Food Lovers Fat Loss Understanding Calories Makes It Happen!

By Sandra Elliott

So, what are calories any way?

Well, calories are simply units of measure. They are not actually things in and of themselves; they are name-tags for other things, just like how an inch really is not anything, but it measures the distance between two points.

So what do calories measure?

Easy: they measure energy.

Yup, the evil calorie the bane of the dieters existence is really just a 3-syllable name-tag for energy.

And it is important to highlight this, because the body itself, despite its vast intelligence (much of which medical science cannot yet understand), does not really do a very intelligent job of distinguishing good energy from bad.

Actually, to be blunt, the body does not care about where the energy comes from. Let us explore this a little more, because it is very important to the overall understanding of how to boost your metabolism, particularly when we look at food choices.

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In our choice-laden grocery stores and supermarkets, with dozens of varieties of foods, and perhaps even hundreds, there seems to be a fairly clear awareness of what is good food, and what is bad or junk food.

For example, we do not need a book to remind us that, all else being equal, a plum is a good food, whereas a tub of thick and creamy double-chocolate ice cream is a bad food.

Not bad tasting, of course; but for obvious reasons, if you are looking for a healthy way to lose weight, eating a vat of ice cream a day, is not a great idea. So what does this have to do with calories and energy?

It is this: while you and I can evaluate our food choices and decide that something (like a plum) is a healthy source of energy, and something else (like a tub of ice cream) is an unhealthy source of energy, the body cannot and does not evaluate.

It sounds strange and amazing, but the body really does not care. To the body, energy is energy. It takes whatever it gets, and does not really know that some foods are healthier than others. It is kind of like a garbage disposal: it takes what you put down it, whether it should go down or not.

So let us apply this to the body, and to weight gain. When the body receives a calorie which, as we know, is merely a name-tag for energy it must do something with that energy.

In other words, putting all other nutrients and minerals aside, if a plum delivers 100 calories to the body, it has to accept those 100 calories. The same goes for 500 calories from a (small) tub of ice cream: those 500 calories have to be dealt with.

Now, the body does two things to that energy: it either metabolizes it via anabolism, or it metabolizes it via catabolism. That is, it will either convert the energy (calories) into cells/tissue (anabolism), or it will use that energy (calories) to break down cells (catabolism).

Now the link between calories/energy, metabolism, and weight loss becomes clearer.

When there is an excess of energy, and the body cant use this energy to deal with any needs at the time, it will be forced to create cells with that extra energy. It has to.

It does not necessarily want to, but after figuring out that the energy cannot be used to do anything (such as help you exercise or digest some food), it has to turn it into cells through anabolism.

And those extra cells? Yup, you guessed it: they add up to extra weight!

In a nutshell (and nuts have lots of calories by the way, so watch out and eat them in small portions), the whole calorie/metabolism/weight gain thing is really just about excess energy. When there are too many calories in the body that is, when theres too much energy from food then the body transforms those calories into stuff.

And that stuff, most of the time, is fat. Sometimes, of course, those extra calories are transformed into muscle; and this is usually a good thing for those watching their weight or trying to maintain an optimal body fat ratio.

In fact, because muscles require calories to maintain, people with strong muscle tone burn calories without actually doing anything; their metabolism burns it for them.

This is the primary reason why exercising and building lean muscle is often part of an overall program to boost your metabolism; because the more lean muscle you have, the more places excess calories can go before they are turned into fat.

So, now you understand calories, you do not have to be scared of them just be aware of how your body treats them. Balance those calories and there will be no reason why Food Lovers Fat Loss cannot be a reality for you.

