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LIFESTYLE

The Beauty Benefits of Pumpkin

The Beauty Benefits of Pumpkin

’Tis the season for all things pumpkin. From Halloween through Thanksgiving, and on till Christmas, pumpkins can be found almost everywhere you turn. Although the Pumpkin-Spiced Latte from Starbucks may not be the healthiest source from which you get your pumpkin (note: it’s not!), I do urge you to take advantage of this super-food while it’s in season. So, for all of you would-be fairy-princesses out there, dressing up for Halloween (yes, we ALL should still be dressing up), be aware that Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother may have been on to something truly “magical” by choosing this amazing super-food for Cinderella’s carriage.  The health benefits of pumpkin are numerous. This colorful gourd promotes good vision and a healthy heart, lowers blood pressure, acts as a cancer-preventative, boosts your immune system, and improves your mood. (Why do you think Jack-o-Lanterns are always smiling?) However, less publicized are the beauty benefits of pumpkin. Yep, that’s right, adding pumpkin to your diet will make you look better. Hooray! Here is why. 1) Pumpkin gives you a hefty dose of Vitamin C, which aids in protecting your
Kenzoku – True Friendships

Kenzoku – True Friendships

Kenzoku – True Friendships and How to Make New Ones Kenzoku is a Japanese word that when translated means family. But its definition suggests a deeper meaning; that it is a bond between humans dedicated to sharing the same story. In other words, this implies that Kenzoku is the deepest connection of friendship. It is camaraderie, the family that you choose for yourself. In the hierarchy of relationships, friendships are at the bottom. Romantic partners, parents, children—all these come first. So, as we age, friendships often fall to the back-burner, and over time, they may burn out. However, true friendships have a way of withstanding time. You can go long periods of time without seeing or talking to each other, and then pick right back up where you left off. The thing is, it’s in your best interest not to let that happen. Time and time again research has found that social interactions with friends offer significant benefits to our physical and mental well-being. In fact, having strong, healthy bonds with other people has been shown to relax the nervous
How to Sneak in Little Moments of Fitness

How to Sneak in Little Moments of Fitness

There are so many things we don’t have time for, things we know are beneficial for our lives, but we just lack the time. (Or more likely, the motivation). Yet, despite our busy schedules, we do find ways to “sneak” in time for other, more immediately gratifying things. We sneak in a little catnap, we sneak out of the office a bit earlier than usual, we even sneak dessert or a cocktail when we know it might be best to do without. So, yes, we know how to sneak certain things into our hectic lives. But what about sneaking in something else – what about sneaking in a few moments of exercise? Many of us try to prioritize our fitness. We schedule workouts on our smartphones and eagerly (perhaps naively) invest in expensive gym memberships or home equipment – all for naught. Forget all the possible rationalizations – most would say that they simply lack the time. Hey, I get it! I could definitely use a few spare hours in a day! Today, we are not only working longer hours,
Quarantine Weight Gain? Tried and Tested Weight Loss Methods

Quarantine Weight Gain? Tried and Tested Weight Loss Methods

The fitness industry is a notorious fickle thing. From Instagram influencers to nationally syndicated doctors, we, as consumers, are treated to a vast array of conflicting information about what to do with our bodies. Some weeks, its low carb, others its all vegetables. This week I was told by two friends, one a dietician and the other a trained doctor that eggs were problematic. Earlier in the year they told me to eat them with impunity. Thankfully I have an ace in the hole, an antidote to the madness which is our modern information ecosystem. Studying the history of health and fitness trends over the past several years has taught me two valuable lessons. First that my fiancé has indulged my vocation for far too long and second that what works tends to stick around. So with that in mind, today’s short article looks at tried and tested means of losing weight. These ‘old school’ methods were promoted by the bodybuilders of the early twentieth century. These men and women exercised at a time when steroids had not yet infiltrated
Mirror: The Nearly Invisible, Interactive Home Gym

