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Category : Human Longevity

Commentary: We need a major redesign of life – Bend Bulletin

Its time to get serious about a major redesign of life. Thirty years were added to average life expectancy in the 20th century, and rather than imagine the scores of ways we could use these years to improve quality of life, we tacked them all on at the end. Only old age got longer.

As a result, most people are anxious about the prospect of living for a century. Asked about aspirations for living to 100, typical responses are I hope I dont outlive my money or I hope I dont get dementia. If we do not begin to envision what satisfying, engaged and meaningful century-long lives can look like, we will certainly fail to build worlds that can take us there.

In my view, the tension surrounding aging is due largely to the speed with which life expectancy increased. Each generation is born into a world prepared by its ancestors with knowledge, infrastructure and social norms. The human capacity to benefit from this inherited culture afforded us such extraordinary advantages that premature death was dramatically reduced in a matter of decades. Yet as longevity surged, culture didnt keep up.

Long lives are not the problem. The problem is living in cultures designed for lives half as long .

Retirements that span four decades are unattainable for most individuals and governments; education that ends in the early 20s is ill-suited for longer working lives; and social norms that dictate intergenerational responsibilities between parents and young children fail to address families that include four or five living generations.

Last year, the Stanford Center on Longevity launched an initiative called The New Map of Life. We began by convening a group of experts, including engineers, climate scientists, pediatricians, geriatricians, behavioral scientists, financial experts, biologists, educators, health-care providers, human resource consultants and philanthropists. We charged them with envisioning what vibrant century-long lives would look like and then began the remapping process. How do traditional models of education, work, lifestyles, social relationships, financial planning, health care, early childhood and intergenerational compacts need to change to support long lives?

We quickly agreed that it would be a mistake to replace the old rigid model of life education first, then family and work, and finally retirement with a new model just as rigid. Instead, there should be many different routes, interweaving leisure, work, education, family throughout life, taking people from birth to death with places to stop, rest, change courses and repeat steps along the way. Old age alone wouldnt last longer; rather, youth and middle age would expand, too.

We agreed that longevity demands rethinking of all stages of life, not just old age. To thrive in an age of rapid knowledge transfer, children not only need reading, math and computer literacy, but they also need to learn to think creatively and not hold on to facts too tightly. Theyll need to find joy in unlearning and relearning. Teens could take breaks from high school and take internships in workplaces that intrigue them. Education wouldnt end in youth but rather be ever-present and take many forms outside of classrooms, from micro-degrees to traveling the world.

Work, too, must change. Theres every reason to expect more zigzagging in and out of the labor force especially by employees who are caring for young children or elderly parents and more participation by workers over 60.

Financing longevity requires major rethinking. Rather than saving ever-larger pots of money for the end of life, we could pool risks in new ways. Generations may share wealth earlier than traditional bequests; we can start savings accounts at birth and allow young adults to work earlier so that compound interest can work in their favor.

Maintaining physical fitness from the beginning to end of life will be paramount. Getting children outside, encouraging sports, reducing the time we sit, and spending more time walking and moving will greatly improve lives.

In the year since this initial meeting, we have launched a postdoctoral program focused on deep dives into core domains of life that must change. The aim is to develop specific recommendations for governments, employers, businesses, parents and policymakers so that we can begin to lay the groundwork for cultures that support century-long lives. The challenges demand extraordinary social, scientific and educational investments. The opportunities are even more extraordinary.

Longer lives present us with an opportunity to redesign the way we live. The greatest risk of failure is setting the bar too low.

Laura Carstensen, a professor of psychology, is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Laura Carstensen, a professor of psychology, is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

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Commentary: We need a major redesign of life - Bend Bulletin

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National Spotlight on Ikarian Honey on CBS Sunday Morning News – The Pappas Post

The national spotlight fell upon the Greek island of Ikaria and particularly the islands honey.

CBS News featured a video spot on the islands special elixir, which it suggested, could be the secret to the longevity of the islands residents who have one of the highest life-expectancies in the world.

The video featured the natural process involved in producing the honey, which involves no chemicals or industrial processing.

Honey throughout Greece is produced in similar ways, especially on Crete, which is one of the most prolific natural honey producers in Greece.

Most recently, Chef Maria Loi under her Loi brand of products began importing two kinds of honey from Crete to Whole Foods Markets throughout the Northeast, with plans for wider distribution throughout the United States.

But like the product from Ikaria, Chef Loi has a hard time keeping it on the shelves at the popular super market chain because of limited production.

We can only bring as much as the bees produce, Loi explains, adding that her honey is 100% natural and has no human or mechanical intervention other than the bee keepers pouring it from the beehives.

Many of her recipes feature honey as a substitute for sugar and her best-selling book, The Greek Diet, includes a lot of information about the medicinal values of the Greek delicacy.

Chef Lois honey isnt available via mail order but several brands of honey from Crete are, including a fine brand from the mountains of western Crete that is farmed and imported by the Saviolakis family, which sells it via Amazon.

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National Spotlight on Ikarian Honey on CBS Sunday Morning News - The Pappas Post

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Turkey is a leading NATO member. Its time this commitment was recognised, not criticised View – Euronews

This week is the 70th anniversary of NATO, and it will be marked by a gathering of the Alliances leaders in London. The anniversary follows both President Emmanuel Macrons recent comments about the Alliance suffering from a brain death and the legacy of last years summit, during which tensions were high and questions swirled about NATOs longevity and utility.

This time around, Turkey is a topic of discussion in the lead-up, with some pointing to actions weve taken to protect our national security like our recent operation in northern Syria as evidence of our rejection of the Alliance. This analysis, however, is wrong-headed and a misinterpretation of the facts of our situation.

