Islam: A Brief Overview

Much like Judaism, Islam follows the strict religious rules and regulations to worship their God or “Allah“. Many people question “How can Islamic followers be happy when there are so many rules?”. IslamicMuslims believe that God controls everything, even law, and they are required to submit to the lord. By performing these practices, they achieve a sense of security and accomplishment.

Islamic Muslims refer to the Qur’an, their prayer book as a guide to life. The Qur’an was given to Muhammad the prophet by the angel of Gabriel from God. Along with the Qur’an, Muslims follow the five pillars of Islam: the Shahadah the salah, the zakat, the sawm, and the hajj. These are basically the main rules to abide by. The main focus in Islam is etiquette and moral value. An example is that it is required that a Muslim donate a certain percentage towards charity and those in poverty each year.

Some sub-divisions of Islamic religion, such as the Taliban, altered the religion to an even stricter form of orthodox belief. The Taliban were Sunni Islams that ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Taliban followers prohibited items depicting living things, any forms of media, recreational activities, etc. Along with the strict rules, Women were treated very badly. They were beaten and had been confined to the home all day and were to be covered at all times. Massacres and executions were publicized at stadiums and arenas. The Taliban are still portrayed as barbaric and brutal. This shows that religion is a very powerful influence on most societies and when abused, can cause chaos.


Sachedina, Abdulaziz. “Religion, World Order, and Peace: A Muslim Perspective.” Cross Currents 60.3 (2010): 332-338. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 13 May 2011.

The Power of Topical Probiotics

The term probiotics has long been a buzz word in the nutrition world, but it’s increasingly being used in skin care and makeup products.

Probiotics, when taken internally, help regulate the digestive system. The skinny on topical probiotics is that they are said to help restore balance to the naturally-occurring bacteria found on our skin and reverse the underlying causes of skin irritation such as rosacea and redness. Probiotics ensure that good bacteria keeps the bad bacteria in check, which can help normalize acne prone skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

The theory behind the benefits of probiotics is that each day our skin is essentially under attack from aggressors such as the sun and pollution, which leads to skin that is out of balance and susceptible to fine lines, wrinkles and acne. Products containing probiotics help balance skin’s pH and return it to a healthy state, according to trade journal Inside Cosmeceuticals.

If you’re like me, you’ve been ingrained to think that all bacteria is negative, and that it’s actually the cause of skin conditions like acne, rosacea and skin damage. According to dermatologist Lisa Haynes, who helped develop SK1N Probiotic Systems, a complete range of products that feature prebiotics and probiotics, keeping the good bacteria actually protects against premature skin damage and aging, and improves acne, rosacea and dermatits.

SK1N Probiotic Systems is an eight product line featuring a cleanser, day cream, night cream, booster serum, hand cream, body lotion, masque and eye cream. All products contain SK1N Probiotic Systems’ clinically-proven probiotic actives combine with prebiotic nutrients for products that work to help reduce skin irritation such as redness and rosacea, clear acne breakouts and fight the signs of aging. I’ve personally used the Booster Serum and it cleared up my mild redness in just three days. It also helps keep my skin breakout free and balanced.

Popular makeup and skin care brand Clinique recently introduced Redness Solutions Makeup SPF 15 with Probiotic Technology to help conceal redness while also diminishing it over time. Probiotic technology helps strengthen skin’s barrier so it’s less prone to redness flare ups, while SPF 15 and antioxidants protect from sun damage and environmental aggressors.

Nude Skincare is a luxe line of face, body and supplements that harness probiotic technology to help reduce cellular damage by up to 50 percent, activate cellular renewal by up to 70 percent and reduce irritation by up to 35 percent, according to the company. The probiotics in Nude Skincare help to rebalance skin by regulating excess oil production and protect against over drying.

Vision Failure Leads to Wrong Diagnosis: Posterior Cortical Atrophy, Not Depression

She began having difficulty reading memos a few months earlier. She thought perhaps her glasses needed adjustment. A trip to the optometrist led to a new pair of glasses, only slightly different than before.

The new glasses didn’t help.

She still had trouble reading memos, even those she created and wrote herself. As a result, she couldn’t correct typos and other errors. The spell checker highlighted so many words, and it was so hard for her to understand the problem, that she turned it off.

