A Better Screen Routine Could Change Your Sleep, and Your Health
Oct23

A Better Screen Routine Could Change Your Sleep, and Your Health

Recently, NPR published an article reporting the effect of screen exposure on sleep quality and duration in teenagers. According to a study by sleep researchers from the University of Michigan, one in six parents surveyed said that their teenage child had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for three nights or more during a week. Of these parents, more than half say that electronics are to blame for their teens’ sleep troubles, while 43% pointed to long and irregular school and activity schedules. While the busy nature of high school and the restlessness of teens might seem normal, another recent report from MinnPost shows why lack of sleep, even amongst the young, should be cause for concern. MinnPost writes that according to a new study published by Scientific Reports, sleeplessness and sleep irregularity raise risks of developing serious chronic illnesses, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression. While the recent study focused on older Americans, sleeplessness and irregular sleep is clearly bad for a person’s health at any age. Eighty-two percent of Americans find that getting one extra hour of sleep per night is somewhat or extremely valuable. However, as screen technology increasingly becomes significant in our work and home lives, getting a good night’s rest could become even more difficult. By following these tips from NPR and SleepDr.com, both adults and teens can care for their short-term rest to promote long-term health: Establish a Routine Sleep researchers recommend turning off the lights at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. Prepping for bed by brushing teeth, reading, and changing in the same order and at the same time each day can also mentally and physically help the body settle for the night. Limit Caffeine For teens especially, caffeine can wreak havoc on a sleep schedule. Avoid caffeine before the afternoon, and consider cutting it completely. Get Tech Out of the Bedroom Avoiding televisions, phones, and laptops in the bedroom reduces the amount of light the eyes and brain process before bed, signaling sleep hormones. Getting rid of tech can also help a person avoid distractions and worries about the next day. Thinking about emails, bank accounts, and the news before sleep is not a good way to improve rest. If you absolutely must have phones or computers where you sleep, look into blue-light blocking filters, which warm the color of the light from your screen to help reduce headaches and promote sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential for parents, teens, and everyone in between. By practicing good habits, you can get the rest you need to succeed...

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Four Ways to Stay Sane if You Move Frequently
Oct23

Four Ways to Stay Sane if You Move Frequently

Most people in the U.S. move several times throughout their life. College, marriage, and job hunting all pull people to new towns and new homes. In fact, every year around 35.1 million people in the U.S. move. Some people, however, move a lot more frequently than others, sometimes relocating every year or several times a year. Whether you’re someone who likes adventure or someone who moves frequently for work, use these four tips to pack efficiently, move quickly, and stay sane. Purge Often This may seem obvious, but having less stuff means having less stuff to move. A good rule of thumb is to discard any items that you haven’t used in a twelve-month period. Remember to go through and get rid of items while you’re staying somewhere, and not just while moving, so that you don’t give up and just throw it all in a box. Sorting through and donating unwanted items is also a good way to stay organized, so that you can more easily put essentials in logical boxes for quick packing and unpacking. Unpack as Quickly as Possible Leslie Price, writer for Man Repeller and someone who moves often, recommends unpacking as soon as you move to a new place. In Price’s experience, waiting to unpack dooms you and your family to living among boxes and storage totes for months. You’ll be able to enjoy more of your belongings for a longer period of time, and you’ll be less likely to forget something and go buy an item that you already have, if you just buckle down and unpack. That being said, if you have items you want to save for when you’re more settled, feel free to label them and store them properly. You can even rent a storage unit to keep boxes for later use out of your way in your current home. Consider Keeping Your Boxes Finding boxes, bags, and storage bins can be a nightmare for frequent relocaters. If you know that everything fit nicely the last time you moved, TheBarefootNomad.com recommends saving your storage items the next time you move. You’ll already know where everything goes, especially if you label the boxes and totes. You’ll save money on new boxes, and you’ll know how many new things you accumulated at this home (and have an idea of how much to get rid of when you purge). Give Your Family a Break Price from Man Repeller writes that asking friends and family for moving help during your early years is acceptable, but relying too much on connections in later years can put a strain on relationships, especially if you rarely return...

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Kia and Hyundai Are Under ‘Fire’ By Auto Safety Group For Consistent Vehicle Fires

Kia and Hyundai are in the hot seat with the Center for Auto Safety. This nonprofit safety group has demanded the two automotive manufacturers issue a worldwide recall after nearly a decade of reported vehicle fires have been ignored. Since 2010, there have been over 220 complaints regarding vehicle fires and more than 200 reports of smoke, melted wires, and strange odors. The issue affects both cars and SUVs. Cars that have experienced vehicle fires include the 2011 through 2014 models of Kia Sorento and Optima, the 2011 through 2014 Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe, and the Kia Soul models from 2010 through 2015. Should a recall be issued, around 2.9 million cars and SUVs would be taken off the road. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began their investigation of the two manufacturers along with claims over engine failures. However, the Center for Auto Safety filed a petition against this back in June. The nonprofit requested the vehicle fires be a separate case from the engine failures. For now, there’s no word on whether or not their petition was approved. While over 75% of cars currently on the road are in need of maintenance or repair, this differs from the usual wear and tear of a car. The significant number of car fires as a manufacturing error put otherwise safe drivers at risk. This becomes an even worse issue should the car harbor particularly young or old individuals. In fact, elderly drivers are more than twice as likely to experience a medical problem that causes difficulty in travel. “The volume of fires here make it appear that Hyundai and Kia are content to sit back and allow consumers and insurers to bear the brunt of poorly designed, manufactured and repaired vehicles,” claims Jason Levine, executive director for the Center for Auto Safety. The real trouble lies in Kia’s and Hyundai’s disregard for customer complaints. Among the more than 200 complaints, over 100 of those have been filed between June and October of this year. “Based on the data collected to date, and these manufacturers’ inability, or unwillingness, to determine the cause of these fires on behalf of the hundreds of Kia and Hyundai customers who own cars which have burst into flames, the center believes the additional remedy which is warranted is a full recall,” Levine continues in his statement. Should car manufacturers continue to shirk customer safety, drivers may opt for other modes of travel. In fact, the limo and town car industry makes $6 billion in annual revenue. So far, the two car companies have begun internal investigations to determine the cause for...

