Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 ways to follow on Earth Day to save the Earth

Earth Day  was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970.

Earth Day is now observed each year on April 22 in virtually every country on Earth. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. Its aim is to protect the Earth's environment.

Historically, our lawmakers have always been more concerned with the Gross National Product—maintaining economic growth at any cost. It’s funny that the environment should take a back seat to the economy.

  1. Save Energy By Washing Your Laundry in Cold Water Only :  Almost all of the energy used by a washing machine goes towards heating the water, so by simply turning down the temperature, you can really make a dramatic impact on energy use. In fact, washing in cold water costs 5 to 10 times less than using warmer settings. 
  2. Save Water By Using As Little Water Possible To Wash Your Dishes If, you don’t have a dishwasher or would rather wash by hand, try to assess how much water you’re currently using and see if there’s any way to cut back. If you wash by filling up the sink or wash bins, figure out how much water they hold and how many times per day you wash.  If you just wash under the running faucet, keep in mind that faucets use about 2 gallons per minute. Get more tips on washing dishes more efficiently. 
  3. Save Waste and Water By Switching From Bottled to Filtered Water :  The bottled water industry is extremely wasteful. It involves millions of barrels of oil each year and the process actually wastes water. Since bottled water is often consumed on the go, most bottles do not actually end up getting recycled. So why not get yourself a filter and a reusable bottle and fill up from the cheapest and most convenient place — your faucet. 
  4. Save Energy and Waste By Switching from Regular Batteries to Rechargeables :  Rechargeable batteries embody one of our favorite principles. While traditional batteries can only be used once, rechargeable batteries, as the name implies, can be used again and again. By using the same batteries over and over again, you cut back on the waste created by disposable batteries. When your rechargeables are eventually used up, though, it is important to recycle them. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, any batteries “can cause serious harm to human health and the environment if they are dis­carded with ordinary household or workplace waste.”  
  5. Save Waste By Buying in Bulk :  Packaging has gotten a bit out of control these days. More and more we’re seeing items that are wrapped with layer upon layer of unnecessary materials. One way to combat that problem is to buy necessities in bulk. If it’s something you use a lot, it’s worth it to upgrade to a larger size or multi-pack. This tip isn’t just relegated to wholesale stores either, although that’s a good place to start. Bring your own containers to stores like Whole Foods, where you can buy items like beans and grains in bulk–and skip the packaging all together.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Children with Autism

Autism is  likely that both genetics and environment play a role. Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with the disorder. Studies of people with autism have found irregularities in several regions of the brain.

Other studies suggest that people with autism have abnormal levels of serotonin or other neurotransmitters in the brain. These abnormalities suggest that autism could result from the disruption of normal brain development early in fetal development caused by defects in genes that control brain growth and that regulate how neurons communicate with each other.

Autism is a complex brain disorder that affects many aspects of child development, including how a kid talks, plays, and interacts.

Parents should continue to educate themselves about the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, to be aware of what are their rights and benefits are as caregivers of autistic children.Primarily as a result of intense work by AFA with the Ministry of Health in the mid-1990's, the Government of India now recognizes autism as a disability.

    *  not play games
    * not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over)
    * not look at objects when another person points at them
    * have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
    * avoid eye contact and want to be alone
    * have trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about their own feelings
    * prefer not to be held or cuddled or might cuddle only when they want to
    * appear to be unaware when other people talk to them but respond to other sounds
    * be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
    * repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language (echolalia)
    * have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
    * repeat actions over and over again
    * have trouble adapting when a routine changes
    * have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
    * lose skills they once had (for instance, stop saying words they were once using) 

  • If you are a teacher/parents,  you should try to understand their language so that they understand yours
  • you should keep yourself from calling them some sweet names, or shortening their names
  • Never pressure the child, especially when he has failed to cover the given task correctly. Never shout at him
  • Try to avoid long, descriptive sentences. Be as specific as you can and make only fundamental points
  • You should always give the child an open, wide personal space for his movements so that he does not feel confined
  • Try to develop his communicative skills 

  1. Antipsychotic drugs: This is the most widely studied group of drugs in autism. These drugs have been found to reduce hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, withdrawal, and aggression in some people with autism
  2. Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are one class of antidepressants that are commonly used to treat people with depression obsessive-compulsive disorder, and/or anxiety. In some people with autism, these drugs reduce repetitive behaviors, irritability, tantrums, and aggression
  3.  Stimulants: Drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may help some people with autism. These drugs work by increasing the person's ability to concentrate and pay attention and by reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity
  4. Other drugs: Other drugs may also help some people with autism. Anticonvulsants are frequently used to manage seizures in people with autism. Anticonvulsants may also be used to stabilize mood and/or behavior. Alpha-2 adrenergic agonists  are also sometimes used to manage hyperactivity and behavioral problems in some individuals with autism
      Recent estimates have placed the prevalence of autism in the U.S. at approximately 1 in 150 people, means 1% of the US children aged from 3 to 17. At India’s current population, there are more than 2 million autistic persons in the country.

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    India launches world's biggest census

    The nation is all set to embark on the largest census exercise, ever undertaken probably in the world, with Census 2011 on Thursday (April 1) will commence with President Pratibha Patil being the first citizen to be enumerated, followed by Vice President Hamid Ansari.

    Indian Census has been the most credible source of information on Demography, Economic Activity, Literacy and Education, Housing and Household Amenities, Urbanization, Fertility and Mortality, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Language, Religion, Migration, Disability and many other socio-cultural and demographic data since 1872.

    Spread across 35 States and Union Territories, the Census would cover 640 Districts, 5767 Tehsils, 7742 Towns and more than 6 lakhs villages. More than 24 crores households will be visited and 1.20 billion people enumerated during this exercise. The Census would cost around Rs. 2,209 crores. Every person over the age of 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database.

    This is India's 15th census, carried out in the country every 10 years since 1872. India's population is around 1.2 billion people, 7,000 towns and 600,000 villages according to gender, religion, occupation and education. The full census results will be released in mid-2011.