October 25, 2014

Russia's clocks go back for the last time on Sunday as it adopts winter hours permanently

Russia will turn back its clocks for the last time on Sunday to permanently adopt winter hours.
It will also increase its time zones from nine to 11, from the Pacific to the borders of the European Union.
For the last three years, Russia experimented with keeping permanent summer time, but it proved to be highly unpopular with many Russians.
The Soviet Union introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981.
In 2011, then President Dmitry Medvedev introduced measures to reduce Russia's time zones to nine, and to keep summer time all year round.
Russians put their clocks forward one hour but did not put them back in winter time.
Changing times in the seasons disrupted people's biorhythms and even upset cows, Mr Medvedev said.
However, during winter many Russians in the north complained about living in darkness, where there are fewer hours of sunlight closer to the Arctic circle.
At a news conference in Moscow, representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences said that Europe would now be closer as the difference between the capital and Greenwich Mean Time would only be three hours.

Department of Homeland Security Executes Panty Raid in Kansas City

When two burly men walked into a Missouri women's underwear store Tuesday, the owners didn't think much of it -- until the pair flashed their Homeland Security badges and confiscated several dozen panties bearing the initials "KC" in honor of the Kansas City Royals.
Danielle Meister, co-owner of Birdies Panties shop, said the undercover agents seized the lingerie, claiming the store violated copyright laws by selling underwear with "Take the Crown" and "KC" printed across the rear. Meister and her business partner, Peregrine Honig, said they wanted to celebrate the success of their hometown team -- which on Wednesday night beat the San Francisco Giants to tie the World Series at one game apiece -- by designing the panties.
"We printed these underpants because our team is doing well after so many years and we were excited," Meister told Thursday. "When we started posting them on social media, we were amazed at how many people wanted them." 
"The first people to buy them were actually police officers," she said.
But the boom in sales of the Lucky Royals panties didn't last long. 
"It all came crashing down on Tuesday when Homeland Security showed up and said we were committing a crime of copyright infringement," Meister said. "My initial response was fear. How often does Homeland Security show up to your panty shop?"
"Were we breaking the law? Major League Baseball apparently thought we were. Was it done maliciously? No," she said.
Major League Baseball spokesman Matt Bourne said counterfeit merchandise is a serious problem. 
"We support [Homeland Security's] efforts to protect fans from purchasing counterfeit tickets and merchandise while protecting legitimate businesses that are authorized to conduct those activities," Bourne said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Shawn Neudauer confirmed the incident to, describing the raid by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents as "routine law enforcement." 
Neudauer said the agents were able to identify the man who was making the prints for Birdies and showed up at his house, where the "screen print" was sitting on his table.
He said the agents learned about the panties through social media.
But, Neudauer said, "That’s probably the least of what they did that day," stressing the agents were confiscating hundreds of counterfeit items throughout the state -- from T-Shirts to hats to fraudulent World Series tickets.
"We do this sort of thing all the time with major sporting events," he said.
Meister and Honig, who have owned the business for 12 years, said they don't know whether further action will be taken in their case.
"They said we cooperated, so it’s unlikely," Meister said, noting the agents put the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and asked them to sign a statement saying they would no longer use the logo.
Meister, in hindsight, described the incident as comical.

These Are The Creepiest Female Ghosts Of All Time (13 pics)

Several cities are trying to criminalise charity toward Homeless

Thus, stopping food sharing programs is cutting off a vital lifeline for homeless people and condemning them to the systemic malnutrition that plagues the poor. And it's thanks to a few restrictions that, in practice, seem patently absurd.
How can city governments make charitable acts illegal? These restrictions don't necessarily make "charity" — like local groups such as churches giving out food to homeless people — illegal. Instead, governments are finding ways to make it difficult for food sharing programs to operate legally.
One method is to require food sharing programs to purchase a permit to distribute food. Another is to force homelessness-oriented charities to comply with food safety regulations. In fact, the report claims this can outright stop food from being shared on safety grounds.
Charitable food services means providing food without charge, payment or other compensation to benefit those in need at an outdoor location not owned, leased or controlled by the individual or organization providing the food.

