Fashion Science

New Probiotic Suit Fights Body Odor

A bio-engineered bodysuit could handle unpleasant body-odor with micro-organisms woven into its fibers.

Named “Skin II,” the leotard-like piece of clothing incorporats live, healthy probiotic bacteria that, when activated by perspiration, can diminish personal odors, help skin cells regenerate and improve our immune system.

“It’s not the sweat on your body that causes body odor, it’s the bacteria,” designer Rosie Broadhead told Reuters in an interview. “So we’ve incorporated healthy bacteria into the textiles to enable a healthy microbiome which will help to reduce your body odor,”

With her probiotic fabric, Broadhead hopes to revolutionize the interaction between fabric and skin. Other than its health (and social life!) aspects, she’s also keen on the environmental impact of her invention:

“My project offers an alternative to chemicals such as antibacterial finishes on clothing and cosmetics,” Broadhead says, “Due to the deodorizing effect the probiotics have on the body, it may reduce the amount of time you need to wash your clothes.”

Our modern life fixation on cleanliness makes it hard for “good” micro-organisms to survive, so Skin II is a big opportunity for sustainable fashion.

Probiotics are living micro-organisms that are beneficial to our bodies when in sufficient amounts. Probiotics are found naturally in some foods, like yogurt, and, surprisingly, pickles, but you can also take them as dietary supplements.

Broadhead collaborated with Belgian microbiologist Chris Callewaert of Ghent University to develop the fabric. Callewaert has done extensive research on the causes of body odor, and he provided her with probiotic bacteria. This bacteria are found on our skin and are different from the digestive system bacteria we all know from food products.

“A lot of focus is on the fashion industry’s unsustainable practices concerning waste and environmental impact,” says Broadhead, “However, much less is known about the use of chemical finishes on our clothing that can impact our bodies.”

She wanted to create clothing that was good for the skin, but has a minimal impact on the environment, “which meant using technology that had a deodorizing effect. By working with probiotics that are common on our skin I have developed ways to add function and performance to our clothing in a natural way.”

Broadhead and Callewaert plan to market Skin II with a full sportswear line, and in this heat – we just can’t wait for it to hit the shelves :-)

A bio-engineered bodysuit could handle unpleasant body-odor with micro-organisms woven into its fibers.

Named “Skin II,” the...

Earth Vacation

Nature Lovers Now Have 270,000 Acres of Land Open in California

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a great time.

Nature lovers now have a new area in California to view breathtaking mountains, an abundance of wildlife, ancient old oak trees, fields and streams, along with so many hiking trails.  You might just discover your next excellent vacation spot without ever having to leave the country!

Tejon Ranch has donated a great deal of land so visitors can enjoy nature in the most wonderful way.  Tejon Ranch has been around since 1843 and the owner, Fitzgerald Beale, has partnered with an online travel company, Explore Ranches, to allow their members access to 270,000 acres of private land.

About Tejon Ranch:

The ranch is located 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 south of Bakersfield.  It is the largest, continual expansion in California offering 422 square miles of land. Tejon Ranch has joined other natural environments in the state, Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, and Coastal Range.  The spans of land is larger than New York City.

There are hundreds of miles of trails and roads to hike along, fields of grass, coniferous forests, ancient oak and Joshua trees, a huge diversity of wildlife, and many reservoirs and streams.

Their partnership with Explore Ranches allows visitors to choose their accommodation from 4 separate lodges that will hold 4 to 12 people at three different locations, including the Venado Cabin.

Located at the foot of the mountains, Venado Cabin offers incredible, endless views from the porch of the cabin.  You can see red-tailed hawks, an occasional condor, eagles, and deer roaming freely along the hillsides.

You can also enjoy a game of horseshoes with their private horseshoe pit.  For those who want to explore the ranch, there are miles of trails for hiking, going on driving tours, or biking.  Just below the cabin, there is an incredible fishing pond loaded with bass and bluegill and a massive meadow with huge oak trees.

If you want a really wonderful vacation away from your hectic lifestyle, visiting this property will give you access to so many activities including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and the incredible opportunity to take photos of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. What an idyllic way to totally unwind!

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a...

City Life

You Can Improve Your City by Growing Food: Try Guerrilla Grafting!

You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up in vacant lots that were created through guerrilla grafting but somehow fly under the radar of city ordinances.

Guerrilla grafting is one way of making your city more hospitable to their residents without relying on official guidelines.  All you really need,  take some cuttings from fruit-bearing plants, have a few very simple tools, and provide a little tender loving care.

Why Don’t Cities Plant Fruit Trees?

The reason many cities only plant non-fruit-bearing fruits, they are much easier to care for and no one has to spend a great deal of time cleaning up after these plants dropping their fruit on public places including sidewalks.

