Don’t get sick as a dog

By: Katharine  Powell

With cold and flu season at its peak, it is important to apply a healthy life style to avoid falling behind. We are in classrooms with up to 200 other people at a time, living in close proximities with others, and using equipment touched and used by thousands of people daily. So how do we avoid the unavoidable? Follow these few simple tricks, first seen on health.com and caring.com, to guarantee a successful and healthy semester.

  1. Wash Your Hands

Let’s face it: We go to a college where tens of thousands of people attend daily. Although it is not necessary to wipe down everything before you touch it, washing your hands after you have been in a high-traffic area such as the Student Union or the Rec is a good idea. Also, it is always beneficial to keep around a small bottle of hand sanitizer such as Purell in your book bag for on-the-go sanitation.

  1. Hydration is Key

Water is the key to a healthy life style. According to health.com, proper hydration has been known to cut cravings and increase alertness. Also, proper hydration allows the body to rid itself of any unwanted toxins that could weaken your immune system. You should aim for about six 8oz glasses of water a day. Other beverages, such as Gatorade and juice are good as well; however, they are often times packed with sugar which can slow you down. Also, be wary of caffeinated beverages. Although they can prove useful to keep you awake, caffeine is a natural antidiuretic, meaning they dehydrate the body, weakening your immune system.

  1. “Veg” Out

As college kids, we love a quick bite to eat. However, sometimes what is quick may not be the healthiest. According to health.com, a lack of essential vitamins and antioxidants provided by fruits and vegetables could have negative effects on your health. So next time you are looking for a snack, head on over to the Market and grab a piece of fruit or a salad full of dark greens.

  1. Blame it on the Alcohol

If you are looking for a solid way to keep your body strong for a strong semester, you may want to consider keeping the alcohol consumption to a minimum. According to caring.com, alcohol makes your body prone to initial infections, and it has a nasty habit of dehydrating the body at a rapid pace. If you do happen to have a night out, try alternating alcohol with water or Gatorade to ensure you are staying hydrated.

  1. Breathe

College is a hectic time full of crazy schedules. It is easy to get so wrapped up in your studies and social activities, and before you know it you are ready to pull your hair out. Stress, although some find it to be motivating, can be detrimental to your immune system. As caring.com explains, exercise is a great stress buster, and it is known to boost your self-esteem. So next time you have a free hour, head on over to the Rec and take a spinning class or do yoga twice a week. Your body will get stronger and your mind will, too!

There are many other simple tips and tricks you can apply to your routine to avoid falling ill. For example, according to Sophomore Nursing Student Bekah Weismantel, “Making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night is a huge preventative measure against colds.”

World News Syria toll 7500

AMMAN: Syrian forces have killed more than 7,500 civilians since a revolt against President Bashar Al Assad began, a UN official said yesterday. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested Assad may be a war criminal.

The military again bombarded opposition strongholds, killing 25 people, activists said, though wounded British photographer Paul Conroy, of London’s Sunday Times, escaped from the besieged city of Homs.

“There are reports that the death toll often exceeds 100 civilians a day,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the Council was working on a resolution that “could order an immediate halt to the hostilities and allow humanitarian access while renewing support for the Arab League plan”. He said it was time to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, urging Russia and China not to veto the resolution.

Clinton told the US Senate it could be argued that Assad is a war criminal, but said using such labels “limits options to persuade leaders to step down from power”. However, Tunisia would be willing to offer Assad asylum if this would help stop the bloodshed, a Tunisian official said.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had discussed the situation with former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, now the UN-League envoy on Syria.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the US ambassador to Moscow had discussed “acute humanitarian issues” with a deputy foreign minister – indication they may have explored a potential Council resolution. Russia repeated its calls for Western and Arab nations to press armed opponents of Assad to stop fighting.

President Nicolas Sarkozy initially said he had been told that French reporter Edith Bouvier had been evacuated, but later said “it has not been confirmed that she is safe in Lebanon”.

International Committee of the Red Cross said it had delivered food and other aid to Homs and Idlib, but called for a “ceasefire” to improve access.

The military’s latest bombardment of Baba Amro was the heaviest in a 24-day-old assault, activists said, adding tanks from an elite armoured division led by Assad’s brother Maher had moved into Homs overnight.

