market growth rate, with 4 categories fitting into these quadrants.

Stars = Leaders of the Business – Products with high growth rate & high market share. Generates high cashflow and requires high cash input. Usually, Net cashflow is flat.

Cash Cows = Foundation of the Business (stars of yester years) – Products with low growth rate & high market share. They generates high cashflow with low cash input requirements.

Dogs = Drags of the Business – Products with low growth rate & low market share. They must be avoided whenever possible. Liquidate as many as possible.

Question Marks = Ambiguity of the Business – Products with high growth rate & low market share. Have high cash demand and low returns. If keeping question marks, you must ensure increase in market share and deliver cash.

The identification of your products at the various categories will enlighten you to apply the correct growth & funding strategy. For instance, cash infusion could be provided to fund Question Marks &/or Stars to drive them towards the next level – Cash Cow positions.

True application of all the above mentioned viability analyzes is a cumulative interplay of the different models, although they are developed separately by separate strategists. I advocate a broad yet conjugative approach to the application as therein lies great interdependence of each to the other.

Dangers of Mobile Phone to Students of Secondary School

Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.

There are many different types of secondary school, and the terminology used varies around the world. Children usually transfer to secondary school between the ages of 10 and 16 years, and finish between the ages of 15 and 19 years, though there is considerable variation from country to country.

Depending on the system, schools for this period or a part of it may be called secondary schools, high schools, gymnasia, lyceums, middle schools, colleges, vocational schools and preparatory schools, and the exact meaning of any of these varies between the systems.

The secondary school students are those students of post-primary studies or as described above. It is at this stage of academics that students lay the foundation of their future. No matter what the student wants to be in life, the way is paved at this stage that is why most errors which are not corrected in secondary school lives with most students till the rest of their lives. Building people with global passion are deeply rooted in this stage of education.

A mobile phone (also called mobile, cellular telephone, or cell phone) is an electronic device used for two-way radio telecommunication over a cellular network of base stations known as cell sites. Mobile phones differ from cordless telephones, which only offer telephone service within limited range through a single base station attached to a fixed land line, for example within a home or an office.

A mobile phone allows its user to make and receive telephone calls to and from the public telephone network which includes other mobiles and fixed-line phones across the world. It does this by connecting to a cellular network owned by a mobile network operator. A key feature of the cellular network is that it enables seamless telephone calls even when the user is moving around wide areas via a process known as handoff or handover.

In addition to being a telephone, modern mobile phones also support many additional services, and accessories, such as SMS (or text) messages, e-mail, Internet access, gaming, Bluetooth and infrared short range wireless communication, camera, MMS messaging, MP3 player, radio and GPS. Low-end mobile phones are often referred to as feature phones, whereas high-end mobile phones that offer more advanced computing ability are referred to as smart phones.

The first hand held mobile phone was demonstrated by Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing 2 kg (4.4 lb). Motorola released the first commercially available mobile phone, the DynaTAC 8000x in 1983. In the year 1990, 12.4 million people worldwide had cellular subscriptions. By the end of 2009, less than 20 years later, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide reached approximately 4.6 billion, 370 times the 1990 number, penetrating the developing economies and reaching the bottom of the economic pyramid.

Mobile phone has been an effective means of communication which has solved a lot of problems and poses a lot. It is mobile as the name, you can walk around with it play with it, sleep with it, travel with it and can equally go into the rest room with it. I see it as an important means of communication which has helped in many ways including times of danger, but is this seen among the students of secondary schools these days? The answer is NO! The mobile phone instead of doing well to this young generation or the called “future leader” it has caused a lot of harm to these upcoming geniuses. The questions now is, is it advisable for secondary school students to own a mobile phone? I mean students owning a mobile phone and not making use of mobile phone. Several reasons have been listed below why students of secondary should not own a mobile phone.

SIDE EFFECTS OF OWNING A PHONE BY STUDENTS:

HEALTH HAZARDS:

Over the past decade the world has seen rapid growth in cell phone users. Everyone from older adults to kids in high school seem to carry one glued to their ears, without understanding the possible health risks associated with the use of cellular telephones.

To begin with, a recent scientific journal published in 2007 titled Long term use of cellular phones and brain tumors, concluded after assessing results from many different studies that use of cell phones for more then 10 years does show increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. Adding that the risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure, meaning tumor on the same side of the brain where phone mostly held.

Research scientists behind this journal assert that most studies to date on cell phone use and brain tumors have been mostly conducted with an insufficiently long latency period. This journal report gives excellent reviews of other studies and evidence of data entry errors, systematic bias and mathematical errors within those studies.

The effect mobile phone radiation has on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world (as of June 2009, there were more than 4.3 billion users worldwide. Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, which some believe may be harmful to human health. A large body of research exists, both epidemiological and experimental, in non-human animals and in humans, of which the majority shows no definite causative relationship between exposure to mobile phones and harmful biological effects in humans. This is often paraphrased simply as the balance of evidence showing no harm to humans from mobile phones, although a significant number of individual studies do suggest such a relationship, or are inconclusive. Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.

The World Health Organization, based upon the majority view of scientific and medical communities, has stated that cancer is unlikely to be caused by cellular phones or their base stations and that reviews have found no convincing evidence for other health effects. The WHO expects to make recommendations about mobile phones in 2010. Some national radiation advisory authorities have recommended measures to minimize exposure to their citizens as a precautionary approach.

