Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Be Happier: Research-Proven Tips

Good news: you can significantly boost your feelings of happiness by adopting a few simple practices in your everyday life. Researchers have found that different kinds of "positive thinking" can greatly enhance a person's feelings of well-being. According to psychologist and happiness-expert Sonja Lyubomirsky:
"Despite the finding that happiness is partially genetically determined, and despite the finding that life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do, we argue that still a large portion of happiness is in our power to change."
Here are a few things that have been shown to increase happiness:

1. Be Grateful
2. Be Optimistic
3. Use Your Strengths
4. Commit Acts of Kindness

Learn some mo': 5 Things That Will Make You Happier

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Meditation = Better Mood, Tougher Mind

Practicing a form of meditation called "mindfulness training" can boost mood, alertness, and mental toughness, according to a new report. A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that soldiers who practiced mindfulness on a regular basis were able to stay alert without becoming emotional, providing them with a form of "mental armor" that is extremely useful in combat. The training also improved an important type of memory that helps people complete complex tasks under stress. According to the researchers, the key to obtaining these benefits is practicing mindfulness exercises on a daily basis, usually for about 30 minutes.

Learn some mo': Meditation May Boost Mood and Mental Toughness

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Elvis is Back in Las Vegas

Cirque Du Soleil revealed their new "Viva Elvis" show yesterday in Las Vegas. It's their 10th permanent residency and it's housed in a theater at the new Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter. The show features many great Elvis songs and Cirque's trademark acrobatic performances. The creative director of the new show says that he wants to convey a deeper understanding of the Elvis phenomenon. The amazing show lasts for an hour and a half and follows Elvis Presley's career, from his first hits in the 50's to the final songs of his life from the 1970's.

Learn some mo': Cirque repackages rock ‘n’ roll icon in ‘Viva Elvis’

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google Goggles Translates Photo Text

Google has announced a new version of their "Goggles" search application that can translate text in photos. So basically, using this app, you'll be able to take a photo of anything with clear writing on it and then have it translated into a another language on-the-fly. The prototype uses new machine translation technology and image recognition capabilities developed by Google engineers.

Many experts think that this new photo-to-text translation technology will be HUGE, mainly because quality translation services are needed in everything from world travel to global commerce. Imagine being able to go almost anywhere and take a photo of words you don't understand (e.g. a restaurant menu or street sign) and have that text immediately translated into English. Thanks again Google! :)

Learn some mo': Google Goggles to Translate Text in Photos

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Epic Beard Man Whoops Some Butt in Oakland

This is funny on so many levels. Never mess with a bearded guy with "old man strength"...

(Thanks Digg!)

Here's some more from the lady/thief/liar Lyanna Washington who took the video (and did her best to instigate the fight):

Lyanna Washington "BS" Interview

EpicBeardMan's reputation being attacked by Lyanna Washington

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hawaii is the Happiest Place in America

Hawaii is the happiest place to live in the United States of America, at least according to a large new survey from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The Aloha State is at the top of the charts for things like "life evaluation," physical health, and emotional health. Of course, it helps having an almost perfect climate, beautiful beaches, and the world's greatest ecological wonders!

According to the survey, the top 10 best states to live in in America and their average well-being scores (out of 100) are:

* Hawaii: 70.2
* Utah: 68.3
* Montana: 68.3
* Minnesota: 67.8
* Iowa: 67.6
* Vermont: 67.4
* Colorado: 67.3
* Alaska: 67.3
* North Dakota: 67.3
* Kansas: 67.2

Learn some mo': Happiest States: Hawaii Moves into First Place

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New World "Hugging" Record Set on Las Vegas Strip

A 51-year-old man from Ohio has broken the world record for "most hugs" in a 24 hour period on the Las Vegas Strip. The Valentine's Day event involved Jeff Ondash, dressed as his alter ego "Teddy McHuggin," standing outside the Paris Hotel-Casino handing out free hugs to 7,777 people over the course of a busy Vegas Saturday night. He said he wants to be the world hugging champion to raise money for the American Heart Association during American Heart month.

Ondash had this to say:
"When you hug somebody, they all walk away from each other smiling... They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away; a hug a day — it's just fun."

Learn some mo': Embracing history: Ohio man sets hugs record

Friday, February 12, 2010

Eat Chocolate, Avoid a Stroke

Eating dark chocolate or natural cocoa on a regular basis may reduce your risk of having a stroke, according to a new report. Researchers found that people who eat chocolate at least once a week were about 22% less likely to have a stroke than people who didn't eat chocolate often. Researchers say that more studies are need to be absolutely sure of the link, but this new report adds to the increasing evidence that certain kinds of chocolate can actually be very good for your health!

