Youd think people would like that.

Have Bad Selfies Lead to More Cosmetic Surgery?

Posted By: on March 31, 2014

We all know how selfies have taken over the social media landscape. Since most people want to look their best whenever a camera is pointed at their face, is there any possibility that people who are self-conscious about their looks due to less-than-perfect selfies are more likely to go to a cosmetic surgeon?

According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, this is happening. A recently released study states that a third of plastic surgeons have seen more people request procedures due to an increased awareness of their personal appearance on social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and other programs.

Rising trends in cosmetic surgery

As a result of the selfie’s popularity, cosmetic surgeons have seen other changes in patient requests. Many of these physicians (about 13 percent) say this is due to a rising dissatisfaction with personal appearance and the popularity of photo sharing on social media outlets.

In recent years, cosmetic surgeons have gotten more requests for certain procedures. According to the AAFPRS study, plastic surgeons handled a ten percent increase in rhinoplasty (nose jobs) procedures from 2012 to 2013.

Increases in hair transplants (six percent) and eyelid surgery (seven percent) also occurred within this time frame.

Young people and plastic surgery

The study also highlighted an increase in requests for procedures among young people under the age of 35. For example, more than half (58 percent) of cosmetic surgeons fielded requests for procedures such as Botox injections or collagen procedures by young people 30 and under.

Some cosmetic surgeons say the increase is more due to increasing societal pressure to look younger than ever. Even though many of the requests are coming from women who want to have younger skin, men are not immune from the desire to look younger.

Cosmetic surgeons have also seen an increase in young men seeking rhinoplasties, chin implants, and the removal of acne scars.

Are these trends necessarily bad?

The rise of social media and its role in the bullying epidemic among young teens has gotten a lot of attention. Because of the public nature of online bullying, many teens look to cosmetic surgery as a solution. According to the AAFPRS, 76 percent of children and teens undergo cosmetic procedures because of bullying.

Edward Farrior, MD, president of the AAFPRS, does not necessarily think these rising trends are all bad. “Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and the iPhone app … force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before…. These images are often the first impressions young people put out there to prospective friends, romantic interests, and employers, and our patients want to put their best face forward.”

As long as the patient recognizes that a cosmetic surgical procedure isn’t a cure for all that ails them in life, the treatment can be largely a positive thing. Personal appearance will always be important in our society, so cosmetic procedures may be just the thing to boost a person’s sense of self-worth and yes, get better selfies in the process.

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Denied Air Travel? Soon You May Have Recourse

Posted By: on March 31, 2014

Back in the early 1800s, the U.S. Supreme Court identified the ability to travel freely between all states in the nation as an inalienable constitutional right of all American citizens. At that time, people relied almost solely on horses to get them where they needed to go, especially for long trips.

However, today’s common modes of long-distance travel are enormously different from the horse-drawn wagons of that earlier era. Now if you want to travel from, say, Baltimore to Chicago, you may choose to rely on air travel.

Does that make the ability to board a plane a constitutional right? Apparently so, according to federal Judge Anna Brown of the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon.

A challenge to Homeland Security

Judge Brown ruled last August that the U.S. government does not have the right to bar American citizens from flying without due process of law. This essentially means that the government must tell the person why he or she is not allowed on a plane. Citizens must then be given the chance to challenge the decision in a court of law.

Of course, the federal government disagrees with Judge Brown’s ruling. It has appealed her decision in a case that involves 13 people who are challenging the inclusion of their names on the notoriously secretive no-fly list which, according to Judge Brown’s decision, stripped them of a constitutional right with no due process.

Lawyers for the federal government have defended its appeal, stating that revealing why a person shows up on the list could require them to expose highly sensitive classified information and potentially threaten national security. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agreed, and argued that revealing such information could alert potential terrorists and make it easier for them to avoid getting caught.

Potential weaknesses in the government’s case

Unfortunately, the federal argument rests on the premise that government agencies are incapable of being wrong, something which has repeatedly been disproven. Since the introduction of the no-fly list following the terrorist attacks of 2001, numerous instances of mistaken identities have come to light. Some have even involved small children and elderly individuals.

A no-fly list can have some security value, but it’s hard to claim that allowing people a chance to contest their placement on it threatens its efficacy. Challenges simply enable innocent Americans to set the record straight and regain their ability to fly.

Many citizens rely on air travel for numerous reasons, such as work, family events, and vacations. Taking away a person’s ability to fly might be likened to banning horse travel in the 1800s. It can cause serious complications in a person’s life.