There does not seem to be a high-in-demand for people to harvest and distribute fruit nor does anyone have the time.  Adding to that, there are places like San Francisco (hold my tongue) that consider grafting as vandalism.

What many places don’t understand, planting and taking care of plants that produce fruit is quite critical for communities in need of fresh fruit such as low-income neighborhoods where these groceries are very hard to come by.

Many of the people in these neighborhoods do not have access to a car to make extra or special trips to the store and do not have the money to spend on healthy items like fruit.  These areas, unlike other neighborhoods, are prime for grafting.

Guerrilla Grafters founder, Tara Hui, was denied by city officials when she wanted to alleviate fruit foods shortage in the Bay Area.  She decided to take it on herself, she joined with fellow agricultural activists to transform their existing trees into fruit-bearing trees and collect data to prove this really does work.

The group only splices edible plants into areas where volunteers will monitor and maintain the trees to combat problems such as insects and other pests.

If you’d like to start something in your neighborhood, all you need are some fruit tree cuttings, a sharp knife, Ziploc bags, grafting tape, rubber bands, and other household items. Visit the Guerrilla Grafters website to get a manual that you can enlarge to read or download in English, German, or Spanish.  Happy Planting!

You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up...

Category - Lifestyle

City Life Tech News

Daimler & Bosch Driverless Parking Has Gotten a Thumbs Up

Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have received approval from the German regulators to operate their automated driverless parking facility without involving a human safety driver sitting behind the wheel.

This is the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be totally approved for everyday use.  The thumbs-up comes 4 years after the companies started working together on the technology end.

Bosch board member, Dr. Markus Heyn said this decision by authorities only shows that innovations like automated valet parking is now possible in Germany.

He believes that driverless parking and driving are the cornerstones for tomorrow’s automated mobility.  Automated parking shows just how far we have already come and the continued development path that lies ahead.

Look Ma No Hands!

Level 4 was designated by SAE which means the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human interference.

Until now, there have been several Level 4 tests and trials in the works but they all involved people behind the wheel of the vehicle as a backup.

Bosch is considered one of the largest automotive tech and hardware suppliers in the world and they handle the infrastructure aspect of the automated parking function.

It works in collaboration with Daimler’s vehicle technology on its Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  Users can easily access the independent valet service using their smartphone app.

Bosch and Daimler started developing their fully automated driverless parking back in 2015. Their initial partnership including car2go, the which is the car-sharing unit of Daimler.

They debuted their automated valet parking function back in 2017 at the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Then in 2018, after intensive testing, museum visitors ere able to test the automated parking service with one very important warning, a human safety driver must always be behind the wheel.

Using their smartphone app, visitors could reserve vehicles from the facility.  Their vehicle would arrive independently to the designated pick up place in the garage.

When the visitor is finished with the vehicle, they could deliver it to the drop off area.  The vehicle would then drive itself back to its assigned spot, guided by the garage’s infrastructure and onboard sensors.

The pilot program was limited in scope and restricted by a safety driver, but it served a valuable purpose for Bosch and Daimler and even other companies hoping to use automated driving in Germany.

That said, Germany does not have an approval process for automated driving without a human driver.

From the beginning, Bosch and Daimler brought in authorities from Stuttgart and the state of  Baden-Württemberg’s transportation ministry as well as experts from the German certification authority TUV Rheinland.

You would think the group would assess the safety of Bosch & Daimler’s parking function but it also helped regulators come up with guidelines for testing and the approval benchmark that could be applied beyond the pilot project in a parking garage in Stuttgart.

Bosch & Daimler tested lighting ideas on the vehicle’s pilot project.  They used turquoise lighting to indicate that the vehicle was in automation mode and informed others passing by along with other road users, that the vehicle was driving itself.

This is not the only Bosch & Daimler project that is in the works.  In 2017, they partnered to bring fully automated vehicles to urban roads within the next 10 years.  Last year, they announced plans to have a pilot robotaxi service in San Jose, Calif.

They are planning on using automated Mercedes-Benz S Class vehicles during the second half of 2019. There will be a geofenced area in the San Carlos and Stevens Creek corridor which is between downtown and west San Jose.

The pilot will have an on-demand ride-hailing service app operated by Daimler Mobility Services.  All rides will be monitored by a safety driver.

Presently, Bosch is building a $1.1 billion facility designed to assemble semiconductors used in self-driving cars, smart homes, and smart city infrastructure.

The Dresden-based chip is expected to start manufacturing silicon, commercially, in 2021 and construction is expected to be finished in 2019.

Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have received approval from the German regulators to operate their automated driverless parking facility without...

Tech News Vacation

The TSA is Working to Keep Your Laptop in Your Bag

The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will expand throughout the nation.

