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Coffee A Memory Booster?
"That afternoon cup of coffee could be doing more than just warming you
If you ar finding your memory slipping lately, perhaps the first thing
to remember is to have your morning coffee. In a recent study from the
University of Arizona that was published in the January 2002 issue of
Psychological Science by the American Psychological Society researchers have
found that the stimulant affect of caffeine can help boost memory. The lead
author of the study Lee Ryan, UA assistant professor of psychology says that
memory is often at optimal levels early in the morning in older adults (over
age 65) but tends to decline as the day progresses. Ryan said. Her study
tested whether a simple stimulant - caffeine, in this case - would have an
effect on this decline. The 40 participants, all over age 65, and active and
independent, were tested at 8 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. on scheduled days.
The test used was the California Verbal Learning Test. Subjects were given
coffee during both the morning and afternoon test segments. One group
received 12-ounce cups of regular coffee containing approximately 220 to 270
mg of caffeine. A control group drank decaffeinated coffee, which usually
has no more than 5-10 mg of caffeine per serving. Ryan said participants
could not tell whether they were drinking regular or decaf. The researchers
found that participants who drank decaffeinated coffee "showed a
significant decline in memory performance from morning to afternoon."
The group who ingested the caffeine showed no decline in performance on the
memory tests. Ryan says the study and its results are not meant to endorse
the consumption of coffee or caffeine, stating that other stimulants would
probably have worked just as well. All the study participants were regular
coffee drinkers. People who do not consume coffee regularly might have
experienced negative side effects (shakiness, anxiety, and decreased
concentration). Anyone ready for a hot cup of coffee?"
Hindu family sentinels of mosque
"KOLKATA: Amid the clutter of houses in the middle-class Hindu locality of
Nabapalli in Barasat, there is a nondescript mosque. Nothing special about that, except for its keepers. For nearly 40 years,
the mosque, popularly known as the Amanati Masjid, has been maintained by a
Hindu family of the area.
The Basu family acquired the plot on which the mosque is located after
migrating from Bangladesh in 1964. The Basus, who are originally from Khulna,
obtained the property after an exchange with the original owner, Wahajuddin
Molla, who moved across the border.
Initially unaware that there was a mosque situated on the property, the
family patriarch, Nirod Krishna Basu, looked on the discovery as a sign of
Regular prayers were revived at the mosque and till today, Nirod Krishna’s
descendants continue the tradition. A family appointed imam, Maulana Akhtar
Ali, conducts the prayers on Fridays and on special religious occasions.
A muezzin, Fakir Ali, performs the daily namaaz and looks after the
mosque. Even last Friday, when many people kept away from the streets
fearing trouble, about 60 people turned up for prayers at the mosque. ‘‘That
is the normal figure. During Id, the number increases to about 150,’’
Nirod Krishna’s grandson, Partha, is actively involved in the running
and renovation of the mosque. A self-confessed disciple of Baba Lokenath,
Partha even administers bottles of oil and water, which are left in the
mosque for blessings by the faithful.
‘‘An average of 20 persons turn up daily to leave bottles in the
mosque, which they believe acquire healing properties. Many of them are
Hindus,’’ says Partha. A few shelves of labelled bottles in a small
anteroom testify to Partha’s words.
The bond between Partha and Ali is evident from the fact that the maulana
performed the mukhebhaat (rice eating) ceremony of Partha’s daughter. In
fact, Ali’s predecessor, Abu Bakr Siddiq, did the honours during Partha’s
Both Partha and Ali say there has never been any tension in the locality
regarding the mosque, not even during the Babri Masjid riots in 1992. An
involuntary touching of the forehead by an elderly woman, while passing the
mosque, is the best affirmation of their claim."
from The Times of India TUESDAY, MARCH 19,
Mayawati keeps 45 portfolios - 'One too Many'
"LUCKNOW: Chief minister Mayawati kept as many as 45 departments including
home, finance, general administration, vigilance, Ambedkar villages
development, appointment and high profile information technology ,in the
first distribution of portfolios to her council of ministers here on Sunday.
Senior BJP minister Lalji Tandon, who always supported the BSP-BJP tie-
up ,got the reward for backing Mayawati as he was given charge of 18
departments including his favourite housing and urban development
Om Praksh Singh also got the ones he was keen to have — irrigation and
higher education. But this time PWD was taken away from him and given to
Mayawati's portfolios: Home, general administration, finance, intelligence, crime-
investigation, appointment, personnel, administrative reforms, vigilance,
information, election, judiciary, legislation, industrial development, basic
education, non-formal education, adult education, rural development,
planning, statics, protocol, civil aviation, Ambedkar villages
development,estate , export promotion, horticulture, food processing,
minority welfare, Muslim waqf, Haj, land development and water resources,
usar land development, culture, minor irrigation, sports, handicapped
development, banking,information technology, civil defence, youth welfare,
prantiya vikas dal and externally aided projects."
from: The Times of India MONDAY, MAY 06, 2002