Health:

4 Ways to Make Chiropractic Care Part of Your Techie Lifestyle

Who has the time to see doctors on a regular basis? With your busy lifestyle, you barely have time to grab a quick bite to eat or keep up with your Facebook posts. However, prioritizing your health is made easier with technology, and many healthcare professionals are getting on board. If you want to take better control over your well-being, start by branching out and including some alternative care that complements your traditional physician. chiropractor 1

Chiropractors aren’t meant to be seen only after a car crash. Experts in the health and alignment of the spine, this part of your body plays a role in everything from muscle pain to headaches. In fact, those regular adjustments can work wonders in ensuring you feel your best. Even though the average appointment takes 30 minutes or less, it can still be a challenge to squeeze in an adjustment.

Here’s how to make it a little easier.

1. Download chiro-friendly apps

There are hundreds of apps which are chiropractor-approved and do things like remind you of ergonomic postures or provide exercises that are office-friendly. Check with your chiropractor first to make sure none of these suggestions are contraindicative for you or your body. After that, you can start exploring the many apps at your fingertips.

2. Check in without “checking in”

A reputable chiropractor will work with you and your schedule, quickly replying to phone calls and emails. Maybe you just have a simple question about pain management and don’t have time to schedule an appointment. Make use of technology, and remember that some professionals might even offer virtual video appointments.

3. Draft a wellness plan

Include all of your healthcare professionals when drafting a wellness plan, and ensure that preventative care takes top billing. Just like you wouldn’t skip paying your phone bill each month, you should have the same priorities with your health. Maybe this includes an adjustment once per month as well as an acupuncture session or massage therapy. Find a plan that works with you and your schedule.

4. Do your own research

There’s a lot of wrong information about chiropractors floating around, but don’t take any information as gospel until you do the research yourself. You’ll be surprised by the history of chiropractic care and the many conditions it can treat. Don’t dismiss it as unnecessary because it might be the tool you’ve been searching for.

 

Science:

3D Printing Will Be A Game Changer in a Few Short Years

3D printer

Journalists who have covered 3D printing sometimes refer to the famous replicator on Star Trek. But this is not science fiction — it’s emerging science fact.

You can, in fact, create something out of thin air. What’s more, you can create almost anything you like in a variety of materials from plastic to steel.

A third industrial revolution?

Sometimes referred to as the Third Industrial Revolution, 3D printing could be the end of mass production and the beginning of customized production. Here’s how the future will look when 3D printing becomes as common as printing from your desktop printer.

Suppose you buy an expensive laundry machine, but a part breaks off. Usually, you would have to contact the store where you bought it. The salesman will talk to the repair person, who in turn talks to the distributor. The distributor will probably then get the part shipped from another country because the cost of labor was cheaper there when it came to building your laundry machine.

But now, with 3D printing, this long, possibly expensive, chain of production comes to an end. Instead, you would simply go to the manufacturer’s website and download a CAD file. You then print out the part you need. If you don’t have a 3D printer, you simply go to your local office supply store and get the part printed there.

Here’s another example. Suppose you just bought some designer jewelry and you wanted to print out a little jewelry box for it. You could upload a design for a jewelry box from your desktop onto your CAD program, customize the box to the size and shape you want, and then send it to your 3D printer.

How does it work?

The actual technical term for 3D printing is additive manufacturing technology. While there are a number of different types of this technology, they all create 3D objects one layer after another until you have a complete object.

With regular printing on a sheet of paper, there are two dimensions: an X and Y axis. With 3D printing, you have a third dimension, which you could regard as the height or depth, and that’s the Z axis.

Building in 3D

The printed layers are developed along the X and Y axis first, then as one layer after another is added, one atop the next, the Z axis comes into existence. It’s like baking a cake in layers, adding one layer after another, until your initially flat cake becomes a tower.

Using a 2D printer, you will probably use office software, perhaps Microsoft Word, to print the sheet of paper. After you’ve written the document, you click the print icon, and instructions are sent to your desktop printer about what to do.

A 3D printer uses a digital file in a similar manner. Instead of a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, however, you’ll use a program called Computer Aided Design (CAD). Once your design has been completed, you click the print icon to send instructions to your 3D printer. As the printer goes to work, construction material is poured layer by layer.

