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Science:

3 Non-Traditional Uses for Vitamins in Technology

 

When most of us think of vitamins, it’s in connection with dietary supplements that help keep us strong and healthy. Many people take a multivitamin to make up for vitamins and minerals they may not be getting from their regular diet.

Vitamins can also be used to combat signs of aging, such as greying hair.

Vitamins are not only used for these purposes, though. They also have a role to play in modern technology. Here are three examples of ways in which vitamins are used for non-traditional goals.

1. Vitamin B2 used for 3D printing

Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, is found in foods like meat, green vegetables, and cottage cheese. A group of biochemical engineers in North Carolina found it could be used to 3D print medical implants that are more compatible with the human body than existing materials.

Using this technique, researchers can create structures that will be implanted into the body, such as micro needles or scaffolds for tissue engineering custom body parts.

2. Vitamin C neutralizes chlorine in water

Vitamin C is your go-to vitamin to keep your bones, teeth, and gums healthy, but it also does a great job stamping out chlorine in water. If left untreated, chlorine will kill fish and other aquatic life in the water supply, upsetting the local ecosystem.

Two types of Vitamin C, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid, can be used to neutralize chlorine. Neither is considered hazardous, since they do not lower the dissolved level of oxygen in the water. Vitamin C is not toxic to wildlife: Once it is introduced to the water, it will degrade in 24-48 hours.

3. Vitamin E stamps out static cling

Static cling is a nuisance when you’re trying to get dressed, but it’s a more serious matter for the manufacturing sector. When electrostatic shocks occur in that setting, it can be enough to damage computer chips or television circuits.

Static electricity also has the potential to start fires and explosions that could result in extensive property damage and personal injury for anyone caught on the premises at the time.

Vitamin E, along with other non-toxic antioxidants, is added to coatings for electronics to minimize this problem. These surface coatings will not react chemically with sparks or dust that build up on equipment or plastic parts, which avoids the static charge.

It’s a simple solution to an old problem.

Mobile:

3 Healthy Apps for Kids

 

Did you get a tablet for Christmas? If you’re like many people this year, you did. And if you’re like many families, your young children will be using that tablet, too.

Many educational tools and apps available for use on a tablet will not only teach your kids, but also entertain them. Here are three of the best:

1. Pick Chow!

A team of health and nutrition experts have created a site for kids called ZisBoomBah. On this site is the popular Pick Chow! tool, which is a fun way for kids to learn about nutrition and how it affects their health.

By placing foods on a virtual plate, the program gives kids a nutrition rating — between one and five stars — for their meals. Additionally, the app lets kids send an automated email to parents.

The email contains information about the virtual meal that has been prepared as well as a recipe and coupons for real-life preparation.

2. FitnessKids

FitnessKids teaches children how to have fun while staying fit. The app features 25 different exercises that are presented in an instructional animation complete with sound and music.

Digital records are kept so progress and improvement can easily be chronicled. Kids can do the exercises alone or challenge a friend through the “Joust” feature.

The exercises and presentation are colorful, musical, and designed to be fun. Your kids will learn lifelong fitness habits, and have a great time doing so.

3. This is My Body

This is My Body is an interactive app that teaches kids about their bodies. Created by medical experts, the app teaches anatomy, and gears the information toward a growing child.

All the major systems of the body are covered, and instruction is provided in a way that even young kids with a low reading level can follow along.

The more your kids know about how their bodies work, the better they’re able to make healthy choices. Additionally, education can help them reduce shyness when dealing with potentially embarrassing problems, such as body odor or painful gassiness.

Apps and online programs can be a fun and intuitive way for children to learn, and one of the most important subjects to learn about is health. By promoting a fit lifestyle, these apps help your kids develop lifelong habits that will, in turn, support a long, healthy life.

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last update: September 21, 2014

Mobile:

Apps Every Woman Should Use for Great Hair

Your smartphone makes it simple for you to do just about anything, from booking an entire vacation to making dinner reservations. But what you don’t know is that it can actually help you look gorgeous.

Besides calling your grandmother in Texas and checking your work email for signs that your boss is upset with you, you can use your smartphone to choose hair colors or styles, and even make appointments at your favorite salon.

These apps make it possible for you to find hair inspiration, cuts, styles, and even try on hair color before you commit to it at the salon. As a woman you are naturally vain — even if it’s just a little bit — when it comes to your appearance, which is why these apps are life changers.

Pinterest

By downloading the Pinterest app onto your smartphone you can create an entire board that’s dedicated solely to your hair. You can pin colors you love, styles you want to try, and updos that are perfect for the next formal event you attend.

Show it to your stylist and let her go from there when she cuts, colors, and styles your hair. Can’t figure out what to do on a day you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to devote to styling? Pinterest has plenty of quick styles that leave you looking great and not at all rushed.

Magic Mirror

This app allows you to upload a photo of yourself and try on hairstyles. You can use it as a serious method of choosing how you want to look, or as a fun way of entertaining yourself in the doctor’s office waiting room.

