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BlackBerry Z10 Review: A Smartphone Born Too Late, Good But Not Great, Cursing Its Fate


The BlackBerry Z10 could have been a contender for the best smartphone in America, had it been released four years ago. Instead, it was released for the first time in America Friday on AT&T for $199 on contract, for the same price (and in the same year) as the far more polished iPhone 5, Galaxy S 4 and HTC One.Here is a smartphone that was born too late, that should have debuted years ago when Apple was still refining iOS and Android was still a laggy, unattractive, pixellated goop of icons and widgets.So while the Z10 brims with solid ideas about smartphone productivity and the best touchscreen keyboard I’ve ever used, its glitchy software, unimpressive app section and general, unavoidable rawness render it virtually un-buyable for all but the most devoted BlackBerry zealots and bravest early adopters.THE PROS1. The on-screen keyboard is, I think, the best I have ever used on any smartphone. It is fast, accurate, responsive and very easy to get accustomed to. While I never found an occasion to use the automatic word suggestions that pop up above each letter as you type, it didn’t really matter: Typing on the QWERTY was quick enough. If only Google or Apple could figure out how to make such an excellent keyboard.2. The Hub is BlackBerry’s smart take on the Android Notifications Bar (and, uh, Apple’s not-at-all stolen Notifications bar), and it appears to have a much smarter organization. Instead of a list of updates segregated by app, if you swipe all the way to the left on the Z10 you get to the Hub, which is a column that quickly shows you the number of new updates you have in each of your primary apps. If you have a new update, you tap on the name of the app and it takes you there. Simple, smart, fast.
Two screenshots: The BlackBerry Hub, on the left; the fantastic BlackBerry Z10 keyboard, on the right.
3. Sleep! From the homescreen, you can swipe down from the top and turn notifications off for a set amount of time, which is similar to Apple’s Do Not Disturb function but can be accessed much faster. Again, a nice feature that, hypothetically, increases your productivity by decreasing the amount of time you have to spend on your smartphone.4. One-Handed Use. There is a fairly persistent argument in the nerdier corners of the web about the importance of one-handed smartphone use, and just how important it is to be able to completely operate your smartphone using one hand while you drive or walk down the street or otherwise keep one hand occupied elsewhere.Well, the BlackBerry Z10 is easier to operate with one hand than the iPhone is, which was heretofore the easiest. There is no home button on the Z10, only a button on top to power the display on and off. All navigation is accomplished by a new system called Flow, an apt name for the series of cross-screen swipes needed to access absolutely anything on the Z10. Swipe all the way right to get to your familiar tray of icons; swipe all the way left to view the Hub; swipe up from the bottom to zoom out and go to any screen; swipe down from the top to access settings.This was a bit harder to master than the keyboard, but I found myself comfortable with Flow in a few days. It’s not perfect — sometimes I longed for a home button to just get me to the icons already — but if you’re someone who is constantly trying to get things done with one hand, you would appreciate the speed with which Flow allows you to switch between apps, screens and accounts.

THE CONSThe Z10 represents BlackBerry’s first real attempt at a modern smartphone; as such, most of its faults result from its newness. Apple, Samsung and HTC have been building versions of its current smartphones for years, and are on their sixth and seventh generations. This is a first-generation device with first-generation issues.1. The Apps. BlackBerry is boasting that it has 100,000 apps in its BlackBerry World store, but there are two problems with this brag:a) Apple’s App Store has 900,000 apps, and Android’s has 800,000.
b) The apps in those app stores are much, much better than those in BlackBerry’s.I had problems loading and refreshing Twitter on my Z10; Facebook often updated with friends’ statuses from months ago; BlackBerry’s Maps application failed to locate three different establishments — one of which was the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — when I searched for them. These are the apps that are pre-loaded on the device; again, they are all first-generation, so they will take time to improve. On iOS and Android, these apps are far more refined.And, too, the absences: There is no Spotify, or Netflix, or Instagram. When will these arrive, if they ever do? It depends on device sales, I’d guess, which fans of Windows Phone know is never a guarantee.2. General glitchiness. Apps crashed; the device registered touches I wasn’t making; connectivity would be lost and then recovered without warning. All of this could be fixed by a subsequent update to the firmware, which manufacturers push to customers all the time. Here’s hoping. The level of glitchiness I experienced was unacceptable when measured against competitors’ devices.3. General Ugliness. Windows Phone and iOS both pride themselves on gorgeous design choices, and even Android is showing some signs of beauty; by those standards, BlackBerry’s OS is hideous. Everything just looks very flat and uninspired, like BlackBerry chose the layout and then forgot to clean up the font and images. This is especially true of the icon tray, which looks like a rough sketch of the first generation of Android. BlackBerry 10 is an office of fluorescent lights, cubicle farms and moldy carpeting in an age of soft lighting, standing desks and wood floors.Berry ugly: BlackBerry needs to up its design game, fast.4. Battery Life: Was a bit disappointing. Lasted through the day, but only barely.*Summing up: The Z10 is a good first effort for a company that should be making its fifth effort by now. And while the company shows enough promise and fresh ideas to make us excited for the Z11, it did not execute the Z10 well enough to make us want to purchase it. Stick to the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, HTC One or Nexus 4.For two more in-depth reviews of the Z10, check out our partners at TechCrunch andEngadget. For further reading, see “Miniver Cheevy” by Edgar Arlington Robinson.

