Health, Home & Family

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By Erik Lehane

I remember the day my world came crashing down. Johnny Picaro, my third grade bestie spilled the beans. Johnny had caught his old man placing his GI Joe with kung Fu grip under the Christmas tree in the wee hours of the morning. Santa was a fraud and the Easter Bunny and Tooth fairy were his accomplices. What next… is Elvis really alive?

Years later I had a similar epiphany, this one more attuned to a sledgehammer smacking me upside the head. I held Betty almost to the same standards of Santa, albeit in a different context. As a physical therapist, one yearns for the perfect client- someone who can muster the strength to leg press 250 lbs., effortlessly palm the floor and gracefully navigate an obstacle course. At the prime age of 78, Betty was all that and more. Continue reading

(NAPSI)—Research shows that remote workers spend over half of their day—13 hours on average—looking at screens. This much time spent looking at a computer can produce digital eye strain, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

How To Help Your Eyes

It’s estimated that digital eye strain affects 60 million people worldwide, and over 70% of computer users. Resulting symptoms include headaches, blurry vision, neck and eye pain, double vision, delay in shifting focus, and more.

Sound familiar? If you’re experiencing digital eye strain from spending countless hours in front of a screen, you will be glad to know, BenQ’s tech-driven smart lights can offer a solution.  Continue reading

A smartphone application for online search, purchase, sale and booking of real estate. An unusual 3D illustration of a beautiful house. Generative AI

(NAPSI)—The homebuying journey has undergone a radical transformation in the digital age. Long gone are the days of sifting through stacks of paperwork, replaced by a streamlined, tech-driven consumer experience. As part of this progression, artificial intelligence (AI) is being woven into the fabric of daily life and has the potential to have a massive effect on the path to homeownership, offering tools that make finding and purchasing a home easier than ever before.

How AI Changes Homebuying 

AI has the power to streamline the mortgage process—often the most daunting part of homebuying. A 2023 report by LiveVox found that AI-driven customer experiences scored 20% higher in satisfaction than traditional human-led approaches. Companies such as Rocket Mortgage are now automating document collection, verifying information instantly and even showing loan officers the best mortgage products for their clients. This efficiency speeds up the process and increases confidence for consumers. Continue reading

(NAPSI)—If you’re like many homeowners seeking to enhance your property and support your lifestyle interests, adding a freestanding hobby shop, vehicle storage building or recreational facility can be a great idea.

For hobby enthusiasts, projects range from a small garage to an elaborate workshop to support a wide range of interests, such as woodworking, classic car restoration, various collections or simply for storage of equipment and tools, said Andy Brown, Morton Buildings suburban product line manager. Also popular are man caves and she sheds, which offer a place to get away to relax and unwind, enjoy hobbies and spend time with friends.

“Our customers have used their Morton buildings for such diverse interests as an art studio, a family game room, a space for music and instruments, doing meditation and yoga, brewing beer and exercising,” Brown noted. “Some couples split the space in their hobby building so they each have separate areas for their own interests.” Continue reading

(NewsUSA) – Another year has come and gone and with it many Americans are once again working to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s mastering a new skill, maintaining a new exercise routine, or learning a new subject, increasingly they are turning to online resources to help them in their pursuit. But, despite all the tools at their disposal, only 9-12% of Americans ended up keeping last year’s resolutions due to a combination of setting unrealistic goals, the inability to track them, and perhaps most of all, the lack of convenience.

Convenient access to the tools you need to be successful is critical when starting a new routine. Yet, as of 2020, the over 46 million Americans residing in rural areas of the United States lack local access to resources like gyms, libraries, or recreation centers.

Fortunately, new online resources are being made available every day that enable families in even the most remote parts of the country to achieve their goals from the comfort of their homes. In rural America, where 15% of the population resides, cable or fiber internet is often not available. There, satellite internet plays a crucial role in providing access to online tools for these residents, offering fast, reliable, and widespread coverage. Continue reading

(NewsUSA) – Marine Toys for Tots had another record-breaking year in 2023 thanks to the generous support of the American public, National Corporate Partners, volunteers, and our dedicated local Coordinators. Your generosity makes a lasting impact on children in need. During 2023, Toys for Tots distributed nearly 25 million toys, books, games, and other gifts to over 10 million economically disadvantaged children.

