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3 Ways to Have a Successful Day

More than we could probably ever read in a lifetime has been written about how to be successful and what makes for success. This short list from Prevention.com, however, is unique and interesting for a few reasons. It’s quite short and offers concrete activities at a focused time. They found that successful and wealthy people do three main things when they get up in the morning, before even having breakfast.

Maybe they will make a difference for you, too.

The things are:

* Make that to-do list: Yes, before they even have their coffee, they make their to-do list and set their goals for the day. They detail tasks that need to get done and deadlines that need to be met – and they tick them off throughout the day.

* Turn on the music: This is interesting. They listen to uplifting playlists and enjoy this energy for their morning commute or at home before they head to the office.

* Get the mantra right: They read inspirational quotes and mantras from others to light that fire that they need for the day.
None of these ideas take very long and they don’t require too much brainpower. Try it. You just might like it.

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Ode to the Inventor of Pac-Man

For those of you who love Pac-Man, today is a sad day. And that’s because Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco, has died. Namco is the Japanese company started in 1955 that that was responsible for Pac-Man.

Pac-Man was designed by the video game engineer Toru Iwatani and first came to the market in 1980. It was named, by Guinness World Records, as the world’s most successful coin-operated video game.  The company has actually estimated that Pac-Man has been played more than 10 billion times.

The spin-offs of Pac-Man have been never-ending. Pac-Man has been adapted for cell phones and Nintendo, for Xbox and PlayStation, for animated films, for TV series and for loads of merchandise.

And where did Pac-Mac’s classic design start? According to Bandai Namco, it was inspired by none other than pizza. The name comes from the Japanese phrase that describes the Pac-Man eating the dots. It’s called “paku paku” and from that we got Pac-Man.

 

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3 New Ben & Jerry’s Flavors for 2017

Who doesn’t want to know about new Ben & Jerry’s flavors? And these three that are rolling out this year sound amazing. Here is the new line-up.

Urban Bourbon: This is going to be showing up in the grocery store aisles in mid-February and combines burnt caramel ice cream with almonds, fudge flakes and a bourbon caramel swirl. Yum!

Truffle Kerfuffle: This is a vanilla ice cream that will have roasted pecans in it, fudge chips and a salted caramel ganache swirl.

Oat of this Swirled: This one includes a buttery brown sugar ice cream and fudge flakes with oatmeal cinnamon cookie swirls.

This isn’t the first time that Ben & Jerry’s has thought of adding an alcoholic flavor to its concoctions. They had Tennessee Mud for awhile that included jack Daniels whiskey and roasted almonds with coffee ice cream and amaretto. They also had a White Russian ice cream that was in the market from 1986-1996.

Now it’s bourbon’s turn to shine.

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Warning: The Digital Age May Damage Your Eyes

Here’s another reason to be worried about your kids staying in front of their screens too much during the day – the habit might just make them blind. A study, conducted at University Complutense of Madrid in Spain with lead researcher Dr. Celia Sanchez-Ramos has found that the high energy light that is emitted from the digital screens will cause irreversible damage to the eyes through the deterioration of the retina.

This study actually studied the results of two previous studies. In one of them, the retinas of rats that were evaluated to tablet screens with white LED light was evaluated. One group had filtered light and the other group did not. After three months of exposure, the rat group that did not have filters had a 23% increase in retinal cell death. Those rats that had a filter experienced no cell death.

As Dr. Ranchez-Ramos explained, “These results are important because LED screens are being used by the majority of the population, adults and children, for work, school and entertainment.”

In the second study, the amount of light that entered the eye was evaluated based on the device being used, the user, the diameter of the pupil and how far the device was from the eye. The results found that children receive more light of shore wavelengths than do adults because they have shorter arms and have the devices closer to them.

There is certainly more research that needs to be done. But parents should take note of these findings. Experts recommend, as well, that you use the 20-20-20 rules. For every 20 minutes that you are looking at a screen, you should then look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to let your eyes relax.

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Can Blood Pressure Determine the Sex of a Baby?

Here is an interesting way to predict whether you’ll have a boy or a girl. Your blood pressure may hold the secrets to the sex of your baby. Women who have hypertension are more likely to have a boy, according to researchers from the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Recruiting 1,411 Chinese women who were planning to have a child soon, they assessed their blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels at the start and then during their pregnancies.

