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September 30, 2012

Maid in Dubai tries to kill herself after her employers don't pay her for 3 months. Woman is arrested for attempting suicide and fined $270

 A maid who was thrown out of her sponsor's house stood in the road waiting for a car to run her over, a court heard.


"Yes, I meant to end my life by standing in the street," the maid, AM, 24, from Ethiopia, told the Misdemeanour Court.
She said she decided to kill herself after her sponsor refused to pay her for three months' work.
The maid claimed she did not know the address of the villa at which she worked, but was thrown out on September 10 after her sponsor complained about her work the previous day.
She asked for her salary for the previous three months to be sent to her family in Ethiopia, but was told her sponsor did not have the money. After being kicked out, she had nowhere to go and did not know how to reach the agency that brought her to the UAE.
"I found myself thrown away and I thought of my poor family back home. I felt desperate and decided I should die," she said.
She stood in the middle of the two-way street and waited.
A 25-year-old policeman was driving near Al Jahith School when he spotted her. "I started talking to her to understand why she was standing there. When she told me I informed her it was wrong to do so," he said. "I finally managed to have her step aside."
The court found her guilty of attempting suicide and fined her Dh1,000.

Finland may be first European country to halt coal use

Finland may phase out the use of coal in energy production by 2025, the first European country to do so, Economy Minister Jyri Haekaemies said.

“I think we could set a target for Finland phasing out coal use as the first country in Europe, for instance by 2025,” Haekaemies said yesterday, according to minutes from a parliamentary debate published on Parliament’s website.

Government subsidies and taxes seek to boost the use of renewable energy and cut fossil fuel use by 2020, according to the national climate and energy strategy drawn up by the former government in 2008. The policy document will be revised and updated by the end of this year, Haekaemies said.

“Investments into renewable energy will play a key role” in the updated policy, he said. “All the imported energy which we can replace with domestic energy sources not only creates jobs, but also cuts emissions and improves our current account.”

Finland imports all of its coal, mainly from Russia and Poland. During the past 15 years, Finland has shipped in an average of 5 million metric tons of coal annually. Imports of the mineral cost 70 million to more than 300 million euros ($388 million), according to the Finnish Coal Info association’s website.

Fortum Oyj, Finland’s biggest power producer, operates the country’s largest coal-fired station, the 920-megawatt Inkoo plant on the south coast. It also has a share in the 565- megawatt Meri-Pori plant on the west coast. It was commissioned in 1994 and is one of the cleanest and most effective coal-fired power plants in the world, according to the company’s website.
 

Bangladesh Muslim protesters torch Buddhist temples over Facebook photo


Hundreds of Muslims in Bangladesh burned at least four Buddhist temples and 15 homes of Buddhists on Sunday after complaining that a Buddhist man had insulted Islam, police and residents said.
Members of the Buddhist minority in the Cox’s Bazar area in the southeast of the country said unidentified people were bent on upsetting peaceful relations between Muslims and Buddhists.
Muslims took to the streets in the area late on Saturday to protest against what they said was a photograph posted on Facebook that insulted Islam.
The protesters said the picture had been posted by a Buddhist and they marched to Buddhist villages and set fire to temples and houses.
Police said they had deployed extra security forces and banned gatherings in Buddhist-dominated areas.
“We brought the situation under control before dawn and imposed restrictions on public gatherings,” said Salim Mohammad Jahangir, Cox’s Bazaar district police superintendent.
Many people in predominantly Muslim Bangladesh have been angered in recent days by a film made in California that mocks the Prophet Mohammad.
Muslims in Bangladesh and beyond have also been outraged by violence over the border in Myanmar where members of the majority Buddhist community clashed with minority Muslims this year.
Police had escorted the man accused of posting the insulting photograph and his mother to safety, Jahangir said.
Sohel Sarwar Kajal, the Muslim head of the council in the area where the arson took place, said he was trying to restore communal peace.
“We are doing everything possible to quell tension and restore peace between the communities,” he told reporters.

An asteroid that actually saves Earth?


To combat global warming, scientists in Scotland now suggest an out-of-this-world solution — a giant dust cloud in space, blasted off an asteroid, which would act like a sunshade for Earth.
The world is warming and the climate is changing. Although many want to prevent these shifts by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases that trap heat from the sun, some controversially suggest deliberating manipulating the planet's climate with large-scale engineering projects, commonly called geoengineering.
Instead of altering the climate by targeting either the oceans or the atmosphere, some researchers have suggested geoengineering projects that would affect the entire planet from space. For instance, projects that reduced the amount of solar radiation Earth receives by 1.7 percent could offset the effects of a global increase in temperature of 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C). The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has noted climate models suggest average global temperatures will likely rise by 2 to 11.5 degrees F (1.1 to 6.4 degrees C) by the end of this century.
"A 1.7 percent reduction is very small and will hardly be noticeable on Earth," said researcher Russell Bewick, a space scientist at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. "People sometimes get the idea of giant screens blocking the entire sun. This is not the case ... as [the device] is constantly between the sun and the Earth, it acts merely as a very light shade or filter."
Shading Earth
One proposal to shade the Earth from the sun would place giant mirrors in space. The main problem with this concept is the immense cost and effort needed either to build and launch such reflectors or to construct them in outer space — the current cost to launch an object into low Earth orbit runs into thousands of dollars per pound. Another would use blankets of dust to blot out the sun, just as clouds do for Earth. These offer the virtue of simplicity compared with mirrors, but run the risk of getting dispersed over time by solar radiation and the gravitational pull of the sun, moon and planets. 
Now instead of having a dust cloud floating by itself in space, researchers suggest an asteroid could essentially gravitationally anchor a dust cloud in space to block sunlight and cool the Earth.
"I would like to make it clear that I would never suggest geoengineering in place of reducing our carbon emissions," Bewick told LiveScience. Instead, he said, "We can buy time to find a lasting solution to combat Earth’s climate change. The dust cloud is not a permanent cure, but it could offset the effects of climate change for a given time to allow slow-acting measures like carbon capture to take effect."
The idea would be to place an asteroid at Lagrange point L1, a site where the gravitational pull of the sun and the Earth cancel out. This point is about four times the distance from the Earth to the moon.
The researchers suggest outfitting a near-Earth asteroid with a "mass driver," a device consisting of electromagnets that would hurl asteroid-derived matter away from the giant rock. The mass driver could serve both as a rocket to push the asteroid to the L1 point and as an engine to spew out sun-shielding dust.  
The researchers calculate that the largest near-Earth asteroid, 1036 Ganymed, could maintain a dust cloud large enough to block out 6.58 percent of the solar radiation that would normally reach Earth, more than enough to combat any current global warming trends. Such a cloud would be about 11 million-billion pounds (5 million-billion kilograms) in mass and about 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers) wide.
Ganymed has a mass of about 286 million-billion lbs. (130 million-billion kg). An asteroid of this size might make one think of disaster movies, such as "Armageddon"; however, "rather than destroying the Earth, it could be used to help mankind," Bewick said.
Asteroid dust challenges
The main challenge of this proposal would be pushing an asteroid the size of Ganymed to the sun-Earth L1 point.
"The company Planetary Resources recently announced their intention to mine asteroids," Bewick said. "The study that they base their plans on reckons that it will be possible to capture an asteroidwith a mass of 500,000 kilograms (1.1 million lbs.) by 2025. Comparing this to the mass of Ganymed makes the task of capturing it seem unfeasible, at least in everything except the very far term. However, smaller asteroids could be moved and clustered at the first Lagrange point."
Safety is another concern.
"A very large asteroid is a potential threat to Earth, and therefore great care and testing would be required in the implementation of this scenario," Bewick said. "Due to this, the political challenges would probably match the scale of the engineering challenge. Even for the capture of much smaller asteroids, there will likely be reservations from all areas of society, though the risks would be much less."
Also, there's no way to fully test this dust cloud on a large scale to verify its effectiveness before implementing it, "something that is common to all geoengineering schemes," Bewick said. "On the global scale, it is not possible to test because the test would essentially be the real thing, except probably in a diluted form. Climate modeling can be performed, but without some large-scale testing, the results from these models cannot be fully verified."
Still, if geoengineers did use asteroids to generate clouds, they could drastically reduce how much dust the projects spew out "should any catastrophic climate response be observed," Bewick said, "with the cloud dispersing naturally over time."

