Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30----students are cheats!

Maybe we are looking at a problem and cannot see it!

Sound familiar?

Cheating!

Students today are cheating their way through their education with great ease and skill.

What does the culture of cheating say about education, students, society even you and I?

I am worried that if our youth cheat through education what hope do we have when it comes to business?

http://www.journalism.wisc.edu/bateman/Ways%20to%20Cheat.htm

Ways Students Cheat Today

After surveying 350+ UW-Madison students, these are the ways that students admitted to cheating:

  • Plagiarism
  • Taping a cheat sheet to a water bottle
  • Programming notes into a calculator
  • Text messaging exam information
  • Headphones
  • Writing on hand, arm, or other body part
  • Writing on desk
  • Sitting on a cheat sheet
  • Putting notes on the floor/on your bag
  • Looking at another student’s exam
  • Buying papers online
  • Turning in old papers from fraternity/sorority houses or friends papers
  • Turning in the same paper for more than once class
  • Having someone who took the test before you tell the student what questions are on the exam
  • Copying another student’s homework
  • Taking credit for group work that the student did not do
  • Altering lab data
  • Writing answers on gum wrappers
  • Having another friend write a paper or take an exam


With the rise of technology comes news ways to cheat. Below are articles that address regarding technological advances and the classroom.

Articles:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29----outsourcing

April 29----

We spoke about outsourcing with Prakash Chugani of Dulsco HR solutions.

Is outsourcing a good thing?
Depends really.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/humanresources/hiring/article49616.html

When thinking about what to outsource, some things (legal services, printing, health insurance, etc.) are fairly obvious, and most businesses outsource them. Some functions are a bit less obvious, and people outsource them or not depending on their personal expertise. For example, if you have an accounting background, you probably keep your own books and file your own taxes. There are other things that many people could--but probably shouldn't--do themselves. For example, most people could create a basic Web page or design their own logo, but the differences in the end result between doing it yourself and hiring a professional can be significant.

Q: Is outsourcing really a good way to grow my business?

A: Outsourcing has become a big deal in our economy. There are articles and books written on it all the time, and you can attend countless seminars and speeches on the subject. I just did a Google search on "outsourcing" and got 1,130,000 links. You can find a lot of information on this subject, and a lot of opinions on how to do it right or screw it up!

One popular way this is described is that you should decide what you are good at and outsource everything else--i.e., focus your company on your core competency, and let someone else do the rest. That logic is sound in theory, and to a certain degree in practice, but like everything else you can take it too far. The key is to understand your business and its goals and decide how outsourcing might help you attain them.

Content Continues Below


There are some things that are crucial to your business that you should probably not outsource. You need to keep an eye (your eye!) on them at all times. These include cash-flow management and, in many cases, customer interaction.

Some tasks make sense to outsource initially and bring in-house later. If, for example, you aren't very experienced at hiring a receptionist, you could turn to a temp agency to hire one for you. They will charge you a premium, but for that you get significant value--they will understand your requirements, advertise for people, screen them and place them at your site with no risk to you. If they don't work out for whatever reason, you just call the temp agency and tell them to send someone else. When you find the right person and decide you want them long term, you can pay the temp agency a fee and make them a regular employee (i.e., transition from outsourced to in-house).

While the above scenario is common, you don't have to view outsourcing as something to do until you have enough work for an employee. One of the big advantages to outsourcing is flexibility--it can be a lot easier to cut back on a vendor than an employee. (Think of how you would feel if you had to tell an employee who is dependent on her job that you only need her half-time now.) Another advantage is that you don't have to become an expert in a particular area--you can depend on the outsourced company to be the expert, as in the above Web site/logo example.

Perhaps the most positive thing about outsourcing is its ability to save you money. This will, of course, depend on the size of your company and what specific tasks you outsource, but in general, if you think it through, you can save money. For example, my company outsources its IT services (help desk, computer support and maintenance), and we pay significantly less than we'd pay for a full-time IT person to give us the same level of support. We also outsource our bookkeeping and office administration, with similar savings. As we grow, we'll continue to reevaluate these decisions--it may be that the business case for the IT outsourcing remains good as we grow but that we might eventually hire someone to offload other work from our current people, and since we would be paying them anyway, we could get them to do the bookkeeping as well.

A disadvantage to outsourcing is that you are putting part of your company in someone else's hands. You have to ask yourself if you can trust them, if you think they'll stay in business and if they can adapt to your growing/changing needs.

The best advice I have is to carefully think through each function in your business and figure out which tasks make sense to outsource…then just try it! In most cases, common sense will see you through.

Keith Lowe is an experienced entrepreneur who is a founder and investor in companies in several industries. Lowe also mentors new entrepreneurs; serves as past chairman of the board for Biztech, a nonprofit high-tech business incubator; and is a co-founder and officer for the Alabama Information Technology Association.

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28---narcotics awareness

The Dubai Police is working very hard to ensure that our youth are aware of the dangers of narcotics.

Lt. Col Ibrahim Dabl spoke about the programs in place.

You can get involved as a volunteer! 04-609-6610 or 04-609-6800

There are also programs to help those who are caught in the narcotics trap and addictions outside the public security system.

050-131-0055 abu dhabi
050-687-0648
04-344-1542

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27---the food crisis!

The food crisis is here now and you and I don't even seem to see it...

Hint! Riots worldwide over food.

Hint! IMF, WFP, GLOBAL LEADERS scared, grocery shelves empty of key products.

We have created the problem with faulty public policy on a global scale and we now need to fix things or at the least respond to this situation and put in place policy for the future.

Possibility of things getting better before they get worse? Slim to nil!

read this!

