City Life Lifestyle

The Power of Plants Actually Increases Your Productivity at Work!

Being tied to your desk all day long not only drains the life out of you, but your energy is shot to heck!  Many companies have been searching for solutions to increase their employee’s productivity. Well, it seems plants take the gold medal as the perfect solution!

According to a Canadian employer, they gave each one of their employees a plant and their productivity increased by 30%. Well, science is here to tell us why plants give employees what they need to keep them energized during the workday.

Plants Rock!

 Not only are plants decorative for your office, but plants give off many health benefits for our bodies and minds. Research by the National Institute of Environmental Health Services has shown that plants keep the air indoors much cleaner and improves our ability to concentrate.

It’s a known fact that furniture, cleaners, paint, and other elements in an office environment send off many toxic compounds which, in turn, contribute to our inability to think clearly.

Some of the best plants for ridding of unwanted compounds from our office air include bamboo palms, rubber plants, and snake plants plus they look really great.

The appearance of green plants around an office gives employees greater relaxation and removal of stress.  Plants also improve our mood conditions and we are able to stay focused for longer periods of time.  Companies have found that by implementing certain décor, employees’ morale and productivity are on the rise.

This includes indoor trees, planter boxes, and other natural elements to encourage natural, positive vibes.

Research has shown that looking at plants actually stimulates our brains and we will more easily enter into a more relaxed mode.  On top of that, a well-designed office with good light and plants, are a great benefit to the company’s bottom line.

 The Connection Between Plants & People

 According to studies, there is a strong need for people to be surrounded by nature.  Even though many of us live in a very fast-paced environment surround with chrome and glass, nature is a vital part of our society.  Also, when people are engaged in the modern world, they are completely immersed in their frontal lobe.

Being exposed to nature, the hyper-active frontal lobe is deactivated, encouraging happiness and stimulates creativity. So people wonder if you would have the same benefits if the plants in your office were fake.  Plants emit natural elements that benefit people, artificial or fake plants are just that, fake.

 Productivity Solutions

Companies for many years have been in debates and discussions trying to find out how much money or time is lost when their employees are unhappy, sick, or totally disengaged. Billions of dollars are tossed out the window due to issues with productivity so finding solutions are integral for expansion and profits.

Money is constantly spent in team building, developing an inclusive office culture, and extracurricular activities to promote increased productivity.  A Canadian business owner took a piece of advice from his wife, giving each employee a plant to place on their desks.

Employees were exposed to all available plants to find the perfect match. The results were astonishing, he discovered that each employee was doing approximately 30% more business.  He also added, that on top of improved metrics, all the plants were doing really well after five years of being introduced.

It seems his employees also seem to have developed green thumbs and have responded very positively to their new desk partners.  The employees each received their plants with a name tag that read “My Name Is…” which seems to have fostered an incredible relationship.  Adding plants and greenery to the workplace is a positive benefit for absolutely everyone involved.

Being tied to your desk all day long not only drains the life out of you, but your energy is shot to heck!  Many companies have been searching for...

Fashion

The £7,500 Dress That Does Not Exist

I don’t know about you, but for me, $9,500 (£7,500) is quite a chunk of money, so spending it all on one single dress would be quite extraordinary. But Richard Ma, the chief executive of San Francisco-based security company Quantstamp, did something even more extraordinary.

Not only did he spend all of that money on one dress, but he spent it on a dress that doesn’t even exist in physical form. Yes, that’s right, he bought a digital dress for his wife.

The Fabricant designed the digital dress and rendered it onto an image of Richard’s wife, Mary Ren, so that she can use it on social media. What might sound bizarre to us now could be one of the biggest money-making schemes going forward.

“It’s definitely very expensive, but it’s also like an investment,” Mr. Ma says. Typically, neither he nor his wife spends much on clothes, so the reason he bought this piece is because he believes it has long-term value. “In 10 years’ time everybody will be ‘wearing’ digital fashion. It’s a unique memento. It’s a sign of the times.”

Mary hasn’t shared the photo anywhere public, but she has posted the image on her own Facebook page and showed others through WeChat.

Carlings, a Scandinavian company, is another fashion house that has taken up digital fashion design. Last October, they released their own digital streetwear collection which started around £9 ($11), and it sold out in just a month.

“It sounds kinda stupid to say we ‘sold out’, which is theoretically impossible when you work with a digital collection because you can create as many as you want,” explains Ronny Mikalsen, Carlings’ brand director.

“We had set a limit on the amount of products we were going to produce to make it a bit more special. You wouldn’t buy a white t-shirt digitally, right? Because it makes no sense showing it off. So it has to be something that you really either want to show off, or an item that you wouldn’t dare to buy physically, or you couldn’t afford to buy physically.”

When you’re designing only digitally, you have the freedom to be a bit more creative and extravagant.

