Monday, November 27, 2006


Tobacco refers to a genus of broad-leafed plants of the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America, or to the dried and cured leaves of such plants. Tobacco leaves are often smoked in the form of a cigar or cigarette, or in a smoking pipe, or in a water pipe or a hookah. This could damage the lungs and could also potentially cause lung disorders such as asthma. Tobacco is also chewed, "dipped" , and sniffed into the nose as finely powdered snuff.
Tobacco contains the nicotine, a powerful neurotoxin that is particularly harmful to insects. All means of consuming tobacco result in the absorption of nicotine in varying amounts into the user's bloodstream, and over time the development of tolerance and dependence. Absorption quantity, frequency and speed seem to have a direct relationship with how strong a dependence and tolerance, if any, might be created. A lethal dose of nicotine is contained in as little as one half of a cigar or three cigarettes; however, only a fraction of the nicotine contained in these products is actually released into the smoke, and most clinically significant cases of nicotine poisoning are the result of concentrated forms of the compound used as insecticides. Other active alkaloids in tobacco include harmala alkaloids.
Tobacco smoking carries significant risks including the potential to develop various cancers as well as strokes, and severe cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Significantly shorter life expectancies have been associated with tobacco smoking. Many jurisdictions have enacted smoking bans in an effort to minimize possible damage to public health caused by tobacco smoking. The substantially increased risk of developing cancer as a result of tobacco usage seems to be due to the plethora of nitrosamines and other carcinogenic compounds found in tobacco and its residue as a result of anaerobic heating, either due to smoking or to flue-curing or fire-curing. The use of flue-cured or fire-cured smokeless tobacco in lieu of smoked tobacco reduces the risk of respiratory cancers but still carries significant risk of oral cancer. In contrast, use of steam-cured chewing tobacco , avoids the carcinogenicity by not generating nitrosamines, but the negative effects of the nicotine on the cardiovascular system and pancreas are not ameliorated.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Venice is the capital of the region of Veneto and the province of the same name in Italy. Its population is 271,663 . The city is included, with Padua , in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area, population 1,600,000.
The city stretches across numerous small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; the historic city of Venice inhabitants are around 62,000, while approximately 176,000 people live in Terraferma and 31,000 live in other islands of the lagoon.
The Venetian Republic was a major sea power and a staging area for the Crusades, as well as a very important centre of commerce and art in the Renaissance.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


A meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared food.
Meals occur primarily at homes, restaurants, and cafeterias, but may occur anywhere. Regular meals occur on a daily basis, typically several times a day. Special meals are usually held in conjunction with such occasions as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and holidays.
A meal is different from a snack in that meals are larger and more filling, while snacks are more likely to be small, high-calorie affairs; however, any food eaten in small amounts at an unscheduled time can be classified as a snack.
A picnic is an outdoor meal where one brings one's food, such as a sandwich or a prepared meal in a picnic basket. It often takes place in a natural or recreative area, such as a park, forest, or beach. On long drives a picnic may take place at a road-side stop such as a rest area.
A banquet is a large, often formal, and elaborate meal with many guests and dishes.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Nile

The Nile is a river in Africa, often regarded as the longest river on Earth, although some sources claim the Amazon in South America is longer. The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile, the latter being the source of most of the Nile's water and fertile soil, but the former being the longer of the two. The two rivers meet near Khartoum.The northern section of the river flows almost entirely through desert, from Sudan into Egypt, acountry whose civilization has depended on the river since ancient times. Most of the population of Egypt and all of its cities, with the exception of those near the coast, lie along those parts of theNile valley north of Aswan; and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt are found along the banks of the river.The Nile ends in a large delta that flows into the Mediterranean Sea.