Author - Amit Even

City Life Health

Science Proves Cat Ladies Aren’t Crazy

This is for all you cat-lovers out there – it turns out that you were a lot smarter than you thought when you decided to have a cat for a pet as studies are showing they’re the solution to decreasing stress, anxiety, and improving your cardiovascular health.

Somewhere around 68% of American households have pets according to NIH, and all animal companions provide positive benefits, but scientists are seeing that cats are exceptional mood and health boosters.

Yes, they’re entertaining and great for keeping away loneliness, but they’re also good for your heart. Scientists at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute actually did a ten-year study to discover how cats benefit cardiovascular health with over 4,000 participants. The results were phenomenal; it turns out that cats are crucial for decreasing stress and anxiety.

Compared to humans who don’t own cats, cat-owners may have a reduced risk of experiencing a heart attack by 30 percent. In addition, since cats simply love getting petted on your lap, they’re perfect for those times when you need a morale boost – both physically and emotionally.

While you’re petting your cat, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels all go down. Dogs can do similarly, but the problem is that they also encourage stress since they require more attention than cats do.

Cats Are Good For You

Some people might have a thing against cats because of allergies, but actually, if you are exposed to cats more as a child, you’re less likely to develop allergies and infections. In fact, living with a cat can also reduce the likelihood of your developing asthma! The scientists also found that after interacting with a cat, kids with autism displayed better communication efforts.

And there’s more! A cat’s purr has healing powers – no, I’m not pulling your leg on this one. The frequency of a cat’s purr falls between 20 to 140 Hz, which helps mend broken bones and wounds. Cats help keep depression away, which has been associated to developing various types of illness.

Doctors should be prescribing a 15-minute dose of playing with a cat every day as it improves your mood and keeps you active! Cats know how to slow down, take it easy, and take a nap. Take a cue from them, and do the same sometimes!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but there are cat videos and posts all over the internet – they seem to be taking over. There are a ton of cat lovers out there, and the war of whether cats of dogs are better has been going on for quite some time, but from the results of these studies, it seems that cats have finally come out the victor!

They’re low-maintenance, relaxing, laid-back, empathetic of human feelings, and easy to be around. So, if you don’t already have one, the doctor’s orders are in: go get a cat – or two, or three!

This is for all you cat-lovers out there – it turns out that you were a lot smarter than you thought when you decided to have a cat for a pet as studies are showing they’re the solution to decreasing stress, anxiety, and improving your cardiovascular...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories Vacation

Travel Trend That Every Lady Should Try Out

When it comes to traveling around the world, most of us see it as a social activity. Something to do with a friend or a family member. And it makes sense. A lot of us would rather go traveling with someone; it feels safer, and we can find it easier to connect.

When you travel alone, you often worry that you spend your time traveling in isolation. However, many women are taking to the art of traveling on their own instead of traveling with others. So much so that it has become the go-to form of travel for many females the world over!

And you will know why if you have ever been on holiday with your friends or family. Everything from deciding what you want to do that day, to where you want to go, to what food (and what time) you’ll eat, can be a nightmare. It just becomes hard to do what you wanted to do. You are on holiday, so you should be in more or less complete control about the time that you spend doing things.

When that is not the case, it’s time to act and do something about it. what, though, should you do if you wish to make this the case? Easy: you should look to try and go for a trip on your own.

Start somewhere small, maybe. Don’t travel too far on your own until you know that you like it. You could set a local place in your own country – even your own region – and go there for the day. It would give you a chance to see if you like mingling with strangers, walking around on your own, doing your own thing. Some of us like the idea, but not so much the reality.

A growing trend in female travel

This is, though, one of the biggest trends in modern female travel. Many women are getting to enjoy just spending their time going around and seeing the world at a pace they can enjoy and rely upon.

They are never forced into doing things at a pace they feel uncomfortable with. They are also going to be able to enjoy having total control over what you do. If you want to go and see the sights, you can. Want to just sit on the beach instead of tourist traps? Now you can.

For many people, the appeal stems mostly from having nobody telling you what you can and cannot do for the evening. That is an excellent feeling and will often go a very long way to making sure you can enjoy the wider traveling experience.