How BlackBerry’s new superphone matches up.

BLACKBERRY Z10
IPHONE 5
GALAXY S4

Network
4G LTE
4G LTE
4G LTE

Display
4.2-inch LCD display, 1280 x 768 resolution, 356 ppi
4-inch Retina display, 1136-by-640 pixels, 326 ppi
5.0-inch Full HD Amoled, 1920x1080, 441 ppi

Operating System
BlackBerry 10
iOS 6
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, with Samsung TouchWiz

Rear Camera
8 megapixel with LED flash, 1080p
8 megapixel with LED flash, 1080p
13 megapixel with LED flash, 1080p

Front Camera
2 megapixels, 720p
Less than 1 megapixel (720p)
2 megapixels, 720p

Special Camera Features
Tap screen to snap, touch-to-focus, editing suite, TimeShift face choice
Increased noise reduction, shared photo streams, improved low-light shooting, face detection, touch-to-focus, geo-tagging, HDR
Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call

Storage/Memory
16GB (expandable with SD card), 2GB RAM
16/32/64GB, 1GB RAM
16/32/64GB, 2GB RAM

Talk Time
Up to 10 hours**
8 hours, 45 minutes*
None yet

Web Browsing Time
Unlisted**
9 hours, 56 minutes*
None yet

SD Slot
Yes.
No.
Yes.

Weight
136 grams
112 grams
130 grams

Price
9 on contract
9 on contract
9 on contract

Killer Features
Predictive keyboard; BlackBerry Peak and Hub for one-thumb use; work and personal profiles
Siri; iCloud; Lightning connector; huge App Store
NFC suite, including S Beam and Buddy Share; Google Now

Carriers
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

The BlackBerry Z101 of 11  

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Mobile Learning and the Long Tail of Education


It is an acknowledged fact today that every student learns at his or her own pace. Traditionally, teachers and schools have focused on identifying the common denominator that would sufficiently engage students at all levels. However, differentiated instructions, where a student’s education is tailored to the specific attributes of that student, is increasingly making inroads into schools today. Therein lies the challenge for teachers, as they have to cater not only to the students at different levels, but also communicate this to parents effectively.That is one of the reasons for the rapid adoption of mobile learning in K-12 education. Mobile devices inherently support the notion of differentiation. Ben Johnson, an administrator, author and educator, suggests that “the only thing we have to do in automatic differentiation is to start the process and then let it go.” Sounds like magic? Well, Ben cites some examples of automatic differentiation that are already being embraced.Cooperative learning is done in small groups, and students are forced to interact with other students to complete the learning task. In this setting, students automatically choose the task they are most comfortable doing along with the level of participation that resonates best with them.Project-based learning is also an example of automatic differentiation. When given the project and the standard of success in a rubric, then it is up to the student to determine how to meet the requirements. The students automatically choose methods and learning strategies that coincide with their needs and interests.Choice learning is an example of automatic differentiation because students are allowed to choose which assignment they want to complete from a menu containing several equivalent assignments. An example of this is the elementary concept of “centers.” Students can wander from center to center, engaging in what ever they are interested in doing.
Mobile learning using tablets is ideally suited for this new paradigm of learning. Why?

* In typical 1:1 schools, every student has a personal tablet or learning device
* Students work at their own individual skill levels
* They automatically follow their own interests and learning styles

The challenge is for teachers to identify or learn the effective use of mobile learning to implement any combination of the automatic differentiation strategies.Schools that support true mobile learning allow these devices home, and so your role as a parent in supporting or facilitating these strategies also become crucial to their success. In an infinitely customizable world, why should education be any different? http://dlvr.it/6hpYss

