PMSing? Try Prozac

Image courtesy - sweetcrazychick1228- http://www.photobucket.com

It’s that time of the month again. Women all over the world at one point in the month act almost crazy, they have mood swings and nobody knows what triggers them off.

Men, don’t be shy and run away from this. This could be a likely solution to your problems on days your girlfriend, wife ,sister or mother are acting unbearable. You can actually offer them a solution instead of thinking up ways to kill them.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham believe they have found the magical formula that could make the stressful days before a woman’s monthly period a thing of the past.

The answer is Prozac.

The anti depressant has been used on laboratory rats and it apparently proves that a small dose of Prozac could drive away Premenstrual syndrome blues. The researchers now want to start a clinical trial to really check the effects on human beings.

The researchers go on to say they would like to help the millions of women and their partners that suffer from this monthly problem.

Sorry for being a party pooper but what the heck?

There are some women who have intense pain during their period and for them there exist painkillers. Some suffer from intense mood swings for two-three days before it comes along but I don’t believe the answer to the problem is popping in anti depressant pills, no matter how small the amount.

PMS can sometimes be a serious impediment in living a normal life but it can be checked with changing your lifestyle and eating healthier. According to some doctors, Prozac should be used as a last resort.

Also, many men are moody and irritable all days of the year does that mean a pill should be invented that keeps their mood swings under control?

Woman deal with their period and accompanying problems from the moment they hit puberty and I strongly believe the feminine race is built to bear much more than the supposed “stronger” sex. All the women I talked to, agreed with me.

As a woman, I feel I am perfectly at easing dealing with a few days of mood swings rather than resorting to popping pills to ease a temporary problem.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and after more than eight years of dealing with my own mood swings and those of other’s around me, I know when to expect them, what they mean and how to deal with them.

Prozac, I don’t need you!

*I’m very interested in what the rest of you women and men have to say about this finding. Please comment and let me know 🙂

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Published in: on November 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dan Mu, the life long learner

 

Dan Mu,lost in thought

Travel journalist, granddaughter of a famous Chinese journalist, fashion model and nomad. The hat that Dan Mu wears the most comfortably is the one of being a life long learner.

This Chinese native who calls herself Audrey realised she wanted to be a journalist when was very young. Her large dark grey eyes mirror the curiosity that is one of her defining traits.  “At the age of 9, I asked a lot of questions. I liked to find out what was happening and I found out I wanted to be the first to know things”

Her parents, engineers for the Chinese government moved around a lot and she with them. Funnily enough, after graduating University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism she got a job with a travel channel in China.

She says,” Sad thing is I never had long term friends because I was always moving. On the bright side it made me flexible, easy going and I never have trouble sleeping in a new place!”

Work and what it taught her

She worked with CNN as a news assistant and witnessed the massive earthquake in China. On the scene she realised being a journalist let’s her discover things as well as help vulnerable people.

Disaster reporting is traumatic for most but this 25 year old seems only to see the silver lining as she says people who are in pain want to express themselves and journalists can be the psychologists on the scene that help them.

With her job as travel reporter with Travel China, she discovered 50 new places in China, as well as all over the world. Italy is her favourite, for its beautiful architecture, people and food!

A new direction

She let go of all of this, to study her Masters in the University of Westminster in London. Her favourite part of Europe, is the architecture that is hundreds of years old while in China there is no history, everything is new.

Her passion for learning new things is supported by her family. She says they have always indulged her and pushed her to do things that make her happy.

If not a broadcast journalist? “I would be a model; I like to talk to the camera. Every year I make my family do a photo shoot so I can capture memories. I am not afraid of the camera, when it’s in front of me I express myself freely.”

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Inside Aladdin’s cave

People looking for their stolen jewellry

A row of plasma television sets, an array of mobile phones, computers and a sparkling display of jewellry.

It really was like being inside a modern version of Aladdin’s cave except in this case, his cave was open to the public and they could claim what they thought was theirs.

What I’m talking about is an event organized by the Metropolitan police of London together with Brent council (the council in charge of an area, Brent in London) called Aladdin’s cave.