Turkey continues to exhibit its commitment to NATO in the most meaningful ways a country can. As one of its earliest members, we have the second largest armed forces in the Alliance, and with roughly 1.9% of our GDP going to NATO, we are one of its top contributors and have committed to raising this to the target 2% by 2024. Our troops have participated in NATO missions, operations and exercises around the world from the Korean War to the Balkans to Afghanistan - and play pivotal roles in humanitarian missions.

We observe a world around us with new challenges and shared security threats, and in that world, Turkey firmly believes that NATO is tremendously relevant and should be bolstered, ensuring it can function effectively and in a spirit of genuine alliance.

Our particular geography surrounded by Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Russia has for decades placed us at the forefront of the Alliance, first during the Cold War and now as the only wall stopping terror groups along our borders from traveling to Europe. This geography and all the realities it portends has made us acutely aware of the risks that exist in our world. There always will be threats state and non-state and while the form and tactics will change over years and decades, we will never be done with the job of securing ourselves. We can choose to be vulnerable, or we can choose to be well-protected. The fact is that we have been and will be safer when like-minded nations are allied, that NATO has made us all safer.

Crucially, we believe NATO will be decisive in the worlds ability to destroy terrorism in all its manifestations; united militaries and security apparatuses with a collective commitment to its defeat. This commitment, however, must be thorough or risks the entire project being thrown into question. And while our NATO allies have fought terrorists with determination in many parts of the globe, in one case, they have shirked their duty.

For years, Turkey called on its allies to help clear a corridor run by a terrorist group along our border that posed a serious threat to our national security and regional stability. The activities of this group, the YPG - the Syrian wing of the PKK, an internationally-designated terror group that has killed 40,000 of our citizens - included ushering ISIS prisoners toward Turkey and digging tunnels into Turkish soil to smuggle explosives to commit their heinous acts of terror. We repeatedly proposed establishing a safe zone with our NATO partners and we agreed on plans together with the US that werent followed through on. Action was needed and although we sought a collective approach, ultimately, we were left going it alone.

Most of our allies refused to help us identify and pursue a solution to the very real security crisis we faced with the YPG, leaving us on our own to put up a defense and then condemned us for doing just that.

This reaction is all the more galling because it follows Turkeys track record of approaching security and counter terrorism with the utmost seriousness and professionalism and a high level of coordination with our NATO allies. For years now in Syria, Turkey has led the Coalition military effort against ISIS by air and ground, with our army as the only NATO military to have fought hand-to-hand combat with ISIS in northern Syria.

We also provide resources, including Incirlik Air Base, a critical staging ground for Coalition counter terrorism operations in the region. Our NATO community knows us; theyve planned with us, been on-the-ground with us on combat missions the world over, and we share intelligence and coordinate counter terrorism efforts every day. This alliance, in its best form, would be working with us, finding ways to solve Turkeys serious security concerns together, and standing with us.

On our own, Turkey has taken every precaution to prevent civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure, including historic and cultural sites. We are avoiding impacting on the fragile humanitarian situation in Syria. Turkey, after all, has shouldered more burden than any other outside nation for the ongoing war and human suffering in Syria. We have hosted 4 million Syrian refugees equal to the population of Los Angeles hundreds of thousands of whom, incidentally, are Kurds who fled the tyranny of YGP terror group. Turkey has spent $40 billion (36 billion) on refugees education, healthcare and housing. We more than most understand the consequences of more destruction and have cause to pursue a peaceful, stable future for our neighbour.

Since launching the operation, we have twice reached agreements to pause hostilities, only to see them quickly violated by YPG terrorists. Meanwhile, we are working in northern Syria to restore basic services for the local population; repairing and equipping hospitals, water networks and the power grid. Turkeys fight is not against the Kurds, our previous actions have exhibited this without equivocation.

Anyone paying attention knows that our fight is against terrorists on our borders and in our region, and that we seek a secure, democratic Syria on our doorstep. This is well in line with NATOs priorities and international law.

Alas, Turkey will not throw the baby out with bathwater, so to speak. So, we continue our full-throated commitment to NATO, and we continue to back up that commitment financially and with the efforts of our brave troops. We also expect in the years ahead that the Alliance will adapt into an even stronger, healthier union one that serves true to its mission and principles, ensuring the safety and security of each ally.

NATO is a resilient and agile organisation that has shown it can evolve to changing times and the demands they bring. In the meantime, we are here, we are allied.

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Turkey is a leading NATO member. Its time this commitment was recognised, not criticised View - Euronews

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The 1975 Played a Greta Thunberg Speech During Their Grand Prairie Concert – Dallas Observer

Tom Waits once said: "This whole division between genres has more to do with marketing than anything else. It's terrible for the culture of music. Like anything that is purely economic, it ignores the most important component."

Progress. The important component the venerable Waits was referring to in the above quote is progress.

Sly and the Family Stone was a funk outfit, but they also infused elements of psychedelic and acid rock, and this had a profound influence on soul, R&B and hip-hop. Black Flag was a hardcore punk band, but the Black Sabbath influence on My War made way for this sludgy, low-tempo punk sound that gave a blueprint to bands like Nirvana.

Musical styles are much more fluid and malleable, and seldom do artists that consciously try to meet all earmarks of a genre actually leave behind any semblance of a legacy. Having longevity as a musician means putting your own spin on something and opening up a new world of possibilities for other artists.

And this brings us to The 1975.

The English rock outfit played The Theatre at Grand Prairie on Wednesday night for an event titled ALT 103.7 Presents: ALTerium, so anyone unfamiliar with the band can readily deduce that they get frequently bestowed the label alternative rock. They also get labeled indie pop, synthpop and electropop.

These are valid labels for the bands musical style, but The 1975 are far too versatile to just be pigeonholed. The band took the stage at around 9:15 p.m. and kicked off with People, a rather polarizing single that found the band channeling the post-hardcore sensibilities of Refused. They immediately followed this abrasive number with the far more pristine Give Yourself a Try, which sounded just like your run-of-the-mill guitar-driven pop.