World Food Program warns of 'silent
tsunami' of hunger
ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP ONLINE
DAVID STRINGER
LONDON - Ration cards.
Genetically modified crops.
The end of pile-it-high,
sell-it-cheap supermarkets.
These possible solutions to
the first global food crisis
since World War II - which
the World Food Program
says already threatens 20
million of the poorest
children - are complex and
controversial. And they may
not even solve the problem
as demand continues to
soar.
A "silent tsunami" of hunger
is sweeping the world's
most desperate nations,
said Josette Sheeran, the
WFP's executive director,
speaking Tuesday at a London summit on the crisis.
The skyrocketing cost of food staples, stoked by rising fuel prices,
unpredictable weather and demand from India and China, has already sparked
sometimes violent protests across the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
The price of rice has more than doubled in the last five weeks, she said. The
World Bank estimates food prices have risen by 83 percent in three years.
"What we are seeing now is affecting more people on every continent," Sheeran
told a news conference.
Hosting talks with Sheeran, lawmakers and experts, British Prime Gordon Brown
said the spiraling prices threaten to plunge millions back into poverty and
reverse progress on alleviating misery in the developing world.
"Tackling hunger is a moral challenge to each of us and it is also a threat to the
political and economic stability of nations," Brown said.
Malaysia's embattled prime minister is already under pressure over the price
increases and has launched a major rice-growing project. Indonesia's
government needed to revise its annual budget to respond.
Unrest over the food crisis has led to deaths in Cameroon and Haiti, cost
Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis his job, and caused hungry
textile workers to clash with police in Bangladesh.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said more protests in other
developing nations appear likely. "We are going through a very serious crisis
and we are going to see lots of food strikes and demonstrations," Annan told
reporters in Geneva.
At streetside restaurants in Lome, Togo, even the traditional balls of corn meal
or corn dough served with vegetable soup are shrinking. Once as big as a
boxer's fist, the dumplings are now the size of a tennis ball - but cost twice as
much.
In Yaounde, Cameroon, civil servant Samuel Ebwelle, 51, said he fears food
prices will rise further.
"We are getting to the worst period of our life," he said. "We've had to reduce
the number of meals we take a day from three to two. Breakfast no longer
exists on our menu."
Even if her call for $500 million in emergency funding is met, food aid programs
- including work to feed 20 million poor children - will be hit this year, Sheeran
said.
President Bush has released $200 million in urgent aid. Britain pledged an
immediate $59.7 million on Tuesday.
Even so, school feeding projects in Kenya and Cambodia have been scaled
back and food aid has been cut in half in Tajikistan, Sheeran said.
Yet while angry street protesters call for immediate action, long term solutions
are likely to be slow, costly and complicated, experts warn.
And evolving diets among burgeoning middle classes in India and China will help
double the demand for food - particularly grain intensive meat and dairy
products - by 2030, the World Bank says.
Robert Zoellick, the bank's head, claims as many as 100 million people could be
forced deeper into poverty. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said rising
food costs threaten to cancel strides made toward the goal of cutting world
poverty in half by 2015.
"Now is not too soon to be thinking about the longer-term solutions," said Alex
Evans, a former adviser to Britain's Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.
He said world leaders must help increase food production, rethink their push on
biofuels - which many blame for pushing up food prices - and consider anew the
once taboo topic of growing genetically modified crops.
But Evans, now a visiting fellow at New York University's Center on
International Cooperation, said increasing the amount of land that can be
farmed in the developing world will be arduous.
"It's almost like new oil or gas fields; they'll tend to be the hardest to reach
places, that need new roads and new infrastructure to be viable," he said.
The will to increase food production exists, as does most of the necessary
skills, but there are major obstacles, including a lack of government investment
in agriculture and - in Africa particularly - a scarcity of fertilizers, good irrigation
and access to markets.
"Many African farmers are very entrepreneurial, but they simply aren't
connected to markets," said Lawrence Haddad, an economist and director of
Britain's Institute of Development Studies. "They find there are no chilling plants
for milk and no grinding mills for coffee."
Haddad said the likely impact of food price increases should have been
anticipated. "The fact no one has previously made the link between agriculture
and poverty is quite incredible," he said.
Just as new land for farming is available in Russia and Brazil, new genetically
modified crops resistant to drought, or which deliver additional nutrients, could
be better targeted to different regions of the developing world, Evans said. "The
solutions are more nuanced than we previously thought," he added.
Sheeran said developing world governments, particularly in Africa, will need to
dedicate at least 10 percent of future budgets to agriculture to boost global
production.
Some experts predict other countries could follow the example of Pakistan,
which has revived the use of ration cards for subsidized wheat.

The production of biofuels also needs to be urgently re-examined, Brown said.
He acknowledged that Britain this month introduced targets aimed at producing
5 percent of transport fuel from biofuels by 2010, but said his government and
others should review their policies.
Production of biofuel leads to the destruction of forests and takes up land
available to grow crops for food.
Brown said the impact of the food crisis won't just be felt in the developing
world, but also in the checkout lane of Western supermarkets. "It it is not
surprising that we see our shopping bills go up," Brown said.
Many analysts, including Britain's opposition leader David Cameron, claim that
people in the West will need to eat less meat - and consume, or waste, less
food in general. Some expect the shift in attitudes to herald the end of
supermarket giveaways and cost-cutting grocery stores that stack goods to the
ceiling and sell in bulk.
Citizens in the West, China and India must realize that the meat on their plate
and biofuels in their expensive cars carry a cost for those in the developing
world, Evans said.
Sheeran believes many already understand the impact. "Much of the world is
waking up to the fact that food does not spontaneously appear on grocery
store shelves," she said.
---
AP writers Ebow Godwin in Lome, Togo; Emmanuel Tumanjong in Yaounde,
Cameroon; Anita Powell in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Eliane Engeler in Geneva
contributed to this report.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23----naturopathic medicine

Dr. Parviz Rashvand walked us through the idea of naturopathic medicine.

04-348-5452 is his contact number.

