Issue#166 1st April 2009
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Cooking with BJ.com
Exclusive Recipe

Badami Gosht

- 5 T vegetable oil
-2 cinnamon sticks
-6 garlic cloves
-1 T cardamom seeds
-1 large onion chopped
-2 garlic cloves ,crushed
-1 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
-1 1/2 lb lean lamb, cubed
-1 1/4 cup yogurt (plain)
-1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 2 T boiling water
-1/2 tsp chili pwd
-1/2 cup ground almonds
-1 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cup coconut milk
-2 dried red challis

1.
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan. Add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and fry for 1 minute. Add onion, sauté until soft, stirring occasionally.
2.
Add garlic and ginger and fry for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add lamb cubes and fry until brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Whisk yogurt, saffron mixture, salt and chili powder together and add to lamb cubes. Cook for 5 minutes.
4. Grind almonds with enough water to form a thick paste. Add paste and whole chilies to lamb cubes, stir well to mix paste with gravy. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
5. Add coconut milk, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until lamb is cooked through and tender. Uncover the pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
6. Transfer to a warmed dish and serve at once.


Refrigerate flour
Storing flour in an airtight container and refrigerating it doubles their storage time.


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HOT Weather Risks


what are the risks?
Dehydration:
One of the biggest dangers of a heat wave is the increased risk of dehydration.
This is the loss of water from the body, and with it important blood salts like potassium and sodium which play a vital role in the function of organs such as the kidneys, brain and heart.
It can lead to confusion, lethargy and problems with breathing and heart rate.

Heat stroke or exhaustion:
Under normal circumstances the sweat we produce when we get hot keeps us cool when it evaporates from the surface of our skin.
However, on extremely hot days, or when we over-exert ourselves, this system can fail, and body temperature can start to climb to dangerous levels.
This leads to heat stroke or exhaustion. This can cause headaches, dizziness and muscle cramps, but it can also be life-threatening.
It is particularly dangerous because symptoms can come on very rapidly, and - unless you are watching for the signs - very little warning.
Sunburn:

A sun tan may look nice, but it is actually a sign of damage to the skin. Not only is sunburn painful, it can accelerate the ageing process, and increase the risk of skin cancer, including the potentially fatal form, melanoma.
What is the best way to avoid problems?


Drink lots of liquids:
As you will be losing more fluid than normal, it is important to top up your supplies. The best way to keep yourself hydrated is to drink water, and to sip it, rather than gulp it down.
On an average day, a person weighing 58kg (128lb) should drink eight average-sized glasses of water.
As a general rule, for every 2lbs (0.9kg) of body weight, you need one fluid ounce (28.4ml) of water.
In very hot weather, consumption should be increased. However, drinking excessive amounts can bring problems of its own.
If you can't face drinking lots of water, non-carbonated soft drinks, such as fruit juice, are a reasonable alternative. Modify your diet:
Avoid hot, heavy food.
Salt pills are available to replace minerals lost in the sweat. However, most diets contain more than enough salt, and so this is unlikely to be necessary.
Stay out of the sun:

The best place to be on a blistering day is in the shade. If you start to feel queasy or ill then get out of direct sunlight as quickly as possible. The sun is at its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm.
Be sensible about exercise:

Do not exercise vigorously during the hottest times of the day. Instead, run, jog or exercise closer to sunrise or sunset.
Take things slowly and adapt to the pace of life in the sun. If you feel breathless or your heart is pounding, stop what you are doing and try to cool your body down, for example, by taking a cool shower. Rest if you feel faint or dizzy.
Keep cool:

Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton, so sweat can evaporate.
Dark, heavy clothes absorb heat, but remember that some thin materials do not provide a sufficient barrier to the sun's dangerous UV rays. It is also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed sunhat, preferably with vents.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Ventilate your home:
Keep windows open all day and all night and use fans. This is particularly important at night, when the body cools down.
Avoid heat traps:
Try to avoid anywhere where shelter is minimal, and ventilation poor. Parked cars can be a particular hazard. If you can, try to stay in an air-conditioned environment. If you have no alternative, but to travel in a hot, stuffy environment - for instance on the Tube - then make sure you carry a bottle of water with you. If you face a long journey, it may be wise to plan breaks to go above ground for some fresh air.
Take special care of the vulnerable:

Those most at risk from the sun include children under four, people over 65 whose bodies adapt more slowly to the change in temperature, overweight people whose bodies tend to retain heat more and people who are ill. Babies are particularly vulnerable to heat as their sweat glands are not well-developed.
It is important not to wrap them up in blankets or heavy clothing when it is hot - but it is equally important to ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.

Credit BBCNews.com





 

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Compelling new evidence for benefits of circumcision
by Kate Melville (www.sciencegogo.com)

Reporting their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine, American and Ugandan scientists working in Africa describe how adult male circumcision can significantly decrease infection rates for the two most common sexually transmitted infections - herpes and the human papillomavirus (HPV - the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts). The findings build upon earlier clinical research which found that circumcision decreases a man's risk of acquiring HIV infection through heterosexual intercourse by more than 50 percent.

The study was conducted by scientists at the Rakai Health Sciences Program in Uganda in collaboration with researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease's (NIAID) Division of Intramural Research.

