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Thursday, January 28, 2010

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Microwave heating

A 21 year old guy, he used to wear a pair of contact lenses, during a barbecue party. While, barbecuing he stared at the fire charcoals continuously for 2-3 minutes. After a few minutes, he started to scream for help and moved rapidly, jumping up and down. No one in the party knew why he was doing this ? Then he admitted into the Hospital, the doctor said he'll be blind permanently because of the contact lenses that he had worn. Contact lenses are made by plastics, and the heat from the charcoal melted his contact lenses. DO NOT WEAR CONTACT LENSES WHERE OVERHEATING AND FLAMES ARE CONCERNED... ..OR WHILE COOKING...! Friends if u feel the information is important. Please pass this message to all your near & dear ones. 
Microwave water - one MUST read 

A 26-year old guy decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). 

I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he told me he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling, but instantly the water in the cup 'blew-up' into his face. 

The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build up of energy. His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face, which may leave scarring. He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye.. While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as: a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc. It is however a much safer choice to boil the water in a teakettle. 

General Electric's (GE) response: 

Thanks for contacting us. I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that you received is correct. Micro waved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach the boiling point. They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or teabag is put into it. To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup.  After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it. 
If you pass this on ... you could very well save someone from a lot of pain and suffering.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Disster Awareness:Haiti quake ‘worst disaster ever’

Port au Prince: Predictions of the death toll from the Haitian earthquake have risen to 200,000 as mounting desperation at lack of aid threatens to tilt the country into anarchy. 

    With up to three million survivors still cut off from outside rescue efforts, the United Nations said the disaster was the worst it had ever dealt with. 
    Aid officials fear a lapse into all-out lawlessness in coming days unless US troops can get through with vital food, medicine and water deliveries, which are being hampered by the sheer scale of devastation. There were continued incidents of looting, and isolated reports of rescue workers being stoned by angry crowds. 
    The UN's warning came as the full picture of the horror in the flattened capital of Port au Prince emerged. Haitian ministers claimed the body count could rise far beyond the 50,000 estimate made by the Red Cross officials on Friday, saying that 50,000 bodies had already been buried. 
    Trucks piled high with corpses delivered them to mass graves outside the stricken city, with thousands more still lying uncollected on the streets or 
buried under heavy rubble. 
    "We have already collected around 50,000 dead bodies," said interior minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime. "We anticipate there will be between 100,000
and 200,000 dead in total, although we will never know the exact number." 
    If that casualty count is confirmed, it would make Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake one of the ten deadliest on record. The death toll would also rival that of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed roughly 250,000 lives. 
    A critical concern on Sunday was the rapidly diminishing supplies of fuel for vehicles, and the UN was looking for new sources, said UN spokesman Elisabeth Byrs. As of Saturday some 250 tonnes of relief goods, ranging from water to field hospitals, had arrived in Port-au-Prince and distribution to people on the ground was starting to improve slightly. She said aid was coming through the Port-au-Prince airport, the seaport at Gonaives, Santo Domingo's airport and seaport in the Dominican Republic, as well as two small private airports in the neighbouring country. 
    Experts are moving to clear damage from Port-au-Prince's seaport so that it can be used as well. Telephone systems remain damaged, and telecommunications continue very difficult for Haitians and relief workers, Byrs said. AGENCIES

FLAMING ANGER: A man accused of looting is burnt alive by a mob in Petionville

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Plastic greets NGOs at State environment meet

Representative appalled at being handed out bouquets wrapped in plastic and files made of the non-biodegradable material at meet organised by State Environment Department; want saplings to replace flowers from next meet

 The State Environment Department obviously doesn't practise what it preaches about plastic. At a workshop organised by it on Tuesday to discuss ways to tackle problems faced by Mumbaikars, delegates from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were appalled to see information kits meant for them in plastic folders and VIPs being given bouquets wrapped in plastic and foam. 

    Satish Thakare, national coordinator of the NGO Nature Preservation, raised the issue during lunch hour, but Valsa Nair, secretary of the Environment Department, had no explanation. Kishor Dhariya, president of Hirval Pratishthan, also objected to the plastic folders and bouquet wraps. 
    However, by the end of the seminar, Nair assured that henceforth, saplings would be distributed instead of bouquets. She said the government will be advised to use recycled paper for letterheads and visiting cards and to install CFL bulbs to save power in all its offices. "We are also requesting the government not to burst fire-crackers at any of its functions," Nair added. 

