Mental Health Awareness

Mental health is a much talked about topic these days. Earlier people barely talked of it let alone address it as a genuine problem. But this is changing. People are becoming more and more vocal about their mental health issues and sharing their stories over the internet with the hope that it might help someone. 

What is mental health?

Mental health is a total of our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act.

How we handle stress, relate to others and make choices also depends on our mental health.
But with growing restlessness and fast-moving life, we have neglected our mental health. Neglecting our mental health gives rise to many mental problems. It reflects in your mood, behaviour and thinking. 

Not just restlessness and life but there are other factors also that contribute to mental health problems. Including:

  • Biological factors like genes and or brain chemistry 
  • Life experiences like trauma and stress
  • Family history of mental health problems. 

A person with good mental health will be able to realise their full potential, cope with stresses in life, work productively and make meaningful contribution to the community as whole.

Early signs of mental health problems

Some you might know may be suffering from mental health issues without you being completely unaware about it. Notice the following symptoms and reach out to them if you think they need help. 

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Having low or no energy
  • Pulling away from people and social activities 
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Yelling or fighting 
  • Severe mood swings 
  • Having unexplained aches and pains 

There are other symptoms as well but these are the most common ones. It is very crucial to identify these signs and help the one in need or get professional help before the situation gets worse. People who are suffering from mental health problems may also try to harm themselves. Before the situation gets to this, it is advisable to seek help from a professional. 

Mental health awareness

The pandemic had a big toll on everyone’s mental health. Apart from the people who died because of the coronavirus, there were hundreds of people who died because of mental health issues. It was also reported that the number of suicides increased during the lockdown. 

But our society has since very long considered mental health a myth and has continuously ignored the problem. And the main reason behind this ignorance is the lack of awareness. 

More than half of the people still consider depression as being just sad or crying. They are unaware of the fact that a person may look happy on the outside but may be suffering alone on the inside. They still don’t know that depression and anxiety are so much more than just being sad. 

This is where awareness comes in. People and celebrities have openly started talking about their struggles with mental health. This has encouraged many people to come forward and talk about their stories. Many helplines have also been set up for people who need to talk to someone or a professional. 

You can talk to someone you trust or a loved one. But if you feel like the situation is much worse which can’t be solved by talking out, seek professional help. 

It’s not always the person suffering from a mental health problem who has to reach out to help. If you know someone who might be suffering you can also reach out first. Check up on your loved ones once in a while because it might make a lot of difference. 

In the end, awareness is important but it is useless if not brought into action and implemented properly. 

Axiom announces crew for the first private space mission

It was everyone’s dream to go to space once. The dream started when we aspired to become astronauts but this dream changed as we grew up. Earlier it was only possible for astronauts to go to space. But Elon Musk had other plans. Currently, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk is preparing to send 3 people in space. Yes, you read it right. 3 people who are not astronauts will soon go on a journey to outer space and live the dream we all had.

Axiom Space announced on January 26 that it has selected a crew for the first-ever private mission to the International Space station. It is a crew of four people. One is a NASA veteran and three private paying customers. 

The proposed mission is set to launch a SpaceX Crew Dragon. But this mission will not happen before January 2022. The crew will stay at the International Space Station for a time period of eight days. The objective of this mission is to conduct extensive research and undertake “philanthropic projects”. 

The crew members are:

  • Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA astronaut. He will be the flight’s commander 
  • Larry Connor will be the flight’s pilot.
  • Mark Pathy will serve as a mission specialist.
  • Eytan Stibbe will also serve as a mission specialist. 

Michael Lopez has logged a total of 260 days in outer space in his previous missions and is also the vice president at Axiom. Lopez-Alegria will be the first former NASA astronaut to return to orbit and visit the ISS. He will also be 63 when he launches. 

At the age of 71 years, Connor will become the second oldest person to fly to space. He is the head of the Connor Group, a luxury apartment investment firm with over $3 billion in assets. 