Trial of Pope's butler hears of massive document haul

Vatican gendarmes investigating the theft of compromising documents by the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, took away 82 boxes of material during searches of his apartment and other addresses, the first day of his trial heard on Saturday.
In one of the biggest scandals to shake the seven-year papacy of Benedict XVI, Mr Gabriele is accused of the "aggravated theft" of confidential papers, some taken from the desk of the Pope himself.

In an indication of the scale of the alleged thefts, the court heard that some 82 cases of documents were taken away during searches conducted at Mr Gabriele's grace-and-favour apartment and also at the Pope's summer residence, the Castel Gandolfo.

Mr Gabriele, wearing a light grey suit and looking pale but smiling often, did not speak at the first session. He did not enter a plea.
The trial was adjourned until Tuesday, when he will be questioned. The trial heard that a total of 13 people had been listed to appear as witnesses, including the Pope's private secretary, Georg Ganswein, the deputy head of the Vatican's Swiss Guards, and the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie.

However, it was also revealed that the trial would not admit evidence from a special commission of cardinals that has been investigating the affair on behalf of the Pope himself. Their inquiries are thought to deal with some of the most sensitive matters raised by the case. Instead, the trial will be based only on an investigation by a Vatican prosecutor and Vatican police.

The trial is expected to be wrapped up in four further hearings in the coming week. Saturday's hearing was also told that Claudio Sciarpelletti, a Vatican computer technician who is accused of aiding and abetting the butler, will be tried separately. He faces up to a year in jail, while Mr Gabriele faces up to four years. If found guilty the men will serve their time in an Italian jail, as the Vatican does not have a prison of its own.

The documents, which were leaked to an Italian journalist and revealed in a book he published in May, revealed skulduggery and intrigue at the highest levels of the Catholic Church, including a smear campaign against a Catholic newspaper editor based on false allegations of a homosexual affair.

The trial may reveal the identities of other mystery figures in the scandal, who are referred to in a Vatican prosecutors' document only by letters, such as B, W, X and Y.

In a television interview earlier this year Mr Gabriele claimed that he had been helped "by around 20" other collaborators within the Holy See.

Mr Gabriele has told investigators that he stole and leaked the documents because he was appalled by the "evil and corruption" within the Vatican, which he described as "the kingdom of hypocrisy".

He said he was acting as an "agent" of the Holy Spirit to help the Pope put the Catholic Church "back on track".

The trial is being held in a wood-panelled court room in a palazzo behind St Peter's Basilica in a corner of the city state that is strictly off-limits to the millions of visitors who visit the Vatican every year.

Television cameras are banned and only 10 journalists are in attendance.

The Vatican has said the 85-year-old German Pope is deeply hurt by the betrayal of confidence by someone he "knew, loved and respected".

Mr Gabriele has confessed and has written a letter begging the Pope for forgiveness.

Many commentators have said they expect the Pope to pardon Mr Gabriele.

Vatican gendarmes arrested Mr Gabriele in May and raided his home behind the Vatican walls, finding copies of confidential documents and gifts intended for the Pope, including a gold nugget, a €100,000 cheque and a 16th century copy of the Aeneid.

The trial is the most high-profile in the Vatican since the city state was established as an independent sovereign nation – the world's smallest - by the Lateran Treaty in 1929.

One of the peculiarities of the case is that the Pope is at the same time the victim, the supreme judicial authority and the head of state – he has full judicial and legislative authority in the Vatican, which is essentially an absolute monarchy.

"This is an unprecedented, absolutely unique trial," Prof Carlo Cardia, a historian of the Catholic Church, told La Repubblica newspaper.

"A papal aide has never been accused of such serious things, at least not in the last few centuries." The only comparable case was in 1971, when four employees of the Vatican's telephone exchange were accused of stealing pontifical medals from the papal apartments.

The Vatican court normally deals with around 30 minor trials a year, the vast majority concerning petty crime such as bag-snatching and pick-pocketing among tourists in St Peter's Square.

The theft of the documents is the most serious crime to rattle the Holy See since 1998, when the commander of the Swiss Guards and his wife were shot dead.

But that never came to trial because the alleged murderer, a young Swiss Guard, shot himself dead within minutes of carrying out the double killing.

Prof Giovanni Giacobbe, a Vatican legal expert, said it was impossible to predict how long the trial might last. "In the past, some trials have concluded on the same day, while others have lasted two or three months.

"If he confesses and collaborates, the judges will take that into account in their sentence," he said.

Until his arrest in May this year, the butler was one of Benedict's most trusted aides, nicknamed "Paoletto" by those in the Pope's inner circle of retainers and private secretaries.