Syria’s UN Ambassador in Geneva Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui stormed out of the session after calling on countries to stop “inciting sectarianism and providing arms” to rebels. The League will host an international conference to co-ordinate aid to Syria on Sunday.

Sergeant's Pet Care Products, Inc. Launches Massive New Pet Health Blog

OMAHA, NE–(Marketwire -02/28/12)- Pet lovers across the country will now have an exciting new online destination to meet each other, interact with experts and find inspiring — and sometimes entertaining — stories about pets. The Pet Health Central Blog from Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. will also deliver each post to the nearly 250,000 fans on the Pet Health Central Facebook fan page. The blog features writers from a variety of perspectives related to pets and is found at blog.sergeants.com.

Regular contributors to the new Pet Health Central blog include:

  • Sandy Robins, a well-known pet writer with a monthly column in Cat Fancy magazine, regular pieces on MSNBC, WebMD and other major national locations. She has also written and published two books about cats and runs Pawsitively Pets Radio on BlogTalk Radio. She will be the feline “Expert in Residence” on the Pet Health Central Blog. Sandy writes from Los Angeles, California.
  • Dr. Tony Johnson. Dr. Tony, as he is known, is a practicing veterinarian and a known personality in the pet health world. On the Pet Health Central blog, he writes from his perspective as an ER veterinarian and associate professor of veterinary medicine at a major university. He loves to interact with blog followers and offer insight and advice to pet owners. Dr. Tony writes from Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Dr. Rod Van Horn. Dr. Van Horn is a practicing veterinarian with a large suburban clinic that works with dogs, cats and many other types of pets. His posts help pet owners navigate their pets’ medical and behavioral issues. He has a comprehensive knowledge of pet dental care and is also our “Expert in Residence” on that topic. Dr. Van Horn writes from the hometown of Sergeant‘s corporate headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • David Greene. David is known in the pet blogging world for his interesting posts about news in the animal health world. On the Pet Health Central Blog, David focuses on news items as they relate to pets and pet care, as well as his own life as a ‘proud pet father.’ He helps keep our audience up-to-date on pet health news, the pet industry and current events that concern our furry friends. David writes from Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Barbara Masi. Barbara writes about her experiences as a leader in the pet rescue community. As a community officer for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, she works with her canine partners, two rescued Greyhounds, to teach animal kindness to children and teens through local schools. She is also an avid volunteer with Greyhound Rescue, helping retired racing dogs find loving homes. Barbara writes from Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Jill Bertsch. Jill is a long-time volunteer with Midland Pet Therapy, which is registered with the national Therapy Dogs, Inc., organization. They provide pet therapy to a wide range of nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation programs and children’s shelters. Along with fellow volunteers at Midland Pet Therapy, Jill shares stories of how these wonderful therapy pets and their owners bring joy and hope to the people they visit.
  • Shanna Stichler. Shanna’s love for pets is two-fold: in addition to growing up with pets in her family, she has also had a guide dog for many years. She shares her insights about life with a guide dog with PHC blog readers, and reflects on her time as the Residence Advisor for Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Francisco, an organization that prepares guide dogs for work assisting those with visual impairments. Shanna writes from Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Blair Smith. Blair is the owner of a self-service dog wash/full-service grooming service in Austin, Texas. She shares her grooming knowledge to help PHC blog readers understand how to use easy-to-find products to care for their pets’ grooming needs at home. She also loves taking fun photos of the dogs that come to visit her dog wash and shares her furry visitors and their antics with us through the blog. Blair writes from Austin, Texas.
  • Moses the Dog. Moses, a three-year-old Golden Doodle, is part of the family at an elementary school. As a certified therapy dog through Domesti-PUPS (an organization that provides therapy dogs to schools), Moses spends his days at the school along with his person, Pam Baldwin. Moses himself posts fun and heartwarming stories about his adventures with the kids. Moses (with Pam’s help, since he’s not the best typist) writes from Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Kelly Lytle. Kelly is the Marketing Communications Manager at Sergeant’s, the perfect job for a self-confessed communication fanatic and dog devotee. Her posts for the Pet Health Central blog touch on a wide variety of pet care subjects. She also likes to share a behind-the-scenes peek into working in a pet-centric company. Kelly writes from Sergeant’s Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Nichole Baugh. Nichole is the Public Relations and Social Media Specialist at Sergeant’s, working with fans on many different social media platforms to help them with questions about products and being a Sergeant’s ambassador in the blog-o-sphere. She writes about pet health topics and her own experiences as an avid dog lover and pet parent. Nichole writes from Omaha, Nebraska.
  • The Fiproguard Flea. To beat the enemy, they say, you have to understand their thinking. That’s why the Pet Health Central blog features this zany, annoying and outspoken pest from time to time. Not sure if you really need to protect your dog or cat from fleas and ticks? Just follow the inner thoughts of this bossy bug and you’ll understand why you do. The Flea writes from wherever he chooses — since he likes to jump around a lot!
  • Grant Walker. Grant is a young, up-and-coming fish fan with a love for research. Still a high school student, Grant has an amazing talent for both fact-finding and writing. From how to build a full reef saltwater tank to caring for exotic species of fish, Grant helps blog followers with his sleuthing skills, trustworthy answers and considerable fish knowledge. Grant writes from Section, Alabama.
  • Josh Templeton. Josh is a fish aficionado with a passion for providing advice to other fish hobbyists. He has been keeping aquatic animals since the tender age of seven. Over the years, his knowledge has also grown through working in a family-owned pet store and by breeding and keeping a wide variety of fish. His posts assist fellow fish lovers in caring for, maintaining and breeding their fresh and saltwater fish. Josh writes from Gillette, Wyoming.