Stunning Success

The Scandinavian company only created their digital line to promote their real products, but after its stunning success, the firm is preparing a second line of digital garments to be released at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Fabricant puts out new, free digital clothes every month on their website, but in order to truly appreciate and combine the designs with their own pictures, consumers need specific skills and software. The Fabricant will also have to find another way to make money until the digital fashion market becomes more popular.

“We make our money by servicing fashion brands and retailers with their marketing needs, selling tools, and creating content that uses that aesthetic language of digital fashion,” says The Fabricant founder Kerry Murphy.

No one really knows who exactly is buying all the digital markets that Carlings has sold so far, or downloads from The Fabricant, but according to Mr. Mikalson, Carlings has sold 200-250 pieces.

A search on Instagram to find the pieces, however, only brings up four people who independently purchased with no involvement with the company. Of course, the digital clothes may have been shared privately.

According to Amber Jae Slooten, a co-founder and designer at The Fabricant, it’s mainly just industry professionals who use CLO 3D software who are downloading their clothes. “But it’s also just people are very curious to see what the files look like. People just want to own the thing, especially since that one dress sold for $9,500,” she says.

Where is this trend heading?

The long-term impact is yet to be seen of this “amazing phenomenon” of digital fashion, as Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at market research company NPD Group, calls it. “Do I believe it’s going to be something huge and stay forever? No.”

According to Cohen, it’s just for those who want the perfect image. “If you don’t like what you’re wearing, but you love where you are, you now have the ability to transition your wardrobe, and digitally enhance the photograph to make it look like you’re wearing the latest and greatest.”

The idea partly began with the popularity of games like Fortnite where players are willing to spend money on outfits or skins for their digital characters. “The only reason we made the collection the way we did – inspired from Fortnite – was because of the whole link between buying skins and buying digital clothing,” Mr. Mikalsen says.

“When it comes to technology and the way people are living their lives, we have to be aware of that the world is changing.”

Of course, designing skins and clothes for a game is a bit of a different challenge. All of it has to fit the character as well as the story. And designing it isn’t even the hardest part. After anywhere from one to 70 attempts at designing, you have to make sure the skin actually works in the game, when the character walks, fights, dances, etc.

“For a game like League of Legends, you have to do 3D, there’s sound effects, there’s animations, all of these things have to come together to make the character feel like they’re sort of expressing a different fantasy of themselves.

“It’s less like changing clothes and more like seeing an actor playing a different role.”

All in all, it was this growing popularity and success of games like these that gave the fashion industry the courage to give digital clothes a try.

“Digital fashion will become an important part of every fashion business’ future business model,” says head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at the London College of Fashion, Matthew Drinkwater.

“It’s not going to replace everything, but it will be an important part of that.”

I don’t know about you, but for me, $9,500 (£7,500) is quite a chunk of money, so spending it all on one single dress would be quite...

City Life Lifestyle

Surveys Show That Baby Boomers Might Not Buy Groceries Online

Surveys have shown that Baby Boomers have not jumped on the bandwagon to shop for their groceries online, unlike the number of Millennials.  Other surveys show that delivery services and online services have increased, especially in comparison to younger generations.

Criteo conducted a survey of 1,000 US consumers, asking the participants about their use of online grocery delivery services.  The results revealed that with each new generation, there are fewer consumers using them.

It shows that 48% of Millennials and Gen Z surveyed said they do use some online grocery delivery services such as Walmart InHome, Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Stop and Shop’s Peapod.  Only 37% of the next generation Gen X, said they ordered from online grocery services.

The oldest generation is the Baby Boomers and only 30% said they have used these services.  23% of Gen Z and Millennials said they do browse various websites for better selections compared to 20% of Gen X and only 10% of Baby Boomers.

Surveys also showed that Gen Z and Millennials think it’s valuable to have the ability to gather product information with only 18% of younger consumers wanting more information in comparison to 7% of Gen X and 6% of Baby Boomers.

Walmart Launches An Unlimited Grocery Delivery Subscription

 Shipping alternatives seem to be the least concern for shoppers.  Only 8% of Gen Z and Millennials thought this was important, 3% of Gen X and only 2% of Baby Boomers believed that comparison shopping was not of any value.

Mobile-only sales made up 26% of all digital US grocery sales.  Healthcare and beauty supplies were significantly over-the-top in mobile digital grocery sales. According to Criteo’s survey, this is 37% and 31% of products ordered through an online grocery service.

 Amazon Now Offers Free Grocery Deliveries As Part Of Their Prime Membership

 Amazon Fresh delivery vans have been parking at Amazon Fresh warehouse in Inglewood, CA since June 2013.

 Last year, the online grocery market has been valued at $632 billion and doubled its market value between 2016 and 2018, according to this year’s Business Insider Online Grocery Report.

This report revealed a total of 10% of US consumers, who regularly shop for groceries online, are a small portion of the larger overall grocery market.

