23 March 2009

About Colors

Colors is truly magical !

Colors evokes emotion, stimulates the senses and creates atmosphere. Colors will transform your surroundings, alter perceptions and set moods.

Using colors in your home and surrounding yourself with a personal palette creates a calming backdrop for daily life. You can design your own comforting sanctuary to unwind and live in.

A room doesn’t have to be saturated in splashes of strong hues to achieve an impression of colors. Small accents are sometimes enough. Add some cushions, perhaps a throw or a piece of carefully selected artwork, these touches can work just as well as painting a room in a flashy colors.

When planning your colors scheme, search for inspiration from your surroundings. Perhaps you have a favourite rug or piece of china that you can use as a starting point. Mother Nature offers an abundance of inspiration; flowers, beaches, sky and earth are perfect examples of colors schemes that work - Mother Nature never gets it wrong!

When it comes to colors theory there are some useful guidelines you can follow to create your own successful scheme.

A monochromatic scheme is an easy method to follow for decorating. Choose one colors and add that colors in varying tones (deeper and lighter), perhaps adding some patterns or texture to create interest.

A complementary scheme works with colors that lie opposite each other on the colors wheel ie: blue is opposite to orange, red is opposite to green and yellow is opposite to purple. These colors contrast and when placed together create a stimulating effect. This can be a very effective technique to use in decorating.

A related scheme is using colors that lie side by side on the colors wheel. For example: greens and blues placed together or perhaps reds, oranges and yellows. Placing colors together based on a related scheme creates a subtle harmonious effect.

Take your time when designing your colors scheme, it is a creative process. Try to incorporate the whole design of your home to add a sense of flow.

Colors have a lot of significance. The world is changing. Who is the force behind this change? The whole magic is of the colors. If the color changes the nature also changes, along with the mind also changes. Change in color changes everything.

The colors influence the body, mind and emotions. The external things have more influence on the human being and the most influencing factor is color. According to Ayurveda, vata, pitta and kapha dosha are running the body or in other words they are responsible for the functioning of the body. Blue color is strengthening, cool and hence reduces heat and anxiety. Blue color cures the diseases in people predominant with pitta. Green color is blood purifier, natural and evacuates the foreign particles from the body. It subsides the diseases in a person who is chiefly of vata constitution.

Red color denotes fire element. It activates the nervous system and blood. It activates all the five sensory organs. Red rays produce heat and circulate energy in the body. Red color is energetic and active. It is good for people with kapha constitution.

If it is used again and again, it causes fever and inactivity and hence it should be combined with blue color.

White color is ideal for leading a secluded life a detached life away from world. It makes the emotions pure and pious. Yellow color activates the nerves and the muscles. It is not an independent color. It is the combination of red and green colors. It arouses the dead cells and activates them. It has the qualities to strengthen the nervous system and activate the brain. Yellow color is the color of intelligence and philosophy. It gets rid of mental weakness, disappointment and other negative qualities. It is denotes happiness and cheerfulness.

Black color is not influenced; no color can be applied on black color. Hence it is used in the courtrooms to denote unbiased judgment. According to a yogi, Vedic Sandhya includes three colors. They are red, blue and white, which denote Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Vedic Sandhya means the person who meditates all the three colors in the evening remains healthy physically and mentally

Colors maintain the balance of our body. Some people are fat while some are thin? What is the reason? The reason is color; there is imbalance of colors in their body. Excess of red color denotes thin people and that of blue color makes the person fat. Where red and blue colors are in equilibrium, that person will be beautiful, well built with good figure and balanced. Excess of red color makes the person angry and excited; less of blue color makes him selfish and self-centered. He is not bothered about others interests and losses. Red color will be useful where the matter is related to labors. The laborers can lift heavy weight easily. If the color is blue the labor will become lazy. All the organs in our body have colors. Every component has its color. Externally the skin appears to be of one color only, the person who has studied the body with depth he will understand this fact. If we are successful in our lives then we will have to pay attention on the clothes that we wear. Colors have a broad affect. The colors not only influence the mental condition but also change it. In this context an incident of Russia is very interesting. A few student of a school were very mischievous. This became a big problem for the teacher and school authorities. They were not getting the clue to their mischief. Not one or two all the students were highly mischievous. What could be the reason? Nobody was able to find the correct answer. The students who were appearing to be calm and quiet were also becoming mischievous. Lot of efforts were taken but reason for this was still mystery. At last the color specialists were called. They researched a lot. The color of the school building was red, the doors, windows, carpet, students uniform everything was red. The excess of red color increases mischief nature and hyper activity. The specialists advised that this color should be changed to green, pink or blue. The suggestion was accepted and the color was changed. The curtains, windows, doors, glasses etc. were changed. The result was astnishing as soon as the color changed the student's nature also changed. The students became calm and quiet and were well behaved. The teachers and authorities were finally relieved of their problem.

The person who concentrates to see white color he experiences that his tension is reducing, the feelings are pure and pious. The headache gets cured. What is color? It is only a light. The 49the vibration of light is called color. It is the spectrum of colors coming from the Sunrays. It has one color. Color and light are not two different things. Color is the synonym for light, which is the affect of light. If The suitable colors mix then the effect changes.

It is our daily experience that when we sit near a person we feel happy and some people's company makes us sad and unhappy. We are filled with worries. What is the reason for this? We are surrounded with an aura of light, the person who has a pure aura, is made with good colors, the surrounding and atmosphere near that person is pure and pious. When the aura is made with bad color, predominant with night colors, then we feel unhappy and a negative feeling comes in. The mind becomes sad and unhappy. According to Dr. Riben Amber the hotness and coolness of the colors can be measured. Fill the glass tumbler with water and place a thermometer, let the Sunrays fall in it. Red rays denote hot and blue rays denote coolness.

Start a scrapbook with a compilation of colors and palettes that appeal to you. Collect examples such as magazine images, pieces of fabric, leaves, feathers or colors chips. Decide what colors you love and why you love them.

Most importantly, have fun. Working with colors is an exciting and rewarding experience.

Express yourself with the magic ingredient of colors – mix together a pleasing recipe of hues and tones to live with, create a place where it always feels good to be home.

Enjoy colors - life would be boring without it!!!


Born: 15 Sept 973 in Kath, Khwarazm (now Kara-Kalpakskaya, Uzbekistan)
Died: 13 Dec 1048 in Ghazna (now Ghazni, Afganistan)

Abu Raihan al-Biruni was born in Khwarazm, a region adjoining the Aral Sea now known as Karakalpakstan. The two major cities in this region were Kath and Jurjaniyya. Al-Biruni was born near Kath and the town were he was born is today called Biruni after the great scholar. He lived both in Kath and in Jurjaniyya as he grew up and we know that he began studies at a very early age under the famous astronomer and mathematician Abu Nasr Mansur. Certainly by the age of seventeen al-Biruni was engaged in serious scientific work for it was in 990 that he computed the latitude of Kath by observing the maximum altitude of the sun.

Other work which al-Biruni undertook as a young man was more theoretical. Before 995 (when he was 22 years old) he had written a number of short works. One which has survived is his Cartography which is a work on map projections. As well as describing his own projection of a hemisphere onto a plane, al-Biruni showed that by the age of 22 he was already extremely well read for he had studied a wide selection of map projections invented by others and he discusses them in the treatise. The comparatively quiet life that al-Biruni led up to this point was to come to a sudden end. It is interesting to speculate on how different his life, and contribution to scholarship, might have been but for the change in his life forced by the political events of 995.

The end of the 10th century and beginning of the 11th century was a period of great unrest in the Islamic world and there were civil wars in the region in which al-Biruni was living. Khwarazm was at this time part of the Samanid Empire which ruled from Bukhara. Other states in the region were the Ziyarid state with its capital at Gurgan on the Caspian sea. Further west, the Buwayhid dynasty ruled over the area between the Caspian sea and the Persian Gulf, and over Mesopotamia. Another kingdom which was rapidly rising in influence was the Ghaznavids whose capital was at Ghazna in Afghanistan, a kingdom which was to play a major role in al-Biruni's life.

The Banu Iraq were the rulers of the Khwarazm region and Abu Nasr Mansur, al-Biruni's teacher, was a prince of that family. In 995 the rule by the Banu Iraq was overthrown in a coup. Al-Biruni fled at the outbreak of the civil war but it is less clear what happened to his teacher Abu Nasr Mansur at this stage. Describing these events later al-Biruni wrote [1]:-

After I had barely settled down for a few years, I was permitted by the Lord of Time to go back home, but I was compelled to participate in worldly affairs, which excited the envy of fools, but which made the wise pity me.

