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Rome: 10 Things to Do in 24 Hours

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Introduction

Your stay in Rome is all about your state of mind. Making every hour count means letting the timeless grandeur and beauty of the place seep into your blood. So, keep your eyes open for the little things that aren't on any list, the nooks and nuances of this ancient city, which remind me that after 10 years of living here my time in Rome has been but a blink in the city's eye.

The best way to see the city is to walk. The sights of London or Paris might be mapped out by a few select subway stops. But in Rome, where you can usually count on good weather and unreliable transportation, you're best off doing as much as possible by foot. On the street is also where you'll unearth those unexpected finds. The warm aroma of a bakery. The handmade leather of a local craftsman. The tucked-away piazza that seems stuck in the 16th century, with grandma hanging the clothes out the window and six-year-olds chasing each other across the cobblestones. Even if it doesn't ever really change, Rome always has the power to surprise.

Read on for 10 things worth (leisurely) cramming into a day.



1. Galleria Borghese


They say the best museum in Rome is the city itself. That may be so, but the Galleria Borghese is still a gem worth seeing. Its collections are housed in a magnificent 17th-century villa and offer a compact course in the Italian aesthetic. In just 20 rooms, you are exposed to antiquities, the Renaissance and the beginnings of baroque art. Visits to the Galleria in the northeast corner of the sprawling Villa Borghese park are by reservation, which allows you the pleasure of seeing the Bernini sculptures from every angle without being crowded out.

1. Galleria Borghese
5 Piazzale del Museo Borghese, Rome, Italy 00197; 39-06-841-3979 41.91404812.491986



2. San Luigi dei Francesi


Once you've gotten a taste of Caravaggio, a late Renaissance master whose work is featured at the Galleria Borghese, you can't leave Rome without seeing what many say is his most powerful work. You'll have to go to church to do it.

The Calling of Saint Matthew hangs in the Contarelli Chapel of the San Luigi dei Francesi church, a reminder that 400-year-old art was provocatively modern when it was first conceived. Two other Caravaggio works — St. Matthew and the Angel and the Martyrdom of St. Matthew — which round out the triptych, are also on permanent display here. Seeing such a renowned work in a church you might otherwise have easily overlooked is proof that Rome really is a living museum.

Like other basilicas, entry is free (come in the morning, since the church closes at lunchtime); you'll have to drop a few coins to light up the paintings in the darkened interior and see how Caravaggio infused his own light into the baroque melodrama.

1. San Luigi dei Francesi
5 Via Santa Giovanna d'Arco, Rome, Italy 00186; 39-06-688-271 41.89960712.474918



3. Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum


It's hard to get away from art in Italy. Here's one last solely art-related suggestion, and one that quickly brings us up to the 20th century. The Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum is a chance to get a guided look at some of the signature works of the master of classically fueled surrealism and to get a peek into his sunny attic studio. The pristinely preserved two-level apartment, where De Chirico lived for more than 30 years until his death in 1978, also lets you glimpse how the city's upper crust have lived for centuries. In this case, it's accompanied by about the best view overlooking the splendid Piazza di Spagna. The living area has been left largely as it was during De Chirico's life and displays dozens of his works. Reservations must be made in advance.

1. Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum
31 Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Italy 00187; 39-06-679-6546 41.90552312.482415



4. Via del Governo Vecchio


If you look out ol' Giorgio's living room window (from the Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum) across Piazza di Spagna, you will see the famous Via Condotti, which stacks most of the best-known Italian designers into a 100-m stretch of real estate. For my money, though, I'd go to the other side of downtown for a less well-known, but no less elegant shopping experience on Via del Governo Vecchio, where you can buy everything from fur to bathing suits. It may not exactly be a bargain for American shoppers, but you'll probably find items not yet available in the U.S.

1. Via del Governo Vecchio
Via del Governo Vecchio, Rome, Italy 41.8984312.470159

2. Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum
31 Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Italy 00187; 39-06-679-6546 41.90552312.482415 More Info

3. Via Condotti
Rome, Italy 00187 41.90513912.480462



5. Ponte Sisto Stroll


The best way to soak up the city — and to find some of the quainter (and more affordable) shops — is to zig-zag from vicolo to vicolo (alley), piazza to piazza. For a good two-hour stroll, start at the bustling Piazza Navona, then head south through Campo dei Fiori, where you'll find cafés and daily food and flower markets, to the beguiling Piazza Farnese, with its pair of fountains and Renaissance palace. From there, continue toward Ponte Sisto. The ponte (bridge) offers a great perspective on the beauty of Rome, with the Gianicolo hill rising to the west and St. Peter's Basilica to the north. Cross the Tiber to arrive in the utterly charming Trastevere neighborhood, where laundry swings overhead and flowers burst from window boxes; your stroll can continue, and the enchantment (and shops) will keep coming.

1. Ponte Sisto
Rome, Italy 00186 41.89233612.470694

2. Piazza Navona
Rome, Italy 00186 41.89923712.472799

3. Piazza Campo dei Fiori
Rome, Italy 00186 41.89538112.472124

4. Piazza Farnese
Rome, Italy 00186 41.8952312.471323

5. Gianicolo
Rome, Italy 00165 41.89159112.461254

6. St. Peter's Basilica
Piazza San Pietro, Rome, Italy 00196 41.90225112.458371 More Info



6. Pizza al Taglio


By now you're hungry. If you have a lot of ground to cover and don't have time for a sit-down lunch, try some of the best stand-up pizza of your life. Rome is filled with these pizzerie al taglio (sliced), where ordering what you want is as easy as pointing through the glass toward the variety you like, nodding your approval for the width of the serving, then digging in. Feel free to ask for smaller portions of two or three different types. Beside the standard margherita (tomato sauce and mozzarella), most pizzerie will make a mean potato or zucchini pizza, as well as fresh cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.