Mirror: The Nearly Invisible, Interactive Home Gym

World’s first immersive home fitness system brings live and on-demand fitness workouts into your home. As I clicked through TV channels one evening, something grabbed my attention —a commercial about a sleek looking mirror. But this is no ordinary mirror. Aptly named the “Mirror,” this simple looking glass turns into a boutique gym complete with fitness instructors and classmates right in your home. Wow, imagine that! No more trudging off to the local gym, no more waitlists or sweaty locker rooms, no more paying exorbitant membership fees or waiting for a parking spot. It’s perfect for those of us who want something more convenient.   For months I’ve been contemplating whether to rejoin a gym or invest in a home gym. I prefer a home gym but there’s not much space to accommodate fitness equipment. I haven’t found anything suitable for my needs. Now, I am thrilled to come across this divine solution for my problem. I don’t even need space for clunky exercise equipment. All I need is the space of a yoga mat. Initial cost is $1,500 for
Dr. Joel Kahn: The Amazing Mimicking Diet

Dr. Joel Kahn: The Amazing Mimicking Diet

Can you make money while sleeping? Build muscle while lying on a hammock? Finish your work project while partying at the bar? These things seem too good to be true. Here is another one. How about gaining the benefits of fasting, including losing fat pounds, while eating? The good news is that this is no fantasy and is the hottest science in the research on fasting. And it is something you can start using this week. The articles on fasting are everywhere but it is easy to be confused by terms used. What’s the difference between intermittent fasting, water fasting, juice fasting, and time restricted feeding?  The potential medical benefits from taking a break from eating for a period of time have been suggested in both animal and medical research projects. For example, in one of the Blue Zones of longevity, Okinawa, the expression Hara Hachi Bu (eat until you are 80% full) is a part of the culture. Can you match this or even exceed the purported benefits of the Okinawan Diet while “cheating” the system by eating a
Restless Nights? Meet The Calm App: The Cure For Insomnia

Restless Nights? Meet The Calm App: The Cure For Insomnia

The #1 app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation is making the world happier and healthier. Every day we see advertisements for products that will make us look better, smell better, and improve our health.  The commercials are appealing because, well, that’s the objective of a good commercial. Some of the products work, some don’t, it’s often a matter of personal taste.  But, recently, one of these commercials caught my attention! Finding a Sleep Solution I don’t know about you, but my nights have become more and more restless as I’ve gotten older, and it’s not just the middle-of-the-night pee, I simply struggle falling and remaining asleep. Sure, I’ve made the move to a top-of-the-line latex mattress, which happens to be incredibly comfortable, and state-of-the-art and plush bamboo pillows, but the only difference is that I’m really comfortable while I think about falling asleep in the middle of the night! Somewhat desperate for help, I happened to catch a glimpse of a commercial for an app called Calm that would supposedly help cure my lousy sleeping habits. After a bit of research, I
ClimbStation: Wall Climbing and Treadmill in One

ClimbStation: Wall Climbing and Treadmill in One

Fun and fitness rolled into a single treadwall, now you can safely climb at fitness centers or in the comfort of your home. I’m always searching the Internet for innovative products, something I would love to own.  And, yeah, you might have guessed, most of the products that I stumble upon are well beyond my price range.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t tell you all about them! The Sport of Climbing Remember in our youth, it seemed like we could climb almost anything be it trees, walls, fences, whatever stood in front of us. We gave no thought to dangers or injury. We just did it without any inhibitions. It’s a different story now that we’re boomers. For some of us, boundless energy has been replaced with a daily nap. But physically challenging ourselves shouldn’t stop, we can still build endurance and strength, and climbing might just be the answer for a full body workout. Have you ever noticed those climbing walls at local gyms, or amusement centers, or on your favorite cruise ships? I have … noticed
CINEMOOD: The Family Entertainment Experience