Exactly where al-Biruni went when he fled from Khwarazm is unclear. He might have gone to Rayy (near to where the city of Tehran stands today) at this time, but certainly he was there at some time during the following few years. He writes that he was without a patron when in Rayy, and lived in poverty. al-Khujandi was an astronomer who was working with a very large instrument he had built on the mountain above Rayy to observe meridian transits of the sun near the solstices. He made observations on 16 and 17 June 994 for the summer solstice and 14 and 17 December 994 for the winter solstice. From these values he calculated the obliquity of the ecliptic, and the latitude of Rayy but neither are particularly accurate.

Al-Khujandi discussed these observations, and his large sextant, with al-Biruni who later reported on them in his Tahdid where he claimed that the aperture of the sextant settled by about one span in the course of al-Khujandi's observations due to the weight of the instrument. Al-Biruni is almost certainly correct in pinpointing the cause of al-Khujandi's errors. Since al-Khujandi died in 1000, we can be fairly certain that al-Biruni spent part of the time between 995 and 997 at Rayy. He must also have spent part of this time in Gilan, which is bordered by the Caspian Sea on the north, for around this time he dedicated a work to the ruler of Gilan, ibn Rustam, who had connections with the Ziyarid state.

We know certain dates in al-Biruni's life with certainty for he describes astronomical events in his works which allow accurate dates and places to be determined. His description of an eclipse of the moon on 24 May 997 which he observed at Kath means that he had returned to his native country by this time. The eclipse was an event that was also visible in Baghdad and al-Biruni had arranged with Abu'l-Wafa to observe it there. Comparing their timings enabled them to calculate the difference in longitude between the cities. We know that al-Biruni moved around frequently during this period for by 1000 he was at Gurgan being supported by Qabus, the ruler of the Ziyarid state. He dedicated his work Chronology to Qabus around 1000 and he was still in Gurgan on 19 February 1003 and 14 August 1003 when he observed eclipses of the moon there. We should record that in the Chronology al-Biruni refers to seven earlier works which he had written: one on the decimal system, one on the astrolabe, one on astronomical observations, three on astrology, and two on history.

By 4 June 1004 al-Biruni was back in his homeland, for on that day he observed another eclipse of the moon from Jurjaniyya. Ali ibn Ma'mun had ruled over Khwarazm and he remained at the court when his brother Abu'l Abbas Ma'mun succeeded him as ruler. Both the Ma'mun brothers married sisters of the ruler Mahmud from the powerful state at Ghazna which would eventually take control of Abu'l Abbas Ma'mun's kingdom.

Both Ali ibn Ma'mun and Abu'l Abbas Ma'mun were patrons of the sciences and supported a number of top scientists at their court. By 1004 Abu'l Abbas Ma'mun was ruler and he provided generous support for al-Biruni's scientific work. Not only did al-Biruni work there but Abu Nasr Mansur, his former teacher also worked there, allowing the pair to renew their collaboration. With Abu'l Abbas Ma'mun's support al-Biruni built an instrument at Jurjaniyya to observe solar meridian transits and he made 15 such observations with the instrument between 7 June 1016 and 7 December 1016.

Wars in the region were to disrupt the scientific work of al-Biruni and Abu Nasr Mansur and eventually both left Khwarazm in about 1017. Mahmud was extending his influence over the region from his base in Ghazna and made a demand of Abu'l Abbas Ma'mun in 1014 to have his name inserted into the Friday prayers. This was a signal that he wanted an end to Ma'mun's rule and he was making a bid for the region to come under his control. After Ma'mun had at least partially agreed to Mahmud's demands, he was killed by his own army for what they considered to be an act of treachery. Following this Mahmud marched his army into the region and gained control of Kath on 3 July 1017. Both al-Biruni and Abu Nasr Mansur left with the victorious Mahmud, perhaps as his prisoners.

There follows a strange period during which there is evidence in al-Biruni's own writings that he suffered great hardships but he also seems to have been supported by Mahmud for some scientific work. Some reports that Mahmud was cruel to al-Biruni may have some basis despite the limited patronage al-Biruni received from the ruler. Some dates and places from this period can again be deduced from descriptions of astronomical events recorded by al-Biruni. He was in Kabul on 14 October 1018 but, despite having no instruments with which to observe, he was able to make an observation with an ingenious instrument he made from materials at hand. At Lamghan, north of Kabul, on 8 April 1019 he observed an eclipse of the sun, writing [2]:-

... at sunrise we saw that approximately one-third of the sun was eclipsed and that the eclipse was waning.

Between 1018 and 1020, supported by Mahmud, al-Biruni made observations from Ghazna which allowed an accurate determination of its latitude. On 17 September 1019 there was a lunar eclipse observed by al-Biruni from Ghazna and [2]:-

He gives precise details of the exact altitude of various well known stars at the moment of first contact.

The relationship between Mahmud and al-Biruni is interesting. It is likely that al-Biruni was essentially a prisoner of Mahmud and was not free to leave. However Mahmud's military excursions into India meant that al-Biruni was taken to that country, and there can have been few experiences that al-Biruni would have enjoyed more. He may have wished for better treatment from Mahmud but al-Biruni's scientific work certainly benefited. From around 1022 Mahmud's armies began to have success in taking control of the northern parts of India and in 1026 his armies marched to the Indian Ocean. Al-Biruni seems only to have been in the northern parts of India, and we are uncertain how many visits he made, but observations he made there enabled him to determine the latitudes of eleven towns around the Punjab and the borders of Kashmir. His most famous work India was written as a direct result of the studies he made while in that country.

The India is a massive work covering many different aspects of the country. Al-Biruni describes the religion and philosophy of India, its caste system and marriage customs. He then studies the Indian systems of writing and numbers before going on to examine the geography of the country. The book also examines Indian astronomy, astrology and the calendar.

Al-Biruni studied Indian literature in the original, translating several Sanskrit texts into Arabic. He also wrote several treatises devoted to certain aspects of Indian astronomy and mathematics which were of particular interest to him. Al-Biruni was amazingly well read, having knowledge of Sanskrit literature on topics such as astrology, astronomy, chronology, geography, grammar, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, religion, and weights and measures. See [65] for further details.

Mahmud died in 1030 and he was succeeded by his eldest son Mas'ud, although not before a difficult political situation in which the two sons of Mahmud each tried to follow their father as ruler. Clearly al-Biruni was unsure who would succeed for he chose not to give a dedication in his India which appeared at this time. Better to have no dedication than to choose the wrong one! Mas'ud proved to be a ruler who treated al-Biruni more kindly than his father had done. If al-Biruni had been a virtual prisoner before, he now seems to have become free to travel as he pleased. Mas'ud was murdered in 1040 and succeeded by his son Mawdud who ruled for eight years. By this time al-Biruni was an old man but he continued his enormous output of scientific works right up to the time of his death.

The total number of works produced by al-Biruni during his lifetime is impressive. Kennedy. writing in [1], estimates that he wrote around 146 works with a total of about 13,000 folios (a folio contains about the same amount as a printed page from a modern book). We have mentioned some of the works above, but the range of al-Biruni's works cover essentially the whole of science at his time. Kennedy writes [1]:-

... his bent was strongly towards the study of observable phenomena, in nature and in man. Within the sciences themselves he was attracted by those fields then susceptible of mathematical analysis.

We have mentioned al-Biruni's astronomical observations many time above. It is worth noting that he had a better feel for errors than did Ptolemy. In [66] the author comments that Ptolemy's attitude was to select the observations which he thought most reliable (often that meant fitting in with his theory), and not to tell the reader about observations that he was discarding. Al-Biruni, on the other hand, treats errors more scientifically and when he does chose some to be more reliable than others, he also gives the discarded observations. He was also very conscious of rounding errors in calculations, and always attempted to observe quantities which required the minimum manipulation to produce answers.

One of the most important of al-Biruni's many texts is Shadows which he is thought to have written around 1021. Rosenfel'd has written extensively on this work of al-Biruni (see for example [52], [55], and [59]). The contents of the work include the Arabic nomenclature of shade and shadows, strange phenomena involving shadows, gnomonics, the history of the tangent and secant functions, applications of the shadow functions to the astrolabe and to other instruments, shadow observations for the solution of various astronomical problems, and the shadow-determined times of Muslim prayers. Shadows is an extremely important source for our knowledge of the history of mathematics, astronomy, and physics. It also contains important ideas such as the idea that acceleration is connected with non-uniform motion, using three rectangular coordinates to define a point in 3-space, and ideas that some see as anticipating the introduction of polar coordinates.

The book [5] details the mathematical contributions of al-Biruni. These include: theoretical and practical arithmetic, summation of series, combinatorial analysis, the rule of three, irrational numbers, ratio theory, algebraic definitions, method of solving algebraic equations, geometry, Archimedes' theorems, trisection of the angle and other problems which cannot be solved with ruler and compass alone, conic sections, stereometry, stereographic projection, trigonometry, the sine theorem in the plane, and solving spherical triangles.

