Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Coffee Helps Older Women Ward off Mental Decline

This is a good news for senior women who are afraid to suffer dementia.
Coffee 'protects female memory'
Caffeine may help older women ward off mental decline, research suggests.

French researchers compared women aged 65 and older who drank more than three cups of coffee per day with those who drank one cup or less per day.

Those who drank more caffeine showed less decline in memory tests over a four year period.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, raises the possibility that caffeine may even protect against the development of dementia.

The results held up even after factors such as education, high blood pressure and disease were taken into account.

Caffeine is a known psychostimulant, but this study appears to suggest its effects may be more profound.

However, lead researcher Dr Karen Ritchie of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research warned against jumping to premature conclusions.

She said: "While we have some ideas as to how this works biologically, we need to have a better understanding of how caffeine affects the brain before we can start promoting caffeine intake as a way to reduce cognitive decline.

"But the results are interesting - caffeine use is already widespread and it has fewer side effects than other treatments for cognitive decline, and it requires a relatively small amount for a beneficial effect."

The study, which involved 7,000 women, did not find that caffeine consumers had lower rates of dementia.

Dr Ritchie said: "We really need a longer study to look at whether caffeine prevents dementia; it might be that caffeine could slow the dementia process rather than preventing it."

She said it was not clear why the protective effect did not seem to apply to men.

"Women may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Their bodies may react differently to the stimulant, or they may metabolize caffeine differently."

Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said that with no cure for Alzheimer's disease yet available, research into possible protective factors was important, particularly as the disease is expected to become more common.

She said: "This study does not suggest that caffeine actually lowers rates of dementia in women, but since memory seems improved, it may be that it is slowing it down.

"However, research over a much longer period is still needed to establish fully what the affects of caffeine are in both men and women and whether it could reduce a person's risk of dementia or slow down its progress."

Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said drinking coffee and tea had both been tipped as possible ways of delaying the onset of dementia.

However, she said: "These types of studies are complex because coffee and tea drinking can be linked to so many other social and life style factors."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Study shows that Coffee protect women against age-related memory decline

A study conducted among 7,000 men and women in France showed that older women can prevent age-related memory decline by drinking more coffee.

This is the excerpt of the news from Reuters.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Drinking more than three cups of coffee a day helped protect older women against some age-related memory decline, French researchers said on Monday, giving women more reason to love the world's most popular stimulant.

Men did not enjoy the same benefit, they said.

"The more coffee one drank, the better the effects seemed to be on (women's) memory functioning in particular," said Karen Ritchie at the French National Institute of Medical Research, whose work appears in the journal Neurology.

The researchers followed more than 7,000 men and women in three French cities, checking their health and mental function and asking them about their current and past eating and drinking habits, their friends, and their daily activities.

They used this information to sort out the specific role caffeine played in these women's lives.

They found that women who drank more than three cups of coffee per day, or its caffeine equivalent in tea, retained more of their verbal and -- to a lesser extent -- visual memories over four years


Friday, July 20, 2007

Smoking may cause Early menopause

Smoking can cause early menopause or death. Take your pick.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who smoke are more likely to begin menopause before the age of 45 years, which puts them at increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, Norwegian researchers report.

Among a group of 2,123 women 59 to 60 years old, those who currently smoked were 59 percent more likely than non-smokers to have undergone early menopause, Dr. Thea F. Mikkelsen of the University of Oslo and her colleagues found. For the heaviest smokers, the risk of early menopause was nearly doubled.

However, women who were smokers, but quit at least 10 years before menopause, were substantially less likely than current smokers to have stopped menstruating before age 45.

There is evidence that smoking later in life makes a woman more likely to have early menopause, while smokers who quit before middle age may not be affected, Mikkelsen and her team note in the online journal BMC Public Health. They investigated the relationship further and determined if exposure to second-hand smoke might also influence the timing of menopause.

The researchers found that nearly 10 percent of the women went through menopause before age 45. About 25 percent were current smokers, 28.7 percent were ex-smokers and 35.2 percent reported current passive exposure to smoke.

As mentioned, the current smokers were 59 percent more likely to have reached menopause before age 45, while early menopause was nearly twice as common among the women who smoked the most.

But women who had quit smoking at least a decade before menopause were 87 percent less likely than their peers who currently smoked to have gone through menopause early.

Compared with married women, widows were also at increased risk of early menopause, as were women who said they were in poor health. More educated women were less likely to go into menopause early, but they were also less likely to be smokers.

High social participation also cut early menopause risk. The researchers found no link between coffee or alcohol consumption or passive exposure to smoke and early menopause risk.

"The earlier a woman stops smoking," Mikkelsen and her team conclude, "the more protection she derives with respect to an early onset of menopause."

SOURCE: BMC Public Health, July 7, 2007.


Monday, July 16, 2007


This is an e-mail forwared to me by Bayi.

They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up against injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without new shoes
so their children can have them.
They go to the doctor
with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear
about a birth or a new marriage.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They have sorrow at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think
there is no strength left.

They know that a hug
and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all sizes,
in all colors and shapes.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin!
Women do more than just give birth.
They bring joy and hope.
They give compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.

Women have a lot to say and a lot to give.



Sunday, July 08, 2007

Men Talk More than Women-Study said

This article from SF Gate debunked the myth that women talk more than men.

Forget Chatty Cathy -- let's talk about Chatty Charlie.

Men, it turns out, talk just as much as women.

Sure, maybe guys talk more about cars and sports and the new iPhone, and women talk about their feelings, but at the end of the day, each sex uses an average 16,000 words a day, say researchers who studied the conversational habits of 396 men and women for six years.

"I was a little surprised there wasn't any gender influence, because this stereotype of women talking more is such a powerful, popular idea," said Richard Slatcher, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Texas and one of the authors of the study. "But we were able to directly test the notion, and it's totally unfounded."

The study, results of which were published today in the journal Science, debunks an age-old assumption that women aren't just the fairer sex, they're the chattier one, too. Tony Bennett sang about it in "Girl Talk" in the 1960s: "The weaker sex, the 'speaker' sex we mortal males behold, but though we joke, we wouldn't trade you for a ton of gold."

The stereotype is so pervasive that even scientists have long assumed that women talk more, and they incorporated that assumption in psychological gender profiles.