Food service event means each instance in which charitable food services are provided to more than five individuals. Recognized charitable food service provider means an individual or organization which participates in charitable food services and has received a certificate from the city designating said individual or organization as being in good standing in the City of Houston Recognized Charitable Food Service Provider Program.

It shall be unlawful for any organization or individual to sponsor or conduct a food service event on public or private property without the advance written consent of the public or private property owner or other individual with lawful control of the property.
Houston's food sharing law also states these programs must "coordinated jointly by the director of the health and human services department and one or more community-based organizations."
The distinction is somewhat absurd. You can give five sandwiches to five homeless people, but if you give six sandwiches to six homeless people, you're breaking the law.
But perhaps the most effective method city governments use is mobilizing the population against the food sharing programs. 
"In most cases, business and homeowners who do not want people experiencing homelessness to be attracted to their communities, place tremendous pressure, and sometimes even harass, the organization responsible for the food-sharing program to cease or relocate their programs," the report said.
The biggest cities attempting to restrict food sharing include Philadelphia, Denver, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, Houston and Dallas.
Is this really a big deal though? After all, doesn't welfare toward the homeless incentivize them toward being homeless?
"Street feeding is one of the worst things to do," Robert Marbut told NPR. "It keeps people in homeless status. I think it's very unproductive, very enabling, and it keeps people out of recovery programs."
There's not much hard research to back up Marbut's claims. While people like Marbut are debating the merit of charity toward society's needy, some locales are seeing an increase of homeless people. Homelessness rose in 2013 states between 2007 and 2013. New York saw 8,000 more people succumb to homelessness between 2012 and 2013. California's homeless population increased by just under 6,000.

Indian Air Force asks personnel not to use Xiaomi phones as these are believed to be transferring data to their servers in China and could be a security risk

 IAF personnel and their families have been asked to desist from Chinese 'usingXiaomiRedmi1s' phones as these are believed to be transferring data to their servers in China and could be a security risk. 

"F-secure, a leading security solution company, recently carried out a test of Xiaomi Redmi 1s, the company's budget smartphone, and found that the phone was forwarding carrier name, phone number, IMEI (the device identifier) plus numbers from address book and text messages back to Beijing," says an advisory issued by the IAF to its personnel. 

The IAF note, issued some weeks back, has been prepared by the intelligence unit based on the inputs from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), according to IAF sources. 

Emails were sent by PTI to the company for its response on this development but those remained unanswered. 

However, in a general statement two days back, the company had said it was fully committed to storing its users' data securely at all times. 

The company said it is migrating some data on non-Chinese customers away from its servers in Beijing due to performance and privacy considerations. 

It said that earlier this year, its e-commerce engineering teams started migrating its global e-commerce platforms and user data for all international users from their Beijing data centers to Amazon AWS data centers in California (USA) and Singapore.

8 Health Tips From The Morgue

The people who handle your postmortem remains — from the funeral director to the (if you so choose) anatomy professor — are in a unique position to make an example of your body. They have access to some very personal information regarding your implants, diseases, and snack habits. Tony Weinhaus, PhD (director of anatomy at the University of Minnesota) and Jennifer Wright (embalmer and director of Sunset Funeral Care) say that working with dead bodies allows them to provide knowledge and comfort to students and the deceased person’s family members, respectively. Wright and Dr. Weinhaus also see firsthand how people’s lifestyles and habits factor into their overall health.

“Working with the body, you realize to some degree that it’s a machine,” Dr. Weinhaus says. “Muscles move bones, and the heart is a pump. You can see and appreciate how everything needs to work, [and] how things can go bad pretty easily.” He describes it almost like an eerie episode of Scared Straight: Many of his students don’t think about their own mortality, but when they see diseases lingering in these bodies, they realize very quickly how important it is to prevent chronic conditions — before it’s too late.  
Sure, death isn’t as pretty a source of health inspiration as, say, Pinterest — but, that doesn’t make it any less relevant. Here, Dr. Weinhaus and Wright pull back the morgue curtain and share its real stories and health secrets.