This month the TSA announced the opening of a new facility on the lower level of Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The new method being tested is under the Advancing the Checkpoint Environment program, or ACE, for short.

The Innovation Task Force

The director of the Innovation Task Force, Jose Bonilla, stated that this new facility will allow them to assess the new technology and processes being considered.

It will also make it easy for them to make a demonstration of the unique network of capabilities without having an effect on current operations.

The usual TSA checkpoints at Terminal 3 are found in the upper level of the building, while the ACE facility can be found downstairs. For the moment, only domestic passengers flying United Airlines will be able to go through ACE lanes.

However, this will soon be expanded to other domestic and international airlines. The ACE checkpoint is open for 4 hours every day, from Sunday to Thursday.

Passengers that go through the ACE lanes can leave their laptops in their bags even if they don’t have a PreCheck and they will be able to bypass traditional checkpoints. This process also provides faster security screening because fewer passengers are processed on these lanes.

The main ACE trials involve advanced imaging machines that make use of CT tech to look into the carry-on bags of passengers.

The images are more detailed than the traditional images produced by X-ray scans, which is why it will no longer be necessary for passengers to get their things out of their bags.

Similar machines are also being tested on other airports in the country, such as JKF Terminal 7. As ACE continues being used, newer technologies and procedures will be introduced to guarantee its evolution.

In fact, one of the main objectives of the ACE facility is to allow the testing of different types of tech and processes in conjunction with each other.

Passengers going through the ACE lanes will still have to remove liquids from their bags as well as their shoes, but it may not always be the case. The procedure will evolve alongside the technology, so many more upgrades to the screening process will follow.

The feedback from passengers who have used the ACE lanes and from the agents who manage them is important to evaluate these new processes and technologies, which will help the TSA roll out these new procedures and machines more broadly.

So far, the feedback is great on the introduced innovations, so we expect to hear more about this very soon as it will eventually appear on other airports in the country.

The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will expand...

Inspiring Stories Vacation

Beaches Resorts Embraces Everyone on the Autism Spectrum

Autism has become more common than ever before. Year in and year out, more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Some of the symptoms that make autism so distinguishable are sensory overloads, random outbursts, and overwhelming bouts of anxiety.

These symptoms can come out of nowhere, making family vacations quite stressful, which defeats the point of taking a vacation in the first place.

The good news is that many industry giants have taken the time to learn how to accommodate people on the autism spectrum, and Beaches Resorts is a great example of that.

In fact, the family-friendly resort is no stranger to autism, being the fist resort to complete the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) Autism Certificate (AC) training, thus becoming a Certified Autism Center (CAC) in April of 2017.

Remarkable Company

In April of 2019, Beaches Resorts continues working for more. Two years after becoming a CAC, the company has taken their commitment even further by becoming an Advanced Certified Autism Center (ACAC).

This is the very first company to obtain this designation, so it’s quite remarkable how seriously they’ve taken the issue.

However, at the end of the day, these are just credentials. What matters is what they’ve done with the knowledge they’ve acquired to ensure that families who choose their resort can receive the level of compassion and care it’s difficult to find in other places.

When you’re on vacation, you don’t want your family fun to be limited by concerns about safety or the ability of the staff to respond and interact with your children.

At Beaches Resorts, you don’t have to worry about this, which means your vacation will truly be exactly that: a vacation you can all enjoy together.

The moment you step foot in the resort, you’ll receive personalized care. This is possible because families can fill out a questionnaire with a Special Services team before traveling so they can be aware of specific preferences and requests.

If you need a private check-in or a sensory toy to keep your child busy and happy while you check-in, Beaches Resorts will provide exactly that.

Friends on Sesame Street

Beaches Resort have also partnered with Sesame Street to create an environment specifically designed for kids, which characters such as Cookie Monster, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, and more, walking around the resort.

What this means is that your family will have fun the second they arrive at the resort, which is not something you can say of every resort out there. They have even introduced a new muppet named Julia, who’s on the autism spectrum herself.

This muppet is of course exclusive to the resort and with activities such as Amazing Art with Julia, children will enjoy their time thoroughly.

Children on the autism spectrum often have trouble communicating with words, that’s why Julia encourages self-expression through art. Through this activity, your children will be able to explore themselves in an easier, better, more exciting way.

Because Julia is on the spectrum as well, some things must be noted. For example, taking pictures without her permission is a no-no. This is meant to encourage both the understanding and acceptance of autism.

Another wonderful thing about Beaches Resorts is that they’re not limited to activities for children. This year, they were allowed to include their water sports operations in their ACAC certification.

Children on the spectrum will be handled by dive team staff that has been trained on accommodating, interacting, and keeping them safe during these activities. Thus providing the opportunity for them to enjoy diving in the Caribbean, something that no other result can offer.

