Month: August 2017

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Cucumber Soup

Every year I plant cucumbers in my garden. And every year, my one plant takes over the bed (climbing over trellises put in place for other vegetables) and showers me with a daily supply of lovely cucumbers.

This is all well and good, as long as I remember to pick them daily. As careful as I can be, hunting for cucumbers in the tangle of leaves and vines, I do miss them occasionally, only to discover a monster cuke hiding perfectly camouflaged under a leaf.

Like zucchini, left to their own devices, cucumbers will grow to ginormous proportions, resulting in a thick-skinned, seedy bat.

What do do with extra large cucumbers?

Make cucumber soup!

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How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious

‘If you feel nervous, just take a few deep breaths. In, then out. In, then out.’

This feels like an obvious advice. Everyone knows that slow, deep breathing can calm the heart rate and lower feelings of anxiety. You may have tried this breathing technique to calm your nerves at a job interview, a presentation or a date.

It’s also obvious how to breathe. It’s intuitive, after all.

As you breathe in, the intercostal muscles expand, the ribs rise and the shoulders rise and spread. Then, as you breathe out, it all relaxes. You inhale up and then exhale down. Breathing expert Belisa Vranich says that 9 out of 10 people breathe this way, using what she calls ‘vertical breathing’.

The Bad Things About Vertical Breathing

Unfortunately, vertical breathing happens to be tremendously inefficient.

It uses enormous muscular effort. The rib cage is heavy and your neck and back muscles take most of the weight. The effort of hiking up the rib cage on inhalation can cause neck and back pain.

That extra effort stimulates the ‘Vagus’ nerve, the ‘wanderer’ nerve that travels from the gut to the brain. The brain uses the wanderer nerve to check up on how the body is feeling. When you’re breathing vertically, the body sends up ‘danger’ signals to the brain.

vertical breathing

So, just breathing badly can elicit feelings of anxiety.

Vertical breathing also robs your brain of oxygen. Think of the shape of your lungs. They’re pear-shaped, with the large parts at the bottom. Raising the ribs fills the thin, narrow parts of the pear, leaving the oxygen-rich bottom unexpanded.

Oxygen energizes your brain, blood and muscles. Visitors to London’s ‘oxygen bar’ -UK’s only licensed vendor of oxygen- can attest to that.

If your friend feels anxious, tell him to ‘take a deep breath’. Their shoulders rise, their ribs expand, their neck strains, their vagus nerve pings ‘danger’ and their brains de-oxygenate. Most likely, they’ll feel more anxious after that.

So, what could you tell your friends to do differently?

See Also: Suffering From Anxiety? This Is How I Deal With Mine

Diaphragmatic Breathing

When in doubt, trust Sesame Street. In 2012, they released ‘Belly Breathe’, featuring a rabid ‘monster’ Elmo assisted by Common and Colbie Caillat. In it, they place Elmo’s hand on his belly. He breathes, his belly moves and he returns to his normal self.

Breathing from the belly is otherwise known as diaphragmatic breathing. As you breathe in, the belly expands and this creates an internal cavity for the diaphragm to drop into. The bottoms of the lungs fill with oxygen. The ribs stay still, relaxing the neck and shoulders. Also, the Vagus nerve sends calming signals to the brain.

As you breathe out, the belly deflates inwards. The movement is horizontal, not vertical. This is good breathing.

But, I have a small critique of the Sesame Street method. Their lyrics go: ‘put your hands on your belly and you slowly breathe in’. This seems perfectly innocuous on the surface, but good teaching can sometimes be about changing your wording.

The instruction to ‘breathe in’ is dangerous. Watch the kids in the Sesame Street video. Their hands are on their belly, but they’re breathing with their shoulders. A producer told them to ‘breathe in’, and their brain went ‘Oh, I know how to do that!’ and they breathed badly. In my sessions, most people do the same.

So, it’s not enough to know the technique. We need to reframe how we think about breathing and that’s where I’d like to make my contribution.

When you feel anxious, don’t take a deep breath in. Breathe out first.

In Summary

Breathing out is very hard to get wrong. Your belly always deflates. You’ll feel it going back towards your spine if you breathe out firmly enough. Some people say “But I need to breathe in first. There’s no air in my lungs!”.

That’s not true. Only puncturing the lungs can empty them. You have a little bit of air in them all the time. It’s called the Resting Expiratory Level and you can use it to breathe out.

And when you’ve breathed out all of your air, don’t think ‘breathe in’. Just think ‘relax’ and notice the air passively returning to your lungs. Notice the belly relaxing back outwards and keep the shoulders still. Yes, that’s diaphragmatic breathing.

