sábado, agosto 18, 2007

Patients toast Ukraine's 'wine therapy'


Patients toast Ukraine's 'wine therapy'
By Helen Fawkes
BBC News, Alushta, Crimea

We are all being told to lay off too much booze, but a Ukrainian health spa is prescribing patients a course of cocktails.

Health experts are sceptical about the "therapy's" supposed benefits

The Crimean Stars Sanatorium in Alushta has devised a treatment called "wine therapy".

It claims the treatment can help alleviate a range of medical problems like stress, impotence and heart disease.

Even though it may sound like a joke, the sanatorium takes its "wine therapy" very seriously.

Your first stop is not the bar. Instead, there is a medical consultation.

Patients are then advised which cocktail they should take.

Moderation

Dr Alexander Sheludko, who came up with the treatment, points out that medical research has shown that wine in moderation can be good for you.

He boasts that hundreds of people have now had a taste of his medicine.

Wine is a live product which contains vitamins - it has lots of compounds which are biologically active
Dr Alexander Sheludko-Crimean Stars Sanatorium

"Wine is a live product which contains vitamins. It has lots of compounds which are biologically active," he says.

There are seven different types of cocktails on offer.

The formula is simple - lots of dried herbs are mixed with lots of Crimean wine. Sometimes vodka is added for an extra kick.

Then all you have to do is sit back, relax and make sure you take your "prescription" three times a day for a week or two.

Small glasses of the drink are served from 0700 in the sanatorium's cafe.

'Relaxing'

Lena Borodina, who works as a hairdresser in Russia, has tried lots of alterative treatments.

She says that living in Moscow is stressful and that she travelled to the Ukrainian clinic for something to help her unwind.


I'm happy that it seems to be working well and I rather enjoy it Lena Borodina. "I think that wine therapy is an excellent type of treatment. It relaxes you, gives you strength and fills you with vigour," she adds. "I'm happy that it seems to be working well and I rather enjoy it."

But Ukrainian health experts are sceptical about whether there are any real medical benefits from "wine therapy".

There is also the question about whether it is such a good idea in a country that has high levels of alcoholism.


The wine is produced locally in the Crimea

"I think that such therapy could lead to someone becoming addicted to drink. It could become the first step towards psychological dependence," Dr Iryna Lipych, a specialist in alcohol dependency, says.

"It is also important to remember that alcohol causes lots of medical problems, and especially that it has a bad effect on liver."

Some of the Crimean cocktails taste very strong.

If they are drunk on an empty stomach, they could well make you feel a bit tipsy.

Wine therapy may not be a panacea, but it does give a whole new meaning to the phrase "just what the doctor ordered".

Quienes editan o cambian informacion en Wikipedia ?


A US hacker's homemade program to pinpoint origins of Wikipedia edits indicates that alterations to the popular online encyclopedia have come from the CIA and the Vatican.

Student Virgil Griffith's "Wikiscanner" points to Central Intelligence Agency computers as the sources of nearly 300 edits to subjects including Iran's president, the Argentine navy, and China's nuclear arsenal.

A CIA computer was the source of a whiny "Wahhhhh" inserted in a paragraph about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's plans for the office.

"While I cannot confirm whether any changes were made from CIA computers, the agency always expects its computer systems to be used responsibly," CIA spokesman George Little said in response to an AFP inquiry.

Wikipedia is a communally refined Internet encyclopedia that taps into the "wisdom of the masses" by letting anyone make changes. Its founders believe people who know better will quickly correct inaccurate or misleading information.

Griffith, a university graduate student and self-described hacker, says his software matches unique "IP" addresses of computers with Wikipedia records regarding which machines are used to make online edits.

"I came up with the idea when I heard about Congressmen getting caught for whitewashing their Wikipedia pages," Griffith explains on his website.

Most edits listed at Wikiscanner involve minor changes such as spelling. Some alterations involve removing unflattering information, adding facts or inserting insults.

Wikiscanner's roster indicates a Vatican computer was used to remove references to evidence linking Ireland's Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to a decades-old double murder.

Someone at the US Democratic Party's Congressional campaign committee changed a description of conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh to replace "comedian" with "bigot" and dub his listeners "legally retarded."

