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20th May 2001
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Air conditioning and dry skin

Air conditioning certainly affects our skin. Air con ditioning should regulate the amount of humidity as well as the temperature, removing moisture from the air when the humidity is too high and adding moisture to the air when the humidity is too low. The air conditioning equipment in large commercial and public buildings is usually efficient in regulating both temperature and humidity. On the other hand, air conditioning in many homes and apartment buildings may not increase humidity as needed. Elderly residents of air-conditioned retirement or nursing homes may be especially vulnerable to developing excessively dry skin because their skin is already dry.

When the humidity is too low, the skin may become dry because the dry air increases the evaporative loss of moisture from the skin. In such cases a humidifier should be used to add moisture back into the air. It is also helpful to avoid long, hot baths and instead take quick showers or sponge baths with warm water. Limit the use of soap. Apply moisturizing creams and lotions on damp skin immediately after bathing to help counteract the dryness.

Clothes Line

  • The true love issue - A reader replies:
  • Waiting for Mr. Love - A reader replies:
  • A reader replies:

    The true love issue

    To Cassi ("Is there a thing called true love?") 

    I too will be sitting for the A/Ls this August. I think we are both in the same boat. I believe in true love too. I want my dream guy to be someone who truly loves me and cares about me. Not a person who loves the way I look. 

    But my friend, I don't think we will be able to find "true love" in a world where guys don't know the meaning of love and think girls are toys to be played with. It will be really, really hard to find "true love". 

    I think so because I face such a situation. You see, for the past two years, several guys have been interested in me. But I refused all of them because I thought I couldn't get love, "the true love" which I was looking for from them. 

    But most of my friends have love affairs. So when we are together they speak about the dates they had, the gifts they got, the way they made love. And then I was totally ignored and felt so lonely because I didn't have a boyfriend. 

    Last June another guy showed an interest in me and I said, "no". Then after seven months he asked me again. I really thought he loved me and I too started loving him. So finally I said "yes" to him. 

    I thought I'd get 'true love' from him but soon I understood he didn't know the meaning of the word love. He only knew the meaning of passion. What do you think friend? Will we be able to find this "true love". A guy who truly loves us? 

    A true love finder.

    A reader replies:

    Waiting for Mr. Love

    Am I glad there is someone waiting for that one true love. It sometimes seems everybody has a boyfriend except you. And you feel so left out. I too wonder if there really is something called true love. Is it just a fantasy? I have always been reserved with guys. I always make sure, they know I am not interested whenever I feel they are interested in me. So here I am still single and looking for true love. Does it sound sad, foolish or just pathetic. I am 20. I have never had a boyfriend though if I had wanted to I could have got one. (I am not boasting but I have had a few offers). I am still waiting for my true love. I know there are no guarantees. I can only hope he'll show up.



    Trance transition 

    Pile-driving house beats, mind-boggling effects, deep airy vocals and endless synthesizer riffs, complemented by hypnotizing melodies......that's Trance music

    By Ranidu Lankage
    Welcome to the world of trance music, a world full of pile-driving house beats, mind-boggling effects, deep airy vocals and endless synthesizer riffs, all complimented by hypnotizing melodies. This is the cutting edge of modern dance music, which has of late taken the world by storm.

    "I love trance music because of the sheer emotion it incorporates into ordinary house grooves," said Sabir, an ardent fan. 

    Trance as you might have figured out by now is a form of modern house music. The trademarks are 4 to 4 beats with loads of synth sounds and continuous melodies, which put the listener into a trance of sorts. "It always sounds as if there is something deep and hidden within. It's inexplicable, an enigma of sorts," says DJ Steven of La Garage fame.

    Though trance music broke out from the German hardcore dance scene in the early '90s, its initial impact was confined to Europe. But with the sound of trance being replaced by break-beat dance sounds such as Trip-hop and Jungle, it seemed to wane in the mid-90s. But, just when it seemed like the classical German dance sound was gone forever, there came a revival.

    The new sound incorporated the smoother sounds of dream house music and Euro dance into the traditional sound chain of trance bringing about the change known as progressive trance. At its introduction itself progressive trance took off in a big way, especially in England and hit the charts regularly. It also surpassed house music as the leading club music genre in the world. 

    Taking a look at the monstrous machines that make trance music possible, one name that sticks out is TR-909. This legendary drum machine is the heart and soul of modern dance percussion, with its deep scintillating kick drums, light hi hats and smooth snares. 

    Hard deep bass lines are also a heavy part of trance these days. One machine that produces these hypnotic bass lines is the Moog bass, which doesn't look like an instrument but produces ear-shattering sounds if you turn up the volume. Other synths, which specialise in bass line production, are Rolands Juno bass and TB-303. 

    Next comes the synthesizer, which dominates the dance music scene at the moment the Korg Triton. The clean sounds and audio quality puts the Triton above other synth models in the market today. With its wide range of options and electronics, the Triton provides trance musicians with an all in one option. Other brands that feature in this type of music are Roland and Novation and Yamaha. E-mu is also known for its sound module, Orbital, which at one point was heard on almost every trance composition around the world. 