  1. Breathe out.
  2. Relax.
  3. Repeat.

See Also: 3 Healthy and Inexpensive Ways to Cope with Anxiety

 

The post How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Uber’s Asian rival Grab loses its head of engineering

 Grab may be in the process of raising a huge $2.5 billion investment round, with SoftBank, Didi and Toyota confirmed as participants, but Uber’s Southeast Asia-based rival has lost its head of engineering.
Arul Kumaravel, VP of engineering at Grab, has left the company for person reasons, according to a source. It’s not yet clear what his next plan is. Grab confirmed the… Read More

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SanDisk just released the world's biggest microSD card

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SanDisk just announced its biggest microSD card yet—but it doesn’t come cheap. 

The world’s first 400GB microSD starts shipping in September, and will set you back $249.99

The new microSD with adapter is good for 35 hours of full HD video. So it makes sense that SanDisk is marketing this microSD toward action camera and gaming console owners. 

This could be a game-changer for drone owners, GoPro enthusiasts, and Nintendo Switch fans. 

The 400GB microSD card is tiny but packs a punch.

The 400GB microSD card is tiny but packs a punch.

Image: western digital

This microSD has up to 100MB/s transfer speeds. For those of you who aren’t aware of what that means, here you go: You’ll be able to move up to 1,200 photos in a single minute. That’s pretty impressive.  Read more…

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5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

You know what they say—applying for a job is a job in itself. Albeit a little negative, the saying is correct—it does take a lot of energy and effort to search and apply for jobs. In this day and age, it’s likely that you will be submitting at least 20 or more applications in an average job search. And when each job requires your resume, an online application (complete with questionnaire), plus a stellar cover letter that’s tailored to each and every job listing, it’s easy to see why the process gets exhausting.

Although it might be tempting to just write a generic cover letter for each of these job listings, you could be sabotaging your job search. The average number of people who apply for one position is around 118. So, how do you put your name at the top of the stack out of the dozens of people applying for a job? Although there’s no surefire trick that will help get you each and every job, having well-written and tailored job materials will always increase your chances of getting a call back for an interview.

So, what are the key components of a cover letter and what should you say in them? How exactly do you write a great cover letter?

Here are a few tips on writing an effective cover letter that will help you land your dream job.

What Does a Good Cover Letter Consist Of?

A good cover letter will accomplish the following four things:

1. Have correct formatting.
2. Tell your prospective employer who you are.
3. Tell your prospective employer why you’re qualified for this job.
4. Tell your prospective employer why you’re more qualified than other applicants.

See Also: 16 Worst Resume Mistakes

Now that we know what the components are, let’s break down each section.

Get in Cover Letter Formation

First things first, you have to make sure that your cover letter format is correct. You will need to have your name and contact information in a centered header at the top. The first line will be the date you’re writing the cover letter and will be left-aligned. Underneath your date, you will put a space, and then you will address the person you are writing the letter to (the person listed in the job ad) and put their position name if known, company, and address.

See the example below.

In addition to your name and your prospective employer’s name being correctly formatted, you also want to be sure to keep your cover letter all on one page. If your prospective employer sees more than one page, it’s likely they are not going to read it. So, even if you really want to mention that you won the sixth-grade science fair, you probably won’t have the space to do so. Be sure to sign your letter with a “Sincerely,” add a space below, and then put your first and last name.

Tell Them Who You Are

Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to your prospective employer, and, if you’re lucky enough to get the job, then this will be the introduction to people you could potentially work with for years. You definitely want to make a good first impression, and to make a good first impression you need to properly introduce yourself. In the first paragraph of your cover letter, say your first and last name and write exactly what position you are applying for (there could be several positions open in the company).

After that, you will want to give the employer your “elevator speech” on paper. The HR team or the hiring manager will be blazing through these cover letters to see whom they can eliminate right away so it’s crucial to stick to the important facts quickly. Say why you’re qualified for the job right away. Name your years of relevant experience, your string of internships, or anything else that is relevant. Be brief and professional. You want to be as succinct as possible.

Write Why You Are Qualified

cover letter

After you’ve introduced yourself, the next one to two paragraphs are going to be about why you’re qualified for this position in particular.

It may be uncomfortable, but this is your time to brag. You don’t want to come off as too much, however. For example, something like this would be fine: “I believe that my experience working on several different types of publications, experience editing in both AP and Chicago Manual of Style, and my ability to collaborate with writers make me qualified for this copyediting position.” But something like this might come off as too braggadocious: “I believe I would be able to enter your position with relatively no training as I have already mastered everything that was listed in your qualifications on the job ad.”

If you can also put your achievements in quantitative terms, do so. An example would be: “As Sales Manager in X Company, I was able to raise our annual profits by a total of 20% for 2016.”

Key tip: Use language directly from the job ad in your cover letter. If the job description says that you must be an expert in using Specific Program XYZ, then specifically state that you are an expert in using Specific Program XYZ.

Write Why You’re Most Qualified

So, you’ve already established that you’re qualified for the position. Now is the time that you need to write about why you’re more qualified than anyone else.

Why would you be good to work with? Have you never missed a deadline on your own account? Do you go above and beyond? Are you always the first one at the office? What is it about you that sticks out above all the rest? Write that in a short paragraph and then you’re ready to close it out.