At least some recent studies, however, have found an association between cell phone use and certain kinds of brain and salivary gland tumors. Lennart Hardell and other authors of a 2009 meta-analysis of 11 studies from peer-reviewed journals concluded that cell phone usage for at least ten years “approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same (“ipsilateral”) side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use.”

ACADEMIC DISTRACTIONS:

Some students have the habit of keeping their mobile phones on during classes and studies, even in the library. The do so for their classmates to know their latest ringing tones, thereby distracting other students, even the teacher in the class. Some even put it in vibration and are distracted by the vibration from calls during classes and school hours, diverting their concentration on who is calling at the moment.

This “mobile phone” with different memory capacity is used to download and store several music of different lyrics and tones. The songs are being listened every now and then with the use of earpiece in the school and at home forgetting their academic work which is supposed to be their priority. Some even play these songs in the class, distracting the serious and minded students, while the constant use of the earpiece makes it difficult for some of them to understand conversations with low tones, and shout while talking with the aim to be heard. The academic distraction is getting worse by the day because those that don’t own a mobile phone are eager to get one. Once a student brings a book to study, and a call comes, that is the end of the study after the call, because their concentration will be on the call answered.

One of the several factors that that have distracted these upcoming leaders of our generation has a lot to do with mobile phones. Most students spend hours playing different games in the phone namely real football games, soccer games, snakezia, car race, puzzle games etc. They enjoy these games to an extent of neglecting their academic work, assignments, homework etc. They even discuss these games at school encouraging others how interesting the games were, storing games in the memory instead of their studies. Analysis of performing an art/creative work and playing mobile phone games in twenty-nine secondary schools revealed that 50% can play mobile phone games very well, 27% can do their art/creativity work well while 23% can neither do the art/creative work nor play games well. In order words, the academic works suffers it most.

COST:

The cost of purchasing a mobile phone is expensive to students of secondary schools that have little or no earning source. Most of them prefer buying phones with their school fees to paying it. When this mobile phone is bought, the student has to recharge it and make calls, send text messages, browse and download some files. All these things are money which can be used for their academic pursuit and/or other essential and important things. The cost of repairing and replacing damaged/lost ones are not left out, because, the fact remains that once a student has started using phones, it must be repaired or replaced when damaged or lost. Check the cost of recharging a mobile phone daily for one month, not to talk of a year. All these are unnecessary expenses for students that are being trained by someone.

NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN:

Once a child (student) started using a mobile phone, the numbers will be distributed to different kinds of people who will call and the student will receive. Most of these phones are multi-media in nature such that they download and watch all sorts of pornographic pictures and movies, which curiosity will allow them practice and know what it is all about.

Once a student started using mobile phone, it is an alert for opposite sex that he/she is ripe for sexual relationship. Naturally, there people who cannot speak to their mates face-to-face, using mobile phone becomes a good medium to express their feelings. Most of these students’ calls and messages are all about “I love you, crazy about you, miss you and the likes of it” once a new “love” is found, it takes almost everything in the person, e.g. the thinking, sleepless nights, even financial spending. For some, the phone is the used for formalize arrangements and appointments. With their phones, they know and observe all the happenings in the town like parties, night clubs etc.

Telling lies has become a common thing to students with their mobile phones. Imagine a student in another place for days, told the parents that she went on excursion, which resulted to pregnancy after some months, forgetting that “all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire that burns with brimstone” according to biblical injunction. Some of them are too proud of themselves when they have expensive phones with them, not knowing that “pride goes before a fall” some practice stealing in collaboration with lie to buy/ replace their phones. Some other atrocities like kidnapping, stealing etc are being carried out by some students with their mobile phones.

Most students are unable to concentrate on their studies because of the free calls (night calls) from different networks. These calls start 12:30am and end 4:30-5:00am, and some students make these calls daily, how can they learn when they are dizzy or sleeping in the class? How can they be mentally balanced health wise when they don’t sleep normally like students? Some of them risk themselves making these calls outside the room because of the distractions to others in the same room. The hours spent in making these calls, if utilized, can make the student emerge the best in academic activities.

EXAM MALPRACTICE:

Most of the students don’t study again because of the points mentioned above; rather indulge in exam malpractice during internal and external examinations. Some make use of the calculator in the mobile phone, while others store some information in it. The worst of it is that others use it to send objective answers to those in the examination hall, which may not be correct at the end of the day. This can end the student’s career if caught, as exam malpractice is a punishable offense.

In summary, mobile phones have been of help because information is power. When a student is not informed, he/she will be deformed, and when deformed, the student cannot perform. I encourage students of secondary schools to make calls at phone boot, use their parents, family or relative’s communication device to communicate rather than owning one because the bad part of mobile phones to students are more than the good part. The earlier you look into this and analyze it, the better for you.

Countdown to Flu 2010: Flu vs. Pneumonia

So you are coughing and have a fever. How can you tell the difference between the flu, which will get better on its own and pneumonia, which requires an antibiotic? This is a question I see many patients come to the emergency department with and one we can use iTriage to help us figure out.  iTriage is available as an iPhone, Android and Palm app or on any web-enabled device at www.iTriageHealth.com.  We have previously discussed the flu and below you will find the information from iTriage on pneumonia.

Description

Pneumonia is inflammation of the lung resulting from infectious and non-infectious causes. The air cells can fill with fluid causing shortness of breath and breathing problems. The infection can be severe and result in death. Certain risk factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, diabetes, depressed immune systems, and poor nutrition increase the risk of developing pneumonia. The “pneumonia shot” (pneumovax) only protects against one bacteria and does not prevent pneumonia. 

