Posted on

Get 50 games for £50 / $50 and benefit GamesAid

Good news if you’ve got some cash burning a hole in your pocket, prefer to play your games on PC, and happen to like giving to charity – this week, Green Man Gaming is offering up a giant bundle of games with the proceeds going to GamesAid. The charity, in case you don’t already know, is a UK-based charity aiming to help disabled and disadvantaged children and young people.

If you’ve got £50 / $50 / €50 to spare, you’ll get 50 games on PC and we’re not even talking an entire list of obscure indie titles. You’ll find games from Bethesda, Konami, Codemasters, Curve, WB Games, Rebellion, Team 17 and more, all up for grabs.

Some choice highlights from the list include both Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes, the Dungeon-Keeper-meets-Bond classic that is Evil Genius, indie murder cleanup sim Serial Cleaner, The Little Acre – a point-and-click adventure from the creator of Broken Sword, maudlin but poignant survival game This War of Mine, the original Rage, one of David Cage’s more questionable creations Fahrenheit and more.

Read more…

Read more: eurogamer.net

Posted on

The 25 most generous philanthropists in America today

bill gates melinda gatesJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes an annual list of the top 50 philanthropists (both individuals and couples) by calculating their yearly donations.
In 2017, America’s wealthiest residents donated $14.7 billion to nonprofit organizations.
About 60% of the total was donated by people who made their fortunes in tech, suggesting America’s philanthropic center is shifting away from Wall Street and towards Silicon Valley, according to The Chronicle.

America’s wealthiest people donated $14.7 billion in 2017 to causes, alma maters, foundations, and charities — more than doubling the amount given away in 2016.

For 18 years, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has published an annual round up of the top-50 philanthropists in America by calculating their yearly donations. In 2017, the individuals and couples on the list donated a median of $97 million, doubling the giving amount from the first list published in 2000. The total donation amount of the 2017 list is the highest amount since the 2008 recession, according to Forbes.

The 2017 list features 11 individuals or couples from the technology industry accounting for $8.7 billion in donations, or about 60% of the total, suggesting America’s philanthropic center is shifting away from Wall Street and towards Silicon Valley, according to The Chronicle.

The top three donors who gave away at least $1 billion each are tech moguls: Michael and Susan Dell, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Bill and Melinda Gates

Notably missing from the list is billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who made a multibillion-dollar donation in Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017. But because the “annual installment” was part of Buffett’s initial 2006 pledge to donate more than $36 billion in Berkshire Hathaway shares to the Gates’ organization, the Chronicle did not count it as a 2017 donation.

Below are the top 25 philanthropists who donated more than $97 million each in 2017. Note that four people passed away after the ranking was first published in February — Porter Byrum, David Rockefeller, Florence Irving, and Henry Hillman.

25. Sheryl Sandberg
Greg Sandoval/Business Insider

Source of wealth: Technology

Total amount donated: $97,999,000

Biggest causes: Sheryl Sandberg & David Goldberg Family Fund, LeanIn.org and OptionB.org

Source: Forbes 

 

23. (TIE) Kenneth and Pamela Ricci
YouTube/ND Loyal

Source of wealth: Transportation 

Total amount donated: $100,000,000

Biggest causes: University of Notre Dame

Source: Notre Dame News

23. (TIE) Agnes Gund
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty

Source of wealth: Family wealth (banking)

Total amount donated: $100,000,000

Biggest causes: Art for Justice Fund, criminal justice reform, literacy organizations including Actors’ Gang, the National Book Foundation, PEN America and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Source: Inside Philanthropy 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

I’m 28 and I’ve saved over $240,000 — here’s what I’ve learned about money from tracking my net worth for the past 2 yearsThe US has more million-dollar real estate markets than ever — here are 23 cities where the typical home will be $1 million by next yearWe asked 16 regular people on the streets of NYC about the best and worst financial advice they’ve ever received, and most were told the same thing

SEE ALSO: Not one woman is listed amongst the world’s 100 highest paid sportspeople

SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett says low-cost investments are essential for the average investor — here’s how much it costs to use 8 common investing apps


Read more: feedproxy.google.com

Posted on

10 Reasons to Support Mercury-Free Dentistry

By Dr. Mercola

It’s Mercury Awareness Week — a time when I focus on how and why we, together, can end the use of dental amalgam, which has no role in 21st century dentistry. By now you likely know that amalgam dental fillings are 50 percent mercury — a toxic heavy metal that has no place in the human body. 

