Better Safe Than Sorry

My dad, who’s an extremely risk averse person, used to warn against sitting directly below fans.  I used to do that too… but stopping being so careful as “nothing ever happened”.  Well, this article shows that… my dad isn’t that paranoid after all.

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FAN FALLS ON COUPLE

Wife recalls fan falling on her and husband

A couple were enjoying a late breakfast at a food centre in Bedok when they suddenly felt something hit their heads.

By Shree Ann Mathavan and Lediati Tan

21 January 2010

They were planning to have a late breakfast at a food centre after shopping for groceries.

The couple chose a table in a quiet corner as it was directly under a fan. They ordered their coffee from a drinks stall and were about to sit down when they suddenly felt something hit their heads.

Madam Genevieve Logaraj and her husband recoiled in pain. After the initial shock, they realised that the ceiling fan above them had fallen.

The spinning blades had hit them both before crashing onto the table and then landing on the floor. This freak accident happened at about 11am yesterday at Fengshan Food Centre at Block 85, Bedok North Street 4.

Said Madam Logaraj: "There was no sound, then I was hit on the head.

"Everything went black. I held onto the table and I felt faint. So I sat down and put my head between my legs."

The couple were taken to Changi General Hospital for outpatient treatment.

Madam Genevieve received three stitches for a cut on her forehead and her husband had eight stitches on the top of his head.

Source: http://www.tnp.sg/news/story/0,4136,227729,00.html?

Dying of Cancer Clear-Headed?

Mobile phone use may stave off, reverse Alzheimer’s: study

07 January 2010 0823 hrs (SST)

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/health/view/1029057/1/.html

WASHINGTON : Long suspected of causing brain tumours, mobile phones are now being eyed as key allies in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, US researchers said Wednesday in a study.

Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) found, to their surprise, that 96 mice they zapped twice daily for an hour each time with electromagnetic waves similar to those generated by US mobile (cellular) phones benefited from the exposure.

Long-term exposure to the electromagnetic waves in mobile phones wiped out deposits of beta-amyloid – a protein fragment that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s sufferers to form the disease’s signature plaques – in older mice and improved their memories, the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed.

Young adult mice with no apparent signs of memory impairment were protected against Alzheimer’s disease after several months’ exposure to the mobile phone waves, and the memories of normal mice with no genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease were boosted after exposure to the electromagnetic waves.
No one was more surprised than the researchers themselves, who had embarked on the tests several years ago, convinced they would show "that the electromagnetic fields from a cell phone would be deleterious to Alzheimer’s mice," lead author Gary Arendash, a USF professor, told AFP.

"When we got our initial results showing a beneficial effect, I thought, ‘Give it a few more months and it will get bad for them.’

"It never got bad. We just kept getting these beneficial effects in both the Alzheimer’s and normal mice," Arendash said.

It took several months of exposure before the benefits were seen in mice, and that would be the equivalent of many years in humans, Arendash said.

The mice in the study didn’t wear tiny headsets or have scientists holding mobile phones up to their ears. Instead, their cages were arranged around an antenna that generated a mobile phone signal.

Each animal was housed the same distance from the antenna and exposed to electromagnetic waves equivalent to what is typically emitted by a mobile phone pressed up against a human head.

"Since we selected electromagnetic parameters that were identical to human cell phone use and tested mice in a task closely analogous to a human memory test, we believe our findings could have considerable relevance to humans," Arendash said.

But William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, said the study was "very preliminary" and warned against self-medicating by over-using a cell phone.

"No one should feel they are being protected from Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive decline by using their cell phones based on this study," Thies said in a statement.

The study "needs to be replicated in animals before we begin to even consider trying it in people, as animal models of Alzheimer’s and people with the disease are very different," he said.

The researchers concurred that more research is needed to find out, among other things, what the optimal "dosage" of electromagnetic waves would be – the 918 megaHerz in US mobile phones, 800 megaHerz in European phones, or another frequency – and how long "treatment" would have to be given before benefits are seen.

