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Written by Raj

June 25, 2009 at 6:35 am

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Alfa Romeo – MiTo – Compact Sports Car

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Alfa Romeo


The car that will handle all Spaghetti Roads

This tough compact sports 3 door car is designed from the Alfa Romeo’s 8C Competizione` model, both built with a formula one styled face. The Italians have taken time to stylishly build the MiTo. It drives well in different conditions as it has three modes referred to as DNA – Dynamic, Normal, and All Weather- for sports fun, city agility, and lack of skidding. This car will have you impressed, amused, entertained, and enjoying!

 Alfa Romeo MiTo MultiAir

The control of the car is adjustable to suit the driver with good suspension, the interior is stylish which can also be customised to suit your style and looks – whether professional, executive or trendy, there are options for the dashboard with the colours blue and red – the car would attract a crowd in Beverley Hills.

The car is available in a manual 5 gears or manual 6 gears – the engines have been designed for lower fuel consumption and lower emissions – there is also an engine designed for younger drivers.

There are 5 metallic and 5 special colours available for what Alfa Romeo have called “the world’s sportiest compact car.” The cost of this car starts at £10,745 – and is for both the male and female driver from the young to the old. The MiTo does 0-62mph in 8.0sec – 11.8sec depending on the model – the top speeds ranges are 110mph, 112mph, 123mph, and 134mph providing music to your ears, you also have the option of a Bose` sound-system.

Safety is good on the MiTo with 7 airbags, with extra grip for the tyres, air conditioning is also standard, and there is a stylish radio – CD player with an mp3/bluetooth reader.

There is electronic locking and windows – the door handles have a built in key lock and as for the display inside there is an instrument panel which features advanced graphics showing the car’s setting information.

The rear LED lights are beautiful at night shaped circularly with a metallic frame; the lights provide good visibility and safety. The headlights are surrounded in titanium grey and are adjustable; the mirrors are the same colour of the exterior and electric heated, providing protection for the driver.

The grills on the face give the car presence and the air-intakes with inbuilt lights are strikingly stylish, typical of other Alfa models; if you want to live in the fast lane then there is the GTA model which has further air-dynamicity with more air intakes incorporated in the features of the design for further sports enjoyment.

There are also ridges and lines that emanate from the body of the car making the MiTo noticeable although being compact – the length of the car is 4.06m the width is 1.72m and the height is 1.44m with good room in the boot.

  Alfa Romeo MiTo MultiAir

The seats are wrap-around self explanatory and provide breathing for the driver, there is the option for an extremely sporty suspension with three steering wheel styles (DNA) and different types of ways the car handles and responds whilst on the road – you can select the different modes by a switch function near the gear lever – the steering wheel also responds differently as does the acceleration, the steering wheel even prompts the driver to perform the correct manoeuvre.

The MiTo is a front wheel drive and there are a range of alloy wheels and they all look stylishly compatible with the car, the sizes available are 16”, 17”, and 18”, in metallic. There is a dual exhaust and a spoiler that will say “ciao” for you as other drivers notice you overtaking.

Alfa MiTo

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:42 am

Sunlight is good for the prevention of Cancer

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Sunlight Provides Vitamin D for Healthy Bones and Prevention of Cancer!


The Independent wrote an article on the 30 May 2009 accordingly titled

“Revealed: the best protection against cancer” and used the sub-heading of

“Global study discovers astonishing power of vitamin made by the sun.”



The ‘vitamin’ that has been making headlines in The Times and The Daily Mail is one of the most researched on Worldwide, it is the Vitamin D. The Sunlight exposed to one’s skin is where most of the intake of the vitamin occurs and not from the foods we consume.



‘The Independent’ was reporting on a research study carried out on 2,570 individuals by scientists, who found that taking vitamin D supplements daily is good for the prevention of cancer (bowel and breast). The Health Editor Jeremy Laurence wrote “the vitamin could do more for cancer prevention than a library full of lifestyle advice”, the reporter went on to report that there have been research studies conducted by the Garland brothers – pioneers on Vitamin D and in 1995 “a series of papers establishing the link between breast cancer and vitamin D” was confirmed.