There’s a reason why a lot of people just enjoy seeing the world on their own terms. If you want your days to be decided what you want to do, then you should look to try traveling alone. As we say, try going small and then slowly building it up: the results can be rather impressive!

When it comes to traveling around the world, most of us see it as a social activity. Something to do with a friend or a family member. And it makes sense. A lot of us would rather go traveling with someone; it feels safer, and we can find it easier to...

Funny Stories

Snake Goes for Washing Machine Tumble, Survives

How often do you find yourself rattling through the washing machine, trying to find where you placed something of importance?

How often do you pull out a smartphone, wallet, keys, etc. from the washing machine? We’ve all been there. One thing you might not have put into the washing machine, though, is your pet snake. That’s right: Illinois resident Sanela Kamencic managed to put a corn snake through her washing cycle!

When she opened up her washing machine and seen a wee corn snake staring back at her, she naturally found it quite discomforting. As you would expect. Speaking to NBC 5, she said: “I was totally creeped out,

“How did a snake get in the house let alone the washer?”

She immediately phoned the local Evanston Police, who came around to handle it. They moved the snake on to the Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, where it was checked out. According to one of the people on the scene, Animal Warden Jason Pound, the snake “smelled like Downy”!

As you might imagine, the story gave quite a few good laughs for everyone involved. Despite being through a wash of this capacity, too, the snake seems to be in good spirits – though, as you might imagine, she is not in the happiest of moods.

Penelope, the gorgeously smelling snake

The snake, named Penelope, was a pet who belonged to a nearby girl. It was the girl next door in fact, who had managed to let the snake get out of the bedroom. It snuck out of the house and then through a townhouse wall and into the laundry room. Apparently, the Penelope had been missing for the best part of three days!

When she was found, they managed to take it back to the previous owner and reunite Penelope with her family. Apparently, she’s in fine health, in good mental condition and, more importantly, she smells fantastic!

All is well that ends well in a story like this, and we’re sure that all are involved to have their washing machine snake-free, and their snake smelling like a bed of ross.

How often do you find yourself rattling through the washing machine, trying to find where you placed something of importance?

How often do you pull out a smartphone, wallet, keys, etc. from the washing machine? We’ve all been there. One thing you might not...

Celebs Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome Lifestyle

Mark Zuckerberg Innovates New Sleeping Aid for Mothers

While Mark Zuckerberg might not be seen as the savior of humanity as he once was, the Facebook guru is still a hugely respected name in innovation. Known for Facebook primarily, he’s enjoyed a massive and stellar rise to the very top of the tech industry.

However, clearly still burning bright with ideas and innovations, Zuckerberg has been working on a very cool, very considerate product – a sleeping aid for mothers.

With two young kids at home, the Facebook supremo is someone who understands the value of caring for his kids. So, after seeing how exhausted everyone was at home, he decided to act. To do that, he came up with the aptly named Sleep Box. He gave it to his wife, Priscilla Chan, who immediately found it useful to get her to sleep at night.

Speaking about the invention, Zuckerberg was clear about why he made it:

“Being a mom is hard, and since we’ve had kids Priscilla has had a hard time sleeping through the night,”“She’ll wake up and check the time on her phone to see if the kids might wake up soon, but then knowing the time stresses her out and she can’t fall back asleep.”

It’s a confusing process, but it is part of being a parent. Therefore, this new invention might go some way to overcoming this problem and helping Chan get to sleep a whole lot easier than she is at the moment.

This simple but effective little tool works by putting on a dim light from 6-7AM. It might seem simple, but it does a lot for improving quality of sleep for the duo.

Smart but Simple

The light is good enough that it will wake one of us to get the kids without it being too early. However, it’s also dull enough that, if they wish to keep on sleeping, the light is not going to wake them up too early.

It’s a simple but smart little invention and one that a lot of parents would like having around the house. Now, waking up in the middle of the night is not going to feel like such a stressful experience.