When UCSF psychiatrist Louann Brizendine published "The Female Brain" last year, one statistic in particular jumped off the pages and became the main talking point among radio-show hosts and Internet bloggers -- women, Brizendine wrote, use an average of 20,000 words a day; men use only 7,000.

Brizendine ended up taking out that detail after the first printing -- she's on the 13th now -- when she couldn't back it up, but the number has stuck with popular culture. Brizendine said she's happy to see it officially disproved.

"My book is really more about hormones, and that one line has been taken out of context. It's fascinating," she said. "Anytime you talk about sex differences, it's controversial. But the bottom line is, there are more similarities than differences between men and women."

The important question now, she said, is how the stereotype started in the first place.

Psychologists don't know exactly where the myth came from, but Brizendine speculates it probably took hold in the 1950s or so, when men worked the 9-to-5 jobs and women stayed home with the kids. At the end of the day, men would come home to wives who wanted to talk about the children, the house and finances -- basically, what felt like a lot of nagging, said Brizendine.

The stereotype has been perpetuated in modern days by the idea that women tend to be more open to talking about their feelings, which just makes men clam up during emotional discussions, said Matthias Mehl, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona and one of the authors of the study.

"The woman wanting to talk about a problem suddenly becomes 'women always want to talk, and men never want to talk,' " Mehl said.

Or, to put a slightly different spin on it, "maybe the lack of male desire to listen to women is why the myth has persisted," Brizendine said. It might not just be men who are frustrated, she said.

Because conversations about relationships are often emotionally charged and intense, they take on more importance, as far as presumed word counts go, than they deserve, Mehl said.

"Because they feel so important, people overgeneralize from these conversations" and assume women are the ones doing the talking, Mehl said.

Mehl's study is not the first to analyze how much men and women talk, and previous studies have also suggested that there isn't much difference between the sexes. But earlier studies almost always recorded people in unnatural settings -- sitting in a lab having a conversation, for example, when everyone knew scientists were listening.

The new study used audio clips from university students who agreed to be recorded for several days sometime between 1998 and 2004. The recording equipment amounted to mini-recorders and lapel microphones designed for studies that require listening to natural language use. The devices would turn on automatically for 30 seconds every 12.5 minutes, and the subjects could not control -- and did not know -- when the equipment was turned on or off.

Researchers then transcribed the snippets of conversation, counted the words used and extrapolated from that number to get an idea of how many words each person used in a day.

There are some potential drawbacks to the study, namely that because it used only university students, it might not apply perfectly to men and women of all age groups and education levels. But Mehl said if there were important biological differences between men and women's verbosity, they would have registered at least somewhat in the study.

As it was, women spoke on average about 546 more words each day than men, but that number was found to be not statistically significant.

Based on the study results, some stereotypes about conversational habits seemed to hold true, Mehl said. Researchers didn't actually count the types of words people used, but he said men tended to talk more about sports and technology and women about their feelings.

Previous studies have noted that women use more emotionally expressive language and describe things in relational terms -- they use more pronouns, for example, said Slatcher. Men talk about more concrete things, he said.

Montira Warran of San Francisco said she's sure Slatcher's study is very scientific, but in her family, the women definitely out-talked the men. But, she added, she comes from a family of mostly women -- and the men didn't stand a chance.

"We had mostly headstrong women in my family who needed to get their point across, and the men would just say, 'OK,' " Warran said. "I think it's that women want to make sure they're heard."

San Francisco resident Doug Wilkins said he's read books and studies on gender conversational patterns, and he's noticed trends in the way men and women talk. Men, he said, are more likely to lecture, and to practice one-upmanship when they talk to other men. Women are more cooperative when they talk, he said.

And it's definitely true, he said, that men talk just as much as women.

"For every guy you know who only goes 'yep,' 'fine,' 'nope,' there's a guy who will walk up to strangers on the street and just start lecturing at them," Wilkins said.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Menopause could start at age 35

Women believe that menopause start at mid 40's. But it is not so according to this news. It could start as early as 35.

Stressful job 'hastens' menopause
Stressful working conditions may hasten the onset of the menopause, a study from France suggests.

Researchers writing in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at 1,500 post-menopausal women.

The average menopause age of the nearly 9% who reported "high strain" work was 51 - one year earlier than what was taken as the average age of onset.

But one British fertility expert cast doubt on any relation between stress and earlier menopause.

"High-strain" jobs were categorised as those which demanded at least one of the following: the need to rush, perform several tasks at once, or frequent interruptions when working.

However the impact of these conditions was minimised when the woman in question had a high degree of control over the work she did.

Hormone theory

Some women have difficulty managing their time, the stress of which may upset the hormone balance in their bodies and "affect the ageing of the ovaries", said Dr Bernard Cassou, who led the research.

Smoking, which has long been held to have an impact upon timing of the menopause, was seen to affect onset among those who smoked more than 10 cigarettes each day.

But the chairman of the British Menopause Society said the stress angle of the study went against all the research he was aware of.

"People who want to find links do, but there's a vast body of research which shows there is no evidence of a connection between stress and the menopause," said Professor John Studd.

The menopause generally takes place between the ages of 45 and 55, but for a few women it can start as early as 35 - or as late as 60.

It occurs when levels of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone fall and the body stops releasing eggs.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Vagina Monologues Not

And I thought, this vagina making business is only for sex-change or transgender operation. The latest news is about the reconstruction of vaginas for women.

Excerpt of the news:

An Italian doctor has reconstructed vaginas for two women born with a rare congenital deformation, using their own cells to build vaginal tissue in the lab for the first time.

Dr. Cinzia Marchese of Rome’s Policlinico Umberto I hospital, giving details of the operations on Wednesday, told Reuters a 28-year-old woman who underwent the first such operation a year ago now has a healthy vagina.

“She has got married and is living a normal life,” said Marchese, whose study has been published in the journal Human Reproduction.

The second operation was carried out on a 17-year-old girl on Tuesday and the first signs are that the cells taken by biopsy from the area where her vagina should grow and provide mucosal tissue.

Mucosal tissue is found inside the vagina, the mouth and elsewhere in the body and has important attributes distinct from ordinary skin.

The two women had a condition called Mayer-Von Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome, or MRKHS for short, which affects an estimated one in 4,000 to 5,000 female infants.