About the Author: Sandra specialises in helping women to lose weight and has written the inspirational Sandras Secrets. To get your free copy just visit: http://www.easywaystoloseweightforwomen.com or visit her blog at http://www.easywaystoloseweightforwomen.blogspot.com

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Taliban resurgent in Pakistan on enforcement of Sharia law

Friday, May 4, 2007

“Pakistan was un-affected by Talibans and al-Qaeda (in my opinion) until the US flushed them out of Afghanistan. So 9/11 and WTC and the post WTC attacks by the ISAF (read American, for the locals) forces have led to the present condition in NWFP. At least that is the way the people there see it,” wrote Riaz A Hakeem in one of a series of email exchanges with Wikinews.

Mr. Hakeem, 58, left the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) at the age of 25 and became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. Now a businessman who is active in Texas politics, he shares some views as a person who is in touch with his family and friends who remain in the region. He travelled throughout portions of Pakistan at the end of last year.

What is the current situation in the NWFP?

The Pashtun people are or were renowned for their hospitality. Many westerners commented on it. Some with suspicion NOT willing to believe some people so poor could be so generous. It was almost a character flaw. One could travel without fear of personal danger as long as you followed local protocols.

That was the sort of mind set among the people. An ageless paradigm of self satisfaction: this is enshrined in the code of the Pashtuns way of life.

The Islamic radicalism is in reality nothing but the Taliban movement. Not all Pashtuns are Taliban (obviously), but most Taliban are Pashtun. Of these, most belong to the FATA. Of these, most were affected by their cousins from Afghanistan coming over. Mingled with them were Arab-Afghans, Uzbeks and some Tajiks and even Chechens. Some of these married within the tribes and formed a bond with the locals. Marriage bonds go back in history.

This Talibanization shows itself in the content of the Friday sermons at the mosque. Now it shows in the popularity of growing beards, especially since the MMA – the coalition of religious political party’s – won power. More recently in their showdown with the Pakistan army in North and South Waziristan – where according to my sources, people prefer going to the Taliban for justice rather than the older system of Maliks and Political Agents. The latter are known as corrupt. In Pakistan, in general, people are sick of the amount of corruption.

Bannu, from where hails the Chief Minister of the NWFP, Mr. Durrani, is now in Taliban control in the sense that there is a parallel government that they have established which is functioning quite well and is popular among the people.

Has Taliban influence caused a stricter intrepretation of Sharia law in the NWFP?

Yes. The Maliks, or tribal elders, consider themselves quite conservatively religious. Even so, they had a laid back attitude towards enforcement of religious doctrine.

The Taliban emulated the Saudi system of having a department concerned with citizens’ morals (even the name is the same: the department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice) and this department has, as in Saudi Arabia, an enforcement police, called mutawwa’in, a morals law-enforcement agency.

Is there a shift from tribal elders to clerics, as the main interpreters of law?

There has been a movement in that direction, but it has started a power struggle between the clerics who traditionally have been at the lowest strata of the social structure. Now when they have seen a bigger role for themselves, first from the Taliban in Afghanistan – but also the government of the MMA in the NWFP, who are nothing more than glorified clerics themselves, only a little smarter in exploiting religion politically.

The MMA is largely non-Pashtun, which is a source of discontent in that they stand in the way of Pashtun nationalism, such as it is, because it only rears its head when non-Pashtuns start to usurp power over what the Pashtun consider their turf.

The deal made between Pakistan’s central government and the North and South Waziristan provinces, where tribal leadership was given the pivotal role in dealing with militants, has been criticized as a failure. What caused this initiative to fail?

First off, I don’t agree with the premise of the question, that the “deal” is a “failure” – for the following reasons:

  1. In the first place the Pakistan army (govt – same difference) did not have many options. This was the least worst option they had.
  2. And most importantly, I have said this before, this area is literally in a time warp – which means they proceed at (what seems to us in the west) a glacial pace. I will give an example from the folklore:

    The story goes that a Pashtun had to repay (badal) an enemy for a crime against his family and he waited patiently for 20 years (some say 50 years), after this time, he exacted his revenge – but soon after was depressed because he wondered “Did I act too hastily?”