The contrast was stark, but it was a testament to just how frequently the band reinvents itself. There were times throughout the set when it felt like they experimented with a new genre as a means of seeing what could stick, but for the most part, they took on a wide palette of styles from the80s. Many of the backing instrumentals used throughout the set recalled the electronic-disco style of Giorgio Moroder, and the song Its Not Living (If Its Not With You) took on a new-wave influence, with an intro sounding a bit like The Cars. Tracks like fallingforyou and Me had an apparent post-punk influence, and even at these dark, bass-driven points did the occasional sax solo come out of nowhere.

The stylistic variation was, for the most part, satisfying, and The 1975 clearly make this style their own. Still, there were moments when the band sounded a bit too saccharine. Toward the end of the set, they played the song I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes), an acoustic ballad that, from a purely instrumental perspective, sounded like something a churchs praise and worship band would play as a pastor in a backward baseball cap talks about feeling the embrace of the Holy Spirit. If you replaced rhythm guitarist Matthew Healys vocals with those of some Eddie Vedder impersonator, it would have sounded like any00s post-grunge band.

This track couldnt have ended soon enough, but once it finally did, Healy urged the crowd to be silent as a Greta Thunberg monologue was played. As anyone would expect, Thunberg was talking about the imminent doom all organized human life faces if the issue of climate change isnt curtailed.

It is time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel, beseeched Thunberg.

It was a chilling moment, and it was as depressing as it was inspiring. A considerable portion of the crowd cheered, but a handful of audience members crossed their arms and looked uncomfortable over the duration of this speech. Even if they werent swayed by the message, its at least of some comfort that the band wasnt just preaching to the choir.

Before we were soberingly reminded of mankinds imminent demise, Healy engaged in intermittent stage banter about how much they love touring the United States and how this was the last show in support of the bands latest LP A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. As he conversed with the crowd, Healy took swigs from a glass of wine and took a few drags from a cigarette. He seemed relaxed and nonchalant as the crowd rapturously applauded through the night.

The crowds love for The 1975 was unwavering, and the volatile stylistic changes clearly did nothing to change that. Even then, the handful of fans they lost following singles like People are largely outnumbered by the number of newly converted fans. And judging by the quality of the promotional singles for the upcoming album Notes on a Conditional Form, it seems like that number is only going to continue coasting upward.

The 1975 are one of those bands whose best work will always be ahead of them. Over the years, they have shown a progressing, artistic maturity and have constantly reinvented themselves. They have been unafraid to take left turns, and given just how enamored the sold-out crowd in Grand Prairie was, they shouldnt have any reason to be.

And no genre label can adequately capture that.

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The 1975 Played a Greta Thunberg Speech During Their Grand Prairie Concert - Dallas Observer

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Global Warming Is Escalating The El Nio Weather – Science Times

(Photo : Twitter)

Events of El Nio do not happen because of climate change; these are a natural phenomenon that has been happening for thousands of years. Scientists have a theory that it may be becoming worse as a result to climate change, but it is not yet 100% clear looking at how El Nio communicates with the change of climate. In terms of intense events of weather, climate change is most likely to affect the El Nio and La Nia impact.

Unfortunately, we cannot prevent El Nio and La Nia from happening. Since they are a natural phenomenon that occurs from climate patterns, humans would not be able to do anything as they cannot influence its duration or longevity.

Natural cycles of weather

As human beings contribute more and more gases, which traps the heat onto the atmosphere, the Earth gets warm. And this warming is going to cause something bigger, which might surprise us. Not only is the weather becoming more changeable, but warming is also causing intense heat, high sea level, loss of ice, and many more. Alternatively, it is making natural cycles of weather more compelling.

As the case may be, the most important natural change in the climate of the Earth is the process of El Nio. It is defined as the warm ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific for a short period of time. If La Nia happens, that region is colder than usual, while if El Nio occurs, the region will be warmer than usual. At times, if El Nio or La Nia is present and its waters are at a normal temperature-this is called a "neutral" stage.

Pattern of oscillation

Between El Nio and La Nia, the waters of the ocean start to switch back and forth every few years. It is like a pendulum, it does not happen often, but a pattern of oscillation is seen. And whether the cycle of El Nio and La Nia is present, there will be consequences around the world for this weather. For example, during the cycle of El Nio, we usually witness hotter and drier weather in South America and Australia while it is cooler and wetter in the south of the United States.

It is very important to be able to distinguish ahead of time the cycles of El Nio and La Nia. It is also important to comprehend how these cycles will change on the planet Earth. Cycles of El Nio have been known for a long time now. Its influence has also been known for almost 100 years around the globe. In 1920, the El Nio impact was discovered in places like the Indian Ocean, which is very far away. Scientists were known to have an aspect that something might start changing while observing the effects of El Nio for a century now.

ALSO READ:Here's how climate change is making El Nios more extreme

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Global Warming Is Escalating The El Nio Weather - Science Times

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Ruth Wishart on Kenneth Roy’s diary of living and dying – HeraldScotland

ICS Books, 14.99

Intimations of mortality arrive in different ways, and at different speeds.

Some are a normal function of the ageing process; physical impairment being an irritating sign that whatever the mind is saying, the body is making its own judgements as to likely longevity.

But perhaps the most devastating indication that life is finite comes to those whose illness and swiftly following demise arrives with little prior warning, giving the unexpected patient little time for mental or emotional preparation.

That was the shocking fate which befell the Scottish writer, broadcaster and publisher Kenneth Roy. His diagnosis of a terminal cancer was delivered in October of last year. He was dead little more than a month later. And his last very few weeks were spent in a hospital room, attended by a cast list of NHS personnel with whom he seems to have established a relationship of mutual respect and affection far exceeding the normal staff patient variety.