Read the entire news here.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Botox and Botox Alternatives

Botox is very popular not only to movie stars and celebrities but also to working women who like to look good. Aside from there is no need for surgical operation to remove wrinkles, it is affordable to those who feel the necessity of the injections without having to dip so much from their pockets.

This Forbes article discusses the popularity of Botox as wrinkle remover.

As of 2006, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 4.1 million Botox procedures were performed last year,

According to Navin Geria, vice president of research and development for the Spa Dermaceutical Products Group, a New Jersey-based consumer product development company that specializes in custom development of anti-aging skincare and products for dermatologists and spa chains, a new range of anti-aging technology called cosmeceuticals (cosmetics that companies say possess drug-like affects) will go a step further. Over a period of time, he says, they will visibly reduce wrinkles and prevent future wear and tear.

The DNA nanotechnology of Juneva of Switzerland produced a product called DNA Skin Optimizer Fluid, which promises to help aging skin cells to renew and duplicate themselves by targeting the nuclei.

The stem-cell technology produced Amatokin, which retails for $173 for 1 ounce. It is said to target stem cells, and in doing so claims to renew old skin, reduce wrinkles and even out tone.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

No More Monthly Visitor

There at least three days in a month when women suffer "wet days". With the new birth control pill that would be launched this July, the monthly wetness would be over.

Here is the news.

TRENTON, New Jersey - Women looking for a simple way to avoid their menstrual period could soon have access the first birth control pill designed to let women suppress monthly bleeding indefinitely.

The US Food and Drug Administration is expect to announce approval Tuesday for Lybrel, a drug from Wyeth which would be the first pill to be taken continuously.

Lybrel, a name meant to evoke "liberty," would be the fourth new oral contraceptive that doesn't follow the standard schedule of 21 daily active pills, followed by seven sugar pills — a design meant to mimic a woman's monthly cycle. Among the others, Yaz and Loestrin 24 shorten monthly periods to three days or less and Seasonique, an updated version of Seasonale, reduces them to four times a year.

Gynecologists say they've been seeing a slow but steady increase in women asking how to limit and even stop monthly bleeding. Surveys have found up to half of women would prefer not to have any periods, most would prefer them less often and a majority of doctors have prescribed contraception to prevent periods.

"I think it's the beginning of it being very common," said Dr. Leslie Miller, a University of Washington-Seattle obstetrician-gynecologist who runs a Web site focused on suppressing periods. "Lybrel says, 'You don't need a period.'"

While that can be done easily — sometimes more cheaply — by skipping the sugar pills or replacing birth-control patches or vaginal rings sooner, doctors say the trend is fueled mainly by advertising for the new options. They expect plenty for Lybrel's July launch, although Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth says it will market to doctors first.

Analysts have estimated Lybrel sales could reach $40 million this year and $235 million by 2010. US sales of Seasonique, launched last August, hit $6.1 million in the first quarter of 2007. Predecessor Seasonale, which got cheaper generic competition in September, peaked at about $100 million. Yaz, launched last August, had first-quarter sales of $35.6 million; Loestrin 24, launched in April 2006, hit $34.4 million in the first quarter.

Still, some women raise concerns about whether blocking periods is safe or natural. Baltimore health psychologist Paula S. Derry wrote in an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal two weeks ago that "menstrual suppression itself is unnatural," and that there's not enough data to determine if it is safe long-term.

Sheldon J. Segal, a scientist at the nonprofit research group Population Council, wrote back that a British study found no harm in taking pills with much higher hormone levels than today's products for up to 10 years.

"Nothing has come up to indicate any unexpected side effects," said Segal, who co-authored the book "Is Menstruation Obsolete?"

Most doctors say there's no medical reason women need monthly bleeding and that it triggers health problems from anemia to epilepsy in many women. They note women have been tinkering with nature since the advent of birth control pills and now endure as many as 450 periods, compared with 50 or so in the days when women spent most of their fertile years pregnant or breast-feeding.

Dr. Mindy Wiser-Estin, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Little Silver, N.J., has long advocated menstrual suppression.

She has seen a big increase in the last year in patients asking about it, but has one concern that leads her to encourage younger women to take a break every 12 weeks. About 1 percent of oral contraceptive users become pregnant each year, and young women taking continuous pills who have never been pregnant may not recognize the symptoms, she said.

"They may not know it in time to do something about it," Wiser-Estin said.

Barr Pharmaceuticals of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., whose subsidiary Duramed already is developing a lower-estrogen version of Seasonique, said its research with consumers and health care providers indicates they feel four periods a year is optimal, said spokeswoman Amy Niemann.

Wyeth obviously thinks otherwise.

"It allows women to put their menstrual cycle on hold" and reduces 17 related symptoms, from irritability to bloating, based on one small study, said Dr. Amy Marren, director of clinical affairs for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Marren said Lybrel contains the lowest dose of two hormones widely used in birth-control pills, ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel.

That might cause too much breakthrough bleeding, already a problem with some newer pills with low hormone doses, said Dr. Lee Shulman, a Chicago obstetrician-gynecologist who chairs the board of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.

In testing of Lybrel, 59 percent of women ended up with no bleeding after six months, but 18 percent of women dropped out of studies because of spotting and breakthrough bleeding, according to Wyeth.

"You're now basically trading scheduled bleeding for unscheduled bleeding, and I don't know whether American women will buy into that," Shulman said.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

10 Minute Exercise Can lower High Blood Pressure for Overweight Women

A study supported by hard medical data showed that women do not necessarily have to go to the gymn for a couple of hours running in the treadmill or lifting weights. Even a ten-minute exercise that can improve their fitness may lower blood pressure thus lowering the overall risk of early death.

This is the news from MSNBC.

The study is the first to reinforce using hard medical data what other studies have suggested — that exercise does not have to be an all-or-nothing venture, Dr. Timothy Church of Louisiana State University and colleagues said.

“This information can be used to support future recommendations and should be encouraging to sedentary adults who find it difficult to find the time for 150 minutes of activity per week, let alone 60 minutes per day,” the researchers wrote in their report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While virtually everybody knows that exercise is good for you, 20 percent of U.S. adults admit they do no exercise whatever and most do not get as much as is recommended.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health recommend at least a half hour on most days a week of moderate exercise to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

The Institute of Medicine, which advises the federal government, says people need to get themselves slightly out of breath for closer to an hour every day.

