A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake

Thanks to Dangerous Minds for posting this video.

He writes:
Other than a few childhood home movies, no film footage of Nick Drake exists. So director Berkven had to create a sense of Drake through other means. That he succeeds is quite remarkable. 
He is enormously helped by Nick’s mother Molly. Her own music uncannily evokes her son’s and creates a deeply emotional dimension to A Skin Too Few.
I blogged about Molly Drake a couple of years ago.

Alistair Carmichael doesn't quite rule out a leadership bid

BBC News has a report headlined:

Alistair Carmichael rules out Lib Dem leadership bid

But when you read Alistair's quote below it, you can detect a little wriggle room if you want to:
"I have got a family that still includes school age children. And the commitment that it takes to be party leader in modern politics is enormous. 
"My family already miss out on a lot just by virtue of the fact that I'm an MP and I'm a minister and I'm away from home every week . 
"At least I feel that they miss out on a lot, they might feel differently."
So perhaps there was something in Lord Bonkers' tip after all?

Wellington to Craven Arms disused railway 2

Part 1 took us from Wellington to Buildwas. This second part takes the journey on to Much Wenlock.

Which recalls the old joke:
"My wife comes from Shopshire." 
"Much Wenlock?" 
"I get my share."
I once wrote about the Wenlock Olympian Games in the New Statesman.

Cat Cuteness Conquers

Not being a cat person does not prevent me from being well aware of their distinctive personalities.  Over the years, once permission was granted by the creatures in question, several friends have had feline companions.  Even a true-blue dog person like me is unable to resist the lure of a kitten.

What is important to remember is those tiny beings and their human counterparts have a lot to learn about what they can and cannot do or have.  No, No, Kitten! (Boyds Mills Press, an imprint of Highlights, March 3, 2015) written by Shelley Moore Thomas with illustrations by Lori Nichols follows a tenacious mischief-maker.  This little bundle of fur is paws-itively determined.

Kitten wants a basket.
Kitten wants a pillow.
Kitten wants a blanket.
Kitten wants...

Oh!  No! Kitten is not allowed to have a puppy.  Puppies are for people not cats.  (Guess who climbs in the window?)  Not one to rest for a single second, Kitten is on the move again.

A glass of milk, a catnip plant and an innocent goldfish are the next conquests on this kitten's agenda.  A puddle, a pile of potting soil and an empty fishbowl are signs of recent visits. (You'll be pleased to note the new residence of the fish.)  Mimicking her girl, Kitten decides to don the fishbowl as if it's a helmet.  This is not acceptable.

As Kitten continues exploring for more appropriate playthings, a trip into the girl's bedroom for

engines, gadgets, and lasers

is met with stern disapproval.  Using up all her feline maneuvers she makes a fourth demand, an adventure beyond the confines of Earth's atmosphere.  With patience matching persistence, the girl instructs Kitten in those objects which may be possessed and those which may not.

Before the girl can grasp Kitten's next plan, a countdown begins.  As the number one is reached, an enormous noise erupts from the room.  Out the window flies Kitten and the puppy bound for the planets and stars.

New frontiers are reached.  Back at home Kitten and her girl are startled with an expectant


When one sees the accomplishments of another, you never know what will happen next.

Readers may not know it but Shelley Moore Thomas is using her gift for storytelling to involve them in this narrative.  She creates constant invitations for us with Kitten wanting three items, and then with a page turn a fourth is revealed.  Each of these is followed by the repetitive exclamation and series of nearly identical phrases.  Once she has us firmly captivated in this rhythm, she really sends us into orbit with a couple of twists; one of which even has Kitten looking wide-eyed.  Here is a sample passage.

No, no, no, Kitten.
You cannot have a puppy.
You are a cat!
Cats do not have pets! 

The combination of the title and look in Kitten's eye, as the fish flies from the bowl and a letter is moved with a tail swish on the dust jacket and matching book case, declare this title to be one filled with action.  On the back, to the left, Kitten is portrayed in a series of rascal-like situations.  The opening and closing endpapers in stark white are patterned with different items of importance to the story.

With a page turn we see on the left a Spudnik, a potato sprouting legs and a leaf, wearing a first prize blue ribbon.  Beneath the title the girl is completely absorbed in one of her science projects with Kitten peeking out from the inside of the spaceship box.  The publication information and dedication pages feature an illustration, spanning edge to edge, of the inside of the house.  Kitten is resting in a chair as the puppy climbs up on the sill of the open window.

Lori Nichols rendered these lively pictures using dip pen and ink and coloring digitally.  She alters the image sizes between a full page, a series of smaller illustrations on a single page and double page spreads, complimenting the text.  The details found in each visual extend the story as well as offering foreshadowing; the artwork on the walls, the program on the television screen, the toys and items on the girl's bedroom shelves.  You have to laugh at the little extras; the expressions on the characters' faces, the playful wag of the puppy's tail even when hiding under the sofa, or the fish's new handy home.

One of my favorite pictures is when Kitten and the puppy blast out the bedroom window.  The pup's ears are straight back due to the force.  Kitten has nabbed the girl's homemade helmet.  Even the inanimate toys in the room have looks of bug-eyed wonder on their faces.

I am confident No, No, Kitten! written by Shelley Moore Thomas with illustrations by Lori Nichols will find an audience in any reader who has heard those familiar words directed at them.  It's a way to learn boundaries and can lead to new discoveries.  I'll bet readers and listeners will be chiming in on the repetitive phrases as soon as they can.  This is sure to be a storytime favorite.

To discover more about Shelley Moore Thomas and Lori Nichols please visit their websites by following the links attached to their names.

UPDATE:  Be sure to head over to Watch. Connect. Read.blog of teacher librarian extraordinaire, John Schumacher, to read what Lori Nichols has to say about this title and to see the book trailer premiere.  

This title has been endorsed by none other than Lou Grant, famous cat companion of John Schumacher.

"There are more ways than one of getting close to your ancestors"

Eric Portman and Sheila Sim in a scene from Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale.

Why haven't tuition fees deterred young people from going to university?

This tweet, which I sent from platform 2 at Leicester station this morning, has received an extraordinary (for me) number of retweets. I think that is in part because Owen Jones was one of the first people to retweet it.

But this is not the argument that was most often deployed against introducing and then increasing tuition fees.

