Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grapes can fight high blood pressure

A new study shows that grapes not only are heart tonic but can also help tackle high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risks.

According to the study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, flavonid-rich grapes can fight high blood pressure caused by a salty diet.

Findings revealed that adding grape powder to the diet improves the heart's function while reducing inflammation, oxidative stress and heart muscle damage in rats on a salty diet.

Compared to rats on anti-hypertension medication, those fed by grape powder experienced less heart damage secondary to diet-related high blood pressure.

Scientists recommended hypertensive individuals to adopt a low-salt diet to prevent from complications including heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Biggest women in politics and their weird hobbies

It is an open secret that politics is a very serious and severe matter, and those women, who dedicate their lives to it, are forced to play the game according to men’s rules. However, women are women, and every woman has her own soft corner. Women in politics also have their own hobbies that can be purely masculine, feminine, neutral, extraordinary and even strange.

Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, was nicknamed as the Steel Magnolia in her youth. A young woman bearing such an unusual name often had to literally fight for her dignity and honor during the times of racial discrimination in the United States. Condoleezza eventually decided not to burden herself with a family for the sake of her political future. She also gave up the career of a pianist, although she tries not to forget her skills today. Ms. Rice became known in big politics for her cruelty and irreconcilability.

Several years ago Rice called a regular meeting on Iraq, which then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and then-CIA Director George Tenet did not attend. Condi burst into tears like a little girl, whose guests did not show up for her birthday.

The former First Lady Hillary Clinton, who never became a presidential candidate, has a very unusual hobby. When she has free time, she communicates with another former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. It is worthy of note that nearly all American presidents and their wives indulged in magic and astrology, and stories of presidential spiritual sessions do not surprise common Americans anymore.

The notorious Sarah Palin also has an invisible adviser – the Lord. To make this communication more effective, Sarah, a Christian Dominionist, falls into a trace during the sacral minutes. In addition, the woman also enjoys shooting wolves right from her helicopter.

When Angela Merkel, the would-be German Chancellor, appeared on TV for the first time, reporters joked that Merkel was probably representing the party of housewives. Indeed, Merkel does look like a typical German lady, who does laundry and house cleaning on Mondays, goes shopping on Tuesdays and bakes pies on Sundays. We do not know if Frau Merkel cooks or not, but she does like to listen to Bah and Beethoven and read books on the life and works of Dostoyevsky. Angela Merkel is also a very big football fan, which always helps her establish close ties with male politicians.

Tzipi Livni, the new Prime Minister of Israel, a lawyer by education, produces an impression of a kind-hearted woman. However, she used to work for the Mossad. It is not known if the woman was ever involved in any Hollywood action-like scenes in her past experience, but she took a direct part in the liquidation of Arab terrorists.

Yulia Tymoshenko, the orange princess, goes in for sports. She swims, plays volleyball, tennis and she skates. These are all image-making hobbies. She has a great passion for expensive clothing, which is the biggest hobby of the Ukrainian prime minister.

Evolution Theory Lacks True Transitional Forms

Many individuals who believe in evolution are convinced that there exists an abundance of transitional forms to support evolution. However, what they regard as "transitional" are simply biological similarities between various species or groups, and are not true or actual transitions in Nature. Creationists believe that the biological similarities between various species are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes in all of the various forms of life, from the simplest to the most complex. Evolutionists believe that the biological similarities between species are evidence of common ancestry between all forms of life. Neither position can be scientifically proved.