But do you know about all the many other problems caused by this outdated dental product? Next time a pro-mercury dentist tries to illogically claim that the mercury in their amalgam is perfectly safe, as the Boy Scouts motto goes, “Be Prepared.”

Today I give you 10 more reasons to support mercury-free dentistry. The bottom line is no one should receive mercury fillings, despite what the pro-mercury dentists, insurance companies and the government bureaucrats say!

The campaign for mercury-free dentistry is led by an effective nonprofit group which spends its funds carefully and efficiently: Consumers for Dental Choice. I have worked closely for several years with its leader, Charlie Brown, and I continue to see the results we need. 

So, I now step up to match all donations received until August 20, 2018. This year, I’ve raised the match ceiling by 25 percent, from $100,000 to $125,000. With my match, here is a way for you to double your charity money!

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Checks can be mailed to: 

Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St., N.E., Suite 210
Washington DC 20002

Reason No. 1: Amalgam’s Mercury Puts Children at Risk

Amalgam emits mercury vapor even after it is implanted into the body. This mercury is bioaccumulative and crosses the placenta to accumulate in fetuses, as well. Dental amalgam’s mercury is a known health risk, especially for children, fetuses, nursing infants and people with impaired kidney function. 

Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concedes that the developing neurological systems of children and fetuses are more susceptible to “the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor,” and that there is no evidence that amalgam is safe for these populations.

Now Consumers for Dental Choice is working to make FDA take action to end amalgam use in children — a step the European Union (EU) has already taken. Via citizen petitions, coalition-building, workshops, international pressure and grassroots organizing, they will succeed! You can join in by signing Consumers for Dental Choice’s online petition.

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Reason No. 2: Amalgam Damages Your Teeth

Placing amalgam requires the removal of a significant amount of healthy tooth matter. This removal weakens overall tooth structure, which increases the need for future dental work. On top of that, amalgam fillings — which expand and contract over time — crack teeth, once again creating the need for more dental work.

Consumers for Dental Choice is bringing to light this lesser known health consequence of amalgam, making sure that policymakers and patients know about it too.

Reason No. 3: Amalgam Pollutes the Environment

Amalgam pollutes 1) water via dental clinic releases and human waste; 2) air via cremation, dental clinic emissions, sludge incineration and respiration; and 3) land via landfills, burials and fertilizer. Once in the environment, dental mercury converts to its even more toxic form: methylmercury and becomes a major source of mercury in the fish people eat.

Dental mercury in the environment can cause brain damage and neurological problems, especially for children and the unborn babies, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Consumers for Dental Choice was instrumental in getting amalgam recognized as a significant environmental problem at the negotiations for the Minamata Convention on Mercury, an environmental treaty that requires countries to reduce their amalgam use. 

In the meantime, Consumers teamed with environmental allies to successfully convince the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require separators in dental offices to catch amalgam’s mercury before it enters the wastewater.

Reason No. 4: Amalgam Endangers Dental Professionals

Due to mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, studies have shown dental workers have elevated systemic mercury levels. Few of these dental workers — mostly women of child-bearing age — are given protective garb or air masks to minimize their exposure to mercury; many are not aware of the risks of occupational mercury exposure. 

As a result, dental workers have reported neurological problems, reproductive failures and birth defects caused by amalgam in the workplace. Consumers for Dental Choice has been raising awareness of the occupational hazards of mercury in the dental office by working with dental schools and professors, as well as supporting projects to measure the level of mercury in the air in dental clinics to demonstrate just how much mercury dental personnel are exposed to.

