Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why the Fashion Industry Is Betting Big on Branded Online Content

The fashion industry’s use of branded content gained momentum in 2010. In 2011, retailers will have three big shifts to consider as part of their branded content strategy. While many brands approach branded content in different ways, Susan Etlinger of The Altimeter Group feels that all retailers and fashion brands must:

■Talk to their customers; consumers expect dialogue with the brands they care about.
■Need to be able to shift between channels — web, mobile, print, broadcast — with a moment’s notice in order to keep a constant stream of communication with customers.
■Maintain a consistent brand experience, no matter where the customers are or what they’re doing. To reach this new empowered consumer, retailers now need to think in three dimensions: social, cross-channel and local.

So what do these guidelines for effective branded content translate to fashion brands and retailers? That answer can be found in four evolving mediums: the use of video, indie fashion and big brand collaborations, Tumblr() as an engagement platform, and possibly giving online customers a healthy dose of reality

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Natural Ways to Boost Energy

Natural Ways to Boost Energy
Do you feel tired and run down? Do you find it hard to stay focused on the task at hand? Are you always reaching for the coffee pot, an energy drink, or candy to get you through the day?

Well, stop! These quick-fix energy boosters are actually energy robbers in the long run. They reduce blood flow to the brain, and when the immediate effects wear off, they make you feel even more tired and mentally foggy.

The next time you need an energy boost, consider some of these natural supplements that support brain health, energy, and focus.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it enables the body to better handle stress, anxiety, and fatigue. It helps to rejuvenate and energize the nervous system in addition to increasing physical endurance and restoring sexual health. It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging effects.

Caution should be used if you are taking thyroid medications, as ashwagandha may stimulate thyroid function. It may also lower blood pressure or blood sugar, so caution should be used when combining it with hypertensive or diabetic medications. Recommended dosage is 125 mg, twice a day.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) is important in energy production. It helps convert fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy. It also helps to eliminate toxic chemicals from the body, and has been shown to increase the level of HDL (good) cholesterol.

Niacin also helps to increase blood flow near the skin. Higher doses may cause skin flushing, characterized by a red and itchy face and neck, which lasts a few minutes. One form of niacin, called niacinamide, causes less flushing. Food sources include meat and dairy products, leafy vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, avocados, nuts, and whole grains. Dosage is 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance for B vitamins.

Green tea leaf extract is another potential energy booster. Included in the extract is L-theanine, an amino acid derivative that has been shown to induce relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety while increasing concentration and energy. There is scientific evidence that green tea boosts exercise ability, helps muscles recover faster from workouts, and improves attention span.

The typical recommended dosage is 200 mg to 300 mg of green tea leaf extract capsules daily. Up to three cups a day of green tea can be consumed for health benefits, but pregnant women should use with caution, as green tea does contain caffeine.

Panax ginseng is most widely known as a stimulant that promotes energy, improves circulation, and speeds recovery after illness. Research supports its energy-boosting properties, and has shown that it improves physical performance during exercise. Panax ginseng is also considered an adaptogen.

Panax ginseng is well tolerated by most, but caution should be used when taking blood thinners, as its effects can be additive. Ginseng may cause hypoglycemic activity, so caution also should be used when taking it with insulin or medications for hypoglycemia. The recommended dosage is 200 mg of the extract, containing 4 to 7 percent of ginsenosides.

Rhodiola is an herb that has been used to fight fatigue, improve memory, and increase attention span. Research shows that it does indeed help prevent fatigue. In addition, scientific evidence points to an ability to fuel sexual energy, boost immunity, and ease depression. The recommended dosage is 200 to 600 mg daily for the treatment of fatigue and depression.

Rhodiola is best taken on an empty stomach, early in the day, as it may interfere with sleep. It should not be used by individuals with bipolar disorder or those taking hypertensive or hypoglycemic medications.

Food safety bill awaits president's(Obama) signature

The legislation passed Tuesday would give the government broad new powers to inspect processing plants, order recalls, and impose stricter standards for imported foods. The $1.4 billion bill would also require larger farms and food manufacturers to prepare detailed food safety plans and tell the Food and Drug Administration how they are working to keep their food safe at different stages of production.

Praising the House, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the bill will give her agency new tools to make substantial improvements in food safety.

"This law makes everyone responsible and accountable at each step in today's global food supply chain," Hamburg said.

The food safety bill has faced several false starts since the House first passed it in July 2009. It stalled in the Senate for more than a year as small farms objected to the increased oversight and conservatives complained about the cost. Most recently, the Senate passed the bill in November with tax provisions that were supposed to originate in the House under the Constitution, threatening completion of the bill.

Attorneys for 20 states fighting the new federal health care law told a judge

Attorneys for 20 states fighting the new federal health care law told a judge ..

20 states ask judge to throw out Obama health law.The states want U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to issue a summary judgment throwing out the health care law without a full trial. They argue it violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.
"The act would leave more constitutional damage in its wake than any other statute in our history," David Rivkin, an attorney for the states, told Vinson.
President Barack Obama's administration counters that Americans should not be allowed to opt out of the overhaul because everyone requires medical care. Government attorneys say the states do not have standing to challenge the law and want the case dismissed.
Vinson, who was appointed to the bench almost 30 years ago by President Ronald Reagan, heard arguments Thursday but said he will rule later.
In a separate case, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson earlier this week became the first federal judge to strike down a key portion of the law when he sided with the state of Virginia and ruled the insurance requirement unconstitutional. That case is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Two other federal judges have upheld the insurance requirement.
In Florida, Vinson questioned how the government could halt the massive changes to the nation's health care system that have already begun. Rivkin told him the constitutional violations are more important.
The judge questioned the Obama administration attorneys about whether the government is reaching beyond its power to regulate interstate commerce by requiring citizens to purchase health insurance or face tax penalties.
"A lot of people, myself included for years, have no health insurance," said Vinson, who described being a law student and paying cash to the doctor who delivered his first child.
"It amounted to about $100 a pound," he said, laughing.
Vinson also grilled government lawyers about their contention that people can be required to have health insurance because everyone needs medical care. Under that logic, he said, Americans could be forced to wear shoes or buy groceries or clothes.
But administration attorney Ian Heath Gershengorn said health insurance is different because it covers catastrophic injuries and chronic diseases.
"Those costs, when they come, are unpredictable and substantial," he said.
Gershengorn also defended the administration against the states' claim that it was coercing them into participating in the health care overhaul. The states say the have no choice but to go along with the federal program because billions in Medicaid dollars are at stake.
Gershengorn said the states see huge benefits from Medicaid and the federal government is covering the bulk of the health care overhaul costs.
The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with, the digital leader in luxury storytelling created by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, offers a unique take on James Halliwell's ?12 Days of Christmas? for all to love.

To celebrate the holiday season and ring in the New Year, has called on influential figures in art, fashion, food, music, and travel to collaborate on a ?12 Days of Christmas? series. Starting on December 25th, will feature 12 days of new stories, each inspired by the lines of the popular Christmas carol.

Highlights of's ?12 Days of Christmas? story series include:

•December 27th - 2 Turtle Doves: Mother-daughter bloggers Judy and Jane Aldridge of Atlantis Home and Sea of Shoes model their bird-inspired finery.
•December 28th - 3 French Hens: Parisian fashionistas Carine Roitfeld, Laetitia Crahay and Josephine de la Baume share their plans and party outfits for New Year's Eve.
•December 30th - 6 Geese a Laying: Legendary New York photographer Patrick McMullan unveils his list of most revered philanthropic pioneers in the modern society he chronicles.
Be sure to check out on December 25th for the start of the series! premieres daily a wealth of exclusive and inspiring content across all luxury categories, from fashion and film to gastronomy and travel. The site personalizes users' experiences through recommendations based on what content they LOVE or DON'T LOVE, and further encourages users to discover stories by searching through an extensive archive, or by using the Explorer feature to view content based on popularity and geography. In addition, offers rare interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at its content on Facebook, provides the latest updates on Twitter and shares global tips to explore on Foursquare.

Creating a profile on allows users to contribute content, comment on stories, and participate in user submissions contests. recently selected a reader-submitted film about James Bowthope, the round-the-world champion cyclist, with a soundtrack by Mogwai to showcase on the site alongside stories from core contributors such as Ryan McGinley, David Chang, Tommy Ton and Rodarte. On December 13th, launched the ?Fantastic Food Photography Contest,? which welcomes readers to submit original images of beloved dishes to be showcased in a photo collage; the winner will be selected by a panel of food experts and featured in an upcoming story.