At the end of your cover letter, you will need to add just a sentence that says something along the lines of, “If you have any questions about my work history or would like any more information, please contact me at _____. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

And then you write a signature and you’re ready to send that letter off.

Be Sure to Proofread

resume proofreading

Lastly—and this can’t be overstated—it’s so important to have someone give your cover letter a read and ensure that it is 100% grammatically correct and doesn’t contain any spelling errors. It’s really difficult to catch your own errors, and you don’t want to re-read it after you hit send and discover that you misspelled something in the job title or accidentally wrote the name of the wrong company.

Do yourself a favor and have a trusted family member or friend read over your letter, or consider hiring the services of a professional editor to do the job.

Writing cover letters takes a lot of time and effort, but once you get that call that says you got the job, you will be glad you took the time to do it correctly.

See Also: What I Learned From Reading 1,000 Resumes

 

The post 5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Make-Ahead Skillet Baked Spaghetti

Make-Ahead Baked Spaghetti Skillet Supper

Here’s a great recipe for those days when you leave the house early and won’t be back until dinner time.

Prep this skillet pasta in the morning before you leave – or even the night before — and pop it in the oven when you’re home from work, your kid’s soccer practice, the last beach run of the season, or whatever activities have filled your day.

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Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank backs cloud accounting startup in first deal for $30M fund

 Thailand’s banks have stepped up to chase the startup dream over the past year. Following on from SCB’s Digital Ventures, which has backed blockchain startup Ripple among others, Kasikorn Bank (KBank) has made the first investment from its $30 million fund — a $1.15 million round for Bangkok-based FlowAccount. KBank announced its Beacon fund this summer. It has made… Read More

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Woman creates board game about arranged marriages based on her experience getting out of one

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Nashra Balagamwala was only 18 when she first faced pressure to enter into an arranged marriage.

More than five years later, she’s back with something that has helped her get out of an arranged marriage — a board game.

Arranged! is a board game that follows three women. Their objective? Avoid the matchmaker.

Balagamwala, who’s previously worked for board game giant Hasbro, first came up with the idea of making her game, after making a list of all the things she had done to avoid an arranged marriage.

“Wearing fake engagement rings, getting a tan or being seen with male friends in public, [these are] the things I had done to avoid an arranged marriage myself,” she told Mashable. Read more…

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Slow and Low Country Ribs

Slow and Low Country Ribs

When it comes to the grill or barbecue, I defer to my colleague Hank, especially when it concerns meat. Here he shows us how to cook pork country ribs, slow and low. A favorite from the archives! ~Elise

Country ribs. Big slabs of porky goodness cut from the shoulder of the hog. Sold boneless or bone-in, these are nothing like a rack of ribs. They are pork logs, laced with fat, and require slow, low-temperature cooking to become delicious.

That’s the downside: You can’t do a fast country rib.

The upside is that they are all meat, so you only need one to fill you up. In fact, I slice them in half because a full rib, which can weigh a pound, can be too much for some people.

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Where a Career in Finance Can Take You

If you are looking for the perfect career option, you might be thinking about majoring in finance. However, you could be wondering what your job opportunities will look like if you do end up getting this degree. Luckily, this is a career field that has a lot of different opportunities. These are some of the potential careers in finance you can look into.

Financial Planner

financial planner

Some people need a lot of help with their personal finances. They might be having trouble meeting their financial goals or might just be looking to make the most out of the money they’ve saved and worked for. For these individuals, a financial planner can be incredibly helpful.

After majoring in finance, you can choose to help people with their personal finances by becoming a financial planner. In this job, you will help people determine how to handle their money, achieve their financial goals and plan for their future. You’ll need a broad and varied view of finances and be able to advise on a variety of financial topics.

Budget Analyst

Many businesses and non-profit organizations like to have someone who will take a second look at their budget to help determine where they can make cuts and changes. As a budget analyst, you can help these businesses and organizations to improve the way they spend their money.

Office Secretary

If you love the idea of working in an office, you might like the idea of being an office secretary. With this type of job, you will help with handling finances, but you may have to wear a lot of other hats as well. This could be a good fit for someone with a finance degree. Someone with a human resources degree or general business degree might also find this as a good job choice.

Accountant

One of the most common jobs that people with finance degrees look for is a job as an accountant. Of course, there are all sorts of different accountants.

You could choose to primarily work with individuals who need help with their taxes or you could work for a business and handle their payroll, budgeting, taxes and more. You could even open your own accounting firm and provide accounting services of various types to those who need them.

Credit Analyst

If you choose a career as a credit analyst, you will generally work within a bank or lending institution. Your job will be to take a look at the credit profiles of individuals who apply for various types of loans. After assessing their profiles, you’ll determine whether or not they qualify for the loan.

