Archive for May, 2015


Monday 18th May 2015
Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage : Part 3 & 4
His journey continues from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Albania
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Tuesday 19th May 2015
Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 20th May 2015
Expedition to Mount Vinson
Dr Peter Berning set off to Antarctica in December 2014,
conquered not only Mount Vinson, but also another peak
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Michael Lond 044-533-0018

Friday 22nd May 2015
French Conversation
10H30 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 22nd May 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Amelia White 044-533-0113

Hypermobility Is A Blessing And A Curse – part 2

Can you really be double-jointed?
So what does it mean to be double-jointed? Does it mean you have two joints instead of the normal allotment of one? Is there one joint that allows for normal motion, and another that allows for extra motion, or does one joint just not work right? — you won’t see anything like it.

Double-what-ted? Hypermobility

Before we discuss what it means to be “double-jointed” (a term we’ll analyze closer in a moment), we should learn a little about how a “normal” joint works.
A joint is basically where two bones meet, allowing one to move against the other. The ends of the bones are tipped with cartilage where contact is made to prevent damage. Ligaments and other connective tissue hold the bones together. The motion is caused by muscle contraction or extension, and the muscles are attached to the bones by tendons.
Most joints allow for a standard range of motion. For instance, your elbow allows you to bend your arm and straighten it. If your arm was extended past the point where it essentially formed a straight line, it would likely cause a dislocation of the joint — a painful separation of the bones and the ligaments that hold them in place.

However, some people do have a larger range of motion in their joints than others. The term double-jointed is commonly used, but it’s not accurate. Try joint hypermobility or joint hyperlaxity instead. A person with hypermobility in the elbow may be able to extend his or her arm 10 degrees or so beyond what most of us consider to be a full extension.
How is this possible? Genetics play a large role, because the shape of the ligaments and the bone structure in large part determines the amount of motion a joint will have. Your hips and shoulders both have ball-and-socket joints: The end of one bone has a bulb that fits into a cuplike space on the other bone. If the ball is deep in the socket, the range of motion will be quite good, but not as good as when the ball rests shallowly in the socket. In fact, some people can roll the ball out of the socket and then roll it back in.

Many Degrees of Separation: Pros and Cons of Being Hypermobile

There are some benefits and drawbacks to joint hypermobility. The upside includes possible advantages for musicians or athletes. Think of a pianist with hypermobile fingers and thumbs, or a gymnast with hypermobile hips or vertebrae. Other advantages include freaking out your family members at the dinner table and winning bets in bars. This ability must be honed in order to maintain it, though, whether you’re a concert pianist or just a hypermobile hobbyist. If you have extra range of motion, you must keep your joints limber through regular stretching, or some of that ability may be lost as you age.

On the other hand (the extra-bendy one), hypermobility often comes with a steep price. There is an increased risk of arthritis in hypermobile joints, especially fingers. There may be extreme pain felt in many different joints, especially in younger people who are going through rapid growth spurts. Although some athletes may benefit from hypermobility, other people with hypermobile joints are more vulnerable to injuries. Several different but related conditions that cause pain or discomfort are grouped under the umbrella term hypermobility syndrome (HMS).

To be clear, having joints with hypermobility doesn’t mean you have HMS — only if it’s the source of chronic pain, which occurs in a minority of people with hypermobile joints. However, if you do suffer from HMS, there is a 1-in-2 chance your offspring will as well Interestingly, if you can do things like put both feet behind your head and walk around on hyperextended arms while swinging your upper body between your elbows, local anesthetics may not be as effective on you as your less flexible compatriots. Research has indicated that local anesthetics seem to have little or no effect on many hypermobile people, something you may want to mention to your doctor if you have a medical procedure or pregnancy approaching.

So, you can’t be double-jointed, but only because the term doesn’t really mean anything. You can, however, be hypermobile, meaning you put just a little extra in everything you do.

Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256 •

Understanding Pet Food Labels

Reading and understanding a pet food label is challenging. “Chicken n’ Fish Gourmet Dinner for Cats,” “Yum-Yum Premium Quality Chef’s Special Chicken De-Lite Puppy Chow,” “Brand X All-Natural Happy Paws Dog Food.” You’ve seen it all before: the catchy labels, the TV ads that try to make pet food look as tasty and appealing as what you serve your family to eat. But just what’s in that stuff? And whether it comes out of a can, a box, or a foil packet, how do you compare the nutrient values on different pet food labels? What does it all mean?
Product Name and Product Ingredients: 95 Percent, 25 Percent, or 3 Percent?
It should be pretty easy to tell what’s in a serving of pet food; alas, it requires a little work. The first order of business is to figure out if you’re getting what you think you’re getting. If the label says “beef,” how much is actually beef? The Center for Veterinary Medicine of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides a summary for consumers of pet food labeling rules.

