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Source: Jandré van der Walt / Unsplash

Co-authored by Zamfira Parincu and Tchiki Davis

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you find yourself overwhelmed. Maybe you experienced a loss. Perhaps you find yourself pondering the meaning of life. Or maybe the current state of world affairs makes you feel lost. Whenever you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed, you can use grounding techniques to reconnect with yourself and the present moment. This research-based strategy may be helpful for anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, or even dissociation.

Grounding techniques work by “grounding” you in the present moment and pulling you away from intrusive thoughts or feelings. This refers not only to having your “feet on the ground” but also your “mind on the ground.” When you turn your attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, you can refocus on the present moment (Fisher, 1999).

Grounding techniques are useful because they help you distance yourself from an emotional experience. When you experience negative emotions—for example, perhaps you accidentally remember a painful memory—the brain's natural instinct is to start the involuntary physiological change known as the “fight or flight” response. Although this response keeps you safe by preparing you to face, escape from, or fight danger, memories do not present a tangible danger. If you find yourself in moments like these, grounding techniques can help the body calm itself and return to the present moment.

The 5-4-3-2-1 Technique

This is one of the most common grounding techniques. It helps by grounding you to the moment and reconnecting you to all five senses by naming:

  • 5 things you can see. Look around you and name five things you can see. It can be anything that’s in front of you such as the phone or the wall. It can also be things that are further away, such as the buildings or sky.
  • 4 things you can feel. This is important because it makes you pay attention to your body. You can think about how your hair feels on your back, how your feet feel in your shoes, or even how the fabric of your clothes feels on your skin.
  • 3 things you can hear. Pay attention to your environment: Do you hear birds, construction noise, the AC working? Say any three things that you can hear.
  • 2 things you can smell. Smelling is a powerful sensation, yet sometimes we move through life without paying that much attention to it. If you can, walk around a bit and notice the smells. If you can’t smell anything or can’t move, you can just name two smells that you particularly like.
  • 1 thing you can taste. Can you still taste lunch, coffee, or gum? If you want, grab a candy or mint and acknowledge how the flavors taste.

The next time you feel anxious or that you are overthinking a problem, try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to become more present in the moment.

Do a Meditation Exercise

Guided meditation is a powerful grounding technique to reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and it can help you get out of your head and reconnect to your body. There are many types of meditation, such as the body scan, moving meditations, or loving-kindness meditation, so it’s important to try to determine which one works best for you. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, make you calmer, promote happiness (Mineo, 2018), and even reduce symptoms of PTSD in studies with the U.S. military (Seppälä et al., 2014)

Focus on Your Breath ​

Many clinical professionals use breathing exercises to help patients be present in the moment. Focusing on breathing is a great tool for reducing stress and anxiety (Stefanaki et al., 2015). Breathing exercises work because they help you disengage from your mind and not pay attention to distracting thoughts. You can do the simple exercise below before bed, when you wake up in the morning, or before an important meeting:

First, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and notice how your chest and belly rise as you fill your lungs. Then, breathe out slowly through your mouth. Do this a few times until you start to calm down.

In Sum

Grounding techniques are strategies that can reconnect you with the present and may help you overcome anxious feelings, unwanted thoughts or memories, flashbacks, distressing emotions, or dissociation. You can try as many techniques as you want: The more you try, the higher the chance you’ll find at least one that works for you.

Adapted from an article published by The Berkeley Well-Being Institute.

Thu, 01 Sep 2022 11:23:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/202208/what-are-grounding-techniques
Killexams : The Best Lifting Techniques to Move Heavy Stuff

Lifting heavy items should be done carefully in order to prevent injury.

In fact, 38.5% of work-related musculoskeletal issues are related to back injury, with improper lifting being one of the main causes.

Therefore, it’s important to learn proper lifting techniques to keep yourself safe at work and at home.

This article discusses proper lifting techniques and common lifting problems, and provides useful tips.

The best lifting technique is to squat down and use the strength of your legs — instead of your back — to lift the object off of the ground.

That said, you should only lift items that you’re comfortable lifting. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask another person for help or use other machinery (e.g., a lift).

If you’ve decided that it’s safe to lift the item by yourself, you’ll want to follow the proper lifting technique guidelines outlined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

1. Plan ahead

Before moving something heavy, it’s important to think and plan first.

First, look at the item that you’re about to lift and ask yourself these questions:

  • How heavy is it?
  • Is it awkward to carry for one person?
  • Where am I planning on putting this item? Am I going to be carrying it a far distance? Are there doors that will need to be opened when I’m carrying it?
  • Are there proper handles? Do I need safety gloves?
  • Do I have equipment (e.g., a lift) that can do this job safely?
  • Should this be carried by more than one person?
  • Are there any obstructions that should be moved first?

Taking note of your environment, the item you plan to lift, and other considerations can help you decide if this item is a one- or two-person job or requires other assistance, such as machinery.

2. Stretch

Just like you’d warm up before a workout, you should also warm up and stretch your muscles before lifting.

Ideally, spend a few minutes doing some dynamic stretching (e.g., lunges, lower back rotations, arm circles) to prepare your muscles and get your blood flowing.

3. Lift

To lift safely, you first want to make sure that you’re in the right positioning.

You’ll also want to make sure that you bend your knees, squat down to grab the item, and use the strength of your legs to do most of the lifting. This can help to lower back and other muscular injury.