 After all surveys, it seems online grocery markets are on the rise.  Annual reports showed that established participants in the industry and newcomers are getting into the industry to gain a better portion of the market share.

Surveys have shown that Baby Boomers have not jumped on the bandwagon to shop for their groceries online, unlike the number of Millennials.  Other...

Category - Lifestyle

Earth Vacation

Is it Safe to Visit Venice Even With Flooding Shutting Everything Down?

At this time, tour companies and those living in Venice are urging travelers to stay away.  The flooding has become quite dangerous and it’s not recommended that anyone making plans to visit.  There are many other Italian destinations that should take advantage of and consider Venice for a future trip.

Many people know that Venice is slowly sinking, but this low-lying city is more than 85% underwater after this severe flooding which has put the city in harm’s way over the past few days.

Acqua alta or high waters are the highest in over 50 years, reaching just over 6-feet or 1.87 meters. The devastation from flooding over this past week is almost as high as their record flood that occurred in 1966.  It’s been reported as the 2nd worst flood in history, according to the Associated Press.

Venice is a very popular destination in part to their incredible landmarks including St. Mark’s Square.  Due to the recent flooding, these landmarks are now underwater!

According to Mindi and Daryl Hirsch from 2foodtrippers.com, even though Venice is still a charming city, the flooding is a totally different story. They told Newsweek there is nothing charming about wading through 3-feet of cold, smelly water.  This kind of water makes galoshes and boots useless.

The couple who has a travel-blogging site walked in wast-high water after dinner and said they felt the situation was very dangerous.  They have strongly suggested that if travelers experience this kind of flooding, they should take all warnings very seriously.

The city sounds an alarm when flooding is imminent and the number of tones will signify the expected level of water.  When this happens, you should take cover until the water recedes.  The couple added they believe they will hear these alarms in their dreams for the next few years.

What Travelers Need To Know

 Marco Amorico, president of Access Italy, which is a luxury tour company, recommends travelers avoid the city until normal water levels are restored.  They should pay close attention to all weather forecasts.

If your plans are set and you are ready to leave for Venice, it’s strongly advised you travel to Milan or Turin instead.  If your travel dates are more than a week in advance, monitor the situation and consider looking into other cities like Rome and/or Florence.

Italy is conveniently connected by trains and travel times are relatively short.

 At this time, Urban Adventures Venice is currently closed.  Cecilia Cambero, manager of the Venice Tours for Urban, told Newsweek that travelers going to Venice need to be aware that the city is in peril at this time.

Travelers will be limited in moving about and many sites including museums are closed or in the process of closing down.

At this time, tour companies and those living in Venice are urging travelers to stay away.  The flooding has become quite dangerous and it’s not recommended that anyone making plans to visit.  There are many other Italian destinations that should take...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories Vacation

View Some of the Largest Sculpture Parks Around the World

Sculpture parks offer incredible sculptures that are too large to be placed inside buildings so they need to have their own space. They are beautifully located in dazzling gardens and play off the background of Mother Nature. When you travel to an area that has a sculpture park, you must experience the grandeur and beauty of these perfectly mastered pieces of art.

Storm King Art Center in Cornwall, NY

This art center is less than 2-hours by train just north of NYC. On a sunny day, what a great way to spend an afternoon strolling through the natural art center viewing modern works that date back to the 1940s. While strolling through this 500-acre park, you might just run into gorgeous Alexander Calder sculptures or come across an enormous canoe painted by Roy Lichtenstein.

Parque de las Esculturas in Santiago, Chile

After the original garden was destroyed by a flood in 1982, local artists totally rebuilt the area forming an incredible sculpture park and botanical garden. The park is well-lit if you want to stop by in the evening and on a clear day, you can see the Andes Mountains.

Ekebergparken Sculpture in Park Oslo, Norway

This park is located in an area that during WWII, was loaded with German anti-aircraft mines. Today, it’s loaded with modern features and lifelike metal sculptures of people. James Turrell’s “Skyspace” is one of many around the world that create a color show with the changing light in the ceiling aperture that will take your breath away.

Parco Dei Mostri in Bomarzo, Italy

This park was commissioned by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini in 1552. The park is a ghoulish interpretation of the suffering he experienced after returning from the horrors of war and then directly followed by the death of his wife.

Parco dei Mostri in translation is Park of the Monsters and is a far cry from symmetrical and sculpture gardens that existed during the time. This park is a strange, haunting environment for this open-air gallery.

Memento Park in Budapest, Hungary

This larger-than-life sculpture park is tongue in cheek focusing on the fall of communism. You will see life-sized sculptures of the former communist leaders throughout history. Also, there is a phone that you can pick up and travel back in time listening to the voices of Stalin and Mao, along with many others.

Chapungu Sculpture Park in Harare, Zimbabwe

This sculpture garden sits in the capital city of Zimbabwe and was originally created before the country gained its independence. The garden is made up of wonderful work created by traditional Zimbabwean stone sculptors. Today, many of these pieces of artwork are exported to botanical gardens around the world to share the traditional art form of Zimbabweans.

