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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dubai plans 'moving' skyscraper

Artist image released by Dynamic Architecture shows the rotating skyscraper that is to be built in Dubai, in various stages of movement.
The Dynamic Tower will constantly change its shape

The world's first moving building, an 80-storey tower with revolving floors giving a shifting shape, will be built in Dubai, its architect says.

The Dynamic Tower design is made up of 80 pre-fabricated apartments which will spin independently of one another.

"It's the first building that rotates, moves, and changes shape," said architect David Fisher, who is Italian, at a news conference in New York.

"This building never looks the same, not once in a lifetime," he added.

The 420-metre (1,378-foot) building's apartments would spin a full 360 degrees, at voice command, around a central column by means of 79 giant power-generating wind turbines located between each floor.

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Computer animation of David Fisher's 'Dynamic Tower'

The slender building would be energy self-sufficient as the turbines would produce enough electricity to power the entire building and even feed extra power back into the grid, said the Italian architect at the unveiling of the project in New York.

The apartments, which will take between one and three hours to make a complete rotation, will cost from $3.7m to $36m.

There are also plans to build a similar, 70-storey skyscraper in Moscow.

"I call these buildings designed by time, shaped by life," said the Florence-based architect, who has never built a sky-scraper before.

"These buildings will open our vision all around, to a new life."

The skyscraper will cost an estimated $700m to build and should be up and running in Dubai in 2010.

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CDC: About 8% of Americans Diabetic

(ATLANTA) — The number of Americans with diabetes has grown to about 24 million people, or roughly 8 percent of the U.S. population, the government said Tuesday.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on data from 2007, said the number represents an increase of about 3 million over two years. The CDC estimates another 57 million people have blood sugar abnormalities called pre-diabetes, which puts people at increased risk for the disease.

The percentage of people unaware that they have diabetes fell from 30 percent to 25 percent, according to the study.

Dr. Ann Albright, director of the CDC Division of Diabetes Translation, said the report has "both good news and bad news."

"It is concerning to know that we have more people developing diabetes, and these data are a reminder of the importance of increasing awareness of this condition, especially among people who are at high risk," Albright said in a statement.

"On the other hand, it is good to see that more people are aware that they have diabetes."

A message left Tuesday night seeking further comment from the CDC wasn't immediately returned.

The disease results from defects in insulin production that cause sugar to build up in the body. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the country and can cause serious health problems including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.

Among adults, diabetes increased in both men and women and in all age groups, but still disproportionately affects the elderly. Almost 25 percent of the population 60 years and older had diabetes in 2007.

After adjusting for population age differences between various groups, the rate of diagnosed diabetes was highest among American Indians and Alaska Natives (16.5 percent). This was followed by blacks (11.8 percent) and Hispanics (10.4 percent), which includes rates for Puerto Ricans (12.6 percent), Mexican Americans (11.9 percent), and Cubans (8.2 percent).

By comparison, the rate for Asian Americans was 7.5 percent, with whites at 6.6 percent.

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'Contraceptive Pill is outdated and does not work well', expert warns

The contraceptive Pill is outdated and leading to unwanted pregnancies and abortion as few women take it correctly, a leading expert said.


One in 12 women taking the Pill get pregnant each year because they miss so many tablets, Prof James Trussell, of Princeton University in America warned.

Women should instead use longer-lasting methods such as the implant or intra-uterine device (IUD) which can be fitted and forgotten, he said.

Half of all pregnancies in America are unintended and half of those happen because contraception failed or was not taken properly, the rest were not using any contraception.

No UK studies have ever been carried out but the rates are thought to be similar. Half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.

Prof Trussell was speaking at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service conference in London and said few GPs offer long acting reversible contraceptives or are trained at fitting them, so most women end up using the Pill by default.

Also sexual health clinics where the methods are available are being closed down, either because of financial deficits in the NHS or just because it is a low priority, Prof Trussell said.

He said: "The Pill is an outdated method because it does not work well enough. It is very difficult for ordinary women to take a pill every single day. The beauty of the implant or the IUD is that you can forget about them."

He said studies have shown women miss three times as many pills as they say they do. Computerised pill packs have revealed that where as about half of women say they did not miss any pills, less than a third actually did. And where as between 10 per cent and 14 per cent admitted missing more than three pills in a month, actually between 30 per cent and 50 per cent missed that many.

