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Monthly News No 208 – 31st August 2015


 CONSTRUCTION

HUGH COLEMAN – MECHANICAL MANAGER

Hello everyone from the sleepy hollow in the Midlands. My cable laying project is finally on the last phase which will be wrapped up by the end of September. This has really been another learning curve in life or should I just say, another day at Cato Ridge Electrical. Our final section of installing the 132kV cable was a challenge of note; having 9 corners and 4 sleeved road crossings to contend with. This had never been done with this size and type of cable before.

I must say the dedicated team of guys that I had on site made it look like they do this every day as we managed to pull in the last 800 metres of cable in 1½ hours. Another first was trying to roll up the 70 metre off cuts (as you can see in the pictures). The first lot of jointing has been done with one more joint to go, which takes about 5 days. Well the backfilling and tidying up has begun, which once completed will be a great relief for the Pietermaritzburg motorists who have been inconvenienced during this project. Other than that I will be making my way down the North to work on another project in that area sometime next month.

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All our plant and equipment is out on sites being worked to the limit, it’s not long before they all get sent back for the Xmas shut down to have the normal TLC done to them. Unfortunately our new crane truck was involved in an accident on the North Coast N2 Freeway when a speeding, out of control truck side swiped it. Luckily our driver was not injured but the truck came off a bit worse for wear.

Start saving up to have your vehicles checked for the December holiday trips that you will be enduring. Until next time..

 


SIGNAGE AND MAINTENANCE

Roxy Roux – Maintenance Manager

The maintenance departments has once more been inundated with call out and breakdown maintenance. Mostly repairs that had to be attended to at our Government Departments (Department of Works, Department of Infrastructure and Department of Health), some of the long outstanding Generators have been installed and all the preventive maintenance have been adhered to for the month.

Between CREC and Voltex they have ensured that our Koos is kept busy attending to various works all over. He is definitely one of the employees that cannot complain about not exploring our country. He is probably just happy enjoying December holidays at home. He is happily assisting the project managers to lighten their burdens and concentrate on business at hand.

Our stores department is starting to get on top of things and is coping with all the project requests that are directed to them. Certainly a department we can be proud of. Various site visits have been attended and our sales and marketing have ensured that the maintenance staff are kept busy throughout the month.

Our signage department has been busy supplying various signs. At times have been under pressure from the customer/client but have fulfilled most of their obligations for the month. The Maintenance, Stores, Estimating, Signage, Sales and Marketing staff, have again done us proud in achieving most of their tasks successfully.

We are looking forward to the month of September were we might face new challenges and be proactive in solving them.


THE G SPOT

Pub & Diner

WE HAVE FINALLY REACHED SPRING…HAPPY SPRING DAY TO EVERYONE…

SEPTEMBER SPECIALS

4TH – PIZZA

11TH – EISBEIN, CHIPS & SALAD

18TH – STEAK SALAD ROLL

23RD – BUFFALO WINGS

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE G-SPOT WILL BE OPEN ON THE 25TH SEPTEMBER 2015.

WE WILL BE HAVING SPIDER MURCH ON THE 2ND OCTOBER 2015 FOR ANOTHER GREAT KARAOKE NIGHT…

G-SPOT WILL WE SPONSORING THE CYCAD SOCIETY ON THE 15TH NOVEMBER FOR THEIR YEAR END CHRISTMAS FUNCTIO.

G-SPOT WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE THAT HAS KEPT THEIR SUPPORT BY COMING TO ENJOY OUR GARDENS, MUSEUM, RESTAURANT AND THE PUB.WE ARE VERY PLEASEDTO SEE OUR SUPPORT HAS INCREASED, WE HOPE TO SEE EVERYONE MORE IN THE FUTURE.

WE ARE VERY THANKFUL


Arnfred Nursery

Lately we have had numerous requests from customers to plant up their gardens in specific colours, i.e. “Please could you plant up my garden with plants that only bear white flowers?”

I have put together a very short idea list of various colour palettes of flower plan

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Just a reminder that our next Open Day will be Sunday, 13th September from 9 to 2.

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In Other News

Birthdays September – Happy Birthday to the following people in September:

  8TH – KIM PETERSEN & PRUDENCE MKHIZE

 16TH – BILLY BATTEN

28TH – CHANTEL VAN ROOYEN


Dates to Remember in September

1st – Spring Day

6th – Read a book day

19th – International Talk like a Pirate Day

24th – Heritage Day (or as most people say: BRAAI DAY!!)

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Ambrose Williams

Word of the Month

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Health

The health effects of coffee are quite controversial. Depending on who you ask, it is either a super healthy beverage or incredibly harmful. But despite what you may have heard, there are actually plenty of good things to be said about coffee.