There are three basic rules:
The 95 Percent Rule

If a product bears a name such as “Beef for Dogs” or “Tuna Cat Food,” the rules require that at least 95 percent of the product consist of the named ingredient – in this case, beef or tuna – not counting the water added for processing. If the name includes some other food, such as “Chicken ‘n Tuna Cat Food,” the two food items together must comprise 95 percent of the total weight, and the first-named product must be the one that predominates. (In other words, it can’t be called “Chicken ‘n Tuna” if it has more tuna than chicken.)
NOTE: This rule applies only to ingredients of animal origin. So, a can of “Chicken and Rice Dog Food” must contain at least 95 percent chicken.

The 25 Percent Rule
But suppose the label says “Shrimp Dinner.” If there is a qualifying word, such as “Dinner,” Entree,” “Platter,” “Formula,” etc., the named ingredient(s) must comprise at least 25% of the product – again, not counting added water – but less than 95 percent. This can be important. Suppose your cat doesn’t like fish (not all cats do). You might think that it will go for a food labeled “Chicken Dinner.” Not necessarily. That food may be only 25 percent chicken. Much of the rest may actually be fish. In fact, it may contain more fish than chicken as long as the two ingredients together comprise at least 25% of the whole.
The 3 Percent Rule

A third wrinkle in the labeling rules has to do with a seemingly simple innocent word: “with.” If a pet food label contains that word in its product name, there only has to be 3 percent of that product – not 95 percent or 25 percent – in the package. For example, while a product called “Tuna Cat Food” must contain 95 percent tuna, a product labeled “Cat Food with Tuna” only has to contain 3 percent tuna. So, it’s important to read the label carefully.

Ingredients vs. Nutrients: ‘Guaranteed Analysis’
OK, now you know what ingredients are in the can. But what about things like protein, vitamins, minerals, and the other substances that your pet needs for proper nutrition? This is where “guaranteed analysis” comes in.

The FDA rules require that pet food labels state the minimum percentages of protein and fat, and the maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture. Many manufacturers also list other nutrients as well. Dog food labels frequently include the minimum percentage levels of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and linoleic acid. Cat food labels will usually also list the quantities of taurine and magnesium, two nutrients that are essential for feline nutrition.

Moisture Content
The story would end there but for one complication: Different pet foods have different moisture contents. Dry pet foods have the least, “moist” pet foods have more, canned pet foods have the most. So, when comparing different labels, don’t mix apples with oranges. Compare one canned food with another, one dry food with another, and so forth. If you want to compare two different types of foods, you’ll have to do a calculation that takes into account the different moisture contents of the foods. If you’re feeling ambitious, the FDA website will tell you how.

A Comprehensive Approach
As important as it is to know what’s in your pet’s food, remember that there’s more to good nutrition than reading pet food labels. You also have to know what your pet’s nutritional requirements are. Check with your veterinarian for pet-specific advice. He or she is your best source of information.•

Hypermobility Is A Blessing And A Curse – part 1

The hypermobile among us tend to be underserved by exercise world.
Hypermobility means that you have joints that move too easily beyond what it is their prescribed range of motion. Joints move in different ways—some hinge while others glide, rotate or roll.
The mobility of a joint is determined by the tonus of the ligaments, muscles and tendons that surround them. Ligaments connect bone to bone and have very little elasticity— way less than muscles and slightly more than tendons. Hypermobility is most often due to ligaments that are excessively lax allowing for too much movement in the joint.
Having loose ligaments and hypermobile joints doesn’t necessarily mean you have long and open muscles. It is just as likely that someone with hypermobility is loose in the joints and tight in the muscles. Both variation comes with its own issues, and both are consternating.
You can also be hypermobile in one part of the body and not another. In my case my hips are as open as can be. I have a full turn out and an extreme hyperextension of the knees. In my upper body while my shoulders are fairly open my upper back is tight and I can’t hyperextend my elbows.
There is also a distinction to be made between loose ligaments and overly stretched ligaments— which develop due to poor posture. If you hyperextend the knees or tuck the pelvis sinking the thighs forward you will invariably strain and stretch the ligaments of the knee, and the iliofemoral ligament of the hip. If loose ligaments aren’t your issue  and you change your posture to better align the legs under the pelvis, the over stretched ligaments will return to their natural tone.
The curse of hyperextension is how often it goes unrecognized as pain symptoms manifest and sometimes multiply. Another problem with hypermobility and those with loose muscles (which are unfortunately also frequently weak) is that hypermobile people usually appear to have an enviable exercise practice while doing poses in a way that might come back to haunt them. It is easy to see a hypermobile person in a deep backbend that looks very impressive while it is actually compressive putting undue strain on many of the body’s joints.
The blessing of hypermobility would be that it is nice to be loose with very mobile joints. Once you realized that you are hypermobile, you must set about building muscle to support you loose joints.
Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256 •

