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Monthly Archives: October 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.