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Links to many online dictionaries for many professions.

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Learning English and Buddhism in Mongolia

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Learning Medical English for doctors, nurses and dentists in Mongolia

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NEWS: Actress Emma Thompson attacks use of sloppy language

originally posted 28 September 2010 @ BBC.co.uk


Emma Thompson
also rules out ever
having plastic surgery,
saying it is 'dysfunctional'
Actress Emma Thompson has spoken out against the use of sloppy language.

The 51-year-old Oscar winner told the Radio Times that people who did not speak properly made her feel "insane".

She said: "We have to reinvest, I think, in the idea of articulacy as a form of personal human freedom and power."

Ms Thompson added that on a visit to her old school she told pupils not to use slang words such as "likes" and "innit".

"I told them, 'Just don't do it. Because it makes you sound stupid and you're not stupid."'

She said: "There is the necessity to have two languages - one that you use with your mates and the other that you need in any official capacity."

'Street speak'

Responding to her comments, English language specialist Prof Clive Upton, from the University of Leeds, said that "street speak" was not necessarily a problem.

He said: "There are certain places where the sort of street speak which a lot of teenagers go in for just doesn't cut the mustard.

"If they do deploy the sort of language they're using on the streets in formal settings then it could well be a disadvantage to them but at other times it's quite clearly the way they get along, the way that they signal they belong in a group, the way that they fit in.

"And we all do that in our professional lives as well. We've got all our acronyms and our little words that we use that send a signal - I'm one of the club."

Mike Clarke from Bideford in Devon contacted the BBC News website to show his support for Ms Thompson's stance.

He said: "I entirely agree with her comments - I have been a solicitor for over 25 years and have to communicate and engage with people with widely differing verbal ability and understanding. I despise both extremes - dumbing down language, just as much as 'poshing' it up.

"Both are endemic today and both demonstrate the very worst kind of patronising arrogance.

"They stem from a desire to set one's self apart from the other party - it's cultural snobbishness and ironic that it should often emanate from those who would consider themselves to be at opposing ends of the social spectrum."

Ms Thompson, who has written a new version of the musical My Fair Lady, also told the magazine that she was not interested in having plastic surgery.

"It really does seem to me to be quite psychologically dysfunctional and part of this ridiculous culture of perfection."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NEWS; Why Are 6 Of Top 7 Fattest Countries English Speaking Ones?

Originally posted 24 September 2010 @ Medical News Today


The countries in the world with the highest obesity rates are (in order) USA, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. With the exception of Mexico, all the fattest countries have one thing in common - they are English-speaking nations. In fact, the latest OECD report on obesity rates of 33 countries includes 6 English-speaking ones in the top 7, and none in the rest of the list.

Among the ten slimmest countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development) are countries such as Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Austria - a good spread of northern and southern European lifestyles as well as two Asian nations.

Several people, including nutritionists, health care professionals and economists are beginning to wonder what it is that bunches all the Anglo-Saxon nations up at the top of the obesity/overweight league.

One theory is that they are all driven by an American lifestyle. Being countries that speak the same language, they are more likely to absorb and embrace features of a major nation more readily and rapidly. So, why Mexico? Historically, Mexico was never an overweight country until recently. However, during the 1990s Mexico joined NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and acquired US business practices, and perhaps also other behaviors, such as driving everywhere, living on TV dinners, and embracing fast food outlets. Osmosis is probably a likely factor too; Mexico is next door to the USA.

The United Kingdom is the fattest country in Europe, and obesity/overweight rates are growing apace. While the UK has had the fastest growing rates in Europe over the last ten years, Australia's obesity/overweight rate has been growing faster than any other OECD country's over the past 20 years. The OECD believes that over the next ten years obesity rates in Australia will grow another 15%.

In the USA, UK and Australia the difference in average bodyweight among men is fairly similar across all socioeconomic and academic groups. An American woman with poor education is 1.3 times more likely to be overweight than an educated woman, in the UK and Australia the difference is 1.4 times. The three countries have three similarities among male and female adult bodyweight variations.

In England, almost 1 in 3 children is overweight - in Scotland it is more than 1 in 3. Recently there have been signs of stabilization in childhood obesity rates in England. 40% of American children are overweight, but as in England, there are signs that rates are leveling out. If you look at rates and recent trends among people in English-speaking nations and compare them to other countries', you sometimes get the impression that Anglo-Saxon countries experience the same good and bad things almost in unison.

Historically, England (the main source of recent Anglo-Saxon culture) has had a diet based on butter for cooking, versus the Mediterranean countries which predominantly have used olive oil. But this behavior goes back a long time, while the obesity epidemic is comparatively much more recent.

Only 1 person in every 10 is obese in Sweden, but more than half of adult men and 33% of adult women are overweight. There are larger social disparities regarding bodyweight in Sweden, compared to English-speaking countries. A woman in Sweden with poor education is more than twice as likely to be overweight, compared to more educated women. Although the gap in men is less, it is much greater than in the majority of OECD countries.

