Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do Not Park Your Car In Front Of Bank

I received this from a friend of mine and would like to share it as a reminder to all of us.

I drove to Maybank Seapark branch PJ last Friday evening at about 5.30pm, 29 May 09. I was pleased to find a vacant bay just outside the bank. I parked my car and went to do some banking at the machines, then I walked cross to Watson to get some toiletries.

I came back to my car and noticed that the front right tyre was almost flat. Immediately I drove to the tyre shop nearby, which is about 100m away. I told the shop keeper I had a flat tyre. His prompt response: "Did you go to the bank?" He told me a few similar cases happened.

It was a clean cut on the side of the tyre, about 1 cm long. I guess these evil-doers' tactic is to follow my car (if I had not noticed the flat tyre) until I could not go further with the flat tyre. Then they would either rob me on the spot or force me to go back to the bank to withdraw
money for them.

This reminded me of another time when I also parked in front of a bank in Uptown, Damansara Utama,Petaling Jaya. I did not go to the bank that day. I had lunch with a friend near the bank. I sent her back to Taman Tun and came back home. One of the tyres was flat. There was a brand new nail stuck to the tyre. I suppose that evil person did not follow us as he noticed we did not go to the bank. Please be extremely careful when you go to the bank.

watching you!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hair Loss Guide

by: Dr. Thomas S. Lee, NMD
“Yeeee gads! My hair is falling out!” This is a cry that can affect your whole family for long, awkward moments. What is it with your hair? Is it gone forever?

Let's clear up some confusion and try to notch down some panic about this kind of a look in the mirror.

About Hair
Healthy hair simply looks good. The healthier your scalp and hair follicles, the better your hair will look. If you're starting to experience some hair loss and a general decline in the overall health of your hair and scalp, it has probably been deteriorating for a while, and you're only now seeing the effects.

Hair grows in a cycle of three phases. Each individual hair is in a growth phase (anagen phase) for 2-6 years, before it enters a transition phase (catagen phase) for 1-2 weeks, and then a resting phase (telogen phase) for 5-6 weeks. After that, the hair dies and falls out. Then the follicle returns to the growth phase, and a new hair begins to grow.

In normal, healthy adults, the approximate percentages of hairs in these three different phases are:

· 84% in the growth (anagen) phase
· 0-1% in the transition (catagen) phase
· 14-15% in the resting (telogen) phase

Returning your hair follicles to the anagen growth cycle is the objective of any plan to regrow healthier hair.

DHT Effects On the Hair Follicle
The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. This is defined as a state where 20% or more of a person's hairs are in the telogen (resting) phase.

In cases of alopecia, the hair growth cycle has been altered so that the anagen (growth) phase is shortened. This results in an increased percentage of hairs in the catagen and telogen phases.

The enzyme conversion of testosterone creates a compound called Di-Hydro Testosterone (DHT). The effect of DHT on the hair follicles and oil glands of the scalp can be detrimental to the anagen phase that you want to lengthen.

In areas of hair thinning or loss, the follicles have more sites to which DHT can attach, and more DHT at those sites. This buildup of DHT near the follicles can shorten their growth phase and increase the numbers of hairs in the transition and resting phases. A continuation in this buildup of DHT will actually shrink the hair follicles, which causes their hairs to become thinner, weaker, and look less healthy.

Reality Check: No product known today will grow a hair without a viable hair follicle. Only a healthy hair follicle can grow a hair.

A healthy hair follicle can resist the negative effects of DHT buildup and continue in a normal growth cycle longer than an unhealthy one can. Hair care products that seek to lessen DHT work by binding to the same sites on the hair follicle to which DHT attaches. This blocks the abnormal response of the follicle to DHT, so it blocks the harm that is causing the weakening and loss of the hair.

The nutritional supplements recommended by a naturopathic physician work by helping the body to normalize its hormone levels, while increasing the circulation of nutrients and elimination of waste products from the hair follicle. This increases the strength of the follicle and protects it from further damage.

The amounts of the conversion enzymes that create DHT from testosterone, as well as the amounts of testosterone or cortisol, are thought to be genetically determined. This is why some people tend to have less of a problem with DHT than others.