"If we can determine the best set of electromagnetic parameters to effectively prevent beta-amyloid aggregation and remove pre-existing beta amyloid deposits from the brain, this technology could be quickly translated to human benefit against Alzheimer’s disease," said USF professor Chuanhai Cao.

But, warned the Alzheimer’s Association, just because something works in mice with Alzheimer’s, doesn’t mean it will work in humans.

"Therapies that have been ‘successful’ in mouse models of Alzheimer’s have not worked in people," Thies said.

The potential new, non-invasive and drug-free therapy could also be used to treat one of the invisible injuries suffered by soldiers in war, Cao said.

"Since production and aggregation of beta-amyloid occurs in traumatic brain injury, particularly in soldiers during war, the therapeutic impact of our findings may extend beyond Alzheimer’s disease," he said.

Alzheimer’s Disease International, which groups Alzheimer associations around the world, has predicted that around 36 million people will be living with dementia this year.

Pentagon officials have said that up to 360,000 US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may have suffered brain injuries.
– AFP/il

Doctors say climbing stairs can lengthen life expectancy

Wow… my life expectancy increases by at least 5.5secs every day ‘cos my bedroom’s on the 3rd floor of my house.  Hahahahaha.  Oh and it goes up to 11secs for days I go to work ‘cos I climb up 2 flights of stairs to get to the train platform

I suppose climbing stairs does help in staying fit – I have a grandaunt in Guangzhou who climbs 9 floors to her apartment everyday and she’s really fit for someone in her late 80s!  I think many Singaporeans would rather die than climb 9 floors to their HDB flat… and some would probably die trying…

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SINGAPORE: Stair climbing can be a great form of exercise for those looking to lose weight.

But doctors at Tan Tock Seng Hospital have found out it has another benefit. They say climbing two flights of stairs can lengthen life expectancy by 5.5 seconds.

Doctors also estimate that one can lose 2.7 kilogrammes a year by just running two flights of stairs daily.

Stair-climbing burns up to 1,000 calories every hour, or five times more energy compared to strolling, two times compared to swimming, and 1.8 times more than jogging.

This vertical exercise can also strengthen physique, improve the heart and lung functions as well as enhance blood circulation.

It helps develop stronger leg muscles, which also reduces the chance of osteoporosis.
"You get a better fitness all over because you train your whole body and not just your legs, because you have to use the handrail. And that helps in all the ways of life," said Thomas Dold, champion of Vertical Marathon.

– CNA/yb

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1020049/1/.html

Shower Heads & Bacteria

I came across this Channel News Asia article that talked about how shower heads spread bacteria.  I did a bit more research online and found this other noteworthy article:

The Daily Telegraph today reported that a “daily shower could be hazardous”. It says that US researchers have found that showerheads are “breeding grounds for bacteria and when water is passed through them, they blast out the bugs”. One of the main microbes identified wasMycobacterium avium, which can cause respiratory infections mainly in people with a weak immune system or chronic respiratory disease.

This small study looked at the microbes in 45 showerheads from nine cities in the US. Although it did find the presence of mycobacteria and other bacteria, it did not look at whether using a shower actually increased the risk of mycobacterial or other infections. This research should not cause healthy individuals to be concerned about having showers, as the mycobacterium identified is unlikely to cause illness in people with a healthy immune system.

Mycobacteria avium is common in the environment. Further research is needed to determine whether or not showerheads are an important source of mycobacterial infection in immunocompromised individuals.

Where did the story come from?

The research was carried out by Dr Leah M Feazel and colleagues from the University of Colorado. The study was funded by the Alfred P Sloan Foundation and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. It was published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US.

What kind of scientific study was this?

This cross-sectional study looked at what bacteria can be found in showerheads. The researchers say that humans come into contact with microbes on a daily basis and showerheads may be one source of these. Layers of microbes can form on the inside of the showerhead and spread as an aerosol that could be inhaled during shower use.