Her adult daughter urged her to go to an ophthalmologist, who had more training in vision disorders than the optometrist. The ophthalmologist ordered a CT scan of her brain. Nothing unusual was found.

Going to the office became so uncomfortable she came up with excuses to stay home. It became hard for her to read menus, even signs, so she stayed away from all her social activities as well.


Because her job caused her frustration and sadness, and she withdrew socially, and the ophthalmologist found no abnormality, her physician thought the problem was psychosomatic, the result of depression. She prescribed an antidepressant for her patient.

The antidepressant didn’t help.

In the next months, she had developed a number of signs.

  • Visual agnosia (the inability to recognize familiar objects)
  • Visual apraxia (the inability to perform movements that depended closely on vision, such as passing an object through a ring)
  • Simultanagnosia (while recognizing individual objects, the person cannot integrate the objects into a whole image, so doesn’t recognize or identify the image)
  • Prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces, probably because the whole face image is not perceived due to simultanagnosia, so it can’t be compared to known images)
  • Acalculia (inability to perform arithmetic)
  • Inability to put her clothes on
  • Inability to recognize highway signs
  • Hallucinations occur in about 25%

By this time, she did have some short term memory loss, but the visual signs were much more prominent. A local neurologist who examined her said she had Alzheimer’s dementia, and prescribed Aricept, a drug for Alzheimer’s.

The Aricept didn’t help.

Her family took her to a specialist center. A PET study of her brain was done. (PET studies are similar to CTs, but provide not only information about structure, but also about function.) The PET study was consistent with the center’s clinical diagnosis, posterior cortical atrophy. (It’s also sometimes called Benson’s Syndrome.)

What is Posterior Cortical Atrophy?

Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) is a brain condition in which cells in a part of the brain die and that part shrinks (atrophies). The part of the brain affected is in the back (posterior) and is responsible for visual processing.

Visual processing is tying images to memories to make sense of them. It is a process that is separate from simply registering an image. Registering an image is transferring its representation from the retina in the eye to the occipital cortex in the back of the brain. Visual processing takes place through at least two main streams from the occipital cortex, and can include over half the entire brain cortex.

An example of visual processing is putting letters together to make understandable words. Another is prosopagnosia. In this case, the patient developed a problem recognizing her daughter, except by voice. She could see parts of her daughter’s face, but could not integrate the image to match it with images in her memory. Sometimes she would ask where her daughter was, when her daughter was standing in the room with her.

What Causes PCA?

Any of the conditions that can cause dementia can cause PCA. The most common appears to be Alzheimer’s. Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Creutzfeldt Jacobs disease have also been implicated.


There is no cure for PCA. An understanding of the condition and support for the affected person is recommended. Memory loss usually appears, and planning for that is important.

How to Convert to Islam

Islam is a religion based on the belief in one God and submission to God alone. Its followers believe that the is the last and final testament of God and the prophet Muhammad delivered it to humankind. Muslims also acknowledge that Moses, Abraham, Jesus and Noah were all prophets and Muslims because they believed in one God and submitted to him alone.

If you completely believe with both your heart and in your mind in one God alone and the submission to that one God and want to convert to Islam, then you are ready to take your shahadah, or profession of faith. Make sure that you fully understand and have all of your questions answered before you choose to be a Muslim, just as with the choice to practice any religion.

The Shahadah

The profession of faith, known by the Arabic word shahadah, is the moment between you and God when you become a Muslim. Although many people believe that the shahadah must be done in front of the congregation of a mosque or with an Imam, this is completely unnecessary. The shahadah is between you and God alone, and can be done anywhere.

The Arabic word for God is Allah and Allah is typically used in the shahadah. Clear your mind and focus your honest intentions on God. Say the following words aloud in prayer and you will then be a Muslim:

“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.”

After The Shahadah

Once you have taken your shahadah and are a Muslim, rely on the Quran and God to guide your daily life. Remember that Muslim means complete submission to God and God alone, and this is the core belief behind practicing Islam.

Practice your faith as a Muslim how you believe the Quran and God tells you to practice, not what someone else at the Mosque or even the Islamic scholars say how Islam should be practiced. The Quran states that we are each accountable for ourselves when we stand judgment before God and to use the ears, eyes, and brain we were each given to evaluate what we practice.