Insurance Actuary

If you choose a career as an actuary for an insurance company, your job will be to calculate risks. As you might already know, insurance companies generally base their customers’ rates by the chances of them filing a claim.

Professor

professor

If you are passionate about finance and would love to share it with others, you can always consider working as an instructor at a college or university. By teaching finance classes, you will be able to improve your own education and share your knowledge with the rest of the world.

As you can see, engaging in these careers in finance can be a wonderful thing as they can open up a lot of doors for you. If you think you might be interested in one of these careers or another career in finance, consider looking into your options for attending a school with a good finance program. After that, you can start working your way to achieving your career goals.

 

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'Game of Thrones' star weighs in on Dany and Jon's union: 'It's going to blow up in their faces'

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Davos Seaworth has basically been the lone voice of reason on Game of Thrones since his introduction in Season 2, graduating from advising the terminally stubborn Stannis Baratheon to advising the suicidally stubborn Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen).

Both of those roles were pretty thankless, and now that Jon has decided to unite — politically and, um, physically — with Daenerys Targaryen (aka Jon’s aunt), life’s about to get a lot more difficult for everyone on Team Snowgaryen heading into the final season.

Mashable spoke to Ser Davos himself, Liam Cunningham, in the wake of the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, to discuss his thoughts on Westeros’ newest incestuous power couple, who will survive Season 8, and whether we’ll finally get to see CleganebowlRead more…

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Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes

Sheet Pan Chicken with Broccoli and Potatoes

Everyone should have at least one meal that they can make without having to think too hard – a recipe that is easy, reasonably healthy, and totally delicious.

These chicken thighs with roasted potatoes and broccoli truly fit the bill. And the best part is that you only have one pan to clean up after dinner!

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Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

When we look back across our lives, it is often the most prominent of events and landmarks that we remember: a kiss, a birthday party, a new job, or a sporting achievement. Yet it is the way we live our day-to-day lives that truly defines who we are and how we feel. Happiness breeds happiness, and it is important to start with the fundamentals.

All around the world, ordinary people and famous achievers alike have developed ways to buoy their daily experience for thousands of years. Whether due to the local climate, religious and cultural tendencies, or just a chance habit that caught the imagination of others in that region, every place has its own techniques to share on how to make regular life just that little bit nicer.

So let’s take a look at things folk from around the world do to give their day that tweak it needs, and how you can adapt these ideas to your daily life.

Japan

The Japanese have a relatively new ‘tradition’ to reconnect with their souls. It’s called ‘shinrin-yoku’, or forest-bathing, and was developed in the 1980s in an atmosphere of suffocating cityscapes and omnipresent technology.

shinrin yoku

To practice shinrinu-yoku:

  • Go for a walk in the forest, or a wooded area of your local park
  • Take time to think about every sound you hear while you walk
  • Appreciate the smells and the texture of the trees
  • Reconsider your existence in the context of our ancient natural world.

Hawaii

The Hawaiians have a particular method for dealing with problems in everyday relationships: ‘Ho‘oponopono’. Whether it’s your partner, a friend, or a colleague at work whom you feel has done you wrong, Ho‘oponopono is a means of figuring out things by yourself rather than responding rashly and making things worse.

Allowing resentment to build will ultimately hurt you more than the person to whom it is aimed. Instead:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Find ten minutes to think things through
  • Be grateful for what you have
  • Forget your own needs for a moment and consider the other person’s point of view
  • Express your own feelings calmly
  • Work towards mutual forgiveness.

Norway

‘Friluftsliv’, or ‘free air life’, is the Norwegian practice of spending time in the outdoors. Aside from the benefits of fresh air, subjecting yourself to decent amounts of natural daylight can help you to regulate your sleep and stay in touch with the natural rhythms of the world around you.

free air life norway

If you spend most of your time indoors:

  • Establish a morning and/or evening ‘outdoors ritual’, such as walking the dog
  • Use every coffee break at work as an opportunity to get some fresh air
  • If it’s warm enough, eat lunch outdoors; otherwise, take a stroll through the park before you eat indoors
  • Look beyond the borders of your town. It’s usually easy to find a national park or natural area to visit on the weekends.

Germany

If the Norwegians are all about heading into nature by themselves to ‘re-connect’, Germans are more about reconnecting with each other. ‘Gemütlichkeit’ is that particularly German manner of celebrating togetherness with a frothy beer, a song and a dance.

To get some of this goodness in your own social life:

  • Be careful not to take the people you live and work with for granted
  • Never miss a chance to raise a toast
  • Take time to greet people properly and say meaningful goodbyes, even if you see them every day.

Spain

The famous Spanish siesta is an endangered animal. Sadly, even as experts more frequently recommend an afternoon nap to boost workplace productivity, many business managers are concerned that lost time and energy is bad for profit margins.

spanish siesta

To take a healthy, effective siesta:

  • Nap for no more than thirty minutes
  • Sleep in an armchair or sofa rather than a bed
  • Make sure you do it regularly and not just as an occasional treat.