Housework, playing in the park
But Church and colleagues wanted to see whether women overwhelmed at the idea of that much work might be helped by something they consider a little more manageable.

They studied 427 overweight women with high or borderline-high blood pressure who had an average age of 57.

The volunteers were randomly assigned to continue their normal lives or to exercise 75 minutes a week, 135 minutes a week or 190 minutes a week. This works out to just what the NIH and CDC recommend, half as much as recommended, and 150 percent of what they recommend.

“The women in this study walked on treadmills and rode stationary cycles, but any activity of comparable energy expenditure would produce similar results,” said Dr. Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina, who worked on the study.

“Any type of moderate intensity physical activity should provide comparable benefits to those seen in our study. And that’s good news. This can include work around the house and yard, swimming, playing in the park with your grandchildren, or other activities that are of a similar intensity to brisk walking.”


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I had three cyst operations in my breasts in my early 20's so that whoever OB-GYNE who looked in my health records recommend me for a mammogram.

Last year, I was recommended to a program which gives free mammogram check-up. The result required me to have an ultra sound of my breast to double check a lump that the mammogram machine detected in my right breast.

Although the ultrasound test yielded a benign cyst, the doctor schedule me for another breast examination after six months.

This news therefore caught my interest.

After rising steadily for decades, the proportion of U.S. women getting mammograms to screen for breast cancer has dropped for the first time, federal researchers are reporting today.

The overall rate at which women are undergoing regular mammograms fell 4 percent between 2000 and 2005, marking the first significant decline since use of the breast X-rays started expanding rapidly in 1987, the study by the National Cancer Institute and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

The reasons remain unclear, but researchers speculated that it could be due to factors such as increasingly long waiting times to get appointments, waning fears about breast cancer, the drop in hormone use after menopause, and the ongoing debate over the benefits and risks of the breast exams.

Regardless of the cause, the trend is worrying breast cancer experts, who credit mammograms with playing a crucial role in reducing the death toll from breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer and cancer death among U.S. women.

"This is very troubling," said Nancy Breen, who led the analysis published online today by the American Cancer Society's journal Cancer. "If women are not getting mammograms, then their cancer may not be diagnosed until later stages, which could translate into higher mortality from breast cancer."

Breast cancer strikes more than 200,000 women each year and kills more than 40,000. But the odds of surviving have been rising, in part because more women are being diagnosed with the help of mammograms at the earliest, most treatable stages. Breast cancer experts have been growing increasingly concerned, however, by reports that mammography rates had leveled off and perhaps started to fall. The new research is the first to document the trend nationally.

Breen and her colleagues analyzed data collected by the National Health Interview Survey, an ongoing survey of about 40,000 adults conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics to track health trends.

Data from about 10,000 women surveyed showed that the mammogram rate plateaued in 2000, began to fall in 2003 and continued to decline through 2005, the survey's most recent year. The proportion of women in the National Health Interview Survey who said they had gotten a mammogram in the last two years declined from 70 percent in 2000 to 66 percent in 2005, according to the paper that will be published in the June 15 issue of the journal.

Most alarming, the drop was greatest -- 6.8 percent -- among women ages 50 to 64, the age group most likely to benefit.

This is also the group most likely to take hormones after the onset of menopause, a practice that fell dramatically in 2002 after a federal study found that hormone therapy raised the risk of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke.

Breen and her colleagues were also surprised that the drop was especially steep -- 6.3 percent -- among more affluent women.

"One possibility is women who stop using HRT (hormone replacement therapy) believe their risk of breast cancer has declined and so they don't feel the need for mammography," Breen said. "Another possibility is they may not be going to their doctors as often for their hormones and so are not being told it's time for a mammogram. That's a concern because just because they are not taking HRT does not mean they are not at risk."

Another possible explanation is that a worsening shortage of mammography facilities is making it more frustrating to get an appointment.

Breen and others speculated that some of the drop might be due to the ongoing debate over the benefits of mammography. Some experts question the blanket recommendation that all women routinely undergo mammograms starting at age 40, saying the risks of unnecessary treatment and anxiety from false alarms might outweigh the benefits for some women at low risk.

"Some women are beginning to balance the risks and the benefits," said Carolina Hinestrosa of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, an advocacy group. "If women are making a careful determination and an informed decision after weighing the risks and benefits, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing."

But others argued that the benefits have been well-established, particularly for women over age 50. Even though other methods, such as MRIs, are showing promise, mammograms remain the only widespread screening method proven to pay off.

"Too many women and clinicians are misunderstanding the 'controversy' about mammography," said Constance Lehman, a professor of radiology at the University of Washington. "A mammogram is the best thing a woman can do to reduce her chances of dying from breast cancer."

Another possible explanation is that rising survival rates among breast cancer patients are making women more complacent.

"Women may also be feeling, 'Well, the death rates are dropping in the population so I don't need to get screened,' " Breen said. "That's kind of missing the point. One reason death rates are dropping is because screening rates were so high."


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Brooke Shields urges action on moms' depression

After giving birth, women suffer from post partum depression. I got a friend who after every child delivery, she would isolate herself from the rest fo the members of the family. The baby is taken cared of by her mother. Without any nedication or therapy, she would bounce back to her normal life after the said period. But another friend who suffered PPD was not that lucky. She became detached for a long time that the family thought she would never recover.

Brooke Shields is now advocating for a legislation to help the mothers suffering from PPD.

WASHINGTON - Brooke Shields says postpartum depression is more prevalent than anyone wants to admit, and that it's time for lawmakers to pass legislation to help new mothers.

"There is an entire population of women suffering," the actress told George Stephanopoulos in an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"And it's time, I believe, for Congress to step in and prevent that, and actually save lives and save potential tragedy," she said.

Shields made headlines last year when she acknowledged taking antidepressants after her first child was born — and Tom Cruise publicly criticized her for using the drugs.

She told Stephanopoulos that she experienced acute postpartum depression after the birth of her first daughter, and it was devastating to her family.

"I had gone through numerous attempts to have a baby, and then I finally did have this perfect, beautiful, healthy baby, and it all but destroyed me," she said.