What they found was that systolic blood pressure before pregnancy was higher in those women who ended up having boys. These findings were true, even after accounting for the age, education, smoking and BMI of the women.

As the study author Dr. Ravi Retnakaran explained, “In humans, the sex of the foetus is determined by the sex chromosome of the fertilising sperm.”

The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension and the authors warned that its results are not a reason for anyone to artificially manipulate a mother’s blood pressure. The results, interestingly enough, might also explain the decrease in the number of boys who are born in countries with healthier lifestyles.

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Enhanced Quality of Life in New York

People are always trying to either maintain or enhance their quality of life.  There are various related industries in this including: culture, home, wellness and more.  In this article we examine a few of them.

Culture

New York has always been a great home to high-end culture.  Now, that is about to be taken to the next level especially for book lovers.  The plan is for Amazon to open its very first New York bookstore close to Central Park.  Located at The Shops at Columbus Circle, this upscale midtown shopping mall features other chic retailers including Coach, Eileen Fisher, First Republic Bank and J. Crew to name but a few.  The store is due to measure 4,000 square feet and anticipated opening is set for some time in the spring of 2017.

Home Renovations

Rocco Basile

Rocco Basile

Another way quality of life can improve is by making home renovations. Many people are gearing their renovations towards state of the art sustainable living with the guidance of experts like Rocco Basile’s Avo Construction company.  Located in Tribeca, the company helps its New York based clients create their dream house. Basile’s firm focuses on two key areas in this. These include ground-up construction which includes coordinating with architects, engineers and designers as well as the client, and high-end interiors with a specialized team which examines the function of a space and works one-on-one with the individual client to achieve the desired result.  As Rocco Basile points out: “We’re very involved in the construction process with our clients.  We are very hands on with our architects, engineers and clients to ensure that we create the best space possible.”

Fitness

And then there are the exclusive fitness centers such as 305 Fitness.  Inspired by the music and culture of Miami (hence the 305) this brand of boutique gyms were only founded a couple of years ago by Sadie Kurzban, but since their launch in 2014, two have come to New York. People in the midtown or West Village neighborhoods can work-out in style at these centers with instructors such as Columbia University graduate Deaton (The 305 Kween) or former Philadelphia 76ers NBA Dance Team member Naimah (The Lipstick Sergeant) to name but a few of the impressive instructors.

Parts of New York have always been high-brow. That trend seems to be continuing in a positive way with the help of the right stores, work-out facilities, construction companies like Avo Construction and so many others.

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Lego Building and Coding Set

Now here is a brilliant idea. With the technology world taking us into the future, why not give your kids a leg up and get them building their Legos – while learning to code. Lego is launching a new building and coding set that lets kids build five different smart toy models. These will include a cat, robot and guitar among others.

Last year, Lego launched the WeDo 2.0 robotics kit that teachers science and technology ideas to elementary students. This effort is focused on coding. The kit, which will be called the Boost Kit, comes with a Move Hub (which is a Lego brick with a tilt sensor). Users will then download the app that features 60 coding activities.

The kit will be available later this year for $160.

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Just a Bit of Movement Can Make a Large Difference

Everyone knows that spending hours upon hours each day at a desk is not good for your physical or mental health. But what are you supposed to do if you work at a desk job? Here is a quick and easy way to make things better. In a new study by researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center and the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute found that tiny changes can go a long way. They looked at three different movement conditions with 30 adults.

In one group, the participants sat for six hours straight and got up only to use the bathroom. In the second group, they started the day with a 30 minute treadmill activity of moderate walking. The third group had six 5-minute bursts of moderate intensity walking every hour. The researchers looked at everyone’s stress hormones and at their mood, energy, fatigue and appetite.

And what did they find? They found that the benefits of the micro-workouts far outweighed those of the other participants. As the researchers explained,

“Overall, microbouts of activity led to sustained effects along the day, while the effects of a single bout of activity performed early in the morning did not last throughout the day.”

As the study author Jack Groppel explained, even a bit of activity throughout the day can really improve well being.

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