Learn Something New

Read at least one new thing each day (365 for a year!). Things like technology, general knowledge, public awareness, joke and ect. This will take you about 5 to 10 minute each day. So,Stay tuned!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gardening Tips


We have to eat to live. Without a regular supply of starch, protein and other complex nutrient we should soon die. Plants have a different arrangement. Plants - from the smallest seedlings to the largest trees - are factories which take in raw materials from the air, water and soil to build carbohydrates, proteins and fats. To do this they need a constant supply of raw materials and a source of energy - sunlight - to form roots, leaves, stems, flowers, fruits and seeds. Each part of the plant has a special job to do but its performance depends on the co-operation of every other parts.

In the last hundred years, great strides in the study of plant nutrition have been made. We now know that apart from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which plants get from air and soil water to manufacture their own starch and sugars, about a dozen nutrient or elements are also essential for plant growth.
NITROGEN - Slow growth of top and roots; leaves turn yellow-green when young to orange, red or purple when mature (veins may turn purple), beginning from bottom leaves to top; reduction in number of flowers and yield of grain or fruit; slow growth and delay of opening of buds.

PHOSPHORUS - Similar to nitrogen deficiency but leaf colour either dull bluish green with tints of purple instead of yellow or red, OR leaves dull bronze colored with purple or brown spots (leaf edges often brown, especially in potatoes).

POTASSIUM - If mild deficiency, stems thin; if severe, stems stunted or die; leaves usually dull bluish green, often yellow streaks between veins, followed by browning of tips and edges, and development of brown spots near edges; leaves rolled (begins at lower leaves); poor root growth; poor development of flowers and grain or fruit.

CALCIUM - Begins at upper leaves; leaves very distorted and curled at edges; edges appear ragged and leaves may have thin yellow bands or be brown, then die roots poorly developed.

MAGNESIUM - Leaves turn yellow (sometimes between veins, sometimes in spots or streaks), then turn brown and die (starting at bottom of plant); grain or fruits poorly developed.

MANGANESE - Similar to magnesium but starts at top of the plant.

SULFUR - Reduction of growth; curling down of leaves at tips; similar to nitrogen deficiency except that lower leaves are not lost.

BORON - Begins at upper leaves; leaves become light green (lighter at base, veins turn purple, leaves may have faint streaks and yellowing, then turn orange) and stop growing, root down at tip, with tissue breakdown at base, poor growth of tops and roots; flower buds drop off; no grain or fruit.

IRON - Severe yellowing of newer leaves (either spotted or total); more often visible in trees than yearly crops.

ZINC - Molted spots on leaves, first yellowish, then yellow or purple-red (appears late in summer, then leaves drop early), leaves become crinkled and small.

MOLYBDENUM - Similar to nitrogen deficiency, since molybdenum is necessary for nitrogen-fixing bacteria; leaves becoming yellow between veins, first on mature leaves, then to younger; young leaves may become severely twisted and eventually die.

NITROGEN in biological life is an electrolyte. As an electrolyte in the soil, nitrogen functions very much like a metal carrying an electrical charge. It is the element that ionises the water in the soil and make it possible for the minerals to get into the plant. Therefore, without nitrogen in the soil the electrical currents could not flow and the process of ionisation, by which plants are built, could not take place.

PHOSPHATE in the soil is the factor that determines the mineral content in any plant. The higher the water soluble phosphate the higher the mineral content. In order to get the maximum yield, the proper amount of phosphate is necessary. A great deal of phosphate used on farms today comes from Florida.

POTASH determines three basic things in a plant. It determines the thickness of the leaf and the thickness of the stem. The second thing it determines is the number of fruit sets on a plant and is the binder that holds the fruit to the stem. Thirdly, it determines the size of the fruit.

CALCIUM was once considered to be a secondary or minor nutrient for plants. However, we have learned in recent years based on research and its importance to the plant that it is now classed as a primary or major nutrient. By weight and by volume, plants need more calcium than all other plant foods put together. Calcium is the element that can increase the volume of a crop more than any other element.

pH of the soils varies however, most soils are between 4.5 and 8.0. pH is determined on a scale of 1.0 to 14.0 with 7.0 being neutral. A reading of 1.0 to 7.0 are acidic and the lower the reading away from 7.0 the more acidic the soil. Readings from 7.0 to 14.0 are the alkaline and the higher the readings from 7.0 are more alkaline. pH can be adjusted in the soil using calcium (lime) to raise it and the sulfur to lower it. Keep in mind that if the organic matter in the soil is good it will buffer the pH that might affect the plant.

