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The Health Benefits of Volunteering

Posted By: on May 9, 2014


According to the blog, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, several studies in recent years have shown that people who volunteer their time are more likely to volunteer their money, as opposed to those who do not volunteer at all. This suggests we should take a closer look at why people choose to give their time as opposed to how or why they donate their money.

Nonprofits typically attempt to convince people to donate their time and money by appealing to the motivation of “feeling good” or “doing the right thing.” Many organizations even “sell” volunteerism as a pathway to employees engaging with their corporation.

However, studies have indicated that most people will donate more time as a volunteer if they can perceive a benefit for themselves as well. What’s the point? If you’re a nonprofit who seek volunteers, if you aren’t discussing the benefits for the recruitment, you’re missing a powerful leverage factor!

Studies have highlighted the health benefits of volunteering

Science Daily reports that researchers from the University of British Columbia attempted to find a correlation between physical and psychological health and volunteering. The results were staggering.

A large group of more than 100 students were split into two groups: one that volunteered regularly for nine weeks and one who didn’t. Researchers took account of the students’ body mass index, cholesterol levels, and inflammation before and after the study. They also measured psychological factors such as overall mental health, mood, empathy levels, and self-esteem.

After spending only one hour a day working with underprivileged kids, the group that volunteered showed lower inflammation, cholesterol levels, and body mass index levels than the group that didn’t volunteer. They also showed improved mental health, with greatly increased empathy and altruistic behavior.

Diversity for Volunteering is Essential

According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the need for diversity among nonprofits has never been greater. Many people assume that when they volunteer, they must fit into a preformed category; for example, a graphic designer considering volunteering for a soup kitchen might not see how his professional talents could significantly improve the facility.

He or she may not even consider those professional talents when applying as a volunteer, and that could miss an important way to improve the soup kitchen with the designer’s particular skills, as opposed to standing in a line serving soup for hours.

What if the soup kitchen desperately needed a professional website in order to spread awareness and raise funds? Or could the facility benefit from the graphic designer’s willingness to raffle a free website to the highest bidder?

The need for volunteers has never been greater

According to the nonprofit Volunteer for India, the need for volunteers is greater than ever. Consider just one country: In India, there are more than 11 million abandoned children who face a bleak future as prostitutes, laborers, or beggars if a family does not adopt them.

Due to the growing number of orphanages the government has set up to address the issue, a volunteer can be utilized in a variety of ways besides adoption, including: helping to keep the orphanage clean, spending time with the children, teaching English, or assisting in extracurricular activities such as drawing, art, singing songs, and dancing.

The need has never been greater and the opportunities for both nonprofits and individuals to “think outside the box” and assist as volunteers has never been easier!

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Research Indicates Walking Enhances Creativity

Posted By: on May 7, 2014

The notion that physical exercise not only offers benefits for your fitness level but produces mental advantages as well is not a novel one. In fact, engaging in exercise is often framed as an opportunity to blow off steam, take a break from a busy work day, or clear you mind and regain a sense of tranquility. walking

But those aren’t the only ways in which adding some movement to your day can improve your mental state. According to recent research published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, simply taking a walk can help provide a significant boost to your creative faculties.

A small walk for a big brain boost?

Researchers at Stanford University found that even small amounts of walking produced significant enhancements in creativity. Most study participants thought of 60 percent more uses for an object after taking a walk than the amount they dreamed up prior to walking.

This was just one of several tests designed to assess creativity in the study led by Dr. Marily Oppezzo.

Study design

In order to test the effects of walking, study participants were first placed in a room with minimal furnishings and as dull an appearance as possible to rule out creative sparks coming from the participants’ environment. In this room, the participants tackled several tasks designed to test creativity, such as listing all possible uses for an everyday object. The tests lasted for about eight minutes.

After completing those tests, the participants were asked to walk on a treadmill that faced a blank wall in the same room. The study organizers then led the participants through the tests again to assess the effects of this light exercise on creative capacity.

In almost every case, the participants performed better in terms of creativity while on the treadmill as oppose to prior the treadmill activity.

Lasting effects?

Further, Dr. Oppezzo sought to understand whether the boost in creativity might linger after the exercise session ended. A group of participants engaged in a round of pre-walking creativity tests, walked on the treadmill, and then re-took the tests after sitting back in the original location.

Once again, the researchers found that the second round of testing revealed increased levels of creativity, which suggested that it was the exercise that bolstered the thought process, and that the walking strategy offered legitimate practical benefits for those who couldn’t simply stroll for the entire duration of a brainstorming session, but who get time for a brief walk before sitting back down to think.