You wouldn’t really choose a mullet, but you might get a good laugh out of seeing yourself sport one in a very non-permanent manner.

Hair Color Booth

Once you color your hair, it’s done. This app allows you to use your own photo to change the color of your hair without any permanence. It’s a great way to see how you’d look going from auburn to platinum blonde, or blonde to brunette, without making any major life changes in the process.

Booking appointments

Even if you don’t download any of these great apps, you can still use your smartphone to book an appointment with your favorite stylist. Many salons have websites that allow you to book online using your smartphone.

This makes it simple to get the next available appointment without ever having to make a call or spend time on hold waiting for confirmation.

Gorgeous hair is really only a smartphone away. Use yours as inspiration and to gather ideas to discuss with your stylist the next time you visit the salon.

Gadgets:

3 Ways an Inventory Management System Can Help Businesses

Technology has revolutionized the way that today’s businesses operate. One type of software that can greatly help with ordering and maintaining correct stock quantities is inventory management software. Here are three ways that businesses in many industries can benefit from this technology.

1) Increased efficiency

Keeping up with a large number of products can painstaking if you have outdated techniques. This is especially true for mid- to large-sized businesses that are dealing with thousands or tens of thousands of products. Using an inventory management system gives business owners a high level of control so they can tell what the exact quantity of a particular product is at any time. Many platforms will automatically notify the right person ahead of time if a product is running low, so it can be reordered without disrupting operations. This way customers always have what they’re looking for and stock quantities can stay at the right number.

2) Comprehensive reporting

Another advantage involves the fact that businesses continually accumulate data. Besides having access to real-time data for an instant view of inventory quantities, the software will analyze data so long-term trends can be identified. For example, if a particular product was experiencing sales spikes at certain times of the year, a business owner could order larger quantities just before the anticipated surge. If a product has witnessed a gradual decline in popularity and is simply wasting shelf space, it could be discontinued to make room for a more popular product. This makes it easier to devise ordering strategies based on solid evidence.

3) Better profit margins

Thanks to the added level of efficiency and smarter ordering, businesses that implement this system can also expect to see higher sales volumes. By ordering the ideal quantity of each product, this makes the process much more cost-effective than simply guessing or going on intuition. Companies are less likely to get stuck with unwanted product lines that they can’t move and the products they do order should sell relatively quickly. It’s also easier to keep track of order management and financials, and the chances of human error are greatly reduced. A platform that integrates with Quickbooks increases efficiency even more because businesses can still use a familiar interface. This makes the implementation process easier and puts businesses in a position to thrive.

Gadgets:

3 Must-Have Stress Relieving Gadgets

 

Everyday life can get pretty stressful. It’s no secret that stress can have negative effects on your body as well as your mental health, and that it can accelerate illnesses and injuries.

Sometimes you just need to turn off your computer, leave your phone at home, and go somewhere to relax. If you can’t do that, there are still ways that technology can help you relieve stress and boost your focus. There are tools available to help you de-stress your life, and thereby boost your productivity, focus, and happiness.

Here are three excellent gadgets that can help you.

1. The PIP Biosensor

Sometimes it’s hard for us to realize when we’re actually stressed. The PIP Biosensor was created through a Kickstarter campaign for the purpose of monitoring stress levels.

The small, teardrop-shaped sensor is connected to an app that shows you your current stress levels. Once you can start to visualize your own tension levels, it’s a lot easier to learn what causes your stress and how you can control it.

2. JumpStart

It’s been shown that you can control stress levels, and even improve your overall health, just by controlling your breathing. The JumpStart app can helps you to do just that by leading you through ten-minute breathing exercises that you can do anytime, and anywhere.

3. 20 Cubed

Many of us spend our days staring at a screen, whether it’s for our job or on our own time. It’s important to take a break every once in a while, otherwise you’ll end up putting a lot of strain on your eyes and your body by sitting still for so long.

20 Cubed is a browser extension that counts down every 20 minutes and tells you exactly when to take a break.

If you’re still looking for further stress relief during your day, you might look into downloading some audio podcasts or guided hypnosis and meditation. There’s a lot of great content out there, some of it available for free; and the right music, podcasts, comedy albums, or meditations can be a welcome escape from your hectic day.

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Mobile:

5 Apps That Save You Money While Helping Others During the Holidays

Holiday spending can sometimes get way out of hand. When we think of our families, we sometimes think of others who can’t afford a gift-laden Christmas like us.

Some of us may feel there should be a way to curb our spending and help us to focus on what really matters during the holidays, such as helping those in need.

There are at least five apps for smart devices that can help us reduce our holiday spending so we have more to donate to charities. Some can even provide assistance to others more directly. Here they are.

1. Money Dashboard

With easy access to all your accounts, you can control your spending much better. This application shows your account balances across the board and has countless features to help control your money-spending issues.

2. Easy Envelope

This system is much like the old-fashioned practice of placing your money in separate envelopes to keep track of how much is spent and for which merchandise.

The application is handy, neat, and easy to learn to use. With everything kept in order, you are more likely to spend less and save more.