Pathy, 50, will be the 11th Canadian to fly to space after nine Canadian Space Agency astronauts and the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, who became Canada’s first so-called “space tourist” in 2009.

Patthy is the CEO and Chairman of Marvik, a privately owned investment and financing company. 

Stibbe, who was born in Haifa, will be the second Israeli to launch into space, following his friend Ilan Ramon, who tragically died on the space shuttle Columbia in 2003. Stibbe founded the Vital Capital Fund, which is focused on business and financing ventures primarily in Africa. He is also one of the founders and is a board member of the Center for African Studies at Ben-Gurion University. 

Although Axiom did not disclose the price the three commercial astronauts paid to be on the Ax-1 mission. But according to internal sources, an estimate of cost-per-person is priced around $55 million. 

The mission now needs the approval from NASA. Axiom also proposed the potential of flying two per year. Axiom and NASA are currently working through a Basic Ordering Agreement that will enable private astronaut missions to the ISS. 

The Axiom space station modules will initially be attached to the Harmony node of the ISS. After the ISS is retired, the modules will be separated. It will then become the first free-flying commercial space station in low Earth orbit. 

How CSR expenditure rules have changed for Indian companies

The Corporate Affairs Ministry has amended the rules for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure by India Inc to allow companies to undertake multi-year projects, and also require that all CSR implementing agencies be registered with the government. We look at some of the key changes.

How do the new rules enable corporations to undertake multi-year CSR projects?

All companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or net profit of Rs 5 crore or more, are required to spend 2 per cent of their average profits of the previous three years on CSR activities every year. The amended CSR rules allow companies to set off CSR expenditure above the required 2 per cent expenditure in any fiscal year against required expenditure for up to three financial years. Experts do, however, note that there was ambiguity whether the rule would apply for expenditure undertaken prior to the amendment.

“The government may consider allowing corporates which have in good faith incurred excess CSR expenditure in the past to set it off against future CSR expenditure requirements,” said Harish Kumar, partner at law firm L&L partners.

What are the changes required for implementing agencies?

A large number of companies conduct CSR expenditure through implementing agencies, but the new amendment restricts companies from authorising either a Section 8 company or a registered public charitable trust to conduct CSR projects on their behalf. A Section 8 company is a company registered with the purpose of promoting charitable causes, applies profits to promoting its objectives and is prohibited from distributing dividends to shareholders. Further, all such entities will have to be registered with the government by April 1.

Experts note that the change would impact CSR programmes of a number of large Indian companies that conduct projects through private trusts.

Kumar said the change would mean such private trusts would either have to be converted to registered public trusts, or stop acting as CSR implementing agencies “given that a sizeable amount of CSR is being contributed through their private trusts by many companies, including blue-chip companies.”

An expert who did not wish to be quoted said private trusts such as the Reliance Foundation, Bharti Foundation and DLF Foundation, which handle a majority of CSR expenditure for affiliated companies, would be impacted by this change.

What are other key changes?

The amended rules require that any corporation with a CSR obligation of Rs 10 crore or more for the three preceding financial years would be required to hire an independent agency to conduct impact assessment of all of their project with outlays of Rs 1 crore or more. Companies will be allowed to count 5 per cent of the CSR expenditure for the year up to Rs 50 lakh on impact assessment towards CSR expenditure.

Social Media Detox

Social media has a part of our daily routine. We spend hours looking at our phones, chatting and exploring things. We scroll endlessly until we go off to sleep at night. Our lives have somewhat started revolving around Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. We are curious to know what is happening around the world, the latest trends and keep yourself updated about the latest memes. On average a person spends 1 hour 40 minutes per day browsing through social media. 

Although the world has come closer because of social media it has also increased restlessness in human beings. We start feeling anxious if we don’t check our social media handles every half hour at most. 