They say that the increasing use of showers instead of baths has been suggested as a potential cause for an increase in lung infections by a microbe called nontuberculous mycobacterium. The researchers suggest that the increase in immunocompromised individuals in the population means that identification of potential sources of infection is important.

The researchers investigated this by taking sample swabs from showerheads and looking for genetic material from different types of microbes. Swabs were taken of the insides of 45 showerheads from nine cities in the US. Samples were taken two or three times over a period of two to 12 months from some showerheads, to determine whether the types of microbes found changed over time. Samples of the water feeding into showers were also taken at 12 sites. The researchers also took samples of the aerosols created during shower use by running three different showers for 20 minutes unoccupied and then sampling the air and testing for microbes.

What were the results of the study?

The researchers found that the showerheads contained between two and 29 varieties of microbe, and the exact type varied between sites. The types of microbes found at each site tended to stay the same, but the proportions fluctuated over time. The bacteria in the showerheads included bacteria found in water and soil.

Overall, the most common bacteria found in the showerheads were mycobacteria, mainlyMycobacteria gordonae and Mycobacteria avium. The latter can infect humans, mainly those who are immunocompromised (called an opportunistic infection), and those with HIV or AIDS are particularly at risk.

These mycobacteria were also found in the water samples, but were about 100 times more common in the showerhead swabs. Mycobacteria avium was identified in one in five showerhead samples, and accounted for an average of 32% of the microbes found in these samples.

As well as mycobacteria, there are other microbes that can be found in water and soil and are associated with respiratory disease in humans, such as staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria, but these were less common. Very few of the samples contained the microbe that causes Legionnaire’s disease (Legionella pneumophila), which accounted for only about 0.05% of the microbes identified.

When the researchers tested the aerosols created by running the showers, they found that the aerosols contained microbes representative of the water being fed into the shower, rather than the microbes living inside the showerhead.

Mycobacteria were only identified in public water system-fed showerheads, and not in well-water-fed showerheads. The researchers thought this could be because mycobacteria are resistant to chlorine that is used to treat public water sources.

What interpretations did the researchers draw from these results?

The researchers conclude that, “showerheads may present a significant potential exposure to aerosolised microbes, including documented opportunistic pathogens”. They say, “the health risk associated with showerhead microbiota needs investigation in persons with compromised immune or pulmonary systems”.

What does the NHS Knowledge Service make of this study?

These findings should not cause undue alarm as humans are constantly exposed to microbes. The authors of the study point out that indoor air usually has about a million bacteria per cubic metre, and tap water at least ten million bacteria per litre. Mycobacterium avium is one of several largely unavoidable bacteria known to occur in water, and particularly in hot water supplies and aerosolised water, such as fountains. Many of these bacteria are not harmful to humans, and our bodies’ defences are capable of protecting us from those that are harmful.

There is the possibility that the microbes identified could infect people whose immune systems are compromised, but it is not clear from this study how common such shower-related infections might be. Further researcher will be needed to determine whether showers do increase the risk of non-tuberculous mycobacterial infection.

There are a number of points to note:

  • Samples were taken from 45 showerheads in nine cities in the US. The results from this small sample may not be representative of all showerheads across the US or in other countries.
  • Contrary to what is implied by some of the news reports, the Mycobacteria avium from the showerheads was not found in the aerosol produced by the shower, which would reduce the likelihood of it being inhaled. The researchers suggest that this may be because the mycobacteria are released in the very start of the shower and then diluted as the shower progresses; further tests would be needed to determine if this is the case.
  • The study did not test whether the microbes found would also be present in other water taps.