Indeed, Zuckerberg himself noted that even he was impressed at just how well the product had done at improving sleeping quality, saying: “As an engineer, building a device to help my partner sleep better is one of the best ways I can think of to express my love and gratitude,

“A bunch of my friends have told me they’d want something like this, so I’m putting this out there in case another entrepreneur wants to run with this and build sleep boxes for more people!”

What a cool little product. Be sure to keep an eye out for this, as it is very much likely to be made by someone else who can see the potential in this small but simple little box. Who knew the genius behind Facebook would also be the genius behind saving mothers from restless nights!?

While Mark Zuckerberg might not be seen as the savior of humanity as he once was, the Facebook guru is still a hugely respected name in innovation. Known for Facebook primarily, he’s enjoyed a massive and stellar rise to the very top of the tech...

Nature & Tech Science

MIT’s Stunning Agro-Tech Solution for Growing Basil

As one of the most commonly used ingredients in cooking, basil has an important role in our lives. However, it’s hard to grow basil these days. While most of us might grow some basil at home simply by leaving it on the windowsill and letting it get some sunlight and water, we no longer need to.

Humanity is slowly being replaced by technology, and the latest example comes in the form of technologically driven agriculture.

Now, basil dishes are going to be created by machine-learning hydroponic solutions. This will not only help to reduce manpower needs for basil growing, but also optimize and develop the flavor of the basil further.

The aim of this program, over at the MIT Media Lab and the University of Texas at Austin, was to help improve automation of farming practices that we need to survive. The aim was to try and find out if a growing environment would be able to deliver a growing strategy that delivers a highly powered basil that comes with richer, stronger and more developed tastes.

To do that, a whole host of changes were needed to make it possible. For one, they decided to adjust things like the watering frequency, lighting volume and the soil type. This helped them to come up with a model that allowed for the best output. As the equipment makes the decision on behalf of the basil itself, the plant is always getting what is the best for its needs.

According to Caleb Harper of MIT, this process is very important. He said: “We’re really interested in building networked tools that can take a plant’s experience, its phenotype, the set of stresses it encounters, and its genetics, and digitize that to allow us to understand the plant-environment interaction,”

How does this work?

By adjusting the lighting that was allowed to get to the plants, this helped to improve the depth, strength, and concentration of the flavor. The results of the testing were quite surprising, too. For example, they found that one of the major suggestions was to undergo 24/7 lighting on the plants, using UV light.

This was the recommendation of the machine learning system which came forward through the extensive analysis carried out.

Despite going against general knowledge of how basil likes to grow, the researchers gave it a go. They found that it was actually going to deliver a much more immersive, satisfying flavor – massively so, in fact. They also found that it really did manage to produce double – or close to double – the flavor of a plant grown in a more controlled environment.

This is very interesting and shows a unique breakthrough in the agricultural industry. If our computers continue to come up with such intelligence solutions to help improve agriculture, this can only be a good thing.

Not only could we start growing more food, but we could improve food taste simply by modifying the growing process in a natural manner. It’s a very exciting time for agriculture, that’s for sure!

As one of the most commonly used ingredients in cooking, basil has an important role in our lives. However, it’s hard to grow basil these days. While most of us might grow some basil at home simply by leaving it on the windowsill and letting it get some...

Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome

Archaeologists Discover Pompeii Snack Bar

Through research, archaeologists have discovered an ancient snack bar in the ruins of Pompeii.  The colorful frescoes of a counter managed to survive after 2,000 years under volcanic ash.

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii announced the find and released images of the incredibly preserved bar or thermopolium.  It is believed that this space was once commercial property, serving hot food.

“Thermopolium”

The counter is covered with two very vibrant paintings.  One showed a Nereid, or sea nymph, sitting on a horse and the other shows a worker sitting in a snack-bar kind of environment. Archaeologists said the likeness of this image is similar to modern day advertising for the same kind of business.

Several vessels known as amphorae were found by the counter which are very similar to those shown in the fresco.  Excavations at the Regio V section, located at the intersection of Vicolo delle Nozze d’Argento and Vicolo dei Balconi, revealed 8 thermopolia at Pompeii in the past.

