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Bone & Joint Support for Every Generation

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Speaking of Boswellia, there are options here, too. One to look for: AprèsFlex, “a synergistic combination of two proprietary extracts derived from Boswellia serrata gum resin,” according to Steve Fink, VP Marketing, PLT. “It contains 20% AKBA, and was developed based on a first-generation clinically studied Boswellia serrata extract (5-LOXIN) that provided 30% AKBA along with other boswellic acids. The addition of Boswellia non-acidic resin extract to the acidic fraction using a proprietary controlled process led to the creation of AprèsFlex. The oral bioavailability of AKBA from AprèsFlex was found to be significantly higher in comparison with that of other commercially available Boswellia extracts. At AKBA equivalent dose, AprèsFlex delivers 52% more AKBA to the serum compared to conventional Boswellia serrata.”

Other considerations: size of the dose and time to efficacy. Fink says that, as per seven pre-clinical studies and three human clinical trials, “AprèsFlex has demonstrated efficacy starting at five days, at 100mg, a significantly lower dose than other joint health ingredients. A 2014 clinical trial with AprèsFlex showed a nearly 20% improvement in joint comfort over baseline at five days and a 50% improvement in joint comfort at 30 days; a previous, similar study showed a 70% improvement in joint comfort at 90 days. Beyond joint comfort and flexibility improvements, AprèsFlex also positively impacts biological markers associated with joint health and inflammation, including TNFa, CRP, and IL-6. It was also shown to significantly inhibit matrix metalloproteinase, enzymes that break down cartilage, collagen, and connective tissues.”

HP Ingredients (HPI) has another option for shutting down inflammation, this time targeting Nuclear Factor-kB, or NF-kB, via PPAR-gamma, which shuts down NF-kB. ParActin is a patented extraction of Andrographis paniculata. Annie Eng, CEO of HPI, says that “these naturally occurring phytochemicals have been shown by researchers to support healthy joints, bones, and muscles; this is so important to today’s active lifestyle.” Another important factor: scientific backing. “ParActin is braced by more than a dozen studies, including several human clinical trials that show not only efficacy in maintaining healthy bone structure, but also in supporting aging joints that emanate discomfort. Studies also show how ParActin exerts such efficacies. Primarily, it works on several distinct pathways that lead to inflammation.”

Those looking to go straight to the heart of the matter may look to collagen itself as a supplement. One consideration is type—collagen has several. Samantha Ford, MS, Director of Business Development at AIDP breaks it down: “Collagen type I, commonly available from fish sources, is most relevant to skin structure and function; collagen type II, commonly found in avian sources, targets joint and cartilage health. Collagens type I and III are most relevant to bone health, and most often come from bovine sources.” Taste and processing, she says, often separate one product from another, as does application. “AIDP offers collagens across the full spectrum—I to X—from marine, avian, and bovine sources that can suit a variety of formulation needs in supplement and food and beverage applications.”

Lonza also offers type II collagen: UC-II undenatured collagen, which, Erickson says, “is backed by extensive scientific evidence supporting its role in joint health, flexibility, and mobility.” Lonza’s DUOCAP capsule-in-capsule technology, she adds, “can facilitate innovative combination formulas. Not only does this enable consumers to achieve synergistic results from two ingredients in a single capsule, it also provides an opportunity for manufacturers in this space to create unique offerings.”

UC-II can be found in Solgar’s No. 7 Vegetable Capsules, along with vitamin C, Boswellia, curcumin, and several other bioactive joint-health ingredients. Solgar’s website notes that the product has been shown to measurably improve joint comfort within seven days.

Cannabidiol (CBD), too, falls into the joint health category. “We receive anecdotal reports from consumers struggling with common aches, pains, and inflammation that results from normal life and aging,” says Michael D. Lewis, M.D., MPH, MBA, FACPM, FACN, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), Medical Advisor to CV Sciences. “These consumers report satisfaction with our distilled Gold products, particularly our PlusCBD Oil Extra Strength softgels. These softgels are our most concentrated form of CBD-rich hemp extracts and are intended for people who might need to be taking more CBD; plus, they’re a convenient way to ensure consistent serving sizes.”