Here are the steps to safely lift a heavy item:

  1. Stand as close to the item as possible. This will prevent you from overstraining your back. Stand in front of the item with a wide base of support (feet at least shoulder width apart).
  2. Bend your knees and keep your back upright, shoulders back, and head looking straight forward. There should be a natural curve in your lower back. This will help ensure you’re using your legs rather than your back to lift the item.
  3. Place both hands on the handles or sides of the item.
  4. When ready, look straight forward and push into the balls of your feet as you slowly straighten your legs. Avoid twisting your back.
  5. Hold the item as close to your body as possible around belly button level, with your elbows to your sides.

4. Carry

If needed, slowly take small steps to walk to the spot you plan to put the item. If it’s far, you should consider placing the item on a cart or other form of transportation.

If you need to change directions, lead with your hips and ensure your shoulders stay aligned with your hips. Continue to keep the load as close to your body as possible.

5. Set down

Setting an item down is the same movement as lifting but in reverse:

  1. Stop walking and stand squarely in front of the spot you intend to place the item.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and squat as you lower toward the ground. Keep the item close to your body, brace your core, and keep your head looking straight forward.
  3. Place the item on the ground fully before lifting up again.

If the item will be placed above the ground (e.g., on a counter or table), walk up to the surface and place it gently on top. If it’s slightly lower than hip level, be sure to still bend your knees and lower your body to place the item down safely.

While no one intends to hurt themselves, it’s quite common to injure yourself while lifting heavy objects. The most common lifting problems include:

  • lifting with your back
  • bending forward and keeping your legs straight to pick up an item
  • twisting while lifting or carrying a heavy item
  • lifting a heavy item that’s above shoulder height
  • carrying an item that’s too heavy or large
  • using a partial grip (e.g., two fingers)
  • lifting items when you’re tired, fatigued, or already injured
  • holding your breath
  • trying to lift and move the item too quickly

By lifting properly and avoiding these common lifting problems, you can help lower your risk of injury.

To prevent injury, consider these helpful tips:

  • When in doubt, ask for assistance.
  • Make a plan from start to finish (lifting to placing down).
  • Brace your core when lifting.
  • Always bend your knees to lift an item, even if it looks light.
  • Check the weight of the item by practicing the weight on the label (if possible).
  • Ideally, use a lifting device to assist you.
  • If you’re going to move the item a far distance, use a cart, vehicle, or other piece of machinery.
  • Always stretch and warm up before lifting. Your safety comes before work or other obligations.
  • Use personal protective equipment (e.g., steel-toed shoes, gloves), as needed.
  • Take breaks if you’re tired or plan to move multiple objects.
  • Avoid holding an item for a long period of time.
  • If needed, ask a person to open any doors or move obstructions out of the way.

To ensure your safety, always practice safe lifting techniques.

The best lifting techniques involve using your legs to lift heavy objects instead of your back, since your legs are some of your strongest muscles while your back is more susceptible to injury.

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re planning ahead, only lifting objects you feel comfortable lifting by yourself, and being just as mindful when you place the item down as when you lift it.

And remember, you should always ask for assistance if you have any concerns. It’s better to be safe than to risk injuring yourself.

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 03:32:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.healthline.com/health/lifting-techniques
Killexams : Big deal for tiny tubes: Bayer buys CNT license from Hyperion

Carbon nanotube developers Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and Hyperion Catalysis International have concluded a patent license agreement to develop new application areas for the technology. Under the deal, BMS has made payments to Hyperion that will allow it to sell its Baytubes carbon nanotubes for use within a defined field under Hyperion's extensive patent portfolio.

Hyperion's flagship technology, Fibril, is a conductive, multiwalled carbon nanotube. Fibril is based on the research work by Howard G. Tennent, who in 1987, was issued a U.S. patent for "graphitic, hollow core fibrils." Hyperion Catalysis has been manufacturing and selling its Fibril carbon nanotubes for a range of applications since 1983. Over that time, it has also staked out a broad swath of intellectual property around the technology, with hundreds of issued patents and patent applications covering the production and use of carbon nanotubes.

Hyperion supplies its product in masterbatches, which require subsequent letdown and compounding, or as ready-to-mold compounds. In addition to commercial applications within automotive and electronics, Hyperion is also working on using nanotubes as conductive additives in elastomers and as flame retardants.

David M. Wohlstadter, Hyperion's VP business development, said in a release that the license with BMS will "further leverage Hyperion's broad patent portfolio and capitalize on the ever increasing demand for carbon nanotubes."

BMS has been actively selling its Baytubes products since 2006. About 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, Baytubes are agglomerates of multi-wall carbon nanotubes, with each tube consisting of several graphite layers. The average diameter of the tubes ranges from 13 to 16 nanometers. BMS advanced the manufacturing technology of the nanotubes, and in 2006-2007,  it launched production units with an annual capacity of 60 tonnes in Laufenburg, Germany.

In January 2010, BMS opened a new CNT pilot facility at its Chempark in Leverkusen, Germany, investing EUR 22 million. Described by the company as the largest of its kind in the world, it has an annual capacity of 200 tonnes. Depending on the catalyst used, different Baytubes grades can be produced by the catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) process, with BMS able to achieve material purities of up to 99%.

The company has also entered into a number of collaborative agreements with players within the nanotechnology field in particulars companies working on nanocomposites and nanocompounds, including Amroy Europe Oy, BYK-Chemie GmbH, Clariant Masterbatches GmbH, Ensinger GmbH, FutureCarbon GmbH, Nanoledge Inc., Schütz GmbH & Co.KGaA, and now Hyperion. —PlasticsToday Staff

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.plasticstoday.com/big-deal-tiny-tubes-bayer-buys-cnt-license-hyperion
Killexams : Building a Successful Certification Program at Your Institution

In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications offer hope to candidates and educators.

