Amazing Chalk Art Images That Will Leave You Speechless

Amazing Chalk Art Images That Will Leave You Speechless

Although Banksy and other graffiti artists still get most of the news coverage, there is a growing cadre of chalk artists that are plying their trade, sometimes anonymously and sometimes signed, across the United States to growing acclaim.

It’s no surprise that San Francisco leads the way in chalk artistry. The city has set aside funds to employ chalk artists to decorate the sidewalks around public playgrounds with whimsical fairy tale figures and heroic comic book figures.

Chicago has white washed several blank building sides for the express purpose of chalk drawing. The city provides youth with free colored chalk balls to sketch whatever they want — within limits of public good taste, of course.

Bistros everywhere from New Orleans to Salt Lake City have paneled their walls with chalkboard, and hired the best local chalk artists to draw not only ornate menu options but fantastical portraits of local and historical interest — like Jean LaFitte the pirate in New Orleans, or Brigham Young in Salt Lake.

And one of the trendiest birthday party stunts in 2019 is to hire a chalk artist, or a whole team, to decorate every available blank space outside of a boy or girl’s home with representations of their favorite superheroes and cartoon characters.

The Most Practical Healthy Habits for Sleep Optimization

The Most Practical Healthy Habits for Sleep Optimization

A healthy night’s sleep is often the best treatment for the anxiety and stress of everyday life. How many hours do you sleep each night? More important, how WELL do you sleep each night?

Doctors and sleep specialists all agree that these practical tips will bring better rest:

Don’t eat after eight p.m. at night. The stomach doesn’t like to work when the rest of the body is getting its rest. Heartburn can turn a late night snack into late night insomnia.

Keep the lights dim, long before going to bed. When possible, use only indirect lighting in the rooms where you spend your evenings. This sends a signal to the brain that sleep is on the way, and it begins to slow down and relax.

Don’t leave important decisions until you can ‘sleep on it.’ This only keeps you awake looking for solutions when you’re in bed. Instead, either work out problems in the late afternoon, or discipline yourself to say “I’ll make that decision tomorrow.”   

Don’t go to the gym too late in the evening. Never workout after seven at night. Your body needs several hours to resume its normal metabolism after a strenuous workout. That said, there’s much to be said for getting at least a minimum of exercise each day, because that has been proven to increase the healthy sleep you need each night.

Discover these Less traveled islands on Your Next Vacation Getaway

Discover these Less traveled islands on Your Next Vacation Getaway

Robinson Crusoe had the right idea when he washed up on a desert isle — enjoy the peace and quiet, and beauty, without the crowd and tourist traps that infest so many island vacation spots.

You, too, can find an island getaway that isn’t flooded with travelers where beauty and serenity can be had all day, and all night.

Nosy Ankao, off the coast of Madagascar

Ferry boats cross over to this gem of an island every hour during the fall and winter. There are a few luxury hotels, but mostly it’s pristine white sand beaches with a hypnotic view of the Indian ocean, and little shacks on the shore that serve up spicy shrimp timbales with rice on a banana leaf for less than two dollars.

Palau, near the Philippines

This island nation hasn’t done much about the tourist industry, and so its many unspoiled beaches and friendly inhabitants make it worth the long plane ride. Snorkelers say the coral reefs are the most unspoiled in the world.

Coral Caye Island, Belize

It faces the Atlantic, but Coral Caye, off the coast of Belize, feels more like the Caribbean — with conch chowder and sago croissants served up day and night. The island has few hotels, but many b-and-b’s — and some of the best shoreline fishing in all of South America.

Helping Plantar Fasciitis Is Easier Than You Thought

Helping Plantar Fasciitis Is Easier Than You Thought

Most common amongst runners and those that do repetitive activities like running, but the truth is that it can strike any person at any time.  Known to doctors and individuals themselves, plantar fasciitis is the common cause of heel pain. This incredibly painful foot-related issue impacts millions of people each year.  For those that aren’t familiar with it, it is an inflammation of the tissue running from the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. When you have plantar fasciitis you definitely know it.  The intense stabbing pain presenting itself is most often found in the morning. As movement increases, the pain may diminish, but it is likely to return after long periods of sitting or standing.