3 Big Mistakes You Make When Ordering Takeout


You’re tired, you’re stressed, and you’re hungry. After a long day, it’s hard to resist the temptation of takeout. While food to-go is often high in calories and low in nutrition, register dietician Rebecca Scritchfield tells #OWNSHOW there are three things you should avoid to improve the healthfulness (and lessen the guilt) of your takeout meal.1. Eating the Entire OrderThat huge container of sweet and sour pork? It’s not meant just for you. “You need to remember that when you get these big takeout meals, they’re probably there to serve three or four people,” Scritchfield says in the above video. “So if you’re trying to eat healthy, you really need to think about how much of that takeout you’re going to eat.”That doesn’t mean you’re restricted to teeny tiny meals. “I’m all about what you can add in, so I like to recommend adding in vegetables wherever you can. And then just try to take less of the high carbohydrate portion like the rice or the pasta,” she advises. “Get your protein in there. That’s a much more balanced plate and it’s going to be lower calorie, and more nutritious and still filling.”2. Denying Your CravingsIf you’re craving takeout or greasy fast food, Scritchfield says you don’t need to restrain yourself completely. “There’s some benefit to actually satisfying a craving,” she says. “You just want to have some sense of control over it.”That means not breaking open the bag in the car. “Get it home, sit down at the table, eat and enjoy the food in a calm, peaceful way,” Scritchfield says.3. Eating While DistractedWhen eating alone, Scritchfield says it’s easy to overeat. To combat this, put your takeout food on a normal dinner plate, she says. “Sit at the table. Get ready to enjoy your meal as if you were going out with someone else.”“This is all part of normal eating and it allows you to self-regulate how much you eat,” she explains. “Even light a candle and put on some fun music and just realize, hey this is dinner time and I’m about to enjoy this food.” http://dlvr.it/6hpYlS

Stretching Exercises To Work Every Muscle In Your Body


We all know the feeling of staying hunched over for hours on end, as though our muscles will never unfurl and lengthen. But according to health experts, regular stretching exercises can ease that tension, and even improve your health in general.Though many people may associate stretching with the routine they’re “supposed” to do before they exercise, lengthening muscles has many benefits just on its own.According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching can increase the range of motion in the body, as well as increase circulation to the muscles.Fitness expert Sahra Esmonde-White, creator of the Essentrics Stretch and Strength DVD (among many others) puts a focus on gaining power in the body while also stretching it out. This type of exercise is known as dynamic stretching, which basically means actively moving the muscle into a stretch, but not holding it there for a prolonged period of time.Esmonde-White has put together a series of exercises, both standing and “barre” (using a chair or elevated surface) for HuffPost readers to reach every part of the body. They can be done all together, or separate, depending on your wants and needs:Stretching And Flexibility Exercises1 of 31