Certification helps to build a skilled workforce that meets the needs of local employers and government tech initiatives. Certification strikes the right balance of academic excellence and real-world skills, giving students the confidence and motivation they need to succeed both in school and in a profitable career.

“According to Pearson VUE’s 2021 Value of Certification study, 69% of IT managers believe certification significantly increases an employee’s productivity,” said Ray Murray, of Vice President and General Manager, Certiport. “Certifications are a great way to help candidates get their foot in the door and be more productive in their future careers.”

Defining certification

A certification is any credential that an individual can earn or achieve that validates a level of knowledge or a skillset related to a specific subject or discipline. Certifications are credentials that stand in addition to, in support of, or independently from degrees and diplomas.

Value of certification

Certifications, as defined above, are often created or supported by industry-recognized businesses or organizations and are administered in controlled environments by authorized and independent agents. Validating technical skill and knowledge has benefits in both academic and workplace settings.

Key benefits of certification in academia

Candidates who earn certifications while in school reap benefits early, including:

  • Validation of knowledge
  • Enhanced academic performance
  • Improved reputation
  • Enhanced credibility
  • Increased confidence
  • Respect from peers

Studies validate the specific benefits listed above, demonstrating the value of certifications for candidates as well as academic institutions. According to the Florida CAPE Performance Report, certification provides tangible improvements in academic performance, including:

  • Higher grade point average for certified high school students: 3.12 vs 2.78 (4.0 scale)
  • Higher graduation rates for certified high school students: 97.5% vs 78.4%
  • Increased post-secondary enrollment: 84% vs 82%
  • Reduced dropout rates: 0.2% vs 1.0%
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Thu, 06 Oct 2022 22:15:00 -0500 Content Provided by Certiport en-US text/html https://www.eschoolnews.com/2022/10/07/building-a-successful-certification-program/
Killexams : Tips & Techniques: How To Remove Stripped Or Stuck Screws

The tiny Torx- or Allen-head screws used on scope mounts have an annoying habit of stripping at just the wrong time. (Not that there is ever a right time.) This is particularly true when removing a scope mount that’s been on a gun for many years. The screws might be a little rusty, and there’s usually a bit of corrosion between the screw and the threads in the receiver. Also, it’s possible that the screws were over-tightened during installation, which can damage the head of the screw. All this adds up to screws that are very tough to remove.

When trying to remove scope mounts, using the Allen wrenches that come with new scope rings is asking for trouble. They are generally of soft steel and may strip and round the edges. They are barely acceptable for new installations when everything is new with clean threads and you are in charge of how much torque will be applied to complete the job. But when removing old screws, all bets are off. These cheap wrenches are a poor choice. Use only a good, high-quality hardened steel bit in a large-diameter screwdriver handle, like those found in the Wheeler Engineering 89-Piece Professional-Plus Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set available from Midway USA. Using a multi-bit screwdriver also allows you to keep the torque centered on the axis of the screw. With the L-shaped Allen wrenches, the tendency is for the torque to be directed off-center, that causes the wrench to tip in the screw, which leads to slipping and stripped screws and rounded wrenches.

You are only going to get one shot at this, so take the time required to get it right. Mount the gun in a gun vise so it won’t slip. Select an Allen bit that is in good shape without rounded or worn edges. Make sure the hex pocket in the screw head is clean and free from debris so the bit can enter all the way to the bottom. Insert the bit into the screw and tap it into place with a plastic-tipped hammer. A few solid whacks with the hammer on the screwdriver handle not only seats the Allen bit in the screw, but may also help loosen the screw. If the fit is at all sloppy, put a little Drive Grip or powdered rosin on the bit. Using two hands, push straight down on the top of the screwdriver with one hand, and turn with the other. Keep the screwdriver perfectly in line with the center of the screw; do not allow it to tip. Be careful about how much torque you apply, as these are small, rather delicate, screws. If the screw doesn’t loosen, back off. Try again while tapping on the screwdriver handle with a plastic hammer and applying constant torque to the handle. This is easier if you have some help. One person taps on the handle with the hammer, while the other keeps the screwdriver straight and applies the torque.

If just one of the screws is a problem, remove the rest of them first. Sometimes there is a misalignment of parts, so that puts pressure on one particular scew when all of them are tight. Removing the rest of them will often relieve that pressure, allowing the last screw to be removed.

If the screw is in a scope base that sits on a flat receiver, you can sometimes use a plastic hammer to tap on the base and turn it on the gun enough to loosen the screw. Remove all the other screws, and then tap the corner of the base so that it will drive the base counter-clockwise. It’s not necessary to turn it very far—just a partial turn will often break the screw free. Sometimes working the base back and forth with the hammer a few times will also break the screw free. Be careful about doing this on rounded receivers like the Remington 700, as tapping the mount will cam it against the receiver, jamming the screw tighter or breaking it off.

Sometimes you can do everything right, yet the screw still strips. The base I recently removed from a Remington 700 in .35 Whelen is a perfect example. The scope was installed sometime back in the late ’80s. The first three screws came free just fine—a testament to the fact that I use only high-quality bits for this kind of work—but the opening in the head of the last one stripped. I thought it could handle the amount of pressure I was applying, but it had been damaged during installation, and the head stripped.

I switched to a bit designed for a Torx-head screw that was slightly larger than the stripped hole in the screw. Keeping it straight, I tapped the screwdriver with a hammer to drive the Torx bit into the screw, effectively cutting new splines in the metal with the bit. That allowed me to remove the screw. Of course, the screw is no good anymore, and it sometimes damages the Torx bit, but a new bit is only a couple dollars at most, far less than the cost or time necessary to drill out the broken screw and re-tap the hole. I always keep a supply of screws on hand anyway, because it’s very common to need a replacement.