Heart Disease
As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and just about everyone else, cardiovascular disease is the number-one cause of death worldwide. Dr. Weinhaus reports that his students find a significant amount of plaque around the carotid arteries of the cadavers they’re examining. These arteries, which are located in the lower neck, are responsible for supplying blood to the brain. Dr. Weinhaus’ cadavers also reveal signs of other heart complications — such as pacemakers that have been inserted to regulate abnormal heartbeats and rhythms.

“Cadavers with pacemakers or defibrillators are great teaching opportunities,” he explains. “They stay in, so students can dissect around them and examine how blood traveled to regulate heartbeat.”

Tip: To avoid heart problems, think preventively. According to WHO, behavioral risk factors are responsible for 80% of coronary heart disease occurrences. Simple lifestyle changes (such as upping fruit and vegetable intake and sweating it out a few times a week) can significantly lower this risk.  

Obesity & Diabetes
Harvard Health has previously reported abdominal fat can increase risk for cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. “Diabetes has taken away many toes and legs,” says Wright.

Tip: Kill two birds with one stone (or, rather, keep them alive). A study published in The Journal of Applied Physiology finds that a varied workout program can help decrease body fat and improve blood-sugar levels. And, these workouts don’t always have to fall on the intense end of the spectrum. You’d be surprised what a few downward dogs can do for your core. 

Skin Problems & Discoloration 
Liver conditions such as cirrhosis or hepatitis can lead to jaundice, which causes a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. “The first response is a fatty liver, and the more this tissue is damaged, the smaller and harder the liver becomes, increasing the chances for jaundice,” Dr. Weinhaus explains. The green bile that an inflamed or infected gallbladder emits can also discolor skin.

Tip: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are more at risk for cirrhosis than men. The whole “everything in moderation” thing still rings true, though. Scaling back on those a-little-too-happy hours and greasy foods can do your health a solid.  

Respiratory Issues
“There is a staggering difference between smoker and non-smoker lungs,” Dr. Weinhaus says. “Smoker lungs are very black and ugly…students can pinpoint the texture of a developing tumor…and the air sacs in the lungs are just totally destroyed. [It makes] many of my students realize they don’t want to be smokers.”

Tip: You guessed it! Don’t smoke. If you are a smoker, consider quitting — which, by the way, it’s never too late to do. According to a report published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, older adults who finally put out the habit reduced their risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular disease in as little as five years. Airway inflammation will start to decrease, improving breathing and exercise capacity in the process, says Norman Edelman, MD (former chief medical officer of the American Lung Association) in TIME. Unfortunately, the lungs of a long-time smoker never fully heal, Dr. Edelman adds, especially if the habit has led to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

Alzheimer’s Disease
“When you look at a brain, those bumps and grooves are known as the gyri and sulci; the crevices in the brain being the sulci,” Dr. Weinhaus says. “In a person with [advanced] Alzheimer’s, the sulci are deeper than they would be in a brain without the disease.” Depression also causes grey-matter reductions,but it’s too subtle of an illness to be physically detected in the body after death.

Tip: Science is still working on how patients can stop, or at the very least slow, the progression of Alzheimer’s. However, exercising has previously been linked to improving overall brain health and memory. The same goes for meditation.  

Cancer is the leading cause of death for clients at Wright’s funeral home. But, beyond lingering tumors and an emaciated body (which can stem from aggressive treatments), cancer can’t always be physically detected in a cadaver. The type of cancer that does have visible markers is esophageal cancer. The esophagus is a tube that moves food from the throat to stomach, and if cancer compromises that tube, surgeons will remove it and rebuild it from parts of your stomach or large intestine, Dr. Weinhaus says. In fact, most of the bodies he has seen in his classroom have had pieces of these organs where the throat would normally be.

Tip: Cancer Research U.K. recently announced a new initiative that will delve deeper into cancer prevention, since “more than four in 10 cancer cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes such as not smoking, keeping a healthy body weight, cutting back on alcohol, eating a healthy diet, keeping active, and staying safe in the sun.” To Wright, cancer is often due to the fact that “we are such a society of convenience,” often consuming processed, quick-to-make foods. While eating organic has not been proven to reduce cancer, it does mean consuming less additives and chemicals that have beenlinked to cancer.  