Sahra Esmonde-White

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Shoulder Blast – Works posture, shoulders and pecs; releases tension in shoulders and upper back1. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Round your back and tilt your pelvis forward, extending arms in front of you at shoulder height.2. Straighten your legs as you extend your arms directly above your head and reach towards the ceiling. Do not sink into lower back.3. Release your grip, keeping your arms shoulder-width apart and palms facing inward.4. Turn your palms outwards and lower your arms while slightly leaning your weight forward and opening your chest.Repeat three times.
Side Lunge with Lever Stretch (to free your ribcage) – Stretch and tone your waist and muscles1. Stand with legs apart in a side lunge position and drop the left hip. Lift your arms above your head and go into a deeper lunge as you pull your left wrist with your right hand.2. Release your hands and reach arms further away — keeping them straight next to each ear.3. Keeping abs tight and arms straight above your head, come up and out of your lunge.Repeat on the other side.
Spine Mobility Stretch1. Stand with feet apart, knees bent slightly with more weight on the back leg. Round the spine inward, bend elbows and fold arms inward.2. Lean into a front lunge (bend right knee and straighten left leg while opening arms at shoulder-height and extending them back.Repeat on other side.
Long Adductor Stretch - Increases calf and shin mobility1. With feet wide apart, bend one knee while keeping the other leg straight. Hinge your body forward at the waist, keeping your back straight and sticking your bum out in the direction of the bent leg.2. To deepen the stretch, the foot of the straightened leg and rotate leg in the hip joint. Repeat with the other leg.
Hip Stretch – Works posture, shoulders and pecs1. Place left leg up on chair with knee bent and keeping the spine straight. Keep supporting leg (right) slightly bent and gently press down on the left leg to open in the hips.2. Holding the above position, tilt your pelvis forward while gently pressing down on the left leg to deepen stretch.3. Repeat step two, while pushing bum outward (keeping one foot firmly on the floor), arching the back and shifting weight forward.4. Keeping your legs in the same position, lean forward and push your bum out, keeping your back straight. Press down on left leg to deepen the hip stretch. Repeat with other leg.
IT Band And Hamstring Stretch1. Place left leg up on chair, keeping your spine straight. Keep supporting leg (right) slightly bent and flex your foot to stretch hamstring and calf.2. Rotate flexed foot internally to stretch the long adductor.3. Rotate flexed foot externally, bending your supporting leg further to stretch the IT band. Repeat with other leg.
Quad And Psoas – To get a deep stretch for freedom of movement in the hips; releases pain in the knees, relieves back pain; good for runners/posture1. Get into a wide front lunge as you place the left foot on the chair (knee bent). Keep the other leg extended with your foot on the floor.2. Hold the chair and let the right knee drop towards the floor, raising the right heel and bending the right leg (not all the way). Keep pulling up in your core and press the hips close to the chair to stretch the quad.3. Lock your hips in place and keep your pelvis tilted forward as your straighten your back knee and press your heel into the ground to get a deep stretch in psoas. Repeat with the other leg.
IT Band Stretch1. Place left leg up on chair keeping your spine straight. Keep supporting leg (right) slightly bent and flex your foot. Rotate your torso to the left (same side as leg on chair) and extend arm outwards at shoulder height.2. Bend the supporting leg further as you reach your extended left arm towards the ground to deepen the hamstring stretch.3. Sweep your left arm back up to shoulder height and reach over your left foot to deepen the hamstring and back stretch. Switch sides and repeat on the other side.
Hamstring And Long Adductor Stretch1. Place left leg up on chair, keeping supporting leg slightly bent. With a rounded back, reach over the chair with both arms and gently pull forward to stretch hamstring.2. Reach away from the body with your left arm (same arm as leg on the chair) to deepen the stretch on the left side of the back and the hamstring3. Rotate the supporting leg outwards, hinge at the waist and stick your bum out to stretch the long adductor. Switch sides and repeat on other side.
Spine Stretch1. Stand behind chair with arms extended and hands on the backrest. With feet apart and knees slightly bent, round your back, tilt your pelvis forward and drop head forward.2. Extend both arms diagonally to the right side of the chair while shifting your hips to the left. Repeat on opposite side.3. Step away from chair with feet wide apart and knees bent. Holding on to the backrest of the chair, extend your arms and bend forward. http://dlvr.it/6hpYdN

Cody Burgess Lost 177 Pounds And Was Finally Able To Ride A Roller Coaster Again


Name: Cody BurgessAge: 29Height: 6’1”Before Weight: 412 pounds
How I Gained It: My whole life I have been overweight. My earliest memory of looking at a scale was when I tried out for wrestling at age 13 and saw 260 pounds. I was so heavy that they wouldn’t let me wrestle, so I quit. I continually gained weight from bad eating habits picked up from my parents. Oftentimes they would just buy fast food or frozen meals for dinner. We were pretty poor growing up, and both my parents were alcoholics, as well as smokers. This left little money for nutritious foods. We only drank soda pop, sometimes 10 cans a day! I don’t blame my parents though; they truly tried the best they could to raise my brother and me. In high school, I began to work full time for a fast food restaurant, eating fast food for at least two meals a day. I never looked to change this habit. Every day I would start off with some sort of candy or donuts, followed by two 16-ounce energy drinks. My lunch would be some kind of fast food. At dinner I would cook something like nachos or fried chicken.Breaking Point: I had several. The first was when I was 14 years old and was kicked off a roller coaster because the harness wouldn’t close. When I would fly, I would have to buy two seats just to avoid being kicked off of a plane. Every time I would go to a restaurant I would ask for a table so that I could fit; most booths were far too tight. If I had to use restrooms in public, I would be terrified the wall-mounted toilets would fall off the wall when I sat down. Outdoor furniture was pretty much out of the question. I even refrained from sitting on many people’s dining room furniture. The last time I decided I needed to lose weight was August 2013. I bought a brand new belt from Big and Tall, a size 64. It didn’t fit, in fact it wasn’t even close. At this point I felt helpless. How much bigger could they make the belts?! Then I went to the doctor for a yearly check-up, and I was borderline diabetic at the age of 28. I realized this had to stop if I wanted to see my children grow up!How I Lost It: I started to work out three days a week at a gym. I signed up for some minimal personal training (45-minute sessions, twice a week). The gym had a nutrition plan, which was basically the paleo diet. I cut all carbs, went cold turkey on pop and cut all dairy. This diet is extreme and not for everyone. Please talk to your doctor to see if this is right for you. From there I went a step further, doing several Whole30 challenges. I also started drinking a lot of water.As I lost more weight, I became addicted to working out. Now I work out four to six days per week. I have even started running — don’t ask me why, maybe I’m crazy.I lost weight, but I gained strength. You have to be mentally tough. Every day you will battle how you look in the mirror. You start to let the scale define you. Every meal becomes a challenge. Will you gain weight when you’re trying to lose it? Yes. Will you have moments where you eat bad food? Yes. Will there be times when you feel like you’re doing everything right but still aren’t achieving your goals? Yes. You must love yourself, trust your support network and trust your program.I still have a long way to go, but today, I am faster and stronger than I ever thought I could be. I’m no longer scared of booths and have been on the first roller coaster since I was 11 years old. I show my kids pictures of me last year, and they don’t even know who it is. I have realized how blessed I am. Losing weight for me has been therapeutic and a healing process. I forgive all those who trespassed against me when I was younger. I forgive my parents for not being the best role models. I forgive myself for dragging my health to a point that needed this extreme of a change. I can now run around with my kids and not be tired. I have more energy to be more active in church. My wife is definitely loving the new me, physically.After Weight: 235 pounds http://dlvr.it/6hnwx3