A true transitional form would be something like a fish having part fins…part feet, or a bird having part scales…part feathers, partially one function, partially another with neither being complete or functional. Even the top experts of evolution theory have admitted that there are no indisputable transitional forms in the fossil record to support evolution across biological groups or kinds, although this news is rarely made public in the media or in textbooks.
The fossil record contains fossils of only complete and fully-formed species. There are no fossils of partially-evolved species to indicate that a gradual process of evolution ever occurred. Even among evolutionists there are diametrically different interpretations and reconstructions of the fossils used to support human evolution from a supposed ape-like ancestry. In fact, all of the fossils, with their fancy scientific names, that have been used to support human evolution have eventually been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not both human and non-human. Yet, many modern school textbooks continue to use these long disproved fossils as evidence for human evolution.
Evolutionists once reconstructed an image of a half-ape and half-man (known as The Nebraska Man) creature from a single tooth! Later they discovered that the tooth belonged to an extinct species of pig! The "Nebraska Man" was used as a major piece of evidence in the famous Scopes Trial in support of Darwin's evolutionary theory.
At times evolutionists have used various bones gathered from many yards of each other and classify them as belonging to the same creature (even when there's no proof). They then reconstruct from these bones whatever will support their hypotheses. The fossil case "Lucy" is an excellent example of this. Scientists have only forty percent of the bones for Lucy. The bones were found yards from each other, some were found even a mile or more away! The knee joint (the main evidence used) was found two hundred feet below ground from the rest of the bones. Many of the leading scientists doubt that the bones all belong to the same species or individual. And, some of the key bones are crushed. Yet, from all of this evolutionists have reconstructed a drawing of an ape-man creature (in full color)for display in textbooks and museums!
Many experts are not convinced that Lucy was an ape-man because they're not convinced all of the bones belong to the same individual or even the same species. Many leading authorities have said that "Lucy" is really an extinct ape, but not an ape-man. Those scientists who are convinced that Lucy was an ape-man are the ones that receive all the attention from the mainstream media.
Evenen if evolution takes millions and millions of years, we should still be able to see some stages of its process. But, we simply don't observe any partially-evolved fish, frogs, lizards, birds, dogs, cats among us. Every species of plant and animal is complete and fully-formed.
Another problem is how could partially-evolved plant and animal species survive over millions of years if their vital organs and tissues were still in the process of evolving? How, for example, were animals breathing, eating, and reproducing if their respiratory, digestive, and reproductive organs were still incomplete and evolving? How were species fighting off possibly life-threatening germs if their immune system hadn't fully evolved yet?
Scientist Dr. Walt Brown, in his fantastic book "In The Beginning", makes this point by saying "All species appear fully developed, not partially developed. They show design. There are no examples of half-developed feathers, eyes, skin, tubes (arteries, veins, intestines, etc.), or any of thousands of other vital organs. Tubes that are not 100% complete are a liability; so are partially developed organs and some body parts. For example, if a leg of a reptile were to evolve into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing."
A lizard with half-evolved legs and wings can't run or fly away from its predators. How would it survive? Why would it be preserved by natural selection? Imagine such a species surviving in such a miserable state over many millions of years waiting for fully-formed wings to evolve!
Some evolutionists cite the fossil of an ancient bird known to have claws as an example of a transitional link. However, there are two species of birds living today in South America that have claws on their wings, but even evolutionists today do not claim that these birds are transitional links from a reptilian ancestry. These claws are complete, as everything else on the birds.
What about all those spectacular and popular claims reported in the mass media of evolutionists having discovered certain transitional forms in the fossil record? Such claims have not been accepted by all evolutionists and, after much investigation and analysis, these claims have been found to have no hard basis in science. This has been the case of every so-called "missing link" and "transitional" form discovered since Darwin.
Recently it was thought they had discovered fossils of dinosaurs with feathers until they found out that the so-called feathers were really scales which only had the appearance of feathers. Scientists theorize the scales took upon a feather-like appreance during some brief stage of decomposition before being fossilized. Even if they were feathers, this still wouldn't be any kind of evidence to support macro-evolution unless they can show a series of fossils having part-scale/part-feather structures as evidence that the scales had really evolved into feathers.
Again, evolutionists often use similarities of traits shared by different forms of life as a basis for claiming a transitional link. But, the problem for evolutionists is that all the traits which they cite as transitional are complete and fully-formed. And evolutionists are not consistent. The duck-billed platypus, for example, has traits belonging to both mammals and birds but even evolutionists won't go so far as to claim that the duck-billed platypus is a transitional link between birds and mammals!
Not only are there no true transitional links in the fossil record, but the fossils themselves are not in the supposed geological sequential order as evolutionists claim in their textbooks. Of course, evolutionists have their various circular and unsupported arguments or reasons for why this is so.