Links To The Headlines

Daily shower could be hazardous. The Daily Telegraph, September 15 2009

How clean is your shower head? The peril lurking in your cubicle could be bad for your health. Daily Mail, September 15 2009

Taking showers ‘can make you ill’. BBC News, September 15 2009

Shower heads harbour germs that cause lung disease, study finds. The Times, September 15 2009

Links To Science

Feazel LM, Baumgartner LK, Peterson KL, et al. Opportunistic pathogens enriched in showerhead biofilms. PNAS 2009; Published online before print September 14

Will it be Nico & Nico next year?

Reproduced from CNA site:

SINGAPORE: The 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix will be Williams’ driver Kazuki Nakajima’s biggest test to date, as the 24-year-old battles to keep his place alongside team-mate Nico Rosberg.
The Japanese driver has yet to score any points in 13 races this season, and talk in the paddock is that the British racing outfit are looking to replace Nakajima with Germany’s Nico Hulkenburg for 2010.
While he seemed unfazed by the speculation, Nakajima knows a good showing here, and in the final three races, is crucial to his future in Formula 1.
Speaking to Today after a visit to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) office at One Raffles Quay with RBS ambassador Sir Jackie Stewart on Wednesday, Nakajima said: "Nothing has been said yet and I hope to stay in the team … maybe that will not happen, but I don’t think this will be my last time in Singapore and I’m confident I’ll be back next year.
"The most important thing now is to get a result and show my performance.
"Our car is strong here as it’s a street track with the highest downforce level of all the tracks. Also, Singapore is similar to Monaco, and we were strong there."
It was good for Rosberg at least, who finished sixth in Monaco, while Nakajima came in 15th, the last of the cars remaining on track.
During the visit to RBS, Nakajima and Stewart presented a cheque for $17,000 to humanitarian charity, Mercy Relief. The money was raised by the bank’s staff in Singapore via a raffle draw, which was done in conjunction with the Grand Prix.
Nakajima will be the only Asian on the grid for Sunday’s race.
From next season, the Asian continent will feature seven Grands Prix after the addition of Korea, which will make it 19 races in the 2010 calendar.
Nakajima, who is looking forward to racing in front of his home fans at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 4, is not surprised at Formula 1’s expansion in Asia.
"Basically, Formula 1 need new markets and this shows that the sport is finding more funds outside of Europe, and that’s good," he said. "It makes life easier for me as there are more races closer to my country, and the culture in most Asian countries is similar."
The sport made a huge breakthrough when Lewis Hamilton became the first black world champion last year.
Hamilton told Today just before the Italian Grand Prix in Monza that Formula 1 would eventually see an Asian champion, and Nakajima thinks it will happen in the next 10 years.
"It is a possibility, but we have to set up a good base and teach young drivers the finer points of racing, just like it is done in Japan," he said.
"Racing is not a fair sport in some ways … It’s difficult because you need the budget to compete. But if people have talent, they manage to find some way to get into the cockpit of a Formula 1 car."
Ironically, Nakajima was referring to 22-year-old Hulkenburg, the driver tipped to take over his drive at Williams.
He said: "Nico Hulkenburg is a good example. He obviously has got talent and he managed to climb up by showing speed and finding someone to back him." – TODAY

For Once, “Ter Kah” wins…

Based on this… I’m sooo going to die….

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Thinner thighs, weaker heart

PARIS : Women and men with

PARIS : Women and men with thighs under 60 centimetres (23.5 inches) in circumference face a far higher risk of premature death and heart disease, according to a study released Friday.

The surprising find could provide doctors with an additional barometer of cardiac risk, the authors say in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Berit Heitmann and Peder Frederiksen of Copenhagen University Hospital examined data for 1,436 men and 1,380 women whose body measurements were taken in Denmark in the late 1980s.

Over the next dozen years, more than 400 participants died and another 540 suffered either cardiovascular or heart disorders. Men outnumbered women roughly two to one.

Survivors without heart problems had significantly thicker thighs once other risk factors – obesity, smoking, high cholesterol – were taken into account, the investigators found.

