Monday, 30 November 2015

At a Time of Plenty, Some Technologies Are Shut Out

Today there are more ways to fund a new company than ever—from crowdfunding platforms to early-stage angel investors, tech incubators that nurture ideas in management boot camps, wealthy family foundations, corporate venture funds, and record levels of venture capital.On crowdfunding platforms, where entrepreneurs are now raising billions of dollars a year, the big winners are companies making some kind of object that consumers can envision buying and using themselves. Among venture capital investments, software is reaping the lion’s share: $21.5 billion in 2014, or 42 percent of all dollars invested, compared with $6 billion for biotechnology and $2.4 billion for industrial and energy companies, according to data from an annual study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
This limited focus is driving up the valuation of certain kinds of companies and creating an investing bubble. But an even more important issue—the central question in this Business Report—is whether the mechanisms for funding innovation today can nourish a broad range of technologies: not just car-sharing services like Uber, but valuable technologies for making energy cleaner, reducing poverty, and improving health care.“The best ideas don’t always get financed,” says Harvard Business School professor Ramana Nanda, an expert in entrepreneurship funding.Among the areas suffering from insufficient investment, according to a recentreport by a committee of MIT professors: medical research into Alzheimer’s and infectious diseases, cybersecurity for non-defense systems, agricultural R&D that could help address the world’s soaring need for food, and even areas of next-generation computing.Capital-intensive industries are particularly ill-suited to today’s methods of funding. For example, it can take years and hundreds of millions of dollars to determine whether innovations in large-scale energy production can work, because they require the construction of a factory or some other large facility. Though venture investors showed interest in energy startups for a brief period in the late 2000s, that window of opportunity has largely closed, leaving the companies scrambling to find new options.When Aaron Fyke founded his company Energy Cache in 2009, it was a good time for green-energy startups. The company, which was developing a mechanical battery to inexpensively store energy generated by wind turbines and solar power, attracted early seed investing from the tech incubator Idealab and others, and it used that to build a prototype. But when Energy Cache went back to investors several years later looking for $20 million to fund two more rounds of development before the product could get to market, it was hard to find investors interested in investing in this type of energy technology.Now raising money for a new company, Edisun, with a faster track to commercialization and a lower cost to develop its technology, Fyke says investors—including traditional venture capitalists, corporate VC arms, and wealthy individuals—have been much more enthusiastic.Given the lack of big money, entrepreneurs like Fyke have had little choice but to refocus on low-capital technologies that use off-the-shelf components, but while that makes sense for them, it still leaves a question: how do we fund the high-capital technologies that we will also need?For this group, funding has to be found beyond Silicon Valley venture capital firms—perhaps led by governments or by investors with a longer time horizon, like family foundations or corporate venture funds. GE Ventures, for instance, invests $200 million a year in startups in such fields as software, advanced manufacturing, energy, and health care. It has stakes in companies including Rethink Robotics and Airware, which makes drone software. “For the most part what we are investing in, we hope to be customers of,” says senior managing director Karen Kerr.For medical-device makers—which, like energy companies, often draw little interest from VCs—crowdfunding has strategic advantages. Scanadu, the maker of a small device packed with sensors that can measure temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily signals, has smartly use its fund-raising to prove market interest. By raising $1.6 million on Indiegogo, the company got 7,000 backers eager to test its prototypes. That provided valuable data to show regulators reviewing the device and helped persuade later-round venture capital funders that there is a market for Scanadu’s products.Now four years old, the company has $49.7 million in backing—including funds from two strategic Chinese backers, the Internet giant Tencent and the investment group Fosun, which has a large health business. It has begun thinking of rolling out in China after the U.S.The dominance of venture capital in the innovation-funding environment is not just a U.S. phenomenon. China, once exclusively a bastion of government-funded research, is now the second-largest VC market, behind the United States. Companies in China collected 18 percent of global VC investment in 2014, or about $15.6 billion, compared with $4.8 billion the year before, according to data compiled by the global accounting firm EY. India’s share has been climbing too, with $5.2 billion invested in 2014—more than double the 2013 total of $1.9 billion.Yet in this increasingly global funding picture, certain innovations are still struggling: potential breakthroughs in energy production and medicine, among others, that take too much money and time to develop. A better financing system, says Harvard’s Nanda, would support a sort of Darwinian evolution of technology. “Each new technology is like a mutation,” he says. “Most will end up failing. A few will be an incredible success. We want to develop financial systems that will encourage experimentation and a high rate of new variations and then be quick at shutting down those that don’t work.”