Charity applications that save and help out

3. Just Give

One way to curb holiday spending is to donate to a reputable charity foundation. With the Just Give application, you can browse all the charities and discover the one that’s right for you.

4. Instead

This app helps by suggesting changes to your daily routine. Changes such learning to cut your children’s hair instead of going to a salon, or brewing your own coffee, are good suggestions for saving money.

The money you save on these practices can go toward charities where the dollars will be used for a better cause.

5. Check in For Good

If you feel you must make lots of purchases during the holidays, then try this application as a way to help out. With the participation of certain businesses, a $1 donation will be made for every customer that enters the store. Check for stores that honor this donation and shop at their outlets.

Even though your family has needs during the holidays, there are surely other people who need more. Try to recognize the need and help support those who cannot do things for themselves.

Children’s homes and shelters can always use any help they can get during the holidays. Go ahead and make Christmas special for everyone by reaching out and providing for the needs of those who have little.

Lifestyle:

How Technology Is Keeping Athletes Safer

Each sport gets to determine the type of gear the athletes will wear, and pro athletes can be penalized for not following all the rules. No matter what type of equipment the athletes need, all of their gear is design to help keep them safe.

Gear has changed over time, and it continues to evolve constantly. Scientists and engineers are always working on ways to minimize athlete risk and keep them safer. Check out some of the most recent innovations below!

Football

With the threat of pee-wee concussions becoming a real concern, football engineers have been looking for ways to improve the helmets the players wear. They analyze the shape of the helmet, the arrangement of the pads inside, the placement and size of the holes in the sides, and the shape of the facemask.

All of these seemingly minor details can make a huge difference when a player gets hit. Next time you watch a football game, take note of how different the helmets are based on the position the athlete plays.

Mixed Martial Arts

Although these talented fighters wear minimal equipment, their gloves are an integral part of MMA fighter safety. They usually wear small, open-fingered gloves that weigh 4 or 6 ounces.

These provide sufficient padding to protect the fighters’ knuckles and hand during the impact of a strike. But they have another (possibly surprising) safety feature. Receiving a blow to the head with an MMA glove is far safer than with a traditional boxing glove. The latter are much heavier, which would lead to harder blows.

Soccer

The most important piece of safety equipment for a soccer player are going to be the shin guards. These are usually made out of some sort of padded material designed to absorb the shock of player-to-player contact during the game.

Getting kicked in the shins might not seem like a big deal, but repeated trauma to the bones in the lower leg can lead to stress fractures as well as several types of bone cancer. The shape, length, and amount of padding on the shin guards varies greatly: Scientists are working on designing materials that are lighter and more comfortable but deliver the same amount of protection.

Some professional soccer goalies also wear soft padded helmets. A goalie diving for a ball and striking his or her head on the side of the goal post is not an uncommon occurrence, and some soccer players have suffered concussions or neck injuries. Currently, these are not required, but the leagues may decide to mandate goalie helmets in the future.

Science:

How Technology and Physical Therapy Work Together on the Road to Recovery

Technology isn’t just for kids who want to play games or adults who want to keep up with the latest on social media. It’s for everyone and everything — especially for the health industry.

In ways most people cannot even imagine, technology makes it possible for those who thought they’d never walk, talk, or regain motor functions again to do just that.

In the medical industry, technology is used for everything from diagnosing injury and disease to surgery and organizing patient records. Technology also plays a significant role in physical therapy, by helping patients overcome their trials.

Physical therapy and the iPad

You might use your iPad for shopping, game playing, or browsing social media, but you may not know that physical therapists use iPads to help patients with speech problems learn to articulate their words.

Use of the iPad in speech therapy has been shown to promote healing at a faster rate. Patients who’ve suffered illness or injury that resulted in speech problems learn to communicate faster and with more accuracy.

Electrical therapy

Another way technology has improved physical care is through the use of electrical therapy. This involves the placement of small tech devices on patients’ hands and legs during physical therapy.

Therapists use this to stimulate the muscles and help the patient regain use and control of appendages. The technology has proven highly successful and is now being utilized in more physical therapy applications than ever.

Technology and physical therapists

No matter how much technology a physical therapy specialist has at his or her discretion, nothing replaces the stellar therapist. Patients need emotional support: a therapist who is willing to listen and has confidence and enthusiasm in the process of therapy.

If your therapist doesn’t show this kind of attitude, it may be time to replace him with one who does. Without a knowledgeable and capable therapist, all the technology in the world is unlikely to help.

While it might seem as if technology can take the place of caregivers, it simply cannot. As beneficial as it is, it simply can’t furnish the emotional, human factor involved in physical therapy.

Technology is one of the main reasons that so many people live longer their ancestors. While a healthy lifestyle helps, technology has made it possible for those who shouldn’t be here to survive and prosper. Life-saving techniques cannot be performed without the proper technology, which makes it invaluable to the medical profession.

Without technology in physical therapy, the process of recovery is long and arduous. Even with it, some injuries and illnesses involve so much damage that patients will spend years in therapy working to recover; but technology can speed up the process.

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