Although obesity rates in South Korea are the second lowest in the OECD, after Japan, they have been increasing. Approximately 4% (1 in every 25) of South Korean adults are obese, and about 30% are overweight (including obese). The OECD estimates that overweight rates will go up by 5% during the next ten years. Adult females are five times more likely than more educated women to be overweight, while differences among males hardly vary across socioeconomic or academic groups. Korean researchers found that if at least one parent is obese, boys are about 3 times more likely and girls almost 6 times more likely to be obese too, compared to children with no obese parents in the household.

Although obesity rates in Canada are high when compared to the OECD average, they have not changed much over the last 15 years. 2 in every 3 adult males are overweight, while 1 in every 4 people (both sexes) is obese. Obesity/overweight rates are expected to rise by no more than 5% during the next decade.

Although obesity rates are lower in France than the OECD average, they have been going up steadily. Approximately 1 in every 10 French people is obese, and nearly 40% are overweight. Obesity/overweight rates are expected to go up by another 10% during the next decade.

Compared to other OECD countries, adult obesity rates are slightly higher in Spain than the OECD average, but childhood rates are among the highest. 1 in every 6 people in Spain is obese, and 2 out of every 3 men are overweight. 1 in 3 children aged 13-14 years is overweight in Spain. The adult overweight/obesity rate is expected to grow by about 10% during the next decade.

As is the case in Spain, obesity/overweight rates in Italian children is very high compared to the OECD average - at 1 in 3 children being overweight, it has one of the highest rates in the OECD. Adult rates are low. Approximately 1 in 10 Italians is obese, over 50% of adult males and 1 in 3 adult females are overweight. Over the next decade rates are expected to rise by about 5%.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NEWS: Commonwealth Games chief rushing to New Delhi

By RAVI NESSMAN, originally posted Sep 22 @ Yahoo News


 A crane lifts debris from a pedestrian
bridge that collapsed Tuesday outside
the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
NEW DELHI – The Commonwealth Games chief rushed to New Delhi seeking emergency talks with the prime minister over India's chaotic preparations, as two world champion competitors withdrew and England warned that problems with the athletes' village have left the sporting event on a "knife-edge."

No national teams have yet pulled out, but Scotland announced Wednesday it would delay its travel to the Indian capital, where the athletes' village — said to be incomplete and soiled with human excrement — was supposed to open Thursday.

Indian officials insisted that facilities would be ready and immaculate for the Oct. 3 games opening despite wide-ranging concerns about unfinished buildings construction collapses and an outbreak of dengue fever.

The Games, which bring together more than 7,000 athletes from the 71 countries and territories from the former British empire every four years, was supposed to showcase India as an emerging power in the international community. Instead, it has become a major embarrassment.

The city has had seven years to prepare, though very little work was done until 2008. New Delhi has been a frenzy of activity in recent weeks, as it struggles to meet the deadline — only adding to concern that haste could lead to shortcuts in construction of key facilities.

On Tuesday, a 90-meter (yard) pedestrian bridge collapsed at the main stadium, injuring 27 construction workers, five critically. On Wednesday, part of a drop ceiling at the weightlifting venue collapsed, officials said.

Compounding concerns over the readiness of the games facilities are security fears after the Sunday shooting of two tourists outside one of the city's top attractions. An Islamic militant group took responsibility for the shooting.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell is due to arrive in New Delhi on Thursday, and has requested a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, federation chief executive Mike Hooper told The Associated Press.

Hooper said the problems with the games preparations had prompted Fennell to rush to New Delhi far earlier than planned. His emergency trip "emphasizes that this is an important issue and we obviously need to engage at the highest level to get it fixed," Hooper said.

International sports officials have called the games village unfinished, dirty, hobbled by numerous infrastructure problems and even "unsafe and unfit for human habitation."

"It's just filthy. ... It hasn't been cleaned," said Hooper.

In addition to shoddy conditions inside and outside the buildings, there also are problems with plumbing, wiring, furnishings, Internet access and cell phone coverage. Hooper also confirmed reports of excrement found in the village.

"I've never come across this before," Hooper said of the last-minute preparations. "It's very frustrating to see the delays and the fact that we've had to come right down to the wire."

"We've been complaining about the delivery of the venues for nearly two years, and the constant delays," he said.

Andrew Foster, the chairman of Commonwealth Games England, said Wednesday "the next 24 to 48 hours is the critical time" to determine whether the standards of the athletes' village can be raised.

Foster told the BBC that "the safety of the athletes has to be our primary concern, but equally, we cannot just respond to that alone, we have to evaluate the whole thing together and that is what we are doing."

He said "it's a situation that hangs on a knife-edge."

The Indian media blasted its officials for the turmoil — "C'wealth Games India's Shame," The Times of India newspaper said Tuesday in a page-one headline.

But officials continued to downplay the problems, a position that international sports officials say defies reality.

"We are absolutely prepared," Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar, told CNN-IBN television Wednesday.

Speaking of the state of the athletes' village, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy told CNN-IBN: "Athletes and guests should not bother about such small matters," and insisted it would be immaculate when the events begin.

Referring to the collapsed pedestrian bridge, New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters: "The accident is not as big as being made out to be." Dikshit is the equivalent of the city's mayor.