    So one part of Pashtunwali is to “pay back” – (Badal: literally to exchange) which most people translate as revenge. Yes that is the form that is most visible, but badal is also played out in the exchange of gifts at wedding and other celebrations, and in the exchange of favors like in politics. The rules can be arcane, unwritten and hard to follow — who did what to whom, when, and so on, and what is the proper recompense — this same give and take would occur in a peace process pursued by the Tribal Maliks, who rule by consensus. There is no actual leader in the western sense, because all the Maliks, in fact all the others are de facto, so many co-equals is a mind set, a paradigm foreign to the uninitiated, as the concept of consensual gay sex is to the Wazir in Waziristan.

  3. The agreement has not failed, because it has not been given enough time, in Wazir time reference, not American time presidential election cycle controlled. I do not have a crystal ball, but if I did, I would see NATO troops in Afghanistan long after Iraq is over. Afghanistan can be a success ONLY if we accept one thing, the time warp these people live in — by my reckoning its still 1700 CE over there.

Is the Talibanization of Pakistan partly due to a perception of corruption among the system of Maliks and Political Agents?

The corruption is in the ISI, the Pak army and the Pak system of Political Agents (PA) assigned to these tribal zones (FATA & PATA).

These PA have budgets that are much like the CIA in that they are a single line item in the national budget, there is no accountability of where or how the PA spends the money. If one followed the IRS rules and looked at the lifestyles of the PA and compared them with their income, you would soon understand what was going on.

Musharraf critics are a larger issue. Republicans have coddled Pakistan with the belief that “as long as they are pro America” then democracy in Pakistan will come in due course. Democrats have, I think, insisted Democracy first, and then we can discuss the other issues later.

The Talibanization of Pakistan has more to do with graduates of “Raiwind“, a place near Lahore, where the “Tablighi Jamaat” conducts brainwashing camps. It was graduates of this place, in my opinion, that are responsible for Britain’s 7/7 attacks as an example.

Corruption amongst the Maliks is self limiting because of the egalitarian society they live in and because of Pashtunwali.

What is your view on Musharraf suspending judge Iftikhar Chaudhry?

I believe, and this is widely held belief, that Musharraf has no constituency of his own for his power base. He wanted legitimization from the Supreme Court, and Mr Choudhry as Chief Justice (their system is not like ours) would not give it.

So Musharraf has had to hang on to his Army Chief of Staff position to get his power from the Army. If some one else were Chief of Staff, that person could refuse to support Musharraf.

The Justice favorable to the general is Justice Iqbal, who was not the next in line for Chief Justice. The next in line is a Hindu. That presented problems of its own for Musharraf. So when the Hindu judge went for a trip to India, Iqbal became the “available” senior most Supreme Court judge, and hence the haste and lack of decorum with which Justice Chaudhry was removed.

What is the prevailing sentiment regarding Pakistani government efforts in the provinces and the international effort in Afghanistan to combat Taliban and affiliated militants?

In my dealings and inquires, one thing stood out like a sore thumb – the conspiracy theories vis-à-vis anything having to do with America. I mentioned to one of my close friends that events that were previously ascribed as acts of God were now considered acts of the CIA. Some even believed that the Earthquake in the northern areas was because of some sort of underground secret “bomb” used by the CIA. Lack of evidence is further proof that the CIA did it. I was flabbergasted, and started to give this kind of thinking as an example in speaking to “educated” Pakistani’s – and among these, those that did agree that the earthquake was NOT the work of the CIA, they would start giving other examples, notably the Blow up of the plane carrying Zia ul Haq an ex President of Pakistan, in which the US Ambassador also perished. When I would point this out, the response would be that that is the sort of thing they do to take away suspicion from themselves.

In a nutshell, the impression I came away with is, there is NO war of civilizations going on. What is going on is a war between literacy and illiteracy.