"A ‘threshold effect’ for thigh circumference was evident, with greatly increased risk of premature death below around 60 cm," the study concludes.
The bad news, for those with ham-like upper legs, is that bigger thighs do not seem to offer any advantage.

"Above the threshold there seemed to be no additional benefit … for either sex," the study said.

Those with the thinnest thighs were more than three times times likelier to die compared with those with the 60-centimetre (23.5-inch) thighs, and more than twice as likely to have heart problems.

The Danish team suggest small thighs could be a pointer of low cardiac muscle mass, but further research is needed.

Earlier studies have shown a clear link between heart disease and obesity or underweight, but this is the first to look at the implications of thigh size on coronary health.

The authors suggest it could join other measures currently used to assess cardiac risks include body-mass index (BMI), as well as waist and hip circumference.
But at least one independent expert was skeptical that the new findings will become a diagnostic tool.

"It seems unlikely that thigh circumference will be clinically useful," wrote Ian Scott of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, said in a commentary, also published in the BMJ.

– AFP/il

Regardless of Race, Language or Religion

This is the first National Day that I wasn’t in Singapore.  The National Day song for this year didn’t really catch my attention but this article in the Straits Times did.  It spoke to me because I am proud of how much Singapore has achieved it the 44 short years that we’ve been an independent nation, and I’m particularly aware that the racial harmony we enjoy in Singapore today did not come easy.

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IN A rare intervention in Parliament, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew rose yesterday to ‘bring the House back to earth’ on the issue of racial equality in Singapore.

Spelling out the Government’s approach to the treatment of different races, he pointed out that the Constitution of Singapore itself enjoins the Government to give Malays a ‘special position’, rather than to ‘treat everybody as equal’.

He rebutted as ‘false and flawed’ the arguments by Nominated Member of Parliament Viswa Sadasivan calling for equal treatment for all races.

On Tuesday, Mr Viswa had tabled a motion for the House to reaffirm its commitment to principles in the National Pledge when debating national policies.

A total of 14 MPs spoke on the motion over the past two days. The wide-ranging and vigorous debate ended with Parliament accepting an amended version of Mr Viswa’s motion proposed by People’s Action Party MP Zainudin Nordin, and modified slightly by MM Lee.

Mr Zainudin’s amendment was to acknowledge the progress Singapore has made in nation building, while Mr Lee’s was to highlight the principles in the Pledge as aspirations.

While present at almost every Parliament sitting, the last time Mr Lee rose to speak was in April 2007 during a furore over ministerial pay increases.

He told the House yesterday that he had not planned to weigh in on the debate over the Pledge, but was moved to do so by Mr Viswa’s remarks on the hot-button issue of race.

In a lengthy speech on Tuesday, the NMP had expressed pride in Singapore’s inter-racial harmony and principle of equal opportunity for all races.

However, he questioned if the Government was sending out mixed signals by emphasising racial categories, for example, through ethnic self-help groups.

MM Lee declared that the assumption of equal treatment for all races is ‘false and flawed’, and ‘completely untrue’.

To ‘remind everybody what our starting point is’, he pointed to the racially tense period of the 1960s, the circumstances in which the Pledge had been written.

Singapore had just been thrown out of Malaysia. The Malays in Singapore were feeling particularly vulnerable, unsure if the Chinese majority here would treat them the way the Malay majority in Malaysia had treated the Chinese minority there.

Because of such a backdrop, the Pledge crafted by then Culture Minister S. Rajaratnam took pains to emphasise principles that would be ‘regardless of race, language and religion’.

Mr Lee also drew the House’s attention to Article 152 of the Constitution, which makes it the Government’s responsibility to ‘constantly care for the interests of the racial and religious minorities in Singapore’.

In particular, it states that the Government must recognise the special position of the Malays, ‘the indigenous people of Singapore’, and safeguard their political, economic and educational interests.

Mr Lee contrasted Singapore’s approach with that of the United States, where despite a 1776 declaration that ‘all men are created equal’, blacks did not get the right to vote until a century later, and racial segregation continued well into the 20th century.