It was they, and in particular his consultant, who by turns encouraged and chivvied him in his last defiant rage against the dying of the light. It began as a diary; a written account of his daily treatments and failing health, interspersed with memories of his troubled childhood, and myriad subsequent ventures and friendships.

For Roy words were ever the stuff of life, and he wielded them one final time to challenge onrushing death by crafting an astonishing 49,000 words which became posthumously a book, latterly composed with one fingered typing. In Case of Any News: A Diary of Living and Dying was a title he seized upon when one of his two sons indicated it was why he left his phone always on and handy when he heard of his fathers plight.

The book gives no little insight into the life and character of this complex man; a clever child who became a serial truant at his secondary school. He left without much in the way of qualifications when, doubtless to fulfil his fathers injunction to be something, he had always envisaged university as the primary punctuation point to his education.

He writes unsparingly of teachers whom he accuses of sadistic use of the belt due to psychological flaws. Yet he is sufficiently curious and self aware to ponder why his peers were able to survive and prosper in the same environment.

His life became one full of both achievement and contradictions. He wrote widely for a number of publications, always with a trademark iconoclasm. Nevertheless, although a kenspeckle TV face for a period, he seemed happier operating from rural Ayrshire than a high octane newsroom. All of a piece with his unwavering support for a defiantly unfashionable football team, rather than those in more glamorous leagues.

Amid many ventures, some more successful than others, were two which offer a considerable legacy: his Young Programme, which encouraged interaction and debate among younger people UK-wide and The Scottish Review, which he edited until his death and in which, typically, he broke the news about his impending death. A much followed-up scoop, but not one he would have wished to acquire.

But this book is more than just an autobiographical memoir. Rather it is an account all too vivid at times of the many indignities visited upon a person when he or she can no longer exercise proper control of their own bodily functions. (Not the least of the dark humour he intrudes regularly is pondering the prospect of having to die facing two signs marked Toilet.)

There is throughout a strong thread of philosophical inquiry; interrogating his own agnosticism, musing on the random nature of death and disease, examining unfulfilled ambitions. And it is in these passages that Roy's sometimes perplexed reflections will strike the most resonant chords with readers.

For we are all familiar with death in its many guises, and all have personal experience of dealing with it in relation to those close to us. Reading this account of his final weeks reminded me forcibly of my own husbands diagnosis and death, again within a month. Yet he was spared the traumatic events of final weeks spent in an unfamiliar bed, tended to by strangers, or awareness of the end game. A death following a failed surgical process is shattering but not to the patient, mercifully granted no sense of impending doom.

Most people, when they consider their time on this earth, have similar views as to how they would wish to leave it. Very few harbour a wish to die in hospital yet most of us do. What most of us fear is not death per se, but decrepitude and dependency.

A couple of years ago, at a book festival, I was interviewing an eminent Irish doctor. His very firm view was that the process of dying had been wrenched from familial control and subjected to unwarranted medicalisation. He thought striving officiously to keep alive was far from the optimum response when the life in question had been well-run and reached a natural conclusion.

Yet handing back control to the nearest and dearest of the about to depart is not without its own attendant risks. Many relatives actively connive in demanding procedures when they can inevitably only prolong agony whether physical or mental. Many choose to ignore the very specific wish of their loved one that their organs be deployed to alleviate other human distress.

In recent years we have seen heart-wrenching examples of parents who demanded their infant be kept alive, or dispatched to foreign parts for experimental treatment, when the medical team most intimately involved have counselled that further intervention would be both pointless and not in the best interests of the child.

The whose life is it anyway? conundrum is most acutely relevant in the other high-profile cases of recent times when people suffering from desperately debilitating conditions conclude that their life is not worth living, but whose cries of impotent distress are thwarted by politicians or those with a theological axe to grind. I can see no scenario where we should feel proud of forcing people to travel abroad in order to extinguish an impoverished facsimile of life, a mortal coil being shuffled off only to avoid a living death.

Life expectancy has improved for most people, and broadly that is to be welcomed. Yet the bald statistics do not factor in quality of life. There are 80-somethings rejoicing in their ability to still run half marathons. There are others locked in the torment of advancing dementia.

Kenneth Roy bemoaned the fact that he left our world aged 73. Ive never thought of 73 as an age to die, he wrote. Its a score in an Open Championship, respectable enough but on the fringes of contention at best. But arguably its not the time you are allotted so much as what you do with it. Roy may have felt cheated of another decade or so. But he packed an impressive amount into his three score years and three.

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Ruth Wishart on Kenneth Roy's diary of living and dying - HeraldScotland

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

This Marketing Agency Wants To Put The Pleasure Back Into The Sex Tech Business – Forbes

Its easy to get excited about the financial opportunities of the sex tech industry. But marketing agency Healthy Pleasure Collective wants to put the pleasure back into the sex tech business. By acknowledging individual sexuality and prioritising customers sexual fulfillment, the agency believes brands can not only advance faster, but have a positive social impact too.

The sexual wellness market accounted for $39 billion in 2017 and has been estimated to be growing at a 30% annual rate. With the industry predicted to be worth $122 billion by 2026 investing in sex tech looks like a good move.

At Healthy Pleasure Collective, fundraising and development are about more than making money. Founded by business and brand architect Dominnique Karetsos and Dr. Maria Fernana Peraza Godoy, a urologist, andrologist and sexual medicine expert, HCP is a full service agency dedicated to sex tech. The team offers consulting, fundraising, branding, product development, digital marketing, communications, press and business development for entrepreneurs in the field of sexual health and wellness technology. HCP seeks to innovate, advance and build sexual health and technology brands while holding onto the key factor motivating all our interactions with them: pleasure.