Buddha Park in Vientiane, Laos

Even though the park was designed to look like it was built hundreds of years ago, the Buddha statues were not built until 1958. The sculptures were created by a priest-shaman and his students and none of them were trained in art. There are 200 huge statues that sit on the banks of the Mekong River which express Thai and Laotian culture with both Buddhist and Hindu statues of icons.

Hakone Open-Air Museum in Hakone, Japan

This is Japan’s first open-air museum which is made up of sculptures, gardens, and exhibits set against the backdrop of lush garden growth. Your children can climb inside clear cubes and everyone is welcome to rest their feet in the trickling foot baths with water that comes from the local hot spring.

In Broken Hill, Australia – Visit the Living Desert & Sculptures

In 1993, this park opened in central Australia. It’s home to 12 sandstone carvings by artists from Australia, Mexico, Georgia, and Syria. Visit at sunset and watch the rocks light up, creating an incredible magical effect that can only be found in the Outback!

Sculpture parks offer incredible sculptures that are too large to be placed inside buildings so they need to have their own space. They are beautifully located in dazzling gardens and play off the background of Mother Nature. When you travel to an area that...

Celebs Fashion Inspiring Stories

Queen Elizabeth II Has Finally Unloaded All Real Fur

Well, it seems Queen Elizabeth, Queen of England, has decided to drop using real fur and adopting faux fur in its place.

The Queen’s dressmaker has revealed that after 67-years of reigning, the Queen has dropped all real fur for fake fur.

She will be attending an engagement during cold weather in Britain as of right now, fake fur will be used to make sure she stays warm as reported by Angela Kelly author of her new book “The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, The Dresser, and the Wardrobe.”

Buckingham Palace has also confirmed the news.

Why Now?

Although it’s not clear what the reason behind her decision is, she has received criticism from many animal welfare groups for using real fur in the past.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Human Society International told Insider that they are thrilled with Her Majesty officially going fur-free.  Queen Elizabeth’s decision to “Go Faux” is the perfect reflection of the British public as the majority of people detest real fur and want absolutely nothing to do with it.

The majority of people in the UK believe the Queen’s decision to go fur-free is a very powerful message that is, without a doubt, out of fashion and does not belong in Britain.  The UK banned fur farming almost 20 years ago because it’s considered cruel and also believes it’s time for them to wrap it up by banning the sale of real fur.

Bass also stated that she believes that the British government should follow suit of the Queen’s decision and make the United Kingdom should be the first country in the world to ban the sale of animal fur.”

It’s also worth mentioning, the no-fur ruling only applies to outfits worn by Her Majesty.  Therefore, the entire palace is not fur-free.

Animal welfare groups have been protesting the royal family’s wearing fur for many years now.  In 2006, activists from The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known as PETA,  staged a naked protest outside Buckingham Palace trying to get the palace guards to give up wearing bearskin hats.

There are more and more people, worldwide, that are fighting back about killing animals for their fur.  Many international designers have moved away from fashion that incorporates real fur.  Animal advocates in the United States have also been very vocal about real fur.  Only time will tell so all we can do is wait and see if animals will get the much-needed recognition they deserve.

Well, it seems Queen Elizabeth, Queen of England, has decided to drop using real fur and adopting faux fur in its place.
The Queen’s dressmaker has revealed that after 67-years of reigning, the Queen has dropped all real fur for fake fur.
She will be...

City Life Vacation

9 of the World’s Oldest Buildings

Old buildings are a fascinating way to look back at the development of human civilization and appreciate just how far architecture has come since man’s earliest attempts to build in stone and wood.  Some of the oldest buildings are now ruins, while others have stood the test of time, here are 9 of the oldest still in existence today:

Knap of Howar, Scotland

Dating back to around 3700-3500 BCE the Knap of Howar is one of the oldest stone houses in the world.  Not only that, but it also has a hidden passage and joint walls that link two stone houses together.

Monks would likely have been the first residents here and they probably built the houses.  There are 50 other abandoned homes nearby and while these would probably make better candidates for renovation, the fact that these ancient homes are still standing is impressive, to say the least.

Ġgantija Temples, Malta

The Ġgantija Temples are also known as the Megalithic Temples and have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Dating back to 3200 BCE and 3600 BCE respectively, these two temples represent some of the oldest free-standing temples in the world.  They were possibly used for the ritual sacrifice of animals according to the archaeological evidence found at the site.

Tarxien Temples, Malta

These temples are slightly younger than the Ġgantija Temples.  The oldest of the temples were constructed in 3600 BCE – 2500 BCE and has almost disappeared,  but the other three have been lovingly reconstructed.   In 2012 the local people constructed a walkway to allow visitors to appreciate the beautiful blocks, screens, and altars that remain in place there.

