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LIFESTYLE

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,
How to Get Ready for Love Online

How to Get Ready for Love Online

Before You Publish Your Dating Profile, Take Stock of Your Finances April Braswell, leading expert Midlife Dating and Relationship Expert and Online Dating Coach discusses some pre-dating foundational work to do before you jump feet first into the dating pool again after any time away for career building, after death of a spouse, after a divorce. First things first. Before you just throw up your Online Personals Dating Profile and expose yourself to the world, you first need to do some self-assessment.  And before you run screaming from the room thinking this is going to be like your annual review with HR (ok, now you are running screaming from the room…), pause, breathe, and trust me. This is going to be fun! One of the areas in which to assess yourself is Your Financial Picture.  Like getting on the scale (you own one, right?  If not, getteth thyself over to QVC, look up TANITA…) How are your finances? Do you own or rent? If you rent, how much is going out the window each month into someone else’ bank account?
TV Commercials: The Boomer Connection

TV Commercials: The Boomer Connection

Baby boomers and television commercials have a kinship like no other generation in history. It’s been about 60 years since television became the advertiser’s dream come true. Marketing pitches for goods and services began to be pumped into living rooms across the country, captivating audiences with clever messages often accompanied by a catchy tune. On average, today’s American consumers are exposed to over an hour of TV ads a day – and that’s not including radio, print, online, and mobile ads, which could run into several thousand exposures a day. Boomtime Boomers are fortunate to witness the evolution of TV ads during the most transformative television broadcasting years in history. After WWII, consumerism, optimism, and technology launched us into the modern era, which coincided with the baby-boomer generation. Boomers have been watching television ads aimed at them their entire lives. Today, the boomer generation wields the most spending power according to an analysis by MagnifyMoney of Federal Reserve data, providing a prime demographic for television advertisers. But which television ads are the most memorable? What makes them memorable? To find
Hairstyles and the “Me Generation”

Hairstyles and the “Me Generation”

A look into how an era of individualism was expressed through the styling of hair. Growing up as boomers, we’ve seen so many changes in society and cultural trends that have influenced our fashion, arts, and individualism. Baby boomers were nicknamed the “me generation” because of the perception of being self-absorbed, ascribing to self-realization, and self-fulfillment. During a time of political unrest, activism, and cultural experimentation, boomers also took up new diets and health trends and popularized jogging. Nowhere is this generational odyssey more poignantly portrayed than in the award-winning film, Forest Gump. And what could immortalize our generation more than the musical Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, first debuted in 1967. Treat yourself to this bit of nostalgia, the title song of the musical: When it came to self-identity, nothing made a statement clearer than the hairstyles boomers donned on their heads. We learned our hairstyle was reflective of our personality and a source of self-expression. Both men and women sported their dos according to the changing times. Women went from bouffant to sleek and straight to carefree
Rainbow Ryders – Hot Air Balloons

Rainbow Ryders – Hot Air Balloons

Taking flight to lofty heights gives the adventurer in all of us an exhilarating new perspective on our world.   In 1970, a young boy named Scott Appleman and his family moved from Los Angeles, California to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In February 1971, the very first world hot air balloon championships would take place in the city where he lived. The 12-year-old seventh-grader became incredibly curious over these hot air balloons that could reach heights of up to 3,000 feet. He decided to ditch his class one day and make his way to the event being held at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. Fascinated with these huge billowy balloons, he volunteered as a balloon chase crew member and went on his first ride. Captivated by his adventure into the sky, he was hooked. Little did he know this experience would launch him into an amazing career that would lead to world recognition. Winds of Change His family has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. His father owned his own company, a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical service company in Albuquerque.
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
Dr Joel Kahn: Heart Health & Tips to Living Long and Well

Dr Joel Kahn: Heart Health & Tips to Living Long and Well

While today’s “to do” list might have completion of a corporate project, planning a family vacation, picking up the dry cleaning, and making an evening Pilates class, I suggest you add one more item: taking steps to live long and well. Indeed, the possibility of living longer than our parents without the chronic diseases, medications, and surgeries that many of them endured is within our grasp and the key is to keep your body as young as possible while medical advances are progressing year after year. There are 4 things you can do starting today to maximize your odds of living long and well. None of them take much time or expenses. 1) Know Your “Arterial Age” Over 400 years ago the leading English physician, Thomas Sydenham, wrote that “we are as old as our arteries” and he has proven to be on target all these centuries later. The #1 killer worldwide, atherosclerosis, is not typically tested for at annual physicals but it can be screened for in a highly accurate, safe, and available manner that reveals whether your arteries are
Hello Pegan: Hunter-Gatherer Meets Veganator

Hello Pegan: Hunter-Gatherer Meets Veganator

Feel great, lose weight, live healthy: Achieving optimum health through the foods we eat. Some people say going vegan is a healthier way to eat, while others say paleo is. Some say don’t eat meat, while others say don’t eat grain. Which is right? Paleo vs. vegan: both have a lot in common but mainly differ on protein sources. Choosing either one means a dramatic lifestyle shift. But lately, we’ve been hearing about a “pegan” way of eating – a combination of paleo and vegan. So what’s the story behind these food trends? Let’s take a closer look. Goodness Grown by Mother Earth The term “vegan” was created by Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society in 1944. He formed the word using the first two and last two letters of the word “vegetarian” as a statement against vegetarians who ate dairy products. Veganism is considered to be an extreme version of vegetarianism. However, there have been ancient societies in India and along the Mediterranean where flesh-avoidance was and still is a common practice. A vegan diet is rich in
SylvanSport VAST: A Camping Trailer Like No Other

