Star Wars Episode VII Is Called “The Force Awakens”

According to the official Star Wars Twitter account, the next chapter of the saga, will be called “The Force Awakens.” The new chapter in the Star Wars series will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who also recently unveiled the X-Wing Starfighter of Episode 7. What do you think about the title? It might not be the best out of all of them, but certainly also not the worst title. We will keep you posted about any news on the movie. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is coming to theaters on December 18, 2015.

Why Meditation and Yoga Are Recommended for Breast Cancer

Up to 80% of American patients with breast cancer will undergo complementary therapies to manage anxiety and stress after they receive a diagnosis.

Though there’s no clear consensus on which integrative and alternative therapies work and which are ineffective, more and more medical practices have incorporated practices like mindfulness and acupuncture into their offerings. But a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs conducted by several major oncology facilities has examined which therapies benefit patients the most. The answer? Meditation, yoga and relaxation with imagery.

The three methods are known to be calming for those who practice them, and the researchers gave the practices an “A” for treating symptoms of mood disorders that are highly common among people with a recent diagnosis.

To come up with the grade, the researchers parsed through clinical trials conducted from 1990-2013 on complementary therapies paired with routine cancer treatment, like chemotherapy. The researchers then graded each therapy based on efficacy. Acupuncture was given a “B” for controlling chemo nausea, and music therapy also received a “B” for anxiety and stress.

“Women with breast cancer are among the highest users [of these therapies]…and usage has been increasing,” the authors write in their study. “Clear clinical practice guidelines are needed.” The study involved researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, MD Anderson, University of Michigan, Memorial Sloan Kettering and more.

The researchers also gave some therapies low grades. For example, healing touch was given a “C” for lowering pain, and aloe vera gel was not recommended at all for preventing skin reactions from radiation therapy. The researchers also point out that while some natural products were shown to be effective, they did not have the safety data to back them up, suggesting more formal research is needed before some of the therapies can be officially recommended.

As patients with breast cancer and other forms of cancer continue to seek other ways to deal with some of the emotional side effects that stem from serious illness, it will become increasingly important for hospitals to find ways to answer their unmet needs—which might include a yoga class.

Health Benefits Of Coffee vs. Tea: Which One Is Better For You?

To some, coffee is an essential drug of sorts: a jolting liquid that staves away fatigue, headaches, and lack of motivation. Or perhaps you’re a recovering coffee addict who has now turned to the soothing varieties of tea to get a decent caffeine fix, just without the jitters.

Of course, coffee sometimes sounds more like an addiction than a drink that’s good for you, and this is perhaps why tea gets the good reputation of being healthier. But is tea really that much better for you?

Origins

While tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water (and right before beer), coffee is also hugely popular. And both drinks have been around for a long time, to boot.

According to legend, tea was first discovered by the Emperor of China in 2737 BC while he was boiling water under a tree. When leaves accidentally fell into the boiling water, he tasted it and was surprised by its goodness. Tea then became popular among scholars and priests in China and Japan, who drank tea to stay awake, study, and meditate. This is perhaps why the hot drink has always been associated with mindfulness, calm, spirituality, and solid health.

Coffee, meanwhile, didn’t seem to appear until much later — and is believed to have originated in the Ethiopian highlands, where legend says a goatherd named Kaldi noticed his goats became hyperactive after eating certain berries from a tree. Coffee then spread to monks at monasteries, where they drank the beverage to keep them alert while praying. From there, it began making its way across the Arabian Peninsula. Both coffee and tea remained Eastern beverages for a long time; coffee didn’t even arrive in Europe until the 17th century.

Benefits

Both coffee and tea have their benefits, though it’s always hard to pinpoint exactly what those are due to the large amount of contradictory studies. Researchers have focused on specific potential benefits of coffee, with some studies finding that coffee might have the ability to reduce the incidence of dementia or Alzheimer’s or even type 2 diabetes, for example. Coffee has a higher caffeine content than tea, meaning its levels of the stimulant might help people with asthma by relaxing the lung’s airways. Caffeine also helps in constricting blood vessels in the brain and reducing migraines, and often alleviates hangovers because of this. So if you’ve got a bad headache, taking some Advil with coffee and food (and water) might help you out.

