What happens when you are too fit

Here’s an interesting read about Rhabdomyolysis a rather nasty condition in which damaged muscle cells are released into the bloodstream can lead to kidney problems.

CrossFit’s dirty little secret

Google to take on ageing

Google is setting up a new company called Calico to focus on health and wellbeing. The internet giant seems to be stepping outside their usual technology field to take on the bigger challenges of ageing and diseases that are associated with ageing.

They seem to be following in Bill Gates’ footsteps.

How to reverse cell ageing

Switching to a vegetarian diet and a routine of yoga and meditation seems to have visible changes at a cellular level.

The superfood that cuts your risk of type-2 diabetes


Recent research published in the British Medical Journal suggests that the blueberries can cut the risk of type-2 diabetes. Fruit juice, unfortunately, does not have the same effect.

Eating more fruit, particularly blueberries, apples and grapes, is linked to a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Other fruits that seem to be beneficial are apples, grapes, raisins and pears. High levels of anthocyanins which enhance glucose uptake are a possible cause.

The study was not so kind to fruit juices and swapping out glasses of fruit juice in favour of whole fruits might be the best path to reducing the risk of contracting the disease.


World Listening Day has been happening annually since 2010 with the express purpose of

  • Celebrating the practice of listening as it relates to the world around us, environmental awareness, and acoustic ecology;
  • Raising awareness about issues related to the World Soundscape Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, World Listening Project, and individual and group efforts to creatively explore phonography;
  • Designing and implementing educational initiatives which explore these concepts and practices.

Ultimate low-teck mosquito deterrent


Could the humble desk fan be your best friend in the fight against mosquitos? If you abhor deet and other chemical repellants and find that the citronella just isn’t combatting the little critters, then try this handy trick report in the New York Times: turn on a fan! It seems the pesky mosquitos don’t like flying into windy patches and the gentle breeze from a fan is enough to keep them away. It also helps disperse the smells that help female mosquitos track down their prey!

Shut your eyes, boost your memory


Brain exercises and study binges are being given the boot in favour of closing your eyes and relaxing when it comes to allowing information to really take root in your mind. It seems that when encountering information for the first time, the brain begins to form memories, but there are further neural processes that have to take place before we can remember the information. To really cement the memory, your brain needs some time off so it can “replay” what it has just learned.

Sleep also plays a vital role in memory, though we don’t exactly understand how it consolidates memories yet. Sleep seem especially important for what is termed procedural memory (how to do things like play the piano or ride a bike or manage that yoga posture) – this is one of the reasons infants sleep so much and so frequently – they are putting down the memory of how to use their bodies.

So, next time you’re genning up for a test or trying to learn something new, remember to take some time out afterwards, close your eyes, relax, and let your brain remember.

Smelly feet? Bad Breath? These robots will sniff them out.


CrazyLabo and the Kitakyushu National College of Technology in Fukuoka Prefecture have developed two robots that will tell you if you have bad breath or smell feet.

The female humanoid robot, called Kaori-chan, informs you in no uncertain terms of your bad breath when you breath in her face. She’ll tell you “It smell like citrus!” if you’re breath is coming up roses, but the accolade quickly turns to insult if she detects a whiff she doesn’t like, informing you “Yuck! You have bad breath” and “No way! I can’t stand it!”. If you have serious halitosis, she will shout “Emergency taking place!” – a sure sign to brush and gargle!

The dog-bot, named Shuntaro-kun, checks your feet for you. Beethoven’s Symphoney No 5 plays as the pup sniffs your tootsies and then decides to snuggle up to you (freshly washed and smelling good) through to barking, growling or falling down and passing out, depend on the level of stench.

The idea for the robots came from CrazyLabo,s President Kennosuke Tsutsumi who wanted to make a robot that would make people laugh, and with family members always at him about his bad breath, he took to finding a humorous technological solution.

Apart from comic value, these robots could be interesting from a Chinese Medicine point of view which uses the odour of a person as one of the diagnostic tools, categorizing smells as rancid, sweet, putrid, rank and rotten. It also brings up the interesting possibility of assessing diabetic ketoacidosis.

CrazyLabo is currently working on a robot, inspired by Pinocchio, whose nose will grow when someone is lying.

Antibiotics cure chronic back pain


Back pain is big business – it’s one of the most common ailments and it will affect almost everyone sometime in their life. It is often very difficult to diagnose exactly what caused a particular bout of back pain, and advice for treatment seems to change as often as the wind, possibly in part because no common cause has been identified. Most experts now agree that moderate exercise is good for back pain and common advice is that it will gradually get better by itself.

However, all that is about to change. Chronic back pain has been linked to bacteria, making it easily curable with common antibiotics.

Up to 40% of patients with chronic back pain could be cured with a course of antibiotics rather than surgery, in a medical breakthrough that one spinal surgeon says is worthy of a Nobel prize.


The bug Propionibacterium acnes which usually cases acne has been found in many patients with chronic lower back pain. These little nasties get into the bloodstream when brushing your teeth and can make their way into the tiny blood vessels that grow into slipped discs, causing debilitating pain.

Of course, acute back pain is not going to be affected by the anitbiotics, so keep your back healthy


Light as a feather

An awesome display of skill in performance art with feathers: