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Welcome to the Blogs and Information page! I will be posting some interesting information on this page. Members can do that, too.

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The Effects of Smoking

Posted by Daniel Liang on October 30, 2010 at 9:54 PM Comments comments (0)

Effects of Smoking

• You can get addicted to smoking.

• Each year, more than 100,000 people die from smoking.

• Smoking can cause cancers.

• Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes increase your heart rate and blood pressure.

• It can cause heart attacks and stroke.

• Carbon monoxide attaches to the haemoglobin and prevents it from carrying oxygen.

• Smoking causes emphysema and bronchitis.

• Tar coats your lungs when you smoke.

• One in five deaths from heart disease is caused by smoking.

• Fat deposits narrow when you smoke, blocking blood vessels.

• Smoking can shorten your life by 10 years or more.

• Smoking can cause mouth cancer, neck cancer, gangrene and miscarriage.

• Hormone levels in your body decrease when you smoke.

• Air sacs in your lungs can get permanently damaged by smoking.

Other Facts About Smoking

• Cigarettes have about 4000 chemicals. Most of them are harmful.

• They include nicotine, arsenic, methane, ammonia, cadmium and carbon monoxide.

• Nicotine is the drug that is addictive in cigarettes.

• Smoking can make you sick if you are not used to it.

• Smoking increases your chance of a cavity.

• It would be crazy to waste money for harm, since smoking is expensive and harmful.

• Smokers can get sick easily compared to non-smokers.

• In the past, smoking was allowed almost anywhere.

• Second-hand smoke can be as bad as direct smoking.

Information about the brain

Posted by Daniel Liang on October 30, 2010 at 2:54 PM Comments comments (0)


Brain is the center of nervous system. It weighs approximately 1.359 kg. Together with the spinal cord, it forms the central nervous system. They are very important in coordinating different parts of the body, so require a lot of protection. The brain is enclosed by the bony skull and three layers of tissues called meninges. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebral column.


Each part of the brain has a different function. If one part is damaged in any way, the corresponding function will be greatly affected.


The brain consists of three main parts: cerebrum, cerebellum and medulla. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It consists of two hemispheres separated by a deep grove connected by the corpus callosum. It is also highly folded to increase the surface area for more neurons. Each hemisphere contains four lobes: the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. The frontal lobe, located at the anterior of the cerebrum, mainly controls thinking, reasoning and some voluntary movements. The parietal lobe, located on the upper posterior of the cerebrum, receives signals from the muscles, skin, joints and some other senses. The temporal lobe, located on the lower sides of the cerebrum, receives mainly sound signals. The occipital lobe, located on the lower posterior of the cerebrum, receives information from the eyes and forms mental images.


The cerebellum is under the posterior of the cerebrum. It controls balance, posture and coordination of muscles. It is also highly folded.


The medulla is the posterior of the brain and connects to the spinal cord. It controls involuntary movements such as heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, coughing and sneezing.


Diseases of the brain are usually severe and can affect many parts of the body. Some of the diseases are genetically related, while others are more common among the elderly.


Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive disease due to deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The lack of dopamine causes shaking, tremors, unstable posture and loss of balance. It affects 1 in 100 people over 60 years old. Medication to increase the levels of dopamine can be given to help ease some symptoms. It is usually diagnosed when two or more of the major symptoms are present.


Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the progressive death of brain cells. It affects some people over 65 years of age. This may cause impaired thinking and memory and the victim will eventually lose the ability to remember things. It is a fatal brain disease and mainly affects old people. Some symptoms are memory loss, continuously misplacing things, having trouble with everyday tasks, difficulty solving problems and confusing times and places. This disease is a common form of dementia. It may be difficult to diagnose because other brain disorders can be similar to this disease.

Other important facts

Your brain is only 3% of your weight but consumes 17% of your energy. The brain also requires lots of blood and lots of energy to work. One-fifth of your body’s blood is reserved for the brain. That is why strokes can greatly affect the brain in many ways, including brain damage.


To keep your brain cells from aging, you should try to use your brain more by solving problems or using software to do problem solving activities. This may slow down brain cells from aging and may reduce the risk of some diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. A healthy diet may also help keep your brain healthy. Avoid head injuries by wearing a helmet when you ride a bike. Head injuries can seriously harm your brain.

Giant Panda and Golden Toad

Posted by Daniel Liang on October 26, 2010 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Giant Panda


Species name: The scientific name for the giant panda is Ailuropoda melanoleuca.


Classification: The giant panda is in the animalia kingdom, the chordata phylum, the mammalia class, in the carnivora order, in the Ursidae (bear) family.


Diet: It eats a certain type of bamboo and some insects.


Physical properties and adaptations: It has a shoulder height of 65 to 70 cm. Some adaptations it has are black and white fur to camouflage in snow and rock, thick fur to keep warm during winter and a “pseudo” (fake) thumb that helps it pick up objects.


