16 November 2004
At Dayal Candra Prabhu's home,
Sunday 14 November
Tuesday 16 November
This program was about the origin of language according to Vedanta philosophy. I gave it in the department of English philology, so there was no need of translation. The audience of students and faculty was very receptive and asked excellent questions.
Lunch at Wroclaw temple
Tuesday 16 November
Heavy computer use linked to glaucoma: study
Mon Nov 15, 6:11 PM ET
PARIS (AFP) - Heavy users of computers, especially those who are short-sighted, may be at risk from glaucoma, a disease that can cause blindness, a study published in a specialist journal on Tuesday says.
Japanese doctors assessed the sight of more than 10,200 Japanese workers, measuring them for visual acuity and signs of glaucoma.
The volunteers were also asked to fill in questionnaires about their computer use, at home or in the office, and any history of eye disease.
A total of 165 workers, or 1.6 percent, turned out to have suspected glaucoma, characterised by tunnel vision or blind spots.
Those who were heavy computer users -- defined as working onscreen more than eight hours a day -- were twice as likely to have glaucoma than light or medium users.
In addition, of the 165 with glaucoma, 136 had myopia.
The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, published by the British Medical Association (BMA).
Glaucoma is a slow, gradual disease of the optic nerve that often goes undetected. Among the identified risk factors are smoking and high blood pressure.
The authors speculate that the optic nerve in short-sighted people may be more vulnerable to computer stress than in normal-sighted people.
If so, that would be dramatic news, given that so many hundreds of millions of people around the world now work at computer terminals, at work and at home.
They stress though that the study has limitations, notably in that most of the volunteers were male and this may have skewed the outcome. Further work is needed to probe the suspected link, they say.
Japan's record hot-dog eater branches out to put down 69 hamburgers
Mon Nov 15,12:12 PM ET
TOKYO (AFP) - A slender 26-year-old from Japan who is the undefeated champion in hot-dog eating competitions has broadened his repertoire, wowing an American crowd by munching 69 hamburgers in eight minutes.
Takeru Kobayashi, who has made a full-time career out of his unusual talent and become a celebrity in Japan, took home 10,000 dollars after stuffing himself at the contest in Chattanooga, Tennessee, media reports said.
"Kobayashi is, without a doubt, the greatest eater ever to live upon planet Earth," said David Baer of the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
Second-place went to Sonya Thomas, a Virginia woman who in the allotted eight minutes Saturday could eat a mere 46 of the miniature square burgers cooked up by Krystal, a fast-food chain in the US south.
Kobayashi has triumphed four years straight at the July 4 hot-dog contest in New York City, this year breaking his previous record by swallowing 53 and a half frankfurters.
Weighing only 60 kilograms (132 pounds), Kobayashi has astonished gluttons more inclined to binge-eating. The Japanese man says he has mastered a technique to win by snapping food in two and shoving both parts in his mouth.
Kobayashi also holds records for eating cow brains -- eight kilos (17.7 pounds) in 15 minutes -- and traditional Japanese rice balls at nine kilos (20 pounds) in half an hour.
The Japanese tend to be more moderate eaters but, thanks in part to Kobayashi, competitive eating has become a television sensation with "food fighters" downing everything from sushi to cakes.
But the television began to shy away from such contests after a 14-year-old junior high school student choked to death in 2002 trying to imitate competitive eating during school lunch.
Despite repeated warnings from authorities about the danger, such contests remain popular at local festivals in Japan.
On November 6, a 38-year-old woman choked to death after gorging on bread and barley noodles at a local fall festival.