Interim director of the archaeological park, Alfonsina Russo, said that even if structures like these are well known, discovering more of them, along with other items that served in commercial and daily life, continues to transmit powerful emotions that bring us back to those very tragic moments of the volcanic eruption.

That said, the ruins of Pompeii have given us a very unique look into Roman civilization.

In 79 C.E., the eruption of Mount Vesuvius served as a time capsule, preserving the ancient city for thousands of years. This long forgotten city along with Herculaneum were forgotten until excavation began in the 18th century.

Since that time, archaeologists have unearthed frescoes, several human bodies, and even the remains of a horse.

Through research, archaeologists have discovered an ancient snack bar in the ruins of Pompeii.  The colorful frescoes of a counter managed to survive after 2,000 years under volcanic ash.

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii announced the find and released...

Inspiring Stories

Are Women Actually Higher Risk Takers Than Men?

Research has shown that men, in general, are higher risk-takers than women.  It’s believed that women’s behavior is taught, not inherited.

To decide if women are more reluctant to risk than men, researchers studied over 500 children from 2 different ethnic groups in Yunnan Province in China.

Children from the Han community are brought up in a traditional patriarchal community while the Mosuo are the only matrilineal ethnic minority group that is raised with opposing normalities from the Han.

In Mosuo, the grandmothers are the head of the household with women making all decisions.  They are on a much higher level or equal to men.  Children are raised in their homes with their mothers, her brothers,  sisters, and their maternal granduncles, while fathers are excluded.

Studies have shown that when children mingle in school, they are exposed to someone else’s culture. At first, each group showed opposing gender norms.  Girls from Mosuo were greater risk-takers than the boys.  The longer Mosuo children mingled with Han students, the more Mosuo girls became reluctant in taking chances.  Over time, they fell behind boys in the same group by the age of 11.

Brave Girls!

Another study was conducted in Yongning Township involving four elementary schools consisting of grade one to grade five with 10 to 30 students in each class and each grade.  Mosuo students made up 40% of the group.  185 students were studied in 2015 and 167 in 2016.

Participants took part in a lottery to test their level of risk-taking.  In general, Han girls were more risk reluctant than the boys but Mosuo girls were less risk reluctant than the boys.  The study further showed that in the first grade, Mosuo girls were quite brave at taking risks over boys, but this changed as they started getting older.  However, this same pattern did not exist in the Han girls because the girls, through all levels of school, were more risk reluctant than Han boys.

The study suggests that becoming more risk reluctant at one given age is not due to their genetics.

The associate professor at the University of Houston’s Department of Economics, Elaine M. Liu, said that many studies will find women are more risk reluctant than men but this study shows that the gender gap in attitudes toward risks among children is influenced by culture and social environments and may not be an inherited trait.

While, in the beginning, children’s risk behaviors usually follow those of their parents, when they enter school, their behaviors seem to reflect that of their fellow classmates.  Therefore, their social environment seems to be an important factor for affecting children’s risk levels.

Exploring risk reluctance could provide valuable information about why men and women opt for different careers, and why women end up with a gender pay gap.

Professor Liu said the study was limited because researchers did not know if behavioral changes were permanent or if children would revert back to their parents’ normal state once they finished school and moved back to their villages.  That said, other studies did not address other behaviors that are associated with gender norms including competitiveness.

Professor Cordelia Fine at the University of Melbourn was not involved in these studies but believed the given studies should be regarded as provisional until replicated including age, grade, and peers.  She further said, the common assumption is the tasks tap into some kind of stable property of risk reluctance in some,  but research finds different tasks are supposed to be eliciting risk preferences which yield different results.

Research has shown that men, in general, are higher risk-takers than women.  It’s believed that women’s behavior is taught, not inherited.

To decide if women are more reluctant to risk than men, researchers studied over 500 children from 2...

Animals

Plastic Waste In Our Oceans is Killing Baby Sea Turtles

Our planet has become a human dumping ground of discarded items and has been going on for some time now.  Our oceans and waterways are major threats to other animal life and it’s getting worse.  One photographer decided to capture the effect of litter that is threatening baby sea turtles in Honduras. The footage is shocking and totally non-acceptable.

