Monday, 29 October 2012

Watching a horror film 'burns nearly 200 calories'

A new study has revealed that watching scary movies can burn up to 200 calories a sitting.
The adrenaline rushes that viewers experience during a 90-minute horror film are believed to use up the same amount of energy as is contained within a bar of chocolate.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, scientists from the University of Westminster monitored the total energy expenditure of ten different people as they watched a selection of movies. Participants' heart rates, oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output were measured and the study found that on average, the number of calories used increased by a third during horror film viewing. The movie that burned the most calories across the board was 1980 psychological thriller The Shining, with the average viewer using up 184 calories - close to the amount burned during a half-hour walk.

Classic shark horror Jaws finished second, with viewers burning on average 161 calories, and The Exorcist came third, with participants using up around 158 calories during each viewing. The research also confirmed that films featuring shock moments designed to make viewers jump are the best calorie-burners, as they cause a spike in heart rate. "Each of the ten films tested set pulses racing, sparking an increase in the heart rate of the case studies," explained Dr Richard Mackenzie, senior lecturer and specialist in cell metabolism and physiology at the University of Westminster. "As the pulse quickens and blood pumps around the body faster, the body experiences a surge in adrenaline. "It is this release of fast acting adrenaline, produced during short bursts of intense stress (or in this case, brought on by fear), which is known to lower the appetite, increase the Basal Metabolic Rate and ultimately burn a higher level of calories." Helen Cowley, editor of LOVEFiLM - which commissioned the study - added: "We all know the feeling of wanting to hide behind the sofa or grab a pillow when watching scary or hair raising scenes, but this research suggests that maybe those seeking to burn some calories should keep their eyes on the screen."

The top ten calorie-burning horror films are as follows: 

1.1. The Shining: 184 calories
2.2. Jaws: 161 calories
3.3. The Exorcist: 158 calories
4.4. Alien: 152 calories
5.5. Saw: 133 calories
6.6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 118 calories
7.7. Paranormal Activity: 111 calories
8.8. The Blair Witch Project: 107 calories
9.9. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 105 calories
10.10. [Rec]: 101 calories

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Candidates spar on foreign policy

Romney accuses Obama of 'apology tour'

US President Barack Obama has forcefully attacked his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, in their third and final presidential debate.
During the tense encounter in Florida, the rivals tangled over the Arab Spring, Iran, Israel and China.
Mr Obama said his rival was "all over the map" on foreign policy. But Mr Romney said the president had allowed "chaos" to engulf the Middle East.
Two instant polls said Mr Obama won the head to head.
'Rising tide of chaos' The Democratic president went on the attack from the start of Monday night's forum, trying to trip up his rival.
But analysts say Mr Obama did not land any knockout blows on Mr Romney, who has been gathering momentum with two weeks to go until election day, in a race that is now neck and neck.
The debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, which was moderated by veteran CBS News presenter Bob Schieffer, was not as fractious as their second encounter last week, when Mr Obama came out fighting after his lethargic performance in their first meeting.
But there were several scathing exchanges, with the president seeking to portray his challenger as a foreign policy novice who lacked the consistency to be commander-in-chief.
Mr Obama said the former Massachusetts governor had backed a continued troop presence in Iraq, opposed nuclear treaties with Russia and flip-flopped over when the US should leave Afghanistan.
"What we need to do with respect to the Middle East is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map," said Mr Obama.
But Mr Romney charged that the president had allowed a "rising tide of chaos" to sweep the Middle East, giving al-Qaeda the chance to take advantage.
"I congratulate him on taking out Osama Bin Laden and taking on the leadership of al-Qaeda," said Mr Romney, "but we can't kill our way out of this. We must have a comprehensive strategy."

Barack Obama: "Governor Romney hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works"
Mr Obama hit back sarcastically that he was glad Mr Romney had recognised the threat posed by al-Qaeda, reminding him that he had previously cast Russia as the number one geopolitical foe of the US.
"I know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy," said Mr Obama, "but every time you've offered an opinion you've been wrong."
Mr Romney, whose tone during the debate was measured, described a trip by President Obama to the Middle East as an "apology tour" that had projected American "weakness" to enemies, while bypassing close ally Israel. Mr Obama called that claim the "biggest whopper" of the campaign.
Mr Romney also said: "We're four years closer to a nuclear Iran", although he appeared to soften the uncompromising tone that has been the hallmark of his campaign by emphasising that military action should be a last resort.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Pakistan market bomb 'kills 15'

Pakistan Darra Adam Khel market bombing 'kills 15'

Some of the wounded were taken to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar 

At least 15 people have been killed and up to 30 wounded in a car bomb attack on a market in north-west Pakistan, local security officials say.
Some reports said a suicide attacker detonated the bomb in the town of Darra Adam Khel near the Khyber tribal area. It was apparently aimed at a pro-government militia set up to fight the Taliban, local security officials said.
Some of the wounded were being taken to hospitals in other towns, because local facilities could not cope. Some were being taken to Peshawar, about half-an-hour's drive to the north.