    Environment Minister Suresh Shetty said, "We are also going to request the government to ask ministers not to use sirens while travelling on city roads, unless it is an emergency, to cut noise 
    M N Chaini, president of the Indian Merchants Chamber, said, "If people in the in
dustry come up with innovations that help save the environment, the government should reward them." 
At least 60 NGOs took part in the seminar, held at Sahyadri guest house. 
Prashant Shinde, chief of Drushti Vidnyan Kendra, said, "The government should take the help of Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act to make the Sewri creek environment conducive for migratory birds every winter." 
Anand, an environmental activist from Worli, wanted the government to appoint celebrity ambassadors like Aamir Khan or Amitabh Bachchan to create awareness about using cotton bags instead of plastic ones. 
Debi Goenka of the Bombay Environmental Action Group demanded that the government take 
strict action against people who recently attacked 
Citispace activist Nayana Kathpalia, and provide protection to NGO workers. 

"The government should take serious cognisance of bio-terrorism and make proper arrangements for this," said Balasaheb Pisat, member of Punebased NGO, Ranjai. The Environment Minister promised that all the NGOs' suggestions would be considered while creating the proposed Vision document on environmental issues. 

To create awareness about the environment and climate change among students, the Environment Department plans to join hands with the National Service Scheme (NSS) in state colleges. It will start an 'Environmental Service Scheme' for students to work for the environment and plant trees. 
    "Along with this, the government will also constitute a district environment committee in every district, under the chairmanship of the Collector. It will have power to take immediate action at the local level for complaints against environmental degradation. It will also act as a monitoring committee for proper implementation of different government schemes,"Environment Minister Suresh Shetty said .

Satish Thakare – who won an award for his innovative eco-friendly visiting cards – asked the government to make provisions in the budget for NGO work and stop using plastic visiting cards.

Anandi Thakoor, chairman of H-west Ward Citizen's Trust, said, "All ministers should cycle or walk to the Mantralaya."

Sumaira Abdulali, president of Awaz Foundation, advocated bringing in expert technicians from outside the state or country for noise-mapping and scientific study of noise pollution.

Kishor Dhariya, who raised objection to the plastic folders and bouquet wraps

Environment Minister Suresh Shetty was against the use of sirens by ministers in city

Is Mumbai state’s malaria capital?

Pune: Malaria claimed 152 lives in Maharashtra in 2009 as against 61 recorded in 2004. Incidentally, Mumbai accounted for 125 deaths last year as against 23 deaths recorded in 2004—a five-fold increase in six years. And, most importantly, the Plasmodium vivax strain of malaria, which till recently was not considered life-threatening, and had registered no deaths till December 2006, claimed nine lives last year. All the nine victims were from Mumbai. 

    A report presenting these facts, prepared by the directorate of state health services, will be presented at a review meeting to be conducted under the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme in New Delhi on January 14. 
    "There has been a perceptible rise in malaria deaths in Mumbai in the last five years," Pandit Chavan, joint director of the state health services, said on Tuesday. "Special staff has been deployed in Mumbai to check the breeding sites 
of mosquitoes," he said. A total of 85,435 malaria cases were recorded in the state in 2009 of which 39,659 cases were recorded in Mumbai, added Chavan. 
"It is true that we didn't notice deaths due to the Plasmodium vivax strain of malaria in the state till December 2006. The possibility of this strain becoming deadlier cannot be ruled out. KEM doctors have initiated a study on it," said Ashok Bhosale, state entomologist and state project director of the National Vector-Borne Control Programme (NVBCP). Earlier, the mild malarial strain had claimed four lives, two each in 2007 and 2008. All four deaths were reported in Mumbai, added Bhosale. 

    Elaborating on the reasons for the spurt of cases in Mumbai, Bhosale said, "The rise in malaria cases in Mumbai is mainly due to the large number of construction projects being undertaken in the metropolis. Besides, the high humidity levels also contribute to the number of cases."

FOCUS surveys had highlighted the grave threat to Attabad

Attabad Village, January 12: A press release by FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance identifies four villages – Attabad Payeen, Attabad Bala, Sarat and Ayeenabad – as regions directly affected by the massive landslide in Hunza valley on January 4, 2010.