Podiatrists are usually the doctor of record for this ailment.  They understand that the repetitive stress on the heel and the attached tissue is one of the root causes of the problem.  There are also other risk factors, including: age, foot mechanics, obesity, and occupations where employees are on their feet for significant periods of time.  Dr. Stephen Bui understands this all too well. He is both a podiatrist and a runner, who has a group of friends that run together in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania each morning.

When his running group began having foot issues, as did he, he decided it was time to do the only thing he knew how to do: research the answer to plantar fasciitis and find a viable solution.  Although once you have the ailment it can always come back, Dr. Bui was keenly aware that there are things you can do to help prevent reoccurrence. When he began his research, he noticed that there is an abundance of products on the market targeting those with plantar fasciitis, but in his medical opinion, few would make a significant difference.  This is when he set out to invent and patent the HighHeeler.

Remember this name: Dr. Stephen Bui. You may not know him yet, but as the inventor of the HighHeeler and other aids, Dr. Bui’s 18 years of podiatry experience have helped more people than he can count.  Because he is so passionate about helping people, even those he doesn’t personally know, Dr. Bui did the only thing he could: he took a sabbatical from his private podiatry practice to start Active Life Solutions, http://www.activelifeusa.com/.  Active Life Solutions is an e-commerce company he started, and an incubator designed, to help find and invent products geared toward mainstream health management.  Plantar fasciitis being only one of the areas it covers.

Dr. Bui’s invention, the HighHeeler, is a reasonably inexpensive, lightweight, and portable device used to aid in the treatment and prevention of plantar fasciitis.  Because he understands the importance of heat and cold during times of great foot stress, he invented it so it enables the user to have the ability to include a hot or cold stone massage for the foot during use.  The 5-in-1 treatment proffered by the HighHeeler virtually eliminates the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, and most importantly, the reoccurrence of it, especially since, as noted above, the risk of reoccurrence is far greater once you have had it.

“This project was extremely important to me. I put my blood, sweat and tears into the invention of the HighHealer because I feel it will help people with severe foot pain,” Bui said.

The average plantar fasciitis patient attempts to solve the problem himself or herself.  This is not the smartest or quickest route to take. Instead of doing what is needed medically: proper stretching several times per day, hot and cold breaks, and more; patients tend to deal with the symptoms as they come.  While this can help in part, it does not guarantee that the problem will be solved or that it won’t reoccur. The HighHeeler is a game changer in this respect. Because it is portable, it can be used anywhere, at any time, thus not requiring an extra item on the daily “to do” list.

Building foot strength and performance is something we should all do.  Professional athletes do it. Many runners do it. We tend to take our feet for granted, which is a shame, since they do so much for us.  By using a device like the HighHeeler, we eliminate all guesswork. Designed with Soapstone in the middle, which can be removed and heated or frozen. The HighHeeler affords relief to tender foot parts.  Because of the design, it also eliminates the need for stretching as the massage is stretching you at the very same time.

What many of us don’t know is that plantar fasciitis impacts many foot modalities. The HighHeeler was designed to address the five prominent ones, including: stretching the Plantar Fascia ligament, strengthening the smaller muscles which stabilize feet, loosening calf tightness, reducing inflammation and finally, massaging the foot.  Because all these areas are all integrated into the work, this product offers a much more complete solution.

Dr. Bui oversees the in-house testing of all products carried by Active Life Solutions from a medical and a non-medical perspective. “We have helped companies from several countries successfully launch innovative products,” Bui said. “We not only help companies launch, we invest in the people behind these products as well.”

The site offers a multitude of solutions, from the HighRoller to the HighHealer, HighBaller, HighTrainer, Swedish Posture, IAMRUNBOX, SP1KE seat cushion, and the SP1KE standing mat, BLACKROLL, and more.  Stability, stretching and flexibility are the hallmarks of each product. While some solve an immediate problem, like the HighHeeler, others help us in our day-to-day movement and allignment.

