Monday, February 26, 2007

Diet-based method to treat brain cancer

Biologists in the US claim to have identified an alternative diet-based method that they say can significantly help decrease the growth of brain tumours.The diet identified by Boston College biology professor Tom Seyfried and other researchers is KetoCal, a commercially available high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet designed to treat epilepsy in children, reported the online edition of health magazine 'WebMD'.The treatment does not involve administering toxic chemicals, radiation or invasive surgery, the researchers say after studying its impact on mice.The researcher surgically implanted two different kinds of tumours into the brains of male mice. The mice were then divided into three groups. One group was fed a high-carbohydrate mouse chow, one was given unlimited amounts of KetoCal and the third group was given KetoCal in a restricted dosage. The researchers found that in the mice on the restricted diet, KetoCal decreased the growth of brain tumours by between 35 percent and 65 percent. Also, survival rates were higher in the mice on the restricted diet.Malignant brain cancer is one of the most lethal types of cancer in adults and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among children. Many current ways of treating the disease fail to provide long-term management because they ineffectively target tumour cells and harm the health and vitality of normal brain cells. The KetoCal diet gets around this dilemma by essentially starving the brain tumour cells of the sugary molecules on which they rely for growth and survival. Because of its special composition, the diet deprives the tumour cells of the glucose they need; at the same time, the diet provides normal brain cells with ketones, a class of organic compounds they can metabolize effectively but the tumour cells cannot, the researchers said.

When should we say ‘NO’ to our children?

We have often seen that children these days demand a lot more than they did earlier. Children, being innocent, shouldn't be blamed for what they are doing. But should parents draw a line somewhere? Giving in to demands posed by their kids can sometimes prove bad for the child. So what do you do if your kids habitually demand more and more?Giving in to a child's demands is the path of least resistance. Television and advertising are stimulating kids' acquisitiveness. They are constantly being sold on the idea that things will buy them happiness and this has made them stubborn by the day.Keep your child away from developing the demands—or cure them if they've already set in.TEACH KIDS NOT TO RELY ON OBJECTSAre you worried about how your child will live without the gizmos and gadgets?Well, they will not if you manage to engage them in meaningful activities such as work that helps the family. Traditionally, kids on farms would milk cows, collect eggs and perform other duties, even at a very young age. Nowadays, we ask nothing of our children.Parents can fend off the demands by creating a schedule of chores. Even four-year-olds can help clear breakfast dishes and water the plants. Older children can make beds and sort laundry.Don't feel it's up to you, however, to keep your child busy. If you restrict TV and computer time, they'll eventually discover something else to do.DON'T BUY GIFTS EVERY TIME YOU SHOPThis is the worst kind of practice you can adopt. It is brought about by guilt. Parents who work feel that because they're unavailable to their children for most of the day, they should somehow make it up to them. Buying gifts habitually may make you feel generous, but your children may begin to feel entitled to treats and therefore demand more.MONEY IS A CONSIDERATIONMake clear to your child right from the start that what you buy for him/her is a matter of heavy decision-making. Give him/her some idea of the financial thinking that goes into deciding whether or not you will buy them a bicycle.Remind them that owning a lot of things is not crucial to happiness. Emphasise that some things are useless and not worth buying. If you think your child's request is worthwhile, give him/her a chance to earn the money to buy the item. Say something like, “I can't buy those designer jeans today. But I will if you help me in the kitchen at night for a month.” This also encourages your child to develop initiative and drive to stand on his/her feet.KEEP YOUR EXPLANATION SIMPLEDo not give your children silly excuses, like “the wafers you want are made from hay and paper” or “the new Barbie doll is possessed”!Such explanations may sound civilised to adults, but to a child they are confusing and indefinite. It's better to deliver a firm “no” and then offer the simplest explanation you can think of: “They're not good for you.”Such a flat rejection gives a child no reason to think that crying, fussing or yelping will get him anywhere at all.ONCE YOU SAY NO, STICK TO ITThis is the golden rule. Your response to the demands teaches children something important: that is, how things are gained and not gained. Letting a child have his/her own way after crying tells them that they can get ahead by making other people's life miserable. It also instills in them that being stubborn helps.If you find yourself usually giving in, then examine your own motives. The primary reason is probably to avoid a scene. But keeping the peace comes at a high price—it teaches your child that fussing works. You're much better off letting a scene happen. Even if your child cries piteously and people think you're heartless, stand by your decision. If necessary, leave the store right away. Sometimes you have to inconvenience yourself to prove a point.Your job as a parent is to help your children decide what's worth getting and then show them the right way to go about it.
SPARE THE ROD, SPOIL THE CHILD Psychologist Seema Hingorrany gives you tips on when and how you can say no to your children:• Saying ‘no’ increasing your child's endurance level• Be honest with your kids• Teach them the concept of money and savings• Inculcate moral values and discipline by explaining to them• Teach them to value things• Do not give in to their unreasonable demands• If you want to gift something, give it as a reward or token of praise.