17 Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Paleo Pizza Recipes


Dear Pizza,
You are amazing. Just the way you are. Like oxygen, you keep us alive. You are the air that fills our lungs. You are the wind beneath our wings. Please, pizza, never change.
We hope you know you will always have a place in our hearts, even when we can’t put you in our stomachs. Some of us have restrictions — we’ve gone Paleo, we are gluten-averse, or we avoid carbohydrates like the plague. As such, we’ve found ways to adjust your conventional dough into something a little different.We’ve turned to cauliflower, almond flour and a slew of delicate alternative likes zucchini, eggplant, and even beets to host your delectable sauce and cheese. We wanted to introduce you to these substitutions we’ve fallen for, and we hope that you will understand.

* 1Cauliflower Pizza CrustIndependent KitchenGet the Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe from Independent Kitchen
* 2Beet Crust PizzaRunnin Sri LankanGet the Beet Crust Pizza recipe from Runnin Sri Lankan
* 3Chicken Tamale Cornmeal Pizza24 Carrot LifeGet the Chicken Tamale Cornmeal Pizza recipe from 24 Carrot Life
* 4Eggplant PizzaOatmeal With A ForkGet the Eggplant Pizza recipe from Oatmeal With A Fork
* 5Cajun Broccoli Potato Noodle PizzaInspiralizedGet the Cajun Broccoli Potato Noodle Pizza recipe from Inspiralized
* 6Plantain Pizza CrustHealthy Nibbles And BitsGet the Plantain Pizza Crust recipe from Healthy Nibbles And Bits
* 7Deep Dish Skillet Sausage PizzaAll Day I Dream About FoodGet the Deep Dish Skillet Sausage Pizza recipe from All Day I Dream About Food
* 8Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Portobello Mushroom Mini PizzasI Have No Secret IngredientGet the Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Portobello Mushroom Mini Pizzasrecipe from I Have No Secret Ingredient
* 9Zucchini Pizza BoatsIn Sonnets KitchenGet the Zucchini Pizza Boats recipe from In Sonnets Kitchen
* 10Mini Polenta PizzasA House In The HillsGet the Mini Polenta Pizzas recipe from House In The Hills
* 11Bell Pepper PizzaPeas And CrayonsGet the Bell Pepper Pizza recipe from Peas And Crayons
* 12Flax & Parmesan PizzaI Breathe I’m HungryGet the Flax & Parmesan Pizza recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry
* 13Pizza FrittataPeace Love And Low CarbGet the Pizza Frittata recipe from Peace Love And Low Carb
* 14Mexican MeatzzaJans Sushi BarGet the Mexican Meatzza recipe from Jans Sushi Bar
* 15Almond Meal Paleo PizzaPaleoliciousGet the Almond Meal Paleo Pizza recipe from Paleolicious
* 16Zucchini Pizza BitesThe Iron YouGet the Zucchini Pizza Bites recipe from The Iron You
* 17Pizza Potato SkinsCenter Cut CookGet the Pizza Potato Skins recipe from Center Cut Cook http://dlvr.it/6hnwtC

