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Archive for October 20, 2013

Agile Project Manager

agileproject

Agile Project Manager (Scrum Sprint Planner) (4.5 stars with 156 Ratings) 
iPad App

$9.99

Free Offer Ended. This app was free on October 17, 2013, but the offer has expired. Follow us on Twitter or Subscribe by emailor RSS feed to get daily App Gone Free notifications so you won’t miss it next time. The following impression was made during the promotional period.

 

Today’s app for the iPad can be of immense use to project managers everywhere in Agile Project Manager.

This project manager utilizes what is known as the Scrum method, which provides the user with flexibility and adaptiveness to project requirements that are constantly changing. You can plan and track the progress of your project’s development cycle, complete with detailed analysis. Create a plan, see it through, and even send reports to members of your team on the progress. This isn’t a simple project manager, as it comes complete with a litany of features that are as powerful as they are robust. The app also comes with Dropbox syncing, so you can have your projects and documents with you wherever you have an internet connection. Grab Agile Project Manager and see if it can help you with your latest endeavor.

App Screenshots

via Agile Project Manager: A project manager as powerful as it is robust | AppSaga.

Cacio e Pepe

cacio-e-pepe
INGREDIENTS

Kosher salt

6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided

1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan

1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino

 

PREPARATION

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.

Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.

via Cacio e Pepe – Bon Appétit.

Sleep ‘cleans’ the brain of toxins

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The brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during a hard day\’s thinking, researchers have shown.

 

The US team believe the “waste removal system” is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep.

Their study, in the journal Science, showed brain cells shrink during sleep to open up the gaps between neurons and allow fluid to wash the brain clean.

They also suggest that failing to clear away some toxic proteins may play a role in brain disorders.

One big question for sleep researchers is why do animals sleep at all when it leaves them vulnerable to predators?

It has been shown to have a big role in the fixing of memories in the brain and learning, but a team at the University of Rochester Medical Centre believe that “housework” may be one of the primary reasons for sleep.

“The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states – awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up,” said researcher Dr Maiken Nedergaard.

“You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can’t really do both at the same time.”

Plumbing

Their findings build on last year’s discovery of the brain’s own network of plumbing pipes – known as the glymphatic system – which carry waste material out of the brain.

Scientists, who imaged the brains of mice, showed that the glymphatic system became 10-times more active when the mice were asleep.

Cells in the brain, probably the glial cells which keep nerve cells alive, shrink during sleep. This increases the size of the interstitial space, the gaps between brain tissue, allowing more fluid to be pumped in and wash the toxins away.

Dr Nedergaard said this was a “vital” function for staying alive, but did not appear to be possible while the mind was awake.

She told the BBC: “This is purely speculation, but it looks like the brain is losing a lot of energy when pumping water across the brain and that is probably incompatible with processing information.”

She added that the true significance of the findings would be known only after human studies, but doing similar experiments in an MRI machine would be relatively easy.

Brain

Commenting on the research Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert, said: “This is a very interesting study that shows sleep is essential downtime to do some housekeeping to flush out neurotoxins.

“There is good data on memory and learning, the psychological reason for sleep. But this is the actual physical and chemical reason for sleep, something is happening which is important.”

Dr Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer, a lecturer in sleep at Surrey University, said: “It’s not surprising, our whole physiology is changing during sleep.

“The novelty is the role of the interstitial space, but I think it’s an added piece of the puzzle not the whole mechanism.

“The significance is that, yet again, it shows sleep may contribute to the restoration of brain cell function and may have protective effects.”

Many conditions which lead to the loss of brain cells such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease are characterised by the build-up of damaged proteins in the brain.

The researchers suggest that problems with the brain’s cleaning mechanism may contribute to such diseases, but caution more research is needed.

The charity Alzheimer’s Research UK said more research would be needed to see whether damage to the brain’s waste clearance system could lead to diseases like dementia, but the findings offered a “potential new avenue for investigation”.

via BBC News – Sleep ‘cleans’ the brain of toxins.

Housework ‘not strenuous enough’ for exercise targets

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Housework and DIY are not strenuous enough to count towards people\’s activity targets, a paper has found.