8-year-old boy has a hairy tail

An eight-year-old boy in a Bihar village has grown a hairy tail that refuses to stop growing every time it is cut. Roshan Kumar, who stays in Rani village in Begusarai district, about 126 km from here, hates his appendage and wants to get rid of it. H is friends in school make fun of him, calling him "poonch wala bandar (monkey with a tail). A doctor told the Class II student not to worry, saying the tail would stop growing on its own after a while. According to his father, Avadh Kishor Rai, the tail is a "rare gift of nature". But it causes Roshan a lot of pain too, especially when children make a grab for it during play. According to Rai, several people come to see his son out of curiosity. "His tail has been there since birth. It is a miracle of nature," Rai maintains. But for the tail, Roshan is a normal child, said his father. His tail has been there since birth. It is a miracle, a rare gift of nature — Avadh Kishor Rai, the boy’s father


Exercise, meditation help to reduce stress

Exercises and meditation that elicit relaxation responses can help the body erase the cumulative effects of stress, according to a new study.Meditation is only one way to elicit the relaxation response. Other methods include deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai-chi and repetitive prayer, the study, prepared by Harvard Medical School said.“What’s crucial is that the method enables a person to interrupt everyday thoughts by focusing on a word, phrase, prayer or repetitive muscular activity,” the report explained recommending practicing of relaxation techniques once or twice a day, for a total of 10 to 20 minutes. “Evidence suggests the more often a person practices these techniques, the better the outcome,” it added.The report — Stress Management: Techniques for Preventing and Easing Stress — noted that stress has been linked with such physical problems as heart attack, stroke, gastrointestinal problems and asthma, as well as emotional problems like depression, anxiety and an inability to enjoy life.

First marine-based TV to be launched in May

Marine enthusiasts world over will soon be gifted a 24-hour free-to-air satellite television channel and a website devoted to their needs.
MarineBiz TV, an initiative of Dubai-based marine design firm Aries, would beam from May 1 and accessible on DTH and worldwide networks with a web launch slated for March 1.
It will cover Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia in phase-I and its footprint will extend to the rest of the world by August.
"MarineBiz TV will become the single point of contact for all marine activities and information and also aims to propagate and help create a safe Maritime World," Aries group CEO Sohan Roy said from Sharjah.
"We aim to provide a service that is relevant, entertaining, informative and responsive to needs and opinions of the marine community".
Sohan said with the web they aim to reach one-million decision makers in the area and the programmes will be interactive, with discussions, newsletters, on-line shopping facilities, and information on maritime events, and marine institutions.