Taliban are not visible in the areas I visited, but the militants handiwork clearly is – as elsewhere, the common criminals are taking advantage of this situation, and crime is up significantly. One new crime is Cell phone “snatching” – it’s easy and nobody wants to pursue it. If some one is using a Razr phone, he can expect to be hit soon if he uses it in public. So people have two cell phones, one fancy to show off, and one for use in public places.

Insofar as “foreign” militants are captured and identified, that is to say non-Pashtun (including non Afghan Pashtun or Pak Pashtun) – then the people are obviously in agreement with the government that these people don’t belong here and need to go.

The problem is this: the foreigners are usually in the FATA and have been there since the Soviet war times. Many of them have taken local wives and now have a family. The local have accepted them into their family. Now for the Pak govt to ask them to kick them out, the locals are thinking what am I doing to my grandchildren’s father, etc. Again the edicts of Pashtunwali also play a role.

What is the relationship, if any, between the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

Al Qaeda is mostly composed of Arabs, they do not trust any one else. While they might use others as couriers or in lowly position as servants, for second rate Al Qaeda officials, the Top guys ONLY deal with Arabs and are served by Arabs.

The Taliban are mostly Pashtun tribesmen. Mostly they are graduates of madrassa’s. Mostly illiterate by any world standards. The better educated among them will know how to speak a few words of English, such as their Information minister. There might be one or two notable exceptions of which I am not aware.

However, while Al Qaeda does not trust the Taliban, the Taliban look up to Al Qaeda top leadership. We saw this situation in Iraq where initially Al Zarqawi had no direct link with Qaeda but was keen to form one. It would be conjecture on my part to state that in the end he did indeed succeed in forming that connection. In the press at least that impression was prevalent.

So the lines of interest proceed ONE way, like one way traffic. Extremist want to be affiliated with Qaeda, in my opinion, while the latter does not, so as to maintain its hideout.

The Qaeda supply lines are hampered, new recruits would have to be Arabs, and they would have to travel a long way through tight Pakistani security to reach here, or suffer hardship over a long and arduous land route through Balochistan and the Tribal area’s – NOT all of which are accommodating.

So as is becoming clear, Qaeda is having trouble replacing people they loose meaning those that were captured or died. They only trust Arabs, and that also a certain type of Arabs, (not all Arabs are the same, not all Arabic is the same – for example they would never trust a Syrian, in fact Qaeda folks consider Syrian brand of Islam an apostasy – but that is another story).

Whatever remains of the Qaeda, are not in a position to set up training camps, since they are in a survival mode. The Taliban resurgence helps them get a little warm and fuzzy in this survival mode, since they feel a little bit more secure with their partners-in-arms doing some evil stuff, blowing up people and causing mayhem.

What makes the North-West Frontier Province competent to administer money sent as foreign aid?

This is the central question. Much like California has taken a separate initiative on stem cell research – as an analogy – the NWFP is central to the war on terror, not Pakistan.

The NWFP was central to the fight and aid to the Afghans during the Soviet occupation, not Pakistan.

This small distinction is lost on Washington, and it is the main reason, in my opinion, why so much of the Aid was “lost in transit” was because the Punjabi army officers could not bring themselves to dispense such large sums to an ethnic group which it considers anti-Pakistani.

All the FATA is contiguous to the NWFP. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are holed up somewhere either in the FATA, or across the Durand Line in Afghanistan; the Durand Line has never been recognized by the locals as an international boundary. Even today, the Pashtun travel from Peshawar to Kabul by road with out a passport or visa, and it has been like that for eons.

The present governor of the NWFP belongs to the Orakzai tribe (he spells his name Aorakzai) and it is my opinion that that he was picked partly because he belongs to one of the FATA as well as he is a retired General of the Pak Army.

The Frontier Constabulary (FC) is a force which primarily recruits from the FATA. All or most of its forces are from the various tribes. In the eyes of the tribes this is a bona fide force and service with the FC is considered an honorable thing. The US has already allocated some funds for increasing recruitment, but far less than what it would take to counter the Taliban and far less than what the economic need is. The US spends a thousand times more on a battalions sent to monitor activity over there. Plus why endanger the lives of our troops and spread our forces thin when a more effective job can be done by the FC. The FC has over history shown that they will attack and use force against the tribes that create trouble. There have been no instances of insubordination or mutiny.

