Your body when you Swim

Harvard medical school published a study which looked at over 40,000 men, aged 20-90 who were either runners, walkers, swimmers, and physically in active people. With an average length of 13 years of observation and in that time

  • 2% of swimmers passed away
  • 8% of runners passed away
  • 9% of walkers passed away
  • 11% of physically inactive people passed away

This study showed that swimmers are much healthier later on in life than the rest of the population and for women swimming just 30 mins a day can decrease coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent.

It also helps to increase HDL aka good Colestrol. Some studies have also shown that aerobic excercise can keep the cells in the lining of your arteries more flexible and healthier. Hence there is no question that swimming is an awesome form of fitness.

Body during swimming

What do you actually feel when you go into the water? Here are some main elements of the human body that gets impacted during swimming.

1. Blood

According to the America Heart Association, swimming is considered as Aerobic activity. Aerobic excercise enlarges the heart and it increases the blood flow through the entire boby. Because swimming is an excercise, the blood has to pump all the molecules into the body.

2. Heart

Since so much of blood has to be pumped into the body, that ties into how it impacts your heart because we know that after 2 mins your body goes into aerobic respiratory because your heart has to pump all the oxygenated blood through the body. So as you swim, your heart is circulating the blood which help your body to perform and achieve the required goals.

3. Skin

You must have seen that the skin color changes of swimmers. For example, some swimmers face turns red when the swim, that happens because your blood vessels are dilating and the brings the heat to the surface into the skin then some people turn red, as a result your skin is showing the effort that you’re putting in the water.

4.Muscles

There’s a reason why swimmers are considered to have best body and physiques in the world compared to any athlete, because swimming engages every single muscles in the water when it comes to your core stability, your upper body, your biceps, your hamstrings, your calves, everything is engaged when you swim.

When you’re swimming, you are micro tearing your muscles while swinging it. And the muscles requires 24-48 hrs to recover those muscles. That’s when sometimes you might feel sore.

5. Lungs

Swimming can actually help increase your lungs volume because in swimming different than other sports, you can’t actually breath whenever you want. It’s not like running when you have full access to oxygen.

In swimming you’re engaging your muscles and you’re not allowed to breathe necessarily at the time when your body might want it. So because you have to get used to this, you actually increase your Vo to max (maximum amount of oxygen body is able to use). So basically you are making your lungs more efficient at functioning.

6. Brain

The Brain loves swimming, because of all the extra blood flow moving through these endorphins that makes you more awake, alert and focus.

But this could happen in any type of sport but swimming is something really special because you’re sort of in your own world where the medium is 800 times more dense than air, which makes you feel free and relaxed.

Hence, from physical health to mental health, swimming is an incredible benefit human body and after reading this you must be thinking of trying swimming.

Being Bilingual

People have very different opinions on what bilingualism really is. For some it means speaking two languages fluently and with little to no effort rather strongly consider a person bilingual, if it has perfect pronounciation in both languages and makes very few grammatical errors while talking.

The truth is that, even with a bad accent and making some mistake, being able to speak in two or more languages rather than one has practical benefits in an increasingly globalised world.

Multilingualism

Multilingualism has been shown to have many psychological and social advantages that can go something simply as

  • watching movies with no subtitles
  • to having less problems in traveling and
  • even getting a job or business opportunities specially in tourist areas.

Types of Bilingualism

It is considered to be two types of Bilingualism

1. Compound Bilingualism

Compound Bilingualism, also called addictive Bilingualism happens for example when a child is raised by bilingual parents and both languages are used in home, the child grows when both languages are used simultaneously in the same environment.

With this type of Bilingualism, the person does not see the two languages as separate it is common to hear such people speaking different languages in the same sentence or using a word of a different language from the one they’re talking to better express themselves.

2. Coordinate Bilingualism

This is the second type of Bilingualism also know as Subtractive Bilingualism. In this type, the person perceive two languages as separate because he learns them separately and in different environments in context.

I am an example of coordinate Bilingualism, most of the time i talk Hindi when I’m in my college environment or to people who talks only that language, I use the language specifically for those context but to my family members i usually talk in Bengali which is my native language, the language related to my home environment. I see these two language as separate since I learned and used them in completely different environments.

Officially Monolingual Countries

Only a few countries in the world including the U.S, England, and Australia are officially Monolingual but even in these countries only a considerable percent of people who speaking and understand more than one language.

Advantage

Researchers suggest that bilingualism can slow the advance of age-related mental issues such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s by up to 4 years.

Also in bilingual adult, brain tissue called grey matter is denser compared with Monolingual adults.

Although speaking more than one language does not necessarily make you more intelligent person, it helps stimulates and increase brain connections. Learning a new language is like an excercise to the brain that will improve your Cognitive skills and even if you grew up in a Monolingual environment, it is never too late to start learning a different language.

Where did Necktie came from?

The neckties, also known as decorative noose are a narrow piece of fabric designed to be worn around the neck and tied at the throat. They can be made from many materials but commonly constructed from silk or cotton.

Varieties

Today there are many different kinds of neckties:-

  • Ascot tie
  • The zipper tie
  • Clip on tie
  • The tie dye tie

So when did wrapping a piece of fabric around your neck become a formal style necessity. The length of World War to blame can partially be placed on the French Military. While humans have been tying fabric around their neck since they could sew.

History

The neckties is been known as it didn’t start crowding collars until the 17th century. King Louis XIII of France had hired Croatian mercenaries to fight for him during the 30-year war and the king was impressed by the length of cloth the Croatian used to keep their jackets together.

Croatian

Louis liked it so much that he required his entire royal court to wear them a tradition that his son will continue in his court. The trend soon spread across the French aristocracy and it wasn’t long before all of the Europe had converted to the curve at.

Tying a Necktie

There are four main ways to tie a neckties;

  1. The Four-in-hand knot
  2. The Pratt knot aka The Shelby knot
  3. Half-windsor knot
  4. The Windsor knot

According to researchers from Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory, there are 85 ways to tie a tie. Thomas Fink and Yong Mao actually use Mathematical modeling to figure this out and publish a book on their finding.

Towards the end of tie fashion

The necktie is losing its grip around the throat of male fashion. Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and eBay actually encourage their employees to dress casually with some going as far as banning traditional office wear entirely and other companies are following suits.

Its fast become a power move to dress drown to the office in the 21st century as a statement of fellow workers, you can wear what ever you want.

Californian companies have led the charge in disrupting many common business practices, by rejecting aspects of corporate life that once seemed to given such as

  • Traditional working hours
  • Corporate hierarchies
  • Paying employees a living wage

Now politicians and even royalty are leaving tie in their dresses so it many not be long before neckties joins the history books of pointless male neck fashion.

BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER(BDD)

Body Dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive of perceived defects or flaws in once appearance. A flaw that to others is considered minor or not observable.

People suffering from BDD

  1. Can feel emotion such as shame and disgust concerning a part or parts of their body part and fixate on this.
  2. The obsession is so intense that the person repeatedly checks and compares the perceived flaw seeks reassurance sometimes for several hours each day.
  3. The person can also adopt unusual routines to avoid social contact that exposes the perceived flaw.
  4. This pervasive thoughts about their appearance and body image interfere with their daily life via
    • Educational
    • Occupational dysfunction and
    • Isolation

No matter how many times people assure them that there is no flaw, they cannot accept that the issue doesn’t exist.

The most common features about which people obsess includes:-

  • Nose
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Complexion
  • Blemishes
  • Hair
  • Skin
  • Vein appearance
  • Muscles size
  • Tone
  • Breast size
  • Buttocks
  • Genitalia

BDD is estimated to affect up to 2.4% of the population. The condition usually starts during adolescence affecting both men and women. BDD does not go away on its own if Untreated it may get worse with time leading to

  • severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior

Causes

The exact cause is unknown, but like every other disorder BDD may result from a combination of causes such as:-

  1. Brain differences
  2. Environmental factors; special if they involve negative social evaluations about the body or Self-image
  3. Childhood trauma
  4. Genetics; studies suggest that BDD is likely to run in family.

Certain factors that may increase the risk of developing the condition may include:-

  1. A family history
  2. Negative body image
  3. Perfectionism
  4. Negative life experiences such as bullying or teasing
  5. Introversion
  6. Media influence.

Symptoms

Extreme preoccupation with a perceived flaw in your physical appearance that appear minor to others for at least one hour a day. Attempting to hide perceived flaw with –

  • styling, makeup or clothes – to seeking plastic or cosmetic surgery,
  • avoiding social situations,
  • constantly comparing appearance with others,
  • always seeking assurance about appearance from others,
  • low self-esteem, compulsive behaviour such as skin picking and frequent clothes changing.

Extreme preoccupation with an appearance that interferes with social life work, school, or other functionality.

Diagnosis

A medical evaluation will be carried out other medical conditions after which further evaluation is carried out by a mental health professional.

Diagnosis is based on:-

  1. A psychological evaluation; which aims at assessing risk factors and thoughts feeling as well as behavior can be associated with a negative self-image.
  2. Personal, medical, family and social health history.

Treatment

Treatment option may include therapy and medication includes:-

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy; that helps you learn how to cope and behave to improve your mental health
  2. Medications; such as SSRIs may help is control obsession and control repetitive behaviours

Psychiatric hospital may be suggested if the symptom is severe such as when you’re in immediate danger of harming yourself.

Famous personality with BDD

Here is a list of people with BDD;

  • Michael Jackson(singer, dancer)
  • Billie Elish (singer)
  • Robert Pattinson (from twilight)
  • Ileana D’Cruz (from Rustom)
  • Miguel Herrán (from money heist)

History of Indian Stamps

India got independence on 15th August of 1947 assured in a new era in the history of the country but philatelist had to wait another 98 days for the release of India’s most commemorate stamp on 21st of November 1947.

First stamp

The Postal Telegraph Department however came out with a large Kashi postmarked with the slogan “Jai hind” for the occasion and letters mailed that the major post offices of the country were cancelled with this post mark.

The India’s first commemorative stamp features the Lion capital of Ashoka which had one set on the top of a column of Sarnath near Varanasi. The lion capital has since been around at the state emblem of India the denomination of the stamp was one and a half annas and an inspiration of “Jai hind” in Hindi was also depicted in the stamps.

Other stamps

Actually three stamps were planned to release at the time of Independence. The rest two stamps were released in the 15th of December 1947 with the three and a half annas stamp with portray of the national flag in tricolor Saffron on the top, white in the middle and green in the bottom.

The twelve annas stamp depicts an aircraft a symbol of the modern age. These stamps also have inscription “Jai hind” in hindi, they are also known are Jai Hind stamps.

The stamps were printed offset lithography. As the three and a half annas stamp was printed in three colors in three steps because difference in inking at different stages, because specimens having the top of the flag in deep orange or pale orange and the lower part in pale green and deep green were coming across.

Petroleum Jelly is harmful to skin

You probably have a jar of Vaseline somewhere in your house. Millions of people swear by it as a remedy for clapped lips, congestions, diaper rash and dry skin. Unfortunately the popular product is more harmful than many realise.

What is Petroleum Jelly?

Petroleum jelly, commonly known by the brand name Vaseline, is a byproduct of the oil refining process. It was originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs in the mid 1800s. As a byproduct of the oil industry, it’s an unsustainable resource and far from eco-friendly.

How does it work?

Used in everything from lotions to baby products, petroleum jelly works by creating a protective barrier on the skin to hold in moisture. The waterproof barrier it created on the skin blocks pores and can lock in residue and bacteria.

When used on a burn or a sunburn area, it locks in heat and can block the body’s ability to heal. You need to stop using Vaseline for these four reasons:

  1. It contains harmful Hydrocarbon. The skin is unable to metabolize petroleum jelly, so it sits as a barrier on the skin untill it wears off. This blocks the body from gaining any benefit from the substance. A 2011 study found strong evidence that the mineral oil hydrocarbon Vaseline contains are “the greatest contaminant of the human body”
  2. It Promotes Collagen Breakdown. Due to the barrier that petroleum jelly creates on skin, it blocks the skin ability to breathe and absorb nutrients. This can cause the skin to pull the moisture and nutrients it needs from within, leading to collagen breakdown.
  3. It can leads to Estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance occurs when the body has high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone. It has linked to infertility, menstrual problems, allergies and autoimmune problems. Petroleum jelly contains chemicals called xenoestrogens which are believed to increase estrogen problems.
  4. It can cause pneumonia. Although rare, a condition known as lipid pneumonia can occur when small amounts of petroleum jelly is inhaled and build up in the lungs. Because the body can’t metabolize or breakdown the substance, a severe inflammation in the lungs can occur.

Natural Alternatives

There are several natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that you can use without worrying about health risks. If you’re looking for a simple alternative, try one of these options:-

  • Shea butter – High is vitamin A, E and F, shea butter works to nourish the skin through the beneficial fatty acids it contains. It can also help reduce inflammation and increase collagen productions.
  • Beeswax – a great alternative to petroleum jelly is Beeswax. It can be blended into homemade beauty products to protect the skin. Add it to a homemade lip balm and body cream.
  • Coconut oil – this oil loaded with health benefits. It works to nourish the skin through the fatty acids, lauric acids and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Coco butter – it contains antioxidants and benefits fatty acids. It may even reduce the signs of ageing.

Why does a student need to be industry ready & how they can be?

What do you mean by industry ready?

An industry expects their employees to have Non-technical skills and personal attributes such as team work, communication skills, integrity, reliability and self-motivation are considered more important than purely technical skills to get industry ready.

Importance

A study shows that 50% of the curriculum that are been taught in college/universities, by the time students will graduate, it will get auxiliated with new technologies in the market.

Let’s say for example, a product manager of a company who advertises the product, collects data and analysis the data to improve the marketing strategies of company. He can do it manually, but with time if an app is developed for this work, the company won’t be requiring any product manager.

Although degrees are important for future but it is also important to have a knowledge about what all techniques and skills that will be there in future and also to start developing those skills.

How can students be industry ready?

Here are some ways of getting industry ready:-

  1. Practical Knowledge of Doing Things:- If you can demonstrate how to implement the theoretical knowledge you have then your chances of getting hired will improve significantly.
  2. Sharpen Your Communication Skills:- If you are not able to communicate properly, your knowledge will be of little use to you.
  3. Inculcate the Habit of Innovation:- Form a habit to think out of the box, if you can provide a company with a method to save on expenditure or increase their profit, you have better chances of getting hired.
  4. Read Books and Newspapers Regularly:- Form a habit to read a newspaper or book at least half an hour daily, as this will improve your thinking process as well.
  5. Build Your Profile to Show Your Accomplishments:- One needs to be presentable and be able to exhibit his or her qualifications and capabilities convincingly.
  6. Pursue Online Courses to Hone Your Skills:- To make yourself industry ready, it is better to learn some new skills online.
  7. Work on Your Weak Areas:- The trick here is to present your weaknesses in a way that it looks profitable to the company for whom you want to work for.
  8. Learn to Organize and Manage Your Time:- It is about getting the maximum output in a given amount of time. Productivity matters a lot when you are working for a company.

So start investing more on prolonged and sustainable skills because knowledge and degrees are not going to be most required in future. This is the time to decide what is to be done and how should the steps be taken forward.

Will you take Chinese vaccine?

