Faudzil @ Ajak

Faudzil @ Ajak
Always think how to do things differently. - Faudzil Harun@Ajak

30 September 2013

WEIGHT LOSS - The Science Behind Willpower

  • We all have cravings.
  • We all have willpower.
  • Unfortunately for our living room furniture…our collective willpower seems to be getting it’s ass kicked by our cravings for junk food.
So, imagine my delight when a group of scientists from Caltech U discovered which region of the brain is responsible for resisting cravings.
dorsolateral prefrontal cor The Science Behind Willpower
Specifically, the researchers found that when people are presented with a temptation like chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, two regions of the brain go to war. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and the  dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC).
After tempting a group of test subjects with an ooey-gooey chocolaty dessert, the researchers found that
  1. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) drives us to give in to the pleasure of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream
  2. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) drives us to resist that short term pleasure for long term health benefits.
They also found that both regions become active and compete against each other when we are presented with a temptation like ice cream, booze, extra-marital sex, etc.
They also found that unless you strengthen the dlPFC by resisting short term urges on a regular basis… it’s going to get it’s butt kicked by the vmPFC.
In essence – willpower is a muscle…just like Grandma said.

WEIGHT LOSS - The World’s Best Weight Loss Laboratory

… is the one between your ears.
There is a ton of great information available online to help you lose weight, get fit and look great naked. But all of that information means nothing if you don’t incorporate it into your life in a way that produces results.
But until you….
  • learn to recognize and manage your destructive emotions & unconscious thoughts
  • learn how to incorporate healthy eating into your life
  • learn which physical activities your body thrives on
  • learn how to handle your obstacles to health & fitness
  • learn how to modify workouts & exercises to suit your body, your fitness level, your aches & pains
  • learn how to manage your time to include daily exercise
  • learn how your body responds to a new diet
  • learn how to shop for healthy food that fits your budget
…you are doomed to failure.
That’s because, even the absolute best health & fitness advice is 100% theoretical, until you:
  1. Put it to work on your body,
  2. Listen to the feedback you’re getting from your body
  3. Adjust your diet/workout in response to that feedback
  4. Repeat #2 & #3 until you get things “perfect”.
It ain’t rocket science. But it does require some practice…and you’re going to make mistakes.
But it’s those mistakes that are going to eventually point you in the direction of tip-top fitness and an ass you could bounce quarters off of.

HEALTHY EATING - Would this stop you from eating pizza?

By Douglas Robb

Would this stop you from eating pizza?
obesity warning pizza 767x1024 Would this stop you from eating pizza?

HEALTHY EATING - Does Ketone Drink = EZ Weight Loss?

By Douglas Robb

Oxford researcher, Dr. Kieran Clarke has created a new type of ketone-based endurance drink designed to…
  • Generate significant weight loss
  • Improve mental alertness
  • Improve cognitive function
…as well as treat, prevent or reduce the effects of…
KETONE ADE Does Ketone Drink = EZ Weight Loss?
In short, this supplement MAY make you leaner, smarter, healthier, faster, stronger and less prone to diabetes, alzheimer’s, parkinson’s, huntington’s, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
Note that I say MAY.
The science is all very new. According to Doc Clarke:
“We are very excited about our research, which we think shows great promise. Our primary interest so far has been to understand how the body’s metabolism responds and makes use of our ketone drink.
We are a long way yet from showing meaningful benefits as a treatment for disease or in aiding athletes’ endurance, and while we think it is possible that the ketone drink may have benefits in slowing Alzheimer’s progression, no one has done much research on this as yet…although this remains of great interest to us.”
How great an interest???
Great enough to apply for a US patent.
ketone drink patent app Does Ketone Drink = EZ Weight Loss?
Can you imagine how much money Dr. Clarke will make if this product lives up to it’s potential?

The Science

  • Previous research indicates that a state of elevated ketones may improve physical and cognitive performance.
  • Unfortunately, direct administration of ketone bodies is unpractical and potentially dangerous
  • Fortunately, there are ketone precursors that might give her the same effect without any of the downsides.
On of those ketone precursors is  (R)-3-hydroxybutyl (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate, the ketone monoester that Dr. Clarke has been administering in the form of a meal replacement drink to her healthy human volunteers.
In one pilot study, eight adults with type 2 diabetes to see whether the drink produced any effect. The volunteers had three ketone drinks a day for five days and had their weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar monitored. Their weight dropped an average of nearly two per cent(in 5 days), as did their levels of glucose, cholesterol and fat in the blood.
In another study, Dr. Clarke gave 22 elite rowers the ketone drink and monitored the distances they achieved in 30 minutes on an indoor rowing machine.
One rower broke a world record and five others beat their personal best.
I am thoroughly geeked-up about the potential of this supplement.
Fingers crossed people.