Plants need water, in fact all the chemical reactions that take place in the plants require the presence of water. All movement of nutrients through the plant and the soil require water. Water also aids in giving the plant firmness. Too little water and the plant will wither, on the other hand too much water and the roots will be starved of oxygen and rot. Young plants need a bit more water to help build new root systems. Many also need more water when they set their flowers or when fruit and vegetables are maturing. Keep in mind that soils rich in organic matter hold moisture well, but release any excess to a deeper holding level in the subsoil structure for later use by the plant. If the rainfall is less than one (1) inch for week, additional watering will be required for most crops.

The purpose of applying fertilizers to the soil is to make up for any deficiency in humus and nutrient in the soil.
The traditional way to feed plants is to sprinkle a granular fertilizer containing all the major nutrient over the beds and borders and then on a soluble fertilizer at intervals.
It is advisable to apply fertilizer more frequently in lesser quantity.

~> Do not sprinkle fertilizer along seed drills.
~> Do not feed plants with solid fertilizers right up to the stems. The feeding roots are some distance away from this region.
~> A granular or powder fertilizer is of no value when lying on a dry soil surface. Its nutrient must get to the roots, so hoe or rake in after application and water of rain seems unlikely.
~> Keep solid fertilizers of leaves and flowers. Wash off with water if these parts are accidentally treated.
~> Liquid fertilizers are often recommended in teaspoons or tablespoons per gallon. Don't use kitchen spoons - their capacity is variable. Buy a set of standard plastic measures from any hardware store.
~> The soil should be moist before liquid feeding. If ground is dry, water first.
~> Do not over-feed. Make sure that you use the amount recommended on the package. Double the amount does not give twice the benefits - it can in fact lead to unbalanced growth or scorch. You might kill your plant.
~> Do not store fertilizer bags or cartons in a damp place. Always close the top after use and keep the packages off the floor

Plants are much like people, they need nourishment for survival, growth and reproduction. The manufacture their food by a process known as photosynthesis. This process is made possible from elements in the air, water and soil. They get what they need from the air it breaths, inhaling carbon dioxide (CO2) and exhaling oxygen (O2). To get what it needs from the soil, it absorbs water, oxygen and certain nutrients, such as nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P2O5), potassium (K), magnesium (mg), sulfur (S) and calcium (Ca) and certain other chemicals known as trace elements.

Even though stems make some food, it is primarily in the leaves that food production takes place, from water (H2O) and nutrients brought up by the stems from the roots and what is taken in from the air (80% of its nitrogen requirements come from this source). On the underside of the leaves there are tiny pores called stomata (mouth) through which carbon dioxide (CO2) enters. This gas is combined with water (H2O) and nutrients by means of the green chlorophyll in the leaves. This process produces carbohydrates that nourish the plant.

Since so much of what plants need come from the soil, it is imperative to have good soil/ it is not just a matter of spreading fertilizers to improve fertility, the soil must have the proper balance of the other necessary elements. It is important for the soil to also have good structure. Most soils are composed of inorganic minerals, particles, air, water and organic matter -- matter that was once living plant or animal tissue. It is important to acknowledge the fact that soils vary greatly from one part of the country to another. Soil structure ranges from course gravel down to fine silt. In between we find loam to be the ideal type of soil. In most cases this textured allows air and water to move freely. At this point it is necessary to remember that air and water are of the utmost important to good plant growth. Not only do these lighter textured soils warm up faster in spring, they make it easier for the plant roots to penetrate as they grow. There is a negative side to these lighter soils. Water tends to drain more quickly, taking nutrients with it leaving the soil dry and infertile. Heavier soils such as clay leave little space among the particles for a good air water movement. These soils are often waterlogged and poorly drained. This condition can rob the plant roots of oxygen and cause them to rot. Toots find it harder to penetrate and these types of dense soils warm slower.

Particle size in the soil is not the only important factor of soil structure, organization of the particles also matter greatly. Ideally, soil particles are clustered together in groups and are not as distinguishable say as sand particles. Nor are particles so close together that they form a tight mass as does clay. The ideal soil will crumble much like homemade bread. Good soil structure is known to "crumb" or have good "tilth". This crumbling or tilth is caused by the high organic matter in the soil. A light, almost fluffy soil is referred to as being "friable".