About, launched in 2010, is the unique and editorially independent website of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's leading Luxury Group. Each day, this exciting web platform showcases an exclusive premiere of the most inspiring stories influencing contemporary arts and global lifestyle-- previewing the latest in fashion, art, cinema, music, design, travel, and global luxury. covers the full spectrum of luxury and the art of living with the level of creativity, innovation and passion for which LVMH is known.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The key to childhood happiness might be more face time with Dad.

study says....Regular time with dad is key to kids' happiness

Children who converse with their father “most days” rated themselves 87 out of 100 on a happiness scale, while those who rarely talk to their dads scored a 79. The study results, released by the Children’s Society in Great Britain just in time for Father’s Day, called the findings “highly significant” because research has demonstrated that a person’s well-being later in life has a lot to do with their relationship with both parents during the teen years.

Of the 1,200 children in the study, who were 11 to 15, nearly 50% said they “hardly ever” talk to their dads about important subjects, as compared with just 28% who report rarely discussing important subjects with their moms.

Dads may not have as many meaningful conversations with their kids, but they tend to roughhouse with them more than moms do, and research indicates that's important for kids’ development, too.

“There are now studies showing that this so-called rough and tumble play supports healthy exploration later on in life,” Harvard Medical School associate clinical professor William Pollack told “People used to worry that it might increase aggression in boys, but there’s plenty of data out there to show that it can lead them to be more empathetic.”

Studies also show that dads often empower their children and encourage them to explore and meet new people, according to And dads tend to be more in charge of playtime than the mother, too.

“Mothers help children feel connected, anticipated and wanted,” said Patrick Tolan, professor at the Curry School at the University of Virginia, according to “Fathers teach them how to interact with others and how to control themselves when they feel their needs aren’t being met.”

One study from the Universite de Montreal School of Psychoeducation observed parents interacting with their toddlers while the children were put into “risky” situations. For one experiment, a stranger approached the kids and in another, the kids saw toys placed at the top of a flight of stairs. While the moms stayed closer, dads followed their kids at a greater distance, which researchers said encouraged kids to explore.

We found that fathers are more inclined than mothers to activate exploratory behavior by being less protective,” lead study author Daniel Paquette told

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Small steps can make significant changes in your weight and overall health.

Five Small Steps

Be proud of yourself as you make the right choices and realize that getting healthy is a journey that you must commit to for the rest of your life.

If you are ready to get on track for a healthier lifestyle, start with these five simple steps and it will make a big difference in your everyday life.

Don't do "Diets" – Americans spend 1 to 2 billion dollars on weight loss products and yet 60 percent of people are overweight or obese. The key to successful weight loss is to change the way you eat forever. Prepared diet foods will help you to lose weight but these programs often result in only a temporary weight loss with the weight coming back within 6 months. By changing what you eat to a more balanced menu and by adding exercise on a regular basis, you will be able to lose weight and, more importantly, maintain the weight loss for life.

Five and Two Plan – Decide that you will eat healthy for five days a week and allow yourself some treats two days a week. Most people have family gatherings and parties on the weekend and we take in extra calories during these times. Think about your schedule each week and figure out when you can have an extra helping or include a dessert to share with someone. Remember that your cheat days are not called "binging days" but rather days that you can include a little more food than your usual "healthy eating" days.

Schedule Your Life – According to government recommendations, adults should be working out five days a week for 30 minutes to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Each week, you should make a plan as to when you will work out. Exercising does not have to be a specific program such as a spin class at your local gym. Taking a brisk walk with your friends during lunch or marching in front of your television while you watch your favorite show will count toward your 30 minutes per day. Be creative and get your body moving.

Weigh Yourself on Fridays – One mistake people often make is they decide to weigh themselves on Mondays. It can be very frustrating to get on the scale after eating a little too much during the weekend. If you weigh yourself on Friday, you can have a few treats on the weekend and get back on schedule by Monday. Work hard all week eating healthy and exercising, and you will be in a better position for weight loss by Friday. Then you may be motivated to keep doing well all weekend, keeping your "extra treats" to a minimum.

Set Goals – You must set specific goals when committing to losing weight. Determine how much you want to lose and how you will accomplish it. Write down your goals and keep a record of how much weight you have lost, how often you are exercising and how you are feeling as you make these positive changes in your life. Keep reviewing your goals and modify them when you need to. Try to focus on reaching those goals but also give yourself some breaks when you don't reach them instantly.

Remember that taking small steps each day will add up to long-term health benefits. These changes are simple but not easy. Be proud of yourself as you make the right choices and realize that getting healthy is a journey that you must commit to for the rest of your life.

An Abu Dhabi luxury hotel that boasted an $11 million Christmas tree decorated with gold and gems

$11 million fake Christmas tree adorned with rubies, gold and diamonds in the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel.
A statement from the Emirates Palace hotel said it regretted "attempts to overload" the Christmas tree tradition by adorning it with premium bling including gold, rubies, diamonds and other precious stones from a hotel jeweler.

The statement was a rare bit of reflection on the Gulf's ethos of excess. The tree was unveiled last week with full fanfare in a hotel that features its own gold bar vending machine and a one-week $1 million package that includes private jet jaunts around the Middle East.

But the hotel management apparently had second thoughts after questions arose about whether the opulent tree was innocent good cheer or unfortunate bad taste.

The hotel regrets "attempts to overload the tradition followed by most hotels in the country with meanings and connotations that do not fall in line with the (hotel's) professional standards," said a statement carried on the state-run news agency WAM.

The hotel even tried to distance itself from the 43-foot (13-meter) faux fir in one of its rotundas, saying a hotel-based jeweler was solely responsible for creating and decorating the tree.

"The hotel is just a venue for exhibiting the tree," the statement said. news

Keep healthy eyes in old age..

Keep healthy eyes in old age..
People who lead overall healthy lives -- getting exercise, eating right, and not smoking -- are significantly more likely to keep their aging eyes healthy, new study findings report.

Exercise and diet were each linked to a lower risk of age-related degenerative changes in the eyes, but both combined, along with a lack of smoking, caused a "particularly profound lowering" of the risk -- by more than 70 percent, study author Dr. Julie Mares of the University of Wisconsin in Madison told Reuters Health.

"We don't need to be passive victims of these ravages of old age," Mares said. "Relatively small things could make a difference in whether or not we develop AMD (age-related macular degeneration) in our lifetime."

"Eat well, move, and don't smoke," she advised.

As the population ages, the concern over AMD grows. The disease is most common among people 75 and older, a group that will triple in size over the next 40 years, Mares noted. Already, one in four people older than 65 have early signs of AMD, she said.

AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth behind the retina or a breakdown of light-sensitive cells within the retina itself, both of which can lead to serious vision impairment.

There is no cure, but a U.S. government clinical trial recently found that a high-dose mix of specific antioxidants -- vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc -- can slow the progression of AMD in the intermediate stages, and doctors now commonly prescribe it for such patients.

Another study published earlier this year found that older adults who eat fatty fish at least once a week may have a lower risk of serious vision loss from AMD.

But healthy habits tend to work together in achieving certain health goals, such as lowering blood pressure, Mares noted, suggesting that diet and exercise could have a synergistic impact on eye health into old age.

To investigate, she and her colleagues reviewed information about diet, exercise, and smoking from 1,313 women between the ages of 55 and 74, collected during the 1990s. Women were revisited on average six years later, at which point they received an eye exam to check for AMD.

Two hundred and two women had AMD, most of it early-stage disease.

Among the women who ate the healthiest, 11 percent had developed an early form of AMD. In contrast, the condition was present in 19 percent of women with the worst diets, factoring in their intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fat and sugar, among other elements.

About one in 10 women who exercised the most developed AMD, versus one in five of those who barely got any exercise. When the researchers combined the influence of diet, exercise and no smoking, the risk of AMD decreased even further, even though smoking alone was not related to AMD.

Since previous research has linked specific dietary elements to AMD, the researchers looked at the associations of specific antioxidants with AMD risk. Women with higher levels of these antioxidants were less likely to develop AMD, but not as much as women who ate well overall, Mares noted. "The findings for overall healthy diets are much stronger than for single nutrients," she said.

