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Updated: 2014-10-06T20:19:33.909-07:00

 



EU bans South African citrus imports over disease fears [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T08:04:41.510-08:00


By Charlie Dunmore

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Thursday banned most imports of South African citrus for the remainder of this year over fears that a fungal disease found in dozens of shipments could spread to the 28-nation bloc.

The ban follows the interception of 36 citrus consignments this year from the EU’s chief summer supplier that were contaminated with the fungal black spot disease, which is not currently found in Europe.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the European Commission was set to propose the ban following pressure from citrus growers in southern Europe.

“The introduction of citrus black spot into the EU territory would pose a serious threat to the EU’s citrus-producing areas. For that reason, it is necessary to further restrict the import of citrus fruit from South Africa,” the Commission said in a statement confirming the move.

The ban will apply to all South African citrus shipments from regions where the disease is present, which covers the bulk of the country’s production.

Initially the ban will apply only to the 2012-2013 harvest, which ended in October. It will, therefore, have little immediate impact because the exports to Europe dry up around October anyway.

But EU officials have warned that the restrictions could be extended into next year if an ongoing study by the bloc’s food safety watchdog finds that the disease could take hold in Europe’s estimated 500,000 hectares of citrus groves.

That would threaten South Africa’s 600,000 tonnes of citrus fruit exports to Europe each year – mainly oranges, lemons, limes and tangerines – worth some 1 billion euros ($ 1.3 billion).

South Africa supplies about a third of the bloc’s total citrus imports and is the main source of oranges for the juice drunk by consumers in Britain, Germany and France during the European summer months.

The ban comes at a sensitive time, because the European Union is seeking South Africa’s support to unlock stalled trade deals with sub-Saharan Africa.

While harmless to humans, citrus black spot causes unsightly lesions on the fruit and leaves, reducing both harvest quality and quantity. There is no known cure, but fungicides can be used to control the spread of the disease.

It is found in many citrus-growing regions in the southern hemisphere as well as in China and the United States but has never established itself in Europe.

In a draft scientific opinion published in July, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said the chance of citrus black spot taking in hold in Europe was “moderately likely”.

But it added there was a high level of uncertainty due to a lack of knowledge over how the disease would respond to the EU climate.

EFSA’s assessment is due to be completed by the end of this year.

(editing by Jane Baird)

//




Some South African clinics running short of HIV/AIDS drugs: MSF [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T07:04:38.682-08:00


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – One in five South African clinics are running short of life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs, affecting nearly half a million people and undermining the success of the world’s largest treatment program, medical charities said on Thursday.

With about 6 million people infected with the virus – more than 10 percent of the population – South Africa carries the world’s heaviest HIV/AIDS caseload and has around 2.5 million people taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs daily.

However, the huge numbers are causing the system to creak, health researchers say.

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières surveyed more than 2,300 of South Africa’s 3,800 public health facilities and found that one in five had either run short or run out of drugs in the previous three months.

Of the affected clinics, catering for 420,000 patients, 20 percent said they had had to turn away patients, putting the effectiveness of the ARV treatment plan at risk, MSF said.

“The sheer scale of the problem shows stock-outs to be one of the principal barriers to maintaining an effective treatment program,” said Anele Yawa of the Treatment Action Campaign, an HIV/AIDS advocacy group that took part in the research.

The health ministry acknowledged some problems but said MSF was exaggerating the situation.

“When you are running a project as big as this, you’re likely to have some challenges,” said health ministry spokesman Joe Maila. “We accept there’s a problem but the level at which they pitched it is an extreme over-exaggeration.”

A year ago, South Africa awarded a $ 667 million two-year contract to pharmaceutical firms including Aspen Pharmacare, Abbott Laboratories and Adcock Ingram to supply HIV/AIDS medication.

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Ed Cropley)

//




Tank Top TV lets you find where to stream or download box sets, instantly [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T06:19:09.821-08:00

Tank Top TV is a website that houses links to over 2500 digital TV box sets. It’s a bit like a Google search that only links to videos and has everything you could want to watch. That’s over 73,000 episodes of TV at your fingertips.

Imagine you want to watch a box set your mate has recommended. When you search on Google you’ll be met with countless websites selling the physical box set. What if you want to watch it now? Check Netflix and Lovefilm? Then what? Blinkbox, iTunes, iPlayer, NOW TV? It’s going to take a while. So Tank Top TV has taken the leg work out and put them all in one place.