See Also: Get Strong, Sleep, Repeat: The Importance Of Sleeping

France

We are a generation of multi-taskers – but often, allowing our work and personal lives to overlap means doing a bad job at both and truly enjoying neither. A little daily ritual to demarcate the various areas of your life can help you more accomplished and relaxed. The French do this by taking a small drink between work and the evening meal: the apéritif.

apéritif france

To leave work behind for the day:

  • Change into a new set of clean clothes as soon as you get home
  • Switch off work notifications on your phone
  • Pour yourself a drink of something special – it doesn’t have to be boozy!

Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil

In 1909, the French Society of Hygiene told us: “Yerba mate raises morale, sustains the muscular system, augments strength and allows one to endure privations.” What they did not mention is that drinking this special tea in the company of friends is also good for the soul.

To tap into the South American ritual of mate-tea drinking:

  • Always offer a drink to everyone in the room when you’re brewing up
  • Try to establish a ‘tea tray’ culture for meetings at work
  • Try the real thing – yerba mate can be found in lots of health shops and some regular grocery stores.

Turkey

‘Keyif’ is all about idle moments of relaxation and contemplation. Remind yourself to take a couple of these each day – the manner of doing so is different from individual to individual.

To identify your moment of mindfulness:

  • Slow down – take the long route from A to B, and never be in more than a hurry than you need
  • Pay attention to what makes you happy, be it the sound of the breeze in a tree you walk past each day, or a particular seat in a café that makes you feel calm
  • Try watching a few ASMR videos for some ideas on how the mundane can become almost transcendental.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnian people like to break up their morning with a slow coffee, brewed in a special pot and served with sugar or candy. It’s thick and tasty like Turkish coffee, but just as important is the symbolic side: taking time to discuss the day’s events or a business proposition.

bosnian coffee

  • Enjoy tea or coffee as an experience in itself, not something to fuel you while you work
  • Use your coffee break to talk to other people, rather than staring at your phone
  • Look into buying a Bosnian coffee set online – it will change your life!

See Also: How to Supercharge Your Afternoon With a Napuccino (aka a Coffee Nap)

Nigeria

‘Ubuntu’ is the philosophy of putting the community ahead of the individual. Individuals become stronger in a healthy, happy community.

  • Try asking questions or listening rather than interrupting when you think somebody is wrong
  • Consider the benefits for your group as well as yourself when making decisions
  • Look at each group task as an opportunity to learn or to teach.

Try just a handful of these happiness techniques from around the world, and you are sure to see your quality of life improve!

 

The post Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What Jaime's big moment with Cersei means for 'Game of Thrones' Season 8

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Ah, Jaime Lannister. Longtime kingslayer, first-time queen betrayer.

Turns out that most of the biggest political maneuvers in Game of Thrones Season 7 finale were a farce. For all her apparent fear of the wight from beyond the Wall and waffling over whether or not to join the Great War, Cersei was full of it the whole dang time.

That was one of the bombshell revelations from the episode’s concluding sprint across Westeros: Cersei still gonna Cersei. She’s been a vile, duplicitous monster for seven straight seasons and, hey… she’s still got it!

Although she agreed to stand beside Dany, Jon, and their assembled forces to fight in the Great War, Cersei never intended to do anything of the sort. Instead, she sent punk rock pirate boytoy Euron Greyjoy off on a secret mission to retrieve the Golden Company mercenaries: 20,000 warriors — with elephants — who can defeat dragons, I guess? Read more…

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SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod speed competition winner tops 200 MPH

 SpaceX held its second Hyperloop Pod design competition for student feeds at the test track built near its test track today. The mile long track saw three finalist teams battle it out for speed supremacy, including WARR Hyperloop from Germany, Switzerland’s Swissloop and Paradigm, a North American team with members from Northeastern and Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. The… Read More

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Petcube Bites is a capable canine companion for when you’re not home

 Keep your dogs close but your kitties closer, is I think the expression. Maybe. Whatever it is, pets are important to people. And keeping a close watch on them even when you’re not located in the same place has become increasingly possible thanks to the broad proliferation of tech like Wi-Fi connected cameras. Petcube Bites is one of those cameras, but it’s also a treat… Read More

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Roasted Eggplant and Butternut Squash with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Eggplant and Squash with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

You don’t need to work very hard to make this vegetarian dish look stunning. The vegetables are so colorful!

This is golden eggplant is the dish I make whenever we have company for dinner and there are vegetarians among us or I feel like something a little lighter is in order. Even the carnivores among us like a meatless meal once in a while, and besides, eggplant is such a meaty vegetable!

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KarmSolar introduces solar energy to sunny old Egypt

 With over a population over 90 million strong, a prime location, topography and climate, one would assume a country like Egypt would be perfect for solar energy. The nation’s average level of solar radiation is between 2,000 to 3,200kWh per square meter a year, but this country on the verge of the African Sahara still imports enough gas to operate electricity generating plants all over… Read More

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9 key predictions for how 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 will end

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Warning: Contains plenty of spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7 so far, plus some inevitably wonky predictions for Sunday’s finale.