For example, it is high in antioxidants and linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. However… it also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause problems in some people and disrupt sleep.

Coffee Contains Some Essential Nutrients and is Extremely High in Antioxidants

Coffee is more than just dark brown water… many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the drink.

A typical 240 ml cup of coffee contains:

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 1% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 3% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 2% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA.

This may not seem like a lot, but try multiplying with 3, 4, or however many cups you drink per day. It can add up to a significant portion of your daily nutrient intake. But where coffee really shines is in its high content of antioxidants. The average person who eats a typical Western diet actually gets more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables… combined.

Bottom Line: Coffee contains a small amount of some vitamins and minerals, which add up if you drink many cups per day. It is also high in antioxidants.

Coffee Contains Caffeine, A Stimulant That Can Enhance Brain Function and Boost Metabolism

Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

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The health effects of coffee are quite controversial. Depending on who you ask, it is either a super healthy beverage or incredibly harmful. But despite what you may have heard, there are actually plenty of good things to be said about coffee.

For example, it is high in antioxidants and linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. However… it also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause problems in some people and disrupt sleep.

The caffeine content of a single cup can range from 30-300 mg, but the average cup is somewhere around 90-100 mg.

Caffeine is a known stimulant. In the brain, it blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (brain hormone) called Adenosine.

By blocking adenosine, caffeine actually increases activity in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. This reduces tiredness and makes us feel more alert.

There are numerous studies showing that caffeine can lead to a short-term boost in brain function… including improved mood, reaction time, vigilance and general cognitive function.

Caffeine can also boost metabolism (calories burned) by 3-11% and even increase exercise performance by 11-12%, on average.

However… some of these effects are likely to be short-term. If you drink coffee every day, then you will build a tolerance to it and the effects will be less powerful. There are also some downsides to caffeine, which I’ll get to in a bit.

Bottom Line: The main active compound in coffee is the stimulant caffeine. It can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, metabolic rate and exercise performance.

Coffee May Help Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Leading to Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia.

Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and caused by the death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain.

Coffee drinkers have a 32-60% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. The more coffee people drink, the lower the risk.

Bottom Line: Several studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in old age.

Coffee Drinkers Have a Much Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars due to resistance to the effects of insulin.

This is a very common disease… it has increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicts over 300 million people.

Interestingly, coffee drinkers appear to have a significantly reduced risk of developing this disease, some studies showing that coffee drinkers are up to 23-67% less likely to become diabetic.

In one large review study that looked at 18 studies with 457,922 individuals, each daily cup of coffee was linked to a 7% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: Numerous studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Liver Diseases

The liver is an incredibly important organ that has hundreds of different functions in the body.

It is very sensitive to modern insults like excess alcohol and fructose intake.

The end stage of liver damage is called Cirrhosis, and involves most of the liver being replaced with scar tissue.

Coffee drinkers have up to an 84% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect for those who drink 4 or more cups per day.

Liver cancer is also common… it is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.

Bottom Line: Coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The more coffee they drink, the lower the risk.

People Who Drink Coffee Are at a Much Lower Risk of Depression and Suicide

Depression is an incredibly common problem.

It is the world’s most common mental disorder and leads to a significantly reduced quality of life.

In one Harvard study from 2011, people who drank the most coffee had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.

In one review of 3 studies, people who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day were 53% less likely to commit suicide.

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of becoming depressed and are significantly less likely to commit suicide.

Some Studies Show That Coffee Drinkers Live Longer

Given that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of many common, deadly diseases (and suicide), it makes sense that coffee could help you live longer.

There is actually some good evidence to support this.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 looked at the habits of 402,260 individuals between 50 and 71 years of age.

In this study, people who drank coffee had a much lower risk of dying over the 12-13 year study period:

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The sweet spot seems to be at 4-5 cups per day, with men having a 12% reduced risk and women a 16% reduced risk.

Bottom Line: Some studies have shown that coffee drinkers live longer, which makes perfect sense given that they have a lower risk of many diseases. The strongest effect is seen for 4-5 cups per day.

The sweet spot seems to be at 4-5 cups per day, with men having a 12% reduced risk and women a 16% reduced risk.

Bottom Line: Some studies have shown that coffee drinkers live longer, which makes perfect sense given that they have a lower risk of many diseases. The strongest effect is seen for 4-5 cups per day.

 

Caffeine Can Cause Anxiety and Disrupt Sleep

It wouldn’t be right to only talk about the good stuff without mentioning the bad.

The truth is… there are some important negative aspects to coffee as well (although this depends on the individual).

 

Consuming too much caffeine can lead to jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations and may even exacerbate panic attacks.