Two of my favorite places are near the Trevi Fountain. Da Michele serves kosher pizza (meat, but no cheese) cooked to crisp perfection with endless varieties. Try sausage and broccoli, or mushrooms and arugula. My other favorite pizzeria is so small it doesn't have a name. It is on Via del Piè di Marmo, near the corner of Via del Gesù. Try the eggplant. Buonissima!

1. Da Michele
31 Via dell'Umiltà, Rome, Italy 00187; 39-349-252-5347 41.89963312.482796 More Info

2. Trevi Fountain
Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Italy 00187 41.90085212.483339

3. No-Name Pizzeria
Via del Piè di Marmo, near corner of Via del Gesù, Rome Italy



7. Gianicolo


This is known as the city of seven hills, but actually Rome has more than that. Indeed, the Gianicolo (or Janiculum), the hill that affords the best view of Rome, is west of the Tiber and outside the ancient city, so it's not counted among the ancient seven. Still, it's close to the historic center, just above the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood — and the panorama (not to mention the silence) from the top takes your breath away. At noon, the quiet is momentarily broken by the single shot of a cannon, to mark the exact time, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.

Besides a stunning view of Rome's ancient landmarks, the Gianicolo gives you a quick and slightly more modern history lesson on the Italian Risorgimento, the 19th-century movement (and wars) that unified modern Italy. Busts of the heroes are scattered along the pathways, and looming over everything is a gigantic statue of the great bearded hero Giuseppe Garibaldi on horseback. Viva Italia!

1. Gianicolo
Rome, Italy 00165



8. The Pope


As for checking out living VIPs, I have found there is almost no one — Catholic or otherwise — who doesn't get a thrill out of seeing the Pope in person. He isn't always in Rome (particularly in summer), but usually he's around, so check with your hotel! Sunday at noon is the Angelus prayer when the Pope speaks from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square. Wednesday morning is the weekly general audience, which is either in the Square or inside the Pope Paul VI auditorium. Tickets are required for the latter, but if you ask the Swiss Guard at the Vatican's Bronze Door entrance at around 9 a.m., he'll slide you the tickets. In any case, best to bring binoculars. (You can also hear the Pope's addresses online at RadioVaticana.org.)

1. Vatican City
Rome, Italy 41.90225712.458131


9. Ristorante Al Presidente


You're hungry again? Because of Rome's agreeable climate, lunch and dinner all'aperto is doable up to eight months out of the year. One of the best restaurants with the nicest terraces is Ristorante Al Presidente, flat in the center of town, under the shadow of the Quirinale presidential palace. The indoor dining room is also lovely. I can't help but order the same thing every time: pasta with fresh sardines and pecorino cheese.

1. Ristorante Al Presidente
95 Via in Arcione, Rome, Italy 00187; 39-06-6797-342 41.90150412.485082 alpresidente.it

2. Palazzo del Quirinale
Piazza del Quirinale, Rome, Italy 00187 41.89956912.486835



10. Gelato


Like pizza al taglio, gelato is not hard to find in central Rome. Most of the gelato around here is high quality, but arguably still the best in town is at the famous Giolitti, nestled between the Pantheon and the Italian Parliament. Ask for up to three flavors on a medium cone to go, or sit down at a streetside table and savor every moment. Try bacio, pistachio and nocciola for a creamy, nutty, chocolate-touched delight.

1. Giolitti
40 Via Uffici del Vicario, Rome, Italy 00186; 39-06-6991-243 41.90109112.477278 More Info

2. Pantheon
Rome, Italy 41.89906212.476778 More Info

3. Italian Parliament
Piazza Madama, Rome, Italy 00186 41.8991712.473876 More Info


source: Time.com

Do-It-Yourself Translations Through Facebook Connect

Similar to how Facebook has let users translate its site into more than 65 languages, the company is releasing a new version of its crowd-sourced translation tool so third parties can let users translate their sites, Facebook applications or web widgets.

Facebook has more than 300 million monthly active users around the world, and some 70 percent of these people are outside the US. By making it easier for companies to reach many of these users in their native languages and dialects, Facebook may spur further adoption of Connect and its other services around the world.

Here’s more, from the company blog post on the announcement:

You can start integrating Translations for Facebook Connect into your site with an HTML file and a few lines of JavaScript in less than an hour. Whether you want to translate an application, a social widget, or an entire website, you have complete control over every aspect of the translation process. After you choose what languages you want your site or application to support, you can get help from the Facebook community to translate your site, as we did, or you can do the translation yourself, or make a specific person the administrator of the process. To start translating your site, read the documentation on the Developer Wiki.

Facebook’s translation service has enabled applications with passionate fan bases outside the developers’ region to translate the service into their local languages and grow. We could see the same thing start to happen with websites as well with the expansion of Facebook’s translation service through Connect. Facebook has been growing by leaps and bounds in many popular European and South American countries for the last year and a half, and is now growing in many Asian and Middle Eastern markets more recently.

1-800-Flowers Gets Analytics Tool for Measuring Facebook-Based Retail Sales

This is not a huge news item, but notable as retail sales on Facebook is still a relatively unexplored area. Basically, an analytics tool from Omniture is being integrated into 1-800-Flowers’ flower delivery storefront, which is available in the online florist’s Facebook Page. This means the company can gather more data about what’s working — or not working — in terms of selling real-life flowers on Facebook.

Specifically, here’s what’s how it works. Omniture’s SiteCatalyst tool measures demographic segments, number of friends, types of social activity, friend invites, what portion of an app users spend time on, and how all of this engagement leads to actual sales. It launched a Facebook app measurement version in late May. The tool has now been integrated by Alvenda, a company that builds white-label storefront widgets for companies including 1-800-Flowers; the florist’s storefront, launched in early July, lets consumers on sites like Facebook make purchases without having to leave the page.