Sometimes nothing will work, and you must drill out the screw. Clamp the gun in a vise and use a drill press, which will deliver you a lot more control than a hand-held drill. Select a bit that is slightly smaller than the head of the screw. Drill just far enough to remove the head from the screw. Once the drill bit hits the bottom of the opening, it should be centered, as it will drill to the shank of the screw. This removes the head from the shank, freeing up the base. If you are lucky, it will leave a small amount of the screw shank sticking out from the gun. If it still will not come out easily and if you have time, it wouldn’t hurt to keep this screw saturated with penetrating oil for a few days before attempting to remove it.

Use a new pair of small and high-quality Vise-Grips to clamp the screw, and try to remove it. Use a new pair, so that the teeth are clean, sharp and the jaws are perfectly aligned. Sometimes you get lucky and this works.

Drilling out the screw and re-tap ping the hole is a last resort. This is a bit tricky, and I don’t recommend that a hobby gunsmith try it on a rifle receiver until he has some experience with less-critical applications. If you lack experience with drilling out broken screws and rethreading the screw holes, a rifle receiver is not the place to learn. Take the rifle to someone who has the knowledge and the proper equipment. I have seen several ruined receivers and more than one hole drilled through the barrel by people who didn’t heed that advice.

Sat, 24 Sep 2022 22:13:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.americanrifleman.org/content/tips-techniques-how-to-remove-stripped-or-stuck-screws/
Killexams : 5 Self-Help Tips To Stop Snoring Tonight
CNET Sleep Tips logo

Snoring results from air pushing through a partially blocked airway and vibrating the tissues of the throat. Occasional snoring is common -- practically everyone does it. However, persistent and regular snoring harms sleep quality and can cause drowsiness and fatigue. Your likelihood of health issues like high blood pressure or a heart attack also increases.

Whether snoring is just an annoyance you'd like to get rid of or you're trying to get better sleep, try these home remedy tips to stop snoring. 

We also can show you how to fall asleep fast, get the most out of your sleep and which foods to eat to sleep well.

At-home tips to stop snoring 

Change your sleeping position

Your sleeping position may be contributing to your snoring. Sleeping on your back increases the compression of your airways. It also allows your soft palate and tongue to fall backward and obstruct your airway, which is common for those with sleep apnea

Sleeping on your side will help open your airways and reduce snoring. There are several ways to train yourself to sleep on your side. They include but are not limited to: sleeping on the couch for a narrow surface area, sleeping against a wall or using pillows to block your ability to roll over. Many people swear by the tennis ball trick, which involves attaching a tennis ball to the back of your shirt, so it's uncomfortable to sleep when you roll over. 

Read more: Best Mattresses for Great Sleep

Young woman sleeping on her side
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images

Elevate your head

Elevating your head can ease snoring by allowing your tongue and jaw muscles to move forward rather than fall back into your airways. There are specially designed pillows that help with this, or you can just stack your current pillows to achieve the same effect. 

Read more: How to Shop for and Choose the Right Pillow 

Make lifestyle changes

Your lifestyle plays a large role in how often you snore. Carrying extra weight can contribute to snoring as the fatty tissue in the neck can press against your throat. Experts recommend weight loss as one of the first changes to stop snoring. For some, losing as little as 5 to 8 pounds can decrease snoring. 

Another lifestyle you can make is quitting smoking. Cigarette smoke can cause nasal congestion and irritate the nose and throat membranes. Alcohol can negatively affect your sleep in several ways, one of which is that it relaxes your airways and makes you snore. You should avoid alcohol at least 3 hours before bed to reduce snoring.

Open your nasal passages

There are several products on the market that you can use to stop snoring. The most popular are nasal strips that can reduce snoring by increasing the space in the nasal passage and making your breathing more effective. Nasal strips are worn across the bridge of the nose. 

If nasal stips don't widen the nasal passage enough for your needs, you can use an external nasal dilator. While similar to nasal strips in appearance, external nasal dilators are a little more heavy-duty, with embedded plastic ribs in the adhesive that keep the airways open.

Internal nasal dilators are also available. The device is inserted in the nose and physically holds open the nasal passage.

Address your allergies 

If you struggle with allergies, it's important to address your symptoms regularly so they don't impact your sleep. Allergies can reduce your nasal airflow and force you to breathe through your mouth, increasing the likelihood of snoring. 

Over-the-counter allergy medications can help alleviate symptoms. There are also prescription options available. 

Things to keep in mind when choosing an allergy medication: 

  • There are both drowsy and non-drowsy antihistamines available.
  • Pay attention to how fast-acting the medication is. That will help you determine when to take it for the best results. 
  • What form do you want to take your medication? There are traditional pill medications and nasal sprays. 
Woman with seasonal allergies blowing her nose
Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

When is it time to see a doctor for snoring?

Snoring is common and can be linked to the causes mentioned above. But there are times when snoring can be a symptom of something more serious, like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by loud snoring and interruptions in breathing during the night. People with sleep apnea wake up tired, suffer headaches or migraines and have difficulty concentrating.  

Sleep apnea is associated with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke. If you think you have sleep apnea, it's essential you speak to your doctor for a diagnosis. The standard treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine that blows air into your airways to keep them open all night.

Quick tips to make sleeping with a CPAP machine easy:

  • Assess the mask style options. Some options offer more or less coverage than others. 
  • Once you've selected which mask fits your needs, you must ensure it fits. Make adjustments to straps while lying down, not standing up.
  • Practice wearing your mask during the day to get used to wearing it at night. 

