'We just cannot accept the interference of the government in matters concerning religion and faith.' IMAGE: Congress leaders on a satyagraha outside the Kerala assembly in protest against the government action against Sabarimala devotees. Dr Shashi Tharoor, the Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram, is on the left. The Sabarimala agitation has now moved to the Kerala state assembly, with the war of words between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala reaching a crescendo. Chennithala announced that three MLAs from the Congress-led United Democratic Front -- V S Sivakumar (Congress), Parakkal Abdullah (Indian Union Muslim League) and N Jayaraj (Kerala Congress-Mani) -- would observe a satyagraha at the entrance of the House till the government withdrew the imposition of Section 144 at Sabarimala. While Vijayan alleges a collusion between the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Congress alleges there is an … [Read more...] about ‘Muslim League is with believers of religion and god’
Attitude 101 hats
I don’t really know what to do with Thanksgiving. I enjoy flipping through recipes for sweet potato pie, roasted brussels sprouts and spiced cranberry sauce as much as anyone else, but it’s difficult to disentangle the holiday from our colonial history. It seems like we certainly try our hardest to do so. When I was in elementary school, my teacher had my class draw straws to divide us up into Natives and Pilgrims; the former made feathered headbands out of brown construction paper, and the latter crafted black buckled hats. I think we sang a song about togetherness. (My mother-in-law, an elementary school teacher in the Midwest, tells me her school no longer does this. Another teacher who works in the North Bay says his school barely acknowledges the holiday in its curriculum. I’m curious to know what other schools do.) Though one could argue that Thanksgiving can and should be an apolitical occasion, the persistent retelling of history that occurs around the … [Read more...] about Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?
The common cold has the twin distinction of being both the world’s most widespread infectious disease and one of the most elusive. The name is a problem, for starters. In almost every Indo-European language, one of the words for the disease relates to low temperature, yet experiments have shown that low temperature neither increases the likelihood of catching a cold, nor the severity of symptoms. Then there is the “common” part, which seems to imply that there is a single, indiscriminate pathogen at large. In reality, more than 200 viruses provoke cold-like illness, each one deploying its own peculiar chemical and genetic strategy to evade the body’s defences. It is hard to think of another disease that inspires the same level of collective resignation. The common cold slinks through homes and schools, towns and cities, making people miserable for a few days without warranting much afterthought. Adults suffer an average of between two and four colds each year, … [Read more...] about Why can’t we cure the common cold?
I read your article (Antibiotic crackdown linked to big rise in women ending up in hospital with cystitis, 5 October) with great interest. I am a fit, single 85-year-old with a penchant for international travel. Fifteen years ago I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and very satisfactorily treated with the antibiotic trimethoprim. My GP retired and another GP set about reviewing this drug, saying that it could no longer be effective. I suffered infections, confirmed by dipstick tests and lab reports, at times being seriously mentally affected, and had difficulty getting appointments to facilitate the planned three-monthly drug rotation, a particular worry for my travel plans. I could so easily have also ended up in hospital. Miracle of miracles, this week the trimethoprim has been reinstated. What a relief.Audrey GrayPulborough, West Sussex • Proven urinary tract infections (UTIs) must be treated with the relevant antibiotic as reported by the lab microscopy, or the … [Read more...] about Antibiotics, better tests and the rise in cases of urinary tract infections
If you live in Glasgow, you are more likely to die young. Men die a full seven years earlier than their counterparts in other UK cities. Until recently, the causes of this excess mortality remained a mystery. “Deep-fried Mars bars,” some have speculated. “The weather,” others suggested. For years, those reasons were as good as any. In 2012, the Economist described it thus: “It is as if a malign vapour rises from the Clyde at night and settles in the lungs of sleeping Glaswegians.” The phenomenon has become known as the Glasgow effect. But David Walsh, a public health programme manager at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, who led a study on the excess deaths in 2010, wasn’t satisfied with how the term was being used. “It turned into a Scooby-Doo mystery but it’s not an exciting thing,” he says. “It’s about people dying young, it’s about grief.” He wanted to work out why Glaswegians have a 30% … [Read more...] about The ‘Glasgow effect’ implies cities make us sad. Can the city prove the opposite?
Terry O'Neill has died today at the age of 81. The legendary photographer, who rose to fame with his work with the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, died at home following a long illness. He had been battling prostate cancer and was last seen in October at Buckingham Palace receiving his CBE for services to photography by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. A spokeswoman for Iconic Images told Mirror Online: "It is with a heavy heart that Iconic Images announces the passing of Terence 'Terry' O'Neill, CBE. "Terry was a class act, quick-witted and filled with charm. Anyone who was lucky enough to know or work with him can attest to his generosity and modesty. "As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories as well as in our hearts and minds." Terry himself spoke of pride in his decades of photography, revealing how a lucky break while working for British Overseas Airways Corporation got him to fame. … [Read more...] about Iconic photographer Terry O’Neill dies aged 81 after battle with prostate cancer