After surviving a Cold War arms race and the threat of nuclear war

Obama said the agreement recognized a "cruel irony of history": After surviving a Cold War arms race and the threat of nuclear war, the world now must confront the even larger danger of nuclear terrorism.
Wealthier nations will help defray the cost of the effort for poorer ones. The United States has budgeted $3 billion in the current fiscal year for better securing nuclear material.

Obama acknowledged that there is no way to enforce the agreement except through the good intentions of world leaders who, he said, share his view of the urgency of the program.

"Terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they ever succeed, they would surely use it," Obama said. "Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world."

The four-year plan spelled out in a statement at the end of the two-day conference would require action at thousands of civilian nuclear installations and military and university sites at a likely cost of billions of dollars.

Although regional cooperation is important to halt nuclear smuggling, countries in the Middle East and South Asia may be reluctant to work with neighbors who also are rivals. Some are wary of sharing information about their sites with other world powers or even world organizations such as the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Small healthy changes have big impact on your body

Health experts say, especially in the area of fitness and nutrition, people easily lose focus and motivation because they think they have to make drastic changes to their daily routine to accomplish their goals.

“It’s unrealistic to stay committed to completely changing a person’s lifestyle,” says Susie Garcia, a registered dietitian with Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market. “Small changes are all it takes to produce the best long-term results. When setting New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle, do so with family and friends to remain accountable and to get support.”

A few easy things people can do to lead healthier lives in the New Year are:

Walk Around the Block – Whether before or after work or school or during lunch time, walking is a safe, simple and low-impact exercise.

It not only manages weight, but the activity can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Many Ladies hope Santa brings them all the fashion goodies they

The race is on, ladies, to make like Santa and wrap and deliver all those presents in time for the big day on Friday. I don't know about you, but I need to get a move on!

And, just in case Santa is reading this, top of my Christmas wishlist is a Chanel bag.

Yes, I know I've mentioned this before - and I know these bags don't come cheap - but my argument is that it's a "forever" purchase. Right, Santa?

Then for the results show I slipped into a dramatic full-length strapless sequinned dress by hot new designer Rachel Gilbert, with fab jewels by Astley Clarke.

After 14 weeks of tans, tears and tantrums on the show, we saw people's champions Chris and Ola take home the glitter ball trophy, while heart-throb Ricky Whittle had to make do with being runner-up.

It was probably the closest fought final we've ever had.

We've also seen love blossom this series, not once but twice, with sweethearts Ali and Brian and of course sizzling Strictly couple Joe and Kristina.

So, now I've got my party outfit sorted, I'm looking out for something warm to combat these arctic conditions. I'm hunting down a pair of knee-high sheepskin boots - Made In Australia has some fab crystal-studded ones.

And, talking of clothes with a bit of bling, I got to wear two gorgeous dresses for the Strictly final on Saturday night. For the first show I wore an oyster silk dress by Petit S***pe, accessorised with a crystal-studded belt specially made by the show's costume designers Chrisanne - it was embellished with 1,000 Swarovski crystals.

California prepares for climate change

Along with California's efforts to crack down on its own greenhouse gas emissions, state officials have begun preparing for the worst: heat waves, a rising sea level, flooding, wildlife die-offs and other expected consequences from what scientists predict will be a dramatic temperature increase by the end of this century.

California's Natural Resources Agency on Monday issued the nation's first statewide plan to "adapt" to climate change.

Research shows,Cursing makes you feel better and relieves pain

The next time you stub your toe or bang your shin into the coffee table, cursing may be the best medicine. In fact, scientists swear you’ll feel better after uttering some expletives while experiencing physical pain, according to a Reuters article.

Cursing can have a "pain-lessening effect," according to research from the school of psychology at Britain’s Keele University, as reported by Reuters.

The men in the study who cursed were able to keep their hands in the frigid, 41-degree water for an average of 190 seconds, reports, while those who simply uttered a PG-rated word could only keep their hands submerged for 140 seconds.

The women in the study experienced even better results, according to Although men’s pain scores dropped by just one point when they cursed, women’s dropped by nearly two full points.

Lead study author Richard Stephens attributes this to the fact that women swear less than men, in general. This means that when they do cuss, the words are more powerful to them, says Stephens.

"Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon," Stephens said in the Reuters article. "It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists."

Why the connection between cursing and decreased pain? That’s unclear.

"What is clear," Stephens told Reuters, "is that swearing elicits both an emotional response and a physical one, too. This response could shed light on why the age-old practice of cursing developed, and still is in existence today."

Perhaps one caveat should apply next time you decide to practice a little DIY pain relief: Refrain from cursing when the kids are within earshot.


Men’s clothing Dressing for Rising Tides

During the first day of the Italian men’s shows, I couldn’t help wondering whether I was actually in Venice, given the deluge of cropped trousers that appeared to have been designed in anticipation of The Great Flood.

Dolce & Gabbana were the first to ride the tide with a parade of bejeweled and embroidered black evening jackets that were shown with full pants that tapered into cropped cuffs. Some of the most successful looks accentuated this proportion by showing the pants with a simple solid silk shirt with contrasting placket and tank top underneath…with a bejeweled shoe, certo.

In his collection for Jil Sander, Raf Simons used racy illustrations by the Japanese artist Leonard Foujita to give his precise and highly refined collection some much appreciated sensuality. Foujita’s group scenes and portraits were projected onto the showroom walls and also appeared on slender pants, loose tank tops and sheer cotton short-sleeved shirts, giving the pieces a little bit of a sexy bite.

Meanwhile, the concisely sharp Bottega Veneta show opened with a slightly military group of washed olive and khaki cottons featuring — you guessed it — cropped pants, only this time they were a tad more slender and featured zips at the ankle. Tie-dyed knits and ombré scarves in graduating tones brightened up the neutrals and led the way to a fantastic grouping of red and fuchsia tailored and sportswear combinations.

How important to follow diet habit?

Tell me how this works in your family. Do your kids follow your lead in their dietary habits? Or are you just hoping that the behaviors you're modeling today will be adopted by your kids later?

There's lots of food for thought here. First, these were just two days' reported diets. The data was collected way back in the mid-1990s. And the study only looked at simultaneous eating habits; it didn't predict whether behaviors parents model for young children might influence those children's diets once they became adults.

Still, the study expands the discussion beyond the old you-model-it, they'll-do-it saw. And it offers some solace to those of us who've felt we must be doing something wrong because our kids don't eat the way we do. The authors posit -- without providing supporting evidence -- that other influences, from peers to TV, might exert more influence over kids' eating habits than parents do.