5 Lessons Learned From Leaving Facebook


Two months ago, I was sitting in front of my computer one evening when I finally lifted my eyes away from the screen. I had logged onto Facebook to space out and relax ‘for a few minutes’, yet somehow nearly 20 had already passed. I looked over at my husband cooking and listening to music in the kitchen, and all I could think was, “I could have been talking with him these past 20 minutes.” Instead, I’d spent that time ‘catching up’ with real-life strangers and fulfilling self-imposed social obligations.I wanted out.I was tired of feeling like I had to keep up with so many people I didn’t really know in life off the Internet, and I was tired of logging on to see how much action any of my posts or pictures had received. I don’t let other people’s opinions run my life and determine my actions in real life, so why do I bow to the social pressure on Facebook? I felt like a hypocrite — something I never wanted to become.Something had to change. The solution seemed simple: log out. No one was making me keep up a Facebook profile; there was no law requiring me to have one; and I knew the world would still keep turning if my profile fell silent. At least, I figured it would. I decided to give it a try.It’s now been nearly three months of near-silence on Facebook, and I’ve learned a few surprising things:1. Facebook was melting my brain! I was becoming a zombie without even realizing it. It wasn’t until I stopped posting that I realized just how often throughout the day, while in the midst of an experience, I was already formulating how I would describe it to my Facebook friends in a concise and witty comment. I nearly choked on my tongue when I realized this. It took a few weeks of consciously un-training my brain, reminding myself that I could think freely again and not have to worry about what anyone else would think about my thoughts, because if I wasn’t posting them on the Internet for all to see, no one has to know.
2. I have far fewer good friends than I realized. And I’m stoked about it.Honestly, once the number of Facebook ‘friends’ gets in the hundreds, it’s just overwhelming. How can you possibly keep track of that many people and still connect on the deep, personal, sincere level that friends supposedly do? You can’t. I’m of the belief that it’s far more valuable and fulfilling to have a few friends — true in every sense of the word — than hundreds of acquaintances. Following several weeks of my abrupt end of Facebook posting, only a handful of people I don’t actually see on a regular basis contacted me to see what was up and to make sure I was okay. This was a very good reality check.3. The word ‘like’ means nothing — nothing! — anymore. The ‘like’ button probably had good intentions at the beginning of Facebook’s existence, but it has rapidly lost all meaning. It is no longer used by the masses to indicate that a post was particularly touching, interesting, funny, or meaningful. It has become an obligation — a way to prove that you saw a post and care enough to acknowledge it. People are ‘liking’ damn near everything, often because they don’t want to come off as passive-aggressively slighting someone by not liking a post. This is akin to people impulsively answering “I’m good,” whenever asked how they are doing. There often isn’t even any thought behind the answer — it’s just an automatic response. It’s meaningless.
4.Time away from the screen is so much more satisfying. It makes sense, really. Of course I get more satisfaction out of playing with my daughters, talking with my husband, or even reading a real, paper book or washing the floor than I do from scrolling through a feed reading about what other people are doing.
5.Not everything needs to be captured. Just like caged animals, the spirit of a memory sometimes loses something very important when it is captured. It’s natural to want to ‘catch’ a beautiful moment in time so you can bring up the picture or post later and hope to stir up the same emotions, yet so many moments in life are magical for that one moment only. They are gifts from nature, rewards of life, and meant only to live in your memory — not to be photographed and shared with hundreds who weren’t there.
I’ll admit, it was hard to log off of Facebook and adjust back to my life being only for myself and those whom I communicated with outside of social media. At first, I worried that I’d be out of the loop and about whom would actually keep in contact with me without the world watching. Each day, however, it got a little clearer that I had made a good decision. Distancing myself from Facebook has provided me with the clarity and time necessary to focus on my family, friendships, job, and my journey to remain a genuine, sincere, and loving person with real human connections in spite of today’s exponentially expanding technology turning people away from each other and toward another screen.Facebook, I don’t hate you, but I don’t miss you either. We had a nice run, and I learned a thing or two from my time with you, but I think it’s time we broke up. I’m in love with the world instead. http://dlvr.it/6hnwn2

5 Mindful Things I Do Every Day


Mindfulness can sound far more complicated than it actually is.I like to describe it as being aware of what is happening as it is happening. Sounds simple? It is. But it isn’t the normal way of operating in our busy lives — we are far more likely to have a wandering mind. So it takes a conscious decision and practice to become mindful — or present — in the here and now rather than living in the past (remembering) or in the future (planning).My top tips for making this a daily habit?

* Start small — pick just one of these and do it for just two minutes
* But do it every day — it’s too random to do it three times a week or every second day for your brain to help you make it a habit
* If it doesn’t seem to come easily at first, it helps to have a gentle and curious approach to it all so it isn’t yet another reason to be harsh or critical of ourselves… so if you miss a day, just begin again, no one knows!

We are going through a bit of a mindfulness revolution at the moment, as everyone catches on to the mounting evidence of its benefits to our health and well-being. There are many easy ways to begin to bring mindfulness into your day, and as you do so, you will become more motivated to make it a way of life that helps you become more grounded and more connected to yourself, your surroundings and the people you love. So here are the five mindful things I do every day.1. Waking UpWho would think that something we hardly even notice ourselves doing could be such a useful mindfulness practice. It really is — yet it can be an easy one for me to forget to do, because my habit of jumping straight into organizing my day in my head has been with me for such a long time. Waking up mindfully “sets the tone” for my day and reminds me of the value of being present.

