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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Remembering Special Friends on Friendship Day

Books and friends should be few but good." I am fortunate, indeed, to have had the pleasure of having both “good books” and “good friends” to give me company and shape me through the various phases of my life, right from childhood to the present.

As time passed, the kind of books that I read kept changing to suit my intellect and emotional needs and I had a “few” but good friends with whom I spent my growing up years. We would laugh, play and go to school together. We sat in the same classes and shared our books, notes and even our lunch boxes. The evening would see us playing together in the park or go cycling, that used to be a craze in those days. We would tell each other stories, gossip or scare one another with tales of ghosts, demons and the evil spirits. Yes, we had a lot of fun and I still remember those days fondly, for they were carefree days.

Image Courtsey: Wikimedia Commons


During the childhood days, I loved reading storybooks and comics. My favourite kinds of books were Enid Blyton and other “fairy tales”. I loved the idea of being transported from one magical place to another, the adventure, suspense and mystery of what would lie ahead. Yes, those stories kept me alive, gave me hope, and allowed me to dream and romance with the world. They were my best friends!

Image : Wikimedia Commons
As I grew older, I found other kind of books to keep me company. They were still stories full of adventure, mystery, suspense, thrillers, drama and romance. Similarly, the kind of friends I had in my life too changed and again though they were “few” they were the best. I had many a good times with them, sharing books (storybooks) and other collectibles (that used to be our hobbies and craze in those days, eg collecting matchbox covers) and playing after school hours together. We also did some crazy stuff in school like playing pranks on each other and also on our teachers. Guess, we will always remember those days.


 “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” The years that I spent in high school and college were probably the best, for this was where I met the people who helped to shape my destiny and the future. Be it the teachers or my friends, they all had a role to play in influencing my thoughts, opinions, and sentiments. It was the age of infatuations, and I admit that I had quite a few of them, although most of them were quite harmless and vanished as soon as they had arrived.

However, I found a “few” special friends who stood by me through my worst, gave me a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on whenever I was in need. “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. These are the friends that I have cherished till the present day, and am glad that they remained a part of my life (maybe far) till this day. They always encouraged me and supported me in any way that they could and gave me the inner strength to overcome all the storms and boulders that came my way.

After the college years, during my residency period, I met some colleagues who became “good friends”. We overcame difficult times by cracking silly jokes, and making sure that we cheered each other, whenever any one of us was feeling blue or depressed, which was quite a common occurrence. I sat with them after closing time to keep them company while they finished their project work or assignment or thesis work etc. We would get “takeaway” food from outside and have it for lunch.

Yes, those times were the best and friends who would always  remain just that…. Friends, forever!

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

There came a time in my life when I had no friends any more. I felt all alone and lonely. Suddenly, I was left with no one with whom I could share my innermost private thoughts. I had never before felt so lonely in my life, and bereft of true friends. Yes, there were plenty of acquaintances, but they were not the same as “real” friends. That’s when I began to miss all my old friends and thought of them often.

And then one fine day, I stumbled upon this website called Xomba while working on the computer, which changed the course of my life once again. I found a new set of friends in the cyber world from different parts of the world and they gradually became my “buddies”. Since then, I have made many more new “buddies” on the site.

I then discovered another social networking site called “Facebook” and I must say that I am amazed at how this simple website has helped to unite long lost friends from all over the globe. I managed to find long lost friends right from the school days to the present day. It’s good to have your old friends back, and I have to thank Facebook for this.

I am happy to say that my life has once again been enriched with the presence of all the friends that I had cherished in the past. So, in many ways, this is truly a great and special day for me!

Happy Friendship Day!




Original article posted on Xomba Here

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

5 Simple Tips To Prevent Monsoon Maladies & Keep Your Child Healthy


The monsoon season is welcomed by one and all for various reasons; it brings the much-needed relief from the heat of the scorching summer months, the farmers are relieved too as the rains help irrigate their fields and produce good, healthy crops. The rains help to settle the dust and clear the air of pollution as well. A good monsoon season also helps to fill up the water reservoirs, providing more water for human consumption. And of course, the kids enjoy getting out in the rain and playing in the puddles.

Photo Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kolkata_street_football.jpg

This year the monsoon season is here with plenty of rains as expected, which means lots of water resting stagnant, even after a few showers. There is also water standing in clogged in drains and other low-lying areas , which serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other germs that can cause illnesses like malaria, dengue and other water-borne diseases. These diseases can be spread due to contamination of food and water in the form of typhoid, cholera, dysentery and leptospirosis.

