Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yes MOSCOW is an expensive city

I am not surprised that Moscow placed 4th as the world's most expensive city to live in. I agree with Tokyo and with Geneva, too. After coming back from Moscow, I have to agree with this article big time! 

AFP Relax – Tue, Jun 12, 2012 5:42 PM PHT
Tokyo has regained the unenviable title of the world's most expensive city for expatriates, while the eurozone crisis has made many European cities cheaper according to a survey published Tuesday.
At the other end of the scale, the survey by the Mercer group named the Pakistani port Karachi as the least expensive city, with living costs around three times cheaper than in the Japanese capital.
The report, published annually to help companies assess compensation allowances for expatriate workers, compared the cost of over 200 items in 214 cities, using New York as a reference. The items on the list included housing, food and transport.
Tokyo pushed the oil-boom Angolan capital Luanda into second place to retake the top spot in the survey. Another Japanese city, Osaka, came third, the Russian capital Moscow in fourth, and Geneva fifth.
Cities in the eurozone slid in the rankings as the euro has slid against the US dollar during the debt crisis. Paris dropped 10 spots to 37th, Rome fell eight to 42nd, and Athens tumbled 24 to 77th.
London slipped from 18th in the table last year down to 25th place.
In contrast, appreciation against the US dollar helped push Australian and New Zealand cities up, with Adelaide jumping 19 spots to 27th.

How to beat Jetlag

I had just returned from a tiring long haul trip and the earliest i have been sleeping is at 5am. needless to say, i am very very tired. So for those wanderlust sleep deprived like me, here are a few tips from Yahoo that might be helpful to you... 

AFP Relax – Wed, Jun 13, 2012 11:00 PM PHT
8 tips on getting a good night's sleep
It's being described as the next health hazard after junk food bingeing and sedentary living: chronic sleep deprivation.
At a major sleep conference in Boston this week, experts have been presenting a slew of studies blaming poor sleeping habits for everything from stroke to unhealthy eating and depression.
Here are some tips on how to get a better night's sleep, from expert sites like and the Mayo Clinic.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
Be consistent with the times you go to bed and wake up to create a regular sleep pattern.
2. Follow a healthy diet
Aside from the obvious, including avoiding caffeine late at night, experts also say to refrain from going to bed hungry, overstuffed or after drinking too many liquids. If you're peckish, reach for a banana, which is rich in potassium and has been shown to help facilitate a deeper sleep.
3. Try sleep accessories and eliminate distractions
While an eye mask, ear plugs, or a sound generator for white noise have been shown to help, laptops in bed and smartphones on the night table have not. Unplug the room and create a restful sleep environment.
4. Create a bedtime ritual
Wind down with a hot bath, a book or soothing music and stick to the same bedtime routine.
5. Exercise
Regular physical exercise has been shown to enable a restful sleep.
6. Try meditation or relaxation techniques
Consider deep breathing exercises, yoga or tai chi to help you charge down.
7. Clear your mind
If you can't sleep because your mind is too cluttered, air out your concerns by either writing them on paper or talking them out with a spouse, friend or therapist.

8. Seek medical help
Though you may think chronic sleep deprivation is just stress-related, it could also be caused by an underlying medical problem like sleep apnea. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

VANCOUVER defines what it means to be COOL

AFP Relax – Sat, Jun 9, 2012 12:17 AM PHT
What does it mean to be cool these days? Is it still the James Dean-like bad boy who flouts the law? What about the impenetrable colleague at work who oozes mystery and intrigue, or the fearless thrill-seeking adventurer friend? According to a team of psychologists, today's definition of cool is less about being a rebel without a cause, and more about being friendly and warm.
That's the conclusion of a new study which set out to find the contemporary definition of ‘cool,' a concept traditionally associated with characteristics like emotional control, rebelliousness, toughness and detachment.
Think the likes of James Dean or Miles Davis, researchers say.
But after analyzing the survey results of 1,000 participants from the Vancouver area, researchers from the University of Rochester found that respondents judged a person's ‘cool' factor by traits like likeability, friendliness, attractiveness, confidence, and success. The study was published in the Journal of Individual Differences
"If anything, sociability is considered to be cool, being nice is considered to be cool," said lead authorIlan Dar-Nimrod in a statement.
For their study -- described as the first systematic, quantitative approach to understanding what makes up a ‘cool personality' -- researchers organized results into three areas. In the first, respondents generated characteristics they perceived to be cool. In the second, participants rated dozens of traits on coolness and social desirability, while for the third, respondents rated their own friends.
The most popular adjectives to come up focused on positive, socially desirable traits like friendliness, competence, trendiness and attractiveness.
Meanwhile, in a nod to the old adage beauty is more than skin deep, another study found that both men and women who exhibited positive traits like honesty and helpfulness are perceived to be better looking compared to those who were rude.