Cancer Treatment Leaves Survivors with PTSD Scars

As many as 1 in 3 cancer patients suffers from PTSD. The healthcare system is just beginning to identify who’s at risk and to help them cope.Before 1994, cancer patients were specifically excluded from the psychiatric definition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So few survived their treatments at the time, there was rarely a “post” to deal with.Today, there are 14 million cancer survivors in the United States, and diagnostic criteria for PTSD have now expanded to include them.That’s left doctors and psychologists trying to figure out how to help these survivors put cancer in the rearview mirror as they live out the rest of their lives.

PTSD was first identified in veterans of World War I and has gotten a lot of attention in recent years for dogging veterans returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.However, the condition can affect anyone who has experienced a serious threat of violence or death.Cancer patients, told they may die and often put through physically grueling treatments, are certainly at risk. But there's much less data to document their struggles.The best research on PTSD in adult cancer patients followed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients for 10 years after their treatment ended. It found that more than one third had lasting symptoms of PTSD. Another 12 percent reported they once had symptoms, but those had since faded.Research on post-traumatic stress among breast cancer survivors found that 14 percent reported symptoms 15 months after treatment.Because the link between cancer and PTSD is relatively new, few cancer patients actually get an official diagnosis, but many have a range of symptoms.
PTSD Can Be a Killer Long After Trauma Subsides Post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by the inability to relax for fear that a trauma will return, as well as the avoidance of things associated with the trauma, such as a certain part of town. It can also include reliving a traumatic event in nightmares and flashbacks.Research on PTSD suggests that sufferers are at high risk of suicide.One Seattle woman told Healthline that her mother took her own life after surviving cancer because she was convinced it would come back.“She never got over the fact that, despite surviving, the cancer would come back and she couldn't bear the pain. The first time she tried [to kill herself], she didn't succeed. She had pneumonia, which made her a bit delusional, and she mistook it for the tumor coming back. When she succeeded, it was because she knew, 10 years after, the cancer would probably come back and she didn't want to wait around,” she said.

1.6 Million Heart Disease Deaths Every Year Caused by Eating Too Much Salt

What are the real risks of living in a high-sodium world? Millions of unnecessary stroke and heart disease deaths every year.Think you’re doing your body good by not sprinkling extra salt on your meals? You probably are, but that won't stop too much sodium from sneaking into your diet.According to a review published in the New England Journal of Medicineconsuming too much salt is responsible for more than 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths annually. When people eat more than 2,000 mg (or 2g) of sodium per day, the effects can be devastating. 
A maximum of 2,000 mg per day is the recommendation set by the World Health Organization (WHO)."High sodium intake is known to increase blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke," said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, in a press statement. He conducted the research during his tenure at Harvard School of Public Health.His team looked at data from 205 surveys measuring sodium intake from countries that account for about three-quarters of the world's adult population. They used that and other data to calculate sodium intake by country, sex, and age.The results indicate that the average person eats 3.95g of sodium each day, almost double the 2g upper limit recommended by the WHO. People from every region in the world consumed more than recommended, ranging from those in sub-Saharan Africa at 2.18g per day up to 5.51g per day in Central Asia.In the U.S., the average daily sodium consumption was 3.6g. According to the data, about 58,000 cardiovascular deaths each year in America can be linked to a daily sodium intake of more than 2g. Salt intake and its corresponding health burdens were even higher in many developing countries. The most significant impacts of high salt intake were seen in older adults, minority groups, and people who already had high blood pressure.Who’s to Blame for the Bad Food on Your Plate? »"These 1.65 million deaths represent nearly one in 10 deaths from cardiovascular causes worldwide. No world region and few countries were spared," Mozaffarian said, calling for new policies to lower sodium in diets around the world.“For some reason, sodium has never resonated with the public in the way that other nutrition issues have, such as sugar, carbs, fat, and even the new fad of avoiding gluten with no medical necessity,” she said.Palmer said the main problem is not table salt. About 75 percent of the excess sodium we consume comes from processed and pre-prepared foods.“And since we increasingly rely on these foods instead of cooking ourselves, our sodium intake is high,” she said, adding that restaurant meals can have more than enough sodium in them to account for a whole day’s recommended intake.For example, canned soups, rice mixes, and frozen pizzas can contain 1,000 mg of salt per serving or more, Palmer said.“People need to realize that they can make an impact on their health by helping prevent high blood pressure — which can protect you from a number of conditions, such as stroke, heart disease, and even kidney disease — through their diet,” she said. “Reducing sodium is a key factor in this.”FDA Pushes for Lower Sodium Intake — Here's How to Do It »She recommends the DASH diet for lowering blood pressure because it involves wholesome foods like low-fat dairy, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. 

Broncos freeze Patriots' perfect season with overtime win

Big picture: The New England Patriots suffered their first loss – but watching tight end Rob Gronkowski carted off the field late in the fourth quarter likely hurts more than dropping a game in the AFC standings. After all of the other injuries the Patriots offense has suffered this year – season-ending injuries to left tackle Nate Solder, running back Dion Lewis and receiver Aaron Dobson, and an indefinite absence for No. 1 receiver Julian Edelman – it’s now fair to wonder how much more the Patriots can survive.