Basic Practice As A New Muslim

Start slowly with your practice and always listen to God. Get a copy of the Quran or read it online. Study when you can and try to read at least a page a day to start. Reading the Quran is a great way to get closer to God and learn about Islam.

The Quran says to pray morning, noon, and night. It does not say to pray 5 times a day. Pray as often as you can and build up. Prayer is your quiet time to spend with God each day and can help you to submit to God in all areas of your life you feel need improvement.

Consider fasting during Ramadan. Dates and information on the holy month of Ramadan is abundant on the internet. Ramadan is a special month when you can fast with your new community and refocus each year on your practice of Islam.

Give charity if you can. Part of Islam is being good to those around you and helping those in need. Donate things to don’t need anymore or give your time and money to a local charity.

Attempt to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at some point in your life. The pilgrimage is a humbling journey that connects you to the larger Muslim community and with God.

Peace and blessings upon you in your journey.

The Big E!

Today we are going to discuss the biggest taboo in Lhasadom…ear cleaning. Any Lhasa will tell you that this subject is absolutely forbidden, even for discussion, never mind actual participation. They are dead wrong!


One of the biggest problems for Lhasas, as with any dog whose ears lay down, is ear infections. In order to prevent ear infections, ears have to be kept clean. In Lhasas, the hair inside the ear cannel has to be removed regularly. If you have never performed this procedure, or if you do not have steady hands, or if you do have a very uncooperative Lhasa, as is common with this matter, have your vet clean ears.

If your hands are steady and you have been instructed in the proper procedure by your vet, and if you feel up to the task and you can get your fur baby to hold still for you, you can do this yourself. It is very helpful if you can do this yourself since ears really need to be cleaned once a week. If you have to make a visit to your vet for this procedure, check with him for an acceptable schedule for your fur kid. Some fur kids have to endure this activity more often than others.
Tiffany, my little lady, does not roll in the dirt or grass and is very proper, so her ears do not get as dirty as the youngsters or her siblings who are more rambunctious. You need to check ears frequently and clean them or have them cleaned promptly whenever the need arises.

Black, oily discharge can be an indication of ear mites, so always have your kid examined by his vet if this condition develops. Ear infections can also cause a discharge and frequently are accompanied by an unpleasant aroma and red, sore ears. Any indication or ear problems needs immediate attention.

Now, do-it-yourself. If you can meet the above mentioned criteria, you can take care of the fur kid ears yourself, but be very, very careful with this procedure, one slip can cause severe pain the to the fur kid at best and deafness at worst. Forceps, which are available from your vet or a vet supply are essential tools of the trade, so to speak. A flashlight is another necessary tool. Fold the ear back so that you can see into the cannel. Clean the outer portion of the ear with a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaning solution. Gently, but throughly remove any dirt or debris from the outer ear flap and exposed areas. With the forceps, carefully grasp the hair withing the cannel, lock the forceps and wind the hair around them to remove the hair. Repeat this step and all the hair inside the ear cannel is removed. Very carefully grasp any large pieces of debris with the forceps and remove them, be very careful not to push any debris further into the ear cannel or pinch the inner ear. Do not try to remove deep debris. Remove only what is easily visible in the upper portion of the ear. Once you have removed the hair and large particles, use a good, professional ear wash to clean the inner portion of the ear. Fill the ear cannel with the cleaner and massage the ear gently at the bottom where it connects to the head. Repeat this process two or three times, allowing the fur kid to shake his/her head between application to help dislodge deep seated dirt and debris. Clean the outer ear again to remove dirt dislodged by the cleaner and apply a good, professional drying product to help dry out the ears. Allow the ears to dry throughly and then apply a medicated powder to help keep ears dry and healthy.

