Are Natural Poisons Health Cures in Disguise?

first_imgThree recent stories are suggesting that natural toxins may be too much of a good thing:Snail Trail:  John Roach in National Geographic News wrote about new painkillers and drugs being developed from toxic snail venoms.  Cone snails create an array of hundreds of unique chemical compounds (see 10/22/2003 entry).Fungus Among Them:  A fungus shows promise for controlling malaria mosquitos.  It appears to be harmless to humans.  Story on Science Daily.Lockjaw Therapy:  Researchers in Barcelona are discovering that tetanus toxin has therapeutic properties in treatment for neurodegenerative disorders, according to EurekAlert.A common operational paradigm in nature appears to be control by resistance: initiator and repressor, agonist and antagonist, accelerator and brake.  Another is hormesis (see 02/12/2003 entry): i.e., that a little is good, but more is not better.  Taken together, these principles suggest that many poisons and toxins only become “evil” to our sensibilities when they get out of control.    A dynamic community of interacting organisms needs checks and balances.  These are best understood by looking at the big picture, a view called systems biology – a perspective implicit with design reasoning.  As a corollary, relationships that could have been harmonious originally may have begun to wreak havoc when out of balance.  Regardless, there may be healthy treasures to mine in things we once considered agents of suffering.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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South Africa to create 5-million new jobs

first_imgThe infrastructure development boom is set to continue creating thousands of jobs. Ministers have to devise job creation plans. The private sector is expected to create most of the required jobs. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Themba Maseko Government spokesperson +27 12 314 2150  RELATED ARTICLES • Budget big on education, jobs • Zuma’s 2010 plan of action • One million jobs in four years • R4-billion for 4.5-million jobs • Teaching jobless how to find jobsBongani NkosiThe South African government has unveiled its plan to create 5-million jobs over the next decade and reduce unemployment by 10%.Cabinet ministers have endorsed the government’s new growth path programme, which details its employment plans. The path will prioritise job creation in the government’s economic policy, Minister in the Presidency Colins Chabane said in a statement on 26 October 2010. Chabane is responsible for monitoring and evaluation.“The new growth path is a broad framework that sets out a vision and identifies key areas where jobs can be created,” he said.The government’s target is to reduce unemployment from 25% to 15% within 10 years. Jobs are planned to be created in both the public and private sectors, but with greater focus on the latter.Statistics South Africa confirmed on 26 October that the current unemployment rate in the country is as high as 25.3%, with young people being the most affected.“The new growth path is intended to address unemployment, inequality and poverty in a strategy that is principally reliant on creating a significant increase in the number of new jobs in the economy, mainly in the private sector,” added Chabane.All departments have to draw up detailed implementation plans and submit them to the Cabinet over the next six months.Six targeted sectorsThe government has identified six sectors that could provide thousands of new jobs each year. They are infrastructure, agriculture, mining, tourism, green energy and manufacturing.Interest in the infrastructure sector is driven by the “massive expansion” of transport, energy, water, communications capacity and housing projects.“In each of these areas clear targets of the jobs potential have been developed and state agencies have now been directed to work on implementation plans,” Chabane said.It’s predicted that about 400 000 jobs will be created in the green energy sector by 2030 through the manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance of new, environment-friendly infrastructure.“Additional jobs will be created by expanding existing public employment schemes to protect the environment, as well as in production of biofuels,” he said.The Industrial Development Corporation has been allocated R12-billion (US$1.7-billion) to stimulate growth of the green industrial economy.Chabane said the government will need to be more decisive in order for its new plan to bear fruit. “It will require the state to be more effective in implementation.”The not-for-profit sector will also be targeted to increase employment in mass empowerment schemes like cooperatives.“Critically, this employment target can only be achieved if the social partners and government work together to address key structural challenges in the economy,” he added.Metros have a roleIt’s not only the national government that’s tasked with job creation; municipalities and provincial government also have a role to play. Mayors of metropolitan districts, which employ millions of people, have approved the job creation resolution and “committed to revising their strategies to reflect the new, unifying vision”, said Chabane.“The new growth path will … provide the basis for coordinated policies and programmes across the state.”Leaders of private businesses and labour organisations, as well as community leaders, are to be formally introduced to the plan.South Africa’s economy shed more than 1-million jobs as a result of the recent global recession.last_img read more