Harvard School of Public Health analyzed coffee’s overall effect on health and concluded that the beverage was pretty neutral — it didn’t cause any serious health problems, but it also didn’t necessarily have any specific health benefits, either. Even drinking up to 6 cups of coffee didn’t appear to raise anyone’s risk of dying — but it also didn’t seem to make anyone live particularly longer. What this means, essentially, is that if you’re a stalwart coffee lover, you really have nothing to worry about.

Tea, on the other hand, is filled with antioxidants and potential cancer-fighting properties. According to the National Cancer Institute at the NIH, tea contains polyphenol compounds, which are antioxidants that might aid in cancer prevention. Though not enough has been studied to conclude whether tea does in fact reduce the risk of cancer, tea has often been considered a therapeutic or medicinal drink that has both soothing and rejuvenating qualities. All types of tea are made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, which wilt and oxidize after harvesting; oxidation results in the breaking down of chemicals. The amount of oxidation that occurs in the leaves is what defines different types of teas, from black tea to white tea, and of course green tea. Polyphenols in particular are a group of plant chemicals that are believed to be involved in health benefits — especially in green tea. Teas with the highest levels of polyphenols are usually brewed hot teas rather than cold (and sugary) bottled teas. Polyphenols in green tea, and theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea, contain free radicals that might protect cells from DNA damage.

Cons

As with anything that contains caffeine, way too much coffee and tea could result in increased anxiety, tachycardia, heart palpitations, insomnia, restlessness, and nausea. High amounts of unfiltered coffee, meanwhile, has been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol, LDL. Tea contains fluoride, and while this is good for your dental health, too much of it may increase your risk of brittle bones and osteofluorosis. Certain tea blends from China, India, or Sri Lanka have been found to contain aluminum and risky amounts of lead, so where you get your tea is pretty important.

To be completely honest, however, you’re better off leaving the heavy cream and three packs of sugar out of your drinks — and stop worrying about whether coffee trumps tea or vice versa. Both drinks have vague cons and benefits, but are, for the most part, pretty decent for you. Too much sugar, on the other hand, is quite the villain — so enjoy your caffeine and remember to take your coffee breaks or meditative tea breaks every so often; humans have been doing it for thousands of years.

Quadrofoil is the First Electric Personal Watercraft

Employing a team of engineers and nautical enthusiasts, tech development company Quadrofoil has designed and manufactured the world’s first fully electric and completely environmentally friendly personal watercraft. The watercraft is operated by battery, while being propelled by curved blades underneath the surface, allowing for enhanced buoyancy that lifts the vessel above the surface and allows it to travel with minimum water resistance at up to 20 knots. The vehicle also clocks in at an expense of 1€ per hour, with hardly any maintenance costs to consider. The steering wheel incorporates a simple touchscreen display, informing the driver about battery, range, speed and consumption statistics; the wheel itself doubles as the key, so when you’re finished jetting along, take the wheel with you and no one but you can start the engine. What’s more, owners will enjoy the ability to ride on lakes, rivers, seas & eco-zones where some motorized vessels are not allowed, due to the silent motor and zero emissions. Visit the Quadrofoil website for additional details.

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It’s No Shave November… 7 Obvious Reasons You Need To Date A Guy With A Beard

I have a bit of a confession to make: bearded guys make me weak in the knees. There’s just something about a little facial hair that gets me every time: a beard that’s not too bushy (as in, Gandalf status) and not too patchy (like, Michael Cera’s creepy barely-there scruff), but that heavy stubble that’s juuuuuust right.