Unfortunate consequences

One victim of the government’s current policy, a Marine veteran, discovered that his name was on the list when he tried to fly from Illinois to Washington state. This has caused him to lose business clients and even prevented him from attending a graduation ceremony, a wedding, and a funeral.

Judge Brown’s ruling came as a relief and a ray of common sense amid a battery of overbearing federal security policies, and the government’s opposition to the ruling hasn’t offered a substantial reason to alter or dismiss it.

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TopCultured Legends

The Tron Lebowski

Posted By: on March 3, 2011

I’m a huge fan of both Tron and The Big Lebowski…and really if you aren’t your’re crazy. They’re both great in their own right. And the link of course is Mr. Jeff Bridges. How awesome Read On »

Forget UP in 3D, Here’s UP in Real Life

Posted By: on June 13, 2009

UP was good, in that whole animated-for-kids-but-ill-still-watch-it-cause-some-girl-i-like-wants-me-to-go-with-her kinda way. I would have preferred to see UP IRL and it looks like I just might be able to soon enough!

Kings Of Internet Videos Back At It

Posted By: on March 4, 2010

You’ve probably already seen this video (it already has over 1 million views in under 48 hours) by the amazingly awesome band OK Go but I couldn’t help put post it here…it’s just too amazing. Read On »

The Surprising Health and Beauty Benefits of Green Tea

Posted By: on March 31, 2014

Many of us enjoy green tea for its unique taste, but are you aware of the many ways it can contribute to health and beauty? This hot drink has been known to do everything from reducing puffy eyes to boosting weight loss and providing pain relief.

Here are just seven of the ways that green tea can give you health and beauty benefits.

1. Bug bites

A little green tea can do away with the pain from annoying bug bites. To take advantage of this, lay a tea bag on the area of the bite. This should soothe the itching.

2. Weight loss

Green tea and weight loss often go hand in hand. According to India’s, imbibing green tea during your weight loss journey can expedite the process.

This happens because of the drink’s natural antioxidants, catechin polyphenols. According to some sources, catechin polyphenols have up to ten times more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables.

3. Fighting sun damage

Green tea’s antioxidants protect against free radicals. Free radicals are generated by many sources, including toxic chemicals that form on your skin.

One of the main causes of free radicals are UVA and UVB sun rays. Experts have noted how the sun’s rays can cause premature aging. Green tea could be used to counteract aging effects from the sun.

4. Dispelling foot odor

Did you know that green tea could get rid of foot odor? If you have this embarrassing problem, all you need to do is dip your foot in a solution made from tea that has been boiled.

The acid contained in green tea has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. These can prevent your feet from becoming smelly and funky.

5. Freshening your breath

Green tea can also give you fresh breath, which is something that everybody likes. It works by slowing the growth of bacteria, which can lead to halitosis.

To use green tea in the fight against bad breath, clean your mouth with a solution made of a bag of green tea and water.

6. Skin care

Experts have uncovered many health benefits of green tea, but the drink has been found to offer benefits in the beauty department as well. These days, it often appears as an ingredient in many skin care products.

When green tea is used topically, it has been shown to have many benefits for the user.

7. Hair care

Green tea works to renew dull hair strands. Steep bags of green tea for 15 minutes, cool for a few hours or overnight, then pour over hair after it has just been washed. Leave the tea in your hair for ten minutes, then use shampoo and conditioner to leave in the shine from the tea mixture.

One of the great things about green tea is that it’s quite inexpensive, so you can use it every day as part of your health and beauty routine without emptying your wallet. Its curative properties can make it a powerful addition to your arsenal of beauty products.

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Smell Better, Love Better

Posted By: on March 28, 2014

In a clever twist, LYNX presents the idea of making love, not war. Check out this amusing video with a great twist. Check out the LYNX Facebook page and learn about the many products available. Then, set out to change the world by making those around you happy…with smell.

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Why SEO Is So Crucial For Your Online Site

Posted By: on March 27, 2014

The Internet continues to grow with new information and opinions every day. While this might seem like an overload to some, it provides a great resource for others.


In the best cases, these resources open doors for people to grab opportunities to become profitable with their online ventures. Someone has to be on the receiving end of all the content that’s appearing on the Internet.

No matter how great your website is or what content or services you provide, what’s essential is how easily and how often people can find your site. Otherwise, you’ll get very few hits and simply end up as little more than a blip on the radar.

That’s why SEO is so important for your site as much as anyone else’s. If you’re new to SEO, here are some basic issues to keep in mind.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and it refers to the effort to place a websites at the top or a search engine’s search results. Whenever a user gets on the computer and heads to a search engine such as Google or Yahoo and types in a string of words, the sites that show up are the search results.