HEALTHY EATING - Celsius: The First Healthy Energy Drink?

By Douglas Robb

What comes to mind when I say: ENERGY DRINK?
Personally…. I think of the idiot frat boys who live two blocks down the street from me who like to pound Red Bulls & vodka on a Wednesday afternoon and do stupid stuff on their skateboards
So….when the folks at Celsius contacted me about trying out some samples of their product, my initial & immediate response was to say “no thanks” and get back to work.
However….in their email, they mentioned that their product was “natural”. And when I think of “energy drinks”, I don’t think natural. I think chemicals and artificial sweeteners and the aforementioned idiot frat boys and gym rats and people who don’t give a crap about their health.

Which probably makes a ton of sense from a business perspective.
But what about us health & fitness geeks?
There are some afternoons when my energy is drained from long hours of work and my brain is having a tough time writing blog posts that don’t suck swamp water.
On days like that… I can really use a dose of liquid energy. But I want that energy drink to be healthy & chemical free.

As you can see, Celsius contains the 3 big “energy drink” ingredients – CaffeineTaurine andGlucuronolactone.
However, unlike their competitors, Celsius also contains:
  • Ginger extract,
  • Green Tea leaf extract,
  • Your daily dose of Vit C and,
  • A whole whack of B Vitamins
Equally important to me were the ingredients that weren’t included:
Instead of that crap, Celsius sweetens it’s drinks with sucralose and/or stevia.
Based on all that, I decided to give up my afternoon espresso for a week to beta-test some Celsius samples.
And after seven days of taste testing…. and it turns out that I like this stuff.
  • It definitely gave me a mid-afternoon boost,
  • Without any jitteriness
  • It tasted pretty good – some flavors better than others
  • No afternoon coffee breath
Celsius markets to people who:
  1. Want the buzz of an energy drink,
  2. Is “proven” to reduce body-fat, and
  3. Is HEALTHY.
And while I’m not too blown away by the -100 calorie claim, I can honestly say that Celsius provides:
  1. A very un-jittery boost in energy,
  2. Tastes pretty darn good,
  3. Has a bunch of useful micronutrients
  4. Isn’t full of harmful chemicals
And because I love you guys so much, I talked the Celsius rep into doing a giveaway of a bunch of Celsius product.

HEALTHY EATING - Coca-Cola Cares About Your Health???

By Douglas Robb

For years, Coca-Cola and their competitors have been taking a beating for producing high calorie/low nutrition products. They have politicians lining up against them (see Michael Bloomberg)…they have parent organizations coming after them…they have the press kicking them when they’re down…and of course, they have the medical community up in arms against them.
coca cola kills Coca Cola Cares About Your Health???

And all this abuse is actually having an effect. Coca-Cola seem to be finally coming around to the fact that…
  1. We have a collective problem with obesity
  2. Food producers shoulder some of the blame
  3. There is money to be made selling low-calorie products
  4. There is money to be lost if they try to ignore this problem
And since they are in business to make money, they have been making changes to their product lineup…..and they want you to know about it.

This commercial will begin airing tonight across all the major US cable news networks.

What do you think?
  • Does Coca-Cola deserve some credit for recognizing and trying to correct their role in creating an obesity epidemic?

HEALTHY EATING - Is Bread Healthy?

bread sidney crosby Is Bread Healthy?
Eat bread and grow up to be a super-athlete like Sidney Crosby
The processed food industry isn’t happy with us.
  • They are not happy how they are being blamed for the obesity epidemic.
  • They are not happy how “normal” people are starting to listen to us health nuts.
  • They are not happy being portrayed as the bad guy
  • And they are really, really not happy that a growing percentage of us are buying less of their products.
It’s that hit to their bottom line that is forcing them to respond to this darn “healthy eating”epidemic.
Yesterday, Coca-Cola released a commercial highlighting all of the steps they have “voluntarily” taken to help reverse the global obesity epidemic.
Today, we’re going to look at a commercial produced by Dempster’s Bread…designed to convince you that bread is just as healthy as fruits and vegetables.
Huh…maybe Gandhi had it right.
While the processed food industry is still fighting hard to protect their market share, they sure aren’t ignoring or laughing at us health nuts anymore.
gandhi first they ignore yo Is Bread Healthy?
Gandhi says “Just say NO to junk food”
So, what do you think?
  • Is bread healthy?
  • Is it as healthy as fruits & vegetables?
  • Is it tasty with some bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes shoved between two slices?

