Saturday, July 17, 2010

25 Funniest Analogies (Collected by High School English Teachers)

25 Funniest Analogies (Collected by High School English Teachers)

Every year, English teachers from across the U.S. can submit their collections of actual similes and metaphors found in high school essays. Here are last year’s winners:

  1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had it’s two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.
  5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  7. He was as tall as a six foot, three inch tree.
  8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
  9. The little boat drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
  10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup.
  11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality to it, like when you’re on vacation in another city and “Jeopardy” comes on at 7 PM instead of 7:30.
  12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  13. The hailstones leaped form the pavement, just like grubs when you fry them in hot grease.
  14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 PM traveling 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 PM at a speed of 35 mph.
  15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
  16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who also had never met.
  17. He fell for her like he was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
  18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.
  19. Shots rang out, as shots are known to do.
  20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  22. He was lame as a duck. Not a metaphorical duck, either but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.
  23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
  25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NHS money 'wasted' on homeopathy

Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Monday, 22 February 2010

The NHS should stop funding homeopathy, MPs say.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said using public money on the highly-diluted remedies could not be justified.

The cross-party group said there was no evidence beyond a placebo effect, when a patient gets better because of their belief that the treatment works.

But manufacturers and supporters of homeopathy disputed the report, saying the MPs had ignored important evidence.

It is thought about £4m a year is spent on homeopathy by the NHS, helping to fund four homeopathic hospitals in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow and numerous prescriptions.

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of treatment that uses highly diluted substances - sometimes so none of the original product is left - that are given orally in the belief that it will stimulate the body's self-healing mechanism.

Homeopathy involves giving people very dilute amounts of a substance that in larger amounts might produce symptoms similar to the condition being treated
For example, one remedy which might be used in a person suffering from insomnia is coffea, a remedy made from coffee

Supporters believe the remedies help relieve a range of minor ailments from bruising and swelling to constipation and insomnia.

But the MPs said homeopathy was basically sugar pills that only worked because of faith.

In medicine it is recognised that some people will get better because they believe the treatment they take is going to work.

The MPs said the NHS should not fund treatments on this basis.

They argued the effectiveness was often unpredictable and involved a deception by the medical establishment.

They also warned it could lead to a delay in diagnosis if symptoms were cured but the underlying reason for them was not tackled.

The MPs also criticised the drugs regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, for allowing medical claims to be made.

The bar for licensing for homeopathic remedies is not set as high as for medical treatments, partly because they have been used since the NHS was set up in 1948 before the current system of regulation was brought in.

Committee chairman Phil Willis said this approval and the fact they were funded by the NHS in the first place lent the remedies "a badge of authority that is unjustified".

But the report acknowledged there was a public appetite for homeopathy with surveys showing satisfaction rates of above 70%.

But the report was disowned by one of the committee's MPs. Labour's Ian Stewart said he was dissenting from the report because the MPs had refused to take into account that homeopathy worked for some people and he also said he was concerned by the "balance of witnesses".


Paul Bennett, superintendent pharmacist at Boots, on homeopathy

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the government would give a full response to the report in the coming months.

But she added: "In the meantime we would reiterate that we appreciate the strength of feeling both for and against the provision of homeopathy on the NHS.

"Our view is that the local NHS and clinicians, rather than Whitehall, are best placed to make decisions on what treatment is appropriate for their patients - this includes complementary or alternative treatments such as homeopathy."

Robert Wilson, of the British Association of Homeopathic Manufacturers, said he was "disappointed" by the findings.

He said the MPs had ignored evidence that homeopathy was effective.

"There is good evidence that homeopathy works, for example in animals and babies, neither of which experience placebo effects."

And Dr Michael Dixon, medical director for the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health, set up by Prince Charles to promote complementary medicine, disputed the findings, saying homeopathy still had a role in the NHS.

"We should not abandon patients we cannot help with conventional scientific medicine.

"If homeopathy is getting results for those patients, then of course we should continue to use it."

The British Medical Association said it was concerned about NHS funds being used on homeopathy and called for an official review into its effectiveness.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Happy moments 'protect the heart'

Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Happy moments 'protect the heart'
Man laughing
Happiness was more commonly linked to leisure, rather than work
Every moment of happiness counts when it comes to protecting your heart, researchers have said.

A team from University College London said happiness leads to lower levels of stress-inducing chemicals.

They found that even when happier people experienced stress, they had low levels of a chemical which increases the risk of heart disease.

The research is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This shows that people who are happy and unstressed are likely to have less potentially dangerous stress chemicals in their bodies
Professor Peter Weissberg, British Heart Foundation

It showed that those who were happy less often had higher levels of a bloodstream chemical called plasma fibrinogen, which shows if there is inflammation present.

It is an indicator of how great a risk a person has of developing heart disease in the future.

Daily happiness

Researchers tested 116 men and 100 women who were taking part in a major study of thousands of London-based civil servants recruited between 1985 and 1988 when 35-55 years old to investigate the risk factors for coronary heart disease.

They carried out tests on people at work, during leisure periods and in the laboratory.

People were also asked whether or not they were happy at 33 moments during the day.

The researchers then evaluated how often people were happy in the course of the day.

Leisure was, unsurprisingly, linked with more happy moments than work.

It was found that some people reported they never felt happy, while others reported feeling occasional happiness and those who felt happy most of the time.

The results were adjusted for gender, age, employment status, weight, smoking habits and psychological distress.

Levels of cortisol - a stress hormone - were 32% lower in people who reported more happy moments.

Cortisol has been related to abdominal obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune disorders.

The researchers also discovered happy people have had lower levels of fibrinogen when they were stressed.

Emotional state

Professor Jane Wardle, who worked on the study, said: "All the research to date has been on unhappiness, rather than happiness.

"This research suggests we should aim to maximise the happiness of the population."

Professor Andrew Steptoe, who led the study, said: "It has been suspected for the last few years that happier people may be healthier both mentally and physically than less happy people.

"What this study shows is that there are plausible biological pathways linking happiness with health."

He added: "What we find particularly interesting is that the associations between happiness and biological responses were independent of psychological distress.

"We already know that depression and anxiety are related to increased physical health risk. This study raises the intriguing possibility that the effect of happiness may be somewhat separate."

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation said: "The results of this study build upon this team's work, which we are delighted to have supported.

"Evidence that emotional state is important for good heart health is growing and this shows that people who are happy and unstressed are likely to have less potentially dangerous stress chemicals in their bodies."