Made in China, accept it or not but for many of us this label has become synonymous with low cost and low quality. So how true is the stereotype and what has Chinese done to deserve such a bad reputation? Well the list goes long, the latest item is vaccine.

China has sold vaccines to the World which may not be working. It is currently exporting vaccine to 43 countries with:-

  • a total of 742 million doses that have been sold,
  • 22 million doses have been donated,
  • 262 million doses have been delivered.

China is exporting 3 major vaccines:-

  1. Sinovac
  2. CanSino BIO
  3. Sinopharm

But do these vaccines even work? Let’s look at some of the countries those have received Chinese vaccines.

Mongolia

In Mongolia, more than half of the population is fully vaccinated but daily infection has risen by more than 70% in the last 2 weeks, and they’re using the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. No doubt Mongolians are questioning the effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine.

Bahrain

Bahrain an Asian country is witnessing a surge. There’s a sharp rise in the number of infections and this dispite of high levels of inoculation. How will China explain this? China’s Sinopharm vaccine, accounts for 60% of the inoculation. Bahrain is now administering a Pfizer booster shot for those who have received both doses of vaccine.

Seychelles

Seychelles of East Africa, 61% of the population have been vaccinated with just 100,000 of people. This island nation has the highest vaccination cover globally. It’s daily average cases rose up to 400 with 37% of the fresh infections reported in fully vaccinated people. This is the result of the Chinese vaccine they’re using which is Sinopharm.

UAE

The United Arab Emirates has vaccinated more than 38% of the population with more than 51% have received first dose and yet daily new cases exceeded to 1700. And they are also using the vaccine Sinopharm that was received from China and UAE is also questioning the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine and also giving a Pfizer booster shot to Sinopharm recipient.

Countries who have refused

Philippines

In the month of May, the Philippines President apologized and asked China to take away Sinopharm vaccine back. He sent back the doses because Chinese cure is unproven.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has also refused to recognise certificates of Sinovac and Sinopharm. It is recommending Pfizer and AstraZeneca instead.

Do Chinese vaccines works in China

There’s a fresh out break of new infections that are been reported in the Guangdong province of China. Guangdong with its capital Guangzhou, accounting of 90% of the confirmed cases. Health authorities of the capital blames the delete variant which was first identified in India. A strict lockdown has been composed there overseas arrivals are being quarantined, million have forced to indoors.

Hence its proven that the rumours of China had conquered the pandemic was false. The virus is unpredictable, it keeps spreading. Vaccines are not full proof in preventing infections but if one vaccine has repeatedly proven ineffective then it’s time for some reflection.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder or NDP is a personality disorder characterized by grandiosity. You may see it in people who have an inflated ego, with little regards to others. It is important to note that NDP is a psychiatric condition, and it is more complex than simply being arrogant. It’s distressing for those who have it and for those who’re around them. Hoping to shed some light on the condition, and sign that a person should seek help. While much of T.V and movies portray narcissism as people who feel like they’re better than everyone else, it’s usually not just the case.

What is narcissism?

Narcissism is a set of traits classified and studied by psychologists. The psychological definition of narcissism is an inflated, grandiose self-image. To varying degrees, narcissists think they’re better looking, smart and more important than other people and that they deserve special treatment.

Psychologists recognize two form of narcissism as personality traits:

  • Grandiose
  • Vulnerable

What is NDP?

  • NPD is a personality disorder in which the person feels self-important and craves constant validation.
  • Their feelings of superiority often hint at a deeper problem.
  • As their need of validation often comes from a place of insecurity and instability rather than genuine self love which they may not be aware of.

What causes NPD?

  1. While the cause of NPD is unknown, researchers believe that it has to do with a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  2. It’s believed that 6% of people have this disorder. Men have a higher chance of this disorder than women.
  3. Some believe that NPD is developed to cope with trauma and feelings of inadequacy. Others believe it may be learned in early childhood from dealing with anything, from abuse to excessive pampering.
  4. There is even a debate as to how much of the disorder is passed down from parents to children acquiring the disorder.

What are the signs and Symptoms?

The feeling of grandiosity where they feel that they’re superior to others and low empathy are often seen in those with NPD; they don’t care much for others expecting to receive constant validation.

  • People with NPD feel as though they’re entitled to whatever they want which can be dangerous as it can manifest into toxic relationships.
  • They may manipulate others to get what they want.
  • They brag and exaggerate their achievements or feel envious of anyone that outperforms them, but deep down the person with NPD may be really dealing with their own feeling of inadequacy.

How to get help?

  • People with NPD may not seek help for the disorder itself as they may not know that there’s an issue.
  • Usually, people are diagnosed because they seek treatment for other issues such as depression or addiction.

However people who feel that they may have the condition and urged to reach out for help. NPD and the underlying feelings of inadequacy can be treated. It not only benefits the individual, but also to people around them.

What treatment options are available?

People diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder will most likely work with a therapist using psychotherapy methods.

Other self-improving activities such as:-

  • Doing exercises and,
  • Hobbies may be used in conjunction with therapy.

Coming to a conclusion, we do live in a very materialistic and Consumersious society and as long as that’s the case, narcissism is going to win because it’s about putting yourself first and not caring as much about others. Not to mention people with NPD can be very generous when it’s going to get them what they need. They may buy everyone big dinners and take everyone on a big vacation so it creates this illusion that there’s lots of people all around them, because it’s all the stuff that they’re making possible for them. It’s important to know that treatment is available and that life can be made more manageable.

Story of Cellular Jail of India

You might have heard about the deadliest punishment that one could never wonder in their dreams. It is also known by the name Kala paani ki saza or by the name The black water punishment. So why is this jail different from other jails?

Emergence

During the colonial rule, Britishers got short of places where they could keep and punish the freedom fighters and political activists who were emerging against them. So they made single cellular jail punishment there they can punish the freedom fighters. In the year 1896, Britishers decided to build this jail on Andaman & Nicobar islands and in the year 1906 it was completed.

It was named as “cellular jail” because every jailer was kept in a single cell, so that the one jailer could not talk to others. As the jailers were freedom fighters so if they communicate somehow they will be able to find a way out. The cellular jail is also on an island which is surrounded by water so that the jailer won’t ran way.

The Punishment

The cellular jail wasn’t any normal jail it was like an experimental jail for the Britishers which involved torture, medical tests, forced labor and also some of these punishment which are unimaginable. The Britishers used to send freedom fighters to 1300 km across the water to the Andaman & Nicobar islands. It was so far away from India that people would die even on the boat voyage. So if the prisoners made it that far, they were kept in the cells which were designed for solitary confinement.

The cells of the jail is made up of brick and concrete where there is no toilet, the jailers were allowed to go to the toilet in the morning and at night and the rest of the time they were just locked in the cell. They prisoners were also forced to do labor like to extract 30 pounds of coconut oil and 10 pounds of mustard oil in a day. And if they don’t, then they have to face the consequences by beating up with iron rods while they are chained in iron chains.

Britishers in their own jail

In the year 1944, Japanese came to India and invaded the Islands and took over. The Japanese prisoned the Britishers in their own prison. As per Mahatma gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore’s demand the Indian prisoners were set free.

After the Japanese lost in World War II, they had to retreat, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands became India’s part when it got independent in the year 1947.

After independence the cellular jail was declared as a National Memorial which is now a tourist place for all. There is also a Museum where you can get to know about all the freedom fighters along with their stories.

Pollution causes blindness

Air pollution is a global malice. It destabilzes the climate, punishes our lungs and now according to a new study could possibly affect our eye sight or might make you blind.

The research was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, it analysed 115,000 participants over 14 years. At the start of the study in 2006, these people have no eye problems but in the latest medical examination , 1,286 of them reported A.M.D (Age related Macular Degeneration). It is the leading cause of blindness among the people aged 50+ in rich nations. There are 200 million people living with this condition.

There appears to be a link between A.M.D and air pollution. People exposed to fine particulate matter are more vulnerable to A.M.D, nearly 8% vulnerable and this isn’t from industry level exposure. Even relatively low level of air pollution could be triggering A.M.D.

Effect on eye sight

The eyes have particularly high flow of blood. This leaves them vulnerable fine particles that flow through the body. It’s important to note that this study is observational. It cannot categorically establish a link between air pollution and A.M.D. However there has been similar study elsewhere with the same results. And the link between smoking and A.M.D has always been known.

The threat from air pollution has always been clear, but new studies are revealing more dimensions of this threat.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution contributes to 7 Million deaths annually. This leaves us with another cause of concern, toxic air could leave you blind.

History of Dentistry

From brushing and flossing to straightening and whitening, people today put a lot of work into maintaining a health and appearance to their smile. The current trend is for straight, pearly white teeth. But history of dental care stretches all the way back to the beginning of human society.

Ancient ways of cleaning teeth

Prehistoric humans who lived before the advert of oral care actually had very few dental problems. Scientists believe this is on account of their diet, which consisted of unprocessed fibrous foods that help clean their teeth while they ate. However as human evolved, so did the food on menu. Overtime, people found if they didn’t take care of their teeth, they developed dental problems.

Archaeology found evidence that early humans cleaned their teeth by picking at them with things like porcupine quills, animal bones, and tree twigs.

In earlier 3,500 BCE, Mesopotamians were using chew sticks to clean their teeth. Egyptian and Chinese have known to use them as well.

Tooth Decay

Ancient people were always aware of the tooth decay. But the first known scientific theory about its causes dates back at least 5,000 years, to Ancient Sumeria. The theory was that cavities were caused by a creature known as the tooth worm, which they believed would wore holes in teeth.

Cavities can actually resemble the kinds of holes that the worms bore through other materials, like wood. The Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian people all believed in the tooth worm. Some European doctors were still warning people that worms were the cause of their tooth decay as late as the 14th century.

First Toothbrush

Though no one knows exactly when people started brushing their teeth, archeologists believed the practice originated somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 BCE. The Babylonians and the Egyptians were the first cultures we know of to fashion rudimentary toothbrushes, which were made mostly from twigs.

The first used bristle toothbrush was created in China sometime during the Tang dynasty, between the 7tg and 10th centuries. It was made from hog bristles which would have been attached to a handle carved from bone or bamboo.

Explorers eventually brought these to the West. And in the 17th century, they began to be adopted in Europe.

New trend

In modern times, the dental ideal is considered to be a bright smile with straight white teeth. People will wear braces, use whiteners, to achieve the look. But most didn’t realise, its a relatively new fashion.

The popularity of look really only goes back to the 20th century and was greatly created by Hollywood movies. The trend, arguably, began their veneers, created by cosmetic dentist named Marcus Pincus in the 1940s. It was spotted by movie stars, like Shirley Temple and Judy Garland, who became famous for perfect smiles.

Judy Garland

While mass market teeth whitening products didn’t became a thing until the 1980s, teeth whitening itself is nothing new.

Introducing Skateboarding in Olympics

In recent history, skateboarding has become a pop culture phenomenon. We see it in everything, from T.V advertisements to fashion shows. And for the first time ever, skateboarding will be introduced in the 2020 summer Olympics. But, skateboarding hasn’t always had the mass appeal we see today.

Brief history

Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, skateboarding was born out of the boredom of surfers when the waves were no good. They would remove the wheels from the roller skates and attach them to a piece of wood to create a skateboard.

By the 1960s, skateboarding’s popularity has grown with rise of surf culture. Contest were held all over and the first sponsored skateboarders were beginning to emerge. However, the popularity of skating in the 60’s dropped just as fast as it rose.

The 1970’s brought along one with the most important changes to the skateboarding world, the advent of the Urethane wheel, which allows skaters to ride faster are over rougher types of ground than ever before.

In 1976, a horrible drought in southern California forced most homeowners with backyard swimming pools to drain them, giving way to birthplace of pool skating. This was the first major shift in how people rode there skateboards. No longer were they limited to the abysmal, flat grounds of parking lots and sidewalks.

The 1980s were a time of Renaissance in skateboarding. People were constantly inventing new tricks, pros were earning unheard of amounts if money, and skateboarder-own companies were thriving.

The vert

The favourable terrain for most of this era was vert. And even though there was a high level of progression occurring, to the untrained eye, skateboarding had gone stale and the popularity once again fell flat.

This lull in skateboarding led to the introduction of street skating which brings us into the 1990s. Skating during the era was at its most raw. Skaters took to the streets, to find new terrain, abandoning traditional skaters parks for something that felt more natural and could be done anywhere, by anyone.

Popularity

Skating things that occur almost anywhere, like sets of stairs, handrails, benches, curbs, and just about anywhere four wheels can roll. From there, skateboarding has been a nonstop, uphill climb to what it is today.

At its core, skateboarding has traditionally been for the underdogs, the outcasts, the misfits, and in result has been thought of negatively by a large major of its existence. But now, with generation of young adults who grew up with skateboarding and the exposure at an all-time high, the future of skateboarding is looking bright.

Why India can’t have an Official Language

Our Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned about promoting one nation, one language in one of his tweets in 2019. He also added that it should not be done at the cost of other languages. Some of us might know that 14th September is celebrated as Hindi Diwas in our country. So why can’t we have Hindi as an official language?

Critics

After Amit Shah statement, critics said that if Hindi becomes the official language, then other languages like malayalam, tamil, telugu and more, will lost their importance. South Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also said “this one nation, one language will never be a reality” because it will never be easy to have a common language in India.

Also in the New Education Policy (NEP) draft in the year 2019, Hindi was asked to make mandatory in every state. This was also criticized by the South Indian governments and they refused to dilute the state’s two language formula. This resulted in changing the draft and not to have Hindi as an official language.

Steps taken

India is a big nation, so there should be a language that will represent India on world stage. Talking about Hindi, it is spoken in India, Fiji, Suriname, Mauritius, Trinidad, Tabogo and Guyana. So India is working actively to have Hindi recognised as an official language of the UN.

Advantage of having an official language

A Chinese research concluded that

  1. When we have an official language, it can even help to eliminating poverty. As China have experience in fight poverty so we can also learn the power of having an official language.
  2. China also mentioned that an official language also helps in having communicate without any language barrier.
  3. Official language also help to built unity among the citizens
  4. Also helps when people migrate from one city to another, as they can communicate in the same language.

Disadvantage of having an official language

According to the 2001 Census, 41% of India population are native speaker of Hindi dialect. But what about 59% of the population who are non – Hindi speakers? Politician Shashi Tharur said

India should not even try to add Hindi to the list of official language of UN because what if in future our PM is from South part of India and does not speak Hindi, then how will he give speech in Hindi on behalf of India.

But apart from all these we still agree that there should be an official language for a country to function.

As per as official language is concerned,

  1. English is also been promoted in India. Promoting English can result in heavy school fees, as we’ll have to teach the whole population to speak English.
  2. Enough English teacher will also be required and if not then it won’t be successfully become the official language.
  3. This will also result in neglecting the weaker section of the society who won’t be able to speak English and their career opportunity will get affected.

Eventually we need to figure out to take a right decision about official language and keeping in mind of the consequences that could possibly be in long terms situations.

Why do Insectivorous plants exist?

If you find insectivorous plants strange and fascinating then this blog is for you.

What are insectivorous plants?

Insectivorous plants are those plants that derive some nutrients by trapping and consuming animals, mainly insects.