JEAN DILLEMMA - Fixing the Back Gap


Do you have a pair of jeans that give you problems every time you pull them on?
For many women, the space above their butt that exposes a little too much skin, along with their underwear, is impossible to avoid. If you can reach around and fit your hand into the back of your jeans, some adjustments need to be made, or you need to look for a low-rise jean cut.
Everyone hates ass-cleavage and there’s no reason you should be the exception to the rule.
With these simple tips, you’ll be able to alter your jeans at the waist and remove the gap.

Materials Needed

  • 1/2″ elastic (use desired length)
  • Sewing machine or sewing needle
  • Thread

Fix the Gap

If you want to try this on heavy denim, you may want to use wider elastic, thicker thread and extra sew lines.
  1. Using a zigzag stitch, start sewing the 1/2 inch elastic band in the middle section, moving outwards
  2. As you sew, pull the elastic tightly together and allow the denim to normally feed through the machine
  3. Repeat on other side, making sure not to stitch through the belt loops
  4. Finish with one stitch in the middle.
  5. Ta-da! No more pantie party!

HEALTH TIPS - How to Handle an Irregular Cycle


Cramps, mild fatigue, headaches, and repeated trips to the bathroom are enough to make any woman dread its arrival. That time of the month definitely has its way of taking a toll on the best of us.For some women, their menstrual cycles may cause so much agony that the only source of relief is popping in a few painkillers and curling up in bed. But for many women, they also live with the anxiety of missing a period at one point or another — never being exactly sure when their day will come.
It’s important to note that most irregular periods are benign. But while some women menstruate like clockwork, others have never experienced a regular cycle since first hitting puberty. A textbook period happens every 24-29 days, but in reality what constitutes as “regular” covers a wide range.
A wide variety of factors are responsible for irregular periods: smoking cigarettes, drug use, caffeine, eating disorders, over-exercising, poor nutrition, or breastfeeding.  Your normal menstrual cycle can also be disturbed when egg numbers drop in your late 30s or if you change your method of contraception and have an imbalance of the reproductive hormones estrogen or progesterone. And irregular periods are common during puberty or just before menopause.
Slight shifts in a woman’s hormonal balance can easily throw off her game and into a mild tailspin.

3 Ways to Get On Track

1. If you have a nutritional gap in your diet, create a bridge by taking a daily multi-vitamin, including magnesium, calcium and a fish oil supplement.
2. Make sure you get moderate exercise (don’t over do it). This may mean that you will need to take the steps to either increase or decrease the current level of physical activity you are providing your body. Exercising will also relieve any stress you may have.
3. Try to make healthy modifications to your meals, especially if you eat a significant amount of refined carbohydrates or fried food.
If you’re still worried about having periods that last a long time, are more frequent, heavy or if you’re spotting or bleeding between periods, you may want to see your doctor.