If you happen to be running in Waynesboro one morning, you may see Dr. Bui and his friends speed by.  When you do, take a moment to think about how this doctor’s professional expertise has truly created a game changer.  As he puts it, “when we are doing what we need to properly to prevent injuries, the miles ahead of us seem easier and far more exciting.”

Capsaicin, Capsimax and Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) Activation

Capsaicin, Capsimax and Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) Activation

Hot peppers may seem like a fairly run-of-the-mill ingredient, but it could be the key to unleashing your brown adipose tissue (BAT) and getting rid of all that excess, unwanted fat.

Capsaicin (or Capsicum and industrially known as Capsimax) is the active ingredient in hot peppers and we’ve known about the fat burning power of Capsimax for years. Now though, we are starting to understand why in more detail, as more and more information becomes available about brown fat and its role in weight loss.

  • What is Brown Adipose Tissue (Brown Fat)?

It’s understandable if people interpret the word “fat” as a negative thing. Sure enough, too much white fat is definitely a bad thing – known as obesity, and one of the single biggest health problems currently scourging the entire globe, most notably in the United States.

Actually too little white fat is a bad thing as well – after all, we need the stuff for a lot of metabolic functions and necessary processes all the way down to basic survival.

On the whole though, the amount of people without enough fat is a tiny number compared to the pandemic of obesity.

Brown Fat, on the other hand, we might want to stick around for our entire lives, and even keep growing if possible.

Why would we talk such utter profanity? – Because brown adipose tissue, or brown fat, or BAT, if you like acronyms – burns white fat…and white fat is the stuff that makes us look like wobbly pudding if we let it get out of hand. You see, brown fat has close family ties (i.e. stem cell lineage) with muscle tissue, which a lot of people could do with at least a little bit more of.

Found around our neck, shoulders, chest and spine, brown fat is incredibly powerful stuff considering we only have a few ounces of the stuff over our entire body.

When we were babies, it was essential for increasing our core temperature when we got cold – real survival stuff! Babies can’t shiver, and shivering is one of the methods by which we heat up as youngsters and adults. Therefore BAT acts as the radiator in lieu of a shivering mechanism.

  • Shrinking White Fat

The heat comes from the mitochondria of cells – the little engine houses – as they kick up a few gears to warm the baby. By using fat to fuel the process they are essentially converting matter to energy and the stores of white fat shrink in the process.

As we get older we have less need for the system (because we can shiver) so the quantity of BAT doesn’t really grow. A few ounces to a baby was worth a lot more relative to the adult’s size.

The thing is, brown fat still can be activated – sleeping in a room at about 19 degrees celsius is one proven way – and it still burns other fat. It’s been found that people who naturally have more brown fat stores are generally leaner in body composition. And that’s why we want more of it, or at least, we want it to DO more!

  • So Where Does Capsaicin/Capsicum Come In?

This ingredient is linked with lower levels of obesity in parts of the world where it is a regular addition to peoples’ diet. Clinical studies support this. Capsaicin has several effects which causes weight loss:

  • Increases energy use through the activation of Brown Adipose Tissue
  • Improves/increases lipolysis if taken before exercise
  • Increases satiety (feeling of satisfaction from food) thereby acting as an appetite suppressant
  • Sensory effect improves mood, reducing need for comfort food

There is still room for more study on Capsaicin but the evidence so far is piling up in its favour as an excellent and healthy fat loss ingredient.

Eating a whole lot of peppers might help get some of the effect but it probably isn’t the most practical method. Instead many supplements contain a refined extract which you are able to take in much higher concentrations, and there won’t be any hot-pepper burn either.

  • What are the Best Capsaicin/Capsicum Supplements?

The trademarked industry standard extract is called Capsimax Most supplements containing that in a decent amount should give the desired effect. However, some products that have additional – synergistic – ingredients might tip the balance in their favour. More fat-burning for the same price, as it were.

“Shark Tank” Billionaire Investing in Marko Stout Art!