Arms bazaar

Officials said no group had claimed responsibility for the bombing, but previous attacks in the area have been blamed on the Taliban. President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the blast. In a condolence message he said the incident showed that extremists had no regard for human life. The blast occurred outside the office of the local "peace committee" - a group of militants who used to fight with the Taliban but switched sides and now support local elders and the government. At least 20 nearby shops were also badly damaged in the explosion, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported. It was not immediately clear how many of the victims were members of the peace committee and how many were local people going about their shopping on a Saturday morning, local government official Fakhar-ud-Din told the AFP news agency. Darra Adam Khel is a small town on the edge of the ethnic Pashtun tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan. The government has fought a long campaign to bring the region, which is a haven for militant groups, under its control. Darra Adam Khel has been a centre for arms trading, with locally made weapons on sale openly at stalls in the town.

Some victims were taken to hospital in nearby Peshawar 
A suicide bomb attack on a mosque in the town two years ago killed more than 70 people. Prayers were held in schools across Pakistan on Saturday for a young victim of the Taliban, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was shot this week in the Swat Valley. The girl, who had campaigned for the right to an education, was picked out by name by an armed man on a bus, and shot in the head. A military spokesman said she was still on a ventilator in hospital on Saturday and that the next 36 to 48 hours would be critical.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Imran promises to fulfill Quaid's dream

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan on Sunday promised the nation on Quaid's birth anniversary that he will fulfill the dream of the Founder of the nation, saying 'I will do what Quaid-e-Azam wanted to do'.

Addressing tens of thousands of his supporters at a grand rally near the Quaid's mausoleum here on Sunday, he said: "I promise on Quaid-e-Azam's birth anniversary that I will do what the Quaid-e-Azam wanted to do."

He said Quaid-e-Azam wanted to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state and that he would turn the country into one.

Imran Khan in his speech punctuated with loud slogans of the cheering crowd and national songs, said he would introduce a strong justice system in Pakistan under which free justice would be provided to the poor.

"Quaid-e-Azam never wanted you to bow before anyone, I will ensure that you don't have to bow before anyone."

He said one more wicket fell today and announced that Pakistan People's Party leader Sardar Assef Ahmed had also joined PTI.

Imran Khan lamented that even animals had access to better justice in Europe than the human being in Pakistan.

The PTI Chief said he would bring a team that will be selected on merit to transform Pakistan into a welfare state.

He said this team would function under Jehangir Tareen to present economic policies, labour policies, tax reforms, education policies as well as foreign policies before the nation. There will be a policy paper on all issues, he added.

Imran Khan announced that his government would organize two seminars every month to present his parties' policies.

"During Tehreek-e-Insaf rule a civil system will be introduced which will ensure that even Imran Khan's car is stopped for over-speeding."

He said Pakistan was supposed to become a welfare state, adding the very first welfare state of the world was formed during Khilafat-e-Rashida which was based on Islamic principles.

He said Tehreek-e-Insaf would root out corruption within 90 days and bring about reforms in the overall system.

He welcomed Javed Hashmi into the folds of Tehree-e-Insaf and hailed his 'bravery'.

Talking about agricultural reforms, Imran Khan said free seeds would provided to the farmers while fertilizers would supplied at cheap rates to maximize the produce.

Imran Khan said a Chinese company wanted to bring 19 billion dollar investment to Pakistan but it did not due to worst law and order situation in Karachi.

"You don't need a rocket science in Pakistan, just bring a team of honest leaders that carries out self accountablity," he asserted.

He promised that the major corruption will be eliminated within 90 days of coming into power. Pakistan suffers a loss of 300 crores per day, he regretted.

"The days of Zardari's rule are numbered, so do not worry."

Speaking about Balochistan, he said: "We will seek forgiveness from Balochistan people and remove their grievances by developing the deprived province."

Announcing about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's next public meeting, he said 'the next stop for the Tsunami will be Quetta on March 23'.

Responding to Nawaz Sharif's 10-over match, Imran Khan asked him to organize the match as early as possible as 'you might no longer have a team' (in near future).

He said Sindhis, Urdu speaking, Memons, Punjabis, Urdu speaking, people from Hazara, Multan, Gilgit Balitistan besides minorities were present at the rally.

Imran Khan also greeted the Christian community on the occasion of Christmas saying "Merry Christmas".

He specially thanked Zulfiqar Ali who he said sold his mobile phone and cam all the way from Dera Ghazi Khan to attend the rally.

Imran Khan congratulated the Karachiites for 'beating the Tsunami of Lahore'.

"I put together a team and won the World Cup … the same team went ahead and established Shaukat Khanum … now I want you all to come with me to make a new Pakistan."

Friday, 23 December 2011

No military takeover: COAS Kayani

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Friday that the Pakistan Army would continue to support the democratic process and dismissed rumours of a military takeover.

The COAS visited the forward posts in Mohmand and Kurram Agencies on 22 December 2011. 

While speaking to the troops, he appreciated the successes achieved under trying environment and the sacrifices made in the process.