SylvanSport VAST: A Camping Trailer Like No Other

Enjoying outdoor living with uncompromising comfort, convenience, and efficiency. Hitting the open road with a camper has just become more convenient than ever before. Outdoor enthusiasts are being wowed by a totally new design concept and innovations that make the SylvanSport VAST modular camper, a real home away from home. An engineering feat, VAST is the company’s first travel trailer, completely reimagining comfort and convenience to maximize the enjoyment of the great outdoors. Breakthrough Design At the drawing board, every detail from the vehicle and residential systems to the manufacturing process underwent scrutiny. The resulting towable is lightweight and versatile to suit any camping preference. VAST accommodates gear for all types of outdoor activity and can haul 500 lbs. of cargo. Compact yet roomy, VAST’s multi-functional design lets you configure your own living and storage spaces quickly and easily. “Just like we re-invented the pop-up camper with our SylvanSport GO, we set out to reinvent the travel trailer with our VAST,” said Tom Dempsey, CEO and lead designer for SylvanSport in a press release. “It’s so elegantly forward thinking in
Art and Augmented Reality: Expanding Cultural Experiences

Art and Augmented Reality: Expanding Cultural Experiences

Finding New Depth and Dimension in Artworks and Culture. From phone apps to online experiences, art has expanded its impact from hanging silently on museum walls to full-blown augmented reality (AR) experiences. Art appreciation is being elevated to a whole new level thanks to the collaborative work between some of the world’s most prestigious museum collections and creative AR technologists. Art is becoming more accessible to everyone, everywhere, learning and interacting with artwork collections in ways never before imagined. Beyond the painted canvas, this same technology is preserving humankind’s heritage and cultural history. Ancient manuscripts and books, historical sites and travel destinations, performances live and recorded, and so much more are being added to a virtual world for all posterity. Here is just a sampling of free AR art offerings that both fascinate and educate. All that’s required is a yen to escape into a virtual world from the comfort of home. Smartify Perfect for at home or in-person museum tours, Smartify is a popular personal digital curator app connecting people to art. Some of the world’s best museums have
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
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
Mercy Medical Angels: Providing Free Transport for Critical Medical Care

Mercy Medical Angels: Providing 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
Experiential Art: Reimagining the Museum Experience

Experiential Art: Reimagining the Museum Experience

The art of engaging museum visitors brings together culture, technology, and science. Museums are exploring ways to increase visitor traffic and interest in their artworks through emerging technology and interactive exhibits. Their vision is to create immersive environments to form emotional relationships with art. Instead of being set up in static installations, more exhibits are staged to stimulate people’s interest. Immersive exhibits immediately draw visitors into an exhibit, tantalizing their senses and curiosity. Deep Dive Experiences Historical exhibits, for example, usually consist of complex, hard to digest content dealing with timelines, events, various historical figures, and changing territories. The exhibit designer must convert all that into bits of information that’s easily understood and enjoyed by visitors. By having visitors participate in the exhibit itself, learning history becomes fun, intriguing, and memorable. People become engaged, learning at their own pace, and having fun while doing it. The content of the exhibit speaks for itself, providing a more satisfying experience. Museums also benefit by reducing printing costs and inventory space for guides and exhibit information, all of which can be digitized and
Wendi Levy: Hair Care Pioneer Behind Mixed Chicks

Wendi Levy: Hair Care Pioneer Behind Mixed Chicks

Not even Coronavirus can bring bad hair days to this entrepreneur of curly tresses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people had to learn to do things for themselves. Those who frequented gyms had to figure out at-home workouts, those used to eating out had to brush up on their cooking skills, and those who used to run to the hair and nail salon had to find new ways to maintain their beauty. While times have been tough, beauty guru and co-founder of Mixed Chicks, Wendi Levy, had to adjust in the same way. Her beauty empire, which has products in stores like Target, Walgreens, and CVS, was temporarily halted by the virus. However, she encourages people to see the positivity in it all. “We’re all down right now,” Levy says. “So, nobody’s winning the race. The race is on pause, so really use this time to love and be present and learn from it so that we can make healthier, wiser, more caring choices when things return to the new normal.” Coronavirus Effects on Life and Business Thankfully, Levy’s family, which
Alain de Botton: Philosopher of Everyday Life

Alain de Botton: Philosopher of Everyday Life

The “reigning master of popular philosophy” shares guidance on fulfilling your every day. These days, many of us may think that modern living is more about coping with stress than enjoying life. Listening to today’s news, dealing with the pandemic’s socio-economic impact, a growing reliance on technology with less personal communication, and just getting through each day unscathed by society’s ills seems to become more personally challenging. We turn to positive thinking, try modalities to improve wellness, and focus on healthy foods and exercise to enhance our quality of life. Still, there’s no escaping the impact modern life is having on us psychologically. What if there’s another perspective on coping with modern living? That was the case with someone whose personal challenges led to an extraordinary life in helping others. Pulled to Be a Writer Born in Zurich in 1969 and living in London, Alain de Botton published his first novel at age 23, Essays in Love. The book dealt with falling in and out of love and was adapted to a romantic comedy film by Julian Kemp called My
Krystle Wright
: Canon Master Photographer

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

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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

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

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