63 Anything Under the Sun: March 2008 Anything Under the Sun: March 2008 Archive

Anything Under the Sun

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Playing God

When I ask you, what has a long trunk and has 2 tusks? The answer will be an elephant. How about what is majestic and has a mane? A lion, of course. These are just some of the most distinguishing feature of some of the animals. IF you were allowed to play God and given a free hand in designing "Animals", what would you have chosen.

Why such a "philosophical" question? I got an email with lots of photos of animals, but with a twist. There were 2 animals used per picture and the image had been superimposed. Some of them were real cute while others were real Gross and yet others which I could not really make out whom the 2 contributing animals were. (Half the fun was trying to figure out who the two contributors were.) Some of them are Really tough. Good Luck!




Do Cats eat carrots? - So what's gonna be my favorite food now?

Move over Chiwawas - I'm smaller n cuter.


Real Gross






Can you figure these out?






Do give me a comment if you could figure out any of these UNKNOWNs.

Would you like to see more animal pictures. How about Veggi Animals.

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posted by Bubbles at 7:26 PM 3 comments

Friday, March 7, 2008

Taking Sight for granted

Have you heard of Glaucoma. I hadn't, until about 2 days ago, when I read my local papers and got a wake up call about taking sight for granted.

Glaucoma, it sneaks up on you and steals your sight. There is no pain and there are no symptoms. That is why about half of all sufferers worldwide lose a large part of their vision before they even discover they have this optic nerve disease.

Unlike cataracts, this disease cannot be cured, and once blindness sets in, it is irreversible. TOO LATE!

Yesterday, 6Th March was the first World Glaucoma Day, where health-care institutions come together to raise the awareness of the disease.

Glaucoma is the second top cause of blindness in the world and it was stated that Chinese are at high risk. People with high blood pressure, smokers and those who are short-sighted may be more likely to get the other main form of the disease - open-angle glaucoma.

Glaucoma - from the Wikipedia

Glaucoma is a group of diseases of the optic nerve involving loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern of optic neuropathy. Although raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for developing glaucoma, there is no set threshold for intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. One person may develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure, while another person may have high eye pressure for years and yet never develop damage. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which can progress to blindness.

Glaucoma has been nicknamed "sneak thief of sight" because the loss of visual field often occurs gradually over a long time and may only be recognised when it is already quite advanced. Once lost, this damaged visual field can never be recovered. Worldwide, it is the second leading cause of blindness. Glaucoma affects one in two hundred people aged fifty and younger, and one in ten over the age of eighty.

People with a family history of glaucoma have about a six percent chance of developing glaucoma. Diabetics and those of African descent are three times more likely to develop primary open angle glaucoma. Asians are prone to develop angle-closure glaucoma, and Inuit have a twenty to forty times higher risk than Caucasians of developing primary angle closure glaucoma. Women are three times more likely than men to develop acute angle-closure glaucoma due to their shallower anterior chambers. Use of steroids can also cause glaucoma. Those at risk for glaucoma are advised to have a dilated eye examination at least once a year.

Although intraocular pressure is only one major risk factors of glaucoma, lowering it via pharmaceuticals or surgery is currently the mainstay of glaucoma treatment. In Europe, Japan, and Canada laser treatment is often the first line of therapy. In the U.S., adoption of early laser has lagged, even though prospective, multi-centered, peer-reviewed studies, since the early '90s, have shown laser to be at least as effective as topical medications in controlling intraocular pressure and preserving visual field.

I believe this is one case where ignorance is NOT a bliss. Sight is such an important faculty that most of us will be at a loss without it. Since Glaucoma is not treatable, we can only take preventive action. If you believe that you have a high risk of this disease, do go for a dilated eye examination.

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posted by Bubbles at 7:49 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Modern Cinderella Story

Vientnamese Brides

I didn't think that fairy tales can become true in real life. Well, I do hope that these "Girls" will have a "Happily Ever After" ending.

Who are the heroines you ask?
They are the Vietnamese brides married to Taiwanese men.

No cruel stepmother in the horizon. Just desperate parents who gladly exchange their daughters for a Princely sum of around US $ 3000 which is equivalent to what a family would earn in 10 years or more.

Prince Charming you say!
More like middle aged Taiwanese men, usually farmers who treat their spouse as nothing more than someone to warm their beds, produce babies and work on the farm. As it takes years for a Taiwanese farmer to save up money for a wife, he is usually middle aged by then. Did you know that in extreme cases a Taiwanese husband could be older than his Vietnamese bride's grandfather!

No jealous and ugly step sisters, only a society that ostracises and treat these brides as a second - class citizen. While Vietnamese mothers are ostracised at parent-teacher meetings, their children are ostracised in the classrooms and playgrounds.

The Fairy - God - Mother who comes to the rescue of these "Cinderellas" is none other that the Motherland of these brides, that is, Vietnam.

With a twist of the wand, these Vietnamese brides have a much rosier future. Suddenly having the role of a Vietnamese wife has changed. The wife is now the key to the new riches. Trading, manufacturing and property investments are all smoothened by the Vietnamese connections. Vietnamese relatives who used to only write pathetic letters asking for money now offer chances of investment that other Taiwanese have no access to. A Vietnamese wife has, almost overnight, (actually after about a decade or two) become an asset.

As Vietnam grows at the speed of up to 9% annually, the fastest in Asia, the status of Vietnamese in Taiwan is rising. In the past, Vietnamese mothers who taught their children their native tongue had met with objection form their husbands who saw no merit in it. Today, the ability to speak Vietnamese is a boon. Vietnam is looking so attractive that many Taiwanese want to retire there.

How will the story end?

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posted by Bubbles at 9:46 PM 0 comments