As with all supplements, consumers should discuss their options with a healthcare practitioner; however, should that practitioner recommend CBD, Dr. Lewis advises: “We always recommend to start low and go slow. Try the minimum amount for a week to see how it affects your system and to allow for your ECS to achieve balance. Then, begin to slowly raise the serving size until you find the optimal health outcomes you are seeking. Then stop there.” Using both a topical and an ingestible, he adds, will provide relief from both the inside and the outside.

Eggshell membrane is another trending ingredient. “NEM is the original and scientific leader for eggshell membrane, thus starting the global market furor for something new in the joint health market,” say Nena Dockery, Scientific and Regulatory Manager, Stratum Nutrition, and Chris Haynes, Senior Director of Global Sales and Marketing, Stratum. “NEM is the only eggshell membrane backed by a significant number of published research studies. Those studies encompass randomized controlled clinical trials, healthy population trials, in vitro mode-of-action, in vivo studies, and veterinary trials.”

One of recent study on NEM looked at healthy individuals: Dockery and Haynes say the primary endpoint was a change in levels of a particular biomarker of type II collagen metabolism and breakdown, which was significantly reduced with NEM supplementation, “indicating a substantial benefit to joint cartilage integrity.” The study included post-menopausal women, a demographic susceptible to joint challenges, and the women saw “noteworthy” improvements in both pain and stiffness. Dockery and Haynes add that a second study, not yet published, expanded the age and gender parameters to include men and women ages 40-75; the results were the same.

Another to add to the joint health mix: sulfur. “Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the human body,” says Tim Hammond, VP of Sales and Marketing at Bergstrom Nutrition, “and OptiMSM is a proven source of bioavailable sulfur. It supports the structure and flexibility of connective tissue, which includes supporting and maintaining collagen disulfide bonds. Sulfur is a necessary nutrient for the maintenance of joints, tendons, and ligaments—as well as skin, hair, and nails.” For more, check out Sulfur: The Forgotten Nutrient, a white paper from Bergstrom that shines a spotlight on this important mineral.

Sulfur plays a role in another option, as well—Aged Garlic Extract, available from Wakunaga of America as Kyolic. Jay Levy, Director of Sales, says: “Aged Garlic Extract contains compounds that have been found to help protect against osteoarthritis. A 2017 study conducted at the University of Florida found that AGE modifies inflammation in a group of obese individuals. This may help prevent or improve chronic joint issues like osteoarthritis. Earlier studies suggest that certain sulfur compounds in garlic known as diallyl disulphide may suppress the damaging enzymes that are linked with osteoarthritis. Another possible mechanism of action is the high antioxidant content found in garlic, and especially in AGE. This may play a key role in protecting joints, particularly since free radicals have been shown to undermine normal chondrocyte activity and promote cartilage damage.”

Additional benefits may come from combining AGE with curcumin and omega-3s—several studies, Levy says, have found that omega-3s inhibit COX-2 and reduce oxidative stress. “Osteoarthritis can reduce the quality of life for people with this painful and potentially disabling condition. However, these findings suggest that combining AGE with curcumin and omega-3s may provide safe and effective relief for both the pain and stiffness that can undermine an active lifestyle in those with joint issues.”

Bone Health
“Bones aren’t static rock-like material as you see in skeletons,” Levin says. “They’re living tissues with a matrix of collagen. As we grow and mature, especially if active and well-nourished, we accumulate bone density. This serves as a reserve later in life as various factors affect bone density, including diet, sunlight, and exercise, or the lack of any of these essentials.” He adds that those lacking these essentials between birth and the teen years may have inhibited bone growth and development.

“Bones need not only calcium, but a balance of different vitamins and minerals to remain strong,” says Audrey Ross, National Educator at Country Life Vitamins. “Ideally, people should look for a supplement that can provide a full range of vitamins and minerals that work to support bone health.” However, that doesn’t mean calcium isn’t important—and it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing there to learn. “When selecting a bone health supplement,” Ross continues, “the first step is selecting the right form of calcium. Calcium phosphate—aka hydroxyapatite—is the predominant form of calcium in the bone. A supplement such as Country Life’s Calcium Magnesium Complex contains the right balance of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium to support bone health.”