Organic matter in the soil is merely dead, decayed plant and animal tissue. This matter is left above ground by animal excrement and their carcasses in combination with dead plants and fallen leaves. Below the surface worms and moles have also left their contribution with help of plant roots that have died and rotted. This decomposed matter is then called "humus". Humus contains sticky gums that bind the soil particles together into those all important clusters or crumbs. Not densely, however as with tightly packed clay, but with spaces through which water and air can pass.

Organic matter in the form of "humus" helps aerate the soil. It makes the soil more able to conduct water, retaining some for the plants to use, but letting the excess drain to a deeper holding level in the soil sub-structure.

In addition, organic matter contains important nutritional elements that the plants need. Soil microorganisms break down organic matter into basic elements, in forms that can readily be absorbed by the plant roots. Therefore, organic matter gives the soil a good structure and helps make it fertile at the same time.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Medical Tourism

Medical travel is becoming more popular, as more people realize its benefits. The main benefits of health tourism include getting the opportunity to travel to an exotic destination and reaping potentially big monetary savings. Many common operations overseas cost a fraction of what they might cost in the United States and Europe countries. For instance, the average cost of rhinoplasty (or nose job) in the U.S. is $6,000; the same procedure in Costa Rica costs only $1,500. The savings of $4,500 is more than enough to cover your travel expenses, and you'll get to travel to a new destination.
One of the primary benefits of medical tourism is the huge potential for savings. Even when the cost of the plane ticket and lodgings for the weeks that you are there are added in, treatment in a foreign country can still be significantly cheaper than back home. In some places, the cost can be as little as a tenth of what it would cost to have the same treatment in your home country. Dental work provides the greatest overall savings, but other cosmetic and major surgeries can be had at a significant discount as well. Often, unlike hospitals in the U.S., hospitals abroad are willing to give you an estimate of the cost up front, as they know no matter what they charge it's still going to be cheaper than you would pay in your home country. This can help you to avoid many of the hidden costs that can be associated with surgery. It should also be noted that some insurers will cover overseas surgeries. Check with your insurance provider to see if you are eligible to have these costs covered so you won't be paying it all out of pocket.

Availability and lack of a wait is also a major benefit of taking your treatment abroad. Wait times for surgery can be months or up to a year in some cases and those needing treatment more quickly might actually be better served by seeking treatment elsewhere. Most surgeries whether major or cosmetic can be scheduled within a few days or weeks if done in a less overburdened foreign hospital. Whether you have a pressing need due to personal comfort and quality of life, or if you simply want to get it taken care of more quickly, medical tourism can be a great way to more easily and quickly get the attention you need.

Though it might come as a surprise to some, one benefit to traveling for medical reasons is that you may actually be able to get better and more personal care at a foreign hospital than you can get at home. Many hospitals specialize in medical tourism, and in order to draw in customers they provide exceptional quality and service. Depending on your destination you have the opportunity to get treatment from some of the best doctors in their field, many of which will have been trained at prestigious institutions abroad. Equipment and facilities are actually very comparable to those in the U.S., and patients will often find that they can afford a more luxurious hospital stay abroad than they could at home.

Medical tourism isn't just about getting more reasonably priced medical care; it's also a great way to spend your recovery in a relaxing and beautiful environment, free from the ringing phone and responsibilities that could plague your recovery at home. You will have the opportunity to spend your recuperation time under an umbrella on the beach or shopping in luxury boutiques. The savings on the surgery can also allow you to bring along friends or family members and still pay less than you would have at home. Bringing along familiar faces can also help make getting treatment in a foreign country less intimidating. Many package deals are also available which can help you easily bundle your treatment in with sightseeing, massages, and spa treatments.

Medical tourism isn't a perfect solution to combating rising medical costs but for many it can be a much more rewarding experience than dealing with medical facilities at home. Not to mention it has the added benefit of a vacation afterwards. Depending on your situation the benefits of seeking treatment away from your home country can actually outweigh the risks, and medical tourism can be an incredibly rewarding way to get your medical care.
The Risks
With skyrocketing medical costs and long waits to schedule surgery patients have been increasingly exploring medical tourism as an alternative to treatments at home. As is true with any kind of medical treatment at home or abroad, there are a number of risks that come along with going under the knife. Along with its many benefits, medical tourism can create some additional risks that anyone considering it should keep in mind.