Symptoms

Cough with greenish or yellow sputum, bloody sputum, fever with shaking chills, sharp or stabbing chest pain, chest pain worsened by deep breathing or coughing, rapid, shallow breathing, shortness of breath, weak pulse.

Tests 

A history and physical exam will be performed. An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis. Blood tests, sputum cultures, and blood cultures can identify the cause and severity of the infection. Occasionally a CT scan is performed as well especially if an associated pleural effusion is present.

Standard Workup

  • CBC
  • Chem 12
  • X-Ray
  • CT Scan

 Treatment

 Antibiotics are only effective for bacteria but many times the cause of the pneumonia cannot be determined resulting in most patients initially receiving antibiotics (azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, or ceftriaxone). If the pneumonia is severe admission to the hospital and intravenous antibiotics will be administered. Severe cases can require mechanical ventilation.  

The primary difference between the flu and pneumonia is the cough. The cough with pneumonia is productive meaning the sputum coughed up is typically yellow to green to brown. With the flu the cough doesn’t produce any sputum or has sputum that is clear to white. Most patients with pneumonia also feel short of breath and some feel chest pain when taking a deep breath, and both of these symptoms are rare with the flu. It is important to note that sometimes pneumonia can start as a case of the flu. Your body is weakened by the flu virus, which makes it more susceptible to the bacteria that can cause pneumonia.

A chest x-ray or CT scan can confirm the diagnosis of pneumonia by showing the fluid build up in the air spaces of the lung. The emergency department is the most appropriate place to go for pneumonia unless the illness is mild then an x-ray can be obtained in an urgent care clinic or by your primary care doctor.  You can use iTriage to find these providers anywhere in the United States.

The Many Benefits of a Sauna Bath on All Organs of Your Body

We all have heard of sauna as a great way to relax besides giving the body a chance to detoxify itself. Sauna is included in various routines of health clubs, gymnasiums, etc. The effects of sauna are not only skin deep but also deep reaching as it affects all the organs of our bodies.

The sweat bath of sauna sets up a series of reactions that has a positive effect on the entire body as well as all the inner organs. It starts with the dilation of the capillaries, which leads to increased supply of blood to the skin in order to draw heat and disperse it deep inside the body. Due to this action, the heart rate increases to meet the demand of additional flow of blood and the various organs like stomach, liver, kidneys, muscles, brain, etc tend to flush out the impurities. As the pores of the skin open up by sauna, toxins get flushed out along with the sweat.

A Perfect Exercise For Your Heart

Due to this rapid flow of blood in the entire body during sauna, the heart is forced to pump blood at a higher rate causing a strain that is good for the heart. Many researchers claim that the increased volume of flow of blood during sauna keeps the blood pressure within normal limits while the others opine that the effect is merely transient in nature. There may be different of views on the lasting effect of sauna on blood pressure and heartbeat, but no one can deny that the overall effect of sauna is good.

Effect of Temperature Rise

During a sauna session of 15 to 20 minutes, the temperature on the surface of skin rises up to 10° C, and the rise in the inner temperature is generally up to 3° C. This acts as a catalyst starting a chain reaction, which leads to detoxify the body. The action is somewhat akin to “fever” in which most bacteria and virus cannot survive. This helps to not only rid the body from harmful bacteria but also give a chance to the cells to repair them.

The raised temperature during sauna also affects pituitary gland, among others, which leads to a better control of metabolic rate that has a direct effect on the various glands of the body like adrenal, thyroid, ovaries and testes. All this leads to better health and a sense of well-being.

A rise in the inner temperature also leads to stimulating the functions of various glands that secrete hormones. It is also noticed that due to improved functioning of ovaries and testes there is a marked increase in sex drive after the sauna bath!

Effect On The Lungs

Because of the effect of sauna on various organs, the demand for oxygen in the body increases by as much as 20 %, putting additional pressure on the lungs, which in turn meet it by quickening their pace. Due to higher temperature, the clogged respiratory passages are opened, giving relief from various minor respiratory problems like colds. However, sauna is not recommended for anyone suffering from pneumonia or any other acute respiratory disease.

Important Advice

Sauna should be taken under expert guidance only, and should be discontinued the moment there is any feeling of discomfort. This is not intended as medical advice and you should consult your physician if you have any questions.

Top Four Home Remedies To Manage Symptoms Of Mono In Adults

Are you familiar with the term kissing disease? Kissing disease is not like the common STD. The term is used by teenagers because this infection is passed and transmitted by means of kissing. On the other hand, besides kissing, there are other ways for an infected person to transfer the virus. Sharing utensils, drinking from contaminated glasses and sneezing are also possible ways to pass the virus.

To understand the term better, Kissing disease, Mononucleosis or Mono for short is spread through saliva. The virus is known as the Epstein-Barr virus. It belongs to the family of viruses known as cytomegaloviruses. Those who are infected by this virus can build up antibodies making them resistant from that point on. Based on statistics, people who are most likely to catch Mono are teenagers. However, kids as young as ten and as old as 35 can also get the disease.

The most common symptoms of Mono are general weakness, loss of appetite, easy fatigability and swollen glands under the ear, arms and groin. Characteristically, the virus stays latent in the human body for four to six weeks before the symptoms will become evident. Nevertheless, the symptoms of Mono can last for one month, relentlessly restricting a person’s ability to attend school. Go to work and participate in any engagements.