Once you’ve found a box set, from searching or just browsing, all the links to where that can be streamed or downloaded from are right there. It’s simple and easy. Obviously with illegal downloading as an option for many this might simply serve as a menu, but for those willing to pay it’s a great way to find and access shows instantly.

This is an expansion to the company’s current list of over 13,000 digitally available movies also listed on the site.

Tank Top TV CEO and co-founder Liz Rice says: “Our free listings offer a clear choice of TV favourites, hidden gems people may have missed and currently popular shows. They can either be viewed immediately or added to a watch list for later.”

Check it out for yourself at the link below.

© copyright Pocket-lint 2013

//




Get 25 per cent off buying out your O2 contract and upgrade phones with Speed to Refresh [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T05:19:08.430-08:00

O2 already offers a Refresh contract that allows you to upgrade your handset whenever you feel like it. Now it’s extending that to other O2 users with Speed to Refresh.

Not only does Speed to Refresh allow current customers to change their deal to the Refresh contract, and get a new mobile, but O2 is currently discounting 25 per cent off the remainder of their current contract as a welcome. This amount is deducted from the contract which the person is buying out in order to start the O2 Refresh contract.

O2 Refresh works by splitting the monthly contract into two: one part for the airtime bundle and one for the phone. This means you can upgrade your phone whenever you want without having to waste money paying off an old line rental contract. And if you hang onto your handset for the full two year contract the bill will half as you only pay for the airtime bundle.

“Our customers love O2 Refresh and since we launched it more than 95 per cent of customers who could buy O2 Refresh have chosen to,” said Gary Booker, O2′s interim Marketing and Consumer Director.

Speed to Refresh is available to any existing O2 Pay Monthly customer who signed up to a consumer tariff between 1 January 2011 and 31 March 2013, are still within the minimum term length of their contract for at least three months and are looking to move onto a new O2 Refresh contract.

© copyright Pocket-lint 2013

//




Britain announces independent review of plain tobacco packaging [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T04:34:32.817-08:00


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain announced an independent review of tobacco packaging on Thursday and said it was ready to introduce new laws banning branding on cigarette packets if the report found sufficient evidence to support it.

The government, which in July delayed a decision on the issue, said the review was due to report back in March 2014 and would look into whether standardized packaging is likely to have an effect on public health, particularly in relation to children.

The long-standing debate on the issue pits health campaigners, who back the move, against big tobacco firms which say it would put jobs at risk and encourage smuggling. In Britain, the subject has also prompted criticism from the opposition Labour party over the extent to which the tobacco industry is able to influence government policy.

The news hit stocks of British tobacco firms. British American Tobacco shares were down 0.9 percent at 3243.5 pence at 5:09 a.m. ET, while smaller rival Imperial Tobacco Group’s shares were down 2.5 percent at 2304 pence.

After a lengthy public consultation, Prime Minister David Cameron in July delayed a move to force manufacturers to sell tobacco in plain packets, saying he wanted to see more evidence from other countries on the effectiveness of such a move.

Almost exactly a year ago, Australia passed a law saying cigarettes must be sold in dark brown packets with no colors or logos, with the name of the product printed in a standardized small font.

(Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

//




Britain announces independent review of plain tobacco packaging [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T03:34:30.150-08:00


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain launched an independent review on tobacco packaging on Thursday and said it was ready to introduce new laws banning branding on cigarette packets if the report found sufficient evidence to support it.

The government, which in July delayed a decision on the issue, said the review was due to report back in March 2014 and would look into whether standardised packaging is likely to have an effect on public health, and particularly in relation to children.

(Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

//







Britain set to review cigarette packaging: media [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T01:33:42.839-08:00


(Reuters) – The UK government is set to announce a review of cigarette packaging in an effort to deter youngsters from smoking, British media reports said on Wednesday citing sources.

The David Cameron government in July delayed plans to ban company branding on cigarette packets, a move that was strongly criticised by health campaigners.

The government distanced itself earlier, saying it wanted to first see the impact of a similar decision in Australia.

The Times on Wednesday reported that the British government will announce a review, the findings of which are expected to strongly back the case for plain packaging, and plain cigarette packets are expected to be on shop shelves before the 2015 election.

“We need immediate legislation for standard cigarette packaging, not another review. The Government needs to stand up to the tobacco industry’s vested interests,” Labour Party’s Shadow Public Health Minister Luciana Berger said on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in July that plain packaging would increase the impact of health warnings, stop consumers from thinking some products were less harmful, and make tobacco products less attractive for adults and children.