The voluntary Search and Rescue Team (SART), Disaster Assessment Response Team, Community Emergency Response Team and Village Emergency Response Teams, trained and equipped by FHA were immediately mobilized to respond to the emergency.

Thirteen people, including women and children, have been reported dead, while 9 are injured and 6 are still missing. In the upper part of Hunza valley, a population of about 20,000 people has been cut off from the rest of Hunza region. "We are still trying to get to these people. Unfortunately if we don't, soon, food and other supplies will run short. This is also winter time in the region, so families living without shelter and heating are even more vulnerable," the press release quotes Fozia Anwar, a female volunteer working with the SART team in Hunza valley.

Ahmadabad and Ayeenabad, have been evacuated to mitigate the threat posed by water build-up and possible dam breakage in the area. Wazir Baig, Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) and Mutabiat Shah, Member, GBLA, along with officials from the National Disaster Management Authority are overseeing the response and relief efforts in Aliabad, Hunza, where relief items from all agencies are being collected. Search and rescue operations are still in progress by the Pakistan Army, local administration, volunteers, residents and trained FOCUS experts.

FOCUS Pakistan is also working closely with the Internally Displaced Persons camps in Hunza. 216 families have been registered in four school camps established in the Altit village. Seven trucks carrying relief goods including flour, rice, sugar, pulses, tea, fuel, kitchen utilities, blankets, pillows and other items, reached Aliabad on January 10, 2010. Bedding and immediate utility items were provided to nearly 173 families in the camps, while other relief items are being stored under the supervision of local administration, and will be issued on a needs-basis.

As part of its mandate, FOCUS Pakistan conducts regular geological survey and hazard assessments of vulnerable areas across the country, especially in the mountainous areas of northern Pakistan, including Gilgit – Baltistan. According to a 2006 assessment of the affected area, there was a high risk of rapid movements and potential disaster. The survey also projected debris fall resulting in the blockage of the Hunza River. According to the report, the eastern part of the village was the most vulnerable.

"One block of the area had already detached in a landslide in 1994. Since then, there was a projected risk of another block falling off, since there were obvious cracks stretched over 100 meters of land," said a FOCUS geologist who conducted the survey in 2006.

The survey and hazard assessment report were shared with the Gilgit – Baltistan government, due to which 25 households were evacuated from Attabad Bala to relocate to safer locations in March 2009.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hospital "Buddies" to ease patients' pain

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Latest survey by BMC reveals that water in ALL wards of the city is unfit for drinking

and that's causing a sharp spike in jaundice, typhoid and hepatitis A and E

Last week this newspaper carried a front page report about the discoloured stinking water that Juhu residents, including this man to your right, Hrithik Roshan, were getting in their taps. It now emerges that not just Juhu, water in all the 24 wards across the city is unfit for drinking. How do we know? A survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation itself in December has revealed that of the 1,324 samples it collected from across the city, 421 clearly spelled health hazards (see box on page 8). The worst hit was posh south Mumbai where the underground sewage and water pipes are the oldest leading to wide scale corrosion and the water getting mixed with the sewage. Though BMC routinely carries out water surveys this is the first time that water contamination has been reported from all over the city without exception. 

    The biggest culprit is the E.Coli bacteria, short for Escherichia coli present in the water which can cause severe cramps and diarrhoea. Doctors from all over the city are also reporting a sharp spurt in waterrelated illnesses ranging from diarrhoea, Hepatitis A and E, typhoid and jaundice cases. 
    Last month, the civic body received 397 water contamination complaints-283 from South Mumbai, 29 from eastern suburbs and 85 from the western suburbs. "It is unusual to get so many cases in winter. I am treating patients from Walkeshwar, Marine Drive and Khetwadi areas. People should be more cautious while drinking water. The BMC should also realise that people are falling sick due to water contamination," said Dr Snehal Sanghavi who practises at Bhatia, Harkisondas and Saifee hospitals. Especially worrying, the doctor pointed out were the cases of typhoid and 
jaundice. "The fever pattern is quite unusual. Patients are not responding to normal drugs and need long treatment," said another doctor Sanjay Godbole who practices at Girgaum. 
    Pankaj Shah, a resident of Shikka Nagar in Khetwadi, has been suffering from Hepatitis E and says at least twenty of his relatives have reported sick with hepatitis or typhoid. "Initially, I was admitted to Saifee Hospital for vomiting and high fever. I was discharged after a week 
but as soon as I came home I again started vomiting. Then, I was admitted to Bhatia Hospital. Doctors asked me not to drink BMC water. I've been buying bottled water every day," he said. Dinesh Bhansal a resident of Charni Road too was discharged from Bhatia Hospital on Friday after being treated for jaundice. Around 50 people in his locality have been diagnosed with jaundice. 
    A senior official of the BMC said increased digging activity for various BMC, MMRDA and MSRDC projects and work of private utilities was damaging British-era water pipelines, while BMC Health Executive Officer Dr GT Ambe added: "We get pure water from the lakes but if there is leakage in the sewage lines the water gets contaminated. Also, in housing societies, people do not change pipelines for years, water storage tanks too are not cleaned which affects the quality of water. Due to shortage of water, people also drink tanker water, and these are some of the reasons for people falling ill," he said. 