Want more? Find out which habits are wrecking your sleep, how to power nap like a champ and which songs to add to your sleep playlist

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Thu, 15 Sep 2022 23:01:00 -0500 See full bio en text/html https://www.cnet.com/health/sleep/tips-to-stop-snoring/
Killexams : Bradley Cooper - Please Don’t Make The Hyperion Cantos

You are practicing this for the wrong reason. Thus begins Volume Three of the legendary four-part work The Hyperion Cantos, by word wizard Dan Simmons. I quote this line at the outset to emphasize that I have nothing against Bradley Cooper. In fact, I’m a fan who admires him for his guts as an actor and director. I am writing because I believe that a film (or series of films) is the wrong medium for the Cantos and would reduce and constrain our imaginative opportunity. I believe it is a work that

should be left alone as one for the ages to be read (and perhaps listened to, more about which shortly). In a larger sense, my objection invites us to reconsider the question of how medium and story should best fit together.

Allow me to expand. For those of you who don’t know, the Hyperion Cantos is a four-volume saga equal in scope, moral force and sheer entertainment value to The Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t read it, stop and order it right away. It is a virtuoso mashup of hard science fiction, mythology, a profound love story, thoughts about the future of the human/AI relationship, organized religion and more. It is a philosophical tract on what it means to be human, a deep exploration of power and politics, an almost lyrical future military history, a meditation on leadership, art, poetry and more. You get the idea.

I have now read the four volumes from cover to cover twice and keep coming back to their expansive universe with fresh curiosity and unanswered questions. Not all of their meanings can be easily digested in a single reading.

Recently I added listening to practicing via the Audible versions of the Cantos. I was mesmerized by the superb artistry of narrator Victor Bevine and his ability to bring complicated characters to life. In reading, one is tempted to rush ahead, to find out what happens next. In contrast, my spoken word experience was more conducive to savoring and reflecting because it slowed down the experience and enabled a different pace of digestion. Most importantly, hearing the voices of the characters allowed room for my imagination while luxuriating in the primal experience of being read to.

Thus I got panic when I heard rumblings of an effort to develop the Cantos into a film(s) at Warner Brothers, driven by no less a member of Hollywood royalty than Bradley Cooper. Having been around the film business and produced a couple of feature films myself, I can certainly appreciate how producers go into heat when they sense a Dune-like epic that can ring the cash registers with multiple sequels, prequels, and spinoffs (not to mention the merch).

But I say don’t do it. Making this film will reduce the impact of this timeless narrative and its characters. Film condenses in a way that can severely constrain the imagination. Let’s first do a bit of simple math, The four books weigh in at 2046 pages. Assuming an average practicing pace of a page a minute, we’re talking 34.1 hours of reading. And the Audible versions clock in at a whopping 95 hours! Lots of room for the imagination to take flight. To reflect, digest, learn, weep, rejoice. In contrast, a film occupies somewhere between two and three hours. Draw your own conclusions.

There are times when I want a gifted film-maker to take my imagination along for a ride, regardless of the source material. I’m glad that I read The Lord of the Rings

before seeing the movies, but Peter Jackson’s version stands out as faithful to this beloved work. The current Rings of Power on the other hand travels a lesser road IMHO, sacrificing depth for plot points. And that’s where the risk lies.

Frankly, I don’t want to see the Cantos brought to earth by the latest clever casting decisions involving flavor-of-the-month actors. I don’t want to see Hollywood’s version of massive space battles. I don’t want to see the subtleties of human/AI interaction reduced to digital FX. Film is literally reductive; it’s someone else’s imagination on the screen for you to experience. For example, I read Dune when it first came out. Now I

see Oscar Isaac whenever I reflect on the travails of Duke Leto, and that’s OK for me. When the film craft is good, all is forgiven. When it is mediocre (or the budgets are limited), the imagination suffers.

Leave me alone, Bradley Cooper. This project is too big to have any chance of being faithful to the original. Let me hang out in the Cantos in my own way, warmed by the words of Dan Simmons who ought to someday get a Nobel Prize for narrative imagination. Let me savor characters who have become my friends through Victor Bevine’s narration. Leave me alone with my own imagination to bring the words – written and spoken – to life. I don’t need someone else’s imagination to hitch a ride to this galaxy. Leave me alone. Don’t disempower my imagination. Don’t take away my ability to dream.

Sun, 09 Oct 2022 11:44:00 -0500 John Kao en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkao/2022/10/09/bradley-cooperplease-dont-make-the-hyperion-cantos/
Killexams : Beyond the Lesson Plan: 5 Surprising Tips to Master a New Language

We're lucky to live in a world with so much online access to language learning software, some of it free. The problem with self-paced online learning, however, is that it's easy to get stuck at a certain level and not progress. Joining a class or finding a tutor may help, but there's more you can do to make sure you keep building your skills.

In putting together these five tips for language learning, I skipped the most obvious ones, like practice daily, speak out loud, and memorize 20 new words per day. Instead, I dug into my past language learning experiences (I have quite a few of them!) to pinpoint the tips that really got me over the biggest humps.


1. Don't Let Yourself Be Too Successful

This tip—don't let yourself be too successful—is the single most important one when learning a language, and often the hardest one for people to do. It means you should never be achieving 100% in your practice or tests. If you are at 100%, you're not being pushed past your limit or studying at a high enough level.

To learn a language, you need to be constantly challenged. So, aim to be successful at about the 80% mark with a 20% failure rate, whether you're making the wrong conjugation or unable to find the precise word you want. The same goes for listening and reading. You should be able to understand about 80%, not 100%. The Pimsleur learning method tells you this at the beginning of every lesson. You need to be working to figure out as much as you can through context.

