Categories
From The Editors Travel

Ten of the World’s Most Spectacular Infinity Pools

It will be a difficult proposition today to find somebody who doesn’t’ know what an infinity pool is but just for the benefit of the uninformed, who, I am sure, are few and far between, an infinity pool is designed in a way that gives you the visual impression of a “vanishing edge” – as if the edge of the pool is merged with a larger body of water like an ocean or a lake, or even with the sky. They are also known as negative edge, zero edge, or disappearing edge pools.

Designing infinity pools involves extensive structural, mechanical, and architectural detailing making them very expensive indeed – hence, you are unlikely to come across a privately owned infinity pool in a hurry – not that there aren’t any. However, they are a common feature at fancy resorts, luxury hotels, and other places of that ilk.

We have identified 10 of the world’s most stunningly picturesque infinity pools with breathtaking backdrops for you to choose from for your next vacation.

The Grace Santorini – Santorini, Greece

.

Located in Imerovigli, The Grace Santorini is within 2 kilometers of Skaros Rock and Archaeological Museum while the Museum of Prehistoric Thira is 2.3 kilometers away.

In addition to 21 deluxe rooms, a restaurant, a 24/7 fitness center, free Wi-fi in public areas, free breakfast, and spa services the hotel also boasts the island’s largest infinity pool with
just 14 loungers which give you an idea of the exclusivity on offer at this property.

Alila Ubud Hotel – Bali, Indonesia

.

Set upon a limestone cliff, overlooking the ocean in Bali, Alila Ubud Hotel is located 8 kilometers from Garuda Wisnu Kencana and 10 kilometers from Jimbaran Bay.

The hotel features three on-site dining options, a day spa with five treatment villas, a 24/7 fitness center, a private pool and cabana with each of the 64 open-plan villas and last but not at all the least is the huge infinity pool with an awesome view.

Lake Manyara Serena Lodge – Tanzania, Africa

.

The Lake Manyara Serena Lodge is situated on a lake less than 2 kilometers from Lake Manyara National Park and 23 kilometers from Karatu Playground.

A 67-room property the Lodge’s main features are a restaurant, a conference center, spa services and most importantly a world class infinity pool with a poolside bar.

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort – St. Maarten

.

Nestled on the beach, this Philipsburg resort is a 5-minute walk from Little Bay Beach and Fort Amsterdam. Cyrus Wathey Square and Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit are within a 3- kilometre-range.

The resort boasts 210 rooms with jetted tubs, furnished balconies or patios, pillowtop beds, DVD players, full-service spa, 3 fine restaurants, and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. And of course, the focus of our interest – a great infinity pool that seems to merge with the aquamarine waters beyond.

Ubud Hanging Gardens – Bali, Indonesia

.

The Ubud hotel is located on the Riverwalk, about 5 kilometers from the Sangeh Monkey Forest while the Ubud Monkey Forest, the Ubud Traditional Art Market, Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest and Gaya Art Space are all in 15-kilometers range.

All 44 rooms boast private pools and deep soaking tubs, free Wi-Fi, free wired internet, LED TVs with cable channels, balconies, sitting areas, and refrigerators.

The hotel also features a full-service spa, a restaurant, and an infinity pool that will steal your breath in addition to free cooked-to-order breakfast, free Wi-Fi in public areas, free valet parking, and a free area shuttle.

Other amenities include a bar/lounge, a coffee shop/café, and massage/treatment rooms.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino – Singapore

.

Located in the Marina Bay area, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk from Marina Bay Sands Skypark and the Singapore Flyer. Esplanade theaters and Raffles Place are at a distance of under 2 kilometers.

Hotel features include a full-service spa, a restaurant, and a fitness center. Other amenities include a bar/lounge, a business center and meeting rooms and not to forget the ubiquitous infinity pool with a mind-blowing view of the Singapore skyline.

Jade Mountain Resort – St. Lucia, The Caribbeans (Where All Rooms Have Infinity Pools)

.

Set on a lush mountainside with a view of the sea, this upscale resort is a tribute to St. Lucia’s stunning scenic beauty. It is just a minute’s walk from the St. Lucia Anse Chastanet Beach. Diving at Turtle Reef is 3 kilometers away while Castries is at a 40-kilometer distance.

In addition to private infinity pools with each room, the hotel also features a large common infinity pool with a poolside bar.

