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How to Prevent Eye Strain in Computer & Mobile Users

As the time is passing by, we are becoming more & more dependent on computers & mobiles, both for work and entertainment. Although,...

This Tuesday, a rare Lunar Eclipse was observed in the northern hemisphere, lasting for few mins to hrs in different places, as it occurred on the day of winter solstice (the longest night of the winters).

Lunar eclipse occurs when the earth comes in between the sun & moon, blocking the suns rays to reach the moon. Light after being refracted from the earth's atmosphere turn the moon into crimson red before it slips into darkness. Although, lunar eclipses are common but its occurrence on winter solstice is rare. Similar thing happened about 400 years ago on Dec. 21, 1638 & will occur again on Dec.21, 2094.

A one day free eye camp was arranged by our hospital in a Basic Health Unit (BHU), in Chakwal district of Punjab, Pakistan on 9th Dec,2010 & I was asked to be the man in charge. I accepted the offer whole heartedly, as I enjoy seeing new places, meeting new faces & helping others.

A total of about 150 patients were seen. Out of which 70 percent had simple refractive errors & they were un-noticed as they were either unaware of the problem or they didn't had the money to visit a hospital & buy glasses. They inculded mostly young school going boys & girls. Twenty percent of the patients had Cataracts, belonging to the age group of 45-75. Rest 10 percent had minor eye infections.

Google yesterday announced the release of its brand new phone in the Nexus Series, the Nexus S. It is the first phone in the market to come pre-installed with Anrdoid 2.3 ( code named:  Gingerbread), Google's famous smartphone operating system.

World Aids Day was celebrated on 1st Dec, 2010 to spread awareness about this deadly disease which, according to the survey of WHO in 2008, affects around 33.4 million people. An estimated 2.7 million people are newly infected & about 2 million people die of it every year.

What is AIDS!
AIDS is a disease caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus, commonly known as HIV, which attacks the main defense barriers of the Human body. Once the defense barriers are broken, any infection can sabotage the victim.

Why are the Figures so High!
First of all, the people are mostly unaware of this disease & they come to know about when it has ravaged everything.
Secondly, Aids remains a social taboo to be discussed in our society because it is mostly considered to be spread by sex. But it is not always so....

A team of scientists led by Professor Ramesh Raskar at MIT, have developed a camera which can take pictures around corners. The camera fires bursts of ultra-short high-intensity femto laser which last for one quadrillionth of a second (that's 0.000000000000001 seconds). The light then bounces from a surface like floor & strike the object hidden around the corner. The camera then captures the light particles returning back from the hidden object after striking from the same surface. The image is then constructed using complex alogrithms using a computer.

Dengue Fever, which is lurking around in Pakistan for last few years, has affected around 6000 persons in Pakistan. Out of which 32 people have lost their lives. According to the Ministry of health, the latest stats of Dengue in Pakistan include 300 cases in Islamabad, 400 in Rawalpindi, 2000 in Punjab, 2485 cases in Sindh, 250 in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and 18 in Azad Kashmir cases confirmed positive and so far 19 people in Sindh, 5 in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, 3 in Rawalpindi, 3 in Azad Kashmir and 2 in Islamabad have been killed due to the virus.

What is Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is caused by flavivirus which is transfered to Humans by a bite from infected mosquito named Aedes egypti. This mosquito typically bites during day time.


Fever, Malaise, Headache, Skin rash, Petechiae are the most common symptoms. In severe cases, the patient may have bleeding from nose, skin, ear leading to shock.
World Diabetes Day was celebrated on 14th Nov, 2010, to spread awareness about this global menace, which has affected around 180 million people around the world. Every year the no. of diabetes effected persons increase by 7 million.

The date 14th Nov is selected, because it marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922. The logo consists of a blue circle in which blue stands for sky and circle means it effects people around the globe & we have to work together to solve this problem.

The theme for 2010 is Diabetes Education and Prevention, which lasts till 2013. Previous themes have focused on diabetic foot care (2005), disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals (2006) and diabetes in children and adolescents (2007-08).