Ideally, person experiencing the above symptoms must seek medical assistance right away. This way, prompt and accurate management will be given. But since the symptoms of Mono are similar to other medical conditions, the disease is often neglected or unrecognized. Often people perform home remedies as management before they seek medical attention. To treat Mono at home, here are some helpful tips. But be cautious as these remedies do not replace the expediency and accuracy of medical interventions:

Aromatheraphy

Aromatheraphy is very helpful in relieving the symptoms of Mono. Essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender can help lower fever, reduce malaise and improve the energy level of the person.

These scented oils can directly be applied to the pulse points or be inhaled as vapors. Aside from eucalyptus and lavender, tea tree oil is powerful oil used in a number of diseases. It is a powerful antioxidant and disinfectant. It can kill the virus in the body.

Cranberry Juice

According to studies, secondary infections like UTI or Urinary tract infection can develop during the course of treatment of Mono. Drinking plenty of water and pure cranberry juice can help a lot. Cranberry juice is known to stop E.coli, the common bacteria causing UTI from sticking to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract. Aside from the juice, it is also available in capsule form for easy digestion.

Adequate Rest

One way to recuperate faster is to have adequate rest and sleep. It can improve energy level and reduce the symptoms of fatigue as well. Engaging in strenuous activities and other physical work can possibly increase the possibility of a relapse.

Recommended Diet For Mono

When managing Mono, try to include more vitamins and minerals in the everyday diet. Eat foods rich in Vitamin A, C, B complex and calcium, zinc. Adding ginger, garlic and lemon can enhance the immune system and help fight off infection. Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal because these foods contain the necessary vitamins and minerals for faster recuperation. Moreover, foods to be avoided are chocolate, candies, alcohol and tobacco. Typically, these foods are not healthy. You need to consume foods that are healthy with sufficient nutrients to boost the immune system and fight off the virus.

The home remedies above are very helpful in managing Mono at home. They are very easy to do and often the cost is minimal. If unsure, and for further instructions, one can consult a medical doctor right away.

Chest Infection Antibiotics

The public are now generally aware that antibiotics will only help with bacterial infections. Most chest infections of the upper respiratory system are caused by a virus of which there are over 150 strains.

Although antibiotics were used extensively in the past for a chest infection, they are not normally recommended as they can do more harm than good, as there is now increasing concerns with the side effects of chemical medicine. Studies have shown that antibiotics will not increase the recovery time of an illness in fact, it is known that they can have a detrimental effect on other medication which might have been prescribed, such as Warfarin the blood thinning drug or the contraceptive pill which can make the pill ineffective. Antibiotics are known to disturb the gut flora which affects the healthy populations of bacteria in the body.

The other reason that antibiotics are not now preferred is the knowledge that bacteria have the remarkable ability to mutate becoming resistant to other stronger and ever more sophisticated drugs developed to combat them.

The immune deficiency effect is the concern of modern medicine throughout the world. George Jacoby of the Harvard Medical School, quoted in Laurie Garret’s book, ‘The Coming Plague- Newly Emerging Diseases of the World out of Balance’, Penguin Books-“Bugs are always figuring ways to get around the antibiotics we throw at them, they adapt and come roaring back again”, no wonder, bacteria were around long before man inherited the earth and will always find around the antibiotic effect, and chest infections antibiotics in particular.

Chest infection antibiotics will normally only be considered if you are aged and have a temperature over 38 (100F), or any other condition such as Asthma or a long term condition of the lungs, you are a smoker with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and if your immune system is compromised as a result of Cancer treatment chemotherapy, or you have diabetes or pleurisy which is the inflammation of the lining of the lungs.

PNEUMONIA

The greatest benefit of antibiotics seemed to be for reducing the risk of pneumonia after a chest infection, particularly in the elderly. This conclusion was as a result of research by I. Peterson and colleagues of The Centre for Infectious Disease and Epidemiology, Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, University College, London. They found that the greatest benefit of administering antibiotics for pneumonia reduced the risk after a chest infection. The size of this risk increased with the age of the patients. In the over 65 groups, 403 patients per 1000 were at risk of pneumonia, if a chest infection was untreated .This was reduced to 146 per 1000 if treated with antibiotics. Just 39 patients over 65 years would need to be treated with antibiotics to prevent one case of pneumonia compared to 119 patients between the ages of 1 and 64 year.

Their studies taken from records between 1991 and 2001 concluded that antibiotics should only be prescribed in more serious cases of chest infections.

PREVENTION

Your immune system will be stronger and you will be better able to prevent viral and bacterial infections if you lead a healthier lifestyle!

How To Treat Hemorrhoids or Piles?

It is very hard get things done normally when we have hemorrhoids or piles. To treat hemorrhoids or piles at home, first thing is take a high hot enema, temperature from 102F to 108F. Use either white oak bark or bayberry bark, or white alum root tea to cleanse the entire length of the colon.

Make a strong tea from the bark of witch hazel and one teaspoonful yellow dark root. Use the witch hazel bark and catnip if no other herbs are at hand. Use a teaspoonful of witch hazel and a teaspoonful of catnip to a cup of boiling water, steep twenty minutes.

If the trouble is external, dip a small piece of cotton in this tea and bathe the affected part. If internal, get a baby syringe and inject two tablespoonfuls at a time or you may use a glass syringe. You will find that this hemorrhoid treatment will give relief in a short time.

Taking hot herb enemas is less painful and the piles will go back inside easier if you take the knee-chest position, as this causes the intestines to drop forward.