The cost of hosting the games — which the government initially pegged at less than $100 million in 2003 — has skyrocketed, with estimates ranging from $3 billion to more than $10 billion.

Scotland's team, the first batch of which was set to leave Thursday, delayed its departure for the games, saying it wants to give organizers time to prepare accommodation and solve the growing number of problems. Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh said that would be put off for "a few days."

Australian discus world champion Dani Samuels and England's world champion triple jumper Phillips Idowu both withdrew from the games Tuesday.

Idowu said in a Twitter message that: "I can't afford to risk my safety in the slightest. Sorry people, but I have children to think about. My safety is more important to them than a medal."

Australia's 1990 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Jane Flemming, said Samuels' withdrawal could spark a flood of other athletes to make the same choice.

"It would not surprise me if we now see a whole flux of withdrawals," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nike: Too Heavy To Be a Runner?

originally posted January 08, 2010 by Coach Jay


Coach Jay, For the first time in my life I am really enjoying running, but am unsure if I am too big to continue. I decided to try jogging as part of my weight loss regimen in addition to weight training and other cardio.

As of this month I have achieved 30lbs of weight loss and ran 2 continuous miles for the first time in almost 10 years. Once I started running 2 miles a day several times a week, I realized how much I now enjoy running. Unfortunately, I am getting soreness in my shins. I still weigh about 255lbs and other runners at my fitness center have commented that I just don't have a runner's body and probably should not run endurance because of the heavier impact. Four years ago I was pretty lean at 230lbs, so I will be a big guy even when I'm done losing the weight.

I set a personal goal to run a 5k and possibly a 10k this next summer or fall and it has been a tremendous motivational tool for me. I know I could run much longer distances than 2 miles already if only my legs could hold up. For now I have switched to stationary bike as a non-weight bearing cardio source while my legs recover. Also, I'm certain I can't get lighter than 220 without muscle loss.

Am I really too heavy to be a runner now or even when I achieve my weight goal? Are there ways to strengthen my lower legs to prevent soreness and injury? - - -Matt

Matt, First, thanks so much for the candid and detailed email, and I hope my response is useful.

Your first sentence is the key in my mind: for the first time in your life you enjoy running. Not only is that awesome, but it's also the key reason why you need to ignore the other runners at your fitness center. You want to run and you're enjoying it so the question is NOT can you or should you, but how will you.

So how will you? By making your running days your favorite workout days and using other aerobic activities to lose weight. And if you're really motivated, you're a prime candidate to religiously implement the general strength exercises in our video series.

Your first goal is to run more than two miles on your runs, and the way you'll do it is by run-walking; run your NORMAL pace—don't run faster than what you've been running—for 2 minutes and then walk briskly for 2-3 minutes. I don't want you spending any more time running, yet the total workout will be longer. If your normal two mile run is taking you 20 minutes then you get to do 10 sets of that, which will be a 40 minute workout. You should do the Myrtl routine before that run and the Pedestal routine and Back routine after the run.

Now, if you do that 2-3 times a week then you can choose your other activities, although I would argue that swimming should be at the top of the list. You can either swim laps or aqua jog and then after that workout you can do a weight workout per the instructions of a trainer at your fitness center.

The bottom line is a 5k and then a 10k race are totally realistic in 2010, but it's baby steps to get there. Please write back in 2-3 months and I can help you take the "next logical step" in your training at that time. Thanks for the question Matt.

Coach Jay coaches athletes at RunnersCoach.com and blogs at CoachJayJohnson.com. And don't forget, if you have training question for Coach Jay, email him here: coachjay@nike.com.

Interested in Coach Jay's General Strength videos? Click here to check them out.

Always be in-the-know. Follow Nike Running on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NEWS: UK children's pocket money falls to 7-year low

originally posted Mon Sep 20, 2010 @ Reuters


(Reuters) - British children's weekly pocket money has fallen to a seven-year low, in a sign parents are still cutting back on non-essential spending even as the country emerges from recession, a survey showed on Monday.

Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said average pocket money fell to 5.89 pounds ($9.23) a week in 2010 from 6.24 pounds in 2009. The new figure is the lowest weekly sum since 2003 when parents paid an average of 5.79 pounds.

Children's pocket money has fallen despite a small rise in their parents' wages over the past year. Average weekly pay in Britain in the three months to July was 431 pounds excluding bonuses, 1.8 percent more than a year earlier.

Parents paid daughters less pocket money than sons, in a parallel to the gender gap in the earnings of grownups.

Girls received an average 5.70 pounds a month, compared to 6.08 pounds a month for boys, a difference of around 6 percent compared to 12 percent between men and women in full-time work.

Halifax based its data on a survey of 1,204 children aged between 8 and 15 conducted from Aug. 26 to Sept. 2.

Monday, September 20, 2010

MV: Remember Me

2010 - Remember Me

A romantic drama set in New York City during the summer of 2001, where Tyler, a rebellious young man, meets Ally through a twist of fate. Her spirit helps him heal after a family tragedy, though soon the circumstances that brought them together threaten to tear them apart.


