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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Edition 26: Indian Animation Characters, Tablet PCs and Heart Risks


Several comics from Liquid Comics library based on Indian characters by Indian creators are now available in digital formats for purchase and download to audiences worldwide through the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP).

'Digital publishing is the future and Liquid Comics' mission is to be at the forefront of taking our comic books beyond print into numerous digital platforms,' said Sharad Devarajan, CEO and co-founder of Liquid Comics, one of the world's largest Indian comic book libraries.

An entertainment company focused on creating original stories and modern myths for worldwide audiences, Liquid Comics, formerly known as Virgin Comics LLC, will be releasing new comic books through PlayStation every week.

Titles immediately available for purchase and download include:

Ramayan 3392 AD: A futuristic re-imagining of the great Indian epic. Enter a post-apocalyptic world where the last of humanity struggles to fight against the evil hordes of Nark, a dark-continent lead by the monstrous Ravan.

Devi: Created by acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. Tara Mehta, an unsuspecting young woman in the futuristic Asian city, Sitapur, becomes the centrepiece of a divine battle between the Gods of Light and the demon Lord Bala.

Snake Woman: Also created by Kapur. Jessica Peterson finds herself turning into a vicious snakewoman. Her mission - to avenge a centuries old wrong that was conceived half a world away, deep in the jungles of India when a Naga temple was desecrated by foreigners.

Beyond: Created by bestselling author Deepak Chopra. It's a supernatural thriller about a businessman, Michael Morton, who finds his wife vanishing without a trace from a teeming Indian shopping bazaar.

The Sadhu: James Jenson, a British soldier whose family is brutally murdered by a corrupt superior officer, learns supernatural arts from Indian mystics known as Sadhus. Now he must decide whether to use his newfound powers for inner peace, or for revenge.

Tablet PCs To Rule Roost


Netbooks, take note.

Hot sales of Apple's iPad is attracting a growing group of developers to a new generation of stylish, multimedia tablet devices that could be the next big thing for on-the-go computing.

New tablet offerings from Taiwanese firms such as MSI and China's Hanwang are on show in Taiwan this week at Computex, with models specialising in everything from reading books to taking pictures from a webcam fixed on the top of a bright touchscreen to general Web surfing.

Some say tablets could soon take sales from netbook computers -- the low-priced darlings - that debuted at Computex three years ago and were one of the PC industry's few bright spots through the global economic slowdown.

"I have never seen a singular device that has captured the imagination of so many companies in the world," said Huang Jen-hsun, chief executive of Nvidia, which has launched new processors to power tablets and laptops.

Like netbooks, tablets are relatively cheap, drawing on lower-cost processors and software to often sell for $500 or less. Their prices are likely to fall further as sales grow.

Apple and other large players, along with their parts suppliers, are set to gain most, possibly at the expense of major netbook sellers including Asustek and Acer.

Tablet PCs may be especially suited for reading-type applications such as e-books and other applications that don't require a lot of typing on a separate keyboard.

Short People At More Risk Against Heart Attack


Short people are more likely to develop heart disease than tall people, according to a new study. The systematic review and meta-analysis, carried out by Finnish researchers, looked at evidence from 52 studies of over three million people and found that short adults were approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop cardiovascular heart disease and die from it than were tall people. This appeared to be true for both men and women.

Dr Tuula Paajanen, a researcher at the Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland, said that over the years there had been a number of studies that had provided conflicting evidence on whether shortness was associated with heart disease.

"The first report on the inverse association between coronary heart disease (CHD) and height was published in 1951 and, since then, the association between short stature and cardiovascular diseases has been investigated in more than 1,900 papers," she said.

"However, until now, no systematic review and meta-analysis has been done on this topic. We hope that with this meta-analysis, the association is recognised to be true and in future more effort is targeted to finding out the possible pathophysiological, environmental and genetic mechanisms behind the association, with eyes and minds open to different hypotheses," she added.

Due to the many different ways that previous studies have investigated the association between height and heart disease, Paajanen and her colleagues decided to compare the shortest group to the tallest group instead of using a fixed height limit. From the total of 1,900 papers, the researchers selected 52 that fulfilled all their criteria for inclusion in their study. These included a total of 3,012,747 patients. On average short people were below 160.5 cms high and tall people were over 173.9 cms.

When men and women were considered separately, on average short men were below 165.4 cms and short women below 153 cms, while tall men were over 177.5 cms and tall women over 166.4 cms.

Paajanen and her colleagues found that compared to those in the tallest group, the people in the shortest group were nearly 1.5 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary heart disease (CHD), or to live with the symptoms of CVD or CHD, or to suffer a heart attack, compared with the tallest people.

Looking at men and women separately, short men were 37 percent more likely to die from any cause compared with tall men, and short women were 55 percent more likely to die from any cause compared with their taller counterparts.

The study has been published online in the European Heart Journal.

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