Fashion Fridays - A High Lifestyle Fashion Party at Vie Lounge, Mumbai

Fashion Fridays - A High Lifestyle Fashion Party at Vie Lounge, Mumbai

Bengaluru, Karnataka, December 14, 2010 /India PRwire/ -- Fashion Fridays is an Event concived and conceptulized by Dream Merchants as a High Lifestyle Fashion Event to promote Bledners Pride Bangalore Fashion Week at different cities of IndiaLaunched by Blenders Pride, it has been conceived and conceptualised as a high lifes
tyle fashion party to promote Blenders Pride Bangalore Fashion Week in different cities of India. As beautiful models dressed in creations of different designers mingled with the guests, celebrities like Achla Sachdev and Shveta Salve were seen admiring the outfits. And we must say, Shveta looked quite hot herself, dressed in a white shirt and denim mini-skirt.

The party was attended by top designers including Rocky S, Riyaz Gangji, Aslam Khan, Tasleem Merchant, Sharad Ragav and Archana Kochhar, who later grooved to DJ Ryan Beck's music.

Read more: Fashion Fridays for Mumbai - The Times of India

Fashion Fridays - A High Lifestyle Fashion Party at Vie Lounge, Mumbai

Fashion Fridays - A High Lifestyle Fashion Party at Vie Lounge, Mumbai

Bengaluru, Karnataka, December 14, 2010 /India PRwire/ -- Fashion Fridays is an Event concived and conceptulized by Dream Merchants as a High Lifestyle Fashion Event to promote Bledners Pride Bangalore Fashion Week at different cities of India

Launched by Blenders Pride, it has been conceived and conceptualised as a high lifestyle fashion party to promote Blenders Pride Bangalore Fashion Week in different cities of India. As beautiful models dressed in creations of different designers mingled with the guests, celebrities like Achla Sachdev and Shveta Salve were seen admiring the outfits. And we must say, Shveta looked quite hot herself, dressed in a white shirt and denim mini-skirt.

The party was attended by top designers including Rocky S, Riyaz Gangji, Aslam Khan, Tasleem Merchant, Sharad Ragav and Archana Kochhar, who later grooved to DJ Ryan Beck's music.

Read more: Fashion Fridays for Mumbai - The Times of India

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) announced Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from April 6-10, 2011.

Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) announced Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from April 6-10, 2011.
FDCI will be making special arrangements to ensure that the venue is ‘tailor-made’ for an event of such grandeur. An exhilarating assemblage of exquisite lounges, exotic on-site restaurants, welcoming café counters and plush salons, will ensure that all guests and participants enjoy every bit of their experience at the WIFW A/W.

Mr. Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI said, “With every passing edition, Wills Lifestyle India fashion week is cementing its stature as a pioneer scripting a winning blend of fashion, style and business. The recently concluded edition of WIFW received an overwhelming response from the designers, buyers and the entire fashion fraternity and once again proved itself as the only business of fashion event committed to promoting excellence and encouraging new talent. In this edition, we will continue to display the same commitment towards ushering multiple trade opportunities through wholehearted participation by designers, buyers, sponsors and the fashion fraternity”.

Mr. Atul Chand, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC’s Lifestyle said, “Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week is the single most prestigious and celebrated fashion event of India. The participation by the best of the Indian fashion industry continues to strengthen the business of fashion and take the event to newer heights. With a spectacular show of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011 edition, we look forward to an even bigger and better experience in the new season.”

A "By Invitation Only" event, Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week aims to serve as an effective platform to promote fashion design and provide industry professionals the opportunity to form trade linkages within India and globally. Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week offers participating designers a business presence and a series of marketing tools all aimed at informing and updating buyers, investors, corporate houses and the media.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Japan's Toshiba company was aiming to quadruple its sales of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) television units to 2 million in ...

Japan's technology giant expects to meet China's diverse market needs by introducing nine ranges with a total of 24 models, the company said in a statement, including its new flagship LCD TV, the 55X1000C, in late December, the company said.

'The Chinese LCD TV market is growing at a brisk pace, and is expected to surpass the US as the world's largest TV market' in this financial year, Toshiba said.

To reach the Chinese market, the company has established Toshiba Visual Products (China) Co Ltd, a sales and marketing joint venture with China's TCL Corporation.

Gitanjali Lifestyle's event in Mumabi

'Giantti 1000 Guineas' by Gitanjali Lifestyle hosting Mumbai's Most Awaited Racing Event, at Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai on Sunday, December 12, 2010. Actor Karisma Kapoor, Shazahn Padamsee, Chunky Pandey, model Tarina Patel and others were present at the event.

Sports meets luxury meets glamour! Now that's what the Giantti 1000m Guineas at the Turf Club, Mahalaxmi Race Course hosted by Gitanjali Lifestyle, India's leading Jewellery & Lifestyle was all about.

The glitterati of Mumbai were out in full swing as they enjoyed the races. Later, the evening saw a scintillating fashion show put together by Lina Tipnis.

Mehul Choksi, Chairman and MD, Gitanjali Group said, "It has been our endeavour to make the Gitanjali Lifestyle Derby a prestigious and most awaited event in the current racing season. Through this unique association we aim to blend glamour and style into the racing sport."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taxing sodas and other sweetened drinks would result in only minimal weight loss

Taxing sodas and other sweetened drinks would result in only minimal weight loss..
Taxing sodas and other sweetened drinks would result in only minimal weight loss, although the revenues generated could be used to promote obesity control programs, new research suggests.

Adding to a spate of recent studies examining the impact of soda taxes on obesity, researchers from Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) Graduate Medical School looked at the impact of 20 percent and 40 percent taxes on sales of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, which also included sports and fruit drinks, among different income groups.

Because these taxes would simply cause many consumers to switch to other calorie-laden drinks, however, even a 40 percent tax would cut only 12.5 daily calories out of the average diet and result in a 1.3 pound weight loss per person per year, researchers said.

A 20 percent tax would equate to a daily 6.9 calorie intake reduction, adding up to no more than 0.7 pounds lost per person per year, according to the statistical model developed by the researchers.

"The taxes proposed as a remedy are largely on the grounds of preventing obesity, and we wanted to see if this would hold true," said study author Eric Finkelstein, an associate professor of health services at Duke-NUS. "It's certainly a salient issue. I assumed the effects would be modest in weight loss, and they were."

"I believe that any single measure aimed at reducing weight is going [to be small]," Finkelstein added. "But combined with other measures, it's going to add up. If higher taxes get people to lose weight, then good."

As part of a growing movement to treat unhealthy foods as vices such as tobacco and liquor, several states in recent years have pushed to extend sales taxes to the purchase of soda and other sweetened beverages, which, like other groceries, are usually exempt from state sales taxes.

Other motions have seemed to target the poor, such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal earlier this year to ban sugared drinks from groceries that could be purchased by residents on food stamps.

Finkelstein's study, reported online Dec. 13 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that high soda taxes wouldn't impact weight among consumers in the highest and lowest income groups. Using in-home scanners that tracked households' store-bought food and beverage purchases over the course of a year, the data included information on the cost and number of items purchased by brand and UPC code among different population groups.

Researchers estimated that a 20 percent soda tax would generate about $1.5 billion in annual revenue in the United States, while a 40 percent tax would generate about $2.5 billion. The average household cost would be $28.

Finkelstein explained that wealthier households seemed impervious to the tax because they can afford to pay it, while poorer income groups weren't as affected because they tend to buy lower-priced generic products or buy in bulk.

"It's largely very cheap calories for them," he said, adding that store brands such as Wal-Mart cola also contain more calories than the name-brand Coke.

Dr. Stephen Cook, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), said the study is valuable because it echoes the results of others similar to it.

"It's good to see an amount of replication in the findings," said Cook, also an assistant professor of URMC's Center for Community Health. "It brings up an important point of how we should address obesity, as a disease or a public health threat."

Despite the modest weight loss resulting from the soda taxes, both Finkelstein and Cook support such a measure as one of many possible ways to attack obesity, which affects one-third of Americans.

As for the revenue generated, it can also tackle obesity if it's funneled toward weight-control programs and not other government initiatives, Cook said.

"The other side of the taxing coin is what we do with the money," Cook said. "We need to take the revenue and use it for interventional programs instead of it being used as a money grab. I think it's good when it's properly done and the money is used for those strategies."