Sorry, clean-shaven, conventionally handsome Bradley Cooper, but I’m too busy checking out bearded Tom Hardy. And George Clooney? Not even worth a second glance without some scruff on his cheeks. Ke$ha is already on the beard bandwagon (I’m not exactly saying to take dating cues from her, since she also sings about chugging Jack and rolling around in glitter, but I digress…). She knows that even a decent five o’ clock shadow can transform any dork into a rugged, mountain-climbing hunk. And if he’s already sexy? Forget about it. Totally irresistible. (There’s a reason why Allie went back to Noah in The Notebook — and we all know it was his beard.)

Research shows that growing a beard keeps a guy younger-looking and cancer-free. Here are just a few of the infinite reasons why being a lumberjack’s lady has its perks!

1. Beards Have A Storied History Of Badassery
First off, beards go way back as having prestige and power. From the dawn of time, a man’s beard was a symbol of his honor, sexual virility and social status as a man. In the Middle Ages, just touching another man’s beard was offensive and grounds for a duel. Otto the Great swore by his beard saying anything serious. Alexander the Great decreed that soldiers could not have beards for fear that they would be yanked on in battle. For the ancient Greeks, a beard indicated his maturity. (You’ll notice that Zeus — the head honcho of the gods — rocked a full beard versus the baby-faced Apollo, Hermes or Dionysus.) For the early Egyptians, the beard became a symbol of kingship, placing the pharaoh among the deities. And it was the Vikings who really perfected the art of manscaping by plaiting, forking or trimming and nick-naming their face fuzz. So really, beards are rocked by Greek gods, rock stars, royalty … shall I go on?

2. He Has Clear Skin
You’re likely to suspect he has something to hide under that beard, but contrary to what you would think, under that bushiness is blemish-free, baby-smooth skin! Acne and folliculitis (hair-follicle inflammation) are oftentimes the result of shaving. This is because razors can irritate the skin and spread bacteria. As for the secret to his smoothness? His beard prevents him from rubbing natural moisturizing oil off his face and protects him from those bitter winds. No redness or dryness on this guy!

3. His Beard Keeps Him Wrinkle-Free
A beard is the fountain of youth. Funny to think of it that way, but according to recent research from the University of Southern Queensland, a man’s beard blocks up to 95 percent of the sun’s UV rays and we all know that over-exposure to the sun means a higher risk of melanoma. Actually, four out of five cases in men appear on the face, head or neck and the sun causes up to 90 percent of the visible signs of aging. So while we still suggest that he lather on that sunscreen, keeping up his beard will keep that chiseled jawline of his spot-free and baby-smooth.

4. … And Yet, He looks Much Older And Sophisticated!
Asurvey this past summer found that fuzzy-faced fellas look as much as eight years older than those who are clean shaven. When a panel of women were shown a picture of Prince William, who is 31, with a beard, they believed he looked 36. So he looks more mature, without looking haggard or weary — it’s like getting all the benefits!

5. He Looks Insta-Masculine
Sounds like a cliche, but there’s legitimate research behind this: astudypublished in Evolution and Human Behavior proved that the more facial hair a man has, the more masculine both men and women perceive him to be. So if you’re into the burly, testosterone-driven type, he should skip the razor for 10 days — that’s the exact length of time the study found that women find men the most attractive.

6. He’s Trendy
Maybe it’s because of bushy-faced hunks like Ben Affleck and George Clooney. Maybe it’s because of the growing popularity of No Shave November. Maybe it’s because that scruffy hipster look is so “in” right now. Either way,bearded guys are on the rise. More and more men are checking in with their doctors to grow thicker beards, taking multivitamins and even prescribed medication that stimulates the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. Amazon.co.uk found that sales of beard trimmers have grown by 47 percent this year, too. Think of all the men you can date!

7. He Scares Away The Bad Guys
There’s a reason why bearded men are born warriors. Astudypublished last year in Behavioral Ecology found that bearded men appear more intimidating to other men. The researchers think a beard makes a man’s jawline look bigger, which can make him seem more aggressive when he’s angry. You know he’s a big softie on the inside, so you know there’s no reason to fear the beard. You can walk down the street holding his hand on a dark night in confidence.