After many long months of waiting for Game of Thrones to come back on, I now have to contend with the horrible, horrible reality that it’s about to go away again.

Old Nan thinks she knows all about Winter, but we know what the Long Night really is: it’s those 10 sickeningly dragon-free months before Season 8 finally gets here.

But enough of all that. The fact is we still have one deliciously long episode still to go. So rather than waste time worrying about next Monday, let’s focus on those sweet, sweet predictions. Read more…

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Unlocking Japan’s Secrets to Healthy Skin

If there’s one trait all Japanese women share, it’s their fresh, glowing skin. It doesn’t matter if she is 20 or 60 years old, every Japanese woman seems to have a flawless, radiant complexion.

This begs the question, what is their beauty secrets to having porcelain-like skin? How do they manage to look younger and more graceful as they age?

While there’s no magic formula for youthful skin, these lovely ladies do have certain beauty secrets that help them maintain their fair complexions.

Here are some of Japan’s most treasured beauty ingredients, which are used in most of their makeup and skin products:

  • Tsubaki flower

tsubaki flower

Tsubaki, also known as camellia, is a flowering plant found in southern and eastern Asia. The tsubaki flower offers a range of benefits for the skin.

The oil extracted from camellia seeds is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and numerous polyphenol antioxidants. Its creamy, non-greasy nature makes it a great moisturizer for rough skin. The oil also has many properties that keep your skin fresh, supple and moist.

Tsubaki flower oil contains vast amounts of omega-9 oleic fatty acid, which increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It is absorbed into the skin as easily as water and it boosts cell growth. It lends flexibility and support to the skin, too.

The oil permeates right down to the inner layers of the skin, nourishing it from the inside and hydrating any dry patches. It is a natural transdermal carrier that transports essential proteins (elastin and collagen) and nutrients, replenishing skin cells and repairing damage caused by heat, dryness and aging.

Camellia oil is free from irritants and is suitable for use on sensitive skin. It opens up the pores and allows the body to remove harmful toxins naturally through sweat glands.

  • Yuzu

yuzu

Yuzu is an aromatic citrus fruit of Chinese and Tibetan origin. It was first introduced in Japan during the Tang dynasty. Both the pulp and the seeds are beneficial for your skin.

The fruit is known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has vast stores of vitamin C and flavonoids. Because of that, this fruit can help combat the harmful radicals that can cause premature aging.

Yuzu fruit is a popular skin revitalizing and nourishing agent. It tones the skin naturally and adds to its firmness and vitality.

Regular use of yuzu moistens and refreshes the skin layers. The oil extracted from yuzu softens and nourishes the skin, giving it a supple and radiant appearance. During winter solstice, it is an ancient practice to take relaxing and rejuvenating yuzu baths at home or in onsens.

  • Sakura

sakura

Sakura, also known as cherry blossom, is one of the two national flowers of Japan (the other is chrysanthemum). It is one of Japan’s best-kept beauty secrets and is used extensively in skin creams and perfumes.

The sakura flower is rich in antioxidants and helps cleanse the body of impurities and pollutants that damage the skin. Its store of essential fatty acids fortifies the skin’s natural barriers, making it smooth and supple.

Sakura extract promotes a firm, mature complexion, regenerating the skin from the inside out. Its anti-glycation properties promote collagen formation in fibroblast cells.

Sakura extract cleans and whitens the skin and combats signs of anti-aging. It inhibits the production of melanin, a dark-brown or black pigment, thereby restoring uneven skin pigmentation. The extract also promotes skin cell growth and combats cell death caused by advanced glycation-end products (AGE).

It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe and heal irritated skin. Furthermore, sakura flower reduces the oxidative damage that causes signs of anti-aging.

  • Ume

ume

Ume is a flowering plant used in Japan for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. The common name for ume is plum blossom. The fruit is a rich source of natural antioxidants called phytochemicals. These substances help to combat the effects of oxygen radicals in the body, keeping the internal systems functioning smoothly. It prevents signs of premature aging, including wrinkles and fine lines.

The ume fruit has abundant stores of vitamin C, which detoxifies the body of impure chemicals. This property helps promote a radiant and healthy skin complexion. Ume contains anti-aging nutrients that help to reduce wrinkles and dark spots. You can find it in various Japanese face masks and creams that can help soothe, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin.

  • Rice bran

Rice bran is a byproduct of rice milling. It contains vast reserves of antioxidants, vitamins B and E and essential fatty acids that combat harmful radicals in the body. It is rich in tocotrienols, which are absorbed into the inner layers of the skin. They form the first line of defense against free radicals. Tocotrienols also restore damage caused by oxidative rays, repairing the skin and slowing the skin aging process.