If evolution across biological kinds (known as macro-evolution) really occurred then we should find millions of indisputable transitional forms in the fossil record instead of a few disputable transitional forms that even evolutionists cannot all agree upon. And, again, the point needs to be emphasized that species cannot wait millions of years for their vital (or necessary) organs and biological systems to evolve.
In fact, it is precisely because of these problems that more and more modern evolutionists are adopting a new theory known as Punctuated Equilibrium which says that plant and animal species evolved suddenly from one kind to another and that is why we don't see evidence of partially-evolved species in the fossil record. Of course, we have to accept their word on blind faith because there is no way to prove or disprove what they are saying. These evolutionists claim that something like massive bombardment of radiation resulted in mega mutations in species which produced "instantaneous" changes from one life form to another. The nature and issue of mutations will be discussed later and the reader will see why such an argument is not viable.
The fact that animal and plant species are found fully formed and complete in the fossil record is powerful evidence (although not proof) for creation because it is evidence that they came into existence as fully formed and complete which is possible only by creation.
Although Darwin was partially correct by showing that natural selection occurs in nature, the problem is that natural selection itself is not a creative force. Natural selection is a passive process in nature. Natural selection can only "select" from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. Natural selection itself does not produce any biological traits or variations.
The term "natural selection" is simply a figure of speech. Nature, of course, does not do any conscious or active selection. If a biological variation occurs which helps a member of a species to survive in its environment then that biological variation will be preserved ("selected") and be passed on to future offspring. That's what scientists mean by the term "natural selection". Since natural selection can only work with biological variations that are possible, the real question to ask is what biological variations are naturally possible.
The evidence from genetics supports only the possibility for microevolution (or horizontal) evolution within biological "kinds" such as the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc., but not macroevolution (or vertical) evolution which would involve variations across biological "kinds"), especially from simpler kinds to more complex ones (i.e. from fish to human). Even if a new species develops but there are no new genes or new traits, but only new variations of already existing genes and traits, then there still is no macro-evolution (variation across biological kinds) and the different species would remain within the same biological "kind" even though they would no longer have the ability to inter-breed. Unless Nature has the intelligence and ability to perform genetic engineering (to construct entirely new genes and not just to produce variations and new combinations of already existing genes) then macroevolution will never be possible in Nature.
The early grooves in the human embryo that appear to look like gills are really the early stages in the formation of the face, throat, and neck regions. The so-called "tailbone" is the early formation of the coccyx and spinal column which, because of the rate of growth being faster than the rest of the body at this stage, appears to look like a tail. The coccyx has already been proven to be useful in providing support for the pelvic muscles.
Abortion clinics have been known to console their patients by telling them that what they're terminating isn't really a human being yet but is only a guppie or tadpole!
Variations across biological kinds such as humans evolving from ape-like creatures and apes, in turn, evolving from dog-like creatures and so on, as Darwinian evolutionary theory teaches, are not genetically possible. Although the chemicals to make entirely new genes exist in all varieties of plant and animal kinds, the DNA or genetic program that exists in each plant or animal kind will only direct those chemicals into making more of the same genes or variations of the same genes but not entirely new genes.
But, didn't we all start off from a single cell in our mother's womb? Yes, but that single cell from which we developed had all of the genetic information to develop into a full human being. Other single cells, such as bacteria and amoeba, from which evolutionists say we and all other forms of life had evloved don't have the genetic information to develop into humans or other species.
There is no scientific evidence that random mutations in the genetic code caused by random environmental forces such as radiation will increase genetic information and complexity which is what ultimately would be necessary to turn amoebas into humans. In fact, the law of entropy in nature would prevent random mutations from being able to accomplish such a feat!
Biological variations are determined by the DNA or genetic code of species. The DNA molecule is actually a molecular string of various nucleic acids which are arranged in a sequence just like the letters in a sentence. It is this sequence in DNA that tells cells in the body how to construct various tissues and organs.
The common belief among evolutionists is that random mutations in the genetic code produced by random environmental forces such as radiation, over time, will produce entirely new genetic sequences or genes for entirely new traits which natural selection can act upon resulting in entirely new biological kinds or forms of life . Evolutionists consider mutations to be a form of natural genetic engineering.
However, the very nature of mutations precludes such a possibility. Mutations are accidental changes in the sequential structure of the genetic code caused by various random environmental forces such as radiation and toxic chemicals.
Almost all true mutations are harmful, which is what one would normally expect from accidents. Even if a good mutation occurred for every good one there will be thousands of harmful ones with the net result over time being disastrous for the species.