Kandalama Hotel – Dambulla, Sri Lanka

.

Located by a lake, this family-friendly hotel is located within 15 kilometers of the Golden Temple, the Dambulla Cave Temple, and the Dambulla Produce Market. The Royal Rock Temple and the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium are within the 15-kilometer-ranghe.

All 152 rooms are equipped with refrigerators and coffee makers and come with free Wi-fi and LED TVs with satellite channels.

The hotel also features 4 restaurants, a full-service spa, free Wi-Fi in public areas, free self-parking, fitness center, bar/lounge, and a coffee shop/ café and above all an awesome infinity pool offering a great view.

Sheraton Waikiki – Hawaii

.

The oceanfront Sheraton Waikiki is just steps away from a private stretch of the famous Waikiki Beach.

The luxurious guest rooms at the Sheraton Waikiki open onto furnished lanais with 80% of the rooms with an oceanfront view.

The resort features live Polynesian music and dance show once a week, a unique “super pool” and an “adults only” infinity pool that will blow your mind away.

Hotel Villa Mahal (Adults Only) – Kalkan, Turkey

.

Located in Kalkan, this hotel is just over 3 kilometers from the Kalkan Bazaar and within 20 kilometers of the Kaputas Beach and Hadrian’s Granary. The Patara Ruins and the Arch of Modestus are within a 20-kilometer-range.

All 13 rooms come with espresso makers, bathrobes, free Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service. Other amenities include minibars, electric kettles, and free bottled water.

The hotel also features a private beach, a restaurant, free buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi in public areas, free self-parking, 2 bars/lounges, a beach bar and an onsite snack bar/deli PLUS a great infinity pool.

Categories
From The Editors Politics

Qatar Diplomatic Crisis Resonates Across the Gulf

On June 5, 2017, the Qatar diplomatic crisis saw Saudi Arabia and its allies namely Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt sever diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar accusing the peninsula nation of supporting and funding terrorist organizations in cahoots with Iran.

Libya, Yemen, and Maldives also joined the fray cutting off all diplomatic ties and banning the country’s state-owned carrier, Qatar Airways, from entering their airspace.

This latest move, coming barely two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia where he vowed to improve ties with Riyadh and Cairo to fight terrorism and restrain Iran, has thrown the already turbulent region into further chaos and uncertainty.

Saudi Arabia and its allies said they would close down all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, throw out its diplomats and expel Qatari citizens from the Gulf States within 14 days.

The countries involved in the ban have also denied Qatar Airways access to their airspace which is expected to affect the airline adversely – especially the airspace restrictions put in place by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia while Etihad Airways, Emirates, and Flydubai, canceled all flights to and from Doha effective Tuesday.

The kingdom nation has justified its rather drastic action citing Qatar’s inclination to support “various terrorist and sectarian groups” like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Islamic State and other militant organizations backed by Iran “aimed at destabilizing the region.”

Saudi Arabia’s state news agency stated that the decision to cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar was primarily to “protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” The statement confirmed that all ports of entry between the two countries would be closed.

“Funding and hosting” the Muslim Brotherhood, an almost 100-year-old Islamist group deemed a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and its allies, is the reason given by the UAE for its decision to sever ties with Qatar.

It also stated that Qatar’s “ongoing policies that rattle the security and sovereignty of the region as well as its manipulation and evasion of its commitments and treaties”, have been instrumental in UAE’s decision to boycott the gas-rich state.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has blamed Qatar of adopting an “antagonist approach” toward Cairo stating that all efforts to stop it from providing support to terrorist organizations have been an exercise in futility.

Qatar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, however, has denied all accusations and allegations made by the seven countries involved in the sanctions against it saying there was “no legitimate justification” for the extreme decision and asserted that Qataris would not be affected by it.

The Qatar foreign ministry in an online statement posted in Arabic stated “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar expressed its deep regret and surprise at the decisions by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace, and sever diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar, bearing in mind that these measures are unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.”

“That reasons were fabricated in order to take action against a brotherly GCC nation is clear evidence that there is no legitimate justification for such measures, which have been implemented in coordination with Egypt,” it said.

“…..these measures will not affect the normal course of the life of citizens and residents of Qatar. The Qatari government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and thwart attempts to influence and harm Qatari society and economy,” said the online statement.