For people who have been high achievers and hard workers their whole lives, it's very tough to put yourself in this position of, essentially, always failing a little bit. But it's not failing. It's language learning.


2. Force Yourself to Talk With People...in the World or in an App

As an extreme introvert, I can assure you that I know how hard it is to strike up a conversation with strangers in a language you barely speak. But it's possible. And there are some tricks to it.

If you live in a place where people speak the language you're learning, you have opportunities to speak (it's still hard but the access is there). The trick is to force yourself to make use of them in a way that benefits your learning. One is to decide in advance a question you will ask. For example, go into a coffee shop, place your order, and then ask, "What hours are you open on Saturday?" That's a good question if you're timid or a beginner, because it doesn't invite additional conversation. You can practice that same question every time someone new is behind the counter. Or go to a public place and ask where such-and-such is, and ask multiple people so you hear different answers that all say the same thing.

A Zoom screen with Spanish language lesson material in the main window and students and the instructor in the participant windows

Live classes with Lingoda are reasonably priced and let you practice speaking a language with others. (Credit: PCMag)

If you don't have in-person access to speakers, try HelloTalk. This free app connects people who want to learn each other's languages. That way, you can chat with people in both the language you're learning and a language you already speak. You can stick to chatting by text, or you can also send audio recordings and even make direct phone calls from the app. HelloTalk encourages people to deliver one another corrections, too.

Another great way to talk is to join live small group classes. The best I've found online are from Lingoda. Classes have a certified instructor and excellent course material, and every class has a strong speaking component.


3. Dive Into Long-Form Listening and Reading

Good language learning apps deliver you a mix of exercises that engage your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. At some point, however, you will outgrow those exercises.

Once you have a basic grasp of the language, dive into longer-form listening and practicing to augment your daily studies. The nice thing about listening and practicing is you can do them on your own (whereas you need partners for speaking and someone to check your writing). Find a podcast in the language you're learning or a few YouTube channels and listen or watch a few times a week. Repeat episodes you like. In addition, pick up a book, magazine, or long-form articles that are the right level for you and read for 20 minutes every day. Use a timer.

The landing page for the Duolingo podcast for French learners

Duolingo's free podcast is for people learning English, French, or Spanish. (Credit: PCMag)

Need suggestions? Duolingo has a fantastic podcast for English speakers learning Spanish or French at the intermediate level. If you turn to YouTube, look for videos about subjects you genuinely care about—I like to watch people cooking, for example. Beelingua is an app that helps beginners and intermediate-level students read. Public libraries are also fantastic resources, especially if you ask librarians for help finding the right materials.


4. For New-to-You Writing Systems and Sign Languages: Get a Specialized App

When the language you're learning involves an unfamiliar writing system or is a signed language, you will greatly benefit from adding into your studies an app that specializes in that particular language to help you learn. While I adore big-name apps that teach many languages like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo, they tend to be not so good for learning a unique feature of a language, like how to write and read Arabic, for example.

When looking for a specialized app to help you with these finer points, the app you choose depends on which language you're learning. For example, for learning American Sign Language, I highly recommend Sign It ASL. For Japanese, where the order in which you draw strokes to write a character matters, Human Japanese(Opens in a new window) is especially helpful when used on a touchscreen. 

Recommended by Our Editors

To find apps, search online but also ask other people who have learned the language which apps they found helpful.


5. Remember 'It's a Language Test, Not a Truth Test'

In one of the schools at which I've studied languages, we have a saying: It's a language test, not a truth test. It comes into play the most in speaking situations.

One time I was in a small group class and the teacher was asking each student to talk about their heritage and extended family. When one woman's turn arrived, she fumbled her words and seemed distressed. She started explaining how she was adopted and didn't know her heritage. She definitely didn't want to be having this conversation in any language. But it's a language test, not a truth test. So she could have said, "My grandmother is from Poland," and no one would have been the wiser—or cared.

Here's another example. A common Topic in beginner language classes is professions. If the words for lawyer, doctor, taxi driver, and pharmacist are what would help you most before you go live in a foreign country, use them! Your mother is now a doctor and your sister is a pharmacist. No one cares if it's the truth. If someone asks detailed follow-up questions, you say, "Well, it's not the truth. I'm just practicing." You're not in class to share intimate details about your life. You're there to practice speaking and to learn new words.

Don't dig deep for the truth if it makes you uncomfortable—especially during the early stages of learning a language. It'll throw you off and make the whole experience horrible. Save the discussion of nuanced feelings for when you're at the upper intermediate and advanced phases of learning. Even then, you don't have to tell the truth.


More Help in Your Language Learning Journey

For other help you may need in your language learning journey, see how to add support for another language in Windows and how to change the default language in Chrome.

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Mon, 10 Oct 2022 16:43:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/tips-for-learning-language
Killexams : 12 Tips to Make Your Mattress Last Longer

Sleep is a vital part of your health. Not only can it help you wake up the next day feeling refreshed, but getting quality sleep aids your body in developing immunity and fighting off diseases. All told, sleep affects every aspect of your health. It is why your mattress is such a critical component of healthy sleep hygiene.

How long your mattress lasts depends on the material and maintenance. Innerspring mattresses typically last five and a half to six and a half years. Meanwhile, foam and hybrid beds keep their use a little longer (6 to 7 years.) Latex beds offer the most durability -- 10 to 20 years on average. 

Our guide on making a mattress last longer contains helpful tips to help you get the most out of your investment so you can sleep soundly. 

How to make your mattress last longer

Let's get into some of the ways you can prolong the life of your mattress.