Important contributions to geodesy and geography were also made by al-Biruni. He introduced techniques to measure the earth and distances on it using triangulation. He found the radius of the earth to be 6339.6 km, a value not obtained in the West until the 16th century (see [50]). His Masudic canon contains a table giving the coordinates of six hundred places, almost all of which he had direct knowledge. Not all, however, were measured by al-Biruni himself, some being taken from a similar table given by al-Khwarizmi. The author of [27] remarks that al-Biruni seemed to realise that for places given by both al-Khwarizmi and Ptolemy, the value obtained by al-Khwarizmi is the more accurate.

Al-Biruni also wrote a treatise on time-keeping, wrote several treatises on the astrolabe and describes a mechanical calendar. He makes interesting observations on the velocity of light, stating that its velocity is immense compared with that of sound. He also describes the Milky Way as

... a collection of countless fragments of the nature of nebulous stars.

Topics in physics that were studied by al-Biruni included hydrostatics and made very accurate measurements of specific weights. He described the ratios between the densities of gold, mercury, lead, silver, bronze, copper, brass, iron, and tin. Al-Biruni displayed the results as combinations of integers and numbers of the form 1/n, n = 2, 3, 4, ... , 10.

Many of al-Biruni's ideas were worked out in discussions and arguments with other scholars. He had a long-standing collaboration with his teacher Abu Nasr Mansur, each asking the other to undertake specific pieces of work to support their own. He corresponded with Avicenna, in a rather confrontational fashion, about the nature of heat and light. In [4], eighteen letters which Avicenna sent to al-Biruni in answer to questions that he had posed are given. These letters cover topics such as philosophy, astronomy and physics. Al-Biruni also corresponded with al-Sijzi. The paper [10] contains a letter that al-Biruni wrote to al-Sijzi (translated into English in [63]) which contains proofs of both the plane and spherical versions of the sine theorem. Al-Biruni says were due to his teacher Abu Nasr Mansur.

Finally we should say a little about the personality of this great scholar. In contrast with the works of many others, we find out a lot about al-Biruni from his writings. Despite the fact that no more than one fifth of his works have survived, we get a clear picture of the great scientist. We see a man who was not a great innovator of original theories, mathematical or otherwise, but rather a careful observer who was a leading exponent of the experimental method. He was a great linguist who was able to read first hand an amazing number of the treatises that existed and he clearly saw the development of science as part of a historical process which he is always careful to put in proper context. His writings are therefore of great interest to historians of science.

It appears clear that, despite his many works on astrology, al-Biruni did not believe in the 'science' but used it as a means to support his serious scientific work. A devout Muslim, he did write religious texts to suit his patrons particular sect. He shows no prejudice against different religious sects or races, but he does have strong words to say about various acts they committed. For example the Arab conquerors of Khwarazm destroyed ancient texts - what sin could be worse than that to the scholar as dedicated to learning and history as was al-Biruni. On the Christian faith al-Biruni considered the doctrine of forgiveness, writing in India [1]:-

Upon my life, this is a noble philosophy, but the people of this world are not all philosophers. ... And indeed, ever since Constantine the Victorious became a Christian, both sword and whip have been ever employed.

An indication of the sarcasm that he employed against those he saw to be foolish we give the reply that he made to a religious man who objected to the fact that an instrument which al-Biruni was showing him to determine the time for prayers had Byzantine months engraved on it. Al-Biruni reports in Shadows that he said to him:-

The Byzantines also eat food. Then do not imitate them in this!

Abu Raihan Mohammad Ibn Ahmad al-Biruni was one of the well-known figures associated with the court of King Mahmood Ghaznawi, who was one of the famous Muslim kings of the 11th century C.E. Al-Biruni was a versatile scholar and scientist who had equal facility in physics, metaphysics, mathematics, geography and history. Born in the city of Kheva near "Ural" in 973 C.E., he was a contemporary of the well-known physician Ibn Sina. At an early age, the fame of his scholarship went around and when Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi conquered his homeland, he took al-Biruni along with him in his journeys to India several times and thus he had the opportunity to travel all over India during a period of 20 years. He learnt Hindu philosophy, mathematics, geography and religion from thre Pandits to whom he taught Greek and Arabic science and philosophy. He died in 1048 C.E. at the age of 75, after having spent 40 years in thus gathering knowledge and making his own original contributions to it.

He recorded observations of his travels through India in his well-known book Kitab al-Hind which gives a graphic account of the historical and social conditions of the sub-continent. At the end of this book he makes a mention of having translated two Sanskrit books into Arabic, one called Sakaya, which deals with the creation of things and their types, and the second, Patanjal dealing with what happens after the spirit leaves the body. His descriptions of India were so complete that even the Aein-i-Akbari written by Abu-al- Fadal during the reign of Akbar, 600 years later, owes a great deal to al-Biruni's book. He observed that the Indus valley must be considered as an ancient sea basin filled up with alluvials.

On his return from India, al-Biruni wrote his famous book Qanun-i Masoodi (al-Qanun al-Masudi, fi al-Hai'a wa al-Nujum), which he dedicated to Sultan Masood. The book discusses several theories of astronomy, trigonometry, solar, lunar, and planetary motions and relative topics. In another well-known book al-Athar al-Baqia, he has attempted a connected account of ancient history of nations and the related geographical knowledge. In this book, he has discussed the rotation of the earth and has given correct values of latitudes and longitudes of various places. He has also made considerable contribution to several aspects of physical and economic geography in this book.

His other scientific contributions include the accurate determination of the densities of 18 different stones. He also wrote the Kitab-al-Saidana, which is an extensive materia medica that combines the then existing Arabic knowledge on the subject with the Indian medicine. His book the Kitab-al-Jamahir deals with the properties of various precious stones. He was also an astrologer and is reputed to have astonished people by the accuracy of his predictions. He gave a clear account of Hindu numerals, elaborating the principle of position. Summation of a geometric progression appropos of the chess game led to the number:

1616° - 1 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,619.

He developed a method for trisection of angle and other problems which cannot be solved with a ruler and a compass alone. Al-Biruni discussed, centuries before the rest of the world, the question whether the earth rotates around its axis or not. He was the first to undertake experiments related to astronomical phenomena. His scientific method, taken together with that of other Muslim scientists, such as Ibn al-Haitham, laid down the early foundation of modern science. He ascertained that as compared with the speed of sound the speed of light is immense. He explained the working of natural springs and artesian wells by the hydrostatic principle of communicating vessels. His investigations included description of various monstrosities, including that known as "Siamese" twins. He observed that flowers have 3,4,5,6, or 18 petals, but never 7 or 9.

He wrote a number of books and treatises. Apart from Kitab-al- Hind (History and Geography of India), al-Qanun al-Masudi (Astro- nomy, Trigonometry), al-Athar al-Baqia (Ancient History and Geography), Kitab al-Saidana (Materia Medica) and Kitab al-Jawahir (Precious Stones) as mentioned above, his book al-Tafhim-li-Awail Sina'at al-Tanjim gives a summary of mathematics and astronomy.

He has been considered as one of the very greatest scientists of Islam, and, all considered, one of the greatest of all times. His critical spirit, love of truth, and scientific approach were combined with a sense of toleration. His enthusiasm for knowledge may be judged from his claim that the phrase Allah is Omniscient does not justify ignorance.

Sir Isaac Newton

Newton, Sir Isaac (1642-1727), mathematician and physicist, one of the foremost scientific intellects of all time. Born at Woolsthorpe, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, where he attended school, he entered Cambridge University in 1661; he was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1667, and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669. He remained at the university, lecturing in most years, until 1696. Of these Cambridge years, in which Newton was at the height of his creative power, he singled out 1665-1666 (spent largely in Lincolnshire because of plague in Cambridge) as "the prime of my age for invention". During two to three years of intense mental effort he prepared Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) commonly known as the Principia, although this was not published until 1687.

As a firm opponent of the attempt by King James II to make the universities into Catholic institutions, Newton was elected Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge to the Convention Parliament of 1689, and sat again in 1701-1702. Meanwhile, in 1696 he had moved to London as Warden of the Royal Mint. He became Master of the Mint in 1699, an office he retained to his death. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1671, and in 1703 he became President, being annually re-elected for the rest of his life. His major work, Opticks, appeared the next year; he was knighted in Cambridge in 1705.

As Newtonian science became increasingly accepted on the Continent, and especially after a general peace was restored in 1714, following the War of the Spanish Succession, Newton became the most highly esteemed natural philosopher in Europe. His last decades were passed in revising his major works, polishing his studies of ancient history, and defending himself against critics, as well as carrying out his official duties. Newton was modest, diffident, and a man of simple tastes. He was angered by criticism or opposition, and harboured resentment; he was harsh towards enemies but generous to friends. In government, and at the Royal Society, he proved an able administrator. He never married and lived modestly, but was buried with great pomp in Westminster Abbey.

Newton has been regarded for almost 300 years as the founding examplar of modern physical science, his achievements in experimental investigation being as innovative as those in mathematical research. With equal, if not greater, energy and originality he also plunged into chemistry, the early history of Western civilization, and theology; among his special studies was an investigation of the form and dimensions, as described in the Bible, of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

In 1664, while still a student, Newton read recent work on optics and light by the English physicists Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke; he also studied both the mathematics and the physics of the French philosopher and scientist René Descartes. He investigated the refraction of light by a glass prism; developing over a few years a series of increasingly elaborate, refined, and exact experiments, Newton discovered measurable, mathematical patterns in the phenomenon of colour. He found white light to be a mixture of infinitely varied coloured rays (manifest in the rainbow and the spectrum), each ray definable by the angle through which it is refracted on entering or leaving a given transparent medium. He correlated this notion with his study of the interference colours of thin films (for example, of oil on water, or soap bubbles), using a simple technique of extreme acuity to measure the thickness of such films. He held that light consisted of streams of minute particles. From his experiments he could infer the magnitudes of the transparent "corpuscles" forming the surfaces of bodies, which, according to their dimensions, so interacted with white light as to reflect, selectively, the different observed colours of those surfaces.

The roots of these unconventional ideas were with Newton by about 1668; when first expressed (tersely and partially) in public in 1672 and 1675, they provoked hostile criticism, mainly because colours were thought to be modified forms of homogeneous white light. Doubts, and Newton's rejoinders, were printed in the learned journals. Notably, the scepticism of Christiaan Huygens and the failure of the French physicist Edmé Mariotte to duplicate Newton's refraction experiments in 1681 set scientists on the Continent against him for a generation. The publication of Opticks, largely written by 1692, was delayed by Newton until the critics were dead. The book was still imperfect: the colours of diffraction defeated Newton. Nevertheless, Opticks established itself, from about 1715, as a model of the interweaving of theory with quantitative experimentation.

In mathematics too, early brilliance appeared in Newton's student notes. He may have learnt geometry at school, though he always spoke of himself as self-taught; certainly he advanced through studying the writings of his compatriots William Oughtred and John Wallis, and of Descartes and the Dutch school. Newton made contributions to all branches of mathematics then studied, but is especially famous for his solutions to the contemporary problems in analytical geometry of drawing tangents to curves (differentiation) and defining areas bounded by curves (integration). Not only did Newton discover that these problems were inverse to each other, but he discovered general methods of resolving problems of curvature, embraced in his "method of fluxions" and "inverse method of fluxions", respectively equivalent to Leibniz's later differential and integral calculus. Newton used the term "fluxion" (from Latin meaning "flow") because he imagined a quantity "flowing" from one magnitude to another. Fluxions were expressed algebraically, as Leibniz's differentials were, but Newton made extensive use also (especially in the Principia) of analogous geometrical arguments. Late in life, Newton expressed regret for the algebraic style of recent mathematical progress, preferring the geometrical method of the Classical Greeks, which he regarded as clearer and more rigorous.

Newton's work on pure mathematics was virtually hidden from all but his correspondents until 1704, when he published, with Opticks, a tract on the quadrature of curves (integration) and another on the classification of the cubic curves. His Cambridge lectures, delivered from about 1673 to 1683, were published in 1707.

The Calculus Priority Dispute
Newton had the essence of the methods of fluxions by 1666. The first to become known, privately, to other mathematicians, in 1668, was his method of integration by infinite series. In Paris in 1675 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz independently evolved the first ideas of his differential calculus, outlined to Newton in 1677. Newton had already described some of his mathematical discoveries to Leibniz, not including his method of fluxions. In 1684 Leibniz published his first paper on calculus; a small group of mathematicians took up his ideas.

In the 1690s Newton's friends proclaimed the priority of Newton's methods of fluxions. Supporters of Leibniz asserted that he had communicated the differential method to Newton, although Leibniz had claimed no such thing. Newtonians then asserted, rightly, that Leibniz had seen papers of Newton's during a London visit in 1676; in reality, Leibniz had taken no notice of material on fluxions. A violent dispute sprang up, part public, part private, extended by Leibniz to attacks on Newton's theory of gravitation and his ideas about God and creation; it was not ended even by Leibniz's death in 1716. The dispute delayed the reception of Newtonian science on the Continent, and dissuaded British mathematicians from sharing the researches of Continental colleagues for a century.

According to the well-known story, it was on seeing an apple fall in his orchard at some time during 1665 or 1666 that Newton conceived that the same force governed the motion of the Moon and the apple. He calculated the force needed to hold the Moon in its orbit, as compared with the force pulling an object to the ground. He also calculated the centripetal force needed to hold a stone in a sling, and the relation between the length of a pendulum and the time of its swing. These early explorations were not soon exploited by Newton, though he studied astronomy and the problems of planetary motion.

Correspondence with Hooke (1679-1680) redirected Newton to the problem of the path of a body subjected to a centrally directed force that varies as the inverse square of the distance; he determined it to be an ellipse, so informing Edmond Halley in August 1684. Halley's interest led Newton to demonstrate the relationship afresh, to compose a brief tract on mechanics, and finally to write the Principia.

Book I of the Principia states the foundations of the science of mechanics, developing upon them the mathematics of orbital motion round centres of force. Newton identified gravitation as the fundamental force controlling the motions of the celestial bodies. He never found its cause. To contemporaries who found the idea of attractions across empty space unintelligible, he conceded that they might prove to be caused by the impacts of unseen particles.

Book II inaugurates the theory of fluids: Newton solves problems of fluids in movement and of motion through fluids. From the density of air he calculated the speed of sound waves.

Book III shows the law of gravitation at work in the universe: Newton demonstrates it from the revolutions of the six known planets, including the Earth, and their satellites. However, he could never quite perfect the difficult theory of the Moon's motion. Comets were shown to obey the same law; in later editions, Newton added conjectures on the possibility of their return. He calculated the relative masses of heavenly bodies from their gravitational forces, and the oblateness of Earth and Jupiter, already observed. He explained tidal ebb and flow and the precession of the equinoxes from the forces exerted by the Sun and Moon. All this was done by exact computation.

Newton's work in mechanics was accepted at once in Britain, and universally after half a century. Since then it has been ranked among humanity's greatest achievements in abstract thought. It was extended and perfected by others, notably Pierre Simon de Laplace, without changing its basis and it survived into the late 19th century before it began to show signs of failing. See Quantum Theory; Relativity.

Newton left a mass of manuscripts on the subjects of alchemy and chemistry, then closely related topics. Most of these were extracts from books, bibliographies, dictionaries, and so on, but a few are original. He began intensive experimentation in 1669, continuing till he left Cambridge, seeking to unravel the meaning that he hoped was hidden in alchemical obscurity and mysticism. He sought understanding of the nature and structure of all matter, formed from the "solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles" that he believed God had created. Most importantly in the "Queries" appended to "Opticks" and in the essay "On the Nature of Acids" (1710), Newton published an incomplete theory of chemical force, concealing his exploration of the alchemists, which became known a century after his death.

Newton owned more books on humanistic learning than on mathematics and science; all his life he studied them deeply. His unpublished "classical scholia"—explanatory notes intended for use in a future edition of the Principia—reveal his knowledge of pre-Socratic philosophy; he read the Fathers of the Church even more deeply. Newton sought to reconcile Greek mythology and record with the Bible, considered the prime authority on the early history of mankind. In his work on chronology he undertook to make Jewish and pagan dates compatible, and to fix them absolutely from an astronomical argument about the earliest constellation figures devised by the Greeks. He put the fall of Troy at 904 BC, about 500 years later than other scholars; this was not well received.

Newton also wrote on Judaeo-Christian prophecy, whose decipherment was essential, he thought, to the understanding of God. His book on the subject, which was reprinted well into the Victorian Age, represented lifelong study. Its message was that Christianity went astray in the 4th century AD, when the first Council of Nicaea propounded erroneous doctrines of the nature of Christ. The full extent of Newton's unorthodoxy was recognized only in the present century: but although a critic of accepted Trinitarian dogmas and the Council of Nicaea, he possessed a deep religious sense, venerated the Bible and accepted its account of creation. In late editions of his scientific works he expressed a strong sense of God's providential role in nature.