Following the embargo announcement, panicked shopping was witnessed in the Qatari capital of Doha, amid apprehensions that there was a possibility of acute food shortage resulting from Saudi Arabia closing its land border with Qatar – it must be mentioned that the peninsula nation is dependent on Saudi Arabia for about 40% of its food requirements.

Despite assurances from Qatar’s foreign ministry that the border closing would not affect normal life, people made a dash for the supermarkets to stock up on essentials like rice, water, milk, and meat. Photographs of cleaned-out supermarket shelves were soon doing the rounds on social media.

The QDC (Qatar Diplomatic Crisis) could well prove to be an embarrassment for the small gas-rich state which is gearing up for the prestigious Fifa World Cup it is due to host in 2022.

The preparation for the tournament involving multi-billion dollar stadia and infrastructure development is certainly threatened, if not jeopardized, with the current state of affairs and is sure to be a major cause for worry for the organizers of the tournament.

Not to forget, Qatar is host to the largest U.S. airbase in the Middle East and the current crisis has the potential to affect the base activities and functionality causing the Qatar government even more discomfiture.

However, the presence of a strategic U.S. airbase in the oil-rich peninsula did not deter POTUS from shooting off a series of tweets in support of the action against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies.

“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off,” he tweeted about his recent visit to Riyadh.

“They said they would take a hard line on funding… extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”

However, later Tuesday, not too long after the tweets lauding the move against Qatar, President Donald Trump appealed for Gulf unity during a telephone conversation with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

A Whitehouse statement regarding the call said that “the two leaders discussed the critical goals of preventing the financing of terrorist organizations and eliminating the promotion of extremism by any nation in the region.”

“The president underscored that a United Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability,” said the Whitehouse statement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was critical of the ban imposed on Qatar and pledged to continue maintaining and developing ties with the energy-rich state.

He was all praise for Doha’s “cool-headedness” and “constructive approach” in handling the sudden crisis to have befallen the nation.

Jordan, after assessing the Qatar crisis and the causes that led to it, is relegating its diplomatic representation and withdrawing licenses for the Amman bureau of Al-Jazeera, the Doha-based TV news channel.

The West African state of Mauritania has also voiced its support for the Riyadh initiative emphasizing that Qatar has been backing terrorist groups and has “promoted chaos in many Arab countries.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has shown his willingness to support “all initiatives to encourage calm.”

While Qatar is open to talks, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir feels that it is imperative the Gulf nation “change their policies” and stop supporting “extremist groups”.

Fearing major travel snafus, International Air Transport Association has appealed to the states that have initiated the ban against Qatar to resume air links with the country.

According to Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, the Australian government does not intend to take any action against Qatar or their national carrier, Qatar Airways.

“We encourage leaders in the Gulf to maintain dialogue to repair ties as soon as possible and we welcome any efforts to mediate a resolution,” said the minister.

“Australia maintains good relations with all member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Qatar,” she added.

Categories
From The Editors Travel

10 Most Powerful Passports in 2017

Travelling can be a ministerial nightmare for those on restricted passports. Whether citizens are able to flash their passport and breeze past customs or if it’s easy to get a visa upon arrival, every single country’s passport has its own unique set of regulations.

The ranking by Henley & Partners, a citizenship, and planning firm has updated the Passport Index, the popular global ranking of the world’s passports.

For the third year in a row, the German passport is the most powerful in the world, giving its citizens the freedom to travel to 176 countries without visas.

German citizens can visit 176 countries without a visa
German citizens can visit 176 countries without a visa

Sweden also remains static in second place with 175 countries, and Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain and the US jointly rank third, with their nationals enjoying access to 174 countries without a visa.

The UK, has slipped down yet another position this year to fourth, having shared first place with Germany for three consecutive years from 2013–2015.

Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley and Partners, says “We have witnessed several major events recently that are likely to have an impact on global mobility — including Brexit and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. Both can be interpreted as steps toward restricting movement and creating barriers to entry,”

While the world’s least desirable passport goes again to Afghanistan, with a score of just 23.  Pakistan (26), Sri Lanka (35), and India (46) highlight the continued lack of access for South Asian passports.