For Facebook users — many of whom do not want to leave Facebook — the page-based store could be a more convenient way to order flowers. And so it could be a new way for 1-800-Flowers to make money. With SiteCatalyst, now it can better track how well it does that, and identify particular problem points. The question, of course, is how well all of this actually works. The companies aren’t talking about that part, yet.


Mad Men Keeps Viewers Involved Through Interactive Facebook Paget

AMC Television’s “Mad Men” is as popular as ever mid-way through its third season, and the show continues to grow its fan base through a very interactive Facebook fan page. After some early confusion over how to manage its brand in online communities, AMC seems to have found a good formula for keeping viewers involved and cultivating new fans for the period drama.

The Mad Men official fan page has been growing steadily, with a current following of more than 176,000 Facebook users. The page offers a forum for fans to discuss recent episodes and weigh in on where the story line is heading, with discussions, a blog and a steady stream of fan wall posts.



Many Facebook users have created unique avatars with the “Mad Men Yourself” application, and the illustrated portraits are now all over Facebook and Twitter. Another popular application is “Which Mad Man Are You?”, which presents a short quiz to help match your personality to a “Mad Men” character.



Multiple videos are posted on the Facebook page to help fans catch up on missed episodes and keep them up-to-date on the story, and the photo section is filled with albums of past and recent episodes. Fans have also filled the photo page with nearly 2,000 pictures of their own, showing that there is a healthy level of interaction.

Multiple elements of the Facebook page link back to the show’s official page at amctv.com. The official page features prominent links to the various social network campaigns, including Facebook, along with a well-populated blog and in-depth coverage of the latest episode. Visitors to the page have a huge amount of content at their disposal, and AMC has done an excellent job of cross promoting their various social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, iPhone and more involving the show.

YouTube Falls Short In Facebook Popularity Contest, Dons Bib For Humble Pie

Facebook is becoming an increasingly important source of distribution and traffic for online video sites. And with over 3.6 million fans, YouTube has one of the most popular Pages on Facebook, and certainly the most popular Page for any video sharing site. But over the last few months, Google-owned YouTube has been making a major push to increase its Facebook fan base even more. In fact, 60 days ago, YouTube said it would surpass Will Smith, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, Adam Sandler, and Vin Diesel by yesterday, or else it would “eat humble pie” and spotlight a video on the YouTube home page for a nonprofit cause.

Well, yesterday marked the end of the 60-day period, and YouTube didn’t quite hit the high numbers that it had promised. However, YouTube took the shortcoming in stride, and made good on its word to feature charity videos on its homepage for a day.


YouTube ended the run with about 600,ooo new fans, which wasn’t even close to the number it needed to move up the list and challenge Will Smith, Megan Fox or Vin Diesel. The final count is about 3.65 million fans, which is still one of the higher numbers on Facebook. YouTube’s original challenge featured the numbers they thought they needed to move past more popular celebrities, but the site neglected to factor those celebrities also growing in popularity over the last 2 months.

The promise to eat humble pie was fulfilled on Monday in a blog post on the site, along with the non-profits that would be featured on the site. The four winners were chosen through a fan poll, marking the first time Facebook fans chose what videos would be featured, with the top four receiving valuable real estate in the YouTube featured video tab on the home page.




source: insidefacebook.com

Love, pleasure, duty: Why women have sex

(CNN) -- What makes a woman want to have sex? Is it physical attraction? Love? Loneliness? Jealousy? Boredom? Painful menstrual cramps?

It turns out that woman have sex for all of these reasons and more, and that their choices are not arbitrary; there may be evolutionary explanations at work.

Psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss, both professors at the University of Texas at Austin, decided that the topic of "why women have sex" deserved a book of its own. They've woven scientific research together with a slew of women's voices in their new collaborative work, "Why Women Have Sex," published September 29 by Times Books.

"We do bring in men occasionally by way of contrast, but we wanted to focus exclusively on women so that the complexity of women's sexual psychology was not given the short shrift, so to speak," said Buss, a leading evolutionary psychologist.

The authors conducted a study from June 2006 to April 2009 that asked women whether they had ever had sex for one of 237 reasons, all of which had emerged in a previous study. About 1,000 women contributed their perspectives.

It turns out that women's reasons for having sex range from love to pure pleasure to a sense of duty to curiosity to curing a headache. Some women just want to please their partners, and others want an ego boost.

Buss said he found it surprising how dramatically and variably sexual experience seemed to influence women's feelings of self-esteem.

"Some sexual experiences that women in our study reported just had devastating effects and long-lasting negative effects on their feelings of self-worth," he said. "But then for others, their sexual experiences provided the soaring height of euphoria and made them feel alive and vibrant."

Meston said some 20-somethings defied the gender stereotypes that women should be more chaste than men and not sleep around as much.

"Many of the women were having sex purely because they wanted the experience, they wanted the adventure, they wanted to see what it was like to be with men of different ethnicities," she said. "Some women said they wanted more notches on the belt. They simply wanted to get rid of their virginity."

Some women have sex to make money, and not just in the conventional manner of prostitution. A woman from California who goes by "Natalie Dylan" garnered national attention this year with her campaign to sell her virginity and said in January that her top bid of $3.8 million came from a 39-year-old Australian. Read more about selling virginity

There are more factors that influence a woman's sex drive than a man's, the authors said, and the factors that make men attractive to women -- personality, sense of humor, self-confidence, status -- are less important considerations for men when they are choosing women.

There is also evidence that sexual arousal is more complicated for women than for men, the authors report.

A study from Meston's lab showed a strong correlation between how erect a man's penis is and how aroused he says he is. By contrast, the link is much weaker between a woman's physical arousal (as measured inside her vagina) and the arousal she says she feels, the researchers found. This is why drugs to treat erectile dysfunction such as Viagra don't work as well in women, the authors said.

That makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, even though men and women may not consciously think about their choices that way, the authors said. If the goal of a man is to spread his genes, he would need to look for signs of fertility in a woman, which are historically associated with physical cues, Buss said.

"The adaptive problem that women have had to solve is not simply picking a man who is fertile but a man who perhaps will invest in her, a man who won't inflict costs on her, a man who might have good genes that could be conveyed to her children," he said.

In this context, women must also be more selective, because wrong choices can lead much higher costs than for men: pregnancy and child-rearing.

In studies, women have consistently shown preferences for men with symmetrical bodies, a subtle mark of genetic fitness and status, the book said. In fact, simply by smelling T-shirts that men had worn for two nights, women judged the odors of symmetrical men to be the most attractive, and the asymmetrical men's odors the least attractive, in one study.

Still, symmetry isn't everything, Meston and Buss said. They pointed to singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett as someone with other positive attributes, such as musical talent and personality, who has clearly done well with women despite asymmetrical features.

"Women are evaluating men on multiple attributes," Buss said.

Kissing also turns out to be more important for women than for men in some respects: In one study, 53 percent of men said they would have sex without kissing, but only 15 percent of women said they would even consider sex without smooching first, the book said. For women, kissing is "an emotional litmus test," the authors wrote.

The medicinal value of sex also comes into play for some women, the book said. Sex can help a woman relax and sleep better, and it can ease the pain of menstrual cramps and headaches -- and some survey participants cited these as reasons they've had sex.

A study from Rutgers University found that, during orgasm, women were able to tolerate 75 percent more pain. Though Meston has not studied the phenomenon in men, she said she would expect sex to have the same effects of reducing headaches and other pain.

The authors collected stories from 1,006 women from 46 states, eight Canadian provinces, three European countries and Australia, New Zealand, Israel and China. Participants came from a variety of ethnic and religious -- as well as non-religious -- backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. About 80 percent of the women said they were in a relationship at the time, and 93 percent said they were predominantly or exclusively heterosexual.

The book also explores how women's perception of sex may change over time, according to whom they're with and whether they are married.

A 26-year-old heterosexual woman wrote, "When I was single, I had sex for my own personal pleasure. Now that I am married, I have sex to please my husband. My own pleasure doesn't seem as important as his. I believe he feels the same way."


source: CNN.com

Plan your ideal walking workout

Walking is a wonder exercise. Not only can it can help control weight, it also reduces the risk of developing diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. Walking bestows benefits to the brain too, by relieving stress and improving mood. Best of all, walking is free: You don't need fancy equipment or a gym membership to reap the benefits. Here's how to make every step count, no matter how often you hit the pavement.

If you walk occasionally

Routine: Begin by walking 10 to 15 minutes on flat ground or on a treadmill at a purposeful pace, or complete 2,000 steps (use a pedometer to monitor your walking progress). "You want to cover a mile in about 20 minutes. That's not a window-shopping pace," says Mark Fenton, a former competitive racewalker and the host of the PBS series "America's Walking."RealSimple.com: The 20-minute workout

Walking tips:

• Maintain an upright but comfortable posture, with your neck, upper back, and shoulders relaxed, suggests fitness-walking expert Sara Donovan, author of "Mall Walking Madness: Everything You Need to Know to Lose Weight and Have Fun at the Same Time."

• Minimize the sway in your lower back; don't jut your rear out. Instead, maintain a slight, natural arch in your back.

• Gently pull in your abdominal muscles. This helps strengthen your abs while reducing lower-back pain.

Goal: Aim to walk at least five days a week. Every second or third week, add 5 minutes. After about two or three months of regular walking, you should be up to 30 minutes. Once you've hit half an hour, add variety to your terrain rather than increasing time or speed. This will boost your enjoyment, encouraging you to keep up the habit. RealSimple.com: The secrets of thin people

If you're an everyday walker

Routine: If you're already walking for at least 30 minutes a day, you may be ready to make your routine less routine. Concentrate on increasing distance and speed, gradually working up to 45 minutes. Pick up the pace until you're walking a mile in 15 to 18 minutes. (Wear a pedometer, or use your car to measure your route.) To speed up, take faster steps, not longer strides. "There's a physical limit to stride length, but as your fitness improves you can always take quicker steps," says Fenton, who is also the author of "The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness."

Walking tip: Bend your arms to about 90 degrees. That turns them into shorter, more compact pendulums. You'll be able to swing them faster and thus help your legs and feet move faster. (Just try running with straight arms.)

Goal: Set your sights on taking 10,000 steps every day, which adds up to about five miles. You'll take half of those steps just by going about your daily life -- grocery shopping, climbing stairs. The rest, about 2½ miles, you'll need to add by fitness walking. RealSimple.com: Healthy fast food and takeout

If you're an athletic walker

Routine: Speed-walking means setting about a 12-minute-mile pace. Racewalking, an Olympic sport, is even more challenging. Both take concentration. Unless you continually remind your feet to move unnaturally fast, you'll slow down.

Walking tips:

• To visualize racewalking, think of children running around a pool and being told by the lifeguard to walk, not run, says Fenton: "Imagine their upright posture, quick steps, fairly straight legs, and bent arms."

• Take fast steps: World-class female racewalkers maintain a blistering 200-steps-per-minute pace (or a 7- to 7.5-minute mile) for 12 miles.

Goal: You could walk two miles in 25 minutes at this pace. Or you could keep your workout interesting by following these two strategies:

• Intersperse 10 one-minute bursts of speed-walking or racewalking throughout a moderately fast 45-minute walk.