Apple Watch Set for Spring 2015 Release

Since Tim Cook’s announcement of the Apple Watch last month, the tech company has remained hush about a specific release date outside of Cook’s “early 2015″ tease. Recent news development suggests that eager fans will have to wait a little longer before they can get their hands on one.

Tech site 9to5mac recently obtained a transcript of a video from an unamed source, in which Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and Online stores Angela Ahrendts revealed a spring 2015 launch in her address to company employees. While the new timeline is just as vague as the old one, it would put us somewhere between March and June to see the much-anticipated smartwatch hit stores. Hopefully Apple will come out with an official statement soon, so stay tuned and check back for more updates.

Medical marijuana vote should be a no-brainer

When I was in pain — at times quite debilitating — from four breast-cancer related surgeries, I wished Florida had medical marijuana because narcotics make me sick.

The highly addictive drugs my doctors prescribed made me nauseous and lethargic but didn’t relieve my pain.

Research shows medical marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for pain that, unlike narcotics, has no known lethal dose. And the drug relieves the nausea and vomiting that cancer patients suffer from chemotherapy.

That is one of several reasons I voted yes on Florida’s Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana.

I trust Mother Nature more than Big Pharma. And more than the Florida Sheriff’s Association, which has a vested interest in keeping marijuana illegal, namely the millions Florida law enforcement agencies take in every year seizing assets.

FSA President Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said the sheriff’s have an “obligation to educate our constituents and the people we’ve sworn to protect,” but he offers misinformation instead of facts. As do the TV ads sponsored by opponents of medical marijuana.

One of the false claims that Judd and the group No on 2 have made is that teenagers will be able to get medical marijuana. Not true. Florida law requires that doctors obtain consent from a parent or guardian before treating a minor — and that includes recommending medical pot.

When Judd’s department busted two marijuana grow houses this summer he tried to tie the illicit operation to what would be the legally regulated enterprises Amendment 2 would allow if it passes tomorrow.

“No wonder there are efforts to legalize marijuana in the state of Florida,” he said. “There are greedy people who want a piece of this without taking the risk of committing a criminal act.”

He doesn’t mention that his department gets to keep 85 percent of the value of cash and property they seize in drug busts, even when there’s no conviction.

No wonder there are efforts to keep marijuana illegal in Florida. There are greedy people who want to keep their piece of this cash cow.

What Judd and the other fear mongers won’t tell you is that a recent study by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found states that legalized medical marijuana have fewer deaths from opioids like OxyCotin, Percocet and Vicodin — all of which doctors prescribed for me — than states without medical marijuana.

On average, the 13 states with legalized medical marijuana have nearly 25 percent fewer opioid overdoses. Researchers say the results suggest that individuals in states with medical marijuana choose weed to manage their pain instead of opioids.

Florida had more than 2,000 prescription drug-related deaths in 2012, including 735 caused by oxycodone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In an interim report on drug deaths during the first half of 2013, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement noted prescription drugs “continued to be found more often than illicit drugs, both as the cause of death and present at death.”

When my mother was in a Palm Beach County hospital five years ago facing the amputation of her second leg, she lost her appetite and a considerable amount of weight. Doctors prescribed Marinol, synthetic THC, the main ingredient in marijuana. The hope was that it would give her the munchies and she’d eat. A joint would’ve been more effective.

Her appetite didn’t improve in the least. Fake THC doesn’t have the therapeutic properties of the natural cannabis plant.

Marinol is also more psychoactive than real marijuana, so patients experience more adverse effects.

Still, Florida made it easier several years ago for doctors to prescribe Marinol, moving it from a Schedule II to a Schedule III drug. Meanwhile, marijuana remains in the most restrictive category, Schedule I, along with heroin.

How does that make sense?

If Florida is going to have sensible drug policies, voters will have to make it happen.

Legalizing medical marijuana is more than compassionate. It could save a significant number of lives. That should be a no brainer.

