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Monday, June 12, 2006

Favourite Tennis Player Gallery


Rafael Nadal, 2006 Roland Garros winner Posted by Picasa


Roger Federer, current world no.1 rank Posted by Picasa



Goran Ivanisevic, Wimbledon 2001 Champion Posted by Picasa


Marat Safin, Australian Open 2005 Champion Posted by Picasa



Mark Philippoussis, runner-up, Wimbledon 2002 Posted by Picasa


Andy Roddick, Winner of 2005 Stella Artois Championships, Queen's Club, London Posted by Picasa

Vamos Rafael Nadal....Still the champ, Roger Federer

On Sunday evening, 11 June 2006,in the Roland Garros French Open final match, Rafael Nadal continued his winning streaks over Roger Federer by 6-1. That shows Roger Federer is not invincible. He DOES have his own NEMESIS. Head-to-head record of Rafa vs Fed since their first match (source: The Guardian with some edition):

March 2004 Miami (hard court)

Last 32, Nadal won 6-3 6-3

April 2005 Miami (hard)

Final, Federer 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1

June 2005 French Open (clay)

Semi-final, Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

March 2006 Dubai (hard)

Final, Nadal 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

April 2006 Monte Carlo (clay)

Final, Nadal 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6

14 May 2006 Rome, ATP (clay)

Final, Nadal 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6

11 June 2006 French Open (clay)

Final, Nadal 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6

Somehow, i feel sorry for Roger Federer to see him lose. However, it didn't spoil my mood that much to see him losing to Rafael Nadal or to Marat Safin (Australian Open 2005) only because first, that two opponents of his are also in the list of my favourite tennis players and secondly, it was nothing but a very entertaining, high-octane, fast-paced, tough game ever as far as tennis is concerned. OK, as far as I did feel it personally.

Roger Federer after winning the Australian Open, 29 January 2006(photo source: The Times)
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, French Open, 11 June 2006
(photo source: BBC sport )

Thanks to Goran Ivanisevic, who won his first ever Wimbledon in 2001 and retired from the game the same year, tennis has become a must-see sport for me. Of course, i did watch those previous games by John McEnroe (his funny tantrums on the court were a legend!), Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi (still think that he's one of the most brilliant tennis players), Michael Chang (that body-flying jump), Pat Rafter, those whom i remembered the most and associated with tennis. But, i must admit that i didn't find tennis that exciting, nor did i understand the whole game much. I just started to really get the grasp of the play in 1998 when my ex-housemate (and also our family friend) Salmy taught me on how this game is played, how to understand the scores and so on. It is not much different from Badminton, but it seemed to take hours and hours to watch the match.

Wimbledon gonna start at the end of this month (26 June to 9 July 2006), about the same time World Cup 2006 ends. Good thing I've got Sports Channel on Astro (malaysian digital tv). I'll talk about WC2006 on a different entry. Right now, I am still relieved from Nadal-Federer French Open final match last night.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

06-06-06: Paradox or The Omen?

That triple 6 numbers...what is it all about (say this in "alfie" way). For a starter, those who read the Christian Bible or study it will come across such verse prophesicing on the number 666 as the coming of the Devil, the number and mark of The Beast....and anything associated with EVIL (source: Book of Revelation, 13:17,18)

666 also can be interpreted as www, whereby "vav" is the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabets, pronounced as "waw". "www" also means world wide web. That prompted people to relate www to 666 equals to DEVIL again.

(other examples of numbers that symbolises bad omen: Four is the unlucky number for the chinese. Four means death in chinese language. 13 is synonymous to bad luck for the westerners (espeically christians) as in Friday the 13th.)

Today, Hollywood has relased the remake of the horror classic movie: The Omen. The original movie was released on 06-06-1976, exactly 30 years ago. And today is 06-06-06. They (the producers, hollywood) probably wanted to reenact this movie to signify the date such that it might bring more impact on the audience (hence more cash flow). We gonna see another "Damien Thorn" doing his devillish, menacing glare and smile. This whole Damien Thorn reborn thing and trying to relate his birth with the American catastrophes like the September 11th...i dunno...kinda tired of this whole barrage of Armageddon, holier-than-thou things that seemed to have its starting points in the USA. However , ironically, that movie Armageddon (1998) showed a bombing scene of the World Trade Centre. Three years later, such mishap became a reality. Was that really some kind of an omen or trying to instil some ideas into some people's (deranged ones) head?

On another note, I did enjoy watching the original The Omen movie. Its sequels aren't bad either (the 3rd one sucks a bit though, as if Damien hasnt matured enuf). They made u wanna watch the 1st one again and again just to make sure u understand how it all began. I can never forget that big black crow which portrayed the devil's "minion" to carry the death penalty of whomsoever that annoys/harms Damien besides serving as the apocalyptic sign to death itself. Damien also used big rottweiler dogs as another potentially gruesome animals to carry his evil job.