The reason behind the scientists’ (Dr Cedric Garland) study at D* Action Project is part of an ‘International Health Drive’ to raise the awareness of Vitamin D and allow people to boost the levels of the vitamin they intake. There are recommendations, advice and suggestions available from many of the Authorities involved in the International campaign:



  • The British Medical Journal
  • The NHS
  • The Department of Health in England
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
  • The Health Research Forum
  • The Office of Dietary Supplements
  • The BUPA Team
  • The US and Canadian Government
  • The University of California
  • The Canadian Cancer Society
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The Food Standards Agency
  • UCSD School of Medicine and Grassroots Health (Interview with Dr Garland available)   



There are many dangers in having a lack of vitamin D, evidence shows from other studies that the risk in multiple sclerosis is increased if you don’t have enough of the vitamin, it can lead to a failure of the growth of bones – (Rickets: a disease that affects the developing skeletal system of children) and osteomalacia – soft bones in adults.



The Office of Dietary Supplements states; You may need more vitamin D if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or of older age, or of Asian origin, or not having a conscious vitamin D diet; also if you rarely go outside, or are fully-clothed most of the time when you do. If you have a lack of Vitamin D you may be in danger of having too much vitamin A “which causes birth defects, liver abnormalities, reduced bone mineral density all of which may result in osteoporosis”.



Cod liver oil is a source where vitamin D can be found and if you are taking supplements of the vitamin (10micrograms daily recommended), it is advised that you use one source for intake of the vitamin.



It is important to know that toxicity can occur if you are taking supplements in high doses, whereas there is not a danger of toxicity if you have a high intake of vitamin D in your diet, unless and if you take too much cod liver oil.



If you have too much Vitamin D there are dangers of effects on different parts of the body – Kidney Stones, muscle weakness, stomach upsets, thirst, blood pressure, heart rhythm abnormalities, confusion, and can lead to problems of growth in children too much of the vitamin can also lead to vomiting, and constipation.



On a positive note if you want to prevent breast and bowel cancer as Jeremy reports (whilst reducing the risk of heart disease!) all you have to do is spend some time in the Sun. The absorption of UV rays (the darker your skin is the more difficult it is for you to make vitamin D) is good for producing vitamin D! Thus producing calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong, although be warned that too much exposure to Sunlight can lead to Sun-burn and Skin Cancer.



The Office of Dietary supplement says “excessive sun exposure does not result in vitamin D toxicity because the sustained heat on the skin is thought to photodegrade previtamin D3 and vitamin D3 as it is formed.”



You could also eat well, incorporating a healthy Vitamin D diet where the vitamin can be found in many different foods such as oily fish, eggs, beans, nuts, milk, and you can also find it in certain brands of yoghurt, orange juice, margarines and cereals.



The Food Standards Agency is also an informative source on Vitamin D and interestingly says “Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin” – You don’t need to take it everyday, because any of the vitamin your body does not need immediately is stored for future use! 



Evidently if you live in the UK the closer you get to Scotland the less vitamin D you make, whereas those closer to the Sun and nearer the equator you are, the more likely  you are to make more of the vitamin D via Sunlight exposure. If you use Sunscreen lotion then you will find the vitamins A, C, and E within these, (the four star labelled lotions are recommended) and the 8 factor sunscreen blocks out Ultra Violet rays also preventing vitamin D from generating.



This shouldn’t stop you from using Sunscreen as it is often not applied heavily or regularly and there will be areas of the skin where Sunscreen hasn’t been applied properly; The Office of Dietary Supplements reassuringly says that even though you use Sunscreens the “skin will most likely synthesises some vitamin D” depending on the strength of the Sunscreens and the way you apply them.



If you are too busy to have a healthy Vitamin diet or the Sunlight is not available due to the weather, then you could as The Independent reports take “vitamin D drops which are available from the NHS.” A healthy amount of Vitamin D will help to prevent cancer and further research is to be carried out on other benefits of the vitamin. The vitamin will be promoted continually as an agenda of the International Health Drive – (Dr Garland – “It is projected that raising the vitamin serum would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorecteral cancer each year”) – and The International Media with a view for a future that is green and healthier for society!

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:33 am

Anti-Pollution Campaign – India – Agra

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Agra’s Pollution Crackdown



‘Agra Launching an Anti-Pollution Campaign’ was reported in the Indian Online Newspaper Sindh Today, they reported that the campaign was being launched ahead of the World Environment Day – June 5th at the city of The Taj Mahal. They reported that the person in charge of the campaign is Agra Divisional Commisioner S.K. Sharma, who has to work on the problem of polluting waste water and sewage being pumped through bore holes. As Agra has so many tourists, most of whom stay in local hotels – there is a lot of travelling and this adds to the general dust and smog pollution caused by a traffic filled city.



Sindh Today quoted a monitoring committee member D.K. Joshi as saying “The Agra Development Authority has been recklessly clearing layout plans and site construction maps of colonies and complexes without bothering to investigate whether sewer line connections were available or proper waste water treatment facilities existed.”