Cook added that future measures could include taxing foods with added sugars as well as lowering the prices of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and skim milk.

More information

For more on obesity, go to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lifestyle Awards presents by Donga TV 2010 Korea

Lifestyle Awards presents by Donga TV 2010 Korea.
Samsung Electronics won the grand prize in lifestyle at the 2010 Korea Lifestyle Awards

Late legendary fashion designers, Andre Kim and Choi Kyung-ja, were given the year's fashion design contribution award.
The electronics giant won the prize for its smartphone Galaxy S and tablet computer Galaxy Tab in recognition of the products’ enormous influence on communication culture as well as their sales performance this year. The annual awards ceremony is hosted by Donga TV, part of the Herald Media group.

Actor So Ji-sub and actress Lee Min-Jeong were honored as the year’s best dressers. Late legendary fashion designers, Andre Kim and Choi Kyung-ja, were given the year’s fashion design contribution award. F(x), a popular girl group, was honored as the best style icon of the year.
The grand prize in the fashion and design industry was given to Daegu Metropolitan City, for its successful launching of a series of fashion related events and projects this year, including “Daegu Fashion Fair” and “Milan Project.”

Hana Bank won a grand prize for their savings products that offer special benefits to soon-to-be moms.
Restaurant Unamjeong was given the grand prize for food branding for their innovative yet traditional presentation of genuine Korean food. Opened in 2009, the restaurant is well-known among foreigners looking for an introduction to quality Korean cuisine.
JUVIS, a weight-loss institution owned by female CEO Cho Seong-gyeong, was awarded the grand prize as the best company for women. Its free weight-loss service for women and children of low-income families, as well as job creation for women who have specialized in food and nutrition, was highly regarded by the awards committee.

FOREVER 21, an American chain of clothing retailers, was honored as the best fashion brand of the year. Ever since its first Korean branch opened in Seoul in 2008, the brand has been gaining popularity, offering diverse fashion ideas and creative inspirations.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Many German cities have so many different Christmas markets

Many German cities have so many different Christmas markets it's hard to tell them apart.

In some cities the markets take on the flavour of the section of the city they are in. That's also the case in Hamburg's St Pauli district, which includes the famous Reeperbahn red-light district.

The Christmas market there has the usual kitschy knick-knacks and gluehwein (mulled wine), along with a tent for adult entertainment where eroticism is the theme. The tent offers sex shows, pole dancing and, according to its website, a place to get hot, not just by drinking gluehwein.

The market is located at the city's Spielbudenplatz. When it opened on November 25 the guest of honor was Olivia Jones, a drag queen and important personality in the district.

Small breasts celebrated in new French fashion trend

Paris (dpa) - The popularity of extra large breast implants appears to be waning in France.

Trendy Paris fashion magazines are celebrating women with small breasts - such as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Paris Hilton and Keira Knightley - as style icons.

'The days are numbered for the popularity of large-breasted blond bombshells like Pamela Anderson,' one magazine said of the trend, which has been confirmed by cosmetic surgeons. 'Whereas 10 years ago cup sizes C and D were sought, today women are requesting a lovely size B,' said surgeon Patrick Bui.

Lingerie designer Chantal Thomass said the reason is that current fashions have tight and straight cuts. Sociologists add that, in times of economic crisis, society strives for things that are more natural and authentic, according to the magazine Madame Figaro.

Berlin club to close after noise complaints

Berlin (dpa) - The tradition-rich Knaack Club in Berlin's upmarket Prenzlauer Berg district will have its last hurrah as 2010 comes to a close.

The operators of the 58-year-old Knaack Club, one of the most established clubs in the alternative scene, say their decision to close is a reaction to public orders issued as a result of disputes between event organizers and residents who live near the club.

The orders require that events end by 11 pm and that noise from the club does not go above 25 decibels in the apartments of people who live nearby. The organizers say those stipulations are impossible to uphold. The last official concert was on December 4 when a punk- metal band performed.

London (dpa) - For some, it might be a high-point in practical footwear, for others, it's a combination of fashion horrors.

In London, the new style mixes soft sheep leather Ugg boots from Australia with trainers that have a curved sole that is supposed to tighten the buttocks and upper thigh muscles when women walk in them. The result is a boot made from a pelt with the sole of a shoe designed to promote toned legs and bottom.

Monday, December 6, 2010

physically active lifestyle Can Reduce the Genetic Predisposition to Obesity by 40 Percent,

physically active lifestyle Can Reduce the Genetic Predisposition to Obesity by 40 Percent.Why is exercise or physical activity important?
Physical Activity
Regular aerobic physical activity increases your fitness level and capacity for exercise. It also plays a role in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and is linked to cardiovascular mortality.

Regular physical activity can help control blood lipid abnormalities, diabetes and obesity. Aerobic physical activity can also help reduce blood pressure.

The results of pooled studies show that people who modify their behavior and start regular physical activity after heart attack have better rates of survival and better quality of life. Healthy people — as well as many patients with cardiovascular disease — can improve their fitness and exercise performance with training.

How can physical activity help condition my body?
Some activities improve flexibility, some build muscular strength and some increase endurance.
Some forms of continuous activities involve using the large muscles in your arms or legs. These are called endurance or aerobic exercises. They help the heart by making it work more efficiently during exercise and at rest.
Brisk walking, jumping rope, jogging, bicycling, cross-country skiing and dancing are examples of aerobic activities that increase endurance.
How can I improve my physical fitness?

Programs designed to improve physical fitness take into account frequency (how often), intensity (how hard), and time (how long). They provide the best conditioning.

The FIT Formula:

F = frequency (days per week)

I = intensity (how hard, e.g., easy, moderate, vigorous) or percent of heart rate

T = time (amount for each session or day)

AHA Recommendation

For most healthy people:

For health benefits to the heart, lungs and circulation, perform any moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week at 50–85 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can accumulate 30 minutes in 10 or 15 minute sessions. What's important is to include physical activity as part of a regular routine.

These activities are especially beneficial when done regularly:

brisk walking, hiking, stair-climbing, aerobic exercise
jogging, running, bicycling, rowing and swimming
activities such as soccer and basketball that include continuous running
The training effects of such activities are most apparent at exercise intensities that exceed 50 percent of a person's exercise capacity (maximum heart rate). If you're physically active regularly for longer periods or at greater intensity, you're likely to benefit more. But don't overdo it. Too much exercise can give you sore muscles and increase the risk of injury.

What about moderate-intensity activities?
Even moderate-intensity activities, when performed daily, can have some long-term health benefits. They help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Here are some examples:

walking for pleasure, gardening and yard work
housework, dancing and prescribed home exercise
recreational activities such as tennis, racquetball, soccer, basketball and touch football
What risk factors are reduced?

Regular physical activity can also help reduce or eliminate some of these risk factors:

.High blood pressure — Regular aerobic activities can lower blood pressure.
Cigarette smoking — Smokers who become physically active are more likely to cut down or stop smoking.

Diabetes — People at their ideal weight are less likely to develop diabetes. Physical activity may also decrease insulin requirements for people with diabetes.
Obesity and overweight — Regular physical activity can help people lose excess fat or stay at a reasonable weight.
High levels of triglycerides — Physical activity helps reduce triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are linked to developing coronary artery disease in some people.
Low levels of HDL — Low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men/less than 50 mg/dL for women) have been linked to a higher risk of coronary artery disease. Recent studies show that regular physical activity can significantly increase HDL cholesterol levels and thus reduce your risk.
What are other benefits of physical activity?

Physical activity builds healthy bones, muscles and joints, and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Millions of Americans suffer from illnesses that can be prevented or improved through regular physical activity.
Physical activity also helps psychologically. It reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, improves mood and promotes a sense of well-being.
The 1996 Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity also suggests that active people have a lower risk for stroke.
When should I consult my doctor?