Reason No. 5: Amalgam Perpetuates Social Injustice

While middle class consumers opt for mercury-free filling materials, people in developing nations, low-income families, minorities, military personnel, prisoners, and people with disabilities are still subjected to amalgam. Dentists place almost 25 percent more mercury fillings in American Indian patients than in white patients.

In his testimony before Congress, former Virginia state NAACP president Emmitt Carlton described this injustice as “Choice for the rich, mercury for the poor.” Consumers for Dental Choice’s Medicaid campaign aims to right some of these social injustices by ensuring that even low-income patients have access to mercury-free fillings. 

For example, they are challenging Connecticut’s Medicaid program that decreed “Medicaid will not pay for composite restorations in the [adult] molar teeth regardless of whether the [dental] practice markets itself as ‘amalgam free'” and tells dentists, “If your office cannot provide amalgam services, please have your patients call the Connecticut Dental Health Partnership (CTDHP) … to locate a new dental home.”

Here is your opportunity, with my matching funds, to double the impact of your dollars, and accelerate the end of mercury fillings:

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Reason No. 6: Amalgam Is Frequently Used Unethically  

Most dentists do not inform consumers that amalgam contains mercury. As a result, over 76 percent of consumers do not know that amalgam is mainly mercury, according to Zogby polls. Once informed of this fact, 77 percent of people said they did not want mercury fillings — and were even willing to pay more to avoid this unnecessary source of mercury exposure.

Consumers for Dental Choice has not only documented this problem with Zogby polls, but they have worked to secure and enforce the distribution of amalgam fact sheets in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, California and the city of Philadelphia.

Reason No. 7: Amalgam Is More Expensive

Taxpayers foot the bill for the environmental cleanup of amalgam and the medical care associated with mercury-related health problems. Meanwhile, the dentists who dump their mercury into our environment and our bodies are not held financially liable.

Consumers for Dental Choice documented the high environmental cost of amalgam in the economic report, “The Real Costs of Dental Mercury.”1 After environmental costs are added up, each amalgam filling can cost up to $87 more than a comparable composite filling, and that does not even include the added health costs associated with mercury exposure and tooth damage.

Reason No. 8: Amalgam Gets Diverted to Illegal Gold Mining and Other Unlawful Uses

Amalgam is commonly shipped to developing countries labeled for dental use, but is then diverted to illegal use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. Not only are the miners exposed to the risks of mercury poisoning, but the dental mercury they use to extract gold is released into the environment.

Consumers for Dental Choice works to raise awareness of these issues, especially in developing countries where illegal gold mining is more common. By teaming with environmental organizations on the ground in these countries, we are able to efficiently spread the word about this unintended — and still dangerous — use of amalgam.

Reason No. 9: Amalgam Holds Back Progress   

The continued use of amalgam keeps the price of mercury-free filling materials high by decreasing demand for these alternatives. As use of mercury-free materials increases, their price is expected to decrease even further.

Additionally, insurance companies that rely on amalgam as the standard filling hold back progress in dentistry by artificially driving demand away from mercury-free fillings. Consumers for Dental Choice is challenging insurance companies with its Demand Your Choice campaign, which urges consumers to speak out against insurance companies that take their money and then only cover mercury fillings.

Reason No. 10: Amalgam Has Been Surpassed by Alternatives

Mercury-free dental fillings have been developed and studied for over 50 years. As a result, a wide variety of alternatives to amalgam fillings are available today; the most popular mercury-free filling is composite.

As Consumers for Dental Choice explains to government officials, dentists and consumers worldwide, mercury-free dental fillings offer many advantages because in addition to not containing mercury, they are:

Environment-friendly: Composites and glass ionomers are mercury-free and there is no evidence of environmental toxicity.

Preserve teeth: The placement of mercury-free fillings allows for less tooth destruction, which preserves more natural tooth structure. Composites fillings can also strengthen and enhance biomechanical properties of the restored tooth. As a result, the tooth itself can survive longer.

Easier to repair: Composite fillings are easier to repair than amalgam, which can save you both tooth structure and money.