Newton published an edition of Geographia generalis by the German geographer Varenius in 1672. His own letters on optics appeared in print from 1672 to 1676. Then he published nothing until the Principia (published in Latin in 1687; revised in 1713 and 1726; and translated into English in 1729). This was followed by Opticks in 1704; a revised edition in Latin appeared in 1706. Posthumously published writings include The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended (1728), The System of the World (1728), the first draft of Book III of the Principia, and Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St John (1733).

Contributed By:
Alfred Rupert Hall

How to Improve and Challenge Your Memory

Are there exercises to enhance memory or gain photographic memory?

Well before we consider if there are any exercises to enhance memory or gain photographic memory we need to be sure that we’re singing from the same sheet. What is photographic memory; if there is such a thing.

There is plenty of debate about whether the concept of a photographic memory even exists and many so-called experts often confuse someone’s claim of having one with eidetic memory. Perhaps because of the misnomer of photographic memory, some researchers believe that people who have the ability to remember small details are claiming to have total recall that lasts more than two or three minutes.

The test for eidetic memory was devised to test the concept of a photographic memory, in that a person is given 30 seconds to scan an image. The image is then removed and the person attempts to recreate the image in their mind and relate what they see.

Very few individuals have been able to repeat the image in clear detail and after a few minutes could only offer a rough outline. Based on these types of test, these researchers are claiming that photographic memory is a myth.

Despite the conclusions drawn by these experts, there are numerous people who have demonstrated that photographic memory is very real and very possible. The basic theory is that people have enhanced memory capabilities enabling them to remember things longer that most, instead of actually taking a picture with their brain.

Memory Traits Can Be Expanded

The idea of someone having a photographic memory is more dominant in children who can often recall something they have seen in vivid detail. Unfortunately, as they grow older outside influences disrupt the memory process replacing the older images, or memories, with new thoughts or visions. It is believed that adults have so many interruptions in their daily lives to collect effectively information in their “mind’s eye” to be able to store enough detail in their memory.

There are numerous resources that can help individuals capitalize on their memory abilities and train themselves to have a virtual photographic memory. Memory course have been around for several years to help people with recall of important information such as names and dates, and through this training develop what is sometimes termed as a photographic memory.

Those who claim to have an eidetic memory, the ability to recall an image in detail after seeing it only once, are extremely rare while those with what they believe to be a photographic memory can recall detailed information as though they were actually looking at the information embedded in their brain. It is presumed their expanded memory capabilities allow them to form an image of the information they are trying to recall.

Challenge your memory and gain with brain games and exercises.

Writer Nancy Christie at EverydayHealth.com recently interviewed me about the increasing popularity of brain games and their benefits. When it comes to brain games or memory exercises, I tell my patients to “use it and keep it.”

By challenging your brain with new exercises or games, you strengthen such cognitive skills as the ability to remember something, solve a problem, or use a particular strategy to win a game. We posted tips in our blog entry called Challenge Your Memory: Use It or Lose It.

If you are in the market for a game or just looking for an activity to challenge your brain, I recommend finding something that will help you engage in several mental processes at one time. For example, look for games and activities that require you to utilize skills such as problem solving and memory retention challenges. I also recommend using your five senses - hearing, touch, taste, smell, and sight - by engaging in something new several times a week such as trying new cologne or take a walk through a new park. Challenging the brain with new experiences will wake up the unused parts of the brain to keep it sharper and healthier. In other words, “use it and keep it.”

What brain games, exercises or activities have you tried? Would you recommend them to others? Have you noticed improvement in your memory?

13 March 2009

The Effect of Prayer -Salah (Sholat)

Many organizations for youth provide hotlines and 24-hour phone services to help teenagers to get rid of feelings of depression and its destructive impact on life activities.

Did you ever think that we as Muslims have our own hotline? Our hotline is Prayer— salah (sholat). Salah (Sholat) is an emergency hotline that you can pick up at any time and ask for any help you might need.

Salah—the second pillar of Islam—is a gift from Allah to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Ummah—including you. So enjoy this gift and invest in it well. It is a connection between Allah and you. You can talk to Allah and ask for His guidance in any problem you face. You can even complain to Him about something you are expecting or afraid of. That is why some of the scholars said, “If you want to talk to Allah, make salah. And if you want Allah to talk to you, recite the Qur’an.”

We believe that Allah is our only Creator and that He is the One Who can guide us to what is best for us. So He is the One Who can fix our troubles, the One we can rely on in times of hardships and thank in times of ease.

Allah ordained salah—your gift—five times a day as a way of maintaining and fixing your heart, soul, and body. Likewise, you can pray at any time once you feel that you need a counselor or a guide to show you to the right path.

If someone invents a machine and sells it to you, you have to go to him regularly to maintain it and to fix any problem. You may not be aware of the problem, as you are simply the user, but he is aware of it as the inventor. And if something gets broken or out of order in this machine, you will go to him to fix it even if it is not time for its regular maintenance.
Seeking peace and calmness begins within you. You will never have outer peace if you don’t have inner peace. Allah says [and stand before Allah in a devout frame of mind] (Al-Baqarah 2:238). So you should approach salah in peace, pray it in peace, and finish it in peace, because salah gives you a break, both mentally and physically, from the daily stresses of life and in this way you will obtain peace.

If you are thinking of an important issue that you have to decide about but you can’t make up your mind, just give your mind a break from tension and pressure and perform a prayer seeking Allah’s guidance. This will provide your soul with comfort and give your mind a break and help you to think more clearly and practically about the situation that you are faced with. As Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told Bilal, “Call for the prayers, it will comfort us.”

Furthermore, salah cleanses your soul of any daily sins and helps you to get rid of feelings of guilt that are one of main reasons of depression. So when you perform salah and ask for Allah’s forgiveness with a regretful heart, you will have all your sins forgiven, in sha’ Allah.

Physically, the different positions you take in salah have a great impact on strengthening your muscles. Also, performing salah activates and stretches your spine, which contains most of the nerves and energy centers of the body.

Moreover, Allah ordained ablution (wudu’) before performing salah because it prepares you to meet Allah in the best condition.

[O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer wash your faces and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles.] (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

Wudu’ also has a great effect on the health of your body and soul. It not only gets rid of impurities, but also sins. As our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us, when a Muslim makes wudu’ in the proper way, the sins he or she has committed come out of every part cleaned and leaves it pure.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever makes wudu’ and makes it well, his sins come out from his body, even coming out from under his nails.” (Muslim 3/133 and others)
Your body is exposed to millions of germs and microbes during the day, and the water of wudu’ keeps the skin fresh and helps prevent infections. It also releases stress, so when you argue with someone, all you need to do is just make wudu’ and then you will feel calm and able to have a fruitful discussion with him or her.

Now is time to start! Never complain that salah is not fulfilling your demands, for you are the one who should invest Allah’s gift in the best way. And be sure that Allah guides you to the best even if it is not what you want. Also Allah likes you to continue asking with a sincere heart; thus salah will never fail you unless you fail salah first by neglecting it or doing it insincerely.

Just Smile

Smiles -the secret to charisma- one of the greatest gift that God have ever deposited into the emotional reservoir of mankind, but it is shocking and alarming that we allow such a valuable endowment to waste away every blessed day.

Lots of individual would have change their situation and atmosphere if they can wear a little bit of smile everyday. Smiles are one of the greatest means of communication, yet the amazing and incredible thing about it is that it can be gotten and used at no cost!

What is smile?

Before we begin to analyze some of the powerful effects of smiles, I think it will be helpful for us to understand the meaning of this power means of communication known as smile.

Smile is said to be a facial expression in which the corners of the mouth are raised, usually expressing amusement, pleasure, or approval.

We are going to be looking at some of the amazing things that we can easily accomplish with our free and simple but yet a dynamic smile. You will be startle at what you can do with your smile or rather what your smile would do for you.

Effects of Smile.

The following are the effects of smiles:

1. Make an individual approachable.
The first you will be able to achieve without stress with your smile is the ability to be approachable. Have you noticed that when you give a little smile, especially to a person you are meeting for the first time, it prompts such a fellow to open up and want to relate with you?

The reason for this is quite simple, it is because your smiles is telling the other person that you are an interesting person to be around with, and tell me who doesn’t want to be around a happy fellow?

I personally discovered this to be true. Human are emotional being, and we most times talk through our emotions than gestures, verbal or any other means of communication that we might have available or would rather want to use.

And there is something interesting about this, it gives you the opportunity to connect emotionally to the person you are communicating with, the emotional bonding found in this kind of act is very influential and commanding.

So, giving away some smiles will boost your image and personality, which would want everyone to be around you. Why don’t you give it a trial and see the effect.

2. It improves your physiognomy.
There is a saying that goes like this "I have never seen a smiling face that is not beautiful".

This is exceptionally true and factual. I also personally discovered that smiling make me look more handsome that I would ordinarily look.