Use a mattress protector 

It's no surprise that a mattress protector is an essential part of your bedding kit. They serve as a protective barrier between you and your bed, absorbing sweat, dirt, makeup, dust mites, dead skin cells and other items that would nestle into the mattress if left unprotected. Most importantly, it prevents the bed from staining, which in many cases can void your warranty. 

When selecting a mattress protector, finding a durable one is vital. If you tend to sleep warm, look for one possessing performance fabric. It will absorb the sweat, so your bed doesn't have to. 

There are also two kinds of mattress protectors available. Fitted mattress protectors work like a fitted sheet, covering every inch of your bedding. Meanwhile, encasement mattress protectors use zippers on the side to cover the bedding. The benefit to these is they keep out dust mites, bugs, and more. 

Wash bed sheets frequently 

Ideally, you want to wash your bed sheets weekly. When you wash them, you can use the setting for delicates. If your washer has a setting specifically for sheets, use that. Unless you have thick bedding, you won't need the heavy-duty function. Washing your bed sheets ensures your bedding remains fresh and protects your mattress from incurring stains and moisture from sweat. 

Ensure your mattress is well supported 

Having support under your mattress ensures it wears evenly with regular use. For innerspring mattresses, have a box spring to support them. With foam beds, a solid platform suffices. Along with helping the mattress spread its use evenly, it keeps your bed under warranty with your manufacturer. 

No more monkeys jumping on the bed! 

I know this will be the rule you'll like the least. As much fun as it is to treat your mattress like a trampoline, over time, this action could wear down your bed faster. Manufacturers design beds for regular use. Jumping on the bed creates harsher impacts that can damage the bed and void your warranty. 

Flip your mattress regularly

One of the most effective ways to make your bed last longer is to flip or rotate the mattress. It prevents your bed from forming a permanent dip because you use the same part of your bed every night. 

Your manufacturer has instructions on if you need to rotate or flip your bed and when to do so -- usually, this is every few months. Meanwhile, some models like Tempur-Pedic won't require any movement.  

Spot clean stains immediately 

Hands in rubber gloves removing a blood stain on a mattress

Oopsies in bed can happen. When they do, treat the stain fast. Home Revolution recommends creating a paste from lemon juice and salt. Rub it into the stain, let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes, and wipe it off with a clean towel. For darker color mattresses, do not use lemon as it will bleach your bed. Alternatively, use water, dish soap and baking soda to treat the stain. It'll smell and look fresh. 

Get a separate bed for your pets 

Pets are cuddly by nature, and there's nothing like practicing a book with your cat or dog nestled next to you. The only issue is that your favorite four-legged companion might carry more germs and other ickiness than you want, like roundworms. Once these parasites attach to your furry best friend, they'll hatch eggs into your pet's hair. When your pet lies down with you at night, those eggs can slide off into your sheets. So unless you enjoy a bed full of parasites, it might be best to get them their own bed. 

Avoid eating or drinking on your bed 

While channeling your inner Winston Churchill sounds cozy, eating and drinking in bed can result in small, unnoticeable stains. You might not spot these, but ants and cockroaches will take these as an invitation to join you in bed. 

Beware of bedbugs 

A bed bug infestation can render your mattress useless. Therefore, you'll want to protect it from bedbugs by using an encasement protector, keeping your bedroom clean and being careful what you bring into and out of your bedroom, such as used furniture. 

Protect your mattress when moving it 

You can buy a mattress protector when transporting it from your old to your new residence. Doing this ensures it remains protected from stains and can prevent bugs from entering it. After all, you don't know what's been in the moving truck before you used it. 

Deodorize and clean your mattress frequently

Sprinkling baking soda over your mattress every six months helps it remain fresh. It also rids the bed of smells accumulating from stains, dust mites, sweat and more. 

Follow the owner's manual for proper care 

Your manufacturer's instruction manual is your best friend when learning how to make your mattress last longer. It contains tips on when to flip or rotate it (if necessary), how to clean it and other helpful information for maximizing use. It's also an excellent resource should you need to consult anyone about care. 

Mattress FAQS 

How long should a mattress last?

Mattresses tend to last five to seven years, with the best beds extending to over 10 years. 

Are you supposed to flip your mattress?

It depends on your manufacturer's recommendations. Some beds require you to flip or rotate them every few months for even wear. However, some brands like Tempur-Pedic don't require rotations. 

How often should a mattress be replaced?

The material of the bed determines when you should replace it. Innerspring mattresses last five to six years, while foam and hybrid beds run six to seven years on average. By paying close attention to your manufacturer's warranty, it can clue you in on your mattress's operational life. 

How to tell you need a new mattress?

Once your bed doesn't provide the support you need, it's time to replace it. Signs of this include uneven wear, sags, a funky odor or you wake up with pressure points in your back, hips or shoulders. And if you're having trouble falling asleep at night because your mattress pushes back, it's time for an upgrade. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 06:12:00 -0500 See full bio en text/html https://www.cnet.com/health/sleep/tips-to-make-your-mattress-last-longer/
Killexams : Lanthanide doping could help with new imaging techniques
Lanthanide doping could help with new imaging techniques
a) Main luminescent transitions of the lanthanide activators in the electromagnetic spectrum, spanning from UV to visible then extending to second near-infrared. b) XEOL, XEPL, DS and UC processes in lanthanide-doped fluoride NSs. c) Schematic illustration of the multimode color evolution based on fluoride core@shell@shell NSs. P represents excitation power. When different lanthanide activators generate diverse emission wavelengths of XEOL, UC and DS in a designed core@shell@shell NSs, plentiful multicolors can be modulated on demand by controlling the excitation wavelength and/or power. Credit: Lei Lei, Yubin Wang, Andrey Kuzmin, Youjie Hua, Jingtao Zhao, Shiqing Xu and Prasad N. Paras

X-rays are electromagnetic waves with short wavelengths and strong penetrability in physical matter, including live organisms. Scintillators capable of converting X-rays into the ultraviolet (UV), visible or near-infrared (NIR) photons are widely employed to realize indirect X-ray detection and XEOL imaging in many fields. They include medical diagnosis, computed tomography (CT), space exploration, and non-destructive industrial material and security inspections.