Islamic Answers to Basic Questions About Life

There is a good and evil, and right and wrong. Everyone is aware of this, but not many can word it correctly so that it can be easily understood. The fact that it is hard to put in words is the real cause of lots of misunderstandings from the educated elite to the completely illiterate concerning the definition of these two words. Both good and evil seem to be hazy words that float around the edge of our understanding, but usually never come squarely inside the realm of understanding. This short article will attempt to bring good and evil squarely inside the realm of understanding. Once good and evil is understood reasonably, then we can speak intelligently, and with clarity on a wide variety of subjects. I must warn the reader that some parts of this article are written more with sentence flow in mind instead of political correctness. For instance, in one place when speaking of all human beings, this article uses words such as ‘mankind,’ or ‘man.’ This was not an attempt to incite a riot because of a word, but only to make the sentences have a certain flow, and rhythm. With that being said, let’s get started defining right and wrong.

Right and wrong, or good and evil, is a standard for analyzing situations and behavior, particularly human behavior. Right and wrong can be used to describe the behavior of anything (and usually it is used to describe most things), but it is actually specific to human behavior. People have come to call things good or evil, right or wrong by prescription that really should not properly be called these things. For instance, people may say there is an evil fire, or a good rain. Since we understand each other when we use these words in this way, there is no harm done. However, in order to truly understand the meaning of good and evil or right and wrong we have to use precise meanings, and proper applications of these words. So, for the purpose of getting to the true meaning of good and evil, from this point let us agree that in this article, unless the context of the sentence dictates otherwise, ‘right’ will mean ‘good,’ and ‘wrong’ will mean ‘evil’ both interchangeably; and this paper will restrict these words to speaking of human behavior, unless the context dictates otherwise.

What can be called ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ is usually thought to be a matter of opinion, but this is not true. Right and wrong are categories that come from four realities. These four realities come from one source. The four realities on which right and wrong are based are: life, death, sickness, and health. The four realities come from one source, and the source is God. God created life, will cause death, gives health and sickness.

All people are subject to life, death, sickness, and health. It is a person’s choice to believe or disbelieve in God. Simple disbelief in Him does not make anyone exempt from the order that He has imposed on the lives of people. No one caused their own life, nor can anyone prevent their own eventual death. At some point most people will get sick, and most people will enjoy some period of health. God is the source of all of these things. With that being said, then know that generally right and wrong are based on life, death, sickness, and health. Specifically, both right and wrong are based on Gods commands for people.

What is right are those things that promote health and life, and what is wrong are those things that promote sickness and death. What God commands us to do and allows us to do ends up promoting life and health, and avoiding sickness, and death. Those things that God tell us to avoid or He has forbidden are things that usually promote sickness and death. So what is right is what God tells us to do, and the things that God tells us to avoid doing are those things that are wrong. Outside of this definition, good is no more than someone’s opinion of how they would like for people to act, and evil is the way of acting that is displeasing to the person defining these things. In truth, only God can take that sort of position since He created us.

Now that the right and wrong has been defined, one can enquire as to how it applies to the most general situations in life so as to have a reasonably more accurate understanding of right and wrong. There are so many specific situations in life that it is futile to try to mention every single one of them. Almost all of the situations of life fall in these general categories: man’s understanding of

Being Silly

Sometimes I like being silly. I do all kinds of silly things. Mary and Dwight laugh when I lay with my head on the door frame. It might look uncomfortable to them, but it gives me a pillow. Yes, it is a hard one, but I’m not like people. I often just lay my head on the floor.

I like playing with Brandon and Jordan. Jordan is little and can run like the wind. Brandon is bigger, but he and I still have lots of fun. The last time he was here, he took my stuffed moose and hid it. He thought I didn’t know where it was, but I know how to have a good game. First, he hid it in the closet. I pretended to not know where it was. When he wasn’t looking, I went and got it. Then, he put it in a basket, thinking I wouldn’t be able to get it out. I sure fooled him. He couldn’t believe it when I took it out of that basket. Whooo!! That game was lots of fun. By the time he left, I was wore out. I laid around the rest of the evening, sleeping.

Jordan likes to run with me. Yes, he is fast, but I’m a lot faster. He runs and I stay behind until we almost get where we are going. Then, I dash ahead. He takes it all in good sport. Once in a while I let him win.

There’s one thing the boys and I like to do that makes Mary a bit perturbed. We run and jump on the bed. If Mary is in a good mood, she turns a blind eye. If Dwight is around, we have to be careful. He doesn’t like us jumping on the bed. Mary told me that she just likes to see us having fun, so lets us get away with it. Whoooo!

