Author Archives: Hinaa Noor

‘Tea Bones’

This topic definitely makes me excited (sorry, anti-tea people). Many Americans, as we know prefer coffee over tea. However, I will not be comparing that. I drink tea everyday and I wanted to know if it is actually true that tea makes my bones strong. I am sure many tea-drinkers from especially Europe and Asia would love to know. So, lets try to find out if we got ’em ‘tea bones!’

I came across one article on this topic recently, however i did most of my research for it based on the WebMed website and other sources. This is the type of study that is still being researched and tested.

Verona M. Hegarty, PhD, a gerontology researcher at England’s University of Cambridge School of Medicine conducted a study, which involved 1,200 women living in Cambridge. This is the small summary of how Hegarty started her research with these women: The 1,200 women were asked questions regarding their health and lifestyle – “that included questions on daily tea and coffee consumption, smoking habits, physical activity, alcohol intake, whether they drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, whether coffee was instant or ground, whether they used hormone replacement therapy, if they added milk to tea, and so on.” Most importantly, their bone mineral density was measured, which showed bone strength in the spine and the area where hip breaks most often occur.

According the Hegarty, the findings were independent of all the things they questioned and tested on these women. Among the women, there were over 1,100 tea drinkers and just about 120 non-tea drinkers, all between the ages of 65 and 76. Why older women? Those older ladies, who drank tea had higher bone mineral density measurements, an indicator of bone health, than those who did not drink tea, according to the study. Hegarty further added that “Nutrients found in tea … [may] protect against osteoporosis in older women.

Thus, “tea drinkers had significantly greater bone mineral density measurements. Among coffee drinkers, those who also drank tea had significantly higher measurements as well.” Also, women who added milk to their tea had higher bone mineral density in the hip area, since milk carries more calcium.

Hagerty’s research and research done by other British or non-British researchers have shown that tea has components that weakly mimic the effect of the female hormone – estrogen, and this may be crucial for the maintenance of bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.

There is still research being done to see the connection with tea, especially green-tea with estrogen. This is a new research and still requires some more studying according to many nutritionist researchers. However, it has been proving right in some cases like the research done by Hagerty.

I have been drinking tea since i was little, but since i am still young and growing through the process it might not show now, like Hagerty and other researchers claimed. My family and ancestors have been tea-drinkers as well for a long time, and our bones are pretty strong. Then again, that’s one family. Some might not be affected with similar outcomes from devouring tea everyday. Tea for Stronger Bones? Here is the link to the complete research.  Lets see if we have ‘tea bones,’ or not when we get old.

What makes you write?

As many of you might be writers, or some of you may not even be a fan of writing. The fact is, we all write – doesn’t matter if you are an engineering major, math or any science major – we all have to write at some point in our lives. You have to tap your fingers on that keyboard to write for this blog, whether you like writing or not! So, even if you may write because you enjoy it, or that you have to – what gets you to write?

Writing habits, or habits that make you write. Some of these habits might be normal and some might even seem strange to some of you. Science has proven that a handful of people can be addicted to a habit that makes them write with ease. I had an English teacher in high school, who would be biting the cap of his pen while he focused to write. I asked him once if he could stop this habit and just write, and he replied with an absolute no. Of course, this habit can be fatal for him with bacteria, but writing with comfort for him was important. And that’s just not it. There are many famous writers who wrote some of the brilliant pieces of literature you read today with strange and not so strange habits.

According to the Barnes and Nobles website, there are and have been some well-known writers that have used their own ways in order to produce the hard-to-put down pieces you read while you sip your coffee or tea.  A favorite author of many like Maya Angelou chose to write in a tiny hotel room from dawn to 2 a.m. in the morning. Now, many writers or even non-writers prefer a certain type of environment in order to feel comfortable with their writing. It is normal because many of us might prefer a loud environment and we would feel OK (I am one of those people), and some of us prefer a very quiet environment where we can only hear the sound of the keyboard at work. The environment you choose whether quiet or loud only determines your style of peace – it does not define that loud is necessary not peaceful, thus for some people it might be.

Then there are people who drink in order to write, and by drink I mean tremendous amount of it. Drinks like coffee (author Honore de Balzac would drink 50 cups of coffee during the day), tea, alcohol (Edgar Allen Poe) and other drinks. Of course, too much amount of caffeine or alcohol will effect your body in horrific ways. I for once, ended up in emergency for over-caffeinated myself because I was working on a novel at that time. Blame the novel, alright!