Mr Joshi is a citizen of Agra and what the online newspaper did not report is that the committee was put in place by a governmental apex court! It seems the Agra Development Authority aren’t helping with the conservational effort by Commissioner Sharma and Mr Joshi as there are construction plans for buildings around the monument. Mr Joshi has recently said to ‘Indo Asian News’ “Instead of clearing up population clusters, the Agra Development Authority has gone on a house building spree with Taj phase one, two and now three. Instead of trees you see only concrete structures all around the Taj Mahal.”  



Positively what The Sindh did not report is that there are many other things being done to crackdown on pollution, these include battery charged golf-carts for tourists visiting what has been called ‘The monument of Love’ and re-introducing carelessly polluting monkeys to a jungle near ‘Bah’, 70 km away from the city – as locals and tourists often provide the monkeys with food adding to the pollution. The re-introduction is due to the state animal husbandry department with the support of a businessman called Mukesh Jain.



This is not the only example of food pollution, the online newspaper reported that local traders of Agra’s famous ‘petha’ (pumpkin), who make money from the tourist industry have been asked to move, this was because The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) identified more than 400 petha units in Agra which were polluting water bodies and creating air pollution by dumping petha waste just about anywhere.” Whether the local petha trade and the traders will be affected remains to be seen, and will they now start polluting in the Yamuna River where they have been moved opposite – the authorities and the government will have to find a solution.



An aim of the campaign is to preserve one of the Seven Wonders of The World which they have previously tried to preserve by using mud on The Taj Mahal called Multani mitti – Fuller’s earth; this did not work on preserving the appearance, instead causing a difference in the shades of white, clearly visible. Air pollution has been a main cause in discolouring the Taj Mahal.



An Indian website called ClickIndia.com offers a City Guide to Agra and advises politely and respectfully “Don’t scribble on the walls or spoil the monuments in any way. Do not throw litter in the parks and gardens.” It has recently been reported by IANS that “the green belt around the Taj has been made into commercial space with land allotted to hotels.” There is a lack of trees around the Taj and the saplings that were planted, did not survive. A lot more has to be done for Agra to be a pleasant and un-polluted experience for content tourists and locals; the campaign continues with a lack of monkeys and petha traders.

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:29 am

Global Warming London at Risk

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Global Warming – London at risk


Many newspapers have been reporting on Global Warming and the dangers it poses, these papers include The Telegraph, The Sun, The Independent, The Financial Times, and The Guardian. Key figures have been quoted within the media such as Lord Stern, Gordon Brown and the Mayor Boris Johnson. Prince Charles was quoted in The Sun as saying “we have many solutions to the crisis – we know about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and how to reduce deforestation.” All ways to help reduce global warming for governments; the individual person is also a key to success by being equipped with energy efficient light bulbs and conserving energy and water.



The aim of the Media’s campaign on Global Warming is to highlight the dangers of temperature rise with the risk to economy here in the UK as well as internationally and the danger of the weather to the World! The papers are influencing people to help by doing simple things such as buying eco-friendly cars that help to cut carbon emissions, which will help to hopefully stop the global warming tipping point which would as scientists and campaigners say lead to climate chaos – with dangers of flooding, droughts, heat-waves, warmer-wetter winters and other unusual weather. There is also danger of agriculture being devastated by global warming.



The Mayor of London has outlined a strategy under the Greater London Authority Act to help people live more efficiently and to help deal with stopping the World from the global warming tipping point – London was reported as being hotter than central Spain a few weeks ago by The Telegraph. The strategy includes solar panels, planting of trees, reducing water leaks, water meters, “designing new buildings and adapting old ones to minimise the need for cooling facilities.”



Mr Johnson is quoted in The Guardian  as saying “we need to concentrate efforts to slash carbon emissions and become more energy efficient in order to prevent dangerous climate change – it endangers our pre-eminence as one of the World’s leading cities.” There are 12.5 million people at risk in London from the effects of global warming; species would have to be relocated after river’s dry up. The Independent reported Lord Stern saying “much of Southern Europe would look like the Sahara – many of the major rivers of the world, serving billions of people would dry up in the dry seasons or re-route – billions of people would have to relocate as a result.” Ashok Sinha director of ‘Stop Climate Chaos Coalition’ was quoted in The Sun as saying “100 million people could become climate change refugees.”