Well, it’s time to get Dwight up to go for our . Mary’s been sick and it’s raining, so she can’t take me. Strep throat is no fun, she says. She is getting over it, but doesn’t want a relapse.

Take care, boys and girls. Stay safe and listen to your parents. They love you and only have your best interests at heart.

I’ll be back soon with another story about me and my life here.

Online detailing: The new way to sell

Several times a month, Edward Berman, MD, a solo internist in Ridgefield, Conn., logs onto a PC-based videoconferencing system in his office and enters a user ID and password to hold real-time video detailing sessions with pharmaceutical sales representatives.


The image of the sales rep is displayed on one part of the computer screen. Information about appropriate use, efficacy, dosage, side effects, contraindications and studies about new and existing prescription drugs appear elsewhere on the screen as Dr. Berman and the sales rep discuss it.

Dr. Berman is among several thousand physicians who are believed to be participating in “e-detailing” — electronically accessing details, ordering samples and requesting visits from sales reps. But that definition has been evolving.

Some observers broadly define e-detailing as any online marketing and learning program targeting physicians, including CME programs or electronic mail notifying them of a new indication or a meeting at a hotel with drug reps.

Whatever the definition, online detailing is in a nascent stage.

In the past few years, several technology startups whose business plans depend on serving as conduits between physicians and drug companies have sprouted. Their job is to help the pharmaceutical industry better target and deliver their sales pitch to physicians.

20,000 to 40,000 physicians are currently participating in pilot on-line detailing programs, according to industry estimates.

But these startups also claim to offer value to physicians.

That’s because online detailing lets doctors control the interaction with the pharmaceutical company, get information at their convenience and obtain more relevant information than they can from brief visits with sales reps.

On the other end of the equation, online detailing potentially offers drug companies a more efficient way to reach physicians, says Mark Bard, director of health practice at Cyber Dialogue, New York, a customer relationship management company.

For example, an electronic detail averages about 10 minutes, which is several times the 30 seconds to 2 minutes of “face time” sales reps typically get from physicians, assuming they even get that far, he said. Quite often, sales reps cool their heels for hours in the waiting room only to be told to return another time.

Online detailing, however, minimizes those problems because it lets pharmaceutical companies reach doctors who are interested in getting drug information or don’t see sales reps, Bard said. It also lets drug companies economically reach doctors who aren’t a priority for them now because they aren’t high prescribers.

Online detailing “is the second, if not the first, priority [of every pharmaceutical company] for two reasons,” added Josh Fisher, analyst at WR Hambrecht & Co., San Francisco. “One is the return on investment. Second, it’s a case of everyone is doing it and we don’t want to miss out for competitive reasons.”

Soul-Nourishing Islamic Books: A Must for a Complete Library

Reading books is a hobby and passion for lots of people. For many, books are also collections they want to display in their houses. But there are others who don’t even like books. Some don’t even have the urge to even scan the pages. This just proves that people have different preferences, but what is really in these reading materials that renders them so fascinating to people like Soul-Nourishing Islamic books? Can there be anything awesome in it which makes people become so involved and compassionate about?


We’ve always hear it said that the most important wealth you could have is knowledge and wisdom. It is a form of treasure that is impossible to be taken away by anyone. And books play an extremely important role in gaining that knowledge and wisdom. The choice of books one reads relies on a few factors like your mood, environment and interest. Some loves to read fictitious stories, whereas others prefer to read real-life story books. Others choose to read informative subject matters for instance politics, science, philosophy and history while of course religious folks love to read religious books such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islamic books. Whichever people choose, they are surely available in libraries and bookstores.

Nowadays, should you decide to create a library room in your household or develop a small library in your in a space at your house then be sure that you know the things that you ought to take into account when designing or putting up your personal library.

‘¢ Choose a suitable place to install your library. It is a common knowledge that it should be a quiet place. And in choosing the location, do not forget to take into account the people around you. A decent, peaceful, and refreshing area is what you should have for a more effective study area.

‘¢ A small but jam-packed library would be enjoyed. Any library, even if it is small but well maintained with a variety of book categories can be well liked by people or any member of the family. Try not to focus on just one type of book, unless you plan to use it just for your own.