“We’ve worked very hard to create a blog that will educate, entertain and inspire pet parents and others who love pets,” shared Caryn Stichler, vice president of marketing for Sergeant’s. “The amazing group of writers we have, the combined knowledge and the passion they all have for pets and pet health is very exciting. We’re also thrilled that from the first post, everything that goes onto the blog will also be presented to our nearly 250,000 active Facebook fans. We hope that the blog will help strengthen not only pets’ health, but that beautiful bond between pets and people.”

About Sergeant’s Pet Care Products

Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. is based in Omaha, Neb. USA, and is a leading supplier of pet supplies including flea and tick remedies, health and well-being products, natural and formulated treats, rawhide chews, toys, accessories, dental care products and aquatics. Sergeant’s has been caring for pets since 1868, and is America’s oldest full-line pet supplies company with one of the most trusted names in pet care. For more information, visit the Sergeant’s website at sergeants.com. To be a part of the ongoing conversation about pet health, join Sergeant’s large Facebook fan page, Pet Health Central (facebook.com/phcfans).

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Media
Kelly Lytle
402.938.7006
klytle@sergeants.com

Buffett says stocks, homes are a bargain investment

OMAHA, Neb. — Billionaire Warren Buffett said Monday that stocks remain relatively cheap compared to other investments as the economy continues to improve. He also said that the company he heads is prepared to replace him whenever the need arises.

The chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. addressed a variety of topics during an interview on the cable TV network CNBC, two days after his annual letter to the conglomerate’s shareholders was released.

Buffett said even though stocks aren’t as cheap as they were during the depths of the recession in 2008, they’re still a more attractive long-term option than bonds, gold, cash or anything else.

“Equities are still cheap relative to any other asset class,” Buffett said. In his letter, he devoted two pages to explaining why he prefers owning a piece of a productive business instead of bonds or gold.

Houses are another attractive investment at current prices, Buffett said. He added he might buy a couple hundred thousand homes if only he could figure out a way to manage them effectively. He said he isn’t very handy.

“Single-family homes are really cheap now too,” Buffett said.

Buffett conceded in his letter released Saturday that he was dead wrong to predict the housing market would recover by now. He said Monday that he believes conditions will improve in 2012.

The reports Buffett gets from Berkshire’s roughly 80 subsidiaries, including utility, insurance, retail and railroad firms, show the overall economy has been steadily improving since the summer of 2009 in every area except businesses related to housing construction.

Over the weekend, Buffett created a stir by writing that Berkshire’s board had chosen someone to succeed him as CEO someday with two backup candidates. Previously, Buffett had said only that the board had three internal candidates to replace him.

None of the CEO candidates have been identified, and Buffett said Monday that the likely successor doesn’t know he would be the board’s pick.