Something else to consider: “Calcium is needed by the body for skeleton building, muscle contraction, nerve signaling, and other metabolic processes,” says AIDP’s Ford. “However, excess calcium can accumulate in blood vessels and other soft tissues. K2VITAL is an ideal solution to this paradox; it directs calcium to the right place, to the bones, supporting bone strength and circulatory health.”

Calcium, as Ross noted, isn’t enough on its own. A good choice for accompaniment: vitamin K2—not K1, stresses Kate Quackenbush, Communications Director with NattoPharma. “K vitamins are actually a family of vitamins made up of vitamin K1, phylloquinone, and vitamin K2, menaquinone,” she explains. “Think of K1 and K2 as fraternal twins. They share similarities, such as working in the liver for blood clotting, and chemically, they share a quinone ring called menadione. But that is where their similarities end. Vitamin K2 has several molecules, called menaquinones, which makes it available beyond the liver for other systems, such as the bones and the vasculature. Vitamin K2 supports bone and cardiovascular health by activating K-dependent proteins osteocalcin, which binds calcium to the bone mineral matrix, and matrix Gla protein (MGP), which inhibits calcium from depositing in arteries and soft tissues. Put simply: Vitamin K2 can do what K1 cannot.”

That isn’t the only factor to consider with vitamin K: “Adding to the K confusion: There are actually multiple forms of K2,” Quackenbush says. “The two most common forms as dietary supplements are K2 as menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and K2 as MK-7 (menaquinone-7). Due to its side chain, MK-7 has a much longer half-life in the body than MK-4, allowing it greater access to tissues beyond the liver. Further, the serum half-life of MK-4 has been shown to be just a few hours compared to a 3+ day half-life for MK-7. So, although they have the same molecular mechanism of action, MK-7 is more bioavailable than MK-4. And due to MK-4’s short half-life and poor bioavailability, it requires multiple doses per day at milligram levels—versus MK-7’s microgram levels—for measurable efficacy.”

This isn’t to say that people shouldn’t take other forms of vitamin K; it’s just that MK-7 is the most efficacious for bone health. Quackenbush notes that Nattopharma offers a Full Spectrum K2, which, in addition to MK-7, also delivers MK-6 and MK-9, “for optimal and maximal delivery of vitamin K2 with respect to absorption, half-life, and biological activity.” Why these isomers? Quackenbush says they “most closely mirror the K2 delivered in the most popular K2 food source in the West: cheese.”

Baby Boomers and Anti-Aging

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The here and now should be a very good time for all of us to be alive. Scientists and doctors have begun to unlock the secrets of aging (and have perhaps even learned how to slow down the process). We know that the human body is constantly renewing, rebuilding, and repairing itself throughout life. With all this renewal going on, we should stay young forever … right? But we don't. We all age. The brand new cells of a 70-year old are easily recognized as cells from an aging body … these new cells look and act older than brand new cells from a younger person.

Theories of aging … theories likes free radical damage, glycosylation, collagen cross-linking, etc …. are now recognized as symptoms of the aging process (even if not the true cause). Nevertheless, aging, the process by which we gradually weaken and lose function, begins at the cellular level with free radical damage. To say that we age because of free radical damage is like blaming the cause of a plane crash on gravity. Clearly gravity pulled the plane down; but, since gravity puts the same force on every plane in the sky and most of them safely land, something else had to go wrong to bring the plane down. In the same way, our bodies are bombarded by free radicals from the day we are born. As youngsters, our cells have a built in mechanism that effectively quenches the fires of free radicals and corrects the damage. But, as we age, something causes this mechanism to no longer work efficiently or effectively. Eventually, the damage will progress to the point where the human body can no longer defend itself and we begin to experience the memory problems of 'senior moments' and to develop some of the many diseases so prevalent in the aging population.

So what do we do? We try to understand the aging process … and then we make the changes necessary to preserve youthful characteristics in our cells. Just remember that the human body is made up of millions and millions of tiny engines called cells … and you need the right tools to 'fix' the little engines as the years go by. The right tools are called supplements and there are hundreds and hundreds of supplements on the market, all promising miraculous benefits. Before you begin taking any of them, do your homework. While the cheapest are not necessarily the best, neither are the most expensive. Just remember to keep in mind that these supplements are not FDA regulated.

Will The Coronavirus Lead To A Baby Boom?