Categories of being insectivorous

There are essential two things that a plant has to do to be considered insectivorous:-

  1. Ability to take nutrients from dead prey:- a plant should have the ability to trap the prey and absorb nutrients from it. Those prey is usually insects or small vertebrates like, salamanders. It is not enough for the plant just to have defenses that can kill an animal that’s trying to snack on it. It also has to get it’s animal’s nutrients.
  2. At least have one adaption:- the plant need to have one adaption that actively lures in, catches, or digests it’s prey.

Doing at least one of these things and absorbing the nutrients for it’s benefit make it a insectivorous plant.

Plant traps

Over millions of years and across hundreds of species, plants have developed five different types of traps, most of them are from different times. And traps can be passive, if prey just fall into them and can’t escape, or active, if plant actually moves to catch its prey.

  1. Pitcher plant:- pitfall traps are the standard and passive trap used by plants like pitcher plants. Prey lands on the plants slippery surface and slides down into a pool of digestive juices.
  2. Sundews:- these are flypaper traps in which the prey become stuck in a sticky substance that is produced by the plant leaves. These traps can be passive as well as active. Sundews have sticky moving tentacles that react to contract with prey.
  3. Venus fly trap:- these are snap traps which are active, using rapid modified leave
  4. Bladderworts: they have bladder-suction. This creates little negative pressure vacuum inside their traps, which, when triggered by prey, pop open and suck the victim inside before snapping close.
  5. Lobster-pot trap:- they passive traps that force prey to move towards the plant’s digestive organ by having little inward pointing hairs that keep prey from moving backward out of the trap.
Venus fly trap
Lobster-pot trap
Bladderworts
Sundew
Pitcher plant

All of these unrelated plants have not only developed the same kinds of traps but it looks like they have also developed that same molecular mechanism for digesting their prey.

Reason of existence

It goes back to idea of convergent evolution. All these different insectivorous plants are responding to similar environmental pressure:-

  1. Found in open sunny places that have moist but nutrients – poor – acidic soil. Many of them live in bogs and fens.
  2. In these kind of habitat where nitrogen and phosphorus is not present in the soil, the plant tend to developed two kinds of leaves one for normal photosynthesis and one that are modified onto their particular type of trap.
  3. This results them to invest more in modified leaves than normal photosynthesis leaves as they have to live in a place with enough sunlight as well as to trap preys

Insectivorous plants can stop paying carnivorous temporally once they’re put in nutrients rich soil and if they don’t get enough sunlight and water.

Insectivorous plants are pretty rare and they are only found in certain kinds of habitats, they are just less likely to fossilize than other kinds of plants that are more widespread.

Music can change you

These days we hear music all the time, it wakes us up, motivates our workouts, keeps us company on our commutes. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, it itself has the ability to affect our moods and our bodies in all sorts of ways. It can give us chills even can make us cry.

Effects on Brain

Music activates every area of the brain that scientists have mapped so far. In fact, there is no area of the brain that music doesn’t touching some ways.

25 years ago there was an idea which said that language is in left side of the brain and music is in right side of the brain but now with better quality tools, higher resolution, neuroimaging and better experimental methods, it is discovered that thats not at all right so how does it effects our brain?

When music enters and then gets shuttled off to different parts of the brain:-

  1. It stops at specialise processing units in auditory cortex, they track loudness, pitch, rhythm, etc.
  2. The visual cortex activates when you’re reading notes as a musician or watching music.
  3. Motor cortex activates when you move or dance or tap your feet, snap fingers, clapping your hands.
  4. The Cerebellum activates and immediate the emotional responses.
  5. The memory system in the Hippocampus will activate and will help you to recognise any familiar music or lines that you listen

Hence, music is going on in both halves of the brain, left and right, the front, back, the inside, and the outside.

How playing Instruments helps?

We can start learning to play instrument at any age. Picking up an instrument can provide some huge benefits for Intelligence, Physical well-being, Brain.

Playing an instrument requires:-

  • Auditory motor
  • Sensory
  • Visual system to work together

This inner system cooperation has some incredible outcomes that can affect many areas of life.

Different intensities of training produce different outcomes, even the most minimal practice can make a difference. Starting to play an instrument just one hour a week for few months can cause growth and increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, hearing, and motor. Researchers have found that this kind of activities can even increase IQ by 7 point or more.

Its also known that people who play musical instrument are better at other practical things too such as:-

  • Practical emotions
  • Learning new things/tasks
  • Creative problem solving

Musicians brain have better communication between left and right hemisphere which allows for more cooperation and out of the box thinking. Playing an instrument can also has benefits for brain and body.

  • boosting immune system function
  • Increase in resilience to hearing lose
  • Helps stroke patients regain motor skills

It’s been found that just listening to music can prompt the repair and regeneration of damage nerves in the brain.

Music is so much more than notes on a page, it can change the way we think, speak and feel. Music making and listen is really complex it’s not demystified till now it’s more mysterious than ever.

BLOGGING vs VLOGGING – Major Differences!

One of the hottest debates in the digital world is blogging vs vlogging, both blogging and vlogging can help businesses and individuals grow their brand and make money online. The good thing about the digital space is that anyone can start blogging or vlogging. The startup costs, so to speak, are minimal. However, you have to have a strategy in place to succeed, as there’s tons of competition.

As there is a rapid rise in online video content, vlogging is also becoming a good option to generate income. But is it better than blogging? Let’s learn in this detailed blogging vs vlogging comparison.

What is a Blog?

Originally called a weblog, Blogs can be standalone websites or part of another website. Blogs can feature other media, too, like pictures, videos, audio clips, in addition to text. Just how you read op-eds in the newspaper, blogs are spaces for people to express their opinion or share their knowledge. Blogs are often created and managed by individuals but are also popular on business websites. People who write blog posts are called bloggers. Blogs typically contain dynamic links to other online content and may also include interactive or community engagement components such as a comments section. Blogs started out primarily as text documents, but today’s far more sophisticated blogs often feature dynamic visuals and videos.

What is a Vlog?

A vlog, or video log, is the video equivalent of a blog. Like blogs, most vlogs target a niche audience that shares common interests and needs. While vlogs can and should be supported by text or metadata, the star of a vlog is the person or people talking on the video, everything that’s written in a blog presented in video format with vocals and visuals.

Interestingly, the term vlog came about the same time YouTube became popular, which is the early 2000s. It’s not surprising as YouTube basically gave rise to vlogging. Just like blogs, vlogs can be related to a business or an individual.

As for the video content, it can be anything. From scientific data to personal stories to tutorials, vlog encompasses anything and everything you could think of finding on the internet.

Key Differences between Blog and Vlog

The key differences between blogging and vlogging are the degree to which the content creator uses video as well as where the content is hosted. If you love talking to people and feel comfortable on camera—and don’t necessarily want to build a website—vlogging may be best for you. If you’re a person who excels at the written word and wants to create your own website, blogging may be right for you.

Many people are choosing to blog and vlog as they find that using both text-based and video-based content helps them reach the widest audience possible.

Popularity

The most important thing in blogging vs vlogging comparison is which niche is more popular? Where is the traffic?

Video content is now certainly more popular than textual format. Video is slated to comprise a whopping 82% of the entire internet traffic. This is why video has become an extremely important marketing medium for all digital platforms.

In terms of popularity, vlogs may have a bigger potential audience just because of the nature of the media. For instance, YouTube has two billion users who watch one billion hours of videos every day.

With all those stats, video content has more outreach than a blog. That said, in certain scenarios, a blog may perform better than a vlog. Again, it depends on the niche and the audience as to what media they prefer.

Also, blogs now also feature videos regularly for this very reason. The richer the media, the more audience you can cater to. Many bloggers also make vlogs and use them in their blog posts. Others use videos from other creators to optimize their blogs and give it a visual feel.

Monetization

Dollars stack close-up Stock Photo by ©svl861 21072415

Monetization isn’t that different for a blog or a vlog, but the level of monetization may vary. Most blogs and vlogs make money through advertisements. However, vlogs rely more on advertisements than blogs and perhaps make good money from it. You can also make money blogging by using affiliate links. You work with affiliate marketing programs, such as Amazon Associates Program, and earn commission every time someone purchases something with your affiliate link.

Vlogs can also employ affiliate links in their text descriptions, but it remains more popular for blogs.

Another method of monetization is sponsorship, which is more common for vlogs. You basically get a sponsor who pays you to mention their brand or product in the video to promote it.

A lot of vloggers make money through sponsorships, but that doesn’t kick in until you have a lot of subscribers or followers.

Audience

The evolution of Internet traffic - Maurizio NaldiMaurizio Naldi

The audience for both pretty much depends on the niche you’re pursuing. However, some demographics might be more inclined toward reading. Similarly, some people respond to visual data better.

For instance, if your audience is young, perhaps people under 20, vlogging may be a much more viable solution than blogging. Younger demographics usually prefer watching videos over reading articles.

Conclusion

There are pros and cons to both as we’ve covered in the differences. If there’s one thing that’s common for both blogs and vlogs is that both require a lot of hard work and give you some tough competition. However, you can easily stand out with original content that gives people what they are looking for.

Advantages of Speaking English – Reason Why?

There are more than 6,500 languages around the world spoken by billions of people. Why close yourself off from the rest of the world by only sticking with your native language? If you don’t know which language to start with, you can’t go wrong with English. Spoken in many countries across the globe, English allows you to communicate with a large number of people.

One of the most useful languages to learn is English. 1.5 billion people are speaking English today. Across the world, English is the default choice of countries and major industries. You might even be surprised some of the countries that become more accessible to you just for learning the language. The benefits of learning English are immense and vast.

Today, we’ll explore some of the fantastic benefits you could acquire from learning English. Some might even surprise you!

English makes travel easier

English is the most generally communicated in language from one side of the planet to the other. That’s a big advantage unless your goal in life is to remain within 40 kilometers of where you were born throughout your life.

English skills get more respect

It is weird but true. We in India give more respect to those who speak in English. I don’t know the reason and I don’t like this but that’s not important. Judge people on their inner worth, not the language they speak. But, till the time everyone begins doing it, learn English so that you are not judged unfairly.

Biggest movies and books are in English

Hollywood is the biggest movie industry. Almost all prominent books in the world are either written or translated into English. English language music is huge.

Why would you want to miss out on such a huge body of fun and mind expanding stuff?

English helps the world know our culture

This is important. The world today is not about forcing people, it’s about convincing them. It’s called soft power. With our 5,000 year old culture, why should we be defensive and behave like frogs in a well? Why not study the culture and present it in front of the world in the best possible way? Didn’t Vivekanand do that? Didn’t he do it in English? Isn’t he one of the brightest torch bearers of our glorious culture?

English skills are our national advantage

Yes, and that’s no exaggeration. One of the very few areas where India beats China is the number of English speaking people. Major advantage and we don’t want to surrender it to our friends from Shaolin.

English communication gives power & influence

Knowledge is in English, knowledge is power and you need power to fight for yourself. Most of the modern day knowledge and communication tools work in English:

  • Courts, law books, websites – most of them work in English.
  • Social media works in English.
  • Mainstream media has a majorly influential English segment.

If you don’t know the language, you are denying yourself more than half the weapons.

I was trying to learn English and I was very worried about my accent. I’m sure I’ll always have it but I remember Tom Hanks said to me, “Don’t lose the accent. If you do, you’re lost.”

Antonio Banderas

Being able to speak English as a second language is a very positive addition to a person’s skill set as many careers are opened up to people who know another language, in particular, English.

Brand communities

Brand communities

The Jurni

  • This is a London based newsletter.
  • I came across this amazing newsletter about travel, culture and inspiration from my best friend who was working as a campus ambassador for this brand.
  • It served exactly what I was interested into and that made me become a regular reader of the newsletter. And they had an impressive Instagram page as well (https://www.instagram.com/thejurnimedia/) which got me into the brand’s responsive community.
  • Soon I went ahead to become a campus ambassador myself and promoted the brand using my social media handles.
  • Now that I think I realize that it’s one of the best kind of brand promotion to reach out to people who are interested into the content of your brand, offer them a role in the community and then make them promote the brand by themselves using their personal social media handles. The Campus Ambassador program of The Jurni is an excellent way of creating community leaders and expanding the community to wider stretches.
  • I believe that the community could be even better if the acknowledge the efforts of all campus ambassadors and other employees of the company on a larger scale maybe by featuring the best few over the brand’s social media handles. That would surely pump up everyone to give their best.

How to Make Money Blogging

. Online Courses and Workshops

Here at Smart Blogger, we make most of our income from online courses and workshops — over $1 million per year — but we are far from the only successful blog doing this. Most of the people making a lot of money from their blogs are doing it online

Books and Ebooks

Quite a few writers have parlayed their blogging success into a major publishing deal. Mark Manson, for instance, published a in 2015. Millions of readers later, he got a book deal with Harper Collins and went on to sell over 3,000,000 copies in the US alone.

Affiliate Marketing

If you’d like to create some passive income streams from your blog, one of the best choices is affiliate marketing — recommending the services, digital products, and physical products of other companies in exchange for a commission.

Advertising

Normally, we’re not big fans of selling ads on your site. You need roughly a million visitors per year for the large ad networks to take you seriously, and affiliate marketing is almost always more profitable and just as passive.

That being said, some niches like recipes, fashion, and news are hard to monetize through many of the other methods mentioned here, and they get LOTS of page views. In that case, putting a few ads on your site can make sense as a supplementary income source.

Speaking

There are many reasons to start a blog for personal use and only a handful of strong ones for business blogging. Blogging for business, projects, or anything else that might bring you money has a very straightforward purpose – to rank your website higher in Google SERPs, a.k.a. increase your visibility.

As a business, you rely on consumers to keep buying your products and services. As a new business, you rely on blogging to help you get to potential consumers and grab their attention. Without blogging, your website would remain invisible, whereas running a blog makes you searchable and competitive.

There are many reasons to start a blog for personal use and only a handful of strong ones for business blogging. Blogging for business, projects, or anything else that might bring you money has a very straightforward purpose – to rank your website higher in Google SERPs, a.k.a. increase your visibility.

As a business, you rely on consumers to keep buying your products and services. As a new business, you rely on blogging to help you get to potential consumers and grab their attention. Without blogging, your website would remain invisible, whereas running a blog makes you searchable and competitive.

Blogs and websites

Many people still wonder if there is any difference between a blog and a website. What is a blog and what is a website? It’s even more challenging to differentiate between the two today. Many companies are integrating blogs into their websites as well, which further confuses the two.