Durable: Recent studies show that properly placed composite fillings can last just as long as, or even longer than, amalgam fillings.

Prevent caries: Glass ionomers, used in atraumatic restorative treatment (ART), have proven valuable in certain clinical situations where they can be more accessible and less expensive than amalgam (for example, in communities without electricity).

User-friendly: All properly trained dentists can place mercury-free fillings in any tooth requiring a filling. If a dentist tells you he or she has to use amalgam because it is too hard to use a mercury-free filling in your tooth, find a more competent dentist!

How You Can Make a Difference

With so many reasons to end the use of amalgam, I urge you to contribute to Consumers for Dental Choice, the advocacy wing of the mercury-free dentistry movement. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at ToxicTeeth.org. Please join me with every dollar you can. I promise you that I will double it! Thank you for supporting mercury-free dentistry.

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Checks can be mailed to: 

Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St., N.E., Suite 210
Washington DC 20002

Protect Your Children and Yourself Now

Find a mercury-free dentist who recognizes the many problems with mercury fillings and provides non-mercury fillings today! The following organizations can help you find a mercury-free dentist in the U.S. and (in some cases) internationally:

Consumers for Dental Choice

Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions (DAMS). Email [email protected] or call (651) 644-4572 for information packet

Holistic Dental Association

Huggins Applied Healing

International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM)

International Association of Mercury Safe Dentists (IAMSD)

Talk International

Read more: articles.mercola.com

Posted on

Let’s Get Physical! 20 Easy Exercise Ideas for Parents and Kids

“Don’t look at it as exercise — instead, play games and have a ton of fun! The main thing is just to get outside every day and do something you think is fun. You can play sports like soccer, basketball, or badminton. You can play games like freeze tag or ride a bike or do running races with your friends or family. You can go on hikes with your family or go swimming or paddling. Do lots of different things, and again, focus on having fun, and doing it often.” – Leo Babauta

You’re
a parent, so you don’t have time to exercise, right? I can relate. But moving our bodies is a basic part of self-care.  We can’t nurture our kids
with emotional generosity unless we nurture ourselves at the same time. And we aren’t fully nurturing ourselves unless we figure out a way to get physical. 

We all feel a lot more energetic when we move and stretch. It actually changes the chemistry of our bodies so we’re happier, more relaxed, and our bodies
are healthier.  We not only look better, we feel better — and so we “act” better as parents. Exercise is the one of the most effective “treatments”
for tendencies to anxiety and depression, after deep breathing and getting enough sleep. What more incentive do you need?

If you can motivate yourself to go out running, or to the gym, and you can leave your kids with your partner or trade off with a friend, you’ve got
it covered. But if you’re like the rest of us, you need to find fun ways to be active while you’re WITH your children.  Luckily, you have children
to be active with, so you have a head start!

Kids love it when you play physically with them. It’s a terrific way to add some connection and fun back into a relationship that too often deteriorates
into constant correction and conflict. You don’t need to tell your kids this exercising is for you — they’ll assume it’s special family time! And
if your child is spending too much time staring at screens, this is the best way to get her up and moving.

The secret is setting aside the time. Even ten minutes a day outside together is a great start during the week. On the weekend, you can plan an outing.
Before you know it, you’ll have worked up to 20 minutes daily, with an hour on weekend days. Sure, you’ll skip some days. But if that’s more exercise
than you’re getting now, read on.

Simply put your “Let’s Get Physical” time on the calendar. Then, choose a fun family activity that requires physical exertion. When you find something
you love doing, do more of it. Soon you’ll have a whole repertoire of family physical activities that make everyone in your family happy.