What we’ll be talking about: As much as the Broncos will try to downplay it, there is a quarterback controversy brewing after Brock Osweiler led the Broncos to 17 fourth-quarter points and a brief 24-21 lead before the game went to overtime. Osweiler had his issues at times against Bill Belichick’s defense – including a first-half interception and three sacks – but he showed the poise and confidence that has inspired his teammates. Peyton Manning will be out for at least another week, but Osweiler is making it very difficult for the Broncos to go back to Manning whenever the veteran signal-caller's left foot heals up.
Key moment: Patriots returner Chris Harper muffed a punt early in the fourth quarter, and it was recovered by Broncos linebacker Shaq Barrett. It was the momentum swing the Broncos needed after an ugly third quarter, and it ignited the Broncos’ rally. The Broncos scored a touchdown several plays later to cut New England’s lead to 21-14.
Key moment II: The Broncos put the final touches on the win when C.J. Anderson scampered down the left sideline for a 48-yard touchdown after denying the Patriots on the first possession of overtime. Anderson finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
What you didn’t see: Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Though he’s on pace for well over 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards, he was almost invisible against the Patriots – except for several important drops. The Patriots mostly neutralized him with a combination of cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Devin McCourty, and the times Thomas did get free, he couldn’t come down with the ball. He finished the night with one catch on 13 targets, though his biggest play came late in the fourth quarter when he drew a defensive holding call to set up the Broncos’ go-ahead touchdown.
Important injuries: Broncos safety T.J. Ward and defensive tackle Sly Williams injured on same play early in the second quarter, and both were ruled out of the game with ankle injuries after being driven to the locker room. The Broncos also lost starting right guard Louis Vasquez to a groin injury in the first half, forcing a hobbled Evan Mathis, who was active but did not start, back into the lineup.
The Patriots also had to play two and a half quarters without linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who injured his knee.
Up next: The Patriots will try to rebound next week with a home game against the struggling Philadelphia Eagles. For the Broncos, Osweiler is expected to make his third career start against the San Diego Chargers.

Lucy Maud Montgomery Google Doodle Honors “Anne Of Green Gables” Author On Her 141st Birthday

Today’s Google logo has been replaced with an animated Doodle honoring children’s book author Lucy Maud Montgomery on what would of been the writer’s 141st birthday.The Doodle links to a search for “Lucy Maud Montgomery” and includes sharing icons to post the image on your Google+, Facebook and Twitter profiles, or send via email.Born in 1874 on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, L.M. Montgomery – as she was better known from her book covers – published the first of the Anne of Green Gables series in 1908, turning many 11-year old girls into serious bookworms throughout the years. (Although, as one of those girls with her nose constantly in a book growing up, I was always more partial to Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon trilogy.)

Designed by Doodler Olivia Huynh, today’s Google Doodle was inspired by a specific scene from Anne of Green Gables. It’s one of three animated images Google included on the Google Doodle blog.According to Google, Anne of Green Gables became one of Canada’s bestselling books ever, translated into 20 languages and selling more than 50 million copies to date. Montgomery was named a member of the British Royal Society of Arts and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Cyber Monday 2015 Deals Alert: Sony PS4 & Xbox One Bundles Plus Branded TVs and Laptops To Get Huge Nov 30 Discounts

If Black Friday 2015 proved unsuccessful for deal hunters then Cyber Monday this year will offset all the disappointments. Come November 30, online shoppers will be clicking their way to great discounts on game bundles for both the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One. Branded televisions and laptops are ready for picking too with significant price off.Those who opted out of the post-Thanksgiving shopping rumble are in luck as a new WiseBread blog provided tips on making the most of the Cyber Monday online shopping deals that include big-ticket items like the PS4 and Xbox One gaming consoles. These devices actually come cheaper in this time of the year with the sticker price more solid when compared to Black Friday promos, the report said.Up to 30% of discount awaits shoppers looking to score any of the PS4 and Xbox One for their loved ones, which the report said will give the best bang for the bucks when snap up bundled with popular game titles. The price shave-off starts at 20% that will most likely involve older game titles.