All items that had been stolen in the past 10 months and had been recovered were put on display for residents of the area to view and claim as their own.

Before any would be criminals get ideas and decide to head down to one of these, be warned that the police know everything.

“Well essentially we’re trying to restore property that’s been recovered by ourselves to its rightful owner. Its very difficult sometimes because unless its got a serial number that’s unique to that particular item of property and unless its recorded on our crime record its very difficult to hand it of to the owner.” – Detective Robert Arrowsmith

They offered crime prevention advice to residents and allowed them to register all their present belongings into the police system.

Special UV pens with invisible ink that could only be seen through UV rays were given out to residents making it easier for them to mark and identify their belongings if ever lost.

A stall set up by Victim support, an organization that offers help, advice and counsel to victims of theft was at the event along with Brent Anti Social behaviour team, that helps the police deal with crime.

This initiative is commendable and attracted a crowd of more than 350 people.

It reunited a little boy with his play station, among other satisfied people .I personally have never been to an event like this before.

If only police all over were as creative and concerned about the people they had to look after, the world would be a better place.

It’s idealistic to hope for that but events like these are a breath of fresh air, when all we ever hear on the news is about crime and tragedy. They shows us that there is life after crime, you may be reunited with things that you lost and there are a host of people to help you prevent and deal with mishaps.

Published in: on November 28, 2010 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Changing role of the media

High ceilings, glass staircases, fancy decorative lights and embossed “T’s” hanging from the ceiling.

You could be misled into thinking I’m describing the reception of a five star hotel but this what the Daily Telegraph office looks like.

A far cry from the early newspaper offices, where a small team of reporters worked in tiny office order to keep the public informed of current events.

Situated at 111, Buckingham palace road, from its location to its office all of it is up market. Its target audience includes the movers and shakers of the society, the well-educated groups that are influential and powerful.

Everything the Telegraph does, is well thought out and targeted at improving their profits and their circulation. Advertising campaigns are specially created to satisfy advertisers and advertisements are thoroughly checked before being published.

“This is the future. Newspapers have to make money otherwise they cannot exist.”

This basically means if they don’t make money, they go under. The visit made me think about the changed role of the media.

We learnt that in order to survive, a media organization has to look beyond its primary purpose of informing people, they have to fight off competition, build business models to please advertisers and be efficient at marketing.

They must have good editorial content in order to have high circulation figures and ultimately, have high circulation figures in order to woo advertisers. All this has to coincide with credibility, integrity and accuracy.

The old media model doesn’t exist anymore.

It began with town criers, moved on to pamphlets giving weather updates and then leaflets with news and current events. Newspapers emerged in a bid to keep citizens informed of what was going on around them.

As technology developed, so did the means of communicating this information.

The media no longer exists just to inform, educate and entertain the public. It is a business that provides jobs to people and needs to make profits to survive, just like any other industry.

The media has the added responsibility of being called the fourth estate and journalists are often credited with shaping public opinion with their stories but in order to have this power, they need to stay alive.

Many factors determine what news is given to us and in what package. In a fast developing world we cannot expect the media to stay in its basic, original role.

The Telegraph has versions for the internet, the Ipad and mobiles, it has changed to suit the changing requirements of the audience.

It is easy to blame them for becoming too commercial, sensational and profit oriented but no media organization forces us to read or see what they publish/broadcast .

We as intelligent audiences must accept the changed role of the media and choose what to take away from the information given to us.

News room at the Telegraph

Published in: on November 26, 2010 at 6:42 pm  Comments (2)  
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Open relationships deconstructed

Just today, I found out that an acquaintance got a little tipsy at a party and “hooked” up with a stranger. In the 21st century, that is not unusual but it was because he had a girlfriend.

What I didn’t know was that he was in an Open relationship. This means you have a steady romantic life partner but you also get the chance to jump in bed with any one that you want and you have your partner’s approval.

No, I’m not describing a philanderer’s perfect relationship nor is it a plot of a movie, it’s a new relationship trend.

