Mirror Magazine
27th May 2001

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Healing hands

The cures are all in the palm of your hand.....

To heal headaches

The head is reflected on the tips of your fingers and thumb. Work your thumb into the tops of your fingers, two to three times. Repeat every 30 minutes for up to two hours until your headache has gone. There may be an overlap with your sinuses, which can cause headaches if blocked. If your sinus pain is linked, work up your fingers and over the tips, concentrating on the fleshy part.

To put paid to period pain

Massage your uterus reflexes (the base of the thumb side of both hands) and ovary reflexes (the base of the outer side), but stop when your period starts otherwise the flow might increase. The pressure you apply should not be so hard that it hurts, but nor should it be too gentle.

To combat cystitis

If you have cystitis you may feel sensitive on your bladder reflex point, which is on both hands at the base, to the side of the bone that extends into your thumb. The reflex area is close to the uterus and rectum zones, so it's hard to be precise doing it yourself. It's not dangerous to treat an unaffected area, but you don't want to work on the uterus area during your period.

To beat backache

Work up the outside of your thumb, from your wrist right up to the tip and back down again. Do this twice every two hours for three days and then stop. Professional advice should always be sought from an osteopath, chiropractor or GP - you should use hand reflexology only in the short-term.

To relieve colds and sinus problems

Palm upwards, take one finger at a time and support it underneath with the fingers of the other hand. Apply pressure with your thumb, 'walking' it slowly up each finger to the tip. Repeat on your other hand. Do twice more in the next two hours. It might feel painful at first, but this should ease as you work on your sinuses.

To ease irritable bowel syndrome

Regular massage on the digestive-tract reflexes can help alleviate IBS. For the small intestine, work the lower half of your palms. For the large intestine, start on your right hand, a little above your wrist in line with your little finger, and work halfway up your palm; then work across it. Turning to the left hand, work across, before starting to work downwards. To finish, work back across your left palm towards the thumb-side of your hand.

Box office:Shrek sees green

Excellent reviews helped propel DreamWorks' animated film Shrek to an opening second only to that of record-holder Toy Story 2. The tale of an ogre, voiced by Mike Myers, who must rescue a princess (Cameron Diaz), opened with an estimated $42.1 million making it the best debut for a non-sequel, non-holiday animated film, according to the studio.

Toy Story 2, which debuted over the Thanksgiving 1999 holiday with $57.4 million, still holds the debut record for an animated film.

DreamWorks', head of distribution Jim Tharp said that the studio is delighted with the debut, adding that it's far exceeded their more modest estimates of a $30-35 million opening.

He credited the great reviews the fractured fairy tale has received, along with the promotions that its vocal stars, Myers, Diaz, Eddie Murphy, and John Lithgow, have done for the film. He declined to comment on the odds of it being in the running for the Academy Awards' new best animated feature Oscar, which will be awarded for the first time at next year's ceremony.

Shrek's impressive bow is no doubt also due to its having opened on 3,587 screens, just shy of Mission Impossible 2's screen count of 3,653 last summer.

BSB rumour denied

Speculation over the future of the Backstreet Boys was laid to rest last week when the group's management dismissed tabloid reports that the group was to split up next year.

The Backstreet Boys' management, the Mitch Schneider Organisation denied the rumour supposedly leaked by an insider to the media which was published in The News of The World. The management said the rumour was unfounded and that it was not sure from where the information originated.

So BSB fans can cheer up.

On and off some unusual things take place on the UK singles chart. Well this week the song that was once a chart topper three weeks ago and was at the No:2 spot for a fortnight has reclaimed the No:1 position. The song is 'Don't Stop Movin'' by the group S Club 7. Despite Geri Halliwell's two-week reign with 'It's Raining Men', the song 'Don't Stop Movin'' held on firmly to the No:2 position after it was dislodged from the top spot. The sales of the single remained steady as airplay was uniform.

Last week S Club 7's 'Don't Stop Movin'', began to gather strength in sales as Halliwell's 'It's Raining Men' began to lose momentum. With a Gold disc to its credit with sales of over 400,000 copies, the figures from the tills gave S Club 7 an edge this week.

'Don't Stop Movin'' is a relaxed, Seventies-style disco track, quite unlike most songs out in the market today. It's having a field day on radio, and the clubs. It could end up as the summer hit of 2001. 'Don't Stop Movin'', is the first in four years to recapture the No:1 spot within two weeks of being ousted from the prime spot. The last song that was at No:1 and came back to recapture the singles crown was Puff Daddy's 'I'll Be Missing You' back in July 1997. After a week 'I'll Be Missing You' was interrupted in the championship position by the Oasis track 'D'you know What I Mean'.

