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Health and Wellbeing

October 23, 2006 The online dating scene incorporates about 1500 sites and generates about 1.81% of all web pages served – one in fifty web pages or around 2 percent of the world’s attention while it is online. As this is such a large industry, it is forever trying to come up with more efficient algorithms for putting compatible parties together both time- and cost- efficiently and facilitating effective communication between the parties. Two new web sites named Yesnomayb and eHarmony Marriage joined the ranks recently and both differentiate themselves very effectively in this space. Yesnomayb could be best described as the online equivalent to speed dating – it’s quick and effective and worth a look. Online dating is big business for the major players who have client bases in the ten million range. More people become single every year - 46 percent of all Americans are single, up from just 28% in 1970. Dating site EHarmony focuses on facilitating communication between potential partners and is now extending its relationship skills services to catering to married couples with programmes designed to facilitate a more harmonious marriage. eHarmony’s Marriage program will run a diagnostic personalized assessment of the current state of your marriage, or build a specialised program for you or you and your partner based on your needs (to maintain your level of happiness, get help with minor issues or major problems, to enrich the marriage or to avoid likely divorce). By offering a self-help alternative to marriage counselling, eharmony gets our vote for one of the best product extensions we’ve seen as it targets the other 54% of the population. Read More
October 20, 2006 Being comfortable when you’re working increases your productivity and is good for your state of mind – yet so few of us invest in the technologies to gain those benefits, even though we spend hundreds of hours a month slaving over a keyboard. A few thousand dollars might significantly increase workplace comfort and there’s a tangible ROI via the productivity. Our favourite seating solutions for office applications are the Bionomic Chair, the MYPCE workstation, the Plasma 2System, the Netsurferand the NeThrone and the Ypsilon office chair designed by Mario and Claudio Bellini just slipped into that elite category of executive seating. With ten different adjustments possible, Ypsilon can be individually adapted to the size, weight and the body of the sitter, following his or her movements, and providing support without constricting. It has a sensitive motion mechanism and extremely wide backward angle, enabling it to offer a viable lounge working position. The flexible backrest is like a sail. Frameless and fixed only on the corner points, it has a burred texture that encourages pleasant air circulation. The soft cushioning of the headrest and armrests and the patented ClimaSeat offer additional comfort and create an agreeable sitting climate for extended periods. Read More
October 19, 2006 When something makes the pages of i4u, Kitchen Contraptions, Gizmodo and Shiny Shiny in the same fortnight, it’s obviously got something going for it – and it has. It’s a small timer which keeps track of how long a jar has been open so you know when to throw it in the trash without having to stick your nose into an olfactory minefield. DaysAgo counters have a simple LCD display and can attach with either a magnet or suction cup and although it’s a ripper device, we can’t help but feel that at US$12, it’s a bit exey to be used in a large household – doing a rough count of open jars in our household, we’d need US$250 worth of daysagos. Read More
October 19, 2006 In the United States, between the end of World War II and 1964, 76 million Baby Boomers were born. They are now entering middle age and changing the demographics of the entire population, along with consumer needs, since they spend more money than any generation in history. Every 7.5 seconds, a Boomer turns 50! Aging boomers have caused a unique explosion in the beauty, health, and anti-aging markets (see previous report here). This product is aimed squarely at the boomer market plus all those people who have a vested interest in looking after their face, be it surgery related, vanity related or work related. The “Save My Face!” Pillowette is claimed to prevent wrinkling, improve nasal air flow (and hence increase oxygenation of the body), ease aches and pains, and aid in cosmetic surgery recovery. In addition it is claimed to enhance the affects of expensive anti-aging facial creams and serums. Nothing is rubbed off on your sleep surface. The double crescent-shaped design supports the head comfortably while elevating the face during sleep or rest. This prevents compression of skin tissues and muscles in the face and forehead. It also provides proper support for the neck, shoulders, and back. The Pillowette is available in two sizes, a full-sized US$90 Le Grande model and a smaller US$40 La Petite model ideal for travel. Read More