Head out to the online storesof GameStop, Target, Costco and Walmart to catch these incredible PS4 and Xbox One deals, the WiseBread report said.If laptops are on the holiday wish list then Cyber Monday is the best occasion to fulfill the dream. Black Friday normally dangles portable computers but the budget kind. What will be displayed on the virtual store shelves come Monday are top of the line units "with specs that'll have you video editing, gaming, and running several large programs at once," WiseBread said.Picture the best models from Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba and even Apple and Cyber Monday will have them. The destinations shoppers need to bookmark are Best Buy, Fry's and NewEgg - where the lowest prices on these gizmos will surely be found.As for the home entertainment centerpiece - the big flat screen TV that is - Cyber Monday is the opportune time to snatch the television set manufacture by the biggies. WiseBread said that the best bet on such quest is to access the web stores of the known top brands - Samsung, Panasonic, LG and Sony.In the past Cyber Mondays, these TV brands went as low as 40% from the original price mark and the WiseBread report is predicting that the same will happen for the 2015 edition.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Steelers vs. Seahawks 2015 final score: Pittsburgh blinked first and lost

The Seahawks and Steelers treated us to a great game of haymakers Sunday, yet when the Steelers had just three downs to gain on their last offensive possession, they blinked.Down 32-27, they kicked a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the Seahawks 3-yard line and entrusted a defense that had been torched repeatedly to get one last stop. Doug Baldwin repaid this insolence with an 80-yard catch-and-run to the end zone that put the Seahawks up for good, 39-30, in a game that featured seven lead changes.
The Pittsburgh Steelers got in trouble Sunday when they tried to do too much. It was only after they settled down that they were able to assert themselves against the Seahawks.A poorly conceived fake field goal resulted in an interception and a short field for the Seahawks. The Seahawks scored a touchdown to briefly give them a 7-3 lead.The Steelers took leads of 10-7 and 18-14 thanks to Ben Roethlisberger. He had more than 200 yards passing in the first half against Seattle's vaunted secondary. When the Steelers kicked a field goal after a long drive on their first possession of the second half, they appeared to have the momentum needed to beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink.The Seahawks stormed back with their defense. They pressured Roethlisberger into an interception that led to another short-field touchdown, set up by a spectacular catch by Jimmy Graham. After missing the extra point, they took the lead back -- the fifth lead change of the game -- on a four-play scoring drive set up by a Richard Sherman interception on a deep pass intended for Antonio Brown, who tripped (the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful).Three of the Seahawks first four touchdown drives went 24, 37 and 39 yards, thanks to Roethlisberger interceptions.But despite the miscues, Roethlisberger never stopped slinging. The Steelers dialed up deep balls all day, and Markus Wheaton took the most advantage. He finished the game with nine receptions, 201 yards and a score, his touchdown coming on a long bomb over the head of safety Kam Chancellor. The score gave the Steelers a 27-26 lead after another missed two-point conversion -- the sixth lead change of the game.Again, Wheaton had toyed with the Seahawks' secondary. Again, the Seahawks offense responded. Lead change No. 7 came with a little more than two minutes two play. Wilson hit Baldwin with a bomb of his own.The score stemmed the streak of punches and counter-punches. The Steelers picked their way up the field with more steady passing, but though Roethlisberger went over 450 yards for the day, the drive stalled at the Seahawks' 3-yard line after 13 plays. The Steelers opted for a field goal on fourth down to pull within two points, now down 32-30 with 3:02 remaining in the game.The two teams combined for 974 total yards of offense. Doug Baldwin responded to Wheaton's big day with six reception for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson posted a near-perfect 147.9 passer rating with 345 yards and five touchdowns. And yet, both defenses made enough big plays to nearly win the game for their teams.The outcome was important for two teams battling for wild card spots at the moment. The Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled to be their best selves at all times this season. They've been great a roughly equal number of times, now both 6-5 on the season.On Sunday, they did us the pleasure of being their best selves at the same time on the same field, and treated us to one of the more entertaining games of the season.


The Florida Gators recruiting board is loaded with prospects from South Florida and several of those prospects made it to the Swamp on Saturday night for the Gators game against Florida State.One of those prospects was defensive end/linebacker Josh Uche (6-1, 217, Miami, FL Columbus), who got to see his first Florida Gators game in person on Saturday night.“Very impressive and I was really proud of the way they were sticking together despite the offense struggling a little bit,” Uche said of Florida’s defense. “They were able to put the team on their back in the first half. There is only so much the defense can do before points start getting put on the board.”

