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Aspen Ideas Festival 2014: Challenging Limitations

July 10, 2014 by  

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The 10th anniversary Aspen Ideas Festival, produced by the Aspen Institute in collaboration with The Atlantic magazine, continues to trumpet optimism over the future, as the event has from its inception a decade ago. Yet this year’s theme of “Imagine 2014″ – looking a decade ahead rather than at the decade past – felt tempered also over concerns about the limitations of progress yet to be won, ranging from the perception of Congressional gridlock and Supreme Court setbacks to deficiencies of funding and civil liberties quandaries resulting from medical and scientific advances, to name a few. A theme running across many of the talks and conversations engaging luminaries in the audience as well as on stage was how to address issues of scarce resources in the face of vulnerable infrastructures, underperforming education institutions, opportunities to conduct hugely promising research and  the challenges of war, human suffering and environmental degradation. But before proceeding, let me describe the IdeasFestival a bit more. Begun in 2004, the event seeks to bring together hundreds of leaders in fields of business, government and scientific endeavor, as well as social entrepreneurs, into a weeklong series of talks and conversations. The festive conference…

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Fed Up Unveils the TRUTH About Food, Obesity & Sugar in America

May 11, 2014 by  

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Healthy food Lately I have been busy trying to help my family really understand how to live a healthy lifestyle. I realized it is not only about exercise or eating food that seems “healthy”. It is also about understanding what are the right foods to eat and to control things like the amount of sugar being consumed. We have a history of diabetes in our family so it is especially important. I really did get “Fed Up” with the type of foods in the schools, restaurants and even grocery stores that have moved so far away from whole food ingredients. We just recently started cooking from scratch, adding more plant foods and even making my kid’s lunches for school. I am also trying new nutritional apps and websites that I am excited to talk more about in future posts. But for today, I am excited that Katie Couric took her amazing background in investigative journalism and worked with Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, to create a documentary on the truth behind the obesity crisis in America called Fed Up opening in Theatres across the country today…

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Sun Valley’s Zenergy, the Family-Oriented Gym & Spa on Steroids

April 29, 2014 by  

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I discovered Zenergy from a couple of sources before even setting foot in Sun Valley Idaho. The fitness center, health club and spa combo is a massive property with a diverse array of dynamic programming and so many programs and offerings, you’ll never run out of things to do. Zenergy is a 48,000-square-foot facility that features a world-class spa with nine treatment rooms, a variety of massage modalities, acupuncture, reflexology, a nail salon, Greg Hinshaw’s hair studio, and tanning services. The health club includes indoor and outdoor saline pools, tennis courts, cardiovascular & weight training gym, squash court, Pilates, group fitness, indoor cycling, and yoga studios. The health club’s main fitness floor provides state-of-the-art cardiovascular and resistance training equipment with a large open format and a vast north facing view of Idaho’s majestic mountain ranges.  They also have Personal Training, and Physical Therapy. Their spa offers body treatments, massage, reflexology, acupuncture, waxing and facials. Zenergy is no ordinary “gym” and spa. On my visit, I noticed a number of women sharing fitness experiences with their kids; the property is…

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The Bamboo-Fibered Nufabrx Pillow Fights Acne While You Sleep

April 2, 2014 by  

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I recently met young Seattle startup Jordan Schindler, who at only 22 years old, started a company called Nufabrx after learning about how dirty pillowcases are and how they can contribute to acne. Some of us may already know this, but not everyone does. His clear skin pillow helps you fight acne while you sleep. For travelers who know how dirty pillowcases can get on the road, you already know this is a godsend if you have blemished skin. Another stat you probably don’t want to know is that researchers swabbed 40 pillowcases and toilet seats and found that the bacteria on each was so similar the samples were virtually indistinguishable! AND, that dermatologists recommend changing your pillowcase every 2-3 days. The Nufabrx $29.99 pillowcase contains bamboo fibers and microcapsules that release a special serum into the skin that helps reduce facial bacteria. The product, which contains tea tree oil, can be washed and typically lasts one year.
Innovative microencapsulation technology allows their all natural scientifically formulated serum containing lavender, lemon balm, tea tree oil and wintergreen oil to remain embedded within the fibers of the pillowcase wash after wash. The


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Is Technology Making Us All Autistic?