The good news is that a person's genetic expression (i.e., how their body is now) can be changed by what that person does in the upcoming weeks, months, and years, as well as how they do it. With advances in the scientific understandings of these physical events, you can arm yourself with the right information and learn to make the changes necessary to stop a hair loss problem. We'll next explain how.

Hair Loss
A variety of health conditions and environmental factors can cause hair loss. Likewise, many different approaches can be taken to stop hair loss and even grow hair back.

Certainly, having great hair is important to us, but the body has many other important things to do on a continuous basis. Some are higher priorities than maintaining lustrous hair — things like breathing, eliminating waste, absorbing food, protecting itself from infections, fleeing from danger, and so forth. If the body has a limited budget of energy, nutrients, and strength, it starts to redirect its resources to the tasks it deems most important. This is fortunate for us.

If stressful events occur to lower that 'budget,' the body may find it necessary to prioritize other functions more highly than hair growth.

For example, if a person undergoes a series of radiation treatments to kill cancer, the treatments incur a major stress on the body. The body's first priority then becomes to live and breathe to grow nice hair another day. As a result, hair loss is often the consequence of radiation treatments. Hair regrowth after this type of trauma is possible, however, depending on the state of the hair follicles and the person's overall capacity to return to health. Naturopathic doctors call this their "vital force.”

Major Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss might also be caused by various types of injury to the scalp, such as burns, radiation, acid spills, or scrapes. If the follicles are destroyed and replaced by smooth skin or scar tissue, a lotion or vitamin routine won't very likely restore hair growth. At this point, it may be time for an implant, a weave, a wig, or a toupee. Or maybe it's just time to accept the reality of a lack of hair. Bald can be beautiful, too.

Furthermore, various diseases, genetic tendencies, and auto-immune disorders can direct the body to neglect the health of the hair follicle, or even attack it directly. Some of these attacks might be triggered by environmental toxins, the side-effects of drugs, nutrient deficiencies, irregularities of hormone metabolism, or poor elimination of wastes. Here, we could discuss lifestyle choices and explanations of natural sciences such as nutrition, physiology, and biochemistry until your eyes glaze over.

If you have been taking anti-depressive medications like Zoloft or Paxil, you should be aware that the known side-effects of these types of drugs can include hair loss. The vicious cycle of compounding one's depression by having to deal with hair loss makes these drugs a thing worth trying to avoid. Work with your doctor and be smart about your use of any medications, because many drugs have negative effects on hair growth.

If you are a "stress puppy,” and the slightest disruption in your plans tears you to pieces for hours or days at a time, your body's response to those stress hormones can be yet another factor in hair loss and graying. Some training in stress management or anger resolution would be your best bet, while treating the resultant hair loss with physical medicines and lotions.

Sudden Hair Loss
Sudden hair loss can occur after severe psycho-physical stresses like illness, childbirth, menopause, losing a job, or loss of a loved one. This type of hair loss appears within a few weeks or a month of the trauma, depending on its severity. It is often reversible with time, emotional healing, and the principles of physical support described here.

Hair Loss in Women
Women seldom lose their hair for reasons of genetic predisposition. They do, however, experience hair loss from the other causes we've already mentioned. In addition, women are more commonly the consumers of hair treatments which are known to damage the hair and cause breakage and thinning. Rough handling, harsh commercial shampoos, perms, hair color, bleach, and cosmetics all can damage the hair follicles. Hormone fluctuations through life events of men or women also contribute to stress on the physical condition of the hair follicle.

Factors to Consider
What does your body need to keep your hair looking good? Factors include good nutrition, effective elimination of wastes, exercise affecting the circulation, a good attitude, use of safe non-toxic products, and sensible protections from injury. These contribute to healthy glandular functions, especially of the thyroid, adrenals, gonads, and liver. If the links in this chain of hormone functions are weak or broken, your hair will probably be the least of your problems. It might just be the most visible one in your mirror, though.

Before you spend significant amounts of money on lotions or supplements to treat hair loss, try to figure out what is causing your hair to fall out, and change what you can about that underlying situation.

Enlist the help of your doctor to figure out any internal causes. Have your hormone levels tested for thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, and functions of the ovaries or testes. Make sure your nutritional intake and digestive functions are up to par. Again, this is a complex issue. It may take some study about the lotions and natural medicines available to find a plan that works for you, but the benefits to your health and appearance will be worth the effort.