What is Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus ( increased blood sugar levels) mostly goes un-noticed until complications have occurred. Reason! It does not cause any symptoms typically pointing to it. The most common things which the patient experience are increased appetite ( polyphagia ), increased urination ( polyuria ), & weight loss.

As the time is passing by, we are becoming more & more dependent on computers & mobiles, both for work and entertainment. Although, they have made the tasks a whole lot easier for us but spending extensive hours in front of them, puts a lot of strain on our bodies. The organs, which succumb first to this strain, are our eyes. So,

What is Eye Strain / Computer Vision Syndrome?

Eye strain is eye discomfort which occurs after one is performing a particular task for prolonged periods of time such as using computer for long durations.

Recently a new term has been conceived – Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) which is defined as 'Eye and vision problems linked to extended computer use that can affect adults and children'.

The good news is Eye strain doesn't have any long term consequences & does not cause permanent damage to the eye but it's definitely uncomfortable.

What are the Symptoms?

As the worst ever floods of human history have ravaged Pakistan, Diarrhoea is emerging the most common problem of the flood victims. Out of every 10 patients, 4 presented to me with Diarrhoea, 4 with viral conjunctivitis, 1 with a skin infection & 1 with other problems in the recent field camps. So,

What is Diarrhoea?
It is the increased water content & frequency of stools, as a result of which body becomes deprived of water & electrolytes.

How it is caused?
The most common cause of Diarrhoea, esp., in the flood victims is Gastroenteritis ( infection of the gut ) which occurs after taking in contaminated food & water. The reasons for contaminated diet are,
  1. Mixing of drinking water with sewerage.
  2. Lack of washing of hands before eating.
  3. Utensils washed with dirty water.
  4. Lack of proper cooking of food.
  5. Pests, like flies not prevented from sitting on the food.
  6. Food & water left in the open.

Viral conjunctivitis or Aashob-e-Chasham (in Urdu) is emerging as a common eye problem in Pakistan, after the worst ever floods of human history. It has affected even persons, who have not been directly exposed to the floods. Having worked in Nowshehra, Pakistan in the last week, I recognized that 90 percent of the patients presented to me with this eye problem.

What is this Viral conjunctivitis or Aashob-e-Chasham?
It is an acute viral infection of external eye. It is spread through direct contact such as with hands, sharing tools like towels, soap, bed. Some people say that it spreads by aerosol.

What are the symptoms?
The above patient, shown in the picture, presented with,
in his right eye only.

1,539 people have died and 17 million have been directly affected.
1.2 million houses have been destroyed, leaving an estimated 8 million homeless.
3.2m hectares of standing crops have been lost or damaged.
2,055 people have been injured.
1.6 million have received food aid.
2 million people have received drinking water but "large numbers" have no access to water or sanitation.
About 3.5 million children are considered to be at risk of water borne diseases which include diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid.

Source: BBC News

Ban Ki-moon, the UN chief, after visiting the flood hit areas of Pakistan, said today in a press conference that he has been to Tsunami affected area, Chile earthquake, Haiti earthquake, the recent China mudslides but, he has not seen anything like this catastrophe of Pakistan Floods. He later announced a 27m $ aid for Pakistan.

Isn't it amazing that now you can enter text messages, email, set an alarm clock, find directions, search for audio files, open maps, search & call the shops of your area by just using your voice. And all these  features come in Google's Voice Actions application for Android 2.2 or higher.
This is one cool feature because of which, I am in love with Android -  Google's operating system for smartphones.

The recent monsoon rains & floods have caused a havoc in Pakistan. More than 1,600 people have died & nearly 14 million have been affected.

The above picture shows how desperate are people to save their life, when a helicopter arrives for the rescue. Have a look at more pictures from TelegraphBBC News.
Diabetics, who are dependent on insulin to control their blood sugar levels, often find it irritating to prick themselves daily. But these days of pain might be over soon.
A team of scientists at the National Institute of Immunology, India led by its Director Avadhesha Surolia, have developed a technique by which it may be possible for patients to take a shot of insulin just once every four to five months.
The team achieved this without the use of any chemical additives or a device such as a pump or a patch. Their technique primarily involved getting individual molecules of insulin to come together and form multi-molecular complexes, which slowly un-fold & yield insulin.