Is it possible that this is too good to be true?


Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine / acupuncture, and lifestyle counselling.

A Naturopathic Doctor is a primary care practitioner that seeks to restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing process. A Naturopathic Doctor views the individual as an integral whole including the physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors affecting health. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body and unfavourable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than disease as an entity. The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of the disease. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions. Treatments are chosen based on the individual patient, not based on the generality of symptoms.

Naturopathic doctors can also complement and enhance health care services provided by other health care professionals. They cooperate with other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. Naturopathic Doctors provide patients with a truly integrative form of health care.

In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.



Naturopathic medicine treats all forms of health concerns -- from pediatric to geriatric, from irritating systems to chronic illness and from the physical to the psychological. It is the approach, philosophy and training of naturopathic doctors that sets it apart from other forms of health care.

There are typically three types of patients that seek naturopathic medical care:


  1. Patients that are looking for disease prevention and health promotion strategies. Individuals that recognize that health doesn't just happen by chance, that it is a life-long process that involves a clear understanding of the factors that affect health and how to deal with them on a daily basis. People looking for health promotion as a way of life is increasing tremendously all the time.
  2. Patients that have a range of symptoms that they have been unable to address on their own or with the help of other medical practitioners. With Naturopathic medicine's broad understanding of health and the relationship between health, life and the environment naturopathic doctors are often able to offer patients a new perspective and provide safe and effective ways to restore health.
  3. Patients that have been diagnosed with an illness and are looking for alternative treatments. Naturopathic medicine is very effective in improving quality of life for those with serious and life threatening illnesses. It is used extensively and effectively for those patients that are looking to combine conventional and naturopathic treatments with the aim of minimizing side effects to drugs, surgery or conventional treatments.

The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and to treat the root cause of disease. For many patients, this difference in approach to health provides them with a new perspective and awareness. By addressing the root cause(s) of disease and through the appropriate use of natural therapies many patients with chronic illness have found tremendous benefits.



© 1999-2008 Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April 23: Financial services for common man

James was away today and was replaced by Pamela Ritchie, presenter of the new business show on Dubai Eye!

We were joined in studio by Imran Bashir, VP of Marketing and Product Management, Emirates Islamic Bank and Sanjay Tolani, Director, Goodwill Insurance Brokers.

Are banks creating a social problem by giving easy loans? Is Islamic banking better than the 'normal' banking? Imran thinks so! He says that some loans and services are offered better in Islamic banks. Call Toll-free 04 3160101

Sanjay spoke about investment and insurance opportunities for the common man. He is also a Financial Planner; so if you want to prepare for your retirement or plan your child's education, he's the best person to talk to! He is the world's youngest member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and has financially planned his life since he was 5! His contact info is: gib@eim.ae (Attn it under his name so it reaches directly to him). You could call at 04 3595566.

Monday, April 21, 2008

April 21---The art of self promotion

How much time do you spend promoting BRAND YOU?

We spoke to two masters of the art.

David Newsum and Frank Furness about how they promote their skills.

Rule number one is you need to believe that you have skills that others are interested in.

Maybe we spend too little time managing our career?

Give Seth Godin a read!

Or maybe just give this article a read!
http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/30/magazines/fortune/job_tips.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008013009

How to get hired by a 'Best' company

Even during economic downturns, Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For are constantly scouting for talent. Here's 10 tips on how to get your foot in the door.

(Fortune Magazine) -- Think you'd like to work for one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For? Good luck. A few require applicants to jump through peculiar hoops, like the notorious test at Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) that poses questions like, "How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?" and "How would you move Mount Fuji?"

At most of the 100 Best, however, the main hurdle is one of sheer numbers: The average company on the list has 15,853 employees and gets 96,062 applications each year. Not only that, but the overwhelming majority prefer to promote from within - at FedEx Express, the freight carrier's biggest unit, for example, 90% of top management started out on the loading dock - so you're also competing against insiders.

But don't despair. If you've got the right stuff, and follow these 10 rules, you just might have a shot.

It helps to know someone. Almost all of the 100 Best rely heavily on employee referrals. Principal Financial Group (PFG, Fortune 500) and many others get about 40% of their new hires this way. At Wegmans it's a family thing: About one in five employees is related to at least one other staffer.

Play up volunteer work on your r�sum�. These companies are enthusiastic about community outreach, and they prefer to hire people who are too.

Get ready to interview and interview... and interview. The process varies wildly from one company to another, but you could be facing a series of 12 to 15 one-on-one chats or one long interview with a panel of up to 50 current employees.

Unleash your inner storyteller. By far the most popular interview style is what's known as behavioral, meaning that you will be asked to describe troublesome situations in past jobs and tell exactly how you handled them.

Do creative research. A proven way to stand out from the hordes of other candidates is to know more about the place and the industry than your rivals. A Google search won't do it. Says Jay Jones, recruiting manager at Alcon Laboratories (ACL): "Detailed research, including talking to our customers, is so rare it will almost guarantee you get hired."

No lone rangers need apply. By and large, the 100 Best want team players. "I actually count the number of times a candidate says 'I' in an interview," says Adobe's (ADBE) recruiting director Jeff Vijungco. "We'd much rather hear 'we.'"

If you've moved around a lot, be ready to explain why. A checkered past won't disqualify you, but most of these companies are looking for people who want to build a career over the long haul. Be persuasive about why you're ready to settle down here.

Be open to learning new things. Showing passion is a must, and most of the 100 Best pride themselves on creating "learning environments," so talk about the skills you'd like to acquire or polish. A turnoff: declaring that you're already the best at what you do.

If at first you don't succeed, don't give up. Almost every Best Company keeps track of what FedEx (FDX, Fortune 500) calls "silver medalists" - people who barely missed getting hired - and alerts them to new openings. If possible, register on the company's website. Four Seasons, for one, has hired people seven or eight years after an initial meeting.

