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Public Health / You Should Eat More Bitter Melon — Here's Why
« on: June 08, 2016, 03:44:09 PM »
Whether you call it bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, bitter cucumber, goya, karela, balsam pear, or one of its many other names, there's one thing to know for sure about this underrated fruit: you should be eating more of it. Never heard of it? Don't let its funky appearance or bitter taste deter you: bitter melon is wildly popular in India and Asian countries — and for good reason. When it comes to health benefits, many cultures eat bitter melon or take it in supplement form as a traditional "medicine" to treat diabetes. While more research is needed, early studies are promising and show that over time bitter melon can improve blood sugar levels. It's also used to treat a variety of .

Asit Ghosh
Assistant Professor, TE

Journalism & Mass Communication / What Hillary Imagines
« on: June 08, 2016, 03:38:57 PM »
Hillary Clinton. First woman presidential nominee.

Okay, of a major political party. We’re not going into the minor-party exceptions since that would require a lengthy discussion of Victoria Woodhull in 1872. Under normal circumstances, Woodhull would certainly be worth talking about, given the faith healing and the brokerage firm and the obscenity trial. But this is Hillary’s moment.

“It’s really emotional,” she said in a speech this week. Clinton brings up the first-woman thing a lot, and the idea of showing little girls that they can be “anything you want to be. Even President of the United States.” For many young women, that’s actually old news, since Hillary the potential president has been around most of their lives. Back when she was first elected to the Senate in 2000, the coverage was so omnipresent that my niece Anna, who was around 3, asked my sister whether it was possible for a man to be a senator.

The people who get most excited are the ones who remember how things used to be, back when girls couldn’t envision being in the Little League, let alone the White House. And can you imagine going back in history and sharing Clinton’s news with the suffragists? This is one of my favorite mind games – pretend you’re returning to 1872 and telling the story to Susan B. Anthony while she was being handcuffed for the crime of voting while female.

Or there’s the other route of telling some historical figure who would faint with horror. Like Thomas Jefferson – wouldn’t you want to see his face? We all know how good Jefferson was on freedom of speech, but he was possibly the worst sexist in the very competitive group known as the Founding Fathers. (“Our good ladies, I trust, have been too wise to wrinkle their foreheads with politics. They are contented to soothe and calm the minds of their husbands returning ruffled from political debate.”)

But Clinton wouldn’t want this to be a moment for rancor. So I asked for her own pick.

And her answer was: if she could go into the past to tell someone that she’d been nominated for President of the United States, it would be her mother.

Asit Ghosh
Assistant Professor, TE

Oakland, Calif. — MUHAMMAD ALI, who died Friday at the age of 74, was the greatest boxer of all time, but he was also deeply human, as full of frailty and foibles as anyone. He was physically vulnerable: Early on, doctors warned him and his camp followers that he was getting hit too much while training for his fights. He wouldn’t listen, and no one around him tried to persuade him otherwise.

Many would agree with the boxing trainer Emanuel Steward that Ali should have quit after his triumph over George Foreman in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), in 1974. Instead, he boxed for another seven years, and paid for it in the subsequent decades of physical and mental frailty. His trainer, Angelo Dundee, said that he was already suffering from brain damage when he fought his last two fights.

It seemed like the more people watched Ali, the less they understood him. Many of the writers who worshiped him — those I call the Ali Scribes — cast him as a member of the 1960s counterculture for his 1967 refusal to serve in Vietnam. In fact, he was simply following the nonviolence policy of the Nation of Islam, which he had joined a few years earlier.

Ali’s relationship with the Nation was always more complicated than the Ali Scribes realized, or wanted to admit. They saw him as a victim, saying that the Nation stole money from him. Unlike them, who dismiss Ali’s mentor and the head of the Nation, Elijah Muhammad, as a “cult racketeer” or worse, I actually interviewed some of the Nation members. They said that it was the other way around: According to Khalilah Ali, whose father was a captain in the Nation and whom I interviewed on a cold winter day in Chicago, the organization — and her father personally — gave him much more money than he gave in return. Some members of the Nation are still bitter.

Even so, Ali was generous, more perhaps than was good for him. Howard Moore Jr., a lawyer and a frequent houseguest, said that Ali’s phone would ring all day. Callers were asking him to pay their rent or loan them money, and more often than not he did, no questions asked. According to the documentary “The Don King Story,” after Ali was nearly killed in the ring by Larry Holmes in 1980, Mr. King, the promoter of the fight, cheated him out of all but $50,000 of an $8 million purse (Mr. King denies the charge).

Asit Ghosh
Assistant Professor, TE

Football / Chile's Claudio Bravo: 'I would prefer Messi plays'
« on: June 05, 2016, 12:36:03 PM »
EAST PALO ALTO -- The best soccer player on the planet practiced 25 miles to south at San Jose State. But Leo Messi's larger-than-life presence cast a huge shadow over Chile's soccer team Saturday during a news conference with La Roja's media at an East Palo Alto hotel. The situation is understandable with the Copa America Centenario showdown between rivals Argentina and Chile unfolding Monday night at Levi's Stadium in what will be the most meaningful soccer game in the Bay Area in 22 years. Messi, 28, captured the attention although just arriving in San Jose from Spain after testifying in his tax trial. Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo -- Messi's teammate at FC Barcelona -- repeatedly was queried ...