Even the US Embassy is protected by a contingent of the FC! That goes to show their trustworthiness and discipline.

The “tribal” Pashtuns in the FATA are not educated or trained and hence not employable right now. I propose that we fund directly the Director of Emigrants, Mr. Azhar Arbab in Islamabad, to set up training facilities in Concrete laying, iron work, pipe work, welding etc, which would then qualify these tribesmen to obtain jobs in the Gulf. As such we would remove them from the scene altogether. They would not be available in the labor pool to the Taliban or anyone else. I might add here, that a number of these individuals have very high innate intelligence, which is one reason they make formidable foes.

Now the central reason why the NWFP ought to do this is because they are themselves most affected by the scourge of Talibanization. They are highly motivated in carrying out these policies because it is to their own benefit.

How many men does the FC field currently?

The FC currently has about 23,000 men in total.

How much do they get paid?

They are paid the equivalent of $60 per month per person -Pak Rupees 3665, where Rs61= $1. They do have some fringe benefits but life is very spartan for these soldiers.

What the US could get in return is a huge bang for a buck, no pun intended.

I think we ought to double the number of these soldiers with one proviso that the FC maintains its high standards of recruits.

Compare this with our costs in the War against Terror; just Halliburton’s bills will have you reeling. I think that it would be foolish, NOT to do this.

The Frontier Constabulary is an Institution with a long and glorious history within the Frontier Province.

The recruits come strictly from the tribes of the various FATA and so they are very familiar with the people, the bad guys the terrain.

They speak the Pashto dialect of the locals. The Pashto language has many dialects, and you can tell where someone is from based on which dialect he speaks. So if you do not speak the correct dialect, you are immediately identified as an outsider. This is one reason why these tribes are impossible to penetrate, there are other reasons as well, that are beyond the scope of the current discussion.

How can the FC help prevent attacks like the suicide bombing attempt on Sherpao in Charsadda last weekend?

In essence your question is how can anyone prevent a suicide attack? And frankly if I knew the answer to that I think the US military – and several other groups – would be knocking on my door. I think the Israeli Army has had the most experience with this sort of thing. The suicide bombing as a tactical weapon was invented by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and even today in terms of statistics they use it in far greater numbers.

So to summarize neither the FC nor anyone else can prevent a suicide bombing. We could attempt to improve our intelligence to find out about an imminent attack, but so far these have not been very successful in Pakistan.

In the Lal Masjid Case the government avoided a suicide killing by negotiating with those two Mullah brothers – but I don’t know if that counts. But it does make for an interesting story. Both Washington, DC and Islamabad now have Madams threatening to publish the list of their clients unless they are given protection. Who would have thunk?

Going back to your question: In my opinion what ought to be done is to make a Policy change, and address the issues that are producing these suicide bombers, that is the only way to stop this phenomenon.

In this part of the world this is relatively new because prior to 9/11, suicide bombing was unheard of. Moreover it is not the FC’s job to provide security to the Minister of the Interior, that is the job of the Police force, because this Ministry is equivalent to the Department of Homeland Security.

You don’t expect Border patrol to provide body guard duty to the Secretary of the department of Homeland Security.

I am making these analogies so the American readers would relate to what is happening, and understand the difference in nomenclature. –RHakeem 20:13, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

This interview consists of excerpts taken from the full content and context of Mr. Hakeem’s replies. The complete and uneditted version is found on the Interview archive page.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
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Iran’s morality police crack down on un-Islamic dress

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Iranian police forces have faced criticism from Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi, the head of the judiciary who was appointed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for their re-invigorated campaign to do away with un-Islamic dress.