COURTESY - 10 Ways to Be the Perfect House Guest



Do you think you have what it takes to get invited back as a house guest time and time again?
Perhaps you do — but if you’re one of those people who does nothing but complain all day, eats all the food in the fridge or feels the need to help yourself to the host’s liquor cabinet without leaving a thank you note, you’re breaking the non-negotiable rules of house guest etiquette. Nothing ruins relationships quicker (yes, even family) than being horrible house company.
It doesn’t take much to fall into the “good house guest” category: If you don’t want to be that person who never receives another invite to sleepover, follow these 10 tips for consideration and gratitude.
1. Arrive with a GiftCharm extends beyond just simply smiling while saying please and thank you. The gift does not by any means have to be something lavish or expensive, just thoughtful. Think about it: Your hosts went out of their way to accommodate you in their home and the least you can do is show a little gratitude. Bring them a nice bottle wine, a pair of movie tickets or something from your hometown, like a souvenir. You may even opt to present them with something they can showcase in the guest room for future overnight guests to enjoy.
2. Buy Your Own GroceriesYour host may stock the fridge with the types of beverages and snacks you enjoy before your arrival, but if you’re planning on staying more than a few days, you should be courteous enough to buy your own groceries, especially if you’re a picky eater. You don’t want to come off as a complete mooch, do you? The host will appreciate your gesture.
3. Ask About House RulesThere will always be rules. Some people have outlandish rules that you may never have guessed. As a guest, you’ll probably want to make sure that you don’t burn the place down. But it’s also important to note that your host may want you to take off your shoes before entering the house or avoid talking about religion and politics at the dinner table. If they provide you with a key, check to see if you should lock the door when you leave. 
Most people have certain ways they like doing things, so it’s best to ask before you step on any toes. This will make your life a whole lot easier. Just make sure to hold up your end of the bargain.
4. Roll with the PunchesDon’t be the person who chooses to complain about everything and spoil everyone’s fun. Before arriving to your host’s home, be aware that things aren’t always going to go as planned. Relax and let go of your expectations.
5. Don’t Leave Crumbs on the CounterSome people we talked to about their hosting experiences claim that their biggest pet peeve is when guests don’t clean up after themselves. Even if you tend to be messy in your own quarters, don’t drive your host crazy by leaving crumbs on the kitchen counter or used Q-tips in the bathroom. Make the bed, flush the toilet and turn off the lights. Simply put, be a good guest and pick up after yourself.
Speaking of flushing the toilet, try your best not to clog it up! There’s nothing more horrendous than staring down into a toilet that refuses to flush, especially when it’s not yours. When you’re a guest in someone else’s house, this always-untimely event is a cause for concern.
6. Lend a HandLet your host know that you’re happy to help out where you can. Volunteer to do the dishes, take the dog for a walk, or fold some laundry. That’s the least you can do after they spared you from dropping some serious cash on an expensive hotel room.
7. Return the FavorPlan on being a guest? Expect to be a host. Next time your hosts are visiting your part of town, invite them to stay with you. If not for the night, at least have them drop in for dinner or show them around your favorite hot spots to repay them for their hospitality. That way, if you ever find yourself in search of a place to rest your head at night, they’ll be inclined to accept your request.
8. Respect Your Host’s Personal SpaceRemember: Just because you are a guest in someone’s house, this doesn’t mean the owners want to spend every waking moment with you. You need to respect that and plan on doing the majority of your activities on your own. That is, unless you and your hosts have planned on exploring together. Your host is not your tour guide.
9. Don’t Overstay Your WelcomeIf you want to avoid overstaying your welcome as a house guest, the first thing you should do is to be clear about your arrival and departure times. This will give hosts time to prepare for your arrival, take the necessary amount of time off from work and plan for what will happen during your stay. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with staying an extra day or two, but if you say you’ll be visiting for a week, don’t push that stay to a month without at least asking their permission.
10. Don’t Assume AnythingIf you have a question, just ask. Yes, this means not eating the last piece of chocolate cake without asking. And if you’ve used the last bit of the bathroom tissue, replace it.

AMAZING - 10 People Who Survived the Impossible

 Vesna Vulovic: The Stewardess Who Survived a terrorist attack at 33,000 feet

On January 26, 1972, a Yugoslav Airlines DC-9 departed from Copenhagen for Belgrade (via Zagreb) with 28 passengers and crew. At an altitude of 33,000 feet, a bomb in the cargo section, planted by the Ustashe Croatian separatist group, exploded. The plane disintegrated and crashed on the mountains. 

In what must be one of the greatest survival stories of all time, stewardess Vesna Vulovic survived the 33,000 foot descent sitting on the tail of the plane. 
22 year old Vulovic wasn't even supposed to be on that plane. As she later stated in an interview, it was another Vesna who was supposed to be on that flight, but she was happy with the mix-up as it allowed her to make her first trip to Denmark. She ended up with a fractured skull, two broken legs, and three broken vertebrae - one of which was crushed and left her paralyzed from the waist down. 

Vulovic spent several months in and out of hospitals; operations allowed her to walk again. She became a celebrity when the Guinness Book of World Records invited her to a ceremony in London with Paul McCartney. She is listed for surviving the longest fall without a parachute. Vulovic is now a national hero in Serbia and spent the late 90s marching in Belgrade against Slobodan Milosovic. 

 Frane Selak: Escaped from a derailed train, a door-less plane, a bus crash, a car into flames, another 2 car accidents... then won Million Dollar lottery!

