Poem: Are You Content? William Butler YeatsThe Danger of Daily Aspirin — A Sexy Partner Can Make You Seem More Attractive — AF 447: the best experts to locate the wreckage — The perfect man is a geek with facial stubble… women’s secret turn-ons revealed — A Van Gogh is known to be authenticated — Wake-up call for teen pot smokers — Debenhams first with disabled High Street model — Converting Body Movements Into Electricity — Music Videos by Luz Casal


Are You Content?

I call on those that call me son,
Grandson, or great-grandson,
On uncles, aunts, great-uncles or great-aunts
To judge what I have done.
Have I, that put it into words,
Spoilt what old loins have sent?
Eyes spiritualized by death can judge,
I cannot, but I am not content.

He that in Sligo at Drumcliff
Set up the old stone Cross,
That red-headed rector in Country Down,
A good man on a horse,
Sandymount Corbets, that notable man
Old William Pollexfen,
The smuggler Middleton, Butlers far back,
Half legendary men.

Infirm and aged I might stay
In some good company,
I who have always hated work,
Smiling at the sea,
Or demonstrate in my own life
What Robert Browning meant
By an old hunter talking with Gods;
But I am not content.

William Butler Yeats


The Danger of Daily Aspirin

WSJ – By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS

If you’re taking a daily aspirin for your heart, you may want to reconsider.

For years, many middle-aged people have taken the drug in hopes of reducing the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Americans bought more than 44 million packages of low-dose aspirin marketed for heart protection in the year ended September, up about 12% from 2005, according to research firm IMS Health.

Now, medical experts say some people who are taking aspirin on a regular basis should think about stopping. Public-health officials are scaling back official recommendations for the painkiller to target a narrower group of patients who are at risk of a heart attack or stroke. The concern is that aspirin’s side effects, which can include bleeding ulcers, might outweigh the potential benefits when taken by many healthy or older people.

“Not everybody needs to take aspirin,” says Sidney Smith, a professor at the University of North Carolina who is chairing a new National Institutes of Health effort to compile treatment recommendations on cardiovascular-disease prevention. Physicians are beginning to tailor aspirin recommendations to “groups where the benefits are especially well established,” he says.

Doctors generally agree that most patients who have already suffered a heart attack or ischemic stroke, the type caused by a clot or other obstruction blocking an artery to the brain, should take regular low-dose aspirin. But for people without heart disease, the newest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force spell out much more clearly than before when aspirin should be administered.

The guidelines, announced last year, suggest aspirin for certain men 45 to 79 years old with elevated heart-disease risk because of factors like cholesterol levels and smoking. For women, the guidelines don’t focus on heart risk. Instead, the task force recommends certain women should take aspirin regularly if they are 55 to 79 and are in danger of having an ischemic stroke, for reasons that could include high blood pressure and diabetes.

The panel urged doctors to factor in conditions that could increase a patient’s risk of bleeding from aspirin, which tends to rise with age. The group didn’t designate a dose, but suggested that an appropriate amount might be 75 milligrams a day, which is close to the 81mg contained in low-dose, or “baby,” aspirin. The task force didn’t take a position on aspirin for people who are 80 and older because of a lack of data in this age group.

Other medical researchers dispute the idea that there should be different guidelines for men and women. Still, many experts agree that doctors may have been recommending aspirin to people for whom the risks might outweigh the benefits.

Aspirin acts as a blood thinner, which is believed to account for much of its benefit of protecting against heart attacks and strokes. But that same action, along with a tendency to deplete the stomach’s protective lining, can lead to a danger of gastrointestinal bleeding and possibly bleeding in the brain…



A Sexy Partner Can Make You Seem More Attractive

LiveScience – By Charles Q. Choi

If you wish to be alluring, you might want to pair up with a hot partner. A good-looking significant other will cause other potential mates to find you more desirable, new research suggests.

The results held more for women than men, who tend to find attractive ladies desirable no matter who they are intimate with.

While the findings might be especially helpful to singles, the researchers are interested in learning about the mysterious rules of attraction that apply throughout the animal kingdom.

Animals often choose mates by imitating the choices of others. For instance, female guppies typically prefer brightly colored males, but will switch to favoring drab ones if they see other females mating with them. Copying others could prove beneficial, especially for inexperienced individuals that mimic more experienced ones. Still, little is known about what underlies this behavior in any species.

Human see, human do?

