Thursday, October 30, 2008

Diabetes type 1 has been increasingly found in children and teenagers

by Charles roring
Type 1 diabetes occurs when pancreas as the factory that produces insuline cannot produce it anymore. As a result, our bodies are lack of insulin. It was called juvenile diabetes because it had increasingly been found in young age patients. This terminology has been abandoned as type 1 diabetes can also be found in adult patients. From all the patients of diabetes, 5 - 10% of them suffer type 1 diabetes.
Why young age patients (children and teenagers) suffer from type 1 diabetes?
This is an interesting question. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and things like viruses and toxins. Children whose parents suffer from diabetes might also develop this disease. While we cannot control our genes, we still can control our lifestyle. By being active we can increase teenagers can increase their immune system so that their body metabolism will enable the pancreas to function properly.
Unfortunately, the lifestyle of today's children and young teenagers is different from the lifestyle of children some one hundred years ago. In the past, children, teenagers and young adults were very active. They liked to play. They swam in the river, at sea. They ran at schoolyard playing football.
Modern children and teenagers who live play football, drive race formula 1, involve in bloody battle against allien monsters from other planets. All of these activities are conducted in front of computer screen. In other words they are not physically active. They have become generations of coach potato, who do not have to walk to TV set to turn up its volume because there is a remote controller near them. They do not have to go to the kitchen to drink a glass of water because there is a coolbox filled with 10 cans of sweet softdrinks, like Sprite or Coca-cola.
When they go out whether with friends or parents, they eat fast food that contains high calories, fat, and salt. Overweight children will have problems in their body metabolism.
Children and teenagers like to play video-games for hours. They spend less energy while sitting. In the contrary, they eat foods that contain fat. Overweight children and teenagers who play violent video-games do not realize that emotionally they are in stress condition. Virtual dangerous situation, or violent scenes, they see on TV or computer screen stimulate their, body for action- fight or flight.
In response to the perceived danger or violent actions from their enemies, the pituitary gland at the base of the skull instructs or triggers the adrenal glands by the kidneys to release the hormone adrenaline which causes the rise of blood pressure. As a response to these danger situation and violent attacks from virtual monsters in the video-games, the the liver will release glucose from its stored form, glycogen. The problem is that the energy that has been released is not spent on physical activities. The children are playing video-games. They are not really in dangerous situation. The real danger is the reaction that occurs in their body. The release of hormone adrenaline that also triggers the release of glucose into the blood. Frequent occurances of high blood sugar increase stress or pressure on pancrease. Beta cells in the islets of Langerhans must frequently produce insulin to balance the blood sugar level in the body. Prolonged stress to pancreas will cause disorders. When pancrease cannot produce sufficient amount of insuline for our body, the onset of diabetes will take place.
Children and teenagers who are having the risk for or suffer type 1 diabetes must keep their blood glucose close to normal level. In order to achieve this, they have to make healthy food choices, be physically active everyday, control their weight, and take medicines as well as regularly check their blood glucose.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Recreational Divers Must Support Coral reefs Conservation

by Charles Roring
Divers both professional and recreational around the world are the first-hand eyewitnesses of dying coral reefs. Human induced activities that cause climate change such as burning fossil fuel, cut trees, reclaiming lands have direct impact on coral reefs. Every year scuba divers see the number of reefs is decreasing.
Divers can inform and encourage their friends to participate in saving coral reefs environment by reducing the burning of fossil fuel or cleaning up the beach.
To better inform their friends, they need educational materials about the importance of coral reefs to the livelihood of mankind. Nowadays, there are a lot of books, videos or websites that dedicate their contents for the conservation of coral reefs and marine environment. A very good website that I recommend is Coral. It provides handbooks such as Sustainable Tourism for Marine Recreation Providers, and Introduction to Coral Reef Ecosystems, Threats and Solutions.
Another resource which I say as very good is The Ocean Conservancy. It contains information on how to carry out coastal clean-up. The organization is also working on coral reef monitoring protocol that can be easily performed by recreational divers. It has a program called RECON – Reef Ecosystem Condition.
If there is anybody who is interested in experiencing real diving in order to know what it is like to breathe underwater and enjoy the beauty of coral reefs environment, he or she should take a diving course. There are a lot of diving schools around the world. In the US, there is Midwest Scuba, whereas in Australia there is Pro Dive.
Scuba diving is relatively an expensive sport. But it is not just a mere sport. It brings us closer to nature. If we can see by our own eyes how beautiful coral reefs are, we will support any efforts aiming at protecting our marine environment.
Dive schools must also emphasize subjects such as the conservation of coral reefs ecosystem, responsible recreational divers in their diving course curriculum.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Coral Bleaching and Global Warming