You smell like Listerine and beer.
  • Listerene = brand of a mouth wash to freshen breath
-and that's hugely prestigious.
  • prestigious = admired and respected by people
Caroline's perfectly capable of speaking up if she's feeling slighted in any way.
  • slighted = to be rude to someone by ignoring them, not showing them respect
That voluptuous, delightfully oblivious little blonde
  • voluptuous = a voluptuous woman has a large curved body & sexually attractive
  • oblivious = not noticing something, or not knowing about it
Maybe we'd do an infomercial.
  • infomercial = a long advertisement on television that is made like a program
'cause she said that there'd be a "Yuletide homicide."
  • Yuletide = an old word meaning the period of time around Christmas
  • homicide = the crime of killing someone
I think I'd rather be sodomized with a toothbrush than that.
  • sodomized = a sexual act in which a man puts his penis into another person’s anus
The schematic for these particular shelves
  • schematic = showing the basic details of something on paper, like a technical drawing
See, that's why chicks dig you, man.
  • chicks = {old slang} pretty girl/woman
  • dig = {old slang} to like/love
I've had enough of this brooding introvert shit, okay?
  • brooding = looking as if you are thinking and worrying about something
  • introvert = someone who tends to concentrate on their own thoughts instead of communicating with other people
I'm ready to set up an intervention here.
  • intervention = attempt by one, or often many, people (usually family and friends) to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some kind of traumatic event or crisis, or other serious problem. ...
You do realize that interventions typically don't involve binge drinking.
  • binge drinking = drinking of large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time to get drunk
Communion.
  • communion = Christian ceremony that usually takes place when very young, about 12.
She's not mad. That's how people act when they're really into you.
  • into you = {slang} someone is interested in someone
-Mojitos!
  • mojito = an alcoholic drink made from rum or vodka and lime juice.
That was great. You did it in unison.
  • unison = together, or at the same time
-Anything in here gonna stab me?
  • stab = to push a sharp object quickly into something
-That scumbag kicked my car!
  • scumbag = {slang} an insulting word for someone who you think is very unpleasant
not matriculating in school.
  • matriculating = to officially become a student at a university
...to keep your complexes and your nihilistic bullshit to yourself!
  • nihilistic = the belief that nothing in life has any importance or value
about the god who banished all his children to the underworld,
  • banished = to make someone go somewhere else and never to return
and how his youngest son, to get even, castrated him with a sickle?
  • castrated = to remove the testicles (=the pair of male sexual organs) of a man or animal
  • sickle = a long curved blade and a handle
I had a horrible threshing accident.
  • threshing = machine that separates the grain from the rest of a crop such as wheat
Ma petite soeurette, une freak of nature.
  • [French] My little sister, a freak (not normal) of nature
Yeah, you should be incarcerated just on general principle.
  • incarcerated = someone in prison
"Hey, doll face, your dad trampled all over my civil liberties.
  • trampled = to put your feet down on someone in a heavy way that causes injury or damage
But I'm convinced that he has an aura that you can actually perceive.
  • perceive = to notice or realize somethin
I don't know. I don't think anybody else here fits the criteria.
  • criteria = characteristics used for judging something or for making a decision
I can feeI it in my bones. I'm gonna be devastated.
  • devastated = feeling very shocked and upset
You want cab fare?
  • cab fare = cost to use a taxi
Embolism bursts, asteroid hits the restaurant.
  • embolism = something (blood clot) that blocks a blood vessel in your body
  • asteroid = a mass of rock that moves around in space such as a meteor.
swear to me on your eternal soul that I make it through my entree,
  • entree = the main part of a meal, especially at a restaurant
I used to do a bit of falconry when I was a kid.
  • falconry = the activity or skill of training falcons to hunt
God, your parents are pretentious as hell.
  • pretentious = behaving to impress other people but seems false or too deliberate
You're relentless.
  • relentless = determined, and never stopping your attempts to achieve something
Now I'm pissed.
  • pissed = {slang} mad, angry
Hey, there are sins of omission and sins of commission.
  • omission = the fact of not including someone or something
I was hoping for some reassurance.
  • reassurance = an explanation or piece of advice that helps someone to feel less worried
-She's gonna be heartbroken.
  • heartbroken = extremely sad and upset
Get your filthy hands off my sister.
  • filthy = very dirty
-Don't worry, I'm not that impressionable.
  • impressionable = easily impressed and influenced by other people, usually young
I mean, I understand if you don't want some random girl there.
  • random = chosen or happening without any particular method, pattern, or purpose
And while we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease,
  • devote = to spend a lot of time or effort doing something
  • enormous = very large in size or quantity
  • conquering = to defeat
It's a metaphor.
  • metaphor = phrase that means one thing & is used for referring to another thing to emphasize their similar qualities
I mean, why aren't you riveted?
  • riveted = to interest someone so much that they pay complete attention
Good God, you toss that word around, but you have no idea what it means!
  • toss = to throw something somewhere in a slightly careless way
That doesn't mean you can just shatter it whenever you feel,
  • shatter = to destroy or seriously damage something
Yeah. She's pretty traumatized.
  • traumatized = very upset, afraid, or shocked because of a bad experience
I have unleashed a raging shit storm of epic proportions
  • unleashed = to allow someone be free when they were previously strictly controlled
  • raging = very serious, painful, or strong
  • epic = an event or activity that lasts a long time and is sometimes difficult or complicated
  • proportions = the relationship between two or more quantities or parts of a whole
that will not abate until those girls seek enrollment elsewhere.
  • abate = to gradually become less serious or extreme
  • seek = to look for
Try not to vandalize any more schools in the meantime.
  • vandalize = to deliberately damage or destroy things, especially public property
Hey, using your little sister is dirty pool.
  • dirty pool = {slang} not playing fair, by the rules
Are you running late, or are you canceling altogether?
  • running = doing things or arriving in places later than planned
Settle down.
  • settle down = to become calm after being upset, nervous, or excited