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Thanks to social distancing measures and lockdowns arising from attempts to curb a more widespread COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, most people are facing the possibility of spending the next few weeks at home, and in close proximity with our loved ones. If you are looking to start or grow your family, you might be in luck.

Researchers have regularly found that large-scale disasters which have forced families and couples to stay together for extended periods of time can actually have an impact on birth rates. After all, catastrophes bring people together. In one study published in 2002, social scientists saw a spike in marriages and births after Hurricane Hugo struck. University of Washington psychology professor Pepper Schwartz told Quartz:

“Scary times have the potential to drive people together or apart.”

Basically, if you’re facing an uncertain future, it’s nice to have someone else with you.

And it just doesn’t happen in America. When the UK county of Gloucestershire suffered from historic flooding in 2007, the council experienced a big shortage in school places a few years later, and ended up having to create 200 extra spots to meet demand. The conclusion? That the 2007 flooding had led to a baby boom. Even in Italy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus, The Daily Beast says people in quarantine zones have already begun talking about a spike in births.

Midwife Ann Whitman, who has 29 years of experience delivering babies, believes birth rates could rise when people are forced to spend more time at home together. She told the Boston Globe:

“It’s anything that causes people to stay home more. Remember we had all that snow three or four years ago? People tend to take comfort by getting close.”

Whitman went on to explain that her business improved dramatically nine months later.

Lauren Wise, a Boston University Academic, agreed, saying:

“If the couples are stuck at home and not ill from infection, it is plausible that they would engage in more regular intercourse and that we would see a spike in the birth rates in 39-40 weeks from now.”

But not everyone sees things the same way. Lyman Stone, a former economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said birth rates do go up, but not right away, because he thinks birth rates actually go down when residents are faced with natural catastrophes like influenza outbreaks, hurricanes, and Ebola. And while fertility rates did rise again, the rebound didn’t happen until 10 or 11 months after the natural disaster. He concluded,

“COVID could boost births over four years after the epidemic runs its course by anywhere from 0.3 percent to 40 percent.”

So can we expect the coronavirus to cause a global spike in birth rates by the end of this year? Possibly. Maternal fetal medicine doctor Michael Cackovic told Romper:

“There are certainly tons of anecdotal reports of increased fecundity or fertility after events forcing people to stay at home. Scientific reports, however, have been mixed in an effort to confirm the phenomenon.”

Still, Stone thinks a baby boom is likely, but only if conditions are right. He told the Boston Globe:

“If Americans take proactive measures to stay home together more and avoid going out, and in doing so also succeed in preventing COVID from spreading widely, and if policymakers take measures to keep the economy humming, then U.S. birth rates could actually rise slightly in the next year as a result of COVID.”

But parents with crisis babies don’t need science to tell them what they already know. Nicola Davies, who had a baby after the Gloucestershire floods, told The Guardian:

“I don’t care what the evidence is. […] We’d been through two weeks of hell, everyone was on an absolute high. It was like a reaffirmation we’d got through it! Speaking for myself, there was a bit of alcohol involved. A sense of celebration. And, well, there we were.”

#Coronavirus #BabyBoom

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Credit Card Offers – General Motors or General Mills?

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Co-brand Credit card offers are almost becoming comical. Just as it's common to find multiple selections; from several companies, for different types of breakfast cereal with assorted flavors, varying nutritional values, plus prizes, recipes, even discounts for other products, now credit card issuers; who have long included rewards with their cards, are now re-packaging their credit card offers to the extent of cereal manufacturers.

You can obtain credit cards of varying brands (like cereal flavors), with interest rates (nutritional value) for people of all credit ratings, and with rewards (prizes) included. Browsing card offers today is much like perusing cereal boxes.

Just as you allow your children to pick out their desired brand of cereal, you may want to consider them when you choose a credit card. A credit card that offers family entertainment rewards, such as Chase's Disney Credit Card, may provide your family with mutual benefits. If you are in the market for purchasing a new auto, a GM Card may be a better choice.

It's obvious that card issuers now have a plethora of brands with a broad range of rewards, with the objective to obtain new customers. But why; Exactly, are retailers and the travel and entertainment industries co-branding these card offers?

Retailers have had a long alliance with card issuers, most notably retailers such as JC Penny and Sears. And airlines have been included for some time. But now the travel and entertainment industries are becoming an even larger ingredient of the rewards, for the sake of their own customer acquisition.

