Archive for April, 2009

Swine Influenza

Swine influenza (also swine flu) refers to influenza caused by any virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae that is endemic to pig populations. Known strains of swine influenza virus (SIV) are classified as either Influenzavirus C or one of the subtypes of Influenzavirus A.

People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of infection from these animals if the animals carry a strain that is also able to infect humans. SIV can mutate into a form that allows it to pass from human to human. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak is believed to have undergone this mutation.

In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general.

The CDC reports that the symptoms and transmission of the swine flu from human to human is much like that of seasonal flu. Common symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, while runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days, to the CDC for analysis.


Influenza Vaccines

The influenza vaccine is an annual vaccine to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

“Influenza vaccination is the most effective method for preventing influenza virus infection and its potentially severe complications.”

An influenza epidemic emerges during each winter’s flu season. In the United States alone an estimated 36,000 people die each year from influenza and accompanying opportunistic infections and complications.

The number of annual influenza-related hospitalizations is many times the number of deaths. “The high costs of hospitalizing young children for influenza creates a significant economic burden in the United States, underscoring the importance of preventive flu shots for children and the people with whom they have regular contact…”

In Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the group that advises the Public Health Agency of Canada, currently recommends that everyone aged 2 to 64 years be encouraged to receive annual influenza vaccination, and that children between the age of six and 24 months, and their household contacts, should be considered a high priority for the flu vaccine.

In the United States, the CDC recommends to clinicians that

In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting influenza can get vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications or people who live with or care for people at higher risk for serious complications.

Vaccination against influenza is recommended for most members of high-risk groups who would be likely to suffer complications from influenza. Specific recommendations include all children and teenagers, from six months to 18 years; of age;

In expanding the new upper age limit to 18 years, the aim is to reduce both the time children and parents lose from visits to pediatricians and missing school and the need for antibiotics for complications …

An added expected benefit would be indirect — to reduce the number of influenza cases among parents and other household members, and possibly spread to the general community.

In the event of exposure to H5N1-type (avian influenza), seasonal flu vaccine may also offer some protection against H5N1 infection.

YES! Most Powerful Personalities in 2008

yesBefore you dive into this list, a warning: You may not like what you read.” – YES! Magazine


1st: Willie Revillame

2nd: Kris Aquino

3rd: John Lloyd Cruz

4th: Robin Padilla.

5th: Marian Rivera

6th: Richard Gutierrez.

7th: Dingdong Dantes.

8th: Ai-Ai delas Alas

9th: Piolo Pascual

10th: Joey de Leon

11th: Vic Sotto

12th: Sharon Cuneta

13th: Judy Ann Santos

14th: Toni Gonzaga

15th: Sarah Geronimo

16th: Michael V.

17th: Ogie Alcasid

18th: Regine Velasquez

19th: Bea Alonzo

20th: KC Concepcion

21st: Manny Pacquiao

22nd: Bong Revilla

23rd: Ruffa Gutierrez

24th: Joyce Bernal and Cathy Garcia-Molina

25th: Carlo J. Caparas and Mars Ravelo

26th: Sam Milby

Most Powerful Showbiz Executives:

Top spot: Eugenio ‘Gabby’ Lopez III (ABS-CBN) and Atty. Felipe Gozon (GMA-7)

2nd: Charo Santos-Concio (ABS-CBN)

3rd: Cory Vidanes (ABS-CBN)

4th: Annette Gozon-Abrogar (GMA-7)

5th: Malou Santos (ABS-CBN)

9th: Deo Endrinal (ABS-CBN)

10th: Johnny Manahan (ABS-CBN)

11th: Boy Abunda (ABS-CBN)

12th: Lolit Solit (GMA-7)

20th: Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Lee

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle (born 1961) is a Scottish church volunteer who came to public attention on 11 April 2009, when she appeared as a contestant in the third series of Britain’s Got Talent.

Boyle leapt to almost immediate global fame with a stirring rendition of  I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables in the competition’s first round. Before she sang, both the audience and the judges had expressed scepticism based on her somewhat plain and unprofessional appearance. In contrast, her vocal performance was so outstanding that she has been dubbed The Woman Who Shut Up Simon Cowell. She received a standing ovation from the live audience, attracting yes-votes from Cowell and Amanda Holden, and the “biggest yes vote in three seasons” from Piers Morgan.


