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How technology can unlock reading
How technology can unlock reading
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Today there are thousands of people living in the UK who are unable to experience the joy of reading for one reason or another. Four percent of the population have severe dyslexia, and a further six percent experience mild to moderate symptoms. There are also those who are illiterate, blind or partially sighted – and this amounts to a large segment of the UK that may find reading to be a highly frustrating or even impossible task.
 
However, there are things that can be done to get more people reading. Technology can be instrumental in making this a reality and over the years it has continued to break down the physical, visual and cerebral barriers to reading, making the process more accessible and enjoyable for many.
 
Today’s technology is certainly revolutionising traditional reading methods. The use of e-readers, smartphones and tablets has become commonplace and the simple reconfiguration settings available on such devices, such as adjusting font sizes and colours, can make a world of difference to people with visual impairments or learning difficulties. Furthermore, simple assistive technology tools such as digital highlighters, scanning pens and text-to-speech programmes allow people who may struggle with the written word to absorb it regardless. Fortunately, the equipment needed to do so is readily available, inexpensive and intuitively designed.
 
One of the most important factors when it comes to unlocking the potential to read independently is that the there are a variety of technological options available to suit a diverse spectrum of individual needs. For technophobes and traditionalists, there are devices that work in collaboration with traditional dead tree books to make the content inside more accessible. Likewise, for people who love having the latest gadgets and gizmos, most literary content has caught up with the digital age and in some case, even supplanted conventional methods. Online articles and publications, digital editions of newspapers, e-books and a multitude of open source research materials are available on the internet and mobile platforms which means you’re never far away from a variety of reading options.
 
Finally, for people that have not attempted to read for a number of years, I encourage you to take a look at the technology available today and see whether there is something well suited to your needs. Try to find out what works for you and experiment with options available until you find something that does. In this day and age, no one should feel locked out of such a rewarding process, one that much of the population perhaps takes for granted. www.cpen.com

Better Sex

Aphrodisiacs: Well-Known Foods to Get You in ...
    A night of passion with that special someone is just what the doctor ordered for your emotional health and wellbeing, so it’s important to set the stage for success. You look amazing, the stars are out, you’ve got your go-to make out song ready on the stereo, so what’s on the menu? This is no time for takeaway curry or a ready meal my friend, you want to hit him with a taste sensation to awaken and arouse his senses – and this is where aphrodisiacs come in. Tempt him with these tasty treats and you’ll have sexual wellness sorted.   1. Oysters: Well-known red-hot lover Casanova was said to eat oysters by the dozens, which is perhaps why they’re the most famous aphrodisiac on this list. As well as the fact they visually represent a woman’s, ahem, womanhood, they’re associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. We get the word aphrodisiac from Aphrodite herself, who even sprang from an oyster shell! Aside from these subconscious associations, oysters possess massive amounts of zinc which aids in a man’s sperm count and fertility. Plus, oysters pack a real iron punch which is great for preventing fatigue – the enemy to any couple’s night of passionate love-making.   2. Chocolate: You see it practically jumping off the shelves when Valentine’s Day rolls around and with good reason; chocolate is another well-known aphrodisiac. While originally people went loco for cocoa simply because it was so rare and luxurious (potatoes were considered mood-boosters for the same reason), studies have linked chocolate lovers with higher libidos. This is because chocolate contains serotonin, which is a chemical that makes you happier and thus more likely to show your partner some affection. Plus, the caffeine and sugar content in chocolate gives you the energy you need to take care of business. However, the real secret weapon in chocolate is phenylethylamine. This is the natural neurotransmitter version of amphetamine, high levels of which are associated with love.   3. Carrots: There’s a reason why Bugs Bunny is so good with the ladies (come on, Lola Bunny was far too hot for him); he’s always munching on a carrot. Much like oysters get you thinking of lady parts, carrots are phallic symbols (in case you were wondering, the female equivalent of “phallic” is “yonic” – who knew?!) Phallic symbols hold power over the mind as a way to get your partner’s parts moving into action. In fact, the power of many aphrodisiacs relies upon a medieval philosophy known as the "Doctrine of Signatures." The belief goes that the Good Lord created things to resemble their purpose; herbs meant to treat the liver look like the liver etc. This is why carrots and other phallic foods supposedly get you going; it’s practically divine intervention.   4. Real Phalluses: While many aphrodisiacs look like male genitalia, some cultures take the idea one step further: consuming the actual penis of other animals. If you want to emulate the masculine prowess of a tiger, you might want to take a bite of the king of the jungle’s crown jewels. Meanwhile, animals with a particularly randy lifestyle, like dogs, are thought to hold this libido secret in their reproductive organs. The idea is that eating these animals' organs enables you to take on some of the animals' powers. However, if you can’t stomach the idea of eating an animal’s penis (after all, you’re not trying to kick-start your career on I’m a Celebrity) there’s always animals that look like human penises; snakes. Snake blood has been used as an aphrodisiac in the past, simple because a human male's penis is often likened to a snake. Still, I think I’d rather stick with chocolate and oysters.  
How to Enjoy Great Sex After the Birth of You...
    For many women, the mental and emotional impact of going through childbirth can have a negative effect on their sexual wellness and wellbeing. They may be in pain, or fear that intercourse will cause them pain. They are also often stressed (due to having a very small baby) and don’t feel much of a desire to have sex. Gynaecologists often advice that new mothers to not have sex for six weeks after the birth, in order to give their genital tissues time to heal. After that time, however, it is perfectly normal to want to recover some kind of intimacy with your partner.   The first time you have sex after the birth of a baby, take it very slowly. Men need to understand that women’s bodies have changed, and that their genitals may be still recovering from the immense task that they have performed. Men should be supportive of their partners, and be willing to be gentle and tender with them.   Women should also remember that they are their husband or partner’s chosen sexual partner. It is too easy to feel unattractive or undesirable after going through childbirth, but they should be aware (and men should make them aware) that they are still completely desired by their partner.   Some women may (understandably) fear getting pregnant again too soon. In order to remove this as a possibility, look into suitable methods of contraception well ahead of any sexual encounter. There are various methods available to men and women, but mini pills are generally advised as being the safest method for women who are breastfeeding.   When women are breastfeeding, they should also be aware that not only does the hormone prolactin suppress sexual desire, but it also causes vaginal dryness. Some kind of artificial lubrication may, therefore, be useful in order to make the experience as straightforward and comfortable as possible.  