Many of the stolen papal documents appeared to undermine and discredit Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state and de facto prime minister.

He has accused the media of sensationalising the scandal and of "imitating Dan Brown" in seeing power struggles and high-level conspiracies where, he said, there were none.

US elections: Top ten moments in US debates

1. The first televised presidential debate was a turning point in the tight battle between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960 – but not because of what either candidate said. Kennedy oozed charm and confidence. Nixon, who was just out of hospital, applied chemist store make-up to his five o-clock shadow, looked pale and shifty and perspired heavily. Presidential candidates opted not to appear in televised debates for the next 16 years.

2. In 1976, President Gerald Ford bewilderingly insisted: ""There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration." He lost shortly afterwards to Jimmy Carter.

3. Ronald Reagan, the former Hollywood star, was not surprisingly a natural in front of the cameras. In 1980, he fatally wounded Carter with his delivery of the simplest question to viewers. "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" The Romney ticket is asking the same question this year.

4. In 1984, Democrats tried to make Reagan's age an election issue - at 73, he was America's oldest president and had performed shakily in his first debate with Walter Mondale. But when asked about his age in the final debate, he replied: "I want you to know also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience." Even his rival laughed and shortly afterwards Reagan swept the country.

5. Running for Republican vice-president in 1988, the youthful Dan Quayle had a tendency to compare his experience to that of John F. Kennedy. When Quayle did so in a debate, his Democrat rival Lloyd Bentsen shot back: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." It was perhaps the greatest put-down in debate history, but Quayle was still elected as running-mate of the first George Bush.

6. Four years later, President Bush learned the cost of "gesture politics". He was criticised for making a prominent show of looking at his watch while his young challenger Bill Clinton answered a question.

7. In 2000, Al Gore sighed relentlessly while the younger George Bush spoke. It conveyed an air of elitist condescension and may have cost Gore enough votes to lose him the bitterly-contested election.

8. Barack Obama is not always good with words. In New Hampshire in 2008, Hillary Clinton was asked if Obama was more personable than her. She responded with a joke and a smile, but a stern Obama, looking down at his notes, said coldly: "You're likable enough." The dismissive comment was criticised as condescending and arrogant and two days later he lost that primary as female voters backed Clinton in larger numbers than expected.

9. John McCain, the Arizona senator who spent the late 1960s as a POW in Vietnam, has a reputation for his one-liners. He delivered one of his best during the Republican primary campaign four years ago. "In case you missed it, a few days ago Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock Concert Museum. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I wasn't there. I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time."

10. And Rick Perry, the Texas governor, had the most embarrassing brain-freeze in debate history in the Republican primaries earlier this year. Saying that as president, he would abolish three federal agencies, he then named commerce and education - but could not recall the third, even as his embarrassed rivals offered suggestions. "Oops," he said after a few agonising seconds. (It was energy, for the record).

The 9 nastiest things in your supermarket

1. "Pink slime"
The gross factor: The meat industry likes to call it "lean finely textured beef," but after ABC News ran a story on it, the public just called it what it looks like — pink slime, a mixture of waste meat and fatty parts from higher-quality cuts of beef that have had the fat mechanically removed. Afterwards, it's treated with ammonia gas to kill Salmonella and E. coli bacteria. Then it gets added to ground beef as a filler. Food microbiologists and meat producers insist that it's safe, but given the public's reaction to the ABC News report, there's an "ick" factor we just can't overcome. The primary producer of pink slime just announced that it's closing three of the plants where pink slime is produced, and Kroger, Safeway, Food Lion, McDonald's and the National School Lunch Program (among others) have all pulled it from their product offerings.
 
Eat this instead: Organic ground beef is prohibited from containing pink slime, per National Organic Program standards, so it's your safest bet. If you can't find organic, ask the butcher at your grocery store whether their products contain the gunk.
  
2. Vet meds in beef
The gross factor: Hankering for a burger? Besides a hefty dose of protein, a 2010 report from the United States Department of Agriculture found your beef could also harbor veterinary drugs like antibiotics, Ivermectin, an animal wormer linked to neurological damage in humans, and Flunixin, an anti-inflammatory that can cause kidney damage, stomach and colon ulcers, and blood in the stool of humans. Still hungry? We didn't think so.
 
Eat this instead: Look for beef from a local grass-fed beef operation that rotates the animals on fresh grass paddocks regularly, and inquire about medicine use. Typically, cows raised this way are much healthier and require fewer drugs. The meat is also more nutritious, too. If you're in the supermarket, opt for organic meats to avoid veterinary drugs in meat.

 
3. Heavy metal oatmeal
The gross factor: Sugary and calorie-laden, those convenient instant-oatmeal packets all have one thing in common. They're sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which, according to tests from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, may be contaminated with mercury. The group tested 55 samples of HFCS and found mercury in a third of them at levels three times higher than what the average woman should consume in a day.
 
Eat this instead: Buy yourself some instant oats, which cook in less time than it takes to microwave a packet of the sugary stuff, and add your own flavorings, like fresh fruit or maple syrup. And buy HFCS-free versions of other foods, as well. The artificial sweetener lurks in seemingly all processed foods.
 
 
4. Filthy shrimp
The gross factor: Food safety experts refer to imported shrimp as the dirtiest of the Seafood's Dirty Dozen list, and it's not hard to see why when you consider the common contaminants: Antibiotics, cleaning chemicals used in farmed shrimp pens, residues of toxic pesticides banned in the U.S., and pieces of insects. Less than 2 percent of all imported seafood is inspected — clearly, that's a problem.
 
Eat this instead: Look for domestic shrimp. Unfortunately, 70 percent of domestic shrimp comes from the Gulf of Mexico, and the recent oil spill may have long-term impacts on its shrimp stocks. But shrimp can be purchased from Texas, the East Coast, Maine and the Carolinas, so you still have options.

 
 
5. MRSA in the meat aisle
The gross factor: Hard-to-treat, antibiotic-resistant infections are no joke. Superbug strains like MRSA are on the rise, infecting 185,000 people — and killing 17,000 people — annually in the U.S. Thought to proliferate on factory farms where antibiotics are overused to boost animal growth, a January 2012 study from Iowa State University found that the dangerous organisms wind up in supermarket meat, too. The dangerous MRSA strain lingered in 7 percent of supermarket pork samples tested. The bacteria die during proper cooking, but improper handling could leave you infected. The spike in superbug infections is largely blamed on antibiotic abuse in factory farms that supply most supermarkets.
 