Very bad cases of hemorrhoids can be cured using kerosene alone. Apply to the affected parts either inside or out. If inside, inject a little. Kerosene gives instant relief to your hemorrhoids. Lemon juice is also excellent used in the same way.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are linked to wrong diet, overeating, intoxicating liquors, tobacco, spices of various kinds, white bread, sugar, fried foods, and all acid forming foods which cause fermentation. These habits devitalized diet causes constipation, clogs the liver and causes an impure blood stream and does irritates the stomach and intestines.

If there are swollen tissue of the mouth of the rectum, and also swollen blood vessels, these are symptoms of hemorrhoids and you can notice the bleeding piles. Little tumors are formed around the anus. Both internal and external pile is very painful. Often, there is extreme itching.

All heavy and stimulating food should be avoided as mentioned. The diet should be simple and light. Soybean milk, soybean zwieback, thoroughly ripe bananas, vegetable broths of any kind. To go on a fruit diet for a few days is a very helpful measure.

A hot sitz bath, as hot as can be borne, should be taken. Sit in this bath for fifteen minutes or longer until the body is thoroughly heated through. Have another tub containing cold water, and after being heated, sit in this for a second or two. Return to the hot water, and repeat. If you use a bath tub, have the water well over the hips. Place the other tub alongside the bathtub, tilting it by using a piece of wood or some solid article under one side. Continue this for one hour.

Why We Shouldn’t Use Fossil Fuels

Fossil Fuels

Consumers are familiar and comfortable with conventional power sources. Power generated by fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, or petroleum (oil) is widely used across the world and many countries rely on these finite resources as the primary source of power production. According to the latest report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (2011a), fossil fuels are expected to continue supplying much of the energy used worldwide, with petroleum based fuels remaining the largest source of energy.

However, there are significant problems with relying on this type of energy. Firstly, fossil fuels are not considered a renewable energy. The formation of coal, natural gas and oil takes millions to billions of years; consequently these resources will be consumed well before they are renewed. Experts have suggested that the world is currently at the peak of oil production, with only another forty years of oil reserves available and sixty five years of gas remaining. With population growth continuing to rise and the nature of economic growth and consumption, undoubtedly these fossil fuels will become very scarce and eventually unavailable. It is reasonable to expect that as these resources become further reduced, the cost of power will increase and it will become less affordable for many people. This is a scary prospect, especially for future generations.

Whilst there are very legitimate concerns about the future availability of fossil fuels, another problem is the environment impacts of using fossil fuels for our principle energy source. Fossil fueled power stations are major emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas considered one of the major contributors to global warming within the last century. For example, the burning of brown coal emits three times as much CO2 as natural gas, and black coal emits twice as much CO2 per unit of electric energy generated. Unless new technology can be developed to make energy production ‘greener’, regulations to reduce CO2 emission will certainly impact the consumer, whether this is by higher prices due to carbon taxes or a limitation to the amount of energy available.

The impact of burning fossil fuels on human health is also a major concern. For example, exposure to particulates released from coal power plants has been proven to increase death through respiratory and cardiac problems (Grahame and Schlesinger, 2007). These particulates irritate small airways in the lungs, which can lead to increased problems with asthma, chronic bronchitis, airway obstruction, and gas exchange (Nel, 2005). Uranium, thorium and other naturally occurring radioactive isotopes are also found in low levels within coal. Whilst they are in low concentrations, there is enough coal being burnt that there is a significant amount of these substances being released, causing radioactive contamination of the environment. Other damaging side effects of burning coal are the contamination of waterways. Research has shown that the coal ash produced by coal-fired power plants dumped at sites across America has lead to the contamination of ground water with toxic element, including dangerous poisons such as arsenic and lead (Schoof, 2010). These poisons are known to cause bladder, lung and skin cancers. Also, as a direct result of coal-fueled power plant emissions there are widespread cases of mercury contamination in fish well above the safe limit for consumption throughout American waterways.

Nuclear Power

The use of nuclear power is a very contentious issue. Whilst it is not used as frequently as fossil fuels to generate power it is still heavily relied upon in some parts of the world. Nuclear power is used in thirty countries as a source of commercial power, with sixteen countries depending on nuclear power for at least a quarter of their electricity. France is the highest consumer of nuclear power, accounting for almost 75 percent of their available power. Nuclear power accounts for one third or more of the total power consumed in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia and Ukraine. Countries such as Japan, Germany and Finland use over a quarter of their power from nuclear energy and in America one fifth of energy consumed is from nuclear power. More detailed information on the global consumption of nuclear energy can be found from the World Nuclear Association (see the reference section).

There are several reasons why society is fearful of nuclear energy. One is that the technology used to generate nuclear power can also be applied to the production of nuclear weapons. With the continued friction between various countries and ongoing civil wars, this is a major concern. However, the main anxiety surrounding nuclear power is concerned with nuclear waste and the associated radiation. Just about everyone is familiar with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, in which large quantities of radioactive contamination was released into the atmosphere following an explosion at the Ukrainian Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Many people died or experienced illness as a direct result of radiation exposure. Groundwater also became contaminated and regional flora and fauna was also negatively impacted. More recently, the massive earthquake off the coast of Japan in 2011 and its associated tsunami caused global alarm that there may be a nuclear meltdown at several of the county’s power plants. Whilst disasters such as Chernobyl are rare and threats to the stability of current nuclear power plants are infrequent, the possibilities for repeat catastrophes are enough to turn people away from the use of nuclear power.