This explains the reason why actors, model and influential people do express some bit of smile; this is quite powerful and effective. One powerful effect that smiles will have on you is to improve or uplift that facial expression or yours.

Check this out, try to remember those people that you consider ugly and unattractive, you will notice they look more eye-catching and striking when they wear just a simple smile. The reason is not far fetched, this is the same principle we have discovered and it is simple. A smile improves your physiognomy!

3. Changes your Atmosphere.
This is very effective and powerful. Do you know you can drastically change your atmosphere through a simple smile? This is might sound easy and cheap, but I tell you, it’s quite incredible as this aspect have been utilized without much notice and awareness.

Do you remember finding yourself in an unpleasant, obnoxious and horrible situation? And possibly by chance you stumble on something that stimulates that unused effective communicative tool in you, how do you feel thereafter when you released that idyllic smile, you feel relaxed and fulfilled.

That is exactly what a simple smile can do for you. It gives you an opportunity to re-create your atmosphere at will. This is quite interesting, this implies that you can easily place yourself right there in your own world of pleasure and bliss, and guess what you can achieve this without any formal training and it’s absolutely free of charge!

4. Make somebody’s day.
Another powerful thing you can achieve with you smiles is making somebody’s day, and I bet it you will never be forgotten for simple that act.

Looking around your neighborhood, office or even your home you will discover that there are lots of people that are desperately stressed and need some sort of encouragement to move on, those individuals awaits your smile to make their day. You never can tell the power and effects of your smile on such individual until you extend your smile to them.

I have lots of people tell me that they would have made more imparts on their society if only they have sufficient funds. Some even conclude that they would have loved to give but they do not have money to do just that.

But I bet to that there is something you have that can be given at will, and that is your smiles. You can make much impart by just smiling towards an individual today. And as you would realize that this cost you nothing except you willingness and your interest.

By sending out that smile, what you are doing is that, you are telling the person that he is worth your attention and time even though it is petite and short. Merely giving an attention to smile or return a smile is a great thing that could ever happen to an individual. So by doing that you are already making an impart that is more than having a fund. Because at times you might run out of funds, but never can run out of smiles!

So, why don’t you make somebody’s day through your smile? They are waiting just for that smile of yours to motivate them to the next level. You will everly be grateful you did.

The best SMILE!

A smile has to be sincere and the eyes have to smile too (wrinkles arond eyes). Look in the mirror and look at your eyes when you smile to see what i'm talking about, the secret of a perfect smile is behind out eyes. Practice your smile a little using a mirror, untill you find a sincere warm smile. After that you can go out and smile to others and achive positive feed back. Of course smiling like a clown every time when you're with someone makes you look awkward, so control your smile. The point is not to smile to get others to see you smiling, but to smile to make yourself feel better. Try smiling even when you don't have anyting to smile about just have a good time by yourself. A simple act like that can take you only 1 second, and change your mood.If you smile and have a positive atitudine you can change others moods, because moods are contagious.

How to Ease Migraine

If you suffer from migraines; you like the rest of us who suffer want to do anything and everything to possibly stop them.

Use these little suggestions to help improve your life.

Pillow: Make sure your pillow is firm to provide good neck support, for posture and also to prevent migraines.

Sleep: Try and sleep the same time of day or night, for the same length of time.

Outdoor activities: Direct sunlight is a known trigger, so try to stay out of direct sunlight during its peak hours which are 10 to 2 no matter where you live.

Sunlight reflecting of the snow will also trigger a migraine for some people.

Indoor activities: Staring at a computer or television screen is a known trigger so limit these activities. Also sitting at a table which reflects a ceiling fan is also a known trigger.

Food triggers: Keep a notebook of your known triggers and limit those foods that cause them. Food triggers are a huge cause of migraines and unfortunately most people don't even realize how certain foods cause them.

Use Feverfew: I know what you are thinking. I didn't use natural stuff in the past but this one works. The way this works is as a preventive medicine.

When a migraine occurs you can use one of these:
Heat therapy, a hot shower makes some migraines go away and some people prefer rice bags, which you create and pop in the microwave for a few minutes.

Cold therapy, sometimes an ice pack is what is needed.

Pressure Therapy
The trick is to make the towel or piece of material tight on your head thereby creating a pressure wrap.

Menthol Oil
A nurse at work whose father was a patient would come in to the facility nightly put a dab of menthol oil on her father's temple. She would put a dab on either side of his temple and she said this worked for him for most of the 92 years that he lived. If she still did this when he could no longer make his needs known, I believe as a nurse she knew it worked.

Over the counter medicines
Take them but chase them down with a cola. The caffeine, aspirin and Tylenol combination actually helps to ease a migraine that is thumping.

Turn the radio of fan on make sure it is on white noise, also called static. The fan will make the same sound and will help you out. No clue why but it does work for some migraines.

Neck Massage
It does help and the one doing the massage will feel the knot of bunched up muscles. The pressure will make your head feel as if it will burst when the massage first begins but please figure out a way to keep the massage going within a few minutes you will begin to feel better.

What can family members do when your loved one is experiencing a migraine?

1.) Leave them alone and let them recover.

2.) Keep the noise to a minimum. However do not whisper to a sufferer.

3.) Make the bedroom dark as you can, but make sure they can still see a bit for safety reasons.

4.) Get to know the food triggers and limit them yourself; this will help the sufferer immeasurably knowing the pain foods are not served on a daily basis.

5.) Educate yourself on migraines so that you can help your loved one effectively.

6.) Be there as a right hand, silently helping them with meds, cool drinks, heating the rice pack, ice packs or what ever else you can do to help.

7.) Don't take their bad attitude to heart, please know that our headaches are awful and what ever we say in response to you is ONLY a reflection of the pain we are going through.

10 March 2009

Nearsightedness (Myopia)

What is nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common cause of blurred vision. If you are nearsighted, objects in the distance appear blurry and out of focus. You might squint or frown when trying to see distant objects clearly. View a photo as seen through a normal and a nearsighted eye.

Nearsightedness is usually a variation from normal, not a disease. Less often, nearsightedness happens because of another disease or condition.

What causes nearsightedness?

Most nearsightedness is caused by a natural change in the shape of the eyeball that makes the eyeball oval (egg-shaped) rather than round. Less often, nearsightedness may be caused by a change in the cornea or the lens.

These problems cause light rays entering the eye to focus in front of the retina. Normally, light focuses directly on the retina. See a picture of the parts of the eye.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of nearsightedness is blurred vision when looking at distant objects. You may have trouble clearly seeing images or words on a blackboard, movie screen, or television. This can lead to poor school, athletic, or work performance.

You may think your child is nearsighted if he or she squints or frowns or holds books or other objects very close to his or her face. Children who are nearsighted may sit at the front of the classroom or very close to the TV or movie screen. They may not be interested in sports or other activities that require good distance vision.
How is nearsightedness diagnosed?

A routine eye exam can show whether you are nearsighted. The eye exam includes questions about your eyesight and a physical exam of your eyes. Ophthalmoscopy, tonometry, a slit lamp exam, and other vision tests are also part of a routine eye exam.

Eye exams should be done for new babies and at all well-child visits.1 Nearsightedness most commonly begins in childhood or in the early teens (between the ages of 8 and 14), so it is usually first discovered in children of grade-school age.

Nearsightedness can be mild, moderate, or high.

How is it treated?

Eyeglasses or contact lenses can help correct nearsightedness. Surgery can also be done to change the shape of the cornea or to implant artificial lenses in the eyes to reduce or fix nearsightedness.

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a big problem for many children. This difficulty with distance vision interferes with many daily activities, including learning at school. And as they grow, many children experience progressive myopia, which means the problem gets worse over time.

Using Rigid Contact Lenses

Over the years, several studies seemed to indicate that myopia could be controlled by wearing rigid gas permeable or RGP contact lenses. (Now more eye care practitioners are calling them GP contact lenses.) The idea was that the rigid contact lens would act as a splint to fortify the front of the eye without affecting the overall corneal shape. The lens would reduce myopic progression, as compared with wearing eyeglasses or soft contact lenses.

This idea was controversial, and some eyecare practitioners scoffed. Since many of the studies were flawed because of inadequate controls of important variables, incomplete follow-up and poor selection of study participants, their results were inconclusive.

Finally, the Contact Lens and Myopia Progression (CLAMP) study published its findings in 2004. The CLAMP study, funded by the National Eye Institute, followed myopia progression in more than a hundred children aged 8 to 11 over a three-year period. Some wore rigid GP contact lenses, while others wore soft lenses. The researchers measured the participants' visual acuity as well as the physical growth of their eyes. In myopic people, the eyeball grows longer than normally, with a steeper cornea; this longer axial length is what causes the blurred distance vision.

