But the Obvious!

Archive for July, 2008

Do you look older than you should?

Posted by Irus on July 29, 2008

A few simple changes can help take years off your appearance. High-school reunions can be a shock. Everyone attending is about the same age, so why do some classmates look amazingly young while others look at least a decade older than the rest?Genes play a significant role, of course. Grandma Esther’s smooth, wrinkle-free skin may have been passed down to future generations, along with Uncle Jake’s slim physique. But other factors can also have a profound influence on how gracefully you age. Here are the things that Add years to your Looks: None one can turn back time, but you can avoid these common offenders that can make you look old before your time. Unhealthy weight. In addition to increasing your risk for diabetes and heart disease, extra pounds can add years to your appearance. On the flip side, being too thin is not becoming (or healthy) either. Stick to a regular exercise routine, which is good for your heart as well as your skin; increased circulation can promote a fresher-looking face. • Lack of sleep. Not getting enough z’s can contribute to puffy facial skin, as well as dark circles and bloodshot eyes. Being perpetually overtired can also lead to an increased risk of heart problems. • Smoking. We all know that smoking is damaging to our lungs and other organs. But it’s also extremely hard on the skin. Smoking slows blood flow in the face, and the sucking motion made while inhaling produces vertical lines around the lips. Kicking the habit now will improve your overall health, both inside and out • Too much sun. Few things age a person’s appearance as much as rough, leathery skin due to tanning. Instead of looking healthy, it’s often lined and spotted. Plus, it can increase your risk for developing skin cancer. It’s not too late to reverse the trend, though. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day, and stay out of direct sunlight. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harsh rays and to prevent wrinkles that come from squinting. • Excessive makeup. As one ages, less makeup is almost always better than more. Heavy foundation can settle into wrinkles, and shiny or brightly colored eye shadow can emphasize lines around the eyes. Many department-store cosmetic counters offer free makeup consultations to help you try out a new look. Focus on highlighting a single feature, such as large eyes or full lips. • Outdated hairstyle. Stuck in a time warp when it comes to your ‘do? Some women keep the same hairstyle year after year, which can be very dating. Consult with a hairstylist about updating yours to a more modern look. In addition, hair coloring can do wonders when it comes to looking younger. • Inappropriate clothing. Age-appropriate clothing doesn’t have to mean housedresses and “sensible” shoes. There are a variety of comfortable, attractive fashions for people of all ages. Accentuate your best features, such as long legs or a swanlike neck. Color can also make a big difference in clothes. Don’t be afraid to add rich tones to your wardrobe. • Bad posture. As your mother always said, stand up straight. Good posture is not only beneficial to your body; it also makes you look taller and slimmer. What’s more, good posture can convey self-confidence, which may just be the best accessory you can have.

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Posted in age, looking younger, older look | 2 Comments »

UPSC selection process – reservations.

Posted by Irus on July 17, 2008

The UPSC system of selection is a good balance of merit and affirmative action.

What i feel is needed is

Firstly, a clarity on the definition of General/Open Category seats.

Available here refers to giving a choice to candidates at the beginning of the application process

and

Given here refers to the end of selection process where the final list is prepared

should these “open-seats” be “available”+”given” to everyone including reserved category? (As the standard of performance of Reserved candidates goes up continuously “giving” seats will lead eventually to zero selections from general category as they have no quota once we use the definition that “General seats” as “given” to “ALL”) Which is double reservation.

OR

Whether these “open seats” should be “available” to those who mention their category as “General” in their forms from the beginning (As these seats are already “available” to everyone while applying. these should not be “given” to “everyone” once the reserved candidate has forfeited his right of applying in the seats already “available” to all)

and

Secondly, the question of responsibility of state.

Is it to “enable” the backward category to be able to compete for jobs on the same footing as with general via reservations in higher education?

OR

giving reservation in higher education and jobs both? which is double reservation and dilution of the concept of “equality of opportunity”.

Personal Verdict

1. General category should be open to only those who apply as general since the option to apply as general is available to all

2. Reservation benefit should be available at one point, either jobs OR in higher education at the discretion of the candidate, NOT both.

Posted in affirmative action, reservation, selection process, upsc | 30 Comments »

Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen!

Posted by Irus on July 6, 2008

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Sicko

Posted by Irus on July 3, 2008

I’ve been watching dozens movies this last month. This movie just takes the cake. It has been designated a Critic’s Pick by the film reviewers of The Times.

Sicko

Weinstein Company

Michael Moore heads to Paris to explore universal health care in the documentary “Sicko.”

June 22, 2007

By A. O. SCOTT

Published: June 22, 2007

It has become a journalistic cliché and therefore an inevitable part of the prerelease discussion of “Sicko” to refer to Michael Moore as a controversial, polarizing figure. While that description is not necessarily wrong, it strikes me as self-fulfilling (since the controversy usually originates in media reports on how controversial Mr. Moore is) and trivial. Any filmmaker, politically outspoken or not, whose work is worth discussing will be argued about. But in Mr. Moore’s case the arguments are more often about him than about the subjects of his movies.