Ayatollah Shahroudi proclaimed, “Tough measures on social problems will backfire and have counter-productive effects.” Others have, of course, made it clear that un-Islamic dress can lead to moral corruption, engender innumerable vices, and hurt the Islamic character of the nation.

Some believe that no one had any issue with the creation of an Islamic atmosphere. The core of the matter revolves around the implementation of the Islamic dress code; additionally, heavy-handed measures should be shunned. For instance, Mehdi Ahmadi, information head of Tehran’s police, told Al Jazeera: “Some citizens may complain about the way the law is being enforced but they all agree with the plan itself.”

According to one student, “You simply can’t tell people what to wear. They don’t understand that use of force only brings hatred towards them, not love.” Nevertheless, Hojatoll-Islam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran’s interior minister who is in charge of policing, prognosticated positive feedback from the populace when he said, “People are unhappy with the social and moral status of the society. They expect that the fight against social insecurity be properly implemented.” Thus, Hujjat al-Islam Pour-Mohammadi re-iterated the necessity of proper implementation and methodology towards the restoration of morality in the Islamic Republic. Islamic officials and religious people affirm that this is indispensable to promote righteousness, curb sin, and bring open sinners to justice.

Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, hijab became mandatory in Iran for every woman including foreigners after over 98% of citizens voted for an Islamic government. Women may face caning up to 74 strokes for failing to observe hijab. In this recent crackdown, the authorities have arrested many citizens throughout the country. Not only have women been taken into custody for their hair being uncovered on their foreheads and tight clothes that show body shapes, For men they need to cover from knee to their waist as according to Sharia. Even a foreign journalist was detained because the photograph on her press card was indecent.

It has not been clear whence the directive for the re-newed clampdown emanated. Some have blamed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while Gholam Hossein Elham, the government spokesman, stated to reporters, “The police work as agents of the judiciary to confront crimes. The government as an executive body does not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary.” The following pre-election speech seems to corroborate this latter statement:

In reality, is the problem of our people the shape of the hair of our children? Let our children arrange their hair any way they wish. It doesn’t concern me and you. Let you and me overhaul the basic problems of the nation. The government should fix the economy of the nation and improve its atmosphere…[It should] better psychological security and support the people. People have variegated tastes. As if now the arch obstacle of our nation is the arrangement of our kids’ hair and the government disallowing them <He chuckles>. Is this the government’s responsibility? Is this the people’s merit? In actuality, this is the denigration of our people. Why do you underestimate and belittle the people? It is the real issue of our nation that one of our daughters donned a certain dress? Is this the issue of our nation and the problem of our nation?
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Israel to webcast al-Aqsa mosque excavations

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Israel’s administration press-service has said that webcams are being installed at the holy site of the Al Aqsa MosqueTemple Mount complex in Jerusalem, to enable people to watch excavations at the site over the Internet.

Users will be able to watch live the archaeological process and the following construction works from February 15.

Excavations at the site were halted on Sunday after protests by Muslims, who feared that the digging and the construction of a new pedestrian bridge in the area can have a negative impact on the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Qubbat as-Sakhra.

Last week Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas declared the construction and blockade as “hostile measures” against Muslims. Israeli authorities say that these worries are groundless. They also accuse “irresponsible elements” of manipulating Muslim sentiment in order to gain political mileage.

The Internet broadcast is to be set at the official website of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the department responsible for archaeological research within the country. Currently the site includes a three-minute video that explains in English the essence of the project in interpretation of the main archaeologist of Israel – Dr. Gideon Avni, the director of the Excavations and Surveys Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

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Conditions Commonly Treated By Foot Surgeons In Racine, Wi

byadmin

There are many conditions that impact patients’ feet and ankles, leaving them with pain, discomfort, and potentially severe mobility issues. Many of these conditions can be treated medically, but some really require the help of foot surgeons in Racine WI for resolution. Read on to find out about a few conditions commonly treated with foot surgery below.