In addition to the social concerns surrounding the use of nuclear energy as a power source, there is also the issue of sustainability. Nuclear power plants require radioactive material to generate energy; this is typically supplied in the form of plutonium. Plutonium is created from uranium ore. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (2011b), presently there are nineteen countries throughout the world mining uranium ore, with over sixty percent generated from mines in Kazakhstan (33 %), Canada (18 %) and Australia (11 %). However, uranium ore is in low concentrations and like the fossil fuels discussed previously, it is also a non-renewable resource.

Renewable Resources

Without question, the world currently relies on non-renewable energy for its power supply. Clearly this is unsustainable. However, there are a variety of renewable resources such as water (hydro power, tidal power and wave power), geothermal, wind and radiant energy (solar power) that are sustainable alternatives. The future of power generation lies in these resources. Each of these energy sources has their benefits and negatives. However, the most beneficial to ‘everyday’ consumers is undoubtedly radiant energy in the form of solar power. Solar energy is widely accessible, unlike other renewable resources. Anybody can buy solar panels and with the correct installation, produce their own power supply. There has been criticism that despite the advantages of using radiant energy, the affordability of solar power is not accessible to everyone. However, more recently there have been significant developments in DIY solar power. With the correct guidance and materials, it is possible for homeowners to create and install their own solar panels with excellent success. Not only are people able to generate their own electricity for their homes or businesses, but in some instances they are able to make money by selling excess energy back to regional power companies. Solar power is no longer a boutique energy source; instead it has become a smart consumer choice, granting independence and certainty to anyone that selects this form of power.

Home Remedies for Cough and Cold in Children and Infants

One of the hardest parts being a parent is to look after their sick kids. This is especially if their kids have cough and cold. If this happens, a mother or both parents could potentially have only a couple of hours sleep at night which is a great disadvantage for them especially if they are both going to work everyday. Well, this is part of being a parent hence you can absolutely avoid and practice an effective home remedy for this. After all, you are not only the one who suffers, mainly; it is your child that suffers. So, as a parent, it is also one of your duties to take care and look after them as well as to find ways so they can get rid of their cough and cold.

One of the home remedies for cough and cold that you can consider is water therapy. You need to convince your children to drink more water. Put a cold compress on his or her forehead and wipe him or her with a face towel in the whole body. Check the temperature of your child every hour and every time you let them take medicines. But, if the symptoms persist then you will have to see a doctor.

Another thing is that you will have to make your children drink more juice especially lemon juice. If they have cough and colds for more than a week then you will have to see a doctor and ask for medical prescription. It is because of the fact that your child might to take antibiotics and other medicines that could be helpful to their condition. You can also massage the chest and back of your child using mentholated creams. In some ways, this could help them to make breathing easier as well as this could also help them to fall asleep despite of such condition.

If you are a parent and it is your first time to experience looking after your kid while he is suffering from cough and colds then all you have to do is to be relaxed in a way that your mind could be always present despite of the situations that you know might possibly happen. It is perfectly understandable for you to be worried; the fact is that it is essential for you to be active and present minded. Don’t let your worries and fears overpower you because if this happens, you will never do any home remedies for cough and colds rightfully as well as you will never come up with the right things to do.

Tips to Avoid a Sore Penis After Sexual Fun

There are few things more enjoyable than sex. The human body is designed to enjoy so many wonderful sensations, and men often go after all of those delightful sensations with aplomb. But that can also lead to the problem of a sore penis after all is said and done – and done again, then again, and again. A man should take care to practice good penis care and keep these valuable tips in mind when he is getting ready for sexual fun.

1. Stay safe. Though it has been said time and time again, it always bears repeating: The best way to take care of the penis is to wrap it up in a condom during sexual play. Though men who are in a committed, monogamous relationship can get away without using a condom, anyone who is playing the field, so to speak, needs to be very careful about protection, each and every time.

2. Watch those long strokes. Though using long strokes might sound like a fun time, a man should be quite careful when he goes after the long game a bit too eagerly. One of the leading causes of penis fractures is fast thrusting that goes awry, leading the penis to slip out and slam into something quite solid, like her pelvic bone. Just keep that in mind when things get rowdy.

3. Take care with lube. Though men already know that lube makes things much nicer, it is vitally important to look at the type of lube being used. Men who use latex condoms should never couple those condoms with oil-based lube. Why? Because those oils break down the latex and render the condom almost useless for its intended purpose. Always go with water-based or silicone-based lube.

4. Pay attention to pain. Though some people like to mix in a little pain with their pleasure, that’s not the focus of this particular hint. If penis pain or soreness begins to plague a man while he is doing the deed, it’s usually a sign that he has gone a bit too far and his penis needs a rest. Though it can be tempting to keep going, no matter how much it might hurt later, it’s a good idea to heed what the body is saying and take a nice, long break.

5. Wash off well. Though a man often has a shower before sexual activity, he might not opt for a shower when things are done. That’s often a bad idea, as the fluids left over from all that fun can dry on the penis and lead to itching, soreness and even redness. This is especially true if condoms, lubes and spermicides were used. At the very least, a man should take a quick trip to the bathroom to use a mild soap and water and quickly clean the area before getting some shut-eye.

Use a high-quality crème to keep things smooth

A man wants to keep his penis looking nice for his partner, and he wants to do whatever he can to alleviate any penis pain or soreness he might experience. A great penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can help him achieve both these goals and more. The savvy man will look for a crème that contains vitamin A, also known as retinol, to fight unpleasant penis odors. Other vitamins are also advantageous, such as vitamin C (for blood flow) and vitamin B5 (for cell metabolism). Combine those vitamins along with other nutrients in a Shea butter base, and a man has the recipe for a strong, healthy and great-looking penis.