Some of this is undoubtedly his fault, or at least a byproduct of his style. His regular-guy, happy-warrior personality plays a large part in the movies and in their publicity campaigns, and he has no use for neutrality, balance or objectivity. More than that, his polemical, left-populist manner seems calculated to drive guardians of conventional wisdom bananas. That is because conventional wisdom seems to hold, against much available evidence, that liberalism is an elite ideology, and that the authentic vox populi always comes from the right. Mr. Moore, therefore, must be an oxymoron or a hypocrite of some kind.

So the table has been set for a big brouhaha over “Sicko,” which contends that the American system of private medical insurance is a disaster, and that a state-run system, such as exists nearly everywhere else in the industrialized world, would be better. This argument is illustrated with anecdotes and statistics — terrible stories about Americans denied medical care or forced into bankruptcy to pay for it; grim actuarial data about life expectancy and infant mortality; damning tallies of dollars donated to political campaigns — but it is grounded in a basic philosophical assumption about the proper relationship between a government and its citizens.

Mr. Moore has hardly been shy about sharing his political beliefs, but he has never before made a film that stated his bedrock ideological principles so clearly and accessibly. His earlier films have been morality tales, populated by victims and villains, with himself as the dogged go-between, nodding in sympathy with the downtrodden and then marching off to beard the bad guys in their dens of power and privilege. This method can pay off in prankish comedy or emotional intensity — like any showman, Mr. Moore wants you to laugh and cry — but it can also feel manipulative and simplistic.

In “Sicko,” however, he refrains from hunting down the C.E.O.’s of insurance companies, or from hinting at dark conspiracies against the sick. Concentrating on Americans who have insurance (after a witty, troubling acknowledgment of the millions who don’t), Mr. Moore talks to people who have been ensnared, sometimes fatally, in a for-profit bureaucracy and also to people who have made their livings within the system. The testimony is poignant and also infuriating, and none of it is likely to be surprising to anyone, Republican or Democrat, who has tried to see an out-of-plan specialist or dispute a payment.

If you listen to what the leaders of both political parties are saying, it seems unlikely that the diagnosis offered by “Sicko” will be contested. I haven’t heard many speeches lately boasting about how well our health care system works. In this sense “Sicko” is the least controversial and most broadly appealing of Mr. Moore’s movies. (It is also, perhaps improbably, the funniest and the most tightly edited.) The argument it inspires will mainly be about the nature of the cure, and it is here that Mr. Moore’s contribution will be most provocative and also, therefore, most useful.

“Sicko” is not a fine-grained analysis of policy alternatives. (You can find some of those in a recently published book called “Sick,” by Jonathan Cohn, and also in the wonkier precincts of the political blogosphere.) This film presents, instead, a simple compare-and-contrast exercise. Here is our way, and here is another way, variously applied in Canada, France, Britain and yes, Cuba. The salient difference is that, in those countries, where much of the second half of “Sicko” takes place, the state provides free medical care.

With evident glee (and a bit of theatrical faux-naïveté) Mr. Moore sets out to challenge some widely held American notions about socialized medicine. He finds that British doctors are happy and well paid, that Canadians don’t have to wait very long in emergency rooms, and that the French are not taxed into penury. “What’s your biggest expense after the house and the car?” he asks an upper-middle-class French couple. “Ze feesh,” replies the wife. “Also vegetables.”

Yes, the utopian picture of France in “Sicko” may be overstated, but show me the filmmaker — especially a two-time Cannes prizewinner — who isn’t a Francophile of one kind or another. Mr. Moore’s funny valentine to a country where the government will send someone to a new mother’s house to do laundry and make carrot soup turns out to be as central to his purpose as his chat with Tony Benn, an old lion of Old Labor in Britain. Mr. Benn reads from a pamphlet announcing the creation of the British National Health Service in 1948, and explains it not as an instance of state paternalism but as a triumph of democracy.

More precisely, of social democracy, a phrase that has long seemed foreign to the American political lexicon. Why this has been so is the subject of much scholarship and speculation, but Mr. Moore is less interested in tracing the history of American exceptionalism than in opposing it. He wants us to be more like everybody else. When he plaintively asks, “Who are we?,” he is not really wondering why our traditions of neighborliness and generosity have not found political expression in an expansive system of social welfare. He is insisting that such a system should exist, and also, rather ingeniously, daring his critics to explain why it shouldn’t.

SICKO

Opens today in Manhattan.

Written and directed by Michael Moore; edited by Christopher Seward, Dan Sweitlik and Geoffrey Richman; produced by Mr. Moore and Meghan O’Hara; released by Lionsgate and the Weinstein Company. At the Lincoln Square, 1998 Broadway, at 68th Street. Running time: 123 minutes.

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