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Valentine’s Day Ideas

You may think you have plenty of time, but Valentine’s Day really is approaching soon. Here is a clever idea to tell that someone you love them. More will be coming so watch the space for further ideas.


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How Often Do YOU Wash Your Pajamas?


How often do you wash your pajamas? Interestingly, the memory-foam mattress company Ergoflex took a recent poll to see how people answer this question. They polled 2410 British couples between the ages of 18 and 30 to look at their habits.

And the results were startling. On average, men wear their pajamas for more than two weeks before washing them. Women wear one set for 17 days, on average.

Why do we change our pajamas so infrequently? According to the women, they alternate between pairs and forget how long it’s been since a pair has been washed. This was the top excuse for 54% of those polled. 51% explained that they only wear their pajamas for a few hours each night, so they didn’t want to wash them too often.

The men tended to point the finger at the women in the house, with 73% saying that they aren’t in charge of the wash. 61% of the men also said that they don’t have many pairs from which to choose.

Professor Sally Bloomfield of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has looked into this issue and has been shocked by the results. She urges people to wash their pajamas at least once a week. As she said, “Washing should get rid of most microbes, but not all if you have worn them for two weeks. The clothes won’t be hygienically cleaned because the microbes will have built up. So they will be transferred to underwear and other clothing that comes into contact with the skin.

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Creative Cures for Alcoholism?

bottles-555717_640Many people have the New Year’s resolution to quit drinking, or to quit drinking so much. But for many, this is not a resolution that they can so easily keep. This is why researchers at the National Institute of Health are looking at how a hormone named ghrelin, which sparks the desire for food and alcohol, works if blocked.

Alcohol use affects about 17 million Americans. NIH is looking for new medications that target the brain’s addiction cycle. As Dr. George Koob, director of NIH’s National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, says “Alcoholics come in many forms.”

Treatments can range from inpatient rehab to 12 step programs and behavioral therapy. Less than a third of people who actually need treatment get it, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Less than 10% receive medications.

In the NIH bar lab they are finding that there is an overlap between receptors that fuel overeating and alcohol craving in the brain’s reward system. The NIH team gave 45 heavy-drinking volunteers different doses of ghrelin this fall and found that the urge to drink rose as the level of hormone rose. Now, lead researcher Dr. Lorenzo Leggio is seeing if blocking ghrelin’s action also blocks the cravings. Volunteers are smelling a favorite drink and being monitored for the cravings they feel.

As Koob said, “Our hope is that down the line, we might be able to do a simple blood test that tells if you will be a naltrexone person, an acamprosate person, a ghrelin person,” Koob said.

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Bride for a Day…without the Groom

dress-349675_640What will tour companies think of next? A Japanese tour operator may have just taken the cake, offering women who dream of that magical wedding to have it – without the groom. Cerca Travel is offering this two-day bridal package for brides…on their own in the city of Kyoto in Japan. What do brides get for this package?

With prices starting at well over a thousand dollars, you can put on a traditional Japanese gown or a white wedding gown, have a bouquet arrangement and have pictures taken. While, as their website says, you are still “young and beautiful.” You’ll have your hair and makeup done and have your gown specially fitted.

The package also includes one night in a hotel (alone?), a mini photo album and USB stick and even a groom, should you decide to throw one in.

Now as a tourist that would certainly be an interesting way to see a new city!


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Empresas Internacionales respaldadas por estudios universitarios americanos: Francisco D’Agostino

Es interesante ver cómo hoy en día muchos grupos financieros internacionales tienen miembros con títulos de Estados Unidos. Aunque no están establecidos aquí y no trabajan en los EE.UU. han venido a los Estados Unidos para mejorar su curva de aprendizaje y desarrollar sus habilidades. Una de éstas empresas es “The Element Capital Advisors Ltd” (ELEMENT) firma de asesoría de inversiones, fundada por Francisco D’Agostino. Tienen oficinas en Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá y en Caracas, Venezuela. Ofrecen servicios de asesoramiento de inversión a sus clientes a través de productos de inversión.

Francisco D’Agostino, el fundador de Element capital, es un graduado de la universidad de Boston. Se graduó con una licenciatura en Economía y Finanzas. Comenzó su carrera como Vicepresidente de Finanzas de Dayco Holding Corp., compañía de inversión inmobiliaria de su familia y llegó a ser el fundador de Element Capital.

El Vicepresidente y Director de Element Capital, Daniel Diquez, también tiene un título de los Estados Unidos. Se graduó de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Caracas, Venezuela en 1991 con el título de abogado. También tiene una Maestría en Jurisprudencia Comparada en la Universidad de Nueva York, Facultad de Derecho de Nueva York.

Alfredo I. Vargas, el Director de Element Capital, también tiene un título de los Estados Unidos. Se graduó con honores de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello en Caracas, Venezuela con una Licenciatura en Derecho. Luego obtuvo su Maestría en Derecho Corporativo de la Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Nueva York, donde es un becado de la Vanderbilt y Vogelstein Scholar. Además, tiene un Certificado Profesional Avanzado en Derecho y Empresariales por la Stern School of Business de la Universidad de Nueva York.

Éstos son sólo algunos ejemplos de los líderes en Element capital que poseen títulos de los Estados Unidos.

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Smurf Town Gets Flooded with Visitors

Picture from Wikimedia Commons of Juzcar, Spain by Jordi Hernandes

Picture from Wikimedia Commons of Juzcar, Spain by Jordi Hernandes

Talk about a random chain reaction. A tiny village in Spain painted all of its buildings blue when it was approached by Sony with the request. They were releasing The Smurfs in 3D movie and used the village of Juzcar, 13 miles from the town of Ronda, as part of their publicity stint.

Now, the village has received such a flow of tourists that they’ve agreed to keep their homes blue. And they are about to launch a Smurf theme park as well. They have attracted over 200,000 tourists with their blue color.

The Smurf Park will cost cost £36.9million to build but they are hoping to bring in at least £11 million a year to the area. The theme park would be the first of its kind in the world that focuses on the Smurfs.

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Hobbit Premieres in London

Certainly, movie buffs (and even more so Hobbit buffs) were waiting for the premier of the third installment of The Hobbit series. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies premiered in London recently. It has now opened around the world and viewers are flocking to enjoy it. Directed by Peter Jackson and starring Ian McKellen among others, this is the final installment of the three-part film based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Here, Kevin Ulrich and Gary Barber are enjoying the premiere of the movie in London with actor Ian McKellen.

Kevin Ulrich

Kevin Ulrich with Gary Barber and Ian McKellen; picture owned by Kevin Ulrich

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Waiting to Dislike Things on Facebook?


Have you ever read a Facebook post and wished you could write a sad face or a downward thumb button? Mark Zuckerberg is now considering this idea, but he probably won’t call it a dislike button.

While speaking at the firm’s offices in California recently, Zuckerberg said, “We need to figure out the right way to do it so [the button] ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad.’ He doesn’t want, he explains, the button to be used to demean people or to be cruel.

As he said, “I think giving people the power to express more emotions would be powerful, but we need to find out the right way to do it, so that it is a force for good and not bad, and demeaning the person out there.”

At the moment, people can send a dislike sticker with Facebook Messenger posts.

Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor, who created the thumbs up button in 2009, explained “The main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences. If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there’s probably a word for what you want to say.”

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