In olden times, people used to have hidden tattooed messages on their scalp, which were revealed only when they shaved their heads.

A company called Intellectual Ventures, in order to prevent malaria in African countries, is working on a fake blood product, which can be placed outside villages, so that mosquitoes can suck on them instead of normal humans. In African countries, about 1 million children die every year of Malaria.

5hrs 27mins is the time average web user spent on social networking sites in February '10, up two hours from February '09.

52% of social networking users posted sensitive information online last year.

Scientifically, one second is equal to 9,192,631,770 times oscillations of cesium atom.
Oh God! I love your creativity.

The Clearwing Fly (Cithaerias menanders), is a butterfly with transparent wings. Because of this feature, it almost becomes invisible when it flies.

Nanotechnology refers to the study of materials at the size of 100 nanometers or less. ( 1nm = 1×10−9 m, about a billionth of a meter ). At such a small scale, the properties of materials greatly differ from their larger ones. As a result, this technology has the potential to create new materials & devices which can be applied in medicine, electronics, energy production & everyday living.

I have been long wishing to write about this technology & its potentials but, I think the following documentary does it much better, than I would have been. Its a must watch & gives one the taste of the future.

Tropical cyclone Phet, has passed over Oman without causing much damage & is expected to hit of Pakistan on Sunday. Nadeem Ahmed, head of the National Disaster Management Agency, Pakistan has told reporters that the storm might prove to be dangerous when it hits our coastal line. So in order to get prepared, I have compiled a list of safety precautions to be observed before, during & after the rains & floods.

Before The Rains & Floods

  • Pack a light weight bag of all the necessary items that you will be needing such as first aid kit, food preferably canned, bottled water, clothes, flash light & any medicines which you are currently on.
  • Set a common meeting point, in case, if any family member gets separated.
  • Get the battery of your mobile phone charged.
  • Move the important objects of your house to the top floor or any other suitable place.
  • Turn off the electrical, gas & water supply of your house.

During The Rains & Floods

Patients suffering from Diabetes have to prick their fingers daily to check blood sugar levels but this might be over soon. As scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have developed a Tattoo - sensitive to glucose concentrations, which can be injected under the skin.This tattoo will stay for a fixed time, probably for 6 months. Blood sugar levels can be then be determined by wearing a watch, which shines infra red light onto it and measures the florescence emitted, due to the amount of glucose binded with the tattoo.
As summers have arrived wasps, sting bees, hornets have also appeared. But they showed their real presence to me by biting at my ankle this evening. I was thinking to write about them but this bite has urged me to do it immediately.

What are the Symptoms?
  • Local Pain, Redness, Swelling & Mild Itching are the common symptoms.
  • The Alarming ones include Generalized Body Swelling, Fainting, Difficulty in Breathing, Severe Itching & if bitten more than 10 times. If you suffer from any of them or have suffered in the past, then you should urgently seek medical attention.

What is the First Aid / Home Treatment?

Google's Logo - commonly known as Google's Doodle, is now Pac Man Game published in the 1980. Its the first ever interactive logo of Google & it is to celebrate the 30th birthday of Pac Man game by Namco.

I enjoyed it alot during my childhood days & this 'old is gold' game still competes very well with latest Arcade games.

Another interesting feature is that the 'I am Feeling Lucky' button is changed to 'Insert Coin' button. By clicking twice, 2 players can play simultaneuosly.

So, head on to Google.com to recall your old memories & if you have not played it yet, then it is a must check out!

Update: After serving the game for whole week, Google's original logo is back. But you can still play the game here.
Every year World Hypertension Day is oberved on 17th May to raise awareness among people about hypertension and its effects. The theme for todays World Hypertension Day (WHD) is ``Healthy Weight - Healthy Blood Pressure''.

Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is a Global Epidemic and it affects around 1.5 billion people world-wide ,i.e, about 1 in 4 men & women suffer from it. Every year 7 million die because of high blood pressure. It is the biggest risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease & diabetes. Hypertension often has no symptoms & therefore termed as 'Silent Killer'.