For instance:

Put on music and dance with your family.
Use your little one as a football; run her around the rest of the family into the end zone. Your kids will love it.
Take a soccer ball outside and take turns chasing each other as you dribble the ball. Kids love the soccer practice.
Play tag or frisbee with your children.
Join your kids on the monkey bars. Great upper body workout! Who cares what the other parents think?
When you’re confined to the house, play “Take off each others’ socks,” wrestling, or chase games. (Anything that gets your kids laughing. That’s a
huge bonus, because you’re helping them evaporate any anxieties they’re carrying around.)
Let each person in the family take turns being the leader while the rest of the family follows, doing jumping jacks, sun salutations, sit-ups, or invented
moves.
Keep any bubble wrap that comes your way in a bag at the back of your closet. On a rainy day, pull it out for a Bubble-Wrap dance party!
Get work-out DVDs from the library, or watch on YouTube, and exercise with your kids.

For outings:

Load the kids and their bikes or scooters into the car and drive to the track at your local high school in the evening or on the weekend when it’s
empty.  Let the kids ride their trikes or bikes around the track, while you walk or jog.
Join the local Y or pool so you can swim all year. Just put floaties or other floatation wear on your child, hold him in one arm on your hip, and swim
with the other arm for a terrific workout.
“Baby & Me” yoga classes will help you keep good form while you get your stretch on.
Listen to your favorite podcasts while you walk briskly with your little one in a carrier or stroller.
Take family pride in how far you can park from your destination and walk. (“Is this a two block day? Let’s go for it!”)
Let your exercise time double as social time by walking with a friend and her child; the kids will entertain each other.
Chasing your toddler all over the playground? Instead of resenting it, get a pedometer, and work up to 10,000 steps a day.
If your child is old enough, bike or roller blade together. One dad I know took up skate boarding with his 11 year old. Great for his body, great for
their relationship as his son headed into the teen years.
Want to get an older child or teen moving? Do a charity run together.

When you’re working outside the home:

Walk or bike to work (If it takes an extra 15 minutes each way, that’s a small price to pay for so much exercise.)
Use the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
Walk around your office while you’re on the phone. Use a pedometer and keep trying to increase your daily steps.
Work standing whenever possible.

You won’t believe how much ten minutes of movement daily will lift your mood. And when we feel good, it has an almost magical effect on our children. We
have a lighter touch, and a sense of humor. We don’t get triggered as easily. All of which makes our kids happier and more cooperative. So think of
this as “we” time– bonding time with your family that gives you huge collateral benefits.

You’re also getting your child hooked on an active lifestyle, which is a great counter-balance to all that screen-time in our lives. Kids who are physically
active into the preteen and teen years are 75% less likely to be overweight when they’re grown.

If you do this every single day, you’ll all start looking forward to it. Way to nurture yourself and your child at the same time! 

***

This is post #4 in our series on self care: The Secret of the Full Cup

#1 -The Secret of the Full Cup: Self Care

#2- 10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents

#3- Five Ways To Nurture Yourself While Nurturing Your Child

 

Read more: ahaparenting.com

Posted on

Boyfriend Jeans Still Hold A Big Place In Our Hearts — & Our Closets

Sometimes, a trend comes along that’s so good, it knocks out the current favorite. This year alone, pastels and neon hues managed to overthrow gloomy shades of gray and black, kitschy jewelry and bags replaced classic and, dare we say, boring, styles, and chunky sneakers and sandals are responsible for giving our feet a much-needed vacation from heels. But when it comes to hall of fame-worthy fashion coup d’états, nothing compares to boyfriend jeans finally ending what felt like a decade-long reign of skinny jeans. Bless their demise, am I right?

For far too long, putting on a pair of jeans involved an intricate maneuver of hopping, wriggling, and aggressive zippering — and then you actually had to wear them. So when boyfriend jeans came along and put an end to all that work, we were more than a little excited. After all, aren’t jeans supposed to be easy? Well, all these years later, we’re finally giving a shoutout to boyfriend jeans for saving us from eternal skinny jean misery. While we’re not tossing out our vintage-fit or wide-leg denim anytime soon, boyfriend jeans certainly hold a special place in our hearts.

To commemorate our favorite denim takeover, here are 19 pairs of boyfriend jeans that are sure to beat out the competition.