Those who opposed them said that fees would deter young people from going to university. But today we are told that there are more students in British universities than ever and, in particular, more students from poorer backgrounds.

So why have tuition fees failed to deter people from going to university?

I can think of three possible reasons, though no doubt there are more.

The first is that young people are optimistic. Even if tuition fees are a burden, they assume that they personally do well, get a good job and have no money worries.

The second is that the new system really is better than the old one and young people have realised this and gone to university without a care.

The third is that it is now next to impossible to get an interview for many jobs without having a degree. So however bad the system is, young people have to put up with it.

I fear this last reason may be the most powerful and that the phenomenon of graduates in non-graduate jobs will becoming an increasing problem in future years.

What prevented the press from exposing Jimmy Savile's crimes

Former Sunday Mirror editor Paul Connew explains on The Drum:
It was a disastrous combination of Britain’s draconian libel laws (generally so beloved of celebrities with unsavoury secrets and lawyers well aware of ‘star-struck’ juries), victims intimidated by Savile's celebrity status and powerful connections plus police indifferent to (or themselves intimidated by) allegations against the rich and powerful ... that conspired to protect Savile and other VIP abusers.

Is Meat Unhealthy? Part IX

Welcome to the last post in the series.  Time to summarize and wrap it up!


I respect each person's right to choose the diet they prefer.  This includes vegetarians and vegans, particularly because most of them make daily sacrifices to try to make the world a better place for all of us.  I'm an omnivore, but I sympathize with some of the philosophy and I often eat beans or lentils instead of meat*.

Our history with meat

Our ancestors have probably been eating some form of meat continuously for at least two hundred million years.  However, the quantity has waxed and waned.  The first mammals were probably largely carnivorous (insectivores).  Yet our primate ancestors went through a 60-million-year arboreal phase, during which we probably ate fruit, leaves, seeds, insects, and perhaps a little bit of vertebrate meat.  We only outgrew this phase in the last few million years, when we developed the tools and the brains to pursue prey more effectively.

During our 2.6 million-year stint as hominin hunter-gatherers, we ate an omnivorous diet, although we really have very little idea how much meat it contained (it probably varied by time and place).  Historical and contemporary hunter-gatherer cultures are all omnivorous, and typically eat significant to substantial quantities of meat, suggesting that our ancestors may have done the same.  Non-industrial agricultural populations eat as much meat as they can get, although they usually can't get as much as hunter-gatherers.

If there is such thing as a natural human diet, it is clearly omnivorous.

Meat, obesity, and chronic disease

Read more »

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New Director Appointed at Maine CDC; Department Names Chief Health Officer

On February 25, 2015, Kenneth Albert was appointed to the position of Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention by Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Mary Mayhew. Ken joined State government in March 2012 as the Director of the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services.  Before joining DHHS, he practiced law for several years, specializing in health law, regulatory and compliance law, and professional licensing.  In addition, he led compliance efforts in a large health care organization, developing a new compliance program for several business lines.

Ken's healthcare career began as a traveling nurse before moving on to a variety of management positions, including time as the Manager of Emergency Services at Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC); as the Administrator of a Health Center; and as the Lewiston Site Manager for LifeFlight of Maine.  Ken earned a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing at the University of Southern Maine and a law degree at the University of Maine School of Law.

Kenneth Albert

Dr. Sheila Pinette has been named the Department's Chief Health Officer, a position entirely focused on clinical outcomes in various populations through engagement of key public and private health system participants across the state. Dr. Pinette will continue to build upon her established relationship with the media and the public, providing expert information about various diseases and other public health concerns. In addition, Dr. Pinette will work across the provider community to support the Department's vision of integrated physical and behavioral health care.

Rare Disease Day

In the U.S., any disease affecting fewer than 200,000 people is considered rare. There are nearly 7,000 rare diseases affecting nearly 30 million Americans. In other words, almost one in ten Americans are suffering from rare diseases. 

Recognized annually on the last day of February, Rare Disease Day was established to raise awareness with the public about rare diseases, the challenges encountered by those affected, the importance of research to develop diagnostics and treatments, and the impact of these diseases on patients' lives.
For more information, visithttp://go.usa.gov/33RGW or http://www.rarediseases.org/ 

Macedonia 100 denars 2014 - Cyril and Methodius

New silver collectors' issue:

'Icons of the Saints: Cyril and Methodius'

(news by Viktor Ristovski )

Composition: Ag .925
Dimensions: 30 x 45 mm
Weight: 31.10 g
Edge: milled

A bigger silver 1000 denars issue was minted, too.

LINK: National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia

Macedonia 100 denars 2014 - Faith, Hope, Love and their Mother Sophia

New silver collectors' issue:

'Icons of the Saints: Faith, Hope, Love and their Mother Sophia'

(news by Viktor Ristovski )

Composition: Ag .925
Dimensions: 30 x 45 mm
Weight: 31.10 g
Edge: milled

LINK: National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia

Finland 2 euro 2015 - Jean Sibelius

New bimetallic circulating commemorative:

'150 years of the birth of Jean Sibelius'

(news by Pabitra Saha)

External ring: CuNi
Center disc: 3 layers, Ni-Brass, Ni, Ni-brass
Diameter: 25.75 mm
Width: 2.20 mm
Weight: 8.50 g
Mintage 11,000 proof & 989,000 unc
Designer: Nora Tapper

LINK: Bank of Finland
LINK: Mint of Finland

Lowongan Kerja PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM)

Lowongan Kerja Terbaru PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM)
Lowongan Kerja PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) - PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) merupakan salah satu perusahaan asuransi umum terbesar di Indonesia. Prestasi PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) sebagai salah satu perusahaan asuransi umum terbesar di Indonesia juga tidak perlu diragukan lagi. Berbagai penghargaan telah diperoleh ASM. PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) didukung oleh Perusahaan Reasuransi ternama Internasional. Untuk meningkatkan kinerja serta mewujudkan visi misi nya, Bank PT Asuransi Sinar Mas kembali membuka Lowongan Kerja kesempatan kepada putra putri Indonesia untuk bergabung menjadi bagian dari Bank PT Asuransi Sinar Mas melalui Rekrutmen Loker Terbaru PT Asuransi Sinar Mas sebagai berikut :

Untuk mencapai visi perusahaan yaitu menjadi kelompok bisnis terkemuka di Indonesia yang memberikan pelayanan terbaik kepada stakeholder-nya, PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) sedang mencari pemuda - pemudi terbaik yang sangat kompeten dan termotivasi diri untuk mengisi posisi lowongan kerja terbaru 2015.

