05:11 pm An enormous iceberg has broken off a glacier in a lagoon at a national park in southern Chile. The Chilean government's National Forestry Corporation tweeted a picture of the rupture on Tuesday. Officials at the Torres del Paine National Park have said the cause of the rupture of the so-called Grey Glacier is unclear, although many will point to the Earth's ever-increasing temperature. Such breaks in the ice at the park are rare and have not occurred since the early 1990s, they added.
11:11 am Over 50 percent of diabetes patients in India are at the risk of developing heart diseases, while 63 percent are at risk of getting microvascular complications, a study revealed Wednesday. Many others are under enhanced risk of developing eye problems, especially retinopathy, said the study "Lifespan D-Myth 2014". The study was conducted to map people's perceptions along with behaviour-related outcomes of diabetes management. It also brings to light poor diabetes management among Indians, which it links to ignorance and prevalence of myths. "Eighty percent of diabetics in India have higher cardiometabolic scores while 50 percent are ignorant about the fact that diabetes could lead to heart disease," said the report by Lifespan, a healthcare company dedicated to the management of diabetes and cardiometabolic disorders. The study was conducted among 5,065 Indians in 16 cities on a one-to-one basis. It also showed that 60 percent of diabetics in India suffer from autonomic nervous system dysfunction and 69 percent were clueless that diabetes can also affect their sexual life. "The study's findings are unique in terms of the insights it provides on people's perceptions about diabetes and its effects on morbidity and mortality. Considering the huge burden of diabetes on the country, the findings should help us lay out a road map to ensure its prevention and management," Lifespan Wellness group MD and CEO Ashok Jain said in a statement. According to the report, 29 percent of diabetics use honey and jaggery during diabetes and 41 percent believed these were actually good for people suffering from diabetes. "Also 33 percent regularly consume juices, which have high glycaemic index (not good for diabetes), with nearly one out of two people considering all fruit juices were good for diabetes," the report said. The report also said that though it was well established that bitter gourd (karela) and fenugreek (methi) cannot treat diabetes, 40 percent believe that eating them can cure diabetes. Another 27 percent were found to be taking these alone to deal with diabetes. "People in non-metro cities were slightly more informed and aware than people in metro cities about the correct measures of diabetes," the report said.
06:11 pm Stem cell treatment has no added beneficial effects over the conventional treatment of paralysis, which is also known as stroke, a study conducted by the All India Institute of Medial Sciences (AIIMS) has revealed. The study that was financed by the Department of Bio-Technology stated that the general public, suffering from disabling and incurable diseases, should not go in for stem cell treatment without knowing its scientific effects as there are different types of stem cells. The study, released Thursday, was carried out between 2008 and 2014 and out of 120 patients, 60 patients were assigned to receive conventional treatment and the remaining 60 patients were assigned bone marrow stem cell treatment. All the patients had suffered from a stroke and subsequent paralysis. While half of the patients underwent conventional treatment, the other half underwent stem cell aspiration from the hip bone. Bone marrow cells were infused into the veins of their forearm. Later the patients' difficulties in using their upper limbs were measured at intervals of 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. "Stem cell treatment might have no side effects, but it has been proved that it has no advantages over the conventional treatment process," said Kameshwar Prasad, professor at the department of Neurology, AIIMS. The study, which is the first report on stem cells treatment for stroke, has been published in the American Journal "Stroke". Apart from AIIMS, SGPGI Lucknow, PGIMER Chandigarh, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and Army Hospital (Research and Referral), New Delhi participated in the study.