For a detailed description of Dr. Lee's treatment recommendations, visit

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Naked in the airport: Are full-body security scanners really something to blush about?


Posted by Chris Leadbeater, Travel Writer, TravelMail

The thorny issue of whether body scanners should be used at airports has taken another lurch onto the news pages today – with the warning that passengers who refuse to submit themselves to this security check will be barred from taking flight.

Actually, ‘thorny’ is probably the wrong word to use here, because if you are carrying anything vaguely sharp and pointy as you attempt to board a plane, these scrutinising devices will spot it. Along with anything else you may have on your person – birthmarks, that bruise where you bashed your thigh on the kitchen counter, that small bulge at the waist where you shovelled down an extra croissant 20 minutes earlier. Oh, and any bomb you have sewn into your underwear, if you happen to be a terrorist. The lot, basically. It will all be on display, because these scanners see everything.

OK. Hang on. That previous paragraph isn’t entirely true. The scanners produce pale, mildly blurry photostats of your body that reveal any hidden objects, but can’t detect if you’ve waxed your legs. And yet people are understandably concerned that the naked truth of their existence will be beamed into a computer as they file through the shoes-off-please queue on their way to the gate. Not a truth that everyone else in the line will be able to ogle, admittedly – but a truth visible to security staff nonetheless.

Nor will these concerns be assuaged by yesterday’s somewhat hectoring comments from Transport Secretary Lord (Andrew) Adonis, who told Parliament: “If a passenger is selected [for scanning] and declines, they will not be permitted to fly.” That he also said: “In the immediate future, only a small proportion of passengers will be selected for scanning,” is unlikely to calm these choppy waters. The message is quite clear: ‘Get your bits out before you get on the plane – or you don’t get on the plane’. Well, after you Andy. With a name like that, you shouldn’t have any fear of lumps and bumps.

This development comes, of course, in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day plane bombing, where al-Qaeda operative Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab smuggled explosives onto a Detroit-bound service by stitching them into his nether-garments – exploiting the fact that, well, your pants are the one place that the airport body pat-down never ventures. So, as of this week, scanners will be deployed at Heathrow and Manchester, with Birmingham joining the Peek-A-Boo Club before February is out.

That near-miss over Michigan is the key detail here. Because ultimately – and leaving aside the nanny-state lecturing from the Transport Secretary, who could surely have phrased his announcement in less daddy-knows-best terms – this issue boils down to a choice. Do you want to avoid embarrassment? Or do you want to be safe? And personally, I’m quite happy to have my body parts slapped onto a screen if it means the same body parts won’t be strewn across an American cityscape just because I had the misfortune to board a plane with Mr Tick-Tick-Boom. It seems an easy call.

But I’ll be particularly in favour of the scanners if they achieve something beyond safety – if they manage to speed up the current farce that is getting through airport security. On Sunday morning, I caught a flight from Geneva to London. The process – from wearily joining the back of the snaking line to finally putting my footwear back on after I’d half-undressed in the name of making it past the metal detector without there being a chorus of bleeps and burbles – took a good half hour. This isn’t to single out Geneva Airport for special criticism (it’s a perfectly good airport, and the Alpine view from its windows is certainly more appealing than the Hounslow vista at Heathrow) – it’s the same scenario at every airport these days. Coat off. Belt off. Can we have your shoes, sir? Do you have any potentially dangerous spring-water or shampoo products, madam? If the introduction of full-body scanners shortens this dreary ordeal by even a third, it will be achieving something in addition to theoretically safer flights.

I suspect, sadly, that this won’t be the case – that body scans will become yet another facet of security checks – another five minutes rolling around on the Wasted Time Clock – rather than a simplification of the convoluted system now in place. And I understand people’s privacy concerns – the idea that a random stranger can see almost to the core of your being is an unnerving one. But equally, spare a thought for the airport employees who will have to monitor these delightful snapshots. After a five-hour shift perusing nude outlines of all creatures great and small, nothing is going to seem less exotic than the human body. Salacious? Sexy? More like just another tear-jerkingly boring element of life at the decidedly dull sharp end of the travel industry.

Are you in favour of airport scanners, or do you consider them to be an invasion of your privacy? Do you think they will make flying more secure? Have your say…