She said a bill being considered by Congress would be "an easy gift to give to women.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Are you afraid of menopause?

For many women, menopause is scary based on the stories they have heard from their mothers, aunts and older friends.

Dr. Rebecca Singson, an ob-gyne has tips to stay healthy and sane during the menopausal stage.

This is the outline form. For the detailed ones, go to this article.

1. Visit a gynecologist annually on your birthday, to get tested for CBC, Urinalysis, Blood Chemistry Panel 23, Chest X-ray, Treadmill test, Transvaginal Ultrasound and Pap Smear, if not hysterectomized. Bilateral Mammography and Fecal Occult Blood for colon cancer screening.

2. If you started sex by 18 years old and have had five sexual partners or have had any partner who was promiscuous, have an HPV test (Human Papillomavirus ) aside from Pap Smear. The HPV test is far more accurate than a Pap Smear, which can miss cervical cancer up to 50 percent of cases.

3. Have a Bone Densitometry once in three years to detect osteoporosis.

4. If you are having hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, memory loss, low libido, and skin or vaginal dryness, you may need hormone replacement therapy.

5. If you are afraid to use hormone replacement therapy because results you can take synthetic hrt.

6. Or take the natural bioidentical hormones are plant-based which don’t necessarily carry the same risk.

7. If you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, with all symptoms stated in Tip No. 4, your best bet for correction is hormone replacement therapy. However, if you just have osteopenia or osteoporosis without all the symptoms stated in Tip No. 4, take an anti-bone resorption drug.

8. Take 1,500 mg of calcium every day.

10. Do brisk walking two to three times your normal pace at a minimum of 40 minutes a day.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Indian Women are Required to Reveal Details of Menstrual Cycles

What bloody hell these people want to know about the details of the "bloody moments" of women ?

Outrage at India menstrual form
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

Women civil servants in India have expressed shock at new appraisal rules which require them to reveal details of their menstrual cycles.

Under the new nationwide requirements, female officials also have to say when they last sought maternity leave.

Women civil servants say the questions are a gross invasion of privacy. One told the BBC she was "gobsmacked".

Annual appraisals and health checks are mandatory in India's civil service. The ministry was unavailable for comment.

But one of its most senior bureaucrats was quoted in the press as saying the new questions had been based on advice from health officials.

'No words'

The questions at the root of the controversy are on page 58 of the new appraisal forms for the current year issued by the federal Ministry for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Women officers must write down their "detailed menstrual history and history of LMP.

Women working in the civil service told the BBC the government had no need for this kind of personal information.

Ms Gokhale said she had also served in the personnel department at the ministry which drafted the new forms and, while the health of officials was always a concern, asking such questions never crossed their minds.

Maharashtra's joint secretary for general administration, Seema Vyas, agreed that the new questions were uncalled for.

According to Satyanand Mishra,Personnel department secretary:

"Menstrual cycles are a natural phenomenon, they are not an aberration. One does not object to questions related to fitness levels - they are important as they can affect work.

"But there is no need for these details as this does not have any bearing on our work," she told the BBC.

"When we apply for maternity leave, we put in the appropriate application and the government already has those records so why ask again?"


When Women are Fertile

A study conducted about women's preference for men revealed that a woman prefers a more masculine man.

A woman prefers a more masculine man when she is fertile and looking for a fling rather than a mate for life, according to a new study.

The finding suggests the value that women place on masculinity changes with context and with women’s reproductive cycles and immediate goals. A woman's preference for manly men also was found to vary based on how attractive she rated herself.

And some of a woman's sex drive might involve tricks in the brain over which she has no control.

Previous research has shown that women view facial masculinity—square jaws and well-defined brow ridges—as good characteristics for short-term partners, while more feminine traits are perceived as better for long-term mates. Another study found that women smell better to men at certain points in their menstrual cycles.

A new look
In the new study, researchers asked women who were at different points in their menstrual cycles (and who were not on the pill) to rate their own attractiveness. Then researchers presented them with image pairs representing “feminized” and “masculinized” versions of the same male body. The women were asked to choose the body they thought was most attractive for a short-term relationship and then again for a long-term relationship.

Some of the women performed the experiment again at the opposite point in their cycle.

Fertile women chose the masculine version of each image 15 percent more often, on average, than women who were not fertile, said lead researcher Anthony Little, a psychologist at the University of Stirling in Scotland. The effect was strongest if they were looking for a short-term partner rather than a long-term one, and if they considered themselves attractive.

These findings, to be detailed in an upcoming issue of the journal Hormones and Behavior, reveal that “preferences are not absolute,” Little said.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Menopause linked to sexual dysfunction

My friend who is single and is approaching her forty fifth birthday thinks that she is already undergoing menopausal stage. She is engaged but she intimated that she hardly feel sexually aroused when her boyfriend and she are into intimate moments.

So I was happy to find this study.

Menopausal women twice as likely to report problems, study finds

NEW YORK - Women who have particularly low levels of the hormone DHEA during menopause may be more likely to have sexual dysfunction, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that among more than 300 women they followed for 3 years, sexual dysfunction became more common as women progressed through menopause. Postmenopausal women were more than twice as likely as premenopausal women to report problems like lack of interest in sex, pain or difficulty reaching orgasm.

But there was also evidence that other factors contributed to sexual dysfunction, including the women’s levels of DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone. Women with relatively low blood levels of the hormone were 59 percent more likely to report sexual problems than those with high levels.
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Dr. Clarisa R. Gracia and colleagues report their findings in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

DHEA is a hormone produced mainly by the adrenal gland that acts as a precursor to testosterone and estrogen. The body’s DHEA production peaks in young adulthood and gradually declines with age; because of this, supplements of synthetic DHEA are widely marketed as an anti-aging panacea.

However, the current findings do not mean that women with sexual dysfunction should turn to the supplements, as there’s not yet any evidence that they’d help, according to the study authors.

“A randomized controlled trial assessing the safety and efficacy of (DHEA) is needed to support its use for the treatment of sexual dysfunction,” Gracia and colleagues write.

The study included 311 women who were between the ages of 35 and 47 at the outset. Once a year, the researchers took blood samples from the women to measure various hormone concentrations. They also questioned the women about their health, menstrual cycles and sex lives.