Generally, the first things to be erased from a family budget during a financial hardship are vacation and entertainment savings. To deter this; purveyors of travel and entertainment co-brand with credit card issuers to retain and lure new customers. Although on the outside the alliances may seem sinister, consumers can actually benefit by receiving points, discounts, even cash back from purchases. Plus these alliances can also be beneficial for the economy by aiding the recovery of a recession.

It's all about customer acquisition and retention. When baby boomers were children, there were only a fraction of the ads that consumers are exposed to today. Merchants were much more competitive and reluctant to forge alliances, and about the only co-branding that occurred was when one company purchased another.

The strategies have changed, and if you had applied recently for a credit card; Whether or not you were accepted, no doubt you received pre-approved credit card offers from other issuers as well. In your daily mail you may have been bombarded with solicitations from retailers, airline and entertainment merchants who obtained your name and address from the credit card company. Often credit card issuers will sell applicant names and addresses to other entities, which may solicit you based upon your application information. If you had applied for a joint credit card and claimed to be a home-owner; for example, your information may be sold to a home products retailer such as Home Depot, who may offer you their store charge card. Hence, the alliances credit card issuers are developing with merchants goes deeper than the co-branding you see on the face of the credit card. Again, though this may seem like a conspiracy to delve into consumer pockets, these alliances can benefit consumers with discounts and points.

In addition to the typical things consumers look for when choosing a credit card, like the interest rates, fees and credit limits, consumers should also decide which rewards will benefit them most. Just as in shopping for cereal, the prize (rewards) may not be worth the cost (interest / fee) for the card.

And the next time you grocery shop, don't be surprised if you see a GM credit card offer advertised on a cereal box … but will the GM card stand for General Motors, or General Mills?

Young Alabama volunteers needed to feed elderly during coronavirus pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic has placed many restrictions on people of all ages: Wash hands often. Cancel non-essential appointments. Avoid public spaces.

The virus is especially dangerous to those over 65 and with preexisting conditions or comprised immune systems. While anyone can catch COVID-19, younger, healthy adults are less likely to have severe or life-threatening symptoms.

Many Alabama food banks and senior centers continue to distribute meals and other food items to senior citizens. But making sure the elderly community is fed will require more people willing to donate their time.

Volunteers are considered the heartbeat of operations at the Food Bank of East Alabama in Auburn. Almost 400 low-income senior citizens a month depend on the food bank, which warehouses and distributes produce and nonperishable items to a network of more than 200 agencies that are delivering the food to those in need.

Tina Tatum, programs and volunteer coordinator, said while the coronavirus hasn’t curbed the nonprofit’s fight to stop hunger, the infectious disease has affected volunteer efforts. Most of the volunteers who sort through and pack up donations from grocery stores are older individuals and younger volunteers are needed, Tatum said.

“We don’t have the staffing to get all of that done,” Tatum said. “We rely on volunteers and we had some people who had to stop because they didn’t feel comfortable getting out because of exposure. We could use some physical help.”

In Birmingham, one woman is trying to help, one boomer at a time.

Mary Braxton, 30, spent her last week like everyone else. She works as a nanny, and she has a big family, so she’s used to social interaction. But then, the rumors stared to swirl about the new novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The rumors turned to facts, and on Friday Alabama confirmed its first known cases.

“With all the doom and gloom we were seeing everywhere, and all the anxiety it causes… I really wanted something positive on something to focus that energy on,” Braxton said.

Braxton decided to set up a space where younger, less vulnerable people— mostly millennials— could help the more vulnerable “boomers,” to stand in the gap for those seniors. She created the Facebook page “BoomerBuffers,” with the hopes of connecting volunteers to those who needed help.

Here’s how it works: A person reaches out to Braxton through the group saying they can’t venture out to get their groceries, prescription, or a certain errand done. Braxton then reaches out to her volunteers, asking who is in that particular neighborhood or area and who is available. She looks at the responses, and then matches up the “boomer” with the “buffer.” The person retrieving the items is supposed to leave them at the recipients’ front door, so no human interaction is required. The boomer, or person requesting help, is responsible for paying for the groceries or prescription; the retrieval service Braxton designed is completely free.

