Saturday, December 1, 2007

Magnolia and its uses

Though all magnolias have been used for practical purposes long before they began to be planted as ornamentals, and all possess similar properties. Some uses of Yulan Magnolia are given below. Yulan magnolia is one of the most ornamental Magnolia trees. The flower buds are used to flavour foods like rice. Flower buds and bark is also used as a tonic, astringent. It is said that a tea from the bark was used as a quinine substitute source. The bark was also sometimes chewed to help with smoking cessation. The wood has also long been used for cabinetry and veneers. Oil is extracted from leaves and flowers. The pounded leaves are used for toothache.

Two species of Magnulia are Cultivated in northern part of Pakistan. The Magnolia is considered to be a symbol of purity in China and Japan. It is native to China.It is known that The Magnolia is the oldest plant in Angiosperm. Magnolia is usually a deciduous tree, their trees are tall and flowers very beautiful. Some magnolias can live as long as over 1,000 years.Magnolia is one of the well-known flowers traditionally cultivated in China, and inspired a lot of verses in praise of it in the ancient and modern time.
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Sweet Magnolia: Tree Bark Extract Fights Bad Breath And Tooth Decay

Yulan Magnolia

Friday, November 30, 2007


Every moment is the perfect consequence
of the moments that have passed.

Every moment is the perfect consequence
of the seeds that have been planted.

Every moment of the future will be a perfect reflection
of the seeds that you are planting right now.

Gem Of The Month - Topaz

Topaz is a fluorine aluminium silicate and comes in yellow, yellow-brown, honey-yellow, flax, brown, green, blue, light blue, red and pink ... and sometimes it has no colour at all.
Topaz is a birthstone for November. In the past topazes have been used to cure bad vision. The topaz is attributed with a cooling, styptic and appetising effect. It is said to dispel sadness, anger and nocturnal fears, to warn its wearer of poisons and protect him or her from sudden death.
Topazes were also used in the middle age against the Bubonic plague. In the ancient medicine the powder of this mineral, mixed with wine was used to prevent asthma and insomnia.Topaz is still the stone of the intelligence, long life, beauty and loyalty.

Pakistan’s unsung heroes: Hassan Sadpara - first Baltistani to climb all 5, 8000ers

( Hassan Sadpara has become the first Baltistani climber to have scaled all the five major peaks in Pakistan. You might have noticed his name with hard-core international expeditions - such as the Polish Nanga Parbat winter climb last season.

Unlike Nepal’s top Sherpas; star Pakistani and Tibetan high altitude porters/climbers are little know within the international world of mountaineering, and even less outside of it.

Global warming points for sale

ExplorersWeb’s correspondent in Pakistan Karrar Haidri reports that Hassan climbed Nanga Parbat in 1999, K2 in 2004, both Gasherbrums in 2006, and Broad Peak finally this year.

Born in 1963, Hassan started his mountaineering carrier in 1996 at age 33; inspired by his father. He works out of the Sadpara village which back then lacked electricity although it’s located only 7 kilometers away from Skardu - can’t blame these guys for global warming!

“We never had any books; no one was even registered in our village back when I started my work as a mountain porter,” Hassan told ExlorersWeb.

The underdogs

It’s one thing to climb big walls and 8000ers well-fed and sponsored by multi-national companies; wearing the latest in tech-wear and hiring porters to carry our stuff. It’s another story to start from a dirt house; use whatever gear is handed down and lug others’ belongings up the hills.

Hassan climbed his way to the top of the world from the very bottom of it; even becoming one of the increasingly fewer mountaineers who did K2 without oxygen. So what now?

Hassan on the cover of Alpinist?

Although they would be cool to show the neighbors; the mountaineer is not after glossy pics of himself published in climbing mags - other things are more important in Hassan’s world: “A middle school has been opened by the government in our village now,” he proudly told Karrar. But, “we also need medical facilities,” the eager beaver added.

“The small dispensary we have now is not enough to fulfill the needs of the poor people in our village. If a person is in a critical condition then they must go to Skardu, seven kilometers away. People die on the way,” Hassan said.

Deep inside though, Hassan is just like each one of us, “If I could get sponsors I would proudly take my flag to the top of Mount Everest,” he said. And yet he’s not one of us at all, “I’m just a climber for hire,” Hassan said. “I don’t even have my own trekking agency.”

To date only the Alpine Club of Pakistan has recognized Hassan’s achievements; ACP has requested the Government to honor Hassan with the Presidential Award.

Working hard for the money - in only the past year Hassan has made three major climbs: He summited G2 with the Korean Donga-A G2 team last year, worked as porter for Krzysztof Wielicki’s Polish expedition to winter Nanga Parbat past winter (but became sick early on) and summited Broad Peak as a porter this summer.

While Hassan is the first Baltistani climber to have scaled all the five major peaks in Pakistan; Rajab Shah was the first Pakistani to climb all the five eight thousand meter peaks in the country.