Most biological variations, however, occur as a result of new combinations of previously existing genes - not because of mutations, which are rare in nature.
Mutations simply produce new varieties of already existing traits. For example, mutations in the gene for human hair may change the gene so that another type of human hair develops, but the mutations won't change the gene so that feathers or wings develop.
Sometimes mutations may trigger the duplication of already existing traits (i.e. an extra finger, toe, or even an entire head, even in another area of the body!). But mutations have no ability to produce entirely new traits or characteristics.
Furthermore, only those mutations produced in the genes of reproductive cells, such as sperm in the male and ovum (or egg cell) in the female, are passed on to offspring. Mutations and any changes produced in other body cells are not transmitted. For example, if a woman were to lose a finger it would not result in her baby being born with a missing finger. Similarly, even if an ape ever learned to walk upright, it could not pass this characteristic on to its descendants. Thus, modern biology has disproved the once-held theory that acquired characteristics from the environment can be transmitted into the genetic code of offspring.
Young people, and even adults, often wonder how all the varieties and races of people could come from the same human ancestors. Well, in principle, that's no different than asking how children with different color hair ( i.e., blond, brunette, brown, red ) can come from the same parents who both have black hair.
Just as some individuals today carry genes to produce descendants with different color hair and eyes, humanity's first parents possessed genes to produce all the variety and races of men. You and I today may not carry the genes to produce every variety or race of humans, but humanity's first parents did possess such genes.
All varieties of humans carry genes for the same basic traits, but not all humans carry every possible variation of those genes. For example, one person may be carrying several variations of the gene for eye color ( i.e., brown, green, blue ) , but someone else may be carrying only one variation of the gene for eye color ( i.e., brown ). Thus, both will have different abilities to affect the eye color of their offspring.
Some parents with black hair, for example, are capable of producing children with blond hair, but their blond children (because they inherit only recessive genes) will not have the ability to produce children with black hair unless they mate with someone else who has black hair. If the blond descendants only mate with other blondes then the entire line and population will only be blond even though the original ancestor was black-haired.
Science cannot prove we're here by creation, but neither can science prove we're here by chance or macro-evolution. No one has observed either. They are both accepted on faith. The issue is which faith, Darwinian macro-evolutionary theory or creation, has better scientific support.
If some astronauts from Earth discovered figures of persons similar to Mt. Rushmore on an uninhabited planet there would be no way to scientifically prove the carved figures originated by design or by chance processes of erosion. Neither position is science, but scientific arguments may be made to support one or the other.
What we believe about life's origins does influence our philosophy and value of life as well as our view of ourselves and others. This is no small issue!
Evolution Theory Lacks True Transitional Forms
Must because the laws of science can explain how life and the universe operate and work doesn't mean there is no Maker. Would it be rational to believe that there's no designer behind airplanes because the laws of science can explain how airplanes operate and work?
Natural laws are adequate to explain how the order in life, the universe, and even a microwave oven operates, but mere undirected natural laws can never fully explain the origin of such order.
Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the genetic program and biological mechanisms exist to direct and organize molecules to form into more cells. The question is how did life come into being when there was no directing mechanism in Nature. An excellent article to read by scientist and biochemist Dr. Duane T. Gish is "A Few Reasons An Evolutionary Origin of Life Is Impossible" (
The author's article "Textbook Biology's Origin of Life Deception" may be accessed at:
There is, of course, much more to be said on this subject. Scientist, creationist, debater, writer, and lecturer, Dr. Walt Brown covers various scientific issues ( i.e. fossils, "transitional" links, biological variation and diversity, the origin of life, comparative anatomy and embryology, the issue of vestigial organs, the age of the earth, etc. ) at greater depth on his website at
On his website, Dr. Brown even discusses the possibility of any remains of life on Mars as having originated from the Earth due to great geological disturbances in the Earth's past which easily could have spewed thousands of tons of rock and dirt containing microbes into space. In fact, A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility.
An excellent source of information from highly qualified scientists who are creationists is the Institute for Creation Research ( in San Diego, California. Also, the reader may find answers to many difficult questions concerning the Bible (including questions on creation and evolution, Noah's Ark, how dinosaurs fit into the Bible, etc.)at
It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design or creation be presented to students alongside of evolutionary theory, especially in public schools which receive funding from taxpayers who are on both sides of the issue. Also, no one is being forced to believe in God or adopt a particular religion so there is no true violation of separation of church and state. As a religion and science writer, I encourage all to read my Internet article "The Natural Limits of Evolution" at my website for more in-depth study of the issue.
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. degree with concentrations in theology and biology. As a religion and science writer he has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who In The East. The author's articles have been published in various publications including Russia's Pravda and South Korea's The Seoul Times.
The author's website may be accessed at: .