February 9, 2014 by  

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Autism.jpg This ad for  Autism Speaks at a San Francisco bus stop reminded me of an excerpt from an article written by Curt Woodward, senior editor at  Xconomy, about the lack of eye-contact within Google’s top echelon:
During Schmidt’s decade as Google CEO, before co-founder Larry Page took the helm, there was a standing rule for one senior-executive meeting: No computers, no smartphones, and talk to each other face-to-face for one hour per week. It was so hard to resist the pull of the Web, though, that Schmidt had to walk around the meeting room and look for people hiding their phones under the table, dispensing fines to the offenders. “Even one hour per week, you couldn’t have a civilized conversation. So when Larry replaced me, he gave up. And now I sit in the meeting, typing away like everybody else, with no eye contact. So, if you like eye contact, I’m sorry–you lost,” he said to laughs.
Schmidt: Google Glass Critics “Afraid of Change,” Society Will Adapt | Xconomy The lack of eye-contact is pervasive and extends well beyond the Google C-suite. It seems likely that our technologies are encouraging autistic types of behaviors. We…

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Kolibree Launches World’s First Connected Electric Toothbrush

January 6, 2014 by  

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Kolibree, a company dedicated to innovative solutions to keep you healthy and smart, is unveiling the world’s first connected electric toothbrush at the International CES show in Las Vegas this week.  Unlike anything else that exists today, Kolibree’s smart toothbrush has a unique technology to analyze your brushing habits and display them on a mobile dashboard you can readily access from your phone.   Kolibree’s connected toothbrush is paired with a mobile app. You simply download the free mobile app, connect via Bluetooth and every brushing is recorded. Then, the data about how you brushed automatically synchronizes to your smartphone telling you whether you brushed long enough and reached the hard-to-reach but important parts of your teeth and gums. With the Kolibree connected toothbrush and mobile app, you can take control of your health and teeth with easy-to-understand monitoring and scoring. You can easily share your stats with your dentist and family or choose to keep it private. Designed for families, the app works with several toothbrushes so the entire family can participate. Kolibree rewards your progress and cheers you on when you are

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Improve Your WillPower With The Under Armour39 Wearable

December 9, 2013 by  

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Once Nike jumped into the market, it was only a matter of time for other sportswear manufacturers to join the wearables market. Under Armour has now introduced its Armour39 wearable, which promises to improve your willpower.
The Armour39 tracks critical performance measures such as heart rate, intensity, calories burned and, ostensibly, willpower in real-time, which allows you to review your performance across workouts:
  • Components – The Armour39 ($100) system consists of a chest strap, module, watch (sold separately: $200), plus mobile app. Body data collected is transferred to the module, which fits in the strap. When the module is synced with your phone the data is transmitted to your mobile device.
  • WILLpower – One of the neat features of the Armour39 System is WILLpower, which determines what a user is capable of by sensing how one moves and recording heart beat and delivering precise measurements to the module. It then scores your performance and sets the bar higher to improve your score.
Like the Nike Fuelband SE we reviewed, the Armour39 measures your body’s performance, with Under Armour approaching it from a more sports approach.


The Explosion in the Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs!

December 4, 2013 by  

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From Marion Jones to Barry Bonds to Lance Armstrong to Alex Rodriguez, the explosion in the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) is proving to be an unstoppable force. While 69% of Americans believe steroids use in sports should be banned, a nagging “approval creep” is setting in.
The 31% who now believe PEDs should be allowed in sports is nearly triple the 13% of Facebook users who when polled by Ubercool in 2009 reported that steroids should be legalized, while another 12% were not so sure. All PED-using athletes are an exponent of the “Darwin on Steroids” trend, and also a phenomenon propelled by the “Time Compression” Ubertrend, converging trends that suggest that evolution and life, respectively, are accelerating. Young athletesWhile steroid abuse is far less common than the use of so-called recreational drugs, many experts report its application is increasing among college and high school students. Take Barry Bonds. His record-setting baseball fetched an astonishing $752,467 from fashion designer Marc Ecko, who announced that the baseball Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th home run would be branded with an asterisk before being donated to baseball’s Hall of Fame. So, while a…

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