Dalam rangka memperluas jaringan bisnis terbaru bulan Maret 2015 dan untuk memenuhi kebutuhan sumber daya manusia PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) di Lowongan Terbaru posisi : BANYAK POSISI LOWONGAN KERJA

Pada hari ini Maret 2015 PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) kembali membuka kesempatan berkarir atau membuka Lowongan Kerja Terbaru Maret 2015 untuk lulusan terbaru dengan kualifikasi sebagai berikut :

Lowongan Kerja PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM)

PT Asuransi Sinar Mas merupakan salah satu Perusahaan Asuransi terbesar di Indonesia menawarkan tantangan berkarir, dengan posisi :

Posisi Loker PT Asuransi Sinar Mas (ASM) :

Syarat Umum :
  • Pria/Wanita, usia maks 30 tahun
  • Mampu berbahasa Inggris dengan baik, lebih diutamakan mampu berbahasa mandarin
  • Memiliki keinginan untuk terus belajar dan mengembangkan diri
  • Mampu bekerja di bawah tekanan
  • Memiliki integritas yang tinggi
  • Mampu mengoperasikan Ms. Office

1. ODP BAS (Branch Admin Support) Semarang

Syarat Loker PT Asuransi Sinar Mas :
  • Lulusan S1 semua jurusan
  • IPK min 3.00
  • Usia maks 27 Tahun
  • Belum menikah
  • Dapat mengoprasionalkan komputer
  • Bersedia penempatan di seluruh indonesia
  • Dapat berbahasa inggris aktif/ pasif


Syarat Loker PT Asuransi Sinar Mas :
  • Pria/Wanita, usia maks 28 tahun
  • Pendidikan S1 Teknik Informatika, min IPK 3,00
  • Mengerti baik Software ataupun Hardware
  • Menguasai Programming Web ASP / Java ADF & Jaringan Web
  • Mengerti SQL /Oracle database, Dream Weaver & PHP
  • Disiplin, integritas dan siap bekerja dibawah tekanan
  • Mampu berbahasa inggris dengan baik dan benar
  • Mampu bekerja dengan Cepat & Teliti
  • Pekerja keras

3. ODP BAS-Officer Development Program Branch Admin Support

Syarat Loker PT Asuransi Sinar Mas :
  • Pendidikan S1 Komputer/Akuntansi/Teknik
  • IPK min 2.75
  • Bersedia ditempatkan di Kantor Pusat (Jakarta) maupun Kantor Cabang di seluruh Indonesia

Catatan :
  • Loker 2015 PT Asuransi Sinar Mas ditutup : 26 Maret 2015

Bagaimana Anda tertarik untuk bekerja di PT Asuransi Sinar Mas ?

Jika anda tertarik dengan loker terbaru hari ini Maret 2015 ini yaitu yang memberikan informasi kepada anda tentang : Lowongan Kerja Terbaru PT Asuransi Sinar Mas, Silahkan Kirim CV dan LAMARAN KERJA via EMAIL ke alamat dibawah ini :

Email :
  • dharmanto@sinarmas.co.id
  • jonnywong@sinarmas.co.id
  • hcd.asm@sinarmas.co.id
  • Human Capital Division

Atau bisa Kontak Ke :

PT Asuransi Sinar Mas 
Plaza Simas Gedung I
Jl. KH Fachrudin No.18
Jakarta Pusat 10250, Indonesia
Telp. (021) 390 2141 Ext 3306
Email : hcd@sinarmas.co.id

Sumber Lowongan Kerja :

On The Other Hand...

If I had a nickel for every parental proverb heard when growing up (and thereafter), I could fill the shelves with books in a new school library.  Two of the top contenders were "Haste makes waste" and "Many hands make light work" with "The grass is always greener on the other side" coming in at a close third.  When, in the course of my teaching, the opportunity presents itself when one of these might be appropriate, I seal my lips rather than succumb to any adult adages.

Arguably there are times when situations demand speed and doing a project yourself makes more sense.  Unless you are comparing an estate maintained by a gardener with an overgrown vacant lot, experience teaches us appearances are not necessarily what they seem.  I Don't Want To Be A Frog (Doubleday Books for Young Readers, February 10, 2015) written by Dev Petty with illustrations by Mike Boldt explores with hilarity the drawbacks and benefits of being yourself.

I want to be a CAT.

When a junior frog boldly proclaims a desire to be a cat, he is told he can't.  When he inevitably asks why, he is told the obvious.  He is, after all, a frog.

Since being a cat is out of the question, he switches to wanting to be a rabbit.  They both can hop, right?  It is pointed out with patience his lack of matching physical characteristics.  He does not want to be a frog; he finds his attributes less furry and er...too froggy.

Next he declares with gusto his wish to be a pig.  There are a couple of problems that nix this request.  He finally gets overwhelming agreement when he mentions being an owl but then four reasons for this impossibility are listed in momentary frustration by his father.  At this point it looks as though the youngster is doomed to continue participating in one of his many complaints; bug eating.

Suddenly a shadow looms.  A voice makes inquiries and shares a secret about cats, rabbits, pigs and owls.  With instantaneous insight our chief protagonist comprehends the virtue of his identity.  One final point is offered as the ominous visitor leaves.

Even before I read this aloud the voices of the young and adult frogs and the hungry mentor were taking form in my mind.  Dev Petty tells the story entirely in dialogue; a back and forth exchange between the frogs and the final creature.  Each sentence, question and answer is succinct but liberally laced with humor because regardless of what the son says, his father simply replies by stating what any observer would notice. Here's the continuation of their first exchange after the first line.

You can't be a CAT.
Why not?
Because you're a FROG.
I don't like being a Frog.
It's too Wet.
Well, you can't be a Cat.

Readers will hardly be able to keep from bursting out with glee when looking at the front of the matching dust jacket and book case.  The body posture of the son, mouth open wide, proclaiming his distaste for his nature is comical with a capital C.  On the back, to the left, illustrator Mike Boldt has designed a series of framed shapes which immediately reminded me of Hollywood Squares.  In each window we see a character or an extension of a character plus the ISBN.  Out of little frog's mouth we see the words,

Would YOU want to be a Frog?

