Sunday, May 1, 2016

Health: Cancer ..avoid it by revising lifestyles...

Cancer....
The very word instills fear in us...for its unpredictability, morbidity, and mortality...
She was a friend through social media, through mutual interest and passion for wildlife, nature.
She was one of the first persons to like when I posted something new. And she unfailingly sent birthday wishes. Months back heard of her battle with cancer and therapy. She did not reply to my health query. And the dreaded disease claimed her today. It was lung cancer.

She was my aunt, in her late 40's. Breast cancer, which went metastatic to her liver, claimed her, despite months of expensive treatment. Some of my friends have lost their mothers to this disease. Another young relative of mine is battling breast cancer.
It is sad that even in rural areas, which were once free of toxins, more and more cancer cases are emerging.. 

However, its not all sad news. 
With improved treatment options, survival rate is rising. 
My 50-something professor valiantly fought against breast cancer...I know of a young lady who survived leukemia...

Researchers must collaborate and  complement each other to fight this unfortunate disease.
Common people should do their part of leading moderation by shunning consumerist habit..yes, food additives, cosmetics, household fragrance and cleaning agents are major players in starting tumors. Agreed, in today's chemical-laced and processed articles era, it is difficult to stay free of them. Yet, we can boycott harmful deoderants, hormone-altering fragrances, sunscreens....just like our previous generations......and try to grow our own food, in a sustainable way, or if its not possible at least washing fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid long shelf-life foods......

Also, the youth should realize narcotics and drugs are carcinogen evils and should avoid them. 
The Government or respective authorities should .....regulate agricultural fertilizer, pesticides usage...protect potable water from getting tainted with them...and prevent fire extinguishing solvents to contaminating water sources...

The industry owners, minting money to pursue lavish lifestyles ought to do their part for preventing air pollution........

We have one planet to live, we must not think it to be a dumpster....population control and moderate lifestyle is to key steps that can help preserving the world and slash cancer rates...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thought: Happy time.......

What do you visualize when thinking of happy time?
If you ask me......
Watching the rain ....

Swaying green meadow...

Daffodils...

Apple picking...

Mums....

Autumnal tree....

Marveling at the snow-clad world....listening to the sound of snow slipping from the aspen boughs..


Watching a pretty hummingbird........

Stunning flowers....

Also, curling in bed with a book...snuggling by the fireside with pet cat....hiking the wilderness...and many more..

Friday, April 22, 2016

Plant: Cotoneaster...........

A small Rosacease shrub,often sculpted as hedge has oval, hairy leaves....some of which turn nice shade of red and orange in autumn and winter.....
Its tiny white flower clusters look much like that of toyon and pyracantha...
The pea-sized fruits occurring in bunches look like tiny apples...




Season: Record-breaking scorching Summer....not a good sign for the Earth and us...

We are almost into summer now.......
Many regions of the country might still be blanketed with snow, but the mercury is intense in other parts...
As I peer out of my study window, outside seems almost blinding...and this is less the 30 degree C.

I remember, one day, last summer  temperature had reached 37 degree C. Santa Ana wind  was blowing and it felt like being whipped by the scorching summer.

Imagine, its 45 degree C in India. And, its only mid April. Not only the high temperature, UV index is reaching above 10.Our body is not made to tolerate such high temperature. Sun strokes can dehydrate and kill people. And this strong UV is powerful enough to irritate skin and cause cancer. In fact, heat waves have already killed hundreds in certain parts of India. Not everyone is lucky enough to work in air-conditioned offices...a lot many work outside. The farmers, who feed us have to work outside. Also, construction workers, commuters, school-going kids and other people are threat of succumbing to the excess heat.

To accommodate traffic, roadside trees are being chopped off...

Vehicles are exuding toxic carbon gases...concrete buildings are mushrooming. And these are exacerbating things.
Trees are dying in masses due to dropping water level, lack of rainfall, pests........

Its high time, we must take precautionary actions. Population boom must be controlled. In the resource-depleting world, it is better to have fewer birth rates, then having unnatural, freak deaths or sicker lives.

If the abuse to nature continues, environmental balance will go haywire and it will backfire...with erratic rain and prolonged droughts, earthquakes, wildfire, virulent pathogen evolution and many more catastrophes, which we can't even imagine..
This is the one and only planet we have.......we must preserve and protect it...for our own survival dwells on it.......

We don't really need palatial houses or swanky cars or closet-ful of clothes....We do need  clean water, fresh fair, greenery, chirp of birds...


Please do your part in protecting this fragile Earth.....by shunning consumerist lifestyle and embracing moderation..........less is more...someone has rightfully said...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Knowledge: Urdu words in Hindi songs...