Does the scenery matter?

The study also indicated that the creative benefits of the walking session are not reserved only for those who have beautiful or inspiring environments in which to walk. The researchers found that there was no significant difference between the degree of creativity increase for those who walked on a treadmill in the uninspiring room compared to those who walked around the scenic Stanford campus.

This finding appeared to emphasize that it was the physical activity, not a change of scenery, that supplied the creative benefits.

A healthy workout routine will be a varied one that can help you not only achieve athletic goals but improve your overall quality of life. The results of this study confirm that point; even light activity can help enhance creativity and possibly workplace performance.

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TopCultured Legends

Bad Name For A Towing Company

Posted By: on July 6, 2009

Things like this are proof that, really, anyone can start a company these days. Now, I’m not one to judge, but I’m guessing the person that decided on this name has never: a) been on Read On »

How to Plan a Foodie Vacation

Posted By: on May 13, 2014

Any vacation can (and should) be food-centric, and if you start planning early, it will. With entire networks such as The Travel Channel and the Food Network offering programs that introduce you to foods and Read On »

Ultimate Zombie Trap

Posted By: on July 20, 2011

Step 1: Lure the zombies in from the forest. There’s always zombies in the forest. Step 2: Work them slowly up to the top, making sure that the last zombie in the forest is in Read On »

How To Dress Your Best, No Matter the Situation

Posted By: on May 6, 2014

Whether you’re the kind of person who spends the majority of your days in a boardroom, or someone that has all the free time in the world, it’s important to dress for the lifestyle you lead. Everywhere you go, people are going to judge you by the way you dress.

This is certainly going to be true of coworkers and others in your professional life, but just as true of the stranger at the supermarket or gym when you’re on your personal time. If you’re hoping to look your best all the time, below are some tips for dressing to fit your lifestyle.

Sort by importance

When it comes to buying a new wardrobe, this can be quite an investment. However, once you’ve graduated from university sweats and hoodies, it’s necessary for you to be prepared to look great as an adult.

In order to ensure that you spend your clothing investment wisely, you should sort your purchases by importance. For example, if you work in an office and need suits to make you look great, then be sure to put the emphasis for your clothing there.

Once you’ve accomplished that, you can work your way down and select the casual clothes that will make you look good outside of work, and special gym attire for working out. Because if you spend all your money on great-looking clothing that happens to be perfect for places where you won’t need it, you won’t have enough for the situations you will.

Take account of your body type

Part of dressing for your lifestyle also includes dressing for your body type. Your figure can change a lot as you get older and move through the workforce.

It’s entirely possible that the clothes you’ve had for years won’t last you much longer. So be sure that you purchase clothing that looks good on you, and compliment your body type. If you make the mistake of wearing overly baggy outfits or clothes that are too tight, you can bet that people will notice it and judge you for that.

Be ready for anything

Most important, it’s vital that you make yourself ready for any situation that might come up. Whether it’s a business meeting with the CEO of an important firm or a stroll around the lake with someone who could become your significant other, looking great all the time is a desirable goal.

After all, you never know when you’re going to encounter someone who is or could become important to your life. If you aren’t dressed your best, you run the risk that they’ll start having opinions about you that you may not appreciate.

You can look great all of the time. But in order to do so, you may need to ditch that current wardrobe and invest in an array of new outfits. If you do so, you can look great and have clothes that fit you well, no matter where you are.

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How Hunting Helps: the Benefits One of Our Oldest Traditions

Posted By: on May 5, 2014


We live in a wondrous digital age, surrounded by computers and related technological achievements. It’s certainly a great time to be alive, but it can also be an overstimulating nightmare for people who need to take a break for a while and just unplug by getting back in touch with nature.

One of the best ways to do this is by hunting. It’s an ancient rite of passage that’s been with us since the beginning of (human) time, and it might be just the thing for someone who needs a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Hunting is therapeutic

A hunter gets back in touch with nature in a very personal way. He or she is surrounded by the tranquility of an infrequently traveled forest while listening to the wind whip through the trees or the birds chirping playfully.

Hunting can be a therapeutic experience for wounded war veterans who need a way to heal physically and mentally. Those benefits are readily available to non-veterans as well.

Waiting to find prey is a great opportunity for meditation that can be hard to obtain in a world where we’re constantly plugged in.

Hunting helps families bond

Aside from the opportunities for personal introspection, a hunter also has a great opportunity to spend some dedicated time bonding with his or her family. It’s a tradition that almost all ages can enjoy, from grandparents to children.