To see if humans copy others as well, scientists had 30 male and 30 female volunteers who all described themselves as straight rate how attractive they found photos of 36 men and 36 women. The volunteers were then shown 144 pictures of men and women paired together and asked how desirable they would find long-term relationships with members of the opposite sex in the pictures.

Both male and female volunteers rated people in the pictures as more desirable when they were paired next to attractive companions, the scientists found. By using cameras to track eye movements during the experiments, the researchers also saw that when volunteers spent more time looking at a potential mate’s unattractive partner, they were less interested in that mate.

“Even though people were only asked to evaluate the potential mate in each photograph, they all spent a significant amount of time looking at the mate’s partner,” said researcher Jessica Yorzinski, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Davis. “Women spent more time looking at the partners that they found attractive, while men shifted their gaze back and forth more.”

In addition, while male volunteers were interested in attractive women regardless of their partners, female volunteers were more skeptical of attractive men if they were paired with unappealing companions. This difference might perhaps be rooted in how women are often choosier about mates then men.

“The men might have just had a higher level of interest in all potential mates, and were less discriminating than females would be,” Yorzinski said…


AF 447: the best experts to locate the wreckage

The U.S. Navy, U.S. researchers, German, two ships, submarines and sonar pocket start mid-March for a search campaign.

Le Figaro – Fabrice Amedeo 17/02/2010 (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

They still believe. More than eight months after the disappearance of Flight AF 447 in the southern hemisphere, the investigators leave at sea to locate the wreckage of the plane and try to find the black boxes. For this operation, the last chance, the Office of Investigations and Analysis (BEA), responsible for the investigation, was attended by leading world experts and created a veritable “dream team”.

The new tracing campaign should begin in mid-March. After an initial campaign in the emergency in June to identify the signal of the black boxes, then a second also launched in haste in August to locate the wreckage, investigators here have taken the time to work in the best conditions. They left the position of bodies and wreckage of the plane which were recovered in June. They have studied the current and potential risks for a smaller narrow search area.

Different ocean models have been studied. The BEA also provided its own data by working with fishermen in the Gulf of Guinea, who threw sea buoys into the sea and their drifts has been studied. The result is a promising new research area is 2,000 km ² cons 17,500 kilometers ² that swept last August.

It is located northwest of the last known position of the Flight AF 447. This information is welcomed by the pilots of Air France who believe that their colleagues may have bypassed some of the delicate storm area of the accident to the north-west of its theoretical route.

Elle est située au nord-ouest de la dernière position connue du vol AF 447. Cette information est accueillie avec satisfaction par les pilotes d’Air France qui sont persuadés que leurs collègues ont contourné une partie de la zone orageuse délicate par la gauche et que la zone de l’accident est au nord-ouest de sa route théorique.

International collaboration

For the operational phase, the BEA has chosen to work with the U.S. Navy and did not play the card of national preference claiming responsibility in the services of two internationally recognized institutions: Geomar Germans and Americans of the Institute Woods Hole Oceanographic.

Two boats have been hired: The Seabed Worker, who belongs to a Norwegian shipowner, and Anne Candies belonging to U.S. company Phoenix International. The Seabed Worker host submarines pocket that can explore areas of deep rough at the rate of 5 square kilometers per day. The Anne Candies host teams from the U.S. Navy as well as “towed sonar. This type of material is adapted to scan sedimentary plains and can rake 100 km ² per day.

The BEA has given four weeks at sea to recover the aircraft and assemble its black boxes. The question is whether, if successful, the records will still be usable. BEA experts are optimistic. Black boxes have been recovered several months after other accidents.

The [black boxes] can withstand a shock of 3,400 g in the impact of the aircraft, at a temperature of 1,100 degrees for an hour in case of fire and an underwater pressure of 6,000 meters.

“This is one of the most complex that has never been mounted, said Jean-Paul Trodec, President of BEA. This is probably our last chance to retrieve the black boxes, because I do not see what we could do better. “

BEA Sea Search Operations AF 447 – A330-203 (PDF)(30 Pages)



The perfect man is a geek with facial stubble… women’s secret turn-ons revealed

By Daily Mail Reporter

Most women claim to be attracted to tall, dark and handsome men, but a new study has revealed that facial stubble and a geeky personality are their biggest secret turn-ons.

Despite complaining that it looks unkempt and feels rough to touch, the unshaven look on a man is actually a turn-on for 41 per cent of women.