Urdu is a poetic language....is the hybrid of Persian and Hindi...
A number of Hindi movie songs have borrowed words from this language to enhance their melodiousness......
Some of such oft-used words from my collection...........
A
Aab-e-aayinah: polish of a mirror
Aab-e-chashm: tears
Aab-e-talkh:tears
Aabaad: inhabited
Aabroo: honor
Aafat:evil
Aaftaab: sun
Aaghosh: embrace
Aah: sigh
Aalam: creation
Aaraa: embellishing
Aarzoo: desire
Aas: longing
Aashiyaan: house
Aashnaa: friend
Aasmaani:heavenly
Aatish: fire
Aawara: without home
Abad: beginning
Abida: worshipper
Abroo: dignity
Adab: respect
Afreen: Bravo
Afsaana: legend/fiction
Aftaab: sun
Afzaa: increasing
Agosh: lap, embrace
Akbar: greatest
Aleena: good-Looking
Alfaaz: words
Amana: Faithful
Anjuman: assembly
Armaan: desire
Arz: request
Asad: lion
Ashfaaq:favors
Ashq: tears
Asma: eminent
Asmani: blue
Ashq: teardrop
Ashiyana: house
Atish: fire
Awwal:first
Azaan: prayer call
B
Baabul:father
Baano: lady
Baareek: fine
Baaz: falcon
Baazoo: arm
Bagal: side
Bagawat: disloyalty
Bahaal: refreshed
Bahaar: spring
Balaa: calamity
Balam: lover
Bandagi: devotion
Bande: slave
Bandish:
Bandish: elegance of style
Barkat: prosperity
Basera: shelter
Basheer: a messenger of good news
Bast: obstacle
Bayaan: description
Bazm: company
Beaabroo: dishonorable, exposed
Beandaza:unlimited
Bebas: helpless
Behunar: unskilled
Bekhud: ecstasy
Benazir: unique
Beqaraar: uneasy
Beqasoor:Innocent
Besabab:without any reason
Betaab: restless
Betameez: rude
Bewafa: treacherous
Bewajah: without any reason
Bezubaan: dumb
Bhool Bhulaiyaa: labyrinth
Billaur: crystal
Bismil: sacrificed
Buland: lofty
Buniyaad: foundation
C
Chaman: flower garden
Charagah: meadow/pasture
Chashme Baddoor
Chashme Baddoor: God preserve from evil eyes
Chasm: eye
Chasmo Chirag: loved one
Chilman: veil, drapery
Chirag: lamp
Chitwan: look
D
Daad: praise
Daaman: lap
Daanish: knowledge
Daara:king
Daaru: alcohol, medicine
Daawa: claim
Daawat: invitation
Dabar: lake
Dafan: burial
Dagar: path
Darmiyan: midst
Dars: sight
Dastaan: story
Dastoor: tradition
Daulah: Wealth
Deedaar: sight
Deewana: crazy
Dilasa:consolation
Dilbar: sweetheart
Dildaar: sweetheart
Dillagi: infatuation
Dilnawaaz: beloved
Dilrubaa: sweetheart
Durust: proper
Dushwaar: difficult
E
Etihaad: united
F
Falsafa: Philosophy
Fanaa: to annihilate
Farah: Joy, lovely
Farebi: frauds
Fariyaad: lamentation
Farhat: Joy
Farrukh: Happy, Fortunate
Farzan, Farzana: Wise
Firdaus: Paradise, garden
Fitrat: nature
Fitoor: person’s illogical craze for something
G
Gila, Shikwa: complaint
Ghalib: Dominant
Gul: rose
Gulzaar: garden
H
Habib: beloved
Hadd: boundary/limits
Halal: permissible slaughter
Hameedah: praise-worthy
Haneef: true believer
Hashmat: dignity
Hasrat: longing
Hasti: entity
Hatim: generous
Hausla:spirit
Hawaas: senses
Hawala: charge
Haya: modesty
Hayaat: life
Hazrat: dignity
Hijab: veil
Himayat: protection
Hisar: fort
Hoor: virgin of paradise
Hooriyat: freedom
Hudood: boundaries
Humnawa: chorus singers
Humnawai:  like-mindedness
I
Ibadat: devotion to Allah
Ibn: son
Ibtidaa :beginning
Ifraat: plenty
Iftikhaar: glory
Ihtiyaaj: need
Ijaaz: miracle
Imaan: faith
Imtiyaaz: distinction
Inquilab: revolution
Iqbaal: good fortune
Iqraar: confession
Iqtizaa: need
Ishfaaq:kindness
Ishraaq: dawn
J
Jaam: goblet
Jaani: beloved
Jabeen:forehead
Jahannam: hell
Jalaal: splendor, majesty
Jalwa: luster
Jamal: beautiful,handsome
Janab: honorable
Janaza:funeral
Jannat: heaven
Jashn: celebration
Jawahar: jewels
Jazb: attraction
Jazba: passion
Jigar: heart
Julaha: weaver
Jumbish: tremble
Jung: battle
Junoon: insanity
Justjoo: desire
K
Kambakht: unfortunate, a slang
Khalish: anxiety
Khanum: lady
Khayal: thought
Khidmat: service
Khud: self
Khudi:vanity
Khumar: intoxication
Khuraam: happy
Khursheed: sun
Khushk: dry
Khutba: sermon
L
M
Maatam: mourning
Madeena: city
Magroor: arrogant, proud
Malak: angel