Talking about the content of social media. There is a variety of content available to people. From funny to informative, social media has everything. But the lifestyle portrayed on social media can make people feel insecure about themselves. And this results in anxiety and depression. Because we desire to achieve that lifestyle instantly. We beat ourselves up and feel hopeless if we are not able to do that.

Therefore, it is very important to take a break from social media once in a while. It is very essential to break the online walls we have created for ourselves and connect with reality.

How to do a proper Social Media Detox?

  1. Deactivate your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. It will help you from not checking your social media accounts again and again. 
  2. Uninstall your social media apps. If the apps are not on your phone you will not feel the urge to use them.
  3. Replace social media with some other activity. The time you spend on social media, use it to do something else. Like rediscovering a long lost hobby or honing your skills. 
  4. Talk to your family and friends. The people you have been avoiding for a long time, it’s time to meet them and enjoy the moment like you did before social media took over you. 
  5. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Meditation gives you a moment to reflect on yourself and clears your mind up. Mindfulness will increase your attention span and you will not get distracted easily.

Benefits of social media detox:

There are many reasons how social media detox benefits our day to day life. Some of the benefits of social media detox are:

  • It breaks the comparison cycle. We usually compare ourselves to what we see online. A social media detox will help us break that comparison cycle and focus on ourselves completely.
  • It is not essential to post everything from your life on social media. It is because social media is a dangerous place and many cybercrimes happen through the stuff we post online. It is essential to maintain your privacy, and thus, you should refrain from posting for some time. 
  • We have become so anxious that we feel like we are running a race all the time. And this race is between who has a better life as portrayed on social media. This has made us very competitive. A social media detox will help overcome this feeling of continuous competitiveness. 
  • It will also improve our mood. We will have more time for ourselves and we can focus on other thighs that make us happy in real life. 

According to scientists, a social media detox should last up to 3 months at least. But the dopamine levels can take longer to return to the normal level if someone is excessively addicted to social media.

We have forgotten what it’s like to sit with our family and friends and live in the moment. We are so engrossed in our online lives that we forget how important human essence is. Maybe it’s time we switch off our phones and make real-life connections instead of online connections alone.

Essential Medical Check-ups

We’ve always been told that health is wealth. Even then we forget to take care of bodies the way it deserves. We delay doctor’s appointments and eat whatever pleases not only our taste buds but also our eyes. We ignore the harmful effects it can have on our body. This ignorance does not pay off well as we grow old. 

When we reach a certain age, doctors advice everyone to undergo some health check-ups according to different age groups at regular intervals. 

They help in the early detection and treatment of diseases if any. Some of these tests are given below for your convenience and awareness. They may depend on the age group you fall in.

  1. Weigh yourself:

Knowing your body weight is very important. You should not be more than the required body weight nor less. You might hate getting on the scale but it is a must. You don’t need to visit a doctor for this and it can be done at home.

  1. Blood Test:

A blood test will reveal several things about your body. You may fear a needle but a blood test will only benefit you. It is not very expensive and very quick. It will help you keep a track of your haemoglobin levels, RBCs, WBCs and will also tell you if you have any blood-related issues. 

  1. Cholesterol profile:

Now you will need to go through the painful process of withdrawing blood but keeping a cholesterol check is very important. According to physicians, screening once for the age group of 9-11 years, once between the age of 17-21 years and every 4-6 years after that. If you have a family history of cholesterol or suffer from obesity, cholesterol tests become even more essential.

  1. Pap and Pelvic Exam for women:

Pap smears, pelvic exam and breast examination are very important for women after the age of 21 years. They might cause discomfort but help in detecting cancer cells and diseases that may result in infertility. Pap tests should begin at the age of 21 years and should be done every 3 years till the age of 65 years. Women who have normal results of the pap test can get the test done every five years after the age of 30. Women who are sexually active and are under 24 years and below should also get gonorrhoea, chlamydia and HIV screening. Women at average risk of breast cancer should get a clinical test every 1-3 years if they fall under the age group of 25-39 years. If they are 40 and above they should get it done every year. 