Eat this instead: The Iowa state researchers found MRSA in conventional meat and store-bought "antibiotic-free" meat likely contaminated at the processing plant. 
 
 
6. Pregnancy hormones in a can
The gross factor: Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that acts like the hormone estrogen in your body, is used to create the epoxy linings of canned food. What food processors don't tell you is that the chemical was created over 70 years ago as a drug that was intended to promote healthy pregnancies. Though it was never used as a drug, the food industry saw no problem adding this pregnancy drug to a wide range of products, including canned food linings and plastic food containers. "Low levels of BPA exposure has been linked to a wide range of adverse health effects, including abnormal development of reproductive organs, behavior problems in children, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic changes that result in altered insulin levels, which leads to diabetes," says Sarah Janssen, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. And its use in canned food is the number one reason why 90 percent of Americans have it in their bodies.
 
Eat this instead: Look for products in glass bottles or aseptic cartons. Canned food manufacturers are in the process of switching over to BPA-free cans, but because those cans are produced in facilities that also produce BPA-based can linings, there's no way to keep BPA-free cans from becoming contaminated.

 
 
7. Bacteria-infused turkey
The gross factor: Turkey marinated in MRSA? It's true. A 2011 study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that half of the U.S. supermarket meat sampled contain staph bacteria, including potentially lethal MRSA. Turkey was the worst offender: Nearly 80 percent of turkey products samples contain staph bacteria. Pork (42 percent) was next in line in terms of bacterial contamination, followed by chicken (41 percent), and beef (37 percent). Researchers ID the overuse of antibiotics as the culprit.
 
Eat this instead: If you serve meat for Thanksgiving, invest in an organic, pastured turkey.
 
 
8. Moldy berries
The gross factor: If pregnancy hormones in your canned fruit isn't enough to make you turn to fresh, consider this: The FDA legally allows up to 60 percent of canned or frozen blackberries and raspberries to contain mold. Canned fruit and vegetable juices are allowed to contain up to 15 percent mold.
 
Eat this instead: Go for fresh! When berries are in season, stock up and freeze them yourself to eat throughout the winter. To freeze them, just spread fruits out on a cookie sheet, set the sheet in your freezer for a few hours, then transfer the berries to a glass jar or other airtight, freezer-safe container.
 
 
9. Rocket fuel in lettuce
The gross factor: Lettuce is a great source of antioxidants, and thanks to the great state of California, we can now eat it all year long. However, much of the lettuce grown in California is irrigated with water from the Colorado River. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Colorado River water is contaminated with low levels of perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel known to harm thyroid function, and that perchlorate can be taken up inside lettuce plants. A separate study from the Environmental Working Group found perchlorate in 50 percent of store-bought winter lettuce samples.
 
Eat this instead: Perchlorate is hard to avoid, but some of the highest levels in the country have been found in California's agricultural regions. If you eat locally and in season, you can ask your local farmers whether it’s a problem in their irrigation water supply.

11 Prescription Foods To Cure Your Illnesses

Why take pills if you can eat these 11 everyday foods that can help cure most common illnesses?
See what kind of foods you can eat to cure these illnesses:
 MUSCLE ACHE
The Solution: Tart cherries—one cup, or two glasses of juice, daily, before and during exercise
The Science: Contains the same anti-inflammatory enzymes as ibuprofen, without the potential kidney and stomach-related side effects.
MEMORY LOSS
The Solution: Sunflower seeds—a quarter cup daily
The Science: These vitamin E-loaded seeds will protect the neurons in your brain from oxidative stress, which means you keep your memory longer.
 WEAR MUSCLES
The Solution: Apples—one daily
The Science: Leave the peel on—it’s full of ursolic acid, which fuels the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and insulin, two hormones important in building muscle.
 LACK OF FOCUS
The Solution: Eggs—one daily
The Science: Eggs are packed with choline, a nutrient that boosts the brain’s ability to relay commands to the rest of your body while also maintaining the structure of your brain’s cell membranes.
 AGING SKIN
The Solution: Oranges—one daily, or six ounces of juice
The Science: Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, the protein that keeps skin elastic.
DEPRESSION
The Solution: Brown rice—one cup of cooked rice daily
The Science: Carbs help regulate the production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter in controlling mood and suppressing anxiety. A complex carb like brown rice will give you the best high-carb-low-cal combo.
INSOMNIA
The Solution: Chicken—four ounces daily
The Science: Tryptophan is often associated with turkey, but chicken contains more of the amino acid that helps the body produce the sleep-friendly hormone melatonin.
PUFFY EYES
The Solution: Green tea—one cup daily, after a meal
The Science: The puffiness that creates dark circles under your eyes is often caused by fluid retention. Green tea is a diuretic that’ll reduce unwanted swelling all over your body.
UPSET STOMACH
The Solution: Peppermints—one or two after dinner
The Science: Peppermint has long been associated with aiding digestion and has also been shown to soothe inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract. Peppermint tea also works.
 LOW ENERGY
The Solution: Bananas—one daily
The Science: The potassium-packed fruit is also a great source of magnesium, a key element in producing and storing energy.
ANXIETY
The Solution: Peanuts—a quarter cup daily
The Science: If you’re not producing enough gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), your brain is more prone to let anxiety run wild. Peanuts are one of the best (and tastiest) sources of glutamine, the amino acid needed to make GABA.

20 Unusual Uses for Baking Soda

This list of 20 unusual uses for baking soda – most of which require virtually no effort at all – will have you stockpiling the stuff in bulk.

Dissolving baked-on drips in the oven
Get rid of those gross, blackened globs on the bottom of your oven without scrubbing yourself sore or flavoring your next meal with chemical-based cleaner. It really is as easy as sprinkling a liberal amount of baking soda all over the oven floor, spraying it with water until well dampened, and forgetting about it for a few hours. Come back, wipe it out and rinse with vinegar to prevent a white film of baking soda residue.
Carpet deodorizer

All those little fibers in carpeting really hold on to all kinds of smells that you don’t exactly want lingering in your home. Sprinkle baking soda liberally, let it sit overnight and then sweep most of it up before vacuuming what’s left. Baking soda absorbs the odors instead of trying to cover them, so you don’t end up with a disturbing melange of floral perfume and cat vomit.
Acne-curing face scrub
Just coarse enough to slough off dead skin cells, baking soda makes an ideal natural face scrub. Many acne sufferers swear by the stuff, saying that mixing it into a paste with either water or facial cleanser can help clear up breakouts and prevent them from occurring in the first place. Just be sure to moisturize afterwards to prevent excessive drying.
Treat itchy insect bites
A paste of baking soda and water will relieve itching brought on by insect bites, and soothe the pain of stings. To get relief from poison ivy, chicken pox and other widespread sources of intense itching, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a warm bath and soak.