“Shark Tank” Billionaire Investing in Marko Stout Art!

Famed New York artist Marko Stout appears to be taking Andy Warhols’ place as the artist to the stars!  The iconic New York artist Stout has an extensive following of celebrity fans and among the artist’s admires are the stars of the hit ABC TV series “Shark Tank.”  The show’s star Mr. Wonderful (Kevin Kevin O’Leary) and billionaire co-founded O’Leary Funds is another big fan of the artist. In a YouTube video Mr. O’Leary took a few moments while on his safari vacation to record a video for his friend Marko Stout. Kevin O’Leary talks about the artist and his love of art work, “”Marko Stout’s Exhibition is Fantastic! I’m a Fan!!”

Other big celebrity fans of the artist include the renowned Kardashians. Catilyn Jenner talking extensively about the artist while in “New York for Fashion Week 2018.” The “Keeping up with the Kardashians” star explained, “I’m very excited for Marko Stout’s exhibition, his art is absolutely amazing!”  

Adult film star Stormy Daniels, best known for the President Trump sex scandal recently came out as a big fan of Marko Stout. In an interview Stormy Daniels talked about the artist saying, “I’ve been following Marko Stout’s work for a long time and oh my that is some very sexy art… and I can’t wait to see lots more from him!”

 The artist’s exhibitions have been flooded with young enthusiastic art fans and celebrity art collectors. The famed art dear Taylor Cohen said of the artist, “I’ve not seen this kind of excitement for an opening since Jeff Koon’s retrospective at the Whiney Museum or the Basquiat exhibition”. Marko Stout’s latest exhibition at Caelum Gallery had all the hoopla of a Hollywood movie premiere, complete with a celebrity lined red-carpet. Among celebrities to attend the artist’s opening night VIP party was Sarah Jessica Parker from HBO’s “Sex in the City”, Canadian rapper Drake, adult film star Jesse Jane and a few stars from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and DragCon which included Jaymes Mansfield, Trinity Taylor, Sherry Vine, and Shanglea.

Marko Stout’s celebrity fans have posted brief YouTube videos. MTV’s Snooki from the hit series “The Jersey Shore” is a big fan of the artist and when asked about the artist she said, “I love Marko Stout, his work is totally awesome!” Carson Kressley, star of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” is another huge fan of Stout and talked extensively in his video saying, “Marko Stout’s work is Amaz-Balls!”

Conducting Employee Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know

Conducting Employee Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know

Before hiring someone, people usually want to do a background check on the people they want to hire. A wrong hiring decision will ruin your company, and you probably don’t want that to happen to you or to your business. Let’s not even mention time or money, and, in the worst-case scenario, lawsuits.  

7 out of 10 companies have claimed that they have conducted criminal background checks in all their job candidates. It’s a normal thing to do.

We’ve written this article to give you some tips on how to conduct a successful background check.

Be thorough

Don’t settle for less, find out everything you can about that person, from education, past employment, criminal history to social media and driving history. Companies lose a lot of great people because they only focus on one aspect they were able to find out easily. According to Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) you cannot exclude applicants who have a criminal record, no matter the charge or when it has happened.

Stay away from the “box”

EEOC and many other local counties try their best to ban the “box”. The box is that question that says “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”. This way, you discriminate people, instead of of interviewing and considering all of them equally.

Respect the law

When it comes to the background check, you’ll have to have a legal release form, that was completed by the applicant, informing the person of the right he or she has.  You’ll also have to give the person a copy, and adverse actions communications.

Do not bend the law

You can conduct a background check the wrong way – there are so many ways – but you need to be careful and follow the rules. No bending whatsoever. The rules are all about federal, state or local specific laws. Make sure you talk to your company’s legal counsel to see how you can proceed well.

Be consistent

Make sure that the process for all the applicants is consistent. No matter how many people apply for the same job, they should have the same chances at getting it, and they should also have the same searches and investigations run on them. It’s true, some jobs require different levels of investigation, but when it comes to the same job title, make sure the process is uniform. No discrimination whatsoever.