A slightly geeky personality came second, proving that women really do like a guy who knows their stuff when it comes to technology.

A hairy chest was voted third, followed by a man who loves to read or cries at a soppy film.

Other secret turn-ons to feature in the top ten include grey hair, glasses and being a passionate supporter of a sports team.

But almost one in five would never admit what they really find attractive in a man to other people.

A spokesman for http://www.onepoll.com, which carried out the research, said: ‘Publically, girls will claim they want a muscly guy, who is hair free and manly enough not to show his emotional side.

‘But these results prove that they secretly want something different. It seems women really do like a guy who is able to show a softer side, or who is carrying a little bit of extra weight.

‘I’m sure it’s a relief to men all over the country to find out that women aren’t actually looking for that perfect guy.’

The poll of 2,500 women also revealed that 91 per cent would actually prefer a guy who had a few flaws over someone who is perfect.

And more than half would rather a guy who was soft and cuddly instead of toned and muscly.

Almost two thirds would prefer to be with a naturally hairy man, while 56 per cent like a guy with a little bit of stubble over someone who is clean shaven or has a full beard.

Women also prefer a guy who doesn’t spend too much time on his appearance, with 63 per cent saying they would like a man who got ready quickly rather than fussing over what he looked like.

Fifty-eight per cent of women even want a guy who doesn’t care what he eats over someone who is watching his weight and counting calories.



A Van Gogh is known to be authenticated

Small in size, the painting has been appraised by the museum in Amsterdam, raising emotions among art lovers.

Le Figaro – Valerie Duponchelle (English Translation)


A new Van Gogh? Since the case of Sunflowers and Garden Daubigny, the topic is hot among art historians. Especially when the table is considered “atypical” in the works painted by Vincent theorist of art and magic correspondent now in glory at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. So it was the excitement Wednesday at the Museum of Fundation in Zwolle, north-east of Amterdam. Its director, Ralph Keuning, formally presented an unknown, mullein “The Blute-fin, welcoming a” true picture “of Van Gogh, dated 1886. Recognized by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the oil paintings of small dimensions (55.2 cm × 38 cm) immediately triggered the emotion the more legitimate.

“It’s a little picture, but its significance is major. It belongs to the Parisian period of Van Gogh, who arrived in Montmartre in spring 1886, says the Figaro Louis Van Tilborg Investigator Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam who worked on this case study. It was then three windmills on the Butte, including the famous Moulin de la Galette by Renoir.  They were no longer grind but offered a view of Paris. This table, if peopled, may be surprised by his subject and his bill.  It is yet to autumn 1886 when Van Gogh experimented under the influence of Provençal Monticelli painted with harsh and bright colors. “

As with any valuable picture, its provenance was weighed.  “It was purchased 6 200 francs in 1975 in Paris at the Galerie Heim, Dirk Hannem, former director of Museum Boijmans Rotterdam.  This colorful character, fiery, was often optimistic in its acquisitions, seeing Rembrandt or other great masters. He donated his collection to the Museum Foundation. This reputation has been exaggerated enthusiasm against this table. We have closely studied since 2007, a technical point of view and style, before recognizing the hand of Van Gogh. “It is not the only inheritance.



Wake-up call for teen pot smokers

The Sydney Morning Herald – NICOLE OSTROW February 28, 2010

YOUNG adults who used marijuana as teens were more likely than those who didn’t to develop schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms, a seven-year Australian study found.

Those who used the drug for six or more years were twice as likely to develop a psychosis such as schizophrenia or to have delusional disorders than those who never used it.

Research involving more than 3800 young adults, released online by the Archives of General Psychiatry, found long-term users were also four times more likely to have psychotic-like experiences.

The findings, by the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland, build on previous research and shows that marijuana use is not as harmless as some people think, lead study author John McGrath said yesterday in an email.

The researchers quizzed 3801 young adults who were born in Brisbane between 1981 and 1984. The participants, whose average age was about 20, were asked about marijuana use. The researchers also measured whether those in the study had psychotic symptoms.

The study was the first to look at sibling pairs to discount genetic or environmental influence and still find marijuana linked to later psychosis, the authors said.

”This is the most convincing evidence yet that the earlier you use cannabis, the more likely you are to have symptoms of a psychotic illness,” said Dr McGrath, a professor at the institute, in a statement. ”The message for teenagers is: if they choose to use cannabis they have to understand there’s a risk involved.”