Hallux Rigidus

Also known simply as a stiff big toe, Hallux Rigidus causes pain and stiffness that can make it difficult to walk. This condition originates from trauma due to degenerative forms of arthritis and is often exacerbated by damp, cold weather. While wearing the right shoes and applying natural lubricants or steroid injections may temporarily ease the discomfort associated with this condition, surgery is often required to restore mobility in serious cases.

Hallux Valgus

More often referred to as a bunion, this condition is one of the most common foot deformities. It manifests as a bony bump between the big toe and the foot and often causes the big toe to bend inward. Bunions can be extremely painful, so those suffering from serious deformities often choose to have surgery to reduce pain and increase mobility.

Hammertoe Disorders

Hammertoe refers to a disorder in which a patient’s toes bend at abnormal angles, causing pain and other problems. This condition is caused by a muscle and tendon imbalance, which is often the result of leaving bunions untreated for prolonged periods of time. Surgical treatment involves the fusing of the patient’s deformed joints using small implants or surgical pins, which can later be removed to restore normal function.

Plantar Fasciitis

Also known as jogger’s heel, this condition is caused by torn or inflamed heel ligaments, which may require the help of Foot Surgeons in Racine WI for permanent correction. Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis include stabbing pain in the heel that usually manifests itself in the early morning and vanishes later in the day. Runners, people who are severely overweight, and those who wear shoes with hard heels are all at greater risk of developing this disorder.

Learn More Today

Want to find out if foot surgery may be a good long-term option for treating these or other foot disorders? Visit Greatlakesfootankle.com online for more information or call to schedule an appointment today to get started.

Kangaroo knocks jogger unconscious in Canberra, Australia

Sunday, March 21, 2010

25-year-old man David Striegl was knocked unconscious by a kangaroo on the Mount Ainslie nature reserve in the Australian capital Canberra on Thursday. He received cuts and bruises and a black eye after being scratched and hit by the kangaroo. Mount Ainslie is located near the centre of the Australian capital, with Australia’s parliament houses designed to be viewed from the top of the mountain.

He does not remember much about the incident, only that he turned around and saw the kangaroo which hit him in the face. He said that the kangaroo scratched him at first then guessed that it must have hit him which caused him to lose consciousness. He was taken to hospital by a motorist who was passing by. At the hospital he was given x-rays and a tetanus shot before being discharged.

Striegl had been jogging up the mountain during his lunch break. Joggers and cyclists are common on the mountain, which is located a few kilometres from the city centre. He was a former Australian rules footballer, and says he had never been in a fight, until being hit by the kangaroo. He had seen kangaroos box each other before but didn’t know they would box people. He said he would not have thrown a punch back if he had the chance because of their status as a national symbol, and he has no hard feelings against kangaroos. His colleagues at the United Group Ltd. real estate office where he works have given him the nickname Skippy, after the famous television show. He said he will continue jogging at the reserve, but with company next time.

Injuries from kangaroos in Australia are rare, and it is almost unheard of for someone to be knocked out by one. This attack comes a year after a kangaroo crashed through a window of a house in Canberra before rampaging through the house.

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Volunteers and food needed for flooded Manitoba, Canada

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Local municipal and provincial volunteers in Manitoba, Canada are exhausted in their efforts to divert the rising waters of the Red River of the North.

It has been hard work with little sleep for the residents who live on the shores of the Red River to shore up their defences with sandbags, build dikes, clear frozen culverts and break ice jams

Volunteers to spell relief for local volunteers and food are desperately needed.

“It’s a week now we’ve been doing this … you’re talking four, five, six public works guys. In my one community we’ve got 25 volunteer firefighters and those guys have been going 24/7, so of course it’s wearing them down.” said Paul Guyader, Manitoba’s emergency measures coordinator.

“We’re dealing with one of the biggest floods the province has ever seen,” said Steve Strang, mayor of St. Clements, Manitoba “We’ve put out hundreds of thousands of bags already. The municipalities are working very well, we’re working with the provincial government, we’ve brought in every possible resource we could to address this issue. The volunteerism within the community has been phenomenal.”