Luck has always been on his side or vice versa for croatian music teacher Frane Selak (born in 1929), who is well known around the world for as many fatal accidents as spectacular escapes. The first of his numerous near-death experiences began on a cold January day in 1962, when Selak was on a train to Dubrovnik: it suddenly derailed into an icy river, killing 17 passengers. He managed to escape with a broken arm, minor scratches and bruises. 

A year later, Selak was flying, from Zagreb to Rijeka, when a door abruptly blew away from the cockpit of the plane, as he was blown off the plane. The accident killed 19 people, however, Selak was lucky enough to land on a haystack, and wake up some days later in hospital, with minor injuries. 

It was in 1966 that he met with the third misadventure while traveling on a bus that crashed and plunged into a river. There were four people dead. Astonishingly, Selak managed to escape unharmed again. 

In 1970, Selak was driving along when, all of a sudden, his car caught fire. He was fortunate again to have left the car before the fuel tank exploded. Three years later, another of Selak’s car caught fire, blowing flames through the air vents. To a greater dismay, Selak's lost most of his hair. 

In 1995, Selak was in Zagreb when he was hit by a bus, again leaving nothing but a few injuries. The following year, while driving through a mountain road, Selak drove off a guardrail to escape an oncoming truck and landed on a tree to watch his car explode 300 feet below. 

In a surprising turn of events in 2003, Selak won the million-dollar Croatian lottery, turning the man into either the world’s unluckiest man, or the world’s luckiest one. 

 Andes Survivors: Crashed on the Andes Mountains, lasted 72 days

On Friday the 13th of October, 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force twin turboprop Fairchild FH-227D was flying over the Andes carrying Stella Maris College's "Old Christians" rugby union team from Montevideo, Uruguay, to play a match in Santiago, Chile. When the plane was flying through the pass in the mountains, the pilot notified air controllers in Santiago that he was over Curic√≥, Chile, and was cleared to descend. This would prove to be a fatal error. Since the pass was covered by the clouds, the pilots had to rely on the usual time required to cross the pass (dead reckoning). However, they failed to take into account strong headwinds that ultimately slowed the plane and increased the time required to complete the crossing. As a result, the turn and descent was initiated too soon, before the plane had passed through the mountains. Dipping into the cloud cover while still over the mountains, the Fairchild soon crashed on an unnamed peak (later called Glacier of Tears), located between Chile and Argentina. 

Twelve people died in the crash. Survivors not only had to withstand the hunger and the fearful Mountains, but also 30 degree-below-zero temperatures during the night. They tried to survive with the scarce food reserves they had until being rescued, but they lost their hope when heard that the search had ceased on the radio. Desperate owing to the lack of food and physically exhausted, they were forced to feed themselves on their death partners to keep on living. Finally fed up with the extremely low temperatures and the avalanche threats, as well as anguished by the continuos deaths of their partners and the bad rescue prospects, two of them decided to cross the huge mountains to reach Chile. On 22nd of December of 1972, after being isolated for 72 days, the World found out and knew there were 16 survivors that beat Death in the Andes mountains. 

 Anatoli Bugorski: The Man Who Survived a Beam from a Particle Accelerator

As a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, Bugorski used to work with the largest Soviet particle accelerator, the Synchrotron U-70. On July 13, 1978, Bugorski was checking a malfunctioning piece of equipment when an accident occurred due to failed safety mechanisms. Bugorski was leaning over the piece of equipment when he stuck his head in the part through which the proton beam was running. Reportedly, he saw a flash “brighter than a thousand suns”, but did not feel any pain. The beam measured about 200,000 rads when it entered Bugorski’s skull, and about 300,000 rads when it exited after colliding with the inside of his head. 

The left half of Bugorski’s face swelled up beyond recognition, and over the next several days started peeling off, showing the path that the proton beam (moving near the speed of light) had burned through parts of his face, his bone, and the brain tissue underneath. As it was believed that about 500 to 600 rads is enough to kill a person, Bugorski was taken to a clinic in Moscow where the doctors could observe his expected demise. However, Bugorski survived and even completed his Ph.D.. There was virtually no damage to his intellectual capacity, but the fatigue of mental work increased markedly. Bugroski completely lost hearing in the left ear and only a constant, unpleasant internal noise remained. The left half of his face was frozen, due to the destruction of nerves, and does not age. He is able to function perfectly well, save the fact that he has occasional petit mal seizures and very occasional grand mal seizures. 