The Congress and the Opposition parties appear to be headed for a major showdown in Parliament over the government’s tardy response to the arrest of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, one of the accused in the Bofors pay off case. The NDA and the SP appear all set to haul the UPA government over the coals, once the budget session gets formally underway on Monday with the presentation of the Railway Budget.
The government, meanwhile, has decided to face the Opposition aggressively both inside the Parliament and outside. Sources told DNA that the government is likely to take the position that it was well within its rights not to make the matter public, even as it was taking all possible steps to extradite him. “The government acted with alacrity. Everything that needs to be done to bring him to India is being done, attempts by the Opposition to politicise the issue will come a cropper,” says Ashok Gehlot, AICC general secretary.
The Congress believes that Bofors as an issue has been flogged to death and the issue is unlikely to excite people anymore. “There is a Bofors fatigue now. The people have moved on,” says a cabinet minister. The government is resigned to the fact that it will be unable to transact much business save for the presentation of the Railway and general budget as it expects the Opposition to stall proceedings. “There is nothing to hide, once the facts are known, the Opposition’s balloon will be pricked,” says a minister.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Eklavya is one more movie coming from the stables of Vidhu Vinod Chopra and it really deserves to be called one of the finest crafted movies in recent times. Having roped in a heavy starcast with the VC Banner regulars like Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan, et. al. as well as getting Amitabh Bachchan to work with him for the first time, he does bring out the best of all of them to narrate a story which took 5 years to write and was equally difficult to portray.
The story essentially portrays one of the Royal families in Rajasthan with no more dynasty and the secret behind how the lady of the family takes the help of their guard (Eklavya) to give birth to the next generation of the family. The revealing of this secret just before her death brings about a feeling of being cheated to her husband and sows the seeds of taking revenge for it. The director has shown great detail of creativity to create a scene as to how the secret is revealed to her son by the way of a painting by his twin sister (Raima Sen) who is mentally retarded by birth. And then starts the entire plot of how Eklavya keeps up the fight to keep up his duty of protecting the Royal family which otherwise would have resulted in ill-effects for the next few generations in his family.
Chopra’s direction is exemplary. He handles the material with maturity and also keeps the length in check, which is so vital these days. The visuals [cinematography: S. Natarajan Subramaniam] are superb. In fact, every frame looks like a painting on celluloid. Dialogues [Swanand Kirkire] accentuate the impact of several scenes. Stunts [Tinu Verma] are tremendous and expertly executed. The interiors of the palace [art: Nitin Desai] give the film an opulent look. The background score as well as the sole song ‘Chanda Re’ [Shantanu Moitra] are appropriate.
That Saif has evolved into a fine actor is known to all and sundry by now, we don’t need proof of it, especially after KAL HO NAA HO, EK HASINA THI, PARINEETA and OMKARA. Sanjay Dutt has a brief role, but he’s fantastic all through. Vidya Balan is superb yet again. There’s no stopping this actress! Boman Irani is first-rate in a negative role. Watch him interact with Sharmila Tagore in the very first scene and with Jackie subsequently to know the range of this gifted actor. Jimmy Shergill introduces you to a hitherto unknown facet of his talent. He excels in a negative role. Jackie Shroff gets a meaty role yet again in a Vidhu Vinod Chopra film. Raima Sen leaves a mark in a significant role. Sharmila Tagore exudes class in a cameo. Parikshit Sahni is efficient.


Bachchan for President?

Fancy seeing Big B in Rashtrapati Bhavan? When 64-year-old Amitabh Bachchan’s name was first flaunted by a section of media as the next President of India, many dismissed it as the work of an idle mind.
But with Bachchan’s “brother” and Samajwadi Party general secretary, Amar Singh, floating his name and Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu finding nothing wrong with the suggestion, media and political circles are abuzz. According to Singh, “Bachchan is a superhero and has a global image.”
Many dismiss the proposal as “laughable” and a non-serious move on the part of the SP. One or two parties cannot influence the outcome of the presidential election as in the fractured polity nobody has majority in the electoral college. Mainstream parties like the Congress or the BJP need the support of many other parties to see their candidate through, not to talk of the so-called Third Front which has been in disarray.
Sources close to Naidu, however, said the TDP chief is not serious when he offered to back Big B. Naidu had “political” talks with Singh a few days ago in Delhi. However, sources close to the TDP chief said he would not endorse Bachchan without consulting CPI (M), which already has a “strong” candidate in Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. When asked for his comments CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury initially had a hearty laugh and then he said, “We have not applied our mind. When time comes we will decide.”
SP leader Shahid Siddiqui denied any move to foist Bachchan. “Our first priority is to win the elections. We have not decided. Bachchan is respected all over the world. That does not mean he is the Presidential candidate.”
However, Singh told a TV channel that Bachchan’s candidature may be firmed up after the UP polls. So why is Singh floating his pal’s name? Political circles are offering two reasons: After a series of political and constitutional set backs Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh are desperate to win the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and offering to make him the President may go down well with a section of people in the state and SP may wish to translate that into votes.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sexualised images harm young girls