Researchers were looking for causes of schizophrenia, Dr McGrath said.

Of the 1272 participants who had never used marijuana, 26 (2 per cent) were diagnosed with psychosis. Of the 322 people who had used marijuana for six or more years, 12 (3.7 per cent) were diagnosed with the illness. Overall, 65 people were diagnosed with psychosis, the study said.

The researchers also found those who used marijuana the longest were four times more likely than those who didn’t to have the highest scores derived from a list of psychotic-like experiences.

Dr McGrath said even those who used marijuana for fewer than three years still had an increased risk of scoring higher than those who had not.

”Apart from the implications for policy makers and health planners, we hope our findings will encourage further clinical and animal-model research to unravel the mechanisms linking cannabis use and psychosis,” the authors wrote.

Those in the study were interviewed at the ages of 14 and 21, so the symptoms emerged between those two study periods, Dr McGrath said.

The study also showed that among 228 sibling pairs, those who didn’t use marijuana reported fewer psychotic-like delusions compared with those who used cannabis. That difference was statistically significant and reduces the likelihood that the psychotic problems were caused by genetics or environment, the authors said.

The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.



Debenhams first with disabled High Street model

Debenhams breaks the taboo of using disabled model in photography campaign.

Telegraph – By Hilary Alexander, Fashion Director

Shannon Murray, 32, who has been confined to a wheelchair, since breaking her neck as a teenager, will appear in the store’s display window photography and online.

The move follows an approach to Debenhams by Nikki Fox and Natasha Wood, both disability campaigners and presenters of the hit TV show, How to Look Good Naked, with a Difference.

Shannon will join three other models, Kate Fullman, a size 16 model, Tess Montgomery, a petite 5”4 model, and Tokumbo Daniel, a size 10 model who will all appear in photographs to promote the recently-launched ‘Principles by Ben de Lisi’ range which prides itself on its inclusivity. The collection starts at size 8 and goes up to size 20, with a specific petites range as well.

Debenhams is showing an increasing willingness to inject variety into the people modelling its clothes. The new campaign follows hot on the heels of the retail chain using size 16 mannequins in its windows.

Michael Sharp, Debenhams’ Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We cater for women of all shapes and sizes, young and old, non-disabled and disabled, so we wanted our windows to reflect this choice…

“Every woman deserves to look good and feel special – which is why there are styles to suit, fit and flatter every body shape in the new Principles range. I think that Shannon looks amazing,” added the designer, Ben de Lisi.

Shannon Murray complemented the retailer for supporting disabled models: “I think this is a fabulous step forward and I’m proud to be part of such a big move towards positive representation of disability in high street fashion.”

Debenhams says that it is committed to using disabled models in other photography; a second photographic shoot is being organised…



Converting Body Movements Into Electricity

NYT – By HENRY FOUNTAIN

It may not seem like it, but even the laziest of couch potatoes is a human dynamo. The act of breathing — of moving the ribs to draw air into the lungs and expel it — can generate about a watt of power. And if the potato actually gets up off the couch and walks briskly across the room, each heel strike can produce even more power, about 70 watts’ worth.

That energy could be put to work, charging a cellphone, say, or a medical sensor inside the body. The problem is how to harvest it.

Michael C. McAlpine of Princeton and colleagues have developed a promising approach for converting body movements into electricity. They have printed piezoelectric crystals onto flexible, biocompatible rubberlike material.

Piezoelectric crystals produce an electric current when bent and have many uses — the igniter on a gas barbecue grill being one of them. But highly efficient crystals of the kind that might be useful in the body are made at high temperatures that would destroy most plastics or rubbers.

The solution developed by Dr. McAlpine and colleagues, which is described in the journal Nano Letters, is to first make the crystals, in a series of narrow ribbons, on a rigid substrate of magnesium oxide. Then, after the substrate is etched away from the crystals, they are transfer-printed on a flexible biocompatible polymer, called PDMS.

Dr. McAlpine said his team had started building prototypes, in which tiny wires are deposited on the crystals so that the electricity can be harvested. The crystals are also covered with another layer of PDMS to protect them, and to safeguard the body since the crystals contain lead.

A first application might be in shoes, to produce enough power to keep a music player or phone charged. But the eventual goal would be to make a flexible power generator that could be implanted in the chest or elsewhere.



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