The Government wants to encourage more women to use long acting methods and guidance has suggested that if seven per cent of women currently using the Pill switched to a long acting method, then it would prevent 73,000 unintended pregnancies, saving the NHS £100m a year.

Abortion figures released last week showing there were 205,598 terminations in England and Wales in 2007 and in a third of cases the woman had previously had one or more abortions.

Providing long acting contraceptives alongside abortions would help reduce repeat terminations, experts said.

Prof Trussell said increasing access to the emergency contraception would not reduce unintended pregnancies and the resulting abortions, despite a massive Government drive to provide it free to young girls.

It is 'unrealistic' to expect women to take the emergency contraceptive every time they have unprotected sex, Prof Trussell said.

"It is not reduced unintended pregnancies in America or anywhere else that has introduced it. There is so much unprotected sex you would have to use so much emergency contraception to make a dent," he said.

"It is not a magic bullet. If you want to seriously reduce unintended pregnancies in the UK you can only do with implants and IUDs."

Ministers are 'insulting the intelligence' of British women by refusing to allow them to take medication to induce an abortion at home, experts said.

Current laws mean women seeking early abortions using drugs instead of surgery have to make two visits to an abortion clinic to take the two separate doses of medication.

Elsewhere in the world, including American and most of Europe, women take the first dose in the clinic and are given the second dose to take away and take at home 48 hours later.

"It implies British women are more stupid than the rest of the world," Prof Mitchell Creinin, of the University of Pittsburgh said at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service conference in London.

An amendment is expected to be tabled next month to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to allow women to be prescribed the drugs in a licensed premises but for them to be administered elsewhere.

The rule was first introduced when abortion could only be carried out surgically to prevent back street abortions.

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How to Find Motivation for the Things You Hate Doing

dishes.jpgEveryone has things they hate to do, but need to do anyway. Sometimes it is doing basic chores that need to be done. In other cases, it’s the boring part of an otherwise interesting project. People who get things finished (as opposed to people who just get things started) have mastered the ability to push through the things they hate doing, to work on the things they love.

Getting over activities you hate means combating a special type of procrastination. Everyone procrastinates. Even on things that they normally enjoy doing. I occasionally procrastinate with writing, even though it is one of my favorite things to do.

While a few minutes or an hour of procrastination for a neutral task happens occasionally, you can procrastinate for years on the jobs you really hate. If there are things on your to-do list that never make it to the top, you probably know which jobs these are.

Stomaching Unappetizing Work

There are a few strategies you can use to make bad tasting tasks a little more pleasant. The first is simply to focus on it. You might have noticed that you chew a lot more when you don’t like the food in your mouth. This is probably an instinctive reaction to force you to carefully examine what you’re going to eat before you swallow.

You can do the same thing with the work you don’t like. By focusing on boring or awful work, it is easier to overcome your reflex to spit it out and work on something else. I’ve often found that focusing on work intensely can even make me like tasks I once hated. I normally hate cleaning, but if I invest 100% of my attention towards it, the chore becomes a lot more fun.

Normally, the first reaction to unenjoyable tasks is to “get it over with”. Finishing as quickly as possible so you can move on to something better. However, with this attitude, it is a lot easier to never get started at all, and procrastinate forever.

Try taking a reversed approach. The next time you have an activity you hate, commit to focus on it completely. Invest all of your mental energy and concentrate on the activity until there is nothing else in the world. You might be surprised how much easier the task becomes when you do this.

Make it an Art

Sometimes tasks can be unenjoyable simply because there is no quality in doing them. For me, writing an article is more enjoyable than cleaning dishes. While an article has incredible depth, ranging from complete trash to life affirming, dishwashing is a narrower activity. I either clean the dishes or they stay dirty. That on-off approach usually makes a task incredibly boring.

One solution I’ve found is simply to take that on-off task and give it more depth. See your boring activity as a previously unrecognized art form you can master. When you give an activity more depth, the interest level goes way up. More importantly, it becomes easier to focus on the task completely, making it easy to swallow.