The opening and closing endpapers done in pale blue feature a frolicking owl, cat, pig and rabbit along with the frog.  He is pictured differently in the two spots indicative of the narrative.  Boldt begins his interpretation of the story on the title page with the frog reading a book about cats.

All of the text is bold and encased in loosely shaped speech balloons.  The background colors highlighting the animals are either white or one of a variety of pastel hues.  It's the shape of the frogs' bodies, eyes and mouths which will have you giggling from page to page.  The father wearing glasses is an added detail contributing to the fun.

Mike Boldt may choose to show us their entire bodies or only a portion, zooming in for a close-up or backing away to give us a larger picture.  He increases the laughter factor when he lets us know how exasperated the dad is at a particular moment.  As the father pulls down a screen like a teacher in a classroom pointing out reasons his son can't be an owl, we understand his need to provide visuals.

One of my favorite illustrations (of many) is at the very beginning.  The page is entirely white except for the text

Why not? and

the head of the son peeking in from the lower right-hand corner.  The look on his face speaks volumes...all funny.

I Don't Want To Be A Frog by debut picture book author Dev Petty with illustrations by Mike Boldt will have readers of all ages laughing as soon as they read the first sentence until long after the final words are read or spoken.  Be prepared to hear shouts of "read it again".  This is a lively look at not only being okay with who you are but being thankful.

To explore more about Dev Petty and Mike Boldt take a look at their websites by following the links attached to their names.  John Schumacher, teacher librarian extraordinaire and blogger at Watch. Connect. Read. hosted the book trailer and an interview with Dev Petty.  Earlier he had Mike Boldt as a guest.  Super teacher librarian Matthew C. Winner interviewed both Dev Petty and Mike Boldt on his Let's Get Busy Podcast.  Here is a link to four printable activity pages for this title.  In addition to interior pages which can be seen at Mike Boldt's site, the publisher has others shown here.  Guest posts written by Dev Petty can be seen at Tara Lazar's blog, How Dev Petty Wrote a Story with Legs...Frog Legs! (plus a giveaway), and at the Nerdy Book Club, Stop Making So Much Sense and Finding The Words.
UPDATE:  Here is a brand new story time kit.

An early Adam Curtis documentary on system building

Thanks to Dirty Modern Scoundrel for pointing us to this video. It dates from 1984.

As the blog says:
The documentary itself is a rather straightforward forerunner to his more complex classics such as A Century of the Self and the Power of Nightmares. 
It's lacking his voice (it's narrated instead by reporter David Jones) and his trademark crazy soundtrack but otherwise many of the Curtis tropes are here: suspicion of those in high places and the whiff of institutionalised corruption and conspiracy. But the style feels more like an episode of Panorama rather than his later authored pieces. 
Still, there's great interviews with T. Dan Smith, Kenneth Campbell and particularly Cleeve Barr, and some amazing archive footage.

National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives building, Leicester

I read in the Leicester Mercury last week:
An iconic symbol of Leicester’s industrial past and radical working class traditions has been given listed-building status following a campaign to preserve it. 
The former Boot and Shoe Operatives Union Building, in St James Street, off Humberstone Gate, has been designated as a Grade II-listed building. It follows a campaign by the Leicester Group of the Victorian Society. 
The 103-year-old building, designed by city architects Harrison & Hattrell in the final year of Queen Victoria's reign, survives largely intact. 
Dr David Holmes researched the city’s boot and shoe industry as part of the Victorian Society's application to conservation watchdog, English Heritage. 
He said: “The building was threatened with conversion to flats which would have destroyed its fine interior. 
"We are particularly pleased because it is unique in Leicester as being the only major national trade union headquarters in the city."
So on Saturday I went to photograph it. It is a pleasing building, very much of its era. You can find it off Humberstone Gate in Leicester, behind Sainsbury's and across the road from the Spiritualist church.

The fact that the headquarters of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives was in Leicester probably explains a bit of local political history.

In 1945 the Harborough constituency was won for Labour by Humphrey Attewell, who was a full-time official with the union.

I remember a comment by John Shaw, who was a Labour councillor from Lutterworth while I was on Harborough District Council.

He is still going strong, unlike many people from those days who have since died and had roads named after them.

John told me that his own father, also a Labour activist, had said to him in 1945: "Well. son, that's the first and last time you'll see a Labour MP elected for Harborough,"

Why Nick Clegg will hold on to Sheffield Hallam

© Ashley Dace

I have long argued that there is no prospect of Nick Clegg losing his seat. Most recently here:
 I am not worried that Nick Clegg will lose Sheffield Hallam. This is not so much that I believe Nick is immensely popular as because I cannot picture Labour winning a prosperous suburban seat like this.
More recently still, Lord Bonkers has scotched the idea.

Now I have come across an exhaustive analysis of political geography of Sheffield Hallam that supports my view too. It is on the All That's Left blog:
Sheffield Hallam is far from the highrise towers and former steelmills of the Steel City. Whilst not all the seat is not rich ... overall Sheffield Hallam is one of the most affluent constituencies outside of the South East and it has the 70th highest median income of the 650 in the country – that is wealthier than Tunbridge Wells or David Cameron’s Witney. It has the lowest level of child poverty of any constituency in the land. 
It is certainly one of the most highly educated seats in the nation: 60% of those of working age have a degree – that’s more than Cambridge. In 2001, the constituency had more people classified as professionals of any in the UK.
But what about the disaffected student vote? Surely that will cost Nick dearly?

All That's Left continues:
A lot of the Liberal Democrats’ success here since 1997 has been put down to the student vote. Whilst there is a fairly large student population ... this is less than before the 2010 boundary changes. Those changes removed Broomhill ward, which includes the main campus of the University of Sheffield, and replaced it with Stannington ward to the north. 
Now, it is Sheffield Central next door that is the student hotbed: 39% of adults there are in fulltime education.
That's blog's conclusion ("with some regret") is that Nick "looks likely to continue to be Hallam’s MP".
Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice
My conclusion is that most commentators forecasting a Labour win in Sheffield Hallam have never been there.

Septic Sense: Regular Maintenance Saves Money

We know that regular maintenance of large investments such as tools, cars, and homes can save money. Regular maintenance of our septic system can do all of that and protect our drinking water, lakes, rivers, streams and Puget Sound.

What many of us want to know is, what exactly does “regular maintenance” of our on-site septic system really mean? 