Only three Asian countries—South Korea, Japan, and Singapore—made it into the top 10. China, for all its economic clout and intrepid citizens, ranked 85th, far behind Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Here are the countries scored within the top 10 from the Visa Restriction Index:

Rank Country Score
1 Germany 176
2 Sweden 175
3 Denmark 174
Finland 174
Italy 174
Spain 174
U.S. 174
4 Austria 173
Belgium 173
France 173
Luxembourg 173
Netherlands 173
Norway 173
Singapore 173
U.K. 173
5 Ireland (Republic of) 172
Japan 172
New Zealand 172
6 Croatia 171
Greece 171
Portugal 171
Switzerland 171
7 Australia 170
Korea (Republic of, South) 170
8 Iceland 169
9 The Czech Republic 168
10 Hungary 167

 

Categories
From The Editors Technology

Bio-terrorism Could Spell Our Doom Warns Bill Gates

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Bill Gates alerted world leaders to the clear and present danger of bio-terrorism, looming large, that could well wipe out 30 million people on the planet. Making nuclear weapons was a bigger deal than creating a genetically engineered virus, Gates said.

“We also face a new threat, the next epidemic has a good chance [of] originating on a computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus or a contagious, and highly deadly strain of flu,” he stated.

The Microsoft billionaire went on to say that according to epidemiologists any “respiratory-spread pathogen” was likely to kill over 30 million people in less than a year. “There is a reasonable probability of that taking place,” he expressed.

He said to those who matter and can make a difference, that, nothing had been done to address the almost imminent threat of bioterrorism. “We ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril,” is what he said.

The US and UK intelligence officials have acknowledged that the ISIS has been trying to make biological warfare weapons – weapons of terrorism to unleash on innocent people – at their strongholds, Syria and Iraq.

However, the agencies don’t think it is likely given that the Islamic State did not have skilled human resources, or laboratories, to support such work. Also, the chaotic surroundings in the war zone were not conducive to developing biological warfare weapons.

For the skeptic, he said that a deadly pandemic may not have occurred in recent memory but that should not lull one into thinking that it is not likely to happen again. He suggested it would be prudent to think what the social and economic impact would be if such a pandemic were to hit the world again even if it was not “on the scale of the 1918 flu.”

This is what he had to say:

“You might be wondering how real these doomsday scenarios really are. The fact that a deadly global pandemic has not occurred in recent history shouldn’t be mistaken for evidence that a deadly pandemic will not occur in the future. And even if the next pandemic isn’t on the scale of the 1918 flu, we would be wise to consider the social and economic turmoil that might ensue if something like Ebola made its way into urban centers.”

However, according to Bill Gates, not all is lost as scientific advancement made in the field of biotechnology can help develop vaccines and drugs to check the spread of such epidemic and prevent it from growing out of proportion and control. Of course, all that would require proper funding and support from governments.

“I’m optimistic that a decade from now, we can be much better prepared for a lethal epidemic if we’re willing to put a fraction of what we spend on defense budgets and new weapons systems into epidemic readiness,” he suggested.

The billionaire philanthropist urged the world leaders to treat the threat on a war footing and do what is required to control such an eventuality.

“This includes germ games and other preparedness exercises so we can better understand how diseases will spread, how people will respond in a panic and how to deal with things like overloaded highways and communications systems,” he said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation used the services of the research company Ipsos MORI to do a Health Security Survey on behalf of the foundation and this is what the survey findings are as published on the Ipsos MORI website:

According to the survey results:

* When thinking about global health and security, 71% of Britons aged 16-75 say they are concerned about the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola, Zika and deadly strains of ‘flu on global health and security, compared to 67% who are concerned about wars with other nation states.

* 71% of Germans aged 16-70 say they are concerned about the spread of infectious diseases, compared to 73% who are concerned about wars with other nation states.

* Of all the issues asked about, violent terrorist attacks are the top concern (mentioned by 83% in the UK and 84% in Germany).

* Two-thirds (66%) of Britons and over half (55%) of Germans think it’s likely there will be another epidemic like Ebola or Zika in the next couple of years.

* 67% of Britons and 69% of Germans surveyed believe the risk of biological terror attacks is greater today than ever before.

Categories
From The Editors

History and Customs of Epiphany aka ‘Three Kings Day’

Let’s make an attempt to address this interesting tradition in the order of questions that come to mind – the 3 ‘Ws’ and the ‘H’ questions. So, let’s just get on with it!