Six million people die every year from smoking and the toll is projected to rise to eight million by 2030, according to the WHO.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore. Editing by Andre Grenon)

//




Kim Kardashian lässt Kleidung auf eBay für Charity ve [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-28T00:20:16.030-08:00


von






Cinya Burton






| Übersetzt von Elke Bernd

23. November 2013 – 00:04

Victoria Beckham ist nicht die Einzige, die ausgemistete Kleidungsstücke (und Schuhe!) für einen guten Zweck spendet. Auch Kim Kardashian lässt auf eBay Kleider aus ihrer Garderobe versteigern, um Opfern des Taifuns in den Philippinen zu helfen.

Auf ihrer Webseite fordert sie:

„Hi Leute, diese Auktion liegt mir sehr am Herzen, da ein Teil des Erlöses dieser eBay-Versteigerung an das International Medical Corps geht, eine Wohltätigkeitsorganisation, die Familien, die auf entfernten Inseln leben, nicht nur medizinisch, sondern auch mit Grundlebensmitteln, sauberem Trinkwasser und wichtigen Medikamenten versorgen wird. Die Einnahmen kommen den Gemeinden, mit denen sie auf den Philippinen zusammenarbeiten, zugute und werden den Überlebenden des Taifuns Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung bieten und somit Leben retten. Meine Gedanken und Gebete sind bei den Taifun-Opfern. Werft einen Blick auf meine eBay-Auktion und unterstützt diejenigen auf den Philippinen, die unsere Hilfe benötigen. Xo.”

Kim teilt neues Foto von Baby Norths „Mädeltag”

Was es zu ersteigern gibt? Alles was das Designerklamotten-Herz begehrt, angefangen von einem blaugrünen Bleistiftrock von L’Wren Scott, bis hin zu einer Spitzen-Bluse von Dolce & Gabbana. Und selbstverständlich gibt es auch eine Vielzahl weißer Outfits (ihre aktuelle Lieblingsfarbe!), inklusive einem Kleid aus der Kardashian Kollection.

Kim Kardashians Stil nach der Geburt

VIDEOS:

//




Scott Morrison in Nauru TV news report – video [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T23:19:07.380-08:00

A recording of a Nauruan TV news report shows the minister for immigration and border protection, Scott Morrison, addressing a group of asylum seekers who had been transferred to Nauru detention. Morrison informs them they will not be settled in Australia and should pass on the message to family and friends. The video was reportedly filmed from Nauruan television in October

  • Source: Bronwyn McNamee
  • Length: 3min 52sec
  • theguardian.com
  • Thursday 28 November 2013
//




U.S. judge dismisses Apple consumer lawsuit over data privacy [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T22:26:59.973-08:00

By Casey Sullivan

(Reuters) – A California federal judge has dismissed a consumer lawsuit over data privacy against Apple Inc, saying the plaintiffs had failed to show they had relied on any alleged company misrepresentations and that they had suffered harm.

The four plaintiffs claimed in 2011 that Apple had violated its privacy policy, saying the iPhone maker had designed its iOS environment to easily transmit personal information to third parties that collect and analyze such data without user consent or detection.

They also claimed that they suffered damages by paying too much money for their iPhones and by losing storage space, among other things, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California dismissed the case.

“Plaintiffs must be able to provide some evidence that they saw one or more of Apple’s alleged misrepresentations, that they actually relied on those misrepresentations, and that they were harmed thereby,” Koh said in the November 25 ruling.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs and Apple either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to comment.

The case is one part of nationwide litigation Koh is overseeing that consolidates 19 related lawsuits.

The case is In re Apple Inc. iPhone/iPad Application Consumer Privacy Litigation, 11-md-02250, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

(Reporting by Casey Sullivan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

//




U.S. judge dismisses Apple consumer lawsuit over data privacy [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T22:20:35.018-08:00

By Casey Sullivan

(Reuters) – A California federal judge has dismissed a consumer lawsuit over data privacy against Apple Inc, saying the plaintiffs had failed to show they had relied on any alleged company misrepresentations and that they had suffered harm.

The four plaintiffs claimed in 2011 that Apple had violated its privacy policy, saying the iPhone maker had designed its iOS environment to easily transmit personal information to third parties that collect and analyze such data without user consent or detection.

They also claimed that they suffered damages by paying too much money for their iPhones and by losing storage space, among other things, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California dismissed the case.