Sexualised images in the media and advertising have a negative effect on healthy sexual development in girls, warn US experts.
A task force from the American Psychological Association analysed the content and effects of television, music videos, music lyrics, magazines, films, video games and the Internet on young girls, reported BBC News.
The experts scrutinised recent advertising campaigns and merchandising of products aimed at girls and found that sexualisation has negative effects on them, including in their cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, and healthy sexual development.
Sexualisation was defined as occurring when a person’s value comes only from her or his sexual appeal or behaviour, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is portrayed purely as a sex object.
Sexualisation can lead to a lack of confidence with their bodies as well as depression and eating disorders. Such images also have a negative effect on healthy sexual development in girls, said Eileen Zurbriggen, chair of the group and associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The task force called on parents, school officials and health professionals to be alert to the potential impact on girls and young women.
It also advised that pupils be taught media literacy skills and be exposed to information on the negative effects of images portraying girls as sex objects in sex education programmes.

Fish in pregnancy help kids

Mothers who relish seafood and fish during their pregnancy have children who are smarter and have better developmental skills than kids of women who hate even the smell of it. According to the new findings by US and British scientists, published in The Lancet, children of mothers who consumed fish and seafood several times a week during their pregnancy were more likely to score higher in mental and social ability tests. Seafood is considered to be the predominant source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for optimum neural development. One major concentrated source of omega-3 is oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. During the study, 11,875 pregnant women were assessed at 32 weeks’ gestation and based on their diet during pregnancy their children’s mental and social development up from age 6 months to 8 years was observed. It was found that children of mothers who ate small amounts of seafood were more likely to have sub-optimum neuro-developmental outcomes than children of mothers who ate more seafood.Low seafood intake by moms was also associated with increased risk of sub-optimum outcomes for prosocial behaviour, fine motor and social development scores. The study indicates that mothers who consumed less than 340 g a week have more likelihood of having children who would be in the bottom 25 per cent of verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) at age of 8, and have sub-optimum performance on developmental and social behaviour tests. This was in comparison to children whose mothers ate more than 340 g of seafood a week. According to doctors, low seafood/fish intake during pregnancy could lead to fetal deficiency in essential long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid, effecting the neuro-development of foetus.


While the top leadership of India and Pakistan is talking peace, the railway authorities on both sides are locked in a war of words.
Officials from the Northern Railway have strongly objected to allegations that the bogies of Samjhauta Express were locked from outside. “It is absolutely wrong. The trains in India cannot be locked from outside,” said Northern Railway’s chief PRO Rajeev Saxena. He made it clear that there was no discrimination against the Pakistani nationals and all the passengers in Samjhauta Express traveled like any other train in India.
Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid had alleged in the country’s Parliament on Monday that the two ill-fated bogies of Samjhauta Express were locked from outside which prevented passengers from escaping the burning train which is why the death toll was so high. The minister said that people died or were critically injured because they were in a “locked-up cage”. There were 553 Pakistanis among total 757 passengers on board.
Despite the heated language from both sides, Pakistan wants to send a four-member railway team to be part of the investigations. In a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs, Pakistan has expressed willingness to join investigations and assess the security provided on Samjhauta Express. India is yet to respond on this request.
Meanwhile, chief booking supervisor DK Sabbarwal and two clerks of the Railway booking counter at Old Delhi station have been suspended for improper maintenance of records of the tickets issued for the Delhi-Attari train. The two clerks - Surendra Kumar and Rakesh Maini - were posted at the general class booking counters and were suspended for issuing tickets without checking visas and passports.
Amidst suspensions and interrogations following blasts in Samjhauta Express, the railway ministry is also planning to shift the departure and arrival of this trans-border train from old Delhi Railway Station to Safdarjung Railway Station.
The shift will be done keeping in mind the security and verification of the passengers since Safdarjung station remains relatively empty. However, in the absence of any infrastructure, the train will continue to run from old Delhi station.