COAS Kayani strongly dispelled the speculations of any military takeover and said that these are misleading and are being used as a bogey to divert focus from the real issues.

He emphasized that the issues of national security need to be considered on merit alone. He concluded by saying that irrespective of all other considerations, there can be no compromise on national security.

General Kayani said that no one can put a price tag on the sacred blood of martyrs of the nation. The men and women of Pakistan Army are performing their duty of defending Pakistan in accordance with the oath they took.

'They will continue to do so with the support and prayers of their countrymen, regardless of the cost.'

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Top Travel News of 2011

For travelers, 2011 was the year of the shake-up. Old certainties were challenged; former ways of doing things, rethought. Travelers saw Southwest merge with AirTran. Deal-a-day site Groupon gave online travel agencies their first serious competition in ages. The year's other online travel sensation, Airbnb—a site that offers lodging in people's homes—dealt with news that one renter had trashed and robbed a site member's home, renewing questions about the kindness of strangers.

Looking abroad, the revolts in North Africa and the Middle East shifted travel patterns—most dramatically in Cairo, where famous museum halls echoed emptily for months. Cruise lines suspended stops at a couple of Mexican ports, prompting local officials to introduce measures to better protect passengers. Meanwhile, some international travelers took advantage of opportunities to fly the new, high-tech Dreamliner 787 from Boeing.

Back at home, the government tested new ideas in airport security and permitted Americans to visit Cuba as part of licensed educational tour groups. Finally, officials opened Manhattan's oft-debated memorial to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Here, a chance to cap off 2011 and learn (or remember, in some cases) the biggest stories of the year that affect how we travel and see the world now—and in years to come.

Flying Started to Get More Comfortable

Anyone who swears that it's just about the journey, and not the destination, has never logged hours crammed into an economy-class seat on an airplane that feels as dry as the Sahara. But a new era in comfier cabins dawned in 2011, thanks to the debut of a high-tech aircraft design. In October, Boeing's latest jumbo jet, the 787 Dreamliner, took its inaugural flight. The 787's cabins maintain higher humidity levels than traditional ones, sparing passengers from dry eyes and mouths. The 787s also pressurize their cabins to a more earth-like level than older planes, avoiding the altitude sickness some fliers feel in the air. They're quieter machines, too, and sound like you're riding in a hybrid car instead of a gas-powered one. The first airlines to use the aircraft are in Asia; United will bring the plane into U.S. service next year. Boeing's aerospace rival Airbus plans to launch similarly designed planes, dubbed the A350 series, within a year or two. It looks like high-tech cabins will soon be commonplace. Sure, no matter what a plane is made of, flights remain nasty, brutish, and not short enough. But we applaud every aircraft improvement travelers can get.

Cruise Lines Become Wary of Mexico

Mention Mexico, and some Americans think of violence linked to a government crackdown on drug trafficking and turf battles between various narcos. Case in point: In Mazatlán, two visitors were shot in the parking lot of a hotel frequented by foreign tourists, prompting cruise lines to suspend port calls. In the first half of 2011, the number of cruise-ship passengers to Mexico dropped from about 500,000 to 58,000. Puerto Vallarta faced similar security concerns after incidents there. Yet nearly all of the violence has taken place far from cruise ports. Cancún, for instance, has remained safe, except for an attack in August on a bar in an outlying residential area. At Mazatlán, officials have put into place additional security measures, too, such as beefed-up police patrols and strict supervision of tour buses as passengers board them for day excursions. So expect more cruise lines to return to full itineraries soon. Princess Cruises Lines, for one, will begin calling on Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta again in 2012.

The Arab Spring Causes Unrest in Popular Tourist Destinations

Nothing prepared us for what happened across the Arab world this year, with uprisings toppling repressive regimes in Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya and protests continuing in Bahrain. But it was the revolution in Egypt that set off the biggest political shockwaves — and prompted the largest travel industry shake-up, too. Egypt is thought to have drawn only 10 million international visitors in 2011, down from 14.8 million a year earlier. Experts note that not a single tourist has suffered a scratch because of the turmoil to date. But the ongoing political uncertainty concerns many, and understandably so. Here's hoping that the country's commitment to keeping travelers safe remains solid during Egypt's continuing march to democracy.

Paris Jackson to talk about film debut

LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson's 13-year-old daughter Paris is working on her movie debut -- and she will talk about it in public for the first time this week.

Paris, who was 11 when her father died in 2009, will star in a live action/animated called "Lundon's Bridge and the Three Keys," based on a famous book series for teenagers.

The film's website says she plays heroine Lundon O'Malley in a story where magic "turns a dolphin into a human, a teenage boy into a dragonfly and a loving jellyfish queen into an evil fairy godmother."

The website, linked from her Twitter page, adds that she will be on the Ellen DeGeneres television show on Wednesday, talking about the movie for the first time.

Her movie debut news comes after a tough few months for the Jackson family, as the star's doctor Conrad Murray stood trial for involuntary manslaughter over his death on June 25, 2009.

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