“Plaintiffs must be able to provide some evidence that they saw one or more of Apple’s alleged misrepresentations, that they actually relied on those misrepresentations, and that they were harmed thereby,” Koh said in the November 25 ruling.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs and Apple either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to comment.

The case is one part of nationwide litigation Koh is overseeing that consolidates 19 related lawsuits.

The case is In re Apple Inc. iPhone/iPad Application Consumer Privacy Litigation, 11-md-02250, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

(Reporting by Casey Sullivan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

//




Troubled HealthCare.gov to switch website hosting to HP [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T21:19:38.136-08:00

By Margaret Chadbourn and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The agency in charge of the troubled HealthCare.gov website said on Wednesday is it switching providers of Web hosting services, the latest change for the website at the heart of President Barack Obama’s health care reforms. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it is replacing data center services from Verizon Communications Inc’s Terremark subsidiary, with services from Hewlett-Packard Co. Terremark’s data center experienced issues in late October that caused outages across the system, prompting embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to phone Verizon’s chief executive to discuss the problems. Obama and Sebelius had promised the website would make it easy to shop for health insurance required under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Instead, slow response times, error messages and outages like the ones seen at Terremark’s data center meant few Americans have been able to enroll so far. The disaster has fueled Republican criticism of the law, and alarmed Democrats who supported it. The administration has had to scramble to make fixes in the hopes enough Americans sign up by deadlines in December and March. Both Verizon and HP declined comment on the contract change, as did the White House, which referred questions about the contract to CMS. CMS said its contract with Terremark had been set to end in March 2014. Last summer, several months before the botched October 1 launch of HealthCare.gov, the agency issued a “task order” asking for bids. HP was awarded that contract, a CMS spokesman said in a statement. The contract change was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Now, CMS needs to transition its data center to HP at a time when it is just beginning to dig out from a mountain of problems with the website, which is designed to let consumers shop for health insurance required under Obama’s signature health care law. The complexity of the switch between data center providers could be an additional challenge for the project. A CMS spokesman did not respond to questions about whether the transition would affect the website. The Obama administration has said it plans to have the website working smoothly for most users by this weekend. Part of that upgrade involves doubling capacity so the website can handle 50,000 users at once. A source close to the project, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there are some concerns about the website’s ability to handle so many users because of problems with switches and servers maintained by Terremark. “CMS has begun the necessary activities to transition the data center over to HP. We are working to ensure a smooth transition between the two contractors,” the CMS spokesman said in a statement. Verizon has received $ 55.4 million for its work on the healthcare marketplaces since its contract started in 2011, according to federal contracting records. (Additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Lisa Shumaker) Government Barack Obama Verizon Communications Inc Kathleen Sebelius Terremark Web hosting services // [...]



Typhoon aid appeal response hailed [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T18:19:38.031-08:00

Tech-savvy Britons have donated a record £6 million to Philippines typhoon victims via tablets and smartphones.

The new method of donating has helped pushed the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) overall donation total to £65 million.

The DEC said when its appeal was launched over two weeks ago, more than £750,000 was raised via text messages alone in the first hour. In comparison, roughly £100,000 was raised during the same period for the East Africa crisis.

Further text donation surges followed, including during an England football fixture on November 15 and an appeal on X Factor.

The charity said the push towards mobile donations represents an overall trend towards electronic donations.

The DEC said £3.5 million donations have been through tablets, £1.3 million via texts and £5.7 million through PayPal, which included £1.75 from tablets and smart phones.

“It is now even easier to make a donation to DEC appeals wherever and whenever you want,” DEC Head of Fundraising Adil Husseini said.

“We have made sure there are a number of different ways to quickly and efficiently give money so that it can be raised as fast as possible and ensure that aid reaches people in desperate need right now.

“We have seen that sending text donations is increasingly popular, and offering people the choice to give via PayPal accounts has also made the process of donating via mobiles, tablets and computers much faster and hassle free for many.

“More than one million people have given money since the appeal began, and the public’s generous donations have helped enabled our member aid agencies to reach hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines who have had their lives torn apart by this disaster.”

The DEC said a £25 donation would buy water purification tablets for 10 families for a month, £50 would feed a family for two weeks, while £100 would buy emergency shelter and bedding for one family.

//




Dear @LuckyDiamond – What should I get my best cat fr [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T15:18:42.003-08:00

(image)

Cats go wild for catnip!