Overall, Gracia’s team found, one-third of the women had some degree of sexual dysfunction by the end of the 3-year study period.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Female ‘fat talk’ socially mandatory, study finds

Women are more conscious of their weight and their bodies as they grow older.

Researchers found out that the fat talk are common not only in middle school aged female but also in older females as well.

Denise Martz of Appalachian State University said:

“We have found in our research that both male and female college students know the norm of fat talk—that females are supposed to say negative things about their bodies in a group of females engaging in fat talk.”

Marts and her colleagues showed that 124 male and female college students were the respndents in the scenario describing three women engaging in fat talk. The test subjects were then asked to predict how a fourth female would respond to this discussion.

The findings showed the forty percent of male subjects and 51 percent of female subjects believed that the fourth female would self-degrade her body.

Explanation of this phenomenon was made by Martz to LiveScience.:

“Because women feel pressured to follow the fat talk norm, they are more likely to engage in fat talk with other females, hence, women normalize their own body dissatisfaction with one another.”

“If there are women out there who feel neutrally or even positively about their bodies, I bet we never hear this from them for fear of social sanction and rejection.”

“Females like to support one another and fat talk elicits support,” “An example would be one saying, ‘It's like, I'm so fat today,’ and another would respond, ‘No, you are not fat, you look great in those pants.’”

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hourglass figure for a woman is not what attracts

As women, we have thought that it is our 36-24-36 which makes us attract men.
We're wrong.

The New York University researchers found out that it is the swaying of hips that make the men take a second look.

This is how they conducted the study.

The team carried out a series of studies involving over 700 participants who were shown a variety of animations and videos of people moving.

Some showed shadow figures, where it was not possible to see if it was a man or a woman, while others obviously showed a man or a woman.

No matter which format was being used, the participants rated women or "female" figures as more attractive if their hips swayed as they walked, while men were more attractive if they had the characteristic shoulder movement.

The research also confirmed the waist-hip ratio assumption, with women's attractiveness being rated higher if their waist-hip ratio was small and men's being higher if their ratio was large.

But Kerri Johnson and Louis Tassinary who led the research, say their work shows attractiveness is not as simple as the difference between two measurements.

Writing in PNAS, the researchers said: "The body's shape and motion provoke basic social perceptions, biological sex and gender - ie masculinity or femininity respectively.

"The compatibility of these basic precepts predicts perceived attractiveness."

The team say their findings only apply to Western cultures, and other societies will judge attractiveness depending on their most prized feminine and masculine traits.

Dr George Fieldman, principal lecturer in psychology at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College said: "This is quite plausible.

"It's the movement which attracts, and not just the waist-hip ratio per se."

He added: "It would be interesting to see what the ideal combination of measurements and wiggle is."


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hugs aid women's hearts

We've been hearing about the good vibes that hugs, arms wrapped around the shoulders and offering shoulders to cry on do to people who need the assurance that things will be okay, that there are people who are there for easy reach.

A study conducted by the University of Carolina showed that hugs can aid women's hearts confirmed this wide belief.

Even the body chemical responsible for such a feeling was identified.

Except of the article says:
This study has reinforced research findings that support from a partner, in this case a hug from a loved one, can have beneficial effects on heart health."

She added: "British Heart Foundation researchers have already demonstrated links between a positive emotional state, such as happiness, and low levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Women's offices are dirtier than men's but men's wallets are dirtier than women's purse

According to the study conducted by the University of Arizona the reasons why women's offices are dirtier than the men's are:

1. Women use hand lotion more often.
2. They use make-up which absorbs germs.
3. Mothers are in contact with children who transmit germs.
4. Women bring and eat more snacks than men.

But the study also showed that men's wallet are dirtier than women's purses.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Harvard's First Woman President

The mistake of the former president was that he provoked other women professors in Harvard with his sexist comment that women had less "intrinsic aptitude" than men for science.

Now the oldest university in the US has named the first female president, Drew
Gilpin Faust.


Excerpt of the news:

Dr. Faust, the Dean of Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, will become the university's 28th president on 1 July.

"She knows Harvard and higher education, and her interests extend to the whole of the university, across the arts and sciences and the professional domains," said James R Houghton, senior member of the Harvard Corporation and chair of the presidential search committee.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pretty Women, Life Stages and Relationship

Anna Nicole Smith died at age 39.

Life begins at forty and and it seems some pretty women never get to be born.

Marilyn Monroe-Actress, Playboy model 1926-1962 =36 years old

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Cause of death: Her death was ruled as an overdose of the sleeping pill Nembutal. Several conspiracy theories have surfaced in the decades after her death, some involving President John F. Kennedy and/or Robert Kennedy. There is also much speculation that her death was accidental, but the official cause of death was "probable suicide" by acute barbiturate poisoning.

Her quote:

In Hollywood a girl's virtue is much less important than her hairdo. You're judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty.

Dorothy Stratten - Actress, Playboy model 1960-1980

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Death: Murdered by Paul Snider, her estranged husband

Edith Minturn "Edie" Sedgwick (April 20, 1943 – November 15, 1971) was an American actress, socialite, debutante and heiress who starred in many of Andy Warhol's short films in the 1960s.

Death: Michael Post, her husband brought her home from a party where she was attacked by a drunken guest who called her heroin addict. Before they both fell asleep, he gave her the medication that had been prescribed for her. When he awoke the following morning at 7:30, she was dead. The coroner registered her death as "Accident/Suicide" due to a barbiturate overdose. She was 28.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith-woman,life stages and relationships

Life begins at forty. Ana Nicole Smith was not born yet before she died yesterday.
She dreamed of being Marilyn Monroe and she died just like her.
ana nicole smith-marilyn monroe

Life Stages :

Name: Vickie Lynn Hogan
Birth: Nov. 28, 1967, Houston, Texas

1969: Parents divorced
1983: Quits high school, works as a waitress in Jim's Fried Chicken
April 4, 1985: At age 17, married 16-year-old fry cook Billy Wayne Smith
they have a son, Daniel Smith VIII.

Jan. 22, 1986 -Gave birth to Daniel Smith VIII
Mid-1986: Left the husband and returned to Houston.
Worked at a Wal-Mart, restaurant and topless at strip clubs.

October 1991: Met Texas oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall II while dancing at a Houston club.

February 1992: She filed a divorce from Billy Smith.