Public Health / Signs You Have a Vitamin D Deficiency
« on: June 04, 2016, 04:44:28 PM »
Vitamin D has shown to have a variety of health benefits. Studies show that it can help lower your blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Also referred to as the “sunlight vitamin,” one of the best ways to reap the benefits of vitamin D is by simply sitting in the sun. Therefore, people who spend a lot of time indoors are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency. “Vitamin D regulates the level of calcium in your body, and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels nourishes your bones, aids in new cell development and supports your immune system (SFGATE).” Therefore, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease that causes ...

Sports Zone / Muhammad Ali, simply 'The Greatest,' dead at 74
« on: June 04, 2016, 04:36:07 PM »
Muhammad Ali, the eloquent, colorful, controversial and brilliant three-time heavyweight boxing champion who was known as much for his social conscience and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War as for his dazzling boxing skills, died Friday.

Ali, who had a long battle with Parkinson's disease, was taken to a Phoenix area hospital earlier this week where he was being treated for a respiratory issue. He was 74.

Once the most outrageous trash talker in sports, he was largely muted for the last quarter century of his life, quieted by a battle with Parkinson's.

Asit Ghosh
Assistant Professor, TE

Football / Lionel Messi accused of $4.5 million fraud scheme
« on: June 01, 2016, 02:37:50 PM »
After enduring three years of suspicion and uncertainty, Lionel Messi is finally having his day in court. The FC Barcelona and Argentina superstar’s tax-fraud trial began Tuesday in Barcelona. He and his father are charged with three counts of tax fraud. As expected, Lionel Messi didn’t attend the first day of his trial, but the reason why is more interesting than his absence. Reuters reports Messi’s lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Vera, told the court that the back injury Messi suffered in Argentina’s Copa America tune-up game against Honduras prevented him from showing up for the first day of his trial. Messi claimed to have been in “intense pain” following the injury. “The intention of Mr Lionel was ...


Athletics / Here's the best time of day to work out to lose weight
« on: June 01, 2016, 01:04:03 PM »
You've committed to squeezing in a workout between your commute and your desk job, but before you embark on this new regimen, you want to know: When's the best time to exercise to ensure you're getting the most out of it?

Research covered by Gretchen Reynolds in The New York Times suggests that working out early in the morning — before you've eaten breakfast — helps speed weight loss and boost energy levels by priming the body for an all-day fat burn.

The no-snooze payoff

One of the reasons working out first thing in the morning helps us lose weight — or at least protects us from gaining it — is that it pushes the body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel, as opposed to simply "burning off" our most recent snack or meal.

In one recent study, 28 young, healthy men spent six weeks eating a hefty diet of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than they had been eating before. But while some of them spent the six weeks stuffing themselves and barely exercising, the others started working out every day. Of those who worked out, half did so first thing in the morning; the other half hit the gym (and did the same workout) after a high-carb breakfast. The fasting exercisers ate the same breakfast; they just did so after working out.

At the end of the volunteers' month-and-a-half eating fest, the ones who hadn't worked out at all had, unsurprisingly, packed on the weight — about 6 pounds each. The ones who had been exercising after breakfast gained weight, too, but only about half as much.

In comparison, the people who worked out daily but hit the gym before breakfast hadn't gained any weight at all. They had been able to eat a lot of extra food — just as much as their fellow volunteers — without paying the price in additional pounds.

The study was small, short term, used a specific eating plan, and involved only men close to age 21, so it's hard to extrapolate much from the results. And the fasting exercisers didn't lose weight; they just didn't gain weight. Still, the experiment provided some of the first evidence that "early morning exercise in the fasted state is more potent than an identical amount of exercise in the fed state," the authors write.

Another smaller study helps point out why timing could be so important. In it, two groups of men ran on treadmills until they burned 400 calories (about the equivalent of a small meal, or three to four slices of toast). While one group ran on an empty stomach, the other ate a 400-calorie oatmeal breakfast about an hour before their workout.

Asit Ghosh
Assistant Professor, TE

Public Health / Weight-Free Workouts: 5 Chest-Building Exercises
« on: May 28, 2016, 04:30:17 PM »
When it comes to chest-building exercises, the bench press pretty much steals the show. Though it’s hard to argue with the gains this lift delivers, finding a spotter can be a pain, and there’s usually a significant wait for the equipment. Frankly, standing in line is sort of the norm for any pec-building move at the gym because every guy wants a strong chest to look better both with and without a shirt.

