Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Simple exercises can help control snoring

Snorers can try pushing the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and sliding the tongue backward

 

If snoring is hampering your partner's sound sleep, simple mouth and tongue exercises can do wonders.
 
Researchers have found that these exercises can reduce frequency of snoring by 36 percent and total power of snoring by 59 percent.
 
"This study demonstrates a promising, non-invasive treatment for large populations suffering from snoring, the snorers and their bed partners, that are largely omitted from research and treatment," said Barbara Phillips, medical director, sleep laboratory at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in the US.
 
Snorers can try pushing the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and sliding the tongue backward.
 
Sucking the tongue upward against the roof of the mouth, and pressing the entire tongue against the roof of the mouth can also help.
 
Forcing the back of the tongue against the floor of the mouth while keeping the tip of the tongue in contact with the bottom, front teeth and elevating the back of the roof of the mouth and uvula while saying the vowel "A" are other exercises that the researchers suggested.
 
The study was conducted on 39 patients who were randomised for three months of treatment with nasal dilator strips plus respiratory exercises (Control) or daily oropharyngeal exercises (therapy).
 
The participants were evaluated at study entry and end by sleep questionnaires and full polysomnography with objective measurements of snoring.
 
"The exercises significantly reduced snoring in our study group," said study author Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
 
The study appeared in the journal Chest.
 

User

Crop burning: Habits die hard in Punjab, Haryana

The main concern of the authorities, especially the pollution control boards in both the states, is the harm that the crop burning - wheat stubble and paddy straw - causes to the environment

 

They have been warned, threatened with prosecution and even offered inducements. But a number of farmers in Punjab and Haryana seem disinclined to stop their environment-unfriendly bi-annual exercise of burning crop residue, cited by environmentalists as one of the prinicipal causes of dust haze and air pollution in Delhi and northern India.
 
With the wheat harvest in both the states nearly over, authorities are attempting in whatever they can to discourage farmers from burning the crop residue in their fields. The main concern of the authorities, especially the pollution control boards in both the states, is the harm that the crop burning - wheat stubble and paddy straw - causes to the environment.
 
While authorities in Haryana have warned farmers and even pointed out that proceedings will be initiated against them for violating the ban on burning stubble, the Punjab government had recently announced cash rewards to districts and villages which curb the unhealthy practice.
 
"Many farmers want to save time of uprooting the crop residue and resort to burning. This may give them short-term results but is harming the fertility of the soil and the environment in the long run," Kultar Singh, a young, educated farmer and an environmentalist, told IANS.
 
Haryana's environment department has issued a notification under the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act of 1981 that bans the burning of agriculture waste in open fields.
 
"The Haryana government has issued an advisory to the farmers not to burn wheat stubble as it leads to manifold increase in the air pollution level during the harvesting season. They should try to recover it with the help of machines for use as fodder or convert it into manure," an official of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board told IANS, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
 
Board officials have been asked to keep a strict vigil and file cases against the defaulting farmers.
 
In recent years, the board has filed cases against 32 farmers in the special environment courts at Kurukshetra and Faridabad.
 
"The board has so far approved nine cases in 2015-16," the official added.
 
The Punjab government recently announced a financial grant of Rs.1 crore ($157,000) and Rs.100,000 for each district and village rid of the malaise.
 
"Resorting to punitive measures to end this menace does not yield results; hence it was decided to reward the districts and villages which curbed the practice of straw burning," a Punjab government spokesman told IANS.
 
Punjab contributes over 50 percent of foodgrain - wheat and paddy - to the national kitty despite having just 1.54 percent of the country's geographical area.
 
Haryana's agriculture department is promoting the use of various machines and techniques to discourage farmers from burning crop residue.
 
"Farmers are being given subsidy for purchase of machines like happy-seeder, turbo-seeder, shredder, bailing machine and zero-seed-cum-fertilizer drill to facilitate in-situ management of crop residue," agriculture department official Ashok Kumar told IANS.
 
"The burning leads to manifold increase in air pollution levels during the harvesting season. The soil fertility is also lost due to the burning of essential nutrients," scientist Ranbir Dahiya told IANS.
 
It is estimated that burning of one tonne of rice straw accounts for loss of 5.5 kg of nitrogen, 2.3 kg of phosphorus, 25 kg of potassium and 1.2 kg of sulphur. The heat generated elevates the soil temperature, killing fungi, pests, reptiles and the like that are otherwise beneficial for the crops.
 
"If the crop residue is incorporated or retained in the soil itself, it gets enriched, particularly with organic carbon and nitrogen," Dahiya said.
 