by Charles Roring
Coral reefs around the world are facing the events of bleaching as a result of global warming. The burning of fossil fuels to run cars, power factories; and the burning of woods as land clearing for agriculture purposes, forest fires during long dry season increase the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Such increases bring side effects that are harmful to the survivability of coral reefs such as
- increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs)
- rising sea levels
- more frequent and severe storms
Several days ago, NHK - a national Japanese TV station - aired a program which showed how teachers in Okinawa prefecture taught elementary school children the influence of climate change to coral reefs. After explaining the importance of corals to the marine environment, the teachers brought the school children to the nearby beach to measure the color of the corals using coral indicator. The indicator has color gradation ranging from D1 to D6. The D1 is white indicating bleached coral whereas the D6 which is the darkest color meaning the coral is healthy.
Over the period of three to six months, they found out that the color of corals were getting brighter. It means that the corals are dying or bleaching. The program showed the tragic event of how the symbiotic algae or zooxanthellaes were leaving the dying coral when exposed to abnormal heat, and UV lights.
NHK also showed how most corals in the southern region of the islands had died as a result of rising sea temperature. Fishermen who catch small coral fish reported that their catch was far less than the previous year. When diving among the corals to catch fish with their net, they saw how severe the bleaching was.
A Japanese professor invented a tool that helps young coral to grow in the shelves. When entering summer, coral release "eggs" that will "fly" and land on these shelves. The "eggs" are safe in the gaps of the shelves. They can grow to become young coral. After one year, the professor would dismantle the shelves with the living corals and implant each of them to places where corals had died of bleaching. This way, he hopes that the condition of the dying coral reefs will be restored.
Saving coral reefs should be the concern of everybody. We can work together to reduce the global warming. When we burn less, we have saved more corals from bleaching. A simple thing that we can do is going to work by bike, wear thicker clothes at home instead of burning woods or turning on the room heater. We can also participate in beach clean-up, plant more trees along the river banks to stop or reduce soil sediments from flooding to the sea and smother the corals.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beach Hotels and Dive Resort Must Provide Educational Materials on Coral Reef Conservation

by Charles Roring
Coral reefs around the world are worth US $ 375 billion in goods and services (Status of Coral Reefs of the World, 2002). One of the services that are related to coral reefs is diving.
Recreational diving, if well managed, can give significant contribution to coral reefs conservation efforts. Tourists who come to dive should be informed about how important coral reefs are for the survivability of marine ecosystems. The information in the form of booklet or newsletter can be provided in every cottage or bedroom where the divers stay. In addition, webmasters of the resorts or beach hotels must also provide articles about coral reefs in their websites.
Dive centers must train their dive guides so that they can guide their guests properly. Before entering the sea water, recreational divers must be informed about such matters as neutral buoyancy and the principles of eco-diving that respect and protect coral reefs and sea animals.
Snorkeling and diving and other marine recreational activities can be good to the environment if the people who conduct them know the importance of marine conservation.
Marine tourism industry generates billions of dollars every year. Such a huge amount of money should also be allocated to the protection of marine environment through the providence of educational materials, clean up projects and coral reefs implantations.  The coral reefs conservation campaigns should not only be restricted to people who are involved in marine related activities but also every human being who is living on this planet. Everybody should give his or her contribution in reducing the global warming. Global warming is the major causal factor of recent deaths of coral reefs. When the temperature of sea water increases, more coral reefs die.
We can reduce the coral beaching by changing our living habit. We can go to work riding bicycles, walk and by public transportation. The less carbon dioxide we emit, the more coral reefs can be saved from beaching. So, it is the responsibility of every member of this planet to restore this environment.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is it possible for a mute girl to speak English

Cindy (in school uniform) is playing with my nephew
 
by Charles Roring
 
Most of you will give pessimistic answers. If her mother tongue is not English or if the surrounding environment is not an English speaking community, it will be very difficult for the mute girl to master the language. Even to speak bahasa Indonesia is difficult. How can she  speak English? Bahasa Indonesia is the language that she encounters everyday, both at school and at home. How can she speak English in an unsupportive condition like that?
This afternoon, Cindy came to me. She looked sad. She said that her parents do not allow her to study in Kolese Santo Yusuf, Malang. Her parents said that all of their three children are studying in Malang, Surabaya and Denpasar. If she goes to Malang, they will be left alone. In addition, they cannot fully let her elder sister look after her. Her elder sister has her own life. Cindy has to receive her parents decision of not granting her the permission to study in a school which is far away from her home. Her home is in Manokwari, a small town in the northen coast of West Papua.
Cindy also said that her mother rejects to teach her English because she does not understand the language. Well, I think her mother does not speak English that's why she is confused. As far as I know, Cindy knows a lot of vocabularies. But she needs more time to practice pronunciation. She is intelligent.
Honestly, I cannot easily understand her bahasa Indonesia if she speaks in normal speed. Sometimes I must ask her to speak slowly, word by word. If I still cannot understand what she said, I will ask her to write them on a piece of paper. So, the communication between I and Cindy is done in spoken and written ways. Speaking English will be more difficult. I know she doesn't really enjoy learning English. Her physical condition limits her speed in learning new things.
I encouraged her by showing her success stories of people like her who overcome their hearing problems. One of famous figures whom I introduced is Beethoven. Although he was deaf, he became a famous composer. I opened wikipedia with an article about Beethoven. That day, I tuned to satellite radio in JCSat. It was playing classical music. I asked her to touch the loudspeaker. She placed her palm in the loudspeaker. She could feel the vibration. Later she placed her ear on the loudspeaker. I could see how she began to cry. She said the music was beautiful.
At the same time, her mother was in Europe. She called her mother to buy CDs of classical music. One week later, her mother returned home with those CD. She brought it to me and I played it on the CD player. Even though she could not fully listen to the sound, she enjoyed it very much. With a hearing aid she could distinguish guitar, piano, violin or trumpet that were being played.
So far, I haven't been able to help her understand the international phonetic symbol which is the foundation of learning English pronunciation. I strongly believe that she can understand grammar. I need to find new methods that are effective in teaching pronunciation to a mute girl like Cindy.
She will graduate from next year. She said that she will carry on her study in a junior high school that is located to her home in Wosi. It means I will not meet her frequently.
I can talk to her almost every day, because her shool is at the back of her home. After school, she always waits for her parents to pick her up in my bookstore. During those times, I can teach her English little by little. It is not easy actually, but it is possible.
She needs patients and persistent to master English. I don't know if I can still have the chance to teach English or not. I hope she can speak, and write English one day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Buy American products, the real bail out