Rice bran cleans the skin from the inside out, causing it to appear fresh and healthy. The phytonutrient and oryzanol in rice bran acts as an effective sunscreen, protecting the skin against lipid peroxidation caused by UV light. Gamma oryzanol contains ferulic acid, which has anti-aging properties.

See Also: 10 Best Skin Foods For Healthy Glowing Skin

  • Algae

Algae refers to a diverse range of photosynthetic organisms known for their nutritive and medicinal value. They are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as chlorophyll and omega-3 fatty acids. This makes them ideal for treating irritated skin. They have potent antioxidant properties that help to eradicate free radicals and pollutants from the body.

Algae also combat the effects of oxidative damage to plasma and red blood cells. They support skin cell repair and growth, healing your skin from the inside out and cancelling signs of aging caused by dead skin cells.

  • Green tea

green tea

Green tea is an herbal drink made from steaming or roasting fresh Camellia sinensis leaves. It’s a popular component of traditional Japanese medicine. Today, you can find it in skin creams and beauty masks.

Green tea is very beneficial for skincare. It contains a store of antioxidants that help in flushing out toxins from the skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for soothing itchy skin and healing blemishes and scars.

Green tea is rich in tannin, an astringent that works really well in treating dark circles and puffy eyes. Its reserves of antioxidants and astringents help to soothe inflamed blood vessels under the eyes, thereby reducing swelling or ‘bags’.

The free radicals floating in the body cause the skin to sag, wrinkle and age prematurely. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin C and catechins, which combat the dermal damage caused by these radicals.

The catechins present in green tea act as a defense against acne-causing bacteria. They also regulate hormonal imbalance in the body, one of the main causes of acne.

Furthermore, green tea acts as a natural skin toner that cleanses impurities, reduces large pores and hydrates the skin. Using it regularly can give the skin a fresh and healthy appearance.

See Also: How To Reduce Caffeine In Green Tea

These ingredients are some of Japan’s biggest beauty secrets. Using them regularly will keep your skin healthy and radiant as you age.

The post Unlocking Japan’s Secrets to Healthy Skin appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Old Taylor Swift is dead. May New Taylor Swift forever reign in terror

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Taylor Swift has been sorted into Slytherin, and she’s bringing a new banger to their house parties.

If the snake videos weren’t enough of a clue, Taylor’s enemies have driven her to a poisonous place — or so she’d have us believe. “Bad Blood” will go down as a bratty tiff compared to “Look What You Made Me Do,” a message from the all-new Taylor Swift, a first offering from Reputation that’s dripping with lethal venom.

“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” she sarcastically snarls during the break. “Why? Oh! ‘Cause she’s dead!”

RIP sunny, lovelorn Taylor. Long live dark, vengeful Taylor.  Read more…

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Samsung heir handed 5-year jail sentence for bribery

 Samsung vice chairman and the company’s heir apparent Jay Y. Lee is headed to jail after a court in Korean ruled that he is guilty of bribery, embezzlement, capital flight and perjury charges. Lee, who has been earmarked as the future leader of the company, was handed a five-year jail sentence, although he is expected to appeal the decision. He took a board seat at Samsung last year in… Read More

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Use neuroscience to convince your boss to let you nap at work

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 A nap can be a beautiful thing when we feel our brain slowly grinding to a halt. Whether it’s a siesta to shake off a food coma, a daytime doze on a lazy Sunday, or an all-out nap orgy with friends or loved ones, we arise feeling replenished, recharged, and ready to take action
Unfortunately, not very many bosses see any correlation between snoring and success. Only a handful of organization—Ben & Jerry’s, Nike, Zappos, Google, and The Huffington Post, to name a few—currently see naps as smart business. They’ve invested in nap pods and massage chairs because they know that, when it comes to boosting productivity and creativity in the workplace, naps can be  Read more…

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Fifty years ago today Yippie activist Abbie Hoffman made it rain at the NY stock exchange

On August 24, 1967, guerilla theater activist Abbie Hoffman and his pals dropped a slew of dollar bills off the balcony of the New York Stock Exchange onto the trading floor below. As Hoffman later said, ““If you don’t like the news, why not go out and make your own?” From Smithsonian:

Participant Bruce Dancis recalled, “At first people on the floor were stunned. They didn’t know what was happening. They looked up and when they saw money was being thrown they started to cheer, and there was a big scramble for the dollars.”

The protesters exited the Stock Exchange and were immediately beset by reporters, who wanted to know who they were and what they’d done. Hoffman supplied nonsense answers, calling himself Cardinal Spellman and claiming his group didn’t exist. He then burned a five-dollar bill, solidifying the point of the message. As Bruce Eric France writes, “Abbie believed it was more important to burn money [than] draft cards… To burn a draft card meant one refused to participate in the war. To burn money meant one refused to participate in society.”