If you are sensitive to caffeine and tend to become overstimulated, then perhaps you shouldn’t be drinking coffee.

Another unwanted side effect is that it can disrupt sleep. If coffee reduces the quality of your sleep, then try avoiding coffee late in the day, such as after 2pm.

Caffeine can also have some diuretic and blood pressure raising effects, but this usually goes away with regular use. However, an increase in blood pressure of 1-2 mm/Hg may persist.

Bottom Line: Caffeine can have various negative effects, such as causing anxiety and disrupting sleep, but this depends greatly on the individual.

 

Caffeine is Addictive and Missing a Few Cups Can Lead to Withdrawal

One issue with caffeine, is that it can lead to addiction in many people. When people consume caffeine regularly, they become tolerant to it. It either stops working as it used to, or a larger dose is needed to get the same effects.

When people abstain from caffeine, they get withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness, brain fog and irritability. This can last for a few days. Tolerance and withdrawal are the hallmarks of physical addiction.

A lot of people (understandably) don’t like the idea of being literally dependant on a chemical substance in order to function properly.

Bottom Line: Caffeine is an addictive substance. It can lead to tolerance and well documented withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness and irritability.


The Difference Between Regular and Decaf

The liver is an incredibly important organ that has hundreds of different functions in the body.

It is very sensitive to modern insults like excess alcohol and fructose intake.

The end stage of liver damage is called Cirrhosis, and involves most of the liver being replaced with scar tissue.

Coffee drinkers have up to an 84% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect for those who drink 4 or more cups per day.

Liver cancer is also common… it is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.

Bottom Line: Coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The more coffee they drink, the lower the risk.

Things to Keep in Mind in Order to Maximize The Health Benefits

There are some things you can do in order to maximize the beneficial health effects you get from coffee.

The most important is to NOT add anything unhealthy to it. This includes sugar and any sort of artificial, chemical-laden creamer.

Another important thing is to brew coffee with a paper filter. Unfiltered coffee (such as Turkish or French press) contains cafestol, a substance that can increase cholesterol levels.

Also keep in mind that some of the coffee drinks at places like Starbucks can contain hundreds of calories and a whole bunch of sugar. These drinks are NOT healthy.

Bottom Line: It is important not to put sugar or a chemical-laden creamer in your coffee. Brewing with a paper filter can get rid of a cholesterol-raising compound called Cafestol.

Should You be Drinking Coffee?

There are some people who would definitely want to avoid or severely limit coffee consumption, especially pregnant women.

People with anxiety issues, high blood pressure or insomnia might also want to try limiting coffee for a while to see if it helps. There is also some evidence that people who metabolize caffeine slowly have an increased risk of heart attacks from drinking coffee.

All that being said… it does seem clear that for the average person, coffee can have important beneficial effects on health.

If you don’t already drink coffee, then I don’t think these benefits are a compelling reason to start doing it. There are downsides as well.

But if you already drink coffee and you enjoy it, then the benefits appear to far outweigh the negatives.

I personally drink coffee, every day… about 4-5 cups (sometimes more). My health has never been better.


Take Home Message

It’s important to keep in mind that many of the studies in the article are observational studies, which cannot prove that coffee caused the beneficial effects. But given that the effects are strong and consistent among studies, it is a fairly strong indicator that coffee does in fact play a role. Despite having been demonized in the past, the evidence points to coffee being very healthy… at least for the majority of people. If anything, coffee belongs in the same category as healthy beverages like green tea.

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Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Grab a quick midday nap just after a cup of coffee. From Wired’s How To wiki:

Scientists say that a successful midday nap depends on two things: timing and (no kidding) caffeine consumption. Experiments performed at Loughborough University in the UK showed that the sleep-deprived need only a cup of coffee and 15 minutes of shut-eye to feel amazingly refreshed.

 

  1. Right before you crash, down a cup of java. The caffeine has to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract, giving you time to nap before it kicks in.
  2. Close your eyes and relax. Even if you only doze, you’ll get what’s known as effective microsleep, or momentary lapses of wakefulness.

  3. . Limit your nap to 15 minutes. A half hour can lead to sleep inertia, or the spinning down of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which handles functions like judgment. This gray matter can take 30 minutes to reboot.

    According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, coffee can stave off the effects of aging on the brain—specifically in women over the age of 65. “MRI brain scans revealed that women who drank three cups of coffee per day (or 6 cups of tea) had lost less brain tissue called white matter than those who drank less.” Unfortunately men who drank the same amount of coffee saw none of the same benefit, but either way, it’s not a bad endorsement of our favorite caffeine-delivery method. (Tea drinkers, the study noticed the same results for over six cups of tea)

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The next edition of our news will be published on Wednesday

30th September 2015

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