Shunet el-Zebib, Abydos, Egypt

Shunet el-Zebib is one of the oldest buildings in existence with much of it in ruins but parts of it do still stand which is impressive for a mud and brick building that was constructed back in 2750 BCE.  Alongside the above-ground structures, there is also an underground tomb here and it is said that this is a precursor to the pyramids.

Cairn de Barnenez,  Brittany

The Cairn de Barnenez is a megalithic structure located in Brittany, France, and overlooks the English Channel. The monument was built around 4850 BCE and is sometimes known as the “Prehistoric Parthenon”.

It is not what you could call a building but as a structure, it is one of the oldest still intact and contains 2 burial chambers and 11 passage tombs.  It remains a fascinating place for anyone interested in architecture or archaeology to visit.

West Kennet Long Barrow, Wiltshire, England

The West Kennet Long Barrow is an old tomb that forms part of the Avebury Neolithic complex.  It is believed that people built these barrows in 3600 BCE and when archaeologists excavated the site they found many artifacts like pottery, tools, and jewelry alongside the remains of around 46 people.

The site is one of the largest burial sites in Britain and has many visitors from all around the world.

Newgrange Neolithic Historical Site, Ireland

Newgrange is located in the Boyne Valley, Ireland.  Constructed around 2300 BCE this passage tomb has a chamber with 3 alcoves. The entire structure is circular and spreads across an acre of land.  It is a popular location with visitors especially during the winter solstice when they come to see the illuminated passageway.

Tomb of Cyrus, Iran

This is one of Iran’s major UNESCO World Heritage sites and is said to be one of the first structures that was protected against earthquakes. The base is constructed in such a way that the main structure cannot move away from the foundation which is even more impressive when you consider that it was built in 530 BCE.

Old buildings are a fascinating way to look back at the development of human civilization and appreciate just how far architecture has come since man’s earliest attempts to build in stone and wood.  Some of the oldest buildings are now ruins, while others...

City Life Tech News

Alphabet’s Wing Begins First Commercial Drone Delivery

For some time now, the talk of drone delivery services has been a growing phenomenon. Seen as the future of automation as well as the beginning of the end for working people, there’s a massive amount of disparity on this topic.

Many people simply don’t know where such technology will eventually stop. if automation keeps coming, what will the already struggling populace do for a living?

With that in mind, it’s important to note that Alphabet, the company behind Google, has released its first commercial drone delivery service. This is known as Wing, and it’s going to become the leading name in the industry.

Having beaten the likes of Uber to the release of such a project, this is going to become a major part of the process for delivery in the near future. Indeed, it’s already been out delivering packages to people around the United States.

Wing has managed to beat the competition by being able to get access to Federal Aviation Authority approval. This means that they could be using their drones to fly door-to-door, dropping off deliveries in the same way that a normal delivery driver would.

It’s already beat the major competitor, Amazon Prime Air, to the punch. Prime Air is expected to start on December 7th, but it’s already a service that Alphabet has put into practice.

The aim is to use these drones instead of having to use delivery drivers in dense living areas. If you are trying to make deliveries in an urban area, you can find it hard to make the speedy delivery necessary. These drones would put an end to that, making sure that people can get items dropped off to them in ways and in places that was simply not possible pre-drone.

The Ideal Solution to Delivery

Wing will be able to see their drones fly out from North Christiansburg, and then start delivering parcels given to them by local retailers. While it can’t exactly chap on the door and ask the recipient how their day is going, it will allow for much faster, simpler delivery. It will improve the speed of delivery, too, and will most likely change the future of delivery for customers.

Deliveries are rapid, too, with some companies seeing deliveries to local buyers in as little as eight minutes – you’d be lucky to get ‘fast food’ delivered in that kind of timeframe. Therefore, it’s very much become the go-to option already for local firms looking to try and speed up and streamline their own delivery process.

While some people worry that such technology could one day become problematic for society, today we can appreciate having our goods dropped off to us by our friendly neighborhood drone.

For some time now, the talk of drone delivery services has been a growing phenomenon. Seen as the future of automation as well as the beginning of the end for working people, there’s a massive amount of disparity on this topic.

Many people simply don’t...

Fashion Lifestyle

Your Hairstylists & Colorists Want You to Know…

I’m sure you know the basics for your next salon appointment including being there on time, leaving a 20% tip, do not make annoying phone calls, etc.  What you might not know, what your stylists really wants you to do before, during, and after your appointment.

We spoke with a few professional stylists to find out their biggest pet peeves and offer some advice you should take advantage of.

Do Not Show Up With Filthy Hair:

Many professionals could not express strongly enough, there are clients who show up with hair that hasn’t been washed for at least a week and expect the stylist to do it for them.

What many clients do not seem to understand, having tons of chemicals and products building up on their hair makes it very difficult for a color to go on evenly.  You do not have to have perfectly clean hair just at a level that is passable.