Some people should consult their doctor before they start a vigorous exercise program. See your doctor or other healthcare provider if any of these apply to you:
.You have a heart condition or you've had a stroke, and your doctor recommended only medically supervised physical activity.
.During or right after you exercise, you often have pains or pressure in the left or mid-chest area, left neck, shoulder or arm.
.You've developed chest pain or discomfort within the last month.
.You tend to lose consciousness or fall due to dizziness.
.You feel extremely breathless after mild exertion.
.Your doctor recommended you take medicine for your blood pressure, a heart condition or a stroke.
.Your doctor said you have bone, joint or muscle problems that could be made worse by the proposed physical activity.
.You have a medical condition or other physical reason not mentioned here that might .need special attention in an exercise program (for example, insulin-dependent diabetes).
.You're middle-aged or older, haven't been physically active, and plan a relatively vigorous exercise program.
.If none of these is true for you, you can start on a gradual, sensible program of increased activity tailored to your needs. If you feel any of the physical symptoms listed above when you start your exercise program, contact your doctor right away.

the whole population can benefit from a physically active lifestyle, in part through reduced obesity risk, a new study shows that individuals with a genetic predisposition to obesity can benefit even more. The research, carried out by Dr. Ruth Loos from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and colleagues, published in PLoS Medicine suggests that the genetic predisposition to obesity can be reduced by an average of 40% through increased physical activity.
The authors used a cohort study of 20,430 people living in Norwich, UK and examined 12 different genetic variants which are known to increase the risk of obesity. The researchers tested how many of these variants each study participants had inherited from either parent. They then assessed the overall genetic susceptibility to obesity by summing the number of variants inherited into a 'genetic predisposition score'. Most individuals inherited between 10 and 13 variants, but some had inherited more than 17 variants, while others fewer than 6. In addition the researchers assessed occupational and leisure-time physical activities in each individual by using a validated self-administered questionnaire. The researchers then used modeling techniques to examine whether a higher 'genetic predisposition score' was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI)/obesity risk and, most importantly, they also tested whether a physically active lifestyle could attenuate the genetic influence on BMI and obesity risk

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Private viewing: Our tour of the pick of the property market

Private viewing: Our tour of the pick of the property market

War of the Roses (and Wisteria too) Friday, 3 December 2010

The idea of country living is more alluring than ever. But as increasing numbers of out-of-towners buy into the rural dream, are locals being priced out of the good life?
House Doctor: 'Bailiffs keep calling for tenant who no longer lives at our flat' Friday, 3 December 2010

Question: I've recently moved into a flat with friends but we've been approached twice by bailiffs trying to collect debts for the previous tenant.
House prices slip again as buyers go missing Thursday, 2 December 2010

House prices could fall by 10 per cent over the next year, City experts forecast yesterday, as the latest data from Nationwide Building Society showed that property values slipped a further 0.3 per cent in November. Since the summer, the average British house has lost about £7,000 of its value.
Average home prices continue to fall Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The recent run of house price falls have wiped out most of the gains seen to property values during the past year, figures showed today.

The market premium: where house prices are booming Tuesday, 30 November 2010

As city-dwellers move out, values are soaring in smart market towns

House prices falling again this month, survey shows Monday, 29 November 2010

House prices have fallen sharply again in November, property analyst Hometrack said today, with a marked drop in the number of new buyers undermining the market.
House Doctor: 'Is there any way we can sell our home in the next four weeks?' Friday, 26 November 2010

Question: My wife has been offered a job in Europe that means we really need to sell our home within four weeks to release vital cash to help us to move. We've seen ads for "fast home-sale specialists" and property sellers that guarantee "90 per cent of your home value", and promise to sell your house within days. Are they legitimate? We're desperate to move but have no idea if these operators are real or not.

Squatters' rights - and wrongs Friday, 26 November 2010

As the Housing Minister pledges to shut the door on the "anti-social, undesirable and unfair" practise forever, a fierce debate still rages between property owners and their uninvited house guests

Home is where the heat is: The essential guide to keeping your house warm this winter Friday, 26 November 2010

From designer draft excluders to chic radiators...

The modern bargain hunt: 'We raided skips and salvage yards to furnish our mid-century home' Friday, 19 November 2010

You could call it alternative shopping," muses Paul Hedge, sitting in a butter-coloured leather and rosewood Ico Parisi chair from the 1950s. "We never go out intending to buy anything. But we've had to get cabs home from the theatre, because we happened to see a chair just lying on the pavement on the way there, and we couldn't let it go." A lot of knowledge, it seems, is a risky thing, particularly if what you know about is mid-century modern furniture and you happen to be passing a well-stocked skip or the sort of charity shop that hasn't been subjected to an intervention by Mary Portas. "Once you know what something is, and you've recognised it, you can't just leave it behind."

men's luxury e-commerce site 2011

men's luxury e-commerce site 2011..
Gilt Groupe is also taking the plunge: the fashion e-tailer says it too will unveil a new full-priced men's site next year.

Gilt Groupe is a members-only shopping site that specialises in 36-hour flash sales with designer brands like Vivienne Tam, Marc Jacobs, and Derek Lam sold for up to 70 percent. The U.S. e-tailer, which draws nearly one million monthly visitors, was launched in 2007. It offers a curated selection of merchandise, including apparel, accessories and lifestyle items across the women's, men's and children's categories.

Gilt has offered men's items since April 2008 and launched its dedicated Gilt Man site last October. Its men's business now exceeds $100 million in sales, representing nearly one-third of the company's business. The next logical step, according to company executives, is to launch a full-priced men's fashion site separate from the current one that operates around flash sales.

The launch date is set for July 2011, in order to coincide with the release of pre-fall collections. The fledging site will offer apparel, accessories, athletic gear, gadgets and more. Between 75 to 100 brands will be offered and they will be similar to those currently found on Gilt Man, such as A. Testoni, Calvin Klein and John Varvatos. Articles will remain available for purchase for an entire season rather than for 36 hours under the current flash-sales model.

E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry. Online retailers registered a 11.4% growth from October 31 through November 13, according to MasterCard. Yet there are relatively few e-tailers that cater only to men's fashion. Most e-boutiques are targeted towards women, such as the bevy of flash sales sites like Rue La La, Ideeli and HauteLook, and the full-priced luxury fashion retailer Net-a-porter.

Sites dedicated to men's clothing and accessories include Topman - which carries contemporary urban brands like Wesc and Ben Sherman - and Mainline Menswear - which carries designer brands like Lacoste, Ted Baker and Paul Smith. But Gilt won't be competing with these businesses, given its luxury positioning.

National Health Service Reforming public health in England

National Health Service Reforming public health in England .........
Health improvement to be driven locally

Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England’ sets out the Government's long-term vision for the future of public health in England.
The plans outlined will transform public health and for the first time create a ‘wellness’ service: 'Public Health England', to meet today’s health challenges.

In a move to strengthen both national and local leadership, directors of public health, employed by local authorities and jointly appointed with Public Health England, will lead on driving health improvement locally. Local authorities will deploy resources to improve health and well-being in their communities using ring-fenced health improvement budgets allocated by the Department of Health.

THE temptation for politicians to move the pieces around in the National Health Service is usually overwhelming. Precisely because it is a state-run organisation ministers can reshuffle and reshape as much as they like (in England at any rate, since devolution). Already, the coalition government has announced controversial plans to hand over most of the NHS budget to consortia of family doctors that will purchase hospital care. Now Andrew Lansley, the Conservative health secretary, is announcing a big shake-up of public health, the various ways that governments try to prevent illness in the first place.

The title of today’s white paper, "Healthy Lives, Healthy People" may sound banal, but it will result in two important reforms. First, the state will "nudge" rather than exhort people to adopt healthier behaviour. And second, local councils are to be given a new role in promoting better health and will receive money from the NHS to finance this. Both sound promising, but may deliver less than Mr Lansley hopes.

The goal of improving public health is common ground. A longstanding critique of the NHS is that it is a national illness rather than health service. And yet it has long been clear that the path to better population health in advanced economies passes through the kitchen and the gym rather than the doctor’s surgery. As Victor Fuchs, an eminent American health economist, pointed out in his classic text "Who Shall Live?" in 1974, "differences in diet, smoking, exercise, automobile driving and other manifestations of "lifestyle" have emerged as the major determinants of health".

That poses a difficulty all the same. Should ministers try to change damaging behaviours such as alcohol abuse or seek to combat obesity, and if so, how? Can they really be nannies to the people who elect them?

Politicians tend to give muddled answers to these conundrums probably because people are muddled. On the one hand, they deplore the fact that there are deep health inequalities in Britain, many of which arise from differences in lifestyles such as whether or not people smoke or keep their weight under control. On the other hand, they dislike being told what to do.