The main cause of hypertension today is over-weight & obesity, thats why the theme `Healthy Weight - Healthy Blood Pressure' . Globally over 1 Billion adults are overweight, with at least 300 million of them obese.

What are the limits?
The recommended blood pressures are less than 140/90 mmHg for the general population and for the hypertensive population without any other complications, and less than 130/80 mmHg for those with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease.

So how to tackle this problem?

In a research conducted by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) from Jan-March '10, it has been concluded that 33 out of 63 brands of bottled water available commercially are Unsafe for health.

The samples were analysed by the ISO-17025 accredited National Water Quality Laboratory in Islamabad for physico-chemicals and microbiological parameters, according to the standards set by World Health Organisation, International Bottled Water Association and the PSQCA. 

The following 22 brands were found to be bacterially contaminated: Elan, Sprinkle, Legend, Alfa, Shahi Avisa, Miracle, Aab-e-Sehat, Keeper, Spring Fresh, DeAar, Asmo, Fresh Lay, Aqua One, Zinpa, Maza, Aspen, Piyass Plus, Pak Crystal, Classic, Aqua Save, Khyber Aqua and Aqua Water.

In this latest lovely commercial of iPad, Apple explains very intelligently its use in different locations. And mentions about its thickness, weight, user friendliness, applications, multimedia capabilities & battery power.

At first when it was released in Public, I thought its just a bigger version of iPhone. But as it has started to take over the world & after seeing this Ad, I am getting much interested in it.

Health Management System is a Free electronic medical record system launched by a Pakistani company based in Canada. The motivation behind this venture is that the company lost one of it employee in Indonesia because of an incomplete medical record.

The main page says,
Welcome to Health Management System
Patients can keep their medical history stored securely online and retrieve as and when needed,
anywhere in the world, especially during traveling emergencies.
Doctors can keep track of patients' prescriptions, dosage, reports, x-ray and scan imagery and all other medical details.
Doctors can share the complete medical history over a patient's lifetime at the click of a button.
And It's free to the patient.
The following video is about the usage in Urdu,


Just back from a pharmacy shop & nothing else is going on in my mind than to write about the experience.

I asked the shopkeeper about a medicine, which he handed over to me, but when I flipped the box to see the expiry date, it said “Date of Expiry - Aug ’09”.The shopkeeper had no answer to my looks but to throw the pack into the dust bin without any hesitation. After this, he uttered that I have not checked them for a long time.
So please beware! Do check your medicines Date of Expiry before taking them with you.

I have not seen such spectacular images of the Sun's surface before. The video is a treat to watch & the credit goes to NASA.
Guest Post by Saqib Aziz, M.B.B.S Student

It's virtually impossible to lose your obesity in only 10 days. But you can try the following tips to lose a couple of pounds & look slimmer, if you have a big event coming up like a marraige ceremony or any other type of gathering, that you want to look good for.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging.


Things You'll Need:

* water
* fresh fruits and vegetables
* lean meats

1. Drink only water or unsweetened tea. Sodas and juices have a lot of calories. Even diet soda has been known to trigger cravings for sweets. However, drinking water has been shown to speed up your metabolism.

Vitamins are the commonly asked for & prescribed medicines these days. Especially in Pakistan, every patient demands them by this phrase, “Doctor Sahab, please give me something for energy & power”. I even remember one of my high school friends, who took 3-4 tablets of his dad’s multi-vitamins before a match of tug -o- war.

But the latest research has shown that they may not be as beneficial as expected. Even some researchers have concluded that the synthetic vitamins are infact harmful to the body. Check out the following video from MSNBC to know the common myths about vitamins.

With few days left in the vaccination week, please make sure that not a single less than 5 years old child, in your family & vicinity, misses these drops.

World Malaria Day is celebrated every year on 25th of April to raise awareness about Malaria, which is responsible for the death of a child after every 30 seconds. This year’s theme for World Malaria Day is ‘Counting Malaria Out’.