Lets pray to God to protect us from any form of evil and catastrophes, aameeeen....

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Happy 22nd birthday, TV3

22 years ago, my family bought our 1st ever colour TV, of Philips brand, 21 inches size. It was just after my 3rd brother, who is also the youngest of my brothers and the seventh in the family was born (April 21, 1984). Malaysia only had two TV channels, i.e. RTM-1 and RTM-2 at that time (were also known as rangkaian satu (TV1) and rangkaian dua (TV2)) and they are still broadcasted from their flagship building, Angkasapuri, KL until today. Me and my family used to watch those TV programs in black and white since our old and also 1st ever TV set bought by my dad is a black and white television, 21 inches, brand NEC. It has wooden-body, plastic tuning control nobs, big analog channel tuning nob, and two sliding doors from the left and right side of the TV to shut the TV box. Its first 4 yrs (probably more) was in Pekan, Pahang and it migrated with us inside the removal lorry to Bandar Baru Bangi in mid-1980.

That Philips colour TV made its debut just few weeks before TV3 made its first TV debut on the 1st of June 1984. It had that rejoiced, lively and rejuvenated presentation, something that TV1 and TV2 seemed lacking behind. The first highlight of TV3 broadcast was that Los Angeles Olympic Game, summer 1984. I think that was also that 1st thing I could almost remember much of TV3 back in 1984. There was this guy, Sherkawi Jirim who did the sports commentator, and some younger fella, i think it was Zainal Abidin Rawop or something like that. TV3 that time seemed to favour younger, fresher TV personalities in almost all of their main TV programs. And that appealed to many viewers across the Klang Valley at that time. Additional note: TV3 was only broadcasted within Klang Valley since its TV debut and it proceeded step-by-step broadcasting across the peninsula malaysia before it reached nationwide which include Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island.

Early TV3 personalities include Wan Zaleha Radzi, Furzanne, Abdul Razak, Kamaruddin, Mahadhir Lokman, Christine Ling where most of them did both english and bahasa malaysia newsreading. TV3 offered so many entertaining and very recent TV programs from the afternoon cartoon slots to the prime time slots. It was that very time of the year that RTM started to compete for its viewers having lost many of them to TV3.

In 1986, TV3 created one of the longest ever running program on television, Muzik muzik, which featured musical countdown of top hits song in malaysia. Every month they will elect the most popular song and singers and after 12 months, all these singers be it solo or in bands will compete for the top song of the year in a competition-cum-entertainment program called Juara Lagu (loosely translated as "The Best of the Songs of the year") which is now known as Anugerah Juara lagu (The Best of the Songs of the year award).

Nowadays, i do not spend much time watching TV...prefer browsing through the digital Astro channels if I am to spend my quality time in front of the telly (i dont really like to call it IDIOT BOX. That term is probably suitable for many of the American viewers and those who doesnt have much life out there, extreme couch potatoes, pathetic loners (i reckon they have switched to internet surfing unless they can't afford paying the internet bills).

To be honest with you, I don't think I can survive that long without a telly in my place. Not that i would "deteriorate" without it, but I'd like to have it so as to complete the house furnishing or something like that. Rather than just tuning in to the radio, i would definitely prefer putting MTV-stuff like that on the telly while i am reading or doing my internet surfing, cooking and whatever else thats exclude going to the toilet or during my praying time (although sometimes i turn the TV volume high enuf while I am doing my business in the bathroom just so that I can still catch any important announcement (news stuff), cool songs, or whatever stuff esp during those Big Brother years in the UK...).

Pyelonephritis, Cystitis and all that PCOS bits and pieces

Information extracted from http://www.answers.com


Pyelonephritis: An ascending urinary tract infection that has reached the pyelum (pelvis) of the kidney (nephros in Greek). If the infection is severe, the term "urosepsis" is used interchangeably. It requires antibiotics as therapy. It is a form of nephritis.

Pathology

Acute pyelonephritis is an exudative purulent localized inflammation of kidney and renal pelvis. The renal parenchyma presents in the interstitium abscesses (suppurative necrosis), consisting in purulent exudate (pus): neutrophils, fibrin, cell debris and central germ colonies (hematoxylinophils). Tubules are damaged by exudate and may contain neutrophil casts. In the early stages, glomeruli and vessels are normal. Photo at: Atlas of Pathology

Chronic pyelonephritis is often caused by Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis.