While there may be hundreds, even hundreds-of-thousands, of results, only the ones that show up on the first page are likely to get clicked on. Almost no one wants to have to go digging deep; we expect the answers to be there on the first page.

That is why it’s crucial, if you want your site to get a lot of traffic, to make sure it will appear at or near the top of the search engine listings.

How to increase your SEO

Getting to the top with the help of SEO can be accomplished in several ways. Some sites already get enough traffic to appear at the top because people search specifically for them on a regular basis.

For sites that don’t get a lot of regular traffic, however, search results can be increased by incorporating keywords on your site. These are words and phrases that people are likely to search for.

If your site is focused on travel, for example, you would have keywords that are geared towards that. The same would be the case with dentistry, real estate, marketing, social media, or any other field your site might be categorized into.

The more keywords you can accurately identify, the higher your SEO, which means that you’ll get more traffic. Once the ball starts rolling, you’ll notice your search rank getting higher and higher, which generates more views for your pages.

If you’re not familiar with the tactics that increase your SEO, you can turn to a company such as Point It to help you. They work specifically with clients to improve their SEO.

Monitor your results

Your efforts shouldn’t just stop at watching your search results rise on search engines. You should also consider studying the traffic that comes to your site as well. Gathering this information, or analytics, enables you to find out what people are doing on your site, which pages they are viewing, how long they are staying, and much more.

This will help you gear your content in a way that increases people’s interest, by maximizing the aspects that people look at most.

SEO is vital for websites that seek to survive and prosper. Whether you do it yourself or hire an expert, make sure you invest the proper attention in your SEO.


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Competitive or Recreational Dance – What’s the Difference?

Posted By: on March 26, 2014

“The costumes, the scenery, the make-up, the props….” You might be familiar with these opening lines from the song “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” from the classic musical Annie Get Your Gun, in which the singer dreams of being in the spotlight.

When a child enters the world of dance, he or she may have dreams larger than one could ever imagine. One might wish to perform as a ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia. Another may have a dream of singing and dancing on Broadway … or just to learn hip-hop dancing for fun and to impress friends at the next party.

Whatever the reason, some kids feel the desire to dance and perform.

There are two main areas for dance lessons currently offered by most dancing schools: recreational and competitive dance. Each has its pros and cons, so how do you choose which is appropriate for your child? Which will give your son or daughter the proper skills to fulfill the dream of becoming a dancer?

The similarities

Both recreational and competitive dance classes offer similar skills for beginning and advanced students. Both train their students in the following:

• Basic dance skills

• Confidence

• Performance technique

• Strength, flexibility, and endurance

• Motivation

• Teamwork

Recreational dance

Classes in recreational dance can be open to anyone. They meet once or twice a week and are taught in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. Dance studios often provide a combination-type class that may consist of ballet, tap, jazz, or gymnastics, so the student can get a feel for which type of dance he or she prefers.

While students are not pressured to perform, they may participate in a yearly recital. Cost includes class tuition, leotards, dance shoes, recital costumes, and possibly a recital fee. Children have the option of transferring to a competition program if they are qualified and/or invited.

Competitive dance

In order to join a dance competition team, dancers must have excellent skills. They are usually hand picked by their instructor after an audition or evaluation of skills.

Students in competition classes normally attend regular class training as well as extra competition sessions. They may have extra rehearsals and receive more specialized training. Dance skills improve quickly and students are exposed to a variety of styles of dance.

They may be given the opportunity to train under well-known guest choreographers. These classes are faster paced, super structured, more disciplined, and require a strong commitment. Performance at recitals and regional and national competitions is a requirement.

These students must be dedicated to dance and love it! There’s typically a larger time and financial commitment. Extra costs may include competition entry fees and elaborate costumes.  The dance management at the studio you attend will be able to provide more information on fees and costumes when you go in.

Both types of dance training can be rewarding and enhance the skills of the student. They can also help develop confidence on stage as well as in one’s personal life. Students learn how to set goals for themselves and how to work together with others.

Before you decide on competition classes, make sure that both the parent and the child are ready for the commitment!

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Why Individualized Customization is a Hot Term for the Near Future

Posted By: on March 26, 2014

Today’s consumers have the widest range of products and services ever. While these advances are intended to keep everyone moving forward, there’s a wave of changes of particular interest heading down the pipeline.

Many of these involve the concept of individualized customization. The idea is to enable customers to drive future changes: People will see more initiatives that allow the customer to customize their desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, and even their car.

When customers can identify specific features they expect and desire, they can send an order online or call it in by phone. Through this process, consumers should be in a position to buy exactly what they want and need, and bypass components they don’t want.

