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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba

News » Politics/Nation21 Apr, 2011, 09.

HYDERABAD: The condition of godman Satya Sai Baba, battling for life for the last 24 days in a Puttaparthi hospital , deteriorated further on Wednesday with doctors saying some organs had stopped responding to treatment.
"On Wednesday, the liver stopped responding to medication. We have sent Dr P N Rao of Asian Gastro Institute to Puttaparthi along with a special equipment to help in liver functions," Andhra principal secretary, health, P V Ramesh, told TOI.

"His blood pressure continues to be low and he is still on ventilation," said Dr A N Safaya, director of the Sri Satya Sai Super Specialty Hospital where the 85-year-old godman is being treated since March 28.

Dr Ravi Raj , director of medical education, who has been camping in Puttaparthi since April 1, and has been briefing the media regularly on Sai Baba`s condition, refused to speak to waiting reporters after attending on the Baba on Wednesday.

Fearing a rush of devotees in the event of his death, Andhra Pradesh authorities rushed additional forces to Puttaparthi and set up more checkposts. "In order to prevent any breakdown of law and order, we have increased the number of check posts all around the town from 4 to 10," said Anantapur SP Shanawaz Qasim .

Neighbouring towns of Dharamavaram, Hindupur and Anantapur were also put on alert. A contingent of 600 cops was dispatched on Wednesday and more forces were expected to be sent Thursday morning.

The government also fears an ugly succession battle to control the vast empire of hospitals, schools and temples. Two important members of the Central Sai Trust - former chief justice of India P N Bhagwati and well-known chartered accountant Indulal Shah from Mumbai were rushing to Puttaparthi on Thursday to study documents and accounts books of the Trust, sources close to the trust said.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gossip Girl

Now that we sort of know what new "Gossip Girl" resident Charlie Rhodes is all about—via her debut as a long-lost Van Der Woodsen on last night's new episode—and from what actress KayLee DeFer could tell us last week, it's time to start speculating as to just what kind of trouble she'll get into over the course of the next few episodes, and how long she'll stick around.

"I hope I can return next season, that would be amazing," she said. "I love New York, I really got along with the cast, that would be great. I wish it was [like] 'American Idol' and everyone could vote for me, like, 'Vote for Charlie,' I'm number one," she said with a laugh, making the 0 and 1 with her hand. "It's like, 'Dial this number, I'm 0-1.'"

When asked whether any of the established ladies on the show need to watch their backs or, more importantly, their men, Kaylee said that, since this is "Gossip Girl," basically everyone and everything is fair game.

"I think all the Upper East Side ladies need to watch out," she said with a smile. "Charlie's in town and she might shake some stuff up for sure... I mean, she is part of the [Van der Woodsen] family."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Can you spot sarcasm? If not, you may suffer dementia

SAN FRANCISCO, Apr 18: People who have lost their ability to tell when someone is lying or can't detect lies and sarcasm in a conversation may be showing the first signs of dementia.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have found that the evaluation of a person's ability to spot sarcasm may be used as a test for detecting early stages of neurodegenerative diseases such as a rare form of dementia called frontotemporal dementia.

Neurodegenerative diseases are a sort of progressive disease which cause certain parts of the brain to deteriorate.

During the study, researchers asked 175 people, about half of them suffering different sorts of Neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease to watch videos of two people talking.

The scientists then evaluated the individuals' ability to detect false or insincere statements in the conversation and compared their scores with the results of brain scans that measured loss of volume related to dementia.

Healthy people easily detected the lies and sarcasm, but those with frontotemporal dementia found it hard to distinguish among lies, sarcasm and fact, according to the report presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Honolulu.
Moreover, the performance of the people with other types of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease was not as well as the normal people but better in comparison to those with frontotemporal dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia is a rare type of dementia that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The frontal lobes are strongly associated with complex, higher-order human thinking, thus being unable to detect a lie is only one of several ways the disease may manifest itself, said lead researcher Dr. Katherine Rankin.

“We have to find these people early,” said Rankin. Overall, “This fact can help them be diagnosed earlier.”

Early diagnosis of this sort of dementia will provide the best opportunity for intervention when drugs become available, she added.

“If somebody has strange behavior and they stop understanding things like sarcasm and lies, they should see a specialist who can make sure this is not the start of one of these diseases,” Rankin suggested.