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Traffic Pollution Linked to Low Birth Weight Babies

This is definitely NOT good news, not for Seattle, not for Kuwait:

Pollution link with birth weight
From BBC Health News

Traffic pollution was identified as a significant problem

Exposure to traffic pollution could affect the development of babies in the womb, US researchers have warned.

They found the higher a mother’s level of exposure in early and late pregnancy, the more likely it was that the baby would not grow properly.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, looked at 336,000 babies born in New Jersey between 1999 and 2003

UK experts said much more detailed research into a link was needed.

The researchers, from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, used information from birth certificates and hospital discharge records.

They recorded details including each mother’s ethnicity, marital status, education, whether or not she was a smoker – as well as where she lived when her baby was born.

Daily readings of air pollution from monitoring points around the state of New Jersey were taken from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The scientists then took data from the monitoring point which was within six miles (10 km) of the mothers’ homes to work out what their exposure to air pollution had been during each of the three trimesters of pregnancy.

It was found that mothers of small, and very small, birth weight babies were more likely to be younger, less well educated, of African-American ethnicity, smokers, poorer, and single parents than mothers with normal birth weight babies.

But, even after these factors had been taken into account, higher levels of air pollutants were linked to restricted foetal growth.

Two kinds of pollution produced by cars – tiny sooty particles and nitrogen dioxide – were found to have an impact.

Particulate matter is produced from vehicle exhausts and can lodge in the lungs. Fine particles, such as PM 2.5s, which penetrate deep into the lungs, have been linked to deaths from heart and respiratory diseases.

You can read the entire article Here, at BBC Health News.

April 9, 2009 Posted by | Health Issues, Statistics | , | 3 Comments

Celebrating Cultures – Kuwait!

From today’s Al Watan:


This photo is so gorgeous, it almost makes me weep! Woo HOOO on you, Christopher Sanan; you showed the beautiful face of Kuwait to the world!

Canon Middle East announces Kuwaiti one of the 13 winners of ”Celebrating Cultures”
KUWAIT: Canon Middle East, the worldـleading innovator and provider of imaging products and solutions, has announced the winners of its regional photography competition titled “Celebrating Cultures ـ How Do You See Your World?” With more than 42 entries from Kuwait, Christopher Sanan was announced as one of the 13 winners for his photograph titled ”Drought”.

The Canon photography competition encouraged photographers of all ability to submit a cultural, historical or heritageـinspired photograph of their country for a chance to win a state of the art DSLR Canon camera ـ the EOS 1000 D.

“We were impressed with the overall high standard of photography across the region, especially Kuwait, and were amazed at the depth of talent that exists. The inaugural Canon “Celebrating Cultures ـ How Do You See Your World?” competition was very well received and has created a platform for the region”s talented photographers to showcase their work. Many of the images captured the diversity, beauty and spirit of the region. Winning entries are currently being exhibited at GPP 2009, for all photography enthusiasts to see,” said Hendrik Verbrugghe, CCI Marketing Manager, Canon Middle East.

The quality of entries from across the region made the judging process difficult for the independent onـline panel of experts which consisted of well known photo editors, photographers and a representative from Canon Middle East.

“Canon Middle East is committed to supporting photography in the region and making it accessible to all. The Canon Photography Competition is an ideal platform to nurture and recognise local talent. The tremendous response to the Canon Celebrating Cultures ـ photo competition is a testament to the region”s exceptional photographic talent,” concluded Hendrik Verbrugghe.

To view the winning entries visit the Canon stand at GPP or visit the Canon micro site on

Canon is a worldـleading innovator and provider of imaging and information technology solutions for individuals and businesses. Canon provides both individual products and complete networked technology solutions for information input, management and output. Its product range is divided between Business Solutions (developing IT products, solutions and services for both the office and professional print environments) and Consumer Imaging (photography, video and digital camera, Laser and Inkjet printers). Canon Middle East is the operational headquarters for Canon in this region, and is based in Dubai, UAE. Further information about Canon Middle East is available at: http://www.canonـ

Last updated on Thursday 9/4/2009

April 9, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Kuwait, Photos | 7 Comments

Build Brainpower – Stay Young

From Real Age, an article about keeping young in mind as well as in body.

Build Your Brainpower
Think of your brain as your body’s fuse box. It gives you the mental powers needed to accomplish everything from simple tasks, like tying your shoes, to more challenging ones, like doing your taxes. To keep your intellectual juices flowing freely for years to come, we have a 3-step plan that’s focused on one concept: Feed your head. Nourish it with new challenges, new knowledge, and new places.

1. Take on New Challenges
Just as athletes hone their skills by training to attain out-of-reach goals, you can train your brain to be sharper by testing yourself just beyond your capability. So if Wednesday’s crossword puzzle is a breeze, but you barely get half of Sunday’s done, do your brain a favor and keep taking a whack at Sunday’s (as long as it’s not so frustrating that it’s no fun). It will trigger brain neurons and dendrites (the parts that catch info from neurotransmitters) to regrow.

2. Learn New Tricks
By finding ways to stretch yourself mentally, you’ll actually avoid brain shrinkage. The classic way to do this is to learn something new — whether it’s learning how to speak Spanish, play Sousa tunes on the harmonica, or make risotto. The point is for you to use parts of your brain that you normally don’t. Like muscles, your brain grows when it’s working outside of its normal routine.

3. Explore New Places
Driving, walking, or studying the subway system of a new city forces you to use many different parts of your brain at once. You’re using visual-spatial skills when you read a map and then need to translate it into verbal code for whoever’s driving (Honey, turn left! Now!). When you’re driving, you need to make quick decisions about where to go, which involves processing info quickly. Get lost? Even better. Figuring out how to get back also contributes to the brain-building process.

Can’t get away? Daydreaming about exploring new lands will also stir up your brain.

Being open to trying new things will help you steer clear of the mental monotony of a daily rut, and it’s the key to boosting your brainpower at any age.

April 9, 2009 Posted by | Aging, Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions | 2 Comments