If you have a child on the spectrum, it’s never easy to plan a vacation. Not knowing what your options are is crippling and limiting, so knowing about the one Caribbean resort where you will absolutely have the safest, most exciting and fun experience is a joy.

Beaches Resorts will help you show your child that there’s nothing they can’t do, provided they have the support they need to explore new things and be comfortable doing what they like.

For parents, it’s a relief to know you’re child is in good hands, so your vacation will be amazing for everyone involved.

Autism has become more common than ever before. Year in and year out, more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Some of the symptoms that make autism so distinguishable are sensory overloads, random outbursts, and overwhelming bouts of...

City Life Cool Stories

Urban Hacking: 5 Inexpensive and Cool City Hacks

Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t proper sidewalks or hacking infrastructure. These modifications tell urban planners how cities need to be adapted in order to grow.

Urban hacking is one of the most direct ways we have of shaping our city into what we want it to be, and these hacks often lead to permanent solutions. Urban hacks range from taking over disused public squares and installing seating for seniors to bringing humor and fun to everyday scenes.

What urban hacking does is turn public space and urban landscape into a huge playground where people can express their creativity and better their city. Here are 15 inexpensive and cool city hacks to be aware of!

  1. Shopping Cart Sports by Florian Riviére

Florian Riviére is a French artist and activist that has come up with many different city hacks. His project “Don’t Play, Play” encourages people to stay in the parking lot of shopping centers instead of going inside.

For this purpose, parking spots are modified with white tape to turn them into courts for sports such as tennis, hockey, basketball, etc., using shopping carts as nets or structural supports.

  1. Wanderest Chair for Seniors Attached to Light Poles

Light poles can easily become the backrest for seats with “Wanderest”, from designer Nichola Trudgen. This leaning stool can be easily attached to any octagonal or circular light pole and they’re installed in retirement areas where there’s no public seating available.

  1. Info Pillars

Info pillars can be found in Toronto and they often show advertisements instead of actually useful information for people who are exploring the city on foot.

They also block important sections of the sidewalk, making it difficult for pedestrians. That’s why the creative team known as cARTographyTO hacked 35 of these info pillars and replaced the ads with maps, sculptures, art, and chalkboards.

This got the public’s attention, of course, and it encouraged them to reconsider the use of these info pillars.

  1. Tram Track Skateboarding

In Bratislava, Slovakia, the width of the tram tracks match perfectly with the width of a standard European pallet.

When this pallet is modified with parts to keep it in place, it becomes a sort of skateboard that zooms across the city with minimum effort, guided by a map of the city.

This project from Slovakian artist Tomas Moravec is meant to serve as a new transport vehicle that changes spatial perspective of users and the life of the city as well.

  1. Urban Terrasse: Adaptive Furniture by Damien Gires

In France, designer Damien Gires takes octagonal cardboard boxes and places them in anti-parking posts on sidewalks, turning them into mini tables for adjacent cafes.

This project is known as Urban Terrasse, and it’s meant to make sidewalks more functional and to encourage cafe patrons to get more involved with their city environments because it shows them it’s in their best interest.

Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t proper sidewalks or hacking infrastructure. These modifications tell urban planners how cities need to be...

Lifestyle Vacation

Top 7 Rooftop Bars to Visit in Berlin

If you want to experience Berlin in a whole new way, it’s a good idea to visit some of the most unique and coolest rooftop bars you’ll ever set foot in. Berlin’s skyline is amazing, but these rooftop bars have a lot more to offer, so here are the top 7 options to visit in Berlin!

  1. Amano Hotel Rooftop Terrace

If you want to see the TV Tower up close, the Amano Hotel Rooftop Terrace is the right spot for you. Here you can sip on drinks such as Moscow Mule or a Dark and Stormy and enjoy the view of the city rooftops.

Drinks are a bit more expensive here than in other places, but that view is 100% worth it.

  1. Deck5

Deck5 has earned the honor of being the highest beach bar in Berlin. During the winter, the sand disappears and the entire space is decorated with Christmas ornaments and it becomes the highest Christmas market in the city.

It doesn’t matter which season you visit in, Deck5 is sublime year-round.

  1. Gallery Rooftop bar

The Gallery, located at the rooftop of the Hotel Indigo, offers breathtaking views of what used to be East Berlin, the longest standing stretch of the Berlin Wall, and the Spree River.

The cocktail menu is full of creative options and get ready, because they’re strong! Try not to fall apart after a few.

  1. Hotel de Rome Rooftop Terrace

If you want a more swanky option, the Hotel de Rome rooftop terrace is the right one for you.

This one offers incredible views of the St. Hedwig Cathedral and the opera house, so it’s definitely worth a visit. The drinks are a bit expensive, but when you consider where you are, you won’t mind splurging a bit.