Signs and symptoms

It presents with high spiking fever, backache, vomiting dysuria (painful voiding), rigors and often also with confusion. There may be renal angle tenderness on physical examination.


Diagnosis

Nitrite and leukocytes on a urine dipstick are often detected, which may be an indication for empirical treatment. Formal diagnosis is with culture of the urine and bloods.

In patients with recurrent ascending urinary tract infections, it may be necessary to exclude an anatomical abnormality, such as vesicoureteric reflux (urine from the bladder flowing back into the ureter).


Treatment

Treatment is with antibiotics, which are often administered intravenously to improve the effect. Trimethoprim (or co-trimoxazole) or nitrofurantoin are often used first-line, although in full-blown pyelonephritis amoxicillin (with or without clavulanic acid), gentamycin (with or without ampicillin), fluoroquinolones (eg. ciprofloxacin) or a third generation cephalosporins are often favoured.


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Cystitis: Inflammation of the urinary bladder and ureters.

The disease occurs primarily in young women and frequently results from bacterial invasion of the urethra from the adjacent rectum, most commonly with normally occurring intestinal bacteria such as E. coli. It is also common in menopausal women; in them, the bacteria is transmitted from a vagina left more susceptible to bacterial overgrowth by changes in estrogen levels. In men cystitis rarely occurs without some other urinary tract disorder, such as kidney stones or, especially in older men, an enlarged prostate gland. Other predisposing factors are pregnancy, diabetes, and various systemic disorders.

Usual symptoms are frequent urination with burning pain, blood in the urine, and pain in the pubic area; chills and fever, back pain, and nausea may indicate kidney involvement. Treatment is with antibiotics and can also include the relief of any obstructions

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Polycystic ovary syndrome,PCOS:

Polycystic ovarian disease (PCO), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms including:

-Irregular or no periods
-Acne
-Obesity, and
-Excess hair growth.


Any of the above symptoms and signs may be absent with the exception of irregular or no periods. All women with PCO will have irregular or no menses. Women who have PCO do not regularly ovulate; that is, they do not release an egg every month. This is why they do not have regular periods. No one is quite sure what causes PCO. However, the ovaries of women with PCO frequently contain a number of small cysts, hence the name poly (many) cystic ovarian disease. A similar number of cysts may occur in women without PCO. Therefore, the cysts themselves do not seem to be the cause of the problem. A malfunction of the body's blood sugar control system (insulin system) is frequent in women with PCO. The result is an inadequate response to insulin (insulin resistance) that can lead to abnormally elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels. The insuliin disturbance is thought to also be the trigger for the development of symptoms such as acne and excess hair growth that is seen with PCO.

How is PCO diagnosed?

The diagnosis of PCO is generally made on the basis of clinical signs and symptoms as discussed above. The doctor will want to exclude other illnesses that have similar features, such as low thyroid hormone blood levels (hypothyroidism) or elevated levels of a milk-producing hormone (prolactin). Also, tumors of the ovary or adrenal glands can produce elevated male hormone (androgen) blood levels that cause acne or excess hair growth, mimicking symptoms of PCO.

Other laboratory tests can be helpful in making the diagnosis of PCO. Serum levels of male hormones (DHEA and testosterone) may be elevated. However, levels of testosterone that are highly elevated are not unusual with PCO and call for additional evaluation. Additionally, levels of a hormone released by the brain (LH) is elevated.

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs. The cysts in the ovaries can be identified with imaging technology. (However, as noted above, women without PCO can have many cysts as well.) Ultrasound, which passes sound waves through the body to create a picture of the kidneys, is used most often. Ultrasound imaging employs no injected dyes or radiation and is safe for all patients including pregnant women. It can also detect cysts in the kidneys of a fetus. Because women without PCO can have ovarian cysts, and because ovarian cysts are not part of the definition of PCO, ultrasound is not routinely ordered to diagnose PCO. The diagnosis is a clinical on based on the patient's history, physical examination, and laboratory testing.


Risks

Women with PCOS are at risk for the following:

1. Endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining) are possible, due to overaccumulation of uterine lining, and also lack of progesterone resulting in prolonged stimulation of uterine cells by estrogen

2. Insulin resistance/Type II diabetes, generally thought to be caused by hyperinsulinemia

3. High blood pressure

4. Dyslipidemia (disorders of lipid metabolism - cholesterol and triglycerides)

5.Cardiovascular disease


Some data suggest that women with PCOS have a higher risk of miscarriage. Also, many women with PCOS have a difficult time conceiving because of their irregular cycles and lack of ovulation. However, it is possible for these women to have normal pregnancies with the aid of medication and diet.