Under Tony Blair, Labour was initially leery of seeming to support a nanny state. But towards the end of his time at Number 10, his government had introduced a smoking ban in public places. The longer Labour was in office, the more weight it attached to public health. Mr Blair himself highlighted the importance of tackling harmful behaviour in 2006 when he said: "Our public health problems are not, strictly speaking, public health questions at all. They are questions of individual lifestyle."

By contrast, Mr Lansley is stressing the importance of public health from the outset. However, like the early Mr Blair he too is reluctant to play the role of nanny. Indeed he argues that exhortation can prove counter-productive. Rather, he wants to use the lessons from behavioural economics, in particular those set out in "Nudge" by Richard Thaler of Chicago University and Cass Sunstein who now works for President Obama. The central idea is that people can be coaxed rather than forced into better decisions by often quite subtle changes in the way that they are framed; for example, repositioning food options in a canteen or a shop so that healthier ones take pride of place.

That sounds clever, but could it be too clever? An early critique of American advertising was called "The Hidden Persuaders". Whether people will take any more kindly to well-intentioned stealth tactics is unclear. It may turn out that this attempt to occupy a middle ground, by pursuing "libertarian paternalism", will quite simply prove to be a contradiction in terms. What will happen, for example, if food manufacturers and retailers fail to co-operate meaningfully in moves to promote better diets?

Probably the more important change is to give councils a greater say in public health. This makes a lot of sense because they are best-placed to bring together diverse ways of improving health at a local level, such as promoting exercise both through recreational services and by making it safer for people to cycle. Paradoxically, the reform may give public health greater prominence because the longer-term agenda of tackling the causes of ill-health will no longer be crowded out by the more pressing demands within the NHS of dealing with actual sickness.

Public health responsibility deal
The Government’s view is that society, government and individuals share collective responsibility for public health and the new public health system will encourage all to play their part in improving and protecting the nation’s health and well-being.

With the aim of making it easier for people to make healthy choices and live healthier lives, the public health Responsibility Deal is being driven forward by the Secretary of State.

Working with industry, the voluntary sector, non-governmental organisations, and leading experts from the field, it should lead to, for example, better food labelling, more information about the harmful effects of alcohol, and a much greater contribution from industry into campaigns such as Change4Life.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Every Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference .

Do you mind spending 3.44 minutes to watch this short video ? =) I think it will mean alot to you too.

It’s a video about the difference between the Heaven and Hell by a Hong Kong artist, Eric Tsang.

If you don’t understand the video, you can always find your friend to translate for you :) LOL I’ve tried translating it but then, I think it would be better if you find your friend to translate for you since my English has gone really bad these days =/

This video really does meant alot to me because it reminds me of how important it is to share with friends, classmates or my family. It is true that you will get more than what you’d gave. This is my personal experience and that is why I’m always happy to share with friends :) But of course, with limit. How could you keep on share things with a friend that only wanted to exploit you? Lol I bet you wouldn’t want to share with him/her sooner or later.

Singapore prides itself on being a clean and green city but a booming economy and a high-consumption lifestyle

Singapore prides itself on being a clean and green city but a booming economy and a high-consumption lifestyle ..
Singapore in tough environmental balancing act.As a major United Nations summit is being held in Mexico to find ways of curbing the carbon emissions blamed for global warming, Singapore's environmental balancing act poses challenging questions for the rest of Asia and the world.

Singapore's green credentials are in many ways very strong and it is establishing itself as a regional renewable energy hub.

Yet, if all Asians emulated Singaporeans' modern and often luxurious lifestyles, greenhouse gas emissions would spike alarmingly.

"If everyone in the world enjoyed the same level of consumption as the average Singaporean, we would need three planets to meet the demands placed on our resources," World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) spokesman Chris Chaplin said.

Singapore was last month listed by the British global risk advisory firm Maplecroft as the world's seventh largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter relative to its population size.

Ahead of it were only the United Arab Emirates, Australia, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

Maplecroft's index was calculated by evaluating annual CO2 emissions from energy use, emissions per capita and cumulative emissions of a country over more than a century -- 1900 to 2006.

"The lack of 'clean' energy sources coupled with the growth in Singapore?s economy and the increasing use of cars as well as electronic appliances such as air-conditioners contribute to Singapore's emissions," Maplecroft said in a statement to AFP.

Despite a punishing auto levy and road charges, the number of motor vehicles on its roads reached 925,518 in 2009, up more than 27 percent in five years, with private cars making up 60 percent of the total, official figures show.

In a separate list, the WWF ranked Singapore 21st in the world in terms of ecological footprint, or the demand for resources per person, ahead of such countries as Germany, France and Britain.

WWF's calculation covered not only emissions -- the biggest component of humanity's carbon footprint -- but also demand placed by people on arable land, fishing grounds, forest and grazing land worldwide.

Singapore authorities insist, however, that that the country has had no choice but to rely on imported fossil fuel to power its rapid industrialisation.

The trade-reliant economy, valued at 200 billion US dollars in 2009, is tipped to expand by a massive 15 percent this year.

With a land area smaller than that of New York City, Singapore has no space among its five million citizens for wind farms, while it is devoid of hydro and geothermal power sources.

"We are dependent on fossil fuels because our small size severely limits our ability to switch to alternative energies," the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement to AFP.

It said Maplecroft's index neither reflected Singapore's efforts to reduce its carbon emissions nor took into account its unique circumstances.

"As a small city-state, the use of per capita emissions inflates our carbon emissions," it said, noting that overall, Singapore accounts for less than 0.2 percent of global emissions.

Nevertheless, the government said it was committed to the fight against climate change and was taking steps to reduce the growth of its emissions, including switching from oil to natural gas to produce electricity.

Singapore is investing heavily in clean energy technologies -- it has allocated 770 million dollars to develop innovative energy solutions -- and is building a liquefied natural gas terminal that will be ready by 2013.

This will allow access to gas sources beyond neighbouring Indonesia and Malaysia.

It is also pushing its people to do more recycling, doubling its already expansive rail network by 2020 and testing electric vehicles for commercial use.

In another positive move, Singapore has offered itself as a "living laboratory" where global energy firms can develop and test new technologies before mass production.

Norway's Renewable Energy Corp (REC) opened one of the world's biggest solar technology manufacturing facilities in Singapore in November, a project costing nearly two billion dollars.

Vestas, a Danish manufacturer of wind turbines, already has a global research and development centre in the city-state.
Singapore has made Singapore a global hub for renewable energy."

The Indonesian island

Five Reasons to Visit Lombok, Indonesia.........
The Indonesian island of Lombok does not receive as much fanfare as its hugely popular neighbor Bali. Nevertheless, many Indonesians prefer vacationing in Lombok over Bali for many reasons: prices for hotel rooms, food and attractions are often a good deal cheaper, and the island's scenic spots are still unmolested by the gated villa developments, cheap cocktail bars and tawdry souvenir shops that have spread across so much of Bali. At least for now. A large international airport will be completed next year and Indonesian tourism officials will likely be marketing Lombok as Bali version 2. So don't put off your trip — or miss any of these five Lombok essentials.

1. A Homestay
If you're going to Lombok to avoid Balinese-style tourism, then why not pass up on the hotels, spas and plunge pools altogether and opt for a homestay? There are numerous options around the island, including farmhouses and homes in beachside and mountainside villages. Some are quite elaborate affairs, with self-contained accommodation and differing from standard travelers' lodges only by the presence of convivial hosts. Many offer an introduction to fishing, farming or even hunting as practiced by the local Sasak people, plus a firsthand look at the preparation of local foods and maybe a chance to sit in on some craftwork or the celebration of a festival. Your hosts will also be able to show you points of interest not found in the travel guides.
(Watch TIME's video "Indonesia's Green Gamble.")

If you can't pass up on your little luxuries, Yuli's Homestay,, in south Lombok is really more of a small resort (it has three comfortable bungalows and a swimming pool), but with a personal touch and lots of local insights supplied by a host couple from New Zealand and Indonesia. H. Radiah Homestay, tel: (62-370) 22298, in Lendang Nangka is a more rustic experience, offering a location smack in the middle of a Sasak village and a great base for hiking.

2. The Lombok Chili Pepper
Since the word lombok means chili in Bahasa Indonesia, you'd expect the locals to know a thing or two about spicy food. The green and red Lombok chilies are often made into sambal — a fiery condiment — with locally grown naga jolokia peppers, garlic and shrimp paste. Sample it as an accompaniment to local dishes like ayam taliwang (grilled wild chicken) and sayur nangka (jackfruit curry).
(See pictures of Indonesia noodle factory.)