For Singapore to reach a point where all races could be treated equally ‘is going to take decades, if not centuries’, he said bluntly.

For this reason, he sees the Pledge not as an ‘ideology’, as Mr Viswa put it, but as an ‘aspiration’.

Mr Viswa had also wondered if Singapore had got the balance right between prosperity and the happiness of its citizens, and if it had done enough to strengthen its democratic fundamentals.

Education Minister Ng Eng Hen, who spoke after MM Lee, provided a detailed response, spelling out how the Government’s record over the past 50 years had been entirely in the spirit of the Pledge.

‘Far from compromising these ideals in the pursuit of economic gro-wth, we have been defenders of these ideals in building a nation,’ he said.

Policies are debated openly in Parliament, and the Government is accountable to the people at every election, he said.

He noted that Mr Viswa’s model of a multi-party democracy, more opinionated media and politically active universities was drawn from other democratic models in the West.

In Asia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand have elements of these models too.

But he questioned if those places had done better than Singapore, and said it was not self-evident that their models would work here.

More important than high-flown rhetoric in pledges and anthems was the reality on the ground, in the lives that citizens led, he maintained.

He agreed with the NMP that Singapore must move with the times.

However, Dr Ng said: ‘We must not do so unthinkingly, but consider carefully each step forward, carving our own path towards a better society and a more vigorous economy.’

Thinking Thin vs Being Thin

I love the 2nd paragraph of the article below… such a polite way of saying that the women in Britain, Spain and Portugal are delusional.. hahahaha.

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Health @ AsiaOne

French women, thinnest in Europe, think they’re fat

France has by far the highest proportion of clinically underweight women in Europe, but only half of them think they are too thin. -AFP
Fri, Apr 24, 2009
AFP

PARIS (AFP) – France has by far the highest proportion of clinically underweight women in Europe, but only half of them think they are too thin, according to a new study.

In other European countries the opposite is true: the number of women in Britain, Spain and Portugal, for example, who see themselves as seriously skinny easily outstrips the number who actually are.

"This shows that what people consider an ideal weight in France is lower than in other countries," said the study’s author Thibaut de Saint Pol, a researcher at France’s National Institute of Demographic studies, which published the study on Wednesday.

"If a French person who feels fat were to go to the United States," — which has much higher rate of obesity — "he probably wouldn’t feel fat any more," he told AFP in an interview.

The study also reveals a big gap, both objective and subjective, between sexes.

In western Europe, the mean weight of men in every country except France and The Netherlands tips the scales into the "overweight" category, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

By contrast, in only three nations do women join the menfolk in crossing that line: Britain, Greece and Portugal. And only among the Dutch does one find more overweight women than men.

France is the one country in which both sexes are solidly in the "normal" weight bracket, and the only one in which more than five percent of women are offically "underweight".

The universal standard introduced by the WHO for assessing weight is the Body-Mass Index (BMI): one’s weight in kilogrammes divided by the square of one’s height in meters.

A BMI of 25-to-30 indicates being overweight, while above 30 means one is obese. The range of normal weight is 18.5-to-24.9. (BMI calculators can easily be found on the Internet.)

The proportion of overly thin women in France has long been the highest in Europe, but has shrunk from 8.5 percent in 1981, to 7.8 percent in 1992, to 6.7 percent in 2003, according to once-a-decade national surveys.

In that same period, the proportion of underweight French men held steady at just under two percent.

Beyond objective differences, men and women don’t perceive their own deficient or excess weight in the same way either, the study found.

"Men denigrate their own bodies when they are underweight, but when they are overweight, they often don’t see a problem," said de Saint Pol, adding that outright obesity was another story.

"When women are underweight, they do not devalue that at all. But as soon as they cross the line into overweight, they find that unacceptable."

While particularly striking in France, this axiom held true across all 15 of the European countries covered in the study.