Several years ago I did part-time work as a janitor. Although this wasn’t a glorious position, I found I was able to enjoy it by doing this step. Instead of seeing my job as being an on-off task, I gave it more depth. I saw that there were many ways I could increase the quality of what I did. Taking on those little steps made the work far more enjoyable.

Leverage Yourself With Another Goal

Despite your best efforts, the first two steps might not work. In those cases, trying to transform an ugly task into a beautiful activity won’t help. You might be better off just trying to get the work done, instead of wrapping a bow around it.

The first way you can push through the muck is to use your goals as leverage. Reconnect with why you started important projects and how any activity fits into your bigger picture of success. If you can do this, you can bring some of the motivation towards your final goal and use it to finish an ugly task.

This is why it is important to constantly remind yourself of your goals, and why they are important to you. Those reminders are often necessary to push through the tasks that don’t excite you.

Don’t Do the Work at All

The best solution is to simply not do the work you don’t enjoy. This may sound like a fantasy, but there are ways you can get away with avoiding the stuff that doesn’t interest you:

  • Outsource or delegate it to someone else.
  • Eliminate it from your project. (Is it really necessary?)
  • Find a better way to do it. Technology and tricks can often help you shortcut boring steps into ones that are more interesting.

Ultimately, you should try to minimize the amount of work you need to do, but don’t enjoy. Productivity shouldn’t be about pushing through the muck, but enjoying work you love. However, if you can’t get yourself to stop procrastinating on an ugly task, these are a few ways to move through it.

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The Good Enough Guide to Health

No time to eat right or exercise? Relax. Even mini moves add up to a huge disease-fighting payoff.

By CAMILLE NOE PAGAN
Prevention


Perfectionism may seem like a desirable trait, but to boost your health, aim for "just enough."

"Trying to do everything right promotes an all-or-nothing attitude," says Martin Binks, a psychologist at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C.

So if you can't do something perfectly (i.e., work out an hour a day), you don't do anything at all (i.e., watch TV instead). A better mindset: Believe that every little bit counts. "It's small changes that are most effective," Binks says.

So forget perfect! Here, the "good enough" guidelines for nine common get-fit recommendations that will ensure you're on your way to a longer, healthier life.

***

More from Prevention:

About the "E" Word

Eat and Think Your Way Thin

The Fastest Way to Sculpt

Win Your Battle With The Scale

Fruits & Vegetables

Gold Standard: Up to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day

Good Enough: Five a day

That's all it took for men and women to lower their stroke risk by 31 percent, according to a Harvard University study.

"Five servings provide significant antioxidants and fiber to reduce heart disease and cancer risk and keep your weight in check," says Rosa Mo, a nutrition professor at the University of New Haven. (One serving is equivalent to one medium piece of fresh fruit, 1/2 cup of cut fruit, a cup of raw leafy greens, or 1/2 cup of other cooked vegetables, such as broccoli.)



For more health tips, check out the latest issue of Prevention, on shelves now!

Boost the Benefit: Keep 'em cool and eat a rainbow of colors. Refrigerating berries, citrus, and fruit with edible skin (think apples), as well as veggies, preserves antioxidants. And aiming to eat from at least three different color groups (such as green, orange/yellow, red, white, and blue/purple) a day will ensure you get a wide variety of nutrients.

***

More from Prevention:

About the "E" Word

Eat and Think Your Way Thin

The Fastest Way to Sculpt

Win Your Battle With The Scale

Exercise

Gold Standard: 30 minutes of cardio, five or more days a week

Good Enough: 17 minutes a day

A new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that women who exercised just two hours a week (or 17 minutes daily) reduced their risk of heart disease and stroke by 27 percent.



"You don't even have to do it all at once. No fewer than 10 studies since 1995 show that breaking up physical activity into small segments of about 10 minutes is just as effective," says Barry Franklin, director of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise laboratories at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., and spokesperson for the American Heart Association's national "Start!" program.

Boost the Benefit: Pick up your pace for 30 to 60 seconds several times during your workout. A study from McMaster University in Canada found that people who did a total of two to three minutes of high-intensity exercise in the form of 30-second all-out sprints improved their cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance as much as those who did 40 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.