Fruit and vegetable wash
Pests and, worse, pesticides are common contaminants on produce, so washing our fruits and veggies is essential. Sure, you could buy a pricey spray, but you know what works even better? A few tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl of cool water. Just soak them for five to ten minutes, giving some hard-to-clean veggies like potatoes and celery a little scrub with a vegetable brush.
Scrub out the toughest dirty dishes
Baking soda makes those dreaded dishes covered in dried crud so much easier to tackle. Dunk the dishes into soapy water, then sprinkle the trouble spots with baking soda. Let them sit a little while to soften. You can also add a dash of baking soda to the dishwasher for a boost in cleaning power and a reduction in funky smells.
Deodorize sneakers
Pour a few tablespoons into a paper coffee filter or scrap of tissue paper, tie it up with a rubber band and stick it into a less-than-fresh-smelling shoe and it will absorb the odor without making a mess or damaging delicate materials like suede.
Eliminate musty smell in books
Mold growth makes old books, photographs and other stored items smell musty. Get rid of both the odor and the cause, excess moisture, by sealing the items in an airtight container with a large, open tub of baking soda. You can also sprinkle the baking soda directly onto the items and brush it off.
Spackle substitute
If you want to fill a small hole in plaster or drywall but would rather not purchase a whole tub of spackle for such a small job, try this odd tip: mix baking soda and white toothpaste into a stiff paste. Once it hardens, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Brighten your smile
Baking soda is a common ingredient in toothpaste, but you can give your teeth a little boost by scrubbing them with a paste of baking soda and water between brushings. Baking soda is just abrasive enough to scrape off coffee, wine and other yellowing substances before they penetrate your teeth.
Clean patio furniture
Even cleansers that are specifically made for resin or plastic outdoor furniture can be too abrasive, scratching or dulling the surface. A wet sponge dipped in baking soda will dissolve dirt without causing damage.
Buff out bug splatters and clear cloudy headlights
It may be among the most unusual uses of baking soda, but a paste with water will remove most insect carnage from unpainted car surfaces like bumpers and windshields; add a little dish soap for extra cleaning power if necessary. Headlights that have lost much of their brightness due to hazy, yellowing plastic can also be cleared considerably with the same mixture.
Waterless dog bath
Just like it freshens sneakers and smelly carpets, baking soda can make even the world’s most water-phobic dog smell freshly bathed. Rub it onto your dog’s coat, leave for a few minutes and then brush it out for a quick dry bath that won’t end with the scent of wet dog all over your couch.
Cut kitty litter odor
A shake or two of baking soda is all it takes to make your cat’s litter box a far less intrusive presence in your home. This super-cheap additive works just as well as commercial litter box deodorizers, and it won’t mingle artificial perfumes with the odor of pet waste.
Chemical-free ice melt
You don’t want to break your neck on icy steps in the winter, but you don’t want people tracking chemicals into your house, either. Melt that ice naturally without substances that put animals at risk and eat away at your flooring. Just shake on a layer of baking soda, then apply a little bit of sand for traction.

Remove oil, grease and wine stains
Sometimes, scrubbing a stain just makes it worse. Let baking soda do most of the work. Sprinkle it on, let it sit and it will lift much of the offending substance from the surface. Brush it off and then rub the area with a paste of baking soda and water if necessary. This baking soda cleaning trick will remove oil stains from concrete floors, and can save carpets and couches from permanent splotches of spilled red wine.
Clarifying hair treatment
Remove the product build-up that makes your locks limp and dull. A teaspoon of baking soda mixed in with your regular shampoo can be used as a clarifier once a week or so, and a little baking soda dissolved in hot water will clean crusty hairbrushes, too.
Polish silver, chrome and stainless steel
You don’t need a special polish for every surface in your home. A damp cloth dipped in baking soda makes chrome and stainless steel shine; add a little lemon juice to brighten brass. Real Simple notes that baking soda will even take the tarnish off silver: place the items on a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of a pot and add a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda, 3 teaspoons of salt and a quart of boiling water. Cover the pot for a few seconds, and the ensuing chemical reaction will do all the work.
Neutralize battery acid corrosion
The ability of baking soda to neutralize acid can save even the most corroded battery terminals. Mix six heaping tablespoons of baking soda into four cups of water and pour the mixture over the corrosion, allowing it to sit for about five minutes. Scrub with a toothbrush, then rinse.
Extinguish fires and control flames
Toss a little baking soda onto the coals if your cookout flames get too high for your liking. In an emergency, baking soda can also be used to extinguish small fires like stove top grease fires.

What It Takes to Burn Off Your 30 Favorite Food Splurges

You Ate: A Bran Muffin

Calories: 400
Fat: 15 grams
Now burn it off with:
90 minutes of brisk walking
60 minutes of vigorous dancing
35 minutes of running at 6.7 mph
 

You Ate: A Cinnabon

Calories: 730
Fat: 24 grams
Now burn it off with:
130 minutes of gardening
90 minutes of hi/lo aerobics (alternating high- and low-impact moves)
80 minutes of cycling at 12.5 mph
 

You Ate: Three Double Stuffed Oreos

Calories: 225
Fat: 10.5 grams
Now burn it off with:
80 minutes of house cleaning
45 minutes of dancing to the radio
30 minutes of rollerblading
 

You Ate: A Chocolate-Filled Croissant

Calories: 350
Fat: 19 grams
Now burn it off with:
80 minutes of brisk walking
75 minutes of mopping
50 minutes on the Stairmaster

 

You Ate: A Slice of Birthday Cake

Calories: 240
Fat: 10 grams
Now burn it off with:
80 minutes of sweeping floors
35 minutes of hiking uphill
25 minutes on the rowing machine
 

You Ate: Two Large Pieces KFC Fried Chicken

Calories: 720
Fat: 42 grams
Now burn it off with:
105 minutes of modern dancing
90 minutes of playing tennis
60 minutes on the stationary bike (vigorous effort)
 

You Ate: Medium Size French Fries

Calories: 380
Fat: 19 grams
Now burn it off with:
70 minutes of low-impact aerobics
55 minutes on the Stairmaster
45 minutes of calisthenics (pushups, sit ups, etc.)
 