Landing Your Dream Job

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Did you recognize that an individual referred for employment is 15 times more likely to urge a job? Job boards have just a 0.4 percent effectiveness rate, consistent with a recent Jobvite study, while the speed for somebody who comes within the door via an employee referral is over 5 percent. the simplest job search is that the job search that you simply don’t get to do. while some job seekers seem clued into that fact — almost 35 percent applied to their most up-to-date position through a referral — the bulk haven’t. So, how does one get that referral then sell yourself on the following application? Allow us to see how-

  1. Be prepared before diving into the work search- Although leaving your current job hasn’t crossed your mind, you ought to always have two things ready and up so far — your resume and LinkedIn profile. That’s where employers are getting to search for you. And if the thought of a replacement opportunity has crossed your mind? Before you start applying, know this: In cover letters, most of the people tend to speak about what they need rather than how they will help a corporation reach its goals. Many think the latter is implied, but it’s not — and you’ve needed to draw that very specific line. It’s your responsibility to match those description keywords and show how you line up with the role. There’s a difference between ‘I can contribute to your success in XYZ ways’ versus ‘I’m an excellent candidate, check out me’. The key here is to seem at the success marker for the work then be very specific about how what you’ve done can help replicate that sort of success. Use concrete numbers wherever possible.
  2. Start connecting- As you begin brooding about making a move, prepare a shortlist of companies (maybe three to five) you’d wish to work for and do extensive research on them. you would like to be as certain as possible that the corporate you would possibly jump to will cause you to happier than the one you’re leaving, and it’s hard to understand that until you hear from people that currently work there. Try reaching bent people that work on your shortlisted companies that you simply have something in common with — an equivalent school, major, interests, hometown, or LinkedIn group. Invite a number of them to coffee — your treat if possible — to ask them about what it wishes to work there. People generally will want to assist if it doesn’t cost them much.
  3. Think “relationship” or “networking”- If you’re making a habit to nurture your network along the way, then you won’t be seen as checking out employment. You’ll just be within the right place when an opportunity opens its door. The thought of networking can indeed make some people feel drained or maybe fake. But if that’s the case, you would possibly be doing it wrong. Networking isn’t about you. It’s about the person you’re lecture. Take an interest within the other person by asking about their interests, goals, challenges, and where they’d wish to enter their career. See if you’ll help them. Another key: Do more listening than talking. The irony is that opportunities tend to return faster when people specialize in fostering a real connection. Another pro tip: attempt to avoid getting impatient and feeling the urge to maneuver on if someone isn’t directly tied to the career path you see for yourself. Usually, the one that can assist you is 2 to 3 degrees of separation away, for instance, that person won’t be in your chosen field, but their relative, sister or friend might be. Something else to stay in mind when you’re relationship-building? It’s an ongoing effort. It could assist you to unearth hidden jobs or create custom opportunities for yourself.

Fitness Myths

The explosion of wellness as a mainstream trend has affected some positive change: healthier options at major restaurants, an influx of boutique fitness studios, and a renewed interest in self- care among them. But the invigorated interest in our health has also opened the floodgates for information – particularly around diet and fitness – that isn’t always the foremost reliable. There is so much information floating around about exercise, that it’s sometimes hard to discern fact from myth. And unfortunately for several folks, hearing is believing. Here are some common myths regarding fitness which are commonly believed and followed.

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1. Stretch before you workout- We all must have heard this one and believed it without even questioning it. The importance of a pre-workout stretch is that the favorite most-believed myth, with nearly 3 in 5 believers. Studies have shown that the main advantage of stretching is maintaining or increasing range of motion through a joint. What about injury prevention and improved performance? Stretching has historically been prescribed for tight muscles as a way to get the body to relax but recently the fitness industry has discovered that stretching a ‘cold’ body could have negative impacts. But that doesn’t mean jumping right into your workout is the better option; instead, keep the pre-workout warm-up but change what it consists of. A proper workout schedule should be a cardiovascular exercise to warm the body up and get the blood flowing for about 5 to 15 minutes, followed by a sequence of dynamic exercises.

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2. Lifting weights will pump up your body- For a long time weight lifting was put in the spotlight by bodybuilders, strongmen, and professional athletes determined to be the biggest and worst on the block. It bred the longstanding misnomer that you lift heavy weights minimal times for size and strength and you lift little weight a lot of times to lose weight/lean out … not true. At all. It’s important to dispel this myth because strength training is a vital component of any fitness routine. Lifting weights regularly (and appropriately) will: improve your heart health, keep your tendons/joints/ligaments lubricated and feeling good, boost your metabolism, correct your posture, regulate your hormones and make you stronger. t does all this because lifting weights taps into all of your body’s energy/movement systems while challenging it in a way that forces the response of all that was previously mentioned. What lifting weights won’t do is give you unwanted bulkiness unless you are specifically training for that.

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3. Muscles turn into fat if you stop working out- This is a popular myth in part because of an optical illusion. If I transition from a lively lifestyle of building mass to whatever an alternate lifestyle seems like, there’s a chance. The muscles get smaller and therefore the body fat will probably rise counting on the diet. This leads most people to believe that their muscle is turning into fat. The real story is that muscle and fat are two different tissue systems with different functions. Muscle tissue is what gives you mass and what is constantly burning calories. The fat tissue is what gives you the ‘gut’ and is where excess energy is stored. Although energy is shared between the 2 systems, muscle and fat don’t convert to at least one another. They simply move up and down on a spectrum independently and in most cases simultaneously. The confusion for people probably come therein once they are inactive, their muscle size and productivity decreases. This results in less of a demand for ‘fuel’ or energy from food consumption. When your body has excess fuel from unused food its default is to convert it into long term storage, aka ‘fat.’ When you have an increased demand for storage your fat cells expand or grow larger and in some instances, new ones are created.

Addressing Mental Health

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Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. Trying to tell the difference between expected behavior and signs of mental illness isn’t always easy, there is not a simple standard test to diagnose someone with a mental health issue. Having a gene with links to a mental health disorder, such as depression or schizophrenia, does not guarantee that a condition will develop. Likewise, people without related genes or a family history of mental illness can still have mental health issues.

Mental health conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety may develop due to underlying, life-changing physical health problems, such as cancer, diabetes, and chronic pain. Each issue related to mental health has different symptoms but the common signs of disturbed mental health in adults and teenagers can be excessive worrying or fear, confused thought or problems concentrating and learning, extreme mood changes, avoiding friends and social activities, strong feelings of irritability and anger, difficulty in relating to people, change in sleep schedules or feeling tired all the time, change in eating habits, delusions or hallucinations, overuse of alcohol or drugs, suicidal tendencies, inability to carry out daily activities, and changes in personality.

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Everyone has some risk of developing a mental health disorder, no matter their age, sex, income, or ethnicity. Young children can develop mental health conditions but their behavior and symptoms are mostly ignored. The most important thing is not to be afraid of reaching out to someone for help, acceptance is the first and most important step towards your mental health. Talk to people you trust.

Acknowledging the warning signs can help, getting an accurate diagnosis helps and for that seeking professional help is a good plan, to begin with. After a proper diagnosis, a psychiatrist can help develop a treatment plan which could be medication or therapy. Getting a proper diagnosis is just a first step, working on your goals is very important. Treatment varies from diagnosis and by the person, there is no fixed treatment of the same diagnosis, for some medication can help while for some counseling or therapy or social support can work.

Easy Ways To Live More Sustainably

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How beautiful is our planet earth, refreshing and clear lakes, gorgeous sunsets, glorious mountains, and that’s the reason why we love it so much but what if this beautiful nature starts asking for something in return, something as simple as using less water, would we still claim to love it? It is not news that factors like climate change and pollution are a threat to our planet, it been decades that scientists and activists are begging people to be considerate towards our unsustainable lifestyles which are hurting the planet. But our habits and convenience are not letting us change and we chose to ignore the dire warnings, continuing our usage of plastic and burning fuel like there is no tomorrow, which at this rate might be true. While the changes are not just needed for an individual but a policy and behavior changes of companies is also essential in saving the planet and being more sustainable. There was a study conducted in 2017, which stated that 71% of the global emissions were generated by just 100 companies. But as charity begins at home, change also begins from an individual, so here are some extremely simple ways in which we can move to a sustainable lifestyle, help the planet and be the change we want to see in this world.

1. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth – It is a habit of most people that they leave the tap running while brushing their teeth, leaving a tap open can waste eight gallons of water per day which is a ridiculous amount considering that the precious water is going to waste. It can be hard breaking a habit which you have been carrying all your life but there is no reason in continuing such a habit knowing the amount of clean water going to waste like that. Water may be a renewable resource but we just have a limited amount of clean, fresh, and unpolluted water, which is not available everywhere, and hence saving even a drop is important. With groundwater being polluted and lack of clean water, we rely on water from rainfall which is also decreased due to climate change. If the situation continues like this by 2030 half of the world population would face a major water crisis. And if you need a monetary motivation, saving water can reduce your water bill too.

2. Use Public Transportation- We always complain and crib about public transports and avoid them at any chance we get. But the truth being told embracing buses, metros, and trains is one of the best things we can do to save our planet since transport is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases around the world. Using public transport and avoiding your car is the most beneficial way to curb climate change. An average car emits around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, so living car-free has the highest potential of mitigating a person’s carbon emissions. If you don’t have a choice but to drive, try using carpooling if the travel is unavoidable, it not only decreases the carbon but also saves you money.

3. Stop Buying Packaged Water- People prefer buying single-use plastic bottles of water every time they go out and then throw that plastic away which may never decompose, instead make it a habit of filling up a water bottle from home and carry it whenever you go out, it may take a tiny effort but it can delay the inevitable end of the planet. Almost all the plastic produced to date still exist in the environment and is likely to stay forever as it takes over 500 years for plastic to decompose into smaller particles.

There is no doubt that these suggestions cannot be feasible for everyone, like one won’t take pubic transport if the time of travel becomes three-times but this does not mean we should not try changing and embrace it, trying is the least we can do. If we wish to make the biggest impact on the climate for the least amount of effort, the best place to start is by making small changes individually and then taking it up to our communities, schools, colleges, and workplaces.

Lockdowns And Decreased Seismic Noise

Scientists from the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels recently shared an observation that after lockdowns were imposed by governments all over the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a remarkable decline in human-linked vibrations within the crust of the Earth. And the scientists in Brussels, with the help of other scientists around the world, have published a new study in the journal “SCIENCE“, which shows how the ‘Seismic Noise’ has reduced, allowing them to observe and record previously concealed earthquakes better.

Courtesy- Stephen Hicks @seismo_steve

Measured using seismometers, seismic waves are the vibrations traveling within the Earth that could be set off by earthquakes or volcanoes. The waves could be subject to the disturbance caused due to human activities or naturally. In the study, it is found that the reduced human activity led to an average drop of around 50% human-caused seismic noise, which was recorded between March 2020 to May 2020. The drops in the seismic noise, especially in the urban areas, are unprecedented and are observed to be more than what is considered usual quiet periods like weekends, holidays, or during the night.

The scientists have termed this time of global anthropogenic or human-based seismic noise deduction as ‘Anthropause’. This anthropause can help the scientists get a more accurate measure of the seismic waves and to differentiate between human and natural seismic noise clearly.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Thomas Lecocq from the Royal Observatory of Belgium explains, “With increasing urbanization and growing global populations, more people will be living in geologically hazardous areas. It will, therefore, become more important than ever to differentiate between natural and human-caused noise so that we can ‘listen in’ and better monitor the ground movements beneath our feet.”

The scientists and researchers are hoping to move forward with their study of seismic lockdown and the previously hidden indications of earthquakes and volcanoes would be easier to be recognized and there will be a better understanding of the natural seismic waves.

Hate Binge And Chill

Over the last weekend, all I can notice on social media was Netflix’s latest docu-reality series, which was trending on number #2 “Indian Matchmaking”. People on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook were criticizing the show and the memes were being circulated, I am no fan reality shows but I was just curious to know what the fuzz is all about.

The show begins with a woman (Akshay’s mom) listing all the qualities, to a Mumbai based matchmaker- Sima Taparia, that she is looking for in her future daughter-in-law, and trust me when I say this that 10 minutes into the show and I am already hating it but I still watched 2 episodes in the same sitting. “I shouldn’t be watching this shit,” I say to myself but somehow, I finished all eight episodes of the show in a matter of hours within a day. The show is downright cringe-worthy. Sima Taparia, the narrator makes pretty nasty and mean comments, especially about girls who are ambitious, independent, and looking for a partner that would treat her as an equal. Such girls for Sima Aunty are stubborn, not-flexible, demanding, and difficult to find a match for; while on the other hand if a boy demands those qualities then it is normal. So much for the double standards. The show without doubts contains all the elements of a binge-worthy reality show- A man-child, who wants a wife like his mother, nosy mother, who blackmails by pointing to her high blood pressure the boy into marrying, a most probably closeted guy, an ambitious, career-oriented woman, a face reader, astrologers, life-coach, and US-based scenes. It is worth all the hate and I too watched it under the hate spell.

It happens to a lot of us that we get glued to television for such shows that we hate, those shows don’t make any sense, we make fun of them, get offended by them but we still binge them. But why does that happen? Why can’t we stop watching something that we do not like? According to psychology and communications experts, love and hate are 2 strong emotions and once our emotions are unleashed, whether it’s because we’re very attracted to something or very repelled by something if we feel strongly enough about it, we want to know more, we grow curious about it.

The same happened with Indian Matchmaking, I was annoyed by Sima Taparia and other problematic characters and it unleashed my emotions. I was furious when Sima Taparia said, “Indians don’t like lawyers as a daughter-in-law”, words like “flexible”, “compromise”, “tall”, “well-settled” were thrown around and I was screaming, “Why even bother getting married then?” at my TV screen when Sima Taparia said, “In India, marriages are breaking like biscuits” and thus her job is getting tougher. But with every episode I felt that I do want to know what is going to happen next in their lives, I might miss something and everyone is already talking about it. When there are no good options about what to do, we tend to do this like binge-watching a show that you dislike because you have developed an interest as it is more interesting than doing nothing.

When we start a show that we begin to hate, we think that we have wasted our time by start watching it in the first place and to compensate the lost time and effort we keep going on in a hope that we will get at least something out of it in the end. And eventually what happens is you dislike it more and more, you waste more and more money, and things generally just get worse.

But how do we stop this hate-binge? Well, psychologists suggest that turning off the auto-play is a good start, if you don’t like something in the first two episodes stop watching it then and there and if you feel peer pressure by the Social Media into watching the entire series because everyone else has, try to start a new series and then go back to the one you hated. I honestly would love to try this technique out because hate-binge just makes you feel guilty and nothing good comes out of that.

10,000 Digits Of Pi

More often people complain about having a terrible memory, things like birthdays, anniversaries, grocery lists, etc. tend to slip off their minds. One might imagine memory like something set in stone but it is not the case, with the right technique you can train your brain to remember almost anything you want. A four-time USA Memory Champion, Nelson Dellis, who has memorized 10,000 digits of pi, the lists of hundreds of names after only one hearing, and the order of more than nine shuffled cards, says that anyone can improve their memory with a little dedication. Here are five steps that can help in training your brain to remember things.