According to Love gurus and websites, an open relationship is one where you sort of have your cake and eat it too, a phrase that I don’t really understand because if you have cake its meant to be eaten so what else is there to do with it?

If you’re in a relationship with one person, that should be cake enough but those in open relationships keep their sexual and romantic options open having one primary partner and numerous secondary one’s.

The male perspective, “Its fun sounding that you can have a girl for keeps and you can jump in the sack with any other chick as well.”

I agree that when you first start seeing someone, having an open relationship is a viable option because you don’t know how serious you are about them but as times goes on, either you’re fully committed or you’re out.

Stefanie Soenchen, a 23 yr old in a committed relationship points out, “I always think that jealousy is to a certain extent is a sign that you actually care for a person and if you’re willing to share that person with somebody else you cannot love that person. “

There are dozens of rules for open relationships

You must be honest with your partner, not get emotionally involved with someone else and many others but how feasible it is to follow through remains to be seen.

Sometimes, couples who have been together for a long time want to experiment but according to Ramya Menon a 23yr old journalist, “I think if they are desperate enough to try that, they should just call it off.

My anonymous male source says, “ It sounds fun initially but no one in their right mind would want to downgrade a relationship as everyone eventually wants a long term committed one.

Open relationships may sound like the perfect way to start of a relationship or spice up an old one but in my opinion, only someone who has cut off from his or her emotions can successfully carry out one.

Jealousy and insecurity are very common in human beings and we all want to be somebody’s “the one”. I see no reason to sell ourselves short and compromise and be in an open relationship just so you can have an occasional romp in the sack with someone else.

If you truly love some one, they are more than enough for you.

Published in: on November 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm  Comments (3)  
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The power of protests

 

Image courtesy- University of Westminster Journalism students

Governments the world over have been toppled by protesting citizens.

From the Indian independence movement to Anti Vietnam war protests, they’ve all had an impact. Some attribute the birth of hippy culture to these protests as people in America got disillusioned with regular life and looked for alternative lifestyles.

Are new age protestors more interested in getting in touch with their rebellious, hippy side rather than just focusing on the issue at hand?

Of the thousands of UK citizens who turned up to protest against the University tuition fee increase some may have turned up for those reasons.

Protestors screamed at the police officers, “Shame on you, you went to University for free.”  From a peaceful protests,it turned into a raucous party, with violins playing and drummers drumming, people climbing on top of vans and being boisterous.

Bibi Van der Zee from central London told the Guardian, “Wow, atmosphere in Trafalgar Square fantastic – excited students and school kids all over Nelson’s base and the lions, singing: “Fuck David Cameron” very, very loudly. The excitement of bunking off school AND climbing public statues AND swearing in front of police very obvious. “

Ayrton Allen, an Undergraduate student at the University of Westminster says, “”I do regret not taking part (in the previous protest). My friends went and they had a lot of fun. It seemed like it was all for a good cause”.

For many it is a legitimate issue as it directly affects students and effectively makes it very hard for someone with not a lot of money to get a decent higher education.

But protests also allow us to express everything that we’re feeling without taking real responsibility for our actions. A police van was vandalized and policemen were attacked with sticks and bottles.

Image courtesy- University of Westminster Journalism students

Demonstrations like these definitely don’t need to get violent but the excitement often overwhelms the people involved and the crowd gives individuals the confidence to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do.

In instances like these self-restraint is important and the real issue must not get forgotten as demonstrations can turn into public carnivals.

Another reason protests are so effective is because of the impact they have on individuals. Psychologists at the University of Sussex carried out tests that prove people actually feel happy even years later simply thinking about their participation and the memories of the protests.

Protests are really powerful, for society and the individual both that is why they must be taken very, very seriously.

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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Winter wonderland

Pubs that provide warmth from the cold outside, food stalls that lure you in with appetizing smells, dozens of carnival rides as well as tiny little shops selling arts and crafts.

Hyde park’s Winter wonderland 2010 had something for everyone. As I walked through the Arches into the “wonderland” I was mesmerized at the activity that surrounded me.

I was torn between giving in to the wafting smells of the Belgian waffles and shops selling Christmas sweets and my innate woman’s desire to shop, shop for the unusual arts and crafts that littered the park.