The World is taking heed of Lord Stern’s warnings as they did in the past when many international governments were studying his report on the risks of Global Warming. The headlines recently said that Lord Stern had underestimated the effects of global warming, The Telegraph’s headline read “Lord Stern – it’s even worse than I thought”, The Independent reported not only that Polar Bears are relying on the World to counter global warming but also that Lord Stern said that the cost of not acting on global warming would mean costs of double than what he estimated, “meaning it could cost a third of the world’s wealth” and cost a lot to the world’s money and countries’ economy. Lord Stern is the World Bank’s former chief economist. The International Energy Agency has also backed Lord Stern’s estimates of costs.  


The Telegraph reported the lowest of temperature rises, reporting on research done by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – “In Wales, predicted temperature rises of up to 2.9˚C by 2080.” The FT reported on a report done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the body of the world’s leading climate change scientists convened by the United Nations – “it predicted a temperature rise of 3˚C within the next 100 years with catastrophic consequences for the planet, unless greenhouse gas emissions were stabilised and then cut within the next decade.”


The Financial Times reported that “Lord Stern has come under attack from economists and climate change sceptics since his report, which some sceptics regard as scaremongering.” Many newspapers reported on Lord Stern’s estimates of dangerous temperature rises from 3˚C to 4˚C, 5˚C, 6˚C and even 7˚C by the end of the 21st century. The Independent reported interesting facts that humans have been around for 100,000 years and that temperature rises of 5˚C has not been seen for 30-50 million years and “we haven’t seen 3˚C for a few million years, and we don’t know what that looks like either.”


In December a major UN meeting will be held to work on a new climate treaty such as the Kyoto Protocol climate treaty in an attempt to tackle global warming – the media and campaigners will be important in pressuring governments into abiding by the treaty as they have done by criticising Japan last week. It is predicted that the Sun will die in approximately 5 billion years.

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:26 am

People and Child Trafficking

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Countering Trafficking Worldwide and Child Trafficking 

India is a country which has many children and people who need to be saved from trafficking, the politicians are criticised by much of the people and media for not doing enough for the poor and vulnerable in states such as Bihar and Delhi.

Statistics suggest that 300 million children from the ages of 0-14 make up a little more than one third of India’s population.

Raids take place 3-4 times a month as reported by The Guardian with Police officers often getting injured; the government has tried to counter the trafficking with laws such as ‘The immoral Trafic Prevention Act’ which refers to trafficking for prostitution, as for the protection of Children – there’s the new Juvenille Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act implemented since 2000 and anyone under the age of eighteen is considered as a child.

 India also has the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act. With money being spent on free education programmes for the poor and ensuring that the best interests of the child is being served with people to watch over them and their progress. 

America and the United Nations are also participating in counter-acting trafficking, the UN has a convention ‘against Trans-national Organised Crime’ (the Palermo Protocol) that India is implementing with aims of prevention, suppressing and punishing traffickers although they are still to ratify it.  India have been advertising about Child Trafficking and also warning people departing the country about exploitation.

America has defined trafficking and has been producing reports called Traffic in Persons on 170 countries and their efforts in combating trafficking. They have provided a definition for trafficking with a table which one of the criteria’s has to be met from each section to have a case defined as trafficking: Section 1 Process: Recruitment / Transportation / Transferring / Harboring / or Receiving. Section 2 Way/Means: Threat / Coercion / Abduction / Fraud / Deceit / Abuse of Power / or Deception. Section 3 Goal: Exploitation (violent or sexual) / Prostitution / Pornography / Forced Labour / Involuntary servitude / Debt bondage (with unfair wages) / or Slavery (similar practices). 

America have different tiers of requirements to be met with such as how well countries are doing in terms of trafficking, they are then placed under Tier1, Tier2, Tier2 watch list (which is what India is under) and Tier3 (where the US can put certain types of trade sanctions on countries as they are not doing enough to counter trafficking). The report has many recommendations for India – one of them being to “improve central and state government implementation of protection programs and compensation schemes – to ensure trafficking victims receive benefits to which they are entitled under national and state law.”

The report also gives an example of an Indian child who was trafficked and her unfortunate and shocking experience – “Ten year-old Shanti from Ajmer, Rajasthan was trafficked to New Delhi, with seven children from her village, when she was seven years old. She was forced to beg from eight in the morning until 11 in the evening, to tear her clothes and to avoid bathing for months. She was given only one meal a day so that she would look thin and malnourished and elicit more money from the passers-by. She and 12 other children showing signs of physical abuse were rescued in a raid.”

The BBC have reported that of “the eight million children the International Labour Organisation estimates are involved in forced labour worldwide, more than a million have been trafficked, many of them in India.”