Diagnosis

It is vital to note that not all women with PCOS have polycystic ovaries, nor do all women with ovarian cysts have PCOS; although a pelvic ultrasound is a major diagnostic tool, it is not the only one. Diagnosis can be difficult, particularly because of the wide range of symptoms and the variability in presentation (which is why this disorder is characterized as a syndrome rather than a disease). There is a lot of controversy about the appropriate testing:

-gynecologic ultrasonography

- testosterone: free more sensitive than total

- Fasting biochemical screen and lipid profile

- 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (GTT) in patients with risk
factors (obesity, family history, history of gestational diabetes) and may indicate impaired glucose tolerance in 15-30% of obese women with PCOS. Frank diabetes can be seen in 6-8% of women with this condition.


For exclusion purpose:


-Prolactin
-TSH
-17-hydroxyprogesterone




The role of other tests is more controversial, including:



-fasting insulin level or GTT with insulin levels (also called IGTT): Elevated insulin levels have been helpful to predict response to medication and may indicate women who will need higher dosages of metformin or the use of a second medication to significantly lower insulin levels. Elevated blood sugar and insulin values do not predict who responds to an insulin-lowering medication, low-glycemic diet, and exercise. Many women with normal levels may benefit from combination therapy. A hypoglycemic response in which the two-hour insulin level is higher and the blood sugar lower than fasting is consistent with insulin resistance.

-LH:FSH ratio

-DHEAS

-SHBG

-Androstenedione


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Differential diagnosis

Other causes of irregular or absent menstruation and hirsutism, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing's syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, and other pituitary or adrenal disorders, should be investigated.


Pathogenesis

PCOS develops when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens), particularly testosterone, either through the release of excessive luteinizing hormone (LH) by the pituitary gland or through high levels of insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinaemia) in women whose ovaries are sensitive to this stimulus.

This syndrome acquired its most widely used name because a common symptom is multiple (poly) ovarian cysts. These form where egg follicles matured but were never released from the ovary because of abnormal hormone levels. These generally take on a 'string of pearls' appearance. The condition was first described in 1935 by Dr. Stein and Dr. Leventhal, hence its original name of Stein-Leventhal syndrome.

Although the cause of PCOS is not known, research to date suggests that obesity is a prime indicator. It may have a genetic predisposition, and further research into this possibility is taking place. No specific gene has been identified, and it is thought that many genes could contribute to the development of PCOS.

A majority of patients with PCOS - some investigators say all - have insulin resistance. Their elevated insulin levels contribute to or cause the abnormalities seen in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that lead to PCOS. Specifically, hyperinsulinemia increases GnRH pulse frequency, LH over FSH dominance, increased ovarian androgen production, decreased follicular maturation, and decreased SHBG binding; all these steps lead to the development of PCOS. Insulin resistance is a common finding in obese people.


Treatment

Medical treatment of PCOS used to be directed mainly at the symptoms (ovarian and adrenal suppression and anti-androgen therapy) and at restoring ovulation. Some medications used for these purposes are

1. Oral contraceptives (ovarian suppression): Because these cause regular menstruation, they reduce the risk of endometrial carcinoma

2. Spironolactone or finasteride (anti-androgen therapy): These reduce the excessive hair growth by blocking the effects of male hormones

3. Clomiphene citrate, human chorionic gonadotropin, or dexamethasone: Induce ovulation


Recent research suggests that the insulin resistance and overrelease of insulin may be at the root of PCOS. Many women find insulin-lowering medications such as metformin hydrochloride (Glucophage®), pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®), and rosiglitazone maleate (Avandia®) helpful, and ovulation may resume when they use these agents. Many women report that metformin use is associated with upset stomach, diarrhea, and weight-loss. Both symptoms and weight loss appear to be less with the extended release versions. Most published studies use either generic metformin or the regular, non-extended release version. Starting with a lower dosage and gradually increasing the dosage over 2-3 weeks and taking the medication toward the end of a meal may reduce side effects. The use of basal body temperature or BBT charts is an effective way to follow progress. It may take up to six months to see results, but when combined with exercise and a low-glycemic diet up to 85% will improve menstrual cycle regularity and ovulation.

Low-carbohydrate diets and sustained regular exercise are also beneficial. Also, initial research suggests that the risk of miscarriage is significantly reduced when Metformin is taken throughout pregnancy (9% as opposed to as much as 45%); however, further research is needed in this area.

For patients who do not respond to these and related medications or procedures, the polycystic ovaries can be treated with surgical procedures such as

1. laparoscopy electrocauterization or laser cauterization

2. ovarian wedge resection (rarely done now because it is more invasive and has a 30% risk of adhesions, sometimes very severe, which can impair fertility)

3. ovarian drilling