Not only was Uche impressed by the defense, but the atmosphere in the Swamp also impressed him on Saturday night.“I really like the atmosphere here,” Uche said. “The energy was crazy, I got to see why the defense steps up in big time games in the Swamp because that crowd gives you a lot of energy.”The former Miami Hurricanes commit watched the game closely on Saturday and he says there are a few things the Gators could do to get better on offense.“I just think they need some depth at receiver and some receivers that are willing to make plays,” he said of what Florida needs. “I think they depend too much on [Antonio] Callaway and [Demarcus] Robinson, so once Robinson is taken away everyone just looks at Callaway to make plays. The quarterback needs to step up too.”
Uche, however, is a defensive player and on Saturday night Florida linebackers coach Randy Shannon talked to Uche about how he would fit into the Gators defense.“They want me at linebacker, but they think I can put my hand in the dirt on third down,” he said. “They think I can go rush the passer so I guess they like me as a hybrid guy. I really like the feel of playing linebacker but just to be able to rush the passer is really interesting.”The hybrid defensive player has had his recruitment heat up lately and he says that has four visits set up for the next few months.“I haven’t taken any official visits yet but I have some set,” Uche said. “I have some set for Alabama, Florida, Miami and North Carolina but that could change. Miami is in January and I’m not sure yet on Alabama and Florida.”While Uche has four visits set up he says that one school is slight favor in his mind right now.“I mean all teams are in it but I do like Florida,” Uche said. “I like what they’re doing on defense in impact games and the way their defense has taken over the whole Florida team. I am favoring Florida. The opportunity to play early at Florida is something else.”The Columbus linebacker knows that football will come to end one day and he says that will help him pick a college in February.
“I just want to see what the academics look like because that’s my main focus and concern,” he said. “I just want to see what my future would be like after football is over at that school.”

7 golden rules for SMSF investors to keep in mind

Investing during times of market stress and volatility can be difficult. For this reason it’s useful for SMSF investors to keep a key set of things – call them rules – in mind.The seven key rules, in my view, are: be aware that there is always a cycle; invest for the long term; turn down the noise; buy low and sell high; beware of the crowd; diversify and focus on investments offering a sustainable cash flow.

1. Be aware that there is always a cycle
The historical experience of investment markets – be they bonds, shares, property or infrastructure – constantly reminds us they go through cyclical phases of good times and bad. Some are short term, such as occasional corrections. Some are medium term, such as those that relate to the three to five year business cycle. Some are longer, such as the secular swings seen over 10 to 20 year periods in shares. But all eventually contain the seeds of their own reversal. The trouble with cycles is that they can throw investors out of a well thought out investment strategy that aims to take advantage of long term returns and can cause problems for investors when they are in or close to retirement. In saying this, cycles can also create opportunities.

2. Invest for the long term

The best way for most investors to avoid losing at investments is to invest for the long term. Get a long term plan that suits your level of wealth, age and tolerance of volatility and stick to it. This may involve a high exposure to shares and property when you are young or have plenty of funds to invest when you are in retirement and still have your day to day needs covered. Alternatively if you can’t afford to take a long term approach or can’t tolerate short term volatility then it is worth considering investing in funds that use strategies like dynamic asset allocation to target a particular goal – be that in relation to a return level or cash flow. Such approaches are also worth considering if you want to try and take advantage of the opportunities that volatility in investment markets through up.

3. Turn down the noise and focus on the right asset mix

The combination of too much information has turned investing into a daily soap opera – as we go from worrying about one thing after another. Once you have worked out a strategy that is right for you, it’s important to turn down the noise on the information flow surrounding investment markets. This also involves keeping your investment strategy relatively simple – lots of time can be wasted on fretting over individual shares or managed funds – which is just a distraction from making sure you have the right asset mix as it’s your asset allocation that will mainly drive the return you will get.

4. Buy low, sell high

One reality of investing is that the price you pay for an investment or asset matters a lot in terms of the return you will get. It stands to reason that the cheaper you buy an asset the higher its prospective return will be and vice versa, all other things being equal. If you do have to trade or move your investments around then remember to buy when markets are down and sell when they are up.

5. Beware the crowd and a herd mentality

The issue with crowds is that eventually everyone who wants to buy will do so and then the only way is down (and vice versa during periods of panic). As Warren Buffet once said the key is to "be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful".

6. Diversify

This is a no brainer. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket as the old saying goes. Unfortunately, plenty do. Through last decade many questioned the value of holding global shares in their investment portfolios as Australian shares were doing so well. Interestingly, for the last five or so years global shares have been far better performers and have proven their worth.It appears that common approaches in SMSF funds are to have one or two high-yielding and popular shares and a term deposit. This could potentially leave an investor very exposed to either a very low return oif something goes wrong in the high -yield share that they’re invested in. By the same token, don’t over diversify with multiple – say greater than 30 – shares and/or managed funds as this may just add complexity without any real benefit.

7. Focus on investments offering sustainable cash flow

This is very important. There’s been lots of investments over the decades that have been sold on false promises of high returns or low risk (for example, many technological stocks in the 1990s, resources stocks periodically and the sub-prime asset-back securities of last decade). If it looks dodgy, hard to understand or has to be based on obscure valuation measures to stack up, then it’s best to stay away. There is no such thing as a free lunch in investing – if an investment looks too good to be true in terms of the return and risk on offer, then it probably is. By contrast, assets that generate sustainable cash flows (profits, rents, interest payments) and don't rely on excessive gearing or financial engineering are more likely to deliver.