• Become a hiker. "Going up hills is the best intensifier," says author Mark Fenton. Even though you may not walk as fast as you could on flat ground, you'll boost your workout substantially. According to experts, you expend significantly more energy hiking up a 10 percent incline than walking at the same pace on level ground. And because you're moving up and down in addition to forward, your calf and thigh muscles will develop more tone


source: CNN.com

Parents clueless when it comes to kids' growth charts

(Health.com) -- Parents can check out growth charts -- a nifty graph that tells them where their child falls in relation to peers in terms of height and weight -- just about everywhere, from a child's vaccination records to the doctor's office.

But there's a problem: A new study suggests that most parents don't know how to read the charts and may think a child's weight is perfectly fine, when, in fact, the child is obese or overweight compared to peers.

More than 12.5 million children and adolescents are overweight, and these numbers are on the rise, according to the U.S. surgeon general. If most parents don't realize that their child is overweight, the new study, which appears in the October 4 issue of the journal Pediatrics, has implications in the war against childhood obesity. Health.com: 25 Diet-busting foods you should never eat

In an Internet survey of 1,000 parents, 79 percent said they had seen a growth chart before, and the majority of these parents believed they understood the information. In fact, about one-third of parents said they used a growth chart at home.

However, only 64 percent of respondents could correctly determine a child's weight by looking at plotted points on a growth chart. What's more, up to 77 percent incorrectly interpreted the data when looking at a combined height/weight measurement chart. Only 56 percent were able to correctly define percentile in a multiple-choice question. A percentile, which is shown as lines drawn in curved pattern on a growth chart, measures how a child compares to his or her peers in height and weight. Health.com: Kids on the run: The new trend in family-friendly fitness

Specifically, 51 percent of parents did not understand that a child in the 10th percentile for height (meaning they are shorter than most of their peers) and 90th percentile for weight (meaning they weigh more than most of their peers) was overweight.

The survey was conducted by Dr. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, a consulting medical editor at KidsHealth and the Nemours Center for Children's Health Media, and a pediatrician at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, in Wilmington, Delaware, and colleagues.

Overall, parents with lower incomes and less formal education were least likely to comprehend information on growth charts, the study showed. And if parents were concerned about a child's weight at all, they tended to think they were too skinny, not too fat. Health.com: How to grocery shop on a diet

"The present study underscores how poorly we as clinicians are getting through to parents," says Dr. Anjali Jain, an assistant professor of pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C. Parents often do not believe that their child is overweight or at risk for health problems, or think a child will outgrow "baby fat."

"Two dimensional lines and plots are not able to speak a language that parents understand," Jain points out in an editorial published with the study. Perhaps, she suggests, discussing height and weight in terms of clothing size may help parents better understand if their child is overweight or obese and at risk for serious medical problems as a result. Health.com: The real reasons we eat too much

Specifically, 51 percent of parents did not understand that a child in the 10th percentile for height (meaning they are shorter than most of their peers) and 90th percentile for weight (meaning they weigh more than most of their peers) was overweight.

The survey was conducted by Dr. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, a consulting medical editor at KidsHealth and the Nemours Center for Children's Health Media, and a pediatrician at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, in Wilmington, Delaware, and colleagues.

Overall, parents with lower incomes and less formal education were least likely to comprehend information on growth charts, the study showed. And if parents were concerned about a child's weight at all, they tended to think they were too skinny, not too fat. Health.com: How to grocery shop on a diet

"The present study underscores how poorly we as clinicians are getting through to parents," says Dr. Anjali Jain, an assistant professor of pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C. Parents often do not believe that their child is overweight or at risk for health problems, or think a child will outgrow "baby fat."

"Two dimensional lines and plots are not able to speak a language that parents understand," Jain points out in an editorial published with the study. Perhaps, she suggests, discussing height and weight in terms of clothing size may help parents better understand if their child is overweight or obese and at risk for serious medical problems as a result. Health.com: The real reasons we eat too much

"It is real to them if they are having to buy clothes frequently or if hems always need shortening to accommodate girth," says Jain, who is also a pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Alan Rosenbloom, a pediatrician in New York City, says "many parents -- too many parents -- are not understanding their pediatrician's translation of the growth chart data, and this is disturbing to me."

The study suggests that it's not enough for pediatricians to show parents a growth chart; they need to explain the numbers too, according to Dr. Rosenbloom. "Growth charts and [body mass index] charts can serve as great tools in the fight against childhood obesity, but only with good comprehension by the parents who need to understand the data," he says.

Parents must understand their children's height, weight, and body mass index so that "we can tackle the problem of obesity with improved diet and exercise regimens when obesity exists," he says. "[They should also] encourage healthy eating habits from an early age so that we can prevent obesity before it develops."

'Sorry I Haven't Written': A Scientific Explanation

If you're like most people, you do a lot of routine things in any given day — running errands, say, or e-mailing or doing laundry. And like most people, you've probably never stopped to wonder whether the pattern of your routine behavior fits into some sort of universal mathematical law.

But Dean Malmgren has. A faculty member in Northwestern University's department of chemical and biological engineering, Malmgren thinks a lot about universal laws and how they might explain human behavior, even seemingly spontaneous actions like writing an e-mail to a friend.

In the current issue of Science, Malmgren and several colleagues explain that as far as human correspondence goes, when and how long you choose to sit down and e-mail your friends or family has less to do with your desire to get in touch than with a larger — and less random — system of outside factors.

To reach that conclusion, Malmgren's team analyzed the letter-writing oeuvre of 16 people important enough that their correspondence has been thoroughly archived — people like Einstein, Darwin and Hemingway. Initially, Malmgren says, researchers believed that old-fashioned letter-writing would follow different rules of behavior from e-mailing, but the new analysis suggests that they're actually very similar. "It's analogous to some areas of physics," says Malmgren, "where you might have two fluids with very different densities and viscosities but they ultimately follow the same laws of fluid dynamics."