CINEMOOD: The Family Entertainment Experience

Access an endless library of movies and shows and project them up to 12-feet wide on any flat surface. How to keep your kids and grandkids entertained: Switch on the CINEMOOD smart projector and watch the good times roll. It’s a wireless portable mini-cinema that projects onto any flat surface. It looks like a small cube with rounded corners and has the ability to stream a broad range of content from TV shows to pre-loaded, kid-friendly cartoons. It’s not only great for kids, but for adults too and provides a much-needed solution for families with special needs. CINEMOOD is the world’s first noiseless, ultralight standalone content projector. It combines the high-quality image of a projector with child-friendly portability and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s so easy to use, even a young child can control it. “We created a safe and smart cinema for the whole family. The variety of CINEMOOD’s content is endless,” says co-founder, Paul Zhuravlev. CINEMOOD is getting a lot of press. According to Forbes, “For a pocket-sized projector that’s portable, multifunctional and free of any
Ubuntu Life: Empowering Lives

Ubuntu Life: Empowering Lives

A unifying idea, ubuntu means to be human is to recognize the humanity of others. “Ubuntu” is a simple African word that has deep meaning in society. It is a philosophy that holds a universal truth and is a way of life. Ubuntu means appreciating one’s uniqueness and having respect for each other. Each person brings different skills and strengths that contribute to the success of a society as a whole. But ubuntu also encompasses sharing, being helpful, caring, trust, selflessness, and community. Such a philosophy leaves no room for mean-spiritedness or retaliation. Instead, hatred and anger are conquered through compassion and peace. Nelson Mandela, an inspirational figure of freedom in the world, has been called the personification of ubuntu. He did not harbor retribution, bought sought peace, understanding, and harmony. Mandela once described ubuntu as “a traveler through a country would stop at a village, and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu
Alicia Keys: Keep a Child Alive

Alicia Keys: Keep a Child Alive

Superstar takes positive action to combat the physical, social, and economic impacts of HIV. Star Power Alicia Keys, a world-renowned songstress and piano player, uses her global fame to make the world a better place. For years, her soulful voice and lyrics about hope, love, and freedom have inspired fans worldwide. As a classically trained pianist with 15 Grammys, she understands the power of music. She was signed to Columbia Records when she was 15 and has recorded megahits like No One, Empire State of Mind, If I Ain’t Got You, and Girl on Fire. Aside from music, Keys has acted in films such as The Secret Life of Bees and The Nanny Diaries. Even though Alicia Keys’ powerful voice, undeniable piano skills, and star power are her claim to fame, that’s not the only way she wants to leave her mark on the world. Few people know that she is a human rights activist and a spokesperson for afflicted women and children around the world. Musical Mission One of Keys’ most pivotal moments was when she traveled to South Africa
Guardians of the Children

Guardians of the Children

Biker heroes serve to shield and protect the powerless victims of child abuse. They’re not just another biker club rumbling down the open road. They are not a Motorcycle club at all. Rough looking on the outside, they’re soft on the inside when it comes to kids, especially victims of child abuse. Meet Guardians of the Children (GOC), a non-profit biker organization formed in 2006 by Founders “LT” Trevino and “Bamm-Bamm” Cano whose members protect abused and neglected children. GOC’s members cover a broad range of professions united in a cause through their love of motorcycles. As bikers, they leverage their alliances to serve victims and their families. More Than Bikers “We’re an organization within the biker community,” says the Vice President of San Antonio Chapter. “It’s a matter of dedication to the lifestyle — we’re a group of volunteers that uses the image of the biker to help us in our mission, but we’re not living out the full lifestyle that the motorcycle clubs do.” GOC benefits communities by informing the public of how widespread the child abuse crisis
Ker & Downey American Safari Camp

Ker & Downey American Safari Camp

Explore the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury or comfort on an American Safari Camp adventure with Ker & Downey. This is an epic family camping experience like no other. The American Safari Camp experience pairs customized itineraries with unparalleled service to some of the country’s most scenic destinations. Choose between the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Escalante, Yellowstone, Zion, or Monument Valley for your family’s glamping adventure. Luxurious Glamping Campsites American Safari Camp features luxurious campsites with 150-square foot canvas-walled tents. Precise attention to detail ensures guests have all the creature comforts of home. Firstly, soft down comforters over pillow top queen or twin beds promise a comfortable night’s sleep. Bunk beds are a popular option for the kids too. In addition, other amenities include a bedside table with a reading light and ample racks for the storage of luggage. The most luxurious amenity is arguably the canvas-separated en suite with shower, private flushing toilet, and a handwashing station. This is definitely not the outhouse from your childhood camping trips.American Safari Camp’s award-winning chefs prepare meals to your diet specifications. Rise
Top 8 All-American Travel Experiences

Top 8 All-American Travel Experiences

From sea to shining sea, the United States of America is a giant tapestry of beauty and wonder waiting to be explored. We have assembled our Top 8 All-American Travel Experiences because this is “America the Beautiful,” Ker & Downey style. Sonoma Valley, California Taste your way through Sonoma County for a tour through a handpicked selection of private vineyards and tasting rooms. The Sonoma Valley is home to some of the earliest vineyards in country making for a luxurious All-American travel experience. Iditarod Trail, Alaska Alaska’s historic Iditarod Trail plays host to the annual Iditarod Great Sled Race — dubbed the “Last Great Race on Earth”. From the comfort of Winterlake Lodge, experience the trail by both land and air. Firstly, begin with your own privately guided dogsled ride. Next, hop aboard a private helicopter for a birds-eye view of the trail’s high mountain vistas and deep ocean fjords. The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana Escape to the the iconic wild west at The Ranch at Rock Creek. Set in Montana’s legendary ranchland, this luxury-infused “home on the range”
Touring Castles from Home

Touring Castles from Home

Take a great getaway to fairytale castles in faraway places without ever leaving your armchair. Now that summer is here, many of us wonder when we will be able to travel abroad again. Vacationing on sunny Caribbean isles, taking that long-awaited Mediterranean cruise, being pampered in spa resorts, or immersing in European and Asian cultures – all of it seems so distant now as we continue to endure the worldwide pandemic with its travel restrictions. However, we can satisfy our wanderlust by traveling while at home, albeit virtually. How about an escape to some of the world’s most fascinating castles? There’s nothing quite like viewing architectural grandeur and exquisite artisanship that has captured our imaginations, as we have seen in movie sets like Harry Potter and Star Wars and television series like Downton Abbey and the aptly named Versailles. Or, perhaps it is some battle-scarred Medieval stone fortress that has withstood sieges and the test of time. We can easily visualize knights in shining armor on their trusty steeds crossing a drawbridge and heading off to battle while ladies in

Mental & Emotional Wellness

Anxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Anxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Many individuals use the term anxiety to refer to a great deal of worry. But what does anxiety really mean? And what does anxiety look like? Awareness of anxiety symptoms and treatments can increase the likelihood of getting help and relieving any stress you may be feeling. What is Anxiety? Anxiety means an excessive worry or anxiousness that lasts for more than six months. The fear and worriedness manifest themselves in various extreme forms. These forms could look like physical and emotional ailments or psychological unrest. The toll that anxiety takes on an individual is very severe. For many individuals, it may not seem clear or evident that he or she is experiencing an anxiety disorder due to the lack of knowledge and information about its manifestation (anxiety.org). Research suggests that women are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder in their lifetime than men (McLean, 2011, pp. 1). Gender differences and anxiety has shown that the manifestation of anxiety in both women and men could be presented in a similar fashion. However, research suggests that the main difference is
Meaningful Relationships

Meaningful Relationships

“The secret to a meaningful life is meaningful relationships” – Anonymous Sociologists have noted that the people you spend the most time with largely impact your life. For example, surrounding yourself with those who smoke may make you more likely to start smoking. The five people we spend the most time with can influence our mindset, and other habits too – both good and bad. Choosing friendships with people who you admire or want to imitate can help support the lifestyle you desire. Social wellness involves meaningful, balanced relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. It takes mindfulness and careful time management to prioritize healthy, meaningful relationships. In the pursuit of financial success, it’s all too easy to lose connection with friends and family. Interestingly, social wellness is a key aspect to mental health, and largely plays into our financial success. Close friends and family help us put things into perspective, keeping our goals and pursuits in line with our personal values.  social wellness What really is social wellness? Social wellness refers to the quality and stability of your relationships with others.
Mental Health and Nutrition

