Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Unusual trees from around the world

It was Buddha who said:
"A tree is a wonderful living organism which gives shelter, food, warmth and protection to all living things. It even gives shade to those who wield an axe to cut it down."

And Joyce Kilmer immortalised the grace and beauty of trees in poetry:
"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breaste;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."

Here we present some of the most amazing and unusual trees from around the world. They include the Basket Tree, Giant Sequoias of California, Circus Tree, Chapel-Oak. Tule Tree. Banyan Tree, and Baobab Trees - including one with a toilet built inside it.

Pueblo County could see more mass vaccination clinics after the new year begins, but for now the health department is moving vaccines through other channels to reach people who did not attend the large clinics.

Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, executive director of the Pueblo City-County Health Department, said that 13,706 doses of H1N1 flu vaccine were given at nine clinics held at schools and the Colorado State Fairgrounds, and at the health department in sessions for health care workers.

Another 18,000 doses were sent out to hospitals and other health care providers. She said that about 2,000 doses were left over from Saturday’s open clinic at Centennial High School and 7,200 more are expected to arrive this week.

Nevin-Woods said as many as 700 doses will go to the Pueblo Community Health

Center, which she said can deliver them very efficiently to low-income clients. Other batches will go to pharmacies and doctors' offices in an effort to reach

seniors who did not attend the department’s mass clinics.

The health department also will give second doses to children 9 years old and younger. To get those, parents should call the health department to schedule an appointment.

When vaccines first were distributed, it was difficult for doctors to get them but Nevin-Woods said that situation has changed and she’s encouraging doctors to call the health department to obtain them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

10 Most Suggestive Cacti On Earth

Today, we’d like to take a look at a plant that is especially close to our, er, hearts – the cactus! The following pictures will prove that this prickly green friend can be quite a source of amusement.This red cactus is apparently common in Yucatan and even said to have, er, enhancing properties if boiled and eaten as a soup. Right…The next specimen belongs to the Cephalocereus gaumeri species and is often referred to as “old man” cactus, because of the white wool on top looking like long white hairs – not what you’re thinking. The limp things hanging down from the cactus fruits are flower remains. Maybe it’s not a cactus man after all?
What this cactus seems to have too much of …
… this one seems to lack. Little blue pills, anyone?
It’ll take some balls to come out of hiding:
Tom, Dick and Harry playing the same old tune…

There has been conflicting evidence as to whether soy foods increase breast cancer risks or reduce the chances of breast cancer. With soy products of all kinds gaining in popularity, women are concerned about consumption when they are at risk of or have experienced breast cancer. Now, there is new evidence indicating soy foods may actually benefit women that eat moderate amounts by reducing their risk of breast cancer recurrence and lower their risk of death.

Because soy contains isoflavone, an estrogen-like compound which in labs seemed to help cancer cells to grow and increase tumor growth in animals, many breast cancer patients have worried that by eating soy products they may be increasing their odds of recurrence or death. However, based on a new study published in the December 9th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, there seems to be no reason for breast cancer patients to avoid soy foods.

The lead author of the newly released study, Dr. Xiao Ou Shu, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, and her colleagues used data from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study that consisted of 5,042 Chinese women ranging in age from 20 to 75 that had been diagnosed with breast cancer between March 2002 and April 2006, for their study. The group examined data on cancer progression at six months following a breast cancer diagnosis, and again at 18, 36, and 60 months following the diagnosis. The group considered the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle factors of the patients, including their diets.

Dr. Shu said, “There was a linear response, and we found the higher the intake, the lower the mortality, up to 11 grams of soy protein.” One-fourth of a cup of tofu daily would grant someone 11grams of soy protein, according to Dr. Shu. The study found the group of women with the highest intake of soy products had a 29 percent lower risk of death, and a 32 percent less chance of suffering a recurrence of breast cancer, when compared to the group of ladies that consumed less than 5.3 grams of soy daily during the study.

Dr. Shu said, “Some doctors have advised women not to eat soy foods…. But another school of physicians think it’s safe. So it has been controversial. Our findings are important because, nowadays, it’s very difficult to avoid soy exposure. Soy flour and soy protein has been added to many foods in this country. Women may consume it and not even know it.”


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