According to Katherine Tallmadge, a dietician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association:
"More and more research is showing that [eating chocolate] is really more beneficial than we ever imagined... It's not anything major, but it's still an advantage, and even slight advantages can make a difference for some people."
Most experts believe that the health benefits of chocolate come mainly from natural antioxidant compounds found in the cocoa bean called flavonoids. Less processed and darker forms of chocolate tend to have more of these powerful phyto-chemicals. Pure, unsweetened cocoa powder is probably the best choice because it contains no sugar, has few calories, and is absolutely loaded with flavanoids!

Learn some mo': Good News About Chocolate

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Study: Let Kids Find Own Passions

If you want your children to find their own personal "passion" you should avoid pressuring them, according to a new study from Montreal. Researchers found that kids who are allowed to explore various activities on their own tend to develop more natural, healthier passions for the things that suit them best, whether it be music, sports, reading, a certain school subject, or a hobby. Less pressure from parents allows children to identify the pursuit or pursuits that best suit them while also reducing the risk that a child will become unhealthily obsessed with a specific activity.

According to researcher and psychology professor Geneviève Mageau:
"Passion comes from a special fit between an activity and a person... You can't force that fit; it has to be found."
Learn some mo': From Music to Sports: Autonomy Fosters Passion Among Kids

Monday, February 8, 2010

Drinking Beer = Stronger Bones

Drinking beer might be good for your bones, according to a new scientific report that highlights yet another health benefit of drinking beer in moderation. The high silicon content in beer appears to provide the bone-strengthening benefit. Beers made with a lot of hops (such as India Pale Ales) and/or malted barley contain the most silicon and may provide the most health benefits for people with week bones.

According to researcher Charles Bamforth of the University of California, Davis:
"Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon... Wheat contains less silicon than barley because it is the husk of the barley that is rich in this element. While most of the silicon remains in the husk during brewing, significant quantities of silicon nonetheless are extracted into wort and much of this survives into beer."
This is not the first research showing that beer can strengthen bones and possibly fight off osteoporosis, especially in women. Besides its silicon content, there's evidence that beer's "plant hormones" might also provide a healthy bone mineral boost!

Learn some mo': Beer Good for the Bones

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ultra Long Life Lithium Batteries on the Way

At least one of the big "battery problems" looks like it's about to be solved. A research firm from Japan claims that they've found a way to increase the average life of high-capacity lithium-ion batteries greatly. Eamex says that the new technology will lead to batteries that last for 20 years and over 10,000 recharges!

The new batteries will have more "stable" electrodes and put less stress on their tin, slowing the deterioration process greatly. This is very good news since lithium batteries are used in everything from consumer electronics to electric cars. Many experts believe that longer-lasting, more durable, and more efficient batteries are one of the major keys to solving several major problems facing the world, including global climate change!

Learn some mo': Lithium-Ion Battery Life Could Reach 20 Years

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nutrition 53 from Bill Romanowski

Ex-NFL player Bill Romanowski has released his own line of diet nutrition supplements. The "Nutrition 53" products seem to be designed for older people who, according to the web site, desire "better health, greater confidence, and a brighter future" and who want to "live like they mean it."

For many years the former Denver Broncos linebacker had a relationship with the huge sports/bodybuilding supplement company EAS and its founder Bill Phillips. Surely, in that time, Mr. Romanowski learned a thing or two about making money in the billion dollar diet supplement industry!

Let's just hope that Bill's old friends from BALCO aren't involved! :)

Check out the video:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Experts: 40% of Cancers are Preventable

Top health experts released a report today showing that 40 percent of the cancers that occur are preventable. They could be avoided if people stop smoking, stop drinking too much alcohol, stop overeating, exercised regularly, and got vaccines that prevent cancer-causing infections. Officials at the International Union Against Cancer are releasing the report in the hopes that governments and the public will take steps to avoid the increasingly-common disease that is currently responsible for over 12% of the deaths worldwide.

Experts believe that western nations especially can reduce the occurrence of many forms of cancer -- such as those of the lungs, colon, and breasts -- if the populations significantly change their lifestyle habits. They say that these simple steps will greatly reduce your risk of developing the deadly disease:

1. Stop smoking.
2. Limit your alcohol consumption.
3. Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
4. Avoid too much sun exposure (although you should get some sun!)

Learn some mo': Experts say 40 percent of cancers could be prevented

Obama Knocks Las Vegas Again

It's official: President Obama sees Las Vegas as the biggest possible waste of money in the world. Of course, he may have a point, but that doesn't matter to a struggling city (with a 13% unemployment rate currently) and its unique mayor Oscar Goodman. In a speech he made yesterday in New Hampshire, the president said that people must make tough choices about how they spend their money, stating that:

"When times are tough, you tighten your belts... You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices."

Needless to say, just about every politician and official from Las Vegas and the state of Nevada had a negative reaction to the President's comments, especially since they come almost exactly a year after his last Vegas "bashing!"

Learn some mo': Goodman Upset Over Obama's Las Vegas Remark