11:11 am Champion cliff diver Owen Weymouth gives a guide to his favourite diving spots across the world Durdle Door, Hříměždice, Treyarnon Bay... Owen Weymouth’s Instagram feed, other than inducing serious wanderlust, also serves as a geography class of sorts, introducing followers to unheard-of locales. Every other post has exotic locations, made even more appealing, accompanied by photographs of him leaping off treacherous cliffs. Weymouth is a cliff diver based in Plymouth, United Kingdom. “I currently hold World High Diving Federation titles of European Champion 2016 and Greek International Open 2017. I am also the youngest male diver in the Red Bull Cliff Diving world series, and I am part of the Great Britain senior men’s team for high diving,” says the 18-year-old. His profession takes him places — 40 cities as of now, and counting. From Wadi Shab of Oman in the middle of the desert and The Azores Islands in the middle of the Atlantic, to Chile and bustling cities such as Copenhagen, La Rochelle and Boston, his passport is full. Other than the opportunity to discover new places, what appeals to Weymouth about the sport is “the personal challenge of the discipline. In traditional diving, there is a limit to what divers can do. The maximum drop is 10 metres and therefore some manoeuvres become impossible, whereas in cliff diving we have 27 metres and the complexity of skills and possibilities become greater with increased airtime,” says Weymouth. What keeps him going is the feeling of overcoming a great challenge. “After completing a successful dive, your body is already pumping with adrenaline and when you know you are safe in the water the feeling is truly euphoric,” he adds. Weymouth was initially into springboard and platform diving. In 2010, on a family holiday in Mallorca, Spain, he tried his first cliff dive. “The worst part is the way you feel just before the dive. In such a dangerous discipline, it is natural to doubt your ability, and you will be scared of a bad landing that can cause extreme injury. I do breathing exercises and mental visualisation of dives in order to relax. Before I leap I try to forget about my surroundings and turn my brain on autopilot.” Weymouth’s most dangerous dive happened in Croatia, where along with fellow cliff diver Ellie Smart, he set up The Clean Cliffs Project. They make short films about plastic pollution that’s affecting the seas and the oceans. Through these videos, they inspire people to take action. “We were on a boat discovering the Croatian Islands for our first project, and we came to a beautiful horseshoe-shaped cliff made of limestone. There was one take-off point which looked amazing, and we measured it to be 32 metres, which is an extra five metres on top of the professional competition height of 27 metres. The impact is so much stronger and therefore dangerous. I hit the water at roughly 63-65mph. Even with my perfectly vertical entry into the water, the impact felt like a huge car crash,” he narrates. The sport, though fraught with danger, provides an adrenaline high. It’s perhaps the feeling of letting go and feeling like a bird, that adds to the appeal. Despite being an extreme sport, cliff diving is attracting a lot of interest. Places such as Buza Bar in Dubrovnik, Kamari Beach (Santorini), Ao Tanot Bay (Koh Tao) among others, get tourists who come with the intention of diving off intimidating cliffs into the cool blue waters. “Unfortunately, there is a lot of negative press because some divers do not take the safety precautions necessary and injuries and fatalities do happen,” says Weymouth, and adds, “For anybody who wants to dive, follow these vital steps. Check the depth of the water; it should be at least four metres deep. Make sure your friends are in the water ready to help you out in case of an injury. And when it comes to height, the most important point is to gradually work your way up. It is extremely dangerous to jump from higher than 40 feet if you have no previous experience. Bad landings can cause serious injuries from greater heights, so be sensible and don’t make a decision that you will regret.”
11:11 am Instead of chasing produce from across the world, rediscover local greens that are a powerhouse of taste and good health There is constant tussle between the spouse and I about the tiny strip in front of our home that we call our garden. He thinks it should have lovely plants, prettily lined up, whereas I am all about letting everything stay/grow indiscriminately. I am loathe to pluck anything even remotely useful. I will keep the tulasi and keezhanelli (stone breaker or seed-under-leaf plant, known for its extensive use in curing liver-related complaints) growing outside the beds. Thanks to the wild garden, there is a bounty of uncultivated greens. Baby Akka, who manages our home and garden, is a veritable encyclopaedia on these plants and their uses. A full-time farmer until 15 years ago, she moved to the city after being widowed. Her knowledge and fascination with these greens humbles me. The first time I had a cough she quickly went to the garden, plucked a few leaves from a thorny creeper and told me to make rasam with it. It was the tuduvalai plant (climbing brinjal) that is traditionally used for curing cough and asthma. My interest in these uncultivated food plants grew after the drought last summer. The scanty garden dried up as the summer progressed. However I noticed that our Ceylon keerai (waterleaf plant) survived and continued to flourish. With its succulent leaves and pretty pink flowers; it grew wild between flagstones, under the bamboo trees... everywhere. Other than the small quantity I use to make a delicious dal, the rest I am forced to compost as nobody seems to want it. What a waste of a wonderful food, full of vitamin C, E, calcium, fibre, potassium and many other elements, making