Mental Health and Nutrition

“I haven’t had an anxiety attack in months. I’m completely off my antidepressants, which I 100 percent attribute to diet and lifestyle changes.” – Jane Green We love hearing stories like these, where behavior changes are made to improve diet and lifestyle and positive results are clearly seen. While everyone is different and there is no one size fits all approach, research has shown the many benefits of diet and lifestyle changes for mental health. Fueling the body with nutrient dense foods supports enzyme function and serotonin levels (the happy hormone). Reduction of sugar intake improves mood and energy, while an abundance of sugar has been found to decrease a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is connected to anxiety and depression. Consider one study showing the benefits of reducing sugar intake: In 2017 a study showed those who ate 67 or more grams of sugar (17 teaspoons) had more anxiety and depression. Those who had less than 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons) exhibited less anxiety and depression. Reducing sugar in the diet can be difficult at first
WiderNet: Defeating Information Poverty In Developing Nations

WiderNet: Defeating Information Poverty In Developing Nations

An “Internet in a box” bridges the information divide between developed and developing countries. Imagine not ever having access to the Internet. How could we possibly survive! We use the Internet for our communications, streaming music and videos, banking, telehealth, social media, online learning, games, exercise, cooking lessons, working remotely, and more! We’ve become so used to the Internet as part of our everyday life that we’re practically spoiled and can’t seem to go without it. The Disconnect But, did you know 90 percent of the 1.1 billion households not connected to the Internet are in developing countries? That’s according to the U.N. Telecommunication Development Bureau, which also reports fixed broadband services remain expensive in developing countries, accounting for 30.1 percent of average monthly income, compared to 1.7 percent in developed countries. And in the developing world, 31 percent of the population is online, compared to 77 percent in the developed world. It’s hard for us to imagine not having instant access to information anytime, anywhere. But in many universities, schools, clinics, and hospitals in developing countries, there is no
Operation Warp Speed: Fast-Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine

Operation Warp Speed: Fast-Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine

A historic undertaking brings vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to the American public in record time. We’ve heard Operation Warp Speed (OWS) described in the news as an initiative that will quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19. But what is Operation Warp Speed, and how is it different than traditional vaccine development, and more importantly, is it safe? While coronavirus’s origins are being debated and the pandemic has turned into a political football during an election year, thousands of men and women are working above the fray to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and other countermeasures. They’ve been at it day and night since the beginning of the year. Federal agencies, universities, research institutions, biotech, pharma, and other industries combine their efforts into a singular mission aimed at vanquishing COVID-19 now rather than later.OWS was formed after examining traditional timelines for producing and delivering a vaccine proved unacceptable. OWS is overseen by HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The chief advisor is former pharmaceutical executive, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, and the COO is a top immunologist, General
Nadine Strossen: A Frequent Flier for Free Speech

Nadine Strossen: A Frequent Flier for Free Speech

Nadine Strossen was not only the first female President of the American Civil Liberties Union—but also its youngest, leading the organization from 1991 to 2008. Currently the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School, she continues to use her platform to forward the cause of civil liberties/human rights all over  the U.S. and also abroad — from criminal justice and drug law reform,  to gender and reproductive rights, to free speech for even the most despised  expression.  Strossen looks forward to assuming emeritus professor status next year after having taught constitutional law for 35 years; the ACLU Presidency is an unpaid, volunteer position, so even though she was an extremely active President, she also worked full-time as a law professor throughout her tenure. When she steps out of her law professor role, Strossen will miss the regular interaction with her NYLS students, but she looks forward to maintaining – and even increasing — her intense pace of public speaking and media interviews, which have averaged about 200 per year, and have brought her to about
Taylor Hagood: The Love Of Halloween And The Fun It Brings