A professional colorist from New York City, Raisa Cabrera, said you should never scrub your scalp just before having color applied because it can cause your skin to become overly sensitive to the dye.

One valuable hint – if you know your hair is really dirty and it grosses you out, wash your hair the night before your appointment because the chances are, your stylist is going to disgusted as well. Washing your hair the night before will please your stylist and you will get so much more out of your color.

Show Patience With Your Color:

Sheenon Olson, celebrity hairstylist and creative director of ATMA salon in Miami, said when you are getting ready for a major color change, be realistic what can be achieved in a single appointment.  You cannot show up with black hair and expect to walk out as a platinum blonde in one day.

You must be patient and take the needed steps, gradually, to protect your hair.  He recommends you ask your stylist what you can expect to achieve in one day.  If you know it’s going to take longer than the time you have set aside, reschedule when you have more time.

Be Upfront And Honest About Your Hair’s Color:

You must be honest with your colorist about your hair’s history. Was your hair a gloss, toner, Brazilian blowout, box color, etc.  This can make all the difference when treating your hair, according to Miguel Angarita, master colorist at Mizu salon in NYC.

He strongly suggests you talk with your stylist about the upkeep and your budget before getting in over your head.  There are certain colors and cuts that require more attention and trips to the salon for something that will look great when your hair grows out.

You Must Have an Open Mind:

Always come to your appointment with an open mind and take professional advice.  What you have in mind might not work with your skin color or the style won’t work for your type of hair.  Your stylist will work with your skin tone, the shape of your face, eye color, or other features.  You will get the best cut or color that is customized for you and you will look great.

Provide A Picture:

If you have a style in mind, bring a picture with you to show your stylist. Better yet, bring several examples from different angles and in different lighting. Also, be specific about what you want done.  Cutting dead ends or trim are two very different lengths.

Choose A Time For Your Appointment That Works:

Avoid taking the last appointment on a Saturday.  If you are a new client and want a major change to your hair or your hair needs a lot of work, you should book an appointment earlier in the day or, if possible, in the middle of the week.

If you can book in the middle of the week, it’s easier to get and your stylist will have more time to spend on your hair.  If you are not sure how long your appointment will take, call your stylist beforehand and get a consultation first so you can explain what you are looking for.  They will be able to block the proper amount of time you will need.

Take Good Care Of Your Color:

Choosing a high-quality color will make all the difference.  Some clients think a stylist is simply trying to sell a product to make money but that’s just not true.  You want products that will make your color last longer, allowing for a longer period of time before returning to the salon.

Products that are not designed for color-treated hair will strip the color out your strands, leaving your hair looking dull and lifeless.

You are a walking advertisement for a stylist’s or colorist’s work, so they want the very best for you.  Listen to them and take their professional advice.  You will look so much better in the long run.

I’m sure you know the basics for your next salon appointment including being there on time, leaving a 20% tip, do not make annoying phone calls, etc.  What you might not know, what your stylists really wants you to do before, during, and after your...

City Life Lifestyle Tech News

Hidden Online Shopping Threats: e-skimming & ‘Magecart Attacks’

The internet is obviously a great place, giving us all the opportunity to learn, to invest, and to buy like we never could in our own communities. That being said, if there is one issue with the online industry, it’s just how easy it is for hidden threats to your personal data, and even your income, through hidden online shopping attacks.

This has become a sadly common practice, so much so that the FBI in Portland has already stepped out to raise awareness. With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s important that you do a bit of reading into what you could be running into when trying to buy items online.

Indeed, a common issue for many people when shopping online comes from “e-skimming”. This technique has become very commonplace in the online e-commerce industry and has seen many people impacted.

This hacking technique is used by criminals to try and get in line with third-party vendors who provide credit card payments online. However, even government agencies have been impacted in the past.

The main issue, though, is cost. The big companies and agencies often have the funds to put in place solid preventative measures to stop this problem from getting any worse. They can also then work together with others to try and reinforce their own security. But what about the small and independent companies that you might choose to buy from?

Beware of Magecart attacks

Another common problem that has become a major blight on online shopping is known as ‘Magecart’ attacks. These are part of the wider e-skimming industry, but they are used to attack everyone from the little to the large. While some warning signs on a Magecart attack, it’s often something that could slip through the net.

From a new company domain name appearing to edited JavaScript codes, there are many telltale signs of a potential e-skimming attack. The most common FBI tips included updating all of your systems and software, segregate your network systems and avoid running them all on one platform and make sure that all of your login credentials are advanced as well as regularly changed.

Of course, it’s also essential that any staff who are working with an e-shopping facility are trained and educated on the challenge of cybersecurity. This is becoming a major issue across the internet; the more that can be done to tackle the problem and minimize the risk, the better.

The internet is obviously a great place, giving us all the opportunity to learn, to invest, and to buy like we never could in our own communities. That being said, if there is one issue with the online industry, it’s just how easy it is for hidden threats...