it a nutritional powerhouse. Another beauty in the garden that I have fallen in love with is Kovakkai keerai (Ivy gourd leaves). The variety we have strangely doesn’t fruit and flowers rarely. The first time one of the farmers showed me the plant and told me its benefits, I realised that this was the same creeper I was indiscriminately uprooting and throwing into the compost. Now this is a regular addition to our dals and I think both this and the Ceylon keerai would make great additions to soups. Rich in beta carotene, the ivy gourd leaves have numerous healing properties. Another discovery that I have eaten and relished but not dared prepare is the pirandai keerai (Veldt grape) high on medicinal properties; again Baby Akka is my guide to it. With its exotic, succulent, squarish stem and beautiful leaves, it grows lustily wrapping its tendrils around every other plant nearby. The tender stem is great to prepare thuviyal. It has to be sautéed in oil and used along with tamarind, as otherwise it can cause itchiness in the throat. As part of the Save Our Rice Campaign, a study conducted in unsprayed paddy fields in Wayanad led to the discovery of 96 varieties of uncultivated greens all identified by older women and tribal community members. These were regularly consumed till modern vegetables made their way into the local diet. It is not that I am a complete convert to eating these keerais. I am very much the spoilt urbanite who likes the sweetness of palak, and enjoys the ease of cooking vegetables that don’t require attention and skill from me. However, the more I see micro-nutrient deficiencies among us, I learn that the best diet is what our ancestors ate. Above all, when I experience the vagaries of climate change, I realise that the luxury of cultivated vegetables has to be tempered with the pleasures of uncultivated greens. I have to learn to use them seamlessly in my daily diet and cultivate the palate to enjoy these uncultivated foods. Each of us will find different greens growing in our backyards. The time has come to find nutrition in these plants that grow easily and make the ordinary exotic, rather than chase the exotic from across the world. The taste for exotics is cultivated, so why not cultivate a taste for the ordinary?
06:11 pm City-based social entrepreneur wins Mrs India Universe International title in Udaipur For Rumana Sinha Sehgal winning Mrs India Universe International 2017 title was a cherry on top. The pageant held last week at Uadipur was a pit stop in her journey that began in the corporate world as an industrial engineer and culminated in a social entrepreneurship venture. The Mrs India Universe title comes a few months after Rumana was conferred with ‘Iconic woman’ award at the Women Economic Forum, New Delhi. “It is serendipitous,” laughs Rumana, reacting to her winning the title. She’s the founder and managing director of Serendipity, a utility art installation centre that uses recycled articles. A casual browsing on Facebook led her to apply and get selected, which eventually got her the title. Organised by Viscera Events and Archana Tomer Creations, the event saw as many as 42 contestants participating in two categories — Gold, who are in the age group of 25 to 35 and Platinum for the 35 to 50 age group. At 41, Rumana taking part in the Platinum category came out with flying colours. The proverbial ‘beauty with brains’ applies to me, says an unpretentious Rumana whose response to the question, ‘the one thing that she would want to change about her past’, won her the crown. Her reply, ‘that she would wish to be born as her mother and embody all her virtues to pass it on her children’, warmed audience’ and judges’ hearts. Enjoying the support of her family and friends, this mother of two is confident that winning this title will give her visibility and open doors to carry forward her ventures in sustainable development goals.
06:11 pm Designer Sailesh Singhania’s talks about why hand-woven luxury saris are still a fad today If hand-woven saris are your style statement and you love to deck your wardrobe with unique colour combinations and designs to give your look the perfect aesthetic sense, then look no further than this. Vermilion House is hosting a collection by designer Sailesh Singhania this weekend. The Singhanias are a household name in the textile business for the last 160 years and their luxury branding handloom, which started a couple of years ago, specially concentrates on quality luxury handloom production. Says the designer: “Our collection comprises vibrant colours which suits everyone. So anyone who likes to drape a sari should look gorgeous and youthful in these designs. For people who want to pass on something special from generation to generation, this collection will be something to look forward to.” The ‘Sailesh Singhania’ label presents luxury hand-woven saris which are festive in look and embrace the feeling of celebration. The current collection includes his recent display of Banarasi saris at the Lakme Fashion Week and an added collection of khadi jamdanis. When asked what inspired his designs, Sailesh says, “Our motifs are inspired by 18th Century weavers and our designs are based on traditional stories. All concepts of the designs are prepared through months of people-oriented research. Through our saris, we try to preserve tradition and at the same time connect people to these stories.” He elaborates that their handloom-based production units work closely with weavers. “Not only do we help weavers with proper technological supplements, we also provide them with proper lighting to work in, teach them various colour combinations and provide them assistance in whatever area required. We want to preserve the traditional method of production and hence also use natural fibres and colours which can decompose and not cause water pollution.