What is Epiphany and Why is it observed?

A number of explanations are available on the topic of Epiphany and the diverse ways of observing the event in relation to geographic and demographic differences – irrespective of these, it is more or less done for a common reason which is to mark the 12th day after Christmas with a grand feast.

The basic purpose is to give Christians the world over a chance – an occasion – to celebrate their common faith – Christianity!

Epiphany is also known by other common names such as, ‘The Three Kings’ and ‘Theophany’ and ‘El Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos’ – there may be other not-so- common names too.

Noticeably, the name, ‘The Three Kings’ refers to the three wise men who visited the newborn baby Jesus.

The word Epiphany itself has a Greek origin and means manifestation or appearance.

The word Epiphany is said to have originated in the eastern parts of the great Roman Empire where Greek was widely spoken – hence the Greek origin.

A man dressed as one of the Three Kings greets people during the Epiphany parade in Gijon, Spain, on Jan. 5, 2017
A man dressed as one of the Three Kings greets people during the Epiphany parade in Gijon, Spain, on Jan. 5, 2017

In different Christian traditions broadly classified into two categories, the Eastern and Western Churches, the commemoration may differ in the events being observed; however, the essence of the feast and celebration of the religion is what really matters.

For example, the Christians of the West primarily observe Epiphany for the commemoration of the coming of the Magi (the three wise men), with not too much importance to the Baptism of Jesus and the miracle at the Wedding at Cana.

The Eastern Churches, on the other hand, celebrate and have a grand feast in remembrance and honour of the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan (A river in the Middle East, mentioned in the Bible, that empties into the Dead Sea, and after which the country Jordan is named.)

When is Epiphany celebrated?

Generally, the Epiphany is supposed to be celebrated on the 6th day of January every year and has a long history of changes. In short, the changes made to the Roman Catholic Calendar in 1969, allows a small margin of flexibility; here is an extract from it:

“The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated on 6 January, unless, where it is not observed as a holy day of obligation, it has been assigned to the Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January.”

However, the geographical and demographic variations still remain.

How is it celebrated?

From a traditional viewpoint, Epiphany is observed by blessing the home, blessing water, exchanging gifts, performing “Magi plays”, and most importantly FEASTING – the “King Cake” being the main attraction.

As we have already spoken about the demographic and geographical differences, the traditions or ways of celebration vary.

Out of the many examples available here are a few different ways of observing Epiphany in a couple of countries:

Poland:

In Poland Epiphany is referred to as “Trzech Króli” meaning “Three Kings” in English, and is celebrated with much fanfare including huge parades, apparently, welcoming the Magi.

The Polish people carry boxes containing items such as a gold ring, a piece of chalk, incense sticks, and a piece of amber to the church to be blessed. They used the blessed chalk to mark the letters K+M+B above every door in the house for protection against bad omens.

Portugal:

The Portuguese call Epiphany “DiaDos Reis” (Day of the Kings) and celebrate the occasion by baking and feasting on “Bolo Rei” or the King Cake. Plays, parades, and parties for children are also major activities of the celebration.

There many other countries that have their own way of celebrating, enjoying and merrymaking – however, at the expense of being repetitive, Epiphany or whichever alternative name you prefer is about celebrating a common faith – Christianity as a whole.

Categories
From The Editors Technology

WhatsApp – A Common Platform for Millions of Immigrants

Without getting into technicalities, let’s talk about WhatsApp in layman terms. Basically, it’s a Smartphone App designed to use the internet to connect people the world over with their near and dear ones, including family and friends and business contacts – hence, it’s popularity among millions of immigrant users from across the world.

It has the ability to allow Smartphone users to exchange text messages, documents including MS Word and PDF files, pictures and images, audio and video, user location, phone contacts, voice messages/notes in addition to making and receiving voice and video calls – and all this in real-time, depending on the internet connectivity.

The company WhatsApp Inc., is headquartered in Mountain View, California, taken over by Facebook in February 2014 at a ballpark figure of US$19.3 billion.

Jan Koum, the brains behind the original idea of WhatsApp and naming it such that it sounded like “what’s up,” is an immigrant himself, born in Ukraine in 1976.

The family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1990s when Jan Koum was just a teenager. It’s a sad story of a family that had to struggle for existence; his mother having to sweep the floor of a grocery store, and even babysit, to support the family.