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  1. Start With Strong Images- Dellis suggests that to memorize anything, start turning it into an image. Let u take seven wonders of the world, for example, for the Great Wall of China you might just want to imagine a wall or for Petra of Jordan, you can just go for an image of your pet. Images that are weird or gross or emotional tend to stay in the brain for a longer time. When looking at the brain, researchers found that the amygdala—a part of the brain that is important for processing emotion—encourages other parts of the brain to store memories. That’s why strong emotions make it more likely that memories will stay.
  2. Put Those Images in a Location- Next, you have to locate those mental images in a setting that is familiar with you. Using Dellis’ example, he locates the seven wonders of the world on a route through his house, starting with a wall in his entryway, then Christ—representing Christ the Redeemer— lounging around on his sofa. He also mentions that the weirder the location, the better are the chances of staying in the memory. Linking images to a place are called the memory palace, which capitalizes on your existing memory of a real place. It is usually a place you are familiar with, which can be your house or workplace which you know very well. Neuro-imaging research has shown increased activity in the occipito-parietal area of the brain when learning memories using a memory palace. This technique helps the brain to bring in parts that are dedicated to other sense-the parietal lobe is responsible for navigation, and the occipital lobe is related to seeing images.
  3. Pay Attention- Memorizing seven wonders of the World is not as hard as memorizing 10,000 digits of pi or 100 names in one hearing, and doing that needs more motivation and more attention. According to Dellis, he motivates himself with the mantra “I want to memorize this”, it may be simple but this mantra helps him focus on the task by concentrating his attention on the task in hand and it helps him remember better.
  4. Break Things Up- For a long sequence of cards or a large number, it is a good technique to break things up into smaller sequences. Dellis says that it is easy to remember words as you can associate words easily with images but numbers or names or cards can be tricky, and for that, he has a technique that whenever we see a name or a number or a card, we already have an image preset for it.
  5. Finish Up by Reviewing– After getting the images and their location sorted in the memory, all we have to do is make sure that it stays in the brain. Most of the memories don’t even get to the long-term memory part of the brain and that is why it is important to repeat the information, again and again, to turn short-term memory into the long term. There is no shortcut for that, all you have to do is practice and persistence.

Training the brain is not as easy as it sounds or seems, it takes a lot of efforts, repetiton, hard work and training on a daily basis. Train hard, work hard, practice hard, then it can become instinctive, says the memory champion.

Work From Home Effect

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“Work from home” is a phrase that has always been in our lives but it hit unprecedented levels of popularity in 2020. With the start of the spread of the COVID pandemic in March, thousands of employees across India begin working from home and everyone thought it would be a short-term thing and things will go back to normal soon. But it is almost the end of July and “WFH” has become the new normal. IT companies have been directed by the government now to extend work from home until December. The apex court in Switzerland ruled that the employees’ house rent should also be contributed by the company.


There are a lot of start-ups that are planning a permanent WFH set up for their employees. With the pandemic showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, WFH may well be the only hopes of saving our economy. Research conducted revealed that people working from home were working on sofas, dining tables, and beds which are not suitable for long working hours on laptops. The demand for office furniture has been on a rise since the lock-down and after the deliveries were opened there was a jump in sales of office furniture. The employees are thus demanding a work-from-home allowance from their companies.


Responding to the demands, companies are offering allowances to their employees to help them buy things necessary for a WFH setup, such as furniture and Internet connection. The employees are also demanding food allowance, a fixed amount per day so that the employees can order food as working from home adds the responsibility of the home, especially for those who live by themselves and have to prepare their meals which would otherwise be made available at the office cafeteria. The companies are even planning to offer allowances for increased Internet and electricity bills. While OYO, Zomato are few companies planning on permanent work from home, Google has already set aside $1000 (75,000 Rs for India) for each employee as WFH allowance as it has declared working from home until the end of this year. Companies have been sending office furniture and laptops to help out their employees and also ensuring proper Internet connections for them.


Companies believe that a comfortable work environment at home is the primary need and it should be ensured for better work results. Everyone might not have a good Internet connection at home or a comfortable work desk, so it is the responsibility of the company to make sure the employees are provided with every possible equipment they need to get better results. They are thus being provided with a “No-questions-asked” allowance to set up a home office to make the lives of the employees much easier and provide them better work conditions.


The fantasy gaming company, Dream11 has even planned on delivering goodies to their employees to cheer them up while they work from home. Bengaluru based, Razorpay has partnered with Rentlite, to help provide office furniture to their employees on corporate discounts and are encouraging their employees to work digitally. Start-up company Spring Works shipped Office furniture, electronic accessories like keyboard, monitor, to employees who are in Bengaluru, and a one-time Rs. 10,000 per person reimbursement.

5 Books To Read Before You Die

Losing yourself in a great book, is one of the most endearing and satisfying joys. Every book has a different style, different attitude, different perspective but every book teaches and leaves you with a different feeling. It is hard to choose a favorite but let’s talk about 5 books that you must read.

  1. To Kill A Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee- A novel before its time, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-prize winner addresses issues of race, inequality and segregation with both levity and compassion. While To Kill a Mockingbird could be a favorite book of just about everyone who has read it, it is important to recollect that it continues to be subversive and challenging to the establishment. The story revolves around the cute, lovable kids, Scout and Jem, and undoubtedly one of the most loved character in literature, Atticus Finch. Most of the characters within the book are marginalized by the facility structure of their town — a structure that also exists nearly everywhere — where wealthy white men control the lives of everyone else, and even the members of that group who want to use their status for something honorable, cannot win against the flattening wave of power.

2. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak– Set in Germany during 1939, The Book Thief follows a young girl, Liesel, growing up in Germany amidst World War II. Liesel is living with foster parents, Hans and Rosa. Throughout the story, Liesel steals many books. At first, she doesn’t even know how to read, but she knows that the book is important. Hans notices and teaches her how to make sense of the letters, as she rescues books from the tyranny of Nazi rule. Meanwhile, her family has hidden a Jewish fighter in their basement and death looks down on the family, narrating our tale. Experience bravery that is rarely found in the world, and friendship that is formed in the most unlikely of situations.

3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger- It only takes one sentence, written in the first person, for Salinger’s Holden Caulfield to announce himself in all his teenage nihilism, sneering at you for wanting to know his biographical details “and all that David Copperfield kind of crap”. The Catcher in the Rye is the quintessential novel of the adolescent experience, captured in deathless prose. 

4. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy-Roy won the 1997 Booker Prize with her debut novel, a powerful inter-generational tale of love that crosses caste lines in southern India, and the appalling consequences for those who break the taboos dictating “who should be loved, and how. And how much.” Sex, death, religion, the ambivalent pull of motherhood: it’s all there in this beautiful and haunting book. 

5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood– Atwood’s classic dystopian novel of a terrifying (and terrifyingly plausible) future America has rewarded rereading like no other book; I’ve probably read it 30 times by now. the globe of the narrator, Offred (from “Of Fred” — women not have their names), is chilling, but she could be a magnificent survivor and chronicler, and also the details of everything from a mundane way of life to ritualized sex and violence to her reminiscences of the time before (our contemporary reality, as seen within the ’80s) are realistic. The novel is as relevant today as ever; feminist backlashes still wax and wane, but women’s rights remain within the spotlight. And despite its scenarios of great despair, The Handmaid’s Tale is ultimately a hopeful book — Offred, and others, simply can’t be human without the chance of hope, and therein lies the strength of the resistance. All of Atwood is worth reading, but this book best exemplifies the cultural and psychological impact that a piece of fiction can create.

Indian Education System

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India produces more engineers than the total population of Switzerland, even after that Switzerland is number one when it comes to research and innovation. Since our independence, India has not produced a Nobel laureate in science, whereas the USA has produced a hundred plus. According to the National Employability Report of 2019, 80% of the engineers in India are unemployable. And if we want to look for the root cause of this problem then we have to go back to the time Britishers were ruling us and The East India Company was facing 2 major challenges- 1. Communication with Indians. 2. They needed more workers; then Thomas Babington Macaulay gave us the “English Education Act of 1835”. It fulfilled both their purposes- of finding people who would sit behind desks and work for them without asking questions, and the other was communication in English. English is not a widely spoken language, even then it has become an attribute that defines your education. Russia, China, France, and many other countries are not as obsessed with English as we are. In India, a person is said to have “Poor Communication Skills” if his/her English is not good.
Even a 2-3 years old iOS is considered outdated but a system which is as important as our education system is almost 185 years old, with just minor changes here and there. Our education system is a rat race, churning out robots who are proficient only in mugging up. A simple example of the incompetence of the system is that even after scoring 95 out of 100 in a Sanskrit exam a person is unable to speak the language. Instead of having a precise basic history syllabus, the students are made to learn a wide syllabus which is mostly just mugging up date(that could easily be looked up on the Internet now). Every class has English as a compulsory subject, but even after being taught English for 12 years most of the people are not able to speak the language properly, even a 5-year-old kid learns his/her mother tongue without cramming books. The techniques used in kindergarten to teach kids is better than the “fill out the sheets” technique to score marks taught in colleges. Everyone is taught the same subjects, the same syllabus regardless of the person’s capabilities, caliber, or creativity. Even Dronacharya taught his pupils according to their capabilities and specialties he did not force everyone to learn the same thing.
We do not have many options, to begin with. We have Science stream on top, then comes Commerce and then comes the least dignified stream Humanities or Arts. Every parent wants their child to be either a doctor or an engineer. Your training begins early, you are taught from an early age that marks matter the most if you don’t get good marks you won’t get a good job and you’ll end up being a failure. Just think about the person whom you admire and who’s success story inspires you, be it anyone I am sure that they succeeded because they didn’t get trapped into this education system. If you ask the CEO of any company to appear for an interview in all the departments of his firm, there is no chance that he would succeed in all of them and there is a high chance that he won’t be qualified educationally enough to even appear for half of the posts.
We spend 25% of our lives getting educated to work for someone who is most probably less educationally qualified than them. If the education system of India is so good then why do the kids of elites, politicians, actors, etc. go abroad to complete their education? Graduates and post-graduates are preparing for 5-6 years just to get a government job, just because a government job provides security. We look for a job with security because we don’t have confidence in our skills that we are capable of landing a job where we will stay purely based on our skills and creativity.

With the rapid growth in technology, I believe that we will reach a point, within not more than 5 years, where technology will make what we teach in schools irrelevant. Jobs in Digital Marketing, SEO, Cloud Computing, etc. didn’t even exist a few years back. We need to be open towards change, towards learning new things, towards being creative.

Be Civilized

Anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about clay pots, tools for hunting, grinding-stones, or religious artifacts, but Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a 15,000 years old fractured femur found in an archaeological site. Femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed.  In societies without the benefits of modern medicine, it takes about six weeks of rest for a fractured femur to heal. This particular bone had been broken and had healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. Broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts. We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.

Sometimes I’m wondering if we’ve lost the primary sign of true civilization. When I hear the angry rhetoric and therefore the arrogant talk about a number of our chat show pundits and political candidates, I’m wondering what has become of compassion. When I happen to catch a flash of a vicious voice like Ann Coulter (I can only take a few minutes) I’m wondering what has become of civilization. When I hear even Christians talk in such bitter tones about immigrants and minorities, anybody who is “different”, I’m wondering if they need ever read the Gospels and if they care about the values of the Kingdom of God. I know it is an extreme voice, but I even heard a web preacher say he thought we should always take the Bible literally and stone homosexuals. God have mercy! If Margaret Meade is correct that the primary sign of true civilization is compassion, I’m wondering just how civilized we are.
Of course, there was an enormous outpouring of well-deserved compassion and bonafide outrage over the death of Cecil the Lion, but what about the death of innocent children caught amid war, or homeless families in our uncivilized urban centers? The Old Testament all for welcoming the alien and therefore the stranger and the first ministry of the first church was to worry for the widows and orphans. Compassion isn’t just the primary sign of civilization, it’s central to what it means to be a lover of Christ. St. Paul draws a sharp contrast between the “works of the flesh” which include strife, anger, quarrels, factions, envy” (…sounds like our current political climate) and the “fruits of the spirit” which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal. 5:19-23).


And so…I check my own heart and spirit. Even when handling people I afflict, am I able to commit to measuring by the primary sign of civilization, to measure with compassion?

Credit Where It Is Due

Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell. Who invented the computer? Charles Babbage. Who invented the automobile? Karl Benz. Who invented the airplane? The Wright Brothers. We all were taught in school about the great inventors and scientists who created history by creating something extraordinary, but as history has appreciated some of the remarkable people it has not been so kind to the women inventors and there were times when the credit of something remarkable was passed on to a man, stealing away not only the credit but also a chance to be recognized and be remembered always. Let us take a look at such incredible women who’s inventions were credited to their male counterparts.

Rosalind Franklin- In 1958, James D. Watson and Francis H.C Crick received a Nobel prize for their groundbreaking discovery o the double Helix, which changed our point of view of the human DNA, but little do we know that it was Rosalind Franklin who actually discovered the double Helix but died 4 years prior of cancer with no recognition whatsoever.

Lise Meitner- In 1944, Otto Hann won a prize in Chemistry from the Royal Swedish Academy for his discovery of nuclear fission. This discovery would later contribute to the making of the atomic bombs. The woman that he worked in this dangerous research was Lise Meitner, who never received credit for her work.

Hedy Lamarr- Hedy Lamarr was an American-Australian actress and a fashion icon, but she was also the brilliant mind who took part in the invention of the radio guidance system- the system that enables the WiFi and Bluetooth that we use every day. What’s tragic is that while she was presenting her invention to the Navy with her partner, George Antheil, the Navy just pretended to not be interested in it and then stole it later on. Unfortunately, she received her due to recognition in her 80s.

Margaret Knight- In 1868, a woman who was working at a paper bag factory, invented the machine that sealed and folded the paper bag on its own, saving millions of dollars in the workplace. It may sound nothing but back in 1868, it was a revolutionary idea. But there was a machinist who asked to see her machine and he went and tried to patent it in his name behind her back. Fortunately, she fought him and because there were several eyewitnesses, she managed to win the case and received her credit.

How To Survive 2020

COVID-19 has infected millions of people. The economy is in the worst shape it has been in over a decade. Forest fires, job losses, murder hornet, locusts, 2020 has been difficult, strange and a traumatic year. And as the cherry on top, many of us have to stay at our homes or practice social distancing. If you’ve been witnessing or suffering through any of these events, you may be looking for answers on how to get through them.

With 2020 being such an abnormal year, there is a good chance it is taking a toll on your physical, financial and mental health. Here, what could be practiced to stay informed and survive 2020-

  1. Address Your Health- During 2020, you’re probably not going going outside often and spending time with your family and friend is more rare than ever. It is natural for these conditions to take a toll on your mental health. To help with all this, find ways to cope with how you are feeling. It is always important to talk to people you love through voice or video calls or texts, do your best to workout at home, and take your time out of the day to do things you love. And also, stay away from social media if all the negative news becomes too much for you.
  2. Organize Your Finances- If you have lost, or at risk of losing your job, it is good idea to minimize your spending. You can do this by breaking up your spending into essential and non-essential purchases. This will help you figure out your survival number, which is the lowest amount of money you need to survive. Look at other types of spending you can cut out, like your gym membership as your gym may not be open during the pandemic.
  3. Learning a New Skill- There is a good chance that you have a lot of time in your hands now and what better way to use it than utilizing it in learning something new? You can take an online coding course or even learn to knit. Learning something new and staying productive is hugely helpful to your mental health. You can also create a side hustle from it, allowing you to earn money, and if can not earn money from it, you can learn a new skill that saves you money like growing your own food or being able to fix appliances.
  4. Pay Attention- Even though what’s going o in the world can be extremely negative, it is important to stay informed. Use multiple, reliable news sources to educate yourself about what is going on. It can help relive some anxiety when you are more informed. That being said, don’t get overwhelmed by the news. Looking at COVID-19 stats or civil unrest all day can become exhausting, limit yourself to checking news just once in a day, and leave it to that.
  5. Reach Out- Remember that this year has been hard on all of us, and everyone is struggling in some way or another. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you are having a hard time, and remember to check-in on your loved ones to see how they are coping with this crazy year. We are all in this together, stand up for what is right. Support local businesses and donate to charity or your favorite causes if you can. Once, this is all over we’ll finally come back to normal. And hopefully, the new normal will be a better world than ever.