Braxton thought it might catch on in the area, maybe even have up to 50 members. As of Wednesday morning, the group had more than 300 members. “It’s really taken off,” Braxton said. “I thought at best, it would be 25, 50 people… I wanted it to grow like this, to be something I could spread out to help other people.”

“I’ve really been kind of amazed at how it’s going. I am still processing it.”

The second goal of the group, besides physically helping the older generation, is to build the sometimes strained relationship between the baby boomers and the millennials. Braxton said she wanted to show “what millennials are all about.” She said, “We want everyone to be taken care of. We’re going to step up, and we’re going to be here for you.”

“It’s really softening hearts on both sides,” she said.

Braxton said she hopes people across Alabama will get involved and start BoomerBuffers groups of their own in their city. She said she is fine with sharing the name, but wants all group leaders to stay connected and title their pages with the location they are serving. She changed the name of the original group to include Birmingham in the title, so people could easily find the page for their city.

“I have to be realistic about how far I am able to reach,” she said.

Braxton said when she started the group, she jokingly told her sister that she wanted to start a movement. Her sister’s response: “You have.”

Across Alabama, others also continue to try and feed the elderly in the face of a pandemic.

The Huntsville-Madison County Senior Center has ceased operations until April 3, but its Meals on Wheels program is still delivering hot meals to homebound seniors in Huntsville who can’t cook for themselves. Marketing Director Cathie Mayne said the center’s main effort during the outbreak is to get more volunteers for the program, which currently serves seniors who live on 26 different routes.

If the center gets enough volunteers, the center can open a new route for those who have been placed on the waiting list. Those who want to help out the Meals on Wheels program can contact Jeanie Glynn at 256-382-0920, or email at [email protected].

Mayne said 10 to 12 senior citizens are given meals during each route. Along with delivering a hot meal, Mayne said volunteers are also improving senior citizens’ wellbeing.

“They are always grateful to get food through Meals on Wheels, but especially now because this is a program that is continuing,” Mayne said. “When you are dealing with folks who are older, sometimes your eyes just go past them. So, even as something as saying hello at a grocery store or on the street it can make people’s day.”

Both the food bank and the senior center have adjusted their services to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. An extension of the food bank is the community market, which allowed both seniors and families in need to hand pick the food items they want. Instead of having the elderly risk their health by coming to the market, Tatum said they are packing boxes full of goods that will be handed to their clients. Surfaces are being wiped down with disinfectant at the food bank’s warehouse and staff members are keeping up with the coronavirus as they think of new ways to help the elderly at this time. Those who want to volunteer can sign up on the food bank’s website.

“We are doing our best to stay open and serve the people who need help,” Tatum said. “It’s been a little crazy because things are changing rapidly. We are trying to stay up on the daily news about this and just continuing to find ways to serve the folks who need the food.”

Even if people can’t donate their time or money to help out the elderly, Mayne said anyone can offer their courtesy and check on senior citizens in their area.

“One of the best avenues for volunteering is to encourage everyone who knows a senior just to reach out,” Mayne said. “Say, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Can I go to the store for you?’ It’s just common courtesy that we are all needing right now.”

Here are other food banks across the state who are asking for assistance to help those in need. If you are helping the elderly and want to be added to this list, please email Jonece Starr Dunigan at [email protected]

West Alabama Food Bank

North Alabama Food Bank

Central Alabama Food bank

If you need BoomerBuffers services but don’t have social media, you can email Braxton at [email protected].

Millennials Prefer Apps to Humans, for Financial Advice

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When it comes to managing her financial affairs, Kristina Haney prefers to do it herself—with a little help from the app store.

She uses the Venmo app to pay for drinks when she goes out with friends, and downloaded Stash the first time she wanted to invest after friends told her it was easy to use.

“I literally do everything money related…

Only Baby Boomers Still Eat These Nasty Foods

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How to Become a Gas Fitter

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Gas fitters are those individuals who work on gas pipes through which gas fuels are transported. Their job requires them to work on sites that may be elevated or a low pressure location. Other than working on pipe systems, they also perform installation of vent pipes for makeup gases and air. Becoming a gas fitter in any place requires solid background on the business as well as technical aspect of gas handling in order to succeed in this profession.