  1. Eye test:

You might not have expected this test on the list and think that you only need to get an eye test when your vision becomes blurry. But no, eye test not only involves tests for eyesight but other eye-related problems as well. So it is recommended that before turning 40 you visit an eye doctor and get a detailed eye test once. If you have vision problems, you should go more often. 

  1. Blood Sugar Test:

Usually, this test is recommended for people who are in their 30s. This test is done after 12 hours of fasting and helps in detecting diabetes. If your test results are <90, your sugar levels are normal. If the results say 100-110, it is pre-diabetes. But if the test is more than 110, the person is suffering from diabetes. If your reading is normal you can get the test done once in a year.

  1. ECG test: 

This test is recommended for people who are 35 years and above. It is done to check if there are any heart diseases. It is advisable to get it done annually if the results are normal.

  1. Immunizations: 

Make sure to visit your doctor and see if you need any immunizations. This can be done annually. Ask your doctor to update you regularly about the same. 

All the above-mentioned tests are to give you a general idea about the tests that are essential to keep your health in check. This article is research-based and for more accurate information you should always visit a doctor.

NASA Shares Beautiful Images Of Jupiter’s Northern And Southern Auroras

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently shared images that show Jupiter’s northern and southern auroras – stunning light shows in a planet’s atmosphere

23 years ago this month, these views of Jupiter’s northern and southern auroras were taken in ultraviolet light by Hubble. The auroras are brilliant curtains of light in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere,” states the Instagram post by NASA Hubble. As per NASA, Jupiter has the most powerful auroras in the solar system. The image shared by NASA has already garnered over 1 lakh likes and 200 comments where people are awe-struck by the stunning images.

For the uninitiated, Hubble, the observatory, is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, the ultimate mountaintop, states NASA. Hubble has an unobstructed view of the universe and scientists have used it to observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system.

NASA Hubble keeps sharing new beautiful pictures of the universe and recently also shared image of a huge cluster of galaxies, called Abell 370.

If you want to keep track of all the stunning images that NASA shares, make sure to follow the page on Instagram here.

Also, since we’re talking about Hubble, you might be interested to know that you can check out what Hubble looked at on your birthday on the NASA Website. Pretty cool, right?

Why Google might remove its search engine in Australia

Google said Friday that it might remove its search engine in Australia if the country’s government went ahead with its plans to make online tech companies pay for hosting news content.

So what’s this about?

This development is related to the News Media Bargaining Code, a mandatory code of conduct developed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to address bargaining power imbalances between the Australian news media businesses and digital platforms, including Google and Facebook.

The ACCC released a draft code in July 2020 allowing news media businesses to bargain individually or collectively with companies such as Google and Facebook over the payment for the inclusion of news on their services.

So far, the Australian government has said that the code will be applicable to Google and Facebook only, and other companies may be added in case they were found to hold a significant bargaining power imbalance with the Australian news media businesses.

This means that Google and Facebook would have to pay news websites whose links show up their platforms including Facebook News Feed, Instagram, Facebook News Tab, Google Search, Google News and Google Discover. “These services have been selected on the basis that they display Australian news, without typically offering revenue-sharing arrangements to all news media businesses that produce this content,” the draft code says.

What is Google saying?

Google says that while it supports the idea that the financial future of publishers needs to be supported, the way the government is trying to achieve this goal would break the way Google search works.

The tech giant has maintained that code remains to be “unworkable” since it says that the ability to link freely between websites is fundamental to any search engine. If the code is implemented then Google will have to pay publishers of certain news media outlets so that their links show up as search results.

Google has also said that the code requires the company to give news publishers special treatment, which means a notice period of 14 days informing them about algorithm changes and certain “internal practices”. “Even if we could comply, that would delay important updates for our users and give special treatment to news publishers in a way that would disadvantage everyone else,” Google has said.