World's smallest BABY

“The world’s most premature — and smallest — living baby, born at 21 weeks and six days, is headed home after spending four months in a neonatal intensive care unit, Baptist Children’s Hospital in Miami announced.
It was hard to imagine she would get this far. But now she is beginning to look like a real baby,” the baby’s mother, Sonja Taylor said. No baby born at less than 23 weeks was previously known to have survived, according to the University of Iowa, which keeps a record of the world’s tiniest babies.
“Even though she’s only four pounds (1.8 kgs) now, she’s plump to me,” Taylor said. When she was born on October 24, Amillia Taylor weighed just 280 grams and measured 240 centimeters, slightly longer than a ballpoint pen, the hospital said.
Doctors said the baby girl is now thriving and well enough to be cared for by her parents at home. She did suffer a laceration on her head at birth, but healed quickly from the wound. “She’s truly a miracle baby,” said William Smalling, a neonatalist at the Baptist Children’s Hospital. He said caring for Amillia in the past month was like navigating uncharted waters. “We didn’t even know what a normal blood pressure is for a baby this small,” Smalling said.
The baby was delivered via C-section after attempts to delay a premature delivery failed. She was breathing without assistance at birth and even made several attempts to cry. The American Association of Pediatrics indicates that babies born at less than 23 weeks of age and 400 grams in weight are not considered viable.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Look closely and you will see the effects of climate change everywhere in Mumbai. Floods and storms are getting more severe, and heat waves are getting more intense. Trees are flowering earlier and insects are emerging faster. Surface temperatures are rising and melting the Himalayan glaciers. Globally, sea levels are rising. An NITIE professor spent a great deal of time analysing just how climate change will influence our city’s natural environment by 2030
Will Mumbai become an environmental victim of its own success? It has the potential to fall apart if a recent literature research by National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) professor of economics Dr Vijaya Gupta is to be believed.
Her study, ‘Climate Change and Domestic Mitigation Efforts’, portends that a four-fold increase in the gross domestic product (GDP), under the present scenario, will lead to a marked increase in emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2030. Gupta has stated that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels will increase by 2.8 times, methane (CH4) by 1.3 times, nitrous oxide (N2O) by 2.6 times and fluorochemical GHGs such as perflurocarbons (PFCs) and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) by 15 times.
“Pollutants will induce climate changes that will manifest in gradual changes in temperature, precipitation, rise in sea levels, changing frequencies, intensities and durations of extreme events such as floods, droughts and vector-borne epidemics,” says Gupta.
By 2030, countrywide temperatures will rise by 2-4°C, and many regions, including Mumbai, will witness a curtailed monsoon and regular floods. Drought incidences will burden food and water resources, and there will also be increased spells of malarial outbreaks, she adds. The NITIE study examines India’s vulnerability to climatic changes by looking at hypothetical emission scenarios based on the country’s future economic growth. It states that attempts at urbanisation without tackling the issue of environmental degradation, especially in metro cities, will increase India’s share in global emission of CO2 from 3 to 9 per cent in 2050.
While this is significantly lower-than-projected emission rates for nations such as the US, China, Japan and Russia, the country’s annual rate of CO2 emissions is growing at 5.8 per cent. India, with an annual emission of 294 metric tonne, is the world’s fifth largest pollutor.
The country’s 70 per cent coal consumption contributes the most to the pollution, followed by oil at 21 per cent. Power, steel, cement and transport are the other culprits. Experts suggest that the rise in levels of vehicular and solid waste pollution were largely responsible for air pollutants. Mumbai alone has seen a four-fold rise in vehicular traffic in the past decade.