Dominnique Karetsos is the co-founder of Healthy Pleasure Collective, a full-service agency ... [+] dedicated to sex tech startups

The pursuit of pleasure is inherently human, say the founders. When we leave it out, we not only ignore a crucial part of the user experience, we neglect to recognise a vital part of our humanity. By tapping back into this, they say, products and solutions can thrive in the market while also having a positive impact on sexual health and wellness.

I caught up with Dominnique Karetsos to find out how brands can go about mixing pleasure with business.

Franki Cookney: What prompted you to set up an agency dedicated to sextech startups?

Dominnique Karetsos: I have been an entrepreneur and consumer brand architect for almost 20 years, but eight years ago I was a co-host on BBC Radio London, and it was that experience, combined with becoming a mum of a daughter, that led me to personally and socially understand the intrinsic value of sexuality in living a healthy, fulfilling life.

Dr. Mafe Godoy (we call her Mafe) supported me while I architected sex toy brands, repositioning them as healthy, even after people slammed phones on me and others threw me out of meeting rooms. We joined forces and curated a collective of experts in a space dedicated to this industry.

Dr. Maria Fernana Peraza Godoy, a urologist, andrologist and sexual medicine expert, who co-founded ... [+] the Healthy Pleasure Collective

Cookney: What specific needs does the sex tech industry have when it comes to marketing and brand development?

Karetsos: The one that screams help is language. We need digital marketing channels and platforms, namely Google, Facebook, Apple, and Instagram, to educate, engage with and enhance experiences with our marketing messages. But they chip away at our strategies with ignorant and inflexible algorithms, shadow-banning us and shutting us off. Brands entering in this space who invest in an app run a high risk of being shut down. So the strategy for digital marketing has to be a well thought-out process. It has to be tested, tested and tested again, and the language has to be adapted but not diluted. Brand tones must be authentic but still steer clear of being stereotyped by an algorithm.

Cookney: What specific challenges does the sex tech industry face?

Karetsos: Our industry may be robust in value but we are finite in people. Attracting skills is a tough feat. There is no sex tech chapter at university or college or at school level economics, and there is certainly no 101: How to Market Sex Toys in advertising class. We are seeing a slow but positive upturn but not fast enough to meet the growth at which sex tech start-ups are scaling.

Cookney: What has changed in the way sexual wellness products get marketed?

Karetsos: Before sex tech, we started with adultthe sex toys and movies we bought down a dark alley in a brown paper bag. And anything sexual in daylight was and still is largely polarised as either porn or family planning.

It is fair to say we have migrated from adult to sexual health awareness. We have dating apps for all sexual identities, fertility apps, long-distance vibrating toys, AI dolls being used in mental health treatment. But it is still very apparent that our industry is like an uncomfortable teenager struggling with what to call ourselves, and not knowing if its more socially digestible to say sex tech or sexual wellness.

Cookney: Why is it so important to you to integrate sex tech and sexual wellness with health?

Karetsos: Sex is a health issue. Through sex tech we make room for the importance of sexuality and its inherent value in our lives. The World Health Organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It says that it requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. But to date we have not incorporated sexuality as part of our social understanding of global health.

Cookney: How does this message impact a companys marketing strategy?

Karetsos: In the traditional sense of marketing, knowing who your target audience is to curate your message is vital to your communication strategy. But in sex tech, every human who is of age to associate with a sexual identity is potentially your audience. But they will not all become your customer. Emily Nagoski said it best when she said: There are as many sexualites as there are humans. No one sexuality is the same, so a marketing strategy that throws paint at the wall and hope it sticks will not bring sustainable longevity in brand share.

We must care enough to educate and nurture sexualities, developing the tools that enable people to explore in safe spaces, judgement free. Be it a fertility tracking software or an educational video on how to masturbate, brands should consider who and how to market, and not just provide labels that society insists upon.

Cookney: What have you learnt about the sex tech sector since founding HCP?

Karetsos: The sector is still largely polarised. On one side you type vulva or illustrate a nipple and social channels can close an account in an instant. While in other mediums we trivialise sexwe use it sell everything. But within this polarised market lie pockets of radical innovation. For example, we have an all-out warfare on porn (rightly or wrongly). But most of us watch it at some point so instead let us change the scripts to illustrate consensual, ethical, real life experiences. Cue the rise of female audio porn start-ups.

Sex techs potential to change the biomedical industry, and enhance research in a field as overlooked as female sexual health, is another learning we have had. Its not just about developing devices, but also the development of knowledge from big data that many apps are already collecting. This data will lead to the development of new treatments in female sexual functioning, including diagnostic and therapeutic devices.

Cookney: What challenges do you think the sector faces in the future and how can these be met successfully?

Karetsos: A megawatt spotlight needs to be shone on regulation. We are not a regulated industry so brands have the freedom to promise anything and not be held accountable. Only now ISO regulations are coming into action ensuring that medical grade silicone, used for menstrual cups and toys, are of healthy compliance.

However, despite the challenges, we honestly only see positive change and impact. Maybe it is not as fast or forward moving as we would like but six months ago, sexual wellness was not listed as an independent category in Boots pharmacy or even included in trend emersion beauty reports.

The sex tech industry is responsible for amplifying our beliefs and habits that consensual pleasure is healthy, good and invaluable to our lives as individuals and couples.

The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Originally posted here:

This Marketing Agency Wants To Put The Pleasure Back Into The Sex Tech Business - Forbes

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Recent deaths at Dallas Zoo have seemed notable but aren’t out of the ordinary – The Dallas Morning News

Hope, a 23-year-old gorilla, was well short of the 39 years female gorillas in captivity typically live to when she died earlier this month at the Dallas Zoo.