Buffett said Monday that the new language he used to describe the succession plan in his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders wasn’t a sign of change but was only trying to clarify the plan.

Buffett, who is 81, said he doesn’t think investors should worry that much about who will replace him. He pointed out that Berkshire owns sizeable stakes of more than 5 percent of Coca-Cola Co., International Business Machines Corp., American Express Co. and Wells Fargo Co., yet he has no idea who would replace the CEOs of those companies.

“I know they have wonderful businesses, and they are developing great talent,” Buffett said.

He also said last year’s departure of a top executive, David Sokol, did not affect the board’s choice for successor. Many investors had speculated that Sokol was the likely successor before he resigned amid questions about stock he bought in the Lubrizol chemical company Berkshire later acquired.

Buffett was also asked about the news business because Berkshire just bought a second newspaper last fall to go along with its sizeable stake in the Washington Post Co. Monday’s interview was conducted in front of the presses for Berkshire’s newest paper, the Omaha World-Herald.

Buffett says newspapers face challenges because of competition from Internet news sources and the rising cost of newsprint, but they will have a decent future if they continue delivering information that can’t be found elsewhere. And they need to stop offering news free online.

“You shouldn’t be giving away a product you’re trying to sell,” he said.

Buffett reiterated his call for tax reforms and a higher tax rate for wealthy investors like himself. He has said for years that he believes his tax rate is too low compared with what middle-income wage earners pay.

“The real question is whether this is a tax code that the United States can be proud of,” Buffett said. But he says neither Democrats nor Republicans want to talk about reforms now because it is an election year.

Buffett said the nation’s $1.2 trillion deficit won’t be fixed by contributions from individuals. He said the country is simply spending too much and bringing in too little revenue, like a rich family that has promised too much.

Buffett said Congress should vote on the proposals developed last year by the deficit-reduction commission led by Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles. That package included cutting about $4 trillion from budget deficits over a decade, but few of its recommendations have been embraced.

Buffett said Europe’s debt problems remain a concern, and he doesn’t think those countries have solved their problem yet.

“The basic problem is they gave up their right to print their own money,” he said.

——

Online:

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: www.berkshirehathaway.com

'The Bachelor' star Ben Flajnik reportedly publicly flirting with other women

The Bachelor star Ben Flajnik reportedly hasn’t been behaving like a man with a fiancee recently.

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Flajnik has been spotted publicly flirting with women multiple times during the last month, Life Style reported in its February 27 issue.

According to the magazine, The Bachelor star’s “flirtfest” began when he traveled to Park City, UT in January and attended the Sundance Film Festival.  While there, Flajnik was reportedly seen around town spending time with multiple women.

“Ben was so flirty,” an eyewitness told Life Style.  “I saw him give his number to a brunette at the Extra party at the Canyons resort, and it definitely looked like they both said, ‘See you later’ when she left.”

Flajnik — who also appears to have already all but formally ended his relationship with the bachelorette he proposed to when The Bachelor‘s finale was filmed last fall, according to Life Style — was also reportedly seen flirting with a girl and asking for her number while in New York City on February 4.

“He got her contact info and was even joking that he can’t kiss anyone or hook up with anyone until March 13, when The Bachelor finale airs,” an onlooker told the magazine.

The Bachelor star also panned the idea of finding love on television while attending a party for Oxygen’s Jersey Couture reality series in New York on February 2, according to Life Style.

“You don’t want to do that,” he reportedly told a girl while shaking his head after learning she was considering participating in a reality dating show.

(Photo credit ABC)

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‘World News’ Political Insights: What Mitt Romney Has Already Lost

Analysis

Regardless of the outcome Tuesday in Michigan, Mitt Romney has already lost something big.

Romney can solidify his claim on the Republican nomination with a victory in his native state. But what he can’t claim back is the ability to excite and perhaps simply unify the party behind his bid — critical shortcomings that are likely to haunt his bid for the presidency for as long as it lasts.

Romney’s struggle to close the deal in Michigan, where his family has deep roots and where he cruised to victory four years ago, is underscoring longstanding concerns about his candidacy, in addition to creating new ones.

A loss to Rick Santorum would undercut Romney’s claim on general-election electability. It would also boost Santorum’s chances of winning the nomination, a development that many national Republican strategists privately dread, for fear of a November blowout.