Right now, all this may sound a little too fantastic to believe. But the technology exists and it will probably be a part of everyday life in just a few years. Even now entrepreneurs are dreaming up ways to make this technology available in the marketplace.

 

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last update: July 30, 2014

Health:

Startling Discovery Makes Anti-Aging Products Work Even Better

Using advanced plant stem cell technology, researchers are able to develop a more stable form of antioxidants. The new line of antioxidant therapies is expected work even better than what is currently available in the market for beauty and skin care products. Lavender-Oil

What are botanical antioxidants?

Botanical antioxidants are extracted from flowers such as roses; berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; and even beans, for example, soybeans. Finding the right plants and making use of their antioxidant capability has become an exciting aspect of skin care research.

Scientists have found that wild plants contain more antioxidants than plants — berries, for instance — grown on farms. This is because they are not compromised by GMOs and the chemicals that are routinely sprayed on them.

Berries have been found to be high in anthocyanins, while soybeans are abundant in isoflavones. When beauty products with a high level of botanical antioxidants are regularly applied to the skin, they create thicker, firmer skin by encouraging the production of collagen.

How anti-aging products are getting better

Scientists first began to look for antioxidants in plants when they noticed how well plants protect themselves from oxidation if they’re exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. In human skin, as well, oxidation (the result of free-radical damage), is the reason skin ages, and becomes steadily less healthy over time.

Scientists became curious about what would happen if they extracted the antioxidants in plants and rubbed them on human skin. Would skin be protected from oxidation? Numerous clinical trials showed that this deduction was correct.

The best plants proved to be the ones that grow outdoors because of their exposure to wind, rain, and sun. However, it was eventually discovered that the antioxidant products in plants have been compromised by pollutants such as heavy metals in the ground and the use of pesticides on farms.

Many outdoor plants did not have as high a concentration of antioxidants as expected because of poor soil conditions, fluctuating weather conditions, and the frequent use of fertilizers and pesticides.

More recent research has suggested that what scientists need to do is focus on getting the antioxidants directly from plant stem cells. This will bypass the pollutants and other environmental conditions that have been reducing the potency of the antioxidants.

Concentrating on the stem cells

Stem cells can be removed from any part of a plant that’s rich in antioxidants: the roots, stems, twigs, leaves, or fruit. Usually, however, they’re extracted from the leaves because the level of antioxidants is highest there.

The new technology is used in the following four ways:

First, the whole plant is sterilized to remove all contaminants completely. Second, the stem cells are removed.

Third, further stem cells are cultured from the original batch. These stem cells have the purest and highest level of antioxidants.

Fourth, the pure and stable antioxidants are added to skin care products.

The new plant stem cell technology in skin care is focused on extracting the purest, most stable form of antioxidants from the stem cells in plants.

Apps:

Which Weight Management App is Right for You?

Managing your weight, whether you want to lose, gain, or sustain, can be challenging. Swimwear season is just around the corner, and now it’s easier than ever to make a splash with the right weight management app.

There are a number of helpful apps available for both Android and iPhone, but how can you know which one is right for you? Luckily, the hard work has been done by other folks, and if you consult the high rankings and glowing reviews, you should know what to get.

Start with the BMI Calculator, an aptly named app that helps you keep track of your Body Mass Index (BMI). This has been a doctor-preferred method for gauging your overall health as it pertains to weight for more than 100 years.

It’s not perfect, especially for athletes, but it’s a good indication of where you fall on the spectrum and whether you should be focusing on gaining weight, losing it, or staying about the same.

An app for all bodies

My Fitness Pal is a popular website that can assist with all aspects of your health, whether you’re trying to figure out how many meals to eat per day or keep track of calories. The complementary app is also a great tool, because it enables users watch their caloric intake, and it’s very customizable.

You can choose from an existing database of 1.5 million foods or input your own. There’s a free barcode scanner and more than 150 trackable exercises to see just how many calories you’ve burned, too.

However, if you’re on Weight Watchers, getting their app is an absolute must. You’ll get access to new recipes, media reports on health and obesity, and detailed reports on exercise information to keep you on track.