There is a lot of product out there — some would say too much. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

23 Denim Shorts That Are Always Cool, Never Basic

It's Official — Instagram Loves The "Back To School" Look

7 Classic Pairs Of Denim Every Woman Needs In Her Closet

Read more: refinery29.com

Posted on

8 of the Top Teambuilding Trends for 2018

In this article, you will learn about the top trends in team building for 2018.

As a team building facilitator and speaker, I realize that the umbrella topic of “team building” brings a number of ideas to people’s heads – not all of them positive!

Many leaders can see the profitable impact of relevant and intentional activities, and recognize the usefulness and of professionally delivered team building events.

But not all of the top trends in teambuilding are positive…

Just as not all that glitters is gold, some of the events and activities that managers and team leaders schedule for their people can be less relevant and have minimal impact.

Team building is NOT the same as team bonding.

And, while there is a place for and a value in simple bonding activities, team building should provide relevant and actionable insights and take-aways that immediately improve group awareness, focus, and interactions.  In this article, you will hear about some of the best (and some of the less beneficial) trends in team building – because as a team leader, your focus should be on what is effective, not just what is popular…

 

From “Recreational” to “Intentional” – Team Building Trends for 2018

The following are activities that many companies and groups have invested time and resources in.  They are listed in order from recreational to intentional.

Recreational Events usually offer a few hours of fun, with little real-world application or impact… while Intentional Team Building activities are more intentional and results-focused.

All events CAN have a positive impact on team dynamics and interactions – but the further down the list you go, the more the event will likely have relevant and actionable outcomes that will improve your team’s accountability, collaboration, etc.

 

Bowling and Laser-tag and Zip-lining, Oh My!

There are a number of things that managers schedule and call team building, and like these activities, they may be fun, but they are not truly relevant… and they likely offer no real-world application other than a few laughs together.  And while laughter and rapport are both valuable in building and strengthening relationships, these activities often offer little depth of meaningful interaction.

 

Chili and Paint Experiences

Cook-offs and artistic afternoons have become a bit more popular, and while these do offer an occasional discussion of “how we are all important ingredients” or “together we create a beautiful canvas,” the take-aways are seldom more than a lighthearted and enjoyable leisure time together.

 

Building Bikes and Bears

These “charity builds” give your people a chance to spend time away from the office, and definitely deliver a thoughtful gift to the people they are donated to, but there is seldom any tangible change in office dynamics or behaviors…

 

Scavenger Hunts

Whether across an entire city or at a specific location, a scavenger hunt is a fun and engaging way to allow your people to work together toward a common goal.  Some companies, like WildGoose, even use technology to collect and score the events… and you can group people together to ensure they interact during the event.  The challenge is finding a facilitator to help the activity translate to a boost in inter-office collaboration or effectiveness.

 

Crisis & Adventure Simulations

Using out-of-the-box notebooks and PowerPoint programs adds an engaging twist, but a group conversation about being stranded on an island (or saved from a bear attack) doesn’t always provide applicable take-aways for your team. Your people will likely only carry back to their daily activities the memory of a short activity that has limited applications to improve their interactions and productivity.

 

Great Escapes

Nearly everyone has visited – or at least heard of – an escape room experience.  In Atlanta, the Ultimate Escape Game is a popular and highly rated opportunity for people to enjoy a fun hour together with a unique challenge. Escape rooms are a controlled atmosphere where all ages can participate and learn the importance of collaboration, and can be helpful to inspire improved communication skills if the lessons are connected to your everyday workplace situation.

 

Conference Conversations

One of the more interesting team building trends is to incorporate team building activities into a conference event.  These intentional networking and connection-creating opportunities are a key part of why attendees are there in the first place – to grow their network and collaborate with others who they can share information and issues with.  Whether as part of an opening interactive keynote, or an engaging set of conversations and designed interactions throughout the event, allowing people to establish and grow useful relationships is as valuable a take-away as any content they may collect in their notebooks.

 

Enlightening Shared Challenges and Laughs

A tailored collection of experiential challenges can be a powerful and effective way to improve self-awareness.  Business team building events are a unique and fun way to tailor team challenges and interactions to address a specific teamwork issue or need, whether it is increased accountability or personality conflicts or just improved clarity in communications.  A fun day of laughter, where “ha-ha’s” are transformed to relevant “a-ha’s” that impact your team performance, can be a powerful catalyst for team development.