If you have a doggy dilemma or  a confused cat looking for advice, don't hesistate to ask Dearlucky.com @ lucky@animalfair.com. Baby Hope has taken on the legacy of Lucky – she has been around the block so no worries she is just as clever and can answer all your questions!

(image)

Dear Lucky,
Chanukah is here, and I cannot decide what present to get for my new best friend Kitty Kat. Being a puppy, I know what kind of presents dogs like, but I have no idea what to get for a cat. Do you have any suggestions?

–Brody, Dayton, OH

Dear Brody,

Happy Chanukah! I used to have the toughest time trying to buy presents for my dear cat pal, Pasha, but I'd like to think that I've become quite an expert over the years. Cats love catnip. If you see anything with catnip stuffed in it, buy it! I'm sure Kitty Kat will have a lot of fun with her new present! Good luck! In fact, buy eight of them!

For the Best that Pet Lifestyle and Animal Welfare has to offer follow Wendy Diamond on Facebook, Twitterand right here at AnimalFair.com!



Bark about it!

comments

Tags: animal fair, catnip, chanukah, dear lucky, lucky diamond, wendy diamond

jQuery(".gmframe").load(function (){jQuery(this).remove();});




Giving Thanks for the Service of Alzheimer’s Caregivers This Holiday Season [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T14:18:49.171-08:00

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many people are taking the time to give thanks for those they have in their lives. While some may be giving thanks to friends, family or co-workers this holiday season, for others, this is a time to reflect on the work done by professional caregivers. There are millions of families in the United States who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, and the nation has seen first-hand the work that caregivers do, and now is a great time to reflect on their work and give thanks to all these selfless individuals do.

November is not only the month of Thanksgiving, but it is also National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver month. For the millions of families who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, the caregivers that help care for these individuals are some of the most important people to give thanks for this holiday season. These special individuals do a great deal to help individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. There are more than 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers living in the United States today and they all provide an often overlooked service that truly helps change the lives of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease.

These are the individuals that not only help take care of the daily health needs of Alzheimer’s patients, but these are the individuals that provide Alzheimer’s patients with much needed love and support. Alzheimer’s disease not only presents many changes for the diagnosed individual and their loved ones, but for caregivers as well, who must change and adapt nearly everyday to meet the unique demands of their role. Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is a position that comes with a great deal of stress, yet these dedicated individuals still find themselves working around the clock to meet the full time demands of being a caregiver. These caregivers act as a friend, companion, caretaker, support system and more to those with Alzheimer’s disease and they become an important part of these individuals’ lives.

For many Alzheimer’s patients, their caregivers become family to them. Whether the caregiver is a professional, family member or friend, they must dedicate themselves to helping these individuals and their family members handle their everyday tasks, recall important memories and cope with the stress that comes with having dementia. Alzheimer’s is a heartbreaking disease that impacts the lives of millions, but its repercussions would be much more severe if it weren’t for the dedicated support of these caregivers.

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for those living with a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. This holiday season spend time to not only give thanks for the friends and family around you but for the Alzheimer’s caregivers that help keep these loved ones happy and healthy during this most wonderful time of the year.


 


Follow Eric J. Hall on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/ericjhall2

//




US abortions had slower decline in 2010 than 2009 [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T13:19:04.891-08:00


ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. abortions have continued to decline, but not quite as steeply as before.

The number and rate of reported abortions fell 3 percent in 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Those statistics had fallen 5 percent in 2009 — the biggest one-year decrease in a decade.

Before 2009, abortions seemed to have leveled off. Some experts attributed the recent numbers to better use of contraception and a tough economic environment for raising children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday released the latest statistics, drawing from about 45 states and cities that sent in data consistently for at least 10 years. They reported about 753,000 abortions in 2010. About 60 percent of the women were in their 20s.

___

Online:

CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr_ss/ss_cvol.html

//




Turning to the Bible for Weight Loss with the Daniel Diet [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T12:26:56.380-08:00