Don't coast on their reputation. One final tip: Don't apply for a job just because the company is on our list. In the words of Mike Gallagher, HR director at SAS Institute, "We know we have a reputation as a great place to work. But if the reason you want to work here is that you want subsidized day care or a great gym, you won't last." Or, for that matter, make it through the first round of interviews. To top of page

Digg

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20----our media part 3

We spoke about the changing face of global media.

Kimberley Leonard of the ARN newsroom joined us to introduce her interview with Adrian Wells (Head of Foreign News) and Tim Marshall (Foreign News Editor) for Sky News.

How well are we being served by journalism anyway?

Mustafa Al Rawi, Managing Editor of Emirates Business 24/7 and Tony Metcalf Editor-in-Chief of metro US also got involved.

The reality is that money has had a dramatic effect on the way we make and understand news expression!

Maybe there is no real objectivity.

But what is the role of the press anyway?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 16---students with a voice

This evening three of the winners of the 7th inter-school creative writing slam joined us in studio!

Give the podcast a listen, IT IS AMAZING!

Who joined us?

  1. FATHIMA KHAN—Student of Our own English High School,Shj Won the WORTHY WORD SMITH TROPHY,
  2. Bahar Behrouzi Homa : Student of Westminster school Dxb, Won the 1st prize in category B
  3. Christina AnnThomas ,Student of OUR Own English High School Dubai Won the 1st prize in the category A.
What we learned?

Students need to be allowed to experiment, live and be kids!

Students need an outlet.

Stop projecting on your kids, parents!

And most important and the hardest to do.... LISTEN to our youth the answers are there and sometimes that might mean backing off...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15---war on terror with Dr. Kenneth Christie

Dr. Kenneth Christie helped us understand the war on terror and maybe the other side of the coin,, our human rights!

Here is the opening to his new book.

This book is an attempt to assess the implications of the US declared war on terror for human rights on a global scale. It will deal with this mainly from a political science and international relations perspective. There has been major changes in the human rights regime adopted in the post 1945 period, many of which, it has been argued, are revolutionary in nature. These changes also became more significant during the cold war and post-cold war period. As one author argued:

The transition from a nation-state world order to a cosmopolitan world order brings about a very significant priority shift from international law to human rights. The principle that international law precedes human rights which held during the (nation-state) period of modernity is being replaced by the principle of the (world society) second age of modernity, that human rights precedes international law. As yet, the consequences have not been thought through, but they will be revolutionary.

And yet such radical consequences have not been borne out by the global events of the late 1990’s. To a large extent I will question, the accuracy of this view of the current world order. Instead of a cosmopolitan world order there is an alternative idea and reality of international relations in which a hegemonic power, the USA, is seen as trampling over international law, flouting international human rights conventions and behaving like the schoolyard bully, but in a global sense. It is acting like an imperial colossus astride the ruins of a failed bi-polar system.

Dr. Kenneth Christie

Monday, April 14, 2008

3rd culture kids

Hi everyone, I thought you might enjoy my podcast: Nightline with JAMES on DubaiEye 103.8 FM

- - James


April 14---3rd Culture Kids

We were joined by George Walker a former Director General of the IBO to talk about the impact an international education can have on children who become adults!

We spoke with Shawn Ahmed a 3rd culture child who at 27 is now acting with the influence of his education to change the world!

3rd Culture Kids

http://blogs.ibo.org/georgew/2005/09/

International education and cultural understanding

I am in retrospective mood, looking back at the different ways I have interpreted the phrase ‘international education’ since I first met it in 1991. Amongst the variety of descriptions, analyses, definitions and explanations there is at least one common thread in my writings on the subject: the importance of cultural understanding.

In this context, I have found particularly helpful T.S. Eliot’s Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948), Jerome Bruner’s The Culture of Education (1996), Laurence Stenhouse’s Culture and Education (1967), the various writings of Hofstede, Trompenaars et al and the Asian Perspective in UNESCO’s Delors Report (1996) written by Zhou Nanzhao (a member of the IBO Council of Foundation). Yet, if I am completely honest, I doubt if I could provide an entirely satisfactory explanation, never mind a definition of exactly what I mean by that seductive phrase ‘cultural understanding’.

I was therefore drawn to a stimulating article in the latest issue (August 2005) of the Journal for Research in International Education (JRIE) by Lodewijk van Oord ,a teacher at Atlantic College in Wales, entitled ‘Culture as a configuration of learning’. What makes a culture, writes van Oord, are not the habits, traits and customs identified by people like Hofstede but particular configurations of learning and meta-learning (learning how to learn). He argues that teachers in international schools are unnecessarily worried about students accommodating to different ways of life (as an example he quotes the ease with which a Peruvian student adapted to unfamiliar authority relationships in Norway) and even to different languages (he quotes his own capacity to direct tourists around a European capital).

‘Each culture will constitute a kind of learning that subordinates other kinds of learning’. That is clear enough, but then, ‘Cultural differences can, therefore, be characterized in terms of what brings about this configuration of learning’, and we are suddenly back with the chicken-and-egg that characterizes much of this debate. Van Oord identifies two distinct learning configurations: conceptual thinking (the West) and performative learning (Asia), the first derived from religious orthodoxy (‘true belief’) and the latter from religious orthopraxy (‘right practice’). But then the chicken comes back to chase its egg with the statement ‘Orthodox belief (eg Christianity) and orthoprax ritual (eg Hinduism) are products of different configurations of learning where different kinds of learning dominate over other kinds of learning’.

I believe van Oord underestimates the way habits, traits and customs create a significant cultural divide. The Peruvian student had probably been selected with her ‘adaptability’ in mind and in a sink-or-swim environment chose the latter, as most young people do. In a school that has a significant cultural minority to call into daily question the mid-Atlantic pseudo-culture of most international schools – I am thinking, for example, of the 20% local Francophone students at the International School of Geneva – the situation appears rather more complex.