Although millions of immigrants have faced, and are still facing, grave difficulties there are a number of rags-to- riches stories of immigrants, as well.

One such success story which is worthy of mention is that of Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, a company that he sold to Facebook for approximately US$ 19.3 billion in February 1974.

The reason for the noteworthiness of his story, his WhatsApp story, is that he was instrumental in connecting millions of immigrants all over the world thru his App in real time with excellent features, mentioned earlier, and still free of charge in many countries.

Although there are other platforms or Apps available for similar services, WhatsApp remains the most preferred App by immigrants to stay connected with anyone they prefer to.

WhatsApp has even been used by refugees, Syrian refugees in recent times, to help their fleeing families and friends passing along tips, suggestions, guidance.

In a way, it has dominated the communication scenario as far as immigrants are concerned – many non-immigrants, or natives if you like, also enjoy the benefits of WhatsApp. Its popularity is amazing, especially among immigrants.

WhatsApp after Facebook takeover:

At the time Facebook acquired the company in February 2014, WhatsApp had already earned its reputation – otherwise what other reason would have compelled Facebook to buy it for over US$ 19 billion.

Under Facebook ownership, the company grew from an estimated 417 million active users to around a billion as of February 2016.

According to Wikipedia, “On November 10, 2016, WhatsApp has started rolling out two-step verification feature for users on Android beta. This feature will add more security to your account, officials said. After enabling this feature, users will also get an option to add their email address for further protection”

Well Done, Jan Koum, Facebook, and immigrants!

Categories
From The Editors Health

Social Isolation Reduces Survival Chances in Early Breast Cancer Patients

According to a new study published in the journal Cancer, women in the early stages of cancer with less social ties have higher mortality likelihood from the disease as compared those who are more socially connected.

The study tries to drive home the point that 43 percent of women with early breast cancer who are not socially involved with family, spouse, partner, community and religious groups are more susceptible to a relapse of the dreaded disease, 64 percent are more likely to die from it and 69% of socially isolated women can die due to any cause.

According to co-author Wendy Chen, a breast cancer oncologist at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, while the study may point towards the vulnerability of socially isolated women to health issues it is not ample proof that social support can actually prolong life.

The research funded by the National Cancer Institute is based on the case study of 9267 women from California, Utah, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, and China, over a period of ten years.

Researchers involved in the study who took into consideration factors like diet, weight management, physical activities and, social connectivity and interaction have concluded that socially isolated women are certainly different from the socially connected ones.

The lead author of the journal, Candyce Kroenke, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, agrees with this assertation.

The study revealed that isolated women had a tendency to be heavier, more inclined to smoke, less interested in physical activities and less likely to go for chemotherapy treatment irrespective of the treatment being appropriate for them or not.

However, while the study is not conclusive with regards to the prolonging of life in early breast cancer patients, Candyce Kroenke is, nevertheless, convinced that social isolation does play an important role.

The limitations of the study and apprehensions about the findings from certain quarters:

* Less than 5 percent of the women involved in the study were black or Hispanics

* According to Dr Deanna Attai, a breast surgeon with UCLA Health in Los Angeles, the number of women who took part in the study is a minuscule percentage of the collective population of American breast cancer patients.

* Mehta, a board member of a non-profit advocacy group called Living Beyond Breast Cancer, said that the women who took part in the study were comparatively healthier than the average American woman.

The women who were subjected to the study were healthier in terms of body mass index and frequently exercised as compared to the average American woman.

“What if you’re obese? Does social support matter for them?” Mehta asked. “They didn’t answer that question.” The population studied doesn’t represent the overall population of American breast cancer patients in terms of health and demographics.

* Dr Deanna Attai observed that the study involved only the quantity of social relationships and not their qualitative factor. She went on to say that a woman suffering from breast cancer would worry more about cancer itself than the lack of her social ties.

“I’m a little cautious about making the conclusion that, if you don’t have many friends when you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you’d better go out and find some, or you’re not going to do well,” Attai said.

* Chen, on the other hand, believes that the study should encourage doctors to evaluate other factors and not just the patient’s health. She feels that asking about the patient’s social connectivity and support would provide doctors with a better insight into the patient’s ability to cope with the disease.