Unhealthy Arteries & Veins
Wright doesn’t often see organs as an embalmer; this view is reserved for the medical examiners performing autopsies. However, she does see arteries and veins, and she has never seen healthier ones than those in vegetarians. “A healthy artery is rubbery and cream-colored,” she says. Unhealthy ones, on the other hand, “are more of a red color, and extremely thin and delicate… I have embalmed 90-year-old vegetarians who have arteries that look like they belong to a 20-year-old.” Of course, it’s important to note that correlation doesn’t mean causation; Wright can’t prove that meat consumption itself causes unhealthy arteries.

Tip: Many people have issues with meat — from the way farmed animals are mistreated to reports that link meat to increased cancer risk. But, we’re not about to tell you to turn a blind eye to burgers. What we will say is that the quality of meat (grass-fed and organic vs. conventional) as well as the amount we eat makes a difference. Plus, the organic variety tends to be more expensive, which can motivate us to limit it to special occasions. Two words: Meatless Mondays. Giving meat up just once a week lessens your risk for chronic, preventable conditions.  

Mortician Caitlin Doughty’s memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory chronicles her years spent cremating bodies of all ages and all causes of death. Yet it was the bodies with decubitus ulcers — open wounds on the skin — that left a lasting image. Doughty describes these as a “unique psychological horror.” These types of ulcers often come from extended (think weeks) immobility. As a rule, bedridden patients are required to be moved every few hours; without movement, the body will begin to decay while you’re still living, which results in what Doughty calls “football-sized” wounds. She notes that these ulcers often can’t be avoided, since many hospitals and nursing homes are understaffed.

Tip: While not quite preventative healthcare, choosing a quality care facility is crucial. Sites like and Healthgrades work to help people do just that.

14 Things Nutritionists Do on Halloween That You Don’t

They don't get "fun-size" candy
If it’s smaller, it’s healthier, right? Not exactly. Miniature candies can lead to overeating; save them for trick-or-treaters, not for your pantry. “Get normal sizes, because the fun-size you have to buy in bulk,” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH, author of The One One One Diet. “You don’t think it adds up because they’re small, but they can add an extra 200 to 400 calories a day.” If you crave sweets, purchase a normal candy bar. Eat half, then stash the rest in the freezer for another time.

They avoid candy corn
“There’s nothing good from candy corn—just don’t touch it,” says Brooke Alpert, RD, founder of B Nutritious, a New York City-based counseling practice. “At least a Snickers bar has nuts, which can slow the absorption of sugar down. With candy corn, you may as well be injecting sugar into your bloodstream.” Nutritionist Robert Ferguson, CN, author of Diet-Free for Life, avoids licorice with trans fats (though he loves the natural kind), and Batayneh says even though she wouldn’t completely exclude anything from her diet, she tries to avoid high-sugar candies, like mellowcreme pumpkins.

They watch for these three ingredients:
“I let my kids keep all the candy they get—as long as it doesn’t have trans fatty acids in it,” says Ferguson. “As a parent, I’d avoid any foods made with three ingredients: partially hydrogenated oils, fractionated oils, and interesterified oils.” All three can be spotted on ingredient lists, and contain unhealthy fats that have been linked to conditions like heart disease and obesity.

They play games to resist temptation
“Put a glass jar on your desk, and every time you have the willpower to forego the office candy jar, give yourself a dollar,” says Joy Bauer, RD, nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, and founder of Nourish Snacks. “At the end of the week, you have a glass full of money you can use to go pamper yourself with something special."

They wait until the last minute to get candy
“Halloween is one day,” says Alpert. “People start stocking up on candy October 1. That’s not the time.” Save candy shopping for the week of the 31st. “Otherwise, you’re going to be left with this candy around and it’s going to be very hard to resist,” she says.

They make healthy treats easy
“Here’s my easiest recipe ever: I take vanilla low-fat Greek yogurt, and I mix it with a dollop of 100 percent pumpkin puree,” says Bauer. “I shake on nutmeg or ground cinnamon, and I top it with toasted pecans or walnuts. There you have a pumpkin pudding for 150 calories.”