Conspiracy Theories & Chill

Let’s get illuminaughty

False Flag Theorists

False flag theorists see darker forces behind whatever sinister world events are taking place. They believe events such as gun massacres and terror attacks are staged to make it appear as if some other group designed and carried out the event – in effect planting a false flag at the scene. The “false flag” concept can be virtually applied to just about any world event – the 9/11 attacks, so some believe, weren’t carried out by al-Qaeda but the Bush administration as an excuse for war in the Middle East.

Bilderberg Group

The Bilderberg group is an annual meeting of ‘elite intellectuals’ from across the world to discuss — well, no-one really knows. No minutes are published of the meetings, which take place behind closed doors amid tight security. The group has been accused of everything from plotting the rise and fall of world leaders to trying to form a New World Order, made up of the top figures in banks, corporations and countries.

The Mandela Effect

It is a phenomenon where a group of people collectively misremember a fact or an event. The term was coined by the paranormal enthusiast Fiona Broome. She along with many other people, remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s rather than from illness in 2013. Some of them even claim they remember his funeral being broadcasted on TV, like do you remember the Monopoly Man wearing a monocle? You’re not the only one. However, if you look at him carefully, you’ll realize he’s not wearing a monocle. He never has. While the famous Snow White quote you’ve probably heard others say and repeated yourself is “Mirror, mirror on the wall,” it turns out the correct line is “Magic mirror on the wall” Some people also remember the second part of that quote being “Who is the fairest of them all?” but apparently it’s “Who is the fairest one of all?

Britney Spears Was an Instrument of the Bush Administration

What if Britney Spears’s public meltdown, a series of bizarre events and public outburst— the head shaving incident which ultimately resulted in her receiving a conservatorship and losing custody of her children to ex-hubby Kevin Federline— wasn’t the result of her own personal issues? There are theories that say Britney was being paid by the Bush administration to grab headlines away from the corrupt and incompetent White House. 

BONUS

 The Illuminati is real, lizard people are also real, and the Earth is hollow with a colony of people living inside the middle, just kidding (maybe). But there are way crazier, way more coherent truths out there waiting to be seen.

So for all you conspiracy theory lovers, here are some shows and documentaries you would want to watch-  

  • WORMWOOD
  • THE TRAFFICERS
  • UNDERWORLD, INC.
  • DIRTY MONEY.

Email Etiquettes For Students

Simple rules to send a respectful email that won’t get you on your professor’s bad side. 

Rule 1 – Answer swiftly

 Anyone who sends you an email they’ll want quick responses. The golden rule for email is to reply within 24 hours, and preferably within the same day itself. If your response email is complicated, just send an email confirming receipt and letting them know that you will get back to them. This will ease the senders mind! 

Rule 2 – Use a meaningful subject line

 When filling the subject line, make sure that you mention what the email is for or in regards to. You don’t want it to seem like a randomly generated subject and end up in your professor’s spam folder. It also makes it easier to search for old emails when the subject line is relevant and specific to the content of the email. 

Rule 3 – Read your email before you send it 

Prior to sending your email, be sure that you proofread your message. You shouldn’t write your email as though you are texting your friend. Make sure it’s got full sentences, proper grammar, and real spelling. Look out for potential misunderstandings, the tone, and inappropriate comments. 

Rule 4 – Abbreviations & emoticons 

Be careful using email abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud) in formal emails. Even today, some people still don’t know what they mean, so it’s better to drop them. 

Rule 5 – Be concise

 Be succinct and keep your message short and to the point. Your professor is going to have probably hundreds of email messages to wade through each day. Just get to the point and politely, respectfully, ask your request.  If it has to be long, consider including a synopsis at the top of the email. Make sure you are as clear as possible about what it is you need to ask of your professor without writing a novel. 

Rule 6 – Do not write in CAPITALS 

IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING!! Therefore, try not to send email text in capitals. 

Rule 7 – Use a professional email address

 This marks the message as legitimate and not spam. You should always have an email address that conveys your name so that the professor an idea of who’s sending the message. Never use email addresses, perhaps remnants of your grade-school days, that are not appropriate for use in a formal setting, such as “supergirlrocks@…” or “pizzalover@…”.

Rule 8 – Use professional salutations 

Don’t use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, ‘Hi’ or ‘Yo’. Address your professor directly; don’t just launch straight into a request. Examples: ‘Respected Dr. Kapoor’, ‘Dear, Ms. Gupta’, ‘Dr. Sharma, I hope this email finds you well…’. 

Rule 9 – Be polite

Don’t make demands, don’t accuse, remember to write please and thank you. Close your email with something polite like ‘Thanks’, ‘Thanks for your time’, ‘See you in class Wednesday’, ‘regards’, etc. Then re-type your first name 

Little Things To Help The Planet

It is extremely important that we look after our planet but often as teenagers it can be hard to donate money to support the cause or spend time volunteering, so here are a few things you can do instead.

1. Say no to the straw!

According to Indian pollution control board15,342 tonnes of plastic waste is produced in India every year. A big chunk of it is single use plastic straws, which can’t be recycled! These tiny straws can do a lot of harm to the ocean- it can kill all sorts of wildlife including sea turtles. So why not stop using plastic straws altogether? Some love using straws, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do. Instead, switch to glass straws, paper straws or metal straws, here are some affordable options:

1. Reusable Stainless Steel Metal Straws Set (2 Bend & 2 Straight Straws, 1 Cleaning Brush) from Amazon

2. Reusable Stainless Steel Metal Straws (Copper Colour) – Pack of 4 (Straight & Bent) with Brush and Jute Pouch Cutlery from Amazon

3. Premium Biodegradable Paper straws from Amazon

4. Bent Glass Straws, Pack of 6 from Amazon

2. Invest in a tote

Whenever you’re out for grocery shopping, carry a reusable tote with you. Personally, I love a good tote bag, especially the ones you can fold up and tuck away in your shoulder bag. 

Here are some affordable options:

  1. Foldable Shopping Bags for Grocery from Amazon

2. Ikea Compact Size Foldable Reusable Bag from Amazon

3. Reusable mugs!

Every time you go out to the coffee shop and order your cappuccino to go you’re wasting a cup. To avoid this you might want to buy yourself a nice reusable cup. Not only do they reduce waste, but cups with lids are also a better alternative if you drink tea or coffee while you’re on the go. 

Here are some affordable options:

  1. Glass mug with a with Steel Steiner from Amazon

2. Biodegradable Bamboo Fibre Eco Travel Mug from Amazon

3. Silicone Travel Collapsible Coffee Cup By The June Shop

4. Bottle it up 

There is nothing better than a cute reusable water bottle in my opinion. There are so many to choose from and reduce the waste created by using plastic water bottles. 

Here are some affordable options:

1. Stainless Steel Water Bottle from Amazon

2. Glass Transparent Bottles, Set of 2 from Amazon,

3. Copper Water Bottle from Amazon

5. Wrap your gift up in paper

Avoid using things that are packaged  or wrapped in single use plastic. Try to use paper or paper bags instead. And if you can’t do that, look for recyclable packaging. 

Here are some affordable options:

  1. Paper wrappers from Amazon

2. Brown Paper Bags from Amazon

6. Walk more 

Using a car is one of the worst things for the environment. If the distance to be covered can be covered on foot then why not walk to where you want to be? It’s an easy way to exercise and you’re helping our planet too by reducing greenhouse gasses. If you can’t walk there, why not take the public transport? It’s cheaper and saves the planet. 

Unexpected Lessons I Learnt from The Bold Type

I discovered “The Bold Type” after a draining day at school. I had just screwed up an exam and I was in desperate need for an escape. Now, a couple years and four seasons later, “The Bold Type” is still a source of constant comfort. 

Whether it is professional or personal, there are plenty of life lessons that I picked up while watching the show. 

  1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN– Kat is one of the most outspoken characters on the web, she like the title is the embodiment of bold. Kat does not shy away from confrontation and believes in taking a firm stand. She is comfortable expressing herself, her opinions and her beliefs no matter what. Her strong stands even cost Kat her dream job , nevertheless she did not shy away from doing the right thing and curved a new path for herself to continue doing what she loves to do even when the conditions aren’t favourable enough.
  2. FAILURE HAPPENS. THINGS DON’T WORK OUT SOMETIMES. MOVE ON– As someone who wants to prefect everything they do, this hits home. Failure is a part of life. Just because you failed at one thing doesn’t mean you’re bad at everything or that you can’t try again. 
  3. HAVING A SUPPORT GROUP IS IMPORTANT – Jane, Kat and Sutton support each other through thick and thin- Every bump in the road, every achievement, every rock bottom, every celebration. Get yourself a friends group that is there for you without any strings attached. Everything is a gazillion times better when you have a support group. Take it from me, 2020 would have been hell if it wasn’t for my girl gang.
  4. IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE SURE ABOUT YOUR CAREER CHOICES– In the course of 4 seasons, Sutton went from a personal assistant to a fashion assistant to an aspiring designer to a stylist. She admits that she is undecided about her career choices but is willing to experiment what she desires to see what suits her best. 
  5. YOU HAVE TO START FROM SQUARE 1– Since the first episode of season 1, the girls knew where they wanted to be, personally and professionally, and they were on the way to achieve it. However in the latter seasons we discover that the they all started from the bottom: Sutton was a temp, Jane started as an intern and Kat worked for someone who was clueless about how to make hits on any social media platform. It was a great reminder that everyone has to start at the bottom.
  6. BE INSPIRED BY STRONG WOMEN– Connecting with such strong female-empowering character leads in The Bold Type is so important for any viewer because it gives an insight into loving what you do, being more understanding, and realising that you don’t have to go through the tough times in life alone. Early on in the show, Kat starts explore her sexuality and discovers what it means to find yourself before giving it all to someone else. Jane is driven by what her heart tells her and she goes through numerous personal ups and downs and still finds a way to keep going. Having strong women around them as helped them overcome the obstacles they faced and to come to terms with what is going on in their lives. 

Being bold can be terrifying but it’s great to have shows like ‘The Bold Type’ inspire us and help us put into perspective how we can be bolder and live our life on our terms.

Upcycling Household Items

Hacks everyone should know

When it comes to upcycling household goods and items, it can involve creative and innovative thinking. Instead of letting item you no longer use pile up, gather dust, occupy unnecessary space or throwing them out in the garbage, which is definitely not recommend, give them new life.

To get your DIY routine warmed up, I’m sharing some ways to upcycle household items that are present in every home which aren’t in use anymore. Use these green hacks and shift your home to a more sustainable and waste free home. 

Hacks to Upcycle Household Items:

Before you toss your over used rubber gloves, that have seen better days, in the bin, cut the fingers off and then cut them further into small rings and use them as elastic rubber bands to keep miscellaneous items in place. 

Only a single sock left? Take the solo sock and turn it into a reusable and washable face mask by cutting the top section off, and then cut two slits in the heel portion for your ears. 

Turn your broken belt or any belt that you no longer style into a rustic shelf in a few easy steps. First, remove the buckle part, then cut your belt in half. Form a loop out of each half of the belt and then nail them into the wall. Then gently slide a piece of sleek board or an old piece of wood between the loops.

Upcycle your household and beauty products like candles in glass containers, glass bottles, old jewellery boxes, containers that you no longer use. First, properly cleaning them out, then use them as decorative storage- story your pins, makeup brushes, pens, use these to store spices in the kitchen or use them to store flowers in the bathroom. 

Do you have too many mason jars laying around? Create your own homemade scented candles- fill the jar with oil, lemon, and add a wick. Or just YouTube the procedure. 

A run in your favourite tights and you can’t wear them anymore? Get yourself nice beachy waves, watch this viral no-heat curls hack using a pair of tights.

Want to go grocery shopping in your shoes but fear them contacting any corona surface? Use on old shower cap to cover the sole. Throw them out before entering back. 

Want to read more such hacks? Check my favourites ones out: 

  1. 22 genius ways to upcycle everyday objects

2. How to Repurpose or Upcycle 38 Common Household Items

3. Reuse Everyday Objects! 10 DIY Home Decor Ideas and More Upcycling Hacks

4. Upcycling Household Items Quick Make

5. 11 Genius Ways To Upcycle Loads Of Household Items!

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

What is apple cider vinegar?  

Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV is produced during fermentation of apple cider. The sugar present in the apple is fermented by yeast/bacteria which first turns it into alcohol. Further the alcohol is fermented to turn into acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar contains 4-5% of acetic acid, to which many health benefits can be attributed to. Not all apple cider vinegar is created the same, the key is to look for organic, unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar with “mother” which indicates that it contains probiotics. 

What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

It is almost magical what apple cider vinegar can do for your health.  Let’s start with a list of benefits first and then get into details. 

  1. It can improve digestion
  2. It lowers blood sugar levels
  3. It improves insulin sensitivity
  4. It reduces belly fat
  5. It helps lowers cholesterol
  6. It helps sooth sore throat
  7. It lowers blood pressure and improves heart health
  8. It prevents and decreases the risk of getting cancer and slows down the growth of cancer cells
  9. It helps people to lose weight and increases satiety

Apple cider vinegar is also packed with nutrition. Let’s take a look at its nutritional composition to see what makes apple cider vinegar so special. Apple cider vinegar contains:

  • Magnesium
  • amino acids
  • antioxidants
  • iron
  • manganese
  • phosphorus
  • only three (3) calories per tablespoon

1. Improves Digestion– Drinking apple cider vinegar everyday can help regulate the amount of acid present in your stomach, which will lead to easier digestion. Like any other fermented food, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains healthy bacteria that helps to keep your digestive system functioning properly. 

2. Lowers blood sugar levels and helps fight Diabetes– Apple cider vinegar has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity and it also helps lower the blood sugar levels. According to a research published by American Diabetes Association, taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before going to bed can reduce fasting blood sugars. 

3. Detoxifies the Liver– Apple cider vinegar increasing energy levels and improves its natural blood filtration processes by flushing the liver.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

4. Helps You Lose Weight– Apple cider vinegar also helps with weight loss as it increases satiety, feeling of being full, which can help prevent cravings.

5. Inhibits the growth of Cancer Cells.  Many studies show that apple cider vinegar has some anti-cancer benefits to it as it is an alkalizing food that restores the acid balance of the body which is important because cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment.

6.) Strengthens the bones – Apple cider vinegar aids in the process of  absorption of calcium, which is essential to building strong bones.

8.) Lowers Cholesterol– Studies show that apple cider vinegar reduces the bad cholesterol- LDL and in turn increases the good cholesterol- HDL due to the natural antioxidants present in it.

How to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet?  

The best way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is to use it for salad dressings or dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage. 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 ml) mixed in a large glass of water and consumed daily.

Refer to this article for detailed consumption patterns for different uses- Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage: How Much Should You Drink per Day?

It’s best to start with small doses of apple cider, avoid taking large amounts because too much of vinegar can cause harmful side effects.

Consulting Doctor Google

According to Wiktionary, Dr. Google is a term when the Internet is used to seek out medical advice. Most of the time when we are feeling under the weather, how often do we land up going through the Internet, trying to Google our symptoms rather than going to an actual doctor?