What is Remediation?

The word “remediation” is very important in the work my colleagues and I do with families affected by autism and other neuro-developmental disabilities, but it is a word that is unfamiliar to many people. I thought I would take a moment this week to talk about what remediation means in general, and specifically in the realm of autism.

Let’s start with some basic dictionary definitions:

Remediate (verb) – To remedy a problem

Remedial (adjective) – Intended to correct or improve one’s skill in a specific field; therapeutic, corrective, restorative

Remediation (noun) – Use of remedial methods to improve skills; the act or process of correcting a deficiency

Dr. Steven Gutstein’s definition of remediation: Correcting a deficit to the point where it no longer constitutes and obstacle

My definition: Work ON something, not just around it

Whether you are a parent or professional, it is critical to understand what remediation is, and the distinction between remediation and compensation. Perhaps the most common application of this distinction is in the area of reading problems. If a child is diagnosed with a reading disability, we typically apply remediation approaches to help them learn to read. At various points we may use compensations, such as books on tape, to support them. However, our goal is to remediate, or correct, the problem that is preventing them from reading so they can become functional readers. In my professional experience, I have yet to come across a situation where adults believe that if an 8 year old child is not yet reading, that we should just compensate for that and give them books on tape to listen to for the rest of their lives. Remedial efforts are taken to get to the root of the problem and overcome the issues that are preventing successful reading.

Now take this same concept and apply it to individuals on the autism spectrum. By definition they are struggling in many areas: socialization, communication, thinking flexibly, and the list goes on depending on the person. What approach do we usually take to these deficits? By and large, we take a compensation approach. We find ways to work around these problems so that the students fit into the mold of what we do at home and in school everyday. Our main motivation becomes applying strategies that help them exhibit what we consider to be “typical” behaviors -sit appropriately in the classroom or at church, learn academic skills, play on the playground equipment, wait in line without becoming upset, greet others when we see them, etc. While we may also look for ways to support their communication and to improve their relationships with others, we do this on a very surface level without really understanding the obstacles that create those problems in the first place. And, because we don’t really understand the root issues that create these problems, we resort to compensation techniques rather than remediating the root causes.

When you look at the history of treatments in the field of autism, it has been primarily about compensation. While research on the brain and autism has continued to move forward and provide us new information, our treatment approaches have stagnated. The methods we were using 30 years ago are still the methods being used today, despite the fact that we have a whole host of new information available to us. We now have the capacity to take what we know about the disorder of autism and how it impacts brain function, and develop new techniques and approaches that move beyond compensation and actually work to remediate (correct) the primary features of the disorder. This is one of the exciting things about newer approaches such as the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)® Program, which focuses on remediating, rather than just working around, the core deficits we see in individuals with autism and other neuro-developmental disorders.

It is time to move beyond thinking about treatment as merely capitalizing on strengths, and begin thinking about how to strengthen areas of weakness. Research has shown us that autism is primarily a disorder of connectivity in the brain-with some portions over connected and others under connected. What is so exciting about this is that we know that neural connectivity can change throughout the lifespan. The human brain has an enormous capacity for developing new connections and changing the patterns of connectivity when given the right types of stimulation. This is what allows us to look at autism treatment in a new light. It cannot be merely about strengthening the areas that are already strong. Effective education and treatment must be focused on building new connections in the areas where connectivity is deficient. This is the essence of remediation.

Acute Bronchitis – How To Recognize The Signs

Many people suffer from a variety of respiratory disorders. It is important that your respiratory system remains in a healthy condition. Many people ignore the early signs of a respiratory disorder, as a result of which they are unable to control a condition that can later becomes chronic and lead to disability. For example, acute bronchitis, when neglected, leads to chronic bronchitis, a condition that causes severe, irreversible damage to your respiratory system and leaves you disabled for life. Therefore, updating your knowledge about bronchitis and its various signs and symptoms is of utmost importance. Neglect of this condition could lead to a medical as well as a personal disaster.

What is Acute Bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis is a disease of the respiratory system caused due to viral infection of the bronchial tree. In some cases, the infecting agent is a fungus. Usually, people mistake this condition to be common cold and underestimate the seriousness of it. This is the common reason why most people tend to ignore bronchitis.

Children and infants are easy prey for this condition because their immune systems are still in the growing phase and are not that well-equipped to battle the virus. Bronchitis also affects tobacco smokers and those who reside in highly polluted cities.

Treatment for Bronchitis

If the condition is acute bronchitis caused by a virus, it does not require any special treatment. All that you need to do is rest and relax as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids such as water and the juices of fruits and vegetables. If you or someone at home is suffering from bronchitis, it is highly advisable that you use humidifiers to raise the humidity in the rooms. If this is not possible, place wet towels or blankets in different areas of the house. A humid condition is ideal for the recovery of a person suffering from bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis does not last more than 10-12 days if treated properly. Usually, it is closely followed by a flue or cold. You might also cough for 2-3 weeks, and you will continue to cough till your bronchioles are completely healed and free of infection. If the cough persists, it may be due to another condition. In this case, you need to consult your physican and get yourself checked for any other medical condition. It is very important to know that acute bronchitis, if left unattended to, can lead to a condition called chronic bronchitis. This can cause intense misery and last from 3 months to two years. Moreover, it can permanently damage your respiratory system.

Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis

You know that you are in for acute bronchitis when you experience breathlessness, slight pain and tightness in the chest, light fever, chills, persistent cough that brings out a lot of mucus, wheezing, and headache. Now, this can easily be mistaken for a common cold. Only a doctor can make out the difference. So, as soon as you experience these symptoms, visit your family doctor and get a medical examination.

A number of tests are required to determine if you are suffering from acute bronchitis or just a common cold. A doctor will study your breathing pattern through a stethoscope. Chest X-rays will be taken. Laboratory tests will be conducted to examine your mucus in order to determine if the condition has been caused by bacteria, virus, or fungus.

Recovering from Bronchitis

If you are diagnosed with acute bronchitis, quit smoking immediately. Avoid cigarette smoke completely if you want a speedy recovery. Smoke is really bad for you, so is polluted air. Ensure than the air around you is perfectly clean. You can do so by installing an air purifier or two inside your house.

Prevention of Acute Bronchitis

You don’t need to suffer from acute bronchitis. You can easily prevent it by taking a few precautions. It is important to avoid getting infected by virus, bacteria, and fungi that cause acute bronchitis, and you can do so by washing your hands regularly and giving up smoking.

Never ever ignore the signs of acute bronchitis. Visit your doctor to ascertain once and for all if what you have caught is acute bronchits or just a common cold. Don’t take the decision yourself.

The health of your respiratory system is in your control. Keep yourself informed about acute bronchitis and understand its symptoms well. You can prevent it from turning into a chronic condition simply by taking the right treatment at the right time.

Homoeopathic Treatment for the Benign Positional Vertigo

The most common cause of vertigo is ‘benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)’. If you are suffering with BPPV, you can experience a sudden sensation of spinning inside your head.

BPPV is characterized by brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. The acute episodes of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can be triggered by specific changes in the position of your head, such as looking up or down (just like you do while drying washed clothes), and by lying down, turning over or sitting up in bed. If it gets progressed, you may also feel out of balance when standing or walking.

The clinical presentation:

The most common symptoms of BPPV are

  • Dizziness
  • A sensation that the things around you are spinning or moving (vertigo)
  • Feeling of light-headedness
  • Unsteadiness leading to loss of balance
  • Blurred vision that accompanies the sensation of vertigo
  • Nausea and vomiting (just like one experiences during car-sickness)

The triggering factors that bring about the episodes of BPPV can vary from person to person, but are almost always brought on by a change in the position of your head. An attack of BPPV can come and go. The symptoms may last for less than one minute.

What happens inside to cause BPPV?

The inner ear that is directly connected to the brain is one of the most important organs of balance. Inside the inner-ear we have a tiny organ called the vestibular labyrinth. It includes three semicircular canals that contain fluid and fine, hair-like sensors that monitor the rotation of our head. If the semicircular canals become over-sensitive to the changes in the head position, it would normally not respond to, one starts feeling dizzy.

Risk factors

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can affect you at any age, but it becomes more common as the age advances. At least 40% of the population above 60 years of age can experience BPPV at least once in lifetime.

Tests and Investigations

Since it is primarily a functional disorder, most of the imaging can turn out to be negative. Despite that doctor can ask to go for a Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out other causes of imbalance, mainly organic causes like cerebellar tumors or an acoustic neuroma which is a non-cancerous tumor of the nerve that carries sound and balance information from the inner ear to the brain.

Homeopathic Treatment:

Homeopathy believes in restoring the lost balance within the semicircular canals through its deep-acting medicines. It not only relieves symptomatic affection but also prevents the recurrence of symptoms in future.

The common homeopathic remedies that are used in cases of BPPV are:

Conium:

It helps the vertigo of the aged and that arising from excesses an all over use of tobacco.

Patient gets a sensation when looking steadily at an object as if turning in a circle.

Vertigo on rising up or going down stairs, with great debility and inclination to sleep.

Associated with a numb feeling in the brain as if stupefied, worse turning over in bed.

Ferrum-met:

This remedy suits anaemic vertigo, which is worse when suddenly rising from a sitting or lying position.

It comes on when going down hill or on crossing water, even though the water be smooth.

Has a vertigo worse when looking at running water.

Cocculus:

Has its principal action on the solar plexus, and vertigo which is connected with digestive troubles suites this remedy

Helps the neurasthenic type with occipital headache and lumbo-sacral irritation.

Along with vertigo there is a flushed face and hot head, worse sitting up and riding in a carriage; it is also worse after eating.

This remedy also can help those who have a car-sickness.

Rhus tox:

It helps in all those cases of vertigo, especially in old people, which comes on as soon as the patient rises from a sitting position.

Usually accompanied with heavy limbs is probably caused by senile changes in the brain.

Causticum:

Is suitable to vertigo preceding paralysis.

There is a tendency to fall forward or sideways; there is a great anxiety and weakness in the head.

Vertigo and weakness in the head. It corresponds, therefore to the vertigo of organic brain diseases.

Argentum nitricum:

Vertigo, with debility and trembling, is curable by this remedy when there is much mental confusion and a sense of expansion.

It seems as if houses would fall on him when he is walking through the street.

It also suits vertigo from diseases of the brain and eyes.

Also helps the case of tinnitus.

Although these six remedies are used most commonly in cases of BPPV, individual case may need a totally different remedy. A consultation with a homeopathic physician will always help to solve your individual case. Self-medication is not advised.