Mukhtalif: different
Mushtaaq: eager
N
Naseem: breeze
Nasheman: nest
Naayaab: novel
Nigaar: painting,idol
Nishaat: joy
Nuskhe: formula
P
Pakeezak: clean, neat
Parastish: worship
Parvaaz: flight
Parwana: moth
Pasheman: regret
Payaam: message
Pehlu: shade
R
Rafeeq: friend
Rafi: exalted
Rahnuma: road
Ranj: grief
Ranjish: grief, anguish, distress
Raqueeb: competitior
Rashq: envy, jealousy
Raqs: dance
Rooh: soul
Rukh: cheeks
Rukhsaar: Cheeks
Ruswa: disgraced
S
Saaqi: cup bearer, beloved
Saaz: equipment
Sabab: cause
Sahil: shore
Sailaab: flood, deluge
Sajda: prostration
Sargoshi: to whisper
Simar: scarf
Surkhii: redness
T
Taab: endurance
Tabah: ruined
Tabassum: smile
Tabdeel: change
Taj:  crown
Takht: throne
Talaffuz: pronunciation, articulation
Tameez: etiquette
Taraana: symphony
Taras: mercy
Tareef: description
Tasalli: comfort
Tasawwuf: mysticism
Tasawwur: imagination
Tashreef: honoring
Tasleem: greeting
Tauba: repentance
Tauheen: disgrace
Tishangi: thirst
U
Ulfat: Love
Y
Yalgaar: attack
Z
Zaakir : grateful
Zabaan: language
Zahmat:  pain
Zaleel: wretched
Zebaa: beautiful
Zeenat: beauty
Zehan: wit
Zhaala: hail,
Zillat: dishonor
Zohraa: venus
Zulf: curled hair
Phrases......
Abr-e-bahaar: tree in spring or in bloom
Shakh -e-gulab: branch of a rose

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Health: Personalized diet............

I have been in biomedical research for a decade now, working on microbiology and bioinformatics mostly........
But, it's high time everybody realizes that health is not discrete state but a balanced system, dependent on multiple variables.....it is like a broad bell curve, but when these permissible limits are violated, the components of health tilt towards hypo or hyper.........both are lethal. The age-old saying 'Too much or too less of anything is bad' holds true for health too....

So, next time when someone says, its good for health, that's bad for health, do not believe blindly.
Each individual is different in their genetic makeup. What works for one person, may not work for the other. That's why current science is focusing on 'personalized therapy...also realizing the importance of 'personalized diet'...

Its can be easily understood, why the personalization is needed. While a person can relish pounds of groundnuts in all forms, raw to roasted to peanut butter...some can not tolerate even a piece of  the peel......reason is the lectin allergy associated with peanut........
Same goes for shrimp, shellfish, nuts, avocado, eggs,  and myriad other foods....
Gluten, milk, and food additive intolerance can be explained by the same line...
We might have 46 chromosomes, and roughly same number of genes, but our allelic makeup is different, which decides if a food will be accepted by the body or it will lead to immune response and inflammation...........
These allergies and inflammation are highly individualistic...so, a consumer should notice and realize, what to continue  and what to shun.........because, ignoring the signal of body means leading to signal perturbation.......which is likely to manifest as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neural diseases, among others...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Plant: Gazania or treasure flower..........

Come spring and early summer...and roadsides and slopes of South California get awash with colorful gazania flowers....these pretty blooms appear in a rich palette of colors..........



On good rain years,like this year, the show is extra beautiful...you wish to freeze the moment...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Plant: Manuka blooms.....

Manuka (Leptospermum sp.)..a semi-arid adapted plant, native o Australia, but does well in Mediterranean climate of South California...........
Blooms zillions of tiny colorful flowers in spring and summer......



Like a tiny rose........

Gracing street sides in San Diego...


The nectar is popular with bees...which result in 'manuka honey'...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Plant:'Desert spoon' or 'sotol'...........

This Asparagceae family plant is xerophyte...commonly known as ' desert spoon' or sotol......this plant thrive in US South West.....
The spear-shaped flowering spike.....


The plant is used to ferment into a distilled beverage..........

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Place: Pebble-paved beach...

These are pictures of a stretch of Torrey pines state beach.......Its not called pebble beach, but it might deserve to be called.........millions of beautiful pebbles carpet the shoreline...I marvel at their shapes and colors...wonder when and where they originated....and see so many potential in them...to me, they are not less than gems.....



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