It turns out that just three mechanisms combine to explain both activities. The first is our propensity to continue repeating a task once we've started: "Once you send one e-mail or write one letter, you tend to do another," says Malmgren. The second is our circadian sleep-wake cycle, which limits the available time we have to devote to letter-writing. The third is that we typically work on the same days each week, further restricting when and how long we spend getting in touch with friends.

These three fundamentals are complicated by individual situations, of course. Someone with a full-time job, for example, can't necessarily engage in personal correspondence except at night or on weekends. Some people have lots of friends and family to keep in touch with, while others are naturally more solitary. And circumstances can change over time. "In the early part of his life," says Malmgren, "Einstein didn't write many letters. Later, as he became famous — and had a secretary to help him — he wrote a lot more. Freud was steadier. Each had a personal writing rate."

Nevertheless, both celebrities' letters fit into the same underlying model, as did those of Karl Marx, Robert E. Lee, Marcel Proust — and presumably a horde of unfamous letter-writers as well. "I really wish we could have gotten some ordinary people," says Dean. "But unfortunately, their letters are rarely preserved in a comprehensive way. Nobody cares about the letters of Joe Schmo who lived in 1873."

This study is just the beginning for Malmgren. "Our model only describes how we do one activity," he says, "but we actually juggle lots of things. So it's interesting to consider how we transition between them." One way to get a handle on how people multitask is to look at online activity, the focus of his group's next analysis: it involves a lot of different behaviors — such as chatting, game-playing and reading — but under a single umbrella. "There's potentially a lot wrapped up into one," says Malmgren.

On a practical level, Malmgrem's research could help explain a range of other apparently unique human behaviors, like running errands, making phone calls, checking books out of the library and doing homework. In the meantime, the study offers at least a few possible excuses for why it's taken you so long to respond to that e-mail from your mother — like "The universal mathematical model made me do it," or maybe "You wouldn't complain if I were Einstein."


source: Time.com

What You Need To Know About The H1N1 Vaccine

Questions and Answers

An H1N1 Vaccine Primer

At 5 a.m. on Sept. 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will launch its largest vaccine giveaway in decades. Lining up for this invitation-only event will be the health departments of each of the 50 U.S. states, which are responsible for dispensing at least 251 million doses of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic-flu vaccine to health providers across the nation. The vaccines have been purchased by the Federal Government and will be given to states — and patients — gratis. It's not the usual way influenza immunizations are distributed, but nothing about this flu season is normal — from the dominance of a novel strain to the high number of cases emerging so early in fall to the creation and testing of an additional vaccine. So before you line up for your shot, here's the latest on the vaccine rollout.


When will I be able to get the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccines?

The CDC expects 3.4 million doses of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine to begin shipping on Oct. 1. Most of this first wave of vaccines will consist of the nasal-spray variety, which contains the weakened live H1N1 flu virus and is recommended for healthy people ages 2 to 49. Pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions should get the injectable vaccine, which contains the inactive virus and is expected to be widely available within the first two weeks of October.

As the flu season progresses, five vaccinemakers will churn out 20 million additional doses each week until the government's goal of 251 million doses is reached. Every day, state health officials will collect additional vaccine requests from doctors, hospitals, retail pharmacies and other providers — 90,000 in all — and forward them to the CDC, which will distribute vaccines through McKesson, a San Francisco-based medical and pharmaceutical distribution company. McKesson has dedicated six new facilities — two in Ohio and one each in California, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas — to handling the receipt and shipment of the H1N1 vaccine, along with additional supplies such as syringes, needles and sharps-disposal kits, also provided free by the government.


Are the 2009 H1N1 vaccines safe?

Yes. On Sept. 15, the U.S. FDA approved four H1N1 vaccines — three injectable versions and one nasal spray — on the basis of early results from clinical trials involving hundreds of healthy adult volunteers that showed that the immunization was both safe and effective in activating a good immune response to H1N1. Studies with children and pregnant women are still under way, but so far both groups show no serious reactions to the vaccine.

The pandemic-flu vaccine is made the same way as the seasonal-flu shot, except with a different influenza-virus strain, so the clinical trials were not actually required for licensure — the seasonal-flu shot is not tested this way each year but is considered safe. Yet health officials wanted to be cautious; the last time the government ordered a vaccine against an H1N1 virus, in 1976, 40 million Americans received the shot, and soon after, several hundred contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare but paralyzing neurological condition.

The new vaccine has no such problems so far, and nearly 80% of all inoculated people produce enough antibodies to protect them from getting sick.


Why won't the seasonal-flu vaccine protect me against 2009 H1N1?

The regular flu vaccine does not contain the 2009 H1N1 flu strain. If the first cases of H1N1 had emerged earlier — in January or February instead of in March — then the novel flu strain might have been part of this fall's yearly flu vaccine. But because the World Health Organization (WHO) decides in February which three influenza strains to include in the next season's vaccine, it was too late to fold in H1N1.

Health officials also chose not to interrupt production of the seasonal-flu vaccine to make room for H1N1; that would have left us with no immunizations at all for the start of the flu season. This way, the seasonal vaccine was delivered on time, with the 2009 H1N1 vaccine close behind. If 2009 H1N1 continues to circulate as one of the main influenza strains this fall and winter, the WHO may decide to include it in the annual vaccine next year.


How many H1N1 flu shots will I need?

That depends on how old you are. Early trials suggest that a single dose of the H1N1 vaccine will be sufficient to protect adults and children ages 10 and older. That's good news, since health officials initially thought most people would need two doses. Now twice as many people can be vaccinated with the same number of doses purchased by the government, and people won't have to keep track of their vaccination schedules.

Children under 10, however, will need two doses of the new vaccine, 21 days apart. That's in line with current immunization practices for this age group; all children up to age 10 who are getting vaccinated for the first time against seasonal flu also receive two doses. That's because young immune systems cannot mount as strong a response against influenza as more mature ones can, and since youngsters are less likely than adults to have been previously exposed to influenza, they don't benefit from residual immunity against the virus.