March 1992-Debuted on the cover of Playboy
May 1992- featured as the Playboy'scenterfold in May.

November 1992: Signed a three-year contract to be the new model for Guess jeans, also adopted her new name, Anna Nicole.

1993: She became the Playboy's Playmate of the Year.

Feb. 12, 1994: Was hospitalized for mixing prescription drugs and alcohol.

June 27, 1994: Married Howard Marshall II. She was 26; he was 89.
anna nicole smith-howard marshall II
January 1995: Marshall became seriously ill. Legal fight between Smith and Pierce ensued when he cutoff her spousal support of $50,000 a month.

Aug. 4, 1995: J. Howard Marshall II died of pneumonia at age 90. Spousal support fight unresolved.

November 1995: Smith was hospitalized again due to adverse reaction to prescription medication.

February 1996: Filed for bankruptcy in California.

Sept. 27, 2000: A California judge issued a $450 million ruling for Smith against E. Pierce Marshall, later raised to $474 million.

March 7, 2001: A Houston jury ruled that Smith is not entitled to half the estate of her late husband, and that his sole heir is his son.

March 2002: The U.S. District Court judge awarded Smith $88 million of J. Howard Marshall's oil fortune, concluding that Smith deserves half the investment income Marshall earned during their marriage, plus $44 million in punitive damages resulting from the younger Marshall's attempts to cut her off.

Aug. 4, 2002: Premiere of "The Anna Nicole Show," the E channel reality series in which a camera followed her through her everyday routine.

October 2003: Became a spokeswoman for TrimSpa diet pills.

Dec. 30, 2004: A federal appeals court in San Francisco overturned Smith's $88 million inheritance award.

Feb. 28, 2006: Attended her hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court demurely dressed in black and avoiding making any statement.
anna nicole smith
May 1, 2006: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Smith can pursue her late husband's fortune, overruling the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had ruled that federal courts could not handle Smith's case.

Sept. 7, 2006: Gave birth to baby girl named Dannielynn Hope in the Bahamas.
anna nicole smith's daughter
Sept. 10, 2006: Smith's 20-year old son, Daniel Smith, died in his mother's hospital room in the Bahamas.

Sept. 26, 2006: Lawyer Howard K. Stern says he is the father of Dannielynn. The next day, an ex-boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead, says he is the father. Subsequent lawsuits filed.

September 28, 2006: Smith and Howard K. Stern exchanged vows and rings in an informal commitment ceremony aboard the 41-foot catamaran Margaritaville off the coast of the Bahamas.

photocredit: Getty Images
Nov. 7, 2006: Smith is discharged from a weeklong stay in a Bahamas hospital, where she received treatment for pneumonia and a collapsed lung.

Dec. 21, 2006: The Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that Smith must bring Dannielynn to California for a paternity test. That ruling was temporarily blocked, and remains pending.

Feb. 8, 2007: Smith died in Florida at age 39.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lady Astronaut in love, kidnaps fellow astronaut

This is not a movie. This is in real life. If you are stunned, don't. As Balise Pascal had said " Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves."

This is an excerpt of the news:

A US astronaut has been charged with trying to kidnap a woman she thought was a rival for the affection of a space shuttle pilot.

Navy Capt Lisa Nowak, 43, who flew to the international space station last July, was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and other crimes.

She drove from Texas to Florida to confront Colleen Shipman, disguised in a wig and trench coat.

Read the entire story here.


Monday, February 05, 2007

One small step for man, one giant leap for womankind

Only few people know that there are lady astronauts. In the man's world, who would think that there are women who have already been to space, commandeered a shuttle and the latest news is about a woman who made a record in spacewalking.

U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams has now spent more time in space than any other woman, setting the record on Sunday as she and a crew mate upgraded the international space station's cooling system.

Williams broke the previous female spacewalking record of more than 21 hours when she and Michael Lopez-Alegria completed the second of what could be a precedent-setting three spacewalks in nine days.

The new record is 22 hours and 27 minutes.

Read the entire story here.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Heart Disease of Women

My long time friend and neighbor died of heart disease last week. It was enlargement of the heart. She often complained of shortness of breath after walking a few distance. First, it was attributed to lack of exercise since she drove everyday from her place. She took long walks after that but the feeling remained the same and it even had gotten worse.

Examination diagnosed her to have a heart condition that needed surgery. So she came to the States but did not get the opportunity to be operated on. By her looks, you would not see that she is suffering so much.

This news article made me ponder of her death at a young age.
Heart disease often misdiagnosed in women

Excerpt of the news:
When Jean Horgan complained of heart palpitations, her doctor told her it was just nerves.

"I was told, 'Go home and take tranquilizers. You'll be fine, you're under stress.' "

Much later, another doctor -- one specializing in women's health -- ordered an echocardiogram, an ultrasound test of her heart. The EKG showed Horgan had a heart condition, and she needed medication.

When Phyllis Cruz went to the emergency room, she told the nurse she felt as if she was having a heart attack. She said the nurse didn't believe her.

"I said to her, 'But I have pain, chest pain. I can't breathe.' She said, 'Well, there's a lot of people here. Sit down.' "

Six hours later, Cruz also was given an EKG. It turned out she did have a heart attack.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Number of Pregnant Women from Mainland China Limited

Effective today, February 1, the rule limiting the number of pregnant women from Mainland China is going to be implemented.

Lately, there was an influx of pregnant women giving birth in Hong Kong's hospitals.

I did not know that the one child policy in China is still enforced. This law penalizes a family with more than one child with a fine of $10,000 or forced abortion for the unwanted pregnancy.

With this high penalty, women with means most likely prefer to spend only one third of this amount to give birth in a Hong Kong hospital where immigration law grants Hong Kong citizenship to the newborn.

Read the entire news here.

Excerpt of the news particularly the new rules :

In future, any pregnant woman coming from China without a hospital booking will be turned back at the border.

The rules are due to take effect on 1 February.

Hospitals in Hong Kong are setting up a centralised booking system to give priority to local women, and impose a quota on the number of mainland mothers allowed in.

Charges for mainland women to give birth in Hong Kong will also be raised.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Long Suffering Wife got the Public Apology

"Perhaps your partner is stubborn, or not hearing what you are saying. Have you been silently sulking in the hopes they will see the error of their ways? The 'guilty party' probably doesn't think they are guilty."