The zoo has yet to announce the cause of death for the mother of Saambili the zoos first baby gorilla in 20 years but says her death and those of a few other notable animals in recent months are isolated incidents and nothing out of the ordinary.

Its accrediting institution echoes the parks statement, saying there is no cause for concern.

Three animals have died this year in unrelated incidents that werent associated with old age a giraffe and an African painted dog, in addition to Hope. The zoo has been upfront about the deaths, posting about each on social media along with a reflection on the animals personality and time at the zoo.

Visitors have noted the recent losses in replies on Facebook and others commended the zoo on its candidness in sharing the information.

In a written statement, the zoo said its openness in the stories it tells has helped the public connect with all aspects of the animals' lives.

"That includes births, key milestones, birthdays, health challenges, and even deaths," the zoo said. "Given that we work with a living collection, life and death is a part of our everyday."

Hope died suddenly Nov. 3 after she and other gorillas in the zoos family troop had experienced mild gastrointestinal symptoms. Tests for parasites and other pathogens were negative, but a necropsy found that her colon was severely inflamed, the zoo said.

The zoo has said the final tests to determine her cause of death are still pending. Other gorillas, including Megan and her son, Mbani Saambilis half-brother are continuing to recover but seem to be past the worst of the illness, the zoo said.

Saambili, who was born in June 2018, was understandably shaken by the loss of her mother, the zoo said. In the days that followed, her father, Subira, stayed near her side and other members of the family troop took turns holding her.

She has also been strengthening her bond with her aunt Shanta, who often carries Saambili around on her back a bright spot in the midst of sadness," according to the zoo.

Gorilla family bonds are strong, and the other family members have stepped in to support and comfort her, the zoo said in a prepared statement.

On the Fourth of July, just weeks after an introduction that zoologists said had gone better than expected, African painted dog Ola was killed by her two packmates.

The zoo described the attack as a "short bout of aggressive behavior" from the two brothers who were behaving naturally and did nothing wrong.

There had been no aggression between the animals who met in a high-stakes introduction a month earlier, the zoo said, adding that it believed the staff could not have prevented the incident.

Her death was another blow for the staff and for zoo guests who had recently learned that the giraffe Witten, named after the Dallas Cowboy, had died June 17 during an exam.

The zoo initially thought the giraffe had stopped breathing at the beginning of a procedure in reaction to a sedative. He was being examined for health issues ahead of a transfer to a Canadian zoo.

A necropsy showed that he thrashed around before the sedative took effect and broke a bone in his neck, which killed him almost instantly, the zoo said.

The zoos internal review of the incident revealed no issues with policies that were in place or veterinary procedures. A recommendation was made to make minor modifications to the device that is used to manage giraffes during veterinary procedures.

The change would not have altered the outcome but could make future procedures more efficient, the zoo said.

Rob Vernon, a spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the zoos accrediting agency, said this summer that sometimes deaths occur around the same time but that they are not connected or reflected on the care provided at the zoo.

"I can tell you that there's nothing out of the ordinary in any of the deaths that have occurred at the Dallas Zoo," Vernon said. "Death is a reality for any of us caring for living things and it's something that we deal with on a normal basis."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which licenses zoos and other similar exhibitors, identified no "non-compliant items" during its annual inspections of the Dallas Zoo in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The most recent inspection took place June 24, days after the giraffe's death.

No non-compliances were found related to the death of the African painted dog, Ola, either, according to the USDA.

The AZA does not track deaths in U.S. zoos, but Dallas keeps a record of its own.

For the last 10 years worth of data, the zoo said it averages 3.1 deaths a month. Through October, the number of deaths in 2019 has been about 5 percent below that average.

While weve experienced the deaths of several well-known animals among high-profile species, there is nothing out of the ordinary about the number of animal deaths that have occurred at the Dallas Zoo in the previous year, the zoo said in a statement.

AZA zoos are required to contact the association in the event of an accident with an animal or a keeper, which Dallas has done especially in the case of a notable animal death, Vernon said.

If the AZA learns of unusual circumstances at a zoo, he said, it can send in a team to investigate, but whether a zoo loses its accreditation is a case-by-case basis.

In March 2018, the Baton Rouge Zoo lost its 40-year accreditation after inspectors noted three animal escapes in 16 months, outdated facilities and a 2016 incident in which dogs broke into the zoo and killed three monkeys, The Advocate reported.

The incident followed the unexpected deaths of two giraffes and a tiger for which the zoo was cleared of any wrongdoing, according to The Advocate.

The Dallas Zoo's accreditation runs through March 2022. The zoo, which has been an AZA institution since 1985, has been a "stellar member," Vernon said.

Animal-rights groups often object to the keeping of animals in zoos, citing claims of behavioral issues, threats of disease, added stressors and poor facilities.

Both the AZA and Dallas Zoo argue that animals in zoos get a level of care and safety from predators, the weather and other factors that they would not get in the wild. The zoo has also stressed its efforts to provide animals with enrichment.

A 2016 analysis published in the journal Scientific Reports found, based on a variety of factors, that mammals in zoos generally live longer than those in the wild.

There are some exceptions. Species that have a slower pace of life, which is linked to low mortality, and those that have high longevity in the wild may not see their life expectancy lengthened in zoos.

The study also added that carnivores may need husbandry techniques to reduce the behavioral abnormalities that they are more susceptible to in zoos.

But animals with a short life span, high reproductive rate and high mortality in the wild may see the benefits.

The zoo has experienced several notable deaths in recent years: Adhama, a 7-year-old hippo who died suddenly of heart-related complications from a viral infection in October 2018; Kipenzi, the 3-month-old giraffe who died instantly when she broke three vertebrae in her neck in July 2015; Kamau, a popular 6-month-old cheetah cub who died of a respiratory illness in January 2014; and 5-year-old lioness Johari, who was killed by one of the zoos male lions in November 2013.