There are two things you should know about Gloria Steinem. First, that the feminist-writer-journalist never said, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle,” a quote widely attributed to her. “It’s so funny I wish I had said it,” says Steinem, “but it was an Australian student of philosophy who adapted a quote about God to come up with this.” And second, on her third trip to Mumbai this time, Steinem finds women more vocal, more free and “more empowered by their sexuality” than before.
Mallika Sherawat would find an ally in Steinem. The feminist icon’s words to people like the actress, who are proud to be sex symbols, is: “Those of us who grew up in a time when women felt endangered by sex, and therefore had to behave in a certain way, worry about young women who feel empowered by sex. We older women will have to celebrate sexuality as empowering too. We will have to fight pornography, but celebrate erotica. But the question remains: does the woman uncover her body because she wants to, or because she feels that she has to?”
At a talk organised by the city women’s group Vacha (which was, incidentally, off limits to men, much to chagrin of many who wanted to attend the lecture; the organisers said there was simply no space, and so women were to be given preference), Steinem spoke about how much Mumbai had changed from the last couple of times she visited. She has been here in the 1950s, when she was a student at Miranda House, Delhi; then in the ‘80s, and now. “The change I see is huge, and positive,” she says. “I can see women more able to use their talents, and men more accepting of that. But I’m also very aware of what I’m not seeing - of the greater distance between rich and poor, and greater urbanisation that is forcing people out of their homes and villages.”
Those who remember Steinem as the fiery, bra-burning women’s rights activist and later co-founder and editor of Ms Magazine, might’ve been surprised at the older and calmer voice of reason. These days her work includes, among other things, mentoring next-gen torch-bearers like Amy Richards, who was also present at the Vacha meet. But at 72, Steinem assures the fighting spirit is still intact. Some Mumbaikars certainly got a glimpse of that on Saturday.


Doctors have told Richa, 33, she is capable of having a baby naturally despite blocked fallopian tubes. Her husband Vishal Sharma, 34, is fertile as well.The Indore-based couple, however, are in Mumbai to make a baby out of a syringe filled with Vishal’s frozen sperms.As the hectic pace of urban India is leading to a lifestyle overhaul, sperm banks across the city are registering a growing number of men who are freezing their sperm for use later.“Having a baby naturally might take another year or two. We didn’t want to take a chance, especially as Richa is already 33,” says Sharma, who submitted a sample of his sperms at the Colaba branch of Dr Malpani’s Infertility Clinic before flying off to The Netherlands. But is it possible to sketch a profile of such men? “Men from armed forces, executives with jobs that involve constant travelling, patients suffering from terminal illnesses and men staying away from home for long periods of time, opt to freeze their sperms,” says infertility expert Anirudha Malpani.Doctors say freezing sperms will become more common as mortality insurance becomes a bigger reality. Malpani’s clinic registers an average of 6-7 such cases today, against 1-2 cases registered two years back. The two branches of Medilab have registered 40-50 such cases as against 15-20 two years back. “There is a definite rise in the number of people freezing their sperms. The reasons are varied, but those who travel frequently make up for the major chunk of our clients,” says Dr Arun Patil, director, Medilab.Naval officers, IT professionals, BPO executives, media professionals and those in the airline industry spend long periods away from home. Their visits are either short or filled with familial duties, leaving no time to make a baby. “Many who are working in the US or Dubai for long periods of time are freezing their sperms so that their wives can be impregnated here at home,” says Dr Gautam Allahbadi, scientific director, Rotunda.
The growing awareness has also seen a rise in the number of cancer patients opting to save their sperm. Cancer treatment is known to reduce sperm count drastically. “Many oncologists are sending such patients to us to help them freeze their sperm and assure them a family,” says Malpani. Add to this the changing attitude among women. With an increasing number putting marriage and children on a standby mode the average conceiving age of women is now early-30s, up from mid-20s a couple of years back. This trend, however, has left women in urban India with an average of just 5-6 ‘good years’ to get pregnant. “Women are unwilling to wait. They would rather use the intrauterine insemination technique that involves injecting sperm in the uterus,” says Anjali Malpani. Anirudha and Anjali Malpani have been running their infertility clinic for the last 15 years, and have noticed a sea-change in attitude towards assisted pregnancy and sperm banking. But there is still a long way to go. “Even the well-qualified and well-travelled Vishal Sharma has to hide the details of his wife’s treatment from his family and friends,” says the Malpanis