 

It had been thought they could count towards the recommended 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week.

But the BMC Public Health study, which surveyed over 4,500 adults, found those who counted housework were heavier than those who did other activities.

Experts said activities only counted when they made breathing more rapid and the heart beat faster.

NHS recommendations do say housework does not count towards the 150-minute goal.

But the researchers in this paper say there has been a move towards promoting a “lifestyle approach” to physical activity – encouraging “domestic” activities in people who may not take part in sports or go to the gym.

And they warn that, while any activity is better than none, people should be aware that they still need to meet the moderate activity target on top.

Eating too much?

Participants completed a detailed interview about their activity levels, whether they played any sports or did formal exercise as well as their diet and smoking and drinking habits.

They were particularly asked about activity linked to looking after their homes.


Your exercise should make you breathe harder, feel warmer, and make your heart beat faster than usual. ”

Chris Allen,British Heart Foundation

Domestic housework in 10 minute bursts or more accounted for 36% of the reported moderate to vigorous physical activity people said they did.

But when weight and height were taken into account, researchers found that those who counted housework as exercise were heavier than people doing other exercise for the same amount of time.

Among women, just a fifth reached the weekly exercise target if housework was discounted.

The research team, which included experts from the Universities of Ulster, Sheffield Hallam and Wolverhampton as well as Sport Northern Ireland concluded: “Domestic physical activity accounts for a significant proportion of self-reported daily moderate to vigorous physical activity particularly among females and older adults.

“However such activity is negatively associated with leanness, suggesting that such activity may not be sufficient to provide all of the benefits normally associated with meeting the physical activity guidelines.”

Eating too much?

Prof Marie Murphy, from the University of Ulster, who led the study, said: “Housework is physical activity and any physical activity should theoretically increase the amount of calories expended.

“But we found that housework was inversely related to leanness, which suggests that either people are overestimating the amount of moderate intensity physical activity they do through housework, or are eating too much to compensate for the amount of activity undertaken.”

She added: “When talking to people about the amount of physical activity they need to stay healthy, it needs to be made clear that housework may not be intense enough to contribute to the weekly target and that other more intense activities also need to be included each week.”

Chris Allen, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Your exercise should make you breathe harder, feel warmer, and make your heart beat faster than usual.

“So, unless your household chores tick all these boxes, they won’t count.

“If you’re daunted by the prospect of a 150-minute target, think of it in 10-minute chunks.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean forking out for a gym membership either – try a brisk walk on your lunch break or make a resolution to take the stairs rather than the lift each morning.”

via BBC News – Housework ‘not strenuous enough’ for exercise targets.

Fake Xanax anxiety pills from China seized in Zurich

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Experts think it would be hard to spot the drugs are fake at first glance

 

Customs agents have seized one million fake anti-anxiety pills in transit at Zurich airport, Swiss officials say.

The four-crate shipment was on its way from China to Egypt, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products said.

The tablets are counterfeit versions of Xanax – a drug manufactured by Pfizer to treat severe anxiety or panic disorder.

Tests showed the drugs contained no active ingredients, but would be very difficult to recognise as fakes.

The counterfeit drugs were packed into four crates which weighed over 400kg, said the agency, also known as Swissmedic.

“Analyses in the Swissmedic laboratory revealed that the drugs, which are prescribed to treat symptoms of acute anxiety, contained no active ingredients whatsoever,” Swissmedic said in a statement, adding that they were being destroyed.

“According to experts, the drugs would be unrecognisable as counterfeits at first glance.”

Developing countries such as Egypt are considered a major market for the multi-billion dollar trade in fake drugs.

The World Health Organization says many countries in Africa, and parts of Asia and Latin America, have areas where more than 30% of medicines on sale can be counterfeit.

Counterfeit medication ranges from painkillers to treatment for life-threatening conditions, it says,

via BBC News – Fake Xanax anxiety pills from China seized in Zurich.

Cognitive therapy study hope for hypochondria patients

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Health anxiety can cause terrible suffering

 

Cognitive behavioural therapy is more effective than standard care for people with hypochondria or health anxiety, say researchers writing in The Lancet.