Okay, fine: the road to a brighter, more even complexion is a route that takes a little (or a lot) longer than a mere 60 seconds to reach completion. But the steps that will get you there are, in fact, minute. While we know the idea of adding extra steps to any beauty routine when you're already pressed for time, morning and night, can be daunting, we promise these ones are worth it: think of the glowy skin waiting for you juuuust over the finish line as the light end of a splotchy, hyperpigmented tunnel. 

1.Exfoliate, Regularly

This is the first of a handful of reminders of things you likely, deep down, already know you should be doing. But if you're not sold on exfoliating regularly just yet, allow us to frame it this way: without regular exfoliation, all of those pricey skincare products aren't penetrating (sorry) as deeply as they should be. Do you really want that insanely expensive serum you bought impulsively at duty free to be tending to dead, surface-layer skin cells? Thought so. There are a handful of especially convenient, easy ways to add this into your regular routine, too: try bringing a powder cleanser with you in the shower for less aggressive, daily use; a chemical exfoliator formulated with AHAs, BHA or glycolic acid if you have discoloration and miss the days of Oxy Pads; or a face brush or cleansing sponge if you're the gadget-y type. 
2. Exercise
Yup—another tip you totally didn't see coming. Just kidding! The reasons why breaking a sweat on a near-daily basis is good for you are obvious and multiple, but for the purposes of brightening and evening out your skin, let's put it this way: it helps to regenerate new skin cells. Ones without discoloration, scarring and, right again, hyperpigmentation. To get really scientific: exercise most days this week. Is it just us, or does your skin look that much happier?

3.Brighten While You Sleep

Serum = necessary. More products on the market target these exact worries than not, and night serums are the best way to double up on sleep's restorative and regenerative abilities. Try applying one with brightening and correcting powers under your usual night cream: we've heard good things about Shani Darden's Retinol ReformShiseido's White LucentTata Harper's Concentrated Brightening Serum and Mizon's Mela Defense White Capsule Essence. Alternately, find one loaded with Vitamin C. 

4. Apply SPF Religiously
We know that at this point, we're verging into mom territory. But sun damage only exacerbates any discoloration you have going on from the sites of old breakouts and actually creates entirely new weird pigmentation and darkness where there shouldn't be any—hence the name sunspots. Again: there is no point shelling out on $$$ products if you're going to skip this step—think of it a little like tossing your La Mer directly in the trash. If you wouldn't do that (pretty sure we know the answer to this one), don't not do this, either!

5. Primp & Prime

Now that you have your skincare routine working overtime, let's address your makeup. A little primer layered just underneath your face makeup will not only get you a better application for everything that comes after and have it last all day long, but also do some of the heavy lifting of covering up hyperpigmentation before anything else even goes on. Smashbox has a special dark spot correcting edition of their cult primer that smoothes out skin while its ingredients work to, again, even out dark spots. Ditto CoverFXTom Fordand Make Up For Ever.

The Rigging Of The American Market

Much of the national debate about widening inequality focuses on whether and how much to tax the rich and redistribute their income downward.But this debate ignores the upward redistributions going on every day, from the rest of us to the rich. These redistributions are hidden inside the market.The only way to stop them is to prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from rigging the market.For example, Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of any other developed nation. That’s partly because it’s perfectly legal in the U.S. (but not in most other nations) for the makers of branded drugs to pay the makers of generic drugs to delay introducing cheaper unbranded equivalents, after patents on the brands have expired.This costs you and me an estimated $3.5 billion a year – a hidden upward redistribution of our incomes to Pfizer, Merck, and other big proprietary drug companies, their executives, and major shareholders.  
We also pay more for Internet service than do the inhabitants of any other developed nation. The average cable bill in the United States rose 5 percent in 2012 (the latest year available), nearly triple the rate of inflation. Why? Because 80 percent of us have no choice of Internet service provider, which allows them to charge us more.Internet service here costs 3 and-a-half times more than it does in France, for example, where the typical customer can choose between 7 providers.  And U.S. cable companies are intent on keeping their monopoly.It’s another hidden upward distribution – from us to Comcast, Verizon, or another giant cable company, its executives and major shareholders.Likewise, the interest we pay on home mortgages or college loans is higher than it would be if the big banks that now dominate the financial industry had to work harder to get our business.As recently as 2000, America’s five largest banks held 25 percent of all U.S. banking assets. Now they hold 44 percent – which gives them a lock on many such loans.

