Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Inspiration from SUBmarine and aloe VERA. Now that IS a strange combination of machine and nature.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Pets help health?

Being a pet lover, I am so happy to read this. However, I am a little skeptical. Do read through and decide. 

Study: Why Dogs and Cats Make Babies Healthier

Baby and dog
Colleen Rudolph / Getty Images
What do dogs or cats have to do with your baby’s risk of catching a cold? According to the latest research, they may help lower his or her risk of coughs and sniffles during the first year of life.
Reporting in the journal Pediatrics, researchers say that babies who grow up in homes with a pet — namely a dog or a cat — are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free. The results bolster the notion that keeping infants’ environments overly sanitized isn’t good for their health. Previous research has linked the presence of pets with a lower risk of allergies among babies, while a recent study in mice found that exposure to household dust from homes with a dog prevented infection with a common respiratory virus that is thought to increase the risk of childhood asthma.
(MORE: Why We’re Going Nuts Over Nut Allergies)
So, how do pets protect against these diseases? It’s not entirely clear, but researchers think that exposure to pet dander, as well as the microbes that pets carry into the home from outdoors, could prime babies’ still-developing immune systems and train them early to fend off assaults from common allergens and bugs, such as from animals or other bacteria and viruses.
“We think the exposure to pets somehow matures the immune system so when the child meets the microbes, he might be better prepared for them,” says Dr. Eija Bergroth, a pediatrician at Kuopio University Hospital in Finland who led current study.
Bergroth and her colleagues didn’t analyze the babies in their study for immune-system markers to verify the theory, but they hypothesize that the same process that may help kids steer clear of allergies or asthma may also explain why some infants can stave off colds better than others.
For their study, the researchers followed 397 children born in Finland between 2002 and ’05. For the first year of life, parents kept weekly logs of their children’s health, jotting down symptoms like coughing, runny nose and ear infections; they also noted when kids’ got prescribed antibiotics. The researchers found that babies who grew up in homes with pets were 44% less likely to develop an ear infection and 29% less likely to receive antibiotics, compared with pet-free babies.
Kids with dogs fared better than those with cats: Overall, babies who lived with a dog were 31% more likely to be healthy in their first year than babies without a dog; kids from homes with cats were 6% more likely to be healthy than those in cat-free families.
The fact that kids in pet-friendly homes got fewer antibiotics to treat respiratory infections is encouraging. Overuse of antibiotics is known to encourage drug-resistance in bacteria, making them harder to treat.
(MORE: How ‘Bring Your Dog to Work’ Days Could Lower Your Stress)
Bergroth’s study also underscores the importance of timing when it comes to pet exposure: so far, all the evidence suggests that early exposure to pets may be most helpful in lowering children’s risk of allergies and asthma. That’s because during the first year of life, babies’ immune systems are still learning how to recognize microbial friend from foe, and it could be that early training with low-dose exposures in the form of pet hair may be beneficial.
When it comes to colds and ear infections, however, Bergroth’s study found an interesting twist: kids with pets were healthier overall, but the health benefit appeared to be greatest in babies whose pets weren’t around as much. Those who had dogs who spent less than six hours a day inside, for example, had fewer infections than kids who grew up with indoor-only dogs. That suggests that when animals are allowed to bring in more dirt and microbes from outdoors, it helps strengthen babies’ immune systems faster.
But despite the good news about pets, it’s probably not necessary to get a dog or cat if you don’t already have one. For one thing, some previous studies have shown that for children who may have a predisposition to developing allergies or asthma, living with a pet can exacerbate their symptoms. Bergroth also notes that her study focused on children living in rural or suburban areas of Finland, and that the microbes dogs and cats track inside in these regions may be different from those brought in by pets living in urban areas, where unsanitary trash bins or sewers can harbor bugs that may harm infants, rather than help.
Bottom line: you shouldn’t get a pet expressly to protect your child from colds, but you also don’t need to worry about getting rid of Fido out of fear that he may do harm by nuzzling up to your newborn.

Reference Cited

STUDY: WHY DOGS AND CATS MAKE BABIES HEALTHIER (2014[Online] Time Inc. Available from:
[Accessed: 18 DEC 2014]

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

***Time is GOLD!***

Watch fetches record 13.3 million pounds at Swiss auction
A Patek Philippe gold watch billed as the most expensive -- and most complicated -- in the world fetched a record 21.3 million dollars (13.3 million pounds) on Tuesday when it went under the hammer in Switzerland.
The sale of the "Henry Graves Supercomplication", a handcrafted timepiece named after its original owner, a New York banker who ordered it in 1925, weighs more than half a kilo and comprises 900 separate parts. It had been expected to sell for 15 million dollars at a Sotheby's jewel and watch auction in Geneva.
But frenzied bidding pushed the price up higher, and the final amount paid was "a new world record", Sotheby's said. The winning bidder, who remained anonymous, will have to fork out a total of 24 million dollars, including the commission. It took Patek Philippe five years to assemble the watch, which has Graves's name on the dial.
Tim Bourne, Sotheby's worldwide head of watches, said the sale confirmed the watch's "superstar status". Bourne called it an "icon of the 20th century, a masterpiece that elevates the discipline of watchmaking to art."

'Symbolises strength, power and money'

A watch industry expert told AFP before the auction the timepiece was not just an immensely expensive accessory. "This is not a watch you can wear. It is a watch that symbolises strength, power and money," he said. The Patek Philippe piece displays not only the hour but also a plethora of other indicators: a perpetual calendar, the phases of the moon, sidereal time, indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, and the shifting night sky over Manhattan.
Its Westminster chimes sing joyfully every 15 minutes. The watch has been up for sale once before, at a Sotheby's auction in New York in December 1999, when the Time Museum in Rockford, Illinois closed its doors and emptied its inventory. That time, the exquisite timepiece went for a mere 11 million dollars.The watch was among 368 timepieces that were up for auction on Tuesday.
Watch fetches record 13.3 million pounds at Swiss auction Wealthy collectors from around the world have descended on Geneva for four action-packed days at Sotheby's and rival house Christie's. Christie's kicked off the bidding frenzy on Sunday with a special auction to mark 175 years of Patek Philippe watches, which saw 100 wrist and pocket watches go under the hammer for a total of 19,731,099 dollars.
That was double the original estimate, and set nine world records in the process, said Christie's, which raked in another 15 million dollars on a second round of watch sales Monday evening. At Christie's on Tuesday a diamond-decked brooch commissioned by France's empress Eugenie in 1855 went for 2 million dollars, at the low end of the pre-sale estimate.
The piece had not been seen at auction in 125 years, Christie's said, stressing that it was "extremely rare for a jewel of such historic importance to be offered for sale". At the same auction a diamond and sapphire necklace, the Blue Belle of Asia, which includes a legendary cushion-shaped sapphire of 392.52 carats, sold for 15.75 million dollars, well above its estimate.
Sotheby's is also presenting a bit of royal history at its competing auction on Wednesday, offering up a stunning pearl necklace that once belonged to Josephine de Beauharnais (1807-1876), who later became queen of Sweden and Norway. Sotheby's jewel chief David Bennet suggested the pearls, expected to fetch up to 1.5 million dollars, may even have been handed down by the queen's grandmother and namesake, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.
"It may well be that these pearls were originally in her collection as well," said Bennet. (Marie-Noƫlle Blessig, AFP)
Photos: AFP

Reference Cited
WATCH FETCHES 13.3 MIILION POUNDS AT SWISS AUCTION (2014[Online] FashionUnited Available from:
[Accessed: 28 DEC 2014]