In their study, 14% of patients given CBT regained normal anxiety levels against 7% given the usual care of basic reassurance.

It said nurses could easily be trained to offer the psychological therapy.

Between 10% and 20% of hospital patients are thought to worry obsessively about their health.


Health anxiety is costly for healthcare providers and an effective treatment could potentially save money”

Prof Peter TyrerImperial College London

Previous studies have shown that CBT, which aims to change thought patterns and behaviour, is an effective treatment for other anxiety disorders.

But there is a shortage of specialists trained to deliver CBT, and as a result waiting lists can be long.

In this study, 219 people with health anxiety received an average of six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy while 225 received reassurance and support, which is standard.

After periods of six months and 12 months, patients in the CBT group showed “significantly greater improvement in self-rated anxiety and depression symptoms” compared with standard care, the study showed.

There was also a particularly noticeable reduction in health anxiety in the CBT group straight after treatment began.

The therapy was delivered by non-CBT experts who had been trained in only two workshops.

Study author Prof Peter Tyrer, head of the Centre for Mental Health at Imperial College London, said the results showed that hypochondria could be successfully treated, in a “relatively cheap” way, by general nurses with minimal training in a hospital setting.


WHAT IS CBT?

Cognitive behavioural therapy is:

  • a way of talking about how you think about yourself, the world and other people
  • how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings

CBT can help you to change how you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour).

Unlike some other talking treatments, it focuses on the “here and now” instead of the causes of distress or past symptoms.

Reducing the anxiety levels of 14% of the CBT group might not seem a high figure, he said, but these were often people with serious problems who had sometimes spent thousands of pounds on private health assessments because of fears about their health.

“Health anxiety is costly for healthcare providers and an effective treatment could potentially save money by reducing the need for unnecessary tests and emergency hospital admissions,” Prof Tyrer said.

Writing about the study in The Lancet, Chris Williams from the University of Glasgow and Allan House from the University of Leeds, said the findings were “intriguing” but translating them into services was “problematic”.

They also questioned the cost-effectiveness of screening patients for health anxiety and CBT.

They wrote: “Health anxiety is only one of the problems noted in medical outpatients – depression, hazardous alcohol use, poor treatment adherence, and other forms of medically unexplained presentation all press for recognition and intervention.

“To develop multiple parallel services makes no sense, especially since the common emotional disorders overlap substantially.”

But Prof Tyrer said health anxiety was a hidden epidemic that required the correct treatment, not just reassurance.

via BBC News – Cognitive therapy study hope for hypochondria patients.

癌症醒觉协会办慈善晚会

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杨紫琼(中) 推介“与杨紫琼一起成为天使”活动并签名。左为王玉婷, 右为吴婉咨。

 

(吉隆坡19日讯)马来西亚癌症醒觉协会昨晚成功举办第三届“与杨紫琼一起成为天使”慈善晚会。

这项活动是该协会为推动2014年的两项深具意义的计划而举办,即以低收入阶层为对象的大型癌症醒觉计划,以及癌症检测计划。

杨紫琼亲临盛会

大马国际巨星丹斯里杨紫琼,也亲临现场共襄盛举;与会嘉宾包括Elegance Club董事经理拿督王玉婷、马来西亚癌症醒觉协会主席兼创办人吴婉咨医生、大马海南联合会会长拿督斯里符之庆。

吴婉咨说,资金筹集是该协会其中一项深具挑战的工作环节,改变大马不幸人士的生活。

她说,具爱心的大马人慷慨解囊,与杨紫琼携手成为天使,通过癌症醒觉运动,监测和治疗等活动,协助低收入阶层,免于受到癌症的煎熬。

马来西亚癌症醒觉协会自2009年创办以来已建癌症专业网,筹获的义款供低收入社群展开大型抗癌活动,至今已有超逾5万名大马人,通过早期癌症检测,及早发现癌症与治疗,挽救了许多性命。

via 2013年10月20日 – 癌症醒觉协会办慈善晚会 – 全国 – 南洋网.

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