I hope this fascinating article will be widely read and I want to end on a note of strong agreement: van Oord is surely right when he says ‘the configuration of learning presumed in international academic curricula is a western configuration based on conceptual learning as the dominant form of learning’. He is calling for a new approach and the IBO must accept a responsibility to respond.

George Walker

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13---The olympics!

Has the Olympics lost the plot? Well has the IOC lost the plot?

Has the Olympics become a huge political/commercial bun fight?

Maybe it is time to reboot the whole movement?

The torch relay is just the start of the end!

http://www.cbc.ca/cp/sports/080408/s04089A.html

IOC president Jacques Rogge under
pressure as protests hit torch relay


Published: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | 1:26 AM ET

Canadian Press: Stephen Wade, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BEIJING - Under pressure to speak out on human rights and
concerned about a threatened Olympic boycott, athletes want IOC
president Jacques Rogge to provide stronger guidelines on how
they should conduct themselves.
As Rogge began the first of five days of meetings Monday, the last
run of the Paris torch relay was cancelled following protests. The
disruption came less than a day after demonstrators scuffled with
London police. More problems are expected Wednesday during
the route through San Francisco, the only stop in North America.
Rogge was asked by the president of the European Olympic
Committees to spell out "what athletes can and cannot do" to
express political views during the Beijing Olympics.
Patrick Hickey, head of the 49-member group, met Sunday with
Rogge. The meeting came with the Summer Games four months
away and against a backdrop of last month's riots in Tibet, China's
ties with Sudan and criticism about the government's human rights
record.
"We just want him (Rogge) to tell us straight out where athletes
cannot give their opinion or make demonstrations," Hickey said.
"There will be absolutely no gagging whatsoever of our athletes.
We just want to be absolutely clear, and the only one to hear it
from is the IOC president."
Hickey said Rogge promised to lay out ground rules Thursday
when the IOC executive board meets with ANOC's membership. In
general, athletes are prohibited under the Olympic Charter from
expressing political views while at Olympic venues or from
wearing clothing or other symbols that carry a political message.
"Our athletes are coming under pressure from the media," Hickey
said. "We want to get them out of that pressure by telling them
IOC president Jacques Rogge under pressure as protests hit torch relay
exactly what they can and cannot do. Then they can return to
concentrate on training."
Hickey, an IOC member from Ireland, said there was no talk of a
boycott within the ANOC, which represents 205 national Olympic
committees.
"We are all 100 per cent supporting going to the games," he said.
"There's nobody talking about boycotts, not the slightest. No
boycott of any description."
On Monday, Rogge brought up the issue of boycotts and protests
along the torch relay, but he gave his brief speech after most
Chinese officials had left the dais following opening speeches to
the ANOC general assembly.
"I'm very concerned with the international situation and what's
happening in Tibet," Rogge said. "The torch relay has been
targeted. The International Olympic Committee has expressed its
serious concerns and calls for a rapid, peaceful resolution in
Tibet."
Rogge also tried to quell talk of any kind of boycott.
"Some politicians have played with the idea of boycotts," Rogge
said. "As I speak today, however, there is no momentum for a
generalized boycott."
Mario Vazquez Rana, president of the ANOC, said his group wants
China "to find through dialogue and understanding a fair and
reasonable solution to the internal conflict that affects the Tibet
region."
IOC co-ordination commission member Alex Gilady said he
expected the pressure to ease after the Paris and San Francisco
relay legs.
"The important message is to tell our athletes that some people are
trying to use them and to ride on their backs for solutions that the
world has to find in other places like the United Nations," said
Gilady, also a senior vice president at NBC Sports, which holds the
IOC president Jacques Rogge under pressure as protests hit torch relay
rights to broadcast the Olympics in the U.S.
"I don't think the international torch relay is a good thing because
it's not needed," Gilady added. "But now it's water under the
bridge."
Beijing organizers have been angered and embarrassed by the rude
reception greeting the torch. Though the torch was extinguished in
Paris, this does not mean the Olympic flame was extinguished. The
flame is actually carried in a separate lanternlike device along the
route.
"The general public is very angry at this sabotage by a few
separatists, said Wang Hui, a spokeswoman for the organizing
committee. "We can see that such disruption by a few separatists is
not supported by the people."
© The Canadian Press, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

April 9----TV Revolution SHOOFtv

We are living in a time of extreme change.

Why?

Technology!

We have all seen YouTube well the UAE has its own incarnation of this image sharing platform Shooftv.

Shooftv is a delivery mechanism for original creative content in the UAE and by ll accounts is a hit with the young and hip, the early adopters of technology.



And they also offer you the opportunity to see what other services are doing! So you can see the best of YouTube, Myspace and Break !

This may be the start of the end for TV as we know it!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

April 8-------Career evaluation with a math model

Mr. Muhammed Zeeshan, Quality Planning Superintendent at dnata in Dubai spoke to us about a mathematical model to help end favoritism in the evaluation of your work.

MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
Define the scope
Identify applicable performance parameters
Assign weightage to each parameter
Define performance levels of each parameter
Assign scores to each performance level
Calculate performance score
Compare with defined benchmark
Review the outcome
Improve with learning curve

Model is based on simple concept of quantitative assessment method
Easy to use and easy to customise according to the requirement of any kind and size of organization
Being a performance based model, it will motivate employees to achieve and exceed performance targets
Being transparent, it will increased staff satisfaction towards performance evaluation system
Will eliminates elements of favouritism for promotions
Can be customised to develop criteria for employee performance awards
The concept can be extended to recruitment process. It can act as an efficient tool to short-list the most appropriate candidates for the job
Will save man-hours of HR, recruitment and line departments through automation of process

Monday, April 07, 2008

April 7-----www.lunchboxes.ae

Here is a business that is taking its responsibility to society a step further!