Creating unique products

With individualized customization, manufactures connecting directly to the customer so he or she can create a unique product that precisely reflects the customer’s specifications. Whether a custom suit or a shirt that will perfectly fit a man’s or woman’s form, companies are looking to compete directly against those who already have identified a niche business.

Affordable cost structure that adds value for the customer

To make this kind of targeted marketing plan work, mass customization must be designed to be profitable if it’s going to succeed in the long run. There are at least two specific areas that business owners who adopt this strategy will need to watch and address.

One is to look for customization opportunities that will add value for each customer and can be supported by inexpensive procedures: smooth and swift transactions for all involved, which means the consumer as well as the producer.

The second area of concern will be how to achieve a cost structure that is completely manageable for the manufacturer. This will be especially challenging since the complexity of the manufacturing technology will increase tremendously.

The mission is to offer broad-based customization

The ultimate objective of this strategy is to develop a profitable model for mass customization that will support an emerging technology. This has to be accomplished without compromising the consumer’s needs, which is to purchase precisely what he or she wants at a price that is still affordable.

For instance, when customers are introduced to online configuration technologies, they might try to order what they want by using 3D digital modeling. By using this kind of modeling, shoppers can envision the final product before it has been produced, either as a template or in its ultimate form.

Many manufacturers are gearing up to meet consumer demands by utilizing a dynamically programmable robotic system that can switch between variants and models without compromising efficiency.

Individualized customization is a growing trend for meeting the customer’s expectations. When manufacturers use this strategy to market their businesses, they invite the customer to order exactly what he or she wants. The success of this model may well depend on efficient B2B trading partner communications.

Though there are many areas in business that already cater to a variety of client needs, the forecast for the near future is to make sure customers can order precisely what they want, and when they need it, at an affordable price.

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A Side of Chiropractic Care with Your Supplement?

Posted By: on March 26, 2014

The broadening interest in holistic care appears to be having its effect on the food supplement industry of late. Standard Process, a leading whole-food supplements distributor since 1929, has recently stated that it will be incorporating more well-being initiatives at the company’s headquarters in Wisconsin.

Specifically, the news surfaced after the firm brought in a chiropractor to provide services to thousands of employees on site. The move was applauded as a great step in the right direction, and a move that other corporations should copy.

Dubbed the Cultivate by Standard Process, it’s part of a full-fledged wellness program designed by president Jerry Curtin. In addition to making employees healthier, happier, and more productive, Curtin says he also hopes to dispel the lingering stigma that some people continue to attach to chiropractic care.

“If you start with chiropractic, the difference between chiropractic and a normal doctor, people go see a chiropractor when they are not sick; they go see a chiropractor when they are not feeing right.”

Spreading the “crack”

The idea has already inspired copycats, including The Primex Family of Companies in Wisconsin, which also chose to bring Cultivate to their employees. In an effort to raise the employees’ “benefits to the next level,” Primex CEO Paul Shekoski says, “We saw how those results [at Standard Process] were integrated in not only the obvious costs of what it’s going to save for health insurance, but the true health of employees. They were concerned about the health and understood that the healthy employee is what mattered in the end.”

The idea began when Shekoski had a conversation with his own chiropractor years ago. “Certainly we would like our costs to drop to zero, but that’s not practical.”

Instead, he’s focusing more on wellness and knowledge, as well as hoping to add some accessibility for employees who otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t make time to see a chiropractor.

“We’re putting our focus on health care, not health insurance,” he says. He knew there was really no way to encourage employees to seek chiropractic care on their own, so he decided to bring it to them.

Changing perspectives

As for Curtin, he says a primary goal is to change how employees perceive chiropractic care, and he’s depending on the engagement of the doctor to be a focal point. People don’t understand the intricacies of the bones, muscles, and body, says Curtin, which of course means they’re skeptical about the potential benefits of treatment by a chiropractor.

Ten years ago, Curtin was behind a wildly successful walking program, and since then he’s focused on three pillars of health: physical activity, nutrition education, and chiropractic care.

Unfortunately, Standard Process doesn’t have the ability to spread the word via the most traditional of channels, since its supplements are available only in boutique stores. Instead, the focus is on building relationships within the chiropractic community and the companies.

The numbers don’t lie: Standard Process has been able to announce a 45 percent decrease in health-care costs since the program began, and short-term disability claims have declined 24 percent. A big surprise was the fact that some employees actually had perfect attendance for the entire year, which suggests that chiropractic care can work wonders.