* The first thing I do is deliberately notice that I am waking up
* Then I check where my brain is, in that moment of noticing waking up: Do I start a commentary about how little sleep I had last night or wishful thinking that I could just go back for a few more precious minutes? Do I leap into planning mode and start frantically trying to prioritize what to get done today?
* Whatever comes up is OK, I just notice it without judging or criticizing myself and then gently bring myself back to my intention to wake up mindfully. To be present here and now
* Then I take a few moments to quietly notice my breath in and out, gently scanning over my relaxed body resting against the bed and softly smiling
* My 5-year-old’s version of this is to wake up and say “hello world!”

2. Islands of MindfulnessWhen we interviewed Sarah Napthali for our mindfulness4mothers program, she introduced us to the idea of finding easy routine activities that can become mindful moments in the day. I have a short list of “go to” activities that now automatically remind me to pause and check how mindfully I am going through my day and use that activity as a way of fully focusing my awareness on what I am doing rather than being on autopilot or multitasking, neither of which are satisfying or get good results! So my “go to” list includes:

* Showering
* Brushing my teeth
* Reading
* Walking
* Tidying up children’s toys
* Even simply breathing — with full and gentle presence

3. Eating and DrinkingIf you saw how fast I can eat, you would think I went to boarding school and had to compete to get enough food. So for me, eating — or drinking that lovely one cup of coffee a day — is a golden opportunity to slow down and really register what I am doing. Years of study have also created bad habits of eating while I read or do research. So mindful eating is something I prioritize to develop a healthier and more satisfying relationship with food. I will write a longer blog on this practice alone but briefly, what this looks like is:

* Acknowledging my usual responses to food without self criticism
* Tuning in to my physical cues of hunger, thirst and sufficiency to guide my decisions about when to start and stop eating
* Choosing food that is both enjoyable and healthy and then actually tuning in to eating it slowly — noticing it and savoring it rather than shoveling it down
* Drinking more water (did you know we often confuse hunger and thirst?)
* Eating smaller amounts more often and sitting to eat mindfully

4. Savoring PositivesThis is another practice inspired by our interviews for mindfulness4mothers. Rick Hanson has a fabulous practice, included in our program, called Taking in The Good. And when we interviewed Barbara Fredrickson, pioneering researcher on the power of positive emotions, she reminded us that love, happiness and other positive emotions are fleeting and that if we want to get the most from them we need to really let them sink in and be a full body experience. Both Rick’s practice of Taking in the Good and mine of Savoring Positives, reflect what we know about the good feelings in life - we need to be mindful and present to notice them and pause long enough to savor them. So that’s what I do. For example I savor:

* All the hugs from my children
* The chats over breakfast
* The excited sharing of their news that bubbles up
* Even the cool air or bright sunshine around me

All are opportunities to feed my body and brain with health and happiness goodies — as long as I notice them and mindfully tune in to the positive feelings they generate. There is more good news here: If I realize later that I have let one go past, I can recreate that positive feeling by remembering it and letting it expand and fill my heart and mind for at least 20 seconds to let my body chemistry do its job. Feeling gratefulas I savor these positives helps me intensify the experience and its health giving qualities.5. May You Be HappyThe latest addition to my daily mindfulness activities comes at the end of the day. I wrote about it in another blog and it is an absolute favorite. It is only a few minutes long but really cultivates peace, warmth and kindness for my children and for me every night as they are going to sleep.They have always enjoyed a bedtime story and a little chat about whatever is on their mind, but now we also have a few moments of sending ourselves and others wishes for happiness, strength, health and peace as they settle down into readiness for sleep. I now leave their room with a small smile on my face and feelings of contentment and connection. It’s really lovely and something I look forward to sharing with them, no matter what the day has been like!I realize in writing this list that I actually do more than this most days, but these are the ones that happen reliably and infuse my day with mindfulness even when I don’t have time for more substantial sitting practices like some of the ones I recorded for our mindfulness4mothers program. The return on my investment as a mother and for my own sake is what keeps me coming back. Like so many others who practice mindfulness, I have a greater sense of calm and contentment, greater enjoyment and engagement in my life, greater self awareness and self acceptance — and for me a big one — an increased ability to slow down and not get caught up in automatic reactions and busyness. All this is possible through cultivating a little quiet in my day. A few pauses. A little more mindfulness. http://dlvr.it/6hnwfz