The Portage Diversion has taken some spring waters from the Assiniboine River and diverted the flow to Lake Manitoba.

Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation has been totally evacuated, as well as many homes near the Canada – United States border.

The cold weather is freezing the ice jams into place. Guyader has had 2 Amphibex Excavators operating on the river breaking up ice.

The Red River is right now 16.7 feet (5 metres) above spring ice conditions. The Red River Floodway gates cannot be opened with the current ice jams.

“If we operate now, we can get ice jamming going into the floodway, jamming up against the St. Mary’s bridge, as such, the floodway capacity would be reduced and would cause higher water levels in the city of Winnipeg.” said Steve Topping, Manitoba Water Stewardship spokesman

The floodway was constructed in 1968 following the 1950 flood to divert the overflow spring flooding waters of the Red River. The floodway has been widened the since the 1997 “flood of the century” and the expansion is expected to be completed this spring. As well Manitoba built permanent dikes around communities within the flood plain since the last two major floods..

The Red River waters will crest between the beginning of April to mid April, at which time also the weather should be warming up. Communities are bracing for higher water levels, more ice jams as well as melting snow in the warmer spring temperatures.

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Wal-Mart cuts ties with PR consultant over controversial Republican TV ad

Monday, October 30, 2006

Wal-Mart severed links with Terry Nelson, a Republican strategist, last night because he had connections to a controversial Republican Party advertisement in Tennessee. The ad’s purpose was to blast Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr, who is running against Republican Bob Corker.

A blonde woman in the ad says, “I met Harold at the Playboy party”. As the spot ends, she winks and says breathily: “Harold, call me!”. The ad also “criticised” Canada. “Canada can take care of North Korea,” a man in the television ad says. “They’re not busy.”

Nelson and his company, CrossLink Strategy Group, were hired by Wal-Mart last year in an attempt to help the company.

Jesse Jackson, an American politician, and other leaders signed a letter distributed by WakeUpWal-Mart.com, asking the company to end its relationship with Nelson.

In an interview with the Associated Press Nelson said, “There was no intention to offend anybody and it’s unfortunate if people took offense. That was certainly not what people planned for or hoped for.”

A spokesman for Wal-Mart, David Tovar, issued a statement saying Nelson’s company had “sent a letter to Wal-Mart ending its working relationship with our company.”

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Stolen laptop found; had over 98,000 students’ personal data

Sunday, September 18, 2005

San Francisco police have recovered a laptop stolen on March 11 from the University of California, Berkeley. The laptop was left unattended in the Graduate Division and contained personal information on 98,369 graduate students and applicants going as far back as 1976. This information included names, birth dates, addresses, and Social Security numbers.

The Silicon Valley forensic lab which analyzed the laptop said it had been reformatted, making it very difficult to determine if the data had been accessed. “There’s nothing in the Police Department investigation that points to any type of identity theft or credit card theft” said university spokeswoman Janet Gilmore.

The laptop was stolen by an unknown woman, who sold it to Shuki Alburati, who sold the laptop to an unsuspecting South Carolina man. Shuki Alburati was arrested on June 8 for receiving stolen property; he has been charged with one misdemeanor count.

He claims he didn’t know the laptop, a new IBM X40 worth $2,429, was stolen. He purchased the laptop from the woman, who said it wasn’t stolen, for $300 or $340. A few days later, on April 19, he placed the laptop on eBay. The winning bidder was a man in South Carolina who bought the laptop for $1,195.50. Police have said this man is not a suspect. Police were alerted by IBM after the man called IBM for tech support.

Shuki Alburati has pleaded not guilty. He claimed “It’s unfair, I didn’t know it was stolen.” His trial is scheduled for Sept. 30 before Superior Court Judge Michael Gaffey in Oakland. The woman who stole the laptop has not yet been found.

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