October 17, 2006 It sounds like the type of product found in a sci-fi novel, but French fabric house Avelana and Roudiere, has created a “thermoregulator” fabric line, which absorbs ambient thermal changes and offers a garment which keeps its wearer at a similar temperature regardless of the weather – much cooler in summer or much warmer in winter. The new Klimeo process involves the application of a treatment to pure or mixed wool fabrics and is ideal for traditional woven textile markets, and is beneficial for knitwear used in active outdoor and sports markets, as well as other next-to-skin applications. Though it adds remarkable new qualities to fabrics, Klimeo is invisible to the naked eye, and does not change the aesthetics, fall or texture of fabrics, and retains its new properties even after machine washing and dry cleaning.To create Klimeo, microcapsules are grafted to the fabric. These capsules change their phase depending on the temperature. The substance in the microcapsules is solid when you are in a cold environment and it is liquid when you are in a warm environment. Read More
October 13, 2006 The diet soda market has traditionally been a place where the soft drinks didn’t add as many calories as non-diet brethren, but Coca Cola is now readying a product for the U.S. market that is proven to burn calories. Enviga hits the Northeast in November and will roll out across the U.S. in January 2007. Enviga is a sparkling tea containing green tea extracts, calcium, and caffeine, and was conceived by Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), a joint venture between Nestle and Coca-Cola. Research shows that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant present in green tea, has the ability to speed up metabolism and increase energy use, especially when combined with caffeine. Studies have shown that when EGCG and caffeine are present at the levels comparable to that in three cans of Enviga, healthy subjects in the lean to normal weight range can experience an average increase in calorie burning by 60 – 100 calories. Read More
October 9, 2006 Though synthetic images and contrived looks help to shape our ideas of what’s attractive and what’s passe, we suspect the suntanned look triggers recognition of a healthy, robust outdoorsy person and no matter what shape the Ozone Layer is in, the bronzed look is still likely to be fashionable for a long time yet. Which makes the following great news for the sun worshippers of the world. Findings from a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital in Boston have rewritten science's understanding of the process of skin tanning – an insight that has enabled them to develop a promising way of protecting fair-skinned people from skin cancer caused by exposure to sunlight. Read More
October 7, 2006 Next to being a soldier, where it’s part of your job description to have people shooting at you, journalism rates as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Indeed, 75 journalists have been killed so far this year, making 2006 the deadliest year for journalists on record, according to the World Association of Newspapers. Twenty-six of the deaths occurred in Iraq, where journalists continue to be targeted and murdered. The 75 journalists and other media workers killed through September makes 2006 the most deadly year since WAN began keeping records of journalist murders in 1997. Seventy-two journalists were killed in 2004. Read More
October 6, 2006 One of the feel-good stories of the week was Stanford University’s Roger Kornberg winning the 2006 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, completing a rare father-son Nobel Prize quinella. Forty-seven years ago, the then twelve-year-old Kornberg (top right) was in Stockholm to see his father (centre right), Arthur Kornberg, receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1959) for his studies of how genetic information is transferred from one DNA-molecule to another. Given that only 763 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to individuals in history, the chance of two members of the same family winning is not as small as you might think. Indeed, there have been four people who have won the prize twice, four married couples, one mother and daughter, one father and daughter, six father and son combinations and one pair of brothers who have one the prize. The most prolific Nobel Laureate family is without doubt the Curies – husband-wife team Marie and Pierre Curie won the Physics prize in 1903, Marie won again for Chemistry in 1911, then their daughter Irene Joliot-Curie and her husband Frederic Joliot won for Chemistry in 1935. Stanford shared a second Nobel Prize this week when Andrew Fire shared this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Craig Mello. Read More
October 5, 2006 From time to time, everyone gets to regurgitate, vomit, throw up … whatever you wish to call it, it’s inevitable! Unfortunately, some people such as pregnant women, cancer patients and travellers encounter the problem frequently, and now there's a pretty way to handle it - the Red E Bag. The canvas Red E Bag folds to the size of a small clutch -- or large wallet. When sickness arises, just unsnap and you're ready. A removable black plastic liner opens wide with the bag and holds up to half a gallon of liquid. A zippered pocket on the outside is large enough to carry tissues and mints. Read More
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