Annual inspections can help find problems when they are small and easier and less costly to fix. Hire a professional to do the regular inspection or learn how to do it yourself. This septic system inspection video and can help you inspect your own septic system. We suggest that you watch the video and hire a professional for your first inspection. You will learn a lot about how your septic system works, and be better able to maintain it, even if you decide to keep hiring a professional for future inspections.

Set up a regular pumping schedule. All septic systems need to be pumped at some point. Most of them need to be pumped every 3-5 years, depending on how many people live in the home, types of products used and the amount and type of waste put into the system (like water, fats, oil, wipes). The professional who does the initial inspection can help you determine how often to pump your tank.

Everyday ways to keep your septic system healthy
  • Be careful of what goes into your septic system. Only water, poop, pee, and toilet paper are meant to enter your septic system. Other items like wipes (even flushable ones), condoms, tampons, cotton swaps, medicine, food, and pet waste (even flushable litter) should not be flushed or put down the drain.
  • Keep your drainfield in good condition. Plant only shallow-rooted, low-water-use plants on and near the drainfield. Keep cars and livestock off of your drainfield and make sure to never pave or park over it. This includes the reserve drainfield area that you (hopefully) have in case the drainfield ever needs replacing.
  • Use safer products for household cleaning. Baking soda, castile soap and vinegar can tackle most of your cleaning needs. Check out these green cleaning recipes. Avoid using household products labeled with the words “Danger” or “Poison” to protect your septic system and your health.
  • Avoid the use of septic tank additives. These are not proven effective and do not replace the need for regular maintenance. 
  • Conserve water. Remember the statement above that says pumping schedules depend on the amount of waste treated? All of the water that goes into your system goes through the tank for treatment. Less water means less treatment is needed.

Regular septic maintenance can save you money and protect the health of you and your family. Septic system care begins with you.

NY Air National Guard completes 27th year of Antarctic science support

by Tech. Sgt. Catharine Schmidt
109th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

2/25/2015 - STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. -- This week the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing here concludes a five-month mission supporting the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Program as part of Operation Deep Freeze.

Airmen from the 109th AW flew 241 missions, delivering more than 3,000 passengers and 2,250 tons of cargo and fuel to research stations across Antarctica during a deployment to the southern continent that began in October 2014.

"This was a great season for the 109th," said Lt. Col. Clifford Souza, 139th Airlift Squadron, who returned home with about 30 Airmen on Feb. 24. "We flew over 155 on-continent missions in Antarctica as well as intercontinental missions from New Zealand to Antarctica. We're glad to be back and have one more year under our belt."

This is the 27th year that the 109th AW supported the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Program as part of Operation Deep Freeze, military logistics support for the research effort. This mission season also saw the successful deployment of IcePod, an imaging system that can measure the depth of an ice sheet, on the Air Force LC-130 Skibird aircraft.

The wing deployed about 575 Airmen and seven LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft to McMurdo Station, the hub of the American presence in Antarctica during the five-month support season. About 120 Airmen were at McMurdo Station at any given time, as Airmen rotated between Antarctica and the 109th AW's home in Scotia.

The first LC-130 returned home with passengers Feb. 23 with more Airmen following throughout the week via Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The final six LC-130s that were deployed and remaining Airmen are expected to return home within the next week.

One of the biggest successes this year for the 109th AW was flying the IcePod missions for the first time in Antarctica.

"IcePod focuses on the development of an integrated ice imaging system that can measure in detail both the ice surface and the ice bed, helping in the understanding of why ice sheets are changing at such a rapid rate," said Lt. Col. Blair Herdrick in an earlier article, chief of Antarctic Operations at the 109th. "The system will be enclosed in a [Common Science Support Pod] mounted on the rear troop door of the LC-130. This will be the first operational use of the CSSP."

Crews flew nine flights total with the IcePod during a three-week period.

"These were the final tests before the IcePod is fully commissioned," said Maj. Joshua Hicks, a 139th Airlift Squadron pilot who flew the missions. "Overall it went very well. We completed what we needed to do."

The continued work supporting Operation Deep Freeze garnered attention from military leadership. Both Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III, Air National Guard director, visited Antarctica and the Airmen stationed there in January.

Maj. Marc McKeon, assistant chief of Antarctic Operations, said the people are what contribute to a successful season.

"People enjoy the mission," he said. "You have to enjoy what you do in order to be good at it. And we have some of the best maintainers and aircrew that the Air National Guard has to offer."

The unique capabilities of the ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft make it the only one of its kind in the U.S. military, able to land on snow and ice. The primary mission of the 109th AW is to provide airlift within Antarctica, flying to various remote locations from McMurdo Station.

Detection Signs Or Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in UK women, is the disease women fear most.

Early detection of this disease is vital!

There are different signs and symptoms of breast cancer. One of the first signs or symptoms is feeling a lump in the breast. This lump will feel different then the other breast tissue around it.

It is known that more then eighty percent of women discover lumps by checking themselves. A physician can detect breast cancer by giving you a mammogram.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer may help save your life.

When the disease is discovered early, you have more treatment options and a better chance for a cure. Most breast lumps aren't cancerous.

Yet the most common sign of breast cancer for both men and women is a lump or thickening in the breast.

Often, the lump is painless.

Even though the public has learned a great deal about breast cancer, there remain more than a half-dozen popular breast cancer myths.

At least one such myth relates to the signs of breast cancer. Many women believe that finding a lump in the breast means that they have breast cancer, which is untrue.
Another symptom of breast cancer is Paget?s disease of the breast.

It is a syndrome that presents skin changes like redness and flaking skin of the nipple. As this advances symptoms may include itching, tingling, sensitivity, pain and burning and on occasion discharge from the nipple. About half of women that are diagnosed with Paget?s will also have a lump in the breast.

Another helpful piece of information is that some types of cancers, like the Inflammatory breast cancer and Pagent's disease show classic symptoms of their own type. Very red and hard breasts which keep getting sore show along with the regular breast cancer symptoms are a classic case of the Inflammatory breast cancer, whereas very itchy, red, scaly rashes, easily confused for eczema, on the breasts along with other breast cancer symptoms are Pagent's disease.

Always get the doctor to clarify your doubts.

Unlike the more common form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer does not generally present as a lump.

The disease grows as nests or sheets that clog the lymph system under the skin. Often the symptoms are attributed to other diseases and thus the diagnosis may take a long time to occur.