by Charles Roring
Todays' financial crisis in the US is the result of weak real sector in the US. Every day, the US market is flooded with cheap products from foreign countries. Consumer goods from China, Japan, and other Asian countries occupy most of the shelves of American supermarkets and department stores.
While Asian countries are exporting cheap products to US market, American people are exporting their money abroad by buying those foreign products. This has happened for years.
It is ridiculous to see that the money is reinvested in American in property sector. This in turn weakens American economy. The more foreign products American families buy, the more money they export to foreign countries.
Although the money has been reinvested in building houses for American families, actually American people have become slaves of capitalism. They have to pay mortgage and home equity back to developers who mostly obtain cheap money by selling shares in stock market. That cheap money is not free, devident has to be paid by developers to investors every year. This weakens the American economy even more.
If American families continue to buy cheap foreign products thus exporting their money abroad, sooner or later the US economy will collapse.
We can easily see the signs of the collapsed economy. Companies are closed, higher unemployment, lower wages.
 
What can we do to get out of this crisis?
It's very easy. Every time we go to supermarket or discount stores, choose American made products. By doing so, we have helped companies save more jobs to more American people. In the past, sam Walton, the founder of Buy America campaign led the world's largest discount stores in selling American products to American people. Now, Walmart is importing more foreign made products that are cheaper than American made ones.
If Walmart really cares about America, it will prioritize American products to be put on its shelves across the nation. More American products you buy, the more money you can stop from flowing to foreign countries. Although American made products may be more expensive than foreign made ones, they provide more jobs to American people. Therefore, the next time you visit a nearby supermarket - just be a smart buyer!
So, the real bail out lies in the will of every American citizen in changing their spending habits. Buy America now, and you have bailed out this country from financial crisis.
 

Friday, October 17, 2008

Practices of Beach hotels that may potential harm coral reefs environment

by Charles Roring
 
Marine tourism cannot be separated from beach hotels, diving resorts, and other construction built along to the coastal area. These buildings pose potential threats to coral reefs environment. The building of beach hotels and homes can cause erosion and increase sediments. In addition, the dumping of wastes by people who live or work in those buildings, if not properly treated, will influence the seawater quality.
Most of the liquid wastes from beach hotels are related to sanitation activities. These include sewage, and washing water. Many hotels still use detergents which contain phosphate. This substance is a kind of nutrient that will trigger the rapid growth of marine plants and sponges. This will block out the sunlight which is essentially needed by coral reefs.
Coral reefs can live well in a very low levels of nutrients. In other words, coral reefs need clear water and sunlight to grow well.
Therefore, people who work in beach hotels or live homes must install sewage treatment facilities and use phosphate free detergent. Beach hotels, lodging and homes have to be built away from the beach and coast. Wastes from these buildings must also be properly disposed so that they will not harm the coral reefs.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Diver need to buy insurance policy

by Charles Roring
Scuba diving is a fun underwater sport. It is relatively safe if divers always follow the recommended rules and regulations. However, divers are advised to buy insurance policy which will protect them from any loss. Insurance is not only for the divers but also for their survivors.
Anyone who dives might face accident both above and underwater.  If you are one of the divers, the insurance policy that you buy must provide the following minimum liability coverage:
• Certain amount of financial compensation for death or injury
• Medical expense coverage
Buying a life insurance may not be a profitable investment if compared to other investment schemes.  If what you want is pure return for your investment, you can look for other investment schemes which are more lucrative.  The primary function of insurance is not as an investment but as a protection.
High pressure and strong currents which a diver experiences among the colorful coral reef may cause accident.  Sea animals such as sharks, and sting ray fish may attack and cause fatal injury or death to a diver.
So, don't only think the return on investment for an insurance policy that you have bought.  At least, when you dive, your life insurance provides:
• Protection for your dependents or survivors
• Peace of mind for you and your dependents
Insurance is not only for inexperienced diver but also for experienced one. Accident at sea is an unpredictable incident. By buying life insurance or dive insurance, we will be able to enjoy the beauty of coral reef and at the same time involve in marine conservation works that are now part of our daily life.