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New Study Sparks Concerns Over Declining Insect Populations
Oct22

New Study Sparks Concerns Over Declining Insect Populations

A recent report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed an alarming decline in the insect populations of Puerto Rico. The authors of the study point to climate change as a factor in the loss of tropical insect life. The study focused on Puerto Rico’s large national forest, El Yunque. This forest is the only tropical rain forest in the National Forest system and has been protected for even longer. Spanish King Alfonso XII named the jungle a 19th-century royal preserve, and just a few decades later Theodore Roosevelt made it a national reserve. Bradford Lister, a biologist from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, first studied Puerto Rican rainforest insects in 1976 when he and a team of colleagues traveled there to measure the resources. Those resources included the insectivores as well as the insects, including the birds, frogs, and lizards. When Lister went back to El Yunque almost 40 years later with his colleague Andres Garcia, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, they could see the decline in birds and butterflies even before they took any measurements. Lister and Garcia measured the forest’s insects and arthropods, a species classification of invertebrates that includes spiders and centipedes. While the very first microscopes were developed to study insects, these researchers needed a method of study that could handle a larger subject capacity. They trapped the arthropods in plates covered in sticky glue placed on the ground and in the tree canopy. They also swept nets over the brush to collect insects there. Every collection method showed a significant decrease in the number of insects and arthropods in the forest. The catch rate in the sticky traps fell by 60 times between 1976 and 2013. The net sweeps only captured between and 12.5% and 25% of the sweeps in previous years. Lister and Garcia also set out to measure the population of anole lizards, which eat arthropods, in El Yunque. Compared with counts from visits in 1976 and 1977, the anole biomass dropped by over 30% and some anole species have disappeared completely from the interior forest. Other insect-eating frogs and birds have also dropped significantly in numbers, indicating that the food web is collapsing from the bottom up. According to Garcia and Lister, this obliteration is a result of climate change. The average high temperature in the rainforest has increased by four degrees Fahrenheit over the same 40-year period as the arthropod decline. Even this slight change in temperature is detrimental to tropical species, as they are adapted to live in certain temperatures and cannot regulate their internal heat to...

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NYC Condo Market: 33,000 New Units On Their Way to Manhattan
Oct22

NYC Condo Market: 33,000 New Units On Their Way to Manhattan

As of 2017, there were more than 111 million renters that lived inside apartments across the United States. In one of the most popular cities in the entire world, apartments are great, but condos are the living space of choice, though not for the frugal spender. The average sales price in Manhattan was $1.9 million for condos in existing buildings during 2017. Believe it or not, $1.9 million isn’t even that bad of a price when it comes to NYC condo living. Two NYC condos have hit the market for much more than the $1.9 million average. Unfortunately, Anthony Bourdain is no longer with us, but his Manhattan condo was just placed on the market for $3.7 million. According to the New York Daily News, the Upper East Side condo, at 40 E. 94th St., was purchased by the late celebrity chef and travel show star along with his wife Ottavia Busia in 2014. When the two purchased the condo, city property records show that they spent $3.35 million. “The open gourmet kitchen is equipped with top-of-the-line appliances,” reads the luxury listing on Stribling and Associates’ website. Some of the amenities feature a “6 burner, double-oven Wolf range, Subzero refrigerator and freezer, Miele dishwasher and microwave, custom cabinets, porcelain floors, and granite countertops. NBA icon Jason Kidd recently placed his Manhattan condo for sale, as well. According to Variety, Kidd, a 10-time NBA All-Star point guard and two-time Olympic gold medal winner, is selling his 2,755-square-foot, 4-bedroom, and 4.5 bathroom condo for the low, low price of only $4.7 million, which is actually $600,000 under its $5.35 asking price. Kidd is being represented throughout the sale by Douglas Elliman’s Andrew Azoulay and the buyers by Alexander Boriskin and Michael Lorber, both also with Douglas Elliman. In other Manhattan condo news, a new 5-year plan will include 33,000 new condos and rental buildings in the area. Bloomberg adds that 33,000 new units for sale or rent are expected to be constructed in Manhattan within the next five years, with the largest concentrations in the northern and southern parts of the iconic borough. This new development could cause some issues, though. Despite the expensive price for some of NYC’s luxurious condos, there is actually a surplus of high-end condos and apartments due to a post-recession building boom. “It’s really the top questions we get from our developer clients, after ‘How much can we sell this for?’ and ‘How fast can we sell it?'” said Joshua Silverbush, director of market insights for Marketing Directors, an NYC-based brokerage. “What else is coming up, and what are we competing against?” An estimated 1,643 new rentals are expected to reach Manhattan by the end of...

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