If you walk through winter wonderland methodically, you wont miss anything.

An ice skating rink is one of the attractions as well as carnival rides, like the ferris wheel and the haunted house are perfect to keep little children occupied.

For the foodie, you have a wide variety to choose from as you have many food stalls selling traditional English food, makeshift pubs in the park, a special Bavarian village, german food stalls as well as dessert shops.

Make sure you leave room for expansion when you’re dressing up for winter wonderland , as once you’re there it’s difficult to stay away from temptation. I would personally recommend the chocolate covered marzipan, available in many of the stalls.

Shopping!

Nobody wants to go to a carnival and come out empty handed and at Winter winderland you’re unlikely to! At the Angels market,there are shops selling intricate jewellery, leather accessories and soft toys.

The best part for me however, was the sheer volume of Christmas goodies. There were beautiful handmade ornaments for trees, candles made of rock salt , little gingerbread houses and delicate glass ornaments.

As the sun sets and the stars come out, the lights seem prettier, the Santa claus seems rosier and the food smells even more inviting.

As cheesy as it may sound, you actually feel like the Christmas spirit overwhelms you as the true beauty of the wonderland is only witnessed once the sun has set.

The lights from all the stalls twinkle at you, carols can be heard in the background and the cold London winter can’t banish the warmth your heart feels as you walk along winter wonderland.

This extravaganza is on from the 19th of November – 4th of January 2010, Entry is free but the food and shopping is slightly on the expensive side!

The Bavarian village

Stall selling ornaments

Christmas tree ornaments

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why the UK is really helping Ireland

 

Image courtesy- http://www.photobucket.com User-axelXroxas14

Helping Ireland out of its financial crisis is like “helping a friend in need” said Chancellor George Osborne.

A big step for a man who introduced the largest spending cuts to the UK for the first time in decades in 2010. What suddenly made him decide that the time is right for the UK to bailout Ireland with a huge sum of £7 billion? It is definitely more than just friendship.

British taxpayers may be concerned that this friendship is indeed a very expensive one but what we don’t realise is that if Ireland isn’t helped; Britain stands to lose a lot. In the time of austerity UK is being generous.

“Clearly, we have a very open economy and therefore stability in other countries – or instability in other countries – has an impact in the UK,’ A Downing street official told the Daily Mail today.

It was his subtle way of saying; if we don’t help Ireland we don’t help ourselves.

Britain exports a large amount to Ireland making it it’s fifth biggest market while The Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, UK’s partly state owned banks are amongst the biggest lenders to firms and consumers in Ireland.

So if you are among the few who think that the UK should steer clear of Ireland’s crisis, think again.

George Osborne’s and David Cameron’s decision to help Ireland out of its financial crisis has led to severe criticism from a number of groups including Conservative Party MP’s as well as the Adam Smith institute.

Their arguments are interesting as they make you question the true motives of the British government.

“Bailing out Ireland now would undo much of the benefits that Britain has yielded from keeping the pound and would make a mockery of the spending cuts announced by the coalition last month.” Sam Bowman, the head of research at the Adam Smith institute told the Daily Mail.

He went on to say that the proposed bail out to help Ireland would be a bad idea for the UK as it put the interests of the European Union before those of Ireland.

Ireland has been suffering from a financial crisis since 2008 and it has came to an ugly end with Ireland asking for a huge international bailout. It comes close on the heels of Greece’s financial crisis and there are fears that Spain and Portugal would be the next in line for this fate.

This is exactly why it makes sense for Britain to help keep Ireland afloat, as they are afraid that this crisis will pull the entire European union back into depression, something that the countries like UK have worked very hard to grow out of. Politics, economy and stability in all countries are interlinked and if they don’t help each other there is no chance for any to survive.

It is about putting the European union before individual countries because ultimately they depend on each other for survival. This is why UK is really helping Ireland.

Reference http://www.guardian.co.uk http://www.reuters.com http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Healthy Vs Thin

Can you pick the perfect size?