The findings are based on the examination of samples from two parallel clinical trials in Rakai that successfully proved male circumcision as an HIV prevention method and also assessed the procedure's ability to prevent other sexually transmitted infections, including syphilis and HSV-2. These infections cause genital ulcers and are associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition. The research team also assessed circumcision's effect on HPV infections, which can cause anal, cervical and penile cancers and genital warts.
Analyzing the effect of circumcision on HSV-2 acquisition across both studies, the researchers found that the cumulative probability of HSV-2 infection was significantly lower among those volunteers who received immediate circumcision (8 percent) than among those in the control group who were circumcised at 24 months (10 percent). Overall, the researchers found that medically supervised circumcision reduced the men's risk of HSV-2 infection by 28 percent.
The combined results from both trials also demonstrated a 35 percent reduction in HPV prevalence among men in the intervention group. In evaluating a subgroup of volunteers at 24 months, high-risk HPV strains associated with certain cancers were detected in 42 of 233 men in the intervention group and in 80 of 287 men in the control group. The report notes, however, that circumcision did not affect the incidence of syphilis.

"The cumulative scientific evidence supporting the public health value of medically supervised male circumcision is now overwhelming," contends Thomas C. Quinn, study co-investigator and chief of the International HIV/STD Section in NIAID's Laboratory of Immunoregulation. "This new research confirms the substantial health benefits of male circumcision, including reduced acquisition of HIV, genital herpes, HPV and genital ulcer disease."
The biological reasons why circumcision may reduce the risk of HSV-2 and HPV infection, but not syphilis, are not entirely known. HSV-2 and HPV multiply in epithelial cells found in the surface skin of the penis, and the foreskin may facilitate virus entry into those cells. Once circumcision has been performed, the risk of epithelial infection may be reduced, the authors note.
As with most strategies to prevent sexually transmitted infections, adult male circumcision is not completely effective. Therefore, the authors note, safe sex practices, including consistent condom use, are still necessary.

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Dear Contact Pakistan, I am a member since 2002 and have seen all the progress that CP has made. I am proud to be part of this community. Recently I have listened to your program GupShup for the first time. For me it was a whole new experience. I really enjoyed the show with Mrs. Ambreen. In fact my wife and daughter sat along with me on the PC to listen to this very informative program for our ladies. Thank you so much for putting all the efforts and brining the best for all of us. I have a question, should I wish to produce my own program how can I do that? Does it require some hardware to buy and another other instrument?
Hope to hear from you soon. Arshad Mahmood, Jeddah.

DearArshad Bhai,
Thanks for being with us since so long. And thank you for liking our program GupShup on Webcast Radio Contact Pakistan. Yes you can always produce a program of your own by using your existing. It really does not require costly hardware or even software. A PC with a 20 Riyals mic, good space on the HD and any shareware audio recording software can produce you a quality program. Once you are comfortable with your recording then we can introduce you to more sophisticated software for studio quality programming. By the way our programs prior to March were recorded in the same type of setup and hardware. Before you start a program, you will be required to discuss the format with News@contactPakistan.com to make sure that your format and contents match CP policies. Also remember we only accept programs that you will produce at least for three months. Regards - Tahir

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 Tampering with Mother Nature - What is the Cost? 
Assalam-O-Alaikum
Wishing you are all hale and hearty.
You might have noticed that our recent discussions have mostly been on environment and nature.
Why is environment and nature becoming such an issue these days? It is because that now people have started realizing how man has fiddle with Mother Nature and her processes and caused disturbance that is no less than nightmare.
People try to grow flower plants that they find attractive. For this they make sure they are nourished well. They willingly take up the task of watering them, feeding them and keeping them free of weeds. In olden times, there were stretches of greenery and colorful flowers. No man had to take the duty of maintaining them. Nature took care of it. Dandelions, violets and thistles grew around. Places where there were plenty of rain showers, hosted such plants that required ample water. Those areas that received scanty rains were home to such shrubs that could bear drought periods. Butterflies, bees flocked to these colorful blossoms. While they sucked nectar from flowers, pollen grains would settle on the legs of these tiny animals. As they flew away, these pollen grains got dispersed and hence caused these blossoms to grow in abundance. Nature had its own way of flourishing.
But man intruded in it. The tiny weeds and shrubs were considered undesirable and plucked out to be replaced by fine green grass with no colors of tiny blossoms in it. The lack of color attracted no butterflies or bees, but worms. Since the region’s climate does not favor this grass, so now man has to employ means to maintain it. Man fertilizes the grass to grow. Once it grows, he mows it and throws away the excess length. In summers, when it is hot and growth of grass takes a back seat, man waters the grass to make it grow. How weird! Something that nature had taken care of…man tried to have control over it and thus added to his burden.
Trees are great blessings of nature. Yet man has not abstained from tampering with them either. If you look at the natural cycle of trees, you will see that in spring season, trees grow leaves and blossoms. This is so that they can provide the much desired shade in the scorching coming summers. When summers end and autumn sets in, the leaves on the trees become dry and brittle. The trees shed their leaves which fall to the ground, covering the soil like a blanket. In winters, during dry spell, the earth is able to maintain its moisture because of the protective cover of these dried leaves. Thus the roots of plants and trees are able to survive. The leaves continue to rot and decompose and finally become part of soil thus making it more fertile. But man-for him these dried leaves are rubbish. He does not let the earth be covered by these dried leaves and have them raked and thrown away. Thinking he is more efficient than nature, man chops down trees; grind them to make a protective substance that they spread over the soil in winters.  Thus reducing the number of trees which are lungs of nature!
If only we could let circle of life run in its natural form... (Think about it…)
Ms. Amna Tariq Holy City of Makkah-Ul-Mukarrama

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