Cool Stories Fashion

Designer Says These $20 Million Shoes are The World’s Most Expensive

In the past, it was handbags. Your purse brand and its price defined you. The more expensive, the better. But slowly, bags have taken the backseat, and shoes have begun to take their place – or so says Business Insider’s, Mary Hanbury.

In fact, numbers show that consumers are spending more money on expensive shoes than luxury handbags – $794 on one pair on average, Hanbury wrote, citing a report by The NPD Group. The most classic of these status-symbol shoes is a pair of Christian Louboutins, which can range from anywhere in the high hundreds to the mid-thousands.

However, a pair of shoes debuted on a yacht in Dubai as a part of MIDE (Made in Italy, Designed in Emirates) Fashion Week earlier this October makes the cost of a pair of Louboutins look like pocket change.

Designed by the Italian Antonio Vietri, the “Moon Star Shoes” are now the world’s most expensive shoe, valuing around $19.9 million according to Sophi Prideaux of The National, an English-language UAE news site.

Made of Stars?

So, what makes these shoes so expensive? Not only is the heel solid gold, but it also consists of 30 carats of diamonds and a bit of Argentinian meteorite circa 1576 – all combined to make a record-breaking shoe.

According to Forbes Italia, the shoes are meant to be a tribute to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Vietri is also known for designing the “world’s first 24k gold shoes” in 2017, reported Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. And, of course, they were delivered to buyers via helicopter.

“The most expensive shoes in the world are mine. And the record came to [the] city of Turin. I love my city,” the designer wrote on Instagram on October 14.

It’s undeniable that Vietri has taken the luxury market of shoes to a whole new level. What will he do next?

Still no news on how comfortable the shoes are as of yet.

In the past, it was handbags. Your purse brand and its price defined you. The more expensive, the better. But slowly, bags have taken the backseat, and shoes have begun to take their place – or so says Business Insider’s, Mary Hanbury.

In fact...

Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome Vacation

20 Hours in the Air – Longest Flight Has Just Landed

Qantas has announced that flight QF7879 has landed in Sydney after traveling non-stop to New York. With a flight time of 19 hours and 16 minutes in the air, it is officially the longest non-stop flight in the world stealing the top spot from Singapore Airlines who regularly travel from New York to Singapore.

Qantas is intending to test another non-stop flight, this time from London to Sydney which would add an extra 1 hour of flight time and 500 miles.

As airplanes continue to develop technological advancements and better fuel economy these longer flights become possible. However, this raises the question of how well flight crews and passengers will cope with the extra air time instead of the usual layovers which many passengers feel gives a much-needed break.

Qantas carried out research during the flight and intends to do so again in the planned London-Sydney flight to see how people cope with the extended time in the air and also looking at how to minimize the effects of jet-lag in passengers who will be crossing a total of 15 time zones.

The flight took 40 passengers and 10 crew with a complement of 4 pilots. The passengers included frequent fliers, Qantas staff, researchers and media. A full load of passengers and the associated cargo would reduce the plane’s range, making the continuous flight impossible but there are planes in development that will be able to do this.

Airbus and Boeing are expected to have these ready for service within the next 5 years.

Fewer Passengers – More Legroom!

The reduced numbers meant that passengers could make use of a business class seat which converts into a bed but they were asked to spend as much time as possible in the coach cabin. One of the passengers said that he felt better than expected and although he usually prefers direct flights rather than layovers he did not know how he was going to feel after the full 20 hours.

Qantas also adjusted the in-flight routine so as soon as the aircraft took off the flight was in Sydney time.

All of the lighting, meals, and food were tailored accordingly in an attempt to help the passengers adjust more easily to the time zones. All of the staff worked to the custom shift times and ate the adapted menu but also participated in additional tests including melatonin and brainwave measurement.

The team of 4 pilots under Captain Sean Golding worked together for landing and take-off and then worked in four shifts.

Qantas has announced that flight QF7879 has landed in Sydney after traveling non-stop to New York. With a flight time of 19 hours and 16 minutes in the air, it is officially the longest non-stop flight in the world stealing the top spot from Singapore...

Fashion

Amazon Shoppers Flock to Buy Comfy Pull-on Jeans

Most of us take a lot of time and trouble over finding that amazing pair of jeans that look good and fit perfectly. But now Amazon shoppers are moving away from denim and are looking at the stretchy jeans that are both super-comfy and flattering.

The stretchy jeans are becoming more and more popular on Amazon due to their low price, which does not seem to be reflected in the quality of the denim. Made by a sub-brand of Levi’s these comfy alternatives are now the number one bestseller in Amazon’s women’s jeans and has over 1600 5-star reviews.

The jeans have a pull-on waistband with a built-in panel that trims your tummy and sizes range from 2 to 20. Color choice is good too with the jeans coming in black, blue and pale blue.

I Want!