De Saint Pol pointed to powerful cultural symbols that reinforced these different attitudes, though it is hard to tell whether they are more cause or effect.

For women, he said, the body is related to beauty, and beauty to being thin.

For men, however, carrying weight is felt in oneself and perceived in others — consciously or not — as projecting strength.

"This is especially true the further down one goes on the socio-economic ladder," he said.

British store admits it boobed in bra row

AFP – Saturday, May 9

LONDON (AFP) – – British retailer Marks & Spencer admitted Friday it had "boobed" in a row over larger-size bras, agreeing to cut prices for DD-plus cup versions to bring them in line with smaller models.

ADVERTISEMENT

The climbdown, which came after more than 13,000 people signed an online protest, was welcomed by the 26-year-old woman who launched the campaign on social networking website Facebook.

"I’m absolutely delighted on behalf of all of the women in the group," said Beckie Williams, who wears a 30G bra herself. "We have had 13,500 people join us to support us in this cause, so it’s absolutely fantastic," she told GMTV.

Her group, Busts 4 Justice, condemned M & S’s two-pound (2.2-euro, 3.0-dollar) surcharge on bras bigger than a DD cup, as "criminally unfair" and urged "busty ladies" to "join forces to end this blatant discrimination".

Williams even bought a share worth 3.40 pounds in Marks and Spencer so she could raise her concerns at the firm’s annual general meeting in July.

Announcing its climbdown, the retailer took out full-page ads in national newspapers Friday, with the headline "We Boobed" over a picture of a woman sporting a larger-sized bra.

A spokesperson said: "We’ve heard what our customers are telling us that they are unhappy with the pricing on our DD-plus bras and that basically we’ve boobed.

From Saturday the store’s bra prices will all be the same, regardless of size, he said, adding: "They’ll still be made to the same high standards so you get the best support on the high street."

The retailer previously insisted its bras were priced fairly to include the cost of wider straps and better support, and said customers "have told us they are happy to pay a small premium… for the specialist work".

I’m glad Marks & Spencer has decided to review it’s pricing policy.  After all, if obese people don’t need to pay more for clothes, I don’t see why busty people should pay more for bras!

The Flu Formerly Known as Swine

The Straits Times

May 4, 2009

H1N1 FLU OUTBREAK

Flu scare for NTU student

Undergrad returning from Mexico was admitted to CDC with running nose but tests show he’s clear

By Teh Joo Lin , Carolyn Quek , Lee Hui Chieh

AN UNDERGRADUATE who returned to Singapore last Friday from an exchange programme in Mexico caused a scare on Sunday, when he woke up with a running nose and was admitted to the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC).

The fear of a first infected patient here turned out to be a false alarm when laboratory tests showed that Mr Melvin Yang, 25, had not been infected by any Influenza A virus.

Mr Yang, who had been on self-imposed home quarantine, was not anxious because he thought that his running nose was probably due to his body adjusting back to the environment here.

But the third-year business student from the Nanyang Technological University decided to play it safe and call 993 for the special ambulance service to ferry him to the CDC, where he got his throat swabbed and blood sample taken.

‘I decided to do so as a precaution. I couldn’t just think that I was all right,’ he said.

He was kept overnight for observation in an isolation ward in the CDC, and said he should be discharged on Monday. ‘I’ve been told not to worry,’ he told The Straits Times from his room last night.

He is among three Singaporeans and two foreigners, who travelled here from Mexico in the last seven days, whom government officers have been monitoring over the phone.

One of the other Singaporeans has remained disease-free for seven days after returning home, and is now in the clear.

The other three people are also well, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

Nobody in Singapore has been found to have contracted the new Influenza A (H1N1) strain so far. Two more people who were unwell and had recent travel history were screened for the virus on Sunday, bringing the total number of such cases to 27.

 

Frankly, if I woke up and found my nose RUNNING, I would be damn scared too…