Photo source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mumbai-rains.jpg

Children  love to play in the rain, get wet and splash around in the muddy puddles, which leaves them susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, water-borne diseases, allergies and even skin infections. So how can one prevent these monsoon maladies and keep a child healthy during the monsoon season? Given below are five simple tips that can help you keep your child healthy and to ensure that the child enjoys the rains too:

1.    Provide plenty of fresh clean drinking water: Always ensure that your child has plenty of fresh, clean and pure drinking water available. It is common knowledge that most of the water-borne diseases spread due to the contamination of rain water mixed with drinking water. So you need to use water purifiers, or boil and filter water sufficiently, to remove the impurities and germs (bacteria like E-coli) to make it safe enough for drinking. This simple step will help prevent all common water-borne diseases like dysentery, cholera, etc.

2.      Eat Home-cooked food: Diseases like typhoid, which are contracted due to the consumption of contaminated food or water, can easily be prevented by eating home-cooked meals. One can easily ensure that appropriate hygienic measures are taken while cooking food at home. Try to decrease the number of times that your family or child eats out. The best bet is to avoid “roadside” food at all costs, and avoid eating at hotels or restaurants as much as possible. Say NO to chaat, bhelpuri and golguppa! In case you do decide to eat out or get “takeaway” food, then make sure it is heated properly (piping hot) before eating. Heat helps kill most harmful bacteria.

If you are eating leftovers, make sure it is not spoiled and heat it well before serving. Cooking fresh food is always the safest bet. One has to be extra careful with meats and poultry as they can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E-coli. Therefore make sure that the meat is well cooked and not left raw during the cooking process.

3.    Use mosquito repellents at home: These tiny insect pests called "mosquitoes" are one of the most dangerous disease spreading agents (see what kind of mosquitoes you need to avoid in this link) in the world. Malaria and dengue are the most common diseases that are spread by mosquitoes during monsoons.


To protect your child from these dangerous diseases make sure that you use good mosquito repellents in the house. Using mosquito nets to sleep in is still probably the best way to be safe, especially in tropical countries that are infested with mosquitoes. Also, one can use mosquito repellents/creams that can be applied to exposed parts of the body or sprayed regularly to get rid of the pests. Avoid areas of stagnant water as much as possible. Clean it away regularly.

4.    Wear appropriate footwear to protect the feet in water: Children love to play and splash around in the puddles that form during the rains. These puddles are dirty and muddy, and they could be infested with bacteria or worms. A child could get infected with serious diseases like leptospirosis or other skin infections (fungal). While a raincoat and the umbrella prevent the child from getting wet, the feet remain the most vulnerable part of the body that comes in contact with this mud, dirt and rainwater, making them susceptible to all kinds of skin infections during the monsoons.

Wearing long gumboots offer adequate protection to the feet. They help keep the feet dry, even when the kids are splashing around in the water. If the child doesn’t like to wear gumboots, then wearing sandals that don’t hold water  -- like Crocs -- are also an option. Check out monsoon footwear for kids.

5.    Personal and surrounding hygiene:  Maintaining personal hygiene and keeping the surroundings of your home clean can help prevent most of the common diseases or illnesses that occur during the monsoon season. This includes diligently washing hands with soap before every meal. One can also use antiseptic hand sanitizers (like Dettol), which are available in stores, to keep hands
germfree as much as possible. (See Antiseptic Hand Sanitizers) Keeping hands clean can prevent the spread of contagious diseases, like cold, viral flu and even swine flu, which are rampant during this season.

If a child has a nail biting habit, make sure that the nails are clipped regularly and try to stop the child from biting nails. Mud and dirt can get inside the nail beds, which can cause serious infections (gastroenteritis) when ingested by the child during nail biting.

What makes the rains so enjoyable is that the temperature comes down, so one might feel like having some nice hot soup or a warm beverage in this kind of weather. So make plenty of soup with a dash of ginger and garlic, and serve hot, which helps to take care of minor ailments like the sniffling, sneezing, fever and coughs. Hot soups and beverages also help ease chest congestion. The simple tips given above -- plus Chicken Soup for the Soul -- along with a little tender love and care will take care of all the monsoon maladies and keep your child healthy.

Related Topics: Vaccination Can Prevent Monsoon Maladies! 

Original Post on Xomba

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Celebrating Third Anniversary on Xomba – Rawnak Reports

Time flies so quickly on Xomba. It seems like just a few days ago that I had written about my second year experiences on this site. Yesterday, I happened to glance at my profile page and my eyes fell upon the line, “She has been a member for 3 years 4 weeks” and it took awhile for the fact to get registered, in my somewhat rusted brain (blame that on my inactivity), that hey, I had completed three years on Xomba and it is time to celebrate and share my experience of the past year with all the Xombies!