After high school, get vocational degrees in pipe fitting by pursuing education through a good technical college. This certification would help in getting command over the basics like welding and appropriate pipe materials.

Get along an expert gas fitter as an apprentice so you may understand and learn the basic facts about gas usage and gas works. This basic experience will lead you to start the gas work on your own and be successful in the long term.

There is a licensing body in every state which issues the gas fitting certification. This certification is a pre requisite for becoming a certified professional gas fitter. They examine that you are competent enough in handling as well as fully aware of the technical and safety issues. Obtain this certification before completing your apprenticeship.

Since you are working with gas which can react with the surrounding chemicals, it is better to study chemistry. The idea is to have sound knowledge about the properties of materials with which gas can make a reaction.

Certain gas fitting projects require gas lines to be located at specific depths. Consult with architects as well as planners to take special notes during such projects.

File the notes properly. It may help you track the solution to any complicated fitting requests. These special notes will facilitate you during unusual repairs or incidents in future projects.

Safety is a major concern while working on gas fitting projects. Communicate by providing proper guidelines so that contractors and builders do not keep the machinery close to shallow gas pipes.

Participate in training programs offered by several gas utility companies. These programs lead to professional growth allowing you to ascend towards a management position. A good experience along with a terrific past record can help you get employed for supervisory position in a company.

Becoming a gad fitter is not easy task. It requires a lot of effort and hard work. These professionals that we have today are an asset to our society who shouldn't be taken for granted.

Social media users predict a coronavirus baby boom while others fear a spike in divorce rates

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Are YOU heading for a baby or a break-up? Social media users predict a boom of pandemic babies who will be called ‘coronials’ or ‘quaranteens’ – but others tease that self-isolation will make the divorce rate skyrocket

  • Social media users from around the globe have shared memes about quarantine
  • Some predicted that boredom in self-isolation could lead to 2020 baby boom
  • Others joked that  being quarantined with your other half could lead to a divorce 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

With people across the world forced to work from home or self-isolate because of the worsening coronavirus crisis, many are looking for ways to pass the time.

With this in mind, social media users have predicted another baby boom, with one teasing that this generation will be the ‘new boomers’ in years to come.

Others took to Instagram to joke that when this generation are adults, they’ll be labelled the ‘quaranteens’, while others favoured the ‘coronials’. 

One joker shared a snap of the pharmacy aisle, pointing out that while hand sanitizer was sold out, there were plenty of condoms left on the shelf. 

However, some argued that people spending time with their partners non-stop during quarantine could have the opposite effect, amid news that 88 couples who came out of isolation in Wuhan immediately filed for divorce. 

Some social media users from around the world  have predicted that there will be a baby boom as couples stay at home due to coronavirus

Some social media users from around the world  have predicted that there will be a baby boom as couples stay at home due to coronavirus 

Others predicted that the new generation of young people born as a result of the pandemic baby boom will be called the 'coronials'

Others predicted that the new generation of young people born as a result of the pandemic baby boom will be called the ‘coronials’ 

Adán, believed to be from the US, pointed out that some may be stockpiling the wrong essentials

Adán, believed to be from the US, pointed out that some may be stockpiling the wrong essentials 

Dr. Adam Earnheardt, from Ohio, joked that this generation will one day be refereed to as boomers

Dr. Adam Earnheardt, from Ohio, joked that this generation will one day be refereed to as boomers 

Seth, from the US, insisted that self-quarantine will become the new 'Netflix and Chill' for singletons

Seth, from the US, insisted that self-quarantine will become the new ‘Netflix and Chill’ for singletons 

Hans, from London, suggested that with nothing better to do, it makes sense that there will be a spike in birth rates

Hans, from London, suggested that with nothing better to do, it makes sense that there will be a spike in birth rates 

Kevin, from an unknown location, was terrified that the coronavirus could cause another baby boom

Kevin, from an unknown location, was terrified that the coronavirus could cause another baby boom 

Nancy, from the US, suggested avoiding a potential baby boom by spending time reading or catching up on a good book

Nancy, from the US, suggested avoiding a potential baby boom by spending time reading or catching up on a good book

Chanea, from an unknown location, thought that self-isolation could potentially increase birth and divorce rates

Chanea, from an unknown location, thought that self-isolation could potentially increase birth and divorce rates 