For many women, abnormal cell activity in breast fluid will be the first warning of the potential development of breast cancer signs and symptoms. This early warning system gives women and their doctors precious extra time to implement a more vigilant, personalized breast health treatment plan.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This test is used to look for breast disease in women who do not appear to have breast problems. It can also be used when women have symptoms such as a lump, skin change, or nipple discharge.

Each year 180,000 women get breast cancer, this is an increase of over 50 percent of the women who were developing breast cancer before 1950.

The chances of developing breast cancer increases with age.

But, don't think that you don't have to worry if you are younger than 40, because more and more young women are also developing breast cancer than ever before.

Be vigilant in your breast exams and you will have greater peace of mind.

Early detection methods of detecting breast cancer has improved survival rates tremendously. Even with the amount of women developing breast cancer increasing, the amount of women who actually die of breast cancer these days is decreasing due to early detection and better treatment methods.

A screening mammogram is used to look for breast disease in women who have no breast concerns. A diagnostic mammogram is used when a woman has symptoms or if there are other barriers to accurate testing like breast implants.

Unfortunately, the early stages of breast cancer may not have any symptoms. This is why it is important to follow screening recommendations. In most cases, the first signs of breast cancer are recognized as a small and often palpable lump in the breast.

Women with a higher risk of breast cancer should talk with their doctor about the best approach for them. They may benefit from starting mammograms when they are younger, having them more often, or having other tests. If you are at higher risk, your doctor might recommend an ultrasound or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) be done along with your mammograms.

If you notice any of these warning signs of breast cancer do not panic. Call your health care provider early and have it checked out. Not all these changes may represent cancer but you will not know unless you are examined.

Yet there is more reason for optimism than ever before.

In the last 30 years, doctors have made great strides in early diagnosis and treatment of the disease and in reducing breast cancer deaths.

In 1975, a diagnosis of breast cancer usually meant radical mastectomy - removal of the entire breast along with underarm lymph nodes and muscles underneath the breast.

Today, radical mastectomy is rarely performed. Instead, there are more and better treatment options, and many women are candidates for breast-sparing operations.

Most breast cancer symptoms are visually observable and highlight the need for regular breast self exams.

While breast cancer cannot be prevented, early detection of cancer warning signs and early diagnosis dramatically increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

Causes Of Breast Cancer

There are many risk factors that can potentiate breast cancer in women, and the life time incidence of breast cancer is 1 in 8. This means for every 8 women you know, one of them will develop this type of cancer in their lifetime. So what causes breast cancer and what are we doing to help this to happen?

Cancer of the breast occurs when certain cells within breast tissue divide in a manner which allows uncontrolled growth and destruction of surrounding tissue; the cancer cell can then spread to lymph glands and other organs where they grow in the same destructive way. This growth is not the normal growth that is necessary to the function of the body part it is growing in, in this case, breast tissue. Researchers continue to look for the different factors which can influence the occurrence of breast cancer. They feel that essentially something happens to the DNA or genes of the cells which causes the factors which normally control growth to be compromised. This could be a genetic mutation a woman is born with, it can be age, exposure to radiation at a younger age, or a host of other lifestyle issues.
There are many causes for breast cancer, but one risk factor which has been raised and is somewhat controversial is that of obesity. There are statistics from research centers suggesting that 25-30% of breast cancer may be prevented by maintaining a lean body mass. Epidemiologists note that the incidence of this kind of cancer is rising, however they speculate that our genes have been essentially the same over the past many decades.

So what does fat have to do with breast cancer? The fat cells that develop later in life tend to store estrogen, so the more fat there is, the more estrogen the breast tissue will be exposed to. Since estrogen fuels many breast cancers, this could lead to an increased risk that some researchers feel is as high as 60 %. It is recommended by the American Cancer Society to engage in 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week to lower your risk of cancer. It is also recommended that even lean women continue to work at maintaining increased muscle mass to lessen the creation of new fat cells. As mentioned above, this risk factor is felt to be controversial and not easy to prove. It has been noted however, that the risk of breast cancer seems to occur when weight is gained later in life and not at a younger age. This may in part be due to the fact that weight gain in menopausal years is often visceral fat which is hormonally more active than subcutaneous fat.

 What are the other risk factors for Breast Cancer?

1. Gender- being female means increased amounts of estrogen acting on cell growth in breast tissue.

2. Age- 2/3 s of breast cancer occurs after age 55; 1/8 of breast cancers occur under age 45. Age effects the genes which regulate our bodies function and the older a person is, the more likelihood a mistake in the genetic code will occur.

3. Genetic factors- many women believe that if no one in their family has had cancer of the breast, they are not likely to get it. Inherited genetic mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 only account for 5-10% of cancers.

4. Family history- having a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer doubles the risk of developing this form of cancer. It is thought that 20-30% of women with breast cancer have a positive family history.

5. Prior history of breast cancer- this increases risk of a second cancer not considered a recurrence by 3-4 times.

6. Race and ethnicity- there is a slightly higher rate of breast cancer in White women over African American women, however African American women are more likely to die from their cancer as they tend to get more aggressive types of breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic and Native American women have a lower incidence and risk of dying from breast cancer.

7. Dense breast tissue- make screening harder, there is more glandular tissue and less fatty tissue.

8. Menses- beginning before age 12 and menopause after 55 increases risk due to breast tissue being exposed to more hormonal cycles. For this same reason, no children or children after 30 and less years of breast feeding can also mean more estrogen and progesterone exposure to breast tissue which in turn raises risk.

9. Previous chest radiation for other conditions such as lymphoma and certain cancers which can occur at young age.

10. DES- Women who were given DES during pregnancy and their daughters in utero at that time are at higher risk for breast cancer due to mutations of genes.

There are some life style issues that are felt to affect the risk of getting cancer in breast tissue. There is a slight increase in risk to women who have been on Oral Contraceptives for several years although this risk declines when the OCP is stopped and continues to decline there after.

Combined HRT has been shown in studies to increase the risk of cancer in breast tissue in as little as 2 years of use. This risk is somewhat attenuated when estrogen is used alone, without progesterone.

Use of more than 7 alcoholic drinks a week can also increase risk of breast cancer, this risk can be as much as 1 ½ times normal if 2-5 drinks per day are consumed on a regular basis.

