WHY THE MILITARY JUST GOT MORE MINDFUL The Benefits of Mindfulness
These days, the term mindfulness is more likely to conjure thoughts of smartphone apps than rooms wafting with nag-champa. Business guru Tim Ferris and journalist Dan Rather profess an almost cult- like devotion to the practice, and multinationals like Goldman Sachs, Google, and Bank of America all offer mindfulness training to their employees. Recently, another large organization has jumped on the bandwagon: the United States military. So, what’s all the fuss about? For years, mindfulness devotees professed that cultivating it as a practice could alleviate the symptoms of everything from high blood pressure to anxiety. Historically though, critics were dismissive, claiming studies on mindfulness weren’t rigorous enough because they didn’t include a placebo. Unlike participants in traditional studies, where half the group believes they are being treated but are only taking the equivalent of a sugar pill, participants in meditation studies usually know whether or not they are meditating. One researcher changed that in 2016. Neuroscientist Dr. Amishi Jha conducted a study where students at the University of Miami were split into two groups and then put through a series of cognitive tests. One group received mindfulness training and practiced it for a combined one hour a week, over a period of nine weeks. The other group of students received instruction about escaping worries and fake stress relief strategies. Evidence already supports that stressful environments reduce cognitive function and memory, and during the course of the study, all the students experienced an increase in external stressors — midterms and finals. When Jha retested the students at the end
infantry soldiers in Hawaii began using mindfulness this winter, for example, to improve their shooting skills and reduce the risk of civilian harm. The idea is that by strengthening working memory through mindfulness, soldiers will be less likely to make impulsive decisions. Large organizations have the resources to carefully vet the training and benefits they provide to their employees, and on the topic of mindfulness, Google, Bank of America, and the U.S. military all agree: Mindfulness works. If you’re looking for improved cognition and focus, you need to look no further than your own breath, an instructional app on your smartphone, and one hour of practice a week.
of the study, she found that the control group of students, when retested, did significantly worse on the tests later in the term. Stress had eroded their cognitive function. The group of students who received mindfulness training, however, became more accurate and focused. Jha’s findings suggest that not only is meditation a way to improve performance, but it is also a way to inoculate yourself against the effects of stressful situations. Dr. Jha continued to study the effects of mindfulness, and in 2019, she published a second study that examined its effects on a different group: soldiers in a special operations unit. This time, Dr. Jha found that not only were soldiers trained in mindfulness better able to discern important information in a chaotic environment, but they also saw gains in their working memory.
Thanks in part to Dr. Jha’s research, mindfulness is edging its way into the United States military. Army
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WHEN SHOULD YOU TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ? And How Should You Do It?
the mailman has a funny, nasally voice, bring those features to life. You can also have your kids help you with daily tasks that require reading, like making a to-do list or shopping at the grocery store. When they’re helping you and having fun, it won’t feel like learning at all! Finally, the best way to make reading enjoyable for your children is to enjoy it yourself. Your kids watch what you do, and if they see you enjoying a good book, they’ll want to read even more. Reading opens up the world to them, and with your help, nothing will dull their love of learning.
While the answers to these questions will vary from child to child, there’s one goal that every parent should strive for when teaching their child to read: Above all, help them enjoy it. When your child starts kindergarten, learning to read will be a part of the curriculum. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to teach them to read earlier, though. If your child loves to read, it can make their learning experience much more enjoyable. There are plenty of ways to help your child enjoy reading from an early age. One is to simply read to them and make storytime fun. If the pig goes oink or
If your child is between 3–5 years old, you’ve probably noticed that they’re becoming a lot more talkative. By the time children are 4, they can usually speak in 5–8-word sentences. That makes this age range the perfect time to get your child interested in reading. However, this can raise a lot of questions. For starters, the question of how to get your child interested in reading is almost more important than when you do it. You may wonder how much time you should spend reading with them, how intensive reading time should be, and if you should make everything involving words and letters into a reading lesson.
SOMETHING IN THE WATER WHY ROB BILOTT TOOK ON DUPONT
The letter mentioned a mysterious chemical called PFOA, and Bilott requested documentation from DuPont to find out more about it. However, the company refused, so Bilott requested a court order. Soon, dozens of disorganized boxes filled with thousands of 50-year-old files arrived at Bilott’s firm. He was worried he wouldn’t be able to find anything incriminating or even conclusive in the mess of documents, but soon, his time as an environmental lawyer helped him see the bigger picture. It became clear that DuPont had orchestrated a massive cover-up regarding their use of PFOA. PFOA is used in the manufacturing of Teflon, and the company had knowingly exposed workers and the Parkersburg water supply to it. Bilott filed a class-action suit as a medical monitoring claim on behalf of the people of Parkersburg, and, as of 2011, a probable link between PFOA and six health conditions, including two types of cancer, has been found. Because of the medical monitoring claim, plaintiffs can file personal injury lawsuits against DuPont. So far, 3,535 people have. If it weren’t for Bilott and Tennant, the public might have never known the dangers of PFOA.