They're wary of coffee bars
It’s the time of year when pumpkin lattes and gooey almond tarts make a sugary breakfast all too tempting. A medium Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2 percent milk packs 380 calories, 49 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of fat (8 of which are saturated fat). “Caffeine, when combined with large amounts of sugar, shifts the body into a fat-storing mode,” says Ferguson. If you’re really craving a PSL, try a small, non-fat version.

They celebrate with other fall foods
“Halloween is so much more than just the candy,” says Janet Helm, RD, author of The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook. “It’s about celebrating the things that are in season during the fall. I’ll have warm apple cider spiced with cinnamon sticks or roast pumpkin seeds.” Another one of her favorite healthy alternative treats: baked apples. Try coring an apple, stuffing it with raisins, cinnamon, and sugar, and baking in a pan until soft (with a little water so it doesn’t dry out). You can also celebrate Halloween with canned pumpkin for breakfast, which feels festive without candy. “Add canned pumpkin puree to pancakes and waffle batter, then add some pumpkin spice or nutmeg,” Helm says. “That’s delicious and very easy.”

They manage their kids' expectations up front
Most nutrition experts agree that it’s helpful to inform kids ahead of time that they can’t keep—or eat—an entire pillowcase’s worth of sugar. Calmly explain they'll be able to select only their favorite candies. “If you make it a big deal, saying, ‘We’re going to take away your candy,’ of course they’re going to be upset,” says Alpert. “For my daughter, the real excitement is just the getting of it, not the actual eating. She loves Tootsie Rolls, and it kills me, but I let her have them.”

They're smart about leftovers
Remove the temptation to overindulge after trick-or-treating. “I have three kids and many Halloweens under my belt,” says Bauer. “We would do this whole feel-good thing about going into New York City, putting candy in packages, and giving them to homeless people and food kitchens. My kids really loved that aspect of it, and they also got to eat their favorites.” Many dentist’s offices will also reward children by handing out prizes or money for every pound of candy they turn in (the sweets are then often sent to troops overseas). Find a Halloween Candy Buyback program near you here.

They indulge in dark chocolate
“That’s my go-to Halloween candy,” says Ferguson. “It’s satiating and satisfying. The higher the cocoa content, the better.” Chocolate high in cocoa is higher in disease-preventing flavonoids, and its slightly bitter taste makes you naturally more mindful of how much you eat. As a treat, it's relatively healthy when paired with protein, says Batayneh. “I would do some dark chocolate, or even a little Snickers, with a cup of milk,” she says. Pairing sugar with a protein like milk helps stabilize your blood sugar, meaning you won't fall victim to an insulin spike that'd leave you even hungrier.

They sip healthier drinks at Halloween parties
“I stick with wine at Halloween parties, because it’s packed with antioxidants and it also lasts a bit longer than other drinks,” says Ferguson. “You can pace your time at the party. With beer you often drink it a little faster, and if you do a shot, you’re drinking that even faster.” Red wine is also a healthy alternative to sugary holiday drinks, so try a glass of Pinot Noir (or, healthier still, seltzer with lime).

They get creative with party recipes
Heading to a potluck? Don’t bring a store-bought pumpkin pie. Instead, get clever using foods that will help keep you fuller, longer. “I have made really fun things where I use the pumpkin as a serving dish,” says Helm. Her go-to party pick: Carve out and clean the inside of a small pumpkin, and use it to serve fresh vegetables and a pumpkin hummus dip (combine pumpkin puree with your favorite hummus and fall spices).

They skip the guilt trip
“My whole philosophy is 90/10,” says Bauer. “90 percent healthy, 10 percent fun. If you go out of your way 90 percent of the time to make really smart, high-quality food choices, we all have wiggle room.” Her favorite wiggle-room candy? Butterfingers. And don’t feel guilty about that afternoon chocolate bar. “If you’re going to eat a dessert, you should feel good about it,” says Alpert. “If you feel guilty about what you’re indulging in, you might continue to make bad food choices. For example: 'I ate too much candy today, so the day is blown and I'll just have a slice of pizza for dinner'.”