Having one or more of the above risk factors does not mean a woman will get breast cancer, it merely reflects risk may be higher. Life style changes may help reduce those risks. In many cases, the diagnosis of cancer can be made early, treatments have come a long way and are very effective. There continues to be exciting research discovering new factors influencing the occurrence and growth of breast cancer, which can and will open up new therapies.

Having risk factors and an unhealthy life style can potentiate any kind of cancer, hopefully the above information will help you to reduce your risk of cancer occurring in you breasts. There are also many other health benefits to a healthy lifestyle, not just cancer prevention. Heart health and bone health are also achieved with a healthy diet, exercise, avoidance of cigarette smoking and limiting alcohol. It is not just our genes, it is also what we do to those genes.

Aerobic Activity Burns Fat

Aerobic activity is any exercise that helps you use oxygen more efficiently. It gets your heart pumping faster, makes you sweat and quickens your breath. When you raise your heart rate your body begins to burn stored carbohydrates and fatty acids for energy.

Aerobic activity is very effective in controlling your weight and is an ideal way to burn calories. Research shows that a regular aerobic routine, combined with healthy eating habits is the best way to maintain a healthy body.

Did you know that the heart is a muscle? That means you can make your heart stronger and more efficient. A regular aerobic routine will give your heart the kind of workout that will help it do a better job of delivering oxygen to all your organs.

Exercise doesn't have to be expensive to be effective. Any activity that raises the heart rate and is maintained for at least 20 minutes is considered aerobic. It can be different types of exercise like jogging, biking, rowing, swimming, dancing or even brisk walking.

The best workout routine is one that you enjoy doing because you will continue to do something you enjoy. If you vary the different types of exercise it will help keep it fun and exciting. For the best results, do some type of aerobic activity at least 3 to 4 times a week.

Aerobic exercise helps burn fat calories, increases your metabolism and if done on an empty stomach forces your body to recruit energy from stored fat cells. When you have finished your workout routine your metabolism will remain elevated for about 30 minutes. That means you continue to burn calories after you finish exercising.

If your goal is to control your weight, exercise your heart, strengthen your muscles or just feel healthier, a low-fat diet and regular aerobic activity will help you achieve and maintain a well toned and fit body. When you exercise the brain releases endorphins that put you in a better mood, Aerobic Activity Burns Fat

PEMF Cardiovascular Therapy

The stresses of our everyday life put a lot of wear and tear on our internal organs, including our hearts. Since heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, it makes sense for us to do all we can to protect our cardiovascular health. Stress causes us to remain in a state of flight or fight and causes constant adrenaline to be pumped through our systems causing this wear and tear on our organs. Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy can help reduce the damage done and keep us heart healthy by reducing the stress our bodies experience on a daily basis and energizing our cells to heal at faster rates.

PEMF therapy sends a series of low intensity electrical charges into the cells of the body. The magnetic field is used as a carrier to bring the electricity both safely into the body and quickly enough to penetrate the cell barrier. Once inside the cell, the electricity fuels the cell's metabolism. This enables them to enact rapid repairs as well as improve overall health by eliminating toxins and absorbing fresh nutrients.

This is done using a control box that transmits electrical frequencies to an applicator containing copper coils. This produces an electromagnetic field around the applicator. These frequencies work in a similar function to electroacupuncture. This FDA-approved, non invasive treatment stimulates the cells into providing a healing environment for the body. However, it is not a cure in itself. It merely helps the body to better use its own natural healing system.
It has been shown to reverse the signs of aging of the cardiovascular system. In 1999, a clinical study was performed in Russia to determine the characteristics of the geroprotective action of magneto therapy in 66 elderly patients with combined cardiovascular pathology. These patients were suffering from hypertension and ischemic heart disease. Patients received magneto systematic therapy which resulted in improved micro circulation, diastolic and pumping functions of the heart, myocardial reactivity, and central thermodynamics reducing the biological age of the cardiovascular system.

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy delivers much different results than the use of conventional treatments and painkillers. Traditional treatments relieve the symptoms but over the long run make the condition worse due to suppression of the immune system depleting the body of essential nutrients over time. However, this does not occur with pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. The experienced results of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy will vary depending on PEMF dosage and the severity of the cardiovascular condition.

There are little to no negative side effects with pulsed electromagnetic therapy. A tingling sensation due to increased blood circulation has been reported. Some patients have reported nausea and headaches as a result of toxins being flushed from the bloodstream. Muscles can become sore as the cells are "physically exercised" with therapy. There have been no known deaths associated with pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. Individuals who are using a pacemaker or other similar electrical device or have had an organ transplant are not encouraged to seek PEMF therapy.

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a disease caused by viruses mainly transmitted by Aedes aegypti (a type of mosquito), though other species of mosquito can also transmit this disease. DHF is popularly known as the "break-bone disease" because most of its victims suffer from muscle and joint pain. Diagnosis of dengue should be done promptly because the disease may progress so fast that saving the life of the patient may be impossible. This is harder than most would have thought because the first signs and symptoms of DHF are not symptom-specific.

Dengue is commonly occurring in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It is endemic in countries around the equator and potentially affects over 2.5 billion people. There are many efforts made by government and non-government organizations to at least curb down or eliminate the risk of developing DHF. Some of these efforts were successful but there is still so much work to do.

Pathophysiology of DHF

Dengue virus needs a host to thrive. When it is contracted by a mosquito, the dengue virus will stay in the saliva and when the mosquito bites a person, the saliva carrying the virus will enter the skin. The virus will then look for a cell, in this case white blood cell, where it will replicate itself as it moves throughout the body. The white blood cell will then try to suppress the proliferation of this virus. This will trigger most of the non-specific symptoms of DHF such as fever, body pains, and flu. When the body cannot stop the virus from spreading throughout the body, the virus will affect bones and liver. The virus will also feed on the small capillaries in the body which will cause its collapse. This explains the petechial hemorrhage and bleeding in different parts of the body. As the disease progresses, hypovolemic shock may happen which may lead to death.
Treatment and Management

There is no single course of treatment for dengue fever. Management greatly depends upon the symptoms experienced by the patient. One of the most common therapies performed is the oral rehydration therapy because of the great danger for dehydration. Dengue patient suffers from hemorrhage and fluid loss, thus it is important to look closely for signs of fluid deficit. In addition to this, aspirin should not be given as this might decrease blood clotting.