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy’s Wedding Featured “Bowls Filled With Cigarettes”

In  a Venn diagram of the Olsen twins and French people, there is but one intersection: cigarettes. Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy—an Olsen twin and a French person, respectively—are not unaware of this fact, even as they remain unaware of how strange they look as a couple, the 46-year-old banker towering over the 29-year-old fashion designer like a withering oak might tower over a rapidly cooling Starbucks cup someone accidentally left under the withering oak. On Friday night, the two were wed in an “intimate Manhattan ceremony,” where, according to Page Six, party decor consisted of “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes, and everyone smoked the whole night.”\

Page Six quickly moves on to other details about the wedding, as if anything else matters after “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes.” Here they are, as sparse and generic as one might expect from the notoriously private Olsen: The reception was held at a “private residence on 49th Street, between Second and Third avenues”; 50 guests drank cocktails in “a rear garden” before eating dinner inside; and everyone was asked to turn in their cell phones, likely for fear that someone might catch an unflatteringly lit photo of the bowls of cigarettes. Speaking of which, let’s circle back. How big were the bowls? How many bowls were there? Were the cigarettes boxed, or merely thrown pseudo-casually into the bowls together, butts akimbo, menthols intermingling with cloves, American Spirits sidling up to Camels, Parliaments soiling Virginia Slims?“Everyone smoked the whole night” is also something of a disturbing sentence, especially considering the wedding was held indoors and likely went on for many hours. The mind reels at the dry-cleaning costs. Do Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy insist that everyone they socialize with—including Sarkozy’s half-brother, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy—passionately chain-smoke? What about the guests who, I don’t know, forgive me for even suggesting it, don’t smoke? Did they just run intermittently into the rear garden, gasping desperately at the fresh, floral-scented air, eyes stinging, wondering why they couldn't have instead developed a friendship with Ashley, who has always been the more responsible twin?Concern for their lungs aside, we congratulate Mary-Kate, who has two fashion lines, and Olivier, who has two kids from a previous marriage. Though they’ve both found fame, riches, and love, they’ve clearly not forgotten this old-but-relevant proverb: “Life is like a bowl full of cigarettes. Foist it upon your friends at your indoor wedding.”

Georgia, football coach Mark Richt agree to part ways

One of the longest, most successful and also frustrating coaching tenures in recent Southeastern Conference history is over. After 15 seasons, 145 wins and two SEC championships, Mark Richt and Georgia parted ways on Sunday.The official release said the two sides “mutually agreed” that Richt would step down following a meeting with athletics director Greg McGarity on Sunday. But make no mistake, Richt had spent the last month fighting to keep his job and coach in 2016. He flew to the West Coast to post social media pictures with Jacob Eason, the top-ranked quarterback recruit who is committed to Georgia. He won close games against Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech to finish 9-3 this season, following a 10-3 record last year.It simply wasn’t enough, as Richt’s record in the last three seasons lacked any heft or, more important, SEC East division titles.

Though Richt supporters pointed to his overall record and consistency, the first eight years of his tenure were markedly different than the last seven. Between 2001 and 2008, Richt posted six top-10 finishes and two SEC titles. Since then, however, he had two 8-5 seasons and couldn’t capitalize on a weak East division. The Bulldogs came within one play of beating Alabama in the 2012 SEC championship game, which would have put them into the national title game against Notre Dame, but it was the outlier in the second half of Richt’s tenure.USA TODAY Sports reported earlier this year that Georgia administrators considered firing Richt after last season when the Bulldogs slipped from national relevance after a loss to Florida and a home loss to Georgia Tech but school President Jere Morehead was not on board with a change. Instead, he was given a contract extension and a raise.Things changed this season, however, after Georgia’s 4-0 start against weak competition was exposed in October. The Bulldogs weren’t competitive against Alabama in a 38-10 loss, blew a double-digit lead at Tennessee and lost soundly to Florida 27-3. Around the same time, anecdotal evidence of dissension on the coaching staff started to leak out from the program.Though Georgia rallied to win four in a row — none impressively and all against weak competition — the decision had been made. According to one person with knowledge of the situation, Georgia quietly made moves to start a coaching search over the last week. And McGarity, according to another person with knowledge of the situation, was not part of the locker room celebration after the Auburn win, which was noted by the coaching staff.The next day, when Richt flew across the country for a very public meeting with the Bulldogs’ future starting quarterback, it signaled he knew sentiment of Georgia’s most prominent supporters had turned against him.Coaches consider the Georgia job among the best in the country because it is the pre-eminent program in a state that put more players in the NFL draft this year than any other except Florida. The population of the Metro Atlanta area is 25% bigger now than when Richt took the job in 2001. Georgia has the facilities and support to win national championships and plays on the easier side of the SEC.Much speculation initially will focus on Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, a Georgia alum who is also firmly in the mix at South Carolina. But Georgia is a big enough job to attract sitting successful head coaches if McGarity wants to aim high.One person with knowledge of the situation said earlier this season that McGarity had a high opinion of Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. The two worked together at Florida when McGarity was the department’s No. 2 and Mullen was Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator.Another name that could get some traction is Houston coach Tom Herman, who was the primary recruiter for the Atlanta area when he was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

5 Remarkable Skincare Benefits of Chamomile

Here are just a few reasons why you may want to start incorporating chamomile into your own skincare routine if you haven’t already.
1. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help with acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburns, rashes and other skin irritations.