Source: Sun Sentinel

PAINTBOXING IS EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE AND IT’S AWESOME

Bart van Polanen Petel describes himself as a Dutch boxer/painter. To be clear, Petel doesn’t box by day and paint by night: His boxing gloves are the tools he uses to pound out his masterpieces on canvas-wrapped punching bags.

“As a boxer, I am inspired by this primal nature of pugilism. As an artist, I pay tribute,” Petel says in his artist’s statement. “Instead of crushing bones and shattering teeth, I use my fists to create. I use exclusively boxing techniques, with real boxing gloves. No brush allowed.”

Each painting can take up to three hours and cost as much as £1000 (about $1,680) a pop.

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5 Horror Movies for Halloween Date Night

When you’ve finished trick or treating, raising demons with Ouija boards or dressing up as various ‘sexy’ versions of everything known to man, Halloween is the perfect time to catch up on some horror movies.

And as everyone knows, a good horror movie can be excellent for a relationship.

There is nothing better than eating junk while hiding behind a cushion and feeling like your heart is going to beat right out of your chest, with your girlfriend or boyfriend beside you, going through the same (or laughing at how much the film makes you jump).

It can lead to extra snuggles and what better excuse is there than to enjoy some serious make-out time when things get a bit on the crazy side?

Below are five romantic horror movies that will make for the perfect date night.

1. Cloverfield

Nothing is more swoon worthy than a guy willing to search for his girlfriend though a city being terrorised by a gigantic monster.

2. Drag Me To Hell

Foul-mouthed goats, massive amounts of bodily fluid and a meek lone officer that just wanted to do her job, but instead gets cursed by a button wielding scary gypsy.

Aw well, the sacrifice made in the name of love is nice.

Though if your partner offers you a button as a gift, word of warning, don’t take it.

3. 30 Days Of Night

Chock full of scary vampires who have never heard of a napkin, 30 Days Of Night is the ultimate reconciliation movie.

The love story between the estranged couple is sweet and endearing and it is amazing what a legion of blood thirsty undead can do for your relationship issues.

4. Shaun Of The Dead

This rom-zom-com is filled with funny and beautiful moments.

Shaun may be a disappointing boyfriend to start with but he more than redeems himself.

Nothing says I love you like a cricket bat to a zombie’s head and a rescue mission that ends in a trip to the pub to get a pint while you wait for the whole zombie apocalypse thing to blow over.

5. Zombieland

You’d be mistaken for thinking that the whole love story in this film was between the awkward Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and cunning Wichita (Emma Stone).

The real love story is between Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and the ‘golden sponge cake with a creamy filling’ – the Twinkie.

It is a story of endless searching, wanting and needing, with a very satisfyingly delicious ending.

Recipe of the Week: Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Bacon Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts*, left whole or cut into thick strips diagonally
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons steak seasoning
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Frank’s)

Instructions:

  1. In a large ziplock bag, squish together 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup oil, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons steak seasoning. Add the chicken breast, thighs, or salmon filets. Seal and refrigerate for a few hours. (If you are marinading salmon, grill them after 1-2 hours at the longest or it will get mushy. If you are doing chicken, you can do it 2-3 days in advance if you want.)
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Make the glaze. In a large pan, cook the bacon until it is crisp, then remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and let cool. If you didn’t chop it, crumble it now. Set aside.
  4. Drain the grease from the pan, but don’t clean it. Add the honey, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Let bubble over medium heat. Once it is bubbly, add in the chopped bacon. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until it has thickened lightly, then remove from heat. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools down.
  5. Grill the chicken or salmon over medium-high heat. Discard the marinade, or use it to brush the fresh veggies you should be grilling. Don’t forget to brush the grill with oil first or it will stick. Cook 2-4 minutes per side, until it is no longer pink for the chicken, or until it flakes tenderly with a fork for the salmon.
  6. Serve topped with the bacon glaze. I like to serve this with grilled veggies on the side, like tomatoes and baby bell peppers. It would also be good with baked beans.

Recipe Source: Grilled Magazine (Part of the TwinStar Media Network)