Those deaths grab more attention than others, perhaps in part because of the non-natural causes or because the animals have been visible for their species at the zoo.

The zoo has also shared a number of age-related deaths on its social-media accounts.

The zoo lost Doyle, a 49-year-old chimp the third-oldest male in the AZA to age-related health issues in June. Male chimps typically live to be 31.4 years old in human care, according to AZAs survival statistics table.

In April, a 29-year-old okapi named Kwanini died, having far outlived the 16.4-year median life expectancy for the species, according to AZA statistics.

Other deaths included Honeydew, the oldest tapir in the AZA, who died of age-related issues in January shortly before turning 38.

Staff writer Tom Steele contributed to this report.

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Recent deaths at Dallas Zoo have seemed notable but aren't out of the ordinary - The Dallas Morning News

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Lewis Hamilton is not only a peerless champion, he is the face of F1 – The Guardian

With a sixth world championship this season, Lewis Hamiltons place in motor racings pantheon is assured. Debate will rage over who may be the greatest of all but Hamilton, the black kid from a Stevenage council estate, surely occupies a position no other has managed. He has transcended the role of driver to perhaps a unique place in the sports history. To a broad global audience, Formula One is Lewis Hamilton.

With five titles from the past six seasons, this is the Hamilton era. He is the pre-eminent driver of his generation and the focal point of F1. A personality that is impossible to ignore and who stands astride the sport like no other.

Hamilton is that rarest of breeds, a sportsman who, it could be argued, is genuinely peerless. He has faced down and beaten the outstanding talents of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. He has unashamedly relished the fight, and neither the longevity of his 13-year career, nor the success, nor the new threat from the young guns of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, has diminished his enthusiasm.

The core of what I do is that I love racing, he said. I love the challenge. I love arriving knowing I have got these incredibly talented youngsters who are trying to beat me and outperform me, outsmart me, and I love that battle I get into every single year.

His performance in securing the title again for Mercedes this season, which draws to a close in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, was as good as any of his previous five. Indeed as of any of his 13 seasons since he entered F1 in 2007. Hamilton has been in a class alone, a driver at the top of his game with an iron-willed resilience, debilitating to his rivals.

David Richards, the chairman of Motorsport UK, first watched an eight-year-old Hamilton race in karts. Richards recognises how far he has come and his place in the bigger picture of F1.

Hamilton is in a class alone, a driver at the top of his game with an iron-willed resilience, debilitating to his rivals

What strikes me now about him now is his maturity, he said. How he recognises he is a role model and the influence he has and the responsibilities that come with it. He is far broader than purely a driver in F1. He has opinions about the environment, young people, fashion and music. That is part of the greater appeal of Lewis today.

Intriguingly during Hamiltons debut season for McLaren in 2007, Jackie Stewart saw exactly this potential. I think Lewis is going to rewrite the book, Stewart said. I believe Lewis will create the benchmark for a whole generation of drivers. Niki Lauda and James Hunt changed the culture of racing drivers, but they werent role models. They said nothing, didnt give a damn. Lewis Hamilton can become a role model.

Hamilton is that benchmark now. In recent years, record after record has fallen to him and only two remain. He is one championship behind Michael Schumachers seven and eight GP wins behind the Germans 91. Both are well within the 34-year-olds reach.

Close, then, to becoming the most successful of all time, last week Hamilton appeared on the Graham Norton show, sharing a sofa with Kylie Minogue, Ricky Gervais and Elizabeth Banks. It was an indication of the position he occupies. There is no other current driver that one might even imagine would be asked to take part.

That such fame has accompanied his achievements is not surprising. Yet his rise to this position has not been simple cause and effect. At its heart has been relentless dominance on track, born of a commitment for which he is not given enough credit, but also there is the way he has gone about his racing and the honesty of a man who wears his heart on his sleeve.

His recent post on Instagram expressing a sense of helplessness in the face of the climate emergency received huge traction and not a little criticism given his chosen sport, which he had to take on board.

There is a lot of push-back on a lot of things I do, and a lot of questioning of everything I do and say, he said. You live your life under a magnifying glass. Were only human, so at some stage youre going to buckle a little bit.

In a sport where technology is king this is the very relatable humanity of the man behind the wheel. Nonetheless it is on the track where he has made his most striking statements.

This season Hamilton won eight of the opening 12 races. Ferraris challenge failed to materialise and his Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was beaten back after a spirited opening. Bottas remains his closest rival with four wins but numbers are cold, blunt objects with which to frame Hamiltons artistry.

From a superlative season, outstanding moments come to the fore. Making the bold gamble of taking hard tyres for a one-stop at Silverstone work; coming back to beat Verstappen in Hungary after driver and team errors in Germany. His touch in nursing spent rubber to the flag in Monaco, and the complete control of taking a race he should never have won with a damaged car in Mexico.

Mercedes have largely enjoyed the better car this season but it is not an advantage Hamilton has always enjoyed. Certainly for three championships, that of his first title in 2008 for McLaren and in 2017 and 2018, he was not in the quickest car. Perhaps of more import has been how he has gone about the task. Even between 2008 and his second next title in 2014 he remained compelling. Always striving for more than his machinery could offer and often delivering. He won at least one race in every one of those seasons and is the only F1 driver to have won every year in which he has competed.

In that time there has been no sense Hamilton has been anything but an honourable competitor. The former driver Johnny Herbert astutely identified this as another reason Hamilton has such broad appeal. He is the toughest man and the fairest man on track, Herbert said. He wants to do it in a way where he doesnt get an advantage, he wants a good battle.

For F1 and its owner, Liberty Media, these attributes are a fearsome combination. Hamilton takes the sport to an audience beyond any other driver. His presence on Instagram is unmatched by anyone in F1, with 13.7m followers. In the US, where Liberty is determined to build the sport, he is the star who reaches a mainstream audience.