“You helped us deliver hope and comfort to children in need throughout the year, and for that, we are extremely humbled and proud. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you,” says LtGen James B. Laster, USMC (Retired), CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

“Now, with a new year comes new resolve to be an even stronger force for good, because children growing up in poverty deserve nothing less,” he adds.   Continue reading

(NewsUSA) – What do parents really think about school choice in 2024? A new survey by the National School Choice Awareness Foundation sheds light on what they’re thinking, and looking for, as National School Choice Week spurs families to start the process of choosing new schools for the fall. Two truths, and one oft-repeated myth, offer insights into how they’ll shape the landscape of education with the choices they make.

Here’s truth number one. Parents are more interested in changing their children’s schools than they were during the pandemic. 72% considered new schools for their children last year compared to 52% in 2022. If you’re not the parent of a school age child, you’d be forgiven for assuming parents crave stability after the upheaval of the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, but the data says something different. The high water mark of interest in choosing a new school during the pandemic came in the fall of 2020, when 63% of parents were considering it. Yet this month, January 2024, 72% said they have considered choosing a new school for their child in the last year. Continue reading

(NewsUSA)  – The future of the intelligence community will hinge on how well intelligence services can adopt and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) tools to make the most of the constant flow of data from all parts of the world, according to experts at the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP), a bipartisan nonprofit organization.

The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) should take immediate action to leverage emerging generative AI (GenAI) capabilities to protect the nation and maintain our competitive advantage over global rivals, according to a new report from SCSP. The IC has been at the cutting edge of adopting emerging technology for decades, but GenAI will have an exceptionally broad impact, and will further complicate the already complex world of intelligence.

“Intelligence services will eventually need to plan and account for AI-enabled machines acting as semi-independent actors, directing operations and making decisions, both for our adversaries and allies,” according to the SCSP report. Continue reading

During this time of year many people are more apt to give to charities and that brings up the question “How will the FAIRtax affect charitable giving? Won’t I lose my tax benefit?” Charitable contributions depend on one factor more than any other: the health of the economy (not tax benefits). As a wide range of economists agree on the economic expansion the FAIRtax delivers, charitable contributions benefit also. For all the money that pours into churches and a broad range of charities every day, only 30% who itemize their income tax get any tax benefit. The other 70% have given and will continue to give with no tax benefit whatsoever. The FAIRtax allows people to make charitable contributions out of their pre-taxed dollars. Thus those less affluent taxpayers who do not itemize see their cost of charitable giving go down under the FAIRtax. Finally, the wealthy make decisions on charitable giving based on the cause. Once they have determined the cause is worthy, their contribution is structured to maximize the gift and minimize the tax. But the intention to give comes first; taxes simply determine the structure – rarely the amount – of the gift. For more information go to FAIRtax.org

What do a bouncy 14-month-old and a drunken sailor have in common? Sooner or later, they are going to fall… and so are you! It is inevitable; unless you curl up on the couch for the rest of your life, you are going to lose your balance and fall. Even if you possess the grace of a stork on one leg or the agility of a Wallenda walking the line, unforeseen hazards like slick floors, stealthy patches of ice, mischievous bumps in the sidewalk, or Fluffy’s chew can still pose a threat.

Given that the prospect of taking a fall is practically unavoidable, the question becomes: What can we do to improve our chances of remaining upright? Surprisingly, the answer lies in practicing falling. Now, before you lock me in a padded room, hear me out.

Our younger generation, God help them, loses their balance exponentially more than active seniors. However, they do not fall nearly as much, and when they do fall, the repercussions are significantly less damaging. What gives? Of course, we can always point the finger at too many revolutions around the sun, but what specifically? Continue reading

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