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Daryl ‘Nightmare’ Naidu: scaring off Durban’s bullies

first_imgWrestler and community youth worker Daryl “Nightmare” Naidu will feature in the next instalment of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to be aired on Sunday 27 July at 9pm on SABC2. “I don’t know if it’s my intimidating looks or the good work I do but kids look up to me,” says Daryl “Nightmare” Naidu. (Image: Daryl Naidu)Brand South Africa+27 11 483 0122info@brandsouthafrica.comSulaiman PhilipHis legs are pillars, his technique textbook as he plants them to steady himself. He shifts his weight as he grabs his target by the shoulder and arm, rolls him along his own bulging arm, lifts him effortlessly and flings him easily over his shoulder. His hapless prey drops like deadweight. Looking up at the Nightmare – his opponent’s ring name – the fallen wrestler can only wonder how much more pain he will have to endure.Daryl ‘The Nightmare’ Naidu is the blueprint of a wrestler – a ball of aggression with ripped legs and toned arms – but he blows away every pigeonholed idea you may have. At almost two metres tall and as broad as heaven’s expanse, the first impression Naidu creates is one of explosive anger. His ringside antics give you only a cursory glance into the chaotic world of a man who has earned renown as a wrestler and, more importantly, as a community youth worker.The dropoutNaidu dropped out of high school, partied without considering the consequences, disregarded guidance from his parents and funded his drug habits with odd jobs when his parents eventually cut him off. “I wanted to be one of the cool kids, but they turned on me when I tried to reform myself. They resorted to violence when I stopped funding our drug habit.”Being a victim of this extreme form of bullying lit a spark and Naidu went from being the cool bad boy to rededicating himself to wrestling. Calm and meticulous when he speaks, he explains that bullying is the root of the problem facing kids in Chatsworth. “It’s a slippery slope from being bullied to becoming a bully to gangsterism, violence and substance abuse. By starting at the root it’s only a matter of time before we can dissolve the bigger problems by giving kids a solid foundation to build on.”Naidu has gone from being the rebel without a cause to a celebrated wrestler with legions of fans, with the obligatory nemesis. He is recognised on the streets of the Durban and applauded in the Chatsworth community. Wrestling started out as the means to his own salvation but it is the end that has allowed him a certain amount of celebrity, fame that he now uses to run an anti-bullying campaign in his drug-riddled poor community.“Being celebrated in Durban made me want to always walk that straight and narrow path. To live a positive, loving life and helping others. I was no saint growing up but I chose to love life over living a negative life.”Finding ambition in the wrestling ringThe wrestling ring has long been home for Naidu. He matured there and found a way to work past the mistakes he made in his own life. Those mistakes, he tells kids, made him want to do something to help kids he saw going down the path he managed to escape.“Wrestling gave me ambition; it occupied my mind, kept me busy. Once I started achieving goals and getting praise I felt better about myself and never looked back. I use wrestling, sport, to give kids direction. If I can change their lives, make them role models, together we can change the nation.”It’s not his intimidating demeanour that allows him to connect with the kids he helps. He welcomes anyone to his wrestling academy, based at the Chatsworth Youth Centre, and encourages kids to join him in volunteering at the other outreach projects at the centre. He is successful because he talks to kids in a language they understand. “Humour … humour … and making them laugh when I talk to them. Kids are looking for someone they can relate to and not some stern guy in a suit and tie.”Nightmare uses his own life experience to help kids understand that life can be bigger than the world they find themselves trapped in. He says it will not be easy to for them to change but that the rewards are worth the pain. “Substance abuse held me back from becoming who I was destined to be. Wrestling gave me the self-confidence to speak out, to stand up, to become a role model who gives back to the community.”It’s the most important lesson he feels he can teach kids who look to him for guidance. He warns kids that he changed his life because he had to, and he wants them to make the right choices before they are forced to. “I warn kids that they are in danger of becoming the people they surround themselves with. They need to surround themselves with people that celebrate you, not tolerate you, because you are the architect of you own destiny.” “I am a walking billboard for everything I believe in,” Daryl Nightmare Naidu. (Image: Daryl Naidu)A child of MandelaThat his message is heard in Chatsworth matters to him. To kids here he is a superhero and he is happy to use that status to make a difference in his world. It hurts, he says – letting his superhero mask slip and showing human emotion – that kids find it so easy to give up their dreams; that if he can change the course of his life then anyone can. “If they need help, I will be there for them to lean on.”When Naidu talks about wrestling he uses the vocabulary of addiction – dependent, enabled, intervention and rehabilitate – but it is his addiction to wrestling that has helped him beat his other demons. Nightmare says that stepping into the ring makes him feel like he just won the lottery or found money lying on the floor.He celebrates his new life with body art, among the many tattoos that cover his muscular frame are the words ‘Don’t be a bully. Be a star’ across his hands. “The portrait of Nelson Mandela on my calf shows that world that I am a child of Mandela, proudly South African and choosing to live my life in his spirit.”last_img read more

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Ohio Crop Progress: Dry weather prevails

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Hot, dry weather prevailed last week creating good harvesting conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 4. Topsoil moisture was getting very short and crops were showing signs of stress due to the lack of moisture. Corn and soybeans needed rain to improve condition and growth rate. Winter wheat harvest was nearly complete. Many producers were planting late cover crops. Oat harvest moved steadily and was only slightly behind the five-year average. Hay making continued last week with some producers able to get a third cutting where regrowth was more evident. Mowing, manure applications, and spraying activities continued last week. Weed control was more necessary in some fields.Click here to read the full report.last_img read more