 

Experiential activities can be powerful learning tools.

They provide far more effective and memorable insights than a lecture or bullet-list PowerPoint presentation or recreational activity!

As you plan for your next group development event, consider the impact that your investment will ultimately have.

Looking back in 3-6 months, will the time you and your team spend together translate into more effective communication and performance?

There are a number of team building options available, and the trends for 2018 offer a spectrum of experiences for your people to enjoy. And, there are truly no wrong answers.  Every activity provides at least some measure of interaction and bonding opportunity.

But for team leaders looking to get the most impact for their teams, the more intentional you are in your team building activity, the more improvement in team dynamics you are likely to witness.

 

The post 8 of the Top Teambuilding Trends for 2018 appeared first on Great Results Teambuilding.

Read more: greatresultsteambuilding.net

Posted on

Duncan Selbie's Friday message – 20 July 2018

Dear everyone

People in prison experience a much higher burden of chronic physical and mental health problems than the general population. This is for a variety of reasons but one of these is because of high smoking rates.  The final two prisons in England have now implemented their smoke free policies, supported by PHE and NHS England, bringing the total number to 102, making the largest smoke-free prison estate in Western Europe. This is a fabulous public health achievement by the prison service and we published a blog this week on successfully delivering smokefree prisons and wider work on prison health.

Today we published an evaluation of a healthier vending machines trial carried out across Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Much of our consumption behaviour is influenced by our environment. This includes hospitals, which have a key role in the food and drink options provided to staff, visitors and of course patients. The study shows that by increasing the availability of healthier products and placing them in more prominent positions, it is possible to encourage people to choose healthier options while remaining commercially viable. This approach has since been rolled out across 105 hospitals, and is an excellent example of behavioural science in action. This is part of our wider work on tackling obesity and helping people make healthier choices, particularly by consuming less sugar. You can read more in our blog.

PHE works in partnership with NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and Cancer Research UK on our Be Clear on Cancer programme, raising public awareness of the signs and symptoms of different cancers and encouraging people with symptoms to go to their GP without delay. This is a very effective campaign, based on world-class data, evidence and rigorous consumer research about what works. Yesterday we launched our latest phase focused on bladder and kidney cancers. For both of these cancers a key symptom is blood in pee but only 16% of those most at risk check the colour of their urine every time they go to the toilet. The simple message is to check your pee and even if you see blood just once, visit your doctor. The campaign will run until late September, and you can learn more here.

Since its creation in 2014, the Well North programme has been backing community entrepreneurs, breaking down traditional boundaries, tackling social isolation and boosting education opportunities in communities across the North of England. Their 2018 progress report describes the brilliant network that this programme has created, allowing challenging conversations between the NHS, local authorities and the business, charity and voluntary sectors to produce innovative and flexible ideas to ultimately better the lives of local people. At the heart of all this is a powerful effort to reduce health inequalities and the report is well worth a read.

And finally, until measles is eliminated from all countries, cross-border transmission of cases can occur so we need to work closely with each other and share expertise and data. This week we have published a joint press release with the Italian National Health Institute reminding people that vaccination is the best possible means of protection against this sometimes deadly illness. You can read this here.

Best wishes,

 

Read more: publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk

Posted on

Rae Morris, The Big Moon, and more to play Festifeel 2018 in aid of breast cancer awareness

CoppaFeel!’s annual bash boasts a stellar early line-up

PERTH, SCOTLAND – MAY 26: Rae Morris performs at BBC Radio – The Biggest Weekend at Scone Palace on May 26, 2018 in Perth, Scotland

Festifeel will return to London’s House Of Vans this October – and already has an impressive line-up. Rae Morris, who released her acclaimed second album ‘Someone Out There’ earlier this year, is one of the festival’s first-announced acts. Read more: The 1975 offer up signed guitar for Festifeel charity auction The Big Moon join Morris to play the […]

The post Rae Morris, The Big Moon, and more to play Festifeel 2018 in aid of breast cancer awareness appeared first on NME.