Meanwhile the success of 'Don't Stop Movin'' in the UK has moved across the Atlantic in the US where it is taking the singles chart by storm.

The Stereo MCs are back in the chart after an absence of eight years. The band's new single 'Deep Down And Dirty' checked into the chart at No:17. It is a hip hop-rock crossover track. The Stereo MCs have been around for nearly 12 years. During that time they notched five songs into the Top 20. Those hits were 'Connected'-No:18 in 1992, 'Step It Up'-No:12 in 1992, 'Ground Level-No:19 'Creation'-No:19 in 1993.

At No:20 on the singles chart this week is 'Before You Leave' by Pepe Deluxe. It is the latest Levi Jeans TV advert released as a single. The song is a barely audible trip hop track which cannot be equated with previous songs released for Levi commercials. The video however is excellent. But it is the song that matters and it fails to impress.

The Monkees - known as the original boyband will be touring the US and UK later this year. Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz will be in the UK, October 22-26 no sooner they complete the US. The fourth member of the group Mike Nesmith is not touring because he is working on a film called "Fried Pies" and a novel "The Second Gene". The Monkees were formed in 1965.

The rock star/actress Courtney Love is reported to have lost the baby she was expecting. Love who was married to the late Kurt Cobain apparently suffered a miscarriage.

New options in a flash

The improved timeline and the custom keyboard shortcut sets will surely be hailed by animators, both amateur and professional

Macromedia Flash 5 has widened the horizons and shed light on an array of new options to what we have been doing with streaming web media. With the enhancement of the tools that were found in Flash 4 and the inclusion of new ones, it is a dream come true for animators and graphic designers. Programmers and coders find the simple HTML rendering features that also has a built-in XML parser and a boosted scripting engine, extremely useful. All these power packed enhancements are complimented by the new and more user friendly interface.

Flash 4 had an interface that relied on a host of inspectors for manipulating objects, scenes and transforms, but Macromedia has replaced them in Flash 5 with an attractive set of panels. Users are also given the 'Panel Sets' option by which they can chose only the set of panels that is needed to complete a specific task. This eases congestion and gives more workspace without compromising efficiency and practicality. It takes a while to get used to the panels and their functions but they do well to replace all the dialogue boxes found in the previous versions of Flash.

Work groups received special attention in Flash 5.0's features, which include a set of new work flow optimisation tools. Artists, animators, and programmers can now work concurrently on projects by using Shared Libraries and external script files. The new Movie Explorer, which sorts and displays movies as hierarchical documents, will assist developers who have to work together on large projects.

The Smart Clips feature offers some of the advantages of Macromedia Generator, allowing advanced scripters to prepare components such as list boxes and menus and then to pass along these components as stand alone behaviors to other users for customisation and reuse. Smart Clips will likely speed up Flash development within businesses as well as facilitate idea sharing within the advanced Flash community.

With Flash 5.0, Macromedia also introduces the Macromedia Dashboard. An in-product resource panel, the Dashboard links to outside Flash resources and works as a sort of information assistant for the Flash user. You can set the Dashboard to automatically renew itself from Macromedia's servers each time you launch Flash 5.0, guaranteeing fresh and relevant content.

The new Action Script is now a complete language, significantly expanded and rebuilt from the ground up as a Java Script-like, object-oriented language. New events, data types, objects, and syntax will keep even seasoned Flash users busy. Only the most advanced Flash users will use these robust additions; the learning curve is rather steep for those unfamiliar with advanced Action Script or Java Script authoring.

The Action Script interface can operate in either Normal Mode or Expert Mode. Normal Mode is similar to Flash 4.0 in that new actions are inserted using a drop-down menu, and the options for editing each action are presented as a form. While Expert Mode still lets you pull actions from a drop-down list or the new dictionary pane, it also lets you edit the code directly. You can also cut code from a text editor and paste it into Flash (and vice versa) or save your code as a separate text file and use the new Include action to grab the external code when you export.

The improved timeline and the custom keyboard shortcut sets will surely be hailed by animators both amateur and professional. Artists and illustrators have their work cut out with the easy to use pen and other drawing tools.

Although the Flash 5.0 authouring application is more or less bug-free, we encountered some problems with the Flash 5.0 Player. Once a user upgrades to the latest plug-in, even the smallest bug or compatibility issue can hobble existing sites built with Flash 4.0 or below. WDDG, a New York-based design firm, maintains a list of identified player issues.

For those of you who do not have any experience with Macromedia Flash, it is a program that could simply be described as a combination of drawing and animating tools for an amateur but for experts and web designers it is a tool that takes their professions to new hights.

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