Some great childhood memories can be generated while you’re out hunting, many pictures will be taken, and many experiences can be shared as everyone comes back with his or her own distinct stories to tell and trophies to show one another.

Hunting for trophies

A popular variation of hunting is trophy hunting. Each trophy acquired and displayed is a new conversation piece that has its own specific and personal story to tell.

A good trophy for stag hunting would be a large set of antlers worth a lot of points, or one that looks completely unique. Regardless of what a hunter personally looks for in a trophy, one of the best things about earning one is the opportunity to bond with other hunters over the story it holds for them.

Stories are great to share and can be a good tool to use when you’re getting to know other people.

Hunting supports conservation

While there are many personal reasons to go hunting, it can also be regarded as a duty. Deer can be a dangerous nuisance for drivers when they cross the road because they’re forced to migrate to less saturated areas.

Overpopulation can cause a tremendous disharmony in the local ecosystem. According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, collisions with deer kill 200 people and cost 10 billion dollars annually, so imagine what it would be like if there weren’t any hunters at all. Hunters are valuable tools in the delicate balancing act of conservation.

There are plenty of reasons to go out and get started hunting. While it’s important that hobbies should be fun, just remember always to be safe while operating a gun or out in the wilderness.

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How To Create a Steady Income While Building Your Business

Posted By: on May 4, 2014


When it comes to starting a business, regardless of skill level, especially a small business run by an entrepreneur, the main emphasis is on following through on technical details associated with administration, accounting, marketing and advertising, production, and sales. The belief has been that if you can get these five right, then the business will flourish.

Yet life is not necessarily this simple. By following this formula from MBA programs, you may end up with mixed results: success followed by failure, breakthroughs by breakdowns, and deals that should have closed falling apart at the seams like a cheap suit.

Keep your business alive

Something’s missing, and it’s the cash flow to keep your business on track until it becomes profitable. Covering the technical details and redoubling your efforts are not enough for your business to survive the roller coaster ride of gains and losses.

When you’re starting a company, you may be fortunate enough to have sufficient capital to focus entirely on building the business. You may also be fortunate enough to start a business that sees an immediate cash flow. If you don’t have these advantages, then you may you have to find other ways to maintain a steady income while your business grows in size and scope.

A new business is very much like a child. It has to learn to crawl before it can walk, and it has to master the walk before it can run. During the infancy of your business, you may have to do side work to keep the firm afloat.

This is especially true if your business might involve working from home, perhaps as a freelancer, a consultant, or a website owner. It’s important that this other work be part-time and flexible, so you can concentrate on developing your business.

Three part-time job ideas

If you’re looking for contract jobs while you’re starting a business, you may want to consider the following three ideas:

1. Take a short course in Information Technology. There are short courses you can take that will enable you to develop skills that are in high demand. Once you learn HTML, CSS, and Photoshop, you could generate a steady income designing websites for other people.

2. Become a virtual assistant. You can help other entrepreneurs by using your excellent time-management skills. There are many sites where you can sign up for work to be a virtual assistant.

3. Take photographs. There’s always a need for beautiful and striking images. Photographers can work at big events such as graduation ceremonies or weddings, or they can simply take theme-oriented shots and sell them to websites that market images to website owners who are looking for original graphics.

One reason that people don’t start their own business is that they fear they don’t have enough capital to take care of their living expenses or they assume that the business requires some set-up and marketing time during which there will be zero cash flow.

But with a little creative thinking, it’s possible to keep a steady income while launching a business.

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Independent Book Publishing Gives Writers Options

Posted By: on May 1, 2014

In the past, breaking into publishing was a slow and tedious process that involved a series of many pitfalls from finding an agent and manuscript rejections to poor (and more often, nonexistent) royalties. Since the advent of the Internet, however, digital publishing has become a major new alternative for writers.

Anyone can publish a book with little or no investment, and authors are cropping up everywhere.

Indie publishers are ripe for the picking

Every aspiring author hopes to become an established writer, carving a niche for him- or herself and maybe someday publishing a bestseller.

Going the traditional route has become even more difficult than it used to be. It’s a process that involves sending queries to publishers and agents with the hope that someone will wade through the slush pile and pick out your shiny new work.

Online, though, independent publishing sites have seen a door to new opportunity and they’ve jumped in. According to the New York Times, even big-time, established authors are choosing to publish on their own. A variety of writers are going the route of indie publishing.