A photographer from Honduras, Caroline Power, has been documenting the plight of endangered baby hawksbill sea turtles threatened by plastic pollution.  She is hoping her photographs will have an impact on humans discarding their trash wherever they please and will hopefully save the endangered animals.

Trash accumulation in Roatan might not be as large as the enormous Great Pacific Garbage Patch but is still endangering and killing vulnerable species like the hawksbill sea turtle.

These animals are not able to speak for themselves but Caroline’s photos have clearly shown the plight of these helpless turtles struggling to just stay alive in an environment that is loaded with plastic trash.  These young sea turtles have mistaken plastic garbage as food which will cut their lives in half.  In many cases, while filming, this photographer has freed many sea turtles caught up in plastic rings or empty snack containers.

Not Edible

The bottom line, one piece of plastic ingested by these turtles is fatal.  Really young sea turtles run a very high risk of dying after eating plastic with 50% dying after eating 14 pieces.  It’s shocking that the threats to the survival rate of endangered sea turtles’ are very low because they are unable to regurgitate this plastic.

Sandra Hochscheid, a marine biologist. said there must be a reduction in using plastic and significant changes are needed.  Caroline believes the problem in Roatan is caused by various plastic traveling from the Motagua River and other waterways in Honduras and Guatemala.

People need to understand the impact this lifestyle is having on wildlife and make the choice to use less single-use plastics. In 2018, NowThis News showed Caroline’s exclusive video “Baby Turtles Struggle to Swim Through Plastic Pollution in Honduras”. This video has received well over six million views as of March 2019.

Hopefully, this film and many others will force the human being to wake up and realize the destruction they are causing our planet and the lives of other living creatures.  Plastic items must be discarded in proper receptacles and safely destroyed or re-processed properly.

Our planet has become a human dumping ground of discarded items and has been going on for some time now.  Our oceans and waterways are major threats to other animal life and it’s getting worse.  One photographer decided to capture the effect of litter...

TooCool

Technology Meets the Workplace

Technology is, in the near future, going to have a huge impact on the way people work. According to experts, AI bosses and robotic co-workers are going to make the workplace nearly unrecognizable.

Robotics and AI may seem a dream come true but consider the implications of this. Your AI boss will never need to take a break or any days off. In fact, your new AI boss will be fully aware of all the work you have…or have not…completed.  Micromanaging to the extreme, anyone?

Virtual Reality Steps up to the Plate

Virtual Reality has the potential to change and augment all of your daily visual activities. Augmentation Virtual Reality will have a far greater effect on the workplace than full Virtual Reality. Augmentation Virtual Reality will allow you to add data to things already happening around you in the workplace.

Construction workers may be the first to enjoy the benefits of VR. They will use this technology to see specifications and tech data involving the materials they are using on site. They will be able to visualize where to place the materials on the build and every direction involving the building project.

Medicine will most likely be another field to benefit from VR. Surgeons, for instance, would be able to use VR augmentation goggles in many different ways.

Work from Home Tech

Remote work is catching on, expanding every year. Millions are currently contracted by companies all across the globe. Technology means that internet speeds will continue to increase. Work that was never able to be done remotely before will now become possible.

Current tech has allowed for people to share huge files with high-speed cable and high-speed fiber connections, something that a few years ago was considered impossible.

The Institute for the Future’s Future 50 program believes that virtual reality will add to the ability to perform more work remotely. As director Dylan Hendricks explains, “This is becoming much more of a practical infrastructure than people realize. You can interact with people very far away and share data.”

Want more versatility in your remote work life? Holographic conferencing and meetings may mean that workers never need to leave the house.

 AI Bosses will Work 24/7

AI bosses may be more reliable and incapable of playing favorites at work, but they will also be far more aware of your work than their human counterparts. AI bosses are incapable of emotion, and while on one hand, this means you will never be lectured for poor work, it also means that your new AI boss cannot sympathize with you for any extenuating circumstances that affected your work.

Your new AI boss will be keeping continuous tabs on your work quality, the hours that you have worked, and many other factors that some employees can hide if needed.