We all try hard to send our children off to school each day with a sensible, nutritious and appetizing lunchbox comprising of a diversity of food groups that they will enjoy. However, we all know from experience that this simple mission quickly becomes monotonous, complicated, frustrating and very time-consuming. Every morning we find ourselves asking the same old questions … what should we prepare? will they eat it? is it nutritious enough? will it still be fresh at lunch time? what container should I use? etc etc…

At long last, two Dubai-based organisations have joined forces to ensure that

your school lunchbox worries are now over!
Why should we care?



CHILD OBESITY RATES RISING STEADILY
BY ATEF HANNAFI (Staff Reporter)

13 October 2005 AND THIS IS AN OLD ARTICLE!

The UAE is one of over 40 countries in the world with high rates of obesity and people who are overweight. The UAE shares that dubious record with countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Germany, the USA, UK, Turkey and minnow-states like Micronisia and Naoru.

Dr Abdul Rahaman Obeid, director of the Bahrain-based Arab Centre for Nutrition, said obesity prevalance in the Gulf region ranged between 10 to 15 per cent among children in primary schools, 15 to 30 per cent in students at the intermediate level and 20 to 40 per cent in students at the secondary level. He said the statistics were from a recent report of the World Health Organisation (WHO). "Obesity in married women reached levels as high as 50 to 75 per cent due to recurrent pregnancy," he said.

With obesity, prevention was by far better than treatment. "Therefore effective measures ought to be taken to counter the phenomenon through reduced intake of fast-food rich in fats and soft drinks," said Dr Sinan Hunood, a specialist in diabetes at Al Noor Hospital in Abu Dhabi. "It is a mistake to depend on one type of meal only. One needs between 45 to 65 per cent of starches, 10-35 per cent of proteins, 20-35 per cent of fats in addition to fibres such as lettuce every day."

Dr Hunood said a new phenomenon has become apparent, and that was the spread of adult diabetes among children because of obesity or what was often abbreviated as 'MODY'.

To address the problem, Dr Hunood has recommended a low calorie nutritional regime to be followed, such as intake of vegetables and fruits, avoid TV viewing, particularly for children, in order to lessen the impact of snacks and soft drink commercials on them. "Physical exercise," he said, "is advised. As per the Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height, 18.5–25 is considered healthy weight, while 25-30 is overweight, 30–40 obese and 40-70 overly obese."

Most diabetics, Dr Hunood said, are obese and particularly potbellied.

There are more than one billion obese around the world, a figure expected to rise to 1.5 billion by 2015, and about 17 million persons die of heart diseases and artery blockage every year.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

April 6---Surrogate Mother

The issue of women being surrogate mother's is a controversial one at the best of times.

In many western countries women are being surrogates for altruistic reasons.

In many 3rd world countries surrogacy is about money.

What we know is that today, globally, 15% of couples suffer from infertility problems and seek help.

We also know that 6% of children are born using reproductive technologies.

So the need for surrogacy is there BUT do we as societies want it?

De we need government regulation?

Do we need to allow women to decide what they will do with their bodies?

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0403/p01s04-wosc.html

Childless couples look to India for surrogate mothers

| Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
Eight months pregnant, Reshma is like any other expecting mother, except that the child she's carrying isn't her own.

When Reshma gives birth next month in this small Indian town, the newborn will be immediately handed over to its biological parents, non-resident Indians who live in London and who have been unable to bear a child on their own. In return for renting her womb, Reshma will be paid $2,800 - a significant sum by Indian standards.




"I have two cherubic children of my own," says Reshma, who withheld her real name for fear of disapproval by neighbors. "That couple has none. Imagine how much happiness this baby will give them."

A year ago, the couple flew down from London to this dusty, unremarkable town to choose a surrogate mother. They are part of a growing number of childless foreigners beating a track to India, drawn here for many of the same reasons that have made India a top destination for medical tourism: low costs, highly-qualified doctors, and a more relaxed legal atmosphere.

The industry is estimated to be valued at $449 million, and the number of cases of surrogacy are believed to have doubled in the last three years based on newspaper

classifieds and inquiries at clinics. But hard numbers remains elusive, partly because the practice is defused among small towns like Anand, where the lure of money is stronger than in wealthier cities.

The extent of the practice in the US is similarly unclear. One 1989 estimate by the Detroit News said that $33 million had been spent over the decade for surrogates. A 1992 estimate calculated that as many as 4,000 babies have been born to surrogate mothers in the US.

The cost differences are clear-cut, however. In the US, surrogate mothers are typically paid $15,000, and agencies claim another $30,000. In India, the entire costs range from $2,500 to $6,500.

Dr. Nayna Patel, director of Anand's Kaival Hospital, cautions against seeing the trend in financially exploitative terms. "This is not the same thing as donating a kidney [for money].... A nine-month pregnancy can never be forced," she says. "Beyond the commercial angle, having a child is a deeply emotional issue."

She cites dozens of cases of couples that have spent a small fortune on failed in-vitro fertilizations or experienced repeated miscarriages and have had no option but to turn to surrogacy.

After two fruitless years of searching in Britain, including putting an offer on their car windshield offering $17,000 for a surrogate, Bobby and Kalwinder Bains took out advertisements in Indian newspapers. The couple has found an Indian surrogate mother, who they are paying $720 for implantation of the embryo, $9,000 if she conceives and delivers their baby, and double that if she delivers another baby next year.

"These amounts are still nearly three times cheaper than what surrogacy in the UK would cost us," they say.

Their search put them in touch with several interested Indian mothers. Now the couple has started www.1-in-6.com, a website to help link up prospective parents and surrogate mothers from India.

