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Simple Acts of Kindness Beneficial To Health

In Health and Beauty on February 2, 2015 at 5:31 pm

KindnessMost people know that kindness is a good thing. Now, researchers believe even simple acts of kindness done often can improve both the mental and physical health of the doer. Here’s why:

  1. Kindness makes you feel good.

From a biochemical level, being kind helps the body produce dopamine. This chemical, which produces the same effect on the body as morphine but in a healthy way, is released when we feel good about ourselves such as the case after doing something nice.

  1. Kindness is good for the heart.

Symbolically as well as physiologically, kindness can make the heart grow stronger. This is due to the body’s correlation of emotional warmth and the secretion of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin releases nitrous oxide in the blood vessels. This dilates the vessels reducing the blood pressure and offering key cardiovascular benefits.

  1. Kindness keeps us young.

The natural process of aging is amplified by inflammation and free radicals. The release of oxytocin helps to reduce the levels of these perpetuators of age, keeping us young from the the inside out.

  1. Kindness makes stronger relationships.

In the days of the caveman, humans had to learn to interact and cooperate with one another to ensure their survival and that of the human race.  Today, we live with what is known as the “kindness gene” that encourages us to do things for one another to forge and strengthen relationships. Strong relationships are vital to an individual’s mental health.

  1. Kindness is (fortunately) contagious.

Acts of kindness tend to encourage other people – whether consciously or not – to be nice to others. Effectively, one random act of kindness could trigger an unlimited flow of positive feelings. Theoretically, if there were enough kindness in the world the human race would be, as a whole, a healthier, happier and longer-living species.

Merriam-Webster Tabs ‘Culture’ as Word of the Year

In General on December 28, 2014 at 8:24 am

CultureMerriam-Webster has announced that “culture” is the English dictionary’s word of the year for 2014.

The company selects its word of the year based on number of online searches, and overall presence in the media, among other criteria.

The definition of “culture,” according to Merriam-Webster, is the “beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.”

Among the other most notable words of the year included “feminism,” insidious,” “innovation,” “morbidity,” “autonomy,” “surreptitious,” “nostalgia” and “je ne sais quoi.” The Merriam-Webster 2013 word of the year was “science.” “Capitalism” and “socialism” shared top honors in 2012.

“Culture” was not connected with any single event in 2014, but rather dominated the news headlines on a consistent basis due to its many uses. Popular topics this year included “company culture,” “rape culture” and “celebrity culture.”

Online searches for the word “feminism” remained strong throughout the course of 2014, according to company leaders. “Feminism” was used in correlation with the Gamergate controversy and the Hobby Lobby decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. When Time Magazine released its annual list of the “100 Most Influential People” – featuring Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus and Beyonce – the word saw another major spike in online traffic.

Along with its main publication, Merriam-Webster has published dictionaries of Spanish/English, slang, sports terms, medical terms, proper names, biography, geography, English usage and synonyms.  Non-dictionary publications available around the world are Encyclopedia of World Religions Collegiate Thesaurus, Encyclopedia of Literature, Manual for Writers and Editors, Secretarial Handbook and Collegiate Encyclopedia.

Merriam-Webster was created by researcher Noah Webster in 1828 as a way to expand the conversation about language among cultures around the world. In his quest for greater knowledge, he learned a total of 26 languages, including English, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Russian, Welsh, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, German and Gothic.

Big Data Proves Beneficial for Small Business Owners, According to Harris Interactive Study

In Business on November 24, 2014 at 4:29 am

Technology-SavvyIn today’s global business world, it’s essential for small companies to be technologically savvy and up-to-date on the newest trends in order to remain relevant and stay competitive. Data analysis has become an increasingly powerful tool that helps CEOs and top executives make key decisions and offer more educated predictions about their company’s future. Data can allow these leaders to adjust marketing strategies, control inventories, establish target markets and boost sales.

Small businesses have a wealth of information in their hands including Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and sales receipts. The term “big data” is popular among businesses, used to describe the availability and exponential growth of data, both unstructured and structured.

According to the results of a new Harris Interactive study, big data was shown to have a wide range of definitions including:

  • The requirements to archive and store data for the purposes of regulatory compliance
  • The emergence of new and improved data sources, including mobile devices, social media and machine-generated devices
  • Challenges associated with big data
  • The significant growth and development of transaction data

The same survey suggests the top competitive advantages gained by using big data include:

  • Increasing sales (54 percent)
  • Retaining and attracting customers (46 percent)
  • Reducing IT costs (50 percent)
  • Improving efficiency of internal business operations (59 percent)
  • Becoming more flexible and agile (48 percent)

Most importantly, 76 percent of small business owners say Big Data is an enormous opportunity for their executives and employees. Over 70 percent believe that a return on investment occurs within 12 months. Data brokers like DataLogix, Kaggle and Acxiom can offer businesses valuable data analysis that shares informative insight into a company’s current activities.

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