Taylor Hagood: The Love Of Halloween And The Fun It Brings

Shadows Their silent mystery suggests a way of being that is different from yet thoroughly tied to the way of being we know as humans. They carry a wonder that comes with childhood and youth, when the world’s shadows can frighten and thrill at once, which is the essence of horror and the strange hope and excitement it creates. It takes youthful imagination truly to apprehend and appreciate shadow puppets, hands forming shadow animals and faces, and shadows in a moonlit room that turn familiar things into unrecognizable shapes that might just harbor a secret or a threat. There is a moment in the 1963 film The Haunting when a few shadows cast by an ornately carved panel seem to form a motionless face. As light from an unknown source dims and brightens, the face sharpens and fades against the menacing sound of a rising and falling voice. How often as a child did I myself lay in bed transfixed and chilled by ordinary, inanimate things coming alive through the accidental formation of shadows? Or was it accidental? When I was
Mercy Medical Angels: Free Transport for Critical Medical Care

Mercy Medical Angels: Free Transport for Critical Medical Care

Compassion is the driving force behind connecting patients who can’t afford to travel with long-distance healthcare. Receiving a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease or serious health condition can be mind-numbing and difficult to accept. Aside from the emotional impact is the financial strain placed on the patient and their family. For millions of patients and veterans facing mounting medical costs, traveling great distances for medical care is not affordable. Traveling to get the help they need can make the difference between life and death. Sometimes the life-saving transport can be in the form of a bus ticket or flight to a distant destination. The need is great, and the call to fill the need is greater. A Wing and a Prayer In 1972, four men in Washington, D.C. stepped up to meet the challenge. They decided to offer free medical flights for those who could not afford it on their own and formed an organization called Mercy Medical Angels. They wanted to “remove the barrier to medical care with transportation on the ground and in the air.” Starting with a
Free Burma Rangers: Missions of Mercy Compelled by Love

Free Burma Rangers: Missions of Mercy Compelled by Love

Maintaining calm amid chaos, theirs is a mission to free the oppressed with help, hope, and love. Fighting war with love may seem surprising, but some risk their lives going into dangerous war zones and have the courage to stand with those under attack. Their motivation is not to win wars but to bring relief to those caught in the conflict. We hear about the ravages of war and the plight of refugees fleeing for their lives. But rarely do we hear of true heroes who run toward the battle to save the suffering, the forgotten. The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian organization whose mission is to bring help, hope, and love to the people trapped in some of the world’s hottest conflict zones, including Burma, Iraq, and Sudan. Mainly operating along the border of Burma, also known as Myanmar, FBR provides emergency services and relief to sick and injured displaced people. Over 100,000 people were forced from their lands in Burma, resulting from a long-running violent campaign against ethnic minorities by the military junta that wants

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Krystle Wright
: Canon Master Photographer

Shooting on the Edge: One gutsy woman takes adventure photography where few dare to go. What does it take to live the life of your dreams? For Krystle Wright, the sacrifice is massive. She’s suffered internal bodily damage, a fractured foot, blood clots, swallowed her own broken teeth, and more. But after each injury, she smiles at the camera and continues her journey. It is all, of course, worth it, when you get to live your life to the fullest, skyrocket to the top of your field, and have the freedom to follow your instincts without limitations.  A Sense of Adventure  Wright, a 31-year-old from Australia, is an adventure photographer, director, and cinematographer. She’s known for her extreme photographs taken at perplexing angles. Growing up in Australia, she’s used to beautiful scenery. When she was a child, you could find her surfing along the coast, playing sports, hiking, or exploring nature. In high school, she began toting a camera along with her and unknowingly began her lifelong mission to do whatever it takes to get the right shot. She started

Jessica Cox: A Real-Life Superwoman

At its core, this is a human story of grit, resilience and extraordinary achievement. People who soar to great heights while inspiring others to do the same are an uncommon breed. They come from all backgrounds and arrive in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most develop their abilities over their lifetimes, little-by-little, as their experiences shape them. More uncommon still are the few who are simply born to be leaders. Let’s meet an extraordinarily rare born leader.    Baby Jessica first graced our earth in February 1983 when born to Inez and William Cox in Sierra Vista, Arizona, a mountainous Sonoran Desert suburb of Tucson. Her parents’ hearts were broken, their sense of normalcy shattered when they first saw their baby’s body. Due to a rare birth defect, Jessica was born without upper limbs. One of life’s great moments of pride and joy shifted sharply to grief and worry. The Grieving Process Everyone’s grieving process is unique and personal. While the Cox’s worked through their initial stages, including denial, anger and guilt, they mostly worried for their beautiful little girl’s