Always communicate

When you find something uncomfortable while conducting the background check, you should talk to the applicant about it. There are so many mistakes, sometimes misconceptions, that can be solved, simply by talking.

 

6 Tips For Saving Money On Travel Experiences

6 Tips For Saving Money On Travel Experiences

  1. Take A Travel Companion

The easiest way to cut down on expenses is by having a travel companion. This way you can share accommodation, transport and meals. You might even get deals for sharing. You will be splitting the costs of most things making the experience a lot less costly.

Be careful who you take as a travel companion. This needs to be someone that has a lot of the same interests as you do. You need to get along quite well with this person so that the trip doesn’t become unpleasant later on.

  1. Go Cheap On Accommodation.

If you’re trying to see the world but you don’t want to break the bank you might have to compromise on accommodation. Hotels are the obvious choice for tourists. They’re recognised institutions with great service but that service comes at a price.

A much cheaper option would be staying in hostels while travelling. You will be sharing dormitories with other travellers so you won’t have a lot of privacy but you’ll have a place to sleep at a fraction of the price of a hotel.

The next best thing is a bed and breakfast. You will have your own room and each room might have its own ensuite bathroom which offers you a lot more privacy. You also get breakfast which you should take full advantage of. It saves you from spending extra money on things like snacks.

  1. Experience Local Cuisine

When it comes to food, tourists often prefer to stick with what is familiar. So they will seek out a recognisable fast-food chain or look for a fancy looking restaurant in hopes that the food will not disappoint. These aren’t viable options when you’re travelling on a budget.

Save some money and immerse yourself in the culture by trying out the authentic local cuisine. Go to markets and support the street food vendors, or seek out low-cost local restaurants.

  1. Negotiate

In some countries, you can negotiate the price of almost everything. This even applies in some malls. Haggling is part of the culture.

If you team up with other travellers you can ask for a bulk pricing on things like tours or accommodation. If you’re staying in one place for a week or longer you might be able to negotiate for a lower price on accommodation when you check in.

  1. Timing

Often times how much you spend on travelling is subject to when you are travelling. For instance, if you travel during off-season times you will pay less for things like flights and accommodation than you would if you travelled during peak times. The same goes for what time of the day you are travelling.

If you travel between off-peak hours your flights will be a lot less costly. You will save money by flying indirectly and flying to lesser known airports as well.

Book your tickets well in advance and look for travelling deals or discounts. If you book tickets for tourist attractions beforehand you will be paying less than you would be paying on the day.

  1.      Hit The Road

If you’re staying within the borders of your own country the most economical way to travel is in the comfort of your own car. Get a few of your friends together, load up the car and hit the road. You can split the costs of petrol rather than buying a return plane ticket for each of you. Additionally, you can share accommodation costs, or even better, save money on accommodation and camp out in tents.

To prevent any unforeseen expenses while you are out on the road, make sure that your car is in a good condition and that your insurance payments are up to date. if you know you’re going on a trip and you are trying to save some extra money you can shop around for car insurance that suits your pocket and save some money there as well. This gives you peace of mind while you’re on the road if anything happens.

These are just a few tips on how you can travel and see the world without breaking the bank. It’s not how much you spend that makes the trip enjoyable. It’s the experiences and the memories you make that counts.

Going green in 2019 with dark green living room decor

Going green in 2019 with dark green living room decor

The past decade has seen the ascendency of pastel colors in the home. Living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, all have been filled with the pale and neutral shades of formerly deep and earthy colors — in pursuit of what? Karma? Meaningfulness? Focus? Reduction of the carbon footprint? Today it’s hard to tell why America went for pastel house colors in such a big way, because the big bad bold colors are making a decided comeback, and people are loving it and wondering why it ever went away in the first place. IKEA has been one of the instrumental fashion influences to bring back dark colors, especially dark green. The Nordic nations never lost their love and respect for a good dark green — they use it indoors and love to exhibit on the outside of their houses as well — either as a vibrant trim or as a color-coordinated wall coating. A home with dark green, inside and/or outside, is a home full of personality.