Read more: nme.com

Posted on

The Health Benefits of Practicing Compassion

By Deepak Chopra, MD

Compassion is changing before our eyes. A religious concept associated with Jesus and Buddha (known as “the Compassionate One”) is being researched today through brain scans and positive psychology. In positive psychology your aim is to reach a state of well-being. The actions of a compassionate person, being kind and sympathetic, turn out to bring personal benefits as well. This is one way that a spiritual value acquires practical, everyday value.

As part of a compassionate lifestyle, a person:

Lets go of judgment

Is more accepting of others

Appreciates how other people feel

Tries to help in difficult situations

Acts as a sympathetic listener

Renounces anger and aggression

Works to maintain a harmonious, peaceful atmosphere at home and at work.

The reason a compassionate lifestyle leads to greater psychological well-being may be that the act of giving is equally or more pleasurable than receiving. A brain-imaging study led by neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health showed that the “pleasure centers” in the brain—the parts that are active when we experience things like dessert, money, and sex—are equally active vicariously. We feel pleasure, for example, when we observe someone giving money to charity as if we were receiving the money ourselves. A complementary study at the University of British Columbia showed that even in children as young as two, giving treats to others increased the givers’ happiness more than receiving treats themselves.

In a description written from the viewpoint of positive psychology, compassion is “an evolved part of human nature, rooted in our brain and biology.” In other words, as human beings evolved, we became more aware of the good that results from empathy and kindness. We developed an alternative to selfishness. Studies have suggested that compassion is indeed an evolved part of human nature, vital to good health and even to the survival of our species. Compassion motivated 26.5 percent of Americans to volunteer in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A recent study found that the pupils of infants’ eyes widened when they saw someone in need—a sign of concern—but their pupils would shrink when they could help that person—or when they saw someone else help, suggesting that they felt better. (Babies as young as four or five months will try to help their mothers pick up something dropped on the floor.) They seem to care primarily for the other person and not themselves. It was calming to see the person’s suffering being alleviated, whether or not they were the ones who did it.

In the same vein, research by David Rand at Harvard University shows that adults’ and children’s first impulse is to help others, not to compete with them. Other research by Dale Miller at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business backs this up. Compassion involves feeling what someone else is feeling, which forms an invisible bond. But the bond is more than mental or emotional. Research in positive psychology suggests that connecting with others in a meaningful way helps us enjoy better physical health and speeds up recovery from disease; it may even lengthen our lifespan.

These physiological findings go back almost 30 years to experiments at Harvard where people watched a film on the charitable work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who devoted her life to the poorest children in India. As they watched, the viewers’ heart rate and blood pressure changed in a positive direction.

More sophisticated measurements are available to us now. New research at UCLA and the University of North Carolina evaluated the levels of cellular inflammation in people who describe themselves as “very happy.” Inflammation is suspected to be at the root of cancer and other diseases and is generally high in people who live under a lot of stress. We might expect that inflammation would be lower for people with higher levels of happiness. But there was an important distinction. People who were happy because they lived a life of pleasure (also known as “hedonic happiness”) had high inflammation levels, while people who were happy because they lived a life of purpose or meaning (also known as “eudaimonic happiness”) had low inflammation levels. A life of meaning and purpose is one focused less on satisfying oneself and more on others. It is often a life rich in compassion and altruism.

As for longevity, a compassionate lifestyle may be beneficial because it provides a buffer against stress. A recent study conducted on a large population (more than 800 samples) led at the University at Buffalo found that stress was linked to higher mortality rates, but not among those who helped others.

In sum, the spiritual value of compassion has been shown to extend to mind and body as well. It’s in our nature to be sympathetic and kind to others while doing great good to ourselves at the same time.

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 80 books with twenty-two New York Times bestsellers. Join me at The Chopra Center’s Second Annual Global Meditation on July 11, 2015.

Read more: deepakchopra.com