Thursday, December 27, 2007


Spindle, a 1989 piece created by artist Dustin Shuler, is photographed in July by Eric Sunada of Los Angeles, at the Cermak Plaza shopping center in Berwyn. A plan to tear down the Spindle was delayed until spring of 2008

Monday, December 17, 2007


In the wake of a duck on the Chicago River, a building's reflections makes a psychedelic pattern

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy birthday, Dilip Kumar

As veteran actor Dilip Kumar turns 85 today, he looks forward to wife Saira's surprise gift.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Well-read women sleep better than men

It seems well-read women are more comfortable in bed than men — the more educated a female is, the better she sleeps at night. In case of males, it's just the reverse. Yes, according to a study carried out by a team of international researchers, women have higher rates of insomnia than men and the more they are educated, the more likely they are to sleep through the night. Conversely, the better educated a man is, the less likely he is to get a good night's sleep, the ScienceDaily said. "Globally, women are up to twice as likely to be insomniac as men. But, while higher educational attainment improves women's night time sleep quality, it has the opposite effect on men," the experts said. The researchers came to the conclusion after analysing data from a survey on social trends, involving nearly 40,000 Taiwanese people aged 15 and older. Questions included marital status, employment or occupation, educational attainment, and household income, as well as the number of family members under the age of 15. Insomnia was assessed using criteria developed by the WHO, and scored on a scale of one to five. Overall, insomnia tended to be more common among those who were older, divorced or separated, had low educational attainment, poor health, or low income. Children living at home also increased the rates of insomnia. The findings applied to both sexes. The rates of insomnia were found to be "still significantly higher" among women, who averaged 1.22 more points on the insomnia scale than men. "Social factors undoubtedly play their part," they said. Sex differences in insomnia score were most noticeable for divorced or separated women. "Stress linked to single parenting, low income, or stigma of a marriage break-down could all be possible factors," they said. The team also found that unemployment exerted a greater impact on women's sleep quality, particularly among the married women. "Sex discrimination in the workplace and childcare responsibilities might account for this." But experts found higher educational attainment improved women's night time sleep quality while it had the opposite effect on educated men.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tickled traumatic

Parents need to learn the difference between playing with children and torturing them

Tickling your kids: Is it harmless fun? Or borderline abuse? The answer is probably somewhere in between, but experts nationwide are urging parents to think before they "tickle torture."
"It always makes me cringe a little bit when I see babies tickled," says Dr. Charlotte Cowan, a pediatrician. "In older childhood, tickling at some point sometimes can be about adult control and power. And I really don't like it when I hear a child say, 'No, stop that,' and they really mean, 'No, stop that.' "

Think about it: A child could be tickled to the point that he is out of breath and about to wet his pants, laughing so hard that his cries to "stop" are unheeded. Inside, he could be feeling powerless and unprotected.
Keep things fun by remembering these guidelines:
Consider the child's age
"This is something that adults need to take responsibility for," says Janet Price, a child development specialist at Education Development Center in Massachusetts. "With a little baby, you do something for a second, and they might be overwhelmed," says Price. "The younger they are, the shorter the experience should be, especially when they can't talk for themselves."
Parents tickle with the best intentions: They want the child to have fun; they want to bond. Price suggests a short tickle, then turn it into a bear hug instead.
Consider the child
Of course, there are children who truly love to be tickled. "A child who is very outgoing, loves new things, loves to be pushed to the edge, they could come back for more," says Price. "But even with that child, you need to be ready to stop. They could have fun until they're crying." It's up to the adult, in that case, to decide it's gone past the fun point.
And then there are more fearful kids, who dread tickling. Don't think you can convert them. "Some kids are overly sensitive to sensory input, there's a growing number of kids like that," says Price. "It can be really traumatic for those kids."
Keep it brief
Sally Goldberg, a parent coach, prefers to discourage tickling altogether. That said, "There's a time and place for everything," she relents. However, that time should be brief. Keep the tickling of a short enough duration that the child will look forward to it the next time.
This also is a good time to remember the Golden Rule, says Goldberg. "Gee, is that really something I would like somebody to do to me?"
Respect 'no'
"There is a fun and normal side to tickling," says Keith Kanner, a child and adolescent psychoanalyst and host of "Your Family Matters Show" on Fox's San Diego affiliate. Know when to stop. "One hard and fast rule is that when a child says no, take them literally and respond immediately. No matter if they're laughing or having a good time."
Try pretending
Kanner suggests this experiment: Tickle a child for a few seconds. Then just pretend to tickle her. He calls it "anticipatory tickling." "Children will evoke the same laughter-ridden response," he says. "This provides the child with complete control over the situation and all the enjoyable benefits of the parent-child interaction."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Madhuri is back!

Madhuri Dixit is back, in the city as well as on screen! Yes, the dhak-dhak girl stepped out of the Mumbai international airport at 2.30 am yesterday, her familiar million dollar grin lighting up the early morning. The long-haul flight from her home in Denver, LA, had done nothing to wilt the face that has launched so many Bollywood hits. In fact, Madhuri looked as fresh as a proverbial daisy. At that hour too, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is a beehive of activity, and it did not take more than a few seconds for passengers and their relatives to recognise her. “It’s always a warm feeling to touch Mumbai’s soil,” said Madhuri waving out to strangers. “The people, the air, and things around, all have a sense of familiarity. It’s an extremely comforting feeling for me.” She is back for little more than a fortnight. Last time she was here, it was to shoot over seven months for her comeback film Aaja Nachle , produced by the Yashraj banner. This time, she has come to promote the film. “That’s why I did not bring along my sons Arin and Ryan, as I’m here for only 20 days. My husband Ram is joining me later,” she said. Madhuri intends to pack in as much as she can in these 20 days. Visiting reletives, meeting filmmakers and, yes, promoting the film. “I am very proud and happy with the film. And even though I have seen it all, there is still a sense of anxiety, excitement and nervousness before a new release, that’s because the audiences can always spring a surprise,” said the gorgeous actress. The moment she landed, Madhuri asked about the latest buzz in Mumbai on Om Shanti Om and Saawariya . “But I don’t want to be influenced by others’ opinions, so I am going to see both films myself, and very soon, though I don’t know which one I am going to see first. I have worked with Sanjay in Devdas , and I know his mad love for filmmaking. And Shah Rukh Khan, well, he’s been one of my favourite co-stars. I love him and his unbounding energy. I am going to watch OSO for him,” Madhuri revealed. She regretted that she could not get home in time for Diwali, last week. “Diwali in Denver, is a time to gorge on sweets. And I ate so many, put on so many calories, that I was afraid to come back like that,” she reported. “Fortunately, I could get rid of the weight as well. I am coming here to promote my new film and I can’t afford to be seen with any extra flab!”