Tuesday, November 25, 2008

To shore up the tottering US economy, President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrats are planning a new massive fiscal stimulus package that could run into as much as USD 700 billion over the next two years, rivalling the bailout sum Congress committed last month.Hints of a hefty new spending programme began emerging last week.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, an Obama advisor and Harvard economist Lawrence H Summers, whom the President-elect has chosen to lead his White House economic team, raised the possibility of USD 700 billion in new spending.Obama advisor and former Clinton administration Labour Secretary Robert Reich and Democrat Senator Charles E Schumer also favoured spending in the range of USD 500 billion to USD 700 billion, the 'Washington Post' reported on Monday.

The amount, if approved, will be one of the biggest public spending programmes aimed at boosting the economy since former President Franklin D Roosevelt's 'New Deal', it said.Transition officials did not confirm to the paper that they are considering spending of that magnitude, but they made clear that economic conditions are dire and suggested that Obama might be forced to delay his pledge to repeal President George W Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.

While Obama has set a goal of creating or preserving 2.5 million jobs by 2011, his economic team have yet to decide how that would be accomplished or how much it would cost.Austan Goolsbee, a spokesman for Obama on economic issues who is in line to serve on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, on Sunday acknowledged that Obama's jobs plan will cost substantially more than the USD 175 billion stimulus programme he proposed during the campaign.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls is on the Cherokee Indian Reservation (Qualla Boundary), just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No special permits are required for access to the reservation. At 120 feet tall, the waterfall is one of the tallest and most spectacular in the southern Appalachians. The hike to the waterfall is only 0.4 miles in length, but is considered moderate in difficulty.

Access Trail: Pigeon Creek Trail
Trailhead: From Oconaluftee Visitor Center, drive south (toward Cherokee) on US-441 and take the second left onto Big Cove Road. At the first stop sign turn left and drive 4.5 miles to Mingo Falls Campground, where the trail begins.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Also called: Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Your esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) happens when a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly. This allows stomach contents to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.

You may feel a burning in the chest or throat called heartburn. Sometimes, you can taste stomach fluid in the back of the mouth. This is acid indigestion. If you have these symptoms more than twice a week, you may have GERD.

Anyone, including infants and children, can have GERD. If not treated, it can lead to more serious health problems. In some cases, you might need medicines or surgery. However, many people can improve their symptoms by
* Avoiding alcohol and spicy, fatty or acidic foods that trigger heartburn
* Eating smaller meals
* Not eating close to bedtime
* Losing weight if needed
* Wearing loose-fitting clothes

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae, or a name given to the hollow, dried shell of a fruit in the Cucurbitaceae family of plants of the genus Lagenaria.It is in the same family as the pumpkin.

Most commonly, gourds are the product of the species Lagenaria siceraria (the calabash or African bottle gourd), native to Africa, and at a very early date spread throughout the world by human migrations. This species may be the oldest plant domesticated by humans.[citation needed]

Gourds can be used as a number of things, including bowls or bottles. Gourds are also used as resonating chambers on certain musical instruments including the berimbau and many other stringed instruments and drums. Instruments of this type are fairly common to the Caribbean. Gourds are also used as a tool for sipping yerba mate by means of a bombilla, in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, where it is called "cuia" (kOOya). Birdhouse gourds are commonly used in southern USA for group housing for purple martins, which reputedly help control mosquitoes. "Gourd" can also refer to the live fruit before it is dried, or to the entire
plant that produces that fruit.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Brazilian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton was overwhelmed by emotion after capturing the 2008 world championship by a single point at a thrilling season finale in Brazil.

"It's pretty impossible to put into words," said the 23-year-old, who is now the youngest ever F1 champion.

"It's been such a long journey and I'm so speechless. After all the sacrifices we've made I am so thrilled to be able to do this for everyone.

"It was one of the toughest races of my life - if not the toughest."

Hamilton clinched the title when he passed Timo Glock accelerating out of the final corner of the race to snatch the drivers' crown from Felipe Massa, who took the chequered flag ahead of him.With Massa winning at Interlagos, the Englishman knew he had to finish fifth to claim the title but he had slipped to sixth with one lap to go.In one final twist, however, Hamilton overtook Glock's slowing Toyota to clinch the fifth place he needed - and with it the title.

"The team didn't say anything so I thought I was shot," said Hamilton, who became Britain's ninth world champion and the first since Damon Hill in 1996."I didn't know where Glock was and Vettel was the guy to beat and I couldn't catch him, so at that point I was going to finish sixth. My heart was in my mouth," said Hamilton.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Science journalism

Science journalism is a relatively new branch of journalism, in which journalists' reporting conveys information on science topics to the public. Science journalists must understand and interpret very detailed, technical and sometimes jargon-laden information and render it into interesting reports that are comprehensible to consumers of news media.

Scientific journalists also must choose which developments in science merit news coverage, as well as cover disputes within the scientific community with a balance of fairness to both sides but also with a devotion to the facts.

Many, but not all, journalists covering science have training in the sciences they cover, including several medical journalists who cover medicine.