What is Malaria?
Malaria is a disease caused by the bite of a mosquito infected with microorganism, Plasmodium.

Facts & Figures
  • About 3.3 billion people - half of the world's population - are at risk of malaria.
  • It infects more than 500 million people per year and kills more than 1 million.
  • People living in the developing countries are the most vulnerable.
  • Malaria is especially a serious problem in Africa, where one in every five (20%) childhood deaths is due to the effects of the disease.

If you use Windows as your operating system, then you must have come across it in Vista as a wallpaper. Have you ever wondered what it is? Is it real or not?

It is called Aurora, also known as northern lights phenomenon or southern lights phenomenon, are natural light displays in the sky, usually observed at night, particularly in the polar regions.They are most commonly observed in Alaska, Canada and Sweden.

Want a better workout? Then don't stretch beforehand, some experts say.
Many people take it for granted that they should start their exercise routines with some stretching on the spot, perhaps hoping it will loosen them up for their workout. Most fitness experts now agree this kind of static stretching before exercise is not just counter-productive, but potentially harmful.
Traditional stretches, like when people bend over to touch their toes or stretch their legs on a fence, often cause the muscles to tighten rather than relax — exactly the opposite of what is needed for physical activity.
Experts say it is like extending a rubber band to its limit. When people stretch to the maximum, they are more likely to pull a muscle.
"We have developed this idea of static stretching at exactly the wrong time," said Kieran O'Sullivan, an exercise expert at the University of Limerick in Ireland, who has studied various types of stretching and their impact on athletes.
When you stretch before exercising, your body may think it's at risk of being overstretched. It compensates by contracting and becoming more tense. That means you aren't able to move as fast or as freely, making you more likely to get hurt.
Read Full Story at MSNBC Health.

Waqar Qureshi, a young Pakistani inventor showing his latest gadget for operating a computer without a keyboard & the mouse.

Waqar currently needs EEG machine (which records brain activity in the form of waves) for his next project but it is way too expensive. If anyone can help him in any sort, it will be highly welcomed.
Stress is a very common problem in the modern day and there are a number simple ways we can manage stress.
First and foremost we have to identify the source of stress. Not recognizing and addressing the cause of our stress is the most common reason why we fail in our efforts of getting rid of stress. By recognizing and addressing the cause of our stress we can go a long way in leading a stress free life. If your doing a job that your not good at you will most definitely have a stressful time. Similarly if your studying a subject you don't like you will most likely be stressed about it. following our passion and realizing our potential are one of the most important contributors to a blissful life.
A healthy body will contribute a great deal to a stress free life. By being physically fit and having a good self esteem can go a long way in leading a happy life. Exercise is the key here. A good morning walk can go a long way in a good start to the day. It will keep you energized and fresh the whole day and a walk in the evening will help you get rid of all the stresses of the day.

Almost everyone in life gets depressed, feels low & sad. It is often impossible to change what’s happening in the surroundings but one can change what’s going on inside him. So here are a few tips to kick the depression, fire up yourself & start enjoying your life. 

  • Have a good bath & wear neat clean clothes.
  • Take the food which you love most or go try a new dessert at newly opened grocery in your town.
  • Talk & share your feelings with a family member or friend you trust.
  • Get yourself involved in an activity which you like most such as playing a game.
  • Have a morning or evening walk in a greener soothing environment.
  • Recall some of your achievements from the past so that you feel proud of yourself.
  • Try to be friends with the Almighty Creator.
Threadsy is an excellent way to pull your facebook, twitter updates and emails together on a single page without having to install any application onto your computer.
Simply go to the threadsy website on your browser and it will collect all your emails from various account together and display them in an excellent way in one half of your webpage. the other half of the page will display the updates on your twitter and facebook accounts integration and arranged in a chronological fashion just like the emails from various accounts are integrated in a chronological fashion.
And the best thing about it is that it does all this in such a beautiful fashion that you will not hate the cluttered data on your screen but would rather love it!!!  As you can see in the picture below the avatar of the sender of the email is displayed along with a short preview of the email and so is the case with facebook and twitter updates however this is not all.