For Hoffman himself, the success of the stunt was obvious. “Guerrilla theater is probably the oldest form of political commentary,” he wrote in his autobiography. “Showering money on the Wall Street brokers was the TV-age version of driving the money changers from the temple… Was it a real threat to the Empire? Two weeks after our band of mind-terrorists raided the stock exchange, 20,000 dollars was spent to enclose the gallery with bullet-proof glass.”

How the New York Stock Exchange Gave Abbie Hoffman His Start in Guerrilla Theater(Smithsonian)

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Amazon says Whole Foods deal will close Monday

 It’s official…Amazon says its purchase of Whole Foods will close on Monday. According to the release, “the two companies will together pursue the vision of making Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone. As a down payment on that vision, Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices starting Monday on a selection of… Read More

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A smart thermos promises to keep track of what you drink

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Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

What if it turned out that you were drinking a Big Mac every day? Ok, not like a gross hamburger-shake, but the nutritional equivalent of one. 

It’s actually not that hard: if you have a latte in the morning, a Coke in the afternoon, and a single beer at dinner, you probably don’t think you’ve gone too crazy. But, those drinks together have more calories than McDonald’s iconic double burger — and many of us could be easily imbibing that every day.

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How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are limits we set for other people regarding their behavior towards us. Establishing personal boundaries means stopping other people from pressuring us to do what we don’t want to do or put up with things we don’t want.

There are people in our lives that can violate our personal boundaries and make us feel uncomfortable, used and emotionally drained. Many of us put up with poor treatment by others because we are afraid to make them feel angry or lose their friendship. We might also feel guilty for standing up to other people and telling them no.

If you often feel like that and have difficulties building and keeping personal boundaries, there are a few things you need to practice.

Get Comfortable with Negative Emotions

Standing up for yourself and saying no to people very often gets a negative reaction from them. That is something to be expected and you need to realize that them getting mad is not your problem and that you cannot allow your boundaries to be violated just for the sake of avoiding negative emotions.

Even though people may get angry at first, they will soon realize they were asking too much from you. And if they don’t realize that and still hold resentment, that is not your fault. You should feel free to let them go.

Don’t Reward Poor Treatment by Giving People What They Want

When people learn that they get what they want from you even when they treat you poorly, they will be encouraged to continue doing that. By standing up for yourself and not giving them what they want, you’ll be teaching them that their behavior is not only unacceptable but also doesn’t get them anything positive. We have the power to guide how other people treat us by our reactions to their behavior.

Feel Free to Say No

say no

You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or appear selfish by saying no. However, you need to realize that saying yes when you mean to say no causes you to hold unnecessary resentment towards other people. That isn’t healthy for you and your relationships.

Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are a bad or a selfish person. It means you are being honest about your feelings and desires.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Make Yourself Unavailable

You can stop other people from violating your boundaries by making yourself unavailable physically or emotionally. Don’t answer their calls and messages or tell them you are busy. Don’t react when they try to get something out of you and don’t participate in conversations that make you feel bad about yourself. Often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Know What You Want

To be assertive and to establish clear boundaries, you need to know what you want from people and what your values are. You need to be in touch with your own wants and feelings to be able to communicate them and recognize when they are being hurt or violated. Be introspective and ask yourself if there are things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable but you do them anyway because you feel pressured by other people.

Don’t Try to Change People

People who violate other people’s boundaries usually lack self–awareness and that’s why it’s difficult to make them change their behavior. They see nothing wrong with it.

If someone can’t understand that their behavior is unacceptable even when you explain why, there’s nothing you can do about it. Trying to make them change is a waste of time and energy.

Practice Self-Care

practice self care

Practicing self-care involves taking care of your health and body, taking alone time to relax and pursuing activities that make you feel happy.

When you practice self-care, you become more tuned with your own feelings. You learn to value and cultivate your own well-being. The more you practice self-care, the less likely you are to put up with people and behaviors that are not healthy for you.

See Also: Neglecting Self Care: The Biggest Mistake I Made (And How You Can Avoid It)

The post How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Floyd 'Crypto' Mayweather is totally into cryptocurrencies

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Floyd Mayweather — the same one that’s fighting Conor McGregor on Aug. 26 — is serious about cryptocurrencies. 

The boxing champ is promoting an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) of a startup called Hubii. In an Instagram post, which shows him posing in a (probably very expensive) suit, he described Hubii as “smart contract for sports.” He also wrote we can now start calling him Floyd “Crypto” Mayweather (his standard nickname is “Money”). 

This is the second ICO Mayweather is promoting. In July, he hyped up the ICO of a prediction market platform Stox, which went on to raise $33 million in Ethereum in less than two days.  Read more…

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SparkLabs launches $50M fund for promising early-stage startups in Korea

 SparkLabs Group started in 2012 with a Seoul-based accelerator dedicated to boosting South Korea’s then-nascent startup ecosystem. Now it’s going back to its roots with the launch of a $50 million fund for early-stage Korean startups that want to expand globally. Read More

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