  1. House of Weekend

House of Weekend is the right spot for people who want to club and still enjoy a jaw-dropping view up high. This techno club, located near Alexanderplatz, is 17 floors up in the Haus des Reisens.

It’s open from Thursday to Sunday morning, so keep that in mind when you plan your visit.

  1. Klunkerkranich

Klunkerkranich is an interesting option because there’s no sign or way to find it on your own. This rooftop bar is on the top of a parking garage and it’s one of the hippest options on the list.

It’s the perfect spot to have a cold beer and enjoy the view of the city below. Sometimes there’s even live music!

  1. Monkey Bar

Last but not least, the Monkey Bar is a fashionable place to visit during your stay in Berlin. The bar is set on the rooftop of the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin and it takes its name because you have a full view of the monkeys at the zoo, making this a truly unique experience.

It’s super fun to watch them play, but if that’s somehow not your thing, you can also enjoy incredible views of West Berlin, so it’s a great place to visit.

If you want to experience Berlin in a whole new way, it’s a good idea to visit some of the most unique and coolest rooftop bars you’ll ever set foot in. Berlin’s skyline is amazing, but these rooftop bars have a lot more to offer, so here are the top 7...

City Life Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome

Top 7 Unusually Geeky Art Graffiti

When you read the words “unusually geeky art graffiti”, you must wonder what it takes to qualify as such. Well, sometimes it’s all about the content, but most of the times is about the methods the artists have chosen to create their graffiti.

Here are 7 unusually geeky graffiti that either comment on or use digital methods to either redefine the approach to street art or represent contemporary messages through new media.

  1. The GraffitiWriter

The GraffitiWriter is an electronic robotic graffiti writing machine that’s remote-control operated and it can write any programmed text message on the ground.

It travels at speeds of up to 8 miles per hour, so it means it reduces the problems of encountering authorities while you’re out making your graffiti, and it can use non-permanent, washable paint.

  1. The PixelRoller

The PixelRoller is a cross between manual and conventional printing methods. This intentional combination provides the ease of computer printing with the creativity and freedom of manual printing.

It can be programmed to print any patterns you want, making each creation unique and the way these patterns are rolled onto the surface is amazing to watch.

  1. The CCTV Reminder

The CCTV Reminder is put together with a few magnets, a laser cutter, cheap cardboard, and a few other things. This laser cut sculpture is awesome and the idea is to provide non-operational reminders of the CCTV surveillance we’re constantly exposed to in public places.

This sculpture has the silhouette of a camera and the battery-operated red light adds the final touch of realism making this sculpture jarring.

  1. The ElectroGraff Method

The ElectroGraff Method was developed by the Graffiti Research Lab, which is known for architectural light projection graffiti and other graffiti projects.

This method is used for embedding movable LED display electronics using magnetic paint and conductive spray-paint to attach display elements and power them without having to use more traditional and visible methods.

  1. Hello Nametag

The Hello Nametag device is meant to replicate the Hello Nametag that’s often used in contexts where you’re exposed to many strangers, such as business conferences and other events.

The name tags, in this case, are attached to public objects and unlike the ones we use, they are programmed to speak the name of said object. The Hello Nametag can be stuck on any surface and it invites the public to interact with these things.

  1. ASCII Graffiti

The ASCII Graffiti is one of the first computer geeky graffiti and even though it doesn’t actually leave the digital realm, it does compositional and stylistic conventions from traditional graffiti and it reinterprets them for computer display.

  1. Tagging in Motion

Tagging in Motion is a type of 3D street graffiti that’s created by using a virtual reality interface combined with digital rendering.

What this does is record the graffiti artist with several cameras that capture his motions in 3D, thus generating street art that doesn’t need a physical surface to exist. Plus, it leaves no evidence, unlike traditional graffiti.

When you read the words “unusually geeky art graffiti”, you must wonder what it takes to qualify as such. Well, sometimes it’s all about the content, but most of the times is about the methods the artists have chosen to create their graffiti.

Here are...

Health Lifestyle

5 Chamomile Tea Benefits Your Body and Mind Need

I just recently returned from a trip to England, and out of all the habits or rituals I could have picked up from there, I think the one I’ll hang onto is tea, tea, and more tea.

You have it with breakfast, some at lunch, then there’s afternoon tea – or cream tea, my favorite – and some to finish your day. And when I say tea, I’m not talking one cup; most British people have an entire pot going all throughout the day, even for just one person.

Besides the fact that I love how afternoon tea is just an excuse to eat a small meal between lunch and dinner, the great thing about regularly adding tea into your life is the benefits a lot of teas have for your body and mind.

Chamomile has a range of benefits, for example, from sleep or digestion aid to mental health to heart health and more.