"We don't condone these sorts of activities and we take every precaution to insure our network is used in a responsible manner," committee spokesman Doug Thornell told AFP.

A Republican Party computer purportedly was used after the US invasion of Iraq to change "occupying forces" to "liberating forces" in a Baath Party entry.

A United Nations computer is identified as the source of an edit that calls a respected Italian journalist a promiscuous racist.

Someone using a US Senate computer altered a profile of veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas to complain she "interrupts" and is annoying.

An edit traced by Wikiscanner to the BBC changes causes of former prime minister Tony Blair's heart palpitations from strong coffee and vigorous gym workouts to vodka and exertion in a bedroom.

Wikiscanner also identified a BBC computer as being used to change US president George W. Bush's middle name from "Walker" to "Wanker" at Wikipedia.

A computer belonging to Reuters news service is listed as adding "mass murderer" to a Wikipedia description of Bush.

Griffith said it appears common for political figures to "whitewash" entries by replacing negative adjectives with flattering ones and that corporations seem inclined to insert criticism of competitors.

Politicians and corporations show similar tendencies to remove critical information, according to Griffith.

Griffith still considers the collaborative open Wikipedia model reliable.

"Overall -- especially for non-controversial topics -- Wikipedia already works," Griffith says on his website.

"For controversial topics, Wikipedia can be made more reliable through techniques like this one ... to counteract vandalism and disinformation."

© 2007 AFP

La información complementaria a la anterior es la siguiente:

  • BLOG sobre el tema


  • BLOG-WIRED


  • DIARIO INGLES The Guardian
  • martes, agosto 14, 2007

    Una entrevista de Fernando Flores con la Revista Ercilla

    El Senador Chileno fue entrevistado por la revista Ercilla:

    Fernando Flores:

    LA CONCERTACION PERDIO LA ILUSION
    Cree que Chile no entra a la economía del siglo XXI, que requiere de innovación. Formula fuerte crítica a la educación y expresa que es senador y no inversionista.
    N° 3.325 del 30 de julio al 12 de agosto del 2007

    Después de dialogar con el senador Fernando Flores da la impresión que “le duele Chile”, porque no se adopta la modernidad, porque la educación tiene fallas profundas, porque la economía no va al ritmo del mundo moderno que ve en otras latitudes.

    A pesar que renunció al PPD, hoy no está solo en el Senado. Pero tal como lo declaró tiempo atrás, no pretende ir a la reelección. Su gran tarea es la innovación. Cuando habla de la necesidad de actuar en el mundo nuevo pone pasión en sus palabras, pero reconoce que sufre el exilio, ya que parte de su familia vive en los Estados Unidos y otra parte en Chile.

    ¿Cómo está Chile Primero?

    –La verdad es que inauguramos Chile Primero en mayo, porque hubo todo el problema de la salida del PPD en el medio. Y lo que pasa es que Chile Primero yo lo anuncié antes de mi salida del PPD. Entonces, iba a ser una cosa distinta.

    ¿Y qué es Chile Primero hoy día?

    –El Chile Primero ha sido una asociación de personas que piensa que Chile está en un mal camino en el mediano y largo plazo, que nosotros estamos entrando mal al siglo XXI, que no vamos a ser ni ricos y que vamos a ser una sociedad muy tensa y dividida, que nuestro sistema educacional está fallando y que además vivimos con la ilusión que nos va bien. Síntoma del salitre, de la época del salitre. Y entonces, la primera cosa que uno tiene que hacer en una situación de este tipo es abrirse con una tesis diferente, crear un consenso diferente que yo llamo romper la ceguera y la complacencia con la cual estamos. Yo creo que la política nueva siempre se hace con una desazón, porque si está bien te ubicas donde está lo confiable. Nosotros tenemos una desazón viniendo de la Concertación, yo creo que la Concertación hizo cosas muy buenas, pero hoy día está lamentablemente convertida en una máquina de perpetuarse en el poder de administrar y no tiene una perspectiva de un proyecto nacional, donde Chile Primero quiere hacer también una cosa a la que le vaya mejor.

    domingo, agosto 12, 2007