It’s not an entirely new concept. In Japan, an ad agency known as the McCann Workgroup uses an AI robot as a creative director. While the team had to manually find effective ad strategies in the past, the AI director can “understand” what makes a good marketing strategy.

The AI director gives suggestions to improve ad campaigns and come up with more effective ads.  Per the McCann Workgroup, this AI creative director is an overall winning solution for the team.

Technology is, in the near future, going to have a huge impact on the way people work. According to experts, AI bosses and robotic co-workers are going to make the workplace nearly unrecognizable.

Robotics and AI may seem a dream come true but consider the...

editorial

The Best ‘You Had One Job’ Moments

Go Big Or Go Home

This happens to all of us, doesn’t it? It sure happened to me at that exact age, and it also happened to me on a national scale, but hey… it’s a great story to tell the kids. And by the way, everybody tells the team to go, this unique woman tells them to ‘og’. That’s much better.

Slip Of The Tongue

This is another example of a presenter being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Steve Harvey ended up mixing up the winner’s names while he was trying to follow the orders of the producer.

It took four minutes and a trip backstage before Harvey came back on stage to announce his error to the competitors and the whole world.

Go Big Or Go Home

This happens to all of us, doesn’t it? It sure happened to me at that exact age, and it also happened to me on a national scale, but hey… it’s a great story to tell the kids. And by the way, everybody tells the team to go...

Galleries

When Cool Was Really Cool

What if you could see these celebrities in candid moments, with impromptu shots of them doing every day things? That’s cool!

Freddie Mercury & Partner, 1985

In 1991, the world mourned the loss of legendary Queen front man, the flamboyantly lovable, immensely talented Freddie Mercury who died prematurely.  At his side for the last six years of his life was his partner, Jim Hutton.

Jim Hutton was a hairdresser from County Carlow, Ireland before meeting Freddie.  Once the couple started dating, Jim moved into Freddie’s Garden Lodge house where they would live together until Freddie’s death.

The couple was together at a time that same-sex marriage wasn’t permitted.  They did exchange wedding rings, though, to prove their love for each other.  When Freddie died, he was wearing his wedding band.

Stevie Nicks, 1970s

This is one strong front girl. Here we see Stevie Nicks, the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac and one of the undisputed queens of the 70’s.  On stage, she and her band were musical geniuses and amazing performances.  Off stage, though, Stevie was fighting a battle that all too many performers face; addiction and excessive partying.

It wasn’t until 1986 when Stevie came face to face with her health and  Steve took this warning very seriously and turned her life around.  Fleetwood Mac is now currently on tour.

Want to see more?  Let’s go!

What if you could see these celebrities in candid moments, with impromptu shots of them doing every day things? That’s cool!
Freddie Mercury & Partner, 1985

In 1991, the world mourned the loss of legendary Queen front man, the flamboyantly lovable...

Galleries

Dad’s Who Couldn’t Take More Than One Baby

We have three stories about families (dad’s in particular) who were expecting a baby, just like any dad-to-be, but these dads were so surprised by what they were expecting (not just one baby. Or two) that it became viral! Here are their stories:

3, 2, 1… Faint

Nia and Robert Tolbert had a son, and they were one happy little family. But things started changing when Nia got pregnant for a second, and then a third time. This story is about  Nia’s pregnancies, which shocked medical experts and the whole nation!

Neither Nia nor Robert could have ever guessed what their lives would bring, and how the entire world became fascinated with their story…

The Love

Nia and Robert’s love story is one for the books. The two met in 2007 through mutual friends, and according to both of them, it was love at first sight! From the beginning, they were beyond devoted to each other and started dating seriously very quickly.

Like any relationship, they had their highs and lows, but they were in it for the long run and recognized they had a lasting love. After a few years of stable dating, they received exciting news!

Read on to find why they’re so special:

We have three stories about families (dad’s in particular) who were expecting a baby, just like any dad-to-be, but these dads were so surprised by what they were expecting (not just one baby. Or two) that it became viral! Here are their stories:
3, 2...