In the bedroom a dark green, in the vicinity of forest green to emerald green, is a perfect accompaniment to the natural accents of wood grain bedsteads and dressers. Add some white trim to break the monotony, with a shading of pink (as a nod to the not-quite-extinct mania for pastels) and the bedroom becomes a soothing and steady palette that helps the tired body and weary mind slip under the covers and sleep deep.

Fitness trackers: is your data protected?

Fitness trackers: is your data protected?

Advances made in technology has made it possible to measure and analyze our lifestyle activities such as exercises with the aim to improve it. It has been made possible by the quantified self or what most of you would refer to as self-tracking. But, how safe is your self-tracking?

Currently, there have been security risks that have been associated with a large number of tracking devices. The reason behind the insecurity is due to the social factors and technological advances. Furthermore, stored personal data in this devices is also vulnerable to attacks.

How do different fitness trackers ensure the safety of data inside the tracker itself? What can we do as users to ensure that additional layers of security are added? Before looking at security concerns, we have to understand what quantified self-care.

What does self-track mean?

Self-track is technological devices that use the concept of collecting and analyzing data to track every aspect of human life. The fitness self-track are used by people to monitor progress in heart rate, exercises among other health-related activities.

It is important to note that a report prepared by ABI indicates that the number of wearable computing devices such as self-track devices will increase by approximately 485 million devices annually in 2018.

The huge number of people wearing the devices from top manufacturers including Samsung, and Fitbit that track their daily movement, have raised the question on safety of the devices.

How is your data tracked?

The fitness self-track may come in many forms. Smartphones are currently everywhere. They have many different inbuilt tracking sensors.

Also, most of them have self-tracking applications and due to the inclusion of sensors such as accelerometer, heart rate sensor, GPS and gyroscope they can be converted into an effective self -tracking devices. The applications used have the rights to store read and interpret the data extracted by the sensors.

Another fitness self-track devices are the wearable. These devices can be worn on the body and can also be attached to sports equipment. Wearables have sensors such as gyroscope and accelerometers that generate data.

 

Why are fitness self-track devices hacked?

The use of sensors such as GPRS makes these devices to be prone to attacks and hacking. The information that is extracted from the devices include the distance that you cover within a specific period of time; time that you go for a run; where you go running; age, sex, weight and height; the heart rate; where one lives; your attitude; when and where you go for a vacation.

This information is a goldmine for most businesses that would like to lure you into buying some of their items. Besides, the information is also essential for criminals.

The ease with which personal information is extracted from these devices is alarming. Reports indicate that an estimated 20% of fitness self-track apps were seen to transmit their passwords openly. 52% of these apps lacked policies that govern privacy.

So, what kind of security do they offer?

Type of security

Most manufacturers who provide cloud-based tracking system use the current technology of encrypted protocol. An example is the HTTPS to transfer data.

Out of all the manufactures, only 4 providers are known to take extra caution when it comes to security issues. Despite their efforts to keep data intact and ensure that it remains unaltered, some scammers and hackers still succeed.

It is even more disappointing to realize that even novices of hackers can easily extract information from the self-track. This is because the devices lack end to end encryption or any other tamper protection measures during synchronization of data.

Furthermore, the data stored in some of the fitness trackers that allowed synchronization of data was in plain text a form that is available for hackers to use whenever they want to.

Therefore, it is up to you to ensure that your sensitive data is protected and that no people are tracking your every move. Below are some tips on how you can protect your data.

How to protect your self-track from hacks

Make sure you turn off the WIFI and the Bluetooth connection. Do this every time you are not using them as they can transmit signals which can be used by the tracker.

If you are a person who likes having hundreds of apps in your phone, It is time you redefined your behavior as you should be careful with what that app is going to do with your data.

Some wearable such as MoveC300 watch can sync with smartphones, an iPad or iPhone device. They do not do it automatically and you will have to press the sync button when in need of transferring data from one device to the other. Such a feature makes these watches hard to hack.