The chamomile flower contains flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, and antioxidants, and in a dried form, it can also be utilized for natural and herbal remedies. And it’s caffeine-free!

It’s not magic; the benefits of drinking chamomile tea are real, and here are a few of them.

Sleep

I think what we all know chamomile tea best for is that drinking a cup of it before you go to bed helps you get to sleep faster and have better quality sleep.

Thanks to an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to certain receptors in your brain to reduce anxiety and initiate sleep, it has a natural and gentle calming effect.

A study was done in 2016 to find the links between sleep quality and depression in women and chamomile tea found that the group who drank chamomile before bed every night for two weeks had better sleep than those who didn’t; what’s more, when they stopped, the effects were reversed!

Anxiety

Anxiety has nearly become a chronic illness these days; in fact, 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, according to Medical News Today.  It’s the most common mental illness in America, and while some people use medication, this isn’t the answer for everyone.

Many people have begun using chamomile as a stress-reducer, either by dinking of cup of tea or using it in capsule form, as it benefits anxiety symptoms and helps to calm and ease insomnia.

If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, you should consult a doctor. Chamomile may not work the same for you as it does for another.

Stomach Issues

If you ever suffer from menstrual cramps, an upset stomach, abdominal gas, indigestion, or irritable bowel syndrome, the anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and carminative properties chamomile tea contains help to soothe your stomach line.

It may even help decrease acid reflux, though more research needs to be done in order to confirm this.

Blood Sugar

If you or someone you know has diabetes, take note of this:

Drinking chamomile contains an antioxidant called quercetin which impacts particular enzymes that play a part in the diabetic process, so drinking chamomile tea may help lower blood sugar, according to research from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

The university conducted a small-scale study where 64 participants, between the ages of 30-60, with type 2 diabetes were observed. Half of them had chamomile every day at every meal for eight weeks while the other half just drank water.

After the eight weeks were up, the blood pressure of the first group was significantly lower on average than the latter group. More research needs to be conducted before these findings are conclusive, however.

Heart Health

Finally, some of the antioxidants you’ll find in chamomile are flavones, which have been studied over the years to measure their effectiveness in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol – including “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Since drinking chamomile tea regularly reduces stress, promotes sleep, and relaxes the blood vessels and arteries, it has the potential to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels if you drink it regularly.

Warning: If you’re on blood thinners, note that chamomile could increase the risk of bleeding, so be sure to consult your doctor.

So, maybe we should all do as the British do – or at least take up the habit of having a cup of chamomile tea before we go to bed at night.

Just like any other herbal tea, however, chamomile has some side effects, such as severe allergic reaction, eye irritation, hypersensitivity reactions, and vomiting.

Most likely you won’t encounter any of these, but it’s good to know the good and the bad and to check in with your doctor before you make it a regular part of your routine!

I just recently returned from a trip to England, and out of all the habits or rituals I could have picked up from there, I think the one I’ll hang onto is tea, tea, and more tea.

You have it with breakfast, some at lunch, then there’s afternoon tea –...

Fashion

Instagram Account Devoted to Spotting ‘The Dress’

If you’re headed to Zara any time to get a new dress any time soon, you may want to read this article first to make sure you’re not buying the same exact dress that it seems women all over the world have been drawn to.

It’s relatively well-known that Zara has fashion-forward designs that are, at the same time, affordable; as a result, it has become quite popular among young shoppers, but one particular design seems to be a favorite. In fact, it’s become viral in Britain! People know it so well that it’s referred to as just “the dress” and has an entire Instagram account dedicated to sightings of it.

To give Zara credit, the dress is extremely appealing – I’m tempted to go pick one up myself! The website describes it as a “flowing, round neck dress with sleeves falling below the elbow. Featuring a ruffled hem and a buttoned opening in the back” and is selling it for $69.90 in sizes XS to XXL, according to The New York Times.

The Dress gets Social

The Instagram account, run by stylist Faye Oakenfull, is called “Hot 4 The Spot.” Oakenfull told The New York Times, “‘The Dress’ and I originally met on a set back in Easter when both the art director and makeup artist came in wearing it.

I posted it on my Instagram story as an ‘awkward fashion moment’ […] It then started to escalate, with many people sending me their own sightings. After a few weeks it seemed to be so popular on my stories that I decided to start a new account to keep on top of the content.” The account bio describes it as “A safe Space for *the dress*.”

Oakenfull has even come up with the typical person you’d see around the UK wearing the dress:

“I can be pretty certain where she’ll be hanging out at weekends,” Oakenfull told The Times. “She loves a bottomless brunch, food markets, day festivals, tennis, baby showers (sometimes hers), hen dos, polo, work parties, weddings, rooftop bars, and poolside prosecco. Most of all, she just really loves food shopping in [the British retailer] Marks & Spencer.”