The support system for Weight Watchers is incredible, and with easy social media and forum links within the app, you’ll find a stronger network than ever, right on your smartphone.

A little extra support

Are you looking for all the benefits of a personal trainer but don’t feel you have the money to pay those costly fees? Noom Weight Loss Coach is an app that lets you personalize a weight management plan and assigns daily tasks to help you get there, whether it’s reading the latest breaking health news or tackling a new exercise challenge.

You can easily log your success and steps, and it keeps you on track with reminders so you can make changes that will last over the long run. Plus, it even comes with a GPS and pedometer so you know exactly how much movement you get under your belt.

If working out is more your thing than measuring your kale salad, the 7-Min Workout might be right up your alley. You’ve heard about seven minutes in heaven? That’s exactly what your body will think happened with this quickie app that ensures you get an intense workout almost anywhere with zero equipment.

Enjoy clear directions and commands for switching it up, and you can know that you’re getting the regular cardio you need in intervals that even the busiest of professionals can handle. No matter which app you choose, whether one or all of the above, putting your health literally in your hands is a good habit not just for bikini season, but for life.

 

Future:

Would High-Tech 18-Wheelers Be Safer?

Accidents that involve 18-wheelers have turned up in the news increasingly. Some surveys suggest there are roughly two semi-truck accidents across the nation per hour each day.

Of course, this includes lesser incidents with minor damage that aren’t widely reported, but it’s a large number of accidents that involve costly damage, and sometimes cost lives.

There haven’t been major changes in semi-truck technology in many years, and 18-wheeler mechanical failure is a leading cause of accidents in the US. Perhaps this is a sign that it’s time to rethink the design of semi trucks altogether. This has already been under consideration for several years, most notably by German designer Luigi Colani.

The 18-wheeler of the future

The original reason for Colani’s futuristic truck design was to reduce the amount of gas needed to run a big rig. Gas prices have been in violent flux, and sometimes make it too expensive to justify driving a huge, gas-guzzling vehicle.

Colani’s design proposal changed the engine to reduce fuel consumption by 30%, and reconfigured the frame so it’s much smoother and more aerodynamic. Over the years, he continued to refine the idea, and came up with lighter materials and a new method of driving that incorporated a joystick rather than a steering wheel.

The current design uses 50% less fuel than semis currently on the road, but for the moment it’s unfortunately not cost-effective. A price tag of $1 million to produce a single vehicle is a little too pricey.

Perhaps one day, manufacturers will come up with ways to reduce this production cost. One thing that Colani never mentioned about was any safety improvement, to parallel what has been added to non-commercial vehicles in recent years.

Safety feature technology

A hot new trend in modern cars is a lengthy list of vehicle safety measures. Some of these features include:

- Forward collision avoidance

- Responsive automatic brakes

- Back-up cameras

- Parking assistance

- Back-up warning sensors

These are among the most popular features that regularly turn up as options in private vehicles. Perhaps some of these same measures will be added to semi trucks.

Semis are very heavy vehicles that take a longer time to slow down than cars do. If a semi driver has slow reactions, he or she only adds to the braking time necessary to avoid a terrible accident.

With autonomous brakes, a truck can begin to slow down at the first sign of danger, and potentially save lives.

Keeping semi drivers alert

Another major factor in accidents involving semi trucks is drowsy drivers. Big rigs typically move freight over long distances, and they can be on the road for incredibly long periods of time.

If a driver begins to “nod off” after a long stretch of driving, an accident is more likely to occur. Technology is starting to be implemented to keep drivers alert on the road. A few examples could be sensors that send out an audible alert if the driver’s hands leave the wheel for more than a few seconds, or if the vehicle begins to drift.

Technology of this variety has already been developed in certain areas, and it may not be long before it can be used to keep big-rig drivers and the people around them safer on the road.

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Science:

The Fisherman vs. the FAA: The Saga of Beer Delivery Drones

It’s been a beautiful winter for ice fishing in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Due to the especially cold weather, many lakes froze early giving hardy ice fishermen an early start to the season. On top of that, a Wisconsin Brewery, Lakemaid from Stevens Point, had developed the ability to deliver cold and fresh beer straight to their fishing spots via drone. They’d never run out of beer again! No one would have to make that cold trek to shore to visit the bar or liquor store. Technology to the rescue!