I still find it hard to believe that I survived so long on this one site, called Xomba. I have to admit that consistency has never been a strong point in my life, so the fact that I have managed to stay on at Xomba is surprising to me as well. So, what is it that keeps me here? Well, one of the main reasons for that is obviously the “Google Adsense Revenue” that I have earned so far from this one site, month after month, consistently for three years. And I am proud to report that till this month (June 2010) I have managed to get a check every month without fail.

Xomba has seen a lot of changes this last year and the main highlight was the launch of the new Xomba Website design in the month of July-Aug 2009. The shift from the old website to the new website was very exciting, and akin to shifting your bags and moving to a new home/office. We had a brand new profile page for each user and so many more exciting features that are being added slowly that makes the site so much better. I feel proud to be a part of this growth process and am very sure that it has also affected the personal growth of each and every writer who joined this site 1-2 years ago.

Just as Xomba was making major changes and adapting to the shift over to its new website design, my family too was getting prepared for the major shift to a new way of the “civilian” life, as my husband  (Taprial), was about to retire from the Indian Navy, having completed the required 21 years of service. The golden handshake took place on the 31st of December 2009. The New Year brought a new job, a new house (rented), new place, new neighbours and a new school for my son. Therefore, it goes without saying that the past few months were spent in trying to adjust and adapt to our new surroundings.


In the meantime, on Xomba, I was given the honor of being the featured writer for the category of “Health and Medicine” on this brand new website and the day of the launch (10th Aug 2009) saw my first feature article on the front page. I was quite happy with the response that I got for my first feature article and have tried since then to live up to the expectations and maintain the high standards of writing on Xomba. Here is a list of the feature articles written so far:
  1. The Swine Flu Hoax and Conspiracy Theories – Will Vaccination Really Help Prevent This Disease?
  2. Did Diprivan (Propofol) Kill Michael Jackson?
  3. Cholinergic Urticaria (Heat Rash, Heat Hives) - Overview, Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
  4. How To Take Care Of Winter Ailments
  5. Dental Drills – Rewind and Fast Forward to Future Painless Plasma Jets
  6. Strawberries – The Fruit and Flavour of Spring
  7. Dental Health and Oral Hygiene – Plaque Vs Calculus –What’s the Difference?
  8. Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed as a Prophylactic Measure?
  9. Autogenic Dental Transplantation - The New Alternative to Prosthetic Replacements
Probably the biggest achievement for me in the last year was being the co-author of the book “A Beginner’s Guide to Blogging & Making Money Online” along with Varinder Taprial, (completed in just two months Nov-Dec) which was published by Pustak Mahal in the month of January 2010. The book was introduced at the “World Book Fair” that was held at the capital, New Delhi where it received a good response. The book has gone into the second print and is still doing well.


Beginner's Guide to Blogging & Making Money Online (Kindle edition)
by Varinder Taprial (Author), Priya Kanwar (Author)

A Beginner’s Guide to Blogging & Making Money Online”is now available in a digital format and available for download at Amazon.com and also for other applications like iPhone, iTunes, iPad, Kindle etc.

A Beginner's Guide to Blogging & Making Money Online is available on Amazon.com..Buy Online.

Therefore, I am sure that you all will agree with me when I say that the main highlight of last year has been the fact that I became a “Published Author” with a book under my belt. With another book in the pipeline, what more can you ask for?

Xomba, the site, the staff and Nick in particular, have always been very supportive of us all through our journey on Xomba and also helped a lot by promoting us on the internet. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to Nick and staff for the great help rendered to us.

Apart from this, I am ashamed to say, I whiled away most of my spare time last year getting addicted to the games on Facebook. Yeah...I thought I would never get caught in that trap. frown


Thank you, Xomba!

Original post on Xomba
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Autogenic Dental Transplantation - The New Alternative to Prosthetic Replacements



What is “Autogenic Dental Transplantation”? According to the dental dictionary, “Autogenic Dental Transplantation can be defined as, 'the transplantation of a tooth from one position to another in the same individual.”'

It should be understood that the Autogenic Dental Transplantation is different from implants in that, “a dental implant is an artificial tooth root used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth”.

Slagsvold and Bjercke, in 1974 and 1978 respectively, documented a 100% success rate for 34 autogenic transplantations of premolars, testifying that this can be a recommended treatment. Subsequent research has paved ways for auto transplantation of incisors, canines and molars.