Commercial bulk scintillators possess high light yield (LY) and superior energy resolution. However, they suffer from several drawbacks, such as complex fabrication procedures, expensive experimental equipment, non-tunable XEOL wavelength and poor device processability. They all produce emissions in the visible spectral range, but having XEOL in the NIR range may find more interesting applications in biomedicine. Thick crystals also generate light scattering followed by evident signal crosstalk in a photodiode array.

Recently, metal halide perovskites have been investigated for X-ray detection. Unfortunately, these materials also exhibited some intrinsic limitations, such as poor photo-/environmental- stability, heavy metal toxicity and low LY. Thus, the search for developing a new generation of scintillators is still a considerable focus of scientific research.

In a new paper published in eLight, a team of scientists, led by Professor Prasad N. Paras from the University of Buffalo, investigated the use of lanthanide-doped fluoride NSs. Their paper looked at design strategies and nanostructures that allow manipulation of excitation dynamics in a core-shell geometry.

Lanthanide-doped fluoride NSs avoid the limitations of bulk scintillators and metal halide perovskites. They also exhibit many useful properties. The core-shell structures of the lanthanide doped fluoride NSs can be tuned and designed on demand by employing a cheap and convenient wet-chemical method. The emission wavelengths can be tuned and extended to the second NIR window, benefiting from the abundant energy levels of lanthanide activators.

These NSs show superior photostability, low toxicity and convenient device processability. It makes them promising candidates for next-generation NSs and XEOL imaging. Moreover, they exhibit XEPL property, showing promising applications in biomedicine and optical information encoding. The combination of XEOL and XEPL makes them suitable for broadening the scope of their applications.

In accurate years, significant advances have been made in NS development. The research team discussed design strategies and nanostructure that allow manipulation of excitation dynamics in a core-shell geometry. They also produce XEOL, XEPL, photon upconversion (UC) and downshifting (DS). It enables emission at multiple wavelengths and at varying time scales.

The fundamental working principle of XEOL imaging is to record the attenuation of X-rays after penetrating the subject with a scintillator and imaging with a camera. The scintillator screen is placed under the target to absorb the transmitted X-ray photons. A low dose of X-rays penetrating live organisms enables the application of computed tomography. Penetrating nonliving matter enables product quality and security inspection. The X-ray irradiation dose should be low enough to assure safety, while the high resolution and distinct contrast are important for image analysis.

X-ray, ionizing radiation with deep penetration depth in the human body, has been broadly studied for radiotherapy and bioimaging applications. The strong XEOL can activate the photosensitizers to generate reactive oxygen species. They directly slow or stop tumor growth by photodynamic therapy, causing inflammation and compromising microvasculature.

The XEPL in UVC range can be used for sterilization and in vivo killing of pathogens and cancer cells. Fluorides with large band-gap and facile creation of anionic defects are appropriate for generating UVC persistent luminescence. Experimental characterizations combined with first-principles calculations suggested that oxygen introduction-induced fluorine vacancies acted as electron traps.

Photodetectors have various applications in biomedical sensing, camera imaging, optical communications, and night vision. In commercial photodetectors, crystalline inorganic semiconductors are employed as photodiodes and phototransistors. They do not effectively respond to a broad scope of photon energy covering X-ray, ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis), and NIR light.

Under NIR excitation, the lanthanide-doped fluoride layer emits UV-vis light through energy-transfer UC processes. The subsequential radiation re-absorption process from lanthanide activators to the perovskite layer occurs. Visible emission from the perovskite layer is produced through recombining electrons in the CB and holes in the VB.

This nanotransducer exhibited a wide linear response to X-rays with various dose rates and UV and NIR photons at different power densities. As discussed in section 4.4, without integrating the perovskite layer, lanthanide-doped fluoride NSs can be used for the generation of XEOL, UC and DS as well, which might be possible for the realization of broadband detection in theory and need more study in the future.

Lanthanide-doped fluoride nanoparticles are suitable candidates for next-generation NSs owing to their low bio-toxicity, high photo-/environmental- stability, facile device processability, tunable XEOL and XEPL properties, and other useful features.

To promote the development of high-performance fluoride NSs and their practical applications, the team discussed the existing challenges and future multidisciplinary opportunities in this field below. Understanding the XEOL mechanism benefits the design and exploration of new fluoride NSs. At present, how the generated low kinetic energy charge carriers are transported to the luminescent centers or captured by defects and the corresponding influence factors are unclear.

The first populated nonradiative excited levels and the radiative levels of lanthanide activators are optimal when calculating or characterizing the energy differences among these charge carriers. These calculations will guide the design of energy transfer processes to match the energy differences followed by the enhanced light yield. High LY is a prerequisite for the realization of ultra-low dose rate applications.



More information: Lei Lei et al, Next generation lanthanide doped nanoscintillators and photon converters, eLight (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s43593-022-00024-0

Citation: Lanthanide doping could help with new imaging techniques (2022, September 19) retrieved 17 October 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-lanthanide-doping-imaging-techniques.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Sun, 18 Sep 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://phys.org/news/2022-09-lanthanide-doping-imaging-techniques.html
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