1. Chris Brown Jive/Zomba

2. Lil Wayne Cash Money/Universal Motown

3. Rihanna SRP/Def Jam/IDJMG

4. Alicia Keys MBK/J/RMG

5. Taylor Swift Big Machine

6. Leona Lewis SYCO/J/RMG

7. Miley Cyrus Hollywood

8. Jordin Sparks 19/Jive/Zomba

9. Jonas Brothers Hollywood

10. T.I. Grand Hustle/Atlantic

11. Coldplay Capitol

12. Flo Rida Poe Boy/Atlantic

13. Carrie Underwood 19/Arista/Arista Nashville

14. T-Pain Konvict/Nappy Boy/Jive/Zomba

15. Josh Groban 143/Reprise/Warner Bros.

16. Colbie Caillat Universal Republic

17. Ne-Yo Def Jam/IDJMG

18. Kanye West Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/IDJMG

19. Katy Perry Capitol

20. Mariah Carey Island/IDJMG

Beach Volleyball

beachvolleyball3Beach volleyball, or sand volleyball, is an Olympic team sport played on sand. Like other variations of volleyball, two teams, separated by a high net, try to score points against the other by grounding a ball on the other team’s court. Competitive beach volleyball teams usually consist of two players, though recreational variations can contain up to six players.

Originating in Southern California, beach volleyball now enjoys worldwide popularity, even in countries without traditional beaches, like Switzerland.

Greediest List

newsweekAccording to Newsweek Magazine, here are the Greediest of All Time:

Marcus Licinius Crassus (ca. 115 BC – 53 BC) was a Roman general and politician who commanded Sulla’s decisive victory at Colline gate, suppressed the slave revolt led by Spartacus and entered into a secret pact, known as the First Triumvirate, with Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Gaius Julius Caesar. He allegedly owned more than 200,000,000 sestertii at the height of his fortune. One of the richest men of the era and still ranked in the top 10 List of most wealthy historical figures, Crassus still desired recognition for military victories in the shape of a triumph. This desire for a triumph led him into Syria, where he was defeated and killed in the Roman defeat at Carrhae which was fought with the Parthian Spahbod Surena.

Genghis Khan (1162–1227), was the founder, Khan (ruler) and Khagan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire in history. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. After founding the Mongol Empire and being proclaimed “Genghis Khan”, he started the Mongol invasions and raids of the Kara-Khitan Khanate, Caucasus, Khwarezmid Empire, Western Xia and Jin dynasties. During his life, the Mongol Empire eventually occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia.

Pope Sixtus IV (July 21, 1414 – August 12, 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 1471 to 1484. He founded the Sistine Chapel where the team of artists he brought together introduced the Early Renaissance to Rome with the first masterpiece of the city’s new artistic age.

William Henry Vanderbilt III (November 24, 1901 – April 14, 1981) was an American statesman and a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family.

William Marcy Tweed Jr. (April 3, 1823 – April 12, 1878), known as “Boss Tweed,” was an American most famous for his leadership of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York. At the height of his influence, Tweed was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railway, the Tenth National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel.

Empress Dowager Cixi (November 29, 1835 – November 15, 1908), popularly known in China as the West Dowager Empress, was from the Manchu Yehe Nara Clan. She was a powerful and charismatic figure who became the de facto ruler of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, ruling over China for 48 years from her husband’s death in 1861 to her own death in 1908.

Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1882 – January 18, 1949) was one of the greatest swindlers in American history. His aliases include Charles Ponei, Charles P. Bianchi, Carl and Carlo. The term “Ponzi scheme” is a widely known description of any scam that pays early investors returns from the investments of later investors. He promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage. Ponzi was probably inspired by the scheme of William F. Miller, a Brooklyn bookkeeper who in 1899 used the same pyramid scheme to take in $1 million.

Imelda Marcos (born Imelda Remedios Visitacion Trinidad Romualdez on July 2, 1929 in Manila) is the widow of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and is herself an influential political figure in the Philippines. She is known as the “Steel Butterfly” due to her role as a controversial figure not only in her home country but also around the world. In 1996, the Australian Magazine ranked her 58th among “The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World”. Newsweek, meanwhile, listed her as one of the “Greediest People of All Time”. Her extensive shoe, gown, and jewelry collections have allowed her to gain notoriety.

Ivan Frederick Boesky (born March 6, 1937, in Detroit) is an American businessperson. He is notable for his prominent role in a Wall Street insider trading scandal that occurred in the United States in the mid-1980s.

Dennis Leo Kozlowski (born November 16, 1946, Newark, New Jersey) is a former CEO of Tyco International, convicted of misappropriating more than $400 million of the company’s funds to support a lavish lifestyle and chronic and tragic substance abuse issues. He is currently serving at least eight years and four months in prison.

Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff, (born April 29, 1938), is an American businessman and former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange who was convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme that has been called the largest investor fraud ever committed by a single person. On March 12, 2009, Madoff pled guilty to an 11-count criminal complaint, admitting to defrauding thousands of investors. Federal prosecutors estimated client losses, which included fabricated gains, of almost $65 billion. He had been confined to his Manhattan penthouse apartment during the investigation, and was subsequently incarcerated after his guilty plea. There was no plea deal with prosecutors. He faces spending the rest of his life in prison, and up to $170 billion in restitution.

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