This means some children will need four doses of influenza vaccine this year — two for seasonal flu and two for H1N1.


There are two types of the H1N1 and seasonal vaccines. Can I mix and match?

Both the seasonal and the H1N1 vaccines come in two varieties — an injectable form and a nasal spray, FluMist. Ideally, anyone needing two doses of either the seasonal or the H1N1 vaccine should stick to the same form of inoculation — the shot or the spray.

But if that's not possible, it's O.K. to mix and match. Children younger than 10, for example — who need two doses of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine — can get one FluMist and one injectable dose.

Only one combination is not recommended. If you need to get the seasonal and 2009 H1N1 vaccines at the same time, don't get FluMist for both. "It's a question of how the immune system deals with a live virus," says Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "It's better not to push two live-virus vaccines at the same time."

Again, pregnant women, anyone under 2 or over 49 and those with an underlying condition like heart disease, asthma or a compromised immune system should not get the spray vaccine. But the injectable version, made from the killed influenza virus, is approved for everyone 6 months old and up.


Where can I get the 2009 H1N1 vaccine?

The new vaccine should be available wherever the seasonal vaccine is traditionally administered — doctors' offices, hospitals, public-health clinics, workplaces and retail clinics.

In addition, the H1N1 vaccine will be available at some unconventional locations, including pharmacies (pharmacists in 49 states are allowed to administer flu shots) and schools. That's because health officials not only want to immunize as many people in as short a period as possible but also want to target school-age children first. (Other priority groups for vaccination include health-care workers, pregnant women and caretakers of children under 6 months.) In New York City, for example, which had one of the country's highest rates of 2009 H1N1 last spring, each public and private elementary school will serve as a vaccination center and will hold two rounds of immunizations, spaced four weeks apart, to ensure that children needing two doses of vaccine receive their complete schedule of shots — with parental consent.



source: Time.com

News Today - sport news





Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead his weekly audience in St.Peter's square at the Vatican September 30, 2009.



Pakistani batsman Kamran Akmal ducks his head to avoid a bounce during their ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between Australia and Pakistan on September 30, 2009 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.



A Pakistani wholesaler arranges a display of pulses outside his shop at a main market in Rawalpindi on September 30, 2009. Pakistan's central bank has announced that its key interest rate would remain unchanged at 13 percent, as threats remained to the nation's economic growth and with inflation still high. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that while there were good signs in domestic financial markets and indicators of a more positive global economic outlook after the slump, private sector lending remained subdued.



North Korean soldiers look at pictures during a ceremony to hand over the body of a North Korean soldier from the South to the North at the truce village of Panmunjom on September 30, 2009. The body was found washed into South Korea along the Hantan river which flows across the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) border in July.



Harald Gremel from the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau shows a disk at a news conference on a child porn ring, in Vienna, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Austrian authorities say an international operation has netted 22 people suspected of belonging to a child pornography ring. The suspects were taken into custody in Austria, Canada, Bulgaria, Germany, the United States, Spain and Switzerland.



Indian bystanders - seen through the window of building - gesture while standing outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as they watch the Sensex index on the digital broadcast in Mumbai on September 30, 2009. Indian shares jumped in trade, crossing the key 17,000-point level to reach a 16-month high, buoyed by optimism about quarterly earnings data from Indian companies. The benchmark 30-share Sensex index was up 1.16 percent, or 196.84 points, at an intraday high of 17,049.75 in morning trade. The markets last crossed 17,000 points in May 2008. The Sensex has risen over 76 percent in the year, aided by strong overseas fund flows into India of 11.89 billion dollars.



Georgia's ambassador to the European Union Salome Samadashvili talks to reporters in Brussels, September 30, 2009. Russia said on Wednesday an EU-sponsored report had found Georgia responsible for starting last year's five-day war, Russian news agencies reported.



Japan's electronics giant JVC Kenwood Holdings unveils the new home audiovisual server 'Ryoma', equipped with HDD and Blu-ray recorder, in Tokyo on September 30, 2009. The system is also equipped with an Internet radio tuner to receive high quality music and moving images from a special radio station called M-Link. JVC will put the product on the market next year.



Australian fans cheer up their team at the start of their ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between Australia and Pakistan on September 30, 2009 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.



Pope Benedict XVI is framed by a Vatican Swiss Guard, left, and a crucifix as he attends his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009.



France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) welcomes Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris September 30, 2009.



A doctor sanitizes wounds on the feet of flood victims at a makeshift outdoor clinic in eastern Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Flood victims from one of the country's worst storms, trudged through ankle-deep sludge to crowded relief centers in the Philippines, as the death toll rose from waters that submerged the homes of more than 2 million people.




People look at wreckage after a tsunami hit the village of Leone, American Samoa September 29, 2009. A series of tsunamis smashed into the Pacific island nations of American and Western Samoa, killing possibly more than 100 people, destroying villages and injuring hundreds, officials said on Wednesday. A Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued after an 8.0 magnitude undersea quake off American Samoa, with reports of a small tsunami reaching New Zealand and rising sea levels in several South Pacific island nations.



Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammad El-Baradei gives an acceptance speech after being awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. In the background is a portrait of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.



BEIJING, CHINA-SEPTEMBER 30: A worker changes oil prices at a gas station in Beijing, China on September 30, 2009. National Development and Reform Commission issued a notice, decided at 0:00 on the September 30, diesel prices will decrease 190 yuan per ton. The Chinese government has called for greater efforts to maintain public order and social stability so that people can celebrate the National Day holiday peacefully



Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks with Labour Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, at the Labour Party Conference, in Brighton in southern England September 30, 2009. Britain's Labour Party is holding its annual conference in Brighton this week, seeking to revive its poll ratings before an election due by next June.