***

More from Prevention:

About the "E" Word

Eat and Think Your Way Thin

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Sunscreen

Gold Standard: Apply SPF 30 or higher several times a day

Good Enough: Use SPF 15

"Most women don't put on any sunscreen, so this is a huge improvement that can decrease your risk of both skin cancer and skin damage," says Dr. Doris Day, a Manhattan-based dermatologist.



SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of rays, compared with 97 percent for SPF 30 (which also lasts longer). Unless you're spending the day poolside, put a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 on your face, neck, chest, hands, and any other exposed areas in the morning.

Boost the Benefit: Reapply sunscreen before you go out for lunch, when the sun's rays are strongest. Day recommends Colorescience's Sunforgettable ($50; colorescience.com for stores), a colorless powder with an SPF 30 that easily goes over your makeup in just five seconds. (You can use it on other body parts, too.)

***

More from Prevention:

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Eat and Think Your Way Thin

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Staying Hydrated

Gold Standard: Eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily

Good Enough: Drink with meals and when you're thirsty

Sipping water isn't the only way to stay hydrated. Other beverages (including caffeinated options such as coffee and tea) and foods that contain water (such as soup and fresh fruits and vegetables) contribute, too.



In fact, food makes up about 20 percent of your water intake daily. A recent National Academy of Sciences panel determined that healthy women get adequate amounts of fluids (an average of 11 glasses a day) from normal drinking habits like having beverages with meals, through the foods they eat, and by letting their thirst guide them.

(The exception: Active women and those living in hot climates may have to make a concerted effort to stay hydrated.)

Boost the Benefit: Gulp before you eat. A study from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found that postmenopausal women who drank 1 1/2 cups of water prior to eating a meal reported feeling fuller, and as a result consumed about 60 fewer calories than those who didn't drink beforehand.

***

More from Prevention:

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Eat and Think Your Way Thin

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Sleep

Gold Standard: Eight hours a night

Good Enough: Seven hours

You may feel less than peppy the next day, but you won't be putting your health at risk, says Susan Zafarlotfi, director of the Institute of Sleep/Wake Disorders Clinic at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.



But less than that and you might: Research is turning up links between inadequate sleep and heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. A study from Case Western Reserve University of about 68,000 middle-age women found that those who slept five or fewer hours were 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain, and 15 percent more likely to become obese, than those who slept an average of seven hours.

"Sleeping less than six hours even just a few nights has been tied to poorer decision making and reduced alertness," says Zafarlotfi. Make it a habit and your risks of diabetes and depression increase, too.

Boost the Benefit: Slip on socks. Warm feet widen blood vessels, which better enables your body to transfer heat so you sleep more soundly. And turn your alarm clock away from you. Light signals your brain to wake up, and the "blue light" from your digital clock and cell phone are the worst offenders.

***

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Eat and Think Your Way Thin

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Portion Sizes

Gold Standard: Measure everything you eat

Good Enough: Size up grains and fats only

"Few people become obese eating lots of fruits and vegetables," says Mo. On the other hand, grains (such as bread, rice, pasta, and cereal) and fats (such as nuts, butter, oil, avocado, and salad dressing) tend to be more calorie-dense, advises Mo.



Doubling up on these types of foods can quickly add to your total calorie intake, while extra large portions of fruits and veggies do less damage, and their high fiber content makes it hard to overeat them.

Boost the Benefit: To naturally cut back on calories, start lunch or dinner with one or two baseball-size servings of high-fiber water-filled vegetables (such as steamed cauliflower, broccoli, or spinach). "You'll be less likely to overeat the more calorie-rich foods in your meal because you'll already feel full," Mo says.

***

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About the "E" Word

Eat and Think Your Way Thin

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Strength Training

Gold Standard: Two or three times a week

Good Enough: Once a week

Research showed that people who lifted weights weekly for two months gained nearly as much lean muscle (about three pounds) as those who worked out three times a week.



"It took them several weeks longer, but the results were similar," says Wayne Westcott, fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass., and coauthor of Get Stronger, Feel Younger (published by Rodale, 2007, which also publishes Prevention).

Boost the Benefit: Slow down! Taking your time while lifting builds muscle faster. Allow three to four seconds to lift or contract a muscle (like raising a dumbbell during a biceps curl), and three to four seconds to release or lower the weight.