    Music has its legends and trance is no exception. Paul Okenfield might be a little known name in this part of the world, but in Europe he is revered. Paul started DJ-ing at the age of 16 and soon became one of the first stadium DJs. He is now a well-known producer and remixer and has toured with U2 and Bjork. His latest album, "Tranceport", a showcase of his DJ-ing skills as well as the latest artistes in trance music, has an incredible mix, with the songs so fluid and calming, that one can dance or even sleep to its theme. 

    Another well-known name on this scene is DJ Sasha, a Britisher who now lives in San Francisco, California. His first project was a song for the Trainspotting sound track, done along with Bedrock and KYO. Sasha's more recent projects include 'Expeditions', a series of DJ mixes in which he has collaborated with Sydney-based house\trance DJ John Digweed. 

    Other leading names in trance music include Judge Jules, Pete Tong, Tony De Vit and Danny Rampling who popularized this form of music in Europe. The growing popularity of trance in Europe, eventually made America turn on to the sound, led by its own cast of excellent DJs, including Christopher Lawrence and Kimball Collins. 

    However, the trance scene in Sri Lanka lags behind. "There is a definite following but it's a very small one," concedes DJ Steven. Most clubs play trance but the response is lukewarm. 

    To get a good dose of trance music, just stay home on Saturday night, and TNL's 'Bag of tricks' with popular DJ Nigel will do the needful. This show features a variety of underground dance music including trance, techno, garage and drum and bass, normally unheard of on the Sri Lankan airwaves.

    So the next time there's hyper speed music at a party and you find yourself 'dancing' for your life, you'll know for sure that you are in the hypnotic world of trance. 

    Signed, sealed - He's mine!

    Julia's struck a $3 million per year wedding deal to protect her huge fortune.

    She sighed as he gave her the news in a phone call peppered with 'sweethearts' and 'darlings'. Benjamin Bratt had promised to tell Julia Roberts the minute he'd agreed to her 'ironclad' prenuptial deal and even though it was well past midnight, he was true to his word. 

    In her plush hotel suite at the Bellagio Las Vegas, the Queen of Hollywood delivered a measured reply. 'You've made me the happiest woman on earth. But what took you so long?' 

    'That's typical,' said Ben, relaying the conversation to a friend. 

    'She's a sweetheart, but sometimes there's just no pleasing her.' 

    The former Law and Order star has rocked Julia's world by stalling on the agreement that will see him collect $3 million a year for every year of marriage should their fairy tale union fail. 

    'Julia's got her own way at last,' a source confirms. 'But the prenup was more a pren-uproar'. Ben procrastinated and Julia was like: 'Oh no, not, another pussyfoot like Lyle !, (Julia's ex-husband Lyle Lovett.)

    'She expected his signature overnight, and it just didn't happen.' Julia even consulted her pal Catherine Zeta-Jones about the dilemma. 

    Says Julia's biographer Thomas Caldwell: ' Catherine was in the reverse position. She married someone of much greater wealth, but she told Julia she had no qualms about signing the deal with Michael Douglas. Julia doesn't see why it should have been a moment's hassle.' 

    Sources say a watertight deal is ' totally necessary' to protect Julia's $260 million fortune. 

    She pocketed $70 million for Erin Brockovich alone, including 12 per cent of the movie's gross and her fortune is expected to rocket further following her Best Actress Oscar triumph. Meanwhile, Ben is struggling to even make the seven-digit bracket in the stratosphere of Tinseltown salaries. 

    Julia is said to have been furious on the eve of her Oscar triumph as the saga dragged on - and brave Ben still hadn't signed. 

    Behind the cheesy smiles for the cameras, Ben was begging 'Get off my back', a producer friend says. 

    The biggest buzz on Oscar night was that he'd hissed at her, 'Keep your dough - I'm not interested.'

    It's been a difficult hurdle for the couple - especially after US columnists branded Ben a ' Henpecked Harry'.

    But E ! Online's Ted Casablanca says: ' Benjamin's actually no pushover. Julia's halo slips from time to time. She can switch from mild mannered sweetheart to sharp tongued shrew - but when she does, Ben will stand up to her.' 

    'Julia told her mum it is how she knows he's "the one". From the start she's pencilled in as Mr. Roberts.' Julia had the full backing of her family as she poured out her anguish at Ben's stubbornness in calls to relatives in her hometown of Smyrna, Gerogia. 

    'Her mum Betty told Julia to give Ben the boot !' one family friend reveals. 

    'She considered giving Ben a " sign or it's off" ultimatum', but didn't. Now Julia's glad because Ben has signed of his own free will, even if there was a little arm-twisting going on.' 

    Ben quips he inherited his 'stubborn streak' from his own mum Eldy. But can he survive the pitfalls that have jinxed Julia's previous wedding plans ? 

    She called off a wedding to Kiefer Sutherland after catching him cavorting with a stripper. Then gave fitness trainer Pat Manocchia the push after he forgot her birthday. Julia also dumped besotted actors Mathew Perry and Jason Patric before marrying the man branded 'the least likely' candidate - crooner Lyle. 

    But Julia has now set October 28, her 34th birthday, as the deadline for the wedding, say hometown friends who insist the setting will be a tiny church in Smyrna, just a few blocks from her old school Campbell High. 

    'Julia loves Ben with all her heart,' says Patti Dyson, her friend of 15 years, ' But she's seen how marriages can crash after what seems like two minutes. She's protecting her interests. Is that wrong ?'

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