More often this self-diagnosis through the Internet turns out to be scarier than it should be. For instance, your search for a simple headache you’ve been having, and Dr. Google will point you towards several scary diagnoses like a tumor, aneurysm, or a brain bleed. Simple fatigue can be self-diagnosed as underlying cancer. Self-diagnosing your symptoms using Google can sometimes mask a potentially dangerous disease. So, apart from the inaccurate diagnosis given by several medical websites on the internet, what is worse is the risk of mistreating a potentially dangerous disease.

There is an actual term “Cyberchondria” which refers to a person’s anxiety about their health that is created or exacerbated by using the internet to search for medical information. You just look for any symptom online and it is definitely linked with some form of tumor or cancer, and then psychology comes in play and it can make you feel sicker than you are, which feeds your anxiety.

One thing that we should realize is that Internet is a free space where anyone can post anything, there is no credibility of most of the content being posted so even if you think that it’s just a simple rash and you can get medication through Dr. Google think twice because a real doctor goes through rigorous years of study and only then they are qualified enough to examine you.

The bottom line is that you can not replace a professional medical help with Google search, by doing so you are just putting yourself at risk.

New Media And Reporting Gender Based Violence

Trigger Warning: Mention of Rape and Sexual Assault

New Media has also changed the style of journalism, such as the rise of online journalism, where facts, information, and reports are produced and distributed through the internet. News in the New Media era is enabled to spread more widely and rapidly. News content is now enriched by lots of digital elements such as images, embed videos, comment box. These elements make the information presented becomes more attractive. One of the salient characters of online journalism is its dependency on speed in delivering information. When we talk about the emerging trends in media, we cannot afford to overlook the role of online media in changing the scenario in the context of women’s issues. The content that the online media produces reflects the pattern of value the society. The prevailing attitude of society gets revealed through the way subjects dealing with women are treated by the media (Arpita Sharma, 2012). 

Media has the choice of acting as both, a protagonist and as a perpetrator-it can either reinforce the gender-based discrimination by portraying sensational and stereotypical images of women or it can provide balanced reportage that empowers women and not degrades them while exposing acts of gender-based violence. Rape cases and sexual assault cases are not a recent trend in the society but sensitive reportage and wide coverage by media while also bringing these issues forefront are relatively very new. 

Gender-based violence or GBV is violence that is directed against a person because of their gender. Both women and men experience GBV but the majority of victims are women and girls. GBV and violence against women are terms that are synonymous as it is widely acknowledged that most gender-based violence is inflicted on women and girls, by men. The issue of GBV reaches every corner of the world. The numbers of women and girls affected by this problem are shocking. According to the World Health Organization’s data from 2013, one in every three women has been beaten, compelled into sex or are abused. One in five women is sexually abused as a child, according to a 2014 report.

In coverage of GVB, several stereotypes are often perpetuated by the new media. These include that rape is similar to sex, that the assailant is motivated by female lust, that the assailant is perverted, crazy or a monster, that the woman provokes rape or assault, and that only women are only victims. Scholars have found that these stereotypes and myths are pervasive in media coverage of rape and assault cases. Not only the language and the framing of the headlines but also the visuals used in the articles regarding GVB play an important role in the general perception of these issues.

In Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (UNESCO, 2012), under Category B- Gender Portrayal In Media Content, B1.5- Strategic Objective 5 states the indicators for the coverage of gender-based violence. Three of them are-

  1. Use of non-judgmental language, distinguishing between consensual sexual activity and criminal acts, and taking care not to blame the victim/survivor for the crime 

2. Use of the term ‘survivor’ rather than ‘victim’ unless the violence-affected person uses the latter term or has not survived 

3. Use of background information and statistics to present gender-based violence as a societal problem rather than as an individual, personal tragedy 

Terms such as ‘victim’ or ‘survivor’ are often used to describe individuals who undergo these experiences. The term ‘victim’ reiterates feelings of helplessness and lack of female agency, while the term survivor connotes a sense of strength and resilience. However, the affected person should have a say in what to refer them as. The ‘victim’ terminology limits individual self-agency and identity. It is important to note that experiences of violence do not define the individual, but rather are a piece of a larger self-identity. Such labels focus on experiences of violence and presuppose an individual’s inability to change or undergo any personal development to transform their identity into a peaceful, empowered personality. 

Images of sexual violence in the media often depicts women as covering their face, being silenced by looming hands, teary faces, large shadows near the woman, are some of the visual examples. These images not only fuel the stereotypes of women as helpless and weak, but also these images are also extremely triggering for the survivors of sexual assault and rape. 

When media reports women who have been assaulted or raped as nothing but victims, society can disengage and fail to take the issue as a broader societal issue and fail to take responsibility for any individual or group action to change it. It is crucial then for journalists to report on GBV in an informed way and to have a good theoretical understanding of the roots of these gender based violence’s and what needs to change in society. Otherwise, they can do harm by perpetuating patriarchal stereotypes and falsehoods. 

How Is COVID-19 Impacting The Environment?

A BRIEF ON COVID-19:

The coronavirus disease- COVID-19 is a highly transmittable and pathogenic viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in Wuhan, China and spread around the world. Analysis revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like bat viruses, therefore bats could be the possible primary reservoir. The intermediate source of origin and transfer to humans is not known, however, the rapid human to human transfer has been confirmed widely. There is no clinically approved antiviral drug or vaccine available to be used against COVID-19. However, few broad-spectrum antiviral drugs have been evaluated against COVID-19 in clinical trials, resulted in clinical recovery.

ORIGIN:

The first human infections were reported at the end of December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province in China when a cluster of 41 pneumonia cases was identified. Deeper analysis showed that it was a novel coronavirus. A third – 66% of the cases – had direct exposure to the Huanan Seafood market. Fish, shellfish, wildlife, snakes, birds and several different types of meat and carcasses were sold at this market. The market was closed immediately, and it has not reopened since. (source: ScienceDirect.com, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673620301835?via%3Dihub)

The strongest speculation of the origin has been that the virus is somehow linked to the market given two thirds of the first batch of people infected had had ties with it. But even this hasn’t been proved yet. Nevertheless, Bats, in particular, have been studied closely because they are considered to be the natural host of coronaviruses.

this is not my image, credit to the artist

EFFECT of covid-19 on the environment:

The objective of this article is to analyse the positive and the negative environmental impact of this abhorrent pandemic, Covid-19.

The Positives-

  • Improved Air Quality: 

The coronavirus has temporarily slashed air pollution levels around the world (source: European Space Agency). Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite also show that over the past six weeks, the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year. Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma. While not a greenhouse gas itself, the pollutant originates from the same activities and industrial sectors that are responsible for a large share of the world’s carbon emissions and that drive global heating. Take transport, for example, which makes up 23% of global carbon emissions. Driving and aviation are key contributors to emissions from transport, contributing 72% and 11% of the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions respectively. (Source: http://www.ipcc.ch)

If we consider the case of Delhi, on 6th April, for the third week Delhi continued to breathe clean. The weekend before this saw the best air quality in the national capital region (NCR) in 2020, with an average AQI of 46. The weekend before that, it was at 159.  There was a remarked improvement in air quality in the NCR, as the harmful PM10 and PM2.5 levels were down by 35-40% in Delhi (source: The Economic Times).

The visible positive impacts whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are but temporary. This is because they come on the back of an economic slowdown and human distress. During the pandemic, these emissions will stay lowered. But what will happen when the safety measures are eventually lifted?  The people will be back to regular.

  • Some Cut Downs on Wastage:

During the coronavirus outbreak, the habits that are coincidentally good for the climate might be travelling less, like cutting down on food waste as we experience shortages due to stockpiling.

  • Rethinking how we use energy:

A benefit of no travel and a lockdown is we will spend some time rethinking how we use energy.

The Negatives-

  • Increase In Use Of Single-Use Plastics:

With as many as 12,82,931 cases recorded in 211 countries ( as of 8 April 2020, 05:30 GMT, Source: WHO), the United Nations’ World Health Organization has recently declared the fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. It is natural then that citizens around the globe are hastening to take every possible measure to safeguard their health against the virus. The most widespread of these precautions is the extensive use of surgical face masks.

These masks are mainly made of non-woven fabric such as polypropylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene or polyester. While they keep out bacteria effectively, the masks are plastic-based, liquid-resistant products that have a long afterlife after they are discarded, ending up in landfill or oceans.  

Given that surgical masks are supposed to be worn for no longer than one day, their disposal- along with that of empty hand sanitizer bottles and soiled tissue papers- is leading to a massive trail of clinical waste in the environment.

Take the case of Wuhan, for example. The Chinese city which has been at the epicentre of the pandemic and which is home to over 11 million people, is reported to have generated 200 tons of clinical trash on a single day (24 February 2020), four times the amount the city’s only dedicated facility can incinerate per day. (source: scmp.com)

  • Mountain Of Waste:

With consumers stuck at home, there’s been a surge in the amount of household garbage as people increasingly shop online and order meals to be delivered, which come with a lot of packaging. (source: time.com)

Meanwhile, China is drowning under medical waste produced by hospitals including face masks and single-use tissues. If the waste is not handled properly, the garbage collectors are likely to catch and spread the infection

  • More Hand Wash, More Use Of Water:

Today, the only defence against the pandemic is that we wash our hands frequently — 20 seconds each time. The fact is, clean water remains the most important preventive health measure in the world.

A proper hand wash involves lathering soap and scrubbing hands on both sides for at least 20 seconds, according to WHO guidelines. A 30 to 40 second hand wash would use up around four litres of water if the tap is on, or two litres with the tap closed, while scrubbing with soap. Around 20 to 40 litres of water is used up every day, with the assumption that every person cleans her hands at least 10 times a day, instead of a usual average of five times a day.

A family of five members would thus need 100 to 200 litres of water per day only to wash hands. This would result in the generation of around 200 litres of wastewater per day, a 20 to 25 per cent increase in water demand and generation of wastewater from human settlements. (source: downtoearth.org.in)

It is also important to note that a large numbers of people in India and vast parts of the still emerging world do not have access to water, forget its portability. 

  • Climate Issues Take a Backseat:

Before the coronavirus, momentum seemed to be building behind governments and businesses taking steps to address climate change. As 2020 began, wildfires were destroying vast swaths of Australia; and the climate activist Greta Thunberg had become a household name. But the spread of the coronavirus has thrown an even more urgent crisis at governments and business: how to save the lives of millions of people, prevent health care systems from collapsing, and shore up economies that must now enter something comparable to an induced coma. 

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, the coronavirus crisis has been having short term positive environmental effects but long term negative effects on the environment. Production has decreased, there’s less pressure on energy resources, less fuel burnt in transportation, fewer carbon emissions, and less air pollution. However, all of this is temporary and in the long term, the environmental impacts of the coronavirus such as water shortage, increase in plastic production and waste and issues relating to correct waste disposable, to name a few, will pose as a greater problem.

Friendship And Physical Distancing

Introverts or extrovert, social interaction is a need for everyone. No one is liking the fact that physical distancing isn’t taking place on their terms.

Self Isolation, physical distancing and ‘Real Friends’

To give you a breakup: Some of my friends aren’t taking self-isolation very well. Some don’t seem to be minding it at all. And then there are those who, on the surface, seem to be taking it well, but in reality are carrying the heavy load of being ‘the strong friend’.

In April, a tweet by the handle @/tiamowry got viral, it read “During this pandemic, you’ll really see who your friends are. Who’s really checking up on you? Making sure you’re okay? Remember that when all this is over?”. It was deleted after the backlash, but the sheer number of likes, retweets and all the ‘yes omg, you’re right’ comments it received made it clear that a lot of us follow the same mentality that the tweet reflected. The mentality, in plain words, is being self-absorbed. Sure, all of us want to receive love and feel loved. We want constant reassurance from our friends and family that care about us.

However, to go ahead and suggest that a friend who is not constantly checking up on you isn’t a ‘real’ friend is parochial. This mentality implies that the pandemic is only affecting you and your mental health. It fails to acknowledge that it is also affecting everyone else, which includes your ‘real’ friends.

The last thing you should do is measure the strength of your friendships based on how often a friend is checking up on you as if they don’t have other things that could be worrying them or occupying their time during a pandemic.

Personally, I’ve been checking in on my friends, talking to them as much as I can. Doing as much listening as sharing. In no way am I doing this expecting everyone else to do the same for me. While saying this, it is also important that I mention the context- I’m in an extremely privileged position than most in this whole situation. For one, I have a roof over my head, three hot meals and not any financial burden to keep me worried about. I am someone who can be described as an ‘overly productive’ person during the pandemic. While on most day I like to be buried in work, but there are also days when everything starts to take a toll on me, on those days, sometimes I’m busy pretending to be strong for people even though I can hardly seem do anything for my own mental health. The other times I prioritise myself, something I learned the hard way.

Who SHOULD YOU CHECK UP ON?

There is no fixed answer to this question. It could be people with emotional/mental disorders, your current friends, old friends, new friends, family or even distant relatives. It is okay to do this as long as it doesn’t cost you your own peace of mind. You can not help anyone if you yourself are struggling. If you are over extending yourself it is okay to not check in with people you regularly check in with. You can keep yourself first without dissolving in guilt.

UNLEARNING

Like I mentioned before, I personally don’t take offence to whether or not a friend drops me a text or randomly video calls me. The pandemic isn’t just about me nor is it just about them. It is something that we are all collectively experiencing combined with our own personal struggles.

Take a quick moment to practice a more open and accommodating mindset.

Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Graduating School

It’s again the time to apply for colleges while you’re just out of school. This stage in life always involves uncertainty and stress, and in addition COVID-19 has made it even more challenging for students. Here are some things I wish I knew before I got out of school-

It’s okay to not have everything figured out just yet

I’m sure you have heard all types of questions about your future- ranging from which college would you like to get into to what do you want to major in, from what type of career do you want after college to what’s your plan-B. If you know the answer to such questions then, congratulations you’re the lucky one. But It’s okay if you don’t know the answers to these right now. Most people don’t have their entire life figured out at age of 17/18. You’ll get there eventually. Try exploring one question at a time instead of stressing about all of these at once. Small steps, remember?

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone

This is probably one of the biggest things I had to learn after getting out of school. It’s so important that you learn to step out of your comfort zone while you’re in school. School offers you a very sheltered environment, but college doesn’t. You’ll have to make ways to achieve things you want and even go and extra mile for them. Inculcating this habit will benefit you in the long run. You surely don’t want to miss out on opportunities in college simply because you were afraid to take a risk.

You and your friends might grow apart

I was fortunate enough to experience my school friendships grow even stronger after leaving school. But this wan’t the case with most of the friend groups in my school batch. It is something that happens when you all jet off to different cities, when you meet new people who you connect with better or when you see that people who you were close to in school aren’t making as much effort to communicate as you are, which happens a lot. It’s highly unlikely for your entire friend group to end up in the same university or college after graduation or for them to make the same efforts they were making when you all were meeting each day. Either way, don’t be discouraged if you realise you’re not as close as you were in school.

ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s your pride or your fear holding you back, try and get over it. You don’t have to force yourself to struggle when you can ask the ones you trust for help. Whether it’s related to academics or your personal struggle adjusting to a new environment, reach out for help. Looking back you will wish you had asked for help when you had the chance to. This will make your life a lot more easier.