Confidence

Orthodontics: 3 Reasons Why You Want a Straig...
  When you look in the mirror, you might see teeth that are crooked because there isn't enough space in the mouth for all of them to grow in properly. There could be teeth that have gaps in between them. You might have difficulty eating or talking because of the condition of your teeth. Orthodontics gives more than just a beautiful smile. It can change the entire layout of your mouth.   Self-Esteem One of the reasons why you might want to consider orthodontic treatment is to increase your self-esteem. If you don't see straight teeth that give you the beautiful smile that you want, then it can play a factor on how you feel about the rest of your appearance. When you start seeing that the teeth can be straight with orthodontics, then you can feel better about the way that you look. Orthodontic treatment isn't just for teenagers who feel as though they want to have straight teeth. Adults can have the treatment as well so that they have teeth that are aligned properly to give the desired appearance.   Biting Down If you notice that you have problems with biting on foods, then orthodontic treatment can solve this issue. According to the Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic, braces can help pull the teeth into an alignment so that you have a natural bite. You won't have the top teeth that extend over the lower jaw or bottom teeth that seem to appear as though they are in front of your mouth. Creating a natural bite can take some of the tension off of the jaws. This can decrease any headaches that you might have as well as relieve pressure on the gums and teeth.   Crowding Some people have a mouth that doesn't have enough room for all of the teeth inside. This can cause the teeth to be crooked, and if the teeth are crooked, it can be hard for them to function properly while you're eating. When the wisdom teeth grow in, there likely won't be room, so they will either grow under the back teeth or further push the teeth together in the front of the mouth. After a few teeth are pulled, orthodontic treatment can be used to get the teeth back in a straight line. When the teeth aren't crowded, there will be a decrease in bacteria build up, which will decrease the chances of cavities forming or teeth chipping.   Orthodontic treatment is ideal for teenagers and adults who want a straight smile or if there are issues involving the teeth that need to be corrected for your overall health. The treatment doesn't last long. Most people are out of braces or other methods of treatment in only one or two years. The smile that you have as a result will be something that you want others to see.  
Learn to Love Public Speaking...
  Written by Jenny Catton   Do you have a fear of public speaking? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, some surveys have shown that people are less afraid of death than they are of speaking in public. But in the world of business most of us will be called upon to give a presentation at some point. So if it really is so terrifying, how can you get through the experience without having a complete breakdown?   Why people hate giving presentations If you’re nervous about giving a presentation then it’s worth stepping back and asking yourself why. Is it because you dread being asked a question you can’t answer, are afraid of your voice turning into a squeak or are worried that your projector will break down mid-presentation?It may be a combination of things. By working out what scares you, you can begin to address your fears. Every fear can be overcome with a little planning and there’s no reason why even the most nervous presenter can’t learn to be a great presenter.   Be prepared The first step to giving a great presentation is to be prepared. Know your subject inside out. Rehearse your presentation as much as possible. Think about the likely questions you might be asked. If you’re using props or technology, check that they work in advance. If you’re worried about forgetting your lines, keep your notes close to hand. If you’re presenting away from your usual office, get to the venue in plenty of time so that you can familiarise yourself with the room and set up any equipment you may need.   Disguise your nerves It’s natural to feel nervous before giving a presentation. A few butterflies in the tummy can actually be good as they’ll add energy to your performance. But no-one wants to watch a presenter who is clearly hating every minute. So even if you are feeling the pressure, put your audience at ease by hiding your nerves. Here are some ways to disguise the physical symptoms of nerves:  
  • Don’t hold loose papers as they’ll draw attention to shaking hands. If you need notes with you, attach them to a solid clipboard or write them on index cards which will stay steady.
  • Keep your voice even by exercising your vocal chords before your presentation. Have a glass of warm water to hand in case your voice gets croaky. Avoid ice-cold water which could make it worse.
  • Even if you don’t feel like it, smile broadly at your audience – it will give a sense of confidence instantly.
  It may seem impossible, but try to have fun during your presentation. If you appear to be enjoying yourself, your audience will too. In his book Brilliant Presentation, Richard Hall gives the following tip: “Lighten up a little…you will stand out if you let your charm and personality shine through.”   So next time you’re called upon to give a presentation; don’t panic! Prepare, relax, smile and you may just find you enjoy it.  