With over 5,000 followers, the account regularly posts not only photos of people in the dress all over the world, but also memes about people’s love for the dress. There has been some opposition to the account, however, reports The New York Times.

Some of the posts are pictures people have taken of themselves, but many are candid shots taken without people’s knowledge, though the posts don’t include their faces.

“Let women wear the same dress or coat as everyone else. Let them meet their friends or go to the supermarket without fearing that they’ll end up the butt someone else’s joke online,” Sophie Benson wrote for Metro.

The account presses on despite some criticism, and its growing number of followers don’t seem to resent it. In fact, it’s not the only account of its kind. An account wholly devoted to leopard midi skirts has also begun as a result of their popularity in the U.S., especially in New York City.

If you’re headed to Zara any time to get a new dress any time soon, you may want to read this article first to make sure you’re not buying the same exact dress that it seems women all over the world have been drawn to.

It’s relatively well-known that...

City Life Inspiring Stories Vacation

Sleep in a Legend: Bauhaus School Opens to Guests

It was the early 1900s when Walter Gropius pioneered a new form of functionalism and minimalism that continues even now to shape architecture, graphic industrial, furniture, and interior design.

One of the most iconic parts of this movement was Bauhaus, a school in Germany that combined an arts-and-crafts ethos with an industrial aesthetic. The institution attracted potential artists and architects from all over Europe, molding and influencing their minds.

Teachers like Vassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee taught around 200 students creative ways to form ideas from all sorts of disciplines, such as construction, advertising, manufacturing, and, of course, art. The building feels like some of today’s Modernist designs, but, at the time, it was the beginning of a movement, especially its innovative curtain wall system.

Form Follows Function

While the institution moved from Weimar to Dessau and Berlin then back again, it has been renovated in Dessau to look and feel the way it did in 1926. The school is complete with student rooms available to rent that are small and minimally appointed with private balconies.

The rooms were designed to be spaces not only for sleeping and hanging one’s clothes, but also to be a workspace with a chair and desk. They’re formed, mainly, to draw people into collaborative studio spaces.

Studios and sleeping spaces are now open to the public for around $50 a night, so now both fans and designers have the ability to revel in this iconic space designed by both teachers and students and enjoy the proto-Modernist architecture that so influenced what we have today.

It was the early 1900s when Walter Gropius pioneered a new form of functionalism and minimalism that continues even now to shape architecture, graphic industrial, furniture, and interior design.

One of the most iconic parts of this movement was Bauhaus, a...

Animals City Life

St James’s Park Gets Three New Pelicans

Wonderful News! There are three brand new arrivals to St James’s Park in London.  Their names are Sun, Moon, and Star.

James’s Park is famous for their pelicans who are able to roam freely but they seem to prefer staying close by the lake.  All three pelicans came all the way from the Prague Zoo and will soon be joined up with permanent residents Isla, Tiffany, and Gargi.

Actually, all three arrived here toward the end of May but have been kept out of public sight so they can settle into their new surroundings.

Hugh Smith, the Senor Wildlife Officer for The Royal Parks, believes it will take a few weeks for the two flocks to come together. There will be little interaction between the new pelicans and the established pelicans.

They will need a period of adjustment for bringing together three relatively tame birds with three semi-wild birds.  They do not see any disagreements just a little apprehension or suspicion while they get to know each other.

It will not take very long for these birds to start using the Pelican Rock because it’s natural for them.

A Gift For a King

Pelicans first arrived at St James’s Park in 1664 when the Russian Ambassador sent a gift to King Charles II.  This is the third time the Czech capital has sent pelicans to live in this very famous park which is located next to Buckingham Palace.

The Prague Zoo sent four in 1995 and another three in 2013.

Miroslav Bobek, Zoo Director, said he was honored to help St James’s Park to keep this 350-year tradition alive.  We believe that Sun, Moon, and Star will have a very happy life along with the other pelicans.

You can visit the park every day between 5 AM and Midnight and say hello to the Pelicans.  You can go to Duck Island Cottage between 2:30 PM and 3 PM to watch them being fed fresh fish.

Wonderful News! There are three brand new arrivals to St James’s Park in London.  Their names are Sun, Moon, and Star.

James’s Park is famous for their pelicans who are able to roam freely but they seem to prefer staying close by the lake.  All...

Lifestyle Vacation

10 Best Surfing Beaches

There’s nothing quite as free, independent and cool like surfing. Originated in Hawaii and the South Pacific in the 1800s, it has become one of the most popular sports in the world.

Surfing has its own culture, it’s own lexicon, and it definitely requires you to love the sea, the challenge of dominating the waves and the excitement. If there’s a reef, wave or break, you bet there will be a surfer riding it. If you want to figure out what are the best spots in the world, here’s a list of the 10 best surfing beaches. So let’s get into it!