E. coli is short for Escherichia coli – a bacteria (germ) that causes severe cramps and diarrhoea. E. coli is the leading cause of blood diarrhoea. The symptoms are worse in children and older people, and especially in those who have other illnesses. 
Seven days after you are infected with the germ, the first sign is severe abdominal cramps that start suddenly. After a few hours, watery diarrhoea starts. It causes your body to lose fluids and electrolytes (dehydration). This makes you feel sick and tired.The watery diarrhoea lasts for about a day. Then it changes to bright red bloody stools. 
    The infection causes sores in your intestines, so the stools become bloody. This state lasts for two to five days. You may have 10 or more bowel movements a day. Some stools are all blood and no stool. 
"E coli causes diarrhoea and bacterial 
dysentery. If water has this type of bacteria, it is infected, and any infected water causes harm to the stomach.We have seen several people suffering from E. coli infection. People should boil water for 15-20 minutes before drinking.You may have a mild fever or no fever. You may also have nausea or vomiting. If you have any of these symptoms – watery, bloody diarrhoea, cramps, fever, nausea or vomiting – go to your doctor right away," said Dr Amit Maydeo, gastroenterologist, Jaslok Hospital

Pankaj Shah, a resident of Shikka Nagar, Khetwadi

Microscopic view of Escherichia coli

Friday, January 8, 2010

Solar system best to overcome energy crises

Pakistan Times NWFP Bureau

CHITRAL: Introducing solar system is the best solution to over come energy crises in mountainous Chitral were the views of the experts during a day long workshop on sustainable energy solutions.

The workshop was jointly organized by Agha Khan Rural Support Program and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development here at local hotel. 
There were 30 representatives from relevant government, NGOs, private sectors and local communities to discuss ways and means for a smooth sailing of the project.

General Manager AKRSP Izhar Ali Hunzai, ICIMOD's Country representative Dr. Inayatullah, Rana, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment were also attended the workshop.

Energy advisor Prof Dr. Jangna Nath Shrestha of CIMOD stressed upon adopting of solar (alternate) energy to overcome on energy crises in the district. He disclosed that in way back 2007, CIMOD) embarked on a pilot project to find sensible solutions to the energy crisis to make ensure alternative energy to the people.

The piloted technologies mainly metallic stove, solar cookers and solar lamps were locally available that could save fuel, reducing indoor air pollution and green house gas emission reducing drudgery and freeing up the excessive time of herders especially women for productive activities

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sea level in India rose by 9 mm in 5 yrs

Thiruvananthapuram: In a grim reminder of things to come, the Union ministry of earth sciences said the Indian coast saw a rise in sea level by 9 mm during 2004-2008. Speaking at the 97th Indian Science Congress in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, secretary to the ministry Shailesh Nayak said the maximum climb was noted near Hoogly 

river in West Bengal while it was more or less static along the Chennai coast. 
    The average temperature of global oceans has increased to depths up to 3000 m, he said but stressed it was still too early to say whether this was solely due to global warming. The melting of glaciers in the hemispheres may have also contributed to this, said Nayak. 
    He added the rise was not restricted to India. "Measurements at various places in Pacific and Atlantic oceans showed that between 1961 and 2003, there was an average annual rise of 1.8 mm in the height of the water column. The rate was faster between 1993 and 2003 when the annual figure was 3.1 mm," he added.

A government study said the maximum climb was noted near Bengal's Hooghly river

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