Aesthetics may be one of the more popular reasons guys target their chest, but strengthening these muscles provides some practical benefits as well. They generate a ton of power for activities that involve throwing or pushing, which is good for everyday activities and sports alike. A strong chest also contributes to better posture and a more stable shoulder joint, which reduces your risk of injury.

While weights are the easiest way to pump your pecs, bodyweight exercises can also help you out, especially if you modify traditional moves a bit. Get started with these five exercises to build a stronger chest without enduring frustrations at the gym.

Asit Ghosh
Assistant Professor,TE

Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi left the field with a back injury in the second half of a 1-0 victory over Honduras in a friendly Friday night.

The Argentine team captain and Barcelona star was hit on an apparently inconsequential play and immediately went to the locker room. He was replaced at the 62-minute mark by Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and never returned to the field.

"Messi suffered a trauma to the left side of his lower back and rib cage," the Argentine Football (Soccer) Association said in a statement, adding that doctors were looking at the injury.

Messi is not a player who leaves the field with minor injuries like he did Friday at San Juan's Bicentenario stadium.

"I would not dare to venture a diagnosis," said a concerned Argentine manager, Gerardo Martino.

Gonzalo Higuain, who scored for Argentina, said it "was an important win and here's hoping that what happened to Leo is nothing."

Messi was scheduled to fly to Spain to resolve a tax issue and then rejoin the team in Santa Clara, California.

Asit Ghosh
Assistant Professor, TE

Cristiano Ronaldo's son teases him that Gareth Bale is faster
Fox News Thu, May 26 1:48 PM PDT Sign in to like  Reblog on Tumblr  Tweet
When we last saw Cristiano Ronaldo and his son, Cristiano Jr., Papa Ronaldo was forcing his progeny to pay up for a bet, even though his son had won. Unfair, right? Well, it turns out that Cristiano Jr. isn't a total pushover. His dad revealed as much to Spanish program Jugones de la Sexta, claiming Ronaldo Jr. teases him on occasion. "Sometimes he comes at home and says 'Daddy, Bale is faster than you,'" Ronaldo said via the Mirror. That would be Gareth Bale, of course, the heir apparent to CR7 as the face of Real Madrid. Ronaldo Sr. brushes these accusations off, of course, saying he tells his son "What are you on about? No one is faster than your dad." While that's definitely not true, and ...


Football / Cristiano Ronaldo out of Real Madrid training
« on: May 25, 2016, 03:49:43 PM »
(CNN)Brace yourself if you're a Real Madrid fan or supporter of the Portuguese national team.

Just days before the Champions League final, Cristiano Ronaldo was pictured limping out of Real Madrid training after appearing to injure his left thigh in a challenge with captain Sergio Ramos.

However, Ronaldo was quick to ease fears that the injury was anything serious.
"I'll be fine by tomorrow or the day after," he said in a press conference after training.


The owner of an Indian restaurant was found guilty Monday of killing one of his customers — after he cut corners whipping up an order of chicken tikka masala. A jury in Teesside Crown Court in North Yorkshire, England found 52-year-old Mohammed Zaman guilty of manslaughter and gross negligence because he switched out almond powder for a cheaper ground nut mix containing peanuts, according to the BBC. The switch was deadly for Paul Wilson, 38, who specifically ordered the classic dish from Indian Garden with “no nuts” — the request was even written on the lid of the takeout container — because of his severe peanut allergy. He went into anaphylactic shock after eating the meal in Jan. 2014 and ...


Tennis / Andy Murray-Amalie Mauresmo split is getting snippy
« on: May 24, 2016, 12:13:52 PM »
Few breakups ever really are mutual.

Though Andy Murray and coach Amelie Mauresmo said their split after nearly two years together was “mutual,” Mauresmo told L’Equipe that the tennis star’s demonstrative on-court behavior toward his box played a large part in her no longer wanting to continue their working relationship.

Mauresmo, a former world No. 1, initially cited her son’s recent birth as the main reason for leaving, wanting to spend more time with her family.

“Andy is complex. On the court, he can be the opposite of what he is in life. It can be confusing,” Mauresmo said. “I was there to help. I had the feeling I could not get things done. I had the impression we got to the end of what could be done professionally. It was concluded that it would be difficult to continue.

“I just reduced my number of weeks of attendance since the last Australian Open and we actually spent little time together. It turns out that it was a difficult time for him, I could not help him. But this decision [to end the collaboration] was initiated some time ago.”


Tennis / Andy Murray Splits From Coach Amelie Mauresmo
« on: May 11, 2016, 12:04:02 PM »
Andy Murray split with coach Amelie Mauresmo on Monday, ending a groundbreaking two-year relationship during which the British star improved as a clay-court player but failed to add to his collection of Grand Slam titles. A statement released by Murray's management company didn't disclose the reason behind the decision, although Mauresmo said "dedicating enough time along with the travel has been a challenge for me." The Frenchwoman gave birth to her first child in August and took six months off from coaching. "Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me," said Mauresmo, a former top-ranked player who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. "I've thoroughly ...


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