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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Breathtaking Viewing Platforms around the World

These are indeed the most 'Breathtaking Viewing Platforms' around the World. For those like me, who has a tremendous phobia of height, there is no way I would ever set foot, on any of them. Definitely, not for the light-hearted.

Dachstein Sky Walk (Austria)

Nicknamed the "balcony of the alps," the Dachstein Sky Walk is formally enthroned at 2700m above sea-level, high up on the 250m vertical rock face of the Hunerkogel. A 360o panorama allows the visitor a view of Slovenia in the south to the Czech Republic in the north. The Sky Walk is distinctly higher than the platforms of the Niagara Falls or even the one at the Iguazu waterfalls in Brazil .



Aurland Lookout (Norway)

Architects Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen were commissioned to design a scenic rest-stop 2000ft above Aurland fjord in Norway and came up with this beauty wining the first prize in Norwegian tourist routes competition. The outermost end of the horizontal platform - which curves to form the structure's support - is closed off by a sheet of glass, offering an incredible view towards the ground for all those with the guts to make the trip to the end.



Grand Canyon Skywalk (Arizona - USA)

This horseshoe-shaped pant-filler hangs approximately 4000ft above the floor and extends 65ft beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon .

The Horseshoe shaped skywalk is constructed of glass walls 4" thick and visitors just don special scratch-proof socks as they partake in the view. The work is a true engineering feat that can hold up to 70 tons (roughly 14 African Elephants) and withstands winds of 100mph.



Suspended platform at Iguazu Falls (Brazil and Argentina)

While the falls themselves are magnificent, their setting in a huge subtropical nature reserve makes visiting even more enjoyable. To fully appreciate their size and splendor it's worthwhile viewing the falls from the skywalk. The viewing platform is so close you are instantly drenched by spray and deafened by the roar of water plunging over an 80m cliff.



Auckland 's Sky Tower (New Zealand)

Auckland's 328m Sky Tower. It took 2000 tons of reinforcing steel, 660tons of structural steel and 15,000m3 of concrete to erect it. It can withstand 200km/h winds, earthquakes up to eight on the Richter scale and on a clear day, visibility is around 82km. The highest indoor point is Sky Deck, which has seamless glass giving unimpeded 360º views.



Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk (Australia)

This walk opened recently after five months of construction. Located at Knights Hill up high on the escarpment near Robertson in the Southern Highlands , the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk allows visitors to walk among the rainforest canopy 25m above the ground on a steel platform. The 500m elevated walkway features cantilever arms that take visitors to the edge of the escarpment and offer inspiring views of the coastline from Kiama through to Shellharbour.



Landscape Promontory (Switzerland)

The landscape promontory is a suspended viewing platform designed by Paolo Bürgi as part of the Cardada project, a revitalization of the Cardada mountain that is expected to finish in 2010. The passageway is made of steel and titanium leads to the lookout platform with a view of Lago Maggiore. The landscape panorama is not the only thing that visitors are meant to appreciate. Symbols in the paving with accompanying texts in the railing provide references to history and literature.



Infinity Room at House on the Rock (Wisconsin - USA)

The House on the Rock, originally opened in 1959, is a complex of architecturally unique rooms, streets, gardens and shops designed by Alex Jordan, Jr. It is located in Spring Green, Wisconsin and is a regional tourist attraction. The Infinity Room at the House extends several hundred feet over the valley, without supports underneath, and is lined with over 3000 handmade windows.



Il binocolo (Italy)

Within the gardens of Trauttmansdorff castle in Italy you'll find this charming steel platform poking out through the trees, its name (meaning 'the binoculars') coming from the shape of the platform's small roof and the view of the surrounding landscape. Designed by architect Matteo Thun.



Top of Tyrol (Austria)

Top of Tyrol by Aste architecture is a viewing platform located 3000m above sea level at the Stubai Glacier in Tyrol , Austria . Weathering steel was used in the construction of this structure to account for the extreme weather conditions so you can stand 9m away from the mountain with a perfect view of Stubai glacier.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Health benefits of Parsley



[Extracted from the website of GreenMuze]

Parsley is easy to grow in almost any little corner of your garden or a flower pot - why ever be without it ? It is a bi-annual, which means it will grow the first year and die back when the frost arrives. The seeds can be sown as early as February, but then it takes much longer to germinate. Most people wait until April or May to get the largest amount of plant material for late-summer gathering. Planting in July gives you a late fall crop.

Parsley prefers to be planted in moist, humus rich soil and partial shade.

Parsley is an amazing medicinal herb, is delightful to the taste and agreeable to the stomach. It is a very versatile plant to aid the body in regaining health. The root contains calcium, B-complex vitamins, and iron, all of which nourish the glands that help regulate the uptake of calcium. It is a source of both magnesium and calcium, and especially potassium.