These were the statements of the wife of the former Italian prime minister Berlusconi who asked for a public apology from her husband for hurting her when he openly flirted with two ladies.

Excerpt of the news:

She explained that it was with difficulty that she had broken her habitual reserve. "During the course of my relationship with my husband I have not given space to conjugal conflict, even when his behaviour has been such as to merit it."

But now that her children are grown, it's important to set an example as a woman "able to protect her own dignity in relationships with men".

Because the husband made the public apology, did it mean that he's still in love with the spouse from he was living separately?


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Japan's Health Minister called women child machines

When I was younger, I used to hear some folks said "Bearer of the Race" when they refer to women who had huge butts.

But when Japan's health minister has referred to women as "birth-giving machines" in a speech to a local political meeting, this is something derogatory to women.

Excerpt of the news:

Hakuo Yanagisawa called for women to do their best to bear children in order to counter Japan's plummeting birth rate and rapidly ageing population.

"Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head," he said.

He added: "Although it may not be so appropriate to call them machines."

History tells us that women in Japan do not enjoy the same privilege as those with women in other races. They have been treated as second class citizens but I just thought that the new generation is different from the old ones.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

OPRAH WINFREY opened a school in South Africa

picture of oprah winfrey
Oprah is one of the women I admire. Her rags to riches story inspires women all over the world to dream and make the dream come true.

This article in BBC, shows how this woman became the first woman billionaire in the planet Earth.


This week a new school opened in South Africa. In a country where a serious skills shortage is hampering economic growth any boost to the education system is welcome. However, two things are special about the Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg.

Firstly, it has been set up to give an education to girls from poor families and, secondly, it has been founded and funded by the American TV star Oprah Winfrey whose own start in life mirrored that of the pupils she is now trying to help.

Winfrey is now a household name, host of a programme that has become the highest rated talk show in television history where public confession has become a form of therapy.

Her success as TV star and actress has brought her great wealth and influence. According to Forbes magazine she was the richest African American of the 20th Century and is one of the only black billionaire on the planet.

Her opinions can create market swings and influence public behaviour. An off-the-cuff remark about a burger during the BSE crisis led to her being sued by the Texas cattle industry for depressing the sales of beef. She won the resulting court case

Behind all the wealth and fame was a childhood of poverty and abuse. Born in rural Mississippi to two unmarried teenage parents, her early years were spent with her grandmother, a devout Baptist, who did not hesitate to use a switch on the young Oprah if she misbehaved. By the age of six she was back with her mother where, according to her own story, she was subjected to sexual abuse by members of her own family.

She rebelled in her teens and admitted to a number of promiscuous relationships, one of which resulted in a pregnancy at the age of 14. The child subsequently died.

Former beauty queen

The turning point in her life was the decision to return her to her father, Vernon, in Tennessee. He insisted she go back to school where she thrived, becoming an honours student and winning a scholarship to the State University where she studied communications and got her first media job at a local radio station. She appeared to have a clear idea of where she wanted her life to go.

An early boyfriend is quoted as saying that Oprah "knew what she wanted very early in life. She said she wanted to be a movie star. She wanted to be an actress, worked hard at it, and when her ship started to sail, she got aboard."

It was not surprising that she quickly got snapped up by television. She was clever, witty and, as a former winner of the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant, she looked good on screen.

After hosting shows on local TV she moved to Chicago in 1983 to take over an ailing mid-morning chat show. Within months it was extended to a full hour and renamed the Oprah Winfrey Show.

In 1986 it was broadcast across the United States. Time magazine later attempted to discover the reason for this success. "In a field dominated by white males, she is a black female of ample bulk," it said. "What she lacks in journalistic toughness, she makes up for in plainspoken curiosity, robust humour and, above all empathy"

Hands on involvement

In 1998 Winfrey set up a charity to encourage help for the disadvantaged around the world. On a 2004 visit to South Africa she donated equipment, and clothing to poor and Aids-affected children in the townships. Nelson Mandela asked her if she would provide support for children whose parents were too poor to afford education and the result was the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Winfrey did not just fund the school, she became personally involved in the planning and design and even interviewed some of the applicants for places. "I really became frustrated with the fact that all I did was write check after check to this or that charity without really feeling like it was a part of me." she told Newsweek magazine.

Poverty in Africa brings out a variety of responses. For another megastar, Madonna, help meant plucking one child from a village in Malawi and giving it all the advantages of a wealthy upbringing in the West.

Some have argued this has done nothing for the thousands of children left behind. Winfrey takes a different point of view driven by her own childhood experiences and the belief that, given the opportunity, anyone can make a success of their life. In her own words, "It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you - always."


Friday, January 05, 2007

Female Intuition Questioned

It is the popular belief that women's intuition is stronger than that of men.
However, this study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire which used about 15,000 people to find out the if there is a significant difference between gender's intuition proved otherwise.

Personally, I am not convinced that making use of smiles recognition as a gauge for female intuition is not enough to conclude that men's intuition is better than that of women.

Read the findings and the conclusion in this news article.

Female intuition 'questionable'
Contrary to popular belief men may well have the edge over women when it comes to intuition, research suggests.

Asked to separate fake and genuine smiles, men were correct 72% of the time, compared with 71% for women.

Volunteers were also asked to rate how intuitive they thought they were, with 80% of women rating themselves highly intuitive compared with 58% of men.

The University of Hertfordshire asked about 15,000 people to look at smiling faces and pick out the "real" grins.

The gap was widest when the participants were asked to look at faces of the opposite sex.

Men spotted 76% of women's fake smiles, while women only identified 67% of men's false smiles.

More in touch?

Research leader Professor Richard Wiseman, of the university's psychology department, said the findings questioned the notion of female intuition.

"Some previous research has found evidence for female intuition, but perhaps over time men have become more in touch with their intuitive side," he said.

The study was conducted online and at events organised for the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Participants were asked to complete a short questionnaire on intuition, allowing researchers to examine the types of people who are especially good at recognising emotions in others.

Certain parts of each face were masked in the pictures, to help discover which provide most information.

It suggested genuine smiles involve the muscles around the eyes, producing crows' feet around the corners, whereas a fake grin only involves the mouth.