Rob Bilott never should have agreed to represent Wilbur Tennant’s case.
The cattle farmer had presented evidence of the strange malady plaguing his cattle to lawyers, politicians, and veterinarians in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but no one took Tennant’s case seriously.
But when Bilott saw the evidence for himself, it was clear that something was wrong.
The videos and photographs Tennant had collected showed cattle with patchy fur, growths and lesions, white slime coming from their mouths, and staggering gaits.
Tennant told Bilott that the abnormal behavior and physical deformities had started after his brother Jim sold his property to DuPont, a chemical company with a big presence in Parkersburg. Jim’s property bordered on Wilbur’s, and a stream running from Jim’s property provided water for all the cattle and wildlife in the area. Since the sale, the stream had become frothy and discolored, and the animals that drank from it were sick, malformed, or dead, including 153 of Tennant’s 200 cows. When Bilott stumbled upon a letter from DuPont to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the real horror story began to emerge — one that went far beyond the boundaries of Tennant’s farm and into the drinking water of every American.
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HANDS-FREE IS STILL DISTRACTED DRIVING And Does Not Guarantee Your Safety on the Road
However, it does not change the fact that drivers who use hands-free devices are still distracted. While you might appear to be focused on driving, your mind is not. In a study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, they found that mental distractions persist for as long as 27 seconds after the initial task is completed. If a driver is moving at 25 mph, they move nearly three football fields in that time. Today, many phone devices and modern vehicles are equipped with voice command systems, but even the best and easiest technologies pose a threat to drivers. AAA uses a 5-point rating method to rank voice-activated systems that cause the least to most distractions, stating that systems that rate over 2 are “potentially dangerous.” The best systems to score in the 2015 study were in the Chevy Equinox and Buick Lacrosse; each scored a 2.4.
Distracted driving is a serious problem in the U.S. and continues to take thousands of lives each year. Whether talking with your passengers, sneaking a french fry, or adjusting the radio, you leave yourself vulnerable. During those few crucial seconds that you take your focus off the road, you increase the likelihood of an accident significantly. One of the biggest issues when it comes to distracted driving is cellphone use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting and driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving, yet people all across the country continue to do so. Over the years, technological advancements have tried to make this safer by making it possible to interact with cellphones hands-free. Many devices allow drivers to keep both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road while sending a text, making a call, or using their GPS.
The best way to avoid distracted driving is to turn off your cellphones and any voice-activating systems while you’re behind the wheel to minimize the temptation to use them. Play it safe to stay safe.
Laugh Out Loud
EASY DEVILED EGGS
While the kids hunt for Easter eggs in the yard, whip up this easy deviled egg recipe for a hearty snack that’s sure to satisfy any craving. Ingredients
1/2 tsp ground mustard
• • • • •
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
12 large eggs, hard-boiled
1/2 tsp dill weed
Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish
1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced
4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.
1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks.
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
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INSIDE this issue
1 Improve Your Focus Through Mindfulness 2 Fostering a Love of Reading in Your Child The Lawyer Who Took on a Multibillion-Dollar Company 3 Don’t Fall for ‘Hands-Free, Risk-Free’ Easy Deviled Eggs 4 5G Made Simple
A New Horizon in Wireless Technology SO, WHAT IS 5G?
HOW POWERFUL WILL IT BE?
Few things change faster than the internet, and how we connect with the internet is constantly evolving. When it comes to wireless capabilities, fourth-generation (4G) networks have been the norm for 10 years. But 4G couldn’t meet demands forever, and there’s already talk of a fifth-generation (5G) network taking center stage. So, what makes 5G different from 4G, and how will it affect consumers and their internet-enabled devices?
Consumers will notice the rise of 5G mostly with their smartphones. Apps and services that function using the internet will have fewer delays, faster loading times, more reliable internet access in remote locations, and more stable downloading and uploading capabilities. Experts predict that 5G will provide download speeds of up to 10,000 megabits per second, which is roughly 100 times faster than 4G. While it can take a 4G network upward of 15 seconds to download a simple 5-megabyte music file, a 5G network will be able to download an entire movie in less than two seconds.
WHAT ARE THE BASICS?
Simply put, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology that enables mobile devices like cellphones and stationary devices like desktop computers to send and receive data without being physically connected to a network via cables. As technology improves and more connection points are established around the globe, new network generations are “released” to represent significant advancements in speed and reach.
These network updates are all about speed, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to switch your cellphone over to 5G. Many providers are still testing the service with select markets, and a full rollout
of 5G isn’t expected until later this year. Check with your network provider about the options they currently offer and get ready to connect with the world like never before.
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