3. Hit the Beach
Lombok's beaches are second to none and a blessed relief after Bali's busy strips. Head for the island's southwest to really escape the crowds. Surfers love the big waves at Bangko-Bangko (also known as Desert Point); if its long-walled and hollow left-hand breaks sound too taxing, then try the tiny island of Gili Nanggu, 15 minutes by boat from the town of Tawun. There, the Gili Nanggu Cottages and Bungalows resort,, offers a chance to laze on a pristine private beach that encircles the island, or to go snorkeling in the beautiful reefs.

4. Two Wheels Good
Public transport on Lombok is unreliable. Many visitors opt to hire a car and driver, which can be obtained at very reasonable rates, but if you're feeling adventurous try renting a motorcycle — available from shops all over the island. At just over 80 km at its widest point, Lombok is easily traversable and its roads are in great condition for Indonesia — the beneficiaries of recent infrastructural investment. The excellent 21-km coastal stretch from Senggigi to Pemenang winds past beautiful inlets and beaches and is an easy, exhilarating ride. Other, smaller roads meander through rugged highlands, passing secluded waterfalls and verdant rice paddies.

5. Hot, Roasted Worms
Lombok's people are an eclectic mix of religious and ethnic groups, with the majority being the indigenous Sasak Muslims. There is also a sizable Hindu Balinese population, and significant numbers of Chinese and Sasak Buddhists. All of this means a lively festival calendar. The largest and most colorful festival is the Bau Nyale or Sea Worm Festival. Every February at Kuta beach (that's Kuta beach, south Lombok, not to be confused with its famous Bali namesake), the Sasak people commemorate a mythical princess who drowned herself in these waters rather than enter a politically vexatious marriage. The festival is timed with the spawning of marine worms, which are eagerly caught and eaten — often after being wrapped in banana leaf and roasted — and the celebrations last for four days.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Obesity Wars

This was open warfare, a battle between "good and evil," between Public Health and Big Food. It's time to call a truce

first American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, a gathering of nutritionists, researchers, and public health advocates most invested in improving the health of Americans that took place one month ago in Denver.

Of particular interest to me were the programs that unveiled new research related to food marketing and obesity. As expected, a number of speakers presented their take on the correlations between consumption of soft drinks, fast foods, and snacks with obesity; the problems surrounding advertising to children; and the impact of posting calorie counts on what fast food items customers select.

But what struck me the most was what wasn't emphasized (or picked up by the press). For instance:

• Posting calories on restaurant menu boards is not working. In the four metropolitan areas in which calorie information had been provided to customers (New York; Philadelphia; Seattle; Portland, Oregon), results demonstrated little or no reduction in the number of calories purchased.

• Some food marketers are making dramatic improvements in reducing advertising to children. While the number of fast food advertisements directed at children increased from 2003 to 2009, the number of ads earmarked to kids dropped for the major soft drink companies, with Coca-Cola recording the biggest decline at -56 percent.

• There is no evidence that taxing sweetened beverages lowers obesity rates. These taxes will surely reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, but studies to date have not dealt with the "substitution effect"—do consumers simply eat other unhealthy products instead?—which other researchers indicate would not help ameliorate the problem.

But there was more than these seemingly innocuous omissions. One session I attended delineated legal tactics on how to attack the food industry based on lessons from the tobacco wars, tactics eerily similar to what food marketers have been accused of employing.

In another presentation, I suggested that perhaps it would be worth creating incentives for food marketers to more aggressively lower the number of calories they sell. This was met with an irate response from the session's leader: That approach won't make a difference, industry will never change, and "good luck" trying.

With that I concluded that the campaign to reverse America's ever-expanding girth has reached an impasse. This was no silent undertone of discontentment. This was open warfare, a battle between "good and evil," between Public Health and Big Food.

It's time to call a truce.

Americans are continuing to get fatter and fatter, with obesity rates reaching 30 percent or more in nine states last year, as opposed to only
three states in 2007, health officials reported on Tuesday.

The increases mean that 2.4 million more people became obese from 2007 to 2009, bringing the total to 72.5 million, or 26.7 percent of the population. The numbers are part of a continuing and ominous trend.

But the rates are probably underestimates because they are based on a phone survey in which 400,000 participants were asked their weight and height instead of having it measured by someone else, and people have a notorious tendency to describe themselves as taller and lighter than they really are.

Fair Trade USA Launches First Ethical Fashion Certification

Fair trade
USA Launches First Ethical Fashion Certification
Fair Trade Certification program for apparel and linens - just in time for the holidays! A full range of Fair Trade CertifiedTM clothing items is now available in the United States as part of our two-year pilot test of the program.

Before now there was no easy way for American consumers to walk into a store and choose an ethical tee over one made abroad in a sweatshop. Fair Trade USA’s Fair Trade Certified label changes that as it helps consumers and companies create jobs and sustainable livelihoods for garment workers and cotton farmers in India, Latin America and Africa:

■Consumers, for the first time, can vote with their dollars for better factory working conditions by choosing Fair Trade Certified apparel.
■Factory workers receive direct economic benefits through a Fair Trade premium, between one and 10 percent of the cost of the garment, potentially doubling their earnings on a per-product basis.
■Workers have a voice in the workplace through grievance channels, protection for freedom of association, and rights training.
■Cotton farmers receive a guaranteed minimum price to protect them from price fluctuations as well as community investment premiums on every pound of cotton.
This isn’t hippie fashion. Fair Trade is runway ready with great looks like celebrity-designed Fair Trade CertifiedTM graphic tees by Project Runway’s Korto Momolu and the up-and-coming fashion house Bacca da Silva from Liberty & Justice, boxers and luscious 100 percent organic women’s undies from newcomer Good & Fair, and tees from sustainability pioneer PrAna.

Ethical shoppers can opt for fair-trade certified fashions this season — although MNN's lifestyle blogger isn't too impressed by the current selection.
Want your organic cotton party dress made with fair labor too? Just in time for the holidays, fair trade certified clothing’s finally coming to the U.S. market. Now you no longer have to worry if your pesticide-free top was made via slave-like labor.

Of course, clothing marketed as fair trade has been around for a while — some made by serious fair labor advocates who worked directly with farmers and workers to ensure ethical practices, others simply touted as “fairly made” by shady entrepreneurs taking advantage of the lack of a third-party certification system. Without a certification label, shoppers could ask if the companies were members of the Fair Trade Federation — or just take sometimes-greenwashing companies at their word.

Now, you can just look for the fair trade certification label — which ensures a guaranteed minimum price for cotton farmers, better factory working conditions, fair trade premiums for factory workers (between one and 10 percent of the cost of the garment), and other benefits.

And better yet, five companies already have fair trade-certified lines you can shop from for the holidays!

However, don’t expect to find a hot party dress that’s fair trad-certified this year. So far, the fair trade-certified clothing options cover only the basics — plain T-shirts, hoodies, briefs and boxers. I love the eco-ethical mission of both Maggie’s Organics and Hae Now — and I even like Maggie’s Organics socks — but those two companies basically define what I call the eco-frumpy style. Good and Fair Clothing looks a tad sleeker — but only offers men’s style T-shirts and underwear. I had high hopes for Liberty & Justice, which apparently offers celeb-designed T-shirts, but I wasn’t able to find any to shop for online.
That left me with just Tompkins Point Apparel — which only makes men’s polo shirts! These do look pretty nice though! Maybe the eco-ethical brand will give Lacoste a run for their money. The organic and fair trade-certified shirts cost $50 each.

Options will get better come spring of 2011, when six more apparel companies are expected to start offering fair trade-certified clothes. Do you think you’ll be shopping fair trade fashions for the holidays? Do today’s fair trade fashions look stylish enough for you — or do you too hope for more style and less frump?

The Indian Fast Food Market with This Essential Analysis as the Industry Continues

Indian Fast Food Market Analysis
With the rapidly growing middle class population and changing lifestyle, India is blessed with one of the fastest growing fast food markets in the world. The Indian fast food market is growing at an annual rate of 25-30%. Almost all the worlds big fast food brands have succeeded in making their presence felt in the country and most of them are posting appreciable growth.