Enter the FAA, or Federal Aviation Administration. They spotted a video put up on YouTube by the brewery showing their test flight of what they call their UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The FAA won’t have it, and they put a stop to it.

Although there are almost no laws governing drones specifically, the FAA rules the airspace and have determined that commercial drones, even when granted a research exception to the ‘no commercial drones’ rule, cannot fly higher than 400 feet. This means that the typical RC helicopter (seen here) is fine for a toy, but toss a delivery service into the mix and things become criminal. Additionally, Lakemaid was caught dead to rights. These drones flew higher than that and were officially in the FAA’s domain.

The Internet arose in full fury mode. Twitter and Facebook were inundated with stories of the beer drone shutdown. What seemed like a peaceful, logical and useful application of drone technology was being eliminated while military usage grew almost unrestricted.

Lakemaid even started a Whitehouse government petition asking the Obama administration to put their drones in the skies again. As of this writing only 1405 signatures have been gathered with only 98,595 to go by March 1st, 2014.

The drone in use by Lakemaid Brewery is a DJIF550, which can handle about a 12-pack or a little less on a day with windy flying conditions. Jack Supple, the president of Lakemaid, has said the company was pleased with their drone marketing so far and were about to order a larger model when the FAA called and put a stop to their drone operations. They will be keeping a sharp eye on the upcoming regulations, so they can continue their drone beer deliveries in a safe, legal manner.

Lakemaid isn’t the only commercial operator of drones that has received cease and desist orders from the FAA. A real estate company in Wisconsin had been using drones to get pictures of properties, and the University of Nebraska had been using them for journalism purposes. These programs have been halted.

Currently there are few regulations for drone technology despite the publicly-announced development by large companies like Amazon and Domino’s Pizza. The FAA is expected to come out with comprehensive regulation in 2015. In the meantime grounding protects the public from things like falling objects that could do harm to people or property.

It’s expected that special training and licenses will be involved, so drones won’t be filling our airspace for some years to come. For the time being ice fishermen will have to haul more beer out on the lake by themselves!

Health:

Science Proves These Quirky Activities Create Better Athletes

Our bodies react to different stimuli and activities in surprising ways — ways that scientists and trainers continue to probe in an effort to understand the human body better, and mold the greatest athletes of the future.

Below are some of the most surprising activities that can boost athletic performance.

Squeeze with your left, not with right

In perhaps one of the strangest studies ever conducted — one from which you would expect absolutely no conclusive or meaningful results to come — it was discovered that clutching something in your left fist (or even just clenching your empty left fist) increased athletic performance in pressure situations and prevented “choking.”

Clenching the right fist rendered the opposite result, however. It had a negative impact on athletic performance.

The reason behind this surprising result is that the left hemisphere of the brain, which is devoted to rumination (in other words, potentially over-thinking during critical moments), becomes activated when the right fist is clenched, and that may increase tension and introspection. By contrast, clenching your left fist activates the right hemisphere of the brain, which is associated with movement and motor functions, thereby improving physical functioning.

Sniff some jasmine

We know scents can have a powerful psychological effect on the body. It has recently been discovered that certain scents can even improve concentration and athletic performance.

A study of six Major League baseball players suggested that the ones who sniffed a jasmine-scented armband before each swing during batting practice greatly increased their hitting performance compared to those who sniffed an unscented armband.

The results showed that any activity involving hand-eye coordination or precise muscle movements could be enhanced by surrounding oneself with the sweet smell of jasmine.

Believe in something positive

Many athletes swear by visualization and positive reinforcement techniques to improve their performance, and science has backed them up on at least one aspect of this belief. In an experiment reported in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, white basketball players were better at shooting free throws after watching videos that portrayed white basketball players as the best free throw shooters.

Caucasian players who watched videos that depicted black players as the best shooters experienced a decreased performance. The study showed that believing in one’s own ability to perform a task, even when that belief stems from nothing but a generality regarding their race, can have a positive effect on performance.

So if you’re an athlete who’d like to fill your trophy cases with trophies and awards, consider sniffing some jasmine, filling your mind with positive reinforcements, and clenching a ball in your left hand when the pressure begins to mount.

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.

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