 Roy Sullivan: Struck by Lightning 7 Times

Roy Sullivan was a Virginia Forest Ranger who had an incredible attraction to lightning... or rather lightning had an attraction to him. Over his 36-year career as a ranger, Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times - and survived each jolt, but not unscathed. His seventh strike put him in the Guinness Book of World Records:

  • In 1942, the first lightning strike shot through Sullivan's leg and knocked his big toenail off.
  • In 1969, a second strike burned off his eyebrows and knocked him unconscious.
  • In 1970, another strike left his shoulder seared.
  • In 1972, his hair was set on fire and Roy had to dump a bucket of water over his head to cool off.
  • On August 7, 1973, another bolt ripped through his hat and hit him on the head, set his hair on fire again, threw him out of his truck and knocked his left shoe off.
  • On June 5, 1976, a sixth strike in 1976 left him with an injured ankle.
  • On June 25th, 1977, the last lightning bolt to hit Roy Sullivan sent him to the hospital with chest and stomach burns in 1977.

    His wife was also struck once, when a sudden storm welled up as she and her husband were out hanging wash on the back yard clothesline. On September 28, 1983, Roy Sullivan died at age 71, reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound over troubles unrelated to lightning.

     Joe Simpson: Conquered Siula Grande, dropped 100ft into an Ice Crevasse, crawled 3 days

    Joe Simpson and Simon Yates were the first to scale the west peak of the Siula Grande, in the Peruvian Andes. Disaster struck on the way down, and Yates was forced to let a badly wounded Simpson drop 100 feet into an ice crevasse. Simpson survived the fall and spent three days crawling back to base camp.

     Truman Duncan: Cut in Two by a Train

    Railroad switchman Truman Duncan fell off the front of a moving train car. He was swept underneath and cut in two. Despite losing both legs and a kidney, Duncan called the paramedics on his cell phone, survived a 45-minute wait, and then persevered through 23 surgeries.

     Aron Ralston: Amputated his lower right Arm to Survive the Mountains

    On May 2003, while Aron Ralston was on a canyoneering trip in Blue John Canyon (near Moab, Utah), a boulder fell and pinned his right forearm, crushing it.

    After trying for five days to lift and break the boulder, desperation took him to great measures like carving his name, date of birth and date of death into the boulder, drinking his own urine because of lack of water and videotaping his last goodbyes to his family. Finally, a dehydrated and delirious Ralston decided to bow his arm against a chockstone and snap the radius and ulna bones. Using the dull blade on his multiuse tool, he cut the soft tissue around the break. He then used the tool's pliers to tear at the tougher tendons. After Ralston was rescued, his arm was retrieved by park authorities and removed from under the boulder. It was cremated and given to Ralston. He returned to the boulder and left the ashes there.

     Robert Evans: Survived Being Hit by Car, Then Train Hours Later

    "He got two ambulance rides last night," said the police. "It's an extreme oddity that someone is hit by a car and a train on the same night. I can't imagine that this has ever happened before in Boulder." An early morning of September 2008, 46-year-old homeless man Robert Evans had a hit-and-run car accident, and while walking back from the hospital to his camp, he was knocked off a narrow railroad bridge into a creek by a train, surviving the second accident in seven hours. Police said Evans was hit by the railing of a stairway on the side of the train. The railroad bridge is only wide enough to accommodate the train tracks and is not intended for pedestrians or other traffic.

     Mauro Prosperi: Survived 9 days in the Sahara Desert

    Prosperi, a keen endurance runner, took part in the 1994 Marathon des Sables (Marathon of the Sands) in Morocco. Part way through the 6-day 233 kilometre event a sandstorm caused Prosperi to lose his way. He ended up disoriented and ran in the wrong direction, ultimately running several hundred kilometres into Algeria. After 36 hours he ran out of food and water. He survived by drinking his own urine and eating bats resident in an abandoned mosque and the occasional snake found in the desert.

    Not wishing to die a long drawn out death, Prosperi attempted to commit suicide in the mosque by slitting his wrists with a pen knife he had with him. The attempt failed - lack of water had caused Prosperi's blood to thicken and clotted the wound before he died.

    After nine days alone in the desert he was found by a nomadic family and taken to an Algerian military camp and from there to a hospital. He was 186 miles off route, and reportedly had lost between 30 and 40 pounds (18 kg) in body weight.