US Elections: The collective responsibility of the citizens of the USA

For the last eight years. The rest of the world has looked on aghast at the Republican Party’s policies lurching from one domestic and international disaster to the next. The new order of the Third Millennium turned into a nightmare as the United States of America, that bastion of freedom and democracy of yesteryear, became the champion of mass murder, torture chambers, rape of detainees, child abuse, acts of sexual depravity more befitting of a lunatic asylum and concentration camps.

It is always amusing when the US media speaks about “The President’s policies” as if George W. Bush was able to formulate a single policy in his head. The real power in the White House is wielded not by this intellectually challenged, perhaps well-meaning simpleton but by the clique of elitists whose grasp on the energy and arms lobbies is complete and who dictate the external and internal policy of the USA. Donald (the Torturer) Rumsfeld, Richard (Dick) Cheney and Condoleeza (I am not a Diplomat) Rice are the most famous faces of the Bush regime, all of whom, including the invisible barons who masterminded these eight long years of failed policies, are intrinsically connected to the Republican Party.

The Republican Party of Bush, Cheney and Rice and now John (Failed War Hero) McCain and Sarah (Failed Hockey Mum) Palin is indeed like an elephant in a china shop. More seriously, the policies that this party has produced have managed to divorce the USA from the hearts and minds of the international community, where a growing number of US citizens travel under the guise of Canadians, so ashamed are they of their country.

While the shocking and horrific act of 9/11 was no different from what the USA has meted out to civilians in other parts of the globe, it was nonetheless unacceptable – yet provided a convenient launching pad for the internationalization of the Bush doctrine, namely a carte blanche for the US to invade sovereign nations under the disguise of bringing freedom and democracy, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of civilians, targeting civilian structures with WMD and military hardware, blasting the limbs off kids, blasting families into oblivion, torturing detainees and the rest, which is unfortunately now the external image of the country and its citizens.

Therefore with the citizens of the United States of America lies today the chance to redeem their great country in the eyes of the world and in the hearts and minds of the international community. While McCain and Palin try desperately to distance themselves from the Bush regime, the fact of the matter is that the Bush regime is composed of Republicans. And what party do McCain and Palin belong to?