You Ate: KFC Mashed Potatoes w/Gravy

Calories: 130
Fat: 4.5 grams
Now burn it off with:
60 minutes of laundry (ironing, folding, etc.)
40 minutes of bowling
15 minutes of running in place
 

You Ate: Large Slice of Pepperoni Pizza

Calories: 729
Fat: 37 grams
Now burn it off with:
115 minutes of ballroom dancing
70 minutes of shoveling snow
65 minutes of running at 6.0 mph
 

You Ate: An Ice Cream Sundae

Calories: 300
Fat: 20 grams
Now burn it off with:
80 minutes of walking at 3.0 mph
55 minutes of mowing the lawn
40 minutes of jogging
 

You Ate: Six-Eight Loaded Nachos

Calories: 569
Fat: 30 grams
Now burn it off with:
90 minutes of scrubbing floors by hand
65 minutes of swimming laps
50 minutes of running at 6.0 mph
 

You Ate: Shoney’s Apple Pie a la Mode

Calories: 1203
Fat: 53 grams
Now burn it off with:
180 minutes of hiking
135 minutes playing beach volleyball
80 minutes of running at 8 mph
 

You Ate: Medium Brownie Batter Dairy Queen Blizzard

Calories: 960
Fat: 45 grams
Now burn it off with:
215 minutes of power walking
100 minutes of mountain biking
55 minutes of running stairs
 

You Ate: A McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger

Calories: 440
Fat: 23 grams
Now burn it off with:
90 minutes of cleaning out the garage
65 minutes of walking uphill
40 minutes of cycling sprints

 

You Ate: Regular Size Sonic Onion Rings

Calories: 500
Fat: 28 grams
Now burn it off with:
90 minutes of playing tag
45 minutes of playing water polo
30 minutes of running stairs
 

You Ate: Ruby Tuesday’s Buffalo Wings w/Blue Cheese Dressing

Calories: 1090
Fat: 80 grams
Now burn it off with:
205 minutes planting trees
160 minutes of aerobic dancing
105 minutes on the rowing machine (vigorous effort)
 

You Ate: Two Pork Egg Rolls

Calories: 480
Fat: 10 grams
Now burn it off with:
140 minutes of walking downhill
105 minutes of horseback riding
70 minutes of water skiing
 

You Ate: Pork Fried Rice

Calories: 500
Fat: 16 grams
Now burn it off with:
100 minutes of badminton
90 minutes of kayaking
75 minutes of downhill skiing
 

You Ate: Sbarro’s Meat Lasagna

Calories: 650
Fat: 37 grams
Now burn it off with:
95 minutes of chopping wood
75 minutes of playing field hockey
60 minutes on the resistance bike
 

You Ate: 3-Ounces Lay’s Potato Chips

Calories: 450
Fat: 30 grams
Now burn it off with:
135 minutes of miniature golf
90 minutes of car washing
50 minutes of rock climbing
 

You Ate: Regular Size Arby’s Mozzarella Sticks

Calories: 426
Fat: 28 grams
Now burn it off with:
95 minutes planting a garden
65 minutes of ballet
45 minutes of cross-country running
 

You Ate: Four TGIFriday’s Loaded Potato Skins

Calories: 880
Fat: 56 grams
Now burn it off with:
130 minutes tilling the garden with a shovel
90 minutes of snowshoeing
55 minutes of stair running
 

You Ate: 1 Cup Granola

Calories: 597
Fat: 29 grams
Now burn it off with:
120 minutes of window washing
90 minutes of boxing with a bag
65 minutes of circuit training
 

You Ate: 18-Ounce Chick-fil-A Chocolate Milkshake

Calories: 760
Fat: 28 grams
Now burn it off with:
170 minutes of raking leaves
95 minutes of ice skating
65 minutes of an indoor cycling class
 

You Ate: Three Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chip Cookies

Calories: 360
Fat: 16 grams
Now burn it off with:
90 minutes of ultimate Frisbee
80 minutes of hatha yoga
55 minutes of rearranging furniture
 

You Sipped: Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Blended Crème Frappuccino w/Whipped Cream

Calories: 510
Fat: 20 grams
Now burn it off with:
90 minutes of playing cricket
80 minutes of bike riding (around the neighborhood)
75 minutes of Strength Training
 

You Sipped: A 12-Ounce Frozen Margarita

Calories: 540
Fat: 0 grams
Now burn it off with:
160 minutes of picking up around the house
80 minutes of hiking, cross country
60 minutes of playing basketball
 

You Sipped: A 10-Ounce Pina Colada

Calories: 770
Fat: 25 grams
Now burn it off with:
105 minutes of race walking
85 minutes of cross-country skiing
65 minutes of swimming the butterfly stroke
 

You Sipped: A 16-Ounce Mai Tai

Calories: 433
Fat: 0 grams
Now burn it off with:
75 minutes of hopscotch with the kids
70 minutes of square dancing
55 minutes of sledding
 

You Sipped: A 10-Ounce Mud Slide

Calories: 710
Fat: 10 grams
Now burn it off with:
90 minutes of kickball
80 minutes of walking up stairs
65 minutes of running at 6.0 mph

 

September 29, 2012

Islamists who pose a threat 'have no place in France', said interior minister Manuel Valls

France "will not hesitate" to expel those who threaten French security or secular values in the name of Islam, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday in a speech for the inauguration of the largest mosque ever built in France.


France's Socialist government vowed Thursday to do more to integrate the country's Muslims but warned that it would not tolerate the country becoming a hotbed of Islamic radicalism.
In a speech marking the inauguration of the Strasbourg Grand Mosque, the biggest Islamic place of worship ever built on French soil, Interior Minister Manuel Valls pledged to come down hard on extremists, warning that foreign activists trying to stir up trouble would be immediately deported.

But he also held out an olive branch to the country's four million Muslims by promising state help for the construction of more mosques and for the training of Muslim clerics.
Valls, whose rhetoric has frequently drawn comparisons with that of rightwing former president Nicolas Sarkozy, praised French Muslims for their measured response to the recent publication of a satirical weekly's publication of cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed.
"Islam has its place in France because the Islam of France, it is a part of France," he told representatives of the Catholic, Jewish and Protestant communities attending the official opening the mosque capable of hosting 1,500 people.
Relations between the French state and a Muslim community that has its roots in former colonies Algeria and Morocco have been strained in recent years by a string of controversies pitting their faith against France's secular tradition.