When the patient is already in the recovery phase, the reverse occurs. The body starts to regain and reabsorb lost fluids. There is a danger for hypervolemia. Loop diuretics may be prescribed to decrease body fluid. When the body is stable and vital signs are within normal range, stopping further intake of fluid is enough as a means of management.

Dangers of Dengue

The campaign will run with almost a thousand health officers and volunteers going to every household in areas where incidence of dengue are high. Manual household checks will be done to determine breeding spots and living areas of dengue-carrier mosquitoes. The rationale behind the campaign is that individual household checks can yield to specific preventive measures believed to be more effective than blanket policies used in the past. People and travelers alike, who are already diagnosed with dengue, will be required to use insect repellents so as to prevent more transmission from happening.

The recent outbreak of dengue in Singapore is believed to have resulted in more damages than what SARS did in 2003. The uncontrollable rise in dengue incidence has left the government clueless for some time on what else is needed to be done, given all the existing measures they have been relying to, which in fairness succeeded in mitigating the extent of cases in the past years. The new improved per-household campaign has 30 million Singaporean dollars for its budget and multi-lateral efforts from local and foreign health agencies.

Actually, it is not only Singapore that is suffering from increased rates of dengue incidence and dengue-related casualties. Indonesia, with the most cases, had 80,837 cases and 1,099 deaths during the entire year of 2005. Malaysia had 32,950 cases and 83 deaths. The Philippines islands, with 21,537 cases and 280 deaths, is also on the record for the year 2005 alone. But the increase in the rates of cases in Singapore is the highest in the Asian region, resulting in cancellation of hospital surgeries to give bed spaces for dengue patients.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue fever are acute febrile diseases transmitted by mosquito bites by mosquitoes from the Aedes aegypti group. The term "dengue" is traced to a Spanish attempt at the Swahili phrase "ki denga pepo," which means "cramp-like seizure caused by an evil spirit." The first outbreak is believed to have occurred in the Caribbean in 1827-1828. The dengue virus belongs to the genus Flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae.

This deadly infectious disease is manifested via recurring fever, extreme headaches, rashes, and muscular pains. The rash is distinctly bright red petechia, usually appearing on the lower limbs at the beginning, and the chest later on. But in some cases of severeness, the rashes can spread all over a patient's body. Other signs like gastritis, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting can also be observed. A typical dengue fever will last about six up to seven days. The fever will peak before it ends.

When a patient is suffering from a dengue case, the platelet count in the blood drops, resulting in further health hazards. As of now, there is still no commercially available vaccine for the flavivirus. The Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative (PDVI) initiated in 2003 is yet the farthest scientists have gone in coming up with a vaccine to directly combat the virus causing dengue fever. The current measures being undertaken to cure dengue-inflicted people are mainly of supportive measures only. High oral intake of fluids or the supplementation of intravenous fluid are prescribed to prevent dehydration. In worst cases where in the platelet count is alarmingly low, blood transfusion is the last resort.

Still, as a cliche goes, prevention is still better than cure. This is especially true in the absence of a specific cure as in the case of the deadly dengue. Basic prevention measure is the elimination of hubs, where mosquitoes thrive. This will not only deny existence for dengue-carrying mosquitoes but it will also affect those that carry malaria virus. Individual, community, and governmental efforts should play hand-in-hand to ensure the effectiveness of this basic measure. Spraying of insecticides in public areas, cleaning of clogged drainage systems in the community, and keeping each household free of breeding spots are the most practical steps in protecting the community from dengue. Personal prevention may be in the form of using mosquito nets, applying repellents, covering of exposed skin, using bed nets, and avoiding endemic areas. Other governments can also come up with innovative measures like what Singapore initiated.

Kazakhstan 100 tenge 2014 - International Women's Day

New silver collectors' issue:

'8th March - International Women's Day'

(news and image by Eduard Khan)

You can find this coin and many others at: Eduard's eBay store

Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention

Dengue fever has become a major health concern today. Every year anywhere from 50 to 390 million people are infected with the disease. The number of dengue cases has risen dramatically since the 1960s. Today, dengue is a global health concern and is endemic to more than 110 countries. There is no commercially available vaccine for dengue and prevention is the only option. Preventive measures are directed at reducing mosquito populations and limiting exposure to mosquito bites.

Dengue is caused by the dengue virus. There are five serotypes of the virus. The first four serotypes are referred to as DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. The virus is transmitted by aedes mosquitoes. The principal vector is the A. aegypti mosquito. Mosquitoes which spread dengue generally bite during the day, particularly in the morning or evening. A single bite can result in infection.

Generally, a major proportion of the people infected with the dengue virus do not present any symptoms or show mild symptoms. Severe illness is observed only in 5% of the cases. The condition can be life threatening in a small proportion of the cases. The incubation period for dengue is 3 to 14 days. Characteristic symptoms of dengue include sudden fever, headache, eye pain, muscle and body pains and a measles-like rash. Dengue fever is also known as 'breakbone fever' due to the associated muscle and joint pains.

The course of dengue is divided into three phases: febrile, critical and recovery. The febrile phase lasts for two to seven days. Symptoms observed in this phase include high fever (above 40 C) and pain and headache. Nausea and vomiting may also be experienced. In 50-80% of the cases, body rashes are observed.
In some cases, the disease progresses to the critical stage. During this period, plasma leakage occurs leading to fluid accumulation in the chest and abdominal cavities. Depletion of fluid from the circulatory system and reduced blood supply to vital organs may also result. Dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever are observed in less than 5% of all dengue cases. The critical phase occurs more commonly in children and your adults.

In the recovery phase, reabsorption of leaked fluid takes place. A second rash may present in the recovery phase. Fluid overload may also occur and cause reduced levels of consciousness or seizures in some cases. The feeling of fatigue will last for weeks.
There are no antiviral drugs to treat dengue. Treatment is aimed at maintaining proper fluid balance in the body and providing relief from the symptoms. Paracetamol is prescribed to control fever and reduce discomfort. Oral or intravenous rehydration is used to maintain proper fluid balance. Blood transfusion is prescribed to stabilize hematocrit.

There are no approved vaccines for dengue. However, work is ongoing on a vaccine and medications that target the dengue virus directly. Prevention is sought by reducing mosquito populations by eliminating breeding grounds and using pesticides and limiting exposure to bites using mosquito repellents and protective clothing.