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Fat to fit at your doorstep

first_imgIf your New Year resolution was to fight the flab, chances are you have already signed up at the neighbourhood gym. But if you are not too comfortable matching steps with a group or feel awkward discussing your body or your health problems with a male trainer, do not despair.,If your New Year resolution was to fight the flab, chances are you have already signed up at the neighbourhood gym. But if you are not too comfortable matching steps with a group or feel awkward discussing your body or your health problems with a male trainer, do not despair. The city’s top female fitness trainers can take you from fat to fit with tailormade regimes in the privacy of your homes. What’s more, they can also double up as confidantes for your bingeing bouts. So take your pick from kickboxing, yoga and pilates and work out your way to good health and picture perfect bodies.Rashmi Kumar Speciality: Yoga.At: Pocket 52, House no. 126, 2nd floor, C.R. Park.Tel: 9212244220.An expert in Ashtanga yoga, Rashmi Kumar was initially drawn to the science by the poses which she found fascinating. In 1999, after finishing school, she enrolled for a two-year diploma course in yoga at Delhi’s Chandra College and followed it up with an MA in the subject from Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute, Rajasthan. Eight years later, she not only teaches yoga at The Park, the Brazilian embassy and the Jor Bagh Association, she also makes home visits for personal training. “The clients I train personally usually have health problems like cervical pain, diabetes, arthritis and asthma. Through specific asanas and cleansing processes, I help them recuperate faster,” says Kumar. The fitness enthusiast also holds special classes for pre and post natal cases and believes that women are more comfortable discussing their health problems with trainers of the same sex. Incidentally, Kumar also holds workshops for call centre employees suffering from stress and spine-related problems, besides taking groups on three-day yogacum-adventure tours to Rishikesh and Dharamshala.advertisementVesna JacobSpeciality: Pilates.At: 202, Kailash Hills.Tel: 9350026373.One of the hottest names in local fitness circles, Vesna Pericevic Jacob moved to India from Bosnia after marriage three years ago. This athletic lady says she was involved in sports from childhood and used to play basketball at the national level in Bosnia. After a knee injury cut short her sporting career, she got herself an associate degree in fitness coaching from Cantonbridge in England and took to training others. While working as a fitness expert and language consultant for the US Army Peacekeeping Mission in Bosnia in 2000, she met a US Army sergeant who introduced her to pilates. Once she came to India, Vesna began teaching pilates to family friends who in turn recommended her to their acquaintances. Almost overnight, she had a host of people queuing up for lessons. “Most of my private clients come with back problems and I customise their workouts accordingly,” says Vesna, who, interestingly enough, has an equal number of men and women clients. “Most people don’t expect women to know much about fitness. But I build up respect and trust in my male clients with my knowledge and by keeping myself updated with new technology and research related to fitness,” she says. Proof of her success lies in the fact that her male clients trust her with weight training while her female clients say they find it easy to bond with her. But then, Vesna customises her workouts according to gender. “Usually men are encouraged by military regimes, while for women, reasoning works better,” she says, very reasonably.Nirmala Bhanu Speciality: Krav Maga.At: Krav Maga Studio, M-6, Saket.Tel: 41764597.The first woman instructor in India to be certified by the International Krav Maga Federation of Israel, Nirmala Bhanu’s fist packs a lot of punch. Bhanu, who learnt the art from the chief instructor of the Saket-based International Krav Maga Federation Vicky Kapoor, coaches women in kickboxing and Krav Maga. “This martial art includes cardio and stretching exercises, is easy to learn and effective in keeping fit,” says Bhanu, adding, “Compared to about 500 calories burnt at a regular one-hour workout, Krav Maga burns 800 calories.” This trainer from Kullu has an impressive record in self defence, having worked as deputy manager at the Ladies PSO Wing at Vision Security Group and as a martial arts coach for NCC’s No. 1 Air Squadron Kullu. She is also a second degree black belt karate expert and has worked as a fight master with Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty.Nisha Varma Speciality: Aqua aerobics and yoga therapy.At: Reebok India Company, Gurgaon.Tel: 9810493313.Nisha Varma, whose workout sessions combine cardio and strength training with pilates and yoga, started out as an advertising professional. But when her husband got posted to Paris, she decided to do something different and got seriously interested in fitness. When she returned to India in 1993, she signed up for a yoga course in Visakhapatnam and later, in 2004, got a Reebok Master Trainer certificate from Paris. Varma has been working as a trainer for 16 years now and handles several clients suffering from orthopaedic problems and muscle weakness, besides women wanting to tone up after childbirth. “My workouts strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles, and allow people to perform daily chores with fewer chances of injury,” says Varma.advertisementlast_img read more

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