Therefore, Google has said that if the code were to become law it will stop making Google Search available in Australia.

Previously, Facebook responded to the code becoming law by saying that the company would remove Australians’ ability to post news content on its platforms.

On the other hand, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has said that the government “does not respond to threats” and that the Parliament will decide what rules businesses must be allowed to follow in the country.

There’s too much gold in the universe. No one knows where it came from.

Something is raining gold across the universe. But no one knows what it is.

Here’s the problem: Gold is an element, which means you can’t make it through ordinary chemical reactions — though alchemists tried for centuries. To make the sparkly metal, you have to bind 79 protons and 118 neutrons together to form a single atomic nucleus. That’s an intense nuclear fusion reaction. But such intense fusion doesn’t happen frequently enough, at least not nearby, to make the giant trove of gold we find on  Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. And a new study has found the most commonly-theorized origin of gold — collisions between neutron stars — can’t explain gold’s abundance either. So where’s the gold coming from? There are some other possibilities, including supernovas so intense they turn a star inside out. Unfortunately, even such strange phenomena can’t explain how blinged out the local universe is, the new study finds

what about those odder, star-flipping supernovas? This type of star explosion, a so-called magneto-rotational supernova, is “a very rare supernova, spinning very fast,” Kobayashi told Live Science.

During a magneto-rotational supernova, a dying star spins so fast and is wracked by such strong magnetic fields that it turns itself inside out as it explodes. As it dies, the star shoots white-hot jets of matter into space. And because the star has been turned inside out, its jets are chock full of gold nuclei. Stars that fuse gold at all are rare. Stars that fuse gold then spew it into space like this are even rarer.

But even neutron stars plus magneto-rotational supernovas together can’t explain Earth’s bonanza of gold, Kobayashi and her colleagues found.

“There’s two stages to this question,” she said. “Number one is: neutron star mergers are not enough. Number two: Even with the second source, we still can’t explain the observed amount of gold.”

Master Box Office Week 1: Thalapathy Vijay Starrer Crosses Rs 200 cr Worldwide, Rs 100 cr From Tamil Nadu Alone

Master Box Office Week 1: Thalapathy Viay starrer and Lokesh Kanagaraj-directorial has crossed the big benchmark of Rs 200 crore worldwide. Smashing records everyday

Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathy starrer Master has taken over the Box Office with an unprecedented collection. The film has set the reviving tone at the ticket window and has already crossed the big benchmark of Rs 200 crore worldwide. After its one week’s collection, the Lokesh Kanagaraj-directorial is the fourth Vijay starrer to have reached Rs 200 crore at the worldwide Box Office after Mersal, Sarkar, and Bigil. Check out the worldwide Box Office breakup of Vijay’s films: Also Read – Master Box Office Day 7: Thalapathy Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi’s Film is Set to Cross Rs 100 Crore Mark in Tamil Nadu

Master has registered a fabulous Rs 200 crore at worldwide Box Office within eight-day of its release. The film has crossed Rs 100 crore benchmark in Tamil Nadu alone

Master has been an achiever in every sense at the Box Office. It has just not brought back the audience to the theatres but has also created hopes for filmmakers and exhibitors for the revival of cinema on the big screen. Apart from the ardent Vijay fans, it has invited the family audience to the theatres and that’s one of the biggest achievements of Master.

The film ended up beating Hollywood biggies Wonder Woman 1984, and Tenet within three days of its release in the UAE. With back-to-back records it’s making at the Box Office, Master has emerged as the biggest pandemic release in the world so far.

Watch out this space for all the Box Office latest updates on Master!

MASTER THE BLASTER

Thyroid Awareness Month

January is the Thyroid Awareness Month of the year. But do we know what thyroid is and how it affects our body?

According to research by the American Thyroid Association, 1 in 10 people suffer from a thyroid disorder. As many as 20 million Americans suffer from a thyroid disorder. More than half of the cases are undiagnosed.

