CHILDHOOD OBESITY- THE CAUSE

OBESITY among children has reached epidemic proportions in many countries. The World Health Organization says that worldwide an estimated 22 million children under the age of five are overweight. A national survey in Spain revealed that 1 out of every 3 children is either overweight or obese. In just ten years (1985-1995), childhood obesity tripled in Australia. In the last three decades, obesity in children aged 6 to 11 has more than tripled in the United States. Childhood obesity is also extending to developing countries. According to the International Obesity Task…

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Dangerous Occupations

Dangerous Occupations What are the ten most dangerous occupations? According to figures compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, timber cutters topped the list with nearly 129 fatalities per 100,000 workers, while fishers and water transportation workers followed close behind with some 123 and 94 deaths respectively per 100,000 workers. Listed in descending order, other risky occupations are those of airplane pilots, structural metal workers, miners, construction laborers, taxicab drivers, truck drivers, and farm workers. However, “the overall rate of fatal occupational injuries—4.7 per 100,000 employed—has decreased by about…

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WHY IS OCEAN SALTY

If we were to spread the salt in sea evenly over the land, it would form a layer more than 500 feet [150 m] thick—about 45 stories high! Where does all that salt come from, especially considering that countless freshwater streams and rivers empty into the oceans? Scientists have discovered a number of sources. One source is the ground beneath our feet. As rainwater seeps through soil and rocks, it dissolves tiny amounts of minerals, including salts and their chemical constituents, and carries them out to sea by means of streams and…

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THE ORIGIN OF FIREWORKS

Fireworks have become synonymous with celebration. Eruptions of light commemorate Independence Day in the United States, celebrate Bastille Day in France, and illuminate the skies over nearly every major city in the world each New Year’s Eve. Most historians agree that the Chinese invented fireworks about the tenth century of our Common Era, when Oriental chemists discovered that combining saltpeter (potassium nitrate) with sulfur and charcoal produces an explosive compound. Western explorers, such as Marco Polo, or possibly Arab traders were responsible for bringing this volatile substance to Europe, and…

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Anger prone people at more risk of Hearth Attack

  Anger-prone people [are] almost three times more likely to have a heart attack than those who are slow to become angry, says a report in the Globe and Mail newspaper. Nearly 13,000 people took part in a six-year heart disease risk assessment. All participants were free of heart disease at the start of the study. Each person was asked a series of questions and rated as to whether he or she had a low, medium, or high angerindex. Over the six-year period, 256 had heart attacks. The study revealed…

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Dealing with Work Place Burnout

Dealing with Work Place Burnout. Workplace Burnout is more than mere tiredness, and it goes beyond the ordinary stress of everyday work. Burnout is characterized by chronic exhaustion and strong feelings of frustration and powerlessness. Those suffering from burnout tend to withdraw emotionally from their work, lose motivation, and become less productive. Studies also link burnout to numerous emotional and physical health problems.What causes burnout? Work overload is often a factor. Because of economic pressures, some employers demand that employees work longer hours, at times for less money. Technology now…

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Dealing with Sleep Disorder

Dealing with Sleep Disorder  According to Brazilian sleep specialist Rubens Reimão, an estimated 35 percent of the world’s population suffer from insomnia. Dr. David Rapoport of the New York University Sleep Disorders Center described sleeping badly as “one of the most serious epidemics of the turn of the century.” To make matters worse, many insomniacs suffer in ignorance. According to researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil, as few as 3 percent of sufferers are correctly diagnosed. Many simply accept sleeping badly as part of life and resign themselves to spending their…

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Salt, an Essential Commodity

Salt, an Essential Commodity Throughout history, salt (sodium chloride) has been such a precious commodity that wars were even fought over it. One of the contributing causes of the French Revolution was the high tax on salt imposed by Louis XVI. Salt was also used as a valuable medium of exchange. Moorish merchants traded salt for gold, gram for gram, and some central African tribes used slabs of rock salt as money. The English word “salary” comes from the Latin salarium (from sal, salt), referring to the early Roman soldier’s wages,…

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Technology Explosion

Technology Explosion From cell phones to computers to television, technology has found its way into every corner of the world—even crossing the divide between rich and poor—and has become a part of life for many. The pervasiveness of technology is perhaps most apparent in the proliferation of cell phones, many of which are no longer just phones. Advanced models enable users to access the Internet, send and receive e-mail and text messages, watch TV, listen to music, take photos, navigate by the Global Positioning System (GPS), and—oh, yes—phone someone! According…

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Bicycle Inventor “Baron Karl Von Drais”

Bicycle Inventor “Baron Karl Von Drais” Baron Karl von Drais, a German inventor, is credited with the invention of the bicycle. His scooterlike contraption, appearing about 1817, was basic in design. The draisine, as it was called, consisted of two wheels, a seat, and a handlebar for steering—but no pedals. Self-propulsion appeared in 1839 when a Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, attached treadles connected by levers to cranks on the rear wheel. Then came a turning point in the popularity of two-wheeled transport. A French father and son, Pierre and Ernest…

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High-Tech Submarine Drug Smugglers

High-Tech Submarine Drug Smugglers In the past, Colombian drug smugglers have concealed their wares in passenger planes and ships. Recently, however, authorities were amazed to find that smugglers were building a high-tech, double-hulled submarine, measuring more than 11 feet [3 m] in diameter, which was capable of holding about 200 tons of cocaine. Suspicious residents nearby led police to “a warehouse outside Bogotá, 7,500 feet [2,300 m] up in the Andes and 210 miles [300 km] from any port,” says The New York Times. “The 100-foot [30 m]vessel could have…

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Elephants Never Forget

Elephants Never Forget “Elephants never forget—or at least, they don’t forget their friends,” reports New Scientist magazine. Dr. Karen McComb of the University of Sussex, England, recorded the low-pitched “contact calls” of female African elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, noting which elephants would meet together frequently and which were strangers. She then played back their calls to 27 elephant families to study their responses. If the animals knew the caller well, they immediately called back. If they knew the caller only slightly, they listened but did not respond, and an…

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