The GP lens wearers did show less myopia progression, but it was only temporary. Their eyes continued to grow as long as the eyes of the soft lens wearers, and since the GP lenses were not able to slow or stop the growth, they could not provide permanent myopia reduction. A clinical trial conducted in Singapore reached a similar conclusion.

One difficulty in proving that wearing GP lenses definitely retards myopia lies in not knowing how nearsighted someone would be without such treatment. It's not an exact science: practitioners can't say that your child would have progressed to a prescription of -8.50 diopters if he hadn't worn GP lenses to control myopia. On the other hand, myopia does seem to run in families, and if most of the family members are very myopic, it's not unreasonable to suppose your child will eventually become very myopic as well.
Undercorrecting Myopia

Some eye doctors have tried undercorrecting nearsightedness, in hopes of reducing near focusing strain that has been suggested as a cause of progressive myopia. A recent study failed to support this idea, finding no statistically significant difference between those who received full correction and those who received undercorrection. Two other studies found that undercorrecting nearsightedness actually increased the rate of its progression.

Another study, the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial (COMET), has been testing the idea of using eyeglasses with bifocal lenses or progressive lenses to reduce the eye focusing needed for sustained near vision. So far it has found that progressive lenses, compared with regular single vision lenses, did slow myopia progression in children by a small, statistically significant amount during the first year. But the effect wasn't significant in the next two years.

Undercorrecting myopia is therefore not a proven strategy for slowing the progression of nearsightedness in children. It also has the disadvantage of causing blurred distance vision if the treatment is performed with single vision lenses.

Atropine and Pirenzepine Drug Therapies

Several studies have shown that atropine eye drops can reduce myopia progression by temporarily paralyzing the ifocusing muscle inside the eye. (Atropine also causes the pupil to dilate widely.) One such study is the Atropine in the Treatment of Myopia (ATOM) study, which tested 400 children aged 6 to 12 over a two-year period.

So why isn't atropine a standard treatment for myopia? The focusing paralysis and pupil dilation caused by atropine cause light sensitivity and reduce children's ability to perform well at school and during sports. Plus, a constantly dilated pupil looks odd, a problem for kids because they tend to want to fit in, not stand out from the crowd.

Pirenzepine gel has also shown potential as a drug therapy for slowing myopia progression, but it is not FDA-approved, and, like atropine, it has unwanted side effects.
Corneal Reshaping with CRT

With Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), children (and adults) wear special contact lenses overnight to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness. Normally, you wear them every night to see clearly throughout the next day without them. But the effect is not permanent: if you stop wearing the lenses altogether, your eyes will gradually slide back into most, if not all, of your former nearsightedness.

The Longitudinal Orthokeratology Research in Children (LORIC) study, published in 2005, tested whether these contact lenses could slow myopia progression, even if they couldn't permanently correct all the myopia already in place. The authors of the two-year pilot study concluded that corneal reshaping can have both a corrective and a control effect in childhood nearsightedness.

A new study, called the Corneal Reshaping and Yearly Observation of Nearsightedness (CRAYON) study, is now underway and has confirmed that corneal reshaping with specially designed gas permeable contact lenses does indeed slow eye growth in myopic children at one year of treatment. Stay tuned for further results.

The Special Quality of Black Tea

Guru Besar Pangan dan Gizi Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) Prof Dr Ali Khomsan MS dan ahli kesehatan jantung Dr Mohammad Taufik Spj dalam sebuah diskusi tentang teh, di Bogor, belum lama ini mengemukakan, teh hitam (black tea) juga berkhasiat sama seperti teh hijau karena kandungan radikal bebas yang terkandung di dalamnya.

"Memang benar teh hitam mempunyai manfaat seperti menurunkan risiko kanker, mencegah jantung koroner, mencegah penuaan, dan juga bisa menurunkan kadar kolesterol dalam darah," kata Prof Dr Ali Khomsan.

Prof Ali menjelaskan, dari berbagai referensi, diketahui bahwa teh hitam yang selama ini dikonsumsi masyarakat kita cukup banyak mengandung komponen senyawa yang baik bagi tubuh. Utamanya adalah antioksidan serta Theaflavin cukup tinggi. Senyawa itulah yang mempunyai efek dapat mengurangi risiko-risiko penyakit seperti kanker dan mencegah jantung koroner. "Teh hitam atau black tea itu dibuat dari pucuk daun teh segar yang dibiarkan menjadi layu sebelum digulung, kemudian dipanaskan dan dikeringkan. Teh hitam disebut juga teh fermentasi" tutur Ali Khomsan.

Salah seorang pakar kesehatan jantung dari Kota Hujan Bogor, Dr H Mohammad Taufik SpJ mendukung pendapat Prof Dr Ali Khomsan yang menyebutkan teh hitam bermanfaat untuk mengurangi penyakit jantung koroner, kanker, diabetes dan stroke.

Sayangnya, menurut Taufik, manfaat yang terkandung dalam meminum teh hitam belum banyak diketahui oleh masyarakat. Hal ini disebabkan kurangnya sosialisasi maupun publikasi dari berbagai penelitian tentang manfaat black tea bagi kesehatan.
Beberapa waktu lalu, Pusat Jantung Nasional Rumah Sakit Jantung Harapan Kita Jakarta (RSJHK) juga memaparkan hasil penelitiannya dalam talkshow dengan tema "Efek Teh Hitam dalam Mencegah dan Mengatasi Risiko Penyakit Jantung Koroner" di aula RSJHK Jakarta. Menurut hasil penelitian tersebut, Katekin dalam teh hitam, senyawa yang disebut-sebut sebagai aktor yang mampu melawan penyakit degeneratif adalah senyawa Theaflavin.

Theaflavin merupakan antioksidan alami yang sangat potensial. Kemampuannya sebagai penangkap radikal bebas sudah tidak dapat dipungkiri lagi kesahihannya. Kemampuan theaflavin sebagai antioksidan ternyata tidak cukup sampai di situ.
Aktivitasnya sebagai antioksidan dalam menghambat oksidasi low density lippoprotein (LDL) ternyata menunjukkan hal yang menakjubkan. Dalam seduhan teh hitam, theaflavin memberikan warna merah kekuningan. Sementara itu thearubigin dan theanapthoquinone masing-masing memberi warna merah kecoklatan dan kuning pekat. Untuk hal rasa, bersama-sama kafein, theaflavin yang ada dalam teh hitam memberikan rasa segar
Penelitian di Belanda menyimpulkan bahwa kebiasaan minum teh hitam dapat mencegah penimbunan kolesterol pada pembuluh darah arteri, terutama pada wanita. Minum teh hitam satu sampai dua cangkir mampu menekan penimbunan kolesterol hingga 46 persen dan jika minum 4 cangkir dapat mencapai 69 persen. Hal tersebut ditunjang oleh hasil penelitian di Amerika Serikat yang menunjukkan serangan jantung berkurang 40 persen pada orang-orang yang membiasakan minum teh hitam.

Teh hitam juga menunjukkan kemampuan yang meyakinkan sebagai sumber bahan pangan alami bagi para penderita diabetes, terutama dalam kapasitasnya menaikkan aktivitas insulin. Penelitian yang dilakukan Departemen Pertanian Amerika Serikat yang telah dipublikasikan dalam Journal Agric Food Chem 2002, menunjukkan kemampuan teh hitam meningkatkan aktifitas insulin melebihi dari teh hijau maupun teh Oolong.
Menurut Mohammad Taufik, biasanya, para ahli kesehatan akan mempublikasikan hasil penelitiannya, setelah beberapa kali melakukan penelitian. Bila hasil penelitiannya menunjukkan hasil yang sama, baru penelitian tersebut dipublikasikan. Namun bila baru satu kali penelitian, hasilnya belum akan dipublikasikan.
"Kalau penelitian itu baru sekali kami lakukan tidak mungkin kami mempublikasikannya. Biasanya penelitian yang telah dipublikasikan adalah penelitian yang telah berulang-ulang," ujar dokter sepesialis jantung ini.

Lebih Unggul

Berdasarkan proses pengolahannya, teh diklasifikasikan menjadi tiga jenis yaitu teh hitam (fermentasi atau oksimatis, kependekan dari oksidasi ensimatis), teh Oolong, dan teh hijau. Konsekuensi logis dari perbedaan proses tersebut, menyebabkan lahirnya perbedaan produk teh baik secara fisik maupun kimia.