Historically, people have used chamomile to treat a variety of common skin problems, and today, people still use it in creams and ointments to apply topically to the affected area for both healing and relief. Research has shown that the herb has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, suggesting that the essential oils and flavonoids are powerful enough to reach deeper levels of the skin below the surface.
2. It speeds up the healing process in wounds and abscesses.
According to the same scientific publication mentioned in the previous point, chamomile can be effectively used to dry open wounds and help them heal faster. In a group of people who used chamomile to treat their wounds, a 61 percent reduction in wound area was experienced compared to a 48 percent reduction in people who skipped the chamomile treatment.
3. It can be used as an effective moisturizer and slow down the aging process of the skin.
Aging skin is something everyone deals with as they get older, but chamomile has been shown to slow down the process in a way that may keep you looking younger for longer. Chamomile contains levomenol, which is an agent that has anti-inflammatory and natural moisturizing properties proven to reduce the effects of photodamage while at the same time soothing itchiness, improving skin texture and prolonging elasticity.
4. It may help get rid of dark under eye circles and puffiness.
A popular beauty trend involves placing cool teabags on the eyes for a few minutes, which may, people claim, help to treat unsightly dark circles and visible tiredness. Since chamomile can be found in teas sold almost anywhere, it’s a perfect choice for this simple little home remedy. Some people swear by black tea or green tea for the caffeine in it, but the powerful anti-inflammatory properties found in chamomile tea may provide an additional special benefit.
5. It may lighten your complexion for a healthy glow.
Although there isn’t any scientific proof of it, lots of people claim that chamomile acts as a natural skin bleacher. Given its cleansing and moisturizing properties along with the powerful antioxidants and anti-aging effects it has to offer, perhaps there may be some merit to this claim. You’d have to try it to see for yourself!

6 Things All Nutrition Experts Agree On

A vegetarian, a paleo dieter and a Mediterranean Diet proponent walk into a conference…sounds like the start of a joke, but it actually resulted in some common ground between nutrition and food systems experts last week. Put together by food and nutrition education nonprofit Oldways, the Finding Common Ground Conference brought together a committee of experts to reach a consensus on healthy eating.If you’ve attempted to stay up-to-date on what’s healthy and what’s not over the past few years, you know that there’s been evidence and researchers to back up guidelines that are often at odds with each other—(Are we eating eggs now? Is our next burger going to kill us?)—but after plenty of presentations and debates, the scientists, doctors and professors at the Finding Common Ground Conference were able to, well, find some common ground.Here are some of the major principles they all stand behind:
1. More veggies, seafood and legumes. Less sugar, booze and red meat.
The group collectively agree with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report that “a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.”
2. Don’t cut out entire food groups (unless you want or need to).
We all know someone who’s lost weight or gotten healthier by cutting out carbs or starting every morning with spinach juice—but if you can’t fathom the thought of ditching bagels forever, don’t force it. The experts caution against eliminating entire food groups in the name of nutrition, saying “it is not necessary to eliminate food groups or conform to a single dietary pattern to achieve healthy dietary patterns. Rather, individuals can combine foods in a variety of flexible ways to achieve healthy dietary patterns, and these strategies should be tailored to meet the individual’s health needs, dietary preferences and cultural traditions.”
3. Don’t take new nutrition findings as absolute fact.
New research on nutrition is important and absolutely worth considering—but you don’t need to overhaul your diet every time a new study alerts us to a new superfood. Instead of replacing what you already know about healthy eating with new research, consider it as a whole. “Fundamentals and current understanding do NOT change every time a new study makes headlines,” the committee says. “New evidence should be added to what was known before, not substituted for it sequentially.”
4. Let’s think about what we can add to our diets, not just cut out.
Instead of focusing on what we can’t eat, the committee endorses practical substitutions. “Instead of simply saying, “Drink less soda,” for instance, say “Drink water instead of soda.” What we consume and what we don’t consume instead, both contribute to health outcomes,” the report on the conference states.
5. Sustainability is an important part of healthy eating.
Again echoing federal guidelines, the experts at the Finding Common Ground Conference emphasize that “food insecurity cannot be solved without sustainable food systems. Inattention to sustainability is willful disregard for the quality and quantity of food available to the next generation.” According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee, that means “a focus on decreasing meat consumption, choosing seafood from non-threatened stocks, eating more plants and plant-based products, reducing energy intake, and reducing waste.”
6. Food should be tasty!
Healthy food doesn’t mean tasteless food. “Food can and should be good for human health, good for the planet, and simply…good—unapologetically delicious,” the report states.