Simone Bruni: Demolition Diva

The walls shook as the ferocity of the Cat 5 hurricane bore down on the old wooden structures in the historic French Quarter. As water began to flood the buildings, wall panels began ripping off piece by piece as poor souls witnessed their lives being swept away by one of the most destructive hurricanes of the century. A City Underwater New Orleans, August 29, 2005 — forces of nature had decimated the city and robbed the population of its beloved lifestyle. The faithful had no churches in which to worship. The athletes had no fields or stadiums in which to practice. The old men had no park to play their chess, and the already hungry and impoverished parts of the city had no clean water to quench their thirst. On this fateful day, even hope had drowned in the floods. This soulful city found itself underwater as its citizens, frazzled, pleaded for help. Thousands were stranded in arenas while others yelled and created SOS signs on their rooftops. The Big Easy fell victim to bad levees and poorly maintained infrastructures.

Smartphones and a Smarter You!

Do you own a smartphone? If so, is it an iphone or an Android? Do you only use it to make phone calls and texts? Your smartphone is millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s combined computing in 1969. Let’s get the most out of it! The growth rate of technology has increased exponentially in recent years, and keeping up with it is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Smartphones are amazing and constantly changing with new features and cool apps, while constantly integrating additional internet functionality with multiple devices; this is called the Internet of Things, or IoT. More about this in following articles. Smartphones can save you both time and money and I’m not talking pennies. Discounts for hotels, flights, ride shares and retail apps can add up. Time savings by ordering your prescriptions online, and banking online saving trips to the bank. And for all snowbirds you know during season, that can save 40 minutes a trip! Spend more time on what you WANT to do. Tennis anyone? Another round of golf? Throomers

Michelle Gomez: America’s Best Bounty Hunter

There’s an old adage, “Good things come in small packages.” In this case, it depends which side of the law you’re on. The 4’11” dynamo, Michelle Gomez, has been called “the world’s best bounty hunter.” We’re not intending to test the veracity of the claim first-hand, instead we’ve hunted down her story from the safety of our editorial room. A professional ‘skip tracer’ is a private investigator hired to track down people who’ve “skipped out on the court without a trace.” Consider an old western movie where immediately after a bank robbery or saloon shooting, the sheriff gathers up the most brave and forms a posse to hit the trail in pursuit of justice. Michelle Gomez is of that ilk but even more courageous. In taking on a job, she’s a relentless, revved-up posse of one. Since 2003, this Texas-born woman has run her own business, Unlimited Recoveries, where she specializes in the most difficult cases whose trails have gone cold. She outthinks her marks by using clever ruses and rummaging tirelessly through the cyberworld to uncover seemingly scrubbed digital

LARRY LEVINE – THE PRISON CONSULTANT

How does anyone become the premier expert in the world in their chosen field? To accomplish so rare a feat, it helps to have relentless energy, an extraordinary work ethic, no fear of failure, and at least a decade of hands-on experience. Each of these attributes clearly apply to Larry Jay Levine – the world’s premier expert in federal prison consultation. And just how would one gain ‘at least a decade of hands-on experience’ in the field of federal prisons? Simple – by spending 10 years as an inmate in 11 of them – from high security on down to medium, low, and finally, minimum security. “It could have been worse,” says Levine. “My ex-wife wrote a letter to the court with information on crimes even the prosecutors didn’t know about. Luckily, the statute of limitations had already passed.” The Incarceration, A New Beginning As described on one of Levine’s several websites, he was a Private Investigator in Los Angeles, California before entering federal custody in 1998. He also reveals that, in truth, he was working as an ‘efficiency expert’