But even aside from the results Tuesday, Romney’s electoral challenges are growing, not shrinking, as the primary season drags on.

Besides having to answer questions about whether he’s conservative enough, Romney now has to beat back suggestions that he can’t connect with blue-collar voters whose support he’d need in the fall. Michigan, with its high unemployment and battered manufacturing base, is filled with the kind of voters whose support will determine the presidency in November.

The mood among the party faithful is anxious. One Republican governor is so concerned about damage being done to the candidates by themselves that he went so far as to say he’s “pushing for a floor fight” at the convention.

“I would love to see a good old-fashioned convention and a dark horse come out and do it in the fall,” Maine Gov. Paul LePage said while in Washington for a gathering of the National Governors Association. “The candidates in this primary have beat themselves up so badly it would be nice to have a fresh face that we all could say, ‘OK.’ The country deserves better than having people stand up and keep criticizing each other.”

Then there are the concerns being voiced by prominent Republicans who decided to pass on 2012 bids of their own.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, while continuing to disavow interest in running, is warning that the process of choosing a nominee isn’t helping the GOP.

“The problem I would worry about, and have all along, is that our side might not offer a bold enough and specific enough and constructive enough and, I would say, inclusive enough alternative to America,” Daniels said over the weekend.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is going even further in openly fretting that the campaign is weakening the would-be nominees.

“It’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are,” Bush said last week.

Former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss., told ABC News last week that Romney’s problem with GOP voters stems from the fact that he’s the least conservative of the four GOP candidates left. Barbour, who would be among the brashest powerbrokers at a contested convention in Tampa, also pointed out that it’s still possible for a new candidate to get in the race.

“If the Republican primary voters continue to split up their votes in such a way that nobody is close to having a majority, then there is a chance that somebody else might get in,” Barbour said.

For his part, Romney is trying to convince Republican voters of his conservative bona fides, while also making an appeal to Michigan voters based on his family roots.

“I think the biggest misconception would be that I’m a guy that comes from Massachusetts, and therefore I can’t be conservative,” Romney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Romney may get close enough to making the case. Winning Tuesday in Michigan and Arizona would put him back on a track where his nomination would be overwhelmingly likely, the position of strength from which he’s fought most of this campaign.

But even if he can make quick work of Santorum and Newt Gingrich — a highly questionable prospect even if he dominates in the next states to vote — the doubts being sowed about his candidacy now will come back in force by the fall. It’s Republicans who are making sure of that.

Govt to change wage compensation system

A proposal before government would transfer the HUF 21 billion in the central budget from which employees whose net wage has declined as a result of this year’s tax changes could apply directly for compensation to the funding earmarked for companies’ wage compensation, internet news portal site index.hu said.

The government originally divided the wage compensation system and the available central budget resources into two parts: one was made available to employers and the other part to employees.

The new proposal would shift the HUF 21 billion compensation currently available to employees into the general limit for employers, index.hu wrote.

The proposal cited by the website said the original system of compensation needed to be changed because it contained the wrong incentives. One of these is that if employees could directly apply for compensation, employers would not be interested in raising their wages. The document said it could create a budget risk worth HUF 70 billion – 90 billion if the usual wage rises are not carried out for the employees concerned.

The elimination of employee tax write-offs and a one-percentage-point rise in the health insurance payroll tax from the start of 2012 has reduced the net pay of Hungarians who earn less than gross monthly HUF 216,806 from a year earlier.

The government said earlier that the state will ensure that affected public-sector employees will not see their net wages fall. And it asked business sector employers to carry out the necessary wage increase. Under support available from the start of 2012, if employers increase wages by more than 5% in the income bracket of under HUF 216,000, the state will fully refund the cost in excess of the 5% rise from the social contribution tax.

Under a recently approved additional support scheme, worth HUF 21 billion , employees who cannot cannot carry out the minimally required 5% wage rise, may apply for a reduced limit allowing them to finance only 2% of the rise from their own resources.

Employers must raise the wages of at least two-thirds of their affected employees by 5% to prevent their exclusion from public procurements and government support for two years.

National Economy Minister György Matolcsy said earlier in February the government projects to spend a total of HUF 130 billion from the central budget on wage compensation.