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4 Ways to Protect and Manage Your Business Inventory

Posted By: on March 20, 2014

Small and medium business owners often haven to worry about protecting their product inventory and work equipment, whether it is stored at a business location or in a home office. Theft, natural disasters, and broken facilities (such as burst pipes) can all threaten business inventory. Theft can be perpetrated internally by employees or externally, by burglars. You can take proactive measures to increase your business inventory security and mitigate risk factors using the following techniques.

Track Inventory with Software

Inventory loss prevention starts by understanding exactly what products you currently have in stock and on backorder. Software solutions can be the best way to track current quantities, giving you a bird’s eye view of the products that you have and the ones you need to reorder. Software also boosts accountability, helping you see when items have gone missing. Your inventory staff should continually update this software by conducting counts. Once you notice missing inventory, you can begin to investigate whether it is due to break-ins and theft.

Barcode Scanning Hardware

Scanning barcodes can dramatically expedite the inventory tracking process. This system should tie in to both your point of sale and inventory systems, so that quantities automatically adjust after purchases or returns. This can be more accurate and effective than manually logging quantities in your software systems, since barcodes can be tied to specific products.

Surveillance Cameras

The presence of cameras serves as a strong visual reminder that your business is protecting its inventory. Potential thieves can be discouraged if they notice cameras around your storefront and inventory storage areas. Internal monitoring can also discourage theft by employees and contract workers. These systems should be closely monitored by your security staff, and some surveillance setups can even be streamed to mobile devices for remove viewing.

Alarm Systems

If an intruder decides to break into a storefront, rental, or inventory area, an alarm system can be a great line of defense when it comes to protecting your property and securing your products. Loud noises indicate that authorities might be on their way, decreasing the amount of time thieves have to act. Once you are alerted to unauthorized activity, you can check your surveillance system to possibly identify criminals.

Strict inventory control systems, surveillance camera, and alarms can work together to increase the safety of your business. Theft, damage, and loss can cause your company to leak massive expenses, which can be prevented by increasing your security measures. These techniques can increase employee accountability while discouraging external inventory threats.

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4 Easy Health Habits to Try

Posted By: on March 20, 2014

Sometimes a new activity “trends” for a reason: It actually works for a large portion of the population. In the world of health and wellness, though, it’s a fine line to walk between getting caught by just another gimmick and finding something that really does work for you.

Start by recognizing that even “proven” methods don’t necessarily work well for every person, because every body is different. However, a few healthy habits have surfaced to try out in 2014; and each of them has the potential to make you happier and healthier than you’ve ever been.

First, think about how many meals you’re eating per day and when. For years, people have tried to cut calories by skipping breakfast or not eating after 7 p.m., which is adapting to an arbitrary time frame. Intermittent fasting (IF) has also come back into fashion, compliments of the body-building industry.

Knowing how many meals you should eat per day and avoiding overeating as well as starvation mode is the best way to get the nutrients you need without pesky side effects such as bloating or a growling stomach.

1. Warm water and fresh lemon

Instead of reaching for a coffee first thing in the morning, try a lukewarm cup of water with half a lemon freshly squeezed into it. This has been shown to kickstart your metabolism as well as provide a dose of oral hygiene.

However, it should be consumed first thing and with nothing else — not even vitamins or a good tooth brushing for an hour. It sets the stage for your metabolism and hunger pangs for the rest of the day, and you may be surprised how something as simple as a cup of warm lemon water can settle your tendency to binge on breakfast.

2. A spoonful of psyllium husk

For anyone who’s trying to lose weight, consider adding a spoonful of psyllium husk to your morning routine. It’s all natural, contains nearly zero carbs, and has been proven to make you feel a little fuller while battling bad cholesterol levels.

It’s basically a concentrated dose of fiber, so it can also help keep you a little more “regular.” Psyllium husk can be a pricey supplement, so head to your local Indian or Asian store and get a box of the organic stuff for only a couple of dollars.

3. Swap the coffee for green tea

The benefits of green tea have been bantered about endlessly, but what you may not know is that it’s one of the few items that may help prevent both arthritis and dementia. Try it instead of your coffee, one hour after the lemon water.

Four cups per day are recommended for the best benefits. That can seem like a lot, so try to space them out throughout your day.

4. Just breathe

Most people don’t come anywhere close to breathing as deeply as they should, which can make workouts more difficult and sleep impossible. If you can, find a pure pranayama class; that’s a yoga class which is all about breathing. Taking this class during lunch or after work can help you make the most of your own natural and most powerful tool.

Getting healthier doesn’t require fancy gym clothes or costly trainers. It does, however, require awareness and a commitment to try new things.

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