2010 - Remember Me - PDF download

Past Movie wordlists:

2005 - Imagine Me and You
2005 - Mr and Mrs Smith
2008 - Yes Man
1943 - Casablanca
1998 - Shakespeare in Love
2002 - Ice Age
2009 - 17 Again
2009 - Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
2009 - The Proposal
2009 - Up

Saturday, September 18, 2010

NEWS: Lennon's killer considered other noted targets

Originally posted September 16, 2010 @ CBC News


Mark David Chapman says he considered killing either Johnny Carson or Elizabeth Taylor, but John Lennon was "top of the list" the day in 1980 he gunned down the former Beatle.

Chapman told his New York parole board earlier this month that he chose those people because they were famous. A transcript of his hearing was released on Thursday after the board turned down his request for release.

Lennon's killer agreed with a parole board member that he did the killing for "instant notoriety."

"I felt that by killing John Lennon, I would become somebody, and instead of that I became a murderer, and murderers are not somebodies," he said.

Lennon was 40 when he was shot several times on Dec. 8, 1980, outside his luxury apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side, opposite Central Park.

Chapman said Lennon seemed to be more "accessible" than other celebrity targets, and called the killing "an act of utter selfishness. I thought about me and what I would become."

He called it "a horrible decision."

Chapman told the parole board how he bought a gun from a shop near his home in Honolulu by lying about his past history of mental illness. He flew to New York with $5,000 US borrowed from his wife's family, carrying the gun unloaded in his baggage.

When he got there, he discovered he couldn't buy ammunition under New York law. He had to make a side trip to Atlanta to get bullets.

Chapman said he had flown to New York two months earlier with the intention of killing a famous person, but backed out at that time.

He told the board that prison had changed him and when he got out of prison, he intended to get a job.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

NEWS: Firm handshake link to long life

originally posted 10 September 2010 @ BBC News Health


The strength of your handshake could be a clue to how long you'll live, say scientists from University College London.

They matched older people's balance, grip strength and ability to get up from a chair with their risk of an earlier death.

Those who did best were likely to live longer, the British Medical Journal reported.

It is hoped such simple tests might help doctors spot "at-risk" patients.

The study, carried out at the Medical Research Council-funded Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, combined the results of more than 30 earlier research projects, involving tens of thousands of people which looked at "physical capability" and mortality.

The people involved were mostly over the age of 60, but living in the community rather than hospitals or care homes.

The researchers found that death rates over the period of the studies were 67% higher in people with the weakest grip strength compared with the strongest.

A similar pattern was found in the other measures, with the slowest walkers almost three times more likely to die compared with the fastest.

Those slowest to rise from a chair had double the mortality rate compared with those quickest to their feet.

Even being able to balance on one leg appeared to be linked with a reduced risk of death.

Identification

Although the frailty which comes with disease and overall declining health could explain much of the difference, in the case of hand grip strength the difference in death rates was noticeable even in some people under the age of 60 who outwardly showed few or no sign of poor health.

Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, a geriatrician and co-author on the study based at Southampton University, said that she was now pushing for wider use of measures such as grip strength in hospitals as a way of spotting patients with greater problems.

She said: "One recent piece of research carried out in a hospital setting found that differences in grip strength were even linked to the length of hospital stay, which is quite an important finding.

"At the moment we're talking mainly about the frail elderly, but with time this could be relevant to younger people in terms of preventative medicine."

She said that some studies suggested it may be possible to identify significant differences in grip strength even in much younger people, pointing to future health problems.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

NEWS: French unions launch strike over plans to raise retirement age

by Jean-Marie Godard, originally posted September 6, 2010 @ ChicagoTribune.com


PARIS (AP) — French train traffic began tapering off Monday at the start of what promises to be a major strike over unpopular conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

The strike took effect gradually on the state-run train network starting at 8 p.m. (1800 local time). But the big disruptions were expected Tuesday, with protesters taking to the streets and the work stoppage spreading to airports and public transport.

Civil aviation authorities asked airlines to cut a quarter of their flights at Paris' airports Tuesday. Only two out of five fast trains are to run, and traffic will be slowed on Paris' subway and suburban transport lines.

The strike coincides with the start of debate in parliament over a plan to overhaul the money-losing pension system so it will break even in 2018. The government insists the reform is essential as people live longer, and it has urged people to show "courage" as it tries to chip away at the huge national debt.