Other hazards of crop burning include the fire spreading to habitations or forests, accidents due to poor visibility caused by the smoke and breathing problems for people. In recent years, both Green Revolution states have seen bumper crops of wheat and paddy, leading to increased burning of crop residue.
 

User

Modi's visit to China: How long can policy of accommodation continue?

Nehru's answer was to seek an accommodation with China and play for time till India was able to fully develop economically and militarily to meet the emerging challenge. That he failed is another question

 

The rise of China as a great power is no longer a matter of speculation; it is a given fact. Most nations today seriously consider the Chinese factor when determining policy. The question uppermost in the minds of Indian policy makers is: should we contain or oppose the rise of China, singly or in tandem with others, or should we seek an accommodation? There are no easy answers. No doubt Modi's closest advisors would be grappling with this question on the eve of his first official visit to China as the prime minister of India.
 
Just as India became independent, a vast strategic shift in the power matrix of Asia took place. Japanese power lay completely shattered at the end of the Second World War. The British withdrew from India leaving India politically divided into two states and its armed forces split - and soon in serious conflict over Kashmir. On the other hand, China wracked by civil war in the last century, with warlords holding sway, not only became politically united, but a new invigorated and a determined government assumed office. The strategic fulcrum of power had shifted in Asia from south to the north of the Himalayas.
 
The question therefore that faced India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was how to deal with Chinese power on our northern borders. In short, Nehru's answer was to seek an accommodation with China and play for time till India was able to fully develop economically and militarily to meet the emerging challenge. That he failed is another question.
 
Unfortunately, for present-day policy planners, the power equation with China has worsened since Nehru's time to the detriment of India. China's economy is five times larger than that of India; its military budget three times larger; and its foreign exchange reserves are ten times larger than ours. The Chinese have developed first-rate communications infrastructure right up to our borders; we are still struggling. But we still retain one great strategic advantage - the Indian Ocean where the Indian Navy dominates.
 
The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world covering about 20 percent of water on the earth's surface. The Indian peninsula, which stretches about 1,600 km straight into the heart of the ocean, dominates its geographical space. The importance of the Indian Ocean region also lies in the fact that nearly 100,000 ships traverse it on an annual basis carrying 700 million tonnes of cargo, but most important of all there are four transit 'choke-points' of which the Straits of Malacca dominate. The Malacca Straits are a shallow, narrow waterway that connects the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea. At some points it is only 23 metres deep.
 
China relies heavily on imported oil, gas and other natural resource commodities to feed its growing economy and it is estimated that its crude oil imports may exceed 300 million tonnes shortly. Nearly 18 percent of China's total energy consumption is based on imported oil and at current trends, nearly 80 percent of oil imports pass through this route. In case the Straits of Malacca were ever to be blockaded, it would mean a detour of at least three to four days extra through unsafe waters.
 
Since Nehru and the 1962 conflict, successive Indian prime ministers have sought neither strategic accommodation nor confrontation with China. While serious attempts were made to settle the boundary question, it was realized that a settlement was not imminent. Therefore it made better policy to first stabilize the border areas to minimize incidents. From denying that a dispute existed under Nehru, to stating that till the issue was settled, there would be no normalization, to Rajiv Gandhi's assertion that relations may develop side by side with the boundary negotiations, the Indian position has moved quite significantly.
 
Atal Bihari Vajpayee went even further and agreed that a boundary settlement be explored "afresh from a political perspective", thus abandoning Nehru's stance that the Sino-Indian boundary was established by "treaty, custom and usage".
 
Finally, in Article III of the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles Agreement signed in April 2005, Manmohan Singh accepted a "package settlement" and "adjustment of its position" on the boundary issue. So with India having moved so far, why then does China not agree?
 
Suffice it to say that China senses no pressure from India, be it military, political or economic. In fact, if gestures be read as harbingers of policy change, we seem to be signalling a move towards the old policy of accommodation. The Rafale deal has been reduced from 126 fighters to a more financially viable 36 fighters; the strength of the Mountain Strike Corps reduced from 90,000 to 35,000 soldiers and politically there has not even been a pro-forma protest when President Xi Jinping announced the building of railway lines, oil and gas pipelines and the China-Pakistan economic corridor through Pakistani-occupied Kashmir. The Chinese remain protectionist on facilitating Indian exports in the key pharma and IT sectors, thus ensuring a continued massive trade deficit.
 
The task before Modi is daunting as no easy solutions are obvious. He would need the unstinting support of all, for whichever policy option he adopts it will have momentous repercussions.
 
One thought: Modi should announce the upgrading of the Andaman and Nicobar base to a full-fledged naval command before departure. It would be a signal of intent that the Chinese will not miss.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)