PRIORITIzE your health, physical and mental

Learn to prioritize your health and pay attention to what your body needs from you. Pulling all nighters day after day after day will destroy you and your focus. And No, you can’t survive the whole day at college on a diet of lays and coke forever. Don’t skip your meals. Your health is very important.

You don’t have to be the same person you were in high school

College is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. It’s the perfect time to unlearn concepts and opinions that you no longer agree with. It’s the perfect time to to better yourself educating yourself with issues that are revenant around you. University offers you an environment suitable to reinvent yourself, it offers you the space to give educated opinions and to find like minded people who you willingly want to interact with online school where you had to interact with your classmates only. If you were the brainiac that always had a secret passion for art, then join your college’s art club. If in school you were into sports but always appreciated and enjoyed debating, then join the debate club while participate in the sports activities of your choice. You don’t have to stay the same and that’s the beauty of it.

3 Things To Do When A Friend Opens Up About Their Mental Health Struggles

All of us want to be there for our friends when they need us. We want to help them and provide the support in the best way we know. Nonetheless, when a friend tells us about their current struggle with their mental health, it can be challenging to decide what to do or what to say. It is valid to be worried about not making the situation worse or upsetting them by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Here are 3 things that will help you support your friend in a way that’s healthy for the both of you.

Seamless pattern of a crowd of many different people profile heads. Vector background.

1. Listen to them

We are constantly hearing people talk which may lead us to think that listening is easy. However, the goal is to listen and not just hear, to be a good listener, you must be able to put all your thoughts and judgements to one side. Try not to interrupt them while they are taking or rush them into talking. It’s most ideal to have the conversation with them when you do not have something to do soon since this can add to the pressure which could make you want to rush the conversation and make them feel unheard or worse, abandoned. You should also try to stay calm, process the information as and when you receive it.

2. Ask them what they would like from you

Sometimes people just want to be seen, be heard, or just want to get something off their chest. Other times they simply want advice or maybe reassurance. Asking them what they would like from you will help you to support them in the better way and it will ensure they do not leave feeling unsatisfied or unheard. Try to be as honest, patient and kind as possible when responding to your them. In dealing with such situations, you can be most helpful by asking yourself these three questions: ‘What’s best for my friend?’. ‘What would I want the most from my friend if I was in this situation?’ and ‘How would I want to be treated had I been in the same situation?’

3. Check up on them

If you feel mentally stable enough and are able to, keep asking your friend how they are and how they feel, take the time out to candidly listen to what they have to say, keep repeating this cycle. Mental health problems don’t vanish after one conversation. These problems can also be incredibly isolating. Regualrly checking up on your friend is one step closer to making them feel a little less alone, visible and will also serve as a reminder that you care about them.

It is okay if you can’t always be there for the people you love and care about. We all have our own challenges and struggles. If you do not feel up to it, you should signpost them to others who they can talk to like some other close friend, a trusted family member or a mental health organisation that can professionally help.

What should you do if you’re struggling to sleep in quarantine?

For many of us, quarantine has disrupted our daily routines which have in turn affected our sleep patterns. Sleep is essential for the well being of our mental health, so if like me, you’re too struggling to sleep during this challenging time, I’ve picked out three things that have personally helped me to relax and fall asleep.

Avoid checking the news before sleeping

I’ve noticed that if I watch or read the news before I go to sleep, it leaves me with anxiety, feelings of uncertainty, and even stress which then keeps me awake thinking about what’s to come next. Getting your news updates in the morning is so much easier for me as it gives me the whole day to process what’s happening in the world around me instead of trying to process all the heavy information at night.

Create a routine for yourself

For a person who has not believed in maintaining strict routines, I discovered that creating a routine for yourself can help you by providing a structure and offer feelings of normality, which for me now has taken away a lot of the stress. In the time that is so uncertain and unstable, having a routine can make you feel in control and calm about your surroundings. Try and stick to the same sleep schedule at night so that you can follow your daily routine without any trouble.

have a relaxing bath before sleeping

Taking time out of your schedule to have a relaxing bath or shower can help you fall asleep faster and also improves the overall quality of sleep. The cooling down of your body helps build a strong urge to sleep which can send you into a deeper sleep. This is something that has undoubtedly helped with my sleep struggles over the past month.

acknowledge and accept the change

At this time it is very difficult to not feel anxious about what the future holds and what’s to come. It’s human to feel worried about yourself and the ones you love and care about and it is also normal for there to be a change in the sleeping and eating patterns to feel more comfortable. But if you feel like you’re losing control of things around you, take a deep breath in and remember that this will not last forever.

Coronavirus: How fashion and lifestyle influencers are rethinking their content strategy

Amidst the lockdown to curb coronavirus, fashion and lifestyle influencers are trying to creatively reform their content strategies to stay relevant.

The lockdown has had a range of implications, and all of us are trying to make through in the best way possible. It has altered how we go about our work and personal lives. Following suit, fashion and lifestyle influencers can be seen creatively reforming their content strategies.

These are people who give us a piece of the enviable, designer lives set behind perfect lighting and breathtaking locations. But, fashion and lifestyle content meets a slight amount of inconvenience when there is a nationwide lockdown.

Fashion and lifestyle influencers are now social distancing at home, dressing up for no one but themselves, spending their time not in exotic locations, but on their couches. This has pushed many of them to restructure their content during work from home. 

Fresh, alternate mediums for videography

Fashion influencers are deprived of professional photographers. Hence, fashion content is currently experiencing the epitome of creativity as far as content creation goes. One can see many of them brushing up their skills, trying to master video techniques. They can be seen making the most of their smartphones. Many influencers are now exploring non-conventional resources like Skype, Facetime, etc. This not only helps you to create Instagram-worthy content by themselves, but it also helps to create relatable content. How? Such content displayed in the format of everyday applications uses images in the content, which thus helps them to reach out to a bigger audience.

New genres of content

As technology and skill affect the glamour and finesse of fashion and lifestyle content, the lockdown has also reformed their content typology. Many influencer accounts can be seen creating relatable content at home. Since you cannot travel to exotic locations, or for that matter even the local cafe, during the lockdown, it might be a good idea to engage with your audience beyond your professional conduct. They are opening up online, bringing forward their informal side while they share their talents, hobbies, recipes etc.

Influencers are also extending their online presence to TikTok, which is now a growing trend. These are just a few of the ways to help your followers know the real you, which will again help you garner their trust and engage better with them.

Use your platform responsibly

It is refreshing to see how many lifestyle influencers are creating sensitive and responsible content that is helping people get through this time. As an influencer, you have a following, and the power of influencing them. Hence, there are a number of ways you can respond to this pandemic. Go all out by sharing the latest news and local resources that could help those affected harshly by the lockdown, or try to share the troubles and stress of your audience with a bit of humour.

A few examples can be light-hearted humour about having to stay at home, informative content to stay safe, etc. Many popular lifestyle bloggers can be seen occasionally opening up about stay-at-home struggles that all of us are facing while we try to stay safe.

Branded content with a twist

With the tsunami of sponsored, branded content, social media was flooded with similar-looking content, especially in the fashion content industry. But now each influencer is coming up with raw and creative ways to respond to branded content – live sessions, new video formats, and innovative photoshoots.

With the lockdown affecting the whole of the industry, many brands are now open to innovative, raw, and personal ways of content creation. Even the Vogue magazine had a work from home edition! Use your creative cells and create meaningful and fun branded content with whatever you have at hand.

Once the lockdown relaxes, maybe the raw and honest elements from influencer content will also go away. But, they are currently going deeper than they usually would, to engage with their followers. This might bring a shift towards betterment in influencer marketing trends, making it more curated and engaging.

The New Watchdog

Mainstream media to new media- how has the shift affected political reporting

Politics is undoubtedly a game for supremacy solely played in the name of the people for evoking national interest. Fred Fedler was right then he said “journalism is built on reporting government”. The idea of ‘the watchdog’ means that the journalist, as an independent observer without any vested interest in any side of the controversy, can inform the public about what is going on, particularly if the government is corrupt or even incompetent. However, the political journalists do not play this role flawlessly. 

There is a paucity of good political reporting in India- reporting with an insight, reporting that captures in action the trouper of the political field, reporting that exposes the petty politics and the never ending hypocrisies of political parties and the conspiracies of those in power.

The grave situation that the Indian democracy is in, is that it is they who guide and shape the destiny of some 135 crore people. Lacking ideas, bereft of intelligence and character, they exploit religion and caste to stay in power. 

Most political commentators and reporters on traditional medias like mainstream news channels and newspapers have glorified politicians and never truthfully presented their failures as much as their achievements. Programmes of political parties are rarely critically evaluated by reporters of most traditional media and their flaws are never commented upon so that the people are carried away by their rhetoric or patriotic postures. The Inadequate political coverage, not judged by the quantity of the news brought in or reported but by the quality of it, brings down the credibility of the traditional media. 

The mediatization of the political news necessitates that media content is governed by media logic rather than political logic, and can be indicated by media interventionism where the journalists are in control of news making. (Esser, 2008, Strömbäck and Dimitrova, 2011, Zeh and Hopmann, 2013). 

The way we use social media today impacts what we read and how we read or listen to news. Consider politics for that matter- Political parties bank on news channels, such as ZEE News or NDTV to get their updates on how the election campaign is going. Unbeknownst to many, both of these news outlets are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. If you tune into Zee News, you will get a completely different view of any candidate than you would on NDTV and viseversa. This type of controlling what people read and hear causes a lot of misinterpretation. This is where political reporting in new media comes into, where you not just read what the journalist has to say but also what others think about it and more importantly why they think the way they do. Unlike the traditional media, you don’t hear one side of the story, on new media platforms you can view multitude versions of the same story. With the advent of political reporting via social media and news portals, journalists who act like the watchdogs are now backed up, not only by their organisation, but also by their viewers, readers and followers who make an informed choice. 

At the same time, the new media has initiated trends time and again. exposed how the traditional political reporters undercut the ideal aims of a free democratic press. The watchdog role is now played by the new media which had previously only been performed by trained political journalists who even under the worst of circumstances focused on uncovering the facts surrounding serious political wrongdoings.

TRYST WITH YOUR BRAIN

Strategies to help you stop spiralling this quarantine season

The COVID-19 pandemic can stressful and incredibly frightening for some people. It may involve fear and anxiety about the disease which can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both children and adults. This is why it is crucial to take care of your mental health now more than ever. 

The following four solutions can be enacted in different ways, depending on your surroundings. 

METHOD ONE: Writing

Writing about the problems you are facing is a good start to getting through them. Start maintaining a journal or if you’re more electronically inclined even a new note on your phone would do. When you’re faced with a problem, write how it makes you feel, its ideal outcome, even if that counts as the worst-case scenario, and then write the possible solutions.

Don’t worry about maintaining grammar. When sentences start pouring out of you, your brain works to solve whatever’s going on. Later you might want to read it over and see if any possible solutions jump out at you; or don’t, if this act of writing was enough to make you feel better about the situation. 

PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: You might find it helpful to write a letter about everything you are feeling about the situation addressed to the person who caused it. If the problem is caused by a situation or circumstance rather than a person, address it to your feelings, the Universe, some higher power you believe in or even to yourself. The11 simple act of writing can lend you an immense amount of clarity and/or relief.

With your family around: Since everyone’s at home and on their phones, all the time, pulling yours out and pretending to send a text won’t draw any extra attention. Breathe and vent in your notes. Nobody will be the wiser.

METHOD TWO: Making Art 

Maybe after you start writing you immediately start self-editing and judging your own feelings. You might even be worried that if you put your feelings down on paper, someone could find and read them, and you will have to suffer the consequences. Instead, how about you grab magazines, crayons, paints, brushes, a sketchbook, or whatever medium you want to go for, and start making something tangible? Art offers a safer means of expression for people concerned with invasions of privacy by parents or relatives.

 PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: Go for it! Get every craft supply you own out of that cupboard and make a giant mess. You could start a long-term project that you can get back to whenever you’re not feeling great. You don’t have to be Van Gogh to benefit from this. The mere act of scribbling all over a piece of newspaper and going letting loose will make you feel a little better.

When you feel unsure of yourself, temporarily refocus your attention on making something that helps you resurface, like picking up a pen and scrawling aimless loops on a piece of paper. Your version doesn’t have to revolve around drawing or painting: Try paper-maché or do origami. 

With your family around: Acknowledging where you are and what you’re doing can quickly recenter you if you start to panic or dissociate. Draw the street you live in; the person at the table next to you; the contents of your fridge. Focusing largely on the details of what’s physically real can take you away from intangible feelings and can bring you back into yourself. If your family is artsy too, try craft tutorials or paint some old jeans- anything that distracting enough and gets your creative juices moving.

METHOD THREE: Talk It Out

Sometimes spiralling makes you want to shut every thought you’ve ever had away in a safe, never to be seen or heard from again. Sometimes when you’re already doubting your judgment, sharing your thoughts with someone, even a trusted friend, can feel icky. But if you’re capable of surpassing those feelings, even temporarily, sharing your thoughts and experiences with someone you trust— whether that’s your someone in your girl gang, parent, sibling or a twitter pal—can result in having fresh set of themes to help you work on what’s bothering you.

If your problems involve experiencing violence at home or you’ve been abused or assaulted, the legally mandated 

lockdown can present unprecedented challenges that are unfamiliar territory. If you are experiencing abuse, reaching out to the ones you trust is crucial. 

PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: Just start talking out loud. Try and suspend your feelings- with just enough practice, you can become your companion this way. This act of speaking your problems instead of bottling them can give you some cognitive distance from the issues bothering you. When you spill what’s on your mind in a space where no one around is there to hear you, it can lead to major realizations. 

With your family around: The only thing harder than opening up is figuring out who you can trust. If I have a family member whom I love dearly but who makes sure to tell me everyone else’s gossip, maybe they aren’t quite the right confidante when you’re already feeling unstable. The kind of confidante you’re looking for here is someone who will sit and listen, then ask the right questions-what have you tried so far? what do you need? how can I help?

If you aren’t up for face-to-face contact with a family member nor a call to your trusted friend, but you still want to talk to someone about facing any mental health issue due to the ongoing lockdown, call one of the many helplines designed to support people experiencing unpleasant feelings. The government has launched a crisis hotline which can be reached at 08046110007

METHOD FOUR: Exercise

If you need a temporary distraction to process your thoughts and feelings but an art project and poetry just isn’t doing it for you, try going for a long walk on your terrace, flailing around your bedroom wildly to ‘Starboy’, giving Pilates a shot or even practicing headstands until your hair permanently stands on end? 

Physical activity will reduce stress and fatigue and eventually help you to feel more alert. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do- it’s all about moving your body in ways that feel great and work for you. It doesn’t have to be a giant commitment. Just set small goals.

PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: This is a good time to experiment and find out what kind of physical activity works best for you. You could follow stress-reducing yoga videos, a zillion of which can be found on YouTube, If you’re feeling something which is more high-energy, the internet is filled with amazing dance tutorials available as well. Working out with your confidante over video call can also be an effective alternative, you’ll both get to blow off some steam and clear your heads, which is a great place to be in if you want to ask for advice or even spill your guts.

With your family around: Pick an activity that the family likes, yoga or hula hooping- the family favourites or any other and get going! High-energy activities like planks, push-ups, squats can be difficult, but rewarding, and doing it with another person makes it into a fun challenge

Union health ministry toll-free helpline for mental health issues: 08046110007