Research at the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge University shows that British surrogate mothers did not suffer major emotional problems. "We did find that surrogate mothers did find the weeks following the handover difficult, but this became easier over time," says Vasanti Jadva, a researcher from the same university.

It's a view that resonates with fertility specialists like Dr. Patel: "Many surrogate mothers see this not as 'handing over' the baby, but as 'handing back' the baby, as the baby was never theirs to keep."

Anand's Kaival Hospital has up to 20 surrogate mothers. In the last two years since surrogacy began here, six babies have been delivered and two more are on the way. Some 75 percent of the clients are non-resident Indians from the UK, the US, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

Each day, dozens of inquiries from India and abroad inundate the clinic. Parents and prospective surrogates are carefully screened and counseled by the clinic, and both parties must sign an elaborate legal contract that signs over the surrogate mother's rights to the baby and underlines the financial terms.

Although all surrogates interviewed said that they would not get attached to the baby since they took up surrogacy for altruistic reasons, money does seem to be a motivator.

"How else will us uneducated women earn this kind of money, without doing anything immoral?" asks one of the surrogate mothers at the Kaival Hospital.

Reshma's husband Vinod - not his real name - says his paltry $50 montly pay as a painter would not be enough to educate his two children. He says the extra money will allow him to invest in his children's education and to buy a new home. But surrogacy is yet to be widely accepted here. For the past six months, Reshma and Vinod have been living in a neighboring village to keep the pregnancy a secret.

"Otherwise, we'll be treated like social pariahs," he says. "This isn't a respectable thing to do in our society."

Nor is it entirely accepted in other parts of the globe. Movements to allow for surrogate motherhood have been rejected by voters in places like Sweden, Spain, France, and Germany. Other nations that do allow it, including South Africa, the UK, and Argentina, employ independent ethics committees to evaluate surrogacy requests on a case-by-case basis.

"After IT services it seems it's now the turn of babies to be outsourced from India," says Manish Mehta, a reporter from Associated Press Television who is shooting a film on surrogate mothers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=480230&in_page_id=1770

Britain's most prolific surrogate mother is expecting again - and this time it's triplets

By JAMES MILLS - More by this author » Last updated at 09:22am on 6th September 2007

After eight surrogate pregnancies in little more than a decade, you might think that Carole Horlock would have tired of giving birth.

But Britain's most prolific surrogate mother is expecting again - and this time it's triplets.

Miss Horlock, who will be 41 next month, is eight weeks into the pregnancy for a married woman left infertile after cancer.

Carole Horlockwith the surrogate son she had in 2004

She has already had nine babies for childless couples, including one set of twins, and has had two daughters of her own.

Yesterday she spoke of her pride at the prospect of taking her total of made-to-order babies into double figures.

"I get a real and genuine pleasure from helping couples who can't conceive naturally," she said.

"For me, it is a wonderful experience.

"I like being pregnant.

"I can become pregnant very easily and I don't have a problem handing the babies over after they are born."

But Miss Horlock's experiences since her first surrogacy agreement in 1995 have not all been positive.

Her father barely speaks to her.

As she usually uses her own eggs - which she artificially inseminates herself with the father's sperm - he is distressed that she is effectively giving away his grandchildren.

And although she has good relationships with most of the couples she has helped, she has had a falling out with the last couple whose son she gave birth to in June 2004.

She believed she had successfully inseminated herself with the husband's sperm, but discovered - to the horror of all concerned - that she had in fact become pregnant by her partner of nine years, mechanic Paul Brown, 50.

She said: "We had taken precautions but something went wrong.

"It was an extremely difficult time but there was no way that I would have gone back on the agreement and demanded the baby back.

"The couple were very angry but they went ahead with the adoption.

"Legally, Paul and I could have taken the baby back, but we had already decided we don't want any more children and it would not have been fair on the couple."

There have also been accusations that she is motivated by greed and that she has made in the region of £50,000.

But she insists there is little left after expenses for maternity clothes, food, travel and vitamins.

She points out that the sum is hardly a huge amount considering she has been almost continually pregnant for the past 12 years.

After the problems following her last pregnancy, Miss Horlock might have considered giving up surrogacy.

But she did not want her "rent-a-womb" career to end on a sour note and agreed to have a baby for a Greek couple in their thirties, who are both teachers.

The wife had a hysterectomy two years ago following cancer.

She can still produce eggs but she cannot carry a baby.

Miss Horlock became pregnant using embryos created from the woman's eggs and her husband's sperm after having IVF in Greece.

It is the first time she has used IVF to become pregnant.

The news that she is carrying triplets came as a shock and she is bracing herself for her most difficult pregnancy yet.

She said: "I had twins about ten years ago and that was quite difficult. I'm expecting these three to be a bit of a challenge."

She said the Greek couple were "a little taken aback" when she told them she was carrying triplets, but were delighted nonetheless.

She added: "Not long ago they thought they would never have children at all.

"Now they're having three so they see it as a triple blessing.

"They knew that IVF always carries a high chance of multiple births so it wasn't a complete shock.

"It'll be hard work for them but they will cherish them all.'

Miss Horlock said this pregnancy could finally be the last.

"There's a strong possibility I will have a caesarean birth and that would take 18 months to recover from, by which time I will be almost 44," she said.

"I will have to see how I feel."

Miss Horlock, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, moved to a fourbedroom farmhouse near Bordeaux, France, two years ago.

She has two children of her own, Steffanie, 16, from her first marriage, and 13-year-old Megan from a subsequent relationship.

Her present partner also has a child from a previous relationship.

Her first surrogate baby, a boy, was born in December 1995, followed by five girls including twins.

A second boy was born in January 2002, followed by a girl in April 2003 and a third boy in June 2004.

She remains good friends with two of the couples and often visits them and their children, who know she is their surrogate mother.

Most of the other parents send a photo of the child with a letter once a year.