Depression

How To Cope With Depression And Anxiety After...
  We all face challenges in life, but how do you recover when a debilitating injury has left you unable to enjoy life the way you once did? After a major injury, you may experience feelings like sadness, anger, denial, worry, and fear. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself recover and get back to the life you once enjoyed.

Acknowledge Your Emotions

Acknowledging that it is normal for you to feel sad, helpless, or anxious, can go a long way in helping you recover. Try not to hold these feelings back. Surround yourself with supportive people who will listen to you and help you work through these feelings without judgment. Allow yourself time to accept what has happened, and do not try to rush the recovery process.

Don't Push Yourself Too Much

It's natural to want to do the same things as before the accident as quickly as possible, but it's important to understand that it won't happen soon, and things may never be the same. Don't be afraid to say “no” to things you could have easily done before. Don't push yourself physically or emotionally to avoid more stress.

Talk to a Counselor

Counseling can be a very effective tool in helping you deal with your emotions after the injury. However, many people feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with a complete stranger. Remember, talking to a third party can help you get an objective look at your situation and show you what steps to take to improve your condition. Your counselor can also advise you of any beneficial support groups you can attend.

Stay Active & Healthy

Staying active has proven to help the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about what kind of physical activities would be beneficial for you to enjoy while recovering from your injury. Also, make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs. It can also be beneficial to engage in some of the hobbies you enjoyed before the injury such as painting or reading.

Consider Speaking to a Lawyer

After an injury, the last thing you may want to endure is a long legal battle. However, if the injury is no fault to your own, you deserve a chance to rectify the wrongdoing. There are lawyers in your area who are committed to helping their clients cope with life after the accident and receive any compensation they may be entitled to.   Depression and anxiety after a major injury can cause normally productive, socially active, independent people to withdraw into a world of emotional pain that is often far greater than the physical pain they are experiencing. However, by following a few of the suggestions above, it is possible to find yourself enjoying life again free of your psychological handicaps.   Informational credit to Howard Yegendorf & Associate.  
Could Depression be Linked to Disease Resista...
Diseases such as cancer are thought to be best treated using both the body and the mind, in order to boost the immune system in every way. Our immune systems do far more than simply fend off the common cold. Social support, for example, can significantly improve a person’s condition and extend the life of a cancer patient. In studies looking at victims of cancer, researchers found that women who attended support groups lived twice as long as those who didn’t, on average. A study in Los Angeles at the University of California found that patients who had survived cancer for a minimum of five years and attended group therapy lived three times as long as those who didn’t attend any therapy sessions. It seems that relying on others to boost our mood when we’re ill could help us fight conditions and diseases far more effectively. When people are grieving, their T-cells and the natural killer cells in the body, both of which are important for defending the immune system, function far less effectively. By being supported and comforted by friends and family members, this aspect of the immune system may well be bolstered. However, people who are depressed and anxious may suffer the opposite effect.    

In a study involving 4825 healthy individuals, 146 of them were depressed. In those who had been depressed for a minimum of six years, the chances of developing cancer were far higher. This is thought to be because of the fact that this condition kills of the natural ‘killer’ cells, so the body doesn’t fight off diseases. This isn’t to say that depression can cause cancer, but it does signify that depression and related issues such as anxiety can lower one’s immunity to the disease. This makes it not only a risk for cancer, but also other diseases. There are however other theories that suggest that cancer may cause depression, with a study discovering that in 43 liver tumour patients there was a direct link between clinical depression and an immune modulator. The chemical which is released when our immune system fights cancer is the same substance that may trigger depression biologically. Although this may seem like bad news, it is actually the opposite. It provides researchers with new tools for treating cancer - it also highlights the link between the mind and other diseases. Taking the time to meditate and de-stress is important in order to strengthen the immune system, so that we can better fight off illnesses.

Leading a stress-free lifestyle as best you can is one of the best ways to fight off anxiety and depression. This means doing plenty of exercise, which can boost your mood and release endorphins to keep you happy, as well as eating a balanced diet that’s rich in brain-healthy foods. Oily fish, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and omega-rich nuts and seeds will ensure that you’re happy through your food. Take time to meditate and relax at least a few times a week, so that you don’t overload your mind with worries and stress - this can be anything from some alone time each week to spending time with friends and loved ones. Lowering your stress levels and ensuring you lead a healthy lifestyle will not only help to reduce the risk of depression but it will also stave off other health concerns such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. If you think you’re at risk of developing depression, or think you’re displaying signs of cancer, speak to your GP as soon as possible for advice on the situation.