Photo Illustration: American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Vol 106, No. 4

Despite the proven acceptability of the procedure, over the years orthodontists have been known to remove perfectly viable teeth during the course of corrective treatment in children as well as adults, mainly due to any of the following reasons: severe cases of impactions, early loss of permanent teeth, or conditions like congenital aplasia. However, in specific clinical situations, indication of extractions or supernumerary teeth (extra teeth) may provide donor teeth for autogenous transplantations, thereby avoiding prosthetic or implant therapy.

Auto transplantation is now fast catching up as a common procedure in dentistry for replacing a missing tooth, especially in children and adolescents where implants and other prosthetic replacements are contraindicated for various reasons.

The general indications of auto transplantation are :

  1. transplantation of impacted teeth to their normal position (trans-alveolar transplantation),
  2. agenesis of teeth (congenitally missing and lost teeth),
  3. in those cases of avulsion where the prognosis for successful re-implantation is poor,
  4. replant failure,
  5. and untreatable root fractures.
Autogenic transplantation is the most reasonable solution to orthodontic problems today in the absence of any skeletal or dental contraindications, as compared to dental implants or other prosthetic reconstructions which may cause delayed aesthetic or functional problems.

What’s the procedure for transplantation?

Transplantation is a surgical procedure where the donor tooth is taken out from its socket with extreme care, so as to avoid touching or damaging the periodontal ligament fibers that are attached to the root of the tooth and to include the Hertwig’s epithelial root sheath at the time of transplantation. The donor tooth should remain outside the extraction site for a minimal amount of time. Therefore, the recipient site should be prepared well in advance so that transplant can be placed immediately inside it. There should not be any areas of localized infection at the site of the procedure. Antibiotic therapy after the transplantation is beneficial.


Photo illustration : journal of Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology: Vol 94, Number 6. December 2002.

The transplant should be placed deep enough into the socket so that the soft tissues can be sutured around it. Fixation should be accomplished in a flexible manner using orthodontic attachments to connect the tooth to adjacent teeth with the help of resilient wires or by using customized orthodontic apparatus that acts like a hammock and will prevent the tooth from escaping from the site.
The use of rigid fixations is absolutely contraindicated as they lead to ankylosis (where the root of the tooth gets attached directly to the bone, with the absence of periodontal ligament fibres) and resorption of the tooth.

Auto transplantation offers one of the fastest and most economically feasible means of replacing missing teeth. Examination of available literature regarding the prognosis of autogeneous dental transplants clearly demonstrates that the rate of success varies with the surgical technique, surgeon’s attention and skill, and patient concern about the procedure. The success rate of auto transplantation is influenced by a number of pre-operative and post-operative factors like age of the patient, developmental stage of the graft, the type of tooth transplanted, surgical trauma during graft removal, storage after removing the graft and recipient site.

Therefore, while taking up a case for transplantation it is very important to consider the age of the patient and the stage of development of the proposed transplant. Teeth with open apices (teeth in early stage of development, where the root is formed but the apex is still open) have a much better prognosis and a high rate of success to cause revascularizaton (formation of new blood vessels) of the pulp chamber. The tooth will have the potential to grow to its normal length and to respond normally to vitality tests. The preferred stage of root development is between one-third and three-fourths complete. Earlier or later stages can cause other complications and will decrease the prognosis.
Similarly, the age of the patient also plays an important role in the success rate of tooth transplantation. Obviously, the prognosis is better in a younger patient as compared to an older patient.
The premolars and the third molars remain the most desirable choices for autogenic transplantation due to the shape of the roots, the relative dispensability of these teeth, and the later age at which they remain viable.

A transplanted wisdom tooth can make a wonderful substitute for an ankylosed permanent tooth. Care must be taken when selecting patients and surgeons. Auto transplantation is extremely technique-sensitive; the prognosis is highly variable and is based largely on the person rendering the treatment.

Comparison Of Auto Transplants with Dental Implants

Auto Transplant                                           Dental Implants

Cost: $600-1,000                                             $2,500-5,000 *
Donor dilemma                                                  no problem $$$
Success rate: high                                             high
Best age: 8- early 20's                                      after 18 years
Orthodontically viable                                        Excellent anchor unit
Susceptible to caries                                          New-tech hygiene
Prosthodontically complete                                Needs prosthesis
Osteogenic potential                                          May require surgeries
Good precursor to implants

As can be seen clearly in the table above, auto transplants are not only much more cheaper and economical than dental implants, it is also a good precursor to implants and, therefore, should be considered as the first line of treatment.

