One tweet and thousands of followers, that is the magic of Superstar Rajinikanth on Twitter
He came, he saw and his tweet spread like a wild fire. Well that is the story of one of India’s most influential and bankable movie stars, Rajinikanth, whose mass popularity and appeal is largely drawn from his mannerisms and stylized dialogue delivery.
Rajinikanth on Monday made his debut on Twitter with a handle @superstarrajini and with just one tweet, "Salutation to the Lord. Vanakkam anaivarukkum !! A big thank you to all my fans. Excited on this digital journey", is being followed by over 30,000 people and the numbers are increasing at phenomenal speed matched only by Rajini Sir!
"I decided to start with Twitter because I felt that the platform is abuzz with all the news and the trends that happen across the globe and I'm told that this is where all the best Rajini one liners are!” the super star said.
A cultural icon, the normally reticent superstar is looking forward to interacting with his fans on the platform. “I have always believed that my career graph is a miracle I owe my fans. I have been contemplating joining the social media platform for a while to connect with them, hear what they have to say and share my thoughts. Unfortunately I never got around to it until now. By partnering with Fluence I am confident that I have the best team and the best guides who will help me connect with my audience” said the Superstar.
CA Media Digital’s first venture, Fluence - Indian celebrity digital network, will be managing Rajinikanth’s digital interests, to further create and leverage the Thalaivar’s social presence.
Medical developments from around the world
High doses of commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or painkillers, could double the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and heart failure, according to a new study published in the Lancet recently. The study includes 600 randomised studies with 350,000 participants. This does not include the mild to serious gastrointestinal dangers of NSAIDs.
Honey as an Antibiotic
Dr Susan M Meschwitz presented her findings on the healing properties of honey at the 247th national meeting of the American Chemical Society recently. She reported, “The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance.” One of those fighting methods is its osmosis effect. This effect comes from honey’s high sugar concentration. In this process, water is drawn from the bacteria cells, leaving the pathogens no option but to dehydrate and die.
Honey breaks up bacteria by destroying its modes of communication. Honey also possesses properties that stop the formation of bio-films. These slimy bio-films are bacteria communities which harbour diseases. Honey keeps these bio-films from congregating by breaking up a bacterial communication process called quorum sensing. By breaking up this process, honey stops the bacteria from communicating and expanding their viability. Without this communication mode, the bacteria cannot release the toxins that increase their ability to cause disease. “Doctors should prescribe honey first, and antibiotics as a last resort,” says
Dr Meschwitz. Prescribed antibiotics should be the ‘alternative’ therapy or the last resort.
Conventional antibiotics fail because they target only the essential growth processes of bacteria. This allows bacteria to build up resistance in the long run and also eliminates good bacteria from the gut lowering our immune guard. Honey can target undetected fungal conditions that may be at the root cause of perpetual illness.
Emergency Oxygen Use
A 60-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requiring long-term home oxygen therapy called an ambulance because of severe breathlessness. The paramedics gave him oxygen in the ambulance also. They nebulised him with salbutamol through oxygen. The journey took 27 minutes and, by the time the man arrived at the hospital, he was drowsy and had respiratory acidosis, requiring ventilation; he died after a day.
What went wrong? Oxygen is administered to about a third of emergency ambulance patients. About 15% of hospital patients receive oxygen therapy on any given day. The doctors are coming around to the view that oxygen should be given only if the patient is hypoxemic. Patients with carbon monoxide or cyanide poisoning and patients with some diving or altitude-related emergencies benefit from hyper-oxaemia, but the prevention of hypo-xaemia is the goal of oxygen therapy in all other conditions. Hypo as well as hyper-oxygenation are equally bad for health.
Tomato & Cancer
Several studies have shown a positive correlation between people with a diet high in tomatoes, which have high lycopene content, having a lower risk of some forms of cancers like prostate, cervical, skin, bladder, stomach and lung cancers.
Lycopenes in tomatoes have other benefits as well. Researchers have found that the risk of heart disease can be lowered by such a diet. The risk of macular degeneration, which can cause blindness, has been shown to be lowered by eating tomatoes. Lipid oxidation, the damage occurring to normal fat cells which can then cause inflammation and disease, has also been shown to be reduced with a diet that includes a variety of tomato-based dishes.
Lycopene is an impressive antioxidant which helps block the free radicals that can cause disease. Studies have also shown that lycopene helps protect DNA, cellular fats and enzymes while also lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and LDL as well as boosting the immune system.
A software that will tell you what kind of ailment you will have, based on your DNA! Is it scientific?
“Every man’s life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.” — Marcus Aurelius
A few days ago, The Hindu reported on a medical horoscope available in a new software that is expected to be installed soon in all major hospitals. One has only to answer some questions and the software will predict your medical future accurately. This is not new. “Doctors have been predicting the unpredictable future of their patients all the time” felt WJ Firth, professor of physics at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, in the British Medical Journal in 1991.
Following similar advice, Angelina Jolie had her beautiful breasts removed, a couple of months ago, to avoid any future chance of her getting breast cancer based on her genetic data. Ultimately, science claims to have triumphed over nature in unravelling the secrets of the future against the natural law.
Why does nature intend to keep your future a secret? That is the only way a human being can be happy on this planet. Ignorance is bliss here. Imagine, for a minute, that the software declares that you will get cancer in the near future. Your life, from that time onwards, will be totally different and, for all you know, you might die of sheer fear of cancer.
When it comes to our poor village astrologer predicting people’s future, based on their horoscope, the rationalist ‘scientific’ community demonises him, in no uncertain terms. But we prefer a predictive software because it represents technological sophistication. The software is supposed to predict the future based on your genetic make-up, like the one Angelina Jolie experienced.
Curiously, not all the DNA in your chromosomes come from your evolutionary ancestors. Your DNA includes the genes from at least eight retroviruses and many other germ genes. At some point in human history, these genes were incorporated into human DNA. These perform important functions; yet, they are entirely alien to our genetic ancestry. There are more than 10 times the germ genes in your metagenome so that there is more bacterial life inside you than ‘human life’!
The software astrology is based on our genetic make-up as we are taught to believe that genes determine what each of us is like, physically; but genes are only a tiny part of our DNA! A large portion (97%) of our genes was thought to be junk, until now. We now realise that the process that goes on outside the genes—epigenetics—has a major role to play in our evolution and development. Otherwise, how can just 23,000 genes represent all that happens to us? The so-called junk (epigenetics) is as important as, if not more than, the known human genes.
The picture of the world we ‘see’ is also artificial. Our brains don’t produce an image the way a video camera works. Instead, the brain constructs a model of the world from the information provided by modules that measure light and shade, edges, curvature and so on. This also compensates for the rapid jerky movement of our eyes, the saccades. We have more than just five senses.
With all these new data accumulating from the new wisdom of quantum mechanics, the old idea of predicting the future from our genetic make-up, as they did in the case of Angelina Jolie, looks childish, to say the least. What worries me is that the new software astrology might do far more damage than poor village astrologers that rationalists cry hoarse about. I might now repeat my usual warning to the apparently healthy in society. Do not go to the hospital when you are healthy. You might get a wrong prediction of your future, thanks to the new software toy. Do see your doctor for any deviation in your health without fail and be an intelligent partner in your treatment process.
“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”— Eric Hoffer
Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.