Carl, from the US, teased that divorce lawyers would have plenty of business in the months to come

Carl, from the US, teased that divorce lawyers would have plenty of business in the months to come 

Ken, from an unknown location, teased that partners  may learn things about their other halfs they're not crazy about

Ken, from an unknown location, teased that partners  may learn things about their other halfs they’re not crazy about 

Mila, from Florida, teased that she would be divorcing her own husband once she was out of quarantine

Mila, from Florida, teased that she would be divorcing her own husband once she was out of quarantine 

Matt, from Louisiana, joked that lawyers would be thrilled with the skyrocketing divorce rate

Matt, from Louisiana, joked that lawyers would be thrilled with the skyrocketing divorce rate 

User OneLoveMoney, from Ohio, also felt there would be an increase in divorce rates, and compared the virus to the apocalypse

User OneLoveMoney, from Ohio, also felt there would be an increase in divorce rates, and compared the virus to the apocalypse  

Podcaster presenter Jason Del Rey from New York joked that he was struggling with the quarantine

Podcaster presenter Jason Del Rey from New York joked that he was struggling with the quarantine 

Nomsa from South Africe begged the president to help find a cure to stop the divorce rate from spiralling out of control

Nomsa from South Africe begged the president to help find a cure to stop the divorce rate from spiralling out of control 

 

Driverless cars must be designed around user personality to succeed

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Driverless vehicle technologies have long promised to transform our societies and urban experiences, eliminating traffic jams and fatal road accidents. Yet the key to handing over control of the steering wheel might not be a question of technology, but rather a matter of trust.In a 2017 study carried out by the American Automobile Association (AAA), 78% of Americans said they were afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle. Researchers found that baby boomers (85%) were more likely to be afraid than millennials (73%) and Generation X (75%) drivers, and women (85%) were more likely to be afraid than men (69%).Seeking to ensure that autonomous vehicle technology overcomes the psychological barrier, a new study published by researchers from Israel’s IDC Herzliya claims that vehicles need to be designed around the personality of the user in order to successfully penetrate the market.”There were a lot of great technologies that did not succeed, as they didn’t take the user into account – it is always a challenge for new technologies,” said Prof. Yair Amichai-Hamburger, director of the Research Center for Internet Psychology (CIP) at IDC Herzliya and lead author of the study.Prof. Yair Amichai-Hamburger (Credit: Gabriel Baharlia)Prof. Yair Amichai-Hamburger (Credit: Gabriel Baharlia)“When I started reading literature about driverless cars and the issue of trust, I started thinking about the stereotypes of the engineers and the people building the cars. I realized that they didn’t consider one of the main factors: the personality of the passenger.”The study focused on preferences regarding information exchange systems in fully-autonomous (Level 5) cars, using the “big-five” personality questionnaire to assess over 150 participants’ willingness to share information with other road users, and the need for control by receiving information from the vehicle. The findings were published recently in peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.The researchers found that openness to experience impacted both information sharing and need for control preferences. Individuals who are open to experience are willing to share information with others, including engineers and the police, and are also more likely to pursue greater control by requesting additional safety information.Individuals who score highly on conscientiousness, characterized by carrying tasks out diligently, also showed a greater need for control and information from the car.”This is the first study showing that information exchange students should be designed around the personality of the people. The idea is that if people will know ahead that they are getting a car designed around them, they will have a higher level of trust in the car and they will feel the car is answering their psychological needs,” said Amichai-Hamburger.”In a future world, you will enter the car, place your ID card after filling out a personality questionnaire. The car will receive your information and design the experience based on your psychological identification.”While trust presents a major obstacle for market penetration, Amichai-Hamburger explains that it is a barrier that must be overcome in order to ultimately make roads safer. He is now seeking automotive industry partners to embrace both technology development and psychological needs.Designing solutions around the personality of the user can be extended to a series of different technologies, Amichai-Hamburger said, including for improved interactions between robots and human beings.Yet he is also quick to caution that such technologies should only be used to improve the well-being of users and not the financial well-being of companies, who gain an insight into how to manipulate users for advertising or other purposes.”Knowledge of personality will not just be knowledge, but also the ability to influence. It is a big challenge,” Amichai-Hamburger said.