You can try as hard as you want to pick the perfect size from the above images but in all probability you can’t decide.

If you do try and decide, you might pick the thinnest or the one that fits the common ideal statistic of ’36 -24-36’ measurements. The reason we do this is because the media has been instrumental in reinforcing the idea of a perfect figure.

Being fair, the media is a reflection of popular culture and society. They give emphasis to what people believe in but giving emphasis to ‘thin’ has had dire consequences.

I wanted to include a slightly heavier friend in the photograph but she refused because she felt she wasn’t as ‘thin’ as the others.  Who decided that thin is beautiful?

Trends keep changing, there have been times in history when well-rounded women were considered ideal and at times, even waif thin has been considered beautiful.

In the 21st century however, we largely define thin as beautiful and because of this, women who are curvier have low self-esteem issues.

“I am sorry ma’am these pants don’t come in a size larger than a 30 inch waist”. “I will never go with a girl who weighs more than I do!”  I have heard statements like these many times and so have a lot of women.

They affect us mentally and many people fall into unhealthy cycles of not eating (Anorexia) or simply eating and then purging (Bulimia).

Portia De Rossi is among many celebrities and thousands of women who suffered from eating disorders.

She said the media emphasis on being thin pushed her over the edge. Princess Diana, Sharon Osborne and Oprah Winfrey are a few who suffered the same.

Sadly enough, while girls want to look young and beautiful they choose the wrong women to emulate and the worst ways to go about it.

A woman maybe smart, educated and confident about her skills…but if she’s slightly over weight it deals a blow to her entire self confidence and she joins the list of the irrational women who’d go to any lengths to look ‘perfect’.

The media lauds women who are thin and when a celebrity puts on a bit of weight her photographs are ridiculed and reasons for her weight gain are discussed on public forums.

It is a dangerous trend, which is catching on even to men, as the number of men being diagnosed as having eating disorders is gradually increasing.

I think real women have curves and that beauty cannot be defined by the shape of your body. Always remember a perfect body isn’t one that is necessarily perfectly healthy and it’s more important to be healthy, than thin.

Published in: on November 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm  Comments (3)  
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Harry Potter- The phenomenon

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows poster

An orphaned boy wizard turned millions of people into life long fans who would wait hours to purchase the books that told new stories about his life and wait desperately to watch the movies that he inspired.

 

J.K Rowling probably never expected Potter to get so popular when she was writing her books in small cafes and trains in the UK but against all odds he did.

One wonders why Potter became the phenomenon that he did but a discussion with classmates did throw a little insight into the same.

“Harry Potter made magic, wizards and the fantasy world cool.” June 1997 was when the first book was released and slowly the euphoria began to build up and suddenly Harry Potter was cool and everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

I was only 13 years old when I first started reading the books. Today, at 21 years of age Harry Potter is not just a series of books or a boy wizard. It represents a huge chunk of my growing up years.

We grew up with Harry and even though we weren’t witches and wizards, we were children who grew into adolescents and finally, adults along with the characters in the books.

We found respite in the magical world that thrilled us.

When the movies came out, it was the icing on the cake.

The world that we spent years imagining in our heads was out in an amazing visual format and true Harry Fans loved the movies.

Granted, the movies aren’t the best in the world. Like all book to film adaptations they have their flaws but a fan will go and watch them anyway.

From cute little 11 year olds the actors have become real people, real celebrities. Potter gave them life and now, with the end of the series we will find out what life gives them next.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part one released today in the United Kingdom and I watched it first day first show. It left me with a heavy heart, as it was dreary, depressing, dark but completely accurate.

It signified an end of Harry’s world, as he knew it and also the end of a world with Harry Potter in it. Post July 2011; no longer can fans queue up at Harry Potter movie premieres.

For all the kids that grew up with Harry, this movie is truly the beginning of the end. Now Harry Potter memorabilia becomes collector’s items.

The Harry Potter world will no longer be contemporary. It will become like the stories our parents told us of Beatlemania or Michael Jackson, things that shaped their lives and represented a time in society.

Now, Potter is a part of History and the mania will die down but never disappear.

Reference- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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