"When I see the children, I don't think they are my babies, it is like seeing a friend's children," she said.

"I have never had a problem handing the babies over. I don't see them as my babies and I don't get emotionally attached to them during the pregnancy."

Surrogacy is still a controversial issue in Britain, especially as surrogate mothers are routinely paid "pregnancy expenses" by the couples they carry children for.

Actual payment is illegal, but it is not unusual for surrogates to make more than £10,000 a time.

Miss Horlock admits she could make a lot of money if she had babies for wealthy couples, but she says all the parents she has helped have been "ordinary couples".

"I do it to help people - and they pay me what they can afford," she said.

"I'm not a martyr, though.

"What people forget is that, emotionally, I get a lot out of this too.

"Surrogacy has made me a much more confident and fulfilled person."

j.mills@dailymail.co.uk

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April 2----Autism

What do we know, do you know about autism?

My bet is not enough.

http://www.autismapril.com/---checkout this website!

What is Autism?

http://www.autism.com/medical/research/index.htm

Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. Less severe cases may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or with Asperger's Syndrome (these children typically have normal speech, but they have many "autistic" social and behavioral problems).

It used to be thought that autism is just a fate that you accept.The good news is that there are now a wide variety of treatment options which can be very helpful. Some treatments may lead to great improvement, and others may have little or no effect, but a good starting point would be the parent ratings of biomedical interventions, which presents the responses of over 25,000 parents in showing the effectiveness of various interventions on their own child.

How Common is it? For many years autism was rare - occurring in just five children per 10,000 live births. However, since the early 1990's, the rate of autism has increased exponentially around the world with figures as high as 60 per 10,000. Boys outnumber girls four to one. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism.

What is the Outlook? Age at intervention has a direct impact on outcome--typically, the earlier a child is treated, the better the prognosis will be. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the percentage of children who can attend school in a typical classroom and live semi-independently in community settings. However, the majority of autistic persons remain impaired in their ability to communicate and socialize.


The Autism Research Institute (ARI) is proud to be the only autism non-profit to be awarded the coveted 'Four Star Award" by Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management. ARI is even prouder of its unique track record in funding research projects which have made a real difference in discovering the true causes of autism, and developing effective treatments that bring about recovery from autism.

ARI-funded research has dispelled the conventional belief that autism is always an untreatable lifelong disability. ARI funds research intended to bring results, and not to demonstrate "political correctness." ARI funds research on controversial topics, including the role of environmental toxins and thimerosal in vaccines causing the autism epidemic -- topics ignored and avoided by the larger, mainstream organizations. Thousands of parents and physicians worldwide credit ARI with bringing recovery or near-recovery to autistic patients.

ARI-funded Research for 2007
A Sampling of Past ARI-Funded Grants
Scientific Foundations of a Defeat Autism Now! Protocol

Donate to Support ARI Research

Research Papers

  • Metals, both essential and toxic, are found in the human body and more than one quarter of the elemts known in the periodic table are essential for human life
  • Heavy Metal Exposures, Developmental Milestones, and Physical Symptoms in Children with Autism
  • Binding of Infectious Agents, Toxic Chemicals, and Dietary Peptides to Tissue Enzymes and Lymphocyte Receptors and Consequent Immune Response in Autism
  • Impaired transsulfuration and oxidative stress in autistic children: Improvement with targeted nutritional intervention
  • Effects of Mercury on Methionine Synthase: Implications for Disordered Methylation in Autism
  • B6 and Sulfation
  • The Cerebellum and Autism
  • Studies of High Dosage Vitamin B6 (and often with Magnesium) in Autistic Children and Adults

    Science Session Presentations

    • New Evidence for DNA Hypomethylation and Increased Vulnerability to Oxidative Stress in Autism
      Jill James, PhD (Seattle 2006)
    • Response to Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) in the Autistic population
      Marvin Boris, MD (Seattle 2006)
    • Methionine Synthase: A Redox Sensor and First Responder to Oxidative Stress
      Richard Deth, PhD (Seattle 2006)
    • Autism is Treatable: Scientific Plausibility
      Martha Herbert, MD, PhD (Seattle 2006)
    • Methylation Panel: Autism and Methyl B12
      James Neubrander, MD (DC 2006)
    • Methylation Panel: Transmethylation Overview
      Derrick Lonsdale, MD (DC 2006)
    • Methylation Panel: Methionine Synthase: A Redox Sentinel at the Intersection of Life
      Richard Deth, PhD (DC 2006)
    • Methylation Panel: New Evidence and Implications of DNA Hypomethylation in Autistic Children
      S. Jill James, PhD (DC 2006)
    • Recent Findings on the Nutritional Abnormalities in Autism
      Jim �Adams, PhD (DC 2006)
    • Follow the Science: Synergy and Synchrony in Autism
      Elizabeth Mumper, MD (Long Beach 2005)
    • Autism: Evidence it can be treated
      Jeff Bradstreet, MD, FAAFP (Milwaukee 2006)
    • Recovery: Going Home with a Plan for Using the Best that Defeat Autism Now! Offers
      Jeff Bradstreet, MD (Seattle 2006)
  • © 2007-2008 Autism Research Institute | Sitemap | Notices |



    Tuesday, April 01, 2008

    April 1----creativity crisis

    I believe we are in the grip of a creativity crisis today AND we are to blame, you and I!

    How so?

    Technology has a big part to play in the crisis.

    And our lack of allowance for people to just try stuff...

    Look at this web article about the decline in British creative advertising; then this one on decline in Arab Theater, another one and this one, especially the part:
    destroy independent thinking and creativity." Looking to the future, he is not optimistic: "The essence of the current crisis of the Arab mind lies in its inability at innovation and creativity. . . . The continuation of this trend causes extinction in the end!"14

    We are in a crisis and did not even know it!