Shoppers are really falling in love with these jeans; many say they are the best jeans they have ever worn. In the many reviews, there are details of the shopper’s personal dimensions so you can easily find out what size you need.

Many happy customers have praised the jeans’ ability to smooth out lumps and enhance their natural curves. The waistband makes sure nothing bulges so no more unsightly ‘muffin tops’. For those of us who tend towards being a little bigger in the rear, the jeans work well to make sure your butt is pert rather than squashed flat.

To top it all these jeans come in at under $30 which is a rare find indeed! At that price, it is worth buying a few pairs so you can always find a pair of comfy jeans in your closet.

Most of us take a lot of time and trouble over finding that amazing pair of jeans that look good and fit perfectly. But now Amazon shoppers are moving away from denim and are looking at the stretchy jeans that are both super-comfy and flattering.

The...

City Life Cool Stories

Out-Of-This-World & Totally Impractical Bridge Designs

Some designing concepts for the new pedestrian and cycle crossing between Nine Elms and Pimlico in southern London are either pedestrian-friendly or just so far out of this world they have been called “The Flaming Mouth of Hades”.

The pedestrian bridge spans the Thames River that will link two different areas of the city and must be technically sound while creating a beautiful experience for a cyclist while offering a solid engineering design to provide enough required height to accommodate passing river traffic.

The designing of this bridge has drawn the attention of dozens of entries from around the world.

A list of contenders will be presented and the winner will be named, sometime soon.  The design must include what the bridge will look like from a distance, what it will feel like to pedestrians crossing it, and how it will look touching the shores on either side of the Thames.

Design is Critical for the Bridge’s Success

At this point in time, there is only a gallery of images to look at without much information on each design so it’s really difficult to tell just what you are looking at in some of these designs.  According to the City Metric, most of the entries look ridiculous, including one that is definitely not a bridge.

They pointed out that one looks like a spoon while another looks like an Escher painting! (Escher’s paintings were bizarre and impossible in reality).

There is no debate that the strange violet and orange creation for the bridge has been nicknamed “Hades” and is far from clear how this design could actually function as a bridge.

I guess you have to question if some of the entrants are just submitted for the heck of it vs. serious engineers that must complete this pedestrian bridge for aesthetic beauty as well as safety.  On particular design is actually quite beautiful featuring a perforated undulating canopy over a series of paths with planted greenery.

All in all, we will just have to wait to see what the judges think!

Some designing concepts for the new pedestrian and cycle crossing between Nine Elms and Pimlico in southern London are either pedestrian-friendly or just so far out of this world they have been called “The Flaming Mouth of Hades”.

The pedestrian bridge...

Health Lifestyle

Do You Know What Carries the Most Germs in Your Wallet?

It’s really amazing how little we think about items we use every day and not even realize we are getting germs and bacteria on our hands, our faces, and passing them on to other people and things.

You probably use it every day and No, it’s not dollar bills or coins. Though that would be a good guess considering how many other people have put their hands on these bills and coins. If you think about it, you would be washing your hands almost all day long. Give up? It’s your credit and debit cards!

Recent research has shown that the level of germs on credit and debit cards is really quite high.

There is a sanitation monitoring device that actually measures the level of bacteria on the surface in order to calculate the germ rate. As a matter of fact, credit and debit cards have more germs and bacteria then dollar bills and coins put together.

What’s even more disgusting, credit cards rank higher in germs than public bathrooms or subway poles. In perspective, surfaces in a restaurant’s kitchen should have a germ score that’s lower than 10 to be considered sanitary.

Credit cards rank in at 285 which is 20 times dirtier than any of the above and is sitting in your wallet or pocketbook!

Granted, you don’t eat food using your credit or debit card but you should learn how to clean them. After all, you clean your hands and even your phone to get rid of dirt and germs, so why not your credit and debit cards that you probably handle every day? On top of that, you are passing those germs and bacteria on to absolutely everything you touch!

Cleaning your credit and debit cards is actually a lot easier than you might think and never affects the operation of the cards.

Cleaning Your Credit & Debit Cards:

You can use cleaning wipes used for your phones without damaging the cards. Another alternative is using anti-bacterial wipes that kill 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces.

As a matter of fact, you should go through your pockets or pocketbook and find other items that are collecting germs and bacteria and give them a good cleaning as well.

After wiping down your cards with an anti-bacterial wipe, give the card a little time to just sit and make sure the cards are totally dry before slipping them back into your wallet or swiping them in a machine. You have several items that could use a good cleaning including membership cards, ID cards, drivers’ licenses, etc.

So the next time you use your credit or debit card just remember they carry all sorts of germs and bacteria that you are now passing on to someone else. If you can, carry wipes around with you and clean your hands to keep germs from making you sick. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s so incredibly sanitary!

It’s really amazing how little we think about items we use every day and not even realize we are getting germs and bacteria on our hands, our faces, and passing them on to other people and things.

You probably use it every day and No, it’s not...