Food and Drug Administration warned parents this January, not to pour hot liquids into plastic baby bottles and also to discard bottles once they get scratched. Otherwise, a potentially harmful chemical, known as bisphenol A (BPA) might leach out of the plastic.

BPA has been used since the 1960s to make disposable water, soda and juice bottles bottles, sippy cups for toddlers and the linings of food and beverage cans, including the cans used to hold infant formula and soda.

Researchers in a genetics laboratory noticed in 90’s that a control population of mice developed an unusually high number of chromosomally abnormal eggs. The reason? BPA leaching from their plastic cages. From this discovery, scientists began to explore BPA.

King Penguins have always fascinated me because of the bright orange patches around the ears, on the lower part of the beak and on the lower neck. As a result, I thought to share some of the facts & pictures of them.

King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are one of the most beautiful & the second largest of all the 20 species of Penguins.

Researchers from University of Florida have developed a technology which can be embedded into drug tablets to notify clinicians and caretakers that a pill has been ingested.
One part is the pill, a standard white capsule coated with a label embossed with silvery lines. The lines comprise the antenna, which is printed using ink made of nontoxic, conductive silver nanoparticles. The pill also contains a tiny microchip, one about the size of a dot.

These lovely images are taken by an amateur enthusiast from UK named Robert Harrison. The whole experiment costed him $ 747 which on the other hand, costs millions of dollars to NASA to have such  images of space.

Robert Harrison, 38, an IT director, has launched 12 high-altitude balloons (HABs) since 2008.

First of all,

Why do I exercise?
  • It reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • It helps keep your blood pressure within normal limits.
  • It lowers cholesterol levels.
  • It strengthens your immune system.
  • It improves concentration, memory, alertness, and creativity.
  • It reduces stress and depression.
  • It improves sleep.
  • It reduces the risk of bone loss, which is very important as we age.
  • It promotes overall health.
What are the recommendations?
World TB, or Tuberculosis, Day is celebrated every year on 24th March to raise awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease. One-third of the world's population is currently infected with TB. Tuberculosis, malaria, & human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) together kill more than 5 million people annually.
The annual event on 24 March marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis, i.e., the bacterium known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. So,
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs but that can attack other parts of the body.
What causes tuberculosis?
The bacterium known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
How it is spread?
Checking Disqus comment system. Also installed facebook share and twitter's retweet buttons.
Bill gates visited Antarctica in February '10 along with his father & son. He has published a lovely 6 min documentary on his personal webpage, in which he mentions about beautiful ice scapes and the wildlife such as seals & penguins. The video is very soft & nicely scripted.

A marvelous art piece must for the Nature lovers!

A Merseyside soldier blinded by a grenade in Iraq has said his life has been turned around by technology that allows him to "see" with his tongue.

L/Cpl Craig Lundberg, 24, from Walton, Merseyside, can read words, identify shapes and walk unaided using the BrainPort device.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) selected him to trial the pioneering device which is comprised of a tiny video camera attached to a pair of sunglasses linked to a plastic "lolly pop", which the user places on their tongue to read the electrical pulses.
The soldier said the device gives off "a pins & needles sensation but it’s only a prototype and the potential to change my life is massive.”

Every year the World Kidney Day is observed on the second Thursday of March and this time it was arranged on 11th March, '10. The aim of this day is to raise awareness about kidney and its diseases.

Kidney is one of the vital organs of the body. Some basic functions of the kidney are, to filter waste products from the blood, to maintain electrolyte balance, to regulate blood pressure and to regulate the production red blood cells.

Having worked in the kidney (nephrology) unit for two months, I observed that the two most common diseases which lead to renal failure are uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. Both of these diseases damage the kidney silently. In a country like Pakistan, about 30 percent of the patients get aware of their renal problem when their kidneys cease to function and only 10 percent have access to Renal Replacement Therapy. And this is what the purpose of the day is, i.e., to raise awareness about the value of kidneys and their related diseases.

So please get yourself & others aware of the importance of the kidneys and try to live a healthy life.

More details and information can be found at World Kidney Day's website.
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