‘¢Good ambiance needless to say, is important. For most people a library is a room to learn and relax. A relaxing and peaceful environment is recommended so you can achieve the best reading pleasure that every book lover desires. Make use of bright lights, air conditioning unit or even just electric fans as well as some soothing decors for a more relaxing learning moment.

These are only a number of simple things that you have to take into consideration when planning to build or set-up a library. Be sure that you have the serious desire in piling those books. Do not forget to put together a complete category of books especially soul-nourishing Islamic books that can definitely make you appreciate more the world and the cultures of Islam. Bring out your burning desire in books and let this passion touch others as well!

The Role Of Marketing And Publicity In Selling The Book

What is the future of print? This article explores how the book industry has evolved to ensure that books secure a place on our shelves for years to come.

Marketing and publicity play a pivotal role in selling the book at each stage of the publication process. New technology and globalization have transformed the production and distribution of books and paved the way for a more consumer-centric retail culture. With the industrial revolution of the 20th century came the emergence of department stores, variety stores and large chains. The book, which was once considered a cultural ‘carrier of ideas’ faced becoming another interchangeable commodity, as it battled to compete in an ever-increasingly crowded marketplace.

Today, the book is competing on an international stage, not only with other written media forms but amongst the entire entertainment industry. The struggle to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers all while ensuring healthy economic margins, has led to what is often referred to as the ‘business of books’. Industry professionals, who were once criticized for their supposed inability to run a profitable business, are now serious contenders, as they combine their role as cultural leaders with commercial intent.

While the book industry has journeyed to obtain its professional identity in this challenging marketplace, there has been a shift in the balance of power from editorial elitism, towards sales and marketing, which now oil the wheels of the entire publication process. This article will discuss the importance of the role of marketing and publicity at each stage of the publication process, with a focus on literary fiction under the trade fiction umbrella.

What is trade fiction?

Trade fiction encompasses all fiction aimed at a general audience and is composed of either literary fiction or commercial fiction. Commercial fiction tends to be genre specific or ‘popular fiction’ with a tendency to focus on plot, while literary fiction is considered to hold literary merit as a result of its often thought-provoking concepts and unique style of prose. Significant to literary fiction is the consumer’s resilient loyalty towards brand identities of authors and publishing imprints. Also prominent to literary fiction is lead titles attracting larger marketing and publicity budgets.

Why do we market books?

Although known authors often sell on their own merit, there is a need to situate other literary fiction within the competitive marketplace. To avoid high returns and satisfy consumer choice, the literary book faces an unforgiving sector of tight stock control, high turnover and short shelf life. These factors combined with the sheer scale of the industry, highlight some of the reasons why literary fiction relies heavily on the effective use of marketing and publicity techniques to generate sales. In this context, marketing may be defined as the promotion and advertising techniques employed at each point of sale, while publicity may also be referred to as a promotional method with a focus on profile-raising, public relations and exposure through the mass media. Ultimately, either marketing and/or publicity aim to persuade the receiver to purchase the book at each point of sale.

Stage 1 – The decision to publish

There are various phases through which literary fiction is marketed and at each of these stages the decision to publish is scrutinized by asking the following questions: what is the book for, who is the audience and how does it fit with the competition? This analysis commences at the very start of a books development – when the initial idea for a book is formed by either the author or proposed by the publisher. It is widely understood within the publishing industry that if an author is unable to define who his or her readership is likely to be, there is sufficient enough reason to presume that the book will be unsuccessful. The manuscript is sent to a literary editor, commonly via the author’s literary agent. With the power base shifting in recent years, the editor now consults his or her sales and marketing colleagues, whose position has diversified as such to allow for a near leading role in the decision to publish. If there is an audience for the book and it can be produced cost-effectively, the decision to publish will most likely be given the green light.

Stage 2 – Book production and design

Once the publishing house has made the decision to publish a book, the marketing team also plays a significant role in the production of the book itself. They help to ensure that each element of a books design including format, typesetting, font, cover, title and packaging all meet the needs of the intended readership. With literary fiction in particular, the concept of ‘author as brand’, affects the cover design of a book, often with the name of the author receiving greater prominence than that of the title. This is the