Monday, November 27, 2006


Chickenpox, also spelled chicken pox, is the common name for Varicella simplex, classically one of the childhood infectious diseases caught and survived by most children.

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus also known as human herpes virus 3 , one of the eight herpes viruses known to affect humans. It starts with conjunctival and catarrhal symptoms, moderate fever and then characteristic spots appearing in two or three waves, mainly on the body and head rather than the hands and becoming itchy raw pox , small open sores which heal mostly without scarring.Chickenpox has a two-week incubation period and is highly contagious by air transmission two days before symptoms appear. Following primary infection there is usually lifelong protective immunity from further episodes of chickenpox. Recurrent chickenpox is fairly rare but more likely in people with compromised immune systems.Symptomatic treatment, with calamine lotion to ease itching and paracetamol to reduce fever, is widely used.

Chickenpox is rarely fatal , with pregnant women and those with depressed immune systems being more at risk. Pregnant women not known to be immune and who come into contact with chickenpox may need urgent treatment as the virus can cause serious problems for the fetus.Later in life, viruses remaining dormant in the nerves can reactivate causing localised eruptions of shingles. This occurs particularly in people with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, and perhaps even those suffering sunburn. Unlike chickenpox which normally fully settles, shingles may result in persisting post-herpetic neuralgia pain.

A chickenpox vaccine has been available since 1995, and is now required in some countries for children to be admitted into elementary school unless the parent/guardian submits an exemption. In addition, effective medications are available to treat chickenpox in healthy adults and immunocompromised persons.

Adult Halloween Costumes, Fantasy Football

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


A mountain is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain in a limited area. A mountain is generally higher and steeper than a hill, but there is considerable overlap, and usage often depends on local custom.
Mountains cover 52% of Asia, 36% of North America, 25% of Europe, 22% of South America, 17% of Australia, and 3% of Africa. As a whole,24% of the Earth's land mass is mountainous. Also, 1 in 10 people live in mountainous regions. All the world's major rivers are fed from mountain sources, and more than half of humanity depends on mountains for water.
The adjective montane is used to describe mountainous areas and the things associated with them.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006


A meteorite is an extraterrestrial body that survives its impact with the Earth's surface without being destroyed. While in space it is called a meteoroid. When it enters the atmosphere, air resistance causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting star. The term bolide refers to either an extraterrestrial body that collides with the Earth, or to an exceptionally bright, fireball-like meteor regardless of whether it ultimately impacts the surface.More generally, a meteorite on the surface of any celestial body is an object that has come from elsewhere in space. Meteorites have been found on the Moon and Mars.Meteorites that are recovered after being observed as they transitted the atmosphere or impacted the Earth are called falls. All other meteorites are known as finds. As of mid-2006, there are approximately 1050 witnessed falls having specimens in the world's collections. In contrast, there are over 31,000 well-documented meteorite finds.Meteorites are always named for the place where they were found , usually a nearby town or geographic feature. In cases where many meteorites were found in one place, the name may be followed by a number or letter.Meteorites have traditionally been divided into three broad categories: stony meteorites are rocks, mainly composed of silicate minerals; iron meteorites are largely composed of metallic iron-nickel; and, stony-iron meteorites contain large amounts of both metallic and rocky material. Modern classification schemes divide meteorites into groups according to their structure, chemical and isotopic composition and mineralogy.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006


The Oat is a species of cereal grain, and the seeds of this plant. They are used for food for people and as fodder for animals, especially poultry and horses. Oat straw is used as animal bedding and sometimes as animal feed.
Oats are often served as a porridge made from crushed or rolled oats, oatmeal, and are also baked into cookies together with wheat flour. As oat flour or oatmeal, they are also used in a variety of other baked goods and cold cereals, and as an ingredient in muesli and granola. Oats may also be consumed raw, and cookies with raw oats are quickly becoming popular. Oats are also occasionally used in Britain for brewing beer. Oatmeal stout is one variety brewed using a percentage of oats for the wort.
Oats also have non-food uses. Oat straw is also used in corn dolly making, and it is the favourite filling for home made lace pillows. Oat extract can be used to soothe the skin conditions, e.g. in baths, skin products, etc.
A now obsolete Middle English name for the plant was haver , surviving in the name of the livestock feeding bag haversack. In contrast with the names of the other grains, "oat" is usually used in the plural.

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