And what exactly do they represent? McCain, the great war hero, who was so competent that he trashed how many machines? And spent the war in captivity? What kind of credentials are those? A war hero is someone who fights the enemy, operates behind enemy lines, gets decorated for acts of real heroism, in action, not someone whose incompetence as a pilot and as a soldier sees him sitting on his ass in jail living at the mercy of his captors. This, the man vying for the Presidency of the USA, who chose Sarah Palin because she lives in Alaska and can look at Russia? And who the Hell is Sarah Palin? Some pith-headed bimbo from the back of beyond who knows absolutely nothing about anything at all, whose claims to fame are clowning around on Saturday night TV. What if McCain dies? This, the woman who threatened to go to war with Russia? What does she want to do, get her country carpet-nuked or what?
True, the Barack Obama ticket brings with it a Zionist, Joe Biden. Nobody outside Washington or Tel Aviv supports Israel’s expansionist policies, stealing lands that do not belong to it and perpetrating the most blatant acts of imperialism, constructing colonies for Jews on Palestinian lands. True, the corporate elitists who are backing Barack Obama will want some pay-back for their support.
However, Barack Obama is the closest thing to real change, the best opportunity for the United States of America to change direction and work in tandem with the international community and not against it, that the USA will have in a long, long time. He represents the fundamentals of democracy which Americans respect – debate, discussion and dialogue, not the ABC of the Republican regime, arrogance, bullying and chauvisism, which McCain and Palin represent.
The international scenario which was supposed to follow the third millennium of Christ’s birth soon became a scene more befitting of a horror movie, a visitation of the Devil himself, an incubus right in the heart of the Republican Party. After what these war criminals have done, it is doubtful that a single member of the current regime will dare to step off an aircraft anywhere outside the USA, where they will live the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders. No cocktail circuit for these, no chicken run of after-dinner speeches. Sooner or later arrest warrants will be issued for them to face the consequences of their evil deeds, although Bush might be let off on grounds of insanity or sheer idiocy.
The Republican Party provided the USA and the world with the worst President and Vice-President, the worst Secretary of State and the worst Defence Secretary (Rumsfeld) in history. What is amazing is that anyone at all would dream of casting a vote in their favour – all one has to do is take a look at the mess they have created both internally and internationally. The greatest national security risk is Screaming Sarah Palin and her master who wants to “unleash” his bitch on Washington, Wacky John Mommy’s Boy Temper Tantrum McCain.
I’m Backing Barack. He is intelligent, he is well-read, he is sharp, he is a diplomat and a gentleman. Talking about the colour of his skin is racist and racism is ignorance. He is as black as he is white and as white as he is black, and so what? What matters is he cares and he will be a memorable leader of the best team Washington has put together in decades.

One God Doesn't Mean The Same God

President Bush's statement that Muslims and Christians both worship the same God because they both believe in one God may be politically correct but it is theologically and philosophically wrong.

What if someone was knocking on your front door? Your wife says "It must be Bill" but you say, "It must be John". Both of you may agree that someone is knocking on your front door, but that doesn't mean both of you believe it's the same person.

The character of the God revealed in the Koran might share some similarities with the character of the God revealed in the Christian Scriptures but in many other ways they are dissimilar. They are not the same God. Unlike the God of the Koran, the God of the Christian Scriptures is a Triune God and the God of the Christian Scriptures is a personal God. Furthermore the God of the Christian Scriptures reveals that we cannot earn our salvation through good works, punishing ourselves, or even by simply believing that He exists. The God of the Christian Scriptures became a sinless Man in the Person of Jesus Christ, lived a perfect and sinless life, and died and shed His blood on the Cross to pay for all the wrongs and sins of mankind and bodily rose from the grave.

Just as a co-signer to a loan legally takes the blame for someone else's debt when the loan is in default so, too, Christ (God the Son) because of His love for us took the blame for our sins and was punished on the Cross by God the Father. On the Cross God showed His justice and love. Christ's death satisfied the infinite justice of God the Father because of the infinite worth of the life of His Son Who died to pay for our sins. Christ's bodily resurrection from the grave is God's proof that all who genuinely believe in His Son are forgiven of their sins and are guaranteed eternal life. God can forgive our sins without violating His justice when we genuinely put our faith in His Son Jesus Christ to save us.