Parsley is high in vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C. As a wholesome organic-food it is also a good choice for bone health with vitamin K (536 mg in an average serving).

Traditionally. parsley has been used for congestion and inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, gravel, stones, and urine retention. The root and leaves are excellent for the liver and spleen. It is also one of the best reliefs for edema, helping when other remedies have failed; parsley is a very reliable diuretic remedy often ignored today. Parsley root and seeds contain ingredients that help produce a pain relieving benefit to relax stiff joints.

Many people use parsley root tea to make stiff and unmanageable fingers work again. Pour a quart of boiling water over a cup of firmly packed fresh parsley and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and then refrigerate.

Parsley works on the gall bladder and will remove gallstones if used properly by taking a pint of the tea daily. Parsley is a specific for the adrenal glands, is powerfully therapeutic for the optic nerves, the brain and the sympathetic nervous system.

Parsley juice is an excellent tonic for the blood vessels, particularly the capillaries and arterioles. But remember that raw parsley juice is a most potent juice and should never be taken alone in quantities of more than one or two ounces at a time unless it is mixed into a sufficient quantity of carrot or other juices. Parsley can help with expelling watery poisons, excess mucus, flatulence (gas), and reducing swollen or enlarged glands.

The usual remedy for kidney, bladder, and edema is to make at least two quarts of a strong parsley tea and drink copiously. If the urine is suppressed, drink one half to one teacupful, hot, every hour.

It is best to avoid large amounts of parsley if you are pregnant, especially the use of the volatile essential oil.

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[Another website says...........]

Parsley has many health benefits and has been used as a cure for many ailments. It contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, approximately three times as much as oranges and about the same as blackcurrants. The iron content is exceptional (twice as much as spinach) and the plant is a good source of manganese, calcium and potassium. It also contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants.

Parsley is also rich in vitamin A, well-known for its effects on vision, plus can mitigate risks of atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Raw parsley cleanses the blood, dissolves sticky deposits in veins, maintains elasticity of blood vessels, facilitates removal of moderately sized kidney and gallstones, treats deafness and ear infections, and benefits the sexual system. Chewing parsley prevents bad breath!

Parsley is also good as a topical remedy for bruises. Next time you have a bruise, crush up some parsley leaves and apply straight to the affected area.

Parsley is one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body. It's like an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form. It grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year.

So next time you get some parsley on your plate, eat up !!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What is Progeria (Premature Aging) ?



After watching a short video presentation by Jeremy Kyle (a famous British Talk Show), I was indeed sadly moved after knowing the real situation, faced by 02 special patients, who are suffering from this extraordinary rare sickness.

It was known that there are only 02 such patients (unfortunately, they were both girls) in the United Kingdom and only around 45 of them, in the whole entire world.

Jeremy was kind enough to bring the 02 patients together for the 01st time and I can imagine how the 02 parents felt when they had such rare opportunity to meet with each other and undoubtedly, I can also see the teary eyes of all the audience too.

In this extreme rare, severe and genetic condition, it is said that all the internal organs of such a person, will age 08 years in advance within a year. When the 02 girls appeared in this show, they were just 05 years old, BUT their bodies are already 40 years old. So far, record shows that such victims will only live up to around 13 years of their own age. Their death is often due to Heart Attack, or Stroke.

It is hoped that a 'cure' can be made possible one day, by the Medical Field.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

[Extracted from organicfacts.net]

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

How is Lauric Acid Used by our body ?

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system.



Composition of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil consists of more than ninety percent of saturated fats (Don’t panic ! First read to the last word. Your opinion may change), with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Virgin Coconut Oil is no different from this. Let us have a bit detailed study of this.

* The Saturated Fatty Acids
Most of them are Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well. Lauric Acid is the chief contributor, with more than forty percent of the share, followed by Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Palmitic.

* The Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Linoleic Acid.

* The Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Oleic Acid.

* The Poly-phenols
Gallic Acid, which is phenolic acid. These poly-phenols are supposed to be responsible for the fragrance and the taste of Coconut Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in these poly-phenols.

* Certain derivatives of fatty acid like Betaines, Ethanolamide, Ethoxylates, Fatty Esters, Fatty Polysorbates, Monoglycerides and Polyol Esters.

* Fatty Chlorides, Fatty Alcohol Sulphate and Fatty Alcohol Ether Sulphate, all of which are derivatives of Fatty Alcohols.

* Vitamin-E and Vitamin K and minerals such as Iron.



Hair Care

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shinny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.

Stress Relief

Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.

Skin Care

Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care.

Premature Aging

Coconut oil helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

Heart Diseases

There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Weight Loss

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.

Pancreatitis

Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.

Digestion

Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Immunity

Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Healing

When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.

Infections

Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.

Liver

The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.

Kidney

Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.

Diabetes

Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

Dental Care

Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.

HIV and Cancer

It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients.

Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.