Secara kimia, perbedaan yang paling menonjol adalah perbedaan kandungan komposisi senyawa polyfenol. Pada proses pengolahan teh hitam, dan teh Oolong, sebagian katekin berubah menjadi theaflavin, thearubigin, dan theanaphtoquinone.
Meski tidak sepopuler nenek moyangnya (katekin), theaflavin sudah banyak dipelajari oleh sejumlah peneliti. Sejumlah penelitian menyatakan bahwa theaflavin lebih potensial dari pada katekin, mengingat secara struktur theaflavin lebih potensial dari pada katekin.

Hal ini bisa dilihat dari seberapa banyak gugus hidroksi (OH) yang dimilikinya. Gugus hidroksi ini dapat berfungsi sebagai anti radikal bebas atau antioksidan. Semakin banyak gugus hidroksi suatu senyawa, maka kemampuannya sebagai senyawa antioksidan semakin baik.

Theaflavin hanya terdapat dalam teh hitam atau teh yang telah mengalami oksimatis. Theaflavin merupakan hasil oksidasi katekin akibat proses oksimatis pada pengolahan teh hitam. Kekuatan Theaflavin setara dengan Katekin bahkan beberapa publikasi terkini menyatakan bahwa theaflavin lebih potensial dari katekin.
Indonesia sendiri saat ini tercatat sebagai produsen teh terbanyak nomor lima di dunia. Namun teh hitam Indonesia berdasarkan penelitian, mengandung theaflavin yang lebih tinggi dibandingkan Jepang maupun China. Dengan demikian, jika kita meminum teh hitam asli Indonesia, kecenderungan mencegah penyakit jantung koroner seperti yang disebutkan di atas makin tinggi. Sayangnya hal ini belum banyak diketahui oleh bangsa Indonesia sendiri.

Zhiozaki (1997), juga menyatakan bahwa ekstrak teh hitam dapat meperbaiki system imun.Sistem imun yang baik dapat meningkatkan aktivitas sel, yaitu menjadi imunokompeten terhadap zat asing di dalam tubuh. Sel kanker di dalam tubuh juga merupakan zat asing, karena pada permukaannnya mengekspresikan nonself protein atau protein asing. Bila system imunologik tubuh baik, makam perkembangan sel kanker ini dapat dihambat.

Dari sumber elektronik (Creative Online Enterprises © Copyright, 1996), manfaat minum teh bagi kesehatan dapat dikelompokkan ke delapan butir, berikut;

1. Mengurangi rasa lelah, meningkatkan daya tahan, dan membangkitkan kembali semangat untuk merangsang kecerahan berpikir
2. Memungkinkan lacarnya pengeluaran air seni
3. Merendahkan kolesterol darah dan tingkat LDL-nya
4. Mencegah gigi berlubang
5. Mempercepat hilangnya alcohol dan zat lain yang berbahaya dari organ tubuh.
6. Berfungsi sebagai antibiotic
7. Mencegah mutasi sel dan berperan sebagai bahan antikarsinogen
8. Memperlambat proses penuaan dan memperpanjang rentang hidup.

Menurut Yoshino et.al. (1994), pada proses oksidasi enzimik teh hitam akan dihasilkan theaflavin (TF) dan thearubigin (TR), yaitu substansi yang sama dengan katekin yang terdapat dalam daun teh. Katekin ini mempunyai struktur kimiawi hydroxi phenol (polyphenol). Kandungan polifenol, baik pada katekin maupun pada theaflavin (TF) mempunyai aktivitas yang sama yaitu sebagai antioksidan. Menurut laporan beberapa penelitian terdahulu, seduhan teh dapat menghambat pertumbuhan sel kanker karena dapat menghambat aktivitas mutagenic senyawa-senyawa karsinogen (Bambang,1997).

06 March 2009

Tips to Remove Dandruff alias Ketombe

Dandruff (ketombe) is a common hair problem that bothers many of us. Many people also complain that with dandruff there is an increase in hair loss as well. But there is no established relationship between dandruff and loss of hair. But if you have too much dandruff then you must take it is as a warning about the health of your hair. Dandruff is made up of small pieces of dead skin that peel from the scalp as a result of the effects of metabolism. During its early stages dandruff is not visible to the naked eye. It becomes visible as a result of the growth of bacteria and or as a result of problems with seborrhoeic scalp condition. Dandruff is visible as large pieces of dead skin that we normally call "dandruff". A person suffering from dandruff for a long time is said to be have a dandruff ailment. This aliment along with itchiness can lead to eczema if not treated. One way of treating fatty dandruff is to prevent the growth of bacteria. Bacteria are the cause of this condition.

An effective way of dealing with dandruff is to use a medicated shampoo specifically designed to remove dandruff. Depending on the type of dandruff you have, you will have to decide your shampooing regime. People who suffer from dry scalp should not shampoo daily or it can lead to eczema. You can try a simple home remedy for dandruff. Massage some vinegar into your hair and scalp and let it dry for a few minutes and then wash your hair. Repeat this process is done daily till the problem disappears. If you have a persistent problem of dandruff it is best to consult a dermatologist or skin specialist.

Here are some tips on how to remove dandruff for good.

1. Wash.

Do not allow your scalp to become too dry or oily because this environment usually is what produces dandruff. Regularly wash and shampoo your hair with a specially designed shampoo for dandruff. Washing your head twice a day will prevent flaking as well as remove existing ones. Make sure you slowly massage your scalp and hair roots, working into lather. Leave the shampoo in for five to ten minutes or as indicated and repeat as necessary. Rinse your hair and scalp thoroughly after and dry very well.

2. Hair products.

Perhaps you're using too many hair products at one time. The combination of too many chemicals and ingredients can dry your scalp. Excessive drying of your scalp can eventually cause flaking or even an anaphylactic reaction so be very careful about the products that you're using. Even a lone product can cause dandruff so observe a new product for a few days before you decide to regularly use it.

3. Diet.

By eating foods that keep your skin healthy, you also will end up with healthy scalp free of dandruff. Consume food sources and supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins and zinc. These provide the essential oils and nutrients needed by your hair for adequate moisture. Your scalp could be a potential habitat for a fungus known to thrive in environments rich in fat and sugar. Avoid too much of these food sources.

4. Rest.

Make sure you get enough sleep of eight to ten hours a night to keep your body fully rejuvenated. Stress can cause a variety of conditions, including dandruff. Keeping your entire system rested will promote blood circulation to your scalp, making it healthy. Also, don't

fret too much about your present condition because it usually takes two weeks before you notice results.

5. Medication.

Ketoconazole is the most common treatment against dandruff. It is highly recommended that your shampoo has this ingredient. Herbal remedies may also prove effective in eliminating dandruff permanently. Rinse your scalp with apple cider vinegar mixed with water. White vinegar or lemon juice also make great alternatives as these loosen and remove dead skin and excess oils in your scalp, also called sebum.

While you're under treatment, you may want to wear light-colored clothing to cloak the flaking. If treatment does not work in a month or you notice anything unusual besides flaking and itchiness, consult your doctor immediately to diagnose other potential skin problems.

Tips to Remove Pimples

Acne is a skin disorder that causes skin eruptions and inflammation in human being. It appears to skin when you are teenager. A survey shows around 90% of young population is suffering from acne or pimples. It is quite commonly seen in adults. Removing pimples can be a huge pain and special cleansers and solutions can be expensive to buy. However, there is an easy way to remove problematic pimples. There are lots of ways to remove pimples from your body parts. Some excellent ways for the pimples removal are given below:
• Eat fruits and vegetables-If you want to stay away from the pimples you have to take lots of fruits and vegetables in your food. Papaya is the most effective fruit for the removal of pimples.

• Add more liquids and water to your diet chart- Liquids are very effective in getting rid of pimples. More the liquids you take more the hydrated you feel. It also helps to flush out extra toxins from body. You can prefer lemon or mint juices.

• Natural products- To remove pimples you can use natural remedies such as sandalwood paste, turmeric, clove oil, tea tree oil and nutmeg as it may help to remove pimples quickly. If you apply the products to affected area it will remove pimples as well as make your skin more beautiful.

• Avoid oily food- To remove the pimples you should avoid eating deep fried and oily foods.

• Avoid chocolates- You have to leave eating chocolates and sugary items in your food as it may give way to pimples.

• Care for your hair-If you any infection or dandruff in your hair, you may cause with pimples. You can remove pimples if you take good care of your hair and keep them clean.

• Clean your body- Dirt is main cause of having pimples. For removing dirt from skin wash your face at least three times a day with a soap having soft chemicals. Remove your makeup with a low chemical cleanser. Avoid using cream cleanser as it may leave oil to skin. Cleanliness will help you to stay away from the pimples.

01 March 2009

To win is not to be defeated

Nobody wants to get failure. People will do almost anything to win. Legal or illegal is a factor for those who want to win cleanly. Some people will not count it as a factor.
To win is not to be defeated. Try the best to win, to be success. Try not to be defeated.