French police inspect several of thirty-three buses which were destroyed after a fire from a Molotov cocktail broke out at a public transport bus depot in Lyon September 30, 2009.



Businessmen move on an escalator with a backdrop of the logo of Tokyo's bid for the 2016 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. On Friday Oct. 2, the decision as to who will host the 2016 Olympics Games will made in Copenhagen.



Masked Palestinian Hamas militants speak to the press during a press conference in Gaza City, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Israel and Hamas militants announced a deal Wednesday that will see Israel release 20 Palestinian women from prison this week in exchange for a videotape proving that a captive Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip is still alive. The decision was the first tangible sign of movement in more than three years of talks over the release of the soldier, Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who has not been seen since he was captured by Hamas-linked militants in a cross-border raid in June 2006.



A model wears a creation by Korean fashion designer Moon Young Hee during the presentation of her Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2010 fashion collection, Wednesday Sept. 30, 2009 in Paris.





Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead his weekly audience in St.Peter's square at the Vatican September 30, 2009.



Pakistani batsman Kamran Akmal ducks his head to avoid a bounce during their ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between Australia and Pakistan on September 30, 2009 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.



A Pakistani wholesaler arranges a display of pulses outside his shop at a main market in Rawalpindi on September 30, 2009. Pakistan's central bank has announced that its key interest rate would remain unchanged at 13 percent, as threats remained to the nation's economic growth and with inflation still high. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that while there were good signs in domestic financial markets and indicators of a more positive global economic outlook after the slump, private sector lending remained subdued.



North Korean soldiers look at pictures during a ceremony to hand over the body of a North Korean soldier from the South to the North at the truce village of Panmunjom on September 30, 2009. The body was found washed into South Korea along the Hantan river which flows across the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) border in July.



Harald Gremel from the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau shows a disk at a news conference on a child porn ring, in Vienna, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Austrian authorities say an international operation has netted 22 people suspected of belonging to a child pornography ring. The suspects were taken into custody in Austria, Canada, Bulgaria, Germany, the United States, Spain and Switzerland.



Indian bystanders - seen through the window of building - gesture while standing outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as they watch the Sensex index on the digital broadcast in Mumbai on September 30, 2009. Indian shares jumped in trade, crossing the key 17,000-point level to reach a 16-month high, buoyed by optimism about quarterly earnings data from Indian companies. The benchmark 30-share Sensex index was up 1.16 percent, or 196.84 points, at an intraday high of 17,049.75 in morning trade. The markets last crossed 17,000 points in May 2008. The Sensex has risen over 76 percent in the year, aided by strong overseas fund flows into India of 11.89 billion dollars.



Georgia's ambassador to the European Union Salome Samadashvili talks to reporters in Brussels, September 30, 2009. Russia said on Wednesday an EU-sponsored report had found Georgia responsible for starting last year's five-day war, Russian news agencies reported.



Japan's electronics giant JVC Kenwood Holdings unveils the new home audiovisual server 'Ryoma', equipped with HDD and Blu-ray recorder, in Tokyo on September 30, 2009. The system is also equipped with an Internet radio tuner to receive high quality music and moving images from a special radio station called M-Link. JVC will put the product on the market next year.



Australian fans cheer up their team at the start of their ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between Australia and Pakistan on September 30, 2009 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.



Pope Benedict XVI is framed by a Vatican Swiss Guard, left, and a crucifix as he attends his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009.



France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) welcomes Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris September 30, 2009.



A doctor sanitizes wounds on the feet of flood victims at a makeshift outdoor clinic in eastern Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Flood victims from one of the country's worst storms, trudged through ankle-deep sludge to crowded relief centers in the Philippines, as the death toll rose from waters that submerged the homes of more than 2 million people.




People look at wreckage after a tsunami hit the village of Leone, American Samoa September 29, 2009. A series of tsunamis smashed into the Pacific island nations of American and Western Samoa, killing possibly more than 100 people, destroying villages and injuring hundreds, officials said on Wednesday. A Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued after an 8.0 magnitude undersea quake off American Samoa, with reports of a small tsunami reaching New Zealand and rising sea levels in several South Pacific island nations.



Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammad El-Baradei gives an acceptance speech after being awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. In the background is a portrait of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.



BEIJING, CHINA-SEPTEMBER 30: A worker changes oil prices at a gas station in Beijing, China on September 30, 2009. National Development and Reform Commission issued a notice, decided at 0:00 on the September 30, diesel prices will decrease 190 yuan per ton. The Chinese government has called for greater efforts to maintain public order and social stability so that people can celebrate the National Day holiday peacefully



Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks with Labour Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, at the Labour Party Conference, in Brighton in southern England September 30, 2009. Britain's Labour Party is holding its annual conference in Brighton this week, seeking to revive its poll ratings before an election due by next June.



French police inspect several of thirty-three buses which were destroyed after a fire from a Molotov cocktail broke out at a public transport bus depot in Lyon September 30, 2009.



Businessmen move on an escalator with a backdrop of the logo of Tokyo's bid for the 2016 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. On Friday Oct. 2, the decision as to who will host the 2016 Olympics Games will made in Copenhagen.



Masked Palestinian Hamas militants speak to the press during a press conference in Gaza City, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Israel and Hamas militants announced a deal Wednesday that will see Israel release 20 Palestinian women from prison this week in exchange for a videotape proving that a captive Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip is still alive. The decision was the first tangible sign of movement in more than three years of talks over the release of the soldier, Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who has not been seen since he was captured by Hamas-linked militants in a cross-border raid in June 2006.



A model wears a creation by Korean fashion designer Moon Young Hee during the presentation of her Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2010 fashion collection, Wednesday Sept. 30, 2009 in Paris.