Unions say the government is attacking one of France's most cherished social protections — though a retirement age of 62 would still be among the lowest in Europe. Neighboring Germany, for example, has decided to bump up the retirement age from 65 to 67.

About 200 street demonstrations are planned Tuesday throughout France, including in Paris. Unions hope to mobilize 2 million people at a time when Sarkozy's approval ratings hover in the mid-30 percent range. A similar effort June 24 drew nearly 800,000.

Labor Minister Eric Woerth has said the government will press ahead with the reform no matter how strong the protest turnout is. Leftist political parties, as well as students associations, have urged members to join in.

The SNCF rail network says travelers can expect 40 percent of TGV fast trains to run, and 80 percent of Thalys trains to Belgium and the Netherlands will not be affected. Eurostar trains to Britain are expected to run normally.

Traffic will vary on the Paris subway, with only one out of two or one out of three trains operating on many lines, the RATP transport authority said. Three buses out of four are expected to circulate. Some RER suburban trains will be hard-hit: There will be almost no traffic on the RER B line that air travelers take to and from the city, for example.

Some teachers were also joining in to protest the government's education policies, getting a head start Monday. The Education Ministry said more than 5 percent of junior high and high school teachers stayed off the job, while the SNES union put the figure at 30 percent.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

UB Post News 2010.09.08

Links to articles in the UB Post, Ulaanbaatar's English-language newspaper
Website: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/



HOME NEWS

FRESH SHOOTOUT AT GOLD MINE IN TUNKHEL
VILLAGE 07.09.2010
Gunshots were heard at a local gold mining company located in Selenge province’s Tunkhel village. Shootout took place on September 2 after a clash between environmental activists and security guards. Unlike armed robbery as the local police described, armed men shot mining machineries and damaged vehicles. No one was injured.…

MINING and MINERALS

PETRO MATAD SPUDS DT2 EXPLORATION WELL
03.09.2010
Petro Matad told investors that it has ‘spudded’ its second exploration well on Block XX in Eastern Mongolia. The well will follow-up the Davsan Tolgoi-1 (DT1) oil discovery.

POLITICS

G.ZANDANSHATAR MEETS INDIAN DELEGATION OF SECURITY COUNCIL
07.09.2010
Mongolia and India agrees to expand the cooperation in security and foreign policy, as the result of a visit by Indian intelligence delegation to Ulaanbaatar.

CULTURE & ARTS

ART EXHIBITION KICKS-OFF IN ZANABAZAR MUSEUM
07.09.2010
At the Fine Arts Zanabazar Museum, an exposition called “Khoyor setgel” was opened on September 3. Artists A.Olziijavkhlan and T.Olziijargal displayed about 30 works of art in the exhibition. They graduated from “Od” Institute in 2004.

ENTERTAINMENT

RUSSIAN AND JAPANESE CIRCUS ARTISTS TO PERFORM IN UB
07.09.2010
Interview with D.Zorigt, who is director of the “New Circus Center”

OPINION

BURYATS AND MONGOLIAN BURYATS
07.09.2010
Buryats are the largest Mongolian ethnic group in Siberia. There used to be three administrative units there. The Northern one is Usti Orda Buryat Okrug, which merged with Irkutsk oblast on January 1, 2008. Next is the Republic of Buryatia, which surrounds Lake Baikal. In the Chita region, there was Agiin Buryat Autonomous Okrug, which was merged on March 1, 2008 with Chita oblast, and it became Zabaykalskii Krai.

ECONOMIC
Germany Adds More Euro3 Million
Germany has increased the amount of its official assistance to Mongolia from Euro24.1 million to Euro 27.1 million, announced the visiting German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel when he met with Prime Minister Batbold in Ulaanbaatar.

BUSINESS
ADB Supports Microinsurance for Mongolia
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a two-year US$750,000 grant from the ADB-administered Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund to examine market supply and demand for microinsurance in People’s Republic of China and Mongolia. The grant will address policy, regulatory and institutional barriers in the region’s Microinsurance sector.

SPORTS
Mongolian Judo Team Leaves for Japan
Mongolian national judo team has left for Tokyo, Japan to compete in World Judo Championship 2010 on September 4, 2010. The championship will be held at Yoyogi National Gymnasium from September 9 to 13, 2010.

TRAVEL

RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Nike: Returning to Running

originally posted May 01, 2009 by Coach Jay


Hi Jay, First of all, thanks for taking time to answer my question. I haven’t run in about 20 years and would like to start. I weight train 4 or 5 days a week and do about 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym. I’m in pretty good shape, but I can seem to get going, running-wise. I used to run 5k’s about 25 years ago and really enjoyed the races. How can I get started and how long should I wait to run a race? Thanks again. - - Rodney

Rodney - I'm going to use an example that may seem cliché, yet as the father of a 7 month old I see it every day; "Crawl before your walk; walk before you run." Basically, that's it; don't be afraid to walk as part of your running training, primarily because of your age and the fact that as a coach and a competitive person you're apt to do too much, too soon.

You can start with a three day cycle:

Day 1: Run easy for 15 minutes, then 15 minutes of brisk walking followed immediately by 15 minutes of general strength work.