  1. Hanalei Bay, Hawaii

This is one of those magical places on earth that make you feel like you’re in heaven. It offers tubed waves and you’ll also have the majestic view of waterfalls. Professionals and amateurs will equally enjoy this wonderful spot!

  1. Cloud 9, Philippines

This surfing spot, which takes the name of the most famous wave on the island, offers some of the most dramatic waves and razor-sharp coral in the world. That means that it’s best for professional surfers who can handle themselves. However, amateurs will find that surf lessons are available.

  1. Troncones, Mexico

Troncones is a great spot that accommodates surfers of all levels and you’ll find waves of all sizes available all year-round, which makes it a popular spots for surfers from all over the world because of the wonderful availability.

  1. Muizenberg, South Africa

Muizenberg is actually historic in South Africa because it’s considered to be the birthplace of surf culture in the country. This surfing spot offers beautiful breaks and it’s also a great spot for spotting Great White sharks from the cliffs. It’s incredible!

  1. Shikoku Island, Japan

Shikoku is the smallest island in Japan and it has many wonderful things to offer, including some top-notch surf. It’s also home to a pilgrimage route of 88 Buddhist temples and the feudal Matsuyama Castle, which makes it a great touristic destination.

  1. Byron Bay, Australia

Byron Bay is one of the most well-known spots in the world. This chill town has everything a surfer dreams of:  Waves ready to ride, warm water, and even interesting spots for diving with shipwrecks and everything. Do be aware of sharks, though, even if there are shark nets in place.

  1. Killer Point, Morocco

Killer Point, which is located in Taghazout, a small fishing village in Morocco, has been a popular spot for surfers since the 1960s. It takes its name after the killer whales that live in the area and it’s the perfect place to ride powerful breaks.

  1. Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil

Located to the north, this island offers incredible reef breaks and huge breaks. The beaches here are super clean and it also offers incredible opportunities for scuba diving as well. Get ready for breaks of up to 15 feet high!

  1. Carrapateira, Portugal

If you’re a beginner and you need a more controlled and less wild surfing experience, this is the spot for you. Carrapateira beaches offer manageable waves and they’re usually empty, which means you’ll be alone with the sea.

  1. Malibu, California

And of course, a list of surfing spots wouldn’t be complete without Malibu. Famous for its wonderful waves and breaks!

There’s nothing quite as free, independent and cool like surfing. Originated in Hawaii and the South Pacific in the 1800s, it has become one of the most popular sports in the world.
Surfing has its own culture, it’s own lexicon, and it definitely requires...

Fashion

How to Dry Clean at Home

In today’s age, everyone is wearing workout clothing in other places such as at the workplace or for a casual occasion.  Most workout clothes are made from materials that can be easily thrown in the washer and that’s it.

That said, we all have other clothes such as cashmere sweaters or silk pants with labels that clearly say “dry clean only”.  You know you cannot throw them in your washer without damaging them, so you pack them up and head off to your dry cleaner and spend a good chunk of change to get them cleaned.

After speaking with people in the know, we discovered you do not have to run off to your dry cleaner!  There are dry clean only items that can actually be had washed!

What you don’t know, that label that reads “dry clean only” is actually a way for the manufacturers to not be held accountable if the instructions are not followed to the “T”.  The sole purpose for these labels allows the manufacturers to place the blame on the dry cleaners if an item is damaged.

The DIY DryClean Experiment

Well, back in 2014, an experiment was conducted by taking a series of items with labels for dry cleaning, washed them, and then recorded the results.  It seems cashmere, silk, and polyester did really well but tailored suits or decorative detailed tops did not do well.

Note – these items were not thrown into a washing machine with other items such as sportswear or socks.  They were washed by hand but before deciding to hand wash these items, you should perform a spot test first.

If you are a little trepidatious, test these items in an area that is inconspicuous to the eye and find out how the material reacts to water.  If you find the color is bleeding, the area you tested is shrinking or there’s puckering, you should take it to the dry cleaner.

Keep in mind, there are materials that should never be washed such as leather, suede, rayon, and polyamide fabrics unless the label clearly states the item can be washed.

Also, if you prefer to take these items to the dry cleaner but have no plans of going there every week, you can purchase a fabric freshener, like Fabreze, to keep the item fresh for a longer period of time.

In many cases items that require dry cleaning are usually more expensive to buy so it’s very understandable why you might prefer not to run the risk of washing these items and cause damage On the other hand, if you are willing to give it a shot, there are several really excellent products for hand-washing such as Woolite.

In today’s age, everyone is wearing workout clothing in other places such as at the workplace or for a casual occasion.  Most workout clothes are made from materials that can be easily thrown in the washer and that’s it.

That said, we all have...