Legislation introduced under Sarkozy which bans women from wearing full veils in public is widely resented and long-running debates over halal methods of animal slaughter and whether public prayers should be authorised have added to tensions linked to the economic marginalisation of many Muslims.
Concern over the development of radicalism among some young French Muslims has meanwhile intensified in the aftermath of Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah's killing of seven people in the southern city of Toulouse earlier this year.
It is in this context that Valls has adopted much of the rhetoric deployed by Sarkozy during his time in office.

He warned Thursday that he would not "hesitate to expel those who claim to follow Islam and represent a serious threat to public order and, as foreigners in our country, do not respect our laws and values."
He also made it clear that the Muslim community as a whole had to accept responsibility for tackling extremism, which he linked to a reemergence of anti-Semitism in the country.

"France's Muslims can congratulate themselves on the singular model that they are building," Valls said. "Of course it remains fragile, not every problem has been solved or overcome.
"If all religions have their share of fundamentalists, it is in Islam that this raises fears. It was on French soil and with a French passport that Mohammed Merah killed in the name of Islam.
"Anti-Semitism is a terrible scourge and its resurgence cannot be disguised."

Built within two kilometres (just over a mile) from Strasbourg's celebrated cathedral, the new mosque has a capacity of 1,300 square metres (14,000 square feet), making it 1.5 times as big as the previous largest one in France, at Evry in the Paris suburbs.
It has a 16-metre copper dome but no minaret and has taken nearly two decades to complete since the project was first launched in 1993.
The cost of construction was 10.5 million euros ($13.5 million), with the local region and the governments of Kuwait, Morocco and Saudi Arabia all contributing.

Honest taxi driver rewarded less than $3 for returning $10,000


A sum of 10 UAE dirhams (less than $3) was the reward received by an honest taxi driver, who returned a sum of 36,000 ($10,000) left behind by a passenger in the cab, a UAE daily reported.

“I have to admit I felt a little bad because I spent a lot of time trying to track the passenger down and even spent more than an hour waiting at our office for him to come and collect the money. But I would have returned the money with or without the reward, so it doesn’t matter,” UAE’s the Gulf News quoted the Pakistani driver, Shaaban Ali, as saying on Wednesday.

Ali discovered that the passenger, a Saudi, has left his bag behind, so he had to go in a few rounds looking for him, but he failed to find him, so he took the bag back to the office.
“The bag contained Dh36,000, the man’s passport and some other documents,” Ali said.

In an hour, the passenger was contacted and he came to the office to collect his belongings. “He told me thank you and handed me AED10,” Ali told the Gulf News.

According to the newspaper report Ali’s family — wife and parents — live back home in the Pakistani town of Kohat.

It was not the first incident to have taken place with drivers of the taxi company. Another Pakistani driver, Sajjad Arif, has recently returned valuable belongings to a Nigerian businessman.

“A laptop bag with 106,500 Nigerian Naira (AED 2,480), passport, laptop, blackberry, cheque books and watch was left behind in my cab,” Arif, who hails from Sialkot in Punjab, Pakistan, was quoted as saying.

“We are here to earn our money by working, and not to make easy money. No matter what I would not even consider for a second about holding on to someone else’s belongings,” he said.

Arif said that the next day the passenger collected his belongings and thanked him cordially. He added that he had returned back mobile phones and other belongings to passengers several times before.

Suicide Now Kills More Americans Than Car Crashes


Suicide has surpassed car accidents as the No. 1 cause of injury-related death in the United States, according to new research.
From 2000 to 2009, the death rate for suicide ticked up 15 percent while it decreased 25 percent for car wrecks, the study found. Improved traffic safety measures might be responsible for the decline in car-crash deaths. As such, the researchers said similar attention and resources are needed to prevent suicide and other injury-related mortality.

Death by unintentional poisoning, which includes drug overdoses, came in third behind car wrecks and suicide after increasing 128 percent from 2000 to 2009. The data from 2010 would push that rise in death rate even higher, to 136 percent, study researcher Ian Rockett told in an email. Prescription painkiller overdoses might be to blame for this drastic rise. Recent research has shown that in some states painkiller overdoses may be responsible for mor deaths than suicide or car crashes.

"While I am going well beyond our data, my speculation is that the immediate driving force is prescription opioid overdoses," said Rockett, who is a professor at West Virginia University's School of Public Health. "There is much to be done in terms of both research and prevention."
The new study, published in the November 2012 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, also found that unintentional falls and homicide were the fourth and fifth causes of injury death, respectively. And overall, injury-related deaths were less common in females than males.
The research was based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Woman battles with 16,000 'biscuits' a day


Jessica Thom, a sassy and smart 32-year-old from London, says the word "biscuit" 16,000 times a day. She also involuntarily bangs her head against the wall, beats her chest and when least expected, lets out a guttural sound or swears.
She describes her love-hate relationship with the disabling disorder Tourette syndrome in a new diary-style memoir -- "Welcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero,"  
In Britain, "biscuit" means "cookie," but Thom insists she is never really thinking about eating when she has her involuntary outbursts. Her brother-in-law recently took note of her verbal tic and counted her saying it 16 times a minute, or about 900 times an hour.
In one day alone, she has hit herself on the forehead with a phone, a carton of apple juice, a set of keys, a toilet roll and a strawberry.
Thom said that for years she viewed Tourette's as a liability, but now she sees it as a strength. Comparing herself to the film character Bridget Jones, who laughed at her quirks and foibles, Thom recounts hilarious, but also heartbreaking stories of her encounters with a world not used to her social outbursts.
"I know I tic all the time and it sort of pisses me off -- biscuit, biscuit," Thom told ABCNews.com. "But if I paid attention to it all the time, I wouldn't get much done. Sometimes with the Tourette's, I get overloaded -- biscuit, biscuit. I'll punch myself in the chest hundreds of times a day and my legs move erratically about."
"The challenges are dreadful, but it has helped make me a more resilient and empathetic person," she said. "You can overcome most things, and I have become more confident."
Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that is defined by multiple motor and vocal tics lasting for more than one year, according to the National Tourette Syndrome Foundation. The verbal tics can include grunting, throat clearing, shouting and barking.
It was named for a French neuropsychiatrist, Gilles de la Tourette, who assessed the disorder in the late 1800s. He did not have the disorder, so it is "Tourette," but colloquially, it's called "Tourette's."
The first symptoms, usually before the age of 18, are involuntary movements of the face, arms, limbs or trunk, such as kicking or stomping. They are frequent, repetitive and rapid. The patient cannot control these movements and they can involve the whole body.
Fewer than 10 percent of all patients swear or use socially inappropriate words.
Thom is "clearly an outlier," according to Dr. Jonathan Mink, chief of pediatric neurology at Rochester University, who sits on the board of the Tourette association. "She is atypical and at the extreme end of the spectrum."
"She is probably not thinking 'biscuit' all the time," said Mink, who does not treat Thom. "It's kind of an urge of need to do it. A lot of people say it's like an itch that needs to be scratched."
He estimates one in 100 children has some degree of Tourette syndrome, a disorder that is little understood and whose cause likely has a genetic link.
Many patients also have symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
"The majority of kids, even those bad enough to seek treatment, are likely to have their tics diminish or go away," said Mink.
Habit reversal therapy -- teaching a person with Tourette's to hold their breath, for example, instead of saying the repeated word, can sometimes help. Antidepressants are used to treat associated anxiety.
Thom, who has had tics since she was six, has used both therapies, but no avail.
"I tried instead of banging my chest to try to stretch my arm out, but it didn't work for me," she said.
Thom does take muscle relaxants but other medications have caused undesirable side effects.
She writes that the physical tics make her feel "a bit like suddenly being wrenched from the inside or as if someone's put itching powder in my blood."
Thom lives with a roommate, but she concedes there is still "quite a lot of risk." She recently fell in the shower and now uses a wheelchair.
The intensity of the disorder "fluctuates and changes," according to Thom. "Just when you think you got one thing set with your tics, something else comes up."