Day 2: 30 minutes of running (a cycle of 2 minutes of running, followed by 1 minute of brisk walking), then 15 minutes of general strength.

Day 3: 30 minutes of brisk walking followed by 10 minutes of easy/light general strength.

You can do this cycle twice in the first week, taking the seventh day off. The key is to keep this type of training as your running training until it feels ridiculously easy. Why? Because you ran in the past, then your heart and lungs will likely adapt before your bones, tendons and ligaments adapt, or, as my good friend and mentor Mike Smith likes to say, "Metabolic changes occur quicker than structural changes." After 8-10 weeks, you can likely move to 4-5 days a week of running, with one long walk per week.

I hope this helps Rodney and when in doubt, walk!

*Coach Jay’s advice is provided as general training information. Use at your own risk. Always consult with your own heath care provider for questions relating to your specific training and nutrition.

Coach Jay coaches athletes at RunnersCoach.com and blogs at CoachJayJohnson.com. And don't forget, if you have training question for Coach Jay, email him here: coachjay@nike.com.

Monday, September 6, 2010

NEWS: UN calls special meeting to address food shortages amid predictions of riots

Poor harvests and demand from developing countries
could push cost of weekly shop up by 10%
by Julia Kollewe, originally posted 5 September 2010 @ The Observer


Global wheat harvest this year has been hit by droughts and floods

Two years after the last food crisis, when prices surged by nearly 15% in the UK, food inflation is back. Soaring global food prices have prompted City and food industry experts to warn that the cost of the weekly shop is set to rise by up to 10% in the coming months.

As in 2008, rocketing prices are the result of rising demand and supply shortages caused by freak weather and poor harvests. Moreover, these conditions are exacerbated by speculation on commodity markets and changing diets in fast-growing Asian countries.

Last week, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) called an emergency meeting for 24 September to discuss the food crisis. In Mozambique, riots broke out following the government's decision to raise bread prices by 30%, leaving seven people dead and hundreds injured. At the same time the Russian government extended its export ban on wheat by another 12 months as it battles drought, shortages and inflation at home, which threatens to push up prices further. European wheat prices hit more than €231 (£192) a tonne last week, just below last month's two-year high of €236 but still 60% higher than a year ago in sterling terms. Corn prices are at their highest level since June 2009 while sugar has been on a rollercoaster ride after hitting a 29-year peak in February.

FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian raises the prospect of further civil unrest in less developed countries if the price of basic food continues to rise: "Russia's move is another unfortunate development that will prolong upward pressure on grain prices and contribute to higher price instability in world markets. Rioting may reappear in poor districts around the world if prices of basic foodstuff commodities continue to rise further. "

Surging wheat prices, along with higher sugar and oil-seed costs, drove the FAO's international food price index up 5% last month, the biggest rise since last November. The organisation estimates this year's wheat crop at 646m tonnes – down 5% from last year – while world barley production, also hit by bad weather in the former Soviet Union and the EU, is forecast to drop by 22% to a 30-year low of 129m tonnes. Last month global meat prices hit a 20-year high.

In the UK, Premier Foods, owner of the Hovis brand, has warned the global shortage of wheat could push up the cost of bread by at least 5p a loaf, while other food brands such as McDougalls flour and Mr Kipling cakes will also cost more.

A leading UK supplier of flour, Rank Hovis, is to increase its prices from 6 September. Soaring barley prices mean that the pub price of a pint of beer could top £4 this time next year.

Experts fear that UK food price inflation, which was running at an annual rate of 3.4% in July, could now rise to 10% – depending on whether costs continue to climb and to what extent food manufacturers absorb the increases.

The Grocer's food and drink editor Alex Beckett reckons that if prices for commodities such as wheat, sugar, cocoa and palm oil remain at current levels, by January the weekly shop could cost 10% more than 12 months previously.

Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, said: "If the current rise in prices is sustained, food price inflation might climb to 7-8% by mid-2011." And Philip Rush, at Nomura, sees food prices going higher over the next year, tipping back up to above 5% year-on-year growth.

Meat

Global meat prices have risen sharply as a drop in production from exporters such as Argentina and the US has coincided with rising demand from China, where consumers are eating more meat than they used to. The FAO's index of meat prices in August climbed to its highest level since it started compiling the index in 1990, up 16% over the past year. Lamb prices are at a 37-year high, beef prices are at their highest level in two years and pork and poultry have also become dearer.

Mark Topliff at Eblex, which represents the English beef and sheep industry, explains that in recent years, falling cattle prices have led to fewer farmers keeping cows in major exporting nations like Argentina, Brazil and the US, the world's biggest beef producer. The removal of EU subsidies under the common agricultural policy for British and European sheep farmers has also led to a decline in sheep numbers.

Wheat

The European flour milling association has highlighted the role of speculators in driving up wheat prices, although the global shortage appears to be the main factor. The main culprit is the weather – wheat prices have been going up since the summer when crops were hit by a drought and wildfires in Russia and dry weather in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, compounded by unusually wet weather in Canada and the floods in Pakistan.