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Since at least one person of value commented, we can now go on to something partially different. Different as in H(arry) P(otter). Sorry, but Tom Felton is hot?!? Not to be mean (to animals), but whom are you comparing him to? A baboon? Sorry baboon. Is there a worthy comparison to make it clear what these obsessed fan girls are insinuating? Perhaps if you said that the actor who plays Filch (David Bradley) is cute. That comes close. Also, this person on a website claims: "I have had negative feedback about him [Snape] not being gay." Huh? Negative feedback??? Where's the poll? The evidence? Did he/she do a statistic? To quote JKR again: "Thinking about S. as having any sexual life what so ever is enough to make me sick.'' I understand her completely. Imagine writing a text about Violi or Nussbaum (''The next time we meet, one of us will die [and it won't be me!!!] quote from The man in the iron mask, Athos to d'Artgnan or in actor terms John Malkovitch to Gabriel Byrne + a [] which has been added by moi) and these bizarre people start writing fan fiction involving these people and putting them in situations relative to sex. I dare say you'd be more than ''slightly'' disgusted?Next the 7th book is called: Harry Potter and the deathly hallows and will be published on the 21st of July this year. Meaning that we could buy them in England again.Well, we have a few more discussions before it comes out: a) Is Snape good or bad? b) Who will die? c) Can true evil ever be completely destroyed?a) The evidence really is none-existent as such, but there may be a few indications nonetheless. Since nothing is completely black or white, we must accept that Snape definitely doesn't have a blank record. Because of him the Potters are dead, he was a Death Eater. Whether he actually killed someone is a different matter though. The thing is would Dumblie beg for his life? What did he mean? Either it was part of his "plan" to die to keep S's true loyalty hidden from V or he was egging Snape on to kill him. Self-hatred and self-revulsion are indistinguishable of hatred and revulsion. Especially since the story is from HP's point of view of course he'll think that "the look of hatred and revulsion that was etched into the harsh lines of his face'' (sorry dunno whether the quote is correct, but it's more or less right, been quite a while since the last reading) was directed at Dumblie. HP was experiencing the same thing when he force-feeds that goo to D. An outsider could have thought that HP hated D. The info S gave V was utterly useless. He gave HP a ''lesson'' about silent curses right at the end of the book. He stops this DE torturing HP and his excuse was the lamest since ''my homework was eaten by the dog''. Yes, Voldie wants HP alive, he doesn't really care what state his in. Crucio doesn't kill you, so what was the point?The contras: Voldemort is more of a ''kill first talk later'' person. If S was the Death Eater ''who left forever'' how did he get back in to Voldie's group? He would have to have talked faster than it took Voldie to lift his wand and say the killing curse, which was since a long time a reflex. We don't know what kind of info he gave D. He murdered D! What more proof do you want? He's a Death Eater. We don't know ''where his loyalties lie''. Why would someone ask to be killed? Ask somebody else, he's evil that's why I ''liked'' him in the first place! Badies are more complex and interesting than the heroes.


Shamed and disgraced former Big Brother star and racist bully, Jade Good, has been evicted from Celebrity Big Brother show by a massive 82% of votes received by the shows viewing public. CBB executives took the unprecedented decision to evict Goody in private by barring the public from the eviction because they feared Goody’s antic’s could inflame public anger because of her bullying racial attacks on, Bollywood actress Shipla Sheety. But why did, Doh-Brained, Goody even consider going back into the famed Big Brother house in the first place, after all, she had nothing to gain and everything to loose. This is the opposite of her first time outing in Big Brother where she had nothing to loose and everything to gain.