What causes a thyroid is still unknown but if left undiagnosed, can cause various problems. Like an increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and infertility.

The thyroid plays a major role in our body. It regulates metabolism, body temperature and other physical functions. The thyroid produces hormones to keep our body functioning at a certain rate. 

What is the thyroid?

It is a small butterfly-shaped gland found in the lower neck. The gland produces the hormones T3 and T4. It is located above the collarbone and in front of the windpipe. The role of these hormones is to help regulate metabolism, manage body temperature and control heart rate. 

If these hormones are overproduced or underproduced, they can cause serious health issues. 

The two most common diseases related to the thyroid are:

Hyperthyroidism 

Hypothyroidism 

What is hyperthyroidism?

When the T4 (thyroxine) hormone is overproduced in the body, it causes hyperthyroidism. It is also known as an overactive thyroid. This disease causes an increase in metabolism which leads to weight loss and an irregular heartbeat. It affects about 1% of the population. It is five times more common in women than in men. It usually affects people under the age of 50 years and results in enlargement of the thyroid gland. 

It also causes insomnia, increased appetite, excessive perspiration and diarrhea. 

Even though it is associated with more energy, it can sometimes lead to a body break down and make one feel more tired. 

Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism are:

Anxiety

Oversensitive to heat

Increased sweating

Palpitations

Dry, thin skin

Hair loss

Trembling 

What is hypothyroidism?

It is more common than hyperthyroidism. It happens when the body cannot produce enough of the thyroid hormone. It results in a slow down of the body functions. It is also known as under-active thyroid. It affects heart rate, body temperature, and metabolism. 

It mostly affects people over the age of 60 years and increases with age. In older people, it can cause memory impairment, weight loss and loss of appetite. These happen because of old age as well, therefore, hypothyroidism is relatively difficult to diagnose in older people and remains under-diagnosed. 

The possible causes of hypothyroidism are autoimmune disease, certain medicines or surgical removal of a part of the thyroid gland.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

Fatigue

Sensitive to cold/heat

Weight gain and inability to lose weight


Depression

Anxiety

Constipation

Numbness in limbs 

Other diseases that can happen because of improper functioning of the thyroid gland are Hashimoto’s disease and thyroid cancer. 

Thyroid cancer is of four types:

Papillary thyroid cancer is the most commonly differentiated thyroid cancer. It may spread to the lymph nodes of the neck even though it grows slowly.

Follicular thyroid cancer is the second most common thyroid cancer. It grows near areas where there is a high iodine deficiency in the body. It is easiest to cure. 

Medullary thyroid cancer is rare and mostly hereditary. It has higher chances of spreading to the lymph nodes of the neck than other types.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the most aggressive form of thyroid cancer and is the rarest of all. It grows rapidly and spreads easily, therefore it is the most dangerous one. 

How to diagnose thyroid disorders?

They can either be self-diagnosed at home first and later consulting the doctor is the best way to be sure.

For self-diagnoses, one can perform the following:

Stand in front of the mirror or take a hand mirror above the collarbones where the area below you Adam’s Apple is visible. 

  1. Tilt your head back and take a sip of water.
  2. Swallow the water and watch your neck for signs of bulging.
  3. Repeat a few times to make sure you don’t see obvious signs of bulging.
  4. If you see a huge bulge, nodule or an enlarged gland, contact a physician.

The only way to confirm you have a thyroid disease and which one is it, it by going through a blood test. 

Treatment:

The treatment usually includes medication to regulate hormone production. Doctors usually treat it with medications, iodine or hormones. In some cases, one may also need to undergo therapy or surgery. 

Thyroid awareness month is recognised to increase awareness about the disorders related to thyroid and their possible symptoms. The symptoms of a thyroid disorder are common in other disorders as well. Therefore it can become difficult to diagnose it and remain ignored. Thyroid disorders are not curable or preventable but are treatable. Consulting your doctor and getting regular health checkups can improve the quality of living to a great extent.