Categories
From The Editors Top 5 Travel

Top 5 Best Casinos In The World

Casinos are places where fortunes are made and lost, If you’d like to try your hand at lady luck and want to do it in style, there are an increasing number of casinos around the world that offer the utmost in extravagant luxury. Casinos are famous for their glamour and atmosphere. There are several land based casinos resorts dotted around the world which have gaming floors so huge, you could quite easily get lost for hours in them! the biggest casinos in the world are the largest adult playgrounds that exist. Filled with poker rooms, table games and more slot machines than you can imagine. Everything from the buffets to the attached hotels, to the selection of games, are progressively getting bigger year-after-year as casinos race to continually outdo each other and become the biggest casino in their region (or the world). However, let’s move forward to our list of 5 biggest casinos of the world.

The Venetian Macau

the venetian macau
The Venetian Macau

The largest casino ever built in the world is the Venetian Macao that possesses a gaming area that covers 550,000 square feet of space. a luxury casino resort on Macau’s coastal strip, It’s luxurious and splendid. Gaming at the Venetian Macao is a major enterprise, as players have access to low, medium, and high stakes tables and machines. Blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat are all available. Owned by Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands, this casino has an 870-table gaming floor, 3,400 gaming machines, 3 huge shopping areas, 4 pools, gondola rides, 24 world-class restaurants and bars along with 3,000 hotel rooms making it a glamorous experience no matter what the reason for your stay is. The Venetian Casino Resort Macao is considered to be the best of the very best.

The City of Dreams, Macau

city-of-dreams-macau-china
City of Dreams Macau, China

In second place on the list is yet another Macau-based casino in the form of the City of Dreams. The family oriented Venetian, City of Dreams is more romantic and couple oriented. Clearly marketed for singles and young couples, stands at 420,000 sq. feet, this art-deco inspired casino, complete with marble floors, is home to 1,350 gaming machines for the slots lovers and 520 poker tables for the grinders. The energy on the City of Dreams casino floors is contagious.The resort hosts a number of attractions such as the Vquarium, the Bubble Fountain, and the Dancing Water Theatre. There is also a total number of 1,400 hotel rooms across the resort with retail space, restaurants, and entertainment venues. If you have the chance to go to this place, definitely take it! This casino provide a great buzz and truly top experience.

Foxwoods Resorts Casino, Connecticut

Foxwood Casino Resort, Connecticut
Foxwoods Casino Resort, Connecticut

Foxwoods Resort Casino is a hotel-casino in Ledyard, Connecticut located on the Mashantucket Pequot. Foxwoods Casino is actually a massive resort boasting an authentic Native American theme made up of six individual casinos, covering approximately 340,000 square feet of gambling space. It is quite a magnificent venue. Big, dynamic, and all-inclusive, Foxwoods offers players “the wonder of it all”. The casino has more than 380 gaming tables for blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker and has more than 4,700 slot machines. Not only does it offer an impressive gambling experience, but also the resort is complete with 5 hotels, an extensive restaurant selection and various entertainment activities.

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Bellagio, Las Vegas
The Bellagio, Las Vegas

One of the most famous casinos in the world, the Bellagio sets itself apart from the rest with its opulence and elegance. It perfectly catches the quality, romance, and elegance. The building from the Las Vegas strip is made even more beautiful by its world-renowned dancing water fountain. The casino packs in games include Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Keno, Let It Ride, Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Roulette, Slots and Baccarat. The casino itself is probably best known for its high-stakes poker room which hosts World Poker Tour events, but it also offers a stylish gambling experience. There are 2,000 slot machines, paying as much as $2 million. Las Vegas is the ultimate gambling experience, and the Bellagio is the ultimate Las Vegas experience!

Sun City Casino Resort, South Africa

Sun City Casino Resort, South Africa
Sun City Casino Resort, South Africa

Located on the edge of the Pilanesberg National Game Park, Sun City is Africa’s version of Las Vegas. It’s a popular destination for high rollers and all types of gamblers, offering 850 slots and 40 gaming tables covering roulette, blackjack, poker, punto baccarat and many others. Sun City ranks as one of the top casino resorts in the world, featuring four hotels. For anyone looking at a luxury gambling holiday on the African continent, Sun City is leaps ands bounds ahead of its competitors, offering an unparalleled gaming and adventure experience. The Sun City Casino Complex is part of the larger Sun City resort, which also houses the extravagant Palace of the Lost City.