Hassan Sadpara (top image) summited Broad Peak this year on July 12 together with his brother (bottom). Image compiled by ExplorersWeb .

Taken from:
01:34 am EST Nov 23, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Many Mammals Came from India, Discovery Suggests

As if hidden from the paleo tooth fairy, a lone molar belonging to a hoofed mammal stayed tucked beneath a pillow of volcanic rock in central India for more than 65 million years. Recently uncovered, the tooth predates similar fossils found across the globe.

The dental discovery sheds light on the evolution of adaptations that allowed a group of mammals called ungulates to thrive as expert grazers. It also suggests, according to newly published research on the tooth, that the Indian subcontinent could be the point of origin of many groups of mammals.

The lower right molar, about half the size of an ant (2.5 millimeters long), was found embedded in central India's Deccan volcanic flows. The researchers estimate the tooth dates back to the late Cretaceous period (144 million to 65 million years ago), a time when India was not connected with other continents and dinosaurs still walked the Earth.

The fossil belonged to a new species of ungulate dubbed Kharmerungulatum vanvaleni, a hoofed animal related to modern horses, cows, pigs, sheep and deer. And it represents the oldest known evidence for the so-called archaic ungulates (small, primitive hoofed mammals), predating by millions of years the explosion of mammalian life that occurred during Paleocene Epoch, from 65 million to nearly 55 million years ago.

"Until now, the known fossil record of [the] oldest archaic ungulates or supposed ancestors of living ungulates comes from the Early Paleocene of North America," Guntupalli Prasad of the University of Jammu in India told LiveScience. He is the lead author of the tooth study, detailed in the Nov. 9 issue of the journal Science.

The teeth of mammals living during the late Cretaceous, Prasad noted, generally sported sharp and pointy cusps and, over evolutionary time, dental modifications led to expert grinders. However, the tooth of the new mammal was flat and broad, suggesting it was already adapted for munching grass rather than for tearing through meaty meals.

"We consider Kharmerungulatum to represent an early stage in the evolution of ungulates," Prasad and his colleagues write.
Taken from:
LiveScience, Staff Writer
posted: 08 November 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

World's First Tree Reconstructed

Earth's oldest known tree stood nearly 30 feet tall and looked like a modern palm, a new reconstruction shows.

Workers uncovered hundreds of upright stumps of the 385 million-year-old tree more than a century ago, after a flash flood in Gilboa, New York uncovered them, but little else was known about the tree’s appearance.

Then, in 2004, scientists unearthed a 400-pound fossilized top—or crown—of the same genus a few miles away. The following summer, the same team discovered fragments of a 28-foot trunk. Piecing together stump, trunk and crown now reveals what the full tree looked like for the first time.

“These were very big trees,” said study team member William Stein, a paleobotanist at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

“Our reconstruction shows them to be a lot longer and much more treelike than any of the reconstructions before,” Stein told LiveScience. “I don’t think any of us dared think of them being quite that big.”

The tree belonged to a group of early fern-like plants called Wattieza. Unlike flowering plants, which use seeds to reproduce, Wattieza used spores, the reproductive method of choice for algae, ferns and fungi.

The finding, detailed in the March 19 issue of the journal Nature, will help scientists understand a crucial turning-point in our planet’s history—when the first forests appeared.

“In forming the first forests, they must have really changed the Earth system as a whole, creating new types of micro-environments for smaller plants and insects, storing large amounts of carbon and binding the soil together,” said study leader Christopher Berry of Cardiff University in Wales.

Now extinct, Wattieza lived during the Middle Devonian period, before aquatic creatures clambered onto land. “The trees preceded dinosaurs by 140 million years,” said study team member Ed Landing of the New York State Museum. “There was nothing flying, no reptiles and no amphibians.”

The rise of land plants such as Wattieza drastically altered the climate and paved the way for terrestrial animals and insects. “The rise of forests removed a lot of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” Berry explained. “This caused temperatures to drop and the planet became very similar to its present-day conditions.”

Taken from:
livescince,18 April 2007.

Healthier Apples

The red delicious apple tested highest and in all apples the peel contained the greatest amounts of the healthful chemicals.Many fruits contain more antioxidants than apples, but popularity and year-round availability make them an important source of antioxidants.It is said that the Red Delicious contain the highest concentrations of the health enhancing chemicals.And to get the most bang for your bite, be sure to eat the peel.

The skin of Red Delicious apples contains over six times more antioxidant activity. It contains more disease fighting antioxidants according to a new study.It is also found out that the chemicals responsible for antioxidant activity in apples — probably is most useful to horticulturists breeding new, antioxidant-rich varieties.

The information also could lead to the development of techniques for harvesting antioxidants from the waste products of the apple processing industry, the bulk of which is peel. Though apples have significantly lower concentrations of antioxidants than other fruits, especially many berries, researchers say year-round availability and greater popularity might make them a better source for many people.

Taken from:


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