The Daniel Fast is a bible-based diet that is growing in popularity among Christians. Getty Images The new bible for dieting is, for many, the Bible. The Daniel Diet, inspired by the Biblical prophet Daniel, has become a popular diet among some U.S. Protestant congregations to help encourage healthy eating. According to two passages in the Bible, Daniel fasted twice. During the first fast, he ate only vegetables and water to set himself apart for God. For a second fast mentioned in a later chapter, Daniel stopped eating meat, wine and other rich foods. Pastors across the country are encouraging their congregations to participate in similar fasts or diets inspired by these passages to kick start weight loss and to strengthen their faith. In Hawaii, the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu at Ko’olau holds an annual 21 “Daniel Fast” for congregants to not only encourage healthy eating, but to help people keep their faith by refocusing their attention on their diet. Diet and Weightloss News “We hope the Fast[sic] will help reset your spiritual compass, which can get rusty and out of whack because of everyday cares and concerns,” First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu Pastor Dan Chun wrote on his diet support website. The Saddleback Church, which has a congregation of at least 20,000, has launched a website and book, co-written by head pastor Rick Warren, to promote a long term version of the diet renamed “The Daniel Plan.” At a rally for the Daniel Plan last year, Warren said he was inspired to start the fast after performing 800 baptisms in one day and realizing most people he baptized were overweight. “I had this thought, it wasn’t very spiritual, but it was ‘We’re all fat,’” said Warren. Although the Saddleback church version of the Daniel Plan has specific diet directions, most versions of the Daniel diet are slightly improvised since the Bible doesn’t give exactly detailed instructions. Versions of the fast include eating only raw vegetables or fruits for 10-21 days with water. Jessica Bennett, a dietician at Vanderbilt Medical Center, said she believes that trying a version of the Daniel diet can potentially kick start healthier habits or weight loss for some people. “I definitely think it makes people more aware of what they’re eating and what they’re putting in their body,” said Bennett. “I say more power to them.” Bennett does caution that very strict versions of the diet could be frustrating for people, since it will drastically change their diet quickly. Although she says by being a group setting, people on the diet can draw strength and support from one another. “Most congregations tend to bond over food and people tend to go to lunch or dinner right after church,” said Bennett. By focusing on the social aspect, people don’t fixate on food restrictions. “People can tell me exactly what they ate or lunch or dinner but can’t tell me what the conversation was. They’re focusing too much on food.” Additionally Bennett said these diets might be particularly helpful for certain subsections of the U.S. Protestant congregations, since some studies have found that people of certain Protestant faiths are more likely to be overweight. A 2006 study found that Baptist women tended to have a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) than other women not part of that religion and a 2003 study found that conservative Protestant men tended to have a higher BMI. As for peopl[...]



Pig-Out Prophylaxis [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T10:05:16.835-08:00

The average American gains between 1 and 3 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas — more if you’re already overweight. It’s a scary statistic. Parties, family gatherings, stress, alcohol and fatigue are all to blame. Being inundated with goodies — gingerbread cookies fresh from the oven, caramel covered anything and (my all time favorite) pecan pie with vanilla ice cream — is also a factor, generating nostalgia for the good old days when we were young and well care for. When stress rises during the holidays we are especially vulnerable to overeating foods we associate with fond memories. With all the cheer and good will in the air, the holidays often raise expectations and lead to wishful thinking. Maybe your usually grumpy mother-in-law will recognize how wonderful you are, your boss will give you that well-deserved raise or everyone in your family will get along. The reality may be disappointing and all the more painful during the holidays. Overeating can be thought of as a form of self-medicating, but it is short-lived and inevitably followed by self-loathing and guilt. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few tips for keeping things in perspective this holiday season: Make a list of your stress triggers: Have an alternative: Instead of turning to food for comfort, consider calling a friend, listening to your favorite song, looking at a photograph of someone you love, leafing through an art book or a magazine or going for a walk. Beware the collective holiday mindset: “Life is on hold until Jan. 1.” Don’t skip the gym or eat the second piece of pie. Make a pact to exercise with a few friends. Encouragement and support will keep you going. Keep a log of every morsel you put in your mouth: Record your calories, exercise and weight every day. Self-monitoring is an effective tool. There are easy-to-use apps that do this. Survey the entire buffet before serving yourself: You will eat less. Rest: There is a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. Savor it: Rushing through a meal makes you more prone to heartburn, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Relish each bite. Not only will you eat less, you’ll spend more time with friends and loved ones. And now a success story: I have a friend who gained 8 to 10 pounds every holiday season for 10 years. She referred to it as her “month-long feeding frenzy.” Holiday cookies and hot chocolate were her weakness and conjured up memories of Christmas spent in Vermont as a child. Last year she decided to break this destructive pattern. She set a realistic goal to gain less than three pounds. She woke up an hour earlier each morning to walk to work; she skipped a few holiday parties; she kept a food diary, and she and a friend joined a local program that delivers food to homebound elderly New Yorkers (running up and down the stairs of walk-ups was an added exercise benefit). She actually lost one pound. Jan. 1 was a New Year for her in more ways than one.   Follow Samantha Boardman MD on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@sambmd // [...]