Consequently, all the popular fast food chains have chalked out massive plans for expanding their business and presence throughout the country. Foreign fast food chains are aggressively increasing their presence in the country. For instance, Dominos has planned to open 60-65 outlets every year for the next three years (2010-2012) while Yum Brands Inc is also preparing for massive expansion across the country with plans to open 1000 fast food outlets by 2015.

According to our new research report Indian Fast Food Market Analysis, although the market has witnessed robust growth over the past couple of years, it remains largely underpenetrated and concentrated in metropolitan cities. However, there is a large room for growth in untapped tier-II and tier-III cities. Therefore, the future of the Indian fast food industry lies in tier-II and tier-III cities. Owing to this, major fast food retailers are on the way to market their brands by using different marketing strategies such as campaigns and putting up billboards in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

The report provides an extensive research and objective analysis of the fast expanding Indian fast food market. The report analyzes all the vital industry trends and possible growth areas for future expansion. It also analyzes important driving forces in detail, which will help clients to understand the market better.

Moreover, we have identified the important players operating in the sector and have made a separate chapter which talks about their business expansion plans in detail. Most importantly, the report features forecast for fast food sales in the country. The forecast is based on the correlation between past market growth and growth in base drivers such as middle class, urbanization, cultural shift and lifestyle changes.


With the rapidly growing middle class population and changing lifestyle, India is blessed with one of the fastest growing fast food markets in the world. The Indian fast food market is growing at an annual rate of 25-30%. Almost all the world’s big fast food brands have succeeded in making their presence felt in the country and most of them are posting appreciable growth.

Consequently, all the popular fast food chains have chalked out massive plans for expanding their business and presence throughout the country. Foreign fast food chains are aggressively increasing their presence in the country. For instance, Domino’s has planned to open 60-65 outlets every year for the next three years (2010-2012) while Yum Brands Inc is also preparing for massive expansion across the country with plans to open 1000 fast food outlets by 2015.

According to our new research report “Indian Fast Food Market Analysis”, although the market has witnessed robust growth over the past couple of years, it remains largely underpenetrated and concentrated in metropolitan cities. However, there is a large room for growth in untapped tier-II and tier-III cities. Therefore, the future of the Indian fast food industry lies in tier-II and tier-III cities. Owing to this, major fast food retailers are on the way to market their brands by using different marketing strategies such as campaigns and putting up billboards in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

The report provides an extensive research and objective analysis of the fast expanding Indian fast food market. The report analyzes all the vital industry trends and possible growth areas for future expansion. It also analyzes important driving forces in detail, which will help clients to understand the market better.

Fast-Food & Home-Delivery Outlets Market Report Plus 2010
The UK fast-food, takeaway and home-delivery market (excluding coffee shops) reached a value of £10.13bn in 2009, an increase of 4.3% compared with 2008. If coffee shops are included, the value of the market climbed £12.71bn in 2009 — a growth of 4.7% since 2008.

This report analyses the following sectors of the market: sandwiches, burgers, pizza, fish and chips, chicken, other fast-food/takeaway outlets, and coffee shops. Sandwiches are the largest sector of the market by value, while the other fast-food and takeaway sector, covering a broad range of outlets including ethnic restaurants, was amongst the fastest growing between 2005 and 2009.

The fast-food, takeaway and home-delivery market appears to have weathered the economic downturn in the UK reasonably well. The low prices charged for many fast-food products has helped to sustain consumer interest and market growth; the new store opening programmes of the major chains, continuing during the recession, have boosted the overall growth rate of the sector at a time when like-for-like outlet sales growth has been slower.

Despite the recession, many of the leading fast-food chains continued to increase the number of outlets they operated in the UK in 2009; companies expanding in this way included Subway, Domino’s Pizza, EAT, Greggs, Subway and Costa. Further new stores are also being opened in 2010 and planned in the longer term.

KFC intends to open 200 to 300 new stores in the UK by 2013 and McDonald’s intends to target 30 new restaurant openings per year from 2010.

The authors forecast that the value of the UK fast-food, takeaway and home-delivery market will show steady, if not particularly spectacular levels of growth between 2010 and 2014. Although the economic climate in 2010 will remain difficult, the attraction of fast-food, including low prices and ongoing increases in the numbers of outlets operated by the major chains, should help to sustain overall growth.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MSN Launch Fitbie site for fitness

MSN Launch Fitbie site for fitness

MSN launched a new fitness content site with media company Rodale.
Fitbie, the latest addition to MSN's Lifestyle portfolio of Web sites, has just gone live at, and partners MSN and Rodale say the interactive multimedia Web site will enable people look, feel, and live better by helping users make better diet and fitness choices.

Goals on Fitbie cover a wide range of topics, from finding time to work out to looking good naked.

With subpages on how to get fit, lose weight and eat right, as well as personalized plan and goal setting, Fitbie is clearly trying to be to personal health what is to personal finance

Content is culled from several Rodale publications, including Women's Health, Prevention, Runner's World, Bicycling, and Men's Health. A sampling of articles on launch day covers such topics as the best marathons for beginners, nine reasons to get off the treadmill, 30-second weight loss tricks, and a handful of weight loss success stories.

Fitbie also features free two-week meal and fitness trial programs, including physical assessment and advice from diet and fitness experts.

"Working with MSN to launch Fitbie is a perfect fit for Rodale," says Steve Madden, vice president of Rodale's Creative Services & Digital Product Development, in Microsoft's news release. "Our mission is to improve personal health, and teaming up with a digital pioneer as respected as MSN to introduce this new property puts us squarely at the forefront of the digital health revolution."

Lifestyle in a Modern World

"Health is Wealth".

Lifestyle-- healthy in a Modern World...

During the recent years many people have started doing exercise, taking yoga classes and also following strict diet in many countries. The reasons behind these activities are many, like work-stress, people suffering from diabetes, people taking lots of fats in their food and due to the pollution and the ongoing urbanization. Most of the people living in the cities suffer from heavy pollution due to heavy intakes of carbon monoxide in their bodies. Due to this heavy intake there are many side effects involved in this process.

Most of the people are also addicted to smoking and alcohol, recent studies by an organization out of 100 people 60 percent drink significantly more than is healthy. Also in most of the countries even the percentage of the female population abusing alcohol is increasing. Due to this many of the doctors suggest people take regular exercises and also play sports in their leisure time. In the last ten years heart diseases has increased enormously from 35% to 70%. In recent years most of the children are born with diseases, a result of their parents poor health and lifestyle. So in these times it is necessary to follow some rules so that our health as well as our younger generations will be healthy.

Keeping healthy is nothing but keeping our body clean with healthy habits like taking regular exercise. First of all a regular jog of 2 km is enough for an individual of an average age. During the school days till college everyone is involved in one or other sport, but when people find a job they forget about health and they soon become busy in their work. One should consult their doctor every 3-4 months for a regular checkup's. They should not be stressed - if they find stress they should take yoga classes every day, so that their blood pressure will be normal. Otherwise that would lead them to hyper blood pressure or hypo, which may lead to heart disease. Most of the corporate companies in USA as well as rest of the world are employing dietitians, physiotherapists, and also good doctors to take care of their employees.

The next thing I want to discuss is the diet because the intake food which we are taking is responsible for all the fats, carbohydrates,proteins and necessary enzymes which will be useful for the energy conversion or utilization in the human body. We should follow the diet very strictly by avoiding the junk food available in the market. A recent survey states that most of the people fall ill by consumption of junk food. A food with little fat is advisable because by taking more fat content the fat will be accumulated in the veins and arteries in the human body which result in high blood pressure which may lead to heart disease. In order to reduce the fats in the human body we should take less oil or cheese or butter in our food there by controlling the fats in the human body. Regular exercise will be helpful to control the fat in the human body.

By playing sports it will be a good exercise in the human body. Swimming is also a good sport. We should maintain our body weight according to our height. There we can reduce our health problems to most of the extent. I conclude my discussion to the above topic by saying that a regular exercise or yoga and a strict diet and playing sports and regular check ups we can keep our body healthy after all there is an old saying "Health is Wealth".

Fast-Casual Restaurants Continue to Gain U.K.

Fast-Casual Restaurants Continue to Gain U.K.
“Consumers are frequenting fast-casual concepts for a number of reasons, but it really comes down to how these restaurants appeal to a consumer's lifestyle, offering a small upgrade from traditional quick-service, with healthier, fresher menu items.”