***

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Washing Your Hands

Gold Standard: Lather for at least 15 to 20 seconds before rinsing

Good Enough: Wash for 10 seconds, then rinse

A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that's enough to knock off more than 90 percent of infection-causing microbes.



"The length of time is less important than simply doing it regularly--especially after you use the bathroom, touch someone who's ill, or handle raw meat or unwashed vegetables," says Dr. Paul Lyons, an associate professor of family and community medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. "You don't have to be stringent about technique either; just create a lather and rinse thoroughly."

Boost the Benefit: Skip the antibacterial soap. Regular soap and water is not only just as effective, but it may actually be better for your health, too.

"Some research suggests that overuse of antibacterial soaps may contribute to the development of super-resistant strains of bacteria," explains Diana Noah, an infectious disease expert with the Southern Research Institute, a nonprofit health research organization in Birmingham, Ala.

***

More from Prevention:

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Eat and Think Your Way Thin

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Win Your Battle With The Scale

A Healthy Weight

Gold Standard: BMI between 19 and 25

Good Enough: Aim to lose 5 to 7 percent of your current body weight

That's equivalent to 8 to 11 pounds if you're 5-foot-4 and 165 pounds. Although, according to a BMI scale, you're still in the overweight category, a National Institutes of Health study found that weight loss in this range can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58 percent.



"Numerous other studies show that it's also enough to lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as risk of heart disease," says Dr. David Arterburn, an obesity researcher at the Group Health Center for Health Studies at the University of Washington.

Boost the Benefit: Exercise and eat MUFAs. More commonly known as monounsaturated fatty acids, these healthy dietary fats, found in olive oil, nuts, and avocado, can help you shed some of the most dangerous body fat -- the disease-promoting kind around your middle. And dieters who also exercise lose up to 57 percent more belly fat than those who aren't active.

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Cosmetic Surgery Expected to Soar

By Robert Roy Britt

By 2015, 17 percent of the residents of the United States will be getting cosmetic procedures, the body enhancement industry predicts.

A new study published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) predicts there will be more than 55 million cosmetic surgery procedures performed in 2015. That's nearly one procedure for every five Americans, including children, based on U.S. Census Bureau population projections. Of course, the bulk of procedures are done on adults, and some people might get more than one body part fixed in a year.

The industry is well aware of what is driving all this: "Pushing this growth is increasing consumer awareness, direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising, as well as technological advances in non-surgical options," the group said in a statement today.

In 2007, Americans spent more than $13 billion for nearly 11.7 million cosmetic procedures. That's up from nearly 8.5 million procedures in 2001.

Sales sag

Thanks to the bad economy, times are tough in human body shops right now, however.

"While today's economy reflects a slow-down in plastic surgery procedures, the specialty will weather the current decline in economic growth just as it has previous declines, such as the stock market correction after the 2001 Internet bubble," said ASPS President Richard D'Amico, MD. "This prediction for 2015 is exciting."

Some caution might be in order before the nation plunges head-long into fulfilling the industry's expectations.

"Our concern is that with predicted growth and interest in the broad spectrum of cosmetic procedures, patients will look to the closest, easiest solution," said D'Amico. "Potential patients, however, need to know that board-certified plastic surgeons are uniquely qualified with an in-depth medical knowledge of the entire human body. They have the training necessary to accurately assess your individual needs and map health and beauty goals for your entire lifetime."

The study was based on annual ASPS National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery statistics from 1992–2005. The researchers also analyzed the impact of economic and non-economic variables on industry growth.

What's hot?

Women's top-five cosmetic surgical procedures for 2007:

Men's top-five cosmetic surgical procedures for 2007:

  • Liposuction: 57,980 procedures
  • Eyelid surgery: 32,564
  • Nose reshaping: 31,713

In 2005, 34 percent of all procedures performed by ASPS Member Surgeons were surgical and 66 percent were non-surgical, the new study finds. Also in 2005, for non-ASPS members 9.5 percent of their procedures were surgical, while 90.5 percent were non-surgical.

But non-surgical procedures grew 27.9 percent between 1992 and 2005, while surgical procedures grew just 7.5 percent.

The No. 1 non-surgical cosmetic procedure for U.S. men and women last year was Botox injection. By 2015, the researchers predict that 88 percent of all cosmetic procedures will be non-surgical.

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