Gamers face queue marathon for PS4 [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T09:18:45.852-08:00

UK gamers eager to get their hands on the new PlayStation 4 console will begin queuing up in central London from tomorrow morning.

The games device is officially launched in the UK on Friday, but Sony has announced those who have not already pre-ordered a console will be able to buy one at a midnight launch event being held at the PS4 Lounge #4ThePlayers event in Covent Garden.

Launch day pre-orders for the console sold out in August. The consoles available at the PS4 lounge will be on a first come, first served basis from midnight and are tipped to be the last opportunity to have one before Christmas without preordering.

Gamers queuing for their consoles from Thursday morning will be treated to a performance by rapper Tinie Tempah and will be given Domino’s Pizza and Red Bull to keep their energy up during what will be a long wait.

Sony UK & Ireland managing director Fergal Gara said the event was a ray of hope for gamers who did not preorder.

“We really wanted to offer some way for people to buy on launch day, and this is a fantastic opportunity for anyone that hasn’t already pre-ordered to get their hands on a PS4 on day one,” he said.

“The excitement in the run-up to our UK launch has been phenomenal, and we want to thank gamers for their support by giving them the chance to take a PS4 home at the earliest opportunity.”

Martyn Gibbs, CEO of retailer GAME, said the excitement for the PS4 launch was “absolutely massive”.

“We’re stepping into the next generation of gaming and this really is a fundamental shift for the industry,” he said.

“The PS4 launch is going to surpass anything Playstation has done before – our pre-order numbers are around four times higher than the PS3 and we’re seeing those numbers grow every day.

“We’re delighted that we are able to bring additional last-minute stock to the UK market and keep delivering for the UK gaming communities and we can’t wait for the official launch.”

The PS4 is being marketed as 10 times faster than its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, which was released in 2006.

It features a Blu-Ray/DVD optical drive, digital video recording, 8GB DDR5 RAM, an 8 core single-chip x86 AMD “Jaguar” CPU, AMD Radeon graphics core next engine GPU, 500GB removable hard drive and internal power supply.

The new console launches across the UK on November 29, priced at £349, with over 400 stores hosting special midnight openings on November 28.

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Dear Cancer, This Is How You’ve Made Me Thankful [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T07:19:08.339-08:00

Zoe Lintzeris Earlier last month, I once again experienced the profound shock of losing a close family member to cancer. And the emotions which I have experienced again and again flooded back to me in a wave of tears, grief, and despair. The left side of my brain was wracked — I tried to find the logic as to why cancer seemed to be everywhere and attacking my family. I tried to handle and understand the news yet again: It’s our ethnicity and genes. Maybe it’s our diet. Maybe it’s from growing up in a city. My thoughts ran amuck. My aunt wasn’t the first person I lost to cancer from my family. I lost another aunt, my father’s sister, four years prior — from the same cancer. There are the brave others in my family who have been diagnosed in the past six years and are in remission, having triumphed over a disease that makes our eyes widen and our hearts crumble upon hearing that initial diagnosis. But they’ve prevailed and, to me, are the strongest people I know. The abhorrent feelings I have toward this disease are always unmasked upon hearing the news: It’s a blur of death, it’s the word ‘cancer’ and what it does to the psyche, it’s silence, it’s grief, it’s a void that will never be filled. But rather than go into a bitter entanglement of thoughts and a somewhat useless diatribe (because, let’s face it, it’s all been said before) about the disease, I would like to take a different approach. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, witnessing everyone gathering with their families, friends and even strangers, I want to explain how cancer has made me thankful… for life. For background’s sake, my one aunt encouraged me to pursue my love of art. She was devoted to the subject her whole life, teaching art to thousands of kids at a Catholic high school. Almost coincidentally, my other aunt taught music for decades at a public elementary and middle school, and led the junior choir at church, along with countless other projects. It’s so obvious that their influence is likely unparalleled as they helped kids and teens crack open their brains and discover a surreal world of colors, notes and sounds. I was merely one of them. Their influence continued into my adulthood — post-piano lessons, chorus rehearsals and carrying around a sketchbook. I’d had dreams of moving to New York City and becoming a writer and artist since I was a teenager, and these two women backed me 100 percent. My last phone call with my one aunt involved me telling her about a job interview in SoHo. She was in the hospital then, and unbeknown to me, she was slowly fighting her last fight. I could hear that life in her voice — the cheer, the joy, the laughter — and feel her smile through the phone. Then, a few weeks later, she was gone. Witnessing the painful rounds of chemo, the nausea, the weight loss and appetite suppression, words of hope and strength were always offered to me on a silver platter — from my two aunts. I couldn’t help but feel it should have been the other way around, in that I should have been offering words of hope and encouragement to them. But no, these warriors of a perpetual and terminal illness kept smiling, kept their strength and more importantly, dished out their love and almost never showed their agony. In response to cancer affecting my family, I go to the doctor twice a year an[...]