19 Reasons To Start Running


You can probably come up with countless reasons for why you just can’t run. You don’t have enough time or enough energy or the right neighborhood or the right sports bra. You don’t have the body or sturdy enough joints or the desire to compete in a race. You’re just not crazy enough to be a runner.To all of those reasons and more, we say: How do you know until you’ve tried?The beauty of running is that just about everyone can play — and succeed — in a sport that has the power to change lives.Here are just a few convincing reasons to start running. Let us know if you agree.1. Because you can do it anywhere. We think it’s safe to say that the more accessible your fitness routine is, the more you’ll stick with it. Traveling for work? You can still go for a run! On vacation? You can still go for a run! Snow, sleet, rain, hail? Yep, you can still go for a run.2. To make new friends. You don’t have to toe the starting line to meet some friendly competition. Try a group run organized by a local running club or running store, or look for a Meetup group of like-minded runners near you.3. To spend some time alone. Then again, if the running buddy thing isn’t your scene, you might as well lace up for some “me time” and escape everything for a while.4. To accomplish a goal. We don’t have to tell you that it feels darn good to set a goal and then crush it. If you’ve always wanted to run — whether your goal is to finish a marathon or just a loop around the block — now’s the time to lace up and check it off the list.5. Because you might live longer. While more isn’t always better, there’s solid evidence that a moderate running routine will add years to your life, even if you’re only logging a few minutes each day.6. To burn calories. While we don’t recommend exercising for the sole purpose of losing weight — there are just so many other benefits! — there’s no denying that running is a big calorie burner. Your individual burn will vary depending on your sex, weight, level of activity and how far and fast you run, but you can expect to burn about 50 percent more calories per mile than you would walking the same distance.7. For the smiles. A whole host of feel-good chemicals are released in the brainwhen we exercise that essentially act like drugs. It’s called the Runner’s High for a reason!8. To remember. Learning a new language isn’t the only way to keep an aging brain sharp. Research suggests that staying physically active is even more important in preventing cognitive decline.9. Because you’ll sleep better. Regular exercisers reported significantly better shut-eye than couch potatoes in a 2013 survey from the National Sleep Foundation. But the survey’s most promising finding was that a little bit goes a long way: Adding just 10 minutes of physical activity helped non-exercisers report better sleep.10. To feel more energized. You might think that a run would drain you after a long day, but physical activity actually serves to reenergize, perhaps even better than a quick nap.11. For your heart. The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity — a.k.a. running — three or four times a week to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol naturally.12. To relax. Those same feel-good chemicals released in the brain that lift your spirits can also help alleviate stress, even though exercise is technically a stressor on the body.13. Because you might reduce your cancer risk. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is strong evidence that physically active people have lower risks of colon and breast cancer. Emerging research suggests exercise confers some protection against endometrial, lung and prostate cancers, too.14. Because you’ll get to spend more time outside. And a little extra time in nature in turn can keep you calm, happy and energized.15. To see more of new places. There’s nothing wrong with a casual stroll through your new neighborhood or the city you’re vacationing in, but you could see a whole lot more at a faster pace!16. Because you’ll (probably) get to buy new shoes. If you haven’t run in a while (or ever before), you’ll probably need some new sneaks. They’re about the only essential gear for running — aside from the right sports bra for the ladies — and who doesn’t love shoe shopping?17. To protect your bones. Weight-bearing exercise like running is key to building strong and healthy bones and slowing bone loss. (And no, running won’t cause arthritis.)18. To stay sniffle-free. You just might breeze through cold and flu season thanks to your new running routine. Moderate amounts of exercise seem to bolster the immune system’s ability to ward off viruses.19. To make a difference. When you’re ready, try a race for charity. When the training miles get tough, remember the cause you signed up to run for — and the people your running can benefit. http://dlvr.it/6hnwYs

Apple Stock Closes At New Record High

Apple’s stock soared to a new record high on Tuesday, closing at $100.53.That’s the highest the stock has ever closed at, adjusting for a stock split that happened in June.
The stock price climbed even higher in after-hours trading.The jump comes after Morgan Stanley analysts sent a note to investors on Tuesday saying Apple’s stock was undervalued and setting a new target price of $110.The tech giant completed a 7-for-1 stock split back in June — effectively dividing each Apple share into seven. Before the split, Apple stock closed at an all-time high of $702.10 in September 2012. Adjusting for the stock split, that’d be worth about $100.30 today, according to the Wall Street Journal.Investors are getting super excited about the expected launch of the iPhone 6 in September.Legendary investor Carl Icahn, who bought shares of Apple last October and boosted his stake in the company in January, boasted about the move on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon:

Apple did not immediately respond to a request from The Huffington Post for comment.


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