Photos of a case Report to illustrate the success of a dental transplant

 Title: Autotransplantation of a supernumerary incisor as a replacement for fused tooth: 24-month follow-up

Tahsin Demir, DDS, PhD,a Ufuk Ates, DDS, PhD,b Burcak Cehreli, DDS, PhD,c and Zafer C. Cehreli, DDS, PhD,d Ankara, Turkey BASKENT UNIVERSITY

"This case report describes the technique and 24-month follow-up of auto transplantation of a well-shaped, healthy supernumerary maxillary central incisor as a replacement for a fused maxillary incisor. Because the alignment of the teeth neighboring the fused incisor was not suitable as an abutment for post-transplantation splinting, a custom palatal splint that took anchorage from permanent first molars was fabricated. Following extraction of both teeth, the supernumerary incisor was immediately auto transplanted into the extraction site of the fused incisor. The auto transplanted tooth was secured to the custom splint with acid-etch composite, and the splint was removed 2 weeks later. Closure of the apex was observed at 18 months. Both the esthetics and function were restored to an ideal level in the absence of postoperative complications, as evidenced by 24-month clinical and radiographic findings."

Source: Journal Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology Oral Radiology Endodontics 2008; 106:e1-e6








**Photos, illustrations and research material Courtsey: Dr. Anisha. K. Maria Professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Dept. (Modern Dental College and Research Hospital. Indore)

Original article posted on Xomba Here


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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Watch Live Streaming Online - Germany Vs Spain - 2010 FIFA World Cup Semi Finals

Germany Vs Spain - 2010 FIFA World Cup Semi Finals - Watch Live Streaming Online 

The 2010 FIFA World cup soccer will host the last semi final match today Germany Vs Spain..to see which team makes it to the finals to take the cup home...Germany Vs Spain - 2010 FIFA World Cup Semi Finals - Watch Live Streaming Online

Spain managed to reach the first ever world cup semi final after they defeated Paraguay. Both the teams are seen as the most "attacking" teams in this world cup, so today's match should prove worth watching as both will struggle to make it to the finals...Incidentally, Spain faced them in the Euro 2008 finals to win 1-0...thanks to a Fernando Torres strike.

Watch Live Streaming Online 2010 FIFA World Cup Semi Final - Germany Vs Spain - July 7, 2010 at 18:30 GMT,  01:30 pm EST / 12:30 pm CST / 10:30 am PST to be played at the Durban Stadium, Durban, South Africa.

Today's quarter final clash between Argentina and Germany is almost like it is the finals...as the two giants will fight for the place in the Semis to win the much coveted Fifa world cup soccer 2010 title.

The Quarter Finals Argentina Vs Germany FIFA World Cup Soccer 2010 match will be played today at one of the most artistic
football venues in South Africa, Green Point Stadium, Cape Town at at 7:30pm IST, 09:30 am EST / 08:30 am CST / 06:30 am PST respectively.

So pull up your socks and get ready to watch the most exciting quarter final match in a do-or-die clash between Argentina and Germany...Who will you support? and what are your bets? Will Diego Maradona walk away with the trophy yet again?? But, don't forget that this world cup has been full of surprising twists and turns. Yesterday saw Brazil
crumble to the Netherland team after their first goal. Brazil had been looking good and were playing well with a goal in the first 25 minutes of the first half of the game, so what happened to them?
Time will tell....All the best to both the teams and may the best team win...!
Read full post HERE..

Messages We Would Like To Hear On Our Mobile Phones

Cell phones are smart and are now turning out to be smart phones. The mobile operators are smart and are turning out to be smarter. They don't let you hang up without an answer, they tell you why you should hang up. Maybe they think you would continue to wait for that elusive voice on the other end of the line. So you have messages like, the user is out of reach, network problem, busy etc.

Hardly creative. But don't worry, it won't be long before the operators get even smarter and let you listen to messages which make you feel that they are really on your side.

First time you call up, "The subscriber you have called is not responding".

Second time, "The subscriber you have called may be busy elsewhere and will probably call you when he is free."

Third time, "The subscriber just finished another call. What will it take for you to realize that the subscriber you have called is ignoring you?"

or

"The subscriber you have called doesn't even have you in his address book, Are you sure contacting him is worth the trouble?"

With more tech development and convergence as they call it the cell phone will actually communicate with the other electronic appliances in the house or office and give an exact picture of why the subscriber you have called is not responding.

"The subscriber you have called is not reachable, He is in the Kitchen preparing his morning sandwich."

or

"The subscriber you have called is doing his laundry at the moment and can't hear the ringtone."

Late in the night, "The subscriber you have called is not answering, maybe s/he is having sex."

Unreachable status, "The buggers who talk about spherical motion of waves had you fooled. We have the entire city covered and still can't reach the subscriber."

And after receiving calls from the same number many times, "The subscriber has not touched his phone for some time, Considering the time of the day, maybe you should call 911."