AKC Cavalier Spaniel

The AKC Cavalier Spaniel is beautifully small with dark round expressive eyes that are large but not too prominent. Its tail is sometime docked to no less than three times its length. The AKC Cavalier Spaniel has a conical muzzle and a flat skull. It also has a shallow stop, with well developed nose and wide nostrils. The ears are long with a lot of feathering. It also carries a silky coat on its flesh, which can sometimes be slightly wavy and comes in ruby, black and tan, tri-colour and Blenheim, which is a rich chestnut on a pearly-white background. On Blenheim dogs, a chestnut-red spot on top of the head and between the ears is preferred by breeders.

The AKC Cavalier Spaniel is an eager, highly affectionate tail-wagging dog. It is very lively, outgoing and sporty. These are fearless dogs that want to please their owners. They are intelligent enough to understand what you would be wanting and therefore are commonly easy to train and respond well to gentle obedience training.

These dogs are said to be naturally well behaved animals and they get along well with other dogs and also with the non-canine pets. AKC Cavalier Spaniel love and adore people and they require loads of companionship and love to be satisfied and joyfully happy. It is suggested that they should not be left alone by themselves all day long. They are descended from hunting dogs and love to prance in the vast outdoors. This breed sometimes shows signs of a chasing instinct and therefore should be kept well enclosed or leashed so he does not get lost or get run down by a car!

They are best with older considerate children and some can be quite reserved with strangers. The AKC Cavalier Spaniel is a compassionate companion. It has a noteworthy sense of smell and vision, thus making it valuable for small hunts in the open country. It should be noted that they do very well in competitive obedience.

The dog is great for an apartment life. They are reasonably active indoors and a small yard should be adequate for them. However, it should be noted that they do not thrive well in very warm conditions.
Exercise and grooming are two very important factors in any animal’s life. Whatever exercise you can provide will be just fine with this adaptable dog, as they will soon adapt to your family’s circumstances. Nevertheless, they greatly enjoy romping around in the park. As for the grooming part, comb or brush your AKC Cavalier Spaniel with a firm bristle brush, and bathe or dry shampoo as need be. The feathered hair on the ears is prone to get tangled and matted, so this dog should be thoroughly groomed often. The hair between the pads of its feet should be kept trimmed and the ears should be cleaned regularly. Always make sure the dog is thoroughly dry and warm after a bath. You should also check the eyes carefully for any signs of infection. This dog is a frequent shedder.

So all set to get your new AKC Cavalier Spaniel as a companion? If yes then make sure that when you are purchasing your AKC Cavalier Spaniel it is truly an AKC registered dog with a seal. Sometimes an AKC bought pet from a pet shop or a backyard breeder can be highly unsafe. As it can be an illegal seal of AKC. Make sure that you purchase you AKC Cavalier Spaniel from a dependable breeder. Now go ahead and enjoy your new friend!.•


Monday 11th May 2015
Geological Wonders of the World
The African Rift Valley & Yellowstone Geysers and Hot Springs
The Earth has the most outstanding geological destinations
Two lavishly illustrated half hour lectures will be shown
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-Ordinator: Alain Leger 044-533-2963

Tuesday 12th May 2015
Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 13th May 2015
The Last Explorers : Part 4 of 4
Neil Oliver travels to Japan to uncover
the extraordinary story of Thomas Blake Glover
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Michael Lond 044-533-0018

Friday 15th May 2015
French Conversation
10H30 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 15th May 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Ameila White 044-533-0113

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