Involuntary Swearing Is a Challenge

She recognizes that uncontrollable swearing can cause problems on her job. Thom works on the Young Children's Project in fundraising and development.
"There are people who would argue that exposing children to bad language is not acceptable," she writes. "But I reckon children who are old enough to recognize a swear word are also old enough to understand that I've not chosen to swear, and that it isn't OK for them to do it."
About two years ago her tic intensified; sometimes she can lose her language altogether. But a telephone interview with ABCNews.com went smoothly. Thoms is eloquent, despite numerous "biscuits" and the occasional whooping sound.
The world has not been so empathetic with Thom. She writes about asking a staff member for directions at a London subway station: "He ignored me, so I asked again, but he turned his back on me.
"I explained that I had Tourette's, that if I was swearing or making unusual movements they were not directed at him and that I just needed information. He looked at me and said, 'I'm not giving you any f***ing information.'"
In the end, he just walked away. But when her transport pass didn't work, she had to approach him again for help. "He said he would -- when I stopped swearing."
Thom burst into tears and with the help of a woman, she was able to leave the station and get a taxi home.
But Thom understands why people are uncomfortable with Tourette syndrome. "There are a lot of myths about it," she said. "They are frightened by it and the public response is in ignorance or fear. They hear the noises or moving around erratically. They laugh at me because they are uncomfortable."
At the same time, Thom says she has experienced "incredible kindnesses" from strangers who took the time to engage with her and listen.
The cab driver who took her home that night understood when Thom explained she had Tourette's. "You've got Tourette's," he told her. "My best mate of 20 years has Tourette's. You're in the right cab."
A friend, Matthew Pountney, changed her life when the two founded the website Touretteshero and she began to see the "humor and creativity" in her condition.
Pountney described her tics as a "crazy language generating machine."
"He said if I was not doing something creative as a result, it would be wasteful," said Thom. "I had never thought of it in those terms."
How her brain chooses her tics are a "complete mystery," according to Thom. "Sometimes strange ideas come together that would not normally be put together that are visual and interesting."
Some of her favorites are: "Capital letters talk to themselves at night." Or "Fingers on buzzards." Or even "Hands up, Action Man."
Her website attracts others with Tourette's and writing for them [and herself] has helped Thom "reframe" the negative aspects of her disorder.
"Previously, I would get angry or upset," she said. "But writing meant time spent thinking about yourself and developing language to explain to other people. It was incredibly powerful."
Today, mostly because of helping others on her website and writing, Thom is more accepting of herself.
"For I long time, I struggled -- if I just tried a little harder or concentrated more, I could catch that tic," she said. "I look at a close friend [who has Tourette syndrome] and I can see her tic and recognize that feeling in my body and how it looks from the outside. Never for a moment do I expect her to control that, so I am more patient with myself."
And the writing itself now gives Thom joy.
"It's very healing not censoring myself," she said. "One of the things that surprised me about writing was having the chance to articulate my thoughts and share my experiences ... I am able to communicate my thoughts without being interrupted."

Best Natural Ingredients To Brush Your Teeth

Who doesn't want clean and perfect tooth? And you probably spend a lot for it. But, are you aware that there are a lot of natural ways for teeth care. These are very easy and the best part is that you will not even need a mouth freshener after that. The natural ingredients to brush your teeth will keep your mouth odour-free for long hours. Here are a few natural ingredients for teeth that you can use.
Who doesn't want clean and perfect tooth? And you probably spend a lot for it. But, are you aware that there are a lot of natural ways for teeth care. These are very easy and the best part is that you will not even need a mouth freshener after that. The natural ingredients to brush your teeth will keep your mouth odour-free for long hours. Here are a few natural ingredients for teeth that you can use.
A Piece Of Neem Stem- This is one of the oldest techniques by which people brush their teeth. Neem is filled with natural antiseptic and antibiotic qualities that prevents gum diseases, cavities, oral odour. To reap the maximum benefits of neem break a small branch of the plant (size of a toothbrush). Break the tough edges of one side of the stick and then brush your teeth with it.

Salt- Salt is another great natural ingredient for the teeth. It is rich in sodium. This not only cleanses off all dirt from the teeth but also makes the gums healthier. And if you have a toothache it is even good for that. If you brush your teeth with salt then it will rid you off all the bad smell of your mouth too. Just take a teaspoon of salt and gently brush your teeth and gums with it.

Salt And Mustard Oil- Salt and mustard oil is one of the greatest combinations for whitening your teeth. This is also one of the most awesome natural ways for teeth to be in good condition. Take half a tablespoon of mustard oil and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Mix them well and then use it to gently brush your teeth.

Lemon- Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C that happens to be excellent for healthy tooth and gums. It is a very good natural ingredient for the teeth. It has natural cleansing properties that makes the teeth very clean and healthy. Take a tablespoon of lemon juice and massage your teeth and gums with it. Your mouth will feel fresh after this.

Cloves- Cloves are used in many dental medicines as a pain killer. Clove oil is also used for oral treatments. Take some clove powder and brush your teeth gently with it. This is great for a natural teeth whitening. And if your teeth are too sensitive or if you have any toothache then it is great for those reasons too.