The Christian Scriptures say, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Jesus said that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What we believe about God is just as important as believing that there is a God. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).
The God that Christians worship is the only true and real God. Although genuine Christians will never be perfect or sinless in this life, God works in the hearts and lives of true Christians to do good deeds out of personal love for Him. Christians are not saved by good works but they are saved for good works!

All this doesn't mean that there should be enmity or war between Christians and Muslims or people of any other faith. All should give freedom to each other to believe as they do and live in peace with one another. Tolerance doesn't have to mean acceptance of the other person's point of view but it does mean respecting the mutual liberties and freedoms of the conscience and of the heart.

The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. degree with concentrations in theology and biology. As a religion and science writer he has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who In The East. The author's article "The Natural Limits of Evolution" and many other articles may be accessed at his website

Saturday, October 18, 2008

China will be a democracy by 2020, says senior party figure

Zhou Tianyong, an adviser to the Communist Party's Central Committee and one of its most liberal voices, told the Daily Telegraph that "by 2020, China will basically finish its political and institutional reforms".

He added: "We have a 12-year plan to establish a democratic platform. There will be public democratic involvement at all government levels."
Mr Zhou also predicted "extensive public participation in policy-making, such as drawing up new legislation".

Mr Zhou is deputy head of research at the Central Party School, the most important institution for training senior leaders. President Hu Jintao is among its former directors.

After two weeks of heightened tension between China and Taiwan because of a £3.5 billion American arms sale to the island, Mr Zhou said the transition to democracy was "essential for relations with Taiwan and a possible peaceful reunification".

His comments appear to rebuff the widespread belief that Chinese political reform had stalled after the riots in Tibet in March and a security clampdown before the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Instead, Mr Zhou said the government was determined to reform itself, but that there had been some infighting between different departments. He called for the number of ministries in Beijing to be halved to between 19 and 21 in order to form a "modern government structure".

Mr Zhou added that civil society in China would also play an important role. "There will be many more non-governmental organisations, chambers of commerce, industry associations and other social groups. Religion should also be given a wider platform to play a positive role. We should protect religious freedom," he said.

"People should not follow the traditional mindset," he added. "We should recognise that the government should serve the people and society."
But Mr Zhou did not predict the end of the one-party state, nor the demise of the Communist Party's monopoly of power.

Any transition to democracy is likely to be a slow process. China already has grassroots elections in over 660,000 villages, although these contests are often rigged. However, there are already small signs of change, with larger cities, such as Nanjing and Guangzhou, recently opening more important posts to public competition.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Web surfing fights Alzheimer's

A recent study shows that surfing the internet improves brain function in middle-aged individuals and tackles later life dementia.

According to the study that will be published in the upcoming issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, compared to reading a book, surfing the net is more effective in stimulating brain function.

Findings revealed an improved activity in the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes of the brain, responsible for language, reading, memory and visual abilities, when reading a book.

The study reported that web surfing not only stimulates the abovementioned areas but also enhances the activity in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas of the brain, which control decision-making and complex reasoning.

Scientists believe keeping the brain active can alter chemistry signals linked to age-related brain changes - atrophy, reductions in cell activity, and increases in amyloid plaques and tau tangles deposits (Alzheimer's disease) - all of which can affect ones cognitive function.

Previous studies had reported that pursuing mind-engaging activities such as crossword puzzles and memory games lower the future risk of cognitive decline.

Vitamin B ineffective in Alzheimer's

A new study shows that high doses of vitamin B supplements are ineffective in preventing mental decline in Asian Alzheimer's sufferers.

Previous studies had reported that vitamin B supplements lower the blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, the main ingredient in brain-clogging amyloid plaques, and therefore are an effective tool in tackling Alzheimer's disease.

According to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, high-doses of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are not effective in preserving cognitive skills such as memory and language in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

Findings revealed a higher depression rate among individuals taking these supplements. Alzheimer's is a progressive and fatal brain disease, affecting a large number of individuals in the world. The disease destroys brain cells, causing memory and behavioral problems severe enough to disable one's life.

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