Independent Publishing Leaves the Author in the Driver’s Seat

Amazon, the giant of the bookselling industry, encourages aspiring prospective authors to take control by being independent. When a publishing house, editor, or agent gets his or her hands on a person’s work, the author loses ownership.

Independent publishers are more likely to keep their fingers out of the pot. They simply provide the platform, access to graphics, and marketing tools. From there, it’s completely up to the author.

Whether readers will buy or not will depend on the writer’s savvy, but the control is never out of his or her hands. It’s a matter of principle for many authors that makes them choose the independent route.

Anyone can publish a book

Independent publishing knocks down barriers. For all the writers who have had doors slammed in their face, they now have the option of doing it themselves. The Independent Publishing website notes that self publishing has become a relatively easy process.

Written material can be uploaded in electronic format. From there, the writer has choices with regard to cover design and marketing strategy. People can choose to offer their material for free or set their own price.

Freedom is also a factor in the decision of whether to publish in digital format alone or offer print versions for readers who still love to hold a book in their hands. With the option of print-on-demand services, authors no longer have to lay out an investment (or depend on a publisher or backer to do so) for the considerable costs involved in printing.

Books are printed only upon request, and the customer bears the full burden of the expense. It’s an exciting prospect for anyone who has dreamed of seeing his or her name in print.

Whether your work is a booming success or not, people can finally earn the title of author without being forced to jump through hoops that are too high and take years.

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4 Ways Mobile Devices Are Changing the Health Care Profession

Posted By: on April 23, 2014

The rise of smartphones and tablets has influenced health care sectors with some intriguing results. A marketing research group, Great Call, released statistics regarding the mobile health care industry, and the results are very promising. They predict that mobile health will be a $26 billion industry by 2017. Mobile devices are not only reinventing the way doctors interact with patients, but it is also changing the landscape regarding the hardware and software purchases that hospitals and physician offices need to make. mobilehealthcare

Patient Charting

Nurses and doctors still recall the headache of paper media. If records got misplaced, then there could be a long delay while medical staff  rushed to get a new copy. Electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) are being adopted by physician offices, hospitals, and other health care organizations at a blazing fast rate. These databases can be accessed on the fly from a variety of mobile devices, which can free physicians up tremendously. They are no longer tethered to paper systems or large computer hardware to do their work.

Decreased Costs

Mobile health care apps have made specialized tools and functionality much more affordable, especially for smaller physician offices. Instead of sinking thousands of dollars into a proprietary computer system, doctors and their IT departments have several app tools to choose from. And security companies are working hard to ensure that these apps are HIPAA compliant, so that patients don’t need to worry about their medical data.

Lower Wait Times

Many mobile devices operate with internal flash drives, which are much faster than traditional spinning hard disk drives in computers. This makes mobile medical tools far more responsive, with less lag than other types of technology. The lack of cords makes it easy for doctors to carry technology with them as they visit patient rooms.

Integrated Peripherals

Companies that make medical accessories are catching on – mobile tech is indispensible now. Scanners and diagnostic tools are being made with mobile syncing capabilities. When you go through medical exams and test at a doctor’s office, they can quickly upload your results to a database or cloud server, which they can access almost instantly from a mobile device.

These mobile medical tools are quickly changing the health care landscape. Apps and mobile peripherals are reducing tech costs, patient wait times, and making operations smoother. Physicians and hospitals should explore their options and see how these tech solutions can streamline their processes.

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2014 Dodge Ram: Great Truck with Nice Innovations

Posted By: on April 16, 2014

2014 Dodge Ram

As with any truck owner, brand loyalty is huge and once a truck owner knows what brand they are going to be loyal to it rarely if ever changes.  This holds true for owners of the Dodge Ram just as much as any other truck and with the release of the Hemi engine a few years ago, Ram enjoyed some serious changes in loyalty from other trucks to theirs.

For 2014, the Dodge Ram has already won the award for Motor Trend Truck of the Year and is still a fan favorite in many ways.  Showing off with the best gas mileage for full size trucks, with the V6 and eight-speed transmission, the 2014 Dodge Ram is a tough truck to beat.  Many of the upgrades were made for the 2013 model year, but the 2014 carries over as a fantastic truck.

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E-Cigarettes Gaining Popularity For Quitting Smoking

Posted By: on April 11, 2014

Traditional cigarettes have been a controversial subject for decades, forcing smokers and non-smokers to separate into confined areas based on health concerns. With the advent of the e-cigarette, smokers now have a healthier choice for curbing their nicotine cravings.

Electronic cigarette with parts isolated on a white

Though a heating element warms the nicotine and flavor-infused juice, vaping has become the newest way to reduce a person’s smoking habit and even stop it altogether.