India’s monthly raids often find 200-300 children, they are trafficked inside and outside the country, some of the children are made to deal drugs, the traffickers recruit from poor states under the shocking title of employment agencies, some children are placed in countries and states where they are worked up to 12-13 hours and where they don’t speak the language. They often don’t have food to eat, the traffickers promise the children money and the parents often think that their children will be able to provide not only for themselves but also for their families – this is sadly not the case as the children often don’t get paid (in such an abhorrent yet lucrative trade) and are forced to starve and live in worse conditions from where they lived. They are often exposed to abuse sexual and violent, internationally and nationally.

An example of International awareness growing was in the form of the film Slum-dog millionaire which also highlighted not only the conditions that children live in but also their vulnerability; The News of The World was under the limelight after it ran a story about one of the child stars of the film willing to be sold by her Father – which was contested and the Police later dropped the case – the Editors said there was an aim to highlight the danger of children being trafficked.  

India now need to get themselves of the watch list with the help of politicians with new laws and legislation and improved conditions for children with educational help. Issues of child protection and child trafficking are far from the agenda and have to be on the agenda for them to successfully stop trafficking. There are many people and children who live in impoverished conditions and the government has to help to protect and improve their plight. The traffickers have to be targeted and people/children have to be seen as respected, equal and important providing them with support and making a better future for India’s families.

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:23 am

The Crossfire is a misfire within the Sports Coupe` Scene

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Chrysler Crossfire Coupe

This Crossfire costs £27,000+ for a manual (6 speed) version and an automatic (5 speed) costs £28,000, although and straight to the point you would be better off buying a Mercedes SLK which costs between (£29,445.00 – £51,585.00 – varying on the model), as in essence The Crossfire is based on the SLK.

The car is a cross-breed with an American badge, Germans putting it together and an Englishman called Andrew Dyson designing the car.

The car is made up of 39% of Mercedes components and a positive is that it has the SLK’s 3.2 litre V6 (18 valve – 275bhp) which gives the car a racy feel to add to its racy look. The engine (if you put your foot down fully on the pedal) produces 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds with a maximum speed of 150mph and the capacity to produce 4,000 rpm and a Torque of 229 lb-ft.

The car is smoother than the SLK in gear shifts and the quality of the engine provides the car with the pick-up needed for respectful motorway driving. The fuel economy happens to be the same as the SLK and similar to the SLK this is a car for both sexes as it is fun and entertaining in its looks and style, whilst being well built. Everyone looks good in one!

The car is not built for the cross-country scene, you’ll feel every bump and hole with this car, as its low-seated, yet the road handling is good, with the difference in the alloyed tyres 18” on the front and 19” on the rear giving excellent grip to the road. The chassis is known to be solid, it seems more work needs to be done on improving the suspension. The Crossfire is beautiful at cornering with the help of the automatic spoiler, and the noise produced by the sound system, the exhaust and the engine are unique!

2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 Full Rear View This is the lates Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 – without an Automatic Spoiler – yet has the same Dual exhausts!

My favourite is that it looks good from the front and rear and has stylised lines in the form of ridges/rippled lines starting from the front wheel arches to the rear; the car also has a wonderful grill that takes in a lot of air to keep the car cool. The Bonnet has a bunch of lines which give the car an overall vintage look – due to its extended boldly shaped rear – and the front is modern like the SLK.

The interior has a space-taking spinal theme incorporating the climate control and radio with an aluminium look for the knobs and buttons yet the car still seems spacious! There is a danger of easy scratching on the shiny touches that make up the centre console. The visibility is poor due to low seating and lack of window from the rear, making parking difficult; this is the beginning of the faults and there are many others. Problems have been reported with the headlights and heated seats, and that the steering wheel has a tendency to wonder off centre.

The crossfire costs more than its competition the Mazda RX8 and the Nissan 305Z and is valued at less. It has to be said that the SLK and the Audi TT (£25,420) look better. The Crossfire has a limited appeal with a niche` audience for people who primarily love the way it looks.

A plus is that the safety features are good, it has a 4 wheel anti-lock braking system, anti-lock brake discs with brake assist, traction and stability control, side airbags, and an alarm system, with a reputation for being built solidly.

The car should hold on to its value as it has limited appeal; there is plenty of room in the boot, and for passengers. It also has automatic windows and locks. If you wanted to spend more on your car you could opt for the DVD-Sat-Nav system, and automatic adjustable seats.

Overall the car has its Positives and Negatives, you are advised to do your research on experiences’ owners have had with this car, as you may find complications down the road. Mentioning the green factor this car’s CO2 outputs is 256g/km – compared and contrasted with the SLK models’ (190g/km 225g/km and 288g/km) – take into consideration it’s a Sports car!

Written by Raj

June 9, 2009 at 12:45 am

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