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Aug 15
2019

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Teacher’s Mental-Health Monitoring Earns High Marks

Jim Lillie
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Teachers Mental-Health Monitoring Earns High Marks

A teacher has implemented a system of keeping track of the mental wellbeing of her students that has gone viral online.

In a nutshell, the method encourages children to anonymously communicate to their teacher how they are feeling as each school week starts.

Student after student writes their name on the back of a sticky note and then affixes it in one of six rows that contain titles such as "I'm great" and "I'm having a tough time and wouldn't mind a check-in".

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Aug 10
2019

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Lessons from Living Off-Grid

Jim Lillie
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Lessons from Living Off-Grid

After two years of living off-grid, Mark Boyle writes that he's learning to appreciate decent sleep, daily letters, and his jerry-rigged hot tub.

He says the the reasons he decided to ditch tech are more or less the same as the ones other people have, but that those reasons have slowly changed.

These days, he explains, his reasons are less about saving the world and more about embracing it. "Savouring" it, even.

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Aug 05
2019

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Study: Heavy Alcohol Use Stunts Brain Growth

Jim Lillie
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Study: Heavy Alcohol Use Stunts Brain Growth

In what is being described as a first, an Oregon Science & Health University (OHSU) study has zeroed in on a decrease in brain volume as a result of heavy alcohol use among adolescents and young adults.

Researchers indicated that alcohol use lessened the degree of brain growth at a rate of 0.25 millimeters per year for every gram of alcohol ingested per kilogram of body weight.

What that translates into in human terms is a consumption of four beers every day.

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Jul 31
2019

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Melting Gold at Room Temperature

Jim Lillie
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Melting Gold at Room Temperature

Ludvig de Knoop, from Chalmers’ Department of Physics, positioned a tiny fragment of gold in an electron microscope. Peering at the highest level of magnification and incrementally boosting the electric field to intensely high levels, he was curious to find out how those manipulations might impact the gold atoms.

Then, when studying the atoms in the recordings from the microscope, the scientist observed something extraordinary. The surface layers of gold had wound up melting while they remained at room temperature.

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Jul 25
2019

Posted by: Jim Lillie

The Secret Language of the Queen’s Handbag

Jim Lillie
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The Secret Language of the Queens Handbag

Catch a glimpse, even a photographic one, of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and you'll likely take in a colorful outfit, complete with hat and handbag.

According to one published report, the Queen owns more than 200 handbags designed by Launer, some of which are custom-made.

Beyond making fashion statements, though, the Queen's handbags evidently serve another function: Sending messages to her staff to keep her affairs in order and functioning smoothly.

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Jul 20
2019

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Managing a Solitary Work-Life Balance

Jim Lillie
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Managing a Solitary Work-Life Balance

As more people take advantage of the ability to work from home, potential hazards lurk that, if not managed, could bring unexpected woes to what on the surface appears to be a perfectly flexible and comfortable way to make a living.

Yes, there's the opportunity to get some work done while lolling at the beach, for instance. And it's great to finally be able to schedule medical appointments and school activities for the kids without worrying about running afoul of in-office work demands.

Then, there's the loneliness. Plus, the lack of camaraderie (what some might have heretofore called "dealing with annoying co-workers").

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Jul 10
2019

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Making Progress Against Ebola

Jim Lillie
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Making Progress Against Ebola

Though a relative lack of news about the deadly Ebola virus might lead some to believe that there's now less cause for concern, the infection raised its ugly head during a significant 2014 outbreak in Africa, and, just last year, took almost 550 lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Unfortunately, the Ebola virus has impacted areas beyond Africa. In March 2019, a patient at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania was observed for Ebola. While the patient was ultimately found to have a different condition, the concern raised by the patient's symptoms reinforced the importance of remaining vigilant about the disease.

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