Feels like cigarette

Depending on the manufacturer, e-cigs can look just like a traditional cigarette. Some types even come with a soft filter tip for the same sensation in the mouth. For many smokers, smoking isn’t just about inhaling nicotine; it’s also about a physical habit.

Pursing the lips around an e-cig is virtually the same as doing it with a traditional cigarette, which fulfills that person’s physical need to inhale. You truly inhale a mixture of vapor, rather than smoke, which makes the process easier on the lungs and body.

Cravings curbed in public places

Smoking is one of the hardest habits to break. By using the e-cig as a crutch, the dedicated smoker has a ladder to reduce nicotine cravings. For example, a craving occurs as a smoker is walking through an outdoor mall.

Instead of waiting until a smoking area appears, he or she can simply use an e-cig, in almost any space. The FDA hasn’t regulated its use, making it easy to vape in an open area to reduce the cravings. Once satisfied, there’s no need to find a traditional smoking area where a cessation program is difficult to follow.

Adjustable nicotine levels

The e-cig uses e-juice as its vaping source. Nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavoring all mix in one cartridge. When a user purchases the e-juice, he selects a nicotine concentration, such as 6 or 24mg.

Users can even select 0mg if they only want the physical sensation of vaping. As a result, they can steadily reduce the nicotine levels while relying on the physical action they crave. With e-cig use, there’s no need to fiddle your fingers or find a new hobby.

Enlisting enticing flavors

As users reduce nicotine levels, they can center their senses on flavor. Because of the lower nicotine amounts, vaping will not offer the same effects as before.

Being able to select flavors, from bubblegum to banana, allows the vaping enthusiast to enjoy a new sensation. Choose from dozens of different flavors to make each vaping experience different. Nicotine patches, and other smoking cessation devices, can’t create this alternative sensation.

Cleaner use

By switching to e-cigs, smokers can reduce their trash output as they try to kick the habit. Discarded cigarette butts may still tempt the user to smoke, because of their lingering scent and visual presence.

E-cigs are reusable devices with internal batteries to warm the e-juice. When the e-cig is out of sight, the user can concentrate on other interests rather than the next nicotine hit. With a cleaner environment, smoking cessation is possible.

Some smokers may turn to e-cigs temporarily to quit smoking, or take on the habit as a healthier form of nicotine inhalation. Regardless of the reason, users have more choices to curb their nicotine needs.

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How SEO Can Take Your Website to the Next Level

Posted By: on April 11, 2014

SEO Perfect Company

If you have a website that you want the entire world to see, then you have to figure out the best way to get views and traffic. With so much else going on across the Internet, it can feel like an uphill battle when it comes to getting your voice heard and attracting visitors.

But it’s not impossible. If you know how to maximize your SEO efforts, you can and will climb in the search rankings and start getting traffic to your page more than you ever imagined. Here are some insights into SEO and why it’s vital for the success of your site.

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the tactics one uses to improve the placement of a particular website on a search engines such as Google or Yahoo. For example, when a person types a specific string of keywords or phrases into a search engine, you want to make sure that your website turns up on the first page of the results, and ideally within the first three to five listings.

It’s a fact of life that not many people take the trouble to look beyond the first half dozen items, and certainly not on the second or third page, for stuff they’re trying to find.

How can you improve your SEO?

There are a variety of different ways you can increase your SEO power. For starters, getting more traffic to your site will automatically increase your presence due to the amount of views you accumulate and the way that that total gets crunched in search engine algorithms.

But another option for SEO optimization is to phrase your website content and keywords with care so that people are more likely to come across them. There are also companies available that will help you increase your standing by applying the information and knowledge they have about the process. These services can be incredibly helpful in getting your page recognized by search engines and and driving more traffic your way.

Why is SEO important?

Without SEO, your website is going to struggle to survive. Even if you have a flood of visitors to your site on a daily basis, the only way to keep it growing, and potentially profitable, is to get new viewers on a regular basis.

While some sites can rely on references and word of mouth, SEO is where the most essential factors come into play. After all, whether someone is on the next block or the other side of the world, when they type in a string of keywords that relate to your specialties, you want to make sure that it’s you they find, even if they’ve never heard of you before.

You can easily increase your web traffic through the use of SEO optimization. But other sites are equally trying to increase their presence, so it’s going to require work and effort on your behalf.

If you incorporate the tactics of SEO, you can start ranking up today. And if you’re lost and don’t know what to do, then seek the advice of a company that can help you maximize your efforts.

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