Habitat and location: The giant panda lives in forests of Southwest China, to the east of the Tibetan Plateau, in the Yangtze Basin.


Size of current population: There are only 2500 mature in the wild.


Factors for endangered state: The factors that caused the giant panda to become endangered are deforestation due to civilization, habitat loss and poaching.


What is being done to protect this species: Many panda reserves are being built by the Chinese government to protect the giant panda, covering 2.5 million acres. Over 60% of the panda population is being protected by the reservation areas. Also, trade for its species and products for commercial purposes are banned.



Golden Toad


Species name: The scientific name for the golden toad is Bufo periglenes.


Classification: The golden toad is in the animalia kingdom, in the chordata phylum, in the amphibia class, in the Anura order, in the Bufonidae (Toad) family.


Diet: Scientists are not sure about what they eat, but they most likely to eat small invertebrates.


Physical properties and adaptations: The female is 42 to 56 mm long, and the male is 39 to 48 mm long. They are shiny, small and bright orange toads. On their paws, they have sharp claws to defend themselves.


Habitat and Location: They lived in a small area of high-altitude rainforest, called cloud forest in Costa Rica.

Time of extinction: The golden toad became officially extinct in 1989.


Factors that lead to its extinction: All amphibians are very sensitive to changes in the environment such as pollution. So health of amphibians reflects the health of the ecosystem. A factor that lead to the extinction of the golden toad are sudden climate change to warm, dry climate due to global warming. The conditions became too dry, so the ponds dried up and the tadpoles could not survive. The climate was just right for a type of skin fungus to form. The fungus grew on their skin, and made them vulnerable to disease. Also, the thinning of the ozone layer allowed excessive UV radiation to enter that killed them.

Health News

Posted by Daniel Liang on July 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome to my health news blog! I will post more health news once I get it. 


1. First-year students put on the "freshman 15."

It is a popular belief that undergrads gain 15 pounds in their first year of university, but a new study from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, sets the record straight. A research team from the department of nutritional sciences at Rutgers' Cook College weighed 67 volunteer students in the fall and spring semesters and found that the average weight gain was seven pounds. "We found that the first year of university is a period in which weight and fat gain may occur," says Daniel Hoffman, principal investigator of the study, but the weight gain is less than 15 pounds, and it's not universal." Nevertheless, an alarming three-quarters of the students in the study did gain weight, possibly as a result of consuming too many calories -- breakfast and lunch at all-you-can-eat dining facilities and fast-food joints and increased alcohol intake -- combined with not getting enough exercise."In theory," adds Hoffman, "if this level is maintained through four years of university, these students have the potential to gain 28 pounds by graduation."


2. Cooking with aluminum leads to Alzheimer's?

According to Health Canada, despite a number of studies on the subject, scientists have yet to find a clear link between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. What they do know is that brain cells of Alzheimer's patients can contain up to 30 times the normal concentration of aluminum, but it's unclear whether this is a cause or result of the disease. "The disease may develop from a combination of risk factors, including genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors," says Dr. Jack Diamond, scientific director of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "Aluminum pots, pans and foil contribute only very small amounts of aluminum to foods that are cooked in them. The amount does increase when the food is acidic -- like tomatoes or rhubarb -- but there's no proof that this plays a significant role in the development of Alzheimer's."


3. Soy prevents heart disease?

Many companies claim that soy products reduce the risk of heart disease, but soy's health benefits may have been overestimated, says the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association (AHA). Recent clinical trials by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston failed to confirm that soy protein improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure or raises high-density lipoprotein, or "good," cholesterol levels. But you're still better off eating a soyburger rather than a cheeseburger, says Alice Lichtenstein, chair of the AHA's Nutrition Committee. "Heart disease is a major problem, so eating soy instead of animal protein is a win."


4. Cellphones cause brain cancer?

The results of a three-year study published in the British Medical Journal this January will, no doubt, reassure all cellphone addicts out there. Researchers from the University of Leeds, The University of Nottingham, The University of Manchester and The Institute of Cancer Research in London collected data on cellphone use from 1,716 healthy people and 966 individuals with gliomas, the most common and fatal type of brain tumour. They concluded that the use of a cellphone is not associated with an increased risk of gliomas on a short- or medium-term basis.


5. Celery helps you lose weight

When you digest celery, you use use more energy digesting it than you get from it. This can be part of a diet to lose weight.


6. We live an average of 29 months longer than Americans

I found this out on CTV News.


7. Vitamin D prevents Parkinsin's disease

Vitamin D slows the aging of brain cells, therefore preventing brain diseases such as Parkinsin's Disease. Vitamin D is automatically produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight,. It can also be found in some foods such as milk and fish.