O2 to offer PS4 bundle that includes Sony Xperia Z1, could be last chance to get one before Christmas [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T05:19:13.832-08:00

O2 has announced that it will be carrying limited stock of the PlayStation 4 in 65 of its high stores up and down the UK. However, it won’t be selling the next-generation games console on its own.

Instead, it will be available through the network as part of a bundle that includes a Sony Xperia Z1 smartphone, a 5-inch Android handset that is currently the brand’s flagship device.

READ: Sony Xperia Z1 review

The bundle also includes Killzone: Shadow Fall, one of the first-party launch titles, 12 months free access to PlayStation Plus, which would normally set you back £39.99, and unlimited minutes, texts and 1GB of data on the phone’s price plan.

This is all available for an £89.99 upfront cost and then £52 a month for a 24-month contract.

READ: PlayStation 4 review

The plan is part of the O2 Refresh tariff, which splits the amount you pay for the phone and the minutes, texts and data. Therefore you can upgrade early – before the 24-month contract is up – by paying the remaining balance on just the phone, not the whole contract.

The limited stock of PS4 consoles will be available from UK launch day, Friday, 24 November. Check with O2 for a list of participating stores.

© copyright Pocket-lint 2013

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O2 to offer PS4 bundle that includes Sony Xperia Z1, could be last chance to get one before Christmas [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T05:19:01.715-08:00

O2 has announced that it will be carrying limited stock of the PlayStation 4 in 65 of its high stores up and down the UK. However, it won’t be selling the next-generation games console on its own.

Instead, it will be available through the network as part of a bundle that includes a Sony Xperia Z1 smartphone, a 5-inch Android handset that is currently the brand’s flagship device.

READ: Sony Xperia Z1 review

The bundle also includes Killzone: Shadow Fall, one of the first-party launch titles, 12 months free access to PlayStation Plus, which would normally set you back £39.99, and unlimited minutes, texts and 1GB of data on the phone’s price plan.

This is all available for an £89.99 upfront cost and then £52 a month for a 24-month contract.

READ: PlayStation 4 review

The plan is part of the O2 Refresh tariff, which splits the amount you pay for the phone and the minutes, texts and data. Therefore you can upgrade early – before the 24-month contract is up – by paying the remaining balance on just the phone, not the whole contract.

The limited stock of PS4 consoles will be available from UK launch day, Friday, 24 November. Check with O2 for a list of participating stores.

© copyright Pocket-lint 2013

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Now TV box gets 4oD to expand catch-up and on demand offering [ TechSc1ence ]

2013-11-27T04:19:20.398-08:00

Owners of a Now TV set-top-box will find a new app alongside the existing catch-up and on demand offerings from BBC iPlayer and Demand 5. Channel 4′s 4oD service is now accessible through the box, leaving just ITV as the last major terrestrial TV broadcaster in the UK to be featured.

The Now TV box, which costs £9.99, hooks up to the internet and provides over-the-top access to Sky’s Now TV subscription service.

As well as on demand and live streamed movies, the Now TV service also offers an Entertainment Month Pass, which is a non-contract subscription to a wide variety of channels, including Sky One and Sky Atlantic.

READ: Now TV box review

Sports programming can also be accessed on a pay-per-view basis, whereby you pay for access to all Sky Sports channels for a day. If you just want to watch one football match, for example, this allows you to do so without having to pay for a full satellite or cable subscription.

The Sky Movies Month Pass costs £8.99 a month for access to all movie channels and the films individually to stream when you want. The Sky Sports Day Pass costs £9.99. And the Now TV Entertainment Month Pass costs £4.99 a month at present, as an introductory price.

You do not have to pay for access to 4oD, BBC iPlayer or Demand 5.

© copyright Pocket-lint 2013

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