Russia, the world's fourth-biggest wheat producer, has imposed an export ban on grain amid its worst drought in at least 50 years, and prime minister Vladimir Putin warned last Thursday that the ban could stay in place until after the 2011 harvest, forcing importers in the Middle East and North Africa to turn to Europe and the US for supplies.

"This has completely changed the complexion of the market," said Sudakshina Unnikrishnan, a commodities analyst at Barclays Capital. "We see further upside for corn and wheat prices. Consuming countries are scrambling to gain access to supplies," she warns.

Britain's wheat crop is expected to be close to average this year, but Germany, which had more rain in August, could become reliant on wheat imports for the first time in 10 years. The winter wheat harvest will be 9% lower this year than last, according to the German farmers' association, forcing Germany to import grain from France and the US.Bad weather has also affected the quality of the wheat, which suffers when it stands too long in the rain. Lower-quality wheat is used as animal feed.

The premium for high-quality milling wheat used in bread, cereals and biscuits, which now costs about £195 a tonne, has climbed to £30-£40 from the typical £10-£15.

"If we don't get a bumper harvest from the southern hemisphere, namely Argentina and Australia [due at Christmas], the wheat price could continue to stay where it is," said Guy Gagen, chief arable adviser at the National Farmers' Union. The Northern hemisphere – the US, Canada, Russia and northern Europe – produces 80% of the world's wheat supply.

Experts note, however, that the market is not in the same position as it was in 2007/08, when global wheat stocks were very low, as there have been two seasons of replenishment. The problem is that many countries will not release their surplus stocks to the market but are hoarding them, says Alexander Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers.

On a brighter note, he adds: "High prices tend to encourage farmers to plant more crops. The situation may be uncomfortable but it's not out of control or unmanageable."

Cocoa

In mid-July, a US commodities trading company, Armajaro, attempted to corner the market in cocoa by taking delivery of 7% of the world's supply at a time when prices were at a 32-year high of $3,200 per tonne (£2,077) – a $1bn bet. The fear was Armajaro would squeeze the market, forcing prices even higher. In the event prices have gone into reverse, falling by more than 25% as fears have receded that supplies from Ivory Coast, which produces 40% of the world's cocoa, would be hit by bad weather.

However, last week Barry Callebaut – the world's biggest chocolate company, which supplies confectioners such as NestlĂ© – said prices would stay high.

"Retailers do not want to accept higher prices at the moment in spite of higher raw material costs," said the company's chief executive. "But pressures will rise, prices will just have to increase."

Sugar

Sugar prices hit a 29-year high in February, but then fell back sharply. However, last week Brazil – the world's biggest sugar producer – warned crops may be lower than expected as a result of dry weather and the price climbed back to its highest level since March.

Coffee

Coffee prices are at a 12-year high and global stocks at their lowest level for a decade. Several coffee bars have started to push through price rises, although Starbucks said last week that it would not raise prices.

Friday, September 3, 2010

NEWS: New 3D pictures of Titanic

By Kerry Sanders, NBC News, originally posted August 28, 2010




An expedition to the site where the Titanic came to rest in 1912 has captured some amazing 3D, HD footage of the wreckage.

On an evening shrouded in fog, much the way it was almost 100 years ago when the titanic hit an iceberg here.

The ROV...camera's fixed to the front, launched into the deep.

The trip down two miles to the wreck site takes more than two hours.

But with adjustments that can only be made by hand back on deck, the ROV had to surface twice before finally reaching the wreckage of the Titanic.

At 5:26 Saturday morning, the first 3-D pictures ever of the Titanic.

The expedition members, fitted with 3-D glasses, sat transfixed.

As the ROV moved along the starboard side, first---a view of the portholes....deck C...

Then as the camera climbed up the side, it revealed windows on the promenade.

And that thing sticking up on the top deck, historian Parks Stephenson says it's a lifeboat davit.

In his view, it's position suggests First Officer William Murdoch, who was at the helm when the Titanic struck the iceberg did not commit suicide as has long been theorized.

Rather Parks says it suggests Murdoch washed overboard as he tried to launch a lifeboat.

"Some speculate that he shot himself," Stevens said. "This davit here in the retracted position suggests to me that Murdoch was trying to launch that last life boat when the water overtook him."

In the past 24 hours, the teams have created the most detailed map ever of the Titanic wreck site.

These torpedo looking vehicles launched on pre-programmed routes criss crossed 15 miles of the ocean floor.

Sonar readings now detail the very large..and the tiny pieces of the Titanic.

"It's like having for the first time the map of a major city like Manhattan or Los Angeles," said David Gallo, Titanic Expedition Leader. "You know, for the first time we have a map."

Right now, they are working against the clock, of course Hurricane Danielle will threaten the work that's being done here, but it will only temporarily slow them down.

They have 3-D glasses to view the wreckage because it is being filmed in 3-D and then they have three different cameras.

This Titanic expedition is attempting to map upward of 40 percent of the debris field that has never been mapped before.

Saturday's weather was relatively calm, the boat is rocking a little bit, but by and large things are good as the RMS Titanic continues a first of its type, 3-D, H-D down below.