One of the most important things to remember about medical tourism is that other countries might not regulate professional licensing and certification as closely as the United States and Europe. While a great majority of the doctors working in these countries will be more than qualified it is always best to check out the credentials of any doctor you wish to work with before ever undergoing any procedure. Many doctors are western trained and some are even certified with U.S. medical associations, and will be easy find out information about. You may also be able to contact the licensing agencies of the country you are considering to check out certifications there as well. Undergoing surgery is always a risk, but you can help mitigate the chances of botched procedures by checking out your doctor beforehand.

It is also important to remember that if something does go wrong in many countries outside of the United States you will have very little legal recourse. The high cost of medical treatment in the U.S. is due in part to the large amounts of malpractice insurance doctors are required to carry. Be aware that though you may be receiving a discount on your surgery that it could actually end up costing you much more in the long run if you encounter problems. Insurance often will not cover the cost of additional treatments and surgeries needed due to your overseas operation, and the legal systems of many of the countries won't be much help in getting you compensation.

Another thing to watch out for is traveling too soon after your surgery. Flying immediately after or within a few days of a surgery can cause some very serious complications. The combination of high altitude and sitting for long periods of time can cause blood clots and pulmonary embolisms, both potentially fatal conditions. Less seriously, you also put yourself at risk of swelling and infections. To be safe, give yourself at least a week, if not a little more, to recover after your treatment.

You'll also need to be vigilant in making sure you get adequate follow-up care. Many hospitals are in the business of getting patients in and out quickly and post-operative care can be very limited in some cases. Getting this care once you return home can sometimes be complicated and potentially pricey. Since you are in a country with many diseases and bacteria that you may not have built up an immunity to you can be especially vulnerable to infection, so you'll need to choose a hospital that offers not only great surgical care, but also will check up on you afterwards to ensure you're healing properly and are healthy enough to travel home.

Finally, while part of the allure of medical tourism is the vacation it can also be one of the risks. Drinking, spending too much time in the sun, or just not resting enough can lead to complications with your recovery including hematomas, scarring and infection. While you can and should enjoy your visit, do remember to take it easy so your body can recover.

Going abroad for surgery can be a great way to potentially save tens of thousands of dollars but it's certainly not without its risks. You should spend time researching and doctors and hospitals and keep your recovery time in mind when planning your trip. Risks can be managed if you're careful and educate yourself and can help you make your experience a rewarding and healthy one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Doctor Fish, Spa Fish

Recently i found the fish spa - Kenko at mid valley. At first, I wonder how this tiny fish can provide therapy to human. Then, I read from the star newspaper about the fishy therapy, interesting... so i do some google search on this.

Doctor fish also know as garra rufa, hotspring fish or kangal fish is a species of freshwater fish which breeds in the river basins of the Northern and Central Middle East, mainly in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It is called the doctor fish, because of the role it plays in healing persons affected with psoriasis. Garra rufa is often called the nibble fish, kangal fish, and doctorfishen. In non-medical terms the fish is also called reddish log sucker.Majority of Turkish spas breed the doctor fish in an outdoor pool, where they feed on an unusual diet- the skin of psoriasis affected patients. Just like the combfish, the doctor fish devours the affected and dead areas of the skin, while leaving the healthy skin to grow.

Though, the spas are not meant to be a treatment center, patients come here regularly for temporary cure of the symptoms. Inspite of the unpredictable nature of the disease, some patients have experienced complete cure as a result of their repeated exposure to the doctor fish.

What a shock, when i found some forum comments "What if customers are HIV+?" "Is fish spa safe?" Contracting HIV is totally nonsense . If you think that you can contract HIV through this, then do mankind a favour : read up on HIV and AIDS.
I actually even more curious as a new fish spa in town, some fish Spa which offers full body treatments by these Doctor Fish claimed that there were some people trying to pass off fake Garra Rufa fish (Chin Chin fish) for real things!

The Garra Rufa is actually a slender little fish with a mouth like a bottom feeder fish. These fish actually come from Turkey and are said to be able to live in warm water of up to 35 degrees. Apparently these little fish actually nibbles on the dead skin and has some compounds in its saliva which actually help skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.The fake Garra Rufa or Chin Chin Yu, on the other hand is wide and is said to belong to the tilapia or carp family. These fish are apparently starved so when you put your foot into the water, it’s food to them and so naturally they start nibbling on whatever dead and flakey skin you have. This then gives the illusion of smooth skin once you’re done with the treatment but it doesn’t have any real benefits.