Now we transition to the ‘lazy writers.’ And this also includes me, sometimes. As some of you might dislike writing to even start with, or some of you might even get overwhelmed with zero or too many ideas to start and end with. So, you get lazy and your mind triggers you to do things that you normally would not do in other cases. For example, Truman Capote, another famous writer had many of his own lazy methods to write, including: stretching many times on a bed or sofa, switching various types of drinks from martinis to tea green and so on. All of these habits are a big excuse of being lazy, or working in a slow process. This can be helpful to relax and think, but can also make it harder for you to work faster and meet your deadlines.

Lets not forget the writers who use different ‘positions’ and ‘postures’ in order to write contently. Even a very famous writer like Ernest Hemingway would ” write while standing, in a pair of over-sized loafers and his typewriter at chest height. I wonder if this made him tired or actually comfortable? And it gets stranger… Dan Brown, also a well-known writer would “hang upside-down in anti-gravity boots, claiming that this inversion therapy helps him relax and let go.” He was went far than just stretching or being ‘upside-down.’ He would keep an hourglass by his desk, and every hour he did push-ups to sit-ups and more. Like many of us, we do weird things to keep our body working, relaxed and focused, so that our blood keeps normal flow in the brain to keep balance. I take yoga breaks during long writing projects to relax my body and mind. I also go on my phone, eat a lot of snacks (which is not good) and even take in between naps to take a break from writing, or it can be a lazy excuse as well.

All these habits and many may help you write and even writer better, but sometimes they might be harming you more rather helping you with just the writing part. If you tend to have a habit or more than one, then it is important to know if it is good or bad for you – and of course, you can only determine that. I try my best to cut loose on some of the bad habits that I find useful or addictive in order to write with ease, or even as an excuse to  – write slow or not at all. One of my worst habits – in my opinion, is eating a lot of sugary snacks and drinking too much tea. It’s good to stay energetic and active, but not overdose oneself with caffeine and sugar. And It’s hard for me to admit, but I also tend to bite the back of my pen a lot when I write. Whatever drives you to write, it is your choice and only you can make sense of it and consider it peaceful, even though it might not seem peaceful or appropriate to others. Nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware that your body does not receive any bad outcomes, and that you control your habit(s) from going out of control. So, keep writing with your strange habits, but be aware of not letting them take over you! You take cold-shower breaks in order to keep writing? No judging! If this makes you a better Stephen King in your fiction class, then why not? Just don’t take too many in one day.

9 Weirdest Habits of Highly Effective Authors Here is a link to the Barnes and Nobles website, where i received most of my information about some of these writers. You might want to check out the even weirder ones! Also, I am curious to read about your strange habits of writing. They might be cool, or even similar to the ones I talked about.

Initial Blog Post

Hi, everyone! My name is Hinaa Noor. And it is not pronounced as Hinaaaa…, so don’t get confused. I am currently a junior majoring in journalism (print and digital) and international politics. I also do professional photography in fashion shoots and personal projects of my own. I am from Jersey city, New Jersey – very close to New York City, so yay! I was born in Pakistan, and i came to the US when was 11-years-old. I do visit back home during summer and part of it is because i love traveling, and i have been to other countries in the middle east mainly so far. Looking forward to travel to Europe after a decent internship (aren’t we all waiting for that, well some of us). I first attended Penn State DuBois during my freshmen year, a very odd place it was for me – too country. Then, i transferred to Penn State Abington and from there, reached my long-time goal – Penn State University. I applied to Penn State at 3 a.m. during February of my high school senior year. I was intrigued to apply at Penn State when i came across a Penn State alum, Sara Ganim, who has worked for CNN, Huffington Post and many other well-established news outlets, and has won a Pulitzer prize for successfully covering the Sandusky case. So, I chose Penn State to hopefully receive good opportunities and embark on a journey that would be interesting, and it has been so far. As for choosing this course, i was one the last minute people to join it. I was looking to replace a course with a science course, but i wanted something that i could relate to and have interest with even though it will be science. So, this was perfect! It includes blogs (so that means writing, research, opinion) and this equals awesomeness! Also, i never pay much attention to the science side of the news, so this course would be perfect to spark curiosity for me in science and learn cool things, hopefully. When I explained my adviser that i am not good in science courses, have been having and i tend to yawn a lot – she recommended me this course. I am not planning to be a science major even though most Pakistanis are in science, or their parents would like for them to choose science (this can be a stereotype, but quiet true at times). Science is a great field for certain people, but for me science has not been my main interest of study, even though it can be intriguing.