From this perspective then, Hamilton is intrinsic to F1 as no other. The talent of youngsters such as Verstappen and Leclerc is hugely exciting and promises that on the track the sport is in rude health. But they will take time to even approach matching Hamiltons global reach.

He has one further year on his contract with Mercedes and F1 needs him to stick around. Fortunately as things stand Hamilton appears to have no intention of stepping down but rather, continuing at the top with the same belief that proved remarkably prescient in 2007.

The race is the most exciting part, he said in his debut season. The first corner, the first pit stop. I am just going to get stronger and stronger. Im not yet at my best.

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Lewis Hamilton is not only a peerless champion, he is the face of F1 - The Guardian

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Scott LaFee: Don’t Think Too Hard About This – Noozhawk

By Scott LaFee | November 27, 2019 | 11:55 p.m.

Weve all heard the admonitions about how keeping mentally active boosts overall health and longevity. A new study suggests that busy brains might mean shorter lifespans, and excessive brain activity could be a risk factor for dementia.

Researchers documented the phenomenon across multiple species from humans to mice to roundworms (!) and said it appears people who live longer may have a regulatory gene that more effectively quiets unnecessary nerve activity.

They concede their findings appear counterintuitive and the full story in humans is likely to be much more complicated. So dont stop just yet taking those foreign language lessons, doing Sudoku and reading this column.

Adults have approximately 20,000 pores on their faces.

Of the 195 countries around the world, 119 were found to have an insufficient supply of blood units for health care and emergency use in 2017, according to a new study published in The Lancet Haematology.

Higher income countries were largely able to meet demand, but poor countries were not. South Sudan, for example, had a need 75 times greater than the countrys supply.

Its estimated that 10 to 20 donors can supply enough blood to help 1,000 people.

The 1992 book Sharks Dont Get Cancer spawned a huge increase in shark hunting as people sought shark parts as a treatment for various malignancies.

In fact, sharks do get cancer, and multiple studies have found no evidence that using shark cartilage or other tissues is an effective treatment for any type of cancer.

Cachexia: A complex syndrome associated with an underlying illness, such as cancer or AIDS, that results in ongoing muscle and weight loss that cannot be entirely reversed with dietary supplementation.

Nephophobia: Fear of clouds

The Major League Eating record for poutine is 28 pounds in 10 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut of San Jos.

Poutine is a Canadian dish consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. In Quebec, where it is believed to originate, a plate of poutine is routine cuisine.

A mans health can be judged by which he takes two at a time pills or stairs. Joan Welsh

This week in 1974, Dr. Christiaan Barnard of Cape Town, South Africa, performed the worlds first twin heart operation, implanting a second human heart alongside the old one in a 58-year-old man.

In the procedure, Barnard removed only the diseased portion of the patients heart one-third of the left ventricle. He then joined the left atrium to the atrium of a second donor heart.

The operation was considered less radical than total heart replacement and was conducted without a heart-lung machine. With both hearts beating, the second acted as a booster for the first.

The patient died four months later, however, of unrelated causes.

Many, if not most, published research papers have titles that defy comprehension. They use specialized jargon, complex words and opaque phrases like nonlinear dynamics. Sometimes they dont, and yet theyre still hard to figure out.

Heres an actual title of actual published research study: Stimulae Eliciting Sexual Behavior.

In this case, the specific topic was the sexual behavior of turkeys, in which a pair of researchers at Pennsylvania State University in the early 1960s wanted to know just how minimal turkey stimulae might be to still do the job. So they created a mock female bird and progressively removed parts of the model, assessing when a male turkey lost interest.

Finally, they got to just a stick-mounted head and neck, which the male turkey found just as appealing a mate as a whole bird.

Q: What does your spleen do?

A: The spleen is an organ located between the stomach and diaphragm. It makes new white blood cells and cleans old ones out of the body. Its also a place where immune cells congregate. Though these cells are spread throughout the body, they sometimes need to talk with one another, which they do when meeting in the spleen or in lymph nodes.

A person can live without a spleen, but their immune system is substantially impaired. Some people have a second spleen, called an accessory spleen, that is very small but may grow and function when the main spleen is removed.

There are thousands of exercises, and youve only got one body but that doesnt mean you cant try them all:

Its called the Superman, an easy exercise to strengthen back, buttocks, hips and shoulders. Lie prone (face down) on a floor mat, legs extended, arms extended overhead with palms facing each other. Relax head to align with spine.

Exhale, contract abdominal and core muscles and slowly and simultaneously raise both legs and arms a few inches off the floor. Avoid any rotational movement. Maintain head and torso position. Dont arch back or raise head. Hold this position briefly.

Gently inhale, and lower legs and arms to starting positions without any movement in lower back or hips. Repeat.

Q: How many kinds of tonsils are there?

A: Four. The palatine tonsils are the ones seen at the back of the throat. But there are also lingual tonsils (base of the tongue), tubal tonsils (around the opening of the Eustachian tube in the nasopharynx, which is the upper part of the cavity behind nose and mouth) and adenoid tonsils (high up in the throat behind the nose).

All together, these tonsils form Waldeyers ring, which serves as a gatekeeper to all things entering the airways and digestive tract, grabbing pathogens and warding off diseases.

I will see you tomorrow, if God wills it. Pope John Paul I (1912-1978).

Apparently, God didnt. Pope John Paul I suffered a heart attack and was found dead in bed with reading material and his bedside lamp still lit. He had been pope for just 33 days.

Scott LaFee is a staff writer at UC San Diego Health and the former chief science writer at The San Diego Union-Tribune, where he covered science, medicine and technology. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Scott LaFee: Don't Think Too Hard About This - Noozhawk

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